Mystery, history, nonfiction, and fantasy, meet twelve local writers and pick up some great reads for the holidays! Each author will be available to talk about their work, how they got published, and the life events that inspired them, starting at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 3.
Meet the Authors
Michael Beaulieu has been an entertainment journalist for over 20 years. Today Michael is the publisher and editor of the popular pop culture site, Love is Pop. Originally a music only site, Michael recently began interviewing some of his favorite authors, including Jay Asher, Francesca Lia Block, Adriana Mather and Madeline Freeman. His novels include the suspenseful and satirical page-turner, Reckoning Daze, and the Book of Shadows urban fantasy series.
Rick Conti has written a dozen screenplays, a hundred or so sketches and short plays, and a handful of short stories. Rick’s love for Haiti, featured in his novel A Slippery Land, began on a 10-day mission trip there in 2000. For eight years, he served as Director of Communications for a nonprofit that helps Haitian women create and maintain their own businesses. His new novel, A Song in the Storm, is inspired by a true story of immigration and perseverance.
Laura Fedolfi grew up in Chichester, NH. She attended Phillips Exeter Academy and Wesleyan University and then went on to receive a Master’s Degree in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University. She has lived for the last 18 years in Chelmsford, MA where she has raised two children. Her series, Revealing Hannah: The Greek Myths, follows the adventures of Hannah Summers as she navigates her first years after college. Imagine trying to sort out work, life and love with the added complication of having your fate entwined with the Greek gods.
Joyce Poggi Hager grew up with two sisters and a brother in a close-knit Italian family in suburban Philadelphia. After graduating from Villanova, she moved to Greater Boston where she enjoyed a long career in the human resources field with several leading technology companies. Her memoir, Jimmy and Me, is the story of a shy young girl caring for her older brother who is intellectually disabled. Musing Off the Mat is an essay collection based on her yoga-inspired blog about family memories and everyday moments.
Narcissa Lyons was born as a first generation American to her Hungarian mother and British father, along with her five siblings. She started writing very young, honed her craft in high school and college, and contributed as a freelance journalist to a local paper in Massachusetts, where she now resides. Only recently, however, has she begun sharing her unique style through her blog, “if not for Passion”, and now her first novel, Artless, a contemporary romance.
Sara Marks has two masters degrees and plans to never stop getting over educated. She was born in Boston, raised in Miami, and now lives in Lowell, MA where she is a librarian at UMass Lowell. She likes the idea of having all the academic regalia she can ever possess and winning with the most degrees in her family. She loves reading nearly every genre but likes to write romance and fantasy books. Phi Alpha Pi is the second book in her 21st Century Austen series. Her other books include Modern Persuasion and, the related short story collection, A Little More Modern Persuasion.
Mona R. Meyers attended the University of Southern California and completed her bachelor’s degree in accounting from Southern Illinois University before moving with her mother and younger sister to California after the death of her father. She is married to her high school sweetheart who is a retired United States Naval Officer. When her husband was deployed for six months, her mother moved in with them to help take care of Meyers’ son. The roles have reversed and now, Meyers takes care of her 87-year-old mother, which was her inspiration behind A Guide to Assist You and Your Parents in the Aging Process.
Kathleen Murphy grew up in Lexington, MA and graduated from the University of Maine with a degree in Journalism, and has been published in Advancing Women, AskTheExpert, The Huffington Post, i4Business, Money, Readers Digest, Recruiter, and Thrive Global. As founder and CEO of Market Me Too, Murphy is known for radiating enthusiasm, positive energy and her highly creative problem solving and entrepreneurial approach to growing companies. Her marketing career has spanned more than 20 years, and has been focused on technology and start-up companies in a variety of industries.
Stephen O’Connor is a native of Lowell, Massachusetts, where much of his writing is set. He is the author of Smokestack Lightning, a collection of short stories, and two novels. The first, The Spy in the City of Books is historical fiction set in Lowell, Mass, and in WWII France. It is based in part on interviews with a former OSS operative who served in Occupied France. The second, The Witch at Rivermouth, has been described as “a cerebral mystery.” Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lucinda Franks called it, “rich, eerie and intriguing.”
Dale Phillips has published novels, story collections, non-fiction, and over 70 short stories. Stephen King was Dale’s college writing teacher, and since that time, Dale has found time to appear on stage, television, in an independent feature film, and compete on Jeopardy (losing in a spectacular fashion). He co-wrote and acted in a short political satire film. He’s traveled to all 50 states, Mexico, Canada, and through Europe.
Anna Portillo is a self-taught musician and singer who has been writing songs, short stories, and poetry since childhood. She wrote her first novel, The Realms of Oneira, in 2013. Anna spent decades exploring different genres, learning new instruments, creating choral arrangements with multiple harmonies and even dabbled with word games, crosswords, and jingles. Her style of music is a fusion that can only be described as original, memorable, and heart felt. Her books and songs take melodic twists and turns that will capture your imagination.
Lisa McDonough Trudel grew up in Lowell, Massachusetts, the youngest of six children in an apartment over a funeral home and next to a convent. Lisa attended 12 years of Catholic school before attending the University of Massachusetts. After working for several high tech firms she was left wanting to give back to the world and returned to her roots of teaching, going back to school for a degree as an Educational Specialist. She is the wife of Steve and mother of Victoria and Elizabeth. Lisa is a spiritual person who is an empathetic listener blessed with a vivid imagination. She still teaches in Lowell and lives with her husband and two daughters.
Penelope S. Tzougros, Ph.D., ChFC, CLU, is a Financial Consultant, author, speaker and founder of Wealthy Choices, a Registered Investment Advisor. Although she is based in Boston, she is registered in all 50 states and offers securities and advisory services through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. In addition to Your Home Sweet Home, she is the author of Wealthy Choices: The Seven Competencies of Financial Success, and Long-term Care Insurance: How to Make Decisions That Are Right for You. Tzougros holds a master’s degree from Harvard, a doctorate from the University of Toronto, and has taught at Northeastern University and Hellenic College.
Zach Watson is a 27 year old math teacher who recently wrote his first book, Ideas Over Coffee. He’s spoken at a TEDx Conference, and loves speaking to students, peers and youth about the philosophies that have allowed him to love the life that he has. He loves sharing his life experience to show students that he doesn’t have it all figured out. He loves speaking about subjects he feels are not covered enough in everyday conversation. He shares videos on YouTube that feature his students, that offer origami tutorials, and that share some of his poetry for the world to judge.
Ursula Wong writes gripping tales about strong women battling impossible odds to achieve their dreams. Her WWII thrillers Amber Wolf and Amber War tell the harrowing story of the Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe. Amber Widow, available this fall, matches Eastern European radicals against Russia in a vicious game of nuclear chess. Purple Trees is a frank portrayal of a woman in rural New England striving for normalcy despite a terrible and hidden past. The Baby Who Fell From the Sky enchants with a Peruvian folk tale. Ursula’s stories have appeared widely in magazines and anthologies.