We are delighted to welcome over ninety presenters to #HNS2023 in San Antonio!
Addison Armstrong wrote her first novel and signed her first book deal while she was studying elementary education at Vanderbilt. In fact, she spoke to her editor at Putnam for the first time while sweeping up the classroom where she was student-teaching! That first novel, The Light of Luna Park, came out in 2021 and was followed by The War Librarian the next year. Now, Armstrong lives in Manhattan with her husband and teaches fourth- and fifth-grade English language learners in Brooklyn. She continues to work on a number of historical fiction projects for both children and adults.
Adele Myers is the bestselling author of THE TOBACCO WIVES. She has worked in PR, advertising, and Marketing for over 20 years, helping world-class companies and brands such as P&G, Johnson & Johnson, and Gillette develop their brand voices and tell their stories. She currently works in marketing at American Express and teaches at Drexel University’s MFA program. Adele holds a B.A. in Journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alan A. Winter earned degrees from Rutgers, NYU, and Columbia. He has authored six novels. His two most recent books entertain laced with controversy as they challenge accepted notions of Hitler’s rise to power. Kirkus Reviews made SAVIOR’S DAY a Best Book Selection of 2013. “Winter’s command of his historical material is impressive, as is his skill at shaping his characters . . . The textual mystery . . . will please Dan Brown fans, and its execution is a significant step above that in The Da Vinci Code.” WOLF and SINS OF THE FATHERS follow Jessamyn West’s credo, “Fiction reveals truth that reality obscures.”
Alana White writes historical mysteries set in Renaissance Florence, Italy featuring real-life 15th-century lawyer, Guid’Antonio Vespucci. The first two books in the series, “The Sign of the Weeping Virgin” and “The Hearts of All on Fire,” have been finalists for numerous awards, including the Chanticleer Chaucer Award for Outstanding Works in pre-1750s Historical Fiction and the Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award. A three-time member of the HNS Board of Directors and the present Midsouth HNS Chapter Leader, she is a longtime book reviewer for the HNS quarterly journal. Alana lives in Nashville with her husband, two Schnauzers, and their cat.
Alina Adams is the New York Times best-selling author of soap-opera tie-ins, figure skating mysteries, and romance novels. She was born in Odessa, USSR and immigrated to the United States with her family in 1977. Her most recent historical fictions, “The Nesting Dolls” and “My Mother’s Secret: A Novel of the Jewish Autonomous Region” are based on her family’s history and experience.
Allison Pittman is an award-winning and best-selling author of 25 works of fiction. Her stories range from the Reformation (Loving Luther, Tyndale, 2017), the French Revolution (The Seamstress, Tyndale, 2019), as well as several titles of Americana depicting the early Mormon church, the Roaring Twenties, and the introduction of the Egg McMuffin. At home in San Antonio, Texas, Allison divides her time between writing and teaching—some days better balanced than others. She has a newly empty nest and a newer granddaughter. She is married to the world’s most patient man, and keeper of Snax, the world’s worst dog.
Alyssa Palombo is an author living and working in Buffalo, NY. She attended Canisius College in Buffalo, where she majored in English and creative writing with a minor in music. She is the author of four historical novels, The Violinist of Venice, The Most Beautiful Woman in Florence, The Spellbook of Katrina Van Tassel and The Borgia Confessions, all from St. Martin’s Griffin and published in multiple languages. When not writing, she can be found reading through her never-ending TBR pile, attending concerts, adding to her record collection, or planning her next travel adventure.
Amanda E. Herbert holds the MA and PhD degrees in History from Johns Hopkins University, where she worked under the direction of Prof. John W. Marshall. She completed her BA with Distinction in History and Germanics at the University of Washington, where she worked with Prof. F.J. Levy. She is an historian of the body: gender and sexuality; health and wellness; emotion and feeling; food, drink, and appetite. Her first book, Female Alliances: Gender, Identity, and Friendship in Early Modern Britain, was published by Yale University Press in 2014, and won the Best Book Award from the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women and Gender. She has published articles in Gender & History, The Journal of Social History, and Early American Studies. From 2017-2021 she served as co-director for Before ‘Farm to Table’: Early Modern Foodways and Cultures, a $1.5 million Mellon Foundation initiative in collaborative research at the Folger Institute; as part of this project she co-curated an exhibition at the Folger in 2019, “First Chefs: Fame and Foodways from Britain to the Americas.” She is an editor for The Recipes Project, an international Digital Humanities project based out of Brock University, Canada, and co-organizer for the SSHRC project Writing Class: Public Engagement and Politics in the New Class History. She is at work on two book projects: Spa Medicine and Body Politics in the British Atlantic, which seeks to refigure and reclaim the early modern spa as an important site for the study of public health; and Leftovers: the Afterlives of Early Modern Food, which explores culinary preservation, foods given in charity, boxing and packaging, reuse and recyling, and faux foods.
Amanda Skenandore is a historical fiction author and a registered nurse. Her debut novel, Between Earth and Sky, won the 2019 American Library Association’s Reading List award for Best Historical Fiction. Her third novel, The Second Life of Mirielle West, was named an Apple Best Books of the Month, a Hoopla Book Club Pick, a Readers Digest Editor’s Choice, and a Silicon Valley Reads selection. She lives in Las Vegas with her husband and their pet turtle Lenore.
Anna Belfrage is the author of twenty-three (and counting) novels, all of them indie published. Her books have won various awards and several have been chosen as HNS Editors’ Choice. By now, she has the publishing process down pat, but she learns something new with every book, and she still tears her hair over promotional challenges. Anna dreams of time traveling IRL—probably a consequence of a very vivid imagination! Find out more about Anna at www.annabelfrage.com.
Annette Lyon is a USA Today bestseller, Whitney Award-winner, and 9-time recipient of Utah’s Best of State Medal for fiction. She’s published fiction set in the American West and the Regency and Victorian eras, though her most recent historical novel, The Girl in Gray, is set in the World War II era during the Finno-Soviet Winter War. Her first foray into suspense, Just One More, was published by Scarlet Suspense in 2023. Annette has four adult children, one grandchild, and a flame-tipped Siamese cat with an attitude. She’s represented by Jill Marsal of the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.
Barbara Tanner-Wallace Award-winning author Barbara Tanner-Wallace sold her first novel in 2009. Since then, she’s developed a reputation for writing tightly paced stories with smart dialogue and multi-faceted characters. Her books have been translated into multiple languages, including Japanese, German, Spanish, French, and Indonesian. She is a self-proclaimed coffee snob, a part-time cat herder and a lover of all things books. She shares her book reviews on the first Friday of the month on her YouTube vlog, Barb’s Book Reviews and on her website, BarbaraWallace.com.
Bonnie Blaylock is the author of the prize-winning LIGHT TO THE HILLS, set in 1936 rural Appalachia about a packhorse librarian, a job created by FDR through the Work Progress Administration. Research included delving into university archives from the period and visits to regional settings in East TN and KY. A grandchild of the Depression Era, Bonnie grew up hearing stories from parents and grandparents who experienced firsthand the effects that rippled down the generations. Before delving into historical fiction, Bonnie did science and research writing with the Department of Energy and wrote numerous essays in online publications.
Author Brook Allen has a passion for all history. Her Antonius Trilogy is an account of the life of Marc Antony. Brook’s research led her to Italy, Egypt, Greece, and even Turkey. Son of Rome most recently won First Place in the prestigious Chaucer Division in the Chanticleer International Book Awards, 2020. Brook’s new project is a little closer to home, taking her throughout southwest Virginia and into Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, and Idaho. She’s passionate about travel, cycling, hiking in the woods, reading, and spending downtime with her husband and Labrador, Jak. She lives in Virginia’s scenic Blue Ridge Mountains.
Carol M. Cram from Vancouver, Canada, is the author of three historical novels in the Women in Art Trilogy (The Towers of Tuscany, A Woman of Note, and The Muse of Fire). Carol is also the founder of the Art In Fiction Website and the Art In Fiction Podcast, the author of 60+ bestselling college textbooks in computer applications and communications, and the Artistic Director of the Bowen Island Writers’ Festival. She was on faculty at Capilano University in North Vancouver for over two decades and holds an MA in Drama and an MBA.
Colin Mustful is the founder and editor of History Through Fiction. As a traditional publisher, he works with authors who want to share important historical stories with the world. He is also an independent author who has published four historical novels about the tumultuous and complicated periods of settler-colonialism and Native displacement in American history. He has an MA in history and an MFA in creative writing. Mustful is an avid runner and soccer player who lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He believes that learning history is vital to understanding our world today and finding just, long-lasting solutions for the future.
Connie Hertzberg Mayo is the author of two works of historical fiction. Her debut novel, The Island of Worthy Boys (2015, She Writes Press) won a 2016 Gold Medal for Best Regional Fiction in the Independent Publisher Book Awards, a 2015 Silver Medal for Historical Fiction in the INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards, and a 2015 Bronze Medal for Historical Fiction in the Readers’ Favorite Awards. Her most recent novel, The Sharp Edge of Mercy, was published in 2022 by Heliotrope Books. She works as a Systems Analyst and empty-nests in Massachusetts with her husband and two feuding cats.
Constance Hays Matsumoto is an active literary citizen who writes stories and poetry intended to influence positive change in our world. Her debut historical novel, Of White Ashes, was acquired by Loyola University of Maryland’s Apprentice House Press for a May 2023 release. Constance is a member of the Authors Guild, Eastern Shore Writers’ Association, Historical Novel Society, and Women’s National Book Association, and served on the Board of Directors of the Maryland Writers’ Association as Communications Chair and as President of the Baltimore Chapter. Visit www.matsumotobooks.com
Constance Sayers is the author of A Witch in Time (2020 Redhook/Hachette) and The Ladies of the Secret Circus (2021 Redhook/Hachette). A finalist for Alternating Current’s 2016 Luminaire Award for Best Prose, her short stories have appeared in Souvenir and Amazing Graces: Yet Another Collection of Fiction by Washington Area Women as well as The Sky is a Free Country. Her short fiction has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net.
Crystal King is the author of THE CHEF’S SECRET and FEAST OF SORROW, which was long-listed for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize and was a Must Read for the MassBook Awards.She is an author, culinary enthusiast, and social media professor. Her writing is fueled by a love of history and a passion for the food, language, and culture of Italy. She has taught classes in writing, creativity, and social media at several universities including Harvard Extension School, UMass Boston, and Boston University. You can find her at crystalking.com.
DeAnn Smith Stead has thirty years of experience as a journalist. While attending the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, she worked for daily newspapers and, after graduating, joined news organizations in Texas, Louisiana, Missouri, and Kansas. She received numerous honors, including the award-winning digital content team at KCTV in Kansas City and the Investigative Reporters and Editors Award for her series on judges wasting tax dollars in Baton Rouge. She is currently a public relations and digital content consultant. Her historical fiction focuses on the Wars of the Roses, Tudor England and Valois France. She lives in Independence, Missouri.
Denny S. Bryce is the award-winning author of historical fiction, including Wild Women And The Blues and In The Face Of The Sun. Her next release, The Other Princess: A Novel of Sarah Forbes Bonetta, is scheduled for October 2023 from William Morrow. A former professional dancer and PR professional, she’s an adjunct professor in Drexel University’s MFA program, book critic for NPR, and freelance writer whose work has appeared in USA Today, Harper’s Bazaar, and FROLIC Media. She belongs to the Historical Novel Society, Women’s Fiction Writers Association, and Tall Poppy Writers. Originally from Chicago, she resides in Savannah.
Diana Giovinazzo is the critically claimed author of The Woman in Red and Antoinette’s Sister. She is the co-creator of the weekly literary podcast, Wine, Women and Words, featuring interviews with authors over a glass of wine. Diana lives in the Los Angeles area with her husband and their small menagerie.
Donna Alward. Since 2006, New York Times Bestselling Author Donna Alward’s heartwarming stories of love, hope, and homecoming have been translated into several languages, hit bestseller lists and won awards. Donna lives on Canada’s east coast. When she’s not writing she enjoys reading (of course!), knitting, gardening, cooking…and is a Masterpiece addict. You can visit her on the web at www.DonnaAlward.com or find her at Step Into The Story, a community for lovers of historical and upmarket fiction that she facilitates with fellow author Barbara Tanner Wallace.
Elise Hooper is a native New Englander and spent several years writing for television and online news outlets before getting a MA and teaching high-school literature and history. Her debut novel, THE OTHER ALCOTT, was a nominee for the 2017 Washington Book Award. Three more novels followed—LEARNING TO SEE, FAST GIRLS, and ANGELS OF THE PACIFIC—all centered on the lives of extraordinary but overlooked historical women, including Depression-era documentary photographer Dorothea Lange and the members of the first integrated women’s Olympic team in 1936. Elise now writes and teaches in Seattle and lives with her husband and two teenage daughters.
Eliza Knight is an award-winning, USA Today and international bestselling author, with over eighty titles, both traditionally and indie published. Her love of history began as a young girl when she traipsed the halls of Versailles. She is a member of the Historical Novel Society and Novelists, Inc., creator of the popular blog, History Undressed, co-host of History, Books and Wine podcast and co-host for the true crime podcast, Crime Feast. With her expertise in self-publishing, marketing, and writer career planning, she’s in high demand to present workshops on writing and publishing at conferences and book festivals around the world.
Elizabeth Bell has been writing stories since the second grade. Upon earning her MFA in Creative Writing at George Mason University, Elizabeth realized she would have to return her two hundred library books. Instead, she cleverly found a job in the university library, where she works to this day. The first book in her Lazare Family Saga, Necessary Sins, was a Finalist in the Foreword Indies Book of the Year Awards. The second and third books, Lost Saints and Native Stranger, were Editors’ Choices in the Historical Novels Review. Visit Elizabeth online at elizabethbellauthor.com
Emily Lanza is Counsel for Policy and International Affairs with the U.S. Copyright Office, where she has worked with creators, publishers, and users of copyrighted works throughout the world. She received her J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center. After assisting authors for years with their creative works, she recently found the pen in her own hand as an invaluable tool of creative expression. Viewing writing as both a craft and an art, her writing practice explores historical and ekphrastic fiction.
F. M. Deemyad was encouraged at an early age by her Indian father, developed a love of the language and dreamed of becoming an author. As an avid reader of classic literature as well as outstanding works of contemporary authors, her dream came true with her debut novel, The Sky Worshipers: A novel of Mongol Conquests. It covers the era of Mongol invasions of the 13th century through the point of view of women. She received her MFA from Johns Hopkins University and is currently working on her second novel, which is focused on Sicily in the 13th Century.
Georgie Blalock is a history and movie buff who loves combining her different passions through historical fiction, and a healthy dose of period piece films. When not writing, she can be found prowling the non-fiction history section of the library or the British film listings on Netflix or in the dojo training for her next karate black belt rank. She writes historical women’s fiction for William Morrow and her novels include The Other Windsor Girl, The Last Debutantes and An Indiscreet Princess.
Glen Craney is a novelist, screenwriter, journalist, and lawyer. After attending Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, he joined the Washington, D.C. press corps to report on national politics for Congressional Quarterly magazine. He has received numerous awards, including the Nicholl Fellowship Screenwriting Prize from the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences. His historical fiction has taken readers to Occitania during the Albigensian Crusade, Scotland of Robert the Bruce, and Georgia during the Civil War. His Great Depression epic, THE YANKS ARE STARVING, follows eight Americans from WWI to the Bonus March of 1932. He lives in southern California.
Gregory Salinas is a voice actor and narrator with over 350 audiobooks to his name. Gregory first realized his passion for performing at a young age as the lead singer and guitarist for his emo-punk band and through numerous theater productions at his performing arts school, NESA. Trading his signature screamo sound for a romantic growl, Gregory began narrating audiobooks in 2013 and specializes in romance but has narrated many other genres as well.
Griff Hosker was an English teacher in inner city schools for 40 years before he began writing—historical fiction and usually in the first person, covering everything from the Romans in Britain to the Korean War. Since he began writing in 2011, he has published 173 titles, almost exclusively historical fiction, and sells 1200 books a month. His largest body of work is set in Medieval England and many of his titles take place in wartime. Indeed, the sixth book in the series, “Wallace’s War” is currently riding high in the charts.
Heather B. Moore is a USA Today bestselling author of more than ninety publications. Heather writes primarily historical and #herstory fiction about the humanity and heroism of the everyday person. Publishing in a breadth of genres, Heather dives into the hearts and souls of her characters, meshing her love of research with her love of storytelling. Heather attended Cairo American College in Egypt and the Anglican School of Jerusalem in Israel. Despite failing her high school AP English exam, Heather persevered and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Brigham Young University in something other than English.
Heather Webb is the USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of eight historical novels, including The Next Ship Home and Strangers in the Night. In 2015, Rodin’s Lover was a Goodreads’ Top Pick, and in 2018, Last Christmas in Paris won the Women’s Fiction Writers Association STAR Award. Meet Me in Monaco, was selected as a finalist for the 2020 Goldsboro RNA award in the UK, as well as the 2019 Digital Book World’s Fiction prize. To date, Heather’s books have been translated to seventeen languages. She lives in New England with her family and a mischievous kitten.
James Scott Bell – a #HNS2023 special guest. Read his bio on our special guests page.
Jamie Ford – a #HNS2023 special guest. Read his bio on our special guests page.
Janis Robinson Daly’s debut novel, The Unlocked Path, released August 2022 from indie press, Black Rose Writing. Daly graduated with a B.A. in Psychology from Wheaton College in MA, at the time, a woman’s college. There, she developed an appreciation of the supportive relationships formed among students and a heightened awareness of female-centric issues. Daly is an active member of three book clubs and belongs to the Women’s Fiction Writers Association, Historical Novel Society, and Cape Cod Writers Center. In her other life, she holds a sales and marketing position with an education company.
Jeannie Lin is a USA TODAY bestselling author of historical romance and fantasy. Her groundbreaking stories set in Tang Dynasty China have received multiple awards including the Golden Heart for her debut novel, Butterfly Swords, and Red Blossom in Snow from Lotus Palace mystery series was listed as one of New York Times’ 100 Notable Books of 2022. Jeannie also writes an Opium War steampunk series, the Gunpowder Chronicles. Find out more online at: www.jeannielin.com.
Jen Johnson is an award-winning author of more than thirteen published historical fiction/romance novels, Jen Geigle Johnson discovered her passion for England while kayaking on the Thames near London as a teenager. While all of her books have a strong romance plot, she becomes captivated in the time periods and shares bits of history that might otherwise be forgotten, like the events at Peterloo, the women involved in the French Revolution, or the earliest calls for women’s suffrage in England. Of all the voices to remember, she feels women’s voices are some of the strongest.
Jonathan F. Putnam is an author and attorney. He has degrees in History and Law from Harvard and was a national trial lawyer for a large law firm in New York City before resigning from his law partnership to pursue a career as a novelist. His #1 Amazon bestselling Lincoln & Speed Mystery series is based on the life and times of Abraham Lincoln as a brand-new trial lawyer on the frontier, solving mysteries based on Lincoln’s real-life murder cases. Jonathan currently lives with his family in London, where he is researching and writing his next novel, a historical suspense set in Georgian England.
John Jeter is an author, journalist, playwright, academic, and entrepreneur, and has had three books published, including THE PLUNDER ROOM (St. Martin’s Press), a novel thhnat dives into a Southern family’s rich military history stretching back before World War II. As an award-winning reporter and editor, he has worked for the Chicago Sun-Times, the San Antonio Express-News, and as a stringer for The New York Times. He teaches at Converse College, professionally edits memoirs and novels, and is currently producing a stage play about the largest lynching trial in U.S. history. He lives in Greenville, South Carolina.
Joy Callaway is the international bestselling author of ALL THE PRETTY PLACES, THE GRAND DESIGN, and others. She lives in Charlotte, NC with her husband and two children.
Joyce Wagner is a humorist, journalist, novelist, playwright, and short story writer. Her novel, “The French Tenor,” won the Royal Palm Literary Award for Unpublished Historical Fiction in 2020. Her collection, “Random Overthoughts: The Best (Give or Take) of the Humor Column ‘Overthinking,’” was the first of Plaidswede Publishing’s New England Columnist series. Her short stories have been included in several anthologies and she was a staff writer and editor for the Martha’s Vineyard Times. She teaches workshops on Thinking Like a Writer and Reading Your Work Before an Audience and has a black belt in ham.
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
Julie Gerstenblatt holds a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from Teachers College, Columbia University. Her essays have appeared in The Huffington Post, Kveller, Cognoscenti, and Grown & Flown, among others. When not writing, Julie is a college essay coach, as well as a producer and on-air host for A Mighty Blaze, which has grown into a leading resource for author interviews. A native New Yorker, Julie now lives in coastal Rhode Island with her family and one very smart shichon poo. Daughters of Nantucket is her first novel.
Karen Odden’s first novel, ‘A Lady in the Smoke,’ based on the 1865 Staplehurst railway disaster, was a USA Today bestseller; and she drew upon Victorian gang crime and art forgery for ‘A Dangerous Duet’ and ‘A Trace of Deceit,’ respectively. ‘Down a Dark River’ (2021) introduced readers to Scotland Yard Inspector Michael Corravan, a former thief and bare-knuckles boxer from seedy Whitechapel who must solve a serial murder akin to the Jack the Ripper killings. The sequel, ‘Under a Veiled Moon,’ based on the historical Princess Alice steamship disaster in 1878, is available in hardback, ebook, and audiobook.
Karima Alavi completed her MFA in Creative Writing at Texas State University. Her stories have appeared in Sufi Magazine and online journals, as well as on National Public Radio (All Things Considered.) Ms. Alavi has presented over 100 workshops for organizations such as the National Council for the Social Studies, and the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery. Her award-winning novel manuscript, Merchant of Color, is set in the Vatican during the Renaissance and includes excursions into Iran, Afghanistan, and India. Karima lives in New Mexico where howling coyotes and prowling skunks inspire her to stay inside and get more writing done.
K. Orme is the author of The Mount Terre Chronicles, a trilogy of cross-genre historical fiction novels with Pondered in her Heart: A Novel of the American Revolution as the first in the set with Second Time Around as the second. She lives and works in Virginia, and when she’s not penning the next installment, is either sewing, drawing, or cosplaying.
Katharine Schellman writes historical mysteries filled with intricate plots and smart, gutsy sleuths. Her newest Jazz Age series launched with Last Call at the Nightingale, a gritty, glamorous mystery that was a New York Times editors’ pick for June 2022 and named one of the best mysteries of the summer by Publisher’s Weekly, Goodreads, Bustle, and more. A former actor and one-time political consultant, Katharine lives and writes in the mountains of Virginia in the company of her family and the many houseplants she keeps accidentally murdering.
Katie Aiken Ritter has written for three decades, from complex IT white papers to a startup hyper-local magazine, fundraising materials to speechwriting, and was lead writer for an international design firm’s monograph. She is the award-winning author of four novels set in Viking age Iceland, and edits novels for other writers. Katie is a member of the Historical Novel Society of America and the Eastern Shore Writer’s Association, and is a graduate of Swarthmore College. She loves to walk her cat Amelia Buttercup on a leash and when passing a yard sale must avert her eyes so she won’t stop. Photo credit: Flash Magic Workshop
Kerry Cathers runs the website A Curiosity of Crime and produces a newsletter which are research resources for authors of nineteenth-century detective fiction. She published her first book in a research series, A Writer’s Guide to Nineteenth-Century Murder by Arsenic. She teaches forensics and nineteenth-century to help authors craft intriguing and accurate fiction. She has been studying history most of her life and has earned three degrees in the subject; one in Canada and two in England. She works as a freelance writer and editor.
Kimberly Brock is the bestselling author of The Lost Book of Eleanor Dare and The River Witch, honored with the Georgia Author of the Year Award. A former actor and special needs educator, she founded the Tinderbox Writers Workshop and has served as guest lecturer for many regional and national writing workshops, including at the Pat Conroy Literary Center. Her freelance writing has appeared in Psychology Today and Writers Digest and she is a member of the Historical Novel Society and Women’s Fiction Writers Association. She lives near Atlanta, Georgia, and can be found online at kimberlybrockbooks.com.
Kris Waldherr‘s latest novel is Unnatural Creatures, an award-winning reimagining of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein told through the eyes of the three women closest to Victor Frankenstein: his mother Caroline, bride Elizabeth, and servant Justine. She is also the author of The Lost History of Dreams, a Victorian-set gothic inspired by the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, and the nonfiction books Doomed Queens, Bad Princess, and The Book of Goddesses. Kris also writes historical romance under the pen name of Delphine Ross. Kris lives and works in Brooklyn with her family. To learn more about her books, visit KrisWaldherrBooks.com.
Kristina Makansi is a book designer, freelance editor, and the managing editor at Amphorae Publishing. With a B.A. in Government from University of Texas at Austin and a M.A.T. from the College of New Jersey, she has worked on books garnering starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and have won numerous accolades, including Benjamin Franklin awards, IPPYs, the Eric Hoffer Da Vinci Eye, and a Gold Medal for Outstanding BOYTA from Independent Publishers in the Peacemakers. She is the author of ORACLES OF DELPHI and co-author of THE SEEDS TRILOGY, and will publish a dual-timeline romance in 2023.
Laura Morelli is a Yale-educated art historian and USAToday bestselling author. Laura has taught college students in the U.S. and in Italy. She has covered art and authentic travel for TED-Ed, National Geographic Traveler, and Italy Magazine. Her books have been picks at Costco, Target, and Hudson News. Laura is the author of the Authentic Arts guidebook series that includes MADE IN ITALY. Her historical novels, including THE NIGHT PORTRAIT, THE STOLEN LADY–and her latest book, THE LAST MASTERPIECE (HarperCollins, June 2023)–bring the stories of art history to life.
Laurie Lico Albanese is the award-winning author of HESTER the acclaimed 2022 retelling of THE SCARLET LETTER which gives life, power, and voice to the woman Nathaniel Hawthorne cast into the role of scorned adulteress. HESTER is is an Audible Best Books of 2022, an IndieNext and Canadian and American Librarians October 2022 selection, a Gillian Flynn Best Books of Fall 2022, a Book of the Month club selection, and finalist in the Goodreads Best Books of the Year. Albanese earned her MFA at the University of Southern Maine in 2016, and teaches writing at Montclair State University.
Libbie Grant – a #HNS2023 special guest. Read her bio on our Special Guests pasge!
Lisa Wingate – a #HNS2023 special guest. Read her bio on our Special Guests page!
Liza Nash Taylor is a late-blooming writer and the author of two recent historical novels from Blackstone Publishing. Etiquette for Runaways (August 2020) is set in 1924. It was named one of Parade’s 30 Best Beach Reads 2020 as well as Frolic’s Best Book of Summer 2020. In All Good Faith, set in 1932, came out in 2021. Liza is the 2016 winner of the Fiction Prize of the San Miguel Writers’ Conference and a 2018 Hawthornden International Fellow. She lives in rural Virginia, in an old farmhouse that serves as a setting in her novels.
Madeline Martin is a New York Times and International Bestselling author of historical fiction and historical romance with books translated into over twenty languages. She lives in sunny Florida with her two daughters (known collectively as the minions), two incredibly spoiled cats and a man so wonderful he’s been dubbed Mr. Awesome. As a die-hard history lover, she will happily lose herself in research any day. She also love to travel, and attributes her fascination with history to having spent most of her childhood as an Army brat in Germany.
Margaret George has been called “the reigning queen of the epic fictional biography” by Booklist. She is the award-winning author of eight biographical novels, focusing on the Tudor era (Henry VIII, Mary Queen of Scots, Elizabeth I), and the ancient world (Cleopatra, Helen of Troy, Mary Magdalene, and Nero), Her The Memoirs of Cleopatra was made into an Emmy-nominated ABC-TV miniseries in 1999. She has also written two children’s books, one about tortoises and the other about platypuses. Her books have been New York Times bestsellers and have been translated into twenty foreign editions. Margaret has been a speaker at Hampton Court, the Tower of London, and the Folger Shakespeare Library. She has been a member of HNS since 2009 and participated as a keynote speaker, panel member, blue pencil café mentor, and in the historical costume pageant. Visit her website at www.margaretgeorge.com.
Margaret Porter is the award-winning, bestselling author of The Myrtle Wand (October 2022), The Limits of Limelight (September 2021), Beautiful Invention: A Novel of Hedy Lamarr, and twelve more historical novels. After studying British history in the U.K., she worked professionally in theatre, film, and television. A historian and avid traveler, Margaret regularly returns to Great Britain and Europe for research. She lives in New England with husband and dog, dividing her time between an architecturally unique book-filled house in a small city and a waterfront cottage on one of the region’s largest lakes. More information is available at www.margaretporter.com.
Mariah Fredericks’s latest novel, ‘The Lindbergh Nanny,’ was hailed by CrimeReads as one of the Best Historical Mysteries of 2022 and listed by BookBub among the Best Historical Fiction of Fall 2022. The New York Times writes, “Fredericks fills in substantial details from real life, but never forgets to put the human cost, and its lasting damage, at the forefront of her narrative,” while AirMail says, “Mariah Fredericks has combined research and a novelist’s imagination to produce an unusually sophisticated and moving piece of historical fiction.” Mariah Fredericks was born, raised, and still lives in New York City.
Marianne Monson is a women’s history author known for unearthing remarkable stories of incredible women. Her 2016 book, “Frontier Grit,” about pioneer women was nominated for an American Library Association Amelia Bloomer Award, and her 2018 “Women of the Blue and Gray” was awarded a silver medal in the military category by Foreword Reviews. She’s the author of twelve books, most recently “The Opera Sisters,” a historical fiction novel set during World War 2. She is the founder and president of The Writer’s Guild, a literary nonprofit, and writes from a 100 year old home in San Marcos, Texas.
Mary Malloy teaches research methods to graduate students at the Harvard Extension School, and taught Maritime History to college students for 25 years in the “Sea Semester” program out of Woods Hole, MA. Mary has a Ph.D. in American Studies from Brown University and is the author of four novels as well as five books of maritime history. She has sailed extensively in the Pacific, Caribbean and Mediterranean with students, and has performed the songs of American sailors in concerts and workshops around the globe.
Mary Smathers grew up in Los Altos, California. After graduating from UC Berkeley, she earned Master’s degrees in Secondary Education and Educational Administration from Stanford University. From 1983 to 2013, she worked in California public schools as a high school teacher, administrator, teacher trainer, grant writer and educational entrepreneur. Since that time, she has focused on creativity and writing, publishing her first work of fiction, Fertile Soil: Stories of the California Dream, in 2016. In This Land of Plenty, a family saga and her debut novel was published in 2020. She launched a bilingual children’s series, Tropical Tales, in 2022.
Mary (M.K.) Tod’s interest in historical fiction began as a teenager immersed in the stories of Rosemary Sutcliff, Jean Plaidy, and Daphne du Maurier. In 2006, when her husband’s career took them to Hong Kong, Mary began writing historical fiction. She now has five adult novels and one children’s novel to her credit.Mary’s award-winning blog, www.awriterofhistory.com, focuses on reading and writing historical fiction. She’s an active member of the historical fiction community, has volunteered on several HNS conferences, and has conducted five unique reader surveys on topics from readers’ habits and preferences to favorite historical fiction authors.
Maryka Biaggio is a psychology professor turned novelist who specializes in historical fiction based on real people. Doubleday published her debut novel, Parlor Games, in 2013. Her second novel, Eden Waits, was published by Milford House Press in 2019. In 2021, Milford House Press released The Point of Vanishing and in 2022 The Model Spy. Her fiction has won several awards, including Willamette Writers, Oregon Writers Colony, Historical Novel Society Review Editors’ Choice, La Belle Lettre, and U.P. (Upper Peninsula of Michigan) Notable Books Award. She serves as Secretary for the Historical Novel Society North America Conference board.
Melissa Addey writes historical fiction set in Ancient Rome, medieval Morocco and 18th century China, with 15 books to her name so far. She is a fulltime self-published author and runs workshops for authors wanting to be entrepreneurial. Before that, she worked for fifteen years in business and has a Masters in being creative in a business setting. Her novels have been selected for Editor’s Choice by the Historical Novel Society and won the inaugural Novel London award. She has been the Leverhulme Trust Writer in Residence at the British Library, has a PhD in Creative Writing and works with the Alliance of Independent Authors on their campaigns. Visit her website at www.melissaaddey.com.
Meredith Jaeger is the USA Today bestselling author of The Pilot’s Daughter, The Dressmaker’s Dowry and Boardwalk Summer. She was born and raised in Berkeley, California, the daughter of a Swiss father and American mother. Meredith holds a BA in modern literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and she currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, two children, and neurotic Chihuahua rescue mix. Her next historical novel, The Incorrigibles, will be published by Dutton, a boutique imprint of Penguin Random House.
Michael Cooper arrived in Jerusalem in 1966, the last year the city was divided between Israel and Jordan, and studied at Hebrew University, graduated from Tel Aviv University Medical School. A pediatric cardiologist in Northern California, he does frequent medical missions serving Palestinian children who lack access to care. His novels include Foxes in the Vineyard, set in 1948 Jerusalem, which 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 – 1290. Wages of Empire, set in Ottoman Palestine during WWI, is due out 2023.
Molly Greeley lives in Traverse City, Michigan, in a 130 year-old fixer-upper with her husband, three children, and their two elderly cats. When she isn’t writing, she is working on social media and marketing for a local farm and bakery, taking meandering hikes through the woods with her kids, or trying to make a dent in her enormous to-be-read pile. She is the author of three historical novels: The Clergyman’s Wife, The Heiress, and her latest, Marvelous, the story of the real-life Renaissance couple rumored to be the inspiration for the fairy tale “The Beauty and the Beast.”
Nancy Bilyeau wrote the Joanna Stafford trilogy, thrillers set in Henry VIII’s England. She followed it with ‘The Blue’ and ‘The Fugitive Colours,’ set in 18th century Europe and revolving around espionage in the porcelain world and art crime. Her upcoming novel, ‘The Orchid Hour,’ is set during New York City’s Jazz Age, with real life Prohibition figures Charles “Lucky” Luciano and Arnold Rothstein among the characters. A former staff editor at Rolling Stone and Good Housekeeping and deputy editor of the Center on Media, Crime, and Justice, she lives in upstate New York with her family.
Nicole Evelina is a USA Today bestselling author and biographer who writes historical fiction, non-fiction, and women’s fiction. Her books have won more than 50 awards, including four Book of the Year designations. Although now a hybrid author, Nicole was named Missouri’s Top Independent Author by Library Journal as the winner of the Missouri Indie Author Project in 2018. One of her novels, Madame Presidentess, was previously optioned for film. She is represented by Amy Collins of Talcott Notch Literary. You can find her online at nicoleevelina.com/.
Noah Putnam graduated from Harvard College in 2019 with a degree in Applied Math. After working for a number of early-stage technology companies, he is currently the CEO of an artificial-intelligence start-up company based in California.
Noelle Salazar is the author of ANGELS OF THE RESISTANCE and the USA Today and Publisher’s Weekly Bestselling Author of THE FLIGHT GIRLS, a novel that shines a light on the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) a little-known piece of American history. She is a lifelong resident of the Pacific Northwest and a lifelong storyteller. Noelle lives with her family in Bothell, WA.
Annamaria Alfieri is the author of six historical novels set in South America and Africa. Of her debut novel, The Washington Post said, “As both history and mystery, City of Silver glitters.” Library Journal said, “History comes alive under Alfieri’s sure hand.” Alfieri has set her current series in British East Africa, now Kenya, beginning in 1911. The Richmond (Virginia) Times-Dispatch described her Strange Gods as having “the flair of Isak Dinesen and Beryl Markham, the cunning of Agatha Christie and Elspeth Huxley.” Her Africa series also includes The Idol of Mombasa and The Blasphemers.
Patricia Bernstein grew up in Dallas. After earning a Degree of Distinction in American Studies from Smith College, she founded her public relations agency in Houston. She is the author of three nonfiction books including Ten Dollars to Hate: The Texas Man Who Fought the Clan which The Austin American Statesman named the book to a list of 53 of the best books ever written about Texas. Patricia lives in Houston with her husband, Alan Bernstein, where she pursues her other great artistic love, singing with Opera in the Heights and other organizations. A Noble Cunning is her debut novel.
Patricia Hudson has been drawn to colonial American history ever since a childhood visit to Colonial Williamsburg. A longtime freelance writer, her favorite assignments focus on historical topics. She spent a decade as a contributing editor for Americana magazine, and her book credits include a volume in the Smithsonian Guide to Historic America series. “Traces,” her debut novel, “rescues Rebecca Boone…from the shadow of the celebrated Daniel” and “brings the Boone women delightfully alive,” says preeminent Boone biographer, Robert Morgan. Patricia lives in Knoxville with her husband, fine-art photographer, Sam Stapleton, and their two rescue dogs.
Paulette Kennedy, originally from the Missouri Ozarks, now resides in a quiet suburb of Los Angeles with her family and a menagerie of rescue pets. As a history lover, she can get lost for days in her research—learning everything she can about what her characters might have experienced in the past. Paulette’s latest release is The Witch of Tin Mountain, a witchy, dual timeline gothic set in her native Ozarks. She is also the author of Parting the Veil, which received Editor’s Choice recognition in Historical Novels Review. She is represented by Jill Marr of Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.
Raquel Beattie is an audiobook narrator who can’t believe she’s found her dream job. She can read books, perform those books, and do so in an introvert’s dream office? Yes, please! Immersing herself in each story is one of Raquel’s joys in life and that she can share this story through her performance is icing on the cake. Books with darker themes or strong female characters are her favorite. When she’s not working in the booth she’s jamming out to her favorite tunes, eating some good food, or laughing it up with her favorite people- her husband and 3 kids.
Renee Ryan is the Amazon bestselling, multi-published author of historical romance, contemporary romance, and historical fiction. She’s published over 30 novels, including her 2021 WWII-set historical novel The Widows of Champagne and her 2022 release, The Secret Society of Salzburg, and her upcoming 2023 release, The Paris Housekeeper. Renee attended Florida State University, was president of her sorority, and earned undergraduate degrees in Economics, Religious Studies, and Latin. she went on to work in a theme park, a modeling agency, then took a job at Leon High School in Tallahassee. She left her position to pursue her dream of writing.
Robin Henry is an Author Accelerator Certified Book Coach and holds an MLS (Library Science) and MA in Humanities. She is a librarian, adjunct professor of Humanities and Library Science and an independent scholar and book coach, specializing in Historical Fiction, Cozy Mysteries, and Literary Fan Fiction. She has over 20 years of experience working with books and authors, as a reviewer, book award committee member, writing teacher and coach. She is a total history nerd, just like you! Writers work with Robin to craft the compelling novels readers crave about people who’ve made a difference.
Rod Sullivan has argued and won a case before the U.S. Supreme Court and practiced law for over 39 years. He has appeared frequently in the media as an expert including on Nova (“Why Ships Crash,” available on Prime and YouTube), the CBS Evening News, CNN, NPR, CCTC (China), KBS (Korean Broadcasting System) and Time Magazine. His legal commentary has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Times, and the International New York Times. For eight years he was a law professor teaching Constitutional Law. He is currently working on an historical romance entitled Searching for Mrs. Roosevelt.
Ron Blumenfeld is a retired pediatrician and health care executive. Ron grew up in the Bronx, New York and attended the Bronx High School of Science and City College of New York before receiving his MD degree from the State University of New York – Downstate Health Sciences Center in Brooklyn. After completing his pediatrics residency at the University of Arizona, he and his family settled in Connecticut, but Tucson remains their second home. Upon retirement he became a columnist for his town’s newspaper, a pleasure he surrendered to concentrate on his debut novel, The King’s Anatomist.
Samantha Rajaram is the author of The Company Daughters (Bookouture, 2020). Her essays and short fiction have been published in Catamaran Literary Reader and India Currents, and she was a contributor to Our Feet Walk The Sky, the first South Asian-American anthology published in the US. She lives in the Bay Area with her three children.
Sarah Johnson is the Book Review Editor for the Historical Novels Review and also reviews for Booklist. Her latest book is Historical Fiction II: A Guide to the Genre. She was recognized with the American Library Association’s Louis Shores Award for excellence in book reviewing and was named a Library Journal Mover & Shaker. Fascinated by language, reading, and how people use information, she has graduate degrees in library science and linguistics and works as head of collection management at Eastern Illinois University’s library. Visit her blog, Reading the Past (www.readingthepast.com), for news and reviews on historical novels.
Sarah Penner is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of The Lost Apothecary and The London Séance Society, both of which have been translated into more than twenty languages worldwide. A graduate of the University of Kansas, Sarah spent thirteen years in corporate finance and now writes full-time. In her free time, Sarah enjoys cooking, yoga, and volunteering at her local animal shelter. She and her husband live in Florida. To learn more, visit SarahPenner.com.
Shamaan Casey is an audiobook narrator with a love of food, history, and good stories. With a voice often compared to James Earl Jones and Morgan Freeman, Shamaan initially instead pursued a career in culinary, though embraced voiceover through audiobooks in 2018. Though still passionate about cooking and baking, he finds ways of combining his talents to engage with listeners, and fans on social media.
Shawntelle Madison is a New York Times bestselling author of speculative fiction. Her historical time travel novel, The Fallen Fruit From Their Orchard, is forthcoming from Amistad Books/HarperCollins Publishing. Described as Kindred meets The Time Traveller’s Wife, Fallen Fruit follows five generations of Black women cursed with the gift of time travel. Find out more online at: www.shawntellemadison.com
Sophfronia Scott is director of Alma College’s Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing, a low-residency graduate program based in Alma, Michigan. The recipient of a 2020 Artist Fellowship Grant from the Connecticut Office of the Arts, Sophfronia holds degrees from Harvard and Vermont College of Fine Arts. She is author of three novels including Unforgivable Love and her latest, Wild, Beautiful,and Free, a historical fiction set during the Civil War, and nonfiction books including The Seeker and the Monk: Everyday Conversations with Thomas Merton. She lives in Sandy Hook, Connecticut. www.Sophfronia.com.
Sophie Perinot has enjoyed a decade-long career writing historical fiction. She’s authored solo novels—The Sister Queens and Médicis Daughter—as well as working with fellow writers in the genre (like Kate Quinn, Eliza Knight, and Heather Webb) to create collaborative works. Recently, Sophie took on a new incarnation: Evie Hawtrey. Her Evie debut, And by Fire features a mystery rooted in the 1666 Great Fire of London as well as a modern storyline.
Susan McDuffie spent vast amounts of time as a child reading stories set in the past and wondering if she had been born in the wrong century. Her love of hot baths has since reconciled her to life in this era. Susan writes award winning mysteries set in medieval Scotland during the Lordship of the Isles, and recently completed a new mystery set in 1940s New Mexico. She regularly reviews books for the Historical Novel Society. She lives in Santa Fe and shares her life with a Native American artist and some cossetted cats. Her website is www.medievalmysteries.net
Susan Meissner is a USA Today bestselling author with more than three-quarters of a million books in readers’ hands and translations in eighteen languages. Her novels have been named to numerous “best of” lists, including Publishers Weekly, Booklist, Goodreads, and Real Simple magazine. A former newspaper editor, Susan makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and their yellow Lab, Winston.
Suzanne Parry received a master’s degree from Princeton University ffter studying Russian language in Moscow. She became an arms control specialist with the US Department of Defense. While at the Pentagon in the 1980s she helped negotiate the Conference on Disarmament in Europe, the first security agreement of the Gorbachev era. Suzanne raised a large family, taught university part-time, coached high school cross-country, and ran several dozen marathons on six continents before becoming a writer of historical fiction about the Soviet Union. Her first novel, Lost Souls of Leningrad, was published by She Writes Press in 2022.
Syrie James is the author of thirteen novels that have been international, USA Today, and Amazon bestsellers, Library Journal Editor’s Picks of the Year, and won numerous awards. Dubbed “the queen of nineteenth century re-imaginings” by Los Angeles Magazine, Syrie’s books are published in over twenty languages and include The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen, The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Brontë, Jane Austen’s First Love, The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen, Dracula My Love, and a Victorian historical romance series. A WGA member, Syrie has sold twenty scripts to film and television and is a commissioned and produced playwright. www.syriejames.com.
Tema Frank is the bestselling author of two business books and is now writing her first work of historical fiction, Red Rules, set just before, during and after the 1917 Russian Revolution. Her book, PeopleShock: The Path to Profits When Customers Rule, focused on how to leverage the best of digital technology and human psychology to improve sales. A digital marketing pioneer, she developed a database of 75,000 website usability testers worldwide using social media and web marketing techniques before social media existed. Her talks have delighted audiences in the US, Canada, France, South Africa, Kuwait, Mexico and Peru.
Tori Whitaker is the bestselling author of two dual timeline novels that center on strong but vulnerable women. Millicent Glenn’s Last Wish debuted in 2020, and her latest, A Matter of Happiness, shifts between modern day and the Jazz Age. Tori is an alum of Indiana University and the Yale Writers’ Workshop. She recently retired as chief marketing officer from a national law firm. She’s a Midwestern girl by birth, but she and her husband of forty-five years live near their children outside Atlanta. Tori belongs to the Historical Novel Society and has contributed to the Historical Novels Review.
Traci Odom is an American-born actor and voice artist with over 300 audiobook titles. As a veteran of stage, film and television, she has played everything from a tree to an Irish Setter to a lawyer, but as an audiobook narrator, her stable of characters has expanded to include dragons, trolls, witches and devilishly sultry and handsome humans. Traci also narrates under a pseudonym for the racier projects she relishes performing. She loves working closely with her authors and publishers, discovering new voices to inhabit and share.
Vanessa Riley is an award-winning author of Island Queen, A Good Morning America Buzz Pick and the forthcoming Queen of Exiles. Riley’s historical novels showcase the hidden histories of Black women and women of color, emphasizing strong sisterhoods and dazzling multicultural communities. Her works encompass historical fiction, historical romance, and historical mystery and have been reviewed by the Washington Post, Entertainment Weekly, NPR, Publisher Weekly, and the New York Times.
Weina Dai Randel is the author of ‘Night Angels,’ ‘The Last Rose of Shanghai,’ ‘The Moon in the Palace’ and ‘The Empress of Bright Moon,’ a historical duology about Wu Zetian, China’s only female emperor. Born in China, Weina came to America at twenty-four, when she switched to English and began to speak, write and dream in her second language. Weina is the winner of the RWA RITA Award and a National Jewish Book Awards finalist. After living in Texas, Weina now resides in Boston with her loving husband, two children, and a family of chipmunks in the backyard.