Prolific Writers Life Compass Group

Compass Writers • Table of Contents

Invitation to Compass Writers

We invite you to join us at Compass Writers. We meet the second and fourth Monday of every month from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Please arrive early. We begin each meeting with a writing industry expert such as an author, editor, or publisher. In the second part of the meeting, we break into small groups and provide each other with feedback on our manuscripts. If you have a writing sample you’d like to share, please bring four copies (up to 1000 words). We welcome all genres, and all levels of writers from newbies to bestselling authors. We meet at Compass Christian Church at 1510 N. Casa Grande Avenue in Casa Grande, Arizona. We look forward to seeing you at our next event!  

Do you know a local author, editor, publisher, or someone in the writing industry who might want to speak at Compass Writers? If so, please click here to learn more about speaking at a Compass Writers event

Upcoming Events

September 26, 2022

Philip W Calvert PhD Trinity Casa Grande Compass Writers speaker
Philip W. Calvert, PhD

Heart to Heart: The Incredible Journey of Self-Publishing

The Gift of Courage, The Gift of Justice, and The Gift of Unity are 40-day devotionals that address difficult seasons of life, injustice, and conflict. Each devotional was written to connect our heart to the heart of our Creator. As such, each book includes a devotion, scripture, prayer, and a note section to write down personal reflections. 

Self-publishing my books has been the right decision for me, as it enabled me to learn new things (e.g., the ISBN and copyright process, setting up an Amazon shop, building my own web site, etc.), and it kept me connected to every part of the writing, publishing, marketing, sales, and shipping process. To be sure, it was a steep learning curve and new things must be learned constantly to stay informed and pivot as necessary. For example, if someone ordering a book wants it signed in a special way, I can do that because I personally package and ship every book. 

If you think about it for a moment, the Bible was self-published by God. It was His Spirit that moved the writers of Holy Scripture to write down exactly what the Lord wanted them to write so that He could connect His heart to your heart. Aren’t you glad God didn’t hire an editor or sales director that would demand changes to the Bible in order to make it more marketable?  

I am glad that I am self-publishing my devotional books. Though it requires extra effort and some late nights, self-publishing is a way to keep the purpose of my books connected to the readers of my books. When you read The Gift of Courage, The Gift of Justice, and The Gift of Unity I think you will agree. 

Dr. Calvert has been a missionary, professor, entrepreneur, consultant, mentor, and pastor for over 25 years. He has been coaching people in these various roles over the course of his career. Dr. Calvert has a heart for helping those who need it the most, and has been doing so all his life. He is the author of three books. These 40-day devotionals are: The Gift of Courage, The Gift of Justice, and The Gift of Unity. You can read more about these books at Shaped by Grace.  

October 8, 2022

Goodruby Shop Local Book Fair

Meet over a dozen local authors at Goodruby Christian Bookstore at the fall Shop Local Book Fair. The book fair will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 8 at 973 E Cottonwood Lane in Casa Grande.  If you have any questions, call Goodruby Bookstore at 520-426-7999. 

October 10, 2022

Donovan Don Kramer Jr Pinal Central Compass Writers
Donovan M. Kramer Jr.

Writing for Local News Media

Local news media receive many press releases from the community and sometimes use stories written by community members and freelancers. Don will talk about what writers need to know about their local newspaper: how to write an article for your local newspaper, how to write a press release about your book launch, and more. 

Don Kramer is the co-publisher and managing editor at Casa Grande Valley Newspapers. He has been the local newspaper editor in Casa Grande at Pinal Central for more than 40 years and has lived in the community most of his life. He is the father of three grown children and a longtime member of Casa Grande Rotary Club and Signal Peak Toastmasters.

Pinal Central Casa Grande Dispatch Coolidge Examiner Eloy Enterprise Tri-Valley Dispatch Compass Writers

October 24, 2022

Author Ann Schrooten Jack Shared Struggles
Ann F. Schrooten

Jack's Legacy - Shared Struggles

Stories are one of the most fundamental and effective ways to engage and teach our fellow human beings. After the death of her son, Jack, from a rare congenital muscular dystrophy, author Ann F. Schrooten partnered with Dr. Barry P. Markovitz, a pediatric critical care doctor, to write Shared Struggles – Stories from Parents and Pediatricians Caring for Children with Serious Illnesses, the first book to tell true and poignant stories from both sides of the physician-patient/parent relationship. By giving a voice to both parents and physicians and by listening and learning from their stories, Shared Struggles is Jack’s legacy as it seeks to improve communication and foster trust and compassion among physicians, patients and families. Ann will share her personal story behind her book and her journey of getting the book published.

Ann Schrooten is an estate planning and probate attorney with Fitzgibbons Law Offices in Casa Grande. She is the founder of The Willow Tree Foundation, an Arizona non-profit organization that funds respite for parents of medically fragile children. She lives in Chandler, Arizona, with her husband and their three adult children. She blogs at Jack Schrooten and Inching Onward.

Shared Struggles by Authors Ann Schrooten and Barry Markovitz

November 14, 2022

The Kind: Awakened by J.A. Manier Compass Writers
J.A. Manier

Author of The Kind Awakened

What I can tell you, or more like it, what I will tell you is this. I sat down in August of 2019 and began to type. I had many ideas in the past but was, I don’t know, too lazy, and certainly never brave enough to write any of them down, let alone form them into a novel. For some reason earlier in the year I had gotten enough courage to jot down the beginning of an idea.

Well, I’m not sure courage is the right word. I typed it into the “Notes” section on my phone. No one would ever see it; I would make sure of that. I’m not even sure why I did it. I never planned on anyone ever seeing it, but I thought maybe I would expand on it one day. A few months after that my husband and I began a Bible Study group. It was one of those deep, find your purpose kind of studies. I had never been to one but right away they had us doing homework.

Much of it was writing things down. Prayers, thoughts about what we read or talked about, what you hear God telling you… That last one got me. How was I going to hear God? The instructions were to go find a place away from the rest of the class, then sit quietly and let God speak. I am not that good with just sitting still. I took a walk, but I tried to follow the directions anyway.  When we got back the instructions were to write down your thoughts. The only thing that came to my mind was “He said write.” It was very clear, but I thought, “that can’t be it. I must be just echoing the instructions of write it down by the leader,” but I wrote that down anyway.

November 28, 2022

microphone Compass Writers speaker wanted
TBD

Speaker To Be Announced

We haven’t booked a speaker for this date yet. Do you know a local author, editor, publisher, or someone in the writing industry who might want to speak at Compass Writers? If so, please click here to learn more about speaking at a Compass Writers event

December 12, 2022

microphone Compass Writers speaker wanted
TBD

Speaker To Be Announced

We haven’t booked a speaker for this date yet. Do you know a local author, editor, publisher, or someone in the writing industry who might want to speak at Compass Writers? If so, please click here to learn more about speaking at a Compass Writers event

January 9, 2022

microphone Compass Writers speaker wanted
TBD

Speaker To Be Announced

We haven’t booked a speaker for this date yet. Do you know a local author, editor, publisher, or someone in the writing industry who might want to speak at Compass Writers? If so, please click here to learn more about speaking at a Compass Writers event

Jim Marshall
Author Jaine Ellen Toth Dizzy Izzy and The Red Witch
Jaine Toth
Eugene Carr
Pam Parron

Past Events

Frank G. Davis will discuss the pros and cons of hiring marketing agents to help sell his books. In the past three years, Frank has written and published eight books. A ninth book is scheduled to be published in Autumn of this year. All of his books were self-published through Kindle Direct Publishing and all of them would be considered in the Science Fiction/Action Adventure/Christian genre. “All of my books are fast-paced action stories set in the future with significant Christian overtones. My first book, Future Histories, contains three short stories and one novella. All the stories were inspired by comments made during various sermons by my pastor. Christian beliefs are present in all the other books as well.

“I love writing. Once I get an idea for a story, all I want to do is tell the story as quickly and completely as I can and then move onto the next story. Unfortunately, marketing my books is not a talent I possess and as much as I’ve tried, my sales are not going anywhere. I’ve tried selling through Amazon and purchased online classes on how to increase sales of my novels, but nothing has worked. 

In June 2022, I hired two women who are experts in marketing. They have done wonders at upgrading my webpage and showing me how to advertise using social media. I will share with you how they have helped me and the results of their help.

Frank G. Davis began writing novels three years ago and has published nine books to date. All of them are action/adventure novels set in the future. He relies heavily on personal experiences and the personalities of his friends to make his characters come alive. The future technology used in his books are based on possible extrapolations of current technology levels. The inspiration for his novels comes from a variety of sources from Christian sermons, to breaking news stories and daydreams of things to come.

Generations by Frank G. Davis Compass Writers

“Better late than never!” describes this author. People started telling her 30 plus years ago that she needed to write a book. She always laughed, but the first line of the book ran through her mind. Living life with a disability was challenging enough without writing for others. Two countries, two languages, a husband, two children and teaching the Bible, English, ESL/ELL, and Spanish have filled her life. When health issues removed her from teaching high school, she found herself in waiting rooms being asked familiar questions and being told, “You should write a book.” A Bible study friend made it a serious endeavor. Speaking about her story and faith came naturally, but writing? Her journey from start to publish was a roller-coaster ride with a couple derailments that cost way too much. She would like writers to learn from her amateur mistakes and encourage them on their journey .

Broken in All the Right Places Pamela Salatri Parron Author Compass Writers
 Pamela Saletri Parron

Pamela Saletri Parron has lived with a physical disability for most of her adult life. She is married with two adult children. She taught high school in two languages in two countries. She has served in many roles in church over the years, but most recently as a women’s Bible teacher. Learn more about her Bible studies at Loved By God. She is the author of Broken in All the Right Places

“Tell me about your story in fifty words or less,” you may hear from your editor or publisher. How important is this in selling your work? We will talk about this and other ideas to help you successfully attract attention to your work. 

How do you organize your thoughts for your story? Do you just pick up a pencil and start writing? Do you think about the characters, places, actions, sequences and other things that pertain to your story, and make notes or “cheat” cards to help you through the actual writing? Is one way right and one way wrong? Gene will use two of his own works to illustrate writing strategies that worked well for him. 

Gene Carr Author of Twenty-Six Minutes Plus Two

Eugene Carr is the author of Sonto Diaries and Twenty-Six Minutes Plus Two. He is an acclaimed story teller. He takes you where you may not want to go. In Twenty-six Minutes Plus Two you will be on the edge of your seat, as he takes you on the ride of a lifetime. This story can only be told by someone who has been there. Carr holds a Commercial Pilot Certificate and has an Instrument Rating. Other stories that he has told delve into the realm of the fantastic—worlds that are familiar, but you can’t get there from here. Raised in the Chicago area, he has spent his life traveling across the United States and around the world. He now lives in Arizona with his wife. He leads Inklings writing group which meets at the Casa Grande Library the first and third Thursday of every month. 

Twenty-Six Minutes Plus Two by Eugene Carr Compass Writers

“The most important thing is to get your story down,” Jaine says. Then you get the people who can help you. Learn how to go through your manuscript and clean it up. Your first draft might seem boring, but you can play with it and tighten it up. You don’t have to be super talented to get started, and it’s easy to learn how to improve it. Jaine will share her story of how she started writing her book the day her father passed away. She continued writing stories about her dad and then her mom. Then a friend encouraged her to publish them and she did! 

Why write? “The heart is like a box, and language is the key. Only by using the key can we open the box and observe the gems it contains,” says Jaine. “Writing is a tool to put you in touch with your true self. Let’s explore how to do it.”

Author Jaine Ellen Toth Dizzy Izzy and The Red Witch

Brooklyn-born and California-raised, Jaine is a former columnist for Carpinteria, California’s Coastal View News and, locally, the Eloy Enterprise. She also wrote for the Carpinteria Historical Society’s newsletter, The Grapevine, and has had several poems and stories published. Jaine won first place in the Carpinteria Creek Association’s poetry, and she is a longtime contributor to bahaiteachings.org. Jaine developed and presents a memoir-writing workshop, started and facilitates the Robson Ranch writers’ group, and co-facilitated a week-long writers’ retreat at the Desert Rose Baha’i Institute. Dizzy Izzy & The Red Witch: Memories of My Parents, begun as an exercise in grief therapy, is Jaine’s first (but not last!) book. Jaine loves to write—but honestly—she’d rather be acting.

 

Click here to read more advice for writers from author Jaine Toth.

Click here to watch “Get Your Story Down” by Jaine Toth.

 

Dizzy Izzy and The Red Witch by Author Jaine Ellen Toth

 

Jim Marshall has compiled a lifetime of arduous study, observation, experience, and research of human phenomena into discovering Septemics, the philosophic system he describes in his book. In retrospect, he realizes that the philosophic system he shares in this book is what he was born to share with the world. He will discuss the challenges he had to overcome in writing this book and getting it published.  

Septemics by Author Jim Marshall

Jim Marshall, B.S., is the author of Septemics: Heirarchies of Human Phenomena. He is a polymathic intellectual whose areas of expertise include psychology, philosophy, thology, parapsychology, science, engineering, mathematics, law, literature, history, metaphysics, military science, policital science, physical culture, organization, education, and music. He has had several successful careers and a lifetime of experience in education.

 

Click here to read more advice for writers from author Jim Marshall

Click here to watch “The Book You Were Born to Write” by Jim Marshall

 

Septemics by Author Jim Marshall

 

 

Dr. Lorraine Haataia kicked off our first-ever Compass Writers gathering with a discussion on how writers can take their writing to a new level by participating in a writing community. The writing life can be lonely, but it doesn’t have to be. Find friendship and collaboration, improve your writing skills, and network with experts at Compass Writers. 

Lorraine Haataia PhD Founder Prolific Writers Life

Dr. Lorraine is the president of Compass Writers, and the founder of Prolific Writers Life, an online community for writers to expand their writing skills, connect with writing industry experts, and finish their writing projects. 

 

Speaker Testimonials

Author Jaine Ellen Toth Dizzy Izzy and The Red Witch

The format of the Compass Writers Group is unique among the various groups I’ve attended in both California and Arizona. Beginning with a presenter who is either a published author or someone in the industry brings awareness of the many possibilities for their approach to their own work and how to navigate the path toward publication. Breaking into small groups for the reading/critiquing portion saves time and ensures everyone has a chance to participate. This also makes it more comfortable for some to speak up who might be less comfortable sharing their thoughts in the larger group. Reassembling and having group representatives present pertinent thoughts from their group is informative for everyone else. And offering the guest presenter the opportunity to sign and sell books at the end of the program is appreciated by the authors. Excellent format!

Jaine Toth, Author

Member Testimonials Coming Soon

Sandra Bradley VP Membership Compass Writers

Sandy Bradley

Tom Wax Compass Writers Member

Tom Wax

Victoria Jobin Compass Writers Member

Victoria Jobin

Tom Wax Compass Writers Member

Moises Cardona

Penney Borth Compass Writers member

Penney Borth

Patty Rulli Compass Writers Member

Patty Rulli

George Hart

Lisa Kron Compass Writers Member

Lisa Kron

Compass Writers Leadership Team

Kyle Welch Compass Christian Church Pastor
Kyle Welch

Pastor

Kyle Welch …

Lorraine Haataia PhD Founder Prolific Writers Life
Lorraine Haataia, Ph.D.

President

Dr. Lorraine Haataia earned six college degrees, including a PhD, by the age of 35. Writing has played a central role in her career as a professor, content marketing specialist, grants evaluator, continuous improvement ambassador, and entrepreneur. She is the Founder of Prolific Writers Life, an online community for writers to expand their skills, connect with writing industry experts, and finish their writing projects. She’s passionate about helping writers achieve their goals. She believes that the best way to succeed as a writer is to grow relationships with authors and writing industry experts. 

Leonel Leal Compass Writers Vice President of Education
Leonel Leal

Vice President of Education (VPE)

Leonel Leal was born in Northern California and grew up in Casa Grande. He is the middle child in a family of 5 and father of two beautiful children, Devin and Adriana. Leonel earned his MBA from Arizona State University and has enjoyed a successful career in supply chain and sales.  He has always enjoyed writing but has put it off to focus on career and family. This is a new endeavor for Leonel as he looks to build his writing skills while contributing to the success of Compass Writers. 

Sandy Bradley Vice President Membership Compass Writers
Sandra Bradley

Vice President of Membership (VPM)

Sandra spent many hours writing in her courses of study in college. During this time she formed an intrinsic interest in writing.  Later Sandra published in technical trade journals and newsletters related to her field of work.  After leaving the technical field, Sandra blogged about sewing and crafting for several years. Sandra is happy to be a member of Compass Writers to once again foster and sharpen her interest and skills in the field of writing.

Tom Wax Compass Writers Member
Tom Wax

Vice President of Public Relations (VPPR)

Tom Wax

George Hart Compass Writers SAA Officer
George Hart

Sergeant at Arms (SAA)

George Hart is looking for a way to utilize his experience and knowledge to get back to writing prayers and moving on with life after the loss of his wife. He writes to help others achieve success. He wrote a book on a code of conduct. He has also written many documents related to establishing companies. 

Moises Cardona Compass Writers
Moises Cardona

Secretary

Moises Cardona was born and raised in Mexico for seventeen years and is now living in the United States for better opportunities. He thrives to be a better version of himself through self-expression in the form of storytelling. Albeit new to writing, he aims to share his experiences, struggles, and interpretations of this world by creating fiction stories. Amidst the indifferent attitudes and lack of passion of modern times, he is confident that life still holds meaning. Thus, expressing himself in the written form through fantastical stories is what gives him meaning. 

Treasurer

TBD