OLYVE HALLMARK ABBOTT
Olyve Abbott is published in several anthologies and magazines. She serves as Exhibit Judge for the Texas Numismatic Association (emphasis on narration). Abbott is a former certified genealogist and edited Hawkins Heritage. She is also a frequent speaker on paranormal legends and the “Golden Age of Television.” Her books include Ghosts in the Graveyard: Texas Cemetery Tales, A Ghost in the Guest Room, Texas Ghosts, and Lone Star Ghosts; TV-Live—or Dead; Allie McCrae and the West Point Half-Blood, and Come Sundown: The Life and Letters of a Frontier Woman (2014). Olyve is on the board of the Oklahoma Writers Federation. She has enjoyed a career in opera, as a symphony soloist, has appeared in 42 summer musicals, and was a cast member of Sid Caesar’s Hour and TV Specials. She graduated from Southern Methodist University and attended the Juilliard School of Music.
Alexandra Powe Allred is a former Olympic athlete, author, screenwriter, pet-lover, mother, and activist, whose most recent proactive work has been before Congress advocating for clean air with a most compelling argument that her own son suffers asthma as a result of polluted air in Midlothian, Texas, where she resides. The range of her body of written work spans all genres, including self-help books for mothers, pet owners, women in business, and sportsmen, as well as books for children. Allred does freelance writing for Mature Living, Muscle &Fitness Hers, and Columbus Parent magazines. But both her athletic and writing skills were put to the test when Sports Illustrated asked Allred to join and write about a women’s professional football team. She did just that, going all the way to the WPFL (Women’s Professional Football League) Playoffs with her team, the Austin Rage. See more at allredbooks.com
Sandra Biersdorfer, a native of East Texas, recently published her first children's book, Nana's Banana. She graduated from Sabine High School in 1989. She completed her education at Texas A&M University-Commerce with a B.S. in Psychology in 1994 and a M.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies in 1996. A former substitute teacher and church nursery worker, Sandra is a favorite babysitter and pet sitter while she embarks on her new career as a children's author. She resides in Cypress, Texas, near Houston with her son Trevor and their three cats. Her daughter Tori is a Senior at Stephen F. Austin University majoring in Music Education.
Alan Bourgeois is the author of Extinguishing the Light, Award Winning TAA Book of 2011 - Best Spiritual Fiction, God's Army to Purge Homosexuality (GAPH), GAPH 2: The Readers, and Spirit Never Dies. Bourgeois began writing when he was just a child, but as many children of his era and of the artistic background were told, “You need to study and get a real job to earn a living.” That statement from a well-meaning mother put a pause on his desire to write. In 1989, he was asked to write a short story based on an actual event in his life, published as $200 Alan. Seeing his story in print once again inspired him and since then he has written many articles, short stories, editorials and has seven books published covering many genres. In addition, Bourgeois saw a special niche market for Texas authors and founded the Texas Association of Authors to highlight the estimated 1,000 Texas authors writing on a wide range of subject matter. TAA uses seminars, an online book store, and a ‘pop up’ store that travels around the state with the TAA. Bourgeois assists new authors through his company Bourgeois Media & Consulting (BMC) www.bourgeoismedia.com.
DAVID M. BROWN
David M. Brown is an award-winning journalist with 30 years’ experience writing for newspapers and magazines. His first book, Gone at 3:17: The Untold Story of the Worst School Disaster in American History, was described by historian David Welky as the “definitive study” of the 1937 New London, Texas, school explosion. A resident of Pittsburgh, he is at work on a World War II biography of Charles E. “Commando” Kelly, a recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor, Silver Star, and numerous other commendations for excellence and heroism. David is a native Mississippian and former resident of East Texas.
John Cappello is an American Psychic Medium, radio talk show host and award-winning author from North Texas. He has been demonstrating his skills to the public since 1997 through lecturing, development workshops, and private appointments. For more information about John, go to his website at www.johncappello.com
Mary Ann Clifford
Mary Ann Clifford started out with a degree in art education but soon found her true calling was in helping four-legged creatures, particularly cats. Her experiences with animals cover a vast scope, including lobbyist for animal rights, humane society board director, volunteer at animal shelters, veterinary technician, cat groomer, trainer of therapy cats, and caregiver for cats with special needs. Mary Ann Clifford works full-time with cats in her home and in other caregivers’ homes. These cats are her focus, her passion. She trains and volunteers with some of her special cats in an animal-assisted therapy organization, writes stories, and continues her love of growing different plants in her garden room. She also enjoys creating sketches of her cats. Reflections of a Cat Whisper is a collection of the many moments she has spent with numerous felines over the years. More information is found on her website: http://www.reflectionsofacatwhisperer.com.
Amanda Danning has gained international recognition as a forensic sculptor. She has been commissioned by the Smithsonian Institution for reconstructions of Jamestown settlers, Buffalo Soldiers, two of the oldest Paleo-Americans in North America and many others. Dr. Douglas Owsley of the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) says, “It is rare to find someone whose work can help interpret and bring to life the past for so many people.” Danning's work is on display at the NMNH and more than thirty U.S. museums. Her presentations have been featured at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, fundraisers, universities, and public schools. Learn more at her website http://www.amandadanning.com
Laura Eckroat resides in Fort Worth, Texas, with her husband Steven and their two rescued dogs, Muffin and Shadow. Ms. Eckroat is an elementary school teacher and the author of the 2010 North Texas Book Winner, The Life of Bud, A Simpler Time, Texas Association of authors 2013 Best Children's Book Age 7+ Under, Went Out to Get a Donut: Came Home with a Muffin and What's in the Corner? A Muffin "Tail."
Sharon Ellsberry of Athens, Texas, has authored four children’s books, The Spaniel Family Goes to the State Fair, The Spaniel Family’s Pen Pal Adventure, The Mystery of the Spaniel Family’s Dog House, and The Spaniel Family’s Thanksgiving. Ellsberry is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Her Pen Pal book was honored at the North Texas Book Festival in 2008 as a finalist for the Children’s Book Award. In 2010 her Dog House Mystery was suggested for the master reading list for the Texas Bluebonnet Award. Her State Fair book is now in its third printing. She really enjoys doing school visits and has been a guest author at over two hundred schools. Sharon has entertained thousands of children in her travels. Her author visit programs include power point presentations, creative storytelling, fun skits performed by students, and interactive discussion on the writing and editing process. See the books at gospaniels.com
Patti Foster definitely has “stick-with-it-ness!” On June 18, 2002, Patti, a former radio personality who had a real zest for life, was severely injured in a horrific traffic wreck and suffered traumatic brain injury, along with fractures all over her body. For six weeks, her life hung in the balance as she lay in a coma. For more than a decade, Patti's focus was radio, acting as morning show host at WFRN, an inspirational Christian station broadcasting in Indiana and Michigan. Before this, she was the afternoon show host at KVNE/KGLY covering Texas and Louisiana. As a college student majoring in music education, Patti traveled abroad to Australia, the British Isles, the heart of Mexico, and Eastern Europe providing music for crusades and teaching conversational English through music. Today, as a traumatic brain injury survivor, Patti shares her story in the hope it will inspire others. Her books include Getting Things Done: Successful Women Speak; Amazing Faith; and Modern-Day Miracles. As she leans into life, Patti lays hold of every moment to live her motto: M.A.D. Now! (Make A Difference Now!) Visit Patti at www.pattifoster.com
Fred Funk was born in Denton county, the son of a Methodist minister and an accountant. Fred originally followed in his father's footsteps and became a minister, but later switched his career to accounting and finance since his mother's occupation was more to his liking. He studied at North Texas State University, but transferred to East Texas State to pursue a degree in pre-theology with a minor in psychology. His first book, Mystery and Moonshine, is based on his experiences as pastor of a Methodist church in a small East Texas town. He had never written anything, but he liked to tell stories. After telling stories as the program for the Denton Noon Kiwanis where he is a member, several folks pushed him to write a book and now he cannot stop. He has three published works, one currently at the publisher's, one in the hands of his editor, and one in the works. Fred lives in Denton County with Dana, his wife of 54 years, along with two crazy cats that allow them to share the house. They have three children, seven grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.
Christine Gardner is Food Editor for the Tyler Morning Telegraph. A graduate of Le Cordon Bleu, Gardner served as an apprentice at Mami Camilla Restajurant in Sorrento, Italy and later was a Caterer and Special Events Coordinator for Galley Gourmet. Previously she worked in promotion and marketing for Fox Sports television for five years, after four years there as a senior writer. Freelance writing included Hollywood One on One, as a feature reporter covering screenings and junkets in advance of movie premieres.
Gardner's book Favorite Flavor: Basic Ingredients, Techniques and Tips that Bring Great Flavor to Life is a "a deliciously complete compilation" of some of Christine's all-time favorite recipes. Filled with tips, advice and easy to follow instructions, Favorite Flavor makes cooking and entertaining with ease - an attainable goal for any home cook.
A native East Texan and graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, Joan Hallmark began her television career at KTVT Channel 11 in Dallas, where she was host of the award-winning "The Joan Hallmark Show." For almost 40 years Joan has been at KLTV 7 News in Tyler, where her "Proud of East Texas" has long been an audience favorite. She's also the producer of "Freedom Fighters," which profiles military men and women both past and present. Joan's features have aired on ABC's "Good Morning America," "ABC News One," and various ABC stations across the country. In addition, Joan has anchored KLTV newscasts and created the station's “MedTeam" report, awarded the State's top medical reporting awards. Her news reports have and features have also won Associated Press awards and national awards from American Cancer Society and the Vietnam Veterans Association. Joan has interviewed hundreds of "Headliners," including both Presidents Bush, Nancy Reagan, John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, George Foreman, Hank Aaron, Carol Burnett and many more. She also was selected to cover Queen Elizabeth's visit to Texas. Joan is the author of the book Sound Bites, tracing her 40 years in television and her interviews with presidents, movie, TV, and music stars, sports stars, and our country's heroes. In 2011, Joan was inducted into the Lone Star Emmy Silver Circle.
Heather Hepler is the author of several young adult novels including the upcoming Frosted Kisses (Scholastic 2016), Love? Maybe (Dial, 2012), The Cupcake Queen (Dutton, 2009), and others. Her novels have been acclaimed by both critics and fans and have received numerous awards. In addition to writing she loves fat cats, tomato soup, building with Legos, traveling, reading, and vultures (seriously they are cool). She is committed to helping teens and tweens learn to love reading and writing as much or more than she does. When not combing the planet for the best lemon meringue pie, she can be found online at www.heatherhepler.com.
Janna Hill is an East Texas author of fiction, short stories, and poetry. Most of her career was spent as a licensed nurse before dabbling behind the literary scenes as a ghost writer. In January 2012 she decided to step out of the shadows and attach her own name to her efforts and hasn't regretted the choice for one moment. Janna is a native Texan. Her web site is http://jannahill.net
Captain Marshall Allen is the co-author of Swingman. After 38 years with the Fort Worth Fire Department, Capt. Allen retired with high honors. The city created the Allen Award for future fire fighters who display great courage and integrity. Allen grew up against great odds, abused both in foster care and with his adoptive parents yet went on to become the first black fire fighter in Salt Lake County, Utah, and one of the first black fire fighters in Forth Worth. In 2001, Allen was paralyzed in a freak bicycle accident. A full quadriplegic, he continued to serve with the Ft. Worth Fire Department as a fire marshal, driving his own vehicle, working full time, living alone and beating all the medical odds against him. His is a story of perseverance, dogged determination, and hope. Swingman, the movie, recently aired on KERA; watch for repeat showings on that PBS station.
Jeannie Faulkner Barber
Jeannie Faulkner Barber was born and raised in Marshall, Texas. There are two passions in her life: writing and drag racing. She even met her husband, Monte, at the drag strip and can boast of winning the most trophies and cash at the pulse-pounding sport. Jeannie is an officer for East Texas Writers Association (ETWA) and member of North East Texas Writers Organization (NETWO). She lives in Kilgore, Texas, with Monte. They have three sons and nine grandchildren. Taste of Fire is her 2007 awarding NaNoWriMo manuscript. She won 2011 NaNoWriMo with the sequel, as well completing 2012 with a compendium of writings. She co-authored Destiny Never Sleeps - Book One, Quest of the Two Queens, with Bernadette Thompson Martin of South Carolina and Scent of Double Deception with Ann Alan. Her most recent publication is 'Tis the Season, an anthology by ETWA which showcases four of her works. See more at jeanniebarber.com
E. R. BILLS
Born in Fort Worth and raised in Aledo, Texas, E. R. Bills has a degree in journalism from Texas State University. He does free-lance editorial and travel writing for publications around his home state and is the author of Texas Obscurities: Stories of the Peculiar, Extraordinary, and Nefarious and The 1910 Slocum Massacre: An Act of Genocide in East Texas.
N. E. BrOWN
Having been the business world for more than 40 years, N. E. Brown retired and began pursuing a new career in writing. Wanting to bring the ideas of a younger generation, Ms. Brown collaborated with her daughter, S. L. Jenkins, to bring about a mystery that was both historical and suspenseful. Since many of their ancestors arrived in Galveston at the turn of the century, they continued to call Texas their home. Their combined efforts bring exciting and historical tales at the turn of the century to life in four epic books. Brown is currently working on her fifth novel, Carson Chance, Private Investigator (November 2014). Read more at www.nebrown.com
Evelyn M. Byrne
Born in Dublin, Ireland, Evelyn M. Byrne immigrated to the United States at the age of two. She grew up in Chicago, spent seven years in Arizona, and has resided in East Texas for the last 17 years. Byrne served as president of the East Texas Writers Association from 2007 through 2011 and is currently serving as treasurer. She is also a member of the East Texas Writers Guild, North East Writers' Organization, Romance Writers of America, Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal, and the Kiss of Death. Evelyn M. Byrne, Best Selling Author and owner of White Bird Publications. Born in Dublin, Ireland, Evelyn grew up in Chicago, Illinois, and currently resides in East Texas with her husband, Kevin and Old English Sheepdogs, Bridie and Maggie. She writes a paranormal romance series The Daughter of Prophecy and has a paranormal serial The Cabin. Visit her website at http://www.evelynmbyrne.com or
Naomi Mitchell Carrier graduated from the University of North Texas with a degree in Psychology and Education. Her master’s in Education Leadership was earned at the University of St. Thomas and post grad work has been done at Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her continuing education includes the University of Houston, Tulane University, and the Universities of Texas at Winedale, El Paso and San Antonio. Carrier is a veteran classroom teacher of American and Texas history, music, literature, and theatre. Her book, Go Down Old Hannah, The Living History of African American Texans is a collection of 15 plays commissioned for historic sites around the State of Texas through her theater, Talking Back Living History Theatre. Carrier is the Head of School at St. James Episcopal School and also directs the Performing Arts Workshop at St. James School, is best known as the playwright and composer for the award-winning musical, I Am Annie Mae. Her work has received grants and awards from the National Park Service, National Freedom Center, National Endowment for the Humanities, Texas Commission for the Arts, Texas Composers Forum, Humanities Texas, The City of Houston, The Brown Foundation, The Meadows Foundation, Texas Parks & Wildlife, and The Houston Endowment. Visit her web site at http://www.naomimitchellcarrier.com
April Coker discovered her love of writing when she was just ten years old and began to create short stories which she would give to friends. She edited her high school and college newspapers but put her writing on hold when she married, began a teaching career, and had a family. She wrote some professional articles as well as a monthly newsletter for teachers during her career, but once her children were grown, she wrote and published her first book, fulfilling a lifelong dream. Her second book fulfilled her dream of publishing a novel. April has retired from teaching but continues to write at the home in East Texas that she shares with her husband and three Boston terriers. When she isn’t writing she enjoys decorating, junking, hunting, camping in her vintage trailer, and visiting zoos.
Before becoming a full time author, multi award-winning author Bob Doerr specialized in military counterintelligence and criminal investigations for 28 years. His published works include six mystery/thrillers that have garnered a variety of awards and a novella for middle grade readers. A winner in the 2013 Eric Hoffer Awards, Bob was also selected by the Military Writers Society of America as its Author of the Year for 2013. Bob resides in Garden Ridge, Texas. Read more at http://www.bobdoerr.com
Award winning author Ann Everett frequently performs humorous presentations for businesses, corporations, and not-for-profit organizations. She's an active member of NETexas Writers' Organization and a top-ten reviewer on thenextbigwriter.com. When Ann’s not writing, she spends her days listening in on people’s conversations at the local Wal-Mart, beauty shop, Goodwill, and numerous other gathering spots. She draws from that research to pen her mystery and romance novels full of southern sass and Texas twang. Five things you won’t know about Ann by reading her bio:
1. She’s been married to the same man since dirt.
2. She loves shopping at GoodWill.
3. A really sharp pencil makes her happy.
4. She hates talking on the telephone.
5. She’s thankful wrinkles aren’t painful.
Check out her great books at http://www.anneverett.com
Beth Fehlbaum is the author of the Kirkus Starred Reviewed Big Fat Disaster; Courage in Patience, and Hope in Patience, which was named a 2011 YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers. Truth in Patience, which rounds out The Patience Trilogy, is as yet unpublished. Find out more about her books at
Best-selling author John Foxjohn epitomizes the phrase "been there, done that." Born and raised in the rural East Texas town of Nacogdoches, he quit high school and joined the Army at 17. Foxjohn has also served as a Viet Nam veteran, Army Airborne Ranger, policeman and homicide detective, retired teacher and coach, now he is a multi-published author. John’s accolades as a writer are piling up. He has earned many awards in writing including the prestigious Romance Writer’s STAR award. John is the only writer who has been asked to present a program at the Mystery Writers of America national convention and the Romance Writer’s of America’s national convention. On March 13, 2014, John will make this accolade a triple play as he speaks at the EPICon (Electronic Publisher Industry Coalition) national convention. John has been voted author of the year and mentor of the year. Besides all of this, John is also a nominee for the Mystery Writers of America’s vaulted Edgar Award. John is the author of Cold Tears, a novel voted the best mystery in the world by readers, but is quick to say the best is still to come. In August 2013, his blockbuster true crime Killer Nurse hit the stands. This is the true story of Kimberly Clark Saenz, the DaVita nurse in Lufkin who killed patients by injecting them with bleach. Read more about Foxjohn's best selling books at http://www.johnfoxjohnhome.com
Pat describes herself as Texan to the bone and many of her characteristics prove it. Outgoing and a little boastful about being Texan, she meets few people who are strangers for long. She laughingly says she speaks two languages: Texan and a little English. She dabbled in writing for years, but recently became serious about developing it as a marketable talent. She belongs to the Red Hat Society, Friends of the Library and its Book Club, the Writers Guild of Texas, Northeast Texas Writers Organization, and she participates in critique groups. Interest other than writing include family, pets, reading, crafting and traveling. She has 30 years invested in genealogy research. Dear Aunt Peggy, Emails from Petey Pup was published in 2013, and her second novel, Amelia’s Gift, is planned for release in late 2014.
During a 30-year career in journalism and communications, Jeff Hampton has covered election campaigns and the civic and business leaders who have shaped the greater Dallas region. His bylines have appeared in publications ranging from The Dallas Morning News to The New York Times. He is the author/editor of several regional and corporate history books, and is co-creator and author of "The Last Cowboy," an award-winning one-person stage play. He is a graduate of Baylor University. After living almost 30 years in the East Dallas neighborhoods that helped inspire his novel Grandpa Jack, Hampton and his wife LeAnn now reside in the old downtown district of Garland just northeast of Dallas. For more information, visit jeffhamptonwriter.com
JOE B. HEWITT
Joe B. Hewitt started writing as a newspaper reporter for the Lima, Ohio, News. He covered the police beat, courthouse beat, and was an investigative reporter. He owned and published two Texas weekly newspapers, and editor and publisher of another. His newspaper career ended when he was called into the ministry. The first several years after seminary, while pastoring a church, he also worked as public relations director for a church-supported non-profit organization. In that capacity he wrote teacher in-service training manuals on drug abuse, designed catalogs, edited a monthly magazine, wrote and voiced public service radio announcements. He ghost-wrote a book for a famous radio preacher, and wrote curriculum for Bible teachers for LifeWay, the publishing arm of the Southern Baptist Convention. He wrote two nonfiction, religious books, one of which sold 45,000 copies, and three novels. A memoir was released on July 12, 2014. Hewitt is a member of the Texas Association of Authors. Read more at http://www.joebhewitt.net