Author Spotlight

4 October, 2021

Wels

Susan Wels is a bestselling author, historian, and journalist. Her most recent book, An Assassin in Utopia:  The True Story of a Nineteenth Century and a President’s Murder (Pegasus Crime, February 2023), is a true crime odyssey. It  explores a forgotten, astonishing chapter of American history, leading the reader from a free-love community in upstate New York to the shocking assassination of President James Garfield.

Her 1997 book Titanic: Legacy of the World’s Greatest Ocean Liner, published by Time-Life Books, sold 440,000 copies and spent 14 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. It was also a Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and USA Today bestseller. Wels subsequently spent six weeks in the North Atlantic as correspondent for the 1998 Titanic Research and Recovery Expedition, in conjunction with the Discovery Channel and NBC’s Today show. Wels’s 2001 book Pearl Harbor: America’s Darkest Day, also published by Time-Life Books, sold 180,000 copies. She is also the author of nonfiction books including Amelia Earhart: The Thrill of It (Running Press, 2009), Stanford: Portrait of a University (Stanford University, 1999), and The Olympic Spirit: 100 Years of the Games (Collins, 1995).

Her work has received praise and press coverage from The New York Post, People magazine, Smithsonian’s Air & Space Magazine, Publishers Weekly, the American Library Association, Booklist, Library Journal (starred review), School Library Journal, The Independent (UK), Elle Magazine (Italy), the San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Magazine, San Francisco Arts Monthly, the San Francisco Examiner, and the San Jose Mercury-News.

Wels is also an award-winning magazine editor and seasoned developmental book editor. Among many other titles, she edited the memoir Off Mike (Stanford University Press, 2007) by public radio host Michael Krasny, one of the nation’s leading interviewers of literary luminaries. In addition, she served as senior editor for The Genesis Series, published by HarperCollins, editing six natural history books on America’s national parks. She has written for publications including Time.com, The Independent, and Parenting, Stanford, and Diablo magazines.

Born and raised in Manhattan, Wels graduated from Stanford University with a B.A. in English literature and journalism. She also holds an M.A. in history from San Francisco State University. Her work as a historian includes her well-reviewed book San Francisco: Arts for the City—Civic Art and Urban Change, 1932-2012, published by Heyday in 2013, as well as her published research on the role of women at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair and the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco. In the course of her historical research, she uncovered this fascinating story and has researched it exhaustively for a decade—discovering surprising, previously unexplored connections among the central characters in this tale that changed the course of American history.

Wels and her husband have two daughters and divide their time between the San Francisco Bay Area and their farm in the south of Chile.


13 March, 2012

Freeman

Classicist, historian and novelist 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. Currently the Fletcher Jones Chair of Western Culture at Pepperdine University, Dr. Freeman earned a joint Ph.D. at Harvard University in 1994 in classics and Celtic studies.  He has taught at Boston University, Washington University in St. Louis, and was the Qualley Chair of Classical Languages at Luther College in Iowa. 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.

Philip Freeman is the author of a number of books on ancient and medieval studies, including biographies of St. Patrick, Julius Caesar, and Sappho, as well as translations of the works of Cicero.  Praising his biography of Alexander the Great  (Simon & Schuster 2010), Wall Street Journal declared: “Mr. Freeman’s ambition, he tells us in his introduction, was ‘to write a biography of Alexander that is first and foremost a story.’ It is one he splendidly fulfills.” His most recent biography, Hannibal: Rome’s Greatest Enemy was published in February 2022 (Pegasus). A long-time contributor to Princeton University Press’ “Ancient Wisdom for Modern Times” series, Freeman’s latest title is How to Tell a Story (May 2022), which distills Aristotle’s Poetics.

Freeman has been interviewed on All Things Considered, MSNBC, as well as many local NPR shows.  His books have been reviewed in the Wall St. Journal, Slate, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Times, among others.  More recently, Dr. Freeman has proven a natural as a historical novelist. St. Brigid’s Bones, Sacrifice and The Gospel of Mary are Celtic mysteries (Pegasus), 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 (philipfreemanwriter).  Also check out www.philipfreemanbooks.com