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Faculty

Sisters in Crime/Los Angeles and SoCal Mystery Writers of America welcome an outstanding complement of authors, publishers, agents and subject matter experts to our conference faculty this year. Learn more about them below. Additonal bios will be added as faculty is confirmed. Be sure to check back for more information.

Name: Charlaine Harris
Website: www.charlaineharris.com
Bio: Charlaine Harris is the New York Times bestselling author of the Sookie Stackhouse series and the Aurora Teagarden and Harper Connelly series. She has lived in the South her entire life. Visit her online at www.charlaineharris.com or www.facebook.com/charlaineharris.


Name: Anne Perry
Website: www.anneperry.co.uk
Bio: Anne Perry is a New York Times bestselling author noted for her memorable characters, historical accuracy and exploration of social and ethical issues. Her two series, one featuring Inspector Thomas Pitt and one featuring Inspector William Monk, have been published in multiple languages. Anne Perry has also published a successful series based around WW1 and the Reavley family, and the recent standalone novel The Sheen On The Silk. Anne Perry was selected by The Times of London as one of the twentieth century's '100 Masters of Crime'. She now lives in LA.


Name: Denise Bertone
Bio: Denise Bertone is assigned to the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office and is one of the few death Investigators nationwide who specializes in the investigation of neonaticide, infanticide and filicide. After graduating from Pasadena City College with an Associate Degree in nursing, Denise worked the next 20 years as a registered nurse. She specialized as a sexual assault nurse examiner while working in the emergency department at Los Angeles County USC Medical Center, one of the busiest public hospitals and medical training centers in the United States. Denise lectures at the California State Coroner's Academy and to paramedics and emergency room nurses about child deaths and crime scene/evidence preservation. Her ability to recognize the signs of abuse in infants, babies, and small children has identified Denise as an expert in that area of forensic pathology, which is often overlooked. Unlike the Coroner Investigators who have peace officer backgrounds, Denise provides a unique perspective and better understanding of the decedent's symptoms and behaviors demonstrated during the terminal event. The physical findings at autopsy never lie, but knowing the circumstances of the death assists the Medical Examiners in making sense of the anatomical findings, which occasionally determines if the death occurred by natural causes or murder. MOTTO: "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity, but don’t rule out malice."


Name: Joshua Bilmes
Website: awfulagent.com
Bio: Joshua Bilmes is the President of JABberwocky Literary Agency. After climbing the mystery ladder from the Hardy Boys to the Three Investigators to Dame Agatha and Perry Mason and ultimately the 87th Precinct, his first sale as an agent was a George Kelso mystery by Malcolm McClintick. His current mystery clients include Charlaine Harris, Toni L. P. Kelner aka Leigh Perry, Jeri Westerson and Rochelle Staab, June 2015 debut author Alex Erickson, and the estates of Ellery Queen and Stuart Palmer, as well as such crossover authors as Simon R. Green and Ari Marmell.


Name: Angela Bole
Website: www.ibpa-online.org
Bio: Angela Bole is executive director of the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), the largest book publishing association in the U.S. serving small presses and self-published authors. IBPA's mission is to lead and serve the independent publishing community by providing advocacy, education, and tools for success. Prior to joining IBPA, Angela served two years as deputy executive director of the Book Industry Study Group (BISG), an organization that fosters conversation and consensus across all sectors of the book business. Before that, she served two years as BISG's associate director and two years as its marketing and communications manager. Angela holds a Masters of Science in Book Publishing from New York University and currently serves on the board of directors for BISG and IDPF, the International Digital Publishing Forum. She lives in Redondo Beach, California where she rides her bike to work as often as possible.


Photo by Sheri McKinley Photography
Name: Jan Burke
Website: www.janburke.com
Bio: Jan Burke's fourteenth book, Disturbance, is the latest entry in the Irene Kelly series and a sequel to Bones, which won the Edgar for Best Novel. Her novels include Flight, Nine, and Bloodlines. She also wrote The Messenger, a supernatural thriller. Her books have been on the USA Today and NY Times bestseller lists, published internationally, and optioned for film and television. She is also an award-winning short story writer. She has been the GoH at crime fiction conventions. A forensic science advocate, she founded the nonprofit Crime Lab Project. She cohosts "Crime and Science Radio" with D.P. Lyle, M.D.


Name: Tyson Cornell
Website: www.rarebirdbooks.com
Bio: Tyson Cornell is the founder of Rare Bird Lit and Rare Bird Books, two Los Angeles-based marketing and publishing firms specializing in book of all varieties, including fiction, entertainment, biography, photography, political nonfiction, and music. In 2013, he co-edited, alongside Marc Weingarten, Yes Is The Answer: And Other Prog Rock Tales, a collection of essays on progressive rock, featuring Rick Moody, Charles Bock, Seth Greenland, Matthew Specktor, Beth Lisick, Margaret Wappler, Wesley Stace, and thirteen others. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children.


Name: David K. Faulkner
Bio: After receiving a BA in Biology from U.C. Santa Barbara, David Faulkner completed a single subject Life Science Teaching Credential program through C.S.U. San Diego, and an MS in Zoology (Entomology) at C.S.U. Long Beach. For almost 30 Years he was employed as the entomologist for the San Diego Natural History Museum, and traveled extensively through the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico collecting and studying insects. Since 1979, he has applied his entomological expertise to the Criminal Justice system and has been involved in over 450 death investigations in the United States, Mexico, Australia, and South Korea. In 1992, he was certified by the Institute of Criminal Investigations (ICI) to instruct classes and workshops for P.O.S.T. through C.S.U. Sacramento, the South Bay Regional Training Center in Santa Clara, and the Los Angeles Sheriff¹s Department Homicide Training Class. As a research associate for both the San Diego Natural History Museum and the California Department of Food and Agriculture Insect Detection Division, Mr. Faulkner maintains a continued interest in the regional insect fauna.


Name: Maryelizabeth Hart
Website: www.mystgalaxy.com/Reviews-Maryelizabeth
Bio: Maryelizabeth Hart is independent Southern California genre bookstore Mysterious Galaxy’s Events Coordinator, Publicity Manager, and co-owner. She is also a reviewer for Publishers Weekly and a regular attendee at genre conventions. She edited San Diego Noir for Akashic Books.


Name: Judy Kamei
Bio: Judy Kamei works at the Garden Grove Library in Garden Grove, California and is the Adult Fiction Evaluator for OC Public Libraries in Orange County, California. A lover of libraries and books since childhood Judy has many years experience in reference, cataloging and training at public libraries in Southern California. She is also a fiber artist who is active in the Greater Los Angeles Spinning Guild and whose yarns have won ribbons at the Los Angeles County Fair. A native of Boston Judy is married to retired federal special agent Bruce Kamei. The have one son who is in the army.


Name: Harley Jane Kozak
Website: www.harleyjanekozak.com
Bio: Harley Jane Kozak’s Dating Dead Men won the Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity awards, and was followed by Dating is Murder, Dead Ex, and A Date You Can’t Refuse. Her short prose has appeared in Ms. Magazine, The Sun, The 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. She’s an International Thriller Award nominee and her latest novel is the paranormal Keeper of the Moon. A sometimes actress, Harley lives with her kids and dogs in southern California.


Name: Thomas Leighton
Website: www.fbi.gov
Bio: Thomas Leighton is currently a Special Agent assigned to the FBI's Los Angeles Field Office's (LAFO) Ventura Resident Agency (VRA), where he coordinates the FBI's Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) program in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. Tom has also worked in criminal investigations, counterintelligence and counterterrorism. As a collateral duty, he serves as a Crisis Negotiator and has been a member of the LAFO Crisis Negotiation Team (CNT) since 2000. He also serves as a firearms instructor for the FBI. Before joining the FBI, Tom served as a local prosecutor in Winchester, Virginia. He received his Juris Doctorate (J.D.) from William and Mary Law School in Williamsburg, Virginia, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) from the State University of New York, College at Purchase, New York.


Name: Kendel Lynn
Website: www.henerypress.com
Bio: Kendel Lynn is a Southern California native who now parks her flip-flops in Dallas, Texas. Her debut novel, Board Stiff, was an Agatha Award nominee for Best First Novel. Along with writing and reading, Kendel spends her days as Managing Editor of Henery Press where she’s always looking for captivating stories from cozies and crime capers to paranormals and PIs. She’s got a coop full of award-winners and nominees in the Hen House, and just loves finding a gem in the slush pile.


Name: Elizabeth Smith
Bio: Elizabeth Smith, a 30-plus year veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, has spent the last 17 years of her career as a Homicide Investigator, investigating cases of murder, and other unexplained and/or suspicious deaths. After studying Criminal Justice and Human Behavior, at California State University, Long Beach and Pepperdine University, Elizabeth prepared for her Master Degree in Deviant Behavior by joining the world's largest Sheriff's Department. She had a variety of experiences with criminal behavior after being assigned to work as a deputy sheriff at both the men's and woman's county jails, court services, and as a patrol deputy and detective at a busy south central Sheriff¹s Station. Elizabeth was assigned three years in Sacramento, where she lobbied for issues related to crime and the Sheriff¹s Department, before transferring to the Homicide Bureau and investigating deaths countywide. She is currently assigned to the Homicide Bureau's Unsolved Unit. MOTTO: "MORS ET EXPECTAT" (Expect death)


Name: Shawn E. Townsend
Bio: Shawn Townsend started her library career teaching information literacy courses and managing a digital library. When she moved to Southern California, Shawn began working in public libraries. She has knowledge of collection development practices, library programming, reference and user services, and creating strategic partnerships in the community. In addition to her work in libraries, Shawn also has several years of experience in book retail, where her love of books and reading thrived, to the detriment of her paycheck. An adept of multi-tasking, you can find Shawn walking, gardening, cooking, or driving listening to a riveting mystery audiobook.


For further information on Sisters in Crime/Los Angeles and SoCal Mystery Writers of America visit their websites at sistersincrimela.com and socalmwa.com | Logo by Tom Gatica