Williamsburg Book Festival - Promoting local writers

Exhibiting Authors

L. Meredith Averitt

Born and raised in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, Meredith (and her mother Barbara) moved to Knoxville, TN, where she finished high school. Already involved with horses, she became a confirmed country girl. She went on to college and veterinary school at the University of Tennessee, graduating in 1981. She practiced veterinary medicine in Knoxville, and later moved to a practice in northern Virginia.

Currently Meredith owns and operates her own small animal practice in Toano, Virginia. She has a farmette nearby where she is involved with her Dachshunds and her two Arabian horses. In Seven Songs for Seven Dogs, you’ll get to know Meredith’s dogs Lexi, Topher, Caddie, Carly, Sera, Chester, and Grady; gain a glimpse into the world of dog showing; and delight in seven silly songs inspired by this canine crew.

Follow her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/7Songsfor7Dogs.

Butch Barringer

Butch graduated from Virginia Tech as a mechanical engineer and worked at NASA for 37 years as a mechanical engineer and project manager. Now he enjoys researching and writing biographies of Confederate cavalry commanders.

He has written three books and is currently researching for a biography of Brig.Gen. Williams C. Wickham of Virginia.

Other interests include physics, cosmology, and reading nonfiction books every evening.  Learn more at www.generalrufusbarringer.com and www.generalthomasrosser.com.

Karen Batshaw

Karen Batshaw is an author living in Washington, DC and Williamsburg, Va. Immersion in Greek culture as part of her research for Echoes in the Mist led her to the tragic story of Greece during World War II. Hidden in Plain Sight was her first book of serious historical fiction.

As she delved into Greece’s World War II history for Hidden in Plain Sight, she learned about the plight of the Greek refugees who had been expelled from Asia Minor and the historically neglected Ottoman genocide. The author also learned about the unknown history of what happened to the Greek Jews under the Bulgarian occupation during World War II. Both of these events formed the basis of Light and Shadows.

Check out her Facebook at www.facebook.com/Light-and-Shadows-2777227412501721/.

Tom Benjey

Dr. Benjey has spent most of the current century researching and writing biographies on people for whom biographies hadn’t previously been written. His first book told the story of football’s most colorful coach, Lone Star Dietz. Next came one about 50 Carlisle Indian School football stars. A friend hooked him on researching the extraordinary Craighead family, the subjects of his most recent book. Making nonfiction read like fiction is a challenge.

Tom is one of the panel speakers for the festival

Dominique Brightmon

Dominique "Dom" Brightmon is an award-winning speaker and certified member of the John Maxwell Team. He is the author of "Going North!: Tips & Techniques to Advance Yourself" and runs a top rated self-help podcast with the same name that interviews authors from all over the world. His mantra is Advance Others to Advance Yourself.

Check out his website at dombrightmon.com

Dawn Brotherton

Dawn Brotherton is the Global eBook award-winning romance author of Worth the Wait. She’s written nine books; one romance, two mystery, four middle grade fiction, and two nonfiction. Her book Softball Scoresheet is ranked in Amazon’s Top 100 in its category. She is also a retired Air Force colonel, softball coach, and founder of independent publishing house Blue Dragon Publishing, LLC, where she has helped over 25 authors realize their dreams.

Visit her website at dawnbrothertonauthor.com, follow her on Instagram @dawnbrothertonauthor, and check out her Facebook at www.facebook.com/DawnBrothertonAuthor/.

Paige Brotherton

Currently a high school senior, Paige Ashley Brotherton is interested in everything, but she always comes back to writing. Her middle grade book, Avery Appreciates True Friendship, is the fourth in the Lady Tigers series. She is also a writer for Next Door Neighbor Magazine. She has competed nationally for rowing and is a state-ranking track runner during the winter. As an honor roll and arts’ magnet school student, Paige is excited for the possibilities of the future. Currently, her favorite books include The Candymakers by WendyMass and the Harry Potter series, while her favorite movie is The Intern. She loves drawing and reading, but every story inspires her to create more of her own.

Michael Brown

Michael Brown served in the military for more than 20 years, and now works for the Department of Defense delivering public relations advice and guidance with the knowledge gained in 40-plus years of military and civilian experience. He has written on topics such as social media, individual performance, face-to-face communication, leadership, and emotional intelligence. This work is his most challenging yet, as it allows him to tell a dynamic story about his daughter.

Follow him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/michael.brown76.

David S. Cariens

David Cariens is a retired CIA officer where he wrote for all levels of the U.S. government--from the President to the working level analysts and policymakers.  

Cariens’ first book, A Question of Accountability: The Murder of Angela Dales, is an examination of the shooting at the Appalachian School of Law in January 2002.  His textbook, Critical Thinking Through Writing: Intelligence and Crime Analysis, is the standard text for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. His books include: Virginia Tech: Make Sure It Doesn’t Get Out; Intelligence and Crime Terminology: A Glossary of Terms and Acronyms; A Handbook for Intelligence and Crime Analysis; and The America We All Want: Protecting Your Community From Gun Violence.  

He is on the board of the Writers Guild of Virginia. His textbook on memoir writing, Eight Steps to Writing Your Memoir, was published in April 2018. Cariens memoir, Escaping Madness, is slated for publication in 2019. 

Visit his website at aquestionofaccountability.com.


John Conlee

John Conlee, professor of English Literature at The College of William & Mary, has authored five exceptional novels. They take place on the Irish Sea, in Medieval England, on American baseball diamonds and in New Mexico at the end of time as we know it. He’s also written four children’s books featuring King Arthur.

Learn more by visiting http://palehorsebooks.com/.

DB Corey

DB Corey lives near Richmond with his wife Maggie and a pair of rescue dogs, an offish Chocolate Lab named Murphy, and a lively little Beagle named Bailey. After a disastrous stint in college during the late ‘60s, he joined the U.S. Navy Reserves maritime patrol squadron VP-68 and flew as aircrew aboard Navy P-3 Orions chasing down Russian subs during the Cold War. He currently works in Information Technology and began writing in his mid-50s. His debut novel —CHAIN OF EVIDENCE— released on August 1, 2013 by Intrigue Publishing, and was re-released by Harlequin for their Mystery Book Club in March of 2016. He self-published THE LESSER SIN in August of 2016 and released #2 in the series, THE UNFORGIVABLE SIN, in June of 2019

Check out his website at www.dbcorey.com, follow him on instagram @dbcorey2012, and follow him on Facebook @dbcorey.

Doris H Dancy

Doris H. Dancy, born in Raleigh, North Carolina, is an accomplished and award winning educator, writer, speaker, playwright, novelist, and member of the St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church, Newport News, VA, and the Lambda Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.   She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and Spanish Education at North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina, and her Master of Arts Degree in English Education from Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia.   Mrs. Dancy has been a Teacher of English, an English Teacher Specialist, and the English/Reading Supervisor K-12 for Hampton City Public Schools. 

After retiring, Mrs. Dancy started her own writing consulting business, Pen To Paper Writing Consulting, LLC.  The company provides consulting services for school divisions and educational staff development. She is extremely proud to be the author of her award winning Redemptive Love Series that includes the following three novels:  Jagged Edges, Shattered Pieces, and All Other Ground.  Together, these novels have won six awards. 

During Mrs. Dancy’s career, her awards have been numerous; however, the three she is most proud of are The Virginia Outstanding Teacher of English, the National Award for Building Successful Readers, and The Outstanding Administrator in the state of Virginia.   

Visit her website at www.dorishdancy.com.


Laura Eckroat

Laura Eckroat is an award winning author of 9 children's books.  Her most recent book, One Eye - A Squirrel's Tale is based on a true story about an injured squirrel that her husband helped rescue.

Laura has visited hundreds of schools all over the country sharing her passion of writing and the writing process with children from pre-k to 5th grade.   This summer she presented at the ADK International Convention in Minneapolis, MN and has also presented at the Massachusetts Reading Association Convention and SoMirac - State of Maryland International Reading Assoc. Conference.  Her work has been featured in Dallas Child Magazine and Fort Worth Texas Magazine.  

She is an elementary school teacher and a life-long Chicago Bears football fan!  She enjoys gardening, reading, writing, hanging with her dogs and doing fundraisers to help Rescue Dog Organizations.  

Visit her wesbite at lauraeckroat.blogspot.com and follow her on Instagram @ldubyaeckroat.


Ann Eichenmuller

Ann is a former educator who took up her pen (or, to be more exact, her keyboard) in 2015 and began a second career as a writer. Her award-winning marine articles have appeared in All at Sea, Chesapeake Style, and Chesapeake Bay Magazine, earning her three consecutive Boating Writers International Awards. A scuba divemaster, avid sailor, and a private pilot, she is also something of an adventurer who counts sailing her boat to the Bahamas with husband Eric and their children as her favorite accomplishment. Her experiences have helped form the character of her Lies murder mystery heroine, Sandi Beck, a liveaboard sailor and fiercely independent woman with a gift for solving problems.

A camping enthusiast and lover of all things vintage, Ann is also the creator of Motorhome Magazine's "Classic Ride" column. When they aren't sailing or camping, she and Eric can be found along the Rappahannock River, where they continue the unending renovation of their 1886 farmhouse.

For more on Ann's books and upcoming events, go to www.liesmurdermystery.com

Cindy L. Freeman

Cindy L. Freeman began writing after retiring from a forty-five-year career in music education and church music ministry. A published author of novels, blogs, and award-winning short stories, she recently added editing to her repertoire. She enjoys tackling sensitive subjects in her novels about strong women who overcome adversity. Cindy lives in James City County with her husband, Carl. They have 2 children, 5 grandchildren, and numerous granddogs.
Check out her website at www.cindylfreeman.com and her blog at http://cindylfreeman.blogspot.com.

Bill Glose

Bill Glose is a former paratrooper and Gulf War veteran who earned the title of Poet Laureate of the Daily Press newspaper in 2011. He is the author of poetry collections: Half A Man in 2013, and The Human Touch in 2007. His poems have appeared in numerous publications, including Narrative Magazine, Poet Lore, and Southern California Review. As a full-time writer he has undertaken intriguing pursuits, such as walking across Virginia and participating in a world-record-setting skinny dipping event, then writing about them for distribution to magazines. For years he has used his photography skills to record poetry events in order to share them with a large number of poets. As a regular participant in the Saturday Poetry Series held in Williamsburg on the first Saturday of the month, he is now into the planning, organizing, and staging of these well-attended poetry readings that are in their eighteenth continuous year.

Bill is one of the panelist this year.

Patricia Gray

Patricia Gray, who lives in Williamsburg, studied international relations at The College of William & Mary and Catholic University. Themes and characters of Petra, a Novel are drawn from her work in international development in Jordan and South Asia, for the Congressional Research Service and research on Frederic Edwin Church, an American painter.

For more information, visit http://palehorsebooks.com/.

Andrew Hall

Andrew Hall is a new and upcoming author and illustrator. After 12 years working in government jobs he left to pursue his passion in art and telling stories. His first book “Bartholomew Babbitt’s Bathtime Bonanza” was released in January 2019 and will be releasing his 2nd book of the planned series in Fall 2019. Andrew, although from Arizona, lives in Virginia Beach with his wife and son, with a daughter due December 2019.

Visit his website at www.andrewjhallart.wordpress.com, follow him on Instagram @andrewjhallart, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/andrewjhallartist.



Lisa Beech Hartz

Lisa Beech Hartz directs Seven Cities Writers Project, a non-profit 501C3 corporation that brings cost-free creative writing workshops to underserved communities. She currently guides workshops for men and women in the Norfolk City Jail, and a memoir workshop of the LGBTQ experience at the LGBT Life Center, also in Norfolk. She has also lead Resistance & Resilience: A Memoir Workshop of the Jim Crow Era. A Virginia Commission for the Arts Teaching Artist, Lisa is a poet who specializes in response to visual art. Her ekphrastic collection, The Goldfish Window, was published by Grayson Books in 2018. Her prize-winning poetry has appeared in The Massachusetts Review, Poet Lore, Crazyhorse, Blackbird, The Gettysburg Review, and elsewhere. She lives in Portsmouth with her family.

Rick Hodges

Not quite a superhero, Rick Hodges is a professional writer by day and author by night. A voyage to East Africa and seeing people living in tandem with wildlife there inspired his debut novel, To Follow Elephants, published by Stormbird Press in March 2019. Rick drew on his experience as a working writer and journalist in Washington, DC, to craft his novel. Aside from his 9-to-5 writing, Rick has produced both fiction and non-fiction works, including short stories, a nonfiction instructional book for high school students about the Muslim world and a stage play. Hisplay, Three Generations of Imbeciles, is based on a 1927 court case from his home state of Virginia that cleared the way for involuntary sterilization of people with disabilities. Rick lives in Arlington, VA, with his wife and two daughters.

Visit his website at rickhodgesauthor.com, and follow him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RickHodgesAuthor.

Jacqueline T. Johnson

You can visit her website at www.jt-johnson.com.

James Keene

You can visit his website at www.jdkeene.com.

Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda

Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda was appointed Poet Laureate of the Commonwealth of Virginia by Governor Timothy M. Kaine in 2006. She is the author of Contrary Visions; Gathering Light ; Death Comes Riding; Greatest Hits, 1981-2000; River Country; as well as co-editor of two poetry anthologies, In a Certain Place and Four Virginia Poets Laureate: A Teaching Guide. Her poems have appeared in numerous publications, including Nimrod, Cauteloso engaño del sentido, Prairie Schooner, Poet Lore, Mid-American Review, Antioch Review, Bay Splash, and Passages North. Dr. Foronda holds a B.A. from the University of Mary Washington and two masters’ degrees and a Ph.D. from George Mason University, where she received the university’s first doctorate. In 2007 both universities selected her for the Alumna of the Year Award. She is also a visual artist whose paintings have been widely displayed in galleries, nursing homes, and educational settings.

Carolyn is  panelist this year.

Greg Lilly

Greg Lilly grew up in Bristol, Virginia then lived in Charlotte, North Carolina. The rich storytelling tradition of the South captivated him and he began writing. He first turned to creating short stories after plot lines emerged from the technical manuals he wrote for a large family-owned corporation. Moving to Sedona, Arizona, Greg chronicled the high desert characters –past and present –in his books. Greg relocated to Williamsburg, Virginia, where he wrote and edited Next Door Neighbors magazine. He’s the founder and past-president of the Williamsburg Book Festival and past-president of the Triangle Arts & Culture League. Greg served as an Arts & Culture Commissioner for the City of Sedona and chair of the Williamsburg Area Arts Commission. Today, he lives and writes in Abingdon, Virginia.

Visit his website at www.GregLilly.com.

Narielle Living

Narielle Living is the president and founder of Blue Fortune Enterprises, a publishing company who believes that books have the power to change lives. She is also the editor for the Williamsburg magazine Next Door Neighbors and has written hundreds of do-it-yourself articles for online magazines. She is the author of the mysteries Signs of the South, Revenge of the Past, and Madness in Brewster Square, and co-authored Chesapeake Bay Karma—The Amulet. Her fiction appears in the anthologies Christmas in Virginia and Harboring Secrets. She edits both fiction and nonfiction and loves helping other writers achieve their goals. A former massage therapist and healing arts educator, she studied Philosophy and Religion at Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, CT. Narielle is currently working on her next novel scheduled for release in late spring, 2019.  

Edward Lull

Edward W. Lull, born in Pennsylvania, grew up in Upstate New York. After graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1955, his first career was in the Navy, serving primarily in submarines. He earned an MS from The George Washington University in 1969. In his second career, Lull held management and executive positions in several small hi-tech firms in the Washington, D.C. area. Lull began writing poetry in retirement; he has published six books of his poetry: Cabin Boy to Captain: a Sea Story; Where Giants Walked ; The Sailors: Birth of a Navy; Bits and Pieces: A Memoir; Creating Form Poetry: A Poet’s Handbook; and The Reality and Fantasy of My World. He is a Life Member of the Poetry Society of Virginia and served four terms as its president. In 2012, Lull received the Emyl Jenkins Award “for inspiring a love of writing and writing education in Virginia.” He has led a poetry workshop for eleven years, and he planned and hosted annual poetry festivals in Williamsburg for fourteen years.

Edward is one of the poets presenting at the festival.

Barbara McClellan

Barbara McLennan has served as docent at Jamestown Settlement, the living history museum that commemorates the founding of the first English speaking settlement in North America, and at Historic Jamestown, the site of the original fort and an archaeological dig. She has also assisted the historian at Yorktown Victory Center in preparation for exhibits at the new museum of the American Revolution at Yorktown.

 Barbara is one of the panelist presenting at the festival.

C.S. McDonald

For twenty-six years C.S. McDonald’s life whirled around a song and a dance. Classically trained at Pittsburgh Ballet Theater School, The Pittsburgh Dance Alloy, and many others, she became a professional dancer and choreographer. During that time, she choreographed many musicals and an opera for the Pittsburgh Savoyards. In 2011 she retired from her dance career to write. Under her real name, Cindy McDonald, she writes murder-suspense and romantic suspense novels. In 2014 she added the pen name, C.S. McDonald, to write children’s books for her grandchildren. In 2016 she added the Fiona Quinn Mysteries to that expansion. She decided to write the cozy mystery series that everyone, including teens and tweens, can read and enjoy. Presently, the Fiona Quinn Mysteries has seven books with an eighth slated for release in November—the books are also available on audio, narrated by Maren Swenson Waxenberg. Ms. McDonald resides on her Thoroughbred farm known as Fly by Night Stables near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with her husband, Bill, and her poorly behaved Cocker Spaniel, Allister.You can learn more about C.S. McDonald and her books at www.csmcdonaldbooks.com.

Linda Lamneck Medwig

Linda Medwig, is a former Preschool and Kindergarten Teacher, Sales Representative and first time author. She graduated from West Liberty University in West Liberty, West Virginia with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education and a minor in Early Childhood in 1975. 

Her idea for her book came over forty years ago while taking a children’s literature course. As an assignment, she had to write a children’s story and her mother, who was an artist, did the water colored illustrations. When the professor handed back the assignment, she stated, “Linda, I think you should get this book published”! Life got in the way and the story on poster board pages was placed neatly in a box and tucked away. Unfortunately, Linda’s mother passed away six years ago of Alzheimer’s disease. In memory of her mother, and with her life a little more settled, she found the time to bring those pages out and dust them off. With the encouragement of her family her “dream” book, “The Big Sneeze” came to fruition. Part of the proceeds from the sale of the books go to the Alzheimer’s Association in her mother’s memory. 

Linda continues to use her creative talents in helping family and friends with wedding, shower and party ideas and looking forward to writing another children’s book. She now lives in Mars, Pennsylvania with her husband Terry. 

You can find her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thebigsneeze.

Dana Miller

Dana Miller graduated from Wilkes University in 2013 with an MFA in creative writing, concentrating in fiction and screenwriting. Her debut novel Twisted Fate was published on January 1, 2019 by Northampton House Press, and received a Starred Review from Publishers Weekly. She resides in Pennsylvania with her fiancé and two Sphynx cats. She is currently working on her second novel. 

You can visit her website at www.danammiller.com.

Zack Miller

Zack Miller started his first business at the age of 10. Since then he’s spent decades helping other people successfully start, grow and dominate their businesses through his company, Hatch. Zack has used the skills detailed in his book Anomaly: How to Finally Stand Out From the Crowd to land an interview with Daymond John, be chosen as the host of a business TV show on ABC, talk business at the White House, get featured in Entrepreneur Magazine, wow the audience at TEDx, and raise money for the team that started the Weather Channel. Check out Zack on his podcast, “Zack Miller Says”. He currently resides in Norfolk, VA.

Visit his website at https://zackmillersays.com.

Charles Oldham

For Charles Oldham, The Senator’s Son is his first published book, but it is the product of several lifelong passions. Charles was born and raised in Sanford, North Carolina, the son of a community college professor and a math teacher. His parents instilled in him a natural curiosity, and a love for reading. Early on, Charles had a special interest in history and politics, most especially that of North Carolina, where his family roots go back more than two centuries. He also has a keen eye for mysteries, for searching out the details of a story that needs to be explored. It is a talent that led him to become an attorney. Charles graduated from Davidson College, and from law school at the University of Georgia. Afterward he practiced law in Sanford for a time, including a term as President of the Lee County Bar Association. He now lives in Charlotte, where for ten years he had a solo legal practice focused on criminal defense and civil litigation. In his spare time, he can be found doing just about anything outdoors, especially hiking and camping. Charles also loves spending time with his family in the summer at their favorite vacation spots, including Ocean Isle Beach and Lake Junaluska in the mountains.

Visit his website at www.charlesoldhamauthor.com, and check him out on Facebook at www.facebook.com/charles.oldham.94.

Nicole Ordway

Legend meets local history in Nicole R. Ordway’s writing. Her novels Hollow Thunder and The Loyalty of Dew (HCS Publishing) feature a Colonial revolution relying on the decisions of werewolves and deer-shapeshifters. In 2019 HCS Publishing released Nicole's first novella, Civil Dusk, which features a coming-to-magic story set within the unique folklore and locations of Scotland's Orkney Islands. With gargoyle short fiction and upcoming novellas of steampunk pirate romance, you should watch this author.

Philip Padgett

Philip Padgett, author of Advocating Overlord: The D-Day Strategy and the Atomic Bomb, examines history by applying skills developed during 40 years of analytical support for national security planning and international negotiations. He analyzed the East-West military balance, nuclear doctrine, deterrence, and arms control compliance monitoring. His work was used by senior leaders for insight into emerging concerns and to explore bridges between national policy needs and opportunities presented by new technologies. Phil received his Bachelor and Master degrees from University of Maryland University College. A Navy veteran, he resides in Kensington, Maryland. Advocating Overlord is his first book.

Visit his website at https://philpadgett.com/advocating-overlord, and follow him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/phil.padgett.71.

Melissa Palombi

Melissa Palombi works in the University of Virginia’s Athletics Department in marketing and promotions. Her first cookbook was for her parents’ 34th wedding anniversary and combines her family’s heritage and a passion for food.

Melissa is a panelist at the festival.

Chris Register

Growing up in a family of small-business owners, Chris spent his formative years in North Carolina. After college he served two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in El Salvador, then backpacked alone across the South American continent before earning a J.D. from Georgetown Law. He litigated Texas-sized multiparty lawsuits in Houston's federal court for several years before shifting focus to his longtime dream: working to mend the nation's growing divide with a rolling inquiry into America called Conversations With US. This 50-state cycling odyssey has been featured in newspapers, magazines, TV news segments, and public radio programs throughout the United States. Chris now lives and writes in Charlottesville, Virginia. Conversations With US --Great Lakes States is his first book.

Visit both his websites at www.spokewordbooks.com and www.conversationswithus.com, follow him on instagram @conversationswithus, and check out his Facebook at www.facebook.com/conversationswithus.


Jeffrey H Ryan

Jeffrey H Ryan is an author, adventurer, photographer and historian. He has written several books about his outdoor exploits, his fascination with hiking trails and the people and places found just off the beaten path. His debut book, Appalachian Odyssey: A 28-year hike on America’s trail was hailed by the former Executive Editor of National Geographic as “a classic of nature and travel writing” and set off a national tour (in a 1985 VW camper, no less).

Visit his website at www.JeffRyanAuthor.com, follow him on Instagram @jeff_ryan_author, and check out his Facebook at www.facebook.com/AppalachianOdyssey/.

Larry Saint

Larry Saint is a retired registered investment advisor who has a love of maritime history, boats and boat modeling.  

He is a member of several civic organizations as well as Suffolk River Heritage, a nonprofit group and publisher of local history books.  

He is coauthor of their most recent book, Screwpiles: The Forgotten Lighthouses. This was a 4 year project involving extensive research, interviews and writing about the lighthouses of the Chesapeake Bay, James River and North Carolina Sounds.  

You can visit his website at www.suffolk-river-heritage.org.

Mary Bush Shipko

Mary Bush was born into an aviation family in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in 1949. From the time she was a toddler, she hung around the airport; and she started her formal flight training just before her 16th birthday. She flew a variety of aircraft out of both Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International and Miami International Airports, in the Northwest corner infamously known as both “Cockroach Corner” and “Corrosion Corner.” Mary flew World War II transport planes, as well as the Constellation and DC-6, to many exotic destinations. Mary made history when she was hired in 1976 as Hughes Airwest’s first woman pilot. She flew the Fairchild F-27, the DC-9, and B-727 at the airline. In 1981, Mary took a leave of absence due to post-traumatic stress symptoms caused by sexual harassment. With courage and support from family members, she has been able to rebuild her life and find joy and happiness. Her story of courage and overcoming setbacks is sure to inspire. 

Look for her popular memoir Aviatrix, on Amazon. Aviatrix the movie is adapted from the book.  Daring Mary Aviation Pioneer her new children’s book will be out in late 2020. She also contributed to and helped produce Women Who Fly by International Society of Women Airline Pilots. 


Kathy Smaltz

Kathy Smaltz’s poems have been published in Kalliope, The Piedmont Journal, The Fredericksburg Literary and Arts Review and most recently in the Piedmont Journal’s anthology, Tracks. Smaltz holds a B.A. in English and a secondary education certification from The College of William and Mary. She earned her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from George Mason University and has taught grades 6-12 in Prince William County Public Schools for the past 23 years. Her current position is a creative writing teacher of middle grades. A fellow with the VCCA, Smaltz has been in residence in both Amherst, Virginia as well as Auvillar, France. She is the recipient of a Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation fellowship, the Elizabeth Ireland Graves Scholarship, and a Virginia Press Association award for a parenting column she wrote for Bristow Beat. Smaltz has been a Williamsburg Book Festival presenter for the past two years. In 2016, she was named Prince William County’s Poet Laureate.

Kathy is one of the poets presenting at the festival.

Ellen Smith

Ellen Smith is a native of Virginia and a lifelong storyteller. She is the author of Every Last Minute, the first installment of the Time Wrecker Trilogy, and a standalone novel, Reluctant Cassandra. When Ellen isn't writing, she can be found reading, crafting, or avoiding housework. She lives with her family near Washington, D.C. 

You can visit her website at www.ellensmithwrites.com.

Karla Smith

Karla Smith is a lover of history, maps, charts and vintage photographs. She is a retired educator, having taught history for more than 40 years.  

Karla founded Suffolk River Heritage in 2006 with the purpose of gathering local history and stories about the people of Crittenden, Eclipse and Hobson, Virginia. The result was the new organization’s first book, The River Binds Us. Two more cultural history books followed: Peninsula In Passage and Truckin’ on the Western Branch.  

Karla’s love of the water, boats and navigation led her to collaborate with Larry Saint and others to produce a fourth book, Screwpiles: The Forgotten Lighthouses. That book highlights the history, stories, maps, and documents of the lighthouses of the James River and lower Chesapeake Bay. 

You can visit her website at www.suffolk-river-heritage.org.

Vikki Lynn Smith

During her more than twenty years of elementary-level education experience, Vikki Lynn Smith used her passion for storytelling to develop tales to help children retain lessons about science and nature. Her award-winning debut children’s book Summer the Firefly, the first book of the educational In the Woods series written for her students, uses one of those stories to teach children about bioluminescence, the science behind what makes fireflies glow. With beautiful illustrations and a cast of characters common to almost any backyard, Summer the Firefly is the perfect addition to any child’s library.  

As the child of an Air Force family and spouse of a career Coast Guard officer, Vikki is an avid traveler with a passion for sharing her knowledge and experiences with others. She is a member of SCBWI, AWAI, and the author of VikkiLynnSmith: The Quirky Writing of a Woman in Transition, Advice from a Modern Woman, and Advice from a Teacher. When she is not writing, Vikki spends her time with her husband, her two grown children, and her two loving golden retrievers along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay. To Smith, there is no adventure too big or too small that can’t inspire the mind to write.  

You can visit her website at https://vikkilynnsmith.com, follow her on Instagram @vikkilynnsmith, and find her on Facebook @vikkilynnsmithauthor.



Sally Stiles

Sally Stiles has called four continents, six countries, eight states and one small trawler home. She holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and has taught and published poetry, fiction and non-fiction. Her work includes five books and hundreds of magazine articles. Her memoir, Plunge!, is heralded as “a beautiful literary accomplishment.”

For more information, visit http://palehorsebooks.com/.

Peter Stipe

Peter Stipe is the author of three booksHis first book, Finding Our Way, a collection of short stories, was released in 2015His second book and first novel, The Art of Love, was released in the summer of 2017In 2019, Remember Me, Peter’s third book was publishedThis book chronicles Peter’s emotional search for the truth behind his family stories and includes an account of the lives of his great-grandparents in upstate New York and New Jersey during the late 1800s. 

Now retired, Peter has enjoyed a long career that has included time in education as well as work in Human Resource Development and Training for a variety of businesses. In addition to his writing, Peter is an accomplished artist, working with photography and in watercolorHe has photographs on display at the On The Hill Gallery in Yorktown, Virginia. 

You can find him on Facebook @PeterGStipe.

Jonathan L. Stolz, M.D.

Doctor Stolz is a graduate of The Hill School, Trinity College and Temple University Medical School. In retirement, he continued to pursue his long-time study of the history of medicine. He writes a regular monthly commentary on  medical issues past and present for the Virginia Gazette and contributes  to other periodicals on medical history topics.

Jonathan is one of the presenters this year.

Kathryn Taylor

Kathryn Taylor was born at the Great Lakes Naval Station near Chicago, Illinois and spent much of her life in the Chicagoland area.  She is a retired teacher and had taught in the schools of Illinois, California, and Virginia before her retirement and relocation to South Carolina. It was there where she wrote her book, Two Minus One: A Memoir (publication date 11/6/18) following the unexpected abandonment by her second husband. An avid reader, enthusiastic traveler, and incurable beach lover, she resides outside of Charleston, SC, which affords her the opportunity to enjoy all three of her favorite past times. Two Minus One: A Memoir is her first book.

You can visit her website at https://kathryntaylorbooks.com/, follow her on Instagram @kathryntaylorauthor, and find her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/KathrynTaylorAuthor/.

Jeff Toalson

Jeff Toalson’s work records the common voice. Three of his narratives have won the Jefferson Davis Historical Gold Medal for preserving first-person Southern History. His latest, I Got Nuthin Strange to Rite, is a collection of letters of soldiers and civilians who lived during The War Between the States. Jeff and his wife Jan live in Williamsburg.

Learn more by visiting http://palehorsebooks.com/.

Eleanor Tomczyk

Eleanor Tomczyk, a Williamsburg resident, is a memoirist and humorist blogger whose work features the musings of an engagingly funny African-American Baby Boomer and ex-Evangelical Conservative Christian. Not many authors can begin a book with words such as “I was born in a toilet” and end a book with the words, “I am somebody because my life has proven that love, grace, restoration, hope, and joy—when supplemented by boon companions—can be found if we don’t let the monsters kill us, if we don’t let them define us.” Few can tell this convoluted a story with such grace and humor. At the age of 60, the wife, mother, singer, actress, motivational speaker, and award-winning voice-over artist set out to establish a new career in retirement as a storyteller, using her crazy, unpredictable life as fodder. Currently in her early 70s, the mother, grandmother, and wife of 40 years has published three books: Monsters' Throwdown (2013), Fleeing Oz (2015), and The Fetus Chronicles: Podcasts from My Miseducated Self (2017).

Additional musings by Eleanor Tomczyk can be enjoyed at www.eleanortomczyk.com and at her humorous political blog www.howthehelldidienduphere.wordpress.com.

Amy Voltaire

Amy Voltaire makes a living as an accountant but spends much of her free time writing. She has always loved to write, but it wasn’t until the sixth grade when she was invited to attend The Young Author’s Conference that she realized she might have a knack for it. Having grown up in an alcoholic home, she knows firsthand what it feels like to be a teenager with an addicted parent. She wants to share the effect this illness has on others.

Follow her on Instagram @amyvoltaireauthor and check out her Facebook at www.facebook.com/AmyVoltaireAuthor/.

Jeffrey K. Walker

Jeffrey K. Walker is a retired military officer, an attorney, and a former law professor. He’s lived in ten states and three foreign countries and is happy to call Williamsburg home. His award-winning historical fiction trilogy, Sweet Wine of Youth, combines his passion for WWI and the 1920s with the intriguing unpredictability of human behavior. 

You can visit his website at jeffreykwalker.com.


Susan Williamson

Susan Williamson is a former newspaper editor, educator, extension agent and riding instructor. She is the author of three novels, Desert Tail, Tangled Tail, and Dead on the Trail, a children’s book, The Riding Lesson and Buying Your First Horse. She is a contributor to Next Door Neighbors Magazine and Tidewater Women. She is a member of Chesapeake Bay Writers, the Virginia Writers Guild and the American Saddlebred Association of Virginia. She lives in Williamsburg with her husband and Labradoodle.

Visit her website at www.susanwilliamsonauthor.com.