Gail Tsukiyama is the author of seven novels, including Women of the Silk and The Samurai’s Garden. She has been the recipient of the Academy of American Poets Award, the PEN/Oakland Josephine Miles Award for Literary Excellence, and the Asia Pacific Leadership Award from the Center of the Pacific Rim and the Ricci Institute. A resident of the San Francisco Bay Area, she has taught at San Francisco State University, University of California, Berkeley, and Mills College. Her new novel, A Hundred Flowers, was published by St. Martin’s Press in August 2012.
Josh Conviser, who grew up in Aspen, Colorado, and graduated from Princeton University, is the author of two genre-bending novels: Echelon and Empyre, published by Random House in 2006 and 2007, respectively. An avid mountaineer, he climbed ranges around the world, including the Himalayas, before giving up the mountains for the jungles of Hollywood. He is executive consultant on HBO’s series, “Rome,” and currently has a feature film at Fox. Beyond writing, he has worked in physical production, independent production, film financing and distribution. Conviser has lectured at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Princeton University and the Cate School, and was the featured speaker at the Southern California Writers’ Conference. He also serves as a mentor for the Santa Barbara Film Festival’s 10-10-10 competition for young screenwriters, which his students have won twice. Josh lives with his wife and daughters in Santa Barbara, where he’s at work on his next book, a high-tech spy-thriller.
Barbara Samuel (also Barbara O’Neal) has written more than 40 novels, including the award-winning The Lost Recipe For Happiness and How To Bake A Perfect Life, which was a Target Book Club Pick in 2011. She has won seven highly prestigious RITA awards, leading to her induction into the RWA Hall of Fame, only the 13th person to have been so honored. Her books have been translated into many languages and published widely around the world, including France, England, Poland, Australia, Italy, Germany, Brazil, and many others. She lives in Colorado Springs with her beloved, a British endurance athlete, and a collection of rescue cats and dogs. She loves olive oil and peaches, gardening and hiking and travel, and of course, reading.
Naomi Hirahara is the Edgar Award-winning author of the Mas Arai mystery series, which features a Japanese American gardener and atomic-bomb survivor who solves crimes. Nominated also for Macavity and Anthony awards, the novels in the series include Summer of the Big Bachi,
Gasa-Gasa Girl, Snakeskin Shamisen, Blood Hina, and Strawberry Yellow, which will be released in March 2013. Her crime short stories are featured in Los Angeles Noir, Los Angeles Noir 2:
The Classics, A Hell of a Woman, and The Darker Mask. She also has an award-winning book for middle-grade readers, 1001 Cranes, and is currently working on another novel for the same age group. Her new series based on a female LAPD bicycle cop will be launched in 2014.
Hirahara, born and raised in Southern California, has led numerous writing workshops, most recently at UCLA for undergraduate students. Her web site is www.naomihirahara.com.
Peter Gadol is the author of six novels, including The Long Rain, Light At Dusk, and most recently Silver Lake, which was nominated for awards from the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association and the Lambda Literary Foundation. His work has appeared in Story and Tin House and been translated into several languages. Gadol taught at CalArts for nine years before joining the faculty of the Graduate Writing department at Otis College of Art and Design in 2005. He lives in Los Angeles.