See all those bright and shining faces in the picture? We all attended the first annual Mystery Writers Key West Fest last year. And this year promises to be more exciting than last, if that’s even possible. Here are the best-selling authors who will headline the conference. Come on and register! If you register before midnight on June 30th, there are all kinds of goodies you will qualify for. What? you may ask. Register and you’ll see 🙂
Mystery Writers Key West Fest 2015: Guest & Feature Authors
Guest Author Friday, 7 p.m.
New York Times and USA Today best-selling author Heather Graham majored in theater arts at the University of South Florida. After a stint of several years in dinner theater, back-up vocals, and bartending, she stayed home after the birth of her third child and began to write, working on short horror stories and romances. After some trial and error, she sold her first book, WHEN NEXT WE LOVE, in 1982 and since then, she has written more than one hundred novels and novellas including category, romantic suspense, historical romance, vampire fiction, time travel, occult, and Christmas holiday fare. She wrote the launch books for the Dell’s Ecstasy Supreme line, Silhouette’s Shadows, and for Harlequin’s mainstream fiction imprint, Mira Books.
Heather is a founding member of the Florida Romance Writers chapter of RWA and, since 1999, has hosted the Romantic Times Vampire Ball, with all revenues going directly to children’s charity. She has been published in approximately twenty languages, and been honored with awards from Waldenbooks. B. Dalton, Georgia Romance Writers, Affaire de Coeur, Romantic Times, and more. She has had books selected for the Doubleday Book Club and the Literary Guild, and has been quoted, interviewed, or featured in such publications as The Nation, Redbook, People, and USA Today and appeared on many newscasts including local television and Entertainment Tonight.
Heather loves travel and anything to do with the water, and is a certified scuba diver. Married since high school graduation and the mother of five, her greatest love in life remains her family, but she also believes her career has been an incredible gift, and she is grateful every day to be doing something that she loves so very much for a living.
Guest Author Saturday, noon – 1:30 p.m,. Buffet Luncheon
Jeffery Deaver, a former journalist, folksinger and attorney, is an international number-one bestselling author. His novels have appeared on bestseller lists around the world, including the New York Times, the Times of London, Italy’s Corriere della Sera, the Sydney Morning Herald and the Los Angeles Times. His books are sold in 150 countries and have been translated into more than twenty-five languages.
Deaver’s book A Maiden’s Grave was made into an HBO movie starring James Garner and Marlee Matlin, and his novel The Bone Collector was a feature release from Universal Pictures, starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie. His novel The Devil’s Teardrop was adapted for the screen and aired on Lifetime; it starred Tom Everett Scott and Natasha Henstridge. And, yes, the rumors are true; he did appear as a corrupt reporter on his favorite soap opera, As the World Turns.
Deaver has been nominated for seven Edgar Awards from the Mystery Writers of America, an Anthony Award and a Gumshoe Award. He was recently shortlisted for the ITV3 Crime Thriller Award for Best International Author. The author of thirty-two novels, three collections of short stories and a nonfiction law book, he’s received or been shortlisted for a number of awards around the world.
His The Bodies Left Behind was named Novel of the Year by the International Thriller Writers Association, and his Lincoln Rhyme thriller The Broken Window and a stand-alone, Edge, were also nominated for that prize. He has been awarded the Steel Dagger and the Short Story Dagger from the British Crime Writers’ Association and the Nero Wolfe Award, and he is a three-time recipient of the Ellery Queen Readers Award for Best Short Story of the Year and a winner of the British Thumping Good Read Award.
The Cold Moon was named the Book of the Year by the Mystery Writers Association of Japan, as well as by Kono Mystery Wa Sugoi magazine. In addition, the Japanese Adventure Fiction Association awarded the The Cold Moon and Carte Blanche their annual Grand Prix award.
A frequent public speaker on the subject of books, literacy and writing, Deaver has delivered lectures and keynote addresses at hundreds of conferences and festivals around the world, including Harrogate, Left Coast Crime, Pikes Peak Writers Conference, the Edinburgh International Book Festival, Crimefest and the Emirates Literary Festival.
He was born outside Chicago and has a bachelor of journalism degree from the University of Missouri and a law degree from Fordham University.
Guest Author Saturday Night, 6:30 p.m., Location: TBA
James O. Born is a former U.S. Drug agent and State Law Enforcement agent. Each of his novels is based on some aspect of his career. His third novel, Escape Clause, won the inaugural Florida Book Award for Best Novel.
In 2009 Born published the first in a series of science fiction novels under the name James O’Neal. The novels are police stories set in the near future.
Currently, Born is coauthoring novels with TV commentator Lou Dobbs and his newest novel, Scent of Murder, about a specialized K-9 unit, came out April 7.
Born is a graduate of Florida State University and received a Master’s degree from the University of Southern Mississippi in Psychology.
Born started his career in police work as a US Drug Agent (DEA) and was part of the late 1990’s Miami drug war. He then moved on to become a Special Agent with the elite Florida Department of Law Enforcement, working undercover and spending eleven years on the agency’s Special Operation’s Team (also called SWAT). Born has taken his career in law enforcement and love of writing and blended it into a new life as a novelist. After advising numerous writers and TV shows on realism, Born spent years working on a novel of his own.
In 2004, Putnam published his first novel, Walking Money. Of all the attention garnered by the novel, Born is most proud that one of his literary heroes, W.E.B. Griffin, picked Walking Money as one of his all-time favorite beach books.
Born’s second novel, Shock Wave was released in 2005. This is the second installment of the darkly comic series focusing on Florida Department of Law Enforcement Agent Bill Tasker. The series continued with Escape Clause, which won the gold medal in the inaugural Florida Book Award in 2007. The award was presented to Born by Governor Charlie Crist.
In 2009, he won the Barry Award for short fiction at the International Mystery Writer’s Conference in Indianapolis.
Also in 2009, Born published the first of several thrillers set in the vastly changed landscape of Florida in the future under the pseudonym James O’Neal.
The series features a police detective investigating crime and coping with the pressures of life more than twenty years from now. The first novel, titled The Human Disguise and the sequel, The Double Humanreceived critical praise with Publisher’s Weekly calling them, “Wildly entertaining.” Each novel strives to bring realism and entertainment together for fans of crime fiction. Born has delivered talks to a number professional writing organizations as well as taught writing at conferences across the country.
In 2009, he was chosen as one of Florida’s 21 most intriguing people by Florida Monthly Magazine. Born has also received a proclamation from the Senate of South Carolina for his efforts to advance literacy. In the same year, Born received the Life Saving Medal directly from the Governor after rescuing a family from a SUV, which had plunged into a canal.
During his law enforcement career, Born has received the Law Enforcement Officer of the Year award from the US Attorney’s Office, the Silver Medal of Valor, The Distinguished Service Award and numerous awards for merit in investigations.
Born is active in a number of hobbies. He has finished the New York and London marathons, competed in swimming and holds two separate black belts in karate. He is a scuba diver, wind surfer, mountain biker and avid sailor.
A native Floridian, Born currently lives on the east coast with his wife, Donna and has two children, John and Emily.