Posts Tagged ‘Echelon Press’


Claudia says: Or, why you should register for SCWC LA9

August 31, 2011

Claudia WhitsittYes, friends, there is still time to register for the Ninth Annual Southern California Writers’ Conference, Los Angeles edition, a.k.a. LA9. And if our friend Claudia Whitsitt doesn’t mind, I would like to borrow a little of this and a pinch of that, and perhaps a dash of something else in order to explain to you just why you should be signing up for “the best writers’ conference EVER!

(Isn’t that sweet? Thank you so much, Claudia. I’m certain MSG is smiling. And if not, we’ll try the stapler.)

Why, you ask? The first time I attended this conference, I was scared to death. My knees rattled, my breathing arrested, my heart clutched inside my chest. I was a newbie. What the hell did I know about writing? But then, at the opening session, Michael Steven Gregory, the head of the conference, spoke in his loud announcer-like voice, reassuring me and the rest of the writers in the room that we would SUCK LESS at writing after having attended this conference. His humor and his honesty relaxed us all. And we remained hopeful, that as we tread in these unventured waters, we’d learn how to swim.

He encouraged us to network, and challenged us to introduce ourselves to someone new. He told us that the best networking happens in the bar. I took his advice and found that he was right. While it’s true that I might spend a little more time there now than I should, I’ve also made some of the best connections, cultivated some of the best friendships and met some of the most talented people I could ever hope to meet.

I should also mention that this is where I met my publisher, Karen Syed of Echelon Press, and where I entered my essay in the SCWC/Hummingbird Review contest and … WON! I’m not trying to toot my own horn here, just share with you the wonderful things that can happen at SCWC.

I mean, really. I don’t think if we were to throw together a late-night infomercial that I could script a testimony like that.

So come on. What have you got to lose? I mean, who doesn’t want to suck less?

SCWC LA9 is slated for September 23-25, in Newport Beach. Be there. Really. Or I’ll have to send Claudia with the stapler.

(Claudia Whitsitt is the author of The Wrong Guy, published by Echelon Press.)



Echelon lands three more books at SCWC

November 5, 2009

Another three SCWC conferees have scored book deals with Echelon Press. Barbara DeShong, who’s been with us several times, is now the proud author of her debut novel Too Rich & Too Thin: Not an Autobiography, a comedic mystery out this past September. SD23 conferee Nick Valentino’s steampunk adventure, Thomas Riley, will be published February. And we just got word that Jennifer Hilborne’s Madness and Murder is due third quarter of 2010.

This makes for at least five first-time novelists being discovered by Echelon publisher Karen Syed at the SCWC in the past two years. Given her success rate with us, rest assured that she’ll be joining us again in February, as will many other familiar faces and new. Pop over to to see who all’s already aboard.



Teresa Burrell sells her debut novel, over and over again

April 29, 2009

Author, attorney and longtime SCWCer Teresa Burrell’s debut legal thriller, The Advocate, draws from her extensive legal background representing abused minors and juvenile delinquents. Telling the story of when one Sabre Orin Brown’s search for her missing brother and her career as a Juvenile Court attorney collide while defending a nine-year-old whose father will go to any length to obtain custody, the book is due August from Echelon Press.

Thing is, because her publisher’s just so damned pushy, Tee also found herself surprisingly selling copies of it at past weekend’s Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. Be sure to check out her site ( and follow her blog where she’s currently blogging the alphabet.



Gayle Carline sells her book — 17 of them, to be exact

April 29, 2009

Author Gayle Carline’s awesome debut novel, Freezer Burn (Echelon Press), is due to be released in July. The awesome L.A. Times book festival took place this past weekend. Echelon’s publisher phoned Gayle two days before with some unexpected news.

For a fine lesson in timing, marketing savvy, and the ability of one writer to keep her wits about her without the benefit of a fistful of pharmaceuticals, check out Gayle’s blog, On the Edge of the Chair of Literature.



Gayle Carline on her new novel

April 21, 2009

Columnist and longtime SCWCer Gayle Carline’s Freezer Burn is out shortly from Echelon Press. Here’s a little glimpse into the characters Gayle had to wrestle with in her debut comedic mystery.



KYSL SD23: Karen Syed

February 12, 2009

Know Your Session Leaders ….

Karen Syed is another who I have listed as “TBA”. You know, I’ll just say that’s me. But, more importantly, Karen is the owner of Echelon Press, a diverse genre house that includes the 2009 Eppie finalist Just a Memory, by Lois Carroll, and Toni LoTempio’s suspenseful Witch’s Pawn. In fact, if you look through their catalog, you’ll know better what I mean by diverse.

So keep an eye out for Karen, too.



“Crying on the Sidewalk, Talking to ‘Rome'”

October 2, 2008

A conferee from our San Diego 22 event, writer Rich Howard, just got his blog up and running and was kind enough to let us know. For both accomplished and emerging writers everywhere, there’s much to glean from Rich’s entry describing his experience at SD22. My favorite excerpt, however, regards an exchange he had with Echelon Press publisher Karen Syed, during their one-on-one conversation addressing his manuscript:

“I owe you an apology,” she said. I looked at her, baffled. “There may be corrections in these pages somewhere but I was so into what I was reading I forgot to edit.” We both laughed.

Why does that appeal to me? Simple. Distinctive voice and quality storytelling can often transcend the trivial issues found in the opening pages. Engage the reader fully and you can get away with damn near any split infinitive!

Read Rich’s entire post



Three Cheers: Gayle gets a deal!

June 13, 2008

(Updated: See below.)

Congratulations to our good friend Gayle Carline, who sent us the following announcement:

I just accepted an offer by Echelon Press to publish my very first novel, Freezer Burn. It’s a murder mystery, set in my hometown of Placentia. Briefly:

Peri Minneopa has traded her housecleaning career for a private investigator’s license. Her timing seems perfect, especially when she cleans a former client’s freezer and finds a severed hand inside, wearing an expensive ring.

We’re waiting on any further details, but for now it is enough to simply cheer—


    You go, girl!

    Knock ’em dead, kid!

—and all that sort of thing.

Good show, Gayle!

And let us not leave out Karen Syed and Echelon Press, who are good friends of the SCWC. Perhaps we are a bit biased, but picking up Gayle is definitely a good move. Personally, I can’t be doing any drinking tonight, but rest assured I’ll be raising a glass to both the first opportunity I get.

So hip, hip, and hoo-ray Gayle, and do let us know when you have a release date!

Update: The deal apparently was reached without agent representation, but Gayle did mention—and we certainly must acknowledge—the efforts of her editor, the inimitable Jean Jenkins.