Our Story

In 2015, a group of West Texas writers came together to foster literacy and to give voice to West Texas writers, and foster a writing community in the Permian Basin. We support writers of all skill levels and development. We encourage the craft of writing, and help market the works our authors produce. From Lubbock to Marfa at the edge of the Big Bend, from the border at El Paso to the red clay of Abilene, Bookies are writing in every genre. Some have literary agents and publishing contracts, while others are just getting started. We are open to writers at all levels of development.

The Permian Basin Bookies incorporated under the Texas Nonprofit Corporation Act, with a 501 C(3) IRS nonprofit classification.

Today, as a committed group, the Bookies’ activities are many and varied. We actively support functions in the arts community, notably the Arts Council of Midland. We sponsored the publishing of West Texas Lore and Legend, an anthology of ghost stories, tall tales, fiction and nonfiction for the whole family. All profits from the sale of the anthology goes to the Recording Library of West Texas, where volunteers read for the blind and disabled.

The Bookies also host an annual Permian Basin Writers Workshop. Held on campus at Midland College, the event brings to the Basin dozens of writing and editing professionals for intense but casual craft development and marketing tips. Visit the website for more information.

Distances are vast here in West Texas, so we make it easy. Bookies meet once a month and keep in touch with those not able to attend via newsletter and email. This is an electric group of writers in every genre who support each other. Bienvenidos. Pros and newbies, young and old, all writers are welcome!

2021 Board Of Directors

President – Leonard Hight
Past Presidential Advisor – Mark S. McDonald
Treasurer – Laura Drake
Secretary – April Taylor
At large – Roger Manning & Terrie Reed

Webmaster – A. D. Perales

As a reporter and columnist, Mark S. McDonald escaped starvation while cluttering metro newsrooms at dailies in El Paso, Abilene, Dallas and San Antonio. Later, the editor’s role at an adventure travel magazine held him hostage and left with a wicked case of dandruff. Between prison sentences for butchering the King’s English, McDonald hosted forgettable programs on live radio.

Today, he volunteers to teach English to adults and manages a book publishing team that specializes in memoirs and U.S. history and culture. Visit his websites at <BeyondTheShootout.com> and <DustDevilPublishing.com> … Note: Armed tour guide required.

Laura Drake is a New York and self-published published author of Women’s Fiction and Romance.

Her romance series, Sweet on a Cowboy, is set in the world of professional bull riding.  Her debut, The Sweet Spot, was a double-finalist, then won the 2014 Romance Writers of America® RITA® award. She’s since published 12 more books. She is a founding member of Womens Fiction Writers Assn, as well as a member of Western Writers of America, Women Writing the West. She is turning her focus in 2020 to Women’s Fiction.

Laura is a city girl who never grew out of her tomboy ways, or a serious cowboy crush. She realized a lifelong dream of becoming a Texan and is currently working on her accent. She gave up the corporate CFO gig to write full time. She’s a wife, grandmother, and motorcycle chick in the remaining waking hours.

2014 RITA® winner – Best First Book
www.LauraDrakeBooks.com @LauraDrakeBooks  

April L. Taylor is Native American of the Choctaw Tribe, Mom to five kids, INFJ, and former massage therapist.

April writes Nonfiction for writers and Young Adult fiction with a paranormal flair. ​

When she is not writing you can find her making messy art, harness training her scardey cats, making youtube videos, and plotting her next adventure while dreaming of the beach.


Roger W. Manning is a native of Dallas. He worked in the Texas Department of Human Resources and Texas Health Department as a Social Worker, then a Trainer. While at Human Resources, he received a master’s in social work. Mid-career he returned to the University of Texas for a Ph.D. in Adult Education, HR, and Leadership.

He went from State Agency work to education. First, he was a Dean of Continuing Education at TSTC Sweetwater, then Dean of Technical Studies and Curriculum at OC. He taught various Sociology and Social Work courses at UTPB and OC.

After he retired, he started writing. He has fifteen stories in anthologies, three books of short stories, and is currently working on a Sci Fi novel about a girl who becomes a space pirate.

A. D. Perales is a speculative fiction author who specializes in diverse casts.

Her own ethnic mix inspires her. Growing up, she lacked physically identifiable characters, which is why creating diverse casts of all colors, creeds, and sexuality is important in order to provide the stories she desired as a child and beyond.

The scant 24 hour day is divided between her love of cooking, reading, creating, fangirling, and of course writing! She also reviews games and takes part in a podcast under a pseudonym.

She is founder of Starlight Novelists, a writing group for female and neutral identifying writers.

Learn more at Perales Books.