Once a New York City lawyer, MARIE BENEDICT had long dreamed about a fantastical job unraveling the larger mysteries of the past as an archaeologist or historian—before she tried her hand at writing. While drafting her first book, she realized that she could excavate the possible truths lurking in history through fiction, and has done so in THE OTHER EINSTEIN, the story of Mileva Maric, Albert Einstein's first wife and a physicist herself, and CARNEGIE’S MAID, the story of a brilliant woman who may have spurred Andrew Carnegie toward philanthropy. Her third novel, THE ONLY WOMAN IN THE ROOM (Jan 2019) is the story of Hedy Lamarr. Known as one of the most glamourous Oscar-nominated movie stars of the 1940s, her greatest legacy is her groundbreaking contribution as a scientist. Hedy was an avid inventor and the person behind advances in communication technology that led to the WiFi, GPS, and Bluetooth technology we all use today. Benedict, a graduate of Boston College and the Boston University School of Law, lives in Pittsburgh with her family.
GEANNA CULBERTSON is the award-winning author of The Crisanta Knight Series.
Since Book One’s release in May 2016, it has won a Mom’s Choice Award for best family-friendly media, an IPPY award for accomplishment in e-books, and a Living Now Choice Award for “best lifestyle and world-changing books” in adventure fiction.
The Crisanta Knight Series is a proud sponsor of Girls on the Run, Los Angeles (GOTRLA). Driven by a heroine who is strong, smart, and bold, The Crisanta Knight Series is happy to be a continuous presence in the GOTRLA community, as both envision “a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential.”
The series has been featured in Girls’ Life Magazine as recommended reading for preteen and teen girls. Culbertson is also a regular speaker at schools for an array of age groups (from elementary schools to major universities).
Culbertson is a proud alumna of the University of Southern California where she earned her BA in Public Relations and triple minor degrees in Marketing, Cinematic Arts, and Critical Approaches to Leadership. She is a part of only 1.3% of her graduating class to earn the double distinction of Renaissance Scholar and Discovery Scholar. Her Discovery Scholar thesis “Beauty & the Badass: Origins of the Hero-Princess Archetype” earned her acclaim in the School of Cinematic Arts, and helped fuel her female protagonist focused writing passions.
In addition to authoring The Crisanta Knight Series (set to be eight books with the final release in spring 2021), Culbertson is a full-time manager at a leading industry digital marketing firm, representing over 30 clients across the nation. When Culbertson is not working or writing, she can likely be found performing volunteer work at her local karate studio where she teaches martial arts (she is a black belt), going on adventures with her mother and best friend, and indulging her love of delicious food across the land.
Unlike so many writers, SUSAN CRANDALL did not emerge from the womb with a pen and paper in hand and a fully formed story in her mind. Instead, she was born with an incredible love for books. For much of her young life, even those exhausting years when her children were young and Susan worked in her previous profession (yes, the rumor is true, she was a dental hygienist) she was an avid reader, always fascinated with words. (Those of you who catch yourself reading the dictionary when you cracked it open to look up mesopelagic you just might have a writer hiding inside you, too.)
Then, her younger sister admitted that she’d been writing, secretly of course, as most writers initially do. That admission led to Susan editing her sister’s work (as the older sister, Susan was never short of opinions to share). Then Susan and her sister co-authored four unpublished novels. Her sister moved on after those four books, but Susan was totally addicted. She’d learned too much about the process of writing, the craft of storytelling and the world of the written word to give it up.
BACK ROADS was Susan Crandall’s first solo work, her first published work, and her first award winning novel, winning a RITA for Best First Book and two National Reader’s Choice Awards. WHISTLING PAST THE GRAVEYARD, her tenth published novel, was a Target Book Pick, an Indie Next pick, a Pulpwood Queens National Book Club pick, as well as recipient of the 2014 SIBA Award for Fiction.
THE FLYING CIRCUS, a novel set in the 1920’s about three misfits on the run from their pasts, a story of heartbreak and adventure, was released in hardcover in July 2015 to high acclaim. It is a Pulpwood Queens National Book Club pick as well as a 2015 SIBA Okra pick.
THE MYTH OF PERPETUAL SUMMER, the story of a girl in the 1960s trying to hold her dysfunctional family together, is a little bit coming-of-age, a little bit runaway, and a good deal of emotion.
Susan grew up in a small Indiana town, married a guy from that town, and then moved to Chicago for a while. She is pleased to say that she has been back in her hometown for many years and plans to stay. She and her husband have two grown children, four little grands, and two dogs.
KRISTY WOODSON HARVEY is the national bestselling author of DEAR CAROLINA (Berkley/Penguin Random House, 2015), LIES AND OTHER ACTS OF LOVE (Berkley/Penguin Random House, 2016) and the Peachtree Bluff Series, beginning with SLIGHTLY SOUTH OF SIMPLE (Gallery/Simon & Schuster, 2017) and her latest book, THE SECRET TO SOUTHERN CHARM (Gallery/Simon & Schuster, 2018).
DEAR CAROLINA was long-listed for the Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize, has been optioned for film and has appeared on numerous “must-read” lists. LIES AND OTHER ACTS OF LOVE was a Romantic Times top pick, a SIBA Okra Pick and a finalist for the Southern Book Prize. SLIGHTLY SOUTH OF SIMPLE was a Southern Bestseller, a Barnes & Noble Bestseller, one of PopSugar’s picks for “Ultimate Summer Reading” and one of Glitter Guide’s “Must-Reads for April” and has been nominated for the Southern Book Prize. THE SECRET TO SOUTHERN CHARM was one of Southern Living’s Best Spring Break Reads, a 2018 Spring SIBA Okra Pick, USA Today Happy Ever After’s Best Women’s Fiction, and Southern Living’s Most Anticipated Beach Reads.
Harvey blogs with her mom, Beth Woodson, daily on Design Chic, about how creating a beautiful home can be the catalyst for creating a beautiful life and loves connecting with readers at her website. Design Chic is the inaugural member of the design blogger Hall of Fame, sponsored by Traditional Home, and winner of Amara’s Best Luxury Blog, sponsored by Roberto Cavalli.
Harvey is a Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Journalism and holds a MA in English from East Carolina University, with a concentration in multicultural and transnational literature. Her writing has appeared in numerous publications and websites, including Southern Living, Traditional Home, Parade, USA Today, Domino, Our State and O. Henry. She has been seen in Women’s Health, Southern Living, The Washington Post, US News and World Report, The Huffington Post, USA Today’s Happy Every After, Marie Claire’s The Fix, Woman’s World, Readers’ Digest, Bustle, and North Carolina Bookwatch, among others.
She is a proud member of the Tall Poppy Writers, serves on the board of Beaufort Historical Association and is a member of the University of North Carolina’s Women’s Leadership Council. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and six-year-old son where she is working on her next novel.
CASSANDRA KING is an award-winning author of five novels, a book of nonfiction, numerous short stories, magazine articles, and essays. She has taught creative writing on the college level, conducted corporate writing seminars, and worked as a human interest reporter.
King’s first novel, MAKING WAVES has been through numerous printings since its release in 1995. Her second novel, the New York Times bestseller THE SUNDAY WIFE, was a Booksense choice; a Literary Guild and Book-of-the-Month Club selection; a People Magazine Page-Turner of the Week; Books-a-Million President’s Pick; Utah’s Salt Lake Libraries Readers’ Choice Award nominee; and a South Carolina Readers’ Circle selection. As one of Booksense’s top discussion selections, THE SUNDAY WIFE was selected by the Nestle Corporation for a national campaign to promote reading groups.
THE SAME SWEET GIRLS was the national number one Booksense Selection on its release in January 2005; a Book-of-the-Month Club and Literary Guild selection; and spent several weeks on both the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists. Both THE SUNDAY WIFE and THE SAME SWEET GIRLS were nominated for SIBA’s Book of the Year Award. A fourth novel, QUEEN OF BROKEN HEARTS, set in King’s home state of Alabama and released March 2007, became a Literary Guild and Book-of-the-Month Club Selection as well as a SIBA bestseller. The fifth novel, MOONRISEMoonrise, was a SIBA Okra Pick and a Southern Booksellers bestseller, as was her book of non-fiction, released in 2013, THE SAME SWEET GIRLS GUIDE TO LIVE.
Most recently, King has been writing for Coastal Living and Southern Living as well as contributing essays to various anthologies. She is presently at work on a memoir/cookbook tentatively titled SUPPER FOR ONE: A LOVE STORY IN RECIPES.
King was born and raised in Pinckard, Alabama, a small community outside of Dothan, on a peanut farm which is still in the King family. Her grandfather, Jim King, was recognized as the first commercial peanut farmer in the state. She received BA and MA degrees from the University of Montevallo, where she later taught composition, as she did at Jefferson State and Gadsden State.
KRISTINA MCMORRIS is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. Inspired by true personal and historical accounts, her novels have garnered more than twenty national literary awards and include LETTERS FROM HOME, BRIDGE OF SCARLET LEAVES, THE PIECES WE KEEP, and THE EDGE OF LOST, in addition to novellas in the anthologies A WINTER WONDERLAND and GRAND CENTRAL.
A frequent guest speaker and workshop presenter, McMorris holds a BS in International Marketing from Pepperdine University. She lives with her husband and two sons in Oregon.
New York Times bestselling author MARY ALICE MONROE found her true calling in environmental fiction when she moved to coastal South Carolina. Already a successful author, she was captivated by the beauty and fragility of her new home. Her experiences living in the midst of a habitat that was quickly changing gave her a strong and important focus for her novels.
Mary Alice Monroe writes richly textured books that delve into the complexities of interpersonal relationships and the parallels between the land and life. Monroe’s novels are published worldwide. With the same heart of conservation, Monroe has written two children’s picture books as well.
Her novels have achieved many lists, including the New York Times, USA Today and SIBA. She has received numerous awards, including several Readers’ Choice Awards; the 2014 SC Book Festival Award for Excellence in Writing; the 2015 SW Florida Book Festival Distinguished Author Award; RT Lifetime Achievement Award; and the 2008 South Carolina Center for the Book Award for Writing. Most recently, Monroe was named a 2018 inductee into the Literary Hall of Fame by the South Carolina Academy of Authors.
Monroe’s novel A LOWCOUNTRY CHRISTMAS won a 2017 Southern Book Prize in fiction, awarded by the Southern Indepedent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA). In 2011, her novel THE BUTTERFLY’S DAUGHTER won the International Book Award for Green Fiction. It was also selected as a finalist for the 2012 Book of the Year by SIBA.
Monroe’s novel THE BEACH HOUSE was adapted into a Hallmark Channel Hall of Fame Movie, starring three-time Golden Globe nominee Andie MacDowell and premiered exclusively on the network in 2018.
Monroe lives with her family on a barrier island outside Charleston, South Carolina. She is an active conservationist and serves on the board of the South Carolina Aquarium, The Leatherback Trust, and Charleston Literacy Volunteers. She is a frequent speaker at book festivals, conferences, and private events. Monroe is also a frequent contributor to magazines and blogs.
LISA PATTON is the bestselling author of WHISTLIN’ DIXIE IN A NOR’EASTER, YANKEE DOODLE DIXIE, SOUTHERN AS A SECOND LANGUAGE, and RUSH. Born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, Lisa graduated from the University of Alabama. The proud mother of two sons, and a four-legged furry daughter named Rosie, she and her husband live in the lush, rolling hills of Nashville.
JONATHAN F. PUTNAM is a writer and attorney. His books in the Lincoln and Speed Mystery series include FINAL RESTING PLACE (2018), PERISH FROM THE EARTH (2017) and THESE HONORED DEAD(2016). He is currently working on the fourth book in the Lincoln and Speed Mystery series, which will be published by Crooked Lane Books in 2019.
Jonathan has been a trial lawyer in the New York City office of the leading international law firm Kirkland & Ellis LLP since 1993. He specializes in representing companies and individuals in complex commercial litigation, often disputes involving intellectual property such as patents or trademarks. He has been the lead trial counsel in over a dozen trials, conducted around the country in front of juries, judges and professional arbitrators. He was previously named by The American Lawyer magazine as one of the top 50 trial lawyers nationwide under the age of 45. He continues to work as an attorney.
Jonathan graduated from Harvard College in 1988 with honors with a degree in History and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1992. At Harvard Law School, he served on the Harvard Law Review and received the Fay Diploma for graduating first in his class. After graduation he worked as a law clerk to a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington DC for a year before joining Kirkland & Ellis.
Jonathan has been active in a number of charitable causes relating to children and access to higher education for less fortunate kids. He is also the much-criticized commissioner of his family's fantasy football league and a back-of-the-pack marathon runner, having completed marathons in New York, Chicago, London, Paris, and Las Vegas. He and his wife, Christin Putnam, have three sons. They live in London and New York.
CLARA SILVERSTEIN grew up in Richmond, Virginia and is the author of the memoir WHITE GIRL: A STORY OF SCHOOL DESEGREGATION (University of Georgia Press), and three cookbooks. A former food writer and editor at the Boston Herald, Silverstein has also written articles for Runner’s World, American Heritage, the Boston Globe, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Her poems have been published in journals including Blackbird and the Paterson Literary Review. She directs the Chautauqua Writers’ Center at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York, and teaches writing workshops in Boston, where she lives. She holds a BA in American Studies from Wesleyan University and an MA in History from the University of Massachusetts Boston.
Silverstein’s new book SECRETS IN A HOUSE DIVIDED (Sept 2018) is published by Mercer University Press.
CHRISTOPHER SWANN is a graduate of Woodberry Forest School in Virginia. He earned a BA in English from Washington and Lee University, an MA in English and Creative Writing from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and a PhD in Creative Writing from Georgia State University.
Swann has won awards and recognition from GSU, Washington and Lee University, and the Heekin Group Foundation’s Tara Fellowship for Short Fiction. He lives with his wife and two sons in Atlanta, where he is the English department chair at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School.
CAROL WALL’s first book, MISTER OWITA’S GUIDE TO GARDENING (Putnam, Amy Einhorn Books) was published to critical acclaim in March 2014. Her work received early accolades in People Magazine, Good Housekeeping, USA Today, Oprah.com, and the New York Times Book Review, along with the coveted starred review in Publishers Weekly. But she was too sick to enjoy the fanfare of publication day. Her breast cancer had returned for the third time in 2012, as she was finishing the first round of edits on the manuscript. Carol died in December 2014, nine months after publication, without being able to make even one appearance to promote her book. One week after her death, MISTER OWITA’S GUIDE TO GARDENING was named one of the Best Books of 2014 by USA Today and AARP.
Following the advice of Carol’s superstar agent, Marly Rusoff, and with the guidance of publicist Kathie Bennett of Magic Time Literary Publicity, Carol’s husband, DICK WALL, set out on a national tour promoting the book. Since the summer of 2015, he has made over 200 appearances in 27 states, speaking to book groups, women’s groups, library supporters, hospice groups, church groups, and community organizations—with dates booked through 2018 and 2019.
Now, in addition to spreading the life-affirming messages of Carol’s book, Dick is touting the inspirational documentary film in-progress directed by Phil Wall (34), youngest of the three Wall children and a filmmaker living in Brooklyn. Phil’s film, THE BOOK KEEPERS, derives its title from Carol’s directive to her son in the final months of her life. “You take care of our book,” Carol told Phil. In response to his mother’s request, Phil has crafted a story about his father’s unlikely journey of healing, the lessons learned about living “Plan B,” and finding love after loss.
In the film, Phil interweaves his father’s presentations with intimate moments of the two of them on the road and at home. Often poignant and sometimes humorous, the film is visually and emotionally compelling. Selected by the Southern Documentary Fund for fiscal sponsorship in 2016, the film wrapped production in December 2017. Announced as a grand-prize winner of Seed&Spark’s “100 Days of Optimism” crowdfunding rally, Phil successfully raised $26,250. The prize also garnered the film a marketing partnership with WeTransfer valued at $50,000, which includes creative services and a marketing campaign after the film is in distribution. The project is in post-production, and Phil is getting it ready for film festival submissions.
Dick Wall is a 1974 graduate of Vanderbilt University and a 1977 graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law. He has practiced law for forty years and is a former high school basketball coach. He was married to Carol Wall for forty-two years and they have three children and five grandchildren. Dick married Teresa George in November 2017. They had met in a grief support group for those who had suffered highly publicized losses. Teresa’s husband, Jeff, a gifted heart surgeon, and their only daughter Hannah (age 15), were killed in an automobile accident in 2008.
Dick is available for special appearances, speaking events, book signings, and media interviews to discuss topics related to the book, the tour, and the documentary.
A native of Kansas City, MARSHALL WATSON was favored by Midwestern hospitality, generosity and humor. His family’s appreciation for architecture, design, art, music, history, civic service and sportsmanship, steered his path.
Watson received his BA from Stanford University. There, he was taught to leave no moment unexplored, nor unchallenged as he focused on the interpretive art of design. While pursuing a master’s degree in theater design at Brandeis, Watson designed sets, costumes, and lighting.
Watson founded his design firm, Marshall Watson Interiors in 1986. His robust awareness of periods and styles enables him the flexibility to immerse himself in a range of projects. A subtle blend of transatlantic and American design philosophies suffuses his work. Classic is his hallmark.
Throughout Watson’s career, his work has graced the covers of and been frequently featured in many shelter publications, notably Architectural Digest, Veranda, House Beautiful, Luxe, House and Garden, Traditional Homes, Hamptons Cottages and Gardens and the New York Times. He has also been featured in New York Spaces, Metropolitan Home,The Chicago Tribune, as well as being a regular design columnist for the Southampton Press.
Marshall resides in Manhattan, and spends weekends at his home in East Hampton.
With more than 1.8 million books in print in eight different languages, KAREN WHITE is the New York Times bestselling author of twenty-three novels, including the Tradd Street series, THE NIGHT THE LIGHTS WENT OUT, FLIGHT PATTERNS, THE SOUND OF GLASS, A LONG TIME GONE, and THE TIME BETWEEN. She is the coauthor of THE FORGOTTEN ROOM and THE GLASS OCEAN (Sept 2018) with New York Times bestselling authors Beatriz Williams and Lauren Willig.
Raised in a house full of brothers, Karen’s love of books and strong female characters first began in the third grade when the local librarian issued her a library card and placed The Secret of the Old Clock, a Nancy Drew Mystery, in her hands.
Karen’s roots run deep in the South where many of her novels are set. Her intricate plot lines and compelling characters charm and captivate readers with just the right mix of family drama, mystery, intrigue, and romance.
Not entirely convinced she wanted to be a writer, Karen first pursued a career in business and graduated cum laude with a BS in Management from Tulane University. Ten years later, in a weak moment, she wrote her first book. IN THE SHADOW OF THE MOON was published in August, 2000. Her books—referred to as “grit lit” (Southern Women’s Fiction)—have since been nominated for numerous national contests including the SIBA Fiction Book of the Year.
Karen’s novel, DREAMS OF FALLING, was published in June, 2018 by Berkley Publishing, a division of Penguin Random House Publishing Group. She will also be touring beginning Fall 2018 with her collaborative book THE GLASS OCEAN.
When not writing, Karen spends her time reading, scrapbooking, playing piano, and avoiding cooking. Karen and her husband have two grown children and currently live near Atlanta, Georgia with two spoiled Havanese dogs.