We’re sorry to let you know that author Stephan Pastis has cancelled his appearance this year due to an unexpected conflict, but we hope to host him in Vegas in the future!

  • Shannan Albright

    Shannan Albright

    Growing up she was the dreamer in her family, something not always thought of as a positive thing. As a child she would draw and build stories around her pictures, so writing was a natural extension for her.

    When not writing she spends her time between oil painting and reading. She favors writing paranormal, urban fantasy, time travel, and fantasy romances. She loves developing dark, edgy heroes and heroines who overcome impossible odds internal and external.

    She considers herself a “hopeful” romantic who believes in a healthy relationship built on respect and a strong partnership. For her, this is the key to a happy ever after.

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  • Chief Master Sergeant William J. Arcuri

    Chief Master Sergeant William J. Arcuri

    Chief Master Sergeant William J. Arcuri serves as the 99th Mission Support Group Superintendent, responsible for the assignment, training, education, readiness, and effective utilization of six squadrons encompassing 2,700 military, civilian and contractor personnel. This team of dedicated professionals provides force support, communications, engineering, contracting, logistics readiness and security functions to Nellis Air Force Base, Creech Air Force Base, and the Nellis Range Complex.

    Chief Arcuri grew up in York, Pennsylvania and entered the Air Force in September 1995. He has been stationed at locations in North Dakota, Italy, South Carolina, Republic of Korea, Portugal, Colorado, and Japan and was deployed five times to Southwest Asia in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation New Dawn, and Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa.

  • Literary Classics Book Awards

    Literary Classics Book Awards

    Literary Classics Book Awards was created by Taj Mahal Publishing Inc., a division of Wildflower Press and publishers of Mud Pie Parenting Magazine, a Midwestern publication. The Literary Classics review program was created to help authors gain recognition for their work and to help consumers find the best in literature for children and young adults.  Literary Classics and its subsidiaries have been providing book reviews since 2004.

    The following 2016 Literary Classics award winning authors will be attending the VVBF and will be performing readings from their award winning titles in conjunction with book signings to be held at the Literary Classics Tent:

    J. Everett Prewitt

    Dr. Bon Blossman

    Connie Huddleston

    Pat Frayne

    Nicole  Audet

    M.J. Evans

    Laurel Downing Bill

    Jackie Minniti

    Patricia Reding

    Susan Signe Morrison

    Jacqui Letran

    Gary Scogin

    Sarah Hill

    Sahana Kumar

    Brian Adams

    Nicole Henning

    William Jones

    Dr. Hoots

    Lorilyn Roberts

    Susan Doherty

  • Alexandra Berzon

    Alexandra Berzon

    Alexandra Berzon is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter in the Los Angeles bureau of The Wall Street Journal covering the gambling industries. Previously based in Las Vegas, Ms. Berzon wrote about energy, water, politics and workplace safety for the Las Vegas Sun. Her investigations into a spate of construction worker deaths on the Las Vegas Strip exposed lax enforcement of government regulations and won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service and other awards.

    Ms. Berzon was also part of a Journal team that won a Loeb Award for coverage of the Deepwater Horizon crisis. She and other graduate school classmates won a Polk Award for their radio series on early signs of global warming, which aired on PRI’s Living on Earth and American Public Media’s American RadioWorks.

    Ms. Berzon has made numerous appearances on conference panels and at other speaking engagements. She is a graduate of Vassar College and received a master’s degree in journalism from U.C. Berkeley.

  • Katherine Boo

    Katherine Boo

    Katherine Boo is a staff writer at The New Yorker and a former reporter and editor for The Washington Post. She learned to report at the alternative weekly, Washington City Paper, after which she worked as a writer and co-editor of The Washington Monthly magazine. Over the years, her reporting from disadvantaged communities has been awarded a Pulitzer Prize, a MacArthur “Genius” grant, and a National Magazine Award for Feature Writing. For the last decade, she has divided her time between the United States and India, the birthplace of her husband, Sunil Khilnani. This is her first book.


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  • Don Calame

    Don Calame

    Don Calame is an accomplished screenwriter and the award-winning author of four novels published by Candlewick Press, Swim the Fly (2009), Beat the Band (2011), Call the Shots (2013) and Dan Versus Nature (2016). Don has written screenplays for Universal Studios, Marvel Entertainment, Paramount Pictures, Lions Gate Entertainment, Village Roadshow Pictures and the Disney Channel. He was the screenwriter for Employee of the Month (Lions Gate Films, 2006) and Hounded (Gaylord Films/Disney Channel, 2001). In 2009, the film rights for Swim the Fly were optioned by Paramount Pictures and Don was hired to write the screenplay based on his novel.

    Don’s writing awards and nominations include the American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults, the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Book Award, the Nevada Young Reader’s Award, the Michigan Library Association Thumbs Up! Award, IndieBound Kids Next List, and the YALSA Popular Paperbacks Top Ten.

    Don Calame was born in New York and now lives in British Columbia.



  • Amy Rose Capetta

    Amy Rose Capetta

    Amy Rose Capetta is the author of a YA sci-fi duet published by HMH. Her first book, Entangled, is a punk rock space opera about Cade, a guitarist who finds out she’s connected on the subatomic level with a boy who’s galaxies away and in terrible danger. The second book, Unmade, follows Cade and her crew into a showdown with the Unmakers, who are hunting the last traces of the human race as Cade desperately seeks a place they can call home. Amy Rose’s third YA novel, coming out from Candlewick in 2017, is Kiss/Kill, a mystery set in the high-stakes New York theater world, where 18-year-old Zara Evans wins her dream role and the love of a brilliant young female lighting designer, only to find their happiness tested by a series of mysterious deaths in the theater. Amy Rose holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, as well as a theater degree from UC Santa Cruz. In addition to writing novels, she edits them and works with writers to develop their ideas through Yellow Bird Editors. She is also the co-founder of Rainbow Boxes, a charitable initiative which raised money to send a box of LGBTQIA YA books to a shelter or library in every state in the U.S. Amy Rose lives in Michigan. Her loves are baking, photography, science, and Shakespeare. If you’re trying to find her, just look for the girl with the shaved head and the camera.

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  • The Bushwick Book Club

    The Bushwick Book Club

    The Bushwick Book Club is a group of musicians dedicated to sharing their combined passion for both music and reading with the Seattle community and beyond. Using books that are either in a school’s curriculum or favorites among the young audiences, Bushwick creates vibrant music that brings the book alive in a unique way. Nate Bogopolsky and Geoff Larson present modern music styles that make music and books exciting. These performers bring over 20 years of professional music experience and 10 years of education background to the stage to lead audiences through the creation of their own songs inspired by a book.

    By producing these unique, one-of-a-kind musical literary events, Bushwick Book Club hopes to increase awareness in literature and song writing, while at the same time remind people (young and old) that reading can and should be a regular part of their daily lives.



  • Councilman Bob Coffin

    Councilman Bob Coffin

    Councilman Bob Coffin was elected to represent the City of Las Vegas Ward 3 on June 7, 2011, and was sworn into office on July 6, 2011, and was reelected in April 2015.

    Councilman Coffin’s commitment to Southern Nevada can be seen through his decades of public service. He was first elected in 1982 to the Nevada Assembly, where he served for two terms. He continued his public service in the Nevada State Senate, where he served 24 years. During that period, he served on many influential committees as a ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee as well as chairman of the Taxation Committee. On these committees he fought to balance budgets and cut unnecessary government spending.

    Fiscal responsibility is still his priority as he serves Ward 3 along with ensuring public safety, cleaning up older neighborhoods and bringing in new development.

    He has been recognized for his community service receiving dozens of awards during his career. Most recently, he was named Person of the Year by the Southern Nevada Chapter of the Professional Golfers Association and received the Charles Dick Medal of Honor Award from the United States National Guard. He has twice been honored by the Latin Chamber of Commerce with its Hispanic Citizen Award and Public Service Award.

    He continues his commitment to the public by serving on a number of boards and commissions including the Board of the Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame, Commission for the Las Vegas Centennial, Southern Nevada Regional Planning Coalition, the Southern Nevada Water Authority, Advisory Commission on Medical Marijuana and the Audit Oversight Committee. Councilman Coffin has a passion for reading and collects rare books.

  • Sondra Cosgrove

    Sondra Cosgrove

    Dr. Sondra Cosgrove is a 30-year resident of Las Vegas, Nevada, where she is a tenured history professor at the College of Southern Nevada. Sondra earned her Ph.D. from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, in 2004 with an emphasis in the U.S. West. She currently teaches a wide variety of courses; including U.S. Survey, Nevada History, Native American History, History of Mexico, Latin American History, and Latin American Studies. At CSN Sondra also Chairs the Native American Alliance and Co-Chairs the Women’s Alliance.

    Through both of the Alliances, Sondra facilitates events and programing that enhance the lives of CSN’s diverse faculty, staff, and student populations. One of the signature events Sondra organizes each year is a Status of Women symposium, which coincides with International Women’s Day. The 2016 Status of Women dual themes were combating violence against women and strategies for overcoming the effects of violence.

    Sondra’s civic activities include serving as the President of the League of Women Voters of Las Vegas Valley, the First Vice President of the League of Women Voters of Nevada, an ACLUNV board member, a City of Las Vegas Historic Preservation Commissioner, and a member of the Nevada Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.


  • Chris Crutcher

    Chris Crutcher

    For the past 30 year, author Chris Crutcher has specialized in realistic fiction inspired by his previous work as an educator and as a child and family therapist, specializing in abuse and neglect. Each of his 12 novels, two short story collections and his autobiography touch on the power of triumph and tragedy as we come of age.

    “I think the value of books like mine,” he said, “is their ability to bring dark subjects into the open where they are not so dark, where they can be talked about and considered by teens and adults alike.”

    Because they don’t shy away from the gritty realities of life, Crutcher’s novels are often challenged or banned across the nation – an action he battles unapologetically. His support for the First Amendment has garnered a number of national awards including the NCTE’s Intellectual Freedom Award and an honor from the National Coalition Against Censorship. The ALA also awarded him the Margaret A. Edwards Lifetime Achievement Award.

    Crutcher makes his home in Spokane, Washington where he continues to work as the Spokane Child Protection Team leader, as he has for more than three decades. He enjoys his family, swimming and speaking at schools and festivals around the world. For more about his work, visit www.chriscrutcher.com.

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  • Chuck Dean

    Chuck Dean

    Chuck Dean served in the U.S. Army and was one of the first 300 regular Army paratroopers to be deployed to the Vietnam War in 1965. As a result of that experience his voice, (through writing and lecturing), has been heard loud and clear over the decades regarding the transitional challenges experienced by returning veterans after wartime service.

    He is the author of several books including the bestsellers Nam Vet: Making Peace with Your Past, and Down Range: To Iraq and Back. His latest fiction novels Some Came Home, and Inside Shadows, are sharp depictions of the struggles and triumphs war veterans encounter when their war is over.

    In 2008 Chuck received the Hirsch Foundation Leadership Award. This prestigious award was presented by the Didi Hirsch Center in Los Angeles for his writing and work over the years with veterans and their families.

    Presently he lives in Las Vegas, NV and is a columnist for The Vegas Voice newspaper.

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  • Gabe Denning

    Gabe Denning

    Raised in Seattle and trained in Improv, Gabe learned storytelling in front of live audiences at Seattle Theatersports, Orlando Theatersports and Jet City Theater. His debut book Warlock Holmes: A Study in Brimstone is a comic-fantasy that feels like a sit-down-and-read-it theater scene. The sequel Warlock Holmes: Hell-Hound of the Baskervilles is due out from Titan Books May 16, 2017. He lives in Las Vegas with his wife and two daughters.


  • Sally Denton

    Sally Denton

    Sally Denton is an investigative reporter, author and historian who writes about the subjects others ignore — from a drug conspiracy in Kentucky to organized crime in Las Vegas; from corruption within the Mormon Church to the hidden history of Manifest Destiny; from one of America’s bitterest political campaigns to the powerful forges against Franklin D. Roosevelt. And, most recently, the inside story of the Bechtel family and the international empire they’ve controlled since the construction of Hoover Dam in the Nevada desert.

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  • Geoff Dyer

    Geoff Dyer

    Geoff Dyer’s many books include But Beautiful (winner of the Somerset Maugham Prize), Zona, Out of Sheer Rage, The Missing of the Somme, Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi and The Ongoing Moment (winner of the ICP Infinity Award for Writing on Photography). The essay collection Otherwise Known as the Human Condition won a National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism. His latest book is White Sands: Experiences from the Outside World. A recipient of a 2015 Windham Campbell Prize for non-fiction, he is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His books have been translated into twenty-four languages. He currently lives in Los Angeles where he is Writer in Residence at USC.


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  • Kelly Y. Folliard

    Kelly Y. Folliard

    Kelly Y. Folliard serves as the RP/6 Site Manager for the USO Las Vegas. The RP/6 program is operated out of Nellis Air Force Base. The USO Las Vegas RP/6 program was built in order to assist our service members as they transition out of the military. The program provides assistance with employment, education, VA benefits, legal assistance, family programs, wellness and volunteerism. By working one on one with clients and providing a concierge service, RP/6 is able to ensure that our service members are successful during their transition to civilian life.

    Prior to joining the USO, Mrs. Folliard held the position of Regional Chapter Field Officer for USA Cares, a national non-profit that assists military families in crisis. She remains on their Nevada Chapters Board of Directors. Mrs. Folliard is also a State of Nevada Certified Veterans Advocate and Co-Chairs the Southern Nevada Veterans Community Engagement Board.

  • CL Gaber

    CL Gaber

    CL Gaber is the author of ASCENDERS: High School for the Recently Departed and ASCENDERS: SKYPUNCH (Book Two). Book three in the saga ASCENDERS: TOMORROW will be released in early 2017. Discussions have started with a major comic book publisher for an Ascenders comic book series. A team is being assembled for a filmed entertainment project based upon Ascenders. In addition, Roger O’Donnell of the iconic rock band The Cure wrote original music for an Ascenders trailer that can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXfYGGeA3DI.

    CL is also a journalist writing about the film and television industry for The New York Times Syndicate. Her work can also be found in the Las Vegas Review-Journal among many other publications.

    Originally from Chicago, CL lives in Nevada with her husband Ron, bonus daughter Sabrina and two unruly dogs. You can reach her at CLGaber@yahoo.com.

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  • Trish Geran

    Trish Geran

    Trish Geran is an author of three books, a producer of two award-winning documentaries, a recognized activist for unjust issues that occur within the perimeters of the United States and an educator for the Clark County Department of Adult Education. She is a lecturer on topics concerning the history of Black residents and entertainers in Las Vegas, and teaches potential construction workers on test preparation. She is the Chairwoman of the F Street Coalition, a nationally recognized organization with a 100% success rate on matters protested and addressed thus far. Trish Geran is a native Las Vegan and a UNLV graduate.

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  • Mister G

    Mister G

    The 2015 Latin GRAMMY Award winner for Best Children’s Album, Mister G (Ben Gundersheimer) is one of the leading figures in the family music world. Called a “kid-friendly bilingual rock star” by The Washington Post and “irresistible” by People magazine, Mister G has been named one of the “Best Live Acts for Kids and Families.”

    His seven award-winning multicultural albums, including the Latin GRAMMY-winning CD, Los Animales, span genres from funk to folk, reggae to rock, bluegrass to bossa nova. Mister G’s dynamic, original music has won praise from The Boston Globe, Chicago SunTimes, New York Post, and Parents magazine.

    Recipient of the first songwriting scholarship in the history of Berklee College of Music, Ben had a 20-year career as an award-winning artist performing for adults, before earning a Master’s in Education and focusing on writing and touring for children and families.

    Mister G has released two award-winning albums on the topic of reading and literacy, ABC Fiesta (Spanish/English bilingual); and The Bossy E, and some of his songs are currently being turned into children’s books. 



  • Elizabeth Isadora Gold

    Elizabeth Isadora Gold

    Elizabeth Isadora Gold’s writing about motherhood, books, music, and feminism has appeared in The New York Times, The Believer, Tin House, The Rumpus, Time Out New York, and many other publications. Her piece about her postpartum anxiety, “Meltdown in Motherland,” was featured on the New York Times Opinionator blog. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and young daughter. Please visit her at www.elizabethisadoragold.com.


  • Michael Green

    Michael Green

    Michael Green is an associate professor of history at UNLV. He is the author of several books about Nevada and Las Vegas, including Nevada: A History of the Silver State, published in 2015; the first completely new Nevada history text in 25 years, it was a Choice selection as an outstanding academic title. He also is the co-author of Las Vegas: A Centennial History. He also has written several books on the Civil War era, most recently Lincoln and the Election of 1860. He is now writing a history of organized crime in America and a book on Lincoln and Native Americans. He is the writer of “Nevada Yesterdays,” which airs on KNPR, and columns for Vegas Seven and Nevada’s Washington Watch. He is a member of the Board of Directors of The Mob Museum.

  • Brian Greenspun

    Brian Greenspun

    Brian Greenspun is the Publisher and Editor of the Las Vegas Sun. He is also Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Greenspun Media Group. Mr. Greenspun has been appointed to two Presidential Commissions. In the early 1990s, he was appointed by President Bill Clinton to the White House Commission on Small Business. In December 2014, he was appointed by President Barack Obama to the Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad. He is a director of the Barrick Gold Corporation and is a Trustee of The Brookings Institution, the University of Nevada Las Vegas Foundation and the Simon Wiesenthal Museum of Tolerance. He is active in numerous civic and charitable organizations in the Las Vegas community. Mr. Greenspun holds a law degree and undergraduate degree from Georgetown University.

  • Mary Guinan

    Mary Guinan

    Mary Guinan, PhD, MD, was the founding dean of the School of Community Health Sciences at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and is now professor emerita. She was the first woman to serve as the chief scientific advisor to the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Anne D. Mather was the managing editor of the CDC newsletter, the MMWR, during the years when smallpox was eradicated and AIDS was discovered.


  • Nathan Hale

    Nathan Hale

    Nathan Hale is the #1 New York Times bestselling author and illustrator of the Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales series, which includes One Dead Spy; Donner Dinner Party; Treaties, Trenches, Mud and Blood; Big Bad Ironclad!; and The Underground Abductor, one of which earned a place on the Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List. He also illustrated the graphic novel Rapunzel’s Revenge, which was a TODAY show “Al’s Book Club for Kids” selection, an ALA-ALSC Notable Children’s Book, and a YALSA Great Graphic Novel for Teens, as well as the recipient of three starred reviews. Nathan lives in Provo, Utah.



  • Drex Heikes

    Drex Heikes

    As deputy managing editor of the Las Vegas Sun, Drex Heikes shared in the 2009 Pulitzer Prize gold medal for public service, working alongside reporter Ali Berzon, Managing Editor Mike Kelley and editorial writer Matt Hufman. He and Berzon also won the Scripps Howard Public Service reporting award in 2009.

    Heikes started at the Sun in 2005 after 18 years as an editor and writer at the Los Angeles Times. His tenure included six years in the newspaper’s Washington Bureau supervising coverage of foreign affairs and the Supreme Court. He worked seven years as executive editor of the Times Sunday magazine. In September 2001, the Times temporarily reassigned him from the magazine to the New York Bureau to run coverage by 33 reporters and photographers assigned to the 9/11 attacks.

    He returned to the Times six years ago only to leave again this spring to build and run an investigative reporting team for the fast-growing consumer finance website NerdWallet. His early career included reporting or editing for daily newspapers in New York, Alaska and central California. He has shared in three Pulitzer Prizes awarded to the staff of the Los Angeles Times and has edited four projects that were finalists for the award.

  • Matt Hufman

    Matt Hufman

    Over the past 25 years, journalist Matt Hufman has been a writer, editor, and newsroom leader, working in small and large markets on the West Coast, including Aberdeen, WA, and Los Angeles. He has covered a range of subjects from sports to politics, and jobs have included editing a daily newspaper and serving as a college journalism instructor. He spent 13 years at the Las Vegas Sun, serving as metro editor, associate managing editor, editorial writer, and editor of the editorial and opinion pages. In 2009, he was part of the Las Vegas Sun’s team that won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, having written and reported a series of in-depth editorials about problems with workplace safety oversight. Hufman is a past president of the Nevada Press Association, was a founding officer of the Nevada Freedom of Information Coalition, and served on several college journalism advisory boards. He is also a credentialed minister and has served in a variety of ministry situations, including in a correctional facility. He, his wife and family live in Springfield, MO, where he is pursuing a master’s degree of divinity.

  • Amy Ignatow

    Amy Ignatow

    Amy Ignatow is the author/illustrator of the acclaimed series The Popularity Papers. Amy’s latest series, THE MiGHTY ODDS is the first installment in a new series about a diverse crew of middle school kids who develop very limited superhero powers after a strange accident and manage to become unlikely friends on the adventure of a lifetime.

    She is a graduate of Moore College of Art and Design and lives in Philadelphia with her husband and their children.


  • Eloisa James

    Eloisa James

    Eloisa James, author of My American Duchess, is a Shakespeare professor at Fordham University and a New York Times bestselling author of historical romance novels.  A reviewer from USA Today wrote of Eloisa’s very first book that she “found herself devouring the book like a dieter with a Hershey bar”; later People Magazine raved that “romance writing does not get much better than this.” She also published a memoir about the year her family moved to France, the bestseller Paris in Love, written, as the Chicago Tribune wrote, with “a dry sense of wit and an elegant sense of style.” Her academic work has been published by Oxford University Press, and Eloisa points with particular pride to the year in which she appeared on the plenary panel of the Shakespeare Association of America’s conference and gave a keynote at the Romance Writers America conference. She’s also the mother of two children and, in a particularly delicious irony for a romance writer, is married to a genuine Italian knight.


  • Adam Johnson

    Adam Johnson

    Adam Johnson is Associate Professor of English with emphasis in creative writing at Stanford University. A Whiting Writers’ Award winner, his work has appeared in EsquireHarper’s, Playboy, GQ, Paris Review, Granta, Tin House, The New York Times and Best American Short Stories. He is the author of Emporium, a short-story collection, and the novel Parasites Like Us. His books have been translated into twenty-three languages. Johnson was a 2010 National Endowment for the Arts Fellow. His novel The Orphan Master’s Son was published in 2012 by Random House and received the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in fiction. He also has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for 2013-14. At Stanford Since: 1999.


  • Craig Johnson

    Craig Johnson

    Craig Johnson is the author of eight novels in the Walt Longmire mystery series, which has garnered popular and critical acclaim. The Cold Dish was a Dilys Award finalist and the French edition won Le Prix du Polar Nouvel Observateur/BibliObs. Death Without Company, the Wyoming State Historical Association’s Book of the Year, won France’s Le Prix 813.

    Another Man’s Moccasins was the Western Writers of America’s Spur Award winner and the Mountains & Plains Independent Bookseller’s Book of the Year, and The Dark Horse, the fifth in the series, was Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year.

    Junkyard Dogs won the Watson Award for a mystery novel with the best sidekick, and Hell is Empty, selected by Library Journal as the Best Mystery of the Year, was a New York Times best seller, as was As the Crow Flies.

    The Walt Longmire series is the basis for the hit A&E drama, Longmire, starring Robert Taylor, Lou Diamond Phillips, and Katee Sackoff. Johnson lives in Ucross, Wyoming, population 25.


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  • L.A. Jones

    L.A. Jones

    L.A. Jones wears many “hats”: public relations professional, award-winning writer and public speaker, and now a published author of her children’s poem, “Heavens! It’s Raining Cats and Dogs.” She is near completing the final edits of her debut historical fiction novel, My Interview with Beethoven, the story of a young Virginia news reporter who interviews Beethoven because he was told that Beethoven is his natural father.

    When she was a child, L.A.’s musician father worked at a music store in Burbank, CA. One night, he brought home an orphaned LP without a sleeve:  Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto in G Major. No sooner had he given it to her when she put it on the record player. The music — complex, lush, even cinematic — won over her child’s imagination. Her fascination of and love for Beethoven’s music has lived with her ever since.

    A member of the American Beethoven Society, L.A. had invested years in researching Beethoven’s biographies and his music, as well as walking in his footsteps in Austria. Beethoven has inspired so much good in her life. Through My Interview with Beethoven, she writes to pay the inspiration forward to her readers.


  • Katherine Keller

    Katherine Keller

    A native of the desert southwest, Katherine Keller came to Las Vegas in 1994 to attend UNLV and has never left academia. She currently works at UNLV’s Teacher Development & Resources Library, where she is the graphic novel guru. She is married to Ralph Mathieu, owner of Alternate Reality Comics. Her love of comics and pop-culture lead to her co-founding the long-running independent webzine Sequential Tart.  As a long-time member of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, she is passionate about intellectual freedom and comic books.

  • Michael J. Kelley

    Michael J. Kelley

    Michael J. Kelley was born and raised in Kansas City, MO. Having started as a copy boy, he became a reporter for The Kansas City Times, the morning paper owned by The Kansas City Star, while still a teenager. When he was 24 he was named the political writer for both The Times and The Star. Later, he was press secretary in Washington, DC for Missouri U.S. Senator Thomas F. Eagleton for seven years, developed a chain of Swensen’s ice cream restaurants in Kansas City, and participated in the cleanup of the mob-influenced Teamsters Central States Health and Welfare and Pension Funds in Chicago. He returned to journalism in 1987 as editor of the Daily Southtown in the south Chicago suburbs, turning that newspaper from 12,000 to 70,000 circulation in nine years and seeing it win 378 journalism awards. From 1997 through 2009 he was managing editor of the Las Vegas Sun, leading it to hundreds more journalism awards, including 74 national and regional awards, culminating in the 2009 Gold Medal Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. He is retired and lives, with his wife, in Kansas City.

  • Andrew Kirk

    Andrew Kirk

    Andrew Kirk (Ph.D., University of New Mexico) is Professor of Environmental History and Public History Program Director in the Department of History at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. He is author of books and articles on environmental history, environmental culture, and the U.S. West including, Counterculture Green: The Whole Earth Catalog and American Environmentalism and co-author of Oxford’s American Horizons: U.S. History in a Global Context. He served as the Co-Principal Investigator on the award-winning Nevada Test Site Oral History Project.

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  • Gregory A. Kompes

    Gregory A. Kompes

    Gregory A. Kompes (MFA, MS Ed.) has authored a dozen books (gay-contemporary fiction, sci-fi, poetry, flash fiction, and metaphysical nonfiction), contributed to over a dozen anthologies (including Chicken Soup for the Soul: What I Learned from the Dog and Chicken Soup for the Soul: Joy of Christmas), and written hundreds of published articles on a wide range of topics. Gregory is President of the Henderson Writers’ Group (host of the annual Las Vegas Writer’s Conference) and teaches a popular Fiction Through Prompts workshop (funded by the Nevada Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts) for the James L. Gibson Library, Henderson, NV.

    Learn more at www.Kompes.com

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  • Norm Kresge

    Norm Kresge

    Norm Kresge has been hiking at Red Rock Canyon since the Fall 2001 and volunteering with Friends of Red Rock Canyon since 2002, working at the Information Desk in the Visitor Center, with the Tortoise Team and with Cultural Resources. Norm has co-edited the Friends newsletter and now writes a column about Red Rock Canyon hikes for the Rock magazine. As a volunteer for the National Park Service, he spent a year and a half working on an abandoned mines identification project.

    Norm wrote Seekers, Saints & Scoundrels:  The Colorful Characters of Red Rock Canyon with co-authors Chuck Williams, Linda McCollum, Dan Wray, Cam Camburn, Crystalaura Jackson and Sharon Schaaf. The Association of Partners of Public Lands (a group of nonprofit organizations working together to benefit public lands) awarded the book their Honorable Mention-Best New Publication. Additionally, the Daughters of the American Revolution gave Seekers, Saints & Scoundrels the Historic Preservation Recognition Award for excellent volunteer work in historic preservation (for researching, writing and publishing the book).

    Norm has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics and a Certificate of Advanced Study for New York State Public School Administration. He served as a teacher and principal in Whitney Point, New York for 33 years.

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  • QT Luong

    QT Luong

    QT Luong celebrates the splendor and variety of the natural and human heritage with his photography. He has been privileged to travel through an immense geographic range, from the top of the coldest mountain on earth to under tropical seas. He has been called “today’s leading photographer of America’s National Parks” as well as a “Modern Master.”

    Born to Vietnamese parents in Paris, France, he was trained as a scientist (PhD U. Paris). The revelation of the high Alps led him to become a mountain climber and wilderness guide. When he came to the U.S. to conduct research in the fields of Artificial Intelligence and Image Processing for what was to be a short stay, he chose UC Berkeley, because of the proximity to Yosemite – a world-class rock climbing destination.

    There, he fell in love with the National Parks and decided to photograph all of them with a 5×7 large format camera, a single-handed, self-financed, monumental project that had not been completed by anyone before. To that effect, he settled in the San Francisco Bay area and started crisscrossing this country to capture its diverse beauty. QT’s in-depth coverage of the Parks often dictated long hikes into the backcountry, with a 75-pound backpack, and only his passion and dedication to keep him company. By 2002, he had visited each of the 58 National Parks. He subsequently left his distinguished career as a scientist to work as a full-time photographer. In 2009, Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan featured him as one of the few living characters in his film “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea.”

    Photo Credit for Headshot: Buddy Squires

  • Cori McCarthy

    Cori McCarthy

    Cori McCarthy studied screenwriting and poetry before earning an MFA in Writing For Children & Young Adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts. She is the author of four YA novels. Kirkus called her debut science fiction novel, The Color of Rain (Running Press, 2013), “…an elegantly written and emotionally cathartic page-turner.” Her second novel, Breaking Sky (Sourcebooks, 2015), earned starred reviews from School Library Journal and Bulletin For the Center of Children’s Books and is in development to become a movie at Sony Pictures. Her third novel, You Were Here (Sourcebooks, 2016), is a mixed format contemporary story told through prose, word art poetry, and graphic novel chapters. You Were Here earned starred reviews from Bulletin For the Center of Children’s Books and Voices of Young Adult. Her fourth novel, Now A Major Motion Picture is forthcoming from Sourcebooks Fire in 2017. The story is about a girl who gets caught up in the film adaptation of her grandmother’s famed high fantasy trilogy. Cori is the cofounder of Rainbow Boxes, a charitable initiative that raised over $15,000 last year to send LGBTQIA fiction to community libraries and support shelters. From a military family, Cori lived a little bit of everywhere before she landed in the Midwest. In her spare time, she edits books for Yellow Bird Editors, plays guitar, writes poetry, and wrangles her four-year-old son Maverick.


  • Megan McDonald

    Megan McDonald

    Megan McDonald is the creator of the popular and award-winning Judy Moody and Stink series. She is also the author of three Sisters Club stories, two books about Ant and Honey Bee, and many other books for children. She lives in Sebastopol, California.


  • Kory Merritt

    Kory Merritt

    Kory Merritt started cartooning and illustrating while attending SUNY Brockport. He is the winner of a John Locher Memorial Award for Cartooning for his weekly comic strip Brockport Chronicled; the creator of the online comic, Lost Side of Suburbia; and co-creator of Poptropica comics and illustrator of the New York Times bestselling Poptropica graphic novel series. His first book is The Dreadful Fate of Jonathan York. Merritt teaches art for K–6 in Hammondsport, New York.


  • Greg Blake Miller

    Greg Blake Miller

    Greg Blake Miller, Ph.D., is a visiting assistant professor of narrative media at UNLV’s Hank Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies. Raised in Las Vegas, Miller has written extensively about the city’s history and civic identity, and was named Nevada’s Outstanding Journalist in 2011. He served as editor of Vegas Seven from 2010-14, helping lead the magazine to 95 state and regional awards, including Nevada’s General Excellence Award, in its first four years of publication. Miller is the author of the short-story collection Decemberlands, as well as the story producer for director Kerry Candaele’s award-winning documentary film Following the Ninth: In the Footsteps of Beethoven’s Final Symphony and the forthcoming Love & Justice: In the Footsteps of Beethoven’s Rebel Opera. As director of Olympian Creative Education, Miller mentors creative professionals and aspiring storytellers across the Southwest.

  • Doug Mishler

    Doug Mishler

    For over 20 years, Doug has been nationally recognized for bringing “history to life.” In addition to Nikita Khrushchev, Doug has presented figures from Jack Warner and Ernie Pyle to his first P. T. Barnum. He has made literally hundreds of first-person presentations as those above as well as Theodore Roosevelt, Stonewall Jackson, Henry Ford and 14 other historical figures. The voices in his head keep him busy, but he also makes time to direct and act and just started his own theatre company, all the while teaching history at the University of Nevada. Like his idol Teddy Roosevelt, Doug believes there is still plenty of time to grow up and get a “real job” — but later!

  • David J. Morris

    David J. Morris

    David J. Morris is a former Marine infantry officer. From 2004 to 2007 he worked as a reporter in Iraq. His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Virginia Quarterly Review and Best American Nonrequired Reading. His most recent book The Evil Hours: A Biography of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) explores the rich scientific, literary and cultural history of PTSD. It was a finalist for the L.A. Times Book Prize and was described by the Times of London as “the most important book on the subject to come out in this century.” A recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, he is currently the Eleanor Kagi Foundation Fellow in Literature and Medicine at UNLV’s Black Mountain Institute.



  • DISCOVERY Children’s Museum

    DISCOVERY Children’s Museum

    DISCOVERY Children’s Museum presents: Are My Eyes Playing Tricks?

    Experience some cool optical illusions, learn how the brain and eyes work together to allow us to “see.” This experience will definitely make you question whether you saw what you thought you saw.

    The mission of DISCOVERY Children’s Museum is to provide a vibrant and engaging experience, through exhibits and programs, where children from economically and culturally diverse backgrounds actively participate in playful learning experiences that ignite a love of lifelong learning.


  • Jim Nisbet

    Jim Nisbet

    Born in North Carolina in 1947, Jim Nisbet has published twenty books, including 13 novels, 6 volumes of poetry, and one non-fiction title, as well as a pair of “audio narratives”. He has also designed and built “retro-futuristic” furniture, theaters, post-production film, video and audio studios, and all kinds of cabinetry and buildings. He’s lived in San Francisco for 43 years and is often to be found sailing the bay with his dog in a 1948 28’ Herreshoff wooden ketch, maintained pretty much by himself.

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  • Chris Pavone

    Chris Pavone

    Chris Pavone is author of three national-bestselling thrillers: The Expats, which won both the Edgar and Anthony awards for best first novel, was translated into 20 languages, and is being developed by CBS Films; The Accident, another New York Times bestseller, about which Stephen King said, “If you like real nail-biters, this is the best one so far this year”; and most recently The Travelers, an IndieNext pick and bestseller that has been optioned by DreamWorks.

    Chris grew up in Brooklyn, graduated from Midwood High School and Cornell University, and worked in publishing for nearly two decades, mostly as a book editor (for a long time with cookbooks); he also wrote a (mostly blank) book about wine, and ghost-wrote a couple of books. Then his wife got a job in Luxembourg, and the family moved abroad, where Chris raised their twin boys and started writing The Expats. Now they all live back in New York City and on the North Fork of Long Island, with a Labradoodle named Wally.


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  • Mary Penney

    Mary Penney

    Mary Penney thinks eleven-year-olds ought to be given special medals for surviving one of the toughest years of childhood. She feels certain she ate her body weight in peanut M&M’s that year just to cope. She says that when she was eleven-and-a-half, she began shape-shifting from a reasonable-looking child to an awkward creature with arms, legs, ears, and teeth all pointing in different directions. She wants you all to know that awkward stage passes eventually and very cool things happen next. Just hang on!

    She is a US Army veteran and has recently retired from a career at the Department of Veteran Affairs. Mary lives in Santa Barbara with her four-legged children who love to sleep, play practical jokes, and throw up hairballs. Mary loves to swim (badly), practice yoga (stiffly), and walk (into lots of things). Despite all that, she is deeply grateful for all her Irish good luck, and especially for being able to write novels for kids.


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  • Jo Perry

    Jo Perry

    Jo Perry earned a Ph.D. in English, taught college literature and writing, produced and wrote episodic television, and has published articles, book reviews, and poetry. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, novelist Thomas Perry. They have two adult children. Their two cats and two dogs are rescues.

    Dead Is Better, a dark mystery, her first novel, was published in 2015 and then republished in 2016 by Fahrenheit Press. The sequel, Dead is Best, was published in spring 2016 by Fahrenheit Press.


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  • Thomas Perry

    Thomas Perry

    Thomas Perry is the author of 24 novels including the Jane Whitefield series (Vanishing Act, Dance for the Dead, Shadow Woman, The Face Changers, Blood Money, Runner, Poison Flower, and String of Beads), Death Benefits, and Pursuit, the first recipient of the Gumshoe Award for best novel.

    He won the Edgar for The Butcher’s Boy, and Metzger’s Dog was a New York Times Notable Book. The Independent Mystery Booksellers’ Association included Vanishing Act in its “100 Favorite Mysteries of the 20th Century,” and Nightlife was a New York Times bestseller.

    Metzger’s Dog was voted one of NPR’s 100 Killer Thrillers–Best Thrillers Ever. Strip was chosen as a New York Times Notable Crime Book for 2010, and The Informant was a New York Times Notable Crime Book for 2011 and won the Barry Award for Best Thriller, 2011. Poison Flower was chosen among Booklist’s Best Crime Novels of 2013.His latest novel, Forty Thieves, was named one of Booklists Best Crime Novels of 2016 and was a Strand Magazine Critics’ Choice Nominee. The Old Man, Perry’s 24th novel, will be published in January 2017.


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  • Selina Alko & Sean Qualls

    Selina Alko & Sean Qualls

    Selina Alko is the author and illustrator of several acclaimed books for children, including Daddy Christmas & Hanukka Mama and B is for Brooklyn. Sean Qualls has illustrated many celebrated books for children, including Giant Steps to Change the World by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee, Little Cloud and Lady Wind by Toni Morrison and her son Slade, Dizzy by Jonah Winter, and Before John was a Jazz Giant by Carole Boston Weatherford, for which Sean received a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor. The couple lives in Brooklyn, New York, with their two children.  http://www.selinaalko.com/ http://seanqualls.com/

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  • Michelle C. Reilly

    Michelle C. Reilly

    Michelle C. Reilly is a single mom of two wonderful boys. She spent 10 years in the U.S. Navy as a Hospital Corpsman Preventive Medicine Technician, which meant she was actually attached to or stationed with the U.S. Marine Corps. She has a Masters in Science in Public Health, but she is generally an IT geek and a geek of many other things as well. She currently resides in Las Vegas, NV, with her two cats, Meowdy and Moose.

    She’s the author of The Anathergians Saga, science-fiction/paranormal romance and suspense stories that revolve around the alien species who landed on Earth over five thousand years ago.

    Make sure to visit her website www.michellecreilly.com for more information about her and her upcoming books.


  • Clinton L. Romesha

    Clinton L. Romesha

    Former Staff Sergeant Clinton L. Romesha enlisted in the Army in 1999. He deployed twice to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and once to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. At the time of the deadly attack on Combat Outpost (COP) Keating on Oct. 3, 2009, Staff Sgt. Romesha was assigned as a section leader for Bravo Troop, 3-61st Cavalry, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. He is the recipient of numerous awards and decorations, including the Medal of Honor, which has been received by only 12 others for the heroism they displayed while serving in Iraq or Afghanistan. Romesha separated from the Army in 2011. He lives with his family in North Dakota.


  • Stephen Savage

    Stephen Savage

    Stephen Savage is the acclaimed author and illustrator of many books for children including the first walrus story, Where’s Walrus?, named a best book of the year by Publishers WeeklyKirkus ReviewsHorn Book, and the Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books. He is also the illustrator of the New York Times bestselling picture book Polar Bear Night, which was named a New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book. When Stephen is not on the run, he lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife and daughter.

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  • Sharon Schaaf

    Sharon Schaaf

    Sharon Schaaf has been an active member of Friends of Red Rock Canyon since 2009, serving with the Tortoise Habitat, Landscape and Canyon Clean-Up Teams. She is on the editorial team for the Rock magazine and serves as its articles editor and columnist.

    Sharon wrote Seekers, Saints & Scoundrels:  The Colorful Characters of Red Rock Canyon with co-authors Chuck Williams, Linda McCollum, Dan Wray, Cam Camburn, Crystalaura Jackson, and Norm Kresge.

    A Michigan native, she has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Michigan, Dearborn. Sharon taught in Las Vegas for 11 years before retiring and enjoyed sharing her love for reading and writing with second and third grade students.

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  • Stacy Schiff

    Stacy Schiff

    Stacy Schiff is the author of Véra (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov), winner of the Pulitzer Prize; Saint-Exupéry, a Pulitzer Prize finalist; and A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America, winner of the George Washington Book Prize, the Ambassador Award in American Studies, and the Gilbert Chinard Prize of the Institute Français d’Amérique. All three were New York Times Notable Books; the Los Angeles Times Book Review, the Chicago Tribune, and The Economist also named A Great Improvisation a Best Book of the Year.

    Her fourth book, Cleopatra: A Life, was published to great acclaim in 2010. As the Wall Street Journal‘s reviewer put it, “Schiff does a rare thing: She gives us a book we’d miss if it didn’t exist.” The New Yorker termed the book “a work of literature;” Simon Winchester predicted “it will become a classic.” Ron Chernow may explain why: “Even if forced to at gunpoint, Stacy Schiff would be incapable of writing a dull page or a lame sentence.” Cleopatra appeared on most year-end best books lists, including the New York Times‘s Top Ten Books of 2010, and won the PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for biography. A #1 bestseller, it was translated into 30 languages. Little, Brown published The Witches: Salem, 1692, in 2015. The New York Times hailed it as “an almost novelistic, thriller-like narrative.” David McCullough declared the book—also a #1 bestseller—”brilliant from start to finish.”

    Schiff has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities and was a Director’s Fellow at the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library. She was awarded a 2006 Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2011 she was named a Library Lion by the New York Public Library. Schiff has written for The New Yorker, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and the Boston Globe, among other publications. She lives in New York City.


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  • Eliot Schrefer

    Eliot Schrefer

    Eliot Schrefer is the author of Threatened, a 2014 National Book Award finalist in Young People’s Literature, and Endangered (2012), also a National Book Award Finalist. He is also the author of The Deadly Sister, The School for Dangerous Girls, Glamorous Disasters, and The New Kid. Schrefer is a contributor to The Huffington Post and has been profiled in Newsweek and New York magazine among other publications. He lives in New York City. Visit him online at http://www.eliotschrefer.com/ and on Twitter @EliotSchrefer.

    About this new book, RESCUED

    Two-time National Book Award finalist Eliot Schrefer captivates readers with Rescued, the first of his Great Ape books to be set in the United States. In Rescued, John’s father travels extensively for work, often far from their suburban home. After one such trip, he brings John an exotic pet: an adorable baby orangutan. John and the playful ape (named Raja) quickly become inseparable. But as Raja ages, he gets stronger, less cuddly, and the family relegates him to a backyard shed. When John’s parents separate, his father sells the ape to a shady roadside zoo owner. John won’t let his pal live in horrible captivity and plans to smuggle the orangutan back to Indonesia. But can John rescue Raja or will their journey lead them both into even more danger?


  • Geoff Schumacher

    Geoff Schumacher

    As the director of content for the Mob Museum in Las Vegas, Geoff Schumacher creates exhibits, acquires artifacts, develops public and educational programs, and serves as a historical source for local, national and international media outlets. Before joining the museum in 2014, Schumacher was a journalist for 25 years. He was a reporter and city editor for the Las Vegas Sun, editor of Las Vegas CityLife and the Las Vegas Mercury, and director of community publications and a weekly columnist for the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He culminated his newspaper career as publisher of the Ames (Iowa) Tribune. He is the author of Sun, Sin & Suburbia: The History of Modern Las Vegas and Howard Hughes: Power, Paranoia & Palace Intrigue. He also has edited more than 20 books, including Nevada: 150 Years in the Silver State, the official publication of the state’s sesquicentennial. Vegas Seven magazine recognized Schumacher in its 2016 Best of the City edition for his dedication to Las Vegas history.


  • The Fabulous Las Vegas Scribes

    The Fabulous Las Vegas Scribes

    The Fabulous Las Vegas Scribes is a calligraphy and paper arts society that fosters an atmosphere of creativity, support, sharing, and inspiration for all members. The Scribes will present two sessions at the book festival:  Techniques for Creative and Beautiful Lettering and Explore Creative Book Arts. Seating is limited.

    For more information about the Fabulous Las Vegas Scribes, visit http://fabulouslvscribes.weebly.com/

  • Frank Shankwitz

    Frank Shankwitz

    Frank Shankwitz is best known as the creator and a founder of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, an extraordinary charity that grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses. From humble beginnings, the Make-A-Wish Foundation is now a global organization that grants a child’s wish somewhere in the world on an average of every 28 minutes. Frank is a U.S. Air Force veteran and has a long and distinguished career in law enforcement. He began as an Arizona Highway Patrol Motorcycle Officer, and retired as a Homicide Detective with the Arizona Department of Public Safety, with 42 years of service. Frank has been featured in numerous publications and television shows and received several awards, including the White House Call to Service Award from President George W. Bush. In 2015, Frank joined six U.S. Presidents, as well as Nobel Prize winners and industry leaders as a recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. In December 2015, Frank was presented with an Honorary Doctorate Degree, Doctor of Public Service, from The Ohio State University. On December 30, 2015, Frank was identified as one of the “10 Most Amazing Arizonans” in a front-page article in the Arizona Republic newspaper. On January 5, 2016, Frank was identified in a Forbes Magazine article as a Top Ten Keynote Speaker. Frank’s life story will soon be featured in the upcoming Universal Studio’s motion picture, An American Hero. Further information is available on Frank’s website – www.wishman1.com

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  • Adam Silvera

    Adam Silvera

    Adam Silvera was born and raised in the Bronx. He has worked in the publishing industry as a children’s bookseller, marketing assistant at a literary development company, and book reviewer of children’s and young adult novels. His debut novel, More Happy Than Not, received multiple starred reviews and is a New York Times bestseller, and Adam was selected as a Publishers Weekly Flying Start. He writes full-time in New York City and is tall for no reason.


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  • Amanda Skenandore

    Amanda Skenandore

    Amanda Skenandore is a historical fiction writer and registered nurse. Her debut novel, Between Earth and Sky, is scheduled for release in early 2018 with Kensington Publishing. Her short fiction appears in WRITER’S BLOC IV and VI under the pen name A. R. Shenandoah. A native of Colorado, she enjoys traveling, the outdoors, and the sleuth-work of historical research. Her favorite author is Zora Neale Hurston.

  • John L. Smith

    John L. Smith

    Nevada native John L. Smith is a longtime Las Vegas journalist and the author of more than a dozen books. In 2010 he received the Silver Pen Award from the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame and in September was inducted into the Nevada Press Association Hall of Fame.


  • Elizabeth Spaur

    Elizabeth Spaur

    Elizabeth fell in love with story-telling when she taught herself to read with The Bunny Book the summer after kindergarten. Growing up she treated bedtime as optional and could often be found curled up with a good book late into the night. Before getting her JD and MBA at American University, she tried her hand at filmmaking, earning a Bachelor’s in Film Production from the University of Southern California. After working for several years in film and television, life took her from Los Angeles to Washington, DC and finally Las Vegas.

    Elizabeth is a practicing litigation attorney working towards a transition to a full-time career as a writer.  She is the president of the Las Vegas Romance Writers and writes historical, contemporary and paranormal romances, as well as mysteries with romantic elements. Her first novella, a historical romance set in Las Vegas in 1953 will be released in 2017.

  • Randy Sutton

    Randy Sutton

    Randy Sutton is a 33-year Law Enforcement veteran and nationally known media commentator on law enforcement issues. He served 10 years in the Princeton, New Jersey Police Department and 23 years with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, retiring at the rank of Lieutenant. During his service, he distinguished himself as one of the most highly decorated officers in department history, having earned multiple Lifesaving, Exemplary Service and Community Service awards, as well as a Medal for Valor. Randy has trained thousands of law enforcement officers in the United States on the subject of “Policing with Honor.” He was also awarded a Presidential Point of Light Award by President George Bush for his creation of a reading program for inner city children. He is the author of True Blue: Police Stories by Those Who Have Lived Them, A Cop’s Life, True Blue: To Serve and Protect and the Amazon #1 Bestselling book,  The Power of Legacy:  Personal Heroes of America’s Most Inspiring People. Randy was one of the most featured officers on the popular television series COPS, appearing in three seasons which led to his being cast in a role as a police officer in the Academy Award®-winning film Casino, with Robert Deniro and Sharon Stone. Other film and TV roles followed, including Fools Rush In, Miss Congeniality II, The Road Home, Clovers Movie, America’s Most Wanted and a co-starring role opposite James Caan in the pilot episode of Las Vegas.




  • F. Andrew Taylor

    F. Andrew Taylor

    Andrew Taylor is an award-winning journalist, currently working for the View section of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He has been honored for his writing, illustration, editorial cartoons and photography and is the author/artist of several comic books, including “Beer and Roaming in Las Vegas,” and “On the Bus.” His work also appears in numerous comics anthologies. He was the illustrator for the quirky children’s book “Christmapus.” His fine art has been on display in galleries from Massachusetts to Nevada, and he has had numerous solo shows along with curating the largest-ever gallery show of Las Vegas cartoonists. He was the production designer for the feature films “Thor at the Bus Stop” and “Popovich and the Voice of the Fabled American West” and numerous short films. He’s a regular cast member on “Geek Shock,” a weekly nerd news and pop culture podcast. As a journalist with an art background, he has been able to bring insight and shed light on the creative process through interviews and profiles with fine artists, illustrators, performers and a wide variety of other professions.


  • Jodi Thomas

    Jodi Thomas

    With millions of books in print, Jodi Thomas is both a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over 40 novels and 13 short story collections. Her stories travel through the past and present days of Texas and draw readers from around the world.

    In July 2006, Jodi was the 11th writer to be inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. With five RITA’s to her credit, along with National Readers’ Choice Awards and Booksellers’ Best Awards, Thomas has proven her skill as a master storyteller.

    Honored in 2002 as a Distinguished Alumni by Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, Thomas enjoys interacting with students at  West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas, where she currently serves as Writer in Residence.

    When not working on a novel or inspiring students to pursue a writing career, Thomas enjoys traveling with her husband, renovating a historic home, and “checking up” on their grown sons and four grandchildren.

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  • Daniel Tiger

    Daniel Tiger

    Meet and greet with Daniel Tiger from DANIEL TIGER’s NEIGHBORHOOD, the TV series inspired by the iconic, award-winning MISTER ROGERS’ NEIGHBORHOOD. In each episode of the PBS KIDS program, preschoolers share in Daniel’s everyday adventures, building critical life skills like self-control, persistence and resilience.

  • Chris Van_Dusen

    Chris Van_Dusen

    Chris Van Dusen is the author-illustrator of Randy Riley’s Really Bit Hit, King Hugo’s Huge Ego and The Circus Ship, and the illustrator of the best-selling Mercy Watson and Tales from Deckawoo Drive books by Kate DiCamillo. He lives in Maine.


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  • André C. Wade

    André C. Wade

    André Wade, Director of Operations at The Center, is a native Las Vegan and has worked in human services for more than 15 years in a variety of public and non-profit contexts. Additionally, he spent several years working in D.C. as a policy analyst for a national think-tank on the issue of homelessness. His policy portfolio included runaway and homeless youth, youth aging out of foster care, LGBTQ youth and young survivors of commercial sexual exploitation. André spent several years in Child Welfare, in Las Vegas, developing the child-specific adoptions program and recruiting foster and adoptive parents, which included within the LGBTQ community. André earned a master’s in Public Administration from UNLV and volunteers his time on several local and national boards including Cyndi Lauper’s True Color Fund’s Advisory Board, the Human Rights Campaign’s All-Children-All-Family Advisory Council, the Children’s Advocacy Alliance in Southern Nevada and the Southern Nevada Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration. André enjoys traveling and practicing yoga.

  • Harriet A. Washington

    Harriet A. Washington

    Harriet A. Washington wrote Infectious Madness: The Surprising Science of How We “Catch” Mental Illness while the 2015-2016 Shearing Fellow at the University of Nevada’s Black Mountain Institute. She is a science writer, editor and ethicist who has been a Research Fellow in Medical Ethics at Harvard Medical School, Visiting Fellow at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, a visiting scholar at DePaul University College of Law and a senior research scholar at the National Center for Bioethics at Tuskegee University. She has also held fellowships at Stanford University, holds a degree in English from the University of Rochester and an MA in journalism from Columbia University.

    Ms. Washington has written widely for popular science publications and has also been published in refereed journals such as JAMA, The American Journal of Public Health, Nature and has been Editor of the Harvard Journal of Minority Public Health and guest Editor of the American Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics.  Her other books include Deadly Monopolies: The Shocking Corporate Takeover of Life Itself—and the Consequences for Your Health and Our Medical Future and Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Experimentation from Colonial Times to the Present, which won a National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN/Oakland Award, and the American Library Association Black Caucus Nonfiction Award.

    A film buff and lover of baroque music, Ms. Washington has also worked as a classical music announcer for public radio.

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  • Chuck Williams

    Chuck Williams

    Chuck Williams began volunteering at Red Rock Canyon in 1999 and has served on its board as Secretary and three terms as President. He has chaired the Cultural Resource, Red Rock Canyon Ambassador and Dedication Walkway Committees, in addition to serving on the Natural Resource and Tortoise Habitat Teams. Chuck has also authored articles for the Rock magazine.

    Chuck wrote Seekers, Saints & Scoundrels:  The Colorful Characters of Red Rock Canyon with co-authors Sharon Schaaf, Linda McCollum, Dan Wray, Cam Camburn, Crystalaura Jackson, and Norm Kresge. The Association of Partners of Public Lands (a group of nonprofit organizations working together to benefit public lands) awarded the book their Honorable Mention-Best New Publication. Additionally, the Daughters of the American Revolution gave Seekers, Saints & Scoundrels the Historic Preservation Recognition Award for excellent volunteer work in historic preservation (for researching, writing and publishing the book).

    An Indiana native, Chuck has a degree in Management from Indiana Wesleyan University. After serving in the Army, he worked for 32 years in Information Systems and Field Operations for Sprint before retiring in 1999.

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