The fourth annual Gaithersburg Book Festival is taking shape as it attracts an all-star line-up of authors. Most recently added to our growing list of featured authors are:
~ Non-Fiction ~
Nina Blackwood and Mark Goodman, along with two other of the original five MTV VJs who helped launch the music network in 1981, have written about their time at MTV in the early 1980s in “VJ: The Unplugged Adventures of MTV’s First Wave.” Today, they host daily radio shows on SiriusXM’s “80s On 8” channel. In addition, Nina hosts her own syndicated weekend shows “Absolutely80s” and “New Wave Nation” across the U.S. and Canada. Since leaving MTV, she has done music commentary on CNN, MSNBC and CNBC and hosted her own “Rock Report” on “Entertainment Tonight.” Mark has been in the radio and music business for 35 years, beginning in his hometown of Philadelphia at WMMR and later at WPLJ, New York City’s number one rock station. He joined MTV in 1981 as one of the five original VJs. In 1989, Mark returned to radio and during the next 10 years worked at stations including KROQ, KMPC-FM (The Edge) and Star 98.7 in Los Angeles, as well as Q101 and WLS-FM in Chicago and Mix 96.9 in Phoenix. In 1999, Mark became senior vice president of music programming for Soundbreak.com, an Internet radio station. Since joining XM in 2004, Mark has added shows on Classic Rewind and The Spectrum. Recently, he served as music supervisor for the TV show “Desperate Housewives” and hosts special programs and interviews for VH1 and VH1 Classic.
Brian Boyle’s first book, “Iron Heart,” chronicles his inspirational recovery from a near-fatal accident in 2004 to becoming a triathlete. On the way home from swim practice, 18-year-old Brian’s future changed in an instant when a dump truck plowed into his vehicle. He lost 60 percent of his blood, his heart moved across his chest, and his organs and pelvis were pulverized. He was given 36 blood transfusions, was in a coma, and underwent 14 life-saving operations. After spending three years recovering, Brian completed the healing process when he crossed the finish line in the Hawaii Ironman triathlon. In 2008, Men’s Health magazine named Brian one of its 20 heroes. In 2012, he was honored at the White House and presented with the “Champion of Change” award for his volunteer work with the Red Cross on a national level. Today, Brian is a healthcare and patient advocate, a public speaker and the National Volunteer Spokesperson for the American Red Cross.
Susannah Cahalan, author of “Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness,” began her investigative reporting career at the New York Post when she took an internship in her senior year of high school. She has now been there for 10 years. Her work also has been featured in The New York Times and the Czech Business Weekly, where she worked when she studied abroad during her junior year of college. She was the recipient of the Silurian Award of Excellence in Journalism for Feature Writing for the article “My Mysterious Lost Month of Madness,” on which her book is based.
John DeBellis, author of “Standup Guys: A Generation of Laughs,” is a Huffington Post contributor and stand-up comic who has written for numerous comedians, including David Letterman, Johnny Carson, Joan Rivers, Rodney Dangerfield and Bill Maher. John has done staff writing for “Saturday Night Live,” “The Tonight Show,” “Politically Incorrect,” “The Billy Crystal Comedy Hour” and several sitcoms. He was head writer for the critically acclaimed syndicated satire, “D.C. Follies,” and was the supervising producer and writer for the ACE Award-winning “Joe Piscopo Special” on HBO. John produced what many critics said was the best special ever done about standup comedy, “Comedy Club Super Stars,” on ABC which included Jerry Seinfeld, Paul Reiser, Richard Lewis, Richard Belzer, Bill Maher, Rita Rudner, Paula Poundstone, Larry Miller and Tim Allen. John just completed writing and directing his first feature film, “The Last Request,” starring T.R. Knight, Danny Aiello, Frankie Vincent, Vinnie Pastore, Gilbert Gottfried, Mario Cantone, Joe Piscopo, Tony Lo Bianco and Barbara Feldon.
Marcella Kriebel is an author, illustrator and freelance artist from the Pacific Northwest whose first book is “Comida Latina: An Illustrated Cookbook.” Through the intersection of art, food and travel, she brings us her first collection of illustrated recipes: a full color cookbook featuring her hand lettered, watercolor artwork and dishes she perfected during her travels in Latin America during the last eight years. A tremendously successful Kickstarter campaign enabled Marcella to self publish her cookbook and she has received praise from food blogs Food 52 and Food Republic among others. Marcella has given numerous cooking demonstrations, including a cooking segment on “AM Northwest” in Portland, Ore.
Evan Thomas is the author of eight books, including “The War Lovers,” The New York Times bestseller “Sea of Thunder,” and his latest, “Ike’s Bluff: President Eisenhower’s Secret Battle to Save the World.” He frequently appears as a commentator on TV and radio, and he teaches writing at Princeton. Evan was editor-at-large of Newsweek until he left the magazine in 2010, and was the author of more than 100 cover stories while there. He has won numerous journalism awards, including a National Magazine Award. Evan lives with his wife and two children in Washington, D.C.
~ Fiction ~
Tara Conklin, author of the novel “The House Girl,” is a writer and lawyer. Before moving to Seattle, where she currently lives with her family, she worked as a litigator in the London office of a corporate law firm. Prior to law school, Tara worked in a variety of jobs around the world. She dealt cards at a casino in Costa Rica, planned events at a press center in Moscow, waited tables at a hotel in Montana and taught English in Madrid. Tara earned a B.A. in history from Yale University, a J.D. from NYU School of Law and a Master of Law from the Fletcher School (Tufts).
Lauren Leto, author of “Judging a Book by Its Lover: A Field Guide to the Hearts and Minds of Readers Everywhere,” is the co-founder of Texts from Last Night and other humor sites. Born and raised in Detroit, she currently lives in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Benjamin Percy has won a Whiting Writers Award, a Plimpton Prize, two Pushcart Prizes and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. He is the author of the forthcoming novel, “Red Moon,” as well as “The Wilding” and two short story collections, “Refresh, Refresh” and “The Language of Elk.” His work has appeared in Esquire (where he is a contributing editor), GQ, Time, Men’s Journal, Outside, The Wall Street Journal, The Paris Review, Tin House and Best American Short Stories.
Karen Thompson Walker is the author of The New York Times bestseller, “The Age of Miracles.” A former editor at Simon & Schuster, she wrote “The Age of Miracles” in the mornings before work, sometimes while riding the subway. Her book was named one of the best books of the year by People, O: The Oprah Magazine, Financial Times, Kansas City Star, BookPage, Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly and Booklist. Karen was born and raised in San Diego and is a graduate of UCLA and the Columbia M.F.A. program. She currently lives in Iowa with her husband.
~ Poetry ~
Sarah Arvio is a poet and author of “Visits from the Seventh,” “Sono” and her new book, “Night Thoughts: 70 Dream Poems & Notes from an Analysis.” She has won a number of awards and honors, including the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and Guggenheim and Bogliasco Fellowships. For many years, Sarah served as a translator for the United Nations in New York and Switzerland. She also taught poetry at Princeton. She now lives in Maryland on the Chesapeake Bay.
~ Children's & Young Adult ~
Lisa Greenwald is the author of “Reel Life Starring Us,” “Sweet Treats & Secret Crushes,” “My Life in Pink & Green” and her latest, “My Summer in Pink & Green.” She works in the library at the Birch Wathen Lenox School in Manhattan and is a graduate of the New School’s M.F.A. program in writing for children. She lives in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Adele Griffin is a two-time National Book Award finalist and the author of a number of middle grade and young adult novels, including her latest, “All You Never Wanted.” Her works include “The Julian Game,” “Tighter,” “Picture the Dead,” and coming this fall, “Loud Awake & Lost.” She lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., with her husband and two children.
Daniel Hernandez Jr., author of “They Call Me a Hero,” is a 22-year-old Tucson native who served as an intern for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona’s Eighth Congressional District. Daniel was with Rep. Giffords at the constituent event in Tucson on January 8, 2011, when a gunman shot her and 18 other people. Daniel, widely credited with saving Rep. Giffords’ life thanks to his medical training, quick thinking and brave actions that day, has been celebrated as a true American hero, although he humbly rejects the title. He was an honored guest of the President and First Lady during the 2011 State of the Union address. He also addressed President Obama and a crowd of more than 27,000 people and more than 500 international media outlets at the “Tucson: Together we Thrive” memorial on January 12, 2011. He is a recent graduate of the University of Arizona, earning a B.A. in political science.
Katy Kelly, the author of two popular children’s series based in Washington, D.C., “Lucy Rose” and “Melonhead,” grew up on Capitol Hill. As the daughter of two journalists, she knew what would be involved in pursuing a career as a reporter and writer. She has worked as journalist for People, USA Today and U.S. News & World Report. Her latest book is “Melonhead and the Vegalicious Disaster.”
Ellen Oh is an adjunct college instructor and former entertainment lawyer who one day picked up a Genghis Khan biography and was never quite the same again. It was the start of an obsessive fascination with ancient Asian history that led to years of researching, culminating in writing “Prophecy,” her first novel. Ellen also loves martial arts films, K-pop, K-dramas and cooking shows, and she thinks the “Last Airbender” series was the best animated show ever created. Originally from New York City, Ellen lives in Bethesda, Md., with her husband and three daughters and is always on the hunt for a decent bagel.
Jon Scieszka is the author of “The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs!,” “The Stinky Cheese Man” and a number of other kids’ books. His latest book is the next book in his “Spaceheadz” series. John is the founder of Guys Read, a literacy initiative for boys. He was named our nation’s first National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, and still enjoys all of the privileges of that office.