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“A Killer Weekend Event”
Murder Mystery Dinner

September 15, 2017 – September 16, 2017
Location: Crowne Plaza Houston Galleria
7611 Katy Freeway, Houston, TX 77024

Does someone get kidnapped in your book? Is there a murder … and a killer on the loose? We all want to know … Who dun it? … And How?

Join the Houston Writers HOUSE in a crime and forensics event which will offer you information on the ins and outs of a real life crime scene. Learn the details of forensic science along the way. Meet an award winning mystery writer or two, a world renowned sketch artist for HPD with a high catch percentage, real life forensic entomologist, and more.  Let us help you make it real! And let’s have a good time along the way.

You don’t have to be a crime, thriller, or mystery writer to participate! Join us for this weekend of fun.  

Register Early ~ seating is limited.

Please Note:  Unfortunately, Literary Agent Ann Collette – Rees Literary Agency will not be able to attend the Sept 15-16 Event.  We are working on rescheduling her visit to one of our 2018 events.  All registrants for a pitch session with Ann Collette will be refunded.


Friday, September 15, 2017
Friday 5:15 pm – Registration Opens
Friday 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm Key Note Speaker Wende Wakeman followed by Murder Mystery Dinner
Friday 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm – Murder Mystery Dinner

Key Note Speaker – Wende Wakeman, Lieutenant, Texas Ranger Division

Wakeman joined the Texas Department of Public Safety in July of 1998 as a recruit in the DPS Training Academy. She graduated the DPS Training Academy in January of 1999. From January of 1999, through October of 2003, she was assigned as a Texas Highway Patrol Trooper in Sulphur Springs and New Caney. Then in November of 2003, she promoted to Sergeant in the DPS Narcotics Section and was stationed in McAllen and then later in Houston where she remained until December of 2007. In January of 2008, she promoted to Texas Ranger and was assigned in Conroe where she remained until August of 2014, when she promoted to Texas Ranger Lieutenant in Laredo. Wakeman later transferred to Huntsville.

Wakeman is a graduate of the National Forensic Academy in Knoxville, Tennessee, and she is a certified forensic hypnotist. As a Ranger she was a member of the Texas Ranger Division, Crime Scene Investigation Working Group and the Crime Scene Team Leader for Company “A”. She is a TCOLE Instructor and has provided instruction to DPS recruits and Texas
Rangers in the fields of Case Management, Crime Scene Investigation and Bloodstain Pattern Analysis. Wakeman is a graduate of DPS Command College – Cohort 4.

The Texas Rangers specialize in investigating major incident crime investigations, unsolved crime/serial crime investigations, public corruption investigations, crimes against children, officer-involved shooting investigations and border security operations. The Rangers also oversee specialized law enforcement teams within the department, including the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team, Special Response Teams, Ranger Reconnaissance Team, Crisis Negotiations Unit and the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit. The first ten Texas Rangers were commissioned in 1823, and today the Texas Ranger Division is comprised of approximately 172 commissioned officers.

Following Key Note Speaker Wende Wakeman …

A Murder Mystery Dinner

presented by The Murder Mystery Co.

Things take a turn for the gutter at Mafia Don Lou Zar’s juice joint when someone is put on ice! The crowd is chock full of potential suspects. Jealous, jilted lovers, a rival Mafioso, and a pair of undercover feds make an appearance at this speakeasy and not a single person is muttering a word! Help find out who’s on the level and who’s on the lam by trading clues with your guests, gathering information, and solving the crime before the murderer hotfoots it out of there!

Dress for this night of murderous mayhem includes flapper dresses, zoot suits, feather boas and headbands, pinstriped suits and fedoras. If you aren’t feeling that jive you can dress as a private detective to help solve the crime, just don’t frame the wrong guy!

Seating is limited so reserve your spot today!

Saturday, September 16, 2017
Saturday 8:15 am – Registration Opens
Saturday 9:00 am – Announcements and Introduce Key Note Speaker

Lois GibsonKey Note Speaker – Lois Gibson – Lois Gibson is recorded in the Guinness Book of Records as The World’s Most Successful Forensic Artist. Equal parts skilled artist and accomplished investigator, she is a unique power force in the world of crime fighting.

Surviving a near-death attack at the hands of a murderous rapist motivated Lois to create the forensic artist job at the Houston Police Department where she has helped bring in over 751 criminals. She constructed the first textbook teaching her profession to other artists titled Forensic Art Essentials. She also wrote Faces of Evil, a gripping true-crime book detailing her most fascinating cases in the gritty world of crime scenes and forensic detection and her stirring story of redemption. She teaches forensic art students from all over the world at her Institute for Forensic Art in Houston Texas. She is a graduate of the University of Texas and the FBI Academy Forensic Artist Course. Her 2007 sketch of an unidentified murdered baby girl called “Baby Grace” prompted Riley Ann Sawyers’ grandmother to identify her for the Galveston authorities resulting in the apprehension and conviction of her murderers. Gibson used her expertise to identify the Sailor kissing the nurse in the famous end of WWII photo. Gibson was filmed last month for an upcoming CBS 48 Hours piece and is featured in segments of TRU TV Network’s Forensic Files and A & E’s First 48.

Lois has been profiled in and on: ABC’s 20/20, Dateline NBC, People Magazine, The CBS Early Show, CNN, Larry King Show, Good Morning America, Fox News, Reader’s Digest, Oprah’s Magazine, O, Unsolved Mysteries, CNN’s Paula Zahn Now, RELENTLESS on the Oxygen Channel, Discovery Channel, Newsweek Magazine, Houston Chronicle, London Daily Telegraph, and many more.

Adrienne BrundageSession 1 – Morning – Dr. Adrienne Brundage – Dr. Adrienne Brundage is a board certified forensic entomologist and lecturer of entomology and forensics at Texas A&M University. She received her PhD in entomology from Texas A&M University, and has worked as a forensic entomologist across North America since 1999. She has consulted with local law enforcement agencies, the FBI and NCIS, and the ASPCA, and private entities on cases of abuse, neglect, and death. In addition to these consultations Dr. Brundage teaches entomology and forensics at both Texas A&M University and University of Florida, and has taught various entomological and forensic courses at San Jose State University, Baylor, and Blinn College. She is also a prolific public speaker, giving talks and leading training seminars for all ages in forensic entomology across the country. Her current research involves the colonization of human remains by Dipteran species, and the interactions among larvae and bacteria. Finally, Dr. Brundage is a member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, and works as a member of the Wildlife Forensics Consensus Body, which is a subset of the Academy Standards Board. This body develops and certifies forensic science standards as they relate to wildlife cases, and has been instrumental in the continuing prosecution of wildlife based casework. She currently lives in College Station, Texas with her husband and various animals.

Priscilla HillSession 2 – Afternoon –  Priscilla A. Hill, M.S., F-ABC – DNA Specialist -This session will cover the collection process, handling/storage, an introduction to serology and DNA analysis and the processing of evidentiary items, followed by the responsibility she has as a DNA expert witness in the court of law.

Priscilla A. Hill has over 10 years of experience as a Forensic DNA Analyst. Her expertise includes proper handling and storage of evidence submitted from criminal investigations, screening of evidence for the presence of biological material, forensic DNA analysis typing methods, analysis and interpretation of DNA profiles generated from evidentiary items, writing and review of DNA reports, expert witness testimony, training of DNA analysts and the adherence to national standards for laboratory accreditation. Priscilla has a Bachelor of Science degree in Forensic Science from Baylor University in Waco, Texas and a Master’s of Science in Forensic DNA Analysis from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston, England. She is also a certified Fellow with the American Board of Criminalistics in Molecular Biology. Priscilla was formerly a DNA analyst at Houston Forensic Science Center and is currently the DNA Interpretation Manager at the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences Forensic Genetics Laboratory.

Monica ShaughnessySession 3 – Afternoon – Monica Shaughnessy – Monica Shaughnessy is a developmental editor based in Houston. With her keen eye for the “big picture,” she’s a whiz at retrofitting manuscripts with structure and has helped numerous clients throughout the years, including thriller authors, memoirists, picture book authors, and middle grade authors. She also ghostwrites for select clients and provides (relatively painless) outline coaching for those just starting out. Additionally, she’s the author of the Cattarina Mysteries, a cozy mystery series narrated by Edgar Allan Poe’s real-life cat companion. Ms. Shaughnessy has nine books in print, including two young adult novels, a middle grade novel, a picture book, a cozy mystery series, and numerous short stories/anthologies. Customers have praised her work time and again, calling it “unique and creative,” “fresh and original,” and “very well written.”

Killer Openings – Nailing Your First Five Pages

You have five pages or less to hook a reader, an agent, or an editor. Don’t let them slip away because of rookie errors. In this workshop, developmental editor Monica Shaughnessy will discuss:

  • How to craft an irresistible opening line, opening page, and opening scene.
  • The biggest “page one” blunders and how to avoid them.
  • The unique needs of genre beginnings.
  • Why your opening might be the last thing you need to write, not the first.

Session 4 – Afternoon – Panel of Crime Experts to answer questions you’ve been dying to ask!  

Moderator:  Award winning author Janet Shawgo

Reservations and pricing information:

Member Pricing:
Friday only 5:30 pm – 9:30 pm – Members $60
Includes Key Note Speaker Wende Wakeman and Murder Mystery Dinner

Saturday only – Members $130
Saturday only 9:00 am – 4:00 pm – Key Note Speaker Lois Gibson and four 1-hour sessions: Dr. Adrienne Brundage, Monica Shaughnessy and Priscilla Hill. Afterwards we’ll have a panel of crime experts to answer questions. *Lunch is included.

Member Two day package – $155

Nonmember Pricing:
Friday only 5:30 pm – 9:30 pm – Nonmembers $75
Includes Key Note Speaker Wende Wakeman and Murder Mystery Dinner

Saturday only – Nonmembers $150
Saturday only 9:00 am – 4:00 pm – Key Note Speaker Lois Gibson and four 1-hour sessions: Dr. Adrienne Brundage, Monica Shaughnessy and Priscilla Hill. Afterwards we’ll have a panel of crime experts to answer questions. *Lunch is included.

Nonmember Two day package – $190

Please choose:

Pitch Session with Ann Collette is no longer available.

Houston Writers House
P.O. Box 130375
Houston, TX 77219
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