Highlights from the 2017 Military Writers Society of America Conference

September 2017

With panelists John Trudel and Dennis Koller (seated L-R) and moderator Don Helin (keeping us in line).

Military Writers Society of America held its 2017 conference at the historic Menger Hotel in downtown San Antonio, TX. The hotel is located across the street from the Alamo and a couple of blocks from the Riverwalk. The weekend was packed with informative workshops led by speakers and panelists on a variety of topics pertaining to writing, editing, publishing, networking, and marketing.

On Friday, I participated on a panel titled “I’ve Written My Book, Now What?” During my ten minutes at the podium, I discussed the pros and cons of working with literary agents and why each writer must find a path to publication that fits his or her needs.

Don Helin served as the moderator. Dennis Koller and John Trudel each discussed their author experiences in an industry that is constantly in a flux. Members in the audience asked lots of good questions afterwards.

With MWSA VP and 2017 conference organizer Bob Doerr.

MWSA Vice President Bob Doerr organized this year’s conference. Bob did an outstanding job selecting the location and hotel.

With MWSA Awards Director John Cathcart and his wife Sandi at the awards banquet.

MWSA Book Awards Director John Cathcart and his team of reviewers/judges selected the top books that received Gold, Silver, and Bronze Medals. To see the complete list of winners, visit the MWSA website.

If you’d like to learn more about Military Writers Society of America, please visit our website. I’ve made lifelong friends since I joined MWSA in 2008. Even my husband, Tom, enjoys coming to the conferences. 

Kathleen

PS: Thanks to Jeanette Vaughan and Sandra Linhart for taking the photos

Johnnie Come Lately Short Listed for Somerset Book Awards

February 11, 2017

My second novel, Johnnie Come Lately, moved up from finalist to the short list and is in the final rounds of judging for the 2016 SOMERSET Book Awards novel competition for Literary, Contemporary, and Mainstream Fiction. The Somerset Book Awards is a division of Chanticleer International Book Awards and Novel Writing Competitions.

The sequel, Seven Wings to Glory, releases from Camel press April 1, 2017. The novel can be read as a standalone story.

As an American novelist, I realize it’s a privilege to write fiction. I never want to take my freedom of expression for granted.

 

 

Johnnie Come Lately showcased in 2016 Holiday Catalog from Southern Writers Magazine

Updated Dec. 1, 2016johnnie-featured-in-2016-southern-wrtiers-magazine-holiday-catalog

Books make great gifts for any occasion. Check out all the books featured in the 2016 Holiday Catalog from Southern Writers Magazine. The online catalog is free. Click here to grab your copy.

Happy Reading!

Kathleen

seven_wings_300Seven Wings to Glory releases April 1, 2017 from Camel Press

Johnnie Kitchen is finally living her dream, attending college and writing a column for the local paper. She adores her husband Dale and chocolate Labrador Brother Dog, and they reside in a comfortable home in the small town of Portion in North Texas. Their three children are thriving and nearly grown.

But Johnnie is rattled when her youngest boy Cade goes to fight in Afghanistan. The less frequent his emails, the more she frets for his safety. On the home front, Johnnie learns that Portion is not the forward-thinking town she believed. A boy Cade’s age, inflamed by a liberal bumper sticker and the sight of Johnnie’s black friend Whit, attacks them with the N-word and a beer bottle. After Johnnie writes about the incident in her column, a man named Roosevelt reaches out with shameful stories from Portion’s untold history. More tears and triumphs will follow, as Johnnie’s eyes are opened to man’s capacity for hate and the power of love and forgiveness.

The sequel to Johnnie Come Lately

 

The Snow Comes Early In The High Country Of Alaska

October 11, 2016

When I was twenty-seven and living at a remote Air Force base near the North Pole, I wrote the following poem with a newborn cradled in my lap and a yellow legal pad absorbing the scribbles of my restless pen. Back then, the days seemed endless and my thoughts came faster than I could catch them. The temperature outside hovered around thirty below zero. Somewhere off in the distance, beyond the Alaska Range, my husband flew his single-seat fighter high above the snow clouds.
When I was twenty-seven and living at a remote Air Force base near the North Pole, I wrote the following poem with a newborn cradled in my lap and a yellow legal pad absorbing the scribbles of my restless pen. Back then, the days seemed endless and my thoughts came faster than I could catch them. The temperature outside hovered around thirty below zero. Somewhere off in the distance, beyond the Alaska Range, my husband flew his single-seat fighter high above the snow clouds. (Photo by Tom Rodgers, circa 1985.)

 

The Snow Comes Early

in the high country of Alaska.

The midnight sun

has long since vanished.

The days are now short-lived;

dawn, noon and dusk less than a handful of hours.

The birch are stripped naked;

their chocolate chip trunks

sticking out of the snow.

The hills of Tanana Valley

are like mounds of flour dumped on the floor

from an opened sack.

And we are the inhabitants

in this whitewashed land,

where sixty degrees below zero

can kill even the strongest of men.

But we are risk takers!

Riding the open road of the military…

a journey we often complain of,

but a dream voyage for others

fenced in by fate.

So let us be thankful

when winter sets in,

that we are here, at the top of the world-

Closer to our Maker,

when the snow comes early

in the high country of Alaska.

© Kathleen M. Rodgers   — Alaska 1985

Southern Writers Magazine presents “Giving Johnnie a Voice: How a song and a poem led to an audiobook”

September 2, 2016Johnnie audio in SWM

To read the complete article on how Grammy® Award-winning vocalist Leslie Ellis and I collaborated on the audio edition of my novel, Johnnie Come Lately, click here to order your print or digital copy in the September/October 2016 issue of Southern Writers Magazine.

Audio:

 

 

An Exclusive Interview with Romance Luminaries Paris Afton Bonds and Rita Clay Estrada in Southern Writers Magazine

May 2, 2016SW Cover May 2016 FB

What an honor to interview Parris Afton Bonds and Rita Clay Estrada for the May/June 2016 issue of Southern Writers Magazine. Many thanks to Editor-in-Chief Susan Reichert for accepting my proposal and to Gary Fearon, Creative Director, for coming up with a beautiful cover. To read the complete interview, click here to order your copy now. RWA article teaser SW May 2016

Artist Jenny Zovein creates watercolor depicting key scene from Johnnie Come Lately, an award-winning novel

March 28, 2016

Mama at war memorial by Jenny Zovein (Johnnie Come Lately, published by Camel Press).
Mama at war memorial by Jenny Zovein (Johnnie Come Lately, Camel Press)

 

Author’s note: In the following passage from my novel, Johnnie Come Lately (Camel Press), the protagonist, Johnnie Kitchen, is standing at the kitchen sink reflecting on her mother who’s been missing for twenty-three years. Johnnie’s husband, Dale, spotted Mama at the war memorial the day before. 

Chapter 16

“Go Army”

Her mind drifted to the empty bench in front of

the war memorial a few blocks to the west. She imagined a

woman, limber and lithe, making her way to the bench. Once

seated, the woman tilted her head and said something to the

soldier. Then the birds scattered and the woman rushed away,

leaving nothing behind. As if she’d never been there.

“What are you thinking so hard about?”

Startled, Johnnie turned from the window and caught Dale

gazing at her.

The cherry tomatoes were still cupped in her hands. Water

dripped everywhere. She swallowed. “Mama.”

Amazon & B&N

 

bio for artist Jenny Zovein for Kathleen M. Rodgers' novel, Johnnie Come Lately (1)A note from the artist:

My name is Jenny Zovein. Colorado has been my home for the last 47 years. I was born in Pennsylvania in 1949. Shortly before my first birthday, my family moved to Colorado. During my childhood I lived throughout the United States in Pennsylvania, Colorado, Utah, California, Alabama, and Maryland. Doing a full circle brought me back to Colorado in 1969. I am retired and spend many hours doing my artwork. I started when I was a little child but only started watercolor painting in 2014. 

I am the mother of two grown children. My son and his wife live in San Francisco and my daughter lives near me. They both give me inspiration to continue what I love doing.  

I was fortunate to travel to Europe and visited Holland, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, France, and England. This trip was a big factor in my love for art and culture.

To see more of Jenny’s work, click on the following links:

Jenny’s art page on Facebook

Jenny at Paintings I Love

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Ode to the Jonquil

Posted February 13, 2016

Jonquils, photo courtesy Ms. Starlene DeBord
Jonquils, photo courtesy Ms. Starlene DeBord

Jonquils

I saw the first jonquils yesterday.
Maybe six to a cluster,
dressing up an otherwise
barren garden in late February.
I was just passing by
on my way to the house
when I looked up from the road
and was taken back by this sudden gold.
Buttery trumpets
turned up to the sun,
a subtle sign that spring had come.
They’re the jonquils!
Some call ‘em daffodils.
The first to sprout forth
after winter’s kill.
From gnarled old bulbs
planted deep in the earth,
come these bright sunny jonquils
to welcome in spring.
But they’re more than just pleasing
and pretty to me.
They’re proof that life,
though harsh as it seems,
still gives us a flower
to rekindle our dreams…

Kathleen M. Rodgers 

Author’s note: Jonquils make an appearance in my 2nd novel, Johnnie Come LatelyThis poem holds special meaning because I wrote it in 1986, three years after losing my youngest brother and months after giving birth to my first son.

Kathleen M. Rodgers to speak at Ozarks Writers League Conference

November 17, 2015kathleenmrodgers & Ozarks Writers League

 

I’ll be speaking about perseverance and writing through adversity at the November 2015 OWL Conference in Branson, MO. OWL stands for Ozarks Writers League and has been around since 1983. They welcome aspiring writers to seasoned authors. The conference runs November 20th & 21 at the Honeysuckle Inn & Conference Center. 


OWL-Nov-Flier

Johnnie Come Lately Showcased in Southern Writers Magazine and listed as a “Must Read”

November 3, 2015

To read all the articles and other great features about authors and writings, go to the Southern Writers website and subscribe today at: http://www.southernwritersmagazine.com/
To read all the articles and other great features about authors and writings, go to the Southern Writers website and subscribe today at: http://www.southernwritersmagazine.com/

Kathleen M Rodgers - JCL QP ad (1)

KEOM Radio host Camille Turner wins a 2015 MARCOM Award for “On the Job” with Kathleen Rodgers, author

October 30, 2015

KEOM Radio host Camille Turner wins a Gold 2015 MARCOM Award for “On the Job” with Kathleen Rodgers, author
KEOM Radio host Camille Turner wins a 2015 Gold MARCOM Award for “On the Job” with Kathleen Rodgers, author. To listen to our three minute interview, click here.
MARCOM is an international competition for marketing and communication professionals. This year they received over 6000 entires from 34 countries. To see the full list of winners, click here.
MARCOM is an international competition for marketing and communication professionals. This year they received over 6000 entires from 34 countries. To see the full list of winners, click here.

 

 

 

 

CNN reporter Ashley Fantz interviews author Kathleen M. Rodgers about US troops staying in Afghanistan past 2016

October 16, 2015

CNN reporter Ashley Fantz interviewed me about US troops staying on in Afghanistan past 2016. I’m no expert on the military…just a military mama who cares. Click here and scroll past the video to read the entire story.Author Kathleen M. Rodgers interviewed on CNN about troops in Afghanistan

 

 

 

Johnnie Come Lately wins Bronze Medal in Readers’ Favorite 2015 International Book Awards

September 3, 2015

Johnnie Come Lately wins a Bronze Medal in the Readers' Favorite 2015 International Book Awards

 

The official announcement and list of winners will be advertised in Publishers Weekly around October 1.Johnne Come Lately wins Bronze Medal from Readers' Favorite 2015 International Book Awards

To read the full list of winners, click on Readers’ Favorite website.

 

Readers' Favorite Book Awards Women's Fiction 2015 Johnnie Come Lately
I’m pleased that Johnnie tied the Bronze Medal with Lemongrass Hope by Amy Impellizzeri. I’ve been following Amy’s success for several months.  Johnnie Come Lately is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million and many other online booksellers. Print copies are available at Barnes & Noble stores in Southlake, TX and Hurst, TX and also at Hastings Books in Clovis, New Mexico. 

 

Texas based author Kathleen M. Rodgers’ poetry featured in new exhibit at The Cradle of Aviation Museum, Long Island, NY

Updated August 1, 2015Aviators, Poets and Dreamers @Cradle of Aviation

Three of my poems from the book Because I Fly (McGraw-Hill 2002, edited by Helmut H. Reda), are on display in this new exhibit which asks the question, “Why do we fly?” Most writers dream of getting their books on bestseller lists or made into movies, but how many authors see their work featured in a museum?

Cradle of Aviation  Museum exhibit featuring A Little Boy's Dream

Aviators, Poets and Dreamers runs from July 18th through Labor Day. The exhibit will then travel to libraries across Long Island. A photo of my husband seated in an A-10 cockpit (circa 1980) appears with my poem, “A Little Boy’s Dream,” penned in 1986 when we lived in Alaska.

Kathleen with her husband, Tom Rodgers (retired USAF Fighter Pilot/Commercial Pilot) and Rod Leonhard, Creative Director at Cradle of Aviation Museum, Long Island, NY. A photo of Tom Rodgers seated in an A-10 cockpit, circa 1980) appears with Kathleen's poem, "A Little Boy's Dream" to the far left of this photo.
L-R With my husband, Tom Rodgers (retired USAF Fighter Pilot/Commercial Pilot) and Rod Leonhard, Creative Director at Cradle of Aviation Museum, Long Island, NY. A huge thanks to Rod for selecting “A Little Boy’s Dream,” “The Searcher,” and “To Live To Fly” for the exhibit. Behind me, friend and former fighter pilot Brad “Booger” Hachat’s photo appears next to the poem “The Searcher,” penned in 1987 as a going away gift.

 

kathleenmrodgers' section @Cradle of Aviation exhibitUSAF Capt. Tom Rodgers featured in Aviators, Dreamers and Poets @ Cadle of Aviation Museum JPG

 

 

 

 

To read more about the exhibit, please click here.A Little Boy's Dream by Kathleen M. Rodgers, right of photo

 

Cradle of Aviation Museum

Charles Lindbergh Blvd.

Garden City, NY 11530

General (516) 572-4111

Reservations (516) 572-4066

Summer Hours

Open 7-Days, 9:30-5:00 through Labor DayExhibit at Cradle of Aviation Musuem

 

 

 

With NJ based writer Barbara Castiglia (L) and Long Island based editor/author Dina Santorelli at the museum exhibit. Barbara and Dina have known each other for years and we are all Facebook friends, but this is my first time to meet them both in person.  Barbara drove two hours both ways to come see me.
With NJ based writer and former New Yorker Barbara Castiglia (L) and Long Island based author/editor Dina Santorelli at the museum exhibit. Barbara and Dina have known each other for years and we are all Facebook friends, but this is my first time to meet them in person. Barbara drove two hours both ways to come see me.

#AviatorsPoetsDreamers

Johnnie Come Lately named 2015 Winner for Best Covers Contest from Southern Writers Magazine

Posted July 2, 2015

Press Release from Camel Press

Many thanks to cover designer Sabrina Sun and the rest of the team at Camel Press and Gary Fearon, Creative Director of Southern Writers Magazine for making this possible. Johnnie shares the spotlight with bestselling authors Joshilyn Jackson, Debbie Macomber, Mary Alice Monroe, Ann Hite, and Lauraine Snelling.
Many thanks to cover designer Sabrina Sun and the rest of the team at Camel Press and Gary Fearon, Creative Director of Southern Writers Magazine for making this possible. Johnnie shares the spotlight with bestselling authors Joshilyn Jackson, Debbie Macomber, Mary Alice Monroe, Ann Hite, and Lauraine Snelling.

 

 

 

To read the full story in the July/August issue (Pages 20-21), click here to subscribe or order a onetime copy of the print or online edition. www.southernwritersmagazine.com
To read the full story in the July/August issue (Pages 20-21), click here to subscribe or order a one-time copy of the print or online edition. www.southernwritersmagazine.com

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