BookFest 2018 Authors
Lauren Wolk is a novelist, poet, visual artist, and Associate Director at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod. Her haunting coming-of-age novel, Wolf Hollow (May 2016, Dutton / Penguin Random House) won the 2016 New England Children’s Book Award and her latest novel, Beyond the Bright Sea (May 2, 2107) made the School Library Journal’s Best Books of 2017. She’s also our Featured Author for the Friday Night Event this year, come meet her in person!
Michael Nyers is a designer, mixed media artist, ENFJ, mental health advocate, doer, dreamer, and all-around funny guy from Youngstown, Ohio. Mike’s passion is blackout poetry, which he sees as a look into the subconscious mind that can promote mindfulness and creativity, benefiting overall well-being and mental health.
Founder of the Mindful Writers Groups, Madhu Bazaz Wangu has published novels and books on Buddhism and Hinduism. She is winner of Indie Excellence Book Award and Next Generation Indie Book Award. Currently she is working on Writing and Living Mindfully: A Guidebook for Writers. Her CDs “Meditations for Mindful Writers” help writers to cultivate focus, remove blocks and increase flow.
R. L. Roush sets the first book of her YA science fiction trilogy, The Eagle’s Eyes, in Beaver County. The story pieces together the adventures of fifteen-year-old Kristen Elliot, and her twelve-year-old brother, Lawrence, a Native American myth, and the realization that some beings in the Milky Way Galaxy are pure evil.
“Ellen Roth is an enchantress as if she came out of one of her stories. She reminds us that fairy tales are not just childhood fantasies, but can engage, delight, surprise and inspire us at any age.” —Carl Kurlander, Screenwriter, St. Elmo’s Fire. Ten Fingers Touching is an award-winning fairy tale for adults.
Alicia Stankay is a local fiction writer and photographer. Her most recent endeavors include her Natural Splendor photo exhibition at the Merrick Art Gallery in October 2017. Also, she is hard at work on the second book in a series, following last year’s release of Summer of Secrets: A Stonecliff Mystery.
Viki Doyle Heagy hopes her writing will make a difference in the lives of children. The characters in her books will inspire and motivate children, as well as provide a springboard for parents and teachers to discuss issues facing children today.
Originally from Hookstown, first-time author Logan Russell holds a degree in Molecular Biology and works and lives in Pittsburgh as a genetics researcher. Inspired by the unanswered questions of his field, he wrote LUCA, a futuristic science fiction novel about the first artificial life form.
David B. Seaburn is the author of six novels, including Charlie No Face, a finalist for the Indie Excellence Award (2011), and his most recent work, Parrot Talk, which was shortlisted for the Somerset Award (2018) and also placed second in fiction for the TAZ Award (2017). Seaburn teaches writing at Writers and Books in Rochester, N.Y. He writes a blog, Going Out Not Knowing, for Psychology Today magazine. He is also a retired marriage and family therapist, psychologist, and minister. Seaburn and his wife, Bonnie, were born and raised in Ellwood City, Pa.
Robert Herring is a resident of Pittsburgh, Pa. He also has a associate degree in Computer Drafting and Design.
Frederic S. Durbin’s fantasy novel A Green and Ancient Light was named a Reading List Honor Book by the American Library Association. He is also the author of the fantasy Dragonfly and the children’s book The Star Shard, as well as short fiction and poetry. He is a frequent presenter of interactive writing workshops for schools and libraries.
Ed grew up in the mill town of Hazelwood, Pa. He’s an avid outdoorsman and holds a degree black belt in Shotokan karate and an associate’s degree in business. He also has an aeronautics degree and a A&P license. He’s employed at American Airlines/USAirways. He has been published in Adelaide literary magazine and will be at BookFest selling his books of poetry, Through the Eyes of a Lost Boy and One Kiss, Just One Kiss.
Susan Lower is a thrifty, creative, adventurous gal who loves black raspberry ice cream and chocolate. She and her family reside in Pennsylvania near the home of the most famous chocolate factory. When she’s not writing, Susan enjoys reading, family adventures, and crafting. To lean more about Susan and her books, visit her at readslower.com.
Charles N. Cantella
Charles N. Cantella stumbles through life, and trout streams, searching for profound meaning, and perhaps an occasional fish or two. Seldom is he successful in either pursuit. The good news is that his misfortunes are your good fortune in that the (pick an adjective: stupid/ awkward/ silly/ foolish) things he does make for some entertaining reading.
Rebecca is a writer, storyteller, author, and blogger. A sucker for a happy ending, Rebecca strives to write the kind of stories she loves to read—gritty, suspenseful, and featuring authentic, edgy and vulnerable characters, smack dab in the middle of action that explodes from page one.
Emily and her family moved to Beaver three years ago because they fell in love with the small-town feeling, the neighborhoods, the history, and all of the small businesses. Emily is so proud to now be a small business owner in Beaver County as a Nutritional Therapist, Personal Trainer, and Holistic Nutritionist.
Martina Fetzer writes fast-paced, funny science fiction. Her novels aren’t the place to go for lengthy drama and scientific explanations. They’re the place to go when you want to read about space hipsters teaming up with Puritans or cyborgs trying to get Hamilton tickets. She resides in West Virginia with two cats and is afraid of Benedict Cumberbatch.
Ruth Webster was born and raised in Covington, Kentucky, and now lives in metro Pittsburgh. She is a retired National Board Certified Teacher, having specialized in language arts and U.S. History. Ruth was a newspaper columnist for more than seven years. Her most recent award was the 2017 Author Zone award for 1st Place in Historical Fiction for Henry.
Joshua David Bellin writes YA science fiction and fantasy. He’s the author of the Survival Colony series (Survival Colony 9 and Scavenger of Souls), the deep-space adventure Freefall, and Ecosystem, the first book in a YA trilogy about a future Earth in which the natural world has mutated into a sentient being. He likes monsters. Really scary monsters.
Kerry Trent Haggard
Kerry Trent Haggard is the founder and host of “Wheels of the Past” productions based in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. His new novel, Traveler, is based on the April 17, 1897, Aurora Texas alien crash. It is an entertaining tale based on the actual event and the fictional hunt for the alien 100 years later and an in-depth look at how the story possibly played out in the old West.
Kathy Jean Bingle, AKA Grandma Jeanie Beanie, always dreamed of writing children’s books since her college days at the University of Pittsburgh when earning a degree in Child Development/Child Care. The arrival of her granddaughter Elizabeth birthed the inspiration for her first book, Grandma Jeanie Beanie and the Love Names, which is dedicated to Kathy’s own “Gran,” who always showered her with the “love names” beautifully illustrated in the book by Kathy’s childhood friend, Terri Steppe. Kathy continued the Grandma Jeanie Beanie series with Grandma Jeanie Beanie and the Love to-do List and her newest book Grandma Jeanie Beanie Loves Two, which will be unveiled at BookFest 2018! Kathy is the managing partner of a local architecture firm and lives in Beaver. She and her husband, Patrick, are blessed with two children, Lana and Tyler, and two amazing granddaughters, Elizabeth and Luca.
Linda M. Au enjoys comedy, computer gadgets, typewriters, office supplies, reading, movies, adventure games, and crocheting. Clearly she’s an adrenaline junkie. She’s done prepress work in publishing since the 1980s—well, she stops periodically for snacks and stuff. This year Linda will have six books for sale at BookFest—three humor books and three novels.
Wendelin Gray is a linguist, writer, dancer, and long-time volunteer with the Silk Screen Asian Arts Organization in Pittsburgh, Pa. She has also written five novels, including the award-winning, genre-bending ghost story The Haunting at Ice Pine Peak.
Wende Dikec is the award-winning author of three young adult novels, and six adult novels under the pen name Abigail Drake. After majoring in Japanese and Economics at the University of Pittsburgh, she traveled the world, gathering stories wherever she visited. She now lives in Beaver with her husband, sons, and a naughty Labrador named Capone.
Carrie Zuberbuhler Kennedy
A Beaver County native, Carrie is currently the Artist-in-Residence at Baden Academy Charter School. Her first book, Panorama: An Introduction to Classical Mythology, earned a national IPPY Award for excellence in independent publishing. Her second book, Square One: A Simple Guide to a Balanced Life, was co-written with Pittsburgh neurosurgeon Dr. Joseph Maroon. She is currently working on a third book in collaboration with The American Youth Foundation.
Nadette Rae Rodgers is a young author who published her first novel, Illusion, at just eighteen. Nadette lives and writes in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The idea for The Illusion Trilogy came from Nadette’s interest in dreams. She hopes her writing will inspire her readers to follow their dreams. Nadette is also the author of children’s book Hoo Loves You.
Bestselling author Kathleen Shoop writes historical fiction, women’s fiction, and romance. Shoop’s novels have garnered various awards in the Eric Hoffer Book Awards, Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPY), Next Generation Indie Book Awards, and Readers’ Favorite. Kathleen has been featured in USA Today and the Writer’s Guide to 2013.
Sheila Rae Myers is a resident of New Sewickley Township. She has been writing since 2009 and has several novels (crime fiction and adventure) and Christian nonfiction books (various topics) published. She writes for the love of writing.
Pittsburgh-based, bestselling fantasy author Cat Bruno creates superhero-like protagonists and complex villains in her mythology-laced series, Pathway of the Chosen. Midwest Book Review praised Ms. Bruno’s debut novel, The Girl from the North, as “Exceptional entertainment with deftly created characters and unexpected plot twists.”
Trisha felt she had a story inside her to add to the list of self-published authors, so she put herself to the test, and Safer With You was born. Trisha’s a mom of two beautiful girls, a wife, and has two fur babies, an unlikely pair: a black Lab and a Maltese.Visit her at trishamadley.com.
Scott is a local author who has recently published his first children’s book along with his close friend Alec Traub. He lives in Allison Park with his wife, Anne, and son, Alec.
Stefanie Hohl, M.Ed., has been teaching children to read for years. Through her experience teaching preschool, homeschooling, and running storytime at a local bookstore, Stefanie has developed the ABC See, Hear, Do series of Learn-to-Read books. She lives in Pittsburgh with her husband and five children.
Trang Moreland grew up in southern Viet Nam. At age 21, she emigrated to the United States. After overcoming language and cultural barriers, she was able to finish trade school and become a successful business owner. Trang is a published author, motivational speaker, and vice president of the Tuscarawas County Writers’ Guild..
Daisy Beiler Townsend lives in Greenville, Pa. She has been published in Guideposts, The Upper Room, The Secret Place, and many other Christian publications. She published an autobiographical devotional book, Homespun Faith, in 2014, and Book 1 in the Sarah’s Legacy series in 2018.
Larry Ivkovich’s speculative fiction has been published in over twenty online and print publications, including Shoreline of Infinity, Across the Karman Line, and TV Gods II. He has been a finalist in the L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future contest and was the 2010 recipient of the CZP/Rannu Fund award for fiction.
Jeremie Guy graduated from Towson University with an English degree and a creative writing minor. He has written and edited freelance for a number of organizations, and he sometimes dabbles as a ghostwriter for fiction and nonfiction. He has won first place in a handful of writing contests, and his creative works have appeared in a variety of publications, including an appearance in Earthbound Fiction’s short story anthology Dark Stars. He is a member of Lambda Iota Tau, international literary honors society.
For twenty-six years Cindy’s life whirled around a song and a dance. She was a professional dancer/choreographer. Nowadays she spends most of her time in front of a laptop. She has written eleven novels—suspense, five novellas, cozy mystery, and three children’s books. She lives at her forty-five-acre horse farm in Hookstown, Pennsylvania.
Abbey Faith is a twenty-two-year-old graduate student and daycare teacher. Her hobbies include petting fluffy dogs, telling three-year-olds to sit down, and hanging out with her family. She collects strange Victorian objects, including a xylophone, baby dolls, shoes, dresses, and so much more.
Susan Kimmel Wright explores places both ordinary and mysterious and writes to report back. Sometimes that may take the form of personal experience in a Chicken Soup for the Soul book. Other times, experiences get put through the creative wringer and come back out as mystery novels. Life’s a road trip!
Paul is an Army officer with more than 30 years of service. He is originally from upstate New York, but has traveled extensively. Paul is an author of nonfiction military history, with two books completed and a third on the way. In addition to books, Paul has written multiple articles in military publications. Paul brings his two books to us, one of which includes unique and interesting military stories, and one contains military mistakes and misfortunes.
Joseph Max Lewis writes old-school thrillers. His first novel, The Diaries of Pontius Pilate, has been optioned for development as a motion picture by Hollywood producers Chuck Konzelman and Cary Solomon of Believe Entertainment. His recent release, Hell Rises, is his fourth novel. Learn more at josephmaxlewis.com.
Alan is a children’s author from central Ohio who visits schools from Minnesota to New York. He’s also a musician/songwriter and uses music in his school presentations to demonstrate the various ways a story can be told. He’s written picture books for grades K-2, a medieval trilogy for grades 3-5, and a YA thriller for middle school and high school students. His first novel for grown-ups (or the grown-up kids in all of us) is a story about Santa Claus to be published this fall.
Joe Wos has been a professional cartoonist since the age of 14. His syndicated feature MazeToons is distributed worldwide through Creators Syndicate and he is the creator of a best-selling series of maze books from Barron’s Educational Books. With great delight, he has heard every variation of the phrase “A-maze-ing.”
Karen E. Howell
Karen lives in rural Southwestern Pennsylvania and has been a professional watercolorist for over 40 years. River Reflections, a watercolor collection of the Yough River Trail, was her first publication. Since then, she has produced Capturing the Moment, four decades of Nature Painting, and most recently she tapped into her inner child and gave birth to a series of children’s books called Alex and the Iguana in Red Tennis Shoes. “Growing old is mandatory…growing up is optional.”
With love for books and instrumental music, J.B. Pierce pens worlds of adventure and creates captivating characters that are sure to resonate with each reader, young, old, and in-between.
Audrey Jane Snyder is retired after working in the corporate environment for 40+ years in the fields of human resource management and customer and community service. Audrey holds a BA in Business Communications and a Masters in Professional Leadership. Audrey is a member of PennWriters, Sisters In Crime, and Mindful Writers Group. Audrey grew up in Pittsburgh.
Patricia Miller grew up in a small town in Ohio and has worked as a mental health clinical counselor for the past 25 years. When not writing, she enjoys hiking/biking weekend trips or indulging in British murder mystery marathons. Her debut YA Sci Fi novel Joshua: Life After Theos was released in November 2017 and is the first of a trilogy.
Baden Academy, a public charter school in Western Pennsylvania, works to integrates the arts and sciences in a highly interactive, hands-on environment. The Media Lab is a special opportunity for students to apply. Once accepted, Research Fellow authors create books with leading scientists, academics, and professionals.
Dee McKay comes from a long history of storytellers. Her first endeavor was to put together a collection of stories from her grandfather (written in the 1890s) and her mother (written in the 1940s). She lives with her husband, Buzz, in Monaca, Pa.
Greg Dillensnyder is a retired psychotherapist. He makes his home in the Pittsburgh area with his wife and three cats; two adult sons and their families are nearby, and his granddaughter and grandson are the joys of his life. Greg has his roots in a small eastern Pennsylvania town similar to the town Mountain City in Murder at Mountain Tavern, his first novel.
Tony Lavorgne is an independent researcher of the unexplained. He specializes in obscure paranormal and anthropological topics. A native of Pittsburgh, he was a contributing writer in the book Supernatural Lore of Pennsylvania: Ghosts, Monsters, and Miracles, and co-author of Haunted Roads of Western Pennsylvania. Tony also has a bi-weekly podcast.
2018 International Book Awards Finalist Stephanie Keyes writes books for teens and adults. Her titles range from the bestselling YA Fantasy series, The Star Child, to steamy new adult romance in The Internship of Pippa Darling. She writes damaged characters who learn to save themselves and firmly believes Nutella is a food group.
Melanie Colusci is the founder and president of From Start-up to Success. Is running a successful business your dream? Then you need this quick-read guide for setting your business up and plunging in the right direction. This is the book that business owners wish they had when they first got their brilliant idea! It will help you unleash your potential, plot your path, and conquer some of the unknowns of new business ownership. Melanie is also the President of Bridger Financial Group, a highly successful financial planning firm in Pittsburgh, Pa. She has won numerous national and local financial industry awards and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes’ Wealth Managers Black Book, and Pittsburgh Magazine.
Author/Illustrator Catherine Dawgert loves books, words, color, found objects, and making messes. While novels were her first true narrative love, she finds picture books an amazingly satisfying and challenging form in which to play with language, character, and design.
Damian and Em Bouch are a married couple brought together by their love of writing and reading! Damian published No Delight in Fools in 2013, hoping to give a fresh coat of ink to the dystopian genre. Em published Moving the Chains this past April, a young adult novel that deals with mental health issues in a realistic and hopeful way.
International award-winning author and illustrator Leea Baltes is the recipient of the 2017 Wishing Shelf Bronze Medal in London, England. Her beautifully illustrated children’s books are done in soft watercolors, reflecting her love and appreciation of Beatrix Potter, and are inspirational stories that convey hope and gratitude.
Anne Marie is a writer, teacher, and former organizational development consultant. She now runs Wildflower Vibes Writing. She also edits and proofreads other authors’ creations. Anne Marie lives with her husband and their two growing boys. Her writing partner is an eighty-pound hot water bottle of a puppy.
Chris McClean is an award-winning novelist, graphic designer, and short story writer. He created the CrimeFighters: Defenders of Justice characters. The CrimeFighters are a diverse group of heroes that teach safety lessons to young readers.
Joey is a wife, mother, and writer in the north suburbs of Pittsburgh. In the summer of 2017, she published her first novel, No Room for Hondo. The story is deeply personal, a fictionalized account of her struggles with postpartum psychosis after the birth of her daughter.
Wayne Cole has written 20 books on local railroad, steel mill, and streetcar history. He’ll be selling a variety of these books at BookFest this year.
Susan Reith Swan has been writing seriously since 1991, being published in numerous newspapers, magazines, devotionals, and anthologies. Her book, LifeSavers: 20 Quick and Easy-to-Use Bible Lessons for Kids, was published by Judson Press. Lately, she has created and published the first four journals in what is called “The Thoughtful Quotes Journal Series,” is an outside editor for Whitaker House Publishing, and writes both fiction and nonfiction picture books.
Katie Blanchard was born and lives in Southwestern Pennsylvania with her husband and two children. When she isn’t writing, you can find her chasing them around or crocheting in the downtime. Pressing Flowers is Katie’s debut novel, released at the beginning of 2018. She is already writing and plotting more books to come.