MEET THE COMMITTEE 2016-17
Sheryl Hershey is the mastermind behind the Bellingham Holiday Book Festival. Sheryl Hershey is the author of the Lila Books, a series of picture books about a little girl who hears with her heart and speaks with her hands. This children’s picture book series is inspired by Sheryl’s grandmother, Lila Ahlsten, who spent her life teaching children who were both blind and deaf. The Lila Books help children to understand that they don’t have to be perfect to be important in the world.
Susan Colleen Browne is the creator of the Village of Ballydara series, Irish stories of love, friendship and family, and the Morgan Carey adventure series for tweens. She’s also the author of an award-winning memoir, Little Farm in the Foothills: A Boomer Couple’s Search for the Slow Life. Susan is a community college creative writing instructor and lives with her husband in the foothills of the Pacific Northwest.
In the last dozen years, I’ve written about monsters, cats and fairytale characters, including the princess sisters from Disney’s Oscar-winning animated film, Frozen. Inspired by the pure gumption of Elsa and Anna of Arendelle, I don my tiara and gown for appearances in bookstores, retail malls, book festivals and anywhere else I’m invited to read my books and tell my becoming-an-author story. I visit schools to share what I’ve learned about writing and encourage young authors to express their unique insights in stories of their own.
Christine Magnussen is a recording artist and author. Her background in social work and harp therapy bring comfort and support to her readers and listeners. Listen to Christine’s CD at her booth, On Wings of a Dove – Harp Music to Soothe the Soul CD. Christine will also be playing throughout the day at the festival.
This guidebook, “Friends In Deeds – 101+Ways to Help a Friend in Need” is an uplifting support for caregivers, illness, loss or any challenge. It invites the reader to express their choices for specific, practical help and reminds us of the gift of giving. Designed for everyone as we all take turns giving and receiving.
Laine, Believer in Tall Dreams and Fandangled Tales, outlines simple practices for any age in the use of happy words and activities that support the experiences of happy heart. In the Mt. Baker Faerie Forest: A Photo Journal & Activity Book, culturally and developmentally diverse faeries formed the Happy Hearts for Humans Initiative and share their secrets to Happy Hearts. The faerie-developed book provides cognitive development practices: cutting, gluing, observing, following instructions, creating stories, drawing, and more. Laine lives with her husband of 40 years in the town of Bellingham, Washington.
Sarah is the author of “My Angel, You Are Loved,” a poem and keepsake journal embracing pregnancy and celebrating baby. Her strong desire to contribute to families and community motivated her to establish 3 Monkeys Publishing. She knew creating a company that allowed her to combine her love of books, cards, and portraiture would allow her to give back on a greater level. “My Angel, You Are Loved,” and the healing and celebration provided in this keepsake, are the beginning of this journey in publishing.
MEET THE AUTHORS
Award-winning author J.L. Oakley writes historical fiction that spans the mid-19th century to WW II with characters standing up for something in their own time and place. Her writing has been recognized with a 2013 Bellingham Mayor’s Arts Award, the 2013 Chanticleer Grand Prize for Tree Soldier and a 2014 First Place Chaucer Award and the 2015 WILLA Silver Award for Timber Rose. Last January, Timber Rose, was selected by Kathy L. Murphy of Beauty and the Book Club and the Girlfriend Weekend as a book club read.
Her most recent historical novel, The Jøssing Affair, launched April 2016 and is a 2013 Chaucer first place category winner. Historical Novel Reviews called it a “first-rate WW II thriller.” In addition to these novels, Saddle Road and Coconut Island, Lei Crime Kindle World novellas, are mysteries set in the Hawaiian Islands. When not writing, she demonstrates 19th century folkways.
Sharon Anderson is the author of the paranormal romantic comedy, Curse of the Seven 70s, and the award-winning short story, Stone God’s Wife. She lives in Skagit Valley with her amazing husband, two brilliant children, a sweetheart of a dog, two cats, a small grouping of fish, and a sketchy guinea pig. Sharon is just about ready to release her second paranormal romantic comedy, Sweet Life of Dead Duane. You can find out more about Sharon on her website.
Jesikah Sundin is a sci-fi/fantasy writer mom of three nerdlets and devoted wife to a gamer geek. In addition to her family, she shares her home in Monroe, Washington with a red-footed tortoise and a collection of seatbelt purses. She is addicted to coffee, laughing, and Dr. Martens shoes … Oh! And the forest is her happy place.
LEGACY proclaimed winner of:
2014 Chanticleer Book Reviews Great Beginnings Cygnus winner for Sci-Fi/Fantasy, 2014 National Indie Excellence Award Finalist for Science Fiction, 2014 Cygnus Award for Sci-Fi / Cyberpunk, 2014 Dante Rossetti Award for Sci-Fi / Cyberpunk, 2014 Dante Rossetti Grand Prize Award for Young Adult Fiction
A lifetime journalist beginning as a UCLA magazine staff member, Joann Roe write features for magazines and newspapers worldwide on topics that range from western cowboys to city profiles. If the editor wishes, she furnishes illustrations, using a Nikon D080.
Joann is particularly familiar with all of the Pacific Northwest, including British Columbia and Montana, but also the Southwest, Alaska, and Hawaii. She’s traveled worldwide – mostly Asia and South America and have special connections in Japan.
Joann is widowed with four adult children. She’s held a private pilot’s license for 30 years, raised Appaloosa horses for years, plays tennis regularly, golfs, hikes, enjoys theatre, and is experienced with boats, snorkeling, and simply enjoying life.
Joann’s professional life has included stints in advertising agencies, as a public relations person in the broadcast field, and in general business. She’s particularly interested in western history and unusual people.
Colleen Haggerty is a writer of memoir and personal essay. She has contributed to four anthologies: The Spirit of a Woman, He Said What? (penned as Colleen Robinson), Dancing at the Shame Prom, and Beyond Belief. After Colleen lost her leg at seventeen years old, she found herself feeling marginalized. She developed a deep empathy for and desire to help others living on the fringe of society which led to her twenty year career in non-profit management. She is an inspiring public speaker and was a speaker at the 2013 Bellingham TEDx event where she talked about the power of forgiveness. Colleen writes about walking through life as an amputee at www.colleenhaggerty.com. She makes her home in Bellingham, WA with her husband and two teenagers.
MaryAnn F. Kohl is the award-winning author of over 20 books on creative art for children. MaryAnn began with her first book, “Scribble Art: Independent Art Experiences for Children” in 1985, published by her company, Bright Ring Publishing Inc., and completed her 30th year with her 24th title, “Action Art: Hands-On Active Art Adventures”. MaryAnn offers presentations nationally on the topic of creative art expression for children as well as workshops about how to publish non-fiction activities for kids. She is also a literary agent for authors in the education genre. MaryAnn resides in Ferndale, Washington.
Richard Little is a retired attorney and government lobbyist who’s lived in the Pacific Northwest for over thirty-five years. His work has been published in the Santa Fe Writers Project, Cirque Literary Journal, the Seattle Times, and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. He has also published a collection of short stories, “Postcards from the Road.” He is currently working on a novel.
Other work of his can be found at “The Write Stuff,” http://pepys2000.blogspot.com.
An accomplished story-teller and ghostwriter, Jeanne Halsey has been writing and publishing professionally for over 40 years; she is the daughter of best-selling author Rev. Don Gossett, who published over 200 books before his death in 2014. She loves to use her God-given gift of encouragement to regularly teach “The School of Creative Christian Writing.” Owner and Managing Editor of “Masterpieces In Progress Publishing House,” Jeanne loves to empower new writers to find their literary voices and launch their work into the literary world.
Luanne Myers lives in Bellingham, Washington, with Elbee, whose fearless joy and dauntless trust inspired her to write and produce “Elbee of Eldridge Avenue.” She is the mother of four and the grandmother of four (almost five). She works as the Engineering Specialist for the Port of Bellingham.
Johnna Langen is a single mother and a lifelong artist and creative writer. Growing up Johnna experienced learning differences that made school a challenge. Regardless of the struggles in school Johnna had an awareness, from an early age, that she did excel in creativity, kindness, and her love of nature and animals. When here daughter, Jordan, started school, Johnna discovered she too had some learning differences. These differences inspired Johnna to find ways to help her daughter embrace the way in which she learned. The poem Someday in one such story created to support her daughter in finding out what her own gifts were and to ultimately help her soar with her own wings.
Johnna is a veteran and currently working toward her Bachelor’s degree in Studio Art at Western Washington University. She was the 2014 recipient of the Bellingham Art Guild Scholarship at Whatcom Community College and was selected as the 2015 Whatcom Community College Art Student of the Year.
The art Johnna creates is whimsical with the use of nature as symbols for the self. Whether it is by teaching, art, or creating stories Johnna delights in connecting the natural world of plants and animals to helping people become their very best.
Holly’s world is shaped and supported by five cornerstones: the beauty of the natural world, an irrepressible creative drive, an insatiable curiosity, an adorable rescue kitty (who has moved into her home and stolen her heart) and, most importantly, the love of her family and friends.
She sees life through questions, and it is that characteristic that drives and colors her writing voice. Her tales often have non-urban settings with nature contributing to the plot, building discordant themes inside a seemingly peaceful refrain.
In everything she touches, Holly weaves alternative worlds with threads from today.
Robert Wright is the author of the “Witch Way” and “Walk the Stars” series. A lifelong creative, he’s been drawing and doodling since childhood. The characters have evolved over the years and have now come to life in the pages of the books he loves to write and share. A world traveler, Robert has settled in Bellingham with his wife and youngest child – who all share their home with Robert’s imaginary friend, Percy the dragon.
After a career as an employment lawyer, Marian Exall now writes what she loves to read: mysteries. She has published two Sarah McKinney mysteries and is working on the third. Like her heroine, Marian was born and raised in England. She lived in France and Belgium before moving to Atlanta. She now lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband of 45 years. She enjoys cooking, hiking and doing grandparent duty.
Judith Kirscht challenges our ideas of contemporary life. Born and raised in Chicago, she taught for many years in Michigan and California before moving to Washington state to write fiction. Hawkins Lane and Home Fires are both first place award-winning novels from Chanticleer Reviews.
Social Media and WordPress Consultant, Barb Drozdowich, has taught in colleges, universities and in the banking industry. More recently, she brings over 15 years of teaching experience and a deep love of books to help authors develop the social media platform needed to succeed in today’s fast evolving publishing world. She owns Bakerview Consulting and manages the popular blog, Sugarbeat’s Books, where she talks about Romance novels.
She is the author of 9 books and, over 25 YouTube videos and an online WordPress course, all focused on helping authors and bloggers. Barb lives in the mountains of British Columbia with her family.
As a Peace Corps volunteer in Kenya a few years back, Jennifer Mueller, traveled quite a bit and now she just wishes she was. A lot of the places she has written about she’s been to, a lot of them she hasn’t. Rafting on the Nile in Uganda, living in a Montana ghost town, Puerto Rican beaches, African safaris, Mayan ruins, European youth hostels, forts on the Ghana coast all fill her scrapbooks. Jennifer still travels in her head every time she writes, even if she doesn’t get out as much as she wishes. Currently, Jennifer lives in the Pacific Northwest and looks forward to filling many more pages.
Mike Hartner was born in Miami in 1965. He’s traveled much of the continental United States. He has several years post secondary education, and experience teaching and tutoring young adults. Hartner has owned and run a computer firm for more than twenty-five years. He now lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, with his wife and child. They share the neighborhood and their son with his maternal grandparents.
The Eternity Series is a global re-telling of The Canterbury Tales, starting in 1588 and spanning all areas of the globe, and times to present.
Nick Baker is a writer, composer, arranger, and musical entertainer. He has 4 CD’s and recently chose to partner with his mother, Kathy Passage to write about his experiences growing up with multiple disabilities. Turtle, a children’s picture book. Nick lives with his mom and stepfather, Kathy and Raymond Passage, in Edmonds, WA, where he entertains at local senior centers and other venues. Nick visits schools to share his book and his music with students.
Kathy Passage calls Edmonds, WA home. Life with her handyman hubby, two Elkhound pups and her autistic adult son, provides fodder for her pen. After 18 years as a specialty food broker, she changed course. She swam laps, gained two puppies, lost 50 pounds, and started writing again. Writes for My Edmonds News, Restaurant column, has essays published in Chicken Soup for the Soul volumes; the latest, Merry Christmas 2015 is about an annual holiday event in Seattle. Kathy co-authored an illustrated children’s book, Turtle with her son, Nick Baker in 2014.