Let’s talk about books and authors and brain research microscopes

February 26, 2019


I wasn’t thinking about Oscar Wilde’s quip that, “The great events of the world take place in the brain” when I had my two surgeries on the thinking organ. But I’ve thought a lot about it since. Which is why I’m enthused to announce that I’ll be a featured author at a fund raiser for brain research sponsored by the Brandeis University National Committee.

It will be held April 4, 2019, beginning  at 11:30 a.m. at The Crosby Club, 17102 Bing Crosby Boulevard in Rancho Santa Fe.

Monies raised will help to procure a “next generation, resonant scanning, two photon microscope” to provide Brandeis University’s world-renowned brain researchers with more exquisite information about the structure of the human brain and how it works.

Here are the bios of the three authors in attendance as prepared by event organizers:

Retired San Diego police officer T.B. Smith, also a novelist and Shakespeare expert, created Cop World Press last year to help give those in law enforcement a literary voice. In 1978, after graduating from San Diego State University with a degree in literature, a minor in creative writing and a long- lasting love for Shakespeare, he joined the San Diego Police Department. Now based in Ashland, home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Smith is writing his third Luke Jones novel, The Winter of Our Discontent. Smith believes that, in general, cops are great storytellers. But because he knows that doesn’t necessarily mean they are skilled at writing. Cop World Press offers mentoring and careful collaboration. “Most traditional publishing companies say ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ But we say ‘yes, if you’re willing to work;’ our standards are high.” If an author has talent, we help them bring their writing to our standards and we publish it.

Susan Meissner is the critically-acclaimed author of 20 novels. Her engaging stories feature memorable characters facing unique and complex circumstances, often against a backdrop of historical significance. A multi-award winning author, her books have earned starred reviews in both Publishers Weekly and BookList. She was born and raised in San Diego, California, but spent some of her adult life living in Minnesota as well as in England and Germany, before returning home to southern California in 2007. Prior to her writing career, she was a managing editor of a weekly newspaper in southwestern Minnesota. She enjoys teaching workshops on writing, spending time with her family, reading great books and traveling. She and her husband, Bob, are the parents of four adult children.

Allen Wittenborn is the author of two novels: Kokang: A Novel of Southeast Asia and The Defiance of Reiko Murata. He is a retired professor of history and Asian studies, at the Center for Asian & Pacific Studies of San Diego State University, who taught there for 25 years. He has been traveling to Asia ever since he jumped aboard a tramp steamer in 1964. That led to him changing his major to Chinese studies. Eventually, he earned a master’s degree in international relations and a doctorate in history and Asian history studies. Inspired by his fascination for Asian cultures, most especially Japanese, he writes about the role of women in Asian cultures, particularly strong and/or influential women. He has since lived in various Asian countries several times, traveled all over the world, divides his time between San Diego and points west, and he and his wife have lived in Rancho Bernardo since 2007.

While it’s sponsored by Brandeis University’s National Committee, anyone interested in good books, the wonders of the brain or spending quality time with authors of various genres is welcome. Those interested in receiving an invitation can contact Barbara Howard at barbarahoward@gmail.com.

Once again, the event is to be held on April 4, 2019, 11:30 a.m., at the The Crosby Club, 17102 Bing Crosby Boulevard, Rancho Santa Fe. I hope to see you there.

CopWorld Press Seeks Writers for San Diego Police Department Anthology

November 20, 2018

CopWorld Press is seeking submissions from current and former SDPD employees for a book in anthology form.

We ‘d also like input about a potential theme. Themes might include short memoirs, character studies of real officers, stories about when an officer saved the day, when an officer did something extraordinary, weird calls or…(fill in the blank here)– or a hodgepodge of whatever you want to write about.

Please send along your thoughts on this topic. Your work will be edited and brought to professional standards before the book is published. There will be a fee for participation, but a generous royalty schedule and royalties will be dispersed on a semi-annual basis. To indicate your potential interests, please send an email to 20smithtb@gmail.com.

Ex-San Diego Officer Helps Fellow Cops Get Published

November 11, 2018

Beth Wood of the “San Diego Union-Tribune” wrote a fine article about CopWorld Press that’s printed in today’s paper. She describes the mission of CopWorld Press as providing a platform for law enforcement authors to get their stories published. I’ve added a link to her story below.

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/entertainment/books/sd-et-books-smith-20180926-story.html#share=email~story

Bestselling Cop Author Dallas Barnes is Back with “A Man in Heat”

May 7, 2018

Available for Immediate Pre-order

Book Release Date: May 15, 2018

Buy at a discount – go to: http://www.copworldpress.com

Read the newest police thriller from the bestselling author of “City of Passion” and “Deadly Justice”…

Jake Prescott is a respected LA cop, until the day he empties his Glock into his wife’s killer in a detective squad room. A trial board quickly turns him into an ex-cop. An ex-cop with nowhere to hide.

Las Vegas-the City of Chance, Babylon in the desert, a place with no clocks, first names only, glimmering day and night-offers him refuge. That is until fate curses him a second time as the shadow of another murder hangs over him.

April Winters, a hauntingly attractive Las Vegas homicide detective, draws a thin line between fact and fantasy, as she pieces together a bloody multi-murder with Jake as a prime suspect. Hidden behind the glitter of Las Vegas, Jake Prescott struggles not only for innocence, but identity, fighting an unforgiving Blue Fraternity haunting him with a past he wants to forget…and a future filled with a deadly mix of both passion and fear.

What others are saying about A Man in Heat:

“Reminiscent of the golden age of crime writing, Dallas Barnes hits the mark … ratcheting up the heat in an already sweltering city, This book is not one to miss, and I’ll be looking forward to the next Jake Prescott story.” -David Putnam, best-selling author of The Innocents

“A Man In Heat heralds the triumphant return of the King of Cop-Writers. Dallas Barnes rips away the badge to expose the violent emotional cost of being a cop.”-Paul Bishop, 35 year L.A.P.D. veteran and author of Lie Catchers.

Available for Immediate Pre-order

Book Release Date: May 15, 2018

Buy at a discount – go to: http://www.copworldpress.com

 

Shakespeare for Cops

March 3, 2018

Harvard Professor Jeffrey R. Wilson and I recently conducted a series of Q&A via email regarding an educational program he’s developing called, “Shakespeare for Cops.” The first question and answer comprise the bulk of this post.

Professor Wilson has also posted a video on YouTube depicting his presentation on the topic at the Hudson Strode Program in Renaissance Studies at the University of Alabama. Links to his video and website can be found at the bottom.

Police and the Humanities

  1. In general, how would you describe the relationship between the police and the arts and humanities?

I’m not aware of any formalized relationships. I’m trying to partially address that through CopWorld Press. There are, however, several successful police writers. Chief among them over the decades has been Joe Wambaugh who’s in his 80s now and not writing a lot but was one of the most powerful figures in the publishing industry for several decades. There’s also Dallas Barnes who has published six novels and sold more than a million copies in numerous languages and written for television and the movies. I’m happy to say that CopWorld Press will be publishing his seventh novel, “A Man in Heat” in April of this year. Paul Bishop is also successful in much the same way as Dallas Barnes. What they all have in common in addition to their literary chops is having worked for the LAPD.

I’ve attended an event in Newport Beach, Ca several times called “Men of Mystery” and met a Chicago police officer there who has also done well but I don’t remember his name. Ed Conlon, a Harvard grad had a big success with “Blue Blood,” a memoir of his first couple years as a patrol officer with the NYPD. In my opinion, much of his success stemmed from his college bio. It’s probably not a coincidence that the TV series, “Blue Bloods” features Jamie Reagan who graduated from Harvard Law School before joining the “family business” on the NYPD. While the series has little similarity to Conlon’s book, he was probably remunerated in some way for the title and for Jamie’s character.

Over the years, I’ve had numerous current and retired police officers ask me to help them write their stories, which is one of the reasons I’ve formed CopWorld Press. It provides a venue for police officers who might not otherwise break into the marketplace. In addition to the traditional model, we’re striving to create a social network of people who will participate in creating and disseminating the work of police writers.  I’ve recently  begun a correspondence with an author who’s asked for help in developing a nascent project into a book about a legendary San Diego police officer who died a few years ago.

As a publisher, I’m striving to strengthen the relationship between police authors and arts and humanities by providing an outlet for their creativity. Cops have great stories and they’re great story tellers. Joe Wambaugh is famous for taking groups of cops out for dinner and plying them with booze to loosen their tongues. Many stories told on those occasions have worked their way into his books.

Shakespeare for Cop

https://wilson.fas.harvard.edu/

Wes Albers “Black and White”

February 2, 2018

CopWorld Press has acquired the rights to “Black and White,” a police procedural by Sgt. Wes Albers of the San Diego Police Department.

In addition to his work with the SDPD, Wes teaches at Alliant International University and his book has been taught at Cal State San Marcos for it’s accurate depiction of police work. It’s also been discussed in Law Enforcement publications like “Force Science News” and “Police One” as detailed by Chuck Remsburg, the author of “Street Survival and The Tactical Edge.”

“Black and White” has been reviewed for the International Law Enforcement Educators and Teachers Association and has spent thirty months among the Top Paid Police Procedurals list on iTunes.

Wes Albers’ work completely represents the values of CopWorld Press as it strives to give voice to important law enforcement authors .

 

Dallas Barnes Collaborates with CopWorld Press

December 22, 2017

Why do cops write? Because everything a cop does requires writing. Daily Logs, arrests reports, crime reports, incident reports and on and on. As part of their duties cops write about a myriad of things most of the world never sees. Murder, rape, assault, child abuse, accidents, drugs, bloody bodies, alive and dead, emotional victims, combative arrestee’s, altercations, pursuits and more. Cops see it and cops write about it, again and again. It is not unusual for a cop’s report to be read by thousands, and many become records that last decades.

Some cops, and I’m one of them, are compelled to write. I’ve been fortunate to have seven novels published. All based on my police experiences. I’ve sold over a million copies in seven different countries. My novels became a bridge to primetime where I wrote for twenty-three different series and several motion pictures for television. Why tell you this? Because on a regular basis I see cops writing about their experiences on line. Many of these stories are compelling reads, and many could be novels that have never found print.

My point is, if you’re a cop, and like me, you write because you have, and you’ve written a novel and don’t know what to do next, join the club, I’ve been there. My first trek to becoming a novelist was all up hill. That was then. Fortunately, with the dawn of the internet, it has all changed.

Forget about just dreaming about your book. Forget about sending it to someone you don’t know. Forget about worrying about scams and rip offs. Now there is a Cop who has created a publishing company dedicated to Law Enforcement. The company is CopWorld Press. The cop who created it is TB Smith. TB is a kindred spirit, a retired San Diego Cop who knows what its like to carry a badge and gun. More importantly he knows how to turn dreams into a book.

Not only did I congratulate TB on the opportunity he has created for cops who write I signed with him to publish my seventh novel. I’m not exactly new to writing and publishing, but after learning of TB’s vision I signed with CopWorld for my seventh novel. The title is A Man in Heat and it’s scheduled for release in April 2018. So, if you’re a cop, a former cop or a retired cop and you’re determined to get published find CopWorld on the internet or TB Smith on face book. No, I haven’t been paid or solicited to do this. I’m like Smith. I just like cop stories.

Hard time for publishers and authors

November 27, 2017

Let there be no doubt about it, a writer’s worth in the marketplace is quickly diminishing. Google, Amazon and other giants of the free media age have created a feeding frenzy that’s eating away at an author’s ability to gain just compensation for their work, and larger publishers have moved to a greater emphasis on current best sellers and celebrities.

Smaller publishers are trying to fill the breach and CopWorld Press is in that mix. We want to find and publish law enforcement authors in this increasingly difficult environment, but that doesn’t mean we have lower standards, just a willingness to work with and help authors who have the goods. But there’s a right way and a wrong way to approach any publisher. What follows is a true-life example of exactly the wrong way to do it.

I recently met with an author who’d submitted a manuscript for consideration because we live in the same town and I wanted to help her along her journey. The tag line on the email with her attached manuscript had included the title and the words “a fiction novel.”  I asked her to define a novel. She had no idea that, by definition, it is fiction. She went on to say that she was somewhat confused because her story was partly made up and partly true, and, therefore, the term novel might not apply.

I spent about 40 minutes with her, during which time she twice upbraided me for not having taken the time to read beyond the prologue and initial chapter. I responded that one problem with her manuscript is the too lengthy chapters but gave her an opportunity to provide a verbal synopsis. She did so, without including anything approaching a plot. I asked her what genre her book is. When she acknowledged that she had no idea, I told her that my brief read and her synopsis indicated that it’s a police procedural. When I defined the term at her request, she declared that I was wrong.

I provided a brief history of my four decade journey as a writer, mostly focusing on the lows, and she assured me that her story depicted a female’s experiences in law enforcement which should give her an edge. I agreed that it’s important to get more police books out from the female perspective but went on to tell her some of the many weaknesses her manuscript displayed, including misspellings, tense changes and poor syntax. I urged her to read several police procedurals and books on writing whose titles I provided and recommended that she carefully consider my feedback. Part of that feedback was that the road leading to the professional writing level is a long and arduous one that requires research and a willingness to learn from mistakes. She responded by reminding me that she’d had a couple female friends read her book who “really loved it”– but she would consider my point of view too.

As I stood to leave, I resisted the temptation to expand on or reiterate some of her writing’s failings, instead simply saying something very close to–Just remember, I’m a professional writer and a publisher and they’re not. She responded by assuring me that she intended to pursue other opportunities?

As I descended the few steps to the street, I wondered which aphorism was more applicable, the one from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount to not “cast pearls before swine” or the one that guarantees that no good deed goes unpunished….”

 

 

The Tales Cops Could Tell

April 12, 2017

My new publishing company, CopWorld Press, just got a great article in the Medford Mail Tribune in Oregon. Here is the link. http://www.mailtribune.com/ news/20170410/tales-cops- could-tell.

SDPD Sergeant Wes Albers Authors “Black and White” a police procedural novel.

March 31, 2017

[Ashland, Or] Sergeant Wes Albers of the San Diego Police Department, and author of the novel Black & White, has just signed with CopWorld Press— a new, independent publishing company dedicated to helping authors with a connection to law enforcement tell their stories.

Sergeant Albers has served in a number of different communities throughout San Diego and has extensive field experience as a training officer, evidence technician, border team supervisor and emergency negotiator. He presently serves as Director of the Southern California Writers’ Conferences in San Diego, Los Angeles and Palm Springs where he has spent many years in the writing community helping new and aspiring authors
realize their dreams of publication. When not writing, Wes teaches at Alliant International University.

CopWorld Press, located in Ashland, Or., publishes true crime, mystery fiction, police procedurals, personal memoirs and other genres dealing with cops, crime and/or the “day-to-day experiences of the men and women who so bravely serve our communities and citizens.”