Jodi Daynard comes from a family that is passionately interested in art and history. Her mother was a self-made collector and art historian, and her father could hold forth on nearly any topic of American History. One of the last things he said to her before passing away last fall, at 96, was, “Well, you know, Roger Williams was really our first true advocate of the separation of church and state. You should look him up.” Ms. Daynard carries her family’s passions with her as she writes both literary fiction and non-fiction. Her most recent publication is The Midwife’s Revolt, a historical novel about a midwife friend of Abigail Adams’s. She is also the author of The Place Within: Portraits of the American Landscape by 20 Contemporary Writers. Her short stories and essays have appeared in numerous periodicals, and her essays have been named Notable Mentions in Best American Essays. She has taught writing at Harvard University, M.I.T., and Emerson College.
Denise DiFulco never met an archive she didn’t love. Ever since poring over a volume of Jane’s Fighting Ships at the landmark Brooklyn Public Library for a seventh grade report on World War II, she’s been hooked on research. Her affection for musty books and yellowed documents led her to pursue a dual major in history and newspaper journalism at Syracuse University. Today she’s a freelance writer and editor whose articles have appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Ladies’ Home Journal and numerous other publications. She currently is writing her first book, a historical novel spanning 50 years and four countries.
jay Dixon has over 30 years’ experience of editing both fiction and non-fiction manuscripts, and has edited several award-winning novels, including Christine Courtney’s The Silent Touch of Shadows and Liz Harris’ The Road Back, both dual-time novels. She is a scout for Accent Press, specialising in women’s fiction, crime and, her first love, historical fiction. A long-time member of the HNS, she has given talks at previous conferences on various subject matters, and writes reviews for the Historical Novels Review. She is the author of The Romance Fiction of Mills & Boon 1909-1990s, which received excellent reviews on publication and continues to do so. She has also written articles and presented academic papers on Georgette Heyer and her work. The Honorary Secretary of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, she lives near Brighton, on the south coast of England, which means she can indulge her love of the English Regency period by just hopping on a train!
Heather Domin is the author of The Soldier of Raetia, set in Augustan Rome, and Allegiance, set in 1922 Dublin. She lives in north Florida with her husband Matt, her cats Jareth and Lemmy, and a lot of plants. She has a B.A. in History with minors in Classics and German; she’s been sharing stories online since she was in college, but she’s been a writer (and reader) all her life.
Julianne Douglas holds a doctorate in French literature from Princeton University. She specializes in the literature of the sixteenth century and strives to bring this rich era of French history alive in her fiction. Her first manuscript, the story of a Renaissance woman poet’s groundbreaking quest for publication, secured her the representation of Stephanie Cabot of The Gernert Company. Julianne’s current manuscript plumbs the world of the court artist, exposing the forces that transform the worthiest ambitions into the most vicious of rivalries. Julianne is a two-time participant of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers Fiction Workshop. She created her blog, Writing the Renaissance (www.writingren.blogspot.com), in 2008. The blog features articles on sixteenth century history and culture, reviews of historical novels, author interviews, and musings on the novelist’s craft. Julianne lives in Northern California with her physicist husband and three children, in a house brimming with books and decorated with dreams.
Stephanie Dray is a bestselling, multi-published, award-winning author of historical fiction and fantasy set in the ancient world. SONG OF THE NILE, the second book of her series about Cleopatra’s Daughter was nominated for a RITA award and won the Golden Leaf. Her focus on Ptolemaic Egypt and Augustan Age Rome has given her a unique perspective on the consequences of Egypt’s ancient clash with Rome, both in terms of the still-extant tensions between East and West as well as the worldwide decline of female-oriented religion. Before she wrote novels, Stephanie was a lawyer, a game designer, and a teacher. Now she uses the transformative power of magic realism to illuminate the stories of women in history and inspire the young women of today. She remains fascinated by all things Roman or Egyptian and has-to the consternation of her devoted husband-collected a house full of cats and ancient artifacts.
Stella Duffy grew up in New Zealand and lives and work in London. She has written thirteen novels, fifty short stories, and ten plays. The Room of Lost Things and State of Happiness were both longlisted for the Orange Prize, and she has twice won Stonewall Writer of the Year. She won the 2002 CWA Short Story Dagger for Martha Grace. She is currently adapting her novel State of Happiness for feature film with Zentropa/Fiesta. HBO have optioned both of her Theodora novels for a TV mini-series. Stella is also a theatre director and performer.
J.S. Dunn resided in Ireland during the past decade, and continues to pursue the Bronze Age along the coasts of Spain, France, Wales, and Ireland. BENDING THE BOYNE is the first novel to use the new paradigm from eminent archaeologists including Sir Barry Cunliffe, Oxford emeritus, for the Atlantic origins of Gaelic culture and language. The research for BENDING THE BOYNE led to diverse friends and experiences. In 2006, the author attended the Dover Boat Symposium at Dover, UK, on the earliest known Atlantic wood plank boat. In September 2012, the author attended a hands-on bronze sword workshop in Cornwall, UK. Dunn’s debut novel won the 2011 Next Generation Award for historical fiction, and was listed for a ForeWord Reviews historical fiction award. A short story by J.S. Dunn appears in an anthology of historical fiction from Chamberton Publishing. Recent appearances include the iBAM! Festival of Irish books, art, and music, Chicago 2012. The author has a second novel underway, set at 1600 BCE, another time of great change during the Atlantic Bronze Age.
Daphne Ellis — Born with her nose in a book, Daphne was an avid reader from an early age – a love that continued through her high school years. But then college, marriage, a daughter, law school and work all got in the way and it was nearly 20 years before she picked up a book of her own choosing again. A career shift in 2006 (and her daughter in high school) meant she suddenly had free time on her hands and on a family vacation, she rediscovered the joy of reading -and something called historical fiction. She’s been hooked ever since! Daphne collects old, out of print books about royalty and has a particular weakness for old book covers – the cheesier the better! Her blog, Tanzanite’s Castle Full of Books, features new and upcoming releases, reviews and giveaways.
Christy English – Raised in Wilmington, NC, Christy English received her undergraduate degree in history from Duke University, then began her work as writer. Instead of going to graduate school, she decided to take to heart the wisdom of Reynolds Price, given once at a North Carolina Writer’s Conference: “Go into your room, close the door, sit down at your desk, and write.” She is the author of the historical novels THE QUEEN’S PAWN and TO BE QUEEN from New American Library, as well as the Regency romance HOW TO TAME A WILLFUL WIFE from Sourcebooks Casablanca.
Audra Friend is a Boston-based book blogger who reviews as Unabridged Chick (www.unabridgedchick.com). An Air Force brat, Audra’s love of reading was nurtured by her family’s numerous national and international moves, and her family encouraged her reading of historical novels to learn more about the places they were stationed. (Audra still turns to historical fiction before any trip!) Audra studied anthropology and geography as an undergrad, and she’s most taken with novels that address the stickier side of history, place, and society as well as the roles of women, from royals to riffraff. Professionally, Audra has worked in the non-profit sector for the last ten years and is blessed with coworkers who don’t mind hearing about what she’s currently reading.
Diana Gabaldon is the author of the award-winning, best-selling Outlander novels, described by Salon as “the smartest historical sci-fi adventure-romance story ever written by a science Ph.D. with a background in scripting ‘Scrooge McDuck comics.” Outlander began in 1991 and has continued through several more best-selling novels, with twenty million copies in print worldwide. Diana has also written a sub-series featuring Lord John Grey. Diana emcee’d the fabulous “Late Night Sex Scene Readings” at the San Diego conference in 2011, and will be reprising this scandalous event again in St. Petersburg this year. (www.dianagabaldon.com)
Margaret George is the author of six epic biographical novels, featuring Henry VIII, Mary Queen of Scots, Cleopatra, Mary Magdalene, Helen of Troy, and Elizabeth Tudor. All of these were New York Times bestsellers (Henry VIII was a London Times bestseller as well) and the Cleopatra novel was made into an ABC-TV Emmy-nominated miniseries. They have multiple foreign editions. She has been an invited speaker at Hampton Court, the Tower of London, and the Folger Shakespeare Library. She has been interviewed on A & E, CNN, and the History Channel. She is also the co-author of an illustrated children’s book about her pet tortoise—whom she has had for 30 years— Lucille Lost. She is currently at work on a novel about the Emperor Nero, and an opera libretto about Herod and Cleopatra. She and her husband travel a great deal, including research for Margaret’s books, and sometimes for no reason at all except curiosity; they recently went to Alaska in the winter to watch the Iditarod and see the northern lights. Fun research events include the Red Cross Snake Farm in Bangkok, competing barefoot in Nemean Games races in Greece, studying bellydancing., attending the New York Turtle and Tortoise Society turtle competition, helping put on an authentic Cleopatra dinner and a Trojan War dinner, including procuring a huge Trojan horse and getting it into the restaurant.
Stephen Hart has a PhD in Archaeology from Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. He lived in Jordan for four years in the early 1980’s working mainly on the Edomites, the people who lived in southern Jordan in the first millennium BC. In 1990 he abandoned academia to work as a programmer for a computer games company and has worked in computing ever since. In 2000 while doing some contract database work for the NSW Police he chanced upon an article in the police magazine about Jonathan Wild, a master criminal who lived in early 18th century London. He immediately became hooked on the period and has written a field guide to Thieves’ Cant and has a novel about Jonathan Wild currently seeking a publisher. Much of his 18th century research, including several searchable databases can be found on his website www.pascalbonenfant.com.
Susan Higginbotham has published five novels set in medieval or Tudor England and is currently completing a novel about Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox, as well as a nonfiction book about the Woodville family. Her most recent novel, Her Highness, the Traitor, tells the story of Lady Jane Grey’s crowning through the eyes of her mother and her mother-in-law. Susan lives in North Carolina with her family, who graciously tolerate the presence of four bookcases in the kitchen. She loves posting about history and historical fiction on her blog, History Refreshed, and spends far too much time on Facebook.