The Back Room thanks all our stellar award-winning, bestselling authors for their participation and support. We couldn’t do this without you!
Taylor Adams directed the acclaimed short film And I Feel Fine in 2008 and graduated from Eastern Washington University with the Excellence in Screenwriting Award and the prestigious Edmund G. Yarwood Award.
His directorial work has screened at the Seattle True Independent Film Festival and his writing has been featured on KAYU-TV’s Fox Life blog. He has worked in the film/television industry for several years and lives in Washington state.
Adams is the author of Eyeshot, Our Last Night, and No Exit, published by Joffe Books.
Visit his website at tayloradamsauthor.com.
The daughter of two philosophy professors, Tasha Alexander grew up surrounded by books. She was convinced from an early age that she was born in the wrong century and spent much of her childhood under the dining room table pretending it was a covered wagon. Even there, she was never without a book in hand and loved reading and history more than anything.
Tasha studied English Literature and Medieval History at the University of Notre Dame. She played nomad for a long time, living in Indiana, Amsterdam, London, Wyoming, Vermont, Connecticut, and Tennessee before settling down. She lives with her husband, British novelist Andrew Grant, in southeastern Wyoming. She still doesn’t have a covered wagon, but a log house goes a long way toward fulfilling her pioneer fantasies.
Visit her at tashaalexander.com.
Brian Andrews is a US Navy veteran, nuclear engineer, and former submarine officer. He graduated from Vanderbilt University with a degree in psychology, holds a Master’s in business from Cornell, and is a Park Leadership Fellow.
Brian co-authors the Wall Street Journal and #1 Amazon best-selling TIER ONE thriller series with Jeffrey Wilson. Starting 2021, he and Jeff have been tapped to write the W.E.B Griffin Presidential Agent Series.
Learn more at www.brianandrewsauthor.com
Finola Austin’s debut historical fiction novel, Brontë’s Mistress, was released by Atria Books in August 2020. Finola is an England-born, Northern Ireland-raised, Brooklyn-based historical novelist and lover of the 19th century.
Her masters dissertation focused on the works of Victorian sensation novelists Mary Elizabeth Braddon and Wilkie Collins. Her interest in literature continued beyond her academic studies and she founded the Secret Victorianist, an award-winning blog dedicated to nineteenth-century literature and culture.
By day, she works in digital advertising. She lives in Brooklyn, with her Siberian cat, Arabella, and too many books. Find her online at finolaaustin.com.
Melanie Benjamin is the author of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling historical novels The Swans of Fifth Avenue, about Truman Capote and his society swans, and The Aviator’s Wife, a novel about Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Her latest novel, Mistress of the Ritz, is a taut tale of suspense wrapped up in a love story for the ages, the inspiring story of a woman and a man who discover the best in each other amid the turbulence of war.
Melanie’s novels have been translated in over fifteen languages, featured in national magazines such as Good Housekeeping, People, and Entertainment Weekly, and optioned for film.
When she isn’t writing or speaking, she’s reading. And always looking for new stories to tell. Learn more at melaniebenjamin.com.
James R. Benn is the author of Billy Boyle: A World War II Mystery, selected by Book Sense as one of the top five mysteries of 2006 and nominated for a Dilys Award. The First Wave was a Book Sense Notable title.
Benn did not begin his writing career until age fifty. Prior to that he served as head of information for the West Hartford Public Schools in West Hartford, Connecticut. Benn retired as the director of the Godfrey Memorial Library, a private family history library in Middletown, Connecticut, to write full-time in 2010. Benn is a librarian and lives in Hadlyme, Connecticut.
Visit his website at www.jamesrbenn.com.
Her short stories have been published in magazines in the US, UK, and Asia, and she helps edit the Forge Literary Magazine. Her debut crime novel You Beneath Your Skin has been optioned for screen by Endemol Shine.
Visit her website at www.damyantiwrites.com.
C. J. Box is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of 27 novels including the Joe Pickett series. He won the Edgar Alan Poe Award for Best Novel (Blue Heaven, 2009) as well as the Anthony Award, Prix Calibre 38 (France), the Macavity Award, the Gumshoe Award, two Barry Awards, and the 2010 Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association Award for fiction. He was recently awarded the 2016 Western Heritage Award for Literature by the National Cowboy Museum as well as the Spur Award for Best Contemporary Novel by the Western Writers of America in 2017. Over seven million copies of his books have been sold in the U.S. and abroad and they’ve been translated into 27 languages.
Box is a Wyoming native and has worked as a ranch hand, surveyor, fishing guide, a small town newspaper reporter and editor, and he owned an international tourism marketing firm with his wife Laurie. In 2008, Box was awarded the “BIG WYO” Award from the state tourism industry. An avid outdoorsman, Box has hunted, fished, hiked, ridden, and skied throughout Wyoming and the Mountain West. He served on the Board of Directors for the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo and currently serves on the Wyoming Office of Tourism Board. They have three daughters and two grandchildren. He and his wife Laurie live on their small ranch in Wyoming. Visit his website at cjbox.net.
Lucy Burdette is the author of the Key West food critic mystery series, including An Appetite for Murder, Death in Four Courses, and Topped Chef (NAL.), Murder with Ganache, Death with All the Trimmings, Fatal Reservations, and Killer Takeout.
Lucy’s alter-ego, clinical psychologist Roberta Isleib, has published eight mysteries including the golf lover’s mystery series and the advice column mysteries. Her books and stories have been short-listed for Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity awards. She’s a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime, and a past-president of Sisters in Crime. Visit her at lucyburdette.com.
V.M. Burns was born and raised in South Bend, Indiana. She graduated from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science and Urban Studies. Valerie later went on to get a Master of Science in Administration from the University of Notre Dame and a Master of Fine Arts in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University.
By day Valerie is an Operations Manager at a call center for an appliance manufacturer. At night, Valerie writes cozy mysteries, children’s books and screenplays.
Valerie currently lives in Eastern Tennessee with her three poodles (Cash, Kensington and Chloe). Visit her website at www.vmburns.com.
Ellen Byron (Maria DiRico)’s Cajun Country Mysteries have won the Agatha award for Best Contemporary Novel and multiple Lefty awards for Best Humorous Mystery. Her new Catering Hall Mystery series, written as Maria DiRico, launched with Here Comes the Body, and is inspired by her real life.
Ellen is an award-winning playwright, and non-award-winning TV writer of comedies like Wings, Just Shoot Me, and Fairly Odd Parents. She has written over two hundred articles for national magazines but considers her most impressive credit working as a cater-waiter for Martha Stewart.
Learn more at www.ellenbyron.com.
She is the internationally bestselling author of several thrillers, including top ten Sunday Times bestseller It’s Always the Husband; A Stranger on the Beach, which was recently optioned for film by Anonymous Content; and The Wife Who Knew Too Much, which Newsweek called, “the perfect escape.”
Learn more at www.michelecampbellbooks.com.
After graduating from Auburn with a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication, she moved to New York City. She’s worked as an actor, producer, screenwriter, and behind-the-scenes soap opera assistant for the CBS shows As the World Turns and Guiding Light.
Born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, she now lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her family. You can visit Emily online at emilycarpenterauthor.com.
She’s a critic whose work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, where she served as noir editor, and is the current series editor of the Best American Mystery & Suspense anthology.
A native of the San Fernando Valley, she lives in Los Angeles with her family. Visit her website at stephcha.com.
Jennifer J. Chow is a Chinese-American author who writes multicultural mysteries and fantastical YA. Her Asian-American novels include Dragonfly Dreams (a Teen Vogue pick), The 228 Legacy, and the Winston Wong cozy mystery series.
Her short fiction has most recently appeared in the STEM anthology, Brave New Girls: Tales of Heroines who Hack, Hyphen Magazine, and Yay! LA Magazine.
Learn more at jenniferjchow.com.
Wall Street Journal bestselling author Abby Collette loves a good mystery. Born and raised in Cleveland, it’s even a mystery to her why she has yet to move to a warmer place. Author of the two Southern cozy mystery series Logan Dickerson Mysteries featuring a second-generation archaeologist and a nonagenarian who is always digging up trouble, and the Romaine Wilder Mysteries, set in East Texas, it pairs a medical examiner and her feisty auntie who owns a funeral home and is always ready to solve a whodunnit.
Visit her website at www.abbycollette.com.
Megan Collins is the author of The Winter Sister and Behind the Red Door (Atria/Simon & Schuster). She received her B.A. in English and Creative Writing from Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, and she holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Boston University, where she was a teaching fellow.
She has taught creative writing at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts and Central Connecticut State University, and she is Managing Editor of 3Elements Review.
A Pushcart Prize and two-time Best of the Net nominee, her work has appeared in many print and online journals, including Compose, Linebreak, Off the Coast, Spillway, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and Rattle. She lives in Connecticut. Learn more about Megan at www.megancollins.com.
Liv Constantine is the pen name of USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and international bestselling authors and sisters Lynne Constantine and Valerie Constantine. Their debut thriller, THE LAST MRS. PARRISH, was a Reese Witherspoon book club selection, a People Magazine book of the week, a Target book club selection, and is in development for television. Their second book, THE LAST TIME I SAW YOU, was published by HarperCollins in May and is in development for film. THE WIFE STALKER, their third book, published on May 19, 2019. Their books are available in over 32 countries.
Separated by three states, they spend hours plotting via Facetime and burning up each other’s emails. They attribute their ability to concoct dark storylines to the hours they spent listening to tales handed down by their Greek grandmother. Learn more at livconstantine.com.
Julie Carrick Dalton grew up in Maryland and on a military base in Germany. As an adult, she bounced around from Seattle to Dallas to Virginia, before finding her true home in Boston, where she has lived for more than twenty years. Her writing has appeared in The Boston Globe, BusinessWeek, The Hollywood Reporter, Electric Literature, and other publications. She contributes to The Chicago Review of Books, Dead Darlings, and The Writer Unboxed.
A Tin House alum and graduate of GrubStreet’s Novel Incubator, Julie holds a Master’s in Literature and Creative Writing from Harvard Extension School. She is a frequent speaker on the topic of writing fiction in the age of climate crisis. Mom to four kids and two dogs, Julie is a passionate skier, hiker, and kayaker. She also owns and operates an organic farm. Please excuse her dirty fingernails.
Visit her website at juliecarrickdalton.com.
Fiona Davis is the New York Times bestselling author of historical novels set in iconic New York City buildings, including The Lions of Fifth Avenue (a Good Morning America book club pick) and The Chelsea Girls.
She began her career in New York City as an actress, working on Broadway, off-Broadway, and in regional theater. After getting a master’s degree at Columbia Journalism School, she fell in love with writing, leapfrogging from editor to freelance journalist before finally settling down to write fiction.
Her books have been translated into over a dozen languages and she’s based in New York City. Learn more at fionadavis.net.
Karen Dionne is the USA Today and #1 internationally bestselling author of the award-winning psychological suspense novel The Marsh King’s Daughter, published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons in the US and in 25 other countries, and The Wicked Sister (August 2020), also from G.P. Putnam’s Sons. The Marsh King’s Daughter was named a 2018 Michigan Notable Book, took home the Barry and the Crimson Scribe Awards for Best Novel, and was chosen as one of the best books of 2017 by many booksellers and reviewers.
In a starred review, Publishers Weekly calls The Wicked Sister “A devastating, magic realism–dusted psychological thriller . . . Dionne paints a haunting portrait of a family hurtling toward the tragic destiny they can foresee but are powerless to stop.” Visit Karen at www.karen-dionne.com
Samantha Downing is the author of the bestselling My Lovely Wife, nominated for Edgar, ITW, Macavity, and CWA awards. Amazon Studios and Nicole Kidman’s Blossom Films have partnered to produce a feature film based on the novel.
Her second book, He Started It, was released on July 21, 2020 and became an instant international bestseller. She currently lives in New Orleans.
Learn more at www.samanthadowning.com.
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author J.T. Ellison writes standalone domestic noir and psychological thriller series, the latter starring Nashville Homicide Lt. Taylor Jackson and medical examiner Dr. Samantha Owens, and co-authored the international thriller series “A Brit in the FBI” with #1 New York Times bestselling author Catherine Coulter. J.T. is also the EMMY® Award-winning co-host of the television series A Word on Words.
With millions of books in print, J.T.’s work has been published in 27 countries and 15 languages. Her novel The Cold Room won the ITW Thriller Award for Best Paperback Original. Her novels Field of Graves and Where All the Dead Lie were each a RITA® nominee for Best Romantic Suspense. She is also the author of multiple short stories. Visit her at www.jtellison.com for more information.
Her newest suspense novel, Careful What You Wish For(August, 2019), with its echoes of Marie Kondo life-changing decluttering tips, explores the relationships built by professional organizers and their clients—showing just how easily the lines between professional and personal can be blurred. In it, Emily Harlow is a professional organizer who helps people declutter their lives; she’s married to man who can’t drive past a yard sale without stopping. Sometimes she find herself wondering if he sparks joy.
Learn more at hallieephron.com.
Tori Eldridge is the Anthony, Lefty, and Macavity Awards-nominated author of The Ninja Daughter, which was named one of the “Best Mystery Books of the Year”by The South Florida Sun Sentinel and awarded 2019 Thriller Book of the Year by Authors on the Air Global Radio Network.
Tori holds a fifth-degree black belt in To-Shin Do ninjutsu and has traveled the USA teaching seminars on the ninja arts, weapons, and women’s self-protection. Find her online at ToriEldridge.com.
Joseph Finder is the New York Times bestselling author of fifteen previous suspense novels, including Judgement, The Switch, The Fixer and Suspicion. He introduced “private spy” Nick Heller in Vanished, an instant bestseller, and the continuing series includes Buried Secrets, Guilty Minds and House on Fire. Joe’s novels High Crimes and Paranoia have been adapted as major motion pictures. Guilty Minds and Company Man won the Barry Award for Best Thriller. An international bestseller, Killer Instinct won the International Thriller Writers’ Thriller Award for Best Novel. Buried Secrets won the Strand Critics Award for Best Novel.
A founding member of the International Thriller Writers, Joe is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Association of Former Intelligence Officers. He is a graduate of Yale College and the Harvard Russian Research Center, and lives in Boston.
Find him on the web at josephfinder.com.
Lisa Gardner, a #1 New York Times bestselling thriller novelist, began her career in food service, but after catching her hair on fire numerous times, she took the hint and focused on writing instead. A self-described research junkie, she has transformed her interest in police procedure and criminal minds into a streak of internationally acclaimed novels, published across 30 countries. She’s also had four books become TV movies (At the Midnight Hour; The Perfect Husband; The Survivors Club; Hide) and has made personal appearances on TruTV and CNN. Her newest novel, Before She Disappeared, is Lisa’s first standalone in more than 20 years.
Lisa’s books have received awards from across the globe. Her novel, The Neighbor, won Best Hardcover Novel from the International Thriller Writers, while also receiving the Grand Prix des Lectrices de Elle in France. She was also recognized with the Daphne du Maurier Award in 2000 for The Other Daughter. Finally, Lisa received the Silver Bullet Award from the International Thriller Writers in 2017 for her work on behalf of at-risk children and the Humane Society.
Lisa lives in New Hampshire where she spends her time with an assortment of canine companions. When not writing, she loves to hike, garden, snowshoe and play cribbage. Visit her website at www.lisagardner.com.
Ann Garvin, Ph.D. is the USA Today Bestselling author of I Thought You Said This Would Work (pre-order now), I Like You Just Fine When You’re Not Around, The Dog Year, and On Maggie’s Watch. She is in the process of writing Falling In Love Is The Easy Part which will launch in 2022.
Ann worked as an RN and after receiving her Ph.D taught Exercise Physiology, Sport Psychology Nutrition, Stress Management, and Global Health for thirty years in the University of Wisconsin system. She currently teaches creative writing at Drexel University in their low residency Masters of Fine Arts program and has held positions at Miami University and Southern New Hampshire in their Masters of Fine Arts Creative Writing programs.
Ann is the founder of the multiple award-winning Tall Poppy Writers where she is committed to helping women writers succeed. She is a sought-after speaker on writing, leadership and health and has taught extensively in NY, San Francisco, LA, Boston, and at festivals across the country.
Visit her website at anngarvin.net.
Daryl Wood Gerber is the Agatha Award-winning, nationally bestselling author of of The Fairy Garden Mysteries, featuring a fairy garden shop owner in charming Carmel, California, The French Bistro Mysteries, featuring a former chef who is now an up-and-coming bistro owner in Napa Valley, and The Cookbook Nook Mysteries, featuring an admitted foodie and owner of a cookbook store in picturesque coastal California. Under the pen name Avery Aames, Daryl writes the Agatha Award-winning, nationally bestselling The Cheese Shop Mysteries set in fictional Providence, Ohio. Daryl also writes suspense novels, including the Aspen Adams books and standalones, which have garnered terrific reviews.
Prior to her career as a novelist, Daryl wrote screenplays and created the format for the popular TV sitcom Out of this World. A fun tidbit for mystery buffs, Daryl was also an actress and co-starred on Murder, She Wrote, as well as other TV shows. Daryl is originally from the Bay Area and graduated from Stanford University. She loves to cook, read, golf, swim, and garden. She also likes adventure and has been known to jump out of a perfectly good airplane. Visit her at www.darylwoodgerber.com.
A writer since childhood, Alexia Gordon won her first writing prize in the 6th grade. She continued writing through college but put literary endeavors on hold to finish medical school and Family Medicine residency training. She established her medical career then returned to writing fiction.
Raised in the southeast, schooled in the northeast, she relocated to the west where she completed Southern Methodist University’s Writer’s Path program. She admits Texas brisket is as good as Carolina pulled pork. She practices medicine in North Chicago, IL. She enjoys the symphony, art collecting, embroidery, and ghost stories.
Learn more at alexiagordon.net.
Andrew Grant was born in Birmingham, England. He went to school in St Albans, Hertfordshire and later attended the University of Sheffield where he studied English Literature and Drama. After graduation Andrew set up and ran a small independent theatre company which showcased a range of original material to local, regional and national audiences. Following a critically successful but financially challenging appearance at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival Andrew moved into the telecommunications industry as a ‘temporary’ solution to a short-term cash crisis.
Fifteen years later, after carrying out a variety of roles including several which were covered by the UK’s Official Secrets Act, Andrew became the victim / beneficiary of a widespread redundancy programme. Freed once again from the straight jacket of corporate life, he took the opportunity to answer the question, what if … ?
Heather Gudenkauf is the Edgar Award nominated, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Weight of Silence, These Things Hidden and Not A Sound.
Heather was born in Wagner, South Dakota, the youngest of six children. Having been born with a profound unilateral hearing loss (there were many evenings when Heather and her father made a trip to the bus barn to look around the school bus for her hearing aids that she often conveniently would forget on the seat beside her), Heather tended to use books as a retreat, would climb into the toy box that her father’s students made for the family with a pillow, blanket, and flashlight, close the lid, and escape the world around her. Heather became a voracious reader and the seed of becoming a writer was planted.
Heather lives in Iowa with her family and a very spoiled German Shorthaired Pointer named Lolo. In her free time Heather enjoys spending time with her family, reading and hiking. Learn more at heathergudenkauf.com.
Rachel Howzell Hall, author of the bestseller and Anthony-, ITW- and Lefty Award-nominated They All Fall Down (Forge), writes the acclaimed Lou Norton series, including Land of Shadows, Skies of Ash, Trail of Echoes, and City of Saviors. She is also the co-author of The Good Sister with James Patterson, which was included in the New York Times bestseller The Family Lawyer.
She is currently on the board of directors for the Southern California chapter of Mystery Writers of America, and lives in Los Angeles. Her next novel And Now She’s Gone (Forge) will be published in September 2020. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter. Visit her at www.rachelhowzell.com.
Julia Heaberlin is the internationally bestselling writer of Black-Eyed Susans and Paper Ghosts, a finalist for Best Hardcover Novel by the International Thriller Writers Awards. Her latest psychological thriller, We Are All the Same in the Dark, has received a starred review from Publishers Weekly, which described her work as “exceptional.” All of her books, including Playing Dead and Lie Still, are set in the moody, diverse landscape of Texas and together they have been published in more than twenty countries.
Before writing novels, Heaberlin was an award-winning editor at newspapers that include the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, The Detroit News and The Dallas Morning News. We Are All the Same in the Dark has been optioned for television by Sister Pictures (Chernobyl, Broadchurch); Black-Eyed Susans and Paper Ghosts have been picked up by Sony Pictures. Currently at work on her sixth thriller, Heaberlin lives in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Visit her website at juliaheaberlin.com.
Patti Callahan Henry is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of fifteen novels, including the (Historical Fiction), Becoming Mrs. Lewis—The Improbable Love Story of Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis (writing as Patti Callahan). In addition, she is the recipient of The Christy Award—A 2019 Winner “Book of the Year.” ; The Harper Lee Distinguished Writer of the Year for 2020 and the Alabama Library Association Book of the Year for 2019.
The author is also the host of the popular seven-part original “Behind the Scenes of Becoming Mrs. Lewis Podcast Series” launched, October 2019. The podcast audiobook collection including bonus material was released January 2020, and available now. The new expanded Becoming Mrs. Lewis paperback edition was released March 2020.
Edwin Hill is the author of the critically-acclaimed Hester Thursby mystery series, the first of which, Little Comfort, was an Agatha Award finalist, a selection of the Mysterious Press First Mystery Club and a Publishers Marketplace Buzz Books selection.
Formerly the vice president and editorial director for Bedford/St. Martin’s (Macmillan), he now teaches at Emerson College and has written for the LA Review of Books, The Life Sentence, Publisher’s Weekly, and Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. He lives in Roslindale, Massachusetts with his partner Michael and their lab, Edith Ann.
Visit him online at www.Edwin-Hill.com.
Joe Ide is of Japanese American descent. He grew up in South Central Los Angeles. His favorite books were the Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes stories. That a person could make his way in the world and vanquish his enemies with just his intelligence fascinated him.
Eventually, he went on to university and received a graduate degree in education. He worked as a school teacher, a college lecturer, a corporate middle manager and director of an NGO that offered paralegal services and emergency shelter to indigent women. He went on to write screenplays for a number of major studios but none of the projects came to fruition. It was then he decided to write his debut novel, IQ, about an unlicensed, underground detective; a character inspired by his early experiences and love of Sherlock Holmes.
Joe lives in Santa Monica, California. Visit his website at www.joeide.com.
New York Times and USA Today bestselling novelist Joshilyn Jackson’s newest book, Never Have I Ever, is available now wherever books are sold. You can check out her previous eight novels and other work here. Joshilyn’s books have been translated into a dozen languages, have won SIBA’s Novel of the Year award, have three times been #1 Book Sense Pick, have twice won Georgia Author of the Year awards, have three times been shortlisted for the Townsend Prize for Fiction, and have been a finalist for the Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction.
A former actor, Jackson reads the audio versions of both her own novels and the books of other writers; her work in this field has been nominated for the Audie Award, was selected by AudioFile Magazine for their best of the year list, won three Earphones awards, made the 2012 Audible All-Star list for highest listener ranks/reviews, and garnered three Listen Up awards from Publisher’s Weekly.
Joshilyn learned to scuba-dive in order to write Never Have I Ever, and now she and her husband Scott are both avid divers. They live in Decatur, Georgia with their two kids, two entitled cats, and a modestly-sized dog. Visit her at joshilynjackson.com.
Hammett Award and Nero Prize-winning novelist Stephen Mack Jones is the author of the critically acclaimed thrillers August Snow and Lives Laid Away. Lives Laid Away was short-listed for the CWA-UK “Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award.”
Once-upon-a-time he worked in advertising and marketing communications for which he is deeply sorry and promises never to do that again. Mr. Jones lives in suburban Detroit and has three adult children that mostly like him. Visit his website at www.stephenmackjones.com.
Marjan Kamali is a novelist and teacher whose work has been anthologized, broadcast on BBC Radio 4, and adapted for the stage. Her recent release, The Stationery Shop, hailed by The Wall Street Journal as “a moving tale of lost love” and selected as one of NPR’s Best Books of 2019 and a Real Simple magazine’s Top Editor’s Pick is a powerful love story set against the background of a country in political turmoil.
Her debut novel, Together Tea, which was a Massachusetts Book Award Finalist, follows a mother and daughter as they embark on a return journey to Iran. A graduate of UC Berkeley with an MBA from Columbia University and an MFA from New York University, Kamali is a teacher of writing at GrubStreet and former adjunct business writing professor at Boston University. Her novels have been translated into a dozen languages.
Having lived in seven countries across five continents, she currently lives in the Boston area with her husband and two children. Learn more at marjankamali.com.
Ausma Zehanat Khan is a British-born Canadian living in the United States, whose own parents are heirs to a complex story of migration to and from three different continents. A former adjunct professor at American and Canadian universities, she holds a Ph.D. in International Human Rights Law, with the 1995 Srebrenica massacre as the main subject of her dissertation.
Previously the Editor in Chief of Muslim Girl Magazine, Ausma Zehanat Khan has moved frequently, traveled extensively, and written compulsively. She is the author of the Esa Khattak/Rachel Getty mystery series and The Khorasan Archives fantasy series. Learn more at www.ausmazehanatkhan.com.
Angie Kim is the author of the international bestseller and Edgar winner Miracle Creek, named a “Best Book of the Year” by Time, The Washington Post, Kirkus, and The Today Show, among others.
A Korean immigrant, former editor of the Harvard Law Review, and one of Variety Magazine’s inaugural “10 Storytellers to Watch,” Kim has written for Vogue, TheNew York Times Book Review, TheWashington Post, Glamour, and numerous literary journals. She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband and three sons. Visit her at angiekimbooks.com.
William Kent Krueger is the author of the New York Times bestselling Cork O’Connor mystery series, set in the great Northwoods of Minnesota. His work has received the Edgar Award, Macavity Award, multiple Anthony, Barry, and Dilys Awards, the Friends of the American Writers Prize, and has been translated into more than twenty languages.
He lives in Saint Paul and does all his creative writing in local, author-friendly coffee shops. His most recent novel This Tender Land has spent more than three months on the New York Time bestseller list. Visit his website at williamkentkrueger.com.
Mary Kubica is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of six novels, including The Good Girl, Pretty Baby, Don’t You Cry, Every Last Lie, When the Lights Go Out and The Other Mrs. A former high school history teacher, Mary holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in History and American Literature. She lives outside of Chicago with her husband and two children.
Her first novel The Good Girl was an Indie Next pick in August of 2014, received a Strand Critics Nomination for Best First Novel and was a nominee in the Goodreads Choice Awards in Debut Goodreads Author and in Mystery & Thriller for 2014. Mary’s novels have been translated into over thirty languages and have sold over two million copies worldwide. She’s been described as “a helluva storyteller,” (Kirkus Reviews) and “a writer of vice-like control,” (Chicago Tribune), and her novels have been praised as “hypnotic” (People) and “thrilling and illuminating” (Los Angeles Times).
Learn more at marykubica.com.
Strong Enough to Die, Strong Justice, Strong at the Break, Strong Vengeance, Strong Rain Falling (winner of the 2014 International Book Award and 2013 USA Best Book Award for Mystery-Suspense), Strong Darkness (winner of the 2014 USA Books Best Book Award and the 2015 International Book Award for Thriller, and Strong Light of Day which won the 2016 International Book Award for Best Thriller-Adventure, the 2015 Books and Author Award for Best Mystery Thriller, and the 2016 Beverly Hills Book Award for Best Mystery.
Learn more at www.jonlandbooks.com.
Caroline Leavitt is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of With or Without You, which was a Good Morning America online Best Book Pick, Cruel Beautiful World, Is This Tomorrow, Pictures of You, Girls In Trouble, Coming Back To Me, Living Other Lives, Into Thin Air, Family, Jealousies, Lifelines, and Meeting Rozzy Halfway. Various titles were optioned for film, translated into different languages, and condensed in magazines.
Her many essays, stories, book reviews and articles have appeared in Salon, Psychology Today, The New York Times Sunday Book Review, The New York Times Modern Love, Publisher’s Weekly, People, Real Simple, New York Magazine, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe and numerous anthologies. She won First Prize in Redbook Magazine’s Young Writers Contest for her short story, “Meeting Rozzy Halfway,” which grew into the novel. The recipient of a New York Foundation of the Arts Award for Fiction for Into Thin Air, she was also a National Magazine Award nominee for personal essay, and she was awarded an honorable mention, Goldenberg Prize for Fiction from the Bellevue Literary Review, for “Breathe,” a portion of Pictures of You. In addition, she was a finalist in both feature films and pilot in the Sundance Screenwriters lab. A book critic for People, AARP and the San Francisco Chronicle, she teaches novel story structure at Stanford and UCLA Writers Program Extension online.
She lives in Hoboken, New Jersey, New York City’s unofficial sixth borough, with her husband, the writer Jeff Tamarkin, and has an actor/writer son, Max. Learn more at carolineleavitt.com.
Raised in the Midwest, Greer Macallister is a novelist, poet and playwright who earned her MFA in creative writing from American University. Her debut novel The Magician’s Lie was a USA Today bestseller, an Indie Next pick, and a Target Book Club selection.
Her novels Girl in Disguise (“a rip-roaring, fast-paced treat to read” – Booklist) and Woman 99 (“a nail biter that makes you want to stand up and cheer” – Kate Quinn) were inspired by pioneering 19th-century private detective Kate Warne and fearless journalist Nellie Bly, respectively.
Her next book, The Arctic Fury, is forthcoming from Sourcebooks in December 2020.
A regular contributor to Writer Unboxed and the Chicago Review of Books, she lives with her family in Washington, DC. Learn more at www.greermacallister.com.
The New York Times Book Review called McMahon “one of those rare writers who seems to have sprung out of nowhere” and whose debut novel is “pretty much perfect.”
In his role as an ad agency creative director, he has won a Gold Clio for his work on Fiat, and he’s written a Super Bowl spot for Alfa Romeo.
He currently lives in Southern California with his family and two rescue animals. Learn more at www.johnmcmahonbooks.com.
Christina McDonald is the USA Today bestselling author of Behind Every Lie and The Night Olivia Fell (Simon & Schuster/Gallery Books), which has been optioned for television by a major Hollywood studio. Her third book, Do No Harm, is available February 2021.
Her writing has been featured in The Sunday Times, Dublin, USAToday.com, and Expedia. Originally from Seattle, WA, she has an MA in Journalism from the National University of Ireland Galway, and now lives in London, England with her husband, two sons, and their dog, Tango. She’s currently working on her next novel. Visit her at christina-mcdonald.com.
Kristina McMorris is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author published by Sourcebooks Landmark, Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, and Kensington Books. Her novels have garnered more than two dozen prestigious awards and nominations, including the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, RWA’s RITA® Award, and a Goodreads Choice Award for Best Historical Fiction.
Since her debut released in 2011, Kristina’s published works have expanded to include the novels Bridge of Scarlet Leaves, The Pieces We Keep, and The Edge of Lost, and Sold on a Monday in addition to her novellas in the anthologies A Winter Wonderland and Grand Central. Rights to her books have also been sold to numerous foreign publishers, Readers Digest, Doubleday, the Literary Guild, and more.
A frequent guest speaker and workshop presenter, McMorris holds a B.S. in International Marketing from Pepperdine University. For her diverse achievements, she has been named one of Portland’s “Forty Under 40” by The Business Journal. She lives with her husband and two sons in Oregon, where she is still sleep deprived but eagerly working on her next novel. Learn more at kristinamcmorris.com.
Jenn McKinlay is the New York Times, USA Today, and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author of several mystery and romance series. She is also the winner of the RT Reviewer’s Choice Award for romantic comedy and the Fresh Fiction award for best cozy mystery.
A TEDx speaker, she is always happy to talk books, writing, reading, and the creative process to anyone who cares to listen. She lives in sunny Arizona in a house that is overrun with kids, pets, and her husband’s guitars.
Visit her website at: www.jennmckinlay.com
Hannah Mary McKinnon was born in the UK, grew up in Switzerland and moved to Canada in 2010. After a successful career in recruitment, she quit the corporate world in favor of writing. While her debut, Time After Time, was a rom com, she transitioned to the dark side thereafter.
Her bestselling suspense novels include The Neighbors, Her Secret Son, and Sister Dear. Hannah Mary lives in Oakville, Ontario, with her husband and three sons. For more information visit www.hannahmarymckinnon.com
She has also written several books for young adults, including Come Find Me, Fragments of the Lost, and The Safest Lies. She grew up in New Jersey, graduated from MIT, and lives in North Carolina with her husband and two children.
Her next adult suspense, Such a Quiet Place, will be published on July 13th, 2021.
Visit her at meganmiranda.com.
Jacquelyn Mitchard is the number one New York Times bestselling author of twelve novels for adults, including The Deep End of the Ocean, which was the inaugural selection of the Oprah Winfrey Book Club and also made into a major feature film. The editor of a realistic Young Adult imprint, Merit Press, Mitchard also is the author of seven novels for Young Adults.
Her work has won the Bram Stoker and Shirley Jackson awards, as well as the UK’s Walkabout Prize and was short-listed for the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction. She is a professor of Creative Writing at Vermont College of Fine Arts and a contributing editor for More magazine. Mitchard grew up in Chicago, and now lives on Cape Cod with her family.
Learn more at jacquelynmitchard.com.
Paula Munier is the USA Today bestselling author of the Mercy Carr mysteries. A Borrowing of Bones, the first in the series, was nominated for the Mary Higgins Clark Award and named the Dogwise Book of the Year. Blind Search was inspired by the real-life rescue of a little boy with autism who got lost in the woods. The Hiding Place debuts in March 2021.
Paula credits the hero dogs of Mission K9 Rescue, her own rescue dogs, and a deep love of New England as her series’ major influences. Paula has also written three popular books on writing: Plot Perfect, The Writer’s Guide to Beginnings, and Writing with Quiet Hands, as well as Fixing Freddie and Happier Every Day. Visit her website at paulamunier.com.
Kelly Mustian grew up in Natchez, Mississippi, the southern terminus of the historic Natchez Trace. Her work has appeared in numerous literary journals and commercial magazines, and her short fiction has won a Blumenthal Writers and Readers Series Award.
She is a past recipient of a Regional Artist Grant from the North Carolina Arts and Science Council. Kelly currently lives with her family near the foothills of North Carolina. The Girls in the Stilt House is her debut novel.
Visit her website at kellymustian.com.
Amy Sue Nathan is the author of Left to Chance, The Glass Wives, and The Good Neighbor (St. Martins) and The Last Bathing Beauty (Lake Union). Amy is the founder of WomensFictionWriters.com, which was named a Best Website for Writers by Writer’s Digest.
Born and raised in Philadelphia and a graduate of Temple University with a Bachelor’s in Journalism, Amy now lives in Chicago after twenty-six years away, and is the proud mom of two grown children and a willing servant to one rescued grey cat named Riggins aka Good Boy.
In addition to being a writer and book coach, Amy is a former-vegetarian, not-so-secret crafter, chocolate enthusiast, and lipstick collector. Find her at amysuenathan.com.
Weaned on the images of Kirby and Steranko in comics and Hammet and Himes in prose, Gary Phillips was born under a bad sign and only through writing does he hope to get out from under. His latest novel is Matthew Henson and the Ice Temple of Harlem.
For more of his work, please visit his website at: www.gdphillips.com.
Lori Rader-Day is the Edgar Award-nominated and Anthony and Mary Higgins Clark award-winning author of The Lucky One, Under a Dark Sky, The Day I Died, Little Pretty Things, and The Black Hour. She lives in Chicago, where she is co-chair of the mystery readers’ conference Murder and Mayhem in Chicago and the national president of Sisters in Crime.
Learn more at loriraderday.com.
New York Times and USA Today bestselling novelist Deanna Raybourn is a 6th-generation native Texan. Her novels have been nominated for numerous awards including five RITAs, two RT Reviewers’ Choice awards, the Agatha, two Dilys Winns, a Last Laugh, and three du Mauriers.
Her Lady Julia Grey novels are currently in development as a television series in the UK and she launched a new Victorian mystery series with the 2015 release of A Curious Beginning, featuring intrepid butterfly-hunter and amateur sleuth, Veronica Speedwell. Veronica’s most recent adventure is A Perilous Undertaking (January 2017), and book three, A Treacherous Curse, was published in January 2018.
Married to her college sweetheart and the mother of one, Raybourn makes her home in Virginia. Learn more at www.deannaraybourn.com.
Renee Rosen is the bestselling author of historical fiction. Her novels include Park Avenue Summer, Windy City Blues, White Collar Girl, What the Lady Wants and Dollface as well as the young adult novel, Every Crooked Pot. Her new novel, The Social Graces, a story about Mrs. Astor and Mrs. Vanderbilt vying for control of New York society during the Gilded Age, will be out April 20, 2021 from Penguin Random House/Berkley).
Renee is a native of Akron, Ohio and a graduate of The American University in Washington DC. She now lives in Chicago where she is at work on a new novel. Visit her website at reneerosen.com.
Wade Rouse is the internationally bestselling author of eleven books, translated into 20 languages. Wade chose his grandmother’s name, Viola Shipman, as pen name to honor the woman whose heirlooms inspire his fiction.
Wade’s books have been selected as Must-Reads by NBC’s Today Show, Indie Next Picks, Michigan Notable Book of the Year, and featured in the Washington Post, USA Today and on Chelsea Lately. Dorothea Benton Frank said, “Every so often a new voice in fiction arrives to charm, entertain and remind us what matters. Viola Shipman is that voice.”
His new novel, The Clover Girls, publishes May 18. He hosts Wine & Words with Wade, A Literary Happy Hour, every Thursday on the Viola Shipman Facebook Page at 6:30 p.m. EST. Visit Wade at waderouse.com.
Hank Phillippi Ryan is the USA Today bestselling author of eleven award winning novels of suspense. National reviews have called her a “master at crafting suspenseful mysteries” and “a superb and gifted storyteller.” Her 2020 book is The First to Lie. The Publishers Weekly Starred Review calls it “Stellar.” Hank is also an award-winning investigative reporter at Boston’s WHDH-TV. In addition to 36 EMMYs and 14 Edward R. Murrow awards, Hank’s won dozens of other honors for her ground-breaking journalism.
Hank is a founding teacher at Mystery Writers of America University and served as 2013 president of national Sisters in Crime. She blogs at Jungle Red Writers and Career Authors. Learn more about Hank at www.HankPhillippiRyan.com.
Now a full-time writer, Riley is the author of Final Girls, an international bestseller that’s been published in 25 languages, and the New York Times bestsellers The Last Time I Lied and Lock Every Door. His latest book, HOME BEFORE DARK, is available now.
A native of Pennsylvania, he now lives in Princeton, New Jersey.
Visit his website at www.rileysagerbooks.com.
Kelly Simmons is a former journalist, advertising creative director and the author of six novels sold in a dozen countries: Standing Still and The Bird House (Simon & Schuster) One More Day, The Fifth of July, Where She Went, and Not My Boy (Sourcebooks).
She teaches in the Drexel University MFA program, and is a member of WFWA, Tall Poppy Writers and The Liars Club, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping fledgling novelists.
Additionally, she co-helms the weekly writers podcast “Liars Club Oddcast.”
Kelly was born the same day as Dorothy Parker. Coincidence? She thinks not. Visit her at kellysimmonsbooks.com.
Lori Nelson Spielman is a New York Times, USA Today, and internationally bestselling author whose novels have hit #1 in six different countries. Formerly a speech pathologist, guidance counselor, and teacher of homebound students, she holds master’s degrees in speech pathology and guidance counseling.
Lori enjoys fitness running, traveling, and reading, though writing is her true passion. Her first novel, The Life List, has been published in thirty countries and optioned by Fox 2000. Her second novel, Sweet Forgiveness, was also an international bestseller. Her third book, The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany, released November 17, 2020.
Lori lives in Michigan with her husband and their very spoiled puppy.
Learn more at LoriNelsonSpielman.com
Julia Spencer-Fleming is The New York Times bestselling author of One Was A Soldier, and an Agatha, Anthony, Dilys, Barry, Macavity, and Gumshoe Award winner. She studied acting and history at Ithaca College and received her J.D. at the University of Maine School of Law.
Her books have been shortlisted for the Edgar, Nero Wolfe, and Romantic Times RC awards. Julia lives in a 190-year-old farmhouse in southern Maine.
Learn more at us.macmillan.com/author/juliaspencerfleming
Jessica Strawser is the editor-at-large at Writer’s Digest, where she served as editorial director for nearly a decade and became known for her in-depth cover interviews with such luminaries as David Sedaris and Alice Walker. She’s the author of the book club favorites Almost Missed You, a Barnes & Noble Best New Fiction pick; Not That I Could Tell, a Book of the Month bestseller; and her latest, Forget You Know Me, now new in paperback. Her fourth novel, A Million Reasons Why, is coming in March 2021 (all from St. Martin’s Press).
Honored as the 2019 Writer-in-Residence at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Strawser has written for The New York Times Modern Love, Publishers Weekly and other fine venues, and lives in Cincinnati with her husband and two children. A contributing editor for Career Authors and an active Tall Poppy Writer, she keynotes frequently for book clubs, libraries, writing conferences, and other events that are kind enough to invite her. Visit her website at jessicastrawser.com.
Cynthia Swanson is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Bookseller, which is soon to be a motion picture starring Julia Roberts. An Indie Next selection and the winner of the 2016 WILLA Award for Historical Fiction, The Bookseller is being translated into eighteen languages. It was nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award and the MPIBA Reading the West Award.
Cynthia’s second novel, The Glass Forest, released from Touchstone / Simon & Schuster in 2018. She lives with her family in Denver, Colorado.
Find Cynthia online at www.cynthiaswansonauthor.com
Peter Swanson is the author of six novels, including The Kind Worth Killing, winner of the New England Society Book Award, and finalist for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger, Her Every Fear, an NPR book of the year; and his most recent, Eight Perfect Murders. His books have been translated into over 30 languages, and his stories, poetry, and features have appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction, The Atlantic Monthly, Measure, The Guardian, The Strand Magazine, and Yankee Magazine.
Learn more at peter-swanson.com.
Sarah Stewart Taylor is the author of the Sweeney St. George series and the Maggie D’arcy series. She grew up on Long Island, and was educated at Middlebury College in Vermont and Trinity College, Dublin, where she studied Irish Literature.
She has worked as a journalist and writing teacher and now lives with her family on a farm in Vermont where they raise sheep and grow blueberries.
Visit Sarah at www.sarahstewarttaylor.com.
Lisa Unger is a New York Times and internationally bestselling author. With books published in twenty-six languages and millions of copies sold worldwide, she is widely regarded as a master of suspense. Her new release is Confessions on the 7:45.
Unger’s critically acclaimed books have been named on “Best Book” lists from the Today show, Good Morning America, Entertainment Weekly, People, Amazon, Goodreads, and many others. She has been nominated for, or won, numerous awards including the Hammett Prize, Macavity, Thriller Award, and Goodreads Choice. In 2019, she received two Edgar Award nominations, an honor held by only a few authors, including Agatha Christie. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, and Travel+Leisure.
She lives on the west coast of Florida with her family. Learn more at lisaunger.com.
Wendy Walker is the author of the psychological suspense novels All is Not Forgotten, Emma In The Night, The Night Before and Don’t Look For Me. Her novels have been translated into 23 foreign languages and have topped bestseller lists both nationally and abroad. They have been featured on The Today Show, The Reese Witherspoon Book Club, and The Book of the Month Club and have been optioned for television and film.
Prior to her writing career, Wendy practiced both corporate and family law, and as a financial analyst at Goldman, Sachs & Co. Wendy is currently finishing her next thriller and managing a busy household in Connecticut. Find her at WendyWalkerBooks.com
Heather Webb is the USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of seven historical novels. In 2015, Rodin’s Lover was a Goodread’s Top Pick, and in 2018, Last Christmas in Paris won the Women’s Fiction Writers Association STAR Award. Meet Me in Monaco, was selected as a finalist for the 2020 Goldsboro RNA award in the UK, as well as the 2019 Digital Book World’s Fiction prize.
To date, Heather’s books have been translated to over a dozen languages. She lives in New England with her family and one feisty rabbit.
Visit her website at heatherwebbauthor.com.
David Heska Wanbli Weiden, an enrolled member of the Sicangu Lakota nation, is author of the novel Winter Counts (Ecco/HarperCollins, 2020). Winter Counts has been selected as an Amazon Best Book of August, Best of the Month by Apple Books, a September main selection of the Book of the Month Club, and is an Indie Next Great Reads pick for September.
The novel received rave reviews from New York Times, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Washington Post, Shelf Awareness, Booklist, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Denver Post, USA Today, San Francisco Chronicle, BookPage, Air Mail, Fredricksburg Free-Lance Star, and Los Angeles Times. It was mentioned as one of 2020’s most anticipated books by Library Journal, O, the Oprah Magazine, USA Today, Washington Post, Time, Salon, CrimeReads, Mystery Tribune, BuzzFeed, The Rumpus, Electric Lit, Betches, Shondaland, Dandelion Chandelier, Popsugar, Debutiful, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Observer, Lit Hub, AARP Magazine, The Millions, The Writer, and Book Riot.
Learn more at davidweiden.com.
Lauren Willig is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than twenty works of historical fiction, including Band of Sisters, The Summer Country, The English Wife, the RITA Award-winning Pink Carnation series, and three novels co-written with Beatriz Williams and Karen White.
Her books have been translated into over a dozen languages, awarded the RITA, Booksellers Best, and Golden Leaf awards, and chosen for the American Library Association’s annual list of the best genre fiction.
An alumna of Yale University, she has a graduate degree in history from Harvard and a JD from Harvard Law School. She lives in New York City with her husband, two young children, and vast quantities of coffee. Learn more at laurenwillig.com.