Conference Board

2023 Conference Board

Conference Chair: Jenny Quinlan

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Jenny Quinlan, aka Jenny Q, is an independent editor and cover designer specializing in historical fiction and romance. As the founder of Historical Editorial and Historical Fiction Book Covers, she has helped hundreds of authors achieve their publishing goals and now manages a team of dedicated editors. She has also been an ardent supporter of historical fiction through her book blog, Let Them Read Books. Jenny has been volunteering at HNS conferences since 2015 and served as chair for the 2021 HNS Virtual Conference. She also co-founded the Historical Novel Society Romance Chapter. In addition to history and books, Jenny loves traveling, comfort food, music, and craft beer. She lives on a farm in Virginia with her family and a spoiled rotten German Shepherd.


Program Chair: Vanitha Sankaran

VanithaSankaranVanitha Sankaran, PhD, is a medical writer, a journalist, and a novelist. Her debut historical book, Watermark: A Novel of the Middle Ages, was published by HarperCollins. She was a co-founding editor of the literary journal flashquake for its 10-year run, and has served on for-profit and non-profit Boards over the years. Currently she is working on two novels that combine science and mythology, as well as one set in ancient India. For more information, please visit her website.


Secretary & Communications Chair:  Maryka Biaggio

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Maryka Biaggio, Ph.D., is a psychology professor turned novelist who specializes in historical fiction based on real people. Doubleday published her debut novel, Parlor Games, in 2013. Eden Waits, based in the true story of a utopian community founded in the 1890s, was released by Sunbury Press in August 2019. She prides herself on crafting carefully researched and realistic novels, and her fiction has won Willamette Writers, Oregon Writers Colony, and La Belle Lettre awards. She travels extensively, is an avid opera fan, and enjoys gardening, art films, and, of course, great fiction. She lives in Portland, Oregon, that edgy green gem of the Pacific Northwest. 


Venue Chair: Christine Trent

Christine TrentChristine Trent is the author of The Deadly Hours, a historical mystery collaboration with Susanna Kearsley, C.S. Harris, and Anna Lee Huber.  She also writes Lady of Ashes historical mystery series featuring a Victorian-era undertaker, and has authored several other historical novels. Her novels have been translated into Turkish, Polish, and Czech.  She is currently at work on her next Lady of Ashes novel.


Marketing Chair: Carol M. Cram

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Carol M. Cram is the author of three historical novels: The Towers of Tuscany, A Woman of Note, and The Muse of Fire, and a contemporary novel, Love Among the Recipes. She also expresses her passion for sharing the written word, the arts, and her love of travel on two websites Artsy Traveler (www.artsytraveler.com) and Art In Fiction (www.artinfiction.com), and on The Art In Fiction Podcast on which she chats with authors who write novels inspired by the arts. In addition to writing novels, Carol is the author of over sixty college textbooks in computer applications and communications. Carol lives with her husband, painter Gregg Simpson, on beautiful Bowen Island near Vancouver, BC, where she also teaches Nia, a holistic dance/fitness practice and is co-director of Write On Bowen: A Festival for Readers & Writers on Bowen Island.


Registration Chair: Christopher M. Cevasco

CevascoPhotoChristopher M. Cevasco holds degrees in Medieval Studies and English from Rutgers College and a JD from Emory University School of Law. His debut historical novel, Beheld: Godiva’s Story, will be published by Lethe Press in April 2022. It’s a darkly twisted 11th-century thriller about Lady Godiva’s naked ride. Chris was also the founding editor of the award-winning Paradox: The Magazine of Historical and Speculative Fiction, and his own historical short stories have appeared in several magazines and anthologies. After spending ten years in Brooklyn, NY, Chris and his wife moved to Myrtle Beach, SC, where they now live with their two children.


Treasurer & Finance Chair: Jonathan F. Putnam

jonathan-f.-putnam-publicity-photo-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. 


Technology Chair: Mary K. Tilghman

MKT picMary K. Tilghman, a Maryland native, wrote her first novel after 35 years as a journalist, editor and graphic designer. Divided Loyalties, the story of an immigrant Irish teenager who serves as a battlefield nurse during the Civil War, was published in 2017 by Black Rose Writing and reissued in 2019. It was cited in CBSBaltimore’s “Five Baltimore Authors To Put On Your Summer Reading List.” It was inspired by her work as a travel writer for Frommer’s travel guides. Mary has since released Love Letters & Gingerbread, a Jane Austen-inspired Christmas novella of two sisters recounting the romances of two sisters living in 1831 Annapolis. She and her husband Ray live and sail in Maryland and are lucky to have their three grown children living nearby.


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