Kathy_Ruff-158x216The following article written by Kathy Ruff, appeared in the Carbon County Magazine in the August 2010 issue. It involves a group of touring fiction writers with ties to the coal regions of Pennsylvania. ... Learn more about how these authors turned inspiration into stories at the next meeting of the Black Diamond Writers' Network. Mike Breslin, a St. Vincent college alum, penned Robbing the Pillars, a tale of life in a Pennsylvania coal-mining town during its decline following WWII. The story captures the essence of the region including the dreaded Black Lung, the struggle of the poor and power of the wealthy and the dangerous mining practice of robbing the pillars. Duane Fegley's Black Emeralds, a political thriller based in Schuylkill County and in Washington, D.C., tells a tale of anthracite lobbyists, coal and corruption at the highest level of U.S. government that leads to a constitutional crisis. A former resident of the anthracite coal region, Fegley turned his captivation of the people and the region's story into his first novel. Thomas M. Malafarina, a horror fiction author, was born and raised in Ashland, Schuylkill County. Many of his popular stories have a coal region connection, whether they're the short stories in his book 13 Nasty Endings, or in his novels 99 Souls, Burn Phone and Eye Contact. Malafarina's other works include two collections of short stories, 13 Nasty Endings and Gallery of Horror. Joseph Tarone of Schuylkill County's Raven Run wrote his second book, Some Stones Shine, to tell the story of his father and uncles as they set off on their own as teenagers in the early 1900s. The book recounts tales of the joys and travails and provides a snapshot of life in the anthracite region of Pennsylvania at its peak. Join this author panel to learn more about gleaning inspiration from your surroundings at the next meeting of the Black Diamond Writers' Network. The meeting will run from 10 a.m. to noon, Sat., Sept. 17, 2011, at the Tamaqua Public Library, 30 S. Railroad St., Tamaqua. The conclusion of the meeting will include a writers' roundtable for those present and a brief critique session for those interested in sharing some of their work. The meeting is open to the public. For more information about the Black Diamond Writers' Network, call Kathy Ruff at 570-645-3059 or visit the Tamaqua Public Library web site at www.tamaquapubliclibrary.com. For directions, call the Tamaqua Public Library at 570-668-4660. The Black Diamond Writers' Network invites anyone with a passion for writing to join us in learning more about the craft and business of writing. The 501(c)(3) non-profit organization focuses on offering educational programs and networking for all writers.