Author Lunch – A Novel Plan: The Art of Outlining Your Fiction

Author Lunch, Mechanics Institute Library
Friday, August 16, 2019, 12:00 Noon
57 Post Street, San Francisco, CA 94104 
4th Floor, Chess Room (Free to Public, refreshments available)

 

What are the secrets to success for novels? At least one of them is structure and our esteemed WNBA-SF member authors will share the approaches that have garnered them bestseller status, awards and rave reviews. Learn what role planning and research play and how to make your scenes, settings, and characters realistic and compulsively readable from beginning to end. The Women’s National Book Association’s San Francisco Chapter is thrilled to present three examplar writers for in-depth explanations of the strategies that inform their craft.

A Novel Plan will be moderated by WNBA-SF President Brenda Knight. There will be Q&A followed by book signings; bring your notebooks and plenty of questions!

Sheryl J. Bize-Boutte is an Oakland multidisciplinary writer whose works artfully succeed in getting across deeper meanings about life and the politics of race and economics without breaking out of the narrative, with Oakland often serving as the backdrop for her touching and often hilarious works. Her first book, A Dollar Five-Stories From A Baby Boomer’s Ongoing Journey (2014) has been described as “ rich in vivid imagery”, and “incredible.” Her second book, All That and More’s Wedding (2016), a collection of fictional mystery/crime short stories, is praised as “imaginative with colorful and likeable characters that draw you in to each story and leave you wanting more.”  Her latest book, Running for the 2:10 (2017), a follow-on to A Dollar Five, delves deeper into her coming of age in Oakland and the embedded issues of race and skin color with one reviewer calling it “… a great contribution to literature.” Her fictional story, “Uncle Martin” will be published by Medusa’s Laugh Press Summer 2019. She currently has a novel in progress titled “Betrayal on the Bayou,” slated for publication in early 2020. She is also a contributor to award winning author Kate Farrell’s upcoming book “Story Power,” an anthology on how writers build and create their stories.

Mary Mackey

Mary Mackey is The New York Times bestselling author of fourteen novels, including The Earthsong Series—four novels which describe how the peaceful Goddess-worshiping people of Prehistoric Europe fought off patriarchal nomad invaders (The Village of Bones, The Year The Horses Came, The Horses at the Gate, and The Fires of Spring). Mary’s novels have been praised by Marion Zimmer Bradley, Pat Conroy, Thomas Moore, Marija Gimbutas, Maxine Hong Kingston, Marge Piercy, and Theodore Roszak for their historical accuracy, inventiveness, literary grace, vividness, and storytelling magic. They have made The New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle Bestseller Lists, been translated into twelve foreign languages and sold over a million and a half copies. Mary has also written eight collections of poetry including The Jaguars That Prowl Our Dreams: New and Selected Poems 1974 to 2018, winner of the 2019 Eric Hoffer Award for Best Book Published by a Small Press and a 2018 CIIS Women’s Spirituality Book Award. An earlier collection of Mary’s poetry, Sugar Zone, won the 2012 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award for Literary Excellence. At marymackey.com, you can get the latest news about Mary’s books and public appearances, sample her work, sign up for her newsletter, and get writing advice. You can also find her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @MMackeyAuthor.

Martha Conway’s latest novel, The Underground River, was selected as a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice. She is also the author of Thieving Forest, which won the North American Book Award in Historical Fiction, and Sugarland, which was named one of Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2016. Martha’s short fiction has appeared in the Iowa Review, Mississippi Review, The Quarterly, Carolina Quarterly, and other publications. She has reviewed fiction for the San Francisco Chronicle and the Iowa Review, and is a recipient of a California Arts Council fellowship in Creative Writing. In addition to writing, Martha is an instructor of creative writing at Stanford University’s Continuing Studies Program and UC Berkeley Extension. She received her BA from Vassar College in History and English, and her MA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. Born and raised in Ohio, she now lives in San Francisco with her family, where the fog reminds her of lake-effect cloud cover in Cleveland. Martha tweets ten-minute prompts every weekday on twitter (#10minprompt) via @marthamconway.

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