2017 Author Series: January - June

In the first half of 2017, the Uniontown Public Library featured visits by six novelists, short story writers, and poets. If you missed an event, we’ve archived the profiles of our featured writers on this page, including their books, programming, and interviews.

Authors who visited during this time frame included: Carrie GessnerDr. Lee McClainDr. Nicole PeelerDr. Michael A. ArnzenJohn Edward Lawson, and Larry Ivkovich. For writers to be featured in the latter part of 2017, please visit our main Author Series page.

Saturday, January 21

4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Carrie Gessner

"Creating a Fantasy World"

Carrie Gessner received a BA in English from Carnegie Mellon University and an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She writes speculative fiction and literary fiction. She taught English as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kazakhstan, the influence of which can be seen in most of her fiction and in her tea-drinking habit. She’s passionate about fantasy heroines and inclusion in all types of fiction. When she’s not writing or reading, she likes to go for walks in the park with her greyhound, Elphie. The Dying of the Golden Day is her first novel.

For the Author Series, Carrie will discuss how a rich setting built on magic, culture, history, and more can enhance speculative fiction.

Carrie's Book: The Dying of the Golden Day

ABOUT THE BOOK: Marked by gray eyes that prophesy the death of magic, Aurelia seeks to avert her destiny by serving as advisor to the prince of Sunniva, but a chance to reunite two broken kingdoms soon forces Aurelia to decide where her loyalty lies–with her prince or with her magic. Meeting Brennus, the first male born with magic in centuries, further complicates her choice.

When Edana, the first seeress in generations, receives a vision concerning the end of the kingdom, she embarks on a mission to locate the subjects of the prophecy only to stumble upon a threat to all those with the gift of magic.

As prophecy becomes clearer and the future darker, they discover there are two sides to every coin–good and evil, hope and destruction, fate and chaos. Only they can restore balance, and only they can plunge the world into eternal darkness.

An Interview with Carrie

Meet Carrie

Featured Book

Event Details

Date: Saturday, January 21, 2017

Time: 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Place: Uniontown Public Library

Event Sponsors

Susan Gessner 
Liz Davis
Sharon Ruby

Saturday, February 11

4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Dr. Lee Tobin McClain

"How Romance Grows"

Lee Tobin McClain read Gone With The Wind in the third grade and has been an incurable romantic ever since. The PW bestselling author of fifteen contemporary Christian romances, she enjoys crafting emotional, faith-infused love stories with happy endings. When she’s not writing, she’s probably driving around a carload of snarky teen girls, playing with her rescue dog and cat, or teaching aspiring writers in Seton Hill University’s MFA program. She is probably not cleaning her house.

For the Author Series, Lee will show us how the romance genre has grown since its knights-and-ladies origins, including single-author romance series and shared romance worlds alike.

Lee's Book: The Soldier and the Single Mom

ABOUT THE BOOK: A Second-Chance Family. When Buck Armstrong rescues Gina Patterson and her baby from a dark country road outside town, he intends to keep his distance. Gina and little Bobby remind the handsome veteran too much of all he’s lost. The vulnerable single mom seems equally wary of getting involved. But things change once Gina and her son settle into his sister’s boardinghouse. Being with Gina and Bobby makes Buck question his plans to leave town for a fresh start. Suddenly he has dreams of forging a new family, even though it will mean risking his heart. But can he escape his past for a chance at a happy future?

An Interview with Lee

More Books by Lee

Meet Lee

Featured Book

Event Details

Date: Saturday, February 11, 2017

Time: 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Place: Uniontown Public Library

Event Sponsor

Neubauer’s Flowers

Heidi Miller

Jason Miller

Saturday, March 4

4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Dr. Nicole Peeler

"Setting My Series in Pittsburgh"

Nicole D. Peeler writes urban fantasy for Orbit Books and, in her spare time, is an associate professor at Seton Hill University, where she co-directs their MFA in Writing Popular Fiction. Having recently finished the final book of her award-winning Jane True series, she is looking forward to the upcoming publication of Jinn and Juice, the first book in a series about a cursed jinni living in Pittsburgh. Nicole also lives in Pittsburgh, although she’s neither cursed nor a jinni.

Nicole's Book: Jinn and Juice

ABOUT THE BOOK: To escape an arranged marriage, a jinni granted Lyla her wish: to live a thousand years as a jinni herself.
Now, her servitude is ending, but there are a few obstacles in Lyla’s path to freedom. A Magi intent on binding her again, a jinni bent on vengeance, and not to mention the nightmare from her past that threatens to make her curse permanent — and claim her very soul.

An Interview with Nicole

More Books by Nicole

Meet Nicole

Featured Book

Event Details

Date: Saturday, March 4, 2017

Time: 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Place: Uniontown Public Library

Event Sponsors

Heidi Miller

Jason Miller

Saturday, April 1

4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Dr. Michael A. Arnzen

"Humor in Writing"

Michael Arnzen holds four Bram Stoker Awards and an International Horror Guild Award for his disturbing (and often funny) fiction, poetry and literary experiments. An expanded, 10th anniversary edition of the “best of Arnzen,” his Stoker-award winning story collection, Proverbs for Monsters was recently published by Dark Regions Press. Other recent titles include his novel, Grave Markings, a non-fiction study, The Popular Uncanny, and helpful books for writers, including, Instigation: Creative Prompts on the Dark Side and, as co-editor, Many Genres, One Craft: Lessons in Writing Popular Fiction. He has been teaching as a Professor of English in the MFA program in Writing Popular Fiction at Seton Hill University since 1999.

For the Author Series, Michael invites you to celebrate April Fool’s Day with a look at the power of comedic writing to disturb, disrupt and delight. A short talk, followed by an upbeat reading of his strangest and silliest stories and poems, will get you giggling.

Michael's Book: Proverbs for Monsters

ABOUT THE BOOK: In Proverbs For Monsters, you’ll get advice for growing your own maneating plant. You’ll ride the movies at Exorcystland — the scariest amusement park ever created. You’ll attend a bizarre grade school for assassins. You’ll meet a dentist with a very disturbing collection of baby teeth. You’ll encounter strange children — from the boy who carries his heart in a metal case attached to his chest to the girl who is completely encased in the carapace of her own giant scab. You’ll ride a deceased elephant and witness the death of the last vampire and learn more than you ever wanted to know about a perpetual embalming machine. You’ll wince and laugh and wince again.

Hand picked by the author, these are the stories, “flash fictions,” and poems most cherished by readers, most enjoyed at live performances, most celebrated by editor of year’s best collections, and most recommended for literary awards from across his career.

An Interview with Michael

More Books by Michael

Meet Michael

Featured Book

Event Details

Date: Saturday, April 1, 2017

Time: 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Place: Uniontown Public Library

Event Sponsor

Neubauer’s Flowers

Yum Yum’s Bagel Cafe

Saturday, May 13

4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

John Edward Lawson

"Poetry: As a Writer, As an Editor"

John Edward Lawson is an author, editor and poet living in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC. He is the author of 16 books of fiction and poetry, and numerous chapbooks. Over 500 of his poems, stories, and articles have been published in magazines, anthologies, literary journals, and newspapers worldwide. In addition to being a founder of Raw Dog Screaming Press and former editor-in-chief of The Dream People, John currently serves as vice president of Diverse Writers and Artists of Speculative Fiction.

For the Author Series, John will share what it’s like to be on both sides of the verse, having begun his career as a poet with a penchant for dark issues and become an editor of poetry with the acclaimed Raw Dog Screaming Press.

John's Book: SuiPsalms

ABOUT THE BOOK: SuiPsalms is the follow-up to Lawson’s first, acclaimed poetry collection, The Troublesome Amputee. Exploring the subject of suicide from all angles, this collection challenges preconceived notions of both poetry and suicide. Drawing on influences from Sylvia Plath to Ian Curtis this book is never quite what you expect.

An Interview with John

More Books by John

Meet John

Featured Book

Event Details

Date: Saturday, May 13, 2017

Time: 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Place: Uniontown Public Library

Tickets are now available at the Library’s main desk.

Event Sponsors

Heidi Ruby Miller
Jason Jack Miller

Saturday, June 17

4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Larry Ivkovich

"Short Stories: Contests and Anthologies"

Larry Ivkovich’s genre fiction has been published in over twenty online and print markets. He was a finalist in the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future contest, and in 2010, he was the recipient of the CZP/Rannu Fund award for fiction.

His published novels include the urban fantasies The Sixth Precept and its sequel Warriors of the Light from IFWG Publishing. His fantasy novel, Blood of the Daxas, is from Assent Publishing. He has also self-published two novellas, Reunion at Olan and The Final Lesson. He is a member of the Mindful Writers North and East, as well as the statewide group Pennwriters and of Parsec, the premier Pittsburgh science fiction and fantasy organization.

For the Author Series, Larry will discuss the importance of “getting your work out there” in alternative ways. He’ll share what is valuable about submitting to print and online magazine markets, as well as using “themed” contests and anthologies as a challenge to spark your creativity.

Larry's Book: Warriors of the Light

ABOUT THE BOOK: After returning from her time-traveling adventures in 16th Century Japan, Kim Yoshima finds adjusting to her old life isn’t as easy as she thought it would be. Neither is it for her friends, Shioko Yoshima, Jackson Yamaguchi, and Wayne Brewster.

All suffer trauma of varying degrees, struggling to adapt and reconcile the past and present, and what role they now have in the world. But all is not well in the multiverse either. Not every mythological creature torn out of time-and-place by the Spirit Winds was sent back to its own realm. Some still exist in our world and hunger to go home.

To do so, they need Kim Yoshima’s esper powers and will strive to harness them any way they can, even if it means Kim’s death. And if that isn’t enough, an old enemy of Kim’s makes a startling return.

An Interview with Larry

Coming Soon!

More Books by Larry

Meet Larry

Featured Book

Event Details

Date: Saturday, June 17, 2017

Time: 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Place: Uniontown Public Library

Event Sponsor

Carrie Gessner