Sarra Cannon is an Amazon Top 100 Best Selling Author. She writes magical contemporary fantasy novels with both teen and college aged characters (and lots of twists you'll never see coming). Her novels often stem from her own experiences growing up in the small town of Hawkinsville, Georgia, where she learned that being popular always comes at a price and relationships are rarely as simple as they seem.
With over three quarters of a million books sold, Sarra loves writing witchy books and connecting with fans. Sarra goes live on YouTube to hang out, answer questions, and read original stories every single week. Join her amazing community there at 4PM est every Friday. youtube.com/sarracannon
Barb Nickless – Born in Guam and now living in Colorado, Nickless promised her mother that she’d be a novelist when she grew up. What she didn’t mention at the time was the type of jobs she’d work beforehand: a technical writer, astronomy instructor, piano teacher, journalist, even a raptor rehabilitator and a swordfighter. In Colorado, she enjoys hiking, snowshoeing and drinking single malt scotch—usually not all at once.
As an author, Nickless’ short stories and essays have been published in anthologies in the United States and the United Kingdom. Blood on the Tracks is her debut novel (and signifies that she has officially kept her promise to her mother!).
She is a Daphne du Maurier Award winner, Suspense Magazine award winner, two-time Colorado Book Award winner and four-time Colorado Author’s League Writing Award winner, and her book Blood on the Tracks is an Amazon Charts bestseller.
Carol Berg, former software engineer, never expected to write one novel, much less eighteen. Nor did she expect to win the Colorado Book Award multiple times or to hear that her books had been read on the slopes of Denali, in the war zone of Iraq, or underneath the Mediterranean. She certainly never thought to see her name alongside those of her literary heroes like Tolkien and Mary Stewart as winner of the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award. Carol’s latest fantasy adventure, A Summoning of Demons, arrived in 2021 from Tor Books under her assumed name of Cate Glass. She lives in the foothills of the Colorado Rocky Mountains with her Exceptional Spouse.
Caitlin Berve is the multi-award-winning author of When Magic Calls: A Collection of Modern Fairy Tales, available in paperback, ebook, and audiobook formats. Through her company Ignited Ink Writing, she edits novels, creates video tutorials, teaches creative writing, and writes. When not writing or editing, she teaches Pop Pilates and makes color-changing potions. Caitlin seeks to fill the world with the kind of writing that lingers with readers and find magic in modern times.
Fleur Bradley has loved puzzles and (scary) mysteries ever since she first discovered Agatha Christie novels. She’s the author of numerous mysteries for kids, including the recent Daybreak on Raven Island and Midnight at the Barclay Hotel, which was on many award lists, including the Reading the West, Agatha and Anthony Awards, Sasquatch Award, and won the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award, Sunshine State Young Readers Award and the Colorado Book Award. A reluctant reader herself, Fleur regularly does librarian and educator conference talks on ways to reach reluctant readers. Originally from the Netherlands, she now lives in Colorado with her family and entirely too many rescue animals. Find out more about Fleur at http://www.ftbradley.com and follow her on Twitter @FTBradleyAuthor.
Deborah Brewer joined Pikes Peak Writers a decade ago, seeking help writing a mystery. When the novel was completed, she stayed for the camaraderie. Now she’s writing short stories. An editor for the PPW anthologies Dream and Journeys into Possibility, Debby is also a contributing editor for the PPW blog Writing from the Peak. She looks forward to chatting with fellow writers at the conference.
Leslie Budewitz blends her passion for food, great mysteries, and the Northwest in two cozy mystery series, the Spice Shop mysteries, set in Seattle’s Pike Place Market, and the Food Lovers’ Village mysteries, set in NW Montana. As Alicia Beckman, she writes moody suspense, beginning with Bitterroot Lake (April 2021) and continuing with Blind Faith (October 2022). Leslie is the winner of three Agatha Awards—2013 Best First Novel for Death Al Dente, the first Food Lovers’ Village mystery; 2011 Best Nonfiction, and 2018 Best Short Story, for “All God’s Sparrows,” her first historical fiction. Her work has also won or been nominated for Derringer, Anthony, and Macavity awards. A lawyer and a current board member of Mystery Writers of America and a past president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in NW Montana.
Award-winning novelist, writing coach, and manuscript editor John DeDakis is a former editor on CNN's “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.” DeDakis is the author of five mystery-suspense-thriller novels. In his most recent novel, FAKE, protagonist Lark Chadwick is a White House correspondent dealing with “fake news” in the era of #MeToo. DeDakis, a former White House correspondent, regularly leads writing workshops at literary centers and writers’ conferences. He is also the host of the video podcast “One-to-One with John DeDakis” on YouTube, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Originally from La Crosse, Wisconsin, DeDakis now lives with his wife Cindy in Baltimore, Maryland.
Karen Fox knew at age twelve she wanted to write. Even then, she loved the adventure and characters who came to life in her mind.
Following her Air Force husband, she’s lived in Tacoma, Charleston, Biloxi, and Belgium while raising three children and working full-time. After they settled in Colorado Springs, she pursued writing as a career and sold her first book, SWORD OF MACLEOD, to Leisure, followed quickly by the sale of SOMEWHERE MY LOVE, her RITA finalist book.
She’s published several paranormal romances for Dorchester, Kensington and Berkley as well as a self-published sweet romance series. She also has novellas with BelleBooks and DAW. Her books have won many awards, including Bookseller’s Best Award and the 2001 Award of Excellence in the Paranormal Romance Category.
Karen loves to read and write books that contain a little something different and a lot of action. A member of Novelists Inc. and the Pikes Peak Writers, Karen is active in both.
Bowen Gillings is an Amazon.com bestselling and award-winning author writing to bring fun back to fiction. His latest release is the humorous paranormal thriller Exceptionals. Bowen has been featured in Journeys into Possibility and Fresh Starts anthologies, Allegory e-zine, and on Stories Live! and Stark Reflections on Writing and Publishing YouTube channels. Also, he’s facilitated workshops for Pikes Peak Writers and Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. He is an active member of both organizations plus The League of Utah Writers. Bowen holds five martial arts black belts, is an Army veteran, loves travel, cooking, and a fine adult beverage. Learn more at storiesbybowen.com
Kendra Griffin is an indie author, teacher, and developmental editor who has never met a good dog or a good underdog she didn’t fall in love with. She is addicted to writing (and reading) about quirky misfits, social inequality, and diverse ensemble casts. She recently published two novels in her dystopian young adult series: The Pox Ward and Apocalypse Thoughts. Kendra teaches creative writing for Aims Community College and is a member of RMFW and Borderlands Writers. Learn more about Kendra at https://kendragriffin.com/
Beth Hancock started preparing taxes for H&R Block in 1993 and passed the IRS Enrolled Agent's exam in 1996. She taught tax preparation classes from beginning level through advanced for H&R Block from 2005 until 2016 when she went to work with BF Borgers CPA. From 2017-2021 she was the Director of the Tax Department. During that time she taught the Colorado Tax Update Class and Ethics Classes for the Colorado Society of Enrolled Agents. She is now with Fiducial Expertise in Arvada. All during her career she has spoken at various professional organizations on tax topics. She has represented over 200 taxpayers in IRS audits
Nikki Haverstock has been a full-time writer for over seven years who lives on a small ranch high in the Rocky Mountains. She has studied comedy at Second City and Groundlings and has published almost twenty cozy, space, and paranormal mysteries that are heavy on the humor.
In twenty years as a competitive archery coach, she worked hard to bring the individuals and teams to success not only on the competition field but also in their personal life using her Masters degree in Kinesiology: Sports Psych/performance enhancement. This emphasis on helping individuals be the best version of themselves was a perfect match for CliftonStrengths coaching. Nothing brings her more joy than to help a writer to connect with their strengths in a way that brings meaningful change into their lives and work.
LS Hawker is the author of the thrillers The Drowning Game, Body and Bone, End of the Road, and The Throwaways. The Drowning Game is a USA Today bestseller and finalist in the ITW Thriller Awards in the Best First Novel category. Hawker grew up in suburban Denver and received her B.S. in journalism from the University of Kansas. She had a radio show called “People Are So Stupid,” produced fitness videos, and outfitted airports and travel agencies with computer equipment for a major airline, but never lost her passion for fiction writing. Her extensive media background includes everything from public affairs director at a Denver radio station to television sports intern to website designer. She’s got a hilarious trophy husband, two brilliant daughters, and a massive music collection. She lives in Colorado but considers Kansas her spiritual homeland.
Visit LSHawker.com to view book trailers, listen to her podcast with daughter Chloe, The Lively Grind Cafe, and read about her adventures as a cocktail waitress, traveling Kmart portrait photographer, and witness to basement exorcisms.
Born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, Laura Hayden began her reading career at the age of four. By the time she was ten, she'd exhausted the children's section in the local library and switched to adult mysteries. Laura always wrote as a youth, but became sidetracked in college where differential equations were more important than dangling participles. But one Capstone engineering degree, one wedding, two kids and three military assignments later, she ended up in Colorado Springs where she met people who shared her passion for writing. With their support, instruction and camaraderie, she set two goals for herself: winning the Romance Writers of America's GOLDEN HEART award and after that, publication of the winning manuscript.
Only Laura did it backwards. Shortly after selling her first book, a romantic suspense, Laura won the GOLDEN HEART for her time travel/ Western/ mystery/ romance novel, A MARGIN IN TIME.
Levi Jacobs was born in North Dakota and grew up in Japan and Uganda, so he was bound to have a speculative take on modern life. Hybrid author of the Empire of Resonance and Tidecaller Chronicles epic fantasy series, he runs a small fruit company to pay the bills.
Jenny Kate has been a communicator, marketer and public relations professional since 2001. She has party-planned for US ambassadors, written speech inputs for the President (of the United States), eaten Taco Bell with Jimmy Kimmel and danced with Willy Nelson. She has been quoted by the New York Times, CNN, FoxNews, and Time Magazine, and wrote her first novel in the second grade. She is a member of Washington Romance Writers, Sisters in Crime, and judges contests for the Utah League of Writers and freelanced for New York literary agent Ethan Ellenberg. With her husband, she co-founded Writer Nation, an online collaboration space for authors to network and share marketing ideas. She envisions a world where every writer is an author first, and a smart, savvy marketer second, and . Jenny is the author of the “Marketing for Writers Who'd Rather Write” book series to help authors market in a way that gives them more writing time in their day. A born Alabama girl, Jenny Kate bleeds crimson and white. When she isn’t writing or teaching about fiction marketing, she travels the world looking for the world’s best vegan sandwich. So far, tofu banh mi in Hoi An, Vietnam, is winning that race.
Sam Knight is publisher of Knight Writing Press and author of six children’s books, five short story collections, three novels, and over 75 short stories, including three co-authored with Kevin J. Anderson. A Colorado native, Sam spent ten years in California’s wine country before returning to the Rockies. When asked if he misses California, he gets a wistful look in his eyes and replies he misses the green mountains in the winter, but he is glad to be back home. Once upon a time, he was known to quote books the way some people quote movies, but now he claims having a family has made him forgetful, as a survival adaptation. He can be found at SamKnight.com and contacted at email@example.com.
Karen Lin is a hopeless foodie, award-winning novelist, and produced screenwriter. Many of her stories are inspired by her experience marrying into a Taiwanese family. Food is often a subplot. Mu Shu Mac & Cheese and American Moon: A Chinese Immigrant Story came out in 2020. She, her husband, and their two boys have traveled the world as she researches recipes for a literary cookbook. She’s a pitch and writing coach for award-winning and bestselling authors. She teaches for cruise lines and writers conferences in Colorado where she is part of a rich author community. http://www.karenalbrightlin.com https://www.amazon.com/Shu-Mac-Cheese-Karen-Albright-ebook/dp/B08GGDQBLP https://www.amazon.com/American-Moon-Chinese-Immigrant-Story-ebook/dp/B08B4FPN7Q
Mark Leslie Lefebvre is the Director of Business Development for Draft2Digital, a free and author-centric platform that is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2022. Mark has worked in the book industry since 1992, the same year his first short story sale appeared in print. His past roles include President of the Canadian Booksellers Association, Chair of the Professional Advisory Committee for Sheridan College's Honors Degree Program in Writing and Publishing, and Director of Self-Publishing and Author Relations for Rakuten Kobo, where he created and launched Kobo Writing Life. He is the host of the weekly Stark Reflections on Writing and Publishing Podcast.
As an award-winning and multi-nominated author, Mark (who also writes under Mark Leslie) has released more than 30 books that include A Canadian Werewolf in New York, Fear and Longing in Los Angeles, Fright Nights, Big City and the non-fiction books for writers: Wide for the Win, Killing it on Kobo, An Author's Guide to Working with Bookstores and Libraries and the co-authored The Relaxed Author with Joanna Penn.
Pam McCutcheon is the author of how-to books for writers and many kinds of romance novels (sweet, steamy, paranormal, romcom, Sci-Fi, etc.) under her own name, and the Demon Underground YA urban fantasy series under the name Parker Blue. She partners with Laura Hayden in Parker Hayden Media, where they do assisted self-publishing. She can be found on the ’net at pammc.com or parkerblue.net.
Chris Mandeville writes SF/F and nonfiction for writers, and has been teaching writing workshops for more than fifteen years. She’s the author of 52 Ways to Get Unstuck: Exercises to Break Through Writer’s Block, Seeds: a Post-apocalyptic Adventure, and the time travel adventure series In Real Time, as well as short stories in several anthologies. When she isn't writing, she loves to cook, travel, and hang out with other writers. chrismandeville.com.
Carly Stevens' life revolves around stories. She fell in love with stories as a child watching Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, majored in English, has taught high-school English for ten years, and published her first novel in 2019. Since then, she has written a complete YA fantasy trilogy, a dark academia retelling of Hamlet, as well as sweet romance short reads under a pen name. Story is powerful, and she's happy to share great stories with others as she realizes her own dream of being an author.
Callie Stoker is an editor with over fifteen years of experience and a knack for knowing what makes a story shine. Her business The Manuscript Dr specializes in supporting writers and teaching them skills to improve their craft through coaching and editing services. Callie has three children on the Autism Spectrum and is a champion for representation of neurodiversity in all storytelling. She has a musical theater background, is an accomplished singer and pianist, and has a love for knitting, crafting, and hand lettering. She is a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association, the Horror Writers Association, and The League of Utah Writers. She currently resides in the Dallas, TX area.
Michelle Vandepas is the co-founder of GracePoint Publishing, a multi-media publishing company that includes traditional publishing, digital media and audio production, located in Colorado Springs, CO. As an entrepreneur she always has her ear to the ground and her sights set on the fastest, most effective way to deliver inspiration so that the voices and message of her clients are immediately accessible and relevant to the current cultural dialogue.
Michelle has been featured in numerous media outlets speaking about her passion for ‘purpose and profit’. She is also an esteemed TEDx speaker and TEDx Speaker Coach. Michelle lives in the mountains of Colorado with her family, two dogs, and 40 goldfish. She’s been a foster mother to 10 children and written several books about foster parenting.
As someone who has been in the publishing industry for over 25 years, Michelle is passionate about finding new ways to help authors amplify their messages through creative means while also making moves that benefit their business and their brand. This passion makes Michelle one of the world’s leading experts in helping teachers, thought leaders, transformational agents, and people who want to change the world and share their ideas with the masses.
If you are in Colorado Springs, Michelle’s door is always open. Swing by the GracePoint Publishing office located at 624 S. Cascade Ave. Colorado Springs, CO 80903. Or call our office to schedule a meeting (719) 527-1404
Marie Whittaker enjoys teaching about publishing and project management for writers. She works as Associate Publisher at WordFire Press and Co director at Superstars Writing Seminars. She also puts in time as personal assistant to Kevin J. Anderson. In 2021, she co founded the epic fantasy world of Eldros Legacy. Marie is an award-winning essayist and author of horror, fantasy, children’s books and supernatural thrillers. She is the creator of The Adventures of Lola Hopscotch, is published in Weird Tales, and habitually adopts rescue animals.
Find out more about her at mariewhittaker.com.
Johnny Worthen is an award-winning, multiple-genre, tie-dye-wearing author, voyager, and damn fine human being! Trained in standup comedy, literary criticism and cultural studies, he writes upmarket fiction, long and short, mentors others where he can, and teaches writing at the University of Utah. His best-selling science fiction series beginning with Of Kings, Queens & Colonies, and now with Of Civilized, Saved & Savages is an epic tale in the vein of Frank Herbert’s Dune. It is available from Flame Tree Press, with international distribution through Simon and Schuster. Like Johnny’s many other titles it is available wherever better books are sold.
Benjamin Wretlind ran with scissors when he was five. He now writes, paints, uses sharp woodworking tools and plays with glue. Sometimes he does these things at the same time. A speculative fiction author, Benjamin is the author of Out of Due Season, Sunshine and Shadow, and All We Leave Behind as well as several other books.
Benjamin lives with his wife Jesse in Colorado.