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Guests of Honour

Special Guests

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Photograph of guest Angela Ackerman
Angela Ackerman

Angela Ackerman is a writing coach, international speaker, and co-author of the bestselling book, The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression and its many sequels. Available in ten languages, her guides are sourced by US universities, recommended by agents and editors, and are used by novelists, screenwriters, and psychologists around the world. To date, this book collection has sold nearly a million copies.
Angela is also the co-founder of the popular site Writers Helping Writers®, as well as One Stop for Writers®, a portal to game-changing tools and resources that enable writers to craft powerful fiction.

Photograph of guest Nicole Baart
Nicole Baart

Nicole Baart is the mother of five children from four different countries. The cofounder of a non-profit organization, One Body One Hope, she lives in a small town in Iowa. Nicole is passionate about the so-called flyover states, and her books all feature Midwestern settings and small town characters.
Nicole is the author of nine critically acclaimed novels that have been featured in Southern Living, Country Woman, Book Page, Glam, Brit & Co., and on Yahoo Lifestyle. Her 2017 release, Little Broken Things, was a People Magazine Editor's Pick. You Were Always Mine, a domestic suspense about love and betrayal, is Nicole’s most recent novel.
Website: https://nicolebaart.com/

Photograph of guest Tanya Huff
Tanya Huff

Tanya Huff lives in rural Ontario with her wife Fiona Patton, five cats, and an increasing number of fish. Her 32 novels and 83 short stories include horror, heroic fantasy, urban fantasy, comedy, and space opera. Her Blood series was turned into the 22 episode BLOOD TIES and writing episode nine allowed her to finally use her degree in Radio & Television Arts. Many of her short stories are available as eCollections. Her latest book is INTO THE BROKEN LANDS, a stand alone, created world fantasy. She’s on twitter at @TanyaHuff and Facebook as Tanya Huff. She has never used her Instagram account and isn't sure why she has it.

Photograph of guest Stacey Kondla
Stacey Kondla

Stacey Kondla is a literary agent with The Rights Factory. She has a variety of clients with works that include adult literary fiction, science fiction & fantasy, rom-com, historical, nonfiction science, children's picture books, middle grade, and young adult titles. Her background includes working as a Field Representative for Scholastic Book Fairs, managing at two different big box book stores, freelance editing, and serving on the organizing committee of When Words Collide (A Festival for Readers and Writers).

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Special Guests

Photograph of guest Cathy Ace
Cathy Ace

Cathy Ace was born and raised in Swansea, Wales, and migrated to Canada aged 40. Having traveled the world (for business and pleasure) for decades, Cathy put her knowledge of the cultures, history, art, and food she encountered to good use in the Cait Morgan Mysteries—traditional whodunits featuring a globetrotting Welsh Canadian professor of criminal psychology. These books have been optioned by Free@LastTV (Agatha Raisin). Ace also writes the #1 Amazon bestselling WISE Enquiries Agency Mysteries, featuring four female PIs (one is Welsh, one Irish, one Scottish, one English). They tackle quirky, cosy cases from a Welsh stately home in the rolling countryside of the Wye Valley. Her tale of psychological suspense, The Wrong Boy, also became an Amazon #1 bestseller, and is slated to become a bilingual TV mini-series. Cathy lives on five rural acres in British Columbia, where she works full-time as an author, and also enjoys her other great passion – gardening. She’s been shortlisted for the prestigious Canadian Bony Blithe Award three times, winning once, has won IPPY and IBA Awards, and her work has been shortlisted for Crime Writers of Canada Awards of Excellence, as well as Crime Fiction Lover’s Best Indie Novel. Website: https://www.cathyace.com/

Photograph of guest Terry Brooks
Terry Brooks

Terry Brooks was born in Illinois in 1944. He spent a great deal of his childhood and early adulthood dreaming up stories in and around Sinnissippi Park, the very same setting for Running with the Demon. He received his undergraduate degree from Hamilton College, where he majored in English Literature, and went on to earn his graduate degree from the School of Law at Washington & Lee University.
A writer since high school and heavily influenced by William Faulkner, it took him seven years to finish writing The Sword of Shannara, which published in 1977. It became the first work of fiction to ever appear on the New York Times trade paperback bestseller list, where it remained for over five months.
He published The Elfstones of Shannara in 1982 and The Wishsong of Shannara in 1985, both bestsellers.
Since that time, he has written numerous novels in the Shannara, Landover, and Word/Void series, including being hand-selected by George Lucas to write the novelization of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, which hit #1 on the New York Times bestseller list.
“The Shannara Chronicles,” a first season 10-episode TV show, premiered January 5, 2016 on MTV. It adapts The Elfstones of Shannara and features the creative talents of Jon Favreau, Al Gough, Miles Millar, Jonathan Liebesman, and Terry Brooks as an Executive Producer.
Terry Brooks lives with his wife Judine in the Pacific Northwest and on the road meeting his fans.
Website: https://terrybrooks.net/

Photograph of guest Vicki Delany
Vicki Delany

Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most prolific and varied crime writers and a national bestseller in the U.S. She has written more than forty-five books: clever cozies to Gothic thrillers to gritty police procedurals, to historical fiction, and novellas for adult literacy. She is currently writing the Tea by the Sea mysteries, the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series, the Year-Round Christmas mysteries, and the Lighthouse Library series (as Eva Gates).
Vicki is a past chair of the Crime Writers of Canada and co-founder and organizer of the Women Killing It Crime Writing Festival. Her work has been nominated for the Derringer, the Bony Blithe, the Ontario Library Association Golden Oak, and the Arthur Ellis Awards. Vicki is the recipient of the 2019 Derrick Murdoch Award for contributions to Canadian crime writing. She lives in Prince Edward County, Ontario. Website: http://vickidelany.com/

Photograph of guest Steena Holmes
Steena Holmes

Steena Holmes is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author with over 2 million copies of her titles sold world wide, including The Forgotten Ones, Saving Abby and The Memory Child. Named in the Top 20 Women Author to read in 2015 by Good Housekeeping, she won the National Indie Excellence Award in 2012 for Finding Emma as well as the USA Book News Award for The Word Game in 2015. Steena has been featured in various newspapers and magazines, websites such as Goodreads, BookBub, RedBook, Glamour, Coastal Living and Goodhousekeeping. To find out more about her books and her love for traveling, you can visit her Website: http://www.steenaholmes.com/

Photograph of guest Fonda Lee
Fonda Lee

Fonda Lee is the author of the epic modern fantasy Green Bone Saga, consisting of Jade City, Jade War, and Jade Legacy. She is a winner of the World Fantasy Award, the Locus Award, a four-time winner of the Aurora Award, and a finalist for the Nebula Award and the Hugo Award. The Green Bone Saga has been translated into multiple languages and named to TIME Magazine’s Top 100 Fantasy Books of All Time. Lee is also the author of the acclaimed young adult science fiction novels Zeroboxer, Exo, and Cross Fire. Fonda is an instructor at writing workshops including Clarion West, Viable Paradise, and Aspen Words. A former corporate strategist and black belt martial artist, she hails from Calgary, Alberta and currently resides in Portland, Oregon. Her next book, Untethered Sky, a fantasy novella, releases in April 2023. Website: http://www.fondalee.com/

Photograph of guest Nicole Luiken
Nicole Luiken

Nicole Luiken wrote her first book at age thirteen—on a manual typewriter—and never stopped. She had two novels published while still in high school and over a dozen more since. Nicole writes mostly for teens, including the popular Violet Eyes series, but sometimes dips her toe into adult markets as well. Her books always have an element of SF/Fantasy/paranormal. Her young adult novels have won two Golden Eagle Children’s Book Awards and a Gold-Medal Moonbeam as well as being a finalist for several other Canadian awards including the Monica Hughes Science Fiction and Fantasy Award. Her most recent teen werewolf novel, Feral, received a positive review from Kirkus, calling it a "howling good time" and was a finalist for the Snow Willow Award.
Nicole lives in Edmonton with her family. It is physically impossible for her to go for more than three days in a row without writing. Website: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100057574333075

Photograph of guest Dave Reynolds
Dave Reynolds

Dave is the Indigo Category Manager for Sports, Reference, True Crime, and Travel, as well as for Local Interest & Local Authors in Western Canada. Dave started with Chapters as a bookseller in 1997 and has held various positions in the stores and Home Office since that time.
Before becoming a bookseller, Dave received a Diploma (Hons.) in Film & Video from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology. Dave has written original short- and feature-length screenplays and has also directed and produced several short films. In his spare time, he likes to travel by bicycle. {URL

Photograph of guest Morgan Rhodes
Morgan Rhodes

Morgan Rhodes is the New York Times bestselling author of the Falling Kingdoms series. She loves to write about the epic adventures of quirky, interesting characters who inhabit her imagination. Under the name Michelle Rowen, she’s an award-winning author of many paranormal novels. A former graphic designer drawn to sparkly objects and fancy handbags, Morgan lives in Ontario, Canada, where she maintains a very healthy belief in all things magical. Website: http://EssentialEdits.ca

Photograph of guest Hank Phillippi Ryan
Hank Phillippi Ryan

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN is the USA Today bestselling author of 14 psychological thrillers, winning the genre's most prestigious awards: five Agathas, four Anthonys, and the coveted Mary Higgins Clark Award. She is also investigative reporter for Boston's WHDH-TV, winning 37 EMMYs. Book reviewers call her “a master of suspense” and “superb and gifted storyteller.” THE FIRST TO LIE garnered a Publishers Weekly starred review and was nominated for the Anthony Award for Best Novel and Mary Higgins Clark Award. Her current thriller, HER PERFECT LIFE, received starred reviews from Kirkus and Publishers Weekly, which called it "A superlative thriller." It is now an Agatha nominee for Best Novel of the Year. Watch for THE HOUSE GUEST, coming in 2023. Website: https://hankphillippiryan.com/

Photograph of guest Edward Willett
Edward Willett

Edward Willett is the award-winning author of more than sixty books of science fiction, fantasy, and non-fiction for readers of all ages, including the Worldshapers series and the Masks of Agyrima trilogy (as E.C. Blake) for DAW Books, the YA fantasy series The Shards of Excalibur, and the YA SF novel Star Song, among many others. He won Canada’s Aurora Award for Best Long-Form Work in English in 2009 for Marseguro (DAW) and for Best Fan Related Work in 2019 for The Worldshapers podcast, where he interviews other science fiction and fantasy authors about the creative process. He has been shortlisted several times. His twelfth novel for DAW Books, the humorous space opera The Tangled Stars, comes out this fall.
Ed is also the owner of Shadowpaw Press, named after his black Siberian cat, which has published two anthologies of short fiction by guests of The Worldshapers podcast, Shapers of Worlds and Shapers of Worlds Volume II. Volume III is planned for this fall. In addition to publishing these anthologies and republishing Ed’s own titles that have been orphaned by other publishers, Shadowpaw Press is now publishing original novels by other authors, and Ed hopes to do more of that in the future.
Ed’s non-fiction titles run the gamut from children’s science books and biographies to local histories to Genetics Demystified, published by McGraw-Hill. A former newspaper reporter and editor, Ed is also a professional actor and singer who has performed in numerous plays, operas, and musicals over the years.
Ed lives in Regina, Saskatchewan, with his wife, Margaret Anne Hodges, P.Eng., a past president of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Saskatchewan. They have a college-aged daughter, Alice. Find Ed on Twitter @ewillett, on Facebook @edward.willett, on Instagram @edwardwillettauthor, and on YouTube at youtube.com/edwardwillett. Website: https://edwardwillett.com/