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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.
Ivy Asher is an International Bestselling Author that’s addicted to chai, swearing, and laughing a lot—but not in a creepy, giggling alone kind of way. She loves snow storms, her family of two humans and two fur-babies, and writing badass women in books that will have you begging for more. She has worlds and characters just floating around in her head, and she’s lucky enough to be surrounded by amazing people who support that kind of crazy.
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.
Sarah Bale's family always knew she was destined to write romances when they saw the elaborate stories she created for her Barbies. When Sarah isn't writing she enjoys attending comic cons where she can nerd out over all things Marvel. The USA Today Bestselling Author resides in Oklahoma and doesn't plan on leaving any time soon.
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.
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/
Shauna Brittenham Reiter founded the multi-million-dollar wellness company Alaya Naturals to share with others the hard-won fruits of her holistic journey towards health. Prior to founding Alaya Naturals, Shauna shared her voice as a singer and songwriter—her album Dreamer’s Dream was released in 2017. Shauna is a frequent podcast guest (on shows including The Skinny Confidential Him & Her Podcast and Keeping It Real: Conversations with Jillian Michaels Podcast) who loves to talk all things well
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.
Trish Caragan is a Filipina-American author who writes YA romance stories about Pinoy characters falling in love, chasing after their dreams, and finding their voices. She earned her BA in Creative Writing at the University of California, Riverside and her MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults at The New School. You can find her fangirling over all things books, romance, K-pop, and anime.
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.
Lisa Roberts Carter is a certified life coach, professional development instructor, and Bible school teacher. Lisa developed a love of writing the first time she read a book. She writes PB, MG, YA, women’s fiction, poetry, and non-fiction. Lisa has a Doctorate in Education from Edgewood College. She completed her undergraduate studies at Springfield College and her graduate studies at Webster University. Lisa is a native of South Carolina.
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.
Terri Clemmons is a lifelong Midwesterner who writes picture books and middle grade novels. She wants every child to see themselves in stories, especially children that wear hearing aids like she and her children do. Her favorite activities include spending time with her family and friends, baking, rooting for Chicago sports teams, rockhounding on the shores of the Great Lakes, hiking in national parks, and reading stacks of books from the library.
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
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.
Jillian David lives near the end of the Earth with her nut of a husband and their bossy cats. To escape the sometimes-stressful world of the rural physician, she writes while on call and in her free time. She enjoys taking realistic settings and adding a twist of "what if." Running or hiking on local trails often promotes plot development.
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.
L.A. Detwiler is the USA TODAY Bestselling thriller author of The Widow Next Door & several other bestselling, chilling page-turners. She’s also a high school English teacher from Hollidaysburg, PA. During her final year at Mount Aloysius College, she started writing her 1st fiction novel, which was published in 2015. She has also written articles that have appeared in several women’s publications & websites. L.A. Detwiler lives in her hometown w/ her husband, Chad. They have 5 cats & a mastiff
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.
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.
Alejandro Echavez is a freelance Illustrator, Painter and Story board artist specializing landscapes, seascapes and children’s illustrations. He currently resides in Long Island NY, but spent his formative years in Bogota, Colombia, where he first showed an interest in art at the very young age of 6. More than an interest, it was a natural talent that his family nurtured, and developed. A kid at heart, his work is often colorful, and playful in theme.
Jacob Eckeberger is a jungle-gym to his kids, a cheesy joke-telling husband, and a new author. He lives in Minneapolis, MN and has his hands in a number of creative things, including writing and music. His favorite books are the ones that invite his children and him into a special moment together—bonus if it gets them giggling along the way.
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.
Katie Evans is the mother of a vegetable-adverse 13-year-old whose humor inspires her children's fiction writing. As a former newspaper & magazine writer, her publication history includes breaking news & feature stories. She has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism & Mass Communications, w/ minors in business & political science, & a master’s degree in public policy administration. She lives in Palm Springs, CA with her family & dog Benny the Jet. Her debut picture book will be avail. Oct. '23
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.
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.
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)
K. A. Gandy
K. A. Gandy was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida, and is married with two kids. She has worked as a restaurant hostess, library book shelver, ranch hand, tour guide, Realtor, tech whiz, landlord, and small business consultant, all in addition to pursuing her passion of writing and publishing. She likes to write late in the evenings and thinks drinking hot tea and baking great cookies fuels hopes and dreams.
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 on repeat.
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.
BRENT HARTINGER is the author of eleven novels, including the bestselling YA novel Geography Club, which was adapted as a feature film in 2013. He’s won both the Lambda and GLAAD Awards and was nominated for an Edgar. Also a screenwriter, Brent has had ten screenplays optioned, with four currently in development with major producers. Brent is also the author of Brent and Michael Are Going Places, a popular Substack newsletter.
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.
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.
Michael Jensen is an author, editor, and travel writer. His novels include the gay historical thrillers Man & Beast and Man & Monster. Michael also co-founded and edited AfterElton.com, a website that covered LGBTQ issues in popular culture and was later sold to Viacom/MTV. Today, Michael travels the world as a digital nomad, writing novels and writing Brent and Michael Are Going Places, a newsletter with husband Brent Hartinger.
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.
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)
Avery Keelan is an award-winning author of sports romance and contemporary romance, a lifelong hockey fan, and a diehard coffee lover. She writes swoon-worthy happily ever afters with hot hockey heroes, snarky banter, and enough steam to fog up a mirror. With undergraduate degrees in Commerce and Psychology, Avery specialized in government policy and legislation in a previous life. She lives in Canada with her husband and their two children, plus two spoiled rescue cats who like to sit on her
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.
Veronika Kiley is a queer, first-generation Greek Canadian living in Toronto with her husband and cat. An avid reader since childhood, her work is largely inspired by both the magical girl and “final girl" stories of her youth. By day, she’s a public relations professional. By night, you can find her playing video games, baking for her friends and family, and watching Toronto Blue Jays baseball. She is currently working on her next novel. (Photo by Charles Krause)
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.
Curtis John O'Brien King is an active member of SCBWI – Massachusetts and a Silver member of the 12x12 Picture Book Writing Challenge. He is a proud father of five children (three sons and two daughters) who for almost two decades has worked as a case manager at a hospital for the homeless and a licensed massage therapist in his own practice. He enjoys writing, performing songs and producing music.
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).
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.
Fulbright fellow and Juilliard-trained violinist, Elise Kuder, has performed around the world, from Algeria to Myanmar to Peru. Living proof of plot twists, Elise discovered her love of writing in her forties when a feral, disabled cat captured her heart and imagination. Elise is a member of SCBWI and Mystery Writers of America, and lives in New Hampshire with her partner and menagerie of badly behaved cats. She is represented by Katie Salvo.
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.
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.
Sofi writes sweet, mischievous Regency romances with witty banter and heart-tugging happily-ever-afters. Born in Vienna, Sofi grew up in Seoul, studied Comparative Literature in Maryland, and lived in Quito for a while. When not writing - she is always reading - she likes to travel and scramble about the countryside exploring medieval castle ruins. She currently lives in Austria with her husband, 3 trilingual children, a cheeky cat and a cheeky dog.
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.
Judy Lee is a third culture kid and permanent wanderer. Books were what kept her grounded; middle grade novels like Harry Potter and Lemony Snicket hold a special place in her heart. She's currently in Seoul, but also calls Southern California and Vancouver home. A graduate of Biola University, Judy is passionate about fashion, film, literature and culture. She hopes to continue telling stories through multiple mediums including YouTube, Instagram, and of course, writing.
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.
A native of the Missouri Ozarks, Annie studied theatre and has an MFA in acting. She also trained as a stunt performer. Annie used these skills working at a live stunt show and as a stage fight choreographer. As an author, Annie is a regular contributor to a local magazine and her debut YA novel A Three-Letter Name was released in May 2022. With her husband and two children, Annie lives in SW Missouri.
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.
As an independently published author, Jeanine has published three books, the first of which received the 2019 Best Romance Award from Indies Today. Remembering First Love, What About Love, and With Unbreakable Love complete The Rivera Sisters Series, a trilogy of women’s inspirational fiction with spicy romantic elements. Jeanine lives in the Ozark Mountains where she and her husband are building their dream life.
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.
Michelle McCraw writes steamy contemporary romance that make you laugh and feature characters who unashamedly love science, engineering, and technology and also lots of sex. Her novel 23 and You and Me finaled in the RWA Vivian Contest, the Contemporary Romance Writers’ Stiletto Contest, and the Windy City Romance Writers’ Four Seasons Contest. Michelle enjoys reading, travel, drinking bourbon, and spoiling her extraordinarily ill-behaved but adorable dogs.
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.
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.
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?
Mary Lee Painter-Miller
Mary Lee Painter-Miller is a writer of romantic comedies and the author of The Other Fork in the Road along with several romantic comedy screenplays. She lives in Omaha, Nebraska and is a wife and mom who loves nothing more than sneaking away with her laptop, spending time outdoors with family, not cooking and chilled Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
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.
Darya Moon is a queer, nonbinary, Romanian author living in Montreal. They use storytelling as a medium to explore their heritage and identity, and strive to be the change they want to see in the (literary) world. When they're not writing, they like to make music, play video games, and read copious amounts of fanfiction and indie works.
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.
Melody Pendlebury is a #1 bestselling children’s book and middle author. Her debut novel, A Girl Called Ruthless, is a first-place winner of the 2021 Reader’s Choice Award in the YA/MG category. She is a member of the SCWBI.
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.
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.
Demri currently resides in East Tennessee near the Smoky Mountains. For her day job, she is an ESL Tutor for South Korea, and she is working on an MA in History. Demri is an avid world traveler, but when home she loves reading and writing books with her perfect Siamese cat named Luna.
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 children.
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
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!
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.
Samara 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 Shanté 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.
Dr Robert T Sharp
Veterinarian Rob Sharp’s first book, No Dogs in Heaven?, was published to resounding critical acclaim. It was also translated into Czech. An alert editor in New York read the book and asked him to write a column—“Ask a Country Vet”—for the popular magazine Country Living. His expert and delightfully written answers to questions from readers across the country were read by millions during the five years he served as Country Living’s “country vet.”
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.
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.
Jessica Keenan Smith
Jessica Keenan Smith is Founder and CEO of Living Well With Epilepsy and Executive Director of the American Society of Experimental Neurotherapeutics (ASENT). As a person with epilepsy diagnosed in her teens, she bridges the gap between the patient community and the scientific community. This Fordham University graduate has been featured in Forbes, NPR, Neurology Now, and I was honored to be the cover story for the Epilepsy Advocate.
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.
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.
Susan M. Sutton writes YA science fiction and paranormal novels. Her fascination with astronomy and all things sci-fi began later in life, and has just continued to grow and grow. She resides in Missouri with her husband, two kids, and Skitty the cat.
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!
Liz has always loved writing. She wrote her first book before she could spell and got her first taste of publishing in 6th grade when she entered a poetry contest and her poem was printed in an anthology. Her books feature children dealing with big emotions and figuring out how to navigate them. Her goal is to write stories kids can connect to so they see that however they are feeling, they are not alone.
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.
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
Niki White holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Texas at El Paso. Her writing has appeared in an own voices anthology, Artificial Divide. Blind since birth (and Black, in case any readers also can't see the photo), when not writing White can be found probably being too picky about media, singing, attending/performing musical theater, traveling, or analyzing lyrics and fictional passages. She lives in Las Vegas, Nevada.
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.
Olivia is the byproduct of a meet-rude in a Parisian discotheque that turned into an epic love story spanning several decades. Naturally, this shaped the way she viewed romance. After meeting her own Prince Charming—in a Parisian discotheque of all places—she decided to put fingers to keyboard and craft love stories for a living. None of her characters have ever met in a Parisian nightclub... as of yet.
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.
Livian Yeh is a writer and editor based in San Francisco, CA. She's written for Reader's Digest, HowlRound, The Bold Italic, Hunker, and StarTrek.com, among other publications. She is an alumna of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival and Rooted and Written at The Writers Grotto.
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.
USA Today & International Best Selling Author Ashley Zakrzewski is known for her captivating storytelling, sultry plots, and dynamic protagonists. Hailing from Arkansas, her affinity for the written word began early on, and she has been relentlessly chasing after her dreams ever since.
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.