Extra! Extra! Mark your calendar – Saturday, April 29th from 11am – 3pm for Bookstock, Memphis Area Authors’ Festival, celebrating over 10 Years of Local Authors!
This free family event showcases 60+ local author exhibits, Virtual Reality Empathy Lab, Professional Photography, culture dance performances, choirs, live music, food trucks, face painting, balloon artist, selfie station, African Dance Class, Memphis in May Malaysia Exhibit, book giveaways, and much more.
Come out and join us in this grand celebration of authors!
Children’s Keynote Speaker
Sam is a Memphis native with a big heart, big personality, and even bigger vocabulary! From birth, he was destined to be a superstar. He started reading at two-years-old as his mom Stephanie is passionate about early childhood literacy. Surely, by now, you’ve seen the video. #YouCanBeABCs has captured the hearts of millions of people all over the world, including former First Lady, Michelle Obama. Our mission going forward is simple – to continue using extraordinary platforms, like YouTube, to increase literacy among children who look like Sam, encourage career exploration and of course, to continue spreading joy! Some of Sam’s loves outside of reading are sleep parties, travel, popcorn and Black Panther. We’re so excited to share our SONshine with you and your families. Everyone could use a daily dose of Sam!
Poet, former attorney, Northwestern University MFA graduate, and semifinalist for the Fulbright Fellowship, Tara M. Stringfellow has written for Collective Unrest, Minerva Rising, Jet Fuel Review, WomensArts Quarterly Journal, and Apogee Journal, among other publications. After having lived in Okinawa, Ghana, Chicago, Cuba, Spain, Italy, and Washington DC, she moved back home to Memphis, where she sits on her porch swing every evening with her hound, Huckleberry, listening to records and chatting with neighbors.
Join the Memphis Library Foundation for “An Evening with Tara Stringfellow” Friday April 28th, 6:30 – 8 PM. Exclusive event – Limited tickets available!
More details here!
Rev. G. Scott Morris, MD
Rev. G. Scott Morris, MD, a leading voice in the field of faith and health, is the founder and chief executive officer of Church Health in Memphis, Tennessee, which opened in 1987 to provide quality, affordable health care for working, uninsured people and their families and has grown into the largest charitably funded faith-based health care ministry of its type. Thanks to a broad base of financial support from the faith community, and the volunteer help of doctors, nurses, dentists and others, Church Health provides tens of thousands of patient visits each year. An active family practice physician, Dr. Morris also is ordained in the United Methodist Church. He holds an MDiv from Yale Divinity School and an MD from Emory School of Medicine. He has written many books over the years, including Health Care You Can Live With and If Your Heart is Like My Heart. You can find him on Instagram and Facebook @drscottmorris.
Markhum L. “Mark” Stansbury, Sr., is truly a trailblazer, and public servant. His career in higher education spans more than two decades. Although he was not permitted to enter then Memphis State University, now The University of Memphis, he has worked for four presidents as Assistant to the President. As an award-winning photographer, he has photographed five Presidents, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Beatles, Dr. Benjamin L. Hooks, Isaac Hayes, Rosa Parks, the Supremes, and Elvis Presley. He is perhaps best known for his role as a weekend gospel announcer for the nation’s first Black programmed radio station, WDIA-AM 1070. He has been associated with the station for more than 60-plus years. His philosophies are: “Everybody is somebody” and “there is no limit to what a person can do if he or she does not mind who gets the credit.”
The local historian Mark Stansbury will have a session called Through the Lens in the History Department from 11am -11:50am (see Schedule of Events)
Featured Book: Through the Lens of Mark Stansbury
Steve Adams’s creative nonfiction has won a Pushcart Prize, been listed as “Notable” in BAE, and has been published in The Pinch, The Millions, and elsewhere. In fiction, he’s won Glimmer Train’s Short Story Award for New Writers, and his stories have been anthologized and published in Glimmer Train, The Missouri Review, and elsewhere. He’s been a guest artist at UT, a resident artist at Jentel, a scholar at the Norman Mailer Writers’ Colony, and his plays have been produced in NYC. His debut novel, Remember This, was published last fall. He’s a writing coach and freelance editor in Memphis.
Bianca Baker is the author of “I’m Not Afraid 2 Tell”, “I’m Jussa Girl” and her inaugural novel, “Her Last Save,” which she co-authored with Nona Faith. her first book was written when she was in sixth grade, entitled “Momma, There’s a Frog in My Shoe,” a children’s tale about the imaginative teaching frog that helps children with dyslexia. That was decades ago, but Baker often thinks about how her impressed teacher never returned her book. At one time in her life, Baker believed she had healing hands to cure sickness. Instead of pursuing this calling, she matriculated at a paramedical college. She is multi-dimensional. However, writing is her forte, and music is just as important. She has written several songs and has won several singing competitions. Singing and penning lyrics is one phase of Baker’s life. Writing imaginative stories is another. “Her Last Save” is her latest offering.
Jenae Baker is a loving successful Christian wife to Julius Baker for over 20 years, a nurturing mother to three amazing young adult children Julius Jr., Jenesa, and Javion. She is also a prayer intercessor, life coach, multi-business owner and author of two incredible books. She deems faith, family and friends most important. She has had a desire to write books since she was nine years old. She plans on writing many more books.
Linda J. Blanchard is 75 years old and resides in Memphis, TN with her husband and is the author of the children’s book Happy, the Horse and a poetry book From the Darkness to the Light. She is a wife, mother, grandmother, and great grand-mother. After retiring in 2020, she decided to follow her dreams of becoming an author now that she has the time. She wrote continuously, but wanted to put her writings in books. After looking through all her writings, she realized that she had written enough for children’s, poetry and mystery books (Look for the mystery books soon).
At the young age of 7, Donna Dee picked up a pen and let her imagination run wild. A dream one night turned into her first book entitled “Growing Up Too Fast”, released in 2019. Part two of that two book series “Love Is A Two Way Street”, was released in 2021. Poetry being her one true love, she shares poems written over the years in her third book “A Poetic Peacock”, released in 2022. Donna Dee resides in Memphis, TN.
Roshunda Buchanan and Mark Gentry
Roshunda Buchanan is the author of the Find Your Design Coloring and Activity Book, a publisher and editor of 2Unique Magazine and found of 2Unique Community Salvation Foundation (2Unique), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in Memphis, TN. As the creator of Find Your Design Career Track and Leadership program, under the umbrella of 2Unique, she decided to launch this coloring and activity book series to encourage young people to find their design and help tap into their individual gifts and talents.
Mark Gentry is 16 years old and a junior at Middle College High School in Memphis, TN. Mark began his journey as an author of the Find Your Design Coloring and Activity book at the age of 14 years old. Mark’s goal is to help youth pursue their true passions and talents in order to identify a career choice. He supports organizations like 2Unique and Heal the Hood Foundation of Memphis by supporting events that upbuild and give back to the city of Memphis. Mark strives to pursue his dreams by continuing to make a difference in his community.
Dr. Bee is a Memphis educator and author of “Oh My; My Left Eye!”, “Southern Secrets”, and “Ace Has All the Answers”, which brings awareness to co-parenting situations. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys skating, baking, and spending time with family and friends.
Imani Hope Campbell
Imani Hope Campbell is a 2021 Rhodes Scholar Finalist and a graduate of Fisk University. She also serves as founder and director of the Reading Scholars Program and studied Child Development & Education and Social Geography at the University of Oxford. She is a passionate advocate for the rights and protection of children globally.
The Venezuelan literary author Gabriel Castiblanco, a native of Maracaibo Venezuela, is a well-known character from Memphis, renowned in the community for his fun personality and his famous hallaquitas which earned him and his wife the first prize at the 2015 tamale festival, Castiblanco is considered a lover of sports, music, dance, cultures, gastronomy, and parties. Author of the literary work, “Our Life on Uncle Sam’s Earth” where narrates his journey as an immigrant and father of a family from Venezuela to Memphis after his young daughter was diagnosed with cancer around 1997 and brought to San Jude for treatment. And his new publication “Learning Together with the Associative Method” is a practical book to learn Spanish and English.
Clinton Child has been actively researching Bible Prophecy, History and Science for over twenty years to gain insight into current and future events. Sunday School Teacher for 20 years (Wide World Ministries, Theology Degree, 1978). Chief Aircraft Engineer (UTA, Bachelor in Aerospace Engineering 1994.
Dr. Aretha Coleman-Terry
Dr. Aretha Coleman-Terry was born in Memphis, Tennessee. She is a retired math teacher who served in this career for 15 years. Aretha shares inspiring stories about her life and personal testimonies offering hope to those who believe in the power of God.
Charles Crenshaw IV
Charlie Crenshaw IV a Senior Business Manager, Creative, and published author from Memphis, TN. He received his Bachelor’s degree from The University of Memphis in Communications. Charlie’s hometown roots can be traced back to the community of Orange Mound where he graduated as Valedictorian from Melrose High School. Charlie then decided to serve his country by enlisting as a soldier in the United States Army. The time he served included a tour in Baqubah, Iraq as a combat engineer during Operation Iraqi Freedom III. Charlie is a member of Redemption Church. Leisure time is spent engaging in creative projects, serving the city with his non-profit organization, Memphis Made, and spending time with his wife, Terra Crenshaw, and two daughters, Charlize and Charli.
Carla Cruit (Rose Elaine)
My name is Carla, and I am the author and the artist behind Rose Elaine and the Rosy Lane series of books. I have had the opportunity to travel worldwide, and I have crossed the Atlantic Ocean 10 times and the Pacific 6 times! I graduated from London Central in High Wycombe, England. I attended college in Kansas and began my sales career in Chicago, Illinois. I live in Tennessee and find joy in painting and writing every day. Traveling has been a blessing to me. I have had so many experiences and have met so many people. These experiences planted the seeds that grew into the characters, situations, and plotlines. Writing brings me great joy.
Epiphany Z. Crush is the author of The Sky is the Limit (2018), Extra ‘Nessa (2019), Love, Heartbreaks, Epiphanies, and Joy: A Poetry Collection (2019), Wake-Up Call (2020), Highway to Heaven (2020), Conversations in the Midnight Hour: A Journal with Scriptures of Wisdom & Consolation (2021), Life, as Seen Through Her Introverted Eyes: A Collection of Poetry & Prose (2021), The Repayment Plan (2022),and Epiphany’s Bible Study Workbook: Questions & Answers from the Book of Genesis (2022) She’s the owner of an online giftshop: Epiphany’s Sky & Design Bookstore, where she also makes and sells beaded jewelry. Epiphany even offers a giftwrap service. Shop and subscribe to her email list at epiphannysskyanddesign.com.
Author and teacher Caroline Dickinson has educational degrees and certifications from the University of Memphis. She has taught in the DoDD Schools in Germany and also in Colorado and Tennessee- preschool to university levels. Raised on a small farm with parents and five siblings, she learned to appreciate human existence in relation to plants and animals. She’s a member of Bartlett Writer’s Group, National Education Association, Metropolitan Interfaith Association, and Pearl Hooper Garden Club. Her favorite pastimes are family and church activities, plants, pets, reading, and writing.
Margaret Deloach, resides in Memphis, TN and is the author of Margaret’s Survival Diary: GOD Restored My Story. At age 34, she was urged by GOD to share and educate her 2 life changing experiences of surviving 2 near death life events, that happened in 2013 and sadly again in 2021. She shares her journey of how GOD Restored her life not only physically but also mentally and emotionally. She believes it is important for others to understand and be aware of the warning signs and symptoms of blood clots.
Jennifer F. Dobbs’s experience of being lost in China led her to become a Montessori teacher and earn a master’s in school counseling. Dobbs is now dedicated to animal rescue, finding homes for lost and homeless dogs and cats. She currently lives in Memphis, Tennessee. Lost in China, named by Kirkus Reviews as one of the 100 best independent books of 2022, is her first book.
Dr. Wynn Earle, Jr.
Dr. Wynn Earle, Jr. is a native Memphian and currently works for the Memphis Shelby County School District as an elementary school principal. He is a graduate of the University of Memphis where he completed his BBA in Management Information Systems and MA in Elementary Education. He is also a graduate of Union University where he completed his Doctoral Degree in Instructional Leadership. He is an avid reader of most things Memphis, and a collector of vintage books, photographs, and ephemera that document academic life for African Americans in Memphis and around the United States.
Monica Ellis was born in Detroit and raised in Miami. As an adult she moved to Atlanta to pursue a career as a dental assistant. Soon after graduating and working for a short period of time in the dental industry, she was diagnosed with Discoid and Systemic Lupus at the age of 27. Finally at the ripe age of 48 she is living life unapologetically HER! Traveling and meeting new people along the way has brought her much peace and happiness. Although she lives in her Jeep, in her free time she’s normally watching a corny horror flick but would rather be on the beach, toes in sand and snacks in hand and she also loves to people watch (if she were a fly on the wall of Walmart parking lot), she’d have hundreds of books written.
Naiya Figueroa is a newly published author and poet. She began writing at 12 years of age, and at 21 years old has decided to share her experiences of healing and growth through poetry. Naiya is the author of Gentle Rose (A Book of Poems).
A.Grandberry is an innovative millennial who lives in Memphis, Tennessee. She is an educational advisor and has extensive experience as an English teacher. Ms. Grandberry’s creation of Bryce August has been one of the greatest joys of her life. Right now there Bryce Augusts is a trilogy however it’s her dream to write more centered around other characters in the series. A.Grandberry has an original WordPress blog entitled, “Did I Shave My Legs for This” at www.blackbeauty85.com.
Samantha Hill is a Certified Master Life Coach, founder of ‘The Confident Shift’, and Author who helps women control their unwanted self-dialogue so they can confidently discover how to reach their highest potential! Samantha has a bachelor’s degree in business. She’s a Cosmetologist turned Coach who uses her 35-plus years of experience to inspire women to not only enhance their outer beauty but combine the power of their unshakable confidence from within.
Grace E. Howell
Grace E. Howell, a former teacher and librarian, is an avid reader, writer, and gardener. The author of True Friends and Hairt Before Dawn, she currently writes and teaches Bible studies and reads for Memphis Library Radio WYPL 89.3 FM. She lives with her husband in Memphis, Tennessee.
Candy is the author of “Wayment God…Motherhood Ain’t for Me”. She lives in Memphis, TN, with her husband of 14 years and they are the proud parents of three little people. Candy has served in the public school system for 15 years as a history teacher and continues to serve as a professional school counselor. She also writes for her personal blog: Sweeter than Candy, has become a social media presence on Facebook, and is the owner of a small business creating custom gift boxes and baskets. In her spare time, Candy enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, eating, dancing, and attending her children’s games and events. Yep! She’s that mom in the stands.
Bewindi A Jackson is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and CEO/Founder of Against All Odds Professional Counseling Services. This practice is a group of mental health professionals with Christ at the center and help clients feel empowered, encouraged and equipped with practical strategies for gaining new perspectives to live freely. Christ-Centered counseling is also available for those who want to incorporate their faith in Jesus in therapy. Bewindi has been serving in the mental health field since 2006 and this is truly her calling and ministry. Bewindi is a host of the podcast, Empowered to Empower You- all things Jesus and mental health and wellness and each episode is packed with information, inspiration and insight. She is also a published author of the books: Empowerment for You: Encouragement for your Spiritual and Emotional Wellness and Empowerment for You Reflection Workbook. Bewindi is powered by her values of faith in Jesus, service, fun, freedom and empowerment. She has an infectious smile and dynamic personality which often leaves an imprint on someone’s life. Outside of counseling and coaching or leading her team, Bewindi loves to serve, walk on trails, spend time with family, friends, laugh and encourage others.
Dwayne A. Jones
Dwayne A. Jones has been a general contractor who partners with his brothers Maurice Jones, Sr., Deushawn Jones, Sr. and cousin Shea Lee. Dwayne A. Jones Construction Company LLC are homebuilders and developers with emphasis on affordable housing. Dwayne has been a community gardener and cycling enthusiasts for many years. He has traveled to Ghana and Togo West Africa, India, and Haiti on mission trips spending time with children at orphanages and building projects. Dwayne has built many new homes, tiny homes, and projects for the homeless over the past 30 years. Dwayne started The Jones Boys Farm and Gardens where he produces local honey, vegetables, and fresh eggs. He is also the author of four self-published children’s books. He lives in the historical black community of Orange Mound where he continues to provide affordable housing opportunities.
Erin Jones is a rising influencer in her generation of young authors. Although Girl Empowered is this teenager’s first major writing project, this budding author knows the power of words and uses them to her fullest advantage. Girl Empowered was written to engage every pre-teen/teen girl, provide them with positive words to shape their lives, and inspire countless young women to live their best lives. In her spare time, Erin enjoys cooking (especially baking), playing with her pet dog, hanging out with friends, and competitive cheerleading.
Frances Jones is a CEO, 2X Best-selling author, public speaker, advocate, and certified coach. She is a highly sought-after Keynote Speaker for various Women Empowerment summits and was televised live on Fox Soul’s The Tammi Mac Late Show. She has been featured in countless media publications including ABC 24 Memphis News, NBC, CBS, FOX affiliates, Thrive Global, Disrupt Magazine, Speakers Magazine, Giddy, Passionate World Talk Radio, Delaware 105.9 FM, The Stuph File Program radio show, VoiceAmerica, & the Los Angeles Tribune.
She holds master’s degrees from the University of Mississippi in accounting and educational leadership. Frances is the founder of Heart Desires Fulfillment Coaching, LLC. She uses her story and the empowering lessons learned to inspire, motivate, and help others dealing with negative emotions and stigmas from infertility and other life challenges so they can have a fulfilled life. Frances lives in Memphis, Tennessee with her family. You can chat with her on Facebook and Instagram @heartdesirescoaching, Twitter @HeartDesiresFC, TikTok @author.francesjones, and LinkedIn @francesjones1. You can also visit her website at www.heartdesirescoaching.com
Trevor Jones is a young, budding author with a bright future in writing. Bruh, You Got This is his first major writing project, but it could not have arrived at a better time than now. Bruh, You Got This was written to engage every pre-teen/teen boy, provide them with positive words to shape their lives, and inspire countless young men to live their best lives. The power of strong affirmation is not to be underestimated. In fact, all you really need in order to start your path towards greatness is to be affirmed that you have what it takes to be successful. Bruh, you got this! So, begin your journey, today, and absorb every positive anecdote contained in this debut project by Trevor Jones. In his spare time, Trevor enjoys gaming with his international friends, performing percussion solos, and roller blading, and playing tennis.
Tammy Terrell Kennard
Tammy is a woman who wears many hats as Christian, wife to her wonderful husband Sgt. Ben Kennard, Mother, Daughter, Sister and Friend. Tammy has been a writer since she was in elementary school. She’s mostly known for her writing and spoken word as Mspoet2deep. She’s performed on stages for people like PR-Soul Band, H2D Entertainment, churches, Gospel Fest 2013 and even opened up a concert for Kym Burrell. Now Tammy spends most days loving on her son BJ who she was blessed with after many miscarriages. He is her inspiration to write children’s books. Tammy is also a Paparazzi Consultant, a Puppeteer who does educational puppet shows for kids and a phenomenal cook.
Shirley Lancaster is the author of her memoir, Survive and Thrive Against the Odds, motivational speaker, Sunday school/substitute teacher, and prayer warrior. In midlife, after her near death experience, she decided to compile her experiences of surviving, and thriving to give hope to the hopeless. In this book, she stresses how important it is to be mindful of our present and future actions as we strive to be the role models that we are called to be. Each of us is chosen, broken, and blessed and you and I are destined to make a positive difference not only in our own lives but also in the lives of others. She resides in the Mid-South. She loves her husband, children, grandchildren and daughter and sons-in-laws, students, and brothers and sisters in Christ.
Jess is a previous educator who has always enjoyed writing. She enjoys creating stories that celebrate the curiosity of a child. In her spare time, she loves to travel. Find out more at Jess4mei.com.
Memphis Made Authors
Charlie Crenshaw IV is a Senior Business Manager at AT&T, Creative, and published author from Memphis, TN. He also serves as a founding member of Memphis Made Inc, a 501c3 organization dedicated to creating strategic partnerships that empower the youth and community in the city of Memphis. Brandon Hardin Sr is the owner and operator of Hardin Mobile Detailing, a local operation that serves Memphis and surrounding areas, and a founding member of Memphis Made Inc. Tramain Stewart is a multifaceted entrepreneur, author, and filmmaker who founded Memphis Made to celebrate and promote the unique culture and creativity of Memphis. David Richmond is a successful businessman and Memphis Made founder who discovered his true purpose in life is to motivate and inspire others, thanks to the strong support system that surrounded him in Memphis. Randy Lyons, a veganism, herbalism, and spirituality enthusiast, credits his faith and relationship with The Most High for guiding him on his journey. Jerry Johnson is a Memphis Made founder and family man who expresses his gratitude for everyone who has helped him become who he is today, including his loved ones and those who have invested in his success.
Barbara J. Miller is the author of “Exercises to Enjoy Your Golden Years”. She worked at Memphis City Schools as an Elementary Teacher in Kindergarten and First Grade for eighteen years. Being a Continuous Education student, she developed expertise in developing numerous skills in developing Training Materials and Manuals. Mrs. Miller used her expertise to each and train her students to make and use Passports and Personal Birthday Calendars. Mrs. Miller resides in Memphis, Tennessee close to her younger daughter, seven grandchildren and three great grandchildren. Mrs. Miller loves to travel and work in the yard. At 76, Mrs. Miller began to experience numerous pains often referred to as “Arthritis”. She visited the internet on several occasions. But because she had gotten up in years, she slowed down rhythmically and could not keep up with the pace of the online exercises. One morning, Mrs. Miller awoke to terrible pain and the inability to move. She was terrified but determined not to be stuck in bed. She began to do the exercises as stated in the book even though she was hurting. Upon standing up after getting out of bed, Mrs. Miller discovered her purpose, writing and demonstrating an exercise book for people that move around slow and hurt a lot.
Marvin Mims, Sr.
Marvin Mims, Sr. is the author of his first book, “The Crossroads of Champions.” As a native of Greenville, Mississippi, Mims is the Pastor of St. Mark Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee. Mims retired as a Chief Master Sergeant with the United States Air Force after 32 years of honorable service, for which he received the Meritorious Service Medal. He is the founder of the nonprofit mentoring organization Brothers Offering Leadership and Development. Mims also mentors young men through The Brotherhood. He has a Master’s degree in Management and Leadership from Webster University. Mims and his wife, Anita, have three children, a son-in-law, and two beloved grandsons.
Shelley E. Moore is a Wyoming native, who, at the age of seven, moved with her family to Memphis. She attended public schools during the decade of 1962-1972, years that witnessed the onset of school desegregation and a tragic assassination. Shelley left Memphis in 1972 and returned in 2011 to reclaim the city of her youth. In 2019, at age sixty-six, she began her memoir, Through a Blue Eyed Lens, written entirely in the Benjamin L. Hooks Library. Shelley is a mother of two and grandmother of four.
Regina Murden is an educator, inspired Bible teacher, and writer. Her purpose is to encourage women to experience the joy of a fulfilled life. She knows this can only come from a close relationship with God. She currently resides in Memphis, TN. She takes long walks, loves horseback riding, and enjoys traveling.
Lekeyantia Naylor is a self-published author of two books, one journal, and one coloring book. She began writing in September 2021 and published her first book 20 Tips To Financial Success Vol. 1 in October of the same year. She has always had a passion and desire to help others achieve a better quality of life since she was a little girl. Now she would like to continue helping others by assisting them in achieving their financial goals as well as in other areas of life. She also wishes to inspire, educate, and entertain people through writing. She was born in Chicago, IL, and raised in Flint, MI but now lives in Memphis, TN. She has two beautiful children, a son, and a daughter, to whom she dedicated her first children’s book and put them on the cover. You can contact Lekeyantia via email at TheLNBooks@gmail.com, through Instagram @Lekeyantia, Facebook @Lekeyantia, or check out her website at TheLNBooks.com.
Vincent Perry has been in the financial services industry for over 26 years. He holds the CFP® CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designations. He also holds a General Securities – Series 7 and Series 63 license. He has a Bachelor of Science degree from University of TN at Chattanooga. He received the Five Star Wealth Manager in 2022, and is a member of the Millions Dollar Round Table. He and his wife, Vanessa, are native Memphians, and are members of Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church.
Rose B. Phillips
A graduate of Memphis State (University of Memphis), and University of Tennessee at Knoxville, a recipient of the Baker & Taylor/ Grassroots Award, decided to follow her life’s true passion by becoming a librarian. She worked as a librarian for the Memphis Public Library and Memphis Public Schools. Rosie spent her career encouraging children to have a love of books and reading. Motivated by her grandchildren’s love of reading and books, she decided to create a series of picture books that teach children, Christian values through the “fruit of the spirit” found in the Galatians 5:22-23.
Tammie T. Polk is a native Memphian who grew up writing. From her mid-teens to her mid-thirties, she knew nothing of publishing until a client showed her the way. Since then, she has taken the literary world by storm and even opened her own bookstore in April 2019.
Yasmine A. Polk
Yasmine A. Polk produces art under the pen name Twila Versa and Twilauniverse. She is a Computer Graphic Artist with a niche in creating anime style character art built from a point of reference and then turns it into an original character for your book, brand, or personal collection.
It was 1976 and I was sitting in my Kindergarten classroom drawing my favorite Saturday morning cartoon characters just before recess. The class was wowed by my early ability to draw and I decided at an early age “I WANT TO BE AN ARTIST WHEN I GROW UP!” I always knew I wanted to Be Somebody Great.
Fast forward 47 years later and I’m FINALLY publishing my first children’s book, “Be Somebody Great”. What took me so long? After helping raise two kids and servicing many individuals and organization with their own graphic needs and design desires, I’m finally able to push my book publishing business off the ground.
Featured Book: Be Somebody Great
Diyala Rasul is an American-Palestinian children’s book author. Diyala spent the first half of her life in the US before moving to the Middle East for the adventure of her life! After gaining her MSc. in Public Policy, from the University of Bristol in the UK, Diyala spent time working for the public sector and various nonprofits in Palestine, where she focused on social and economic development initiatives. She then spent 2 years living in Geneva, Switzerland before moving back to the US in 2020. Far From Home is Diyala’s debut children’s book and served as a tribute to her late grandmother who passed away in November 2020.
Debra D. Rich
Debra D. Rich is the author of Black Inventors Who Changed History 1800s-1900s. When the Covid-19 virus hit in 2020, that became the perfect opportunity for her to fulfill her dreams of becoming an author. She gathered all the information she had saved for over 25 years, found a publisher and is excited to share with you some of America’s Greatest Black Inventors. Debra is actively involved in her community, acting as role model for young people through organizations such as Girls Inc, Youth Villages and the Academy for Youth Empowerment. She is a Veteran of the United States Air Force and is a licensed cosmetologist with over 30 years of experience. She has been married for 40 years and has two children, April and Bobby and two beautiful granddaughters Khoi and Riyan. You can reach Debra on Linked In@Author Deb Rich, Facebook @ Author Debra Rich, Twitter@Richierich@ddrich44 and Instagram@bdrich2.
Elijah T. Robinson
Elijah T. Robinson is the author of Quondam Collections Vol. 1 & Vol. 2. He began writing poetry as an undergraduate student and archived all the experiences significant in his life. Elijah grew a passion for writing and published Quondam Collections Vol. 1 & Vol. 2 in 2022. In the coming years, he plans to continue creating poetry as his love for writing will never expire.
Raul Romero is the author of Looking for a Humble Servant. He is a retired Navy veteran, public speaker, inventor, and Bible teacher. At age 64, he decided to gather all of his experience in serving in church for many years and involvement in his community. He resides in Bartlett, TN with his wife, three grandchildren that keeps him busy.
Richard Schain is an independent philosopher (non-academic) who moved to Memphis in 2022 after residing in Mexico for 15 plus years. His books reflect the predicament of a non-religious, spiritually-minded individual living in an age of ‘scientism’, materialism, and increasingly irrelevant religious dogmas. Despite all this, he finds the search for his own spiritual reality and for a universal metaphysical reality uplifting to his spirit. Schain obtained an M.D. degree from New York University and trained in neurology at the Yale Medical Center. In a former life, he served as professor of pediatrics and neurology at UCLA. He has been married for 42 years to a wonderful woman, Melanie Dreisbach.
Betty Jewell Slater
Author, Betty Jewell Slater is an award-winning short-film producer of The Norwalk Witness, a speaker, actor, and coach. She also provides a fresh approach to public speaking by presenting as one of “The Matriarchs;” Harriet Tubman, Mrs. Rosa Parks, Mary Mother of Jesus, Mrs. Coretta Scott King, and Bessie Coleman. You might say Betty has “Big Shoes To Fill” when stepping into these roles. She uses her own unique style to help her audience recognize they are more powerful than they think, remember they were created for a purpose, and reject the fear that stops them from reaching their goals. Betty recently moved to Memphis from San Francisco. Reach out to her on LinkedIn @Bettyjewellslater, Instagram @bettyjewellslater, Facebook Betty Jewell Slater or her website: bettyjewellslater.com
Rashard L. Springfield is the author of the Navigator series. His career in writing began during his early education as a child and became more apparent during his first undergraduate degree at the University of Memphis. His passion for writing, Christianity, healthy relationships, and social change led to him publishing the navigator series in 2023. He continues to pursue creating more books with intent of promoting healthier romantic relationships.
Larita Taylor, PhD
Larita Webb Taylor, PhD, MPH, CLC is the founder of Webbmark Health Solutions, a public health research and wellness consulting firm. She is not another “talking head”, but an enthusiastic health coach, certified lactation counselor, and public health researcher who seeks to reduce racial disparities in breastfeeding, infant mortality, and maternal health. She shares the struggles she overcame to breastfeed her two children and physical, mental, spiritual and emotional wellness principles she integrated into her practice as a former director of congregational care for a Mega Church.
Who says a family can’t write children books together?! Hello, we are The Thompson Family! We are a family of six, each with our own personality, that love to write Christ-centered stories for the whole family to enjoy. You see it all started with deciding to pray together as a family which developed into what we now call family night. We used our family nights to connect with each other and the beauty of God’s word. This produced a load of wonderful and creative writings inspired by God that are purposeful and fun to read.
Dr. Karren Todd
Dr. Karren D. Todd is a dynamic speaker, author and certified professional coach. After serving 15 years in fulltime ministry, Karren shifted to serving beyond the walls of the church as the Executive Director of POWER Ministries and CEO of Empowerment Coaching and Consulting. Karren helps executives, clergy and hi-powered entrepreneurs -who are stuck moving from message to manifestation- to get out of their own way, develop their best self and offer their best service to the world. Dr. Karren thrives at the intersection of spiritual and personal development which enables her to support clients in ministry and the marketplace.
Larkin and Shirley Weber
Larkin and Shirley Weber are authors, ministers, and motivational speakers. They are a husband and wife team that have been married for over thirty plus years, they are the parents of three grandparents of four. Larkin and Shirley are also the founders of Difference Makers 225 which is an organization that they started to inspire others to be the best version of his or herself. Through their organization the bring a motivational presentation which they speak on a variety of topics and they provide resources that will inspire others with tools to succeed. They have had the opportunity to be a part of school assemblies, reward programs, training sessions, business luncheons, church events and community outreaches. The Webers also have a TV talk show called OneWay TV 225, which was nominated for an award in 2020. The Webers desire is to encourage and motivate others with practical tools that they did not have as kids or adults.
Author of the singularly Memphis action novel OVERCRANK, Dan Whitley was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee. He taught English composition and literature at the University of Memphis before he became a senior business application analyst for FedEx IT. He wrote system requirements and project managed production releases for the company’s revenue system for almost twenty years. Retired now, Whitley lives in Collierville, a small town in Shelby County and the third largest municipality in the county after Memphis. On any given day you might catch Dan on a tennis court warming up his serve for his next match. His team won city, state then on to regionals two years in a row. Racquets Up! And enjoy the ride!
Featured Book: Overcrank
David Wesley Williams
David Wesley Williams, a Memphian and long-time former reporter and editor for The Commercial Appeal, is the author of the novels EVERYBODY KNOWS (2023) and LONG GONE DADDIES (2013). His short fiction has been published by the Oxford American, Kenyon Review Online, Memphis magazine, and such literary journals as The Common and The Pinch. His stories have also appeared in Akashic Books’ MEMPHIS NOIR and the Harper Perennial collection FORTY STORIES.
Dr. Lowell Winston
As a transformational school leader, I am proud to report noteworthy academic achievements as a visionary district and school administrator. I left all eleven of my schools, district departments, and Head Start learning centers better than I found them educationally, culturally, and academically for scholars, teaching, learning, and staff effectiveness.
Featured Book: How Principals Can Turn Around Under Achieving K-12 Schools Academically
My name is Detario Yancey. I am a new author. In February, I released the book titled: “Daddy, Is It OK to Cry?” Book teaches readers ages 3 to 8. The book is about my own life and the first time I saw my dad cry. I love all things mental health and am a childcare professional! I love what I do and the work that I am able to share with the world.
D. Terry Yarbrough
D. Terry Yarbrough, a native Memphian, launched his police career on March 4, 1968, with the Memphis Police Department (MPD), in Memphis, Tennessee. On January 9, 1984, he resigned after completing 16 years of service. On August 12, 1985, Yarbrough joined the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, retiring on August 31, 2013, ending 28 years of service, and earning the rank of Captain. He was appointed the Chief of Police at Mason, Tennessee, from September 12, 2016, to February 21, 2019. Later marketed his professional services as a law enforcement consultant. Graduated from Hamilton High School, after that, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice Studies, cum laude, from LeMoyne-Owen College, a local HBCU. On December 16, 1996, Yarbrough graduated from the FBI National Academy (FBINA), Session 187, at Quantico, Virginia. The FBI program offered a dynamic leadership training experience for national and international police personnel.
More to be added…