Read up on the speakers we have confirmed for this year’s events!
Desiree Cooper is a former attorney, Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist and Detroit community activist whose fiction dives unflinchingly into the intersection of racism and sexism. Using the compressed medium of flash fiction, she explores intimate spaces to reveal what it means to be human. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in Callaloo, Detroit Noir, Best African American Fiction 2010 and Tidal Basin Review, among other online and print publications. Her first collection of flash fiction, Know the Mother, will be published by Wayne State University Press in 2016. Cooper was a founding board member of Cave Canem, a national residency for emerging black poets. She is currently a Kimbilio Fellow, a national residency for African American fiction writers.
Host and co-creator of Under The Radar Michigan, Tom Daldin is an Emmy award-winning producer, actor and writer who has created programs that have aired across Michigan and around the U.S. on PBS. He has also won a number of "best actor" awards in both commercial television and industrial films. Growing up in Birmingham, Michigan, Tom has always been a fan of travel. At the age of 12 he joined the World Adventure Series Club at the Detroit Institute of Arts, where his mother would drop him off to watch travel log films. After graduation from Oakland University with a degree in journalism, Tom, his wife Cathy and their children have turned Michigan into their vacation playground, exploring its many wonders and attractions. Tom loves people and loves where he lives.
As Eva Gates, Vicki Delany is the author of the Lighthouse Library cozy series from Penguin Obsidian, set in a historic lighthouse on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, featuring Boston-transplant librarian, and highly reluctant sleuth Lucy Richardson. The first in the series, By Book or By Crook, was released in February 2015. Vicki Delany began her writing career as a Sunday writer: a single mother of three high-spirited daughters with a full-time job as a computer programmer. Sunday afternoon was – and at that, only now and again – the only time she had to spend all by herself, with a single candle on her desk for a bit of atmosphere, a Bruce Springsteen tape in the tape deck, and a nice cup of tea at her elbow. When she felt like really letting loose, the tea might have turned into a glass of wine. The years passed, as they tend to do, and the three daughters, somewhat hesitantly, flew the coop, leaving Vicki more time to devote to her writing. She was able to write three novels of suspense, set in Ontario, two of which, Scare the Light Away and Burden of Memory were published to critical acclaim by Poisoned Pen Press of Scottsdale, Arizona. In 2007, Vicki took early retirement from her job as a systems analyst with a major bank and sold her house in Oakville, Ontario. At that time In the Shadow of the Glacier, the first book in a police procedural series set in the British Columbia Interior was published. After travelling around North America for a year with her dog, Shenzi, she bought a home in bucolic, rural Prince Edward County, Ontario, where she rarely wears a watch and can write whenever she feels like it. Since settling in Prince Edward County, Vicki has continued with her writing career, publishing books in several different sub-genres as well as a book for adults with low literacy skills.
Kelly is the award-winning author of several children’s books, thousands of To-Do lists, and a few recipe cards. Two of her books, Grace For President and The Sandwich Swap, were New York Times bestsellers. Like most kids who grew up in the 1970’s, Kelly had a pet goat and bought all her clothes from the Sears catalog. Like most teenagers who grew up in the 1980’s, Kelly had really big glasses and feathered hair. Today, Kelly lives with her husband and three children in southeastern Michigan, where she enjoys writing just about everything except her own bio.
Brian Freeman is an international bestselling author of psychological thrillers, including the Jonathan Stride and Cab Bolton series. His books have been sold in 46 countries and 20 languages and have appeared as Main Selections in the Literary Guild and the Book of the Month Club. He is widely acclaimed for his "you are there" settings and his complex, engaging characters and twist-filled plots. His seventh novel SPILLED BLOOD won the award for Best Hardcover Novel in the annual Thriller Awards given out by the International Thriller Writers organization, and his fifth novel THE BURYING PLACE was a finalist for the same award. His debut thriller, IMMORAL, won the Macavity Award for Best First Novel and was a nominee for the Edgar, Dagger, Anthony, and Barry Awards. IMMORAL was named International Book of the Month, a distinction shared with authors such as Harlan Coben and Lisa Unger. Brian's newest thriller is SEASON OF FEAR, the latest to feature Florida detective Cab Bolton. Bestselling author Linda Castillo says: "SEASON OF FEAR has everything: unexpected plot twists that keep on coming, a smart and charming hero, and a setting that's as sultry and dangerous as a tropical storm. It will blow you away." His books include: IMMORAL, STRIPPED, STALKED, IN THE DARK (also called THE WATCHER overseas), THE BURYING PLACE, THE BONE HOUSE (the first book in his Cab Bolton series), SPILLED BLOOD, THE COLD NOWHERE, and SEASON OF FEAR. He also has two bonus stories in his Jonathan Stride series, the short story "Spitting Devil" and the novella TURN TO STONE. Top bestselling authors recommend Brian's novels. Lisa Gardner calls him "a master of psychological suspense." Michael Connelly says, "This guy can tell a story." In addition to his thrillers, Brian is also the author of witty, romantic novels, including WEST 57 (under the name B.N. Freeman) and THE AGENCY (under the name Ally O'Brien). PEOPLE Magazine called THE AGENCY "a delight," and the Chicago Tribune called it "perfectly irresistible." Brian was born in Chicago and grew up in San Mateo, California, before moving to Minnesota. You can write to him at email@example.com and find him on the web (bfreemanbooks.com), Facebook (facebook.com/bfreemanfans), Twitter (@bfreemanbooks), and Instagram (bfreemanbooks).
Mother Goose, Trudy Bulkley, appears monthly at Hollander's in Kerrytown. She has done so for twenty years, plus some. She also captivates audiences at schools, libraries and festivals throughout Southeast Michigan. Old Mother Goose knows that her "Melodies will never die, while nurses sing or babies cry."
Barbara Gregorich has written hundreds of books for hire, among them Boxcar Children mysteries and BrainQuest workbooks; books for royalties; and self-published books. Her novel She's on First was called "the best book that's written on the idea of the first woman to play professional baseball," and her nonfiction title Women at Play won the SABR-Macmillan Award for Best Baseball Research of the Year. She served as an Illinois Humanities Council Road Scholar, speaking on the topic of women in baseball. Barbara's Chicago detective Frank Dragovic solves mysteries in Dirty Proof and Sound Proof. Her most recent title, Guide to Writing the Mystery Novel: Lots of Examples, Plus Dead Bodies, has been praised as "an accessible primer for writers of all skill and experience levels."
William Kent Krueger
Raised in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon, William Kent Krueger briefly attended Stanford University--before being kicked out for radical activities. After that, he logged timber, worked construction, tried his hand at freelance journalism, and eventually ended up researching child development at the University of Minnesota. He currently makes his living as a full-time author. He's been married for over 40 years to a marvelous woman who is an attorney. He makes his home in St. Paul, a city he dearly loves. Krueger writes a mystery series set in the north woods of Minnesota. His protagonist is Cork O'Connor, the former sheriff of Tamarack County and a man of mixed heritage--part Irish and part Ojibwe. His work has received a number of awards, including the Minnesota Book Award, the Loft-McKnight Fiction Award, the Anthony Award, the Barry Award, the Dilys Award, and the Friends of American Writers Prize. His last five novels were all New York Times bestsellers. "Ordinary Grace," his stand-alone novel published in 2013, received the Edgar Award, given by the Mystery Writers of America in recognition for the best novel published in that year. "Manitou Canyon," number fifteen in his Cork O'Connor series, will be released in September 2016. Visit his website at www.williamkentkrueger.com.
Ellen Longsworth is Professor of Art History at Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts, where she has taught since 1985. She earned a B.A. from Mount Holyoke College with a double major in studio art and art history, a Masters degree from The University of Chicago, and her Doctorate from Boston University. She studies Italian Renaissance sculpture, specifically Lombard funerary sculpture, although she has an article on the early sculpture of Michelangelo, and her most recent is a discussion of North Italy's groups of life-sized polychromed terracottas. Professor Longsworth was born in Indiana and raised in Ohio.
Loreen grew up in Michigan and has lived there most of her life. She pursued a life of science, getting a Bachelor, then Master of Science degrees. She worked in various aspects of that world including a hospital laboratory, basic animal research, and a bone marrow transplant group. While taking a break from this work to raise her young sons, Loreen began writing fiction. This evolved into a passion and she returned to school to get her Master of Fine Arts in writing from Spalding University. In 2009, her short story collection, Scar Tissue, was a finalist for the Flannery O’Connor Award. From the time she was a young girl climbing sand dunes and splashing in its cool waters, Loreen has felt connected and drawn to Lake Michigan. She decided to explore the lake fully by walking around it. The fascinating account of her journey, A 1,000-MILE WALK ON THE BEACH was released in March 2011 by Crickhollow Books. It is available wherever books are sold. Loreen’s novella, Atlanta, was released in June 2011 by Main Street Rag Publishing, For her second adventure, Loreen decided to explore more of the Great Lakes system. in 2012 she completed A 1,000-MILE GREAT LAKES WALK which allowed her to touch all five Great Lakes. The book about her journey was published by Crickhollow Books in 2013. Loreen recently completed her third 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Adventure. This time she explored many of the ISLANDS of the Great Lakes.The book about this journey was released in 2015: A 1,000-MILE GREAT LAKES ISLAND ADVENTURE.
Hank Phillippi Ryan
Hank Phillippi Ryan is the on-air investigative reporter for Boston's NBC affiliate. She's won 33 EMMYs, 13 Edward R. Murrow awards and dozens of other honors for her groundbreaking journalism. A bestselling author of eight mystery novels, Ryan has won multiple prestigious awards for her crime fiction: five Agathas, two Anthonys, the Daphne, two Macavitys, and for THE OTHER WOMAN, the coveted Mary Higgins Clark Award. National reviews have called her a "master at crafting suspenseful mysteries" and "a superb and gifted storyteller." Her 2013 novel, THE WRONG GIRL, won both the Agatha Award for Best Contemporary Novel and the Daphne Award for Mainstream Mystery/Suspense, and is a seven-week Boston Globe bestseller. TRUTH BE TOLD, is the Agatha Award winner for Best Contemporary Novel and an Anthony Award nominee for Best Novel. TRUTH BE TOLD was also a Library Journal BEST BOOK OF 2014, with starred reviews from Booklist and from Library Journal, which raves, "Drop everything and binge read!" She won a second Agatha Award in 2015 for Best Nonfiction, as editor of WRITES OF PASSAGE, an anthology of essays by mystery authors, which was also honored with a Macavity Award and Anthony Award. Ryan's newest novel, WHAT YOU SEE, is an Agatha nominee and a Library Journal Best of 2015, with a starred review which raves, "Mystery readers get ready: you will find yourself racing to the finish." It's also an RT Book Reviews Top Pick for "Exceptional suspense!" Her first award-winning series starring reporter Charlotte McNally is now available in all-new editions. She's a founding teacher at Mystery Writers of America University and 2013 president of national Sisters in Crime. Visit her online at HankPhillippiRyan.com, on Twitter @hankpryan and Facebook at HankPhillippiRyanAuthor.
B.A. Shapiro is the New York Times bestselling author of The Muralist, The Art Forger, The Safe Room, Blind Spot, See No Evil, Blameless, and Shattered Echoes. She has also written four screenplays and the non-fiction book, The Big Squeeze. The Art Forger has been on many bestseller lists—including the New York Times, Boston Globe, LA Times, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Amazon, and Kindle—and has won many awards including The 2013 New England Book Award for Fiction. She lives in Boston and is working on her eighth novel.