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Southern Festival of Books

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Phyllis Gobbell

First Name: 
Phyllis
Last Name: 
Gobbell
Pursuit in Provence: A Jordan Mayfair Mystery

co-authored A Season of Darkness with Douglas Jones and An Unfinished Canvas with Michael Glasgow, is a contributor to the upcoming anthology, Masters of True Crime. In addition, she has been published in literary journals and has received awards in fiction, including Tennessee's Individual Artist Literary Award.

Jessie Powell

First Name: 
Jessie
Last Name: 
Powell
The Case of the Red-Handed Rhesus

grew up in rural Ohio and holds Masters Degrees in English and Library Science from the University of Kentucky. She lives in Montgomery, Alabama with her husband and two children.

Katherine Jeffrey

First Name: 
Katherine
Last Name: 
Jeffrey
Two Civil Wars: The Curious Shared Journal of a Baton Rouge Schoolgirl and a Union Sailor on the USS Essex

is a freelance editor and writer, and an independent scholar. Though her first short story (age 12) was entitled "Drummer at Vicksburg," she had no idea she would one day be writing a serious book about the American Civil War. A transplanted Canadian, Katherine now lives in central Texas with her husband David.                            

Anders Carlson-Wee

First Name: 
Anders
Last Name: 
Carlson-Wee
The Floodgate Poetry Series: Volume Three

is a 2015 NEA Creative Writing Fellow and the author of Dynamite, winner of the 2015 Frost Place Chapbook Competition.

Kai Carlson-Wee

First Name: 
Kai
Last Name: 
Carlson-Wee
The Floodgate Poetry Series: Volume Three

 received a BA in English from the University of Minnesota and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Marlene Trestman

First Name: 
Marlene
Last Name: 
Trestman
Fair Labor Lawyer: The Remarkable Life of New Deal Attorney and Supreme Court Advocate Bessie Margolin

Rose Melissa

First Name: 
Rose
Last Name: 
Melissa

has a 30-year career partnering with instrumentalists and singers in concerts throughout the United States and at venues in Argentina, Malta, Santorini and Russia. She’s a sought-after collaborative pianist whom critics describe as "powerfully musical" (

Rebecca Wells

First Name: 
Rebecca
Last Name: 
Wells
The Divine Secrets of the YaYa Sisterhood: A Novel

is a novelist, actor, and playwright. She is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Ya-Yas in BloomLittle Altars Everywhere (winner of the Western States Book Award), and Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (winner of the American Booksellers Book of the Year Award, short-listed for the Orange Prize), which was made into a feature film. She performs from her work internationally, and her books have been translated into twenty-three languages.

Jean MacArthur Tyson

First Name: 
Jean MacArthur
Last Name: 
Tyson
Portrayals: Profiles

is an internationally recognized landscape artist and white light painter whose work has been published in books and magazines and has also appeared as the cover art for several recent books.

Julia Turshen

First Name: 
Julia
Last Name: 
Turshen
Small Victories: Recipes, Advice + Hundreds of Ideas for Home Cooking Triumphs

is a writer and recipe-developer. She has coauthored such cookbooks as Spain... A Culinary Road Trip with Mario Batali, It's All Good with Gwyneth Paltrow, Mastering My Mistakes in the Kitchen with  Dana Cowin, as well as The Kimchi Chronicles, The Hot Bread Kitchen Cookbook, The Fat Radish Kitchen Diaries, and Buvette. She hosted the first two seasons of Radio Cherry Bombe and has written for Vogue, Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, Saveur, and The Wall Street Journal.

Carole Townsend

First Name: 
Carole
Last Name: 
Townsend
Blood in the Soil: A True Tale of Racism, Sex, and Murder in the South

is a correspondent and columnist for the Gwinnett Citizen, and she is the author of Magnolias, Sweet Tea, and Exhaust. Townsend resides in Atlanta, Georgia.

Shellie Tomlinson

First Name: 
Shellie
Last Name: 
Tomlinson
Hungry is a Mighty Fine Sauce: Recipes and Ramblings from the Belle of All Things Southern

is a radio host, farmer's wife, interior designer, and a girls' basketball coach. She is the author of Lessons Learned on Bull Run Road, and her work Suck Your Stomach In and Put Some Color On was voted Nonfiction Finalist of 2009 by the SIBA Independent Booksellers Alliance. She and her husband reside in Louisiana.

Sally Palmer Thomason

First Name: 
Sally Palmer
Last Name: 
Thomason
Delta Rainbow: The Irrepressible Betty Bobo Pearson

was born, raised, and educated in California, but has lived in Memphis, Tennessee for more than fifty years. She retired as the Dean of Special Studies at Rhodes College, and has authored three books.

Charlie Spillers

First Name: 
Charlie
Last Name: 
Spillers
Confessions of an Undercover Agent: Adventures, Close Calls, and the Toll of a Double LIfe

was an assistant US attorney for twenty-three years, which included volunteering and serving three tours in Iraq for the Department of Justice as the justice attache for Iraq and as an attorney-adviser to the Iraqi High Tribunal. He was an adjunct professor at the University of Mississippi and currently serves as an instructor in continuing legal education courses.

Christopher Smith

First Name: 
Christopher
Last Name: 
Smith
Salamanders of the Silk Road

was born on the blood-red clay of North Alabama and raised on the concrete sprawl of South Jersey. He has a master's degree in English from Auburn University, where he met his future wife, Kate, at the college newspaper. Smith lives in Clarksville, Tennessee, where he works as an editor at The Tennessean. This is his first novel.