APRIL M. WILLIAMS (co-moderator)
After years as a Fortune 50 project and portfolio manager, April M. Williams reinvented herself. She is a speaker, author, coach and president of Cyberlife Tutors. Her Career Clues blog offers career and networking advice. April produced “Ignite Your Passion”, a collection of motivational stories. Find her insider tips to Hawaii at 808Talk and other adventures on her “Where Are You Today?” travel blog. Can’t get enough? Follow April on Twitter.
BRAD MATHIS (co-moderator)
Under the guise of Matt Brauer, Brad is a writer of humorist essays, short stories, sketch comedies, and generally funny stuff. His content focus is on daily living, the workplace, culture, social and philosophical sciences, current events, writing, and cheese. His works have appeared in The Funny Times, he has performed at Notes & Poets events, and maintains a weekly column and podcast at his website www.mattbrauer.com. Trained in writing and improv at The Second City Training Center in Chicago, he also earned a BSEE elsewhere, and uses his non-writing time being an engineer and musician. He resides in the far northwest suburbs of Chicago.
AMY GAIL HANSEN
After earning a BA in English, Amy Gail Hansen taught middle school, high school and community college English before finding her niche as a freelance writer. Her journalism work appears weekly in Pioneer Press of The Sun-Times News Group. She’s the author of hundreds of articles covering Diversions (Arts & Entertainment), News, Community, Food, Business and her own column, Amy’s Algonquin. The Woodstock Independent, McHenry County Woman and McHenry County Living have also published her non-fiction work. Her fiction has appeared in Quality Women’s Fiction, Faith, Hope & Fiction and a forthcoming issue of Motherverse. She’s currently revising a novel. To learn more, visit her blog, http://amygailhansen.wordpress.com.
Lisa Guidarini’s undergraduate degree is in English literature, a fact that says much about her lack of any real direction in life. She is currently pursuing her MS in Library and Information Studies, and will be graduating in December of 2009, bringing her much fame and little fortune. She works part-time as the Adult Program Coordinator for the Algonquin Area Public Library District, which theoretically supports her habit as a book reviewer, blogger, former columnist, and general lover of all things book and writing related. Fortunately for her, her husband makes the real money. Lisa is the mother of three and wife of one, which seems to be working out okay so far. She blogs at Bluestalking.
Nile is a class facilitator for an online college and a stay-at-home dad. His background includes a BFA in Painting and MA in Art Therapy. His current life includes (not in order of importance): an extroverted preschooler, an untrained three-legged dog, Buddhist meditation, a wonderful wife that just might be the best special education teacher in the known universe, a sweet one year old with a rare genetic metabolic disorder called galactosemia, and a new push reel lawn mower. In the midst of all this, he hopes to start writing in earnest.
Jessica is living the ultimate adventure as the single mother of two teenage boys. She is very proud of her XBox 360 gamer tag (the MOM) and her 435 gamer tag points. Alas, her writing output has declined, but the universe is safe! She aspires to the bohemian life but as yet is only a Babieboheme. If you are quick and careful you may see her hard at work during the morning rush at Starbucks.
LISA DAMIAN KIDDER
Lisa Damian Kidder is the author of the nonfiction book Trout Valley, the Hertz Estate, and Curtiss Farm and the voice of the Damian Daily. A former college dean, Lisa now spends her days doing book, film, toy, and other product reviews, writing fiction, serving as a village trustee for the community in which she resides, and working as a freelance journalist. In addition to being the mother of two young daughters and the wife of an international airline pilot, Lisa thrives on travel, loves to scuba dive, and still dances as if she’s on a go-go box stage. Born in L.A., Lisa’s also lived in San Francisco, Orange County, the southern California high desert, the Silicon Valley, Oklahoma City, Miami, Boston, and Chicago. She is currently working on two novels.
Shakuntala Rajagopal, affectionately known as Dr. Shaku, was born in Kerala, South India, and came to the United States in her early twenties. After a long and distinguished career in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, she retired to be an active grandmother, while persuing her passions of writing and painting. Her first novel, RADHA, was published in 2007. She resides with her husband in Algonquin.
RICHARD A. WHITE
Richard is an accomplice of the Algonquin Area Writer’s Group. He was never good with past tense or making words rhyme so he thought he’d give screenwriting a go.
Jen is the proud single mother of a 2 1/2yr old little girl that keeps her moving with gymnastics. Along with working full time, raising a child & going after a dream of some day being published with her one true passion of writing; Jen has also started a blog (www.healthyfreedoms.blogspot.com) in hopes of helping to inspire others to chase after their dreams and not give up. She believes in “Show me dont tell me” and that is what she sets out to do for both her young daughter and anyone else that has a dream.
Carolyn is Chicago born and raised, but left the city in 2001 to become a resident of Huntley. She is a happy mom and grandma who enjoys eBay, reading, crafts, garage sales, and building fun relationships with others. Carolyn has recently discovered the joy of writing, (and loves being a part of the AAWG), sometimes drawing from imagination and other times from personal experiences. Her passion for writing grows deeper each year. She is currently awaiting the publication of her fifth novel, “The Blushing Red File Cabinet.” Life is toooo short to be bored!
Sandra Mytys has been a resident of Algonquin for thirty years. She’s written four screenplays and has made quarter-finalist in the Page International Screenwriting Contest as well as finalist two years in a row in the Shriekfest Screenwriting Contest. Her genre is the paranormal/horror arena. Currently she is working on a novel and an idea for a TV pilot.
Claire received a BA in English from Beloit College in 1989 and a Masters in Human Resource Management from Keller Graduate School of Management in 2004. She is currently an instructional designer and manager for a Fortune 100 company. In her management role, Claire edits the work of others and still participates in creative projects, and is looking for more independent creative outlets away from work.
I’ve been writing and reading for all the time I can find worth remembering. I have also been drawing for all my life as well, eventually becoming a graphic designer by daylight (designing my book covers and website www.ryansherwood.com) and by moonlight, an author and reader. I try to digest every bit of found art and action, working to blend them in my words and into one genre for all the others out there looking for stories that have that needed extra acumen and bite to satisfy. I have spent too long waiting for what I wanted to read, so instead I wrote it. I began my first novel, Hold the Light – a lineage of Reapers and their wayward fates – and found that ten years and two ebook publishers were enough to finally complete it. My second novel, Revenants: Fallen Savior – the beginning of an epic series reinventing the vampire and the soul – began my desire to leave a new and original mark on an old genre. My hopeful delusions of being an author are deep and vast, as all dreams should be, but it is not fame that drives me, not that troublesome sycophant, but just the chance to be read widely, liked or hated. Stories have a life to them and one day, if I’m lucky, mine will speak the now silent tales worth telling.
Gerald’s start as a writer was an English assignment, in his sophomore year, in 1952. He had to finish a 500-word essay or not play in a basketball game (he and his team placed #2 in the state of Ohio). He didn’t get the writer’s message in college, but got a degree in business administration, and worked 30 years self-employed as a profit analysit for over 30 Chicago-area manufacturers. Drafted into the Army in 1959, his battalion commander in Landshut, Germany, convinced him to write a weekly newspaper for 2000 soldiers; circulation was closer to 6000 as the paper also went to families in America. His book Cash Operations Management was published in 1981, and used in 37 universities as supplemental reading for business majors.Gerald retired in 2006, but has since published eleven sports and human interest stories, and a short story in the AAWG’s Tangled Webs compilation. His latest story “The Championship Team” was voted most popular article in 2011 in the Paulding Progress News, Paulding County, Ohio.
Brittany Mainiero is a stay at home mom with a beautiful daughter Skylar and a loving husband Mike. She currently owns her own business called Brittany’s Fitness Club, out of her home, to help people lose weight, gain self esteem, or just live in a healthy home. She also provides massage therapy and house cleaning. She is working on her first erotica\fantasy\suspense novel series and has written a short story titled “My Dracula” for sale on kindle and createspace.com.