Meet the Panellists - 2021

Confirmed Authors, Editors, Agents, Thriller Consultants, and Narrators for the 2021 YA Thriller Con

Joniece Abbott Pratt (narrator) - 
Joniece Abbott-Pratt is an actress and writer, known for Luke Cage (2016), Blindspot (2015) and Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married? (2007).

K. Ancrum (author)
- K. Ancrum, is the author of  the award winning thriller THE WICKER KING,  a lesbian romance THE WEIGHT OF THE STARS and the upcoming Peter Pan thriller DARLING. K. is a Chicago native passionate about diversity and representation in young adult fiction. She currently writes most of her work in the lush gardens of the Chicago Art Institute.

Lisa Amowitz (author) - Lisa Amowitz is an artist, educator, graphic designer, and published author of three young adult novels, BREAKING GLASS; 2013, VISION; 2014 and UNTIL BETH; 2015. She is one of the publishers of the young adult short story anthology, UNBOUND (Feb. 2021) and co-cover designer.  You can find out more about her and her work at

Heidi Ayarbe (author) -
Heidi Ayarbe is the author of four published YA novels, including ILA award-winner FREEZE FRAME, and many non-fiction books and articles for the children's market. She recently worked with authors from around the world to publish UNBOUND -- an anthology of YA stories.  She lives in Pereira, Colombia (the heart of Colombia's coffee region) with her husband, daughters, and dogs where she writes, works with local libraries, works as a storyteller, translator, drinks too much coffee, and can't get Cheerios. She misses Cheerios.

Kate Brauning (author and editor) - 
Kate Brauning is an author of young adult thrillers with a twist of the unusual, including The Ballad of Dinah Caldwell, How We Fall, and the short story “Godzilla Girls.”

She's also an editor with Working Partners, and loves working on both sides of the publishing industry. In her spare time, she travels, works on her baking skills, hunts down new music, and reads just about everything. Kate loves people, dark chocolate, snorkeling, feminism, everything about autumn, bright colors, grassroots social action, red maple trees, superstitions, advocating for human rights, ghost stories, night skies, equality, pie, and talking about books. Kate lives in Austin, Texas, with her family and her Siberian husky, Willow. You can follow Kate on Twitter and Instagram at @KateBrauning or visit her at

Erin Clyburn (agent)
- Erin joined The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency as Associate Literary Agent in 2019 after an internship and apprenticeship with a boutique literary agency. She has worked as a copy editor and recipe editor in the magazine industry and was general manager and director of collection development for Turtleback Books. She received her BA in English Literature from Mississippi State University and her MA in Children’s Literature from Hollins University. When not working, Erin loves hiking, cooking, traveling, painting, and trying to keep her three rabbits, Felix, Agnes, and Valentino, from chewing up every baseboard in the house.

Emily Colin (author and editor)
- Emily Colin’s debut novel, THE MEMORY THIEF, was a New York Times bestseller and a Target Emerging Authors Pick. She is also the author of THE DREAM KEEPER’S DAUGHTER (Ballantine Books). Her young adult titles include the anthology WICKED SOUTH: SECRETS AND LIES and the SEVEN SINS series, both from Blue Crow Publishing, as well as the anthology UNBOUND: STORIES OF TRANSFORMATION, LOVE, AND MONSTERS (Five Points Press). Regardless of whether she’s writing for adults or teens, all of her books feature love stories and supernatural twists.

Emily’s diverse life experience includes organizing a Coney Island tattoo and piercing show, hauling fish at a dolphin research center, roaming New York City as an itinerant teenage violinist, helping launch two small publishing companies, and working to facilitate community engagement in the arts. Currently, she finds joy in teaching classes for the Writers Workshop at Authors Publish and working as a freelance editor. Originally from Brooklyn, Emily lives in coastal North Carolina with her family. She loves chocolate, is addicted to tiramisu, and dislikes anything containing beans. You can find her trying to do yoga, with her nose buried in a book, or getting dragged down the block by her over-enthusiastic dog, Moo. Visit her at, on IG at @emily_colin, or get a free short story at

Amanda Deich (author) -
Amanda Deich is an author out of Littleton, Colorado. Her novel, BECOMING BROOKLYN, debuted in the top 10 in its category of YA new releases on Amazon in Jan 2021. In her non-writer life, she is a mom to two children and a teacher and coach to hundreds.

Madeline Dyer (author and editor) - Madeline Dyer lives on a farm in the southwest of England, where she hangs out with her Shetland ponies and writes dark and twisty young adult books. She will soon be starting her MA in Creative Writing from Kingston University, having obtained a BA honors degree in English from the University of Exeter. Madeline has a strong love for anything dystopian or ghostly, and she can frequently be found exploring wild places. At least one notebook is known to follow her wherever she goes.

Her books include the Untamed series, the Dangerous Ones series, and Captive: A Poetry Collection on OCD, Psychosis, and Brain Inflammation. She also writes YA fantasy thrillers with ace characters as Elin Dyer and adult ace romance as Elin Annalise.

Kat Ellis (author) - Kat Ellis is the author of young adult horror/thriller novels including Harrow Lake and the forthcoming Wicked Little Deeds (August 2021).

When she’s not writing, Kat can usually be found exploring ruins and cemeteries with her camera, or watching scary movies with her husband.

Brittany Evans (author) 
- Brittany Evans is a Canadian young adult thriller writer repped by Megan Manzano at D4EO. When Brittany isn't exhausting their creative energy writing, they are exhausting it through their day job of Graphic Design. Currently in the process of getting her bachelor's in Graphic Design with a minor in Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University, Brittany simply cannot consume any media without over analyzing it. In the little free time they have, Brittany can be found obsessing over anime or hiking the beautiful trails of Northern Ontario. 

Laurie Elizabeth Flynn / L.E. Flynn (author)
- Laurie Elizabeth Flynn is a former model who lives in London, Ontario with her husband and their three children. She is the author of three young adult novels: Firsts, Last Girl Lied To, and All Eyes On Her, under the name L.E. Flynn. 

Her adult fiction debut, The Girls Are All So Nice Here, became an instant bestseller in Canada. It has sold in 11 territories worldwide and been optioned for television by AMC. 

When she’s not writing, you can likely find her hiking in the woods, perusing thrift stores for vintage dresses, or bingeing on reality TV.

Kit Frick (author)
- Kit Frick is a novelist, poet, and MacDowell fellow from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She studied creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College and received her MFA from Syracuse University. The author of the young adult thrillers See All the Stars, All Eyes on Us, and I Killed Zoe Spanos, and the poetry collection A Small Rising Up in the Lungs, Kit loves a good mystery but has only ever killed her characters. Honest.

Visit Kit online at and on Twitter and Instagram @KitFrick.

Stuart Gibbon (author, former detective, and research consultant on UK police and detective work)
- Stuart Gibbon is a former UK police officer who served for 30 years in London and the East Midlands. A large part of his policing career was spent as a detective, at various ranks. As a Detective Chief Inspector he was responsible for investigating Murder cases. After retiring from the police he now runs a consultancy service (GIB Consultancy) to help writers with police actions and procedures. He also features on TV and radio as a policing expert. In 2017 Stuart teamed up with crime historian, Stephen Wade, to write ‘The Crime Writer’s Casebook’, an essential companion for those interested in writing or reading crime. A second book ‘Being a Detective’ was published in March 2019 about the role of the detective, past and present. Stuart also appears at writing festivals where he talks about his career and the subject of true crime.

Gila Green (author)
- Gila Green, a Canadian-born writer living in Israel, is the author of King of the Class, Passport Control, White Zion and No Entry, the first in a young adult, environmental series (with publishers in Canada, the US & Australia). Her work has been short-listed for the Doris Bakwin Literary Award (Carolina Wren Press), WordSmitten's TenTen Fiction Contest, twice for the Walrus Literary Award, and twice for the Eric Hoffer Best New Writing Award .

Gila's fellowships include the Summer Literary Seminars Program (Montreal). She has lived in Ottawa, Winnipeg, Vancouver, Johannesburg, Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Jerusalem. Gila is an SCBWI member and participated in the 2020 February Vancouver Jewish Book Festival. 

Gila's short fiction appears in dozens of literary magazines in the U.S.A., Canada, Australia, Israel, Ireland, and Hong Kong including:  The Fiddlehead ,, Akashic Books, Fiction Magazine, The Saranac Review, Arc Magazine, Many Mountains Moving, Noir Nation, Quality Women's Fiction, The Dalhousie Review, Jewish Fiction, Mom Egg Anthology, Tel Aviv Stories, Jane Doe Buys a Challah, The South Circular, Kunapipi, Yuan Yang Journal, Arc Magazine, 100 Pages of Canada, An Artistic Collaboration of Canadian Artists, Jewish Literary Journal, The Bookends Review, and Boston Literary Review.

Desmond Hall (author) - 
Desmond Hall is a Jamaican born author whose debut YA novel, YOUR CORNER DARK, is a fast-paced thriller that has been described as American Street meets Long Way Down. This searing and gritty novel takes an unflinching look at the harsh realities of gang life in Jamaica and how far a teen is willing to go for family. The book confronts police brutality, colorism, gang culture and political deception. 

He graduated Marquette University with a BA in Journalism and was selected for the “Who’s Who of American College Students.”

He’s written and directed an HBO feature movie, “A Day in Black and White” which was nominated for the Gordon Parks Award.  He’s also written and directed a full-length stage play, “Stockholm, Brooklyn” that won the Audience Award at the Downtown Theater Festival at the Cherry Lane theater. The play was also picked for the Public Theater's New Works Series. 

For two years, he worked as a high school Biology and English teacher in Brooklyn, NY. In this period of his life he also counseled teenage ex-cons after their release from Rikers Island Correctional Institution. 

As an advertising creative director, he’s written many TV campaigns, two Superbowl commercials and won multiple awards while running the creative side of Spike Lee’s advertising agency. 

While working in the advertising and film industry he’s served on the board of the Partnership for a Drug Free America, the Advertising Council, judged the One Show, Addys and the NYC Downtown Film Festival. He’s also been named one of Variety magazine’s Top 50 Creatives to Watch.

Christina Hoag (author) - Christina Hoag (she/her/hers) is the author of novels Girl on the Brink and Skin of Tattoos (Onward Press). Her short stories and essays have been published in literary reviews including Lunch Ticket, Shooter, the Santa Barbara Literary Journal. A former journalist for the Miami Herald and Associated Press and Latin America foreign correspondent, she recently won prizes for essay and fiction in the International Human Rights Arts Festival Literary Awards and the Soul-Making Keats Writing Competition. Sign up for her newsletter at and receive a free audiobook of Girl on the Brink on Audible UK. 

T.L. Huchu (author)
- T. L. Huchu is a writer whose short-fiction has appeared in publications such as 'Lightspeed', 'Interzone', 'AfroSF', and elsewhere. He is the winner of a Nommo Award for African SF/F, and has been shortlisted for the Caine Prize and the Grand Prix de L’Imaginaire. Between projects, he translates fiction from Shona into English and the reverse. 'The Library of the Dead' is the first in his Edinburgh Nights series.

Chelsea Ichaso (author)
- Chelsea Ichaso writes twisty thrillers for young adults, including LITTLE CREEPING THINGS (Sourcebooks Fire, 2020). A former high school English teacher, she currently resides in southern California with her husband and children. When she’s not reading or writing, Chelsea can be found on the soccer field.

Emily Kazmierski (author) -
 Emily lives in sunny southern California with her family, including two dachshunds and sixteen chickens. Yes, it is a tad chaotic sometimes. When she's not coming up with new twisted plots for her books, she's probably lost in a good book. Aside from writing and reading, Emily is passionate about homemade ice cream, Harrison Ford, and staying up way too late.

Matt Killeen (author)  - Matt Killeen was born in Birmingham and, like many of his generation, was absorbed by tales of the war and obsessed with football from an early age. Guitars arrived at fourteen, wrecking any hopes of so-called normality.

He has had a great many careers – some creative, some involving laser guns – and has made a living as an advertising copywriter and largely ignored music and sports journalist. Matt fulfilled a childhood ambition and became a writer for the LEGO® company in 2010 and continues to write for the 2269 project and PC Gamer.

He lives near London with his soulmate, children, dog and musical instruments, looking wistfully north at a hometown that has been largely demolished & rebuilt in his lengthy absence. 

Orphan Monster Spy, his first novel, was shortlisted for the Costa Book Awards and the Branford Boase Award, as well as winning the 2019 SCBWI Crystal Kite. The sequel, Devil Darling Spy, was published in spring 2020, just as the world ended. 


Posie Lewis
- Posie Lewis is an audiobook narrator, actor, writer, VoiceOver artist, and arts educator currently based in Maryland. She graduated from Muhlenberg College with her B.A. in Theatre & English, and she studied Physical Theatre for four months at the Accademia dell’Arte in Arezzo, Italy. Posie hosts the podcast and radio show Write It Down (, a storytelling space that showcases original written works read aloud by their authors. For more information about her work on stage, screen, and across the airwaves, visit her online at and on Instagram @posie.lewis

Barry Lyga (author)
- Called a “YA rebel-author” by Kirkus Reviews, Barry Lyga has published twenty-four novels in various genres in his fourteen-year career, including the New York Times bestselling I Hunt Killers. His books have been or are slated to be published in more than a dozen different languages in North America, Australia, Europe, and Asia.

After graduating from Yale with a degree in English, Lyga worked in the comic book industry before quitting to pursue his lifelong love of writing. In 2006, his first young adult novel, The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl, was published to rave reviews, including starred reviews from Booklist and School Library Journal. Publishers Weekly named Lyga a “Flying Start” in December 2006 on the strength of the debut.

His second young adult novel, Boy Toy, received starred reviews in SLJ, Publishers Weekly, and Kirkus. VOYA gave it its highest critical rating, and the Chicago Tribune called it “…an astounding portrayal of what it is like to be the young male victim.” His third novel, Hero-Type, according to VOYA “proves that there are still fresh ideas and new, interesting story lines to be explored in young adult literature.”

Since then, he has also written Goth Girl Rising (the sequel to his first novel), as well as the Archvillain series for middle-grade readers and the graphic novel Mangaman (with art by Colleen Doran).

His latest series is I Hunt Killers, called by the LA Times “one of the more daring concepts in recent years by a young-adult author” and an “extreme and utterly alluring narrative about nature versus nurture.” The first book landed on both the New York Times and USAToday bestsellers lists.

Lyga lives and podcasts near New York City with his wife, Morgan Baden, their nigh-omnipotent daughter, and their preternaturally chill son. His comic book collection is a lot smaller than it used to be, but is still way too big.

For more information, visit the FAQ and the rest of the site.

Kit Mallory (author)
  - Kit (she/her) is a YA author from Bath,UK. Her near-future dystopian BLACKOUT duology is out now; her brand is best summarised as underdogs and angry queer girls. Her day job alter ego has been a practising mental health professional for 12 years. When she's not writing or reading, Kit can usually be found bouldering, wild swimming, or waiting hand and foot on two very demanding cats. She can be found on Twitter @kitkattus and Instagram @kitmallorywrites.

Megan Manzano (agent)
- Megan fell in love with reading and writing from a young age. She grew up to receive a BA in English with a minor in philosophy; eager to stay as close to books as possible. She has and continues to wear many hats in the publishing world: freelance editor, writer, a marketer for Trade books, Pitchwars 2018 mentor, and now an Agent at D4EO Literary Agency. In her spare time, she’s either traveling, hiking, or binge-watching television shows.

Jayme Mattler (narrator) - 
Jayme Mattler is a Grammy-nominated and Audies-winning recording engineer and director, as well as a narrator and producer. 

Dana Mele (author)
- Dana Mele is a Pushcart-nominated writer based in the Catskills. A graduate of Wellesley College, Dana holds degrees in theatre, education, and law. Dana’s debut, PEOPLE LIKE US, was published in 2018 and shortlisted for the 2019 ITW Thriller Award for Best Young Adult Novel. A second YA thriller, SUMMER’S EDGE, is forthcoming from Simon & Schuster in Spring 2022.

Isvari Mohan Maranwe (author) -
 Isvari is a Young Adult and Adult author with a focus on contemporary, fantasy, and thrillers. She was a freelance columnist for The Washington Times and The Boston Globe and her debut novella The Eyes of Mikra was a top Amazon seller in War and Espionage when released. Today, she writes YA contemporary, fantasy, and mystery under the pseudonym Rishi Mohan along with her husband and sister. The three are also the founders of Dweebs and Dogs, an international nonprofit offering free career advice, such as free mentorship and query letter edits for writers. She blogs on Medium and LinkedIn, where she has over 300K followers.

Goldy Moldavsky (author)
- Goldy Moldavsky (she/her) was born in Lima, Peru, and grew up in Brooklyn, New York, where she lives with her family. She is the New York Times–bestselling author of Kill the Boy Band and No Good Deed. Some of her influences include Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the esteemed works of John Irving, and the Mexican telenovelas she grew up watching with her mother.

Whitney Morsillo (editor) -
Whitney Morsillo, bringing you horror and heart with the flip of a page.

Whitney Morsillo is a multi-genre author working on her first full-length paranormal romance novel. When not dabbling in all things paper and ink, she rescues animals in need, drinks more coffee than reasonably acceptable, and plays video games with her kids.

After growing up in New England, the land of sweater weather and seasonal change, Whitney made the jump to the Florida, where she met her husband, now celebrating an annual Halloween wedding anniversary. When she isn’t editing a book for a client or crafting stories for readers of all ages and interests, she escapes to the mountains with her four kids, husband, and brood of rescues for endless inspiration.

Laura Pohl (author) - Laura Pohl is a YA writer and the author of THE LAST 8 duology and THE GRIMROSE GIRLS, the first book in the Grimrose Girls duology. She likes writing messages in caps lock, quoting Hamilton and obsessing about Star Wars. When not taking pictures of her dog, she can be found curled up with a fantasy or science-fiction book. A Brazilian at heart and soul, she makes her home in São Paulo.

Eva Pohler (author)
-  Eva Pohler is a USA Today bestselling author of over thirty novels in multiple genres, including mysteries, thrillers, and young adult fantasy. Her books have been described as "addictive" and "sure to thrill"--Kirkus Reviews.

Regardless of genre, Eva's stories  blur the line between reality and fantasy, truth and delusion, and draw from Eva's personal philosophy that a reader must be lured and abducted into complete captivity in order to enjoy the reading experience.  

Eva earned her Ph.D. in English and has taught writing and literature for over twenty years at a university in San Antonio, Texas, where she lives with her husband and three children.

Caleb Roehrig (author)
- Caleb Roehrig is a writer and television producer originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan. Dividing his time between Chicago and Helsinki, Finland, he has seven years of experience in the stranger-than-fiction salt mines of reality TV. In the name of earning a paycheck, he has: hung around a frozen cornfield in his underwear, partied with an actual rock-star, chatted with a scandal-plagued politician, and been menaced by a disgruntled ostrich.

Kate Rudd (narrator) -
 Kate Rudd, winner of 2013 Audie and Odyssey Awards for narration of John Green's The Fault in Our Stars, is based in West Michigan and records in her home studio. A recipient of ten Audiofile Magazine Earphones Awards, Kate has narrated more than 500 titles across a variety of genres. Kate can be reached on twitter @katerudd and at   

Tom Ryan (author) -
Tom Ryan is the author of several books for young readers. He has been nominated for a number of awards, and two of his young adult novels, Way to Go and Tag Along, were chosen for the ALA Rainbow List, in 2013 and 2014. He was a 2017 Lambda Literary Fellow in Young Adult Fiction. His 2019 release Keep This to Yourself was the recipient of the 2020 Arthur Ellis Award for YA Crime Book, has been nominated for an ITW Award for Best YA Thriller, and was chosen by the Globe & Mail as one of the ‘Globe 100: Books that shaped 2019’. Tom, his husband, and their dog currently divide their time between Ontario and Nova Scotia.

Angelina Singer (editor) -
Angelina Singer is a young adult / new adult author with a romantic comedy, Just Like a Pill, books 1-3 of a dystopian science fiction trilogy The Upperworld Series, and The Rewind Duology available for purchase on Amazon now. In addition to her writing career, Singer graduated Magna Cum Laude from Stonehill College in 2019, where she studied English, Music, and of course - Creative Writing.  

In her spare time she enjoys crocheting (with a portfolio of work available for purchase on Instagram @asinger320), as well as mentoring younger music students at a local music store, where she has been studying guitar for over a decade. She views her writing as a way to simultaneously escape from and embrace reality. Follow her on Facebook @AngelinaSingerAuthor and Instagram/TikTok @angelinasingerauthor for exciting updates, exclusive content, and giveaways.

Abby L. Vandiver (author) 
- WALL STREET JOURNAL, USA TODAY and internationally bestselling author, Abby L. Vandiver, who also writes as Abby Collette, has always enjoyed writing, combining that with her gift for telling stories and love of mystery she became an author. A hybrid, she has written as an indie as well as a traditionally published author. Abby has penned more than twenty books and short stories. Her new cozy from  Penguin Berkley, A DEADLY INSIDE SCOOP, is the first in the new Ice Cream Parlor Mystery series. 

Abby resides in South Euclid, Ohio and enjoys spending time with her grandchildren and facilitating self-publishing and writing craft classes at her local library.

Emily Woo Zeller (narrator)
- Named a Golden Voice in 2020 and a Best Voice of 2019, 2018, 2015, and 2013 by Audiofile Magazine, Emily Woo Zeller has garnered many awards in her voiceover career, including an Audie; Best Female Narrator from the Independent Audiobook Awards; multiple SOVAS awards; and almost two dozen Earphones Awards. In video games, she most recently played Panam in Cyberpunk 2077 and was in The Last of Us Part 2, and has dubbed for dozens of anime series. A few notable audio books include Doctor Aphra (Star Wars audio drama), The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, The Poppy War series, and Passable in Pink. Ms. Woo Zeller is also a teacher, dancer, singer, and producer.

Mocha Von Bee (author)
- Mocha Von Bee writes YA Romance with chills, and is a member of SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators). She is currently querying a Young Adult Mystery and trying to get better at recording her own audio.

Originally from Ireland, Mocha lives in France, but finds her true home in books—particularly those with a sprinkle of mystery and magic. 

She is an advocate of positive representation and empowering girls to fight for their dreams and believes overnight success is usually ten years in the making.

If you’re curious about the audio part, you can listen to a short story here 

You can also find Mocha on Instagram @MochaVonBee

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