2012 DLF Regional Authors
We are proud to announce this year’s Regional/Local author line-up. We still have spots available if you’d like to purchase a table at this year’s festival! For more information about regional/local author booths, please see the bottom of this page.
Dr. Leverett Butts, a Georgia native, grew up in Newnan and Douglasville. He attended college at the University of West Georgia in Carrollton, receiving his Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and his Master’s degree in English. He then received his Ph. D. in American Literature from Georgia State University in Atlanta. Dr. Butts has taught high school and college and is currently an assistant professor of English at Gainesville State College in northeast Georgia. His writing has received awards from the University of West Georgia and TAG publishing. Emily’s Stitches: The Confessions of Thomas Calloway and Other Stories is his first collection of prose and poetry. He divides his time between Gainesville and Temple, Georgia where he lives with his wife and son, their Jack Russell terrier, and two antisocial cats.
Sue Cass came to Atlanta in 1968 as a flight attendant for a major airline. She has made Georgia her home ever since. Now widowed and retired her life is spent serving the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. In 2003, she founded C.E.O. Elah Ministries, Inc. It is a 501c3 non-profit Christian ministry that offers hope, healing, and deliverance to hurting souls. All proceeds from the sale of her books support this ministry. She has spoken in many churches across this country. She is a prayer minister and does whatever else the Lord calls her to do.
Joe Cobb Crawford, PE is a professional electrical engineer. Two years ago Joe set out on a path he terms “Career Detour.” That path has already gained him recognition as a rising southern novelist. His second book, When The Chickens Come Home To Roost, was a 2012 candidate for “The Okra Picks”, a SIBA distinction recognizing fine southern books written by southern authors. Joe’s first book, The Poetry Company: Memoirs of a Chicken Catcher, is also a North Georgia favorite. The poignant story of a teen boy’s struggles in the 1960s south pays tribute to a forgotten group of workers, the Chicken Catchers. Joe’s books share a common setting, Southern Appalachia of the 1960s. Each has more twists and turns than Cripple Creek. Currently, Joe is working on his third book, a collection of Southern Appalachian Short Stories.
K. M. Deal’s debut novel, The Messenger, was published in January, 2012. The thriller offers a new twist with an Arab protagonist who has allegiance to the West but ties to his heritage. Deal lived and travelled in the Middle East which gives her perspective on the culture and people. A graduate of Oglethorpe University, Deal spent twenty years in the corporate world as a business analyst. She wrote fiction on the side with the ultimate dream of completing a novel. Her short stories and essays have been published in literary journals, local newspapers, and Southern Living Magazine. As a speaker for book clubs and women’s groups, she emphasizes the importance of sharing stories and exploring other cultures. A full time writer, mother, and grandmother, Deal divides her time between North Georgia and the Florida Panhandle. You can visit her website/blog at: TheWriteDeal.com.
Janie Dempsey Watts: Born in Chattanooga, Janie Dempsey Watts grew up riding horses at her family farm in Woodstation, GA. Her curiosity about most everything led to a writing career. Her non-fiction stories have been in the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books and other collections. Her column “Boomerang” is a regular feature of “Catoosa Life Magazine.” Her short fiction has been published in literary magazines and anthologies, and her first novel, “Moon Over Taylor’s Ridge,” was published in August. After living in California for many years, she returned to northwest Georgia to live near the family farm. She is married and has two grown sons. When not playing with her horses at the farm, she can be found at her desk writing with her American bulldog, Bella, supervising. For a complete list of her published works, please visit her at: www.janiewatts.com.
Weldon B. Durham lives in Covington, Georgia. This author, actor, stage director and theatre historian studied theatre at San Jose State University and at the University of Iowa, and he taught at the University of Arkansas and the University of Missouri. His family in Western Oklahoma where he grew up included two brothers, and he has realized that his heroine, Grace Lampley, is the sister he never knew. Tides of Grace is his first novel.
A. Shane Etter: Shane is a native son of Mississippi. He is proud of the great literary heritage of his home state and that some of the finest 20th Century authors, like William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, John Grisham and others have called home. Although Shane is primarily a self-taught writer he has taken a number of writing workshops by such noted authors as Mary Helen Stefaniak, Kaylie Jones, Nancy Knight, and two-time Pulitzer nominee, Jedwin Smith. Shane makes his home in north Georgia, where he is currently working on the next Patrick Dylan and Trudy Price adventure and where he lives with his wife, Ellen, along with their two standard poodles, Hawk and Pearl. He is the president of his own small high technology company and collects books and wine; he also enjoys working out in his spare time.
Akaeda Flame: Since she could hold a pen, the literary world has perpetually ensnared the young writer known as Akaeda Flame. At 15, she completed her debut novel, Champion, the first installment of The Firewing Trilogy. Although little is known about the true identity of this blooming novelist, legend has it that she spends most of her days buried between the pages of fantasy novels and science textbooks. Sometimes, she can even be spotted meandering among the humans in a Taekwondo dojo, training with her students and friends, plotting out her next great adventure. Check out www.akaedaflamebooks.yolasite.com to learn more about Flame and her world of Combat Mages.
J Miller Freeman, better known to his friends as Jack, is a physician accustomed to a fast paced high energy environment as he practices medicine in one of the state’s busiest emergency departments. Jack moved to Georgia after completing his residency training at East Carolina University. He currently lives in Cumming with his wife, son, and step-sons. Prior to moving to Georgia, Jack lived in North Carolina where he received a B.S. in zoology form North Carolina State University, and his M.D. from East Carolina University. In 2012, his first book, Mystery of the Crypts, a young adult thriller was published. Mystery of the Crypts, is the first book in the “Creak in the Night” series. It is a page turner that’s as fast paced as any shift in the emergency room. For his writing, Jack not only incorporates the energy he has from practicing emergency medicine, he also writes in a style similar to the books he enjoyed growing up. “I wasn’t the fastest of readers. Though I did like to read a good story, I often felt that many books were too long for me to pick up during the school year. I gravitated toward shorter literary works.” As such, Mystery of the Crypts not only has colorful characters, and strong use of dialogue, it has a length meant to be undaunting to even the most timid reader. Jack is already working on the second book for the “Creak in the Night” series.
Connie Hannah began writing when she was a student at Beulah Elementary School in Douglasville, Georgia. Her first book was titled “Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head” and was a class favorite. She always had a love for writing, but moved on in her life and worked for many years in public service. At the ripe old age of 49, Hannah woke up on a brisk spring day and told herself, “Today, I will tell my story.” One year later, The Suitcase of Secrets” was finished, edited, published, and has been receiving excellent reviews and sparked a lot of conversation. The Suitcase of Secrets is a labor of love for Ms. Hannah and she is proud to share her struggles and triumphs. Hannah lives in Cartersville, Georgia with her husband and 10-year-old twins.
Barbara Hutson currently owns and operates Stillwater Farms, a horse farm located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Dawsonville, Georgia with her husband, Byron. She owns horses of her own, boards horses for others, and shares the equine experience with horse-lovers of all ages in unique camps, lessons, visits and through her writing.
Regina Jeffers: Regina Jeffers, a public classroom teacher for thirty-nine years, considers herself a Jane Austen enthusiast. She is the author of several Austen-inspired novels, including Darcy’s Passions, Darcy’s Temptation, Vampire Darcy’s Desire, Captain Wentworth’s Persuasion, The Phantom of Pemberley, Christmas at Pemberley, The Disappearance of Georgiana Darcy, Honor and Hope, and the upcoming The Mysterious Death of Mr. Darcy. She also writes Regency romances: The Scandal of Lady Eleanor, A Touch of Velvet, A Touch of Cashémere, A Touch of Grace, and The First Wives’ Club. A Time Warner Star Teacher and Martha Holden Jennings Scholar, Jeffers often serves as a consultant in language arts and media literacy. Currently living outside Charlotte, North Carolina, she spends her time with her writing, gardening, and her adorable grandson. www.rjeffers.com
Mary E. Kingsley is a native of Kingsport, Tennessee, tucked up in the northeastern part of the state in the Holston Valley, not far from the Virginia and North Carolina state lines. The surrounding hills of southern Appalachia not only defined the local culture and shaped her childhood, but also became the inspiration for stories she’s been writing from a young age. She enjoys bringing the flavor of this unique region to her reading audience. Mother of three grown children, she now lives in Washington, DC, with her husband, a dog and two cats. In addition to writing, she loves yoga, walking along the C & O Canal, bike riding, growing flowers and vegetables, and occasional painting and paper making. Angel is her first novel. Visit her website at: www.maryekingsley.com
Todd Lavender: Born and raised in Rutherford County, North Carolina, author Todd Lavender has had a life-long interest in art (particularly drawing). This interest carried him to obtain his BFA in Graphic Design from Western Carolina University. Working as a textile designer, Todd has self-published several local (Rutherford County) history books over the past 15 years, including a 400 page history of his church, Corinth Baptist Church. In 2007, this church history was submitted for a state-wide competition and was awarded first place for best church history publication. Todd has had a long time interest in publishing a children’s book, and actually wrote the story “Farmer Fred and his Hen So Red” about 18 years ago. After working on the illustrations for the book, Todd eventually placed the book idea on the back burner to pursue more history publications. Last year, Mr. Lavender dusted off the material for Farmer Fred, added various changes to the illustrations, and completed his work. At last, in 2012, this long term labor of love became a reality when “Farmer Fred and his Hen So Red” was published by Akmaeon Publishing. Todd still resides in Rutherford County with his wife Amy and two children Addie and Ben. He continues his career in Textile Design, but has big plans for a series of children’s books which will continue the idea of teaching children valuable ethics with humor.
Lee Kelly was born in Alabama and spent endless hours listening to the stories told by her wonderful parents. Ever the creative type, she began embellishing their stories and told the revised, more dramatic version to the family cats, dogs, and horses. She began writing short stories and poems at an early age. Her family moved to Georgia where she obtained degrees in biology, medical science, and healthcare management. She has worked in the pharmaceutical and medical field for more than twenty years.She currently lives near Atlanta, Georgia with her three cats. For more information, please visit her at www.leekellynovels.com
Deborah Malone: Deborah has worked as a freelance writer and photographer, since 2001, for the historical magazine “Georgia Backroads.” She has had many articles and photographs published during this time. Her writing is featured in “Tales of the Rails” edited by Olin Jackson. She has also had a showing of her photographs at Floyd Medical Center Art Gallery as well as winning several awards. Her debut cozy mystery “Death in Dahlonega”, a winner in the ACFW Category Five Writer’s Contest, is now available. She is a current member of the Georgia Writers Association, and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. Deborah has been nomiated for Georgia Author of the Year 2012. She has an established blog, Butterfly Journey, where she reviews Christian Fiction. You can also catch her at Sleuths and Suspects, where she reviews mysteries. She also contributes to the Cozy Mystery Magazine every other Tuesday.
Elizabeth Matson: An Air Force brat, historian/re-enactor Elizabeth Matson, developed a curiosity of histories, cultures, & sports early on. She later studied these interests at Central Arizona College & University of Arizona, graduating with degrees in both Arts & Education before embarking on a teaching career. Her interests continue to be nurtured among friends at living history re-enactments, museum explorations, or in debates over whose team is better, pouring onto the pages of her novels (Tuffy, The Fav0r, Pieces of the Past, & The Contract). She is the proud mother of a son, Joshua, & currently resides in the North Georgia mountains with her husband Rocky & cats, Drew Beez, & Elwood Robert. For a peek into her tales, visit, www.ElizabethMatson.com
George McClellan: George McClellan is an army veteran and is a retired Special Agent of the NCIS. He has 35 years of law enforcement experience including five years with the California Highway Patrol and one year with the International Police Task Force in the former Yugoslavia, and local law enforcement. He is an amateur historian, bagpiper, motorcyclists, and world traveller and member of the Robert Burns Club of Atlanta, Ga.,The Burns World Federation, The St. Moritz Toboggan Club, Assoc. of Former Intelligence Officers, and a Fellow with the Scottish Society of Antiquities. McClellan and family moved to Georgia from the United Kingdom in 1987 and retired from service at NAS Atlanta, Marietta, Ga. in 1990. He and his wife have resided in Ellijay, Ga. since 1999, where they are active in community projects. Web: www.bygeorgeonline.com
Linda J. McCoy is the co-author of the inspirational novel I Heard a Voice Say, “Never throw in the Towel”. After her son, Darien Smith, was injured, Linda McCoy gave up a career as a cosmetologist to be his full-time caregiver. Linda fought for his life. “I gave up my life so that my son might have one.” Together, with the help of God and the people He put in their lives, they were able to persevere and demand justice for Darien from the healthcare system. Linda McCoy is a dynamic motivational speaker available to speak at schools, churches, hospices, corporations, volunteer organizations, and other private groups to share her story in hopes of saving lives and encouraging others to “never throw in the towel”. Although Ms. McCoy is a published author, her primary goal is to bring a word of encouragement through her signature speech, “Taking Down Your Giants” or any other topic on faith.
Johnnetta McSwain, the author of RISING ABOVE THE SCARS is the true account of Johnnetta McSwain’s triumphant life story. Born to an alcoholic mother and an absent father, the odds were unceremoniously stacked against her even as she drew her first breath. By the innocent age of five, she was viciously raped and incessantly battered by her three uncles while in the custody of her grandparents. Rising Above the Scars, is written and created from the personal life experiences of Johnnetta McSwain, an African-American woman who overcame a vicious cycle of poverty, domestic violence, sexual, mental and physical abuse and self destruction.
Joyce Oscar & Donald Reichardt: Joyce Oscar spent nearly thirty years in the field covering news at multiple television stations. After beginning her career in radio, she was one of CNN’s first video journalists, moving on to anchor and produce news for several television stations. Joyce has been a reporter for the top-rated television station, WSB-TV in Atlanta, receiving broadcasting awards, including regional Emmy nominations. Donald Reichardt was a newspaper reporter and English teacher before launching a career as an award-winning editor of a corporate newspaper. He was a speech writer for several CEOs and director of communications for Fortune Fifty companies, including executive director of advertising and brand management at BellSouth. He has written many by-lined articles for magazines and newspapers.
Katherine Scott Crawford is a former newspaper reporter and outdoor educator, and an award-winning writer and college English teacher. Winner of a North Carolina Arts Award, she is the author of Keowee Valley, an historical adventure set in the Revolutionary-era Carolinas and within the ancient boundaries of the Cherokee country (including North Georgia). A native South Carolinian, Crawford has spent most of her life outdoors—hiking, river paddling, and backpacking throughout the Southern Appalachian backcountry. An unabashed travel junkie, she’s also spent time writing and exploring in Alaska, Montana, Costa Rica, Italy, Panama and Scotland. Despite the siren call of her far-too-crisp passport, the American South remains her favorite home base. She lives in the mountains of Western North Carolina with her husband, young daughter, and favorite trail partner—her 90 lb dog, Scout. She’s at work on her next historical novel.
William Arthur Sirmon (Oct 13 1894 – Mar 12, 1971) was the youngest of 4 children born to William S. Sirmon and Sally Florice Chavers in Bluffspring, Florida. His mother died when he was 5 in 1900 at the age of 32. His father would move to Prichard, Alabama, on the outskirts of Mobile and would live to see his son become a decorated hero of World War I. He would even get to read his son’s day-to-day account of that War at its publishing in 1929 before his death in 1931 at the age of 65. ”That’s War” and many accompanying newspaper articles on the author are an invaluable look at the “esprit de corps” of the “American Doughboy” and through the eyes of a young man who typified the best and brightest and bravest that was at the heart and soul of America herself. For more information on William Arthur Sirmon, visit: thatswar.com
Dr. Lin Stepp is a native Tennessean, a business-woman, and an educator. She is on the faculty part-time at Tusculum College, and her business background includes over 20 years in marketing, sales, production art, and regional publishing, with editorial and writing experience in regional magazines and in the academic field. Delia’s Place, published by Canterbury/Blair, is the fourth book in her Smoky Mountain novel series preceded by For Six Good Reasons, Tell Me About Orchard Hollow, and The Foster Girls. A Smoky Mountain hiking guide by Stepp and her husband, titled The Afternoon Hiker, is also being published Fall 2012 by Overmountain Press. [Website: www.linstepp.com]
Tim Westover: Tim Westover, a graduate of Davidson College and the University of Georgia, lives in suburban Atlanta. Westover is an established writer in the International Language Esperanto; his short story collection Marvirinistrato [Mermaid Street] (Literaturo.net) was published in 2009, and his stories appear in translation in the anthology Star in a Night Sky (Francis Boutle Publishers, UK). Born in the north, educated in England, and frequent visitor to Russia, he found his home in the North Georgia mountains, where his first novel, Auraria, is set. In addition to writing, Westover busies himself with programming, playing the clawhammer banjo, and raising his one-year-old daughter to be a modern American eccentric. Visit his personal blog at http://www.timwestover.com.
D.A. Winstead: International author D. A. Winstead is a former senior government official at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, DC. Focusing in economic and security development policy, he traveled extensively during his twenty-two years of civil service . . . mostly in post-conflict nations in Africa, Eastern Europe, and Asia. Currently enjoying a slower life in Atlanta, Georgia, he writes fiction based on his travels and embellished by his experiences and cultures, old folklore and superstitions, and religious fervor. He made frequent visits to South Africa over the decade following the abolishment of apartheid. There–in Cape Town, a week before Christmas, 2009–he was inspired to write Southern Crosses: An Africa Ghost Story. It was released in July, 2012. The author’s first historical fiction, The Seventh Priest: Offering Day is set in Sudan where he lived briefly. It was released in 2011. D.A. Winstead’s third and fourth historical fictions will be set in Eastern Europe. Wiggle Room for the Unabated, set in Latvia, will be released in early 2013 and Dragon Bone, set in Croatia, will be released in late 2013.
This year’s regional authors slots are full! We’d like to thank everyone who applied and look forward to seeing all of our regional authors at this year’s Dahlonega Literary Festival.