Welcome to Speed City Sisters in Crime
Speed City Sisters in Crime is the Indiana chapter of the world-wide mystery/crime writers' association Sisters in Crime. The Speed City chapter was founded in 2005. Find out more about our organization.
Upcoming in 2021
Saturday January 23 Meeting
11:00 a.m. business meeting
12:00 noon - Speaker Gary Sosniecki
The Potato Masher Murder
“Uncovering a Deadly Family Secret: The Potato Masher Murder”
Albin Ludwig was furious. He had caught his wife, Cecilia, with other men before; now, after secretly following Cecilia one evening in 1906, Albin was overcome with suspicion. Albin and Cecilia quarreled that night and again the next day. Prosecutors later claimed that the final quarrel ended when Albin knocked Cecilia unconscious with a wooden potato masher, doused her with a flammable liquid, lit her on fire, and left her to burn to death. Albin claimed self-defense, but he was convicted of second-degree murder.
Newspaper coverage of the dramatic crime and trial was jarringly explicit and detailed, shocking readers in Indiana, where the crime occurred. Peter Young of the South Bend Times wrote that the murder’s “horrors and its shocking features . . . have never before been witnessed in Mishawaka.” The story was front-page news throughout northern Indiana for much of a year.
For several generations, the families of both Cecilia and Albin would be silent about the crime—until Cecilia’s great-grandson, award-winning journalist Gary Sosniecki, uncovered the family’s dark secret. At long last, The Potato Masher Murder: Death at the Hands of a Jealous Husband, published by The Kent State University Press, unearths the full story of two immigrant families united by love and torn apart by domestic violence.
In his presentation, “Uncovering a Deadly Family Secret: The Potato Masher Murder,” Sosniecki will talk about his great-grandmother’s death and the journey he took in writing a book about it.
Retired journalist Gary Sosniecki, the great-grandson of the victim, worked at newspapers in four states during a 43-year career that included owning three community newspapers with his journalist wife Helen. He has received dozens of awards for journalism excellence from state, national, and international newspaper organizations including, with Helen, the Eugene Cervi lifetime-achievement award from the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors. Gary and his wife were inducted into the Missouri Press Association Hall of Fame in 2014. His book, The Potato Masher Murder: Death at the Hands of a Jealous Husband, is published by The Kent State University Press.
Saturday February 27 Meeting
11:00 a.m. business meeting
12:00 noon - Speakers
Tammy Ayers and Mel Cabre
The Legend of Bigfoot
TAMMY AYERS and MEL CABRE, mother-and-daughter co-authors of the new book from Indiana University Press, “The Legend of Bigfoot,” will be with us in February to tell us about their research, their interest, the people who elevated Bigfoot to super-stardom, the history, science, the myths, and all things Sasquatch!
The Legend of Bigfoot: Leaving His Mark On the World available on Amazon
TAMMY AYERS, who writes under the name T.S. Mart, specializes in true-to-life stories that showcase ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. She has background in social work and makes her home in a small Midwestern town, where she writes to inspire and entertain. Tammy owns and maintains the website cryptidworld.com, where she regularly post content about various cryptids, creatures, and fascinating creations.
MEL CABRE is a digital creature designer and illustrator who is passionate about mentoring new artists and showcasing diverse talent. Constantly inspired by the uniqueness found in nature keeps Mel’s imagination alive. Tammy is based in Greenville, Ohio while Mel splits her time between Ohio and London, UK.
Free download: A Beginner’s Guide to Cryptozoology if you Sign up for our newsletter at https://cryptidworld.com
A Guide to Sky Monsters: Thunderbirds, the Jersey Devil, Mothman, and Other Flying Cryptids coming May 2021 from Red Lightning Books
Saturday March 27 Meeting
11:00 a.m. business meeting
12:00 noon - Speaker
Author John Gilstrap
Who's Story are You Telling?
Choosing the correct point of view is one of the key elements of dramatic storytelling. Bestselling author John Gilstrap has been praised by Publishers Weekly for “flawless characterization” in his books, and in this interactive session, he’ll walk you through the critical decisions that help you propel your story through the most dramatic set of eyes. There will be a writing exercise or two.
John Gilstrap is the New York Times bestselling author of Hellfire, Total Mayhem, Scorpion Strike, Final Target, Friendly Fire, Against All Enemies, End Game, High Treason, Damage Control, Threat Warning, Hostage Zero, No Mercy, Nathan’s Run, At All Costs, Even Steven, Scott Free, and Six Minutes to Freedom. His next book, Crimson Phoenix, is the first of a new series scheduled for release in February 2021.
In addition, John has written four screenplays for Hollywood, adapting the works of Nelson DeMille, Norman McLean and Thomas Harris; and he is contracted to write and co-produce the film adaptation of his book, Six Minutes to Freedom.
John received an International Thriller Writers’ Award for Against All Enemies and is a two-time ITW Award finalist. He also won the ALA Alex Award for Nathan’s Run, which was optioned for film by Warner Bros. A long-time friend of the Speed City Sisters in Crime, John is a frequent presenter at literary events—from local libraries to The Smithsonian Institution, including Indiana events such as Midwest Writers Workshop and Magna Cum Murder.
John is a renowned safety expert with extensive knowledge of explosives, hazardous materials, and fire behavior. He lives in Fairfax, Virginia and can be found online at JohnGilstrap.com.
Checkout the guidelines for Speed City Sisters in Crime's 8th anthology, coming in October 2021. All Speed City Indiana Chapter members are eligible to submit stories to this spooky Halloween themed edition.
Speed City Sisters in Crime meets monthly on the fourth Saturday of each month from January to November. There is a critique group meeting at 10:00, followed by the regular business meeting at 11:00 and a guest speaker at 12:00.
Speed City SinC Author Bios
Member author Stephen Terrell has had an article "How to Add Novelist to Your Credentials" published in the American Bar Association's Experience Magazine -- Jan/Feb 2021 issue. He will have another article on the Business of Writing published this spring for the same publication.
But how do you become a writer? You don’t need an agent. You don’t need to be paid. You don’t need to be published. You just need to write. Like so many skills, writing is developed by doing, preferably daily. A journal is a good way to develop the writing habit. Maybe it’s a gratitude journal, reflections on your day, coffee shop observations, or perhaps story ideas and character sketches. A personal blog is a convenient way to write for some. Whatever you choose, write regularly.
Murder 20/20 Authors interviewed by Black Dog Books
Interview with Authors Janet Williams and Stephen Terrell from Speed City Sisters in Crime
Interview with Authors B.K. Hart and Ross Carley from Speed City Sisters in Crime
Interview with Authors Tony Perona and Ramona Henderson from Speed City Sisters in Crime
Interview with Authors Lillie Evans and Jon Burroughs from Speed City Sisters in Crime
Jon Burroughs as James Whitcomb Riley
Speed City Author Jon Burroughs transformed into James Whitcomb Riley for the Hoosier Poet's annual birthday celebration on Saturday, October 3rd. Burroughs created four original poems for the celebration and did a one man show as Riley talking about the poet's life through anecdotes and poems. The Greenfield Daily Reporter covered the kick-off to the annual event on Saturday, which took place at the Riley Boyhood Home & Museum in Greenfield, Indiana.
This year's festival is simpler and socially-distanced, emphasizing local businesses and the history of Indiana's famed writer.
Writing True Crime: Q&A with Janis Thornton
Journalist and romance writer Cathy Shouse interviews Speed City Sisters in Crime member Janis Thornton about her exciting new book No Place Like Murder. A modern retelling of 20 sensational true crimes, No Place Like Murder reveals the inside details behind nefarious acts that shocked the Midwest between 1869 and 1950.
Released in September from Speed City's own Janis Thornton:
No Place Like Murder
True Crime in the Midwest
A modern retelling of 20 sensational true crimes, No Place Like Murder reveals the inside details behind nefarious acts that shocked the Midwest between 1869 and 1950. The stories chronicle the misdeeds, examining the perpetrators' mindsets, motives, lives, apprehensions, and trials, as well as what became of them long after.
An enthralling and chilling collection, No Place Like Murder is sure to thrill true crime lovers.
Murder 20/20 Is here!