The Halls of Mystery

Austin Mystery Writers

by Gale Albright

Joan  uh

The April 13 Sisters in Crime Heart of Texas program will feature “The Halls of Mystery” with authors Joan Upton Hall and Russ Hall. They will present mini-workshops on everything you ever wanted to know about writing. Bring your questions! Be ready to listen, take notes, and interact. It should be a lively meeting.

JUH bookcover

Joan and Russ, who have a number of books under their belts, have always been more than happy to help fledgling writers learn the craft of writing. They will share their personal experiences on getting published and keeping the right mental attitude. Both have received Sage Awards from the Barbara Burnett Smith Mentoring Authors Foundation. The award is given to an author who demonstrates an outstanding spirit of service in mentoring, sharing and leading others in the mystery writing community.rx book doctor

A former English teacher, Joan Upton Hall is an author, editor, writing instructor…

View original post 139 more words

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Podcast: Gale Albright Discusses Barbara Burnett Smith Aspiring Writers Project

Her’s my radio interview with Hopeton Hay of KAZI Book Review on KAZI 88.7 FM in Austin, TX

Diverse Voices Book Review with Hopeton Hay

Gale Albright discussed the Sisters in Crime Heart of Texas chapter’s Barbara Burnett Smith Aspiring Writers Project recently on KAZI Book Review.  According to Albright, aspiring writers of Cozies, Thrillers, True Crime, and other Mystery Genres are welcome to submit the first 500 words and a one-page synopsis of their unpublished manuscripts to the Barbara Burnett Smith Aspiring Writers Project. The deadline is March 31.  To listen to the interview click here: .

View original post

Categories: Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Laura Oles presents Inside Photo Secrets for Authors, March 9 @ Sisters in Crime (Austin) – Free and Open to the Public

Come to the Sisters in Crime meeting at Recycled Reads in Austin at 2 p.m. on March 9. You’ll be in the picture…

Kathy Waller

Laura Oles Laura Oles

Inside Photo Secrets for Authors

Storytelling through photography has long been a powerful method of connecting people emotionally. For authors and writers, the use of photography can greatly assist in reaching and retaining readers. However, the digitization of photography has left the public largely confused about this new medium’s rules and regulations.

At Sisters in Crime – Austin’s March 9 meeting, member Laura Oles, a photo industry journalist and author of Digital Photography for Busy Women, will cover some current issues surrounding digital photography.

Topics to be covered will include:

  • Basic guidelines for using photos on your author blog & website
  • Creative Commons: What it is and why it matters
  • When you can and cannot use photos you find online
  • How to determine if a photo has been edited (for fictional story lines, etc)
  • What metadata is and what it tells you about the photo
  • How to use…

View original post 259 more words

Categories: Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Who Was Barbara Burnett Smith?

Austin Mystery Writers

By Gale Albright


According to author Bill Crider in his post of February 20, 2005:

Barbara Burnett Smith died in an accident in San Antonio Saturday night. Barbara and her husband were there to rescue a dog, and when they visited Remember the Alibi (bookstore), the dog ran from their car and into the street. It was raining and dark, and apparently Barbara stepped into the street to catch the dog. She was hit by a car and died in the hospital.

I’m still in shock over this. I’ve known Barbara for at least 15 years, and she was one of the nicest people you’d ever hope to meet. She was lovely and perky and a very talented writer. She was also the former daughter-in-law of another fine mystery writer, Thomas B. Dewey, whom she credited with helping her quite a bit when she was starting out.

I don’t really…

View original post 453 more words

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment


TheSisters in Crime, Heart of Texas Chapter here in Austin is offering a fun opportunity for  aspiring mystery authors. The Barbara Burnett Smith Aspiring Writers Event (BBSAWE) is calling for all unpublished, aspiring writers of  thrillers, true crime, noir or any mystery genre for, young or old readers, to submit the first 500 words of their mystery manuscript along with a brief synopsis. All who submit will be paired with a published author mentor for one-on-one sessions and recognition at the BBSAWE in May of each year. The submission deadline is March 31, 2014. 

This is not a contest – there is no judging and no fee. It is a wonderful opportunity for writers unpublished in the mystery field to be mentored by published authors and recognized by the Austin Sisters in Crime chapter. All aspiring writers MUST attend the Barbara Burnett Smith Aspiring Writers Event to be held Sunday…

View original post 74 more words

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Journey from Aspiring Dreamer to Hardened Professional Author

I like the idea of “pre-published” writers.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Original image courtesy of flowcomm, via Flickr Commons Original image courtesy of flowcomm, via Flickr Commons

One of the goals of this blog has always been to prepare new writers and develop professionals. In order to do this, I blog on any number of topics, ranging from social media to search engines, craft to family. Some posts are just to give you a laugh because Lord knows we always need more of those. Writers are human beings, and, if we focus only on one aspect of our growth, we can become unbalanced or even deformed.

When it comes to developing/ growing from that wide-eyed dreamer with a gift for words and transforming into a pro who can withstand the unrelenting crucible of this business, balance is vital. Why? I can tell you from experience that when we reach the mountain’s “summit”, the view is breathtaking…until we see the next mountain, the taller mountain. Oh, and to reach the top…

View original post 1,289 more words

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment


sisters in crime cover fb

Sisters in Crime Heart of Texas chapter (Austin) calls on all unpublished, aspiring writers of cozies, thrillers, true crime, noir, young adult, middle grade, and other mystery genres to submit the first 500 words of their mystery manuscript to the Barbara Burnett Smith Aspiring Writers Event (BBSAWE). Include a brief synopsis. Aspiring writers are chosen and matched with published author-mentors for one-on-one sessions and recognition at the BBSAWE in May of each year. The submission deadline is March 31, 2014.

This is not a contest – there is no judging and no fee. It is a wonderful opportunity for writers unpublished in the mystery field to be mentored by published authors and recognized by the Austin Sisters in Crime chapter.  All aspiring writers MUST attend the Barbara Burnett Smith Aspiring Writers Event to be held Sunday, May 18, 2014, in Austin, Texas, at 2 p.m. at Recycled Reads, 5335 Burnet Rd., Austin, TX78756.

Please e-mail entries to Gale Albright at

If you have questions about submission guidelines or other concerns, please contact Gale Albright at the above e-mail address.


  1. Unpublished writers submit by e-mail a 100 word (maximum) synopsis and the first 500 words of a mystery short story or novel.
  2. Entries should be in standard submission format: 12 point Times New Roman or Courier New font, double-spaced, with one-inch margins.
  3. Attach Word file document with the synopsis (100 word max) on first page. Please put your name, e-mail address, phone number, and title of story or novel in the top left-hand corner of first page. Start story/novel 500-word submission on second page. Put name, title, and page number on all pages.
  4. E-mail subject line: BBSAWE ENTRY
  5. One submission per person
  6. E-mail entries to
  7. Submission deadline is March 31, 2014
Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Want More Writing Success? Learn to Be a QUITTER

This is an interesting take on “quitting” by Kristen Lamb. Food for thought.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Ah, the New Year is upon us. Most of our resolutions revolve around grabbing hold with a death-grip and vowing to never let go. When it comes to losing weight, getting out of debt, or discovering if our closets actually have floors? This is a good plan. Yet, when it comes to our careers? Never giving up might keep us from ever succeeding.

Want to know the secret to success? Quitting. Yes, you heard me correctly. And, if you’re a creative professional, it is in your interest to learn to get really good at quitting. Maybe you’ve felt like a loser or a failure, that your dream to make a living with your art was a fool’s errand.

Ignore that junk and understand…

Winners Quit All the Time

I posit this thought; if we ever hope to achieve anything remarkable, we must learn to quit. In fact, I’ll take…

View original post 1,280 more words

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Five Mistakes KILLING Self-Published Authors

Here is good advice from Kristen Lamb to authors who want to self publish.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Rise of the Machines Human Authors in a Digital World, social media authors, Kristen Lamb, WANA, Rise of the Machines

When I began writing I was SO SURE agents would be fighting over my manuscript. Yeah. But after almost thirteen years in the industry, a lot of bloody noses, and even more lessons in humility, I hope that these tips will help you. Self-publishing is AWESOME, and it’s a better fit for certain personalities and even content (um, social media?), but we must be educated before we publish.

Mistake #1 Publishing Before We Are Ready

The problem with the ease of self-publishing is that it is, well, too easy. When we are new, frankly, most of us are too dumb to know what we don’t know. Just because we made As in English, does not automatically qualify us to write a work spanning 60,000-100,000 words. I cannot count how many writers I’ve met who refuse to read fiction, refuse to read craft books, and who only go to pitch agents…

View original post 1,494 more words

Categories: Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Cinda Cyrus

Cinda obit

Cinda Cyrus died two years ago.

She made magnificent preparations for Christmas 2011, even though she passed away just a scant week before the day itself. Cinda wanted to make sure everyone got cards and presents. She was lying in a  hospital bed, directing friends and family in their assigned tasks to make this the best Christmas ever for the people she loved. When I came for a visit, I was told to  order five books and having them shipped to the recipients at once.

Cinda was a boss, supervisor, head honcho, whatever you went to call it. I met her thirty years ago when she became my boss. She demanded more than I was willing to give, but I wound up giving it anyway, mostly because she was generous with praise and encouragement. She always felt people could do better, and mostly, she was right. She encouraged me to submit my first non-fiction article to Third Coast magazine in Austin. When it got published, we celebrated.

Over the years she encouraged me in everything, from jobs to writing.

We had good talks, some disagreements, and many good laughs.

I still miss her. It seems inconceivable that I can’t just send her an e-mail, or forward her something funny or outrageous, or talk to her on the phone. Since we were both Texans, we loved to “visit.”

She encouraged many people through the years. When Christmas came, she always gave to charities, like a hospital in Africa that helped women with difficult childbirth. Falling in with the spirit, one Christmas I “adopted” a wolf cub in her name. It pleased her mightily.

She loved Christmas. She loved to give gifts. I miss getting my Christmas book and my Christmas flower.

She taught me to persevere, to keep my chin up, to help others.

Merry Christmas, Cinda.  The gifts you gave me are still with me.

A Christmas tree icon

A Christmas tree icon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

Create a free website or blog at

Kobo Writing Life

Publish today and reach millions of Kobo readers worldwide


There are no facts, only interpretations. - Friedrich Nietzsche. The truth I think that validates everything you have to say.

Bike Hutto

Building Bicycling Advocacy and Community in Hutto, TX

It's a long story ...

a light-hearted look at life by Tresha Barger

Margaret and Helen

Best Friends for Sixty Years and Counting...

Ramona DeFelice Long

author & editor

Sisters in Crime

Heart of Texas Chapter

Buried Under Books

Tales of a former indie bookseller

The Wickeds

Wicked Good Mysteries


Everyday Technology for Everyday Folks

Mihran Kalaydjian's Official Blog

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”

The Writer's Saga

Battles. Heroism. Triumph. Death?

15 Minutes of Fame

. . . more or less

Martha Alderson aka Plot Whisperer

Head out to the unknown on your trusty camel with Gale Albright

Kate Shrewsday

A thousand thousand stories


Howdy! We're the largest independent bookstore in Texas. This is our blog.