2023 Speaker Bios
Bob Balmer's work has appeared in various magazines and newspapers. His passion for writing led him to pursue an MFA in fiction, and he continues to hone his craft through workshops, including a recent Improv classes in Portland. During his travels, he visited Red Cloud, Nebraska, where Willa Cather grew up, and was deeply inspired by the experiences that shaped her characters and stories. As a retired teacher, Bob has also led workshops in Oregon, Washington, and California, where he finds joy in connecting with other writers and sharing insights and ideas. Bob's diverse experiences as a writer and traveler make him a unique and valuable resource for anyone looking to learn more about the craft of writing and the art of storytelling.
Andy Becker is a writer, gardener, and lifetime learner, who lives in Western Washington among the cedar trees with his wife Donna and their two dogs, Nova and Splash. Andy was a successful small-town lawyer who found respite from the vicissitudes of fighting for the little guy against insurance companies by gardening, hiking, and camping with his family, and by expanding his spirituality through Judaism. During his early years of gardening, he was often frustrated, beset by rocky soil, hills, and too many slugs and deer. Despite these challenges, Andy has never failed to grow vegetables every spring and summer. His current garden includes a greenhouse, eight raised beds, a thirty-yard vegetable bed, and a forty-yard stretch of raspberry vines. Author of the Spiritual Gardener: Insights from the Jewish Tradition to Help Your Garden Grow, Cracking an Egg, The Kissing Rabbi: Lust, Betrayal, a Community Turned Inside, and The Spiritual Forest: Timeless Jewish Wisdom for a Healthier Planet and a Richer Spiritual Life.
Mary Boone has ridden an elephant, hung out backstage with a boy band, and baked dozens of cricket cookies – all in the interest of research for her books and magazine articles. She’s written dozens of nonfiction books for young readers, ranging from biographies to craft guides. Her most recent titles include BUGS FOR BREAKFAST (Chicago Review Press), PEDAL PUSHER (Henry Holt & Co.) and SCHOOL OF FISH (Albert Whitman). Mary lives in Tacoma with her husband, Mitch, and a very stubborn Airedale Terrier named Ruthie Bader.
Connie Hampton Connally
Connie Hampton Connally is a Tacoma writer. Her historical novel set in communist Hungary, The Songs We Hide, was published by Coffeetown Press in 2018 to excellent reviews, and her dual-timeline novel Fire Music will be released in 2024. Connie has also published newspaper articles and magazine stories. An experienced teacher and editor, she loves interacting with other writers and helping them sharpen their craft. She holds a BA in English from the University of Washington and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Antioch University.
Scott Eagan opened Greyhaus Literary Agency in 2003 with three goals in mind: 1) To remain a small agency focusing only on romance and women’s fiction; 2) To provide educational opportunities for writers in these genres and to make efforts to enhance the romance and women’s fiction genres; and 3) To assist with increasing communication between the professional publishing community and the writers. He earned a bachelor’s in English literature, a master’s in literacy and a master’s in creative writing. Scott is an active member of the Romance Writers of America and still dabbles in writing as a hobby outside of the agency. He is also an instructor with the UCLA Extension Program teaching courses in developmental editing, marketing in publishing, and networking as an agent.
Kathy Guy's love for writing started in childhood, when she began writing poetry and stories. Even as she pursued a career in education, her passion for writing never faded. In fact, during her thirty-five years as an educator, she continued to write and even started working on a novel. To further improve her skills, she joined a writing group, where she found inspiration and support. Currently, Kathy is working on a Historical Fiction novel about her 2nd Great Grandmother, a testament to her dedication to both writing and preserving her family's history.
The result of Wendy Kendall's passion for purses, mystery and romance is the intriguing In Purse-Suit Mysteries published by The Wild Rose Press. Kat Out of the Bag introduces Katherine Watson purse designer/sleuth, soon to be distributed by Harper Collins. As Katherine moves from designer bags to body bags, she's uncovering clues to a murder. The prequel, Purse-Stachio Makes A Splash delves into a chilling cold case. Finalist for Best Romantic Suspense at Killer Nashville, Snow Kiss Cookies To Die For creates a tangle of mystery and love, raising suspicions about a teacher's romantic new sweetheart. A summer read that will keep you on the edge of your beach towel, Cherry Shakes In The Park blends danger, divas, and frothy delights. And ribbons of love run through Wendy's newest book, Heart of Christmas Cookies and Dreams. Wendy enjoys investigating the Pacific Northwest life, and she leaves a trail of her own clues as a blogger, YouTube podcaster, speaker, and syndicated columnist.
Website – WendyWritesBooks.com
Facebook – WendyKendallMysteries
Twitter - @wendywrites1
Instagram – wendyekendall
Tyrean Martinson is a novelist, short story writer, and award-winning poet with a B.A. in Secondary Education and English, who is also a church volunteer, and a writing teacher. She daydreams about flying on griffins or spaceships, and has two daughters, an engineer, and a skydiver. She is an imaginative writer, teacher, and podcaster with over twenty self-published titles, with a small press published novella, and short stories, poetry, and articles published by small presses and traditional publications. She is a fan of speculative fiction, poetry, Shakespeare, and both Star Wars and Star Trek.
Michael Magee is a playwright and poet whose work has been produced and published in the U.S. and the U.K. He has travelled in Morocco, Italy, France, England, Ireland, Austria and Czechoslovakia. His latest collection: Terra Firma: Sacred Ground, Poems 1970-2022 was published by MoonPath Press, How We Move Toward Light in 2018 and Cinders of My Better Angels in 2011. Self Variations: Travels in Greece and Turkey was published in 2022.
His play, A Night in Reading Gaol with Oscar Wilde was produced in Derby, England and in Seattle and Shank's Mare won a Best Actor Award and was made into a movie. He has won a 1st Prize in the Dancing Poetry Contest in San Francisco, a 2nd Prize Editor's Choice award for Proust in the Park from kindofahurricainepress and a Wellberry Prize. He has read at Shakespeare and Co, Paris, on BBC 1 (Poets Corner), lived in Nottingham, England, and was a participant in the Jack Straw Writers Program in Seattle. Michael lives in Tacoma.
Valerie Ihsan, Story Analyst and Book Coach, is the author of You Can’t Dance a Lie: A Memoir of Stepping Into My Truth; The Scent of Apple Tea; and Smell the Blue Sky: Young, Pregnant, and Widowed, winner of a B.R.A.G. Medallion for Top Indie-Published Books. She co-chaired the Eugene Chapter of Willamette Writers for over eight years, diagnoses manuscripts as a Certified Three Story Method Editor, and helps authors write memoirs. She podcasts at the Writer Craft Podcast, loves dogs, and aims to live in Costa Rica and run writing retreats. She lives in Oregon with her husband and three dogs.
Bronwyn Scott writes historical romance for Harlequin, Mills and Boon. She has 65 titles currently in print with them.
Bronwyn's 2018 Novella, Dancing with the Duke's Heir was a RITA finalist and her Christmas novella, Unwrapping his Festive Temptation, was a 2020 Bookseller’s Best finalist. Bronwyn enjoys learning foreign languages, traveling, and history. She does her best brainstorming while walking her two dogs.
She credits Write in the Harbor as the place she got her start.