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The Ventura County Writers Club was founded in 1933 by four writers in the Ojai, California area. Since then the club has grown to more than 150 members and holds regular monthly general membership meetings. In these meetings persons prominent in all areas and genres of the literary field speak on sources for ideas, enhancing creativity, and getting your work published. Click here for Membership Information...

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August 2017 Meeting Info

How to Exact Revenge

By Connie Mukherjee

 

 The Ventura County Writer’s Club is pleased to host one of our own and an award winning author of historical fiction, Edward D. Webster, as our August 8th meeting’s featured speaker.  His talk is entitled:  How to Exact Revenge on History’s Villains.

 

Soul of Toledo, Ed’s third book, was released in 2016. The setting is Spain in the 1440s, when the diabolical nature of mankind stands out as madmen take over the City of Toledo and torture suspected Jews 30 years before the Spanish Inquisition. 

 

According to the Historical Fiction Guide to Genre, 2005, works of historical fiction are mainly novels, set before the middle of the last century, and ones in which the author is writing from research rather than personal experience.  By definition, the details must be historically accurate. Sir Walter Scott’s Waverly, published in 1814, is considered to be the first historical novel.

 

Ed relates the story of what inspired him to write Soul of Toledo

“Traveling to Toledo, Spain, the tourist information spoke of ‘the City of Three Cultures.’ Jews, Muslims and Christians had created the richest of cultures in literature, spiritual enlightenment, art—you name it. The architecture, with its Moorish influences whispered praises to that past glory. Still, I knew about the Spanish Inquisition and the expulsions of Jews and Muslims.

“Back home in California, I discovered the book, Origins of the Inquisition in Fifteenth Century Spain, by Benzion Netanyahu (the Israeli Prime Minister’s father). It told the story of a rogue inquisition, thirty years before the church-sponsored version. From there I arranged private lectures with professors in Toledo and Segovia to study politics and history, culture and landscape. Then I created an endangered hero and a lady for him to love…”

 

Soul of Toledo was a finalist in the Foreword Reviews best novel competition and a Merit Award winner in the CIPA Evvy contest.  Midwest Book Review states the book is “Extraordinary, compelling, and with an impressive attention to historical detail and character development, Soul of Toledo is an absorbing read from beginning to end…”

Ed’s acclaimed memoir, A Year of Sundays (Taking the Plunge and our Cat to Explore Europe) shares the happily eccentric tale of his yearlong adventure in Europe with his spirited blind wife and headstrong, deaf sixteen-year-old cat. Webster also likes to tinker with fictional characters, putting strange people together to see what they’ll do with/to each other. His 2014 novel, The Gentle Bomber’s Melody, is an example of the resultant irresistible insanity.  He’s also the author of a number of articles appearing in such diverse publications as the Boston Globe and Your Cat Magazine.

Webster lives in Southern California with his divine wife and two amazing cats.

www.edwardwebster.com

 

Camarillo Library's Annual Author Fair

Camarillo Library is hosting its 2nd Annual Author’s Fair at the library on Sunday, November 12.

To register, go here: http://www.camarillolibrary.org/localauthorfair

 

July 2017 Meeting

A Story Evolves

By Connie Mukherjee

Our July 11th speaker, Richard Kletter, is a longtime Adjunct Screenwriting Professor in the graduate program at the University of Southern California’s School Of Cinematic Arts.  USC is billed as the nation’s preeminent program in all aspects of film and television.  In his role as adjunct professor, Kletter teaches graduate writing students how to develop stories and write feature screenplays. The topic of his Ventura County Writers Club presentation is How to Develop a Story for Film and Television.

After graduate school in Communications Policy at Stanford, Kletter began his film career as a producer on independent documentaries and feature films. Richard has written, directed and/or produced over twenty films and TV movies and worked for every major studio and network and for such directors/producers as Francis Coppola and Ridley Scott. His films have received Golden Globe nominations and won awards at various festivals.  He consults on story and character development for writers, directors and producers as well as game and software companies across the globe. 

Strong story development skills can be readily observed in the projects in which he has participated.  Kletter was a producer on the film, Northern Lights, which received the 1979 Cannes Film Festival Award: Camera D’or, and has been called a landmark of American independent film.  According to IMDb, Northern Lights has the feel of an old black and white photograph discovered in an attic.  The bitter-sweet story is of young lovers caught up in a political struggle waged by farmers against the grain trade, the banks, and the railroads.  The film brings back a forgotten era of American history and evokes the austere beauty of the Northern Plains.

In 1983, Richard co-wrote Never Cry Wolf, in which a government researcher, sent to study the "menace" of wolves in the north, learns about the true beneficial and positive nature of the species. Richard’s short film, Teach 109, written in 1990 and based on an idea by Isaac Asimov, won a Cine Golden Eagle award and was chosen to represent the U.S. in festivals and cultural exchanges around the world.   In the film, future surgeons practice their skill on androids imitating patients, but the robot, “Teach 109”, comes to mean more to one particular physician. Richard wrote a 2005 TV Movie: Odd Girl Out, a teen movie in which a mother and daughter confront the intimidation of teen peer pressure and emotionally brutalizing social rituals of high school. 

 

“Let the world burn through you. Throw the prism light, white hot, on paper.”
—Ray Bradbury, WD

Authors often discuss whether their books were sparked by story or character, but the more important question may be how to develop that flicker into sizzling writing.  Kletter’s talk will provide professional advice for our group in this ever elusive quest!

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