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Killer Nashville 2022 Faculty

BRUCE ROBERT COFFIN is the award-winning author of the Detective Byron mystery series. A former detective sergeant with more than twenty-seven years in law enforcement, he supervised all homicide and violent crime investigations for Maine’s largest city. Following the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, Bruce spent four years investigating counter-terrorism cases for the FBI, earning the Director’s Award, the highest award a non-agent can receive. Winner of Killer Nashville’s Silver Falchion Awards for Best Procedural and Best Investigator, and the Maine Literary Award for Best Crime Fiction Novel, Bruce was also a finalist for the Agatha Award for Best Contemporary Novel. His short fiction appears in several anthologies, including Best American Mystery Stories 2016. Read more about him at

MARISSA D’ANGELO  is an author of fictional novellas of the mystical and spiritual worlds. Her series, Tales of Charles Island, are based on the history of curses at Charles Island. She grew up in Connecticut and was walking distance from the pathway that led directly onto its shores. In the Summer of 2022, she looks forward to promoting her books at several local festivals and will be attending Killer Nashville in Tennessee. She will be present at the Oyster Festival and looks forward to holding author signing events in Connecticut. She now lives in Maryland and teaches second grade. She works each day to help her student’s love for writing grow so that it too can provide them with adventure and enjoyment. In high school, she served as the newspaper editor and studied English Literature throughout college. All of her fictional stories are based off dreams that she has had. Aside from writing, she helps support the SPCA through volunteer work and raising funds for animals in need. Learn more at

JOHN DEDAKIS, novelist, writing coach, and manuscript editor, is a former editor on CNN’s “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.” DeDakis is the author of five mystery-suspense novels. His fourth novel, Bullet in the Chamber, is the winner of Reviewers Choice, Foreword INDIES, and Feathered Quill book awards. In his most recent novel, Fake, protagonist Lark Chadwick is a White House correspondent dealing with “fake news” in the era of #MeToo. Fake earned Honorable Mention for the Reviewers Choice Award and was a Finalist for Killer Nashville’s Silver Falchion, and for CIBA’s CLUE Award. DeDakis is also the host of the video podcast “One-to-One with John DeDakis” on YouTube.

JOELLE DELBOURGO represents a broad range of adult nonfiction and fiction. Her authors include New York Times bestselling fiction writer Ben H. Winters, winner of both the Edgar Award and the Philip K. Dick Award; Jim Obergefell, named plaintiff in the Supreme Court marriage equality case (Obergefell v. Hodges), Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Debbie Cenziper and Dale Russakoff; Dr. Michele Borba, award-winning educator and parenting contributor to The Today Show; New York Times bestselling authors Dale Russakoff, the late Dr. Susan Forward, memoirists Ariel Burger, Ashley Rhodes-Courter, and Israel Meir Lau (former Chief Rabbi of Israel);  classicist and historian Philip Freeman; novelists Marilyn Simon Rothstein, Julie Valerie, Marj Charlier and Lindsey J. Palmer, among many others. Prior to founding  the agency, Delbourgo was a senior editorial executive at HarperCollins and Ballantine Books, a division of Random House for more than two decades. Among the authors she worked with are Ken Davis, Abraham Verghese, Lee Smith, Barbara Tuchman, Carl Sagan, Robert Massie, James P. McPherson, Jim Davis, Sophy  Burnham, Delia Ephron and Margaret George.  She began her editorial career at Bantam Books, where she discovered and launched the Choose Your Own Adventure series for kids, which sold millions of copies worldwide. She holds a Master of the Arts in English and Comparative Literature with Honors from Columbia University, and a Bachelor of the Arts from Williams College, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa with a double concentration in History and English Literature.  Joëlle is as sought-after speaker, panelist, workshop leader and instructor at writing conferences.  She has taught publishing and editing at Rutgers University to graduate students.  She has lived on three continents, is fluent in French, and considers herself to be a citizen of the world.  The proud mother of two, she is an ardent student of Latin and ballroom dance and a dedicated home baker. Learn more about her at

J.L. DELOZIER’S debut, Type & Cross, was nominated for a “Best First Novel” award by the International Thriller Writers organization; her fourth novel, Con Me Once, won a Silver Falchion Award. Her short fiction has won an Omega Award and appeared in Artemis Journal, The Pittsburgher, Thriller Magazine, Retreats from Oblivion, and the anthologies, Noirville: Tales from the Dark Side and Writers Crushing COVID-19. Her Gothic murder-mystery, The Photo Thief, is coming Fall, 2022 by CamCat Books. Dr. Delozier is a retired Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at Penn State with expertise in mass casualty/disaster scenarios and has worked in federal medical shelters during Hurricanes Katrina, Ike, and Gustav.

SONJA DEWING is an award-winning creative writer and best selling author. Her first adventure novel, Toy of the Gods, was published through a small publisher but she since took the book back and successfully self-published it, as well as her series of books. Read more about her at

Charlie DonleaCHARLIE DONLEA is the critically acclaimed, USA Today, Indiebound and #1 internationally bestselling author of Summit Lake, The Girl Who Was Taken, Don’t Believe It, Some Choose Darkness, The Suicide House, and Twenty Years Later. Published in nearly 30 countries and translated into more than a dozen languages, Donlea has been praised for his “soaring pace, teasing plot twists” (BookPage) and talent for writing an ending that “makes your jaw drop” (The New York Times Book Review). He was born and raised in Chicago, where he continues to live with his wife and two children. Visit him online at

PRIYA DORASWAMY’S love for books, people, and background in law makes her career as a literary agent the perfect fit for her passions and talents. Priya enjoys working with publishers and writers from around the world. Although physically in New Jersey, her work hours are zone-free. She does admit to occasionally losing track of time zones and waking a writer with an early morning phone call. Priya is drawn to all genre of fiction and nonfiction. Prior to her agency career, she was a practicing lawyer in New Jersey. Originally from Bangalore, India, Priya immigrated to the New York area many moons ago. For a period of time she relocated with her family to Singapore, and there, began her career as a literary agent. She founded Lotus Lane Literary in May 2013 and continues her journey with writers and publishers. Learn more about Priya here.

LYNETTE EASON  is the best selling, award winning author of over sixty-five books. She writes for Revell and Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense line. Her books have appeared on the CBA, ECPA, Publisher’s Weekly, Parable, and USA Today’s bestseller lists. She has won numerous awards including the Carol Award, Christian Retailing’s Best, the Holt Medallion, the Selah, Killer Nashville’s Reader’s choice award, and more. Her book, Her Stolen Past, made into a Lifetime Movie Network movie, aired in February 2018. Lynette teaches at writing conferences all over the country. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), Mystery Writers of America (MWA), International Thriller Writers (ITW), and Faith, Hope, and Love. Lynette can be found online at

DEBRA GASKILL was an award-winning journalist for 20 years, writing for a number of Ohio newspapers and the Associated Press, covering the cops and courts beat. She is the author of the Jubilant Falls series (Barn Burner, 2009, The Major’s Wife 2010, Lethal Little Lies, 2013, Murder on the Lunatic Fringe, 2014 and Death of A High Maintenance Blonde, 2015) and the Fracktown Gumshoe PI series (Call Fitz, 2015, Holy Fitz, 2016, Love Fitz, 2016, Kissing Fitz, 2017, Toxic Fitz, 2018 and Hidden Fitz, 2020. A 7th Fitz novel is due February 2022. Kissing Fitz was the winner in the 2018 Silver Falchion Best Suspense category. Find her at

MARGARET S. HAMILTON has published over twenty short stories in a variety of on-line magazines and anthologies, including The Best New England Crime Stories 2020. Her debut mystery, Corniced to Death, was a Claymore Award 2021 finalist.

STEVEN C. HARMS is a professional sports, sponsorship, broadcast, and digital media business executive with a career spanning over thirty years across the NBA, NFL, and MLB. He’s dealt with Fortune 500 companies, major consumer brands, professional athletes, and multi-platform integrated sports partnerships and media advertising campaigns. Steven is an accomplished playwright having written and produced a successful theatrical production which led him to tackle his debut novel, Give Place to Wrath, the first in the Roger Viceroy detective series. The second book, The Counsel of the Cunning, was published in November 2021. A native of Wisconsin, he graduated from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. He now resides in the Milwaukee area.


J L HILL is a native New Yorker from the South Bronx, Fort Apache, of the turbulent 60’s. He earned a degree in computer programming, his other love. A multi-genre author, his experiences seasoned his novels and the worlds he imagined. James started RockHill Publishing LLC to publish his own work and give others access to the literary world. The four-part adult urban crime series, The Killer Series, is all but finished. Killer With A Heart, Killer With Three Heads, and Killer With Black Blood have received five-star reviews. Killer With Ice Eyes is in various stages of editing and rewrites.



STEVEN HUTSON is a native of Los Angeles, a child of the 1960s, and a storyteller almost from birth. After several years of freelance editing and directing a writers’ conference, he branched out as a literary agent in early 2011. He has placed his clients’ works with HarperCollins, Dutton, Potomac Books, Harlequin, Thomas Nelson, Hachette, Baker Books, Writer’s Digest Books, and others. Several clients have won prestigious awards, in both the Christian and general markets. Learn more about Steven here.

RICHARD S. JAFFE is the founding partner of Jaffe, Hanle, Whisonant & Knight. Best Lawyers of America has named him Lawyer of the Year for Alabama 3 times since 2014. In 2014 Super lawyers listed him as one of the top 10 lawyers in Alabama. In 2020 Birmingham Magazine inducted him into their Hall of Fame of Birmingham lawyers. He is the author of 3 books including Quest for Justice: Defending the Damned, 2nd edition (2020) in which he tells the stories of his representation of Eric Robert Rudolph, the rise and fall of  Judge Jack Montgomery and the exonerations of 4 death row inmates at new trials. Several of the cases in it are subjects of films, podcasts and other media formats. In addition, he is the author of As Night Sets In (2016) a collection of poems he has written over 40 years. He is a sought-after speaker  and presenter to trial lawyers across the U.S.


JUDY KLASS’s play Cell was produced by Zev Buffman in a mystery festival in Kentucky, got nominated for an Edgar Allan Poe Award, and is published by Samuel French/Concord. Her play Country Fried Murder won the SOPS competition in 2018 and was produced at the Shawnee Playhouse in Pennsylvania in 2019. It was produced virtually in 2021 by Quarantine Players, and released as a Zoom recording/podcast. Her play Cozy Murder has had several online readings. Her thriller screenplay Au Pair Girl was optioned in Hollywood four times. A YA book version was published by a small press. When that press closed, she started publishing it. She also wrote a Best Selling TOS Star Trek novel published by Pocket Books. Read more at

DEAN KRYSTEK put away his uniform after retiring from a long military career and decided to follow his passion for books. He is an alumnus of the University of Maryland and the University of South Carolina with a B.A. in English. He’s a published novelist and short story writer. He currently resides in Pennsylvania with his wife Lynda. Dean is looking for authors with distinctive voices whose narratives invoke a strong sense of time and place and whose stories create a memorable reading experience. He’d like to see paranormal; crime (police procedural); mysteries (whodunit, cozy); sci-fi (space opera, dystopian, alternate history, time travel); psychological suspense; thrillers (looking for small town America setting vs international in scale); military fiction (character-driven pieces; favoring post-WWII. **Vietnam**). In YA and middle-grade fiction he would like to see mysteries, paranormal, sci-fi, coming of age, and suspense with writing that stirs the imagination and caters to the young reader’s sense of wonder and adventure. Dean is also looking for film & television projects to develop in his areas of interest either as original works or adaptations of an author’s work (published or unpublished). Learn more about Dean here

JAMES L’ETOILE uses his twenty-nine years behind bars as an influence in his novels, short stories, and screenplays. He is a former associate warden in a maximum-security prison, a hostage negotiator, facility captain, and director of California’s state parole system. He is a nationally recognized expert witness on prison and jail operations. He has been nominated for the Silver Falchion for Best Procedural Mystery, and The Bill Crider Award for short fiction. His published novels include: At What Cost, Bury the Past, Little River -The Other Side of Paradise and Black Label. Look for Dead Drop in the summer of 2022 from Level Best Books.


JANE B. LEE is a multi-book author of adult fiction novels. She writes romance stories wrapped around action/thriller. Jane is a play-writer, poet, and an avid world traveler, having been to over 62 countries. She has several degrees from California State University at Long Beach and holds two patents for environmental equipment. Jane is an active member of the LGBTQ community; she passionately gives voice to her LGBTQ community. Read more about her at




ROBERT MANGEOT’s fiction appears here and there, including ALFRED HITCHCOCK’S MYSTERY MAGAZINE, THE FORGE LITERARY MAGAZINE, LOWESTOFT CHRONICLE, MYSTERY MAGAZINE, MWA’s ICE COLD, and the Anthony-winning MURDER UNDER THE OAKS. His work has three times been named a Derringer finalist. When not writing, he serves as a chapter officer for Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime Middle Tennessee. When not doing any of that, he can be found wandering the snack food aisles of America or France.


S LEE MANNING spent two years as managing editor of Law Enforcement Communications before realizing that lawyers make a lot more money. A subsequent career as an attorney spanned from a first-tier New York law firm, Cravath, Swaine & Moore, to working for the Office of the Attorney General, State of New Jersey, to solo practice. In 2001, An award-winning writer, Manning is the author of international thrillers, Trojan Horse, a finalist in two categories for the Silver Falchion Award in 2020, and Nerve Attack. A life-long interest in Russia and espionage is reflected in the Kolya Petrov thrillers. When not writing thrillers, Manning performs stand-up comedy and was a semi-finalist in the 2019 Vermont’s Funniest Comedian.

DIANNE MCCARTNEY is an award-winning writer, speaker and contest judge from Canon City, Colorado. She lives with her husband, Mitch, among the deer, coyotes and other wildlife. Her novels are mainstream thriller/suspense and contemporary romance published by The Wild Rose Press. Her latest release, Dark Vengeance, is the first book in The Elijah Black Trilogy. She has sixty-three writing awards from contests in Oklahoma and Texas and is a long-standing member of the OWFI and The Rose Rock Writers.



MARY MCFARLAND’s background includes a career as a technical writer in the software industry with a Master’s in using Web technologies in higher ed. An aspiring thriller author, she recognizes the massive challenges authors face marketing books. As a result, she founded Red Girl Digital Media LLC, a tech startup focused on creating apps and media to a) help authors increase their Return on Investment (RoI), for marketing dollars and time spent, and b) increase their market Share of Voice (SoV). Mary is an experienced CEO, with a track record building competitive startups, creating award-winning media products, and penetrating new markets. She writes edgy technothrillers, is an eco-activist, and–in her spare time–lives dangerously as a wine vintner at Mucky Manor.


RICHARD MEREDITH worked as a marine scientist and wildlife biologist for the federal government and the private sector before embarking on his writing passion. His first thriller, Sky Dance, was based on his restoration work in the oil fields of Ecuador. His second novel, The Crow’s Nest, which won the Silver Falchion Award for the best Action-Adventure novel at the 2021 Killer Nashville Conference, drew on his experience on commercial fishing boats. His third novel, Maskirovka—The Russian Art of Deception, was recently accepted for publication. When not writing or reading, he enjoys travel, bird and wildlife watching, scuba, guitars, most sports, and tending to his four grandchildren. He is on the board of Capitol Crimes, Sacramento’s Sister-in-Crime chapter.


JUDY L. MURRAY,  a Philadelphia real estate broker and restoration addict, has worked with enough delusional sellers, jittery buyers, testy contractors, and diva agents to fill her head with back-office insight and truth versus gossip. Judy lives atop a cliff on the Chesapeake Bay with her husband where she writes long after sunset. They’re buffeted by winds in winter and invaded by family and dogs in summer. She began her professional writing career as a newspaper reporter and magazine columnist on real estate and won national awards for marketing concepts. Judy is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America. Join her at


NOLA NASH Originally from south Louisiana, Nola Nash now makes her home in Brentwood , Tennessee, with her three children. Growing up in Baton Rouge, she spent long hours onstage or backstage in the local community theaters. Her biggest writing inspiration was the city of New Orleans that gave her at an early age a love of the magic, mystery, and history. When she isn’t writing, Nola is an online high school instructional coach or interviewing authors on Dead Folks Tales and BYOB on Authors on the Air Global Radio Network. She also considers tacos and coffee major food groups.

CAROL ORANGE’s A Discerning Eye was published in October, 2020. It was inspired by the real art heist at Boston’s Gardner Museum. The novel won the Global Book Award for mystery/suspense. Carol has worked in the art world for more than 20 years. An article on art heists was published in Crime Reads. Two of her short stories have been published. Kate Tuttle of the Boston Globe interviewed her for an article about A Discerning Eye.



DALE T. PHILLIPS has published novels, story collections, non-fiction, and over 70 short stories. Stephen King was Dale’s college writing teacher, and since then, Dale has found time to appear on stage, television, radio, in an independent feature film, and compete on Jeopardy (losing in a spectacular fashion). He’s a member of the Mystery Writers of America and the Sisters in Crime. He’s traveled to all 50 states, Mexico, Canada, and through Europe.




MARCY POSNER attended the University at Buffalo and has a master’s degree from Columbia University. Marcy started out with a brief career as a children’s librarian before she transitioned to publishing. From there, she worked for Pinnacle Books, Rodale Press, Salem House, as Pantheon’s Associate Publisher, during which time she worked with Noam Chomsky, Matt Groening, Art Spiegelman, and Studs Terkel. For eleven years Marcy worked as a Vice President of The William Morris Agency where she represented bestselling writers as well as selling Foreign Rights. She then moved to Sterling Lord Literistic before landing at Folio Literary Management in 2010. Learn more about Marcy here.

MARTHA REED  is a multi-award-winning mystery and crime fiction author. Her Crescent City NOLA Mystery, “Love Power” was a 2021 Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award winner as well as a Silver Falchion Finalist in the Best Mystery category and features Gigi Pascoe, a transgender sleuth. Her John and Sarah Jarad Nantucket Mystery series garnered an Independent Publisher (IPPY) Book Award for Mid-Atlantic Best Regional Fiction. Her short story, “The Honor Thief” was included in the 2021 Bouchercon anthology, “This Time for Sure,” edited by Hank Phillippi Ryan.


LUIS E. ROSAS is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps and has served overseas in the Middle East, South Asia, Africa, and Latin America. He graduated from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas with a degree in International Relations. He was inspired by classics like Sherlock Holmes, Atlas Shrugged, and The Old Man and the Sea. His interests reading and writing in the thriller genre were influenced by authors like Tom Clancy, David Baldacci, Jack Carr, Lisa Gardner, Hank Phillipi Ryan, and Jason Matthews. His debut novel, A Savage Joy, reflects unique elements the authors mentioned brought into the printed word. Luis has lived in Washington, DC, the United Kingdom, and currently lives in St. Louis, Missouri.



KAIRA ROUDA  is a USA TODAY, Amazon charts, and international bestselling, multiple award-winning author of contemporary fiction that explores what goes on beneath the surface of seemingly perfect lives. Her domestic suspense novels include BEST DAY EVER, THE FAVORITE DAUGHTER, ALL THE DIFFERENCE, and THE NEXT WIFE. Her next novel, SOMEBODY’S HOME, is out January 18, 2022. To date, Kaira’s novels have been translated into more than ten languages. She lives in Southern California with her family and is at work on her next novel.

C.A. ROWLAND is a recovering lawyer turned writer. Raised in Texas, she now calls Tennessee home – a place of history, folklore and inspiration. She’s published short stories and non-fiction articles and is currently finishing her first amateur sleuth mystery set in Savannah, Georgia. She comes by her interest in ghosts, myths and legends and the paranormal naturally, having spent hours in cemeteries with her grandmother. She has stories in the Fiction River anthologies and Pulphouse Magazine.



Hank Philippi Ryan

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN is the USA Today bestselling author of 13 psychological thrillers, winning the most prestigious awards in the genre: five Agathas, four Anthonys, and the coveted Mary Higgins Clark Award. She is also on-air investigative reporter for Boston’s WHDH-TV, with 37 EMMYs and dozens more journalism honors. Book critics call her “a master of suspense,” “a superb and gifted storyteller”; she’s the only author to have won the Agatha in four categories: Best First, Best Novel, Best Short Story and Best Non-Fiction. Hank’s 2020 novel is THE FIRST TO LIE, nominated for both the prestigious Anthony Award for Best Novel and Mary Higgins Clark Award. Her newest book is HER PERFECT LIFE, a chilling psychological standalone about fame, family, and revenge which received starred reviews from Kirkus and Publishers Weekly, which called it “A superlative thriller,” and Mystery Scene called it “A powerhouse of a thriller.” B.A. Paris says, “Shocking, suspenseful… kept me guessing until the end.” and Julie Clark says, “You will read this in one sitting!” Hank is a founder of MWA University and The Back Room; and National Sisters in Crime past president. Visit Hank at, Twitter @HankPRyan, Instagram @hankpryan and Facebook at HankPhillippiRyanAuthor

JULIE SELBO’s crime mystery, 10 DAYS: A Dee Rommel Mystery is nominated for a Clue Award, received a starred Kirkus review and is on the 2021 top-five list of Kirkus’ best crime/mysteries from independent publishers. She absconded from Hollywood and her work as a produced screenwriter to Portland, Maine to write novels. Three award-winning historical fiction books followed. Now she focuses on her favorite genre – the crime/mystery – and has just completed the second in her series: 9 DAYS, A Dee Rommel Mystery. Jule’s also a professor; books include Building Character and Film Genre for the Screenwriter. She lectures internationally about her ground-breaking work on how writers can use a knowledge of story genres to enhance their fiction.


JEFF SHAW is a retired law enforcement officer. He served in various capacities including, SWAT, Hostage Negotiator and Homicide Sergeant.   


TERRY SHEPHERD‘s  wrote his first short story at age eleven and was first published as a non-fiction author in 2008. He created Detective Jessica Ramirez in 2019, publishing his thriller “Chasing Vega” in 2020. The book earned 5-Star ratings on Amazon and is also available in audio book and Spanish language editions. The second installment in the trilogy, “Chasing The Captain” was released in the fall of 2021 with “Chasing Karma,” Jessica’s third adventure due out this summer. He published the popular “Juliette and the Mystery Bug” series, co-authored with his wife, Colleen, when his granddaughter wondered how kids could protect themselves during a pandemic. For more info visit



BENNY SIMS can trace the origin of his love for storytelling to reading Jack London’s “The Call Of The Wild” when he was seven years old. As he grew older, several teachers in high school and college recognized his aptitude for writing and encouraged him to pursue it, and he hasn’t stopped since. He grew up in middle Tennessee, graduated high school in southern Illinois, and college in Murray, Kentucky. After a brief stint as a journalist, he accepted a job with an aerospace company in Huntsville, Alabama. He is now retired and lives in Foley, Alabama. His debut novel “Code Gray” is the 2021 Silver Falchion Award winner for Best Mystery.

VICTORIA SKURNICK began her publishing life at Avon Books in Promotion and Advertising. She switched to editorial at Pocket Books and continued to edit at St. Martin’s Press. For nineteen years after that. she worked at The Book-of-the-Month Club, where she became Editor-in-Chief. During that time she co-wrote seven novels under the name Cynthia Victor. for the past 15 years, Victoria has been an agent at Levine, Greenberg, Rostan, where she represents writers of fiction and nonfiction, including Susan Elia MacNeal, Jennifer Hillier, Mariah Fredericks, Harry Dolan, Senator Tom Daschle and Alice LaPlante. Learn more about Victoria here.

DIANE SISMOUR  writes poetry, short fiction, and novels with a dry humor and fast-paced plots in Romantic Suspense, Psychological Thrillers/Horrors and Crime Fiction, and takes pleasure in Ghostwriting for others. She’ll be signing her latest story this weekend, the Psychological Horror, ASHES TO ASHES, in the anthology UNOPENED DOORS by Sunbury Press. She enjoys creating characters while shaded under the maple tree and greeting guests at her Leaser Lake B and B located in the foothills of the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania. Diane is a motivational speaker, a member of Romance Writers of America, Liberty States Fiction Writers, the Bethlehem Writers Group, the Horror Writers Association, and The Hive. Look for her at conferences or giving a workshop.

LYNN SLAUGHTER earned her MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University after a long career as a professional dancer and dance educator. She writes coming-of-age romantic mysteries and is the author of the newly released LEISHA’S SONG, a Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards bronze medalist; WHILE I DANCED, an EPIC finalist; IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN YOU, a Silver Falchion finalist; and DEADLY SETUP (forthcoming from Fire and Ice, 2022). She lives in Louisville, Kentucky, where she’s at work on her next novel and serves as the President of Derby Rotten Scoundrels, the Ohio River Valley chapter of Sisters in Crime.


JOHN SLAYTON  is a graduate of the Master of Fine Arts program in creative writing at Florida International University. His short fiction and poetry have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies. His debut novel Running to Graceland won a gold medal in popular fiction from the Independent Book Publishers in 2019. He is currently a reviewer of thriller fiction with the New York Journal of Books.


CLAY STAFFORD ( is an American bestselling and award-winning author, poet, screenwriter, playwright, composer, filmmaker, educator, and public speaker. He has sold nearly four million copies of his books, has his work distributed in over sixteen languages, and has spoken as a Master of Ceremony to over one million people live. Clay writes the monthly “Killer Writers” column for Writer’s Digest. Clay serves as President/CEO of American Blackguard Entertainment, which includes Killer Nashville Magazine, Clay Stafford Books, American Blackguard Records, and American Blackguard Music. Clay has an M.F.A. and has taught at numerous universities and is the honorary Writer-in-Residence at Battle Ground Academy. He is also the founder of Killer Nashville International Writers’ Conference. He is recipient of Publishers Weekly, Frankfurt Book Fair, and the American Booksellers Association Star Watch Nominee for top North American publishing industry professionals.


LANE STONE lives in Alexandria, Virginia and Lewes, Delaware with her husband, Larry Korb, and their Standard Schnauzer, Cordy. She is the author of the Pet Palace Mysteries and the Tiara Investigation Mystery series. The first book in her The Big Picture, an art thriller trilogy, will be available May 2022. THE COLLECTOR is the title. The first book in the Old Town Antiques Mystery series, DEAD MEN DON’T DECORATE, will be published in 2022, also. When not writing she enjoys characteristic baby boomer pursuits: being a dog Mom, traveling and volunteering for good causes, like the Delaware River & Bay Lighthouse Foundation. She serves on several boards. She has a post-graduate certificate in Antiquities Theft and Art Crime. Visit Lane at 

JANE SUEN is a USA Today bestselling author who writes mysteries, sci-fi thrillers, short stories, contemporary romance, and crime fiction. While driving through Alabama on a hot summer afternoon, she saw a “Murder Creek” road sign which inspired her first book in the Eve Sawyer Mystery series. Murder off Route 82 is her third book in the series. Jane is a transplant to the South who has taken a liking to grits, iced tea, and snow cones – so she’s there to stay.


ELENA TAYLOR’s most recent novel, All We Buried, follows Bet Rivers, who returns to her small home town to fill in for her dying father, only to discover her new role as interim sheriff may be more permanent than she planned. Elena also writes the humorous Eddie Shoes Private Eye series. When she’s not writing or working as a developmental editor, one-on-one with authors, she can be found with her cats, dogs, and hubby at their home on the middle fork of the Snoqualmie River or down the road at the stables with her horses. For more info visit:



JADEN TERRELL is a Shamus Award finalist and the internationally published author of the Nashville-based Jared McKean PI series. She’s also a proud Mad Catter and the author of a cozy cat mystery, Trouble Most Faire. Terrell’s short stories, which range from cozy to noir, have appeared in several anthologies, and she’s a contributor to ITW’s The Big Thrill and to Now Write! Mysteries, a collection of how-to essays for writers of crime fiction. Terrell is the recipient of the Killer Nashville Builder Award and two awards for service to the Southeast Mystery Writers of America. She offers workshops, coaching, and courses for writers. You can read more about her at

Southern author MAGGIE TOUSSAINT writes cozy and paranormal mysteries, romantic suspense, and dystopian fiction (as Rigel Carson), with more than twenty fiction novels published. Her next release is Snuffed Out, A Magic Candle Shop Mystery, writing as Valona Jones. A multi-year finalist for Georgia Author of the Year, she’s won Silver Falchions, two Readers’ Choice awards, and the EPIC Award. She’s a past president of Mystery Writers of America-Southeast chapter and a member of Sisters In Crime. She lives in coastal Georgia, where secrets, heritage, and ancient oaks cast long shadows.


RICK TREON  writes about life and death in the Lone Star State. His thriller LET THE GUILTY PAY was nominated for the 2021 Silver Falchion Award for Best Suspense Novel and DIVIDED STATES was named a finalist in the 2021 Best Thriller Book Awards. His debut novel, DEEP BACKGROUND, won the PenCraft Award for Literary Excellence in Suspense. Before making up stories, he worked as a reporter and top editor for several newspapers in Texas, where he still lives and writes.


ELYSSE WAGNER helps authors determine the most effective promotional path for their book releases, and for crafting their brand. Prior to joining the Books Forward team, Elysse worked as a content strategist in the nonprofit sector. She is also a seasoned book blogger and social media influencer, amassing a following of more than ten thousand avid readers who value her savvy book recommendations. She was even a trusted reviewer for Books Forward authors and championed the company’s talented writers before joining the Books Forward family. She lives in Dayton, Ohio, with her husband, Nick, and their yellow lab, Murphy. You can read more about Elysse at

CARLY WATTERS is a SVP and Senior Literary Agent at P.S. Literary. She has a BA in English Literature from Queen’s University and a MA in Publishing Studies from City University London. She began her publishing career in London as an assistant at the Darley Anderson Literary, TV and Film Agency. Carly joined Toronto-based P.S. Literary Agency in 2010. She represents award-winning and bestselling authors in the adult fiction and non-fiction categories, and select children’s books. She is known for her long-term vision for her authors and being an excellent collaborator with a nose for commercial success. She has close ties to publishers in the major markets and works directly with film agents to option film and TV rights to leading networks and production companies. Her clients’ books have been translated into 40 languages, optioned for TV and film, adapted into podcasts, and have been on every bestseller list from coast to coast, including the New York Times, USA Today, the LA Times, the Washington Post, the Toronto Star, and the Globe and Mail. The popular writing podcast The Shit No One Tells You About Writing, for which Carly is the co-host, has over 500,000 downloads. Learn more about Carly here.

R WEIR  is an award-winning author who lives in the Mile-High City with his family, where the Rocky Mountain High isn’t always achieved with an herbal substance. When not glued to the computer, he relaxes by enjoying the outdoors and traveling in his motorhome. His writing delves into genres with gritty investigators exploring mystery, crime, suspense, and thrills, with involved plots and unexpected twists. Featuring former US Marshal Hunter Divine, a dire, determined man searching for salvation in his broken life. While private eye Jarvis Mann is tough and snarky, with as many faults as virtues. Characters exhibiting traces of his sense of humor, though he’s not nearly as tough and fearless. Though no evil stands a chance against his written word!

A Macavity Award finalist in the Mystery Readers International Short Story Category, ALANA WHITE  sold The Sign of the Weeping Virgin, the first novel in her historical mystery series set in Renaissance Florence, Italy, to an editor she met while attending Killer Nashville. The Sign of the Weeping Virgin, which was a finalist for the Silver Falchion Award, is newly available in paperback. The second book in the series, The Hearts of All on Fire, coming in Late Summer/Early Fall 2022, is a finalist for the 2021 Chanticleer Geoffrey Chaucer Award for historical fiction. Alana is a longtime member of SinC, MWA, and the Historical Novel Society, serving the latter as a reviewer for the Historical Novels Review.



LOIS WINSTON, USA Today and Amazon bestselling and award-winning author, writes mystery, romance, romantic suspense, chick lit, women’s fiction, children’s chapter books, and nonfiction under her own name and her Emma Carlyle pen name. Kirkus Reviews dubbed her critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series, “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum.” In addition, Lois is a former literary agent and an award-winning craft and needlework designer who often draws much of her source material for both her characters and plots from her experiences in the crafts industry.



ROBIN YOCUM is known for his fiction set in the Ohio Valley. His most recent novel, The Sacrifice of Lester Yates, was released in April 2021. He is the author of five additional works of fiction: A Perfect Shot, A Welcome Murder, A Brilliant Death, The Essay and Favorite Sons. Favorite Sons was named the 2011 Book of the Year for Mystery/Suspense by USA Book News. A Brilliant Death was a Barnes & Noble No. 1 bestseller and a finalist for both the 2017 Edgar Award and the Silver Falchion Award for best adult mystery. He also has written two works of non-fiction: Dead Before Deadline . . . and Other Tales from the Police Beat and Insured for Murder.