2016 Conference Presenters

Keynote Speakers

Robert J. Crane, the author of four multi-book series, began his writing career in 2011 and since has completed thirty-something novels, going full-time as a writer in 2012. He enjoys videogames, is a movie buff, and lives mostly in his own imagination. A recluse by nature, Robert vows that HRW's conference will be his only public appearance in 2016.

Robert's books, in reading order, include:

The Girl in the Box (SERIES COMPLETE)
1. Alone (FREE)
2. Untouched (FREE)
3. Soulless (FREE)
4. Family
5. Omega
6. Broken
7. Enemies
8. Legacy
9. Destiny
10. Power

Out of the Box - Sequel series to Girl in the Box
1. Limitless
2. In the Wind
3. Ruthless
4. Grounded
5. Tormented
6. Vengeful
7. Sea Change
8. Painkiller
9. Masks

Sanctuary Series:
1. Defender (FREE)
2. Avenger (FREE)
3. Champion (FREE)
4. Crusader
5. Sanctuary Tales, Volume One
6. Thy Father's Shadow
7. Master
8. Fated in Darkness
9. Warlord
10. Heretic
11. Legend

Southern Watch
1. Called (FREE)
2. Depths
3. Corrupted
4. Unearthed
5. Legion

New York Times and USA Today bestselling novelist Mary Burtonís work has been compared to the works of Steig Larson*, Lisa Gardner**, and Lisa Jackson***. Her latest books, Iíll Never Let You Go, Cover Your Eyes, and Be Afraid, all feature Nashvilleís pre-eminent law enforcement family, the Morgans. 2016ís Vulnerable completes the quartet.

The author of twenty-seven novels and five novellas, Mary is a member of International Thriller Writers, Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, Novelists, Inc., and Romance Writers of America. She also writes contemporary womenís fiction as Mary Ellen Taylor.

*Publishers Weekly, **Library Journal, ***Library Journal

Her published work includes:

Mystery, Thriller, Suspense Novels
Vulnerable --
Iíll Never Let You Go -- On Sale October 27, 2016
Be Afraid
Cover Your Eyes
Youíre Not Safe
No Escape
The Seventh Victim
Before She Dies
Dying Scream
Dead Ringer
Iím Watching

Romantic Suspense Novels
Cold Case Cop
Wise Moves
The Arsonist
In Dark Waters

Historical Romance Novels
The Tracker
Heart of the Storm
The Unexpected Wife
The Lightkeeperís Wife
Raffertyís Bride
The Perfect Wife
The Colorado Bride
A Bride for McCain

Our First Christmas
Silver Bells
A Season of the Heart
A Heroís Kiss
Christmas Gold

Literary Agents

Lucienne Diver joined The Knight Agency in 2008, after spending fifteen years at New York Cityís prestigious Spectrum Literary Agency. Over the course of her dynamic career, she has sold over seven hundred titles to every major publisher and has built a client list of more than forty authors spanning the commercial fiction genres, primarily in the areas of fantasy, science fiction, romance, romantica, suspense, and young adult. Her authors have been honored with the RITA, National Readersí Choice, Golden Heart, and Romantic Times Readerís Choice Awards and have appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists. Clients include such bestsellers as Rachel Caine, Chloe Neill, Faith Hunter, N.K. Jemisin, Ramez Naam, Christina Henry and many others.

Lucienne has superb industry knowledge, numerous editor relationships, and a keen understanding of the foreign rights market. She is a member of the Association of Authors Representatives, RWA, MWA, and SFWA.

Lucienne also is the author of the popular Vamped series of young adult novels and the Latter-Day Olympians urban fantasy series, the fifth of which, Blood Hunt, was released this past fall. Her short stories and essays have appeared in the Strip-Mauled and Fangs for the Mammaries anthologies edited by Esther Friesner (Baen Books), in Dear Bully: 70 Authors Tell Their Stories (HarperTeen), and in Kicking It edited by Faith Hunter and Kalayna Price (Roc Books).

Paul Stevens is an agent with the Donald Maass Literary Agency. Before joining DMLA, he worked as an editor for fifteen years, primarily at Tor Books, where he edited science fiction, fantasy, and mystery. Paul has worked with authors, such as Alex Bledsoe (The Hum and the Shiver), Marie Brennan (A Natural History of Dragons), Robert Brockway (The Unnoticeables), Tobias S. Buckell (Crystal Rain), Adam Christopher (Made to Kill), Hilary Davidson (The Damage Done), David Edison (The Waking Engine), Michael Livingston (The Shards of Heaven), A. Lee Martinez (Gilís All Fright Diner), and Patrick Taylor (An Irish Country Doctor).

During his time at Tor, he also managed Robert Jordanís The Wheel of Time and Brandon Sandersonís The Stormlight Archive.

Paul is an Ohio native and a graduate of the Ohio State University. He also grows carnivorous plants.

Paul is looking for science fiction, fantasy, mystery, suspense, and humor (both fiction and nonfiction). Heís looking for strong stories with interesting characters. Well-rounded LGBT characters and characters of color are a plus.

Eric Smith, an associate literary agent at P.S. Literary, has a love for young adult books, sci-fi, fantasy, and literary fiction. He began his publishing career at Quirk Books in Philadelphia, working with the social media and marketing of numerous books he absolutely adored. Eric completed his BA in English at Kean University and his MA in English at Arcadia University. Eric's ramblings about books appeared on BookRiot, The Huffington Post, and more. A published author with Quirk Books and Bloomsbury, he seeks to give his authors the same amount of love his writing has received, which is a lot.

Eric is eagerly acquiring fiction and nonfiction projects. Heís actively seeking out new, diverse voices in young adult (particularly sci-fi and fantasy), new adult, and literary and commercial Fiction (again, loves sci-fi and fantasy, but also thrillers and mysteries). In terms of nonfiction, heís interested in cookbooks, pop culture, humor, essay collections, and blog-to-book ideas. You can view his detailed manuscript wish list here.

Other Breakout Session Presenters


John Robert Mack studied writing in college, published the short story, "Jonny Hates Jazz," wrote a column, "Dancing The Rainbow," for two years in the regional Texas dance periodical, The Dancer's Guide, and has written and produced five plays (one on commission). His play Talking With Jacob won statewide recognition in Wisconsin. He produced an adaptation of the Ray Bradbury story, "The Better Part of Wisdom" with the author's input and blessing. He also self-published (before it was cool and edgy) a book called Keep Breathing: Zen and the Art of Social Dance. For the past twenty years, John has worked as a dance teacher. He has choreographed musicals like West Side Story and helped create and coach the original Radio Disney dance team in San Antonio, TX. He has a total of twelve completed novel manuscripts, six plays, and ten screenplays.

John's books include:
Tango Triptych Omnibus Collection (Nov 2015)
No Tengo Tango -- Vol 3 in the Tango Triptych (Oct 2015)
A Consequence of Folly -- Vol 1 in the Zen Bastard Adventures (May 2015)
The Gospel of John -- Vol 1 in the Third Testament series (May 2015)
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot -- Vol 2 in the Tango Triptich (July 2014)
Tango with a Twist -- Vol 1 in the Tango Triptych (July 2014)

RWA RITA award finalist Bria Quinlan writes books for young adults that take hard topics and make the readers laugh through their tears. Some people call them issue books. Some people call them romantic comedies. Bria calls them what-life-looks-like. Using the name Caitie Quinn, she also writes Diet-Coke-Snort-Worthy Romantic Comedies about what it's like to be a girl and deal with crap and still look for love. Bria is represented by Lauren Macleod of the Strothman Literary agency.

Bria's books include:
Brew Ha Ha Series:
It's in His Kiss, Short Prequel
The Last Single Girl, #1
Worth the Fall, #2
Love in Tune, #2.5
The Catching Kind, #3

RVHS Secrets Series:
Secret Girlfriend, #1
Secret Life, #2


USA TODAY bestselling author Jeannie Lin grew up fascinated with stories of Western epic fantasy and Eastern martial arts adventures. When her best friend introduced her to romance novels in middle school, the stage was set. Jeannie started writing her first book while working as a high school science teacher in South Central Los Angeles. Jeannie is known for writing groundbreaking historical romances set in Tang Dynasty China, starting with her Golden Heart award-winning debut, Butterfly Swords. Her Chinese historicals have received multiple awards and starred reviews in Publishers Weekly and Library Journal. She currently writes historical romance about Chinese warriors and scholars, courtesans, and swordswomen. She is also the author of the Gunpowder Chronicles, a steampunk series set during the Opium Wars.

Jeannie's books include:
The Pingkang Li Mysteries:
The Lotus Palace
The Jade Temptress (The Lotus Palace #2)

The Tang Dynasty Romances:
Butterfly Swords (#1)
The Dragon and the Pearl (#2)

My Fair Concubine (standalone)
The Rebels and Lovers series:
The Sword Dancer
A Dance With Danger

Charlotte Matthews is the author of three full-length collections of poetry, Still Enough to Be Dreaming, Green Stars, and Whistle What Canít Be Said. Her work has recently appeared in The American Poetry Review, Chautauqua, The Virginia Quarterly Review, The Mississippi Review, Ecotone, and The Greensboro Review. Her honors include fellowships from The Chatauqua Institute, The Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, and The Virginia Center for Creative Arts.

Luisa Igloria is the winner of the 2015 Resurgence Prize (UK) , the world's first major award for ecopoetry, selected by former UK poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion, Alice Oswald, and Jo Shapcott. She is the author of Bright as Mirrors Left in the Grass (Kudzu House Press eChapbook selection for Spring 2015), Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser (selected by Mark Doty for the 2014 May Swenson Prize, Utah State University Press), Night Willow (Phoenicia Publishing, Montreal, 2014), The Saints of Streets (University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, 2013), Juan Lunaís Revolver (2009 Ernest Sandeen Prize, University of Notre Dame Press), and nine other books. She teaches on the faculty of the MFA Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University, which she directed from 2009-2015.
Photo courtesy of Rich Joseph Facun

Rick Eley is an IT professional and author. He was using MS Word before the first Windows operating system existed. He writes mainly sci-fi, has been known to dabble in literary fiction and non-fiction from time to time, and is hard at work on a new novel. To avoid writing, he organizes the Tidewater Writers critique group and is a member of both Virginia Beach Writers and HRW. One of his short stories garnered an honorable mention in Issues in Science and Technology's first sci-fi contest.

Ginger Marcinkowski's debut novel, Run, River Currents, published in August 2012, was a semi-finalist in the ACFW Genesis Awards and a 2013 Kindle Book Award Finalist. It also won honorable mentions in other national awards and festivals. The Button Legacy, a novella, was published in June 2013, and was written as a prequel/sequel to Run, River Currents. The Button Legacy-Emily's Inheritance was published in the summer of 2014. She won the 2015 Arizona Mystery Writerís Contest and is in the revision stage of her first mystery. Ginger has been a public speaker and visiting lecturer for many years. She has been a professional reader for the James Jones First Novel Award ($10,000 prize) and was a judge for the ACFW's prestigious Genesis and Carol Awards. She is a member of the ACFW and AWP Writer's Associations, as well as a columnist for Book Fun Magazine

Lieutenant Michael Lovely, an active member of the Norfolk Police Department in Virginia, has many years of experience investigating violent crimes, including more than 500 robbery investigations and 42 bank robberies. A Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services Gang Specialist and General Instructor, he has been court certified as a gang expert and as an expert in suspect identification. He received specialized training in all aspects of criminal investigation, including crime scene forensics, blood spatter and analysis, and interview and interrogation. He is also a licensed polygraph examiner and is an appointed board member on the Commonwealth of Virginiaís Polygraph Advisory Board. During his career with the Norfolk Police Department, Sergeant Lovely has received the Distinguished Service Medal, multiple letters of commendation, Officer of the Year, and the departmentís highest award, the Medal of Honor. Lieutenant Lovely has also received the Commonwealth of Virginia Valor Award, Regional Law Enforcement Golden Gavel Award, Norfolk Crime Line Award, and letters of commendation from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Lieutenant Lovely earned a Bachelorís Degree in Criminal Justice and a Masterís Degree in Public Administration from Old Dominion University.

Gavin Pate's novel, The Way To Get Here, was published by Bootstrap Press. His other work can be found in The Collagist, The Southeast Review, Barrelhouse, Lantern Journal, and Rain Taxi, among others. He has an MFA in Writing and Poetics from Naropa University, where he studied with writers, such as Brian Evenson, Laird Hunt, and Anne Waldman. Gavin is currently an associate professor of English at Virginia Wesleyan College, where he teaches classes on fiction writing, experimental fiction, and the mystery and horror genres.

Shawn Girvan received his MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College. His work has been published in the Pitkin Review, and he has served as a guest editor for The Quotable. He started out as a film student in Nashville, writing and directing short films before moving to Chicago where he was a student and performer at the famed Second City and IO Theaters. He has also produced a critically acclaimed documentary film and has owned a wedding videography business. Currently, Shawn teaches Creative Nonfiction classes at the Muse Writers Center and is completing a memoir.


Michael Khandelwal is an award-winning writer and teacher. He contributes editorials, profiles, and feature articles to Coastal Virginia magazine, teaches poetry and fiction workshops for the Norfolk-area literary center, The Muse Writers Center (for which he is a founder and serves as Executive Director), is a past web content management specialist for The American Council on Education, and is the past President of the 2008 Electoral College of Virginia.

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