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WriteNow! 2021 Conference Authors and titles




September 11, 2021. 8am-4pm

To learn more and to register for this virtual online writer's conference:  CLICK HERE 

The Poisoned Pen is pleased to support The Desert Sleuths Chapter of Sisters in Crime's annual writers conference and to sell copies of the presenting authors books.



Guest of Honor:
Ann Cleeves

photo of Ann Cleeves
Photo by David Hirst

Ann’s books have been translated into twenty languages. She’s a bestseller in Scandinavia and Germany. Her novels sell widely and to critical acclaim in the United States. Raven Black was shortlisted for the Martin Beck award for best-translated crime novel in Sweden in 2007. It has been adapted for radio in Germany – and in the UK where it was a Radio Times pick of the day when it was first broadcast Radio adaptations of Raven Black and White Nights have both been repeated. Ten series of Vera, the ITV adaptation starring Brenda Blethyn, have been shown in the UK and worldwide, and filming on series eleven (delayed because of the coronavirus) resumed in the autumn of 2020; there have also been five series of Shetland, based on the characters and settings of her Shetland novels, and filming resumed in 2021. A television adaptation of The Long Call, the first in Ann’s new series set in North Devon, has been commissioned by ITV from Silverprint Pictures, the company that has already produced Shetland (BBC) and Vera (ITV), and this too is filming during the summer of 2021. Click here for a list of available titles.

We are offering copies of Ann Cleeves's brand new novel
 The Heron's Cry at a reduced price for conference attendees. 

Shannon Baker is the award-winning author of The Desert Behind Me and the Kate Fox series, along with the Nora Abbott mysteries and the Michaela Sanchez Southwest Crime Thrillers. She is the proud recipient of the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers 2014 and 2017-18 Writer of the Year Award.

Baker spent 20 years in the Nebraska Sandhills, where cattle outnumber people by more than 50:1. She now lives on the edge of the desert in Tucson with her crazy Weimaraner and her favorite human. A lover of the great outdoors, she can be found backpacking, traipsing to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, skiing mountains and plains, kayaking lakes, river running, hiking, cycling, and scuba diving whenever she gets a chance. Arizona sunsets notwithstanding, Baker is, and always will be a Nebraska Husker. Go Big Red.  

Deep Dive with Connie B. Dowell

Get Out of Your Own Way

Image of Connie B. Dowell

Connie B. Dowell is an author of historical and cozy mysteries and nonfiction for writers. She is the host of the Book Echoes podcast for authors. After having two kids in less than two years, Connie developed a passion for time management and loves to chat about author productivity and work-life balance. A former university writing center coordinator, she loves teaching other writers and guiding them toward success.  Click here for a full list of available titles 

Blurring the Genre Lines

Join Gary PhillipsKelli Stanley, and Eric Beetner as they talk about blurring genre lines.

Gary Phillips has published various novels, graphic novels including the Be-Bop Barbarians with Dale Berry, over seventy short stories, and edited several anthologies including the Anthony-winning The Obama Inheritance: Fifteen Stories of Conspiracy Noir.  Violent Spring, his first mystery published in 1994 was recently named one of the essential crime novels of Los Angeles. Culprits: The Heist was Only the Beginning a linked anthology he co-edited is the basis for a miniseries coming to Disney+UK. His current novel is the retro-pulp Matthew Henson and the Ice Temple of Harlem and he was also a story editor on “Snowfall,” an FX show about crack and the CIA in 1980s South Central where he grew up.  For a full list of available titles,Click here for a full l ist of available titles

Eric Beetner is that writer you’ve heard about but never read. When you finally do you wonder why you waited so long. There are more than 20 books like Rumrunners, All The Way Down and The Devil Doesn’t Want Me so you’d better get started. He also hosts the podcast Writer Types and the Noir at the Bar reading series in L.A. He’s been described as “The 21st Century’s answer to Jim Thompson” (LitReactor), been nominated for three Anthonys, an ITW award, a Shamus, a Derringer, and five Emmys. Seriously, what are you waiting for?  Click here for a full list of available titles



Photo of Kelli Stanley

Kelli Stanley is the creator of the Miranda Corbie series (City of DragonsCity of SecretsCity of GhostsCity of Sharks), set in 1940 San Francisco and featuring “one of crime’s most arresting heroines” (Library Journal). Kelli was named a literary heir of Dashiell Hammett by his granddaughter in a Publisher’s Weekly article. Her awards include the Macavity and Bruce Alexander and she is a Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist. She was awarded a Certificate of Merit from the City and County of San Francisco for her contributions to literature. Kelli has also published numerous short stories and essays, and is the founder and current president of Nasty Woman Press, a non-profit publisher (Anthony Award-nominated anthology Shattering Glass).  Click here for a full list of available titles

The Road to Success

Join Isabella Maldonado and Peng Shepherd as they share the road to their success.

Moderated by Sara DiVello

Photo of Isabella Maldonado

Wall Street Journal Best-selling and award-winning author Isabella Maldonado wore a gun and badge in real life before turning to crime writing. The first Latina to attain the rank of captain in her police department, she retired as the Commander of Special Investigations and Forensics. During more than two decades on the force, her assignments included hostage negotiator, department spokesperson, and precinct commander. Selected to attend the FBI National Academy in Quantico, she uses her law enforcement background to bring a realistic edge to her writing. She is the author of the bestselling FBI Special Agent Nina Guerrera series (soon to be a Netflix feature film starring Jennifer Lopez) and the Detective Veranda Cruz series. Her latest Nina Guerrera novel, A Different Dawn, debuted at #8 on the Wall Street Journal bestseller list.  Click here for a full list of available titles.


Photo of Peng Sheperd

Peng Shepherd’s fiction has been published in the Weird Lies anthology, Litro Magazine, and broadcast on BBC Radio 4. She earned an MFA in Creative Writing from New York University and was awarded an emerging writers grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation based on an early draft of her novel.

Her first novel, The Book of M, won the 2019 Neukom Institute for Literary Arts Award for Debut Speculative Fiction and was chosen as a best book of the year by AmazonElleRefinery29, and The Verge, as well as a best book of the summer by the Today Show and NPR On Point. Peng is the recipient of a 2020 fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as the Elizabeth George Foundation’s emerging writers 2016 grant.




Photo of Brett Battles

Brett Battles is the USA Today bestselling author of over thirty novels, including the Jonathan Quinn series, the Project Eden series, and the time-bending Rewinder trilogy. His debut novel, The Cleaner2 (The Jonathan Quinn Thrillers #1), was nominated for the 2008 Barry Award for Best Thriller, and the 2008 Shamus Award for Best First Novel. His second novel, The Deceived, won the 2009 Barry Award for Best Thriller. He received an additional Barry Award nomination for the fourth in his Quinn series, The Silenced. He’s also the co-author, with Robert Gregory Browne, of the Alexandra Poe series. He lives and writes in Ventura County, California.  Click here for a full list of available titles