New Release: BJ ERICKSON: WASP PILOT by WWW Member Sarah Byrn Rickman

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“The right place at the right time” put BJ Erickson and 1,101 other young women pilots in the cockpits of America’s WWII warplanes — just when they were most urgently needed.

Sarah Byrn Rickman’s eighth book about the Women Airforce Service Pilots of WWII, is a biography of BJ Erickson, one of those daring, groundbreaking female pilots. In BJ Erickson: WASP Pilot the story of the WASP ferry pilots unfolds with the drama and intensity of an adventure novel. BJ and her squadron of 30-plus women fly whatever the Army asks them to fly, from fighter aircraft headed for the docks to be shipped to England and the battle-zone to shot-up war wearies headed for the graveyard.

“You need to be telling these WASP stories for the young women,” two WWW friends urged Sarah at the 2016 conference in Santa Fe. Seventeen months later, on March 15, 2018, her first book aimed at the young readers of today will be released. More information at the publisher’s website:

About Sarah

Screen Shot 2018-03-14 at 4.46.13 PMSince she was five, writing has been Sarah Byrn Rickman’s first love. It led to a 20-plus year career in journalism, but meeting a WWII woman pilot veteran in person in 1992 set the rest of her life in motion. Telling WASP stories was her destiny. Now, eight books later, she has firmly established her reputation as a WASP historian and storyteller. Nancy Love: WASP Pilot, the Y/A biography of the founder and leader of the WASP ferry pilots of WWII, is next in line.

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WWW Member Robin F. Gainey’s Book Picked Up By Production Company

WWW Member Robin F. Gainey’s book, Light of the Northern Dancers, has been optioned by Soleil 7 for a limited TV series. The female-led producer team aims to release 10-hour drama ‘The Mystic’ (working title) set in 1888 Wyoming.

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The premise centers around a family mysteriously massacred on a ranch in 1880’s Wyoming, the latest in a killing spree terrorizing the territory, while a Scotswoman with clairvoyant powers must venture into the mountains on a life or death race.

“We’re very excited to bring complex and mysterious characters to life
through a woman’s story of endurance, hope and survival. Audiences are in
for a mesmerizing, action-packed series,” said executive producers Caron Carlyon ( Wild Oats, Render Me Dead ) and Jane Charles ( SOLD, Fat Kid Rules the World ). The development team has added Thane Swigart ( Furious Angel, John Frum ), as writer for the project.

Robin is certainly living the dream! It is also an indication of both the media’s shift toward women directed work and women driven story lines. Congratulations, Robin.

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An Opportunity for WWW Members

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Here’s a bonus for Women Writing the West membership!

WWW member Linda Wommack has been a contributing writer to the Tombstone Epitaph for 22 years. Recently, she received a new assignment with the publication: book reviewer. Congratulations, Linda!

This is also a great opportunity for our members. Wommack would like to shine the spotlight on our WWW members when she can. Books, fiction and nonfiction, must be set in the West. Sorry, no poetry.

To see if your book might be reviewed in the Tombstone Epitaph, contact Wommack at

(As this offer is for members only, and Linda would prefer to keep her personal email off of public forums, please keep the sharing of this particular post off public social media.)

Thank you Linda for offering this to our WWW members!

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Changing Your Name When Switching Genres

By WWW Member Mary Hagen

At the present, I write all my genres under my name, but I questioned whether or not I should. With that in mind, I went online to sites of romance writers since I write romance. What did I discover? Answers were divided. Some use pen names, some do not. I’ll list my findings here and let you decide. {Most gave me permission to use their name if I quoted them. Some did not respond.}

Two editors, one from Desert Breeze Publishing, Gail Delany, does not think it hurts to switch genres, and the other from Soul Mate, Debora Gilbert, suggests writers stay with the same genre. Most romance authors I contacted do write several genres. As one said, “I get bored staying with just one.” Amanda Cabot, Christian Fiction Writer said when she switched genres she assumed her readers would switch with her, but they did not.

The authors who do use the same name have had different results. Beate Boeker believes readers want to know what they are getting. “Presently, I write sweet romances and cozy mysteries, but if I should switch to sexy books, I think I’m obligated to warn my readers and I would consider a pen name,” she says.

Other authors, such as Roni Denholtz, write everything from sweet to sexier (not hot) romances and uses her own name. “Cowgirl” Lorretta Rogers is a multi-genre writer under her own name and has been told by her readers they like her different genres. Carmen Peone agrees and added, “It helps to build my reader base.” In the same vein, C.E. Lootens wants to gain a broad base of readers and gain their trust by using the same name. Christy King agrees.

Nonfiction and multi-genre fiction writer Amy Hale Auker and author Tami Dee believe changing names confuses readers. Amy reminded, “Amazon lists books by author.” Remember, you may have to start over if you do change names between genres. That may make more work for you. Some authors like multi-genre Vyaya Schartz, do not think readers cross over. “Readers are very specific about the genre they read. I have my author name on my author website so I divide my time when I promote my books.”

And then there’s those who don’t use pen names. Rosemarie Naramore is a multi-genre author using her own name. “I regret I did not start out with a pen name for each [genre]. I confused my readers with my approach.” She added, “I do think the problem could be remedy by putting out books in close succession.”

In the same vein, author Janis Patterson writes romance and mysteries under Janis Susan May and Janis Patterson. On her website she uses one name, but has two sides to her site, one for each name she uses. “I hope Janis Patterson will be listed next to James Patterson,” she explains.

From the feedback I received, it boils down to personal choice with excellent points of view on both sides. I decided I would continue using my own name for my western romances and my contemporaries although I seem to do better with contemporary sales. Ideas I gained will be used by me on my website necessitating a change in the listing of my books. I want to thank the authors for their responses.

Find Mary’s books here:

About Mary

Screen Shot 2018-02-21 at 11.09.47 AMMary grew up writing and riding horses, where her imagination went wild. While teaching school, she continued to write for national newspapers and magazines. Mary lives on a trout farm in Colorado near the Wyoming border and loves to hike in the Rocky Mountain National Park. Learn more about Mary and her books at her website:

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Why should you think about proposing a workshop for the conference?

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The deadline is fast approaching to submit a proposal for the 2018 Women Writing the West Conference.
Anyone interested in submitting a proposal has through February 20 to send in the quick paperwork to the program co-chairs, Jane Kirkpatrick and Gail Jenner.
Have you considered the value you could bring to the conference with your particular area of expertise? We hope you will.
Maybe you’ve done extensive research about researching historical figures. Perhaps your skill set includes the best or latest social media practices.
Teaching a workshop is more than just sharing information with others. There’s benefits for you, too.
Consider what teaching a workshop might give back to you:
  • Professional development.
  • Digging deeper into what you already know and gaining additional knowledge.
  • Meeting people you might otherwise not have the opportunity to interact with at conference.
  • Stretching the boundaries of your comfort zone (especially for introverts!).
  • The feeling of accomplishment from joining forces to create the best possible conference for attendees.
  •  If you are planning to sell books at the conference, people are more likely to pay attention to your title if they’ve had the privilege of hearing you present and know you took the time to prepare a presentation.
If you’re interested in submitting a proposal for a workshop, you’ll find the form on the Women Writing the West website here.
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New Release: WIDOW 1881 by Sara Dahmen

1372701500WWW member Sara Dahmen’s novel, Widow 1881, releases on Wednesday, February 14th from publisher SillanPaceBrown.

Proper Boston widow Jane Weber moves to the Dakota Territories to reinvent herself and to hide under layers of lies. Stirring up controversy, and going against the grain of her curated sense of propriety, Jane rooms with the last Blackfoot Sioux in Flats Junction. Navigating a mercurial friendship with the fiercely independent grocer, she finds everyone has an untold story, including her unpredictable employer, the town doctor.

Set against a backdrop of the prairie, Widow 1881 is the first of six books in the Flats Junction Series, which focuses on the overarching theme of womanhood: how does the torch pass from wise matriarchs to the next generation? Who were the millions of regular woman who really settled the last frontier? And how do they learn to work together to glue civilization into the heart of the west?


About Sara

Sara DahmenSara lives along the shores of Lake Michigan in Wisconsin, but visits the Dakotas often. She is a cookware manufacturer and metalsmith apprentice, and spoke at TEDx Rapid City. Sara’s non-fiction book on the history and science of cookware is due out at the end of 2018. When she’s not writing, she’s working on her House Copper line, or spending time with her husband and three children. Visit to learn more.

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New Release: THE TRIALS OF NELLIE BELLE by Sydney Avey

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WWW member Sydney Avey’s latest novel, The Trials of Nellie Belle, releases tomorrow, on Tuesday, February 6th!

When her parents marry Kansas-born Nellie Belle to the ranch’s foreman, she never questions that motherhood will follow. Yearning to achieve a sense of self-worth, Nellie later leaves behind her husband and son and takes her two daughters to the Northwest. She becomes the first woman court reporter to travel the circuit in the region. But on her journey, and as she meets people from all walks of life, she loses her daughters, one to death, and one to vaudeville.

Nellie finds fulfillment in the hard-won respect of a tight legal community that metes out early twentieth-century justice. But when her prodigal youngest returns home with a babe in arms, she must do what she can to pull together what remains of her scattered family. Can Nellie rescue her broken-hearted daughter, and give direction to her headstrong granddaughter, who is on a path to disaster?


About Sydney

Screen Shot 2017-10-09 at 9.35.38 AMSydney lives half her time in the Sierra Nevada foothills of Yosemite, CA and the rest of the year in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona. Her background includes a degree in English from Berkeley and writing news stories for non-profits and large corporations and many of her pieces have appeared in magazines across the country. You can find her writing her blog or just more about Sydney, at

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