Diamond Valley Writers' Guild

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Events Calendar

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The DVWG meets from 9:30-11:30 a.m. on the fourth Saturday of each month from January – October, at the Hemet Public Library, 300 E Latham Ave, Hemet, CA 92543. We invite our audience to engage speakers during their presentations, to discuss and question the topic at hand for the greatest amount of feedback and interaction. Speakers will sign and sell books after the meeting.

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Make Money as a Writer – Hot Tips


Teresa Burrell

Author, Attorney, Advocate

Saturday, October 27, 2018



Is your writing a hobby, or, do you want to make money? Do you sometimes wish your bank account were a little fatter? Do you wish you could afford a professional editor or a cover designer?

Teresa Burrell has accomplished what few writers have been able to do. She has made consistent income of over $100,000 per year, writing and marketing her self-published books on Amazon.com. In less than ten years she has written nine novels in her popular Advocate series, three illustrated children’s books, and Mason’s Missing, the first in her spin-off Tuper Mystery Series. Her books have won awards and sit at the top of Amazon sales charts.

Takeaways from this meeting will include:

  • The seven “not so easy” steps to success
  • Techniques to build your customer base
  • 1 strategic key to business success.

Come and learn all you can from this financially successful author.



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Scaring Yourself Successful: The Horror Renaissance

presented by

Mercedes M. Yardley & Tim Chizmar

Saturday, September 22, 2018



There are things that go BUMP in the night, but don’t worry… these writers bump back!

You don’t have to be Stephen King or Anne Rice to have a successful career in Spookyville, USA. Learn how to explore the dark side of the literary world, have fun, and come back braver for it.

This talk will cover everything from writing and selling horror short stories, magazine articles, and comic books, to screenplays and full length novels. These masters of the dark story-telling world will share all with you and just in time for Halloween! Find out everything about the genre that has taken over the Emmys, Oscars, and your local bookstore.

Mercedes M. Yardley is an award-winning author. Tim Chizmar is an author and media personality. Together they are Co-Chairs of the Las Vegas chapter of the international Horror Writers Association. Please join us on September 22, 2018 at the Hemet Public Library, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.

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3rd Annual Celebration of Poetry

presented by Howard Feigenbaum

August 25, 2018

Howard Feigenbaum photo

Poetry is often overlooked in the mad dash for literary fame and fortune. Instead, the Guild has developed a tradition of devoting our August meeting to a contemplation of poetry. That tradition continues this year.

At this gathering, Howard Feigenbaum, poet, photographer, and author, will again lead a discussion about the beauty, history, and importance of poetry in modern life. Audience members are invited to read* a poem or two, written by themselves or others, and share why the selection is meaningful to them. Ask questions, make observations, or simply relax and enjoy the experience of hearing poetry read as the writer intended it to be heard.

*Please contact Howard by email to let him know if you’d like to read: Feigenbaum@SBCGlobal.net

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Turn Your Novel into an Audiobook

Using ACX and Audible.Com

presented by Lynne M. Spreen

July 28, 2018

Lynne Spreen

Are you interested in publishing an audiobook but don’t know where to start? Worried you’ll miss out on this large and growing market? With ACX and Audible.com, you’ll find the tools to turn your novel into an audiobook without much effort or expense.

Lynne M. Spreen has produced three audiobooks using this method, and is in the middle of producing a fourth. At this meeting of the DVWG, she will describe the process of:

  • Creating an ACX.com account, uploading your manuscript, and finding a narrator
  • Producing the audiobook for free
  • Supervising the production process, and
  • Marketing your finished audiobook.


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Planning and Plotting for Productivity

Presented by 

Greta Boris & Joe De Ladurantey

Bestselling Authors, Publishers, and Writing Instructors

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Flying by the seat of your pants is the most inefficient way to write. Both Greta and Joe will bring their A game to this exciting presentation.

Joe De Ladurantey, author and retired police chief, writes what he likes to call “nonfiction fiction.” Joe will share:

  • How to organize your ideas into chapters
  • How to include real situations and people without getting sued.
  • When you need to get permission to publish material and how to get it.

Greta Boris, Amazon bestseller and author of the Seven Deadly Sins, a series of psychological thrillers, will share the Plot Menu. This unique method of planning your story utilizes the nine Enneagram Personality Types and a basic three act structure to keep your story on track. It’s a great tool for both plotters and pantsers.

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Choosing Your Path to Success: Keys to Self-Publication

with Marj Charlier

May 26, 2018

Over the past decade, DVWG boardmember Marj Charlier has gone from self-publishing her first novel to becoming a leader of workshops on self-publishing in California and the Midwest, decoding for hundreds of new authors the arcane vocabulary and standards of the publishing industry.

Your optimal path to publication becomes clearer once you answer five basic questions. Marj will discuss the decisions you have to make as a self-publisher and demystify everything about publishing from “ISBN” to “chapbook.”

As owner of Sunacumen Press, a member of the Independent Book Publishers Assn., she manages editing, cover design, formatting, and distribution for her authors. Bring your questions and discover your path to publication.

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Creating Characters, not Caricatures

with local authors

Eve Gaal, Arch Font and Cindy Tesar

April 28, 2018


Eve, Arch, and Cindy


Our April meeting will feature a panel of local novelists. The panel will provide writing tips with a focus on creating interesting, believable and, sometimes, humorous characters.

Eve Gaal’s interest in writing started with a toy typewriter she received as a child. Eve’s first book, “Penniless Hearts,” is part adventure, part humorous romance and all about communication. The novel’s main character, Penny, works in the newspaper industry, just as Eve did for many years.

Arch Font’s fiction is infused with humor, adventure and exotic settings. Three of his novels feature the traveling senior citizen Jerry Slider. The first in the series, “The Wrath of Rhonda,” takes place on a cruise to the South Pacific. The stories burst from Arch’s imagination but his characters are fashioned after actual people Arch met during his own travels.

Cindy Tesar’s published work includes inspirational writings, a mystery based on a real-life event, and a children’s book, “The Adventures of Billy Bug,” about a bee who is struggling to find his own identity and purpose in life.

Please join us at our April 28, 2018 meeting of the Diamond Valley Writers’ Guild at 9:30 a.m. at the Hemet  Public Library


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Romantic Suspense & Romantic Comedy Writing in These Best-Selling Categories from Innocent to Erotic*

Presented by the Writing Team known as

J.M. Jeffries

March 24, 2018

Jackie and Miriam 2

Jackie Hamilton & Miriam Pace

“J.M. Jeffries” is the award winning writing team of Jacqueline Hamilton and Miriam Pace. Authors of romantic suspense and romantic comedies, they can’t decide if they like killing people more than they like making them laugh. Miriam and Jackie have been writing together for years, though it seems longer on occasion when they are on deadline. Miriam thinks Jackie is a master manipulator. Jackie knows Miriam is a bulldozer. Miriam has a deep and passionate love for shoes, amber jewelry and purebred cats. Jackie collects red lipsticks, Animaniacs memorabilia and steals pens.

Together Jackie and Miriam have written dozens of romance novels and novellas. At this meeting, they’ll share writing strategies and tips for creating your own best-selling novel.

*Bring smelling salts and fans as needed.


See you on Saturday, March 24, 2018!



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Are You Proud of Your Work?

Is Your Book the Best It Can Be?

A conversation with Angela Bole

CEO of the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA)

February 24, 2018


The publishing industry has changed. Most authors are now self-publishing or utilizing small presses to bring their works to the world. At times, the author may feel as if he or she is alone on this important endeavor. Not true.

At our February meeting, Angela Bole, CEO of the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), will talk about the ways in which her organization is helping independent publishers and authors succeed, providing advocacy, education, and tools for success.

Marj Charlier, member and Treasurer of the DVWG, will join Angela for this talk show-style conversation. Marj is a publisher and author in her own right and is keenly aware of the needs of authors as well as the challenges of publishing.

TAKEAWAYS from this meeting will include:

  • How to produce a professionally published book, using IPBA’s standards
  • How trends in the publishing industry will affect you in 2018
  • What self-published and indie authors can do to sell more books and get better reviews


See you on Saturday, February 24, 2018!

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Taking the Fear Out of Writing, Publishing, and Marketing

presented by Shelley Young

Bestselling Author, Publisher, and Writing Coach

January 27, 2018


Shelley Young is a powerhouse of productivity. The author of sixteen books spanning multiple genres, Shelley created her own publishing imprint, and coaches other writers to accomplish their goals.

Do you dream of writing like a bestselling author and marketing like the big five publishing houses?

If so, come and listen to Shelley as she shares her writing journey. Learn how the right marketing can take you closer to the goal of reaching a million readers on a limited budget. Most importantly, teach yourself to work without fear of failure, because failure mostly arises when we try to use someone else’s plan rather than our own.

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All About Platform

presented by Brooke Warner

Publisher, Writing Coach, and Author

October 28, 2017

Most aspiring authors are intimidated by what it means to create or grow an author platform. You’ve likely heard that you need one, but what all does it entail, and how do you start? And if you already have an author platform—meaning you have readers and you’re reaching them—how do you cultivate those readers and keep them engaged? And how do you find new readers?
This discussion will demystify author platform and help writers and authors alike figure out how to start and/or grow from where they are. Building an author platform is a marathon, not a sprint, and we’ll be looking at long-range options and ideas that are encouraging and fun with the goal of making this necessary part of becoming an author less intimidating.

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DVWG Author Book Fair

at the Diamond Valley Arts Council, 123 North Harvard Street, in downtown Hemet

September 23, 2017

(This will take the place of our usual monthly meeting. There will be no Guild meeting at the Hemet Library on this date.)

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An Appreciation of Poetry, with Discussion and Readings

presented by Howard Feigenbaum

Author, Poet, and Photographer

August 26, 2017

Howard Feigenbaum photo

Does poetry still matter? In this busy, fast-changing world, what is the role of poetry for the average person? How are we supposed to understand it? Can anybody write it?

At this gathering, Howard Feigenbaum, poet, photographer, and author of the Benny Goldfarb Private “I” series, will lead a discussion about the beauty, history, and importance of poetry in modern life. Audience members are invited to read* a poem or two, written by themselves or others, and share why the selection is meaningful to them. The audience is encouraged to ask questions, make their own observations, or simply relax and enjoy the experience of hearing poetry read with the enthusiasm and emotion intended by the writer.

*Please contact Howard by email to let him know if you’d like to like to read:


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Writing the Paranormal Thriller 

featuring Angie Martin

July 22, 2017

Angie MartinOur July meeting will feature a conversation with local author Angie Martin. Angie is the award-winning author of supernatural and paranormal thrillers. At our meeting, she’ll share suggestions for writing in both genres, which she says are similar but not the same.

As a child, Stephen King’s Christine changed her life; she was bitten by the writing bug.

Angie will talk about the writing life and her writing process. She’ll also discuss some of the challenges common to all writers. How does she stay focused and motivated? How does she balance the time it takes to write with the necessity to market one’s work?

Please join us at our July 22, 2017 meeting of the Diamond Valley Writers’ Guild.


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Researching the Historical Novel

with award-winning author

Jeri Westerson
June 24, 2017

Jeri Westerson’s award-winning novels span multiple genres, including historical novels, paranormal novels, and LGBT rom/com mysteries (the Skyler Foxe Mysteries). Her critically acclaimed Crispin Guest Medieval Noir Mystery Series combines medieval mystery with hard-boiled detective fiction. Guest, a disgraced knight turned PI, solves crimes on the mean streets of fourteenth century London.

While learning about the era, Jeri developed a great appreciation for the Middle Ages. She has done talks around the country, while demonstrating her cache of medieval weaponry.

On June 24, Jeri will share tips, tricks, and inspiration about writing, and she will focus especially on doing research for your novel.  



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Top Tips for Writing Compelling
Crime Fiction Novels

with David Putnam,
National Bestselling Author
May 27, 2017

David PutnamDuring his California law enforcement career, David Putnam worked in patrol, investigations, SWAT, Narcotics, Violent Crimes, Criminal Intelligence, Internal Affairs, the Detective Bureau and as child protective services coordinator. He spent several years in the Hawaiian Islands as a Special Agent—part of a real-life “HawaiiFive-0″ team.

Now, he’s tapping that authenticity as bestselling author of police procedural/crime thrillers. He’ll talk to us about writing in general, and he’ll share specific tips for writing in his genre. Dave is a great storyteller and a fun guy to listen to. Come hear what he has to say, and as always, join the conversation.

Here are a few of his latest novels:

David Putnam 3 books

You can find these and David Putnam’s other books at Amazon.com.




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Do You Have a Memoir in You?

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April 22, 2017

Presented by Memoirists Melodie Earickson,

Vicki Allen-Hitt, and Sandy Schuster-Hubbard

Are you thinking of writing a memoir—your life story? Whether your plan is to produce a private family account or a blockbuster hit, 2017 is a great year to start. It’s never been easier to publish a book.

Memoir can be instructional, entertaining, funny, serious, or wacky. Perhaps all of the above! It’s your life, so it’s your call.

At our April meeting, memoirists Vicki Allen-Hitt, Melodie Earickson, and Sandy Schuster-Hubbard will discuss various aspects of memoir writing, including character, plot, dialogue, point of view, setting, theme, pacing, and more! Please join us Saturday, April 22, 2017, 9:30-11:30 a.m.

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MARCH 25, 2017

Writing Children’s Books from A to Z

by Debby Johnson, profession author and speaker

Debby Johnson, author of Rock, Paper, Scissors and other children’s books, will share her expertise about writing, illustrating and publishing books for youngsters.

Children’s book writing is much more than channeling your inner child. Debby will help you understand your audience’s needs and desires in order to deliver an exciting adventure that will captivate younger readers. She’ll describe word usage using the genius of Dr. Seuss, and she’ll also talk about the power of illustration and how to obtain the right ones for your book.

If you’ve always wanted to write books for children, or if you simply want to visit with fellow writers while learning from a publishing pro, please join us!

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FEBRUARY 25, 2017


Writing the Short Story

by Jim Hitt, award winning author of Carny, A Novel in Stories

plus special add-on session

Using Short Works as a Sales Tool on Amazon

by CJ Hernley, author of eleven books

“I have made this letter longer than usual, because I lack the time to make it short”
–Blaise Pascal, ‘Letters Provinciales’ (1657)

Have you always been intrigued by short stories? Do you want to write them but you’re not sure what goes into the making of a good short? In this meeting, award-winning author Jim Hitt tells us why short stories can be more challenging to write than a novel, and the essential elements to include. He’ll also share his favorite titles as examples of effective writing.

Once you’ve written a short story, can you sell it as a stand-alone? CJ Hernley has developed a strategy for giving away short works as a way to attract readers to her other books—the ones that cost more! She’ll share that strategy and others at our meeting.

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JANUARY 28, 2017


Getting Started on Your Novel in the New Year

featuring authors 

JoLynne Buehring, Marj Charlier,

George Gurney, and Gerald Prager

Moderated by Lynne Spreen

Happy New Year! We’re so excited about our first meeting of the year. We hope you are rested and ready to do great things with your writing in 2017. On Saturday, Jan. 28, a panel of authors will share their top tips on craft. Are you trying to figure out point of view? How do you write great dialogue? Where do great ideas come from, and how do you keep the creative well from running dry? Should you join a critique group, and how do you get the most out of it? These and other helpful topics will be on the table.

The discussion will be moderated, and as always the audience is encouraged to participate. Let’s make 2017 your most creative and successful yet! A short meeting of the board will be held toward the end of the program.♦ ♦ ♦


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OCTOBER 22, 2016

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Strategic Planning for Book Signing Events and Readings


Susan McBeth

The time to start planning for marketing your book is long before it’s finished. Are you baffled by book signings? Do you secretly dread your upcoming reading? Let book publicity expert Susan McBeth share tips and strategies to make your events a smashing success.

Official Brody High Res Photo.jpg

Susan McBeth, the name behind some of the most unique literary events locally and around the world, has worked as an events coordinator for over 25 years. She was the Director of Marketing and Events for one of the oldest independent bookstores in the United States. Disillusioned with the one-size-fits-all approach to bookstore signings, she launched Adventures by the Book to intimately connect readers with authors and their books through custom designed, interactive literary events and travels.  When agents and authors clamored for more, Susan started a second enterprise, AuthorPreneurs to serve that need. Which is all to say, what a way to close out our inaugural season!



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SEPTEMBER 24, 2016

Selling Your Work via Social Media

LMS headshot 2016

presented by

Lynne M. Spreen
Award-Winning Author of Dakota Blues

You can craft the most compelling book ever, but if people don’t know about it, who will buy it? In this discussion, Lynne Spreen will describe the strategies she uses to market her books. A fanatic about time management, she’ll suggest the most effective ways to reach the most people in the least time. She’ll help authors avoid burnout and enjoy networking—yes, really, even if you are the kind of person who hates to sell.

As with all of our meetings, we encourage questions from the audience, and handouts will be provided.

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AUGUST 27, 2016 

An Appreciation of Poetry, with Discussion and Readings

Howard Feigenbaum photo

presented by

Howard Feigenbaum
Author, Poet, and Photographer

Does poetry still matter? In this busy, fast-changing world, what is the role of poetry for the average person? How are we supposed to understand it? Can anybody write it?

At this gathering, Howard Feigenbaum, poet, photographer, and author of the Benny Goldfarb Private “I” series, will lead a discussion about the beauty, history, and importance of poetry in modern life. Audience members are invited to read* a poem or two, written by themselves or others, and share why the selection is meaningful to them. The audience is encouraged to ask questions, make their own observations, or simply relax and enjoy the experience of hearing poetry read with the enthusiasm and emotion intended by the writer.

*Please contact Howard by email to let him know if you’d like to read:


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JULY 23, 2016 

How to Decide on a Publisher:
Avoiding the Pitfalls and Achieving Success on Your Journey to Book Publication


Edward Lopatin, Professional Speaker and Author of the How To Survive series, tells us how to get our work published without making a costly mistake.

Whether going the DIY route or paying a full-assist publisher to do everything for you, it’s smart to have an idea of the individual elements of the process and their related costs. On one extreme, the DIY author can publish POD and ebooks for free. On the other extreme, some authors tell of publishing nightmares costing them tens of thousands of dollars. Don’t be fooled! Know what to look for in a publisher, what to expect, what to ask, and what each side brings to the table. Handouts will be provided.  See you there!

How to Survive Your Promotion    How to Survive Your Vacation    Manage Your Chronic Illness

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JUNE 25, 2016 

Your Critique Group: Will It Help You Succeed or Hold You Back? Plus: How to Start Your Own Group

June 25 2016 promo picture

A good critique group can help you succeed. A bad one can hold you back. How do you know the difference? What can you expect from a great group? Maybe you’d like to start your own group. If that’s the case, where do you begin?

At this meeting, panelists Ray Strait, Jim Hitt, Vicky Allen-Hitt, and moderator CJ Hernley will answer these questions and many more. Our goal is to support the formation of many new writing critique groups throughout the Valley. Handouts will be provided.


MAY 28, 2016

Judy and Sportster

Judy Howard and Sportster

“Getting Started on Your Bestseller”
with Bestselling Author Judy Howard

“I should write a book!” How many times have you said that? Here’s your chance to answer that yearning – to check it off your bucket list! On Saturday, May 28, 2016, 9:15-11 a.m. at the Hemet Public Library, Judy Howard, author of Coast to Coast with a Cat and A Ghost, Going Home with a Cat and a Ghost, and Masada’s Marine, will reveal the secrets of writing a book you can’t put down.

Judy will cover the critical elements of plot, structure and character development. Informative handouts will be provided. If you’d like to see more about Judy and her commitment to writing,

click here for the video.

APRIL 23, 2016

Tammy and Jonathan

Sci-Fi / Fantasy Authors’ Panel

“Creating Your Own World” with bestselling authors Tammy Salyer and Jonathan Yanez.

Learn how to invent other-worldly characters, scenes, and situations with these prolific and successful practitioners of the art! Tammy, Jonathan, and moderator George Gurney will also be available to sign books and answer questions after the panel.

Tammy Salyer is an author, editor, and ex-paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division. Her military science fiction novel Contract of Defiance is the first book in the Spectras Arise trilogy and debuted to acclaim in 2012. Contract of Betrayal is the second in the trilogy, and the final book, Contract of War, completes it.

Jonathan Yanez is the author of over a dozen fantasy and science fiction novels. His works include The Elite Series, The Nephilim Chronicles, Thrive, Bad Land and The DeCadia Code. His work has been optioned for film.


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