Julie Smith is the award-winning author of twenty novels and as many short stories. She’s a former reporter for the New Orleans Times-Picayune and the San Francisco Chronicle, as well as a veteran of her own online writing school, plus an editorial service she founded with two other writers. She’s also taught writing at the University of New Orleans and in numerous private seminars. During her long career as a novelist, she has created four mystery series, including two set in New Orleans where she lives, featuring homicide detective Skip Langdon and poet/P.I. Talba Wallis. In 1991, she won the prestigious Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Novel. Counting all the novels, all the stories in all the anthologies, the odd essay, and a progressive novel or so, her publishers include just about every big publisher– Ballantine, St. Martin’s, Tor, Walker & Company, Knopf, Doubleday, Avon, Harper-Collins, Berkley, Warner, and Oxford University Press– plus some smaller ones, including Akashic Books, Carrol&Graf, Allen &Unwin, Taplinger, and Four Star.
Steve Nilles is a copyeditor and epub marketing consultant by day and a musician by night (and day). She graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Music with a degree in classical piano performance and eventually settled in New York City, where she worked as a barista, a parking attendant, a messenger, a babysitter, and a research assistant to a bioethicist at an all boys’ Orthodox Jewish university. Now a resident New Orleanian, she spends a majority of her time performing her own jazz/punk/barrelhouse music throughout the United States, Europe, and Canada (except from 2009-2010, when she was kicked out of the country). She has directed the musical programs of burlesque shows, sung with Bobby McFerrin in Carnegie Hall, and edited/marketed ebooks ranging in genre from chick lit to a non-fictional tell-all about the world of body-snatching.
Mittie Staininger has always made her living from others’ words on a page: first, by performing them on stage, screen, and television. As the single mother of two, she turned to typing and editing them for engineering companies; then, in her incarnation as a middle school English teacher, to marketing them to teenagers. Here she learned the secret to happiness: if you can survive the first six months of teaching middle school, there is nothing you cannot do. So you might as well teach preschool, because, unlike 14-year-olds, 4-year-olds come to school to have fun. No matter how it shows up, the foundation remains: Words on a page (or a screen). Read them, love them, teach others to read them, share them. She holds valid credentials in Georgia and California in secondary and preschool education, and is certified in Primary Montessori education. She is a 200-hr Registered Yoga Alliance teacher. A native of Savannah, Georgia, she and her husband live in California, with a view of Joshua Tree National Park out their east windows. She is delighted her booksBnimble telecommute qualifies her as a virtual resident of New Orleans, the place of many happy visits over the years.
Born in 1955, Andy has been playing harmonica and singing professionally since 1977. He has recorded 7 LPs, 12 cds and two 45s. These recordings feature mostly Forest’s original songs. After living in Europe for ten years he returned to his home New Orleans in 1991 where he plays in clubs and frequently goes on tour in Europe and Canada. He has played on stage with B.B. King, Bobby Blue Bland, Johnny Shines, Champion Jack DuPree, James Booker and many other greats of the Blues. He has written scores of songs, one novel which was published in 3 languages (Letter From Hell) and paints “outside” art, mostly of blues and jazz singers. Andy’s cd “Real Stories: of love labor and other man-made catastrophies” for Slang Records won “Best Blues Album” of 2007 in the Best of The Beat Awards of New Orleans. He currently lives in New Orleans with his girl friend Karen and his daughter Ella Dora.