Ohio Author Profiles

Ohio has a rich literary heritage as well as some wonderful contemporary authors. Learn more about them here! You can sort by various categories and see who has participated in our annual book festival by using the category search on the left, or search by keyword (including partial author names) by using the search field on the right.

If you would like to know which Ohio authors and illustrators are available for school and library visits or workshops, visit our School & Library Visits page here.

We continue to add authors, so check back soon!

 

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Photo of John Kachuba

John Kachuba

John Kachuba is the award-winning author of seven books, including the historical novel, The Savage Apostle. His paranormal books have made him a frequent speaker on radio, TV, and podcasts, and at universities, libraries, and conferences. John teaches Creative Writing through Ohio University, Antioch University Midwest, and the Gotham Writers Workshop. For more, go to johnkachuba.comRead More

John Kachuba is the award-winning author of seven books, including the historical novel, The Savage Apostle. His paranormal books have made him a frequent speaker on radio, TV, and podcasts, and at universities, libraries, and conferences. John teaches Creative Writing through Ohio University, Antioch University Midwest, and the Gotham Writers Workshop. For more, go to johnkachuba.com

Photo of Linda Kass

Linda Kass

Linda Kass was born in Columbus, Ohio to Eastern European immigrant parents. Her debut novel, TASA’S SONG, was inspired by her mother’s early life in eastern Poland during the Second World War. The book was awarded a Bronze Medal for Historical Fiction from the Independent Publisher Award Program. And Booklist said this of the novel: “Across decades and continents, Tasa follows a song of hope that is uplifting even in the face of great adversity, proving that an indomitable spirit can transcend the greatest hardships.…Read More

Linda Kass was born in Columbus, Ohio to Eastern European immigrant parents. Her debut novel, TASA’S SONG, was inspired by her mother’s early life in eastern Poland during the Second World War. The book was awarded a Bronze Medal for Historical Fiction from the Independent Publisher Award Program. And Booklist said this of the novel: “Across decades and continents, Tasa follows a song of hope that is uplifting even in the face of great adversity, proving that an indomitable spirit can transcend the greatest hardships. Kass depicts a heartbreaking time with great sensitivity and detail in this beautifully rendered historical drama.” Linda has an MA in Journalism and spent her early career as a magazine reporter and correspondent for regional and national publications, such as Columbus Monthly, TIME, and The Detroit Free Press. For the past twenty-five years, she has served many community organizations as a strong advocate of education, literacy, and the arts. Her past experience as a trustee and board chair of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra fed into much of the music that fills the pages of TASA’S SONG, whose protagonist is a violin prodigy. Her novel inspired acclaimed violinist Charles Wetherbee, of the Carpe Diem String Quartet, to compose an original composition for violin, “Tasa’s Song,” that had its world premiere in May of 2016 in Columbus, Ohio and led to a collaborative “Book in Concert” program of readings by the author followed by music played by Carpe Diem, now booked in national venues through March of 2017. Linda serves on the editorial team for the online literary magazine, Narrative. In addition, she is also a long distance road cyclist and rides in an annual event to support cancer research. Learn more about Linda Kass at her website: http://www.lindakass.com/.

Photo of Josephine Rascoe Keenan

Josephine Rascoe Keenan

After working many years in theatre and film as a director and as an actress, with membership in the professional unions, SAG-AFTRA, and Actors’ Equity Association, Josephine launched her encore career as a full-time writer of novels and short stories for young people. On May 2, 2016, her debut novel, In Those First Bright Days of Elvis, Book I of a three-book series of YA novels entitled The Days of Elvis, was published by Pen-L Publishing.…Read More

After working many years in theatre and film as a director and as an actress, with membership in the professional unions, SAG-AFTRA, and Actors’ Equity Association, Josephine launched her encore career as a full-time writer of novels and short stories for young people. On May 2, 2016, her debut novel, In Those First Bright Days of Elvis, Book I of a three-book series of YA novels entitled The Days of Elvis, was published by Pen-L Publishing. Book II, In Those Dazzling Days of Elvis is scheduled to come out in June 2017. The cover art for the series is Josephine’s work. The March 2016 issue of Cricket magazine features her short story, The Petticoat Skipper, about Mary Greene, one of the first female riverboat captains. In 2007, Cricket published her story, Ohoyo Osh Chisba: The Unknown Woman, about the coming of corn to the Choctaw people. Her poem, A Ride on Grandpa’s Foot appeared in Modern Maturity magazine in August 2005. Josephine has had three plays produced in regional theatres: Friends, and Life’s a Butter Dream, both of which toured with Artreach Touring Theatre; and The Center of the Universe, a three-act play chosen as a winner of Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati’s New Play Contest.

When not writing, Josephine enjoys oil painting, square dancing, and cooking Southern dishes, such as hot water cornbread, little lady peas, and grandma’s peach cobbler for friends in Cincinnati, Ohio where she and her husband live with two feline princesses, Molly Underfoot and Katie Katherine Calico. Visit Josephine at http://www.keenannovels.com

Photo of Shawnie Kelley

Shawnie Kelley

Shawnie Kelley has written several books, including the Insiders’ Guide to Columbus and It Happened on Cape Cod and contributes to a variety of history and food magazines, including Edible Columbus, Sophisticated Living, Renaissance Magazine, and History Magazine. She is a Partner and Travel Director for Wanderlust Tours, specializing in cultural and culinary travel, and teaches travel seminars and cooking classes with more of a cultural slant.…Read More

Shawnie Kelley has written several books, including the Insiders’ Guide to Columbus and It Happened on Cape Cod and contributes to a variety of history and food magazines, including Edible Columbus, Sophisticated Living, Renaissance Magazine, and History Magazine. She is a Partner and Travel Director for Wanderlust Tours, specializing in cultural and culinary travel, and teaches travel seminars and cooking classes with more of a cultural slant. Shawnie lives in Columbus, Ohio, but is based in Yarmouth when on Cape Cod. She is currently writing her next title, A Woman’s Guide to France, to be published by Wanderlust Travel Press in 2016.

Photo of Marlane Kennedy

Marlane Kennedy

Marlane Kennedy is the author of two middle grade novels published by HarperCollins: Me and the Pumpkin Queen and The Dog Days of Charlotte Hayes. Both books were nominees to a variety of state award lists. She is also the author of the Disaster Strikes series published by Scholastic—adventures featuring ordinary kids in extraordinary situations that test their strength, smarts, and courage.…Read More

Marlane Kennedy is the author of two middle grade novels published by HarperCollins: Me and the Pumpkin Queen and The Dog Days of Charlotte Hayes. Both books were nominees to a variety of state award lists. She is also the author of the Disaster Strikes series published by Scholastic—adventures featuring ordinary kids in extraordinary situations that test their strength, smarts, and courage. Booklist praised the first release of the series: “Full of action and realistic friend dynamics…this holds strong appeal for both girls and boys and features a diverse cast of characters. A rare find in transitional chapter books.” A life-long Ohio resident, Marlane was born in Waverly, Ohio and now lives in Wooster, Ohio with her husband and daughter. Find her online at http://marlanekennedy.com.

Photo of Anne Vittur Kennedy

Anne Vittur Kennedy

Anne Kennedy began her career in corporate illustration and quickly jumped to children’s books. Having illustrated for many years, she is now happily writing and illustrating her own titles. A life long love of animals and humor are evident in her work. She says her dog, Banjo, who often supervises in the studio, has incredible “dog logic” which inspired her to write Ragweed’s Farm Dog Handbook.…Read More

Anne Kennedy began her career in corporate illustration and quickly jumped to children’s books. Having illustrated for many years, she is now happily writing and illustrating her own titles. A life long love of animals and humor are evident in her work. She says her dog, Banjo, who often supervises in the studio, has incredible “dog logic” which inspired her to write Ragweed’s Farm Dog Handbook. Her time spent on farms riding horses has played a part in her stories too. Anne is the recipient of many awards, including Teacher’s Choice, Green Earth Book Award, American Library Notable Book, an Irma S. Black Honor Book, and she is honored too to represent Ohio with her Ohioana Choose To Read book, The Farmer’s Away! Baa! Neigh!

Photo of Jillian Kent

Jillian Kent

Jillian Kent’s first novel in The Ravensmoore Chronicles, Secrets of the Heart, debuted in 2011 and held readers captive winning four stars from Romantic Times and first place in the 2012 Wisconsin RWA Write Touch Contest. Also, in 2012, Chameleon, the second book in the series found its way into readers hands and hearts with an, “I dare you to solve the ending,” challenge from the author.…

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Jillian Kent’s first novel in The Ravensmoore Chronicles, Secrets of the Heart, debuted in 2011 and held readers captive winning four stars from Romantic Times and first place in the 2012 Wisconsin RWA Write Touch Contest. Also, in 2012, Chameleon, the second book in the series found its way into readers hands and hearts with an, “I dare you to solve the ending,” challenge from the author. Mystery of the Heart, book three in the series (2013) is already grabbing the attention of readers who love a romantic adventure. Jillian resides in Cincinnati, Ohio where she is employed as a counselor for nursing students. She’s married, the mother of two adult daughters, and loves animals, chocolate, and coffee. You can find her on the web at http://www.jilliankent.com.

Photo of Daniel Kirk

Daniel Kirk

Daniel Kirk is the author and/or illustrator of over thirty picture books for young readers, as well as the “Elf Realm” series for tweens. His Library Mouse was a Booklist Editor’s Choice book, an Education.com Essential gift, a Parenting Magazine Best Mom-Tested Book of the Year, a Kansas Reading Association Award Nominee, a Book Sense pick, and the winner of a NAPPA Gold Award.…

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Daniel Kirk is the author and/or illustrator of over thirty picture books for young readers, as well as the “Elf Realm” series for tweens. His Library Mouse was a Booklist Editor’s Choice book, an Education.com Essential gift, a Parenting Magazine Best Mom-Tested Book of the Year, a Kansas Reading Association Award Nominee, a Book Sense pick, and the winner of a NAPPA Gold Award. Booklist gave Library Mouse a starred review. Library Mouse is a Choose to Read Ohio 2013-2014 title. Kirk’s next book in the series, Library Mouse: A Museum Adventure, received the 2012 Parents Choice Award, and Library Mouse: Home Sweet Home published in 2013. Daniel Kirk grew up on the east side of Columbus, and spent his early years as a bookworm with a penchant for drawing. It wasn’t until he was an adult with children of his own, however, that he began writing and illustrating picture books. Kirk graduated from the Ohio State University and taught art and photography, then moved to New York in the 1980’s to become a professional artist and illustrator. His early work appeared on the covers of Newsweek, Business Week, Sports Illustrated, New York Magazine, and many other publications, and won awards from the American Institute of Graphic Arts and the Society of Illustrators. Kirk lives in New Jersey with his wife author-illustrator and professor at Parsons, the New School for Design, Julia Gorton. Daniel’s books and blog may be found through http://www.danielkirk.com/.

Photo of Joy M. Kiser

Joy M. Kiser

Joy M. Kiser was born in Akron and grew up in Norton, Ohio. She began her professional career as the librarian for the Cleveland Museum of Natural History in 1995. In 2001, she moved to the Washington, DC, area to become the librarian for National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). She is currently employed as a writer/editor for the U.S.…

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Joy M. Kiser was born in Akron and grew up in Norton, Ohio. She began her professional career as the librarian for the Cleveland Museum of Natural History in 1995. In 2001, she moved to the Washington, DC, area to become the librarian for National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). She is currently employed as a writer/editor for the U.S. Department of Justice. (Photo credit to Gary Higgins of the Patriot Ledger.)

Photo of Matt Kish

Matt Kish

Matt Kish has spent his whole life in the Midwest, moving often and taking on a variety of jobs. He has mowed lawns at hospitals, washed dishes at a pizza place, cooked in a college cafeteria, taught high school English, worked retail at a bookstore, and served as a hospital registrar. Finally, after earning a graduate degree in library science, he became a librarian.…

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Matt Kish has spent his whole life in the Midwest, moving often and taking on a variety of jobs. He has mowed lawns at hospitals, washed dishes at a pizza place, cooked in a college cafeteria, taught high school English, worked retail at a bookstore, and served as a hospital registrar. Finally, after earning a graduate degree in library science, he became a librarian. In 2011 Kish added illustrator to his list of accomplishments with the publication of Moby Dick in Pictures: One Picture for Every Page (Tin House Books). His take on Melville’s classic novel—Kish’s favorite since he was a child—won him wide acclaim with organizations from The Huffington Post to PBS. His illustrations have also appeared in The Desert Places (Curbside Splendor Publishing, 2013) and The Graphic Canon, Vol. 2 (Seven Stories Press, 2012). Visit him at http://www.spudd64.com/.

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