Diana Abu-Jaber is the author of four novels and numerous short stories, essays and articles published in salon.com, The Washington Post, Gourmet, and The New York Times. Her novels are Origin, Crescent, Arabian Jazz, winner of the 1994 Oregon Book Award, and The Language of Baklava, which was honored with a 2006 award from the independent booksellers of the Northwest. She teaches at Portland State University and divides her time between Portland and Miami.
Sherman Alexie grew up on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Wellpinit, WA, about 50 miles northwest of Spokane, WA. As a teenager, Alexie decided to attend high school off the reservation in nearby Reardan. At Reardan High he was the only Indian, except for the school mascot. This experience inspired his first young adult novel, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian, which was honored with a 2008 award from the independent booksellers of the Northwest and as a 2007 National Book Award Winner. He has won numerous awards for his screenplay, released as Smoke Signals, and for his books of poetry, short stories and fiction, including Indian Killer and Reservation Blues, which was also the name of an album he recorded with musician Jim Boyd. Alexie lives in Seattle with his wife and two sons.
Evonne Agnello grew up playing with wood type in a small town newspaper family in Nebraska, started writing as a young girl, and has never stopped. For thirty years, she wrote stories about other people in her newspaper career, before retiring to write her own story and first book, Shaking Shame from Mental Illness. Her memoir is a message of hope for anyone who has suffered depression or trauma or known someone who has. She published weekly newspapers, worked for dailies, and retired in 2001 as Executive Director of Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association.
David Ash is the poet and publisher behind Basho Press, which produces humorous 5-7-5 gift books, such as Haiku for Cat Lovers and Haiku for Wine Lovers. He has put more than 35,000 miles on his Prius, promoting his twelve gift books to independent bookstores in the Northwest. He lives in Mukilteo, WA with his choir-director wife, Laura, and is a proud father of Ben, a violin performance major at NYU.
David Biespiel is the founder and executive director of the Attic Writers’ Workshop in Portland. He has published five books, including Shattering Air, Pilgrims & Beggars, Wild Civility, The Book of Men and Women, and Long Journey: Contemporary Northwest Poets, for which he was honored with a 2007 award from the independent booksellers of the Northwest. He currently divides his teaching among three universities: Wake Forest University, Oregon State University, and Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington. Biespiel is a contributor to American Poetry Review, Parnassus, Poetry, Slate, The New York Times Book Review, and The New Republic. Since 2002 he has been the columnist on poetry for The Oregonian.
Jennifer Blomgren is a native Pacific Northwesterner who as a child continually bedeviled her mother by tackling large and very messy art projects in the kitchen. Blomgren worked as a Registered Nurse before becoming a full-time author and artist. She has a greeting card business and has written three children’s books, The Tale of Alice’s Quilt, Where Would I Be in an Evergreen Tree? and Where Do I Sleep? A Pacific Northwest Lullaby, which was illustrated by Andrea Gabriel and honored in 2002 by the independent booksellers of the Northwest.
A native of the Chicago area, Dave Boling is a novelist and sports columnist in Washington state. According to the Tacoma News Tribune, he wrote portions of Guernica in airports during layovers, on long flights and in hotel rooms. A piece of historical fiction set during the Spanish Civil War, Guernica is Boling’s first novel and was honored by the independent booksellers of the Northwest in 2009. The Oregonian says, “Boling writes with a reporter’s eye and a novelist’s heart and imagination.”
James L. Butler
Jim tried to write his first novel at 12 years old, cut short when Little League started during chapter four. But it was the beginning of a lifelong passion to write even though it never became a career. He has had many articles, short stories and four books published over the years. Raptor Ravine and Gravity are the most recent books and two short stories were released by Publishing Syndicate Nov. 6, 2012, with more of both in the works.
Deb Caletti is the award-winning young adult author of The Queen of Everything; Honey, Baby, Sweetheart, which was honored with an award from the independent booksellers of the Northwest in 2005; Wild Roses; The Nature of Jade; The Fortunes of Indigo Skye; and The Secret Life of Prince Charming. Caletti grew up in the San Francisco Bay area and earned her journalism degree from the University of Washington in Seattle. When Caletti is not writing books or reading them, she is a painter and a lyricist and speaks widely to audiences on writing and life as an author. Caletti lives with her family in Seattle.
Jamie Childress grew up playing in the mountains, sailing, flying, visiting exotic places with my family and pretending to be Luke Skywalker. Following that he went to work doing research for the Department of Defense and ended up at Boeing’s Research and Technology division. After the birth of two sons and the countless bedtime stories that followed, the five books of the “Galactic Treasure Hunt” chapter book series were born. The series is complete and tells the tale of two brothers who travel the universe in search of a great treasure. “The real treasure for me is every time I meet a kid who really loves them,” Childress says. When not writing books, he has been known to write magazine articles about sailing and advanced technologies.
Mark R. Christian
Mark R. Christian self-publishes his fantasy adventure romance series, Norton and Samee, at Moon Bay Press. The series is about a charismatic young couple, Norton Baily and Samee Ravenhair, who circumvent time and circle the globe in their efforts to save humanity from itself.
Michael Collins is author of eight novels and the screenplay for “Julia,” a French film starring Tilda Swinton. His novels include Death of a Writer, The Keepers of Truth, and The Resurrectionists, which was honored in 2003 by the independent booksellers of the Northwest. Collins is related to the Irish Nationalist hero of the same name and most of his work deals with the social and economic inequality that he witnessed while growing up in Ireland and after immigrating to America. Collins is also an ultra-runner and has run the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race, the Mt. Everest Challenge Marathon and in 2006 he won the North Pole Marathon and Sahara Half, just five weeks apart.
Adam Copeland is the Vancouver, WA-based author of the fantasy novel Echoes of Avalon.
Chris Crutcher grew up in Cascade, Idaho, a logging town north of Boise. Running Loose was his debut novel. Nine other novels, Stotan!, Chinese Handcuffs, The Crazy Horse Electric Game, The Deep End, Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, Ironman, Whale Talk, The Sledding Hill and Deadline, as well as two short story collections, Athletic Shorts and Angry Management, and his autobiography, King of the Mild Frontier, followed. Whale Talk was honored in 2002 by the independent booksellers of the Northwest. Crutcher is a popular columnist (Voices from the Middle, Family Energy Magazine, the Signal Journal, iParenting) and makes his home in Spokane, Washington.
Children’s book author Kurt Cyrus has worked as a fruit picker, forklift driver, respiratory therapist, rock drill operator, picture framer and concrete mixer for burial vaults. He has written and illustrated eight picture books and has illustrated another ten that were written by other authors. His Hotel Deep: Light Verse from Dark Water, a poetic adventure in the underwater world of the ocean, was honored with a 2006 award from the independent booksellers of the Northwest. Cyrus has done interior illustrations for M.T. Anderson’s Thrilling Tales series and cover art for various titles, including Rootabaga Stories by Carl Sandburg. He lives in Cottage Grove, Oregon with his partner, Linnea, and a pet dog.
Carole Estby Dagg
Carole Estby Dagg is a former librarian who is now writing historical fiction for young adults and upper middle grade readers. Her first book, The Year We Were Famous, is based on newspaper articles about Clara Estby (the author’s great-aunt) and her mother Helga, who walked from Spokane to New York City back in 1896 to save the family’s farm and to prove women could do it. The book is published by Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and launches April 4, 2011. She writes lives in Everett and writes in a converted woodshed on San Juan Island.
Carmela D’Amico completed her first children’s book when she was just five, and has been writing ever since. Working with her husband, illustrator Steve D’Amico, D’Amico has introduced readers to an engaging animal character in the children’s books, Ella the Elegant Elephant, which was honored by independent booksellers of the Northwest in 2005, Ella Takes the Cake, Ella Takes the Stage, and Ella Sets Sail. The D’Amico’s live with their daughter, Oliva, in Seattle.
Born in South Carolina and raised in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., John Daniel has lived in the West since 1966. His books include Looking After: A Son’s Memoir, Winter Creek: One Writer’s Natural History, and two books of poetry, Common Ground and All Things Touched By Wind. Rogue River Journal: A Winter Alone, a blend of three nonfiction narratives, was honored with a 2006 award from the independent booksellers of the Northwest. Daniel’s latest book, The Far Corner: Northwestern Views on Land, Life, and Literature, was published in 2009. Daniel lives with his wife in the Coast Range foothills west of Eugene, Oregon.
Craig Joseph Danner
Craig Joseph Danner is a native Oregonian who earned a degree in creative writing from Evergreen State College. His debut novel, Himalayan Dhaba, was first published in 2001, and quickly became a bookseller favorite, winning a 2002 award from the independent booksellers of the Northwest. He is a Physician Assistant, and has spent over ten years as a rural volunteer firefighter and emergency medical responder. A full-time novelist, he spends his non-writing time with his wife and two sons, and works on-call as a medico-legal death investigator.
Alexandra Day is the pen name for children’s book author and illustrator Sandra Louise Woodward Darling. Darling and her husband, Harold, whom Darling credits with writing and conceiving many of Day’s books, have produced more than twenty titles, including the Good Dog, Carl series, which was honored with a 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award by the independent booksellers of the Northwest. Darling, who once said that “Genuinesness is the one essential ingredient in a children’s book,” lives with her husband in Seattle.
Anthony Doerr is the author of four books, The Shell Collector, About Grace, Four Seasons in Rome, and, most recently, Memory Wall, which won a 2011 Award from the independent booksellers of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association. Doerr’s short fiction has won three O. Henry Prizes and has been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories, The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories, and The Scribner Anthology of Contemporary Fiction. He lives in Boise with his wife and two sons. He teaches now and then in the low-residency MFA program at Warren Wilson College in North Carolina.
Ivan Doig holds the distinction of having won more PNBA awards than any other Northwest author (This House of Sky, 1978; English Creek, 1985; Dancing at the Rascal Fair, 1988; Heart Earth, 1994; and The Whistling Season, 2007). This Montana-born former newspaperman and ranch hand has lovingly written the American West in both fiction and non-fiction. We like the way he describes his “literary begats” here. He lives in Seattle with his wife, Carol, who has taught the literature of the American West.
David James Duncan
Novelist and essayist David James Duncan is best known for his two bestselling novels, The River Why and The Brothers K, both about flyfishing, baseball, and family. The two, as well as his discourse about Christian convservatives, God Laughs & Plays: Churchless Sermons in Response to the Preachments of the Fundamentalist Right, have been honored by the independent booksellers of the Northwest. His recent book, The Heart of the Monster: Why the Pacific Northwest & Northern Rockies Must Not Become an ExxonMobil Conduit to the Alberta Tar Sands, co-authored with Rick Bass, is a protest against the construction of a permanent industrial corridor on rural roads in the Northwest and Northern Rockies. Duncan was born in Portland and now lives with his family in southwestern Montana, where he works with the American Rivers Association toward removing four dams on the Snake River.
Timothy Egan describes himself as “one of the many insignificant bi peds systematically trying to create my own slice of nirvana here on earth.” Pretty humble stuff for a guy who has won both a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award—not to mention two PNBA Book Awards (for the Good Rain, 1991, and The Big Burn, 2009). He lives in Seattle, where he contributes opinion columns to The New York Times as the paper’s Pacific Northwest correspondent.
Gary Ferguson believes that strong writing grows out of strong experience. Hence, Ferguson has hiked and skied thousands of miles through high deserts and forests, canoed countless miles of wild rivers, and explored some of the remotest corners of the Earth. He is the author of 16 books on nature, science and history. His recent work, Hawks Rest, became the first book in history to win nonfiction Book of The Year from both the independent booksellers of the Northwest, as well Mountains and Plains booksellers associations. Ferguson’s nature and science-based essays can be heard on National Public Radio affiliates throughout the country.
Louise Freeman-Toole is the author of Standing Up to the Rock, a memoir of life on a historic cattle ranch in Idaho’s Hells Canyon. Standing Up to the Rock was honored with a 2002 award from the independent booksellers of the Northwest. She has been writer in residence at the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park in Skagway, Alaska, and the Island Institute, in Sitka, Alaska. Louise Freeman Toole lives in a remote village on the Alaska-Yukon border.
Pete Fromm’s fiction and nonfiction books have won awards from the independent booksellers of the Pacific Northwest an impressive four times for Cool As I Am, How All This Started, Indian Creek Chronicles, and Night Swimming. He has published more than 100 short stories. He is on the faculty of Pacific University’s MFA writing program. He lives in Great Falls, Montana, with his wife and two children.
Hamill is the author of more than a dozen collections of poetry, including Destination Zero: Poems 1970–1995, Almost Paradise: New and Selected Poems and Translations, Dumb Luck, which was honored in 2003 by the independent booksellers of the Northwest, and Measured by Stone. Hamill has also published several collections of essays and numerous translations, including Crossing the Yellow River: 300 Poems from the Chinese. When First Lady Laura Bush invited Hamill to a 2003 White House symposium on poetry, he declined in protest of the impending war in Iraq, and instead launched the website poetsagainstthewar.org, an online anthology that has collected over 20,000 poems of protest and spawned an international movement.
Jim Harrison is known for his poetry, fiction, essays, and reviews, which have appeared in The New Yorker, Esquire, Sports Illustrated, Rolling Stone, Outside, Playboy, and Men’s Journal. Born in Grayling, Michigan, he has been blind in one eye since childhood. His novella, Legends of the Fall, was made into a film and his 2004 work, True North, was followed by Returning to Earth, which revisits the characters from True North. Returning to Earth is Harrison’s ninth novel and was honored with a 2008 award from the independent booksellers of the Northwest. Harrison currently divides his residence between Patagonia, Arizona and Livingston, Montana, where he still writes in longhand, at the dining room table.
Mark Holtzen grew up in the Pacific Northwest. At thirteen he took a bike trip to the San Juan Islands and has loved visiting ever since. His middle reader debut, The Pig War, is available at indie bookstores throughout the Northwest. He teaches at Seattle Country Day School.
Linda Lawrence Hunt
Linda Lawrence Hunt is the author of Bold Spirit, which was honored in 2004 by the independent booksellers of the Northwest. Hunt researched Helga Estby’s epic walk across Victorian America for her Ph.D. dissertation at Gonzaga University. She traveled throughout America and in Norway to reconstruct Helga’s silenced story and the tapestry of a transitional era between Victorian assumptions and the “new woman” emerging at the turn-of-the-century. Hunt now directs the Krista Foundation for Global Citizenship, which encourages other young adults engaged in global service. Linda lives in Spokane, Washington with her husband and daughters.
Michael Allen Hunt
Michael Allen Hunt writes novels because if he doesn’t he says his brain will spontaneously combust. Father of five and husband for twenty-two years, Hunt co-habitates with three dogs, four aquariums, and a turtle named Myrtle. Currently a fire and rescue district commissioner, Hunt spent thirty years in the field of civil engineering before retiring seven years ago to spend more time with his wife and children. A former planning commissioner for the city of Post Falls, Idaho, and former chairman of his county’s Local Emergency Planning Commission’s Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment Committee, Hunt is certified at two levels of anti-terrorism.
Writer Denis Johnson has produced poetry, non-fiction, and five novels, including Jesus’ Son, which was made into a 1999 award-winning movie, and Tree of Smoke, for which he was honored with a 2008 award from the independent book sellers of the Northwest and with a 2007 National Book Award. In a 2007 article for the New York Times, Johnson said his influences include Dr. Seuss, Jimi Hendrix and T. S. Eliot. “Those I admire the most and those I admired the earliest … have something to say in every line I write,” he said. Johnson was born in 1949 in Munich, West Germany and now lives in Northern Idaho.
Stephanie Kallos’s debut novel, Broken for You, was honored by a 2005 award by the independent booksellers of the Northwest. Her second novel, Sing Them Home, was published in 2009. Kallos lives with her family in a north Seattle neighborhood that has no sidewalks and looks very much like a small town. Happily distracting her from writing are numerous unfinished knitting projects, a doe-eyed Labrador named Mr. Nick Tumnus, a pair of extremely vocal tabby cats, two adolescent boys who play brass instruments, and an eighty-voice Intergenerational Choir of Unitarians which she serves as Conductor. She is currently working on her third novel.
Seth Kantner is a commercial fisherman, author and wildlife photographer. He was born and raised in northern Alaska. His writing and photographs have appeared in Outside, Alaska Geographic, The New York Times, Prairie Schooner, among other magazines, literary journals and anthologies. He’s a former columnist for the Anchorage Daily News and writes a bi-monthly dispatch on climate change in the Arctic for Orion magazine. His debut novel, Ordinary Wolves, was honored with a 2005 award from the independent booksellers of the Northwest. His most recent book, Shopping for Porcupine, was released in 2006. He lives in northwest Alaska with his wife, Stacey, and his daughter, China.
Lauren Kessler is the author of six works of narrative nonfiction, including Dancing With Rose: Finding Life in the Land of Alzheimer’s, for which she was honored with a 2008 award from the indepdent booksellers of the Northwest. Her latest work, My Teenage Werewolf: A Mother, A Daughter, A Journey Through the Thicket of Adolescence was released in the summer of 2010. Her other award-winning books include Clever Girl, The Happy Bottom Riding Club, Full Court Press and Stubborn Twig. Kessler’s journalism has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Los Angeles Times Magazine, O Magazine, Utne Reader, and salon.com. She directs the graduate program in literary nonfiction at the University of Oregon in Eugene, where she lives with her husband and three children.
Jane Kirkpatrick is a retired social worker and teacher who has written 16 books, both fiction and non-fiction, about or based on the lives of people in the American West. Her first novel, A Sweetness to the Soul, won the Wrangler Award from the Western Heritage Center. A Tendering in the Storm won the 2007 WILLA Literary Award for Best Original Paperback, and A Flickering Light, a story based on her grandmother’s life as a turn of the century photographer, was named to Library Journal’s Best Books of 2009. Her work has also appeared in more than 50 publications, including Decision, Private Pilot and Daily Guideposts. Kirkpatrick now lives in Central Oregon (between Bend and Redmond) after homesteading for 26 years with her husband, Jerry, in a remote part of Oregon known as Starvation Point.
Aryn Kyle was born in Peoria, Illinois, and grew up in Grand Junction, Colorado. Her debut novel, The God of Animals (Scribner, 2007) was an international bestseller and was honored by the independent booksellers of the Northwest in 2008. Her short story collection, Boys and Girls Like You and Me, was published by Scribner in April, 2010. Kyle’s short fiction has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Ploughshares, Best American Short Stories 2007, Best New American Voices 2005, and elsewhere. She lives in New York City.
Susan La Riviere
Susan La Riviere is a former writing instructor and journalist (The Yakima Herald Republic). She has written and self-published three books: The Brothers: Facing Challenges in Life and Death Together; The Waiting Room: Strangers Become One Family in the ICU Waiting Room and Troubador: A Musician’s Life on the Road. She lives in Yakima with her husband, Larry, who has a band called Larry La Riviere and The Bayou Boys. Together, they have co-written and recorded several Cajun-zydeco songs.
Erik Larson is the bestselling author of the National Book Award finalist and PNBA Award-winning The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America (2004) and the PNBA Award-winning Isaac’s Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History (2000). His journalism has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Time, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Harper’s and other publications. He lives in Seattle with his wife, three daughters, and a dog named Molly.
David Laskin has written books and articles on a wide range of subjects, including history, weather, travel, gardens and the natural world. His most recent book, The Children’s Blizzard, was honored in 2005 by the independent booksellers of the Northwest. Laskin’s other titles include Braving the Elements: The Stormy History of American Weather, Partisans: Marriage, Politics and Betrayal Among the New York Intellectuals, A Common Life: Four Generations of American Literary Friendship and Influence, and Artists in their Gardens (co-authored with Valerie Easton). A frequent contributor to The New York Times Travel Section, Laskin also writes for the Washington Post, The Seattle Times, and Seattle Metropolitan. He and his wife, Kate O’Neill, have three grown daughters and live in Seattle with their two sweet old dogs.
“We tried to make the best book that’s ever been made in Oregon,” John Laursen said in an interview with The Oregonian. Laursen, a book designer and editor, was referring to Wild Beauty: Photographs of the Columbia River Gorge, 1867-1957, which he co-authored with his longtime friend Terry Toedtemeier, curator of photography at the Portland Art Museum, who died in 2008. Toedtemeier and Laursen formed a nonprofit, the Northwest Photography Archive, to publish books of historically and artistically significant photographs. Their book was honored in 2009 by the independent booksellers of the Northwest. In 2011, Oregon’s Literary Arts presented Laursen with the Stewart H. Holbrook Literary Legacy Award, presented annually to “a person or organization in recognition of significant contributions that have enriched Oregon’s literary community.”
Iain Lawrence is a bestselling author for children and young adults. A former journalist, his books include The Wreckers, The Giant-Slayer, The Buckaneers, and Gemini Summer, for which he won a 2007 award from the independent booksellers of the Northwest. In an interview with BookBrowse, Lawrence said he strives to create a feeling for his readers that, “The story is utterly true at the time of its reading—that if you so much as move, you’ll scare the bird away.” Lawrence now lives in British Columbia’s Gulf Islands with his partner, Kristin; his dog, Misty; and his cat, Sailor Sam.
As a girl growing up in remote central Oregon, Sarahlee Lawrence dreamed of leaving her small town in search of adventure. By the age of twenty-one, she had rafted some of the most dangerous rivers in the world as an accomplished river guide. But living her dream as a guide and advocate led her back to the place she least expected to find herself—her family’s ranch in Terrebonne. Her memoir, River House, chronicles her return home. It won a 2011 award from the independent booksellers of the Northwest.
Ursula K. Le Guin
Ursula K. Le Guin has published twenty-two novels, eleven volumes of short stories, three collections of essays, twelve books for children, six volumes of poetry and four of translation, and has received many awards: Hugo, Nebula, National Book Award, PEN-Malamud, the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award (in 1986 for Always Coming Home and a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001) and others. Her recent publications include a volume of poetry, Incredible Good Fortune; the novel Lavinia; an essay collection, Cheek by Jowl; and The Wild Girls, which packages a short story and an essay that was originally published in Harpers. Le Guin lives in Portland. Northwest Book Lovers was fortunate to publish her essay, Riding the Avalanche, about the publishing industry.
Priscilla Long is a Seattle-based writer of poetry, essays, creative nonfictions, fictions, science, and history. She has an MFA degree from the University of Washington and teaches writing in the Seattle area. Her guide to writing is The Writer’s Portable Mentor: A Guide to Art, Craft, and the Writing Life. She is author of Where the Sun Never Shines: A History of America’s Bloody Coal Industry (1989). Her essays, short stories, and poems appear in The Southern Review, The Gettysburg Review, Fourth Genre, Southern Poetry Review, Raven Chronicles, North Dakota Quarterly, The American Scholar, Ontario Review, The Seattle Review and many other venues.
Barry Lopez is an essayist, author and naturalist who has lived in Oregon since 1968. He has traveled extensively in remote and populated parts of the world. Lopez is the author of Arctic Dreams, for which he received the National Book Award; Of Wolves and Men, a National Book Award finalist; and eight works of fiction, including Light Action in the Caribbean, Field Notes and Resistance. Field Notes and Arctic Dreams were both honored with awards from the independent booksellers of the Northwest. Lopez’s essays are collected in two books, Crossing Open Ground and About This Life. His most recent book is Home Ground: Language for an American Landscape, a reader’s dictionary of regional landscape terms, which he edited with Debra Gwartney. He contributes regularly to Granta, The Georgia Review, Orion, Outside, The Paris Review, Manoa and many other publications. Lopez is a recipient of the Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the John Hay Medal, Guggenheim, Lannan, and National Science Foundation fellowships, Pushcart Prizes in fiction and nonfiction, and other honors.
Ron Lovell is a former magazine journalist and retired Oregon State University journalism professor whose self-published Thomas Martindale mystery series is now eight books strong. The series includes Murder at Yaquina Head; Dead Whales Tell No Tales and Yaquina White. A native of Colorado who grew up in California and worked all over the country in his journalism career, Lovell now lives on the Oregon Coast in a small house with a view of the trees and the sea.
Jim Lynch began writing as a reporter in an Alaskan fishing village. As a journalist, he has received the Livingston Award for Young Journalists, among other national honors. His first novel, The Highest Tide, was honored by the independent booksellers of the Northwest in 2006, and his second novel, Border Songs, won a 2010 Washington State Book Award. Lynch lives with his wife and their daughter in Olympia, Washington. He says, “I remain inspired by where I live, overlooking this bay at the southern bottom of Puget Sound …”
Jerry Mader/Tolt River Press
Jerry Mader has been a professional artist working as a classical musician/composer, writer and photographer since 1967. In 2007 he founded Tolt River Press, a publishing company dedicated to publishing fine art photography books, Pacific Northwest oral history, fiction and poetry. In addition to his latest production, Saving the Soil—The New American Farmer, he wrote and published Carnation Verbatim—A Snoqualmie Valley Memoir, 2008, and its audio CD companion, “Carnation Verbatim—A Portrait in Voices,” both published by Tolt River Press. His other published work includes The Road to Lame Deer, University of Nebraska Press, 2001. Mader currently lives in Carnation, WA where he continues to write, make photographs and design books.
Crystal Marcos has been a storyteller her entire life. As the oldest of five children, she had a lot of entertaining to do. Marcos lives on the Kitsap Peninsula in Washington with her husband and their daughter, Kaylee. Her first book, BELLYACHE: A Delicious Tale, was nominated for the 2010 CYBILS Awards and won the Readers Favorite Silver Award in its category.
A graduate of Yale University and a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, Karl Marlantes served as a Marine in Vietnam, where he was awarded the Navy Cross, the Bronze Star, two Navy Commendation Medals for valor, two Purple Hearts, and ten air medals. His debut novel, Matterhorn, was written over the course of thirty years and has been widely hailed as the definitive Vietnam novel. It won a 2011 award from the independent booksellers of the Northwest. Marlantes lives in rural Washington State.
Nora Martin is an Adjunct Professor at Montana State University teaching courses in children’s and young adult literature. She earned a teaching degree at the University of Alaska and taught in several rural schools, including one in the Tlingit village of Klukwan. She is the author of The Stone Dancers, The Eagle’s Shadow, Flight of the Fisherbird, and A Perfect Snow, which was honored in 2003 with an award from the independent booksellers of the Northwest. Martin now lives in Gallatin Gateway, Montana, with her husband, Andrew, and their sons, Winslow and Haynes.
Olympia artist Nikki McClure is known for her painstakingly intricate and beautiful paper cuts. Armed with an X-acto knife, she cuts out her images from a single sheet of paper and creates a language that translates the complex poetry of motherhood, nature and activism into a simple and endearing picture. She regularly produces her own posters, books, cards, T-shirts and a beloved yearly calendar as well as designs covers for countless records and books. All In a Day, a children’s book she illustrated, won an award from the independent booksellers of the Northwest in 2010.
Greg Mortenson is a humanitarian, a former mountaineer and an author. Mortenson is the co-founder and director of the non-profit Central Asia Institute as well as founder of the educational charity, Pennies for Peace. He is the co-author, with David Oliver Relin, of Three Cups of Tea, which was honored by the independent booksellers of the Northwest in 2007. As of 2010, Mortenson had established or significantly supported 171 schools in rural and often volatile regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan. The sequel to Three Cups of Tea, Stones Into Schools: Promoting Peace with Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan was released in 2009. Mortenson lives in Bozeman with his wife and two children.
Jack Nisbet is a teacher and naturalist whose 2009 book The Collector: David Douglas and the Natural History of the Northwest (Sasquatch), won a PNBA Award. Other titles include The Mapmaker’s Eye: David Thompson on the Columbia Plateau (WSU Press, 2005) and Sources of the River: Tracking David Thompson Across Western North America (Sasquatch, 1994), which won the Idaho Library Book of the year and the Washington Governor’s Award in 1995. He lives in Spokane.
Gina Ochsner lives in Keizer, Oregon and divides her time between writing and teaching with the Seattle Pacific Low-Residency MFA program. Her stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Tin House, Glimmertrain and the Kenyon Review. She is the author of the short story collection The Necessary Grace to Fall, which was honored in 2003 by the independent booksellers of the Northwest and the story collection, People I Wanted to Be. Both books received the Oregon Book Award.
Nicholas O’Connell, M.F.A, Ph.D., is the author of The Storms of Denali (University of Alaska Press, 2012), On Sacred Ground: The Spirit of Place in Pacific Northwest Literature (University of Washington Press, 2003), At the Field’s End: Interviews with 22 Pacific Northwest Writers (University of Washington Press Press, 1998), Contemporary Ecofiction (Charles Scribner’s, 1996) and Beyond Risk: Conversations with Climbers (Mountaineers, 1993). He has contributed to Newsweek, Gourmet, Saveur, Outside, GO, National Geographic Adventure, Condé Nast Traveler, Food & Wine, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Sierra, The Wine Spectator, Commonweal, Image and many other places. He is the publisher/editor of The Writer’s Workshop Review and the founder of the online and Seattle-based writing program, www.thewritersworkshop.net.
Bestselling cult author Chuck Palahniuk’s first novel was Fight Club, which went on to become a popular movie. This success was followed by almost a book a year since 1999, including Survivor, Invisible Monsters, Diary, Rant, and Lullaby, which was honored in 2003 by the independent booksellers of the Northwest. Choke, published in 2001, became Palahniuk’s first New York Times bestseller. He currently divides his time between two homes, one in Oregon and one in Washington, both of which he shares with his partner of seventeen years and their two dogs.
First as a librarian, then as an author, reviewer, lecturer and radio and television personality, Nancy Pearl has spent her adult life championing the best books. In 1998, she developed the program “If All of Seattle Read the Same Book,” which spread across the country. The former Executive Director of the Washington Center for the Book, Pearl celebrates the written word by speaking at bookstores and libraries across the country and on her monthly television program Book Lust with Nancy Pearl on the Seattle Channel. Pearl’s books include Book Lust To Go (2010), Book Crush (2007) and Book Lust (2003), all from Sasquatch Books. In recognition of her books and efforts in support of books, booksellers, libraries and librarians, the independent booksellers of the Pacific Northwest honored her with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011. She lives in Seattle with her husband, Joe.
Nan Phifer is an associate director of the Oregon Writing Project at the University of Oregon. She is the author of Memoirs of the Soul: A Writing Guide and travels nationally to give workshops in writing spiritual memoirs.
Barbara Corrado Pope
Barbara Corrado Pope is the author of three historical novels set in late-19th-century France. Her first novel, Cezanne’s Quarry, was nominated for an Oregon Book Award; her second, The Blood of Lorraine received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. Her third, The Missing Italian Girl, arrives in February 2013. She has a Ph.D. in the Social and Intellectual History of Europe from Columbia University and has taught history and women’s studies in places as diverse as Hungary, Tuscany, the University of New Mexico, and Harvard Divinity School. Her longest stint was at the University of Oregon, where she was the founding director of women’s studies. Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Barbara now resides in Oregon. She is married and has one daughter.
Cherie Priest is the author of seven novels. Boneshaker (Tor, 2009) won a 2010 award from the independent booksellers of the Northwest. Boneshaker was also nominated for both the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award, and it was a Locus Award finalist. Her other books include Four and Twenty Blackbirds, Fathom, Wings to the Kingdom, and the Endeavour-nominated book Not Flesh Nor Feathers from Tor. Her short novels Dreadful Skin and Those Who Went Remain There Still are published by Subterranean Press. She lives in Seattle with her husband and a fat black cat.
Dawn Prince-Hughes is the author of Songs of the Gorilla Nation, a memoir about growing up with Asperger’s Sydrome, which was honored with a 2005 award from the independent booksellers of the Northwest. Prince-Hughes is also the author of Gorillas Among Us: A Primate Ethnographer’s Book of Days and three other books. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. in interdisciplinary anthropology from the Universität Herisau in Switzerland and is an adjunct professor of anthropology at Western Washington University. She is on the advisory board of ApeNet, a nonprofit organization.
Naseem Rakha is a geologist turned journalist turned novelist whose debut, The Crying Tree (Random House, 2009), won a PNBA Award in 2010. Her stories have been heard on NPR’s All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Marketplace Radio and Living on Earth. She lives in Oregon with her husband, son and many animals.
David Oliver Relin
David Oliver Relin is the co-author (with Greg Mortenson) of the #1 New York Times bestseller Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time, for which he won 2007 award from the independent booksellers of the Northwest. Relin was a graduate of Vassar and was awarded the prestigious Teaching/Writing Fellowship at the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. For two decades, Relin focused on reporting about social issues and their effect on children, both in the United States, and around the world. His interviews with child soldiers (including a profile of teenager Ishmael Beah, who would later write the bestseller A Long Way Gone) have been included in Amnesty International reports. His investigation into the way the INS abused children in its custody contributed to the reorganization of that agency. He was from Portland, and he died in 2012.
Steven Rinella is the host of the Travel Channel’s The Wild Within and the author of The Scavenger’s Guide to Haute Cuisine and American Buffalo: In Search of a Lost Icon, which was honored by the independent booksellers of the Northwest in 2009. He has written for Outside, New York Times, The New Yorker, Salon.com, O the Oprah Magazine, and the anthologies Best American Travel Writing and Best Food Writing. A native of Twin Lake, Michigan, he has an apartment in Brooklyn, New York, and a moldy fishing and hunting shack on an island in Alaska.
A lifetime journalist beginning as a UCLA magazine staff member, Roe writes features for magazines and newspapers worldwide on topics that range from western cowboys to city profiles. Roe has published 16 books, most recently San Juan Islands: Into the 21st Century from Caxton Press. She has been awarded the Governor’s Award, two Mayor’s awards, the Japan-America Society Award and a 1981 PNBA award for Frank Matsura, Frontier Photographer.
Abbe Rolnick lives with her husband, Jim Wiggins, on twenty acres in Sedro-Woolley, WA. A mother of three grown adults, she is the owner of two juice franchises, is a former CEO of a large manufacturing firm, and consults and writes in her spare time. Raised in Baltimore, MD, she attended University of Florida and graduated from Boston University. Many of the scenes and characters in her novel, River of Angels, are a blend of her impression from her years living in Puerto Rico.
Seattle author Matt Ruff ‘s first novel was bought by a New York publisher when he was still studying under novelist Alison Lurie at Cornell University. Fool on the Hill was followed by Sewer, Gas & Electric and Set This House in Order, which won an award from the independent booksellers of the Northwest in 2004. Ruff’s epic novels usually take several years to write. Most recently, his Bad Monkeys was honored by independent booksellers of the Northwest in 2008. Ruff lives with his wife, Lisa, a rare-book dealer, on Queen Anne Hill in Seattle.
Cynthia Rylant is the author of more than a hundred books for children, including a 2010 PNBA Award for All In a Day (Abrams, 2009). She won the Newbery Medal for Missing May and the Newbery Honor for A Fine White Dust. If you didn’t immediately recognize Rylant’s name, you will probably recognize some of her characters: Poppleton, Henry and Mudge, and Mr. Putter and Tabby, for instance. Rylant lives in Lake Oswego, Oregon.
Natalie Serber is the author of the short story collection Shout Her Lovely Name. She received her MFA from Warren Wilson College. Her work has appeared in The Bellingham Review, Fourth Genre, and Gulf Coast, among others, and online at Hunger Mountain, where she writes about her experience publishing Shout Her Lovely Name and where you can read the title story. Serber lives in Portland, where she’s working on a novel “about the geometry of family life, the families we are born into and the families we create and sustain by choice.”
Sharma Shields is the author of the short story collection Favorite Monster, winner of the Autumn House Fiction Contest. Sharma’s short fiction has appeared in Kenyon Review, Iowa Review, Fugue, Sonora Review and several other literary journals. She has received numerous awards for her writing, including the Tim McGinnis Award for Humor, a Grant for Artist Projects from Artist Trust and the A.B. Guthrie Award for Outstanding Prose. She received her B.A. in English Literature from the University of Washington (2000) and her MFA from the University of Montana (2004). She now lives in Spokane with her husband and young son. As an Information Specialist for the Spokane County Library District, Sharma founded T.W.I.N.E. — Teen Writers of the Inland Empire — a writing club for area youth.
Floyd Skloot is a poet, novelist and essayist. Born in Brooklyn, he has been an Oregonian since 1984. He and his wife, Beverly, lived in a cedar yurt in rural Amity before moving back to Portland, where they currently live. His wife’s paintings grace the covers of many of Skloot’s books, which include The End of Dreams, The Snow’s Music, Approximately Paradise, honored by a 2006 award from the independent booksellers of the Northwest and Selected Poems: 1970-2005, which won the same award in 2009. Skloot’s daughter, Rebecca Skloot, is the bestselling author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, winner of the Heartland Prize and Wellcome Trust Book Prize.
A long-time journalist, newspaper and magazine editor, Art Spinella began the Drago Mystery Series in 2010. Drago mysteries begin in Oregon, but always weave international and historical storylines. Spinella’s main characters are “regular” guys, Harley riders who solve crimes with common sense. All characters are based on members of the Harley Owners Group and Bandon residents, making the first three volumes a hit on the Southern Oregon Coast. Spinella is married with five children and lives in Bandon, Oregon.
Kim Stafford is a writer and teacher living in Portland, Oregon. He is the founding director of the Northwest Writing Institute, a zone for exploratory writing at Lewis & Clark College. His books include Having Everything Right: Essays of Place, The Muses Among Us: Eloquent Listening and Other Pleasures of the Writer’s Craft, A Thousand Friends of Rain: New & Selected Poems, and Early Morning: Remembering My Father, William Stafford, which was honored in 2003 with an award from the independent booksellers of the Northwest.
Garth Stein is the author of three novels: Raven Stole the Moon (Harper, 2010), The Art of Racing in the Rain (Harper, 2008), honored with a 2009 award from the independent booksellers of the Northwest, and How Evan Broke His Head and Other Secrets (Soho Press, 2005), which received the same award in 2006. He has also written a full-length play, Brother Jones. Stein worked as a documentary film maker in New York for several years. He grew up in Seattle, where he currently lives with his family.
Anthony Swofford served in a U.S. Marine Corps Surveillance and Target Acquisition/Scout-Sniper platoon during the Gulf War. Jarhead, which was honored by the independent booksellers of the Northwest, is his memoir. After the war, he was educated at American River College; the University of California, Davis; and the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He has taught at the University of Iowa and Lewis and Clark College. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in The New York Times, Harper’s, Men’s Journal, The Iowa Review, and other publications. A Michener-Copernicus Fellowship recipient, he lives in New York.
Rod Thomas is a retired Army colonel with a penchant for art and history, especially of the American West. He combined both topics in his first book, Rubbing Out Long Hair: The American Indian Story of the Little Big Horn in Art and Word, published in 2009 by Elk Plain Press. He’s been published in several history journals and is a contributor to the Encyclopedia of United States Indian Policy and Law, published by CQ Press and co-edited by Portland State University professor of history Tim Allen Garrison. He and his wife, Susan, live outside Tacoma, Washington.
Pauls Toutonghi was born in Seattle, Washington in 1976 and graduated from James A. Garfield High School. Random House published his first novel, Red Weather, in 2006. It will also publish his second, Evel Knievel Days, in the spring of 2012. Toutonghi lives in Portland, Oregon, where he teaches American literature and fiction writing at Lewis and Clark College.
Brady Udall is the author of Letting Loose the Hounds, The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint and the The Lonely Polygamist, which won a 2011 PNBA Award from the independent booksellers of the Northwest. His work has appeared in The Paris Review, Playboy, GQ and Esquire, and his stories and essays have been featured on National Public Radio’s This American Life. He teaches in the MFA program at Boise State University and lives in Boise, Idaho and Teasdale, Utah with his wife and children.
Jan Walker is a retired community college teacher and the founder and editorial director of Plicata Press, a small press featuring authors from the Puget Sound area. She grew up on the Kitsap Peninsula, the sinuous land mass that sits in the center of Puget Sound, with Seattle and the Cascade Mountains to the east, Hood Canal and the Olympics to the west. Characters living, surviving and thriving on the land that meets the sea are a recurring theme in her writing.
Jess Walter is the author of five novels and one nonfiction book. His essays, short fiction, criticism and journalism have been widely published in Details, Playboy, Newsweek, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe , among others. His award-winning books include The Financial Lives of The Poets, Citizen Vince, Over Tumbled Graves, and The Zero, which was honored by the independent booksellers of the Northwest in 2007. He lives with his wife and children in his hometown, Spokane, Washington.
Ellen Harkins Wheat is the author of Jacob Lawrence, American Painter, for which she received the Washington State Governor’s Writers’ Award and was honored by the independent booksellers of the Northwest in 1987. She has also written Jacob Lawrence’s “Frederick Douglass” and “Harriet Tubman” Series (1939–40), and numerous articles about Jacob Lawrence’s work. She has a Ph.D. in art history, and has taught art history and writing at the University of Washington and Western Washington University. She lives in Indianola, Washington, and Pleasanton, California, and is a freelance editor.
Virginia Euwer Wolff
Virginia Euwer Wolff was born in Portland, Oregon. Her family lived on an apple and pear orchard near Mount Hood. Wolff was almost fifty years old when she started writing children books. Her books include Make Lemonade, The Mozart Season, Probably Still Nick Swansen, and True Believer, which was honored by a 2002 award from the independent booksellers of the Northwest. In an interview with Children’s Literature Network she says, “I think we kids’ authors still start out with hope every morning. We honor our audience.” She lives in a cottage in Oregon, where she has a studio in the middle of the woods. An accomplished violinist, she is a member of the Chamber Music Society of Oregon.
Scott Wyatt was born in Portland, Oregon, on March 3, 1951. He grew up in Sandpoint, Idaho, attended Stanford University and the University of Washington School of Law, and entered the practice of law in 1976. In 1999, he founded the Companion Flag Project to elevate and sustain public awareness of all that human beings have in common, their differences notwithstanding. The underpinnings of that campaign are reflected in the closing arguments of attorney Jason McQuade in Beyond the Sand Creek Bridge. Scott has four children and five grandchildren. He continues to write and work from a hilltop home sixteen miles east of Seattle–a home he shares with his wife, Rochelle.