Gillian Bagwell is the author of three acclaimed historical novels and is at work on her fourth. She received a BA in Dramatic Arts from UC Berkeley, studied at the Drama Studio London in Berkeley, is a member of Actors’ Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA, and founded the Pasadena Shakespeare Company, which she ran for nine years. She coaches authors and offers workshops on giving effective public readings, and also freelances as an editor. Gillian is notorious for readings from The Darling Strumpet and her hosting of the costume pageant at previous HNS conferences. Please visit her website, gillianbagwell.com, and connect with her on Facebook and on Twitter @gillianbagwell.
Patricia Bracewell is currently at work on the third novel of her trilogy about the 11th century queen of England, Emma of Normandy. Her first two books, Shadow on the Crown and The Price of Blood, were published by the Viking line of Penguin Random House. Her novels have been published in the U.S., Canada, Britain, Australia, Italy, Germany, Russia and Brazil. In the fall of 2014 she served as Writer-in-Residence at Gladstone’s Library, Wales, and she continues to travel extensively for research. Patricia holds a Masters’ Degree in English and lives in Oakland, California.
Geraldine Brooks, a renowned author and journalist, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for March, her second novel; and is internationally renowned for her immersive character-driven historical fiction. Geraldine’s debut novel Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague was published in ten countries and was a 2001 Notable Book of the Year for The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the Chicago Tribune. Her third novel, People of the Book, became an instant New York Times bestseller; and her fourth, Caleb’s Crossing, won both the New England Book Award for Fiction and the Christianity Today Book Award, and was a finalist for the Langum Prize in American Historical Fiction. Geraldine’s latest release, The Secret Chord, about the fascinating life of King David, was published in the fall of 2015. After beginning her career at the Sydney Morning Herald, Geraldine later moved to the U.S. to attend the master’s program in journalism at Columbia University in NYC. She then spent 11 years as a correspondent for the Wall Street Journal, where her beats included some of the world’s most troubled areas, including Bosnia, Somalia, and the Middle East. Geraldine is also the author of two acclaimed works of nonfiction: Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women, and Foreign Correspondence: A Penpal’s Journey from Down Under to All Over. Geraldine was a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies at Harvard University in the fall of 2005 and received the 2010 Dayton Literary Peace Prize for Lifetime Achievement. Born in Australia, Geraldine lives with her husband Tony Horowitz and their two
sons in Massachusetts.
Mary F. Burns is the author of a historical mystery series (first one: The Spoils Of Avalon (2014)), with John Singer Sargent and Violet Paget (aka Vernon Lee) as late 19th century amateur sleuths — both were gay and reasonably well-closeted for most of their lives. Mary is a member of, and book reviewer for, the Historical Novel Society and a former member of the HNS Conference Board of Directors. Other books include Portraits of an Artist (also about Sargent), Isaac and Ishmael, J-the Woman Who Wrote the Bible, and Ember Days, a literary novel set in Mendocino in 1959.
Sandra Byrd‘s historical novels are set in England. Her latest series, Daughters of Hampshire, launched in 2015 with Mist of Midnight. That book earned a coveted Editor’s Choice from the Historical Novel Society. The second book in the series, Bride of a Distant Isle was selected by Romantic Times as a Top Pick. The final novel in that series, A Lady in Disguise, publishes in March 2017. Sandra has also published a highly acclaimed Tudor series, Ladies in Waiting.
Amalia Carosella is the author of the Helen of Sparta series, its stand-alone prequel Tamer of Horses, and Daughter of a Thousand Years—a dual narrative about Erik the Red’s pagan daughter Freydis and the echoes of her fight for freedom in modern day America. A former bookseller, Amalia received her BA in Classical Studies from the University of North Dakota. She also writes and self-publishes mythic fantasy and paranormal romance as Amalia Dillin. She lives in Upstate New York with her husband and two ridiculous cats.
Cheryl Carpinello is a retired high school English teacher. A devourer of books growing up, her profession introduced her to writings and authors from times long past. Through her studies and teaching, she fell in love with the Ancient and Medieval Worlds. Now, she hopes to inspire young readers and those young-at-heart to read more through her Tales and Legends for Reluctant Readers set in these worlds.
Isobel Carr is a bestselling author of historical romance and has presented historical clothing and food workshops at conferences and colloquiums all around the world. She grew up in the re-enactment community in Northern California and has participated in everything from The Society for Creative Anachronism to the Renaissance Pleasure Faire (yes, the original one!) to Heyer Con and The Great Dickens Christmas Fair. In her 40-plus years of re-enacting, she’s researched the everyday minutiae of just about every era from Ancient Rome to Victorian England. To find out more about Isobel and her books, visit www.isobelcarr.com.
Leslie Carroll/Juliet Grey is (to date) the author of 20 books in three genres. Her titles have been translated into 11 languages; and some have been optioned for TV and motion pictures, including Becoming Marie Antoinette, the first novel in Juliet Grey’s acclaimed Marie Antoinette trilogy. Leslie is considered to be one of America’s experts on European royalty and is a frequent media presence whenever the House of Windsor marks a milestone. The Chicago Tribune has described her historical nonfiction [about European royalty’s lives and loves] as “an irresistible combination of People Magazine and the History Channel.” Leslie is also a former NYC theatre producer, a professional actress, and an award-winning audio book narrator, specializing in bringing historical fiction alive for the listener. Her public readings are fully nuanced performances, which, her experience has proven, have immediately driven sales. Visit her at www.lesliecarroll.com
Stephanie Carroll holds degrees in history and social science, and she specializes in the American Victorian and Gilded Age. Her novel A White Room tackles hysteria and underground nursing in 1901 Missouri. It was dubbed a notable page-turner by Shelf Unbound Magazine and named USA Book News’ 2013 Best Cross-Genre Title. Her short story “Forget Me Not” was featured in Legacy: An Anthology, and her forthcoming title The Binding of Saint Barbara was inspired by the first death by electrocution in Auburn Prison in 1890, New York. She blogs about her research at www.unhingedhistorian.com. For more, visit www.stephaniecarroll.net. @CarrollBooks
Janie Chang draws upon family history for her novels because she grew up listening to stories about ancestors who encountered dragons, ghosts, and immortals; and about life in a small Chinese town in the years before the Second World War. Her first novel, Three Souls, was a finalist for the 2014 BC Book Prizes Fiction Award and also one of nine Canadian books long-listed for the 2015 IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Janie’s second novel, Dragon Springs Road, was released in January 2017.
Lisa Chaplin is a native Australian who wrote 20 novels, novellas, or online reads for Harlequin, selling nearly 2 million novels worldwide before quitting to write historical mainstream fiction. In 2014, she sold her historical fiction, The Tide Watchers, to William Morrow (US – HarperCollins UK, Canada, Australia/New Zealand). It received a starred review from Library Journal US. She is also currently under revision for an ancient historical literary fiction to Random House US and recently sold Beneath the Skin, a novel about Australia’s Stolen Generation, to MIRA Books.
Gennifer Choldenko has 2 million books in print, and is best known for her Tales from Alcatraz series. Book #1, Al Capone Does My Shirts, was a Newbery Honor Book and the recipient of twenty other awards. About her newest novel Chasing Secrets, BookPage said: “Choldenko’s ability to research obscure yet intriguing topics is uncanny, and as she did with the popular Al Capone trilogy she turns a tough topic into a high interest read . . . a compelling work of historical fiction.” Gennifer lives with her loyal husband, irreverent daughter, and naughty dog in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Chanel Cleeton grew up hearing stories of her family’s exodus from Cuba. Her passion for politics and history continued during her studies in England where she earned degrees in International Relations and Global Politics. A traveler at heart, she’s lived in the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia. Chanel’s multi-published in genre fiction by Penguin and Harlequin. Her historical fiction debut, Next Year in Havana (Penguin/Berkley 2018), spans dual timelines when a Cuban-American woman travels to Cuba to honor her grandmother’s last request, spreading her ashes over the land from which she was exiled, and discovers family secrets against the backdrop of revolution.
Mary Chase Comstock began writing Regency Romances in 1990 and currently teaches writing in Portland, Oregon where she lives with her Scottish Terrier, Irish Wolfhound, and Brazilian husband. In addition to writing Regencies, she writes a blog (Nulla Die Sine Linea –http://nulla-mary.blogspot.com), paints, and ponders big ideas. She is not athletic.
Martha Conway’s latest historical novel, The Underground River, is a June 2017 release from Simon & Schuster. Her previous novels include Thieving Forest (winner of the North American Book Award for Best Historical Fiction), Sugarland, and 12 Bliss Street (nominated for an Edgar Award). She is an instructor of creative writing at Stanford University’s Continuing Studies Program and UC Berkeley Extension. Her short fiction has been published in The Iowa Review, The Carolina Quarterly, Massachusetts Review, Folio, Epoch, and other journals. The sixth of seven daughters, Martha was born in Ohio and now lives in San Francisco.
J. James Cotter, PhD, is an associate professor at Virginia Commonwealth University who studies the topic of gerontology and ageism, and teaches on the topics of underrepresented minorities in the success of aging well. He has a Master’s Degree in History and studied the experience of American writers in Hollywood. He currently writes historical fiction. He is the author of the science fiction novel, The Bridge over the Bering Strait.
Stephanie Cowell is the author of Nicholas Cooke, The Physician of London; The Players: a novel of the young Shakespeare; Marrying Mozart; and Claude & Camille: a novel of Monet. She is the recipient of an American Book Award. Her next novels are Elizabeth’s Sonnets, about the intense courtship of the poets Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning, and Robbie, a love story set in the English midlands 1900 between a young male artist and a married man in his thirties. Her work has been translated into nine languages. Stephanie’s website is www.stephaniecowell.com.
Glen Craney has graduate degrees from Columbia University and Indiana University. He has written about the American involvement in WWI and its aftershocks during the Great Depression. His latest HF, The Yanks are Starving, is a Chaucer Award Finalist, a Foreword Reviews BOYTA Finalist, and an indieBRAG Medallion honoree. The HNS review praised it as “a wonderful source of historical fact wrapped in a compelling novel” and the Military Writers Society of America called it “vivid” and “admirable.”
Karen Cushman lives, works, and procrastinates on a misty green island near Seattle. She has published nine books since she started writing at age fifty, including the Newbery Award winner, The Midwife’s Apprentice, and her newest title, Grayling’s Song. Ms. Cushman loves the rain and when the weather turns warm and dry, she grumbles and blames the weatherman. She is crazy about Brother Cadfael, crossword puzzles, and all warm and fuzzy creatures. Her husband thinks she is a bit nuts but he has stayed married to her for 47 years so how bad can she be?
Stephanie Renee dos Santos has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Studio Arts from Whitman College with a focus in painting and ceramics. She’s published fiction in literary journals American Athenaeum and Lalitamba and features for the Historical Novel Review. From 2014-2015 she facilitated the series “Love of Art in Historical Fiction” for the Historical Novel Society and personal blog. At present, she’s finishing an art-based historical novel Cut from the Earth, the story of an empathetic Portuguese tile maker who risks everything to save slaves and escape The Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755 that ushers in a New Age.
Julianne Douglas earned a doctorate in French Literature from Princeton University and has written two historical novels set in Renaissance France. She has twice attended the Squaw Valley Community of Writers Fiction Workshop. A member of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers as well as HNS, Julianne is on the staff of the award winning website Writer Unboxed. Her own blog, Writing the Renaissance, features articles on sixteenth century history, reviews of historical novels, and author interviews. She is represented by Josh Getzler of Hannigan Salky Getzler. http://writingren.blogspot.com
Stephanie Dray is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of historical women’s fiction. Her award-winning work has been translated into eight different languages and twice nominated for the RITA award. As Stephanie Draven, she is a national bestselling author of genre fiction and American-set historical women’s fiction.
David Ebershoff is the author of three bestselling novels: The 19th Wife, Pasadena, and The Danish Girl, as well as a short-story collection, The Rose City. The Danish Girl was adapted into an Oscar-winning film starring Academy Award-winners Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander. The 19th Wife was made into a television movie that has aired around the globe. His fiction has won a number of awards, including the Rosenthal Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Lambda Literary Award, and has been translated into 25 languages to critical acclaim. For many years he was an editor at Random House where he edited twenty-five New York Times bestsellers, three Pulitzer Prize winners, one National Book Award winner, four Booker Prize nominees, and four National Book Critics Circle Award finalists. He worked with a wide range of writers including David Mitchell, Adam Johnson, Gary Shteyngart, Teju Cole, Diane Keaton, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Shirin Ebadi and former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins. David has taught creative writing at NYU, Princeton, and is currently an adjunct asst. professor in the graduate writing program at Columbia University. He lives in New York City.
Selden Edwards grew up on a farm in the Sacramento Valley and spent his 40-year career in private school education, first as an English teacher, then a headmaster, in schools across the country. He has degrees from Princeton, Stanford, and Pacifica Graduate Institute. During his entire teaching career he wrote fiction, both short stories and novels, with great enthusiasm but no publishing success. Then in 2008, by a miracle, the “Vienna 1897 novel” he had been writing and rewriting for 30 years was bought in a big deal and became a best-seller as The Little Book, appearing in nine languages, an “overnight success.” His second novel The Lost Prince, the World War One part of his story, came out in 2012. He is currently at work on his third novel, the World War Two part, and final leg, of the trilogy. He lives with his wife in the Santa Barbara area.
Loretta Ellsworth is a former teacher and a graduate of Hamline University with a Master’s Degree in Writing for Children. She’s the award-winning author of four young adult novels and her forthcoming debut adult novel Stars Over Clear Lake (2017, Thomas Dunne Books), set in Iowa during WW II. She has taught at the Loft Literary Center and spoken at schools and conferences across the nation. She has four children and six grandchildren and lives in Lakeville, MN, where she is chair of their Community-Wide Read Program.
Nicole Evelina is an award-winning indie historical fiction author who publishes under her own imprint, Lawson Gartner Publishing. Her debut, Daughter of Destiny, the first book of a trilogy telling Guinevere’s life story from her POV, was named Book of the Year by Chanticleer Reviews, won Grand Prize in the 2015 Chatelaine Awards, and won a Gold Medal in the fantasy category in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Her most recent novel, Madame Presidentess, a biographical historical about Victoria Woodhull, America’s first female Presidential candidate, took first place in the Women’s US History category of the 2015 Chaucer Awards.
Yves Fey has a historical mystery series set in the dynamic and decadent world of Belle Époque Paris. Previously, she wrote four historical romances set in the Italian Renaissance, Medieval England, and Elizabethan England, which will be republished under her own name. Several of her books feature LGBT characters. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Oregon, and a BA in Pictorial Arts from UCLA. A chocolate connoisseur, she’s won prizes for her desserts. Her current fascination is creating mysterious perfumes that evoke her characters.
Janet Fisher’s work focuses on strong women in history when women faced formidable challenges. Her current books are set in mid-nineteenth-century America on the cusp between the raucous fur trade era and settlement of the raw West. Her first, A Place of Her Own, came out in 2014, published by Globe Pequot Press/TwoDot. Historical novel The Shifting Winds followed in 2016, same era, same publisher. Two of her upcoming historical novels were Pacific Northwest Writers Association literary contest finalists. She earned a master’s in journalism with honors from the University of Oregon, taught college writing, and wrote freelance for newspapers.
Susan Fletcher has always been attracted to the past, for reasons she can’t entirely explain. Many of her books combine history and fantasy, and four of them are primarily historical fiction: Alphabet of Dreams, Shadow Spinner, Falcon in the Glass, and Dadblamed Union Army Cow. Seeking to experience traces of the past, Susan has traveled on the Silk Road in Iran, toured the dungeons of Venice, ridden a donkey, and trekked through the desert on a camel. More recently, she married a history professor! She lives in Bryan, Texas, with her husband, R.J.Q. Adams, and their dog, Neville.
Kate Forsyth wrote her first novel at the age of seven, and has now sold more than a million books internationally. Her novels include The Beast’s Garden, a retelling of “Beauty & the Beast” set in the underground resistance to Hitler in Nazi Germany; The Wild Girl, the story of the forbidden romance behind the Grimm brothers’ fairy tales; and Bitter Greens, a retelling of “Rapunzel,” which won the 2015 American Library Association Award for Best Historical Fiction. Named one of Australia’s Favorite 15 Novelists, Kate has a doctorate in fairy tale studies and is an accredited master storyteller.
Laura Frantz is passionate about all things historical, particularly the 18th-century, and writes her manuscripts in longhand first. Her stories often incorporate Scottish themes that reflect her family heritage. She is a direct descendant of George Hume, Wedderburn Castle, Berwickshire, Scotland, who was exiled to the American colonies for his role in the Jacobite Rebellion of 1715, settled in Virginia, and is credited with teaching George Washington surveying in the years 1748-1750. Frantz lives and writes in a log cabin in the heart of Kentucky.
Gordon Frye is an instructor in History for Vincennes University through Navy College in Bremerton, Washington. He has had a variety of careers ranging from historical interpreter at historic sites, to cavalry specialist in a number of Hollywood films, to jousting, to selling gourmet peanuts. He and his wife Nancy presently live on a mini-farm in Kingston, Washington with their collection of cats and chickens, with an overgrown pasture and no horses at present. Together they also produce several podcasts, including “The History Files Show” and “Gordon’s Gun Closet”.
Margaret George writes epic biographical novels about outsized historical characters: Henry VIII, Mary Queen of Scots, Cleopatra, Mary Magdalene, Helen of Troy, Elizabeth I, and The Confessions of Young Nero, published in March 2017. Her Cleopatra novel was made into an Emmy®-nominated ABC-TV miniseries. Due to her historical expertise, Margaret has been an invited speaker at Hampton Court, the Tower of London, and the Folger Shakespeare Library. She has also been interviewed on A&E, CNN, and the History Channel. In researching her novels, she has attended a gladiator training school in Rome and raced in an ancient Greek stadium.
Irene Goodman is a literary agent who has sold over 1500 books and counting. Her clients are regulars on The New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and Bookscan bestseller lists. She has written columns and articles for a number of writers’ publications, and is also a frequent speaker at writer’s conferences, including keynoting at the Historical Novelists Society. Originally from the Midwest and still trying to lose the accent, Irene has a BA and a master’s degree from the University of Michigan. She and her husband divide their time between New York and the Berkshires, and have two grown children.
C. W. Gortner is the international bestselling author of four biographical novels about famous Renaissance women, two novels about iconic early 20th century women, and the Elizabeth I Spymaster Trilogy. His books have been translated into over 25 languages to date. In his extensive research travels, he has accessed the Vatican Archives, lived in a Spanish castle, and danced in a Tudor hall. Half-Spanish by birth, he holds an MFA in Writing with an emphasis in History, and a BA in Fashion Marketing. His novel The Last Queen has been optioned for a television miniseries.
Janet Graber grew up in a land of ancient castles, Hadrian’s Roman Wall, golden beaches and desolate moors. Previous novels include Resistance, a WWII story set in France, nominated for a Minnesota Book Award, and The White Witch, a plague story set in 1665. Janet’s novel-in-progress examines the life of an English soldier in occupied Italy immediately after WWII, and his return to Trieste years later to confront deep buried secrets. Janet is a McKnight Artist Fellow, and occasional instructor at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. Favorite things include reading, Masterpiece Theatre, and tea at three with ginger trifle.
Sofia Grant has been called a “writing machine” by the New York Times and a “master storyteller” by the Midwest Book Review. Under the name Sophie Littlefield she has written dozens of novels for adults and teens and has won Anthony and RT Book Awards and been shortlisted for Edgar®, Barry, Crimespree, Macavity, and Goodreads Choice Awards. Sofia works from an urban aerie in Oakland, California.
Mari Griffith was a singer before becoming a radio and television presenter for the BBC. A fluent Welsh-speaker, she then became a bi-lingual continuity announcer with BBC Wales and, later, a multi-camera television director. Now retired from broadcasting, Mari concentrates on writing. Her debut novel, Root of the Tudor Rose, tells the story of the astonishing love affair which founded the Tudor dynasty. It has met with considerable critical acclaim, becoming an Amazon best-seller. Her second novel, The Witch of Eye, traces the royal intrigue and ambition which led to the most sensational treason trial of the fifteenth century.
Diane Haeger (Anne Girard) is a best-selling author who has published 15 novels (many focusing on the great stories from history), since the release 25 years ago of her acclaimed debut novel, Courtesan, which is still in print today. From the Renaissance court of Henry VIII, the war-torn Civil War South of William Tecumseh Sherman, Picasso’s early 20th century Paris, to Jean Harlow’s early Hollywood, Haeger weaves detailed research and elements of her extensive travel into her stories bringing them to vivid life. To date, her novels have been translated into 18 different languages bringing her international success and award-winning status.
Elsa Hart is the author of Jade Dragon Mountain and The White Mirror. The daughter of a journalist, she was born in Italy and grew up in Russia, the United States, and the Czech Republic. After graduating from law school in 2011, she accompanied her husband, a biologist, to China, where he was studying high alpine plants on Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in Yunnan Province. While living there, she researched and wrote her first novel. Learn more about Elsa Hart and her writing at www.elsahart.com
Libbie Hawker writes historical and literary fiction featuring complex characters and rich details of time and place. She is the author of more than twenty books, including Take Off Your Pants! the bestselling how-to guide for writers. Her indie success attracted deals with Amazon’s Lake Union imprint, leading to a hybrid publishing career. Libbie lives in the beautiful San Juan Islands of Washington State with her husband and two naughty cats. When she’s not writing, she volunteers as a camp counselor, bakes (and eats) way too many cookies, and produces a podcast about the 1980s cartoon Jem.
Lars D. H. Hedbor is the author of the Tales from a Revolution series of novels, examining how a wide range of ordinary people met the challenges—and directly influenced—the extraordinary events of the American Revolution. Each novel is set in a different colony, and they consider unique and unusual viewpoints on the local events. Hedbor is an amateur historian, linguist, brewer, fiddler, astronomer, and baker. Professionally, he’s a technologist, marketer, writer, and father. His love of history drives him to share the excitement of understanding the events of long ago, and how those events touch us still today.
Leanna Renee Hieber is a classically trained actress with an academic focus in the Victorian era and the award-winning author of ten Gothic, Victorian Fantasy novels for adults and teens such as the Strangely Beautiful, Magic Most Foul and Eterna Files sagas for Tor Books. She has adapted 19th century literature for the professional stage, has been featured in anthologies such as Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells (Tor Books) and her work has been translated into many languages. A frequent guest, panelist, and lecturer around the country, she has presented at notable venues like the Guthrie Theatre and New York University. A proud member of actors unions AEA and SAG-AFTRA, she works in film and television and has been featured on shows like Boardwalk Empire. http://leannareneehieber.com
Susan Higginbotham is the author of six historical novels set in England and the United States; her most recent novel, Hanging Mary, tells the story of Mary Surratt, the first woman to be hanged by the federal government. A diligent researcher who loves digging through archives, Susan is also the author of two works of nonfiction, The Woodvilles: The Wars of the Roses and England’s Most Infamous Family and Margaret Pole: The Countess in the Tower. Susan’s forthcoming historical novel will tell the story of Mary Lincoln and Emilie Helm, half-sisters who find themselves on opposite sides of civil war.
Jude Johnson is the author of the Dragon & Hawk novel trilogy about a Welsh immigrant and a curandera in the Arizona Territory, as well as a nonfiction collection of biographies of influential Welsh in Southern Arizona called Cactus Cymry. Always an enthusiastic history buff, she loves delving into the parchment-scented stacks of local historical societies to research the juicy dirt that makes history come alive. Jude lives in Tucson, Arizona, amid the thriving Mexican culture and nearby Tohono O’odham and Yaqui tribes. http://jude-johnson.com
Sarah Johnson serves as Book Review Editor for the Historical Novels Review, the quarterly magazine of the Historical Novel Society. A reference librarian and professor at Eastern Illinois University, she is a regular reviewer for HNR and for Booklist. Sarah is the author of three books, most recently Historical Fiction II: A Guide to the Genre. In 2012, she received the American Library Association’s Louis Shores Award for book reviewing. On her blog, Reading the Past (readingthepast.com), she reviews historical novels, interviews authors, writes about new and upcoming releases, and discusses trends in historical fiction cover art.
Sherry Jones is the author of five published historical fiction books, including The Jewel of Medina and The Sword of Medina, controversial, internationally best-selling novels about the Prophet Muhammad’s youngest wife, A’isha. She is currently at work on a novel about the 20th-century dancer, singer, civil rights activist and spy Josephine Baker, to be published by S&S/Gallery in 2017.
Dan Jorgensen grew up in rural South Dakota, attending a one-room country school. He’s had a long career as a writer, editor, and educator and is a frequent presenter on “The Writing Life.” For 20 years he has taught college courses in writing and public relations, including “Writing—From Journalistic to Creative.” He’s authored seven books, including And The Wind Whispered, winner of a 2016 Colorado Book Award for historical fiction, three songs, and a one-act play; contributed to two anthologies, and is senior writer for Broadlands Living magazine in Colorado, where he now makes his home.
Faith L. Justice writes award-winning fiction and articles in Brooklyn, New York. Her work appeared in such publications as Salon.com, Writer’s Digest, and The Copperfield Review. Her most recent novel Sword of the Gladiatrix, plus her previous work, is available through Raggedy Moon Books (www.raggedymoonbooks.com). She is a frequent contributor to Strange Horizons and Associate Editor for Space and Time Magazine. For fun, she likes to dig in the dirt—her garden and various archaeological sites. Sample her work, check out her blog or ask Faith a question at her website: www.faithljustice.com.
Laura Kamoie is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of historical fiction about revolutionary women and holds a Ph.D. in history from The College of William and Mary. The author of two non-fiction books on early America, she has worked as a historical archaeologist and most recently held the position of Associate Professor of History at the U.S. Naval Academy before transitioning to a full-time writing career. Her debut historical novel, America’s First Daughter, was co-authored with Stephanie Dray. Laura lives among the colonial charm of Annapolis, Maryland, with her husband and daughters. LauraKamoie.com
Rebecca Kanner is the author of Sinners and the Sea, a controversial tale of Noah’s wife, and Esther, a feminist retelling of the biblical tale of Queen Esther, which was chosen by Library Journal as one of the Best Genre Books of 2015. Rebecca has spoken at synagogues, women’s centers, colleges and universities nationally, and has written about biblical women for Jewish, Christian and feminist publications. Her writing has won an Associated Writing Programs Award, a Loft Mentorship Award, and 2012/2013 and 2015/2016 Minnesota State Arts Board Grants.
Mitchell James Kaplan‘s first novel, By Fire, By Water (Other Press, 2010) was named Book of the Year by several “One Book, One Community” organizations and was nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award in Historical Fiction. It received the 2011 Independent Publishers Award Gold Medal for Historical Fiction, the ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award Bronze Medal for Historical Fiction, and the Adelina Della Pergola “Students’ Choice” Prize for the Italian edition, among other awards. Mitchell’s second novel (in progress) deals with the emergence of Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism in the context of Roman colonialism.
Susanna Kearsley is a former museum curator, writing novels that interweave contemporary suspense and romance with historical adventure. Her books have hit the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists, sold nearly a million copies in the USA alone, and won various awards in the UK and USA for historical and romantic fiction. She is published in translation in over 20 countries, and has been professionally published since 1993.
Patrice Kindl is the author of a number of award-winning novels for young adults, and has shared her home in upstate New York with monkeys, parrots, cats, dogs, reptiles, and small mammals, as well as the occasional bird of prey, one son and a very indulgent husband. Her books include: Owl in Love; The Woman in the Wall; Goose Chase; Lost in the Labyrinth; Keeping the Castle; A School for Brides, and, coming in September 2016, Don’t You Trust Me?
Eliza Knight is an award-winning and USA Today bestselling author of over fifty titles in historical fiction and romance. Her love of history began as a girl when she traipsed the halls of Versailles and ran through fields in Southern France. She continues to travel often. In 2013, she was named Romance Writer of America’s PRO Mentor of the Year. Eliza’s historical fiction novel, My Lady Viper was nominated for the Historical Novel Society 2015 Annual Indie Award. A Day of Fire, the historical continuity in which she took part, won 2nd place in the same contest.
Patricia Kullberg, MD, MPH, served two decades as Medical Director at Multnomah County Health Department, providing primary care to persons with physical, mental and addiction disorders. She has written award-winning articles about health and medicine. In 2015 she published her first novel, Girl in the River, about the intimate life of a working girl in mid-twentieth century Portland. Her 2017 release, On the Ragged Edge of Medicine, features non-fiction narratives drawn from her medical practice. Her current novel-in-progress concerns the intersecting lives of two racially distinct families in a controversial and innovative federal housing project for WWII-era shipyard workers.
Kirby Larson went from history-phobe to history fanatic while writing the 2007 Newbery Honor Book, Hattie Big Sky, and its sequel, Hattie Ever After. Her passion for historical fiction continues with the WWII Dogs series, Liberty, Duke and Dash (winner of the 2015 Scott O’Dell Historical Fiction Prize), and the first of the Audacity Jones books, Audacity Jones to the Rescue. Kirby lives in Kenmore, Washington with her husband, Neil, and Winston the Wonder Dog. When she’s not reading or writing, Kirby enjoys beach combing, bird watching, and traveling. She owns a tiara and is not afraid to use it.
Stephanie Lehmann’s sixth novel The Time Slip (currently in progress) takes place in 1915 and follows two women – one an ardent suffragist, the other politically apathetic – as they drive across the country on the Lincoln Highway in a Ford Model T. Astor Place Vintage (Simon and Schuster) is about the intertwined lives of a department store salesgirl in 1907 and a vintage clothing store owner living in NYC 100 years later. Selected by Library Journal as a best novel in 2013 and Kirkus Reviews as best summer reading, Astor Place Vintage has been translated into ten languages.
Jennifer Lamont Leo‘s debut novel You’re the Cream in My Coffee, set in 1920s Chicago, was published by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas on September 15, 2016. In addition to writing historical fiction primarily for the Christian market, Jennifer is a freelance marketing copywriter, brand strategist, and copyeditor.
Anna Limbrick has always been an avid reader, and has traveled the world in pursuit of stories. Studying abroad twice as an undergrad, Anna collected international mythology and folklore, writing her BA capstone on the evolution of Fairy Tales in Early Modern Scotland. After attempting to join the real world, she left again in pursuit of an MA in Medieval Studies at the University of York. Again she was drawn to oral and written histories, culminating her time abroad with her dissertation, Whores of the Roses, based on Wars of the Roses historical fiction. She lives a hobbit’s life; reading, baking, and napping for fun.
Louisa Locke is a retired professor of U.S. and Women’s History, has a successful second career as the author of the best-selling Victorian San Francisco Mystery series, including Maids of Misfortune, Uneasy Spirits, Bloody Lessons, Deadly Proof, and Pilfered Promises. These books feature Annie, a young boarding house keeper, who supplements her income as a pretend clairvoyant, and her lawyer beau, Nate Dawson. Not just content with writing about the past, Locke has recently started writing science fiction in the open source collaborative world of the Paradisi Chronicles.
Kevan Lyon is a partner with Marsal Lyon Literary Agency. She handles women’s fiction, with an emphasis on commercial women’s fiction and historical fiction as well as all genres of romance. Her list includes NY Times and USA Today Bestselling authors Laura Kamoie, Stephanie Dray, and Jennifer Robson, along with bestselling authors Kate Quinn, Renee Rosen, Anna Lee Huber, Tessa Arlen, and many others. When not reading clients’ work or obsessively monitoring email, Kevan loves to walk near the beach with her four-legged office mates.
Greer Macallister is a poet, short story writer, playwright, and novelist Raised in the Midwest, her work has appeared in publications such as The North American Review, The Missouri Review, and The Messenger. Her plays have been performed at American University, where she earned her MFA in Creative Writing. Her debut novel The Magician’s Lie was a USA Today and MIBA Indie bestseller, an Indie Next, LibraryReads, and Target Book Club Pick, and was chosen by guest judge Whoopi Goldberg as a Book of the Month Club main selection. It has been optioned for film by Jessica Chastain’s Freckle Films.
Lucia Macro has made her mark editing smart, commercial women’s fiction containing an upmarket touch, including the works of international bestseller Hazel Gaynor, author of The Girl Who Came Home and The Memory of Violets. She has also edited USA Today bestselling author Patricia Harman, author of The Reluctant Midwife. Upcoming publications that highlight her versatility as an editor who spots new talent in this arena includes The Sparrow Sisters by Ellen Herrick, Sit! Stay! Speak! by Annie England Noblin, and The Ramblers by Aidan Donnelley Rowley. In addition, she has acquired many leading authors of romance, including New York Times bestsellers Rachel Gibson, Cynthia Eden, Lori Wilde; and thriller authors, such as New York Times bestseller Wendy Corsi Staub. Lucia received the Vivian Stephens industry award from the Romance Writers of America, given to a non-writer (and not often an editor) who has contributed to the organization in a significant manner.
Elizabeth Kerri Mahon is a native New Yorker, former actress, and history geek. Her first book, Scandalous Women, was released in March 2011 to enthusiastic reviews (Stiletto Storytime called it “not to be missed.”) Since the book’s release, it has been sold to Thailand, Korea, and Poland and was a bestseller in Singapore. The book was featured in the DAILY CANDY weekend section, and it was an RT Book Review Non-Fiction Pick of the Month for April 2011. She was also named RWA NYC’s Author of the Year for 2011. In 2012, she was a featured speaker at WE MOVE FORWARD on Isla Mujeres, Mexico, and was asked to participate in Chick History’s yearlong project HERSTORY. Elizabeth has been featured in the H2 show How Sex Changed the World, as well as The Travel Channel’s Monumental Mysteries and the Investigation Discovery show Tabloid.
Mary Malloy teaches in the Museum Studies Program at Harvard and has worked with graduate and undergraduate students on research and writing projects for thirty years. The author of three novels (in which historian Lizzie Manning solves historical mysteries), and four works of non-fiction history, Mary has a PhD from Brown University. As a traveler, Mary has walked across England in the footsteps of Chaucer’s Wife of Bath, circumnavigated the globe in 80 days, and followed in the tracks of James Cook and Herman Melville in the South Pacific. She celebrates Jane Austen’s birthday every year with a high tea.
Phillip Margolin practiced criminal defense for twenty-five years during which he handled thirty homicide cases and argued at the United States Supreme Court. Phil started writing full-time in 1996 and is the author of 17 New York Times bestsellers. Worthy Brown’s Daughter, his first historical novel, took thirty years to write and was inspired by an 1853 case that held that slavery could not be practiced in the Oregon Territory.
Delilah Marvelle is a USA Today bestselling author who graduated with honors from the Oregon Culinary Institute where she specialized in researching historical foods and recreating them in every kitchen that would legally allow for it. As a historical romance writer, her love for history reaches far more than her kitchen. She is also the co-founder of the newly launched Historical Romance Retreat that is now bringing a historical flair for lovers of romance and history in the form of books, historical foods, historical drinks, and historical games to ensure history comes alive for everyone! To learn more about Delilah Marvelle, visit her website at www.DelilahMarvelle.com.
Amanda McCabe is an award-winning author (who also writes The Elizabethan Mysteries as Amanda Carmack and Georgian and Victorian romance as Laurel McKee). She wrote her first novel at age 16, a sweeping Gothic romance starring all her friends—which has luckily never been published. Since then she’s earned her MA in English Literature (specializing in Elizabethan poetry), written over 60 books, worked at bookstores and classical radio stations, and spends too much time researching at the library (they even reserve her own table). Amanda lives in Santa Fe with her husband and a spoiled poodle and cat, and is currently working on a series set in Paris in the 1890s. You can visit her anytime at Historical Romance Author Amanda McCabe.
Susan McDuffie has been a devotee of historical fiction and mysteries since her childhood, when she believed she had mistakenly been born in the wrong century. Her discovery that Clorox was not marketed prior to the 1920s reconciled her to modern life. Susan frequently reviews books for the HNS, including those with Victorian settings. Her award-winning Muirteach MacPhee Mysteries include A Mass for the Dead, The Faerie Hills, and The Study of Murder. Additional information about Susan’s work can be found on her website www.SusanMcDuffie.net and her Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/SusanMcDuffieAuthor.
Carol McGrath has an MA in Creative Writing from The Seamus Heaney Centre, Queens University Belfast, followed by an MPhil in Creative Writing from University of London. Her debut novel, The Handfasted Wife, first in a trilogy about the royal women of 1066, was shortlisted for the RoNAS in 2014. The Swan-Daughter and The Betrothed Sister complete this best-selling trilogy. The Woman in the Shadows will be published in 2017. She is working on a new medieval trilogy. Carol was the coordinator of the Historical Novels Association Conference, Oxford in September 2016. Find Carol on her website: www.carolcmcgrath.co.uk.
Kristina McMorris is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of four historical novels, her most recent titled The Edge of Lost, as well as two novellas. Her works of fiction have garnered more than twenty national literary awards, and a nomination for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, RWA’s RITA® Award, and a Goodreads Choice Award for Best Historical Fiction. Prior to her writing career, Kristina had hosted weekly TV shows since age nine, including an Emmy® Award-winning program, and was named one of Portland’s “40 Under 40” by The Business Journal.
Anna Michels is an editor at Sourcebooks, an independent publisher located outside of Chicago. During more than five years at Sourcebooks she has worked on a wide variety of projects, most recently focusing on acquiring adult fiction and nonfiction. She is looking for book club fiction with interesting settings and a strong narrative voice; mystery (particularly historical and crossover literary (think Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger), literary thriller, and psychological suspense; and memoir by writers who connect the events of their lives to readers through incredible storytelling, as well as a wide variety of prescriptive nonfiction and gift books.
Ann Moore is the award-winning, internationally published author of the acclaimed Irish trilogy, Gracelin O’Malley, Leaving Ireland, and Til Morning Light. Called “lyrical, pitch-perfect prose” and “historical fiction at its finest,” these novels tell the story of the 1845 Irish Famine, rise of the Young Irelander movement, and mass emigration to New York City’s tenement district, and are currently published in eight languages. Ann was born in England to military parents, and then returned with her family to the Pacific Northwest where she grew up exploring waterways and islands full of astonishing beauty. A graduate of Western Washington University’s Master’s program, Ann researches and writes from her home in Bellingham, Washington, where she can often be found walking the hills above the bay, and working out the knots of her latest novel, this one set in 19th century London. For more about Ann and her books, follow her on Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, and Instagram.
Laura Morelli holds a PhD in art history from Yale University, has taught college in the U.S. and in Italy, and produces lessons for TED-Ed. She has covered art and authentic travel for National Geographic Traveler, CNN Radio, USA Today, and other media. Laura is the author of the guidebook series that includes Made in Italy and Made in Venice. Recently she has turned to fiction, bringing the stories of art history to life. Her debut novel, The Gondola Maker, won an IPPY, Benjamin Franklin, and a National Indie Excellence Award. She founded the New England chapter of the HNS.
Hana Samek Norton was born and raised in the former Czechoslovakia and lived in Canada before earning a PhD in history from the University of New Mexico. She lives in the Land of Enchantment, works as a consultant and expert witness in history for the US Department of Justice, and teaches. She is the author of nonfiction, The Blackfoot Confederacy 1880-1920: A Comparative Study of Canadian and U.S. Indian Policy (UNM Press); and two novels, The Sixth Surrender (Penguin), and its sequel, The Serpent’s Crown (Cuidono Press), set in 13th century France, Holy Land, and Cyprus. www.hanasameknorton.com
J.L. Oakley, an award-winning author, writes historical fiction that spans the mid-19th century to WWII with characters standing up for something in their own time and place. Her writing has been recognized with a 2013 Bellingham Mayor’s Arts Award and the Bellingham School District. Her first novel, Tree Soldier, won the 2013 Chanticleer Grand Prize and was selected by Northwest librarians as their 2013 EVERYBODY READS. Timber Rose won a 2015 WILLA Silver Award. Both are set in the North Cascades. Mist-Shi-Mus is a spring 2017 release. When not writing, she demonstrates nineteenth-century folkways to schools and national parks.
Vicky Oliver has appeared over 800 times in national media in connection with her five books. Radio is her favorite go-to medium, closely followed by print, local TV, and online. Her five books include: 301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions (Sourcebooks); Power Sales Words (Sourcebooks); Bad Bosses, Crazy Coworkers & Other Office Idiots (Sourcebooks); 301 Smart Answers to Tough Business Etiquette Questions (Skyhorse); and Live Like A Millionaire (Without Having To Be One) (Skyhorse, 2015). She is a very active Brown University alumna. Vicky Oliver blogs for The Globe and Mail in Canada. She lives and writes in Manhattan.
Annette Oppenlander writes historical fiction for young adults and anyone who loves stories set in the past. When she isn’t in front of her computer, she shares her knowledge through writing workshops and indulges her old mutt, Mocha. In her spare time she travels around the U.S. and Europe to discover amazing histories. Annette lives with her husband in Bloomington, Ind.
Juilene Osborne-McKnight is Chair of Humanities and Professor of Irish studies, journalism, and creative writing at DeSales University in Pennsylvania. She is a “seanchai” or traditional Irish storyteller and the author of the novels I am of Irelaunde, Daughter of Ireland, Bright Sword of Ireland, and Song of Ireland (Tor/Forge (MacMillan); and most recently a nonfiction history of Ireland, The Story We Carry in Our Bones: Irish History for Americans from Pelican. She is also the travel writer and photographer for Greater Philadelphia Newspaper Syndicate (Calkins Media).
Lynn Paragamian is a long time reader of all types of novels but is particularly passionate about all types of novels with recurring characters.
Rae Ann Parker is an author and a bookseller at Parnassus Books in Nashville, TN, where she specializes in children’s books. In her free time, she volunteers as a museum tour guide for students. Her middle grade novel, the ghost story, The Devil’s Backbone, has been called a contemporary with a historical tucked inside. www.raeannparker.com
Sophie Perinot is a multi-published historical novelist. An active member of the Historical Novel Society, Perinot has attended all of the group’s North American Conferences, participating in programming both as a panelist and a moderator. Additionally, Sophie has served as a panelist at book festivals, including the Baltimore Festival of Books, and lectured in several university history classes. Her interest in issues of gender fluidity and changing historical views of human sexuality and sexual practices arises from her latest publishing project (which for the moment must remain under wraps). Prior novels include The Sister Queens (March 2012/NAL) and Médicis Daughter, (December 2015/Thomas Dunne.
Matt Phillips is a homeland security analyst by day and writer by night. He studied history at the University of Virginia, focusing on U.S. history up through the Civil War. Matt has been an active member of the HNS Chesapeake Bay chapter since 2012. He is finishing a novel set in the Revolutionary War about a frontier spy for the Continental Army who must find his captured teenage son in the Iroquois country.
Lucy Pick is a historical novelist and a historian of medieval Spain. She earned her doctorate in Medieval Studies from the University of Toronto, and teaches at the University of Chicago. Her novel, Pilgrimage (Cuidono Press, 2014) is set on the road to Compostela during the Middle Ages and explores betrayal, miracles, healing, and redemption. She is represented by Stephanie Cabot at the Gernert Company. Her non-fiction, Conflict and Coexistence: Archbishop Rodrigo and the Muslims and Jews of Thirteenth-Century Spain, was published by University of Michigan Press; and her monograph, Her Father’s Daughter: Gender, Power, and Religion in the Early Spanish Kingdoms, is forthcoming from Cornell University Press. http://lucypick.com/
Teralyn Rose Pilgrim grew up in Portland, Oregon. She’s excited to have the conference in her home town! Teralyn got her bachelor’s degree in English from Brigham Young University. She writes about world religions. Her work-in-progress is a trilogy about Marie Laveau, the Voodoo Queen who ruled New Orleans in the 19th century. To research her book, she has attended several voodoo ceremonies where she has interviewed priestesses and witnessed spirit possessions. She lives in Mississippi a mere hour and a half from New Orleans and visits as often as she can.
Barbara Corrado Pope, an historian, was the founding director of Women’s Studies at the University of Oregon. She has taught history at several universities in the U.S. and in programs abroad. Since her retirement she has published three mysteries set in Belle Epoque France, each densely enmeshed in the social and political contexts of the time: Cezanne’s Quarry, The Blood of Lorraine, and The Missing Italian Girl.
Margaret Porter is the author of twelve British-set historical novels of the 17th, 18th, and early 19th centuries, including bestsellers, award-winners, and foreign language editions. Her latest, A Pledge of Better Times, was praised by Publishers Weekly for its “vivid historical figures and events . . . rigorously researched and faithfully portrayed.” She studied British history in the U.K and returns annually in search of characters and stories. Margaret contributes articles on British history and travel to various publications and blogs, and writes columns for newspapers and lifestyle magazines. More information is available at her website, www.margaretporter.com. She tweets as @MargaretAuthor
Jennifer Quinlan, aka Jenny Q, owner of Historical Editorial, is an editor and cover designer specializing in historical fiction. Armed with a history degree and a copyediting certification, an analytical mind, an eye for detail, and a passion for good books, she is dedicated to improving the quality of self-published novels and to giving authors an edge in seeking traditional publishing. A member of the Historical Novel Society, Historical Writers of America, the Editorial Freelancer’s Association, and various local and regional historical organizations, she lives in Virginia with her husband, a Civil War re-enactor and fellow history buff.
Kate Quinn is a native of southern California. She attended Boston University, where she earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Classical Voice. A lifelong history buff, she has written four novels in the Empress of Rome Saga, and two books in the Italian Renaissance, before turning to the 20th century with The Alice Network. All have been translated into multiple languages. She and her husband now live in Maryland with two black dogs named Caesar and Calpurnia.
Weina Dai Randel is the author of two critically acclaimed historical novels The Moon in the Palace and The Empress of Bright Moon, stories of Empress Wu, the first and only female ruler in China. Weina was born and raised in China. She came to the U.S. when she was 24, and English is her second language. She has worked as a journalist, a magazine editor, and an adjunct professor. Read interviews of Weina in The Wall Street Journal, China Real Time, Library Journal, Huffington Post, Los Angeles Review of Books, and Tall Poppies.org; or visit her website: www.weinarandel.com.
Robert Rath is a freelance writer and critic whose work has appeared in Playboy, Slate,Vice, and other outlets. Critical Intel – his weekly column at ZAM.com – examines how video games overlap with history and politics. Robert has reported on the ground from ten countries, covering everything from cultural practices to mass protests, and trekked both the Andes and the Himalayas. He also appears on podcasts as an expert on games and the military, and his video scripts have logged over 600,000 views on YouTube. Robert is currently seeking representation for this Reconstruction-era thriller Lost Guns. Find him on Twitter at @RobWritesPulp.
Kim Rendfeld has a lifelong fascination with fairy tales and legends, which set her on her quest to write The Cross and the Dragon, The Ashes of Heaven’s Pillar, and other stories set in early medieval times. Kim was a journalist for almost twenty years at Indiana newspapers. Her career changed in 2007, when she joined the strategic communications team at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. She lives in Indiana with her husband, Randy, and their spoiled cat. Connect with Kim on her website (kimrendfeld.com), her blog (kimrendfeld.wordpress.com), Facebook: facebook.com/authorkimrendfeld) and Twitter (@kimrendfeld).
Candace Robb, the internationally bestselling author of the Owen Archer mysteries, returns to medieval York with new sleuth, Kate Clifford, in The Service of the Dead (Pegasus Books). Midwest Book Review describes it as “a strikingly well-crafted novel that is a compelling page-turner from beginning to end.” Her Owen Archer and Margaret Kerr medieval mysteries were recently reissued by Diversion Books to great success.
Jennifer Robson is the internationally bestselling author of Somewhere in France, After the War is Over, and Moonlight Over Paris. Her most recent novel, Every Time We Say Goodbye, was inspired by her grandmother’s experiences as a journalist during the Second World War. Jennifer holds a doctorate in British social and economic history from Saint Antony’s College, the University of Oxford, where she was a Commonwealth Scholar and SSHRC Doctoral Fellow. She lives in Toronto, Canada, with her husband and young children.
Priscilla Royal, author of the Prioress Eleanor/Brother Thomas medieval mysteries from Poisoned Pen Press, was born during the Second World War, grew up in Canada during the Cold War, attended San Francisco State University during the Vietnam War, and quickly disappeared into the Great Bureaucracy for the next three decades. Since 2003, she has committed thirteen murders in the English 13th century, a pursuit followed with relentless dedication and, hopefully, increasing creativity. Her latest book is The Proud Sinner, a nod to Canterbury Tales and Christie’s And Then There Were None. Her website is www.priscillaroyal.com. She blogs with the LadyKillers (www.theladykillers.typepad.com)
Aimie K. Runyan is an author of historical fiction that celebrates history’s unsung heroines. Her debut novel, Promised to the Crown (May, 2016 Kensington), and the continuing story, Duty to the Crown (November, 2016 Kensington), tell the stories of the brave women sent to establish families in Louis XIV’s Quebec colony. Her third novel is a fictional account of the Night Witches; the highly decorated all-female Soviet aviation regiment in WWII (November, 2017 Lake Union). She loves travel, theater, and all things sacred unto nerd culture. She lives outside Denver with her loving husband and two adorable children.
Vanitha Sankaran PhD, is a biomedical communications consultant and a writer and editor of fiction and non-fiction work. Her debut historical fiction novel, WATERMARK, was published by HarperCollins in 2010. She was a co-founding editor of the literary journal flashquake for its 10-year run, and has served on for-profit and non-profit boards over the years. Many will remember her from the HNS 2013 Conference in Florida, where she served as both Conference and Program Chair. Currently, she is working on an adult historical fiction novel and a young adult fantasy. For more information, please visit her website at www.vanithasankaran.com.
Colin W. Sargent is an acclaimed novelist and playwright from Maine, with an MFA from Stonecoast and a PhD in Creative Writing from Lancaster University, UK. He is founding editor of Portland Monthly – and a relative of John Singer Sargent, a character in The Boston Castrato (US release October 1, 2016). According to Barbican Press (London), “One of the century’s greatest lesbians, Amy Lowell, blazes through The Boston Castrato, a trans love story set in 1922.” HNS Review gave it “Editor’s Choice”: “Beautifully written, by turns poignant, sad and funny, this novel explores many themes, particularly those of prejudice and marginalization. The transgender issues particularly are topical today.”
Mary Sharratt is on a mission to write strong women back into history. Her explorations into the hidden histories of Renaissance women compelled her to write The Dark Lady’s Mask: A Novel of Shakespeare’s Muse (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2016), drawn from the dramatic life of Aemilia Bassano Lanier, England’s first professional woman poet. The Dark Lady’s Mask was hailed by the New York Times Review of Books as “an absorbing bildungsroman that grapples with strikingly contemporary issues of gender and religious identification, definitions and discrimination.” Sharratt’s Illuminations: A Novel of Hildegard von Bingen was a Kirkus Book of the Year.
Anne Easter Smith is an award-winning historical novelist whose muse is the recently re-interred King Richard III. She studied his life and times for fifty years, leading to the best-selling A Rose for the Crown and five more books about the York family. The King’s Grace won the Romantic Times Best Historical Biography award in 2009, and Queen by Right was nominated in the same category in 2011. Her sixth book will finally see Richard III as protagonist. Anne is a native of England who has lived in the US for 49 years. She was the Features/Arts Editor at a daily newspaper in Upstate NY in the 1990s and has written for several US national magazines.
Judith Starkston writes historical fiction and mysteries set in Troy and the Hittite Empire. Her debut, Hand of Fire, set within the Trojan War, combines history and legend in the untold story of Achilles’ captive Briseis. Hand of Fire was a M.M. Bennett’s Award for Historical Fiction semi-finalist. Starkston’s upcoming mystery series, winner of the San Diego State University Conference Choice Award, features a long lost queen of the Hittites as sleuth. Ms. Starkston is a classicist with her BA from the University of California, Santa Cruz and her MA from Cornell University.
Alison Stuart, an award winning Australian author, learned her passion for history from her father. She has been writing stories since her teenage years but it was not until 2007 that her first full length novel was published. Alison has now published seven full length historicals with romance and a collection of her short stories. Her disposition for writing about soldier heroes may come from her varied career as a lawyer in the military and fire services. These days when she is not writing she is travelling, and routinely drags her long suffering husband around battlefields and castles.
Kimberly Cross Teter was stunned when she first learned of Vivaldi’s all-female orchestra in 18th-century Venice. In an era when women might have been throw-aways of society, how did abandoned girls become celebrated musicians? Eager to learn more about this intriguing slice of history, she read and researched—and visited Venice, of course! The product of her fascination is her YA debut novel Isabella’s Libretto. Kim is an active member of her local chapter of HNS and a PAL member of SCBWI. She lives in Franklin, TN, with her husband and two canine kids. www.kimteter.com
Stephanie Thornton has been obsessed with history’s forgotten women since she was twelve. She is the critically acclaimed author of four novels set in the ancient world: The Secret History, Daughter of the Gods, The Tiger Queens, and The Conqueror’s Wife, as well as a contributor to the collaborative novel A Song of War. She is a high school history teacher by day and lives in Alaska with her husband and daughter where she spends her free time hiking, traveling, and running.
M.K. Tod has written three novels about WWI. Mary began writing while living as an expat in Hong Kong. What started as an interest in her grandparents’ lives turned into a full-time occupation writing historical fiction. Her novel Unravelled was awarded HNS’s Indie Editor’s Choice. She blogs about reading and writing historical fiction at www.awriterofhistory.com, which was selected as one of Writers Digest’s 101 Best Websites for Writers. She has also conducted three unique surveys of reading habits and historical fiction preferences around the world.
Mary Ann Trail earned a BA in history as an undergraduate, but worked as an academic librarian for over 30 years at Stockton University in New Jersey teaching students the thrill of academic research. She used her research skills and frequent trips to England to add depth to her interpretation of 18th century English life. The early nineteenth century remains her favorite era because of its similarities to today.
Christine Trent is the author of the Lady of Ashes historical mystery series, published by Kensington Books and featuring Victorian undertaker Violet Harper, an amateur sleuth who loves her macabre work. As such, Christine has been studying Victorian funerary and mourning practices for nearly a decade. She is also the author of three other historical novels, all published by Kensington, and is contracted for a new historical mystery series featuring Florence Nightingale as a sharp-eyed sleuth, to be published by Crooked Lane Books beginning in 2018.
Linda Ulleseit took her first creative writing course in seventh grade, accumulating a closet full of stories that no one saw until 2007, when she was already involved in a career as a sixth grade teacher. Her favorite subject is writing, and her students get a lot of practice scribbling stories. Linda’s most recent book, Under the Almond Trees, features three California pioneer women choosing nontraditional paths as they follow their dreams. Linda lives in San Jose, California with her husband and two young Labrador retrievers. She has two adult sons and is working on her master’s in Creative Writing.
Kris Waldherr is the award-winning author and illustrator of Doomed Queens: Royal Women Who Met Bad Ends (Broadway/Doubleday), The Lover’s Path, The Book of Goddesses (Abrams Books), and other books for adults and children. The New Yorker called Doomed Queens “utterly satisfying.” The Book of Goddesses was a One Spirit/Book-of-the-Month Club’s Top Ten Most Popular Book. The New York Times Book Review praised her illustrated book Persephone and the Pomegranate for its “quality of myth and magic.” Upcoming books include novels set in Victorian England and Bad Princess (Scholastic Books), a follow up to Doomed Queens. Learn more at KrisWaldherr.com.
Heather Webb‘s historical novels Becoming Josephine and Rodin’s Lover have sold in six countries and have received starred national reviews. Rodin’s Lover was a Goodreads Pick of the Month in 2015, and her works have been featured in national media, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Cosmopolitan, Elle, France Magazine, and more. Up and coming, The Phantom’s Apprentice, a reimagining of Phantom of the Opera from Christine Daaé’s perspective, releases in May 2017, and Last Christmas in Paris, an epistolary love story set during WWI releases in October from HarperCollins. Heather is also a professional freelance editor.
Jinny Webber is a longtime college teacher now retired. She has led workshops and teaches continuing education courses on literary topics, primarily Shakespeare’s plays and British novels. Webber has written a trilogy about the historical actor, Alexander Cooke, listed as one of the principal players in Shakespeare’s First Folio of 1623, who in Webber’s novel was born female. Webber has researched gender roles onstage and off, and is very familiar with Shakespeare’s plays, having taught them at the college level, acted in amateur productions, directed As You Like It, and written two spin-off plays from Shakespeare’s works.
Jennifer Weltz, as President of JVNLA, Inc. (The Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency, Inc.), has made over 2,000 deals domestically, internationally, and for film for over two decades. Jennifer is a Board member of the Association of Authors Representatives (AAR), a member of the Women’s Media Group and has served on the board of the BEA Conference Advisory Board, Pace University Masters in Publishing program, and the DBW Conference Council. She has been a keynote speaker, as well as moderated and participated in panels on publishing for Digital Book World, the AAR, the BEA, The Romantic Times Convention, The Historical Novels Convention, PNWA etc…
Meg Wessell is the owner of A Bookish Affair (http://abookishaffair.blogspot.com), an eclectic book review blog with a heavy focus on historical fiction. She reads a little bit of everything but historical fiction has a very special place in her heart. She lives in the Washington, D.C. area in a 110 year old house with her husband, twin girls, and twin cats.
Alana White is a writer of historical fiction living in Nashville, Tennessee. A three-time member of the Historical Novel Society Board of Directors and the current Midsouth (TN/KY) HNS Chapter Lead, she writes reviews and articles for the Historical Novels Review on a regular basis. Her YA historical novel, Come Next Spring, is newly in print. She is currently at work on the prequel to her debut adult historical mystery novel, The Sign of the Weeping Virgin. The setting remains Florence during the Italian Renaissance at the time of Lorenzo de’ Medici and revisions continue apace.
Sarah Woodbury With over half a million books sold, Sarah is the author of 19 novels and 14 novellas, all independently published. Although an anthropologist by training, and then a full-time homeschooling mom for twenty years, she began writing fiction when the stories in her head overflowed and demanded that she let them out. She writes medieval mysteries, time travel romance, and historical fantasy set in medieval Wales. She even convinced her husband to give all four of their children Welsh names. Sarah makes her home in Oregon.
Paula Yost is a licensed attorney in North Carolina, Georgia, and the United States Patent and Trademark Office. She represents clients all over the country on intellectual property matters including copyright law. Paula has a double degree in English and Microbiology with a minor in Chemistry from Virginia Tech, a JD from the Delaware Law School (formerly Widener University School of Law), and a Masters in Clinical Mental Health from Lenoir-Rhyne University. She resides in Concord, North Carolina with her husband, two sons, and three cats. She is an avid reader of historical fiction and a self-proclaimed nerd.