Jeffrey Evan Brooks
Jeffrey Evan Brooks has been fascinated with history since he was a little boy, and reading history and biography was the way he spent most of his free time for most of his life. He loves history and wants to share that love with the world.
Jeffrey has written three alternative Civil War history novels: Shattered Nation, Blessed Are the Peacemakers, and House of the Proud. A lot of academic historians pooh-pooh the idea of alternate history, but they ask the same questions as everybody else, even if they don't admit it. Reading alternate history is useful purely because it shows us how easily history could have been different.
Jeffrey Evan Brooks was born in Richmond, Virginia, and grew up in Dallas, Texas. He currently lives with wife Jill and daughter Evelyn in Manor, Texas, just outside Austin. Aside from his writing, Jeffrey teaches U.S. History to 8th graders at Kelly Lane Middle School in Pflugerville. He is a certified wine sommelier and a devoted fan of Chelsea Football Club.
Young Adult Fiction
Carolyn Cohagan began her writing career as a stand-up comic, performing in comedy clubs all over the world. After studying physical theater at the Ecole International de Theatre Jacques Lecoq in Paris, she began to write and perform one-woman shows.
Carolyn's first novel, The Lost Children, was published in 2010, became part of the Scholastic Book Club in 2011, and was nominated for a Massachusetts Children's Book Award in 2014.
Her young adult dystopian novel Time Zero won eight literary honors. The sequel, Time Next, was released in 2018 and the final book in the series, Time's Up, is forthcoming in 2020.
Carolyn is the founder of Girls With Pens, a creative writing organization in Austin for girls ages 8-14. While pop culture and peer pressure are telling tweens and teenagers to be like everyone else, Girls With Pens celebrates individual voices and offbeat imaginations.
I was born in Berkeley, California, but moved to Texas at an early age and consider Galveston my home town. I began writing as a pre-teen, and became addicted to mystery and suspense novels in my early twenties. Many years later, I decided to try my hand at writing them myself, and Julia Kalas was born.
The Day Job is licensed Texas architect, running my own one-woman practice in the Live Music Capital of the World. When not architecting or writing, I like to read, play chess, do yoga, wrangle cats, and fight the patriarchy.
Xavier Garza was born in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. He is an enthusiastic author, artist, teacher and storyteller whose work is a lively documentation of life, dreams, superstitions, and heroes in the bigger-than-life world of South Texas. A few of his popular titles: Max’s Lucha Libre Adventures, Creepy Creatures and Other Cucuys, The Great and Mighty Nikko, Kid Cyclone Fights the Devil and Other Stories, and many, many others.
“All my books are based in one way or another on childhood memories about growing up along the border in my hometown of Rio Grande City,” he says.
Garza has exhibited his art and performed his stories in venues throughout Texas, Arizona and the state of Washington. He lives with his wife and son in San Antonio, Texas.
Lynne Kelly lives in the Houston, Texas area where she works as a sign language interpreter and writes books for kids. In college while majoring in psychology and taking some sign language courses, she decided to become a sign language interpreter. Her work has taken her everywhere from classrooms to hospitals to Alaskan cruises.
For a few years she was also a special education teacher, and it was during this time that she fell in love with children’s literature. In her own words, “I loved the students, and teaching, but didn’t love the paperwork. Plus, it turns out teachers have to wake up really early.”
Lynne has more time to write now that interpreting is her only “day job.” She has written two books for children: Song For a Whale and Chained.
Now, she says, “I still fill out paperwork every day, but this time it’s to fill pages with stories.”
Growing up in Texas City, on the Gulf Coast, Thomas Zigal spent a great deal of his childhood on his grandparents' farm in central Texas near the town of LaGrange (site of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas). After earning a master’s degree from Stanford, he taught college literature and journalism, edited K-12 reading and math programs, and published numerous short stories in literary magazines and journals.
Living in several fascinating places (San Francisco, Berkeley, Aspen, Austin, New Orleans, Santa Fe, Atlanta, Switzerland) has given Thomas plenty of material for stories. Aspen provided abundant material for the Kurt Muller mystery series. New Orleans provided inspiration for a trilogy that includes The White League and Many Rivers to Cross. He is currently at work on the third book in that series. Other books include Outcry Witness (clergy abuse cover-up), Into Thin Air (drug-trafficking and murder), Hardrock Stiff (corporate power) and Pariah (murder mystery). He now lives in Austin with his wife and children.
USA Today-bestselling author Sherry Thomas spent almost every weekday evening of her entire adolescence in libraries. To this day, books and libraries remain indispensable to her. Sherry decided that her goal in life is to write every kind of book she enjoys reading. Thus far she has published romance, fantasy (young adult), mystery, and a wuxia-inspired duology. Her books regularly receive starred reviews and best-of-the-year honors from trade publications, including such outlets as the New York Times. The first three entries in her gender-bending Lady Sherlock historical mystery series are all NPR best books of the year.
Her September 2019 release, The Magnolia Sword, is the first YA adaptation of the ballad of Mulan in the English language.
Sherry immigrated from China at age 13, and English is her second language.
Steven L. Davis
Steven L. Davis is a PEN USA award-winning author and editor of several books. His writing has been described as "lively, groundbreaking, and illuminating." He is a past president of the Texas Institute of Letters and is considered "one of Texas' leading scholars of its indigenous culture." He is a longtime curator at the Wittliff Collections at Texas State University. His newest book is The Essential J. Frank Dobie, which gathers the most vital and enduring writings by the iconic Texas author. Davis’s previous books include (as co-author) Dallas 1963 and The Most Dangerous Man in America: Timothy Leary, Richard Nixon & the Hunt for the Fugitive King of LSD. His other acclaimed books include J. Frank Dobie: A Liberated Mind and Texas Literary Outlaws: Six Writers in the Sixties and Beyond.
James L. Haley
Non-Fiction, Historical Fiction
Award-winning historian and novelist James L. Haley is the author of some twenty books, including contemporary and historical fiction, and the history of Texas and the American West. At just 22, he wrote his first (and still in-print) book, The Buffalo War: The History of the Red River Indian Uprising of 1874-1875. Among several prizes he has won the Western Writers of America Spur Award twice, and the Texas Historical Commission T. R. Fehrenbach Book Award twice.
His most recent nonfiction includes Wolf: the Lives of Jack London, a prize-winning biography of Jack London; a history of the Texas Supreme Court; and Captive Paradise, a widely and well-reviewed history of Hawaii. His latest fiction is a naval adventure series: The Shores of Tripoli: Lieutenant Putnam and the Barbary Pirates and A Darker Sea: Master Commandant Putnam and the War of 1812. His newest novel in this series will be published in October of this year: The Devil in Paradise: Captain Putnam in Hawaii.