For those interested, here are the meeting times of several of the writing groups that meet in the Des Moines area:
Borders Books and Music: Every Tuesday evenings at 7 p.m., 4100 University Ave., West Des Moines.
West Des Moines Writers: 10 a.m. the second and fourth Saturdays at the West Des Moines Public Library, 4000 Mills Civic Parkway, West Des Moines.
Beaverdale Books: The first Tuesday of every month at 7 p.m., 2629 Beaver Ave. Suite 1, Des Moines.
If anyone has information on any others, please forward them to me. As you know, a writing group is a great way to not only get feedback on your writing, but to get you into a writing routine. Try one out!
“. . . Manno assembles a wonderful cast of characters, characters as lovable for their flaws and quirks as for their ability to solve a baffling murder case . . . [a] delightful, humorous feel-good mystery with a clever twist. . .”
“We are pleased to welcome Harlequin, and all of its imprints, back onto our Approved Publishers list. Harlequin has agreed to abide by all of our existing criteria for inclusion. This means that Harlequin books, including those published within the last year, are eligible for Edgar consideration and their authors for active status MWA membership.”
As you recall, MWA suspended Harlequin from its approved publisher list last December due to the operation of its vanity press subsidiary. Apparently that dispute has been resolved and authors who publish through Harlequin will continue to be eligible for active membership in MWA. As you may recall, the paperback edition of Murder Most Holy was published by a Harlequin imprint, World Wide Mystery. This was in 2008, several years before the dispute erupted. The hard back version was published in 2006 by Five Star, an approved publisher, who is also publishing my latest, End of the Line, due out in June (don’t forget to get your pre-order in to Amazon!).
MYSTERY WRITERS OF AMERICA and St. Martin’s Minotaur have announced their annual First Crime Novel Competition. It is open to any writer who has not been published in any genre before and is not under contract with a publisher. The story must involve a murder or other serious crime and manuscripts must be no less than 220 typewritten pages (approximately 60,000 words. The winner will be offered a publishing contract with Minotaur Books. Entry forms with specific rules must be requested by November 12, 2010 at Minotaur Books/MWA Competition, St. Martin’s Minotaur, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010. An on-line copy of the rules can be found here on the MWA website.
THE LOVE IS MURDER Mystery Conference has announced a first ever short story writing contest. It is open to authors who have never been published in fiction in any medium, the story must be in the crime, suspense, thriller, or horror genre and the maximum word count is 5,000 words. Deadline is July 16. Further details can be found on the Love Is Murder website under the “Events” tab. Winners will be announced at Love Is Murder (February 4-6, 2011, Rosemont, Ill. ) and will be published in the February issue of CrimeSpree Magazine.
Another first for Love Is Murder is a track on the graphic novel. An expert panel will teach the nuts and bolts of this widely popular genre. So if you’ve ever wondered what it takes to produce such a story, this will be the place to find out.
Love Is Murder, as I’ve said before, is the almost perfect conference for would-be mystery writers. There is ample time to meet with editors and agents and to pitch their work. If there is only one conference that you can attend, this is the one. Hope to see you there!
Author / Attorney / Professor -- click on the photo to go to Mike's website.
Buy Mike's Book:
A man is found murdered on a city transit bus in the days leading up to Christmas; his former bank is out thousands, his trophy wife has a drug problem and his ex-wife can’t get their marriage annulled. Now solve the murder before the snow gets too deep!
Mike is a lawyer in West Des Moines and teaches law and government at Upper Iowa University. He lives with his wife, Luanne, who is an asset and procurement manager for a national mortage company. They live with their two “best friends,” Bo and Buster. He is also an amateur ventriloquist and has done numerous school shows and has also appeared at the Iowa State Fair. For nine seasons he raced Formula Vees with SCCA. Murder Most Holy is his first book in a planned series featuring Deputy Attorney General Parker Noble.
Mike writes a monthly column for the Catholic Mirror in Des Moines. You can check them out here.
Mike also writes an occassional legal column for The Wanderer, a national Catholic weekly. For subscription information contact: The Wanderer Press, 201 Ohio Street, St. Paul, MN 55107,(651) 224-5733, or the paper’s website.
What reviewers said about Mike's first mystery, Murder Most Holy:
“…a steady, engrossing read.” Mystery Scene Magazine
“I’ll be watching for more books by this author.” Crime Spree Magazine
“Fans will enjoy this lighthearted whodunit and want more. . .” Midwest Review of Books
Want a copy of Mike's first book, Murder Most Holy?
You can get an autographed hardcover copy of Mike’s first book sent to any address in the United States. Send $15 to: Mike Manno, PO Box 27065, West Des Moines, Iowa 50265.
More praise for Mike's new mystery, End of the Line
“The always entertaining trio of Parker, Stan and Buffy are back and in top form . . . Manno delivers another witty, smart whodunnit with his second installment of the Parker Noble series. END OF THE LINE is a compulsive must-read mystery lovers will devour!”
"Mike Manno has given us a lot to like in End of the Line. A wonderful mystery, plenty of twists, it's also a story filled with humor, human interest, and a cop-hero you'd love to swap stories with over a couple of beers -- or some bad station house coffee."
David J. Walker, Edgar-nominated author of the l Foley and Wild Onion, Ltd.Series
Snail Mail: PO Box 27065, West Des Moines,Iowa 50265