Widely praised for meticulous research, fine prose, and the compelling narrative drive of her stories, Mary Doria Russell is the award-winning author of six bestselling novels, including the science fiction classics The Sparrow and Children of God; the Pulitzer-nominated World War II thriller, A Thread of Grace; and a political romance set in 1921 Cairo called Dreamers of the Day. With her latest novels, Doc and Epitaph, Russell has redefined two towering figures of the American West: the lawman Wyatt Earp and the dental surgeon Doc Holliday. The daughter of a sheriff, Mary grew up with cops and guns but also holds a Ph.D. in biological anthropology from the University of Michigan and taught anatomy at the Case Western Reserve University School of Dentistry.
Susan Petroneis co-owner/writer of ItsPronouncedLajaway.com, the Cleveland Indians blog of the ESPN SweetSpot network. Susan’s nonfiction has appeared on ESPN.com and CoolCleveland.com. Her short fiction has been published by Glimmer Train, Featherproof Books, Cleveland Review, Conclave and Muse. Her novel Throw Like a Woman came out last year.
A 2004 Edgar nominee for Best Short Story, Shelley Costa is the author of You Cannoli Die Once (Agatha nominee for Best First Novel) and Basil Instinct. Practical Sins for Cold Climates is the first book in her exciting new mystery series. Shelley’s stories have appeared in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Blood on Their Hands,The World’s Finest Mystery and Crime Stories, and Crimewave (UK). She teaches fiction writing at the Cleveland Institute of Art.
Casey Danielshas published nearly 60 novels including the wildly popular Pepper Martin mysteries. Pepper works at a historic cemetery in Cleveland and solves mysteries for the ghosts there. The newest book of the series is “Graveyard Shift,” out last month from Severn House. As Kylie Logan, she also writes the League of Literary Ladies mysteries (#5, “Gone With the Twins,” will be out in March) and the Ethnic Eats mysteries (#2 is “French Fried,” and will be published in June). Under the Casey Daniels name, she’ll also premier a historical mystery series in May. The first book is “Miss Barnum and the Feejee Mermaid Murders.” It is set in New York City in 1842 and features PT Barnum’s fantastic—and mysterious—American museum. You can find Casey atcaseydaniels.com and kylielogan.com.
The real-life mysteries hidden within abandoned buildings inspire D.M. Pulley to write. Winning the 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Grand Prize for her debut novel, The Dead Key, launched Pulley's career as a published author. The unexplained disappearance of a family member inspired her second novel, The Buried Book, released in August 2016. She lives in northeast Ohio with her husband and two children and is currently at work on her third book.
Geoffrey A. Landisis a science-fiction writer and a scientist. He has won the Hugo and Nebula awards for science fiction. He is the author of the novel Mars Crossing and the story collection Impact Parameter (and Other Quantum Realities), and has written over eighty published science fiction stories. As a scientist, he works for NASA on developing advanced technologies for spaceflight. He was the 2014 recipient Robert A. Heinlein Award "for outstanding published works in science fiction and technical writings that inspire the human exploration of space."
Mary Turzillo's1999 Nebula-winner,"Mars Is no Place for Children" and her Analog novel, An Old-Fashioned Martian Girl, are read on the International Space Station. Her poetry collection, Lovers & Killers, won the 2013 Elgin Award. She has been a finalist on the British Science Fiction Association, Pushcart, Stoker, Dwarf Stars and Rhysling ballots. Sweet Poison, her Dark Renaissance collaboration with Marge Simon, was a Stoker finalist and won the 2015 Elgin Award. She's working on a novel, A Mars Cat and his Boy. Her literary horror collection, Bonsai Babies is available from Omnium Gatherum, and her novel Mars Girls, will be coming out in 2017 from Apex. She lives in Ohio, with her scientist-writer husband, Geoffrey Landis, and fences competitively in her spare time.
With Mary Doria Russell, Shelley Costa, Casey Daniels, Susan Petrone, Geoffrey Landis, Mary Turzillo, and D. M. Pulley
Whether you’re new to weaving stories or just published your newest book, this half-day conference will give you the inspiration to take your writing to the next level. Explore the craft of fiction with skilled teachers, respond to writing exercises, and connect with other writers at our Winter Fictionfest.
Participants will be able to attend TWO separate workshops and a Q&A with award-winning novelist Mary Doria Russell moderated by author Susan Petrone. From 1-1:45 pm, we'll host the Q&A. Session 1 will run from 2-3:10 pm and Session 2 will run from 3:20-4:30 pm.
A: Beyond Motive, Means and Opportunity: How to Plot Your Mysterywith Casey Daniels and Shelley Costa
A good mystery is at least two stories at once, the apparent one (Aunt Edna was killed for her money), and the real one (Aunt Edna was killed because her theft of intellectual property many years ago led to the failure and suicide of the killer's father). How, as the writer, do you misdirect readers with the apparent story, while staying true to the compelling, subterranean story that emerges near the end?
B: Turning History into Fiction with DM Pulley
The untold stories lurking inside each old building and dusty family album are the things that drive D.M. Pulley to write novels. In this craft talk and workshop, Pulley will discuss the true-life inspirations for her two historical mysteries, The Dead Key and The Buried Book, as well as her third novel still in development. She'll describe the conventional and unconventional research methods she used to make the historical time periods in each of her stories come to life and the high anxiety of walking the line between fact and fiction.
C: Science Fiction: Not just for kids anymore!With Geoffrey Landis and Mary Turzillo
Landis and Turzillo will ignite your imagination. They will reveal today's market for science fiction and the essentials of a spell-binding science fiction story. They'll discuss story engineering: the nuts and bolts of transforming an idea into a story. Then they will lead an exercise to help you come up with a fascinating premise and develop that premise into an attention-grabbing plot.