Vermont Knitting Festival

The Attendees

Learn more about the people you already know and get to know those you’ve never met.
Pro tip: search the page for your genre to see who else write it—

 

Claire Taylor

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What should we call you? Claire. But H. Claire works, too.

What are your above-ground pen names? H. Claire Taylor, Brock Bloodworth, and Nova Nelson

In what genres do you write?
Humor/satire (H. Claire), paranormal cop comedy (Brock), paranormal cozy mystery (Nova)

What’s your greatest strength in writing/publishing?
I can figure out what’s not working in a story and how to fix it with the lightest possible revisions. I can also find the innate humor in any story and know exactly how and where to add it. And I’m a bit of a work horse, I have a strong long-term vision, and I’m stubborn as hell.

What’s something in the industry that you’re fascinated with lately?
Inventive written and audio storytelling formats, and making a solid living without targeting the “whale readers.”

Who are you outside of writing?
I’m a reader, a recovering perfectionist, occasionally the life of the party, a dog enthusiast, a sports fan, a pretty lucky wife, and I enjoy a ribald renaissance faire weekend (or any excuse to dress in costume) when I can get it. Strong allergy to BS. Ask me what I’ve read lately.

Alyssa Archer

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What should we call you? Alyssa

What are your above-ground pen names? Alyssa Archer, A.M. Archer

In what genres do you write?
LitRPG, Westerns, Fantasy, Active Romance, TT Romance

What’s your greatest strength in writing/publishing?
Character motivation and development, copy editing

What’s something in the industry that you’re fascinated with lately?
Indies who write well.

Who are you outside of writing?
Homesteader, mother, teacher, beekeeper, personal chef, Girl Scout troop co-leader, gamer

Ember Casey

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What should we call you? Ember (the pen name I use at conferences and in the indie world in general) or Hayley (my real name that a bunch of people already know so will probably get used anyway).

What are your above-ground pen names? Ember Casey

In what genres do you write?
Contemporary Romance (subgenres include erotic romance, new adult, action-adventure romance, and rom-com). I’m also currently working on a YA Fantasy (my first love), and I’ve been playing around with short stories in other genres (just for fun).

What’s your greatest strength in writing/publishing?
I’m willing to try new things, experiment, play, and work hard! My overall career strategy is to diversify as much as possible (a.k.a. put my eggs in ALL the baskets), and learn as much as possible about all the emerging opportunities for authors in this current market.

What’s something in the industry that you’re fascinated with lately?
Apps! Fiction apps have been on the rise recently – from choose-your-own-adventure style storytelling apps like Chapters to serialized fiction apps like Radish, these have exploded onto the scene in the romance/YA world (which means they might be exploding into other genres soon). With so many people reading and consuming media on their phones, I’m fascinated by the new ways authors can expand their backlist distribution and reach an entirely fresh audience.

Who are you outside of writing?
I used to be a pastry chef, but I discovered I like eating pastries more than I like making them for hours on end. These days, when I’m not writing, I enjoy traveling and crafting (tragically for this event, I don’t know how to knit – I hang out more on the mixed-media/art journaling side of the craft store). Oh, and I have a beagle/lab mutt named Dante who I love to pieces (even if he’s the biggest crybaby on the planet).

Monica Leonelle

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What should we call you? Monica

What are your above-ground pen names? Monica Leonelle, Solo Storm, Maddy Raven, Monica Grace

In what genres do you write?
Monica Leonelle - writing, editing, publishing, marketing, business
Solo Storm - YA and NA urban fantasy, paranormal romance, some sci-fi
Maddy Raven - hot/steamy romance
Monica Grace - tarot, astrology, spirituality, etc.

What’s your greatest strength in writing/publishing?
Fiction - probably big picture plotting, identifying how someone can make their book more marketable/popular (I call it marketability editing)
Nonfiction - telling my personal story in a way people find interesting, coming up with straightforward, detailed, step-by-step frameworks that help someone unlock a topic they are confused about

What’s something in the industry that you’re fascinated with lately? Not lately, for several years now. Essentially the novelist's dilemma. How fiction authors can build 7- and 8-figure businesses through fan cultivation and product funnels as opposed to an army of ghostwriters and $100k+ ad budgets.

Who are you outside of writing? A wife, dog mom, and always-there-for-you friend. An artist. A dreamer. If you are single, an Emma-fering matchmaker.

Amy Teegan

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What should we call you? Amy

What are your above-ground pen names? Amy Teegan

In what genres do you write? 
Literary fiction (and tentative plans for all of the others if I live long enough)

What’s your greatest strength in writing/publishing?
I am organized AF, a good problem solver and a kickass encourager. Enthusiasm is my super power. I have no problem claiming that my work as the only employee at Sterling & Stone is a big part of how they grew to the empire they are now. I also am a HUGE reader of all/most genres and have a graduate degree in literature. I’m good at books. Books are my strength. Book book book. I love giving book recommendations, btw.


What’s something in the industry that you’re fascinated with lately?
Backlist promotion and maintenance. I plan to be doing this a long time and want to be as efficient as possible (read: lazy).
Also, I’m obsessed with Becca Syme’s classes and think you should take them.

Who are you outside of writing?
Reader, traveler, encourager, cat mom, history buff, Hamilvangelist

Kerry McQuaide

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What should we call you? Kerry

What are your above-ground pen names? Kerry McQuaide

In what genres do you write?
Children’s picture books, Coloring books, Middle Grade, Illustrated Essays  (and eventually I will complete a Graphic Novel!)

What’s your greatest strength in writing/publishing?
Visual storytelling and visual thinking. I also love systems and organization.

What’s something in the industry that you’re fascinated with lately? Illustrated adult fiction and non-fiction and also how great visual characterization helps books be adapted into TV and movies.

Who are you outside of writing? I love hiking, cooking, and eating. I live in New York’s Hudson Valley, so I get to do a lot of all three. I read…of course! I ride motorcycles—I’m going to Danny Walker’s Super Camp after the Summit—and I just became an Assistant Regional Advisor for the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators.

Kalvin C. Chinyere, MD, MBA - “Dr. Kal”

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What should we call you? Kalvin

What are your above-ground pen names? Carl Waters

In what genres do you write?
All of my writing is speculative fiction. But, the powers that be, would place me in the following genres: Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction, Urban Fantasy, and Urban Fiction.

What’s your greatest strength in writing/publishing?
My greatest strength in writing is remixing, taking something old and making it new.

What’s something in the industry that you’re fascinated with lately? I'm fascinated with the power of fiction to alter behavior and create social change.

Who are you outside of writing? Outside of writing, I'm a father, over-thinker, and a practicing physician.

Oliver Altair

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What should we call you? Oliver.

What are you above-ground pen names? Oliver Altair.

In what genres do you write?
Historical Dark Fantasy, and Horror.

What's your greatest strengths in writing/publishing?
A vivid imagination, sharp eye for story structure, and lovable characters. Publishing wise, I use my background in Graphic Design to make covers and enticing author branding.

What's something in the industry that you're fascinated with lately?
The expansion of the audio book market beyond the Audible sphere, selling direct, and how an author can find success following the beat of their own drum instead of chasing trends.

Who are you outside of writing?
I'm a being from another dimension wearing a human skin, until the day my people arise from the depths of the sea... But if you ask me, I'll deny it.

Traci Andrighetti

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What should we call you? Traci or Andrighetti. And because of my last name, I also answer to Mario (as in Andretti) or Spaghetti.

What are your above-ground pen names? I don’t use a pen name. I’m just Traci Andrighetti, whether I’m above or below ground.

In what genres do you write? Cozy mystery and humorous mystery. I’ve tried writing serious mystery, but I always ruin them with jokes.

What’s your greatest strength in writing/publishing? Optimism. I think I can do anything, and I know that if I can do anything, so can everyone else. I’m also good at language, especially English and Italian. I have a PhD in Applied Linguistics, which is an editing, translating, interpreting degree, and I have done all three. So if you have an English language question or an Italian hero/ine or villain/ess who needs some sexy or sleezy lines, I’m your contact person.

What’s something in the industry that you’re fascinated with lately? My books are wide, but lately I’ve been obsessing about whether that still makes sense with so many books on the stores. And I’m fascinated with the notion of genre-specific promotion.

Who are you outside of writing? At my core, I’m an extrovert who loves to laugh. But I’m also an adventurer, a passionate lover of Nutella and Italian liqueurs, and most recently a crime fighter (ask me about this at the conference because I can’t say more in writing).

Spencer Borup

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What should we call you? Spencer, but "dude" and "hey you" are also acceptable.

What are your above-ground pen names? Spencer Hamilton, S.L. Hamilton, and (less above-ground...for now) A.F. Theist.

In what genres do you write?
Horror, Sci-Fi, Urban Fantasy (Spencer Hamilton), Alien Invasion Sci-Fi (S.L. Hamilton), and Political & Religious Satire/Humor (A.F. Theist). [I've also published short stories under Spencer Hamilton Borup that fall into a number of genres, and I have plans for Fantasy, Dystopian, YA, Middle Grade, Historical Fiction, and non-fiction. Clearly I have a problem.]

What’s your greatest strength in writing/publishing?
Editing. I see stories at their molecular level and have a superpower with words, especially as a copyeditor.

What’s something in the industry that you’re fascinated with lately?
The shrinking gap between self- and traditional publishing, and what each side of the gap can learn from the other.

Who are you outside of writing?
Dude who loves books and movies and nerd stuff. A polar bear who ironically lives in the hot city of Austin. I'm unapologetic about how much I love books, cats, and Marvel movies. I play the piano and sing sometimes, but I'm also an introvert so please be nice about it. Oh, and warning: I'm a giant.

Mike Stop Continues

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What should we call you? Mike

What are your above-ground pen names? Mike Stop Continues

In what genres do you write?
Urban Fantasy, Magical Realism, and (later this year) AI Romance.

What’s your greatest strength in writing/publishing?
On the writing side, quality prose, complex characters, and too many Lit degrees. On the publishing side, a good understanding of ads, data, and algorithms following a career in web development and data engineering.

What’s something in the industry that you’re fascinated with lately?
How to reach tradpub readers, organizations, and awards as an indie. How to build a lucrative career without writing fast or writing to market. I've also got my fingers crossed somebody makes a killer interactive fiction platform.

Who are you outside of writing?
I'm a world traveler and an avid fan of the arts—museums, theater, concerts, everything. I devour non-fiction and courses on everything from cognitive science to history to politics. I'm a total futurist, and I take upwards of 50 supplements a day. I admire people with dogs.

Jami Crumpton

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What should we call you? Jami

What are your above-ground pen names? Jami Albright

In what genres do you write? Contemporary Romance/Romantic Comedy

What’s your greatest strength in writing/publishing? I know how to market the books I have and make money without rapid releases.

What’s something in the industry that you’re fascinated with lately? Next level branding. Can you acquire readers through your brand and then they'll buy your books? 

Who are you outside of writing? A wife, a mother, a Coco to my seven-month-old grandson, and my dog, Tug's slave. 

Will Dages - Findaway Voices

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What should we call you? Will

What are your above-ground pen names? Will Dages (rhymes with Vegas)

In what genres do you write? 
None yet! Might have some nonfiction in my future though.

What’s your greatest strength in writing/publishing? 
Helping authors succeed with audiobooks (via Findaway Voices).

What’s something in the industry that you’re fascinated with lately? 
Smart speakers, self-driving cars, computer-generated voices.

Who are you outside of writing? I love the outdoors (hiking and kayaking), traveling, and finding the best donut in every city I visit (there will be a Stan’s / Firecakes / Do-Rite showdown in Chicago).

Jamie Davis

What should we call you? Jamie Davis (and definitely not late for dinner)

What are your above-ground pen names? Jami Davis

In what genres do you write?
Fantasy & Sci-fi

What’s your greatest strength in writing/publishing?
Story brainstorming with other authors, cheerleading

What’s something in the industry that you’re fascinated with lately?
Audio, audio, audio

Who are you outside of writing?
Husband, father, nurse, journalist

Marti Dumas

What should we call you? Marti is great! I've grown to love it over the years. And, nope, it's not short for anything.

What are your above-ground pen names? I don't have any writing pen names. I do have a fairly above ground narrator pseudonym, Marie Helene.

In what genres do you write?
I mainly write fantasy--some epic, some modern--for middle-grade and young YA readers. I also have a series of illustrated chapter books.

What’s your greatest strength in writing/publishing?
I'm good at finding and/attracting amazing narrators! I'm also pretty good at child logic at various ages and stages, which comes in handy in my line of work, and, once upon a time, I was really, really good at Facebook ads.

What’s something in the industry that you’re fascinated with lately?
I'm loving how intense people are getting with their advertising and, on a completely separate note, have realized that I should be delving deeper into Findaway Voices.

Who are you outside of writing?
I'm a mama who loves musicals and Dr. Who and pretty much anything with dragons.

Beth Ann Erickson

What should we call you? Beth

What are your above-ground pen names? B.A. Erickson

In what genres do you write? Romantic Suspense

What’s your greatest strength in writing/publishing?
Tenacity. Long term success in making an actual living doing this crazy shit.

What’s something in the industry that you’re fascinated with lately? I find the concept of gurus fascinating. I know so many smoke and mirror writers who proclaim their guru-hood but they really don't have the numbers (or depth of experience) to back it up. Some dole out really bad advice. I'm used to this in the copywriting community (I worked as a copywriter for a couple decades) but when it started popping up in the novel world, I found it fascinating, particularly interesting considering with KU, you can easily verify numbers...

Who are you outside of writing? I love the outdoors, hiking, biking, walking... I adore the rescue animals with whom I share my house, I'm a bit of a computer nerd, too. :/

Angie Green

What should we call you? Angie

What are your above-ground pen names? Angie Green (tarot), and soon to be published Evangelina Rae (fiction)

In what genres do you write?
Non-fiction about tarot cards, and paranormal mysteries (publishing this summer!)

What’s your greatest strength in writing/publishing?
I'm insanely organized, hella stubborn, and will try anything once. In the past year, I've learned a ton about some uncommon aspects of indie publishing, including Kickstarter, creating a physical product, and getting an agent & trad publisher. I know too much about e-commerce, manufacturing, fulfillment, distribution, inventory management, wholesaling, and print-on-demand (for other-than-paperback books).

What’s something in the industry that you’re fascinated with lately?
Slow-and-steady strategies for maintaining a solid base of fans, thinking long-term, and building a business and career to last me the next 20+ years. I'm fascinated with authors and publishers who buck the current trends of "what's working now" and make decisions based on serving their readers and their backlist.

Who are you outside of writing?
I'm an artist, a day-dreamer, and a maker of things. I read ALL the things, sew (or knit!) most everything I'm wearing, and dance tango for meditation. New Orleans is home, but I've spent the last few years traveling full time, and as of May 6 will be moving to central Florida to start my new life as a step-mom. I can't even. Seriously - I'm freaking out, so advice & alcohol are strongly encouraged.

Drew Hayes

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What should we call you? Drew works just fine.

What are your above-ground pen names? Drew Hayes

In what genres do you write?
Mostly comedic fantasy, but that has led me to dip toes into superhero, urban fantasy, fantasy, fairy tales, and mystery.

What’s your greatest strength in writing/publishing?
Objectively, it has to be output, I release a lot of books. Personally, I think my biggest strength is in building characters, but of course that’s open to interpretation.

What’s something in the industry that you’re fascinated with lately?
Adaptations to other forms of media.

Who are you outside of writing?
Pre-author days I’ve been a trade show rep, installation specialist, stock broker, and ran a data management department. Now I’m just a pseudo-giant who also runs a podcast about authors playing D&D.  

Gary Jonas

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What should we call you? Gary

What are your above-ground pen names? Gary Jonas, Dan Winchester. I have a few more, but they're buried deep in the back of the cemetery. I'll probably have another name in a few months.

In what genres do you write?
Fantasy, science fiction, horror, western, crime/mystery/suspense/thriller, etc.

What’s your greatest strength in writing/publishing? 
I rock at action and dialogue. On the publishing side, I'm good at diversifying into different genres, and seeming more like a traditional publisher.

What’s something in the industry that you’re fascinated with lately? 
Let's take licensing IP for a thousand, Alex.

Who are you outside of writing? 
Like everyone here, I'm a reader. I'm a movie buff, and I love going through commentary tracks and special features on blu rays and dvds--always studying story and character. I enjoy travel, museums, concerts, and naps. I'm also an artist, but I don't do much with the art these days.

Chrissy Monroe - Kobo

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What should we call you? Chrissy!

What are your above-ground pen names? C Money (not actually)

What’s your greatest strength in writing/publishing?
10 years of publishing industry know-how

What’s something in the industry that you’re fascinated with lately?
Changing tides in audiobook distribution opportunities

Who are you outside of writing?
Reader, runner, chaser of small children (my own, I promise), music maker

Becca Syme

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What should we call you? Becca

What are your above-ground pen names? R.L. Syme, Becca Syme (and two other below-ground ones)

In what genres do you write?
Cozy mystery, romance (PNR, CR, RS), nonfiction

What’s your greatest strength in writing/publishing?
Definitely process (coaching--breadth of experience, mostly, because the number of writers of all levels I've coached is fairly high); of course, I have access to my mom (Chris Syme, from the Smartypants Book Marketing Podcast); she's my superpower

What’s something in the industry that you’re fascinated with lately?
Not marketing. Anything else. But honestly, anything.

Who are you outside of writing?
I coach writers and teach stuff.