The 2015 Great Valley Bookfest Fiction Authors
will feature talks about suspense, thrillers and mysteries and how to incorporate suspense, mystery and humor into romantic fiction. Why I am a Writer, Contemporary Paranormal and Young Adult Romance, Romancing the Monster, Underdog Heroes-Breaking Literary Norms, Setting the Story, The Ultimate Escape and Creating Mythology. Be venturesome and come hear about: How I became a Self-Published Author, Paranormal Contemporary Romance, Young Adult Fiction, Finding Inspiration, Fun with Astrology, Science fiction v. Science Fact and Writing Historical Fiction. Escape into another world! Creating a Mystery and Sustaining It, Bigger-Badder Villains, Young Adult Science Fiction, Not All Toil and Tears-Living the Writing Life, Location- Location-Location, Character and Plot Development, Fantasy, Action and Adventure and Setting the Scene. Click Here to view STAGE Schedule
R.M. Gilmore is a paranormal and mystery/suspense writer and creator of the occult bestselling series Dylan Hart Odyssey of the Occult.
R.M. resides in California with her family and a ton of pets. Laughing more than one person should be allowed, it is likely she will die laughing. R.M. prefers to think and live outside the box without the constraints of social stigma or the ideals of literary rules. That being said, she truly is not your mother’s author.
Christpher Allan Poe is an award-winning author and graphic artist from Los Angeles. He writes paranormal fiction with an emphasis on themes that shed light on social problems for women and children. A member of the International Thriller Writers and MWA, he travels the country speaking about the craft of writing to aspiring authors.
Michele Drier, born in Santa Cruz, is a fifth generation Californian. She’s lived and worked all over the state, calling both Southern and Northern California home. During her career in journalism—as a reporter and editor at daily newspapers—she won awards for producing investigative series. In addition to the San Jose Mercury-News, she was City Editor for the Lodi News-Sentinel, Executive Editor for the Manteca Bulletin and Assistant Metro Editor for the Modesto Bee. Her Amy Hobbes Newspaper mysteries are Edited for Death, (called riveting and much recommend by the Midwest Book Review), Labeled for Death, and Delta for Death. Her paranormal romance series, The Kandesky Vampire Chronicles, won second place for best vampire series for 2014 by reviewers of the Paranormal Romance Guild. SNAP: The World Unfolds, SNAP: New Talent, Plague: A Love Story, DANUBE: A Tale of Murder, SNAP: Love for Blood, SNAP: Happily Ever After?, SNAP: White Nights, SNAP: All That Jazz (also awarded best vampire book for 2014) and SNAP: I, Vampire. She is the president of Capitol Crimes, the Sacramento chapter of Sisters in Crime, and president of the Guppy international online chapter. Visit her facebook page, facebook.com/AuthorMicheleDrier, or her Amazon author page, amazon.com/Michele-Drier
Sarah Jamila Stevenson is a writer, artist, editor, and graphic designer living in Modesto. She is the author of three YA novels: THE LATTE REBELLION (Flux, 2011), UNDERNEATH (Flux, 2013) and THE TRUTH AGAINST THE WORLD (Flux, 2014). Her first novel for young adults, THE LATTE REBELLION, was a Scholastic Book Club pick as well as an IPPY Bronze Medalist in Multicultural Children’s Fiction. Her work has been featured on Capital Public Radio’s Insight and NPR’s Tell Me More with Michel Martin. She is also an active blogger; since 2005 she has been posting children’s literature reviews and information at Finding Wonderland (writingya.blogspot.com), a blog she shares with fellow young adult author Tanita S. Davis.
Hazel Dixon-Cooper is the author of the internationally best-selling Rotten Day astrology book series. Her latest book, Harness Astrology’s Bad Boy, discusses Pluto, the planet of transformation.
She speaks at conferences throughout the United States and leads writer and astrology workshops.
Paku was born and raised in a small town in central valley California. She is first generation Hmong American, and the eighth child of ten. Paku graduated from California State University, Stanislaus with a B.A. in Kinesiology. Although she highly enjoys fitness and nutrition, she also has a fondness for fashion design and storytelling. She often recites lines from her favorite books to anyone who’s willing to listen and is simply inspired by everything she encounters.
New York Times and USA Today best-selling author Kristin Miller writes sweet and sassy contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and paranormal romance of all varieties. Kristin has degrees in psychology, English, and education, and taught high school and middle school English before crossing over to a career in writing. She lives in Northern California with her alpha male husband and their two children. She loves chocolate way more than she should and the gym less. You can usually find her in the corner of a coffee shop, laptop in front of her and mocha in hand, using the guests around her as fuel for her next book.
John G. Bluck retired from NASA in 2008 as a public affairs officer. Previously, he was the Chief of Imaging Technology at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.
Before that, he worked at NASA Lewis (now Glenn) Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio, where he produced numerous NASA documentaries for television.
Earlier in his career he was a broadcast engineer for the ABC radio network at WMAL-AM/FM, Washington, D.C. At WMAL-TV (now WJLA-TV) in Washington, he was a news film cameraman who covered local and national news, crime, sports, and politics, including Watergate.
In 1976 he was named the National Press Photographer Association runner-up cameraman of the year in the Northeast. In addition, he was a member of the White House News Photographers’ Association.
During the Vietnam War he was an Army journalist at Ft. Lewis, Washington.
Marilyn Meredith is the author of over 35 published novels, including the award winning Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series, the latest Spirit Shapes from Mundania Press. Writing as F. M. Meredith, her latest Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novel is Murder in the Worst Degree from Oak Tree Press. Marilyn is a member of EPIC, Three chapters of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. She’s taught writing for Writer’s Digest Schools, and at many conferences all over the country, including the Maui Writer’s Retreat. She lives in the Southern Sierra with her husband of many years, one dog, and too many cats.
Paula Treick DeBoard is a reader, writer, and all-around slave to the field of public education. Her short fiction has appeared in deCOMP, Cantaraville, Staccato Fiction, and The Sycamore Review, where her short story “Casualties” earned second place in the 2009 Wabash Prize for Fiction, judged by Tobias Wolff. She is the author of two novels, The Fragile World (2014) and The Mourning Hours (2013), which won the Niles Library Tournament of Books in 2014 and was a runner-up for the Housatonic Book Award. A third novel, The Drowning Girls, will publish in 2016. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing: Fiction from the University of Southern Maine. Since 2011, Paula has taught English part-time at San Joaquin-Delta Community College and Modesto Junior College. She was recently selected as an inaugural faculty member of Go Deep! A Yoga + Writing Retreat in the Sierra Nevadas. Paula lives in Modesto with her husband Will, two small dogs with surprisingly vicious barks, and the world’s least patient cat.
Robert O’Hanneson spent over twenty years selling amusement rides to carnivals and amusement parks worldwide. Now, he writes fulltime in California’s Central Valley. His novel, POSSUM BELLY QUEEN, is Dark Oak Mystery Contest’s 2010 winner and is currently available on Amazon and at B&N. He wrote BLOODY SOIL, which was partially read on Fresno’s NPR station. His article INSIDE THE SILOS OF DOOMSDAY, was part of Military History Magazine’s issue on the Cuban Missile Crisis. His work also appeared in Fresno Magazine. As board vice president of the Yosemite Writers Conference, he worked on planning of conferences, speaker acquisitions, and generated scholarship funds for high school and college students.
Rumor has it that Bonnie began telling stories at a very early age. Photos exist of the author toddling around the corner of the house covered in mud babbling about magic rabbits leading her through the garden. Her parents were amused, only adding fuel to the fire of her passion for writing. From then on, her active imagination continued to churn out plots and character sketches, always wondering how different people would behave in similar situations. People are endlessly fascinating and stories are everywhere. She loves exploring, rearranging and weaving her narratives throughout her characters’ lives. Bonnie lives in Northern California with her husband.
Anne Carol grew up reading, writing, and listening to English rock bands, obsessing over one in particular. Continuing her fascination with rock stars, she married a bass player and they now have two sons, also budding musicians. Besides reading, writing, and listening to music, she also loves traveling, going to dance class, watching teen dramas, and exploring social media websites. Anne lives in Northern California, where she enjoys wine and chocolate every night as she works on her next novel.
Kasey Thompson is most known by all around her for her creative flare. From a young age, she took all the wonderful places and people in her head, and turned them into stories. She takes every situation she is in and tries to add her own *fantasy flare* to it. At the young age of sixteen, Kasey self-published her first book. A little less than a year later, she published her second book, both which are available on Amazon. When she isn’t writing, she is focusing on her schoolwork, or snuggled up with a good book.
Kara Lucas has been a social worker for over twenty years and currently works in adoption. She has her Masters in Social Work, and many of the characters in FINDING PONY have been inspired by some of the kids she’s worked with. When not writing, Kara loves to read and go hiking in the mountains. She lives in central California with her family.
Jennifer Ryan, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Hunted, McBride, and Montana Men series, writes romantic suspense and contemporary small-town romances.
Jennifer lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and three children. When she isn’t writing a book, she’s reading one. Her obsession with both is often revealed in the state of her home, and how late dinner is to the table. When she finally leaves those fictional worlds, you’ll find her in the garden, playing in the dirt and daydreaming about people who live only in her head, until she puts them on paper.
Please visit her website at www.jennifer-ryan.com for information about upcoming releases.
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T. J. Kline was raised competing in rodeos and Rodeo Queen competitions since the age of 14 and has thorough knowledge of the sport as well as the culture involved. She has written seven books for Avon including the Rodeo series and the Healing Harts series. She has also published a nonfiction health book and three inspirational fiction titles under the name Tina Klinesmith. In her spare time, she can be found laughing hysterically with her husband, children, and their menagerie of pets in Northern California or drinking far too many lattes while arguing with the characters in her head.
Award-winning author, Beth Barany has been making up fantasy and adventure stories all her life. She writes in two genres: young adult fantasy and magical contemporary romance. She loves creating magical tales of romance and adventure to transport readers to new worlds where anything is possible.
In her off hours, Beth enjoys capoeira, reading and watching movies, and traveling, with her husband, author and singer/song writer Ezra Barany.
Beth Barany lives in Oakland, California with her husband, two cats, and over 1,000 books.
When not writing or playing, Beth runs her own company helping novelists as a coach, consultant, and teacher to help them write, market, and publish their books.
Britt Nunes never expected to be a writer. Coming from a past where she always struggled academically, to the point where she was held back in grammar school, the idea of completing a novel was utterly intangible. But falling in love with reading was what ultimately helped her excel. She now considers herself a dork with an overactive imagination. Being that she is addicted to rich words, suspenseful stories, a touch of romance, and massive amounts of coffee, becoming a writer not just became possible, but enviable. Britt writes for young adults. The Etched Tales is her first series.
Gillian Bagwell is the author of three acclaimed historical novels: “The Darling Strumpet,” based on the life of Nell Gwynn, seventeenth-century actress and mistress of Charles II; “The September Queen,” the story of Jane Lane, who risked her life to help the young Charles II escape after the Battle of Worcester; and “Venus in Winter,” which covers the first forty years of the life of the formidable four-times widowed Tudor dynast Bess of Hardwick. Gillian lives in Berkeley, California, and is at work on her fourth novel.
Gillian began her professional life in theatre, first as an actress and later as a director and producer. She founded the Pasadena Shakespeare Company and ran it for ten years, producing thirty-seven critically acclaimed shows. She now puts her theatrical experience to use coaching writers on giving effective public readings. She also coaches writers, and offers all levels of editing, specializing in historical fiction and historical romance. You can follow Gillian on Twitter, @GillianBagwell, and visit her website, www.gillianbagwell.com, for links to her research blogs, articles, and more on her books and upcoming events.
An obsessive bookworm, Codi Gary likes to write sexy contemporary romances with humor, grand gestures, and blush-worthy moments. When she’s not writing, she can be found reading her favorite authors, squealing over her must-watch shows, and playing with her children. A Northern California native, she now lives in Idaho with her family.
Matthew Berlin is a seventeen-year old independent author who enjoys writing Action/Adventure and Fantasy novels. He began writing Embark, the first book in the Legends of Lustria series at 14, and self-published the completed novel at 16. Matt has just completed Prevalence, which is the second book in the series, and hopes to have it released by Christmas 2015. Matthew is also co-writing a book with a friend and fellow author. Matthew is very fond of fantasy, and was inspired to write Legends of Lustria after enjoying successful franchises such as The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and a variety of others. Writing allows Matt to take his imagination to the farthest limits. In his series, he attempts to captivate readers with vivid imagery in a world where the fantasy is reality. When Matthew isn’t writing, he enjoys competing with his Track and Field team, playing video games, hanging with his friends, and drawing.
Antoinette May’s third novel The Determined Heart: the Tale of Mary Shelley and Her Frankenstein will be published in September by the Lake Union Publishing Division of Amazon Press. Her first novel, Pilate’s Wife, published in 2007 by William Morrow, has been translated into 18 languages. The Sacred Well, her second novel, was chosen best novel of 2009 by the San Francisco Book Festival.
Antoinette’s non-fiction includes the New York Times best seller, Adventures of a Psychic, a biography of psychic Sylvia Brown. Antoinette was the 1999 recipient of La Pluma de Plata, an award conferred by the Mexican Government for the best travel article on their country.
Christina McKnight is a book lover turned writer. From a young age, her mother encouraged her to tell her own stories. She’s been writing ever since. Currently, she focuses on Historical Romance, Urban Fantasy, and Paranormal Romance.
Christina enjoys a quiet life in Northern California with her family, her wine, and lots of coffee. Oh, and her books…don’t forget her books! Most days she can be found writing, reading, or traveling the great state of California.
Steven Hammond is an author and artist from Clovis, California where he enjoys spending time with his wife and family. He fell into the world of scifi/fantasy at an early age, and credits the works of Irwin Allen, J.R.R. Tolkien, Syd Hoff, Gene Rodenberry, Berkeley Breathed, George Lucas, Frank Frazetta, and Tomoyuki Tanaka as the greatest influences of his writing career. He is currently at work on the next installment in The Rise of the Penguins Saga, as well as a variety of somewhat eclectic short-stories. When not slapping at the keyboard like an enraged Siamang, while his Buster Dog curiously looks on, he can be found at the studio performing similar actions with paint and brush, or working at the ballpark. He is forever grateful for each and every person who has taken the time to read his stories and hopes they will continue to enjoy his work. Information and exclusive content from The Rise of the Penguins Saga can be found at riseofthepenguins.net
Bonnie Hearn Hill wanted to write fiction about women’s and social issues, and when she accidentally fell into a six-book deal with one of the largest publishers in the world, she saw it as an opportunity to do just that. Fifteen novels later, her books cover topics ranging from women and weight issues, to sex and power, to ghosts, metaphorical and otherwise. Regardless of the genre, her focus is empowerment. A national conference speaker, she has mentored many writers and edited and co-authored books, including New York Times bestsellers. She has a monthly television book segment and, with Christopher Allan Poe, is the co-author of a book on writing fiction. A film based on one of her novels is in pre-production, and her new Kit Doyle series (IF ANYTHING SHOULD HAPPEN and GOODBYE FOREVER) will launch in the UK and the US in 2015.
“I love everything about writing,” she says, “even when I hate it.”
John Brantingham’s work has been featured on Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac and in hundreds of magazines in the United States and the United Kingdom. His newest poetry collection, The Green of Sunset, is from Moon Tide Press. He is the writer-in-residence at the dA Center for the Arts, and he teaches at Mt. San Antonio College and Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park.
Beth McMullen grew up in the East and now lives in Davis, California. She also writes under the name Elizabeth Maxwell. Her latest novel, Happily Ever After, has been published in ten languages.
Award-winning author, Meera Ekkanath Klein, deftly weaves her love of cooking and story-telling into an irresistible tale. My Mother’s Kitchen: A novel with recipes (2014, Homebound Publications) was selected as a Finalist in the 2015 Beverly Hills International Book Awards in the Multi-Cultural Fiction category. She was one of 40 authors at the celebrated 2015 Authors on the Move fundraiser for the Sacramento Library Foundation dinner and auction. She was featured on Capital Public Radio on April 2, 2015 and interviewed by host Beth Ruyak. She has participated in the Local Author Festival at the Sacramento Library and will be a presenter at the Great Valley Bookfest in October. A former newspaper reporter and columnist, Klein honed her writing skills in a busy newsroom. She mastered the art of Indian cooking in her own mother’s kitchen in the beautiful Blue Mountains or Nilgiris of south India.
Klein currently lives in northern California and is completing a sequel to My Mother’s Kitchen, as well as a YA book based on Indian legends and mythology.
Amanda Serrano lives under the sunny skies of Northern California. She began writing misspelled, dramatic, and twisted little tales before she was even in kindergarten. A Retro Pin Up girl in a former life, her writing has been featured in numerous Vintage lifestyle magazines, poetry anthologies and short story collections. Amanda was also a finalist in director Francis Ford Coppola’s (The Godfather) American Zoetrope Screenplay Competition. Her first novel, Flowers For Alcatraz, will be released in 2016. Amanda’s book of poetry, Drinking The Sun, my life in poems and prose, will be featured at this years festival, and she is donating all of the proceeds from her book sales to the Delta Humane Society in Stockton.
Maya the Story of a German War Bride is the life story of a German girl growing up in Germany during Hitler’s regime. She spent the night of her fifteenth birthday huddled in the basement with her family as her home town of Augsburg suffered its largest air raid of the war, during the coldest night of that year. Life was very interesting for the teenager after the war ended and the American troops entered the city, bringing with them the Big Band Sound. Five years after the war, she met and married an American soldier. Moving to America was just the beginning of many different experiences that awaited her. When the couple had four children, aged thirteen, twelve, nine, and six, they left the U.S. to embark on an eleven-month, once-in-a-lifetime trip to Africa, the Canary Islands, and Europe. Four years after their return to the U.S., they moved to California, where they remain to this day. Sadly, a few years later, tragedy struck the family. The book ends 60 years later on Maya’s 75th birthday. Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Raley’s.