Sunday, September 17, 2017

The Carenens Team Up for Oct. 5 Meeting

John and Rowe Carenen are the dual guest speakers for the October 5 meeting of the Upstate SC Chapter of Sisters in Crime. The father and daughter are teaming up to discuss the marketing demands authors face once they finish a novel. Writing THE END on a manuscript, whether it’s a debut novel or a writer’s tenth book, marks the start of marketing the author’s work and attempting to gain traction in a crowded, ever-changing marketplace.

 John Carenen, a professor who recently retired from Newberry College’s English Department, has written four novels. When his first novel debuted, his daughter, Rowe, offered to help him market it. That experience led Rowe to create the Book Concierge, a firm that supports writers from all over the world who are at various stages of the writing/publishing/promoting processes.

The monthly Upstate SC SinC meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 5, at The Runway Café, 21 Airport Rd, Greenville, S.C.  Be there at 6:15 p.m. to meet the Carenens and enjoy chapter fellowship. Supper should be served at 6:30. The Carenens’ talk will begin after new and old business at about 7 p.m. Both dinner and the meeting are open to the public. 

In order for the Runway Café to speed service, dinner orders must be emailed by noon the day of the meeting. If you can't dine with us, we would still like to know you plan to attend so we can be sure you have a seat. If possible, please join us for dinner as our dinner orders help to ensure we can book our meeting room for free. To see the special menu for our group, click on the Advance Order Menu tab at right.  Please e-mail your order to Ellis Vidler at ellisvidler1@gmail.com.

If you place an order and do not attend or fail to cancel by noon, you will be charged for the meal. And like always, we'll enjoy it.

Want to know more about the Carenens. Here’s how they describe themselves:

John Carenen, a native Iowan, graduated with an M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers Workshop, surprising everyone who knew him, especially high school teachers who saw him as shiftless, pointless, and a bit dim. He continues to write. His work has appeared in popular periodicals, and he has been a featured columnist in newspapers in the Carolinas. His debut novel, Signs of Struggle, was published in 2012, the sequel, A Far Gone Night in 2014, and the third in the Thomas O'Shea series, The Face on the Other Side, will be published before Christmas. He is hard at work, more or less, on novel #4 in the Thomas O'Shea series. 

Rowe Carenen is a graduate of Salem College and the University of Southern Mississippi. When asked, she'd say that poetry has been her passion ever since she realized that words could convey more than just the facts. Her poems have appeared in various literary journals and magazines, including The Revenant Culture and GERM, and her first collection, In the Meantime, was published by Neverland Publishing in September 2014.  Her second collection, Bring Out The Bonebreakers, should be out early 2018. She is currently living in Greenville, and while she agrees that pumpkin spice is pretty great, she prefers gingerbread in her chai lattes.



Friday, September 1, 2017

SinC Monthly Meeting September 7th

Greetings, Sisters and Brothers in Crime!

Hard to believe the summer is coming to a close and it’s time for our September meeting. Once again, we are in for an informative presentation by a career law enforcement and investigation professional. We’re honored to have Amos Welch, CFE(R), CPP(R) speak to us on Thursday, September 7th.

With over 32 years experience in the field of bank security, financial crimes investigation and fraud, Mr. Welch has served in the public, military and corporate sector as a criminal investigator, corporate security manager and a regional corporate investigations manager.

Having served with the Greenville County, SC Sheriff’s Office, the US Army Criminal Investigations Division, and American Federal Bank, he retired from the BB&T Financial Corporation in May 2009.

After holding his professional credentials as a Certified Fraud Examiner (ACFE) and a Certified Protection Professional (ASIS) for over 25 years, Mr. Welch now maintains a Retirement status with both credentials.

He holds degrees from Richland Technical College, Greenville Technical College and the University of South Carolina-Upstate, and is a Honor Graduate of the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy and the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center.

Involved in the community, Mr. Welch serves on the Board of Directors of Crime Stoppers-Greenville, is a member of the Greenville Composite Squadron, Civil Air Patrol and volunteers with Meals on Wheels.

The monthly Upstate SC Sisters in Crime meeting is scheduled for Thursday, September 7th at The Runway Café, 21 Airport Rd, Greenville, S.C.  Be there at 6:15 p.m. to meet Amos and enjoy chapter fellowship. Supper should be served at 6:30. Amos’ talk will begin right after new and old business at 7 p.m. Both dinner and the meeting are open to the public. 

In order for the Runway Café to speed service, dinner orders must be emailed by noon the day of the meeting. If you can't dine with us, we would still like to know you plan to attend so we can be sure you have a seat. If possible, please join us for dinner as our dinner orders help to ensure we can book our meeting room for free. To see the special menu click on the Advance Order Menu tab at right.  Please e-mail your order to Ellis Vidler at ellisvidler1@gmail.com.

If you place an order and do not attend or fail to cancel by noon, you will be charged for the meal. And like always, we'll enjoy it.
Look forward to seeing you!

Sally Handley
President, SinC Upstate SC Chapter


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Co-Directors of The Writer's Block Speaking at SinC August 3


Upstate SC Sisters in Crime is pleased to announce that Anna Katherine Freeland and Carol Young Gallagher, friends and co executive directors of the Writers Block Project. at Perry Correctional Institution, will be speaking to us about the project at our meeting on August 3rd.
The Writer’s Block Project is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that hosts advanced creative writing classes to inmates in SC maximum security prisons and publishes literary collections of their work. Didn’t See it Coming is a literary collection, published by the Writers Block Project featuring fiction, non-fiction and poetry written by men in the WBP workshop at Perry correctional institution. Our SinC Chapter first learned about The Writer’s Block Project from Scott Lewis, Warden at Perry who spoke to us back in 2016.
Anna Katherine Freeland is a Past President of Greenville’s Emrys Foundation, a non-profit that strives to forge a healthy community of poets, writers, readers and storytellers. She enjoys reading and writing poetry and essays. Anna grew up in Greenville  and is a running coach for Fleet Feet, working with runners training for all distances. She also loves to run long distances, especially in faraway places.
Carol Young Gallagher is a longtime Emrys member, Board member and past president of the Board.  She grew up in Anderson, attended Agnes Scott College, where she majored in English and received her Master’s degree in Education at Wheelock College in Boston, MA. She worked at the Children’s Program at Marshall I. Pickens Hospital and is also trained in Family Mediation and teaching Peer Mediation.
The monthly Upstate SC Sisters in Crime meeting is scheduled for Thursday, August 3, at The Runway Café, 21 Airport Rd, Greenville, S.C.  Be there at 6:15 p.m. to meet our guests and enjoy chapter fellowship. Supper should be served at 6:30. The talk will begin right after new and old business at 7 p.m. Both dinner and the meeting are open to the public. 
In order for the Runway Café to speed service, dinner orders must be emailed by noon the day of the meeting. If you can't dine with us, we would still like to know you plan to attend so we can be sure you have a seat. If possible, please join us for dinner as our dinner orders help to ensure we can book our meeting room for free. To see the special menu click on the Advance Order Menu tab at right.  Please e-mail your order to Ellis Vidler t ellisvidler1@gmail.com.
If you place an order and do not attend or fail to cancel by noon, you will be charged for the meal. And like always, we'll enjoy it.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Author Linda Sands Joins Upstate SinC on July 6



On July 6, Georgia Author of the Year for Mystery/ Detective novels Linda Sands will be the guest speaker at the Upstate SC Chapter of Sisters in Crime meeting. Linda is the award-winning author of four novels. Her latest novel, Grand Theft Cargo, is a wild ride from start to finish with a secretive highwayman, explosive house bombs, singing telegrams, flaming mice, secret cancer drugs, dead truckers, an agency that can’t be named, and enough crashes and car chases to remind you these road cowboys have no qualms crossing the zipper to walk the dog in the hammer lane. Her short stories and essays have appeared in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Walton Sun, Skirt! Magazine, Dogplotz, Moronic Ox, a bunch of defunct lit mags and various anthologies. Other recent awards include two Killer Nashville Judge’s Choice Awards for Best Neo-noir and Best PI novel.

Linda will talk about how the procrastinators and/or over-committed among us (who doesn’t fit one of these categories) can actually manage to finish that darned book. She’ll talk about time management, organization, helpful hints, goals, and accountability. She’ll also offer advice on what NOT to do, allowing us to learn from her mistakes—from creating a literary magazine to attending every possible convention/conference/workshop/ signing/ meeting and joining about a bazillion writing related groups and sites. Bottom line? Doing too much can take away from what you should be doing: writing! The author will leave plenty of time for questions.

What did Linda do before becoming an author? “I have been a cocktail waitress in a French hotel, sold vegetables at a roadside stand, signed people up for a record club at the NYS Fair, walked the runway in NY, been the personal trainer to opera singers, the mannequin to a fashion designer, and held part-time positions as telephone operator, telemarketer, and fashion merchandiser. I've worked in finance, retail, dating services, health clubs, fitness magazines and restaurants. I've founded my own literary magazine and contest, and a writer's retreat. I like to say if I didn't hold that job, I probably dated someone who did.”

Linda now splits her writing time between the Gulf Coast of Florida, the Mountains of Georgia and the suburbs of Atlanta where she and her husband cheer on the competing colleges of their children.

The monthly Upstate SC Sisters in Crime meeting is scheduled for Thursday, April 6, at The Runway Café, 21 Airport Rd, Greenville, S.C.  Be there at 6:15 p.m. to meet Linda and enjoy chapter fellowship. Supper should be served at 6:30. Linda’s talk will begin right after new and old business at 7 p.m. Both dinner and the meeting are open to the public. 

In order for the Runway Café to speed service, dinner orders must be emailed by noon the day of the meeting. If you can't dine with us, we would still like to know you plan to attend so we can be sure you have a seat. If possible, please join us for dinner as our dinner orders help to ensure we can book our meeting room for free. To see the special menu click on the Advance Order Menu tab at right.  Please e-mail your order to Ellis Vidler at ellisvidler1@gmail.com.


If you place an order and do not attend or fail to cancel by noon, you will be charged for the meal. And like always, we'll enjoy it.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

May 4 Chapter Meeting Minutes and Report


Mark your calendars! Our chapter’s SinC 30th Anniversary Party is June 10. With this in mind, our president Sally Handley started off our monthly meeting with a list of “volunteer opportunities” we can all sink our teeth into. Thanks to all who stepped up to the plate to make sure the celebration is a success. But we’re still looking for folks to help serve refreshments on the big day. Contact Sally if you’re ready, willing and able.

After our standard, but never boring, round of introductions (18 members and guests attended this month’s meeting), Sally introduced our guest speaker, the highly entertaining Dr. Warren Moore. When he’s not at Newbury College doing the English professor thing, Warren writes noir fiction. He regaled us with anecdotes about his personal writer’s journey, and about what’s happening in the Newbury College English Department.

Highlights of Warren’s talk included his explanation of how he came to write short stories, and how he came to know Lawrence Block. Put the two together, and sure enough, Warren’s stories have appeared in several anthologies edited by Block. Not too shabby for a guy who says he feels “Pinocchio moments” whenever he labels himself a “real” writer!

Warren also talked about a new scholarly journal to be published annually by Newbury College, Studies in Crime Writing. Look for the the first issue this fall. It will be free on-line and include only articles which have been subject to a rigorous peer review process.

Warren, who clearly knows fiction from the academic perspective, the writer’s perspective, and the reader’s perspective, left us with this encouraging fact—genre fiction lasts. For example, people are still reading and enjoying Zane Grey, Agatha Christie, and Dashell Hammet.

Intrigued? Check out Warren’s noir novel, Broken Glass Waltzes, and his short stories in those anthologies edited by Lawrence Block, Dark City Lights and In Sunlight or Shadow. And don’t forget our party in June!

Respectfully Submitted,
Cindy Blackburn,
Chapter Secretary

p.s. Warren blogged about his visit to SinC at


Friday, May 5, 2017

Sisters in Crime 30th Anniversary Celebration

Come join the Upstate SC Chapter of Sisters in Crime as we celebrate our 30th anniversary with two entertaining presentations by Award-winning mystery writer, Marcia Talley:

·        Comic Relief: Or, What’s So Funny About Murder?
In the real world, murder and crime aren’t normally regarded as humorous. Crime is a tragedy. Someone has been victimized—robbed, raped, maimed, murdered. Treating death with humor without being tasteless can be a fine line to walk, but the authors Marcia highlights in this talk do it marvelously well using witty dialogue, wacky characterizations, and/or wild and crazy plots with surprise endings. They make us laugh, even in the face of death.

Demystifying the Mystery: Tips on Writing Crime Fiction
From “where do you get your ideas?” to the final “The End”, a concise, illustrated discussion of the roles of plot, character and dialog in the modern mystery novel, with tips on point-of-view and planting clues for the aspiring mystery writer. A question and answer period follows. Includes bibliography and tip sheet handouts.

When:              Saturday, June 10, 2017 from 2:00 to 5:00 PM

Where:             The Easley Room
                         Captain Kimberly Hampton Library
                         304 Biltmore Road, Easley, SC 29640

What:               In addition to our Speaker Presentations, you will meet noted regional 
                         crime fiction writers and enjoy some birthday refreshments.

Co-Sponsor:    Pickens County Library System

Cost:               Free


About the Author
Marcia Talley is the author of FOOTPRINTS TO MURDER and fourteen previous novels featuring Maryland sleuth, Hannah Ives. A winner of the Malice Domestic grant and an Agatha Award nominee for Best First Novel, Ms. Talley won an Agatha and an Anthony Award for her short story "Too Many Cooks" and an Agatha Award for her short story "Driven to Distraction." She is the editor of two mystery collaborations, NAKED CAME THE PHOENIX and I’D KILL FOR THAT, set in a luxury health spa and an exclusive gated community respectively, and her short stories have been published in more than a dozen magazines and anthologies. She divides her time between Annapolis, Maryland and a quaint cottage in the Bahamas.
About Sisters in Crime
Founded in 1987, Sisters in Crime (www.sistersincrime.org)started with a clear vision: “Sisters in Crime is committed to helping women who write, review, buy, or sell crime fiction. Our ultimate goal is to become a service organization to address issues of concern to everyone involved in the mystery field.”
Our vision has morphed over the years, now serving as the voice for excellence and diversity in crime writing. Our ongoing monitoring project is a watchdog for equality among reviewers. Our list of member benefits includes 50 chapters, annual grant opportunities, discounts, and library support. Our membership numbers over 3600 and our community is unparalleled. At our core, while we learn from our past and look to our future, our mission remains focused: to promote the ongoing advancement, recognition, and professional development of women crime writers.

About The Upstate SC Chapter of Sisters in Crime                             
SinC’s Upstate SC Chapter meets the first Thursday of each month, January-November. Our meetings are open to the public. However, we encourage individuals who attend more than two meetings a year to join our national organization and regional chapter.

You must be a member of Sisters in Crime to join our regional chapter. National dues are $50 per year and Chapter dues are $15 per year.

Monthly Meetings

DATE:           First Thursday of every month
TIME:            6:15 p.m. informal dinner, 7 p.m. program starts 
WHERE:       The Runway Café, 21 Airport Rd, Greenville, SC
COST:           No charge for visitors other than cost of the individual's meal.
PROGRAM:  Guest speaker, either a regional mystery/suspense/thriller author, or an expert in law enforcement and allied fields, or publishing industry professionals. Other pages on our website list authors and subject experts who have visited with us at prior meetings.


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Chapter Meeting May 4, 2017

Hello Sisters and Brothers in Crime!
We’re in for a special treat at our monthly meeting on May 4th.  Dr. Warren Moore, mystery writer and Professor of English at Newberry College in Newberry, SC will be our speaker.  Professor Moore is also Editor of Newberry College’s scholarly journal, Studies in Crime Writing. This on-line publication is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal focusing on the literary study of crime writing, including noir, thrillers, and true crime, as well as classical and hard-boiled detective fiction. 
Born in Nashville and raised in the burbs of Nashville and Cincinnati, Moore has been a journalist, tire salesman, stand-up comic, advertising copywriter, magazine editor, and drummer in a variety of unsuccessful bands. He finished tied for 105th in the 1979 National Spelling Bee.

Moore holds a Ph.D. in English from Ball State University, with a specialty in medieval literature, and has taught courses covering topics from the Seven Deadly Sins to film noir. BROKEN GLASS WALTZES, his first novel, was published in 2013, and will be reissued this fall by Down and Out Books. He has published short stories in a variety of print and online venues since then. His short story “Bowery Station, 3:15 A.M.” was named an Honorable Mention in Otto Penzler’s Best American Mystery Stories 2016. His story “Office at Night” recently appeared in In Sunlight or In Shadow, an anthology edited by Lawrence Block. Moore has a story appearing in another Block anthology late this year, and a collection of his short fiction is scheduled to appear in 2018.
Professor Moore can be found on Facebook, as well as at his blog, “Professor Mondo” (http://profmondo.blogspot.com), and he tweets as @profmondo. Moore also plays drums in a 60s-style garage band that plays in the Upstate and Midlands, and lives in Newberry with his wife and daughter.
Our monthly Sisters in Crime meeting is scheduled for Thursday, May 4th, at The Runway Café, 21 Airport Rd, Greenville, S.C.  Be there at 6:15 p.m. to meet Warren Moore and enjoy chapter fellowship. Supper should be served at 6:30. Our speaker will begin right after new and old business at 7 p.m. Both dinner and the meeting are open to the public. 
In order for the Runway Café to speed service, dinner orders must be emailed by noon the day of the meeting. If you can't dine with us, we would still like to know you plan to attend so we can be sure you have a seat. If possible, please join us for dinner as our dinner orders help to ensure we can book our meeting room for free. To see the special menu for our group, please visit our website — www.sincupstatesc.blogspot.com  — and click on the Advance Order Menu tab at right.  Please e-mail your order to Ellis Vidler at ellisvidler1@gmail.com.
 If you place an order and do not attend or fail to cancel by noon, you will be charged for the meal. And like always, we'll enjoy it.
 Look forward to seeing you on May4th.
 Sally Handley

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Minutes from the April 4, 2017 chapter meeting


You’ve heard of dinner and a movie? Well, here at the Upstate Sisters in Crime, we do dinner and a guest speaker. This month 19 members and guests met at the Runway Café in Greenville for an evening of fantastic food, writer talk, and information.



Our president Sally Handley started the meeting as is our custom, with a quick go-around the room of introductions. It’s always nice to share the good, the bad, and the ugly of our writing journeys—especially the good! Sally reminded us of our upcoming 30th anniversary celebration on June 10th, and also invited any member with news to share—such as contests, conferences, etc, to e-mail her, and she’ll be sure to spread the word to the rest of us.



And then, drum roll, please, our guest speaker took over. Jamie Mason was a hoot! And SO informative and helpful! Jamie described her books, Three Graves Full and Monday Lies, as “why-dun-its” as opposed to “who-dun-its,” and labeled them literary suspense. She explained that a new trend in publishing is this “blending of genres.” She also shared quite a few amusing anecdotes that inspired her stories, or at least got her imagination in gear. One idea: when she is brainstorming for a new story, Jamie scours newspaper headlines. She DOES NOT read the article, just the headlines, and asks herself if she can see a plot developing…



Soon Jamie was fielding questions, and as a traditionally-published author, she answered a lot of questions about the publishing business. She chose the traditional route because she wanted to see her books in bookstores and indie authors are less likely to have that opportunity. Jamie recommended a few websites such as AbsoluteWrite.com and AgentQuery.com, gave us tips about finding and working with an agent, and some more amusing and informative quips about the trials and tribulations of both good and bad reviews and working with a screenwriter. As far as the writing process, Jamie uses the “8-sequence screeenwriting” approach. She used to be a pantser, but now is a plotter. Jamie believes it saves a lot of time and effort and heartache to know where you’re going.



After thanking Jamie for her wisdom, insight, and humor, the meeting was adjourned until next time. We meet the first Thursday evening of every month. Come on down!



Respectfully Submitted,



Cindy Blackburn

Chapter Secretary

Friday, March 31, 2017

Chapter Meeting - April 6, Author Jamie Mason

Our guest speaker this month (Thursday, April 6th) is Jamie Mason, author of the “ripping good” (The New York Times) debut novel Three Graves Full.  Jamie’s second book, Monday’s Lies, was called “an elegant and compact literary thriller” by The Knoxville News Sentinel.

Jamie was born in Oklahoma City, but has always named Alexandria, Virginia and the greater DC metropolitan area as her hometown. She grew up in the shadow of the Pentagon (a shadow that is somehow darker and longer than the shade given off by lesser five-story buildings.) This might explain a few things about her suspicious nature.
A veteran nomad, Jamie has never grown attached to any particular piece of real estate. As such, her heart is home in several places scattered around DC, but also in Richmond, Virginia; San Diego, California; Asheville, North Carolina; and a whole list of places she's only visited. And a few of those, only in her mind.

She enjoys writing, reading, films, Formula 1 racing, NFL football, drinking whiskey, talking about things, and driving. She is addicted to coffee, and although her habit demands only two to three cups per day, let's just say you wouldn't want to be left standing between her and the carafe first thing in the morning. She is conflicted about time spent sleeping and resents speed bumps. Ticking clocks make her very irritable. Currently, Jamie lives with her husband and two daughters in the mountains of western North Carolina where she writes in a little room full of lovely things. And hopes.

The monthly Sisters in Crime meeting is scheduled for Thursday, April 6th, at The Runway Café, 21 Airport Rd, Greenville, S.C.  Be there at 6:15 p.m. to meet Jamie Mason and enjoy chapter fellowship. Supper should be served at 6:30. Our speaker will begin right after new and old business at 7 p.m. Both dinner and the meeting are open to the public. 
In order for the Runway Café to speed service, dinner orders must be emailed by noon the day of the meeting. If you can't dine with us, we would still like to know you plan to attend so we can be sure you have a seat. If possible, please join us for dinner as our dinner orders help to ensure we can book our meeting room for free. To see the special menu for our group, please visit our website — www.sincupstatesc.blogspot.com  — and click on the Advance Order Menu tab at right.  Please e-mail your order to Ellis Vidler at  ellisvidler1@gmail.com.

If you place an order and do not attend or fail to cancel by noon, you will be charged for the meal. And like always, we'll enjoy it.
 Look forward to seeing you on April 6th.
 Sally Handley


Virus-free. www.avg.com

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Minutes for Chapter Meeting, March 2, 2017


March 7, 2017


Creatures of habit, we met at our usual time and place—the first Thursday evening of the month, at the Runway Café in Greenville. And hungry creatures of habit, we enjoyed burgers, fries, sandwiches, and yes, some of us do salads, to fortify ourselves for the evening’s program. Twenty four people attended this month’s meeting, and we are all glad we did! 

As predicted, Sally Handley has settled comfortably and efficiently into her role as our new chapter president, and Sally started our meeting with the exceedingly good news that the grant she wrote was approved!! Yes, you read that right! Our Upstate SinC chapter has qualified for a $250 grant from SinC National to host our 30th birthday party and workshop celebration. Great job, Sally! Be sure to save the date, June 10th, to participate fully in what promises to be a superb day for our chapter at the Easley Public Library. Sally and the board will be seeking help as we finalize the plans, so please let us know what YOU can do to make the day festive, informative , and memorable. Marcia Talley is our guest speaker, and there will be cake! Like I said—save the date! 

Before introductions were made, member Steve Brown noted that it was new and different to have Sally at the helm, and led us in a well-deserved round of applause for our former chapter president, Howard Lewis, and his FIVE YEARS of service. Yay, Howard! 

After the casual (and always fun) round of introductions wherein each member says just a tiny bit about who they are and why they have so wisely chosen to attend our meeting that month, Sally wasted no time in introducing our guests, Steve MacLeod, an EMS paramedic with the Keowee Fire District, and Brandon Shirley, Assistant Fire Chief/Fire Marshall of the Keowee Fire District.  

What a team! Steve and Brandon enlightened us on a variety of topics relating to first responders—what kinds of problems, emergencies, and people they encounter, what a typical shift might entail, what challenges they face, and how first responders coordinate their work with fire, medical, and law enforcement personnel. They covered so much info, it is hard for this feeble secretary to summarize, but a few tidbits I myself found the most interesting:

 EMS personnel assess the SCENE they encounter, as well as the persons in need of medical help. The scene reveals a lot about what exactly the medical emergency might be. 

EMS’s goal is to get the sick person stabilized, in the ambulance, and moving toward the hospital in 10 minutes. 

Opiate overdoses are a huge problem in our communities. 

At a scene where a crime might have been committed, EMS personnel must be careful with crime evidence, in addition to dealing with the medical emergency. 

And, in case it’s not already obvious, EMS personnel are not paid enough! 

We had lots of questions for Steve and Brandon, and the meeting came to an end only when the staff of the Runway Café had to close up the restaurant.  

Respectfully Submitted,

Cindy Blackburn

Chapter Secretary

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

March 2 Meeting Features EMS/Fire Responders

Who are the first people at the scene of a tragedy—be it a fire, an auto accident, a heart attack, an attempted suicide, or a capsized sailboat? The answer is often Emergency Medical Services (EMS) workers. On March 2, the Upstate SC Chapter of Sisters in Crime has the privilege of welcoming two of these hometown heroes: Steve MacLeod and M. Brandon Shirley.

MacLeod, a former Army medic, was looking for a worthwhile activity to keep him busy after retiring from Fluor, a Greenville-based international engineering/construction company. Recognizing that Emergency Medical Services (EMS) could use help, he became EMS certified and joined the Keowee Fire District. After serving with the Keowee Key Fire Department for a while, MacLeod found he really enjoyed the interaction with people and the chance to help individuals that medical services offered. He says “ego” took him from responder up the ranks to his current status as a paramedic.

Brandon Shirley is Assistant Fire Chief/Fire Marshal of the Keowee Fire District  and has more than 20 years of experience in Fire/EMS services. As such, he’s responded to almost every type of emergency. Like MacLeod, Shirley has had a successful career outside his First Responder duties. A native of South Carolina, he’s a licensed Real Estate Broker, and the sole equity partner in MBS Development, LLC, which manages community developments.

MacLeod and Shirley will discuss how they’ve been trained to respond to various emergencies…how they interact with law enforcement when criminal activity is suspected… what actions they take to ensure their own safety… the emotional toll when responders arrive at a scene and find they know the injured party. And, of course, much more.

The monthly Sisters in Crime meeting is scheduled for Thursday, March 2, at The Runway Café, 21 Airport Rd, Greenville, S.C.  Be there at 6:15 p.m. to meet MacLeod and Shirley and enjoy chapter fellowship. Supper should be served at 6:30. The speakers will begin right after new and old business at 7 p.m. Both dinner and the meeting are open to the public. 

In order for the Runway Café to speed service, dinner orders must be emailed by noon the day of the meeting. If you can't dine with us, we would still like to know you plan to attend so we can be sure you have a seat. If possible, please join us for dinner as our dinner orders help to ensure we can book our meeting room for free. To see the special menu for our group, please visit our website —  www.sincupstatesc.blogspot.com  — and click on the Advance Order Menu tab at right.  Please e-mail your order to Ellis Vidler at ellisvidler1@gmail.com.

If you place an order and do not attend or fail to cancel by noon, you will be charged for the meal. And like always, we'll enjoy it.

Looking forward to seeing you on March 2nd.

Sally Handley

Monday, February 6, 2017

Chapter Meeting Minutes for February 3, 2017 & SinC National Letter to the New York Times



CHAPTER MINUTES:
As is our custom, chapter members and guests met at the Runway Café in Greenville on the first Thursday evening of the month. As is also customary, we enjoyed the splendid dinners prepared by the restaurant staff and coordinated by the one and only Ellis Vidler. Ellis had her work cut out for her this month—we had 31 people in attendance! Yes, you read that right—31, which may well be a record for us. Good job Ellis!

Also doing a superb job was our new president, Sally Handley. No pun intended, but the superbly talented and exceedingly lovely Ms. Handley handled her debut meeting like a pro. No “old business” needed mention, but a few pieces of “new business” were discussed:

Sally mentioned the upcoming workshop on Saturday June 10, with our special guest speaker Marcia Talley. In addition to what promises to be a fascinating and informative workshop, we will also share a birthday cake in celebration of 30 years of Sisters in Crime. Cake!! Mark your calendars!

Other new business—Linda Lovely mentioned the upcoming Writers Police Academy and suggested we register soon, if interested. Members of the national SinC organization get a major discount to this fantastic conference! Also, a new benefit for our local members—Sally invited those of us who belong to both national SinC and our local chapter to submit (to Linda Lovely our membership chair) a short bio (50 words or less) and 2 links of your choice to be included in the “members” page of our local website. Way cool! And one other piece of business—I was honored to sit next to our chapter treasurer, Helen Turnage, who did a booming business all evening collecting membership dues for 2017 and handing out receipts. The annual fee is $15.00, and you may pay Helen in cash or write your check to Howard Lewis (our vice-president) and he will get the cashola to Helen. So if you haven’t paid for 2017, we encourage you to do so at our March meeting.

Onto our speaker for the evening—Brian Emerson, Discovery Services and Reference Librarian for the Greenville County Library System. Brian, with the occasional help of two of his associates, gave us a valuable lesson on all the ways the library is a reader’s and WRITER’S best friend. He mentioned the 88 databases that the library offers, but my personal favorite was “Mango” where one can go to learn any of 72 languages. I’ve put learning “pirate” at the top of my to-do list.

Brian also mentioned the various programs the library offers, including the “Scribblers” meetings, where writers share their works in progress with other writers to get feedback. All writers are welcome! Check the Greenville County Library website or newsletter for the place and time of these meetings, which take place at several branches. And for readers, the Greenville libraries have several book clubs, and the Novelist database, to help us find our next great read.

Brian also explained the library’s book-selection process, including how we can get our own books onto the “local authors” shelf. In a nutshell, donate your masterpiece, and minus a few caveats, you can have your book on the shelves! And last but not least, Brian announced a “Self Publishing Fair” the library is sponsoring on March 28. Again, check their website or newsletter for further details.

That’s it folks. Until March, happy reading and happy writing.

Respectfully Submitted,

Cindy Blackburn
Chapter secretary

SinC Letter to New York Times

Our Sisters in Crime organization has written the New York Times to request it to reconsider its decision to eliminate the "best-seller" lists that have often served as a guide for fans of popular genre fiction, including the crime fiction that are members pen.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Greenville Librarian Headlines Feb. 2 Meeting

Our speaker this month is Brian Emerson, a librarian at the Greenville County Library System. Brian attended Furman University, where he received his BA in Philosophy in 2009.  While working for GCLS, he received his Master’s in Library and Information Science from USC in 2014.

Brian currently works in Discovery Services, where he works in Reference, Interlibrary Loan, and the Internet Area.  Whenever he is asked about good mysteries to read, his go-tos are Peril at End House, by Agatha Christie and The Talented Mr. Ripley, by Patricia Highsmith.

Brian will talk to us about the resources available to writers through GCLS and discuss how writers and librarians can work together. Topics include how to use the library to research potential book topics and how to get published works submitted into the GCLS library system.

The monthly Sisters in Crime meeting is scheduled for Thursday, February 2nd, at The Runway Café, 21 Airport Rd, Greenville, S.C.  Be there at 6:15 p.m. to enjoy chapter fellowship

If possible, please join us for dinner as our dinner orders help to ensure we can book our meeting room for free. Supper will be served at 6:25 and we will begin the business portion of our meeting promptly at 6:45 so we can be out by 8:30.


Please e-mail your dinner order to Ellis Vidler at ellisvidler1@gmail.com as soon as possible and no later than noon the day of the meeting. Advance orders are necessary in order for the Runway Café to speed service. To see the special menu for our group click on the Advance Order Menu tab at right.

If you can't dine with us, we would still like to know you plan to attend so we can be sure you have a seat. If you place an order and do not attend or fail to cancel by noon, you will be charged for the meal. And like always, we'll enjoy it.

Look forward to seeing you,


Sally

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Minutes January 5, 2017 Meeting-Runway Cafe

Attendance 14; 13 members and 1 guest/potential new member (Good job, Linda!)
After our usual social time and the lovely repast provided by the Runway Café, our lame duck president, Howard Lewis, called our meeting to order with his final, “How we doin’?” FYI, Howard, you are anything but lame!
We got down to immediate busines, and before any of us could think fast enough to change our minds, the entire slate of officers for the coming year was submitted, approved, and voted on, with 100% “Yays” and zero % “Nays.”
Therefore, your officers for the year 2017 are:

  • Sally Handley—President
  • Howard Lewis—Vice President
  • Helen Turnage—Treasurer
  • Cindy Blackburn—Secretary
  • Ellis Vidler—Community Liason
  • Linda Lovely—Membership Chair
After the election, Howard also mentioned another piece of business, the upcoming workshop in June featuring Marcia Talley. Topics and details have yet to be ironed out, or even put on the ironing board. But we’ll keep ya’ posted. Ideas, suggestions, and volunteers to help organize and plan would be greatly appreciated. Hint, hint.
Then we got the program underway—a guided discussion/informational session amongst ourselves, discussing a variety of topics that we had proposed at the holiday party, and then Howard took votes via e-mail, and we discussed in order of preference. Howard gave us his swan song performance as our president by emceeing this discussion with his usual flair and humor.
Topics discussed:
1. Building relationships and readerships. How we find books to read, and how we find readers to read our own books.
Some possibilities mentioned were bookclubs, Book Reporter (Our new treasurer Helen mentioned this interesting thing I’d never heard of), FaceBook (FaceBookGroups and FaceBook Author Pages), e-mail lists and newletters, Amazon Singles, and getting a piece of our writing such as short stories into boxed sets and anthologies.
 2. Good Reads-the good, the bad, and the ugly.
No consensus here. Either you love Good Reads, or you hate it. But Sally, our illustrious new president, loves it and gave us tips on how to use Good Reads to keep a record of what you want to read, and what you have already read. Here we also discussed book reviews, and the ins and outs and costs of getting reviews on Net Gallery and Kirkus.
3. What readers love.
Variety, imagination, humor, surprise endings, happy or at least satisfying endings (Some of us even re-write endings to books we think end on too unhappy a note!), complicated characters who are not “too stupid to live,” life-affirming stories, stories that teach us something.
4. What readers hate.
Boring stories, unnecessary violence or torture, boring characters, when animals get killed.
5. Finding critique groups.
Okay, so I’m new at this secretary thing, and missed the answers on this one. But I did catch that the SinC website has a place to find a critique group. We also discussed the difference between critique partners, groups, and beta readers. I think everyone agreed that getting feedback, however you go about it, is a valuable tool for writers.
6. Rough draft rules.
Some tricks people in the group use are leaving a scene half-done so you know where to pick up the next day, setting or not setting goals, (You may want to be sitting down before reading Howard’s suggestion-twice!-that we write 10,000 words per day. No, that isn’t a typo). Linda is a “binge” writer—all at once, and some of us write every day for at least a few minutes. Sally, our president-elect, has made a solemn vow to do so in 2017!
That’s it folks!
Respectfully Submitted,
Cindy Blackburn, Secretary








Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Members Tackle Timely Topics at 2017 Kickoff

For our January 5 meeting we’re going to have a guided discussion of topics selected and prioritized by our members. 

This meeting will be framed as an information session not a class. As an example, a course on Building Relationships could last weeks, and truthfully, a lot of our writers and readers aren’t interested. This particular topic is important to writers because we are basically responsible for our own marketing, and I’m hoping readers want to know. Of course we’ll have to mention social media, but only what's possible, not how to do it. I’ll ask our readers how they select their books? Where do they get the ideas? Are they on any writers' mailing lists? I’ll ask our writers how they build readership with readers and what’s working for them? There are hundreds of book clubs within driving distance. How does an author find these book clubs? How do they get invited? What do they do when they get there? Why do our readers join book clubs? What do they expect from a writer who attends? Again, not a class, just information. Later in this note, I’ll list our prioritized topics. 

Before any of this, we need to select officers. Our present executive committee has assembled a proposed slate in an attempt to give us a blend of new blood for new ideas and established officers for continuity. Here is our proposal. Please consider these before the meeting.

Sally - President
Howard - Vice President
Linda - Membership Chair
Helen - Treasurer
Cindy - Secretary
Ellis - Community Liaison

Here’s the prioritized list of topics.

1) Building relationships/readership
2) What readers love
3) What readers hate
4) Critique groups
5) To outline or not
6) Rough draft rules
7) Lack of motivation, inspitration, time
8) Revision process
9) How to know which ideas to write
10) What can non-writer mate do to help

The monthly Sisters in Crime meeting is scheduled for Thursday, January 5, at The Runway Café, 21 Airport Rd, Greenville, S.C.  Be there at 6:15 p.m. to enjoy chapter fellowship. Supper should be served at 6:30. Our meeting will start with officer elections at 7 p.m. Both dinner and the meeting are open to the public. 

In order for the Runway Café to speed service, dinner orders must be emailed by noon the day of the meeting. If possible, join us for dinner as our dinner orders help to ensure we can book our meeting room for free. However, if you can't dine with us, we would still like to know you plan to attend so we can be sure you have a seat.  To see the special menu for our group, click on the Advance Order Menu tab at right.  Please e-mail your order to Ellis Vidler at ellisvidler1@gmail.com the earlier the better. If Ellis doesn’t get your order by noon on the day of the meeting, you will need to contact the restaurant yourself and place your order. 

If you place an order and do not attend or fail to cancel by noon, you will be charged for the meal. And like always, we'll enjoy it.