Annamaria Alfieri is the author of Invisible Country, her second historical mystery, of which Kirkus Reviews said, “Alfieri has written an anti-war mystery that compares with the notable novels of Charles Todd.” Her City of Silver, also published by Thomas Dunne Books/Minotaur, won critical acclaim. Deadly Pleasures Magazine called it one of the best first novels of the year, and the Washington Post said, “As both history and mystery, City of Silver glitters.” Her Blood Tango, will launch on July 2 this year; it takes place in Buenos Aires in 1945 and imagines the murder of an Evita Perón lookalike. A world traveler, Annamaria takes a keen interest in the history of the places she visits. She lives in New York City. www.annamariaalfieri.com
Gillian Bagwell grew up in Berkeley, California, and began her professional life as an actress, studying at the University of California Berkeley and the Drama Studio London at Berkeley. She moved into directing and producing theatre, founding The Pasadena Shakespeare Company, where she served as artistic director for nine years, producing thirty-seven critically acclaimed productions. She united her life-long love of books, British history, and theatre in writing her first novel, The Darling Strumpet, based on the life of Nell Gwynn. Her second novel, The September Queen (U.K. title The King’s Mistress), is the first fictional account of the perilous and romantic odyssey of Jane Lane, who risked her life to help the young Charles II escape after the disastrous Battle of Worcester in 1651 by disguising him as her servant. Gillian’s third novel, Venus in Winter, about the formidable four-times widowed Tudor dynast Bess of Hardwick, will be released in July 2013. Visit Gillian’s website, www.gillianbagwell.com, for further information about her books and upcoming events, and links to her blogs, articles, and videos of sites in Nell Gwynn’s London.
Jenny Barden has had a love of history and adventure ever since an encounter in infancy with a suit of armour at Tamworth Castle. Training as an artist, followed by a career as a City solicitor, did little to help displace her early dream of becoming a knight. Impelled by a fascination with the Age of Discovery, she has travelled widely in South and Central America, and much of the inspiration for her debut came from retracing the footsteps of Francis Drake in Panama. That book, Mistress of the Sea, was published last summer by Ebury Press, Random House, and is due to be released in paperback in June 2013. The novel is an epic romantic Elizabethan adventure set against the background of Drake’s first great piratical campaign in the Caribbean. The book and extracts have already been shortlisted for several national awards, most recently for ‘Best Historical Read’ at the UK’s Festival of Romance. Mistress of the Sea has so far won much acclaim including an ‘Editors’ Choice’ in the Historical Novels Review. CW Gortner described the story as: ‘Beautifully written and researched, this tale of desire, revenge, piracy, war and valour is so evocative we can taste salt on our skin and hear the swoop of sails overhead as we’re swept up into a high-stakes adventure unlike any we’ve read before.’ Jenny is currently working on a stand-alone sequel centred on the first ‘lost’ colony of early Virginia. Jenny is active in many organisations and is proud to have co-ordinated the last Historical Novel Society Conference held in London. Her agent is Jonathan Pegg of the Jonathan Pegg Literary Agency. She has four children and lives in Hertfordshire, England, with her long suffering husband, a loving Labrador and a deadly Bengal cat. More about her can be found on her website: www.jennybarden.com on Facebook on Twitter @jennywilldoit or on Goodreads
Stephanie Barko – Stephanie Barko’s award-winning clients include traditional publishers and their authors, small presses, and independently published writers. She promotes nonfiction & historical fiction exclusively, including spirituality, history, business/career, memoir, and biography. Debut authors and spiritual subject matter are especially welcome this year. Ms. Barko was invited into the publishing industry after many years in high tech marketing. She has presented on book marketing & publicity at Oklahoma Writers Federation Conference, DFW Writers Conference, Writers’ League of Texas Conference and Women Writing the West Conference. Her articles and book reviews have been published in Western American Literature, Roundup Magazine, Book Marketing Matters, San Francisco Book Review, and the Texas Book Marketing Directory. She was a 2010 Finalist in More Magazine’s Reinvention Story Competition, nominated by her peers as 2010 Book Publicist of the Year, and was voted Preditors & Editors Best Book Promotion Service in 2011. Stephanie is a Recommended Associate at Author U and an Industry Expert at Author Learning Center. Stephanie has degrees in Business & Sociology and is based in Austin. Since 2005, she has moderated a nonfiction book group that has hosted such nationally known authors as Janet Conner (Writing Down Your Soul) and Paul Woodruff (Reverence), a TV guest of Bill Moyers.
Maryka Biaggio is a former psychology professor turned novelist with a passion for historical fiction. Her debut novel, Parlor Games, was published by Doubleday in January 2013. Twenty-eight years after launching her academic career she took the leap from full-time academic to scrambling writer and now splits her time between fiction writing and higher education consulting work. Her fiction has won Willamette Writers and Belles Lettres awards. She prides herself on crafting carefully researched and realistic fiction. She travels extensively, is an avid opera fan, and enjoys gardening, art films, and, of course, great fiction. She lives in Portland, Oregon, that edgy green gem of the Pacific Northwest.
Nancy Bilyeau, author of “The Chalice” and “The Crown,” is a writer and magazine editor who has worked on the staffs of “InStyle,” “Rolling Stone,” “Entertainment Weekly,” and “Good Housekeeping.” Her latest position is executive editor of “DuJour” magazine. A native of the Midwest, she graduated from the University of Michigan. When deciding what sort of novel she wanted to write in 2005, Nancy followed her lifelong interest in English history and spent the next five years crafting her story while she worked fulltime. “The Crown” is set in 1537-1538 Tudor England, and its protagonist is a Dominican novice facing the end of her way of life, with the Dissolution of the Monasteries at hand. The story is a mystery thriller: Sister Joanna Stafford struggles to find a mysterious relic that has the power to end the English Reformation. “The Crown” was sold to Simon & Schuster’s Touchstone in 2010 after an auction, and published in January 2012 in North America, followed by publication in the United Kingdom and nine other foreign markets. The Crown was reviewed by “O” magazine, “People,” Parade,” “Entertainment Weekly” and other magazines. The Crime Writers Association put the novel on its short list for the 2012 Ellis Peters Historical Dagger Award.
David Blixt is an author and playwright whose work is consistently described as “intricate,” “taut,” and “breathtaking.” A writer of Historical Fiction, his novels span the early Roman Empire (the COLOSSUS series, his play EVE OF IDES) to early Renaissance Italy (the STAR-CROSS’D series, including THE MASTER OF VERONA, VOICE OF THE FALCONER, and FORTUNE’S FOOL) up through the Elizabethan era (his delightful espionage comedy HER MAJESTY’S WILL, starring Will Shakespeare and Kit Marlowe as spies). His novels combine a love of the theatre with a deep respect for the quirks and passions of history. As the Historical Novel Society said, “Be prepared to burn the midnight oil. It’s well worth it.” Outside his writing, David makes his living in theatre, performing, directing, and choreographing violence for stage. Having trained with the Society of American Fight Directors, the British Academy of Dramatic Combat, and the International Order of the Sword and the Pen, David’s violence work has been seen regionally, nationally, and internationally. He is the resident Violence Designer for the Michigan Shakespeare Festival, where he is an Artistic Associate, and also the resident Stage Combat Instructor at the Chicago High School for the Arts. Living in Chicago with his wife and two children, David describes himself as “actor, author, father, husband. In reverse order.”
Patricia Bracewell holds an M.A. in Literature from the University of California, and she taught literature and composition before embarking upon her writing career. A lifelong fascination with British history and a chance, on-line reference to an unfamiliar English queen led to years of research, a summer course in Anglo-Saxon history at Cambridge, and the penning of her debut novel Shadow on the Crown. Set in 11th century England, this is the first book of a trilogy about Emma of Normandy. Patricia is a member of the California writers’ organization, Left Coast Writers, and she lives with her husband in Northern California.
Amy Bruno is the founder of Passages to the Past (www.passagestothepast.com), where the Historical Fiction genre takes center stage. After discovering the genre via Philippa Gregory’s The Other Boleyn Girl and Margaret George’s Mary, Queen of Scots and the Isles, she was soon immersed in the world of book review blogs. Thus, Passages to the Past was born in June 2008. The blog’s mission is to highlight and promote the Historical Fiction genre with book reviews, guest posts, interviews with authors, recommendations, new release features and giveaways. In 2011, Amy found her passion in life and began Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours (www.hfvirtualbooktours.com), a virtual tour company specifically tailored for Historical Fiction authors. To date, HFVBT has had the pleasure of working with authors Sandra Worth, Anne Easter Smith, C.W. Gortner, Sandra Byrd, M.J. Rose, Christine Trent, Nancy Bilyeau, Donna Russo Morin, Anne Barnhill, Deborah Swift, Sophie Perinot, D.L. Bogdan and many others. Amy originally hails from Orlando, FL and now resides in a suburb outside of Atlanta with her husband (and best friend), teenage daughter and infant son (both bibliophiles-in-training), overflowing bookshelves and five crazy animals.
Mary F. Burns is the author of Portraits of an Artist, is a member of and book reviewer for the Historical Novel Society and a member of the HNS Conference 2013board of directors. 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 where she now lives with her husband Stuart in the West Portal neighborhood. Ms. Burns also has a law degree from Golden Gate University. During most of her working career she was employed as a director of employee communications, public relations and issues management at various San Francisco Bay Area corporations, was an editor and manager of the Books on Tape department for Ignatius Press, and has managed her own communications/PR consulting business, producing written communications, websites and video productions for numerous corporate and non-profit clients.Visit her at: www.maryfburns.com and www.portraitsofanartist.blogspot.com.
Andrea Connell is a manuscript editor at the Marine Corps University Press in Quantico, VA. She has been a contributing member of the HNS for over ten years, serving as managing editor for HNS Indie reviews, and currently as reviews editor for the HNR, working with a number of small and university presses. She also reviews Indie books on her blog, The Queen’s Quill Review (www.thequeensquillreview.com) . Andrea lives in Burke, Virginia with her husband and 2-year-old daughter.
Stephanie Cowell grew up in New York possessed by the past and longing for Europe and England. She published her first short stories in her teens. She was a classical singer for many years and sang over thirty opera roles; she also appeared extensively as an international balladeer, produced a singing ensemble, a concert series, medieval festivals, and a small opera company. The translation of a late Mozart opera led her back to writing. Stephanie 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 work has been translated into nine languages. Her next novel is on the immortal love story of Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning. She still lives in New York City with her husband in an apartment full of books and music and has two grown sons. Her website is http://www.stephaniecowell.com