In Person Presenters
CARA BLACK is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of 20 books in the Private Investigator Aimée Leduc series, which is set in Paris. Cara has received multiple nominations for the Anthony and Macavity Awards, a Washington Post Book World Book of the Year citation, the Médaille de la Ville de Paris—the Paris City Medal, which is awarded in recognition of contribution to international culture—and invitations to be the Guest of Honor at conferences such as the Paris Polar Crime Festival and Left Coast Crime. With more than 400,000 books in print, the Aimée Leduc series has been translated into German, Norwegian, Japanese, French, Spanish, Italian, and Hebrew. She will be presenting on SETTING AND SENSE OF PLACE.
CLAIRE BOOTH is a former newspaper reporter who has worked in Missouri, Washington, D.C., South Florida, the Seattle area, and the Bay Area. She’s reported on many high-profile stories, including the Laci Peterson murder and the San Francisco dog mauling. The case of a deadly cult leader became the subject of her nonfiction book, The False Prophet: Conspiracy, Extortion and Murder in the Name of God. After spending that much time covering crimes so strange and convoluted they seemed more fiction than reality, she had enough of the real world and decided to write novels instead. Her Sheriff Hank Worth mysteries take place in Branson, Missouri, where small-town Ozark politics and big-city country music tourism clash in – yes – strange and convoluted ways. She will be presenting on TRUE AND FALSE: HOW TO RIP TRUE STORIES FROM THE HEADLINES AND TURN THEM INTO GREAT FICTION.
KRIS CALVIN is a single mom of three and a former elected official who now writes mysteries and thrillers full-time. Her first book, One Murder More, a traditional mystery set in modern times, was awarded Silver Falchions for Best First Novel, Best Female PI/Sleuth and Best Political Thriller. Kris's new series from Crooked Lane Books features Emma Lawson, an ethics investigator, and Detective Alibi Morning Sun, who together track down corruption and killers in California's capital of Sacramento. (Note: no harm comes to children in any of Kris's books—she can't handle that.) Having been published with and without an agent, by traditional and hybrid publishers, and independently, Kris looks forward to sharing with Killer Workshop attendees her concrete tips on how to finish writing a first novel and options for finding it the right publishing home. Educated in forensics psychology and economics at Stanford and U.C. Berkeley, Kris is a member of the Capitol Crimes Chapter and National Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers and Mystery Writers of America. She will be presenting on YOUR FIRST NOVEL: HOW TO FINISH WRITING IT & SELL IT WHEN YOU DO.
QUAN HUYNH has been described as a mighty warrior, a magician, and a mountain of goodness. He is the bestselling author of Sparrow in the Razor Wire: Finding Freedom from Within While Serving a Life Sentence. His book was written for men that are doing long or life term sentences, and in it, he shares how he found his freedom years before he was even paroled. He works as the Executive Director for Defy Ventures in Southern California, a non profit whose mission is to shift mindsets to give people with criminal histories their best shot at a second chance through career readiness, personal development, and entrepreneurship training programs. After spending twenty-two years in and out of correctional institutions, Quan was paroled from a life sentence in 2015 and created his first company six months later. The following year, he received the Peace Fellowship Award for his work with the Alternatives to Violence Project. Quan has been featured in Entrepreneur, PBS Newshour, Talks at Google, and numerous other publications and podcasts. He is presenting with JAMES L'ETOILE on BOTH SIDES OF THE PRISON DOOR.
Award winning clinician and writer ELLEN KIRSCHMAN has been a police psychologist for 40 years. She is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the American Psychological Association, Sisters-in-Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and the Public Safety Writers Association. She writes the Dot Meyerhoff mystery series, told from the perspective of police psychologist, Dr. Dot Meyerhoff. Ellen is also the author of I Love a Cop: What Police Families Need to Know, I Love a Fire Fighter: What the Family Needs to Know, and lead author of Counseling Cops: What Clinicians Need to Know. She lives in Redwood City, California with her photographer husband. Ellen blogs with Psychology Today and writes an occasional newsletter. You can sign up at her website, www.ellenkirschman.com. She will be presenting on PTSD FOR WRITERS: LOOSE THE FLASHBACKS - PLEASE.
JAMES L'ETOILE uses his twenty-nine years behind bars as an influence in his novels, short stories, and screenplays. He is a former associate warden in a maximum-security prison, a hostage negotiator, facility captain, and director of California’s state parole system. He is a nationally recognized expert witness on prison and jail operations. He has been nominated for the Silver Falchion for Best Procedural Mystery, and The Bill Crider Award for short fiction. His published novels include: At What Cost, Bury the Past, Little River -The Other Side of Paradise, and Black Label. Look for Dead Drop in the summer of 2022 from Level Best Books. You can find out more at www.jamesletoile.com. He is presenting with QUAN HUYNH on BOTH SIDES OF THE PRISON DOOR.
RYAN NICKEL is a criminalist with over 20 years of experience in forensic science. He currently works for the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office, Laboratory of Forensic Services and is an expert in DNA analysis, biological fluid screening and identification, paternity testing, bloodstain pattern interpretation, and crime scene processing and reconstruction. Mr. Nickel began his career with the California Department of Justice (DOJ), Bureau of Forensic Services working in the state’s DNA databank and Missing Persons programs. He stays current with modern forensic science technologies and literature and is constantly looking for ways to improve the crime labs capabilities to assist with criminal cases and ultimately seek the truth. Aside from his passion for forensic science, Mr. Nickel enjoys the outdoors, is a competitive distance runner, has a peculiar passion for bicycles, and aspires to visit all 61 National Parks in his lifetime. So far, he’s experienced 14 with Zion National Park being his favorite. He will be presenting on FORENSIC DNA ANALYSIS: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW (AND MAYBE DON'T WANT TO KNOW).
KAREN PHILLIPS of Phillips Covers is a graphic designer passionate about book covers with a degree in Applied Art & Design from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. She has worked freelance for many small publishers including Poisoned Pen Press, Blue River Press, and Entangled. She enjoys creating covers for all genres—especially cozy, mystery and crime fiction. She will be presenting on COVER DESIGN: PRESENTATION IS EVERYTHING.
EILEEN RENDAHL is a national-bestselling award-winning author of mystery, thriller, urban fantasy, romantic comedy, and romantic suspense. She has also written as Kristi Abbott, Lillian Bell, and Eileen Carr. If you think you’re confused, imagine what it’s like inside her head. She has had many jobs and lived in many cities and feels unbelievably lucky to be where she is now and to be doing what she's doing. She will be presenting on GHOSTWRITING: NOW YOU SEE ME, NOW YOU DON'T.
Sacramento County District Attorney ANNE MARIE SCHUBERT is a career prosecutor with 31 years of law enforcement experience. As a Sacramento County prosecutor, she has sent some of the area’s most notorious and dangerous criminals – murderers, rapists and child molesters – to state prison. One of Anne Marie’s passions is the pursuit of justice through DNA evidence and cold case prosecution. She formed the Cold Case Prosecution Unit in 2002, and served as its first prosecutor. Today, she is a nationally recognized forensic DNA expert. Anne Marie has also created innovative community programs focused on helping children by combatting truancy, and honoring citizens who have helped to serve justice with the development of the Annual Outstanding Citizen Awards Ceremony. During her career as a prosecutor, Anne Marie has been recognized by her peers with the Prosecutor of the Year Award and the POST ICI Instructor of the Year Award. Anne Marie was elected Sacramento County's District Attorney in 2014. Since taking office in 2015, she has been committed to working both in the courtroom and in the community to provide the highest level of public safety through prosecution, prevention and innovation. She will be presenting virtually on THE POWER OF INVESTIGATIVE GENETIC GENEALOGY TO SOLVE VIOLENT CRIME.
USA Today bestselling author SIMON WOOD is a California transplant from England. He's a former competitive racecar driver, a licensed pilot, an endurance cyclist, an animal rescuer, and an occasional PI. He shares his world with his American wife, Julie. Their lives are dominated by a longhaired dachshund and six cats. He's the Anthony Award winning author of The One That Got Away, Paying the Piper, Terminated, Deceptive Practices and the Aidy Westlake series. He’s a regular contributor to Writer’s Digest and other writing magazines. He also writes horror under the pen name of Simon Janus. He will be presenting on CUT IT SHORT, WRITING COMPELLING SHORT STORIES.