2017 Conference Speaker Profiles



Michelle Markey Butler is a Lecturer at the University of Maryland, where she teaches medieval literature, Tolkien, Harry Potter, and contemporary fantasy. Her current academic project is Hobbits and House-elves: Shared Themes in Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter (draft stage). She is the author of SF/F stories, a historical fantasy novel, Homegoing (Pink Narcissus Press, 2014), and a historical novel about Viking-age Ireland, The Last Abbot of Linn Duachaill (with Jess Barry, S&H Publishing, 2015). Unwilling to waste hard-won material, she blogs about parenting at heirraising.wordpress.com. You can read which of her children won the Grossocity Olympics. Pro tip: Not near meal-time.



Austin S. Camacho is the author of six novels about Washington Dc-based private eye Hannibal Jones, five in the Stark and O’Brien international adventure-thriller series, and the detective novel, Beyond Blue. His short stories have been featured in several anthologies including Dying in a Winter Wonderland – an Independent Mystery Booksellers Association Top Ten Bestseller for 2008 - and he is featured in the Edgar nominated African American Mystery Writers: A Historical and Thematic Study by Frankie Y. Bailey.

Camacho is also editorial director for Intrigue Publishing, a Maryland small press, and works with their authors to improve their manuscripts. And Camacho is deeply involved with the writing community. He is a past president of the Maryland Writers Association, past Vice President of the Virginia Writers Club, and is an active member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers and Sisters in Crime.



Michele Chynoweth is the award-winning author of contemporary novels that bring Old Testament stories in the Bible to life for today's readers so they can better relate to God's messages. Michele's fast-paced novels are filled with suspense, mystery and romance and include The Faithful One based on the Book of Job, The Peace Maker, based on the story of David and Abigail in the First Book of Samuel, and The Runaway Prophet based on the Book of Jonah. In addition to being an author, Michele is an inspirational speaker, book coach and college instructor for Cecil College’s Continuing Education program where she teaches writing, publishing and marketing fiction. A former news reporter, ad agency owner, marketing director and graduate of the University of Notre Dame, Michele and her husband have a blended family of five children and live in North East, Maryland. More information about Michele is available on her website, www.michelechynoweth.com.



Vickie Fisher lives on a nineteen-acre farm in Westminster, Maryland. She is both author andphotographer of three unique devotionals of visual art and spiritualedification. She also works for Amtrak as a chief entitlement clerk.In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her children, grandchildren,family, and friends. Find more aboutVickie and her work at vickiefisher.com.






Award-winning and New York Times bestselling thriller author John Gilstrap presents a two-hour seminar on the construction of an intelligent thriller. Over the past three decades, the commercial thriller has developed as a genre unto itself. Through lively lectures and a few writing exercises, you’ll get a chance to peek at the skeleton that gives structure to the stories that keep us reading long into the night. www.johngilstrap.com




Meg Eden's work has been published in various magazines, including Rattle, Drunken Boat, Poet Lore, and Gargoyle. She teaches at the University of Maryland. She has four poetry chapbooks, and her novel "Post-High School Reality Quest" is forthcoming from California Coldblood, an imprint of Rare Bird Lit.




John Edward Lawson is an author, editor and poet living in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC. He is the author of 16 books of fiction and poetry, and numerous chapbooks. Over 500 of his poems, stories, and articles have been published in magazines, anthologies, journals, and newspapers worldwide. John won the 2001 Fiction International Emerging Writers Competition; in addition to being a finalist for the Stoker Award and the Wonderland Award for Bizarro Fiction. Other award nominations include the Dwarf Stars Award, the Elgin Award, the Pushcart Prize, and the Rhysling Award. John is also a founding editor of Raw Dog Screaming Press. He spent four years as editor-in-chief of The Dream People online journal of bizarro fiction and poetry. Other editorial projects include seven anthologies and freelance work for companies like National Lampoon and Double Dragon Publishing. He currently serves as vice president of Diverse Writers and Artists of Speculative Fiction.



Larry Matthews is an award-winning broadcast journalist whose thirty-plus years as a reporter provide the background material for his books. Matthews was a street reporter, anchor, news director, producer and editor for major radio stations, ABC Radio and National Public Radio. He was a producer, host, and reporter for Maryland Public Television.
He is the recipient of The George Foster Peabody Award for Excellence in Broadcasting, the duPont-Columbia Citation for Distinction in Broadcast Journalism, The National Headliner Award, and national and regional awards from The Society of Professional Journalists, The Associated Press, United Press International, and other professional organizations and universities. 

He is a member of the State Board of the Maryland Writers Association and is a founding member and former board member of the Montgomery County Chapter of MWA


Eileen writes the 90s Club mystery series and an historical mystery series. She is currently president of the Maryland Writers’ Association and past president of the MidAtlantic Book Publishers Association. She is a strong advocate of MWA’s local chapters and its critique groups. Eileen and her husband, Dr. Roger McIntire, own Summit Crossroads Press, which publishes practical books for parents. Its imprint, Amanita Books, publishes fiction. She is also a member of the Independent Book Publishers Association and Sisters in Crime. She and her husband live in Columbia, MD, with their little dog José.





Jennifer Bort Yacovissi’s debut novel, Up the Hill to Home, which won INDIEFAB and Readers’ Favorite 2015 gold writing awards, is a fictionalized account of her mother's family in Washington, D.C. from the Civil War to the Great Depression. Jenny is a member of PEN/America and the National Book Critics’ Circle, and reviews regularly for both the Washington Independent Review of Books and the Historical Novels Review of the Historical Novel Society. She is serving as chair of the 2017 and 2018 Books Alive! Washington Writers’ Conference, and is president of the Annapolis chapter of the Maryland Writers’ Association



A master of paranormal romantic suspense, Rebecca York is the author of over 150 books. A New York Times and USA Today best-seller, she has written paranormal romantic thrillers for Berkley and romantic thrillers for Harlequin Intrigue. Her romantic-suspense series, Decorah Security, is set at a detective agency where agents have paranormal powers or work paranormal cases. She also writes an Off-World series where each story is a science fiction romance taking place on a distant planet in the far future.