Our general conference sessions on Friday and Saturday will be presented by over a hundred talented speakers. Read more about their backgrounds, qualifications, and published works here:
Annamaria Alfieri is the author of three historical novels set in South America. Of her debut, The Washington Post said, “As both history and mystery, City of Silver glitters.” Library Journal said, “History comes alive under Alfieri’s sure hand.” She also garnered this praise: “Engrossing, fast-paced mystery packed full of historical fact that illuminates the story but never overshadows it; a great read, highly recommended” – Historical Novel Society Review. Alfieri has set her current series in British East Africa, now Kenya, beginning in 1911. The Richmond (Virginia) Times-Dispatch described her Strange Gods: “the flair of Isak Dinesen and Beryl Markham.”
Tamar Anolic has published several books and short stories about the Romanovs. Her first book, The Russian Riddle, was the first published biography of the Grand Duke Sergei. She has since published two novels on the Romanovs: Triumph of a Tsar and Through the Fire: An Alternate Life of Prince Konstantin of Russia. Her short stories about the Romanovs have been published in The Copperfield Review and The Helix. She has also written other short stories on different periods of history, which have been published or are shortcoming in Foliate Oak, The Storyteller/Anthology Magazine, and the Evening Street Review.
Gillian Bagwell is the author of three acclaimed historical novels based on the lives of real women: The Darling Strumpet, The September Queen, and Venus in Winter. She’s currently working on something completely different: a Gothic novel set in Scotland in 1901-1902. She has a BA in Dramatic Arts from UC Berkeley and a certificate from the Drama Studio London at Berkeley, and founded and ran the Pasadena Shakespeare Company. Gillian provides writing coaching and editing and uses her extensive theatre background to coach authors on giving effective public readings. Please connect via her website, gillianbagwell.com, Facebook, and Twitter, @gillianbagwell.
Anna Bennett is a historian and freelance editor with Historical Editorial. While she specializes in British history and folklore, Anna will happily devour books and research from any time period or geographical location. When she removes her nose from a book (or the computer screen!) she can be found baking, traveling, or learning new languages.
Nancy Bilyeau is a novelist and magazine feature writer, with staff jobs at Rolling Stone, Good Housekeeping, and InStyle. She is now the deputy editor of the Center on Media, Crime, and Justice at City University of New York. She wrote a trilogy of historical thrillers for Touchstone Books: The Crown, The Chalice, and The Tapestry. The series’ protagonist is a Dominican novice in Henry VIII’s England. The Crown was an Oprah magazine pick. Her latest novel, The Blue, published in December 2018, is set in the 18th-century porcelain and art world. For more information, go to www.nancybilyeau.com.
Patricia Bracewell is currently completing the final 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 was honored to serve as Writer-in-Residence at Gladstone’s Library, Wales, and she continues to travel extensively for research. Patricia holds a Master’s Degree in English and lives in Oakland, California.
Ana Brazil holds a master’s degree in American history and is an architectural historian. She is the author of Fanny Newcomb and the Irish Channel Ripper, winner of the Independent Book Publishers Association 2018 Gold Medal for Historical Fiction. From her home in Oakland, she helps administer the Northern California Chapter of HNS.
Denny S. Bryce is a three-time Romance Writers of America (RWA) Golden Heart® finalist, who won the Golden Heart® in 2014. An aspiring author, she writes historical fiction, and paranormal/urban fantasy. She also is a regular contributor to the Happy Ever After USA Today blog writing about fan fiction and recaps Outlander on STARZ. Denny is also a member of the Historical Novel Society (HSN), the Women’s Fiction Writers Association (WFWA), and the Romance Writers of America (RWA), where she serves on the RWA Board as PRO Advisor. Based in Virginia, she is represented by Nalini Akolekar at Spencerhill Associates.
Carrie Callaghan is a historical fiction author living in Maryland with her family. Her debut novel, A Light of Her Own, about 17th century painter Judith Leyster, was published by Amberjack Publishing in November, 2018. Her short stories have been published in multiple literary journals around the country, and she is a senior editor with the Washington Independent Review of Books. She loves seasons of all kinds, history, and tea. And books, books, books.
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 of faith in modern day America. As a Millennial Heathen herself, she never blinks from presenting a past in which gods walked among us, challenging established narratives of what should be “historical.” A former bookseller, Amalia received her BA in Classical Studies from the University of North Dakota. She also writes mythic fantasy and paranormal romance as Amalia Dillin.
Leslie Carroll/Juliet Grey is a multi-published author of 21 titles in three genres, including historical fiction, where (under the pen names Amanda Elyot and Juliet Grey) she has written about scandalous women from Helen of Troy to Marie Antoinette. Her novels have been optioned for film and TV and translated into 12 languages. Her most recent nonfiction title, American Princess: The Love Story of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, was excerpted by Vanity Fair. A frequent commentator on royal relationships, Leslie appears on Travel Channel and Canadian History Channel docuseries and has been interviewed about the Windsors by numerous media outlets across the globe. She is also a professional actress and an award-winning audio book narrator, specializing in historical fiction. Visit www.lesliecarroll.com
Anna Castle writes two award-winning historical fiction series: the Francis Bacon mysteries and the Professor & Mrs. Moriarty mysteries. She has earned a series of degrees: BA in the Classics, MS in Computer Science, and a PhD in Linguistics. She’s been a flourishing indie author since ditching her agent in 2013. She has published ten books so far and a raft of short stories. Murder by Misrule was a Kirkus Reviews Best Indie Books of 2014. The Widows Guild was long-listed for the (cancelled) HNS New Novel Award in 2017. Find out more at www.annacastle.com.
Janie Chang writes historical fiction with personal connections. Her first novel, Three Souls, was a finalist for the 2014 BC Book Prizes (Fiction). Her second, Dragon Springs Road, was a Canadian national bestseller. Both novels were longlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award. Born in Taiwan, Janie has lived in the Philippines, Iran, Thailand, and New Zealand. She now lives in beautiful Vancouver, Canada with her husband and their rescue cat, Mischa, who thinks the staff could be doing a better job.
Karen A. Chase is an award-winning author and photographer. Her historical novel Carrying Independence, set during the American Revolution, will be released June 18, 2019. It secured second place in the William Faulkner, William Wisdom Unpublished Novel Competition against 502 entries. Karen was a visiting scholar at the American Antiquarian Society, through a Fellowship for Creative and Performing Artists and Writers. Her first book, Bonjour 40: A Paris Travel Log, garnered seven independent publishing awards. She is the owner of 224Design, a marketing studio, with a focus on branding authors and companies.
Chanel Cleeton is the USA Today bestselling author of Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick Next Year in Havana. Originally from Florida, Chanel grew up on stories of her family’s exodus from Cuba following the events of the Cuban Revolution. Her passion for politics and history continued during her years studying in England where she earned a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Richmond, The American International University in London and a master’s degree in Global Politics from the London School of Economics & Political Science. Chanel also received her Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina School of Law.
Brenda W. Clough writes everything. Her first fantasy novel, The Crystal Crown, was published by DAW in 1984. She has also written The Dragon of Mishbil (1985), The Realm Beneath (1986), and The Name of the Sun (1988). Her novel How Like a God was published by Tor Books in 1997; and a sequel, Doors of Death and Life, was published in May 2000. Her latest novels from Book View Cafe include Revise the World (2009) and Speak to Our Desires. Her most recent novel, the Victorian thriller A Most Dangerous Woman, is being serialized by Serial Box.
Michael Cooper arrived in Jerusalem in 1966, the last year the city was divided between Israel and Jordan, studied at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and graduated from Tel Aviv University Medical School. A pediatric cardiologist in California, he does frequent medical missions serving Palestinian children who lack access to care. Foxes in the Vineyard, set in 1948 Jerusalem, won the 2011 Indie Publishing Contest grand prize. The Rabbi’s Knight, finalist for the 2014 Chaucer Award for historical fiction is set in the Holy Land in 1290. Ethics of the Fathers, set in Ottoman Palestine during WWI, is due out in 2019.
Glen Craney has written about the Albigensian Crusade, the Scottish wars of independence, the Age of Discovery, and World War I. Battles featured in his novels include the siege of Carcassonne, Bannockburn, Belleau Wood, and the Meuse-Argonne. The Military Writers Society of America praised his latest, The Yanks Are Starving, for its “vivid and admirable” portrayal of the American Expeditionary Force on the Western Front and the Bonus March of WWI veterans during the Great Depression. He lives in Southern California.
Sara Dahmen is a coppersmith, and manufactures pure metal cookware in her Wisconsin garage. Her debut novel, Widow 1881, inspired her company, House Copper & Cookware. She has published over 100 articles as a contributing editor, and has written for Edible and London’s Root + Bone. Her next novel, Smith 1865, is due in 2019. When not at 1830’s reenactments, she can be found hitting tin and copper at an apprenticeship, reading The Economist, or playing with her three young children. Sara has been signed with a production company; a reality television show is in development.
David Davies, who hails from west Wales, is a multiple prize-winning author and historian. He spent many years teaching in British schools before taking up full time writing. To date, he has written five non-fiction books, two of which have won major prizes (with a third shortlisted), and eight novels in his bestselling series set during the second half of the seventeenth century, The Journals of Matthew Quinton, which has been described by The Times of London as “a series of real panache.” He is currently writing a trilogy of naval novels set in the Tudor period.
Yusuf DeLorenzo is the translator of several classical works from Arabic, Urdu and Farsi. Recently, he authored eight historical novels in a series of Muhammad Amalfi Mysteries set in the Algiers of the Ottoman Military State during the French Revolution. The first novel in the series, A Survivor in Algiers, finished second in the 2017 Royal Palms Literary Awards of the Florida Writers Association, and another, A Graveyard in Algiers, was Runner Up in the 2017 Beverly Prize at Eyewear Publishing in the UK. Two more in the series are finalists in the 2018 Royal Palms Awards.
Camille Di Maio has published four works of historical fiction, drawing inspiration from her extensive travels, to give life and story to her favorite settings. Her books include the bestselling The Memory of Us, Before the Rain Falls, The Way of Beauty, and The Beautiful Strangers. She lives near Colonial Williamsburg, the ideal place for a historical writer, with her husband, two of four children (the others are grown and flown), a rescue dog, and senior cat. She loves going to the beachside farmer’s market on the weekends where she buys too many baked goods and sometimes sees dolphins.
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 languages and tops lists for the most anticipated reads of the year. She has written about several women who made history, including Cleopatra’s daughter Selene, Patsy Jefferson, and Eliza Hamilton.
David Ebsworth lives in Wales. He has drawn upon his experience as a British union negotiator to travel the world and write about many eras, including the Spanish Civil War, Dark Ages Britain, and Victorian Imperialism. His Napoleonic novel, The Last Campaign of Marianne Tambour, describes Waterloo through the eyes of a canteen mistress. Other battles featured in his work include the siege of Carlisle during the Jacobite Rebellion and Ulundi in the Zulu War.
Lawrence Ellsworth is the editor and translator of acclaimed new versions of Alexandre Dumas’ The Three Musketeers and The Red Sphinx, as well as compiler of The Big Book of Swashbuckling Adventure and author of historical mystery The Rose Knight’s Crucifixion. As Lawrence Schick he’s been a writer in the games business for forty years, with an ever-lengthening list of historical and fantasy adventures to his credit. He’s presented and lectured at George Mason University and numerous games conferences, appears on Twitch TV as The Loremaster for The Elder Scrolls Online, and knows his way around a deck of cards.
Ian M. Evans has published four novels. His latest, The First Village (Pegasus/Vanguard Books), is set in Roman Britain in the year AD 383, a date which happens to be important from the thematic “revolution” viewpoint. This year he has had two short stories accepted in literary magazines, and also presented a workshop for beginning writers at the 2018 Nairn Book and Arts Festival in Scotland. Ian is a Professor Emeritus of Clinical Psychology at Massey University in New Zealand. He was born in England, grew up in South Africa, and currently lives in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Nicole Evelina is a historical fiction, non-fiction, and women’s fiction author whose six books have won more than thirty awards, including three Book of the Year designations. Her fiction tells the stories of strong women from history and today, with a focus on biographical historical fiction, while her non-fiction focuses on women’s history, especially sharing the stories of unknown or little-known figures. Nicole’s writing has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Independent Journal, Curve Magazine, and numerous historical publications.
Vern Frykholm is an Eagle Scout, U.S. Army veteran, holds a B.A. in Anthropology, and earned the highest qualifications in his career as a real estate appraiser. He has mentored high school students and young men for twenty-five years. He has participated in community and church theatre productions for many years; but for the last seven years his focus has been portraying George Washington. Frykholm’s wife of 43 years, Sandy, is a writer, and they have attended several HNS conferences together. They live in the only state named for George Washington, and have three adult children.
Hazel Gaynor is an award-winning, internationally bestselling author of six historical novels. The Girl Who Came Home won the 2015 RNA Historical Novel of the Year award, The Girl from The Savoy was shortlisted for the 2016 Irish Book Awards, Last Christmas in Paris (with Heather Webb) won the 2018 Women’s Fiction Writers Association STAR Award and The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter hit the Irish Times bestsellers for five consecutive weeks. Meet Me in Monaco will be published in 2019. Hazel lives in Ireland with her husband and children. Her novels are translated into nine languages and published in sixteen countries.
Margaret George is the author of eight biographical novels of different eras—ancient Greece, Ptolemaic Egypt, Rome of the Caesars, Biblical Israel, and Tudor England— and is a New York Times bestselling author, with twenty-one foreign editions and over two million sold internationally. She has appeared in TV documentaries, as well as speaking at the Tower of London, Hampton Court, and the Folger Shakespeare Library. Her The Memoirs of Cleopatra was made into an Emmy-nominated ABC-TV miniseries in 1999.
Jennifer Hallock spends her days teaching American, Asian, and military history, and her nights writing historical happily-ever-afters. She has a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. She has lived and worked in the Philippines, but she currently writes at her little brick house on a New England homestead—kept company by her husband, a growing flock of chickens, and an uncooperative mutt. Courtney Milan called her Sugar Sun series “meaty historical…must-reads,” and the Historical Novel Society called it a potentially “groundbreaking fictional treatment” of the Philippine-American War.
Bradley Harper is a retired Army pathologist with over two-hundred autopsies to his credit, several of which were forensic. His debut novel, A Knife in the Fog, released in October 2018, features a young Conan Doyle in the hunt for Jack the Ripper, and was named Debut of the Month by the Library Journal. He has been published in The Strand and the Sherlock Holmes Magazine of Mystery, and his second novel, Queen’s Gambit, is scheduled for release in October 2019.
Clarissa Harwood is the author of Bear No Malice and Impossible Saints, companion novels that explore themes of faith and feminism in Edwardian England. Her books have received positive reviews from Publisher’s Weekly, Library Journal, and Kirkus Reviews, who called Bear No Malice “A smart and highly civilized tale about love, temptation, and second chances.” Clarissa holds a PhD in English Literature and teaches at Western University in London, Ontario, where she lives with her husband and three neurotic cats.
Libbie Hawker (also writing as Olivia Hawker) is the international bestselling author of more than a dozen historical novels and three how-to books for writers, including the popular guide to outlining, Take Off Your Pants! and two-time #1 Amazon bestseller The Ragged Edge of Night. She is proud to be a “hybrid” author, combining self- and traditional publishing for a successful career. Libbie resides on a small island in the Salish Sea, where she practices heritage gardening techniques and historic fiber and textile arts.
Leanna Renee Hieber is an actress, playwright, and the award-winning author of eleven Gaslamp Fantasy novels for Tor, Sourcebooks and Kensington; the Strangely Beautiful, Magic Most Foul, Eterna Files, and Spectral City series. Her books have won numerous genre awards and have been translated into many languages and selected for book club editions. A proud member of Actors Equity and SAG-AFTRA, she is a ghost tour guide for NYC’s acclaimed Boroughs of the Dead and has been featured in film and television on shows like Boardwalk Empire and Mysteries at the Museum.
Jack Hight is an historian and novelist whose books includes a Saladin Trilogy set during the Second and Third Crusades—Eagle, Kingdom, and Holy War—and Siege, an epic about the Muslim siege of Constantinople in 1453. Other battles depicted in his work include Jacob’s Ford, Montgisard, and Hattin. He is currently working on an historical-fantasy series and a TV project set during the Crusades. Jack lives in Washington, D.C.
Piper G Huguley is a two-time Golden Heart ®finalist and is the author of Migrations of the Heart, a three-book series of historical romances set in the early 20th century featuring African American characters. Huguley is also the author of the Home to Milford College series. The series follows the building of a college from its founding in 1866. Book #1 in the series, The Preacher’s Promise, was named a top ten Historical Romance in Publisher’s Weekly by the esteemed historical romance author, Beverly Jenkins. Piper lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and son.
Sarah Johnson is the Book Review Editor for the Historical Novels Review and co-founder of the HNS North American conferences. A librarian and professor at Eastern Illinois University, she is a regular reviewer for HNR, Booklist, and CHOICE: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries. Her latest book is Historical Fiction II: A Guide to the Genre. She was awarded the American Library Association’s Louis Shores Award for excellence in book reviewing (2012) and was named a Library Journal Mover & Shaker (2006). On her blog, “Reading the Past” (www.readingthepast.com), Sarah reviews historical novels, interviews authors, and writes about new releases.
Faith Justice writes award-winning fiction and articles in Brooklyn, NY. Her work has appeared in such publications as Salon.com, Writer’s Digest, and The Copperfield Review. Her most recent novel Twilight Empress: A Novel of Imperial Rome is available through Raggedy Moon Books. She is Associate Editor for Space and Time Magazine and Chair of the New York City Chapter of the Historical Novel Society.
Rachel Kahan is an Executive Editor at William Morrow. A passionate advocate for commercial fiction, she has published numerous bestsellers, including The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs, The Pearl that Broke Its Shell by Nadia Hashimi, Labyrinth by Kate Mosse, and The Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams, as well as the #1 non-fiction bestseller Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly, which was made into an Oscar-nominated film. She frequently speaks at universities and writers’ conferences both in the US and overseas. A native of Virginia, Rachel lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two young children.
Laura Kamoie has always been fascinated by the people, stories, and physical presence of the past, which led her to a lifetime of historical and archaeological study and training. A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of historical fiction, she also holds a doctoral degree in early American history, published two non-fiction books on early America, and held the position of Associate Professor of History at the U.S. Naval Academy before transitioning to a full-time writing career. Laura lives among the colonial charm of Annapolis, Maryland with her husband and two daughters. www.LauraKamoie.com.
Alma Katsu is the award-winning author of The Hunger, a reimagining of the story of the Donner Party. The Hunger, which has been optioned by director Ridley Scott, was on NPR’s list of 100 favorite horror stories and is one of the best horror books written by a woman according to Vulture, Lithub, and Unbound Worlds. Her debut novel, The Taker, was one of Booklist’s Top Ten Debut Novels of 2011. She’s a graduate of the Johns Hopkins writing program and an alumni of the Squaw Valley Writers Conference.
Carolyn Kirby is from the north of England and studied history at Oxford University. Her 2019 debut novel, The Conviction of Cora Burns, is published in the USA by Dzanc Books. Carolyn wrote historical fiction for several years before achieving success in competitions for unpublished writers. She was the winner of the inaugural Bluepencilagency Award in 2017. Published in the UK by No Exit Press, Carolyn’s second novel, a thriller and love story set during World War Two, will be released in 2020. Carolyn has two grown-up daughters and lives with her husband in rural Oxfordshire.
Eliza (E.) Knight is the USA Today bestselling author of fifty historical women’s fiction and historical romance titles. Her love of history began as a young girl when she traipsed the halls of Versailles and ran through the fields in Southern France. She can still remember standing before the golden palace, and imagining what life must have been like—themes she thoroughly explored with a group of bestselling authors in the forthcoming novel, Ribbons of Scarlet. She is the owner of the acclaimed blog History Undressed. Eliza lives in Maryland atop a mountain with a knight, three princesses, and two naughty newfies.
Helene Lafrance is currently the Head of Research and Outreach at Santa Clara University Library in Silicon Valley. As a history librarian for more than 20 years, Lafrance teaches students and faculty how to conduct history research and how to navigate the changing world of digital information and become expert searchers. Her goal is to demystify research and to empower people to do their own research, quickly and efficiently. Lafrance has published on many library-related topics and presented at national and regional conferences. Her book, Yves Thériault et l’Institution Littéraire Québécoise, explores French-Canadian authors and literature.
Stephanie Lehmann‘s next novel is about a woman who accidently slips back in time to 1915, helps a suffragette drive across the country in a Model T, and discovers she might not want to return to her old life. Lehmann’s novel Astor Place Vintage (Simon and Schuster) was selected by Library Journal as a best novel, and Kirkus Reviews for best summer reading. Earlier novels: The Art of Undressing, You Could Do Better (Penguin), Are You in the Mood and Thoughts While Having Sex (Kensington). Lehmann’s work has been translated into Italian, Turkish, Russian, Spanish, Catalan, Portuguese, Chinese, and German.
Curt Locklear is an accomplished historical fiction author, a History and English teacher, an education consultant, music composer, and musician. He has performed musically and presented about history and writing before small groups and before thousands. He is a freelance editor, and he composed the full orchestration for four high school songs. He has written two highly acclaimed novels: the first, Asunder, was praised by the bestselling author of The Widow of the South, Robert Hicks. Curt’s second novel, Splintered, is currently on the short list for the national “Laramie” award. He is related to the first wing-walker, Ormer Locklear.
Kevan Lyon is a founding partner of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency. She has over 25 years in the publishing business, including 10+ years as a literary agent and 17+ years on the wholesale, retail and distribution side of the business. Kevan works with her authors to help them build a long-term career as a writer. Her list spans a broad range of genres in women’s fiction including historical fiction, romance, mystery, literary, commercial fiction and young adult. She represents numerous bestselling authors including historical novelists Chanel Cleeton, Stephanie Dray, Laura Kaye, Kate Quinn, and Jennifer Robson, among others.
Greer Macallister is a novelist, poet, short story writer, and playwright who was raised in the Midwest and earned her MFA in Creative Writing from American University. Her debut novel The Magician’s Lie was a USA Today bestseller, an Indie Next pick, and a Target Book Club selection. It has been optioned for film by Jessica Chastain’s Freckle Films. Her novel Girl in Disguise, also an Indie Next pick, received a starred review from Publishers Weekly, which called it “a well-told, superb story.” Her latest novel is Woman 99. Greer lives with her family in Washington, DC.
Jeanne Mackin’s latest novel is the just-released The Last Collection—A novel of Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli. Previous novels include A Lady of Good Family, about gilded age landscape designer Beatrix Jones Farrand, niece of Edith Wharton; and The Beautiful American, based on the life of model turned war correspondent and photographer, Lee Miller. She has published in American Letters & Commentary and SNReview and other publications and was the recipient of a creative writing fellowship from the American Antiquarian Society; her journalism has won awards from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education.
Robert N. Macomber, an award-winning author & acclaimed speaker, specializes in Victorian-Edwardian world history. His Honor Series of fourteen historical novels has eager readers on three continents. Macomber’s presentation technique as a storyteller fuels a demand for appearances at writing conferences, book festivals, historical events, and maritime venues. His appeal has given him experiences like being Distinguished Lecturer at NATO HQs [Belgium]; and, for ten years, in the Distinguished Military Author Series, Center for Army Analysis [Ft. Belvoir]. When not traveling, Macomber lives in SW Florida. To relax, he enjoys sailing and cooking dishes inspired by his books’ exotic locales. www.RobertMacomber.com.
Kerri Maher is the author of The Kennedy Debutante, which People magazine describes as a “riveting reimagining of a true tale of forbidden love.” She is also the author of This Is Not a Writing Manual under the name Kerri Majors. She holds an MFA from Columbia University and founded YARN, an award-winning literary journal of short-form YA writing. For many years a professor of writing, she now writes full time and lives with her daughter in Massachusetts where she is working on her next novel, about Grace Kelly.
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. Since the book’s release, it has been sold to Thailand, Korea, and Poland. The book was featured in the Daily Candy, was an RT Book Review Non-Fiction Pick of the Month for April 2011, and she was also named RWA NYC’s Author of the Year for 2011. She 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.
Sujata Massey is the author of fourteen novels that include Agatha and Macavity award winners and nominees for the Edgar, Anthony, and Mary Higgins Clark prizes. Her new historical mystery series stars Perveen Mistry, a woman lawyer working in 1921 Bombay. The first book in the series, The Widows of Malabar Hill (Soho Press, Jan. 2018), was named one of Publishers Weekly Best Mystery-Thrillers of 2018. The Wall Street Journal called Widows “a splendid first installment in what promises to be a memorable series.” The Satapur Moonstone (2019) sends Perveen away from Bombay and into the princely state of Satapur.
Meghan Masterson received a Top Pick from RT Book Reviews for her debut novel, The Wardrobe Mistress. The novel was also a 2017 RT Reviewers’ Choice Best Book Nominee. When she’s not writing, Meghan can be found reading at all hours (even at breakfast), cooking, and going for walks with her dog.
Carol McGrath, following her first degree in English and History, completed an MA in Creative Writing from The Seamus Heaney Centre, Queens University Belfast, followed by an MPhil in English from the University of London. Carol was coordinator of the Historical Novel Society Conference, Oxford 2016. She has written an acclaimed, best-selling trilogy set after 1066. The Woman in the Shadows, her best-selling novel about Elizabeth Cromwell, was published by Accent Press in 2017. Carol is currently working on The Silken Rose, set in the High Middle Ages, featuring Ailenor of Provence, to be published in October 2019..
Lewis McIntyre graduated from the Naval Academy and received an MS degree from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey. He spent a career as a naval aviator, retiring as a commander to become an engineer. He is the author of one full length novel, The Eagle and the Dragon: a Novel of Rome and China, a fictional account of the first Roman diplomatic mission to China; and a novella, “Come, Follow Me, a Story of Pilate and Jesus,” exploring the relationship between those two key individuals that first Easter weekend. He lives in La Plata, MD with his wife Karen.
Diane C. McPhail is an artist, writer, and minister. With M.F.A., M.A., and D.Min. degrees, she has studied at the Yale Writers Workshop and is a member of the North Carolina Writers Network. Her debut novel, The Abolitionist’s Daughter, scheduled for release by Kensington in the spring of 2019, tells the little-known story of Mississippi abolitionists who championed racial justice in the South during the tumultuous days leading up to the American Civil War.
Susan Meissner is a USA Today bestselling author of historical fiction with more than 500,000 books in print in fifteen languages. Her novels include As Bright as Heaven (starred review from Library Journal); Secrets of a Charmed Life (a 2015 Goodreads Choice award finalist); and A Fall of Marigolds, on Booklist’s Top Ten women’s fiction for 2014. She is a RITA finalist and Christy Award and Carol Award winner. She is also a writing workshop volunteer for Words Alive, a San Diego non-profit dedicated to helping at-risk youth foster a love for reading and writing.
Mary Miley is a historian and writer with a B.A. and M.A. from William and Mary. She worked for Colonial Williamsburg and taught history at Virginia Commonwealth University for many years. She has written 14 nonfiction books, more than 200 magazine articles, and five historical mysteries set in the Roaring Twenties. Her first, The Impersonator, won a national competition for Best First Crime Novel and has been optioned by Hollywood for a television series. When not immersed in the past, she retreats to the Virginia winery she owns with several friends—something that would have been illegal in the Prohibition era.
Laura Morelli holds a Ph.D. in art history from Yale University, has taught college students in the U.S. and 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. Her debut novel, The Gondola Maker, won an IPPY, Benjamin Franklin, and National Indie Excellence Award. Her latest work, The Painter’s Apprentice, was an honorable mention for the 2018 Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards and was a HNR Editors’ Choice.
Donna Russo Morin’s eight award-winning historical novels include Da Vinci’s Disciples Trilogy: Portrait of a Conspiracy (hailed by Barnes & Noble as one of “5 Novels that get Leonardo da Vinci Right”), The Competition (Editor’s Choice, HNS Review) and The Flames of Florence. Currently working on a medieval fantasy trilogy, she teaches at adult learning centers and for Writer’s Digest University. Donna’s appearances include multiple HNS conferences, Writer’s Digest Annual Conference, and RT Booklovers Convention.
Zenobia Neil was named after an ancient warrior queen who fought against the Romans. She studied world mythology with a focus on Greco-Roman myths and Voodoo as an undergrad. Her first novel, Psyche Unbound, a retelling of the Roman version of Cupid and Psyche won a publishing contract. Her second novel, The Jinni’s Last Wish, takes place in the Ottoman Empire in the 17th century, but her passion has always been about the mythic past and gods having too much fun. She lives with her husband, two children, and dog in Los Angeles.
Charlene Newcomb is an author, librarian, and Navy veteran. From her home desk in Kansas, she has written an acclaimed medieval trilogy set during the reign of Richard the Lionheart in her Battle Scar series: Men of the Cross, For King and Country, and Swords of the King. She is a Chaucer Award Finalist, an indieBRAG Medallion Honoree, and a recipient of an Editor’s Choice recognition from the Historical Novel Society.
Janet Oakley is an historian and award winning writer of historical fiction. Her writing has been recognized with a 2013 Bellingham Mayor’s Arts Award, two WILLA finalist Awards, a 2018 silver Will Rogers Medallion Award, and the 2016 Goethe Award Grand Prize for The Jøssing Affair. A retired curator of education at a county museum, she has written social studies curriculums for school districts and national parks and was a Washington Humanities speaker for two years. She has followed her great-grandfather’s journey as a Union assistant surgeon beginning at the Battle of Gettysburg to war’s end for many years.
Alyssa Palombo is the author of The Violinist of Venice, The Most Beautiful Woman in Florence, and The Spellbook of Katrina Van Tassel, with a fourth novel forthcoming from St. Martin’s Griffin in 2019. She is a recent graduate of Canisius College with degrees in English and creative writing, respectively. A passionate music lover, she is a classically trained musician as well as a big fan of heavy metal. She lives in Buffalo, New York, where she is always at work on a new novel.
Gill Paul is the author of the USA Today bestselling novel The Secret Wife, which has been translated into nineteen languages, as well as Women and Children First, which was shortlisted for an RNA award; No Place for a Lady, which was shortlisted for a Love Stories award;The Affair, Another Woman’s Husband, and The Lost Daughter (published in the US in 2019). She also writes non-fiction books: Love Stories from the First and Second World Wars, Royal Love Stories, and A History of Medicine in 50 Objects. Gill lives in London, where she swims year-round in an outdoor pond.
Nicky Penttila writes stories with adventure, ideas, love, and revolution. She is the author of An Untitled Lady (Manchester 1819 – Peterloo), The Spanish Patriot (Spain 1809 – Corunna), A Note of Scandal (London 1815 – post-Waterloo). Nicky enjoys coming up with stories that are set in faraway cities and countries, because then she must travel there, you know, for research. She lives in Maryland with her reading-mad husband and amazing rescue cat. She’s chattiest on Twitter, @NickyPenttila, and can also be found at nickypenttila.com.
Dolen Perkins-Valdez is the author of the highly praised New York Times bestseller Wench; and received a DC Commission on the Arts Grant to write Balm, her second novel. Dolen’s fiction has appeared in The Kenyon Review, StoryQuarterly, StorySouth, and elsewhere. She also wrote an introduction to the New York Times bestseller Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northrup. In 2011, she was a finalist for two NAACP Image Awards and the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award for fiction. She was also awarded the First Novelist Award by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. Dolen is on the faculty of the MFA Program at American University in DC and is a popular guest for Black History and Women’s Month programs. A graduate of Harvard and a former University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow at UCLA, Dolen lives in Washington, DC with her family.
Stephen Petti is not an author; he has however, been involved in nearly all aspects of horse racing for over 45 years. Steve went to his first race at 12 and fell in love with the show, buying his first racehorse at 17. Steve has bred and raced over 50 horses, both standardbred and throughbred, over the past 40 years. He is a professional handicapper with a warped sense of humor, naming some of his horses “Augie Dawgie”, “Hungover Hanover” and “Ha Ha Ewe Louz” and in his earlier days, raced under the stable name of “Total-E Un-Stable.”
Rosemary Poole-Carter explores aspects of an uneasy past in her novels Only Charlotte, Women of Magdalene, What Remains, and Juliette Ascending, all set in the post-Civil War South. Her plays include The Familiar, a ghost story, and The Little Death, a Southern gothic drama. Fascinated by history, mystery, and the performing and visual arts, she is a member of the Historical Novel Society, Mystery Writers of America, and the Dramatists Guild of America.
Margaret Porter is the author of Beautiful Invention: A Novel of Hedy Lamarr and twelve other historical novels, including bestsellers, award-winners, and foreign language editions. She studied British history in the U.K. and afterwards worked in theatre, film, and television. Margaret returns annually to Great Britain and Europe to research her stories and nonfiction projects, and has participated in HNS conferences on both sides of the Pond. She contributes articles on British history and travel to numerous publications and blogs, and writes for newspapers and lifestyle magazines. More information is available at her website, www.margaretporter.com.
Kate Quinn is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of historical fiction. A lifelong history buff, she has written seven historical novels, including The Huntress, the Empress of Rome Saga, the Borgia Chronicle, and the bestselling The Alice Network, which was a Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick. All have been translated into multiple languages. Kate and her husband live in San Diego with two black rescue dogs, and her interests include opera, action movies, cooking, and the Boston Red Sox.
Robert Rath is the head writer of Extra History, a weekly YouTube show that uses the engagement techniques of games, films, and historical fiction to create animated documentaries for the public. Its parent channel, Extra Credits, has 1.7 million subscribers, and Robert’s episodes have gained over 35 million views on YouTube.
Deanna Raybourn, a New York Times and USA Today bestselling novelist is also a 6th-generation native Texan with a degree in English and history from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Her novels have been nominated for numerous awards including five RITAs, two RT Reviewers’ Choice awards, the Agatha, two Dilys Winns, a Last Laugh, and three du Mauriers. Her Lady Julia Grey novels are in development as a UK television series, and she launched a new Victorian mystery series featuring intrepid butterfly-hunter and amateur sleuth, Veronica Speedwell. Veronica’s fourth adventure, A Dangerous Collaboration, will be released in March 2019.
Vanessa Riley writes Regency and historical romances featuring multi-cultural communities and powerful persons of color. Her award-winning series, Challenge of the Souls, Advertisements for Love, and The Bargain have attracted fans from around the world. In November 2018, she sold her Rogues and Remarkable Women regency romance series, the first featuring an Afro-Caribbean heiress and the dashing duke she unexpectedly falls in love with, to Kensington. She is a member of the Historical Novel Society and Romance Writers of America.
Jennifer Robson is the author of five internationally bestselling novels set during and after the two world wars: Somewhere in France, After the War is Over, Moonlight over Paris, Goodnight from London, and The Gown (December 2018). She was also a contributor to the acclaimed anthology Fall of Poppies: Stories of Love and the Great War. Jennifer lives in Toronto with her family. Learn more at www.jennifer-robson.com.
Renee Rosen is the author of five bestselling historical novels: What the Lady Wants, Dollface, White Collar Girl, and Windy City Blues. Her newest novel, Park Avenue Summer, about the iconic Cosmopolitan editor, Helen Gurley Brown has been described as The Devil Wears Prada meets Mad Men. She is also the author of the young adult novel, Every Crooked Pot. Renee lives in Chicago and is currently at work on a new novel, The Social Graces, about Mrs. Astor and Mrs. Vanderbilt vying for control of New York society during the Gilded Age.
Aimie K. Runyan writes to celebrate history’s unsung heroines. She has written four historical novels, including the internationally bestselling Daughters of the Night Sky and Promised to the Crown. She is active as an educator and speaker in the writing community and beyond. She lives in Colorado with her wonderful husband and two (usually) adorable children. To learn more about Aimie, please visit www.aimiekrunyan.com.
Vanitha Sankaran is an award-winning author who first investigated story structure in her debut novel, Watermark: A Novel of the Middle Ages, that was very much in the style of The Hero’s Journey. She has since authored a young adult manuscript based on the intersection of world mythologies, as well as myth-based manuscripts set in WWII Thailand and ancient India. Sankaran is also a PhD medical writer, authoring monthly articles for local glossy Pacifica Magazine. She served as co-founding editor of the literary journal flashquake for nine years and has twice served as HNSNA Conference Chair.
Scott spent 33 years with the CIA, working on particularly thorny national security issues and recruiting spies from foreign governments. He also developed and executed special ops against warlords, dictators, terrorists, and the biggest international drug organizations. He developed the CIA’s handbook on how to recruit terrorists, and gave intelligence briefings to US presidents and foreign heads of state.
Jeff Shaara is the New York Times bestselling author of Gods and Generals and The Last Full Measure—two novels that complete the Civil War trilogy begun by his father, Michael Shaara, with the Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Killer Angels. Jeff’s World War II series includes The Final Storm, No Less Than Victory, The Steel Wave, and The Rising Tide. In his new bestselling book, The Frozen Hours, he brings readers to the front lines of the Korean War and the Battle of Chosin Reservoir.
Mary Sharratt, award-winning author of seven acclaimed novels, is on a mission to write overlooked women back into history. Her latest novel, Ecstasy, (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2018) explores the dramatic life of composer and life artist, Alma Schindler Mahler. Ecstasy was a Chicago Review of Books Best Book of the Month and a New York Post Must Read Book. Sharratt’s Illuminations: A Novel of Hildegard von Bingen won the Nautilus Gold Award and was a Kirkus Book of the Year 2012. Sharratt’s articles on women’s history are published in The Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, and Electric Literature.
Anne Easter Smith’s award-winning books “…grab you, sweep you along with the story, and make you fall in love with the characters…” (Historical Novels Review) and Kirkus Reviews called her best-selling debut A Rose for the Crown “Remarkably assured… a delightful, confident novel… a strong new voice in the field of historical romance.” The King’s Grace won the 2009 Romantic Times Best Historical Biography award, and Queen By Right was nominated in the same category in 2011. Her series of five books, with a sixth in the wings, follows the York family during the Wars of the Roses.
Sherri L. Smith is the author of seven award-winning young adult novels, including the 2009 California Book Awards Gold Medalist, Flygirl, and the historical fantasy, The Toymaker’s Apprentice. Her books appear on multiple state lists and have been named Amelia Bloomer and American Library Association Best Books for Young People selections. Sherri has worked in comics, animation, and construction. Currently, she teaches in the MFA Writing program at Goddard College and for Hamline University’s Children’s Writing MFA. Her latest book is Who Were the Tuskegee Airmen?— part of The New York Times bestselling Who Was? series. Learn more at www.sherrilsmith.com.
Judith Starkston has spent too much time exploring the remains of the ancient worlds of the Greeks and Hittites. Early on she went so far as to get degrees in Classics from the University of California, Santa Cruz and Cornell. She loves myths and telling stories. This has gotten more and more out of hand. Her solution is her brand: Fantasy and Magic in a Bronze Age World. Hand of Fire was a semi-finalist for the M.M. Bennett’s Award for Historical Fiction. Priestess of Ishana won the San Diego State University Conference Choice Award. Find out more at www.judithstarkston.com.
Michal Strutin’s debut historical novel is Judging Noa: a Fight for Women’s Rights in the Turmoil of the Exodus. HNS member Strutin is also a research librarian who has taught searching skills to undergraduates, helped faculty, and presented on research tools at national conferences. Her award-winning nonfiction includes Places of Grace: the Natural Landscapes of the American Midwest, Discovering Natural Israel, and Chaco: a Cultural Legacy. Strutin’s articles in The New York Times, L.A. Times, and others focus on nature, travel, and cultural history. She has been an editor at Outside, Rolling Stone, and National Parks.
Alison Stuart, also writing as A.M. Stuart, began her writing career halfway up a tree in the school playground where she wrote her first romantic historical. She was born in Kenya and has lived in Singapore and Australia and has a degree in history as well as law. In her life outside writing, she enjoyed a varied career as a lawyer in a wide number of fields including the military and as a senior executive in the fire services. The first of The Harriet Gordon Mysteries, Singapore Sapphire, will be published by Berkley in August 2019.
Hope C. Tarr is the award-winning author of 25 novels including Irish Eyes, her women’s historical fiction debut set in Gilded through Jazz Age New York City. Hope has been featured in numerous entertainment news programs and publications including NBC’s Today Show, Time Out New York, and The New York Post. She is a founder and curator of the popular Soho-based Lady Jane’s Salon® reading series, now in its tenth year. She earned a Master’s Degree in Psychology and a Ph.D. in Education, both from The Catholic University of America. http://www.hopectarr.com, Twitter @hopetarr, Instagram @hopectarr and Facebook at hopec.tarr.
Liza Nash Taylor is the author of two historical novels under agreement to be published beginning in early 2020 by Blackstone Publishing. She is the 2016 winner of the Fiction Prize from the San Miguel Writers’ Conference and a 2018 Hawthornden International Fellow. Her novels have been finalists in the Faulkner-Wisdom and The Tucson Festival of Books Writing Competitions. Excerpts have appeared in The Copperfield Review and Deep South Magazine. Her short stories and essays have appeared in Gargoyle, Bluestem Magazine, and others. She lives in rural Virginia, in an old farmhouse which is a setting in her novels.
Stephanie Thornton has been obsessed with the stories of history’s women since she was twelve. Her latest novel, American Princess, reimagines the life of Theodore Roosevelt’s wild child daughter Alice. Thornton is also 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. She is a high school history teacher by day and lives in Alaska with her husband and daughter where she spends her free time running, traveling, and baking.
Christine Trent is the author of the Florence Nightingale Mysteries, as well as the Lady of Ashes historical mystery series about a Victorian-era undertaker, and several other historical novels. The inspiration for her Florence Nightingale series came from her mother, an R.N. who maintained her nursing license long into retirement, “because I earned it, dang it!” Christine writes from her two-story home library, where she lives with her wonderful bookshelf-building husband, four precocious cats, a large doll collection, entirely too many fountain pens, and over 4,000 books. Learn more about Christine at http://www.christinetrent.com and follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ChristineTrentBooks.
Kris Waldherr is an author and illustrator whose many books include Bad Princess, Doomed Queens, and The Book of Goddesses. The New Yorker praised Doomed Queens as “utterly satisfying” and “deliciously perverse.” Her fiction has won fellowships from the Virginia Center of the Creative Arts and a works-in-progress reading grant from Poets & Writers. As a visual artist, Waldherr is the creator of the Goddess Tarot, which has a quarter of a million copies in print. Kris Waldherr’s debut historical novel The Lost History of Dreams will be published by Atria Books in April 2019.
Heather Webb is the international bestselling author of six historical novels, including the upcoming Meet Me in Monaco, and Ribbons of Scarlet: A Novel of the French Revolution, to release in summer and fall of 2019. In 2015, Rodin’s Lover was selected as a Goodreads Top Pick; and in 2018, Last Christmas in Paris became a Globe & Mail bestseller and also won the Women’s Fiction Writers Association STAR Award. When not writing, you will find Heather collecting cookbooks or looking for excuses to travel. She lives in New England with her family and one feisty rabbit.
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 current Midsouth HNS Chapter Lead, she reviews books for the Historical Novels Review on a regular basis. Her Middle Grade historical, Come Next Spring, named to the Mark Twain Award Master List by the Missouri Association of School Librarians, is newly in print. She recently completed the prequel to her debut adult historical mystery novel, The Sign of the Weeping Virgin. The setting remains fifteenth-century Italy.
Karen White is the New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty novels, with almost two million books in print in fifteen different languages, including the Tradd Street series, Dreams of Falling, and The Night the Lights Went Out. She’s also the coauthor of two historical novels in collaboration with Beatriz Williams and Lauren Willig. Karen graduated with a BS in Management from Tulane University and first pursued a career in business. Ten years later, she wrote her first book. Karen grew up in London but now lives with her husband and two Havanese dogs near Atlanta, Georgia.
Beatriz Williams is the bestselling author of The Summer Wives, The Secret Life of Violet Grant, A Hundred Summers, and several other works of historical fiction. A graduate of Stanford University with an MBA in Finance from Columbia University, Beatriz worked as a management consultant in New York and London before turning her attention to writing novels. Beatriz’s books have won numerous awards, have been translated into multiple languages, and appear regularly in bestseller lists around the world. Born in Seattle, Washington, Beatriz now lives near the Connecticut shore with her husband and four children.
Lauren Willig is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Ashford Affair, The English Wife, the RITA Award winning Pink Carnation series and two novels co-written with Beatriz Williams and Karen White—The Forgotten Room and The Glass Ocean. An alumna of Yale University, she has a graduate degree in history from Harvard and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. She lives in New York City with her husband, preschooler, baby, and lots and lots of coffee.
Kip Wilson is the author of White Rose, a YA novel-in-verse about anti-Nazi political activist Sophie Scholl published with HMH’s Versify imprint. White Rose won the 2017 PEN New England Susan P. Bloom Children’s Book Discovery Award and is a 2019 Winter/Spring Indies Introduce title. Kip holds a Ph.D. in German Literature, is the poetry editor at the award-winning literary journal YARN (Young Adult Review Network), and wrote her doctoral dissertation about the poet Rainer Maria Rilke. She’s lived in Germany, Austria, and Spain, and currently calls Boston home.
Jake Wynn is the Director of Interpretation at the Clara Barton Missing Soldiers Office Museum and the National Museum of Civil War Medicine. He is a 2015 graduate of Hood College in Frederick, MD where he focused on public history and communications. Previously, Wynn worked with the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area, the Tourism Council of Frederick County (MD), and Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. He writes independently on the history of Pennsylvania’s Anthracite Coal Region on his blog, Wynning History.
Jennifer Bort Yacovissi is the author of the debut novel, Up the Hill to Home, which tells the story of four generations of a family in Washington, D.C. from the Civil War to the Great Depression. Jenny is a member of PEN/America and the National Book Critics’ Circle, writes a monthly column and reviews regularly for the Washington Independent Review of Books; and serves on the Independent’s Board of Directors. She served as chair of the 2017 and 2018 Washington Writers Conference, and for several years was president of the Annapolis chapter of the Maryland Writers’ Association.