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2013 Murder Goes South Presenter Bios

2003 Archive - 2004 Archive - 2005 Archive - 2006 Archive - 2007 Archive - 2008 Archive - 2009 Archive - 2010 Archive - 2011 Archive - 2013 Archive - 2014 Archive

Fran Stewart

Fran Stewart lives a dual life. She is a free-lance editor during the day and a mystery writer at night. Her Biscuit McKee mystery series, set in a small Georgia town, features a middle-aged librarian and Marmalade, the orange and white library cat.

Stewart resides with an assortment of rescued cats beside a creek on the back side of Hog Mountain, just northeast of Atlanta. She donates a portion of all proceeds from her book sales to the Humane Society and the Gorilla Foundation.

Tony Burton

Tony Burton has been writing both fiction and nonfiction for over twenty years. He has two published novels in the Pastor Wilson mystery series, Blinded by Darkness and A Wicked Good Day, several nonfiction works, and has contributed to several anthologies, including Dying in a Winter Wonderland, Seven by Seven, Never Safe, and By the Chimney With Care. He has also published over 160 short articles and stories in newspapers and magazines. He teaches creative writing classes at the Harris Arts Center in Calhoun, GA, and has been a presenter at numerous conferences, including the Harriette Austin Conferences and Killer Nashville. Tony is also the owner and chief editor of a small-press publishing house, Wolfmont LLC. He is an active member of the Southeast chapter of Mystery Writers of America (SEMWA) where he served two terms as vice-president.

Miranda Parker

Miranda Parker is the author of A Good Excuse to Be Bad, book 1 and Someone Bad and Something Blue, book 2 in the Angel Crawford Series. She has been featured in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, RT Book Reviews Magazine and Publishers Weekly, The 2011 The Decatur Book Festival, and the 2011 Atlanta Press Club Holiday Author Party. She is also the Social Media/Marketing Head for the ITW Debut Authors Program and a contributing editor to The Big Thrill. She resides with her family in Georgia near a horse ranch and her daughter's Girl Scout Troop. Visit her at

Joseph Scott Morgan

Joseph Scott Morgan was the Senior Investigator for the Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office in Atlanta, Georgia for fourteen years, managing a staff of 11 medicolegal death investigators while maintaining a personal caseload of 200-300 deaths per year. Prior to his work at the Fulton County ME, Morgan was the Senior Investigator with Jefferson Parish Coroner's Office in New Orleans.
Since beginning his current tenure as an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice and Forensics at North Georgia College and State University, Morgan has been instrumental in establishing the first concentration in Investigative Forensics for the University System of Georgia. Morgan has focused heavily on ongoing research pertaining to the American Coroner System, and is today regarded as one of the leading experts on Coroner training in America. He holds a Master of Forensic Sciences Degree. Morgan is the author of Blood Beneath My Feet: The Journey of a Southern Investigator by Feral House Publishers.

Brandon Massey

Though he grew up in a suburb north of Chicago, Brandon Massey now calls Atlanta home. His first book, Thunderland, was self-published, but was later revised and published by Kensington Publishing Corp. in 2002. Since then Massey has added such thrilling novels as Dark Corner, The Other Brother, Vicious, Cornered, and Don't Ever Tell. He has also published a collection of short stories, Twisted Tales, and several anthologies, Dark Dreams, The Ancestors, and Voices from the Other Side. His newest suspense thriller is entitled Covenant.
Leslie Tentler

Midnight Caller, the first book in the Chasing Evil trilogy, is a finalist in the 2012 International Thriller Awards for Best First Novel. Her second book in the series is Midnight Fear, and the third, released in February 2012 is entitled, Edge of Midnight.
Leslie has membership with Romance Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, The Authors Guild, and Mystery Writers of America. She lives in Atlanta with her husband, Robert, and their standard poodle, Tori.
Cheryl Ritzel

Her dreams of being a spy, FBI or CIA agent has led author Cheryl Ritzel to a double life. By day she is a beloved mild mannered middle school teacher, but at night she dons her trench coat and fedora and takes to the street investigating crimes and righting wrongs. Armed with real time knowledge of SWAT Team Tactics, weaponry, and forensics, Cheryl is able to add depth and credibility to the character of her Private Investigator, Paul Grey. Cheryl's mystery novels include Beginning's Luck, and Runner's High in the Paul Grey series.

Lee Kelly

Lee Kelly's background in the medical field served as a great reference for her novel Vengeance in Blood. She was employed in the medical and pharmaceutical industry for more than twenty years. She is originally from Alabama, but currently lives in Atlanta. Vengeance in Blood is her first novel. Visit the author at

Jo Cook

Jo Ann Cook is a Smyrna resident who has written short stories, poetry, children's books and novels which includes her southern mystery, entitled Murder, Magnolias and Mansions

Karen Kennedy, Moderator

Karen Kirkpatrick Kennedy has been an active member of Sisters in Crime for many years. She has served as president, vice president, treasurer and more for the Atlanta Chapter. She has written several mysteries, has an agent she loves and respects, and looks forward to the day one of her books sells.

VR Barkowski, Moderator

VR is a native Californian now living in Atlanta with her brilliant better half, one perfect dog, and two deranged cats. Winner of the 2012 Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers' Colorado Gold for Mystery, and a finalist for both the 2012 Claymore and Daphne Du Maurier Awards, VR's short fiction has appeared in Mysterical-E, Spinetingler, and Vine Leaves Literary Journal. At present she is researching her third novel while pondering a fourth. VR is a member of both Mystery Writers of America and Sisters-in-Crime.

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