Ninc Goes Platinum Line Up

- by Karen Tintori

And here it is, the Ninc Goes Platinum program. No, not set in stone, but you can consider it a Second Draft, with the Final Draft to be tinkered with until we’re all happy.

Let’s begin with Ninc Does Forensics, the all-day program that precedes the regular conference, remembering that attendance is limited to the first 175 to sign up, and that editors, agents, and other publishing types attending the conference have all been invited to participate in the day as Ninc’s guests.

And please note: until June 30, there’s a $25 discount for members who sign up and pay for both Ninc Does Forensics and the conference. The Easy Payment Plans are still available. Earlybird pricing ends June 30. Sign up online or download the Registration Form and mail to our Registrar.

Thursday, October 1: Ninc Does Forensics

9:00 to 10:00

The ABC’s of Forensics
Dr. D. P. Lyle
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Learn to crawl before you try to walk, right? Dr. Lyle gets us started in this informative session that sets up the remainder of the day.

10:15 to 11:15

Basic Death Investigation
Mary Fran Ernst
Okay, so you stumble over this dead guy, see? What happens next? Sure, the homicide cops show up. But who else? And what happens to that poor dead guy? And just for extra points, what’s the difference between a coroner and a medical examiner?

Dr. D. P. Lyle
Anything can be a poison. The question is, how does your villain use it? And how does your hero cop discover it? It’s not as simple as it looks on TV.

11:30 to 1:00

Let’s Do Lunch … and a Crime Scene
Visit the Crime Scene set up in one of the meeting rooms, walk around in the middle of it, take notes, and then compare them over a great lunch catered by Carmine’s Steak House. Your workshop presenters will also be at lunch with you. All included in the cost for the day.

1:00 to 2:00

Eileen Dreyer, RN, Kate Christlieb, PA
What really happens to your hero when he gets shot in the shoulder? Or conked on the head? What do the medics do? The Hospital? What does your hero feel (Hint: He won’t pass out from a gunshot wound to the shoulder unless he’s a wuss)? Eileen and Kate separate myth from real treatment to make those desperate E.R. scenes more realistic.

Crime Scene Investigation

Want to know who did it? Major Mike Copeland of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department of Missouri will discuss what we’ve seen in our mock crime sceneThe crime scene investigator who set up our mock crime scene will discuss it and answer our questions.

2:15 to 3:15

Interview and Interrogation
Det. Sgt. Joseph Burgoon
What happens when you get your suspect “in the box?” There’s a psychology to asking questions and getting answers. Spontaneous confessions and long recaps by a cooperative villain that neatly tie up all of the plot’s loose ends are the stuff of fiction. But not your fiction, because Detective Sergeant Burgoon is going to tell you how it really works.

Forensic Anthropology
Anthropologist Gwen Haugen
Ah! Now we get to the good stuff. Examining remains. Crispy critters (burn victims). Skeletons long in the ground. ID-ing using dental records. Extracting DNA, determining sex and age of the victim, on and on.

3:30 to 4:30

Forensic Pathology
Dr. Mary Case
Dr. Case is the Chief Medical Examiner of Saint Louis. This one’s going to be good!

When exactly do you call in the FBI? And what do they do? A local Special Agent tells us all that and more as he fills us in on the role of the FBI in today’s law enforcement, and answers our “feebie” questions. Like – do they cringe when writers call them feebies?

4:45 to 5:45
So, I Have This Guy I Need To Kill
A panel including Eileen Dreyer, Dr. Lyle, Det. Sgt. Burgoon, Gwen Haugen, Dr. Mary Case, Major Copeland, and other Forensics Day presenters that lets authors ask questions specific to their manuscripts. How to kill the victim, how the bad guy can slip up so your hero can catch him – ask your questions here, and get the answers you need!

Note: To help keep things moving, questions will be submitted ahead of time (with a microphone available if the questioner needs to clarify a point).

6:00 to 8:00
Included in the cost for the day, reception for all members, guests and presenters, catered by Carmine’s.


Nightowls are relaxed, private , interactive sessions for Ninc members only, with volunteer members serving as moderators and guides. Bring your own voices to the party!
8:00 to 8:45

Creating Characters with the Tarot
Always on the hunt to find new ways to create convincing characters? Bring your own Tarot deck and play along!
Charlotte Hubbard, Moderator and Chief Tarot Teacher

Critique Groups in Ninc
Yes, we’ve got one. Yes, we’ll create more groups if there is a demand. Come meet your fellow critiquers face-to-face.
Pat Rice, Moderator

9:00 to 10:00

Grumpy Ole Writers (…and you know who you are!)
An extension of one of Ninclink’s most remarked-upon topics. Bring your worst fan letters, most out-there reviews, your jaded outlook on The Great Unpublished and, yes, your sense of humor. Consider this Nightowl an exorcism.
Jasmine Cresswell , Moderator

What, me, stressed? Nonsense, my eyelid always twitches like this…
Melinda Haynes on Stress Management. Melinda, who is a certified hypnotherapist with fourteen years’ experience, a NLP practitioner and certified in past life regression therapy (you know, all that “woo-woo” stuff), will guide everyone into a state of writerly bliss with her magic voice, and demonstrate how to achieve this state ourselves. And if that doesn’t work, we hear the bar stays open late.

Friday, October 2

8:45 to 9:30

Lou Aronica and Peter Miller
Starting Over
What is it like to “start in the middle?” Start over in the middle of your life, that is. Hear what it takes, how to do it, and all about The Story Plant, a new day in publishing.

Kathy Emerson
Choosing The When, Where, Who, and How
Designed to help writers contemplating writing historical mystery fiction make intelligent decisions about time period, setting, the character of the sleuth, and the method of murder. Information on the current market for historical mysteries is included. Most of the content of this workshop is also applicable to historical romantic suspense, present/past mysteries, and historical mysteries for young people.

Joe Nassise
Podcasting for the Technologically Innocent
What is podcasting? Who does it? Why should we do it? Do we need either a Masters Degree or a six-year-old who can do it for us? He’s not six, but Joe Knows. Now you will, too!

9:45 to 10:30

Ken Casper
She said, He heard
The different ways men and women speak and use words, and their consequences in the art of negotiation – like in contracts and such, you know.

Angela James, Samhain
E-Publishing, Is It For Me?
Ninc members have asked the questions about the pros and cons of e-pubbing, and Angela will now answer them. Real questions. Real answers.

Paul Guyot
How to Write a Screenplay
From the man who wrote for Felicity, Judging Amy, etc. The guy knows what he’s talking about, and now he’ll show you how it’s done…and why some things that work for novels just don’t work for screenplays.

10:45 to 11:30

Paul Guyot
How Do I Sell My Book to Hollywood?
Well, first, it has to be the right book! Here’s where we get hands-on and interactive. Bring your ideas and let Paul tell you what works … and what doesn’t.

Lou Aronica
Sitting on Both Sides of the Table
How does it feel to be a writer hitting your head against the stone wall of a publishing house? How does it feel to be a publishing house type being hit on the head by an author? Lou knows both sides, and he’ll tell you how to, and how not to be a “hit” with your publishing house.

Deborah LeBlanc
Literacy is YOU!
Authors taking a Literacy Project to the High Schools is a win-win situation, building readers and sharing our passion for the written word. Deborah offers cold hard cash to students to encourage reading. Her brilliant LeBlanc Literacy Challenge is now in its second year.

11:45 to 12:30

Who Said Sanity Was Necessary? Definitely not these two NYT authors!
Join Catherine Coulter and Kay Hooper in a wild, wacky, brutally honest and laugh-out-loud look at their careers, their quarter-century friendship, and the weirded-out world of publishing. PPP (Potent Potables Provided)

12:30 to 2:00

Lunch on our own
There will be sign-up sheets at the Registration Desk for group lunches, and a variety of restaurants to choose from. Ninc hostesses provided.

2:00 to 2:45

Peter Miller
Book to Film
Okay, now you’ve written a sure-fire movie hit. Now what? Well, now it’s time to hear from the man who has been managing writers in books and film for more than three decades, that’s what.

Tami Hoag
Psychopaths Are People Too
Does anyone really need any more information than that to know this is a must-see workshop?

Serena Robar
The Long Tail of Publishing
Why does Nora Roberts get three shelves at the local B&N and they barely carry your new release for a month? Why won’t they carry your backlist? They follow the brick and mortar sales model that dictates 80% of the sales comes from 20% of the inventory (better known as the bestseller list). Did you know that model of sales is losing relevance? Going the way of the dinosaur? Have you heard of The Short Tail in economics? Do you understand what filters and niches are? If you want to know how to compete in today’s changing market, then this workshop is a must for any writer wanting to be competitive in today’s landscape.

3:00 to 3:45

Penny Sansevieri
Book Marketing, Mistakes and Winning Strategies
Now that you know what 2.0 is, let’s talk about content, because the real expertise lies in how to use these nifty new tools to get the word out, publicize the author and the books. How friendly and/or accessible do you need to be? Is posting a photo of fave pet Fido a good move, or does it brand you as unprofessional? What works? What doesn’t? Ask the expert!

Laura Phillips
Fear, Intuition and the Writer’s Mind
Understanding the role of fear and its physical aspects, how to use it
effectively in writing – and how to apply the info we’ve learned about fear
itself to overcoming our personal fears about our work.

Cyndy Salzmann
Organized By Design : Using Your Unique Organizational Style to Maximize Productivity
Ready to stop the cycle of broken resolutions to get more organized? Professional organizer Cyndy Salzmann will help you identify your unique organizational style and provide practical strategies to make it work for you – instead of against you.

4:00 to 4:45

Eileen Dreyer
His Brain/ Her Brain
There really is a scientific reason he can’t find the butter in the refrigerator. Learn the real biological differences between a man’s brain and a woman’s that sets up such delicious conflict. If this session doesn’t save your book, it may save your significant other!

Marketing Panel

Penny Sansevieri, Ruta Duhon, and others to be announced.
(possibility of late addition here to round out the hour)

5:00 to 5:45

Greg Myers
Everything you wanted to know about how the professional ghost busters work, straight from the Director of Paranormal Task Force, Inc., based in Missouri.

Cyndy Salzmann
Taming The Paper Tiger: A Simple Approach to Maintaining both Paper and Electronic Files
“I know it’s here somewhere…” Don’t waste precious writing time sorting through piles to find needed information. This fascinating workshop will provide practical strategies for finding what you need – when you need it.

(possibility of late addition here to round out the hour)

6:00 to 8:00

Dinner on our own. Sign-up sheets for group meals located at the Reception Desk, along with a list of restaurants, directions, for all appetites.


Nightowls are relaxed, private, interactive sessions for Ninc members only, with volunteer members serving as moderators and guides. Bring your own voices to the party!

8:00 to 8:45

Collages, Part I
You know the drill — bring your props and scissors!
Charlotte Hubbard

Feng Shui Your Career
(Don’t knock it – it worked for her!)
Kay Hooper

9:00 to 10:00

Collages, Part Deux
Charlotte Hubbard

The World May End Tomorrow, But I’m Writing Today
– or –
Optimism In The Face of Reasonable Pessimism
How to keep going when the going gets tough, tougher, and then downright ridiculous.
Pat Rice and Thea Devine, our own optimistic pessimists, as moderators

Saturday, October 3

8:45 to 9:30

Sharon Shinn
The World Inside the Book
It’s not just plot and characters. It’s a whole world we’re building here, folks. Let fantasy writer Sharon Shinn show you some winning ways to create that unique world your characters deserve.

Joe Nassise
A Writers Guide to Web 2.0 and Social Media
Our publishers tell us we need Internet Presence. So here we go again – all this scary stuff we know we need but are afraid to use. Let Joe take the worry out of being “out there” on the Web.

Publishers Panel
Eileen Hutton, Brilliance Audio; Angela James, Samhain; Margaret Marbury, Harlequin; Deb Werksman, Sourcebooks; The Story Plant … and others to be announced.

9:45 to 10:30

Elaine Isaak
World Building For Fun and Profit
How many ways to skin a cat? How many worlds inside your head? When creativity needs its own universe, here are some more building blocks on how to make the world your characters inhabit unique and, more importantly, believable.

Sharon Shinn
What’s So Different About YA?
Everyone knows YA is a growing market. So what do we need to know to grab a piece of it? We all can’t write Twilight or Harry Potter, but there’s an entire world of YA out there just waiting to be conquered.

Agent Panel
Adam Chromy, Peter Miller, Lauren Bradford, and others to be announced.

10:45 to 11:30

Patricia Wynn Ricks and Fran Baker
Small Press: Smart Choice or Second Chance
Let two small press publishers walk you through the process, answer your questions, and see if there’s a new/old market out there just waiting for you.

Tami Hoag
The View
How does she do it? Why does she do it? Is what she does and how she does it so dissimilar from how we do it? Let’s talk about writing. The process, the joys, the pain, the triumphs. A writer is a writer is a writer.

Dr. Michael Henry
Debunking the Paranormal Fakes
Michael Henry became a professional magician specifically to learn the tricks of the trade and, yes, debunk the fakes. What’s real paranormal…and what’s just not going to cut it in our stories?

11:45 to 12:30

Wind ‘Em Up And Watch ‘Em Go!
Round off your morning with Tami Hoag and her Posse of Pals as they talk careers, publishing foibles, and how to keep writing friendships alive and thriving. And, if pushed, we may hear Eileen Dreyer sing Danny Boy for us. PPP (Potent Potables Provided).

12:30 to 2:00

Lunch on our own. There will be sign-up sheets at the Registration Desk for group lunches, and a variety of restaurants to choose from. Ninc hostesses provided.

2:00 to 2:45

Michael the Wizard Performs Magic for Grown Ups
Michael Henry calls himself a “wizard” rather than a magician. The difference between a Wizard and a Magician is simple, he says. “When a Magician does a card trick, for example, you know that it is a trick,” he said. “If I do a card effect, there’s a probability that something supernatural occurred, and I don’t bother to provide a disclaimer. Mysteries do happen. Mysteries are real.”

Lou Aronica
Publishing From the Inside
If you heard Lou dish on publishing at the New York conference last year, you know why Kasey Michaels ran him down in the hallway after the session to nab him for St. Louis. This former Bantam, Avon and Berkley publisher has teamed up with agent Peter Miller to create The Story Plant, a publishing company focused on “commercial fiction and author development.”

Kathy Lynn Emerson
Painless Research
How do you dig up those elusive details that make historical mysteries come alive . . . and have fun doing it . . . whether your history is twenty years ago or two hundred? Among the topics covered are how to evaluate a printed source, tips on using library resources, the benefits of hands-on research, the pitfalls of doing research online, and why historical accuracy is important, even though you’re writing fiction.

3:00 to 3:45

Editing Your Space: A Step-by-Step Plan for Putting the Clamp on Clutter
Cyndy Salzmann
Too much stuff not only clutters your environment – it clutters your mind. Professional organizer Cyndy Salzmann will help writers employ their editing skills to clean up their spaces and keep creativity flowing. And she promises we’ll never need backhoes to clean out our offices again!

Peter Miller
Non-fiction Book Proposals
Nicknamed “the Literary Lion,” Peter Miller successfully managed over 900 books and dozens of motion picture and television properties. He understands fiction, but in these tough times, he understands that novelists might need to be nonfiction writers, too.

Greg Myers
Paranormal Across the Genres
Greg Myers explores the paranormal in romance, thriller, mystery, and more. The Paranormal Task Force director has had personal paranormal encounters since his teens. With his years of solid paranormal investigative experience, Greg was voted one of the top ten Investigators in America for 2008-09 on Haunted America Tours (

4:00 to 5:00

The Psychology of Character
Dr. D. P. Lyle
Bring your notebooks and prepare to use them! Using Hannibal and Clarice from Silence of the Lambs, among others, have the Character Arc explained in a way that will have us seeing the proverbial lightbulbs going off over the heads of all attendees, whether they be two-book authors or 102-book authors. A breakthrough workshop!

6:00 to 8:00

Celebrating Twenty Years of Excellence
Grand Ballroom
Food, drink, and Special Presentations

Sunday, October 1

8:45 to 9:30
General Meeting
If you’re not going to wake up that early, we need your proxy. Proxies are in your Welcome Packet and available at the Registration Desk … and you’ll be best-served to sign one now rather than have the Conference Committee come hunting for you at 8:45 in the a.m. But you don’t want to miss the meeting, because Deb Gordon and Elaine Isaak will be explaining the Authors Coalition to us!

9:45 to 10:30

Lou Aronica, Unplugged
Plus any other Industry Professionals willing to speak with the gloves off about this business we’re all in together! Bring your toughest questions. This is no day for an early flight reservation!

Note: If you don’t see a moderator listed for any of these workshops, that’s because we don’t have all of them lined up yet. A great JOT job is moderating workshops – introducing the speakers and keeping them wired and watered, as it were. If you want to moderate one or more workshops, contact Marcia Evanick, tell her which sessions you’d like. First volunteered, first served:

And another note: The Kritters For The Kids (and autographed books for the parents and the hospital library!) delivery schedule will be announced shortly.

And one more note: Go to, click on JOT Volunteers, and sign up to help out pre-conference, during the conference, or both. Pick your favorite job now, while it’s still available. This conference is for everyone – let’s get involved so we meet and get to know more of our fellow members. Remember, networking is more than just finding a good seat in the Lounge bar!

And finally: If you’re not already a member of Novelists, Inc., what are you waiting for? There’s time enough to get your application in and approved and still make it into early bird registration.

See you in St. Louis!

Karen Tintori and Leslie LaFoy, Conference Chairs
Kasey Michaels, Ninc President

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