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2008 Murder Goes South Writer Bios

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Karin SlaughterFeaturing Special Guest Speaker Karin Slaughter

International best-selling author Karin Slaughter has been writing novels and short stories since she wasa child growing up in a small Georgia town. Her Grant County series consists of Blindsighted, Kisscut, A Faint Cold Fear, Indelible and the most recent installment, Faithless (Delacorte Press, 2005). Besides placement on The New York Times best-seller list, her books have been a Book Sense Top Mystery Pick and an International Book-of-the-Month Club selection. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Featured Guest Speaker Jefferson Bass of the Body Farm

Jefferson BassJefferson Bass is the writing team of Dr. Bill Bass and Jon Jefferson. Dr. Bass, a world-renowned forensic anthropologist, founded the University of Tennessee's Anthropology Research Facility -- the Body Farm -- a quarter-century ago. He is the author or coauthor of more than two hundred scientific publications, as well as a critically acclaimed memoir about his career, Death's Acre. Dr. Bass is also a dedicated teacher, honored as National Professor of the Year by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. Jefferson is a veteran journalist, writer, and documentary filmmaker. His writings have been published in the New York Times, Newsweek, USA Today, and Popular Science and broadcast on National Public Radio. The coauthor of Death's Acre, he is also the writer and producer of two highly rated National Geographic documentaries about the Body Farm.

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Glynn Marsh Alam

Glynn Marsh Alam is a native Floridian. Born in Tallahassee, she is familiar with the live oak forests andGlynn Marsh Alam cypress swamps of the area. She also knows the sink holes and reptilia that abound there. She often swims in the cold, clear springs above the openings to fathomless caves. These are the settings for her Luanne Fogarty mystery series and for her literary novel, River Whispers.

After graduating from Florida State University, Glynn worked as a decoder/translator for the National Security Agency in D.C., then moved to Los Angeles where she taught writing and literature and earned an MA in linguistics. After many years of traveling back to Florida twice a year, she has now moved there and writes full time.

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Linda BerryLinda Berry

Linda Berry's published credits include plays, poetry, newspaper columns, curriculum, craft articles, short fiction for children and adults, and several years as writer/editor for a tennis publication (although she's never been a tennis player). The Trudy Roundtree mysteries grew out of her longstanding love for mysteries, her Georgia roots, and her cousin Johnny Shuman, a policeman in South Georgia who's a great storyteller. Linda lives in Aurora, Colorado, with her husband Jerry (yes, jerryberry). They have two adult sons.

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Nash Black

Nash Black is a pseudonym for the husband and wife team of Ford Nashett and Irene Black. When theyNash Black retired to their lakeside home, they placed their fishing tackle and golf clubs in the garage and set about writing Brewster County stories.

They have a diverse background of professional occupations. She as a librarian/teacher, naturalist, and tree farmer. He as an industrial X-ray technician, farmer, and an observer for the United States Auto Club (USAC). His photos include shots of the first streaker to dash through the Indy 500. Together they are writers and operate an antique business.

They read an average of 250 books a year of mixed styles and genre but mysteries are a favorite. An ambition is to locate and read all the mysteries mentioned in Carylon Hart's "Death on Demand" series. The Porch Page Turners, their local book club, keeps them abreast of current fiction and non-fiction.

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Norman Chastain

Norman ChastainBorn in Jesup, Georgia, he grew up in Tampa, Florida. Much of his passion for writing evolved during his youth Norman vividly remembers sitting on the stairs outside Plant High School captivated as he read DAY OF THE JACKAL by Frederick Forsyth.

With degrees in Industrial Management from Georgia Tech and Civil Engineering from University of South Florida, Norman's education prepared him for a career that includes a brief stint with a military contractor in Clearwater, Florida, several years with a Tampa industrial contractor, and his current role in operations management with a telecommunications manufacturer on the outskirts of Atlanta.

Norman resides in Marietta, Georgia with his wife, Ansley, and two children, who light up his world.

AFTER THE GAME is his first novel. Norman deeply appreciates your support and hopes you enjoy his novel as much as he did writing the story. (Photo: Norman Chastain)

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Phillip DepoyPhillip DePoy

Phillip DePoy is the acclaimed author of the Flap Tucker mysteries, and an essay and photo collection,Messages from Beyond. He has published short fiction, poetry, and criticism in Story, Southern Poetry Review, Xanadu, Yankee and other magazines, and is an established presence in theater, music, and folklore in the Southeast. Mr. DePoy is a 2002 recipient of the coveted Edgar award. He lives on Saint Simons Island, Georgia.

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Susan Goggins

Susan Goggins, the real name of Raven Hart, has been a newspaper reporter, a speechwriter for a K Susan GogginsStreet PR firm in Washington, D.C., and for most of her career, a technical writer. Believe it or not, though, writing about how to keep your crane hoist in good working order didn't satisfy her creative urges. So she decided to become a novelist, at least part-time. Since the romance genre makes up half of all paperback fiction, she figured her chances of getting published there were somewhat greater than those of being hit by a meteor. So she joined Georgia Romance Writers and Romance Writers of America.

During the years that followed she wrote romances for Harlequin and Zebra and along the way won awards like West Houston RWA's Emily award, Virginia Romance Writers' Fool for Love contest, and Northwest Houston RWA's Lonestar contest. Later she sold stories for literary anthologies published by Belle Books. However, while she liked to read good romance novels, horror stories had become her favorite. She was hooked on the sinful, sensual, soul-challenged vampires of Anne Rice.

So Raven and fellow writer Virginia Ellis created a vampire series of their own, starring southern aristocrat blood drinker William Cuyler Thorne and Jack McShane, a sexy, blue-collar, NASCAR-loving vampire who didn't know what he was getting into when he volunteered for everlasting undeath. Both The Vampire's Seduction and The Vampire's Secret were co-written by Virginia "Gin" Ellis and Susan Goggins. Gin passed away suddenly in January, 2006. Susan will continue the Savannah vampires series with The Vampire's Kiss.

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Brandon Massey

Brandon Massey was born in Waukegan, Illinois. He grew up in the northern Chicago suburb of Zion.Brandon Massey

He originally self-published THUNDERLAND, his first novel, in 1999. After managing to sell a few thousand copies on his own, Kensington Publishing Corp. in New York offered him a two-book contract. Kensington published a new, revised edition of THUNDERLAND in December 2002.

His second book, DARK CORNER, a vampire novel that takes place in rural Mississippi, hit stores in January 2004. His third thriller, WITHIN THE SHADOWS, was published by Kensington in June 2005. His first short story collection, TWISTED TALES and fourth thriller, THE OTHER BROTHER, were published in 2006. His newest suspense thriller, DON'T EVER TELL, will be published in July 2008.

Brandon currently resides with his wife and two dogs near Atlanta, GA, where his is working on new novels and other projects.

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Claire MatturroClaire Matturo

Lawyer and professor turned author, Claire Hamner Matturro writes a series of legal mysteries with a sense of humor. Her first novel, "Skinny-Dipping," was nominated for a Barry Award, won Romantic Times First Best Mystery, plus the SEAK, Inc. National Legal Thriller First Place Award, and was a BookSense Pick for 2004. Her second novel, "Wildcat Wine", was nominated for a Georgia Writer of the Year award. Her newest mystery, "Sweetheart Deal," is set in south Georgia. Before turning her hand to writing, Claire was the first woman partner at the Sarasota, Florida law firm of Dickinson and Gibbons. She also taught at Florida State University College of Law and the University of Oregon School of Law. Claire lives in south Georgia with her husband, Bill, and their 21-year-old cat, Bunni.

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Walter Sorrells

Edgar Award-winner Walter Sorrells is the author of over twenty novels. His most recent thriller for adults, Walter SorrellsBlind Fear, appeared this year under his pseudonym Lynn Abercrombie.
Last year another mystery, Feet of Clay, appeared under his pseudonym Ruth Birmingham. Feet of Clay is the sixth novel featuring Atlanta private investigator Sunny Childs.

Sorrells also writes novels for young adults. His latest novel for young adults is First Shot, which was just given a starred review in Booklist. His mystery Fake ID was named one the 10 Best Mysteries of 2005 by Booklist. Fake ID features a girl who has to unlock secrets from her past in order to find her missing mother. The follow-up, Club Dread, was released earlier this year.

Under the pen name Ruth Birmingham, Sorrells writes a mystery series featuring Atlanta-based female private detective Sunny Childs. The second Sunny Childs mystery, Fulton County Blues, won the Edgar Award for best original paperback and was also nominated for the Shamus Award. The first book in the series, Atlanta Graves was also an Edgar nominee. The latest titles in the series are Sweet Georgia, Blue Plate Special, Cold Trail and the recently released Feet of Clay.

Sorrells is a past president of the Atlanta chapter of the crime-writers' organization, Sisters In Crime, and a former member of the board of directors of the Mystery Writers of America. Sorrells's work in both journalism and fiction has been published in a variety of national publications. He has written scripts for a number National Public Radio programs, including the award-winning docu-drama "The Three Governors." He is a 1985 graduate of Haverford College, where he majored in History.

A devoted martial artist, Sorrells holds a 3rd degree black belt in Japanese Shito-ryu karate, and has also studied Brazilian jiujitsu, aikido, Tai Chi, various Okinawan kobudo (weapons) systems, and the Japanese sword arts of Iaido and Shinkendo. He lives in Atlanta with his wife Patti and son Jake.

Sorrells is also a part-time swordsmith who specializes in hand forging swords and knives with a Japanese flavor.

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Wendy WebbWendy Webb

Wendy Webb is an author of short stories, novels, and produced stage plays. She has edited anthologies such as Gothic Ghosts with Charles Grant, written non-fiction articles, gift books, and audio plays, and is a fiction writing instructor. Novels in her Beluga Stein supernatural humor-mystery series from Marietta Publishing include Last Resort, Bee Movie, and the forthcoming Mean Cuisine.

She and her husband reside in Metro Atlanta along with two dogs and one cat.

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Mary Saxon WilburnMary Wilburn

Have you ever gone to work every day wishing you were doing something else? Did you get an education in one field only to find yourself pursuing another in every free moment? It isn’t a bad way to live. Two passions are often much better than one and are sometimes quite symbiotic. Mary's career in nursing provided much material to draw from as a writer, and living in all regions of the United States and in England helped develop a strong sense of place.

She is a member of Sisters in Crime, founder of the Carrollton Creative Writers Club and member of the West Georgia Writers Guild. She currently lives in Carroll County, Georgia, with her husband and a cat.

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