The Military in Fiction with Karl DeJong
Have you ever wanted to meet one of the U.S. Navy’s true super-secret ninjas? Organized during World War II, the combat construction battalions, also known as the SeaBees, are one of the military’s least known units. Karl DeJong, a 22-yr veteran of the SeaBees, invites you to join him for a bit of history; chain of command; the trades found within the group; types of missions (military and volunteer civilian); combat specialties; and how they function with other military organizations.
My name is Karl De Jong
My father was a WWII Navy Veteran as a Quartermaster First Class Petty Officer.
My high school shop teacher was a Navy Veteran in a group called the Sea Bees.
I joined the Navy in the summer of 1986 and left for bootcamp the 4th of Aug of 1986. I went to Gulf Port Mississippi for Sea Bee “A” school to learn the building trade. After “A” school graduation I went into the Naval Reserves and was attached to RNMCB 15 later becoming NMCB 15 (1990). With the battalion logo as the “Bat Out Of Hell”, Battalion 15 was a part of the Navy’s expeditionary forces.
After 9-11, I reenlisted with NMCB 28, known as “The Old Pro’s”. NMCB 28 has the largest geographical area in the US and mostly augmented other battalions, filling in expertise in construction and military.
My career achievements consisted of; Senior Military Instructor with specialties in firearms, land navigation and perimeter security. CBR (Chemical, Biological and Radiological) team and instructor. SERT (Seabee Engineering Reconnaissance Team). K-SPAN school. SCW (Seabee Combat Warfare Specialist)
My awards consisted of (in precedence order); Meritorious Service Medal (4 times). Joint Service Achievement Medal. Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal (5 times). Navy Battle E (5 times). Good Conduct Medal. Navy Reserve Meritorious Service Medal. National Defense Service Medal. Iraq Campaign Medal. Afghanistan Campaign Medal. Global War on Terrorism. Kuwait Liberation Medal. Rifle Marksmanship (Expert). Pistol Marksmanship (Expert)
I was medically discharged in 2007 with the rank of BU1 (Builder First Class).
All Day Write-In & Skill Share
Ticket sales coming soon!
Facebook Ads for Authors with Michelle Fox
Are you running Facebook ads, but not seeing the return you need? Knowing how to run ads isn't the same thing as profiting from them. Marketing is all about the 'look' and this class will makeover your ads so they strike readers in the one-click finger. Join us for an in-depth discussion (that you won't find anywhere else) of how to select the right images and book snippet to make the sale.
Michelle Fox has used marketing to procrastinate on her word count goals for the past seven years. She’s run marketing initiatives that catapulted authors into the top 100, helped authors hit bestseller lists, spearheaded a genre mash up boxed set that hit the USAT list, and crashed the Instafreebie (now Prolific Works) site with one of the first freebie cross promos. She runs the Wolf Pack reader platform, which has a similar scope and reach of the top selling authors in the PNR, UF and SFR genres, and offers low cost marketing options for authors in those genres. For LWA she teaches the Profitable Facebook Ads class. As an indie author, she’s had short stories go viral and sold hundreds of thousands of novels. A Margie Immersion grad, she lives in Ohio with her husband, a homeschooled tween, and two labs who rule the roost.
This will be a virtual presentation with Michelle speaking with us live via Zoom.
Bleep You Writer’s Block! aka Improv for Writers with Jody T. Morse
Bleep You Writer’s Block! aka Improv for Writers is a generative workshop taught by Jody T. Morse, a former theater diva/comedienne turned writer. Who is this class for? Writers of nonfiction and fiction that want to learn tools and techniques for banishing their fears of the great horror that is the blank page and who want to laugh for the entire length of a workshop. What skills do participants need? None. Absolutely none, other than the knowledge that something isn’t working for them in the arena of writing and they need an Improvisational IV to help them kickstart a change for the better. Note: Sides, stomachs, and throats have been known to be sore for a day or two after this workshop due to extraneous giggling guffawing, and chortling.
Jody T. Morse is multi-genre writer, editor, and creativity coach. After a twenty-year career in the theater as a triple-threat singer/dancer/actor, Jody and her husband bought an 18-acre ranch in the middle of the Sam Houston National Forest. While this saved both of their sanity, it also forced Jody into theatrical retirement; however, it opened a stained-glass window to a new, more portable career in the world of creating connections with the stripped-down written word. She has taught workshops for Writespace, Houston Independent Authors Association, Houston Writers House, and other organizations. In addition, she’s been a recurring panelist at Writefest, ScaryDad Horror Con, Comicpalooza, NerdFest, and other events and conventions. For more information about Jody, visit her on social media as @JTMorseWriter.
More information coming soon.
Humor: It's More Than Just a Joke with Kerrelyn Sparks
We all love to laugh, but is humor, for its own sake, enough? Can humor deliver more than just a joke? The answer to that is YES! Done well, humor can help you achieve multiple goals in crafting your story. And at the same time, it keeps your reader so entertained, they may not realize what you’ve done. Kerrelyn will present ten ways to incorporate humor into your writing and show how they do more than make the reader chuckle.
Kerrelyn Sparks is the bestselling author of the Love at Stake series, which has hit as high as number 5 on the New York Times list and 22 on the USA Today list. Her most recent release is Crouching Tiger, Forbidden Dragon. Kerrelyn’s Love at Stake series appeared as a question on the television game show Jeopardy! For more information about her historical and paranormal romances, published by HarperCollins, please visit www.kerrelynsparks.com.
TBA with Christie Craig
More information coming soon.
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Instagram for Authors with Susannah Nix
Instagram can be a daunting platform for a photography-challenged author with limited time for social media. Learn how to maximize your efforts to increase engagement and connect with the readers and Bookstagrammers most likely to fall in love with YOUR books. Plus, get a few quick-and-dirty tips for upping your aesthetic game.
Susannah Nix is a 2019 RITA® Award Winner best known for her Chemistry Lessons series of romances about women in STEM. She has a degree in communications and worked in advertising, marketing, and media relations in her previous career. When she’s not writing, she enjoys knitting, watching British murder mysteries, and wasting too much time on the internet.
Active vs Passive Voice & Show vs Tell with Susan Muller
Susan will speak on Show vs Tell and Active vs Passive Voice, a writers two biggest headaches. When to use each and when not to.
Susan C Muller loves white wine, furry pets, a day spent reading, and travel, anywhere, anytime. Her favorite places include Iceland, Kenya and the Galapagos Islands. She lives in Spring Texas with her rescue dog, Maggie. Her books have won awards and appeared on Amazon’s top seller lists. She has two wonderful kids and four outstanding grandchildren.
You can contact her through her website, wwwSusanCMuller.com, Facebook at Susan C Muller, author, or Twitter @SusanCMuller. Or just hang out at a nearby bookstore, you’ll probably see her.
The BookFunnel Guide to Finding Reader Happiness with Damon Courtney
"What makes readers happy? What makes them unhappy? Knowing the answer can make the difference between readers who just want your free book and true fans. True fans love you and will buy everything you publish. But how do you make a true fan? Some authors just get this stuff, and they make it look so effortless. Most of us need some help.
That's where BookFunnel comes in. How do we know? Because we've delivered over 50 MILLION books to readers, and we've answered over 300,000 emails from them. We talk to readers all day, every day, and they are NOT shy when it comes to their feelings. We see what readers love. And what they hate. And, Damon Courtney, CEO and creator of BookFunnel, is here to guide you through the minefield of reader happiness and help you turn those freeloaders into superfans."
Damon Courtney is the creator and CEO of BookFunnel, an ebook delivery service for authors and publishers. Though he would like to be a highly successful indie author, he can only lay claim to publishing a single Fantasy trilogy that he does really like, despite its lack of sales. But, self-publishing three novels did lead to the creation of BookFunnel, so he’s got that going for him.
As a lifelong software engineer, Damon is an expert in just about everything technical and can offer unique insight on publishing as it relates to software and technology. In case you haven’t heard, software is eating the world. Our lives as authors cannot survive in this new world without software, so that makes Damon feel really important.
When he’s not writing code for BookFunnel, Damon is probably writing code for some other crackpot idea he has. That, or spending time with his wife and kids and polishing his Super Dad trophies. But, seeing as he’s been writing code since he was 7 years old, he plans to keep doing that for a long, long time. More and more of it as it relates to ebooks and publishing, which are his other passion now.
Niching Down for Success with Kirsten Oliphant
Learn why niching down can be helpful to your bottom line and also to your craft! You'll get tips on how to research niches and what to look for in terms of covers, tropes, categories, and keywords, PLUS how to market well within your niche.
Kirsten Oliphant holds an MFA in Creative Writing and is the host of the Create If Writing podcast. She was named one of the top 25 Social Media Power Influencers in Houston for 2017-2018. A self-professed email nerd, she wrote the book Email Lists Made Easy for Writers and Bloggers and writes sweet romance under the pen name Emma St. Clair. When not writing or thinking about writing, she is wrangling her five kids and watching Arrested Development with her husband.
Sword Fighting with Jonny Ringo
Describing fight scenes in a novel can be challenging for someone who's never been in an actual fight. Join award-winning fight choreographer Jonny Ringo at our March meeting to learn fight techniques that will bring your action scenes to life.
Tarot: Fact or Fiction with Psychic Cynthia Langreder
Join us for an informative session on tarot reading and learn to separate the myth from reality with psychic Cynthia Langreder.
Cynthia Langreder – Tarot Readings & Soul Destiny Readings
Cynthia Langreder has been in the Intuitive business for over 30 years. Her goal is to give positive readings from a Higher Source—from a Higher Vibration of Love. It is her top priority to stay in tuned with 'Source’. She understands that she is a vessel and by herself cannot do anything without 'Source'. She feels that it is her duty (and it is also her pleasure) to help those who are hurting, or who just need a little light on their paths. With her unique gifts, she can do just that.
Cynthia is an ordained interfaith minister, and also a certified spiritual counselor. She currently serves as the chaplain for Omegalife Hospice of Texas. Cynthia is an intuitive and has been very active in her community. She offers the following services: Channeling, Psychic Readings, Tarot Card Readings, Wedding Officiate (formal or informal), Marriage Counseling, Personality Readings, Dream Interpretation, Spiritual Counseling, Natal Astrological Chart Interpretation, Chakra Clearing, Angelology, Meditation facilitation, Public Speaking and classes on Tarot, Psychic Development, Channeling, Astrology and Numerology.
Cynthia has been featured at many venues such as: Centerpoint Holistic Fairs and Mind, Body and Soul in Houston, Texas; Prophetic Flow Enlightenment Center in Spring, Texas; Balance Body in Augusta, Georgia, Tampa, Florida, and Los Angeles, California; Oracle of the Age in Greer, South Carolina; and at The Witchery, Riondo's, Island Awakenings, and as The Galveston Mermaid in Galveston, Texas.
The Stoplight Revision Method with Jennie Nash
Revision is the process where manuscripts go from good to great, yet many writers consider it overwhelming, time-consuming, daunting, and difficult. In this 90-minute online workshop, Author Accelerator founder Jennie Nash will teach you a revision method that is logical, efficient, effective -- and possibly even fun! You'll learn how to think like an editor and zero in on the most critical problems in the story so you can fix a sagging middle, strengthen a weak ending, trim the fat, and quickly get your manuscript into publishable shape. Jennie will also share a powerful planning tool to help you keep your revision on track and on time.
Jennie Nash is the founder of Author Accelerator, a book coaching company that offers writers the accountability, feedback, and support they need to write better books. For ten years, writers serious about reaching readers have trusted Jennie to coach their projects from inspiration to publication, landing top New York agents and book deals with houses such as Scribner, Simon & Schuster, and Hachette. Jennie is the author of 8 books in 3 genres. She taught for 13 years in the UCLA Extension Writer’s Program and speaks at writing conferences all over the country. You can learn more at jennienash.com and authoraccelerator.com.
*This will be a virtual session with Jennie chatting with us live via Zoom.
Estate Planning for Authors: Your Final Letter...and why you need to write it now with M.L. Buchman
What happens when you die? No, really! Elvis’ estate was almost worthless when he died, it’s now worth $400M+. Jane Austen’s books were out of print for a decade, then a publisher purchased outright all copyright for a paltry sum and they haven’t been out of print since. If you want the complexities of your IP to survive you, it’s up to you to set it up now. Matt offers a practical guide on setting up your estate and, far more importantly, preparing your heirs.
M.L. "Matt" Buchman has over 60 novels, 70 short stories, and a fast-growing pile of audiobooks out in the world. M.L. writes romance, thrillers, and SF&F…so far. Three-times Booklist "Top-10 Romance Novel of the Year." NPR and B&N "Best 5 Romance of the Year." RITA finalist. As a 30-year project manager with a geophysics degree who has bicycled solo around the world, he is awed by what's possible. More at: .
*This will be a virtual session with Matt chatting with us live via Zoom.
Crime Scene Clean-up with Bio-Tex
Join us for a session on crime scene and hoarding clean up with a representative from Bio-Tex, the only independently owned Houston-based biohazard removal service. They are trained and certified to service blood cleanup, crime scene cleanup, odor removal, suicide cleanup, trauma recovery, unattended death cleanup, and vandalism cleanup.
Self-Defense with Curt Doyle
If your characters ever get into a scuffle or have to defend themselves, you don't want to miss this informative session on self-defense. Learn how to make your scenes more realistic with actual self-defense techniques.
Creating Social Media Graphics with Carrie Pulkinen
Learn simple graphic design techniques including fonts and colors, layout, and photo selection to make your own professional-looking social media graphics and digital ads. We'll talk about free and inexpensive applications to create 3D book cover mockups and programs that allow you to create custom graphic designs.
Carrie Pulkinen is an award-winning paranormal romance author. She has a degree in Media Studies from the University of Houston - Clear Lake, and she taught high school yearbook for ten years before she decided to pursue her dream of becoming a full-time author.
All Day Workshop with Kristen Lamb
Join us for an all-day workshop featuring author Kristen Lamb.
Her topics will include Understanding the Antagonist: How to Write Novels Readers CANNOT Put Down & Social Schizophrenia: Building a Brand WITHOUT Losing Your Mind
Kristen is the author of the definitive guide to social media for authors, "Rise of the Machines--Human Authors in a Digital World" in addition to the #1 best-selling books "We Are Not Alone—The Writer's Guide to Social Media" and "Are You There, Blog? It's Me, Writer."
She’s now returned to her first love, fiction. Her mystery thrillers, "The Devil's Dance" and its accompanying novella, “Deadline,” are positive proof she watches way more Discovery ID than is probably healthy.
Kristen has helped hundreds of thousands of writers find success using social media. Her methods are responsible for selling millions of books. She's helped all levels of writers from mega authors to self-published unknowns attain amazing results.
Kristen is the owner of W.A.N.A. International, a global company that’s been offering virtual training all over the world since 2012. Her blog was named one of the 101 Best Web Sites for Writers by Writer's Digest Magazine and currently attracts almost 40 million visitors per year.
Hook Your Reader But Don’t Leave Them At A One-Night Stand with Stacey Purcell
Being a writer is hard and since the onslaught of technology, it’s even harder. Learn what’s happened to our brains, our downtime, and our interests.
Once I depress you with the facts, I’ll bring some solutions to catch your reader’s attention and make them want to stick to your book like duct tape on a victim’s mouth. (Hey! Remember, I love to write suspense!)
We want to hook ‘em, duct tape them, but leave a finger out to press the buy-button on your next book.
Stacey Purcell is not normal. Never has been, never will be.
Her childhood consisted of living in exotic places and only having her imagination as a companion. T.V., riding bikes and playing with neighborhood kids only happened when her family returned to the United States every summer. The rest was spent with books, art supplies, and making up worlds for her dolls.
She wrote her first romance on hotel stationary in London, her first play on the porch in Malaysia, and her first poem sitting at a taxi stand in Singapore. Not your normal childhood. But she wouldn’t trade it because it made her the creative she is today.
She became a teacher who focused her inventive outlook in the classroom, and a mother who crafted with her kids.
But when she became a writer, she found her place.
People often say that they’d love to live in Stacey’s world…come on in.