About Austin Mystery Writers

Austin Mystery Writers is dedicated to creating, promoting and exploring the craft of crime fiction.  


Who are the Austin Mystery Writers?

We are Laura Oles, Valerie Chandler, Kathy Waller, Patric Sanders, Francine Paino, Kathy Gresham, and Helen Currie Foster. AMW members are dedicated to improving and developing their own and other writers’ manuscripts and skills.


AMW members
Janice Hamrick (guest speaker, Anatomy of a Mystery) and Austin Mystery Writers Gale Albright, Valerie Chandler, and Laura Oles.

Gale Albright


After Gale Albright retired from the University of Texas, she launched a second career as a fiction writer. Her short story “Brane Creem” was published in Blackacre, the first issue of the University of Texas School of Law literary journal.

She received a B.A. from St. Edward’s University in English Writing and Rhetoric. Several of her short stories were published in St. Edward’s literary journals Sorin Oak Review and New Literati,

Before turning her hand to fiction, Ms. Albright did technical writing at the Petroleum Extension Service of the University of Texas and published several non-fiction articles in local Austin magazines (Third Coast and Tech-Connect).

In 2008, her novel Eve won first place in the Young Adult category in the Writers League of Texas manuscript contest. Her short story “Taffy and Lomita” won first place in the Brazos Writers contest.

Ms. Albright is active in several writing groups—Austin Mystery Writers, Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), Sisters in Crime, and Writers League of Texas.  She has completed NaNoWriMo three times.

She is working on several projects at the moment, including a Middle-Grade historical novel and a mystery novel. She likes to organize workshops.

Elizabeth Buhmann

Austin Mystery Writer Elizabeth BUhmann

Elizabeth Buhmann is originally from Virginia and lived several years abroad while growing up. She graduated magna cum laude from Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts, and has a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Pittsburgh. For twenty years she worked for the Texas Attorney General as a researcher and writer on criminal justice and crime victim issues. Her first novel, Lay Death at Her Door (Red Adept Publishing, May 2013) is an Amazon Top 100 bestseller (paid Kindle). Elizabeth now lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband, dog and two chickens. She is an avid gardener, loves murder mysteries, and has a black sash in Tai Chi.




V.P. Chandler


Valerie Chandler received her B.A. in Literature from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. She has been a paralegal, a teacher, and a rancher. As a seventh generation Texan, she loves Texas history and incorporates it into many of her stories. Valerie grew up in a family involved with the criminal justice system, (parole officer, criminal justice professor, pathologist, photographer, etc.), so thinking about crime is in her blood.

She is involved in church, her community band, writes music, and is trying to learn every instrument she can lay her hands on.  A member of Sisters in Crime and Writer Unboxed, she is currently working on her first novel, Gilt Ridden, which is set in West Texas. She has also collaborated on the Writer Unboxed book, Author in Progress: A No-Holds-Barred Guide To What It Really Takes To Get Published (Writer’s Digest). It will be out November of 2016.You can learn more about her and her writing at www.vpchandler.com .

Laura Oles

Austin Mystery Writer Laura Oles

Laura Oles is a photo industry journalist who spent twenty years covering tech and trends before turning to crime fiction.  She has published over 200 articles in retail and consumer magazines and has served as a columnist for Digital Camera Magazine, Memory Makers Magazine, Picture Business, PhotoInduced, ClubMom (now Cafe Mom) and others. 

Laura’s short stories have appeared in several anthologies, including MURDER ON WHEELS, which won the Silver Falchion Award in 2016. Her short story, “Island Time,” is included in Malice Domestic’s Mystery Most Geographical anthology.

Her debut mystery, DAUGHTERS OF BAD MEN, was an Agatha nominee for Best First Novel and a Claymore Award finalist. It was also chosen as a Killer Nashville Readers Choice nominee. Laura is also a Writers League of Texas Award Finalist. She is a member of Austin Mystery Writers, Sisters in Crime and Writers League of Texas.

She lives in the Texas Hill Country with her husband, daughter and twin sons. Visit her at https://lauraoles.com


M. K. Waller


M. K. (Kathy) is a former teacher, former librarian, former paralegal, and former pianist at various small churches desperate for someone who could find middle C.

She grew up in a small town (population ~ 125 in 1960) on the San Marcos River in Central Texas, where pickups were for hauling hay and kids and horses, guns were for killing the occasional rattlesnake, Miss Pedula the milk cow grazed by the roadside, and a dear old gentleman sold double-dip ice cream cones for a nickel.  Old ladies played dominoes on front porches in the afternoons, and old men gossiped on benches outside the post office. There were still horned toads and lightning bugs, mosquitoes were about one-tenth the size they are now, and no one locked their doors. Life there is different today, but if she can’t have the old town back, she’ll rebuilt it in fiction.

Kathy likes to read, write, see as much Gilbert and Sullivan as possible, and listen to ragtime piano. She lives in Austin with two cats and one husband.

Visit her blog at Telling the Truth–Mainly (http://kathywaller1.com).

Patric Sanders

patric sanders

Patric Sanders was born in Berlin and grew up in East Germany. After an adventurous escape to the West, he sailed as electronics officer on a cable ship to the US, Vietnam and the Philippines. He taught radar and navigation systems in London. While studying English literature he met his future wife. They immigrated to the US. During his international marketing career reaching from marine radars and electronic charts to studio mixers, he took notes on locations on all continents and interesting people he observed. After a trip through Australia, from Cairns to Darwin to Tasmania, he published his first book in German ‘Der Schatz vom Barrier Reef’. Inspired by events during the Cold War era, he wrote the ‘Chasing The Sun’ series. Patric Sanders lives with his wife and his dog in the Texas Hill country, close to Austin.

You can find more information and him and his books at patricsanders.weebly.com

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