2009 Carolinas Writers Conference

     The first Carolinas Writers Conference was held from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 4, 2009, at the Lockhart-Taylor Center in Wadesboro, North Carolina.

     The conference was presented by the Anson County Writer's Club, South Piedmont Community College and the Carolina Romance Writers.

Featured Presenters

Robert InmanRobert Inman: A novelist, screenwriter, playwright and essayist, Inman was known locally as a Charlotte television anchor and Sunday columnist in The Charlotte Observer before he retired from journalism to pursue his passion for writing. Inman's works capture the Southern experience. His novels are Captain Saturday, Dairy Queen Days, Home Fires Burning and Old Dogs and Children. Home Fires Burning was a Hallmark Hall of Fame production in 1989. Other TV dramas include A Son's Promise, 1990; Cries from the Heart, 1994, My Son is Innocent, 1996; The Summer of Ben Tyler (Hallmark Hall of Fame), 1997; and Family Blessings, 1999. Plays and Musicals include a musical adaptation of Dairy Queen Days; Crossroads (Musical); and The Christmas Bus, also book and a play. Inman is a native of Elba, Ala. He and his wife live in Boone and Charlotte, N.C. For more information, visit www.robert-inman.com

Glenis RedmondGlenis Redmond: Through her poetry, Redmond tells stories from her life, her family, her African-American heritage and her observations of the world around her. She recently released a CD, Monumental: Soaring on the Wings of Love. She has published a full-length book of poetry, Backbone, and three chapbooks: Naming It, If I Ain't African and Word Power (children's). Her awards include the Cary McCray Literary Award (1995), Asheville Arts Council grant (2001), Atlantic Center for the Arts Fellowship (1995, 2002), Vermont Studio Center Fellowship (1998, 2002) and Mountain Xpress, Best Poet of Western North Caolina (1999, 2002). For more information, visit www.glenisredmondstore.com

Robert MacomberRobert Macomber: A Different Kind of Honor won the American Library Association's 2008 W.Y. Boyd Literacy Award for Excellence in Military Fiction. His sea-faring novels also include At the Edge of Honor, Point of Honor, Honorable Mention, A Dishonorable Few, An Affair of Honor, and A Different Kind of Honor. The series follows the career of protagonist Peter Wake as an officer in the United States Navy from the Civil War onward. Macomber is also a noted lecturer on naval history and steams thousands of miles each year on the Queen Mary II and Queen Victoria as guest author and lecturer. When not sailing on research voyages, lecturing or writing, Macomber lives in Matlacha Island off the Gulf coast of Florida. For more information, visit www.robertmacomber.com

Judi McCoyJudi Mccoy: Judi McCoy has published fourteen romances. She also teaches the Romantic Times convention’s aspiring author course, and gives workshops on a variety of writing topics. Hounding the Pavement, her first mystery, was released in March 2009. All royalties earned from the book will be donated to the largest no-kill shelter in the US, Best Friends in Kanab, UT. The book, a continuing tale of a New York City dog walker, has been optioned by CBS and Paramount Productions to be turned into a weekly television series. Judi currently resides on Virginia's peaceful eastern shore. A retired women’s gymnastic judge, she keeps busy raising orchids and writing the next book in her unique dog walker series. For more information, visit www.judimccoy.com

Session Leaders

Jack and Mary BransonJack and Mary Branson: In January 2003, federal agent Jack Branson’s 85-year-old aunt Ann was bludgeoned to death and stabbed 97 times in small-town Kentucky. The killer left no fingerprints and no DNA. The case may have gone unsolved if Ann herself had not pointed police to her killer. Her story is chronicled in "Murder in Mayberry."
Murder in Mayberry: Greed, Death and Mayhem in a Small Town is the true story of a brutal crime, a promising young professional who became a killer, and a wealthy, successful woman who became the perfect victim. It’s about the impact of violent crime on a previously “normal” family and on a quiet, trusting community who refused to forget one of its own. Murder in Mayberry is endorsed by Family and Friends of Violent Crime Victims. The hardback edition was released in February 2008 by New Horizon Press. The paperback edition will be released by Berkley in March 2009. Also, the crime and the book will be featured on CBS 48 Hours, time to be announced.
Mayberry’s authors, Jack and Mary Branson, are currently writing a historic true crime book on the Atlanta child murders of 1979-81, working with the FBI agent who was in charge of the investigation. The Bransons’ website is www.murdertheywrote.com.
About the Authors: Mary Kinney Branson holds a B.A. degree from Indiana State University and has done graduate work at Georgia State University. She is the author of 16 books in the children's and Christian markets and has ghostwritten many more. She resides with her husband, Jack, in Cumming, Georgia.
Jack Branson is a retired U.S. Treasury Special Agent who served on a public corruption task force. His Secret Service duties included the Presidential Jump Team and NATO’s fiftieth anniversary. He is a licensed private investigator, heading his own agency, Branson & Associates, LLC. He holds a B.S. degree from Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky, where he also did graduate work.

Lena ClaxtonLena Claxton: Lena Claxton is co-author of "How to Say It: Marketing With New Media" (Penguin) which "The Writer" Magazine (1/09) says "those who count writing as a professional activity ... will benefit from the tips and tools provided." Lena is a principal of www.newmediamavens.com where she helps business owners build expert status, communicate and connect with their audience using new media. She is also CEO of AuthorSpark where she helps writers navigate the publishing process, build a platform and market their books using new media. She is available for speaking/workshops, coaching and consulting. Download a free excerpt from the book at her websites: www.newmediamavens.com or www.authorspark.com

Lillie TempletonLillie Templeton: Lillie Templeton is a budding artist/animator whose style can best be described as bold, graphic, lively, action-packed cartooning. She adores color and it is infused in almost all aspects of her work. Her inspiration for her recently-published comic book, Passages, was drawn from her family and a personal love for reading.

Gail F. MartinGail F. Martin: Gail Martin is a publicity expert as well as an author, entrepreneur and educator. Her value proposition is simple: she connects marketing and public relations directly to business plan goals for small business owners, entrepreneurs and solopreneurs to help them save time and money and get better results from their marketing programs. Gail is the author of the bestselling Chronicles of the Necromancer fantasy adventure series, with The Summoner (2007), The Blood King (2008) and Dark Haven (2009). Her nonfiction articles have been featured in regional and national magazines. She’s also an adjunct professor for UNC-Charlotte.

Ginni Farmer Virginia Farmer: A member of Romance Writers of America for the past 15 years, award-winning author Virginia Farmer has published three novels. Actively involved in Carolina Romance Writers, she has served as PAN Liaison, Treasurer and currently as the chapter president.

Nancy KnightNancy Knight: Nancy Knight has had twelve novels and numerous stories and articles published. She has had seven plays produced in professional theatres. She has had a screenplay produced and is a partner in the new Indy film company, Dragonfly Productions. She is a partner in BelleBooks and also in Soundhole Publishing. She has been teaching art and writing for more than 20 years.

Kimberly HunterKimberly Hunter: I've been writing for as long as I can remember. Reading too;) I got my first romance when I was thirteen; it was "Shiek's Promise" by Penelope Neri. To say I was floored would be an understatement. I started writing seriously about ten years ago. Bought a romance I thought would be great and was sadly disappointed. After reading it I thought that I could have done a better job and that's when it clicked. I could do a better job and now, ten years later, I have a novel and a short story out with many more to come.

Cindy HolbyCindy Holby: I've always been a writer. Ever since I could remember my biggest desire was to put words to paper. Finally my dreams of publication came true in 2002 with the release of Chase The Wind, the first book in my historical family saga. But I've also looked to the stars since I was a small girl. Which led to my writing of Futuristic Action Romance under the pen name Colby Hodge. And since I've got a knack for relating to teens, I also enjoy writing for them under the name Kassy Tayler.

Leigh GreenwoodLeigh Greenwood: Leigh served three years as advisor or co-advisor of his local Romance Writers of America chapter before spending six years on the national Board of Directors, two of those years as president. Leigh was the recipient of the 1993 Regional and National service awards for his work in RWA. Before turning to a career in writing, Leigh earned a BA and an MA in Voice and Musicology from the University of North Carolina. He taught music in schools and churches for 32 years before retiring in 1993 to write full time. Leigh has three grown children and enjoys gardening when he can find time off from writing and learning how to cook. Leigh is the author of both the popular Seven Brides series and The Cowboys series. Please visit Leigh’s website at Leigh-Greenwood.com. You can e-mail Leigh at leighgwood@aol.com.

Suzanne Adair/WilliamsSuzanne Adair: Suzanne Adair is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and the Historical Novel Society. Paper Woman, the first book of her historical mystery/suspense series, received the Patrick D. Smith Literature Award from the Florida Historical Society. The Blacksmith's Daughter and Camp Follower continue her fictional ventures into the Southern theater of the Revolutionary War. Adair is a graduate of RWA author Mary Buckham's online course, "Plotting With the Mythic Journey." Visit her web site (www.suzanneadair.com) and author blog (www.suzanneadair.typepad.com) for more information and an event calendar.

K. Gail McAbeeK. Gail McAbee: K. G. McAbee writes all manner of genre fiction: fantasy, science fiction, pulp, horror, mystery, gothic and suspense. Her first book won the Dorothy Parker Award of Excellence from Reviewers International, and she co-wrote the 2001 Independent E-Book Award for Best Reference Book. The Dark Legacy, Book One of The Crystal Staircase Series, won the Dream Realm Award for Best YA Fantasy, and her short fiction has finaled for the Sapphire and Derringer Awards. She’s taught classes at The Writers Workshop of Asheville and Spartanburg Community College. She lives in upstate South Carolina, in a log cabin built in 1818 complete with a pair of ghosts. Visit her website for more information: www.kgmcabee.net.

Connor O'CallaghanConnor O'Callaghan: Conor O'Callaghan was born in Newry, Northern Ireland, in 1968. He has published two original collections of poetry /Seatown/ (2000) and /Fiction/ (2005) with Wake Forest University Press. Recent work has appeared in /Harper's/ and /Poetry/. He has been holder of the Heimbold Chair in Irish Studies, Villanova University, Pennsylvania. He is now Poet-in-Residence at Wake Forest University. Apart from poetry, he has written the bestselling prose memoir of Ireland's involvement in the 2002 soccer World Cup, /Red Mist /(Bloomsbury 2004), which was adapted as a documentary for UK television.

Joyce LaveneJim LaveneJoyce and Jim Lavene: Joyce and Jim Lavene write the Peggy Lee Garden and the Renaissance Faire Mysteries from Berkley Prime Crime. These books have been IMBA and Barnes and Noble bestsellers, and have gone into multiple printings. They also wrote 12 Sheriff Sharyn Howard Mysteries from Avalon Books from 1999 to 2007. The first book in that series, Last Dance, was nominated for the Master's Choice Award for best first mystery novel. They also write the Stock Car Racing and Pet Psychic Mysteries from Midnight Ink.

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