Mind Your Own Business!

Since our January meeting dealt with death, our February meeting naturally focused taxes and treating your writing career as you would any other business venture.  President Charlotte Hunter facilitated our business meeting and advised CCW members about the book Agatha Christie’s Golden Age by John Goddard, which deconstructed her creative use of puzzle elements (Solution, Plot and Clues) in her mysteries.

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Jean Macaluso delivered the Author of the Month talk on Dorothy L Sayers, a famed UK author of mystery novels and short stories, set between World War I and II, as well as poetry and other academic works. Her best-known series featured two different amateur sleuths, monocle-wearing Lord Peter Wimsey and novelist Harriet Vane. A female pioneer in the mystery genre, she helped to establish and operate the Detection Club, a secretive organization for UK mystery writers, with other golden age authors of detective fiction, including Agatha Christie.

This month’s Ask An Expert, acclaimed thriller writer and recovering accountant, Mindy Mejia, gave an insightful talk via teleconference on authors recognizing that they are developing and operating a small business as a writing professional. She strongly recommended that all writers should create a business plan, an outline of which can be found on her website. She also discussed key expenses that are and are not deductible for authors. Check out her author website and tax blog for writers for more info as well as this link to her SinC webinar on tax planning. Special thanks to Vice President Bess Carnan for bringing in another great guest speaker for our monthly meeting!

Lucky Ann Meier won the Valentine’s basket drawing, but kindly declined since she had won the December basket. On a second try, President Charlotte Hunter happily took home the basket of Valentine’s goodies. Thanks Ann!

CharlotteBasketIn our March meeting, we’ll learn about putting together a pitch to agents and publishers with Ask An Expert, Sarah Nicholas, the current Managing Director for Pitch Wars and the host of PubTalk Live. So march over to the Winter Park Library for our next monthly meeting—one week later than usual!

Sunday, March 15, 2020

(Note: one week later than usual due to Library event conflict)

1:30 PM – 3 PM

(1:30-2:00 business meeting/2:00-3:00 presentation and socializing)

Winter Park Public Library, 3rd floor meeting room







Farewell to 2 Grande Dames of Mystery and Suspense.

Two grande dames of the mystery and suspense genres passed away in the past few months—M.C. Beaton in Gloucester, England, and Mary Higgins Clarke in Naples, Florida. The Scottish author M.C. Beaton wrote the internationally bestselling Agatha Raisin, Hamish Macbeth and Lady Rose Summer mystery series, as well as many standalone mysteries and Regency romances. Mary Higgins Clarke, nicknamed the “Queen of Suspense’, began publishing her works with the sensational hit, Where Are the Children?, in 1975. In her long career, she published more than 50 novels, including joint efforts with her daughter, Carol Higgins Clark and novelist Alafair Burke—all of which became international best-sellers. Both trailblazing authors are great inspirations to writers in the mystery, suspense, and romance fields. Our condolences are extended to their family, friends. and millions of fans world-wide.

Writing Can Be Soooo Taxing!

Mindy Mejia headshotWith tax season upon us, CCW’s February monthly meeting will feature Ask An Expert, Mindy Mejia, renowned author and CPA. Ms. Mejia’s internationally acclaimed thrillers have been translated into over twenty languages. Her books have been picked for People’s Best New Books and listed in The Wall Street Journal’s Best New Mysteries. A CPA and graduate of the Hamline University MFA program, she lives and works in the Twin Cities. She posts regularly about tax issues for writers. Her upcoming thriller, Strike Me Down, featuring forensic accountant Nora Trier, will be coming out in April 2020 from Emily Bestler Books (a Simon and Schuster imprint)! To learn more about our guest speaker, visit MindyMejia.com.

Join us as we learn more about how to address tax issues as working authors and enjoy a blind drawing for a sweet retreat from taxes with a Valentine’s gift basket.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

1:30 PM – 3 PM

(1:30-2:00 business meeting/2:00-3:00 presentation and socializing)

Winter Park Public Library, 3rd floor meeting room


Digging into 2020!

CCW’s January monthly meeting rang in the New Year with an action-packed session. Chapter President Charlotte Hunter laid out several planned activities for 2020 and updated us on the upcoming Orange County Public Library Writers Conference (register to get on the wait list!), the Sisters in Crime, Inc. (SinC) Education Grant Program (apply now if a SinC member), and opportunities to access SinC’s Speakers Bureau in 2020. Watch your e-mail for a survey on your top 5 picks for a national author to visit with our CCW chapter in the coming year.

To jump start 2020, CCW members jotted down their New Year’s resolutions for this year’s writing goals. Vice President Bess Carnan collected the enveloped submissions and she’ll return them to us at year’s end to see how members progressed. January is also SinC dues renewal month—take an item off your resolution list by renewing your annual SinC dues ($50) and joining our CCW chapter ($20 – annual dues).

The chapter celebrated a recent CCW author success with author David Ryan receiving a CCW Certificate of Achievement for his thriller, Dead Odds, A Conrad Keane Novel, which won a 2019 FWA Royal Palm Literary Award (Gold – published suspense/thriller). David discussed his path to publication and his well-received thriller series, set in Orlando.

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Journalist and CCW member, Jo Ellen Krumm delivered the Author of the Month talk, highlighting SinC founding mother and award-winning author, Sara Paretsky. Jo Ellen reviewed Paretsky’s ground-breaking V. I. Warshawski series and her efforts to bring greater diversity and equality to the mystery genre.

The meeting also featured Ask An Expert, Rick Perry, Funeral Director/Manager of the Baldwin Fairchild Funeral Home, Oviedo, FL. He gave an excellent talk and answered a wide range of questions about mortuary practices and mass fatality incidents, including his training and service with forensic experts and medical examiners after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and Hurricane Katrina. He gave us insight into the investigatory process for mass casualty events and unattended deaths and recent changes in crematory practices. CCW members were so pleased with his superb presentation that the chapter is planning to invite him back for another Q-and-A session. Who says death can’t be both fun and informative?

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Rick and Charlotte

To add to the festivities, Jean Macaluso won the New Year’s champagne party pack in our monthly blind drawing—cheers to Jean in 2020!


Since January dealt with death, February will take on taxes with acclaimed thriller writer and recovering accountant, Mindy Mejia!  Check out her author website and tax blog for writers. Hope to see you at our next meeting in February!

Sunday, February 9, 2020

1:30 PM – 3 PM

(1:30-2:00 business meeting/2:00-3:00 presentation and socializing)

Winter Park Public Library, 3rd floor meeting room