Great American Book Festival P.O. Box 3362 Rapid City, SD 57709
We are thrilled to have the following
authors and other lit industry professionals joining us at GABfest 2017!
For a complete schedule including author's
reading times view our event program HERE
Natalie Allison grew up in a house full of books. Her world—and her imagination—became infused with the wonder and mystery of places like Middle Earth, Narnia, Valdemar, and Pern. An early love of reading led to an early love of writing, and she wrote her very first novel at the tender age of eight. She's been building worlds with words ever since, and her stories have entertained readers from all over the globe. Now she lives with her adoring husband, a son who's a genius, and a dog who's determined to save the world from mushrooms, kittens, frogs, and other nefarious creatures.
Multi-award winning author Patricia Reding leads a double life. By day, she practices law. By night, she writes fantasy. She lives on an island on the Mississippi with her husband and youngest daughter (her son and oldest daughter having already flown the nest), and Flynn Rider (an English Cream Golden Retriever). From there she seeks to create a world in which she can be in two places at once.
Molly grew up in Auburn, Alabama. She is a graduate of Auburn University. She was a teacher, a real estate agent and in Human Resources before she followed her calling as an artist, taking classes at Houston's Glassell School, an arm of the Museum of Fine Arts. She has exhibited her watercolors in solo and group exhibitions.
Gary, born in Denver, Colorado, received a BFA in Interior Design and an MS in Interior Architecture from Pratt Institute. His award-winning architecture and design portfolio includes projects for Disney World, the American Club of Hong Kong and the Dubai Hyatt Regency.
Their common interest in art and architecture came together when they built a miniature twig house, perfectly sized for fairies and trolls. As the house evolved, and at the urging of their friends, the Whitneys started creating and illustrating the story the house inspired in them.
K. B. Hoyle is a multiple award-winning Young Adult author, a public speaker, and a creative writing instructor. When she's not writing or traveling, she stays busy at her home in Alabama with her husband and their four young sons. She is represented by Ben Grange of the New York-based L. Perkins Agency.
C. M. Huddleston loved history and dreamed of writing a book even as a child. Instead, she became an Army wife, mother, elementary school teacher, archaeologist, and historic preservation consultant, before publishing her first book! In 2016, she published her seventh and eighth volumes, all dealing with her first love, our nation’s past. While three are written for children, her other works are histories for adults on a variety of subjects.
Connie resides in a log cabin in Kentucky, with her husband Charlie and their Australian Shepherd Katie. They all enjoy the quiet of rural Kentucky.
Award winning author, Stephan von Clinkerhoffen, is a Peter Pan character. That’s why his books suit younger readers. Stephan’s writing, conceived from his love of mechanics, nature and art is tempered by humanity and fun.
An Engineering background allows him to develop new ideas, learning from success and failure. He enjoys tinkering with classic cars and motorbikes, and even built his own kit car. Through art he embraces the challenge of painting intricately-detailed land and cityscapes.
Following years spent volunteering with the NZ Red Cross after Christchurch’s earthquakes, Stephan feels lucky to call the Cotswold countryside in England his home.
Carmela Dutra is an award-winning author, storyteller, illustrator, wife, mother, and photographer. She resides with her family in the California Bay Area, along with her four cats. She is best known for her frequent visits to classrooms in her community, where she shares her books and encourages children to set free their creativity through writing, and drawing.
Caytlyn Brooke lives in a small town in the Southern Tier of New York. From a young age, she has crafted stories about fairies and monsters in the woods with the hope that someday she could share her imagination with readers all over the world. Caytlyn lives with her husband, son, and orange tabby cat who is only slightly overweight. Caytlyn is also a huge movie buff and enjoys trivia and is always ready for a challenge.
Multi-award winning author, Karen (K.S.) Jones, has written two novels: Shadow of the Hawk and Black Lightning. She was the first place winner in the 2014 Short Story Contest for Southern Writers Magazine, the recipient of the 2015 Literary Classics International Book Award, the 2015 Chaucer Award, the 2016 RONE Award, the 2016 WILLA Literary Award, the 2017 Literary Classics International Book Award, as well as a Readers' Favorite honoree. She writes from her home in the beautiful Texas Hill Country where she lives with her husband, Richard, and their three dogs.
M.J. Evans is the Award-Winning author of numerous middle-grade and YA fantasies and novels. As a life-long equestrian, most of her books center around horse or horse-based fantasy creatures. Ms. Evans lives in Colorado and is the mother of five and grandmother of almost 11!
Gary Schwartz is an actor, director, and master improvisational acting coach. He has appeared in numerous film and television projects, including the Oscar-winning feature film Quest for Fire. Schwartz has written for two children's television series in which he co-starred: Zoobilee Zoo as Bravo Fox and the Disney Channel's You and Me, Kid. As a voice-over artist, he's lent his voice to hundreds of film and television projects and is the voice of several well-known video game characters, including Heavy Weapons Guy and Demoman in Team Fortress 2.
The King of Average is his first novel. Learn more at gary-schwartz.com
Author Kenny Chumbley, is the 2017 recipient of the Enchanted Page Book Award. He was born and raised on a farm in east central Illinois, where he still lives. He is a minister, author, and publisher. Most importantly, he is the father of Gary, Kelly, and Steve, and the grandfather of Maddie, Mia, Aniyah, Honor, and Millie.
Jacqui Letran is a passionate and energetic leader who is truly gifted at helping teens transform into confident, happy and successful young adults. Jacqui teaches teens that success and happiness are possible, regardless of their current struggles or circumstances.
Jacqui is an Award-Winning Author, International Speaker, and Founder of Teen Confidence Academy. She has 17 years of experience in Adolescent Health as a Nurse Practitioner, Success Coach and Teen Confidence Expert. Jacqui is passionate and committed to guiding teens to achieve remarkable success in their academic and personal lives.
Walter Scherr is the 2017 recipient of the Lumen Award for Literary Excellence. He rose from poverty during the Great Depression to become the founding board member and executive officer of four international corporations and three philanthropic organizations. He has been profiled in the Wall Street Journal and Fortune.
Born and raised in Hawaiian Gardens, CA, Sandra C. López is one of today's influential Latina authors in Young Adult literature. Her first novel, Esperanza: A Latina Story, was published in March 2008 WHILE she was still in college. Since then she has published several other books, including the Single Chicas series. She was named as one of "2011 Top Ten New Latino Authors to Watch" by Latino Stories, and her book, Beyond the Gardens, was a Silver Medal winner of the 2016 Global Ebook Awards in Multicultural Fiction and won first place in the Int'l Latino Book Awards. Art, literature, and travel are her passions, and she aims to keep doing them as long as she can.
Debra’s (Debi) writing career began with articles on importance of cooperation between disciplines in healthcare. Her goal was to encourage and inspire colleagues. After leaving healthcare in 2011, she started writing and photographing wildlife for nature magazines to encourage and inspire others to enjoy nature. Her cabin in the Turtle Mountains of ND gave her the perfect setting for her first educational nature book, A Cabin by the Lake set in a heartwarming story.
Debi is married with two grown children and five precious grandchildren and currently works for FEMA when she is not writing and photographing wildlife.
The co-writer of the Lumen award-winner for Literary Excellence, Walter’s Way, John Hanc has authored or co-authored 16 books. His previous books include the award-winning memoirs The Coolest Race on Earth, about his experience running the Antarctica Marathon; Not Dead Yet, which he co-authored with Type 1 bike racer Phil Southerland and The Ultra Mindset, a memoir/prescriptive nonfiction book written with ultra-distance running champion Travis Macy. His other books include the popular self-help title, Organize Your Mind, Organize Your Life—written with Margaret Moore and Dr. Paul Hammerness—and The B.A.A. at 125, a history of the organization that created the Boston Marathon. A long-time contributing writer for Newsday, a contributing writer to Smithsonian.com, and a frequent contributor to the New York Times, Hanc is an associate professor of communication arts at New York Institute of Technology. He also teaches memoir writing at Harvard Medical School’s annual Writing, Publishing and Social Media class.
C F Crawford lives with her illustrator daughter, her trademark-designer daughter, and her husband near a magical wood that inspires them daily. When not playing with the many animals that live in and around their house, they enjoy exploring nearby historical sites. They are currently working on the fourth book in the series, Tales of Mr. Snuggywhiskers: The Summer Tales, and recording audio versions of all volumes in the series.
Mukuka Chipanta is an Aerospace Engineer and Author living in Maryland with his wife Sandra. Born in Zambia, he grew up near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. Mukuka played an integral role in designing the Boeing 787 Dreamliner airplane. He published his debut novel A Casualty of Power in October 2016 with Weaver Press. The novel won prizes for ‘Best First Book’ and ‘Gold for General College Level Book’ at the 2017 Classic Literary Awards. Mukuka can be found on Facebook @ChipantaMukuka, on Twitter @chipanta and on his website www.mukukachipanta.com.
Christina M Pages, Ph.D, recipient of the 2017 Eloquent Quill Award, is a native of Kent, England, where she spent her childhood roaming the fields with her three older sisters. Lucy, her main character in Lucy in her Secret Wood, depicts the author's happiness when she was in nature. She won a publication award for her 1st poetry collection Shadow Words, and several poems in her second collection, Remember Not to Forget, were nominated for the Pushcart prize. She was the winner of California Poetry Society's 19th annual contest in 2005. Lucy in her Secret Wood is her first children's novel (August 2016) and has won 5 awards already. Her Lucy II -- The Woodland Adventures of Lucy and Will will be published in 2018.
Sheila Wall Slavich, author of Jumpin’ the Rails!, is the recipient of the 2017 Literary Classics Gold Award for Middle Grade Science Fiction/ Dystopia, Silver Award for Preteen Historical Fiction and the Best Cover Award. Prior to writing her novel, she worked as a journalist and later as the speechwriter and spokesperson for the Alabama Supreme Court and as the public information officer for the judicial system. She is an alumna of Auburn University where she studied literature and journalism and completed her degree with a study abroad at Oxford. Sheila is currently writing her sequel to Jumpin’ the Rails!.
Danielle A. Vann started her career as a television news writer at the tender age of 18. With a passion for writing, Vann committed to learning every aspect of the newsroom. After graduating, she took an anchor position in Louisiana. Her career as a reporter and anchor earned her an Associate Press Award. Her book genres span a wide-range from children’s books with two highly reviewed series, award-winning YA fiction, and five star non-fiction title. Her debut YA series has been awarded nine prestigious awards both in the U.S. and internationally. Danielle lives in Texas with her husband and three children.
Luke's writing has appeared in publications such as Cracked, BuzzFeed, Christianity Today, and also the back of a napkin once. In addition to three Literary Classics medals, Luke T. Harrington's debut novel, OPHELIA, ALIVE (A GHOST STORY) also snagged itself an Independent Publisher Book Award for horror.
Luke lives in Madison, Wisconsin, with his wife and two young daughters, where he's a stay-at-home dad, a freelance editor, and basically a pro at Nintendo Switch.
Born in Hollywood, California, Paul Haddad was drawn to books at an early age—not just reading them, but writing them. From age 5 to 16, he penned more than one hundred—story books, comic books, maze books, even a world atlas featuring countries that existed only in his head. Skinny White Freak is his second Young Adult novel, a semiautobiographical tale of a boy working up the courage to confront, and empathize with, a camp bully. Haddad’s most recent book, a nonfiction adventure guide to Los Angeles, has spent time on local Best Seller lists. His website is www.paulhaddadbooks.com
Hiba Masood is a Canadian-Pakistani writer, storyteller, and speaker. She runs Happy Place, an enrichment center for women and kids, where she holds story, art, and yoga sessions centered around her primary passion, children’s literature. Hiba is the author of Aiza and Alina, a story of friendship and Down Syndrome, which she wrote for use in inclusive education programs across Pakistan.
Award winning author, BJ Sheldon, lives in the Black Hills of South Dakota with her best friend and husband, Steven, a veteran of the US Army. She is represented by agent, Italia Gandolfo. Her hobbies include cuticle care, fighting off zombies, and traveling through space and time with a mad man in a blue box.
Nadya Ruvinsky, is the illustrator of the Top Honors award winning book, The Green Children. Living in London, UK, she is a qualified professional with strong illustration, architecture and design experience in the USA, UK and Russia. She gained several awards in both the United States and Russia and is a member of professional societies such as British Institute of Interior Design and Russian Design Association.
Joanna Jones is a recognized author, educator and consultant. Her zest for reading and life made her a remarkable teacher of history, particularly through the children’s literature she authored. Joanna taught in the Southwest before she returned to the Black Hills. She has presented on a variety of literacy topics across the United States as well as in Portugal, Scotland, New Zealand, and China.
After early retirement sixteen years ago from teaching, Jan began writing nonfiction books. Arcadia Publishing has published nine of her Images of America Series concentrating on South Dakota history. Even though she has not tried her hand at quilting for some time, Jan has written two novel series with quilting as the theme paired with mystery and adventure. She collects antique quilts and displays them throughout her home. Jan loves antiques and re-purposing old things! She lives on a ranch near Badlands National Park in South Dakota with her husband Bob. They have three children and six grandchildren
Nancy Todd Engler, as a member of the Board of The City of Presidents, researched the personal lives of the US presidents. Nancy is presently working on her second book about the plight of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, Courage to Create a Nation.
K Hanson is a new author and in the spring of 2017 he launched his debut thriller novel, The Azrael Initiative, which features two young women being thrown into the fight against ISIS. He is also working on Storm Raven, the first book in a new series which will be YA fantasy with pirates. K lives in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where he works as a software developer. In his spare time, when he isn’t writing, he enjoys reading, working-out, playing video games, and spending time with his wonderful girlfriend, Bobbi.
Dorothy Rosby is a syndicated humor columnist whose work appears regularly in ten western and midwestern states. She was the 2015 first-place winner in the National Federation of Press Women contest, Humor Column category and a finalist for the 2015 Robert Benchley Award for Humor Writing. She is the author of two humor collections.
Small town mid America. That's me. Except for a few short forays into the exciting world of travel, I've lived my entire life in the Midwest. That is not to say life has been pastoral, quiet, or sweet. Far from it. I don't have to venture any distance at all it seems to find the unusual. The unusual manages to find me regularly. The wonderful world of fiction intrigues me to be sure, and a good read whets my appetite to write stories of my own invention; however, the very meaty material in my personal life's story will keep me busy for some time to come. Untold episodes crowd my mind, struggling to get out.
Michele hails from Kentucky. She’s an indy-author who has several novels, children’s books and poetry/short stories to her credit. The genre she writes in varies. "What ever scratches at the attic-door of my imagination, I let the words spill out on to my word processor," Michele says, and then adds, “My stories and poems are the children of my mind.” Her novels include, The Inheritance, The Sin-Eater’s Daughter and Roxanne & the Dragon Mirror; her children’s books, Princess Courtney and the Magic Suit, Humpty-Dumpty: A Fractured Tale plus more. Check out her website at: www.myseashellbooks.com
Kara Sweet is a veteran writing and language arts teacher in the Black Hills of Wyoming. She is also a sommelier through the International Wine and Spirits Guild and Certified Specialist of Wine through the Society of Wine Educators. In her free time, she enjoys hiking the Hills, reading great literature and traveling to wine destinations.
Denise DePaulo is a media professional living in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. She is a lover of wine, history and punk rock music. In her free time, she likes cooking for family and friends, learning new things and exploring South Dakota’s diverse landscapes.
On August 1, 1999, Polly Letofsky left her home in Vail, Colorado, and headed west. She traveled across 4 continents, 22 countries, and over 14,000 miles – by foot – to become the first woman to walk around the world.
Polly’s GlobalWalk has been featured in over 2,000 newspapers, magazines, radio and television stations around the world including Good Housekeeping, CNN International, The CBS Early Show, NBC’s Your Total Health, and Fine Living Channel’s Radical Sabbatical. A documentary of Polly’s GlobalWalk has been aired on PBS around the country. Her book, 3mph has been awarded 6 national awards.
Tamara Gray is the founder of Daybreak Press, a woman-run nonprofit press which is one part of her creative education initiative, Rabata, Inc. Daybreak gives rise to women's voices and promotes positive cultural change one book at a time. Tamara is a doctoral student in the Leadership, Policy and Administration program at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. Her book, Joy Jots, is being used in book clubs and study circles worldwide.
Missy Harper - Unquestionably loved wife and mother, amazingly entertaining friend, and quite unorthodox author of Contemporary Romantic Thrillers filled with quirky characters and plot twists you’ll never see coming. Missy is a huge fan of strong female leads and the men who love to safe them - or at least try.