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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: Sue Grafton
Website: www.suegrafton.com
Bio: Sue Grafton is an international bestseller with a readership in the millions. Her alphabetic series (A is for Alibi, B is for Burglar, et. al.), featuring character Kinsey Millhone has been published in 28 countries and 26 languages. Sue believes: "The mystery novel offers a world in which justice is served. Maybe not in a court of law, but people do get their just desserts." She's been married to Steve Humphrey for more than twenty years. She has three kids and four grandkids. She loves cats, gardens, and good cuisine. She lives in Montecito, California, the inspiration for "Santa Theresa" and in Louisville, Kentucky, the city in which she was born and raised.


Name: Elizabeth George
Website: www.elizabethgeorgeonline.com
Bio: Elizabeth George is a graduate of University of California in Riverside. She also attended California State University at Fullerton, where she was awarded a master's degree in Counseling/Psychology and an honorary doctorate of humane letters. She began her career as a teacher at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana and later moved to El Toro High School in El Toro, California where she was selected Orange County Teacher of the Year. She left education when she sold her first novel, A Great Deliverance. Elizabeth has won the Anthony Award, the Agatha Award, and France's Le Grand Prix de Literature Policiere for her novel A Great Deliverance, for which she was also nominated for the EdgarTM and the Macavity Awards. She has also been awarded Germany's MIMI for her novel Well-Schooled in Murder. Most of her novels have been filmed by for television by the BBC and have been broadcast in the US on PBS's Mystery.


Name: Colleen Dunn Bates
Website: www.prospectparkbooks.com
Bio: Colleen Dunn Bates is the publisher at Prospect Park Books, an independent press in Pasadena, California. She founded Prospect Park in 2006 after spending 25 years as an author, magazine journalist, book editor, and newspaper editor. Prospect Park publishes trade books in several areas: fiction, humor, food/cooking, children’s and regional. Titles include Naomi Hirahara’s new Mas Arai mystery, Strawberry Yellow; Lian Dolan’s bestselling Helen of Pasadena and her brand-new novel Elizabeth the First Wife; the anthology Literary Pasadena: The Fiction Edition; The Texas Twist, John Vorhaus’s comic crime caper; Little Flower: Recipes from the Café; Things I Want to Punch in the Face; and The Break-Up Activity Book. Prospect Park’s books are distributed by Consortium/Perseus. Bates is on the board of directors of PubWest, a national association for small and mid-size publishers. A sixth-generation Southern Californian, she lives in Pasadena with her husband, Darryl Bates, a television editor. They have two daughters.


Name: Brett Battles
Website: brettbattles.com
Bio: Brett Battles is the author of over fifteen novels and several short stories. His first novel, The Cleaner, was nominated for a Barry Award for Best Thriller, and a Shamus award for Best Debut Novel. His second, The Deceived, won the Barry Award for Best Thriller. He is one of the founding members of Killer Year, and a member of International Thriller Writers and Mystery Writers of America. He lives and writes in Los Angeles.


Name: Eric Beetner
Website: ericbeetner.blogspot.com
Bio: Eric Beetner is the author of The Devil Doesn't Want Me, Dig Two Graves and the story collection, A Bouquet Of Bullets. He is co-author (with JB Kohl) of the novels One Too Many Blows To The Head and Borrowed Trouble. He has also written two novellas in the popular Fightcard series, Split Decision and A Mouth Full Of Blood. His award-winning stories have appeared in over a dozen anthologies and he was voted 2012 Most Criminally Underrated Author by the Stalker Awards.


Name: James Scott Bell
Website: www.jamesscottbell.com
Bio: James Scott Bell is the author of the #1 bestseller for writers, Plot & Structure, and numerous thrillers, including Deceived, Try Dying and Watch Your Back. His novella One More Lie was the first self-published work to be nominated for an International Thriller Writers Award. Under the pen name K. Bennett, he is also the author of the Mallory Caine zombie legal thriller series, which begins with Pay Me in Flesh. He has served on the Board of the Southern California chapter of MWA and as the fiction columnist for Writer's Digest magazine. He lives in and writes about Los Angeles.

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: Paul Bishop
Website: www.bishsbeat.blogspot.com
Bio: A novelist, screenwriter, and television personality, Paul Bishop recently finished a 35 year career with the Los Angeles Police Department where he was twice honored as Detective Of The Year. He continues to work privately as a deception expert and as a specialist in the investigation of sex crimes. Paul currently writes and edits the novels in the successful Fight Card series, which feature fast action boxing tales inspired by the fight pulps of the ‘40s and ‘50s. His other books include Hot Pursuit, Deep Water, Penalty Shot, Suspicious Minds, and five novels in his L.A.P.D. Detective Fey Croaker series (Kill Me Again, Grave Sins, Tequila Mockingbird, Chalk Whispers, and Pattern of Behavior). His novels are all currently available as e-books.


Name: John Brantingham
Website: johnbrantingham.blogspot.com
Bio: John Brantingham is the author of suspense novels, literary fiction, and poetry collections such as Mann of War, Let Us All Pray Now to Our Own Strange Gods, and East of Los Angeles. His poetry and fiction has been published in hundreds of magazines and on Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac.


Name: Helen Breitwieser
Website: www.cornerstoneliterary.com
Bio: Helen Breitwieser is a literary agent and owner of Cornerstone Literary Agency in Los Angeles, CA. Her agency represents a wide range of novelists with an emphasis on women's fiction, children's books, romance and suspense/mystery. Clients include Katherine Center, Beth Fantaskey, C.S. Harris, Rachel Lee, Sophia Nash, Ursula Vernon, Tracy Anne Warren and Ahmet Zappa. Before founding Cornerstone Literary in 1998, she was a literary agent at the William Morris Agency in New York.


Name: Craig Faustus Buck
Website: www.craigfaustusbuck.com
Bio: Craig Faustus Buck has been writing and producing TV series and movies for more than four decades, including many network mysteries. He wrote an Oscar-nominated short film and co-wrote the seminal NBC miniseries V: The Final Battle. He has written hundreds of magazine and newspaper articles worldwide and co-authored six nonfiction books, including Toxic Parents, a NYT #1 bestseller. His indie feature, Smuggling for Gandhi, is currently in preproduction. He is on the Boards of both Mystery Writers of America SoCal and Sisters in Crime LA. He is working on his second noir novel, Go Down Screaming while his agent shops his first, Go Down Hard, the Claymore Award First Runner Up at Killer Nashville.


Name: Nancie Clare
Bio: Nancie Clare is the co-founder and co-editorial director of Noir Magazine, the first-of-its-kind tablet publication covering the mystery, thriller and true crime genres in print, Ebook, graphic novels, film, TV and video games. She is a Los Angeles-based editor with more than 20 years of experience in print, on the web and electronic tablets covering popular culture. Her experience includes more than a decade as an editor at Los Angeles Magazine and editor in chief of LA, The Los Angeles Times Magazine, which, in 2012, received the Robert F. Kennedy Award for International Photography. Along with Noir Magazine’s other co-founder, Rip Georges, Clare crafted issues of the LA, The Los Angeles Times Magazine dedicated to the genre of mystery fiction each April.


Name: Ann Collette
Website: www.reesagency.com
Bio: Ann Collette was a freelance writer and editor before joining the Rees Literary Agency in 2000. Her fiction, reviews and feature articles appeared in over 30 different publications. In her capacity as an agent, she likes literary, mystery, thrillers, suspense, vampire, and commercial women's fiction. Some of her current clients include Craig Faustus Buck, Carol Carr, Chrystle Fieldler, Clay and Susan Griffith, Vicki Lane, Mark Pryor and Barbara Shapiro, author of The Art Forger. Ann accepts hardcopy and email submissions, which should include a terse query letter and first chapter.


Name: Matt Coyle
Website: www.mattcoylebooks.com
Bio: Matt Coyle grew up in Southern California, battling his brother and sisters for respect and the best spot on the couch in front of the TV. He knew he wanted to be a writer at the age of twelve when his father gave him The Simple Art of Murder by Raymond Chandler. Yesterday's Echo is Matt’s first novel. He drew from his days in the restaurant business and his extended family’s law enforcement background in creating this book. Matt lives in San Diego with his wife, Deborah, and their Yellow Lab, Angus.


Name: Ruth Arvidson Curry
Bio: Ruth Arvidson Curry has been a prosecutor's paralegal for many years. For the last 15 years of her career, she and her partner Anthony Manzella prosecuted 16 murders ordered and carried out by the Mexican Mafia. She also assisted in the prosecution of other gang murders that were not Eme-related. Ruth retired in 2009 and relaxes in a condo on the beach where her grandchildren frequently visit. Because of the nature of her work, Ruth is armed everywhere she travels.


Name: Rebecca Dahlke
Website: rpdahlke.com
Bio: Rebecca (RP) Dahlke writes mysteries with humor and family dynamics taken from her own life experiences. The Dead Red series is based on her years running her father's crop-dusting business in the central valley of California, and a romantic sailing series based on her time with her husband sailing a 47ft Hylas in Mexico.


Name: John DeDakis
Website: www.johndedakis.com
Bio: Journalist and novelist John DeDakis is a Senior Copy Editor on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer." DeDakis is the author of two mystery-suspense novels, Fast Track and Bluff. He is a manuscript editor, writing workshop leader, and has taught journalism at American University in Washington, D.C. and novel writing at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia. During his award-winning 40-year career in journalism (24 years at CNN), DeDakis has been a White House Correspondent and interviewed such luminaries as Alfred Hitchcock, Jimmy Carter, and Ronald Reagan. He lives in Washington, D.C.


Name: Tyler Dilts
Website: www.tylerdilts.com
Bio: Tyler Dilts received his BA in Theatre from California State University, Long Beach and performed in more than fifty stage productions before turning his focus to writing. He returned to CSULB for an MA in English Literature and an MFA in Fiction Writing. His work has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and The Best American Mystery Stories, and he is the author of A King of Infinite Space and The Pain Scale, the first two novels in the Long Beach Homicide series featuring Detective Danny Beckett. He lives and teaches in Long Beach, California.


Name: Elyse Dinh-McCrillis
Website: theeditninja.com, popculturenerd.com
Bio: Elyse Dinh-McCrillis has been a freelance editor for over twelve years, working with authors such as Brett Battles, Richard Bard, Jordan Dane, and Laura Benedict, and publishers such as Thomas & Mercer. She specializes in crime fiction, and might stab you with her red pencil if you write things like "I could care less" or "I literally died." For more info, visit The Edit Ninja. She also blogs as Pop Culture Nerd.


Name: Kim Dower
Website: www.kimfromla.com
Bio: Kim Dower’s company, Kim-from-L.A., Literary & Media Services, has been helping publishers and writers successfully promote and market their books for over 25 years. Kim’s wide range of clients includes Robert Crais, Brad Meltzer, and T. Jefferson Parker. A media trainer and coach, Kim helps her clients prepare for their interviews using the book she co-authored, Life is a Series of Presentations, as her guide. A published poet, Kim’s first collection, Air Kissing on Mars was published by Red Hen Press in 2010 and appeared on the Poetry Foundation’s Contemporary Best Sellers list. Her second collection, Slice of Moon will be published in September, 2013. Kim teaches in the B.A. Program at Antioch University Los Angeles.


Name: Dianne Emley
Website: www.dianneemley.com
Bio: Dianne Emley is a Los Angeles Times bestselling author and has received critical acclaim for her Detective Nan Vining thrillers (The First Cut, Cut to the Quick, The Deepest Cut, and Love Kills) and the Iris Thorne mysteries (including Pushover out in 2013). Her short stories have been published in Shaken -- Stories for Japan and Literary Pasadena: The Fiction Edition (2013). Her books have been translated into six languages. A Los Angeles native, she splits her time between L.A. and the Central California wine country. "Emley masterfully twists, turns, and shocks." -- Tess Gerritsen


Name: Christa Faust
Website: christafaust.net
Bio: Christa Faust is the author of several novels, including Choke Hold, Money Shot and Hoodtown. Money Shot was nominated for an Edgar award, Anthony award and Barry award, and won a Spinetingler award in the ‘Rising Star’ category. She lives and writes in Los Angeles.


Name: Kendel Flaum
Website: www.henerypress.com
Bio: Kendel Flaum is a Southern California native who now parks her flip flops in Dallas, Texas. Deciding to combine her fifteen years of entrepreneurial savvy and over a decade of designing, writing, and editorial experience, she launched Henery Press, an independent publishing house focused on mystery and suspense. As managing editor, she’s always looking for engaging stories with sharp twists and lively characters, 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: Daryl Wood Gerber
Website: www.averyaames.com
Bio: Daryl Wood Gerber writes A Cookbook Nook Mystery series featuring a cookbook store owner who is an avid reader and admitted foodie. Set on the coast of California & debuts July 2013. Daryl’s short stories have been nominated for the Agatha and other awards. As Avery Aames, she writes the Agatha Award-winning, nationally bestselling Cheese Shop Mystery series. As an actress, Daryl has appeared in Murder, She Wrote and more. Visit Avery / Daryl at www.averyaames.com. She blogs on www.mysteryloverskitchen.com as well as www.killercharacters.com

Name: Seth Harwood
Website: www.sethharwood.com
Bio: Seth Harwood received an MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and went on to build a large fan base for his first novel, Jack Wakes Up, by first serializing it as a free audiobook. Across iTunes and at sethharwood.com, his work has been downloaded over one million times. His second novel, Young Junius, was named a best book of 2010 by George Pelecanos. This spring, his novels This Is Life and In Broad Daylight will release from Thomas & Mercer. He teaches writing at Stanford and the City College of San Francisco.


Name: Gar Anthony Haywood
Website: www.garanthonyhaywood.com/gah_author_home/gah_author_home.html
Bio: Gar Anthony Haywood is the Shamus and Anthony award-winning author of twelve crime novels. His short fiction has been included in the Best American Short Stories anthologies and Booklist has called him "a writer who has always belonged in the upper echelon of American crime fiction." His most recent novel is Assume Nothing, and the six books in his Aaron Gunner P.I. series have just been re-issued as e-books by Mysterious Press.


Name: Christian Hoffman
Website: www.atf.gov
Bio: Special Agent Christian Hoffman is a 17 year veteran in law enforcement. He has been with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) for over seven years, spending the first five years working undercover gathering evidence against some of the most dangerous criminal gang members in Southern California. Special Agent Hoffman is currently the spokesperson for the Los Angeles Field Division which covers all of southern California and Team Leader of the Crisis/Hostage Negotiator Unit for the ATF Special Response Team (SRT) for the West Coast.


Name: Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Website: www.howtodoitfrugally.com
Bio: Carolyn Howard-Johnson is a novelist, poet, and author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers including, The Frugal Book Promoter. Awards for the series include the USA Book News Award and the Readers’ Views Literary Award. Her marketing campaigns have been winners of the New Generation Indie Book Award for Marketing and the Irwin Award. Howard-Johnson is the recipient of the California Legislature’s Woman of the Year in Arts and Entertainment Award and her community’s Character and Ethics award for her work promoting tolerance with her writing. She was named to Pasadena Weekly’s list of 14 women of "San Gabriel Valley women who make life happen," and she teaches at UCLA Extension’s world-renown Writers’ Program.


Name: Steven Hutson
Website: www.wordwisemedia.com
Bio: Steven Hutson is a literary agent with WordWise Media Services. He is a native of Los Angeles, a child of the sixties, and a storyteller almost from birth. He represents a wide range of fiction and nonfiction books for adults and children, having placed his clients with publishers such as Dutton, Thomas Nelson, OakTara, Potomac Books, NavPress, and Pelican Book Group. Between book projects Steve directs a writers’ conference, writes a blog about politics and religion, and serves on the Board of Trustees for his local public library.


Name: Dana Isaacson
Website: www.randomhouse.com
Bio: Dana Edwin Isaacson has been a Senior Editor at the Random House Publishing Group for ten years, where he has worked with numerous bestselling authors including Dianne Emley, Tess Gerritsen, Caleb Carr and Rita Mae Brown. He is now overseeing RH’s new original eBook mystery/thriller line, Alibi.


Name: Sue Ann Jaffarian
Website: www.sueannjaffarian.com
Bio: Sue Ann Jaffarian is a critically acclaimed author whose books have been lauded by the New York Times, optioned for film/TV rights, and praised by New York Times best-selling author Lee Child and Emmy award-winning actress Camryn Manheim. She is the author of the Ghost of Granny Apples Mystery series, the Odelia Grey Mystery series, and the Madison Rose Vampire Mysteries, as well as numerous short stories. In addition to being a writer, Sue Ann is a sought-after motivational speaker and a full-time paralegal for a Los Angeles law firm.


Name: Darrell James
Website: darrelljames.com
Bio: Darrell James is the author of both short stories and novels. His short stories have appeared in numerous mystery magazines and book anthologies, and have garnered a number of awards, to include his latest story in the Lee Child anthology, Vengeance, with Lee Child, Michael Connelly, Dennis Lehane, Alafair Burke, Karin Slaughter and other notable authors. His Del Shannon series of novels include: Nazareth Child, winner of the Left Coast Crime Eureka Award for Best First Novel, and Sonora Crossing, released in Sept. 2012. Book three in the series, Purgatory Key, is forthcoming in August 2013.


Name: Georgia Jeffries
Website: www.huffingtonpost.com/georgia-jeffries
Bio: Georgia Jeffries is a writer-producer of Emmy Award winning drama: Cagney & Lacey, China Beach, Sisters and New York News. Honored with two Writers Guild Awards, The Humanitas Prize and the WIFTS Screenwriter of the Year Award, she created a dozen pilots for ABC, CBS, NBC and Showtime. Her cable teleplays for HBO, Showtime and USA include two adaptations, Tin Wife and Your Blues Ain't Like Mine. A professor at USC's School of Cinematic Arts, she is a contributor to Huffington Post and Los Angeles Review of Books and is completing a novel inspired by the mystery surrounding her aunt's murder.


Name: Tammy Kaehler
Website: www.tammykaehler.com
Bio: Tammy Kaehler’s career in marketing and technical writing landed her in the world of automobile racing, which inspired her with its blend of drama, competition, and welcoming people. Her debut, Dead Man’s Switch, was praised by mystery fans as well as racing insiders, and she takes readers back behind the wheel in Braking Points, the second Kate Reilly Racing Mystery. Tammy works as a technical writer in the Los Angeles area, where she lives with her husband and many cars.


Name: Susan Kandel
Website: www.susankandel.com
Bio: Susan Kandel is a Los Angeles native. Trained as an art historian, she spent most of the ‘90s as an art critic at the Los Angeles Times, and also taught art history and theory at NYU and UCLA. In 2004, her first book, I Dreamed I Married Perry Mason, was published. Since then, four more of the critically acclaimed and best-selling Cece Caruso mysteries have appeared, the most recent of which, Dial H for Hitchcock, was selected by NPR as one of 2009's five best mysteries. She lives in West Hollywood with her husband and teenage daughter, and is currently at work on a new book.


Name: Andrew Kaplan
Website: www.andrewkaplan.com
Bio: Andrew Kaplan is the internationally known author of the NY Times bestselling Scorpion spy thriller series, including his latest, Scorpion Deception. A former journalist and war correspondent, he covered events around the world and served in both the U.S. Army and the Israeli Army. His books have sold millions of copies and have been translated into twenty languages. His film-writing career includes the James Bond classic, Goldeneye. He is the author of the highly anticipated, Homeland: Carrie’s Run from William Morrow; an original prequel novel based on the award-winning hit television series, Homeland.


Name: Jessica Kaye
Website: www.kayemills.com
Bio: Jessica Kaye, of Kaye & Mills, is an entertainment and publishing attorney. She founded The Publishing Mills, an audiobook publisher which won a Grammy Award. She has served as President of the Audio Publishers Association and on the Board of Governors for the Los Angeles Chapter of the National Academy for Recording Arts & Sciences. She is a current member of the board of Victory Theatre Center in Burbank. Ms. Kaye owns Big Happy Family, LLC, a digital distribution company for audiobooks. She is the creator and co-editor of the short story anthology Meeting Across the River (Bloomsbury, 2005).


Name: Gay Kinman
Website: www.gaykinman.com
Bio: Gay Toltl Kinman has served on two Edgars Award committees -- Chair of the Best Children's Mystery and as a member of the Best Young Adult Mystery. She has been a judge for the EPPIES, the award of the Electronically Published Internet Connection, and for chapters of the Romance Writers of America. Kinman has been Chair or member of all the Shamus Award committees for the Private Eye Writers of America; and is currently the Chair of the Shamus Awards. She has nine award nominations for her writing including three Agatha nominations, Kinman has library and law degrees.


Photo by Alfred Benjamin
Name: Jonathan Kirsch
Website: www.jonathankirsch.com
Bio: Jonathan Kirsch is the author of 13 books, including the best-seller A History of the End of the World: How the Most Controversial Book in the Bible Changed the Course of Western Civilization (HarperOne). His next book is The Short, Strange Life of Herschel Grynszpan: A Boy Avenger, a Nazi Diplomat and a Murder in Paris, set for release in 2013.

Kirsch is also an attorney specializing in publishing law and intellectual property. He serves as pro bono publishing counsel for The Jewish Journal, the Independent Book Publishers Association, and the Western Publications Associations, and writes and speaks frequently on publishing industry matters. He is a longtime book reviewer for the Los Angeles Times and a former correspondent for Newsweek.


Name: Leslie S. Klinger
Website: www.lesliesklinger.com
Bio: Leslie S. Klinger is one of the world's foremost authorities on Sherlock Holmes and Dracula. He is the editor of the three-volume set The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes, published by W.W. Norton in 2004 and 2005. The first two volumes, The Complete Short Stories, won the EdgarTM, the highest award of the Mystery Writers of America, for "Best Critical/Biographical" work in 2005 and were short-listed for every other major mystery award. The third volume, The Novels was nominated for an EdgarTM and a QuillTM award as well as every other major mystery award. In 2008, The New Annotated Dracula was published by W. W. Norton to critical acclaim. His current project is The Annotated Sandman for DC Comics. He is also co-editing a collection of classic essays on Sherlock Holmes with New York Times best-selling author Laurie R. King.


Name: Harley Jane Kozak
Website: www.harleyjanekozak.com
Bio: Harley Jane Kozak, a sometimes actress, lives with her family in southern California. Her debut novel, Dating Dead Men, won the Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity awards, and was followed by three more series books and then a paranormal mystery called Keeper of the Moon. Her short prose has appeared in Ms. Magazine, Soap Opera Digest, 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.


Name: Rob Kroese
Website: www.robertkroese.com
Bio: Rob Kroese's sense of irony was honed growing up in Grand Rapids, Michigan - home of the Amway Corporation and the Gerald R. Ford Museum. After barely graduating from Calvin College in 1992 with a philosophy degree, he was fired from a variety of jobs before calling upon his extensive knowledge of useless information and love of explosions to write his first novel, Mercury Falls. Since then, he has written three other novels. He is currently working on a novel called Schrödinger's Gat, which he calls a "quantum physics noir thriller." Rob lives in Ripon, California with his wife and two children.


Name: Thomas J. Leighton
Website: www.fbi.gov
Bio: FBI Special Agent Thomas Leighton is currently 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. 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: Michael Levin
Website: www.businessghost.com
Bio: Michael Levin is a New York Times best-selling author who has written, co-written or ghostwritten more than 100 books, of which eight are national best sellers. Michael has published with Simon & Schuster, Random House, St. Martin’s Press, Putnam/Berkley, and many other houses. His works have been optioned for film and TV by Steven Soderbergh/Paramount, HBO, Disney, ABC, and others. One of his own novels became Model Behavior, an ABC Sunday night Disney movie of the week. He has also made contributions to the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes.com, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, the Jerusalem Post, Writers Digest and CBS News. Michael has taught writing at the University of California Los Angeles and New York University. As an Amherst College and Columbia Law School graduate, Michael served for many years as a member of the prestigious Authors Guild Council and as Treasurer of the Authors Guild Foundation.


Name: William Link
Website: www.williamlink.tv
Bio: William Link has created, written and adapted sixteen on-the-air television series along with numerous TV movies, theatrical films, plays and books. Link and his collaborator, Richard Levinson, created, among others, Columbo, Murder She Wrote, Ellery Queen, The Bold Ones, Mannix, McCloud, Tenafly, Scene of the Crime, Blacke’s Magic and The Cosby Mysteries. Link is also known for his numerous mystery/crime movies-for-television. His awards are too numerous to list here, but they include four Edgars, The Ellery Queen Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Art of Mystery Writing, The Raymond Chandler Marlowe Award from the Southern Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America and the Bouchercon XX Performance Mystery Award.


Name:Zachary Locklin
Bio: Zachary Locklin teaches creative writing, composition, and literature at CSU Long Beach and is a graduate of the Master's of Professional Writing program at USC. He has written first drafts of five crime novels, but is too lazy to type, revise, or submit any of them. Instead, he has published poems and stories in magazines such as Pearl, Freefall, Re)Verb, Poetic Diversity, Magnapoets, various Bank-Heavy Press anthologies, Beside the City of Angels: A Long Beach Poetry Anthology, and the forthcoming Long Beach Fiction Anthology from World Parade Books. He was also co-poetry-editor for the last years of the Chiron Review.


Name: Christopher Lynch
Website: www.christopherjlynch.com
Bio: Christopher J. Lynch is a Southern California native and free-lance writer living in Los Angeles. With an extensive background in non-fiction he always knew that fiction, especially hard-boiled crime fiction, was his first love. His debut novel One Eyed Jack follows the exploits and adventures of John Sharp, aka One Eyed Jack, a professional extortionist that can keep any secret for a price. But when a routine case of infidelity takes an unexpected detour, he soon finds himself caught in a tangled web of double-blackmail, commodities manipulation, and trying to save the woman who had once been his target.


Name: Anthony Manzella
Bio: As a Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney, Anthony Manzella successfully prosecuted several high profile murder cases, including the trials of Charles Manson and his crime partner Bruce Davis and two "no body" cases. He worked in the Hardcore Gang Division, then with the Major Crimes Division, prosecuting successfully several high profile gang murder trials, including those of the killers of a German tourist in Santa Monica and the killer of the granddaughter of then LAPD Chief Bernard Parks. Of the last 34 murders he has prosecuted, 16 have been murders ordered and carried out by the Mexican Mafia, including a double homicide and a quintuple homicide, each of which resulted in death verdicts. Mr. Manzella was also an Assistant Professor and later as an Adjunct Professor at Loyola University School of Law where he taught courses in Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, and Trial Advocacy.


Name: Mike Matassa
Website: www.atf.gov
Bio: Mike Matassa is a retired Supervisory Special Agent with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). He currently works as a Department of Justice consultant on organized crime money laundering and hidden assets. During Mike’s 28-year federal law enforcement career he has investigated arson, bombing, narcotics, and illegal firearms trafficking. He was the supervisor and case agent investigating Fire Captain John Orr, the most prolific serial arsonist of the 20th Century. He has also worked on the Oklahoma City Bombing and the Unabomber cases. From 2001 through 2005, he served as a senior investigator in the ATF Office of Internal Affairs.


Name: Edith Maxwell
Website: www.edithmaxwell.com
Bio: Edith Maxwell writes the Local Foods Mysteries. A Tine to Live, A Tine to Die introduces organic farmer Cam Flaherty and a colorful Locavore Club (Kensington Publishing, June 2013). Edith once owned and operated the smallest certified organic farm in Essex County, Massachusetts. Edith is also the author of Speaking of Murder (Barking Rain Press, September 2012, under pseudonym Tace Baker), which features Quaker linguistics professor Lauren Rousseau. A technical writer and fourth-generation Californian, Edith also writes short crime fiction and lives north of Boston in an antique house with her beau and three cats.


Name: Shaun Morey
Website: www.incrediblefishingstories.com
Bio: Shaun Morey is the author of the bestselling Incredible Fishing Stories series and a contributor to Sun magazine. He won the inaugural Abbey-Hill short-story contest and is a three-time winner of the Los Angeles Times novel-writing contest. Over the years, he has worked as a bartender, a fishmonger, a surf instructor, and an attorney, but he always comes back to writing.


Name: Terri Nolan
Website: www.terrinolan.com
Bio: Terri Nolan is a native Californian who grew up in the San Gabriel Valley at a time when kids played all day and returned home when the streetlights came on. She earned a B.A. in Radio/Television from the University of Texas at Arlington and is a freelance crime reporter. Her short story, Hobo Joe, appears in the anthology Murder in La La Land. Her first novel, Burden of Truth, was released in January by Midnight Ink.


Name: T. Jefferson Parker
Website: www.tjeffersonparker.com
Bio: T. Jefferson Parker’s writing career began in 1978, as a cub reporter on the weekly newspaper, The Newport Ensign. After covering police, city hall and cultural stories for the Ensign, Parker moved on to the Daily Pilot newspaper, where he won three Orange County Press Club awards for his articles. Parker's first novel, Laguna Heat, written on evenings and weekends while he worked as a journalist, was published to rave reviews and made into an HBO movie. The paperback made The New York Times Bestseller list. Parker's following novels all dealing with crime, life and death in sunny Southern California were published to rave reviews and appeared on many bestseller lists. He has won numerous awards, including two Mystery Writers of America Edgar® awards in the Best Novel category and one for his short story "Skinhead Central."


Name: John Pearsley
Bio: Detective John Pearsley was hired in 1996 with the El Cajon Police Department in San Diego County, California. He worked patrol for approximately four years working as a Gang Officer and a member of P.E.R.T. (Psychiatric Emergency Response Team). He was a member of the Crisis Negotiation Team and is an assistant range master. He spent 5 years as a Hit and Run Investigator and Collision Reconstructionist. Since 2006, Detective John Pearsley has worked in the Crimes Against Children Unit. Among the duties assigned are scene investigations for Homicides, Officer Involved Shootings and Death Investigations.


Name: Gary Phillips
Website: www.gdphillips.com
Bio: Gary Phillips draws on his experiences ranging from teaching incarcerated youth, state director of a political action committee to delivering dog cages in writing his tales of chicanery and malfeasance. His latest work includes the graphic novel Big Water, about water rights and murder. Phillips has short stories in The Heroin Chronicles and Black Pulp, which he co-edited, and he contributed an essay to the Edgar-nominated Robert Parker tribute book, In Pursuit of Spenser. KCET’s Departures picked his crime novel Warlord of Willow Ridge as one of its best books of 2012.


Name: Deborah Reed
Website: reed-braun.com
Bio: Deborah Reed is the author of the novel, Carry Yourself Back to Me, a Best Book of 2011 Amazon Editors’ Pick. She is also the author of the bestselling thriller, A Small Fortune and its sequel, Fortune’s Deadly Descent, written under the pen name, Audrey Braun. All three novels have been translated or are forthcoming in German. Her next literary novel, Things We Set On Fire will be published in fall 2013. Deborah holds a Masters in Fine Arts in Creative Writing (fiction) and teaches at workshops and conferences around the United States and in Europe. She lives in Portland, Oregon.


Name: Annette Rogers
Website: www.poisonedpenpress.com
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, corresponds with writers and agents, and evaluates new mystery submissions. Recent successes include Dennis Palumbo Night Terrors, Tammy Kaehler Braking Points, Reavis Z. Wortham The Rights Side of Wrong, Tina Whittle Blood, Ash and Bone, Jeffrey Siger Target Tinos, Clea Simon Parrots Prove Deadly, Mitchell Scott Lewis Murder in the 12th House, and Bernadette Pajer Capacity for Murder. Rogers’ soft-coated wheaten terrier Doctor Watson is an energetic, if not always helpful, sidekick. She has published a bestselling history/travel book on Egypt that was translated into six languages, written for O, the Oprah Magazine, and reported for Time/Life on court hearings covering the Mormon Bomber case. She holds a Masters Degree in History and English.


Name: Hank Phillippi Ryan
Website: www.hankphillippiryan.com
Bio: Hank Phillippi Ryan is on-the-air investigative reporter for Boston's NBC affiliate, winning 28 Emmys and dozens more journalism honors. Her work resulted in new laws, people sent to prison, and millions in restitution. She's been a radio reporter, political campaign staffer, legislative aide in the US Senate and editorial assistant at Rolling Stone Magazine. Her first novel, Prime Time, won the Agatha for Best First Mystery. Since then, she's won another Agatha, Anthony and Macavity for crime fiction. Her fifth thriller, the Other Woman, is a best-seller. Hank is on the board of MWA and president of national Sisters in Crime.


Name: Johnny Shaw
Website: www.johnnyshawauthor.com
Bio: Johnny Shaw was born and raised in the Desert Southwest on the Calexico/Mexicali border, the setting for his novels, Dove Season and Big Maria. His short stories have appeared in Thuglit, Plots With Guns, and selected anthologies. Johnny is also the creator and editor of the online fiction quarterly Blood & Tacos, a loving homage to the men’s adventure paperbacks of the 1970s & 1980s. Johnny received his MFA in Screenwriting from UCLA and over the course of his writing career has seen his screenplays optioned, sold and produced. For the last dozen years, he has taught screenwriting, as well. He has lectured at both Santa Barbara City College and UC Santa Barbara. He lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, artist Roxanne Patruznick. You can find him online at www.johnnyshawauthor.com or follow him on Twitter @BloodAndTacos.

Name: Patricia Smiley (CO-CHAIR)
Website: www.patriciasmiley.com
Bio: Patricia Smiley’s novels have been welcomed with warm reviews and have appeared on several bestseller lists, including the Los Angeles Times list. Her short fiction has been published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine and Two of the Deadliest, an anthology edited by Elizabeth George. Patty earned a BA in Sociology from the University of Washington in Seattle and holds an MBA with honors from Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. Her first novel, False Profits, was recently optioned for development as a television series. Patty lives in Los Angeles and is working on her fifth novel, a police procedural based on her 15 years experience as a volunteer for the LAPD. She currently serves as President of Sisters in Crime/Los Angeles.


Name: David Hale Smith
Website: www.inkwellmanagement.com
Bio: Agent David Hale Smith of InkWell Management, Inc. is looking for the next Lee Child or Gillian Flynn. Prior to joining InkWell in 2011, he operated his eponymous literary agency in Texas, starting a few years after graduating with a BA in English from Kenyon College. His fiction list includes New York Times Bestselling novelists Michael Koryta and Greg Rucka; Edgar® winners Theresa Schwegel and Stefanie Pintoff; and multiple Bram Stoker Award and ITW Thriller Award winner, Tom Piccirilli. Smith is very active in selling film and television rights for his clients. In nonfiction he represents such authors as Dr. Jennifer Ashton, the Senior Medical Correspondent for ABC News, frequent Today Show guest nutritionist Elizabeth Somer, and Texas journalist Bill Minutaglio. Smith lives in Dallas with his wife and two daughters. An Eagle Scout, he serves on the board of directors of arts and education-focused nonprofits Educational First Steps and The Dallas International Film Festival.


Name: Elizabeth Smith
Bio: Elizabeth Smith, a 30-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 Sheriff’s Station. Elizabeth was assigned three years in Sacramento, where she lobbied for issues related to crime and the Sheriff’s 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: Alexandra Sokoloff
Website: www.alexandrasokoloff.com
Bio: Alexandra Sokoloff is the bestselling author of The Harrowing, The Price, The Unseen, Book of Shadows, The Space Between, and Huntress Moon. She is a Thriller Award winner and an Anthony, Bram Stoker and Black Quill nominee. As a screenwriter, she has sold original scripts and written novel adaptations for numerous Hollywood studios. Alex also teaches the internationally acclaimed Screenwriting Tricks for Authors workshop, based on her writing workbooks and blog.


Name: Rochelle Staab
Website: www.rochellestaab.com
Bio: Rochelle Staab, a former award-winning Top 40 radio programmer and music industry advertising and marketing executive, blends her fascination with the supernatural and a love for mystery in her bestselling Mind for Murder Mystery series featuring L.A. psychologist Liz Cooper and occult expert Nick Garfield. According to Library Journal, Staab sets her fairly sophisticated blend of the occult in a flashy West Coast locale for great escape reading." Her debut, Who Do, Voodoo? garnered Agatha, Anthony, and Eureka! Best First Mystery nominations. Hex on the Ex, the third Mind for Murder Mystery, was released in May.


Name: Paul Kareem Tayyar
Website: www.paultayyar.com
Bio:Paul Kareem Tayyar's most recent book is the novella In the Footsteps of the Silver King (Spout Hill Press). Previous books include the poetry collections Follow the Sun (Aortic Books) and Scenes From A Good Life (Tebot Bach). He is the Founding Director of World Parade Books, which has published books by Rafael Zepeda, Tyler Dilts, and Donna Hilbert. He teaches English at Golden West College in Huntington Beach, California, and holds a Ph.D. in American Literature from U.C. Riverside.


Name: Diane Vallere
Website: www.dianevallere.comm
Bio: Diane Vallere is a textbook Capricorn who writes mysteries and loves clothes. In an advance review of her upcoming book, Buyer, Beware, the second in the Style & Error Mystery Series, NY Journal of Books said, "Vallere takes the reader through this cozy mystery with her signature wit and humor." Library Journal called Pillow Stalk, her first Mad for Mod Mystery, "a tremendously fun homage," and added, "Vallere debuts a well-paced cozy series." In addition to these two series, Vallere has signed on to write a fabric store-themed mystery series for Berkley Prime Crime. She launched her own detective agency at ten years old and has maintained a passion for shoes, clues, and clothes ever since.


Name: Kristen Weber
Website: www.kristenweber.com
Bio: Kristen Weber spent a decade as an editor at various book publishers in New York, including as a Senior Editor at Penguin's New American Library where she helped launch Obsidian (their dedicated mystery imprint) and as the Editorial Director of the legendary Mysterious Press. She now works as a freelance book editor in Los Angeles specializing in crime fiction. You can learn more by visiting www.kristenweber.com. Kristen also recently cofounded ShelfPleasure.com, a destination spot for women who love reading.


Name: Jeri Westerson (CO-CHAIR)
Website: www.jeriwesterson.com
Bio: Los Angeles native and award-winning author Jeri Westerson writes the critically acclaimed Crispin Guest Medieval Noir mysteries. Her brooding protagonist is Crispin Guest, a disgraced knight turned detective on the mean streets of fourteenth century London, encountering thieves, kings, poets, and religious relics. Her books have garnered nominations for the Shamus, the Macavity, the Agatha, Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice, and the Bruce Alexander Historical Mystery Award. Jeri is president of the southern California chapter of Mystery Writers of America and is vice president of the Los Angeles chapter of Sisters in Crime. When not writing, Jeri dabbles in gourmet cooking, drinks fine wines, eats cheap chocolate, and swoons over anything British.


Name: Matt Witten
Bio: Matt Witten has written in a variety of genres, including four mystery novels starring amateur sleuth Jacob Burns, which were published by Signet. The first, Breakfast at Madeline's, received the Malice Domestic Award. His television credits include House, Law & Order, Pretty Little Liars, and Homicide, among other top shows. Currently he is writing pilots for MTV and CW. His stage plays have been published by Samuel French and Dramatists Play Service and produced in theatres all over the U.S. His movie Drones is currently in postproduction.


Name: Pamela Samuels Young
Website: www.pamelasamuelsyoung.com
Bio: Pamela Samuels Young is a practicing attorney whose fast-paced legal thrillers tackle law and crime. Recognized for her savvy female characters, Pamela brings a taste of diversity to the legal fiction genre. Her novels include Attorney-Client Privilege, Buying Time and Murder on the Down Low. A former television news writer, Pamela balances her writing career while working as an in-house lawyer for a major corporation. Yet she still finds time to serve on the Board of Directors of Sisters in Crime L.A. Both self-published and traditionally published, Pamela has a wealth of knowledge to share about the publishing industry.


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