We have a very active and dedicated Authors’ Committee and their task is to determine panel topics and select presenters and moderators. To learn more about our Authors’ Committee and other volunteers who make the festival possible, please check out our Volunteers page.
The panelists, presenters and moderators selected for our 2012 Book Festival are listed below.
Featured Panels for September 22, 2012
We hope you plan to attend many of our panels of well-known local and Bay Area writers. Take a minute to review the list and plan your day. We have a treasure trove of talented writers to wow you and woo you this year!
Panels at Corrick’s (637 4th St, Santa Rosa)
2:30 – 3:30 pm – Storytelling for Adults: with Moderator Karen Petersen, five Sonoma County storytellers, Sher Christian, Alicia Bonner, Leslie Scatchard, Ann Gronvold and Chard Lowden will present stories in the oral tradition, stories that will take the listener on an adventure to another place and time the only requirement is an imagination and willingness to use it.
3:30-4:30—West Side Stories, improvisational storytelling led by Dave Pokorny and guests.
Panels at the Forum, Sonoma County Library (211 E Street, Santa Rosa)
1:30 – 2:15 pm – Revelations and Recipes, with Elizabeth Weil and Daniel Duane
La Rosa Santa Rosa Tequileria and Grille (500 Fourth Street, Santa Rosa)
10 – 10:30 am – Naked at Our Age: Older Lovers, introduction by Susan Swartz, Joan Price
10:30 – 11:00 am – Parents Behaving Badly, introduction by Mike Daniels, Scott Gummer,
12:30 – 1:30 pm – Killing the Messenger, with Mary Fricker and Thomas Peele
Presenters for September 22, 2012
Catherine Brady is the author of three short story collections, including Curled in the Bed of Love, winner of the 2002 Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, and The Mechanics of Falling, winner of the 2010 Northern California Book Award for Fiction. Her stories have appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies, including Best American Short Stories 2004. Her craft book Story Logic and the Craft of Fiction has just been published by Palgrave Macmillan, and she’s also the author of a biography of a Nobel laureate, Elizabeth Blackburn and the Story of Telomeres: Deciphering the Ends of DNA. She teaches in the MFA in Writing Program at the University of San Francisco and is currently at work on a novel.
Barry Schoenborn is president of Willow Valley Press, located in Nevada City, California. WVP has been in business since 1999, and publishes ʺgreatest Americanʺ books and the occasional cheap novel. Barry is best known for publishing ʺDandelion Through the Crack,ʺ by Kiyo Sato, which won the 2008 William Saroyan International Prize for Writing. Barry is also a long-time technical writer and author of several For Dummies books.
Malena Watrous’s stories and essays have appeared in Epoch, The Alaska Quarterly Review, The Believer, GlimmerTrain, The Massachussetts Review, Salon.com, StoryQuarterly, TriQuarterly, and elsewhere. She contributes book reviews to the San Francisco Chronicle and the New York Times. Her novel, If You Follow Me, won the Michener-Copernicus Award, and a prize in the Pirate’s Alley/Faulkner contest. She graduated from Barnard College, and received her MFA from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She was the recipient of a Wallace Stegner fellowship. Malena lives in the Mission District of San Francisco with her husband, the composer Matt Schumaker, and their son Max. She teaches for Stanford’s Online Writers’ Studio.
Joan Frank (www.joanfrank.org) is the author of five books of fiction and one essay collection. Her new novel, Make It Stay, has been called “first class fiction” by Kirkus Reviews, “masterly” by the San Francisco Chronicle, and “a stylistic tour de force” by the Cambridge Review. Joan’s book of collected essays, Because You Have To: A Writing Life, is being published in September 2012 by the University of Notre Dame Press. Joan is a MacDowell Fellow, Pushcart Prize nominee, recipient of many awards and literary grants. She has taught creative fiction at San Francisco State University, and continues to teach in private consultation.
Gerald W. Haslam has published nine collections of short fiction, four novels, three essay collections, and four non-fiction volumes, the most recent being his first biography, In Thought and Action: The Enigmatic Life of S.I. Hayakawa (Univ. of Nebraska Press, 2011). His publications have won Rolling Stone’s Ralph J. Gleason Award, a Western States Book Award, a Bay Area Book Reveiwers’ Award, a Commonwealth Club Medal, plus mulltiple honors from PEN Oakland and the American Association for State and Local History. With his wife and sometimes coauthor Janice E. Haslam, he lives in Penngrove.
Daedalus Howell began his career as a small town newspaperman, became a big city newspaperman, then novelist, then screen hack in Los Angeles working in television and film development. Repatriated to his native wine country in 2005, Howell works as a writer and filmmaker. His films can be seen on HBO, MTV and Showtime. His new novel will be released in 2013.
Cara Black writes the bestselling and award nominated Aimée Leduc Investigations set in Paris where she has just received the Medaille de la Ville de Paris at a ceremony this summer. Her website is http://www.carablack.com
Mary Fricker was a business reporter for The Santa Rosa (Calif.) Press Democrat for 20 years. Now retired, she publishes www.repowatch.org, which covers the ongoing financial crisis and won Best in Business for digital blogs from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers in2012. She was one of three reporters, along with Thomas Peele, presented with the McGill Medal for Journalistic Courage for their work on the Chauncey Bailey Project (www.chaunceybaileyproject.org). She has also won three IRE awards, a UCLA Gerald Loeb Award, a George Polk award and others. She co-authored “Inside Job,” a best-selling book about S&Ls.
Lucy Jane Bledsoe’s most recent novel, The Big Bang Symphony, was a finalist for four awards, including the Northern California Independent Booksellers Fiction Award. She recently won the Arts & Letters Fiction Prize, as well as the Sherwood Anderson Prize for Fiction. Past honors include a California Arts Council Fellowship in Literature, an American Library Association Award for Literature, and two National Science Foundation Artists & Writers Fellowships. She’s published stories in many journals including Shenandoah, Arts & Letters, ZYZZYVA, Hot Metal Bridge, Bloom, Terrain, Ms., Fiction International, and Newsday (as a winner of the PEN Syndicated Fiction Project).
Seré Prince Halverson lives in Sebastopol and worked as a freelance copywriter and creative director for twenty years while she wrote fiction. Her debut novel, The Underside of Joy, was published earlier this year by Dutton and is forthcoming in 18 languages. For more information, visit her website: www.sereprincehalverson.com and her blog: www.whomovedmybuddha.blogspot.com
Ken Weaver is a beer writer, fiction writer, and technical editor based in Sonoma County, and the author of The Northern California Craft Beer Guide (with photographer Anneliese Schmidt). He’s previously worked as a particle physicist, a renewable energy consultant, and a creative writing professor in a remote Miskito village in Nicaragua. He holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Maryland – College Park and an M.S. in physics from Cornell University. His work has recently appeared in All About Beer magazine, Black Warrior Review, Puerto del Sol, The Southeast Review, and Wine Enthusiast.
Daniel Duane is the author of seven books, including the surf memoir Caught Inside, A Surfer’s Year on the California Coast. His journalism, appearing in Men’s Journal, The New York Times Magazine, Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, GQ, Esquire, Outside, and many other publications, has won a National Magazine Award and been nominated for a James Beard Award. His latest book, How To Cook Like A Man, A Memoir of Cookbook Obsession, tells Duane’s story of learning to cook as a way of coping with fatherhood and family life. He lives in San Francisco with his wife, the writer Elizabeth Weil, and his two daughters.
Author, journalist and publisher Barbara L. Baer lives in Forestville. She began Floreant Press in 1996. Recent published fiction includes Grisha the Scrivener; unpublished, Calamities, Marriages, a family saga. She will be in conversation with authors Catherine Brady and Malena Watrous about “Making Fiction.”
Nancy Bauer is the author of California Wildlife Habitat Garden and Wildlife Landscaping for the San Francisco Bay Region. She is a writer and garden instructor based in Sonoma County. She has taught classes for the San Francisco Botanical Garden, UC Davis Master Gardeners’ Training Programs, the National Wildlife Stewardship Program and for numerous garden and nature organizations throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Lynda Hopkins, who wrote Wisdom of the Radish, was born and raised in suburban San Diego, then moved north to study Earth Systems and Creative Writing at Stanford University, where she graduate with a BS, a BA, and an MS in Environmental Science Communications. After graduating, she traveled around New Zealand in a campervan with her boyfriend, working on homesteads, market farms, and a dairy. Late one night, the delusional duo decided to start a farm of their own.
Historian, author, educator and columnist Gaye LeBaron will moderate a panel of writers who focus on local history. A long time journalistand newspaper columnist, LeBaron is now a senior columnist for the PressDemocrat. She has written two books on the history of Santa Rosa and Sonoma County.
Elizabeth Weil is the author of several books, including No Cheating, No Dying; I Had a Good Marriage And Then I Tried To Make It Better. Weil is a Contributing Writer for the New York Times Magazine and her journalism has also appeared in Vogue, Real Simple, Parade, Outside, and other magazines. She lives in San Francisco with her husband, the writer Daniel Duane, and their two daughters.
Author and speaker Joan Price calls herself an “advocate for ageless sexuality.”At age 61, Joan wrote Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk about Sex After Sixty (Seal Press, 2006) to celebrate the delights of older-life sexuality—especially her spicy love affair with local artist Robert Rice, who became her husband. She followed that book up five years later with Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud about Senior Sex after hundreds of readers sent her questions about improving their own senior sex lives. Naked at Our Age was named Outstanding Self-Help Book 2012 from the American Society of Journalists and Authors and honored with the 2012 Book Award from the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT). Formerly a high school English teacher, Joan is also a fitness professional and author of The Anytime, Anywhere Exercise Book: 300+ Quick and Easy Exercises You Can Do Whenever You Want. Joan teaches contemporary line dancing (which she calls “the most fun you can have with both feet on the floor”) in Sebastopol and Santa Rosa, California. Visit Joan’s website at www.joanprice.com and her zesty blog about sex and aging at www.NakedAtOurAge.com.
At thirteen, Kenwoodian Dan Dion used to scrounge the comedy bins for LPs at The Last Record Store, and listened to Alex Bennett on The Quake to find out who was doing stand-up in the basement of Jerimiah’s Steak House. SoCo spawned an epic comedy nerd who subsequently became the art form’s most prolific portrait photographer, recognized globally in exhibitions and publications. His photos also line the walls of The Fillmore in San Francisco, where he has been the house photographer for almost twenty years. ¡Satiristas! is a collection of 100 portraits, with interviews by Paul Provenza, (creator of The Aristocrats) including George Carlin, Stephen Colbert, Bill Maher, and Conan O’Brien.
Thomas Peele is the author of Killing the Messenger, a critically acclaimed work of non-fiction about the 2007 murder of journalist Chauncey Bailey and the history and belief system of the Black Muslim cult that killed him. Reviewers have compared it to Capote’s In Cold Blood, Jon Krakauer’s Under The Banner of Heaven and called it ʺa masterpiece of contemporary historical narrative.ʺ Peele is an investigative reporter for the Bay Area News Group and a UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism Lecturer and was a lead reporter on the Chauncey Bailey Project a journalistic cooperative that probed Bailey’s murder. His many honors include the McGill Medal for Journalistic Courage and IRE’s Tom Renner Award for reporting on organized crime.
Scott Gummer is the author of the novel Parents Behaving Badly, two nonfiction books, and the editor of over a dozen commemorative books including the San Francisco Giants official 2010 World Series championship keepsake. He has also contributed to more than 40 magazines, including Vanity Fair, Sports Illustrated, Fortune and more. He lives with his family in his hometown of Santa Rosa, California. www.ScottGummer.com
Bart Schneider is the author of five novels, including Blue Bossa, a finalist for a Los Angeles Times Book Prize and Secret Love, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. His play, The Miraculous Return of Ambrose Bierce, premiered last December. He is the publisher of Kelley’s Cove Press.
Editor David Colin Carr has been freelancing fiction and non-fiction since 1988 with writers as far flung as China and Thailand, as well as doctoral candidates around the US. He works collaboratively with clients to bring forth their passion – with clarity, coherence and in their distinctive voice. He is dedicated to projects that value, expand and connect our human hearts – offering his own heart, counseling experience, and creativity to bring forth the brilliance of both the writing and the collaborative relationship. He is long-time associate editor with Volcano Press.
Doug Jayne is a music store owner (Last Record Store),singer, songwriter, KRUSH disc jockey and KRCB music host (Connections). Jayne will talk to celebrity photographer Dan Dion about his book Sataristas, which includes famous funny people like Lewis Black, Bill Maher and Stephen Colbert.
Nafisa Haji was born and mostly raised in Los Angeles—mostly, because there were years also spent in Chicago, Karachi, Manila, and London. Her family migrated from Bombay to Karachi in 1947 during Partition, when the Indian Subcontinent was divided into two states. In the late 1960s, Nafisa’s parents came to the United States, shortly before she was born, in order for her father to study engineering at Stanford. When she was six years old, they stuck with their original plan of “going back home” and moved to Karachi. In less than a year, they knew that they had become more American than they realized and came back to Los Angeles.
Nafisa studied American history at the University of California at Berkeley, taught elementary school in downtown Los Angeles for seven years in a bilingual Spanish program (she speaks Spanish fluently), and earned a doctorate in education from the University of California at Los Angeles. She lives in northern California with her husband and son. Nafisa maintains close ties in Pakistan, traveling there regularly to visit family. Nafisa has served on the board at the Marin Interfaith Council, representing the International Association of Sufism. She has also served on the board of Freedom Forward, an organization working to ensure the alignment of American ideals of freedom with the reality of American foreign policy.
Anita Amirrezvani was born in Tehran, Iran, and raised in San Francisco. Her first novel, The Blood of Flowers, has appeared in more than 25 languages and was long-listed for the 2008 Orange Prize for Fiction. Her second novel, Equal of the Sun, was published by Scribner in June, 2012. Tremors: New Fiction by Iranian-American Writers, an anthology co-edited by Anita and Persis Karim, will appear in Spring, 2013. Anita teaches at the California College of the Arts and at Sonoma State University.
A former restaurant cook and newspaper reporter, Hank Shaw is one of the most prominent wild food experts in America. He runs the James Beard-nominated website Hunter Angler Gardener Cook and his work has appeared in magazines ranging from Food & Wine, Vanity Fair, Field & Stream and Organic Gardening. He lives near Sacramento.
Laura Rennert has been a Senior Agent with Andrea Brown Literary Agency since 1998. She thinks of herself as a ʺliterary omnivoreʺ and specializes in all categories of children’s books, from picture books to young adult, and in up-market women’s fiction and narrative nonfiction. She represents award-winning and best-selling authors, including #1 NYT bestsellers Ellen Hopkins, Jay Asher, #1 NYT bestseller and Printz Honor Finalist Maggie Stiefvater, and National Book Award Finalist Kathleen Duey, as well as brand new, first-time authors.
Cathe Holden is a career graphic designer-turned-professional crafter and blogger. She creates original DIY craft projects and free digital designs which she shares on her popular craft website, JustSomethingIMade.com. She is a Contributing Editor for Country Living magazine and weekly contributing blogger at SCJohnson.com’s FamilyEconomics. She is the author of a craft book to be released in Spring of 2013 with Chronicle Books. Cathe lives in Petaluma, California with her husband Jeff and three teenage children.
Inhae Renee Lee is an artist working in Berkeley, California. After moving from Korea to America at the age of 16, she became interested in pursuing a career in animation. She studied at the California Institute of the Arts and École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris. She is currently a full-time blogger and the caretaker of two little teef.
Daniel Chong is co-author and creative editor for the My Milk Toof blog. He has worked in the animation film industry for Disney, Nickelodeon, and Illumination. Daniel currently works as a story artist at Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, CA.
Jodi L. Hottel is a Sansei, third generation Japanese American. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Nimrod International, Spillway, Touch, English Journal, Frogpond and anthologies from the University of Iowa Press, Tebot Bach, Wising Up Press and the Healdsburg Arts Council. Jodi lives in Sonoma County, California.
Zahra Noorbakhsh is a comedian, writer/performer of the nationally touring one-woman show ʺAll Atheists are Muslim” and “Hijab and Hammerpants,” and a contributor to the anthology ʺLove Inshallah: The Secret Love Lives of American Muslim Women.ʺ For more information, go to http://www.ZahraComedy.com
Jonah Raskin is the author of 12 books, and a former professor at Sonoma State University where he taught literature, law, and marketing. He writes for The Bohemian, The San Francisco Chronicle and the Rag Blog. His newest book is James McGrath: In a Class By Himself.
Prue (Prudence) Draper and her late husband Lloyd have lived in Cotati since 1951, and published a weekly newspaper, The Cotatian, there for over 15 years. They became interested in Cotati history, which led to their writing the book Cotati in the Arcadia ʺImages of Americaʺ series. Photos were taken by Lloyd and gleaned from local families and businesses.
Journalist Meg McConahey gets to explore some of the lushest gardens and better backyards in the North Bay. Her garden and interior stories run weekly in the Press Democrat. She will be in conversation with garden authors Nancy Bauer and Lynda Hopkins on a panel called Dishing the Dirt.
In 1994, Kenneth Foster was introduced to formal storytelling, which struck a chord in him. He knew it was something he wanted to pursue. He’s been telling stories ever since. In January 2011, he became the National Storytelling Network State Liaison for Northern California. He loves to share the excitement and thrill of story with listeners of all ages.
Katherine Hannan fondly remembers summers in Michigan not only for lake swimming and sailboat races but also for the library bookmobile’s weekly visits. She enjoyed all kinds of reading for fun while teaching mathematics and home economics in southern California. She moved with her husband to Sebastopol thirty-three years ago and watched with delight as their two young daughters discovered reading. Now retired, she has ample time for paper and hardbacks, audio and ebooks — and has thoroughly enjoyed the twelve years of book choices of the Manzanita Reading Group!
Ianthe Brautigan-Swensen’s You Can’t Catch Death (St. Martins Press) has been translated into Swedish, German, Russian, and Italian, as well as, being optioned by a major motion picture company. Her work has been published in Confrontation, The Antioch Review, and other publications. She teaches writing at Sonoma State University in Hutchins School of Liberal Studies, and at Santa Rosa Junior College, as well as working with private students. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University, and has just returned from London and Wales; she read at the Bethnal Green Working Man’s Club in East London, and she also appeared at Dinefwr Bilingual Literature Festival with the Brautigan Book Club, who are an absolutely amazing group of people.
Kate Larson has been a bookseller and book club coordinator at Book Passage in Corte Madera, California for 12 years. She loves working with book groups and particularly likes helping new clubs get organized. Kate also writes an occasional advice column for the Book Passage newsletter under the name ʺPaige Turnerʺ in which she dispenses sage advice to book club members. The most FAQ: ʺHow can I get my annoying fellow club member ______ to stop talking so others can participate in the book discussion?ʺ
Rim Zahra, Ph.D. is a part time faculty member at Sonoma State, a Sacred Embodiment Educator and Light-Touch Healer who combines dance, breath, and movement, as well as Myofascial Release, Visceral Manipulation, and Cranial-Sacral Therapy for addressing the connection between physical pain and emotional blockages. She specializes in helping women, men, and couples release past and recent traumas, reclaim their inner strength and autonomy and expand their capacity for intimacy, self-love, and joy. You can contact Rim by emailing her: email@example.com
Nedra Crowe-Evers is a librarian, book discussion facilitator, a poet and a singer.
Workshop at Mary’s Pizza: Intimacy Boot Camp
An intimate Reading and Interactive “Intimacy Boot Camp” workshop with authors Leslie Kaplan (left) and Peg Melnik. Designed to combat relationship burnout – step outside the box and get back to love and intimacy in your partnership. Includes exercises to help parents stay sane while partnered up and raising kids. Website for more information is www.newmarriagesecrets.com. Meet them from 1 to 3 p.m. at Mary’s Pizza Shack on Fourth Street. Their book is Make Love … whenever possible when married with children.