Sunday, February 4, 2018

About Our Author Features

The blog space on our site is being used to feature authors who have attended or will be attending our book festivals. Author features from previous years will remain on the site, with new authors added as they register for the current fest.

You can find the link to attending author features on the right hand side of the site.

Please Note: The Festival is intended for published authors local to western Pennsylvania. We are not accepting publishing companies or mass market book sale companies in fairness to our authors. We will accept sponsorship from companies that will be listed on our site and our event brochure. See sponsor page for more information.

Author Feature: W. Stephen Coleman

Stephen Coleman has spent most of his adult life as a professor of theater at the University of Pittsburgh. A specialist in Shakespeare, acting, directing, and stage combat, he taught for more than 30 years and practiced his craft on stage and screen, including roles in Silence of the Lambs, where he had the pleasure of being literally defaced by the epicurean Hannibal Lecter and in the PBS Series The War That Made America, where as the ill-fated General Braddock he was shot from the back of a horse. It was only after he retired that he discovered a new interest: The Civil War, and especially, Gettysburg.

Illustrator Tim Hartman is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and has been professionally acting, singing, writing, cartooning, and storytelling since 1982. He is also an award-winning political cartoonist and illustrator whose work has appeared widely in newspapers. (Tim was integral to the development of Discovering Gettysburg but is not attending Fest.)

Find more information about Stephen and Discovering Gettysburg at Savais Beatie, LLC

Author Feature: Ruth Ochs Webster

Ruth Ann Ochs Webster was born and raised in Covington, Kentucky, a not quite Northern and not quite Southern town on the Ohio River. That location sparked a lifelong interest in both history and travel.  Ruth now lives in Metro Pittsburgh, near the confluence of the two rivers that form the Ohio. She is a retired National Board Certified Teacher, specializing in language arts and United States History.

Ruth has been published in various magazines, literary journals, and newspapers.  She was a newspaper columnist for seven years. She is the recipient of the Backbone Mountain Review Fiction Prize, the Stanier Award from the Pittsburgh International Children’s Festival (a collaboration), and the Author Zone (TAZ) Award for Historical Fiction.

Her current project is a six-novel series entitled Toe the Mark. The novels are inspired by the lives and military records of real men, ancestors of the author, based heavily on genealogical and regimental research. Published by Tree Shadow Press: Ancestrals.

Book one of the series—Henry: The Jersey Brigade—won First Place in Historical Fiction at the TAZ Awards in 2017.

Book two of the series—Jesse: 53rd Kentucky—will launch this spring and be available first at the West PA Book Festival.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Author Feature: Bill Kemp

Bill Kemp is the published author of 10 non-fiction books, including “Ezekiel’s Bones: Rekindling your congregation’s spiritual passion” and “Reality Check 101” (a church visioning workbook). He recently completed a romantic literary novel set in Pittsburgh, “The Exodus of Henry Defazio.” When not busily writing, he sits on several non-profit boards and leads workshops on organizational health. He is also photographer, poet, and playwright. Bill lives on a peaceful street in Penn Hills (Pittsburgh area) with his wife, two cats, and a dog.

Find Bill and his work at

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Author Feature: Shawn Riniti

Shawn Riniti resides in Pennsylvania with his wife Ashton and four children. He obtained his B.S. in Elementary Education from Youngstown State University and has been a musician for the better part of his life composing music, lyrics, and poetry. Starting at an early age, he has been enthralled in suspense-thriller and horror novels and movies. After years of contemplation, he decided to combine his abstract imagination and unique visuals to release the stories buried in the depths of his mind. Amongst them, is his debut novel “Secrets of a Stranger.”

Find Shawn at

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Author Feature: Larry Ivkovich

Larry Ivkovich’s speculative fiction has been published in over twenty online and print publications including Penumbra, Afterburn SF, Shelter of Daylight, SQ Magazine, Tower of Light Fantasy, Shoreline of Infinity, Beyond the Karlan Line, Star Quake I, and Triangulation.

He has been a finalist in the L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future contest and was the 2010 recipient of the CZP/Rannu Fund award for fiction.

The third book in Larry’s Spirit Winds Quartet urban fantasy series, Orcus Unchained, is due out later this year, following the novels, The Sixth Precept and Warriors of the Light,  published by IFWG Publishing. At this year’s Author Fest, he will also be promoting PARSEC, Pittsburgh’s premiere SF and Fantasy organization, and the group’s upcoming conference, CONFLUENCE. Copies of Triangulation, Parsec Ink’s annual speculative fiction anthology, will be available for purchase.

Larry is a member of WorD and the Pittsburgh Mindful Writers Group East and North, three local writing groups, as well as the statewide group Pennwriters.

Find more about Larry and his books on his Website

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Author Feature: Arlon Stubbe

Arlon Stubbe loves words and wanted to write from the very beginning. As early as 5th grade, he wrote a play about St. George and the Dragon, and acted in it as . . . guess who?

More reading and writing followed during his career as a Lutheran pastor (41 years of sermons), member of a creative writing group at Penn State - Shenango Campus and creator of op-ed pieces on social issues in three local newspapers.

Nearing retirement, Stubbe turned to fiction, completing poems, producing a small novella and working on full-length novels. In April of 2017 his tenth novel - INTRUDERS - a ghost story set in Philadelphia was released.

Other novels trace the life of St. John Chrysostom, the career and escapades of Nicolo Paganini, a treatment of gun violence that places Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday in Arizona in 2012, and six other works of contemporary fiction. The characters and subject matter vary widely, due to Stubbe's diverse interests - life and relationships in the 60's, journalism, U.S. and world history, various geographical sites, and a lone religious novel that portrays the 'Jesus saga' through the eyes and experiences of the high priest's chief servant - Malchus.

 The “Julie Richards trilogy” — After a tragic love affair (book #1, WPF), Julie attends the U of Wisconsin-Madison seeking a degree in education, and experiences two younger roommates and further discouraging relationships with men (book #2, MS). When she moves to a northwest suburb of Chicago (book #3, BH) she encounters a former Chicago Bulls player who’s hired to coach the high school’s basketball team. She spurns all his advances, but eventually they get together and develop a loving, lasting relationship — despite a number of hardships.

Find Arlon's books on the following sites:

Leana's Books & More (in stock at store)


Barnes & Noble