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The writing life

Sixth annual Celebrate Authors event to feature 30 local published authors


Editor’s note: Sixth in a series.

LAS CRUCES - The Friends of Thomas Branigan Memorial Library are expecting 30 local published authors at their sixth annual Celebrate Authors event, 2-4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 8, in the Roadrunner Room on the second floor of Thomas Branigan Memorial Library. The Friends of the Library puts on the event, and Citizens Bank of Las Cruces is a major sponsor.

There is no charge to attend, and refreshments will be provided. July 31 was the last day for authors to sign up to participate in this year’s event. Participating authors are residents of southern New Mexico with books published in 2014 or later in a wide range of genres.

For more information, contact Sue Fletcher at sjfletch1940@yahoo.com or call 575-521-8507 and leave a message with your name and phone number and say that you’re calling about Celebrate Authors. Visit libraryfriendslc.org/celebrate-authors.

Here are three more of this year’s participating authors:

  • Barbara Griffin Villemez has lived in Las Cruces since 2003. She began writing short stories in 2000 and has won several awards from their publication in literary magazines.

Villemez began writing novels in 2010 and has written and self-published 10 to date, she said. She has completed an 11th book and plans to send it to agents. Villemez said most of her books would fall under the genre of fiction, mystery/thriller. They include “Dreaming Dark,” “The Dead Cry for Justice,” “Dark Night of the Navajo,” “Illusions,” “Earth Cleansing,” “Zara: Warrior of Light,” “Caves of Creda,” “Dead Sugar Daddies Don’t Lie” and “Angel and the Rabbi” (to be published this winter).

Villemez also has one self-help book, and “Fifty, Female and Fabulous: A Holistic Guide to Love, Sex and Relationships,” written originally for her psychotherapy patients when she was in practice.

“I decided to self-publish and now consider it a mistake,” Villemez said. “It is difficult to market self-published books, as there are millions out there. I spent two years working on this last book, ’In the Land of Broken Dreams,’ and had it professionally edited and will continue to send it to agents until I find one.” Villemez is part of a writer’s group that meets every other month in her home. “We critique each other and share information,” she said. The group has openings for new members. Contact Villemez at bgvillemez@msn.com or 575-522-5734.

  • Eric Norway (the pen name of Mike Epp) lives in El Paso and is the author of “Dark Canyons,” published in 2017, which is a work of crime fiction about two young U.S. Border Patrol agents who are best friends; and “A Warrior's Betrayal,” which is true crime. Norway is a former Border Patrol agent, a retired DEA special agent and pilot, and is currently employed in private investigation according to his amazon.com biography. He has lived in El Paso for 22 years and said he has worked “all around the state of New Mexico during that time.

"Writing to me is about structuring thoughts and documenting events,” Norway said. “It's therapeutic exercise, but more so [it’s] important to make a record of this ever-changing world and its inhabitants. My advice to other writers is to write, write, write; on good days and bad, it doesn't matter. It's all a valuable record that will be distilled into something beautiful later."

  • Garland D. Bills of Hillsboro is the author of “Sadie Orchard: Madam of New Mexico's Black Range," a nonfiction biography of one of southern New Mexico’s most colorful residents and characters. Orchard (1859-1943) apparently arrived in Kingston, New Mexico, in the 1880s as a prostitute, Bills said, “and soon ascended to management. Bills also wrote books as “an academic linguist,” Bills calls it, including "The Spanish Language of New Mexico and Southern Colorado: A Linguistic Atlas," published in 2008. Bills has lived in New Mexico for 50 years.
    Bills’ advice to writers is, “Write with affection – for your topic and for readers.”                 

Mike Cook may be contacted at mike@lascrucesbulletin.com.