2019 Festival Authors
Wendelin Gray is a linguist, writer, artist, and dancer. She has been a core volunteer with the Silk Screen Asian Arts Organization in Pittsburgh, Pa., from 2007 to 2018. Her horror novel, The Haunting at Ice Pine Peak, won two book awards.
Paul Johnson, illustrator; Patty Schaal, lyricist
Paul is an acrylic painter and wood sculptor, mainly farm and woodland animals. With Patty’s book, The Christmas Child, Paul added more than 170 animals, both forest and desert, to complement her lyrics about a mother’s love for a child born at Christmas. Paul exhibits at local shows, including Old Economy Village.
Linda enjoys long walks on the beach—actually, no, she doesn’t. Short walks are easier. She does enjoy typewriters, crocheting, air conditioning, cats, guinea pigs, semi-tame squirrels, “Weird Al” Yankovic, Sam’s Club trips looking for huge vats of salsa, and anything else that lends a grand sense of bold adventure to her adrenaline-junkie life. Her writing time is spent on her humor books and a bunch of unwieldy novels.
Toni Ray Pugh
Audrey Jane Snyder is an enterprising professional who has spent 40+ years in the corporate sector in the fields of human resource management and customer and community service. She has been an independent consultant specializing in online web-based training of interpersonal skills for first-line managers.
Alicia Stankay is a local fiction writer and photographer. After finishing the second book in her Stonecliff Mystery series, she’s researching to write another book based on Old Economy Village in her hometown Ambridge. Her photography has appeared at the Merrick Art Gallery and Cranberry Art Shows.
Missy Reynolds is inventive and dramatic, scheming up plots and stories since she was a young girl. She lives in Pennsylvania with her family and pets and is active in her comunity. She is a self-proclaimed book nerd, but has many interests. Getting lost in a book is her favorite, though.
Michael Nyers is a poet, mixed media artist, author, mental health advocate, and all around funny guy from Youngstown, Ohio. His passion is blackout poetry—a mixture of poetry and art made by taking printed text and blacking out words to create a poem or statement—which can promote mindfulness and creativity, benefiting overall well-being.
Tony Lavorgne specializes in obscure paranormal in the anthropological topics. He is an accomplished researcher, author, and public speaker on the subject. He is a co-author of the Haunted Roads of Western Pennsylvania and the author of Astonishing Tales of Pennsylvania.
Joy Givens writes fiction for young adults and children. She resides in Pittsburgh, Pa., with her husband, their two sons, and an impossibly lovable dog. When not writing, tutoring, or freelance editing, she enjoys music, cooking, volunteer work, good books, good friends, and good coffee.
Nadette Rae Rodgers lives and writes in Pittsburgh, Pa. At just 21, she is the award-winning author of The Illusion Trilogy (a YA romance-thriller about dreams) and two children’s books about an adorable owl. Rodgers hopes her books will inspire others to follow their dreams.
April Hartmann is an illustrator, graphic designer, and writer, freelancing from her home-studio in Washington, Pennsylvania. When not at the drawing table, she’s usually involved in some other creative task like writing, decorating, or testing recipes to get her family to eat more vegetables.
Award-winning author Abigail Drake is a coffee addict, a red wine drinker, and a compulsive book hoarder. She writes women’s fiction and young adult fiction, and blogs about her naughty Labrador, Capone. Her newest book, Love, Chocolate, and a Dog Named Al Capone, is set in Beaver.
Daisy Beiler Townsend has been writing and publishing in magazines and periodicals for over 35 years. In 2014, Daisy published Homespun Faith, followed by Sarah’s Legacy and Sarah’s Legacy Shared. She and her husband, Donn, live in Pennsylvania and have 3 children and 6 grandchildren.
Viki Doyle Heagy is a local author from Beaver County. Faith and family are her top priorities. She has four published children’s books. Viki hopes the characters in her books inspire and motivate children as well as provide a spring board for parents and teachers to discuss issues facing children today.
Linda Medwig wrote The Big Sneeze forty years ago for a children’s literature course while attending college. But the best part of the story within a story is that her mother did the illustrations! Linda’s professor thought the work was good enough for publication! But just recently published!
Crystal B. Stone’s poetry has previously appeared or is forthcoming in Anomaly Literary Journal, Writers Resist, Drunk Monkeys, Coldnoon, Poets Reading the News, Jet Fuel Review, Southword Journal Online, and others. Her latest collection, Knock-Off Monarch, was published by Dawn Valley Press in 2018.
Pam Horter-Moore was born and raised in Beaver County, Pennsylvania. She is a graduate of Slippery Rock University with a degree in English and Fine Arts. She is retired from a career in communications and now devotes herself to creative writing.
The titles of Edward V. Bonner’s poetry suggest some ways in which the poems inside balance the universe. Most of the poems examine the themes of beauty and risk, pleasure and danger, in the context of one of three kinds of relationships: to romantic partners, to the spiritual world, and nature.
Becky L. Stout has been writing seriously since the age of 15 and has been self-publishing for nearly a decade.
Larry Ivkovich’s speculative fiction has been published in more than twenty online and print publications, including Shoreline of Infinity, Across the Karman Line, and TV Gods II. He’s 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. Larry is a member of the Pittsburgh SF group Parsec, the writing/critique group WorD, Pennwriters, the Mindful Writers East and North, and the Taoist Tai Chi Society of the USA. He lives in Coraopolis, Pa., with his beautiful, talented wife, Martha, and wonder cat Milo.
Paul Mitura is an Army officer with 34 years of service and is the author of three books.
Sheila Rae Myers
Sheila is an independent author with several works of Christian fiction and nonfiction. Sheila has also written a book about her service as a Navy Hospital Corpsman.
Linda Schmitmeyer is a freelance writer and adjunct university instructor. Semi-retired now, she’s worked in classrooms, newsrooms, and PR offices. At the heart of her career, the thread running through the years, is her love of writing. Her memoir Rambler was released by Artists’ Orchard in 2018.
Founder of the Mindful Writers Groups, Madhu Bazaz Wangu’s books include a story collection, two novels, and four nonfiction books. Her three meditation CDs help writers to improve focus, remove blocks, and increase creative flow. Her books as well as the CDs will be available at the BookFest.
FREDERIC S. DURBIN writes fantasy for grownups and children. His most recent novel was named a Reading List Honor Book by the American Library Association and a Best Fantasy of the Year by Publishers Weekly. He is a poet-on-demand and a frequent presenter of workshops on writing and typewriters.
Donald Firesmith writes modern paranormal fantasy, apocalyptic science fiction, and horror novels, and he relaxes by handcrafting magic wands from various magical woods and mystical gemstones. He lives in Crafton, Pa., with his wife, Becky, his son Dane, and varying numbers of dogs and cats.
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.
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, seven novellas—cozy mystery, four short stories, and three children’s books. She lives at her 45-acre horse farm in Hookstown, Pa., with her husband, Bill, and their poorly behaved Cocker Spaniel, Allister.
Ruth is a retired teacher of language arts and United States history. Born in Covington, Kentucky, on the banks of the Ohio River, she now calls Pittsburgh’s three rivers her home. Her awards include: TAZ Author Award for Best Historical Fiction, 2017 Fiction Prize, Backbone Mountain Review, 2013.
From fantastical adventures to the sweet old West, Susan Lower invites readers of all ages into a world where love and light prevail. Her series are clean and wholesome reads filled with cowboys, heroes, and hope.