Biographies of authors coming to Bookmarks Book Festival

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 8, 2019

Bookmarks 2019 September 7 Festival Biographies

Katherine Arden, an acclaimed and bestselling author of fantasy novels, is best known for her Winternight trilogy beginning with The Bear and the Nightingale. Arden’s debut middle grade book, Small Spaces, was named one of the best books of the year by Kirkus and Publishers Weekly. Its highly anticipated sequel is Dead VoicesPresented with support from Wells Fargo

Mac Barnett’s books have been translated into more than 30 languages and sold more than two million copies worldwide. His picture books include Leo: A Ghost Story, Noisy Night, and two Caldecott-Honor and E.B. White Read-Aloud Award-winning collaborations with Jon Klassen: Sam & Dave Dig a Hole and Extra Yarn. He is the author of the middle grade series, The Terrible Two, and his chapter book series is a collaboration with illustrator Greg Pizzoli. Hi, Jack! and Jack Blasts Off are the first two in the series.

Margaret D. Bauer is the Rives Chair of Southern Literature in the Department of English at East Carolina University, the author of several books of literary criticism and scholarly articles, and editor of the North Carolina Literary Review. Bauer received the 2017 North Carolina Award for Literature from Governor Roy Cooper.

Cece Bell is the author-illustrator of many books including the Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Book, Rabbit and Robot: The Sleepover, and El Deafo, the first graphic novel to ever win the Newbery Honor awardThe creator of the Sock Monkey picture books and Chuck and Woodchuck, her newest chapter book is Chick and Brain: Smell My Foot. Presented with support from Brenner Children’s – Wake Forest Baptist Health

Ali Benjamin’s The Thing About Jellyfish was a National Book Award finalist for Young People’s Literature and one of The New York Times 25 notable children’s books of 2015. Benjamin is the co-author of The Keeper: The Unguarded Story of Tim Howard, which was a New York Times bestseller in sports, and Paige Rawl’s Positive: A Memoir, a Junior Library Guild selection and the first-ever nonfiction selection for The Today Show book club. Her latest book for middle grade readers is The Next Great Paulie Fink.

Sarah Blake is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Postmistress, Grange House, and her newest, The Guest Book, which was the #1 Indie Next Pick for May 2019 and on best of lists forEntertainment Weekly, BBC, Real Simple, and Goodreads. Moving through three generations beginning in the 1930s, The Guest Book asks how we remember and what we choose to forget.

Becky Chambers is the author of the science fiction Wayfarer series, beginning with The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, which has been hailed as a modern science fiction masterpiece. Her bestselling books have been nominated for the Hugo Award, the Arthur C. Clarke Award, and the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction, among others. To Be Taught, if Fortunate, a stand-alone novella, is her newest book.

Cinda Williams Chima, a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, writes fantasy for teens, including the Heir Chronicles and the Seven Realms series. Her critically acclaimed books have appeared on numerous state awards lists. An active member of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, her latest, and final, installment in the Shattered Realm series is Deathcaster.

Dhonielle Clayton is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Belles and co-author of the Tiny Pretty Things series. A graduate of Wake Forest University, Clayton is co-founder of CAKE Literary, a creative development company that focuses on developing diverse books for a wide array of readers, and COO of the nonprofit We Need Diverse Books. Her sequel to The Belles is The Everlasting RosePresented with support from The Chronicle

Lesa Cline-Ransome is the author of Before She Was Harriet, a Coretta Scott King Honor Book, a nominee for an NAACP image award, and winner of the Christopher Award. Her other books include Benny Goodman & Teddy Wilson: Taking the Stage as the First Black-and-White Jazz Band in History and Just a Lucky So and So: The Story of Louis ArmstrongFinding Langston, a fictionalized coming of age story of Langston Hughes, won the 2019 Coretta Scott King Honor Award. Presented with support from The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County’s Wells Fargo Arts-in-Education grant

Stephen Compton was a small-town newspaper photographer in 1974 when he first visited North Carolina’s Seagrove region. Since this assignment, he brought together one of the state’s largest private collections, representing all periods of pottery production, which are often borrowed for exhibition and publication. He is the author of six NC pottery-related books, most recently North Carolina’s Moravian Potters.

Angie Cruz is the author of the novels Soledad and Let It Rain Coffee and has received fellowships from the New York Foundation of the Arts, Yaddo, and the MacDowell Colony. She is the founder and editor-in-chief of Aster(ix), a literary and arts journal, and is an associate professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh. Her newest novel is DominicanaPresented with support from the Hispanic League

Dave Cullen is the author of the New York Times bestseller Columbine. Following the tragedy at Parkland High School, Cullen wrote Parkland: Birth of a Movement, which received several starred reviews and was a bestseller. Cullen has also written for The New York Times, BuzzFeed, Vanity Fair, Times of London, New Republic, Newsweek, Guardian, and NPR’s On The Media.

Jen DeLuca has previously worked as a wardrobe master in the theatre, as an ice-show dresser, and currently works as a litigation paralegal. A proud member of Romance Writers of America, her work first appeared in the anthology Rough Edges. Her debut novel, Well Met, is a laugh-out-loud rom-com set at a Renaissance Faire.

Deborah Fallows holds a PhD in theoretical linguistics and is the author of A Mother’s Work and Dreaming in Chinese: Mandarin Lessons in Life, Love, and Language. She has written for The Atlantic, National Geographic, and The New York Times, among others, and has worked at the Pew Research Center, Oxygen Media, and Georgetown University. He collaborated with wife Deborah on Our Towns: A 100,000 Mile Journey Into the Heart of America, a national bestseller. Presented with support from The Winston-Salem Foundation

James Fallows has been a national correspondent for The Atlantic for more than 35 years, reporting from China, Japan, Southeast Asia, Europe, and across the United States. The author of 11 books and a former chief speechwriter for President Jimmy Carter, he has won a National Book Award and a National Magazine Award. The Fallows’ collaboration: Our Towns: A 100,000 Mile Journey Into the Heart of America,became a national bestseller. He collaborated with wife Deborah on Our Towns: A 100,000 Mile Journey Into the Heart of America, a national bestseller. Presented with support from The Winston-Salem Foundation

Gale Galligan is the second author/illustrator of the new Baby-Sitters Club series following Raina Telgemeier. Previously, Galligan created a USA Today bestselling graphic novel adaptation of Dawn and the Impossible Three, and her work has appeared in a number of anthologies. The latest in the Baby-Sitters series is Boy-Crazy StaceyPresented with support from Triad Moms on Main

Margaret George is the New York Times bestselling author of biographical novels about oversized historical characters, such as: Henry VIII, Mary Magdalene, Helen of Troy, and Elizabeth I. Her novel about Cleopatra was made into an Emmy-nominated ABC miniseries, and her novel, Mary Queen of Scotland and the Isles, will be discussed in advance of the Piedmont Opera’s fall production of “Mary, Queen of Scots.”Presented with support from the Piedmont Opera

Anne Fitten Glenn is the author of Western North Carolina Beer: A Mountain Brew History and Asheville Beer: An Intoxicating History of Mountain Brewing. She pens a regular “Mountain Brews” feature for Edible Asheville magazine and has written for USA Today, Esquire, and Vanity Fair, among others.

Chris Grabenstein is the New York Times bestselling author of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library, Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics, Mr. Lemoncello’s Great Library Race, The Island of Dr. Libris, the Welcome to Wonderland series, and many others. Grabenstein has also co-authored numerous page-turners with James Patterson, including the House of Robots and Treasure Hunters series. His latest middle grade novel is Mr. Lemoncello’s All-Star Breakout Game. Presented with support from Summit School

Jasmine Guillory, a graduate of Wellesley College and Stanford Law School, is a lawyer and the New York Times bestselling author of The Wedding Date, a Reese Witherspoon Hello Sunshine Book Club Pick. She has been published in Cosmopolitan, Real Simple, The Toast, and The Hairpin, and has been featured on The Today ShowThe Wedding Party is her latest book.

Rajia Hassib’s first novel, In the Language of Miracles, was a New York Times Editors’ Choice selection and received an honorable mention from the Arab American Book Award. She holds a Master of Creative Writing from Marshall University and has written for The New York Times Book Review and The New Yorker online. A Pure Heart is a powerful novel about two Egyptian sisters, their divergent fates, and the secrets of one family. Presented with support from Salem College

Billy Jensen has spent 15 years as a journalist investigating unsolved murders, co-founding the Long Island Press newspaper, True Crime Report, and the largest public unsolved murders database. After the death of his friend and crime writer Michelle McNamara, Jensen finished her book I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, which became a New York Times bestseller. Chase Darkness with Me: How One True Crime Writer Started Solving Murders is Jensen’s first solo book. Presented with support from Kilpatrick Townsend

Jeremy B. Jones is the author of the 2014 Appalachian Book of the Year in nonfiction, Bearwallow: A Personal History of a Mountain Homeland. His essays appear in Oxford AmericanThe Iowa Review, Brevity, and frequently in Our State magazine. An associate professor of English at Western Carolina University, he recently contributed to Appalachian Reckoning: A Region Responds to Hillbilly Elegy.

Joy Jones is the author of Fearless Public Speaking: A Guide for Beginners and Private Lessons: A Book of Meditations for Teachers. The director of The Spoken Word, a performance poetry ensemble in Washington, DC, her children’s book, Tambourine Moon, was chosen in 2000 by the American Booksellers Association as one of the best books for children by the black caucus of the American Library Association.

Martha Hall Kelly’s debut novel Lilac Girls became an instant New York Times bestseller in 2016. A historical fiction author, Kelly runs a detailed blog on the research poured into her novels. She released her highly anticipated prequel to Lilac Girls in April titled Lost Roses.

Randall Kenan is the recipient of multiple awards including the North Carolina Award for Literature. His work includes: A Visitation of Spirits; Let the Dead Bury Their Dead, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and was among The New York Times Notable Books of 1992; and The Fire this Time. Walking on Water: Black American Lives at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century was nominated for the Southern Book Award. His newest book is The Carolina Table: North Carolina Writers on Food.

Ann Mah is the author of the food memoir Mastering the Art of French Eating and the novel Kitchen Chinese. Mah regularly contributes to The New York Times’ Travel section, Condé Nast Traveler,,, and Washingtonian magazine. Her latest novel, The Lost Vintage, is a historical novel set during and after WWII.

Tif Marcelo believes in and writes about the strength of families, the endurance of friendship, and “heart-eyes romance.” Marcelo is a veteran Army nurse and holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Master of Public Administration. Her first standalone novel is The Key to Happily Ever After.

Brent Martin is the author of three chapbook collections of poetry as well as Every Breath Sings Mountains with co-authors Barbara Duncan and Thomas Rain Crowe. Martin is also the author of Hunting for Camellias at Horseshoe Bend, a nonfiction chapbook. He serves as the Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet for the West. His new book is The Changing Blue Ridge Mountains: Essays on Journeys Past and Present.

Stacy McAnulty is the author of The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl, the chapter book series The Dino Files and Goldie Blox, and picture books including Moon, Sun, Earth, Beautiful, and Brave. A former mechanical engineer, McAnulty primarily writes about math and science. Her new middle grade novel is The World Ends in April.

Meredith McCarroll earned her PhD in English at the University of Tennessee and is now the Director of Writing and Rhetoric at Bowdoin College. Her work has appeared in Bitter Southerner, Southern Cultures, Appalachian Journal, and elsewhere. She is the author of Unwhite: Appalachia, Race, and Film and edited (along with Anthony Harkins) Appalachian Reckoning: A Region Responds to Hillbilly Elegy.

Sarah McCoy is the New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author of Marilla of Green GablesThe Mapmaker’s Children, The Baker’s Daughter, a 2012 Goodreads Choice Award for Best Historical Fiction nominee, and The Time It Snowed in Puerto Rico. McCoy’s work has been featured in Real Simple, The Millions, Your Health Monthly, Huffington Post, and others.

Steve M. Miller is the author of North Carolina Unionists and the Fight Over Secession. His other works include Slave Escapes and The Underground Railroad in North Carolina. Miller is currently an adjunct history instructor for Forsyth Technical Community College and Randolph Community College.

Joseph Mills is a professor at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and has published six poetry collections with Press 53, including This Miraculous Turning, winner of the 2015 Roanoke-Chowan Award, North Carolina’s highest honor for a collection of poems. Mills’ poetry has been featured in former U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser’s syndicated newspaper column “American Life in Poetry.” His first short story collection is Bleachers: Fifty-Four Linked Fictions.

Ricardo Nazario y Colón a Puerto Rican poet, artist, and teacher. As a student at the University of Kentucky, Nazario y Colón became a co-founder of the Affrilachian Poets. In 2001, he was featured in the PBS documentary Coal Black Voices. As a member of the Affrilachian Poets, he is particularly engaged in the fight against mountaintop removal mining. He has most recently contributed to the Appalachian Reckoning anthology.

 Valerie Nieman is a poet, novelist, and professor of English at North Carolina A&T State University. A former journalist and farmer in West Virginia, she is the author of three novels, as well as collections of poetry and short fiction. Nieman is a graduate of West Virginia University and received an MFA from Queens University of Charlotte. Her novel Blood Clay received the Eric Hoffer Prize in General Fiction. Neiman’s latest novel, To The Bones, is a mystery set in West Virginia.

Téa Obreht is the internationally bestselling author of The Tiger’s Wife, a finalist for the National Book Award and winner of the 2011 Orange Prize for fiction. She was the recipient of a 2016 fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and currently teaches at Hunter College. Her new novel, Inland, is an epic tale of a journey across the American West in 1893 in which the lives of a former outlaw and a frontierswoman collide. Presented with support from High Point University’s Department of English

Anne Marie Pace is a beloved children’s author with a focus on the unexpected and warmhearted. Her picture books include Groundhug DayBusy-Eyed DayPigloo, and the four books of the Vampirina Ballerina series, which inspired the hit Disney Junior animated series “Vampirina.” Her new picture book is Sunny’s Tow Truck Saves the Day.

Andy Parker is the father of Alison Parker, a journalist killed on live television. Since that horrific moment, Parker has been a national gun reform advocate who has appeared on all major news networks. His book, For Alison: The Murder of a Young Journalist and a Father’s Fight for Gun Safety, has a forward by Senator Tim Kaine. Together with his wife, Parker runs the For Alison Foundation, which creates opportunities for children to experience the arts.

Michael Parker, the author of six novels and three collections of stories, His short fiction and nonfiction have appeared in the Washington PostThe New York Times Magazine, the Oxford American, and other publications and has been anthologized in The O. Henry Prize Stories and The Pushcart Prize. Parker retired from the MFA Writing Program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2019. His latest novel is Prairie FeverPresented in honor of Victor F. Harllee, Jr.

Jacob Paul is an assistant professor of English at High Point University. A 9/11 World Trade survivor, he won the 2008 Utah Writers’ Contest and the 2007 Richard Scowcroft Prize. Paul is the author of Sarah/Sara, A Song of Ilan and his new novel The Last Tower to Heaven.

Mary Laura Philpott is the founding editor of Musing, the online magazine of Parnassus Books, as well as an Emmy-winning co-host of the show “A Word on Words” on Nashville Public Television. She wrote and illustrated Penguins with People Problems, a quirky look at the embarrassments of being human, and I Miss You When I Blink, which features essays examining the overlap of the absurd and the profound in everyday life. Presented with support from WSNC 90.5

Greg Pizzoli’s first picture book, The Watermelon Seed, was published by Disney-Hyperion Books and was the 2014 recipient of the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award. In 2015, Tricky Vic was selected by The New York Times as one of the Ten Best Illustrated Books of the Year. In 2017, he won a Geisel Honor award for Good Night Owl. A two-time winner of the Portfolio Honor Awards from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, he is the illustrator of the new A Jack Book series written by Mac Barnett.

James E. Ransome’s illustrations for Before She Was Harriett received the 2018 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor. His other award-winning titles include Coretta Scott King Honor Book Uncle Jed’s Barbershop,Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt, and Let My People Go, winner of the NAACP Image Award. He frequently collaborates with his wife, author Lesa Cline-Ransome, on titles including: Game Changers: The Story of Venus and Serena Williams and Before She Was HarrietThe Bell Rang is his new picture book. Presented with support from The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County’s Wells Fargo Arts-in-Education grant

Mary Doria Russell is a historical fiction and science-fiction novelist, best known for her Sparrow duology. Trained as a paleoanthropologist and the author of scientific articles on subjects ranging from bone biology to cannibalism, Russell received her doctorate in biological anthropology from the University of Michigan. Her latest novel, The Women of the Copper Country, follows Annie Clements, “America’s Joan of Arc.”

Victoria Schwab is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than a dozen novels for readers of all ages, including City of GhostsThis Savage SongOur Dark Duet, and the Shades of Magic series, which has been translated into 15 languages. Her newest book, Tunnel of Bones, is the sequel to her middle grade novel City of Ghosts.

Megan Shepherd is the acclaimed New York Times bestselling author of The Madman’s Daughter trilogy, The Cage trilogy, and the middle grade novel The Secret Horses of Briar Hill, and YA fantasy novel Grim Lovelies. Midnight Beauties is her newest book.

Amber Smith is the New York Times bestselling author of the young adult novels The Way I Used to Be and The Last to Let Go. An advocate for increased awareness of gendered violence and LGBTQ+ equality, Smith writes in the hope that her books can help to foster change and encourage dialogue surrounding these issues. Her new young adult novel is Something Like GravityPresented with support from the Forsyth County Public Library’s On the Same Page program

Belinda Smith-Sullivan is a chef, spice blends entrepreneur, and a commercially rated pilot. She has a culinary arts degree from Johnson & Wales University, writes a monthly column for South Carolina Living and Bella Magazine, and is an active member of the Southern Foodways Alliance, International Association of Culinary Professionals, and Les Dames d’Escoffier. Her new cookbook, Just Peachy, features 70 recipes for appetizers, entrees, desserts, sauces, preserves, and drinks. Presented with support from Dewey’s Bakery

 Kirstin L. Squint is the author of LeAnne Howe at the Intersections of Southern and Native American Literature. In 2018, she was awarded High Point University’s Ridenhour Scholarly and Professional Achievement Award for exemplary accomplishments in research and creative endeavors. Most recently, Squint contributed to the Appalachian Reckoning anthology.

Ebony Elizabeth Thomas is an associate professor in the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. A former Detroit Public Schools teacher and National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow, she is an expert on diversity in children’s literature, youth media, and fan studies. Her latest book is The Dark Fantastic: Race and the Imagination from Harry Potter to the Hunger Games.

Daniel Wallace is the J. Ross MacDonald Distinguished Professor of English at UNC-Chapel Hill, where he directs the creative writing program. He is the author of many novels including Big Fish, Mr. Sebastian and the Negro Magician, and The Kings and Queens of Roam. He was named the Harper Lee Award winner for 2019 by the Alabama Writers’ Forum. His most recent novel is Extraordinary Adventures, which he presented at the first event ever held at Bookmarks’ Bookstore in 2017.

Renée Watson is the Newbery Honor and Coretta Scott King Author Award-winning author of the novels Piecing Me TogetherThis Side of HomeWhat Momma Left MeBetty Before X, co-written with Ilyasah Shabazz; and two picture books. Watson is the founder of I, Too, Arts Collective, a nonprofit committed to nurturing underrepresented voices in the creative arts. Some Places More Than Others is her new book for middle grade readers.

Abbi Waxman, the author of Other People’s Houses and The Garden of Small Beginnings, previously served as the creative director at various advertising agencies in London and New York where her clients included R.J. Reynolds. Her new book is The Bookish Life of Nina Hill.

Lauren Willig is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Pink Carnation series and several stand-alone works of historical fiction, including The Ashford Affair, The Other Daughter, and The English Wife. Her books have been awarded the RITA, Booksellers Best, and Golden Leaf Awards, and chosen for the American Library Association’s annual list of the best genre fiction. The Summer Country is her new historical fiction novel set in Colonial Barbados.

Kerry Winfrey is the author of the young adult novels Love and Other Alien Experiences and Things Jolie Needs to do Before She Bites It. Winfrey has written for several websites, including HelloGiggles, and recently released her debut adult novel, Waiting for Tom Hanks.

Ibi Zoboi is the author of two novels for young adults, Pride and American Street, a finalist for the National Book Award. She also edited the anthology Black Enough. Born in Haiti and raised in New York City, her new book, My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich, is for a middle grade audience.