WriteNow! Faculty Alumni

At every WriteNow! Conference, we host an extraordinary line-up of bestselling authors, experienced editors, qualified agents, publishing experts, and law enforcement professionals. Here are just some of those amazing individuals.

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Jennifer Ashley / WriteNow! 2008 & 2016

Jennifer Ashley (aka Ashley Gardner, Allyson James) has lived and traveled all over the world, and now lives in the Southwest. She writes historical, paranormal, and contemporary romance as Jennifer Ashley; mysteries as Ashley Gardner; and paranormal romance and urban fantasy as Allyson James.
Jennifer’s/Allyson’s/Ashley’s more than 83 novels and novellas have won RWA’s RITA award, the Golden Quill, RT Reviewer’s Choice awards, and the Prism award, among others. Jennifer’s novels have been also been translated into French, German, Spanish, Dutch, Japanese, Norwegian, Hungarian, Italian, Thai, and other languages.

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Terri Bischoff / WriteNow! 2015

Terri Bischoff joined Midnight Ink as Acquiring Editor in October 2009. She leads all editorial directions and creates the seasonal lists. She has dramatically increased the number of titles per season, publishing 36 titles per year, as well as expanded the type of multiple Award-Winning and Award-Nominated crime fiction Midnight Ink has published.

Juliette Blackwell / WriteNow! 2011

Juliet Blackwell is the New York Times bestselling author of THE PARIS KEY. She also writes the Witchcraft Mystery series and the Haunted Home Renovation series. As Hailey Lind, Blackwell wrote the Agatha-nominated Art Lover’s Mystery series. A former anthropologist, social worker, and professional artist, Juliet is a California native who has spent time in Mexico, Spain, Cuba, Italy, the Philippines, and France.

 Graham Brown / WriteNow! 2014

Graham Brown grew up in Illinois, Connecticut and Pennsylvania, moving often with his family. As far as he knows they weren’t in the witness protection program or part of any top secret government agency – but then – would they really tell him? A former pilot and lawyer and later part of a start-up health care firm, Graham decided he hadn’t had enough different careers yet and decided to become a writer. A huge fan of Clive Cussler, Michael Crichton, Stephen King and television shows like the X-files and Lost, Graham’s first novel Black Rain debuted in January 2010. He now co-writes the NUMA Files series with Clive Cussler. Their second collaboration, THE STORM, debuted at #1 on the New York Times best seller list.

 Robin Burcell / WriteNow! 2010 & 2017

Robin Burcell spent nearly three decades working in law enforcement as a police officer, hostage negotiator, criminal investigator and FBI Academy-trained forensic artist. She is the award-winning author of the Kate Gillespie police procedural series, the Sydney Fitzpatrick thriller series, a Streets of San Francisco novel, and is now writing thrillers with international best-selling author Clive Cussler. Pirate, their first co-written book, was released last year. The next in that series, The Romanov Ransom, is available now.

Burcell has appeared on several true-crime television episodes as a commentator and even did a “forensic” sketch from a witness’s description of “Baby Big Foot” for the Icon Films television series, Bigfoot Files, which appeared on BBC and Bigfoot: The New Evidence, which appeared in the U.S. on the National Geographic channel.

Jan Burke / WriteNow! 2016

Jan Burke is the New York Times best-selling author of more than a dozen novels and numerous short stories. Her books have appeared on the USA Today best-sellers list been published internationally and optioned for film and television.

Bones, her ninth novel in the Irene Kelly series, won the Edgar Award for best novel. She is also an award-winning short story writer. She has been the guest of honor at numerous crime fiction conventions. A forensic science advocate, she founded the nonprofit Crime Lab Project. She cohosts “Crime and Science Radio” with D. P. While, M. D.

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Victoria Cappello / WriteNow! 2016

Victoria Cappello was born and raised in Queens, New York and graduated from the City University of New York, Queens College. Before joining the Bent Agency, she completed internships at Serendipity Literary and the Carol Mann Agency. She now lives on Long Island and in her spare time she can be found teaching dance classes for young students or watching re-runs of The Office.

She is looking for for both commercial and literary fiction as well as young adult titles. Her favorite genres are historical fiction, suspense, mysteries, upmarket women’s fiction, and romance. Victoria represents both literary & commercial fiction with a particular focus on historical fiction, mysteries and suspense.

 Sean Chercover / WriteNow! 2012

Sean Chercover is a dual citizen, born to a Canadian father and an American mother. He grew up in Toronto and spent childhood summers in Georgia. After earning a Liberal Arts degree from Columbia College Chicago, he worked as a private investigator in Chicago and New Orleans. His other professions have included television writer, video editor, support diver, waiter, encyclopedia salesman, and some best forgotten. After a series of corporate PR writing gigs drove Sean insane, he settled down to write fiction in earnest.

He is the author of the novels THE DEVIL’S GAME, THE TRINITY GAME, TRIGGER CITY, and BIG CITY BAD BLOOD, as well as short stories that have appeared in a number of anthologies. His work has received the Anthony, Shamus, CWA Dagger, Dilys, Crimespree, Gumshoe and Lovey awards, and has been shortlisted for the Edgar, Macavity, Barry, ITW Thriller and Arthur Ellis.

He lives with his wife and son in Toronto. Right now, he’s probably riding his bike.

 Christina Cox / WriteNow! 2015

Screenwriter and Producer, Christina Cox, is best known as the star of Blood Ties for Lifetime, and Defying Gravity for ABC. Internationally recognized for her guest-starring roles on Arrow, Dexter, NCIS, 24, NCIS: LA, 24, and numerous other appearances, Christina also appears in The Chronicles of Riddick and Better Than Chocolate. As Lead Producer for Roving Spoke Productions and Fancypants Pictures, she is currently involved in developing feature films for her original screenplays.

 Clive Cussler / WriteNow! 2017

Clive Cussler’s own life and career is a blend of imagination and reality, art that imitates life and life inspired by art. As an Air Force mechanic in Hawaii during the Korean War, he discovered a passion for scuba diving when it was so new, “we had to send to France, to (Jacques) Cousteau for the tanks.” He was an avid reader, and a fan of Edgar Allan Poe, Travis McGee, and his favorite novelist, Alistair MacLean.

After the war, Cussler worked in advertising for 15 years and began writing fiction only after his first wife, Barbara started working nights. “After I put the kids to bed,” he says, “I had nothing to do and no one to talk to, so I thought I’d write an adventure story.”

Cussler began writing novels in 1965 and published his first work featuring his continuous series hero, Dirk Pitt®, in 1973. Cussler’s books have been published in more than 40 languages in more than 100 countries.

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Hilary Davidson / WriteNow! 2015

Hilary Davidson has won the Anthony Award, the Derringer Award, the Crimespree Award, and two Ellery Queen Reader’s Choice Awards. Her life of crime started in 2007, when she published her first short story in Thuglit. Toronto-born and NYC-based, Hilary uses her background as a travel journalist in her Lily Moore mystery series, setting stories in places such as Peru and Mexico. Her latest book is the hardboiled BLOOD ALWAYS TELLS, her first non-series novel. She is also the author of 18 nonfiction books.

 Stella Pope Duarte / WriteNow! 2007

Inspired to write by a prophetic dream of her father in 1995, Irish Latina author, Stella Pope Duarte, believes that writing, like love, begins within, or it doesn’t start at all. Hailed by critics as a “major, literary voice in America,” Duarte is described by reviewers as a “magical weaver with a sure hand and a pure heart,” and as an author who “will enlarge humanity.” Her literary works have won awards and honors nationwide, including a 2009 American Book Award, a Pulitzer Prize nomination, Southwest Book of the Year Award, Women in American History Award, Arizona Book of the Year Award, Foreword Magazine Book of the Year Award, Independent Publisher’s Book of the Year Award, AZ Highways Magazine Book of the Year Award, and a nomination to Oprah’s Book Sense list.

Born and raised in the Sonorita Barrio in South Phoenix, Ms. Duarte currently writes from her home in Phoenix, Arizona a few miles away from the place of her birth.

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 Lee Goldberg / WriteNow! 2017

Lee Goldberg is a two-time Edgar & Shamus Award nominee and #1 New York Times bestselling author who has written and produced scores of highly successful TV series and is the author of over forty novels and non-fiction books. As an international television consultant, he has advised networks and studios in Canada, France, Germany, Spain, China, Sweden, and the Netherlands on the creation, writing, and production of episodic series.

His first job was a freelance episode of Spenser: For Hire “that stole liberally from my own life. It was about a fraud who write’s vigilante novels.”

His many books include Watch Me Die, which was nominated for a Shamus Award for Best Novel from the “Private Eye Writers of America.” He’s also co-author with Janet Evanovich of the five international bestselling Fox & O’Hare novels (The Heist, The Chase, The Job, The Scam and The Pursuit) and two New York Times bestselling prequel novellas (The Shell Game and Pros & Cons).

Bryan Gruley / WriteNow! 2010

Bryan Gruley is reporter at large for Bloomberg News and the former Pulitzer Prize-winning Chicago bureau chief of The Wall Street Journal. He has won the Anthony, Barry, and Strand Awards and was nominated for an Edgar Award for best first novel. He lives with his wife in Chicago.

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Tim Hallinan / WriteNow! 2014

Timothy Hallinan is the Edgar- and Macavity-nominated author of the Poke Rafferty thriller series and the Junior Bender mystery series. After years of working in Hollywood, television, and the music industry, he now writes full time. He divides his time between California and Thailand.

Cynthia Hickey (Melton)  / WriteNow! 2016

Best-Selling author Cynthia Hickey spans multiple genres
with her award winning novels. Her first mystery, Fudge-Laced Felonies, won first place in the inspirational category of the Great Expectations contest in 2007. Her third cozy, Chocolate-Covered Crime, received a four-star review from Romantic Times. She is the author of more than 80 books, from crime fiction to historical romance and has sold more than 350,000 copies of her works.

 Gregg Hurwitz / WriteNow! 2013

Gregg Hurwitz is the New York Times bestselling author of 15 thrillers, most recently, ORPHAN X. His novels have been shortlisted for numerous literary awards, graced top ten lists, and have been translated into 27 languages.

He is also a New York Times Bestselling comic book writer, having penned stories for Marvel (Wolverine, Punisher) and DC (Batman, Penguin). Additionally, he’s written screenplays for or sold spec scripts to many of the major studios, and written, developed, and produced television for various networks. Gregg resides in Los Angeles.

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Alex Kava / WriteNow! 2016

Alex Kava is the New York Times best-selling author of fifteen novels including the critically acclaimed Maggie O’Dell series and a new series featuring former marine, Ryder Creed and his K9 dogs.

Her novel Stranded was awarded both a Florida Book Award and the Nebraska Book Award. Her stand-alone novel, One False Move, was chosen for the 2006 One Book One Nebraska. Published in thirty-two countries with over six million copies sold, Kava’s novels have made the bestseller lists in the UK, Australia, Germany, Japan, Italy and Poland. She is a member of the Nebraska Writers Guild and International Thriller Writers. Kava divides her time between Omaha, Nebraska and Pensacola, Florida.

 Dana Kaye / WriteNow! 2017

Dana Kaye founded Kaye Publicity, Inc., a boutique PR company specializing in publishing and entertainment in 2009. Known for her innovative ideas and knowledge of current trends, she coaches her clients on how to identify and establish and understand the power of their unique personal brands. Kaye is also the author of Your Book, Your Brand: The Step-by-Step Guide to Launching Your Book and Boosting Your Sales and the creator of Branding Outside the Box, an online resource to help people launch their personal brands.

 Michael Koryta / WriteNow! 2015

Michael Koryta is the New York Times-bestselling author of 11 suspense novels. His books have won or been nominated for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, Edgar® Award, Shamus Award, Barry Award, Quill Award, International Thriller Writers Award, and the Golden Dagger. His recent thriller Those Who Wish Me Dead was named the summer’s best thriller by both Amazon and Entertainment Weekly, and was selected as one of the year’s best books by more than 10 publications.

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Deborah J. Ledford / WriteNow! 2015

Screenwriter and Producer, Deborah J. Ledford, is the award-winning author of the Inola Walela/Steven Hawk suspense series, including: CAUSING CHAOS, STACCATO, and the Hillerman Sky Award Finalist and NM-AZ Book Awards Finalist, SNARE. Book three of her series, CRESCENDO, is the Anthony Award Nominee for Best Audiobook. Narrated by Christina Cox, the recording is presented by Deborah’s production company, IOF Productions Ltd. She is also a Lead Producer for Fancypants Pictures.

 Sophie Littlefield / WriteNow! 2011

Sophie Littlefield grew up in rural Missouri, the middle child of a professor and an artist. She has been writing stories since childhood. After taking a hiatus to raise her children, she sold her first book in 2008, and has since authored over a dozen novels in several genres. Sophie’s novels have won Anthony and RT Book Awards and been shortlisted for Edgar, Barry, Crimespree, Macavity, and Goodreads Choice Awards. In addition to women’s fiction, she writes the post-apocalyptic AFTERTIME series, the Stella Hardesty and Joe Bashir crime series, and thrillers for young adults. She is a past president of the San Francisco Romance Writers of America chapter. Sophie makes her home in northern California.

 Holly Lörincz / WriteNow! 2016 & 2017

Holly Lörincz Author and founder of Lörincz Literary Services, Holly has been editing books and professional text for over twenty years. A specialist in editing and collaborative writing, Holly has published a number of collaborative titles; her first novel, Smart Mouth, won a National Independent Publishers Book Award and has been optioned for a TV series with Foxworthy Productions.

She specializes in collaborative writing, as well as developmental editing for fiction and non-fiction. Her edited manuscripts have been picked up by agents and traditional publishers, winning multiple awards, including the Writer’s Digest Mark of Quality, the USA Best Book Awards, Christy Awards, ITW Thriller Award, The Shamus Award, and reaching New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon bestseller lists, just to name a few.

Holly still works closely with literary agents at MacGregor Literary, teaches quarterly workshops as a visiting instructor at The Blackbird Studio for Writers (run by New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Lauck), and she is a member in good standing with the Editorial Freelancers Association, holding a master’s degree in language arts and journalism. She currently lives on the beach in Oregon, and employs five editors at Lörincz Literary Services.

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 Jill Marr / WriteNow! 2017

After writing ad copy and features for published books for years, Jill Marr knows how to find the “hook” and sell it. She has a strong Internet and media background and nearly 15 years of publishing experience. She wrote features and ads for Pages, the literary magazine for people who love books, and continues to write book ads for publishing houses, magazine pieces, and promotional features for television.

Jill is interested in commercial fiction, with an emphasis on mysteries, thrillers, romantic suspense and horror, women’s commercial fiction and historical fiction. She is also looking for non-fiction by authors who are getting their work published regularly and who have a realistic sense of the market and their audience. Jill is looking for non-fiction projects in the areas of history, narrative non-fiction, sports, politics, current events, health & nutrition, pop culture, humor, music, and very select memoir.

Catriona McPherson / WriteNow! 2014

Catriona McPherson was born in Scotland and lived there until 2010, before immigrating to California. A former academic linguist, she is now a full-time fiction writer, the multi- award-winning author of the Dandy Gilver detective stories, set in Scotland in the 1920s. She also writes a strand of award-winning contemporary standalones including THE DAY SHE DIED and THE CHILD GARDEN. Catriona is a proud member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, The Crimewriters’ Association, The Society of Authors and Scottish PEN.

 Jenny Milchman / WriteNow! 2015

Jenny Milchman is the author of Cover of Snow, which won the Mary Higgins Clark Award and Ruin Falls, an Indie Next Pick and a Top Ten of 2014 by Suspense Magazine. Her new novel, As Night Falls, was released in June. She is the V.P. of Author Programming for International Thriller Writers, a teacher for New York Writers Workshop, and is the founder of Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day.

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Dennis Palumbo / WriteNow! 2012

Formerly a Hollywood screenwriter (My Favorite Year; Welcome Back, Kotter, etc.), Dennis Palumbo is a licensed psychotherapist and the author of Writing From the Inside Out (John Wiley). His collection of mystery short stories is called FROM CRIME TO CRIME (Tallfellow Press). He also writes the acclaimed Daniel Rinaldi thrillers (MIRROR IMAGE, FEVER DREAM and the latest, NIGHT TERRORS), all from Poisoned Pen Press.

Sara Paretsky / WriteNow! 2015

Sara Paretsky is the author of twenty books, including the renowned V. I. Warshawski novels. She was named 2011 Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America, and is also the recipient of the Cartier Diamond Dagger Award for lifetime achievement given by the British Crime Writers’ Association.

Not only has Paretsky’s own work broken barriers, she has also helped open doors for other women. In 1986 she created Sisters in Crime, a worldwide organization to support women crime writers, which earned her Ms. Magazine’s 1987 Woman of the Year award. More accolades followed: Blacklist won the Gold Dagger from the British Crime Writers for best novel of 2004; her 2007 memoir, Writing in an Age of Silence, was a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist, and she has received the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters from several different universities. The actress Kathleen Turner played V. I. Warshawski in the movie of that name and Paretsky’s work is celebrated in Pamela Beere Briggs’s documentary, Women of Mystery. Today, Sara Paretsky’s books are published in 30 countries.

 Jewell Parker Rhodes / WriteNow! 2006

Jewell Parker Rhodes has always loved reading and writing stories. Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, she now teaches creative writing at Arizona State University. She also travels globally teaching creative writing to middle grade, high school, and college students, and helping her ASU students experience and teach in such global settings as China, Singapore, and Wales.

Jewell Parker Rhodes is the Piper Endowed Chair and founding artistic director of the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at Arizona State University. She has won numerous awards for her books for children and adults. NINTH WARD, her first novel for young readers, was named a Coretta Scott King Honor Book, a Notable Book for a Global Society, and a Today show Al’s Book Club for Kids selection. Other honors include: the American Book Award, the National Endowment of the Arts Award in Fiction, the Black Caucus of the American Library Award for Literary Excellence, the PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Award for Outstanding Writing, and two Arizona Book Awards.

Hank Phillippi Ryan / WriteNow! 2013

Hank Phillippi Ryan is the on-air investigative reporter for Boston’s NBC affiliate. She’s won 33 EMMYs, 13 Edward R. Murrow awards and dozens of other honors for her groundbreaking journalism. A bestselling author of eight mystery novels, Ryan has won multiple prestigious awards for her crime fiction: five Agathas, two Anthonys, the Daphne, two Macavitys, and for THE OTHER WOMAN, the coveted Mary Higgins Clark Award. National reviews have called her a “master at crafting suspenseful mysteries” and “a superb and gifted storyteller.” Her 2013 novel, THE WRONG GIRL, won both the Agatha Award for Best Contemporary Novel and the Daphne Award for Mainstream Mystery/Suspense, and is a seven-week Boston Globe bestseller. TRUTH BE TOLD, is the Agatha Award winner for Best Contemporary Novel and an Anthony Award nominee for Best Novel. TRUTH BE TOLD was also a Library Journal BEST BOOK OF 2014, with starred reviews from Booklist and from Library Journal, which raves, “Drop everything and binge read!” She won a second Agatha Award in 2015 for Best Nonfiction, as editor of WRITES OF PASSAGE, an anthology of essays by mystery authors, which was also honored with a Macavity Award and Anthony Award. Ryan’s newest novel, WHAT YOU SEE, is an Agatha nominee and a Library Journal Best of 2015, with a starred review which raves, “Mystery readers get ready: you will find yourself racing to the finish.” It’s also an RT Book Reviews Top Pick for “Exceptional suspense!” Her first award-winning series starring reporter Charlotte McNally is now available in all-new editions. She’s a founding teacher at Mystery Writers of America University and 2013 president of national Sisters in Crime.

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Kelli Stanley / WriteNow! 2011

Kelli Stanley is a critically-acclaimed, multiple award-winning author of crime fiction (novels and short stories). She makes her home in Dashiell Hammett’s San Francisco, a city she loves to write about. Kelli earned a Master’s Degree in Classics, loves jazz, old movies, battered fedoras, Art Deco and speakeasies. She credits Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Tennessee Williams, Cornell Woolrich, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Thomas Hardy as some of her major influences.

Kelli is best known for the Miranda Corbie series of historical noir novels and short stories set in 1940 San Francisco. The first novel of the series, CITY OF DRAGONS, introduced Miranda, the unforgettable protagonist Library Journal calls one of crime’s most arresting heroines.”

Mark Sullivan / WriteNow! 2014

Mark Sullivan is the author of eight thrillers, including PRIVATE GAMES, which he co-wrote with James Patterson. He was an Edgar Award finalist, winner of the W.H. Smith award for “Best New Talent,” and his debut novel, THE FALL LINE, was named New York Times Notable Book of the year, a rare honor for a debut. His next novel with Patterson, PRIVATE BERLIN, launches in 2013 and his next standalone novel, ROGUE, launches in October 2012. He currently resides in Montana with his family.

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Carol Test / WriteNow! 2015

Professional content editor, Carol Test, is an award-winning short story writer and former editor-in-chief of Sonora Review. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona and taught fiction workshops at the college level for a decade. She currently empowers authors to get works-in-progress publication-ready.

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Simon Wood / WriteNow! 2008 & 2015

Simon Wood is a California transplant from England. He’s a former racecar driver, a pilot, an endurance cyclist and an occasional PI. He shares his world with his American wife, Julie, and way too many pets and livestock. He’s the Anthony Award winning author of over a dozen books. His titles include Accidents Waiting to Happen, Paying the Piper, Terminated, the Aidy Westlake series. His latest thriller is THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY. He also writes horror under the pseudonym of Simon Janus.