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The City of New Orleans

Mayor Mitchell J. Landrieu

Local Authors Book Fest

NORDC Local Authors Book Fest


Thanks to our local authors for contributing to the success of our first Book Fest.  Thanks also to everyone who attended!  See more photos here.  





Clarence Nero
“Clarence Nero is one of our most promising young writers,” Maya Angelou.

Clarence Nero, author, screenwriter, educator, and founder of the Bayou Soul Writer's and Reader's Conference grew up in New Orleans’ Ninth Ward and graduated from Howard University with a B.S. in Chemistry. His first novel,  Cheekie: A Child Out of the Desire is a story loosely based on his childhood. It was critically acclaimed and favorably praised by Dr. Maya Angelou who says that Clarence is “a promising writer.” His writing has been endorsed by other notable writers such as E. Lynn Harris, Ernest Gaines, Zane, and Omar Tyree. Additionally, His screenplay Cheekie was recommended to Sundance. He is the self-proclaimed “King of Drama.” Nero has an MFA in Creative Writing from Louisiana State University and now teaches at the Baton Rouge Community College.


Veronica Brown
Veronica Brown has been writing her whole life. In college she majored in English/Creative Writing at LSU and is a certified Special Education teacher. She currently lives and works in Baton Rouge as a teacher, and is active in her church enjoying volunteer work around the city. She writes as often as she can. The Daughter of the Puppet King is her first novel.


Mona Lisa Saloy
Author and Folklorist, is associate professor of English, the founding Director of Creative Writing at Dillard University, and Director of The Daniel C. Thompson/Samuel Du Bois Honors Program.  Dr. Saloy's first collection \of verse, Red Beans and Ricely Yours: Poems, won the T. S. Eliot Prize in poetry for 2005, published by Truman State University Press. She has also won fellowships from the likes of The National Endowment for the Humanities, and from the United Negro College Fund/Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Her poems have appeared in anthologies, magazines, journals, and film. Dr. Saloy received her PhD in English and MFA in creative writing from Louisiana State University, MA in creative writing and English from San Francisco State University, and her BA at the University of Washington in Seattle.




Christee Atwood
Christee is an award-winning author, speaker, workshop facilitator, and humor columnist. Her specialty is interactive programs that get people talking, listening, communicating, and laughing.  Christee has written five business books, 3 humor books, and facilitated personal and professional development classes for a couple of decades now. She’s designed, written, and conducted communication, leadership seminars, and strategic planning since 1986. 

She’s been honored with awards, ranging from the 204 Knowledge Management Leadership Award of the Global Knowledge Management Congress in Mumbai, India, to Outstanding Adjunct Faculty at Baton Rouge Community College, and a number of best-selling distinctions for her books. In 2012, one of her books was translated into Japanese and she spoke at the convention where it was released in Tokyo. Earlier this year, two more of her business books were translated into Chinese. While she can’t read a word of any of these books, they certainly look impressive!

Her background in radio, television, and newspaper has helped her realize the importance of sharing knowledge, while her time as a stand-up comic helped her realize that sharing knowledge is even better when you link laughter with that learning. After all, we remember jokes better than we remember speeches, right?


David Atwood
David Atwood's childhood playground was the French Quarter.  His carousel consisted of daily rides on the Algiers' ferry.  And his musical training started on the second line.  Through all of this, Atwood has been a historian of the moments he has witnessed -- as a musician, storyteller, radio personality, and now in this collection of poems that share the adventures of coming of age in Louisiana and the experience of seeing that home carried into the waves of history. David's latest book is Find Your Way HomeWith the familiar landmarks erased and once active neighborhoods shrouded in blue tarps, Atwood chronicles the journey of each of us as we travel the world to find our place in it before we can find our way home.

Khalif Aziz
Author of The Magikh Series, Khalif is a 15-year-old New Orleans native, Khalif has been reading since the age of two. With his parents, he has travelled throughout the United States learning about cultures and social behaviors. He has read and collected a great plethora of books. Khalif attributes his passion for reading to his discovery of P.B. Kerr Books at age 7. Here, he found he could combine all his passions into an interesting and fun adventure for kids.  Armed with knowledge of Egyptology, Physics, and passion for intriguingly captivating literature, Khalif endeavors to encourage appreciation of an endangered art form, written word.


Monique Moliere Piper 
Author of Dance in the Sun and CEO of On Purpose Coaching, Monique is a Professional Coach, Speaker, and Author. She provides one on one and group coaching services to women. Helping ladies take their lives from clutter to clarity and turning their ideas into "idids" is her life's calling. Being a mom entrepreneur herself, she understands the unique challenges women face when starting and running a business. A life-long learner, Monique absorbs tools to live “On Purpose” from a multitude of sources. She then turns this information into strategies that save her clients valuable time and money. Her motivational speeches ignite an instant "Get it Done" fire under her audiences. Piper has been a featured author on CBS and a contributor to online publications. Her husband and three children are her greatest motivation to teach herself and others to "Get on purpose Be on purpose Stay on purpose."  A New Orleans native, Monique holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Marketing from Xavier University.


Debbie Knatt Jones
According to special education teacher Debbie Knatt Jones, “Seafood and sugarcane can be found in my hometown of New Iberia, Louisiana. Now I rock the streets of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where I can scream, “Who Dat!” in the middle of Target, dance to live bands until my feet hurt, enjoy crawfish, crabs, and shrimp at least three times a week, and enjoy seasons from icy snow to blistering heat. Besides writing, I enjoy dancing and cooking. My undying love is teaching kids in the classroom and watching that light bulb come on.”   Maurice … As Read to the Students in Room D183 & D184 is Debbie's second book.


Sheletta D. Matthews
In her book, P.I.M.P.E.D. Pushed Into My Purpose Everyday, evangelist Sheletta Matthews utilizes real life circumstances on turning tragedies into triumphs.



Wendy S. Russo
Wendy S. Russo got her start writing in the sixth grade. That story involved a talisman with crystals that had to be found and assembled before bad things happened, and dialog that read like classroom roll call. Since then, she’s majored in journalism (for one semester), published poetry, taken a course on short novels, and watched most everything ever filmed by Quentin Tarantino. A Wyoming native transplanted in Baton Rouge, Wendy works for Louisiana State University as an IT analyst. She’s a wife, a mom, a Tiger, a Who Dat, and she falls asleep on her couch at 8:30 on weeknights.


Anaya Kay
Anaya Kay is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana where she lives and works as a counselor. She is a graduate of McDonogh #35 Senior High School and Xavier University of Louisiana. Kay believes life is all about the adventure, and, enjoys travelling, family, and reading.  She continues to live in New Orleans with her adorable Yorkie. 







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Last updated: 8/6/2014 3:03:56 PM

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