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2023 Book Fair

Authors and Vendors



Brian Lutterman


"The Stories We Sell: The Journey of Those Who Must Write (and Read)"


By examining his own writing career and those of others, Lutterman explores why writers feel compelled to write, how they can disseminate their stories to others in today's market, and what role readers play in the process.


Brian is the author of eight mystery-thrillers, including Bound to Die, Minnesota Book Award runner-u and  Poised to Kill, described by the Midwest Book Review as. . .a masterfully woven tale of tycoons and terrorists. He is also the creator of the acclaimed Pen Wilkinson thriller series, and several short stories.







Friends of Robert Trail Library is a growing community of members whose mission is to share their excitement for literacy and lifelong learning through embracing library services and resources.


FuzionPress is for authors seeking the best that the self-publishing world can offer. FuzionPress has the highest-quality design, formatting, editing, and printing, all provided by our team of professionals. In addition, we offer custom self-publishing services and packages tailored to meet your specific objectives. As a mentor press, we help you with every component of the publishing process. The author pays for all services and retains all royalties.


Kirk House Publishers: Ann and Brian Aubitz acquired Kirk House Publishers on March 1, 2020. Kirk House Publishers is a hybrid publisher. A hybrid press or publisher is a publishing house that combines self-publishing and traditional publishing business models. Hybrid publishing is based on a contribution to be paid by the author. Kirk House offers a competitive royalty.

Rosemount Area Arts Council (RAAC)  is committed to bringing a broad spectrum of Arts to the community. Founded in 2007, RAAC is a 100% volunteer-run, financially independent organization. More info at:







League of Minnesota Poets is an organization that connects poets throughout the state. They provide poetry conferences, writers retreats, poetry contests, readings and writers groups. They have regional chapters in Minneapolis, Rochester, Mankato, St. Cloud, and Brainerd. The local chapters are a great way to meet other poets in your area and hone your writing skills. The League prides itself on encouraging poets of all backgrounds from beginners to established poets. They work to make Minnesota poetry conscious and conscious of its own poets. Find out more at: 

MIPA Founded in 1984, the Midwest Independent Publishing Association exists today as a vibrant professional nonprofit association that serves the upper-Midwest independent publishing community through education, networking, and peer recognition. MIPA is proud to be a sponsor of the Midwest Book Awards and a regional affiliate of the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA)


Queen of Swords Press, Catherine Lundoff, publisher. 

Queen of Swords is an independent small press based in Minneapolis, Minnesota and specializing in swashbuckling tales of derring-do, bold new adventures in time and space, mysterious stories of the occult and arcane and fantastical tales of people and lands far and near. We specialize in science fiction, fantasy and horror with LGBTQ+ protagonists in genres that range from steampunk to cyberpunk and beyond. Our authors include Jennie Goloboy, Michael Merriam, Catherine Lundoff, and Melissa Scott.


Shipwreckt Books has published more than 150 authors since 2010 via its three literary imprints and the eclectic Folk Opera magazine. Shipwrekt received a silver medal for poetry in 2014 from the Midwest Independent Publishers Association. Our mission at Shipwreckt Books—besides giving voice and opportunity to writers of all stripes—is to elevate independent publishing to the same level as Indie music and film.


Sigma’s Bookshelf is a traditional book publishing company based  in Minnesota that exclusively publishes the work of teen authors. The company was started in 2016 by then teen author Justin M. Anderson, who is now a senior at Macalester College. All services required to bring books to market are free for teens whose manuscripts are selected for publication.

At our table we will have tip sheets for prospective teen authors, and some of our published authors will be on hand to answer questions and sign books. Sigma’s Bookshelf is a project of Springboard for the Arts, a nonprofit arts services organization.

Words and Deeds, Inc. Connie Anderson has been editing book manuscripts through her company, Words and Deeds, Inc., for many years—in a wide variety of genres. Her author clients appreciate the insights and honesty she brings to her editing, and agree that the right editor can help make your book the best possible…so find one you can trust. She also makes sure authors write to their intended market, and that they know and avoid costly mistakes in the publishing process. Connie offers a FREE sample edit of up to 8 manuscript pages.







Connie Anderson  edits both non-fiction and general fiction books, and considers herself an important part of the author’s team to create the best book possible. She is also an author: In My Next Life, I Want to Be My Dog; When Polio Came Home:  How Ordinary People Overcame Extraordinary Challenges; and The Eye of a Woman.


Mary Bleckwehl, who loves fridge art and cookie dough, takes her love of stories and award-winning books into schools, libraries, and wherever book lovers roam. She taught outstanding students and raised amazing kids and unruly pets. Her tenth and newest book Arrrgh! Me HATE To Wait! joins her debut middle grade novel The Worry Knot, The Birthday Cookbook, The Awesome Disgusting Careers series (four books), Claire’s Hair, Henry You’re Late Again! and Henry You’re Hungry AGAIN? Bleckwehl lives in Northfield MN with her husband and monster dog.


Margaret A. Blenkush lives in South St. Paul, MN and enjoys retirement, gardening, volunteer activities and the changing seasons. She shares her childhood home with her nephew. A lifelong Catholic, she is an Oblate of St. Benedict’s Monastery in St. Joseph, MN. Although she has been writing stories since the age of ten, The Doctor of Bellechester is her first book.



Before he became a mystery writer and freelance reviewer, Carl Brookins was a freelance photographer, a Public Television program director and producer, a cable TV administrator, and a counselor and faculty member at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, Minnesota. He has reviewed mystery fiction for the St. Paul Pioneer Press, for Mystery Scene Magazine, for Amazon, Goodreads and other Internet sites, including his own. He lives and writes in Minnesota.


Jim Carlson is the author of the children’s book Reagan Slays the Dragon. This book was inspired by his spunky niece and Jim hopes the story inspires children to work through challenges, find solutions, and conquer big things! Jim is married and has two beautiful children and loves spending time with family, going for drives, checking out car shows, fishing, and practicing Jiu-Jitsu.


Jessie Chandler is the author of eight novels, including the humorously suspenseful Shay O’Hanlon Caper Series. Her crime fiction has garnered a Lambda Literary finalist nod, three Golden Crown Literary Awards, three USA Book Awards, and an Independent Publisher Book Award.


As a kid, Jessie honed an interest in crime and punishment by avidly reading Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, Encyclopedia Brown, and Alfred Hitchcock’s The Three Investigators series under the covers with a flashlight.


She currently lives in Central Minnesota with her crazy family, including three too adorable for their own good mutts, and three deviously cute cats. Fall and winter finds Jessie feverishly writing, and she spends springtime knee deep in edits and revisions. Summers are spent selling T-shirts, books, and other assorted trinkets to unsuspecting conference and festivalgoers.



Michael Dardis is a lifelong story teller and traveler who specializes in twentieth century European, American and military history. He has degrees in history, geography and business from the University of Minnesota. Michael is a Vietnam War combat veteran and has been awarded the Purple Heart and the US army’s Commendation medal for valor. The Dark Side of the Sun is his first novel of historical fiction.



Laurie Hanson has enjoyed writing stories her entire life. She also enjoys doing activities with her dogs, especially dog agility and nose work events. She wrote her first illustrated children's book, Treasure's Gift, five years ago which won a Purple Dragonfly award for best children's book. Her current book is Good Girl, Karma, written after her beloved golden retriever, Karma, died suddenly of cancer.


Jennie Goloboy has appeared in Apex Magazine and Fantasy & Science Fiction. She self-published a novel and shorter fiction under her pen name, Nora Fleischer. She’s also written about early American history, including a monograph based on her dissertation. She lives in Minneapolis, MN, with her husband and two children, and works as a literary agent.

Kristen F. Johnson has published 10 books for children. She has won two Minnesota State Arts Board grants and is a two-time winner of the Loft Literary Center’s Shabo Award for picture books, as well as a Mystery Writers of America Helen McCloy grant. She taught writing at Metropolitan State University for 12 years and was also a media specialist in Minneapolis Public Schools. She lives in St. Paul with her family and dog.



After being a teacher, librarian, and performer, Holly Jorgensen wrote Enchanted: Reflections from a Joyfully Green and Frugally Rich Life which won a Midwest Book Award. She speaks on Saving Money, the Planet, and Your Sanity and Connecting with Mother Nature’s Other Children. Since KARE 11’s video, “Holly and Greenie”, went viral and won an Emmy she’s been working on a children’s book about her wild sunfish friend of seven years. Look at the Steeple Center walls during the Writers Festival and you will see Holly’s photography and poems–another book on the way. She lives happily among critters near Minneapolis. 



Rob Jung  A lawyer, a former political operative and life-long student of history and the human condition, Rob is uniquely qualified to write Judgment Day, the story of the first U.S. Senator ever to be charged with murder and the third and final book of the Chimera Chronicles. Jung is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America, and the producer of Minnesota Mystery Night.


Edith Marie Karras has been taking pictures for over 30 years and has lived in Minneapolis since 1985. Over the decades she's participated in shows and art fairs and is currently an artist member at Vine Arts Center. Edith uses her photographs to create ceramic tiles, posters, scarves, canvas wraps, and framed prints. Looking to create something new, she is now using her collection of children and nature photos to create picture books. Let's Go For a Wander is her first, with more on the way.



Judy Kerr is a lifelong Minnesotan who’s always enjoyed reading, and now writing, mysteries. A number of Judy’s short stories have been published in various anthologies. Black Friday is the first novel in her planned series with a postal inspector protagonist.  She’s currently working on the second book in the series.

Joy Klas is the editor of The Gillyflower Comfort Book Series: Psalm 23. Designed for those who might be suffering from memory issues, Psalm 23 may be used several ways to facilitate a happy meaningful visit to loved ones. Joy was inspired by the need in her own family. She lives in Bloomington, Minnesota.

Evelyn D. Klein, M.S. in English, taught in public schools, at Century College, Loft Literary Center, and edited The Minnesota Scholar.  She published in journals and anthologies, most recently in This Was 2020. Books include From Here Across the Bridge, illustrated by Wolfgang Klein; Once upon a Neighborhood, and Seasons of Desire, Fear and Promise illustrated by Evelyn.  The first three books are in the Minnesota Historical society’s permanent library.



Mike Lein successfully published over 50 non-fiction pieces in magazines and journals before moving on to book publishing. His first two books, Firewood Happens: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness in Minnesota’s Northwoods and Down at the Dock: More Stories of the Good Life in the Northwoods, scored back-to-back First Place Awards for Humor from the Midwest Independent Publishing Association. One judge’s comment says it all: “This book belongs in every cabin in Minnesota!” The Crooked Lake Chronicles: Mostly True Stories of Life Up North continues this series with more lightly embellished tales of the things that happen, the people you meet, and the struggles with Mother Nature that occur when you step out and enjoy the simple life in the Great Outdoors.


Anne Lundquist is an author-publisher after a career as a children's librarian and public library administrator.  She lives in Inver Grove Heights with her husband, son, and rambunctious one-year-old British Lab, Ember.  In 2022 she founded Abundant Colors to create coloring books featuring countries worldwide.  She loves to travel, read, and make bad art.  Her first two books are Peace for Ukraine and Natural Ukraine.  She is busy writing the final two books in the Ukraine series.



Craig MacIntosh, former political cartoonist, illustrator, and syndicated comic strip artist. was born in California into a career Navy family. His family moved to Honolulu during his high school years. In 1966, he graduated from the University of Illinois with a BFA degree, was drafted, and served as an infantry platoon leader in Vietnam, 1968-69. Moving with his family to Dayton, Ohio in 1970, he worked at the morning newspaper before joining the Minneapolis Star as its political cartoonist. When the Star and morning Tribune merged in 1981, he turned to editorial illustration and was co-creator, along with Tribune cartoonist Steve Sack, of Professor Doodles, a syndicated children’s comic strip. He left the Star-Tribune in 1992 to draw the popular cartoon Sally Forth until retiring in 2013.


An active member of RAAC, he and wife, Linda have lived in Rosemount since 2004. In addition to painting watercolors, he sculpts in bronze and has published ten books of crime fiction/adventure/espionage thrillers, beginning in 2009 with The Fortunate Orphans—followed by The Last Lightning and the popular Tom Wolf series, introduced in 2014 with McFadden’s War—the latest installment, 2022’s WOLF’s Admiral, and the upcoming WOLF’s Escape in 2023.


Larry Matthews is the survivor of heart attack and sudden cardiac arrest. He has been an American Heart Association guest speaker for years and teaches bystander CPR with the Minnesota Sudden Cardiac Arrest Survivor Network. He worked as guidance/career counselor in Robbinsdale Area Schools and as a Medical Service Corps Officer for the United States Army Medical Command. Larry authored The Silent Heart: a Personal Journey Back from Cardiac Arrest.   



Timothy McDonnell is a nature writer and author of three books: The Whole Forest For A Backyard: A Gunflint Trail Wilderness Memoir; The Contemplative Paddler’s Fireside Companion;  and Where Water Collides With Stone. He grew up just outside the BWCA in Minnesota. He spent decades teaching English and reading skills to deaf and hard-of-hearing students in suburban Minneapolis. Since his retirement, Tim spends his time writing and doing volunteer work for a Twin Cities non-profit organization that helps individuals transition out of homeless shelters and into independent living.


Alan Miller  is an award-winning writer and media personality, with a background in law, and has taught in colleges, universities and law schools. He has been published nationally and internationally.  Alan resides in Eagan, MN with his wife, Sharon, and their Springer/rescue Katie. His books include the memoir, My Name was Toby, along with You CAN Make a Difference, a nonfiction book. His latest is Holding Court, a political thriller.

De Etta Miller was raised in Minnesota in the 1950s, one of six children raised in poverty and challenging circumstances. Her childhood experiences found their voice during the pursuit of a college degree in her fifties. This would act as the catalyst to a writing career centered around messages of social and familial kindness. With the loving support of family and talented grandson, her illustrationist, she is able to bring her messages to life.  De Etta's books include Friendly Kenley, Ted and Ned: Friends by the Foot, and Talk Me from the Ledge: Secrets From the World of Abuse.



Dominique Miller is a Minnesota based author and artist, originally from The Netherlands. She moved to the United States in 2018 to live life together with her American-born husband. When she arrived, she changed her career from "Army"  to "Artist Life" and is now the owner of ByNikcreations, a small art-business. She works in a variety of mediums and expresses her creativity onto paper both through images and words. Dominique loves spending time outdoors and these moments in nature are what inspires her in her work. Creativity brings people together—it is a way to connect with others—one of the many benefits she finds in being a creator. In 2022 she published her first book, My Thoughts In A Bundle.



Tracy Moore served as a Minneapolis firefighter and captain for more than 20 years. She earned a Master of Public Affairs degree from The University of Minnesota at The Humphrey School. Since retiring from the fire department, she has published a novel, The Fire She Fights, based on the true stories of Minneapolis women firefighters, featuring four fictional characters. The novel recently won an Honorable Mention Award in the 2022 Writer’s Digest Awards.


Chris Norbury is the award-winning author of the mystery-thrillers Straight River, Castle Danger, and Dangerous Straits. The stories feature a farm-kid-turned-professional-musician whose middle-class life is turned upside down when he uncovers a violent conspiracy headed by a ruthless real-estate magnate. Chris grew up in the Twin Cities and earned a Music Education degree at the University of Minnesota. He donates a portion of all his book sales to his local Big Brothers Big Sisters organization.


Daniel O’Brien, literature teacher (MA Advanced Japanese Studies), created the Japan Series: Exploring Japanese Culture & History Through Mystery. An active Minnesota author, Daniel has also lived in Japan. Japanese Ghost in America is first in a trilogy of self-discovery for Jimmy Swenson. Next in the Japan Series is Pilgrimage, with Resolution completing the trilogy. O'Brien's first novel, Star Points: Connections Old and New, will be available on a first come first served basis.



MB Panichi’s first book, Saving Morgan, won a Goldie Award for Science Fiction. Running Toward Home is the sequel, followed by Blood and Roses, released May 2019. All three are fast-paced Sci-Fi Adventure Romances meant to keep you turning the pages with intrigue and a taste of mystery. Choosing Love is a present-day romance set in northern Minnesota. MB hails from Minneapolis, Minnesota. MB's non-writing obsessions are reading, drumming, heavy-metal music, bikes, and Star Wars.

Betty Brandt Passick returned to ‘Oxbow’ during the Covid-19 pandemic to write her second historical crime novel in her Gangster Series, The Black Bag of Dr. Wiltse. The novel won a 2022 Notable Indie Book Award. Her debut novel, Gangster in Our Midst, won a 2019 Notable Indie Book Award. She wrote two significant memoriams prior to that. In 2023, she launched the 1st Annual Wapsie Writing Contest. 



Joe Pawlowski is a retired journalist living in the Twin Cities area with his wife, Debbie, and rescue dog, Lucy. He is a U.S. Army veteran, a secular Buddhist, a major Beatles fan, a vegan, and a lifelong student of classic horror and supernatural literature. Besides reading and writing, he enjoys music, movies, and socializing with his many friends. His books include The Cannibal Gardener. Why All the Skulls Are Grinning, and In the Heart of the Garden Is a Tomb.


Su Peterson followed in her father's footsteps and majored in Journalism. Years later, she worked as a reporter, photographer and editor for the Dakota Country Tribune. Because income was a necessity, she transferred to sales and marketing where she spent most of her career and retired as Marketing Director at the age of 64. Su absolutely, absolutely loathed being retired and, encouraged by a friend, she became a flight attendant for Northwest Airlines, later to become Delta. She retired again at the age of 77, but, "oh the stories."


Su has written a series of mysteries based on her flying days. They  include Groundstopped,  Flight into Oblivion,  and Destination Unknown, as well as others based in and around Minnesota. She’s also written two children’s books.

Carla Pritchett is a writer, speaker, group facilitator, former hospice bereavement coordinator, and artist. Carla's heart and passions are reflected in the quality of her relationships. She loves to travel, journal in coffee shops, study metaphysics and the healing arts, and spend time in nature. Her life continues to be a total learning experience, and she feels it a great privilege to share this hard-earned wisdom with others. Getting To The Heart of Relationships.



Mark Ristau is a lawyer and an award-winning author of visionary fiction. He finds inspiration in stories that dare to fill hearts with hope and minds with dreams of possibility. Born in Chicago, Mark currently lives in Rosemount, Minnesota His two novel in the Hero’s Path series include A Hero Dreams and Beyond the Threshold.



John Baird Rogers has always been a storyteller, first through music, then writing. His prior career in technology in the US and Europe provides a basis for his novels. A member Midwest Mystery Works and a senior judge for the Royal Palm Literary Award, John was a panel member at the 2022 Boucheron conference. His

suspense/thriller novels include Fatal Score and Skins and Bone.



Peter Ross is an author, illustrator, and artist. Uh-Oh! We've Got Birds! is his first book, and it's no surprise that it involves birds. Pete has loved nature, especially birds, for as long as he can remember, and he really wants to share that love with his young audience. Pete lives in St. Paul, Minnesota, with his wife, Leslie. They have two grown children and a small flock of lovely grandchildren.



Alicia Schwab (she/her) is an award-winning illustrator of more than eight books in both Germany and the US including The Mukluk Ball, Lite: The High Treason Incident, and Great Group Skits: 50 Character-Building Scenarios for Teens. Alicia holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in art and design from the University of Wisconsin-Stout, and began her career by co-founding a graphic design firm in Hannover, Germany. Now she lives in Minnesota and focuses on writing, illustrating, and designing books. She enjoys long walks with her husband, daughter, and sweet dog.


Paul Simonson grew up on a small diary farm six miles from Lake Mille Lacs. After graduating from McGrath High School in 1960, The University of Minnesota with an accounting degree, and William Mitchell Law School, cum laude, Paul practiced as a business lawyer, and as a tax accountant. A life long interest in books and literary matters, including representing five used book sellers, led him to write his first novel, Murder on the Lake.



Jonathan W. Sweet is an award-winning journalist and the author of eight books. Most of his work—both fiction and nonfiction—has a Minnesota slant. In 2020 he was named to the “Who’s Who in New Pulp” and he is a two-time finalist for the Pulp Factory Award, recognizing the best in modern noir/pulp writing. Jonathan lives in the Twin Cities with his wife, two exceptional children and one fairly dim-witted dog. His books include Eye of Vengeance, Minnesota's 50 Greatest Baseball Players, and Minnesota Not-So-Nice.


Lisa Valentine and her six sisters began a poem-a-day challenge in April 2020 to capture the emotional chaos of the COVID-19 pandemic and a fifth sister’s cancer diagnosis, less than a year after the death of their eighth sister. This led to their first collaboration and published compilation: April . . . In Pieces. Two more poetry compilations have been published since. They are What Life Has Dished Up and My Sister Said. Lisa is also a blogger and previous newspaper columnist. The sisters grew up on a farm in Northeast Iowa.

Gloria VanDemmeltraadt is an award-winning author with nine published books; one in every genre, as she says. Included are mystery novels, nonfiction histories, short stories, and children’s books that are major fun, but her passion is legacy writing. Her books include

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