Stuff in the ‘Our Authors’ Category

13 November, 2015


Tatsha RobertsonTatsha Robertson is a journalist and co-author of Media Circus: A Look at Private Tragedy in the Public Eye, with Kim Goldman, the sister of Ron who was killed alongside Nicole Simpson, the wife of OJ Simpson. The book focuses on the grieving process of victims of high-profile tragedies. She is currently writing a new book with Harvard professor Ronald Ferguson that explores the parental behaviors that lead to academic success in children.

Tatsha always wanted to be a writer. She watched her mother write poems and plays that were performed by kids in their Boston neighborhood. When they moved to South Carolina where her mother’s family is from, the first grader began to hone her own writing skills by creating little stories about girls and dogs. She even commissioned her best friend to complete the art. As she grew older, her focused turned toward journalism, though fiction was still a dream. Each year, her mother would buy her a tape recorder for Christmas. Tatsha would interview anyone who’d sit down with her.

She joined her high school newspaper staff and she’d later earn a MA in Journalism from Ohio State University, where she was the recipient of an academic fellowship.  She now has more 20 years of experience handling investigative, feature and news stories for digital and print media. As the first female New York City Bureau Chief for The Boston Globe, from 1998 – 2006, she covered the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and many other major news events.

Additionally, she has been an adjunct instructor at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at NYU from 2006 to 2014. Since 2006, Robertson had been a frequent guest on national media, appearing on CNN, FOX, Court-TV, MSNBC, Dateline, HLN and the Today Show.  After leaving the Boston Globe, Robertson served as Deputy Editor and Interim Managing Editor at Essence Magazine from 2006 to 2010 where she developed the magazine’s focus on investigative journalism, earning its current status as an important voice on news and political coverage. After establishing Essence’s Washington bureau, she was one of the first journalists to interview President Obama in the Oval office. It was also at Essence that she developed and edited award-winning investigative journalism on two culturally significant topics: the achievement gap and missing Black children.

Robertson joined People Magazine as the Senior Crime Editor where she led coverage of the Newtown and Boston Marathon tragedies. She forged a partnership among the magazine, Anderson Cooper (CNN) and the Cartoon Network to address the national bullying crisis, resulting in a lengthy article in People and extensive coverage on CNN, as well as an award from the National Multicultural Institute.

Since becoming an editor, Robertson has won many awards, including Time Inc.’s Henry Luce Award for Public Service (2008, 2010, 2013), 10 awards (of which 6 were for first-place) for news coverage from the National Association of Black Journalists; New York Association of Black Journalists, and was a finalist in the Henry Luce Award for Reporting (2014).

Follow Tatsha on Twitter @TatshaRobertson and check her out on the web at

29 July, 2013


Armstrongindex“Neurodiversity.” It’s a relatively new term, revolutionary even, and award-winning author Thomas Armstrong, Ph.D.’s two recent books The Power of Neurodiversity and Neurodiversity in the Classroom propose change the way the majority of people think about neurologicaThe-Power-of-Neurodiversityl disorders:  categorizing individuals with autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and other brain differences in terms of their limitations and searching endlessly for ways to fix them. What if, however, these differences were perceived like any of the other diversities f that are part of being human? What if neurological differences were seen to have their own set of benefits as well as challenges?  ? Dr. Armstrong provides a compelling look at the strengths associated with ADHD, autism, learning disabilities, intellectual disorders, and emotional and behavioral disorders.  The Power of Neurodiversity provides rich examples of extraordinary individuals who have these unique brain differences, individuals who have tailored their learning and interactions to better suit their differences, yielding inspirational tales of success and triumph. In Neurodiversity in the Classroom, Dr. Armstrong extends the neurodiversity concept into education by providing practical strength-based tools and strategies for teachers to use with neurodiverse students to help them succeed in school and life.. According to Publishers Weekly, Dr. Armstrong “[emphasizes] that a broader understanding of neurodiversity will generate more respect and better results for people with the conditions Neurodiversity6.inddhe discusses.” Neurodiversity is “extraordinary!” according to It has the potential “to create significant social transformation.”

Prior to these two books on neurodiversity, Dr. Armstrong wrote The Human Odyssey, which details the twelve life stages and explains their tasks and challenges. He describes the life stages in both biological and spiritual terms. Dr. Armstrong gives contemporary anecdotes and statistics, even weaving in examples and ideas from history, literature, philosophy, myth, and cultural rituals from around the world.  His book also contains a filmography of great movies that deal with each of the twelve stages of life.

A contributor to publications from Ladies Home Journal and Parenting to The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, and a guest on several national news programs such as The Today Show and CNN, he has written fifteen books with world-wide circulation in twenty six languages and his works have been the subject of pieces in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Good Housekeeping and many other publications. Dr. Armstrong has also spoken to hundreds of audiences across the United States and in twenty-two countries. His previous work focused on multiple intelligences and he has also written books on awakening the intrinsic genius of children.

Dr. Armstrong’s books have won myriad awards and The Human Odyssey has been praised by numerous researchers and writers in the field. Joseph Chilton Pearce, the author of The Crack in the Cosmic Egg and Magical Child, calls The Human Odyssey “superb, magnificent, astonishing, unique, engrossing, eminently readable, informative, enjoyable, entertaining, profound.” Ralph Metzner, Ph.D, author of Maps of Consciousness, says that “Armstrong shows the way to a truly integrated understanding of the complexities of the human life cycle.”

Dr. Armstrong is the executive director of the American Institute for Learning and Human Development.  He lives in Northern California and maintains a blog to talk about the ideas and questions raised by his books.

—Caroline Patton & Lauren Kuhl


Twitter: @Dr_Armstrong




21 July, 2013


Joseph KellyWhether he’s writing about the Union’s siege of Charleston in the Civil War, the crushing of political dissent in the South, or the scandalous trial, The United States v. One Book Called Ulysses, Joseph Kelly looks for the human story, fully painting the characters who make history happen.   Always, he aims to write about complex ideas and history in lively, readable prose.  His interests range from modern Irish literature to Southern history, and currently he is writing about American tales of shipwreck and maroonage–beginning with the lost colony of Roanoke to PT-109 to Lost and the Survivor franchise.  His research has been supported by NEH and Mellon fellowships.

In addition to several critical and biographical articles on James Joyce, Kelly’s first book, Our Joyce:  America's Longest SiegeFrom Outcast to Icon, uses extensive archival research to uncover the manipulations of this monumental figure of modern literature by liberals and conservatives in the American culture wars.  His popular introductory books on short stories, poems, essays, and plays, W. W. Norton & Company’s Seagull Readers, have sold well over 100,000 copies and are entering their 3rd edition.  His latest offering from Overlook Press, America’s Longest Siege:  Charleston, Slavery, and the Slow March toward Civil War, “brings a literary sensibility to the craft of history writing,” according to the eminent Lincoln scholar, Orville Vernon Burton.

Kelly earned his Ph. D. in literature with a minor in history from the University of Texas at Austin in 1992.  Since then, he has been teaching a variety of courses at the College of Charleston, most recently Irish nationalism and culture, urban geography, and composition.  He is the Co-Director of the College of Charleston’s Commission on Diversity, a Faculty Administrative Fellow in the President’s office, and a recent recipient of the Charleston’s Distinguished Service Award and Leo I. Higden Outstanding Leadership Award.

16 July, 2013


book_party_1Debut novelist Elaine Neil Orr has been very busy promoting her gorgeous novel about a missionary in the pre-Civil War South who goes to Africa.  Inspired by the diary of an actual missionary, A DIFFERENT SUN has been getting rave reviews. Elaine, who teaches literature at North Carolina State University, sent in  this wonderful photo of one book club that has embraced this wonderful and complex novel.

10 April, 2013

Elaine Neil Orr at Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, NC

149255_10151609324216095_748943320_n (3)Last night, April 9, Elaine Neil Orr launched A Different Sun (Berkley/Penguin), a novel about a young missionary woman who leaves her parent’s plantation to accompany her missionary husband to Africa, at a wonderful independent bookstore in Raleigh, Quail Ridge Books.  Orr, who was born in Nigeria, where much of the novel takes place, was inspired by9780425261309_p0_v1_s114x166 an actual diary of a young missionary woman.

Library Journal applauded Orr’s debut:

“Lush, evocative, breathtaking in its descriptions, and deeply spiritual in its themes of love, forgiveness, and transformation, this extraordinary novel shines with light and depth. Reminiscent of Barbara Kingsolver’s magnum opus, The Poisonwood Bible, with elements of Joseph Conrad and Louise Erdrich, Orr’s stunning debut is starkly beautiful and true to life.”

Orr is also the author of a breathtaking memoir of growing up in Nigeria, The Gods of Noonday (University Press of Virginia).

For more about Elaine Neil Orr, go to


12 November, 2012

I Believe in NaNoWriMo

A Guest Post from Melissa F. Olson, whose debut DEAD SPOTS was just published by 47North

For thirteen years now, a small non-profit organization based out of SanFranscisco has transformed the otherwise boring month of November into National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo for short), which is, as they put it, “thirty days and nights of literary abandon.” The idea is very simple: first, sign up online. Then, over the course of the month, write 50,000 words. If you make it to 50,000, you “win.” If you don’t make it, you’ve likely still managed to jump-start your writing ambitions with the support of the NaNo organization, which has grown from 140 participants the first year, to over a quarter of a million last year.

That’s it. There’s no hidden agenda, no contests or prizes, no fees. This is simply a program for anyone who has wanted to write a novel, but needed a kick in the pants. And that’s what I love about the whole enterprise: it’s for everybody. You might be a professional author, with a long list of bestsellers under your belt, or a lowly office assistant who had this idea a few years back and never got around to making notes. NaNo is all about people from all walks of life saying, “Yes. I’m doing this. I’m writing a novel, and here it goes.” All are welcome.

It’s such a refreshing attitude for the writing profession, which is probably the first or second most intimidating career plan in the world (along with acting). It can be so difficult to get yourself published, especially in these changing times. Professional writing has long had the stink of elitism all around it, an oppressive sense of failure that can push you down before you’ve even begun. NaNoWriMo is all about throwing those anxieties aside and embracing the fun, crazy parts of writing: not just the joy of creating a story, but also the caffeine overdoses, the sore typing fingers, the giddy sense of accomplishment when a scene comes together, the way a certain line of dialogue can seem so hysterically funny at three in the morning.  Not to mention the sense of community: you’re working with a whole online group, of course, but many cities now have NaNoWriMo get-togethers, giving novelists the chance to hang out with maybe the only people in the world who understand their desire to write.

As much as I love NaNoWriMo, however, I myself am not a NaNoWriMo winner. A couple-three years ago, I signed up for my first NaNoWriMo, and ended up a NaNo loser. I think I made it to something like 30,000 words, far short of the 50,000-word goal. I didn’t just walk away from what I’d written, though – I kept going. After all, how could I abandon a project that had occupied my thoughts for a full month? And those 30,000 words grew to eventually become DEAD SPOTS, my first novel, which was just published last week. DEAD SPOTS took a total of eight months to finish, and eventually weighed in right around 90,000 words. Now, math has never been a friend of mine, but I believe that means I wrote about a third of the book in about an eighth of the time, thanks to NaNoWriMo. And if that’s being a loser, well, you can sign me up to lose every year.

Check out Melissa’s website at You can also follow her on Twitter and like her on Facebook.

19 October, 2012

Spotted at McNally Jackson Bookmongers, Princeton, NJ

It’s not too late for the candidates to get some guidance from Quintius Cicero on how to run a successful campaign!  You can “Like” Quintius Cicero” on Facebook where he will continue to live-blog during the final Presidential debate.  Here is HOW TO WIN AN ELECTION, Edited by Philip Freeman, well-positioned next to a “binder.”

24 July, 2012

TV Series Deal in the Works for THE LAST POLICEMAN

We’re incredibly excited to be close to a deal for a television series for Ben H. Winters’ brilliant pre-apocalyptic novel, THE LAST POLICEMAN, first in a projected trilogy.  The novel’s premise is that an asteroid will collide with the earth in six months.  There is no question that this will happen. Against the backdrop of a world that is coming to an end, a newly minted detective is determined to solve his first case–a murder. The problem is that no one cares.

Our amazing film agent, Shari Smiley of The Smiley Group, is currently in negotiation with Lorenzo di Bonaventura Films.  The book’s  publisher, Quirk Books, will be a co-producer.

–Joelle Delbourgo


25 May, 2012

Remembering Kathi Kamen-Goldmark

I first encountered Kathi Kamen-Goldmark seven years ago when our mutual dear friend and my client, Leslie Levine, asked me to join her, Kathi and Sam Barry to lead what has come to be known as the reading and writing week at Rancho La Puerta, a health spa of some renown in Tecate, Mexico.  With her infectious grin, sparkling eyes, wicked sense of humor, and warmth, not to mention a cloud of gorgeous red curls, Kathi was a force to be reckoned with.  To know Kathi (and by that I mean, to be lucky enough to encounter her), was to fall instantly in love.  And it just got better throughout the week, as Kathi and Sam lead singalongs at the piano in the lounge at Rancho, and regaled us with stories of their publishing escapades and friends.  Kathi valiantly took part in early morning hikes, African dance class, yoga and the great fitness classes, but she lived for the Broadway dance class at week’s end, in which a tiny Asian dance master led us through Hollywood routines, leaving us breathless and panting for more.

The week’s highlight was the talent show, organized by Kathi and Sam, friends and partners in music, life, and everything else the universe has to offer.  Kathi began shamelessly recruiting for the talent show on day one of our week there, cheering on the talented and the talentless, who like I, could always be part of the back-up dancers and play the kazoo.  There is no one else in the entire world who could persuade me to make a consummate fool of myself, but there was no saying “no” to Kathi!  (Truth be told, I enjoyed making a fool of myself, but that can be our little secret.)  For the finale, Kathi, guitar in hand, would perform “The Slut Song,” her own indelible composition, and one that left us with tears of laughter pouring down our faces.

Kathi also loved our delicious swims at what Leslie called “the secret pool,” high on the hill with a stunning view of the surrounding mountains, graced with an archway looking out on to a vista of what I imagine to be a grove of cypress trees.  (A city girl, I am rather loose with my botanical terms.)

From time to time, we had to remember that we were actually there to teach and share our knowledge about reading, writing and publishing.  Kathi’s fiction-writing class made the art of writing seem like the art of the possible–and it was such fun.   No one was exempt from reading their work, yours truly included.

So most years, I totally looked forward to seeing Kathi, bright halo of hair surrounding her merry face, at Rancho and sharing the good times and mischief.  I knew that Kathi had so many friends, countless friends, and felt lucky that in my own little way, I had been admitted at least into the outer circle.  In time, Kathi and Sam got married, and it was a joy to witness the tenderness with which they treated each other.

So when Kathi and Sam asked me if I’d represent them for a book they planned to write together on their journey through cancer, each of them as both patient and caregiver (Sam had also had a scare with colon cancer), I was deeply touched and I vowed to place the book in the best of publishing hands. I felt truly honored to be working with them. They wrote a brilliant proposal that was actually laugh-out-loud funny in parts.  I found a wonderful editor who had lost her sister to cancer the year before.  As Kathi put it, if she had to go through this hellish experience, she wanted at least to be able to share what she and Sam had learned along the way.   Sadly, just as we were waiting to receive the fully executed contract, I received the news that Kathi had only perhaps a day or even hours to live.

I hate that Kathi had to suffer, to be scared, and to die. It feels shockingly cruel.  But I take some comfort in that she lived so richly that most of us would be lucky to sample the crumbs of the banquet that she laid out daily for everyone she touched.

Kathi, you were and remain a goddess.  Thank you for letting me know  you, even a little bit.

Love, Joelle

(Kathi above with Leslie Levine)



13 March, 2012


Classicist Philip Freeman brings a remarkable gift as a storyteller and an ability to make the ancient world contemporary through his interpretation and translation of events and great works. Freeman earned his Ph.D. at Harvard University in 1994 and has taught at Boston University and Washington University in St. Louis. He currently holds the Qualley Chair of Classical Languages at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, where he is head of the Classics department and teaches Latin, Greek, and all manner of ancient studies courses. He has been a visiting fellow at the American Academy in Rome, the Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington D.C., and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and has been awarded fellowships by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Loeb Classical Library Foundation, and the Lilly Foundation.51SOqzAyGJL

Freeman is the author of numerous peer-reviewed articles on the classical world and has written eleven books ranging from  studies of medieval manuscripts to popular biographies of St. Patrick and Julius Caesar, both from Simon & Schuster, well-reviewed in leading publications. ALEXANDER THE GREAT  (Simon& Schuster 2010)  was praised in the Wall Street Journal: “Mr. Freeman’s ambition, he tells us in his introduction, was ‘to write a biograph of Alexander that is first and foremost a story.’ It is one he splendidly fulfills.” His introduction to Greek and Roman mythology, OH MY GODS, (Simon & Schuster, January 2012) will be followed by an illustrated children’s edition in May. He is also the translator and editor of HOW TO WIN AN ELECTION, by Quintus Cicero, published by Princeton University Press (February 2012) has received widespread national attention, including appearances on All Things Considered, MSNBC, many local NPR shows, reviews in the Wall St. Journal, Slate, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Times, among others. His latest nonfiction book, SEARCHING FOR SAPPHO:  The Lost Songs and World of the First Woman Poet, is published by W.W. Norton. See also It is not surprising that Freeman is also a natural as a novelist.  ST. BRIGID’S BONES and SACRIFICE (both published by Pegasus) are Celtic mysteries, set in the early days of Christianity in Ireland, and feature a young nun, Sister Deirdre, who proves to be a charming detective.

You can also follow Philip on Twitter or check him out on Facebook!