We are pleased to have the following speakers attending our conference.
New York Times, Washington Post & USA Today bestseller Sarah MacLean is the author of historical romance novels that have been translated into more than twenty languages, and winner of back-to-back RITA Awards for best historical romance from the Romance Writers of America.
Sarah is a leading advocate for the romance genre, speaking widely on its place at the nexus of gender and cultural studies. She is the author of a monthly column celebrating the best of the genre for the Washington Post. Her work in support of romance and the women who read it earned her a place on Jezebel.com’s Sheroes list of 2014 and led Entertainment Weekly to call her “gracefully furious.” A graduate of Smith College & Harvard University, Sarah now lives in New York City with her husband and daughter.
New York Times bestselling author Virginia Kantra has written over twenty-five books of contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and paranormal romance. Her deeply emotional stories have won numerous writing awards, including Romance Writers of America’s RITA Award and two National Readers’ Choice Awards. Married to her college sweetheart and the mother of three, she is a firm believer in the strength of family, the importance of storytelling, and the power of love.
Christie Craig, a New York Times Bestseller, is an Alabama native, a multi-published writer, motivational speaker, and writing teacher. Her romance fiction is widely acclaimed for combining witty humor and heart-felt emotions with a suspenseful, sexy tone. She currently hangs her hat in Texas and writes for Grand Central/Forever. Her backlist titles are available wherever e-books are sold.
In addition, Craig writes romance-flavored non-fiction with Faye Hughes, including The Everything Guide To Writing A Romance Novel and Wild, Wicked and Wanton: 101 Ways to Love Like You Are in a Romance Novel, a humorous self-help relationship book. You can learn more about Christie’s books with Faye at www.WritewithUs.net.
Craig also writes the New York Times and USA Today best-selling young adult paranormal romance series, Shadow Falls, published by St. Martin’s Press/Griffin under her pen name C.C. Hunter. You can learn more about C.C.’s books at her website, www.CCHunterBooks.com.
Jessica has immersed herself in books and literature from the time she could first read. While in college, she started an indie review blog that has featured author interviews and reviewed several self-published books that eventually ended up on the New York Times Best Seller list.
Jessica is always on the hunt for new and diverse voices, and is most interested in all genres of romance. For historical romance, she favors settings in America, Scotland, or somewhere outside of the traditional Regency setting. In the contemporary sphere, she loves novels with strong characters that jump off of the page and stay with you long after you have finished the book. In paranormal romance, she is looking for anything unusual and unique, vampires need not apply. In regards to romantic suspense, it takes something different and edgy to capture her attention, and she greatly enjoys anything Kristen Ashely has written in this genre. She also loves Women’s Fiction that concerns itself with elements of life that can greatly change one’s perspective and outlook on cultures and experiences.
On the YA side, Jessica is looking for just about anything that aligns itself with fantasy, sci-fi, contemporary, lgbtq reads, #ownvoices, and of course a bit of romance thrown in is never a bad thing in her opinion.
She is also interested in author illustrated picture books that capture the fun and joy of reading between adults and children.
Please note that Jessica is specifically not interested in: middle grade, non-fiction, memoir, cookbooks, poetry, short stories, screenplays, self-help, or religious/spiritual books.
Nalini Akolekar joined Spencerhill Associates after a lengthy editorial career and several years in advertising sales. Agenting has provided the perfect opportunity to combine her editorial instincts with her sales, marketing, and business experience.
Nalini currently represents several bestselling authors, and has placed books with a wide range of publishers, from the Big Five to Amazon, Harlequin, indies and E-first. Nalini specializes in romance and women’s fiction in the adult market, but she also loves thrillers.
Kathryn Lye is editor of Harlequin Heartwarming and guest editor for several other Harlequin series. During her eighteen years at the company, she’s had the great fortune to acquire and work with many talented, award-winning authors. Previous to joining Harlequin in 1997, she developed her editorial skills in a number of roles with educational publisher Thomas Nelson Canada. Kathryn holds a B.A. in history and philosophy from the University of Toronto–Trinity College and completed the Publishing program at Ryerson University. An obsessive soccer fan, Kathryn never misses watching a Liverpool FC match, and has joined the board of the Toronto supporters’ club. Kathryn is interested in seeing original stories with touching romances that highlight the core themes of home and family.
Norma Perez-Herenandez is an acquiring editorial assistant at Kensington Publishing Corp. She has worked on a variety of projects, including fiction, romance, mysteries, thrillers, and non-fiction. A New York City native, Norma studied English literature at the Macaulay Honors College at The City College of New York and is a graduate of the Publishing Certificate Program at City College. She is thrilled to build a list with diverse authors and books. Find her on Twitter at @normajeanesays.
Norma is interested in romance, young adult, mysteries, women’s fiction, and nonfiction.