Lori Snyder

Facing the Unknown: Inclusivity and Hope in Today's Middle Grade Fiction
Saturday, May 14, 3:00pm
Pasadena Presbyterian Church

In an alternate universe, Lori Snyder is a circus performer—probably an aerialist wearing a lot of glitter. In this universe, she’s had many different careers (none of which, sadly, are circus-related): marine biologist, fourth grade teacher, dancer, yoga teacher and studio owner, book editor, writer. Venice Beach is one of the great loves of her life, as are kindness, delight, and the sea, and her book is a love letter to all of those. Lori holds an MPW in Creative Writing from USC and her short fiction has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She is also the founder of the Writers Happiness Movement, which offers free happiness tools to writers, and hosts retreats for writers both online and (someday again) in person. The Circus at the End of the Sea is her first novel; her second middle grade fantasy will be out in 2023, also with HarperCollins.

Lorna Rodriguez-Rodriguez, M.D.

2 Covid Books: Local Poets, Doctors, Frontliners, in Poems & Personal Stories
Saturday, May 14, 1:30pm
Pasadena Presbyterian Church

Lorna Rodríguez-Rodríguez, M.D., is a native of Puerto Rico, where she earned her medical degree. She received a Ph.D. in biochemistry at the University of Rochester, where she won a medal with the Bloom Award for the best dissertation in Biochemistry. She completed her specialty in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Rutgers University, and a Gynecologic Oncology subspecialty at University of Michigan. She has held several leadership roles in her field, such as Chief of Gynecologic Oncology at University of Rochester and Rutgers University; Director of Precision Medicine at Rutgers; and, most recently, Vice-Chair of Surgery at a major cancer center in California. She is recognized for her scientific work in ovarian cancer as well as her clinical expertise.

Lou Mathews

California Dreaming & Scheming
Saturday, May 14, 5:00pm
Vroman's Upstairs

Lou Mathews lives in Los Angeles and is a fourth generation Angeleno. Married at 19, he worked his way through U.C. Santa Cruz as a gas station attendant and mechanic and continued to work as a mechanic until he was 39. His first novel, L.A. Breakdown, about illegal street racing, was picked by the Los Angeles Times as a Best Book of 1999. He has received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Fiction, a California Arts Council Fiction Fellowship, a Pushcart Prize and a Katherine Anne Porter Prize. His short stories have been published in Short Story, ZYZZYVA, New England Review Witness, seven issues of Black Clock, nine fiction anthologies and two textbook series. His new novel, Shaky Town, was published in September 2021. Shaky Town was long-listed for the 2022 Tournament of Books and was reviewed favorably by The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Millions and The Los Angeles Times.

Luis Rodriguez

The Uncaged Voice: Transcending Bondages
Wednesday, May 11, 8:00pm
Altadena Library

Luis J. Rodriguez has 16 multi-genre books, including the bestselling memoir ‘Always Running’ and its sequel ‘It Calls You Back.’ He is founding editor of Tia Chucha Press, now for over 30 years. For 40 years he’s taught, done poetry readings, talks, and healing circles in prisons, jails, and juvenile lockups. He’s spoken at festivals, conferences, libraries, bookstores, schools, colleges, universities, migrant camps, homeless shelters, and Native American reservations throughout the United States as well as Canada, Mexico, Central America, South America, the Caribbean, Europe, and Japan. Twenty years ago, Luis and his wife Trini founded San Fernando Valley’s Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural & Bookstore. Luis and Trini also host the podcast ‘Hummingbird Cricket Hour.’ From 2014-2016 he served as Los Angeles’ Poet Laureate. His last poetry book is ‘Borrowed Bones.” His newest book is ‘From Our Land to Our Land: Essays, Journeys & Imaginings from a Native Xicanx Writer.’

Maggie Rowe

Telling on Yourself: The Challenges and Rewards of Writing Memoir
Saturday, May 14, 3:00pm
Pasadena Presbyterian Church

I’m a writer/performer living in Los Angeles with my husband and dog. I started out as an actress (My IMDB profile) and then shifted my focus to writing. I’ve written screenplays for several films including (Bright Day! and Out West,) for television shows (Flaked and Arrested Development,) created stage productions (Hollywood Hell House, Hollywood Purity Ball, Lawyer Cop Doctors, and Pretty Good Show), edited a book of personal essays (Dirty Laundry,) and founded a religion (Pyrasphere). I’ve produced and regularly performed in the spoken word show sitnspin (created by Jill Soloway) at the Comedy Central stage for the last fourteen years. My memoir Sin Bravely: A Memoir of Spiritual Disobedience is being published by Softskull Press in January 2017.

Marla Frazee

Beyond Words: Picture Book Authors Who Delight & Inspire
Saturday, May 14 , 1:30pm
Pasadena Presbyterian Church

Marla Frazee is a two-time Caldecott Honor recipient for A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever and All the World. Her wordless picture book The Farmer and the Clown won the 2015 Boston Globe Horn Book Award for Picture Book and a Best in Book Illustration Award from the National Cartoonist Society—and is the first book in the “Farmer Books” trilogy. She is the author-illustrator of The Boss Baby, now an Oscar nominated DreamWorks animated feature film and television series. She is also the illustrator of The Seven Silly Eaters, the NYT bestselling Clementine series, the picture book It Takes a Village by Hillary Clinton, and the newly released The Great Zapfino, written by Mac Barnett. A graduate of ArtCenter College of Design, where she’s also taught, Marla works in a small backyard cabin under an avocado tree in Pasadena. 

Mary Angelino

Zephyr Poets - Reading
Saturday, May 14 , 2:45pm
Vroman's Courtyard

Mary Camarillo

California Dreaming & Scheming
Saturday, May 14 , 5:00pm
Vroman's Upstairs

Mary Camarillo’s novel The Lockhart Women, published in June 2021 by She Writes Press, won first place in the Next Generation Indie Awards for first fiction. Her poems and short fiction have appeared in publications such as 166 Palms, The Sonora Review, Lunch Ticket, and The Ear. She lives in Huntington Beach, California with her husband who plays ukulele and their terrorist cat Riley.

Mary Fitzpatrick

East Pasadena Poets - Reading
Saturday, May 14 , 3:30pm
Vroman's Courtyard

Mary Fitzpatrick is a fourth-generation Angeleno who has lived in Pasadena for fifty years. The East Pasadena Poets have been meeting monthly since 2010. Fitzpatrick’s poems have been finalists for the Joy Harjo Poetry Prize and the Slapering Hol Chapbook Award; short-listed for the Fish Publishing Prize; featured in Mississippi Review, Atlanta Review and North American Review as contest finalists; and published in such journals as Agenda (UK), Briar Cliff Review, Cholla Needles, Hunger Mountain, Miramar, plus ten anthologies. She is a graduate of UC Santa Cruz with an MFA from UMass Amherst.

Mary Kuryla

California Dreaming & Scheming
Saturday, May 14, 5:00pm
Vroman's Upstairs

Mary Kuryla’s collection Freak Weather: stories was selected by Amy Hempel for the AWP Grace Paley Prize in Short Fiction. Her stories have appeared in The Paris Review, Conjunctions, The Kenyon Review, Agni, Epoch, and elsewhere. They have received The Pushcart Prize and the Glimmer Train Very Short Fiction Prize. Her debut novel Away to Stay came out in February with Regal House Publishing. Her award-winning shorts and feature films have premiered at Sundance and Toronto. She has written screen adaptations for independents and studios. Kuryla is a screenwriting and film studies professor in the School of Film and TV at Loyola Marymount University.

Maureen Lenker

Love in the 21st Centery: A Romance Roundtable
Saturday, May 14, 3:00pm
Pasadena Presbyterian Church

Maureen Lee Lenker is an award-winning journalist who has written for Turner Classic Movies, The Hollywood Reporter, Ms. Magazine, and more. She currently writes for Entertainment Weekly, where she maintains a quarterly romance review column, Hot Stuff, in addition to covering film, TV, and theater. She is a proud graduate of both the University of Southern California and the University of Oxford. Maureen calls Los Angeles home, where you’ll either find her at the beach or in a repertory movie-house, if she’s not writing.

Michael Connelly

In Conversation: Connelly & Hurwitz
Saturday, April 30, 7:00pm
Mountain View Mausoleum

MICHAEL CONNELLY is the author of thirty-six novels, including the New York Times bestsellers The Law Of Innocence, Fair Warning, The Night Fire, and Dark Sacred Night. His books, which include the Harry Bosch series, the Lincoln Lawyer series, the Renée Ballard series, and the Jack McEvoy series, have sold more than eighty million copies worldwide. Connelly is a former newspaper reporter who has won numerous awards for his journalism and his novels. He is the executive producer of Bosch, starring Titus Welliver, and the documentary films Sound of Redemption – The Frank Morgan Story and Tales of the American. He is the creator and host of the podcasts Murder Book and The Wonderland Murders & The Secret History Of Hollywood. He spends his time in California and Florida. The Dark Hours is the latest Bosch installment and was released in 2021.

Michael Paul Gonzalez

When the Dark Side Calls: Dissecting our love of horror
Saturday, April 30, 3:30pm
Mountain View Mausoleum

Michael Paul Gonzalez is the author of the novels Beneath the Salton Sea, Angel Falls, and Miss Massacre’s Guide to Murder and Vengeance and creator of the serial horror audio drama podcast Larkspur Underground. An Active Member of the Horror Writers Association, his short stories have appeared in print and online, including the Flame Tree Press Anthologies Endless Apocalypse and Gothic Fantasy: Chilling Horror Stories. He has also appeared in Tales from the Crust: A Pizza Horror Anthology, Where Nightmares Come From, Lost Signals, HeavyMetal.com, and Fantastic Tales of Terror. He resides in Los Angeles, a place full of wonders and monsters far stranger than any that live in the imagination.

Michelle Huneven

Eating Our Words
Saturday, May 14 , 3:00pm
Vroman's Upstairs

Michelle Huneven was born in Altadena, California just a mile from where she lives now. Her first two books, Round Rock and Jamesland, were both New York Times notable books and also finalists for the LA Times Book Award. Blame was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and also a finalist for the LA Times Book Award, and Off Course was New York Times Editor’s Choice. Huneven’s fifth novel, Search, comes out April 26, 2022.

Michelle Latiolais

Friendship and the Literary Life
Wednesday, May 11, 6:00pm
Altadena Library

Michelle Latiolais is Professor of English at the UC Irvine. She is Director of the Programs In Writing. She is the author of the novel Even Now which received the Gold Medal for Fiction from the Commonwealth Club of California. Her second novel, A Proper Knowledge, was published in 2008. She has writing in three anthologies, Absolute Disaster, Women On The Edge: Writing From Los Angeles and Woof! Writers on Dogs. Her stories and essays have appeared in Zyzzyva, The Antioch Review, Western Humanities Review, Santa Monica Review, Iowa Review and the Northwest Review. Widow, a collection of stories, Involutions and essays, was released in January 2011 from Bellevue Literary Press. Recent work has appeared in Zyzzyva, Santa Monica Review, Juked and The Kenyon Review.

Michelle Markel

Beyond Words: Picture Book Authors Who Delight & Inspire
Saturday, May 14, 1:30pm
Pasadena Presbyterian Church

Michelle Markel has written picture books about dolls, dinosaurs, mischievous students, and a lost hamster. She’s known for her award-winning stylish biographies, including The Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau (PEN Steven Kroll Picture Book Writing Award, Parents’ Choice Gold), Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers’ Strike of 1909 ( Jane Addams Award for Younger Readers, Bank Street College Flora Strauss Award for Nonfiction, Orbis Pictus Honor), and Balderdash: John Newbery and the Boisterous Birth of Children’s Books. Her latest book is Out of This World: The Surreal Art of Leonora Carrington. She has served as faculty at UCLA Extension’s Writers Program and at SCBWI’s national conferences. Michelle lives in Woodland Hills, California with her husband and cat.

Minerva Spencer

Modern Love
Saturday, May 14, 4:30pm
Pasadena Presbyterian Church

Minerva Spencer is the multiple award-winning author of Regency set historical romance novels, including the highly acclaimed Rebels of the Ton, Wicked Women of Whitechapel, and The Outcasts series. Born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, she lived in Canada, the US, Europe, Africa, and Mexico before moving to New Mexico, where she resides now with her husband and dozens of rescue animals. She was previously a college history professor, a criminal prosecutor, a bartender, and owner of a bed and breakfast. Visit Minerva online at MinervaSpencer.com.

Monica Fernandez

The Craft of Writing
Saturday, May 7, 2:30pm
Red Hen Press

Monica Fernandez graduated from the University of California, Irvine cum laude with a BA in English with an emphasis on Creative Writing, and from City University London with a MA in Creative Writing and Publishing. She has had several short fiction and creative nonfiction pieces published in The Chaffey Review, Rind Literary Magazine, Scribendi, The Left Coast Review, Creepy Gnome, and Pure Slush Magazine’s Envy anthology. She is Filipino-American, a proud Hufflepuff, and a film and theatre enthusiast.

Namrata Poddar

The Craft of Writing
Saturday, May 7, 2:30pm
Red Hen Press

Namrata Poddar writes fiction and nonfiction, serves as Interviews Editor for Kweli, and teaches literature as well as creative writing at UCLA. Her work has appeared in several publications including Poets & Writers, Literary Hub, Longreads, The Kenyon Review, and The Best Asian Short Stories. Her debut novel, Border Less, was a most anticipated book of 2022 for The Millions, Ms. Magazine, Brown Girl Bookshelf, and a finalist for Feminist Press’s Louise Meriwether Prize. She holds a PhD in French literature from the University of Pennsylvania, an MFA in Fiction from Bennington College, and a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in Transnational Cultures from UCLA.

Naomi Hirahara

To Change the World: Can Writing Truly Transform?
Wednesday, May 4, 7:45pm
Altadena Library

Naomi Hirahara is an Edgar Award-winning author of multiple traditional mystery series and noir short stories. Her Mas Arai mysteries, which have been published in Japanese, Korean and French, feature a Los Angeles gardener and Hiroshima survivor who solves crimes. Her first historical mystery is Clark and Division, which follows a Japanese American family’s move to Chicago in 1944 after being released from a California wartime detention center. Her second Leilani Santiago Hawai‘i mystery, An Eternal Lei, was released in March. A former journalist with The Rafu Shimpo newspaper, Naomi has also written numerous non-fiction history books and curated exhibitions. She has also written a middle-grade novel, 1001 Cranes.