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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John Kachuba is the award-winning author of twelve books and numerous articles, short stories and poems. Dark Entry is his most recent novel and his Shapeshifters: A History will be published in Spring 2019. John teaches Creative Writing at Ohio University and the Gotham Writers Workshop. He is a member of the Historical Novel Society, the Horror Writers Association, and the American Library Association’s Authors for Libraries. He is a frequent speaker at conferences, universities and libraries and on podcasts, radio and TV. His website is http://www.johnkachuba.com.
Jay B. Kalagayan
Jay B. Kalagayan (MeSseD creator, writer and publisher) has been an annoyingly consistent entrepreneur and arts advocate in Cincinnati for more than twenty years. A Xavier University graduate from Erie, PA, Jay is founder of Know Theatre of Cincinnati and a co-founder of the Cincinnati Fringe Festival. He is a writer of plays, cartoon strips, reviews, articles, marketing collateral, fundraising appeals, and geeky event calendars. His major influences are his wife Jan and daughters Meggie and Fi.
MeSseD is the nickname of the Metropolitan Sewer District and features sewer worker Lilliput. She is our tour guide to the weird, wild and wet world beneath our feet.
Creating a comic book like MeSseD has been a lifelong dream. With two seasons published, featuring artwork from friend and collaborator Dylan Speeg, Jay tours the country promoting MeSseD. He just finished his People’s Liberty project, the MeSseD Tunnel Tour, an immersive comic book experience taking place three stories underground.
Linda Kass began her career as a magazine writer and correspondent for regional and national publications. Her work has previously appeared in TIME, The Detroit Free Press, Columbus Monthly, Full Grown People, The MacGuffin, Jewish Literary Journal, and Kenyon Review Online. She is the author of two historical World War II novels, both inspired by true events: A Ritchie Boy (September 1, 2020), interconnected stories that reveal one young immigrant’s journey in America during World War II that was named by Indie booksellers as an Ingram best indie when it was released; and Tasa’s Song (2016), which Publishers Weekly called “a memorable tale of unflinching courage in the face of war—and the power of love and beauty to flourish amid its horrors.”
A longtime civic leader in Columbus, Kass is the founder and owner of Gramercy Books, an independent bookstore in central Ohio. Learn more at http://www.lindakass.com.
Kenn Kaufman burst onto the birding scene as a teenager in the 1970s, hitch-hiking all over North America in pursuit of birds, an adventure later chronicled in his cult-classic book Kingbird Highway. After several years as a professional tour leader, taking groups to all seven continents, he transitioned to a career as a writer, editor, and illustrator. Most of his energy currently goes into book projects and painting bird portraits. He has written a dozen books, including seven titles in his own series, Kaufman Field Guides. His other books include Lives of North American Birds and Flights Against the Sunset. The latest is A Season on the Wind: Inside the world of spring migration, published in 2019. Kenn is a field editor for Audubon, a Fellow of the American Ornithological Society, and the only person to have received the American Birding Association’s lifetime achievement award twice.
Josephine Rascoe Keenan
Josephine Rascoe Keenan grew up in Arkansas’s oil patch, El Dorado, city of “black gold,” but is now a resident of Ohio. After working many years in theatre and film as a director and as an actress, during which time she had a feature role in a movie starring Johnny Cash, Josephine launched her encore career as a full-time writer of novels and short stories for young people.
In 2016, Pen-L Publishing launched Josephine’s three-book series entitled “The Days of Elvis,” about a teenage girl, Julie Morgan, who makes a casual decision to attend a concert featuring a new singer, Elvis Presley, and her life is changed forever. The cover art for all three books is her own work.
Josephine’s stories and poems have been published in Cricket magazine and Modern Maturity. Her plays have been produced in regional theatres and The Center of the Universe, was chosen as a winner of Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati’s New Play Contest.
When not writing, Josephine enjoys square dancing and cooking Southern dishes, such as hot water cornbread, little lady peas, and grandma’s champion peach cobbler.
Follow Josephine at
Facebook @ Josephine.Keenan1
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.
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.
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. 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!
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.…Read More
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.
Intisar Khanani grew up a nomad and world traveler. She has lived in five different states as well as in Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea. Until recently, Intisar wrote grants and developed projects to address community health with the Cincinnati Health Department, which was as close as she could get to saving the world. Now she focuses her time on her two passions: raising her family and writing fantasy. She is the author of The Sunbolt Chronicles and Thorn.