Whidbey Island Writers Conference In-Depth Sessions

Whether you are a beginning writer or a professional, the Whidbey Island Writers Conference is organized to help you further your knowledge in craft, publishing, and marketing.

The Whidbey Island Writers’ Conference is one of the most intense gatherings of writers in the Pacific Northwest. We focus on small, intimate classes so that instructors and attendees get to interact personally, so that everyone is able to acquire the information that will best suit their needs once the conference is over. Our unique Chat House format is informal, friendly, and welcoming. Because there are two instructors for each chat house, attendees get a variety of opinions, which makes for lively and informative conversation. The goal is to help attendees feel comfortable working with professionals who love to assist others in their progress toward their own goals. The conference also includes evening events for attendees to read their material, to listen to music, and to interact on a personal level with other attendees, staff, and bestselling authors. Every year, we also present a half-day where attendees are encouraged to ask any unanswered questions they may have. We are here to serve the writing community, and welcome your attendance and participation wholeheartedly. We look forward to seeing you this year.
—Terry Persun Conference Director Terry@NILA.edu

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An interview with Robert Dugoni

SAM_1300Your bio describes you as a “writer turned lawyer turned writer.” Could you describe what led you to make the final decision to change careers?

I was always a writer. Since the seventh grade, I knew I wanted to write novels. But when you come from a family of compulsive overachievers, you try to keep up. So with all my older brothers and sisters becoming professionals, doctors and lawyers, I decided I should follow suit. After 13 years practicing law, I decided it was time to give my writing a chance.

What inspired you to focus on mysteries? Do you write other genres?

I think being a lawyer at the time that John Grisham and Scott Turrow hit it big probably influenced me more than anything. Looking back, I wasn’t a big mystery or legal thriller writer. I grew up reading the classics and gravitated toward those kinds of books. But I enjoy the mystery-thriller genre, especially the twists. I write other genres as well, but my focus is on the mystery-thrillers.

What advice do you have for people who are working toward becoming authors?

Educate yourself. There’s a big difference between writing and writing a novel. Novel writing is a craft. The good news is that it can be learned. No one can teach you how to write, but we can teach you how to teach yourself how to write. Get books on the craft and study them. Vogler’s The Writer’s Journey and Sol Stein’s Stein On Writing are two good books to start with.

Do you use social media? If so, which platforms do you think are best to reach your readers?

I do. I think any platform that just allows you to communicate is helpful. Don’t expect social media to sell a lot of books, however. People don’t like to be bombarded with requests to buy your book. It’s more of a mechanism to stay in contact with friends and fans.

Any new books in the works? Can you give us a sneak peek?

The sequel to My Sister’s Grave comes out September 15. It’s called Her Final Breath. Detective Tracy Crosswhite is on the hunt for a serial killer called, The Cowboy because of the unique way he kills his victims. There was a hint of this in My Sister’s Grave. I’m also hard at work on the third book in the series.

This interview was conducted by Judith Works, a member of the Edmonds-based EPIC Group Writers. Like the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts, EPIC is a member of the Salish Sea Writers Consortium.

Bob Dugoni Books