The author of five funny, fast-paced novels of intrigue set on the Texas Gulf Coast, Miles Arceneaux is a one-of-a-kind writer. Or, more precisely, he is three-of-a-kind—an irreverent persona that is the product of three friends, lifelong Texans, and Gulf Coast aficionados sharing a typewriter and one nom de plume.
Brent Douglass’s inspiration for Miles’s tales stems from his family’s deep Texas coastal roots, and the iconoclastic characters he crossed paths with growing up there. James R. Dennis’s intimate knowledge of both sides of the law and his deep appreciation for Texas Rangers lore helps keep Miles’s protagonists on the side of the angels. As a longtime journalist covering Texas and Texans, John T. Davis has sometimes been accused of writing fiction, but this is the first time he has set out to do it on purpose. Together, they make “Miles Arceneaux” truly more than the sum of his parts.
Gaines Baty is CEO of a nationally recognized retained executive search firm serving corporations and healthcare entities across the U.S. He is the author of Champion of the Barrio, The Legacy of Coach Buryl Baty, an account of his father’s legendary football coaching career in El Paso. The book was the inaugural title in Texas A&M University Press’s new Spirit of Sport Series and named by Lone Star Literary Life as one of the Top Ten Texas Nonfiction Books for 2015. Baty graduated with a bachelor of business administration degree from Texas Tech University, and his family sponsors two college scholarship funds for underprivileged, overachieving high school graduates. He lives in Dallas, Texas.
Linda Broday is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of full-length historical western romance novels and short stories. Watching TV westerns during her youth fed Broday’s continuing love of cowboys and the old West. She resides in the Texas Panhandle on land the American Indians and the Comancheros once roamed, and she can feel their ghosts lurking around each corner. Texas is rich in history, and Linda often gets lost when exploring the state and its museums and libraries looking for little-known tidbits to add realism to her stories.
Rachel Caine is a multiple New York Times bestselling author of books in a wide variety of genres, including thriller, mystery, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, science fiction, and young adult. She has published more than fifty novels to date. Her notable series are Stillhouse Lake (thriller), The Great Library (young adult), Morganville Vampires (young adult), and Weather Warden (urban fantasy). She is a Texas Tech graduate but lives in the Metroplex these days.
Kurt Caswell's newest book is Getting to Grey Owl: Journeys on Four Continents. He is also the author of In the Sun's House: My Year Teaching on the Navajo Reservation, and An Inside Passage, as well as coeditor of the anthology To Everything on Earth: New Writing on Fate, Community, and Nature. He lives in Lubbock and teaches writing and literature in the Honors College at Texas Tech University.
Katie Cortese is the author of Girl Power and Other Short-Short Stories (ELJ Publications, 2015) and the forthcoming Make Way for Her and Other Stories (University Press of Kentucky, 2018). Her stories and essays have appeared in or are slated for such journals as Indiana Review, Blackbird, Gulf Coast, Wigleaf, The Baltimore Review, and elsewhere, including the Rose Metal Press anthology, Family Resemblance: An Anthology and Exploration of Eight Hybrid Literary Genres. She holds a PhD from Florida State University and an MFA from Arizona State University, and teaches in the creative writing program at Texas Tech University, where she serves as the fiction editor for Iron Horse Literary Review.
S. J. Dahlstrom
S. J. Dahlstrom lives and writes in West Texas with his wife and children. A fifth-generation Texan, he has won the Will Rogers Medallion for The Adventures of Wilder Good, which has also been nominated twice for a Lamplighter. His most recent book, The Green Colt, won the Wrangler Award from the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum and was a Spur Award finalist from the Western Writers of America and finalist for the 2017 Will Rogers Medallion. Dahlstrom also teaches creative writing and literature in Lubbock. In his writing and teaching he draws on his experiences as a husband, father, cowboy—and as a founder of Whetstone Boys Ranch. “We should not forget that we have real adventure to offer kids, if we can have the courage to turn off their machines and screens and take them outside,” he reminds readers. “The strenuous life in the West, that is…our western heritage, is still wild, and it does not require zombies, vampires, wizards or wimps.”
The Spur Award–winning author of twenty-three books, Patrick Dearen of Midland was born in 1951 and grew up in Sterling City, Texas. He earned a bachelor of journalism degree from The University of Texas at Austin in 1974 and received nine national and state awards as a reporter for two West Texas daily newspapers. An authority on the Pecos and Devils rivers of Texas, Dearen also has gained recognition for his knowledge of old-time cowboy life. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, he preserved the firsthand accounts of 76 men who cowboyed before 1932. These interviews, along with decades of archival study, have enriched Dearen’s thirteen novels and led to ten nonfiction books. His new novel is Dead Man’s Boot, a story of obsession and retribution set in the Pecos River-Guadalupe Mountains area. His other novels include The Big Drift, winner of the 2015 Spur Award from the Western Writers of America.
In 2008, Texas historian Nancy Draves found the 1861 diary of Kitty Anderson, the daughter of prominent San Antonio resident and Union Army supporter colonel Charles Anderson, in a public auction. Kitty’s diary, which was acquired in 2009 by the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, documents the Anderson family’s experience during the early years of the Civil War. Draves transcribes the diary in A Promise Fulfilled: the Kitty Anderson Diary and Civil War Texas, 1861. Draves taught high school in San Antonio for twenty years and still lives there. A Promise Fulfilled is her first book.
John R. Erickson (Hank the Cowdog series)
A generation of children have grown up reading and listening to John Erickson’s Hank the Cowdog books. Erickson grew up in Perryton, in the Texas Panhandle. After graduating in 1966 from the University of Texas he spent two years at Harvard Divinity School, but returned to the Panhandle. While still working as a cowboy and ranch manager, he began publishing short stories in 1967. Hank and Drover are both dogs he’d worked with at the ranch.
In 1982, after receiving numerous rejection slips from large publishers, Erickson borrowed $2,000 and began his own publishing company, Maverick Books. Hank the Cowdog debuted in The Cattleman. Fifty years and seventy books later, Erickson’s iconic pup and his lackluster sidekick have sold 8.5 million books worldwide.
Xavier Garza is an author, artist, teacher, and storyteller whose work is a lively documentation of life, dreams, superstitions, and heroes in the larger-than-life world of South Texas. Garza has exhibited his art and performed his stories in venues throughout Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico. He is the author and illustrator of several children’s and young adult books, including Maximilian and the Lucha Libre Club and The Donkey Lady Fights La Llorona and Other Stories. Garza lives in San Antonio, Texas, with his family.
D. Gilson is an assistant professor of English at Texas Tech University, where he teaches Creative Writing. Gilson is author of I Will Say This Exactly One Time: Essays (Sibling Rivalry, 2015); Crush with Will Stockton (Punctum Books, 2014); and Brit Lit (Sibling Rivalry, 2013). Gilson edits the journal Lunch and lives in Lubbock, Texas, with his dog, Calvin.
S.C. Gwynne (Empire of the Summer Moon)
S. C. (Sam) Gwynne is the author of several books, including Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and was on the New York Times Top 10 Bestseller List. Gwynne’s most recent book, The Perfect Pass: American Genius and the Reinvention of Football, tells the story of how Hal Mumme and Mike Leach revolutionized American football. Gwynne spent most of his career as a journalist, including stints with Time as bureau chief, national correspondent, and senior editor, and with Texas Monthly as executive editor. Gwynne has also written for the Dallas Morning News, been an international banker and President of the Board of Directors of Caritas of Austin, and has taught journalism courses at the University of Texas. Gwynne lives in Austin, Texas.
Bob Horton has been in the news business for more than fifty years, including over a decade at the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. In 1966 he received the Top Reporting Performance Award from the Associated Press Managing Editors organization, and in 1968 he and an AP cohort were nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for general coverage of the Pentagon during the Vietnam War. In recent years Horton has been a radio news anchor with shows in Lubbock and Victoria, Texas. Of Bulletins and Booze: A Newsman’s Story of Recovery relates many of the unforgettable moments that Horton experienced during his career in the fast-paced world of professional journalism. He lives in Lubbock.
A.G. Howard is a New York Times and International Bestselling author of several young adult fantasy retellings and spinoff novels, including her gothic Alice in Wonderland Splintered Series, and RoseBlood, an adaptation inspired by the Phantom of the Opera. When writing, Howard is most at home weaving the melancholy, magical, and macabre into her settings and scenes. In her downtime, she enjoys rollerblading, gardening, and visiting eighteenth-century graveyards or abandoned buildings to appease her muse’s darker side. Howard lives in Amarillo, Texas.
Terry Jennings (Waylon: Tales of My Outlaw Dad)
Terry Jennings is CEO and founder of Korban Music Group, LLC, a music management and publishing company. He was introduced to the music business at an early age through his work as production manager for his father, West Texas legend Waylon Jennings. Born when Waylon was only nineteen, Terry Jennings came of age just as Waylon's career was reaching the height of its success. Terry dropped out of high school at fifteen and joined his dad on tour, where he worked on the crew, helped manage Waylon's career, and became one of his father's closest confidantes. His combination autobiography and memoir, Waylon: Tales of My Outlaw Dad, earned praise by Willie Nelson as "a terrific tribute, from a son to his father". Debunking myths and sharing incredible never-before-told stories, Waylon is a son's loving and strikingly honest portrait of his father. Terry Jennings lives near Waco, Texas.
Jacqueline Kolosov has published poetry, fiction, young adult fiction, and nonfiction in journals and anthologies in the US and abroad including Prairie Schooner, Boulevard, The Sewanee Review, Poetry, and The Southern Review. Her third collection of poetry is Memory of Blue and her most recent YA novel is Paris Modigiliani & Me. Her memoir Motherhood and the Places Between is currently a finalist at New Rivers Press. Also an editor, Jacqueline has coedited three anthologies of prose, most recently Family Resemblance: An Anthology and Exploration of 8 Hybrid Literary Genres, which won Foreword's Gold Medal in Writing in 2015. She has held an NEA Literature Fellowship (Prose) and is currently developing arts programming for at-risk populations in the Lubbock area, where she directs the Creative Writing Program at Texas Tech University.
Angelina LaRue’s love for cooking and developing recipes was established at an early age as she grew up in West Texas in a family of farmers, gardeners, and fabulous cooks. Her passion for cooking was further ignited when she became a mom who wanted to find ways to feed her family nutritious, flavorful meals. After traveling and living around the country, LaRue returned to her home state of Texas and her cooking heritage, determined to bring the fresh, soulful taste of Southwestern and Tex-Mex food to others. LaRue writes two popular weekly Texas food columns: “Food Made Fresh” and “Food Bytes”. Her articles are featured in Lubbock Magazine, the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, and the Idalou Beacon, and she also maintains her own blog at AngelinaLaRue.com. LaRue’s first cookbook, The Whole Enchilada, brings the vibrant colors and flavors of the Southwest right to the table. She lives in Lubbock, Texas.
Rosa Walston Latimer
Rosa Walston Latimer is the award-winning author of a series of books about the establishment of Harvey Houses along the Santa Fe Railroad: Harvey Houses of Texas, Harvey Houses of New Mexico, and Harvey Houses of Kansas, which received a “Kansas Notable Book Award” in 2016. Harvey Houses of Texas was nominated for a Texas Christian University Texas Book Award in 2016. The Harvey House series is published by The History Press and was inspired by the true-life story of Latimer’s grandmother, who was a Harvey Girl in New Mexico. According to a review in New Mexico Magazine, Latimer “pays devoted attention to the vibrant inner lives and daily work life of Harvey Girls, transforming what could have been a prim volume into an intimate page-turner.” Latimer lives in Post, Texas.
Melissa Lenhardt writes mystery, historical fiction, and women’s fiction. She is the author the Jack McBride mystery series, as well as the Laura Elliston historical fiction series. Her debut mystery, Stillwater, was a finalist for the 2014 Whidbey Writers' MFA Alumni Emerging Writers Contest, and Sawbones, her historical fiction debut, was hailed as a "thoroughly original, smart and satisfying hybrid, perhaps a new subgenre: the feminist Western" by Lone Star Literary Life. Lenhardt is a member of the DFW Writers’ Workshop and president of the Sisters in Crime North Dallas Chapter. A lifelong Texan, she lives in the Dallas area with her husband and two sons.
Timothy Lewis is an author and playwright who has authored more than twenty plays and musicals. In addition, he teaches a beginning novel writing class at West Texas A&M University and co-directs a summer writing academy: the West Texas Writers’ Academy. Timothy is also a professional speaker, cowboy poet, actor, and songwriter. He drew inspiration for his novel Forever Friday from the postcards sent between his great-aunt and great-uncle over a period of sixty years. Forever Friday has been translated into multiple languages and featured in Reader’s Digest select editions. He lives with his wife near Amarillo, Texas.Timothy Lewis is an author and playwright who has authored more than twenty plays and musicals. In addition, he teaches a beginning novel writing class at West Texas A&M University and co-directs a summer writing academy: the West Texas Writers’ Academy. Timothy is also a professional speaker, cowboy poet, actor, and songwriter. He drew inspiration for his novel Forever Friday from the postcards sent between his great-aunt and great-uncle over a period of sixty years. Forever Friday has been translated into multiple languages and featured in Reader’s Digest select editions. He lives with his wife near Amarillo, Texas.
Karin McCay has been co-anchoring the evening news with Abner Euresti on KCBD in Lubbock, Texas, since 1980: they have been recognized as the longest running anchor team in the country. McCay has won numerous awards for her health reporting, including a Lone Star Emmy for her documentary on the first South Plains Honor Flight. McCay has two grandchildren, Retief and Leizyl Ruby. Often, she would slip over to their house between the 6PM and 10PM newscasts to dream up adventures to share with them before bed. When the family was transferred to Germany, McCay began mailing stories to her grandchildren. Today, there is a collection of colorful notebooks in Retief's room, each another adventure in McCay’s Magic Mommy series of stories. McCay uses each story to remind her family, and her readers, that mothers are special, kids are clever, and life is full of twists.
Tim A. McKenzie
Tim A. McKenzie is the author of the children’s book series Baxter Barret Brown’s Bass Fiddle. An employee of Oxy Permian, McKenzie has worked in the West Texas oil fields for twenty-five years, and he has been in various groups or performed as a single act for over thirty-five years. He began his work in live music in the mid-1970s as a member of The Hard Travelers from Lubbock Christian College. He later signed on as an entertainer doing western shows in Estes Park, Colorado. McKenzie returned to Texas and now performs concerts, school programs, book festivals, and writing seminars promoting his book series. Though a multi-instrumentalist, McKenzie’s book series is centered upon the upright bass, which he has played in several groups, including Brazos West and Blue Prairie. McKenzie lives with his wife, Carma, in Shallowater, Texas.
Chef and food writer Adán Medrano is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and holds an M.A. degree from the University of Texas, Austin. Now living in Houston, he grew up in San Antonio, Texas, and in northern Mexico, where he developed his expertise in the flavor profile and techniques of indigenous Texas Mexican food. Medrano's professional experience includes fine dining venues such as Restaurant Ten Bogaerde in Koksijde, Belgium, cooking demonstrations in Amsterdam and showcasing his recipes at Nao, the Culinary Institute of America’s San Antonio restaurant. His cookbook Truly Texas Mexican explains the difference between TexMex and indigenous Texas Mexican food.
As a teen in the 1960s, Ruben Molina used to take a bus to Hollywood to shop for records, and his passion for vinyl never waned. As a dedicated community historian, Molina interviewed dozens of the artists whose music he loves. Much of Chicano soul music's recent recognition and renaissance can be traced directly to Molina. He has deejayed with the Southern Soul Spinners crew since 2010. His book Chicano Soul: Recordings and History of an American Culture is the first-ever history of Mexican-American soul and R&B music, now released in a tenth anniversary edition. Molina lives in La Puente, California.
Dolores Mosser of Lubbock is author of A Train Story (with illustrations by Nathaniel P. Jensen), a children’s book inspired by the era of long-distance trains, circus trains, Harvey Houses, and railway hospitality. As a mother, grandmother, and author, Mosser weaves diverse perspectives into her historical and general interest writing. She is a member of the Lubbock County Historical Commission, has served on the board of the Texas Plains Trail Region, a regional tourism initiative affiliated with the Texas Historical Commission, and spent a decade as a research assistant for The Land Rig Newsletter, an oil and gas trade publication. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in history from Texas Tech University, where she has done post-graduate work.
Janet M. Neugebauer
Janet M. Neugebauer is deputy director of the Southwest Collection at Texas Tech University. Her many works include Lambshead Legacy and Plains Farmer.
Michelle Pantoya is a professor of mechanical engineering at Texas Tech University. Pantoya is passionate about developing programs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics that inspire students to reach their full potential. One way she does this is through her children’s books, which give young readers a better understanding of engineering and how it benefits society. With Emily Hunt, Pantoya is the author of Designing Dandelions: An Engineering Everything Adventure. Designing Dandelions tells the story of Bells and Mitch, two aliens who crash-land on planet Earth and have to use engineering design principles to figure out a way home. Pantoya lives in Lubbock, Texas, with her husband and four sons.
John Poch’s most recent book is Fix Quiet, winner of the New Criterion Poetry Prize. He is the author of three other published poetry collections and several artist-book collaborations, most recently Longsuffering with Eric Simpson. His poems have appeared in Poetry, the Paris Review, the Yale Review, The Nation, and many other journals. He lives in Lubbock and is professor of English at Texas Tech University.
Frank Sikes, a third-generation West Texan, grew up in Plainview, Texas, where LaVern Roach, along with Jimmy Dean, were hometown heroes. His book West Texas Middleweight is the story of Roach’s all-too-brief journey from a West Texas amateur boxer to enlistment in the US Marines, where he captained the nation’s most successful military boxing team, to becoming a Madison Square Garden main eventer. Roach received the distinction of being named The Ring Magazine’s “Rookie of the Year” for 1947 and was considered a top ten contender for the middleweight championship of the world. West Texas Middleweight chronicles Roach’s road to his final fight—and it explains why, as noted by legendary boxing trainer Angelo Dundee, “boxing changed because of LaVern Roach.”
Laura Van Prooyen
Laura Van Prooyen is author of two collections of poetry: Inkblot and Altar (Pecan Grove Press 2006) and Our House Was on Fire, nominated by Philip Levine and awarded the McGovern Prize (Ashland Poetry Press 2015) and the 2015 Writers’ League of Texas Poetry Book Award. Recent poems appear in the American Poetry Review, the Birmingham Review, and the Southern Review, among other outlets. Van Prooyen is a recipient of grants from the American Association of University Women and also has been awarded the Annual Glenna Luschei Award for her poems that appeared in Prairie Schooner. She recently finished a three-year project, working as a therapeutic writing facilitator with soldiers suffering from PTSD in an Intensive Outpatient Program at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas. Presently, she teaches in the Miami University Low-Residency Creative Writing MFA Program and works as an independent consultant in the health and wellness industry.
With millions of copies in print, Jodi Thomas is both a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than 45 novels and 13 short story collections. Her stories travel through the past and present days of Texas and draw readers from around the world. In July 2006, she was the eleventh writer to be inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. With five RITAs to her credit, along with National Readers’ Choice Awards and Booksellers’ Best Awards, Thomas has proven her skill as a master storyteller. Honored in 2002 as a Distinguished Alumna by Texas Tech University, Thomas enjoys interacting with students at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas, where she currently serves as writer in residence.
Diane Warner (publishing as Diane Hueter) works at the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library of Texas Tech University, where she is curator of a manuscript collection concentrating on contemporary writers of place. She received a BA and MA from the University of Kansas, an MLIS from UT-Austin, and a PhD in English from Texas Tech and is coeditor of the anthology To Everything on Earth: New Writing on Fate, Community, and Nature. Her poetry has appeared in Isotope, BlueLine, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, and PMS: Poem Memoir Story. The poems in her collection After the Tornado The poems, alternating between the saltwater vistas of Pacific Northwest and the grasslands of eastern Kansas, focus on relationships of family, specifically mothers and children and deal not only with the loss of the familiar home and geographic estrangement from family, but also with awakening to a new home and landscape, and the challenges inherent in making a life of one’s own.
William Wenthe’s fourth book of poems is God's Foolishness, published by LSU Press in 2016. His other books are Words Before Dawn; Not Till We Are Lost, which won the best book of poetry award from the Texas Institute of Letters, and Birds of Hoboken. He has received poetry fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Texas Commission on the Arts, and two Pushcart Prizes. His poems have appeared in Poetry, the Paris Review, the Georgia Review, TriQuarterly, Ninth Letter, the Southern Review, Shenandoah, Open City, Tin House, and other journals and anthologies. His critical essays on the craft of poetry have appeared in the Yale Review, the Kenyon Review, and American Poetry Review. He has taught creative writing and modern poetry at Texas Tech University since 1992.
Scott Wiggerman is the author of three volumes of poetry, Leaf and Beak: Sonnets (Purple Flag), a finalist for the Texas Institute of Letters' Helen C. Smith Memorial Award, Presence (Pecan Grove Press), and Vegetables and Other Relationships (Plain View Press). He is also the editor of several Dos Gatos Press collections, including Bearing the Mask: Southwestern Persona Poems, Lifting the Sky: Southwestern Haiku & Haiga, and Big Land, Big Sky, Big Hair, as well as two volumes of Wingbeats: Exercises & Practice in Poetry, cited by Poet's Market as one of "six stellar sources" of poetry prompts for writers. Wiggerman's poems have appeared in such journals as Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Contemporary Sonnet, Spillway, and Sojourn; and are included in anthologies like No Regrets, Best Gay Poetry, Forgetting Home, and Far Out: Poems of the 60s; and in craft books, such as The Book of Forms and The Crafty Poet.