Teen Fiction

Menon, Sandhya

Menon, Sandhya
Birth Year (-Died Year): 
1983
Birth City: 
Mumbai
Birth State: 
India
Current Location: 
Colorado Springs, CO
Occupation(s): 
New York Times bestselling author
Biography: 

Sandhya Menon is the author of the YA rom-com When Dimple Met Rishi (Simon and Schuster, May 2017), which has been hailed by Bustle magazine as "the arranged marriage YA rom-com we've been waiting for." She was born and raised in India on a steady diet of Bollywood movies and street food. She pretty much blames this upbringing for her obsession with happily-ever-afters, bad dance moves, and pani puri.

Sandhya currently lives just outside Colorado Springs, where she’s on a mission to (gently) coerce her husband, son, and daughter to watch all 3,220 Bollywood movies she claims as her favorite.

Awards/Honors: 
2018 Colorado Book Award Winner - When Dimple Met Rishi (Young Adult Fiction category)
Speaker Availability: 
Yes
Speaker Topics: 
The craft of writing, current topics in the field of publishing (ex., the importance of diversity and how to include it thoughtfully, how to write to a teen audience, how to write the immigrant experience), finding an agent, the process of going out on submission, working with an editor, what a debut year can look like, the importance of book bloggers and librarians--and many others!
Local Authors Genres: 

Wernly, Kathy and Bob

Wernly, Kathy and Bob
Pseudonym: 
Kathy Clark and Bob Kat (YA)
Birth Year (-Died Year): 
1951
Birth City: 
Houston
Birth State: 
TX
Current Location: 
Colorado Springs, CO
Occupation(s): 
Author
Biography: 

Bob and Kathy Wernly write as a team under the penname of Kathy Clark for our adult romantic suspense novels and Bob Kat for our YA romance/mystery/time travel series (Timeshifters). We lived in Colorado since 1985 and in Colorado Springs for a year and a half. Several of our series are set in Colorado, including Denver Heroes, and an upcoming series set in Cripple Creek called Breathless. One of our YA novels (Forever Love) is a time travel ghost story set at the Stanley Hotel the year it opened in 1911. We have given workshops and speeches about writing and creativity all over the U.S.

Kathy is a past vice-president of Romance Writers of America and a co-founder of Colorado Romance Writers.

Education/Training: 
BA degree in Mass Communications and Fine Arts, York College (Kathy) - BS and MBA in Aerospace Engineering and Business Administration (Bob)
Organizations: 
Romance Writers of America - Colorado Romance Writers - Mystery Writers of America
Speaker Availability: 
Yes
Speaker Topics: 
Characterization - Plotting - Writing a series - Writing with a partner - Writing young adult novels - Writing new adult novels - How to self publish your book - Many other writing-related topics

Cowles, Ashlee

Cowles, Ashlee
Birth Year (-Died Year): 
1984
Birth City: 
Ft. Knox
Birth State: 
KY
Current Location: 
Colorado Springs, CO
Occupation(s): 
High School Literature and Writing Teacher - PPCC Adjunct Instructor
Biography: 

Ashlee Cowles grew up an Army "brat" and has lived in many places, but her earliest memories are of Pikes Peak and she always seems to find her way back to Colorado Springs. She teaches literature/writing at an online high school, and philosophy at Pikes Peak Community College. Her debut Young Adult novel, Beneath Wandering Stars (Merit Press, August 2016), incorporates her love of international travel and her lifelong connection to the military community.

Learn more at her website, www.ashleecowles.com.

Awards/Honors: 
2017 Colorado Book Award Winner - Beneath Wandering Stars (Young Adult Literature category)
Irene Goodman Historical Fiction Pitch Contest - First Place award, August 2011, for Time Keepers manuscript
Paul Gillette Award (Pikes Peak Writers) - Third Place award for Young Adult Fiction, April 2011, for Time Keepers manuscript
Paul Gillette Award (Pikes Peak Writers) - Second Place award for Historical Fiction, April 2010, for To the Ends of the Earth manuscript
Education/Training: 
M. Litt. in Medieval History from University of St. Andrews, Scotland - M.T.S. in Theological Ethics from Duke University - Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Theology from University of San Diego
Organizations: 
The Anselm Society - Pikes Peak Writers - Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers
Speaker Availability: 
Yes
Speaker Topics: 
How Military Brat Life Shaped Me As a Writer - GRIT: The Unique Strengths of Military Kids - Wandering Writers: How to Use Travel to Write Authentic Stories - Every Hero is Also a Pilgrim: Using the Hero's Journey in All Genres - Why Imagination Will Change the World. More information available at www.ashleecowles.com/speaking-school-visits/
Local Authors Genres: 

McCutcheon, Pam

Pseudonym: 
Parker Blue
Birth City: 
Fort Ord
Birth State: 
CA
Current Location: 
Colorado Springs, CO
Occupation(s): 
Industrial engineer - Writer - Editor - Speaker
Biography: 

Pam McCutcheon is the author of romantic comedy, paranormal romance, fantasy short stories, and how-to books for writers under her own name, and the Demon Underground YA urban fantasy series under the name Parker Blue. After many years of working for the military as enlisted, officer, and civil service
successively, she left her industrial engineering and is now working full-time as a writer, editor, speaker, and as the “Parker” half of Parker Hayden Media, an assisted self-publishing business.

She lives in Colorado Springs with her rescue dogs and can be found on the ’net at pammc.com or parkerblue.net.

Awards/Honors: 
Pikes Peak Romance Writers Author of the Year
Quicksilver - Pikes Peak Romance Writers winner of the PRISM Award for the best futuristic romance of 1996
Chasing Baby - Winner of the Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award for Best Harlequin American of 1996
Education/Training: 
Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering
Organizations: 
Novelists, Inc. - Pikes Peak Writers
Speaker Availability: 
Yes
Speaker Topics: 
Writing the Fiction Synopsis - Brainstorming - Self-editing - Scene and Sequel - Using the Plotting Board - Decoding Dialogue - Beginning Writers Workshop - Characterization - How to Pitch Your Book - Ghostwriting

Abraham, S.J.

Birth Year (-Died Year): 
1978
Birth City: 
El Paso
Birth State: 
TX
Current Location: 
Colorado Springs, CO
Occupation(s): 
Writer - Stay at home father
Biography: 

As a child raised in the Southwest United States on the border of one of the largest oil fields in the country, S.J. Abraham was a lonely nerd. With no interest in rodeo or baseball, he spent his time reading. His heroes were
fictional characters and great novelists. It wasn’t long before he started scratching out his own stories.

In recent years he has embraced his geekieness and has set to work turning his writing hobby into a career as a novelist. While he originally wrote for adults, he has since realized he is still fifteen at heart, so he now focuses
on writing for Young Adults.

S.J. lives in the beautiful city of Colorado Springs, where all the exciting outdoor activities are wasted on him, though the ever-changing views fire his creativity like few things can. He spends the shreds of his free time playing with his wife, children, brothers, sisters, friends, nephews and little nieces.

Education/Training: 
Bachelor of Arts, Multimedia Production - Associate of Arts, English and Literature - Associate of Science, Media Production
Speaker Availability: 
Yes
Speaker Topics: 
Writing art and craft - Technology - Video production - Web design - Graphic design - Indie press

Likins, Heidi

Likins, Heidi
Birth City: 
Minneapolis
Birth State: 
MN
Current Location: 
Colorado Springs, CO
Occupation(s): 
Nurse Educator - Penrose Hospital
Biography: 

I have lived in Colorado Springs for over twelve years after living in the South Pacific as well as Mongolia in Central Asia - and I love it here! The mountains and nature of this region have influenced my writing and inspire me.

Speaker Availability: 
Yes
Speaker Topics: 
Self-publishing
Local Authors Genres: 

Gillard, Cheri

Gillard, Cheri
Birth Year (-Died Year): 
1962
Birth City: 
Denver
Birth State: 
CO
Current Location: 
Colorado Springs, CO
Occupation(s): 
Freelance editor, writer, publisher
Biography: 

Cheri Gillard has been a freelance writer and editor for twenty-five years, working for several publishing houses and companies writing or editing projects, books, magazines, and curricula, and sitting as judge for the Paul Gillette Memorial Writing Contest for several years.

Awards/Honors: 
Chloe's Garden - Recipient of the Indie B.R.A.G. Medallion for excellence in Indie publishing
Education/Training: 
Twenty-five years of freelance writing and editing, including a magazine writer and editor for YouthWorker Journal for three years; numerous non-fiction writing projects/books for several trade publishing houses; articles in the Colorado Springs Gazette, YouthWorker Journal, Procter & Gamble's "Heard on the Floor"; freelance publisher for "We Are Beth-El Nurses: A Heritage of Caring at the Foot of Pikes Peak"
Speaker Availability: 
Yes
Speaker Topics: 
Writing - Editing - Mothering/Parenting - Indie publishing
Local Authors Genres: 

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

Speaker Availability: 
Yes
Speaker Topics: 
Bullying - Compassion - Society - Love - Youth (growing up) - Positive thinking

Knauf, Sandra

Knauf, Sandra
Birth Year (-Died Year): 
1963
Birth City: 
Oakland
Birth State: 
CA
Current Location: 
Colorado Springs, CO
Phone (Public): 
(719) 473-9237
Occupation(s): 
Writer and Publisher, Greenwoman Publishing, LLC
Biography: 

Sandra Knauf is the one-woman-show behind Greenwoman Publishing. Her books include her newest work Please Don't Piss on the Petunias: Stories about Raising Kids, Crops, and Critters in the City, the six-volume series Greenwoman (compilations of literary garden writing and art), her young adult fantasy novel, Zera and the Green Man, and an anthology of sexy gardening stories that she says is the feminist gardener answer to Fifty Shades of Grey--Fifty Shades of Green.

She was a 2008-09 featured “Colorado Voices” columnist for The Denver Post and her humorous essays have appeared nationally in GreenPrints and MaryJanesFarm. She has also been a guest commentator on KRCC’s (NPR's southern Colorado affiliate) Western Skies radio show.

Sandra lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado with her family, dogs, huge urban garden, and lots of books.

Awards/Honors: 
2015 - Microgrant Award from Pikes Peak Arts Council
2013 - Microgrant Award from Pikes Peak Arts Council
2011 - Grant award from Pikes Peak Community Foundation for work on Greenwoman magazine
2008-2009 - Selected as a Denver Post "Colorado Voices" featured columnist
2005 - Edited book A Taste for Gardening (2004), recipient of the Top National Award from the National Federation of Garden Clubs, Inc.
2002 - First Place, Creative Nonfiction, Paul Gillette Memorial Writing Contest
Education/Training: 
University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, Bachelor of Arts, English, 1991
Organizations: 
Grimy Hands Girls' Club - Toastmasters - League of Women Voters - Peak Peak Art Council - Green Cities Coalition
Speaker Availability: 
Yes
Speaker Topics: 
Self-Publishing

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. After moving through several states, Finnish now lives just outside Colorado Springs with her family.

Speaker Availability: 
Yes
Speaker Topics: 
For children ... editing and research for fiction.

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