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Monday, August 27, 2018

Cop or Police Officer? KWEN GRIFFETH

Join us on September 8th as Kwen Griffeth talks about his career in Law Enforcement.

I started my law enforcement in the Army where I was a Military Policeman. My assignments were varied.

I patrolled behind the Berlin Wall before it came down. Not to arrest the Soviets, but to keep an eye on them. 

I worked regular patrol duty and traffic duty. Patrol duty is exactly what we think it is, everything gets addressed at some time. Traffic is enforcing traffic laws and investigating accidents. 

I also worked undercover narcotics for three years while in Germany. I worked with the German Polizei. 

After the military I worked for the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office in New Mexico. I graduated with Honors from my academy. 

I worked patrol in the South Valley of Bernalillo and later traffic. On the traffic detail, I investigated all fatal accidents, all major injury accidents and any accident involving a police unit. I was used as an extension of IA when working related accidents. My partner and I also had the highest felony arrest count on the department for two years. I have investigated every type of crime doable.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018


Holly Atkinson owns and operates Evil Eye Editing...She has worked with numerous authors in a professional capacity, including New York Times and USA Today best sellers. Her editing style falls under the “firm but fair” heading. She prefers to nurture where possible to encourage author growth, and believes in maintaining a fun environment. That said, She's not afraid of the red pen of death, and will use it without mercy if needed.

Learn more at evileyeediting.com

Friday, May 18, 2018

Meet Our Workshop Speakers

Lori Copeland is a popular best selling contemporary and historical Christian author. Her books have been nominated for the prestigious Christy Award and received two Romantic Times Lifetime Achievement Awards. Lori makes her home in Missouri with her husband Lance, three sons and ever growing family. Her hobby is knitting prayer and friendship shawls, and baking chocolate chip cookies.

Tierney James decided to become a full-time writer after working in education for over thirty years. Besides serving as a Solar System Ambassador for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, and attending Space Camp for Educators, Tierney served as a Geo-teacher for National Geographic. Her love of travel and cultures took her on adventures throughout Africa, Asia and Europe. From the Great Wall of China to floating the Okavango Delta of Botswana, Tierney weaves her unique experiences into the adventures she loves to write. Living on a Native American reservation and in a mining town continues to fuel the characters in the Enigma and Wind Dancer series.

Susan Keene lives on a farm in the beautiful Ozarks.  

Among her hobbies are using her metal detector to treasure hunt, spending time with her family and settling down with a good book.
She writes full time and has several books published. 
Susan went to college in St. Louis and loves to use it as a setting for her cozy mysteries.

VJ Schultz enjoys writing in multiple genres including mystery, romance, and fantasy. When she isn’t writing or designing books, she takes photos, reads, and plays a Lowrey keyboard. VJ is one of the founding members of Sleuths' Ink, a mystery and suspense writing group. VJ has three fiction short stories collections: Death of Bigfoot & Other Tales, Truth or Dare & Other Tales, and Undercover Love & Other Tales. Among the nonfiction books she has out are: Vera's Version which contains her previously published humor columns from the 1990s; a goal setting perpetual calendar entitled How to Eat an Elephant; an Internet password keeping book called Remember!; and Color Me Happy, a coloring book for adults.

J.C. Fields
Award Winning Author of The Fugitive's Trail, The Assassin's Trail, The Imposter's Trail and coming Summer 2018, The Cold Trail.

Sharon Kizziah-Holmes' interest in writing novels came in the early 1990's when a friend suggested they write a book together. She took her up on it and continued to write, however, her friend did not, but she enjoys reading Sharon's books. When Sharon joined various local writing groups, a whole new world opened up for her. She absolutely loves to write, edit, and publish for other indie authors. For over ten years her most favorite thing is to teach writers basic writing mechanics and help them make their work a smooth more enjoyable read.

 Nancy Dailey, whose past writings have appeared in newspapers and magazines, is currently the author of two books that required research, one extensively so. She will share her knowledge and experience in searching for sources of information, how to determine the accuracy and solidity of that information, and how to spot and follow clues you might otherwise overlook, as well as the need to keep accurate records of your sources of information. Treat research like a treasure hunt; it can be exciting. Well, at least not something to be so grumpy about.

 Kathleen Garnsey has published five futuristic romances, is contemplating a series, and is in the middle of her first mystery novel. She loves to write but loves teaching writing even more. She learned to write by attending conferences, meetings, critique groups, and lots of practice. She lives in Ozark Missouri with her husband and one dog, a Boxer named Ginger. She has one son and three grandchildren to keep her busy if she ever gets bored.

Shirley McCann's short stories have appeared in Woman's World, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, The Forensic Examiner, as well as numerous other publications.  Her short story collections can be found on Amazon along with her YA series, The Scarry Inn .

Sunday, May 6, 2018

May Meeting

We have another interesting speaker lined up for our May 12, 2018 meeting, criminal defense attorney, John Kail. We meet at McCallister's Deli on the corner of Kansas and Battlefield starting at 10:30. Please make plans to join us. Here is the link to our speaker's web site where you can learn more about him.


Friday, April 6, 2018

April 2018 Speaker - Kay Monk

Kay Monk is a Crime Laboratory Manager for the Missouri State Highway Patrol Crime Laboratory Division.  She graduated from the University of Iowa on May 15, 1993, with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry, and began employment with the Missouri State Highway Patrol Crime Laboratory Division as a criminalist in the drug chemistry section on July 1, 1993. Ms. Monk worked in the Troop B - Macon Crime Lab for three years (July 1, 1993 - June 30, 1996).  She transferred to the General Headquarters Crime Laboratory in Jefferson City for six months while her husband, Sergeant S.R. Monk, was in the Missouri State Highway Department.  July 1, 2003, on her 10th anniversary with the Patrol, she was promoted to Criminalist Supervisor.  August 16, 2009, she was promoted to Crime Laboratory Manager.
ay Patrol Law Enforcement Academy. Then she transferred to the Troop D - Springfield Crime Laboratory, where she has worked since January 1, 1997.

 Ms. Monk joined the Patrol because she has always been interested in forensic science (she grew up watching “Quincy”) and heard that Missouri has a great crime laboratory system.

She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, reading mysteries, hiking, biking, and going to the theater.

Her professional memberships include Midwestern Association of Forensic Scientists, American Academy of Forensic Sciences, and American Society of Laboratory Directors/ Laboratory Accreditation Board.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Conference Fun

Several of our members attended Killer Nashville last weekend. It's a very popular writer's conference with many terrific speakers, learning opportunities, and great networking. I have asked them to share their experience. First up is Susan Keene. And please check out the links to her books at the end.  

Killer Nashville by Susan Keene
Patti Tierney, Shirley McCann, Lois Curran and I went on a road trip. Our destination was Killer Nashville International Writers’ Convention for mystery and thriller writers. We had a little bit of a heads up before we arrived, because Patti had attended a couple of years ago.
It was a non-stop learning and networking opportunity from late Thursday evening until mid afternoon on Sunday.
Every hour you had a choice of a panel or lecture on any subject that interested you. Some of the subjects were networking, publicity and marketing, crime and detection, the business of writing and genres. I might not have gotten all of them listed, but you get my drift.
There were at least five or six to chose from each hour.
You were busy all the time and during the breaks between pods, we met some of the most interesting and talented people you could imagine.
To make things even more interesting, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation set up a crime scene in one of the rooms, all the way down to the dead body on the bed. Then you went to YouTube and watched the video interrogations of all of the suspects.
Finding the murderer was the easy part. They had over a hundred tests that could be run on the evidence and it was up to us to figure it all out. We did it together and got about two-thirds of it correct.
If I had enough room here, I would go into more detail. I do want to mention that Clay Stafford, Max Allen Collins, and Chris Graberstein were there.
I feel we each made friends and learned things you can only learn from other successful authors.
If you have a chance, look into attending Killer Nashville next year. The four of us shared expenses and had a great time. Any of us would be happy to answer any questions you might have about the conference. I urge you to attend one big event like this, you won’t regret it.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

August Speaker

Make plans to attend our August meeting on the 12th, 10:00 a.m. at the Library Station on N Kansas in Springfield, MO. Our speaker will be Claudia Uptergrove a retired correctional officer. This will be a great opportunity to learn about what happens after the criminal is caught. Bring lots of questions. 

In 1969, at the age of 18, Claudia started her professional career.  She worked in retail, then moved to banking.  In the later part of 1990 she began her career with the California Dept of Corrections as an office assistant.  From there she was promoted to a medical transcriber where she transcribed for the California Board of Prison Terms.  
On January 01, 1994, Claudia attended the Richard A. McGee Correctional Training Center in California.  Upon completing a six week academy of vigorous training, she was promoted to Correctional Officer which changed her classification to custody level. From there Claudia promoted to Correctional Sergeant at Pelican Bay State Prison in California and later promoted  to Correctional Lieutenant there.  She remained a Correctional Lieutenant until her retirement in 2008.  

Claudia worked in Correctional Facilities in California that housed both male and female inmates. Her experiences in practicing positive work ethnics set an example for her peers and subordinates who could emulate.  Her experiences have been vast and the training an asset in her life.