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Multi-Media: Ventura County | WORDS & IMAGES

Tapping Into Talent

Literary experts make local stops to share their expertise.

March 20, 1997|FRANCES HALPERN | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

I logged on to Internet literary forums for the first time last week and was overwhelmed by postings from desperate writers seeking information about the publishing process.

The Ventura County/Santa Barbara area offers access to an extraordinary pool of literary professionals. Check out this week's seminars on book promotions or mysteries. Learn about small press publishing or meet authors who can talk about writing for children, humor, historical novels or ancient art.

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Former literary agent-turned-columnist Mel Bloom of Ojai began writing letters to his little pal and neighbor 5-year-old Bridgie McManus to fulfill her wish to get her own mail. "It was never intended to be a book," said Bloom.

But Bridgie's mother thought otherwise, and so an illustrated "Letters to Bridgie" has been published by Publisher's Paradigm of Ojai. Bloom and the now 9-year-old Bridgie will tell their story at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Barnes & Noble, 4360 E. Main St., Ventura.

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"Murder, Mayhem and Madness, a Forensics Festival for Writers" will feature Paul Bishop, best-selling mystery author and LAPD detective; Serita Stevens, author of "Deadly Doses: A Writer's Guide to Poisons," and forensics experts, who will describe in chilling detail what writers must know about firearms, bombs, blood-spatter patterns and serial killers.

The Learning Tree University seminar is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Warner Center Hilton in Woodland Hills. The fee is $89. Call (818) 497-2292.

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To celebrate 18 years as booksellers, Adventures for Kids, 3457 Telegraph Road, Ventura, will host festivities all day Saturday. At 3 p.m., Jez Alborough will sign his "Watch Out!! Big Bro is Coming!"

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Richard O'Connor, Renaissance Books editor and author of "How to Market You and Your Book," and Virginia Lawrence, president of Information by Design, will describe aspects of the publishing process at the "Marketing and Promotion" seminar sponsored by Small Publishers, Artists, & Writers Network from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday at Ventura TowneHouse, 4900 Telegraph Road. The fee is $48. Call (805) 643-2403.

In Santa Barbara

Gene Perret, author of 20 books on comedy and humor and three-time Emmy Award winner for his work on "The Carol Burnett Show," will sign "Become a Richer Writer" at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Borders Books, 900 State St.

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Helen Gordon will discuss her historical novel, "Voice of the Vanquished: The Story of the Slave Marina and Hernan Cortez," at the American Assn. of University Women luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at the Radisson Hotel, 1111 E. Cabrillo Blvd. Call (805) 899-3888 for reservations.

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Local publisher John Daniel will share war stories about small press publishing and sign his memoir, "One for the Books," at 7:30 p.m. Monday at Earthling Bookshop, 1137 State St.

* 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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