Nov. Mtg: Holiday Party, Book Sale, Talk by Justice Patricia Benke, SinC Elections
November 11 @ 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Legal thriller author Justice Patricia Benke to speak at
San Diego Chapter of Sisters in Crime prior to holiday party and book sale November 11
Partners in Crime, the San Diego chapter of the national organization Sisters in Crime, welcomes legal thriller author and Appeals Court Associate Justice Patricia Benke as speaker at our next meeting to be held on Saturday, November 11 at 3:30 p.m. at San Diego Writer’s Ink at Liberty Station. Our holiday party and members’ book sale will follow her presentation.
At our brief business meeting we will also hold elections for new officers for the coming year.
Justice Benke, author of four Judith Thornton legal thrillers and the recently published Qudeen the Magnificent, a novel tracing the assimilation of a young Arabic girl into American society inspired by her own family’s Syrian heritage, has titled her talk Freeing your writer’s instinct: there is no such thing as writer’s block. She will also discuss what she learned about writing (and herself) during the writing process and how her legal and judicial career influenced and shaped her writing.
Departing from our usual format, we’ll start the program promptly at 3:30, followed by our holiday party and networking plus a special pre-holiday book sale featuring members’ books.
Members are encouraged to bring a holiday snack or drinks to share.
The chapter meets from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.at San Diego Writers Ink, 2730 Historic Decatur Rd., Suite 202 (located above the Women’s Museum) in Liberty Station, Point Loma.
Attendance is free for members and $5 for non-members, which may be applied to membership. Dues are $25 per year, plus membership in the national organization. Members may join at our meeting, with payment by check, cash or credit card, or online at http://www.sistersincrimesd.org.
Born in the coal and steel regions of Pennsylvania, the granddaughter of Syrian immigrants, Justice Patricia Benke moved with her family at the age of 5 to Southern California.
Contrary to strong cultural expectations, her father supported her educational and career ambitions. After attending law school she joined the appellate division of the State Attorney General’s Office where she specialized in criminal law.
As a deputy attorney general, Patricia handled cases in California’s appellate courts and the California Supreme Court. She was appointed to the Superior Court in 1982 and five years later was considered for an appointment to the California Supreme Court at the age of thirty-seven.
When she was not selected for the Supreme Court two events proved significant. The increased attention surrounding the Supreme Court seat brought an appointment to the Fourth District Court of Appeals in San Diego. She was the first woman appointed to that Court and became the youngest person ever appointed to any appellate court in California. Her family was assimilating, and much to her grandfather’s chagrin and pride, it was not a man leading the way.
Another event turned out even more fateful. A newspaper reporter, curious about her rejection for the Supreme Court, wrote an article noting her love of writing. A literary agent who read the article called and asked if she would like to write a novel. The result was a four-book contract with Avon-Hearst for a series of mainstream legal thrillers about a female prosecutor. The books were published over a span of five years. Collectively they are known as the Judith Thornton series. The first novel of the series, Guilty By Choice had a print run of 100,000 and a publisher-sponsored book tour from Southern California to Seattle. The Thornton books still enjoy an active following.
After the four Thornton books were complete, and long before America was riveted on Aleppo, Patricia started researching a different kind of book, one tracing the generational assimilation of a young Arabic girl into American society. In the face of warnings that it was too far outside the successful Thornton series, she embarked on eight years of travel and research that form the foundation of Qudeen The Magnificent.
In addition to an active writing career, which includes work on a new mystery, Patricia remains an associate justice in S