October 21, 12:45 p.m.-4:00 p.m. at Georgia State University: Perimeter College – Dunwoody Campus, 2101 Womack Rd, Dunwoody, GA 30338, Building N-C auditorium and café. (If you’re not on our mailing list, use the form here to add yourself so you will get any updates about this meeting.)

This meeting may be recorded; if so, the recording link will be shared in the following month’s eQuill newsletter.


12:45-1:30 p.m. Nosh and Networking Mixer for members and first-time visitors in the café


1:30-1:45 p.m. AWC announcements and upcoming events with AWC President Jill Evans


1:45 p.m.-2:45 p.m. First Speaker – Sarah Pekkanen: From Book to Screen: Writing Novels that Grab Hollywood’s Attention

© 2020 | Kristina Sherk Photography | www.Kristinasherk.com
Sarah Pekkanen is the #1 New York Times bestselling co-author of four novels of suspense including THE GOLDEN COUPLE and THE WIFE BETWEEN US, and the solo author of the thriller GONE TONIGHT. Colleen Hoover says it is “Riveting, original and powerful. I’m a huge fan of Sarah Pekkanen’s books, and GONE TONIGHT is her best yet!” In her free time, Sarah is a dedicated volunteer for rescue animals and serves as Ambassador for RRSA India, working hands-on to vaccinate and heal street dogs in Anand, India. Sarah lives just outside of Washington, D.C. Please follow her on Instagram @sarahpekkanen and visit www.sarahpekkanen.com for more.
On October 21, Sarah will present “From Book to Screen: Writing Novels that Grab Hollywood’s Attention.” It’s wonderful to have a book out in the world – and the excitement is amplified when it is optioned for film. How does that process work, and what can help make a work of fiction be scooped up by producers and actors? Pekkanen, who was hired by Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment to co-write the screenplay based on one of her best-selling novels, shares her insight.




2:45-3:00 p.m. Book signing for Sarah Pekkanen


3:00-4:00 p.m. Second Speaking Slot – AWC Member Moment with 12 AWC members offering 5-minute introductions to themselves and their work


Anne Armistead

Treacherous: adjective, tending to betray; guilty of or involving betrayal or deception. Great premise for a novel, right? Well, Anne’s writing journey began with trying to get her YA historical fiction called TREACHEROUS HEARTS published, and almost ended because of the “treachery” of the publisher with whom she had in good faith signed a contract. Everything started promising. They worked together editing, copyediting, and designing the cover. But a month before the release date, the publisher quit answering emails or phone calls. Her fall 2017 release date came and went. The company vanished from the publishing world. No royalties were being paid or books being published. Anne engaged an attorney to get her rights back to her manuscript. All certified, return receipt correspondence stating breach of contract went unsigned for. After a legal waiting period as directed by her lawyer, the publisher was considered in breach of contract and her rights returned. Anne licked her wounds before revving up courage to send the manuscript out again and soon signed with Soul Mate Publishing. She again went through the process to ready the manuscript for publication. Her story became the paranormal historical romance titled DANGEROUS CONJURINGS, released April 2018. Since then, she has become a hybrid author, having self-published WITH KISSES FROM CECILE, a historical fiction with romantic elements that won the 2020 Georgia Independent Author Award. Her sweet contemporary romance A CHRISTMAS CANNOLI KISS was released in 2021 by Wild Rose Press. This past winter, she signed a three-book deal with Soul Mate for a series of time travel romances called The Carousel Time Traveler. Book One, A TRYST IN PARIS, was released in August. Anne fell in love with words as a kindergartener learning to read and dreamed of writing stories others could read. She pinches herself daily that she’s privileged to be living that dream.


Cherie Claire

Cherie started her author journey with a series of historical romances published by Kensington under this pen name. She started writing mysteries after suffering through Hurricane Katrina and came up with the idea of a woman seeing ghosts who have died by water following a hurricane. Cherie independently published the Viola Valentine mysteries but they have been doing quite well, mostly because she had a following through traditional publishing with her romances. Ghost Lights is the eighth book in the series. Cherie is a freelance journalist by day, mostly write about Southern travel, food and culture. She has published five non-fiction books through traditional publishers under her real name.






Mike Coleman

Mike Coleman is the author of The Way from Me to Us, a memoir about his and his husband’s nearly 50 years together against the backdrop of major cultural change in attitudes toward LGBTQ+ people. Released in June 2023 by Riverdale Avenue Books, the memoir is the story of two men who wouldn’t have imagined when they met in a gay bar in 1977 that same-sex marriage would be legal one day. It’s a story of struggle, of courage, of the triumph of an undeniable love. The Way from Me to Us is also the culmination of a 45-year writing journey for Mike. It’s his retirement creation after a successful career as a journalist and writer for nonprofit organizations and businesses. Mike knew when he produced a newsletter for his fourth-grade class that writing was the thing he was best at. He is grateful for the gift … and grateful for a publisher who found value in his story for readers across the generations. Read more at www.mikecolemanauthor.com.



Jon Costales

Jon has been writing since the early 1970s and has completed three science fiction novels and two fantasy novels along with several short stories. Three of these are still in a first draft format waiting for him to return to them. Vestaria-The Waking Dragon has been edited but is still in need of changes. The story has gone through a change of focus to make the story about a single character. Visions of Redemption, a science fiction novel, was self-published in 2022. It is volume one of a three-book series called The Adventures of Bove Sandle. Book two Visions of Deception is scheduled for release in early 2024. Finishing Vestaria – The Waking Dragon will be Jon’s next project and then book three of the Bove Sandle series.





Kelli Franklin-Joyner

Kelli Joyner, also known as K. Joyner makes her premiere as an author with Unimaginable Loss…Godly Transformation: During the Age of COVID, which tells the story of the unfathomable loss of three immediate family members within six months of each other during 2021. It has been over two years since those horrific events, and her grief journey has been a series of ups and downs. Along the way, the Lord revealed many things, her faith has become stronger, and she now understands the Lord never left her side.  This book serves as a testimony of her grief journey and a journal for others who have experienced loss. Kelli grew up in Detroit and credits God and her parents for the person she has become. She always enjoyed books and dreamed of becoming an author. At the end of 2020, Kelli retired from a 35+ year career at an Atlanta-based company. Her retirement, coupled with the events of 2021, prompted her to begin writing in January of this year.  She is currently writing her second book.



Kate Hallock

Kate Hallock started writing when she was home with small children, in spite of the fact that she went to Georgia Tech, where the focus was almost exclusively left brain. After writing a few poems and children’s books, she started a novel. None of those have reached the light of day, as of yet, but they helped her to grow her writing voice. Last May she celebrated the publication of her debut novel, Nine Ways to Die: An Enneagram Murder Mystery.








Samantha Harrell

Samantha Harrell has been writing about the great love of our Lord Jesus since she was thirty, when her aunt told her then that the Lord said to write down all the miraculous things she was experiencing—dreams, visions, and angelic encounters. So in 2014, she started a blog which eventually became the inspiration for her first book, His Child: Asking Jesus for Your True Identity. She began compiling that book in 2018 when another friend shared, “The Lord says, ‘It’s time to write.’” In 2021, she published her second book, Captive in Norway. Samantha loves Jesus, her family, and babies—including those still enjoying the safety of the womb. She advocates for the humanization and protection of life at all stages, praying and anticipating the end of abortion in our nation. The pro-life cause is the inspiration for her forthcoming picture book titled, Patience the Peahen. Samantha is an ordained Christian minister, a self-published author, and co-owner of Latitude Design and Construction. She lives in Cartersville, Georgia, with her husband, Nicholas and their five children.


Maryann Hopper

Maryann Hopper is a writer and a storyteller who grew up in Mississippi. Her first novel, A Lineage of Deception, is set in the fictional town of Crosston, Mississippi, and on Birdsong Farm, a family compound. The novel is an inter-generational journey with the cunning Hopkins sisters, their errant husbands, their two besieged daughters, and a “lost” granddaughter. Inspired by Eudora Welty’s quizzical characters and true-to-life dialog, Hopper delves into the lives of folks that often confound her and just lets them talk it out. Hopper is currently at work on a young adult novel, Tiffany at Odds, trying to figure out the early life of the “lost” granddaughter who inserted herself into A Lineage of Deception. Her first collection of short stories, Missing the Magnolias, was an audio book, followed by a second collection entitled, Don’t Let the Flies In. Her short story “New Brunswick Enigma” was published last year in Litmosphere: Journal of Charlotte Lit. She is a member of the Georgia Writers Registry. She has a Master of Arts degree from the University of Memphis.



Jay Morris

By the age of five, Jay developed a passion for reading.  However, in fourth grade one of his teachers, Mrs. Heffler, challenged the entire class to read and write one-page book reports for every book they read. Jay read over 60 books and developed a deep, hidden love for writing. Unfortunately, he was discouraged from taking writing classes in school because writing was viewed as a waste of time. He later realized that writing brought him great joy. And if nothing else, Jay was determined to pursue one of the few things that he truly enjoyed. Sixty years later, he has written his first book, Masterpiece, Our Journey to Spiritual Transformation. This is a book that explores the purpose and presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. It makes the Bible practical and provides powerful examples of ways to transform our souls. Masterpiece is the first step to embracing our spiritual heritage in becoming the masterpiece that God purposed each of us to be. It is a book of hope.




Sharon Pellom

When Sharon was seventeen years old, she watched her dad lying dying, and he looked up at her, and said “Sharon, HE LIVES. Her books HE LIVES and AWAKE! are of her life journey from the age of seventeen until now with the Creator/She/He. They are testimonies: personal and historical. She has been set free. If she can help anyone by sharing these testimonies her life will not have been lived in vain.







Samantha SoRelle

Samantha has three great interests that have stuck with her her entire life: the lives of people you don’t read about in history books, unapologetic romance, and nice juicy murders. When she began writing books that included all these elements, she worried that she’d be writing for an audience of one, but it turns out plenty of readers like a little murder in their historical romance! Samantha has now written half a dozen books and multiple short stories, most of them in her popular “His Lordship’s Mysteries” series which follows Alfie and Dominick—an earl with secrets and a boxer with a past—as they make their way around Regency England, falling in love and tripping over the dead bodies that seem to turn up wherever they go! In the latest novel His Lordship’s Blood, they attempt to uncover the truth about Dominick’s past, but find themselves caught in a web that may prove impossible to escape with their relationship and their lives intact. More information (and FREE short stories!) can be found on her website: www.samanthasorelle.com.



Sirish Subash

Sirish is 12 years old, and he is in 8th grade. He started on his writing journey when he was about six. He watched a documentary about climate change, and it showed him just how much people are suffering from the effects of climate — and how much more they may suffer if humanity continues on its current track. It broke his heart, but it also ignited something in him — a drive to keep this from worsening. Along those lines, Sirish thought a book would be the best way to explain climate change and how to prevent it. That is how he started writing his first book, Carbon Block Puzzle. He started with a rough draft in a journal, researching the topics chapter by chapter with books, documentaries, and articles. After the draft was finished, he typed it up, making many edits along the way, reaching a second draft which was mostly finalized. Then he proofread it multiple times, letting his parents proofread it as well. Then, he got the cover done and formatted the book. Finally, two years after starting, Sirish self-published Carbon Block Puzzle. Then, when the COVID-19 pandemic rolled along, he discovered biochemistry. A few years later, he decided he should try to share the wonders of biochemistry with the world, but in an easy-to-understand way. That was when he decided he would write a book on it. But not just any book — a graphic novel. Sirish first wrote a manuscript on paper. Once he got a few chapters in, he started typing it up with some sketches in a second draft simultaneously. Soon, he found a digital artist and started completing his book. Two years after the start, Sirish published his second book, Biochemistry the Fun Way! 


4:00-4:15 p.m. Book signing for the AWC Member Moment speakers in the café