2016 Authors & Workshops

Frank Beddor

frank beddorTo satisfy the awakened curiosity of his readers Frank Beddor continued to tell the parallel adventures of Royal Bodyguard Hatter Madigan’s search for the lost princess in the graphic novel series Hatter M. He lives in Los Angeles.

A Hollywood film producer whose credits include There’s Something About Mary, Frank is currently developing The Looking Glass Wars as a Broadway musical. Frank loves coffee flavored Häagen-Dazs ice cream topped with peanut M&M’s. He would be King Kong if he could be any character in film history.

While studying at the University of Utah he was invited to train with the U.S. ski team. He became the first International Ski Federation World Champion in combined freestyle skiing and did the ski stunts for John Cusack’s character in the cult classic movie Better Off Dead. He then went on to act in other movies, appearing opposite Star Wars icon Carrie Fisher in Amazon Women on the Moon.

Check out the following books by Frank:
Hatter Madigan: Ghost in the H.A.T.B.O.X. (MS)
Looking Glass Wars: CrossFire (HS)

Workshop Information:
The Social Media Story Telling Revolution
Famed author Frank Beddor is putting together a revolutionary way to deliver his story telling talents to today’s digitally obsessed teenagers. Knowing his audience no longer prefers to consume media through traditional methods, like books, he is adapting to meet their preferences.

Millennials read books on devices and seek other media via various platforms on these devices. Each platform has a specific language, media type and super stars who dictate what to consume—and customers can quickly set apart the real from the fake. Taking this into consideration, Frank is combining his creative strength of writing fantastic stories for this age group and pairing it with a newly born type of creative talent, digital and social media creative directors. Together they will put out the first multi-platform story series, PCH and Hatter Madigan: Ghost in the Hatbox.

Come discover how Frank integrates digitally based plot points into his stories. Characters have their own social media accounts with posts containing various types of text, images, videos, audio clips, .gif’s, etc that are literally part of the story. A collection of websites, blogs and apps will be woven into the story and continuously referenced. Readers will be directed to switch from device to device and from platform to platform to consume the entire story. Learn how these digital elements are thoughtfully and skillfully created for each platform’s uniqueness as well as how the character’s authentic voice will be represented – all of which is essential to these “transitions” and to the overall success of a new form of story telling.


S.A. Bodeen

bodeenS.A. Bodeen grew up on a Wisconsin dairy farm where, among other things, she milked cows, has been covered—multiple times— in cow manure, and learned to drive a stick shift at the age of eight. She has lived in a mud hut in Tanzania and once puked near the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro during an electrical storm. She has lived in eight states, two African countries, and one remote Pacific atoll. A Green Bay Packer stockholder, she is not ashamed that she owns two Cheeseheads.

Check out the following books from S.A. Bodeen…
The Detour (upper MS/HS)
The Compound (MS/HS)
The Raft (MS/HS)
Shipwreck Island (MS)

Workshop Information:
Quelching the Quit: how to find the story when you think you never will

Martha Brockenbrough 


Martha Brockenbrough is the author of The Game of Love and Death, Devine Intervention, Finding Bigfootand more books for kids and teens. She’s the founder of National Grammar Day, a former high school teacher, and she used to dry her hair out of the sunroof of her mom’s car back in the day where seatbelts were optional.

Check out the following books from Martha…

Workshop Information:
Writing a whole story or book is hard. Getting to The End feels great, though. And it’s important not just for your story, but for your life. Martha Brockenbrough will share secrets for finishing the draft so you have something to edit later.

Royce Buckingham


Royce was caught out on his bicycle in black ash rain after Mount St. Helens exploded. He once played baseball in the Kingdome, which exploded years later. He studied English literature in England, near where an airplane exploded. And he grew up near a nuclear plant that manufactured plutonium for one of the atomic bombs that exploded in World War II. Strangely, he still likes explosions in stories and writes lots of action, thriller, and adventure tales.

Check out the following books from Royce…
The Terminals (HS)
The Dead Boys (MS)
The Goblin Problem (MS)
Demonkeeper (MS)

Workshop Information:

Writing Your Second Book
What happens after you’ve written a story and declare, “I love doing this”?
The answer is: you write your second story! Now things get serious. There are techniques to improve, mistakes to learn from, rules to be followed and broken. All writers who want to make a hobby or career out of writing need to get that first one out of the way. This workshop will focus on what we should learn from our first try and how to implement our newfound knowledge to make our second go twice as good!

Justina Chen

justina chen

Justina Chen has lived in Seattle, Shanghai, and Sydney, which makes her worried about where she will live next: Syria, No. Sorrento, yes. She is infected with a serious case of wanderlust, and is now-not-so-secretly obsessed with French Fries, Orphan Black, Frye boots, coconut black tea, and hello, kitty. (Yes. Hello, kitty. Do not judge.)

Check out the following books from Justina…
A Blind Spot for Boys (MS/HS)
Return to ME (MS/HS)
North of Beautiful (MS/HS)
Girl Overboard (MS/HS)
Nothing but the Truth (and a few white lies) (MS/HS)

Workshop Information:

You Had Me At Halo (and Hello): crafting an attention-grabbing opening
So you want to hook your reader? Award-winning author and former speechwriter for the President of Microsoft Xbox, Justina Chen will share the tips she uses to woo readers in her novels…and enthrall audiences of 40,000 people. In this hands-on workshop, you’ll learn how to craft surprising opening lines, wield magical objects, and layer in moments of truth to catch and keep reader attention.

Kimberly Derting


Kimberly Derting once wanted to be a “foxy lady trucker” but changed her mind when she took 7th grade journalism, and hasn’t looked back since. These days, she watches entirely too much TV, orders 20-pound boxes of Nerds gumballs off the internet, and loves to complain about the rain even though she lives in the Pacific Northwest!

Check out the following books from Kimberly…
THE COUNTDOWN (The Taking, book #3) released May 10th (HS)

Workshop Information:

Coming soon…

Carl Deuker

Carl Deuker once worked in Los Angeles. At the time, a serial killer was loose in the downtown area. He woke up one morning, got out the Los Angeles Times, opened up and saw a police artist’s drawing of the killer . . . and it was Carl. He got on the bus to go to work, wondering if he was exaggerating the likeness. About ten minutes into the bus ride, the bus pulled to a stop. Seconds later the doors burst open and LAPD surrounded him, pulling Carl off the bus, demanding identification. You’ll be glad to know that Carl is not a serial killer, but that was one long, long day as he was questioned two other times.

Check out the following books from Carl…
Payback Time (HS)
Gym Candy (HS)
Runner (HS)
High Heat (HS)
Night Hoops (HS)

Workshop Information:

Fast writing is good writing. Working with a group, participants will produce either an adventure story or a comic story. Each participant will be responsible for one section of the story. Participants will learn how being part of a writing community encourages . . . writing!

Kevin Emerson


Kevin is the author of fourteen novels including BREAKOUT, the EXILE series, and the ATLANTEANS trilogy. A former science teacher, Kevin is also a drummer and singer. He has won a spelling bee, lost a beauty pageant, and once appeared in a Swedish TV commercial. He lives in Seattle, where he has taught writing workshops to kids and teens through Richard Hugo House and Writers in the Schools.

Check out the following books from Kevin…
Breakout (MS)
Exile (MS/HS)
Encore to an Empty Room (MS/HS)

Workshop Information:

How to Plot like a Pro
It’s happened to all of us: you have a great idea for a story, some amazing character or dynamite moment, you’ve even written a few pages, but now… what’s next? How do you take that inspiration further, through twists and turns, all the way to the finish line? How do you balance action with character development, tension and surprises? In this workshop you will learn the secrets to a great plot, to thinking about a story as a whole, and to actually finishing that amazing idea you’ve been dreaming about.

April Henry

april henry
April can get out of handcuffs (even behind her back) with only a bobby pin or hair clip, and April can also get out of duct tape. April buys nearly all her clothes on e-Bay and can’t parallel park. She has held a variety of odd jobs, including German translator, cleaning lady, and a brief stint as the girl who jumps out of a cake.  She took a knife throwing class that also included ax throwing. Her maternal great-grandfather was in an arson gang.  April holds a purple belt in kung fu, an orange belt in kajukenbo, and a one-stripe belt in Brazilian jiujitsu. She wrote an episode for the phone app Zombies, Run!  She has fired an M-5 machine gun on an FBI gun range. In fact, it was the first gun April ever shot. She still has a postcard Roald Dahl sent her in 1972.

Check out the following books from April…
Girl, Stolen (MS/HS)
The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die (MS/HS)
Body in the Woods (MS/HS)

Workshop Information:

How to keep a story going.  Participants will begin by creating a character

Colleen Houck

colleen houck

Colleen Houck’s favorite meal is a bacon cheeseburger with fries and a chocolate malt. Speaking of food, she once threw up going backwards on a carnival ride and her vomit hit the back of the head of the guy in front of her. Shepretended it wasn’t her.  When she laughs hard she snorts. She convinced her brothers and sisters they could fly if they jumped from a tall dresser. Her four year old sister broke out her two front teeth. In middle school Colleen was too embarrassed to use the pencil sharpener so she bit off the wood with my teeth. Colleen likes cake.

Check out the following books from Colleen…
Tiger’s Curse

Workshop Information:

The Hero’s Journey

Roll the dice in a choose your own adventure type of quest where we analyze archetypes, vent on villains, and pay homage to heroes. We’ll discuss how the hero’s journey is used in comics, movies, books, mythology, and more! If you’re a natural storyteller or just love books and reading, this workshop will inspire your creative side. But come prepared, we’re going to talk about everything from Star Wars to Snow White, from Indiana Jones to The Wizard of Oz, and from Harry Potter to The Lord of the Rings, so grab some popcorn and join in the fun!

Kazu Kibuishi


Kazu Kibuishi is one half of the Kibuishi Brothers duo, known in grade school as being among the best video game players around. Even now as the bestselling author of Amulet and a father of two, he still finds time to destroy opponents in Destiny after the kids go to bed.

Check out the following books by Kazu…
Amulet 1: The Stonekeeper
Amulet 2: The Stonekeeper’s Curse
Amulet 3: The Cloud Searchers
Amulet 4: The Last Council
Amulet 5: Prince of the Elves
Amulet 6: Escape From Lucien
Amulet 7: Firelight (All ages) released Spring 2016

Workshop Information:

Making comics and graphic novels. Kazu will be speaking about the process of creating Amulet and demonstrating digital painting techniques.

Lish McBride

Lish mcbride

* Has never, not once, saved the princess in the original Mario Brothers. (It is her secret shame.)
* Has been vegetarian since she was about 18, but has a tattoo of a porkchop on her leg. Also, has the nickname “meat loaf.”
* When she changed her last name through the court system, accidentally misspelled her middle name.
* Has a cat named Captain Ninja Fish who has been known to ride the occasional weiner dog.

Check out the following books by Lish…
Hold Me Closer, Necromancer
Necromancing the Stone

Workshop Information:

Let’s Make Something Monstrous!
Sometimes you want a villain that’s a little less human, and a little more WHAT IS THAT THING? You want werewolves, or vampires, or mutants–or perhaps a tentacled horror straight out of Lovecraft. Or what about a human who’s lost their humanity? After all, we can be monsters, too. In this workshop we will discuss creature building. Whether you want a loveable yeti or a bloodthirsty cyborg, we’ll talk about how to make sure even your creatures have great character.

William Ritter


William Ritter has been married for ten years. On his wedding day, which was a lovely, classy affair, he had dark blue hair and his wife had deep purple. The bouquet was an arrangement of blue and purple flowers to match.

Check out the following books by William…
BEASTLY BONES (MS/HS) released September 22nd

Workshop Information:

Creating Characters with Character.
Nuancing a character’s personality, physicality, motivations, and perceptions to develop a more complete, 3-dimensional person.

Heidi Schulz


Heidi Schulz once spent a summer working on a traveling carnival and can now tie a balloon faster than anyone she knows. She is suspicious of giraffes, loves dogs, and think chickens make nearly perfect pets. Heidi loves secrets, puns, and cleverness. Her Patronus is pie.

Check out the following books by Heidi…

Workshop Information:

Raise Your [Authorial] Voice! Authorial voice can be a tricky concept. At the end of this session, participants will be able to answer: What is “voice”? How does it vary from person to person and/or work to work? How can writers develop their own? Students should come prepared to write.

Tamara Ireland Stone


Tamara-Ireland-StoneIn standard Silicon Valley-native fashion, Tamara got her first job building Atari game systems in her parents’ garage. She used the money to buy a bunch of Atari games and a pair of Nikes. Later, Tamara worked at Taco Bell, where she learned how to fold a burrito (a skill she uses regularly) and to aim a sour cream gun at other people with near-perfect precision (a skill she rarely gets to show off). Tamara put herself through college by breaking up fun parties. Today, she’s blissfully married. She enjoys live music, the kind of travel that changes her, and sitting on my couch watching movies with her kids. Ask Tamara what song is stuck in her head right now. She almost always has one. And it’s probably embarrassing.

Check out the following books by Tamara…
Every Last Word (MS/HS)
Time Between Us (MS/HS)
Time After Time (MS/HS)

Workshop Information:

Have a story in you, but not sure where to start? Does the standard three-act structure leave you with more questions than answers? Overwhelmed by the idea of writing a whole novel?
In this workshop, you’ll learn how to apply an easy-to-understand screenplay writing structure to your novel or short story. We’ll break popular movies down into fifteen parts to help you understand how to start, where to go next, and how to keep your readers turning pages.


4 thoughts on “2016 Authors & Workshops

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