Local Author Events
Local Author Showcase & Booksale
On 11/18/23, this family-friendly event featured talented writers from Ventura County who have written books on a wide range of topics, from fiction to non-fiction, and everything in between! Attendees had the chance to chat with authors, pick up signed copies of their books, and learned about the writing process. Stay tuned for next year's event!
Meet the Authors
Please click the images below for additional information about the author.
After dedicating herself to working with incarcerated youth and raising three children, Mona Alvarado Frazier is now an author.
She is an active member of the SCBWI, Macondo Writers, as well as a co-founder of LatinxPitch, an annual X event. Mona's second YA novel debuts in December of 2024.
Sara Applebaum was born in Kyrgyzstan in 1942, one of countless children displaced by war, a survivor of the Holocaust, who eventually found her way to America . After a long career in education and retiring from her position as school principal, she became intensely interested in genealogical research.
Her first published work, was “LOST AND FOUND, A Family Memoir”, A search through the cobwebs of memory to uncover dark and deadly secrets that have haunted this “survivor” her whole life long.
Judith Ayn, a retired attorney, resides in Southern California. She is the author of the Cheater's Lake Mystery Series and has also published legal articles, short stories, poems, and various essays, in print and online. In addition, she has edited and reviewed other authors. Ayn is an active member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America and the Cat Writers Association.
Genre: Young Adult Fiction/Sports
Ryan M Blanck went to his first Angels’ game when he was a young child and a love affair was born. He played baseball in school, where he was a decent outfielder, but too afraid of getting hit by the ball (something that happened quite often) to be a good hitter. One of his life’s goals is to visit all 30 Major League stadiums.
Ryan is a husband, father, high school English teacher, LEGO artist, and writer. He lives in SoCal with his wife and two daughters. Two On Two Out is Ryan’s ninth book, and first novel.
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Cristy L. Bowlin is an English professor at Oxnard College and author of The Temple Dancer’s Diary and The Hybrid Magic Chronicles, set in the fantasy realm of the Deravine Commonwealth. She currently lives in Moorpark with her husband, daughter, and pet cat. When she isn’t reading or writing, she is most likely dancing, hiking, or getting invested in (another) TV series.
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Sally Carpenter is native Hoosier now living in Moorpark. She has a Master of Arts in theater, a Master of Divinity and a black belt in tae kwon do. Two of her one-act plays were finalists in a regional college theater competition. Her book "The Baffled Beatlemaniac Caper." was a finalist for a 2012 Eureka! Award for best first mystery novel.
She's written six books in the Sandy Fairfax Teen Idol cozy mystery series and two books in The Psychedelic Spy series, set in 1967. She has short stories published in three anthologies. She's currently writing a science fiction mystery novel. Her favorite job was working as a page/tour guide at Paramount Studios.
Genre: Young Adult
Dorothy Deene has lived most of her life in the L.A. area and is no stranger to the entertainment world. She spent a number of years writing and directing plays and writing narrative stories for her weekly column at the Gazette. It wasn’t until her daughter landed a spot on a reality show at CBS Studios that centered around a group of talented teens and their parents, did Deene find the inspiration to write her debut novel, The Gravity of Lies.
Colleen Delaney spent her childhood interested in history, stories, and special places as she moved around the United States. She is currently an archaeology professor at CSU Channel Islands
Diane Du Bois
Hollywood: Historical to Hysterical chronicles Diane Du Bois' life during the Golden Age of Hollywood. Go behind the scenes, to meet the celebrities you know as they were then. Diane's story begins with her family’s flight from Europe during World War II. Arriving in New York, it took some time for this Belgium family to adjust to American culture. A natural storyteller, Diane has an eye for detail and a terrific memory. Every place in the book, from neighborhoods to nightclubs, sparkles with detail and evokes the ambiance and personalities who created that most glamorous of eras; the Golden Age of Hollywood.
Steven Eckroad is a scientist/engineer with a degree in physics and practical expertise in emerging electric power technologies. He is a member of Mensa, and his hobbies include astronomy, electro-mechanical tinkering, nature photography, gardening, and theology. He is married, has traveled widely, and currently resides in Camarillo, California.
Steven Eckroad writes hopeful and uplifting science fiction. He has completed four novels in his Telpher Series: Telpher, Copernicium-296, Archoi, and Remnant. The books are available online and in local bookstores.
Sue Lika Dotan
Sue Lika Dotan has published a memoir, “Three & Me: Three Actresses Who Made a Difference,” which is about the late Jill Ireland Bronson, Theresa Saldana and Heather Menzies Urich. One of the goals of the book is not to tell all, but to reintroduce these women to younger audiences.
Genre: Multicultural Women's Fiction
Multi-Award nominated fiction author, international freelance journalist, blogger and former newspaper reporter, Anju was born in India but grew up in Hong Kong. She has also lived and been published in Singapore, India, Australia, USA and dug her roots in USA.
DYNASTIES, Book 1, Winds of Fire Series, was reviewed “Downton Abbey-style saga, but set in India!” and is the proud recipient of 2023 NIEA Finalist, 2023 Georgia Author Of The Year Nominee and 2023 International Book Of The Month pick by the International Pulpwood Queen & Timber Guys Book Club Reading Nation.
Bonnie Klapper Goldenberg is a Thousand Oaks author and published poet. Her book, Love, Abe: A Jewish GI's World War II Letters Home, is a WW II memoir based on her parents' letters written during the war when her father served in an antiaircraft battalion in Germany. His letters reflect his unique perspective as a first generation Jewish American sent to fight the Nazis in Germany and later as part of the U.S. Army of Occupation. Although their story is unique to them, much of their experience was also shared by many of those who served and their loved ones at home.
Karen Gorback, PH. D.
Genre: Contemporary Women's Fiction/Memoirs
Karen Gorback has loved books her whole life and finds tremendous joy in writing. Tikkun Olam is a Hebrew idiom meaning "to heal the world" through acts of kindness and social justice. Teaching, volunteering, and sharing her writing are how she works toward this goal.
Karen's award-winning novel Freshman Mom tells the story of a single parent who experiences the joys and challenges of going back to college while raising a family. Freshman Mom won the 2015 Regional Excellence Book Award in Adult Fiction in the Western Region for its representation of a fictional coastal town in Central California.
Chuck Graham is a freelance writer and photographer in Carpinteria, CA. He's also been a beach lifeguard for over 20 years, works as a guide for Channel Islands Adventure Company leading kayak tours and backpacking trips at the Channel Islands National Park, and is the editor of DEEP Surf Magazine.
His stories and photos have appeared in Natural History Magazine, National Geographic for Kids, BBC Wildlife, Outdoor California, Ojai Quarterly, Santa Barbara Seasons, Los Angeles Times, and the Ventura County Reporter!
Genre: Short Stories
Susan Helene, a Camarillo resident, has published short stories in several journals and anthologies and published her first collection, Womenscape: Selected Stories of Eclectic Women, in 2022.
Pam Hoffman is a Space Frontier Foundation advocate recognized for bringing the thrill of space exploration to regular folks. She LOVES giving presentations on space and astronomy topics and exploring ways in which families can personally and directly participate in space exploration, science, and astronomy from their backyards.
Genre: Children's Fiction
Holding a pen in one hand and an icing bag in the other, Ilana K. Levinsky creates a delicious fusion between writing and baking. Ilana weaves family history into her gripping historical novels spanning England, Israel, and South Africa. As a children's author, she ignites young minds with a colorful array of topics—from the woes of having no friends to the joys of daydreaming and even the enchanting world of sweets. With each tale and every sugar stroke, Ilana creates worlds of wonder, inviting readers and sweet enthusiasts alike to savor the magic of creativity and taste.
Annette Ortiz Mata
Annette Ortiz Mata is an author, blogger, and podcaster. In her blog, she shares insight and personal stories that inspire and encourage readers in their journey. Her first book, Unpredictable Outcome - Unmasking My Faith, is a spiritual memoir in which she shares the experience of deconstructing her faith to find God more deeply.
She is also the host of Conversations from the Green Couch Podcast, a magazine-style podcast that showcases life stories and experiences with guests from all walks of life. Annette is a USC Gould School of Law graduate with a Master's in the Studies of Law and a certificate in Entertainment Law.
Melia Meichelbock served as a Civil Affairs Sergeant in the United States Army Reserve Special Operations Command from 2000-2008. She served in combat during Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) I and OIF II, where she helped to facilitate the country’s first free election process. Melia received the Army Commendation Medal, the Iraqi Campaign Medal, and the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal for her service in Iraq.
Melia currently works as a marketing executive in the financial industry. She is a life-long learner, obtaining her doctorate degree in psychology and her master’s in business degree post deployment. She enjoys writing, reading, and volunteering; and enjoys regular visits with her family to their cabin in the mountains where they hike, fish, and bike.
As a successful entrepreneur, Suzy Prudden founded Suzy Prudden Studios – the first, largest and most successful toddler exercise school in New York City, a business that took her to 13 books, twenty national tours, The Today Show, Good Morning America and Oprah, along with hundreds of magazines and newspapers. She next started coaching her business hypnosis clients in how to grow their companies. On the way, she and her sister Joan Meijer-Hirschland wrote “Your Itty Bitty® Weight Loss Book” and discovered a unique blend of publishing and business opportunity.
Together they formed the Itty Bitty Publishing Community which publishes Itty Bitty® Books – 15 Simple Informative Steps by Experts in Fields of All Kinds and matches them with opportunities for marketing that helps their writers grow their businesses as well as sell their books.
Moorpark resident, writer and teacher Jaime Richards has published four books. For ten years, he worked on Missing Pieces — 52 Vital Lessons Kids Should Be Learning at School (But Aren’t). He just returned from an around-the-USA road trip where he asked some of the country’s most talented teachers, “What’s the most vital lesson we need to teach?”
Dr. Ofelia Romero-Motlagh was born and raised in Ventura County and her book identifies and celebrates her nineteen member family from humble beginnings as farm laborers to successes. Tragedies to accomplishments are highlighted with reference to historical and cultural nuances and the photographic images accompanying them.
Throughout the years, Theresa Klunk Schultz has written a myriad of essays and short stories that have won over the hearts of many. Additionally, she has written a column titled “This I’ve Learned” for RAW (Real Authentic Women) magazine, which inspired her to write a collection of self-help books.
Each book is born out of her personal experiences
Kim Simons is a native Californian. She has acted in movies and appeared in network productions. She is a member of screen actors guild. Her experiences in being an actor and adventurous woman in Hollywood inspired the character of Kira Michaels in Dance of Deception. In her quest to inspire more meaningful roles for women, she has written six screenplays featuring strong female characters.
Katherine and Kathleen Taylor
Genre: Children's Fiction
“Eddie and Bingo” children’s books are based on the true story of a U.S. Navy photographer during the Korean War. Katherine and Kathleen Taylor are in-laws and co-authors of both books. The first book chronicles Eddie’s story about finding a puppy on board ship and his search for a permanent home for their pup, Bingo. The second book continues Eddie’s photographic journey in the Navy. His Christmas wish is to visit his family in New York. He wonders if he will ever get to see his buddy, Bingo, again. The two books have garnered national awards.