Irene “Susie” Smith
I have always been a take-charge person, sometimes not by choice. And at times, I reach for things that seem unattainable. For example, completing Angel of Tears seemed impossible in the beginning, but thanks to the friendship and support of many members of the Gulf Coast Writers Association (GCWA), I have gained the confidence to achieve whatever I want, including writing my second novel. Who knew writing the second book would be more challenging than the first? Maybe it is even better.
For the past four years, I have been the GCWA Membership Chair. This experience has allowed me to meet and work with many wonderfully talented people. And it reminds me of one thing that I know to be true: I will never retire. Age is a state-of-mind, and mine is young!
Cheryl Abney writes wholesome, Christian, middle-grade, historical fiction and lives in the Florida Glades setting of her Belle of the Glades series. She has taught high school and counseled both middle and elementary students during her 31 years in the field of education. Her professional memberships include: National Education Association (NEA, FEA), American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), Florida Writers Association (FWA), Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), as well as the Gulf Coast Writters Association (GCWA).
She invites you to visit her website at www.BelleoftheGlades.com.
Or her author central page at www.amazon.com/author/cherylabney
Angelina is from a small town in Massachusetts. She moved to Florida to attend college and decided to make Florida her permanent home. She is the author of two books. Her debut novel is called “The Lottery Heiress” and follows a young woman who inherits $300 million dollars. It is set in Fort Myers Beach and is a romantic comedy. Her most recent novel won a FAPA (Florida Authors and Publishers Association) President’s Award in the Humor category. This book is called “Mark Taylor’s Checkered Past” and is about a movie star making a movie in Miami, where he seems to attract trouble. Some of the scenes were set in Naples, FL where he went to rehab. Angelina was allowed to do the research for this book at Hazelden-Betty Ford.
Visit her website at: http://thelotteryheiress.com
Karen Auriti (aka Kerryn Reid) grew up the daughter of a professor in a New England college town. But she inherited her mother’s passion for the British Isles. After high school, she traveled around the British Isles with her best friend. Inevitably, they fell in love with a couple of Irish lads – oh, those gorgeous accents! Roaming the Rock of Cashel in the dark with your first love? Totally illicit, totally romantic!
Her love for the man didn’t last. But a piece of Karen’s heart still lives in the old country, and when the itch to write needed scratching, that’s where her imagination took her. She’s lived in Florida long enough to feel like a native, with her children, her dogs, and the love of her life. He’ll never have an Irish accent, but he’s amazing!
Visit her website at http://kerrynreid.com
Lisa Batch, aka Lisa Manning Batchelder, is a transplant from Boston via NYC and Montauk, NY. She is a children’s author and published her first two books in November, 2014. She also produced a CD of her original music and a narration of one of her books. In her former life, Lisa was an entertainer, working for Richard Rodgers on Broadway. She traveled the world as a headliner on the Queen Elizabeth (QE2) as well as a dozen other ships, and still enjoys singing and traveling. Lisa started a critique group in Estero in 2014 and is actively seeking dedicated children’s writers. She also occasionally seeks women to share a room at a conference (SCBWI and FWA) or a writer to share a table at a fair.
Visit her website at: www.lisabatch.com
Jeannette M. Batko teaches creative writing for seniors in Fort Myers, Florida. Her friends tease that perhaps four activities a day might be adequate. She enjoys playing cards, handwriting analysis, spiritual classes, writing, sketching, painting, fabric art, and playing the piano. Her lifelong passion is reading varied genres from the comic strip to esoteric studies and everything in between. Retired from a real estate career in Friendship, WI, she has happily discovered a Florida State of mind. The matriarch of a multi-generational family, she knows that the best expressions of all are love and laughter.
As a young girl, Karen had a strong desire to put words on paper. She enlisted the help of her younger brothers to deliver a neatly hand-written newspaper throughout their Detroit neighborhood, Rosedale Park. This went on for several weeks until her mother lowered the boom after a number of phone calls questioning the goings on in their home.
Years passed with Karen devouring book after book in the local library until one day she decided to try her hand writing historical fiction. After graduating from Northwood University, she married and spent the next years in the woodlands of Northern Michigan relishing the beauty of the Au Sable River.
In spite of, or because of, her growing family, she pounded out stories on a Royal Portable typewriter that bounced merrily across the desktop. The lusty voices of children in the background increased her fervor to lose oneself in another world.
Somewhere between diapering her first child and kissing the sixth off to college, she managed to resurrect what little she remembered about writing from the Dominican Nuns in the Detroit, Michigan parochial system. They had attempted to teach her how to diagram a sentence. Armed with this knowledge and her love of Jane Austen and Kathleen Woodiwiss’ memorable tales, Karen eventually swapped out the Royal for a thirty-pound Olympic that stayed put when typing.
Her love of research, history, and tales of convoluted lives adds spice to an already rich and rewarding family life. She weaves all this against the backdrop of a by-gone era and tosses in plenty of problems to solve. Her novels involve young women blundering through the social constraints of the 18th and 19th Centuries.
Karen is published in numerous anthologies in Michigan and Florida with mainstream contemporary short fiction. This past January she signed a three-book contract with Melange books, titled Ladies of Mischief. The first book, Devil’s Grace – Renn Arelia’s Story, launched August 29, 2015. Mission Song – Chenoa’s Story will be out early winter 2015.
Karen joined GCWA in February 2005. She and husband Charlie divide their time between golf courses in both states.
Visit her website at: http://karendeanbenson.com