October 30, 2013

Made It Moment: Nancy Cole Silverman

Filed under: Made It Moments — jenny @ 9:15 pm

When In Doubt, Don't

When Nancy Cole Silverman contacted me and said that she had a story to tell, I settled back to hear how she had finally found an agent, decided to self-publish, saw her book on bookstore shelves, or something along those lines. Instead, Nancy told me that she’d faced down a group of extremists who had stolen her home, and might have taken her life. This put making it on a whole other level.

Nancy’s true life story has enough thrills and chills that I offer it as my Halloween gift to you. I am so glad Nancy got in touch, because she made me realize that sometimes we have to do more even than dig deep and pursue a dream. Sometimes we have to take a very bad wrong, and find the courage to make it right.

Nancy Cole Silverman

I realized I’d made it when I was asked to be a federal witness against a group of rightwing extremists that tried to steal my house out from under me. That may seem like an awkward moment for an author to come to grips with the idea that she’s made it, but for me it spelled the end of a nightmare and the beginning of a book.

When in Doubt, Don’t! took fifteen years to write. Not that I worked on it consciously. But in the back of my mind I knew I had a story to tell. I just wasn’t quite certain how to tell it, or even what I could share, for that matter.

Some may call it writers’ block or just plain stuck, but I needed time between me and the events that transpired back in 1996. Then finally it hit me. The theme of my book wasn’t the obvious story line. I wasn’t simply going to write about how I was a single mom and hoodwinked into allowing a group of rightwing extremists to move into my home. Nor how they had booby-trapped it with guns and ammo and threatened to financially overthrow the government, not to mention me. That in-and-of-itself had all the makings of a movie of the week, and I could and did write it as a piece of fiction, names and places changed, including my own.

But that wasn’t all I wanted to share. Over the years as I thought about writing this book I considered making it a memoir or an in-depth news story. I’d worked in enough radio newsrooms in Los Angeles to know the drill. In the end the media was actually my sword and salvation: I used it to keep my story front and center and in the news every day until the FBI and Federal Marshalls were understandably sick of me. But when the story was picked up by the Washington Post and nightly news, it was all worth it. Fourteen long months later, I found myself in a federal courtroom and I realized I had made it. I had stared into the eyes of anarchists and won. I had my house back.

But the real theme of this book, the story within the story, wasn’t just a fast paced suspense novel. It was that no matter what happens in life, no matter how terrible it may seem at the moment, it’s what we make of the events that hit us that matters.

Nancy Cole Silverman enjoyed a long and successful career in radio before turning to print journalism and later to fiction.

Nancy was one of the first female on-air television reporters in her hometown of Phoenix, AZ. After moving to Los Angeles in the late 1970’s she turned to the business side of broadcasting, becoming one of the top advertising sales executives in the market. After stints at KNX, KFWB, KABC and KXTA radio, she was appointed General Manager at KMPC, making her one of only two female managers in America’s second-largest radio market.

But in her heart of hearts, Nancy thought first of herself as a writer. Today Nancy is a full-time author. Her newest book, When in Doubt, Don’t! has just been released as an ebook and in paperback. Her first novel, The Centaur’s Promise, was published in 2010 by Eloquent Books, and three of her short novels, A Much Married Woman, The Salvationist and The Blood Drive, have been released as audio books by Mind Wings Audio. Nancy lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Bruce Silverman.

October 27, 2013

Made It Moment: Marie Lavender

Filed under: Made It Moments — jenny @ 7:08 pm

Upon Your Return

One of the things I have always loved about the Made It Moments forum is that it welcomes such a wide variety of writers. We’ve had Edgar winners and nominees, we’ve had the greenest of debut newbies, we’ve had people trying out brand new micro presses, people who reached the top of bestseller lists–both on their own and with a publisher behind them–authors made into international hits and people who said “heck no” to the traditional publishing scene. Today’s Momenter has tried both, and has very strong feelings about where she wanted to wind up, at least for a while. I found her reasoning and her process interesting, and I think you will, too.

Marie Lavender

My made it moment commenced in August of 2012.  I received an email from the editor-in-chief of Solstice Publishing, telling me they were interested in my historical romance.  Included in the email was a contract, which I poured over eventually.  Mainly what I felt when I received the email was shock.  I probably sat there for a good twenty minutes with my mouth hanging open.  I was practically in tears I was so exhilarated.  That was one of the best moments of my life.  I had self-published books before, but this…this was different.  A publisher had accepted my manuscript after the whole submission process.  It was exciting.

The next moment came when I received the cover image from the cover artist.  Honestly, up until that point, none of it seemed real.  I probably stared for a bit at the cover too.  I was just so overwhelmed.  And it was perfect, exactly what the characters would have looked like.

When the e-book was released, I held an event on Facebook and invited all of my connections.  Though not too many people joined, because I was basically unknown as an author, it was very validating to have people commenting on the book and to have them as excited about it as I was.

The final made it moment occurred when I received my proof copy.  It came in the mail.  When I finally had the book in my hands, I felt a mixture of awe and pride.  I did it!  I published a book traditionally.  And what really cemented it was the fact that the book was the culmination of a very long project for me.  Later came the reviews, of course, and that was so wonderful because more than anything, I wanted people to love the characters like I did.  It had nothing to do with money or fame, but just a wish for people to enjoy the book.  So it was all very exciting!  I still can’t believe it sometimes.  I made it!

At the tender age of nine, Marie Lavender began writing stories. She majored in Creative Writing in college because that was all she ever wanted – to be a writer. After graduating, she sought out her dream to publish a book. Since then, Marie has published sixteen books. Her real love is writing romances, but she has also written mysteries, literary fiction and dabbled a little in paranormal stories. Marie Lavender lives in the Midwest with her family and three cats. She has more works in progress than she can count on two hands.

October 17, 2013

Made It Moment: Elaine Bossik

Filed under: Made It Moments — jenny @ 9:16 am

The Last Victim

One of the things I love about the Moments is that even though each one says what it does in a different way, all the writers are essentially saying a small handful of things. “Made it? What’s that? I haven’t made it .” Or, “It’s not about me. It’s never been about me. This is about the readers.” Elaine Bossik believed in her book enough to put it out there. But it’s her readers who convinced her she did the right thing.

Elaine Bossik

The Last Victim was published by a small press, Portable Shopper, but I was grateful to have it published and thrilled to finally hold a copy in my hands with my name on the cover. That was my first Made It Moment.

Marketing my book was up to me. And I quickly learned that it was much easier to write it than sell it. I knew I needed reviews, so I submitted my novel to the Midwest Book Review. After months of waiting, a “highly recommended” review arrived. That was my second Made It Moment.

The most gratifying rewards came from people who said extraordinary things like, “Did you write about my mother,” and “I was up ‘till 2:00 a.m. because I couldn’t put your book down.” The biggest surprise was how many people ordered books as gifts…and still do.

Readers’ reactions will continue to be the most gratifying Made It Moments for me. I know I told a good story, but was totally unprepared for the wonderful reception it received. I’m delighted that my story is entertaining so many people because I think that’s what good fiction is supposed to do.

Elaine Bossik had three careers: as magazine editor, medical writer and teacher in New York City. She received BA and MS degrees from Brooklyn College, and now serves as staff columnist for Scriptologist.com, an online screenwriting magazine. While her professional experience helped shape her writing, her fascination with people is the inspiration for her fiction. She believes that great stories begin and end with provocative characters.

October 8, 2013

Made It Moment: L.A. Starks, Part II

Filed under: Made It Moments — jenny @ 12:06 pm

Strike Price

The thing about grieving, some say, is that there is no thing about grieving. No single thing anyway. No rules for how long it goes on. Today author L.A. Starks shares what happened after the initial punch of her grief. (Explained in Part I of this Moment.) And what she makes us realize is that just as there is no discrete end to the grief process, so does the act of “making it” continue, one step at a time.
L.A. Starks

The sudden, untimely death of publishing guru Linda Houle in July 2013 led her business partner, Lisa Smith, to close down the 200-author, 350-book publisher L&L Dreamspell. I was one of those two hundred.

All of us grieved for Linda and expressed our condolences to her family and to Lisa.

We began to make other plans, looking for new ways to keep our books connected to our readers.

The first cold reality was that vendors took Dreamspell e-books offline immediately—something which demonstrates that an e-book can indeed go out of “print.” As an author, there is little more difficult than seeing a much-labored-over e-book vanish. Then, wholesale distribution channels like Ingram and Baker & Taylor also began shutting off Dreamspell books.

Our print editions do continue in limited runs on the resale market and on consignment at understanding independent and national bookstores. (For example STRIKE PRICE is available in print from online vendors at Amazon and at several bookstores on consignment.)

Yet starting over, for that’s what’s ultimately required, has also taken forms such as self-publishing and sending manuscripts for approval to new publishers with whom Lisa Smith connected us. Yes, the dreaded query letters.

Some with books that don’t fit those publishers’ genres are finding other e-book and print publishers.

The Dreamspell authors maintain a group loop. We cheer news of each new blog, success, and book release.

My own recent “made-it moment” happened in August in a Swiss hotel—itself a setting ripe for a thriller—by e-mail. Traditional, royalty-paying e-book publisher StoneThread accepted the first two books in my series and asked for more!

Literally a few days ago, 2013 StoneThread published the all-platforms e-book edition of 13 DAYS: THE PYTHAGORAS CONSPIRACY!

The e-book edition of STRIKE PRICE is due out in 2014. I am outlining book three of the series, with more planned.

The resolution isn’t complete. While a limited print run of STRIKE PRICE survives, I will soon need a new one, somehow. Yet this remaining hurdle only reminds me how excited I am about my own, fresh made it moment.

L. A. Starks was born in Boston, Massachusetts, grew up in northern Oklahoma, and now lives in Texas. Working more than a decade for well-known energy companies in engineering, marketing, and finance prepared Starks to write global energy thrillers. In addition to her two Lynn Dayton books, 13 DAYS: THE PYTHAGORAS CONSPIRACY and STRIKE PRICE, two of Starks’ short stories have been published by Amazon Shorts. Her nonfiction has appeared in Mystery Readers Journal, The Dallas Morning News, The Houston Chronicle, The San Antonio Express-News, and other publications.

October 7, 2013

Made It Moment: L.A. Starks

Filed under: Made It Moments — jenny @ 9:56 am

Strike Price

It’s difficult for writers to say what–or who–inspires them, but for L.A. Starks the trajectory was clear. Even as she mourned the loss of one of the closest people in her life, she was steeped in the inspiration this person provided. When another loss followed hard on the heels of the first, the idea of getting up again must have seemed that much harder. But L.A. did just that, resulting in the release of her latest thriller. Maybe that’s the truest Moment of all: getting up again when you have to, and letting the writing carry you away.

L.A. Starks

I have celebrated the publication of two books and three short stories in various ways; however, for my most recent Made It Moment I nod my head to three women.

I want to recognize my younger sister, Linda Lewis, who passed away in September 2010. Some years ago while living in Malaysia, she read a draft of my first book, 13 DAYS: THE PYTHAGORAS CONSPIRACY. When I received her comments it was a welcome jolt to realize the book and its characters now existed apart from me, like the adult Athena bursting from Zeus’ head ready for battle.

I was writing the second book, STRIKE PRICE, when my sister was diagnosed with stage IV cancer. The disease had already spread and would be terminal. My motivation drained away, replaced by the need to spend time with my sister for what remained of her life.
After her death in 2010, it was difficult to resume writing. I pushed through completion precisely because I’d promised myself STRIKE PRICE was my sister’s book. Indeed, in 13 DAYS, there was one character she told me deserved a different fate. I took that into account when I wrote STRIKE PRICE.

Here’s when the second and third women enter. While my sister was still alive, Lisa Smith of L&L Dreamspell approved one of my short stories for inclusion in the DREAMSPELL NIGHTMARES anthology, and later, approved 13 DAYS for an e-book edition. In the midst of grief over my sister, the publication of those two was a moment not of wild joy, but of quiet consolation that a respected editor liked my work and found it commercial.

I had already learned about L&L Dreamspell’s approach to publishing—their company was one of the first to successfully publish e-books—through the work of the “second L,” Linda Houle. With Lisa at the editorial helm, Linda was the business visionary who saw books through to completion, designed covers, and got them launched with vendors such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Overdrive, and Kobo.

In early 2012, I got the good news about L&L Dreamspell’s acceptance of STRIKE PRICE from Lisa Smith and it went into the publishing queue. Then later that year we, the two hundred-strong Dreamspell author group, got the bad news about Linda Houle’s cancer diagnosis. Yet we knew Linda was undergoing chemotherapy and that she expected to recover. She continued working and Lisa took on additional responsibility, with every hope the Dream Team would soon be over this bump.

In the spring of 2013, we learned Linda’s cancer had unfortunately returned. She hoped to once again beat it with the help of chemotherapy. STRIKE PRICE was edited. Lisa and I handled tricky Cherokee syllabary font formatting issues with the expertise of a technical specialist at the Cherokee Nation. Despite her rough days, Linda Houle persevered in designing the cover and issuing STRIKE PRICE in both e-book and print editions. She remained cheerful and hard-working.

It was with immense sadness in July that the Dreamspell author group found out from Lisa that Linda Houle’s cancer had spread to her brain. Linda, the second Linda for me, passed away within days.

My Made It Moment, the publication of STRIKE PRICE, serves as tribute to the vision of Linda Lewis, Lisa Smith, and Linda Houle.

L. A. Starks was born in Boston, Massachusetts, grew up in northern Oklahoma, and now lives in Texas. Working more than a decade for well-known energy companies in engineering, marketing, and finance prepared Starks to write global energy thrillers. In addition to her two Lynn Dayton books, 13 DAYS: THE PYTHAGORAS CONSPIRACY and STRIKE PRICE, two of Starks’ short stories have been published by Amazon Shorts. Her nonfiction has appeared in Mystery Readers Journal, The Dallas Morning News, The Houston Chronicle, The San Antonio Express-News, and other publications.


October 4, 2013

Made It Moment: Gloria Alden

Filed under: Made It Moments — jenny @ 9:03 am

The Blue Rose

Gloria Alden’s Moment reads like a how-to for emerging mystery writers (thank you, Louise Penny, for the validating and encouraging term). How to find community, how to connect with other writers, how to make the best use of conferences, how to decide between self- and traditional-publishing. And ultimately, how to feel like you’ve made it as a writer. That’s the best how-to of all.

Gloria Alden

Almost fifteen years ago I started writing my first mystery novel. I had been reading mysteries since I was a young girl so it was a natural this was the type of book I’d write. Because I was teaching full time and also an avid gardener, which filled up much of my spare time in the summer, it was three or four years or maybe more before I finished that first book. I started sending out query letters and with each rejection, I stopped for a while and did some more revision and rewriting then after a few months or so, I’d send another one. Meanwhile, I started on the second in my cozy series with a gardening theme – what else? I continued writing and editing and sending the occasional query letter.

Then in 2006 I read about Malice Domestic and decided to go to this mystery writers/fan convention. I drove from NE Ohio in my little Mercury Tracer wagon with my best friend and two cousins who toured the DC area while I stayed in the hotel and attended my first ever mystery event. I was like the proverbial kid in a candy store; so many interesting panels and so many mystery writers I’d both read as well as some I’d never heard of. There were hundreds of authors, aspiring authors and fans, who just loved a good mystery. I made some friends that year who are still my friends. Some only online, but some I meet in person every year when I return to Malice Domestic in the spring.

It was there I learned about Sisters in Crime and their chapter, the Guppies. I joined both and it changed my writing world. No longer did I feel isolated now that I belonged to a mystery writing community. The Guppy list serve answered questions, gave advice and in general was supportive of both our good news and our bad news. Through the Guppies I’ve taken online writing classes and joined their subchapters like Press Quest, Agent Quest, STORY SUCCESS and it’s where I also got my fantastic critique partners. Now that I belonged to a writing community, I started to feel like a real writer. Almost, that is. I still hadn’t published anything other than poetry.

Then the Guppies decided to put out an anthology of short mystery stories. I hadn’t written a short story since I was a freshman in college, and even though it won an award for a best freshman short story, it wasn’t published. I thought it might be fun to write a short story so I wrote one based on a few characters from my books. It was too long for the word count, and I wasn’t willing to delete enough to meet that, so I wrote another one, “The Professor’s Books,” which was accepted and appeared in Fish Tales, the Guppy anthology right before Malice 2011. When I heard it was accepted, it was almost “my made it moment.” When I finally got my copy of the book in my hands, it was even closer to “my made it moment.” But though family and friends congratulated me, they didn’t really understand the importance of this. So it wasn’t until I went to Malice that year and actually was signing the page in Fish Tales where my story started for people who had the book that I really felt “My made it moment.”

Since then I’ve had five short stories published and another that will be published in October. I won the Love is Murder short story contest for “Cheating on Your Wife Can Get You Killed” which appeared in Crimespree Magazine. I made it into the new Guppy Fish Nets anthology, and an online magazine, Bethlehem Writers Roundtable, but most recently my big thrill was having my first paranormal short story “Once Upon a Gnome” appear in Strangely Funny, an anthology put out by Sarah Glenn, the editor of Mystery and Horror, LLC, a new publishing company. I found their first anthology to be full of great stories and very well edited. I’m so pleased to be one of those accepted. They also accepted my short story, “Norman’s Skeletons” for their anthology coming out in October, “All Hallows’ Evil.” I have found writing stories to be such good fun and rewarding if not financially, at least emotionally.

So what about my gardening mystery series? With much encouragement from my fellow guppies and following those who went indie, I’ve self-published my first two books; The Blue Rose, and Daylilies for Emily’s Garden, and my third, Ladies of the Garden Club should be out some time next month or November at the latest. My made it moments for the books are the praise I’m getting from people who have read both books and are begging for me to hurry and get the next one out.

Gloria Alden taught for twenty years then retired to have more time to write. She enjoyed mysteries since she was a child so it was natural that she would write them. Since gardening is a passion of hers, she wrote THE BLUE ROSE, the first in the Catherine Jewell gardening mystery series. The second one, DAYLILIES FOR EMILY’S GARDEN is out as well. The third in the series, LADIES OF THE GARDEN CLUB will be out sometime in the fall of 2013. She has written a middle-grade mystery, THE SHERLOCK HOLMES DETECTIVE CLUB, short stories (four published and a fifth to come), and many published poems, too.

October 3, 2013

Made It Moment: Sarah E. Glenn

Filed under: Made It Moments — jenny @ 9:13 am

All Hallows Evil

Not only will this Moment make you laugh–check out the first line of the bio and tell me you didn’t stifle a snort–but it also reminds me of a truism we writers should never forget. Books are beads on a necklace, connecting readers and books together.  It’s not about amassing books written, copies in print, attendees at an event, or downloads. Instead, like the most precious pearl, both readers and books must be appreciated each single one at a time.

If you are looking for a Halloween gift or read, both Sarah Glenn and her compatriot featured tomorrow have something up their sleeves. If you’re looking for wisdom to go with your scare, well…look no further than this page.

Sarah E. Glenn

I started writing and drawing stories when I was very young. I began with Black Stallion fan fiction, if you can believe that. I moved to drawing the human figure with Betty and Veronica, then the X-Men. I moved on to other subject matter, including a 10,000-page saga I co-wrote with a friend best titled, “Meet Your Favorite Prince of Amber and Boff Him”. Eventually, I began writing stories with my own characters in their own settings.

I loved reading as a child. It was the best thing ever, and it was only natural that I should want to write stories myself. I wanted to create places and stories that would draw other people into them the same way books hosted my own imagination. I couldn’t imagine anything nobler.

When did I feel I’d made it? I’m still working on ‘making it’ as an author. I’ve had several short stories published, plus one novel, and it’s a pleasant surprise each time it happens. No movie deals or six-figure advances so far. The moment I really felt that I’d ‘made it’ as an author was more personal than financial. A reviewer for my first novel wrote to ask to review any sequels I did to All This and Family, Too. Some months later, I mentioned on my Facebook page that I was working on one, and she posted a squee. She was a reader that wasn’t a friend, a relative, or even someone I’d ever met in person. Somehow, I had managed to draw a perfect stranger into my world—someone who wanted to visit it again. For me, that was more validation than the acceptances I’d received… not that acceptances aren’t lovely things.

Sarah E. Glenn, a product of the suburbs, has a B.S. in Journalism, which is redundant if you think about it. She loves writing mystery and horror stories, often with a sidecar of funny. Several have appeared in mystery and paranormal anthologies, including G.W. Thomas’ Ghostbreakers series, Futures Mysterious Anthology Magazine, and Fish Tales: The Guppy Anthology. She belongs to Sisters in Crime, SinC Guppies, the Short Mystery Fiction Society, and the Historical Novel Society.

Sarah edited two different newsletters and was a first round judge in Futures Mysterious Anthology Magazine’s 2003 “Slesar’s Twist Contest”. More recently, she has been a judge for the 2011 and 2012 Derringers. Interesting fact: Sarah worked the Reports Desk for her local police department, and criminals are dumb.

October 1, 2013

Made It Moment III: Judy Hogan

Filed under: Made It Moments — jenny @ 9:35 am

Farm Fresh and Fatal

Every Made It Moment is a small moment for me. This forum has provided inspiration during my struggle to get published, friendship, and the gift of mutual of support for over four years now. Judy Hogan’s return to the blog–her first moment and second moment appeared last year–is an especially close connection. You see, once I finally reached the starting line of my own long journey, Judy was there to welcome me. Literally host me and my family in her home, then Judy came out with members of her community when I got to appear at the wonderful McIntyre’s Books. So, Judy, welcome back to the blog. My virtual arms are extended to greet your success.

Judy Hogan


In late 2011, learning that Killer Frost, my first mystery novel, would be published was my first big thrill. Then, when readers wrote to me how much they liked it, I felt that closure writers long for: people read and liked my book. People who hardly know me like it. Jenny allowed me two “Made It Moment” blogs for book one.

The highlight of the pre-publication period for the second book, Farm Fresh and Fatal, was receiving Carolyn Hart’s enthusiastic cover blurb. I had two quotes I was happy with, but I’d had trouble finding a third one, so I’d finally decided not to worry about it.

Then I went to the Malice Domestic Mystery Convention, an annual trek for me now. Carolyn Hart was being honored for her lifetime contributions to the mystery community with the new Amelia Award, and during her interview she commented: “Write what works for you and reflects you. Don’t write to a trend. Write what you want to write.” I very much agreed with her, and I had, in fact, been helped when I was in my twenties by reading similar wisdom in Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own:

So long as you write what you wish to write, that is all that matters; and whether it matters for ages or only for hours, nobody can say. But to sacrifice a hair of the head of your vision, a shade of its colour, in deference to some professor with a measuring-rod up his sleeve, is the most abject treachery, and the sacrifice of wealth and chastity which used to be said to be the greatest of human disasters, a mere flea-bite in comparison.

I wrote up the Malice Convention for the Sisters in Crime Guppy newsletter, First Draft, and quoted Carolyn on this wisdom. When I sent it to my editor, I sent Carolyn an email alert about using her quote and about its also being on my blog for May 12, 2013. To my surprise she wrote back that she liked my Malice report and wanted to link to my blog from her website. That was an honor. It turned out that we’d both taken our BAs from the University of Oklahoma, she in Journalism (1958) and me in Letters, i.e., Literature, History, Philosophy, and Foreign Languages (1959). We’d never met until Malice, and we still haven’t spoken to each other in person. I began hunting up and enjoying her books, and she bought Killer Frost, read and liked it. I had one book out, and she had fifty. When you’re at the very beginning of being a published mystery author, it was quite a lift already to have the interest of someone who has been publishing for many years.

I’d already sent all the book information to Mainly Murder Press for my October 1 release, but I thought about how supportive Carolyn had already been, and how I’d seen her name and enthusiasm on the backs of other mysteries I’d read. Would it be too much to ask her for a blurb in late May? I decided, given everything else, that she probably wouldn’t mind, so I asked, and she said yes. I mailed her the manuscript, and within a week, she sent me the quote:

Farm Fresh and Fatal features an appealing protagonist, an intriguing background, and well-realized characters. Readers will enjoy these characters and empathize with their successes and failures. In the tradition of Margaret Maron.

How that boosted my spirits. She also urged me to use again Julia Spencer-Fleming’s blurb from Killer Frost, which I had already decided to do. “A charming puzzler of a traditional mystery, this classic academic mystery debut is a pageturner populated with layered, interesting characters. My hat is off to Judy Hogan on a stellar debut. I look forward to the further adventures of Professor Penny Weaver at St. Francis college!”

Having someone farther up the ladder in the mystery world recommend my book was such a gift, a third “made it moment.” Thank you, Jenny.

Judy Hogan was born in Kansas and has lived in North Carolina and in the Triangle area for 42 years. She brought to the state a new poetry journal (Hyperion, 1970-81) and in 1976 she founded Carolina Wren Press. She has been active in the area since then as a reviewer, book distributor, publisher, teacher, writing consultant, and organizer of conferences, readings, and book signing events. In 2009 she helped found a new Creative Writing Program at Central Carolina Community College in Pittsboro.

Her first mystery , Killer Frost, a Malice Domestic contest novel finalist, was published by Mainly Murder Press in 2012. Farm Fresh and Fatal is out in 2013. She has published poetry with small presses and two prose works, Watering the Roots in a Democracy (1989) and The PMZ Poor Woman’s Cookbook (2000). Between 1990 and 2007 Judy taught American literature at Kostroma University and worked on cooperative publishing with Kostroma writers and exhibits of their artists.

She’s active in environmental and community issues in Chatham County.  She also teaches Backyard Chicken workshops through CCCC in Sanford and Lillington. Judy lives and farms in Moncure, N.C., near Jordan Lake.

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