John Lescroart, Keynote Speaker
John Lescroart is a New York Times bestselling author of nineteen novels, including most recently BETRAYAL, which is the fourteenth book in the San Francisco based Dismas Hardy/Abe Glitsky series, a stand-alone Wyatt Hunt novel entitled THE HUNT CLUB and a couple of Sherlock Holmes pastiches: SON OF HOLMES and its sequel, RASPUTIN'S REVENGE. His books have been translated into seventeen languages in more than seventy-five countries, and his short stories have been included in many anthologies.
Ken Albala is Professor of History at the University of the Pacific. He is the author or editor of 14 books on food including Eating Right in the Renaissance, Food in Early Modern Europe, Cooking in Europe 1250-1650, The Banquet: Dining in the Great Courts of Late Renaissance Europe, Beans: A History (winner of the 2008 International Association of Culinary Professionals Jane Grigson Award), and Pancake. He has also co-edited two works, The Business of Food and Human Cuisine, and two other edited collections are forthcoming this fall: Food and Faith and A Cultural History of Food: The Renaissance.
Albala was also editor of three food series for Greenwood Press with 30 volumes in print and his 4-volume Food Cultures of the World Encyclopedia was just published this summer. Albala is also co-editor of the journal Food Culture and Society and general editor of the new series AltaMira Studies in Food and Gastronomy, for which he has written a textbook entitled Three World Cuisines: Italy, China, Mexico which will appear in the spring of 2012.
He is currently researching a history of theological controversies surrounding fasting in the Reformation Era, and has co-authored a cookbook for Penguin /Perigee entitled The Lost Art of Real Cooking, the sequel of which will appear next year and is entitledThe Lost Arts of Hearth and Home.
Robin Burcell, an FBI-trained forensic artist, has worked in law enforcement for over two decades as a police officer, detective and hostage negotiator. She is the author of the Anthony Award winning SFPD Homicide Inspector Kate Gillespie novels: Every Move She Makes, Fatal Truth, Deadly Legacy and Cold Case. Her upcoming novel about a forensic artist for the FBI, Face of a Killer.
Karen Carissimo was born in Berkeley and educated at the University of the Pacific, Mills College, and the University of Southern California. Her first collection of poems, Dream City, was published last year by Iris Press. Her poetry has appeared on Verse Daily and in numerous literary journals, including North American Review, Notre Dame Review, Cimarron Review, Western Humanities Review, Crab Orchard Review, and American Literary Review. Her fiction has appeared in Green Mountains Review, and nonfiction in The San Francisco Chronicle. She is currently at work on a second book of poems and a novel
I would like to discuss in my presentation the poetry of place using narrative, lyric, and formal verse. Dream City refers to the current city of Kahului, Maui, and was once the site of a sugar plantation and crowded housing in quonset huts and shanties. The book centers on the transition of plantation life to a modern day "dream city" of suburban housing and shopping malls. After writing the first draft of the book, I researched the history of Maui using oral histories of family members who came to Hawaii from Lisbon and the Azores to work in the cane fields. A number of poems in the book confront the hardships of working in the fields and the subsequent loss of familial and communal bonds when Hawaii became Americanized.
I'm still fascinated by the poetry of place. While Dream City deals mostly with the decay of land, identity, and language, the current book of poetry I'm writing, tentatively titled The Book of Rooms, addresses the impact of various interiors on self and belonging.
Scott Evans has taught at the University of the Pacific in Central California for over twenty years, including fiction writing and a course titled Crime, Punishment and Justice that introduces first-year students to criminology from various perspectives. He has also taught at the University of California, Davis, including a course in legal writing for the King Hall Law School's Outreach Program. Before returning to California, he taught at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, which is one of the settings in his "literary" murder mysteries. These thrillers follow the misadventures of a handsome, resourceful, but somewhat naïve young college instructor named Joseph Lawrence Conrad who, in Tragic Flaws, is accused of a series of brutal crimes and uses ideas from Hamlet to set a trap for the real killer. First Folio picks up approximately three years later when Joe receives a box of manuscripts-the handwritten plays of William Shakespeare. The problem is, the handwriting is not Shakespeare's and Joe is no Elizabethan scholar. Scott has attended Shakespeare authorship conferences and used dozens of books and articles during the four years of research that went into First Folio. When he is not playing tennis, scuba diving, or sailing on the San Francisco Bay, you will probably find Scott Evans listening to jazz and sipping a martini at a local bar while chatting about books with fellow writers.
Naomi is best known for her portrayal of "Pepper" in "American Horror Story: Asylum." Previously, she wrote, produced, and starred in her second hit solo show, "Carnival Knowledge: Love, Lust, and other Human Oddities," which enjoyed a twice-extended, sold-out run and rave reviews ("Recommended" by LA Weekly); the show was then reprised at the world-famous fringe theatre festival in Edinburgh, Scotland, where it received more critical praise (4 stars: The Scotsman, Broadway Baby, Fringe Review) and a transfer to London's West End (Leicester Square Theatre). It was later reprised Off Off Broadway in New York. Its predecessor, "Girl in Argentine Landscape," also received critical acclaim (LA Weekly, "Pick of the Week") and earned her an LA Weekly Theater Award nomination for best solo performance. Naomi also toured with "Girl..." to Chicago's Single File Festival, the Los Angeles Women's Theatre Festival, and the New York International Fringe Festival. A graduate in theatre from Northwestern University and a former member of the esteemed Groundlings Sunday Company, Naomi has starred in numerous self-penned/produced comedic shorts under her "Red Meat Entertainment" umbrella.
Ace Antonio Hall
When he's not on the set shooting a scene, Ace Antonio Hall lives almost every waking moment writing novels of the futuristic Sci-Fi thriller/horror genre. In addition to being a horror novelist he is also an actor in television series and movies and has had principal roles in a few independent films. For the past two TV seasons, Ace has worked as a stand-in for the talented Damon Wayans, Jr. for the ABC hit sitcom Happy Endings, in which he says is a pleasure to work with such a professional, yet hilarious cast and crew. "I knew [from] the moment I saw The Creature from the Black Lagoon, Abbott and Costello Meets Frankenstein, and Hitchcock's Psycho that I wanted to write science fiction and horror."
Hall earned a BFA from Long Island University with a concentration in acting and screenwriting
Hall is the [former] vice president of the Greater Los Angeles Writers Society. He joined the group in 2008 and found its lectures and support invaluable aids to his writing. His newest book is a YA Sci-Fi Horror novel titled Sylvia Slasher:
"In a parallel world where zombies are harmless witnesses for homicidal cases or corporate and family legal disputes, a teenaged necromancer races against time to prevent an undead takeover aboard a cruise ship. She unexpectedly finds herself trapped in a surreal and frightening struggle between a new species of mutant-zombies and a Ship of 1000 Corpses, both with a hunger to destroy every living being on the planet. And so an eighteen-year-old girl becomes the monster she's sworn to kill. Got zombies? Sylva Slasher does..."
Karen Levy is an Israeli-American writer. Born in Israel, Levy spent most of her childhood traveling between her native land and the United States. Commuting between these two countries and having a keen eye for detail have afforded Levy the knowledge necessary to recount the immigrant experience in a very candid style. Following her military service, Levy pursued her studies in the United States where she earned a B.A. in Comparative Literature from the University of California at Davis, and an M.A. in English/Creative Writing from Sacramento State University where she teaches composition and interpretation of literature. Her work has appeared in several publications including Welter Magazine, So to Speak, the Blue Moon and The Meadow. She lives in Davis, California with her husband and two children.
My Father's Gardens is the story of a young girl who comes of age in two languages, and on two shores, between warring parents and rules that change depending on the landscape and the proximity of her mother. Struggling to find her voice and her place in the world as a result of her frequent travels between her native Israel and the United States, she feels that she must choose a place to call home. Homebound Publishing
Cynthia Linville has taught in the English Department at California State University, Sacramento, since 2000 and has served as Managing Editor of Convergence: an online journal of poetry and art since 2008. She is active in the Sacramento poetry scene, hosting readings, and reading with the group Poetica Erotica as well as on her own. Her book of collected poems, The Lost Thing, is available from Cold River Press. The last poem in the book, "I am Fortune's Ungraceful Daughter," was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2012.
"Cynthia Linville's new book, The Lost Thing, is an eloquent testimony to love, mostly love lost but also an unquenchable affirmation of life," notes Allegra Jostad Silberstein, Poet Laureate of Davis. Penthouse writer Patricia Hickerson claims, "Linville shows astonishing insight into the ephemeral nature of lust, one of the sadder aspects of love. Her work about hedonistic heartbreak is timeless and universal." Sacramento Poet Laureate Bob Stanley comments, "Robert Haas speaks of 'desire' as the ultimate subject of poetry, and in Linville's poems, a deep longing calls out from the senses: sweet, sorrowful, sultry."
Photo credit: Anita Scharf
Patti McCarthy, PhD, MFA
She was hired by producer Ray Stark as Creative Executive at Rastar Productions for Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Entertainment and was quickly promoted to Head of Development. During her tenure at Rastar she worked on such notable projects as: Nickelodeon's, Harriet the Spy, To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday (starring Michelle Pfeiffer, directed by David Kelly), Random Hearts (Starring Harrison Ford, directed by Sydney Pollack, written by Kurt Ludtke & Darryl Poniscon), and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (starring Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchette, written by Eric Roth, directed by David Fincher), among others. Also on the Sony lot, she was asked by producers Larry Turman and John Morrissey at the Turman-Morrissey Company in association with Rastar Productions to develop high-concept projects, including, American History X, for New Line Cinema, starring Ed Norton (nominated for Academy Award for Best Actor), Edward Furlong, Beverly D'Angleo and Elliot Gould.
She received her PhD in Critical Studies in Film and an MFA in Film Production from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA. Since her appointment at the University of the Pacific in 2006, she has won a variety of awards (2009 Pacific Innovation Award, 2008 Pacific Fund Grant, 2007 Pacific Innovation Teaching Award) and taught various film classes, most notably, Screenwriting, Introduction to Film Production, and Advanced Film Production. Her other degrees include an: MA, Critical Studies in Film, University of the Pacific and, BA, English, BA, Psychology, University of the Pacific, Stockton, CA. Her book, The Lucas Effect: George Lucas and the New Hollywood, is currently in line for publication at Cambria/Teneo Press.
I was born in Edinburgh, in south-east Scotland and lived there, in Ayrshire, in Dumfriesshsire and in Galloway before moving to California in 2010. I was also born married (just about) to a scientist who paints, writes poetry, makes furniture and plays bass guitar and double bass. It's annoying to be a full-time fiction writer and yet not be the artiest person in your house. Past jobs have included banking (hopeless), library work in local studies and fine art (marvellous), and a short burst of academia (miserable). When not writing, I'm reading, gardening, cooking and baking, getting to grips with this outlandish and enormous country (20 states visited so far) and practising an extreme form of Scotch thrift, from eating home-grown food to dumpster-diving for major appliances.
Catriona McPherson's latest book, As She Left It, is coming on June 8th from Midnight Ink.
Her mother is dead but everyone else Opal Jones remembers from childhood is still there on the dead-end street in Leeds she thought she'd left forever when, twelve years old and traumatised, she ran away. Mrs Pickess is still watching from across the road, the Joshis up the end still have their taxis and Fishbo, Opal's ancient music teacher, is still playing his trumpet and leading his band. But something on Mote Street has changed: ten years ago, little Craig Southgate, that sweet, red-haired child she once knew, disappeared from the back lane and was never seen again.
At first, unraveling the mystery is a fine distraction for Opal. But unearthing her neighbours' dark secrets soon begins dredging up memories of her own ugly past - and a growing suspicion that little Craig never left Mote Street at all.
Indigo Moor is a poet, playwright, and author currently residing in Sacramento, CA. His second book of poetry, Through the Stonecutter's Window, won Northwestern University Press's Cave Canem prize. His first book Tap-Root was published as part of Main Street Rag's Editor's Select Poetry Series
His short plays, Harvest, Shuffling, and The Red and Yellow Quartet debuted at the 60 Million Plus Theatre's Spring Playwright's festival. His stageplay, Live! at the Excelsior was a finalist for the Images Theatre Playwright Award and is being made into a full length film.
A graduate of the Stonecoast MFA Program, where he studied poetry, fiction, and scriptwriting, Indigo is also a graduate member of the Artist's Residency Institute for Teaching Artists. He is the winner of the 2005 Vesle Fenstermaker Prize for Emerging Writers, a 2009 Pushcart Prize nominee, and 2008 Jack Kerouac Poetry contest winner. Other honors include: finalist finishes for the T.S. Eliot Prize, Crab Orchard First Book Prize, Saturnalia First Book Award, Naomi Long Madgett Book Award, and WordWorks Prize.Collaborative efforts include the Artists Embassy Intl. Dancing Poetry Festival, the Livermore Ekphrastic Project, and the Davis Jazz Arts Festival. When not teaching creative writing, Indigo works as physical design engineer for Intel Corporation.
Kim Stanley Robinson
Kim Stanley Robinson is an American science fiction writer known for his award-winning Mars trilogy. His work delves into ecological and sociological themes regularly, and many of his novels appear to be the direct result of his own scientific fascinations, such as the fifteen years of research and lifelong fascination with the planet Mars. In 1975, he earned a M.A. in English from Boston University and in 1982, he earned a PhD in English from the University of California, San Diego. His doctoral thesis, The Novels of Philip K. Dick, was published in 1984. Robinson was an instructor at the Clarion Workshop in 2009. In 2010, Robinson was guest of honor at the 68th World Science Fiction Convention, held in Melbourne, Australia.
A backpacker, mountain climbing appears in several of his fiction works, notably Antarctica, the Mars trilogy, "Green Mars" (a short story found in The Martians), the Science in the Capital series beginning with Forty Signs of Rain, and Escape from Kathmandu. The Mars Trilogy is Robinson's best-known work. It is an extended work of science fiction that deals with the first settlement of the planet by a group of scientists and engineers. Its three volumes are Red Mars, Green Mars, and Blue Mars, titles that mark the changes that the planet undergoes over the course of the saga.
Many threads of different characters' lives are woven together in the Trilogy. Science, sociology, and politics are all covered in great detail, evolving over the course of the narrative. Robinson's fascination with science and technology is clear, although he balances this with a strong streak of humanity.
Adam David Russ is assistant editor of the Blue Moon Literary & Art Review. His short stories have appeared in Paradigm and The Battered Suitcase, have garnered awards from Writer's Digest, The Baltimore Review, and New Millennium Writings, and have been performed at Stories on Stage. He lives in Northern California.
Bloodhound in Blue: The True Tales of Police Dog JJ and His Two-Legged Partner
(Forthcoming from Lyons Press in July 2013)
Born in rural Missouri, it was clear early on that he was different from the rest. He caught his first criminal when he was just two years old. By his sixth birthday, he had located burglars, rapists, drug dealers, missing children, and murderers-including Utah's most wanted criminal. Known to friends as JJ, to law enforcement as Michael Serio's partner, and by captured criminals as "that damned dog," Jessie Jr. was an exceptionally talented bloodhound, baying like a sea lion that had swallowed a fog horn. Before JJ, few police departments in the West used bloodhounds, and none in Utah. But just when JJ finally convinced naysayers, he and Officer Serio ran into something worse than resistance: the despair of failure amid high hope. JJ had been tracking Brian David Mitchell, the man who abducted Elizabeth Smart, when he was pulled off the track. Elizabeth later told investigators that on the day she was kidnapped she heard a dog baying in the woods behind her. In almost nine years of service, JJ helped apprehend nearly 300 criminal suspects in the Salt Lake City area. Here is his remarkable story, fleas and all.
Sam Shane currently anchors the news at CBS 13 in Sacramento. He graduated from the University of Minnesota with a B.A. in journalism. He's spent more than 20 years traveling across the country working for TV stations and covering major news events. He started in Duluth, Minn., and later in his career he worked at KCRA-TV in Sacramento, KGO-TV in San Francisco, at the Fox affiliate in Seattle and as an anchor at MSNBC.
Sam has covered major stories like the L.A. riots, the Oklahoma City bombing, and the capture of the Unabomber. He's interviewed a variety of political figures and leaders including a president and a number of U.S. senators. In addition to reporting international, national and local news stories throughout his career, he also written and produced an award-winning investigative series on the failures of government officials during the 1997 floods in Northern California.
Sam has also written a children's book called "Rocky The Mudhen."
Sam is married and is the father of two kids - a boy and a girl. In his spare time, Sam enjoys golfing, skiing, reading, writing and cooking.
The son of a father who was a mule skinner and small town constable and a mother who was born in a sod hut, learning the old western skills and ethos by assimilation, David Lloyd Sutton spent his first eleven years living in a tent, neighbored by coyotes and bobcats, helping to raise the family's food, and employing many of the techniques he has used in this book. From the age of twelve, he was spending all his free time, often gained by playing hooky, living off his rifle in the wild country inland of Santa Barbara, his birthplace. He is still most at home in wilderness.
Volunteering into the Marine Corps at eighteen, he served two (also voluntary) combat tours in Vietnam. "I was a bloodthirsty child" he says. Since then he has captained an abalone boat, tested lightning arresters, and was, solo, the Gadget Skunk Works for Hughes' infrared research facility for a decade.
In the New Hebrides, working for the real Phoenix Foundation, he wrote a constitution for their independence movement whilst training militia officers and running a police force. The socialists won, and he's on the proscribed persons list in that place now.
In David Sutton's book Big Hills, a boy succeeds through hard work and imaginative violence.
Young Anson Kerrigan begins his tale atop a tall red horse, leading an elderly mule, starving and alone in country both strange to him and full of hostiles. His possessions are minimal, and long worn. While the boy copes, sometimes at great effort and in tremendous danger, there is a reality to how he copes that makes this little western a gripping read.
David Lloyd Sutton has moved into full novel work from a long history of short stories and fact articles, largely in equestrian, martial arts, and firearms magazines. He says, "Every technique in this book is real, and I've either done it or seen it done."
The author's experience set goes a long way toward explaining the immediacy and clarity of this read. Also some of its humor. The author adds, "I've come hard off a big chestnut just as often as my character."
A decade ago my second Dan Ballantine story, INTENT TO DEFRAUD, won the Dark Oak Mystery contest. First prize was publication. The following year DEAD DRUNK won the publisher's Cop Tales contest. Publication of previously written works followed. Readers have asked: What is the order of your 'serial' novels? Should they be read in order? While one will find an occasional reference to an earlier story, the books stand alone with exceptions noted below. The Dan Ballantine series: EXPRESS MALICE, INTENT TO DEFRAUD, CRASH AND BURN (action starts immediately after Intent), COLD LEG, SPLIT-DOLLAR MURDER, PAYBACK (a 'two years later' sequel to Crash and Burn), DEVIL'S DROP (action starts at the end of Payback), DEAD PEASANTS, THE BEST OF PALS, A HURT FOR A HURT, SUCKED UP, SLICKROCK, DESTROYING ANGEL (action starts at the end of Slickrock), COLD WATER DEATH, AMBUSH, The Michael Hunt series: DRAFTEE, U.S. ARMY, 2 EACH, THE BAD BOY MURDERS REBELLION & The Ethan Cooper series: MURDER FOR A BUCK & DESTROY PHOENIX.