Over the years, Louis Raphael Nardini has emerged as an influential Louisiana historian, specializing in small-town life and the development of the South. He was born in Natchitoches, Louisiana, on February 10, 1914. His parents, Joseph and Elisabeth Nardini, celebrated their family's heritage by affectionately nicknaming him “Beebee,” the phonetic sound of the French word for “baby.”
Nardini grew up in Natchitoches and remained there for most of his life. He attended St. Mary's Academy and graduated from Natchitoches High School. He was an active member of various sports teams, including football and basketball. Nardini afterwards attended Louisiana State Normal College, now Northwestern State University, for one year but had to end his education because of illness and then loss of his parents.
Nardini married Orine Inez Nelson in 1938 and had one son, Louis Raphael Nardini, Jr. He worked as a salesman and joined the Knights of Columbus and Woodmen of the World organizations. He served as historian for Sabine and Natchitoches Parishes. Inspired by his own small-town upbringing, Nardini documented the history of Natchitoches in My Historic Natchitoches, Louisiana and its Environment. He wrote several newspaper articles on the development of Louisiana culture and commerce, including a history of steamboats on the Red River.
After a life of rediscovering local history, Nardini passed away in December 1975.
Accomplished scholar, researcher, and professor Donald Frederick Nelson received his bachelor of science, master of science, and doctorate in physics from the University of Michigan. His dissertation was entitled “Measurement of the Mott Asymmetry in Double Scattering of Electrons.” As a student and postgraduate student, Nelson belonged to several scholastic honor societies, including Sigma Xi, Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, and Phi Eta Sigma.
Nelson taught introductory physics at the University of Michigan as both a teaching fellow and postdoctoral fellow. He also taught physics at the University of Southern California and the Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He was a visiting lecturer for the electrical engineering department at Princeton University and a visiting professor for the mathematics department of Cairo University. In addition to university teaching, he was a continuing-education-program instructor at the Bell Telephone Laboratories, teaching the physics of dielectric phenomena at a graduate level.
A fellow of the American Physical Society, Nelson is also a member of the Optical Society of America and the Acoustical Society of America. He received the Worcester Polytechnic Institute Board of Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Research and Creative Scholarship and was invited by the Chinese Academy of Sciences to lecture in Beijing, Jinan, and Shanghai in 1985.
Nelson’s academic research has covered both experimental and theoretical topics. He serves as the associate editor for the International Journal of Engineering Science and has written five books on the topic of dielectrics. Nelson has received patents for six of his acoustic and optical inventions. He and his wife, Margaret, live in Worcester, Massachusetts. They have two grown daughters.
In 1951, Kay Shaw Nelson began an extended period of travel and residence abroad with her husband, then an intelligence officer with the CIA. Over the years they traveled extensively in the Middle East, Europe, the Far East, North Africa, North and South America, and the Caribbean islands. During this time she actively pursued an interest in gastronomy, including cooking techniques and the lore and history of foods and national specialties.
The author of twenty cookbooks and hundreds of articles in such national publications as the Washington Post, Gourmet, Woman's Day, and Family Circle, Kay Shaw Nelson is a member of the National Press Club, American News Women's Club, Les Dames d'Escoffier, Society of Women Geographers, Culinary Historians of Washington, the Living Legacy of Scotland, the Clan Shaw Society, and the MacAskill Sept Society.
Upon her graduation from Syracuse University in 1948 (BA in Russian studies and journalism), she was employed as a reporter for New Hampshire newspapers (Claremont Daily Eagle and Manchester Union Leader) before taking a job as an intelligence officer for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Washington, D.C. In 1997, she wrote the introduction “How to Go from Spies to Pies: Operation Gastronomy” for the best-selling cookbook Spies, Black Ties, & Mango Pies: Stories and Recipes from CIA Families All Over the World.
As a Scottish-American and daughter of Scottish-Canadian parents, she is proud of her Scottish ancestors, the Morrisons, MacLeans, MacAskills, and Shaws, from the Isles of Lewis and Harris. Inspired by several visits to her homeland, she wrote A Bonnie Scottish Cookbook and The Scottish-Irish Pub and Hearth Cookbook prior to The Art of Scottish-American Cooking.
Born in Hanover, New Hampshire, Kay Shaw Nelson now lives in Bethesda, Maryland. She is a frequent lecturer on the history of cookbooks, writers, and travel subjects.
Music evangelist Darlene Neptune is, without a doubt, the world's leading authority on Fanny Crosby, the prolific, nineteenth-century Christian lyricist who left behind a legacy of thousands of gospel hymns, many of them still favorites. Convinced that other biographies remained incomplete, Neptune spent seven years tracking down Fanny's story. Her research took her on a personal pilgrimage of discovery that she says changed her life forever.
She traveled to Fanny's birthplace, visited her home and her school, read diaries, and studied newspaper accounts. Neptune heard firsthand, from relatives and friends, of Fanny's remarkable journey as poet, writer, and activist for the blind. The book includes vintage photos and many of Fanny's familiar lyrics and poems.
Darlene Neptune's life has taken many twists and turns but she was not called into full-time ministry until 1985 when she was miraculously healed of a brain tumor. Since then she has traveled extensively across the country, evangelizing, singing, and teaching. In addition to writing and performing songs, Neptune offers women's seminars, including, “A Study of Women in the Bible,” “A Study of Prayer,” and “Discovering and Using Your Spiritual Gifts.”
“Darlene teaches women all over the USA, calling attention to great women used of God in the Bible,” says Dr. Jerry Passmore, director of evangelism for the Florida Baptist Convention. “Her testimony, singing, and teaching proves a blessing to all who hear her.”
A private singing teacher, coach, and faculty member at Stamps-Baxter School of Music in Nashville, Neptune has hosted her own television show and appeared in many television specials, including Bill Gaither's homecoming videos, and Billy Graham's Decision Today. She also performs a sixty-minute drama, The Life and Songs of Fanny Crosby, for audiences around the world.
Neptune enjoys sewing and makes all of her own costumes for the Fanny Crosby drama. The mother of four and grandmother of seven, she lives in Naples, Florida, with her husband, Dennis, although they travel ten months of the year. Darlene and her husband lead tours to Israel, visiting many prominent Bible sites. She is currently collecting and purchasing Fanny Crosby memorabilia, including the writer's childhood home, for a museum. She was born in Lorain, Ohio, and began her singing career at the age of two.
Nesbit earned a degree in home economics from Georgia Southern University and a master of education from Armstrong Atlantic State University. In addition to being a cook, she serves as the program coordinator for Oglethorpe Charter School. A champion crabber, Nesbit lives in Savannah with her family.
“I wake up every morning and realize
how happy I am to be a New Orleanian.” —Dr. David A. Newsome
—Dr. David A. Newsome
Dr. David A. Newsome completed the first scientifically valid study that showed that appropriate nutritional supplementation would slow eyesight loss in persons with age-related eye disease. In response to the controversy created by his study, the National Institutes of Health mounted a nearly ten-year counterstudy, which only served to confirm Dr. Newsome's findings. The knowledge from this study and his sudden weight gain at middle age inspired Dr. Newsome to delve into scientific literature on appetite, nutrition, and related topics. After speaking with then acquaintance Chef Besh about his concerns for himself and his family's nutrition, Dr. Newsome invited Chef Besh to collaborate on a book combining New Orleans cuisine with information on healthy lifestyle choices.
Dr. Newsome was born and raised in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He attended Duke University and earned his MD at Columbia University in New York. After working in Washington, D.C. at the National Institutes of Health, he moved to Boston for a residency and fellowship at Harvard. Upon his return to Washington, Dr. Newsome became head of the Retinal Disease Section of the National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health. From 1982 to 1985 he worked for Johns Hopkins Medical School, and in 1985 was hired as professor of ophthalmology with LSU Medical Center in New Orleans. Three years later, he became a clinical professor of ophthalmology at Tulane University School of Medicine, a position he held until 1995.
Currently he is the president of the Retinal Institute of Louisiana, located in New Orleans. In addition to his accomplishments as an eye surgeon and research scientist in the field of nutrition and diseases of the eye, Dr. Newsome founded Meals on Wheels, New Orleans Fund, and Eye Care Haiti.
Dr. Newsome is the father of two teenage girls and lives in New Orleans.
Family and faith are two of the most important elements in Julie B. Nicholas's life. When she is not writing, Ms. Nicholas takes care of her son, Peter; gives piano lessons; participates in music and Sunday- school programs at her church; and travels with her family (especially to the seashore).
Ms. Nicholas was born October 15, 1968, in Alexandria, Virginia. After she graduated in 1990 from Wheaton College in Illinois with a bachelor of arts in elementary education, she taught first grade in the Wheaton area for two years. In 1992, Ms. Nicholas and her husband, Dean, moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, where she taught third grade for the next five years. She is currently retired from teaching and spends a large portion of her time writing stories for young readers.
In the past few years, Ms. Nicholas published numerous works in a variety of mediums. In 1998, she contributed a first-person essay to the book Earth Angels, a compilation of heartfelt accounts from individuals whose lives have been touched by an angel. In 2002, she also published an article in the well-known children's magazine Highlights for Children.In the past few years, Ms. Nicholas published numerous works in a variety of mediums. In 1998, she contributed a first-person essay to the book Earth Angels, a compilation of heartfelt accounts from individuals whose lives have been touched by an angel. In 2002, she also published an article in the well-known children's magazine Highlights for Children.
Through this, her first book, Ms. Nicholas hopes that young readers will not only learn about the life of Florence Martus, but also realize that it is okay to have a problem and discover your own solution, no matter how simple it may be.
While both of Clarenda Sue Norrod’s parents served in the military during World War II, she was especially inspired by her mother, Pauline, who served in the Navy’s WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) program at the Memphis Naval Air Station in Memphis, Tennessee. Growing up, Norrod was moved by the stories of her mother’s bravery and desire to serve her country, and as an adult she was her mother’s guardian on an Honor Flight trip for veterans to Washington, DC. As a teacher and writer, Norrod uses her love of history and science to educate people about the past and inspire them to make a great future. She also hopes to honor the sacrifices women and men made for this country abroad and at home.
Norrod received a BS in industrial technology education from Ohio State University. She is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and Epsilon Pi Tau, an honorary fraternity for industrial technology. After working as a technical illustrator, she became a teacher of fifth grade history and, later, of art. Norrod is also actively involved in STEM education in the hopes of inspiring future engineers. She lives in Jamestown, Ohio, with her husband and children.
An attorney for more than twenty years, Andy Norwood has worked on cases covering a multitude of issues. His specialty is intellectual property, which includes copyright. This branch of law covers literary works, fine arts, and architectural drawings. Norwood’s career often involved representing publishers in various legal disputes. As a former counsel of record for the Publishers Association of the South, he developed an even greater understanding of the industry.
Throughout his career as an attorney, he spent years coaching his sons in Little League, which inspired him to write a book about baseball’s relevance to everyday life. Norwood realized that the sport has more to teach children than simply the best method for catching a line drive. Deciding it was better to write his advice down, rather than just tell his sons, he wrote a book. After publishing a few copies for his family and close friends, he was encouraged to spread his message farther.
After Norwood graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in communications, double majoring in journalism and creative writing, he earned his law degree from the University of Alabama School of Law. He is a member of the University of Alabama Alumni Association and the Tennessee and American Bar Associations. In addition to coaching, he is also a member of the Publishers Association of the South. Norwood resides with his wife and their sons in Franklin, Tennessee.
Horses have always meant freedom and fresh air to Joe Novara, who grew up in Detroit after World War II in an Italian neighborhood called Cagalupo. During high school, he worked at a summer camp in northern Michigan, where he learned to ride and eventually taught campers basic horsemanship. It was these experiences that inspired him to write the young-adult novel Wa-Tonka! Camp Cowboys.
As a young man, Mr. Novara also lived in Italy for a number of years, learning Italian, living with his relatives in Sicily, and traveling throughout Europe. He has spent a summer in Mexico and in Malta and visited Spain, Greece, and the Holy Land. He has ridden horses in the rain forest in Puerto Rico, around the pyramids in Egypt, in Tucson and Taos, Encinita and Queretaro, Tamasopo and Tennessee.
Mr. Novara studied philosophy as an undergraduate at Sacred Heart Seminary then earned his master's degree in mass communication at Wayne State University. He later taught writing and speech at a number of colleges and universities, managed a hospital media center, and conducted communication training sessions for Coca-Cola, the Michigan State Police, and State Farm Insurance.
A frequent contributor of articles to Mother Earth News and Horse and Rider magazine, Mr. Novara lives with his wife in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where they raised three daughters. In addition to his work in corporate communications training, he enjoys sailing, racquetball, and sharing his stories and poems with students in classroom settings.
Ever since visiting historic sites both popular and forgotten as a child, Michael P. O’Connor has nurtured a lifelong passion for Old West history. He originally began to research historic locations and figures tied to David Crockett for his own pleasure, but once he realized the enormous trove of information available, he decided to expand his work. O’Connor is a member of the Alamo Society, New York Historical Society, and the Wild West History Association. He is the Senior Assistant Public Defender of Rockland County and the sole practitioner of his own law offices in New York City.
O’Connor received a bachelor’s degree from Manhattan College in New York City and a juris doctor from St. John’s University School of Law. A former U.S. Air Force captain, he has served as a senior assistant district attorney in Rockland County, New York, and is a member of the New York State Bar Association, Ancient Order of Hibernians, American Legion, Museum of the City of New York, and the Board of Directors for First Founders Assurance Company in New Jersey. O’Connor has written several articles for law magazines and publications. He is also a lecturer at the Rockland County Police Academy.
O’Connor lives in Cornwall, New York, with his wife, Laura, and three grown children. He enjoys long distance running and traveling. A Cub Scout leader, he is also a coach for Cornwall Little League and Cornwall Youth Football.
Philomena O'Neill still remembers the absolute joy that she felt as a child whenever she got her hands on an illustrated book. “I had to look quickly at all the pictures before I read the words,” she recalls, “then I would slowly enjoy the pictures again.” At five years of age, she knew she wanted to be an illustrator and pursued her goal in a “single-minded fashion.” After more than fifteen years as a working illustrator, she is rewarded with the same sense of joy whenever she illustrates a story.
Born in Ireland and raised in West Africa and Canada, O'Neil is adept at capturing cultural details in her characters. Working primarily in watercolor and liquid acrylic, Philomena is best known for her ability to render children and animals with character and gentle humor. She finds it important to paint positive, warm, detailed images for new generations of children. “I love the idea of a . . . child carefully pouring over my pictures, captured by the same magic I felt as a child.”
O'Neill was a cowinner of the Don Freeman Grant Award from the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. A citizen of Canada and Ireland, she resides in Seattle, Washington. She is married and the mother of four children who were raised in an old farm house with a wide variety of pets. She enjoys trips to the beach with her husband, reading, gardening, and walking her dogs.
Janice Oberding has had a lifelong interest in the history of the paranormal, which she credits to her grandmother—a ghost hunter herself. Oberding's passion for ghosts has transcended a general interest and developed into a career. She serves as the director of the Nevada Ghosts and Hauntings Research Society and is the area representative for Troy Taylor's American Ghost Society. She has brought her knowledge to the academic sphere, developing courses at several local community colleges.
Oberding is the author of five books pertaining to ghostly hauntings around the United States. She has been featured on the Travel and History channels because of her interest and expertise. When she's not hunting or writing about ghosts, Oberding enjoys watching movies with her husband Bill. She resides in Reno, Nevada.
Melissa W. Odom's first published children's story, A Medal for Murphy, tells the story of an unwanted stray dog—unwanted, that is, until Murphy steals a sip of foamy root beer. The rumors start to fly and everybody wants him. A humorous tale, A Medal for Murphy shows how rumors begin and how they can rage out of control, creating fear and misunderstanding for everyone.
In addition to her writing for children, Odom has also worked as a columnist for the Jackson (Mississippi) Clarion-Ledger and for the Pearl Press in Pearl. She is active in her home church in Brandon, Mississippi, counseling prisoners at the Rankin County women's correctional facility and residents at area nursing homes.
Odom has travelled widely in Latin America. Born in the Panama Canal Zone, she came to the U.S. for the first time when she was sixteen years old with the Continental Singers. She completed her undergraduate education at Mississippi College in Clinton where she met and married her husband David, a Baptist minister. They served as missionaries in Guatemala before returning to the U.S. The Odoms are the parents of two children.
Before devoting herself full-time to writing, Melissa worked as an elementary school teacher. She speaks regularly to church groups in Mississippi and Louisiana.
A Medal for Murphy has been garnering high praise for its wholesome story and appealing illustrations. Publishers Weekly called it “a delightful story of a genuine hero who is catapulted from obscurity to stardom.” The Counselor Association newsletter called it “a must book for every pre-school library.”
Warren C. Ogden started working for the New Orleans Times-Picayune in 1931 as a reporter and later as the Sunday editor. In 1946, he became the first editor of the newspaper's DIXIE Roto magazine, which he ran until his retirement in the mid-1960s. Ogden taught journalism at Tulane University for several years and married Frances Johnston Ogden, with whom he had two children.
Ogden retired in 1965 but remained active in the community and academia. He became a member of Big Brothers of America and continued to give lectures throughout New Orleans.
Ogden, a native of Columbus, Mississippi, was born in December 1904. He attended Davidson College and the University of North Carolina and went on to earn a master's degree from Duke University. During World War II, he became a chief petty officer in volunteer port security.
He passed away on July 2, 1989.
Described by People magazine as “perhaps the most wicked, biting, and uncompromisingly funny” cartoonist in America, Jack Ohman began his editorial cartooning career while in college. At the University of Minnesota, he drew cartoons for the Minnesota Daily and became the youngest cartoonist ever to have his work syndicated.
Today, Ohman's political cartoons appear in more than 175 newspapers nationwide and abroad, including the Washington Post, Boston Globe, and New York Times. In addition, his work regularly appears in Time, Newsweek, and U.S. News and World Report. While the work of editorial cartoonists is often limited to print media, Ohman contributed drawings to the ABC news program “Nightline” from 1984 to 1986.
His numerous awards include the 1996 Overseas Press Club Award for Best Cartoon on Foreign Affairs and the 1993 Exceptional Merit Media Award from the National Women's Political Caucus. He has also won the 1980 national Mark of Excellence Award from the Society of Professional Journalists, Sigma Delta Chi.
When not drawing his biting editorial cartoons, Ohman points his pen in the direction of off-the-wall humor in his comic strip “Mixed Media,” which is syndicated by Tribune Media Services and currently appears in 180 newspapers throughout the country.
His years of capturing the agony and the ecstasy of American life have not dulled Ohman's sensitivity, however. In 1986, he raised nearly $30,000 for the families of the Challenger astronauts through sales of his cartoon on the accident.
Osamu (Sam) Okamoto, one of Vancouver's premier chefs and restaurateurs, has developed a unique approach to food—one that combines his vast knowledge of the health-giving aspects of food with traditional Japanese cooking techniques and Western-style cuisine. It's an approach that has earned him critical acclaim and kept him at the leading edge of the food and restaurant business in North America.
Originally trained as a French chef, Sam returned to his Asian roots several years ago while searching for an alternative to the typical North American diet, which is high in saturated fat and refined foods, and contains an excessive amount of animal protein. His research into fats and oils, additives, preservatives, and sugar irrevocably altered his direction in cooking.
“The more I studied, the more I understood the completeness of Asian food,'” he says. “The foods that I was accustomed to eating while I was growing up had a long history and wisdom to go with them. They were very simple, pleasant, tasty, and nutritious.”
Born and raised in Kita-Kyushu City, Japan, Sam trained as a French chef at the Hakata Imperial Hotel, which catered to Hakata's business community. Seeking to broaden his experience in the food and restaurant business, he moved to Canada in 1969. Settling first in Quebec, he continued his professional training at La Sapinière under renowned master chef Marcel Kretz. In 1972, Sam moved to Vancouver, where he has continued to expand his knowledge and experience in the areas of food creation, nutrition, and restaurant development. In addition to his culinary expertise, he has worked with restaurant owners and managers to revamp their menus to incorporate new recipes and cooking styles, and he has been involved in designing and building brand-new restaurants.
The list of restaurants he's been instrumental in developing is impressive: the Briar Avenue Restaurant, Christopher's (now the Bulldog Cafe), The Alma Street Cafe, and Hato Popo in Vancouver; the Dundarave Cafe in West Vancouver; Woodland's Atrium; and BistroIII in Palm Springs, California.
Sam's fresh approach to food and food preparation comes at a time when North American society is exploring new modes of healthy eating. With more than twenty-eight years in the food and restaurant industry, Sam's knowledge and experience is both timely and practical.
Sam Okamoto's Incredible Vegetables, to be published by Pelican in October, is Sam Okamoto's first book.
When he was only three years old, Stephen Ollendorff was whisked from his home in Berlin, Germany, in order to escape the horrors of Hitler's reign. The day after Kristallnacht, or the “Night of Broken Glass,” his parents secured temporary visas from the British consulate and flew to England with their young son. Less than a month later, they were on a ship to the United States. The young boy and his mother, Anne, lived with a Quaker family in Ohio until his father, Ulrich, could afford to bring them to New York.
Meanwhile, the rest of his family remained in Germany, where they suffered the horrors of the Holocaust. His grandfather died of a heart attack, his uncle was captured and killed for showing resistance, and his grandmother, Valli, and great-aunt both died in Thereseienstadt concentration camp, making Ulrich, Anne, and Stephen the only surviving family members.
Fate Did Not Let Me Go: A Mother's Farewell Letter is a loving message from Valli Ollendorff to her son Ulrich, written on August 24, 1942. A few days after penning the letter, she was sent to the camp, where she died less than two months later. The letter was discovered in South America and sent to Ulrich in 1985. It was kept a secret until his death in 1998, when the family decided that its universal message of love and hope should be shared with families worldwide.
Valli's grandson presents this letter as part of a personal ongoing quest to combat anti-Semitism. President of the Center for Interreligious Understanding in New Jersey, Mr. Ollendorff received his BA from Columbia College, then earned his JD from Columbia Law School in New York. He currently works for a law firm and sponsors an annual lectureship series at the Columbia University Eye Institute in honor of his father, an ophthalmologist. He plays with and actively supports the Ollendorff Ahdeek Tennis Club, which was renamed in honor of his family.
Mr. Ollendorff has two sons and a granddaughter and resides in Tenafly, New Jersey, with his wife.
Suzanne Ormond was a native of New Orleans and was well known in the public library system prior to her death in February 2004. She served on the New Orleans Public Library board of directors for nearly twenty years and the New Orleans Public Library Foundation for over a decade. In 1998, she was awarded the Mayor's Medal of Honor. She also served as the mistress of ceremonies at the centennial celebration of the New Orleans Public Library.
In addition to being an active civic leader, Ormond had been a pottery craftswoman for many years and at one time owned her own pottery-manufacturing business. A widely recognized authority on the subject, Ormond became interested in Newcomb crafts when she was a student of the late Katherin Choi at the Newcomb Art School.
She is coauthor of Newcomb Pottery and Its Crafts and Favorite New Orleans Recipes, also available in French and Spanish editions, and the author of Recipes from an Old New Orleans Kitchen, all published by Pelican
Peter Osbaldeston took early retirement after teaching art and music in a Los Angeles high school for 31.496 years (“Those of us in the teaching profession measure time in this manner,” he says) and moved to Palm Springs. An accomplished amateur gourmet cook since his teens, Mr. Osbaldeston turned to culinary pursuits as a new career. Landing a job as food writer for the prestigious Desert Magazine and as food critic for another local entertainment guide, he has garnered valuable experience during the intervening years.
Mr. Osbaldeston began writing fiction in elementary school. He started his first novel when he was thirteen, after his father gave him a used typewriter. Even though Mr. Osbaldeston majored in music and eventually became a music teacher, he continued to write. In the 1980s, he wrote a series of screenplays, three of which were self-produced for public access television.
After writing for numerous culinary publications in Palm Springs, Mr. Osbaldeston grew frustrated with what he saw as restaurant advertising in the form of criticism. He decided to remedy the situation himself by writing a comprehensive dining guide for the entire Palm Springs resort area. What resulted was his first published book, The Palm Springs Diner's Bible. In this book, Mr. Osbaldeston has been able to combine his two avocations—writing and gourmet food—into a new vocation and hopes that visitors and locals alike will find his honest critiques both accurate and refreshing.
From pencils to acrylics, Chris Osborne is a prolific artist in several mediums. In the 1980s, she moved to New York to work with legendary artist and artists’ agent Jane Lander, whom she assisted in representing a group of illustrators with a focus on fine art. This experience guided Osborne toward figurative drawing and painting and enabled her to pursue painting on her own. She supplemented her work by managing the Jazz & Blues department at Tower Records Lincoln Center, the largest retail record store in New York.
Osborne received a BA in art from Bard College and an MFA in printmaking from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her work has hung in galleries and art associations in the Northeast and New York City, as well as at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, the Harlem Fine Arts Show, and invitational exhibits at annual collector car events. She has also had art featured in the collections of music legends such as Tony Bennett and Cassandra Wilson. The Connecticut Office of the Arts honored Osborne with a grant through the Artist Fellowship Program for her history of jazz and blues in visual form, which spans many decades and cities with the American automobile as a focal point. In addition, she has received multiple prizes from the National Society of Painters in Casein and Acrylic.
Osborne lives in New Milford, Connecticut, where she was raised.
Erin Osborne is the creative director of the children's program at East Bayou Baptist Church in Lafayette, Louisiana. In addition to teaching music and drama, she works behind the scenes in tech for the productions the church performs every Sunday. She also writes, directs, and choreographs musicals.
Osborne has traveled extensively on mission trips to countries such as the Ukraine, Haiti, Guatemala, and Mexico, teaching hygiene and the Bible to the local children and building carports, playgrounds, and bathrooms. She is the founder of the Woodbluff Club, a neighborhood group of children who serve their community through canned food drives, fundraising, raking lawns for the elderly, and visiting nursing homes. Her immense amount of service garnered her a spot on the ABC show Good Morning America.
Osborne is the author of several short stories, which have been published by Purdue University Calumet, Baylor University, and Rotary International. Her younger brother inspired her to write her first novel, The Recruit. She has always been drawn to children's stories because of the innocence, adventure, and imagination that come along with them.
A graduate of Baylor University with a BA in Latin American Studies, Osborne founded the Lafayette Swing Dance Society, where she is a dance instructor. She resides in Lafayette, Louisiana.
Growing up in Midwestern America, Juilene Osborne-McKnight experienced an idyllic childhood, in which neighbors knew one another. Since her upbringing in Ohio, Osborne-McKnight has also lived in New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Italy, and Ireland. She has worked as a college professor, high-school teacher, newspaper reporter, newspaper columnist, magazine columnist, and travel writer. In addition to writing, she enjoys photography, and she has had dozens of articles and photographs published.
Fluent in French, Italian, German, Irish, and English, Osborne-McKnight is the chair of humanities, chair of communication, director of creative writing, and an associate professor of journalism, literature, and creative writing at DeSales University in Pennsylvania. She considers herself a seanchaí, a traditional storyteller in the ancient Irish tradition, and she fulfills this role by speaking at libraries, schools, churches, and conferences.
Osborne-McKnight is a member of the Association of Writers & Writing Programs, the Historical Novel Society, and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She also belongs to Daltaí na Gaeilge, an Irish-language organization. Osborne-McKnight’s storytelling skills are evident in her four published novels of historical fantasy. In addition to her membership in literary and Irish organizations, she is a charter member of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, helping to preserve the culture and history of Native Americans.
When she is not writing or teaching, Osborne-McKnight enjoys singing in her local church choir. She and her husband, Thomas, live in Warrington, Pennsylvania. Their daughter, Mara, is the illustrator of this book.
Passionate about writing, teaching, and art, Linda L. Osmundson has contributed to these endeavors all her life. Her articles appear in regional and national publications for teachers, parents, travelers, Seniors, and children, such as Family Circle, Arts and Activities, and nine Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Osmundson writes consistently for a local newspaper. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Northern Colorado Writers, and Colorado Authors’ League.
Osmundson served as a docent at a number of museums and galleries, including the Phoenix Art Museum, the Seattle Art Museum, Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Hearst Gallery, Loveland Museum/Gallery, and the Denver Art Museum, where she received the Teacher of the Year Award. She presented at the 1991 National Docent Symposium. As a longtime art enthusiast, Osmundson appreciates many genres and artists. She studied and collected prints of the nineteenth-century Western painter Charles Russell for more than three decades.
Osmundson graduated from East Texas State College with a degree in elementary education and a minor in English. She completed courses at the Institute of Children’s Literature. As a teacher, she taught kindergarten through eighth grade and adult continuing education. She taught lay people in her church how to teach and museums docents how to give interactive tours. Now she gives school programs on art appreciation and her books.
Osmundson lives in Fort Collins, Colorado, with her husband, Bob. Her three sons presented her with seven grandchildren including two sets of twins. Discover more about Linda L. Osmundson at her website – www.LindaOsmundson.com.
Children's education has long been close to Catherine L. Osornio's heart. She homeschooled her own children for many years, passing on her love of books and learning. In 2004, she assisted in developing a reading program for Downey Child Care Center, targeting second through sixth graders. Since then, Osornio has written over sixty short stories for the program.
An active member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, Osornio has also contributed articles to Clubhouse Jr. and Discovery Years, both Focus on the Family publications, and was a columnist for Crossmap.com. Her piece “The Great Cedars of Lebanon” appeared in Learning Through History magazine in 2006, and she regularly participates in her local ministry newsletter.
Osornio graduated in 1985 from Columbia College Hollywood in Los Angeles with a bachelor of arts degree in cinema, with an emphasis in cinematography. She has worked as a bookstore clerk, office manager, and camera assistant. She writes fiction and nonfiction for children and adults, and she is a locally published cartoonist. When she isn't writing, Osornio enjoys biking and spending time with her family. She lives in Ontario, California, with her husband and four children.
Fran Osseo-Asare got her first taste of African cooking in the late 1960s when she was a student at the University of California in Berkeley. There she met a student from Ghana who introduced her to many of his country's customs and dishes. Coming from a family descending from Scottish, Irish, and Norwegian immigrants, the culture of The Dark Continent was completely foreign to her. However, the two grew close and eventually were married, but not until she went to live and teach in Ghana in 1971.
This experience led her to develop a full understanding of the culture of this African nation. She became familiar with their social system and homelife, including how they prepare foods and eat them. This interaction was the key to learning the difference between the culture she was living in and the one she grew up in. When returning to the U.S., Osseo-Asare and her husband maintained Ghanaian practices in their home. As their children grew up they were also exposed to the cultures of both their American family and their Ghanaian family. Preparing the meals, like in Ghana, was always a family time for them and the children soon became involved in African cooking as well.
The family travels frequently and stays in many parts of the world where the Osseo-Asare children learn the vast cultures of many other countries. In fact, the idea for A Good Soup Attracts Chairs came from an experience of one of their children.
“In 1985, after watching a television news story about the suffering children in Ethiopia, my four-year-old son prayed that God would help hurting children in Africa. After he prayed, I told him that God asks us to bring our few fish to Him, and He blesses them and multiplies them to feed others. I then promised to write this book. We agreed as a family that any profits coming from it would be used to help hungry children in Africa.”
Fran Osseo-Asare is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley where she earned her master's degree in social welfare in community organization and social planning. She has also completed a doctoral thesis at Pennsylvania State University on food provisioning in West African countries. A Good Soup Attracts Chairs is her second book, the first being a nonfiction work on family relations in Ghana. She and her husband live in State College, PA, with their three children.
An artist, screenwriter, and filmmaker, Rob Owen has been creating art since he was old enough to hold a crayon. Since receiving his bachelors of fine arts degree from Loyola University in New Orleans, Owen has worked as a professional artist. He specializes in writing, graphic design, drawing, photography, videography, and painting.
A native of the South, Owen has lived in Mississippi, Texas, and South Carolina. Although he did not move to New Orleans until high school, his fascination with its people and culture began much earlier. During his early years in the Crescent City, his natural affinity for art and storytelling truly flourished. In 2006, shortly after Hurricane Katrina, Owen was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme cancer, a typically fatal disease. While fighting for his life, Owen explored art and writing as a means of acceptance and emotional healing. He is one of the rare survivors of this cancer. Owen lives in New Orleans with his wife, two daughters, a dog, and a cat.
Edie Carol Owen, Rob Owen’s daughter, is a native New Orleanian. Her joyful curiosity and adeptness with her own ninety-six crayons were part of the inspiration for this story.
Ronald Paolillo has been doing amazing things his whole life. Born in Cheshire, Connecticut, by the age of fourteen, Ron had already started his own theatre company. He graduated from the University of Connecticut with a degree in dramatic arts and is probably best known for his role in the 1970s television show Welcome Back, Kotter, in which he played Arnold Horshack. Since then, he has appeared on a number of television shows, including the soap opera One Life to Live, Ellen, and Celebrity Boxing, in which he took on Dustin Diamond from Saved by the Bell. He has also been a guest on many talkshows, such as The Rosie O'Donnell Show, The Daily Show, The RuPaul Show, and VH1's Where Are They Now? Kid Stars.
Paolillo has traveled nationwide to perform in theatre productions, from classical drama to contemporary comedy. He has played Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls and Mozart in Amadeus, for which he won the Clevie award. He has also taught acting at the University of Connecticut, where The Nafe E. Katter-Ron Paolillo Scholarship in Acting is awarded to graduates or undergraduates on the basis of demonstrated talent, contributions to departmental productions, and professional promise.
Paolillo has starred in a number of plays that he directed himself. He has directed and starred in A Chorus Line, The Fourposter, and in the stage production of Phantom of the Opera. He also directed Three Guys Naked from the Waist Down, which was performed at the Tamirand Theatre in Hollywood, California.
Along with his comedic and thespian careers, Ron Paolillo is known for his skilled color and black-and-white pen-and-ink works, which have been shown and sold in New York, Hawaii, and California. He has concentrated this ability in his illustrations for children's literature. "Bright bold illustrations reminding one of a bouquet" is how Top of Texas Reviews describes Paolillo's work in A Gift for the Contessa. Paolillo also illustrated The Red Wings of Christmas. Both books are available from Pelican.
“Weeds' next-of-kin become things of beauty in Lucile's hand . . .”
“Flowers flow and bend on and off paper as if still full of the life they had in the field.”
—Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser
Lucile Parker, an acclaimed botanical artist, drew and painted flowers her entire life. She earned a doctorate of fine arts from William Carey College in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, where she served as chairman of art.
With an artist's eye and unwavering attention to detail, Lucile Parker meticulously examined several specimens of each flower in order to capture its vivacity in her magnificent watercolor paintings. She often used a magnifying glass while sketching the minute details in order to capture the flower's essence.
Her work can be seen in Southern Wildflowers, Wildflower Notecards, and Wildflower Postcard Book, all available from Pelican.
The old saying goes that an author should write about what he knows. That is why J. Robert Parkinson's varied and extensive business experience directly contributes to the content, significance, and value of his latest book, Mottoes for Managing. A communications consultant for over twenty years to corporate, academic, and government organizations, Dr. Parkinson has gathered adages, mottoes, sayings, and proverbs from all walks of life. In his book, he combines each motto with a powerful essay illustrating how it relates to business applications.
Dr. Parkinson is an active leader in the communications field. Throughout his extensive and varied career, he has held 1,100 instructional and coaching sessions for more than 12,000 business professionals. His credits include teaching courses in the application of television and media in education, serving as a corporate consultant and communications coach, and assisting clients to successfully and powerfully present themselves on radio and television programs.
A prior host of the radio interview program The Learning Curve and the television interview program A Point Well Taken, Dr. Parkinson currently writes “Business Speaks,” a weekly business column in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He has written a variety of books, including How to Get a Fast Start in Today's Market, How to Get People to Do Things Your Way, Getworking, and Becoming a Successful Manager.
Dr. Parkinson earned his bachelor of arts degree in English and biological studies and his master of arts degree in administration/supervision from Montclair States University. He earned his doctoral degree in instructional communications from Syracuse University. Currently, he lives in Glenview, Illinois, with his wife.
Ann Parr describes herself as the small town girl from Kansas who gets high on understanding how people make their lives work and how they are willing to share their wisdom through story. In Gordon Parks: No Excuses, she details the career of Gordon Parks, the first African American photographer for Life magazine, whose career spanned over twenty years. Gordon Parks attributes his success to his mother, who once told him he could do anything a white boy could. He took her advice and allowed no excuses when it came to pursuing his dreams. The author believes that there is a need to show the younger generation how no excuses and perseverance will help them achieve their goals.
Parr has written numerous young-adult books in the Race Car Legends, Behind the Moves, and Wild Rides! series and is a frequent contributor to Discover the Crossroads and Kansas! magazines. She also works with her husband as a consultant for a training and development firm. She earned her bachelor of arts degree in public school music education from Emporia State University and her master of fine arts degree in writing for children from Vermont College. She lives in Kansas and enjoys visiting with her family, gardening, and playing piano.
“I became my own person, but only after a lengthy apprenticeship,” says Sean Patrick, author of Patrick's Corner. “When people referred to one of us, it was usually collective. I used to think that we lacked individual identity . . . but it really didn't matter.”
Most people born late in the birth order of large families understand what Patrick means when he talks about his struggle for self-identity and the drawbacks of hand-me-downs. In this his first book, Patrick writes about his “comin' up” after World War II in a world where family life, neighborhood interdependence, and nurturing environments were the norm. “In retrospect,” says Patrick, “our apartment was a prime example of survival in spite of all of the obvious things working against you.” The story of the Patrick family is “not unique for their closeness . . . Or their open affection, one for the other.”
“I felt the people needed to be reminded that family life, neighborhood interdependence, and nurturing environments exist, too. We see too much of the negative and need the reminder that the family has always been the basic strength of America.”
Patrick is active in family and youth activities. He and his wife have raised more than twenty foster children. He is a scout leader, religious education program principal, and he and his wife are lecturers on parenting skills. Patrick has written a monthly column in Catholic Digest for four years.
Robert M. Peacock, based in Dallas, is one of the South's leading food, home, travel, and people photographers. He has photographed stories for Better Homes and Gardens, Southern Living, Coastal Living, Southern Accents, D Home, and numerous others. Dallas Classic Desserts is his first book for Pelican; previously he photographed Southern Cocktails: Dixie Drinks, Party Potions, and Classic Libations, a project for which he partnered with his wife, writer/stylist Denise Gee.
Peacock is a native of historic Natchez, Mississippi, where he grew up appreciating the hospitality industry—and the delicious food that goes with it. When he's not photographing, he often can be found enjoying (and being visually inspired by) the many restaurants Dallas has to offer.
When she was eight years old, Sydelle Pearl developed such a fascination for Helen Keller that one day she sat down and wrote her impressions of the blind and deaf girl. That same year, Pearl began writing poetry, a novel, and a one-act play called Lesson with the Ghost. Pearl, who lives in Brookline, Massachusetts, is now a professional storyteller making appearances at schools for children and adults alike.
Pearl remembers many adults in her life who encouraged her to continue writing. Her mother, a playwright, kept many books that focused on social issues, while her father was an avid reader of books on politics and history. Pearl finds an inextricable relationship in telling, writing, listening, and reading, as she has “always loved and been sensitive to the sound and rhythm of words.” A writer of folk songs for adults and children, she is also fond of incorporating songs into her stories.
On one occasion, Pearl was asked to tell stories at a local Hebrew school. Unable to find material to her liking, she decided to write her own stories instead. “Somehow,” she recalls, “they all had something to do with the prophet Elijah.” After finishing these stories, Pearl decided to make a tape of them, which eventually became her book Elijah's Tears: Stories for the Jewish Holidays. The book was named an ABA Pick of the List title and a Storytelling World Honor Award Honoree in 1997 and was highlighted on the Best Books for 1998 by the Children's Book Committee at the Bank Street College of Education in New York City.
Pearl's newest title, Books for Children of the World, is the biography of Jella Lepman, the U.S. Army's cultural and educational advisor to the women and children of post-World War II Germany. Lepman was responsible for creating the International Exhibition of Children's Books and also worked with the Rockefeller Foundation to build a full library in Munich, Germany.
Sydelle Pearl received her master's degree in library science from Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts.
The author of numerous children's books on topics ranging from ecology to ballerinas, Jan Peck and her stories have been featured in dozens of children's publications across the country, including Highlights for Children, Humpty Dumpty, and Chicken Soup for the Kid's Soul. A graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington, Peck is a former freelance editor for Boys' Life Magazine. Now a full-time writer, she has worked as a veterinarian's assistant, a health-food chef, and a high-school librarian.
With a sense of humor and a fearless imagination, Peck has the ability to make children excited about reading and learning. Her title Way Up High in a Tall Green Tree was a Texas Institute of Letters award finalist and its companion, Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea, was a finalist for the Texas Golden Spur Award, in addition to being featured on Nickelodeon.
Peck has been an active member of the Texas Society of Children's Book Writers for twenty-five years, having served as the president, conference director, and program coordinator in addition to holding many other positions. She is the 2008 Critique Group Coordinator for the North Central/Northeast Texas Chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), and she performs hundreds of school programs each year with fellow Texas author David Davis. Peck's highly interactive presentations and programs focus on promoting literacy and writing skills in schoolchildren across the country. The mother of two grown sons, Peck lives with her husband in Fort Worth, Texas.
Here is a recipe for a successful cookbook that few might believe! It calls for one real estate agent, a missionary family in a remote village in the Sierra Mountains, and a lot of word-of-mouth advertising about marinated chiles on the streets of Mexico City. While these ingredients seem as unlikely as an Aztec temple in the middle of New York's Central Park, they are key elements to the success of Luis and Marilyn Peinado and their latest cookbook, Bienvenidos to Our Kitchen: Authentic Mexican Cooking.
The story starts with Marilyn, the daughter of American missionaries, living in a village high in the mountains and cut off from most of civilization. As a young girl, under the tutelage of the housekeeper Marcelina—or “Marcy” as she was called—Marilyn watched the preparation of original Mexican meals using the authentic ingredients and age-old techniques that were passed from one generation to another in the highlands of western Mexico. The stories Marcelina told of her husband, a revolutionary soldier, inspired the young girl to preserve the village's heritage through its cooking when she moved to the United States in 1973.
Meanwhile, her future husband Luis was living in Mexico City. He was born in Bolivia, studied in the U.S., and was teaching English to Mexican businessmen and other professionals. One day, a friend convinced him to take up real estate. His subsequent travels along the Pacific coast introduced him to many of the mouth-watering recipes contained in their book. Returning home, he would re-create the dishes on his own—with excellent results. When word got out about his marinated chiles, friends—and later, complete strangers—were asking him to cater their parties and special occasions. This continued for many years, and eventually he moved to California where he and Marilyn met and married.
Since that time, their gourmet skills have combined to make them one the best pairs of cooks in their new home of San Antonio. Marilyn now works as a legal secretary and Luis continues to work as a translator and language instructor. Their cooking and writing careers are taking off with great speed as their book continues to entertain and delight diners and readers in the U.S. and Mexico. They anxiously await attending the 3rd Annual Gastronomic Congress in Mexico City in the fall of 1992, where their expertise on Mexican cooking will be the focus of attention.
Writer and researcher Christopher G. Peña is a leading historian of Southeast Louisiana Civil War history. In addition to authoring numerous essays and articles on the history of the Pelican State, Peña has published several books exploring various Louisiana historical sites, events, and figures.
Peña received his bachelor of arts in both theatre and history from Nicholls State University and continued on to earn his associate of science in nursing from the same university. At the University of Texas Health Science Center, he completed both his bachelor of science and master of science in nursing. He also worked as an associate professor of nursing at Nicholls until his retirement in 2009.
Born in Lake Charles, Louisiana, Peña lives in Knoxville, Tennessee, with his wife, children, and grandchildren.
Gary Penley grew up on a remote cattle ranch on the high plains of eastern Colorado, with neither electricity nor hot water. His unique childhood fostered his inquisitive mind and his propensity for storytelling. Following his grandfathers death, Penley and his mother moved to Lamar, Colorado, where he finished high school. He then joined the navy and traveled to such countries as Spain and Japan and through the icy seas of the Arctic Circle by submarine.
Following his discharge from the military, Penley attended Weber State University in Ogden, Utah, where he received a degree in geology and graduated first in his class. He then earned a masters degree in geology from the University of Kansas in Lawrence. Toward the end of his thirty-year career as a petroleum geologist, which involved exploring the Gulf of Mexico in search of oil and gas, he began writing full time.
Penley, an accomplished speaker, spent ten years in Toastmasters International, a world leader in enabling people to become confident communicators in front of an audience. He has embarked on two book-signing tours, which encompassed eleven states; presented at BEA; and appeared at several state library association events and numerous conventions.
He is a member of Pikes Peak Writers, and he taught a writing seminar for the Colorado Association of Libraries. A skilled archer and expert on early American antiques, he enjoys leathercraft, woodworking, and restoring furniture. Penley lives in Divide, Colorado, with his wife.
Robert Perlow is a comedic entertainer who creates, produces, writes, and stars in taped performances. A self-proclaimed “product of TV,” he grew up with the medium, having discovered it at five years old. Perlow is the star of a one-man show, “Tales from Hollywood,” and the creator, producer, and star of the multimedia presentation “The Warm-Up Guy,” which chronicles his career in entertainment. For twenty years he worked as the warm-up comedian for TV shows such as Friends, Growing Pains, Cheers, Newhart, Who’s the Boss?, Mork & Mindy, Taxi, and Full House. Perlow was also the longtime warm-up comedian for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
Perlow received bachelor of science and master of business degrees from the University of Rhode Island. He is a member of the Screen Actors Guild, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, and the Writers Guild of America. He was the creator, co-producer, and star of Let Bob Do It with Jason Alexander and received partial writing credits for Who’s the Boss?, Webster, Night Court, Head over Heels, and Laverne & Shirley.
Perlow lives in Narragansett, Rhode Island. This is his second book.
George Sessions Perry was born on May 5, 1910, in Rockdale, Texas. Orphaned at age twelve, he was reared through his adolescent years by his maternal grandmother. An irascible woman, she became the model for a major character in his prize-winning novel Hold Autumn in Your Hand. Rockdale and the surrounding area furnished the setting for nearly all of his fiction. Perry attended Southwestern University, Purdue University, and the University of Houston, but he never received a college degree. At Southwestern, he met his future wife, Claire Hodges. In 1931, he returned from traveling to marry her, and they settled down in Rockdale.
Having inherited a small income, George Perry spent the next six years writing six novels and more than fifty short stories about rural Texas. Claire Perry acted as his audience, grammarian, and typist. He was finally published in 1937, but it was not until 1941 that Perry established his place on the Texas literary scene with Hold Autumn in Your Hand, a novel about a year in the life of a tenant farmer. The book won the Texas Institute of Letters Award in 1941 and, in 1942, became the first Texas book to win the National Book Award. In 1945, the movie The Southerner, by Jean Renoir, was based on this book.
For World War II, Perry was declared medically unfit for service. So, Perry got a job as a war correspondent and volunteered to go ashore on the Sicily landings in 1943. After witnessing the horrors of war, he turned from fiction and devoted himself to nonfiction and journalism. By the late 1940s, Perry had established a national reputation as a feature writer for the Post and other magazines.
He and Claire moved to Guilford, Connecticut, to be near eastern publishing firms. In Connecticut on December 13, 1956, he accidentally drowned in a river by his house. In February, he was buried in Rockdale, Texas.
Texas: A World in Itself is an excellent informal guide to the state in which the author was born and raised. With enchanting stories, the book introduces the reader to the history, traditions, and folklore of Texas. Due to Perry's many trips to other cities, states, and countries, he has gained a worldly perspective of his home state. These experiences allow him to give the reader a picture of Texas that a nonnative can easily understand and a native could fondly enjoy.
When she was a young girl, Neila Skinner Petrick enjoyed hearing stories about heroes, particularly those early Texas settlers and North American pioneers who took adventurous strides to shape our nation. Now she presents the stories she loved to hear as a child in Jane Wilkinson Long: Texas Pioneer, a story about the “Mother of Texas,” a rebel who fought for liberty against the unpredictable Mexican government. In her newest book, Katherine Stinson Otero: High Flyer, she captures the spirit of the fourth American woman licensed to fly. Appealing to the child in all of us, Petrick's heroines inspire us with their resilient courage as they fight against insurmountable odds to reach their goals.
Petrick's writing career began when she served as writer and photographer for the Corsicana (Texas) Daily Sun. She also held the position of editor for the Italy (Texas) News-Herald and worked for the Dallas Morning News, where she started off as an editorial assistant and moved on to become writer-editor. In addition, she served as lead publication information officer for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), providing information for the media in times of crisis.
An accomplished author, video writer, and producer, Petrick has won national and regional awards for her work, including the silver medal at the New York Film & Video Festival, the Associated Press Managing Editors Award for writing, and two Matrix awards. Petrick received her bachelor of journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin and her master of arts degree in interdisciplinary studies at the University of Texas in Dallas. Since the 1990s, Petrick has served as a writer-producer for the news media, entertainment field, and numerous corporations. She lives in McKinney, Texas, with her husband, Tom.
Born in New Orleans, Earl Peyroux was raised on good cooking—gourmet cooking, even. As he learned to prepare gumbo, jambalaya, and shrimp remoulade from his mother and grandmother, he learned that gourmet cooking does not have to be fancy, expensive, or complicated.
His early lessons stayed with him when he moved to Pensacola, Florida. At the local junior college he taught cooking classes at night that stressed great taste, pleasing presentation, and simple preparation. The college, which owned the local PBS television station, soon approached him about adapting his classes for a weekly cooking program.
To prepare for his new adventure, he enrolled in the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris, where he honed his considerable culinary skills. He has since completed more than 600 episodes of "Gourmet Cooking," which has aired nationally on PBS stations since 1977. The companion cookbooks have sold more than 120,000 copies.
“I truly believe that preparing fine foods is an art form,” says Peyroux. “I know that once people get over their initial fear of preparing gourmet meals—and are spurred on by the praise they receive—they add the flourishes that make the dishes their own.”
Peyroux's seventh cookbook, the first to be sold in stores nationwide, is a collection of fan favorites and never-before-seen dishes that reflect the distinct cooking styles of New Orleans, Pensacola, and Paris. Readers may even mix the styles and serve Barbecue Shrimp, Pecan-Fried Triggerfish, and Poires Roties au Miel (Baked Pears with Honey) to create a gourmet menu with a flourish all their own.
The constant desire to find new experiences makes freelance writing and film producing the perfect career for Suzanne Pfefferle. With diverse interests ranging from international cuisine to Latino culture in New Orleans, she enjoys conducting research for various print and video projects. A native New Orleanian, her work has appeared in such publications as Where Y’at magazine, New Orleans Living, Louisiana Cookin’, Sugar Journal, Where New Orleans, and Travelhost New Orleans. She is the sole proprietor of Little Pepper Productions, LLC, for which she wrote and produced the documentary Vietnamese Cuisine in New Orleans, which premiered on WYES in October 2012. She is a member of the Press Club of New Orleans and the New Orleans Film Society.
Pfefferle attended Loyola University New Orleans and later graduated from Our Lady of Holy Cross College in New Orleans, Louisiana, with a degree in liberal arts and concentrations in English and art. In her free time, she likes to bike and salsa dance. She is an avid traveler who has visited Vietnam, India, Jamaica, Egypt, and Cuba. When not abroad, she is proud to call New Orleans home.
“Rick Phalen has produced a book that features current popular writers' short and pointed essays on Events That Shaped the Nation. Together they produce a fascinating ‘bottom line’ analysis of American political history.”
—Vice Adm. James B. Stockdale, USN (Ret.)
Born and raised in Evanston, Illinois, Rick Phalen graduated from the University of Missouri with an AB in history. He began a business career in radio sales in Chicago, where he was in charge of the office for a radio representative firm. Before his retirement, he was the president and CEO of Western Cities Broadcasting, which owned eight radio stations, and owner of a Denver radio station for eleven years.
Events That Shaped the Nation presents the most significant moments of the last sixty years in American history. Through thirty-nine interviews with writers, historians, veterans, and eyewitnesses, Phalen offers reflections on such turning points as the flag-raising at Iwo Jima and the birth of McCarthyism.
His second book, How We Have Changed: America Since 1950, traces the journey of the nation and its struggle to deal with change. From the aftermath of television to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Phalen leaves no stone unturned in examining the American character's past, present, and future.
A member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity and a former member of the Union League Club, Phalen currently resides in Montecito, California, with his wife.
This biography is not yet written.
Please see the press release(s) below for information.
W. Chris Phelps was born in De Ridder, Louisiana, in 1970 and raised in Richmond, Virginia. He moved to Charleston in 1992 and loves it enough to say, “Most likely I will be buried here as well.” Because of his intense interest in the history of Charleston and the South in general, Mr. Phelps has become a member of several historical societies, including the South Carolina Historical Society, the Charleston Library Society, the Charleston Museum, and the Charleston Tourism Association. Aside from historical research and writing, Mr. Phelps enjoys watersports such as surfing and wakeboarding and is also an avid mountain biker.
Mr. Phelps' book The Bombardment of Charleston: 1863-1865 is the first book of its kind to be published. It provides a detailed account of the unprecedented Union bombardment of Charleston from its beginning in August 1863 until it ceased in February 1865. Author Richard Cot calls the book a “heavily researched and insightful volume [which] shines a light into a dark corner of Civil War history.”
Mr. Phelps' second book, Charlestonians in War: The Charleston Battalion, explores the events surrounding the formation and campaigns of this important, seldom-heard-of group of men. W. Eric Emerson, of the South Carolina Historical Society, says Mr. Phelps has “deftly balanced operational details with social background and created a unit history that would be of interest to scholars and general readers.”
W. Chris Phelps currently lives in Johns Island, South Carolina, with his wife and their two children.
Jill M. Phillips is a resident of Covina, California. She is a professional writer and a partner in a literary counseling service, as well as an avid cook and recipe collector. Her principal interests lie in political science, medieval history, art, music, and drama.
The Good Morning Cook Book covers the most neglected meal of the day with eleven sections featuring whole meals, interesting beverages, and much more to add a bit of a change to a normal routine.
In a digital world where the time of day is displayed on the face of a cell phone or the corner of a computer screen, the very act of wearing a watch may be slowly going the way of the dinosaur. Although watches are far from becoming artifacts, the industry has come a long way from its fifteenth- and sixteenth-century beginnings. But if you're looking for precision in the art of making timepieces, look no farther than to the Swiss. Henry F. Piaget holds a prominent place in Swiss/American watchmaking. Today the Piaget brand is widely held as some of the best craftsmanship in the world.
Henry F. Piaget was born near Neufchatel, Switzerland, in 1804. After a brief sojourn to England, where he married the former Ann Sophia Rogers, Piaget settled in Brooklyn during the 1830s and worked as a watchmaker. Due to failing health, he moved his family to a farm in Great Notch, New York, in 1838, where he later became proprietor of the Great Notch Inn. Six of the Piaget's seven children survived to adulthood, with son Louis later becoming a leading jeweler and watchmaker.
So strongly did Piaget feel about watchmaking that he weighed in on the controversy between the superiority of hand-worked time pieces versus the machine-made models. The result is an 1877 published work titled The Watch.
Henry F. Piaget died July 1, 1883, at the age of seventy-nine. His widow, Ann, died April 14, 1890, at the age of eighty-six.
Kat Pigott discovered her love of cooking as a child, which led to a long career as a catering director at a historical hotel in Savannah, Georgia. After moving to Louisiana, Pigott became a chef, volunteer, and child advocate. The founder of several charitable organizations, including the summer lunch program Kid’s Kitchen for children in need, Pigott has received recognition from the governor of Louisiana for dedicated service to her community.
Pigott is the author of several children books and uses her passions for family, food, charity, and childhood to create her stories. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and the Zona Rosa Writer’s Group.
Pigott lives in Hammond, Louisiana, with her husband, Jerry, and their cairn terrier, Walter. In her free time, she enjoys watercolor painting and baking.
Together, the team of Virginia Walton Pilegard and illustrator Nicolas Debon has earned great praise for the highly successful Warlord's Series. The Warlord's Puzzle was selected for the Book Sense '76 list, a compilation of independent booksellers' top picks across the country, in May 2000 and is part of the California Board of Education's recommended reading list for grades K-12. The Warlord's Beads made the Book Sense '76 list in November 2001.
Pilegard's lifelong desire to write and her sense of wonder led her to create stories for children in which she uses informal geometry, mathematics, and science concepts to strengthen students' visual-learning abilities. Believing a good picture book can help children process math concepts in three ways, she has completed eight mathematical adventures. In each, bright pictures give visual clues, the story begging to be read aloud offers auditory clues, and a simple craft provides tactical kinesthetic clues to enrich children's learning.
For each of the Warlord's books, which are set in China, Pilegard spends hours in university and public libraries, scours bookstores and the Internet, quizzes Chinese American friends, and corresponds with authorities on various aspects of Chinese life from Seattle to Beijing in order to bring authenticity to the series. In August 2002 and again in November 2007, she traveled to China to continue her research.
A proud member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, the California Reading Association, and the California Mathematics Council, Pilegard has worked as an elementary-school teacher and has volunteered in a juvenile corrections facility. She and her husband, Richard, are proud parents and grandparents.
Charlotte Livingston Piotrowski, a native of New Orleans, is a former civil defense attorney and published writer. She received a BA in education from the University of New Orleans and a JD from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law.
Piotrowski has published numerous articles in local and regional magazines, including Louisiana Cookin’, nola baby & family, and the Junior League of New Orleans’ Lagniappe. Piotrowski devotes her spare time to numerous civic and philanthropic organizations, including those that support animal welfare and the arts. She works closely with John E. Wade II on his websites and social media efforts, which relate primarily to the theme of heaven on earth. Piotrowski enjoys gardening, traveling, cooking, and cheering on her beloved New Orleans Saints.
Born in Dallas, Texas, Pittman earned a bachelor’s degree in New Testament Greek and a master’s degree in English from Abilene Christian University. His prolific writing career took off after graduation; he produced numerous plays, works of nonfiction, collections of poetry, and short stories. After moving to Monroe, Louisiana, Pittman was added to the Louisiana Roster of Artists in 1998. Working closely with regional art councils, he was commissioned to write historical plays for Franklin and Madison Parishes.
Pittman lives with his wife in Monroe, Louisiana, where he teaches freshman composition and literature for Louisiana Delta Community College, the University of Louisiana at Monroe and Virginia College Online. An enthusiast of many types of music, he is also a singer, guitarist, and songwriter for Angus Dubhghall, a local Scots-Irish band that performs at various Celtic festivals across the South.
Stella M. Pitts is a Rosedown Plantation volunteer currently residing in Woodville, Mississippi. Born in Clarksdale, Mississippi in 1937, Mrs. Pitts moved to New Orleans as a news reporter in 1960 and was the first woman hired to work the night city desk at the Times-Picayune since World War II. After she and her husband adopted two children, she began her freelance career, writing articles ranging from historical and environmental features to human-interest stories. Her previous books include Woodville—Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow: Volume Three in the Journals of the History of Wilkinson County and The Burning of Bowling Green.
Richard Platt is the author of a growing list of informative books for young readers and also writes for innovative multimedia projects. He was born in 1953 in the United Kingdom and earned his degree in art from Newcastle College of Art and Design in 1974. Platt earned his BA from Leeds Polytechnic University and attended Central School of Art in 1977. He has had experience working as a photographer and sub-editor and has been a freelance writer since 1985. Platt currently lives in England.
When Martha Ward Plowden saw that students at Crawford W. Long Middle School in Atlanta were having trouble finding books about African-American leaders and heroines, she decided to fill the gap by researching and writing her own books. She is a noted leader of both the African-American and educational communities of Atlanta and the state of Georgia.
Plowden has served on the executive committees for the Georgia State Conference of the NAACP, the Atlanta Branch of the NAACP, and the Atlanta Urban League. She was the first state coordinator, and later the chair, of the Academic, Cultural, Technological, and Scientific Olympics for the Georgia State NAACP. She received a doctorate of curriculum and instruction from Walden University and was the media specialist for Crawford W. Long Middle School, where she worked for twenty-four years.
A pillar of her community, Plowden has received numerous awards and commendations for her public service. She believes that the history of important African-American women should not only be told but also be told in a way that can reach audiences of all ages. She remains an active member of the Georgia Retired Educators Association and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.
Deborah Pollack discovered her appreciation for the arts at a young age. Born in Philadelphia, Pollack began dealing art as a hobby at sixteen, and this passion has followed her throughout her life. She is an art dealer, author, and speaker who has lectured and written extensively about the art of Palm Beach, Florida. Through her experience in the art world, Pollack is skilled in finding significant works of art that define the culture of an area.
Pollack graduated from Temple University with a BA in art history. She has written five books, as well as several magazine and journal articles, poems, and short stories. Pollack has received awards from Florida Memorial University, the Actors’ Fund of America, and two poetry prizes from the South Florida Writers Association.
After working in Pennsylvania and New York, she and her husband moved their gallery, Edward and Deborah Pollack Fine Art, to Palm Beach, where they now live.
J. Patrick Polley's background in design, as well as with her love of travel, make her the ideal author for Pelican's new book series for young adventurers. My Trip to Washington D.C., My Trip to New York, and My Trip to Gettysburg combine travel guide information, space to write in, and related word games and other activities so kids can create personalized keepsake records of their visits. She is justifiably proud of these innovative, Wire-O-bound journals, observing that “currently, nothing like this exists in the market and it's a great way to raise enthusiasm as well as educate a child going on a trip.”
An avid reader and world traveler, this former scuba instructor operates a graphic design studio, Infinite Ideas & Designs, and serves as president of the Orlando chapter of Business & Professional Women.
Ms. Polley was born in Detroit, Michigan, and received a bachelor's degree in psychology from Eastern Michigan University. She completed a master's degree in library science at Rollins College in Florida. Her additional studies include doctoral work in philology at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and a year at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, Greece. Polley currently resides in Casselberry, Florida.
Cathy C. Post was born in Texas but spent only three years of her life there before her family moved to Lake Charles, Louisiana. Mrs. Post stayed in Lake Charles through college, attending McNeese State University. She graduated with a degree in home economics and business and went on to teach kindergarten and high school for several years. However, she learned that “teachers have one of the most important and difficult jobs in the world“and were not well compensated for their efforts” and decided that a career change might be in order.
Mrs. Post spent time as a legal secretary for the district attorney's office in Lake Charles before moving with her husband and children to Santa Fe, New Mexico. There she began her twenty-year career as a secretary at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, a job she loved.
After she retired, Mrs. Post began to research Hurricane Audrey, the 1957 storm that caused so much death and destruction in her hometown of Lake Charles. Recognizing the need to learn from hurricanes of the past, she has chronicled the desperate struggles of six families, including her own, to survive the deadly storm.
Mrs. Post now lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, with her husband. Although she loves the Southwest, she knows that “the sound of waves crashing onto the beach will forever draw this Cajun author back to the Deep South and the Louisiana coast.”
Approximately 13 years ago, Memphis lawyer Jerry O. Potter saw a painting in a local bank that changed his life. The painting portrayed the horror of April 27, 1865, when the wooden-hulled steamer Sultana, overloaded with war-weary Union soldiers, exploded into flames while en route to the North. The work stirred a ravenous curiosity in the young lawyer which would not subside, and he felt compelled to uncover the story of the burning vessel on the Mississippi River.
After reading newspaper accounts of the event, Potter was shocked by the magnitude of the tragedy. A graduate of the University of Tennessee at Martin with a degree in history, Potter thought it strange that he had never heard of the Sultana. He found that only three books had been written on the subject—none of which dealt with the futility of the hundreds and hundreds of deaths. Potter decided to uncover the story of the Sultana and what happened to its 2,300 passengers, and thus reserve for the boat and its soldiers their well-deserved place in history.
As a student, Potter won the Tennessee Historical Commission Award for earning the highest marks in history, and was awarded an internship by the Tennessee Valley Authority to conduct historical research in the state. From this research, Potter published the study entitled “Problems relating to the Socio-Economical Development of Northwest Tennessee 1819 through 1900.”
Jerry Potter is a partner in The Hardison Law Firm in Memphis, Tennessee. He received his law degree from Memphis State University in 1975. His hobbies include traveling, archaeology, historical research, and writing.
A lifelong Louisiana resident, Anita C. Prieto was a celebrated educator for more than thirty years. She is a retired member of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, a professional honor society of women educators. Her local chapter recognized Prieto’s dedication by naming her teacher of the year. She is also a member of the local and national chapters of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Prieto’s works reflect her love for Louisiana and the education of Louisiana’s children.
During her time as a teacher and administrator, Prieto held positions as principal, superintendent, and classroom teacher. She received a bachelor of arts and a master of arts in education from Louisiana State University and completed a doctorate at the University of New Orleans. Now retired, she spends her time composing poetry and prose. She also enjoys traveling, gardening, and playing board games with family and friends. Prieto lives in Metairie, Louisiana.
Kathy Prochnow's column “Auction Blocks” in Traditional Quilter magazine provided its readers with insight into the quilt auction marketplace for many years. Although her column was a tremendous success, Kathy felt as if some of her best research, patterns, and historical tidbits regarding the world of auction house quilts landed on the editorial floor. When she decided to write the most complete “prices realized” listing of actual quilt sales ever published, she teamed up with her husband, Dave.
Dave Prochnow, also an accomplished writer and avid researcher, contributed his own expertise in creating the most comprehensive prices realized database of auctioned quilts for Quilts Sold! By researching the history of each landmark quilt and following it from sale to sale at the famous auction houses that sold these classics, the Prochnows have truly created a one-of-a-kind-book for the quilt enthusiast and collector.
Kathy Prochnow earned her bachelor of science degrees in anthropology, English, mathematics, and zoology from the University of Nebraska. The diversity in her educational background and work history has enabled her to blend numerous disciplines into a single coordinated project. Kathy has worked as an editor, content developer, and manager and is a certified interior designer and illustrator.
Dave Prochnow earned his bachelor of science degrees in anthropology, English, mathematics, and zoology from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. From North Dakota State University, he earned a bachelor of arts degree and bachelor of archeology degree. He is a frequent contributor to MacAddict, Nuts and Volts, and SERVO Magazine and is the author of twenty-three nonfiction books. Dave won the 2001 Maggie Award for the best “How to” article in a consumer magazine and is currently busy doing research on his upcoming book about robots.
Jewish child in town. When her children were growing up in Louisiana, they were the only Jewish family in the entire parish. As a family they shared in Toby's experiences of practicing a religion that was not as well recognized as the faith found in their friends' homes. Learning to share her faith with her friends, she quickly understood that children should have an appreciation for other religions.
She never considered herself much of a teacher, rather devoting her time to raising a family and working in the family business. But in 1972, she decided to go to college. Taking one course a semester, she completed her studies with a master's degree in education with a concentration in children's literature. This grand commencement from the University of New Orleans took place just months after the release of her first book, Toby Belfer Never Had a Christmas Tree. She now teaches children's literature on the college level at Loyola University in New Orleans and focuses on the need for elementary school teachers to use books more effectively in the classroom.
She has also worked hard at passing the culture on to younger generations. This doesn't just apply to her seven grandchildren. In school appearances all over the country, she gives children a firsthand look at the customs, clothing, and childhood stories of the Jewish people. Priding herself as a storyteller, she has spoken to classes in a number of states and in schools from public to parochial to synagogue Sunday school classes. Teachers, parents, and students alike find her presentations enriching and entertaining.
One to recognize that learning does not stop, she is continuing her own education on the doctorate level. She holds memberships in both the National Association for the Preservation and Perpetuation of Storytelling and the Coalition for the Advancement of Jewish Education.
The daughter of Sheriff Buford Hayse Pusser, Dwana Pusser spent her childhood witnessing the extraordinary and heartbreaking events that won fame for her father and family. Dwana was born in Chicago, Illinois, but spent the majority of her life in Adamsville, Tennessee, the same town where her father was raised.
In 1967, Dwana suffered the loss of her mother in an ambush and lost her father in an automobile accident only seven years later in 1974. Dwana learned at a very early age how to cope with grief and hardship and has spent her life overcoming obstacles and inspiring others to do the same. Devoted to preserving the memory of her father, Dwana has also become a well-known figure in her community. She owned and operated Pusser's Restaurant in Adamsville from 1998 to 2006 and worked in radio broadcasting for more than fifteen years.
In 1998, she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, but she has not let this slow her down. Drawing upon her rich reserve of family, friends, and faith, Dwana has spent the past decade learning to embrace the challenges of her daily life while continuing her work as an energetic and engaging wife, mother, grandmother, and civic personality.
Pusser is actively involved in Adamsville civic affairs, including the Chamber of Commerce, City Commission, and tourism in the state of Tennessee. She maintains a Web site in her father's honor and hosts the annual Buford Pusser Festival in Adamsville. She nurtures a deep respect for her father and her family history, maintaining that her father and his way of treating people has enabled her to “walk on” in her own way.
Todd-Michael St. Pierre is the author of several New Orleans cookbooks and children’s books. His works have been featured by various magazines, newspapers, and websites. He was a judge for the Reading Rainbow Young Writers and Illustrators Contest and is a proud Louisianan, avid cook, dedicated gardener, and cat lover.