Who We Are



Kerry

Kerry

Kerry O’Malley Cerra’s career as an author began at age five when she wrote and illustrated her first story using crayons on the back wall of her family’s house. Although her Mom and Dad recognized her talent, they refused to leave the prize-worthy story up long enough for her to find an agent. Scrubbing the wall may have erased her story, but it only fueled her desire to write…and be published.

After graduating with a Social Science Education degree from the University of South Florida—GO BULLS!—Kerry taught high school history for several years. Working with teens encouraged her once again to pick up crayons, okay it was a computer by this time, and finally put her stories on paper. She enrolled in the Institute of Children’s Literature, joined SCBWI, met her fabulous critique buddies, helped launch this amazing Whatcha’ Reading Now? group, and the rest is history—which is her favorite subject ya know!

When not plunked in front of the computer, she loves hanging with her hubby and three kids playing games--especially wii fit, in which she currently holds the record in her family for heading the most soccer balls!

Michelle

Michelle

Michelle loves to lose herself in a good story, especially one with unforgettable characters. She enjoys stories while reading print or eBooks, watching TV and movies, or listening to family and friends, who tell the truest tales of all. Michelle’s favorite way to plunge into a story is to write one of her own.

Under the pen name Shel Delisle, she’s published three novels: DOLPHIN GIRL, WINGING IT!, and MY WISHFUL THINKING, all for teens.

You can find out more about her and keep up with her writing adventures here.



Michelle

Jill

Jill MacKenzie knew she was born to write books the first time someone read The Secret World of Og, by Pierre Burton to her. That day, she began working on writing her first Middle Grade novel, to be completed when she was nine years old. Unfortunately, her dad (accidentally) erased the novel from their Commodore 64, leaving Jill heartbroken forever. Well, almost forever.

Jill loves all things YA. In particular, Jill loves edgy, gritty protagonists that prove they have a softer side too, stories where happy endings are not a given, and books where the underdog always, always prevails.

Today, Jill has published several articles in fashion/lifestyle magazines, and is working on her first Young Adult novel.  When Jill’s not writing, she secretly (not so secretly) loves to watch The Hills and The City, and thinks MTV is, and will always be awesome.



Other Contributors Purple WRN Logo

Lisa teaches second grade in Central Florida. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and a Masters in Reading Education. She has been teaching for 13 years. She is the mother of three devoted readers ages 9, 12, and 13.

Jen Rofé is a children’s literary agent with Andrea Brown. She’s also co-author of the picture book, Piggies in the Pumpkin Patch (Charlesbridge 2010). But those are just her fake jobs. Secretly, Jen’s a ninja (she holds a blue belt in karate), a TV game show winner (at the age of 12), and dreams about being a bakery-owning cowgirl, though she doesn’t bake much or have a horse. And watch out if you live nearby because Jen has never TP’d a house before and she's looking to remedy that!

Sarah Davies

Sarah Davies runs the Greenhouse, a full-service literary agency exclusively for authors of fiction (though not picture books) for children and young adults.  With offices in Virginia (just outside Washington D.C.) and London, the agency represents both American and British authors and sells direct to both markets. Foreign rights are handled by sister-company Rights People – a specialist children's rights-selling business with a fast-growing reputation for selling literary properties around the world.

Anthony Lamb

Anthony Lamb is an 8th grade language arts teacher that enjoys reading, spending time with family, and anything sports related. Originally born in Cambridge, England, Anthony spent the majority of his childhood in Chicago, Illinois, before finding his way down to South Florida. Prior to teaching, Anthony graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a degree in Multimedia Journalism. Looking to combine his love of writing with that of helping the community, he sought teaching.

Janet Fox

Janet Fox recently moved from College Station, Texas, to Montana, where she, her husband, and their college age son have a cabin in the mountains not far from Yellowstone. Her writing for children has appeared in Highlights for Children and Spider magazines; her first book is the award-winning middle grade non-fiction Get Organized Without Losing It (Free Spirit Publishing, 2006). Her debut novel Faithful (Speak/Penguin, 2010) was an Amelia Bloomer 2011 pick from the ALA. She has served as a regional advisor for SCBWI and taught middle school and high school English/language arts. Janet received her MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts in July 2010. Her second novel Forgiven, a companion to Faithful, is due out in June 2011 and is a Junior Library Guild selection. You can find more about Janet at www.janetsfox.com and follow her at www.kidswriterjfox.blogspot.com.

When Darla Warrior isn't in the classroom, she can be found hanging with her husband, three sons, and fellow writing buddies. She carves out time to write, to camp, to take stay-cations exploring the state of Florida and to read. Because she has moved around a great deal in her forty-something years of life, she often jokingly one-ups people in the number of homes she's lived in (40 something) and the number of states that she has called home (10). Writing for young adults seems to be the one passion that seems to stalk her, along with a near obessive compulsive disorder of getting rid of anything and everything that can't be moved without the help of large men with cavernous trucks.

GLORIA ROTHSTEIN is the author of SHEEP ASLEEP (HarperCollins)~~a picture book PBS Parents calls “a hilarious rhyming story;” REAL-LIFE WRITING ACTIVITIES; READ ACROSS AMERICA, FROM SOUP TO NUTS (Scholastic); “Curious George” animated cartoons; and more. She’s been writing for kids for years and has published credits with Children’s Television Workshop, Harcourt, Harper, Holt, Scholastic, Houghton Mifflin, Macmillan, Random House, and Scribner. Gloria lives in South Florida and teaches writing workshops at Sugar Sand, Nova Southeastern, and The Florida Center For The Book. She’s also been a speaker at SCBWI Conferences, The Miami Book Fair, The Conference On Children’s Literature, and The Willow Theatre.

Cindy Gress, a middle school literature teacher, was raised in Kentucky.  She loved reading so much as a child, that she would read the back of the cereal box every morning.  When she was in elementary school, she couldn’t wait to get the Scholastic Book Order flyers and would beg her parents to buy new books every month. 

Cindy loves all kinds of books, nonfiction and fiction.  Her favorite book series is the Lord of the Rings trilogy (with the Harry Potter series a close runner-up).  She’s a big fan of Deborah Sharp’s “Mama” books as well.

Cindy is a member of the SCBWI and is working on her first middle grade novel.  She is married and has two daughters.

Joyce Sweeney is the author of fourteen novels for young adults. Her first novel, Center Line won the First Annual Delacorte Press Prize for an Oustanding Young Adult Novel. Many of her books appear on the American Library Association's Best Books List and Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers. Her novel Shadow won the Nevada State Reading Award in 1997. Her novel Players was chosen by Booklist as a Top Ten Sports Book and by Working Mother magazine as a Top Ten for Tweens. Her novel, Headlock (Holt 2006), won a Silver Medal in the 2006 Florida Book Awards and was chosen by the American Library Association as a Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers. Her new novel, The Guardian, focuses on the plight of foster children. Joyce also writes shorts stories and poetry- Her first chapbook, Impermanence, was published in 2008 by Finishing Line Press. Joyce runs a successful manuscript critique business and conducts three ongoing workshops in creative writing which have so far produced twenty-seven published authors. She lives in Coral Springs,Florida with her husband Jay and cat, Phantom

Dorian Cirrone is the author of the young adult novels, Prom Kings and Drama Queens and Dancing in Red Shoes Will Kill You, which was named an ALA Popular Paperback and made the Amelia Bloomer List for Feminist Fiction as well as the New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age list. She has also written the Lindy Blues chapter books, The Missing Silver Dollar and The Big Scoop. Her poems, shorts stories, and essays for children and adults have been published in literary journals and anthologies. Dorian holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in English and has taught writing at the university level and at many workshops and conferences. She has worked as a door-to-door survey taker, a dance teacher, a choreographer, an assistant city editor for a daily newspaper, and a college English instructor. Writing for children and teens has been her best job so far. To learn more about Dorian and her work, visit www.doriancirrone.com.

Debbie Reed Fischer is the award-winning author of teen novels Braless in Wonderland (Dutton) and Swimming with the Sharks (Flux). She started her writing career in kindergarten, where she excelled at upper case letters and staying within the lines. Debbie later went on to earn a Bachelors degree in screenwriting from the University of Miami, which naturally prepared her for many jobs, including that of farm hand, receptionist, costume jeweler, model and talent agent, and teacher. When she isn’t writing, Debbie is chatting with her readers and writing peeps online, teaching writing workshops, visiting schools, singing, playing guitar, running, reading, watching indie films and just about anything on TV. Debbie has lived in the US, England, Greece, and Israel, and now lives in South Florida with her husband and two sons, who don’t mind eating take-out when she is on deadline. Visit her at www.debbiereedfischer.com. And don’t forget to friend her on Facebook and Myspace!

Cathy Castelli is a high school media specialist in South Florida who feels sad that when students graduate they may stop reading young adult novels. During her commute to work each day, she listens to books on tape so not a moment is wasted. Cathy is also a member of the Florida Teens Read Committee which selects books specifically designed to engage high school students across the state. She has been a voracious reader since childhood when he father would often ask, “Is that the same book you were reading this morning?” The answer was usually, “No.”

Marjetta Geerling is the author of Fancy White Trash (Viking Children's Books 2008). Her book was selected as an American Library Association's 2009 Best Books for Young Adults and for the 2009 Rainbow List. Marjetta grew up in Southern California and attended the Johnston Center for Integrated Studies at the University of Redlands. She lives in Miami Beach, FL where she teaches private writing classes and leads writing workshops for children, teens, and adults.

Josh Berk is the author of the award-winning YA novel, The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin (Knopf 2010) and a second comedy/mystery teen novel coming from Knopf in 2012. He has previously been a journalist, a poet, a playwright, and a guitarist (mostly in bands known for things other than fine guitar-playing). He is a librarian and lives in a cornfield in Allentown, Pennsylvania, with his family.

For more information, visit www.joshberkbooks.com.
For too much information, visit http://twitter.com/joshberkbooks

Faran Fagan

Faran Fagan has been a teacher for the past eight years. Additionally, he’s been a journalist for the past fifteen years, including five years of experience as a freelance reporter for mlb.com. He’s pursuing a career as a novelist and spends his summers helping to direct a summer camp.

Phyllis

I (Phyllis Simon) am the founder and co-owner of Kidsbooks which has been part of the vibrant Vancouver book scene since 1983. Because we specialize in children’s books, all the staff at Kidsbooks choose to read the literature because we love discovering new books for our customers! Prior to being a bookseller, I was a children’s librarian for ten years. I have two grown-up sons and one husband! I learned to love literature from my mother who, even when there wasn’t a book to look at, was adept at reciting long poems from memory.

Kristina

Kristina Miranda writes book reviews for WRN. She lives in South Florida with her husband, two children, and three dogs. An aspiring middle grade and young adult author, her writing philosophy is to “stay gold,” following Johnny’s words to Ponyboy in S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders, “…you’re gold when you’re a kid, like green. When you’re a kid, everything’s new, dawn. It’s just when you get used to everything that it’s day. Like the way you dig sunsets, Pony. That’s gold. Keep that way, it’s a good way to be.

Ana

Ana-Carolina usually goes by just Ana (it’s easier to say and remember). She’s a senior at a high school in Florida and 17 years old. Ana LOVES books and in the last school year she read over 60 just for the fun of it. This year she hopes to read even more books because she’s on the Battle of the Books team at her school and hopes to win 1st place again!

Meredith McCardle is an attorney, YA writer and avid reader. She has a particular penchant for historical fantasy. She lives in South Florida with her husband, their young daughter and a hyperactive wheaten terrier.

Jodi

Jodi Turchin is a high school English, Debate, and Creative Writing teacher who is also pursuing a career as a young adult novelist. She's been reading since she was three years old and has a lot of trouble putting down a book!

Krista Clay

Krista Clay is currently a freshman who loves to read. She absolutely LOVES books about vampires, fallen angels, and Greek mythology. When she isn't reading, you can usually find her playing video games or on Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes, one of the Harry Potter pages she administrates on Facebook. She has a chinchilla, two bunnies, three ducks, and four dogs-it isn't obvious that she loves animals at all! If anyone would like to email her book suggestions, she can be contacted at mcrblackred@yahoo.com

Chin

ChinLin is one of WRN?’s teen contributors. She is currently a senior in high school, where she leads the school’s newspaper—The Rampage—as Editor-In-Chief. When she is avoiding her overwhelming load of homework, she is handling her Facebook group — The Ultimate YA Reading Group. ChinLin is an aspiring novelist and is (kind of) leaning towards becoming a movie critic. She enjoys reading realistic fiction, cute love stories, humor and mystery novels.

Mimi

Mimi Campbell is a librarian and aspiring young adult author. She, along with a colleague, will be writing the Teen Summer Reading Program manual for the entire state of Florida in 2011. She loves reading (especially ghost stories) and planning cool programs around the books that she loves.

Veronica

Veronica L. Hernandez, a high school student in Florida, is a professional book reviewer. An avid reader, she also writes a monthly column in a Gannett-owned family magazine and other print and online markets. Veronica hopes to be a book editor one day. She swims, fences, and shops when dragged away from her books. Pitch your new, upcoming, or new-in-paperback MG or clean-teen YA to her at HernandezAldir@gmail.com.

Rebecca San Juan is a freshman at Miami Arts Charter and a teen contributor to Whatcha’ Reading Now?.  She enjoys writing short stories, articles, and novels. She lives in Miami, Florida where she enjoys walking around Coral Gables.

Jennifer

Jennifer is a Teen Librarian who LOVE LOVE LOVES books. Jennifer can usually be found online – she's seriously addicted to the Internet. Jennifer works at Otis Library in Norwich, CT as Head of the YA Department. Besides reading books and chatting about books, going to bookstores and other libraries, plus meeting fabulous authors, she's pretty crafty – beading, card making, and some other odd crafts. Jennifer adores candy, pizza, and the Celtics.

My name is Caleah and I am a freshman in high school. I have had a love of reading since I was 3. I live in Texas, and am home schooled, which definitely gives me time to read like crazy! If I'm not reading, (which I usually am doing) I'm listening to music, or chatting with friends. I also love the color blue, and am a freak over snow! Other than that I'm just a fun person who likes to read a lot, and wants to write a book one day but I'm too lazy to actually do it! .

Anthony Lamb

Mitchell Snyder lives in California and entered his first year of college in the fall of 2011. His hobbies include reading, playing the piano and running, both scholastic and recreational. He’s always enjoyed reading as a pastime, and enjoys trying to critique a story, rather than just read one.

Jonathan Rosen is a high school English teacher and father of three, living in South Florida. He spends his “free” time being a volunteer coach for their sports teams. Some of Jonathan’s earliest memories are of writing. He’s been dreaming and preparing for the author’s life ever since he was a small child, first by signing his autograph in his parents’ books, much to their consternation, and then later by actually reading and learning the craft of writing. He loves reading and is usually shuffling between three or four books at a time and more often than not even gets their plots straight. Jonathan has moved all over, living in New York, Mexico, Israel and now Florida. He is hoping to eventually find a place that will let him stay.