WRITER'S ROAD TRIP - ANNUAL MINI WRITERS CONFERENCE
Sponsored by Pennwriters, Inc.
Deanna R. Adams is an award-winning writer, speaker, essayist, and author of eight books. She is far too interested in books of all genres to stick to just one and so, she writes both fiction and nonfiction. Her articles, essays, and stories have been published in a variety of newspapers and magazines, including an article on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum for the Encyclopedia of the Midwest. The Truth about Justyce, the third in her Peggy Sue series, is her first young adult crossover novel.
Other books include Rock ‘n Roll and the Cleveland Connection, Peggy Sue Got Pregnant, Scoundrels & Dreamers, Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Venues, Confessions of a Not-So-Good Catholic Girl, and Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Roots, and The Writer’s GPS: A Guide to Writing & Selling Your Book. She is a longtime coordinator of the Western Reserve Writers’ Conference, and the “Book Whisperer” for The Cuyahoga County Library’s Writers Center. She also teaches online writing courses for the Pennwriters organization. Visit Deanna on her website at: www.Deannaadams.com.
Dianna W. Allen holds a Master’s in Counseling from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and has been passionate about guiding clients to develop their best lives for over 15 years. She completed her undergraduate degree in English Lit and has had a passion for reading and creative writing throughout her adult life.
In addition to clinical therapy work, she is also currently consulting with/speaking to writers and writing groups about developing authentic and sympathetic fictional characters who are dealing with mental illness and substance use issues. Originally from Pennsylvania, she also studied in the UK, Michigan, and New Mexico. She has been a curious, creative gypsy in this lifetime, seeking inspiration through exploring culture, social engagement, and artistic endeavors. Visit her on the web at evolution-compass.com.
We welcome back Ms. Melanie A. Billings (Editor, Special Projects Department, Wild Rose Press) after a very successful debut at Writer’s Road Trip 4 and very exciting Writer’s Road Trips 5-9. Although Melanie has only been with The Wild Rose Press for seven years, she has been working in various aspects of Ebook publishing since 1998. She was the Acquisitions Editor for Whiskey Creek Press and the Senior Editor for Wee Creek Press. Currently the Editor of the Special Projects Department at The Wild Rose Press, Melanie has the freedom to move between lines, working with authors from every genre.
Melanie graduated from Roberts Wesleyan College in 1997 with a Bachelor’s degree in her double major of English and Communication. Melanie loves to write and enjoys participating in various writing challenges throughout the year. She has two works of poetry published (Climbing the Mountain and Whispers) and way too many works in progress to mention. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Annette Dashofy is the USA Today best-selling author of twelve mystery novels including the multi–Agatha Award nominated Zoe Chambers mystery series about a paramedic and deputy coroner in rural Pennsylvania’s tight-knit Vance Township. Her upcoming novel, Where The Guilty Hide, is scheduled for release in January 2023 and is the first in a new series set in Erie. Annette is a long-time member of Pennwriters and is the president of the Pittsburgh chapter of Sisters in Crime. She and her husband live on ten acres of what was her grandfather’s dairy farm in Washington County with their very spoiled cat, Kensi. Visit her website at: www.annettedashofy.com.
Susan Gable is a USA Today Bestselling author, who’s been both trad and Indie pubbed. Reviewers and readers alike often cite her ability to convey strong emotion in her books, to make them both laugh and cry. Her books have been Golden Heart and Rita ® Award finalists, been recognized by Romantic Times nominations for Best Superromance of the Year, and she’s won numerous awards, including the National Readers’ Choice Award. Over a half-million copies of her books have been sold worldwide.
A former elementary teacher, Susan is a popular workshop presenter who has spoken at many writing conferences.
Visit www.SusanGable.com to learn more about her books.
Karen Geiger is a writer, speech-language pathologist, and certified Journal to the Self™ workshop facilitator. When she’s not working on her debut novel, Karen writes personal essays about managing midlife, college kids and aging parents. Her publications can be found on Grown and Flown, Better After 50, A View from Home, and on her blog, Good Luck with That. This fall, Karen will be launching Erie’s first journaling workshop for cancer patients and survivors at the new, state-of-the-art Erie Cancer Wellness Center.
Award-winning, bestselling author Holly Jacobs has over three million books in print worldwide. The first novel in her Everything But. . . series, Everything But a Groom, was named one of 2008's Best Romances by Booklist, and her books have been honored with many other awards and accolades. She lives in Erie, Pennsylvania and when she's not writing, she's in her pottery studio. You can visit her at www.HollyJacobs.com.
Catherine has been helping writers become published authors for more than two decades. She is a novelist and short story author and long-time Pennwriter who gives in-person and online courses and workshops on the craft of writing fiction. She is a book and story writing coach and freelance editor. Her book for writers, Revision is a Process - How to Take the Frustration Out of Self-Editing. Visit Catherine at www.CatherineEmclean.com or www.WritersCheatSheets.com.
Babs Mountjoy (aka Alana Lorens and Lyndi Alexander) has been a published writer for more than forty years. Currently a resident of Asheville, North Carolina, she loves her time in the smoky blue mountains. One of her novellas, THAT GIRL’S THE ONE I LOVE, is set in the city of Asheville during the old Bele Chere festival. She lives with her daughter, who is the youngest of her seven children, and nine crotchety cats. She is the author of the "Pittsburgh Lady Lawyers" series, which draws on her years as a family law attorney in the state of Pennsylvania. One of the causes close to her heart came from those years as well–the fight against domestic violence. She volunteered for many years at women’s shelters and provided free legal services to women and children in need.
She grew up in the Midwest, knowing from the time she was very young that she wanted to write stories. Science fiction and fantasy were the fuels for her imagination in those days, from Madeleine L’Engle’s tesseract stories to Ursula K. LeGuin, on to Anne McCaffrey’s dragon books, Heinlein’s classics… too many to name. Then as those huge stories spread across space, both on the small screen, like Star Trek, and the big screen, like Star Wars, and eventually as man (and woman!) entered the cosmos via rockets, inspiration continued. (Though if challenged, she would claim that Browncoats rule!)
Her urban fantasy series, Clan Elves of the Bitterroot, is set in Montana, just outside Missoula, a beautiful location very possibly shot through with magic.
Now that Babs has her very own space stories in print (TRIAD and the Horizon Crossover series, published by Dragonfly Publishing, Inc. in ebook, paperback, and hardback), she needed a place to stretch her wings a bit. She’s expanded her reach to science fiction romance with A SMALL DEGREE OF HOPE, and SIXSHOOTER, her YA fantasy works, the WINDMILLS series and THE LOST CHORD.
Kathy is the published author of multiple historical romance novels and short stories. Her Civil War romance novel, A Place in Your Heart, was a 2016 RWA Northwest Houston Chapter, Lone Star Winner and her western novel Lost Hearts, a Utah/Salt Lake RWA Hearts of the West finalist.
was a 2008 Utah/Salt Lake RWA Hearts of the West finalist.
Kathy has been writing and making up stories as long as she can remember. Her first short story, Redemption of a Cavalier was published in 2006 and she has been moving forward ever since. Her fifth novel is near completion and soon to be sent to her editor.
Recently, Kathy became a certified book coach helping clients bring their writing vision to life. She also teaches classes on writing craft both on-line and in person at workshops and conferences. When she’s not writing, she enjoys walking her German shepherd through the woods and fields near her home or curling up with a good book and her cat.
You can contact Kathy through her web site https://www.kathyottenauthor.com.
Patricia Thrushart is an award-winning poet living in the Northern Appalachian region of Pennsylvania. She has published four books of poetry. The first three—Little Girl Against The Wall, Yin And Yang, and Sanctity—were offered through an independent publisher, Quimby, Pickford and Cheshire, Ltd. Her most recent work, titled Inspired By Their Voices: Poems from Underground Railroad Testimonies was put out by Mammoth Books. Her poetry appears regularly in the regional journals The Watershed Journal, Bridge Literary Arts Journal, and Clarion University’s Tobeco.
Beyond her local presence, Patricia’s poetry has been published in multiple national and international journals including Tiny Seed, Still Point Arts Quarterly, Feminine Collective, Curating Alexandria, Poets Reading the News, Muddy River, Wood Cat, and High Shelf Press. With much of her work inspired by the beauty of Northern Appalachia and the stories of its people, she has been featured on websites promoting the literature of the region, including Dark Horse Appalachia and North/South Appalachia. Patricia is a frequent participant in regional poetry readings, workshops and writers’ retreats, conducting sessions on poetry and writing craft, among other topics. She is a regular contributor to The Watershed Journal’s blog, writing on similar themes. Also drawn to historical non-fiction, Patricia’s first book in this genre was published by Adelaide Books, New York, in December of 2021. Titled Cursed, it tells the story of a woman with ties to Brookville, Pennsylvania, whose life and tragic death have lessons for us today. Visit her on the web at PatriciaThrushart.com
Debra Rae Sanchez
Debra R. Sanchez has moved over thirty times...so far. She and her husband have three adult children, six grandchildren, and a dog. She leads and attends various writing groups in the Pittsburgh area and also hosts writing retreats. In addition, she teaches and tutors Spanish and ESL to people of all ages and is a freelance (English/Spanish) translator.
Her bilingual picture book And My Mother Cried/Y Mi Mamá Lloró won The Author Zone TAZ Award for "Best Children's Book 2017" and her writing guide Prompted, Prodded, Published: How Writing Prompts Can Help All Writers was awarded 2nd place TAZ Award in the business book category. In 2018, her book Raw & Unfinished received a TAZ award in the poetry division. In 2020, her bilingual picture book What's that Noise? ¿Qué ruido es? was published. In 2021, she had two bilingual picture books published; Chocolate Spaghetti for Breakfast/Espaguetis de Chocolate para el Desayuno and So Much Fun/¡Muy Divertido! and also another writing guide book, Looks Matter: Beyond Judging the Cover. In 2022, her bilingual picture book Flutter Me By/Pelusas de Hadas was released. Her other writing has won awards at writers’ Conferences in various genres, including children's stories, poetry, fantasy, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Several of her plays and monologues have been produced and published. Her other works have been published in literary magazines, newspapers, and anthologies.
Debra graduated from Westminster College in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in Communications and a double minor in English and Writing. Debra is also a writing coach, freelance translator (English/Spanish) and language tutor (Spanish/ESL). Her writing is as varied as her publisher’s genres, and several of her books have been published. Her other work has been published in literary magazines (print and online) and several of her plays and monologues have been published and/or produced. You can find more information about her on her website: www.debrarsanchez.com/
Writing as Liz Milliron, Mary Sutton is the author of the Laurel Highlands mystery series, starring a Pennsylvania State Trooper and a Fayette County public defender in the scenic Laurel Highlands of southwest Pennsylvania. She is also the author of the Homefront Mysteries, set in Buffalo, NY in the early years of WWII. The series features Betty Ahern, a Rosie the Riveter turned Sam Spade. Liz is a past president of the Pittsburgh Chapter of Sisters in Crime and the current Vice President. She is also a member of International Thriller Writers, Pennwriters and the Historical Novel Society. Liz splits her time between homes in Pittsburgh and the Laurel Highlands, where she lives with her husband and a very spoiled retired-racer greyhound. Visit Mary on her website at: www.lizmilliron.com
Eugene H. Ware is a native of Erie, Pennsylvania and he and his wife Nancy have lived three blocks from the entrance to Presque Isle State Park for over forty-five years. His and Nancy’s interest in the Park comes from daily year-around visits onto the park.
He has served on many local non-profit boards acting as President of seven of them. Currently, he serves as Past President of The Presque Isle Partnership, The Sight Center of Northwest Pennsylvania, The Workforce Investment Board and The Humane Society. He is Past-President of the Tom Ridge Center Foundation and board member of the recently formed Presque Isle Light Station. He is also a sustaining member of The Historical Society of Erie County.
Ware is an avid photographer and writer with eight prior books published with Presque Isle as their subject with a new soon-to-be-published Tucker & Ripley book due in August. His other children’s books are Tucker & Ripley Adventure on Presque Isley, and Tucker, Ripley and Friends Visit Asbury Woods. He is a member of Pennwriters a statewide writers group. He regularly speaks at many functions about his favorite topic Presque Isle State Park.
He writes a blog for the local newspaper which is entitled “Presque Isle – A place for all Seasons.”The blog has been very successful and the readership much higher than the paper expected. Ware writes two new entries each week on the blog and includes many pictures of his own and from other photographers that are in the park. The blog is printed weekly in the Times and some of the Garnett publications.
He hopes that his writing will bring back fond memories of Presque Isle and inspire others to contact him with new and different information and pictures of Presque Isle’s bygone years and current experiences on Presque Isle. He views these books as a beginning and not an end product.
Learn more about our speakers by reading their answers to our questions in Mile Marker 13.
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