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Southern Festival of Books

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Brian Allison

First Name: 
Brian
Last Name: 
Allison
Murder & Mayhem in Nashville

has worked in the public history/museum field for around twenty years. His past experience includes curating, public speaking, and creating documentaries. Brian holds a degree from Austin Peay State University in American history. He has also worked as a staff historian for several local museums and served as curator for Traveller's Rest Plantation. Brian is co-author of Tennessee State Penitentiary.

Sarah Combs

First Name: 
Sarah
Last Name: 
Combs
The Light Fantastic

leads writing workshops at a nonprofit literacy center in Lexington, Kentucky, where she lives with her two young sons, two pacifist bird dogs, and her modern-day Atticus Finch of a husband. The Light Fantastic is her second novel for young adults.

Pat Zietlow Miller

First Name: 
Pat Zietlow
Last Name: 
Miller
Sophie's Squash Goes to School

is a children’s book lover and the creative force behind the blog Re

Joseph Bruchac

First Name: 
Joseph
Last Name: 
Bruchac
Talking Leaves

is a highly acclaimed children’s book author, poet, novelist and storyteller, as well as a scholar of Native American culture. Co-author with Michael Caduto of the bestselling Keepers of the Earth series, Bruchac’s poems, articles and stories have appeared in hundreds of publications, from Akwesasne Notes and American Poetry Review to National Geographic and Parabola.

Maggie Stiefvater

First Name: 
Maggie
Last Name: 
Stiefvater
The Raven King

is a writer, artist, and musician and the New York Times bestselling author of Shiver, hailed by Publishers Weekly in a starred review as “a lyrical tale,” and by BookPage as “beautifully written, even poetic at times, and a perfect indulgence for readers of all ages.” There are more than 1.7 million copies of the trilogy in print.

Margaret Luongo

First Name: 
Margaret
Last Name: 
Luongo
History of Art: Stories

is associate professor of English at Miami Univeristy in Ohio, where she teaches creative writing and contemporary fiction. She is the author of If the Heart is Lean, and her work has appeared in Tin House, The Cincinnati Review, Granta, and the Pushcart Prize anthology, among other publications.

Shirley Hall

First Name: 
Shirley
Last Name: 
Hall
The Adventures of Molly the Mouse

is a children’s author who lives in Bell Buckle, Tennessee. Her books include The Adventures of Jumper Jane and The Adventures of Molly the Mouse.

Sarah Hays Coomer

First Name: 
Sarah Hays
Last Name: 
Coomer
Lightness of body and Mind: A Radical Approach to Weight and Wellness

is a self-proclaimed "diet abolitionist" and lover of all the yummies. She kind of likes to exercise, kind of not.

Zeneba Bowers

First Name: 
Zeneba
Last Name: 
Bowers
Tuscany Italy: Small-Town Itineraries for the Foodie Traveler

and her husband Matt Walker are classical musicians who perform in a symphony orchestra and in ALIAS Chamber Ensemble, and can be found on many recordings, both classical and popular. Their schedules are extremely busy and their days are long; when they travel they are looking for ways to leave their stress-filled stage lives behind and slow down the pace. They like to explore out of the way, "undiscovered" towns and sights; and they love to find great food and drink close to its source.

Bill Halton

First Name: 
Bill
Last Name: 
Halton
Milk and Sugar: The Complete Book of Seersucker

has been a columnist for numerous publications for nearly 30 years. He has been the chair of the editorial board for 4 journals including the ABA Journal, the official publication of the American Bar Association, and the Tennessee Bar Journal. He has written six books on topics ranging from seersucker to civility.

Christine Hale

First Name: 
Christine
Last Name: 
Hale
A Piece of Sky, A Grain of Rice: A Memoir in Four Meditations

's prose has appeared in Hippocampus, Arts & Letters, Prime Number, Shadowgraph, and The Sun, among other literary journals. Her debut novel Basil's Dream (Livingston Press 2009) received honorable mention in the 2010 Library of Virginia Literary Awards. Hale has been a finalist for the Glimmer Train Short Story Award for New Writers and the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award. Presently, she teaches in the Antioch University-Los Angeles Low-Residency MFA Program, as well as the Great Smokies Writing Program.

Becky Hagenston

First Name: 
Becky
Last Name: 
Hagenston
Scavengers: Stories

is the author of A Gram of Mars, which won the Mary McCarthy Prize, and Strange Weather, which won the Spokane Prize for Short Fiction. Scavengers was chosen by Benjamin Percy as the winner of the Permafrost Book Prize. She is associate professor of English at Mississippi State University.

Yaa Gyasi

First Name: 
Yaa
Last Name: 
Gyasi
Homegoing: A Novel

was born in Ghana and raised in Huntsville, Alabama. She holds a BA in English from Stanford University and an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where she held a Dean's Graduate Research Fellowship. She lives in Berkeley, California.

Beaird Glover

First Name: 
Beaird
Last Name: 
Glover
Unconscious Knowledge

grew up on a farm in rural Tennessee. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in creative writing from Evergreen State College. He is the author of Secret Ciphers of the 1876 Presidential Election. His poems have appeared in the New York Quarterly. His chapbook of poetry was selected by the Austin Chronicle as one of the Ten Best of 1994. He lives in New Orleans with his wife, Kim.

Kelly Gilfillan

First Name: 
Kelly
Last Name: 
Gilfillan

Kelly is CEO and Executive Editor of Home Page Media Group, where her team publishes four daily online news sites providing news to Brentwood, Franklin, Spring Hill, and Nolensville. Kelly sits on the national board of Local Independent Online News Publishers (LION), the Davis House Child Advocacy Center Board, and is involved with the Brentwood United Methodist Church. She is deeply involved with Civil War battlefield presentation. She is married with three daughters.