Sunday, March 23, 2008




Brian Jung has been, variously, a college English Instructor, a slush pile editor for a fantasy magazine, a high school teacher, a substitute gym teacher, a carnie, and, most recently, a software developer. He has had poetry published in a number of obscure journals, and has even edited one of them (The Cream City Review). He is simultaneously at work on a number of fiction projects, but only one about a dog who at every full moon transforms into a deceitful auto mechanic. He blogs as mrchompchomp on YA and children's literature at Critique de Mr. Chompchomp. He has no good explanation for that name.

Colleen Mondor is the monthly YA columnist for Bookslut, Reviews Editor for the literary magazine Eclectica and a contributor (primarily on environmental titles) to Booklist. She personally writes about aviation in Alaska, a subject she knows way too much about. She can be found in AK and the Pacific Northwest with her husband, son and very cool dog Hondo (named for a John Wayne movie and Louis L'Amour novel of course). Her favorite writer is Ray Bradbury and if she had a choice, we would all worship at the church of Louis Armstrong. Find out more at her site, Chasing Ray.

When David Elzey was a teen he: "borrowed" a nine-foot plaster headless Santa statue and set it on fire on a friend's front lawn; had a private conversation concerning movie acting with Jack Nicholson; gave up surfing shortly after finding his leg tangled in the mouth of a basking shark; played Lady Macbeth in a silent movie adaptation of Shakespeare's play; ate twenty McDonald's cheeseburgers in one sitting on a dare, didn't get sick, but didn't eat again for two days afterward; co-edited his high school newspaper, literary journal and, for a brief time, senior yearbook because he was too lazy to actually write for any of them. David currently writes reviews for The Horn Book Guide, is a bookseller, and working on an MFA in Creative Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College. He also reviews all kinds of kidlit at the excelsior file.

Debra is a Master of All Literature, or so her diploma says (that’s what MA Lit stands for, right?) and can now command words the way a mighty goddess commands planets and stars. But she keeps a low profile as a youth services library assistant, coffee aficionado, singer of murder ballads, geek crafter, fledgling novelist and all around cracking good lass. She blogs lovingly and ramblingly about books at (Library Lass) Adventures in Reading and may or may not be sewing a sash to denote her achievements. She also has zero zombie apocalypse survival skills. It’s important you know that up front.

Gonovice has done construction, and door-to-door fundraising for environmental groups, but always wanted to be a librarian. Finally earned MLS in August, age 53. He works a public library reference desk near Fredericksburg, VA, and hosts a "Chess & Go" program for all ages (Most players are juvenile or young adult, with more guys than gals, usually.) Two homeschooled daughters are in college. He likes good fiction, but pays more attention to nonfiction. Favorite writers include Lao-tzu, R. Buckminster Fuller, Gregory Bateson, James Joyce, Kurt Vonnegut, Lewis Thomas, Oliver Sacks, Gary Paulsen, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Tim O'Brien, and Leo Tolstoy.

Gregory K. Pincus is an author, screenwriter, volunteer elementary school librarian, and right-handed batter. He has written for the big screen (Little Big League), the small screen (movies for ABC, NBC, the Disney Channel among other credits), and the computer screen (blogging at http://gottabook.blogspot.com). Perhaps best known for spreading Fibs (poems based on the Fibonacci sequence) virally through the internet and into the New York Times, Greg is thrilled to have his first novel, The 14 Fabulous Fibs of Gregory K., under contract with Arthur A. Levine Books.

Gwenda Bond is working on a young adult novel. Her writing and criticism have appeared in the Journal of Mythic Arts, Publishers Weekly, the Washington Post, Kirkus, Strange Horizons, and LCRW (as Dear Aunt Gwenda). She is pursuing an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults at the Vermont College of Fine Arts, and lives in a hundred-year-old house in Lexington, Kentucky, with her husband writer Christopher Rowe and three unruly animals. She posts often about writing and books (and television and cupcakes, truth be told) at her blog, Shaken & Stirred.

Justin Colussy-Estes is a stay at home dad, college English instructor, and bookseller at Little Shop of Stories, a children's bookstore in Decatur, GA. He's in the middle of a twenty-five year love affair with graphic novels, YA, and chapter books. He also runs a monthly middle-school boy's book group and the store blog little blog of stories.

Kelly Fineman is a poet and author working on a biography in verse about Jane Austen; although her current topic is a girly author, Kelly's used to working in fields that are traditionally dominated by guys: biography and poetry. She'll be sharing reviews of poetry collections for guys and the occasional poetry tips for today's bards. Her website is woefully out of date, but her blog, Writing and Ruminating, is upated on a regular basis.

Kevin Bayer answers 9-1-1 calls for a living, and in his spare time likes to nap, listen to podcasts, play MMORPGs, and read speculative fiction of various flavors. He's been a radio DJ, a sno-cone trolley driver, and an evil telemarketer. Kev lives in Southern Indiana with his wife, three kids, two cats, and six computers. Kevin sometimes reviews books at his own website, Sporadic Reviews.

Kimberly Hirsh is a high school Latin teacher who loves to talk to her students about reading. She blogs about her own reading adventures at lectitans.

Kristopher Reisz spends a lot of time wondering how he got here. Usually, he blames it on Jack Kerouac. At various points in his life, he has been a paramedic, a third shift short-order cook, and has worked at a mental hospital where one of the patients, who was either God or the president of the United States depending on the day, promoted him to general. During all this meandering, he has written two books, Tripping to Somewhere, about a witches’ carnival, and Unleashed, about heart-broken werewolves and a mushroom god. The book he’s currently working on doesn’t have a title yet, but it does have a really big catfish.

Lee Wind is an award-winning blogger, author and speaker, who writes teen books with gay main characters--because that's what he wanted to read when he was in junior high and high school, and there was nothing out there!  Today, there are teen books with GLBTQ characters and themes, and Lee blogs about them, the hidden homophobia in our history and culture, and a mess of other stuff over at I'm Here. I'm Queer. What the Hell do I Read?  He's also the official blogger for the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators at SCBWI: The Blog and the head of SCBWI's Team Blog, reporting on the Children's Literature industry and the renowned SCBWI annual conferences.

Little Willow is a bookseller who has no problems giving Alice's Adventures in Wonderland to boys and Maniac Magee to girls. She is determined to show the world (one person at a time!) that the gender of an author or protagonist has no bearing on the worth of a story. A good book is a good book, no matter what, and it should be read by all. She blogs at Bildungsroman, which also has a corresponding archive website.

Sarah Stevenson blogs as a. fortis on Finding Wonderland, a blog about writing for young adults, and on Readers' Rants, a book review blog. She is a writer and artist living in Northern California. "Writer and artist" is pretty general, so here are three helpful and informative factoids: 1) She used to write a humor column about weird websites for the entertainment site IGN.com; 2) She has a lot of nerdy and/or obscure hobbies, including graphic novels, video games, role-playing games, and Welsh language; and 3) She thinks designing websites (like this one) is fun. Bonus factoid: She is currently working on a YA novel about a girl who hears people's thoughts.

Seth Christenfeld is a voracious reader (primarily of fiction, with a smattering of nonfiction and an occasional struggle with poetry) and even more voracious book acquirer.  He is an alleged playwright and lyricist.  In his spare time, he sleeps.  He lives in the suburbs of New York with his parents (long past the age when that is appropriate) and works at a chain bookstore, pushing people to buy Dominic Smith and Carolyn Parkhurst instead of James Paterson and Jodi Picoult; it's a losing battle.  He occasionally blogs about theatre, books, and other crap at http://gruyere.livejournal.com; more frequently, he tweets about those same topics at http://www.twitter.com/earbox.  His favorite non-book things are cheese, chocolate, and redheads, not necessarily in that order. 

Steve Berman is a certified bibliotaph--he doubts he'll ever have time to read all the books on his shelf. Speculative fiction is his favorite genre. He has sold over 80 articles, essays, and short stories and has been nominated for an Andre Norton Award (for his YA novel Vintage), a Golden Crown Literary Award (for editing So Fey), and a Lambda Literary Award (for editing Charmed Lives). He currently resides in southern New Jersey, not far from where the Jersey Devil is supposed to roam and maintains a website where you can keep up on his writerly news.

Steven Wolk
knows a lot about being a guy because he is one. He also knows a lot about encouraging guys to read because he used to hate reading with an incendiary passion. He believes our schools do an outstanding job of teaching most kids to hate reading. So, after studying art and photography, trying urgently to write, more photography, working in grocery stores, and more writing, he then became an elementary and middle school teacher. Now he’s an Associate Professor of Teacher Education in Chicago, and writes widely on education and teaching. He works to help teachers help their kids to love reading and books, experience their endless joys, and appreciate how they can make us better people and how reading really can make the world a better place. He also manages his son’s baseball team and has been waiting a very, very long time for the Cubs to win the World Series.

Tanita Davis
has recently discovered a library with a café, and is convinced she can figure out a way to live there. Her most recent job is author of A La Carte, a novel about a girl who wants to be a television chef, and Mare's War, a WWII novel which comes out in 2009. She blogs about books as TadMack at Readers' Rants and is spending another three years in Glasgow, Scotland, in serious NorCal sun withdrawal.

Trisha is a Young Adult Librarian in Hawaii. When not working, reading, or blogging at The YA YA YAs, she can often be found watching ESPNEWS. She thinks the worst part of working in a public library is having to work at least a couple of Saturdays a month during football season.

William Polking teaches high school reading and college composition. Because he feels guilty about destroying the economy with his lavish salary and benefit package, he also coaches large group speech and girls soccer. His students tell him that reads like it is his job, to which he gently responds that it kind of is. Feel free to troll him on Twitter, where he can be found @Polking.

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