PLA 12th National Conference
Authors, Chocolate & Champage sponsored by:
FOLUSA and ReferenceUSA present an evening of authors reading from their works while you enjoy chocolate dessert and champagne. A book signing will follow with some books being given away free and others sold at a generous discount. Participating authors include Charles Baxter, John Coy, Ceridwen Dovey, Leif Enger, Catherine Friend, Chuck Logan, Gary Moore, and Kao Kalia Yang. Tickets are just $20 each!
Advance tickets sales are available online or by phone at (800) 936-5872 through March 25, 2008. Tickets will be available while supplies last at booth 1641 and just prior to the event at the door. Early purchase is recommended.
Charles Baxter, author of The Soul Thief
Charles Baxter is the author of 2000 National Book Award Finalist and bestseller, The Feast of Love. Perhaps best known for his fiction set in middle America, its people and relationships, he is unique in his ability to reveal the extraordinary in the world of ordinary people. His characters have a wide range of obsessions, occupations and dilemmas, which he renders with intelligence and compassion.
Baxter, originally from Minnesota, began his career as a schoolteacher in rural Michigan, moonlighting as a poet. He was published for the first time in 1974, and not long after, tried his hand at writing fiction and completed three novels-none of which were published. Realizing that he didn't know how to write fiction, he began writing short stories to cultivate his art. "It was a long apprenticeship," he says. Baxter's first book of stories, Harmony of the World, was published in 1984, and since then he has had seven additional works of fiction published, including three novelsand three collections of short stories. His latest novel, The Soul Thief, will be published in spring 2008. Photo Credit: Keri Pickett
John Coy, author of Crackback
John Coy is an award-winning author, who worked as a dishwasher, mattress maker, and tour guide before taking up writing. He's active in sports and is a member of the NBA Reading All-Star Team as part of the Read to Achieve program. John has traveled to all fifty states as well as to many countries internationally.
His work includes Strong to the Hoop, an American Library Association Notable Book, Night Driving, a Marion Vannett Ridgway Memorial Award winner and a Horn Book Fanfare title; Two Old Potatoes and Me, a Charlotte Zolotow Honor Book, a Nickelodeon Jr.'s Best Books of the Year, and a featured book on PBS Reading Rainbow; and Vroomaloom Zoom, a book of excellence on the Children's Literature Choice List. His newest picture book Around the World is about international basketball.
John's latest title is Crackback, a young adult novel that reveals the high stakes world of high school football as a young player finds himself in a difficult situation. John's experience as a defensive back on his high school football team brings an authentic voice to which readers will be able to relate. "As a boy I loved playing football in the back yard and later in organized games," says John. "Football was the one place where smashing into people was not only okay, it was rewarded."
Ceridwen Dovey, author of Blood Kin
Ceridwen Dovey grew up in South Africa and Australia before coming to the United States to attend Harvard on scholarship as an undergraduate. She graduated in 2003 with a BA in Anthropology and Visual & Environmental Studies (Film). As part of her Honors thesis, she made a documentary, "Aftertaste," about changing wine farm labor relations in post-apartheid South Africa which is distributed by John Marshall's Documentary Educational Resources and has been shown at ethnographic film festivals around the world.
After a year working as a researcher for "NOW with Bill Moyers" in New York, she moved to Cape Town for two years where she wrote her first novel, Blood Kin, which is being published in eleven countries to date. Her stories "Vasbyt" and "Coma Karma" were selected for the 2006 anthology African Road: New Writing for Southern Africa, judged by J.M. Coetzee. She is now a PhD candidate in Social Anthropology at New York University and plans to focus her research on the politics of climate change adaptation. She hopes one day to settle in Sydney. Photo Credit: Jerry Bauer
Leif Enger, author of So Brave, Young, and Handsome
Winner of the Book Sense Book of the Year and one of Time's top-five novels of 2001, Leif Enger's best seller Peace Like a River captured readers' hearts around the nation. His new novel is a stunning successor-a touching, nimble, and rugged story of an aging train robber on a quest to reconcile the claims of love and judgment on his life, and the failed writer who goes with him.
With its smooth mix of romanticism and gritty reality, So Brave, Young, and Handsome often recalls the old West's greatest cowboy stories. But it is also about an ordinary man's determination as he risks everything in order to understand what it's all worth, and follows an unlikely dream in the hope that it will lead him back home.
Leif Enger was raised in Osakis, Minnesota, and worked as a reporter and producer for Minnesota Public Radio for nearly twenty years. He lives on a farm in Minnesota with his wife and two sons. Photo Credit: Robin Enger
Catherine Friend, author of The Compassionate Carnivore
Catherine Friend farms in Minnesota with her partner of twenty-three years. The author of six children's books, one nonfiction book for adults, and two romantic adventure novels for adults due out in 2007, Catherine would rather write than wrangle sheep, but is proud she can do both. She shares her life with between fifty and one hundred sheep, three llamas, two dogs, two cats, and lots of ducks and chickens. Learn more about her farm at www.risingmoonfarm.com.
She has a B.A. in Economics and Spanish, and a M.S. in Economics, neither of which she has used for years. She has held an impressive array of odd jobs, such as working in bookstores, packing cheese and sausage gift boxes, weeding on an organic vegetable farm, and working an assembly line packing boxes of Christmas decorations. For many years she taught writing for the Institute of Children's Literature, then worked as a freelance editor. She currently gives writing workshops, volunteers on the local library board, does chores on the farm, is afraid of geese, and wears an Elvis watch. Photo Credit: Olive Juice Studios
Chuck Logan, author of South of Shiloh
Chuck Logan has proven himself to be a formidable expert when it comes to thrillers, but South of Shiloh is his most ambitious and fast-paced story yet -- a chilling account of a nameless sniper who targets participants in popular Civil War battle reenactments. Chuck Logan is the author of five novels featuring former Minnesota undercover copy Phil Broker -- After the Rain, Vapor Trail, Absolute Zero, The Big Law, and The Price of Blood. He lives in Stillwater, MN, with his wife and daughter. Photo Credit: Jean Pieri
Gary Moore, author of Playing with the Enemy: A Baseball Prodigy, a World at War, and the Long Journey Home
Gary W. Moore is a successful entrepreneur and business executive, exciting speaker and sales trainer, musician and author. Dedicated to success through creativity, coupled with hard work, Gary is a diverse, multitalented professional with boundless energy. As President & Managing Partner of Covenant Air & Water, LLC, Gary heads the operation and expansion of a fast-growing and exciting international business, providing solutions to almost all water problems, large or small.
Gary also was co-founder, with swimming world record holder and three-time Olympian Tom Jager, of Championship Dynamics, LLC, a business which provided motivational speaking and sales training to corporations and organizations worldwide. Gary has been featured in publications such as Entrepreneur Magazine, Selling Power Magazine, Sales and Marketing Management Magazine, Impromptu Magazine and Southwest Airlines' Spirit Magazine, and was named the 1995 Bradley-Bourbonnais Chamber of Commerce Businessperson of the Year. In 1996, Gary was awarded the prestigious Sam Walton Leadership Award. Gary is a graduate of VanderCook College of Music (BMEd 1976).
Gary is married to his wife of thirty years, Arlene. Gary and Arlene have three children Toby, Tara Beth and Travis, and reside at their home, FoxMoore Farms, in Bourbonnais, Illinois. Gary and Arlene attend College Church of the Nazarene. Photo Credit: "Bold Expressions," Jennifer Lovell
Kao Kalia Yang, author of The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir
Born in Thailandís Ban Vinai Refugee Camp in 1980, Kao Kalia Yang immigrated to Minnesota with her family when she was six years old. Together with her sister, Yang is the founder of Words Wanted, a company dedicated to helping immigrants with writing, translating, and business services. A graduate of Carleton College and Columbia University, Yang has recently released The Place Where We Were Born, a film documenting the experiences of Hmong American refugees. Her first book, The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir, will be published by Coffee House Press in April 2008. Photo Credit: Der Yang
Tickets are $20 in advance, at booth 1641 during the PLA Conference or just prior to the event at the door while supplies last. Early purchase is recommended. Advance tickets sales are available online or by phone at (800) 936-5872 through March 25, 2008.