Student Success Stories

Starting with the University of Houston extension program, then at Rice University School of Continuing Studies, and finally in a private Master Class, I’ve had the privilege of working with some amazingly talented individuals. While my time with them may be completed, their experience and expertise will grow and their work will make an impact on readers. I often feel humbled in the presence of these outstanding talents and I am always excited when I see their stories in print or their names in the winner’s list in writing contests.

Graduating students from the Master Class of 2004. From left, top: Ann Faye Williams, Heather Shelley, John Oehler, Stacey Keith, Todd Jett, Bill Stevenson. Bottom: Karen Daniels, Sally Love. Not pictured: Doug Schlatter, JoAn Martin, Roger Paulding.

Graduating students from the Master Class of 2004.
From left, top: Anna Faye Williams, Heather Shelley,
John Oehler, Stacey Keith, Todd Jett, Bill Stevenson. Bottom: Karen Daniels, Sally Love.
Not pictured: Doug Schlatter, JoAn Martin, Roger Paulding.

John Oehler, Award-Winning Novelist

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John Oehler, Award-Winning Novelist

John Oehler is a multiple award-winning author of thriller/suspense novels. His stories are often compared to those of Michael Crichton, Dan Brown, and Wilbur Smith. John has worked in dozens of countries and lived in places as diverse as Nepal, Australia, and Somalia. He combines those experiences with his love of history and his background in the natural sciences to create stories that cause readers wonder, “How much of this could really happen? It sounds too real to be entirely fiction.”  A third novel soon to be released, Tepui, is based on John’s experiences in Venezuela coupled with the 16th-Century chronicle of Francisco Orellana’s voyage down the Amazon River. (more…)

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Writers Guild Publishes OMG, That Woman Anthology

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Writers Guild Publishes OMG, That Woman Anthology

OMG, That Woman, the latest anthology from The Houston Writers Guild contains stories by member you might recognize, such as Lynne Gregg, Roger Paulding, Nikki Loftin, Pamela Fagan Hutchins, and yours truly. This book, as well as Ghosts, the Guild’s first anthology, contains a number of short stories, I’m proud to say, from members who have been in my classes or seminars over the years, and the Guild is very dear to my heart. Both books are available through Amazon, Barnes&Noble.com, and in bookstores everywhere. Contact Info: info@houstonwrtiersguild.org. (more…)

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Roger Paulding, the Good Books Keep Coming

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Roger Paulding, the Good Books Keep Coming

Roger Paulding’s latest novel, Bought Off, is deliciously candid and refreshingly irreverent. Miss Starlight takes us to a place few dare to venture, the streets of Galveston’s sultry red-light underbelly, where old money and secret sexy delights set the scene for murder, and for a story that lingers long after you close the book. But before Roger Paulding was well known to Texas literary circles, he sat in my Master Class, and over the years we have often discussed the future of fiction. Roger’s novels reflect his wide ranging interests, including a number of fiction genres, historical non-fiction, genealogy, and most things political. As president for many years of the Houston Writers Guild, Roger is friend and mentor to many Houston area authors. (more…)

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Karen Daniels, an Ambitious Second Novel

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Karen Daniels, an Ambitious Second Novel

When Karen Daniels began writing, I was fortunate to be one of her first instructors, but she already had the one important element no one can teach: persistent curiosity and creativity. Karen is never satisfied with turning out cookie-cutter mystery or romance novels. She sets higher stakes for herself and for her characters. Karen’s debut novel, Three Days in Purgatory, asks the question: Do we ever learn whether the mistakes we make have purpose? Her second novel, A Reason to Run, excellent and equally ambitious, follows three women as they seek answers to seemingly insurmountable problems that force them into action and ultimately, entangles them in one another’s lives. (more…)

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Irene Bond, Lethal Intention

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Irene Bond, Lethal Intention

Growing up with British parents, Irene Bond has a natural aptitude for storytelling, especially a mystery set in England. Although this is Irene’s first novel, she has been published often in newspapers, anthologies, and magazines, including a Guideposts cover story. If you can’t get enough of Downton Abbey, you’ll love curling up with this one. (more…)

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Stacey Keith, writing as Angelika Helsing

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Stacey Keith, writing as Angelika Helsing

CATWALK by Angelika Helsing

Unlike some romances I’ve read, this one has spice. Jenna Jenkins and Nick Scarletti sizzle every time they’re on the page together. And the plot is solid, as well. A great read.

The daughter of an ordained minister-turned-rock musician, Stacey Keith has led a life as varied and colorful as her famous father. At nineteen, she authored Drive Your Woman Wild in Bed, traveled the U.S. and Canada lecturing to 1000-person venues, appeared on “Geraldo”, “Montel Williams”, “Sally Jesse Raphael”, “Real Personal with Bob Berkowitz” and over five-hundred radio shows. (more…)

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JoAn Martin, Pine Cones and Magnolia Blossoms

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JoAn Martin, Pine Cones and Magnolia Blossoms

JoAn Martin was working on her first children’s book when she came to my class. Today her books continue to be loved by children and published again and again, including one of my favorites, Yankee Girl: A Grand Adventure, now in its third edition from KAM Publishing. Meanwhile, JoAn has written more than 30 articles for such magazines as Stable Kids, Travelocity, Byline Magazine and educational magazines such as Learning, The Mailbox and Oasis-Good Apple. Her other books include Inventing Chloe, Good Night, Mrs. Dinglewald, Wherever You Are, and her adult novel, Retrieving Morning. A teacher and writing instructor for many years, JoAn also reviews childrens books for the The Baytown Sun, The Houston Banner, and Galveston Daily News. (more…)

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Doug Schlatter

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Doug Schlatter

Funny guy Doug Schlatter sent private eye George Haven out into the world in 2011 when Doug’s first novel, Loved to Death was published by L&L Dreamspell. George isn’t really much of a tough guy. His idea of working is sitting in his office sipping bourbon and collecting unemployment. But he has to toughen up fast to solve this case and keep himself alive. (more…)

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Sally Love

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Sally Love

Sally Love came to my class with a novel idea in mind that was born of her work as a financial writer and a public relations/media relations specialist for financial and high-tech companies. That idea grew toward a terrific novel, but along the way Sally discovered a passion for short stories. Her stories, which are published in several anthologies by L&L Dreamspell, have won the Mystery Writers of America-Southwest Chapter’s Murder by the Book Contest and the Houston Writers Guild Contest. (more…)

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James Hime, Where Armadillos Go To Die

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James Hime, Where Armadillos Go To Die

Before his excellent book The Night of the Dance was published in April 2003 by St. Martin’s Press and later nominated for the Edgar Allan Poe Award as Best First Novel by Mystery Writers of America, author James Hime attended my mystery and suspense writing class at the Rice University School of Continuing Studies. Edgar nominees carry a distinction of excellence far into their writing careers, and Jim has carried his writing skill into a third novel. Like his first two books, Where Armadillos Go to Die, takes place in small-town Texas where today’s mystery still wears a western hat. www.jameshime.com (more…)

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