Authors & Experts

Jeffery Deaver

Jeffery Deaver is an international number-one bestselling author. His novels have appeared on bestseller lists around the world. His books are sold in 150 countries and translated into twenty-five languages.

The author of forty novels, three collections of short stories and a nonfiction law book, and a lyricist of a country-western album, he’s received or been shortlisted for dozens of awards. His The Bodies Left Behind was named Novel of the Year by the International Thriller Writers association, and his Lincoln Rhyme thriller The Broken Window and a stand-alone, Edge, were also nominated for that prize. The Garden of Beasts won the Steel Dagger from the Crime Writers Association in England. He’s been nominated for eight Edgar Awards.

Deaver has been honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Bouchercon World Mystery Convention, the Strand Magazine’s Lifetime Achievement Award and the Raymond Chandler Lifetime Achievement Award in Italy.

The Bone Collector was a feature release from Universal Pictures, starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie. Lifetime aired an adaptation of his The Devil’s Teardrop. NBC television is currently filming a pilot of a TV show called Lincoln based on Deaver’s Lincoln Rhyme.

Heather Graham

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Heather Graham, majored in theater arts at the University of South Florida. After a stint of several years in dinner theater, back-up vocals, and bartending, she stayed home after the birth of her third child and began to write. Her first book was with Dell, and since then, she has written over two hundred novels and novellas including category, suspense, historical romance, vampire fiction, time travel, occult, sci-fi, young adult, and Christmas family fare.

She is pleased to have been published in approximately twenty-five languages. She has written over 200 novels and has 60 million books in print. Heather has been honored with awards from booksellers and writers’ organizations for excellence in her work, and she is the proud to be a recipient of the Silver Bullet from Thriller Writers and was awarded the prestigious Thriller Master Award in 2016. She is also a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from RWA.  Heather has had books selected for the Doubleday Book Club and the Literary Guild, and has been quoted, interviewed, or featured in such publications as The Nation, Redbook, Mystery Book Club, People and USA Today and appeared on many newscasts including Today, Entertainment Tonight and local television.

Heather loves travel and anything that has to do with the water, and is a certified scuba diver. She also loves ballroom dancing. Each year she hosts a Vampire Ball and Dinner theater raising money for the Pediatric Aids Society and in 2006 she hosted the first Writers for New Orleans Workshop to benefit the stricken Gulf Region.  She is also the founder of “The Slush Pile Players,” presenting something that’s “almost like entertainment” for various conferences and benefits. Married since high school graduation and the mother of five, her greatest love in life remains her family, but she also believes her career has been an incredible gift, and she is grateful every day to be doing something that she loves so very much for a living.

Lisa Black

Lisa Black spent the five happiest years of her life in a morgue. As a forensic scientist at the Cuyahoga County Coroner’s Office she analyzed many forms of trace evidence as well as crime scenes. Now she’s a certified latent print examiner and certified Crime Scene Analyst in Florida and is the author of thirteen traditionally published novels. Some of which have been translated into six other languages, one has been optioned for film and one reached the NYT bestseller’s list. The latest is Suffer the Children, which involves forensic scientist Maggie Gardiner and homicide detective Jack Renner in a series of deaths inside a center for violent children.

Jane Bock

Jane Bock has three degrees in botany. Since retiring as Professors of Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, she and her husband, Carl, switched their writing and publishing from science to mystery writing, thanks to Absolutely Amazing eBooks. Our mysteries are set in the Florida Keys and the Arizona-Mexico Borderlands.

While at Boulder, in the mid-1980s she and Professor David Norris, an endocrinologist, started collaborating on original research they call Forensic Botany. Since then they have written several papers and one book, Forensic Plant Science (2016, Academic Press, Elsevier). They have participated in at least 100 homicide investigations in the US and elsewhere. Some cases received considerable attention. For example, the murder of Jan Benet Ramsey.

Micki Browning

Retired police captain and FBI National Academy graduate Micki Browning is the author of the award-winning Mer Cavallo Mysteries set in the Florida Keys. Her debut novel, Adrift, was an Agatha Award Finalist for Best First Novel. Beached, the second in the series, won the 2018 Royal Palm Literary Award for Best Mystery and Published Book of the Year.

Micki also writes short stories and non-fiction. Her work has appeared in dive magazines, anthologies, mystery magazines and textbooks. She lives in South Florida with her partner in crime and a vast array of scuba equipment she uses for "research."

Learn more at

John H. Cunningham

John H. Cunningham is the author of the best selling, seven book, Key West based Buck Reilly adventure series. Through the years, John has been a bouncer at a Key West nightclub, a diver, pilot, magazine editor, commercial developer, song writer, global traveler and currently splits his time between Key West, Virginia and New York City. John mixes fact with fiction and often includes real people in his novels, including Jimmy Buffett, Matt Hoggatt, Thom Shepherd, Chris Blackwell, Bruno Magras and Bankie Banx to augment the reader's experience. Adhering to the old maxim, "write what you know," John's books have an authenticity and immediacy that have made them best sellers, earned a loyal following and strong reviews.

Carla Norton

Carla Norton is a novelist and true crime writer. Her award-winning fiction includes The Edge of Normal and What Doesn't Kill Her. Her nonfiction includes Disturbed Ground, about a female serial killer, and Perfect Victim, about an extraordinary case of kidnapping and prolonged captivity. Perfect Victim was a #1 New York Times bestseller and was put on the reading list for the FBI Behavioral Sciences Unit. That story inspires her crime fiction. Carla has a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing. She invites you to contact her via Goodreads, Facebook, and at

Diane A.S. Stuckart

Diane A.S. Stuckart is the New York Times bestselling author of the Black Cat Bookshop Mystery series (writing as Ali Brandon). She’s also the author of the award-winning Leonardo da Vinci historical mysteries, as well as several historical romances and numerous mystery, fantasy, and romance short stories. The first book in her new Tarot Cats Mystery series is FOOL’S MOON, on the shelves now. Her upcoming Georgia B&B Mystery series will launch in July 2019 with PEACH CLOBBERED (writing as Anna Gerard). Diane is a member of Mystery Writers of America and has served as the 2018 and 2019 Chapter President of the MWA Florida chapter. She’s also a member of the Cat Writers’ Association and belongs to the Palm Beach County Beekeepers Association. She shares her “almost in the Everglades” home with her husband, dogs, cats, and a few beehives.

Gray Basnight

Gray Basnight: After almost three decades in broadcast news and a few years pursuing acting, Gray is deeply immersed in fiction writing.  His books cross several genres and feature a range of voices and characters.  Prior to the political thriller Flight of the Fox – in which the final climactic scene is set in Key West,he published The Cop with the Pink Pistol, a modern NYC-detective mystery, and Shadows in the Fire, a Civil War historical novel about two young slaves on the edge of freedom.

When not writing, Gray thinks about writing – while walking his Golden Retriever, watching movies, traveling, and all other activities.  Gray is a member of the Authors Guild, NY Writers Workshop, Mystery Writers of America, and Writers Guild of America East.  Having grown up in Richmond, Virginia, he has lived in New York long enough to consider himself a native.  Visit, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter.  He loves connecting with readers!

David Beckwith

David Beckwith is the surviving author of the Will and Betsy Black adventure series, a series begun with his late wife, Nancy. The Beckwiths  had more in common than writing joint novels. They had a long standing marriage and a successful daughter. They each spent most of their working careers in the financial services industry – David, as a financial advisor and Nancy, as a commercial banker. They both earned advanced business degrees and each had many years of teaching and lecture experience. Both have been recognized for being skilled writers for magazines and newspapers; David’s book, A New Day In The Delta, a narrative nonfiction, was published to critical acclaim in 2009. David and Nancy are both products of the Deep South and lived in Vero Beach, Florida for 30 years before moving to the Florida Keys. 

Robert Coburn

Robert Coburn is originally from Norfolk, Virginia. He served three years in the US Army in Berlin with the 6th Infantry Regiment as a helicopter crew chief. He graduated from the Richmond Professional Institute (now VCU), worked in advertising and was a creative director at major ad agencies in New York and L.A. He is an instrument rated commercial pilot, plays saxophone and is author of five mystery novels, A Loose Knot, The Pink Gun, A Deadly Deception, Little Boxes, Bad Tidings, An Evil Number, Malice Murder, and A Rage of Deaths.

Bill Craig

Bill Craig is a single father of 9 raising his last child while churning out thrilling murder mysteries.  Born and raised In Indiana, he writes several private eye series and has actually worked as a licensed private eye.  Bill now has more than 100 novels written and published.

Mike Dennis

For thirty years, Mike Dennis was a professional musician, retiring from full-time playing around 2003. He then became a professional poker player, and left Key West for Las Vegas. In late 2009, one of his novels was picked up by a publisher and he had to abandon poker to devote time to developing a platform for his books. Since then he has published five more novels, two novelettes, and numerous individual short stories. In December, 2010, Mike moved back to Key West.
In 2013, he had the opportunity to get into audiobook narration. Since then, he has over 40 audio titles available, about half in the crime/noir genre. His biggest title is I, The Jury by Mickey Spillane, the first Mike Hammer novel. Continue Reading Here. . .

Bob DiForio

After graduating from Williams in 1964, I joined Kable News Company, distributor of magazines and Books (including Berkley books) as U.S. Book Supervisor calling on the dozens of Magazine Wholesalers (IDs) from Maine to Miami.  In those days there were more than 800 of them.

I spent part of one year in Philadelphia as a local book man selling Kable’s books through United News Company, were I really learned the wholesale books business. Subsequently I was a traveling magazine and book man in DC/Maryland/Virginia and Elizabeth City NC and Gettysburg PA.  From there to VP Books sales Kable and joined New American Library at VP General Sales Manager in 1972. In the midst of the mass market paperback revolution.  What a grand time to be I the business.  We launched the paperback careers of Stephen King, Ken Follett, Robin Cook, Erica Jong and many others.  Loved it.

In the early 80’s I because President and Publisher and then CEO of NAL and we bought the company in a leveraged buy out with Odyssey Partners from parent company, Times Mirror.
A couple of years later we bought E. P. Dutton and wound up selling the combined companies in 1986 to Pearson PLC to merge with Viking and Penguin.
I left three years later and founded D4EO Literary Agency. Since then I’ve sold over 2,000 books and launched the writing careers of hundreds of authors.  7  agents, all working from their homes, are now D4EO agents with me. Pam Victorio, Julie Dineen, Weronika Janczuk, Katelyn Uplinger, Kerstin Wolf, Anne Tibbet and Joyce Holland. [all reachable via].

Wayne Gales

Wayne Gales spent seven years in Key West as a director in the hospitality business, where he spent endless hours in the Key West public library pouring over microfilm records of his families’ conch roots. He currently lives in Melbourne, Florida with his wife Tina. He has published a series of five books, all a combination of contemporary and historical fiction with a Key West theme. A world traveler, Wayne has visited 24 countries on five continents and all fifty states. An avid fisherman, snorkeler, gourmet chef, former classic rock and country guitarist, he has also raced cars, trucks and motorcycles in Baja and grew up as a rodeo cowboy. He has five children and twelve grandchildren.

Cherly Hollon

Cheryl Hollon writes full-time after an engineering career designing and installing military flight simulators in England, Wales, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan, and India. Living the dream, she combines a love of writing with a passion for creating glass art in the small studio behind her house in St. Petersburg, Florida. Cheryl is President of the Florida Gulf Coast Sisters in Crime, a member of Mystery Writers of America, and International Thriller Writers.  

Rick Ollerman

Rick Ollerman has written four novels and is the author of one non-fiction collection of essays on paperback original era authors and their works. He is also the editor of Down & Out: The Magazine, is a freelance editor for other writers’ books, and whose latest book, an anthology dedicated to the memory of 2014 MWA Raven Award winner Gary Shulze, BLOOD WORK, was released at last month’s Bouchercon in St. Petersburg.

Shirrel Rhoades

Co-founder of Mystery Writers Key West Fest, Shirrel Rhoades is a man of many hats -- author of numerous mysteries and travel books, a publisher, syndicated film critic, former NYU professor, and museum president. Currently the publisher/CEO of Absolutely Amazing eBooks as well as New Pulp Press, he is a former executive with Reader’s Digest, Scholastic, Harper’s, and Marvel Entertainment, where he succeeded Stan Lee as publisher of Marvel Comics. The Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication selected Rhoades as the 2014 Professional of the Year. He lives full-time in Key West with his wife Diane, 1 dog, and ½ cat. Continue Reading Here. . .

Pam Stack

Pam Stack is the host of the radio talk show Authors on the Air and executive producer of the Authors on the Air Global Radio Network, an international digital media company comprised of radio shows, podcasts and book reviewers, heard by 3,000,000 listeners and readers in 40 countries with 1+ million social media friends. She is an avid reader across genres (400 books a year), an international award-winning advocate for domestic violence and sexual assault victims, is owned by five rescued felines and is endlessly fascinated by creative people. Pam will be interviewing participating authors live at Mystery Fest Key West.

Author's Liaison

Britin Haller

Britin Haller is a Media Escort for Penguin Random House, Hachette, Harper Collins, and Simon & Schuster, and tours with NY Times best-selling authors. In her past life, she wrangled the Rich and Famous, including Paul McCartney, Jack Nicholson, and Barry Manilow, among many others.  She was the Film Editor and a feature writer for GHOST! Magazine, and a co-author of the serial novel NAKED CAME THE FLAMINGO. Britin's critiquing experience makes her a valuable story consultant, while her completed manuscript (a gory, but fun, biblical revenge thriller) is coming soon. She is a Founding Member and Psychic with “The Messengers,” a South Florida Paranormal Team.

Carol Tedesco

Carol Tedesco’s diverse resume combines years of experience in media and public relations, photography and historic shipwreck research, search and recovery. As a publicist, her clients have included treasure hunters, rock stars, dogs, muscle men, authors, ballerina's, fairies and artists, though not necessarily in that order. As a professional photographer, Carol captures compelling images to accompany well-crafted text for strategic distribution to media outlets. A stringer for the Florida Keys News Bureau/contributor to the Associated Press, her images have appeared in news stories and print publications worldwide. She is author of Treasure Coins of the Nuestra Senora de Atocha & the Santa Margarita, co-author of After Life – Images from the Key West Cemetery, and numerous archaeological mystery articles.