Mary Jean read her first romance novel in seventh grade, and she was hooked. She tried her hand at a soap opera in her English journal. Her teacher was not impressed, but that didn’t stop her. Today, she lives in North Dakota with her husband, two cats, and the world’s ugliest fish. She also has two adult children who still visit her frequently. It doesn’t hurt that she feeds them well.
Chris M. Arnone (he/him) has an MFA in creative writing from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. His work has been featured in Runestone Literary Journal, No. 1 Magazine, and FEED. He is an intersex author, poet, and performer living in Kansas City, Missouri with his wife and their geriatric cats.
Ibrahim Ashmawey is a passionate Orange County based Film & Television Writer widely known for his vivid, emotionally-moving writing style. He has written for a multitude of prominent media outlets like Disney Channel. He has also both written & produced numerous independent films. One of his most recent ventures is serving as a Story Consultant on Batman v Superman. Infinitely dedicated to his community, Ibrahim spends a lot of his free time immersed in volunteer work.
C.T. Babcock is a soul surfer who currently lives in Sunset Beach, CA. He holds a Juris Doctor from the Western State University, College of Law as well as an undergraduate in Philosophy from CSU. He was a featured writer on the Dictum Legal Journal. He currently writes in multiple genres, including Sci-Fi, YA & Mystery. His writing style is dynamic & innovative, w/ a heavy emphasis on twisting standard tropes around against themselves, to create unique and memorable characters.
Richard was an instructor at New York Film Academy after studying English, then Film, going on to direct and produce films and TV. After qualifying in law and working for BBC Worldwide, he chose to abandon this career path to look after his autistic son. This career change allowed him to focus on writing. Despite being dyslexic, writing was where he found a voice and his love of storytelling. Richard is a father of three.
Lee credits her working-class background with the development of her sensitivity, insight & a longing for social justice, all of which contribute to a love for happy endings. That love, combined with a lifelong appreciation for the value & worth of older adults, led to her passion for Geriatric Romance. When she's not writing, Lee counsels nursing home residents, organizes her house, crochets & hangs with friends and family. Lee has a license to change the world, and she’s not afraid to use it.
Zach Beach, MA is an international yoga teacher, best-selling author, poet, love coach, founder of The Heart Center love school, and host of The Learn to Love Podcast. Author of The Seven Lessons of Love and two poetry collections, Zach's writings have appeared on such websites as The Huffington Post, Elephant Journal, and MindBodyGreen, while his poems have been seen in such publications as October Hill Magazine, The Oddville Press, and The CHILLFILTR Review.
Julie L Belshe
Before professional guardian April Parks kidnapped her parents, Julie was a homemaker raising three kids. After Julie’s fight to free her parents became national news. Casey Kasem’s daughter Kerri, hired her as an advocate at the Kasem Cares Foundation. Today, she is an internationally recognized activist committed to restoring freedom to Americans like her parents and exposing the system that ripped it away. Julie lives in Las Vegas with her husband Scott and dad Rudy.
Kelly Bennett is the author of many award-winning books for children. Her stories, such as Not Norman, A Goldfish Story, a Jumpstart Read for the Record book; Vampire Baby; Dance, Y’all, Dance; Dad and Pop; and One Day I Went Rambling, an Illinois Library Association’s iREAD selection, celebrate imagination, families, friends, pets… all that goes into being a kid! For more information, please visit her website, www.kellybennett.com and blog. http://kellybennett.com/blog/
Suleena Bibra has read romance in one form or another since she could pick her own books. She occasionally branches out to other genres, but really, what's the point if there's no kissing?
Suleena writes RomComs, heavy on shenanigans and banter, with the occasional chicanery. She lives with her husband and stubborn, but adorable, bulldog (who also doubles as her writing assistant).
Natalie Blank graduated from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County with a BFA in Acting and a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies in Dance and Culture. She writes primarily YA contemporary, focusing on mental health and family relationships. She resides in Maryland with her husband, daughter, and zealous cocker spaniel.
Patty Carothers and Amy Brewer are hometown Missouri friends who share a passion for reading, writing, and raising children. With six teenagers between them, they are steeped in a world of angst and drama. They have focused their teen expertise into writing with an authentic teen voice. Their book Texting Prince Charming recently released. They currently have a series in progress, a young adult fantasy romance, The Blood Reader.
Shauna Brittenham has always told stories. Stories about refugees as a Political Science major in college, about Pilgrims as a Montessori schoolteacher, and about heartbreak as a singer-songwriter. When her son was born, one night during a 2 am feed, a new story began: the story of a young woman in Manhattan yearning to break free from the past and paint a brighter future. The story of Only Simply Love. Shauna lives in Santa Monica with her husband and two children working on her own story.
Sally currently lives in Northern Virginia, making her home between the ocean and mountains. A graduate of University of Mary Washington with a Bachelors in Business Administration, her true interest is as an avid author of LGBT Fantasy. Sally is long-time pescatarian and a devout coffee fanatic. She spends her time in pursuit of a balance between reading about life and living it.
Elise Fender Burns
Elise Fender Burns holds a B.S. in Journalism from the University of Miami (FL) and a Masters of Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is an alumni of Teach For America, and has worked in a variety of educational settings. Currently, she lives in Nashville and serves as the Academic Program Manager for a local non-profit. Elise is married to her college sweetheart, has three small children, and one small dog.
Deborah Busby is a university professor by day and a Bigfoot/Paranormal investigator by night. She is obsessed with urban legends, the supernatural, and the unexplainable.
Deb lives in Northern Idaho in a small town nestled next to a lake, which is rumored to be haunted. She writes what she enjoys reading most: Mysteries and Women’s Fiction. She prides herself on illustrating ordinary people experiencing human emotions that the audiences and readers can connect with.
Kelly writes multicultural contemporary romance with determined women directing their own fates, and the swoon-worthy men who adore them. She loves reading most genres but please don’t ask her to pick just one. However, she can pick her favorite book boyfriend – Will Herondale. When she isn’t reading or writing, Kelly is most likely using a genealogy site to research her extended family, both old and new.
Natalie always watches the movie after reading the book, even though she’ll prefer the book. Music always plays in her house, which acts as a stage for constant singing and dancing. She loves books indiscriminately so long as she can fall into the story and escape from the real world. She’s been dying to tell a story herself and has done so in her debut YA novel, FALLING AND UPRISING.
Kara Cargill is a stay at home mom of two who always provide her with inspiration for her books. When she’s not immersed in the world of fiction she can be found playing with her kids, learning to build fires and cook in Dutch Ovens with her husband, or hanging out with friends. She’s an active member of her church and leans on her faith during hard times. Kara lives in a small town in South Carolina with her husband, two children, & their pets.
Patty Carothers and Amy Brewer are hometown Missouri friends who share a passion for reading, writing, and raising children. With six teenagers between them, they are steeped in a world of angst and drama. They have focused their teen expertise into writing with an authentic teen voice. Their book Texting Prince Charming recently released. They currently have a series in progress, a young adult fantasy romance, The Blood Reader.
Chrystal started her career in Project Management and Operational Excellence. She is now the writer, baker, and food photographer behind a popular gluten-free food blog. When Chrystal’s not in the kitchen baking, she’s traveling the globe and writing new adventures for middle-grade and young-adult readers. Chrystal currently lives in Oregon with her husband and two daughters.
Joe Chianakas started teaching high school English in 2001 and now is a professor of communication at Illinois Central College. Growing up, he knew he always wanted to be an author. His first book series, Rabbit in Red, became a pop culture phenomenon, as tens of thousands of copies were picked up by pop. When he's not writing or teaching, he takes his Australian Shepherd, Bailey, on endless walks who never runs out of energy.
Erica Christensen writes all across the board from Romance and Thrillers to Children's Picture Books as L.C Ryan and Poetry as E. Mishele. She was born and raised in the Heartland of America and now resides near the beautiful Emerald Coast with her family of five and her sassy, spunky lab-pit mix named Kali. Her poetry collections have been featured in the top 100 of Women's Poetry on Amazon, one of which ranked #1. "Your limitation--it's only your imagination." --Unknown
Ryder Hunte Clancy
Ryder has lived most of her life in the desert but her heart belongs to the sea. A tried and true stay-at-home mom, she has just as much trouble keeping up with her fictional, teenage characters as she does her three small children. Mystic Invisible is her debut novel, the inspiration of which was gleaned from Scotland, where fantasy and folklore are rich and hints of adventure linger around every corner.
S. H. Clark is a San Diego native, raised by two devoted parents who thought reading a book on the stairs was the best form of time-out. Her journey to becoming a young adult romance author started when she got bored of the usual bedtime fairy tales. She picked up a pen and wrote her first story when she was seven years old. She never stopped. If she’s not writing, she’s teaching, or she’s hanging out with her furry felines while attempting to conjure Cadbury Cream Eggs with her Harry Potter wan
Sharon L. Clark works as a marketing content copywriter and editor for SPOKE Communications in Des Moines, Iowa. After college, she met her husband Andrew and, together, they have raised three interesting and independent children and two spoiled dogs. Her most recent published work, “Return to Me” can be found in the Halloween anthology Chills Down Your Spine, and she also has a collection of short stories and serials available on her website.
It doesn’t matter if she’s chasing kids, spending time with her husband, or off on a new adventure, Megan Clements always seems to have a story churning in the back of her mind. Her MG Fantasy, THE KEEPER OF KEY, was chosen to participate in Pitch Wars where she learned the art of revision…and more revision.
Ashley Coleman is a writer and project manager based in Philadelphia. Navigating two professional worlds, she has worked full-time at a premier music organization for the last nine years. In addition, building a personal brand where she writes essays and personal stories revolving around identity, music, and pop culture. In June 2017, she launched an online community in “Permission to Write” that cultivates and amplifies the voices of Black writers and writers of color.
R.T. Coleman grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas, where she nurtured a passion for reading and writing while nestled among blankets and pillows in her bedroom closet. Her love of science fiction was born when she saw Star Wars in the theater in 1977, and she was incredibly disappointed when she realized she could never actually be Princess Leia when she grew up. Since then she's lived in Texas and Minnesota and worn many hats, including mom, middle school teacher, college professor, and more.
Brittany Cooper and Erin Dulin are sisters with a lifelong passion for storytelling and reading. The writing team often jokes that they share a brain, amusing themselves with their active imaginations and outlandish humor. Brittany is a newly married cosmetologist who spends her free time gaming, crafting and baking. Erin is a military wife and mother. When she isn’t busy shuttling her kids around town, she can be found in the kitchen or watching NHL hockey and college football.
Angela has been writing stories since she was old enough to talk – 1st w/ crayons and paint, later w/ words & sentences – always w/ magic, horses, & brave heroines. After studying English, psychology, & art, Angela earned a B.A. from Southwest Baptist University, eventually finding her way back to novel writing. When she isn't writing, you can find her reading obsessively, hiking in the mountains, gardening, restoring her Victorian home with husband Jeremy, or geeking-out over comics w/ son Will
Meagan Dallner grew up in beautiful Colorado and now raises her own family in the suburbs of Denver. She received her Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from University of Colorado at Denver after completing an Associate of Applied Sciences of Diesel Technology Degree. When blessed with spare time, Meagan enjoys running, making blanket forts, and hiking with her family. She is a proud member of the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, SCBWI, and Sisters in Crime.
Eagan Daniels has a Master’s degree in English, and a Bachelor’s in Photography. If there were such a thing as an advanced degree in fangirling, she would certainly have earned that, as well. Her interests include sports photography, live music, literature, and male musicians who wear eyeliner. She lives in Michigan with her husband and two children.
Teagan is a graduate of the University of Georgia with a degree in Political Sciences and Georgia State College of Law with a focus on contract law. After decades self-denial, Teagan transitioned in 2018. Her writing then shifted towards stories of Romance & Fantasy featuring themes of acceptance, love, and overcoming the burdens of one’s past for her LGBTQ+ characters. She maintains her residence in her home state of Georgia.
Heather produces engineering journals by day and writes young adult novels by night. If she has enough energy on the weekends, she can be found binge-watching shows with a cat nearby, losing light saber battles against her husband and son, and perpetually wishing for more time. She focuses on the intersectionality surrounding queer characters, with the hope that a teenager will someday find themselves in one of her stories.
Jillene Donaldson creates stories for children & teens. She’s a member of SCBWI & OWFI. Jill graduated as valedictorian; completed an AA in English Literature for which she won the Geraldine Burns Award for Excellence in English; & then earned a BA all while working fulltime & raising 2 awesome boys w/ her husband. She loves putting frozen fruit in drinks & most anything with cheese or chocolate. She lives w/ her husband in Oklahoma City.
Arthur writes science fiction and fantasy. As a PhD scientist, he invented novel drug design software and shares the 2008 Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award for the discovery of Sprycel, an anti-cancer drug. Novels: Algorithm (2010 RPLA) and As Wings Unfurl (Best Pre-Pub Sci-Fi 2014 RPLA); Anthology: My Shorts (13 short stories, pub 2017). Many of his short stories have garnered awards, including Honorable Mentions in the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Competition.
Erin is a wife and mother who loves spending time with family. She’s an enthusiastic fan of all things sports, experimental baker/chef, and amateur gamer in her free time. Writing has been a passion since her childhood, and while finding peace and quiet in which to write never comes easily, she knows it's worth every ounce of chaos when the stories take shape.
Ciara Duggan is an author and screenwriter, born and raised in a small town in Northwestern Connecticut. She received her MFA from Boston University where she later taught undergraduate writing courses. Alongside placing as a finalist for the 1st Annual Book Pipeline Unpublished Competition, her debut YA Fantasy novel, Awakened, is set to be published in Fall 2021.
Ciara currently resides in Rocky Hill, CT with her fiancé, Australian Shepherd, and an endless pile of books.
Stephanie is the author of women’s fiction and pirate stories. She works as an editor, cleans when she’s stressed, and hates cooking but loves to eat. Away from her desk, she’s a wife, mother of two hilarious human children, servant to eight sassy cats, and wrangler of one goofy bulldog.
Douglas is the father of two, husband of one, and he & his family live in Cleveland, Ohio. Douglas was the percussionist for Chuck Mosley (Faith No More, Bad Brains) until Chuck's death in 2017. His recent publications include: "A Life of Inches", a new adult/sports fiction novel (Limitless Publishing), “My Wife’s Favorite,” a horror short found in the anthology, “A Matter Of Words” (ScoutMedia), and a nonfiction memoir, “Reintroducing Chuck Mosley: Life On and Off the Road” (ScoutMedia 2020).
SZ Estavillo has a bachelor’s degree in film production and a master’s in television, radio, and film from Newhouse at Syracuse University, plus several writing and filmmaking awards. Her publishing credits include numerous news articles, blogs visited by over 1.4 million readers, and a robust social media platform. A passionate writer since childhood, she is currently working on her third manuscript while juggling motherhood and career as a content producer.
Julia Fine is a writer and sociocultural linguist. A graduate of Stanford University, she writes what she loves to read—fantasy novels featuring queer romances. In both her writing and her research, she is a strong advocate of LGBTQ+ rights, particularly the rights of the asexual-spectrum and bisexual communities of which she is a part. She currently lives in California, where she enjoys riding horses, gardening, and baking increasingly elaborate pies.
Lindsay Flanagan is an author, editor, concert junkie, and mom. She writes young adult and middle-grade fantasy and edits for an award-winning editing company and two publishers. She also writes creative nonfiction and poetry and is an amateur landscape photographer, capturing the majestic mountains of Utah, where she was born and raised and still makes her home with her husband and two daughters.
Caroline Flynn is a Canadian writer from Northern Ontario. She doesn't have to imagine what small-town life is like—she lives it every day. Caroline loves everything book related, whether it’s reading them or writing them, and she's the dog-mom of an eccentric brindle boxer named Jazz (who makes an appearance in Pups, Cakes, & Wedding Dates!). Caroline uses her coffee addiction to fuel her writing passion, and she can’t imagine devoting her life to being anything other than an author.
Meredith creates stories for children & children at heart. She’s a member of SCBWI & OWFI. She received 1st place in the picture book category at the OWFI annual writing contest. Meredith taught 1st grade before becoming a mother of 3. When she isn’t writing or exploring nature w/ her 3 grandchildren, she’s helping her husband w/ the 3,700-acre museum & wildlife preserve he manages. She lives in OK w/ her husband, a stray cat, & a rescue dog.
As a writer who is passionate about children, family, and faith, Korynn Wible-Freels finds great joy in authoring anything from Christian picture books to middle grade fantasy novels. Korynn is an established author with Hallmark Gold Crown and Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, having written over thirty titles for the two organizations. She is thrilled to be represented by Lauren Miller and the Metamorphosis family as she pursues her own personal writing projects.
Ryan P Freeman
Ryan P Freeman is a fantasy author & fellow adventurer. After miraculously surviving childhood cancer, he launched into talk radio. Ryan’s a pastor, International Red Cross speaker, & medieval-enthusiast; loves sampling craft-beers, & is an unapologetically proud kilt-wearer. His interests range from exploring real-world pan-mythology, to survivalist camping & copious video gaming. Ryan’s also a member of the St Louis Writers Guild, the Missouri Writers Guild, & Hannibal Writers Guild (founder)
When Jean-Maré Gagliardi isn’t inhaling romance novels as though her life depends on it or playing with her imaginary children from her books—or her actual three children—you can find the paranormal romance author behind the piano, composing songs on behalf of her main characters.
Originally from England, Samantha is a children’s book writer, runner, toddler-herder, U.S. Air Force veteran & military spouse. She holds a Master’s of Public Admin. & works for a major aerospace company. Samantha’s a glutton for giggles, a loquacious orator on silly subjects, & can often be found chasing her rambunctious son around the house. She lives in Texas (until the Air Force moves them again) w/ her wonderful husband, LEGO-loving son, & two naughty cats.
Greg Gildersleeve grew up in the northwestern corner of Missouri, where comic books & science fiction caught his eye at a young age. In addition to writing, Greg teaches English Composition, Technical Writing, & American Literature at an online university, & won the 2013 Publication Award at Johnson County Community College, Overland Park, KS. He earned a bachelor's in English from Missouri Western State Univ. & a master's in English from UMKC. Carol Cartaino edited his novel Metamorphosis
Staci Greason’s literary achievements include award-winning television pilots and screenplays. Her short stories and essays have been published in Brevity, Slate, Lunch Ticket, AFLW, the Same, and the Huff Post, among others.
In her past life, she played the late Isabella Toscano Black on Days of Our Lives.
Love & Other Calamities, her debut novel, will be released by Touch Point Press, June 2022. She’s thrilled to be represented by Katie Salvo and The Metamorphosis Agency.
Dana Gricken is an author from Ottawa, Canada. She’s been making up stories
since she was a child and isn’t planning on stopping anytime soon. She writes
everything from fantasy and science fiction to horror and mystery for all ages.
When she’s not writing or reading, you can find her hanging out with her cats,
baking and cooking, playing video games, and watching Star Trek and Star Wars
Gretchen Rachel Hammond
Gretchen is a Chicago-based, multi-award winning investigative journalist whose exposes secured the release of a transgender woman jailed for four years without a trial and caused the Michigan Attorney General to form a Taskforce focused on reforming the treatment of the state’s vulnerable. Her donation of a kidney to one of the readers of her newspaper and reporting on the removal of three Jewish women from a Chicago pride parade garnered international recognition.
Stephanie Hansen’s short story, Break Time, and poetry has been featured in Mind’s Eye literary magazine. The Kansas Writers Association published her short story, Existing Forces, appointing her as a noted author. She resides in Kansas with her husband, two children, and one-eyed beagle. As a member of the deaf and hard of hearing community, she incorporates sign language or deafness into every novel she writes.
Coach Larry Hart
Larry Hart is a Division I college football coach and debut author. As a native Mississippian, steeped in football and applying his skillset and firsthand knowledge as a collegiate all-American and alumni NFL draft pick, Coach Hart has an experienced voice that guides and equips readers. Coach Hart has a Master’s degree in Communication Studies, lives in Mobile, Alabama with his wife, Juliet, and dreams of making his mark as a part-time, bestselling author.
Jeffrey Haskey-Valerius is a writer and poet who left the Midwest to live two blocks from a sandy beach in Southern California with his husband and dog. He holds a bachelor’s in Fiction, as well one in Nursing. His poetry and short fiction appear in various zines and literary journals, including Northern New England Review, Thimble, and Sixfold. The Cyclopes’ Eye is his first novel.
Michael Hilton is a time traveler from the future who has come back to warn us of the impending literary apocalypse. A nerd for Science Fiction and Fantasy, he writes to stave off the coming wasteland of soulless fiction. One day his Wikipedia page will describe his warnings as "mildly prophetic," and "wildly exaggerated." He is the author of the Bobby Robot series and publisher of The Weekly Geek.
Meet Doris Imahiyerobo, a first-generation Nigerian-American with a Master's Degree in Early Childhood Development. Together with her trusty 4-year-old son's help, she crafts fun and meaningful stories. Doris is an entrepreneur with a passion for marketing, funny gifs, and creative writing. She loves spending time with her huge hilarious family and is an active SCBWI member and the kidlit community.
Jennifer Inglis has studied sketch comedy writing w/ The Second City Training Center & is a member of the Chicago Writers Assoc. She received a bachelor’s in theater arts from the Northern Illinois University & a master’s in education from National-Louis University. Previously an English & drama teacher, she has worn a variety of hats including that of playwright, actor, director, & producer. She lives in Chicago w/ her cat, Daisy & a rotating selection of houseplants that refuse to stay alive.
Ben Jacobs wrote his first story in the second grade as a school assignment. From then on, becoming a published author was his dream. Growing up with autism spectrum disorder, he always found solace in writing and the ability to create his own world and characters—each having their own emotions, personalities and identities. Today, he lives in Chicago, IL, working in therapeutic day programs for children and adolescents with special needs and behavioral disorders.
Contemporary Romance Author Charlee James was introduced to a life-long love of reading listening to her parents recite nightly stories to her and her older sister. Inspired by the incredible imaginations of Authors like Bill Peet, Charlee could often be found crafting her own tales. As a teenager, she got her hands on a romance novel & was instantly hooked on the genre.
Heather Jenkins spent her childhood devouring books and dreaming of teaching children. She feels most content when she is inspiring others, especially children, to be all that they can imagine themselves to be. Heather is a STEAM and gifted education teacher at an elementary school. She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, and can usually be found either writing, practicing child’s pose in yoga, or traveling the world.
Dominique S. Johnson
Dominique S. Johnson is a published Journalist, Professor, and Writing Center Professional based in North Carolina. She’s a proud HBCU graduate, band geek, music lover, video gamer, sneakerhead, and cinephile. She received her BA in English from Winston-Salem State University and her MFA in Writing from Savannah College of Art and Design. Dominique believes in being her true, authentic self, even if it makes other people uncomfortable.
Traci L. Jones
While raising her kids & helping w/ the pharmacy Mrs. Jones was reminded of her love for writing & began working towards earning a Creative Writing Certificate at the University of Denver. One of those courses led to the writing & completion of her first book, Standing Against the Wind. Published by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux in 2006, Standing would win the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award. Two more books w/ FSG followed in 2010 & 2011, Finding My Place & Silhouetted by the Blue.
Kristin Kaldahl is a born and bred Okie. After graduating summa cum laude from Oklahoma City University, she worked as an award-winning journalist/columnist. Her latest gig has been as an author of dog novels, which fits her well. She has owned and trained three agility champion shelties and has competed for well over a decade at the national-level in the sport of dog agility. Kristin lives in Oklahoma with her shelties Asher and Aenon.
Katie Karambelas is a YA and NA author residing in North Carolina with her three children, husband, and dog. She has a masters of fine arts in Creative Writing and a love for writing about teen angst and boy drama. Her NA debut novel Second Best was published in 2020 and her short fiction and memoir pieces can be found in various literary magazines and online publications.
Jen Karner is a queer writer and nerd living in the Baltimore area with her partner and their rescue dog. A feminist banshee, she enjoys listening to true-crime podcasts, marathoning horror movies, and writing about sharp girls with complex emotions. Cinders of Yesterday is her debut novel.
Gwen C. Katz
Gwen C. Katz is a writer, artist, and Nazi-puncher who lives in Altadena, CA with her husband and a revolving door of transient animals. Her first novel, AMONG THE RED STARS, was a 2017 Junior Library Guild selection.
Kellista Keaton has been writing fiction since she was nine years old. She prides herself on having taken creative writing classes across the nation. She holds a BA in film studies from UNC-Wilmington and an elementary teaching license. She resides in Kansas with her husband and two children. (Photo Credit Amber Dawkins)
Kelly (Barina) Kelly
Kelly Kelly, or Kelly Squared, is a Disney-obsessed Dental Hygienist who’s been writing since elementary school. She completed her first novel at age 16 and won two regional writing competitions. Her passion for writing and studying psychology led her to study both in college—and she threw in a dental hygiene degree for good measure. When she’s not writing, she’s cosplaying at conventions or trying to train her bearded dragon Toothless to wear Mickey ears.
Mark Kelly graduated with a degree in Creative Writing from Bowling Green State University, where he was known for writing snappy dialogue & quoting RuPaul's Drag Race way too much. His goal as an author is to create a wide breadth of LGBT heroes that YA readers can look up to. Mark's also an avid gamer & dabbles in aerial gymnastics. Currently based in Atlanta, Mark lives with his husband Matt.
Suha AL Khalifa
Suha considers herself a cultural hybrid, having lived in Bahrain, UK, & the US throughout her life as an ambassador’s daughter. Suha thoroughly enjoys bringing different worlds together while exploring how the distinct rules & psychologies impact the individual & cultures alike. Her experiences, her struggles for survival & identity, including getting through cancer have all dictated her storytelling. A psychotherapist specializing in Trauma & a film producer. Suha is a mother of three.
Tiffany W. Killoren
Tiffany believes in reinventing yourself. She has been an attorney, Editor-in-Chief of a lifestyle magazine, & storyteller. Her book characters are typically flawed, relatable & facing one of life's many crossroads. Tiffany has developed a loyal following & regularly appears on morning talk shows to discuss lifestyle & parenting topics. She lives in a Kansas City suburb with her husband & two young sons & can usually be found latte in-hand typing furiously in the corner of a coffee shop.
Christine is a mother of 2 children, a teenage daughter and preteen son. Her kids expand her world in unfathomable ways, through the books that they read together, the things that they say, and various adventures that they have as a family. Her family has experienced so many blessings through her son’s cochlear implants, and she would love for more people to be able to recognize what this technology is (and is not).
Taylor Koleber grew up in the forgotten corner of the world in Tasmania, Australia. A hopeless romantic with a goofy side, he can often be found writing, cosplaying, or running. Newly married, one may blame his wife for the romance novels he now writes and reads voraciously. He currently resides in Texas.
From the time she read fairytales as a child, Karla Kratovil was hooked on stories that ended in Happily Ever After. Now as an author of sexy historical romance she gets to craft her own happy endings. Karla lives right on the edge of Northern Virginia’s wine country with her college sweetheart, two terrific teenagers, and two blond terriers.
Stacey Kuhnz writing as Ellis Kaye. As an avid lover of romance before her first kiss, Ellis would lose herself in the fantasy of 2 people falling in love & eventually (well after 21 if any of her children ask) the sexy-time tingles that go w/ it. When she’s not being a super mommy & lactavist, writing, or saving lives in the ER & NICU, Ellis can be found reading & critiquing at DFW Writers’ Workshop, & reminding folks to count their blessings she doesn’t write dinosaur erotica.
Lachi is a novelist and accomplished songwriter/composer hailing New York City. With writing and music longtime passions, Lachi's love for psychological inquisition and futurism promenades led to her current indulgence in science fiction and fantasy writing as well as electronic music composition. While her musical works landed her features on Oprah Radio, Huffpost and NPR, her 2015 debut novel "The Ivory Staff" found itself in The Examiner/AXS, Publisher's Weekly and Brittle Paper.
Amanda Lance is a dedicated bookworm who has been fortunate enough to have some of her work published with The Wild Rose Press and Limitless Publishing. Amanda has very recently finished her MFA from Wilkes University and she also holds an MA in Liberal Studies from Thomas Edison State University. When Amanda is not reading or writing, she can be found napping with her dogs or eating an obscene amount of carrot cake.
Timothy Lange has pursued the joy of creating visual images since childhood. He is a painter, an award-winning graphic designer, and an author/illustrator. Tim looks for heart and humor in everyday situations, and enjoys infusing his illustrations with those qualities.
Tim graduated from the Colorado Institute of Art and studied painting at the Art Student’s League of Denver. He currently resides in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma with his wife, Penny and two daughters.
Joel Lawrence comes from a game design background creatively. He loves reading and honed his writing craft through short stories and game documentation before attempting full-length novels. Though he prefers lakes, bonfires, and small town living over the urban nightlife, life experience is the key to great fiction, so he's open to anything. He enjoys Tolkien, Rowling, and all the big names in fantasy, and he’s recently developed a love for all things YA.
Tanya Lee is a certified Life Skills Coach, an award winning playwright, & an award winning community theatre director. She loves to think of outrageous plots for her plays & scrumptious dialogue for her characters. A dramatist by nature, she'd write & direct her younger sister, Grace - a loving captive participant/actor, in as many plays as possible. Grace will attest to this! When Tanya isn't busy writing new plays she is admiring the get-up-and-go of her talented daughter Dominique.
Shelly X Leonn
Shelly’s the author of The Broken Series. After graduating w/ a Bachelor of Arts in journalism, Shelly worked at her hometown newspaper as the web & youth editor. During her time advising the youth staff, Shelly realized her true calling was teaching. Her years in educ. have been spent in middle & high school language arts classrooms. She’s also an adjunct professor. She & her two boys reside in Affton, & she enjoys reading, writing, outdoor activities, anime, video games, & other dorky pastimes
Armed w/ a doctorate degree in Psychology from Kent State, Alice Licata spent years in Charlottesville, Virginia walking the halls of academia before turning her energies toward another passion: raising her two daughters. Later, she returned to teaching this time grades 6-12, where she makes it her mission to insure today's kids still know how to use a good old-fashioned dictionary and tell time on an analog clock.
Born and raised in Brazil but currently living in France, Larissa is a real citizen of the world, trying to write her own story the best way she can. Romance, personal growth, and multiculturalism are the core of her writing. And when she isn’t secretly living her characters’ lives in her head, she’s working as a researcher, as a teacher, or inspiring people to become their best version with #TheBestVersionOfMyselfMovement.
Karen Lynch is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Relentless series. She grew up in Newfoundland, Canada – a place rich in colorful people and folklore to which she attributes her love of the supernatural and her vivid imagination. Though she loves supernatural fiction, she has a soft spot for Charlotte Brontë and Jane Austen. She is a fan of classic rock, country and classical music but her favorite music is the sound of a good thunderstorm or a howling blizzard.
Gabrielle, originally from Indiana, graduated from Long Island University Post in 2018 with a degree in Musical theatre and Writing. She got bit by the writing bug after taking a YA Fiction course in college, and has been reading, writing, and revising ever since. Gabrielle believes in the power of books, and all the things fictional characters can teach us. She currently resides in NYC while simultaneously pursuing theatre.
Paul F. McGowan
Paul was born in Yorkshire, England to Irish parents. His most vivid memory as a child was traveling to Egypt and visiting the Pyramids of Giza and Tutankhamen’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings. Currently, he resides in Kansas City with his wife Jozia and his son Gavin. Paul graduated from medical school and plans to pursue residency training as a pathologist. He is a fervent Game of Thrones fan. Don't miss the release of DAWN OF THE REAPER via Fire & ICE YA.
Elle Mackenzie couldn’t be more excited to be sharing the stories she has with those in search of an adventure. She is studying Psychology at ASU, and In her free time, she likes to sing musicals at the top of her lungs, play Dungeons & Dragons, and cuddle with her husband Nathan, her partner (and co-author) Nick, and her three cats.
Linda S. Mai
Linda S. Mai has a master’s degree in Elementary Education and started her career as a third grade teacher. Born and raised in Wyoming, she now resides in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma with her husband. She is a member of SCBWI, and active in several critique groups. Besides writing Picture Books and Middle Grade novels, she plays in a handbell choir, loves to ride ATV’s, and travels when she can, to see her children and grandchildren.
Wendy E Marsh
Wendy E Marsh grew up in rural Pennsylvania, where she developed a passion for reading and creative writing. She earned her Doctorate of Physical Therapy and works with children with developmental delays. She loves reading books and writing stories that keep her awake into the early hours of the morning. She lives with her husband and pets and enjoys horseback riding and gardening in her free time.
LaRonda Gardner Middlemiss
LaRonda found that motherhood immersed her in the fascinating world of picture books as she shared in her son's love of story time. With a vision to create stories that will entertain, enlighten & empower all children, she ultimately aspires to both author & illustrate her work. She’s a member of the SCBWI as well as Storyteller Academy. She lives in her home state of North Carolina w/ her husband and son. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering.
Tianna Mignogna is a librarian in the making at Syracuse University. Since 2008 she has been a singer/songwriter, and in 2015 she became a fellow of the Kratz Center for Creative Writing. Her senior thesis “Harry Potter is Gay: An Investigation of Queer Fan Culture” is published in Inquiries Journal. Tianna’s biggest source of inspiration is dancing with her fluffy white cloud of a cat, Alfie.
Amy Miles is the author of over 25 published novels in varying genres, including her bestselling YA books, The Arotas Series. She is the co-Founder of Red Coat PR and also the co-Founder of Penned Con St. Louis. Amy is an urban homesteader, weekend golfer, and Netflix binge addict who lives with her husband and son in sunny South Carolina. Want to know what Amy will be working on next?
Wendy Million is a wife, mother, and teacher who resides in Ontario, Canada. She writes contemporary romance and YA stories. A passionate reader from an early age, she is rarely without a book in her hand. Stories that tug at the heartstrings and focus on topical issues are ones she enjoys reading and writing.
Janice Milusich has been a teacher for the visually impaired/blind for over twenty years, and she has presently been working the past ten years with pre-school students who are visually impaired or blind. She's a graduate of Stony Brook University’s Children’s Literature Fellowship, and a member of SCBWI, and NEVEAH'S WONDERS was an honor recipient of Austin SCBWI’s Creators of Diverse World Scholarship.
Rishi Mohan is the pen name of authors Janani Mohan, Isvari Maranwe, and Nathan Maranwe. Janani is a policy analyst and entrepreneur, Isvari is a national security and cybersecurity attorney, Nathan is a public interest attorney, and Rishi is an adorable puppy. The four are avid writers, columnists, and activists. They are also the cofounders of Dweebs Global, an international nonprofit providing free mentorship from resume edits to mental health.
LL Montez is a writer, reader, hereditary bruja, stargazer, and mediator living in the bones of Chicago's historic printing district. She writes science fiction and magical realism grounded in Latinx experiences. With co-host Shelly X Leonn, she discusses the trials and joys of her publishing journey on her podcast, The Writers XL. LL Montez dreams of becoming a pilot and shares her life (and love of aliens) with her husband and daughter.
Brady graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro w/ a degree in Media Studies, before spending 8 years soaking up free movies as a theater manager & blogging about it. He was raised in Charlotte, NC where decades of Saturday morning cartoons, comic books & sci-fi movies slowly manifested into aspirations of being an author of YA-fiction novels. If he’s not playing w/ his hyperactive jack russell terrier or Netflixing w/ his wife, he’s probably off plotting his next project.
Aly is an award-winning screenwriter and women’s fiction and fantasy novelist. As a writer/producer she has films on both Amazon and Hulu. She lived in New York for ten years before finally taking the big move and now resides in Los Angeles where she spends most of her time writing, studying astrology, and taking care of her four cats.
Heather Morris is a Jill-of-all-trades, currently working the medical field in northwest Montana. When her nose isn’t buried in a book, she enjoys daydreaming, people watching, and creating imaginary people and places. She is a lover of all things fantastical and always seeking ways to bend her imagination. After a lifetime as bookworm, Heather finally decided to write the story she’d always wanted to read. Breathing Fire is her debut novel.
Alana Murphy is a lifelong Hoosier born and raised in Indiana. When not writing, she’s working as a healthcare project manager, chauffeuring her two girls around, or sitting on her back porch with her husband and her dog. When writing and reading, Alana is drawn to stories with disenfranchised characters and steamy chemistry.
Jennifer received her associate's degree for Applied Science in Dental Hygiene back in 2009. If she’s not at the office,you can catch her snooping around in the library or spending time with her hubby and two young children.She loves to travel, and considers herself a well-seasoned foodie.With her Doberman and Exotic Shorthair by her side, she wakes up each day ready to take on the world.
Richard Natale is a Los Angeles-based journalist and writer whose short stories have appeared in such literary journals and anthologies including Chelsea Station, Gertrude Press and Off The Rocks. He has authored five published novels, a novella and a short-story collection. He also wrote and directed a feature film, Green Plaid Shirt, which played in twenty-five film festivals around the world.
Miranda Nichols is an up and coming author in the fantasy romance genre. She's currently a student working towards her MFA in creative writing. When she isn't studying or helping the alternative fuel industry, you can find her on fictionpress.com or curled up with a steamy romance novel. She's a loyal friend who's not afraid to tell it how it is. Like the smell of fresh popcorn, her fantasy romances tempt you & keep you coming back for more. Carol Cartaino edited her novel via Metamorphosis.
János Orbán is a graphic artist and illustrator. He graduated from the Hungarian University of Fine Arts in 1997 as a graphic artist. He uses numerous traditional and modern digital graphic techniques. He has a wide range of experience as an illustrator, and as a character designer. He lives with his family in a village near Budapest. He has two daughters and one son.
Rene S. Perez II
Rene S. Perez II is the award-winning author of Along These Highways (University of Arizona Press, 2012) and Seeing Off the Johns (Cinco Puntos Press, 2015). He was born and raised in two distinct parts of south Texas—Kingsville and Corpus Christi, respectively, and lived for two decades in Austin. His fiction is informed by the cross-section of those places. He currently lives and teaches in London.
Semi-nomadic, Stephenie currently lives near Raleigh, North Carolina. Her roots are in the Puget Sound region in Washington State, and she spent many years living outside of Dallas, Texas. She spends her days writing, teaching creative writing, and homeschooling her three kids. Fueled by lots and lots of coffee, Stephenie spends her free time playing with her rescue dogs, Ravenpaw and Leviosa, hiking, and traveling. She is a member of SCWBI and NCWN.
Chris Phillips follows the old adage: Write what you know. After 12 years of teaching, Chris knows how to act like a giant child. He enjoys writing stories that would make his 4th grade self laugh. So, basically fart jokes. Chris is a member of SCBWI New England. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife, Adri and two daughters, Gaby and Maya.
Elisabeth is an eccentric triplet w/ a love for the unknown, fantastical, & uncanny. Since learning to read, she tried her hand at a book about a phantom stallion that saves an abused girl in a sparkly notebook her dad bought at a mall. When she’s not writing, she is at the stable with her horses, a life-long love, or eating exotic cuisine. She’s currently pursuing her BA in creative writing at Bloomsburg University and hopes that her readers enjoy her stories as much as she does writing them!
Katie’s a New Mexican living in Texas w/ an M.Ed in Elem. Educ. from TX Christian Univ. & taught 4th grade for 8 years, but now spends her days being a mom to 2 beautiful children & wife to an amazing man. She spends every minute of her free time either immersed in a good book or writing middle-grade fiction, falling in love w/ new characters & their adventures. Teaching writing is a passion of hers as well, to children & to teachers, believing that every person has a story to tell.
Dawn is a native of southern Utah, who moonlights as a CPA and a Fraud Examiner. As a student, she found the need for a creative outlet, and ended up writing a book that healed her own heart. Dawn’s idea of great success would be if her books could touch the heart of even one other person. Perhaps you are that person.
Amy Tario Ray
Amy Tario Ray writes for all ages from picture books to adult thrillers. She’s as comfortable
telling stories about butterflies and fairies as she is delving into the dark world of serial killers
and crime bosses. When not writing, Amy enjoys taking long walks in her small New England
town, dancing, reading, and has loved doing embroidery since her grandmother gave her a cross-
stitch sampler when she was in elementary school.
Jessica Reino is a multi-genre author with a soft spot for sweet romance. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, developing new stories, and helping other writers achieve their goals. She is a member of The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators and The Women's Fiction Writers Association.To learn more about Jessica, please visit her author website: www.jessicareino.me and be sure to connect with her on Twitter @JNRlitauthor where she hosts #thewriterszen monthly chat.
As a kid, Scott spent a lot of time in the outfield, dreaming up stories while
waiting for the ball to come his way. He’s all grown up and turning those fantasies into
high-stakes sports mysteries for young readers. He also gets to live out his childhood
dream with his job as an award-winning sportscaster, traveling the country and covering
incredible stories and events. He and his wife live in Iowa with three hyperactive
Novelist Rebecca Rhoads resides with her husband on a centennial cherry farm near Traverse City, Michigan. She is a retired registered nurse, the mother of three daughters, and grandmother twice over. When not writing novels, she paints and writes poetry. Her favorite pastimes include spending time with family and friends, gardening, foraging for wild mushrooms, playing the ukulele, looking for pretty stones along Lake Michigan’s shoreline, and fishing with her husband.
Rachael Richey lives in Cornwall with her husband and teenage son. She writes Women's Fiction and romantic comedy. She has been writing since she was a child, starting with stories about her teddy bears and dolls.
She lived in the Hebrides for nearly fourteen years, having originally gone there to work for the summer season. She met her husband David whilst there, and had two children, before moving to Cornwall at the end of 2000.
Gina is a queer Afro-European Latinx who writes and illustrator children’s’ books. Her work embraces diversity and aligns with educational standards. After receiving her B.A. in art with a minor in humanities she earned two teaching credential and a M.A. in teaching. She taught for fifteen years and went on to gain her doctorate researching why the arts exist.
A.G. Rodriguez has been a story teller since he could form complete sentences. He loves to read and write sci-fi and fantasy and has a passion for crafting new worlds full of Latinx characters and stories. AGR has an MFA in Creative Writing from SNHU. He currently lives in southwest New Mexico where he spends his free time gaming, eating tacos, and looking for dogs to pet.
Amy Keating Rogers
Amy Keating Rogers was working as a Production Assistant on The Powerpuff Girls when Craig McCracken asked her to write for the show. Amy became Head Writer for Powerpuff and went on to write on many shows at Cartoon Network. Years later, she wrote for My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Amy has been nominated for 6 Emmys. She also made the biographical documentary “Jason Bateman Thinks I’m Dead” available on Vimeo.
JP Roth’s a writer, artist & entrepreneur. On the initial launch of her flagship series, she immediately became a “Con favorite”. All of her subsequent series are heavily based in all realms of Lore. As a Mythology major, JP Roth sticks very strictly to actual mythos w/ her stories intertwined. In 2012, she hit the scene as a self-published author launching her own model of comics. She has since sold over 200,000 Rothic Novels at conventions across the globe.
Pooneh spent most of her life living and traveling to foreign countries. She obtained her undergraduate degree from Iran and her post graduate degree from Paris. Being a voracious reader, Pooneh believes in the magic and power of words. She brings her international experience into gripping thrillers and YA adventures. Pooneh lives in Oklahoma City with her husband, son, and three dogs.
John G Saenger
John Saenger graduated from UCLA w/ a bachelor’s in biology & a master’s in cellular physiology. The most fascinating & inspiring experience in his career is his current position in oncology medical affairs on a team responsible for a breakthrough immuno-oncology therapy that is daily bringing real hope to thousands of cancer patients. His evenings & weekends are spent enjoying his wife & family, & countless hours of reading & writing, the passions of his life.
Diagnosed with a brain tumor at the age of 14, Katie Salvo survived a bleak prognosis and went on to complete her degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. She served in several university roles from guest-lecturing in University 101 courses to working in the History and Political Science department at the University of South Carolina Upstate, then on to the Office of Judicial Affairs at South Carolina State University before mustering up the courage to launch a full-time career in writing.
Sofia is a contemporary romance & women’s fiction author based in Charleston, SC. Having the pleasure of traveling the world, Sofia follows her wanderlust whenever she can, often discovering story inspiration. From a professional perspective, Sofia spends her time working in marketing, w/ a focus on brand, content development, & digital advertisements. When she isn’t doing the 9-5 thing, you can find her reading, writing, playing with her dog, hiking, or hanging at the beach.
Mark grew up in east-Kansas farm country. Prior to writing full time he served overseas in Vietnam, Thailand, West Germany and England with the American Red Cross, taught in the English department at Emporia State University, was an information specialist with the Johnson County Library in Shawnee Mission, Kansas, and served on the editorial boards of Potpourri Publications and Kansas City Voices magazine. His short stories, poems, articles and essays have appeared in numerous periodicals.
Sarah is an award-winning consultant with a love for all things civic. In 2008, she left K Street for KC and has not looked back. With over 20 years of experience in marketing, communications and public relations, she founded Shipley Communications, LLC a consultancy that focuses on fundraising, creating social capital and increasing revenue for clients. Sarah co-founded BikeWalkKC, and Kansas City B-cycle, the country's first, private, bike sharing system. See more at the link below:
Anitra Rowe Schulte seeks truth and magic in the world around her, in fiction and non-fiction writing projects alike. A Christian wife and mother, Anitra believes there is great purpose & design in all of life's moments. An alumna of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and former newspaper reporter, Anitra feels passionately that there is much to be gained from sharing our most human questions and experiences. Anitra lives in Chicagoland with her husband & their three young daughters
Erin Scoggins is a long-time Southerner with a fondness for offbeat humor and fresh fried chicken. After 15 years in marketing with a Fortune 500 company, she traded her MBA for stretch pants and a laptop. She writes lighthearted cozy mysteries that are celebrations of food, family, and the killer South.
Cass L. Scotka
Cass is in ❤️ w/ ❤️, & has been since she peeked at her first romance novel at age 15. When an unannounced ❤️ hero walked into her imagination presenting his heroine & pushing her into the spotlight, Cass knew she was destined to become a romance writer.
When she's not writing, this military brat turned military wife explores the 🌎 w/ her husband & two kids. When they're at home in Georgia, Cass has her horns at the ready, cheering on her beloved University of Texas. Hook ‘Em, Horns!
Jacy Sellers was born and raised in Virginia, but has lived in the Carolinas for more than twenty years.
She has a B.A. in English from Coastal Carolina University and a M.A. in Environmental Policy and Management from the University of Denver.
When she’s not losing herself in writing mysteries and thrillers, she’s purposely getting lost inside a thrift store or bookstore. Jacy lives in the Charlotte, NC area with her husband, two kids, and an overly social cat.
Jamie Seitz is a middle grade and young adult fiction author. Besides writing, her talents include being an expert maker of guacamole and the perfect soundtrack for any road trip, and a knack for finding the funny in everyday life. She lives in Iowa with her husband, four teens, two dogs, two cats, and a partridge in a pear tree. Jamie loves to travel and her family’s yearly road trip often serves as inspiration for her books.
S. Rose Shanker
S. Rose Shanker grew up in Phoenix, Arizona. She received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Dartmouth College, where she split her time between cheerleading and collecting credits in dead languages. From there, Samara went on to a master’s of arts in psychology from Columbia University, and a master’s of science in psychology from the PGSP-Stanford PsyD Consortium. Now, Samara runs a remote Homeschool Support and Tutoring Company and does her best to spoil her nephew.
Angela Johnson-Rogers is a writer, spoken word artist, poet, educator, & lover of all things Hip Hop. She grew up in the heart of NYC where she 1st fell in love w/ poetry, fiction, lyric, prose, rhythm, rhyme, & storytelling. Here, surrounded by her African American culture; a culture steeped in oral tradition, that she became a writer. An elementary teacher who obtained a MSEd from Fordham University in literacy & a MFA in Creative Writing from The City College of New York.
As an avid reader, Mary always fantasized about writing a book. After studying dolphin behavior & great white shark populations, she earned her Ph.D. in Biostatistics. During the arduous dissertation process, creative writing served as a natural escape. Mary loves incorporating her science background into her fiction. When adulting, she’s a wife to husband Matt & mother to three dragons, sometimes referred to as children when nothing is on fire.
Natasha Simmons has a bachelor's degree in English and Creative Writing. She loves all things dark, mysterious, and intriguing. She’s also enchanted by fairies, far away places, and all the lovely things nature has to offer. This leads to a fondness of morally gray thrillers and fantasy. Aside from reading and writing, she enjoys traveling, especially to different countries, and watching murder documentaries. Both of which are great forms of inspiration.
George has yearned to be a storyteller all his life, no matter the medium. From writing various short stories & screenplays before moving on to novels such as “Excelsior,” “Ever Upward: Part Two in The Excelsior Journey,” & the five-part serial “From Parts Unknown.” He's a regular contributor to the “Write Pack Radio” podcast, and is the host & producer of the “Excelsior Journeys” podcast. He previously served as President of the Missouri Writers Guild.
Curt Sisco is VP & GM of Hershey Trolley Works, the sweetest sightseeing tour in the country. He's spent the past 25 years producing high quality, family friendly entertainment as an actor, director, manager, and writer.
Whitney Skeen is a former teacher who graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and now studies creative writing at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. She is an active member of the SCBWI. Skeen lives on the coast of North Carolina with her quirky family and the dogs that love them. Felony at Fripp’s Graveyard will be released in Jan. 2022
Raised in the swamps & pine forests of East Texas, Seth Skorkowsky gravitated to the darker sides of fantasy, preferring horror & pulp heroes over knights in shining armor. His debut novel, Dämoren, was published in 2014 as book #1 in the Valducan series. Seth has also released two sword-and-sorcery rogue collections with his Tales of the Black Raven series. When not writing, Seth enjoys cheesy movies, tabletop role-playing games, making YouTube videos, & traveling the world with his wife.
Bruce Smith, PhD, is a career wildlife biologist. Besides writing for periodicals, he’s an award-winning author of five books of natural history, conservation, and outdoor adventure. Drawing on his experiences living near and studying wild animals in the American West, he writes novels of magical realism and animal fantasy that capture the imaginations of young readers and immerse them in the natural world.
Ivy Smoak is an international bestselling author. In 2015, after much encouragement from her fiancé, she released her first romance novel. Since then she’s released 20 novels ranging from Romantic Suspense to Psychological Thrillers, several hitting the top charts of Amazon, Apple Books, Nook, and Kobo. When she's not writing, you can find her binge watching too many TV shows, taking long walks, playing outside, and generally refusing to act like an adult. She lives with her husband in Delaware.
Laura M. Snider
Laura is an Iowa author who writes both YA fantasy & contemporary fiction novels. She grew up as a member of a large, blended family in Topeka, Kansas - she & her twin sister the youngest of seven. She now lives in Des Moines w/ a blended family of her own including her husband, two stepchildren, newborn baby, dog & cat. Laura graduated from Drake Law School in 2009 & is a practicing lawyer in Des Moines. While law has been her profession, books have been her passion.
Heather Grace Stewart
Heather Grace Stewart is a Canadian novelist and poet. She studied at
Queen’s University, trained as a journalist at Concordia, and was
associate editor of two national magazines before starting her freelance
company. Her Reader’s Digest article about an entomologist and sick
boy’s search for a rare butterfly helped film makers produce The Blue
Butterfly starring William Hurt. Heather knew then that she wanted to
write books to be adapted to the big screen.
Ellen Stonaker writes middle grade fantasy with wisps of magic, adventure, and the occasional made-up word. She lives in New Orleans with her husband and two Alaskan klee kai, who are a bit too clever for their own good. Ellen travels whenever possible and considers herself a citizen of the Earth. She works in Financial Services during the day. By night, she escapes into her worlds and creates colorful characters with strong ideas of their own.
A small-town Georgia girl, Shannon finds no greater joy than stepping into the lives & worlds created by the written word. Despite a severe aversion to reading as a child, Shannon has since found a passion for literature that she’s nurtured with incessant reading & a Bachelor’s degree in English. It is this passion that allows her to bring her own imagination to life. Living in Athens, Ga with her sister and their four-legged furry friends, she is almost always in the middle of a book.
Tracy Sumner is an award-winning author of sexy, edgy romance. She lives in the south, but after spending years in the city, considers herself a New Yorker at heart. When not writing, she can be found twisting herself into a pretzel on her yoga mat, listening to alt-rock, cheering on her college football team (Go Tigers!) and adding stamps to her passport. She is the winner of the National Reader's Choice for best long historical.
Susan M. Sutton
I’m a stay-at-home mother that holds a B.A. in English & writes YA-SF. As a painfully shy child, I retreated into my imagination as an escape. In my early teen years, there was a time when I couldn’t wait to come home every day to write in my fantasy story. My love of Sci-Fi began when I became an avid fan of “The X-Files” & anything Joss Whedon put on T.V. When I’m not writing, I’m cheering on my kids at soccer/basketball/baseball practices & games. I live in Missouri with my husband & two sons
Dana Swift started making up fantasy worlds when she was 11 yrs old & hasn’t stopped since. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, where she earned degrees in English & Advertising. While in college, Dana competed as a saber fencer & learned a thing or two about fighting, parrying & how it feels to fall in love with your sparring partner. If you don’t find her working at Half Price Books or devouring a good novel, she’s most likely reading & critiquing at the DFW Writers' Workshop
With a background in film and television, Ninan brings a vivid cinematic vibe to her work
of science fiction. As a global citizen, having split her life equally amongst three different
continents, she enjoys a good mashup of unique cultures in her worldbuilding. Family
and friendship play an essential role in all her stories, reflecting the values she holds
dear to her heart.
Leanne has published articles on websites and blogs ranging from local sports and teams to articles on publishing and writing. She helps authors revise and edit their manuscripts and assists them as they climb the ladder toward their end goals. Leanne's love of reading spans back to the first time she ever picked up Natalie Babbitt's Tuck Everlasting, growing her into a reader across many genres, citing KA Tucker and James Patterson atop her list of recent favorites.
Brooke, a graduate of the University of Colorado, Boulder, with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, spent her early adult life enjoying the Rocky Mountains while being paid to ski and ride horses. She then took to the high seas to travel the world, living and working on cruise ships. Brooke now resides in her home state of Oklahoma with her husband and step kids, where she spends time with her horses and her Akita, Roxy.
Michelle Thorne is a hopeless romantic who loves art, sports, and a good craft beer. Stricken with wanderlust, she enjoys experiencing different cultures but dreams of settling down in the countryside of Germany or Austria. A native Oklahoman who laughs too loud and writes first drafts that resemble Jackson Pollack paintings, she can usually be found playing the PS4 or watching a movie with her family.
H.D. grew up on an Iowa farm where she spent hours w/ books to get out of farm chores! She has always enjoyed writing, but retired her pen after many college papers & a graduate thesis. Recently inspired by her 2 young sons & their love of all things dirty, stinky, & squirmy, H.D. is back at her desk creating stories that help children kindle their curiosity about the world. She currently lives in Nebraska with her charming husband and crazy kids finding words that rhyme with purple!
Kat Turner writes paranormal and contemporary romance and domestic suspense. She is most content when getting lost in a written world of her own making, works for a university with a side hustle of teaching yoga, and lives in Kentucky with her family. As of this writing, all of her plants are miraculously still alive.
Gary Urey is the author of the SUPER SCHNOZ Series, which Kirkus called in its
starred review “…a winner, especially for reluctant readers, and the middle-grade sci-
fi trilogy SECRETS OF THE X-POINT. A graduate of the American Academy of
Dramatic Arts in New York City, Gary puts his professional theatre training to good use
every time he sits down to write stories for kids. He lives and writes in Maine.
Danielle A. Vann
Danielle A. Vann is an 18-time award-winning author, a nominee of the TLA’s Bluebonnet longlist, an Associated Press winner, an Emmy-nominated news staffer, speaker, and advocate known as “The Storyteller.” Vann is a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist and Life Coach. As a former news anchor, Vann knows a thing or two about writing compelling stories and has penned five books. She has been featured on NBC, CBS, ABC, in Foreword Magazine, Publisher’s Weekly, and Story Monster Ink.
With an English degree from UCLA, Keli Vice studiously avoided Law School with a series of more interesting gigs—LA magazine editing, music venue PR, and winery marketing. But there was always a story bubbling somewhere in the background…until the first finally erupted onto the page. When not writing (or reading) stories of smart women in interesting places, she’s a tennis-playing foodie-yogi from NorCal with two teen girls and a yellow lab named Posey.
Season Vining is a romance author, penning adventurous and sexy stories with a dash of humor. She grew up in southern Louisiana where food, culture, and family mean everything. She has lived in Houston, San Diego, and NYC—all of them providing colorful experiences and tons of writing material. She is a graphic designer by day, a complete font snob, and enjoys all forms of art.
USA Today bestselling author Ednah Walters holds a PhD in Chemistry and is a stay-at-home mother of five. She writes about flawed heroes and the women who love them. Whether she’s writing about valkyries, pirates, nephilim, or contemporary millionaires and billionaires, love, family, and friendship play crucial roles in all her books. Her award-winning YA Paranormal Romance— Runes Series—started with Runes and has a total of 10 books to date. When not writing, Ednah travels with her family.
Natasha Watts writes science fiction that Colorado Public Radio and as a mother of two keep her curious and attentive to detail, two traits that have served her well as a writer of science fiction. Natasha Watts is co-editor of the 2020 Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers anthology and also contributes to the RMFW podcast and online university.
Mark S. Waxman
Mark S. Waxman is a multi-Emmy Award-winning writer and producer with hundreds of television credits. His novel, The McVentures of Me, Morgan McFactoid, was endorsed by President Obama’s choice for National Teacher of the Year. Mark’s newest book, The Funny Kid, will be published by Young Dragons Press in 2022. Since 2007, Mark has been the writer of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade for NBC
Sarah White, author of Our Broken Pieces & Let Me List the Ways, was born & raised in California. A graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles, and California State University, Long Beach, she has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in counseling. Sarah spends her days as a marriage & family therapist & her nights & weekends reading & writing stories. She is a winner of the Harlequin So You Think You Can Write Contest & two Watty Awards.
Dan Whitfield is a multi-award-winning copywriter, whose direct mail & email fund appeals have raised tens of millions of $ in charitable contributions. Dan has partnered w/ dozens of museums, animal rescues, & veteran support groups, & helped them to craft the effective messages that inspire people to support their work. Originally from England, Dan moved to the U.S. to complete a Master’s Degree in History. He lives in suburban Washington, DC w/ his wife, 2 daughters, 2 dogs, & 100s of books
SHANNON WIERSBITZKY graduated Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota with a degree in Economics and International Studies before receiving her M.B.A. from Duke University. She now works at Vanguard, helping millions of people retire better. Shannon is an avid hiker and often talks to her characters while out in nature. Her first two middle-grade novels, THE SUMMER OF HAMMERS AND ANGELS, and WHAT FLOWERS REMEMBER, received national recognition. She currently lives in Australia.
Roger was born in Dallas, TX. He attended the University of North Texas. He's held almost as many jobs in his life as there are from construction to bouncer to television news web producer. He loves history and hockey.
He creates comic strips, adaptations, and more.
Laurie Winter’s head has always been full of stories. Then a dream gave her the inspiration to put her thoughts into written words, sharing a part of her heart and soul. Now, she creates authentic characters who overcome the odds and find true love. She keeps her life balanced with regular running. When not pounding the pavement or the keyboard, she's likely fueling up on wine and cheese curds.
Caleb Wood was born in Columbus, Ohio, where he currently resides. His lifelong love of fantastical stories was kindled by his mother, who read The Lord of the Rings and Brian Jacques’ Redwall series to her three sons on a regular basis. Caleb holds an MA in the philosophy of religion, which he primarily earned to spite his brother. If he’s not writing, Caleb can be found spinning stories in tabletop roleplaying games with friends.
Diane’s love for romantic fiction, in all its forms, fuels her passion for writing. Having served with her husband in youth and adult ministries, she believes whatever she writes should be done with purpose. When she isn’t reading a book, she’s creating one where her characters find strength and hope amidst real-life struggles. As the President of Ozarks Writers League for two consecutive terms, she understands the benefits of such organizations to foster growth and success in writers.
Anita C. Young
Anita C. Young is a Canadian American scientist turned artist who strives to bring light to the struggles of mental health. In addition to creating visual metaphors using oil paintings, she creates cute animal memes to bring smiles to everyone.
James Young holds a doctorate in U.S. History from Kansas State University and is a graduate of the United States Military Academy. His fiction genres are alternate history (Usurper's War series and Phases of Mars anthologies) and military science fiction (Vergassy Universe), and he's had non-fiction articles published in the Journal of Military History and Proceedings. You can find him on FB (https://www.facebook.com/ColfaxDen/), Twitter (@Youngblai), or his blog ((https://vergassy.com/).
Timothy Yue received a B.A. in Mathematics from the University of Penn. He’s been a professional tap dancer for 32 years, starting as a dancer for Shining Time Station Live. As a dancer & choreographer for Tap Team Two & Company, he has performed Hoofing in America for Young Audiences. Timothy also developed a notation system for tap & designed & built electronic tap shoes. A back injury kept him from dancing, & he started making books for his then three-year-old daughter.
Valerie Zane is an author, screenwriter, poet, and occasional blogger. Valerie worked at the National Basketball Association, NBC News, the Tom Joyner Morning Show, and as an elementary school librarian. Born and raised in Philadelphia, she has a BA in Communication Studies from West Chester University and an MFA in Creative Writing from National University. Valerie and her beautiful family live in Malvern, Iowa, where she writes full-time and serves on the local library board.