Our 2013 Conference Board members are:
Vanitha Sankaran is a novelist whose debut work, Watermark: A Novel of the Middle Ages, was published in 2010 by HarperCollins. Set in fourteenth century France, the novel tells the story of a mute daughter of the town papermaker who finds escape and solace in the wonder of the written word. Vanitha originally embarked on a career in the biomedical sciences, earning her Ph.D. in the field from Northwestern University. Writing was never far from her mind, however, and after publishing a number of award-winning short stories online and in print, she earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University. www.vanithasankaran.com.
Hotel & Bookseller Liaison
Joyce Elson Moore is an award-winning novelist whose appearances include conferences throughout the U.S. where she gives workshops on the craft of writing. Her historical novel, The Tapestry Shop, won the Bronze Medallion from the prestigious Florida Book Awards in the category of Popular Fiction. An historical romance took First Place in the RPLA Awards sponsored by the Florida Writers’ Association, and was rated four stars in Romantic Times. She also has written a book about historic sites in Florida. Two of her novels, available in digital format, are part of a planned series on Women in History. They are published under her pen name, Elizabeth Elson, and sell worldwide
Cindy Vallar is a historical novelist and a free-lance editor. The former Associate Editor of Industry for HNS’s Solander Magazine, she now writes her column, “The Red Pencil,” for Historical Novels Review. Cindy, who received the first Friend of Clan Cameron Award in 2005, has written The Scottish Thistle, a novel of the Rising of 1745, and Odin’s Stone, a historical romantic short story about the medieval feud between the MacKinnons and MacLeans on the Isle of Skye. She is also the Editor of Pirates and Privateers, an online publication about the history of maritime piracy. Her current work-in-progress is a novel that combines her love of history with her passion for pirates. She presents workshops, both online and in person, for writers who want to bring more realism and historical accuracy to their novels. http://www.cindyvallar.com
Marian Fox, has enjoyed a long career as an artist/educator. Her degrees from the University of Florida, B.A.A., M.Ed., Ed.S., include major areas of study in painting, studio arts, art history, criticism of art, art education, and doctoral studies in curriculum and instruction. She is the former Director of Visual Resources for the UF Colleges of Fine Arts, Architecture, and Arts and Sciences and served as lecturer and docent trainer for the Fine Arts Gallery. Writing fiction is a relatively new endeavor; her current work-in-progress is a historical novel set in Italy during the late 19th century with the major characters emigrating to New York’s “Little Italy” in the early decades of the 20th century. She is on the Board of Directors for the Florida Chapter of the Historical Novel Society. She is also a member of RWA, and serves as publicist for SSRA of Citrus County. She and her husband Gene are Charter Board members of the Citrus Cultural Alliance.
Webmaster & Publicity
Mary F. Burns is the author of Portraits of an Artist, is a member of and book reviewer for the Historical Novel Society. Her debut historical novel J-The Woman Who Wrote the Bible was published in July 2010 by O-Books (John Hunt Publishers, UK). Ms. Burns was born in Chicago, Illinois and attended Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, where she earned both Bachelors and Masters degrees in English, along with a high school teaching certificate. She relocated to San Francisco in 1976. Mary also has a law degree from Golden Gate University. www.maryfburns.com.
Treasurer & Bookseller Liaison
Valerie Weston grew up to be an accountant, decided that was not her HEA, and gave the other side of her brain a go. She resolves the bittersweet tedium of her jewelry design and fabrication profession by listening to a dozen historical fiction novels a month. She has listened to the Jack Aubrey/Steven Maturin series of 21 novels by Patrick O’Brian straight through four times. When she recently barked at a mini-van full of rowdy high schoolers, “SILENCE, fore and aft!”, she quickly switched to Bernard Cornwell’s Richard Sharpe series and is keeping a low profile amongst the parent volunteers. She supported Joyce Elson Moore in establishing the first USA chapter of the HNS, located in central Florida. She lives in Tampa with her supportive husband Paul and beautiful daughter Tori. Oh, and her 20-pound tabby Jinx and 6-pound Yorkie named CatToy.
Ann Chamberlin majored in Archaeology of the Middle East at the University of Utah. She reads Hebrew, Arabic, Egyptian hieroglyphs and ancient Akkadian as well as French and German. She has traveled across all of North Africa, Turkey,Syria and Jordan. She has two sons, one cat, twenty-two chickens and lives in an old farm house on nearly two acres near Salt Lake City.Ann is the author of fourteen historical novels. Her trilogy set in the 16thcentury Ottoman Empire was on the bestsellers list in Turkey for over six months. THE SWORD OF GOD and CHOOSERS OF THE SLAIN are her most recent titles.She is the author of many plays including JIHAD, produced by New Perspectives Theatre in New York City, and she has owned a bookshop at the Arizona Renaissance Festival for the last seven years. She works at the University of Utah Middle East library.
Non-Board Coordinator Positions
Volunteer Coordinator: Meredith West
Blue Pencil Cafe Coordinator: Jeri Smith