Shirley Jump: Keynote Speaker
Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi
Ellie Ann Soderstrom
Reavis Z. Wortham
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shirley Jump spends her days writing romance and women’s fiction to feed her shoe addiction and avoid cleaning the toilets. She cleverly finds writing time by feeding her kids junk food, allowing them to dress in the clothes they find on the floor and encouraging the dogs to double as vacuum cleaners.
Look for her Sweet and Savory Romance series, including the USA Today bestselling book, THE BRIDE WORE CHOCOLATE, on Amazon and Nook, and the debut of her Sweetheart Sisters series for Berkley, starting with THE SWEETHEART BARGAIN in September 2013. Visit her website at www.shirleyjump.com or read recipes and life adventures at www.shirleyjump.blogspot.com
Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi are writing coaches and co-authors of the bestselling writing resource, The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression, as well as the newly released Positive Trait Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Attributes and its darker cousin, The Negative Trait Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Flaws.
They both can be found at Writers Helping Writers (formerly The Bookshelf Muse), a description hub for writers, editors and teachers.
Mercedes M. Yardley wears red lipstick and poisonous flowers in her hair. She is the author of BEAUTIFUL SORROWS, APOCALYPTIC MONTESSA AND NUCLEAR LULU: A TALE OF ATOMIC LOVE and the newly announced BONE ANGEL TRILOGY.
Her debut novel, NAMELESS: THE DARKNESS COMES was released in January 2014. Mercedes was a contributing editor of Shock Totem Magazine for four years. She live in Sin City with her husband and three wild children.
Clay Gilbert lives and works in Knoxville, Tennessee, where he divides his time between writing, teaching English for Strayer University, and working across the electronic sea of the Internet as Chief Editor for PDMI Publishing. His chief daily concern is helping PDMI revolutionize the publishing world by finding more personal ways to aid authors in sculpting their voices and visions in print.
He shares his living and writing space with his cat, Bella, and his ball python, Andy. He is the author of three novels: “Eternity”, “Dark Road to Paradise”, and, most recently, “Annah”, book one in his “Children of Evohe” science fiction series. He is currently at work on “Annah’s Exile”, Book Two of the “Children of Evohe” series, coming from PDMI Publishing in the not too distant future.
Stacey Brewer is the managing editor for PDMI Publishing, LLC, and writes fantasy, historical fantasy, and modern fantasy (though she also suffers from the occasional steampunk and sci-fi ambitions). A little time studying journalism was all it took to turn Stacey into a proper grammar fiend, and a love of reading well-written books drives her to continually study the craft of writing and use those studies to help authors refine their work and make it the best it can be.
PDMI Publishing LLC brought Daven’s creative vision to print intact. Daven was so impressed with the “authors-first” culture of PDMI, he joined the PDMI team as a marketing director. Daven assists his fellow PDMI authors in navigating the worlds of social media and promotion, helping all of PDMI’s team to acheive their mutual goal of spreading their literary dreams throughout the world, via the power of publishing.
Follow Daven on Twitter @DavenAnderson
After hours, she uses her powers for good, creating escapist fiction. The work of this Mississippi native is packed with action, romance, and the kinds of imaginative paranormal creatures you’d want to sweep you off your feet…or eat your boss. When she’s not working or writing, she’s in her kitchen, heading up a revolution to Retake Homemade from her cooking blog, Pots and Plots.
Sandra Brannan’s heart-pounding mystery thriller series with Liv Bergen, an amateur sleuth and full-time miner who embodies the spirit of South Dakota and the hard working people in the mountain states, has fans raving about Liv as the love child of Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Milhone and Lee Child’s Jack Reacher. Denver Post bestseller list, two-time winner of ABA Indie NextList, Amazon top 10 women’s mysteries. Noah’s Rainy Day, fourth in series released in 2013, earned. USA Best Book Finalist, Suspense Magazine Best of 2013 Suspense, and GoodReads #1 Heroes with Handicaps list.
Virginia Jennings is a speculative fiction author of two books as well as an illustrator with PDMI publishing. Jack of all trades, master of none she is a die hard tinkerer; she enjoys working at something until she gets it right. Whether it is ideas for her next novel, or trying to understand how the human brain works, she loves to research stuff. You can find out more about Virginia at www.virginialorijennings.com
August McLaughlin is an award-winning journalist, radio personality and creator of the empowering female sexuality brand Girl Boner. Her work has been featured by LIVESTRONG.com, Healthy Aging magazine, the Nest Woman, DAME Magazine and more.
As a certified nutritionist with specializations in eating disorders and sports nutrition, August has taught the importance of healthy lifestyle habits and positive body image to individuals and groups for over eight years.
She is represented by Jill Marr of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency and loves connecting with readers throughout social media. www.augustmclaughlin.com
Ellie Ann is an author of Science Fiction, comics, and thrillers, a creative editor, and produces enhanced books for Noble Beast. Ellie Ann can be found at ellieann.net
Kristen is the author of the new best-selling book, “Rise of the Machines–Human Authors in a Digital World” in addition to the #1 best-selling books “We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media” and “Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer.”
She has helped hundreds of writers find success using social media. Her methods are responsible for selling hundreds of thousands of books. She has helped all levels of writers from mega authors to self-published unknowns attain amazing results.
Kristen is the founder of the WANA movement, the CEO of WANA International and creator of WANATribe, the social network for creatives. She is a contributing humor blogger for SocialIn, a blog that reaches 2.5 million, is the official Social Media columnist for Author Magazine, and writes for the Huffington Post.
Gabriela Pereira is the Creative Director and Instigator of DIY MFA, the do-it-yourself alternative to a Masters degree in writing. She creates tools and techniques to help serious writers get the benefits of MFA-style learning without going to school.
She holds an MFA in Writing from The New School and has taught at several organizations throughout New York City.
When she’s not teaching or working on DIY MFA, Gabriela enjoys writing middle grade and teen fiction, with some “short stories for grown-ups” thrown in for good measure. Learn more at DIYMFA.com.
J.E. Fishman is author of the forthcoming “Bomb Squad NYC” series of police thrillers, which launch in March 2014. To accompany the series, he wrote the nonfiction e-book Dynamite: A Concise History of the NYPD Bomb Squad, and on all of these books he tapped as technical consultant Lieutenant Mark Torre, who has commanded the NYPD Bomb Squad for the past decade.
Fishman’s other works include the science thriller Primacy, which Kirkus called “more fun than a barrel of overgrown monkeys”; the wisecracking mystery Cadaver Blues; and The Dark Pool, a financial thriller inspired by the corruption of Wall Street and its effect on the everyday man.
A former Doubleday editor and literary agent, Fishman also contributes to “The Huffington Post” and “The Nervous Breakdown.” He divides his time between Manhattan and Chadds Ford, Pa. Learn more at Bomb Squad NYC or www.jefishman.com.
After escaping the corporate asylum by leaving a clone in her place, Jami Gold moved to Arizona and decided to become a writer, where she could put her talent for making up stuff to good use. Fortunately, her muse, an arrogant male who delights in causing her to sound as insane as possible, rewards her with unique story ideas. Fueled by chocolate, she writes paranormal romance and urban fantasy tales that range from dark to humorous, but one thing remains the same: Normal need not apply. Just ask her family—and zombie cat.
Jami Gold’s background includes project management, internet structure, teaching, and public speaking. She’s a popular blogger and social media ninja who might be a wee bit too addicted to Twitter. Find Jami at her blog, Twitter, Google+, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Goodreads.
As a trainer and technology writer with 18+ years classroom experience, Jenny herds cats…or rather, teaches writers and business professionals to master their software. Currently, she provides training, social media and technology support at a full-service accounting firm by day and writes by night.
You can find Jenny at one of her two blogs, More Cowbell and Writers In the Storm, or on Fridays on the Social In network in 40 major U.S. markets. She’s been a member of the Orange County Chapter of RWA since 2000 and is also a member of the Womens Fiction Writers Association.
Julie Duffy is the founder and host of StoryADay May, an extreme creativity challenge for writers held online each May: storyaday.org. Julie’s mission is to help you write everyday, not ‘someday’. Find out more at storyaday.org. Way back in the 1990s, Julie worked for one of the first companies to pioneer print on-demand and ebook technology, offering it directly to self-publishing authors — an area of publishing she still follows with great interest.
Author of short story collections and how-to books for writers
Host of the annual StoryADay May writing challenge:
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Lisa Hall-Wilson is an award-winning freelance writer and author published across Canada. She specializes in interviews, profiles, marketing copy, and social justice initiatives. She writes dark fantasy novels to find the authentic, the real, the heart-of-the-matter, because she’s convinced that the truth sets you free. Watch for her debut novel being released in April, 2014!
Lisa’s website is: http://lisahallwilson.com
Marcy Kennedy is a suspense and speculative fiction writer who believes fantasy is more real than you think. It helps us see life in this world in a new way and gives us a safe place to explore problems that might otherwise be too difficult to face.
Alongside her own writing, Marcy works as a freelance fiction editor and teaches classes on craft and social media through WANA International. She’s also the author of the Busy Writer’s Guides series of books, including the popular Strong Female Characters and How to Write Dialogue.
You can find her blogging about writing and about the place where real life meets science fiction, fantasy, and myth at marcykennedy.com.
Wortham has been a newspaper columnist and magazine writer since 1988, and is the Humor Editor for Texas Fish and Game Magazine. He and his wife, Shana, live in Frisco, Texas.
In a Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews said Reavis Z. Wortham’s debut novel, The Rock Hole, is “an unpretentious gem written to the hilt and harrowing in its unpredictability,” and listed it as one of the “Top12 Mysteries of 2011.” Burrows, the second Red River Mystery, received a Starred Review from Publishers Weekly saying: “Wortham combines the gonzo sensibility of Joe R. Lansdale and the elegiac mood of To Kill a Mockingbird to strike just the right balance between childhood innocence and adult horror.” The Right Side of Wrong recently received a Starred Review from the Library Journal that called this third novel “a deceptively meandering tale of family and country life bookended by a dramatic opening and conclusion.”