Participating Authors

  Xhenet Aliu    Brass , Random House   Called “extremely funny and mordant” by author Sherman Alexie, Xhenet Aliu’s debut fiction collection,  Domesticated Wild Thing s, won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction. Her novel,  Brass , is forthcoming from Random House in January 2018.  Aliu’s short fiction and essays have appeared in journals such as Glimmer Train, Hobart, The Barcelona Review, Necessary Fiction, American Short Fiction, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA from the University of North Carolina Wilmington and an MLIS from the University of Alabama, where she was an ALFA fellow, studying methods of delivering information services to individuals with disabilities.

Xhenet Aliu
Brass, Random House

Called “extremely funny and mordant” by author Sherman Alexie, Xhenet Aliu’s debut fiction collection, Domesticated Wild Things, won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction. Her novel, Brass, is forthcoming from Random House in January 2018.

Aliu’s short fiction and essays have appeared in journals such as Glimmer Train, Hobart, The Barcelona Review, Necessary Fiction, American Short Fiction, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA from the University of North Carolina Wilmington and an MLIS from the University of Alabama, where she was an ALFA fellow, studying methods of delivering information services to individuals with disabilities.

  Jared Yates Sexton    The People Are Going to Rise Like the Waters Upon Your Shore: A Story of American Rage , Counterpoint   Jared Yates Sexton is a writer, academic, and political correspondent whose work has appeared in  The New York Times ,  The New Republic ,  Salon , and literary journals around the world. He's a regular guest on television, radio, and podcasts, and the author of three collections of short fiction and the forthcoming political book  The People Are Going To Rise Like The Waters Upon Your Shore  from  Counterpoint Press . Currently he serves as an Associate Professor of Creative Writing in the Department of Writing & Linguistics at Georgia Southern University.

Jared Yates Sexton
The People Are Going to Rise Like the Waters Upon Your Shore: A Story of American Rage, Counterpoint

Jared Yates Sexton is a writer, academic, and political correspondent whose work has appeared in The New York TimesThe New RepublicSalon, and literary journals around the world. He's a regular guest on television, radio, and podcasts, and the author of three collections of short fiction and the forthcoming political book The People Are Going To Rise Like The Waters Upon Your Shore from Counterpoint Press. Currently he serves as an Associate Professor of Creative Writing in the Department of Writing & Linguistics at Georgia Southern University.

  Troy Ball    Pure Heart , HarperCollins   Troy Ball, the first woman ever licensed to distill hard liquor in North Carolina, is the author of  Pure Heart: A Spirited Tale of Grace, Grit, & Whiskey , published in 2017 by HarperCollins. Pure Heart is the story of a mother of two special needs children, who moves to the mountains of North Carolina to try to save her sons’ lives. There she meets remarkable characters, old men, and storytellers who introduce her to moonshine. Kirkus Reviews said Pure Heart “uncorks an emotionally charged memoir about traversing family heartache to become the 'moonshine mama' of the South.”

Troy Ball
Pure Heart, HarperCollins

Troy Ball, the first woman ever licensed to distill hard liquor in North Carolina, is the author of Pure Heart: A Spirited Tale of Grace, Grit, & Whiskey, published in 2017 by HarperCollins. Pure Heart is the story of a mother of two special needs children, who moves to the mountains of North Carolina to try to save her sons’ lives. There she meets remarkable characters, old men, and storytellers who introduce her to moonshine. Kirkus Reviews said Pure Heart “uncorks an emotionally charged memoir about traversing family heartache to become the 'moonshine mama' of the South.”

 
  Leesa Cross-Smith    Whiskey & Ribbons , Hub City Press   A PEN Open Book Award Nominee, Leesa Cross-Smith has been a finalist for the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction and Iowa Short Fiction Award. She is the author of the short story collection Every Kiss a War and lives in Louisville, KY. Her first novel  Whiskey & Ribbons  is forthcoming in March from Hub City Press.

Leesa Cross-Smith
Whiskey & Ribbons, Hub City Press

A PEN Open Book Award Nominee, Leesa Cross-Smith has been a finalist for the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction and Iowa Short Fiction Award. She is the author of the short story collection Every Kiss a War and lives in Louisville, KY. Her first novel Whiskey & Ribbons is forthcoming in March from Hub City Press.

  Ryan Graudin    Invictus , Little, Brown   Ryan Graudin is the author of the young adult novels  The Walled City, Wolf by Wolf,  and  Blood for Blood , a faerie series about the crowning of London’s new king who brings together the human and faerie worlds. Her newest book,  Invictus , was published by Little, Brown in fall 2017 and is a heart-stopping time-travel story. A graduate of the College of Charleston, Graudin published three novels by the time she was 28 years old.

Ryan Graudin
Invictus, Little, Brown

Ryan Graudin is the author of the young adult novels The Walled City, Wolf by Wolf, and Blood for Blood, a faerie series about the crowning of London’s new king who brings together the human and faerie worlds. Her newest book, Invictus, was published by Little, Brown in fall 2017 and is a heart-stopping time-travel story. A graduate of the College of Charleston, Graudin published three novels by the time she was 28 years old.

  Taylor Brown    Gods of Hollow Mountain,  St. Martins   St. Martin’s Press author Taylor Brown will launch his third novel,  Gods of Howl Mountain , at Delicious Reads in Spartanburg. His previous two novels were Indie Next picks from the American Booksellers Association. His first novel  Fallen Land  is the story of a couple on horseback following Gen. William T. Sherman’s march to the sea, pursued by marauders from the Home Guard. The new novel explores a world of folk healers, whiskey-runners, and dark family secrets in the high country of 1950s North Carolina.

Taylor Brown
Gods of Hollow Mountain, St. Martins

St. Martin’s Press author Taylor Brown will launch his third novel, Gods of Howl Mountain, at Delicious Reads in Spartanburg. His previous two novels were Indie Next picks from the American Booksellers Association. His first novel Fallen Land is the story of a couple on horseback following Gen. William T. Sherman’s march to the sea, pursued by marauders from the Home Guard. The new novel explores a world of folk healers, whiskey-runners, and dark family secrets in the high country of 1950s North Carolina.

 
  Celeste Headlee    We Need to Talk   , HarperCollins   Celeste Headlee is an award-winning journalist who has appeared on NPR, PBS World, PRI, CNN, BBC and other international networks. She is the author  We Need to Talk: How to Have Conversations That Matter,  published by in September 2017 HarperCollins. Now hosting a daily talk show on Georgia Public Radio, she was formerly a host at National Public Radio, anchoring shows including T ell Me More, Talk of the Nation, All Things Considered and Weekend Edition.

Celeste Headlee
We Need to Talk, HarperCollins

Celeste Headlee is an award-winning journalist who has appeared on NPR, PBS World, PRI, CNN, BBC and other international networks. She is the author We Need to Talk: How to Have Conversations That Matter, published by in September 2017 HarperCollins. Now hosting a daily talk show on Georgia Public Radio, she was formerly a host at National Public Radio, anchoring shows including Tell Me More, Talk of the Nation, All Things Considered and Weekend Edition.

  Wiley Cash    The Last Ballad   , William Morrow   Wiley Cash is the  New York Times  best selling author of the novels  The Last Ballad ,  A Land More Kind Than Home , and  This Dark Road to Mercy . He currently serves as the writer-in-residence at the University of North Carolina-Asheville and teaches in the Mountainview Low-Residency MFA. He lives with his wife and two young daughters in Wilmington, North Carolina. 

Wiley Cash
The Last Ballad, William Morrow

Wiley Cash is the New York Times best selling author of the novels The Last BalladA Land More Kind Than Home, and This Dark Road to Mercy. He currently serves as the writer-in-residence at the University of North Carolina-Asheville and teaches in the Mountainview Low-Residency MFA. He lives with his wife and two young daughters in Wilmington, North Carolina. 

  Marlanda Dekine  I am from a Punch and a Kiss    Poet Sapient Soul (Marlanda Dekine) is the author of  I Am from a Punch and a Kiss , a 2017 collection of poems offering a challenging and meditative look into the process of her own identity, the cost we all bear when we ignore the legacy of white supremacy in the United States, and a call to the conscious action of engaging discomfort and tension towards wholeness and full life across all that is broken. She is the founder and executive director of Speaking Down Barriers, a nonprofit that transforms our life together across human difference using transformative dialogue and spoken word.

Marlanda Dekine
I am from a Punch and a Kiss

Poet Sapient Soul (Marlanda Dekine) is the author of I Am from a Punch and a Kiss, a 2017 collection of poems offering a challenging and meditative look into the process of her own identity, the cost we all bear when we ignore the legacy of white supremacy in the United States, and a call to the conscious action of engaging discomfort and tension towards wholeness and full life across all that is broken. She is the founder and executive director of Speaking Down Barriers, a nonprofit that transforms our life together across human difference using transformative dialogue and spoken word.

 
  Megan Miranda  All the Missing Girls,  Simon & Schuster    Megan Miranda is the New York Times bestselling author of  All the Missing Girls  and  The Perfect Stranger , psychological thrillers published by Simon & Schuster. She has also written several books for young adults, including  Fracture, Hysteria, Vengeance, Soulprint, The Safest Lies  and the forthcoming  Fragments of the Lost .  All the Missing Girls , a nail-biting, breathtaking story about the disappearances of two young women—a decade apart—told in reverse, was named by The Wall Street Journal as one of “5 Killer Books of the Year.”

Megan Miranda
All the Missing Girls, Simon & Schuster

Megan Miranda is the New York Times bestselling author of All the Missing Girls and The Perfect Stranger, psychological thrillers published by Simon & Schuster. She has also written several books for young adults, including Fracture, Hysteria, Vengeance, Soulprint, The Safest Lies and the forthcoming Fragments of the Lost. All the Missing Girls, a nail-biting, breathtaking story about the disappearances of two young women—a decade apart—told in reverse, was named by The Wall Street Journal as one of “5 Killer Books of the Year.”

  Peter Cooper    Johnny’s Cash and Charley’s Pride: Lasting Legends and Untold Musicians in Country Music,    Spring House Press   Grammy-nominated Nashville musician Peter Cooper is the author of  Johnny’s Cash and Charley’s Pride: Lasting Legends and Untold Musicians in Country Music , published in 2017. After a long career as music writer for the Nashville Tennessean, he is now is the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s Senior Director, Producer, and Writer, and a senior lecturer in country music at Vanderbilt University. He is a Grammy-nominated music producer, and a songwriter has appeared on The Tonight Show and The Late Show with David Letterman.

Peter Cooper
Johnny’s Cash and Charley’s Pride: Lasting Legends and Untold Musicians in Country Music, Spring House Press

Grammy-nominated Nashville musician Peter Cooper is the author of Johnny’s Cash and Charley’s Pride: Lasting Legends and Untold Musicians in Country Music, published in 2017. After a long career as music writer for the Nashville Tennessean, he is now is the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s Senior Director, Producer, and Writer, and a senior lecturer in country music at Vanderbilt University. He is a Grammy-nominated music producer, and a songwriter has appeared on The Tonight Show and The Late Show with David Letterman.

  Chris Scalia  Scalia Speaks,  Penguin Random House   This definitive collection of beloved Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's finest speeches covers topics as varied as the law, faith, virtue, pastimes, and his heroes and friends. Featuring a foreword by longtime friend Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and an intimate introduction by his youngest son, this volume includes dozens of speeches, some deeply personal, that have never before been published. Christopher J. Scalia and the Justice's former law clerk Edward Whelan selected the speeches.

Chris Scalia
Scalia Speaks, Penguin Random House

This definitive collection of beloved Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's finest speeches covers topics as varied as the law, faith, virtue, pastimes, and his heroes and friends. Featuring a foreword by longtime friend Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and an intimate introduction by his youngest son, this volume includes dozens of speeches, some deeply personal, that have never before been published. Christopher J. Scalia and the Justice's former law clerk Edward Whelan selected the speeches.

 
  Christopher Swann  Shadow of the Lions,  Algonquin Books   Chris Swann is the author of  Shadow of the Lions , listed by Southern Living as one of the best Southern novels of 2017. This powerful coming of age novel, set on the campus of a boys’ boarding school, is published by Algonquin Books in September 2017. Booklist says. “Swann’s masterfully measured debut novel is a powerful coming-of-age tale in the tradition of A Separate Peace and will appeal to readers who enjoy literary fiction with an air of mystery and suspense. Swann is a graduate of Woodberry Forest in Virginia.

Christopher Swann
Shadow of the Lions, Algonquin Books

Chris Swann is the author of Shadow of the Lions, listed by Southern Living as one of the best Southern novels of 2017. This powerful coming of age novel, set on the campus of a boys’ boarding school, is published by Algonquin Books in September 2017. Booklist says. “Swann’s masterfully measured debut novel is a powerful coming-of-age tale in the tradition of A Separate Peace and will appeal to readers who enjoy literary fiction with an air of mystery and suspense. Swann is a graduate of Woodberry Forest in Virginia.

 Pam Stone released her first novel, 'Girls Like Her,' in February 2017 to enthusiastic reviews from both professional critics and her readers. The book, written for the genre of contemporary women's fiction, focuses on a strong, mature, divorced woman, Lissie Merman and the challenging family dynamic that surrounds her as she attempts to finally embrace a life long dream that has been put on the back burner for years.   Reviewing 'Girls Like Her,' Steve Wong, for The Hendersonville Times, writes: "...A Class A family drama. Stone does a superb job keeping all of this straight for the reader and with moving the narrative right along. She changes character perspectives seamlessly and with apparent ease. Despite the need to create conflict and resolution for the storyline, Stone has crafted characters that are likeable and feel true to life. Readers may not like some of the things they do to each other, but we understand why they do it and forgive them. There are no bad guys or bad girls in this book — just realistic people playing the hand dealt them."

Pam Stone released her first novel, 'Girls Like Her,' in February 2017 to enthusiastic reviews from both professional critics and her readers. The book, written for the genre of contemporary women's fiction, focuses on a strong, mature, divorced woman, Lissie Merman and the challenging family dynamic that surrounds her as she attempts to finally embrace a life long dream that has been put on the back burner for years. 

Reviewing 'Girls Like Her,' Steve Wong, for The Hendersonville Times, writes: "...A Class A family drama. Stone does a superb job keeping all of this straight for the reader and with moving the narrative right along. She changes character perspectives seamlessly and with apparent ease. Despite the need to create conflict and resolution for the storyline, Stone has crafted characters that are likeable and feel true to life. Readers may not like some of the things they do to each other, but we understand why they do it and forgive them. There are no bad guys or bad girls in this book — just realistic people playing the hand dealt them."

  Laura Theodore  Jazzy Vegetarian,  BenBella Books   Laura Theodore is the Jazzy Vegetarian, a vegan celebrity chef who has a long-running PBS cooking show of the same name. She is the author of three  Jazzy Vegetarian  cookbooks with a fourth to be released in spring 2018. In her popular television series, Theodore blends a passion for plant-based cooking with a taste for jazz. If there's a soundtrack to vegan cuisine, well, it's gotta be jazz, with its adventurous phrasing, spicy combos and intuitive flair.

Laura Theodore
Jazzy Vegetarian, BenBella Books

Laura Theodore is the Jazzy Vegetarian, a vegan celebrity chef who has a long-running PBS cooking show of the same name. She is the author of three Jazzy Vegetarian cookbooks with a fourth to be released in spring 2018. In her popular television series, Theodore blends a passion for plant-based cooking with a taste for jazz. If there's a soundtrack to vegan cuisine, well, it's gotta be jazz, with its adventurous phrasing, spicy combos and intuitive flair.

 
  Kathryn Smith  The Gatekeeper,  Touchstone   Kathryn Smith is the author of  The Gatekeeper: Missy LeHand, FDR, and the Untold Story of the Partnership that Defined an American Presidency , published by Simon & Schuster in 2017. This nonfiction book is the story of FDR’s de-facto chief of staff for more than 20 years, a woman who has been misrepresented and overlooked throughout history. The Washington Post called The Gatekeeper “highly readable.”

Kathryn Smith
The Gatekeeper, Touchstone

Kathryn Smith is the author of The Gatekeeper: Missy LeHand, FDR, and the Untold Story of the Partnership that Defined an American Presidency, published by Simon & Schuster in 2017. This nonfiction book is the story of FDR’s de-facto chief of staff for more than 20 years, a woman who has been misrepresented and overlooked throughout history. The Washington Post called The Gatekeeper “highly readable.”

  Minrose Gwin    Promise   , HarperCollins   Minrose Gwin is the author of the forthcoming novel  Promise , published by HarperCollins and set in Tupelo, Mississippi, during the 1939 tornado that killed more than 200 people—although members of the African-American community were not counted among the casualties. Her previous novel, The Queen of Palmyra, was a Barnes & Noble "Discover Great New Writers" pick, and a finalist for the John Gardner Fiction Book Award. It was hailed by Lee Smith as "the most powerful and also the most lyrical novel about race, racism, and denial in the American South since To Kill a Mockingbird.

Minrose Gwin
Promise, HarperCollins

Minrose Gwin is the author of the forthcoming novel Promise, published by HarperCollins and set in Tupelo, Mississippi, during the 1939 tornado that killed more than 200 people—although members of the African-American community were not counted among the casualties. Her previous novel, The Queen of Palmyra, was a Barnes & Noble "Discover Great New Writers" pick, and a finalist for the John Gardner Fiction Book Award. It was hailed by Lee Smith as "the most powerful and also the most lyrical novel about race, racism, and denial in the American South since To Kill a Mockingbird.

  Patti Callahan Henry  The Bookshop at Water's End , Berkley   Patti Callahan Henry is a  New York Times  bestselling author of twelve novels, including the upcoming  The Bookshop at Water’s End  (July 2017).  A finalist in the Townsend Prize for Fiction, an Indie Next Pick an OKRA pick, and a multiple nominee for the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) Novel of the Year, Patti is a frequent speaker and luncheons, book clubs and women’s groups. The mother of three children, she now lives in both Mountain Brook, Alabama and Bluffton, South Carolina with her husband.

Patti Callahan Henry
The Bookshop at Water's End, Berkley

Patti Callahan Henry is a New York Times bestselling author of twelve novels, including the upcoming The Bookshop at Water’s End (July 2017).  A finalist in the Townsend Prize for Fiction, an Indie Next Pick an OKRA pick, and a multiple nominee for the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) Novel of the Year, Patti is a frequent speaker and luncheons, book clubs and women’s groups. The mother of three children, she now lives in both Mountain Brook, Alabama and Bluffton, South Carolina with her husband.

 Betty Montgomery is well known for her syndicated garden column and has published several books, A Four-Season Southern Garden, and Hydrangas, illustrated with photographs by fellow Upstate Forever Board member Dick Carr. She is a Master Gardener and a member of multiple prestigious horticultural societies.  With decades of involvement in educational, cultural, and charitable efforts, Betty currently serves on the boards of Wofford College, Gibbs Cancer Center, Noble Tree Foundation, and Seth Milliken Foundation. She is the recipient of numerous honors, including the USC-Spartanburg Founders Day Award, Converse 100 Award, and Clara Barton Award.  A Converse College graduate and mother of four adult children, Betty lives on a farm in Campobello with her husband, Walter.

Betty Montgomery is well known for her syndicated garden column and has published several books, A Four-Season Southern Garden, and Hydrangas, illustrated with photographs by fellow Upstate Forever Board member Dick Carr. She is a Master Gardener and a member of multiple prestigious horticultural societies.

With decades of involvement in educational, cultural, and charitable efforts, Betty currently serves on the boards of Wofford College, Gibbs Cancer Center, Noble Tree Foundation, and Seth Milliken Foundation. She is the recipient of numerous honors, including the USC-Spartanburg Founders Day Award, Converse 100 Award, and Clara Barton Award.

A Converse College graduate and mother of four adult children, Betty lives on a farm in Campobello with her husband, Walter.

 Nancie McDermott is a North Carolina native, born in Burlington, raised in High Point, and educated at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has written 13 cookbooks.  Nancie's first 10 cookbooks focus on Asian kitchens, Her three years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand gave her a lifelong love for the cuisines, history and cultures of Asia, and she has spent the last twenty years cooking, reading, traveling, writing, and teaching about Asian food.   Since moving back home to North Carolina in 1999, she has written three more cookbooks which focus on recipes of the American South, the place she fell in love with cooking in her grandmother's dairy farm kitchen.   Now living with her family in Chapel Hill, NC, Nancie writes, researches, and teaches about both her beats, while serving as a contributing editor for Edible Piedmont magazine.

Nancie McDermott is a North Carolina native, born in Burlington, raised in High Point, and educated at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has written 13 cookbooks.

Nancie's first 10 cookbooks focus on Asian kitchens, Her three years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand gave her a lifelong love for the cuisines, history and cultures of Asia, and she has spent the last twenty years cooking, reading, traveling, writing, and teaching about Asian food. 

Since moving back home to North Carolina in 1999, she has written three more cookbooks which focus on recipes of the American South, the place she fell in love with cooking in her grandmother's dairy farm kitchen. 

Now living with her family in Chapel Hill, NC, Nancie writes, researches, and teaches about both her beats, while serving as a contributing editor for Edible Piedmont magazine.