2014 Faculty (Mystery Writers Conference)

2014 Faculty 
 Isabel Allende
Born in Peru and raised in Chile, Allende is the author of numerous bestselling novels, including Maya’s Notebook, Zorro, Portrait in Sepia, and Daughter of Fortune. Her books have been translated into more than twenty-seven languages and have become bestsellers across four continents. In 2004, Allende was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Her latest novel is the acclaimed thriller, Ripper.
 Ace Atkins
One of America’s most skillful and prolific novelists, with 12 books to his credit over the past 15 years, including being selected by the Robert B. Parker estate to continue the iconic Spenser series. He cut his writer’s teeth as a crime reporter in the newsroom of The Tampa Tribune, and earned a Pulitzer Prize nomination for a feature series based on his investigation into a forgotten murder of the 1950s.  He published his first novel, Crossroad Blues, at age 27, eventually becoming a full-time novelist at age 30
 Cara Black
Bestselling author, who writes the Aimée Leduc mysteries set in Paris. "If the cobblestones could speak they might tell a tale as haunting as the one Black spins," notes the New York Times. She is a member of the Marais Societe Historique, received the Medaille de la Ville de Paris, bestowed on those supporting French culture. Black is a San Francisco Library Laureate, and her books have been Washington Post Notable Picks, IndieNext Picks and shortlisted for the Northern California Independent Bookseller Best Novel award.
 Rhys Bowen
The New York Times Bestselling Author of the Royal Spyness Series, Molly Murphy Mysteries, and Constable Evans. Won the Agatha Best Novel Award and nominated for the Edgar Best Novel. Rhys’s titles have received rave reviews around the globe. Read more >>

Judge Susan M. Breall
A judge in the Superior Court for the City and County of San Francisco, presiding over a juvenile delinquency department. Prior to her appointment to the bench in 2001, Breall was Chief of the Criminal Division of the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office for all crimes of violence against women, children, elderly, and intimate partners. She prosecuted felony domestic violence cases for ten years, and was an Assistant District Attorney for seventeen years. Breall has done numerous trainings for police and prosecutors throughout the United States. Her special interest in the area of domestic violence is in working with underserved populations. 


Judge Peter J. Busch
San Francisco Superior Court judge since 2000. He currently presides over a civil law and motion department. Previous assignments have included civil trials and criminal trial and arraignment departments. Prior to his appointment to the bench,  Busch spent 20 years as a civil litigator and managing director at Howard, Rice, Nemerovski, Canady, Falk & Rabkin. He is a coauthor of the chapter "Trial Exhibits" in California Trial Practice: Civil Procedure During Trial, and has taught various judicial and legal education programs.


Kimberley Cameron
Literary agent and President of Kimberley Cameron and Associates. She has been successful with many different genres, and especially loves the thrill of securing representation for debut authors. Cameron represents both fiction and nonfiction manuscripts. Read more >>

 Karen Catalona
Senior Felony District Attorney of the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office. She has prosecuted a wide range of crimminal offenses, most recently felony gang crime. Catalona contributed the story, "The Shadowsky Manifesto," to the Mystery Writers of America Presents: The Rich and the Dead anthology, which featured mystery and crime stories set among the upper crust of society.
She is working on her first novel

Amy Cloughley
Literary agent Amy Cloughley joined Kimberley Cameron & Associates in 2012 with a background in editing, writing, and marketing. She seeks authors with unique, clear voices who put forth smart, tightly-written prose. She is actively building her client list with both debut and veteran writers.


David Corbett
A skilled private investigator, having worked 15 years for the famed private investigation firm of Palladino & Sutherland, Corbett is also an award-winning writer of crime fiction and a superb teacher. His novels include Do They Know I’m Running?Blood of ParadiseDone for a Dime (A New York Times Notable Book), The Devil’s Redhead and the forthcoming Save By An Evil Chance (February 2015). His writing text, The Art of Character, has been called "a writer's bible."

George Fong

George Fong
Spent twenty-seven years as a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, investigating all facets of violent crimes, including kidnapping, extortion, serial killings, crimes against children, bank robbery, drug trafficking, fugitives, and Asian gangs. He was a member of the FBI's Evidence Response Team and a certified undercover agent. Fong is now the Director of Security for the world-wide sports television network, ESPN, and author of the new thriller, Fragmented.


William Gordon
Author of several mysteries set in San Francisco, including The Chinese Jars and Fractured Lives.

 Laurie King
New York Times best-selling author of the Mary Russell series and northern California native. Her latest book is The Bones of Paris.


Elizabeth Kracht
Joined Kimberley Cameron & Associates in the fall of 2010 to broaden her perspective on the publishing industry. Kracht represents both literary and commercial fiction as well as nonfiction, and brings to the agency experience as a former acquisitions editor, freelance publicist and writer. Read more >>

 John Lescroart
Author of twenty mystery novels, including The Betrayal, The Suspect, The Hunt Club, The Motive, The Second Chair, The First Law, The Oath, The Hearing, and Nothing But the Truth.

 Chelsea Lindman
Literary agent at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates, and previously Director of Foreign Rights for the Nicholas Ellison Agency, where she developed international audiences for authors such as Nelson DeMille, Sarah Dunn, and Christopher Moore. Lindman represents upmarket crime fiction, playful literary fiction, and boundary-pushing non-fiction.

D.P. Lyle
Physician and the author of Howdunit Forensics, a definitive reference guide for writers. He is also the author of Forensics and Fiction, Hot Lights, Cold Steel, Royal Pains: First, Do No Harm, Royal Pains: Sick Rich, and More Forensics and Fiction, which will be published this spring. Read more >>

 Tim Maleeny
Author of the acclaimed Cape Weathers series, including Stealing The Dragon, Beating The Babushka, Greasing The Piñata, and Jump. Maleeny's short fiction has won the prestigious Macavity Award and appears in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, Ellery Queen, Crimespree Magazine, and the anthologies Death Do Us Part, Uncage Me, and Thriller 2.

Jill Marr
Acquiring agent at the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency, with nearly 15 years of publishing experience. Marr wrote features and ads for Pages, the literary magazine for people who love books, and continues to write book ads for publishing houses, magazine pieces, and promotional features for television. She is interested in commercial fiction, with an emphasis on mysteries, thrillers, romantic suspense and horror, women's commercial fiction and historical fiction. Read more >>

 Vilaska Nguyen
Senior Felony Public Defender of the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office.
His flash fiction has recently appeared in NANO Fiction and asitoughttobe.com. Read more >>
 Otto Penzler
Proprietor of The Mysterious Bookshop in New York City, founder of The Mysterious Press, and editor of over 50 crime fiction anthologies. Penzler's many accomplishments in the crime fiction world include writing The Crime Scene, a popular crime fiction column, hosting a series on mystery films for Turner Classic Movies, and serving on the Board of Directors of the Mystery Writers of America.

 Anne Perry
Acclaimed English author of historical detective fiction, known for her Thomas Pitt and William Monk series. Perry has also written a series of YA novels and a number of short stories including Heroes, which won the 2001 Edgar award for best short story. 
 William Petrocelli
Co-owner, with his wife Elaine, of the famed independent Bay Area Book Passage bookstores. As a former Deputy Attorney General for the State of California, and a poverty lawyer in Oakland, Petrocelli has long been an advocate for women's rights. He is the author of The Circle of Thirteen.
 Valerie Plame
Former United States CIA Operations Officer, and author of Fair Game, which chronicled her career. Her most recent book is Blowback, an exhilirating new espionage thriller. The second book in the Vanessa Pierson series, 
Burned, written with Sarah Lovett, will be published in October 2014.
 Amy Rennert
Literary agent, former editor in chief of two national magazines, and faculty of the Stanford Publishing Course. Rennert has spent more than 20 years in the publishing business, pursuing her passion for the written word. The Amy Rennert Agency represents a select group of quality fiction and nonfiction writers, including Pulitzer Prize winner, Herman Wouk; #1 New York Times bestselling author, Jimmy Buffett; Amy Krouse Rosenthal; and Jacqueline Winspear, author of the New York Times bestselling Maisie Dobbs mystery series. Read more >>

Andy Ross
Literary agent and former owner of Cody’s Books in Berkeley. He represents authors of narrative nonfiction, science, history, essays, and travel. 

 Priscilla Royal
A Mystery Conference alum, Priscilla Royal writes the critically acclaimed Prioress Eleanor/Brother Thomas medieval mystery series. Three of her books have also been nominated for the Bruce Alexander Historical Mystery Award at the annual Left Coast Crime Conference. She grew up in British Columbia and earned a BA in World Literature at San Francisco State. A theater fan, reader of history, mystery and fiction of lesser violence, she belongs to California Writers Club, MWA, and Sisters in Crime. Her tenth and current book is Covenant with HellRead more >>

Kirk Russell
Author of three Inspector Ben Raveneau novels: Counterfeit Road, One Through the Heart, and A Killing in China Basin. He is also the author of four John Marquez eco-thrillers novels: Shell Games, Night Game, Deadgame and Redback

Sheldon SiegelSheldon Siegel
Conference Chair
Author, whose courtroom mysteries include Special Circumstances, Incriminating Evidence, Criminal Intent, Judgment Day and Perfect Alibi. Sheldon is a Conference alumnus—his first book was published as a result of contacts he made at the Mystery Writers Conference. Read more >>

 Tom Rob Smith
New York Times bestselling author of the Child 44 trilogy: Child 44, The Secret Speech, and Agent 6, which were international publishing sensations. Smith is also the author of the upcoming and highly-anticipated thriller The Farm.
 Jacqueline Winspear
Conference Chair
Author of the New York Times bestsellers A Lesson in Secrets, The Mapping of Love and Death, Among the Mad, An Incomplete Revenge, and most recently, Leaving Everything Most Loved, as well as four other nationally bestselling Maisie Dobbs novels. Winspear has won numerous awards for her work, including the Agatha, Alex, and Macavity awards for Maisie Dobbs, which was also nominated for the Edgar Award for Best Novel and was a New York Times Notable Book.

Faculty Spotlight


Otto Penzler
2014 MWC Faculty

Mystery Writers Conference
July 23-26, 2015
51 Tamal Vista Blvd.
Corte Madera, CA 94925
(San Francisco Bay Area)
Conference Coordinator:
Kathryn Petrocelli
(800) 999-7909, ext. 239
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