Ginger Griffin Wakem’s writing career up until now has been in the world of business and non-fiction filled with product and marketing materials, website content, magazine articles, company manuals and a successful book on City and Well Water printed in English and Spanish that’s in its third printing with over 6,000 copies out.
Her debut novel, TRUST NO ONE, PROMISE NOTHING (91K words) is a story with crime/thriller elements, a sense of humor, and a romantic subplot, inspired by real mafia families and well-known Florida criminals—about a man with a dark past, two careers (one legitimate and one illegitimate), three families (one being the mafia), and the woman who exposes him. The book has cinematic appeal, and it’s both plot- and character-driven, exploring the long-lasting effects of childhood experiences: how they shape us—for better or worse—and our ability to change. This novel appeals to both adult men and women readers who prefer mystery, crime, suspense, and action thrillers containing a bit of psychology, some religion, and swirls of romance.
Ginger is a well-known landscape photographer and has created several photo books. Over a period of twenty plus years she documented the lifestyle of a sixteen-acre island located at Mile Marker 63 in the Florida Keys. The scenes from her photography book, Conch Key, can be found on her photography website at ggwakem.photos. Dedicated to family, she takes the viewer on a day’s walk about the small island, returning at cocktail hour to witness its glorious sunset.
In Griffin’s Story Ginger documented her son’s journey with Tourette’s Syndrome, spoke at the TSA national convention on Alternative Therapies and was interviewed by the BBC Discovery Health Channel, for their 2001 Medical Mysteries documentary series. The book Tics and Tourette’s, Breakthrough Discoveries in Natural Treatments by author Sheila Rogers was dedicated to Ginger and her son, Griffin for Ginger’s pioneering efforts that inspired Ms. Rogers to create the Association for Comprehensive Neuro Therapy resulting in the Latitudes website.
When Ginger and her husband were offered the part of the “Nosy Neighbors” in the 2020 movie, Marcus, they jumped at the chance. Pictures can be found on her website, www.ggwakem.com and Facebook page. Marcus has gone on to win 16 awards and was nominated for 8 more.
Theresa Corbley Siller has been a teacher in public schools and dance studios for 35 years. She has been published in two national magazines, Dance Studio Life and Guideposts. Her creative non-fiction essay, “Another Get-Together?” will be in The Magnolia Review Literary Journal, July 2021. Theresa has written articles for The Fairfax County Times and The Chambersburg Public Opinion, and her column, “Rising Stars,” appeared in the Cape Coral Daily Breeze Newspaper.
Theresa published From Torment to Triumph, A Story of Hope, in 2013, about her husband’s struggle with obesity, and the miracle of how he lost over 105 pounds and ran The Marine Corps Marathon on two titanium hips! She then published a story about Forgiveness, in 2019. Meredith’s Triumph, and What Happened at Soaring High Dance Academy? God Happened., were just released on Amazon, in 2021. Currently she is working on a new adult novel about standing up for yourself, and a children’s book about empathy, featuring Southwest Florida Wildlife and How They Feel. Theresa is grateful to God for her husband, Dan, their son-in-law Jesse, and their daughters, Michelle, Caroline and Christyanne.
Dan, Theresa’s husband, was the inspiration for two of her books. Dan was obese and miserable for decades. His bloodwork made his doctors howl. His triglycerides were 1600 (normal is 160). He had already had one heart attack. Finally, things would change. Theresa spotted a book, Overeaters Anonymous, and brought it home to her husband. The personal stories within resonated completely with Dan, and he began the journey that would change his life. He attended meetings and found a sponsor. The spiritual piece was what had been missing in all of the diets he tried and failed. Today with God’s help, Theresa’s husband is accountable about his calories in and exercise out, and has kept the weight off for 10 years. Nothing is impossible with God!
Claudia Volkman has more than thirty-five years of experience in acquisitions, product development, editing, and typesetting, and has worked full-time for several trade publishing houses. Now, as the owner of Creative Editorial Solutions, she assists publishers, authors, entrepreneurs, and speakers with their editorial needs. A Chicago native, Claudia and her husband reside in Southwest Florida with their two charming Corgis.
Claudia Volkman Resume
Joanne Hughson, the author of the Idlebury Series and Shattered Series, grew up in the Washington, D.C. area. While dabbling in writing books, she toiled through two careers, one as an advertising copywriter/creative director and the other as a mental health therapist. She hopes her third career as an author brings enjoyment to many and that her readers have as much fun reading her books as she had writing them.
Coming in 2022
Prudence: Idlebury Series Book 3: Pure Evil
Shattered Dreams (Book 2)
Lifelong musician, now a full-time writer recently relocated from Grand Blanc, MI. Retired last year from a job servicing medical imaging equipment.
I started my writing career in journalism as a reporter, producer, and news anchor at KQ2 News. I worked there for three years before joining the WBTW news team in Myrtle Beach, SC, as a digital reporter and producer. My portfolio includes several published features, investigative, and breaking news stories for multiple online news channels. I now work as a copywriter for a digital marketing agency in Fort Myers. However, I’m also in the beginning stages of writing a first manuscript for my sci-fi/fantasy novel.
Jen Yontz-Orlando, MBA, MLIS
Since birth Jen was constantly switched back and forth between farms in rural Ohio and living with her wealthy grandparents in Cali, Colombia.
After many years in the corporate world and a severe health scare, Jen now dedicates her time and energy to writing. She credits the GCWA Critique Group with helping her and says, “Bob, Hunter, and Christie are fantastic writers as well as supportive and knowledge editors. Their support has been invaluable.”
Today she writes memoir about how living in these two extremes forged her identity and values.
Jen’s themes include culture, class, language, family dynamics, education, religion, mental illness, alcoholism, and the transformational power of love.
Currently Jen is working on a podcast series about her life with OneC Productions called Heal Me. That podcast comes out in early September.
Claudia has been writing personal essays and other short pieces since 2010. Her work has appeared in The Lindenwood Review, The Louisiana Review, River Teeth’s Beautiful Things, Hippocampus Magazine, Adelaide Literary Review and others. She has a BA in English and an MS in Finance. She moved to SW Florida from NW South Carolina in February 2021.
Mary Lou Williams, M. Ed., is a retired teacher and a professional storyteller. She holds a masters degree in education from Columbia University and has spent 35 years as an educator of English and mathematics on the secondary level. She has served on the board of the Florida Storytellers Association from 2010 to 2014 and received their Distinguished Service Award for 2014. She has produced local storytelling workshops and storytelling performances featuring national tellers. She is a member of a quartet of storytellers that produce and perform storytelling showcases at the Alliance for the Arts in Fort Myers and at Brambles English Tea Room in Naples. She conducts seminars and storytelling workshops at the Renaissance Academy of Florida Gulf Coast University. She is a member of the Tamiami Tale Tellers of Fort Myers.
Mary Lou’s books
A Nashville native, Mary landed in New York City in 1981 and spent the next 35 years there as a writer of business communications – ads, press releases, speeches, internal publications, etc. – for a variety of luxury goods companies. She left the business world in 2019 after moving to Fort Myers, did a bit of traveling, and during the pandemic of 2020 discovered the joys of writing short fiction. She looks forward to finding collegiality with other writers in GCWA.