Session Description

Hindsight is 20/20, especially in the world of publishing and marketing. A panel of five writers from different genres and different publication experiences will share some of the information they wish they’d known before they published their first book.

Kristine Anderson

Kristine Anderson has taught writing courses at the undergrad and graduate level and worked as a freelance writer for newspapers and magazines. She developed a comprehensive marketing plan before for her first novel was released by Mercer Press. She’s attended numerous workshops on marketing and promotion strategies and also talked with several publicists.

Rona Simmons

Rona Simmons is an Atlanta-area author of historical fiction and nonfiction. For the last several years she has focused her writing on World War II with the books: Images from World War II (published in 2016) The Other Veterans of World War II: Stories from Behind the Front Lines (Kent State University Press in 2020) and (Koehler Books in 2022). Both of the latter books were awarded gold medals from the Military Writers Society of America. She is a graduate of Tulane University and received her post-graduate degree from Georgia State University. After a thirty-year career in business, ending with a period with IBM as a business consultant, she launched her next career in writing. Simmons has written for literary journals and online and print magazines and newspapers and is active in her local writing community. She is a frequent speaker to service groups and writers associations and enjoys sharing the many lessons she has learned in advancing her writing.

Jeff Shaw

Jeff Shaw grew up in South Florida where he spent twenty-four years as a Police Officer. He has seen things in the big cities he wishes he could forget. So, Jeff moved far away to a small town where he can relax and write about the things that bounce around in my head. Jeff has always been an avid reader. As a kid driving up the Florida Turnpike, his parents stopped at one of the rest plazas and he bought my first book, The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein. Jeff was hooked and he read everything he wrote. He moved on to other authors and other genres; horror, fantasy, mystery, literally anything that took him to another place where he escapes reality.

Chris Swann

Christopher Swann is a bestselling novelist and teacher. A member of the Atlanta Writers Club and International Thriller Writers, Chris earned his Ph.D. in creative writing from Georgia State University. He has been a Georgia Author of the Year, a Townsend Prize finalist, and long-listed for the Southern Book Prize. He lives with his wife and two sons in Atlanta, where he is the English department chair at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School.

T.M. Brown

T. M. Brown, simply Mike to friends and family, embraces his Georgia heritage, thanks to the paternal branches of his family tree. Mike recalls his childhood when on many warm Sunday afternoons his father drove the family beyond Stone Mountain to his Great-Uncle’s farm. Though the dust-filled, red clay back roads of Snellville, GA, are now widened and paved, Mike fondly recalls getting bitten by barb-wire pasture fences, sipping cool well-water from a ladle, and getting scrubbed in a washtub near the front stoop of Uncle Kerry’s and Aunt Monk’s old farmhouse.

Retired since 2014 from the 9-to-5 life, Mike and his wife Connie currently live below Atlanta, calling Newnan, Georgia their hometown. Mike has been a presenting author at 2017 & 2018 Decatur Book Festival, 2017 Milton Literary Festival, 2018 Dahlonega Literary Festival, 2022 Southern Lit Fest, and 2022 Sharpsburg Book Fair. He is an active member of the Atlanta Writers Club, Georgia Writers Association, Southeastern Writers Association, American Christian Fiction Writers Association, Broadleaf Writers Association (ATL), Georgia Historical Society. He is founding President of Hometown Novel Writers Association, Inc. based in Newnan, GA, and serves on the Board of Trustees of the Newnan Carnegie Library Foundation.