Workshop Description

The crime, mystery, thriller, suspense, workshop will: (1) discuss the basics of each of the four story-types, (2) deconstruct a short story to demonstrate the mechanics of plot development, (3) deconstruct parts of a novel to demonstrate how to obscure characters’ motives, hide clues in plain sight, and dismember a fact pattern and scatter the pieces in a way that’s calculated to keep the reader from adding them up before the protagonist does, and (4) demonstrate how setting, subplots, backstory, and secondary characters can be used to alter the protagonist’s perspective so she’ll understand the facts and solve the crime before the reader does.

About Roger Johns

ROGER JOHNS is a former corporate lawyer, retired college professor, and the author of the Wallace Hartman Mysteries from St. Martin’s Press/Minotaur Books: Dark River Rising and River of Secrets. His short fiction has been published by Saturday Evening Post, Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, the Mystery Weekly Magazine, Dark City Crime & Mystery Magazine, Yellow Mama, and Viral Literature: Alone Together in Georgia. He is the 2018 Georgia Author of the Year (Detective·Mystery Category), a two-time Finalist for the Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award, and runner-up for the 2019 Frank Yerby Fiction Award. Roger is a frequently-invited speaker at conferences, literary festivals, and writers’ organizations on the subjects of mystery writing and career management for authors, and his articles and interviews about writing and career management for new authors have appeared in Career Authors, Criminal Element, Killer Nashville Articles, the Southern Literary Review, Writer Unboxed, and Southern Writers Magazine. He belongs to the Atlanta Writers Club, the Short Mystery Fiction Society, International Thriller Writers, and Mystery Writers of America. Roger serves as the 2021-23 Vice President of the Southeastern Chapter of Mystery Writers America, and along with several other crime fiction writers, he co-authors the MurderBooks blog at Please visit him at:

Roger’s Books

Georgia Author of the Year

2018 Killer Nashville – Finalist, Silver Falchion Award

2019 Killer Nashville – Finalist, Silver Falchion Award

Amanda Vining photo

Amanda holds a BS in Biology from Georgia College & State University. She began her career as an educator with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. After leaving the DNR, Amanda became a formal educator with Baldwin County School System and Jasper County School System. Amanda began her museum career at the Museum of Arts and Sciences (MAS) in Macon, Georgia, where she served as Curator of Environmental Science
(2011-2020). While at MAS, Amanda developed a love for sharing the world around us with the many students who visited on school field trips. During her time as Curator of Environmental Science, Amanda launched a storytime
program for preschool children.

Since 2020, Amanda has been serving Georgia Writers Museum as a volunteer on the Education Committee. Amanda has brought her love of sharing stories with students by launching Peaches’ Reading Pasture. As Museum Manager, Amanda looks forward to serving the community and helping to inspire those within our community to put words to paper and share their stories.

Amanda was born and raised in nearby Shady Dale, Georgia. Her husband, Rodney, is a native of Eatonton, and they currently reside in Putnam County. They have three children.