After the success of Pocono Liar Michael A. Ventrella‘s last nonfiction book about the Monkees music, cowritten with culture historian Mark Arnold, the publisher begged for a sequel. It was just released:  HEADQUARTERED: A TIMELINE OF THE MONKEES SOLO YEARS. With an introduction from Herman’s Hermits leader Peter Noone, the book looks at the careers of the actor/musicians, with some surprises and fun trivia for anyone interested.

The book is full of pictures on almost every page and a cover from Emmy-Award winning cartoonist Scott Shaw. It’s available in paperback or hard cover.

More details about the books are here, and to order a copy, click here.

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2020 Pocono Writers Conference

Reservations for the 2020 Pocono Writers Conference are now open! Click here to reserve your spot.

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9:00: Check in

9:30: MICHAEL A. VENTRELLA: Introductions

9:45: HILDY SILVERMAN“What Editors Look For”: With so many submissions to sift through, what can a writer do to elevate their work above the rest? Surprisingly, including a few simple things can leapfrog your tale ahead of half your competition immediately. I’ll share what these are, and provide additional tips to help improve the likelihood of your story making the cut.

11:00: MARIE LAMBA“How to Revise Your Novel for Submission: Self-Editing Techniques that Work”: Finishing the first draft of a novel is a major accomplishment, but that’s just the beginning of a writer’s work. The next step is to do a thorough revision, shaping that novel into its very best form. Top-notch revision skills are an important part of a writer’s toolkit, especially now that agents and editors expect manuscripts to be well-polished. But revising a long work of fiction can be daunting. Where do you begin? How do you decide what’s working and what isn’t? And how, exactly, should you go about fixing things?

12:00: Lunch (not provided, but there are lots of places nearby or you can bring your own)

1:00: GAIL Z. MARTIN“Promoting Your Books on Social Media”: How can you use social media to connect with readers and reviewers, build relationships with other authors, and maintain your book’s visibility? Which social media platforms are right for you? What do you talk about—and what should you avoid?

2:15: MICHELLE RENEE LANE: “What Questions Should You Ask Yourself When World Building?”: Try to imagine Lord of the Rings without Middle Earth, or The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe without Narnia, or even True Blood without Bon Temps. World building can make all the difference when creating the perfect setting for your characters. Regardless of what genre you’re writing in, asking the right questions enables you to figure out all the details you need to create your fictional, or not so fictional world.

3:30: MICHAEL A. VENTRELLA: Panel Discussion and Question and Answer session with all panelists

Admission is free but seating is limited. Please only sign up if you are sure you will be attending. If you later discover you cannot attend, please delete your reservation so there will be enough room for everyone. Do not reserve space for anyone other than yourself — if there is more than one reservation under your name, the extra ones will be deleted.



Each of the participants are holding smaller sessions during the presentations where you can get individual critiques and comments.

These sessions are $20 each. You can sign up for as many as you want but you must pre-register because space is limited. Please note that by signing up for these personal sessions, you will miss some of the other presentations.

The panelists will contact you by email prior to the session to discuss writing samples and other requirements.

9:45: Gail Z. Martin

11:00: Michelle Renee Lane

1:00: Hildy Silverman

2:15: Marie Lamba



Marie Lamba (www.marielamba.com) is author of the young adult novels What I Meant… (Random House), Over My Head and Drawn, and of the picture books Green, Green (Farrar Straus Giroux) and A Day So Gray (Clarion). Her articles appear in more than 100 publications and is a frequent contributor to Writer’s Digest. She has worked as an editor, an award-winning public relations writer, and a book publicist, and has taught classes on novel writing and on author promotion. As an agent with The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency in New York, Marie is currently looking for young adult and middle grade fiction, along with general and women’s fiction and some memoir. She is also open to submissions from picture book authors or illustrators who are already established, or whose work she has requested through conferences. Marie is also open to non-fiction submissions for all age categories. For more details and her submission guidelines, please visit: https://www.jdlit.com/marie-lamba

Michelle Renee Lane writes dark speculative fiction about women of color battling their inner demons while falling in love with monsters. Her work includes elements of fantasy, horror, romance, and occasionally erotica. Her short fiction appears in the anthologies Dark Holidays, Terror Politico: A Screaming World in Chaos, The Monstrous Feminine: Dark Tales of Dangerous Women and The Dystopian States of America. Her Bram Stoker Award nominated debut novel, Invisible Chains (2019), is available from Haverhill House Publishing.

Gail Z. Martin has an MBA in Marketing and is the author of four social media how-to books, including The Essential Social Media Marketing Handbook and 30 Days to Social Media Success, which was named by Life Hack to be one of the top 20 business books to read in 2016. Gail also writes epic fantasy, urban fantasy and steampunk for Solaris Books, Orbit Books, SOL Publishing, Darkwind Press, Worldbuilders Press and Falstaff Books. Recent books include Convicts and ExilesSellsword’s OathInheritance, and Night Moves. With Larry N. Martin, she is the co-author of the Spells Salt & SteelWasteland MarshalsJoe Mack and Jake Desmet series. As Morgan Brice, she writes urban fantasy MM paranormal romance including the WitchbaneBadlands and Treasure Trail series. Recent books include Flame and Ash and Loose Ends.

Hildy Silverman was the Editor-in-chief of Space and Time Magazine for 12 years. She is a short fiction author whose recent publications include, “My Dear Wa’ats” (2018, Baker Street Irregulars II: The Game is Afoot, Ventrella & Maberry, eds.), “The Lady of the Lakes” (2018, Camelot 13, French and Thomas, eds.), and “Sidekicked” (2019, Release the Virgins, Ventrella, ed.). Her nonfiction articles have appeared in numerous legal and medical professional journals and blogs. In the mundane world, she is the Digital Marketing Manager for Oticon Medical US.

Michael A. Ventrella is a Stroudsburg writer with four novels so far, including Big Stick and Bloodsuckers: A Vampire Runs for President. He’s edited quite a few anthologies, including the Baker Street Irregulars anthologies, co-edited with New York Times Bestselling author Jonathan Maberry; Across the Universe, co-edited with Randee Dawn, and Release the Virgins. He’s also written nonfiction books about the US Constitution and the Monkees. At his web page (MichaelAVentrella.com), he interviews writers and editors and gives advice for the starting writer.

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The Gatekeeper’s Notebook

Pocono Liar Sahar Abdulaziz’s newest novel is now available!

Life looked promising for Kalila Rahim when she and her husband decided to move from New York City to the Pocono Mountains. Despite a fabulous home, a lucrative career, and the birth of a healthy baby boy, the couple’s marriage remained fraught with problems: the most notable, Bashir’s complicated love affair. Angry and hurt, Kalila kicks him out, only to become distraught when she receives a call notifying her of Bashir’s untimely death. Widowed, facing mounting debt, and left to raise their son alone, Kalila decides to move far away and start a new life. However, she soon discovers that burying a husband is a lot simpler than concealing his secrets, especially after her own dark dalliances resurface, threatening to destroy her life.

THE GATEKEEPER’S NOTEBOOK is a realistic reminder that none of us are perfect.” –Author Farah Zaman, The Moon of Masarrah

“Bringing us into the world of second wives and hidden lives, Sahar Abdulaziz’s newest release THE GATEKEEPER’S NOTEBOOK, is like watching a train wreck waiting to happen but being unable to look away.” Author Melati Lum, Ayesha Dean – The Istanbul Intrigue, Ayesha Dean – The Seville Secret

“THE GATEKEEPER’S NOTEBOOK is delightful … delightfully naughty and intellectually honest.” – Author Rabiah York Lumbard, The Conference of the Birds,  The Gift of Ramadan, No True Believers 

Sahar Abdulaziz’s new psychological thriller/suspense THE GATEKEEPER’S NOTEBOOK is a bold and poignant story about love and loss, the past colliding with the present, and the unimaginable devastation caused by spitefulness, arrogance, deceptions, and lies.

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Across the Universe

Pocono Liar founder Michael A. Ventrella’s latest book is now available.

ACROSS THE UNIVERSE is an anthology of alternative Beatles stories, co-edited with Randee Dawn and featuring stories from some of the top current science fiction and fantasy writers: Spider Robinson, Gregory Benford, David Gerrold, Allen M. Steele, Pat Cadigan, Lawrence Watt-Evans, Jody Lynn Nye, Gregory Frost, Cat Rambo, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Gail Z. Martin, Bev Vincent, Brenda W. Clough, Alan Goldsher, Gordon Linzner, Beth W. Patterson, Christian H. Smith, Sally Wiener Grotta, Kenneth Schneyer, Charles Barouch, Carol Gyzander, Patrick Barb, R. Jean Mathieu, Eric Avedissian, and Matthew F. Amati!

“This collection is a Magical Mystery Tour through alternate universes where the familiar narrative of the Beatles is turned on its head. Or ear. Or ass. It’s fun, irreverent, sexy, and twisted–just like the Fab Four themselves.” — Vicki Peterson, The Bangles

“”It’s the Beatles in the Twilight Zone of infinite possibilities! Highly recommended!” — Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of V-Wars and Rage

Across the Universe is a fantastic, freewheeling, and imaginative romp of a collection. Totally engrossing.” — Paul Marshall, Strawberry Alarm Clock

“Even non-fans will find stories here that will move and surprise them.” — Library Journal (starred review)

“Beatles aficionados and fantasy fans will enjoy this affectionate, speculative homage.” — Publishers Weekly

It’s available in hard cover or paperback!

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Pictures from the 2019 Writers Workshop

Click on a picture for a bigger view! 

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The Case of the Purloined Professor

A chilling phone call in the middle of the night from a mysterious crime kingpin. An immediate gathering of friends and colleagues. 71014848_556688011768410_6485785781037170688_nThe hunt is on for Augusta McKee—amateur sleuth, former opera singer and professor of music on two college campuses in Cincinnati—last seen at a production staff meeting for her spring musical at Cliffside College.

Augusta’s beau, Homicide Detective Malcolm Mitchell, learns how perilous her situation is and what is being demanded in exchange for her safe return.Malcolm and his partner, Detective Jim Edmonds, muster their department’s forces and assistance from the F.B.I. as the danger mounts. Malcolm must discover her location, trying to piece together a trail of cryptic clues from Augusta herself. Yet one part of the puzzle eludes him.

There is a deadline to meet, and time grows short. Where is Augusta? Can Malcolm find her in time to save her life?

THE CASE OF THE PURLOINED PROFESSOR is Pocono Liar Susan Moore Jordan‘s latest novel, now available from Amazon and other fine sellers!

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How to Argue the Constitution with a Conservative

Pocono Liar Michael A. Ventrella‘s latest book is a humorous nonfiction work with illustrations by Pulitzer-Prize winning artist Darrin Bell:  “How to Argue the Constitution with a Conservative.” It was published by Gray Rabbit Publications in New York.
Ventrella, a lawyer and former Constitutional Law professor, explains the Constitution and discusses the common debates that pop up over its controversial passages, all with snark and lots of jokes.

It’s available in paperback or hard cover, and a kindle version will be available soon. You can read the Table of Contents and the first chapter here.

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