Tracey S. Phillips
Tracey S. Phillips founded Blackbird Writers during the early 2020 quarantine days. She wished to create a community of like minded authors willing to help promote each other and share their love of stories with readers. Blackbirdwriters.com is that dream come true.
She is the author of BEST KEPT SECRETS, a novel which won a Hugh Holton award in 2018. Tracey is a member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers and Sisters in Crime. She is currently writing Romantic Suspense under pseudonym Karissa Knight. She lives near Madison, Wisconsin with her husband and little dog, Jack.
Anne Louise Bannon
Anne Louise Bannon is an author and journalist who wrote her first novel at age 15. Her journalistic work, including 15 years as a TV critic, has appeared in newspapers across the country. She is the co-author of Howdunit: Book of Poisons, with Serita Stevens, as well as author of the Freddie and Kathy mystery series, set in the 1920s, the Operation Quickline Series and the Old Los Angeles series, set in the 1870s. Her most recent title is Death of the Chinese Field Hands. She and her husband live in Southern California with an assortment of critters.
Valerie Biel is the author of the award-winning Circle of Nine series (stories inspired by Celtic mythology and the stone circles of Ireland). Her love for travel and insatiable curiosity fuel her storytelling. When she’s not writing, she’s helping other authors with their publishing adventures and wrangling her overgrown garden.
Laurie Buchanan writes the Sean McPherson novels—fast-paced thrillers set in the Pacific Northwest that feature a trifecta of malice and the pursuit and cost of justice. Imagine Chief Inspector Gamache meets the Last Mrs. Parrish. Her favorite compliment? “Buchanan is evil when it comes to making readers turn a page and stay up late at night.”
Avanti Centrae is the author of the international award-winning VanOps thriller series. An instant Barnes and Noble Nook bestseller, The Lost Power took home a genre grand prize ribbon at the Chanticleer International Book Awards, a shiny bronze medal at the Wishing Shelf Awards, and an Honorable Mention at the Hollywood Book Festival. Her work has been compared to that of James Rollins, Steve Berry, Dan Brown, and Clive Cussler. She resides in Northern California with her family and German shepherds.
Tim Chapman is a former forensic scientist for the Chicago police department who currently teaches writing and tai chi chuan. He holds a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from Northwestern University. His first novel, Bright and Yellow, Hard and Cold, (re-released as A Trace of Gold) was a finalist in Shelf Unbound’s 2013 Best Indie Book competition. In his spare time he paints pretty pictures and makes an annoying noise with his saxophone that he claims is music.
Nick Chiarkas is the author of the (multi)award-winning novel WEEPERS. He grew up in the Al Smith housing projects on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. In the fourth grade, the principal of PS-1 told his mother that Nick was unlikely ever to complete high school. You must steer him toward a simple and secure vocation. Instead, Nick became a writer, with a few stops along the way: a New York City Police Officer; the Deputy Chief Counsel for the President’s Commission on Organized Crime; and the Director of the Wisconsin State Public Defender Agency. On the way, he picked up a Doctorate from Columbia University, a Law Degree from Temple University, and he became a Pickett Fellow at Harvard.
How many mothers are told their child is hopeless? How many kids with potential simply surrender to desperation? That’s why he wrote WEEPERS. For them.
Award-winning novelist, writing coach, and manuscript editor John DeDakis is a former editor on CNN’s “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.” DeDakis is the author of five mystery-suspense-thriller novels. In his most recent novel, FAKE, protagonist Lark Chadwick is a White House correspondent dealing with “fake news” in the era of #MeToo. DeDakis regularly leads writing workshops at literary centers, writers’ conferences, and bookstores. He is also the host of the video podcast “One-to-One with John DeDakis” on YouTube, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Originally from La Crosse, Wisconsin, DeDakis now lives with his wife Cindy in Baltimore.
Christine DeSmet is the author of the Fudge Shop Mystery Series set in Door County, and the Mischief in Moonstone Series set in northwest Wisconsin. She is a writing coach and Master Class instructor at UW-Madison Continuing Studies where she directs the Write-by-the-Lake Writer’s Workshop & Retreat. She is also a screenwriter. She belongs to Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, Wisconsin Screenwriters Forum, and Wisconsin Writers Association.
G. P. Gottlieb
G.P. Gottlieb writes the Whipped and Sipped culinary mystery series (Battered, 2019, Smothered, 2021, and Charred: A Whipped and Sipped Mystery scheduled to be published by D.X. Varos later in 2022). She spends a lot of time inventing or reworking recipes so that they’re vegan (as is the pastry chef at the Whipped and Sipped Café), and gluten-free (to accommodate several friends and family members). She has interviewed over 100 authors as host for New Books in Literature, a podcast channel on the New Books Network, and when she isn’t reading or writing, loves to play the piano, do puzzles, sing and jam with other musicians, take long walks, listen to live music, travel with her husband, and visit their children. Gottlieb is a member of the Author’s Guild, Mystery Writers of America, and is in charge of PR and marketing for the Sisters in Crime Chicagoland board.
John A. Hoda
John A. Hoda is a crime fiction writer, business coach for private investigators and podcaster of My Favorite Detective Stories. John has written the six-book FBI agent Marsha O’Shea police procedural series. He has written four how-2 books on the business side of private investigations and coaches private eyes at www.ThePICoach.com. The podcast is heard in 79 countries with over 50,000 downloads. His Gwendolyn Strong Small Town Cozy Mystery Series is set to launch in the Fall of 2022. John is a licensed PI, former police officer and insurance fraud investigator.
Sherrill Joseph is the middle-grade (for ages 9-12) author of the Botanic Hill Detectives Mysteries series. Book 1, Nutmeg Street: Egyptian Secrets, released in February 2020, and became an Amazon #1 Bestseller, garnering two Gold Awards, one each from Mom’s Choice Book Awards and from Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards. It is also the American Book Fest Awards 2020 Best Book Award Winner for Children’s Fiction. Book 2, Eucalyptus Street: Green Curse, released in October 2020.
Joseph is a retired public school teacher turned kids’ mystery author and resides in her native San Diego, California, with her adorable poodle-bichon rescue Jimmy Lambchop. She promises many more books with her detective squad to come.
Sheila Lowe is a real-life forensic handwriting expert whose Amazon number one best-selling series dives deep into the psyche of her characters. The Forensic Handwriting psychological suspense books feature Claudia Rose, whose career as a document examiner and handwriting analyst mirrors Sheila’s own. The new Beyond the Veil Series is paranormal suspense about a young woman who reluctantly communicates with dead people who want her to do stuff for them. Besides testifying in cases involving handwriting, Sheila has appeared in forensic TV and radio shows, newspaper and magazine articles and blogs ad infinitum. She also writes nonfiction books on handwriting psychology.
Sharon Lynn’s mystery short stories, Carne Diem (2019) and Death on Tap (2017) are published in anthologies by Malice Domestic and Sisters in Crime’s Desert Sleuths. Her newest short, Final Curtain, appears in Malice Domestic’s 2020 release, Mystery Most Theatrical.
Sharon Michalove writes romantic suspense and traditional mystery as well as being a published historian. After growing up in suburban Chicago, she spent most of her life in a medium-sized university town, working as an academic professional as well as teaching history. She was married to a composer and frequently uses her knowledge of music, history, and food to enrich her novels. A hockey fan, Sharon moved back to Chicago in 2017 so she could go to Blackhawks games and spend quality time at Eataly.
Margaret Mizushima is the author of the award-winning Timber Creek K-9 Mysteries, police procedurals featuring a deputy, her K-9 partner, and a veterinarian who live in the Colorado Rockies. She serves as president for the Rocky Mountain Chapter of Mystery Writers of America and was elected 2019-2020 Writer of the Year by the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. Hanging Falls, book six in the series, was released in September 2020.
Drawing upon careers in law enforcement, conservation, and a passion for our natural resources, Jeff Nania has gone from writing police reports, scientific papers, outdoor humor, and feature stories to weaving together mysteries that keep readers wondering who is on the right side of the law in the small town of Musky Falls. Figure Eight (2019), the first book in his Northern Lakes Mystery series, was a 2020 Midwest Book Award Winner. Spider Lake (2020) is the second book in the series and book three is in the works.
Donna Rewolinski is the author of the Novice Mystery series, whose main characters, Dan Novice, a retired American detective, and his
social worker wife, Karen embark on a promise, to spend more time together and to travel to a variety of foreign countries. Along the way,
they encounter murder victims, suspects, local legends, and mysticism.
Donna has a master’s degree in Social Work and is a practicing social worker. She is married to a police detective, who has over 35 years of
experience. She belongs to the Red Oak Writer’s Critique Roundtable, Sisters of Crime, and the Wisconsin Writer’s Association.
Joy Ann Ribar
Joy Ann Ribar writes the Deep Lakes Cozy Mystery series, inspired by Wisconsin’s four seasons and friendly quirks. Join Frankie Champagne, baker, wine-maker and investigative reporter, as she tracks suspects, armed with delicious baked goods, bottles of vino, and old-fashioned intuition. Joy has a BA in Journalism from UW-Madison and MS in Education from UW-Oshkosh, and has taught high school English and college English for 20 years. She loves to connect with readers about writing, wine, bakery, and growing up in the Midwest. Her short fiction piece, The Bee Servant, received Honorable Mention in the WWA 2020 Jade Ring Contest.
Saralyn Richard is an award-winning mystery and children’s book author, who strives to make the world a better place, one book at a time. Her books, Naughty Nana, Murder in the One Percent, and Bad Blood Sisters, have delighted children and adults alike. A member of International Thriller Writers and Mystery Writers of America, Saralyn teaches creative writing at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, and continues to write mysteries. Her latest book is Crystal Blue Murder.
Laurie Stevens is the author of the Gabriel McRay thriller series. The books have won twelve awards, among them Kirkus Reviews Best of 2011 and a Random House Editors’ Book of the Month. In regards to thrillers, Suspense Magazine says Laurie is “the leader of the pack,” while International Thriller Writers claims she’s “cracked the code” of writing psychological suspense. An active member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and Sisters in Crime, Laurie lives in the setting of her books, the hills outside of Los Angeles with her husband, two snakes, and a cat.
Rick Treon writes about life and death in the Lone Star State. His debut thriller won the PenCraft Award for Literary Excellence in Suspense, and his essays have been syndicated across Gannett Media. Before making up stories, he worked as a reporter and top editor for several newspapers in Texas, where he still lives and writes.
Jacqueline Vick combined satirical humor and the quirks of her ginger mutt to create the Frankie Chandler Pet Psychic mysteries. Additionally, she is the author of the Harlow Brothers mystery series, featuring a former college linebacker who secretly writes the Aunt Civility Etiquette books. She belongs to Sisters in Crime’s Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Chicago chapters and currently resides in Southern California with her husband.