2014 Featured Authors
Laura Bickle, Columbus, The Outside
Laura Bickle’s professional background is in criminal justice and library science. When she’s not patrolling the stacks at the public library, she’s dreaming up stories about the monsters under the stairs. (She also writes contemporary fantasy novels under the name Alayna Williams.) Laura lives in Ohio with her husband and six mostly-reformed feral cats. The Hallowed Ones was her first young adult novel, followed by The Outside. More on her work can be found at www.laurabickle.com.
Robin Davis, Dublin, Recipe for Joy
Robin Davis is a senior writer and editor at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. Prior to joining the staff at Kenyon, she was the food editor at the Columbus Dispatch for 11 years and hosted Dispatch Kitchen cooking segments and specials on the local CBS affiliate, WBNS-TV. Before coming to Columbus, Robin was a restaurant critic and food writer for the San Francisco Chronicle. She came to San Francisco by way of Los Angles, where she worked as an assistant editor at Bon Appetit magazine. Robin is the author of five books, most recently a memoir titled Recipe For Joy: A Stepmom’s Story of Finding Faith, Following Love and Feeding a Family (Loyola Press, 2013). Her other titles include Wookie Cookies (Chronicle Books, 1997), Infusions (Chronicle Books, 1998), The North Market Cookbook (American Foodways, 2008) and Graeter’s: An Irresistible History (History Press, 2010). Robin has a bachelor of arts in English and psychology from the University of Dayton and an associate’s degree in culinary arts from the California Culinary Academy. Visit her online at FoodCookEat.com.
Harmony Evans, Cleveland Heights, Stealing Kisses
Harmony Evans lives in Cleveland, Ohio, and is a single mom to a beautiful daughter who makes her grateful for life daily. Evans is an award-winning author for Harlequin Kimani Romance, the leading publisher of African-American romance. Her debut novel, Lesson in Romance, was published in 2012; her second novel, Stealing Kisses, was released in 2013. Evans was a 2012 Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Awards Double-Finalist (“First Series Romance” and “Kimani Romance”), and was the recipient of the 2013 Romance Slam Jam Emma Award for “Debut Author of the Year.” She is a member of Romance Writers of America.
Charlene Fix, Columbus, Frankenstein’s Flowers
A native of Washington, DC, Charlene Fix grew up in Cleveland and attended The Ohio State University. Fix is a full professor at Columbus College of Art & Design, where she teaches Writing and the Arts, Film and Literature, American Literature, Writing Poetry, Introduction to Literature, and various literary studies classes. She chaired CCAD’s English and Philosophy Department for more than a decade until she stepped down in the summer of 2012. A poet and critic, Fix is the author of several works, including Flowering Bruno, a finalist for the 2007 Ohioana Book Award in Poetry (XOXOX Press, 2006), Mischief (Pudding House Press, 2003), Charlene Fix: Greatest Hits (Kattywompus Press, 2012), and Harpo Marx as Trickster (McFarland, 2013). Her latest collection of poems, Frankenstein’s Flowers, was released in early 2014. Fix has received poetry fellowships from the Ohio Arts Council and the Greater Columbus Arts Council, two awards from The Poetry Society of America, and the 2002 Columbus Literary Award, administered by Thurber House.
P.L. Gaus, Wooster, The Names of Our Tears
Paul L. Gaus was born in Athens, Ohio and has lived in Ohio for most of his life. In 1999 he published Blood of the Prodigal: An Ohio Amish Mystery (Ohio Univ. Press, 1999), the first of a series of mysteries set among the Amish in Holmes County, Ohio. It was followed by Broken English (2000), Clouds without Rain (2001), Cast a Blue Shadow (2003), A Prayer for the Night (2006), Separate from the World (2008), and Harmless as Doves (2011). The Names of Our Tears, Gaus’ first book for Plume, was published in 2013. Gaus’ extensive knowledge of the culture and lifestyle of the Ohio Amish comes from over thirty-five years of travel throughout Holmes County and the surrounding area, which is home to the world’s largest Amish and Mennonite population. He lectures widely about Amish culture at libraries, bookstores, and literary societies. His novels have been reviewed in prominent journals and newspapers including Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Booklist, Ohioana Quarterly, and the New York Times Book Review. (Photo by Madonna Gaus.)
David Giffels, Akron, The Hard Way On Purpose: Essays and Dispatches from the Rust Belt
Six-time Pulitzer Prize nominee David Giffels was born in Akron. He was a longtime columnist for the Akron Beacon Journal and a contributing commentator and essayist on WKSU. He is currently an assistant professor of English at the University of Akron and teaches creative nonfiction in the Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts Program. Giffels has written for the New York Times Magazine, Wall Street Journal, Redbook, and many other publications. He also was a writer for the MTV series Beavis and Butt-Head. His essays appear in the anthology Rust Belt Chic (RBC Publishing, 2012); The American Midwest: An Interpretive Encyclopedia (Indiana University Press, 2006); The Appalachians: America’s First and Last Frontier (Random House, 2004); and West Point Market Cookbook (University of Akron Press, 2008). He is coauthor of Are We Not Men? We Are Devo! (SAF Publishing, 2003) and Wheels of Fortune: The Story of Rubber in Akron (Univ. of Akron Press, 1998). His book All the Way Home: Building a Family in a Falling-Down House (William Morrow/HarperCollins, 2008), a memoir of growing into young fatherhood while trying to reclaim a ramshackle mansion, received widespread acclaim. His latest book explores the cultural landscape of America’s Rust Belt.
Matt Kish, Beavercreek, Heart of Darkness
Matt Kish has spent his whole life in the Midwest, moving often and taking on a variety of jobs. He has mowed lawns at a hospital, washed dishes at a pizza place, cooked in a college cafeteria, taught high school English, worked retail at a bookstore, and served as a hospital registrar. Finally, after earning a graduate degree in library science, he became a librarian. In 2011 Kish added illustrator to his list of accomplishments with the publication of Moby Dick in Pictures: One Picture for Every Page (Tin House Books). His take on Melville’s classic novel—Kish’s favorite since he was a child—won him wide acclaim with organizations from The Huffington Post to PBS. His second illustrated book, Heart of Darkness (Tin House Books), is based on the Joseph Conrad novel and was published in 2013. His illustrations have also appeared in The Desert Places (Curbside Splendor Publishing, 2013) and The Graphic Canon, Vol. 2 (Seven Stories Press, 2012).
Amit Majmudar, Dublin, The Abundance
By day Amit Majmudar is a diagnostic nuclear radiologist in Dublin, Ohio, where he lives with his wife, twin sons, and daughter. He is also an acclaimed poet, essayist, and novelist. Majmudar’s poems and essays have appeared in the New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, Granta, New York Review of Books, and Best American Poetry. He has published two poetry collections: 0°0° (2009) and Heaven and Earth (2011) which received the Donald Justice Prize. His first novel, Partitions (Metropolitan Books, 2011), received featured reviews in the Wall Street Journal and on the National Public Radio program “All Things Considered.” His latest novel is The Abundance (2013).
Lindsay Ward, Lakewood , Please Bring Balloons
Lindsay Ward has a BFA in illustration from Syracuse University. She has illustrated several children’s picture books, including The Yellow Butterfly by Mehrnaz S. Gill, A Garden for Pig by Kathryn Thurman, and the covers of both STAR Academy books by Edward Kay. Ward has also written and illustrated three books of her own: Pelly and Mr. Harrison Visit the Moon (Kane/Miller, 2011), When Blue Met Egg (Dial Books for Young Readers, 2012), and Please Bring Balloons (Dial Books for Young Readers, 2013).
Andrew Welsh-Huggins, Columbus, Fourth Down and Out
Andrew Welsh-Huggins is a legal affairs reporter with the Associated Press in Columbus, Ohio. He has written extensively on capital punishment, the drug trade, and politics. His nonfiction books include No Winners Here Tonight: Race, Politics, and Geography in One of the Country’s Busiest Death Penalty States (Ohio Univ. Press, 2009) and Hatred at Home: al-Qaida on Trial in the American Midwest (Swallow Press, 2011). His debut novel, Fourth Down and Out (Swallow Press) will be released in early 2014. The book is the first in a series of murder mysteries built around Welsh-Huggins’ fictional Columbus private investigator, Andy Hayes. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)