Kris Abel-Helwig sitting on the floor looking at her laptop

Kris Abel-Helwig

Kris Abel-Helwig is a graphic designer, photographer, and author illustrator of multiple picture books and young adult novels. Fictional characters inhabit her dreams and haunt her nightmares. Their stories emerge while swimming laps, walking pups, and drinking espresso.
Substitute teaching inspired her Hero series, including the award-winning I Wish My Words Tasted Better.. She is currently working on a whodunit modern crime fiction.
Originally from Illinois, she and husband Mike have moved coast to coast and many states in between with a herd of animals and for visits from their three sons, two daughters-in-law, two grandkids, and friends near and far.
Diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001 and a benign brain tumor in 2022, she advocates early detection, aggressive treatments, and thriving happily ever after.

profile of Jon Hoke Barclay

J.K. Barclay

J.K. Barclay was born in Portland, Maine, U.S.A. He was adopted at birth, joining his new parents who were living in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Eventually his family also lived in Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, and Venezuela. J.K. returned to the United States to attend Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, and then the University of Illinois’ John Marshall Law School in Chicago. After graduation from law school, he worked as an international-law attorney at the prestigious law firm of Baker McKenzie in Chicago. There, he represented Fortune-400 corporate entities doing business in Central and South America, as well as Spain, utilizing his native Portuguese and Spanish language skills. Next, J.K. dove into investment banking at A.G. Edwards & Sons, Inc. and rose to the position of Member of the Board of Directors and head of the national public investment banking division. In this position, he completed approximately $US20 billion of municipal-bond transactions. Finally, he returned to the legal profession as a United States securities and municipal-bond attorney and continues to practice law today. J.K. is deeply proud of his parents’ work in South America and around the world, from 1943 to their retirement in 1976. The story of Betrayals and Lies: My Parents Were Spies is based on just a small part of what ended up being Jim and Alexis Barkley’s overall significant contribution to the security, education, and betterment of the world and its inhabitants.

Rose Hamilton-Gottlieb portrait

Rose Hamilton-Gottlieb

Rose Hamilton-Gottlieb grew up on a 120-acre Iowa farm and spent most of her adult life in California, where she raised two daughters. After becoming a widow in 2014, she moved back to her home state, where she now lives in Ames, Iowa. She received a Bachelor's degree in English and a Master's degree in American Studies from California State University. She's a former college lecturer in History and American Studies. Twenty-nine of her short stories have been published, mostly in small literary journals. A few credits include The Chicago Tribune (as a finalist in the 2006 and 2011 Nelson Algren Awards); and three Papier Mache Press anthologies, At Our Core; Generation to Generation; and Grow Old Along with Me the Best is Yet to be. A short story, called "Aerodynamic Integrity," based on a chapter in Traveling Light, was published by Papier Mache Press and Aethlon: The Journal of Sports Literature.

Hallie Baur

Hallie Baur

Hallie Baur, historical fiction novelist and poet, views the world through a nostalgic lens and uses her fascination with the past to transplant readers into the settings of her stories. Baur lives in the Midwest with her husband and Maine Coon cat. When she’s not writing she can be found dancing, making her way to the front row of a concert, and seeing the world.

Geertje Suhr

Geertje Suhr grew up in Northern Germany, studied German, Romance Philology, and History in Tübingen, Freiburg im Breisgau, and Lausanne (Switzerland). She received her doctorate in 1980 from the University of Illinois in Urbana with a dissertation on the poetry of Heinrich Heine. Geertje Suhr is a member of the PEN-Zentrum deutsch-sprachiger Autoren im Ausland and the Varnhagen Society. In 2006, she endowed the Geertje Potash-Suhr Prize for Prose in German, awarded by the Society for Contemporary American Literature in German; to date, Nina Holz, Fred Viebahn, Peter Wortsman, Peter Blickle, Guy Stern, and Utz Rachowski have received the prize. Dr. Suhr received the 2000 Elisabeth Fraser de Bussy Prose Prize from the Society for Contemporary American Literature in German. She received the Robert L. Kahn Poetry Prize 2013 from the Society for Contemporary American Literature in German. In 2020 she was named the Else Lasker-Schüler Poetry Laureate in Wuppertal, Germany. She lives in Chicago and Germany.

Mohammad Tavallaei

Dr. Mohammad Tavallaei is a university professor, poet, critic, and translator originally from Shiraz, Iran. After receiving his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English Language and Literature from Shiraz University (then Pahlavi University), in 1998 he received his doctorate in English literature from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. Tavallaei is interested in literature in general and Persian, English, and French literature in particular, and he focuses in his work on Orientalist theory and discourse and other Resistance discourses. In his doctoral dissertation he explored The Orientalist Construction of Persia. After returning to Iran, he taught literature at Urmia University and Azad University. In addition to teaching and evaluating doctoral dissertations at international universities, he has presented numerous articles in Persian and English at national and international conferences, and has authored, translated, and published Persian and English articles and poems.

David Leverenz

David Leverenz grew up in Princeton, New Jersey. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard College in 1964 and, as a Woodrow Wilson fellow, earned a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. A noted literary critic and scholar, he taught for almost twenty years at Rutgers University, where he helped shape Livingston College, opened in 1969 and designed to address the needs of multiracial urban students. In 1985 he was recruited by the University of Florida to join its English Department, where he taught for twenty-five years before retiring in 2011. David was a superb teacher as anyone who has met him would guess, and as his many awards for outstanding teaching attest. A wonderful lecturer, he also drew out his students and, always taking seriously what they had to say, helped them clarify their perceptions and hone their writing skills. As much energy and time as he devoted to teaching, the greater pleasure of his professional life rested in his own scholarship and writing. The list of his publications is long: numerous articles, lectures, reviews, and five books including Manhood and the American Renaissance and Honor Bound: Race and Shame in America.

Laverne Merritt-Gordon

Laverne Merritt-Gordon was born in 1946 in Lincoln Heights Ohio. One of sixteen children, she lived in New Miami Ohio until at age six the ‘State’ sent her to live in Oxford Ohio. She holds a diploma from Talawanda High School, A Bachelor of Science from Miami University, and Masters of Science from Purdue University. Retired from a career in Health Science, Laverne lives in Jacksonville Florida with her husband, Denman P. Gordon, where she is active in Florida’s Democratic Party politics and dedicated to her sons, grand and great-grand children. Tell Them What You Want is Laverne Merritt-Gordon’s first book.

Beau Grosscup

Dr. Beau Grosscup grew up in Oxford Ohio and is Professor Emeritus, Department of Political Science, California State University, Chico. He lives in the Sierra Nevada foothills on Rancho4heavenseko with his partner, the lovely Rose Ann York. Tell Them What You Want is his fifth book.

Douglas W. Larche

Dr. Doug Larche was an internationally recognized playwright, professor, poet, singer-songwriter, director and composer, who was a Senior Fulbright Scholar to Ukraine. He held a B.A. from Graceland University, an M.Ed. from Wichita State University, a Ph.D. from Indiana University, and an MFA in Playwriting and Dramaturgy from the University of Iowa Playwrights Workshop, where he was a Norman Felton Fellow. He did post-doctoral residencies at Yale, Oxford, and Harvard. The founder of five international playwrights workshops, Doug was a lifetime Artistic and Production Director of over 200 plays and 40 film projects. His day job was as Playwright-in-Residence, Chair and International Distinguished Professor of Theatre and Communication in Ukraine, Korea, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, the Northwoods and across America.

Arvid Osterberg

Dr. Arvid Osterberg is University Professor at Iowa State University, where he teaches graduate courses on inclusive design and historic preservation in the Department of Architecture. During his 43+ years at ISU, he has taught students to prioritize accessibility and safety. Arvid has consulted with attorneys on fall investigations throughout his career. He is a registered architect and holds two degrees in architecture from the University of Illinois and a doctorate in architecture from the University of Michigan.

David Akombo

David Akombo is a Faculty Fellow in the College of Liberal Arts, Associate Professor of Music Education, and Graduate Coordinator at Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi, where he has taught music education and world music courses since 2011.

Brian Delford Andrews

Brian Delford Andrews received his BArch from Tulane University and his March from Princeton University. As an undergraduate student he studied in London at the Architectural Association for a year. Andrews is a registered architect and has continually practiced while teaching. He received the Skidmore, Owings and Merrill Traveling Fellowship, and has taught at the University of Virginia, Syracuse University, and the University of Southern California.

Diana Brantley

Diana Brantley, educated at Wake Forest (BA) and Rutgers (MA), spent more than thirty years teaching traditional advanced courses in high school English. She helped establish curricula for Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate programs. She also served as IB Coordinator and taught Theory of Knowledge. Her teaching was praised by critic John Leonard in the New York Times, when his son was in her class.

Richard Brantley

Richard E. Brantley is Alumni Professor of English, Emeritus, at the University of Florida, where, from 1969 to 2011, he taught courses in Romanticism, the History of Criticism, and the Bible as Literature. He hibernates in Gainesville, Florida, and rusticates in Zirconia, North Carolina. He gladly teaches, and gladly learns from, his fellow retirees. He still explores the realistic, yet hopeful, give-and-take between science and religion during the long Romantic Movement from roughly 1770 to 1870.

John Browning

From an early age, John Browning always wanted to be a Chemist and that’s what he turned out to be. During a career as a scientist and inventor, he always retained a deep interest in the Fine Arts. Some fifty years ago he took to making and flying kites; always more interested in traditional materials – paper, silk and bamboo. Inspired by the work of French Artist, Claude Léa Comallonga, he took up the use of natural materials (leaves and other growing things) to make his kites. Papermaking also became a means of supplying material to be included in his creations. He has exhibited at shared, international, and one-man exhibitions.

Marian Mathews Clark

Marian Mathews Clark grew up in logging country in Mist, Oregon, the only child in a family of chroniclers. Her mother kept a diary from age thirteen until she died at eighty-seven, and her father wrote poetry about sawmilling, logging and the neighbors. When she graduated from high school in ‘63, she enrolled in Graceland College in Lamoni, Iowa, and majored in English Education, and went on to earn a Master’s in Counselor Education from The University of Iowa. In 1971 she assumed the role of Director of Counseling at Graceland and also taught a variety of classes including Counseling, Rhetoric, and a winter term in the Changing Roles of Women. In 1985 she enrolled in The Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and received her MFA in 1987, the same year she won the Iowa Art Council’s First Place Fiction Award for ‘Houseboats and Peacock Feathers.’

Carol Claxon Polsgrove

Carol Polsgrove, Professor Emerita of Journalism at Indiana University, is author of Ending British Rule in Africa: Writers in a Common Cause; Divided Minds: Intellectuals and the Civil Rights Movement, and It Wasn’t Pretty, Folks, But Didn’t We Have Fun: Esquire in the Sixties. For more information go to her website at

C. Arthur Croyle

C. Arthur Croyle is Associate Professor Emeritus in the Department of Integrated Studio Arts at Iowa State University. He taught classes in foundations, drawing, painting, graphic design, and design history. His professional activity has kept him engaged as an artist, graphic designer, and historian. His grandfather, Max Hertwig, impressed an appreciation for the interconnectedness of all of the visual and design arts upon him. He lives and works in Ohio.

Dave Dutton

For over three decades, David Dutton served as an award-winning Park Ranger for two federal agencies. He enjoys fishing, birding, gardening and red chile. He lives in Santa Fe with his wife and three rescue dogs.

Stefanie Golisch

Born in Detmold, Germany in 1961, Golisch completed her studies in German in Hannover with a Ph.D., writing linguistic and literary book chapters and essays, as well as monographs on Uwe Johnson and Ingeborg Bachmann. She’s also written stories, essays, and translations for anthologies and literature magazines, winning the prestigious Würth Literary Prize in 2002. She lives, reads, and writes in Monza, Italy since 1987.

Ben Jacks

Ben Jacks, a designer, architect, writer, and teacher, holds degrees from the University of Chicago, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Stonecoast MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of Southern Maine. In between trips to experience and take pictures of buildings, he teaches courses in beginning design, human behavior, design detailing, and understanding architecture through drawing. As a designer, Ben focuses on detail and craft, seeking to develop the potentially rich and intimate relationship between landscape, building, furniture, and interior. He is currently at work designing and building the second of two houses for his own family: a LEED Platinum, net-zero, passive house in Cincinnati, Ohio (the first was completed in Deer Isle, Maine in 2012).

Derham Groves

Dr. Derham Groves joined the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning at the University of Melbourne in 1999. After completing his Bachelor degree at Deakin University in 1981, Derham worked in several Melbourne architectural practices, including Denton Corker Marshall and the Public Works Department. In 1983 Derham enrolled in a Masters program at RMIT, researching builders’ rites and ceremonies. In 1991 he enrolled in a PhD in Art History at the University of Minnesota, researching the post-war do-it-yourself movement. Derham spent 1992 at the University of Minnesota studying with pop culture historian Karal Ann Marling, and completed his PhD in 1996.

Mary Howard

Mary Howard advised art and design students in the College of Design at Iowa State University for seventeen years, which inspired her to write novels with visual artists as main characters. The Girl with Wings is her second suspense novel to feature graphic designer Linda Garbo and the fictional Madison County town of Linden Grove. Mary was named among “Outstanding Writers” in The Pushcart Prize, IX for her short fiction. Parts of this novel were written during a Residency at The Ragdale Foundation, Lake Forest, Illinois. She lives and writes in Ames, Iowa.

Coach K aka Herb Kieklak

Coach K started running in 2008 to prepare for his first Triathlon. He quickly found out how much he hated running and looked for every excuse to skip it. Luckily, he kept at it and realized that he needed some help. He studied as much as possible and earned his coaching certification with the USATF to learn even more. Then he combined that new knowledge with twenty-five years of Chinese Martial Arts experience and proven training methods from Olympic Weightlifting (thanks to his teacher Mr. Harvey Newton). Soon he was running UltraMarathons on consecutive days. He is a firm believer in the adage that Science plus Strength produces results.

Fern Kupfer

Fern Kupfer was born in the Bronx, moved with her family to suburban Long Island in the mid-1950s, and to Ames, Iowa, where she currently lives. Fern Kupfer’s work has appeared in Newsweek, Redbook, Family Circle, Woman’s Day, The Women’s Review of Books, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Parents and Cosmopolitan magazines. She recently retired from Iowa State University where she taught creative writing. For more than a decade, her popular column “Mothering” and “A Certain Age” appeared regularly in the Long Island newspaper Newsday. She was the recipient for the Myrtle Wreath Award by the Nassau County Hadassah, the largest women’s philanthropy in the nation.

Anthony Mawson

Anthony R. Mawson, an epidemiologist, social scientist, and inventor – and later in life an aspiring writer – was born in England, educated in Canada and the United States, and has lived for many years in Louisiana and Mississippi. During a two-year stint working in Des Moines, Iowa, he met and married Carol Andersen, who was raised on a farm in northwest Iowa. Visits to the farm and Carol’s tales of her early life there inspired the author to invent the Shirley character and her adventures to tell to their two young children, Hayley and Mary Olivia, when they were toddlers. The children liked them so much that they encouraged their dad to create and tell them more Shirley stories.

Frank Moe

With their forty Alaskan Husky sled dogs, Frank Moe and his wife Sherri live near Grand Marais, Minnesota, on the North Shore of Lake Superior. When he’s not training and racing, Frank and Sherri love to work in their garden, chop wood to heat their off-the-grid log cabin, or guide canoeing, sea-kayaking and rock-climbing trips on Lake Superior and in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

Dainel Naegele

Daniel Naegele is an architect and associate professor emeritus of architecture at Iowa State University. A graduate of Yale University and of the Architectural Association in London, he completed his dissertation at the University of Pennsylvania. His writings on Le Corbusier, Wright, Kahn, Duchamp, Picasso, and on architectural photography have been published throughout the United States and in the UK, Western Europe, New Zealand, and Korea.

Susanna Piontek

Susanna Piontek is an internationally known German author who has published numerous stories in a wide range of books and magazines in Europe.

Rachel Odhner Longstaff

Rachel Longstaff grew up in South Africa, where she lived with her family in the city of Durban on the east coast of KwaZulu Natal. She has a degree in English from Northwestern University and an MS in Library and Information Science from Drexel University in Philadelphia. She has worked as an academic librarian for twenty years, first at the Swedenborg Library in Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania, and later at Saint Leo University in Florida. She and her husband, Alan, have four grown children. They have lived in The Hague, in Toronto, and in the suburbs of Philadelphia. Now retired and living in Florida, Rachel enjoys reading, writing, cycling, and gardening.

Jenny Quillien

Jenny Quillien. French/American. Jenny splits working time between Europe and the USA. Degrees in anthropology (Licence, Paris), linguistics (Maitrise, Strasbourg) and industrial psychology (3ème cycle, Montpellier) and a late-life Masters in Eastern Classics from St John’s College, Santa Fe. Home is Santa Fe, New Mexico, the launching pad for many wanderings and hikes into her backyard liminal lands.

Sister Sabina

Sr. Stella Sabina was born in Uganda and raised in East Africa. She studied in Kenya and holds a Master’s in Education, and a Diploma in Conflict Analysis and Resolution. She is a teacher by profession and enjoys going back to her mother’s methodology of teaching through story telling, music, dance, drama, proverbs, poetry, tongue-twisters, riddles, and life experiences.

Bart Yates

Bart Yates lives in Iowa City, Iowa, and is the author of four previous novels: Leave Myself Behind (winner of the 2004 Alex Award), The Brothers Bishop, The Distance Between Us, and (writing as Noah Bly) The Third Hill North Of Town. He is also a music teacher, and plays clarinet, saxophone, and bass guitar.