Register to attend the 2017 S.B. Writers Conference

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Be regular & orderly in your life…so that you may be violent & original in your work. – Gustave Flaubert

- Lisa Lenard-Cook

SwirlStaff: Click on the workshop leaders' photos to see more about each one.

Melodie Johnson Howe

About Me

Melodie Johnson Howe always wanted to be a writer. But born in Los Angeles, she was “discovered” at a cocktail party, and put under contract to Universal Studios as an actress. In her first acting job she was shot dead in the titles of a TV movie. They covered her with a sheet and carted her off to an ambulance, with only her blonde hair showing. Over the next few years she acted in such movies as The Ride To Hangman’s Tree co-starring with James Farentino; Coogan’s Bluff with Clint Eastwood; Gaily, Gaily directed by Norman Jewison; Rabbit Run with James Caan; and The Moonshine War, co-starring with Alan Alda. During this period she also went to UCLA Extension at night to learn the craft of writing. After quitting acting she wrote her first mystery novel, The Mother Shadow, which was nominated for the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Allen Poe Award. The second mystery novel, Beauty Dies soon followed. Turning to the short story form she created a new character Diana Poole, an actress verging on middle age. The stories were published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. Two have been nominated for the Barry Award. They are now collected into one book, Shooting Hollywood: The Diana Poole Stories.

City of Mirrors, Howe’s latest novel also features Diana Poole and brings her acting life and writing life together. As The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said, “City of Mirrors is slick and smart with a “Chinatown” vibe, only funnier and with an insider's view of Hollywood, a place that “has the attention span of a coked-up executive producer,’ a place where people live in ‘Technicolor ’ and then ‘fade to black.’”