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The Pen & Press - Northern California Publishers & Authors

March – April 2015
ELECTION TIME is upon us. Are you ready to step up and be a part of the leadership of
NCPA? A member may nominate him or herself, or may nominate another person. (That
person's nomination is of course contingent on his or her acceptance of that nomination.)
The following schedule for this year’s election, adapted from, is as follows:
 March 25th, nominations end.
 By April 1st, candidate statements (200 words maximum) are to be sent to the
communications director to be formatted for forwarding to NCPA’s webmaster.
 By April 10th, the webmaster posts ballots online, along with the candidate
statements, and notifies members by email of the opening of the election.
 By April 15th, balloting concludes and results are tallied. Candidates are notified
of results following the tallying of ballots.
 On April 26th, results will be announced at the annual awards dinner, and the
incoming board is briefly introduced.
 On May 1st, new officers take their positions.
 At the May membership meeting (the annual business meeting), incoming board
members are introduced to the members in attendance and the ceremonial gavel is
handed off to the new president.
Are you ready to nominate or be nominated? We have one candidate for each position
(although YOU can still nominate or be nominated if you wish) EXCEPT TREASURER.
Laurie Hoirup has held that position for several years and is ready to “retire” it into
capable hands.
The Pen & Press, Northern California Publishers & Authors — March – April 2015 — Page 1
In all of this, keep in mind that NCPA is just a small, independent organization made up
of folks with an interest in writing and in independent publishing. People join to learn and
to share their knowledge. Step up and let your leadership desire be known. Thanks!
—Linda Bello-Ruiz, Editor
Upcoming NCPA Meetings.
Mark Your Calendars!
 Saturday, March 14, 2015 ~ Linda Joy Singleton ~ “Writing Sequels, or
Have you ever considered writing a sequel or series? Then be sure to join us at our March
14th meeting, when YALSA-honored author Linda Joy Singleton shares tips for creating
memorable characters, writing a series proposal, and pitfalls to avoid when a single book
becomes a saga. (YALSA is the Young Adult Library Services Association).
Are, or were, you or your kids fans of series mysteries like Nancy Drew, Judy Bolton,
and Trixie Belden? Then you can’t miss this meeting! Linda Joy treats us to fun facts
about years of juvenile series books . . . nearly 150 years’ worth . . . and we’ll see some
of her vintage books like Elsie Dinsmore; the Airplane Girls; and early editions of Nancy
Linda will also share behind-the-series secrets from her brand-new middle-grade series,
Curious Cat Spy Club (Whitman).
Linda Joy Singleton has published over 35 Young Adult (YA) & Middle Grade (MG)
books about Goths, psychics, mermaids, aliens, cheerleaders, clones, parallel worlds,
spies, dogs & ghosts. Her YA series, Regeneration; The Seer, and Dead Girl were
honored as YALSA Popular Paperback/Quick Picks. Her series for younger readers
includes Strange Encounters, and her 2015 release, Curious Cat Spy Club.
When she was eight Linda wrote animal stories, and by age 14 was writing mystery
novels. In 1986, she had the unique experience of co-writing a mystery, The Talking
Snowman, with her favorite childhood author, Margaret Sutton (Judy Bolton mysteries).
Linda Joy’s goal was to have a mystery series of her own and that goal was reached in
1994, with her My Sister the Ghost series/Avon Camelot Books.
Recently, she crossed genres to publish her first picture book, Snow Dog, Sand Dog
(Albert Whitman 2014).
Linda collects vintage girl series mysteries like Nancy Drew, Judy Bolton and Trixie
Belden, and in 2014 she spoke at a Nancy Drew convention. She's a longtime member of
Sisters in Crime and SCBWI.
The Pen & Press, Northern California Publishers & Authors — March – April 2015 — Page 2
She lives with her husband, David, in a country home in Northern California where she’s
surrounded by horses, peacocks, dogs, wild turkeys and demanding cats.
For more information:
Tweet her at:
For a FREE e-story from Linda Joy, go to:
 Saturday April 11, 2015 – Maryellen Burns” Spreading the Word: The Care
and Feeding of Book Buyers
It's not enough to get reviews or media attention for your books; you have to put them
into the hands of readers. Maryellen Burns will provide tools for getting the word out to
the media and your audience through creating new works, author's talks, social media,
and the help of local and national booksellers and press.
Maryellen has worked with over 100 authors to get their works in print and into the hands
of book buyers.
Multi-talented and multi-labeled author Maryellen Burns is an editor, educator, writer
and researcher, a media consultant and author's rep, plus Historical and Culinary
Historian, among other titles, including publisher.
In her April presentation to NCPA, Maryellen will share her more than 40 years of
experience in all areas of writing and publishing. (She’s also a past-member of NCPA,
and is excited about speaking to, and rejoining us, as a member once more!)
Maryellen Burns is the author of Lost Restaurants of Sacramento and Their Recipes (now
in its sixth printing); A Taste of Sacramento: Vintage Recipes from Sacramento
Community Cookbooks; and Whip Up a Cookbook. She is also a contributor to numerous
anthologies, including the hilarious “Too Many Cats in the Kitchen” in Harlequin’s The
Dog with the Old Soul.
She's currently at work on two new regional books: Lost and Found: Classic Recipes &
Savory Stories from Sacramento Home Cooks, and The Book Lover's Guide to
The Pen & Press, Northern California Publishers & Authors — March – April 2015 — Page 3
Maryellen and her two brothers have recently launched Armadillo and Dicker, a new
publishing venture. She has worked off-and-on in the publishing business for more than
40 years, as a researcher, editor, media consultant and author's rep. A writer, editor,
educator, and historian, she serves on the boards of the Sacramento County Historical
Society, Sacramento Book Collectors Club and I Street Press.
She's also a member of the Culinary Historians of Northern California, The American
Association for State and Local History, Slow Food and other food, wine, and art
SATURDAY, May 9, 2015 ~ NETWORKING ~ We will introduce the new NCPA
Board, hold a Brief Annual Business meeting, have short wrap-up discussion on the Book
Awards Banquet, and an overview by Amy Rogers of the IBPA Conference.
Thanks go to Norma Jean Thornton for her energetic, creative, and effective recruitment
of speakers and selection of topics for our meetings.
Norma Jean adds: If you have any suggestions for guest speakers, and/or topics, please
let me know ([email protected]). I’ll do what I can to make it happen.
Sunday, April 26, 2015
M.C. Bitsy Kemper
Where: The Old Spaghetti Factory ~ UPSTAIRS; 731 Sunrise Avenue, Roseville, CA
95661; 916-773-3950
Time: Cocktails 5 p.m. (no host bar) ~ Dinner 6:30pm
Price: $20 per person DINNER ONLY (Book Award different price)
This year's book competition is the biggest ever, with a total of 28 books entered. The
three judges are hard at work reading, and getting ready for their decision-making
luncheon on March 29th. The winners will receive their awards at the Awards Banquet
on Sunday, April 26. This year, copies of the books entered in the competition will be
sold at the banquet.
You can view the menu selections and register for the 2015 Awards Banquet online at:
Donations are still needed for the Silent Auction to be held during the Awards Banquet.
The Pen & Press, Northern California Publishers & Authors — March – April 2015 — Page 4
All moneys received for donated items will go towards a 2016 Scholarship for a local
high school senior pursuing a career in writing, publishing or journalism.
If you have anything you’d like to donate for the NCPA Scholarship Silent Auction (an
item, a service, a product or even money,) please contact: [email protected]
NCPA Membership
A message from Membership Chair, Sharon Darrow
NCPA’s strength comes from the diversity, energy, and enthusiasm of our members. We
currently have 73 active members, down 9 from the highest number last year. New
members join throughout the year, however, and I think we will see an upsurge as the
result of expanding our outreach. There are three different things that I’d like to propose
to excite current members and attract new ones.
1. Make a point of reminding everyone at our meetings to invite guests. We all talk about
our writing at every opportunity — at least we should — and many times that will elicit
comments from others about their writing aspirations. That is the perfect time to tell them
about the NCPA and invite them to come to the next monthly meeting. It is also the
perfect time to give them an NCPA business card, with the member’s name and contact
information on the back. Those business cards are on the table near the sign-in sheets,
and everyone should have a few for those opportune moments.
2. The NCPA application form has a membership category that has been ignored much
too long. For just $15 per year, a student can join. They do have to include a copy of their
valid student ID, and complete the rest of the form just like other new members. High
school and college students bring excitement and vision to their writing, and would also
bring some fresh energy to the group. In return, they can learn practical lessons from our
speakers, and increase their understanding of the process of refining their work and
getting it published.
3. The NCPA application form has another category that has also been largely ignored,
the associate member. We are a unique group because we include both publishers and
authors, but there are many other professionals that are necessary to the publishing
process. Editors, proof readers, formatters, illustrators, cover designers, etc., are vital to
the final product and should be part of our membership. We can learn from one another,
support one another, and refer fellow members that we trust.
The NCPA has a tremendously talented group of people, but we can be even better by
getting to know one another at the meetings and supporting one another in our endeavors.
Sharing that membership opportunity to a wider group just enhances the group and
enriches our experiences together. So, talk about NCPA whenever it’s appropriate, pass
out NCPA business cards and invite guests to join us at a meeting, and then make a point
of welcoming every new face at each meeting!
The Pen & Press, Northern California Publishers & Authors — March – April 2015 — Page 5
Important News from the NCPA Board
 Ted Witt will be our new webmaster, replacing Jim Collins.
 Tammy Meadows will be the communications director.
 And, it’s official, Jo Chandler really has been appointed to head up the NCPA
Speakers Bureau.
NCPA Members’ News and Activities
Cindy Sample: Dying for a Dude, the fourth book in Cindy Sample’s national bestselling
Laurel McKay mystery series is a finalist for the 2015 LEFTY Award for Best Humorous
Mystery. The winners will be announced at the March 15th Left Coast Crime Convention.
David Caraccio: David is having a book signing on April 11 at 2 p.m. at the Avid
Reader bookstore, 1600 Broadway, Sacramento,. He is the author of the historical novel
Tiburcio! Love, Crime and Rebellion in Early California, which is based on true events in
the life of the lover-bandit Tiburcio Vasquez. The book was published in April 2014.
Frances Kakugawa: Frances’s book, Teacher, You Look Like a Horse, has turned her
into an internationally published author. This book was recently translated into Chinese
and published by Sino-Culture Press. The Beijing title is translated as: A Classroom
Without Barriers: An American Teacher's 30 Years of Memories. This book was
originally published in 2003 by Watermark Publishing. Moral of the story: Write a good
book and wait.
Frances had another book on caregiving published a few months ago, entitled I Am
Somebody: Bringing Dignity and Compassion to Alzheimer's Caregiving. She has a few
conferences and radio shows scheduled in California; May and November will find her in
Tom Kando: Tom’s latest publication titled, “Demography is Destiny,” will appear in
the Spring issue of the International Journal on World Peace, an academic journal that
publishes refereed research articles. The article is a sociological analysis of current world
issues such as violence and migration.
Your editor invites submissions for this section of The Pen & Press. Short items about
NCPA members or otherwise of interest to writers, editors, and publishers (and allied
folks) are welcome here. Send your information to Linda at [email protected])
The Pen & Press, Northern California Publishers & Authors — March – April 2015 — Page 6
NCPA Member Spotlight
Daniel Babka
Meet NCPA member, Author Daniel Babka. Daniel grew up in a small town in the
American Midwest. He served in VISTA, the domestic Peace Corps, attended law school
and a theological seminary. He worked as a community organizer in New York City
when he was in his twenties and managed housing in places like the South Bronx (where
Hill Street Blues was filmed), Bed-Stuy, and East New York. More recently, he started
and ran two small companies before becoming disenchanted with life in the business
world. “I secretly imagined I’d someday become a writer so I decided to put myself to the
test,” he says.
Daniel has been a member of NCPA since 2013. “I started attending the meetings at the
suggestion of Tom Kando whom I may have first met at a Barnes & Noble event. I
immediately benefited from the publication and editing advice that was shared. Writing is
both an art and a craft. There is an inordinate amount to learn on so many different levels
and I found supportive, interesting, and talented people within NCPA.”
2014 marked the debut of his coming-of-age short story, Lightning Strikes, and his fulllength novel, No More Illusions, a contemporary California noir literary-mystery. Daniel
shares that the two stories are entirely different from one another. Lightning Strikes is set
in a small, blue-collar Ohio town in 1959 and is told through the eyes of a 12-year-old
boy. Ben's family run whiskey and beer to the clubs in the “colored” settlement where his
friend Ike lives. The story is intended for kids 12+ and adults of all ages. No More
Illusions, on the other hand, is a complex mystery full of morality and
temptation. The novel has started to get some traction and was named to
IndieReader’s Best Of 2014 list, in addition to being featured in Kirkus
Reviews Magazine. Kirkus described it as “Accomplished, ambitious crime
fiction . . . a multilayered tale that has shades of California noir à la
When asked about his passions he says, “I would like to travel more, read more, and
spend more time writing. I’m finishing work on a new Dylan Blake book called Dirt
Crappis while the third in the series is percolating in my head. I’m writing about real
The Pen & Press, Northern California Publishers & Authors — March – April 2015 — Page 7
people wrestling with everyday morality, not cardboard characters. I want to do what I
can to illuminate the choices we make.”
March 2015
March 6, 2015, 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. California Writers Club, Sacramento Branch: Writers
Network. Dahlynn McKowen and Ken McKowen, authors and publisher, Publishing
Syndicate LLC, will speak on “Sex in the Publishing Industry.” IHOP, 2216 Sunrise
Blvd., Rancho Cordova.
March 13, 2015, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. California Writers Club, Sacramento Branch: Open Mic,
Enjoy 10 minutes of fame! Readers and Listeners Welcome. Barnes & Noble, Birdcage
Center, 6111 Sunrise Blvd., Citrus Heights.
March 21, 2015, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. California Writers Club, Sacramento Branch: Luncheon
Meeting. Panel on working with the media: Krista Minard, editor, Sacramento Magazine;
Jen Picard, senior producer, Insight, Capital Public Radio; Cindy Sample, national bestselling and award-winning author; and Bill Sessa, media spokesperson and awardwinning freelance writer. Cattlemen’s Restaurant, 12409 Folsom Blvd., Rancho Cordova.
Meeting fee (includes lunch).
April 2015
April 3, 2015, 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. California Writers Club, Sacramento Branch: Writers
Network. Margaret Duarte, author. IHOP, 2216 Sunrise Blvd., Rancho Cordova.
April 10, 2015, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. California Writers Club, Sacramento Branch: Open Mic,
Enjoy 10 minutes of fame! Readers and Listeners Welcome. Barnes & Noble, Birdcage
Center, 6111 Sunrise Blvd., Citrus Heights.
April 18, 2015, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. California Writers Club, Sacramento Branch: Luncheon
Meeting. Jo Haraf, author, will present on “When Characters Take the Stage,” an
interactive session. Cattlemen’s Restaurant, 12409 Folsom Blvd., Rancho Cordova.
Meeting fee (includes lunch).
CWC 2015 Short, Short Story Writing Contest
Contest for short fiction stories up to 750 words. Deadline: Postmarked by Thursday,
April 30, 2015.
For eligibility, entry fees, manuscript requirements, awards and recognition, see:
The Pen & Press, Northern California Publishers & Authors — March – April 2015 — Page 8
Top 10 Examples of Visual Aids for Sales/Book Presentations
Charts and graphs
Flip chart
Your book
People as props
PowerPoint slides
Top 10 Ways to Reduce Nervousness During Sales Presentations
Practice before each presentation
Arrive early
Memorize your opening and closing, but not your entire presentation
Use note cards to keep you on track
Prepare more material than you think you can use
Know that your listeners want you to do well
Believe you know more than the audience does on your topic
Do not tell jokes or try to be funny
Get to know some members of the audience before you speak
Have a handkerchief ready if you perspire
Provided ty the Association of Publishers for Special Sales (APSS – –
formerly SPAN). For information about APSS, contact Brian Jud, P. O. Box 715, Avon,
CT 06001-0715; (860) 675-1344; [email protected]
Other Notices
 Know someone who is looking for quality assisted living? Be sure to ask for a tour of
our monthly meeting host, Emeritus at Citrus Gardens (formerly Merrill Gardens).
 Searching for a special used book, or looking for bargains on reading? Check out 2010
NCPA Conference sponsor Time-Tested Books, 1114 21st Street, Sacramento, CA
95811. See for more information.
 Your notice or announcement could go here!
The Pen & Press, Northern California Publishers & Authors — March – April 2015 — Page 9
A Note from the Editor
Send your articles and announcements for the newsletter to Linda Bello-Ruiz at
[email protected]
Use “NCPA NEWSLETTER” as the email subject heading!
Please provide submissions in Microsoft Word (or compatible) format or in plain text
(preferably not in pdf and definitely not in jpeg or other image format for text). If you
would like to discuss an article idea or have any other questions or comments about the
newsletter, feel free to email or phone.
What fits best into The Pen & Press is news of members’ books, activities, marketing,
speaking engagements, and accomplishments. Also of value: members’ insights into the
challenges and opportunities of writing and publishing and information on regional resources for authors and publishers. Cover illustrations and other photos are welcome in
jpeg or other standard format. Please keep file sizes and illustration dimensions reasonable. When in doubt, call or email me in advance.
The deadline for submissions for the next issue is close of business, Monday, April 2o,
2015. Please submit material, especially anything longer than a brief notice, well before
the deadline. If you do not want your article or announcement to be lost in hundreds of
accumulated email messages, use NCPA NEWSLETTER ─ exactly and only that ─ as
your email subject heading. Send to Linda Bello-Ruiz.
The Pen & Press is published by Northern California Publishers & Authors, a coalition of
authors, small presses, and independent publishers. All newsletter content, unless otherwise attributed, is copyrighted by NCPA. Material from the newsletter may not be reproduced in any way without written consent of the copyright holder. The editor reserves the
right to accept or reject submissions and to edit submissions for length, clarity, or style.
Readers are of course free to print copies for noncommercial personal use, and NCPA
members are welcome to print copies of the newsletter to share with friends, colleagues,
and prospective members.
—Linda Bello-Ruiz, editor
The Pen & Press, Northern California Publishers & Authors — March – April 2015 — Page 10
Board of Directors of NCPA
Dennis Potter
[email protected]
916-208-8334 (work)
916-253-758 (home)
Vice President
Denise Branco
[email protected]
Tom Kando
[email protected]
Laurie Hoirup
[email protected]
Communications Director
CT Meadows (Tammy)
[email protected]
NCPA’s elected executive committee
includes president, VP, secretary,
treasurer, and communications director.
Norma Jean Thornton
[email protected]
Jim Collins
[email protected]
Programs (monthly meeting)
Norma Jean Thornton
[email protected]
Linda Bello-Ruiz
[email protected]
(916) 543-7952
Sharon Darrow
[email protected]
Sharon Darrow
[email protected]
Past President
Ted Witt
[email protected]
Awards Dinner Coordinators
Amy Rogers and Norma Jean Thornton
[email protected]
[email protected]
Conference Chair
To be appointed by the Board.
Speakers Bureau
Jo Chandler
[email protected]
The Pen & Press, Northern California Publishers & Authors — March – April 2015 — Page 11
Meetings are on the second Saturday of each month, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., at
Emeritus at Citrus Gardens (formerly called Merrill Gardens Retirement Community),
7418 Stock Ranch Road (just west of Sylvan Road about a quarter mile north of
Greenback Lane), Citrus Heights. Visitors are welcome.
Mailing address
Northern California Publishers & Authors
c/o Sharon Darrow
P.O. Box 214673
Sacramento, CA 95821
The Pen & Press, Northern California Publishers & Authors — March – April 2015 — Page 12
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