WORDfest SW Author Bios


Rachel Caine

Rachel Caine is the NYT, USA Today, and #1 WSJ bestselling author of more than 50 books in several categories and genres, including adult thriller and adult urban fantasy/SF as well as books for young adults ages twelve to eighteen.

She is the winner of several national awards, and most recently was a finalist in both the International Thriller Writers awards and the Killer Nashville awards for her debut thriller novel Stillhouse Lake.

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Taylor Stevens

Taylor Stevens is the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of the critically acclaimed Vanessa Michael Munroe series. Published in over twenty languages and optioned for film by James Cameron’s production company, Lightstorm Entertainment, the books are international boots-on-the-ground thrillers featuring a mercenary information hunter in a non-testosterone mix of Jason Bourne and Jack Reacher. Stevens came to writing fiction late. Born into an apocalyptic cult and raised in communes across the globe, she was denied an education beyond 6th grade and spent her adolescence as child labor. Stevens now calls Dallas home. In addition to writing novels, she shares extensively about the mechanics of storytelling, writing, overcoming adversity, and her journey into publishing at www.taylorstevensbooks.com – she welcomes you to join her.

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Kathryn McClatchy

Kathryn started her career in marketing and advertising, then segued into academia teaching literature, composition, research skills, and rhetoric. In 2006, as she was finishing her Master's degree and preparing to start her PhD, Kathryn suffered the first of many strokes--one day she was a college professor, the next day she was having to relearn to read, write, talk, walk, and pretty much everything else again. In the last decade, she has applied her education and experience to reinventing herself as a writer and public speaker. In addition to writing thrillers and creative nonfiction, Kathryn has created and/or managed social media campaigns for three non-profit writing organizations, created and facilitated a flash fiction contest that has since been named after her, and coaches writers and businesses on platform building, productivity, ADA Compliance, and developmental writing. Learn more about Kathryn at www.KathrynMcClatchy.com.

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Laurie Brown

For anyone tired of the same old Tolkien-inspired orcs, elves, and dwarves, traditional Chinese folk religion offers a bewildering array of local deities, intricate mythologies, and an elements-and-energy cosmology to spark the imagination. Come hear about a goddess who conquered her demons and made them work for her, modern Taiwanese spirit mediums, hungry ghosts, nine-tail-foxes, and the real fifth element.

Laurie Brown has a degree in History from the University of Texas at Austin, speaks and reads Mandarin Chinese, and lived in China, Taiwan, and South Korea for ten years.

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Lynda Rodriguez

Lynda is a North Texas native. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre Arts,a Master’s Degree in Educational Research, a Master’s Degree in performing arts and boy are her arms tired!
She has been recognized as an outstanding playwright by the Langdon Review of the Arts in Texas and as an Art’s Educator by Texas Commision on the Arts. She was also recognized as the strangest person he’d ever met by Fort Worth designer Nelson Robinson. 
Lynda is currently enjoying the glamour and excitement of free-lance writing when she is not molding and shaping the minds of fourth graders. 
For more about Lynda, check out her website at www.ellesview.com.

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Mary Lou and Brian Condike

Mary Lou grew up in Massachusetts attending public schools and graduated from Worcester State University with a BS in Mathematics, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute with Masters in Business Administration. Recently, her short story “Until Your Better Is Best” was published in Boundless, Stories by Authors Destined to Soar, A Vinculinc Anthology, Vinculinc, Inc., 2017. The story is available on-line by following this link: Until Your Better Is Best. Vinculinc has accepted a second story (“Sacrifice”), also available on-line, which is a candidate for a future anthology. She placed 3rd and received an Honorable Mention for 4th place in the 2019 Kathryn McClatchy Flash Fiction Contest. She also freelances for RedFinn Publishing.
Mary Lou is participating in Southern Methodist University’s Writer’s Path in Dallas and is a member of Mystery Writer’s of America, Sisters in Crime, and the Granbury Writer’s Bloc.

Brian arrived in Texas as soon as he could after growing up and attending school in Massachusetts. An avid and lifelong reader, his first interest in writing sparked when minoring in English as he studied chemistry at UMass Amherst. Brian has been writing fiction only the past few years. His ultimate goal is to traditionally publish one or more novels. He has won several local short story contests, and recently placed in the top 1% of a Writer’s Digest national short story competition. He is currently attending the Writers Path program at Southwestern University, and has completed the first draft of a mystery novel entitled, Wrongful Death. Brian has pursued several personal interests, including home improvement, photography, fishing, bowhunting, woodworking, and community theater.

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Michael Guinn

Michael Guinn is a long time Texas Poet residing in Grand Prairie. He holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work and is renowned for having successfully fused the art of performance poetry, creative writing and spoken word with social awareness in a way that has increased  its following.  Michael specializes in high energy creative writing workshops that focus on emotional wellness and personal empowerment.  Affectionately known as one of the state’s hardest working performance poets and youth/adult poetry promoters, Michael also currently hosts 5 ongoing poetry series in North and East Texas and has done so consistently for the past 17 years and is a huge contributor to anthologies and other publications. 

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Shayla Raquel

An expert editor, seasoned writer, and author-centric marketer, Shayla Raquel works one-on-one with authors and business owners every day. A lifelong lover of books, she has edited over 300 books and has launched several Amazon bestsellers for her clients.
Her award-winning blog teaches new and established authors how to write, publish, and market their books.
She is the author of the Pre-Publishing Checklist, The Rotting (in Shivers in the Night), and The Suicide Tree. In her not-so-free time, she acts as organizer for the Yukon Writers’ Society, volunteers at the Oklahoma County Jail, and obsesses over squirrels. She lives in Oklahoma with her dogs, Chanel, Wednesday, and Baker.