Directors & Voting Members

Welcome to the Director and Voting Members page! Below you will find the short bios and website links to the Directors and Voting Members in each category of the Indie Lit Awards.

Founder/Chair

Wallace

Wallace grew up in a home where reading was preferred to TV, playing outside was more popular than playing Atari (yes, Atari — and she admits to playing Frogger whenever she could squeeze a game in when older brothers weren’t around), and eating carob instead of chocolate and local goat’s milk instead of store bought cow’s milk was the norm (though she quickly recognized this was not the norm for all of her friends, and stole away to their houses to gorge on processed foods and soda whenever she could). As an adult, she is happy that most of the above stuck… though there is plenty more TV in her week and she doesn’t have to go to a friend’s house to binge on junk food anymore. She reviews an eclectic mix of literature spanning from graphic novels to classics on her book blog, Unputdownables. After teaching for seven years, Wallace is now an aspiring writer. You can find her on Twitter @BookishWallace or you can reach her at: unputdownableswebsite@gmail.com.

Vice-Chair

Ti (Book Chatter)

TiLover of all things bookish, Tina, or Ti as she likes to be called, is the creator of Book Chatter, a blog about books, where she chats with friends about books and life. Blogging since 2008, she’s gotten to know quite a few bloggers both virtually and face-to-face and never tires of the interaction that gushing about books creates. She adores Literary Fiction but has been known to read other genres too…specifically Dystopian Fiction. Who knew? Her favorite authors are Cormac McCarthy, Ian McEwan, John Steinbeck, and George Orwell. She lives in Southern California with The Hub and her two kids, works full-time, and secretly wishes for a Housewives of Santa Clarita so she can leave her job as a technical writer. This is her second year with the Indie Lit Awards. She can be reached at bookishchatter@gmail.com or on Twitter @TiBookChatter.

Biography/Memoir

Director

Florinda (The 3R’s Blog)

FlorindaAn avid reader since the age of four, Florinda discovered as she entered her forties that she was losing track of what she’d read, and started her blog in March 2007 as a means of correcting that situation. She’s found it very useful. She uses the blog for other things as well – the second and third R’s in its name – but it’s still primarily about books. She prefers contemporary fiction of no particular genre, but has always liked to combine it with nonfiction, primarily memoir, biography, and history. In her offline life, Florinda is a wife, mother, stepmother, and accountant.

Voting Members

Alyce (At Home with Books)

AlyceAlyce has been blogging for almost three years, thanks in large part to an understanding and patient family who have encouraged her to pursue those things about which she is passionate.  In the past she has worked in sales at two publishing companies, but at present she stays at home and takes care of her family.  She has a degree in linguistics and a love for all things having to do with words and languages.  Her favorite genres are: memoirs, creative nonfiction, literary fiction, dystopian fiction, historical fiction, science fiction, and anything having to do with time travel.  In addition to book-related hobbies she also plays the flute in a community band.

Candace (Beth Fish Reads)

CandaceCandace is a full-time freelance book editor whose clients include both major publishing firms and prominent independent presses. She also reviews books, both on her blog, Beth Fish Reads, and professionally, in a range of genres from adult literary fiction to middle reader fantasy, from prerelease review copies to classics. In late 2009, she started her imprint awareness project, through which she is currently focusing on Amy Einhorn Books, Harper Perennial, Pamela Dorman Books, and Algonquin Books. She is also a co-owner of the audiobook review index blog Audiobook Jukebox. When she’s not reading, she’s probably listening to a book while cooking, gardening, walking, making lace, or taking photographs. Follow Candace on Twitter [@BethFishReads] or visit Beth Fish Reads.

Nadia (A Bookish Way of Life)

NadiaBooks are my vice.  I always carry one with me wherever I go.  Contemporary fiction and literary fiction are my favorite genres, but I will dip into chick lit, nonfiction, memoirs, YA lit, crime thrillers and the classics if the mood strikes me.  My favorite authors are Kurt Vonnegut and Jean Rhys, whilst my go-to book is A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole.  My bad-ish book habits include buying multiple copies of Cat’s Cradle (new or used – if I find it, I buy it); using candy wrappers, receipts, ticket stubs as bookmarks; creating TBR lists and reading books that aren’t on it; and of course, always finding excuses to buy more books.  When I don’t have my nose stuck in a book, I like to cook, watch movies, and hang out with family and friends.

Colleen (Books in the City)

I have loved reading since I was a young girl – I was rarely found without a book in hand.  Books brought me to interesting places and introduced me to fascinating characters.  Although my reading tastes have changed over the years, I still find solace in books and love being transported by a great story! Other pertinent facts . . . I am in my 30’s, live in NYC and work in a decidedly un-literary field (Pharma R&D). I have always enjoyed reading – I rarely remember being anywhere as a child without a book in tow. I pursued science in college but added English Lit as a second major so I could get my book fix.

Fiction

Director

Melody (Fingers & Prose)

MelodyMelody just wouldn’t feel at home if she wasn’t surrounded by books, which is why she takes them with her wherever she goes, and talks about them as much as possible.  She prefers books that have strong themes and a creative use of language, and often has good luck with the Pulitzer Prize winners.  She loves Willa Cather and Leo Tolstoy, but has recently become enamored with Kurt Vonnegut and Nick Hornby.  When she isn’t reading, she will likely be writing, gardening, or somehow expressing her creativity and making a mess in the process.  She’s always up to meeting new friends, so stop by and say hello at her blog, Fingers & Prose.

Voting Members

Aths (Reading on a Rainy Day)

AthsAthira (or Aths) is a software engineer in Virginia, and when she’s not writing code, she’s reading and blogging about books. Though books were a constant presence in her life for as long as she remembers, she will be the first to admit that she didn’t grow up reading voraciously – that bug bit her only in her teens. Aths reviews an eclectic mix of books – most of them in the literary fiction or memoirs category – at her blog, Reading on a Rainy Day. In addition, Aths also does the weekly Leif Reads feature with another blogger. You can find her on Twitter @rainydayreading or you can reach her at: readingonarainyday[AT]gmail[DOT]com.

Carrie (nomadreader)

CarrieCarrie calls herself nomadreader because she adores reading novels and traveling almost equally. She has also been known to move around quite frequently (and sometimes suddenly). She is rather obsessed with prize lists (including the Indie Lit Awards!) and counts the Orange Prize and the Oscars among her favorites. Whether traveling to or living in a new city, she eagerly seeks out restaurants serving unique, good, local food and delicious wine. She is a Kansas native who advocates the loveliness of Albany, New York to anyone who will listen. By day, she is an academic reference librarian who teaches information literacy courses by incorporating pop culture. By night, she blogs about literary fiction, independent film and delicious meals at nomadreader. She is also a member of the National Book Critics Circle.

Meg (Write Meg)

MegMeg is a writer, editor and avid reader from Maryland. When she’s not flipping the pages of a paperback, she’s crocheting, baking exotic cupcakes or taking photos of her dog, boyfriend and any family member within grabbing distance. A 2007 graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park with a B.A. in English Literature, Meg’s poetry and short stories have appeared in regional publications. Her personal column “Right, Meg?” runs in three newspapers in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. Favorite authors include Jonathan Safran Foer, Megan McCafferty and Jhumpa Lahiri. Read her bookish thoughts at her blog, www.writemeg.com, and follow her on Twitter @writemeg.

GLBTQ

Director

Cass (Bonjour Cass)

CassCass is a twenty-something disgruntled accountant who uses reading and blogging to exercise the neglected right half of her brain. In high school she was elected President of her rural Connecticut hometown’s Young Adult Advisory Board, where she successfully campaigned to add Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak and other significant books to the otherwise Sweet Valley High-dominated YA section of the library. This brief stint as an advocate for compelling, realistic novels helped inspire a passion for books that authentically portray otherwise neglected communities. As a self-identified queer person, she is particularly interested in supporting representative GLBTQ books. Cass now lives in Boston with her partner, their three cats, and an ever expanding library of queer non-fiction. She blogs at bonjourcass.com and is on twitter as @bonjourcass. This is her second year serving as the Director of the GLBTQ category of the ILAs.

Voting Members

Adam (Roof Beam Reader)

AdamAdam is an “old soul” intellectual and philosophical vagabond, who came a bit late to the reading world.  Growing up, he was surprisingly not of the bookish persuasion, spending more time playing sports and video games; but, after going to college and giving up on one major after another he knew he had to find something to fill his incessant yearning for knowledge. That something became books. After earning two degrees in English and spending time as a teacher, writing tutor, and MSA moderator, Adam established himself professionally as an Academic Advisor.  Books and book blogging have remained a prominent part of his life and continue to be his primary passion.  His focal interests are literary fiction and classics, but he also spends a great amount of time and energy renouncing censorship and book banning, as well as promoting literacy and literary education.  Adam lives with his partner of four years in the suburbs of Chicago. His work can be found at www.roofbeamreader.net and he can be reached on Twitter as @RoofBeamReader.

Amy (Amy Reads)

AmyAmy works as a consultant for a software consultant which means quite a bit of travel and many days in airports, giving her the perfect excuse to read more books. She enjoys reading non-fiction, young adult, and adult fiction – especially if it has anything to do with women or gender issues (including, of course, GLBTQ studies). Always an introvert who preferred staying home with a book to going out, twitter and book blogging has rescued her from endless conversations with herself. You can chat with her on Twitter @amckiereads or send her an email at amy[dot]mckie[at]gmail[dot]com (or chat on gchat!).

Danika (The Lesbrary)

DanikaDanika is a reader, a bookstore worker, a student (English major, Women’s Studies minor), a vegan, and a lesbian–but mostly the first one. When she discovered the awesomeness that is book blogging, she went looking for an active lesbian book blog. Unsuccessful, she resolved to start her own, and The Lesbrary was born. She loves talking about lesbian books with anyone who will listen, so feel free to contact her at danikaellis[at]gmail[dot]com.

Jodie (Book Gazing)

JodieJodie is a 25 year old woman from the West Midlands in England. She has been blogging at Book Gazing for just over two years, but lurked around reading book blogs for six years before embracing technology. She will read anything as long as someone can make it sound exciting and anticipates that her obituary will involve some mention of falling book stacks. In 2010 Jodie was one of the organizers of Nerds Heart YA tournament, which attempts to interest readers in quality, young adult novels that have received low levels of publicity and presented characters that are often underrepresented in young adult fiction. Right now she’s involved in organizing the first European Book Blogger Conference.

Mystery

Director

Tina (Reader for Life)

TinaTina is a lifelong book lover and has been blogging about books since 2008. In real life, she is an academic librarian in the Midwest. Unfortunately, being a librarian doesn’t mean she has all the time in the world to read. Tina blogs about all kinds of books, but has a particular soft spot for mysteries. You can read her book thoughts at Reader for Life or follow her on Twitter @iubookgirl.

Voting Members

Cathy (Kittling: Books)

Cathy has been a voracious reader her entire life, so it was a very good thing that she grew up in the stacks of the village library where her mother was the sole librarian. After earning a degree in English and Comparative Literature, this heat- and sun-loving bookavore found a home in Phoenix, Arizona. Employed by a national retail chain for many years, Cathy wore many hats for the company, including trainer and writing training manuals. Of course, whenever she was close to the book department, she could never resist helping customers choose which books to buy!

Having been retired early, she’s able to concentrate a bit more on her blog, Kittling: Books, while she decides what she wants to do when she grows up. Cathy is interested in many genres, including historical fiction, dystopian fiction, time travel and history, but ever since those days of climbing an old apple tree to read the latest adventures of the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew, her heart belongs to crime fiction. Kittling: Books has been around since 2008, and in it, you can see that Cathy reads just about any subgenre going, from cozy to hard-boiled and everything in between. Contact her on Twitter @Kittling_Books or by email at KittlingBooks(at)gmail(dot)com.

Elizabeth (Musings of an All Purpose Monkey)

ElizabethElizabeth is a lifelong avid reader who has channeled her love of reading, especially crime fiction, into her book review blog Musings of an All Purpose Monkey. In addition to on her website, Elizabeth’s reviews have also appeared in Spinetingler Magazine, The Savannah Morning News, The Florida Times-Union, St. Augustine Record, been quoted on numerous authors’ websites, and used as blurbs for two novels. When she’s not reading or reviewing books, she’s the Content Manager for the official website of musician Bruce Kulick (KISS, Grand Funk Railroad), a position she’s held for 14 years. Elizabeth is also a licensed attorney, but please don’t hold that against her. You can catch up with Elizabeth on Twitter (@APMonkey) or via email beth(at)elizabethawhite.com.

Jen (Jen’s Book Thoughts)

JenJen Forbus has spent the better part of her life not knowing what she wanted to be when she grew up. After graduating from Baldwin-Wallace College with degrees in English and sports medicine, she went right back to school to accumulate more debut and a certificate to teach high school English. Since then she’s taught, written specs for accounting software and tech manuals, and built software programs. These days she’s back in the education realm, coordinating adult professional development at the National Association of College Stores.

Through her career changes, the one constant in Jen’s life was a love of reading and a well-earned knack for writing. When she was no longer talking about books in the classroom, she discovered blogging, and in 2007, Jen’s Book Thoughts was born. Her love of crime fiction was ignited by Linda Fairstein and Robert Crais, who hooked her on their respective series, and Jen quickly took her place among the pantheon of preeminent book bloggers. Ask any crime fiction author – from those just starting out to those inhabiting bestseller lists week after week – and each will tell you a fond and often funny story about Jen. Readers worldwide trust her reviews and look to her for their next reading recommendation. In addition to her blog, Jen shares her love of crime fiction with fellow fans on Twitter and Facebook, and is also a regular contributor to CRIMESPREE MAGAZINE.

Wendy (Musings of a Bookish Kitty)

WendyWhile she is an eclectic reader who enjoys a wide variety of books, Wendy always finds herself drawn most often to the mystery genre, whether a cozy mystery, a suspenseful thriller or a hard boiled crime fiction novel.  Perhaps it has to do with her love for solving puzzles,  gaining insight into human behavior or seeing justice served (or not).  Wendy began her blog, Musings of a Bookish Kitty, in July of 2006 as a way to journal her reading experiences.  She especially likes sharing her love for reading with others.

Non-Fiction

Director

Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness)

KimKim is a journalist and book blogger from Madison, Wisconsin, has been blogging since May 2008. She received her Master’s degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and now works for a trade magazine in the design engineering and manufacturing sector. In her free time, she is a reader, blogger, and freelance writer. She loves to read non-fiction, but also finds time for literary fiction, comics, and classics. Her blog, Sophisticated Dorkiness, was voted 2010 Best Non-Fiction Book Blog for Book Blogger Appreciation week. You can also find Kim on Twitter, @kimthedork.

Voting Members

Betty (Reflections with Coffee)

BettyBetty, Reflections with Coffee, started reading at age three and never stopped. She’s a fourth-generation teacher, recently retired. Ah, the joys of retirement allow her to sit all day in her La-Z-Boy chair with a cat and a book on her lap. Betty has had the best of both worlds: 12 years as a SAHM and 28 years of teaching. She is an eclectic reader, going through different phases. Roald Dahl is a family favorite — the bookshelf includes all of his children’s and adult books. When not reading, Betty travels, plays games with friends, goes to Cirque du Soliel shows, and chases her 2 year-old grandson (now she knows the meaning of the word GRAND).

Debbie (Readerbuzz)

DebbieDebbie Nance started reading before she was potty trained. She joyfully works as a school librarian in a primary school where she spends her days sharing her love for books with 574 four to eight year olds. She gave up watching television in 2003 so as to have more time to read. Debbie Nance loves to read literary fiction, brilliantly written nonfiction, and children’s picture books. Her blog is Readerbuzz, her email is debnance@gmail.com, her Twitter name is @debnance, and at Facebook she is Debbie Ashley Nance. She is also crazy about playing guitar, drawing, writing, puppets, traveling, Scrabble, gardens, and walking … and let’s not forget serendipity and paradox…

Lorren (The Story Girl)

LorrenLorren is an avid reader with an insatiable desire to know everything. This curiosity led her to dabble in many majors, including music, psychology, English, and French studies, before settling on neuroscience, the field she graduates in this April. Unfortunately, she hasn’t found a job that will pay her to sit and learn all day, so following graduation she will start an accelerated nursing program to earn her BSN. Until then, Lorren pays the bills by working as a barista in her local Borders. She blogs about literary fiction, classics, YA and nonfiction (particularly of the medical and scientific variety) at The Story Girl. You can also find her on Twitter under the name @LLTheStoryGirl. When she isn’t reading, Lorren loves to play the piano, sing, cook, and scrapbook. She lives with her husband, an Italian teacher and aspiring dentist.

Shauna (Evergreen Junior High Library)

ShaunaI have been a librarian for 12 years, and working in schools for 7. I have been the Teacher-Librarian at Evergreen JH, the school where I attended junior high, since 2007. I have served on numerous American Library Association award committees, including The SB&F Best Books for Young Adults award, and YALSA’s Popular Paperbacks.  I am currently serving on the 2011 Best Fiction for Young Adults Committee (BFYA, formerly BBYA for all you teen librarian).

Poetry

Director

Serena (Savvy Verse & Wit)

Serena & CharleeSerena is a Bachelor of Arts graduate of Suffolk University in Boston, still interested in the nuances of politics and the interplay of words on a page to create vivid imagery, convey meaning, and interpret the world. She has moved from the sticks of small town Massachusetts to the outskirts of Washington, D.C. where she writes more vigorously than she did in her college seminars. Poems can be read in issues of Beginnings Magazine, LYNX, Muse Apprentice Guild, The Harrow, Poems Niederngasse, Avocet, and Pedestal Magazine.  She’s also the proud owner of the literary and poetic review blog, Savvy Verse & Wit, and co-founder of the War Through the Generations blog dedicated to war-related literature and nonfiction.  She works by day as an editor of an electronic newsletter company, freelance copyedits and transcribes interviews, works occasionally for the D.C. Literature Examiner, and is obsessed with reading, writing, photography, vampire stories, and her Keeshond, Charlee.  Recently, she became a mother to Katerina and is embarking on a journey with her husband that she never thought she’d take.  Please feel free to contact her at savvyverseandwit [at] gmail [dot] com.

Voting Members

Anna (Diary of an Eccentric)

AnnaAnna is a news bureau editor by day, and a mom, blogger, and novelist-in-the-making by night.  She graduated from Suffolk University in Boston in 2000 with a B.A. in English and Sociology.  She fell in love with books at a very early age and wrote her first poem in 5th grade about cats.  She has been blogging about books since 2007 at Diary of an Eccentric, where her daughter (a.k.a. The Girl) is a frequent guest reviewer.  She loves all genres, but historical fiction is her favorite.  She is obsessed with Jane Austen and all the variations of her novels, reads a lot of fiction and non-fiction about World War II, and co-hosts the War Through the Generations reading challenges.  She does almost all of her reading on public transportation and has been seen laughing out loud, tearing up, and occasionally missing her stop.  She can be reached at diaryofaneccentric[at]hotmail[dot]com.

Jeanne (Necromancy Never Pays)

JeanneJeanne has been an avaricious reader since she first learned how, despite incidents like being forbidden to check books out of the elementary school library and having a book taken away from her in an attempt to force her to look at someone when they’re talking to her or look at where she is going.  She went, in the words of the rich guy from the movie Pretty Woman, “all the way” in school, and got a PhD in English literature which she proceeded to squander by moving to the middle of nowhere, raising kids, and running a Writing Center at a small, liberal arts college. Seizing the moment after having her first bionic parts installed, Jeanne began blogging about books at Necromancy Never Pays three years ago, and may never run out of things to say about what she’s reading.

Leslie (Regular Rumination)

LeslieLu: lover of verse,

rhyme. Blogger of books, student

of Spanish, reader.

Natasha (1330v)

NatashaReader, mother, daughter, sister, college student, and chronic daydreamer are just some of the few roles that Natasha slips into daily. Blogging under the nickname Vasilly over at 1330v, Natasha has been a part of the blogging community for the past three and a half years. As an avid reader, there aren’t many genres that Natasha doesn’t love. Some of her favorite poets and writers are Mary Oliver, Alice Walker, Kij Johnson, Toni Morrison, Raymond Carver, and John Steinbeck. Natasha is also the host of this year’s Graphic Novels Challenge and a staff member at ColorOnline, a blog dedicated to writers of color.

Speculative Fiction

Director

Trisha (eclectic/eccentric)

Trisha is rather obsessed with reading, reviewing, logging, discussing, organizing, smelling, and touching books. No tasting though. That’s just strange. Her job feeds her passion as she teaches literature, composition, and film to (mostly) eager undergraduate students. Her blog, eclectic / eccentric, features book reviews written by a college professor who sees value in both Hamlet and Harry Potter. Classic lit, graphic novels, SFF, YAL, plays, and films, all that can be read is included. As the title of her blog indicates, she is varied in her interests, so books of all styles, genres, shapes, and sizes find their way into her library and onto her blog. When she isn’t immersed in the world of books – which let’s face it, is not too often – she enjoys watching movies and television. And when she finally realizes that she hasn’t moved off her couch in days, she likes hiking and riding her bike. You can find her on Twitter at @Trish422 or email her at eclectic.eccentric[at]hotmail[dot]com.

Ana (things mean a lot)

Ana is a twenty-something bookworm and librarian in training who has been chronicling her reading at things mean a lot for over four years now. When not blabbing about her many obsessions – travelling, indie music, the Victorians, feminism, social history, comics and graphic novels, myths and fairy tales, and so on –  Ana can likely be found getting on her soap box about gender issues, glbtq rights, or the lack of critical respect afforded to children’s and YA literature, graphic novels, and speculative fiction. Her ambition is to become a YA librarian and devote her days to coming up with evil master plans to get teens hooked on books of all kinds. Ana can be found on Twitter as @nymeth, and you can e-mail her at untuneric AT gmail DOT com.

Judith (Leeswammes)

JudithJudith has been reading ever since she knew how to. She reads an awful lot and shares her reading adventures with the readers of her blog, Leeswammes.  Judith runs a local book group where she tries out her developing cooking skills on her unsuspecting friends. Living in the Netherlands, she also loves going for cycle rides in the countryside.

She enjoys reading contemporary fiction, literary or otherwise, and dystopian fiction, but she can also be found with her nose in chick-lit or thriller novels. Favorite authors include Haruki Murakami, Barbara Kingsolver, Margaret Atwood and David Mitchell.  Judith can be found on twitter daily, as @leeswammes or can be contacted at jh303015[at]gmail[dot]com.

Pam (Bookalicious)

PamPam blogs at Bookalicious and writes professionally for the San Francisco Book Review. She also partners with her local bookstore and hosts events and teen programs around the area. Speculative Fiction is a new love for Pam, she started reading the genre around three years ago, but has quickly become quite in love with the genre.

Pam is a baker and eater of cupcakes, a wife, a mother and a proud doggy parent. She secretly wishes the Stargate was real and has hopes of one day visiting the Pegasus Galaxy.

Sally (Bibrary Bookslut)

More than anything else in her life, books have always defined Sally. As a precocious child, she secretly made the leap from the juvenile shelves straight to Stephen King; as an overachieving teenager, she hid Melanie Rawn and Michael Moorcock inside her text books; and, as a young career-woman, she admits she may have ‘exaggerated’ a family illness for the chance to attend a writing workshop with Nancy Kilpatrick. Like everything else about her, Sally’s taste in books is both fluid and diverse, as illustrated by the eclectic mix of fiction she reviews, and by the various pseudonyms under which she’s been published. What remains ever constant, however, is her passion for the wondrous possibilities contained within the imaginative realms of speculative fiction.