2017 Featured Authors

 

Oakland native and current Berkeley resident Kevin Allardice is an award-winning short story writer. His debut novel Any Resemblance to Actual Persons is a gripping psychological thriller set against the notorious 1947 Black Dahlia murder in Los Angeles.  


Psychiatrist H. Eric Bender currently practices in San Francisco. Fascinated by media and mental health, he lectures regularly on the psychology of pop culture icons such as Batman and the Star Wars characters. He co-authored the quirky 1 Out of 10 Doctors Recommends: Drinking Urine, Eating Worms, and Other Weird Cures, Cases, and Research from the Annals of Medicine.


Author Stefani Bittner is the owner of Homestead Design Collective, a Bay Area landscape design firm focusing on aesthetic edible gardening. She is the co-author with Alethea Harampolis of their new book, Harvest, in which gardeners discover the surprising usefulness of petals and leaves, roots, seeds, and fruit in a beautifully photographed guide to growing, harvesting, and utilizing 47 unexpected plants.


Bay Area-based career guru Richard Nelson (Dick) Bolles is the author of the iconic What Color is Your Parachute? originally published in the 1970s, and updated annually. Popularly referred to as the “job hunter’s Bible,” the book, along with Dick’s website jobhuntersbible.com and frequent television appearances, has sustained his reputation as “America’s top career expert.”


A cookbook author, journalist, educator and entrepreneur, Georgeanne Brennan has expertise ranging from farming and agriculture to history and food lore. In 2014 she launched her online store, La Vie Rustic, reflecting her love affair for France, especially Provence, where she has a home. Her most recent book is My Culinary Journey: Food and Fetes of Provence. Georgeanne divides her time between Provence and Winters, CA.


Berkeley journalist Frances Dinkelspiel is co-founder of the local news site berkeleyside.com. Her first book, Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California, was a Bay area bestseller. Her second, Tangled Vines: Greed, Murder, Obsession and an Arsonist in the Vineyards of California, is an account of the 2005 Vallejo warehouse fire that destroyed 4.5 million bottles of California wine, including some from her family’s heritage vineyard.


Oakland resident Melanie Gideon is the bestselling author of Valley of the Moon, a haunting novel about time-travel in Sonoma and San Francisco. Her earlier novel Wife 22, is currently in development with Working Title Films. Her memoir The Slippery Year: A Meditation on Happily Ever After, recounts her passage into middle age.


C.W. Gortner is known for historical novels about legendary women. His most recent book, Marlene, reveals the inner life of a movie star whose grit, glamour and ambition defied expectations and made her a Hollywood icon. Earlier subjects have included Lucrezia de Borgia, Queen Isabella and Coco Chanel. Half-Spanish by birth and raised in southern Spain, Gortner lives in Northern California.


Rachel Howzell Hall has written seven novels, including the critically-acclaimed Detective Elouise Norton series. The third in the series, Trail of Echoes, was published last year. A member of the Board of Directors of Mystery Writers of America and a featured writer on NPR’s ‘Crime in the City’ series, Rachel lives in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter.


San Francisco Chronicle columnist Vanessa Hua is author of Deceit and Other Possibilities, a collection of short stories that give voice to immigrant families navigating a new America. Recognitions include a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, the San Francisco Foundation’s James D. Phelan Award, and a Steinbeck Fellowship in Creative Writing.


Dr. Daniel Levitin is a neuroscientist, musician and author of the runaway best-sellers This is Your Brain on Music and The World in Six Songs. His most recent books focus on one of the key challenges of contemporary life. Their titles are self-explanatory: The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload, A Field Guide to Lies: Critical Thinking in the Information Age and Weaponized Lies: How to Think Critically in the Post-Truth Era. SOLD OUT


Following a 20-year career as a marketing executive in Silicon Valley, Kerry Lonsdale has authored two best-selling romance novels: All the Breaking Waves and Everything We Keep. The sequel, Everything We Left Behind, is scheduled to be released soon.


MJ Marggraff is a commercial pilot and author who created a unique space experiment currently under way on the International Space Station. Her memoir, Finding the Wow – How Dreams Take Flight at Midlife, tells how, as a 45-year-old at-home mother of two, she decided to follow her dreams and learn to fly, eventually becoming a NASA mission support assistant and training for sub-orbital spaceflight.


Stanford creative writing professor Elizabeth McKenzie is the author of three novels including the 2016 The Portable Veblen, set in Palo Alto and described as “an honest inquiry into what we look for in love.” Her earlier novels are Stop That Girl and MacGregor Tells the World. She lives in Santa Cruz.


Micah Perks grew up in a log cabin on a commune in the Adirondack wilderness. She is the author of We Are Gathered Here, Pagan Time, Alone in the Woods: Cheryl Strayed, My Daughter and Me and her new novel, What Becomes Us. She lives in Santa Cruz with her family where she co-directs the creative writing program at UC Santa Cruz.


Writer, art history scholar, and educator Bridget Quinn works at the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto. Her latest book, Broad Strokes: 15 Women Who Made Art and Made History (in That Order), explores the work of artists from the 17th century to the present day. Raised in a family of eleven in Montana, Quinn lives in San Francisco with her husband and two children.


Shanthi Sekaran teaches creative writing at California College of the Arts, and is a member of the Portuguese Artists’ Colony and the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto. Her second novel, Lucky Boy, tells the story of the love of two mothers for one child. A California native, she lives in Berkeley with her husband and two children.
 

Bay Area novelist Helene Wecker grew up in the Midwest and earned her MA in fiction at Columbia University. Her debut novel, The Golem and the Jinni, takes readers on a journey through cultures in turn-of-the-century New York. Its sequel, The Iron Season, is due to be released in 2018.

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