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A Novel Approach

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

A show of hands indicated that among the hundreds of people who attended a recent publishing panel almost all were writing novels. It’s mind-boggling. How does the novice writer get out of the crowd, out of the slush pile and onto the bookstore’s shelves? Local novelist/book doctor Sherry Gottlieb provides some answers.

She has written a chapter called “The Book Doctor Is In” for “The Portable Writers Conference,” a collection of writings that focus on various aspects of the publishing world. From 1972 to 1991, Gottlieb owned A Change of Hobbit Bookstore in Los Angeles, which housed one of the largest collections of fiction in the world.

Gottlieb will address the Ventura County Writers Club on “The Most Common Mistakes Made by Beginning Novelists” at 7:45 p.m. Tuesday in the Orchid Professional Building, 816 Camarillo Springs Road, Camarillo. Nonmember fee is $5. Call 482-5648.

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It is probably a safe assumption that while many women are fans of baseball and basketball, the games more often capture the unswerving attention of the males in the house. Well, Father’s Day is approaching and sitting at the top of the gift list should be any one of local author Dick Wimmer’s sports titles. His “Baseball Fathers, Baseball Sons” and the basketball anthology “The Schoolyard Game” are worth tracking down. Wimmer will sign his newest anthology, “The Sandlot Game,” at 3 p.m. Saturday at Barnes & Noble, 160 S. Westlake Blvd., Thousand Oaks.

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Mystery Writers of America/Southern California chapter has chosen Mysteries to Die For, 2940 Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks, as the scene of their Hard Boiled Mystery celebration. Everyone is invited to share bubbly drinks, fattening desserts and quality schmoozing Saturday.

The cast of characters who will appear includes Lillian Roberts, who signs “The Hand That Feeds You” at 1 p.m., and noted authors Diane Pugh, Richard Barre, Shari Geller, Martha Lawrence, Lee Goldberg and Steve Oliver, all of whom will take turns reading from their latest books from 3 to 6 p.m.

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Tutors, students and children are all invited to come to the Camarillo Library at 3100 Ponderosa Road from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday to participate in the Family Celebration of Books. The festivities include free books for kids, cookies and punch, a puppet performance by Julie Albright and a special reading by County Supervisor Kathy Long.

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Lilia Rochester will interpret the personalities of people from previous generations based on her study of their handwriting at the Conejo Valley Genealogical Society meeting at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Adult Education Center, 1025 Old Farm Road, Thousand Oaks. Call 497-8293.

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Joel Saltzman will present a mini-workshop based on his books, “If You Can Talk, You Can Write” and “If You’re Writing, Let’s Talk,” at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Borders, 125 W. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks.

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IN SANTA BARBARA

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Events at the Earthling Bookshop, 1137 State St.: Cork Millner, whose credits include “Hollywood Be Thy Name,” “The Art of Interviewing” and “Write From the Start,” will sign his “Vintage Cork” at a wine tasting at 3 p.m. Saturday. And distinguished poet and UC Irvine professor James McMichael, recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Whiting Foundation Writer’s Award, will read from “The World at Large, New and Selected Poems” at 7:30 p.m. Monday.

* Frances Halpern and Jon O’Brien are co-hosts of “Beyond Words” at 10 a.m. Sundays on KCLU-FM (88.3), Ventura County’s National Public Radio station.


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