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.
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.
Shannon Baker / WriteNow! 2021
Shannon Baker is the award-winning author of The Desert Behind Me and the Kate Fox series, along with the Nora Abbott mysteries and the Michaela Sanchez Southwest Crime Thrillers. She is the proud recipient of the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers 2014 and 2017-18 Writer of the Year Award.
Baker spent 20 years in the Nebraska Sandhills, where cattle outnumber people by more than 50:1. She now lives on the edge of the desert in Tucson with her crazy Weimaraner and her favorite human. A lover of the great outdoors, she can be found backpacking, traipsing to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, skiing mountains and plains, kayaking lakes, river running, hiking, cycling, and scuba diving whenever she gets a chance. Arizona sunsets notwithstanding, Baker is, and always will be a Nebraska Husker. Go Big Red.
Brett Battles/WriteNow! 2021
Brett Battles is the USA Today bestselling author of over thirty novels, including the Jonathan Quinn series, the Project Eden series, and the time-bending Rewinder trilogy. His debut novel, The Cleaner2 (The Jonathan Quinn Thrillers #1), was nominated for the 2008 Barry Award for Best Thriller, and the 2008 Shamus Award for Best First Novel. His second novel, The Deceived, won the 2009 Barry Award for Best Thriller. He received an additional Barry Award nomination for the fourth in his Quinn series, The Silenced. He’s also the co-author, with Robert Gregory Browne, of the Alexandra Poe series. He lives and writes in Ventura County, California.
Eric Beetner/ WriteNow! 2021
Eric Beetner is that writer you’ve heard about but never read. When you finally do you wonder why you waited so long. There are more than 20 books like Rumrunners, All The Way Down and The Devil Doesn’t Want Me so you’d better get started. He also hosts the podcast Writer Types and the Noir at the Bar reading series in L.A. He’s been described as “The 21st Century’s answer to Jim Thompson” (LitReactor), been nominated for three Anthonys, an ITW award, a Shamus, a Derringer, and five Emmys. Seriously, what are you waiting for?
Terri Bischoff / WriteNow! 2015, 2019, & 2020
Senior Acquisitions Editor for Crooked Lane Books, began her life in books as a bookseller at Kramerbooks in Washington, DC. After moving home to the Midwest, she worked at a feminist bookstore before purchasing and operating Booked for Murder in Madison, WI. She spent 10 years at Midnight Ink as their acquiring editor and published 36-40 books a year. Terri has a wealth of experience and knowledge in both mysteries and in bookselling, particularly as a book buyer and reviewer. Terri’s interests lie in mainstream suspense, thrillers, quirky and humorous cozies, LGBTQIA, and diverse characters/storylines.
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.
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.
Ann Cleeves / WriteNow! 2021
Ann’s books have been translated into twenty languages. She’s a bestseller in Scandinavia and Germany. Her novels sell widely and to critical acclaim in the United States. Raven Black was shortlisted for the Martin Beck award for best-translated crime novel in Sweden in 2007. It has been adapted for radio in Germany – and in the UK where it was a Radio Times pick of the day when it was first broadcast Radio adaptations of Raven Black and White Nights have both been repeated. Ten series of Vera, the ITV adaptation starring Brenda Blethyn, have been shown in the UK and worldwide, and filming on series eleven (delayed because of the coronavirus) resumed in the autumn of 2020; there have also been five series of Shetland, based on the characters and settings of her Shetland novels, and filming resumed in 2021. A television adaptation of The Long Call, the first in Ann’s new series set in North Devon, has been commissioned by ITV from Silverprint Pictures, the company that has already produced Shetland (BBC) and Vera (ITV), and this too is filming during the summer of 2021.
Michael Connelly / WriteNow! 2020
Michael Connelly is the bestselling author of over thirty novels and one work of nonfiction. With over seventy-four million copies of his books sold worldwide and translated into forty foreign languages, he is one of the most successful writers working today. A former newspaper reporter who worked the crime beat at the Los Angeles Times and the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, Connelly has won numerous awards for his journalism and his fiction. His very first novel, The Black Echo, won the prestigious Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award for Best First Novel in 1992. In 2002, Clint Eastwood directed and starred in the movie adaptation of Connelly’s 1998 novel, Blood Work. In March 2011, the movie adaptation of his #1 bestselling novel, The Lincoln Lawyer, hit theaters worldwide starring Matthew McConaughey as Mickey Haller. His most recent #1 New York Times bestsellers include Dark Sacred Night, The Late Show, Two Kinds Of Truth, The Late Show, The Wrong Side Of Goodbye, The Crossing, The Burning Room, The Gods of Guilt, The Black Box, and The Drop. Michael is the executive producer of BOSCH, an Amazon Studios original drama series based on his bestselling character Harry Bosch, starring Titus Welliver and streaming on Amazon Prime. He is also the executive producer of the documentary films, SOUND OF REDEMPTION: The Frank Morgan Story and Tales Of the American. He spends his time in California and Florida. MichaelConnelly.com
Matt Coyle / WriteNow! 2020
Matt Coyle was fourteen when his father gave him The Simple Art of Murder by Raymond Chandler. Since then, Coyle has dedicated his writing career to hard-boiled PI mysteries following the haunted character Rick Cahill. He is a graduate of UC Santa Barbara and lives in San Diego with his yellow lab, Angus. Coyle’s debut novel, Yesterday’s Echo, won the Anthony Award for Best First Novel, the San Diego Book Award for Best Mystery, and the Ben Franklin Silver Award for Best New Voice in Fiction. Night Tremors was a Bookreporter.com Reviewers’ Favorite Book of 2015 and was an Anthony, Shamus, and Lefty Award finalist. Both Dark Fissures and Blood Truth were also Lefty awards finalists and Top Picks on Bookreporter.com, and Blood Truth was also nominated for the 2018 Shamus award for Best Private Eye novel. Wrong Light is Coyle’s fifth Rick Cahill novel. MattCoyleBooks.com
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.
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.
Hailey Dezort/WriteNow! 2020
Hailey Dezort is the marketing and events coordinator for Kaye Publicity. Before Kaye Publicity, she was a digital content creator for the Chicago Humanities Festival as well as several interior design companies. You can follow her at @Hailey_Dezort on Twitter or @hayhails on Instagram.
Sara DiVello/WriteNow! 2021
Sara DiVello is a yoga teacher by day, mystery writer by night. She’s a life-long passionate reader and mystery-lover. Sara loves chatting about all things books, the joy of reading, the craft of writing, and connecting readers to their favorite authors…or introducing them to their new favorites! She is the creator of the “Mystery and Thriller Mavens Author Interview Series,” now streaming in collaboration with Murder by the Book, and has interviewed over 100 mystery and thriller authors since the pandemic descended. She also created the Mystery and Thriller Mavens Facebook Group, a free, online book group where readers can watch and participate in interviews, enter giveaways, and dish about their latest books. All are welcome.
Connie B. Dowell / WriteNow! 2021
Connie B. Dowell is an author of historical and cozy mysteries and nonfiction for writers. She is the host of the Book Echoes podcast for authors. After having two kids in less than two years, Connie developed a passion for time management and loves to chat about author productivity and work-life balance. A former university writing center coordinator, she loves teaching other writers and guiding them toward success.
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.
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 the best first novel. He lives with his wife in Chicago.
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.
Naomi Hirahara / WriteNow! 2020
Naomi Hirahara, born and raised in Southern California, is the Edgar Award-winning author of the Mas Arai mystery series, which features a Japanese American gardener and atomic-bomb survivor who solves crimes (SUMMER OF THE BIG BACHI, GASA-GASA GIRL, SNAKESKIN SHAMISEN, BLOOD HINA, and STRAWBERRY YELLOW). Books in this series have been translated into Japanese, Korean, and French (September 2015 publication date). MURDER ON BAMBOO LANE, her new mystery series with a female twentysomething LAPD bicycle cop, was released with Berkley Prime Crime in spring 2014. Her next in the series, A GRAVE ON GRAND AVENUE, was released in April 2015. She also has penned a middle-grade novel, 1001 CRANES, which was chosen as an Honor Book for the Youth Literature of the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature in 2009. A former editor of the largest Japanese American newspaper in the U.S., she also has released a number of nonfiction works. A number of her short stories have been included in various anthologies. NaomiHirahara.com
Bronwen Hruska/ WriteNow! 2021
Bronwen Hruska is the President and Publisher of Soho Press. Founded in 1986, the award-winning independent press remains committed to publishing the highest quality fiction from bold new literary voices under its three imprints. Before coming to Soho, Hruska worked for twenty years as a journalist and screenwriter.
Her novel, Accelerated, was published by Pegasus Books in 2012.
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.
Jenna Jankowski is an assistant editor at Sourcebooks, an independent publisher located outside of Chicago. She acquires both adult fiction and nonfiction, with an emphasis on diverse voices. Jenna is looking for a broad variety of books within the mystery/suspense/thriller categories, including psychological suspense, cozy mysteries, and contemporary crime fiction; mainstream contemporary fiction with a literary edge; speculative and horror; and engaging narrative nonfiction with revealing explorations of history, science, and social science.
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.
Kirby Kim / WriteNow! 2020
Kirby Kim, a native of Los Angeles, California, attended Pomona College and got his JD at UC Hastings College of the Law. Kirby got his first job in publishing working for Charlotte Sheedy Literary, at that time an affiliate of Sterling Lord Literistic, then moved to Vigliano Associates and WME and now at Janklow & Nesbit.
Kirby represents both literary and commercial authors. He’s most interested in receiving manuscripts that straddle the fence a bit, with upmarket expression combined with a genre element or plot device. When it comes to straight literary work, he’s alternatively drawn to rich, sweeping stories that try to encompass a time or a place or tightly written, narratively innovative stories or voices with award potential. His commercial interests include thrillers and mysteries, speculative fiction, and young adult. He also represents a range of nonfiction working with leaders and journalists in the areas of science, culture, business, and current affairs. Kirby is currently a board member of the Asian American Writers Workshop. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona with his wife and two kids. Janklow and Nesbit – Kirby Kim
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.
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.
Jess Lourey / WriteNow! 2019
Jess Lourey writes about secrets. She is the bestselling Agatha, Anthony, and Lefty-nominated author of the critically-acclaimed Mira James mysteries, which have earned multiple starred reviews from Library Journal and Booklist, the latter calling her writing “a splendid mix of humor and suspense.” Lourey also writes nonfiction, edge-of-your-seat YA adventure, magical realism, and feminist thrillers. She is a tenured professor of creative writing and sociology, a recipient of The Loft’s Excellence in Teaching fellowship, a Psychology Today blogger, and a TEDx presenter (check out her TEDx Talk for the surprising inspiration behind her first published novel). When not teaching, reading, or “dorking out” with her family in Minneapolis, you can find her dreaming of her next story.
Chip MacGregor/WriteNow! 2020
Chip has done more book deals than any other agent in the United States. He has been working in the publishing industry for three decades, made his living as a freelance writer and editor for several years, and formerly served as a publisher with the Time-Warner Book Group. He began working as an agent sixteen years ago, and has represented hundreds of titles, including numerous award winners and bestsellers, and one book that hit #1 on the New York Times bestseller list.
Isabella Maldonado / WriteNow! 2021
Wall Street Journal Best-selling and award-winning author Isabella Maldonado wore a gun and badge in real life before turning to crime writing. The first Latina to attain the rank of captain in her police department, she retired as the Commander of Special Investigations and Forensics. During more than two decades on the force, her assignments included hostage negotiator, department spokesperson, and precinct commander. Selected to attend the FBI National Academy in Quantico, she uses her law enforcement background to bring a realistic edge to her writing. She is the author of the bestselling FBI Special Agent Nina Guerrera series (soon to be a Netflix feature film starring Jennifer Lopez) and the Detective Veranda Cruz series. Her latest Nina Guerrera novel, A Different Dawn, debuted at #8 on the Wall Street Journal bestseller list.
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 & 2019
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 and best-selling author of the Dandy Gilver detective stories, set in Scotland in the 1920s. She also writes a strand of award-winning contemporary standalone novels including Edgar-finalist The Day She Died and Mary Higgins Clark finalists The Child Garden and Quiet Neighbors. In 2017, McPherson won the Agatha Award for best historical novel, the historical Macavity Award and the Bruce Alexander Memorial Lefty for best historical mystery, all for The Reek of Red Herrings. She is a proud member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, The Crimewriters’ Association and The Society of Authors.
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.
Jessica Page Morrell / WriteNow! 2020
Jessica Page Morrell understands both sides of the editoral desk–as an editor and author. She is the author of Thanks, But This Isn’t For Us, A (sort of) Compassionate Guide to Why Your Writing is Being Rejected; Bullies, Bastards & Bitches: How to Write the Bad Guys in Fiction; The Writer’s I Ching: Wisdom for the Creative Life; Voices from the Street; Between the Lines: master the subtle elements of fiction; and Writing Out the Storm. Morrell works as a developmental editor where she has learned how to quickly size up a story’s merits, as a writing coach, and was formerly the Writing Expert at iVillage.com. She’s been writing a monthly column about topics related to writing since 1998. Morrell has contributed articles to newspapers and The Writer and Writer’s Digest magazines. She also contributes to anthologies and is the founder and coordinator of writing conferences. She lives in Portland, Oregon where she is surrounded by writers. JessicaMorrell.com
Dennis Palumbo / WriteNow! 2012 & 2019
Dennis Palumbo, M.A., MFT is a writer and licensed psychotherapist in private practice, specializing in creative issues. His acclaimed series of mystery thrillers–including Mirror Image, Fever Dream, Night Terrors, and Phantom Limb and Head Wounds–features psychologist and trauma expert Daniel Rinaldi. Suspense Magazine has named Head Wounds a “Best of 2018”. Formerly a Hollywood screenwriter for feature films and TV, Palumbo was nominated for a Writer’s Guild Award for Best Screenplay for the feature film My Favorite Year. His first novel, City Wars is currently in development as a feature film. Author of the highly-lauded Writing From the Inside Out, Palumbo’s dynamic workshop on the same topic is in constant demand at writers’ conferences nationwide. His extensive work helping writers has been profiled in The New York Times, Premiere Magazine, Fade In, Angeleno, GQ, the Los Angeles Times and other publications, as well as on NPR and CNN.
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.
Gary Phillips/ WriteNow! 2013
Gary Phillips has published various novels, graphic novels including the Be-Bop Barbarians with Dale Berry, over seventy short stories, and edited several anthologies including the Anthony-winning The Obama Inheritance: Fifteen Stories of Conspiracy Noir. Violent Spring, his first mystery published in 1994 was recently named one of the essential crime novels of Los Angeles. Culprits: The Heist was Only the Beginning a linked anthology he co-edited is the basis for a miniseries coming to Disney+UK. His current novel is the retro-pulp Matthew Henson and the Ice Temple of Harlem and he was also a story editor on “Snowfall,” an FX show about crack and the CIA in 1980s South Central where he grew up.
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.
Abby Saul / WriteNow! 2019
With over 10 years of publishing experience, Literary Agent Abby Saul is an editorial expert with a passion for fantastic reads. Saul founded The Lark Group after a decade in publishing at John Wiley & Sons, Sourcebooks, and Browne & Miller Literary Associates. She’s worked with and edited bestselling and award-winning authors as well as major brands. At each publishing group she’s been a part of, Abby also has helped to establish ebook standards, led company-wide forums to explore new digital possibilities for books, and created and managed numerous digital initiatives.
Peng Shepherd/WriteNow! 2021
Peng Shepherd’s fiction has been published in the Weird Lies anthology, Litro Magazine, and broadcast on BBC Radio 4. She earned an MFA in Creative Writing from New York University and was awarded an emerging writers grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation based on an early draft of her novel.
Her first novel, The Book of M, won the 2019 Neukom Institute for Literary Arts Award for Debut Speculative Fiction and was chosen as a best book of the year by Amazon, Elle, Refinery29, and The Verge, as well as a best book of the summer by the Today Show and NPR On Point. Peng is the recipient of a 2020 fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as the Elizabeth George Foundation’s emerging writers 2016 grant.
Kelli Stanley / WriteNow! 2011, 2021
Kelli Stanley is the critically-acclaimed creator of the Miranda Corbie series (City of Dragons, City of Secrets, City of Ghosts, City of Sharks), set in 1940 San Francisco and featuring “one of crime’s most arresting heroines” (Library Journal). Kelli was named a literary heir of Dashiell Hammett by his granddaughter in a Publisher’s Weekly article. Her awards include the Macavity and Bruce Alexander and she is a Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist. She was awarded a Certificate of Merit from the City and County of San Francisco for her contributions to literature. Kelli has also published numerous short stories and essays, and is the founder and current president of Nasty Woman Press, a non-profit publisher (Anthony Award-nominated anthology Shattering Glass).
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.
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.
Julie Trelstad/ WriteNow! 2021
Julie Trelstad is a book marketing specialist and publishing generalist. She is currently the principal of Julie Ink, an author marketing consultancy, and 82 Stories, a publishing services company. Julie’s been in publishing since before Amazon and was a non-fiction acquisitions editor for John Wiley & Sons, the Taunton Press, Reader’s Digest, and Sterling, where her undergraduate architecture degree came in handy for working on books about architecture and home design. Julie founded her own press in 2005 and later sold it. At Writers House, a literary agency, Julie was Director of Digital Rights, where she managed the agency’s self-publishing program and worked with their client/authors, who included Nora Roberts, Stephenie Meyer, Neil Gaiman, and many others on platform building and marketing.
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.