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Adult Authors

Kristin Adams
The Chicken Who Saved Us
2018 WSBA Finalist
Kristin’s true story about how a young boy with autism finds a way to communicate through a chicken named Frightful inspires communities to share difficult stories and heart-opening conversations. Her presentation focuses on finding surprising hope, being vulnerable, and how to find community in challenging situations.
Glenna Cook
2018 WSBA Finalist
After she retired, Glenna went to college and graduated with a degree in English, soon winning prizes for her poetry and having her work published in national poetry journals. She loves to do readings in new communities and answer questions about writing and poetry.
Langdon Cook
Upstream: Searching for Wild Salmon, from River to Table
2018 WSBA Finalist
In a presentation with slides, Langdon covers the issues at stake and the cultural, economic, and ecological significance of salmon in the Pacific Northwest, as well as the reasons for their decline. “My approach is narrative,” says Langdon. “I use characters from the text and storytelling to explain the state of Salmon Nation.”
Geraldine DeRuiter
All Over the Place
2018 WSBA Finalist
Geraldine offers a variety of programs for you to choose. She can do a short reading and a discussion about the journey from blogging (see her blog, The Everywhereist) to being an author, including tips on starting and maintaining a blog. Or she can do a session about writing memoirs and personal stories – what makes a story compelling for a reader? How do you navigate the feelings of friends and families in you’ve written about? Teen and adult audiences.
Laurie Frankel
This Is How It Always Is
2018 WSBA Winner
Laurie, whose book was selected for Reese Witherspoon’s book club, would love to talk with your community about her novels and/or the writing process in general. She has learned that audiences tend to prefer an interactive conversation to a book reading, and would welcome Q&A or an interview if someone is willing to fill the role of interviewer. Adult and mature teen audience.
Jaimee Garbacik
Ghosts of Seattle’s Past
2018 WSBA Finalist
Jaimee’s book may focus on Seattle, but the story behind it is about the loss of gathering spaces and culturally significant spots – issues that confront many communities. Her multimedia presentation includes a reading, slideshow, a demonstration of how they worked on digital maps, and how the team gathered oral histories, stories, and art from more than 80 contributors. The book’s mapmaker will accompany her.
Laura Anne Gilman
The Cold Eye
2018 WSBA Finalist
Laura Anne will talk about taking a creative project from "this is a really cool idea!" all the way through to completion, and how you maintain that level of excitement throughout, using her own projects as examples of how to do it - and how (yikes) NOT to do it. Suitable for adults and teens.
Tara Hardy
My, My, My, My, My
2017 WSBA Winner
Tara’s work explores the impact of trauma on our bodies and creative selves, and is praised for its heart and cohesiveness. Her performances are powerful and generous. Tara, an advocate and writing teacher, also discusses disability and illness during her talks because, she says, “there is a dearth of spaces in which to talk about human frailty.”
Elise Hooper
The Other Alcott
2018 WSBA Finalist
Finding the Story in History
Historical fiction makes learning about the past fun and compelling! Elise will discuss the characters who populate her novels and her process for bringing history to life on the page. She is particularly intrigued by illuminating the lives of women who have been overlooked by history books. Elise’s presentation is suitable for all ages.
Brenda Miller
An Earlier Life
2017 WSBA Winner
Brenda is a professor as Western Washington University where she teaches creative nonfiction and memoir. She is happy to discuss the writing process and answer questions from participants. She is also available to teach a short writing workshop on different aspects of creative nonfiction writing, including mining early memories to weave into a writer’s work.
Steve Olson
Eruption: The Untold Story of Mt. St. Helens
2017 WSBA Winner
Steve will take audiences through the basic storyline of his 2016 book Eruption: The Untold Story of Mount St. Helens and answer questions about the book, about the research he did for it, and about writing books and magazine articles in general. Steve will bring a slideshow to accompany his talk. (Libraries need to provide a projector and screen,) He will also talk about his next book, which is a history of the Hanford nuclear reservation from 1942 until the present.
Claudia Rowe
The Spider and the Fly
2018 WSBA Winner
THE SPIDER AND THE FLY narrates a psychological battle between journalist Claudia Rowe and her quarry, serial killer Kendall Francois. Rowe can offer a reading and Q&A about the perils of this type of reporting – which forced a confrontation with her own past – and the ethical questions it raises about objectivity, empathy and the baggage all reporters bring to their stories. This presentation is not suitable for young children.
Eli Sanders
While the City Slept
2017 WSBA Finalist
Eli won the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing for his work investigating the story that’s the basis of “While the City Slept.” His presentation includes discussion of his research, interviews, and uncover the details of the crime to construct a moving narrative. Q&A period to follow.
Michael Schmeltzer
Blood Song
2017 WSBA Finalist
Michael’s visit will center around a poetry reading and an excerpt from his lyric nonfiction book, followed by a discussion and Q&A. He can also offer a brief presentation on the elegy (what is an elegy, how to write it, effective technique thereof, history, etc.).
Ingrid Thoft
2018 WSBA Finalist
Ingrid is a mystery author and writing teacher who took a course on being a private investigator to strengthen her own writing. She is available for a reading and Q&A (“Thrills and Chills”), and can also offer a presentation on how to get started writing a mystery and other mystery/fiction writing topics.
Leif Whittaker
My Old Man and the Mountain
2017 WSBA Finalist
Leif presents a 45-minute multimedia presentation with more than 80 stunning photographs and several film clips from modern and historic expeditions to Mount Everest. He combines stories from his own adventures in the Himalaya and his father's legendary climb in 1963 to illustrate an inspiring and humorous talk about family, teamwork, risk, and perseverance. The presentation will be followed by a short Q&A. Suitable for adults and teenagers.
David Williams
Waterway: The Story of Seattle’s Locks and Ship Canal
2018 WSBA Finalist
Few engineering projects have shaped Seattle as much as the construction of the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks and Ship Canal. Nor do many have as many false starts, political shenanigans, and chaotic history. In this talk based on his co-authored history of the canal and locks. David Williams will share the far-reaching social, economic, and environmental impacts of the canal’s construction and operation.

Margaret Willson
Seawomen of Iceland: Survival on the Edge
2017 WSBA Finalist
Margaret will do short reading, describing the mystery that started the book Then an informal talk about Icelandic seawomen, from Viking times to the present, their adventures, lives, thoughts, and society’s changing reaction to them. Since these women’s existence have been erased, she asks the question” why”, how do we create our reality? The talk is followed by a Q&A. Suitable for adults and older teens