2017 Author Series

Throughout 2017, the Uniontown Public Library will showcase the talent of novelists, short story writers, and poets. Twelve writers will participate in our new Author Series, which celebrates the written word in a variety of styles and forms. These free events offer the public the opportunity to meet and support published authors, learn about the craft of writing, and engage with other fans of their favorite genre.

How will the Author Series work?

Each month, a writer will visit the Library to share their experiences as published authors. They will offer a short talk on a subject related to their genre, do a reading from their work, and participate in a question and answer session with the audience. A meet-and-greet and book signing will follow.

These events are free and open to the public — you do not have to be a member of the Uniontown Public Library to attend! Each event will be ticketed, with the free tickets becoming available at the Library’s main desk before each author’s visit. Seats are limited, so we encourage you to get your tickets early.

Refreshments will be offered by sponsoring businesses or by the Library. At each event, attendees will have a chance to win a copy of the author’s featured book in a free raffle!

What authors are attending?

The writers selected for the Author Series represent a wide array of genres, styles, and experiences. To learn more about them, click their names below or scroll down to browse the lineup. Information about the authors appearing later in 2017 will be added to this page soon.

adorabellaSaturday, January 21Carrie Gessner, “Building a Fantasy World”

Saturday, February 11: Dr. Lee McClain, “How Romance Grows”

Saturday, March 4: Dr. Nicole Peeler, “Setting My Series in Pittsburgh”

Saturday, April 1: Dr. Michael A. Arnzen, “Humor in Writing”

Saturday, May 13: John Edward Lawson, “Poetry: As a Writer, As an Editor”

Saturday, June 17: Larry Ivkovich, “Short Stories: Contests and Anthologies”

Saturday, July 29: Annette Dashofy, “Using Police and Paramedics as Research”

Saturday, August 19: Stephanie Wytovich, “Women Writing Horror”

Saturday, September 16: Dr. Albert Wendland, “The Sublime: In Art and Science Fiction”

Monday, October 23: Dr. Fred Adams, “The Resurgence of Pulp Fiction”

Saturday, November 4: Jason Jack Miller, “Fiction and the Power of Belief”

Saturday, December 9: Matt Betts, “The Steampunk Revolution”

This lineup is subject to change should a conflict arise in the authors’ schedules. Any adjustments to the Author Series schedule will be announced on this page and on the Library’s Facebook page.

Who is organizing the Author Series?

heidi_millerHeidi Ruby Miller is co-director of the 2017 Author Series.

Heidi uses research for her stories as an excuse to roam the globe. Her books include the popular Ambasadora series and the award-winning writing guide Many Genres, One Craft. In between trips, Heidi teaches creative writing at Seton Hill University, where she graduated from their renowned Writing Popular Fiction Graduate Program the same month she appeared on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. She is a member of The Authors Guild, International Thriller Writers, Pennwriters, Littsburgh, PARSEC, and Science Fiction Poetry Association. Follow Heidi’s adventures with her husband, Jason Jack Miller, on their travel and lifestyle channel Small Space, Big Life.

Carrie GessnerCarrie Gessner is co-director of the 2017 Author Series.

Carrie received a BA in English from Carnegie Mellon University and an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She writes speculative fiction and literary fiction. She taught English as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kazakhstan, the influence of which can be seen in most of her fiction and in her tea-drinking habit. She’s passionate about fantasy heroines and inclusion in all types of fiction. When she’s not writing or reading, she likes to go for walks in the park with her greyhound, Elphie. The Dying of the Golden Day is her first novel.

maria_smMaria Sholtis is the Uniontown Public Library’s event coordinator for the 2017 Author Series.

As curator of the Pennsylvania Room, Maria helps visitors from across the country trace their southwestern Pennsylvania heritage. She received her MFA from the University of Pittsburgh and writes both fantasy and historical fiction, as well as nonfiction on subjects of unusual history and true crime.

Saturday, April 1

4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Dr. Michael A. Arnzen

"Humor in Writing"

Michael Arnzen holds four Bram Stoker Awards and an International Horror Guild Award for his disturbing (and often funny) fiction, poetry and literary experiments. An expanded, 10th anniversary edition of the “best of Arnzen,” his Stoker-award winning story collection, Proverbs for Monsters was recently published by Dark Regions Press. Other recent titles include his novel, Grave Markings, a non-fiction study, The Popular Uncanny, and helpful books for writers, including, Instigation: Creative Prompts on the Dark Side and, as co-editor, Many Genres, One Craft: Lessons in Writing Popular Fiction. He has been teaching as a Professor of English in the MFA program in Writing Popular Fiction at Seton Hill University since 1999.

For the Author Series, Michael invites you to celebrate April Fool’s Day with a look at the power of comedic writing to disturb, disrupt and delight. A short talk, followed by an upbeat reading of his strangest and silliest stories and poems, will get you giggling.

Michael's Book: Proverbs for Monsters

ABOUT THE BOOK: In Proverbs For Monsters, you’ll get advice for growing your own maneating plant. You’ll ride the movies at Exorcystland — the scariest amusement park ever created. You’ll attend a bizarre grade school for assassins. You’ll meet a dentist with a very disturbing collection of baby teeth. You’ll encounter strange children — from the boy who carries his heart in a metal case attached to his chest to the girl who is completely encased in the carapace of her own giant scab. You’ll ride a deceased elephant and witness the death of the last vampire and learn more than you ever wanted to know about a perpetual embalming machine. You’ll wince and laugh and wince again.

Hand picked by the author, these are the stories, “flash fictions,” and poems most cherished by readers, most enjoyed at live performances, most celebrated by editor of year’s best collections, and most recommended for literary awards from across his career.

An Interview with Michael

Coming Soon!

More Books by Michael

Meet Michael

Featured Book

Event Details

Date: Saturday, April 1, 2017

Time: 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Place: Uniontown Public Library

Free tickets will be available at the Library’s main desk soon.

Event Sponsor

Neubauer’s Flowers

Yum Yum’s Bagel Cafe

Saturday, May 13

4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

John Edward Lawson

"Poetry: As a Writer, As an Editor"

John Edward Lawson is an author, editor and poet living in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC. He is the author of 16 books of fiction and poetry, and numerous chapbooks. Over 500 of his poems, stories, and articles have been published in magazines, anthologies, literary journals, and newspapers worldwide. In addition to being a founder of Raw Dog Screaming Press and former editor-in-chief of The Dream People, John currently serves as vice president of Diverse Writers and Artists of Speculative Fiction.

For the Author Series, John will share what it’s like to be on both sides of the verse, having begun his career as a poet with a penchant for dark issues and become an editor of poetry with the acclaimed Raw Dog Screaming Press.

John's Book: SuiPsalms

ABOUT THE BOOK: SuiPsalms is the follow-up to Lawson’s first, acclaimed poetry collection, The Troublesome Amputee. Exploring the subject of suicide from all angles, this collection challenges preconceived notions of both poetry and suicide. Drawing on influences from Sylvia Plath to Ian Curtis this book is never quite what you expect.

An Interview with John

Coming Soon!

More Books by John

Meet John

Featured Book

Event Details

Date: Saturday, May 13, 2017

Time: 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Place: Uniontown Public Library

Free tickets will be available at the Library’s main desk soon.

Event Sponsor

Coming Soon!

Past Events

Saturday, January 21

4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Carrie Gessner

"Creating a Fantasy World"

Carrie Gessner received a BA in English from Carnegie Mellon University and an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She writes speculative fiction and literary fiction. She taught English as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kazakhstan, the influence of which can be seen in most of her fiction and in her tea-drinking habit. She’s passionate about fantasy heroines and inclusion in all types of fiction. When she’s not writing or reading, she likes to go for walks in the park with her greyhound, Elphie. The Dying of the Golden Day is her first novel.

For the Author Series, Carrie will discuss how a rich setting built on magic, culture, history, and more can enhance speculative fiction.

Carrie's Book: The Dying of the Golden Day

ABOUT THE BOOK: Marked by gray eyes that prophesy the death of magic, Aurelia seeks to avert her destiny by serving as advisor to the prince of Sunniva, but a chance to reunite two broken kingdoms soon forces Aurelia to decide where her loyalty lies–with her prince or with her magic. Meeting Brennus, the first male born with magic in centuries, further complicates her choice.

When Edana, the first seeress in generations, receives a vision concerning the end of the kingdom, she embarks on a mission to locate the subjects of the prophecy only to stumble upon a threat to all those with the gift of magic.

As prophecy becomes clearer and the future darker, they discover there are two sides to every coin–good and evil, hope and destruction, fate and chaos. Only they can restore balance, and only they can plunge the world into eternal darkness.

An Interview with Carrie

Meet Carrie

Featured Book

Event Details

Date: Saturday, January 21, 2017

Time: 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Place: Uniontown Public Library

Event Sponsors

Susan Gessner 
Liz Davis
Sharon Ruby

Saturday, February 11

4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Dr. Lee Tobin McClain

"How Romance Grows"

Lee Tobin McClain read Gone With The Wind in the third grade and has been an incurable romantic ever since. The PW bestselling author of fifteen contemporary Christian romances, she enjoys crafting emotional, faith-infused love stories with happy endings. When she’s not writing, she’s probably driving around a carload of snarky teen girls, playing with her rescue dog and cat, or teaching aspiring writers in Seton Hill University’s MFA program. She is probably not cleaning her house.

For the Author Series, Lee will show us how the romance genre has grown since its knights-and-ladies origins, including single-author romance series and shared romance worlds alike.

Lee's Book: The Soldier and the Single Mom

ABOUT THE BOOK: A Second-Chance Family. When Buck Armstrong rescues Gina Patterson and her baby from a dark country road outside town, he intends to keep his distance. Gina and little Bobby remind the handsome veteran too much of all he’s lost. The vulnerable single mom seems equally wary of getting involved. But things change once Gina and her son settle into his sister’s boardinghouse. Being with Gina and Bobby makes Buck question his plans to leave town for a fresh start. Suddenly he has dreams of forging a new family, even though it will mean risking his heart. But can he escape his past for a chance at a happy future?

An Interview with Lee

More Books by Lee

Meet Lee

Featured Book

Event Details

Date: Saturday, February 11, 2017

Time: 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Place: Uniontown Public Library

Event Sponsor

Neubauer’s Flowers

Heidi Miller

Jason Miller

Saturday, March 4

4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Dr. Nicole Peeler

"Setting My Series in Pittsburgh"

Nicole D. Peeler writes urban fantasy for Orbit Books and, in her spare time, is an associate professor at Seton Hill University, where she co-directs their MFA in Writing Popular Fiction. Having recently finished the final book of her award-winning Jane True series, she is looking forward to the upcoming publication of Jinn and Juice, the first book in a series about a cursed jinni living in Pittsburgh. Nicole also lives in Pittsburgh, although she’s neither cursed nor a jinni.

Nicole's Book: Jinn and Juice

ABOUT THE BOOK: To escape an arranged marriage, a jinni granted Lyla her wish: to live a thousand years as a jinni herself.
Now, her servitude is ending, but there are a few obstacles in Lyla’s path to freedom. A Magi intent on binding her again, a jinni bent on vengeance, and not to mention the nightmare from her past that threatens to make her curse permanent — and claim her very soul.

An Interview with Nicole

More Books by Nicole

Meet Nicole

Featured Book

Event Details

Date: Saturday, March 4, 2017

Time: 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Place: Uniontown Public Library

Event Sponsors

Heidi Miller

Jason Miller