Monday, September 17, 2007

Upper Arlington, Ohio. Cynthia Rosi reports on 15th annual writers conference.

Today’s featured segment on WCRX-LP, 102.1 FM, Local Power Radio was a report on the 15th annual writer’s conference at Fawcett Center just west of the Ohio State University campus. The report was made by Cynthia Rosi, senior reporter for WCRX-LP.

Rosi interviewed the conference keynote speaker Karen Harper about the work of a successful writer. Harper’s 2002 novel The Falls was a New York Times list book. Her most recent book is the 2006 Inferno published by MIRA Books. Her presentation was called “The Possible Dream: Veteran Advice from the Trenches.” Harper was first published in 1982. She has written more than 50 novels in four genres. She has worked with three literary agents, eight publishers, and many editors.

Harper’s presentation was both inspirational and informative. She discussed the practical realities of publishing and practical tips about achieving the dream of becoming and surviving as a published author. The core of Harper’s presentation is that the dream of being a published writer is a realistic dream, a dream that is possible.

Karen Harper is a former Ohio State University and high school English instructor. She is a The New York Times and USA TODAY best-selling author of contemporary suspense, historical mystery and historical novels.

Published since 1982, she currently has books listed by MIRA Books, Random House, and St. Martin's Press. Her books have appeared in many foreign, large print, audio, and e-book versions, and two of her novels have appeared in Good Housekeeping magazine.

In 2006 Harper won The Mary Higgins Clark Award in 2006 for Dark Angel, her suspense novel set in Ohio Amish country. Her most recent suspense novels are Hurricane and Inferno. Her historical novels The Last Boleyn and The First Princess of Wales have been included in the Borders summer reading program.

WCRX-LP’s correspondent Rosi also interviewed Lee K. Abbott about the market for short stories. Abbott’s presentation at the conference was called “Beginnings and Stuff, a Two-Part Workshop.” The first part of Abbott’s presentation focused on crafting effective beginnings. The discussion gave attention to the emotion that permeates the action of a story. The second part of Abbott’s presentation offered insight into the writer’s techniques that add the “stuff” that gives texture, depth and weight to the text.

Lee K. Abbott is the author of seven collections of stories, most recently All Things, All at Once: New & Selected Stories (2006, W.W. Norton). In addition, his work has been reprinted in The Best American Short Stories, Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards, and the Pushcart Prize series. His stories have appeared in The Georgia Review, The Southern Review, The Kenyon Review, The Atlantic Monthly, and Harper's Magazine.

Rosi also interviewed some participants in the audience. Tijuana Canders and Lisa Dixon are writers who attended the annual conference and were interviewed by Rosi.

The two women’s writings are in the category of memoirs. Tijuana’s literary efforts are about the successes and achievements of her life and the importance of her Christian faith to what she has accomplished. Lisa spoke about her experience as a child in foster-care and how she has become active in efforts to improve the American foster care system.

The feature concluded with Rosi interviewing Antoinette Cross, who together with her husband John, are the proprietors of a Westerville, Ohio bookstore. The bookseller offers mysteries and detective fiction to customers at the shop appropriately named Foul Play Mystery Bookshop. Her presentation at the writers conference discussed the pitfalls and benefits of author readings and author signings at retail bookstores.

Foul Play Mystery Bookshop is Ohio's only bookstore devoted to the celebration of crime fiction. The retail shop is 18 years old. During that time, Cross and her husband have hosted more than a hundred author events.

Antoinette holds both a B.S. in Education and an M.A. in Early and Middle Childhood Education, both from The Ohio State University. She taught primary education for over 35 years. She is also a long-time substitute teacher in the Bexley public schools system.

Cross and the keynote speaker Karen Harper were also on a Panel discussion on “How to Win Friends and Influence Booksellers.” The panel also included Alexa Reck and Diane Spink. The panel discussion covered how booksellers can help authors sell their books.

Rosi’s feature will be repeated on WCRX-LP broadcasts this coming Wednesday and Friday at 11:30 a.m.

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