HNS is pleased to announce our two Guests of Honor for the North American Conference in Denver in 2015.
When Karen Cushman was a little girl in Chicago, she went on walks with her Polish grandfather through the alleys of the city where she collected rubber bands, pencils, marbles, maple leaves and robins’ eggs. Her childhood treasures were kept in a box under her bed. Karen devoured books and wrote poems, plays, short stories and even a novel. Never having known an adult who was a writer, her plans for her future depended on what book she had just read, which was, as she says “everything I could get my hands on: Little Lulu comic books, Rufus M. and The Middle Moffatt, Homer Price and the Doughnut Machine, Mad magazine and Seventeen and cereal boxes.” One day she wanted to be a brain surgeon, the next a ballet dancer. It was not until she went to Stanford University that she realized she could actually do what she loved in real life. However, she didn’t start writing seriously until at the age of 49, after years of preparation – reading, writing and making up stories in her head, she felt ready to write her first book, Catherine, Called Birdy (a Newbery Honor book).
Now she collects her own fantasies, memories and imaginings and instead of a box under her bed, she puts them into her historical fiction stories about gutsy girls figuring out who they are. Sound familiar? Fortunately for her readers, she has no plans to stop writing until she is at least one hundred.
Karen is the author of eight books including The Midwife’s Apprentice (winner of the 1996 Newbery Medal), The Ballad of Lucy Whipple (winner of the John and Patricia Beatty Award), and several other prize-winning novels published by Clarion Books. Her newest book is Will Sparrow’s Road.
Karen lives with her professor husband on Vashon Island in Washington State.
Author and actor Chris (C.C.) Humphreys has written eight historical novels. The French Executioner is the tale of the man who killed Anne Boleyn, and was runner up for the CWA Steel Dagger for Thrillers 2002. It has been optioned for the screen. Its sequel was Blood Ties. Having played the part of Jack Absolute, he stole the character and has written three books on this ‘007 of the 1770’s’ – Jack Absolute, The Blooding of Jack Absolute and Absolute Honour- short listed for the 2007 Evergreen Prize by the Ontario Library Association, all currently being re-released in the US by Sourcebooks. His novel about the real Dracula, Vlad, The Last Confession was a bestseller in Canada and his novel, A Place Called Armageddon was recently published in Turkish.
He has also written a trilogy for young adults The Runestone Saga. A heady brew of Norse myth, runic magic, time travel and horror, the first book in the series The Fetch was published in North America in July 2006, with the sequel, Vendetta in August 2007 and the conclusion, Possession, August 2008. They are also published in Russia, Greece, Turkey and Indonesia. His latest Young Adult novel The Hunt of the Unicorn was released by Knopf in North America in March 2011. His new adult novel Shakespeare’s Rebel, about William Shakespeare’s fight choreographer at the time of Hamlet, was released in the UK in March 2013 and in Canada August 2011. He has recently signed to write two books for Century in the UK and Doubleday in Canada. Plague and Fire are tales of religious fundamentalist serial killers set against the wild events of 1665 to 1666, London. They will be published in 2014 and 2015.
Chris lives on Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada, with his wife and young son.