Throughout 2017, the Uniontown Public Library will showcase the talent of novelists, short story writers, and poets. Twelve writers will participate in our new Author Series, which celebrates the written word in a variety of styles and forms. These free events offer the public the opportunity to meet and support published authors, learn about the craft of writing, and engage with other fans of their favorite genre.
2017 Author Series: July - December
How will the Author Series work?
Each month, a writer will visit the Library to share their experiences as published authors. They will offer a short talk on a subject related to their genre, do a reading from their work, and participate in a question and answer session with the audience. A meet-and-greet and book signing will follow.
These events are free and open to the public — you do not have to be a member of the Uniontown Public Library to attend! Each event will be ticketed, with the free tickets becoming available at the Library’s main desk before each author’s visit. Seats are limited, so we encourage you to get your tickets early.
Refreshments will be offered by sponsoring businesses or by the Library. At each event, attendees will have a chance to win a copy of the author’s featured book in a free raffle!
What authors are attending?
The writers selected for the Author Series represent a wide array of genres, styles, and experiences. To learn more about them, click their names below or scroll down to browse the lineup. Information about the authors appearing later in 2017 will be added to this page soon.
This lineup is subject to change should a conflict arise in the authors’ schedules. Any adjustments to the Author Series schedule will be announced on this page and on the Library’s Facebook page.
Who is organizing the Author Series?
Heidi Ruby Miller is co-director of the 2017 Author Series.
Heidi uses research for her stories as an excuse to roam the globe. Her books include the popular Ambasadora series and the award-winning writing guide Many Genres, One Craft. In between trips, Heidi teaches creative writing at Seton Hill University, where she graduated from their renowned Writing Popular Fiction Graduate Program the same month she appeared on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. She is a member of The Authors Guild, International Thriller Writers, Pennwriters, Littsburgh, PARSEC, and Science Fiction Poetry Association. Follow Heidi’s adventures with her husband, Jason Jack Miller, on their travel and lifestyle channel Small Space, Big Life.
Carrie Gessner is co-director of the 2017 Author Series.
Carrie 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.
Maria Sholtis is the Uniontown Public Library’s event coordinator for the 2017 Author Series.
As curator of the Pennsylvania Room, Maria helps visitors from across the country trace their southwestern Pennsylvania heritage. She received her MFA from the University of Pittsburgh and writes both fantasy and historical fiction, as well as nonfiction on subjects of unusual history and true crime.
Saturday, July 29
4:00 PM – 6:00 PM
USA Today best-selling author Annette Dashofy’s Zoe Chambers mystery series includes Circle of Influence (finalist for the Agatha Award for Best First Novel and the David Award for Best Mystery of 2014), Lost Legacy, Bridges Burned (nominated for the Agatha Award for Best Contemporary Novel of 2015), With a Vengeance, and No Way Home. Her short fiction, including a 2007 Derringer finalist which features the same characters as her novels, has appeared in Mysterical-e, Spinetingler, Fish Tales: the Guppy Anthology, and Lucky Charms: 12 Crime Tales.
When you write mysteries and thrillers that deal with police and paramedic procedures, you better have great resources to interview. Annette will discuss how she consulted with professionals in these areas as she developed her best-selling books.
ABOUT THE BOOK: A relaxing trail ride turns tragic when Paramedic and Deputy Coroner Zoe Chambers discovers the body of a popular county commissioner in her Pennsylvania woods.
Inconsistencies surround the horrible “accident,” but before she can investigate further, she’s pried away by a plea for help from her best friend whose son has been deemed a person of interest in a homicide over a thousand miles away. When he vanishes without a trace, his mother begs Zoe to help clear him and bring him safely home. The task takes Zoe out of her comfort zone in a frantic trip to the desolate canyons and bluffs of New Mexico where she joins forces with the missing boy’s sister and a mysterious young Navajo.
Back at home, Vance Township’s Chief of Police Pete Adams must deal not only with the commissioner’s homicide, but with an influx of meth and a subsequent rash of drug overdoses in his rural community. Bodies keep turning up while suspects keep disappearing. However little else matters when he learns that half a continent away, a brutal killer has Zoe in his sights.
Saturday, August 19
4:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Stephanie M. Wytovich is an instructor by day and a horror writer by night. She is the Poetry Editor for Raw Dog Screaming Press, an adjunct at Western Connecticut State University, and a book reviewer for Nameless Magazine. She is a member of the Science Fiction Poetry Association, an active member of the Horror Writers Association, and a graduate of Seton Hill University’s MFA program for Writing Popular Fiction. Her Bram Stoker Award-nominated poetry collections, Hysteria: A Collection of Madness, Mourning Jewelry, An Exorcism of Angels, and Brothel earned a home with Raw Dog Screaming Press, and her debut novel, The Eighth, is simmering in sin with Dark Regions Press.
Writing in a field dominated by men sometimes makes our voices harder to hear. For the Author Series, Stephanie will share what it’s like to be a woman writing in the horror genre and detail the ins and outs of the market from a female perspective.
ABOUT THE BOOK: The tradition of Victorian mourning jewelry began with Queen Victoria after the death of her husband, Prince Albert. Without photography, mementos of personal remembrance were used to honor the dead so that their loved ones could commemorate their memory and keep their spirits close. Ashes were placed within rings, and necklaces were made out of hair, and the concept of death photography, small portraitures of the deceased, were often encased behind glass. Mourning jewelry became a fashion statement as much as a way to cope with grief, and as their pain evolved over the years, so did their jewelry.
But what about the sadness and the memories that they kept close to them at all times? The death-day visions and the reoccurring nightmares? Wytovich explores the horror that breeds inside of the lockets, the quiet terror that hides in the center of the rings. Her collection shows that mourning isn’t a temporary state of being, but rather a permanent sickness, an encompassing disease. Her women are alive and dead, lovers and ghosts. They live in worlds that we cannot see, but that we can feel at midnight, that we can explore at three A.M.
Wytovich shows us that there are hearts to shadows and pulses beneath the grave. To her, Mourning Jewelry isn’t something that you wear around your neck. It’s not fashion or a trend. It’s something that you carry inside of you, something that no matter how much it screams, that you can just can’t seem to let out.
Saturday, September 16
4:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Albert Wendland teaches at Seton Hill University in its Writing Popular Fiction program. His science-fiction novel, The Man Who Loved Alien Landscapes, was a starred pick-of-the-week by Publisher’s Weekly. He has published a book-length study of science fiction and several articles on SF and writing. He’s also interested in landscape photography, astronomy, film, Romanticism, and the “sublime.”
The sublime (what is overwhelming, indescribable, unknowable, and frightening) is especially strong in science fiction and visual art. For the Author Series, Albert will share examples from both.
ABOUT THE BOOK: What could draw poet, explorer, loner and paranoid Mykol Ranglen away from the relative peace of his private stellar habitat? He has no choice as one by one acquaintances are murdered or disappear altogether. Propelled by ever changing and deepening mysteries Mykol embarks on a planetary adventure to uncover secrets which could make people rich beyond their wildest dreams . . . or tear apart human civilization. The escalating quest takes him through worlds of many dangerous extremes, leading him to confront the deadly alien “fist of thorns,” extinct species refusing to give up their power over the future, and those racing against him to uncover the secrets first. But in the course of his pursuit, he must also face his own secrets. And some of those are even more dangerous.
Date: Saturday, September 16, 2017
Time: 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Place: Uniontown Public Library
Monday, October 23
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Fred Adams, Jr. is a Uniontown native and a lifelong Western Pennsylvania resident. He has spent his adult life teaching people to write, and is now retired from the English Department of Penn State University. Since 2014, he has written fifteen books, twelve of them novels in the “New Pulp” genre. He also continues to work as a singer-songwriter, playing solo and with groups in Southwestern Pennsylvania.
For the Author Series, Fred will share how modern Pulp Fiction derives from Gothic roots. He’ll illustrate how this genre is distinguishing itself as a segment of contemporary literature with its escapist plots, larger than life characters, and extreme scenarios — in other words, fun.
ABOUT THE BOOK: It is 1969; Newark, N.J. Former Green Beret John Slate comes home from Vietnam to live a quiet, peaceful life. His wish is cruelly denied him when he is kidnapped by Michael Monzo, a local gang boss who wants to rule the entire city. To do this he must bring down his rivals.
Monzo recruits an occult practitioner who can turn an ordinary man into a vicious werewolf and then control his actions by the use of a magic amulet. But to carry out this heinous plan, he needs a subject. And so John Slate is snatched and turned into a “Hitwolf.”
But Slate is no one’s puppet and, despite the curse put on him, he will not be controlled. After he manages to escape his master, Slate disappears into the thousands of acres of New Jersey woodlands known as the Pine Barrens. But Monzo has no intentions of losing his pet killing machine. Now the manhunt begins to capture John Slate . . . dead or alive!
Date: Monday, October 23, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Place: Uniontown Public Library
Saturday, November 4
4:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Jason Jack Miller knows it’s silly to hold onto the Bohemian ideals of literature, music, and love above all else. But he doesn’t care. So he writes and teaches in Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction Graduate Program, as well as teaches Earth and Space Science at Uniontown Area High. The fourth book of his award-winning Murder Ballads and Whiskey series titled All Saints is out in November 2017.
A story only works when the writer can convince a reader that it could really happen. But what if that tale involves ghosts, demons, and a character who can never die? For the Author Series, Jason will show us how the power of fiction can take us where no other medium can.
Saturday, December 9
4:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Ohio native Matt Betts is a pop culture junkie—sometimes to levels that are considered unhealthy by the Surgeon General. He grew up on a steady diet of giant monsters, comic books, and horror novels, all of which creep into his own work. Matt’s speculative poetry and short fiction have appeared in a number of anthologies and journals. Matt’s first novel, the steampunk/zombie/alternate history adventure Odd Men Out was a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award for excellence in independent publishing. He is also the author of the urban fantasy novel, Indelible Ink, and the poetry collection Underwater Fistfight.
For the Author Series, Matt will give us the inside scoop on the steampunk genre and its growing presence in science fiction and fantasy.
ABOUT THE BOOK: The Civil War has ended but not because the South surrendered, instead it’s on hold while both sides face a new enemy-the chewers, dead men who’ve come back to life. Cyrus Joseph Spencer didn’t fight in the war and couldn’t care less about the United Nations of America that resulted from it. His main concern is making money and protecting his crew from all manner of danger. But when tragedy strikes he’s forced to take shelter onboard a dirigible piloted by the U.N.’s peace-keeping force. It’s soon apparent that many more dangers are lurking and Cyrus must decide whether to throw in with strangers in a desperate bid to protect the country or cast off on his own.