Workshop instructors and panelists for ACFW Virginia’s Royal Writers Conference are successful agents, editors, and authors who share the common desire to help other writers grow in their faith and their craft.
Multi-published author LISA CARTER likes to describe her romantic suspense novels as “Sweet Tea with a Slice of Murder.” Her latest suspense novel, The Sound of Falling Leaves, releases in October. The Stronghold won a 2017 Daphne du Maurier. Under a Turquoise Sky won the 2015 Carol Award. Beyond the Cherokee Trail was a Romantic Times Top Pick. She also writes contemporary romance with Love Inspired, the popular Matchmaker series, set in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. Lisa enjoys traveling and researching her next fictional adventure. When not writing, she loves spending time with family and teaching writing workshops. A native North Carolinian, she has strong opinions on barbecue and ACC basketball. You can connect with Lisa on her website and Bookbub, or sign up for her newsletter here.
CRYSTAL CAUDILL is an educator and award-winning author of historical romance filled with danger, love, history, and hope. She is passionate about helping other writers and brings her experience to make workshops engaging, informative, and interactive. She is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency and an active member of ACFW and RWA.
When not teaching, writing, or studying, Crystal can be found playing board games with her husband and boys, caregiving for loved ones, traveling, hiding in a book, or drinking copious amounts of hot tea. Follow Crystal: Newsletter, Website, Facebook, & Instagram.
HEIDI CHIAVAROLI (pronounced shev-uh-roli…sort of like Chevrolet and ravioli mushed together!) wrote her first story in third grade, titled I’d Cross the Desert for Milk. It wasn’t until years later that she revisited writing, using her two small boys’ nap times to pursue what she thought at the time was a foolish dream. Despite a long road to publication, she hasn’t stopped writing since! Heidi writes women’s fiction, combining her love of history and literature to write split time stories. Her debut novel, Freedom’s Ring, was a Carol Award winner and a Christy Award finalist, a Romantic Times Top Pick and a Booklist Top Ten Romance Debut.
Heidi loves exploring places that whisper of historical secrets, especially with her family. She loves running, hiking, baking, and dates with her high-school sweetheart and husband of seventeen years. Heidi makes her home in Massachusetts with her husband and two sons. Visit her online at heidichiavaroli.com
Award-winning author KRISTI ANN HUNTER has spun chocolate, faith, and diet lemonade into more than a dozen Christian Fiction Regency romances. Find out more about her books, her speaking, and her mascots at KristiAnnHunter.com and listen to her podcast, A Rough Draft Life.
A full-time writer and speaker, ZOE M. McCARTHY, deals daily with being an expressive/analytic, as a personality test once identified her. She’s the author of seven contemporary Christian romances containing humor and tenderness and proving opposites distract. Her nonfiction book, Tailor Your Fiction Manuscript in 30 Days, is designed to shape a not-yet-submitted, a rejected, or a self-published manuscript with low ratings into a book that shines or to guide writers starting a manuscript. She enjoys leading workshops on writing. Her two books of contemporary Christian allegories will release soon. Zoe is a member of Word Weavers and American Christian Fiction Writers, serving on the board of the Virginia chapter. She’s represented by Joyce Hart of Hartline Literary Agency. Zoe lives with her husband in the Virginia Blue Ridge Mountains and enjoys canoeing at their lake cabin. She blogs on writing topics at zoemmccarthy.com
TAMELA HANCOCK MURRAY has been a literary agent since 2001. She was named Agent of the Year in 2017 by ACFW. She is a bestselling author of over thirty novels, novellas, and nonfiction books, and won an RWA Inspirational Readers Choice Award. Because of her experience, Tamela brings the perspective of a working writer to her role as a literary agent. She represents many top authors and continues to develop new talent. She earned her BA with honors in Journalism from Lynchburg University in Virginia. Today she enjoys living in Northern Virginia with her husband. They are the proud parents of two lovely daughters. Her personal book collection takes up way too much room but that doesn’t stop her from buying more!
Award-winning bestselling author ALLIE PLEITER writes both fiction and non-fiction working on as many as four books at a time. She teaches writers across the country how to be consistently, dependably productive — even under difficult conditions. The author of over 50 published titles, Allie has spent a decade in the publishing profession with over 1.5 million books sold worldwide. In addition to her own writing career, Allie maintains an active writing productivity coaching practice and speaks regularly on faith, the creative process, and her very favorite topic—The Chunky Method of time management. Visit her website at www.alliepleiter.com to learn more.
DEBORAH RANEY’s first novel, A Vow to Cherish, inspired the World Wide Pictures film of the same title and launched Deb’s writing career. Twenty-five years, thirty-five-plus books, and numerous awards later, she’s still creating stories that touch hearts and lives. She and husband, Ken, recently relocated from Kansas to Missouri, where many of Deb’s recent novels are set. They love traveling together to teach at conferences, and to visit four children and a growing brood of grandchildren. Visit Deb on the Web at www.deborahraney.com.
KEN RANEY is president of Raney Day Creative LLC, a producer of illustration and graphic design and Raney Day Press. He also runs www.clashentertainment.com, an entertainment portal website for Christian teens featuring media news, reviews, and interviews for books, comics, music, movies, careers, and gaming. Raney is the author/illustrator of two children’s picture books and has over 40 years of experience in graphic design, illustration, advertising and marketing. He and his wife, novelist Deborah Raney, make their home in Missouri.
BETSY ST. AMANT HADDOX is the author of over fifteen inspirational romance novels and novellas. She resides in north Louisiana with her hero of a hubby, two total-opposite young daughters, a vast collection of coffee mugs, and an impressive stash of Pickle chips. Betsy has a B.A. in Communications and a deep-rooted passion for seeing women restored in Christ. When she’s not composing her next book or trying to prove unicorns are real, Betsy can usually be found somewhere in the vicinity of a white-chocolate mocha–no whip. She blogs frequently at www.ibelieve.com, a devotional site for women. Betsy is proud to be represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of The Steve Laube Agency. You can connect with Betsy on Facebook.
TONI SHILOH is a wife, mom, and multi-published Christian contemporary romance author. She writes to bring God glory and to learn more about His goodness. Her novel, Grace Restored, was a 2019 Holt Medallion finalist and Risking Love is a 2020 Selah Award finalist. A member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and of the Virginia Chapter, Toni seeks to help readers find authors. She loves connecting with readers and authors alike via social media. You can learn more about her writing at tonishiloh.com.
GREG TURNQUIST is a test-bitten script junky and a member of the Spring team at VMware. He wrote technical best sellers Hacking with Spring Boot 2.3: Reactive Edition, Learning Spring Boot 2.0 2nd Edition and Python Testing Cooking. Not stopping there, he has forayed into the land of fiction with his debut coming of age portal fantasy Darklight. Currently working on its sequel, he continues to create new worlds and take readers into undiscovered places.
SARA TURNQUIST is a coffee lovin’, word slinging, clean Historical Romance author whose super power is converting caffeine into novels. She loves those odd little tidbits of history that are stranger than fiction. That’s what inspires her. Well, that and a good love story. But of all the love stories she knows, hers is her favorite. She lives happily with her own Prince Charming and their gaggle of minions. Three to be exact. They sure know how to distract a writer! But, alas, the stories must be written, even if it must happen in the wee hours of the morning. Sara is an avid reader and also enjoys reading clean Historical Romance when she’s not traveling. Her books range from the Czech lands to the American Wild West and from ancient Egypt to the early 1900s. Some of her titles include The Lady Bornekova, Hope in Cripple Creek, The General’s Wife, Trail of Fears, and the Convenient Risk Series.