RWA2021 logo

Speakers

We're so excited to announce our stellar lineup of speakers for the RWA2021 virtual conference, November 18-20!

More speakers will be added in the coming weeks, so check back!

Finola AustinFinola Austin

Finola Austin, also known as the Secret Victorianist on her award-winning blog, is an England-born, Northern Ireland-raised, Brooklyn-based historical novelist and lover of the 19th century. Her first novel, Bronte's Mistress (Atria Books, 2020), was inspired by the scandalous real-life affair between a married woman, Lydia Robinson, and Branwell Bronte, brother to the Bronte sisters. By day, Finola works in digital advertising. She has two degrees from the University of Oxford, including a Master's in English Literature, 1800-1914. Find her online at www.finolaaustin.com.

Patty BlountPatty Blount

Patty Blount (pattyblount.com) grew up shy and quiet in New York but found  her voice writing strong, relatable Young Adult characters. Best known for her internet-issues books, Patty’s latest novel, SOMEONE I USED TO KNOW (Sourcebooks Fire 2018) earned several honors including a double win in YARWA’s Athena Awards. Patty’s a member  of 3 RWA chapters, currently serves as YARWA’s VP Communications, and is a Guide in RWA’s Pen2Paper program.

Eden BradleyEden Bradley

New York Times & USA Today bestselling author Eden Bradley has written erotic romance for Berkley, Bantam, Harlequin, Samhain Publishing and Black Lace Books, as well as indie publishing and Red Hot Romance Publishing. Her work has been translated into twelve languages.

Eden also works as a sex educator. She speaks on kink psychology, safety and practice, as well as sex positive culture for women. She also offers a series of writing craft courses. You can visit her online at EdenBradley.com, and you can find her on Twitter and Facebook, including her private Facebook group, After Dark Social Club.

Cevin BryermanCevin Bryerman

Cevin Bryerman is the publisher and CEO of Publishers Weekly, the international news platform of the book publishing industry. He has been in the publishing business for more than 30 years, working at the helm of both trade and consumer magazines in strategic planning, business development and strategic partnerships.

As a leader within the publishing industry, his innate talent, he believes, is working directly with the people affecting the industry, including publishers, booksellers and librarians.

In his free time, he is devoted to his family and children and is an avid tennis player and cyclist. He lives on Long Island.

Caraway CarterCaraway Carter

Caraway Carter has worn numerous hats. He’s been a furniture salesman, a dresser, a costumer, an actor/waiter, a rabble-rouser, a poet, and most recently a writer. He loves words and stringing them together, he loves sex and sexy men, and he writes relationship fiction that reminds you–it’s never too late for love. And he has lived his tagline. He married his husband on Halloween, at the age of forty-nine, and they are the loving parents of an adorable cat named Molly.

Jeannie ChinJeannie Chin

Jeannie Chin writes contemporary small town romances. She draws on her experiences as a biracial Asian and Caucasian American to craft stories that speak to a uniquely American experience.

She is a former high school science teacher, wife to a geeky engineer, and mom to an extremely talkative kindergartner. Her hobbies include crafting, reading and hiking.

Her latest book is The Inn On Sweetbriar Lane.

Sara ComeauSara Comeau

Sara Comeau has always been an advocate for love, so it came as no surprise when life led her to writing steamy romance. Through her work as a psychic medium and lover of space, she has acquired a great deal of knowledge and experience that has inspired her to tell love stories through science fiction, the supernatural, and the ancient times.

When she’s not writing, Sara enjoys traveling, indulging in her foodie ways, helping others to find their life’s purpose, and spending time with her husband, Jacob, and two Dobermans, Anubis & Athena. Discover more about Sara and her work at www.SpiritualTides.com.

Janie CrouchJanie Crouch

USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestselling author Janie Crouch writes what she loves to read: passionate romantic suspense. After a lifetime on the East Coast, and  a six-year stint in Germany due to her husband's job as support for the U.S. Military, Janie has settled into her dream home in Front Range of the Colorado Rockies. She loves engaging in all sorts of adventures (triathlons! 200-mile relay races! mountain treks!), traveling, and surviving life with four kids.

Aubrey DarkAubrey Dark

Aubrey is a romance writer, personal financial planner, and math tutor. She is a lifelong learner and educator who enjoys making hard stuff easier for people to understand.
 

 

Anna DePaloAnna DePalo

Anna DePalo is the USA Today best-selling author of sexy & fun contemporary romance novels, including The Serenghetti Brothers series from Harlequin. Mining her New York roots and Italian immigrant family for inspiration, she has won the NJRW Golden Leaf, the NECRWA Readers’ Choice, the Book Buyer’s Best and the RT Reviewers’ Choice. She practiced law, now calls writing her passion, and always takes her morning coffee with chocolate.
 

 

Tobi DoyleTobi Doyle

Erin Novotny writing as Tobi Doyle, a hybrid romance author, has published over a dozen romance books. She writes HEAs with heat and humor, romantic suspense, and cozy mysteries. A member of the RWA’s Pen to Paper committee, she’s also the current President of RWA’s romantic suspense chapter, Kiss of Death, a member of Central Ohio Fiction Writers, West Virginia Writers and other local writing groups.
 

 

Ricardo FayetRicardo Fayet

Ricardo Fayet is one of the four founders of Reedsy, a marketplace connecting authors to the world's top publishing talent — from editors to cover designers, book marketers, or literary translators. He's the author of several Reedsy Learning courses on marketing and a regular presenter at several prestigious writers' conferences: NINC, RWA Australia, and The Self Publishing Show Live, among others. He recently released his first book, with the non-imaginative title of How to Market a Book, which is free on all retailers.

Veronica ForandVeronica Forand

Veronica Forand is a novelist and an attorney. She's won the Golden Pen Award for Romantic Suspense, the Bookseller's Best in Romantic Suspense, finaled times in the Daphne du Maurier Contest for Excellence in Suspense, and was chosen a Top Ten Finalist out of over thirty thousand entries in the James Patterson Co-Author Competition. 

Maggie GigandetMaggie Gigandet

Maggie is a former trial attorney with almost a decade of training and experience in writing, researching, and interviewing. She is a current freelance writer focusing on wildlife, the outdoors, history, and anything unusual. An avid hiker, Maggie runs a blog on the Tennessee State Parks and enjoys researching for fun.

Leslie J HallLeslie J. Hall

Leslie J. Hall is the author of the Kaitlyn Willis Road Signs Mystery series. She is a recognized writing instructor around the Pacific NW. She writes mysteries and women’s fiction and co-leads, Write Night, a weekly writer’s critique group. Leslie is a member of Romance Writers of America, Women’s Fiction Writing Association, Sisters In Crime, and is on the Northwest board of Mystery Writers of America. Leslie loves words, books, writing, and sharing that passion with others. Find out more about her and her classes at www.lesliejhall.com.

Nate HoffelderNate Hoffelder

Nate has been helping people fix broken tech since 2010. He builds and repairs Wordpress sites, and acts as a virtual IT department for authors. He also blogs about the Kindle and indie publishing. Nate is the president of the Riverside Writers Club in Fredericksburg, VA, and is on the board of the Florida Writers Foundation. When he’s not volunteering, he spends his time working on projects such as The Speaker Bureau, Simple Author Websites, and Author Website in a Box. In his spare time, Nate hand-raises budgies.

Liz HsuLiz Hsu

Liz Hsu is a multiple award-winning author who has a deep love of traveling, the people of the world and their dynamic histories, and reading and writing. She holds a B.A. from John Cabot University, Rome, in addition to a M.A.T. and M.A. in World History from Georgia State University. Her first two romances feature characters with lupus, a chronic autoimmune disease. Lupus has had a significant impact on her on a personal level since before her diagnosis in 2009. From Atlanta, she now lives in Metro-Detroit with her Chinese-American husband, daughter, and adorable Pomeranian.

Sascha IllyvichSascha Illyvich

Sascha Illyvich started writing eighteen years ago. His erotic romances have been listed under Night Owl Romance’s and Road to Romance’s Recommended read lists, and he’s been nominated for a CAPA by The Romance Studio. Recently, Torn to Pieces was a USA TODAY Recommended Read. Sascha is a trained and experienced public speaker and enjoys giving talks and teaching, particularly on aspects of romance, erotic romance, and writing. He was the former host of The Unnamed Romance Show on Radio Dentata, and is fond of doing guest spots and interviews, on both traditional radio and podcasts. Sascha is self-published and has written for various publishers for the past twenty years. Find him at http://saschaillyvichauthor.com.


Jaycee JarvisJaycee Jarvis

Jaycee Jarvis was an avid romance and fantasy reader long before she became a writer. With four fantasy romance novels out in the world, Jaycee is delighted to write stories with a romantic  heart set against a magical backdrop, creating the kind of book she most likes to read.

Jaycee is proud to be a Golden Heart® finalist and gives back to the romance writing community as the president of the Golden Network chapter of RWA. When not lost in worlds of her own creation, she resides in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three children and a menagerie of pets.

Beverly JenkinsBeverly Jenkins

Ms. Jenkins is the nation’s premier writer of African-American historical romance fiction and specializes in 19th century African American life. She’s the 2018 Michigan Library Association Author of the Year, a USA TODAY best-selling author, an NAACP Image Award nominee, and the 2017 recipient of Romance Writers of America’s Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award. She has over forty-nine published works, and been named to many Best Book of the Year lists, including NPR and the American Library Association. She speaks widely on romance, writing, and African-American history. Her books were recently optioned for film by Sony Pictures and Al Roker Entertainment.

Ines JohnsonInes Johnson

Lover of fairytales, folklore, and mythology, Ines Johnson spends her days reimagining the stories of old in a modern world. She writes books where damsels cause the distress, princesses wield swords, and moms save the world.

Darynda JonesDarynda Jones

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Darynda Jones has won numerous awards for her work, including a prestigious RITA®, a Golden Heart®, and a Daphne du Maurier, and her books have been translated into17 languages. As a born storyteller, she grew up spinning tales of dashing damsels and heroes in distress for any unfortunate soul who happened by. Darynda lives in the Land of Enchantment, also known as New Mexico, with her husband and two beautiful sons, the Mighty, Mighty Jones Boys.

Clarissa KaeClarissa Kae

Using her Animal & Veterinary Science degree, Clarissa breeds Australian Shepherds and Aussiedoodles for emotional and medical service. She is a collegiate equestrian and devotes countless hours to ending equine slaughter (saving 200+ horses with All Seated In A Barn Equine Rescue). 

Clarissa is the former president of her local California Writers Club after spending several years as the Critique Director and Conference Coordinator. She’s a former contributor for Equus and editor for Writer’s Digest. She’s the author of award winning Once And Future Wife and her Victorian fairy retellings, A Dark Beauty and Cinders Like Glass. She and her family live in the agriculture belly of California with a farm of horses, alpacas, dogs, and chickens.
 

Mary KarlikMary Karlik

 Mary Karlik combines her Texas roots with her Scottish heritage to write happily-ever-afters from Texas to Scotland. You can find her Texas roots in her indie published, contemporary Young Adult romance Hickville series. She is traditionally published in Young Adult Fantasy with her Fairy Trafficking series set in the magical world of Scotland. The audio version of Magic Heist, the second in the series, was nominated in 2019 for the One Voice Award for “Best Fiction Novel UK Voices Only.” Mary is an active member of RWA, where she serves on the Board of Directors. She formerly served on the board of the YARWA and the Dallas Area Romance Authors chapters and looks forward to raising a glass or two of gin and tonic with her fellow writers—whether virtual or in person—at RWA’s national convention.

Lynn LovegreenLynn Lovegreen

Lynn Lovegreen has lived in Alaska for over fifty years. After twenty years in the classroom, she retired to make more time for writing. Her young adult historical romance is set in Alaska, a great place for drama, romance, and independent characters. She is a member of two RWA chapters, currently serving as president of AKRWA and newsletter editor of YARWA. She has been a member and leader of several writing critique groups over the years. When not reading or writing, Lynn enjoys volunteering at her local library, spends way too much time watching PBS, and would gladly run off to Cornwall with the Poldarks.

Arwen Lynch-PoeArwen Lynch-Poe

Arwen Lynch-Poe, author, psychic medium, teacher, lives and loves in New Mexico. As the Professional Joy Seeker, she shows you how to find and follow your joy. She’s written nine novels with her writing partner, Cai Smith. Also under her belt are nine decks. Her tenth deck is Dan May’s Gentle Creatures. www.TarotByArwen.com

M. MaloneM. Malone

M. Malone is a RITA® Award winner and a NYT & USA Today bestselling author of completely inappropriate romantic comedy. She spends most days wearing Wonder Woman leggings and T-shirts that she's embarrassed for anyone to see while she plays with her imaginary friends. She lives with her husband and their two sons in the picturesque mountains of Northern Virginia even though she is afraid of insects, birds, butterflies and other humans.

She also holds a master's degree in business from a prestigious college that would no doubt be scandalized at how she's using her expensive education.

Linda MercuryLinda Mercury

More than anything, Linda Mercury cares about compassion, connection, and intimacy. Prior to becoming a writer, she used to be a librarian, historian, and professional clown (but not all at once).

Her life’s work is to share what she knows about love, history, and passion with as many people as possible. Sometimes, her work looks like very sexy paranormal romance novels. Other times, it is blog posts on history, feminism, and intercultural understanding. Ultimately, all of her work is about coming together. Because life is way better when people tell each other the truth of who they are.

Lydia MichaelsLydia Michaels

Lydia Michaels is the award-winning and bestselling author of over forty novels, including the groundbreaking collection, Write 10K in a Day. She is the consecutive winner of the 2018 & 2019 Author of the Year Award from Happenings Media, as well as the recipient of the 2014 Best Author Award from the Courier Times. She has been featured in USA Today, Romantic Times Magazine, Love & Lace, and more. As the host and founder of the East Coast Author Convention and the Behind the Keys Author Retreat, Lydia Michaels plays a respected role in the book community. When she’s not working on her next novel, she is accepting speaking engagements and using her platform to advocate for positive author business practices and doing whatever she can to empower female entrepreneurs around the world.

Hayley MillimanHayley Milliman

As Head of Education at ProWritingAid, Hayley focuses on building engaging, helpful learning content for the millions of users who rely on ProWritingAid to make their writing clear and effective. Hayley has a robust writing portfolio and has written for dozens of publications on topics related to education, marketing strategy, history, entrepreneurship, and more. She has also published several books related to writing and history, one of which hit the Amazon bestseller list.

Jode MillmanJodé Millman

In addition to being the award-winning author of The Midnight Call, Jodé has been an attorney for more than 40 years with practical experience in Intellectual Property Law. She is a contributing editor of “The Kaminstein Legislative History Project: A Compendium and Analytical Index of Materials Leading to the Copyright Act of l976," holds a Masters in English Literature specializing in Law and Literature, the author of the best-selling Broadway Guidebook “SEATS: NEW YORK,” a producer/host of the popular podcast, “Backstage with the Bardavon” and a book reviewer for Booktrib.com. To learn more about Jodé, check out her website at www.jodesusanmillman.com.

Camille PaganCamille Pagán

Camille Pagán is the #1 Amazon Charts and Washington Post bestselling author of eight novels, and a certified coach who helps aspiring to established authors create even better careers. Connect with her at camillepagan.com or evenbetter.co.

Roan ParrishRoan Parrish

Roan Parrish lives in Philadelphia, where she is gradually attempting to write love stories in every genre. When not writing, she can usually be found cutting her friends’ hair, meandering through whatever city she’s in while listening to torch songs and melodic death metal, or cooking overly elaborate meals. She loves bonfires, winter beaches, minor chord harmonies, and self-tattooing. One time she may or may not have baked a six-layer chocolate cake and then thrown it out the window in a fit of pique.

Shaila PatelShaila Patel

As an unabashed lover of all things happily-ever-after, Shaila Patel's younger self would finish reading her copy of Cinderella and chuck it across the room because it didn't mention what happened next. Now she writes from her home in the Carolinas and dreams up all sorts of stories with epilogues and Indian-American characters who look like her. Shaila is a pharmacist by training, a medical office manager by day, and a writer by night. She is the author of the multiple award-winning, #ownvoices, young adult paranormal romance trilogy called the Joining of Souls. She loves craft beer, tea, and reading in cozy window seats—but she'll read anywhere. You might find her sneaking in a few paragraphs at a red light or gushing about her favorite books online. Check her out at www.shailapatelauthor.com.

Susan Elizabeth PhillipsSusan Elizabeth Phillips

SUSAN ELIZABETH PHILLIPS, a #1 New York Times bestselling author, is proud of having pioneered the sports romance with her 1989 novel Fancy Pants and her groundbreaking Chicago Stars series. With books published in more than 30 languages, she’s a favorite of readers all over the world. Her newest Chicago Stars novel is WHEN STARS COLLIDE.

Lisa Brown RobertsLisa Brown Roberts

Award-winning romance author Lisa Brown Roberts still hasn’t recovered from the teenage catastrophes of tweezing off both eyebrows, accidentally attending prom with someone else’s boyfriend, and crashing her car into a tree while trying to impress a guy. Her novels The Bookworm Crush, The Replacement Crush (and more) feature adorkable teens navigating family, friendship, and first love, and have earned praise from Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, and the School Library Journal. Lisa loves to connect with readers, especially on Instagram. www.lisabrownroberts.com

Joanne RockJoanne Rock

Joanne Rock is a USA Today bestselling author and four-time RITA finalist. A veteran of series romance, she celebrated her 95th book for Harlequin in 2021 and has penned a variety of genres through other publishing outlets. A frequent speaker at regional and national writing conferences she enjoys giving back to the writing community that nurtured and inspired her early career. She has a master’s degree in literature from the University of Louisville and has taught writing, fiction, and film at college programs in KY, UT, and NY. Learn more about her work at http://joannerock.com.

Elizabeth SchechterElizabeth Schechter

Elizabeth Schechter has been called one of the top erotica and alternative sexuality writers in the world. Her writing credits include the award-winning steampunk erotic romance House of Sable Locks, the Celtic fantasy Princes of Air, and 2021 VIVIAN finalist Written in Water, the first book of the Heir to the Firstborn serial.

She was born in New York at some point in the past. She is officially old enough to know better, but refuses to grow up. She lives in Central Florida with her husband and son.

Naima SimoneNaima Simone

Published since 2009, USA Today bestselling author Naima Simone loves writing sizzling romances with heart, a touch of humor and snark. Her books have been featured in The Washington Post and Entertainment Weekly, and described as balancing “crackling, electric love scenes with exquisitely rendered characters caught in emotional turmoil.”

She is wife to Superman, or his non-Kryptonian, less bullet proof equivalent, and mother to the most awesome kids ever. They all live in perfect, sometimes domestically-challenged bliss in the southern United States.

Sierra SimoneSierra Simone

Sierra Simone is a USA Today and Wall Street Journal best-selling former librarian (who spent too much time reading romance novels at the information desk). Her notable works include Priest, American Queen, and Misadventures of a Curvy Girl, and her books have been featured in Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, Entertainment Weekly, and Buzzfeed. She lives with her husband and family in Kansas City.

Kathleen SweeneyKathleen Sweeney

Kathleen Sweeney is the Manager of Marketing and Customer Service at Book Brush. She has over nineteen years of marketing experience and has shared her love of Book Brush with over 100 author groups. She lives in central Illinois with her husband, three busy boys, and two handsome cats. Her hobbies include eating tacos and turning socks right side out.

Carol Van Den HendeCarol Van Den Hende

Carol Van Den Hende is the award-winning author of Goodbye, Orchid, a public speaker, and MBA with 20+ years’ experience in marketing, strategy and insights. Plus, she works in chocolate (there’s no ‘sweeter’ job!) Carol is passionate about simplifying marketing concepts into actionable steps that authors need for publishing success. She’s keynoted and presented at conferences like Writer’s Digest, NJ-SCBWI, NJRW, Rutgers Writers’ Conference, Sisters-in-Crime and Women Who Write. Attendees have said “Carol is a clear, articulate, organized speaker who is both an expert and excellent presenter,” “you can feel the love and passion for what you do as much as how knowledgeable you are. I walked away confirming I was on the right path and excited to apply all you have shared and inspired. Thank you so much!” “wish it was all day. Can never get enough of you,” “You inspire me and fire me up every time. I can’t wait to market my book and my why!” Please connect with Carol at http://carol.vandenhende.com/contact.
 

Eve VaughnEve Vaughn

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Eve Vaughn has always enjoyed creating characters and stories from an early age. As a child, she was always getting into mischief, so when she lost her television privileges (which was often), writing served as her outlet. Her stories have gotten quite a bit spicier since then! When she’s not writing or spending time with her family, Eve is reading, baking, traveling, or kicking butt in ‘80s trivia. She loves hearing from her readers.
 

Maisey YatesMaisey Yates

Maisey Yates is a New York Times bestselling author of over one hundred romance novels. Whether she’s writing strong, hard working cowboys, dissolute princes or multigenerational family stories, she loves getting lost in fictional worlds. An avid knitter with a dangerous yarn addiction and an aversion to housework, Maisey lives with her husband and three kids in rural Oregon.
 

Rebecca YorkRebecca York

A New York Times and USA Today Best-Selling Author, REBECCA YORK is a 2011 recipient of the Romance Writers of America Centennial Award. Her career has focused on romantic suspense, often with paranormal elements. She has written for Harlequin, Berkley, Dell, Carina and others. Currently she writes the Decorah Security Series and the Off World Series for Light Street Press and also writes paranormal romantic suspense for Changeling Press.

Her many awards include two RITA finalist books and two Career Achievement awards from Romantic Times. Many of her novels have been nominated for or won RT Reviewers Choice awards. In addition, she has won a Prism Award, several New Jersey Romance Writers Golden Leaf awards and numerous others.