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Conference Schedule 2020

Friday, February 22, 2020, 10:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.

Panel: Making a Mystery with Shannon Baker, Dianne Freeman, Denise Ganley, Deborah J. Ledford, Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths

Date(s): Friday, February 22, 2020, 10:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.
Thoren, University Club (view map)
Genre and Form(s): Crime Fiction, Fiction, Mixed Genre, Mystery

About the Session

What makes for a good mystery? How can perspective and character be used to create suspenseful scenes and great reveals? What can lyric essays, poetry, and literary fiction learn from the plot structures of crime fiction and noir? In this panel, join authors from the Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths for a practical discussion on the craft of mysteries.

Meet the Presenter(s)

Photograph of Shannon Baker

Shannon Baker writes mysteries about strong women in dangerous situations. Her books are set in the iconic landscapes of the American West, from the Colorado Rockies to the Nebraska prairies, to the deserts of southern Arizona. THE DESERT BEHIND ME, a dark suspense set in Tucson won the 2019 New Mexico/Arizona Book Award. Visit Shannon at

Photograph of Dianne Freeman

Dianne Freeman is the acclaimed author of the Countess of Harleigh Mystery series. She is an Agatha Award and Lefty Award winner, as well as a finalist for the prestigious Mary Higgins Clark Award from Mystery Writers of America. She spent thirty years working in corporate accounting and finance and now indulges her love of writing, history, and mystery. Born and raised in Michigan, she and her husband split their time between Michigan and Arizona. Her second novel in the series, A LADY’S GUIDE TO GOSSIP AND MURDER, released in June 2019.

Photograph of Denise Ganley

Denise Ganley is a graduate of the Your Novel Year program from Arizona State University’s Piper Center for Creative Writing and has a Certificate in Creative Writing from Phoenix College. Her supernatural short story THE RELIC EXPERT placed as a semifinalist in the 2011 Faulkner Wisdom Contest and with Honorable Mention in the Writer’s Digest 80th Annual Writing Competition (Mainstream/Literary Category). Denise writes inclusive, cross-genre stories. She is the host of The Heart-Shaped Books Podcast and the 2020 Board President of Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths Chapter.

DEBORAH J LEDFORD is the Award-Winning author of the Inola Walela and Steven Hawk psychological suspense thriller series including, CAUSING CHAOS, CRESCENDO, SNARE and STACCATO. Also a screenwriter, she is president of IOF Productions Ltd and producer of CAUSING CHAOS and CRESCENDO, the 2016 and 2014 Anthony Award Nominees for Best Audiobook. As well, an Agatha Award Winner, and three-time nominee for the Pushcart Prize.

Logo for Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths

An Organization for Writers, Readers, and Fans of Crime Fiction and Mystery

Our Chapter is a proud member of Sisters in Crime, an international organization that promotes the ongoing advancement, recognition and professional development of women crime writers to achieve equality in the industry, raising professionalism, serving as the voice for excellence and achieving diversity in crime writing.