The timing couldn't be better. Just off of her James Beard Award-winning jag to NYC, Jeni will be a featured guest Saturday, May 12 during the Ohioana Library's 6th annual Ohioana Book Festival, which celebrates Ohio's authors.
The festival wil ltake place from 10 a.m. to 4:30 at the Fort Hayes Metropolitan Education Center, 546 Jack Gibbs Blvd., near downtown Columbus and the Short North. Organizers promise live music, food carts and trucks (Jeni's Street Treats truck will be there!), exhibits, fun-loving crowds and, yes, "books—lots and lots of books!"
Admission is free; no tickets or advance registration is required.
JENI BRITTON BAUER (Franklin County), Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home. Entrepreneur and now best-selling James Beard Award-winning author, Jeni Britton Bauer started making ice cream in 1996, and has spent 15 years perfecting her craft and building a community of devotees who scan her website, blog, Facebook page and Twitter feed daily for what is sure to be their next addiction. Her creative, innovative, and nuanced recipes are inspired by the ingredients available any given day at the market. At Jeni's, everything is made by hand and in house (they even handwrite the name of the ice cream on every pint!). There are 10 stores, with eight in central Ohio, one in Chagrin Falls, one in Nashville, Tenn., and hundreds of retail clients throughout the country, along with a thriving mail order business. Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home is her first cookbook.
TOM BATIUK (Medina County), The Complete Funky Winkerbean, Vol. I. A native of Akron, Ohio, Tom Batiuk (rhymes with "attic") spent several years as a high school teacher before creating Funky Winkerbean, the celebrated comic strip distributed by King Features Syndicate to more than 400 newspapers nationwide. Batiuk has been recognized for his bold yet sensitive approach to real-life issues and was a Pulitzer Finalist in 2008. Batiuk's Funky Winkerbean began in 1972 as a laugh-a-day look at high school life and has matured into a series of real-life stories, highlighting such sensitive social issues as alcoholism, cancer, teen-dating abuse, teen suicide, guns in the school and teen pregnancy. The groundbreaking series have placed Tom Batiuk at the forefront of a new genre in comic art history. Among the numerous honors recognizing his work, Batiuk is a past winner of both the Ohioana Citation and the 1996 Governor’s Award for the Arts.
CINDA WILLIAMS CHIMA (Cuyahoga County), The Gray Wolf Throne. New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cinda Williams Chima began writing poetry and stories in third grade, and novels in junior high school. Her Heir Chronicles young adult contemporary fantasy series includes The Warrior Heir (2006), The Wizard Heir (2007), and The Dragon Heir (2008), all from Hyperion, with two more books forthcoming. Chima’s best-selling YA fantasy Seven Realms series launched with The Demon King (2009), followed by The Exiled Queen (September, 2010) and The Gray Wolf Throne (August, 2011.) The Crimson Crown is scheduled for fall, 2012. Chima was a recipient of the 2008 Lit Award for Fiction from the Cleveland Lit and was named a Cleveland Magazine Interesting Person 2009. Her novel, The Exiled Queen, won the 2011 Teen Buckeye Book Award.
CASEY DANIELS (Cuyahoga County), Wild, Wild Death. Casey Daniels once applied for a job as a tour guide in a Cleveland cemetery. She didn’t get the job, but she did get the idea for the heroine in her popular Pepper Martin mystery series. Pepper works at a historic cemetery and solves mysteries for the ghosts there. In January the eighth book in the series, Wild, Wild Death was published. In addition, Daniels started a new series last year with Button Holed. The second book of the series, Hot Button, comes out in June. She’s writing the Button Box mysteries as Kylie Logan. Daniels has also written both historical and contemporary romances as well as books for young adults and one children’s book. She lives in the Cleveland area and is a frequent presenter at workshops nationwide.
NANCY PETRO (Franklin County), False Justice: Eight Myths That Convict the Innocent. Nancy Petro, a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Denison University, has more than 35 years of full-time experience in marketing, publishing, and business management. She played an active role in the political career of her husband, former Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro. She shared Jim's unsettling awakening to the issue of wrongful conviction and worked with him for two and a half years on the book False Justice: Eight Myths That Convict the Innocent. She continues advocacy of their book, with a focus on increasing awareness of wrongful conviction and the importance of criminal justice reform. Nancy is a Tiffin, Ohio, native and currently makes her home in Columbus.
DONALD RAY POLLOCK (Ross County), The Devil All the Time. Born in 1954 and raised in Knockemstiff, Ohio, Pollock has lived his entire adult life in Chillicothe, where he worked at the Mead Paper Mill as a laborer and truck driver until age 50, when he enrolled in the creative writing program at The Ohio State University. While there, Doubleday published his acclaimed debut short story collection, Knockemstiff, and the New York Times regularly posted his election dispatches from southern Ohio throughout the 2008 campaign. Pollock is the recipient of the 2009 PEN/Robert Bingham Award and also won the 2009 Devil's Kitchen Award in Prose sponsored by the English Department of Southern Illinois University Carbondale. His work has appeared in various literary journals, including Epoch, Sou'wester, Granta, Third Coast, River Styx, The Journal, Boulevard, and PEN America. His second book, The Devil All the Time, published in July 2011, was listed by Publisher's Weekly as one of the top 10 books of the year.
EMILIE RICHARDS (Cuyahoga County), Sunset Bridge. Florida-raised Emilie Richards lived in Cleveland for 12 years where she reared her children and continued a prolific writing career. She is the author of more than 60 novels, including series romances, romantic suspense, futuristic fantasy, paranormal, mysteries, and single title women's fiction. Her novel series include Ministry is Murder and Happiness Key. Richards is also a quilter and has published five Quilting Along With Emilie Richards books to compliment the books in her Shenandoah Album series. Her books have been published in more than 16 languages in more than 20 countries, and eight have recently been made into movies for German TV with more coming. Richards is a past winner of the Romance Writers of America’s RITA Award, the highest prize given to romance authors. Prior to her writing career Richards worked as a therapist in a mental health center, a parent services coordinator for families enrolled in Head Start, and in several pastoral counseling centers. Married to her college sweetheart, Richards now lives in Virginia.
LES ROBERTS (Cuyahoga County), The Cleveland Creep. Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, mystery writer Les Roberts is the author of 26 novels, close to a dozen short stories, eight screenplays and countless newspaper articles and reviews. He’s best known for the creation of his Slovenian detective, Milan Jacovich, in a series of popular mysteries, the latest of which is Whiskey Island. Following a brief career as an actor in Hollywood, Roberts began writing for popular television programs as Candid Camera, The Jackie Gleason Show, The Lucy Show, The Andy Griffith Show, and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. He was the first producer of the long-running game show, Hollywood Squares. Roberts moved to Cleveland in 1990 and says the years he’s spent in the city have been the best of his life. He’s won the Cleveland Arts Prize, the Sherwood Anderson Literary Prize, twice been nominated for both the Shamus and Anthony Awards, and received an honorary doctorate in literature from Cleveland State University.
MICHAEL J. ROSEN (Perry County), The Hound Dog’s Haiku and Other Poems for Dog Lovers. Born in Columbus, Ohio, Michael J. Rosen is an award-winning writer, poet, and illustrator, with more than 80 works published to date. Rosen is the former Literary Director for Thurber House, where he edited several compilations of Thurber’s work and helped create the Thurber Prize for American Humor. Among the awards Rosen has received are the National Jewish Book Award,the Simon Wiesenthal Museum of Tolerance Book Award, and several Ohioana Awards. He has been a fellow of both the Ohio Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.
ROBIN YOCUM (Franklin County), Favorite Sons. Robin Yocum was born in 1955 in Steubenville, Ohio, and grew up in the in the Eastern Ohio village of Brilliant. He received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Bowling Green State University in 1978. After two years at The Lancaster Eagle-Gazette and The Martins Ferry Times Leader, Robin spent 11 years as a crime and investigative reporter with The Columbus Dispatch. He received numerous writing awards, including those from The Associated Press and the Press Club of Ohio. Robin is the author of two nonfiction books: Dead Before Deadline, and Insured for Murder, which he co-authored with Dispatch reporter Cathy Candisky. He is the principle of Yocum Communications in Westerville. Favorite Sons, his first novel, was named the 2011 Book of the Year for Mystery/Suspense by USA Book News.