Meet the Contributors

Aimee L. Gross

Aimee L. Gross

Aimee L. Gross

Aimee L. Gross is a local author who relished the challenge of last year’s community novel project, so volunteered for another round. She is currently editing/revising her four Young Adult novels, while also working on a western and an espionage tale. A life-long writer, many of her best days are spent accommodating all those characters who appear in her mind’s eye with a story they want told. She can be reached at agross9999@yahoo.com.

C R Kennedy

C R Kennedy

C R Kennedy

C R Kennedy is a graduate of Kansas State University where she majored in finance and accounting. Her passion for creativity and the Hollywood silver screen sparked her career drive to write vintage and modern-day romance and mystery stories. She lives in Topeka and is an active member of Kansas Writers Inc. and The Blackbird Writing Group. C R has several works in progress and available stories can be found at crkennedyink.com.

Miranda Ericsson Kendall

Miranda Ericsson Kendall

Miranda Ericsson Kendall

Miranda Ericsson Kendall was born in the Ozarks of Missouri, but she has lived in Topeka, Kansas, for 20 years.  She graduated from Highland Park High School, and earned her degree in English with an emphasis in creative writing at Washburn University.  She is a joyful mom with two bright children and one pug-terrier mix, and loves to be outside enjoying the beauty of Kansas with them whenever possible.  She is often caught reading science fiction, poetry, or children’s picture books.  Dogs, unicorns, and history are some of her favorite inspirations.

Elaine Greywalker

Elaine Greywalker

Elaine Greywalker

Elaine is a visual artist and writer. Her first published novel, “Uncle Tauber’s Trunk”, is available through Amazon.com. She writes SciFi/Fantasy novels with touches of time travel and mystery. She is an avid participant in National Novel Writing Month. Having multiple novel drafts has never prevented her from writing another. She sustains five blogs, one focused on creativity and the creative process. Sometimes she writes poetry and has published two chap books. She creates art in two categories: fantasy landscapes and abstract expressionism. Her published fine art is available through Fine Art America, Zazzle and Deviant Art. She tweets as “whooshing.” You can find out more than you ever wanted to know by visiting heartwind.com.

Nan Plum

Nan Plum

Nan Plum

Nan Plum is the witty pseudonym of a Topeka author who supports the local writing community while writing and publishing
great fiction.

A.M. Coffee

A. M. Coffee

A. M. Coffee

Antonette Coffee has resided in Topeka for 23 years; married for 18 year to Don. Together they have six children and four grandchildren. Beginning her writing at the age of 14, inspired by her life experiences and faith, she won a poetry contest for “Heartbroken” at the age of 15 which gave her more inspiration. She has led teenage book reads at her local library; takes the opportunity to mentor to young people by volunteering at local community centers coaching volleyball; and teaches Youth Adult Sunday School at the church she attends. Antonette has participated in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) since 2005–winning in 2011 & 2012. Antonette also coauthored & participated in the 2012 Community Novel Project.

BlackRose

BlackRose

BlackRose

Have you ever felt like you were born to accomplish at least one goal in your life…? Have you ever felt like life was taking you nowhere fast…? Well, I’ve felt that way time and time again but God blessed me with a gift and that gift was to create images with a pen. Some people do it on canvases, some do it with scrap metal but I have been blessed to do it by pen. I thank God for my gift daily. With my gift I have created masterpieces…*Deception*, *Deception: The Other Side*, *Lesbian: Come Walk With Me* and *Sextasies*. Now I bring to you a different side to things with *Thug’s Intuition*. I enjoy writing because this is what I do best. I’ve even showcased some of my poetry in *The Poetic Lounge Volume 3* and just recently me and a friend attacked a huge project together *Looking For Love In All The Wrong Places* this one is brilliant I must say. Last but not least I just got a ban of friends together for my last release *Friends Of A Feather* which was released Dec. 25th of 2012. I spend all my leisure time either with my children and or spilling ink and when I’m not spilling ink I enjoy helping out family and friends. This is just a little something about me and if you wanna know more please visit my website at www.tmallory.webs.com.

Janet Jenkins Stotts

Janet Jenkins Stotts

Janet Jenkins Stotts

Janet Jenkins Stotts got her MA in Curriculum and Instruction with emphasis in Teaching English as a Second Language from the University of Kansas. Until last year, most of her writing was work-related and included federal grant proposals and material published in the national GED Administrator’s Training Manual.  Thanks to TSCPL, she took part in the National Novel Writing Month last November and completed the 50,000 word challenge. She has since turned that novel into The Orchid Garden, a mystery based on the trip to China she made to assist in the adoption of her granddaughter, Ella. She hopes to have it published through Amazon print and Amazon kindle by the end of the summer. She and her husband live north of Topeka with five dogs, six goats and a goat that thinks it’s a dog.

Stacy Spilker

Stacy Spilker

Stacy Spilker

Stacy Spilker has been making up stories since she was old enough to talk. As a child, she dreamed of becoming a published author, but became discouraged as a teenager. In college, she discovered she preferred editing as it appealed to her perfectionist nature. She earned an Associate degree in English, and joined NaNoWriMo in an attempt to fully understand the writing process (and to finally finish something) and fell back in love with telling stories. This is the first time she has allowed her fiction to be read by anyone else.

Marian Rakestraw

Marian Rakestraw

Marian Rakestraw

Marian Rakestraw is a relative newcomer to Topeka, having previously lived practically everywhere else. She joined NaNoWriMo and took up the isolating, nerve-fraying, confidence-rattling task of writing fiction as a fun way to meet new people. It worked wonderfully. She compulsively seeks education and has multiple academic degrees. Her husband is notably spectacular and together they have two charming children and a zaftig dog.

Diana Marsh

Diana Marsh

Diana Marsh

Diana Marsh spends her days as an administrative assistant with the State of Kansas, and her nights plotting the torment and agony of fictional characters. She has put the latter skill to use as a participant of National Novel Writing Month since 2003, an activity that has given her ten years of fun and five completed novels. If only that pesky first drafts from 2010 and 2012 would end.

Dennis E. Smirl

Dennis E. Smirl

Dennis E. Smirl

Dennis E. Smirl has been an Air Force officer, a salesman for a Fortune 500 company, a school psychologist, a computer science instructor at several community colleges, and a business owner. Married to his college sweetheart for almost half a century, he has spent time in Mexico, Japan, and South Vietnam, but prefers to take family vacations in the USA and Canada. A writer for as long as he can remember—he attempted a first novel at age ten—his first taste of national publication was a race report written and published in 1965. Beyond his interest in writing science fiction and mysteries, he has had a lifetime interest in horseback riding, auto racing (as a driver), golf, photography, computers and information processing. He has written nine novels and more than seventy short stories and novellas, and hopes to have all nine novels—and perhaps a couple more—available through Amazon print and Amazon Kindle within the next two years.

Crystal K. Green

Crystal K. Green

Crystal K. Green

Crystal K. Green enjoyed co-authoring Capital City Capers (the 2012 Community Novel) so much she volunteered to help create another unique local adventure in 2013. She loves to capture inspirational stories and reveal them through words and photos. Her life-long passion for writing takes her on many fictional journeys. Her appreciation of culture and languages motivates her to study German, Spanish, and Russian (so far); host international students; and travel the world. She began actively participating in NaNoWriMo events in 2006, which has resulted in 9 novels and 3 scripts. She can be reached at crystalkgreen@gmail.com.

D. L. Rose

D. L. Rose

D. L. Rose

D. L. Rose has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil. The Community Novel Project is an exercise in writing without a plan, something she very rarely does otherwise. 30 Days of PreWriting, her ebook, is available on Amazon and her other writings can be found at maidenfine.com. When not writing, she is a homeschooling homemaker with two adorable minions and a cat. Photo by Morgan Chilson.

Rae Kary Staab

Rae Kary Staab

Rae Kary Staab

Rae Kary Staab participated in the community novel project last year and thoroughly enjoyed writing for it She has a B.S. in Geological Engineering and is a certified E.M.T. Rae stayed home to raise her family and now that they are grown she is looking forward to writing and working. She enjoys reading, rope spinning, and sewing. Rae and her husband live north of Topeka. Rae Kary Staab may be contacted at raekarystaab@yahoo.com

Elizabeth Staab Van Deusen

Elizabeth Staab Van Deusen

Elizabeth Staab Van Deusen

Elizabeth Staab Van Deusen lived in Topeka as a small child and as a young adult, spending a year at Washburn University before transferring to Oral Roberts University and receiving a writing degree.  She participated in and won her first two National Novel Writing Month events with the Topeka NaNoWriMo group, and she is particularly proud of having written her 2010 novel draft entirely on the Topeka area group dare–a red sock, which she lost on page one and spent 50,000 words finding again.  Elizabeth is a substitute teacher and currently resides in Oklahoma with her husband and infant son.  This is her first time co-writing with her mother.

Romualdo R. Chavez

Romualdo R. Chavez

Romualdo R. Chavez

Romualdo R. Chavez is a graduate of Washburn University. He majored in Psychology and minored in Sociology. His love for the Urban Fantasy genre led him to write his debut novel El Vampiro and the Curse of the Feathered Serpent in 2009. Other works include various short stories. He has contributed chapters for the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library’s Community Novel projects: Capital City Capers (2012) and Speak Easy (2013). He has completed his second novel, tentatively titled The Mourning Sage, and is hard at work on the sequel to his first novel. Romualdo resides in Topeka, Kansas, where he is an active member of Kansas Writers Inc. and The Blackbirds Writing Group.

B.R. Knight

B. R. Knight

B. R. Knight

B.R. Knight grew up in the Big Sky country of south eastern Montana and north central Wyoming. She loved telling stories even from an early age and completed her first short story at age 8 about milk stealing aliens invading local ranches. It’s been a never-ending passion ever since. She attended Montana State University-Billings where she majored in English and Spanish education. She has published a Spanish-language short story entitled El espejo and a story collection called The Mistletoe Operation and Other Tales. She is currently working on an eight book series based on world mythology.

 

Sarah Langley

Sarah Langley

Sarah Langley

Sarah Langley, life-long lover of words, grew up finding rhyming words for every object she saw. She wrote numerous short stories, all of which were silly, but her young eyes saw them as masterpieces. Now she writes both poetry and novels because she loves the feel of a pen in her hand, the way a nib sinks into handmade paper, and because words (whether rhyming or not) are always stuck in her head like a favorite song. But most importantly, Sarah wants her writing to simplify the ideas of life and thereby inspire her readers to search out all the marvelous complexities and connections in life for themselves.

When not writing, Sarah dons her clown outfit and twists balloons so she can make children smile. She and her brother started their balloon-twisting business (Airheads) four years ago. But whether twisting balloons, helping children, or just living life, Sarah is always searching for inspiration to put those words in her head onto paper.

Holly Mace

Holly Mace

Holly Mace

Holly Mace grew up in a small town in Northeast Michigan, with the shores of Lake Huron literally in her backyard. She is a graduate of Central Michigan University where she majored in journalism. She was a staff writer for a newspaper for six years before moving to Topeka. She loves her Detroit Red Wings and her four-legged feline child, Toby. In her free time, in addition to writing, she enjoys photography, paper-crafting, being involved in various activities at her church and spending time with friends and family.

Paul Swearingen

Paul Swearingen

Paul Swearingen

Paul Swearingen is a retired English/journalism/Spanish teacher who managed to survive 34+ years in public, private, and government schools. He also was a radio newsman and disk jockey, a newspaper editor and photographer, a personnel manager for a large retail store (now defunct), a long-time publisher of the National Radio Club’s magazine, “DX News”, and during a short, dark period was a telemarketer and sold cemetery lots. He lives in Topeka, Kansas, where his main current duty, besides writing, is to keep his garden under close control. Swearingen has e-published seven young adult novels via Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, and the usual e-book outlets.

 

Lissa Staley

Lissa Staley

Lissa Staley

Lissa Staley served as the Project Manager for SpeakEasy, while everyone else did the hard work. She has written ten different first drafts as part of National Novel Writing Month, every November since 2003. The Community Novel Project is the most stressful and wonderful thing she has ever done, outside of parenting. In addition to serving as the NaNoWriMo Municipal Liaison for Topeka, she also works as a Book Evangelist and Librarian at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library. Contact her at estaley@tscpl.org.

ShaMecha Simms

Shamecha Simms

Shamecha Simms

ShaMecha enjoys the freedom to experience and learn new things about life and herself.

 

Ginger Park

Ginger Park

Ginger Park

Ginger Park holds a bachelor’s degree in communication studies from Washburn University and a master’s degree in mass communications from Kansas State University. She has more than 15 years of experience in public relations in the Topeka area. Ginger is a big sister for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Topeka, immediate past president of Capital City NOW and is a member of the League of Women Voters of Topeka and Shawnee County. She lives in Topeka with her husband and three dogs.

 

Sandi Sauvage

Sandi Sauvage

Sandi Sauvage

Sandi Sauvage decided to be a teacher when she was seven years old. After graduating from Lawrence High School and the University of Kansas, she began teaching elementary school in 1971. In 2011, she retired. She spent thirty years in Onaga, KS, (with a three-year break to have three babies) and shorter stints in Blue Mound, Circleville, Berryton, and Peace Corps in Jordan. Now she reads and knits when she is not babysitting or hanging out with her six grandchildren. They always know what Grandma will get them for birthdays and Christmas – a book.