Suspense Magazine: January-February 2018 Issue

Once again, SDWEG members are invited to check out the latest edition of Suspense Magazine as well as to submit work to the magazine. Their message to members follows.

2018! To say it came fast would be an understatement, but here we are. We would like to kick off the new year with a fantastic issue. We got some new things, old things and some down right scary things. Ok, nothing too scary, but you get what I mean.

We have to give a big shout out to all of you. We are so grateful that you guys keep reading the magazine and making it grow. It is because of all of you that we work so hard, making sure we bring you the very best with each issue. In this issue we have some great author interviews that include:

  • Brad Taylor
  • David Putnam
  • Jayne Ann Krentz
  • Vicki Delany
  • Wendy Corsi Staub
  • Samuel Parker
  • C.J. Cooke

We also have exclusive short stories from authors Peter Swanson and Leslie Budewitz. D.P. Lyle returns with his very popular "Forensic Files" article talking about DNA testing. Dennis Palumbo tells you to "Create Now, Critique Later." Special excerpt by author Jordan Dane, along with pages and pages of new reviews and much more. Here's to a great 2018 for everyone; enjoy.

To open the magazine, click on the cover.


February Speaker Lee Wind of IBPA

How do you get your book noticed in a sea of books? Learn how to leverage your book's themes, conversations, and your own passionate authenticity to target and engage your audiences. Do it right, and you're not selling them, you're engaging them about your shared interests and passion... and that gets your book discovered!

Please join Lee Wind, Director of Marketing and Programming for the Independent Book Publishers Association, in this hands-on exploration of your goals and the levers and tools to achieve them. The outcome? You'll walk away with some insight, inspiration, and a not-overwhelming to-do list of what you want to tackle first in terms of marketing your book.

Lee Wind is the Director of Marketing and Programming for the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA). A Children's/YA author and book blogger himself, Lee is passionate about empowering others to have their voices heard, and he's looking forward to meeting members of the San Diego Writers and Editors Guild.

A Traditional Publisher for Californians

Roaring Forties Press, a trade publisher in California, recently contacted the Guild to invite members with manuscripts ready to be published to contact them for consideration.

Roaring Forties Press is dedicated to the proposition that books can be both smart and stylish. Their books are designed to open readers’ eyes, literally and metaphorically.

Roaring Forties Press was founded by Deirdre Greene and Nigel Quinney, who together have more than fifty years of experience in all facets of the publishing industry, both in the United States and abroad. Together, they create books that enrich both the eye and the mind.

Currently, they are looking for nonfiction manuscripts, ideally, but not necessarily, with a Californian angle. As a small publisher, with national and international distribution, based both in Solana Beach and Berkeley, they would like to expand the number of authors based in San Diego where Nigel Quinney is now located. They've been in business for a dozen years, and tend to publish books about travel, the arts, and/or popular culture. Check out their website at for examples of works published.

If  you have a manuscript you're looking to get published, email Nigel Quinney at

SDWEG Member John Hodgkinson Receives Literary Titan Book Award

SDWEG member John Hodgkinson, aka JohnEgreek, recently learned that Literary Titan, an author services company, has awarded his memoir, Grandma's Secret Blessings, A Memoir with a Twist,  a Literary Titan Book Award. Below is the announcement he received from Literary Titan.

Grandma's Secret Blessing: A Memoir with a TwistCongratulations!

We are proud to present you with our Literary Titan Book Award. Your book was recently reviewed through our Book Review Service, with that service your book is entered into our Literary Book Award competition. Your book deserves extraordinary praise and we are proud to acknowledge your hard work, dedication, and imagination. Start telling the world that you're an award-winning author because we will be!

The Literary Titan Book Awards are awarded to books that have astounded and amazed us with unique writing styles, vivid worlds, complex characters, and original ideas. These books deserve extraordinary praise and we are proud to acknowledge the hard work, dedication, and imagination of these talented authors.

Guest Post from Bob Boze: Chapter Titles


The following guest post comes from SDWEG member Bob Boze who blogs on, where he shares thoughts about his own romance writing as well as his experiences with his co-writer, Casey Fae Hewson.

Why do authors (writers) not use chapter titles?

More often than not, when I open a book I find only Chapter 1, Chapter 2 …. Etc. in the Table of Contents. Worse yet, many times I don’t even find a Table of Contents, or it’s stuffed way in the back of the book, still without titles.

When I decided to write my first book, one of the first rules I remember reading as I researched things authors should do was: “Use anything and everything you can to pull your readers in and hold their interest.” Or words to that effect.

At the top of the list were covers, followed closely by your book’s description. Then came a raft of other things. and, to be honest, I’m not sure if table of contents and chapter titles were in there or not.

But shouldn’t they be? After the cover and book description, aren’t they one of the first things a reader sees? Or should?

So why not use them?

Why not make them catchy? Have them jump out, catch the reader's eye and try to make them want to get to that chapter? To make them want to know what’s going on in “What Happens in the Stable, Stays in the Stable.” I mean, what could possibly happen in a stable that you couldn’t talk about? (You’ll just have to read Horses of Tir Na Nog, Book 1, to find out. Oh, and no skipping to Chapter 33, either!)

For me, coming up with intriguing chapter titles is almost as much fun as writing the chapter. It makes me go back through each chapter trying to find something catchy.

Something that will jump out, catch the reader's eye.

Sometimes it’s obvious.

Sometimes I pick something that doesn’t work and I have to go back and end up spending as much time hunting for a title as I did writing the chapter.

Sometimes there’s just nothing there.

When either of the latter two happen, it sends a giant red flag up. Is my chapter that bad?

If there’s nothing I can find to catch the reader's attention, what’s going to make them read that chapter? Come on, there’s got to be at least one line in there I can use. If, on the second pass, I still can’t find anything … that chapter needs to be rewritten!

The opposite works for me too. I can’t tell you how many times, while hunting for a candidate chapter title, I come across ideas to tie that chapter to the next or the next or the next. I’ve even changed the ending in one of my books because a chapter title line gave me a better idea for the ending than the one I had put in my outline.

More often though, a title leads to enhancement of a subplot or even a new subplot. Sometimes even a new chapter, new characters, and in two cases, new books in the series and their titles.

In case you missed it, the message here is that not only do chapter titles make my readers think, they make me think too.

Some of the chapter titles I’ve come up with that I love (Nope, no ego here!) are:

  • My Soul is Yours
  • Fireman, Fireman, Light my Fire
  • If You Ever Want to See Your Mother Again (No, I don’t write mysteries.)
  • Your Problem is What?
  • Weasel Weenie and Turkey Butt
  • The President’s Training Wheels are Missing?
  • Eighteen Pashmina Scarves and One Assassin
  • You Live in a Fairy Tale Medieval Village and Work in a Chocolate Shop?
  • Roger … Three Down. Two ODs and a … Scrotum Sling?
  • Dreams, Fantasies, and Nightmares are no Match for Reality.
  • A Horse is a Horse. Right?
  • What do You Mean Your Hose is Bigger than Mine?
  • A Guide to the Witness Protection Program. Keep Moving!
  • Europe, Chia Pets, and Ice Cream Sunday Socials.
  • Life in the Petri Dish
  • About the Author

Yes, these are from all four of my published books. With some thought, think you can figure out what those chapters are about? I hope so. Or, I hope they totally stump you and make you want to know. Especially, that last one!

Whether or not you use chapter titles is up to you. For me though, I would no more publish a book without them then I would a book without a cover.


What’s your opinion? Chapter titles or no chapter titles? And why?

Leave your opinion on my web site,, if you’d like.

Photo credit: Ryan Graybill

Guild Member Wanjiru Warama Book Presentation and Signing Events



San Diego Writers and Editors Guild member, Wanjiru Warama, presents her two memoirs, Unexpected America and Entangled in America, at a number of upcoming library local author events.

February 24, 2018 10.30 a.m., Saturday

Valley Center Branch Library, 29200 Cole Grade Rd., Valley Ctr., CA 92082

March 10, 2018 10.00 a.m., Saturday

Poway Branch Library, 13137 Poway Rd., CA 92064

March 17, 2018 2:00 p.m., Saturday

Alpine Branch Library, 1752 Alpine Blvd, Alpine, CA 91901

Álvaro Serrano

From Our Mailbag: Yefe Nof Residency


The following message from Gil Soltz, Founder, the Yefe Nof Residency, landed in the Guild's inbox recently.

I'm writing to let you know that applications for the California Writing Residency in partnership with @1888Center are being accepted until February 28. For more information please go to California Writing Residency.

The story about how Yefe Nof got started and all the details about our new culture are on the site. Some distinguishing points of information to pass onto prospective applicants include:

• This residency is two weeks for one resident at a time.
• The time is for emerging authors to do final stage work.
• Work completed becomes part of interdisciplinary dialogue of ideas.
• Recipients will be considered for 1888's Cost of Paper Anthology.

Thanks in advance for passing on this information. I'm looking forward to meeting your group next time I'm in Southern California.

All the best to you and your fellow writers.

Gil Soltz
Founder, the Yefe Nof Residency

Upcoming Writer Events


Feb. 16-18 — Southern California Writers’ Conference, Crown Plaza Hanalei, San Diego. The SCWC is aimed at empowering writers by providing authoritative guidance through workshops and one-on-one evaluations. For details and registration, go to

Feb. 19-23 — Writer’s Symposium by the Sea at Pt. Loma Nazarene University. A stellar line-up of guest speakers is a special feature of the conference, including Jane Smiley, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Deepak Chopra. For details, go to

SDWEG Reaches Milestone on

Since 2014, SDWEG has been using the Meetup. com social media platform as a means to reach out to and make contact with prospective Guild members.

The Guild’s Meetup group recently achieved a milestone of attracting its 500th member. Of those 500 contacts, about 30 have attended SDWEG meetings, with half of those actually joining the Guild. The SDWEG Board will reach out to those who have not attended, inviting and encouraging them to get to know the Guild and become members.

Meetup has recently updated the features and look of the platform, making it a more effective means of providing information to those who may wish to attend our meetings. If you are already a member of the Guild but are not a member of the Guild's Meetup group, take a look at it. A big advantage of signing up with Meetup is the regular reminders of upcoming meetings, especially useful when a month has a fifth Monday, as is the case in January, when our meetings--the fourth Monday of the month--do not fall on the last Monday of the month.