Gillian Flynn, Ta-Nehisi Coates, R.L. Stine Among Announcements in Southern Festival of Books Lineup



Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn
  • Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn
Bibliophiles, you're gonna want to look busy for the next half-hour while you peruse the just-announced lineup for the Southern Festival of Books, to be held Oct. 12-14 on Legislative Plaza. This is the best roster of visiting writers we've seen in recent years — Humanities Tennessee has put together a list that includes the authors of two of the hottest novels of the summer, revered fiction and nonfiction talents, and some of the most popular children's and YA writers working.

Friends who normally don't like mysteries keep telling us Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl is a sly, scary and memorably devious thriller, and it sounds like so much fun we've been impatiently checking our status on the library reserve list. (Hasn't budged — read faster, people!) It's been near or at the top of the Times bestseller list for weeks, and Flynn's appearance should draw one of the festival's biggest crowds. So should Karen Thompson Walker, whose The Age of Miracles is one of the season's most lauded debut novels. (It's worth noting that of's list of highly anticipated summer books, four are represented at the festival: Flynn's, Walker's, David Maraniss' Barack Obama: The Story, and Ben Fountain's "Catch-22 of the Iraq War" Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk.)

Richard Russo called Jess Walter's comic novel Beautiful Ruins "an absolute masterpiece," and it's getting some of the summer's strongest reviews. Walter's among the many writers of literary fiction scheduled to attend, including Bobbie Ann Mason, Madison Smartt Bell, Adam Ross, Kevin Wilson, Ruta Sepetys, Ron Rash, Mark Helprin, Christopher Tilghman, Silas House, Ben Marcus, Padgett Powell, George Singleton and Winter's Bone author Daniel Woodrell.

Visiting nonfiction talents include Friday Night Lights author Buzz Bissinger, A.J. Jacobs, Rachel Swarns, acclaimed Haiti scholar Laurent Dubois, Adam Goodheart (whose 1861: The Civil War Awakening was a surprise best seller) and Bernice King, daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Of special note is an appearance by popular Atlantic politics and culture blogger Ta-Nehisi Coates.

Those who've curled up in a sleeping bag with a flashlight and a Goosebumps chiller will relish the appearance by R.L. Stine, presently at 300 million copies sold worldwide and counting. We know a little girl, though, who will be delighted to hear Bridge to Terabithia author Katherine Paterson is attending in support of her latest book, The Flint Heart. And if your kids have never made the acquaintance of Judith Viorst, author of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, here's their chance to do so in the flesh.

Watch the site and Country Life in the weeks leading up to the festival for news, profiles, updates and more. Below, the full list of authors.

Below is the list of authors scheduled to appear at this year's Southern Festival of Books. This list is sorted alphabetically by the authors' first names and displayed on a single page. If you would like a multi-paged version of this list, please click here.

Tamera Alexander
is a bestselling, award-winning novelist whose deeply drawn characters, thought-provoking plots, and poignant prose resonate with readers worldwide. She and her husband live in Nashville, Tennessee, where they enjoy life with their two adult children and Tammy's father.
Current Book: A Lasting Impression: A Belmont Mansion Novel

Tammy Algood
is an author, editor, and spokesperson. She conducts cooking schools at various Tennessee wineries and has been published in numerous magazines and newspapers. She is a weekly food personality on Nashville's local ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox affiliates as well as statewide on PBS. She has appeared nationally on the HGTV and DIY networks. The author of The Complete Southern Cookbook, Tammy is married and lives in Nashville.
Current Book: Farm Fresh Southern Cooking

Christa Allan
is the author of Walking on Broken Glass and the mother of five. She teaches high school English. She and her family live in Abita Springs, Louisiana.
Current Book: The Edge of Grace

Lisa Alther
was born in 1944 in Kingsport, Tennessee. She has published six novels, one novella, a memoir, and a new narrative history of the Hatfields and the McCoys, entitled Blood Feud (2012). Alther has taught at St. Michael's College in Vermont and at East Tennessee State University. She divides her time among Tennessee, Vermont, and New York City.
Current Book: Stormy Weather and Other Stories

Julianna Baggott
is the author of many books including national bestseller Girl Talk. Her work has appeared in dozens of publications, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Best American Poetry 2000, 180 More Extraordinary Poems for Everyday (ed. Billy Collins), The Southern Review, TriQuarterly, Virginia Quarterly Review, Poetry, Glamour, Ms. Magazine, and read on NPR's Talk of the Nation. Her books have received critical acclaim from reviewers and fellow authors alike.
Current Book: Pure

E.D. Baker
is the author of The Wide Awake Princess, Fairy Lies, Fairy Wings, and the (eight) Tales of the Frog Princess including The Frog Princess, which was the inspiration for Disney's hit movie The Princess and the Frog. She lives with her family and their horses in rural Maryland.
Current Book: Unlocking the Spell: A Tale of the Wide-Awake Princess

John Baker
is the founder of Celebrate Recovery, a ministry born out of the heart of Saddleback Church. Over the last sixteen years, nearly 10,000 individuals have gone through the Christ-centered recovery program at Saddleback. The Celebrate Recovery program is now being used in 12,000 churches nationwide.
Current Book: The Washingtons of Wessyngton Plantation

Rosecrans Baldwin
's first novel, You Lost Me There, was named one of NPR's Best Books of 2010, a New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice, and a Time and Entertainment Weekly Best Book of Summer 2010. He is a cofounder of the online magazine The Morning News. He and his wife live on the rural fringe of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He currently teaches in the writing program at Duke University's Center for Documentary Studies.
Current Book: Paris, I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down

Jeremy Barlow
opened his first restaurant, Tayst Restaurant and Wine Bar, on February 5, 2004, just south of Hillsboro Village in Nashville. In 2008 Tayst was the first in Nashville to become a Certified Green Restaurant ( It represents Jeremy's dedication to sustainability — an emphasis on local food served in a restaurant operating with environmentally responsible practices. In 2009, Tayst achieved 3-Star Certified Green Status, making it one of only six restaurants nationwide (at the time) reaching this level of sustainability. That same year he opened Local Kitchen Catering.
Current Book: Chefs Can Save the World: How to Green Restaurants and Why they Are the Key to Renewing the Food System

Kelly Barnhill
is a poet and writer. The Mostly True Story of Jack, her debut novel, received four starred reviews. Kelly lives in Minnesota with her husband and three children.
Current Book: Iron Hearted Violet

Marlin Barton
is assistant director of the "Writing Our Stories" project, a program for juvenile offenders. He was awarded an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Alabama Council on the Arts, and has received the Andrew Lytle Prize and an O. Henry Award for his short stories.
Current Book: The Cross Garden

Madison Smartt Bell
is the author of fifteen previous works of fiction, including All Souls' Rising (a National Book Award finalist), Soldier's Joy and Anything Goes. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland, where he teaches in the Creative Writing Program at Goucher College.
Current Book: The Color of Night

Gordon Belt
is an information professional specializing in local archives, historical research and government and public policy. He currently works as the library manager for the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. Gordon is also the founding editor and publisher of The Posterity Project, an award-winning blog devoted to issues related to archives, history, civic responsibility and open access to public records in his home state of Tennessee.
Current Book: Onward Southern Soldiers: Religion and the Army of Tennessee in the Civil War

Naomi Benaron
's debut novel, Running the Rift, is the winner of the 2010 Bellwether prize for Socially Engaged Fiction. She was born and raised in Boston Massachusetts and is a graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Before she lost her mind and decided to devote her life to writing, she worked for many years as a geophysicist and seismologist. She has lived on a sailboat, worked on a Kibbutz, and traveled extensively. She works with Afghan Women through the Afghan Women's Writing Project, an online space where the women of Afghanistan can write in safety and freedom.
Current Book: Running the Rift

Buzz Bissinger
is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of four books, including the New York Times bestseller 3 Nights in August and Friday Night Lights, which has sold two million copies and spawned a film and TV franchise. He is a contributing editor for Vanity Fair and a sports columnist for The Daily Beast. He has written for the New York Times, The New Republic, Time and many other publications.
Current Book: Father's Day: A Journey into the Heart and Mind of My Extraordinary Son

David Blight
is Class of 1954 Professor of History at Yale University.
Current Book: American Oracle: The Civil War in the Civil Rights Era

Fergus Bordewich
is the author of several books, among them Washington: The Making of the American Capital and Bound for Canaan, a national history of the Underground Railroad. As a journalist he has written widely on political and cultural subjects in Europe, the Middle East, and East Asia. His articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Smithsonian, American Heritage, The Atlantic, and many other publications. He lives in Washington, D.C.
Current Book: America's Great Debate: Henry Clay, Stephen A. Douglas, and the Compromise that Preserved the Union

Michael R. Bradley
taught U.S. history at Motlow State Community College in Tullahoma, Tennessee. He earned undergraduate degrees at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, and the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and a master's degree and Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University. He has written extensively on the Civil War, including five books and numerous articles, book reviews, and papers relating to church and civil society. In 1994, he was awarded the Jefferson Davis Medal in Southern History.
Current Book: Nathan Bedford Forrest's Escort and Staff

Sandra Brannan
learned the family mining business firsthand, starting out in steel-toed boots and rising to a chair in an executive office. She lives with her husband, Joel, in the Black Hills of South Dakota, and is proud of their four sons and three grandchildren. The forthcoming fourth title in her Liv Bergen series is Noah's Rainy Day.
Current Book: Widow's Might

Kimberly Babb Brock
is a native Southerner, a former actor and special needs educator. Her work has appeared in anthologies and magazines. She lives with her husband and three children north of Atlanta, Georgia. The River Witch is her first novel.
Current Book: The River Witch

Kevin Brown
is an Associate Professor at Lee University. He has one full-length collection of poems, Exit Lines, and his most recent chapbook manuscript, Holy Days: Poems, won the Split Oak Press Chapbook Competition. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in REAL: Regarding Arts and Letters, Folio, Connecticut Review, South Carolina Review, Stickman Review, and Atlanta Review, among other journals. He has also published essays in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Academe,, The Teaching Professor, and Eclectica.
Current Book: Holy Days: Poems

Tami Lewis Brown
is the author of the picture book Soar, Elinor!, illustrated by Fran├žois Roca. She holds an MFA in writing for children from Vermont College and lives in Washington, D.C. The Map of Me is her first novel.
Current Book: The Map of Me

Taylor Bruce
grew up in Georgia and was educated at Vanderbilt University and Brooklyn College. His writing has appeared in Men's Journal, Oxford American, National Geographic Adventure, Paste, Travel + Leisure, Budget Travel, and Coastal Living. Taylor worked for three years as a travel editor for Southern Living, where his stories were recognized by Foilio and the Society of American Travel Writers. He is the founding editor of the Magnificent, a series of city field guides releasing summer 2012.
Current Book: Nashville Field Guide

Kate Buckley
a ninth-generation Kentuckian, was educated at Transylvania University and the University of Kentucky, and is currently an MFA candidate at Spalding University. She is the recipient of the James Hearst Poetry Prize, the Gabehart Prize for Imaginative Writing, and was a 2008 Pushcart nominee.
Current Book: Follow Me. Down; A Wild Region

Patsy Caldwell
is the owner of Water Tower Food Concepts, a cooking school in Charlotte, Tennessee. She has been a culinary professional for more than forty years and was the director of food service at Ingram Industries for more than twenty five years. She has studied at various cooking schools at the Greenbrier in West Virginia for more than twenty years. She and her husband Bill live next to the Water Tower in Charlotte.
Current Book: You Be Sweet

Sharon Cameron
was awarded the 2009 Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators'Sue Alexander Award for Most Promising New Work for The Dark Unwinding, her debut novel. When not writing, Sharon can be found thumbing through dusty tomes, shooting a longbow, or indulging her lifelong search for secret passages. She lives in Nashville with her family.
Current Book: The Dark Unwinding

Julie Cannon
is a native of Tennessee with a degree in Journalism from the University of Georgia. She is the author of five novels, including the award-winning Homegrown Series. Her books include a finalist for the Townsend Prize for Fiction and for the SIBA Book Award. Truelove & Homegrown Tomatoes was named by Good Housekeeping as one of '20 Books to Tote on Vacation.' The Romance Readers' Book Club was chosen as a Target Breakout Book, and I'll Be Home for Christmas was named a Top Pick of Fall 2010 releases by CBA Retailers & Resources Magazine, in addition to being included in Nielsen's Top 50 Inspirational Titles. Julie is also an inspirational speaker and teaches various creative writing workshops. She lives in Watkinsville, Georgia, with her husband and youngest son.
Current Book: Twang

Patrick Carman
is a man with a mission—to get kids reading. He is the author of book five in The 39 Clues, and is also the creator of Skeleton Creek, a gripping, spooky adventure story told in episodes that alternate between chapters in the books and online videos. Early in his career, Carman started an advertising agency, created board games, and developed and sold a "dotcom" before finding the thing he was really meant to do: write youth fiction. While reading to his two young daughters, he began spinning the tale that became the New York Times bestselling The Land of Elyon series. Patrick Carman lives with his family in Walla Walla, Washington.
Current Book: 3 Below: Floors Book 2

William Chafe
is the Alice Mary Baldwin Professor of History at Duke University. He is the author of many books on race, gender, and politics, including, most recently, The Rise and Fall of the American Century: The United States from 1890 to 2008, The Unfinished Journey: America Since World War II, and Private Lives/Public Consequences: Personality and Politics in Modern America.
Current Book: Bill and Hillary: The Politics of the Personal

Chris Chamberlain
is a food and drink writer based in Nashville, Tennessee, where he has lived his entire life except for four years in California where he studied liberal arts at Stanford University and learned how to manipulate chopsticks. He is a regular writer for the Nashville Scene and their "Bites" food blog. He is also the Southern correspondent for Food Republic, a national website dedicated to "Drinking, Eating, and Living the Way a Man Should." He has also contributed to the Nashville City Paper, Nashville Lifestyles magazine, Her Nashville, Julep, and as a kitchen gadget reviewer at One of his favorite things in life to do is to put a shoulder on the smoker and watch SEC football all day long while waiting for his pork to reach "pig-picking" temperature as slowly as possible.
Current Book: The Southern Foodie

Dan Chaon
is the acclaimed author of Among the Missing, which was a finalist for the National Book Award; You Remind Me of Me, which was named one of the best books of the year by The Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, and Entertainment Weekly, among other publications; and Await Your Reply, which was a New York Times Notable Book and appeared on more than a dozen "Best of the Year" lists. Chaon's fiction has appeared in many journals and anthologies, including The Best American Short Stories, Pushcart Prize, and The O. Henry Prize Stories. He has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award in Fiction, and he was the recipient of the 2006 Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Chaon lives in Cleveland, Ohio, and teaches at Oberlin College, where he is the Pauline M. Delaney Professor of Creative Writing.
Current Book: Stay Awake: Stories

Da Chen
grew up in the deep south of China. His first encounter with a Baptist professor was life changing. She taught him English and opened the possibility of another world. He excelled in college at Beijing Languages and Culture University, and stayed on as a professor of English after graduating top in his class. Da arrived in America at the age of 23 with $30 in his pocket, a bamboo flute, and a heart filled with hope. He attended Columbia University School of Law on a full scholarship, and upon graduating, worked for the Wall Street investment banking firm of Rothschilds, Inc.
Current Book: My Last Empress

Ta-Nehisi Coates
is a senior editor for The Atlantic and blogs on its website. Coates has worked for The Village Voice, Washington City Paper, and Time. He has contributed to The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, The Washington Monthly, O, and other publications. In 2008 he published a memoir, The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons, and an Unlikely Road to Manhood.
Current Book: The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons, and the Unlikely Road to Manhood

Alex Cook
is an author and journalist living in Baton Rouge, LA. He is the author of two books and is working on a third on south Louisiana restaurants, forthcoming in 2014. He is a member of the faculty of the Manship School of Mass Communications at Louisiana State University.
Current Book: Louisiana Saturday Night: Looking for a Good Time in South Louisiana's Juke Joints, Honky Tonks and Dance Halls

Sandy Coomer
is a graduate of "The Writer's Loft," a certificate in creative writing program at Middle Tennessee State University. Her poetry was chosen among those submitted by participants in The Southeast Review's Writer's Regimen, Spring 2011, to appear on the journal's website. The Tennessee Mountain Writers selected her poems as first and second prize winners in their 2010 contest. She lives in Brentwood, TN with her husband and children. In her spare time, she loves to knit and trains for half-marathons and triathlons.
Current Book: Continuum

Chip Cooper
was director of photography for The University of Alabama for thirty-three years and is now artist-in-residence in the Honors College and faculty member in Arts and Sciences. While working for the university, he has published the following books: Hunting: The Southern Tradition, Alabama Memories, Silent in the Land, Common Threads, Crimson: The University of Alabama, and recently Tin Man. He has shown his work nationally and internationally, and his photographs are in many museums, as well as private and corporate collections.
Current Book: Old Havana

Joseph Crespino
is an associate professor of history at Emory University. He is the author of In Search of Another Country: Mississippi and the Conservative Counterrevolution and the coeditor of The Myth of Southern Exceptionalism.
Current Book: Strom Thurmond's America

Moira Crone
is the author of a novel and two short story collections. Her stories have appeared in the New Yorker, Image, and Ploughsares, among many others. A resident of New Orleans, she teaches at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.
Current Book: The Not Yet

Gitty Daneshvari
is the author of the adult novel The Makedown. School of Fear was Gitty's debut children's book, and it was inspired by her many childhood fears. She hoped that one day they'd help her, and, as it turns out, they did. Gitty lives in New York with her two cats and her bulldog, Harriet.
Current Book: Monster High: Ghoulfriends Forever

Amber Dermont
received her MFA in fiction from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. Her short stories have appeared in numerous literary magazines and anthologies, including Best American Nonrequired Reading 2005, Zoetrope: All-Story, and Best New American Voices 2006. A graduate of Vassar College, she received her Ph.D. in creative writing and literature from the University of Houston. She currently serves as an associate professor of English and creative writing at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia.
Current Book: The Starboard Sea

Andrew Derr
is Vanderbilt University's 1992 recipient of the Fred Russell-Grantland Rica TRA Sportswriting Scholarship. A part-time freelance journalist since graduating in 1996, he lives in Maryland with his wife Molly and four children, Michael, Hannah, Isabella, and Lukas. His full-time career is with Deloitte Consulting, where he has been since 2004.
Current Book: Life of Dreams: The Good Times of Sportswriter Fred Russell

Jennifer DuBois
is a recent graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and is currently completing a Wallace Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University. Originally from western Massachusetts, she lives in Northern California.
Current Book: A Partial History of Lost Causes: A Novel

Laurent DuBois
is the author of Avengers of the New World: The Story of the Haitian Revolution, a Los Angeles Times Best Book of 2004. The Marcello Lotti Professor of Romance Studies and History at Duke University, Dubois has written on Haiti for the Los Angeles Times, The Nation, and the New Yorker Web site, among other publications, and is the codirector of the Haiti Lab at the Franklin Humanities Institute. He lives in Durham, North Carolina.
Current Book: Haiti: The Aftershocks of History

Gerald Duff
grew up in the petro-chemical area of the Gulf Coast and the pine barrens of Deep East Texas. He worked as a hand in the oil fields and the cotton fields, as a janitor, as a TV camera man, as a professor of English, as a college dean, and as a bit actor in television drama. Blue Sabine is his seventh novel. His other titles include Indian Giver, That's All Right, Mama: the Unauthorized Life of Elvis's Twin, Memphis Ribs, and Coasters.
Current Book: Blue Sabine

Pam Durban
s third novel, The Tree of Forgetfulness, will be published in fall 2012. Her second novel, So Far Back, won the Lillian Smith Book Award. Her stories and essays have been published in numerous magazines and anthologies, including The Best American Short Stories of the Century. She is the Doris Betts Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.
Current Book: The Tree of Forgetfulness

Angela Easterling
spent much of her childhood on the Greer, South Carolina farm that has been in her family since 1791; seven generations. Her music has been honored by numerous publications and organizations, and featured in commercials and on the series "Horsepower" on Animal Planet. Her latest album, Mon Secret, is her first to be entirely in French.

J.T. Ellison
is the bestselling author of the critically acclaimed Taylor Jackson series. A former White House staffer, she's worked extensively with the Metro Nashville Police, the FBI and other law enforcement organizations to research her novels.
Current Book: A Deeper Darkness

Jennie Fields
received an MA in creative writing from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop and is the author of the novels Lily Beach, Crossing Brooklyn Ferry, and The Middle Ages. An Illinois native, she spent twenty-five years as an advertising creative director in New York and currently lives with her husband in Nashville, Tennessee.
Current Book: The Age of Desire

Gillian Flynn
is the author of the New York Times bestseller Dark Places, which was a New Yorker Reviewers' Favorite, Weekend TODAY Top Summer Read, Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2009, and Chicago Tribune Favorite Fiction choice; and the Dagger Award winner Sharp Objects, which was an Edgar nominee for Best First novel, a BookSense pick, and a Barnes & Noble Discover selection. Her work has been published in twenty-eight countries. She lives in Chicago with her husband and son.
Current Book: Gone Girl

Blake Fontenay
has lived nearly his whole life south of the Mason-Dixon line. After working as a newspaper reporter, editorial writer, and columnist for over 25 years—ten of them at the Commercial Appeal in Memphis—he is now a recovering journalist. His bill-paying job is serving as communications director for three departments of Tennessee state government. He and his wife, Lynn, live in Old Hickory, Tennessee. The Politics of Barbecue is his first novel.
Current Book: The Politics of Barbecue

Ben Fountain
s short story collection, Brief Encounters with Che Guevara, won the Hemingway Foundation/PEN award, was named a No. 1 Book Sense Pick, made major regional best-seller lists all over the States and was named one of the best books of the year by the San Francisco Chronicle, the Chicago Tribune, and Kirkus Reviews.
Current Book: Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk: A Novel

Tom Franklin
is the author of Poachers: Stories and Hell at the Breech. Winner of a 2001 Guggenheim Fellowship, he teaches in the University of Mississippi's MFA program and lives in Oxford, Mississippi, with his wife, the poet Beth Ann Fennelly, and their children, Claire and Thomas.
Current Book: Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter

Amy Franklin-Willis
is an eighth-generation Southerner, born in Birmingham, Alabama. She received an Emerging Writer Grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation in 2007 to complete this debut novel, inspired by stories of her father's childhood in rural Pocahontas, Tennessee. She now lives with her family on the West Coast.
Current Book: The Lost Saints of Tennessee

Daniel Friedman
is a graduate of the University of Maryland and NYU School of Law. He lives in New York City.
Current Book: Don't Ever Get Old

Frye Gaillard
is writer in residence at the University of South Alabama and author of more than twenty books, including Cradle of Freedom: Alabama and the Movement That Changed America, which won the Lillian Smith Award for non-fiction, and Watermelon Wine: The Spirit of Country Music, also published by NewSouth Books. Gaillard has also received the Clarence Cason Award for Non-Fiction and the Alabama Library Association Book of the Year Award. He lives just south of Mobile, Alabama with his wife, Nancy.
Current Book: Reading the Books That Mattered: A Reader's Memoir

Marjorie Galen
has written for Country Living and Martha Stewart Living and is the author of Summer Crafts: Summer Projects for the Whole Family. She lives in New York with her two children.
Current Book: The Fashion Designer's Handbook

Kami Garcia
lives in Los Angeles with her family. Beautiful Chaos is the third book in the Beautiful Creatures series.
Current Book: Beautiful Chaos

Fred Gill
is known as the Ambassador of Attractions for the super duo Big and Rich due to his infamous stage presence and promotional work with the multi-platinum act. Along with appearing in the Big & Rich live show and in Big & Rich and other music videos, Fred believes in giving back; he participates in numerous charitable events in Nashville and beyond.
Current Book: Two Foot Fred: How My Life Has Come Full Circle

Kevin Gillespie
s true passion lies in serving his customers quality food every day. This enthusiasm means incorporating the use of fresh, organic and sustainable ingredients in all of his dishes. His goals as executive chef and partner of Woodfire Grill are to increase the usage of local products, make seasonal dishes more exciting, and create a youthful atmosphere at the restaurant.
Current Book: Fire in My Belly: Real Cooking

Judy Goldman
is the author of two novels, Early Leaving and The Slow Way Back, and two books of poetry. Her work has been published in Real Simple magazine, and in many literary journals and anthologies. Her commentaries have aired on public radio and she teaches at writers' conferences throughout the country. She received the Fortner Writer and Community Award for "outstanding generosity to other writers and the larger community." She is also the recipient of many other accolades, including the Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Fiction and the Gerald Cable Poetry Prize. Judy lives with her husband in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Current Book: Losing My Sister: A Memoir

Adam Goodheart
is a historian, essayist, and journalist. His articles have appeared in National Geographic, Outside, Smithsonian, The Atlantic, and The New York Times Magazine, among others, and he is a regular columnist for The New York Times's acclaimed online Civil War series, Disunion. He lives in Washington, D.C., and on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, where he is the Hodson Trust-Griswold Director of Washington College's C. V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience.
Current Book: 1861: The Civil War Awakening

Kent Greenfield
is professor of law and law fund research scholar, Boston College. He is author of The Failure of Corporate Law: Fundamental Flaws and Progressive Possibilities and numerous scholarly law articles. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Current Book: The Myth of Choice: Personal Responsibility in a World of Limits

Bethany Griffin
has always admired Edgar Allan Poe's short stories. She is a high school English teacher who prides herself on attracting creative misfits to elective classes like Young Adult Literature, Creative Writing, and Speculative Literature. She lives with her family in Kentucky.
Current Book: Masque of the Red Death

Lauren Groff
was born in Cooperstown, New York. She has a BA from Amherst College and an MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and has won fellowships to the Vermont Studio Center and Yaddo. Her debut novel, The Monsters of Templeton, was a New York Times bestseller and was shortlisted for the Orange Broadband Award for New Writers 2008. She lives in Gainesville, Florida.
Current Book: Arcadia

Michael Gunter
is professor of political science at Tennessee Technological University. He also has been teaching in the summers since 2002 at The International University in Vienna, Austria. He is the author of a number of acclaimed scholarly books dealing with the Kurds.
Current Book: Historical Dictionary of the Kurds

Jenny Han
is the author of Shug, The Summer I Turned Pretty, It's Not Summer Without You, and We'll Always Have Summer. She is also the author of the chapter book Clara Lee and The Apple Pie Dream. A former children's bookseller, she earned her MFA in creative writing at the New School. She works as a YA librarian at a private school on the Upper West Side.
Current Book: Burn For Burn

Kathy Harris
graduated with a B.S. in Communications from Southern Illinois University and has spent the past two decades employed as a marketing director in the Nashville music industry. She regularly interviews literary and music guests on her blog at
Current Book: The Road to Mercy

David Haskell
is a professor of biology at the University of the South and was named the Carnegie- CASE professor of the year in Tennessee in 2009. In addition to his scholarly work, he has published essays and poetry. He lives with his wife in Sewanee, Tennessee.
Current Book: The Forest Unseen: A Year's Watch in Nature

Tupelo Hassman
graduated from Columbia's MFA program. Her writing has been published in The Portland Review Literary Journal, Paper Street Press, Tantalum, We Still Like, and Zyzzyva, and by Invisible City Audio Tours.
Current Book: Girlchild: A Novel

Christopher Hebert
graduated from Antioch College, where he also worked for the Antioch Review. He has spent time in Guatemala, taught in Mexico, and worked as a research assistant to author Susan Cheever. He earned an MFA in creative writing from the University of Michigan and was awarded its prestigious Hopwood Award for Fiction. He lives in Knoxville, Tennessee with his son and wife, the novelist Margaret Lazarus Dean.
Current Book: The Boiling Season

Mark Helprin
is the acclaimed author of Winter's Tale, A Soldier of the Great War, Freddy and Fredericka, The Pacific, Ellis Island, Memoir from Antproof Case, and numerous other works. His novels are read around the world, translated into over 20 languages.
Current Book: In Sunlight and in Shadow

Karyn Henley
is a best-selling children's book author and an Emmy Award-winning musician. She is the author of the original Beginner's Bible, which sold more than five million copies and was translated into more than fifteen languages, and Breath of Angel, the first novel in the Angelaeon Circle series. An accomplished songwriter, Karyn has been a Dove Award nominee and received a regional Emmy Award as music composer for a Christmas television special. She lives in Nashville.
Current Book: Eye of the Sword

Sara Henry
has been a columnist, soil scientist, book and magazine editor, Web designer, writing instructor, and bicycle mechanic. This is her first novel.
Current Book: Learning to Swim

Kathy Hepinstall
is the author of three previous novels, The House of Gentle Men (a Los Angeles Times bestseller), The Absence of Nectar (a national bestseller), and The Prince of Lost Places. She is an award-winning creative director and advertising writer, whose clients have included top brands in American business. She grew up in Texas.
Current Book: Blue Asylum

Jeff Hirsch
graduated from the University of California, San Diego, with an MFA in Dramatic Writing, and is the author of The Eleventh Plague. He lives in Astoria, NY, with his wife.
Current Book: Magisterium

Jack Hitt
is a contributing editor to the New York Times Magazine, Harper's, and public radio's This American Life. He also writes for Rolling Stone, GQ, Wired, and, of course, Garden & Gun. He has won the Peabody Award, as well as the Livingston and Pope Foundation Awards. His stories can be heard on This American Life's greatest hits CD, Lies, Sissies & Fiascoes, and The Best Crimes and Misdemeanors: Stories from The Moth. He is the author of a solo theater performance, currently touring, entitled Making Up the Truth.
Current Book: Bunch of Amateurs: A Search for the American Character

Ron Hogan
helped create the literary Internet by launching Beatrice in 1995. He spent several years writing about the business side of publishing as a senior editor for GalleyCat, then briefly worked with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt as their director of e-marketing strategy. In addition to regular posts at Beatrice, Ron also writes book reviews and literary features for other websites, including Shelf Awareness,, Heroes & Heartbreakers, Criminal Element, and the USA Network's Character Approved blog.
Current Book: Getting Right with Tao

Harold Holzer
is one of the country's leading authorities on Abraham Lincoln and the political culture of the Civil War era. A prolific writer and lecturer, and frequent guest on television, Holzer serves as chairman of The Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation, successor organization to the U. S. Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission (ALBC), to which he was appointed by President Clinton in 2000, and co-chaired from 2001-2010. President Bush, in turn, awarded Holzer the National Humanities Medal in 2008.
Current Book: Emancipating Lincoln: The Proclamation in Text, Context and Memory

Jennifer Horne
is the author of Bottle Tree: Poems and coeditor of All Out of Faith: Southern Women on Spirituality. She currently teaches in The University of Alabama Honors College and serves as poetry book reviews editor for First Draft Reviews Online.
Current Book: Circling Faith: Southern Women on Spirituality

Silas House
is the nationally best-selling author of Eli the Good as well as the award-winning novels Clay's Quilt, A Parchment of Leaves, and The Coal Tattoo. He serves as writer in residence at Lincoln Memorial University and lives in eastern Kentucky.
Current Book: Same Sun Here

Jason Howard
is the coauthor of Something's Rising: Appalachians Fighting Mountaintop Removal, which was hailed by the late historian Studs Terkel as "a revelatory work." His features, essays and reviews have appeared in such publications as The Nation, Sojourners, Paste, No Depression and The Louisville Review, and his commentary has been featured on NPR. A finalist for the 2011 Roosevelt-Ashe Society Outstanding Journalist in Conservation Award, he was chosen as one of five "up and coming" writers by Kentucky Monthly in 2010. Howard is a James Still Fellow at the University of Kentucky and lives in Berea, Kentucky.
Current Book: A Few Honest Words: the Kentucky Roots of Popular Music

Joseph B. Ingle
is director of the Neighborhood Justice Center in Nashville and a well-known activist, working to abolish the dealth penalty in Tennessee.
Current Book: The Inferno: A Southern Morality Tale

Kristen Iversen
grew up in Arvada, Colorado, near the Rocky Flats nuclear weaponry facility and received a Ph.D. in English from the University of Denver. She is director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of Memphis and editor-in-chief of The Pinch, an award-winning literary journal. During the summers, she serves on the faculty of the MFA Low-Residency Program at the University of New Orleans, held in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and in Edinburgh, Scotland. She is also the author of Molly Brown: Unraveling the Myth, winner of the Colorado Book Award for Biography and the Barbara Sudler Award for Nonfiction. Iversen has two sons and lives in Memphis. Visit her website at
Current Book: Full Body Burden: Growing Up in the Nuclear Shadow of Rocky Flats

AJ Jacobs
is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Know-It-All, The Year of Living Biblically, and The Guinea Pig Diaries. He is the editor at large of Esquire magazine, a contributor to NPR, and has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Entertainment Weekly. He lives in New York City with his wife and kids.
Current Book: Drop Dead Healthy: One Man's Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection

Mark Jarman
is the author of nine books of poetry and two collections of prose. Jarman is an elector of the American Poets' Corner at the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine in New York City. His awards include a Joseph Henry Jackson Award for his poetry, grants from the National Endowment for the Arts in poetry, and a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellowship in poetry. His book The Black Riviera won the 1991 Poets' Prize. Questions for Ecclesiastes won the 1998 Lenore Marshall Poetry prize. He is Centennial Professor of English at Vanderbilt University.
Current Book: Bone Fires: New and Selected Poems

Jay Jennings
is a freelance writer who has contributed to the New York Times, Travel & Leisure, the Oxford American, and many other magazines and newspapers. A former reporter for Sports Illustrated and features editor at Tennis magazine, he edited Tennis and the Meaning of Life: A Literary Anthology of the Game. He lives in Little Rock.
Current Book: Escape Velocity: A Charles Portis Miscellany

Nancy Jensen
, who received an MFA in Writing from Vermont College, has published stories and essays in numerous literary journals, including The Louisville Review, Other Voices, and Northwest Review. She was awarded an Artist Enrichment Grant from the Kentucky Foundation for Women and an Al Smith Fellowship from the Kentucky Arts Council, and she teaches English at Eastern Kentucky University. The Sisters, her first novel, was named one of the Best Fiction Books of 2011 by Kirkus Reviews.
Current Book: The Sisters

Rheta Grimsley Johnson
has covered the South for over three decades as a newspaper reporter and columnist. She writes about ordinary but fascinating people, mining for universal meaning in individual stories. In past reporting for United Press International, the Commercial Appeal of Memphis, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and a number of other regional newspapers, Johnson has won national awards. In 1986, she was inducted into the Scripps Howard Newspapers Editorial Hall of Fame. In 1991, she was one of three finalists for the Pulitzer Prize for commentary. Syndicated today by King Features of New York, Johnson's column appears in about 50 papers nationwide. She is the author of several books, including America's Faces (1987) and Good Grief: The Story of Charles M. Schulz (1989). A native of Colquitt, Georgia, Johnson grew up in Montgomery, Alabama, studied journalism at Auburn University, and has lived and worked in the South all of her career. She and her husband Hines Hall live in Iuka, Mississippi.
Current Book: Hank Hung the Moon...and Warmed Our Cold, Cold Hearts

Julia Keller
was born and raised in West Virginia, and now lives in Chicago and Ohio. In her career as a journalist, she won the Pulitzer Prize for a three-part series she wrote for the Chicago Tribune about a small town in Illinois rocked by a deadly tornado. A Killing in the Hills is her first mystery.
Current Book: A Killing in the Hills

Les Kerr
is a songwriter, recording artist and performer who brings blues, Rockabilly, New Orleans music, Zydeco, and bluegrass together to create his "Hillbilly Blues Caribbean Rock & Roll." Kerr co-authored The All-American Truck Stop Cookbook and frequently writes for magazines and newspapers. Tennessee features Kerr's words and photos by George Humphries. He also contributed to The Bluebird Cafe Scrapbook, Moments with Eugene and Mobile: Sunbelt Center of Opportunity. His review of the book How Nashville Became Music City U.S.A. appeared in the nationally recognized music magazine PASTE and he continues to contribute to other magazines and newspapers. He lives in Nashville.
Current Book: Tennessee

Bernice King
is the youngest child of Dr. Marthin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King. Bernice is the only King child to become a minister. She was elected in 2009 as the President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), but declined in January 2011, citing disagreements with the organization's leadership. She is a licensed attorney and works as a mediator.
Current Book: Desert Rose: The Life and Legacy of Coretta Scott King

Susan W. Knowles
is an independent art curator. She organizes exhibits for the Nashville International Airport and other clients.
Current Book: The Art of Community: Janet and Jim Ayers' Collection of Tennessee Art

Alethea Kontis
is the New York Times best-selling co-author of Sherrilyn Kenyon's The Dark-Hunter Companion, and the author of two picture books. Alethea was a student of science fiction greats Andre Norton and Orson Scott Card, and she has worked in a number of book-related jobs. She lives in Virginia.
Current Book: Enchanted

Jane Landers
is Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of History at Vanderbilt University and is the director of the Ecclesiastical and Secular Sources for Slave Societies project.
Current Book: Atlantic Creoles in the Age of Revolutions

Rebecca Lang
is a contributing editor for Southern Living and has been featured in more than fifty cooking segments on the nationally syndicated show "Daytime." She is a contributing editor for and the author of the popular column "Girls Night In" on the site. She is also a well-respected cooking instructor.
Current Book: Southern Living Around the Southern Table

Margot Livesey
s acclaimed novels include The House on Fortune Street (winner of the L. L. Winship/PEN New England Award) and Eva Moves the Furniture. She lives in the Boston area and is a Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at Emerson College.
Current Book: The Flight of Gemma Hardy

Attica Locke
is a writer whose first novel, Black Water Rising, was nominated for a 2010 Edgar Award, a 2010 NAACP Image Award, as well as a Los Angeles Times Book Prize and was longlisted for an Orange Prize in the UK. Attica is also a screenwriter who has written movie and television scripts for Paramount, Warner Bros, Disney, Twentieth Century Fox, Jerry Bruckheimer Films, HBO, Dreamworks and Silver Pictures. She was also a fellow at the Sundance Institute's Feature Filmmakers Lab and is a graduate of Northwestern University.
Current Book: The Cutting Season

George Ella Lyon
is an award-winning poet and author. She has written more than thirty five books for young readers, including the Schneider Family Book Award picture book The Pirate of Kindergarten and the young adult novel Sonny's House of Spies, as well as numerous books for adults. She lives in Lexington, KY.
Current Book: Holding On To Zoe

Sarah Maas
is a New York native who currently lives in the California desert. This is her first novel, though she has a large on-line fanbase who eagerly support her writing.
Current Book: Throne of Glass

Inman Majors
teaches fiction writing at James Madison University. He is the author of Wonderdog, Swimming in Sky, and The Millionaires. He lives in Waynesboro, Virginia.
Current Book: Love's Winning Plays

Tasia Malakasis
is a technology executive turned cheesemaker after a resolute and stubborn move to follow her passion for food. She is the owner and cheesemaker at one of the most highly acclaimed artisan creameries in the United States, Fromagerie Belle Chevre. Belle Chevre has won close to 100 national awards and critical acclaim from the country's most respected and authoritative fromage experts and was named a 2010 Silver Finalist for Outstanding Dairy Product by the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade.
Current Book: Tasia's Table: Cooking with the Artisan Cheesemaker at Belle Chevre

David Maraniss
, an associate editor at The Washington Post, is the author of critically acclaimed bestselling books on Bill Clinton, Vince Lombardi, Vietnam and the sixties, Roberto Clemente, and the 1960 Rome Olympics. He won the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of Clinton, was part of a Post team that won the 2007 Pulitzer for coverage of the Virginia Tech tragedy, and has been a Pulitzer finalist three other times. He lives in Washington, D.C., and Madison, Wisconsin.
Current Book: Barack Obama: The Story

Ben Marcus
is the author of three books of fiction—Notable American Women, The Father Costume, and The Age of Wire and String—and he is the editor of The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories. His stories have appeared in Harper's Magazine, the New Yorker, the Paris Review, McSweeney's, Tin House, and Conjunctions. He is the recipient of a Whiting Writers' Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Fiction, and awards from the Creative Capital Foundation and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives in New York City and Maine.
Current Book: The Flame Alphabet

Bobbie Ann Mason
is the author of In Country, Shiloh and Other Stories, An Atomic Romance, Nancy Culpepper, and a memoir, Clear Springs. She is the winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award, two Southern Book Awards, and numerous other prizes, including the O. Henry and the Pushcart Prize. She was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the American Book Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award, and the Pulitzer Prize. She is writer-in-residence at the University of Kentucky.
Current Book: The Girl in the Blue Beret

Clay Matthews
has published two previous full-length collections: Superfecta (Ghost Road Press, 2008) and Runoff (BlazeVox Books, 2009). He has also been published in journals such as The American Poetry Review, Willow Springs, Black Warrior Review, Gulf Coast, New Orleans Review, and elsewhere. He completed his Ph.D. in creative writing at Oklahoma State in 2008, and is now teaching at Tusculum College outside of Greeneville, TN, where he also edits poetry for The Tusculum Review.
Current Book: Pretty, Rooster

June Hall McCash
is the author of six nonfiction books, most recently, her debut novel, Almost to Eden, which won the Georgia Author of the Year Award for First Novel. She is also a published poet and has completed workshops with former U.S. poet laureates Mark Strand and Billy Collins. She was the founding director of the MTSU Honors Program and chair of the University's Department of Foreign Languages. Since her retirement from teaching in 2004, she has become a full-time author and has won awards for fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.
Current Book: A Titanic Love Story: Ida and Isadora Straus

Sarah McCoy
is author of the novel The Time It Snowed in Puerto Rico. She has taught at Old Dominion University and at the University of Texas at El Paso. The daughter of an Army officer, McCoy spent her childhood in Germany. She currently lives with her husband in El Paso, Texas.
Current Book: The Baker's Daughter

Brian McKnight
is Associate Professor of History at the University of Virginia's College at Wise. His book, Contested Borderland: The Civil War in Appalachian Kentucky and Virginia, won the James I. Robertson Literary Prize in 2007.
Current Book: Confederate Outlaw: Champ Ferguson and the Civil War in Appalachia

Meg Medina
is the author of Tia Isa Wants a Car, illustrated by Claudio Munoz. The daughter of Cuban immigrants, she grew up in Queens, New York, and now lives in Richmond, VA.
Current Book: The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind

Martha Nelson
has carried around stories in her head for sixty years, but Black Chokeberry is her first novel. Born and raised in Oswego, New York, she loved growing up on the shores of Lake Ontario. She is a graduate of Syracuse University and Lipscomb University and is a retired nonprofit executive, educator, award-winning journalist, and chef. She plays the piano and harp and used to play the flute. She has two grown sons, Terry and Billy Schiff, two daughters-in-law, Emily and Alicia, and two grandchildren, Riker and Seldon. Martha lives in the greater Nashville area with her husband, Mark, two dogs, Bart and Lulu, and Hank the cat.
Current Book: Black Chokeberry

Lydia Netzer
was born in Detroit and educated in the Midwest. She lives in Virginia with her two home-schooled children and mathmaking husband. When she isn't working as a book doctor, blogging, or drafting her second novel, she writes songs and plays guitar in a rock band.
Current Book: Shine Shine Shine

Traci Nichols-Belt
is an ordained and licensed minister and holds a master's degree in history from Middle Tennessee State University and a bachelor's degree in political science from Anderson University.

Chris Offutt
grew up in the Appalachian Mountains of eastern Kentucky and has held more that fifty part-time jobs. For his first three books — Kentucky Straight, The Same River Twice, and The Good Brother — he received numerous awards and honors, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Whiting Award. He currently lives in Iowa City, where he is a visiting professor at the Iowa Writers' Workshop.
Current Book: Grit Lit: A Rough South Reader

Corey Olsen
is an Assistant Professor of English at Washington College in Maryland. In his teaching website, The Tolkien Professor, Professor Olsen brings his scholarship on Tolkien to the public, seeking to engage a wide and diverse audience in serious intellectual and literary conversation. He is currently posting a series of in-depth lectures on The Hobbit, as well as recorded discussions with students and listeners, and more informal Q&A sessions.
Current Book: Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit

Ted Olson
teaches in the Department of Appalachian Studies and in the Bluegrass, Old-Time, and Country Music Program at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tennessee. From 1999-2004 he served as Director of ETSU's Appalachian, Scottish, and Irish Studies program, and in 2008 he was Fulbright Senior Scholar in American Studies at the University of Barcelona and the Autonomous University of Barcelona in Barcelona, Spain.
Current Book: Revelations: Poems

Frank Partnoy
is a former investment banker at Morgan Stanley and a practicing corporate lawyer. He is one of the world's leading experts on market regulation and is a frequent commentator for The Financial Times, the New York Times, NPR and 60 Minutes. He is a graduate of Yale Law School and is the George E. Barrett Professor of Law and Finance and the founding director of the Center for Corporate and Securities Law at the University of San Diego.
Current Book: Wait: The Art and Science of Delay

John Paterson
has collaborated with his wife, Katherine, on Consider the Lilies: Plants of the Bible; Images of God; and Blueberries for the Queen. He lives with his wife in Barre, Vermont.
Current Book: The Flint Heart

Katherine Paterson
is a former National Ambassador for Young People's Literature. Her international fame rests not only on her widely acclaimed novels but also on her efforts to promote literacy in the United States and abroad. She is a two-time winner of the Newbery Medal and the National Book Award, and she has received many other accolades for her works, including the Hans Christian Andersen Medal, the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, and the Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts, given by her home state of Vermont. She was also named a Living Legend by the Library of Congress in 2000. She lives in Barre, Vermont, with her husband, John.
Current Book: The Flint Heart

Kathy Patrick
is the owner of Beauty and the Book, the only bookstore/hair salon in the country, and founder of the Pulpwood Queens book clubs, with branches nationwide.
Current Book: The Pulpwood Queen's Tiara-Wearing, Booksharing Guide to Life

Chris Pavone
grew up in Brooklyn and graduated from Cornell. For nearly two decades he was a book editor and ghostwriter; he is also the author of The Wine Log. Chris and his family have lived in Luxembourg, but recently returned to New York City. The Expats is his first novel.
Current Book: The Expats

Charlotte Pence
Pence's poetry has received the Discovered Voices award, an individual artist commission from Tennessee, and three Pushcart nominations. She has been published in North American Review, Prairie Schooner, Denver Quarterly, Kenyon Review Online and many other journals. In this past year, she received her Ph.D. in English and published Weaves a Clear Night, which won the Flying Trout chapbook prize, and The Poetics of American Song Lyrics, an essay collection that features work by prominent poets on the similarities and differences between poetry and songs. She is married to the fiction writer Adam Prince and currently lives in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Current Book: Weaves a Clear Night

John R. Perry
is an emeritus professor of philosophy at Stanford Univeristy and currently teaches at UC Riverside. He is co-host of the nationally syndicated public radio program Philosophy Talk, and winner, in 2011, of an Ig Nobel Prize in Literature for the essay "Structured Procrastination." He lives with his wife in Palo Alto, California.
Current Book: The Art of Procrastination

Krista Phillips
is a debut author and owner of the popular blog One Woman's Dream at She lives with her husband and four daughters in Cool Springs, Tennessee.
Current Book: Sandwich with a Side of Romance

Charlotte Pierce-Baker
is a professor of women's and gender studies and English at Vanderbilt University. The author of Surviving the Silence: Black Women's Stories of Rape, she resides in Nashville with her husband.
Current Book: This Fragile Life: A Mother's Story of a Bipolar Son

Taylor Polites
received an MFA in Creative Writing from Wilkes University, where he was awarded the 2009 Norris Church Mailer Scholarship. He lives in Providence, Rhode Island.
Current Book: The Rebel Wife

Lawrence Powell
holds the James H. Clark Endowed Chair in American Civilization and is Director of the New Orleans Center for the Gulf South at Tulane University.
Current Book: The Accidental City: Improvising New Orleans

Padgett Powell
is the author of five novels, including The Interrogative Mood and Edisto, which was nominated for the National Book Award. His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's, Little Star, and The Paris Review, and he has received a Whiting Writers' Award and the Rome Fellowship in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives in Gainesville, Florida, where he teaches writing at MFA@FLA, the writing program of the University of Florida.
Current Book: You & Me: A Novel

Adam Prince
Born and raised in Southern California, Adam Prince has since lived in New York, South Korea, Arkansas, Nicaragua, and Knoxville, Tennessee. His award-winning fiction has appeared in The Missouri Review, The Southern Review, and Narrative Magazine, among others. In 2011, Narrative Magazine named him one of the best twenty new writers. He is married to the poet Charlotte Pence and is currently at work on a novel that takes place in Jakarta, Indonesia. The Beautiful Wishes of Ugly Men is his first collection.
Current Book: The Beautiful Wishes of Ugly Men

Alice Randall
was born in Detroit, grew up in Washington, D.C., and graduated from Harvard. She is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Wind Done Gone, Pushkin and the Queen of Spades, and Rebel Yell. She is also an award-winning songwriter, and the first black woman in history to write a number one country song. Randall lives with her husband in Nashville and is currently writer-in-residence at Vanderbilt University. Like Ada, she's done battle with her weight and won.
Current Book: Ada's Rules:A Sexy, Skinny Novel and B.B. Bright, Possible Princess

Ron Rash
is the author of the 2009 PEN/Faulkner finalist and New York Times bestselling novel Serena, in addition to three other prizewinning novels, One Foot in Eden, Saints at the River, and The World Made Straight; four collections of poems; and four collections of stories, among them Burning Bright, which won the 2010 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, and Chemistry and Other Stories, which was a finalist for the 2007 PEN/Faulkner Award. Twice the recipient of the O. Henry Prize, he teaches at Western Carolina University.
Current Book: The Cove

Janisse Ray
is a naturalist, activist, and author of four books of literary nonfiction and a collection of nature poetry. She is on the faculty of Chatham University's low-residency MFA program and is a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow. She Holds an MFA from the University of Montana, and in 2007 was awarded an honorary doctorate from Unity College in Maine.
Current Book: The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food

Jeanne Ray
worked as a registered nurse for forty years before she wrote her first novel at the age of sixty. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and her dog, Red. She is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels Julie and Romeo, Julie and Romeo Get Lucky, Eat Cake, and Step-Ball-Change.
Current Book: Calling Invisible Women

CJ Redwine
lives in Nashville with her four beautiful kids, an amazing husband, two fairly spastic cats, a dog, a writing career, and a bunch of really cool friends she doesn't get to see nearly as much as she'd like to. Defiance is her first novel.
Current Book: Defiance

John Shelton Reed
is William Rand Kenan, Jr. Professor Emeritus of sociology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where he was director of the Howard Odum Institute for Research in Social Science for twelve years and helped to found the university's Center for the Study of the American South. He has written or edited eighteen books, four of them with his wife, Dale Volberg Reed.
Current Book: Dixie Bohemia: A French Quarter Circle in the 1920s

Wendy Reed
writes, produces, and directs at The University of Alabama Center for Public Television and Radio. She has received two Regional Emmys for her work with Discovering Alabama and also directs and produces the series Bookmark along with various documentaries. She also teaches in the College of Communication and Information Sciences at The University of Alabama. Reed is coeditor of All Out of Faith: Southern Women on Spirituality.
Current Book: Circling Faith: Southern Women on Spirituality

Adam Ross
lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with his wife and their two daughters.
Current Book: Ladies and Gentlemen

Ben Sandmel
is a New Orleans-based journalist, folklorist, drummer, and producer. His published work includes some one-hundred sets of liner notes and hundreds of articles for a multitude of publications including The Atlantic, Rolling Stone, and Esquire. His work has also been anthologized in books such as DaCapo Best Music Writing 2000. He is also the author of Zydeco! (University Press of Mississippi, 1999). Sandmel works for the Louisiana Folklife Program as a field researcher and writer and produces the Music Heritage Stage at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. He has produced and played on albums including the Grammy-nominated Deep Water by The Hackberry Ramblers, has performed with numerous blues artists, and is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Musicology at Tulane.
Current Book: Ernie K-Doe: The R & B Emperor of New Orleans

Courtney Miller Santo
learned to write stories in the journalism program at Washington and Lee University and then discovered the limits of true stories working as a reporter in Virginia. She teaches creative writing at the University of Memphis, where she earned her MFA. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Los Angeles Review, Irreantum, Sunstone, and Segullah. She lives in Tennessee with her husband, two children, and dog. Her most prized possession is a photo of five generations of the women in her own family.
Current Book: The Roots of the Olive Tree

Diane Sasson
received her doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is the author of The Shaker Spiritual Narrative (1983) and articles on American folklore and communal societies. She was Director of the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies Program at Duke University, and serves as President of the National Association of Graduate Liberal Studies. For the last decade, she has been on the faculty at Vanderbilt University.
Current Book: Yearning for the New Age: Laura Holloway-Langford and Late Victorian Spirituality

Ruta Sepetys
was born and raised in Michigan in a family of artists, readers, and music lovers. Between Shades of Gray is her first novel and was inspired by her family's history. "It's a story of extreme suffering, tremendous hope, and how sometimes love reveals the miraculous nature of the human spirit," says Sepetys. Ruta now lives with her family in Tennessee.
Current Book: Between Shades of Gray

Ann Shayne
runs the successful website She lives in Nashville.
Current Book: Bowling Avenue

Art Shriver
was introduced to Clementine Hunter by Tom Whitehead in the early 1970s. Following a career in television broadcast news and station management, he continues to write on subjects ranging from poetry to technology.
Current Book: Clementine Hunter: The Aftican House Murals

Donn Sierra
lives in Columbia, TN and teaches government at McGavock High School in Nashville. A native of Miami, he graduated from Auburn University in 1986 and speng his first sixteen years in the classroom at Booker T. Washington High School in Miami. He and his wife, Lisa, a Gulf War veteran (USAF) and realtor, have raised five amazing children together.
Current Book: Candin

George Singleton
has published short stories in a variety of magazines and journals including The Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, and Playboy, as well as four full short story collections and two novels.
Current Book: Stray Decorum

Gary Slaughter
grew up in a small town where he observed life on the World War II homefront. Upon graduation from the University of Michigan, he served as an officer on Navy destroyers. Over the years, he has written extensively and lectured widely on the management of corporate information technology. In 1999, he began writing the acclaimed Cottonwood series. Gary and his wife Joanne make their home in Nashville,Tennessee.
Current Book: Cottonwood Summer '45

Roland Smith
first worked with animals at the Portland Zoo, and he has been involved in animal rescues and conservation work around the world for more than twenty years. He is the author of Jack's Run, Zach's Lie, Cryptid Hunters, Peak, and most recently Tentacles. He is also the co-author of numerous picture books with his wife, Marie. Roland lives with Marie on a farm south of Portland, OR, and he enjoys writing, traveling, and visiting schools.
Current Book: The 39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers Book 4: Shatterproof

Tatjana Soli
lives with her husband in Southern California. Her New York Times bestselling debut novel, The Lotus Eaters, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, a New York Times Notable Book, and won the 2011 James Tait Black Prize.
Current Book: The Forgetting Tree

R.L. Stine
s books have sold more than 300 million copies, making him one of the most popular children's authors in history. Besides Goosebumps, R.L. Stine has written series including: Fear Street, Rotten School, Mostly Ghostly, The Nightmare Room, and Dangerous Girls. R.L. Stine lives in New York with his wife, Jane, and his King Charles spaniel, Minnie.
Current Book: Goosebumps: Hall of Horrors #4: Why I Quit Zombie School

Margaret Stohl
lives in Los Angeles with her family. Beautiful Chaos is the third book in the Beautiful Creatures series.
Current Book: Beautiful Chaos

Michel Stone
has published more than a dozen stories and essays in journals, magazines, and books. Her work has appeared numerous times in the Raleigh News and Observer's emerging Southern writers series. She is a 2011 recipient of the South Carolina Fiction Project Award, given by the South Carolina Arts Commission, and an alumna of the Sewanee Writers' Conference. She lives in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
Current Book: The Iguana Tree

Sarah VanHooser Suiter
became lead program evaluator at Centerstone Research Institute in Nashville after completing a postdoctoral fellowship in religion, spirituality, and health at Duke University Medical Center.
Current Book: Magdalene House: A Place About Mercy

Robert Sullivan
is the author of Rats, The Meadowlands, A Whale Hunt, and most recently, The Thoreau You Don't Know. His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, New York, A Public Space and Vogue, where he is a contributing editor. He was born in Manhattan and now lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Current Book: My American Revolution

Rachel Swarns
has been a reporter for the New York Times since 1995. She has written about domestic policy and national politics reporting on immigration, the presidential campaigns of 2004 and 2008, and First Lady Michelle Obama and her role in the Obama White House. She has also worked overseas for the New York Times, reporting from Russia, Cuba, and southern Africa, where she served as Johannesburg bureau chief. She lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband and two children.
Current Book: American Tapestry

Christopher Tilghman
is the author of two short-story collections, In a Father's Place and The Way People Run, and two novels, Mason's Retreat and Roads of the Heart. Currently the director of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Virginia, he and his wife, the writer Caroline Preston, live in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Current Book: The Right-Hand Shore: A Novel

Gail Tsukiyama
is the bestselling author of six previous novels, including "The Street of a Thousand Blossoms," "Women of the Silk," and "The Samurai's Garden," as well as the recipient of the American Academy of Poets Award and the PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Literary Award. She lives in El Cerrito, California.
Current Book: A Hundred Flowers

Catherynne M. Valente
began September's adventures in installments on the Web; the project won legions of fans and also the CultureGeek Best Web Fiction of the Decade award. She lives with her husband off the coast of Maine.
Current Book: The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There

Adam Vines
is an assistant professor of English at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and editor of Birmingham Poetry Review. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in journals such as Poetry, Cincinnati Review, Greensboro Review, Barrow Street, and others. This book was a finalist for the 2012 Miller Williams Arkansas Poetry Prize. He also serves on the staff of the Sewanee Writers' Conference.
Current Book: The Coal Life

Judith Viorst
was born and brought up in New Jersey, graduated from Rutgers University, moved to Greenwich Village, and has lived in Washington, D.C., since 1960, when she married Milton Viorst, a political writer. They have three sons and seven grandchildren. Viorst writes in many different areas: science books, children's picture books, adult fiction and non-fiction, poetry for children and adults, and three musicals. She is best known for her beloved picture book, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.
Current Book: Lulu Walks the Dog

Siobhan Vivian
s name is pronounced SHOVE-ON. She was born in NYC and grew up in Rutherford, NJ. She attended The University of the Arts, where she graduated with a degree in Writing for Film and Television. She received her MFA in Creative Writing: Children's Literature from The New School University. Siobhan has worked as an editor of several New York Times best-selling novels at Alloy Entertainment, a scriptwriter for The Disney Channel, and she currently teaches Writing Youth Literature at the University of Pittsburgh.
Current Book: Burn For Burn

Karen Thompson Walker
is a graduate of UCLA and the Columbia MFA program and a recipient of the 2011 Sirenland Fellowship as well as a Bomb magazine fiction prize. A former editor at Simon & Schuster, she wrote The Age of Miracles in the mornings before work. Born and raised in San Diego, she now lives in Brooklyn with her husband. The Age of Miracles is her first book.
Current Book: The Age of Miracles

Melissa Walker
has worked as ELLEgirl Features Editor and Seventeen Prom Editor. She is the author of Small Town Sinners, the Violet on the Runway weries, and Lovestruck Summer. Melissa manages the daily e-newsletter, and handles blogging for
Current Book: Unbreak My Heart

Jess Walter
is the author of the national bestseller The Financial Lives of the Poets, the National Book Award finalist The Zero, the Edgar Award-winning Citizen Vince, Land of the Blind, and the New York Times Notable Book Over Tumbled Graves. He lives in Spokane, Washington, with his family.
Current Book: Beautiful Ruins

Claire Vaye Watkins
was born in Death Valley and raised in the Nevada desert. Her work has appeared in Granta, The Paris Review, The Hopkins Review, Hobart, One Story, Ploughshares, and Las Vegas Weekly. She is an assistant professor at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.
Current Book: Battleborn

Lila Weaver
received her BA from New College at The University of Alabama. She and her husband, Paul, live in Northport, Alabama. Darkroom is her first book.
Current Book: Darkroom: A Memoir in Black and White

Kelsey Wells
came into the world with her feet still, her mouth shut, and her eyes wide open. Since then, she has discovered the joys of old-time fiddling, Appalachian dancing, storytelling, and various other traditional arts. Currently a junior Buchanan Fellow at Middle Tennessee State University, she is an alumna of the Tennessee Governor's School for the Arts and a former Uncle Dave Macon Days Scholarship recipient. Kelsey performs roots music on fiddle, banjo and cello.

Kory Wells
poetry and prose have appeared in publications nationwide. Ladies Home Journal praised her standout essay in the anthology She s Such a Geek. Her novel-in-progress was a finalist in the William Faulkner Creative Writing Competition. Chief communications officer for a software company, she lives with her family near Nashville, Tennessee.
Current Book: Heaven Was The Moon

John Corey Whaley
is an American Young Adult author from Louisiana. His first novel, Where Things Come Back is the winner of the 2012 Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature and the 2012 William C. Morris Debut Fiction Award. He was recently selected by the National Book Foundation as a Top 5 Under 35 author, making him the first YA author to be awarded the honor.
Current Book: Where Things Come Back

Henry Wiencek
, a nationally prominent historian and writer, is the author of several books, including The Hairstons: An American Family in Black and White, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1999, and An Imperfect God (FSG, 2003). He lives with his wife in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Current Book: Master of the Mountain: Thomas Jefferson and His Slaves

Kathryn Williams
s work has appeared in The New York Observer, Newsweek,, and Shecky's, among other publications. She is a freelance project editor for Sideshow Media. She is also a strong believer in the healing power of butter, bacon, and Southern rock. Kathryn lives in Nashville.
Current Book: Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff That Made Me Famous

Kevin Wilson
is the author of the collection Tunneling to the Center of the Earth (Ecco/HarperPerennial, 2009), which received an Alex Award from the American Library Association and the Shirley Jackson Award. His fiction has appeared in four volumes of the New Stories from the South: The Year's Best anthology, and he has received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and the KHN Center for the Arts. He lives in Sewanee, Tennessee, where he teaches fiction at the University of the South and lives with his wife, the poet Leigh Anne Couch, and his son, Griff.
Current Book: The Family Fang

Adam Wilson
is the editor of the Faster Times. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Paris Review, and Bookforum, among other publications. He teaches creative writing at New York University and lives in Brooklyn.
Current Book: Flatscreen

Amy Lyles Wilson
believes it is the sharing of our stories that saves us. Toward that end, she combines her degrees in English, journalism, and theology with her twenty-plus years of experience in publishing to lead writing workshops for people with something to say. Wilson, who utilizes the Amherst Writers & Artists workshop method, was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi, and has lived in Knoxville, Tennessee, and Washington, DC. She now calls Nashville "home," and she resides there with her husband and their mutt, Quay Girl.
Current Book: Farm Fresh Southern Cooking

Adam Winkler
, a professor of constitutional law at the University of California, Los Angeles, has been featured on CNN and in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the New Republic. A columnist for the Daily Beast, he lives in Los Angeles.
Current Book: Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms in America

Daniel Woodrell
is the author of six novels, including the New York Times Notable Books Give Us a Kiss and Tomato Red, which won the PEN West Fiction Award in l998. Though often compared to William Faulkner and Erskine Caldwell, he is in fact an original. As The New York Times Book Review wrote, "He's only drawing from the same well they did, but with a different take, a different voice, a sharper sense of irony." Woodrell lives in West Plains, Missouri.
Current Book: The Outlaw Album

Ed Young
is the illustrator of more than 80 books for children, including the Caldecott Medal-winning Lon Po Po, the New York Times bestseller Wabi Sabi by Mark Reibstein, and The House Baba Built. He lives in New York State.
Current Book: Nighttime Ninja

Kat Zhang
is an avid traveler, and after a childhood spent living in one book after another, she now builds stories for other people to visit. An English major at Vanderbilt University, she spends her free time performing Spoken Word poetry, raiding local bookstores, and plotting where to travel next.
Current Book: What's Left of Me

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