2016 L.A. Times Festival of Books Sunday Authors and Illustrators

Join these authors and illustrators at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books SCBWI LA booth 831. Buy books and art, get autographs, and enjoy one of the largest celebrations of books in the country. We’ll see you at USC, April 9th & 10th. Insider tip: don’t drive. Parking is impossible. Take the train!

Saturday Signers | Sunday Signers

Sunday Authors and Illustrators

Click here to download a printable schedule for Sunday

Sunday – Table 1
10am 11am 12pm 1pm 2pm 3pm 4pm
(Click on a name in red for more information)
Paula D. Golden
10 – 11:50
Jeannie Winston
12 – 12:50
Bianca Bagatourian
1 – 1:50
Elana Azose
2 – 2:50
R.S. Mellette
3 – 5:00
Maribeth Derry
10 – 10:50
Jennifer Caloyeras
11 – 12:50
Elisabeth Wolf
1 – 2:50
Donn Swaby
3 – 5:00
Bethany Barton
10 – 11:50
Anne Loader McGee
12 – 1:50
Sue Ganz-Schmitt
2 – 3:50
4 – 5:00
Sunday – Table 2
10am 11am 12pm 1pm 2pm 3pm 4pm
(Click on a name in red for more information)
René Colato Laínez
10 – 11:50
Michael Thal
12 – 1:50
Veronica Bane
2 – 3:50

4 – 5:00
Kathleen Gorman
10 – 10:50
Alva Sachs
11 – 12:50
Sheri Fink
1 – 2:50
Leyla Kader Dahm
3 – 5:00
Teresa Anne Power
10 – 11:50
Dana Elmendorf
12 – 12:50
Laurenne Sala
1 – 1:50
Sherri Smith
2 – 2:50
Deborah Fletcher Blum
3 – 5:00

Elana Azose

Signing Sunday from 2:00pm – 2:50pm

Elana Azose began her writing career in the first grade with a novel about a unicorn family. She only got to page seven, but it was a gripping saga nonetheless. She went on to earn her BA in English Literature, then moved to the Pacific Northwest, where she wrote for The Seattle Times and drank lots of coffee. Elana recently got a Master’s in Educational Technology and moved back to sunny Los Angeles. She still enjoys a good frappuccino.

Click here to learn more about Elana Azose

Click here to purchase Never Insult a Killer Zucchini!

Bianca Bagatourian

Signing Sunday from 1:00pm – 1:50pm

Bianca Bagatourian is an experimental playwright who easily switches between genres. She’s a graduate of the MFA playwriting program at Brooklyn College with lifetime Obie award-winning playwright, Mac Wellman. The Time of Our Lies, her play about the life of historian Howard Zinn, was nominated for the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award at the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Draculiza is her first children’s book.

Click here to learn more about Draculiza

Click here to purchase Draculiza

Veronica Bane

Signing Sunday from 2:00pm – 3:50pm

Veronica Bane grew up in San Diego, California and spent her days writing in local coffee shops and at the beach. Her writing was and has always been fed a healthy diet of chai tea lattes and film scores. She studied Creative Writing at Chapman University and now lives in Los Angeles. She is the author of Mara and Miyuki, young adult novellas published by Black Hill Press. She is represented by Logan Garrison of The Gernert Company.

Click here to purchase books by Veronica Bane

Bethany Barton

Signing Sunday from 10:00am – 11:50am

Bethany Barton is the author/illustrator of several picture books including I’m Trying to Love Spiders (Viking/Penguin) which garnered several starred reviews (Publishers Weekly, Kirkus) and is currently a finalist for the 2016 Children’s Choice Award.

Click here to learn more about Bethany Barton

Deborah Fletcher Blum

Signing Sunday from 3:00pm – 5:00pm

Deborah, Warren and Esther Blum created the wonderful read-aloud book, Vinnie and the Marching Bugs, together. This imaginative adventure story takes place in Magical Griffith Park, a world so small that only “children and adults with unusually active imaginations” can see it. Warren began telling Esther this tale when she was four years old, adding to it upon her request. He then enlisted Deborah, a trained artist and illustrator, to contribute original oil, acrylic and watercolor paintings as illustrations. Together, they perfected Vinnie and the other unusual characters: Fruit the Spider, Tina the Ant and HC the Caterpillar and more! Inspired by Deborah’s illustrations, Warren added his own, inventing outrageous bugs and fanciful letter-art for each chapter. Esther then contributed a mud monster and letter art.

Besides being a mom and an artist, Deborah, is a children’s author, who has written a middle grade novel. She enjoys walking their dog, Sparky, and reading. Warren enjoys playing piano and singing. He even created a companion CD of original songs to accompany Vinnie and the Marching Bugs.

Click here to purchase Vinnie and the Marching Bugs

Jennifer Caloyeras

Signing Sunday from 11:00am – 12:50pm

Jennifer Caloyeras is a novelist and short fiction writer living in Los Angeles. She holds a B.A. In English from the University of California at Santa Cruz, a M.A. in English Literature from California State University Los Angeles and a M.F.A. in creative writing through the University of British Columbia.

She is the author of two young adult novels: Strays (2015) and Urban Falcon (2009). Her short stories have been published in Booth, Storm Cellar, Monday Night Literary and more. She has been a college instructor, elementary school teacher and camp counselor. She is the dog columnist for the Los Feliz Ledger and the Larchmont Ledger. She recently served as the artist in residence at the Annenberg in Santa Monica. Jennifer will be teaching a writing course at UCLA Extension in the fall of 2016.

Click here to learn more about Jennifer Caloyeras

Leyla Kader Dahm

Signing Sunday from 3:00pm – 5:00pm

Wisconsin native Leyla Kader Dahm popped popcorn and dreamt of a career in show business while working in a movie theater during high school. The small-town Midwestern girl opted for the practical route and studied communications at Carroll College and Cornell University. But her life changed course dramatically when a temp agency placed her in a production and development gig at Miramax/Dimension Films.

Dahm went on to work as a script consultant for numerous production companies. She appeared in the acclaimed spoken word show Sit ‘N Spin and had her comedy feature spec, Due North, optioned by Michael Levy Enterprises. She sold her pitch, Survival Instinct, to Nickelodeon Original Movies.

Dahm lives with her husband and children in Los Angeles, where she focuses on writing quality material for families and young adults.

Click here to learn more about Leyla Kader Dahm

Click here to purchase Annabeth Neverending

Dana Elmendorf

Signing Sunday from 12:00pm – 12:50pm

Dana Elmendorf was born and raised in a small town in Tennessee. She now lives in Southern California with her husband, two boys and her tiny dog Sookie. When she isn’t exercising, she can be found geeking out with Mother Nature or scouring the internet for foreign indie bands. After her family’s needs are met, you can find her dreaming up contemporary YA romances with plenty of kissing. South of Sunshine is her first novel.

Click here to learn more about Dana Elmendorf

Sheri Fink

Signing Sunday from 1:00pm – 2:50pm

Sheri Fink is an inspirational speaker, a #1 best-selling author, an award-winning entrepreneur, and the creator of “The Whimsical World of Sheri Fink” brand. Sheri writes books that inspire and delight kids of all ages while planting seeds of self-esteem. All five of her children’s books have become #1 best-sellers, including The Little Rose which was a #1 Amazon Best-seller for over 60 weeks.

In 2013, CBS Los Angeles selected her as one of the top three authors in the local area, a distinction she shares with Dean Koontz. Sheri’s brand is the recipient of the prestigious Mom’s Choice Award for the best in family friendly entertainment. She was recently named an inspirational beauty by supermodel Cindy Crawford’s “Beauties Give Back” campaign.

Click here to learn more about Sheri Fink

Sue Ganz-Schmitt

Signing Sunday from 2:00pm – 3:50pm

Children’s book author, producer, mother and philanthropist, Sue Ganz-Schmitt is passionate about helping children and families both in the USA and globally. She is co-founder of an AIDS orphanage in Haiti, has traveled to China to help medically challenged orphans, and set up a birthing clinic in rural India. Sue’s writing is inspired by her own childhood as well as local children facing medical and other challenges.

Planet Kindergarten was inspired by her mother’s enthusiasm over rocket launches and the moon landing when Sue was a kindergartner. Her visits to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and Elon Musk’s SpaceX also inspired her writing of this story. She has served as a NASA Social Media correspondent (NASA Kennedy/SpaceX CRS5; NASA JPL/Orion, NASA Dryden/Sofia, NASA Armstrong/Leaptech), and a volunteer for the Planetary Society. Planet Kindergarten: 100 Days in Orbit launches this summer (Sep. 2016).

Her other books include The Princess and the Peanut: A Royally Allergic Fairytale – which grew out of compassion toward a friend’s kindergartner with a severe peanut allergy. And, Even Superheroes Get Diabetes which was created when her neighbor was diagnosed at the age of three with type 1 diabetes. Identifying that medically challenged children are underserved by the children’s literary world, Sue strives to provide high quality and inspiring books for children and families who need heroes and icons they can relate to from diagnosis and beyond.

Click here to learn more about Sue Ganz-Schmitt

Paula D. Golden

Signing Sunday from 10:00am – 11:50am

A talented artist by trade, Paula Golden’s writing brims with deliciously vivid images, and fun wordplay is always sprinkled in to enchant her young readers.

Her first book, A Surprise Party for James, illustrated by Philip Hone Williams, was self-published in 2014. Children love to pretend to go places. Get ready to ride with John and Kaycee as they travel in a bus full of friends to a surprise party, experiencing the unexpected every step of the way! (Chapter book ages 5-8)

Her second book, A Pet Just for Me!, illustrated by Laura Esthela González, was self-published in 2014. Its whimsical pages entice and engage little ones to join in the fun of guessing what pet is coming home. It beautifully captures the anticipation of a future loving owner. (Picture book ages 0-7)

Paula is a graduate of CSU Long Beach. Currently, she is employed in the healthcare and education industries. She also tutors at-risk youth throughout the San Fernando Valley. Expect more titles to be released by this author!

Paula is the Newsletter Chair for the Southern California Valley Association for the Education of Young Children, a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and she is Vice President of the Association of Publishers for Special Sales in Santa Clarita. Paula resides in Winnetka, CA with her family.

Kathleen Gorman

Signing Sunday from 10:00am – 10:50am

How Far is Heaven? is Kathleen Gorman’s first published picture book. It was released through HBE Publishing in September, 2015. Linden Press published her first curriculum guide, Remembering the California Missions. It was written to support a literature book by the same title.

Click here to learn more about Kathleen Gorman

Purchase How Far is Heaven? from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Books a Million

René Colato Laínez

Signing Sunday from 10:00am – 11:50am

René Colato Laínez is an award winning Salvadoran author of many multicultural books including ¡Vámonos! Let’s Go!, The Tooth Fairy Meets El Ratón Pérez and Señor Pancho Had a Rancho. He is a graduate of the Vermont College MFA program in Writing for Children & Young Adults. René is a bilingual elementary teacher at Fernangeles Elementary School, where the students know him as “the teacher full of stories.”

His goal as an author is to produce good multicultural children’s literature; stories where minority children are portrayed in a positive way, where they can see themselves as heroes, and where they can dream and have hopes for the future. He wants to write authentic stories of Latin American children living in the United States.

Click here to learn more about René Colato Laínez

Purchase books by René Colato Laínez from Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Anne Loader McGee

Signing Sunday from 12:00pm – 1:50pm

Anne Loader McGee is a Master Graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature and a long-standing member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI). She has also studied writing at the American Film Institute and at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

Along with children’s plays and animation scripts, her short stories have been published in the Kids Reading Room of the Los Angeles Times. Anne is co-author of the Sing Out Loud instructional singing books for children. The Mystery at Marlatt Manor is Book One in the Cedar Creek Mystery Series. Book Two is The Mystery of the Missing Ming and Book Three is The Mystery Beneath Midville Museum.

Click here to learn more about Anne Loader McGee

R.S. Mellette

Signing Sunday from 3:00pm – 5:00pm

R.S. Mellette’s debut novel, Billy Bobble Makes a Magic Wand, from Elephant Bookshelf’s Press is about to be followed up by the sequel, Billy Bobble and the Witch Hunt. Prior to the Billy Bobble series, Mellette’s Sci-Fi short stories were published in the anthologies: The Fall: Tales from the Apocalypse, Spring Fevers and Summer’s Edge. Mellette is an Associate Director of Dances With Films. He wrote the first web-to-television intellectual property, "The Xena Scrolls," for Universal Studios’ Xena: Warrior Princess. Mellette is a member of the Science Fiction Writers of America and a regional board member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

Click here to learn more about R.S. Mellette

Click here to purchase Billy Bobble Makes a Magic Wand

Teresa Anne Power

Signing Sunday from 10:00am – 11:50am

Teresa Anne Power is an attorney turned internationally recognized children’s yoga expert and author of the bestselling award-winning book, The ABCs of Yoga for Kids, which has sold over 1/4 million copies worldwide and has been translated into 4 languages. She is also the founder of Kids’ Yoga Day, which is a global event reaching over 12,000 children worldwide to celebrate their health and fitness through yoga. Teresa has taught yoga to thousands of children and has spoken at numerous libraries, schools, bookstores, yoga studios and school conferences across the United States. She has been featured in many newspapers and magazines, including USA Today. She also teaches Children’s Yoga Training Workshops, is a member of The President’s Challenge Advocate Program, and volunteers her yoga expertise at Let’s Move West LA, Children’s Bureau, Connections for Children, Pathways and The Neighborhood Youth Association. Teresa has appeared on local and national TV talking about the health benefits of yoga for kids, including a Fox News affiliate and Good Morning Arizona. She also writes articles about children’s health and fitness on Examiner.com. For more information, please visit www.kidsyogaday.com.

Click here to learn more about Teresa Anne Power

Alva Sachs

Signing Sunday from 11:00am – 12:50pm

Alva Sachs is an award-winning author and founder of Three Wishes Publishing Company. She is a former elementary school teacher with sixteen years of classroom experience and a Masters’ Degree in Education. Alva writes stories to engage, excite, and empower young children at an early age for the shear joy of reading. Alva serves as President on the Board of Reading Is Fundamental of Southern California. She is an educator, consultant, speaker, and presenter. Alva has had the privilege of sharing her expertise at numerous venues, meetings, and conferences. The Authors Show has recently honored Alva as one of the “50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading!”

Alva writes stories to promote the love of reading, develop imagination, create exciting, enriching, and rewarding stories for children, encourage socialization through discussions and sharing experiences through reading, stimulate thinking and communication and provide positive reading experiences from a variety of stories to help children to become inspired and life-long readers.

Click here to learn more about Alva Sachs

Laurenne Sala

Signing Sunday from 1:00pm – 1:50pm

Laurenne Sala is a writer, speaker, and human. She was born in Chicago to two very loud and creative parents who taught her that you can find humor in anything. After moving to Los Angeles for undergrad right here at USC, she fell in love with palm trees and has only lived in places with palm trees ever since: Spain, Miami, and Santa Monica. Laurenne has written several national advertising campaigns for clients like KIA Motors, Jack-in-the-Box, and Beats by Dre. She writes funny videos for BuzzFeed and jokes for other comedians too. Laurenne was recently paired with Robin Preiss-Glasser to create You Made Me a Mother, her first picture book that debuted on March 8th from Harper Collins. It’s an adorable book that celebrates mother and spreads love (AND IT MAKES FOR A GREAT MOTHERS DAY PRESENT!) Even before the book’s launch, Laurenne fell in love with children’s books at her first SCBWI conference. After sitting in cubicles for so long, she couldn’t believe there existed a world in which so many people loved their jobs. She’s committed to creating more picture books and stay in this wondrous world of kid lit. You Made Me a Father is out soon, and more funny books are on the way. You can watch Laurenne tell taboo stories or listen to her podcast about all things taboo at TabooTales.org.

Click here to learn more about Laurenne Sala

Sherri L. Smith

Signing Sunday from 2:00pm – 2:50pm

Sherri L. Smith is the award-winning author of several YA novels including Flygirl and Orleans, as well as the bestselling middle grade historical fantasy, The Toymaker’s Apprentice (G.P. Putnam’s Sons). Her books have been listed as Amelia Bloomer, American Library Association Best Books for Young People, and Junior Library Guild selections and appear on multiple state reading lists. Flygirl was the 2009 California Book Awards Gold Medalist. Sherri was a 2014 National Book Awards judge in the Young People’s Literature category. She has worked in film, animation, comic books and construction. Currently, she is a faculty member in the MFAW program at Goddard College. She lives in Los Angeles, California with her clever husband and difficult cat.

Purchase The Toymaker’s Apprentice from Amazon or Indiebound

Donn Swaby

Signing Sunday from 3:00pm – 5:00pm

Donn was born and raised in Queens, New York. Encouraged by loving parents to explore his artistic expression, Donn developed his passion for drawing, painting, writing, and acting in both high school and college. He has written stage plays, screenplays, articles, short stories and poetry, including having written and starred in the film, Buds for Life, available on DVD. He also wrote and directed a One Act of six short plays collectively titled, The Lost and Found.

Donn was a long time Staff Writer for Melt Magazine, an on-line alternative women’s magazine, writing music reviews, restaurant reviews, feature interviews, and the What’s Cool L.A. page. He was also an Off-the-Bus blogger on HuffingtonPost.com during the 2006 presidential primary campaign.

Donn is currently working on other books for children while living in Los Angeles, CA with his wife, Cynthia.

Click here to learn more about Donn Swaby

Michael Thal

Signing Sunday from 12:00pm – 1:50pm

Michael Thal is the author of five published novels—Goodbye Tchaikovsky, The Abduction of Joshua Bloom, and The Koolura Series—The Legend of Koolura, Koolura and The Mystery at Camp Saddleback, and Koolura and the Mayans. He is also a columnist for the Los Angeles Examiner writing articles about parenting and education.

Moving from the frigid Northeast to comfy Southern California in 1973, Michael taught elementary and middle school for 28 years until a freak virus left him deafened at the age of 50. He reinvented himself as a writer composing over 80 published articles in print magazines as well as novels for middle grade and high school aged students.

Click here to learn more about Michael Thal

Purchase books by Michael Thal from Amazon or Barnes & Noble

Jeannie Winston

Signing Sunday from 12:00pm – 12:50pm

Jeannie Winston has over 31 years of Illustration experience as a children’s book illustrator. Her work is influenced by a profound love of animals and nature in all its forms and a fascination with patterns, color and designs found in flowers and plants. Her images are created using pencil, acrylic paints, gouache, stencil, collage and Photoshop.

Jeannie studied Illustration at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. Her work has been sold and licensed for apparel, fabric, greeting cards, gift-wrap and much more.

Some of her clients include: Harcourt Houghton Mifflin, Simon& Schuster, Piggy Toes Press, and Oxford University Press.

Click here to learn more about Jeannie Winston