Book Festival Archives - 2010 - 2015

Book Festival Archive Post.

2013 Authors

Charlotte Adelman and Bernard L. Schwartz

Charlotte Adelman and Bernard L. Schwartz, retired lawyers and a married couple, share a love of nature and a passionate interest in plants, birds, butterflies, and other wildlife native to the Midwest. The couple, who turned their backyard into an urban prairie/savanna, decided to research the habitat and learn more about their state's nickname of Illinois, the "Prairie State." This research eventually resulted in the book Prairie Directory of North America: the United States and Canada, documenting prairies in 32 states and 4 Canadian provinces.

Diane Ahrens

Diane Ahrens began writing when her children were young and she was a stay-at-home mother. She always enjoyed writing and found immeasurable joy reading to her children. Ahrens decided to create a series of children's books featuring an adorable puppy named Tucker who meets many interesting characters on his travels.

Beth Amos

Beth Amos is the author of the three suspense novels Cold White Fury, Eyes of Night, and Second Sight. She is also the author of the popular Mattie Winston mystery series, written under the pen name Annelise Ryan. Mattie Winston, a former RN turned deputy coroner, lives in a small Wisconsin town where she puts her nosiness and medical skills to good use solving murders. The books in the series are Working Stiff, Scared Stiff, and Frozen Stiff. Lucky Stiff, the fourth book, will be available in the spring of 2013.

Marilyn Annucci

Poet Marilyn Annucci is the author of two chapbooks: Waiting Room--which was chosen by Tony Hoagland as the winner of the 2012 Sunken Garden Poetry Prize--and Luck. She has published widely in literary journals such as Dogwood, Verse Wisconsin, Prairie Schooner, Southern Poetry Review, Wisconsin People & Ideas, qarrtsiluni, and Indiana Review.

Dean Bakopoulos

Dean Bakopoulos was born and raised in metro Detroit, which is the setting of his first novel, Please Don't Come Back from the Moon (Harcourt), a New York Times Notable Book. He has lectured at Michigan, Cornell, UW-Madison, and other universities about the economic and environmental problems facing the post-industrial Rust Belt, and has published related essays and criticism in The New York Times Book Review, The Los Angeles Times, The Miami Herald, The Progressive, The Believer, and Real Simple.

Martha Bayne

Martha Bayne is a writer and editor based in Chicago. Currently the associate managing editor of Plate magazine, a bimonthly magazine for professional chefs, she is also founder of the Soup & Bread series of hunger-relief fundraisers hosted at The Hideout, a Chicago bar and music venue. Soup & Bread, which began in 2009, is a soup dinner prepared by chefs, musicians, artists, neighbors, and anyone else wanting to help make a soup dinner and participate in a community gathering. There is no charge for the meal, but donations raised at the weekly event go to hunger relief agencies, such as the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Bayne's Soup & Bread Cookbook: Building Community One Pot at a Time is a compilation of recipes and stories about groups that use soup to bring people together while reaching out to others.

W.H. Beck

By day, W.H. Beck is an elementary school librarian, but late at night (or early in the mornings or in between kids' sports practices), she writes and writes. Malcolm at Midnight, her first novel, is a funny mystery that features a secret society of classroom pets, the disappearance of an iguana named Aggy, and a small rat trying his hardest to be a critter of valor.

B.J. Best is the author But Our Princess Is in Another Castle (Rose Metal Press), Birds of Wisconsin (New Rivers Press), and State Sonnets (sunnyoutside). He is also the author of three chapbooks from Centennial Press, most recently Drag: Twenty Short Poems about Smoking. He teaches at Carroll University and lives in the Wisconsin countryside with one wife, one son, three cats, and nine video game systems. He asserts he is the only person in the history of the world to have beaten Super Mario Bros.—with an actual Nintendo and television—on a pontoon boat.

Gary Carlson

Gary Carlson wrote and published the independent comic book Megaton during the 1980s, which helped usher in the do-it-yourself black and white comics boom of that decade. Megaton is remembered as a training ground for many important artists who had their first works published there. Erik Larsen, Rob Liefeld, Angel Medina, and Butch Guice are among those whose first professional assignments were for Carlson. Megaton was also the first home to a number of Image Comics characters, including Larsen's Savage Dragon, Liefeld's Youngblood, and Larsen and Carlson's Vanguard.

Jennifer Cockrall-King is a Canadian food journalist and author based in Edmonton, Alberta, and Naramata, in the heart of British Columbia’s wine country in the Okanagan Valley. Jennifer’s first book, Food and the City: Urban Agriculture and The New Food Revolution is about the groundswell of urban agriculture in cities around the world. It examines why there is a reaction to the current global, industrial food system, and how urban agriculture is changing the mood, texture and dinner plates in over a dozen cities in five countries profiled in her book.

Susanna Daniel

Susanna Daniel's first novel, Stiltsville, was awarded the PEN/Bingham Prize for best debut work published in 2010. Stiltsville was also named a 2011 Summer Reading List pick by Oprah.com, a Best Book of 2010 by the Huffington Post, and, perhaps most notably, a Wisconsin Author 2011 Outstanding Achievement winner by the Wisconsin Library Association. Daniel's second novel, Sea Creatures, about a woman who must face the unthinkable choice between her husband and young son, will be available this summer.

John DeDakis

Since 1969, journalist John DeDakis has worked in radio and television newsrooms in Wisconsin, Germany, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Atlanta. Highlights of John's career include getting tear gassed while covering the anti-Vietnam War riots in 1970 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; doing a 40-minute, one-on-one radio interview with Alfred Hitchcock in 1973 during a stint in the Army at the American Forces Network (AFN)-Europe; and covering the White House for CBN News during the last three years of Ronald Reagan's presidency. 

Jim Draeger is an architectural historian and deputy state historic preservation officer with the Wisconsin Historical Society with more than twenty-five years of historic preservation experience. From roadside architecture to North Woods resorts, Draeger celebrates the importance of ordinary buildings to our daily lives through his research, writing, and lectures. 

Dr. Sharon M. Draper is a professional educator as well as an accomplished writer. She has been honored as the National Teacher of the Year, is a five-time winner of the Coretta Scott King Literary Awards, and is a New York Times bestselling author. She was selected as Ohio's Outstanding High School Language Arts Educator, Ohio Teacher of the Year, and was chosen as a NCNW Excellence in Teaching Award winner. She is a Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award winner, and was the Duncanson Artist-in-Residence for the Taft Museum. 

Susan Elbe

Poet Susan Elbe is the author of the collections Eden in the Rearview Mirror and The Map of What Happened as well as the chapbooks Where Good Swimmers Drown and Light Made from Nothing. Her collection The Map of What Happened won the 2012 Backwaters Press Book Prize and is forthcoming in 2013. She has published in many literary journals, including Crab Orchard Review, Nimrod, North American Review, Prairie Schooner, and Poetry Review.

Karl Elder

Karl Elder is Poet in Residence and the Jacob and Lucile Fessler Professor of Creative Writing at Lakeland College in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. His most recent books are Gilgamesh at the Bellagio, published as part of the National Poetry Review Prize Book Series, and The Houdini Monologues, a chapbook with accompanying CD. His other books include Mead: Twenty-six Abecedariums; The Minimalist's How-to Handbook; The Geocryptogrammatist's Pocket Compendium of the United States; and A Man in Pieces.

Kathleen Ernst

Kathleen Ernst, social historian, educator, and novelist, writes fiction for young readers and adults. She created Caroline Abbott, an American Girl historical character, and a number of bestselling books about her. The seventh and latest book, Traitor in the Shipyard, finds Caroline dealing with the possibility of British spies in Sackets Harbor during the War of 1812. Ernst's writing for young readers also includes eight American Girl mysteries, set between 1732 and 1945, and five novels set during the American Civil War.

Doug Flaherty founded Road Apple Review, a literary quarterly which survived from 1968-1978, in part thanks to funding from the National Endowment. He also founded Wolf Angel Press, which published a series of chapbooks by Fox Valley poets, including Karla Huston and Jim Last. Flaherty was also a twenty-year faculty advisor to the Wisconsin Review at UWO.

Brian Freeman

Brian Freeman is a best-selling author of psychological suspense novels that have been sold in 46 countries and are available in 20 languages. His most recent novel, Spilled Blood, is a thriller about two teenage girls from two neighboring Minnesota towns locked in a deadly feud. The Bone House, his previous book, is set in Door County and was a finalist for an Audie Award (Best Audiobook of the Year) in the Thriller/Suspense category and was a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award. Reviewers have called his work "gripping," "harrowing," and filled with "high tension."

Max Garland

Author Max Garland is noted for his ability to portray meaningful moments in human experience through the use of commonplace items and everyday situations. The Postal Confessions, his first collection of poetry, was influenced by his years of working as a rural mail carrier and received the Juniper Prize for Poetry. Hunger Wide as Heaven, his second collection, won the Cleveland State University Poetry Center Open Competition. His writing has been described as radiant and containing both elegy and celebration.

Barbara Jo Gauthier

Barbara Jo Gauthier has been a storyteller all her life. It was not until she was 75, however, that she published her first books, Tying Threads and I Can Only Tell You What I Know. Both books are noted for their intimate portraits of people and places set down in black and white. These works were followed by Picture This and Through a Telescope of Time. Gauthier writes poetry as well as prose, and her chapbook Do You Hear Me? deals with her grief for the loss of her 16-year-old son to an accident. She has expanded on both of her original titles, publishing the revised versions as Tying Threads Twice and I Can Only Tell You What I Know NOW. With the recently released A Look at Life, a CD of Gauthier reading a variety of her stories, she has made use of yet another medium for displaying her storytelling talents.

Dr. Lisa Genova is the author of The New York Times best-selling novels Love Anthony, Still Alice and Left Neglected. Genova’s debut is an undeniably poignant story about a lesser known form of Alzheimer’s Disease—the early-onset form that affects people in their 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s. Powerful and compelling, the book has been hailed as “moving and haunting,” “a work of pure genius,” “insightful, tragic, inspirational” and “heartbreakingly real.”

Sarah Gilbert

Sarah Gilbert began writing poetry in response to her second of four cancers arising from Lynch Syndrome, a hereditary cancer syndrome. Her other poems come out of the sweep of life, from childhood to marriage and parenting, aging and dying parents, and observations of nature. She is currently at work polishing a manuscript of cancer poems. Her work has appeared in Fox Cry Review, the WFOP Calendar, Faith of Followers, YourDailyPoem.com and Sharing Widely Living Deeply.

Guante is a hip hop artist, two-time National Poetry Slam champion, social justice activist and educator. His work, which explores the places where progressive politics, magical realism, working-class identity and the power of perspective intertwine, has been featured in URB Magazine’s “Next 1000” list, City Pages’ “Artists of the Year” list, CMJ, Feministing and the Progressive.  Guante has shared bills with Talib Kweli, Atmosphere, Dead Prez, Sage Francis, Brother Ali, Mr. Lif, P.O.S., Zion I and many more of the top names in indie hip hop. Apart from these artistic endeavors, Guante also founded and manages the MN Activist Project, freelances as a music writer, curates the Hip Hop Against Homophobia concert series and facilitates writing and performance workshops for youth.  Guante is also part of the MC/producer duo GUANTE & BIG CATS!, and the acoustic hip hop duo A LOUD HEART.

Amy Hanten

Amy Hanten is "The Cooking Mom." She is the author of two cookbooks, including the recently released: The Cooking Mom Cooks Up Memories. The recipes Amy focuses on are aimed at real moms, dads, and busy people who want to make quick and tasty foods. She also shares stories and secrets that will help readers cook up their own memories.

Holly Harden

Holly Harden is a writer for Garrison Keillor and his popular Saturday night Minnesota Public Radio program, A Prairie Home Companion. Each week, Harden draws on her years of living in Wisconsin and Minnesota to explore the patterns of small town life.

Geoff Herbach is the author of the popular and award-winning Stupid Fast YA series. Stupid Fast, the first book in the series, is about Felton Reinstein, who is almost 16 and a dork turned jock. In reviewing the book, the Minneapolis Star Tribune called it "whip-smart and painfully self-aware" and "a funny and agonizing glimpse into the teenage brain." Among the awards and honors it has received are: Cybil Award for Best YA Fiction 2011, Junior Library Guild Selection 2011, and the American Booksellers Association Best Books for Children 2011. It was a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award and listed as the year's best by the American Library Association. 

Daniel Hernandez Jr, 22, is a Tucson native and a recent graduate from the University of Arizona achieving a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. He was a congressional intern for the office of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona’s Eighth Congressional District and while on the job assisting Congresswoman Giffords with a constituent event in Tucson on January 8, 2011, Daniel took actions for which he is widely credited with saving the life of the congresswoman after a gunman shot her and 18 other people. His medical training, quick thinking, and brave actions on that day have caused him to be celebrated as a true American hero, although he humbly rejects the title.

Michael Hingson

Michael Hingson is a New York Times best-selling author and international lecturer. Michael, blind since birth, survived the 9/11 attacks with the help of his guide dog Roselle. This story is the subject of his best-selling book, Thunder Dog. Hingson gives over 100 presentations around the world each year speaking to influential groups such as Exxon Mobile, AT&T, Federal Express, Scripps College, Rutgers University, Children's Hospital, and the American Red Cross just to name a few. 

Victoria Houston

Victoria Houston is the author of the popular Loon Lake mystery series featuring female Chief of Police Lewellyn ("Lew") Ferris and retired dentist Paul ("Doc") Osbourne, both of whom love to go fly fishing when they aren't trying to catch a killer. Dead Tease, the latest book in the series, finds Lew and Doc investigating the stabbing death of Jen Williams, an attractive 26 year old who had been having an affair with the local hospital's married CEO. When Lew and Doc take a much needed break from the investigation to go fly fishing from kayaks, they find themselves in a life-and-death situation on the river.

Jacqueline Houtman is a freelance science writer based in Madison, Wisconsin. Jacqueline holds a Ph.D. in Medical Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her training as a scientist includes hands-on laboratory experience in bacteriology, virology, and immunology.

Karla Huston

Karla Huston is an award-winning local author, known for both her writing and her teaching. She earned an MA in English/Creative Writing from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and was the winner of the 2003 Main Street Rag Chapbook contest. She has won the Wisconsin Writer's Association Jade Ring for both fiction and poetry (winning twice for poetry). In addition, Huston received writing residencies from the Ragdale Foundation in 1998 and 2002, and from Bread Loaf in 2006 and 2007. Her poem "Theory of Lipstick" was awarded a Pushcart Prize and appears in the Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses (2012). A new volume of her poetry, A Theory of Lipstick, is forthcoming from Main Street Rag Press, and Dancing Girl Press will publish a chapbook of poems late in 2013.

Barbara Joosse

Barbara Joosse, best-selling children's author, has published 45 books for children, with translations into 27 languages. Her most popular title, with 1.5 million copies sold, is Mama, Do You Love Me? In this picture book, Joosse's lyrical text combines with the illustrator's bold and imaginative images to tell the story of a mother's unconditional love for her child. Papa, Do You Love Me?, a follow up picture book, describes a father's unconditional love.

Lesley Kagen

Lesley Kagen was born in Milwaukee and spent her early years in a great working class neighborhood, much like the one where her books Whistling in the Dark and Good Graces are set. Whistling in the Dark, her first novel, received a number of honors, including the Honor Book Award from the Midwest Booksellers Association. Sally O'Malley, the main character from that book, returns in Good Graces, which is set one year later. Reviews note that Good Graces is "an evocative novel told with the sensitivity, wit, and warmth we've come to expect from Lesley Kagen." Mare's Nest, Kagen's most recent work, is about mothers, daughters, horses, and the power of love. It has been called "wrenchingly funny, poignant, and ultimately uplifting."

Dr. Stephen Kercher is an associate professor in the Department of History at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. Dr. Kercher, who earned his Ph.D. in history and American studies at Indiana University at Bloomington, specializes in post-WWII American history. He has received the Distinguished Teaching Award in 2008 and has directed history projects such as “Black Thursday,” “The Algoma Riots” and “Earth Day.” He co-founded and formerly directed the Northeast Wisconsin Teachers Academy for the Study of American History, a project funded by more than $1.7 million from the U.S. Department of Education. Dr. Kercher has been teaching at UW Oshkosh since 2000.

Cayla Kluver is the author of the Legacy YA series, which has been enjoyed by readers around the world in more than a dozen languages. Legacy, the first book, was originally published when Kluver herself was only a teenager. A new paperback edition of Legacy was published by HarlequinTeen in 2011. Allegiance, the second book, and Sacrifice, the third, were also released by HarlequinTeen in 2012. During her journey as a writer, Kluver has dabbled in self-publishing, e-book publishing, and, most recently, sold her new young adult novel, The Queen's Choice, and its sequel to HarlequinTeen.

Ellen Kort was Wisconsin's first Poet Laureate, serving from 2000-2004. She is the author of 11 books and 8 collections of poetry. Ellen's work has been featured in a variety of anthologies and incorporated architecturally in downtown Milwaukee's Midwest Express Center, the Green Bay Botanical Gardens and the Fox River Mall.

Jen Larsen is a writer and editor living in Ogden, UT. In 2006, she underwent weight-loss surgery and lost almost 200 pounds. Six years later, she's still trying to figure out what that means in terms of health and body acceptance, but feels lucky to have experienced the full spectrum of weight and size issues on either end of the scale.

James Loewen

James Loewen is a sociologist who spent two years at the Smithsonian surveying twelve leading high school textbooks of American history only to find an embarrassing blend of bland optimism, blind nationalism, and plain misinformation, weighing in at an average of 888 pages and almost five pounds. A best-selling author who wrote Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your High School History Textbook Got Wrong and Lies Across America: What Our Historic Sites Get Wrong.

Richard Louv is a journalist and author of eight books about the connections between family, nature and community. His newest book is The Nature Principle: Human Restoration and the End of Nature-Deficit Disorder (Algonquin), which offers a new vision of the future, in which our lives are as immersed in nature as they are in technology. This future, available to all of us right now, offers better psychological, physical and spiritual health for people of every age.

Michael Lowenthal

Michael Lowenthal's fourth novel, The Paternity Test, was an October 2012 IndieNext List selection. His previous novels are The Same Embrace, Avoidance, and Charity Girl, which was a New York Times Book Review “Editors’ Choice” title and Washington Post “Top Fiction of 2007” pick. He has taught at Boston College and Hampshire College, and since 2003 has been on the faculty of Lesley University’s MFA program in creative writing. He lives in Boston.

Laurie MacDiarmid

Laurie MacDiarmid's poetry often explores themes of identity and relations and is noted for its precise and adept use of language. Float, her chapbook of poems published by Finishing Line Press (2003), examines the challenges and rewards of motherhood. Consolation Prize, her most recent collection of poems, was the 2011 Georgetown Review Press Poetry Manuscript Contest Winner.

Mike Magnuson is the author of two novels, The Right Man for the Job (HarperCollins) and The Fire Gospels (HarperCollins), and three books of nonfiction, Lummox:  The Evolution of a Man (HarperCollins),  Heft on Wheels:  A Field Guide to Doing a 180 (Crown) and Bike Tribes: A Field Guide to North American Cyclists (Rodale). 

Alison McGhee

Alison McGhee is a New York Times bestselling author of more than 20 books for all ages, including the internationally beloved picture book Someday. She was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for her novel Shadow Baby, which reviewers called "stunning," "graceful," and "a poignant tale of family history regained." She has been awarded numerous honors for her books, including Friends of the American Library Award, ALA Best Books for Children, and four Minnesota Book Awards.

David McGlynn

A Door in the Ocean, Fox Cities author David McGlynn's most recent book, is being called stunning and eloquently told. In this memoir, McGlynn recounts the murder--still unsolved--of a close high school friend and the far-reaching effects this brutal death had on the author's own choices, beliefs, and life path. NPR literary critic Maureen Corrigan praised the work as "a compelling coming-of-age story, one marked by random tragedy and biblical tracts, bad church coffee and chlorine."

John Jackson Miller

Wisconsin author John Jackson Miller writes comics, books, games, and nonfiction works on comics and collectibles. He has written three Star Wars novels published by Del Rey: Star Wars: Knight Errant; Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith; and the upcoming Star Wars: Kenobi. Miller also writes the science fiction serial Overdraft: the Orion Offensive. In addition to his Star Wars work, his writing includes comics for such titles as Iron Man and Crimson Dynamo (Marvel Comics) and Bart Simpson (Bongo Comics) and the comics adaptation of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Tom Montag

Tom Montag is a middlewestern poet and essayist who is interested in place, the way place shapes us, and the way we are shaped by it. Curlew: Home is his memoir of growing up on an Iowa farm. The Idea of the Local is his collection of essays about people and place. His most recent books include The Big Book of Ben Zen (poetry) and Kissing Poetry's Sister (essays). He is co-author, with Peter Pizzino, of Peter's Story: Growing Up in Milwaukee's Third Ward during the 1920s & 1930s.

Laura Moriarty

Laura Moriarty is the author of the novels The Center of Everything, The Rest of Her Life, and While I'm Falling, all of which deal with family relationships in times of crisis. Her most recent novel The Chaperone, inspired by the real life silent film star Louise Brooks, was published by Riverhead Books (2012). This novel was named USA Today #1 Hot Fiction Pick for the summer, the Christian Science Monitor #1 Fiction Pick, and a Top Indie Next Pick for June 2012. The Chaperone has received rave reviews by publications nationwide and has been called "a delight" with "two fascinating, complex heroines" and a story that is "exquisitely paced."

Lee Mothes

Beaches, waves, and the ocean’s energy have never ceased to fascinate and enchant artist Lee Mothes. While growing up on the California coast, Lee spent most of his childhood on the beach, and soon began drawing beaches and waves (and imagined tsunamis and other disasters) while in grade school. He later studied art in four West Coast art programs before earning a BS Degree in Art in 1980.

Melinda Myers

Melinda Myers is a gardening expert, TV and radio show host, author and columnist, with more than 30 years of horticulture experience. She has written more than 20 gardening books, including Can't Miss Small Space Gardening, The Birds & Blooms' Ultimate Gardening Guide, and Jackson and Perkins' Beautiful Roses Made Easy: Midwestern Edition. She hosts the nationally syndicated Melinda's Garden Moment for TV and radio. Among the publications she writes for are: Birds & Blooms, Gardening How-To, and Wisconsin Gardening.

Editor and publisher Charles Nevsimal, along with Deb Nevsimal, marries art and words and brings them to the small press world with his Centennial Press, a publishing entity conceived in 2,000 in a bar on the outskirts of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, by a group of unknown writers who agreed to put their poetry into the world.  Nevsimal has published the likes of BJ Best, Antler, William Taylor, Karla Huston and many others.  Centennial Press also publishes Anthills, a literary journal that comes out whenever the spirit moves the editor or money appears to fund it.   Charles and Centennial Press both reside in Kewaskum, WI. 

Michael Perry

Michael Perry is a humorist and author of the bestselling memoirs Population 485: Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time, Truck: A Love Story and Coop: A Year of Poultry, Pigs and Parenting, as well as the essay collection Off Main Street. Perry has written for Esquire, The New York Times Magazine, Outside, Backpacker, Orion and Salon.com, and is a contributing editor to Men’s Health.

Growing up in a violent and broken home, Trish lived in a volatile world of anger, abuse, and atheism. She is passionate about living life to the fullest and has devoted her life to helping others find purpose in their lives.

Sara Rath

Wisconsin author Sara Rath's most recent novel, The Waters of Star Lake, is set in a northern Wisconsin resort area near a place called Star Lake and follows the story of Natalie Waters after the death of her domineering husband. A wolf attack on Natalie's dog, the unexpected arrival of her teenage granddaughter, and threats from anti-wolf extremists are some of the events that disrupt Natalie's plans for a quiet summer stay at the family cabin.

Jess Riley

Wisconsin author Jess Riley is noted for her writing that portrays realistic yet quirky characters in painful yet humorous situations. All the Lonely People, her latest novel, is the story of what happens when Jaime Collins decides to "divorce" her siblings and advertise for a new family on Craigslist after her beloved mother dies of cancer.

Chuck Rybak

Poet Chuck Rybak is the author of two chapbooks, Nickel and Diming My Way Through and Liketown. His full-length collection Tongue and Groove, selected as a finalist in the MSR Poetry Book Award contest, was published by Main Street Rag in 2007. Reviews of the work call it a pleasure to read and note "Rybak writes rich, strong, and hopeful poetry." His new collection, </war>, will be released in early 2013. His poems have appeared in The Cincinnati Review, Pebble Lake Review, Southern Poetry Review, Verse Wisconsin, and other journals.

Laura Schaefer

Laura Schaefer is the author of The Teashop Girls and The Secret Ingredient, novels that focus on three young girls, Annie, Genna, and Zoe, and the teashop, Steeping Leaf, where Annie works for her grandmother. The books follow the lives of the girls as they move away from childhood and into the growing independence, responsibilities, and relationships of the teenage years. Schaefer has also written fiction under the pen name Avery Sawyer, including the novel Notes to Self, about a teenager with traumatic brain injury, and The Forever Contract, a young adult dystopian novella.

Lisa Scottoline is the New York Times best-selling author of 19 novels, including the thrillers Save Me, Think Twice, Look Again, and her latest, Come Home. She also writes the weekly column “Chick Wit” for The Philadelphia Inquirer and is president of the Mystery Writers of America.

A physician serving at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Appleton, Wisconsin, and writing under the name of 'Louis Sauvain', Dr. Sovine has spent the past ten years on the creation of series of books of epic fantasy describing the coming of age of a group of sorcery students during the time of the Dark Ages and how, by uniting together, they strive to challenge the power of a force out side of time and space.

Joyce Sutphen

Poet Joyce Sutphen grew up on a farm near St. Joseph, Minnesota, and currently lives in Chaska, Minnesota. Her first book of poems, Straight Out of View (Beacon Press, 1995), won the Barnard New Women's Poets Prize and was republished in 2001 by Holy Cow! Press. Coming Back to the Body (Holy Cow! Press, 2000) was a finalist for a Minnesota Book Award, and her collection Naming the Stars (Holy Cow! Press, 2004) won a Minnesota Book Award in Poetry. In 2005, Red Dragonfly Press published Fourteen Sonnets in a letterpress edition, and in 2006 Sutphen co-edited To Sing Along the Way, an award-winning anthology of Minnesota Women Poets from the Territorial Days to the Present. First Words, her fourth volume of poetry, was published in 2010. In 2011, she was named Minnesota Poet Laureate.

Doug Tallamy

Doug Tallamy, author of Bringing Nature Home, is Professor and Chair of the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology and director of the Center for Managed Ecosystems at the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware. In addition to his book, he has authored 78 research articles and has taught insect taxonomy, behavioral ecology, and other courses for 31 years. Chief among his research goals is to better understand the many ways insects interact with plants and how such interactions determine the diversity of animal communities.

Naturalist, wildlife photographer and writer Stan Tekiela is the originator of the popular state-specific field guides such as Birds of (state name) Field Guide, Wildflowers of (state name), and Trees of (state name). Over the past two decades Stan has authored more than 100 field guides, nature appreciation books and wildlife audio CDs for nearly every state in the nation, presenting many species of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians, trees, wildflowers and cacti.

Maggie Thompson

Maggie Thompson began collecting comic books before she was 5 years old and has been an active collector ever since. She started working on fanzines while a teenager and published Comic Art with Don Thompson, whom she later married. Maggie and Don were among the pioneers in what developed into comic-book fandom, and they became co-editors of Comics Buyer's Guide (CBG) in 1983. After Don's death, Maggie continued on as editor until 2013, when Comics Buyer's Guide ceased publication. Maggie continues to work in the world of comics and is a contributor to Toucan, Comic-Con International's blog, and Scoop, Gemstone's newsletter.

Eliot Treichel

Although Eliot Treichel now lives in Eugene, Oregon, he is a native of the Fox Cities area, and small-town Wisconsin is the setting for his debut short story collection Close is Fine (Ooligan Press, 2012). Close is Fine showcases life's private reflections--big and small--that shape and define individuals, and the stories are marked by a unique combination of humor and sadness. Reviews note: "Anyone who has yearned to ease the ache of a fading relationship will be able to connect to Treichel's expertly captured characters and their plights of family, fidelity, and friendship," and the collection has been called "a clear-eyed and perceptive debut" with a "narration of sharp reflection and clear, sure-footed prose."

Michael Velliquette

Michael Velliquette is a mixed media artist known for his densely detailed and dimensionally complex paper sculptures, installations, and drawings. Power Seeker, a survey of his cut paper sculpture, is on display at the Paper Discovery Center in Appleton during April and May, 2013. Working exclusively with heavyweight paper card stock, Velliquette hand cuts and constructs visually and structurally intricate pieces that reference masks and other forms of ritually driven object-making. His book Lairs of the Unconscious, published by Devibooks, chronicles his work from the past 10 years.

Mary Wagner

Mary Wagner, who lives in southeastern Wisconsin, started out as a newspaper and magazine journalist. But after a long fall from a tall horse put her in a body cast for three months, she decided to change careers. Wagner went to law school, became a prosecutor, bought her first pair of spike heels, and started writing. Encouraged by friends to start a blog, she created the website Running with Stilettos. Her slice-of-life essays, which can take the reader from the back seat of a Harley to her father's death bed to waltzing on a dance floor in chiffon and rhinestones, have won many writing awards and turned into three award-winning essay collections: Running with Stilettos, Heck on Heels, and Fabulous in Flats.

Sally Wesner is from Oshkosh, Wisconsin, where she and her husband raised three children. While they were growing up, she stayed at home as much as possible. Later she was chairman of the Oshkosh Christian Woman's Club and also worked in her younger son's doctor's office. After retiring, she was inspired to write her first book, Jeff's Story: Prescriptions for Life or Death? This is the story of her older son, Jeff, and the tragic way his life was shaped by an addiction to prescription medication.

Maung Win, CFP, is the primary author of Winning Ways for Life which describes his roller-coaster life and his own financial education process. Faith, love, hope, perseverance and determination have played important roles in his journey from failure to success. He has an extensive business and management background, and a degree in chemical engineering. Win is a pro bono Certified Financial Planner and a financial educator with FISC, a program of Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin. He is also a member of SCORE, Small Business Mentoring Group, and a board member of FPA (Financial Planning Association), NE Wisconsin.  

Thank You

Atlas Coffee Mill

Big thanks go to Atlas Coffee Mill for hosting monthly meetings for the Fox Cities Book Festival Board! We appreciate your support of the Festival and just can't thank you enough for providing a welcoming meeting space for us to plan and dream.