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Sisters in Crime/Los Angeles and SoCal Mystery Writers of America welcome an outstanding complement of authors, agents, editors, publishers, and experts to the 2017 CCWC program faculty. You can learn more about each of them in the bios below. Keep coming back — additional bios will be added as our faculty grows.

Guest of Honor: Hallie Ephron
Bio: Hallie Ephron is a New York Times bestselling author of suspense. You'll Never Know, Dear, her ninth novel, is being published by Wm. Morrow in 2017. Her Night Night, Sleep Tight harks back to when she was growing up in Hollywood in a family of writers, and was InStyle Magazine's #1 "Page-turning Pick." PW's starred review called it a "captivating thriller." Her Never Tell a Lie, was made into Lifetime Movie Network movie. Hallie is a four-time finalist for the Mary Higgins Clark award, and her Writing and Selling Your Mystery Novel was an Edgar and Anthony award finalist. She is an award-winning book reviewer for the Boston Globe.

Guest of Honor: William Kent Krueger
Bio: He calls himself Kent, and he writes the New York Times bestselling Cork O'Connor mystery series, set in the great Northwoods of Minnesota. His work has received a number of honors, including the Edgar Award, Anthony Award, Barry Award, Macavity Award, Dilys Award, Minnesota Book Award, Loft-McKnight Fiction Award, and Friends of American Writers Prize. His novels have been translated into more than a dozen languages and optioned by Hollywood. He makes his home in St. Paul, where he does all his writing in a couple of wonderfully funky coffee shops.

Speaker: Kathy Aarons
Bio: Kathy Aarons is the author of the nationally bestselling CHOCOLATE COVERED MYSTERY series by Berkley Prime Crime. She also writes the upcoming GOURMET CAT MYSTERY series by Kensington Books under the name Kathy Krevat. The Trouble With Murder will be out December 2017. Kathy is an avid supporter of youth arts education and president of Partners in Crime - San Diego Sisters in Crime. Follow Kathy on Facebook or Twitter.

Speaker: Jill Amadio
Bio: Like Tosca Trevant, the amateur sleuth in her crime series, Digging Too Deep and Digging up the Dead, Brit author Jill Amadio hails from St. Ives, Cornwall. But she is nowhere near as grumpy or unwittingly hilarious as her main character. Jill is also a true crime and thriller ghostwriter and biographer. She was a reporter in Spain, Thailand, Colombia and the United States.  She writes a monthly column for the UK-based MysteryPeople ezine, and freelances for My Cornwall magazine. Jill lives in Orange County, Southern California where it hardly ever rains, much to sleuth Tosca Trevant’s annoyance.

Speaker: Elaine Ash
Bio: Editor Elaine Ash’s clients have sold thrillers, mystery novels, women's fiction and memoirs. She's the inventor of Bestseller Metrics (patent pending) and the author of How to Win the Novel Writing Game. Her system unlocks the bestseller potential in every story, saving time and money on editing. Under the pen name "Anonymous-9," her Hard Bite series from Down & Out Books won two Readers' Choice Awards from the House of Crime & Mystery.

Speaker: Colleen Dunn Bates
Bio: Colleen Dunn Bates is the publisher of Prospect Park Books, one of LA's leading trade publishers. Distributed by Consortium/Ingram, Prospect Park publishes fiction, cookbooks, regional, and humor/gift titles. Its books have won awards, been on bestseller lists, and won acclaim from national and international media. The mystery/thriller line includes Naomi Hirahara's Mas Arai series; Phoef Sutton's Crush series; Alan Hruska's legal thrillers; and Anne Flett-Giordano's debut Marry, Kiss, Kill. An L.A. native with a journalism degree from USC, Colleen has a wide range of experience, from radio news writing to editing guidebooks, newspaper editing to magazine feature writing, restaurant criticism (she's the L.A. restaurant critic for Westways) to writing books. In 2006, she turned all her energies to starting Prospect Park, based in Altadena. She lives in Pasadena with her husband, Darryl Bates, a television editor and producer.

Speaker: Paul Bishop
Bio: Novelist, screenwriter, and television personality, Paul Bishop is also a nationally recognized interrogator and behaviorist. He spent 35 years with the Los Angeles Police Department where his high profile Special Assault Units regularly produced the highest number of detective initiated arrests and highest crime clearance rates in the city. Twice selected as LAPD's Detective of the Year, he continues to work privately as a deception expert and as a specialist in the investigation of sex crimes. His fifteen novels include five featuring LAPD homicide detective Fey Croaker and his latest novel, Lie Catchers, which is the first in a new series featuring top LAPD interrogators Ray Pagan and Calamity Jane Randall. The sequel Admit Nothing is due in 2017.

Speaker: Frankie Bow
Bio: Like Professor Molly, Frankie Bow teaches at a public university. Unlike her protagonist, she is blessed with delightful students, sane colleagues, and a perfectly nice office chair. She believes if life isn’t fair, at least it can be entertaining. In addition to writing the Professor Molly mysteries and a #1 Kindle Worlds series, she publishes in scholarly journals under her real name. Her experience with academic publishing has taught her to take nothing personally.

Speaker: Laura Brennan
Bio: On screens large and small, Laura Brennan has lopped characters' heads off, shot them, garroted them, and sometimes fed them to dinosaurs. She enjoys plotting to murder those who've done her wrong ... fictionally, of course. Find out more on her podcast, where she interviews authors, at

Speaker: Craig Faustus Buck
Bio: Author-screenwriter Craig Faustus Buck is an L.A. native. His novel Go Down Hard, a noir romp (Brash Books) was called "a crime novel dream" by ALA's Booklist. The sequel, Go Down Screaming, is coming out whenever he writes his way out of the second act. His short stories have won a Macavity Award and been nominated for multiple Anthonys and Derringers. He is currently working on a TV limited series based on a true-crime story.

Speaker: Stephen Buehler
Bio: Stephen Buehler’s short fiction has been published in numerous on-line publications and anthologies. His Derringer nominated short story, Not My Day, appeared in the Last Exit to Murder anthology. He is finished converting his novella, The Mindreading Murders into a novel. Currently, he is shopping around his mystery/comedy P.I. novel, Detective Rules. By day Stephen is a script/story consultant. He is also a magician and lives with a dog named Seymour.

Speaker: Ellen Byron
Bio: Body on the Bayou, the second in Ellen’s Cajun Country Mystery series, won the Lefty Award for Best Humorous Mystery, and is nominated for a Best Contemporary Novel Agatha Award. Her bestselling debut novel, Plantation Shudders, as nominated for Agatha, Lefty, and Daphne awards. A Cajun Christmas Killing launches October 10th. She’s written over 200 national magazine articles; published plays include the award-winning Graceland; TV credits include Wings, Just Shoot Me, Fairly OddParents, and pilots.

Speaker: Eric Campbell
Bio: Eric Campbell is the founder and publisher of Down & Out Books. After spending twenty-five years in healthcare, Eric started Down & Out Books as an avenue to help develop and build "lost" authors and now publishes nearly 50 titles per year. The company specializes in the crime, thriller and suspense genres.

Speaker: Kate Carlisle
Bio: Kate Carlisle is the New York Times bestselling author of the Bibliophile Mysteries, featuring rare book restoration expert Brooklyn Wainwright, and the Fixer-Upper Mystery series, featuring small-town girl Shannon Hammer, a building contractor specializing in Victorian home renovation. In January 2017, the first of several Fixer-Upper Mysteries debuted on the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channel, starring Jewel and Colin Ferguson. Visit Kate at her website and on Facebook at

Speaker: Melvin Cavanaugh
Bio: Melvin Cavanaugh joined the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department as a Deputy in 1973 where he worked a variety of assignments. In 1987, Cavanaugh was assigned to the Scientific Services Bureau, Questioned Document Section, where he completed a full time apprenticeship training program. He frequently lectures on the subject of questioned documents to various private, professional, financial and law enforcement organizations.

Speaker: Vera Chan
Bio: Vera Chan has worked among the world’s biggest online destinations as global senior editor and web trends analyst at Yahoo! and currently as chief journalist/content strategist at Bing News for Microsoft. She currently serves as board president for the nonprofit Exceptional Women in Publishing. The 2015 recipient of the Eleanor Taylor Bland award, Chan hopes to finish the tales of surly Brenna Hom, who reluctantly spies on the children of moneyed Asian parents.

Speaker: Sarah M.Chen
Bio: Sarah M. Chen juggles several jobs including indie bookseller, transcriber, and insurance adjuster. She has published over twenty crime fiction short stories with Shotgun Honey, Crime Factory, Betty Fedora, Out of the Gutter, and Dead Guns Press, among others. Cleaning Up Finn, her noir novella with All Due Respect Books, is a 2017 Lefty finalist and IPPY award winner.

Speaker: Nancie Clare
Bio: Nancie Clare is a freelance writer and editor, as well as co-creator and interviewer for the podcast Speaking of Mysteries, which features interviews with crime fiction writers. Clare is the author of The Battle for Beverly Hills: How Eight Stars of the Silent Era Saved Their City’s Independence and Changed American Politics Forever, scheduled for publication in Winter 2018 from St. Martin’s Press. She is the former Editor-in-Chief of the Los Angeles Times Magazine.

Speaker: Anne Cleeland
Bio: Anne Cleeland writes a contemporary Scotland Yard series that features detectives Acton and Doyle, and she also writes a historical series of stand-alone books set in the Regency period.  A member of International Thriller Writers, The Historical Novel Society, and Mystery Writers of America, she lives in California and has four children.

Speaker: Tyson Cornell
Bio: Tyson Cornell is the founder and publisher of Rare Bird, publisher of fifty books each year distributed by Publishers Group West and outsourced marketers and designers for other publishers, authors, and organizations. In 2013, he co-edited a collection of essays on progressive rock, Yes Is The Answer, with best-selling author Marc Weingarten, featuring Rick Moody, Charles Bock, and John Wesley Harding. In addition to the hundreds of books he's published, and thousands of authors he's worked with, Cornell has also toured extensively throughout the world as a musician, playing in Japan, Europe, Iraq, Kosovo, Kuwait, among many others. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children.

Speaker: Matt Coyle
Bio: Matt Coyle is the author of the Rick Cahill Crime novels. His books have won the Anthony, the San Diego Book, and the Ben Franklin Silver Awards, and have been nominated for the Anthony, Macavity, and the Lefty Awards. He is the host of the podcast Crime Corner on Authors on the Air. Matt lives in San Diego with his yellow Lab, Angus, where he is writing the next Rick Cahill Novel.

Speaker: Gay Degani
Bio: Gay Degani is the author of a suspense novel, What Came Before (Truth Serum Press, 2016) as well as a full-length collection of short stories, Rattle of Want (Pure Slush Press, 2015). She has a story, "Highland Park Hit" in the current Sisters-in-Crime anthology, LAst Resort. She’s had four flash pieces nominated for Pushcart consideration and won the 11th Glass Woman Prize. She blogs at Words in Place.

Speaker: Stacia Deutsch
Bio: Stacia Deutsch has written more than two hundred children's books. She started her career with the award-winning chapter book series, Blast to the Past. Now, her resume Nancy Drew and Boxcar Children mysteries in addition to junior movie tie in novels for summer blockbuster films, like Ghostbusters and The Smurfs. New books include The Mysterious Makers of Shaker Street and Tales of the Scaremaster. Find her at her website and at www.facebook/staciadeutsch.

Speaker: Tyler Dilts
Bio: Tyler Dilts is the author of the Long Beach Homicide series, which includes the bestselling A Cold and Broken Hallelujah and the Edgar Award-nominated Come Twilight. He teaches creative writing and literature at California State University, Long Beach. His latest novel, Mercy Dogs, will be released by Thomas and Mercer in early 2018.

Speaker: Liz Donatelli
Bio: Founder of Liz D Publicity & Promotions in 2011, Liz Donatelli also works as the publicist for independent publisher BearManor Media. Her bookish pursuits include coordinating Book'd "The Ultimate Bibliophiles' Night Out" literary event in Los Angeles, and serving as an active member, and former vice president, of Women's National Book Association - Los Angeles Chapter. A native New Yorker, Liz lives in North Hollywood.

Speaker: Danielle Egan-Miller
Bio: Literary agent Danielle Egan-Miller is president of Browne & Miller Literary Associates. Over the past 15 years as an agent, she has sold hundreds of books with a heavy emphasis on commercial adult fiction. Her roster includes several New York Times bestselling authors and numerous prize- and award-winning writers including 2014 Edgar Award winner for Best Novel, William Kent Krueger. She is a member of the Association of Authors' Representatives, Mystery Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, and The Authors Guild.

Speaker: Dianne Emley
Bio: Dianne Emley is an LA Times bestseller who has received critical acclaim for her Detective Nan Vining mysteries (including Lying Blind), Iris Thorne mysteries, and a paranormal thriller, The Night Visitor. Her books have been translated into six languages. An L.A. native, she lives in the Central California wine country with her husband.

Speaker: George Fong
Bio: George Fong was sworn in as a special agent with the FBI in 1983. Over an 11-year period, he spent time undercover, targeting drug organizations, mob members and Asian gangs. He also was a lead instructor at the FBI’s International Law Enforcement Academy in Budapest, Hungary. In 2007, he was promoted to Unit Chief, overseeing the FBI's Violent Gang Program in Washington DC before retiring in 2010. His first book, Fragmented, was published in 2014.

Speaker: Jody Gehrman
Bio: Jody Gehrman has authored ten published novels and numerous plays. Her first suspense novel will be published by St. Martin’s Press in 2018. Jody’s plays have been produced or had staged readings in Ashland, New York, San Francisco, Chicago and L.A. Her newest full-length, Tribal Life in America, won the Ebell Playwrights Prize. She is a professor of Communications at Mendocino College in Northern California.

Speaker: Daryl Wood Gerber
Bio: Agatha Award-winning and nationally bestselling author Daryl Wood Gerber ventures into the world of suspense again with her second novel, Day of Secrets. Daryl writes the bestselling COOKBOOK NOOK MYSTERIES and will soon debut the new FRENCH BISTRO MYSTERIES. As Avery Aames, she pens the bestselling CHEESE SHOP MYSTERIES. Fun tidbit: as an actress, Daryl appeared in Murder, She Wrote. She loves to read and cook, and she has a frisky Goldendoodle named Sparky who keeps her in line!

Speaker: Emily Giglierano
Bio: Emily Giglierano is an editor at Mulholland Books, where she’s on the lookout for crime and suspense fiction with a strong sense of place, and nontraditional mysteries by and about women and people of color. Prior to Mulholland, she worked at Vintage and Anchor Books, including the Black Lizard/Vintage Crime backlist, and at Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. A member of Sisters in Crime and a graduate of Mount Holyoke College, Emily lives in Queens, NY.

Speaker: Lee Goldberg
Bio: Lee Goldberg is a two-time Edgar & two-time Shamus Award nominee and the #1 New York Times bestselling author of over thirty novels, including the fifteen Monk mysteries and the internationally bestselling Fox & O'Hare books (The Heist, The Chase, The Job, The Scam, The Pursuit) co-written with Janet Evanovich. He's also written and/or produced scores of TV shows, including Diagnosis Murder, SeaQuest, Monk, and The Glades. As an international television consultant, he has advised networks and studios in Canada, France, Germany, Spain, China, Sweden, and the Netherlands on the creation, writing and production of episodic television series. He recently founded, with author Joel Goldman, the publishing company Brash Books.

Speaker: Diana Gould
Bio: Diana Gould has written pilots, movies, episodes and mini-series for network and cable. She was writer-producer of Dynasty, head writer on Knots Landing, created and produced Berrengers. She served on the Board of the Writers Guild and founded its Women’s Committee.  Her first novel, Coldwater, (Rare Bird Books; 2013) won silver medal for Best First Book (fiction) in 2014 IBPA’s Benjamin Franklin Book Awards, and was Book of the Year in the mystery category by Foreword.

Speaker: Rachel Howzell Hall
Bio: Rachel Howzell Hall is the author of seven novels, including the critically-acclaimed Detective Elouise Norton series. The fourth novel in the series, City of Saviors, will be published in August. The third in series, Trail of Echoes, received a coveted Kirkus Star and was one of Kirkus Reviews 'Books That Kept Us Up All Night.' She is also collaborating with James Patterson and BookShots on the upcoming The Good Sister. A featured writer on NPR’s acclaimed Crime in the City series, Rachel has also served as a mentor in AWP’s Writer to Writer Program and is currently on the board of directors of the Mystery Writers of America. She was recently named one of Apple iBooks' "10 Authors to Read in 2017." She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter.

Speaker: Glen Erik Hamilton
Bio: Glen Erik Hamilton's debut Past Crimes won the Anthony, Macavity, and Strand Magazine Critics awards, and was also nominated for the Edgar, Barry, and Nero awards. His follow-up, Hard Cold Winter, was published to rave reviews last year and the latest entry Every Day Above Ground will be published by William Morrow (US) and Faber & Faber (UK) this July. Glen grew up aboard a sailboat in Seattle, and now lives in California.

Speaker: Justin Hargett
Bio: Justin Hargett, founder of Kickflip Publicity, has extensive experience in both fiction and nonfiction book publishing (including stints at Soho Press, Picador, and Penguin Random House). He has worked on campaigns for crime and mystery writers such as Phoef Sutton, Cara Black, Stuart Neville, Alan Glynn, and more.

Speaker: Naomi Hirahara
Bio: Naomi Hirahara is the Edgar Award-winning author of two mystery series set in Los Angeles. Her Mas Arai series, which features a Hiroshima survivor and gardener, has been translated into Japanese, Korean and French. The first in her Officer Ellie Rush bicycle cop series received the 2014 T. Jefferson Parker Mystery Award. One of her Mas Arai novels, Summer of the Big Bachi, is currently being developed into an independent film. A former editor of The Rafu Shimpo newspaper and curator of historical exhibitions, she also writes noir short stories, middle-grade fiction and nonfiction books.

Speaker: Christina Hoag
Bio: Christina Hoag’s YA thriller Girl on the Brink was named to Suspense Magazine’s Best of 2016 list, while Kirkus Reviews praised her as a "talented writer" with "a well crafted debut" in Skin of Tattoos, a literary gangland thriller. A former journalist for the Miami Herald and Associated Press, she reported from Latin America for Time, Business Week, Financial Times and the New York Times. She lives in Los Angeles.

Speaker: Sue Ann Jaffarian
Bio: Sue Ann Jaffarian is the author of two popular mystery series: the Odelia Grey series and the Ghost of Granny Apples series, as well as the Winnie Wilde romance series and short stories. Sue Ann is also a full-time paralegal for a Los Angeles law firm, and the current Vice President of SoCal MWA.

Speaker: Georgia Jeffries
Bio: Georgia Jeffries cracked TV’s glass ceiling as a writer-producer of an Emmy-Award winning series, the first individual woman writer honored with a WGA Television Award for Episodic Drama. She has created pilots for Showtime, ABC, CBS, NBC, and is now adapting her HBO docudrama, The Good Soldier, into a book and mini-series. A professor at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, she just completed a supernatural thriller based on the true story behind her aunt’s murder.

Speaker: Donald James Johnson
Bio: Professor Donald James Johnson is an expert on criminalistics, with emphasis on crime scene investigation and reconstruction (homicides and sexual assaults), and forensic biology. His research interests include the application of new technologies to the field of criminalistics. He was formerly a senior criminalist at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, where he was involved in the scientific investigation of violent crimes.

Speaker: Sybil Johnson
Bio: Sybil Johnson is the author of the Aurora Anderson Mystery series set in the world of tole/decorative painting (Fatal Brushstroke, Paint the Town Dead and the recently published, A Palette for Murder). A past president of SinC/LA and co-chair of the 2011 California Crime Writer’s Conference, Sybil wields pen and brush at her home in Southern California.

Speaker: Linda O. Johnston
Bio: Linda O. Johnston, a former lawyer who is now a full-time writer, currently writes two mystery series for Midnight Ink involving dogs: the Barkery & Biscuits Mysteries, and the Superstition Mysteries. She has also written the Pet Rescue Mystery Series, a spinoff from her Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime and also currently writes for Harlequin Romantic Suspense as well as the Alpha Force paranormal romance miniseries about shapeshifters for Harlequin Nocturne.

Speaker: Tammy Kaehler
Bio: When Tammy Kaehler discovered the racing world, she was hooked by the contrast between its top-dollar, high-drama competition, and friendly, family atmosphere. Mystery fans and racing insiders alike have praised her award-winning Kate Reilly Mystery Series (Dead Man’s Switch, Braking Points, Avoidable Contact, and Red Flags), and Tammy takes readers back behind the wheel in her fifth entry, Kiss The Bricks. She works as a freelance writer in Southern California.

Speaker: Kristen Kittscher
Bio: Kristen Kittscher is a former middle school teacher and author of mysteries for young readers. Her bestselling debut, The Wig in the Window (Harper Children’s, 2013) was named to ten Best of the Year lists. The 2014 James Thurber House Children’s Writer-in-Residence and a graduate of Brown University, Kristen lives with her husband in Pasadena, home of the Rose Parade — the inspiration for her most recent novel, The Tiara on the Terrace.

Speaker: Harley Jane Kozak
Bio: Harley Jane Kozak’s Dating Dead Men won the Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity awards, and was followed by four more novels. Her short prose has appeared in Ms. Magazine, The Sun, Santa Monica Review and the anthologies Mystery Muses, This is Chick Lit, A Hell of a Woman, Butcher Knives and Body Counts, The Rich and the Dead, and Crimes by Moonlight. Harley’s also an actor, recently seen in I Spit On Your Grave III.(Yes.)

Speaker: S.W. Lauden
Bio: S.W. Lauden is the author of the Greg Salem punk rock P.I. series including Bad Citizen Corporation and Grizzly Season (Rare Bird Books). His Tommy & Shayna Crime Caper novellas include Crosswise and Crossed Bones (Down & Out Books). He is also the co-host of the Writer Types podcast. Steve lives in Los Angeles.

Speaker: Thomas Leighton
Bio: Thomas Leighton is an FBI Special Agent, assigned to the Los Angeles Field Office. During his twenty-year career, Leighton has worked in a variety of FBI programs, including Civil Rights, Counterintelligence, Counterterrorism and Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). Leighton is also an FBI Firearms Instructor and Crisis Negotiator. Prior to the FBI, Leighton served as a prosecutor in Winchester, Virginia.

Speaker: Elizabeth Little
Bio: Elizabeth Little is the president of Mystery Writers of America Southern California and the author of Dear Daughter, a Los Angeles Times bestseller and winner of the Strand Critics Award for Best First Novel. She is also the author of two nonfiction books, and her work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, among other publications.

Speaker: Sheila Lowe
Bio: The mother of a tattoo artist and a former rock star, Sheila Lowe lives in Ventura with Lexie the Evil Cat, where she writes the award-winning Forensic Handwriting series. Like her fictional character Claudia Rose, she's a real-life forensic handwriting expert who testifies in trials. Despite sharing living space with a cat, Sheila's books are psychological suspense, definitely not cozy.

Speaker: Janet Lynn
Bio: Janet was born in Queens, New York and raised in Long Island. Her family escaped the freezing winters and hurricanes for the warmth and casual lifestyle of So. California. She has written 7 contemporary mysteries and co written 3 hard boiled 1950s mysteries with her husband Will Zeilinger.

Speaker: Bonnie MacBird
Bio: A Sherlockian since age 10 and member of the BSI, Adventuresses of Sherlock Holmes, and founder of the Sherlock Breakfast Club, MacBird is HarperCollins’ resident Sherlock Holmes writer. Her first Holmes novel Art in the Blood (A Sherlock Holmes Adventure) is followed by the second this September Unquiet Spirits about whisky, ghosts, and murder. A native San Franciscan, she has spent thirty years as a scriptwriter, story editor and playwright, and now divides her time between homes in Los Angeles and London.

Speaker: Joanna MacKenzie
Bio: Literary agent Joanna MacKenzie, Nelson Literary Agency, holds a MA degree in Film Theory and Criticism, and a BA in Drama. After 14 years of publishing experience at the Browne & Miller Agency, Joanna recently joined Nelson Literary to expand NLA’s list for mysteries and thrillers, literary fiction, upmarket women’s fiction, and literary young adult literature. She enjoys working with authors who embrace the full publishing process (read: love revising) and is committed to the stories her clients want to tell both with the words they put on paper, as well as with the careers they build. Joanna is looking for the epic read that, at its center, beats with a universal heart. In particular, she’s drawn to smart, character-driven mysteries and thrillers — both, ideally, with a little edge.

Speaker: Mary Marks
Bio: Mary Marks is the author of the award-winning Quilting Mysteries featuring Martha Rose, a zaftig, Jewish divorcee of a certain age living in the San Fernando Valley. The first book in the series was published in 2014 when Marks was 70, proving that anything can happen with persistence and a little bit of luck. The author lives in Camarillo, California with her dog Ginger and her orange cat Louie.

Speaker: Paul D. Marks
Bio: Paul D. Marks is the author of the Shamus Award-Winning mystery-thriller White Heat. Publishers Weekly calls White Heat a "taut crime yarn." His story Ghosts of Bunker Hill was voted #1 in the 2016 Ellery Queen Readers Poll. Howling at the Moon (EQMM 11/14) was short-listed for both the 2015 Anthony and Macavity Awards. Midwest Review calls his novella Vortex "a nonstop staccato action noir." His story Deserted Cities of the Heart appears in Akashic’s St. Louis Noir.

Speaker: Jill Marr
Bio: Literary agent Jill Marr, Sandra Dijkstra Agency, graduated from San Diego State University with a BA in English with an emphasis in creative writing and a minor in history. She has nearly 15 years of publishing experience. She wrote features and ads for Pages, the literary magazine for people who love books, and continues to write book ads for publishing houses, magazine pieces, and promotional features for television. After writing ad copy and features for published books for years, she knows how to find the "hook" and sell it. Jill is interested in commercial fiction, with an emphasis on mysteries, thrillers, romantic suspense and horror, women's commercial fiction and historical fiction. She is looking for non-fiction projects in the areas of history, narrative non-fiction, sports, politics, current events, health & nutrition, pop culture, humor, music, and very select memoir.

Speaker: Maryglenn McCombs
Bio: Maryglenn McCombs is an independent book publicist who has worked in the book publishing industry since 1993. A native of South Central Kentucky and graduate of Vanderbilt University, Maryglenn lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband, Tim Warnock, and their Old English Sheepdog, Majordomo Billy Bojangles.

Speaker: Mary Menzel
Bio: Mary Menzel is project manager for the California Center for the Book, a program of the California Library Association and the Library of Congress which develops programs that promote the role of libraries as community builders (  Mary has a Master of Library and Information Studies degree from UCLA and a B.A. in creative writing (poetry) from Stanford University.  She is an avid reader of just about everything.

Speaker: Nadine Nettmann
Bio: Nadine Nettmann, a Certified Sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers, is always on the lookout for great wines and the stories behind them. She has traveled to wine regions around the world including Chile, South Africa, Spain, Germany, and every region in France. She is the author of the Sommelier Mystery Series and her debut novel, Decanting a Murder, was nominated for the Agatha and Lefty awards.

Speaker: Terri Nolan
Bio: Terri Nolan is the author of three thrillers featuring investigative journalist Birdie Keane. The critically acclaimed trilogy includes the novels Burden of Truth, Glass Houses and Blue Bird. Nolan is currently working with retired LAPD homicide detective, Scott Smith; the lead detective of the Michael Jackson death investigation. Their project offers a rare insider view of the complexities of police work behind the headlines in a high profile media case.

Speaker: Carlene O’Neil
Bio: National bestselling author Carlene O'Neil is a former television writer, and is also a commercial real estate broker. Originally from wine country, she currently lives in Valencia, California.  Set along the central California coast, One Foot in the Grape is the first in the Cypress Cove mystery series, published by Berkley Prime Crime. Her second novel, Ripe for Murder, was released March 2016. Visit her at

Speaker: Hollie Overton
Bio: Hollie Overton is a TV writer/producer on Freeform's Shadowhunters. She also wrote for Cold Case and The Client List. Hollie's debut thriller, Baby Doll, a Sunday Times bestseller, was published in the US, UK and eleven other countries. Her 2nd novel, The Walls will be released Aug 2017. Hollie grew up in Kingsville, Texas and now calls LA home.

Speaker: Dennis Palumbo
Bio: Formerly a Hollywood screenwriter (My Favorite Year; Welcome Back, Kotter, etc.) Dennis Palumbo is a licensed psychotherapist and author. His mystery fiction has appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, The Strand and elsewhere, and is collected in From Crime to Crime (Tallfellow Press). His acclaimed series of crime novels (Mirror Image, Fever Dream, Night Terrors and the latest, Phantom Limb) feature psychologist Daniel Rinaldi. From Poisoned Pen Press.

Speaker: Gigi Pandian
Bio: USA Today bestselling author Gigi Pandian spent her childhood being dragged around the world by her cultural anthropologist parents, and now lives outside San Francisco with her husband and a gargoyle who watches over the garden. Gigi writes the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt mysteries, Accidental Alchemist mysteries, and locked-room mystery short stories. Gigi’s fiction has been awarded the Malice Domestic Grant and Lefty Award, and shortlisted for Macavity and Agatha Awards.

Speaker: Joshua Peck
Bio: Born and raised in Oklahoma, Joshua Peck has degrees from the University of Oklahoma including American History, Film Studies, and a Master’s in Library and Information Studies. Peck has worked as an archivist, film programmer, written film criticism for various online and print publications, and is a member of the Oklahoma Film Critics Circle. Joshua Peck is currently a librarian with the Palos Verdes Library District.

Speaker: Andrew Pierce Jetarski
Bio: Andrew Pierce Jetarski began writing a few years ago as a creative complement to his work as a motion picture editor. He has published numerous works of short fiction, online and for the Sisters in Crime/LA chapter’s anthologies; 2013’s "Dance Man" was a Derringer Award Finalist. He is working on a novel, re-imagining some bad stuff that happened back in the 1930s. He currently serves on the board of Sisters in Crime/Los Angeles.

Speaker: Mary Putnam
Bio: Mary Putnam loves helping people tell and sell their stories. She started her day-job career in software development before jumping into marketing, so she especially likes helping fellow writers navigate the nerdy aspects of book promotions. Her husband, David Putnam, is the author of the critically acclaimed bestselling Bruno Johnson thrillers. Mary's wackier promotional stunts have included graffiting buildings and plugging his books in her bio. Connect on twitter: @maryputnam or email:

Speaker: Travis Richardson
Bio: Travis Richardson has been a finalist for the Macavity, Anthony, and Derringer short story awards. His novella Lost in Clover was listed in Spinetingler Magazine’s Best Crime Fiction of 2012. His second novella, Keeping the Record, came out in 2014. He has published stories in crime fiction publications such as "Jewish Noir" "44 Caliber Funk", "Thuglit", "Shotgun Honey", "Flash Fiction Offensive", and "All Due Respect". Currently he is trying to read 1000 short stories this year at #1000storychallenge.

Speaker: Annette Rogers
Bio: Annette Rogers, Poisoned Pen Press editor, became addicted to reading during dark childhood winters in Juneau, Alaska, when she read the city library from one side to the other. Now she edits Poisoned Pen Press mysteries and evaluates new mystery submissions. She has published a bestselling history/travel book on Egypt, served as Managing Editor for Utah Holiday Magazine, written for O, the Oprah Magazine, and reported for Time/Life. She holds a Master’s Degree in History and English.

Speaker: Terry Shames
Bio: Terry Shames writes the best-selling Samuel Craddock series, published by Seventh Street Books. A Killing at Cotton Hill won the Macavity Award for Best First Mystery. MysteryPeople named Shames one of the top five Texas mystery writers of 2015. Her fifth novel, The Necessary Murder of Nonie Blake, won the RTReviews award for Best Contemporary Mystery of 2016. An Unsettling Crime for Samuel Craddock, January, 2017, received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly.

Speaker: Nancy Cole Silverman
Bio: Nancy Cole Silverman is the author of Carol Childs Mysteries, including Shadow of a Doubt, Beyond a Doubt, and Without a Doubt, published by Henery Press. In addition, she has written a number of award-winning short stories.

Speaker: Patricia Smiley
Bio: Patricia Smiley is the author of the Tucker Sinclair mystery series. Pacific Homicide is the first in a new series, a hard-boiled police procedural featuring LAPD Homicide Detective Davie Richards. The second, Outside the Wire, is set for release on November 8, 2017, followed by the third installment in 2018.

Speaker: Carole Sojka
Bio: Carole Sojka is the author of a mystery series set on Florida's Treasure Coast. The latest in the series, Reasons to Disappear, will be out in the summer of 2017. She is also the author of a stand alone thriller, Psychic Damage. A former New Yorker, she now lives in a small town east of Los Angeles with her husband and two dogs, Sterling and Charlie.

Speaker: Ann Redisch Stampler
Bio: Ann Redisch Stampler is author of the young adult novels Afterparty and Where It Began, and six picture books. Her work has garnered an Aesop accolade, the National Jewish Book Award, the Middle East Book Award, and Bank Street Best Books of the Year mentions. How to Disappear (Simon Pulse, 2016) is her first thriller. Before becoming a full-time writer, Ann was a lawyer and a therapist. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband Rick.

Speaker: Laurie Stevens
Bio: Laurie Stevens is the author of the Gabriel McRay thrillers. The books have won twelve awards, including Kirkus Reviews Best of 2011, the 2014 IPPY, Library Journal's 2015 Self-E Award, and the 2016 Amsterdam Book Festival. Laurie is a "hybrid" author, first self-publishing her books then signing with an agent and selling her books to Random House, Germany. An active member of MWA, Laurie serves on the board of SinC/LA.

Speaker: Phoef Sutton
Bio: Phoef Sutton is a New York Times Bestselling author. The winner of two Emmy Awards for his work on Cheers and a Peabody Award for Boston Legal. His novels included Fifteen Minutes to Live, Crush, and (with Janet Evanovich) Wicked Charms and Curious Minds. He lives in South Pasadena, California with his wife and two daughters.

Speaker: Duane Swierczynski
Bio: Duane Swierczynski is the two-time Edgar-nominated author of ten novels including Revolver, Canary, and the Shamus Award-winning Charlie Hardie series. Duane has also written over 250 comics for Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, Valiant, IDW and Archie, and collaborated with CSI creator Anthony E. Zuiker on the bestselling Level 26 series. A native Philadelphian, he now lives in Los Angeles with his wife and children.

Speaker: Wendall Thomas
Bio: Wendall Thomas teaches in the Graduate Film School at UCLA, lectures internationally on screenwriting, and has worked as an entertainment reporter, script consultant, and film and television writer. Her short fiction has appeared in the crime anthologies LAdies Night (2015) and LAst Resort (2017) and her novelLost Luggage will be published by Poisoned Pen Press in October 2017.

Speaker: Kate Thornton
Bio: With over 100 short stories in print, Kate Thornton has been writing multi-genre short stories for decades. One of the editors for Sisters in Crime Los Angeles' recent anthology, LAdies Night, she now lives in Tucson, AZ where she is working on a series of romantic crime novels.

Speaker: Holly Watson
Bio: Holly Watson is the principal of the literary publicity firm HWPR, which is based in Los Angeles and was opened in October 2015. Since its inception, HWPR has specialized in working on adult fiction and non-fiction media campaigns. Holly has nearly two decades of experience working for major book publishing houses, both in NYC and remotely from LA, including Viking Penguin Books and W.W. Norton & Co. Over the years, she has worked with crime writers such as Elizabeth Little, Ryan Gattis, and Gregg Hurwitz.

Speaker: Holly West
Bio: Holly West is the Anthony Award-nominated author of the Mistress of Fortune series, set in 17th century London and featuring Isabel Wilde, a mistress to King Charles II who secretly makes her living as a fortuneteller. Her short stories have been featured in several crime fiction anthologies, including The Big Book of Jack the Ripper (ed. Otto Penzler) and most recently, 44 Caliber Funk (eds. Gary Phillips and Robert Randisi).

Speaker: Jeri Westerson
Bio: Los Angeles native and award-winning author Jeri Westerson writes the critically acclaimed Crispin Guest Medieval Mysteries, historical novels, urban fantasy (including the upcoming Book of the Hidden series), and the Skyler Foxe LGBT Mysteries. To date, her medieval mysteries have garnered twelve industry award nominations, from the Agatha to the Shamus. Jeri is the former president of the SoCal chapter of MWA, and frequently guest lectures on medieval history at local colleges and museums.

Speaker: Beth Yarnall
Bio: Daphne du Maurier winner and Rita® finalist, Beth Yarnall, writes mysteries, romantic suspense, and the occasional hilarious tweet. A storyteller since her playground days, Beth remembers her friends asking her to make up stories of how the person 'died' in the slumber party game Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board, so it's little wonder she prefers writing stories in which people meet unfortunate ends. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two sons, and their rescue dog where she is hard at work on her next novel.

Speaker: Will Zeilinger
Bio: Will’s novels range from mystery to romantic comedy. His short story, "Under the House", is featured in the U.K anthology Haunted Tales. Other books include The Final Checkpoint, Something’s Cooking at Dove Acres, and The Naked Groom. He cowrites the Skylar Drake Mystery series with his wife Janet Lynn.

Speaker: James Ziskin
Bio: ames Ziskin is the Edgar, Anthony, Barry, and Lefty-Award nominated author of the Ellie Stone mysteries. He was director of NYU's Casa Italiana before transferring to Los Angeles in 1998, where he worked in the Hollywood post-production industry, running major international operations in subtitling and visual effects. He recently moved to Seattle. The fifth Ellie Stone mystery, Cast the First Stone (June 6, 2017), is set in 1962 Los Angeles.


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