Tracey S. Phillips in dark clothing standing in a snowy landscape

Tracey S. Phillips

Founder

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.

Tracey considers herself a serial artist who is an avid gardener and proficient pianist. She teaches piano lessons, loves to draw, and writes in two genres. Her debut, BEST KEPT SECRETS (Crooked Lane Books, 2019) won a Hugh Holton Award in 2018. She is a two-time finalist for the Claymore Award (’22, and ’23) for best unpublished fiction. She lives near Madison, Wisconsin with her husband and is finally an empty nester.

Posts by Tracey

www.traceysphillips.com


Anne Louise Bannon

Anne Louise Bannon

Original Founding Member since 2020

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.

Posts by Anne

annelouisebannon.com


Valerie Biel

Valerie Biel

Original Founding Member since 2020

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.

Posts by Valerie

www.valeriebiel.com


Laurie Buchanan

Laurie Buchanan

Original Founding Member since 2020

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.” 

Posts by Laurie Buchanan

www.lauriebuchanan.com


Avanti Centrae

Avanti Centrae

Original Founding Member since 2020

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. 

Posts by Avanti

www.avanticentrae.com


Tim Chapman

Tim Chapman

Original Founding Member since 2020

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.

Posts by Tim

www.timchapmanauthor.com


Nicholas Chiarkas

Nick Chiarkas is the author of the (multi)award-winning novels WEEPERS and NUNZIO’S WAY. 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 and NUNZIO’S WAY – for them.

Posts by Nick

www.nickchiarkas.com


John DeDakis headshot

John DeDakis

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.

Posts by John

www.johndedakis.com


Christine DeSmet

Christine DeSmet

Original Founding Member since 2020

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.

Posts by Christine

www.christinedesmet.com


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 time inventing or reworking recipes so that they’re vegan (as is the pastry chef at the Whipped and Sipped Café), and gluten-free. 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.

Posts by GP

www.gpgottlieb.com


Sherrill Joseph

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.

Posts by Sherrill

www.sherrilljoseph.com


Sheila Lowe

Sheila Lowe

Original Founding Member since 2020

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.

Posts by Sheila

www.sheilalowebooks.com


Sharon Lynn

Original Founding Member since 2020

Sharon Lynn, whose debut DEATH TAKES A BATH is now available. was raised in Arizona. But it was living in England as a teenager and every return trip since that inspired the setting of her first novel. As a professor of theater, film, and writing, she coaches and mentors aspiring artists. Her short stories can be found in anthologies from Malice Domestic and Desert Sleuths. She is a member of the Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and the Author’s Guild. Please sign up for her news updates at www.sharonlwrites.com.

Posts by Sharon Lynn

 www.sharonlwrites.com


Amanda Marbais

Amanda Marbais’s fiction has appeared in Hobart, SmokeLong Quarterly, Joyland and elsewhere. She’s written reviews and cultural essays for Your Impossible Voice and Paste Magazine. She was featured in Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading series and was shortlisted in The New York Times Book Review for her debut short story collection Claiming a Body (Moon City Press 2019). She teaches literature at Loyola University and lives in Chicago.

Posts by Amanda

www.amandamarbais.com


Sharon Michalove headshot

Sharon Michalove

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.

Posts by Sharon Michalove

coffeeandeclairs.com


Margaret Mizushima

Margaret Mizushima

Original Founding Member since 2020

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.

Posts by Margaret

www.margaretmizushima.com


Jeff Nania

Jeff Nania

Original Founding Member since 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.

Posts by Jeff

www.feetwetwriting.com


Carlene O’Neil

A former television writer, Carlene O’Neil is the National bestselling author of the Cypress Cove Mystery series. She grew up in the heart of wine country in northern California, and her series is set along the central California coast. She is accredited by the Wine and Spirits Education Trust. A former Vice-President of Sisters in Crime, Los Angeles, she now sits on the board.  Hair of the Dog, the third book in her series was selected by Kirkus Reviews for their selection of books for the year. Currently, she is working on the 4th and 5th books in the series. She lives in Valencia, California.

Posts by Carlene

www.carleneoneil.com


Joy Ann Ribar

Joy Ann Ribar

Original Founding Member since 2020

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.

Posts by Joy

www.joyribar.com


Saralyn Richard

Saralyn Richard

Original Founding Member since 2020

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.

Posts by Saralyn

www.saralynrichard.com


T. K. Sheffield

TK Sheffield writes the award-winning Backyard Model comic cozy mysteries; they’re The Devil Wears Prada meets a Wisconsin supper club, whodunnits served with a brandy old-fashioned and a side of cheese curds. She believes in the adage, “Write what you know.” Thus, the tales are mostly set in Wisconsin. She grew up in a city—Madison during the Sixties!—but, as a horse-obsessed girl, she bolted to the country quick as a racer from the gate. She has degrees from UW-Madison and Mount Mary University. Also, one from Author U., a self-directed program of Read, Write, Revise, Repeat. She and her semi-retired pilot husband reside in rural Wisconsin.

Posts by TK Sheffield

www.tksheffieldwriter.com


Laurie Stevens

Laurie Stevens

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.

Posts by Laurie Stevens

www.lauriestevensbooks.com


Carl Vonderau

Carl Vonderau grew up in Cleveland in a religious family that believed God could heal all illness. Maybe that’s why he went to college in California. After majoring in economics and dabbling in classical guitar, he ended up with a career in banking. Carl has lived and worked internationally and has managed to put his foot in his mouth in several languages. He brought his banking expertise to his debut thriller, Murderabilia, which won a Lefty, as well as to his forthcoming novel, Saving Myles.
Carl is president of the San Diego chapter of Sisters in
Crime.

Posts by Carl

www.carlvonderau.com


Colleen Winter

With one foot in the world of technology and the other in the world of words, Colleen Winter’s fiction explores our relationship with technology and ultimately the choices it requires us to make. She is an electrical engineer and former journalist, and was short-listed for the 2020 Rakuten Kobo Emerging Writer Prize in Speculative Fiction. She is a member of International Thriller Writers, Science Fiction Writers of America, The Writers’ Union of Canada. Colleen lives in Ontario with her husband in their empty nest with their loveable, psychotic, reactive dog Kira.

Posts by Colleen

www.colleenwinter.ca