Authors After Hours


We will be hosting our 4th Annual Authors After Hours event on Saturday, 4/28 from 5-9 PM. This year’s theme is “Netflix in Real Life” or “Netflix IRL”.

Authors will be selling their books at the event. Cash only please.  You must bring books by Jennifer A. Nielsen to be signed.  You can purchase her books on Amazon.

Download flyer here: English: JPG | PDF | JPG Widescreen | En Español: JPG | PDF

Authors Presenting | Schedule of Events | Author Profiles | Thank You


Support literacy in our community! We are currently taking donations that will help finance the Authors After Hours event. Please contact Garnet Miller to learn more!

Phone: 847-872-4680, ext. 116.

Flyer-Portrait-Updated1-ENAuthors Presenting

Elementary / Middle Grade 
Young Adult

Schedule of Events

5:15-6:15 PM

  • Girl Meets World Middle Grade Panel | Meeting Rm. C
    • Meet Nancy J. Cavanaugh and Erin Falligant, two authors whose novels reflect reality and are filled with friendship, family, history, and mystery!
  • Once Upon A Time Middle Grade PanelMeeting Rm. A/B
    • Once upon a time in a library far far away, two authors told stories of villains, cheeky princes, and forbidden forests.  Meet Jennifer A. Nielsen and Liesl Shurtliff as they talk about creating new fantasies and adding twists on your favorites.  Attendees are encouraged to dress as their favorite fantasy character.

5:15-6:30 PM

  • Black Mirror Adult Authors | Adult Services Department
    • Dystopian. Romance. These are some of the most popularly explored literary themes in the literary world. Come listen to these two brilliant authors, M.P. McDonald and C.J. Warrant, discuss where they got their ideas, how they implemented them in their stories, and much more!. 

5:30-6:00 PM

  • Early Literacy Storytime Ages 4 & UpYouth Services Storytime Castle
    • Get to know Suzanne Slade, an author who has published many books aimed at young readers and listeners!

6:30- 7:00 PM

  • Children’s, Middle Grade, & Adult Author Signings | Lobby
    • Liesl Shurtliff
    • Nancy J. Cavanaugh
    • Erin Falligant
    • Jennifer A. Nielsen
    • C.J. Warrant
    • M.P. McDonald
    • Suzanne Slade

7:00-8:00 PM

  • Young Adult Panel: Pretty Little Stranger Things | Mtg. Rm. A/B
    • Friends don’t lie so gather your squad and listen to Mindy McGinnis, Demitria Lunetta, and Jessie Ann Foley talk about dangerous girls and blood thirsty monsters. Attendees are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite Stranger Things character.  Got a secret; can you keep it?
  • Creative Writing Workshop & Lecture | Adult Services Department
    • Have you been itching to finally write that book you’ve been dreaming about? Are you interested in learning the basics of creative writing? Please join us as College of Lake County Creative Writing Professor Larry Starzec speaks about the ins and outs of creative writing as well as working through some basic concepts.

8:00-8:30 PM

  • Young Adult & Adult Fiction Panel Signings | Lobby
    • Mindy McGinnis
    • Demitria Lunetta
    • Jessie Ann Foley

Visit Pop’s Diner for snacks | The Sandbox | Diner Hours: 5:30pm-8:00pm

  • Stop in at Pop’s Diner for Jimmy Johns Sandwiches, chips, juice, and dessert by Cindy’s Petite Sweet’s.

Author Profiles

Jennifer A. Nielsen is the acclaimed author of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling Ascendance Trilogy: The False PrinceThe Runaway King, and The Shadow Throne. She also wrote the Mark of the Thief trilogy: Mark of the ThiefRise of the Wolf, and Wrath of the Storm; the standalone fantasy The Scourge; the historical thriller A Night Divided; and Book Six of the Infinity Ring series, Behind Enemy Lines. Jennifer lives in northern Utah with her husband, their three children, and a perpetually muddy dog.

Congrats to A Night Divided for winning the 2018 Rebecca Caudill Book Award.

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Liesl Shurtliff: I grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah the fifth of eight children. My seven siblings tortured me but I really like them now. I loved dancing, singing, playing the piano and reading books by Judy Blume, Beverly Cleary, and Roald Dahl. I also read Grimms’ Fairy Tales so often I wore through the binding. Today I live with my husband and three children in Chicago, which is a wonderful city except that it is decidedly flat and very cold in the winter. When I write, I often wander back to my childhood and gather the magic that still remains. I hope to share that magic with children everywhere.

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Erin Falligant: Writing stories was as much a part of my childhood as climbing trees and playing with dolls. After earning degrees in creative writing and child psychology, I worked for 15 years as a children’s book editor. Now I write from my home in Madison, Wisconsin, where I still occasionally climb trees—and (ahem…) play with dolls.

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Nancy Cavanaugh: Children’s Book Author. Pizza-eating lover of 80’s music.

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Suzanne Slade: Suzanne is the award-winning author of more than 100 children’s books. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her researching a new book idea, bicycling, walking her adorable dog (Corduroy), or visiting a school near you!

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Mindy McGinnis is an Edgar Award-winning author and assistant teen librarian who lives in Ohio. She graduated from Otterbein University with a degree in English Literature and Religion, and sees nothing wrong with owning nine cats. Two dogs balance things out nicely.

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Demitria Lunetta is the author of the YA sci-fi duology, IN THE AFTER and IN THE END, available now from HarperTeen. She is also and editor and contributing author for the YA anthology, AMONG THE SHADOWS: 13 STORIES OF DARKNESS AND LIGHT. Her next novel, BAD BLOOD will release from Delacorte/ Random House March 14, 2017.

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Jessie Ann Foley: I have been writing since I was five years old. The hero of most of my childhood stories was my dog, Woody. He made a cameo appearance in my first novel, The Carnival at Bray.

In addition to my work as a writer, I have ten years experience as a high school English and Creative Writing teacher. I love talking with students about writing, working with them to develop their own voices, and helping them find ways to, in the words of Virginia Woolf, “let the line of thought dip deep into the stream.” I work with students in small group workshop settings and I also do larger presentations for school Writers Weeks and other events.

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C.J. Warrant: I love the world of romantic suspense and thrillers, with a hint of paranormal and erotic elements. I thrive on mystery, murder and love, not all in that order. I love the journey into a dark world most people would dare to enter.

My creativity knows no boundaries. I’m a mother of three great kids and a husband who supports me in every possible way. I was born in Seoul, South Korea but have been raised all over the world. Half Italian and half Korean, I’m a spicy blend of both cultures. Growing up as an army brat, I’ve seen places and met so many interesting people that sparks my imagination  and use those resources for my writing.

I have the privilege to be a part of two wonderful chapters, The Chicago-North RWA and Windy City RWA. I was the Silent Auction Co-ordinator for The Spring Fling Conference 2012. It was great experience and honor to be a part of a wonderful event. I am also a member of the critique group called Aphrodite Writers. Those writers inspire, encourage and with such wonderful talents, give me the tools to be the best writer I can. I’m glad to be apart of them.

My First novel, Forgetting Jane won the West Houston Romance Writers of America, 2013 Emily Contest in the Romantic Suspense division. It will be released in June 2016.

I love my life, my family and my friends.

Be a part of my world and see where my words can take you.

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Larry Starzec is a Professor of English at the College of Lake County where he has taught for over twenty-six years. His essays, fiction and poetry have appeared in dozens of magazines including: Arkansas Review, Cottonwood Magazine, The Cream City Review, Kansas Quarterly and most recently 5 X 5, and Bluestem. His essay “In this Neighborhood, of this Earth,” was listed as a notable selection in Best American Essays, 2005. Pulitzer Prize winning author Richard Russo has written about Starzec’s writing – “His fiction is serious, mature, complex, character-oriented, moving, untrendy, wise.” Starzec holds a B.A. degree in Philosophy from Northern Illinois University and a Master of Fine Arts in fiction from Warren Wilson College. He has also done post-graduate work in fiction at Vermont College.

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M.P. McDonald is the author of supernatural thrillers. With multiple stints on Amazon’s top 100 list, her books have been well-received by readers. Always a fan of reluctant heroes, especially when there is a time travel or psychic twist, she fell in love with the television show Quantum Leap. Soon, she was reading and watching anything that had a similar concept. When that wasn’t enough, she wrote her own stories with her unique spin.

If her writing takes your breath away, have no fear, as a respiratory therapist–she can give it back via a tube or two. She lives with her family in a frozen land full of ice, snow, and abominable snowmen.

On the days that she’s not taking her car ice-skating, she sits huddled over a chilly computer, tapping out the story of a camera that can see the future. She hopes it can see summer approaching, too. If summer eventually arrives, she tries to get in a little fishing, swimming and biking between chapters.

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