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Previous Guests at The Writer's Chatroom

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Lisa Haselton

Social Media and Wordpress Consultant Barb Drozdowich has taught in colleges, universities and in the banking industry. More recently, she brings her 15+ years of teaching experience and a deep love of books to help authors develop the social media platform needed to succeed in today’s fast evolving publishing world. She delights in taking technical subjects and making them understandable by the average person. She owns Bakerview Consulting and manages the popular blog, Sugarbeat’s Books, where she talks about Romance – mostly Regency. 

She is the author of 11 books, over 35 YouTube videos, and online Goodreads course and an online WordPress course,  all focused on helping authors and bloggers. Barb lives in the mountains of British Columbia with her family.


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Viv Newman

 Social history, and in particular, women’s service in the First World War, have been an integral part of Viv Newman’s professional life for many years.

 Her doctoral research on women’s poetry of the First World War uncovered a treasure trove of long-forgotten women’s poems. These widen our knowledge of women’s wartime lives, their concerns, and their contributions to the war effort and subsequent Victory.

 Viv has taught women’s war poetry in both academic and non-academic settings and speak widely at history conferences (both national and international). She gives talks to a variety of audiences ranging from First World War devotees of organizations such as the Western Front Association as well as to Rotarians, Women’s Institutes and U3A. Her work at the University of Essex, includes supporting Humanities students with their academic writing.

 As well as writing articles about women during the First Word War, Viv works closely with military publishers Pen and Sword for their social history imprint. “We Also Served: The Forgotten Women of the First Word War” explores women’s uniformed and un-uniformed lives between 1914 and 1918.

 Subsequently, Pen & Sword published "Nursing Through Shot & Shell", a unique diary of a professional nurse Viv had been privileged to edit and contextualize.

 “Tumult and the Tears” discovers the story of women's poetry of the First World War - who wrote it, why they wrote it and for whom. Viv was delighted to launch this book, courtesy of HE GuyTrouveroy, at the Belgian embassy's Residence in June 2016.

 As of 2017, Viv is working on "Singer, Siren, Spy!" - a compelling story about a rather 'naughty girl', an Italian national, resident in Switzerland, who spied for Germany in Marseille. Then she plans to put pen to paper on “The Children’s War 1914-1919” which will explore British and Allied children’s wartime lives.

 The research for these books has uncovered now forgotten and many formerly untold stories which, with the centenary years upon us, will further our knowledge and understanding about the lives and experiences of women and children during this defining moment in modern British history.


Ellie Alexander, author of the Bakeshop Mystery Series (St. Martin's Press), is a Pacific Northwest native who spends ample time testing pastry recipes in her home kitchen or at one of the many famed coffeehouses nearby. When she’s not coated in flour, you’ll find her outside exploring hiking trails and trying to burn off calories consumed in the name of research.

Author of the best-selling Bakeshop Mystery Series (St. Martin’s Press) set in the beautiful southern Oregon town of Ashland. Ellie also has started a new mystery series. The first book in the series, Death On Tap, debuts on October, 3 2017.

Fudge & Jury was released on January 3rd and is the 5th book in the popular Bakeshop Mystery series. Stay tuned for A Crime of Passion Fruit coming in June 2017!



DV Berkom is the USA Today best selling author of two action-packed thriller series featuring strong female leads: Leine Basso and Kate Jones. Her love of creating resilient, kick-ass women characters stems from a lifelong addiction to reading spy novels, mysteries, and thrillers, and longing to find the female equivalent within those pages.

Raised in the Midwest, she earned a BA in political science from the University of Minnesota and promptly moved to Mexico to live on a sailboat. Several years and a multitude of adventures later, she wrote her first novel and was hooked. The Kate Jones adventure thriller, Bad Spirits, was first published in 2010 as an online serial, and was immediately popular with eBook fans. Dead of Winter, Death Rites, and Touring for Death soon followed before she began the far grittier Leine Basso thriller series in early 2012 with Serial Date. Now, she tries to give equal time to both Kate's and Leine's stories, a must for her (happily) impatient readers.

DV currently lives in the Pacific Northwest with the love of her life, Mark, a chef-turned-contractor, and several imaginary characters who like to tell her what to do. Her most recent books include Vigilante Dead, A Killing Truth, Cargo, The Body Market, A One Way Ticket to Dead, and Yucatán Dead.

For more information, visit her website at



Shelley Armitage grew up in the northwest Texas Panhandle in the small ranching and farming community of Vega, Texas, in Oldham County. She still owns and operates a family farm, 1200 acres of native grass, wheat and milo farmland bordering Highway Interstate 40 on the south and the Canadian River breaks on the north. Armitage shared this landscape from childhood on, riding with her father and grandfather to check crops and cattle and later jogging and today walking the farm roads. Though most of her adult life has been spent away from the Panhandle as a university professor, Armitage has always returned to the “farm” which offered until recently a 360 degree view of earth and sky. Growing up in small town Texas, Armitage had the opportunity to try her hand at many things—running a farm was not expected to be one of them until both parents and her brother passed.

Today the landscape surrounding Armitage Farms appears overwhelmed by the massive wind turbines, soaring microwave towers, constant oil pumping rigs, and persistent sand and gravel digs. Armitage decided to convert the farmland into conservation grass planted to restore fragmented landscapes by recreating wildlife corridors and habitat. Armitage’s professional life has offered her a connection with landscape through studies of photography, environmental literature, cultural and place studies. After living and working in diverse places—Portugal, Poland, Finland, and Hungary, teaching in the Southwest and Hawai’i, researching in New York, Washington DC, Oregon, Illinois, Missouri, Connecticut—place has taken on special meanings. The author of eight books and fifty articles and essays, Armitage has held Fulbright Chairs in Warsaw and Budapest, a Distinguished Senior Professorship in Cincinnati, and the Dorrance Roderick Professorship in El Paso as well as three National Endowment for the Humanities grants, a National Endowment for the Arts grant, and a Rockefeller grant.

Even as the heartland remains in the Panhandle, the compass foot reaches out—Shelley Armitage resides part of each year in Las Cruces, New Mexico.


David Alderman-
DAVID N. ALDERMAN is the founder of The Crossover Alliance. He is author of more than a half dozen books, and participates in National Novel Writing Month each year. When he's not writing or spending time with family, you can find David racking up his achievement score on his Xbox One or killing opponents in a game of Half Life 2: Deathmatch on Steam.
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Mark Carver -
MARK CARVER spent more than eight years in China before returning to the USA with his wife and two children. Besides writing, Mark is passionate about art, tattoos, heavy metal, Gothic literature, and medieval architecture.

He lives with his family in Atlanta, GA.



Deborah Williams -
D.A. Williams is a farmer’s wife and mother above all else. She currently lives in the Texas Panhandle with her husband and two sons, who share their home with two dogs and two cats. It’s a veritable Noah’s Ark. She loves rare steak, homemade sweet tea, and the arts in all forms, with a particular affinity for writing gritty Christian fiction.





Leslie Budewitz blends her passion for food, great mysteries, and the Northwest in two light-hearted mystery series: the Spice Shop Mysteries, set in Seattle, and the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries, set in northwest Montana. Her books focus on strong women who share her passions, and have a talent for finding trouble!

Leslie is the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. Death al Dente, first in the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries, won the 2013 Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Her guide for writers, Books, Crooks & Counselors: How to Write Accurately About Criminal Law and Courtroom Procedure, won the 2011 Agatha Award for Best Nonfiction.

A Montana native, Leslie graduated from Seattle University and Notre Dame Law School. After practicing in Seattle for several years—and shopping and eating her way through the Pike Place Market regularly—she returned to Montana, where she still practices law part-time. Killing people—on the page—is more fun.

A true believer in the power of writers helping other writers, Leslie is president of Sisters in Crime (SinC) and a founding member of the Guppies, the SinC chapter for new and unpublished writers. She is also a member of Mystery Writers of America, the Authors of the Flathead, and Montana Women Writers.

Leslie loves to cook, eat, hike, travel, garden, and paint—not necessarily in that order. She lives in northwest Montana with her husband, Don Beans, a singer-songwriter and doctor of natural medicine, and their Burmese cat, Ruff, a book cover model and an avid bird watcher.


An award-winning author, Cathy Perkins  works in the financial industry, where she’s observed the hide-in-plain-sight skills employed by her villains. She writes predominantly financial-based mysteries but enjoys exploring the relationship aspect of her characters’ lives.

A member of Sisters in Crime, Romance Writers of America (Kiss of Death chapter) and International Thriller Writers, she is a contributing editor for The Big Thrill, handles the blog and social media for the ITW Debut Authors, and coordinated for the prestigious Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense.

When not writing, she can be found doing battle with the beavers over the pond height or setting off on another travel adventure. Born and raised in South Carolina, the setting for CYPHER, HONOR CODE and THE PROFESSOR, she now lives in Washington with her husband, children, several dogs and the resident deer herd.



Connie di Marco is the author of the Zodiac Mysteries featuring San Francisco astrologer, Julia Bonatti. The Madness of Mercury is the first in the series. Writing as Connie Archer, she is also the author of the Soup Lover’s Mysteries set in Vermont from Berkley Prime Crime. You can find her excerpts and recipes in The Cozy Cookbook and The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook.  Connie is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime and International Thriller Writers.



Julianne Holmes writes the Clock Shop Mystery Series for Berkley Prime Crime. What a thrill–a dream come true. Just Killing Time came out in October 2015 and was an Agatha Best FirstNovel nominee. The second book in the series, Clock and Dagger will be released in summer 2016, and Julie is working on book 3 now. She hopes readers enjoy meeting Ruth Clagan and following her adventures as much as she likes writing them.

When she had to chose a name to write the Clock Shop Mystery series under, it was a simple choice. She was the first grandchild on her mother’s side of the family. When her parents told her grandmother that they were thinking about naming her Julianne Holmes Hennrikus, her grandmother (a wonderful but formidable woman) told them the name was too long. She became Julie Anne instead. So Julianne Holmes is close to her heart, pays homage to her wonderful parents, and can be shortened to Julie easily.


As J.A. Hennrikus, her short story, “Tag, You’re Dead” was published in Level Best Book’s anthology Thin Ice. “Her Wish” is in Dead Calm. And “The Pendulum Swings, Until It Doesn’t” was published in Blood Moon. She is one of many authors who had their publishing debut via Level Best Books, and is forever grateful to the editors.


As Julie Hennrikus, she is the Executive Director of StageSource, a service organization for theater artists and companies in the greater Boston area. For her, theater is both her vocation and her avocation. She also teaches arts management classes at Emerson College.


She blogs with the wonderful Wicked Cozy Authors blog. These women are her friends, her blog mates, and her cheering squad. Stop by and visit them!

She tweets under @JulieHennrikus, and is on Pinterest and Instagram, and has a page on Facebook. She also blogs on Live to Write/Write to Live.


Vanessa Ryan is an actress in Southern California. She was born in California and graduated from UCLA. When not writing or acting, she enjoys painting and nature walks. Her paintings and sculptures are collected worldwide. At one point, she performed stand-up comedy, so her writing often reflects her love of humor, even for serious subjects. She lives with her cat Dezi, and among feral cats she has rescued.

She is the author of A BLUE MOON, an urban fantasy, HORROR AT THE LAKE, a vampire trilogy and A PALETTE FOR MURDER, a traditional cozy mystery.  

Horror At The Lake, A Vampire Tale (mystery trilogy), Permuted Press 2015

A Palette For Murder, A Lana Davis Mystery, Five Star Publishing, a part of Gale/Cengage Learning 2015


Six of Steve Liskow’s nine novels take place in the Greater Hartford area and focus on issues including teen trafficking on the Berlin Turnpike, a shooting at a public school and stalking at roller derby. The Kids Are All Right, the fourth in his series about Hartford PI Zach Barnes, was a finalist for the Shamus Award from the Private Eye Writers of America. He sets three other books in Michigan. Two feature Detroit detective and wannabe rock’n’roller Chris “Woody” Guthrie. 

His short stories have appeared in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine, and several anthologies. “Hot Sugar Blues” was a finalist for the Edgar Award for Best Short Story from the Mystery Writers of America, and “Stranglehold” won the Black Orchid Novella Award. 

A former actor, theatrical director, guitar player and English teacher, Steve now serves as a mentor and panelist for both Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. He also conducts workshops on writing fiction at several local libraries (check his website for details) and lives in Newington with his wife Barbara and two rescued cats.!/steveliskowcrimewriter




James M Jackson authors a series featuring the financial crimes expert Seamus McCree. ANT FARM (2015), prequel to BAD POLICY (2013) and CABIN FEVER (2014), won a Kindle Scout nomination. BAD POLICY won the Evan Marshall Fiction Makeover Contest whose criteria were the freshness and commerciality of the story and quality of the writing. DOUBTFUL RELATIONS (2016) is the fourth novel in the acclaimed series. 

On March 20, 2016, Seamus and his son Paddy, an ex-hacker now legitimate entrepreneur, will join Jim as we talk about incorporating the exploding world of financial and cybercrimes in your novels (without putting readers to sleep). Or heck, if people have questions about the Kindle Scout program, Jim can talk his experience as the 25th winner. 

Jim grew up in the greater Rochester, New York area, but now splits his time between the deep woods of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and the Lowcountry of Georgia. He is the president of the 600-member Guppy Chapter of Sisters in Crime, a professional member of the national Sisters in Crime, a member of the Short Fiction Mystery Society, and a member of the Upper Peninsula Publishers and Authors Association. 

In addition to his novels, he has published the critically acclaimed bridge book for intermediate players, ONE TRICK AT A TIME: How to start winning at bridge (2012) and numerous short stories and essays. 

You can find more information about Jim (including social media links) and his books (including purchase links) at  his website


Cheryl Hollon writes full-time after an engineering career designing and installing military flight simulators in England, Wales, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan, and India. Living her dream, she combines a love of writing with a passion for creating glass art in the small glass studio behind her house in St. Petersburg, Florida.



Mary Ellen Hughes is the best-selling author of eight cozy mysteries. Her latest, Scene of the Brine, continues her Pickled and Preserved mystery series, which is set in upstate New York and features the proprietor of a gourmet pickle shop who stumbles upon murder. The Richmond-Times Dispatch called her “a first-rate mysterian who specializes in homemade food and homemade homicide.”

A Maryland resident, Mary Ellen loves to work murder into idyllic, small towns. The fun, she finds, is in uncovering the hidden dark side in average-seeming people. But she also enjoys showing simple foibles—the kind that, over time, can get you thinking of murder.



Sarah Zettel is an author who wears many hats, and many names.  As Delia James, she writes cozy mysteries with a magic twist (and cats!).  As Darcie Wilde she writes romances and mysteries set in Regency era.  As C.L. Anderson and Sarah Zettel herself, she writes award winning science fiction and fantasy and young adult novels with both magic and mystery.  She lives in Michigan with her husband and son, and their cat Buffy the Vermin Slayer.  To find out more about Sarah and her books, visit



Like her fictional character Claudia Rose in the award-winning Forensic Handwriting Mysteries series, Sheila Lowe is a real-life forensic handwriting expert who testifies in court cases involving handwriting. The author of the acclaimed The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Handwriting Analysis, Handwriting of the Famous & Infamous, and Handwriting Analyzer software, she is president of the American Handwriting Analysis Foundation, a nonprofit organization that promotes education in the area of handwriting. Sheila holds a Master of Science in psychology and lectures around the country and in Canada and the UK. Her analyses of celebrity handwritings can often be seen in the media. INKSLINGERS BALL – on sale now



Award-winning novelist Suzanne Adair lives in Raleigh, North Carolina. Her mysteries transport readers to the Southern theater of the American Revolution, where she brings historic towns, battles, and people to life. She fuels her creativity with Revolutionary War reenacting and visits to historic sites. When she’s not writing, she enjoys cooking, dancing, hiking, and spending time with her family.

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Terry Shames writes the best-selling Samuel Craddock series, set in small-town Texas. A Killing at Cotton Hill won the Macavity for Best First Mystery, 2013. The Last Death of Jack Harbin was a Macavity finalist for Best Mystery, 2014, and  was named a top ten mystery of 2014 by Library Journal. Mystery People named Shames one of the top five Texas mystery writers of 2015. Her fifth Craddock mystery, The Necessary Murder of Nonie Blake launches January 2016. It is a Top Pick for January in RT Bookreviews.  



Maine author and speaker Lea Wait writes the Shadows Antique Print Mystery series and the Mainely Needlepoint series, the most recent of which, THREAD AND GONE, was just published. She also writes historical novels set in 19th century Maine for ages 8 and up. Her LIVING AND WRITING ON THE COAST OF MAINE, about what it's like to be a full-time author living in Maine, also contains advice for writers. She invites readers to read more about her and her books on her website,, to friend her on Facebook and Goodreads, and to read the blog she writes with other Maine mystery authors,



By day, Karina Fabian is a mild-mannered reviewer of business software and services for After hours, she’s a psychic intent on saving the world; a snarky dragon who thinks he saves the world all-too regularly, a zombie exterminator who just wants her world clear of undead vermin, and nuns whose callings have taken them off our world. Needless to say, her imagination is vast, her stories legion, and her brain crowded. When she’s not converting her wild tales to stories, she’s enjoying time with her husband, Rob, their four kids, and their two dogs.    


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