2018 Authors


Here is the Featured Author lineup for the 2018 Dahlonega Literary Festival!  Please scroll down to view their pictures and read their brief biographies.  We were so pleased and fortunate to have them participate in our Festival and we thank them all!

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Jacob M. Appel’s first novel, The Man Who Wouldn’t Stand Up, won the 2012 Dundee International Book Award and was published by Cargo.  His short story collection, Scouting for the Reaper, won the 2012 Hudson Prize and was published by Black Lawrence Press in 2014.  His most recent books include a novel, The Biology of Luck(Elephant Rock, 2013), an essay collection, Phoning Home (University of South Carolina Press, 2014) and a short story collection, Einstein’s Beach House(Pressgang/Butler University, 2014).  Jacob’s short fiction has appeared in more than two hundred literary journals including Agni, Colorado Review, Gettysburg Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Prairie Schooner, Southwest Review, Threepenny Review, Virginia Quarterly Review and West Branch.  His prose has won the Boston Review Short Fiction Competition, the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Award for the Short Story, the Dana Award, the Arts & Letters Prize for Fiction, the North American Review’s Kurt Vonnegut Prize, the Missouri Review’s Editor’s Prize, the Sycamore Review’s Wabash Prize, the Briar Cliff Review’s Short Fiction Prize, the Salem College Center for Women Writers’ Reynolds Price Short Fiction Award, the H. E. Francis Prize, the New Millennium Writings Fiction Award on four occasions, an Elizabeth George Fellowship and a Sherwood Anderson Foundation Writers Grant.   His stories have been short-listed for the O. Henry Award (2001), Best American Short Stories (2007, 2008, 2013), Best American Nonrequired Reading (2007, 2008), and the Pushcart Prize anthology (2005, 2006, 2011, 2014).  Jacob’s stage plays have been performed at New York’s Theatre Row, Manhattan Repertory Theatre, Adrienne Theatre (Philadelphia), Detroit Repertory Theatre, Heller Theater (Tulsa), Curtain Players (Columbus), Epilogue Players (Indianapolis), Open State Theatre (Pittsburgh), Intentional Theatre (New London), Little Theatre of Alexandria and elsewhere.

Jacob has taught most recently at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, at the Gotham Writers’ Workshop in New York City, and at Yeshiva College, where he was the writer-in-residence.  He was honored with Brown’s Undergraduate Council of Students Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2003.   He formerly held academic appointments at Pace University, Hunter College, William Paterson University, Manhattan College, Columbia University and New York University.  Jacob holds a B.A. and an M.A. from Brown, an M.S. in bioethics from Albany Medical College, an M.A. and an M.Phil. from Columbia, an M.D. from Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, an M.F.A. from N.Y.U. and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.  He also publishes in the field of bioethics and contributes regularly to such publications as the Journal of Clinical Ethics, the Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, the Hastings Center Report and the Bulletin of the History of Medicine.  His essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, Detroit Free Press, Orlando Sentinel, The Providence Journal and many regional newspapers.  Please visit Jacob’s website:  www.jacobmappel.com

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A native of Perry, Georgia, Johnathon Barrett’s Georgia roots date back to the late 1700s.  For seven generations, fresh, farm-to-table food played a unifying role in his family, and as child he was introduced, first-hand, to the ingredients, practices, and nuances of Southern fare. This rich heritage of place continues to play center stage in Johnathon’s life, particularly in regards to food and dining.  Successfully melding the classic menus of his birthplace with an expanded appreciation of other cuisines, the author, now a renowned host and cook, has called culinary-rich Savannah, Georgia his home for the last thirty years.

His book, RISE AND SHINE! is an engaging, funny, and poignant memoir about a Southern son and his life’s relationship with food. With several menus and 100 recipes ranging from down-home picnic offerings such as ‘Joyce’s Don’t Mess with Success Pimento Cheese’ to a magnificent platter of ‘Grouper Meunière,’ the author provides a wonderful array of delights for contemporary cooks. This culinary love letter to Barrett’s parents and other loved ones who raised him will make you laugh, maybe shed a tear, and fill your hearts with a renewed appreciation for the magic that can happen in a family’s kitchen.

Johnathon takes you on a delicious sojourn in his latest work, COOK & TELL: RECIPES AND STORIES FROM SOUTHERN KITCHENS, a moveable feast across Dixie showcasing the incredible food created in the homes of the South and the resulting tales that accompany those heartwarming dishes. Contributors include Mary Kay Andrews, Lilli Ann Barrett, Chuck Beard, Teri Bell, Debra Brook, Becky Altman Cheatham, and many more.

Professionally, Johnathon, a Certified Public Accountant, began his career in the area of business, and moved into the arena of nonprofit management in the late 1990s.  He currently serves as vice-president of statewide operations for Junior Achievement of Georgia.  Through his adult life, Johnathon has also lent his time and talents to a number of worthwhile projects, and has served on the boards of numerous organizations, such as The Georgia Historical Society, the Savannah Book Festival, Live Oak Regional Public Libraries, and The Rotary Club of Savannah.

Aside from work and his time spent in the kitchen, Johnathon enjoys fishing – he says he feels as if he were born with a rod and reel in his hand – as well as travel, gardening, and genealogy.  He also collects Southern paintings and art.

Please visit his website:  http://www.johnathonscottbarrett.com/



Valerie Boyd is the author of the critically acclaimed biography Wrapped in Rainbows: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston, winner of the Southern Book Award and the American Library Association’s Notable Book Award. Wrapped in Rainbows was hailed by Alice Walker as “magnificent” and “extraordinary”; by the Boston Globe as “elegant and exhilarating”; and by the Denver Post as “a rich, rich read.”

Formerly arts editor at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Boyd has written articles, essays and reviews for such publications as The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Creative Nonfiction, The Oxford American, Paste, Ms., Essence, and Atlanta Magazine. She is a professor of journalism and the Charlayne Hunter-Gault Distinguished Writer in Residence at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia, where she founded and directs the new low-residency MFA Program in Narrative Nonfiction.

Boyd is currently curating and editing a collection of Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Alice Walker’s personal journals, which span more than 50 years. Simon & Schuster/37 Ink will publish Gathering Blossoms Under Fire: The Journals of Alice Walker in late 2018.

 Please visit her website:  http://valerieboyd.com/about/


DSC_0656The Fat Boy Chronicles, Michael Buchanan’s YA novel co-authored with Diane Lang, won the National Parenting Publication’s Gold Award, Mom’s Choice Award of Excellence and the New York Champion of Character Award. Schools around the nation use the novel in their anti-bullying and childhood obesity efforts.

Buchanan also wrote the screenplay for the feature film adapted from the book. The movie won multiple awards for its impacting, yet hopeful depiction of an obese and bullied 9th grader’s world. Since its release in 2012, millions of fans around the world have seen the film. Teachers and parents in every state support both the book and movie.

In their journey with the story, the authors have spoken to and inspired thousands of students to be a hero to those who need it most. Buchanan and Lang are also guest speakers at local, state and national conferences where they discuss inspiring solutions to bullying along with the issue’s connection to academics and school climate. The pair also conducts writing/screenwriting workshops for middle and high school students.

The sequel to The Fat Boy Chronicles is underway while their next book, Treasure of the Four Lions, is completed. Buchanan is lead writer for the documentaries Spiral Bound and Nature Matters, feature-length films about the importance of the arts and nature, respectively.

Buchanan is a nationally recognized retired math and science teacher. His hobbies include diving in alligator-infested rivers searching for fossils and artifacts. His paintings are in galleries.



Emily Carpenter is the bestselling author of two thrillers, Burying the Honeysuckle Girls and The Weight of Lies (June 6). After graduating from Auburn University with a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication, she moved to New York City. She’s worked as an actor, producer, screenwriter, and behind-the-scenes soap opera assistant for the CBS shows, As the World Turns and Guiding Light. Born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, she now lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her family. Visit Emily at emilycarpenterauthor.com and on Facebook and Twitter.  Please visit her website:  http://emilycarpenterauthor.com/press/


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Sarah Creech is the author of two novels, Season of the Dragonflies and The Whole Way Home. Her short fiction and essays have appeared at various publications, including The Cortland Review, Writer’sDigest.com, StorySouth, and Literary Mama. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and children and teaches at Queens University of Charlotte.  Please visit her website: https://www.sarahcreech.org/





5736b5_b6cd0c8a4749416f85db8a554c54ee74I, Phillippe Diedrich, am the son of exiles. I grew up without extended family and lived a rather nomadic life. Now that I’m settled in Florida with a wonderful and whacky blended family, I can finally look at my life from the outside in and try and make sense of things. I think that’s where my writing comes from. It’s a blend of nostalgia and curiosity.

My goal is to try and tell stories that matter in an entertaining way. I focus on my characters and the story they want to tell. I often find myself asking them, “What would you do?” It is they who lead me on a journey that I hope makes for a fun and entertaining read.

After working as a photojournalist for about 15 years, I turned to writing. My short stories have been published in a number of literary journals and have received four Pushcart nominations. The manuscript to my young adult novel “Finding Home at the End of the World won the 2017 PEN/Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship. I have also received a Florida Artist Fellowship in Literature from the State of Florida, an Elizabeth George Foundation Grant.

I write mysteries and thrillers under the pen name: Danny Lopez. You can check out that website here:  http://www.dannylopezwrites.com/


Vince #1, 2010

For over 50 years, Vince Dooley has had an enduring impact on the University of Georgia, Southeastern Conference, and collegiate athletics across the country. Serving as head football coach at UGA from December, 1963, to Jan. 1, 1989, and as Director of Athletics from 1979-2004, he has been a man of great foresight in times of charting the future, stability in times of change, and vision in critical times that have shaped the path of college athletics.

His contributions to the University were recognized in 2008 with the dedication of the Vince Dooley Athletic Complex on Nov. 29, 2008. A special statue and garden commemorate his accomplishments along with the naming of all the south campus athletic facilities in his honor.

His contributions to coaching and athletics administration are significantly defined by his place as the only person ever to hold the presidency of both the American Football Coaches Association and the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics.

Dooley’s 25 years as head football coach earned him the distinction as the most successful coach in Georgia history. He guided the Bulldogs to a career record of 201-77-10 becoming only the ninth coach in NCAA Division I history to win over 200 games. The Bulldogs won one national championship (1980) and six SEC Championships under his direction. He was named NCAA National Coach of the Year by every major poll in 1980 and by Chevrolet-WTBS in 1982. A former president of the American Football Coaches Association, Dooley was named SEC Coach of the Year seven times and NCAA District Coach of the Year on six occasions. Under his watch as athletic director (since 1979), Georgia teams won 23 national championships (ten in his final six years) including an unprecedented four during the 1998-99 year (women’s swimming, gymnastics, men’s tennis, men’s golf). During Dooley’s tenure Georgia athletic teams won 78 SEC team championships and numerous individual national titles in both men’s and women’s sports.

He has also authored several books including two editions of Dooley’s Dawgs (with Loran Smith), My 40 Years at Georgia (with Tony Barnhart), Dooley’s Playbook: The 34 Most Memorable Plays in Georgia Football History, Dooley’s Garden: A Horticultural Journey of a Football Coach, and History and Reminiscences of the University of Georgia. Dooley has also written an article on the “two” great football teams on the Georgia campus in 1942 that was published in the Georgia Historical Quarterly in the Fall, 2014. He is currently co-writing a book on the Civil War.

In addition to his writings, he has also done hundreds of speaking engagements and appearances as well as consulting from 20010-15 with Kennesaw State University which began playing varsity football in the Fall of 2015. He is currently serving on two committees, The Georgia Historical Society as Vice-Chairman and the National Civil War Preservation Trust as chair of the Education committee.

A native of Mobile, Alabama, Dooley is married to the former Barbara Meshad of Birmingham. They have four children: Deanna Dooley, Daniel (married to the former Suzanne Maher), Denise (Mrs. Jay Douglas Mitchell), and Derek (married to the former Allison Jeffers) who is currently an assistant coach with the Dallas Cowboys. The Dooleys also have eleven grandchildren: Patrick, Catherine and Christopher Cook; Michael and Matthew Dooley (Daniel and Suzanne); Ty, Joe and Cal Mitchell; and John Taylor, Peyton, and Julianna Elizabeth Dooley (Derek and Allison Dooley).



Award-winning author, McCall Hoyle, writes young adult fiction about friendship, first love, and girls finding the strength to overcome great challenges. She is a high school English teacher. Her own less-than-perfect teenage experiences and those of the girls she teaches inspire many of the struggles in her books. She has an English degree from Columbia College and a master’s degree from Georgia State University. She lives in a cottage in the woods in North Georgia where she reads and writes every day.



Richard Jay Hutto served as White House Appointments Secretary to the Carter family and was chairman of the Georgia Council for the Arts. One of the foremost historians of the Gilded Age, he compiled and edited Accepted Fables, the autobiography of Jordan Massee, and wrote Entitled: American Women, Titled Husbands, and the Pursuit of Excess, as well as Crowning Glory: American Wives of Princes and Dukes, and Their Gilded Cage: The Jekyll Island Club Members. His last book, A Peculiar Tribe of People: Murder and Madness in the Heart of Georgia, was adapted for television by Investigation Discovery and featured Hutto as an on-air commentator. He has also appeared on-camera as a historical authority on programs from National Geographic to Glenn Beck Television.

He is a frequent international lecturer and for ten years was an elected member of the City Council of Macon, Georgia. Before the release of his current book Hutto had already signed a contract for a new one telling the story of the first American-born woman to be sentenced to die in England and the years-long successful struggle by her mother to have her released.

Rick may be reached at rick@rickhutto.com



New York Times Bestselling novelist Joshilyn Jacksonis the author of seven novels and a novella: The Opposite of Everyone, Someone Else’s Love Story, gods in Alabama, Between, Georgia, The Girl Who Stopped Swimming, Backseat Saints, A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty, and the novella My Own Miraculous. Her books have been translated into a dozen languages, won SIBA’s novel of the year, three times been a #1 Book Sense Pick, twice won Georgia Author of the Year, and three times been shortlisted for the Townsend prize.

A former actor, Jackson reads the audio versions of her novels; her work in this field has been nominated for the Audie Award, was selected by AudioFile Magazine for their best of the year list, has made the 2012 Audible All-Star list for highest listener ranks/reviews, and garnered three Listen Up Awards from Publisher’s Weekly. In 2012 Jackson began reading the audio versions of books written by other novelists, beginning with Shine Shine Shine by Lydia Netzer.

She serves on the board of Reforming Arts, a nonprofit dedicated to providing theatre infused liberal arts education to women who are under carceral control in Georgia. Through their education-in-prison and reentry programs, Reforming Arts fosters the development of critical and creative thinking skills, encouraging students to build livable lives. Joshilyn volunteers inside Lee Arrendale State Prison, teaching creative writing courses and facilitating a new literary magazine/newsletter that the students are producing. You can find out how to help support this organization HERE.


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Jessica Khoury wrote her first book at age 4, a fan fic sequel to Syd Hoff’s Danny and the Dinosaur, which she scribbled on notebook paper, stapled together, and placed on the bookshelf of her preschool classroom. Since that day, she’s dreamed of being an author.

 When not writing, Jess enjoys spending time with family, playing video games, and spending obscene amounts of time on Pinterest. She is very passionate about orcas, Spanish soccer, and choosing the perfect font.

 Jess currently lives in Greenville, South Carolina. She is the author of Origin, Vitro, Kalahari, and The Forbidden Wish.  Visit Jessica at http://www.jessicakhoury.com


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Man Martin is a two-time winner of Georgia Author of the Year. His current novel, The Lemon Jell-O Syndrome, is a finalist for the Townsend Prize and has been described as “laugh out loud funny” by Kirkus Reviews.  He also draws the comic strip, “Inkwell Forest” which is available at manmartin.glogspot.com and through email subscription.  He lives in Atlanta with his wife Nancy where he teacher high school English and coaches debate.


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Erica Gerald Mason is an indie author whose works include the paranormal novella The Place, the poetry collection I Am A Telescope: Science Love Poems, and Or Maybe The Moon, a flash fiction work based on the Edward Lear Poem The Owl And The Pussycat. Her work appears in several publications and journals, and she was a featured poet in the 2016 and 2017 Sundance Film Festival Indie Lounge. She lives in northwestern Georgia.  Please visit Erica at https://www.ericageraldmason.com




Julia McDermott is the author of domestic psychological suspense novels DADDY’S GIRL and UNDERWATER, a Top 10 Kindle Bestseller. Her debut novel was French travel/young adult romance MAKE THAT DEUX, and in between the publication of her suspense novels she penned creative nonfiction ALL THE ABOVE: MY SON’S BATTLE WITH BRAIN CANCER, a Top 20 Kindle Bestseller and Finalist for Georgia Author of the Year Award (GAYA). Her suspense novels were GAYA Nominees, and UNDERWATER was also a Nominee for the Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award – Best Novel.

Julia is also the author of “Personal Journey” article Fear and Gratitude, published by the Atlanta Journal Constitution in its Sunday edition on July 10, 2016, about her book ALL THE ABOVE,and how her son’s battle with cancer changed her life, and his.

Born in Dallas, Texas, Julia grew up in Atlanta and is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, where she studied Economics and French. During her Tar Heel days, she spent a year in the south of France. After college, she headed back to Dallas, worked in a downtown bank and later for a software developer in Richardson, Texas. While working full time, she aced her MBA courses at the University of Dallas and North Texas State University, but chose to abandon her pursuit of that degree when (at five months pregnant) she learned she was carrying twins.

After their first birthday, she “retired,” had two more children, and moved across the country four times. As her family grew, Julia successfully avoided volunteer leadership roles, but found herself constantly being drafted to write articles, create newsletters, edit and proof essays, and update websites. Once her kids began to leave the nest, she attended a variety of writing workshops and seminars, joined a writers critique group, and launched a career as a multi-genre author.

A fluent French speaker, Julia belongs to the Atlanta Toulouse Sister Cities Committee, the Atlanta Women’s Chamber of Commerce, mystery writers organization Sisters in Crime, and the Atlanta Writers Club. Julia loves reading almost all kinds of fiction and nonfiction, watching football, most kinds of art, and all things French.

She is a strong supporter of the American Cancer Society, Relay for Life, the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, and CURE Childhood Cancer. She lives in Atlanta with her husband and family. Visit her Amazon Author Page here.


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Children’s author Dana Middleton is from Dahlonega and much of the inspiration for her books has come from her experiences living on the family farm there. After moving to Los Angeles, she produced an Academy Award-nominated short film and was the recipient of a Los Angeles Theatre Ovation Award. Her children’s books include The Infinity Year of Avalon James and Open If You Dare. She still lives in Southern California with her British husband, author Peter Atkins, but tries to come home to Dahlonega as often as possible!  Please visit her website:  http://www.danamiddletonbooks.com



Steve Oney is the author of a new collection of magazine articles — A Man’s World: Portraits. The book brings together 20 profiles of fighters, creators, actors, and desperadoes written over a 40-year period for such publications as Esquire, Premiere, Los Angeles, GQ, Time, and Playboy. It features the famous (Harrison Ford), the brilliant (Robert Penn Warren), the tortured (Gregg Allman), and the controversial (Andrew Breitbart). Oney is also the author of And the Dead Shall Rise: The Murder of Mary Phagan and the Lynching of Leo Frank, now in paperback from Vintage. The book won the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award for best work on the nation’s legal system and the National Jewish Book Award for history. Early in his career Oney was a staff writer at The Atlanta Journal & Constitution Magazine. Later, he was a senior editor at Los Angeles magazine. His stories have been anthologized in The Best American Sports Writing, 2006; The Best American Magazine Writing, 2008; and Innocent When You Dream, The Tom Waits Reader. Oney was educated at the University of Georgia and at Harvard, where he was a Nieman and a Shorenstein Fellow. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, designer Madeline Stuart. He is at work on a book about National Public Radio for Simon & Schuster.



Gin Phillipsis the author of five novels. Her debut novel, The Well and the Mine, was the winner of the 2009 Barnes & Noble Discover Award. Since then her work has been sold in 29 countries.

Born in Montgomery, Al., Gin graduated from Birmingham-Southern College with a degree in political journalism. She worked as a magazine writer for more than a decade, living in Ireland, New York, and Washington D.C., before eventually moving back to Alabama.  She currently lives in Birmingham with her family.  Please visit her website: https://ginphillips.com/media-room/


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Anna Schachner has published short fiction and nonfiction in many journals and magazines, including Puerto del Sol, Ontario Review, and The Sun, and she contributes nonfiction about books and literary culture to publications such as The Guardian and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Her debut novel You and I and Someone Else was published in April, 2017 by Mercer University Press. She is a frequent guest lecturer in Emory University’s creative writing program, speaks at writing conferences and book festivals all over the South, runs a series of writing workshops for veterans, and volunteers with Reforming Arts to teach writing in the Georgia prison system. Originally from Charlotte, North Carolina, she grew up in Augusta, Georgia, and now lives in Atlanta, where she is the editor of The Chattahoochee Review.  Please visit her at annaschachner.com.


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Sonny Seals and George S. Hart founded Historic Rural Churches of Georgia in 2012 to research, document, and ultimately preserve some of the most historic and architecturally significant rural churches in the state.

In the foreword to their book, Historic Rural Churches of Georgia, President Jimmy Carter says “I am proud to be associated with the book and the movement to preserve the historic rural churches of Georgia.” The book presents the stories of forty seven rural churches from all areas of the state, with nearly three hundred color pictures of sanctuaries, grounds and cemeteries.

In 2017, the book won five major book awards including the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Historic Preservation Award and most recently the Art Libraries Society of North America LoPresti Publication Award. Visit their website at www.hrcga.org  to learn more.


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Not one to take the easy way out, the bulk of Jedwin Smith’s 57 major writing awards during his 36 years as a print journalist many times came at the expense of his flesh and blood, not to mention an occasional bit of embarrassment.

While digging for the heart of the story, it often meant he would get involved in them.

For instance, take his winning Florida’s 1974 top sports writing category for his boxing story “Requiem for a Paperweight.” Following in the footsteps of renowned sportswriter George Plimpton, Jedwin decided it would be a good idea to go three rounds in an exhibition bout against No. 1 light-heavyweight contender Mike Quarry. But that didn’t dissuade legendary boxing referee Mills Lane from having Jedwin author his memoir (Crown Publishing, 1998) Let’s Get It On!

Then there was Jedwin’s 1984 Pulitzer Prize nomination as a war correspondent for hiscoverage of the United States Marine Corps peace-keeping force in Beirut, Lebanon.

Everything was progressing normally until the Marble Tower Bar was blown up by a Hezbollah suicide bomber. Carrying broken and bleeding bodies from that burning building was no treat. Neither was taking a break from the carnage only to have a teenage terrorist suddenly step from out of the shadows and jam an AK-47 into his chest.

From battling malaria and evading Soviet and Ethiopian soldiers — and becoming a 1986 Pulitzer Prize finalist for his war coverage in East Africa — to flying a World War II fighter plane. From publicly comparing battle scars with the late-great motorcycle daredevil Evil Knievel to a near-death experience bringing Spanish gold, silver and emeralds to the surface from the fabled treasure galleon Atocha (check out his 2003 John Wiley & Sons high-seas Mel Fisher memoir Fatal Treasure).

Jedwin is a former Marine; twice joining the Corps. Yes, he’s patriotic — and willing to go to extreme lengths in search of the truth.  So much so, he didn’t think twice about traveling to Vietnam in 2001 with fellow Marines in search of the Viet Cong commander responsible for killing Jedwin’s younger brother Jeff in 1968 during the Vietnam War.  Check out his 2005 (Wiley & Sons) memoir Our Brother’s Keeper to see the gut-wrenching ending to this heart-breaking story of redemption and forgiveness that spans generations.

All of which makes for good if not nerve-wracking conversation. No wonder he’s made numerous TV guest appearances on The History Channel, National Geographic Explorer, The Travel Channel, and The Discovery Channel.

In his spare time, Jedwin likes to work with our nation’s combat veterans. In 2010 he worked with the Department of Defense in conjunction with Operation Homecoming — helping Iraq and Afghanistan combat veterans write their wartime experiences.

Whether its spending a few hours with them over the chess board, or simply lending an ear of understanding, Jedwin’s available. Please visit his website:  http://jedwinsmith.com/



Christopher Swann is a graduate of Woodberry Forest School in Virginia. He earned a B.A. in English from Washington and Lee University, an M.A. in English and creative writing from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and a Ph.D. in creative writing from Georgia State University. He has won awards and recognition from GSU, Washington and Lee University, and the Heekin Group Foundation’s Tara Fellowship for Short Fiction. He lives with his wife and two sons in Atlanta, where he is the English department chair at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School. Shadow of the Lions is his debut novel. Shadow of the Lions was a SIBA Summer 2017 Okra Pick and bestseller, an Amazon Book of the Month pick in August 2017, and one of Southern Living‘s Best Southern Books of 2017.  It is also a finalist for the 2018 Townsend Prize.

Please visit his website:  https://christopherswann.com/about/


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George Weinstein is an author of numerous novels and Officer Emeritus of the Atlanta Writers Club (AWC). His work has been published locally in the Atlanta press and in regional and national anthologies, including A Cup of Comfort for Writers. Since 2009, he has managed the Atlanta Writers Conference, a twice-yearly opportunity for writers to meet with agents and editors, advance their writing ambitions, and occasionally make their dreams come true.

You can contact George with book club invitations and speaking requests and read more about him and his written work at www.GeorgeWeinstein.com.



We would also like to give a big THANK YOU to our 2018 Regional Writers!  Here are the authors who made up our 2018 Regional Writer line-up.


Daniel T. Adams is an award-winning author, inspirational speaker, and an award-winning musician and videographer whose mission can be found within his slogan: “Presenting Facts Through Fiction”. His debut novel, Beyond The Gate is the first in a style of fiction that he calls “Inspirational Thrillers” displaying his enjoyment of a good story alongside his passion for exploring the redemptive powers of love as it shines in the darkness; the triumph of good over evil.

Daniel creatively taps into his knack and love of storytelling to deliver high-energy, humorous, and inspiring speeches which can motivate people of all ages. His talks aim at teaching his audience that each person’s life is a story to be told, and that it is up to each individual to make their life a story worth-reading – a narrative that can inspire and initiate positive change in the world.

For more information regarding Beyond The Gate, to join his mailing list, or stay up-to-date with new books underway, please visit Daniel’s official author website at www.danieltadams.com.

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Christine Bowen

Christine Bowen is an award-winning author, seasoned motivational speaker, master photographer, faith-based lyricist and published poet whose mission is to inspire the brokenhearted to hope. She is the author of six thought-provoking books and two endearing children’s books creatively encouraging her readers to discover and consider the depths of who they are. Christine’s “My Lamb” children book series has My Lamb discover that his heart will always lead him beyond his imagination. My Lamb experiences his greatest lessons from his greatest challenges.

Christine imaginatively funnels all her talents and books in powerful, high energy, humorous, and motivating speeches, which teaches people of all ages to overcome their weaknesses with their strengths, providing an enlightened journey into the potential of their psychological, social, and spiritual lives.

Christine speaks at conferences, organizations, public libraries, public schools, churches, youth groups, festivals, and specialized meetings providing workshops for all ages with her books and workbooks. Check out www.chrisitnebowen.org and share in her tapestry of stories because you are all beautiful souls.

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View More: http://loveyajess.pass.us/brownminisession

T. M. Brown is a Southern boy at heart, although he’s lived and traveled in many states far removed from his beloved boyhood roots in Georgia and Florida. He returned to North Florida several years ago while his two sons were still in school and enjoyed traveling throughout the South for business. After his youngest son went off to college, he ventured to New Orleans to complete post graduate studies. The last fifteen years, he has preached, taught and coached in Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia and Florida until his wife and he relocated outside of Atlanta where they have since retired to write, travel, and spoil grandchildren. He is the author of Sanctuary.




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A.R. Cook is a native of Riverside, Illinois, currently resides in Gainesville, Georgia, and is the author of The Scholar and the Sphinx young adult book series published by Knox Robinson Publishing, and The Scale Seekers fantasy series. She also has short stories published in the anthology “The Kress Project” from the Georgia Museum of Art, and the dark fairy-tale collections “Willow Weep No More” and “Shadows of the Oak” from Tenebris Books. Her most recent release is “Chronicles of Mirstone,” a high fantasy anthology featuring stories from six authors.

She is also a playwright and aspiring screenwriter. Her plays have been performed and work-shopped at the University of Iowa in Iowa City; Western Springs, Illinois; and Atlanta, Georgia.

Her website http://scholarandsphinx.wixsite.com/arcook


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Larry Copeland is a native Georgian and a devoted, lifelong lover of murder mysteries. He spent more than three decades roaming the South as a reporter for USA Today, The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He has also worked as a waiter, a mental hospital attendant and a hotel front desk clerk. Larry lives in a 114-year-old New South cottage in Atlanta’s Historic West End with his wife, Kim, and their friends, Vic, an Australian Cattle Dog, and Autumn, a Calico cat. His first novel, The Moaning Bench, was selected by the AJC Decatur Book Festival and the Atlanta Writers Club for the Mystery/Thriller/Suspense panel at the 2017 book festival. Larry’s second novel, The Bella Chronicles, will be published soon. Please visit his website  http://lcopelandmedia.com/books/

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thumbnail_DaveyFamily_Pixieset-037Author and artist J.S. Davey continues to mix old school wit and whimsy with timeless words of wisdom. His Proverbs and Parables series, as well as his new Fables series, have been used in school curriculum throughout North Carolina, teaching children the importance of contentment and humility.

In late 2016, J.S. Davey created his publishing imprint Fiction Forest Books and began partnering with a non-profit ministry in Uganda to help feed, house, and educate orphaned children touched by aids and war.

Read more about J.S. Davey’s books and mission, see his artwork, and subscribe to his monthly newsletter at www.fictionforestbooks.com.

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Born and raised in Arkansas, Andy Davidson is the author of In the Valley of the Sun, a 2017 nominee for the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a First Novel. Called  “a complex novel of horror, human nature, and the American South” by Publishers Weekly, In the Valley of the Sun has also been short-listed for the American Library Association’s recommended genre reads for 2018 and has been nominated, alongside recent works of Victor LaValle and Josh Malerman, as Novel-of-the-Year in the This is Horror Awards. Andy holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Mississippi and currently makes his home in Cochran, Georgia, with his wife and a bunch of cats.  Please visit his website:  http://theandydavidson.com

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Judy Fogarty lives, writes, reads, and runs on the historic Isle of Hope, in her native Savannah, Georgia. She holds a Master of Music degree from the University of Illinois and has served as Director of Marketing for private golf and tennis communities in the Savannah/Hilton Head area, including The Landings on Skidaway Island, Berkeley Hall, and Callawassie Island. She is a devoted (even rowdy) tennis fan as anyone who has ever had the pleasure (or displeasure) of watching a match with her will attest. Breaking and Holding is her debut novel. She is happily at work on her second, and as always, enjoys the invaluable support of her husband, Mike, and children, Colin and Sara Jane.

Please visit her website http://www.judyfogarty.com

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Author of the “River’s Trilogy”, J.G. Jakes was born and raised on her family’s southwest Georgia farm, where as a child she followed on the heels of her father’s feet, loving and nurturing the land he farmed. Bound by her family heritage, her formative years fostered such an appreciation for the wholesome values taught by farm life that she counts herself as a true daughter of the soil. Now as a retired school teacher, she continues her love for writing life’s lessons attuned to characters with honor, integrity and formidable challenges. Her keen interest in the lives of strong and inspiring men and women is cultivated into her books of the River’s Trilogy, as she continues to share extraordinary stories of ordinary people.  Please visit her at https://www.jgjakes.com or on FaceBook www.facebook/authorjgjakes.com

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Annette Laing calls herself a recovering academic historian. She’s a specialist in early American culture, who quit her tenured job as a professor to write YA/Middle Grades time-travel novels. Yes, she is quite mad, but she is also British, so that might explain it.  Annette recently completed The Snipesville Chronicles, her series of four novels with Confusion Press, (“Clever and charming time-travel adventure”—Kirkus Reviews). Snipesville weaves the entertaining and complex tale of three reluctant time-travelers from a boring town in Georgia who find themselves in a small town in England in apparently random years in the past. Annette is now working on a novel about time-travelers who meet during the American Revolution, and a non-fiction work about an under-recognized African-American educator in Atlanta. Annette also visits schools, libraries, museums, and teachers’ conferences to present what she calls “non-boring history” for kids, teens, families, and educators. Learn more at AnnetteLaing.com

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Jeremy Logan’s published novels:  Don’t Go There – conspiracy novel that sets the stage for my disaster trilogy.  The Rubik Memorandum – 1/15 (Part 1 of “The Disaster Trilogy”).  Smitten – 4-15-16 – A coming of age romance interrupted by a serial killer.   The Trigger Effect – Two seventeen year-olds from affluent families, found murdered execution style behind the supermarket next to the dumpster. What could they have possibly done to deserve this? Drugs were not involved.      Publisher: Deeds Publishing.

I parlayed my experience with the individuals I came across in my legal career to create the characters in my novels. My corporate specialty, disaster responder/investigator in the energy industry.

For The Trigger Effect, I wanted to collaborate with an author who could bring feminine sensitivity and pragmatism. I was fortunate to persuade author Brenda Sevcik to travel with me on this effort. She’s has an exceptional talent for character development. We’ll be putting on dramatic portrayals of scenes from our novel at our joint author appearances. The intention is to entertain those who follow us.  Please visit my Website: jeremyloganbooks.com

Author-Collaborator Brenda Sevcik:

Fiction displaying beautiful language in tandem with illuminating the strength of the human character and growth of the individual, have always called to me. In my work, I attempt to offer insight, light and hope to my readers.

It has been a pleasure collaborating on The Trigger Effect with Jeremy Logan. He has kindly showed me the process of writing a novel and uncovered a few mysteries for me. May you enjoy our combined efforts, as you unfold the many layers of intrigue in our novel.  https://sevcikbrenda.wixsite.com/website

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As drummer for the rock band Uncle Green, Peter McDade spent fifteen years traveling the highways of America in a series of Ford vans. While the band searched for fame and a safe place to eat before a gig, he began writing short stories and novels. Uncle Green went into semi-retirement after four labels, seven records, and one name change; Peter went to Georgia State University and majored in History and English, eventually earning an MA in History. In the fall of 2017 Wampus Multimedia published Peter’s first novel, The Weight of Sound.

He teaches history to college undergrads in Atlanta, plays drums for Paul Melançon & the New Insecurities, and lives in Atlanta with his family. To read more about the book, and hear selections from its soundtrack of original music, visit peterjmcdade.com.


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G. A. Sealy is originally from Queens, New York but has lived in Atlanta, Ga for the past 10 years. G.A. Sealy is a certified science, health and wellness educator and consultant, and life coach with an emphasis on weight loss. His experiences as an educator working in a variety of communities, and as a father of a young lady of color, led to his creation of The Little Scientist Series of books with the goal of “Teaching Young Minds through Science and Rhymes,” and his I Love Me Series of books which are designed to promote self-confidence, self-acceptance, love of self and health in young people. For more information about the author, or any of his books, please contact dawitpublishing@gmail.com or visit www.dawitpublishing.com

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Kimberly Simms’ literary voice is rooted in the Southern tradition of storytelling, informed by her British and Southern lineage. She is an award-winning poet and was the was the 2016 Carl Sandburg National Historic Site Writer-In Residence. In her debut book of poems, Lindy Lee: Songs on Mill Hill,  Kimberly chronicles the lives of textile workers in the Piedmont with historical accuracy and imaginative insight. The poems reflect not only the hardscrabble lives of mill workers in the early 1900s, but more so, the grit and self-reliance upon which these families subsisted and survived. The Greenville, S.C.-based author’s explorations of new roles for women, the presence of child labor and a tight community’s loss of an established way of life went on to receive praise from author Ron Rash. An experienced performer with a background in poetry slams, as well as a former schoolteacher, she is a Pushcart Prize nominee and her work is included in the South Carolina Poetry Archives at Furman University. Learn more at kimberlyjsimms.com.

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Mark Warren is a graduate of the University of Georgia with a degree in Chemistry/Pre- med. At Medicine Bow, his school in the Southern Appalachians, he teaches nature classes and survival skills of the Cherokees. The National Wildlife Federation named him Georgia’s Conservation Educator of the Year in 1980.

Mark has written extensively about nature for magazines, including:  Guernica, Blue Ridge Highlander, North Georgia Journal, and Georgia Backroads.

His published books include:

Two Winters in a Tipi (Lyons Press, 2012), a memoir

Secrets of the Forest (Waldenhouse Publishing, 2016), a 4-volume series on nature/survival

Adobe Moon (Five Star Publishing, 2017), an historical novel

Born to the Badge (Five Star, 2018), an historical novel

Mark lives with his wife, Susan, in Dahlonega, GA.  Please visit Mark’s website http://medicinebow.net

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Lawrence Weill is an author and artist living in the woods over a beaver pond in far western Kentucky. He has two novels and one non-fiction book in print. He writes short fiction, non-fiction articles and books, and poetry. His work has appeared in a wide range of local, regional, and national journals. He also is a visual artist working in graphite, oils, metal and wood.

Prior to his life as a writer and visual artist, Lawrence worked in academia, as a professor of philosophy and later as an administrator. He holds degrees in mathematics, humanities, and higher education.

Lawrence is also an avid outdoorsman and gardener. Please visit his website: www.lawrenceweill.com for updates and to enjoy his visual art. He also has a Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/lawrence.weill.1/

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Gasparilla Expo 2014 Storm Trooper and me

Kathy Williams was born in Ft Bragg, NC in 1949. Her parents met and married at the end of WWII in Austria. Her father was an Army Captain, her mother an Army nurse. She enjoyed the childhood of the traveling “Army Brat” that enriched her life and widened her horizons.

Her early careers included an unsuccessful stint as a jockey followed by a little more productive, race horse training business. She then spent nearly 22 years in the convenience store business, starting out as a third shift clerk working her way up to a District Manager position at Flash Foods, responsible for running one third of the company. During this time, as a single mother, she helped to send her three children to college. Inspired by her children and parents she completed her own BA degree in International Studies with a minor in Spanish at Georgia Southern University after fourteen years of night classes. During her last year at Georgia Southern she wrote her first book, Dear Dad.

Writing had always been a part of her life that she wanted to pursue. During high school she had been the editor of her high school paper. Upon her retirement from Flash Foods in 2014 she relocated to Blue Ridge, GA to be close to her children and grandchildren. Here she has engaged in many volunteer opportunities that included becoming the newsletter editor for the Benton MacKaye Trail Association. She also participates as a volunteer at the Blue Ridge Community Theater and is a Friend of the Fannin County Library as well as a member of the Blue Ridge Poets and Writers Group.

Some of her favorite things include running, triathlons, hiking, anything Star Wars or Lord of the Rings, Stephen Colbert, animals, Jeopardy, Game of Thrones, history, travel, reading and the Atlanta Falcons.

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