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2011 Murder Goes South Presenter Bios

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Keynote Speaker Erica SpindlerKeynote Speaker Erica Spindler

A New York Times and International bestselling author, Erica Spindler's skill for crafting engrossing plots and compelling characters has earned both critical praise and legions of fans. Published in 25 countries, her stories have been lauded as "thrill-packed page turners, white- knuckle rides and edge-of-your-seat whodunits."

Raised in Rockford, Illinois, Erica had planned on being an artist, earning a BFA from Delta State University and an MFA from the University of New Orleans in the visual arts. In June of 1982, in bed with a cold, she picked up a romance novel for relief from daytime television. She was immediately hooked, and soon decided to try to write one herself. She leaped from romance to suspense in 1996 with her novel Forbidden Fruit, and found her true calling.

Her novel Bone Cold won the prestigious Daphne du Maurier Award for excellence. A Romance Writers of America Honor Roll member, she received a Kiss of Death Award for her novels Forbidden Fruit and Dead Run and was a three-time RITA® Award finalist. Publishers Weekly awarded the audio version of her novel Shocking Pink a Listen Up Award, naming it one of the best audio mystery books of 1998.

Her other mystery novels include Blood Vines, Breakneck, Last Known Victim, Copycat, Killer Takes All, See Jane Die, In Silence, All Fall Down, Cause For Alarm and Fortune

Erica lives just outside New Orleans, Louisiana, with her husband and two sons and is busy at work on her next thriller.

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"Georgia Adams""Georgia Adams"

"Georgia Adams" is the pen name for three writers - Patricia Browning, Joann Dunn & Karen McColgan - who write together. All three women live in the Atlanta area. Patricia Browning is the 2009 President Sisters in Crime (Atlanta Chapter). Joann Dunn earned a Juris Doctor degree from Loyola University in Chicago, is author of seven books and was nominated as Georgia Writer of the Year for Books 2 and 3 of the Curtis Family Chronicles. In addition Joann is publisher of DueWestBooks, LLC of Marietta. Karen McColgan, a New Jersey native, has earned several degrees including a B.S. in psychology. She is a Past President of Sisters in Crime (Atlanta Chapter)

Their book A Well-Manicured Murder is the first in the LitChix Murder Mystery series.

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gLYNN mARSH aLAMGlynn Marsh Alam

Glynn Marsh Alam is a native Floridian. Born in Tallahassee, she is familiar with the live oak forests and 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. Her many wonderful books include Bilge Water Bones, High Water Hellion, River Whispers, Deep Water Death, Dive Deep and Deadly, Green Water Ghost, Cold Water Corpse, Moon Water Madness (winner of The Gold Medal Florida Book Award), and her latest novel, Tide Water Talisman.

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Carla DamronCarla Damron

South Carolinian Carla Damron is a Licensed Independent Social Worker, specializing in the field of mental health, who draws upon her own experience in this field in her novels. Tapping into her keen insight into human behavior, she developed main character Caleb Knowles, a devoted brother, an astute therapist, and a determined investigator.

And like Caleb, her protagonist, Carla understands the dark and curious workings of mental illness and offers her intuitive skills to the reader.

Her novels include Keeping Silent and Spider Blue. Her latest novel published in April 2010 is Death in Zooville.

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Mitchell GrahamMitchell Graham

Mitchell Graham was born in New York City. He attended college at Ohio State University on a fencing scholarship and later went on to earn a law degree. After practicing for twenty years he went back to school to study neuropsychology. He has represented the United States in international fencing competitions and has won or placed in the finals of over 83 separate tournaments.

The Fifth Ring was his first novel and has received rave reviews. His mystery novels include Majestic Descending, Dead Docket and Circle of Lies which will be released in November 2010. He presently lives in Miami, Florida.

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David HunterDavid Hunter

David Hunter is a decorated former police officer, a 20-year editorial columnist for the Knoxville News-Sentinel and author of 15 books/novels and memoirs.

His first novel The Jigsaw Man, was nominated for the prestigious Edgar Award. His novel The Archangel Caper received a nomination for the Appalachian Writers Best Book Award. His other works include the novel The Dancing Savior and the short fiction collection titled Things to Do in Knoxville When You're Dead.

His latest novel Tempest at the Sunsphere is the first in a series set in Knoxville, Tennessee, where he lives with his wife, Cheryl.

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Lee LoflandLee Lofland

With a career in law enforcement that spanned nearly two decades, Lee Lofland is a nationally acclaimed expert on police procedures and crime scene investigations. During his career he held roles from Patrolman to Detective. He solved cases in areas including narcotics, homicide, rape, murder-for-hire, robbery, and ritualistic and occult crimes.

In addition to now writing books, Lee writes articles for both Mystery Writers of America and Sisters In Crime newsletters. He also writes regular features and exclusives for newspapers across the country.

He's written for The Writer magazine and has served as a consultant for Slate Magazine, Spike TV, and for many bestselling authors. Lee has appeared on BBC television, CNN, and on NPR radio's Talk of the Nation, and he's the founder of the Writers' Police Academy, a fun and exciting hands-on event for writers.

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Cathy PickensCathy Pickens

Cathy Pickens has been, under different names, a lawyer, a business professor, a university provost, a clog-dancing coach, a church organist /choir director, and a typist.

The most profound influences on her life have been her family, her faith, Nancy Drew, and Perry Mason. She grew up in a small town and, forced to move to "big cities" to support herself, first as a lawyer and then as a professor, she found the only way to return to the comfortable familiarity of her childhood was by moving Avery Andrews back home and chronicling her exploits. Her novels include Southern Fried, Done Gone Wrong, Hog Wild, Hush My Mouth. Her latest, Can't Never Tell, was published in February 2009.

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William Rawlings Jr.William Rawlings Jr.

Like generations of his family before him, William Rawlings, Jr. was born in Sandersville, Georgia where he still lives on the family farm with his wife and two children. He was educated at Emory University in Atlanta, and at Tulane University in New Orleans where he earned a Master’s Degree and his Doctorate in Medicine. He did his postgraduate medical training in Internal Medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, after which he returned to Sandersville to practice medicine. Later in his successful medical career he began writing about the real South, a passion easily recognizable in his literary works.

His first novel The Lazard Legacy was published in 2003 followed by The Rutherford Cipher, The Tate Revenge and Crossword over the next 3 years. William’s latest novel, The Mile High Club, was published in December 2009. He is currently working two projects, a suspense novel set in Savannah and a non-fiction history of an infamous 1925 murder.

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Literary Agent Janet Reid

Janet Reid is a literary agent specializing in compelling fiction, particularly crime fiction, and narrative non-fiction. Her publishing background includes over fifteen years in book publicity. She is actively looking for projects that show mastery of craft and originality.

Ms. Reid is a past board member of the NYC chapter of the Women's National Book Association. She keeps a blog with information about clients, answering questions about publishing, query letters and her other interests.

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Dr. Susan Kirkpatrick SmithDr. Susan Kirkpatrick Smith

Susan Kirkpatrick Smith received her Ph.D. in anthropology from Indiana University. Her areas of research interest include skeletal analysis and the interaction between health and social status in ancient Greek populations. She has spent a year living in Athens, Greece researching skeletons from the Late Bronze Age cemetery at the foot of the Acropolis in Athens. Her teaching interests include forensic anthropology, human evolution, and human biological variation.

Dr. Smith will be giving two presentations about forensic anthropology and how it can be used in the murder mystery business. the first, "Death, Decay, and Decomposition" highlights what happens to a body after death. The second presentation, "Who Are You? Age, Sex, and the Skeleton" will tell you everything you can, and can't, learn about your deceased from the skeleton. Both presentations will encourage questions from the audience.

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