A Conference To Remember: Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc. (OWFI)

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Sometimes you meet a fantastic group of people that simply rub you the right way, and I found such a group last weekend in Oklahoma.

I was thrilled when the good people of OWFI invited me to teach a few police-related workshops at their 2015 event, so last weekend I headed to a place where (someone there told me this) all the men think they’re cowboys and the women are Midwestern Southern Belles. To emphasize the latter, the person assigned the difficult task of making sure I was where I was supposed to be when I was supposed to be there (Carol Johnson) greeted me while wearing cowboy boots and a tiara. What fun!


So, from the keynote speaker, the absolutely brilliant and entertaining Les Edgerton, to the beginning writer who’d recently typed their very first word into their very first masterpiece, this was a congregation of writers who mean business when it comes to perfecting their craft. But, while having a no nonsense approach to setting words to page, they absolutely know how to throw a party!

Here, see for yourself.












Of course there were a few serious moments, such as the workshops and panels and the awards banquet.


Holly Jahangiri at the awards banquet.


Andrew Kaufman at his session: Bringing Sexy Back – Does Sex Belong in Thrillers?

And, of course, there’s keynote speaker Les Edgerton. Believe me, if you ever have the opportunity to hear Les speak…well, just go as fast as your feet will take you. He’s captivating, entertaining, funny, and absolutely brilliant when it comes to writing.


Keynote Speaker Les Edgerton

Then there was Charles Sasser. It was nearly 20 years ago when I first read one of his books and I found his writing style to be quite enjoyable. In fact, I instantly became a fan of this cop-turned-writer.

I’ve had one of Sasser’s books on my office shelf for a long, long time, so it was an honor and a thrill to finally meet him at the OWFI conference. Actually, it was another high point of the weekend for me.

See, Mr. Sasser, I told you I have the book!


Finally, to prove that the OWFI writers really do enjoy their event and sharing the joy of their successes…

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Bouchercon: Throwback Thursday

Bouchercon, THE largest annual mystery party convention in the world kicks off today in California. It’s the place where writers and fans come together for an entire weekend. It’s also the place where writers connect and re-connect with their good friends and fellow authors. In short, it’s a blast! So is this brief Throwback Thursday collection of photos of your favorite authors, taken at a Bouchercon of the past, one that has long been a fixture in the history books.

How many of these smiling faces do you recognize?


It was a great year. In fact, here’s a rack of books containing the award nominees for that year. Notice the book on the far right of the third shelf from the bottom.

And with that, here’s the final photo taken before the curtain fell on a fabulous weekend.


Alafair Burke politely listening to me ramble on and on, and on, and on, and…

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Writers’ Police Academy: Things You Need To Know!

It’s finally here, folks. The Writers’ Police Academy is only two days away!

We have an excellent program with top-notch instructors. We also have a surprise or two waiting for you. I do want to remind everyone that this is actual police training, not a writers conference. So be on your toes, expect loud noises (gunshots and yelling), don’t be shy, and HAVE FUN!

Here’s a list of need-to-know information put together by Nancy Metzner, the person who had the unfortunate job of keeping me straight throughout the planning. This list was sent via email  to all WPA attendees. If you did not receive a copy please let us know. In the meantime, please use this copy as your guide.

Nancy Metzner

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Nancy’s List

If you are participating in FATS then you will need to sign a release if you have not already done so. We will need this on file before you can participate. Lee would also like for you to read the two attachments prepared by the FATS instructor, Jerry Cooper. The Titles are Use of Force Tips Part 1 and Part 2.

All of these forms and information will be available at the registration table if you have forgotten yours.

Remember you must be at the FATS location at your assigned time or you will not be able to participate. It is not possible to fix the schedule to fit you in later if you miss. Every hour of the conference schedule is full with recruits taking FATS training so if you miss there will be no way to make it up. We are sorry if this means you will need to miss a class or speaker but the schedule is very tight.


Even though it is officially fall the weather here is still quite warm. Our high temperatures for the next few days are predicted to be in the low 90’s. Lows in our area will be 60’s and 70’s. It still feels like summer here, so dress for hot weather. There is a slight chance of rain on Saturday. Friday you will be outside a lot. There will be places to sit and water on hand. Saturday the majority of the day will be spent in buildings, although there are a few outdoor activities going on.


If you were on the FATS training standby list and received notification that you are now on the schedule, you will need to pay the fee at registration. T-Shirts fees will also be due at that time. We are not able to take credit cards or pay pal and will need cash or check.

Also, come prepared to buy raffle tickets for our great book baskets. Proceeds will go to the Criminal Justice Foundation of GTCC.

Lunch on Friday

Lunch is not provided on Friday. The campus is isolated and we are aware that many of you are without transportation so the Emergency Medical Services Student Association has decided to sell bag lunches. If you do have a car it will still be difficult to leave campus, return and park within the one hour window. We encourage you to take advantage of their desire to raise funds by buying a bag lunch. They request a donation of $6.00 per lunch. Lunches will include a sandwich, drink and chips. There are also lots of vending machines in the Public Safety building. You may prefer to pack a protein bar or small snack for yourself.

Lunch on Saturday

Lunch on Saturday is provided to everyone registered for the event. The hotel will be providing box lunches with a turkey or veggie selection.

Campus Map

We have attached a campus map, however it was created in Publisher and some of you may not be able to open it. We will have copies of it at the hotel desk for you to pick up. If you aren’t staying at the hotel and can’t open the map, please email and we’ll see about getting someone to put it in a pdf file to send you.

Photos and Video

Photographs should not be taken of officers or instructors without their permission being obtained first. Many law enforcement personnel work undercover and prefer not to have their pictures taken. It is too easy for these photos to end up on the internet and possibly endanger their lives and or affect their career.

Shuttle Bus

There will be a shuttle that runs between the hotel and the campus. Please note the posted signs at the hotel. There are a lot of people to be shuttled so if you drove and can open your vehicle to carpool with others this would be appreciated. It takes no more than 10 minutes to get to campus. Registration on Friday begins at 8:30. You’ll want to be checked in before the demonstrations begin at 10:00 am.


If you missed the chance to place a t-shirt order we will be taking orders for them at the conference. They proved more popular than we thought but time was a problem in getting more made in time for the event. They will be mailed to you after the event.

Clarion Hotel

The Clarion Hotel is located off I-40 at exit 213. This is the same exit whether you are coming EAST or West on I-40. The physical address is 415 Swing Road, Greensboro, NC.


Readers’ Services , ur division at the Library, has a box we carry to all events. It has everything inside it that we think a person might need and not have with them. Eyeglass repair kit, Pepto, Immodium, safety pins, kleenex, little bitty clothespins,tape, well you get the idea. If you need anything of this nature please track down someone wearing a shirt with the library logo and we’ll be happy to help you search through The Box. We want your conference experience to be great.

No guns or live ammunition can be brought to this event.
Writers’ Police Academy is not responsible for lost or stolen items.

Safe travels. See you tomorrow!

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Murder In The Stairwell: Day Two Of Killer Nashville

Each year at Killer Nashville attendees are called on to solve a murder. This year the body was found in the 11th floor stairwell. At first glance, the cause of death was obvious—a bullet wound to the head and one to the back. Investigators quickly uncovered clues, such as blood spatter on the wall, ammunition on the floor, cash from a recent bank robbery, and bloody footprints. But a good investigator knows better than to accept that first glance. And this group of sleuths worked hard to unravel this mystery.

Agent Dan Royce of the Tennessee Bureau Of Investigations (pictured wearing burgundy shirt) is the mastermind behind the very realistic crime scenes.

Author Jennie Bentley (right) tries to piece together clues provided by Agent Royce.

Attorney Heather Leonard examines the dead bank robber.

When folks weren’t tromping through the crime scene they enjoyed several wonderful presentations and workshops. They also enjoyed catching up with old friends.

The Three Stooges…Oops, wrong image. The guys are (from l to r) Ohio prosecutor/author Addie King, computer/software expert Hugh (Butch) Wilson, and author Jaime Mason.

The heart and soul of MWA, Marjorie Flax, and Kelly Nichols (PJ Parrish).

Larry Light (right), MWA Vice President.

Marjorie Flax (center) and Karen McCullough (right), president of the South Eastern chapter of MWA.

Clay Stafford (standing), founder of Killer Nashville, Charles Todd, Larry Light, Meredith Anthony.

Jeffery Deaver and friends (Tracy and Mike Bunch on right).

Don Bruns

Author Beth Terrell-Hicks (vice president of Killer Nashville) and husband.

As guest of honor, Jeffery Deaver accepts the Killer Nashville guitar.

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