Orion Township Library Author & Illustrator Fair, Sat., Dec 3rd!

the-giving-season-by-matt-faulknerOn Saturday, December 3rd from 1:00 to 4:00 PM Book Beat will be selling books for authors appearing at the annual Author/Illustrator Fair at the Orion Township Public Library (825 Joslyn Road, Lake Orion, Michigan 48362). This year’s fair, The Giving Season, will be an opportunity for readers of all ages to meet local authors and illustrators, where they will sign their books, making for perfect holiday gifts.

Book Beat will be selling books for the following authors:

  • Kathryn Madeline Allen is a children’s author who writes picture books that promote parent-child interaction and that help teach babies and young children about nonverbal communication, diversity, manners, and love. With Eric Futran’s beautiful photographs of real children, Show Me Happy and A Kiss Means I Love You work well in any preschool or early elementary setting. Young children enjoy imitating the actions depicted in the colorful photos, learning at the same time.


  • Kristen Remenar is the author of The Groundhog’s Dilemma, illustrated by her husband Matt Faulkner and the book Draw With A Vengeance: Get Even in Ink and Let Karma Handle the Rest, which she wrote under the pseudonym Helen Wrath. In addition to being an author, Kristen is also a children’s librarian, teacher, and public speaker on literacy for the Bureau of Education & Research. She lives in Michigan with her husband and their three children.
  • Matt Faulkner is the award-winning author and illustrator of The Taste of Colored Water and Gaijin: American Prisoner of War. Matt has also illustrated the books The Monster Who Ate My Peas; Stand Tall, Abe Lincoln; Thank You, Sarah; among many others. A graduate of Rhode Island School of Design, Matt Faulkner has written and illustrated a number of children’s books. His work has won wide praise for its humor, exuberance and sensitivity. In addition, he is a contributing illustrator to such national periodicals as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Forbes. Matt Faulkner lives with his wife, Kristen Remenar
  • Ruth McNally Barshaw  grew up sketching and journaling life around her in little sketchbooks. Little did she realize she would do the same for her career. Today she has more than 300 little sketchjournals chronicling various events, trips, quirky discoveries, and times with beloved friends and family. Her Ellie McDoodle books borrow the same format, with writing and cartoony art on every page. If you hang out with Ruth, you might get added into one of her sketchjournals.
  • Jean Alicia Elster  is the author of the novel The Colored Car, selected as a 2014 Michigan Notable Book by the Library of Michigan. Elster was awarded the 2014 Midwest Book Award in Children’s Fiction for The Colored Car by the Midwest Independent Publishers Association. The Colored Car was chosen as an Honor Book for the 2014 Paterson Prize for Books for Young People. Elster is, also, the author of the novel Who’s Jim Hines?, selected as one of the Library of Michigan’s 2009 Michigan Notable Books
  • Josef Bastian is a Midwest author and poet whose sense of humor, depth of spirit and reflective imagination resonate within his poetry and prose. Josef currently has more than a dozen books in print that focus on the power of storytelling for people of all ages. His current projects include the Nain Rouge Trilogy – A Crimson Three, that resurrects a 300-year folk legend from Detroit. Josef has also launched Folkteller Publishing, a storytelling company that targets regional folk tales and legends from around the world.
  • Evans Bissonette’s career spans 40 years in Information Technologies where providing documentation and training was a major part of developing applications. During this time, the author found the success of any applications was highest when the materials were tailored to the audience. The author found this is also a major factor in writing fiction and tailors his writing to the type of material he likes to read. In fiction, this includes interesting, action-packed adventures, with a historical bent, and chapters that tend to end as cliffhangers. This keep-it-interesting principle applies to the production of non-fiction. Create interest by being able to find a niche market, fill a demand, and meet a need. In either case—fiction and non-fiction—the author summarizes his methodology with the statement “if I won’t read it, I won’t write it.”
  • Alison DeCamp grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Her family history consists of stories of life in lumber camps and old scrapbooks. A graduate of Michigan State University, Alison is a former middle and high school language arts teacher. She now works at Between the Covers, a bookstore in Harbor Springs, Michigan, and spends the rest of her time with her husband and teenage children. She is the author of My Near Death Adventures (99% True), a 2016 Orion Library Battle Book.
  • Nationally recognized author Maria Dismondy is dedicated to inspiring and empowering children. She has authored six children’s books, each with its own unique positive message, and made over 250 speaking appearances. Maria holds an M.A. in education, and served as an elementary school teacher and reading interventionist for ten years before transitioning into her current role as author, blogger, professional speaker and business owner.
  • Kristin Bartley Lenz is a writer and social worker from metro-Detroit who fell in love with the mountains when she moved to Georgia and California. Now she’s back in Detroit where she plots wilderness escapes and manages the Michigan Chapter blog for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). Her debut young adult novel, The Art of Holding On and Letting Go has been on the Michigan’s best seller list in 2016.
  • Heather Smith Meloche is the author of Ripple, a YA novel about Tessa and Jack, two high school students who navigate their way through all-too-adult lives, struggling to find each other, and most importantly, themselves. Ripple has been published by Putnam Penguin. A portion of Ripple, entitled Him, won Hunger Mountain’s Katherine Paterson Prize for Young Adult Story in Verse in 2011. Meloche also won first place in the children’s/YA category of the Writer’s Digest Annual Competition for a middle grade short story, “The Emperor’s New Crows,” in 2011. She lives in Michigan with her family.
  • Amy Nielander graduated from College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan. Before becoming an Author Illustrator, she worked as a product designer and digital sculptor in the automotive industry. In 2014 she earned international recognition as the only finalist from the United States for her entry in the Silent Book Contest. Her submission debuted at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair and traveled to Milan, Italy for exhibition October of 2014. The Ladybug Race picture book was published in 2015 by PomegranateKids.
  • Michael P. Spradlin is the author of more than a dozen books for children, some of which have actually been published. He grew up in a small town in Michigan not far from the Indiana border, which may explain his irrational fear of Hoosiers. (Both the inhabitants of the state of Indiana and the movie starring Gene Hackman). As a New York Times bestselling author, his books include the international bestselling Youngest Templar trilogy, The Killer Species series and his latest novel, INTO THE KILLING SEAS, was a Junior Library Guild selection. He has also written several picture books for children including OFF LIKE THE WIND!: The First Ride of the Pony Express, winner of the Wrangler Award by the National Cowboy Hall of Fame.


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