Unless otherwise noted on the schedule below, we meet the fourth Saturday of each month at 12 p.m. at the Homewood Public Library, 1721 Oxmoor Road, Homewood, AL 35209. For directions, click here.

  • 12:00-12:30. Lunch and business meeting. Bring your own lunch!
  • 12:45-1:00. Q & A. A reading or question-and-answer session with a published author, or a question-and-answer session with a professional from an industry of interest for our writing.
  • 1:00-3:00. Program.

Visitors are welcome! Visitors must be 18 or older. You may attend two general meetings in a 12-month period without joining. Visitors who wish to attend more often must join Romance Writers of America and Southern Magic.

Meetings are subject to change, so check back here before you come!


July 25

Program: Believably Craft Your Characters with Sheila Stephens

Learn to Write about Childhood Disorders, Cognitive, Anxiety, Eating, and Mood Disorders, Personality Disorders, and Psychotic Disorders. Learn what PTSD is and is not, and the new developments on the horizon. Learn how a narcissist may behave differently than someone with paranoid, schizotypal, dependent, histrionic, antisocial, avoidant, obsessive-compulsive, or borderline personality disorders and how some diagnoses may be shared by the same character. Learn how personality disorders differ from psychotic disorders. Discover the age of onset, background and cluster of life events associated with disorders. Also, discover tools used by forensic psychologists to diagnose, determine future dangerousness, and make recommendations to the courts. All this, and more, will help you create consistent behaviors in your characters.

Everyone has flaws, and even your main characters may have issues that fall within some of the personality disorders to be discussed here. Learn to characterize them believably! Handouts available from my website.

Sheila L. Stephens is a Retired Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Special Agent, the author of The Everything Private Investigation Book, a Private Investigator with, an Adjunct Professor for Criminal Justice at Jefferson State College, Facilitates classes for the Boston University’s online Masters in Criminal Justice Program. View her complete bio at

Copyright 2015 Southern Magic, Inc., RWA Chapter 178