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The Newsletter of the Tulsa Nightwriters March


Mystery Writer Bill Bernhardt to speak at March Meeting

Ever dream of writing a series of novels or become a best-selling author?
Who hasn't? Well, if you want to be briefed on the road to success, don't
miss the March meeting where our presiding speaker will be none other than
best-selling, Tulsa author, Bill Bernhardt.

With his ninth Justice book, Silent Justice, having hit the bookstore
shelves in February, there's no doubt that Bill knows what it takes to get
the publishers' and the public's attention. He'll keep you riveted, from his
opening arguments to his closing address. Best of all, each book in the
series is a great read all on its own - reading them all in a row will just
make you clamor for the next one.

Critics hailed William Bernhardt's earlier bestsellers as "captivating"
(New York Law Journal) and "throat grabbing" (New York Daily News). His
publisher said that with Silent Justice his storytelling prowess reaches
heightened levels of intensity and ingenuity, and is constructed with enough
twists to keep even expert whodunit solvers off-balance. And if you want
another impartial (and critical) opinion, the Library Journal declares Bill
"the master of the courtroom drama." Check out his website at

If that weren't enough, Bill started his own press, HAWK Publishing, to
get more quality books into readers' hands. Now up to nine titles, his
authors range from local literary authors like Teresa Miller, to sci-fi
favorites like K.D. Wentworth and John Wooley. Look them up at the website
at As the owner of the Wentworth and Miller titles, I
recommend them highly.

I also recommend that you find your seat at the next meeting of the Tulsa
Nightwriters on Tuesday, March 21st at 7:00. Come listen to Bill's advice,
chuckle over the anecdotes he shares, get your own signed copy of Silent
Justice, and learn what it takes to be a best-selling author. Believe me,
you'll have no objections.

The Prez Sez by Rhonda Lunsford

This month I need your help. I have one more duty to perform pertaining
to the planning stage of the May 2000 conference and it requires the support
of the entire OWFI membership. I need to appoint a nominating committee to
fill the Officer positions for next year. This committee of three people
will use the telephone to canvas current Board members and find some
adventurous people to step in as President, Second Vice President and
Treasurer. Only existing board members may be officers, so the list of
prospective candidates is considerably shorter than the general membership.
Getting interested now?

The Board is comprised of all affiliate delegates, President, First Vice
President, Second Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary. Usually, the
Second VP will move into the First VP position. Our excellent Secretary,
Allison Thompson will remain as Secretary, so that leaves three positions to

President: The duty of the OWFI President is to plan the upcoming
conference. This requires obtaining speakers and assigning committees. It's
time consuming in terms of writing letters and making phone calls, but the
rewards are tremendous. You not only have an opportunity to speak to many
agents, editors and published authors, but relationships you develop with
them may well further your own writing career. LOTS of help is available from
a myriad of volunteers. The President also presides over quarterly board

First Vice President: First VP is General Contest Chair for the writing
competition. He/She collects the entry fees and appoints category chairs.
First VP attends quarterly board meeting and presides in absence of the

Second Vice President: The Second VP appoints judges for the writing
competition and attends the quarterly board meetings.

Treasurer: OWFI Treasurer collects dues from affiliate clubs and
maintains an accurate membership roster. Treasurer also provides that roster
to the newsletter editor and appoints volunteers to man the conference's
registration table. The Treasurer attends quarterly board meetings and
provides a financial statement for the club.
Please contact me if you are willing to be on the nominating committee, or if
a delegate whether you'd to willing to be an officer. Please remember that
the success of OWFI is totally dependent on the participation of its members.
This means you.
The Mystery Corner
Murder 2 By Katherine Hurst

For those who have not discovered the mystery, a treat is waiting. To
successfully write a mystery, either short story or novel, an understanding
of human nature is essential. A mystery is not only the exploration of the
dark side of my neighbor, but also of myself. I can vicariously live the
turmoil a murder causes in everyone it touches.

The discerning mind is baffled by the complexity of a crime and the
investigative techniques required to solve it. The mystery is a story that
demands our full attention if we are to unravel the puzzle. It is not an
easy story to write. In the mystery, we must have more than a beginning, a
middle and an end. The characters must be fully alive and believable. The
plot is much more than basic, it must challenge the ingenuity of the reader.

The mystery does not easily lend itself to a story that tells the reader
who the guilty party is in the beginning. This type of story needs to move
at a pace that keeps the reader guessing if the antagonist will be caught
without the loss of another life. This type of story is more suspense than
mystery and has no clues to unravel; instead, its fast pace leaves the reader

The true mystery is peopled with characters who have doubts and character
defects outside the problem of murder. These character flaws or personal
demons are used for subplots. To play fair, the writer must devise clues
that will take the reader in the right direction. But it permissible to
throw in a red herring now and then that could be a logical outcome of the
clues, but actually leads the reader in the wrong direction and creates
suspense in the story.

Once murder has unleashed violence into ordinary lives, the writer must
then bring order out of chaos by studying the character traits of the
criminal, what brought him or her to the point of murder, at the same time
realizing that perhaps anyone could commit murder under the right conditions.

Each story must have a satisfying ending if it remains a true mystery.
The corruption must be purged and good wins over evil. If the antagonist
wins and justice is not served, the story becomes a psychological study and
not a true mystery.

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