Sally grew up in a small rural town in southeastern Oklahoma where her family’s favorite entertainment on summer evenings was to sit outside under the stars and tell stories. When she went to bed at night, instead of a lullaby, she got a story. That could be due to the fact that everybody in her family had a singing voice like a bullfrog with laryngitis, but they sure could tell stories—ghost stories, funny stories, happy stories, scary stories.
For as long as she can remember she’s been a storyteller. Thank goodness for computers so she can write down her stories. It’s hard to make listeners sit still for the length of a book! Like her family’s tales, her stories are funny, scary, dramatic, romantic, paranormal, magic.
Besides writing, her interests are reading, eating chocolate and riding her Harley.
Michelle Grey is an avid lover of books, and had always thought that someday she would take up her pen and write in her favorite genre – romantic suspense. In 2009, Michelle was diagnosed with a rare form of ovarian cancer, and she realized that “somedays” aren’t guaranteed. This life-changing event motivated Michelle to pursue her dream of becoming an author.
Michelle lives in the Midwest with her husband of thirty plus years, and has four amazing and unique children, a wonderful son-in-law, and three beautiful grands. To Michelle, any day that involves family, writing, or reading is a great day, indeed.
1st Vice-President (Conference Chair)
Alfie Thompson received her first “we’re buying your book” call in December 1989. That first book was a Christmas story, published the following Christmas by Harlequin. Is it any wonder that she loves Christmas for more than the usual reasons? Since then, writing as Val Daniels, she has sold 9 more books to Harlequin/Silhouette, including 8 Romances, 1 Shadows (romantic suspense) and 1 Special Edition. Her books have been published in 22 languages and 32 countries. More than 5 million copies of her romances are in print.
Running Press (a division of Perseus) published her non-fiction book about learning to write fiction by watching movies. Lights! Camera! Fiction! A Movie Lovers Guide to Writing a Novel by Alfie Thompson. Alfie has given writing workshops from New York City to Hawaii. She is currently publishing a series Tip, Tricks and Tools of the Writer’s Trade based on her most popular and requested workshops. Currently, Point of View, Understanding Which P.O.V. is Best for Your Story and Using it Effectively and Writing for the Reader are available as e-books on Amazon.com. The next one, It’s Just Emotion, Writing for Emotional Impact will be published soon.
During her five years on the Board of Directors of the Romance Writers of America, Alfie proposed and initiated the first ever “Readers for Life” Literacy Autographing, which has raised over $1,165,000 for literacy since its inception in 1990.
Amazon Author page: Val Daniels
2nd Vice-President (Communications)
Sunny Bob, as she’s known to friends, is a late-blooming repeat offender. Car accident, followed by recovery and writing. Recuperate then go back to square one. Red cars seem to have been my downfall. Everyone wanted to bash them. It wasn’t until the old garage door fell off its rollers and right smack on top of my neck and back that I thought hmm. Maybe I’m supposed to write.
During my first writing stint, I tinkered with various genres to see where my interests crouched in the shadows of my mind. Writing confessions came next—those slick magazines you’d find in grocery stores with titillating titles and tame stories, such as Can I Allow My Dead Husband to Become A Sperm Donor. (True story, by the way. A young couple tried invitro-fertilization just before he was killed and the wife was left with all that sperm in the sperm bank. Perv here wanted to discover what one did with frozen sperm after a partner died. Did you stick it in the freezer between the English peas and frozen yogurt? Or did you donate it to a best friend who wanted a baby but no husband?)
After a few years, this author’s writing branched off to include penning romantic suspense, women’s fiction, and even erotic romance under a couple of other names. Traveling introduced her to new experiences, and she wrote for an Australian publisher. Now that she’s pushing 70-years-old, she’s not sure what she wants to be when she grows up, so she writes whatever is of interest. Right now, it’s thrillers and genealogical histories.
Sunny Bob lives with her adult son and his girlfriend in the Midwest. She is owned by a couple of cats, a handful of publishers, and a few dozen characters in her head who want their stories told.
Treasurer & Programs Chair
Amy Leigh Harden
Amy Leigh Harden was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri. She writes historical and romantic suspense novels set against a backdrop of England and small-town USA as life adjusts to a new normal after the Great War and World War II. Amy Leigh has a passion for dinners with friends, road trips on two-lane highways, and all things much older than herself.
By the time Amy Leigh was old enough to hold a crayon she was scribbling words on sheets of paper and calling them stories. Her early writings received glowing reviews from parents and grandparents. By the time she was a teenager her stories morphed from children going on adventures to people finding their one true love – while going on adventures. She blames falling in love with writing romance on a now long-lost Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys mystery she read in high school.
Amy Leigh is married with two children – all of them unabashed bookworms.
Even as a kid, Diane (Wilson) Rogers loved to read. Her favorite books were the Nancy Drew Mysteries, which made her want to pen a book of her own someday. Her first effort, a Nancy Drew-like story attempted in the fifth grade, didn’t go quite as planned. Two chapters into it, Diane was lost and gave up. Following another failed attempt at novel writing in her thirties, Diane succeeded several years later when she decided to write about something she loved—history.
Diane, who writes as D.L. Rogers because her step father (an avid reader) told her once he refused to read anything written by a woman, loves to weave her fictional stories into the fabric of the events that built our country. Having grown up in New Jersey, but with lots of family in Tennessee and the Carolinas, Diane has always had an intense interest in all things Civil War, and that interest is reflected in most of her books.
At the beginning of the Ebook explosion, Diane had five books published as Ebooks by Awestruck Publishing. Unable to get hard copies through Awestruck, she turned to a local publisher, who put those books into print. Taking to the road, Diane “hawked” her books at every arts and crafts festival she could find, spoke to whoever would listen (and still does), and is now working on her fourteenth novel.
Recently widowed, Diane lives on fourteen acres south of Harrisonville in Cass County, Missouri, the focal point of so many of her stories. She has two wonderful children who have given her five (also) wonderful grandchildren that Diane loves to enjoy in her “down time.” Diane also enjoys country dancing and reading as many books as she can get her hands on.