Meet the Members: Lucia DiStefano

“My hope for writing in the future is that I continue to love it and feel challenged by it.”

-Lucia DiStefano

A member of the Writers’ League since 2017, Lucia DiStefano lives in Georgetown.

Scribe: In what genre(s) do you write?  

Lucia DiStefano: As a ghostwriter, I write in almost every genre (fiction, non-fiction, self-help, even the other-than-the-recipe content of a cookbook), but under my own name, I write Young Adult novels. As a former high school English teacher, my heart has a giant book-shaped spot for that audience.  

Scribe: What author would you most like to have a drink with, and what’s the first question you would ask them?

LD: Richard Ford (Independence Day). Assuming I wouldn’t be stunned speechless by being across a table from him, I’d ask him whether Frank Bascombe feels as real to him as he does me (which is more real than many people I’ve met in the flesh); and then I’d ask him whether he realizes he’s one of the great experts in human psychology alive today (and then I’d try to still my quaking hands enough to avoid embarrassing myself with a catastrophic spill).  

Scribe: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what book would you want to have with you to keep you sane?

LD: I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. (Indeed, I have had the experience of feeling metaphorically stranded, and this book is one of the ones that reminded me of the redemptive and connective power of story.)

Scribe: What have you learned from your association with the Writers’ League?

LD: That Texas writers are just as friendly and supportive and warm as Texans in general. Thank you, y’all! 

Scribe: Where do you see your writing taking you (or you taking it) in the future?

LD: Writing has always been the largest and most consistent presence in my life, but I also want to work on achieving balance. Now that I’m here in the Hill Country and surrounded by so much that I’d love to explore, I want to learn how to give quality time to a life beyond my desk. So I guess my hope for writing in the future is that I continue to love it and feel challenged by it. I know that the business side of it is unpredictable (understatement!) and quite often downright zany, so I don’t want to hold out expectations for what I can’t control.

Scribe: Here at the Writers’ League, we love sharing book recommendations. What’s one Texas-related book that has come out within the past year that you couldn’t put down?

LD: News of the World by Paulette Jiles. (Need I say more? Sometimes I read her work and catch myself wondering if a mere mortal wrote it. I mean that as the highest compliment, of course. I’m gobsmacked by her talent!)

Scribe: Is there anything else about you that you would like to share with the world? An opportunity for blatant self-promotion! 

LD: Ah, yes — blatant self-promotion! As a ghostwriter, I had no need to self-promote, but now I need to get the hang of that (and push through my resistance toward it). So here goes … I was recently named the winner of the 2018 Helen Sheehan YA Book Prize, which means my Young Adult novel Borrowed will be published in the fall by Elephant Rock Books — it’ll be my first non-ghosted book!

I’m on Twitter at @LuciaDiStef. My website is currently under construction, but when it’s live, it will be www.LuciaDiStefano.com

Thank you, Lucia!

If you’re a Writers’ League member and you’d be interested in being interviewed for our Meet the Members feature, email us at member@writersleague.org for more information. It’s a great way for other members to get to know you and for you to share a bit about what you’re working on!

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Meet the Members: Enzo Milo Michel

“The sheer communal feel [to the Writers’ League] alone is stunning, truly. I’m amazed with the conferences, and the agents and editors who attend them.”

-Enzo Milo Michel

A member of the Writers’ League for six months, Enzo Milo Michel lives in Killeen.

Scribe: In what genre(s) do you write?

Enzo Milo Michel: Mostly literary fiction, some experimental.

Scribe: What author would you most like to have a drink with, and what’s the first question you would ask them?

Enzo Milo Michel: Kafka, hands down. My first question would be, assuming he has some consciousness of the 21st century academic world, “what would you change in the American Philosophy and English departments?”

Scribe: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what book would you want to have with you to keep you sane?

EMM: Probably something written by Nietzsche, a Sci-Fi anthology, or a good detective novel!

Scribe: What have you learned from your association with the Writers’ League?

EMM: The sheer communal feel alone is stunning, truly. I’m amazed with the conferences, and the agents and editors who attend them. They’re incorporated at every turn into the hospitable and warm tone set by the Writer’s League, adapting as if they too are members. It’s unprecedented.

Scribe: Where do you see your writing taking you (or you taking it) in the future?

EMM: I have to say, the current projects alone don’t have me looking too far. It’s safe to say, I’m focused on where the writing will take me within the next stroke of my pencil! Let’s keep it there.

Scribe: Here at the Writers’ League, we love sharing book recommendations. What’s one Texas-related book that has come out within the past year that you couldn’t put down?

EMM: Latest reads usually are short stories, but one I enjoyed particularly was The Boathouse by Tim Griffith.  

Scribe: Is there anything else about you that you would like to share with the world? An opportunity for blatant self-promotion!

EMM: I’m currently working on my first novel! For updates on short stories, essays, and that novel visit my website. There you will find updates on my projects and social media links.

Thanks, Enzo!

If you’re a Writers’ League member and you’d be interested in being interviewed for our Meet the Members feature, email us at member@writersleague.org for more information. It’s a great way for other members to get to know you and for you to share a bit about what you’re working on!

Meet the Members: Gates Whitley

“It seems doubtful that I shall run out of material. More likely, I shall first run out of time.”

-Gates Whitley

A member of the Writers’ League for one year, Gates Whitley lives in San Antonio.

Scribe: In what genre(s) do you write?  

Gates Whitley: Historical fiction and biography.

Scribe: What author would you most like to have a drink with, and what’s the first question you would ask them?  

GW: Winston Churchill. After exploring our possible family connection, I would want to ask his opinion of T. E. Lawrence’s assessment in the aftermath of WWI, found in his Seven Pillars of Wisdom, that “the old men came out again and took our victory to re-make in the likeness of the former world they knew. Youth could win, but had not learned to keep….” If I were allowed a follow-up question, I would ask him how those terms would apply in the aftermath of WWII.

Scribe: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what book would you want to have with you to keep you sane?  

GW: Clearly, the Bible, specifically the NRSV. You did say however, for purposes of keeping one sane. If for entertainment…well that would be Amor Towles’ ( A Gentleman in Moscow, Rules of Civility ) new book.

Scribe: What have you learned from your association with the Writers’ League?  

GW: From the bountiful selection of courses and teaching staff, I relish the opportunity to grow in the craft.

Scribe: Where do you see your writing taking you (or you taking it) in the future?  

GW: There seems to be, in my family, a sizeable number of relatives who had very interesting lives, lived in interesting times and had great adventures. It seems doubtful that I shall run out of material. More likely, I shall first run out of time.

Scribe: Here at the Writers’ League, we love sharing book recommendations. What’s one Texas-related book that has come out within the past year that you couldn’t put down?

GW: If I may stretch the time frame to last two years, it would be Stephen L. Moore’s (with William Morrow), Texas Rising.

Scribe: Is there anything else about you that you would like to share with the world? An opportunity for blatant self-promotion!

GW: Share with the world? More and better humour, especially the self-effacing kind.

Thanks, Gates!

If you’re a Writers’ League member and you’d be interested in being interviewed for our Meet the Members feature, email us at member@writersleague.org for more information. It’s a great way for other members to get to know you and for you to share a bit about what you’re working on!

Meet the Members: Bruce Thatcher

“I’ve gained a great appreciation of how much hard work it takes — after the writing — to promote and disseminate the end product.”

-Bruce Thatcher

A member of the Writers’ League since 2013, Bruce Thatcher lives outside New Braunfels.

Scribe: In what genre(s) do you write?

Bruce Thatcher: Non-fiction: political science and history.

Scribe: What author would you most like to have a drink with, and what’s the first question you would ask them?

BT: Martin Dugard (co-author of Bill O’Reilly’s Killing books). I’d ask him, “after deciding on a subject, which comes first, outline of the book or research?”

Scribe: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what book would you want to have with you to keep you sane?

BT: Can’t think of a single title. I’d probably like the luxury of a complete series by Tom Clancy, W.E.B. Griffin or Jeff Shaara, etc. They’re all so thoroughly researched and well written that my time on the island would be both pleasurable and educational … and it would fly by.

Scribe: What have you learned from your association with the Writers’ League?

BT: I’ve gained a great appreciation of how much hard work it takes, after the writing, to promote and disseminate the end product.

Scribe: Where do you see your writing taking you (or you taking it) in the future?

BT: My purpose is to distill history’s lessons into practical and reliable advice for today’s Americans and our leaders. Shorter works and articles/essays may have a place in that program.

Scribe: Here at the Writers’ League, we love sharing book recommendations. What’s one Texas-related book that has come out within the past year that you couldn’t put down?

BT: Though it first came out in 2013, I was recently given a copy of Philipp Meyer’s The Son, a historical novel of a family/dynasty set in Texas from 1811 to well past the mid-20th century. It’s too long for a single sitting but, once begun, that’s the way I wanted to read it.

Scribe: Is there anything else about you that you would like to share with the world? An opportunity for blatant self-promotion!

BT: I wrote a few books during my business career (including one on a short-deadline contract), but they were for specialised audiences and limited purpose. After retiring and moving to Texas I started writing the HST books out of frustration with how country’s leaders – America’s and others – seem to approach most problems with no apparent awareness of history’s relevant lessons. History Speaks Today was launched as my attempt to correct that ignorance, at least in some small way. I decided to use a business-case approach to presenting practical historical lessons, focused not so much on the who-what-when-where-why of history but, rather, on the so what that is usually absent from traditional history teaching. The result has been three books that articulate clear guidelines for dealing with specific problems of today (Adamant Aggressors, Immigration and Rise and Decline).

When I began HST, I envisioned it could be an umbrella under which other authors could research and present historical lessons for today. That hasn’t yet happened, but if it sounds interesting to other Writers’ League members, I’d like to hear from them.

Thanks, Bruce!

If you’re a Writers’ League member and you’d be interested in being interviewed for our Meet the Members feature, email us at member@writersleague.org for more information. It’s a great way for other members to get to know you and for you to share a bit about what you’re working on!

Meet the Members: Rebecca Nolen

Everyone I’ve ever met who is a member at WLT has been a good friend.

-Rebecca Nolen

A member of the Writers’ League of Texas for three years, Rebecca Nolen lives in Houston.

Scribe: In what genre(s) do you write?

Rebecca Nolen: I write middle-grade fiction – I have a published middle-grade historical fantasy. I also write adult suspense! I’ve won awards for my published novel Deadly Thymeand I write and illustrate picture books as well — but I am not published yet.

Scribe: What author would you most like to have a drink with, and what’s the first question you would ask them?

RN: Rudyard Kipling. I would ask him where in the world he enjoyed living the most and why.

Scribe: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what book would you want to have with you to keep you sane?

RN: The Bible, because it would keep my hope alive.

Scribe: What have you learned from your association with the Writers’ League?

RN: Everyone I’ve ever met who is a member at WLT has been a good friend.

Scribe: Where do you see your writing taking you (or you taking it) in the future?

RN: A series of adult suspense – the Deadly series. And many partially illustrated picture books are waiting on my shelf for completion. I dream that happens soon.

Scribe: Here at the Writers’ League, we love sharing book recommendations. What’s one Texas-related book that has come out within the past year that you couldn’t put down?

RN: I just finished Nikki Loftin’s book Wish Girl! Loved it.

Scribe: Is there anything else about you that you would like to share with the world? An opportunity for blatant self-promotion!

Houston Writers House (of which I am director) has published a Texas-themed anthology, which I illustrated!

Thanks, Rebecca!

If you’re a Writers’ League member and you’d be interested in being interviewed for our Meet the Members feature, email us at member@writersleague.org for more information. It’s a great way for other members to get to know you and for you to share a bit about what you’re working on!

Meet the Members: Pamela Camosy

“My writing honors my patients and allows me to tell our shared stories while expressing gratitude for the privilege of caring for them.”

-Pamela Camosy

A member of the Writers’ League for nearly two years, Pamela Camosy lives in Garden Ridge, Texas.

Scribe: In what genre(s) do you write?

Pamela Camosy: Memoir and narrative medicine.

Scribe: What author would you most like to have a drink with, and what’s the first question you would ask them? 

PC: Frank Slaughter, a physician who wrote elegant historical fiction in prolific fashion. His Road to Bithynia, the story of the Biblical physician Luke, got me hooked on his books decades ago. When Dr. Slaughter and I meet in heaven over a cup of tea, I plan to ask him how he was able to research his subjects and write dozens of engaging books while maintaining a busy surgical practice.

Scribe: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what book would you want to have with you to keep you sane?

PC: My trusty The Norton Anthology of English Literature. I bought it in college and later grew to love it when, in my mother’s waning years, she asked me to read it aloud to her.

Scribe: What have you learned from your association with the Writers’ League? 

PC: The value of the counsel of experienced successful writers to those of us who are beginning our journey. WLT’s annual Agents & Editors Conference provided me with meaningful feedback that I used in revising my work.

Scribe: Where do you see your writing taking you (or you taking it) in the future? 

PC: Looking back with a writer’s eye on my decades a family physician, I see a path forward in narrative medicine. My writing honors my patients and allows me to tell our shared stories while expressing gratitude for the privilege of caring for them.

Scribe: Here at the Writers’ League, we love sharing book recommendations. What’s one Texas-related book that has come out within the past year that you couldn’t put down?

PC: The Same Sky by Amanda Eyre Ward. The author describes the people and places of our state capital as only an Austinite could, focusing on a kind-hearted young woman finding her place in life. At the same time, a teenage girl in Honduras is struggling to get to Texas and endures brutal impediments along the way. Amanda’s well-crafted tale demonstrates strength of spirit that I find inspiring.

Scribe: Is there anything else about you that you would like to share with the world? An opportunity for blatant self-promotion!

PC: I invite readers to join me in the pages of my new book, Healer’s Heart: A Family Physician’s Stories of the Heart & Art of Medicine.The book is a tribute to the healing power that lies within all of us, physicians and non-physicians alike, and is available through Amazon in print and e-book.

Thanks, Pamela!

If you’re a Writers’ League member and you’d be interested in being interviewed for our Meet the Members feature, email us at member@writersleague.org for more information. It’s a great way for other members to get to know you and for you to share a bit about what you’re working on!

Meet the Members: Bill Thompson

“After years as a CEO in the corporate world, I started writing in 2009. I’ve written thirteen books so far, and I’m loving it.”

-Bill Thompson

A member of the Writers’ League since August of last year, Bill Thompson lives in Dallas, Texas.

Scribe: In what genre(s) do you write?

BT: I’ve written eleven archaeological thrillers (think Indiana Jones) and two teen fiction books.

Scribe: What author would you most like to have a drink with, and what’s the first question you would ask them?

BT: Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child (I’m counting my “one author” as that pair). I’d ask them, “how did you come up with such a bizarre character as Aloysius Pendergast, one of my all-time favorites?”

Scribe: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what book would you want to have with you to keep you sane?

BT: The Bible, because it takes a long time to read and even longer to understand. Plus you might need a little spiritual guidance while stuck on the island.

Scribe: What have you learned from your association with the Writers’ League?

BT: I’m a newer member, so I’m excited to start learning!

Scribe: Where do you see your writing taking you (or you taking it) in the future? 

BT: After years as a CEO in the corporate world, I started writing in 2009. I’ve written thirteen books so far, and I’m loving it. My writing takes me all over the world. My archaeological adventures are set in Central America, Israel, Egypt, etc. I get to go there myself and research my books!

Scribe: Here at the Writers’ League, we love sharing book recommendations. What’s one Texas-related book that has come out within the past year that you couldn’t put down?

BT: As a “new” Texan (2009), I wanted to learn about the state’s history. I read Texas Rising by Stephen L. Moore. It’s a history of the Republic and the Texas Rangers. Very interesting.

Scribe: Is there anything else about you that you would like to share with the world? An opportunity for blatant self-promotion!  

BT: If variety is the spice of life, my life has been spicy indeed! At one time or another over the years I’ve been: an international insurance broker; a mayor; head of a state prison board; a newspaper reporter; in jail (briefly, and wrongly!); a Bourbon Street piano player; a corporate entrepreneur; a church organist; a goat herder; president of an animal shelter; a father and grandfather; a world traveler; an attendee at Andrew Lloyd Webber’s knighting in Westminster; fluent in Russian; a passenger on the Concorde; a choir singer; a lifetime dog lover; a husband; and now . . . an author! My life is filled with blessings and I love every minute of it. I’m an armchair adventurer now, and I live vicariously through Brian Sadler, the primary character in my books!

Here’s my offical bio: Bill Thompson is the award-winning author of twelve novels. His latest is Temple: The Prophecy of the Hidden Treasure, and it’s available now on Amazon in paperback or ebook. Visit billthompsonbooks.com for more information!

Thanks, Bill!

If you’re a Writers’ League member and you’d be interested in being interviewed for our Meet the Members feature, email us at member@writersleague.org for more information. It’s a great way for other members to get to know you and for you to share a bit about what you’re working on!