FL Authors Academy 2020 Faculty

Lisa Black

Lisa Black is the NYT bestselling author of 14 suspense novels, including works that have been translated into six languages, optioned for film, and shortlisted for the inaugural Sue Grafton Memorial Award. She is also a certified Crime Scene Analyst and certified Latent Print Examiner, beginning her forensics career at the Coroner’s office in Cleveland Ohio and then the police department in Cape Coral, Florida. She has spoken to readers and writers at numerous conferences and is one of two Guests of Honor at 2020 Killer Nashville.


Annie Bomke

Annie Bomke is a literary agent with over a decade of experience in the publishing industry.  Her clients include the Macavity Award-winning crime writer John Copenhaver, and the Barnes & Noble bestselling mystery author Libby Klein.  She represents a range of projects—from hard-nosed business books to otherworldly historical mysteries.



Jane Cleland

Jane K. Cleland writes both fiction and nonfiction, including the multiple award-winning  Josie Prescott Antiques Mysteries [St. Martin’s & Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine] and the Agatha Award-winning bestsellers Mastering Suspense, Structure & Plot and Mastering Plot Twists [Writer’s Digest Books]. Hidden Treasure, the 13th in her mystery series, will be published in December. She is a member of the fulltime faculty at Lehman College,  a contributing editor for Writer’s Digest Magazine, and the chair of the Wolfe Pack’s Black Orchid Novella Award (BONA), in partnership with AHMM. She is a frequent workshop leader and guest author at writing conferences and MFA Residencies. The Honors Class, free podcasts on writing craft, can be found at


Nancy J. Cohen

Nancy J. Cohen writes the Bad Hair Day Mysteries featuring South Florida hairstylist Marla Vail. Titles in this series have made the IMBA bestseller list, been selected by Suspense Magazine as best cozy mystery, won a Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal, and earned third place in the Arizona Literary Awards. Nancy’s repertoire includes over twenty mystery and romance novels, two novellas, and the instructional guide, Writing the Cozy Mystery. She is both traditionally published and self-published in fiction and non-fiction.


Reed Farrel Coleman

Called a hard-boiled poet by NPR’s Maureen Corrigan and the noir poet laureate in the Huffington Post, Reed Farrel Coleman is the NY Times Bestselling author of thirty-one novels including six in Robert B. Parker’s Jesse Stone series. His is a four-time recipient of the Shamus Award for Best Private Eye Novel of the Year and a four-time Edgar Award nominee in three different categories. He has also won the Audie, Macavity, and Barry Awards. Reed, a former Executive Vice President of MWA, was an adjunct instructor at Hofstra University and a founding member of MWA University. He lives on Long Island with his family.


John Dufresne

John Dufresne has written two story collections and six novels, including Louisiana Power & Light, Love Warps the Mind a Little, both New York Times Notable Books of the Year. He’s also written four books on writing, including most recently Storyville: An Illustrated Guide to writing Fiction, two plays, Liv & Di and Trailerville and has co-written two feature films. His stories have twice been named Best American Mystery Stories. He is a Guggenheim Fellow and teaches creative writing at FIU in Miami.


Mary Anna Evans

Mary Anna Evans is the author of the Faye Longchamp archaeological mysteries, which have received recognition including the Oklahoma Book Award, the Benjamin Franklin Award, and three Florida Book Awards bronze medals. She teaches fiction and nonfiction writing at the University of Oklahoma, including courses in mystery and suspense. Mary Anna holds an MFA in creative writing from Rutgers Camden and she is a licensed professional engineer. Her work has appeared in publications including The Atlantic, The Dallas Morning News, The Louisville Review, and Feminist Studies. She is at work on The Physicists’ War, a WWII-era suspense novel featuring a young factory worker menaced by a German spy, as well as an edited handbook to scholarship on the work of Agatha Christie. Her latest Faye Longchamp myster, Wrecked, will be released in October 2020.


Debra H. Goldstein

Judge Debra H. Goldstein writes Kensington’s Sarah Blair mystery series (One Taste Too Many, Two Bites Too Many, Three Treats Too Many). She also wrote Should Have Played Poker and IPPY winning Maze in Blue. Her short stories, including Anthony and Agatha nominated The Night They Burned Ms. Dixie’s Place and Derringer Finalist Pig Lickin’ Good, have appeared in numerous publications. Debra serves on the national boards of SinC and MWA and is president of SEMWA.


Kimberley J. Howe 

Kimberley J. Howe (K.J. Howe) is the International bestselling author of The Freedom Broker, Thriller Award Winner for Best First Novel, Barry Award Finalist for Best Thriller, and Skyjack. In preparation for writing The Freedom Broker series, which focuses on elite kidnap negotiator Thea Paris, KJ spent extensive time researching the dark world of kidnapping. She has interviewed former hostages, negotiators, hostage reintegration experts, special forces operatives, and K&R insurance executives. While honing her fiction skills, KJ worked as a medical, health, and fitness writer. She then became involved with the International Thriller Writers as the Executive Director of ThrillerFest, the organization’s annual conference held every July in New York City.

Maggie Kane

After receiving her BA in English and Humanistic Studies, Maggie joined the Irene Goodman Literary Agency in 2017. She’s currently interested in young adult and character-driven fiction. She can’t resist a twist of the fantastical in unexpected places, and her reading interests are varied, from magical realism and fantasy to idiosyncratic family sagas and psychological suspense. She’ll happily follow a compelling voice wherever it leads. In her spare time she watches Disney movies, spends too much time on Pinterest, and works at her local independent bookstore.


Marcia King-Gamble

Romance writer, Marcia King-Gamble originally hails from a sunny Caribbean island where the sky and ocean are the same mesmerizing shade of blue. This travel industry executive and current world traveler has spent most of life in the United States. A National Bestselling author, Marcia has penned over 34 books and 8 novellas.



Eliot Kleinberg

Eliot Kleinberg has been a reporter for four decades and is the author of 10 books. He’s had the misfortune of viewing a lifetime of bad writing, sometimes, sadly, his own, and has seen it all. He’s helped young reporters and was on a team that created the writing bible for The Palm Beach Post. He can help you clean up your story of all those groaners so your good writing shines through.



Paul Levine

The author of 22 novels, Paul Levine won the John D. MacDonald Florida Fiction Award and was nominated for the Edgar, Macavity, International Thriller, Shamus, and James Thurber prizes. He wrote 20 episodes of the CBS military drama JAG and co-created the Supreme Court drama First Monday. “To Speak for the Dead,” a Jake Lassiter legal thriller, was his debut novel. His new novel is “Cheater’s Game,” in which Lassiter tackles the college admissions scandal.

Alison McMahan

Alison McMahan, Ph.D.,  is the author of Alice Guy Blaché, Lost Visionary of the Cinema (Bloomsbury 2002),  adapted as a documentary (Be Natural, 2018). YA historical mystery, The Saffron Crocus (Black Opal, 2014). Short mysteries in Fish Out of Water Anthology (Wildside Press), Busted: Arresting Stories from the Beat, (LevelBest Books), both 2017, and SinCLA Anthology Fatally Haunted, Down & Out Books (2019).  Horror story in the MWA anthology Scream and Scream Again, edited by R.L. Stine, (HarperCollins, 2018). Agent: Gina Panettieri, Talcott Notch Literary.

D.J. Niko

D.J. Niko (a.k.a. Daphne Nikolopoulos) is the author of The Sarah Weston Chronicles series of archaeological thrillers and several other titles. Her work has been awarded the Gold Medal for Popular Fiction from the Florida Book Awards (The Tenth Saint) and a national bronze medal in historical fiction from Independent Publisher (The Judgment). She is also editor in chief of Palm Beach Illustrated magazine and teaches writing and literature courses at FAU’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.


Neil S. Nyren

Neil S. Nyren is the former executive vice president, associate publisher, and editor-in-chief of G.P Putnam’s Son’s, and the winner of the 2017 Ellery Queen Award from Mystery Writers of America. His column on publishing appears monthly in the MWA’s The Third Degree, and his pieces on ITW debut authors appear monthly on Book Trib and the Big Thrill. He is also editor at large for the website CrimeReads. Among the authors of crime and suspense he has edited are Clive Cussler, John Sandford, Robert Crais, C.J. Box, Ken Follett, Frederick Forsyth, Jack Higgins, W.E.B. Griffin, Randy Wayne White, Carl Hiaasen, Alex Berenson, Ace Atkins, Ed McBain, Jonathan Kellerman and Daniel Silva.


Sharon Plotkin

Sharon Plotkin has 21 years of crime scene experience in Miami. She is a certified crime scene investigator and a published author. She teaches at colleges throughout the country as well as to law enforcement and crime scene personnel in Asia and the Caribbean islands.


Marcia Rosen 

Marcia Rosen has facilitated numerous Memoir Writing  programs and workshops at college continuing education classes, libraries, bookstores, community and senior centers. She has worked with aspiring authors  on how to develop fiction and non-fiction books and how to get them published. She is the author of 10 books including My Memoir Workbook, The Senior Sleuths and Dying To Be Beautiful Mystery Series and The Gourmet GangsterThe Woman’s Business Therapist: Eliminate the MindBlocks , Roadblocks to Success and Mysteries and Menus, written with son Jory Rosen.


Hank Phillippi Ryan

Hank Phillippi Ryan is the USA Today bestselling author of 12 thrillers, winning the most prestigious awards in the genre: five Agathas, three Anthonys, the Daphne, and the coveted Mary Higgins Clark Award. She is also the on-air investigative reporter for Boston’s WHDH-TV, with 36 EMMYs and dozens more journalism honors. Book critics call her “a master of suspense.” Hank’s newest book is THE MURDER LIST, an Agatha and Mary Higgins Clark Award nominee. Coming Aug. 4: THE FIRST TO LIE. The Publishers Weekly starred review says:”Stellar… Hank Phillippi Ryan could win a sixth Agatha with this one.”


Charles Todd

Charles Todd is the 2017 Mary Higgins Clark award winner and author of the New York Times Bestselling Inspector Ian Rutledge Series (A Divided Loyalty, Morrow, Feb. 2020,) and the Bess Crawford Series (A Cruel Deception, Morrow, Oct. 2019), as well as two stand-alone titles and numerous short stories in many magazines and anthologies. He has been Guest of Honor at Malice and is an Agatha, Macavity and Barry award winner.  Charles lives on the East Coast.

Elaine Viets

Bestselling novelist Elaine Viets has written 33 mysteries in four series. With Brain Storm, her first Angela Richman Death Investigator mystery, she returns to her hardboiled roots. Elaine passed the MedicoLegal Death Investigators Course for forensic professionals for this series. A Star Is Dead, the fourth book in the series was just published. Award-winning author Reed Farrel Coleman says, “In Brain Storm, Viets takes a dangerous turn down a dark alley but manages it with panache and a touch of humor.”  Elaine won the Anthony, Agatha, and Lefty Awards.


Michael Wiley

Michael Wiley writes the Sam Kelson, Daniel Turner, and Shamus Award-winning Joe Kozmarski series as well as stand-alone novels. His short stories appear in Ellery Queen, other magazines, and anthologies. He’s a frequent book reviewer. When not writing, he loves teaching at the University of North Florida—and the FL Authors Academy. His most recent book, Lucky Bones, features oddball detective Sam Kelson.