Hugh Waddell

On December 6, 2011, in , by Jody Ewing

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Friends & Family Remember Johnny Cash

By Jody Ewing
April 28, 2005

Photo by Marty Stuart — Courtesy Clementvision
This photo of Jack Clement and Johnny Cash appears in “I Still Miss Someone” next to the poem “My Friend, The Famous Person,” that Clement wrote and read at Johnny’s funeral.

Most people knew him as “The Man in Black.” Many called him an icon, a true American treasure. Some called him by his given birth name – J.R. – but to those who loved with and laughed with and knew Johnny Cash best, he simply was known as “John.”

In a career that spanned six decades, the legendary singer touched millions of lives worldwide with his powerful, larger-than-life presence and unforgettable songs that mirrored the human condition. He could joke and sing about a boy named Sue and then go straight to a performance with the Boston Pops Orchestra.

One and one-half years following his death on Sept. 12, 2003 at age 71, he remains the only entertainer besides Elvis Presley to be enshrined in both the Country Music and Rock and Roll Halls of Fame.

In “I Still Miss Someone: Friends and Family Remember Johnny Cash,” compiled by Johnny’s former publicist and personal aide, Hugh Waddell, more than 40 people from a broad spectrum of Cash’s life share their favorite stories and remembrances of the man who walked the line. With hundreds of illuminating photographs – many never published before – and a bevy of Johnny’s handwritten notes, backstage passes, and other personal paraphernalia, the book contains chapters written by his children John Carter Cash, Cindy Cash and Tara Cash Schwoebel, grandson Dustin Tittle and siblings Tommy Cash and Joanne Cash Yates.

The roster also includes recollections by Cash’s early bandmates W.S. Holland and Bob Wootten, his longtime booking agent Lou Robin, country music icons Johnny Western and “Cowboy” Jack Clement, and the late Merle Kilgore, who passed away in Mexico Feb. 6 while undergoing lung cancer treatment. Kilgore co-wrote Cash’s 1963 hit song “Ring of Fire” with Cash’s then-future wife June Carter and also served as best man at the couple’s wedding.

Weekender writer Jody Ewing caught up with TV veteran and author Hugh Waddell — for what he said is his first ever interview given to a newspaper — as well as three of the Man in Black’s closest friends and his No. 1 local fan.

Johnny Cash and Hugh WaddellPhoto by Mark Seliger, Rolling Stone Magazine
“He incited people, and inspired people, to rise to their occasion,” author Hugh Waddell says of Cash. Read Hugh’s story behind the photo.
“An Amazing Time”

“We receive many gifts during the course of our lives, not just on birthdays or at Christmas, and not all are wrapped,” Hugh Waddell states in the book’s introduction, setting the tone for the recurring theme consistent throughout the chapters – all of which begin with the contributor’s name, their hometown, state and shoe size.

“The publisher said we needed some italicized thing to say who these people are, and I said no, all I want is their hometown and their shoe size,” Waddell said in a telephone interview from Joelton, Tenn. “’Their shoe size?’ he said, and I said ‘yeah, because John Cash always said that everybody has itchy feet and some scratch more than others.’ That was his way of saying he wanted to travel.”

Waddell – whose family has been connected with the Cash family for more than 30 years – spent eight years with Johnny as publicist, logistics manager, personal aide and part-time drummer, and said he decided to compile the book after reading only celebrity testimonials after John’s death.

“They were marvelous, but I knew there were a lot of people like myself that loved John, that knew John, that had angles and stories to tell that no reporter would know they even existed,” he said.

Billy and Ruth Bell Graham – who wrote the tribute’s foreword – are the only well-known celebrities in the book and Waddell wanted them included for several reasons.

“One, because Billy Graham was probably John Cash’s closest friend,” he says. “John wrote that, and there’s a letter about that I put in the front just to reinforce how much John loved Dr. Graham. When they did the CMT televised tribute, Dr. Graham was left out. To me, there is no tribute to Johnny Cash without a Billy Graham.”

W.S. Holland first met Johnny Cash in 1955 at Sun Records studio in Memphis while drumming with Carl Perkins during a recording session. The future Man in Black stopped by that day, and he and his bandmates, bass player Marshall Grant and guitarist Luther Perkins, later bonded with Holland. In 1960, W.S. joined Johnny Cash and “The Tennessee Two” became “The Tennessee Three.” Holland, whom Cash dubbed “Father of the Drums,” remained Cash’s drummer until 1997 when Johnny retired due to illness.

“To have met him in 1955 and worked with him until ’97, you know, it was just unreal,” Holland said in a phone interview from his home in Jackson, Tenn. “I look back at it and it seems like it lasted about 30 days. It was just an amazing time.”

That amazing time translated into scores of national hits: In 1956, “I Walk the Line” was a top country hit for 44 weeks and sold over a million copies; the 1960 single “Ride This Train” won a gold record, as did the 1963 album “Ring of Fire” and the 1968 LP “Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison.” Cash received 11 Grammy awards over the course of his career.

Johnny Cash at Folsom PrisonPhoto by Jim Marshall
Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison, 1968
“He was a visionary.”

“He incited people, and inspired people, to rise to their occasion,” says Waddell, who currently drives a special ed school bus for metro Nashville schools, works for the Tennessee Titans during the football season and still plays drums. “He was a visionary.”

In his chapter, Waddell writes about the late “Mama Cash,” whom he calls a dear friend to his own late grandmother, Marie Comer. When Waddell’s mother passed away in 1987, Johnny and June insisted he join them on the road to soften his grief at home. Shortly after they completed their tour, John asked the outspoken Waddell to work for the couple advancing their concerts. John quickly became a mentor and close friend, leaving Waddell and other employees unencumbered to do what they did best.

When Waddell’s father passed away in 1996, John sang at the funeral and once again was there for him.

“I don’t think that, deep down, John really knew how much it meant to me – I mean, just gut, heart, deep as a soul can go – his respect for my mother, and also for my father when my father passed away,” he said. “There are very few people in our lives that care about us enough to get in our face and make it obvious how much they want to share your sorrow and lighten your burden. If we can count five people like that we’re lucky, and John Cash is one of those people for me.”

Holland remembers when Waddell first approached him about the idea for the tribute book. “I said, ‘That will be the best book anybody’s ever put together,’ and I think it is,” he said. “It’s not a thing about Johnny Cash; it’s about what friends and family thought of Johnny Cash, and to me, it’s just the best thing that’s happened.”

Holland will join up with the legendary stage band’s lead guitarist Bob Wootten for a Johnny Cash band reunion concert in July during “CashBash 2005” – a fan-based, grassroots celebration of the 50th anniversary of Cash’s first Sun Studios recordings in Memphis, Tenn.

“Cowboy” Jack Clement, who first met Johnny Cash in 1956 while working for Sun Records, stayed close friends with Cash throughout his life, playing guitar with him on some sessions just two weeks before Cash died.

“He was a real gentleman,” said Clement in an interview from his native Nashville. “He never got jaded like a lot of people do, and he never slighted his fans. He always had respect for his fans and treated them with respect.”

In 1991, Clement wrote a poem for Cash entitled “My Friend, The Famous Person,” which he read at Johnny’s funeral and included in his chapter. He writes in the poem, “It takes a good man to take success and not misplace his soul.”

This Giant of a Man

Before she became his personal hairdresser, Penni Lane says she didn’t really know or understand the magnitude of the man Johnny Cash. She knew two things however: he was a stallion on stage and had a bit of mystery about his presence.

During the time she traveled with him from 1969 – 1973 and then worked for him for special events through the early 80s, she began to understand.

“I think the mystery was that his presence could create such an awesome feeling that you would feel from other people and from the audience that they had about him when he walked on stage,” Penni said from her home in Nashville.

As his hairdresser, Lane also discovered how important Johnny’s appearance was to him, though it had nothing to do with egotistical vanity.

“It was a caring about himself and his presence that he had always had,” she said. “It was a thing where he was in the superstardom years, and the press was there all the time. I mean, they were waiting all the time.”

The press were not the only ones waiting. Council Bluffs, Iowa native Dennis Devine, Sr. heard Johnny Cash’s “Cry, Cry, Cry” in 1955 and knew he had to meet the singer in person someday. He got his chance in 1960 when Cash performed in Omaha, Neb., at the old Paramount Theatre. When Devine – along with his brother and a friend – discovered the show had been sold out, the ticket office allowed them to stand to the side of the stage for the same $5 price.

Between 1960 and 1996, Devine attended more than 125 shows – including three in Council Bluffs where he gave the introduction – and has taken more than 4,000 pictures of Cash and his entourage, many of which appear in Waddell’s book and author Peggy Knight’s books on the Cash and Carter families. Devine proudly wears his title “The World’s #1 Johnny Cash Fan,” and has one of only two fan-written chapters in Waddell’s book.

“I can still remember John’s last words to me and mine to him,” says Devine. “It was at June’s funeral, and when I left the podium, John said to me, ‘Thank you, Dennis,’ and I said to him, ‘I love you.’”

Lane says she owes to Johnny Cash many joys she otherwise never may have known, and misses the fact that his presence is not alive in our world now. “He is a piece of American musical history, and I was making history with this giant of a man,” she says.

Cowboy Jack Clement, echoing the thoughts of friends, family and fans alike, says he misses Johnny’s fantastic sense of humor.

“I still miss him,” he says. “I still miss someone. Him.”

“I Still Miss Someone” is available at
as well as other online sites and in area bookstores.
Cover of I Still Miss Someone


Donald Harstad

On December 6, 2011, in , by Jody Ewing

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Iowa author draws on experience in mysteries

Ex-investigator Harstad to speak at library

By Jody Ewing
September 19, 2002

  Donald Harstad 

The Details

What: An Evening with Iowa Author Donald Harstad, author of Eleven Days, Known Dead, The Big Thaw and Code Sixty-One
Where: The Wilbur Aalfs (Main) Library
When: Thursday, Sept. 26, 7 p.m.
For More Info: Call 712-255-2933

Victims always have fascinated Iowa mystery writer Donald Harstad. During his 26 years as a deputy sheriff and eventually Chief Investigator, he had ample opportunity to examine why the little things often seal one’s fate.

“Most of the time, a victim, wittingly or unwittingly, has participated in their own death,” said the author from his home in Elkader, Iowa. “In some way, they have done something that if they had a moment to stop and think, or if they had two or three years to reflect, they would not have done what put them where they are now.”

The retired deputy sheriff has drawn on those years of law enforcement experience to create a series of regional mysteries that not only explain why cops do what they do, but examine how people get themselves into deadly situations. His latest novel “Code Sixty-One,” brings back deputy sheriff hero Carl Houseman who faces his biggest case yet hunting a suspected vampire.

Harstad will discuss his fourth police procedural novel as well as his other books during an evening visit on Sept. 26 at the Sioux City Public Library.

The premise for the book began by asking the same questions an investigator would ask. “I thought, how would we really do a guy who was delusional enough to believe he was a vampire?” says Harstad. “How would we do an investigation like that?”

With that idea in mind, Harstad went looking for the novel’s perfect setting. He found it after touring a spectacular MacGregor, Iowa, mansion. “Code Sixty-One” unfolds on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River when a body drained of blood is reported in a rural mansion.

Available at Amazon

“It’s all characters, and when you’re a cop, you get to meet so many of them and under very interesting circumstances,” says Harstad, who wrote his first novel “Eleven Days: A Novel of the Heartland,” in 11 days. He strives to keep things authentic and procedures believable while helping readers understand how cops think.

“People don’t know why cops do what they do,” Harstad says, “and it’s as much the fault of the police as anybody else because we just don’t talk about these things.”

One of those things involves the background of the victim. Cops sometimes don’t want to get into that, says Harstad, because they begin to start sympathizing with them too much or not sympathizing with them, both which affect the way they look at a case. As a full-time novelist, Harstad now explores how the cumulative effect of bad choices can often signal the victim’s end.

Despite the serious crimes committed in the novels, detective Carl Houseman — middle-aged and bald — uses wry humor and speaks to the reader in a droll, natural voice. Harstad uses that wit to offset the difference between rural police and those in metropolitan areas. In his next book “The Heartland Experiment,” he cites an FBI counter-terrorism official talking to hero Carl.

“He says, ‘Ok, what do you guys have for night vision equipment?’ and Carl looks him right in the eye and says ‘eight flashlights.’ And that’s just about the way it goes.”

This article first appeared in the Weekender on September 19, 2002.

Copyright © Jody Ewing


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Barbara Robinette Moss – fierce

On November 23, 2011, in , by Jody Ewing

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A ‘fierce’ inheritance

A talk with artist and writer Barbara Robinette Moss

By Jody Ewing

Barbara Robinette Moss

Barbara Robinette Moss

Barbara Robinette Moss’s first memoir, “Change Me into Zeus’s Daughter,” took readers by surprise as she chronicled her family’s impoverished survival in Alabama’s red-clay hills. At times uproariously funny, at others horrific and tender, she wrote of growing up – the fourth in a family of eight children – with a wild-eyed alcoholic father and a humble yet heroic mother.

Unlike the rest of the family, Barbara bore the scars of abuse and neglect on the outside as well as the inside; the bones in her face grew abnormally due to childhood malnutrition and a complete lack of health and dental care.

She prayed nightly to be changed into the goddess of beauty’s daughter, and when her prayers went unanswered, took it upon herself to change not just her face but achieve a life defined by artistic beauty. Critics hailed “Zeus’s Daughter” as the masterpiece she had waited for her life to paint.

Moss marks two more milestones this week with the official publication of “Fierce: A Memoir” — her follow-up memoir to “Zeus’s Daughter” — on Oct. 19, as well as her first one-person art exhibition opening Oct. 21 at the Kerrigan Campbell Gallery in New York City’s East Village.

Find on

With warmth, insight and candor, Moss paints in “fierce” a vivid, moving portrait of her persistent quest to reinvent her life and rebel against the indigence, addiction, and broken-down dreams she inherited from her parents.

Moss tells the poignant story of leaving everything she knew in Alabama to fulfill her ambition to become an artist – an odyssey filled with gritty improvisation (taking her son Jason to her night job to sleep on the floor), bittersweet pragmatism (on a date filling her purse with shrimp, rolls and a doily to take home to her waiting 8-year-old), and staunch conviction and pride (chasing a mail carrier down the street to defend her use of food stamps).

In a phone interview from New York City – where Moss currently is studying playwriting at the Actors Studio Drama School – she talked about her writing and art, her family and “wrestling with angels.”

In online reviews of your books, readers have stated they feel like “voyeurs” of your family’s life and they still want more. Why your family? Why your books?

I think it’s because I didn’t hold anything back. I really told the truth and told things that were terrifying for me to tell, and I think that those are the kinds of things that overlap every family. Every family looks at it and says ‘Oh God, I can’t believe she said that. That’s going on in this family.’ And so it’s a universal story, even though when I first started writing I did not realize I was writing universal stories.

Tell me what “fierce” is about, and if one first needs to have read “Zeus’s Daughter.”

“Fierce” is the story of a single mother determined to change what she has inherited from living in poverty and with an alcoholic parent, and to also change the life or destiny of her child.

I wanted to give the reader everything they needed if they had not read ‘Change Me into Zeus’s Daughter,’ so this book stands on its own without having read anything about me.

Coming from such a large family, how did your siblings react to your first memoir?

When “Zeus’s Daughter” came out they were just horrified; they thought I was telling family secrets that I shouldn’t tell. And it took about a year for them to really realize that all of the terrible things they thought were going to happen because I had written this book actually worked in reverse. People came up to talk to them and said, ‘You know, my dad was an alcoholic, too,’ and they would pour their hearts out to them. And then they calmed down and reevaluated the writing and the purpose of the writing.

What is the danger, or is there a danger in keeping “family secrets?”

I think it’s more dangerous to “keep” family secrets than to “tell” family secrets. Everybody’s family has something they would rather the world didn’t know about, whether it’s an alcoholic or any number of things that can happen in family dynamics. But if you hold those in your heart, how do you get past them and live the fullest life that you can possibly live?

What is your relationship with your siblings like today?

It’s good. Most of them are still in Alabama within a few miles of where we grew up and I try to get home at least a couple of times a year. My brother John is in Kansas City and my sister Janet is in Charlotte. She teaches English and drama and is working on her degree to become a high school principal. She writes some, and John has written a couple of stories that he sent to me.

The legacy of your father’s alcoholism caught up with you and your brother Stewart – yours with an addition to emotional pain and abusive relationships, and Stewart’s addition to alcohol. How were you both successful in overcoming those additions?

I found a good counselor on a sliding scale, and that’s what I’d recommend to anyone. Find a good counselor. I was paying $5 and getting some real help. People don’t know what to do, and they have to have guidance. Stewart wrestled with an angel. There’s a story where he wrestles with an angel in “fierce.” He called me up a dozen times before he died and told me that story, and told me to write it for him. That’s how he got sober; he wrestled with an angel. And he did win. He was sober for two years before he died.

As an artist and a writer, what do these two professions have in common or how are they different?

I tell stories. That’s what I do. It doesn’t matter if I’m making art or if I’m writing, it’s the same thing. I have found that with art, I have a personal iconography, and it’s a lot easier to hide, really, from what you’re telling. People bring their own meaning to it. But with writing, it’s very much up front what you’ve got to say. There’s no hiding with the written word. I really had never intended to be a writer. I was following my own goals to be a visual artist when the writing came ‘in search of me.’

Will “fierce” appeal more to women than men?

I had a man who called me a couple days ago, and said his wife had read it and kept pestering him to read it. He reluctantly picked it up, read straight through and said he thought every man in America should read it. He was a recovering alcoholic and very interested in Stewart’s story. It’s definitely a book for anyone and everyone.

We’ll end with Stewart and “magic.” Tell me about the book’s prologue and the Mexican jumping beans.

What I wanted in that prologue was to set up this idea of magic, of the possibilities in life that things that seem to be completely unattainable are really right there, right there at your fingertips. I wanted these beans to have magic and they didn’t have magic. And then Stewart says, “Of course they have magic. This little bean has got a worm in it that’s going to eat that bean and turn into a butterfly. Don’t you think that’s magic?”

This article first appeared in the Weekender on Oct. 21, 2004.

Jody Ewing and Barbara Moss

Jody Ewing and Barbara Moss, March 23, 2001

Read Jody’s first interview with Barbara on the publication of “Change Me Into Zeus’s Daughter.”

Author’s Note: Barbara Robinette Moss passed away from cancer on October 9, 2009. She was 54 years old.

A Cedar Rapids Gazette article dated Oct. 14, 2009, said the former Iowa City author and artist would be remembered for the many lives she touched through her books, artwork and teaching.

She touched a great many lives — including mine — and is deeply missed.


Barbara Robinette Moss

On November 22, 2011, in , by Jody Ewing

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Moss Pens Haunting Memoir of Resilience, Redemption

By Jody Ewing
March 22, 2001

Barbara Robinette Moss

Barbara Robinette Moss

As a small, frail girl from the South, Barbara Robinette Moss was determined to change her fate and achieve a life defined by beauty.

Born in 1956 in rural Alabama, her family was so poor her mother ate dirt and poison-covered seeds to save food for her eight (of nine) children. Often starving and chronically malnourished, Barbara’s facial bone structure, teeth and complexion failed to develop normally, leaving her with what she called a “twisted mummy face.”

She also suffered abuse at the hands of her father, a sadistic tyrant who inflicted pain recreationally, both physical and emotional. “You belong to me,” he told his children, “and I’ll do with you what I want.”

Young Barbara prayed nightly to become attractive, to be changed into Zeus’s daughter Aphrodite — the goddess of beauty — and after a lifetime of fiery resolution, so she has been transformed.

Change Me into Zeus’s Daughter” is a beautifully written, poignant and searing literary memoir of that journey and a testament to the power of undaunted purpose and faith.

Moss will read and sign copies at Book People in Sioux City on Friday, March 23, from 7 – 9 p.m.

Available at

“I never intended to write a book,” Moss says of her story, which chronicles her family’s chaotic impoverished survival in the red-clay hills of Alabama. “I was writing down the events that happened when I was a child in a way to get it out of my life, to just put it down on paper as a way of validation. Sort of like, ‘This happened, and now maybe I’ll be able to go on with my life.'”

What happened was a childhood marked with hunger, cruelty, suicides and violence, offset by a loving mother who plied her eight children with art and poetry in place of balanced meals.

Their father, S.K. Moss, was a wild-eyed, shiftless alcoholic who shot the family pets and routinely awakened his children at 3 a.m. to harass or engage them in all-night poker games. Irrationally proud, he refused to accept any government aid or private charity.

Their mother became their angel, absorbing most of their father’s blows for them — her only sin her inability to leave her husband for the sake of the children. She drew pictures to entertain them and enriched their lives with music, art and a lifesaving appreciation for literature and books.

Zeus’s Daughter took root when Moss gave one of her stories to friend Mary Swander, author of “Out of this World.”

“She read it, helped me reconstruct it and thought I should send it off to a competition,” Moss says. “I’d never given that any thought before, but I did.”

The story, titled “Near the Center of the Earth,” won first place and the Gold Medal for Personal Essay in the William Faulkner Creative Writing Competition in 1996. That essay, at the encouragement of competition judge Jack Davis (who was then with the Chicago Tribune) grew into the book “Change Me into Zeus’s Daughter,” and serves as its first chapter.

First published in 1999 by Loess Hills Press, the book was quickly bought out by Scribner, who published it in hardcover the next spring.

What makes the memoir succeed is the lingering image not of self-pity but of the incredible bond between the eight siblings. One other child, a newborn girl whom Moss calls a “sky blue baby,” died at birth. Moss’s drunk father buried the baby while her mother was still in the hospital and could not remember where he buried her.

Yet the book has no “woe is me” tone, just the raucous, childish fun the other children had together, the making-do and the total devotion to their desperate mother.

Moss’s siblings also were supportive when it came to publishing the book.

“I asked my brothers and sisters and they didn’t care,” says Moss, who now lives with her husband in Iowa City. “I gave them the manuscript and I thought if there’s an issue with them, I’ll change everybody’s names and I’ll change the place where it happened.” But that wasn’t necessary, and the result is a book being embraced by critics and drawing raves as an American “Angela’s Ashes.”

Pulitzer Prize-winning screenwriter Marsha Norman is presently writing the screenplay “Zeus’s Daughter,” that Goldie Hawn will produce. A director has yet to be named. Moss says there are hopes of casting Holly Hunter in her role.

“She’s got that southern persona, and it’s real,” says Moss. “She doesn’t have to fake it and try to figure out what southern people think and feel. She’s got it.”

Barb Barnett, Manager of Book People, says this is her favorite book.

“We’re all so excited. This is a very big deal,” Barnett says. “It will be a highlight having her here in the store.”

Moss is almost finished with her second book “Singing to the Wild Cat,” which Scribner also will publish, and picks up where Zeus’s Daughter leaves off.

“I had no idea I was writing such a universal story,” says Moss in reaction to the calls and letters pouring in.

In addition to writing, Moss also is an accomplished artist. She received an MFA from Drake University in Des Moines and a BFA from Ringling School of Art & Design in Sarasota, Fla. She has participated in more than 100 juried exhibitions.

Most of all, she transcended the scars of childhood, changing not only her life, but her face. By herself, she raised money to endure years of experimental, radical facial surgery and painful dental procedures. The result: a keenly developed appreciation for beauty — physical, artistic and spiritual — which is evidenced in her writing.

As Moss puts it, “A metamorphosis, really, of coming into my own.”

This article first appeared in the Weekender on March 22, 2001.

Jody Ewing and Barbara Moss, March 23, 2001

Read Jody’s follow-up interview with Barbara after Moss’s publication of “Fierce.”

Author’s Note: Barbara Robinette Moss passed away from cancer on October 9, 2009. She was 54 years old.

A Cedar Rapids Gazette article dated Oct. 14, 2009, said the former Iowa City author and artist would be remembered for the many lives she touched through her books, artwork and teaching.

She touched a great many lives — including mine — and is deeply missed.

Author Links

On November 20, 2011, in , by Jody Ewing

Author and Writer Links


Alice de Sturler, Defrosting Cold Cases

Andrew Porter, author of “The Theory of Light and Matter”

Anita Bell, author of the “Kirby’s Crusader’s” Novels

Bob Sanchez, author of “When Pigs Fly”

Carol Kean, book reviews, essays, other stories

Diane Diekman, author of “A Farm in the Hidewood” and “Live Fast, Love Hard: The Faron Young Story”

Donald Harstad, bestselling novelist

Earl Hamner, Jr., creator of “The Waltons” and author of “Spencer’s Mountain” and other novels

Garth Stein, author of “The Art of Racing in the Rain”

Gary Presley, essayist and author of “7 Wheelchairs: A Life Beyond Polio”

Gayle Surrette, editor of SFRevu and Gumshoe Review

Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project

J.A. Jance, author of “Exit Wounds” and other bestsellers

Jeannette Angell, author of “Callgirl”

Jennifer Chiaverini, author of the Elm Creek Quilt Series

Jerry Buck, author of “A Blood Red Rose,” “Pearl on Fire” and other works

Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana, Flash and Filigree

Lorenzo Carcaterra, author of “Sleepers”

Lori Mathes, Iowa Poet

Matthew Clayton, author of “The Boots Told the Story” and other works

Max Barry, author of “Syrup” and “Jennifer Government”

Michelle Buckman, author of “A Piece of the Sky” and other Fiction that Rethinks Life

Mona Leeson Vanek, author of “Behind These Mountains”

Paullina Simons, author of “Tully,” “The Bronze Horseman” and other historical fiction

Peter Bernhardt, Sedona author

Richard Lewis, author of “The Flame Tree”

Robin Cain, author of “The Secret Miss Rabbit Kept”

Roger Poppen, author of “Mister Lucky”

Ruth Douillette, feature writer, essayist, teacher

Susan Taylor Chehak, novelist, short stories

Terry Burns, author of “To Keep a Promise” and other western Christian fiction

Timothy Schaffert, author of “The Phantom Limbs of the Rollow Sisters” and “Devils in the Sugar Shop”

Tom Montag, author of “Curlew: Home” and “Kissing Poetry’s Sister”

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