Schedule and Panels


September 25, 26 & 27, 2015


10:00 – 5:00                                                                                                 
10:00 – 11:15                    How to get the most out of this conference
11:30 – 12:00                     WELCOME PRESENTATION REGISTRATION
12:00- 1:00                                             LUNCH ON YOUR OWN





1:00 – 1:45 Day job vs dream job:                   Michael Black, Jeff Markowitz  Master Class: Andy Straka  
2:00 – 2:45 Taboo in fiction. Is anything off limits:  Ayesha Shoulders, B Swangin Webster, E A Aymar Debut novels: Sharon Buchbinder, Michelle Markey Butler, John Higgins Is fantasy and dystopia only for teenagers:  Sandra Campbell, Glenn Parrish, F. Paul Wilson
3:00 – 3:45 World Building:  Weldon Burge, Glenn Parrish, Sandra Campbell He said, She said:  Austin Camacho, Amy Schisler Up close and personal; Stay at home or venture out for research:  Andy Straka, Michelle Markay Butler, D.A. Spruzen
4:00 – 4:45 What’s in a name:  B. Swangin Webster, Allan Ansorge, Sandra Campbell New in Town: the role of outsiders in a mystery:  Bill Rapp, Penny Petersen, Puja Guha Creating memorable characters…where to begin?  Jeff Markowitz, SD Skye, Marcelle Thiebaux
5:00 – 5:40                                                     BOOK SIGNINGS
6:00-7:30                      DINNER WITH KEYNOTE SPEECH – F. Paul Wilson
8:00 – 9:00                                             Forensics Presentation


9:00 – 1:00                                                      REGISTRATION
9:00-10:00             BREAKFAST-Ansorage vs Rapp What team are you on?                                     




10:00 –10:45 Book Sales: Weldon Burge, Tracee Garner, Lynn Reynolds The care and feeding of authors:  SD Skye, John J. Higgins, Amy Schisler Keeping it real. When real people become fictional characters:  DB Corey, J. Gregory Smith, Andy Straka
11:00-11:45 Short Stories:  Weldon Burge, Marcelle Thiebaux, Sharon Buchbinder Two for the price of one. Writing mixed genre:  Glenn Parris, Heather Graham, B. Swangin Webster Diversity in characters:  Sandra Campbell, Tracee Garner, SD Skye, Puja Guha
12:00- 1:00                                                              LUNCH
1:00 – 1:45 Series writing; when do you stop or continue:  Penny Clover Petersen, Tom Young, Annie Rose Alexander  Master Class: Heather Graham   
2:00 – 2:45 It’s your life, (Book) :  Sharon Buchbinder, Ayehsa Shoulders, Peter Pollak Young  Adult; is trend moving towards darker stories: F. Paul Wilson, Amy Schisler Paranormal; Happily Forever After:  Michelle Markey Butler, John J. Higgins
3:00 – 3:45 Outline or Pantser:  What are you and why? Dana King, J. Gregory Smith, Sandra Campbell   Pulling rank; different approaches to police procedurals:  Bill Rapp, Austin S Camacho, Michael A. Black
4:00 – 4:45 Balancing humor with murder:  Bill Rapp, A.E. Ansorage, Jeff Markowitz Master Class:  F.  Paul  Wilson  
5:00 – 5:40





9:00 – 10:00                         BREAKFAST WITH INTERVIEW – S.D.SKYE
8:00 – 9:30                                                          BREAKFAST





9:45 – 10:45 Master Class:  S D  Skye The good, the bad and the ugly; When movies go wrong:  Allan Ansorge, F. Paul Wilson, Heather Graham  
11;00 – 11:30 Buzz Your Book    


Heather Graham – Keeping your balance
Heather Graham has written more than 150 novels and novellas, while at the same time raising five fine children with the man she married soon after high school. Her fans, and fellow authors, will want to hear how she has managed to balance real life with her wildly successful writing career.


John French (crime scene supervisor with the Baltimore Police Department Crime Laboratory) and Dana Kollmann (C.S.I. for the Baltimore County Police Department) will give a team presentation on their expertise and take questions… no matter how weird.

F. Paul Wilson – One writer/many genres
F. Paul Wilson has written bestselling works of horror, thrillers, mysteries and science fiction, plus Young Adult and children’s stories. In this session he shares how he is able to shift genre, what he has to do differently, and how he decides what he’s writing next.
John L. French is a crime scene supervisor with the Baltimore Police Department Crime Laboratory. In 1992 he began writing crime fiction, basing his stories on his experiences on the streets of what some have called one of the most dangerous cities in the country. His books include THE DEVIL OF HARBOR CITY, SOULS ON FIRE, PAST SINS, BULLETS AND BRIMSTONE and HERE THERE BE MONSTERS. He is the editor of BAD COP, NO DONUT which features tales of police behaving badly.
Andy Straka – Defining the private eye
Six books into his Frank Pavlicek series, Andy Straka continues to present a Private Eye who is at once traditional and totally unique. Explaining the ins-and-outs of writing detective fiction, Straka shares how he decides when to stick with the conventions of his sub-genre and when to throw them out the window.
Dana Kollmann is the author of “Never Suck A Dead Man’s Hand.” Whether explaining rigor mortis or the art of fingerprinting a stiff corpse on the side of the road, Dana Kollmann details her true, unvarnished experiences as a C.S.I. for the Baltimore County Police Department. Unlike the popular crime dramas proliferating on today’s television networks, these forensic tales forgo glitz for grit to show what really goes on.
S.D. Skye – Speaking intelligently about national intelligence
S.D. Skye is a former Intelligence Operations Specialist/Analyst in the FBI’s counterintelligence program. As a senior intelligence analyst with the DIA, Coast Guard Intelligence, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence she will tell fellow authors how to write realistically about intelligence and law enforcement – and tell readers how to spot when a writer is just making it up.



  • Day job vs dream job-how does life change when you get the call/email that you are now published? What happens to your daily regimen and how do you juggle writing, appearances, coworkers and family. Get answers and tips from others who have done it.
  • Debut novels: you have written a novel, now what? First time authors tell of the trials and joys of their first novel being published.
  • Short stories, how to write and market them.
  • Book sells; when your book stops selling on Amazon; what do you need to do next?
  • The good, the bad and the ugly. What movies were adapted from the book the best? The worst and should have never been made?
  • Is fantasy and dystopia only for teenagers? Why are more and more adults living in the magical world?
  • World building…why this isn’t just about flying saucers and aliens.
  • Up close and personal: Going out or Going online, what research methods do authors employ?
  • Buzz Your Book (fabulous openings: share the opening of your newest novel or manuscript.)
  • Become a social butterfly.
  • What’s in a name? One of the biggest decisions an author has to make is whether or not to use a pseudonym. This session explores what authors must consider when choosing to write under a pen name, when pen names are most useful, managing pen names and personas and strategies for successfully marketing pen names
  • Diversity in your characters: Authors discuss with readers how they feel about those who are different. Handicapped, LGBT, older.
  • K.L. Brady- Speaking intelligently about national security.
  • Heather Graham: Keeping your balance
  • F. Paul Wilson: One writer writing many genre
  • Andy Straka: Defining the private investigator
  • Creating memorable characters, where do you start?
  • You’ve got fan mail- guests discuss the bizarre, funny or crazy fan emails/letters they get.
  • New in town; the role of outsiders in mysteries.
  • Balancing humor with murder
  • Two for the price of one-mixed genre novels. How does it work and how do you make it work?
  • Keeping it real; when real people become fictional characters
  • The dating game: authors reveal their fictional crushes
  • Taboo: authors who tackle difficult subject matter. Is anything off limits?
  • Pulling rank: different approaches to police procedurals
  • Young adult—is the trend moving towards darker stories?
  • He said, She said –authors discuss how they write characters of the opposite gender.
  • Series writing: when do authors decide to stop them or continue them
  • Ansorge vs Rapp: in an epic battle; Ansorge and Rapp go head to head to tell you why you should buy their book. This Q and A will be fast paced and funny.
  • The care and feeding of authors: Join bestselling paranormal romance and urban fantasy authors as we give away some of our “favorite things,” which help keep us sane while writing. We’ll chat about our series and discuss our favorite writing tools, places to write, must-have snacks and how we stay inspired. We’ll also have a super fandom quiz, with prizes!
  • Outline vs Pantser’s is there a right way to do this? Panel should be with people who do one or the other.
  • It’s your life! Authors read from each other’s novels (after a brief introduction) and see if the audience can guess who wrote it. (Prizes?)
  • PARANORMAL Happily Forever After — Writing Beyond the Kiss. We all know the story: the hero and heroine fall in love and overcome impossible odds. Finally their love triumphs, they kiss — and then what? With supernatural creatures having such long lifespans, and in some cases being immortal, how do you keep relationships and adventures fresh after that big kiss?