Books Alive 2014 Speakers

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David O. Stewart

David O. Stewart, President of the Washington Independent Review of Books. After practicing law for many years, David has published three books of historical nonfiction. His first novel, a historical mystery entitled The Lincoln Deception, was published in 2013.







William Pittman

William Pittman is a wandering man of letters who has lived and taught English in Bangkok, Istanbul, Nagasaki, and Maryland. He currently teaches composition at the University of Maryland, College Park and has been on the editorial board of the Washington Independent Review of Books since its inception.  















Helen Zimmermann

Helen Zimmermann started her publishing career over 20 years ago in the marketing department of Random House. She founded her literary agency in 2003 and enjoyed early success with the New York Times bestseller Chosen by A Horse.















Sorche Fairbank

Sorche Fairbank is a Hudson, N.Y.-based  literary agent whose clients range from first-time authors to international best-sellers, prize winning-journalists to professionals at the top of their fields. “Above all,” she says, “we look for a fresh voice, approach, story, or idea.”







Paul S. Levine

Paul S. Levine, an entertainment lawyer in California, opened his literary agency in 1996. With a preference for politically and socially important works, he represents more than 100 clients, the vast majority of them new, unpublished, or self-published writers. 







Pat McNees

Pat McNees, a book editor (Harper & Row, Fawcett) and freelance journalist when she took on a commissioned biography of a Midwestern industrialist. That led to more life story writing and histories of several organizations. She is a former president of the Association of Personal Historians, helping ordinary people tell their stories.







Jessica Case

Jessica Case – associate publisher, Pegasus Books, an independent trade publisher in New York City. A graduate of Princeton, she grew up just outside of Washington, D.C., and now lives in Brooklyn. Pegasus publishes more than 100 books a year, including fiction, crime and suspense, history, biography, science, and music.







Ewarama Ewusi-Mensah

Ewarama Ewusi-Mensah, author of Brown Bag Guide to Book Publishing, is a book editor and publishing consultant. In 2013, she founded Sea Never Dry Editing & Publishing Services, based in Washington, D.C. Prior to that, she learned the ins and outs of book publishing while working at Little, Brown & Company, Sourcebooks, and Kaplan Professional Publishing.







James Reston

James Reston Jr. is the author of 13 books, which include both fiction and nonfiction grounded in history and politics. His most recent book is the self-published The Accidental Victim, a nonfiction work which argues that Texas Gov. John Connally – and not John F. Kennedy – was the intended target of assassin Lee Harvey Oswald.







Deborah Grosvenor

Deborah Grosvenor has more than 25 years of experience in book publishing as both agent and editor. As an editor, she acquired Tom Clancy’s first book, The Hunt for Red October. Authors she represents include Eleanor Clift, Morton Kondracke, Henry Allen, and Thomas Fleming.    







Elena Paul

Elena Paul is director of legal and business affairs at the Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation. Previously, she was executive director of Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts. Before that, she was executive director of Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Davidson College, she also has a law degree from Harvard. Legal and business issues for writers, intellectual property assets, and contract basics are among her special interests.







Gene Taft

Gene Taft specializes in publicizing books and authors. After working as a publicist at both large and small publishing houses, in 2005, he relocated to DC, where he started his own firm, GT/PR. Authors he has worked with include Andy Rooney, Lou Cannon, Gen. Wesley Clark, George Soros, and Vernon Jordan.







Susan Coll

Susan Coll is the Events and Programs Director at Politics & Prose bookstore. Her novel, The Stager, will be published by Sarah Crichton Books/Farrar, Straus & Giroux, in July. Her other novels include Beach Week and Rockville Pike.







Tom Shroder

Tom Shroder is the author of Old Souls: Compelling Evidence from Children Who Remember Previous Lives, and the former editor of the Washington Post Magazine. His latest book, about the renewed interest in the use of psychedelic drugs for psychotherapy, will be published in September by Blue Rider Press. Shroder is also a freelance editor and writing coach.







Peter Ross Range

Peter Ross Range is the author of Murder in the Yoga Store, which he self-published. He is a former White House correspondent for U.S. News & World Report and foreign correspondent for Time. As a freelance journalist, he was written for many publications, including the New York Times Magazine and National Geographic.







J. Grigsby Crawford

J. Grigsby Crawford grew up in the Great American West. His first book, The Gringo, led to an appearance on CBS News and has frequently topped Amazon’s charts for memoirs and books on Latin America. He lives in Northwest Washington, D.C. His work has appeared in the Huffington Post, Congressional Quarterly, the Colorado Daily, and Mile High Sports Magazine.







Dan Moldea

Dan Moldea is an investigative journalist whose work has focused on organized crime since 1974. He is the author of eights nonfiction books and is currently at work on his ninth. He recently self-published a memoir, Confessions of a Guerrilla Writer: Adventures in the Jungles of Crime, Politics, and Journalism.







David Maraniss

David Maraniss, an associate editor at the Washington Post, where he won the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting, is the author of 10 books, including critically acclaimed bestselling biographies of Bill Clinton, Vince Lombardi, Barack Obama, and Roberto Clemente. He is working on The Glow from Detroit, the third book in a Sixties trilogy that includes Rome 1960 and They Marched into Sunlight.







Eugene L. Meyer

Eugene L. Meyer is a board member of the Washington Independent Review of Books; a former longtime Washington Post reporter; and an author, magazine editor, and contributor to several national and regional publications.  







Joe Yonan

Joe Yonan is the food and travel editor of the Washington Post and author of Eat Your Vegetables: Bold Recipes for the Single Cook and Serve Yourself: Nightly Adventures in Cooking for One, which began as a newspaper column.







Joan Nathan

Joan Nathan considers food through the lenses of history, culture, and tradition. She regularly contributes to the New York Times, Food Arts Magazine, and Tablet Magazine and is the author of 10 award-winning cookbooks. Her most recent book is Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cooking in France. Her Jewish Cooking in America won both the James Beard Award and the IACP/Julia Child Cookbook of the Year Award.  







Phyllis Richman

Phyllis Richman is the former longtime Washington Post restaurant critic. In 1997, her food mystery, The Butter Did It: A Gastronomic Tale of Love and Murder (Harper Collins), was nominated for an Agatha Award for best first novel. There followed two more food-themed novels: Murder on the Gravy Train (1999) and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Ham? (2001).    







Aviva Goldfarb

Aviva Goldfarb is a family dinner expert and founder of the Six O’Clock Scramble, an online dinner-planning solution for busy parents. She is also a contributor to the Today Show,, and PBS Parents, is author of the Six O’Clock Scramble cookbooks, and frequently appears in the Washington Post, O Magazine, the New York Times, Real Simple, Working Mother, and Prevention.







Dan Morse

Dan Morse, author of The Yoga Store Murder, is a staff reporter at the Washington Post covering courts and crime in Montgomery County. Prior to coming to the paper in 2005, he worked for the Wall Street Journal, Baltimore Sun, and Montgomery (Alabama) Advertiser, where he was a Pulitzer Prize finalist.







Art Taylor

Art Taylor’s short stories have won three Derringer awards and have been nominated for the Agatha and Macavity awards. A professor at George Mason University, he reviews crime fiction for the Washington Post and contributes frequently to Mystery Scene Magazine.







Donna Andrews

Donna Andrews is the author of two award-winning amateur sleuth series, comprising some 20 books in all. She studied English and drama at the University of Virginia and lives in Reston.  







Brad Parks

Brad Parks won the trifecta of crime and mystery writers’ awards: the Shamus, Nero, and Left awards. A Dartmouth College graduate, he spent a dozen years with the Washington Post and the Newark Star-Ledger and is now a full-time novelist. His fifth Carter Ross thriller, The Player, was released March 4th.







Laura Lippman

Laura Lippman is author of six New York Times bestselling novels in an oeuvre that includes the award-winning Tess Monaghan series, a collection of critically acclaimed stand-alone novels, and an anthology of short stories. Laura began her career as a journalist, reporting for 20 years, including 12 at the Baltimore Sun. She left daily journalism in 2001 to write books full time. Laura lives in Baltimore and New Orleans with her husband, David Simon, and their daughter.







Peggy Engel

Peggy Engel is director of the Alicia Patterson Foundation and was formerly managing editor of the Newseum and a reporter and editor for the Washington Post. She also chairs the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards board. She and her twin sister, Allison, co-wrote Red Hot Patriot, a play about journalist Molly Ivins, and also a book about local foods.







Chris Matthews

Chris Matthews, whose hour-long talk show “Hardball with Chris Matthews” appears on MSNBC, is a former congressional staffer and newspaperman whose bestselling books include Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero; Tip and the Gipper: When Politics Worked; and Kennedy & Nixon: the Rivalry that Shaped Postwar America.







Evan Thomas

Evan Thomas is the author of eight books focusing on politics and presidents (most recently Dwight Eisenhower) and other historical figures. He also frequently appears as a commentator on TV and radio, and teaches writing at Princeton. Thomas was editor-at-large at Newsweek until he left the magazine in 2010, and was the author of more than 100 cover stories. He has won numerous journalism awards, including a National Magazine Award.  







Fred Bowen

Fred Bowen is the author of 19 action-packed books for kids, including his most recent, Perfect Game. He has also written a weekly sports column for kids in the Washington Post since 2000. Fred has a degree in history from the University of Pennsylvania and a law degree from George Washington University.







Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Phyllis Reynolds Naylor is the author of 140 books, including the Newbery award-winning Shiloh and the 28-book “Alice” series. Her books cover a wide range — serious novels, humor, adventure, fantasy, historic, and gothic. She writes for young adults and middle-schoolers and has done a dozen or so picture books. Writer Magazine published her book The Craft of Writing the Novel some years ago. It sold out, and she has since republished it herself.







Maria Leonard Olsen

Maria Leonard Olsen is a graduate of Boston College and the University of Virginia School of Law. Mommy, Why’s Your Skin So Brown? is her first children’s book. The parent of two teenagers, she previously served in the Clinton Justice Department. While not practicing law, she is working on a nonfiction book about the new American family. She has also written for the Washington Post, Washingtonian, and Bethesda Magazine.







Catherine Reef

Catherine Reef has written more than 40 nonfiction books for young people and adults. Her work has earned her the Sydney Taylor Award and the Joan G. Sugarman Children’s Book Award, as well as Golden Kite and Jefferson Cup honors. A graduate of Washington State University, she lives in College Park, Maryland.







Richard McCann

Richard McCann, novelist, poet, and nonfiction writer, teaches creative writing in the MFA program at American University. He serves on the board of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation and is a member of the corporation of Yaddo.







Howard Norman

Novelist Howard Norman has been twice nominated for a National Book Award and has received three fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. He teaches creative writing in the MFA program at the University of Maryland. Most of his fiction is set in Canada’s maritime provinces. He and his poet wife, Jane Shore, live in Chevy Chase and Vermont.







Manil Suri

Manil Suri is a novelist and the author of The Death of Vishnu, The Age of Shiva, and The City of Devi. His fiction has won several awards and has been translated into 27 languages. He is a professor of mathematics and affiliate professor of Asian studies at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County.  







Susan Richards Shreve

Susan Richards Shreve has published 14 novels and 28 children’s books and has edited or co-edited five anthologies. She teaches at George Mason University and was the recipient of an Edgar Award for Best Juvenile Fiction and a Guggenheim Fellowship for Fiction. Her latest novel is you are the love of my life.







Michelle Singletary

Michelle Singletary’s nationally-syndicated column, “The Color of Money,” appears in the Washington Post twice a week. She is the author of three books. Her most recent, released in January, is The 21 Day Financial Fast: Your Path to Financial Peace and Freedom. She is also the author of Spend Well, Live Rich.







Julie Sussman and Stephanie Glakas-Tenet

Julie Sussman and Stephanie Glakas-Tenet are the authors of the national bestselling “Dare to Repair” series, which includes Dare to Repair Your Car, Dare to Repair, Replace & Renovate, and Dare to Repair Plumbing. Their books have been featured on the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon bestseller lists. They have had over 60 appearances on national television shows, including Good Morning America, Today, The Early Show, CNN, and Fox & Friends, and have hosted their own PBS special.

Austin S. Camacho

Austin S. Camacho has written five detective novels about private eye Hannibal Jones and four international adventure thrillers. A co-founder of Intrigue Publishing, he is active in several writers’ organizations and teaches writing at Anne Arundel Community College. By day, he answers media queries for the Defense Department.







Caroline Adams Miller

Caroline Adams Miller, author of several best-selling books – including Creating Your Best Life: The Ultimate Life List Guide—has long been featured in the media on such topics as happiness, positive psychology, and goal-setting. A magna cum laude graduate of Harvard, she has a master’s degree in applied positive psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. A fifth-generation Washingtonian, she is passionate about rowing and swimming and is working on her second black belt so she can stay alive and write more books. 

Peter Baker

Peter Baker is the chief White House correspondent for the New York Times and a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine. His latest book, Days of Fire: Bush and Cheney in the White House, was named one of the five best nonfiction books of 2013 by the New York Times Book Review. He is also author of the bestselling The Breach: Inside the Impeachment and Trial of William Jefferson Clinton, and, with his wife, Susan Glasser, Kremlin Rising: Vladimir Putin’s Russia and the End of Revolution. He is a regular panelist on Washington Week on PBS and, before joining the Times in 2008, worked for 20 years at the Washington Post, where he also covered the White House.