Fox Cities Book Festival 2018: October 8th - October 14th

Festival Authors


Laura Jean Baker

Raised by therapists; married to a defense attorney, Laura Jean Baker writes where mental health, crime, and family intersect. Her memoir, The Motherhood Affidavits, was released in April 2018. She continues to teach in the English Department as well as in Women’s and Gender Studies and the Honors College at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.

Upcoming Events October 13, 2018 @ 11:00 am The Motherhood Affidavits-How to Tell Your Own Story

Marcia Bjornerud

Marcia Bjornerud is Professor of Geology at Lawrence University. Her research focuses on the physics of earthquakes and mountain building. She has done field studies in Norway, Canada, New Zealand, Scotland and the Lake Superior region and is the author of another book for popular audiences, Reading the Rocks: The Autobiography of the Earth


Linda Castillo

Originally from Ohio where her Amish thrillers are set, Linda Castillo knew from an early age that she wanted to be a writer--and penned her first novel at the age of thirteen. She's published thirty books for three New York publishing houses and won numerous industry awards, including a nomination by the International Thriller Writers for Best Hardcover, the Golden Heart, the Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence, and a nomination for the prestigious Rita.

Upcoming Events October 13, 2018 @ 3:00 pm The Fundamentals and Essentials of Writing the Suspense Novel October 13, 2018 @ 6:30 pm An Evening with Linda Castillo October 14, 2018 @ 1:00 pm A Conversation with Linda Castillo
Young Adult

Crystal Chan

The 2011 exotic zoo outbreak in Ohio – where scores of lions, panthers, and tigers ran loose around the county – inspired Crystal Chan’s most recent novel, All That I Can Fix. She loves talking about diversity and other important things in person, online, and on Wisconsin Public Radio. Her debut novel, Bird, was published in nine countries. Crystal will also be presenting at area schools during the festival.

Upcoming Events October 11, 2018 @ 6:30 pm Diverse Voices in Youth Literature

Lynne Diebel

Lynne Diebel grew up in Minnesota and now lives with her husband Bob in Wisconsin, where they raised their four children. Her many books are centered on the natural worlds of Wisconsin and Minnesota. She and Bob paddled almost 3,000 miles together researching their two guidebooks to Minnesota’s rivers.

Upcoming Events October 13, 2018 @ 1:00 pm Crossing the Driftless: Some Upstream Paddling Required
Fiction Non-Fiction

Judy DuCharme

Judy DuCharme is a retired fifth-grade teacher and ridiculous Packer fan from Door County, Wisconsin. She and her husband have two children and are expecting their first grandchild this summer. Judy has authored six books and writes for Guideposts Magazine. Her passion is to write that others may be strong in the Lord.


Brenda Felber

Brenda Felber is author of the Pameroy Mystery Series for middle-grade readers. She loves a good road trip and will take readers along with imagineer Lillia Pameroy to all fifty states by the end of the series! In each story Brenda takes threads of local history and twists of paranormal to weave a mystery that encourages curiosity in young readers.


PJ Fiala

PJ Fiala has toyed with many careers in her life, looking for that perfect fit. Finally, when her love for writing took root, a match was made. An avid biker, she plots most of her stories while riding and enjoying new adventures with her husband. Creating stories filled with steamy passion and suspense, and always ending with a happily ever after, 'cause who doesn’t love that?

Upcoming Events October 10, 2018 @ 6:30 pm Plotting Your Romance October 12, 2018 @ 4:00 pm Marketing Strategies

Ross Gay

Ross Gay is the author of three books: Against Which, Bringing the Shovel Down, and Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2016 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. Catalog was also a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award in Poetry, the Ohioana Book Award, the Balcones Poetry Prize, the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award, and it was nominated for an NAACP Image Award.

Upcoming Events October 11, 2018 @ 6:00 pm Delight, Gardens, C’mon!

Dasha Kelly Hamilton

Dasha Kelly is a nationally-respected writer, artist and creative consultant. She has delivered her uniquely engaging sessions to college campuses, corporate teams, churches, correctional institutions, arts groups, class rooms in every K-12 grade, elderly recreational programs and non-profit organizations.

Upcoming Events October 13, 2018 @ 1:00 pm The Sound of the Word: Milwaukee Voices

Joseph Heywood

Joseph Heywood grew up an Air Force brat, graduated from Rudyard High School in 1961, and from Michigan State in 1965 with a degree in journalism. He served as USAF instructor navigator, and he is a Vietnam vet. Heywood is the author of 18 novels, two short story collections, and a memoir. The author lives seven months in the UP and patrols 30 days yearly with Michigan COs.

Upcoming Events October 8, 2018 @ 6:30 pm Deluged by Foxes: Thoughts From An Aging Scribbler

Michael Hittle

Michael Hittle taught Russian history at Lawrence University from 1966 to 2001. His love of fishing led him in 1972 to the Turtle-Flambeau Flowage, where his family purchased land and built a cabin. He served on the board of the flowage property owner’s association and is an editor of its newsletter.


B.J. Hollars

B.J. Hollars is the author of several books, most recently, The Road South: Personal Stories of the Freedom Riders. An associate professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, he lives a simple existence with his wife, their children, and their dog.


Heather Holm

Heather is an award-winning author and nationally sought-after speaker spending much of her time passionately educating audiences about the fascinating world of native bees and the native plants that support them. She is the author of, Pollinators of Native Plants and most recently,Bees, recipient of five book awards. Heather currently lives in Minnesota with her husband.

Upcoming Events October 8, 2018 @ 6:30 pm The Pollination of Native Plants October 9, 2018 @ 10:00 am Gardening for Bees and Butterflies

Sean Jensen

During his career, he’s won many awards, broken many big stories, covered many big games, appeared on many big networks and shows, and penned many profiles on high-profile athletes. After moving back to the Twin Cities, Sean hatched the concept for a book series that partnered with famous athletes to tell their inspirational childhood stories. So far, Sean has written four books in the Middle School Rules series with a fifth on the way. Sean will be presenting at schools during the festival.


Keiko Kasza

Keiko was born in Japan. She started her career as a graphic designer but soon her interests moved to children’s books. Her first book was published in Tokyo in 1981. She has published 22 books, of which G. P. Putnam published 16 and Japanese publishers published 6.

Upcoming Events October 11, 2018 @ 6:00 pm Why is Mickey a Mouse?

Catherine Kautsky

Catherine Kautsky is Chair of Keyboard at Lawrence Conservatory. She has played and taught on six continents and spent two sabbaticals in Paris, where her book was born. Ms, Kautsky has won the Lawrence Excellence in Teaching Award and holds a named professorship. She performs frequently locally and across the country.

Upcoming Events October 10, 2018 @ 10:00 am Debussy’s Paris with Catherine Kautsky

Kathrin Köhler

Kathrin Köhler is a writer interested in intersectionality, the interstitial, and ideas interdisciplinary. They are most comfortable writing in places 'between.' Their work tends to explore the internalization of social power structures, what it means to belong and to be accepted, and how people conceive of and interact with nature.

Upcoming Events October 13, 2018 @ 11:30 am Horror Writers Panel
Children Fiction

Gordon Korman

Welcome to the wonderful world of a regular guy who just happened to write 80-something books for kids and teens. Korman was born on October 23, 1963 in Montreal, Canada, and grew up mostly in the Toronto area.

Upcoming Events October 12, 2018 @ 6:30 pm Growing Up Writing for Kids
Young Adult

Lori M. Lee

Lori is the author of the Gates of Thread and Stone series. She has a borderline obsessive fascination with unicorns, is fond of talking in capslock, and loves to write about magic, manipulation, and family. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband, kids, and an excitable shih-tzu.

Upcoming Events October 11, 2018 @ 6:30 pm Diverse Voices in Youth Literature

James Lowder

James Lowder’s publications include the bestselling, widely translated dark fantasy novels, as well short fiction, comic book scripts, film reviews, and critical essays. On the other side of the publisher’s desk, he serves as executive editor for Chaosium’s fiction line. He has edited more than a dozen critically acclaimed anthologies.

Upcoming Events October 13, 2018 @ 11:30 am Horror Writers Panel

Adrian R. Martin

Adrian R. Martin is a 1962 graduate of St. Mary Catholic School. He has a Bachelor of Science from UW-Oshkosh and a Master of Science from UW-Stevens Point. Martin is the author of five books. He taught English and coached high school athletics for 32 years.


Jay Matz

Jay Matz was born and raised in Northeastern Wisconsin – living in Kewaunee, Two Rivers, and Menasha. Fond memories of that time inspired him to create Nicholas Northwoods, with hopes of producing a series of children’s books, starting with Nicholas Northwoods: An Ode to the Seasons.

Upcoming Events October 12, 2018 @ 10:00 am Nicholas Northwoods: How to Create Your Own Books!

John Mitchell

After 20 years working in many aspect of the film industry, Writer-Director John Mitchell made the documentary film “Cheeseheads”, a humorously philosophical travel film about love of place. His upcoming works include the children’s book “Dreamerboy”, it’s subsequent sequel “Dreamergirl”, as well as two novels, and the romantic comedy stage play “Lambeau Leap”.

Upcoming Events October 11, 2018 @ 1:00 pm Finding Humor In Hell: The Crazy Chaos of Self-Distribution October 11, 2018 @ 6:00 pm “Dreamerboy” Picture Book Presentation

Carlos Nieto III

Carlos is from Silverlake, California. He worked on The Simpsons TV show as a layout artist for three years, then at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles as an artist in residence. He currently travels the country presenting art programs at libraries, and he is developing his debut graphic novel L.A. Calavera.

Upcoming Events October 13, 2018 @ 1:00 pm Latino Style Watercolor Selfies

Carolyn Porter

Carolyn Porter is a graphic designer and typography geek who designed the multi-award-winning font P22 Marcel Script. “Marcel’s Letters: A Font and the Search for One Man’s Fate” recounts Carolyn’s obsessive quest for answers about Marcel Heuzé, the World War II forced laborer whose handwriting inspired the font.


Sarah Read

Sarah Read is a dark fiction writer living in Wisconsin. Her short stories have appeared in many magazines and anthologies, including Ellen Datlow's The Best Horror of the Year vol 10. Her debut novel will be out from Journalstone/Trepidatio Publishing in early 2019.


Amanda Reavey

Amanda Ngoho Reavey is a poet and teacher interested in re-story-ation and ethnoautobiography. She is the author of the award-winning poetry book, Marilyn (The Operating System, 2015), and the founder of RestoryNation. She earned a MFA from Naropa University and is currently a PhD student at UW-Milwaukee.

Upcoming Events October 13, 2018 @ 1:00 pm The Sound of the Word: Milwaukee Voices

Kurtis Scaletta

Kurtis is the author of several novels for young readers including Mudville (2009), Mamba Point (2010), The Tanglewood Terror (2011), The Winter of the Robots (2013), and Rooting for Rafael Rosales (2017). He is also the author of the Topps League series (illustrated by Eric Wight and Ethen Beavers). Kurtis will also be presenting to area schools during his visit to the festival.

Upcoming Events October 11, 2018 @ 6:30 pm Diverse Voices in Youth Literature

Larry Scheckel

Larry Scheckel grew up on a family farm, attended eight years of a one-room country school, military, and started a teaching career that stretched over thirty-eight years teaching physics in Tomah, Wisconsin. Larry and his wife, Ann, are both retired teachers and live in Tomah, Wisconsin. Larry has published four books. Larry will be presenting at area schools during the festival.


Gavin Schmitt

Gavin Schmitt has been called the go-to expert on organized crime in Wisconsin. With books including Milwaukee Mafia and Shallow Grave, he has brought long-classified documents into public view. Interviewed in newspapers, on the radio, and online, Schmitt recently appeared in the documentary Milwaukee Mob.

Upcoming Events October 10, 2018 @ 10:00 am Book Signing with Gavin Schmitt October 11, 2018 @ 6:30 pm Madison, America’s Deadliest City?

Tasha Schuh

After a tragic theater accident left Tasha paralyzed from the chest down, Tasha has discovered invaluable lessons that resonate with audiences of all demographics. Since 2007, she has been traveling across the country inspiring and challenging thousands of listeners to overcome and persevere, no matter what life throws at them.

Upcoming Events October 9, 2018 @ 6:30 pm Enjoy Your Ride October 11, 2018 @ 6:30 pm Enjoy Your Ride

Beth Spencer

Beth Spencer began writing poetry at about age eight. An early success was winning first place in a contest “Why I like to Read Good Books” by replacing an essay with a poem inside a cigar box “book.” She has been hooked ever since.

Upcoming Events October 8, 2018 @ 7:00 pm Poetry Unlocked

Scott Spoolman

Scott Spoolman is a science writer who has focused on stories of natural science and the environment related to Wisconsin and surrounding states. He grew up in northern Wisconsin, earned a master's degree from the University of Minnesota, and worked in the publishing industry before becoming a freelance writer.

Upcoming Events October 13, 2018 @ 11:00 am Wisconsin State Parks: Stories of Geology and Natural History

Jeanne Styczinski

Jeanne Styczinski’s life-long dream was to write/illustrate picture books. In 2014 she created a small publishing company, JeanneKay Publishing (, a website (, promotes writing and illustrating by presenting to elementary schools/libraries and conferences. Her three picture books have won Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards.

Upcoming Events October 13, 2018 @ 9:15 am How Illustrations Are Made

The Mill: A Place for Writers

The Mill: A Place for Writers was founded to encourage the growth of the literary community and provide learning opportunities for writers at all levels by offering a broad range of classes and workshops for interested adults.

Upcoming Events October 14, 2018 @ 2:30 pm The Mill Prizes

Richard Thomas

Richard Thomas is the award-winning author of seven books—Disintegration and Breaker (Penguin Random House Alibi), Transubstantiate, Herniated Roots, Staring into the Abyss, Tribulations and The Soul Standard (Dzanc Books). He has been nominated for the Bram Stoker, Shirley Jackson, and Thriller awards. His over 140 stories in print include Cemetery Dance (twice), PANK, storySouth, Gargoyle, Weird Fiction Review, Midwestern Gothic, Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories, Qualia Nous, Chiral Mad (numbers 2-4), and Shivers VI.

Upcoming Events October 13, 2018 @ 11:30 am Horror Writers Panel October 13, 2018 @ 2:00 pm Contemporary Dark Fiction—Research, Publication, and Trends

Joan Treppa

Joan Treppa is a wife, mother, social justice advocate for the wrongfully convicted, and award winning Minnesota author of, Reclaiming Lives: Pursuing Justice for Six Innocent Men. She champions for the release of the six men convicted in the 1992 death of paper mill worker Tom Monfils and has become a strong voice for their families whom she describes as the, collateral damage of wrongful convictions.

Upcoming Events October 11, 2018 @ 6:30 pm A Matter of Facts; The Tom Monfils Case Revisited

Carol Mainville Van Boxtel

Carol Mainville Van Boxtel, a Kaukauna native, is a historian and genealogist. Her eleven books are concerned with the rich history of the City of Kaukauna and the citizens who helped develop the City. Carol received the 2017 Lillian Mackesy Historian of the Year Award for three of her books.

Upcoming Events October 12, 2018 @ 10:00 am Historic Kaukauna Bus Tour October 12, 2018 @ 1:30 pm Finding the Missing Puzzle Pieces
Young Adult

Jill Van Den Eng

Jill Van Den Eng is the author of the young adult novels, Divided Moon (Solstice 2012) and Gangbanger (Solstice 2016). She lives in NE Wisconsin and thrives on the internet. Follow her on Twitter @MoonOverMadison, Instagram: jill.vandeneng, Facebook, and read her children’s book reviews at

Upcoming Events October 9, 2018 @ 1:30 pm The Writer and the Social Media Platform

Linda Vander Heyden

Linda Vander Heyden is the author of three picture books, Mr. McGinty's Monarchs, A Horse Named Jack, and Hannah's Tall Order: An Alphabet Sandwich. She is drawn to stories with heart and humor. Linda lives in Wisconsin with her husband, two dogs, three cats, and a horse named Jack!


Laura Vosika

Laura Vosika, author of the acclaimed time travel tale, "Blue Bells Chronicles", spent her childhood in Europe, among medieval ruins. Holding a B.A. Music from Lawrence, she worked as a freelance musician, and now runs Gabriel's Horn Publishing and hosts the radio program "Books and Brews with Laura Vosika".

Upcoming Events October 12, 2018 @ 6:30 pm Scotland Through the Eyes of the Author

Chris Welch

Christopher Welch resides in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin. He’s a freelance reporter and an English instructor at Madison College’s Eastern Region campuses. His short stories have appeared in various small press and professional horror and fantasy publications, and he’s served as a jury member for the Bram Stoker Awards.

Upcoming Events October 13, 2018 @ 11:30 am Horror Writers Panel

Scott Winkler

Scott Winkler is an author, husband, father, teacher, scholar, and concerned citizen. His 2018 novel,The Meadow(Peregrino Press), is the first of a trilogy exploring the impact of trauma and moral injury on servicemen and their families, friends, communities, and nation. Scott and his family live in rural Wisconsin.

Upcoming Events October 13, 2018 @ 1:30 pm Stories and the Lives They Save

Beth Ann Ziarnik

Beth Ann Ziarnik is co-founder of Word & Pen Christian Writers in the Fox Valley and an avid fan of romantic suspense. Her debut novel, Her Deadly Inheritance, earned two major awards—most recently the 2017 Selah Award for First Novel. Its exciting sequel, Her Deadly Reunion, releases November 15.

Upcoming Events October 10, 2018 @ 1:30 pm Where Did You Get Those Ideas?