March 13 2013 12:00 AM

Detroit author reaches out to Michigan writers


Thriller writer Karen Dionne, who will keynote the 26th annual “A Rally of Writers,” has had three novels published, including the environmental thrillers “Boiling Point” and “Freezing Point.” The Detroit native is noted for her meticulous research, including a visit to an active volcano in Chaiten, Chile, for “Boiling Point.” On April 13, she will join 15 other authors, including several from the Lansing area, in A Rally of Writers, a daylong session on writing and getting published. 

Dionne began writing 12 years ago while living in St. Ignace. She didn’t know any other writers living in the area, so she took it upon herself to start an online writer’s organization called Backspace, which has grown to 1,900 members in a dozen countries. Dionne said the membership includes New York Times bestselling authors as well as authors who are just starting out.

“I’ve watched and listened and learned as hundreds of aspiring members became published,” Dionne said.

Local authors include Andrea King Collier, a nonfiction writer and essayist; Lev Raphael, a mystery writer and nonfiction writer; Mike Stratton, a fiction writer; Peter Morris, an award-winning baseball writer; and Allison Moulton, a fantasy writer. Breakouts include sessions on writing for children, interviewing, fantasy writing, humor techniques and self-publishing.

A special pre-Rally event begins at 7 p.m. April 12 at the Eastwood Schuler Books. The event will feature three noted baseball writers who will discuss writing for the genre. Morris, who has won the Seymour Award for the best baseball book of the year twice, will join Tom Stanton (“The Final Season”) and William Anderson (“The Glory Years: 1920-1950”), both whom write about the Detroit Tigers. 

Morris’ new book, “Cracking Baseball’s Cold Cases,” is about his 20-year pursuit of old-time major leaguers who vanished after their careers were over. He will also present on what he calls “organic writing,” or how to write the book you were born to write.

In addition to her speech, Dionne will also conduct two breakout sessions: One on getting noticed and another on “balancing beautiful language with storytelling.”

A Rally of Writers
April 13
8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Lansing Community College West Campus
5708 Cornerstone Dr.
Lansing Township
$85 at the door ($75 advance), $65 students ($55 advance)