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FEATURED AUTHORS

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

Barbara 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.

AUTHORS & SPECIALISTS

Information is still being gathered for this page. Please stop by often for updates.

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.

A volunteer with Pikes Peak Writers, Deborah Brewer finds satisfaction in helping fellow writers achieve their writing dreams through blogging, editing, or working at the conference,

Trai Cartwright, MFA, is a 30-year entertainment industry veteran and creative writing specialist. She teaches, produces, and writes screenplays and novels, and can be found at www.craftwrite.com. While in Los Angeles, she was a screenwriter, independent film producer, and story consultant and development executive for HBO, Paramount Pictures, Universal Studios, New Lines Cinema, and 20th Century Fox. Trai currently teaches creative writing, screenwriting, and producing for University of Denver’s low-residency master’s programs, writers’ groups, conferences and cons, and one-on-one as a development and story editor. She is the producer of several short form projects and four independent films. She also served as the President of Women in Film and Media Colorado 2018-2020, and currently runs the Denver Screenwriters Meetup (450 members), and ghost writes screenplays for the Mark Graham Company.

Elizabeth Chandler is a mom, presenter, advocate, and author. She was first published in a poetry anthology at age 10 under a pen name that was a misspelled anagram for “original.” She serves as the Director of Community Engagement for Lenoir-Rhyne University where she is pursuing an MFA in Writing in the Thomas Wolfe Center for Narrative.

She has previously presented at the Golden Crown Literary Society national conference in Denver, and six local conferences and workshops in North Carolina. She’s known for her engaging, fun and funny workshops and presentations packed with practical tools to set participants into immediate action.

Originally from Arkansas, she lives in Asheville, NC with her two young children. When she’s not volunteering or chasing kiddos, Elizabeth enjoys trail running, hiking, writing fiction and poetry, and playing games with “framily.”

Deb Courtney holds a degree in Fiction from the University of South Florida, where she was a Saunders Scholar in Fiction. She has had numerous short stories published and has worked as a freelance journalist, creativity coach and freelance editor. Her background also includes more than 20 years in Technical Project Management.

Deb hosts the popular “Write Drunk, Edit Sober” improv writing series monthly online, and her debut book, 21 Day Challenge: The Anti-procrastination Workbook for Writers was released in April 2023. She is Immediate Past President of Pikes Peak Writers, a non-profit in Colorado Springs, CO.

Novelist and writing coach John DeDakis [pronounced: dee-DAY-kiss] is a former editor on CNN's “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.” DeDakis is the author of five mystery-suspense-thriller novels. His fourth novel, Bullet in the Chamber, is the winner of Reviewers Choice, Foreword INDIES, and Feathered Quill book awards. In his most recent novel, Fake, protagonist Lark Chadwick is a White House correspondent trying to walk the line between personal feelings and dispassionate objectivity in the era of “fake news” and #MeToo. Fake earned Honorable Mention for the Reviewers Choice Award and was a Finalist for two book awards: Killer Nashville’s Silver Falchion, and the CLUE Award sponsored by the Chanticleer International Book Awards (CIBA).

DeDakis, a former White House correspondent, is a manuscript editor, and regularly teaches novel writing online and at literary centers, writers’ conferences, and bookstores around the country and abroad. DeDakis is also a jazz drummer, and the host of the live video podcast “One-to-One with John DeDakis” on Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube. Website: www.johndedakis.com

Sonja Dewing is a multi-award-winning author, creative writer, book writing coach, and Amazon ads guru. She was nominated for best author in New Mexico 2023 by the New Mexico Entertainment Awards (selected as one of the top five!). She's also an award-winning publisher and founder of the Women's Thriller Writers Association. She loves adventure, and living in Albuquerque with her giant puppy Bo. What does she know about adventure? After years of paying off debt, in 2013 she quit her job at a university, sold most of her things, got rid of her apartment, put the rest of her stuff in her dad’s garage, then traveled to Costa Rica, Panama, and Peru for seven weeks. She loved meeting new people, getting to know the Spanish language, and learning how to surf in Costa Rica.

Bowen Gillings is an award-winning author writing to bring fun back to fiction. His work has been published in anthologies and periodicals while he's been featured on TV, radio, podcasts, and YouTube channels. His quirky, offbeat tales are “perfect,” “charming,” and “fun” with writing that “boggles the genre mind.” He facilitates a variety of writing workshops and is an active member of Pikes Peak Writers, Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, and the League of Utah Writers. He holds a Master of Education, five martial arts black belt certifications, and is an Army veteran. Travel enthusiast, outdoors lover, and RPG nerd, he also enjoys cooking big meals for family and friends. Born in Wisconsin, he grew up in the Black Hills of South Dakota, matriculated in Minnesota and Alaska, and bounced around Europe with the Army.

Amy Lynn Green worked “on the other side of the desk” as a publicist at a publishing company for eight years before turning to writing fiction herself. Her debut novel, Things We Didn't Say, was a finalist for a 2021 Minnesota Book Award and received a starred review from both Booklist and Library Journal. She has always enjoyed history, and she loves speaking with book clubs, writing groups, and libraries all around the country, especially on topics related to marketing and breaking into publishing. Amy and her family make their home in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Darby Karchut is an award-winning author, former teacher, and compulsive dawn greeter. Her many books include Del Toro Moon (middle grade fantasy series) and On a Good Horse (middle grade contemporary). She is the recipient of the Colorado Book Award, the High Plains Book Award, the Will Rogers Medallion Award, the IPPY Silver Award, and the Moonbeam Children’s Book Silver Award. A native of New Mexico, she now lives in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains where she runs in blizzards and bikes in lightning storms. When not dodging death by Colorado, Darby can be found wrangling words. Visit the author at www.darbykarchut.com and follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Goodreads.

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. 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.

Maria Kelson writes crime fiction and speculative stories featuring Latinx characters with human problems. Her debut thriller, Not the Killing Kind, is set in northern California’s redwood country and comes out September 10, 2024 from Crooked Lane Books. The manuscript won Sisters in Crime’s inaugural Eleanor Taylor Bland Award for Crime Fiction Writers of Color in 2014. Her speculative stories have been published in LightspeedLatineLit, and elsewhere. As Maria Melendez, she published two books of poetry with University of Arizona Press. A former editor of Pilgrimage magazine, she was selected to serve as an American Voices arts envoy in Bogotá, Colombia, and has lived in nine of the United States.

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 sam@samknight.com.

Stant Litore is the author of Ansible, The Running of the Tyrannosaurs, The Zombie Bible, and Dante’s Heart. Besides science fiction and fantasy, he has written the writers’ toolkits Write Worlds Your Readers Won’t Forget and Write Characters Your Readers Won’t Forget, as well as Lives of Unstoppable Hope and Lives of Unforgetting, and has been featured in Jeff Vandermeer’s Wonderbook: An Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction. He has served as a developmental editor for Westmarch Publishing and holds a Ph.D. in English. He lives in Aurora, Colorado with his three children and is currently at work on his next novel.

#1 Bestselling Author Bernadette Marie writes contemporary romances and believes in Happily Ever After. The married mother of five believes in love at first sight, quick love, and second chances. Bernadette is the 2020 Independent Writer of the Year, the 2022 Jasmine Award winner, and past retreat chair for RMFW. She is also the Founder and CEO of 5 Prince Publishing in Arvada, Colorado. An avid martial artist, Bernadette Marie is a certified instructor and holds a third degree black belt in Tang Soo Do. She loves Tai Chi, traveling to Disney parks, and having lunch with friends. When not writing, or running her own publishing house, Bernadette is probably immersed in a Rom Com, from which she will often quote one liners.

Erick Mertz is a writer and editor based in Oregon City, Oregon. He has ghostwritten numerous business books, novels and memoirs for clients across the world. He is a former finalist for the Nicholl Fellowship in screenwriting and has written various scripts for television and film producers. He has taught writing and publishing for organizations at conferences in Oregon, Washington and Alaska. As an author, he self-publishes the Strange Air series of paranormal mysteries. Set in a fictional, eastern Oregon community, these stories follow the life of a small-town sheriff who discovers the place he calls home is haunted by an ancestral spirit.

Susan Mitchell embraces folklore, ghosts, and monsters. She tunes into that wavelength to write dark fiction, horror, and thrillers. Her work has appeared in literary magazines and can be found in the upcoming anthology Open-Hearted Horizon from University of New Mexico Press. Originally from the East Coast, Susan calls the Southwest home and has degree in English from Northern Arizona University. She works at New Mexico PBS and served on the PBS Marketing Advisory Council. As a Multi Media Producer she has written, produced and directed projects for TLC, ABC, NBC, CBS and Telemundo affiliates. Susan is currently completing work on a supernatural thriller and literary horror project. She really likes books, music, road trips, thrift stores and horror movies.

James Persichetti is a writer, freelance editor, and rock climber who enjoys writing about queer characters going on adventures. He earned an English degree at Regis University and studied Arthurian legends, where he drew inspiration for his debut graphic novel, A Tale of Two Knights (2024). He lives with his husband in Denver, Colorado.

C.R. Rowenson is an award-winning author, blogger, and writing coach that studies magic-systems like others study oil-painting. The only things he loves more than writing are writing magic systems and helping people. If something in your magic system or story is broken, doesn’t feel right, or seems to be more difficult to do than it should be, Clark is here and he’s here to help. While Clark is a corn-fed, born and raised Nebraskan, he currently lives in Southern California with his unbelievably supportive wife and ridiculously cute dog. You can visit him at crrowenson.com to witness, fuel, or join in his obsession.

David R. Slayton grew up in Guthrie, Oklahoma, where finding fantasy novels was pretty challenging and finding fantasy novels with diverse characters was downright impossible. Now he lives in Denver, Colorado and writes the books he always wanted to read. His debut, White Trash Warlock, was a finalist for the Colorado Book Award. In 2015, David founded Trick or Read, an initiative to give out books along with candy to children on Halloween as well as uplift lesser-known authors or those from marginalized backgrounds. David is a regular speaker and panelist at fan cons and writing conferences. Find him online at www.DavidRSlayton.com.

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 supports writers by teaching skills to improve craft through coaching and editing services.

As an autistic creative, Callie is a champion for representation of neurodiversity in all storytelling. She is an accomplished singer and pianist and has a love for knitting, crafting, and hand lettering. She was a guest on Brandon Sanderson’s podcast Writing Excuses and is a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association, the Horror Writers Association, The League of Utah Writers, and the DFW Writers Workshop. She currently resides in the Dallas, TX area.

Rebecca Taylor is a licensed psychologist and author of bestselling women’s psychological fiction. Her book, The Secret Next Door, was a bestselling title in Target stores throughout the USA, a #1 bestselling book on Amazon, and a Book of the Month selection on Apple Books. Her book, Her Perfect Life, was the winner of the Women’s Fiction Writer’s STAR award. Her previous titles have won the Colorado Book Award and been nominated for the RWA RITA award. She lives in Colorado but currently spends most of her time on airplanes, writing and traveling all over the world.

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

Johnny Worthen is an award-winning, multiple-genre, tie-dye-wearing author, voyager, and damn fine human being! Trained in 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 and Colonies, and now with Of Civilized, Saved and 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.

Bryan Young works across many different media. His work as a writer and producer has been called “filmmaking gold” by The New York Times. He's also published comic books with Slave Labor Graphics and Image Comics. He's been a regular contributor for the Huffington Post, StarWars.com, Star Wars Insider magazine, SYFY, /Film, and was the founder and editor in chief of the geek news and review site Big Shiny Robot! In 2014, he wrote the critically acclaimed history book, A Children’s Illustrated History of Presidential Assassination. He co-authored Robotech: The Macross Saga RPG has written two books in the BattleTech Universe: Honor's Gauntlet and A Question of Survival. His latest book, The Big Bang Theory Book of Lists is a #1 Bestseller on Amazon. He teaches writing for Writer’s Digest, Script Magazine, and at the University of Utah.