Children's Chapter Books

Travis, Lisa

Travis, Lisa
Birth Year (-Died Year)
1968
Birth City
Springfield
Birth State
MA
Current Location
Colorado Springs, CO
Occupation(s)
Author, entrepreneur
Biography

Lisa Travis dreamed of faraway places ever since she was a little girl who explored National Geographic magazines every month. Looking for ways to discover the world, Lisa studied at the University of Freiburg in Germany, traveled the USA in a Volkswagon camper, and lived and worked in South Korea. She currently finds ways to pack and go by creating global executive leadership programs that take her to cool places like Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Brussels, Copenhagen, and Prague. Her experiences around the world inspired her to create Pack-n-Go Girls, an innovative book and toy company for girls that delivers positive messages around independence, adventure, and global awareness. Lisa brings an MA in Communication and 20 years of instructional design to her writing. She lives, bikes, and skis in Colorado with her husband, two kids, and two dogs.

Awards/Honors
2014 Moonbeam Award - Gold Medal, Children's Chapter Book Series
Published Works Book Jackets
Organizations
Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI)
Speaker Availability
Yes
Speaker Topics
Children's literature - Multicultural learning and literacy - Writing (grades K-5)

Pena, Isabel

Pena, Isabel
Birth Year (-Died Year)
1971
Birth City
New York City
Birth State
NY
Current Location
Colorado Springs, CO
Occupation(s)
Interpreter
Biography

Isabel M. Peña was born and raised in Washington Heights, NYC to Dominican parents. She is currently a single mother of two wonderful boys and is residing in the majestic state of Colorado. She is a first time author who wishes to teach our youth that life is about choices, positive attitude, and love

Local Authors Genres
Published Works Book Jackets
Speaker Availability
Yes
Speaker Topics
Bullying - Compassion - Society - Love - Youth (growing up) - Positive thinking

Finnish, V. K.

Finnish, V. K.
Pseudonym
V. K. Finnish
Birth City
Chicago
Birth State
IL
Current Location
Colorado Springs, CO
Biography

V. K. Finnish is the author of The Discoveries of Arthur Grey books, a middle-grade series that twists together all her favorite genres into one epic adventure. She grew up in Chicago with a zoo’s worth of pets, including three Alaskan malamutes, who inspired her furry character Griffin. If you can’t find her actually writing, she’s probably busy plotting new adventures (for family or characters), hiking, wandering around on a travel, or snuggling with one of her five cats over a good fantasy book.

Local Authors Genres
Published Works Book Jackets
Speaker Availability
Yes
Speaker Topics
For children ... editing and research for fiction.

Diller, Janelle

Diller, Janelle
Birth State
KS
Current Location
Colorado Springs, CO
Biography

I’ve always had a passion for writing. Early on, I polished my writing skills by passing notes to my friends instead of paying attention in math class. The resulting time in detention gave me lots of time to write more notes. As a young child, I wouldn’t leave home without a pad and pencil just in case my novel hit me, and I had to scribble it down quickly. Sadly, I eventually lost this naiveté. However, as a result of my love of writing, I have an unusual variety of books published. The list includes books for the construction industry and grammar textbooks. (If writing about drywall or gerunds is better than not writing at all, it says something about what drives me.) Fortunately, I also write novels for adults, as well as early chapter books for young readers. This is the writing that feeds my soul. These days, I’m having a ball creating the Australian, Austria, and Mexico books for Pack-n-Go Girls travel and adventure series. The Amazon best selling series is targeted for early readers ages six to nine. In whatever spare time I have, one of my favorite things to do is to connect with my readers. Whether you’re in a classroom, book club, or other group, I’d love to visit in person—time and geography permitting—or on Skype. Contact me at janelle@packngogirls.com.

Awards/Honors
2017 IPPY Bronze Award - Never Enough Flamingos
2017 CIPA Evvy Gold - Never Enough Flamingos
2017 Kansas Notable Book - Never Enough Flamingos
2017 Literary Classics Gold - Best Series - Young Reader, Pack-n-Go Girls Adventures
2017 CIPA Evvy Silver - Children's Story Books, Pack-n-Go Girls Adventures
2017 Moonbeam Children's Book Award Silver - Best Chapter Book Series, Pack-n-Go Girls Adventures
2016 CIPA Evvy Award Winner, Pack-n-Go Girls Adventures
2014 Moonbeam Children's Book Awards - Gold Medal for Best Children's Chapter Book Series
2016 Colorado Book Award Finalist - The Virus
2016 Book Pipeline Competition Semifinalist - The Virus
2015 CIPA Evvy Silver - Literary and Contemporary Fiction, The Virus
Education/Training
Master of Arts Degree in Curriculum and Instruction, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs - Bachelor of Arts Degree in History/English, Goshen College
Published Works Book Jackets
Speaker Availability
Yes
Speaker Topics
Writing - Children's books - Mennonites - Personal privacy issues

Regan, Dian Curtis

Regan, Dian Curtis
Current Location
Colorado Springs, CO
Biography

Dian Curtis Regan is the author of 60 books for young readers, ranging from picture books for toddlers to novels for teens. Popular and recent titles include: Princess Nevermore, Monster of the Month Club, the Ghost Twins series, Barnyard Slam, The Snow Blew Inn, Monster Baby, and Rocky Cave Kids. Coming next year is a beginning reader series called SpaceBoy. Visit her website at http://diancurtisregan.com

Awards/Honors
"Mommies" - American Booksellers Assn. (ABA) "Pick of the List" & Children's Book of the Month Club selection
"Daddies" - Children's Book of the Month Club selection
"The Thirteen Hours of Halloween" - Finalist for the Oklahoma Book Award
"A Sparkly Christmas Eve" - Children's Book of the Month Club selection
"CyberPals According to Kaley" - Junior Library Guild selection
"The World According to Kaley" - Finalist for the Benjamin Franklin Award
"The Friendship of Milly & Tug" - Junior Guild selection; Children's Literature Choice Book; Los Angeles Times' Recommended book; New York Public Library's "100 Titles for Reading and Sharing"; Winner of the Muse Medallion from the Cat Writers' Associatio
"The Curse of the Trouble Dolls" - Oklahoma Book Award finalist; Maryland Children's Book Award nominee
"Monsters in CyberSpace" - South Dakota Children's Book Award nominee; Maryland Children's Book Award nominee; Rhode Island Children's Book Award nominee
"Princess Nevermore" - Junior Library Guild selection; Oklahoma Book Award finalist; Oklahoma YA Sequoyah Award nominee; Maryland Children's Book Award nominee
"The Initiation" - 1994 Oklahoma Cherubim Award; 1995 International Reading Association's YA Choice Award
"Game of Survival" - 1990 ALA/YASD Recommended book for reluctant readers; 1990 Oklahoma Cherubim Award
"I've Got Your Number" - 1987 International Reading Association's Children's Choice Award
"Soul Stories: Thirteen Stories about Faith and Belief" - Junior Library Guild Selection
"Dirty Laundry" - 1999 Best Book for the Teen Age, NY Public Library; 1999 ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers
Speaker Availability
No

Hamel, Mike

Author Mike Hamel
Birth Year (-Died Year)
1952
Birth City
Ellis
Birth State
KS
Current Location
Colorado Springs, CO
Occupation(s)
Professional writer
Biography

Mike Hamel is a storyteller by trade and the author/editor of more than 40 books on topics as wide-ranging as business, finance, political theory, healthcare, nonprofits, theology, and children’s books. He is a cancer survivor who has chronicled his physical journey toward the Valley of the Shadow of Death in Stumbling Toward Heaven, and his spiritual musings along the way in We Will Be Landing Shortly: Now What?

For younger audiences, Mike has written the juvenile chapter book series Matterhorn the Brave and The Lighthouse Company, and the illustrated books Lady Allium, Lizzy the Leatherback, Queen Quillabee, and The Legend of Songa Ping.

Mike's books are listed on his Amazon Author Page

To learn more about Mike, check out his blog OPEN Mike and his Wikipedia entry.

Speaker Availability
No

Hillenius, Patti Werner

Birth Year (-Died Year)
1933
Birth City
Denver
Birth State
CO
Current Location
Colorado Springs, CO
Biography

I have lived many places ... married and raised five children in Arizona. There I worked in Social Services, tax offices, and secretarial jobs. I was widowed and moved to Colorado in 1984 where I worked for El Paso County. After retiring, I cared for my mother (who was in a wheelchair) and also my younger sister (with M.S.). I am very busy -- but am forever "trying to write!"

Awards/Honors
A Letter of Merit from SCBWI in 2009 for "The Crooked Pumpkin"
Education/Training
West Texas State University in Canyon, Texas - Always taking classes when available in literature and English
Local Authors Genres
Published Works Book Jackets
Image
Book cover for Smugglers' Nest by Patti Werner Hillenius
Organizations
SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators)
Speaker Availability
No