Meet twenty authors with Iowa ties and discover new great books!
Find your next great read and discover new writers at the Iowa Author Fair! The fair returns to the Central Library on Sunday, October 8, from 1:00-3:00 PM. Twenty Iowa authors will be sharing their latest works with the public. It’s a great opportunity to meet new people, share interesting conversations, and have fun! There will also be door prizes and refreshments. With authors of several different genres in attendance, there is something for everyone!
Larry Cotlar has been involved in sports journalism for nearly 40 years. His book, The Biggest Rolodex in Sports, reflects on his life in the field, including interviews with Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, and Muhammad Ali, among others.
Debra Closner Franklin has been an addiction counselor for more than thirty years. Her book, Intervention for America: A Country in Need, taps into her professional experience to explore how America has become “a nation of addicts” and what can be done to right the ship.
Dr. Hugh Hammond is a retired college professor who taught English as a Second Language in Estonia, Syria, and the United Arab Emirates. His novel, The Sinking of the Estonia: The CIA Knew, recalls the true story of the 1994 sinking of the car ferry Estonia in the Baltic Sea.
Catherine Haustein writes comedic novels with a scientific twist. A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and the University of Iowa's chemistry department, she has been teaching chemistry at Central College for more than 30 years. Her newest novel, Mixed In, was published this past March.
Ken Keffer has written seven books meant to connect families to the outdoors and nature. As a professional naturalist, Ken has spent his career highlighting the importance of nature and encouraging people to explore the outdoors.
Joanne Seymour Kuster has been helping families become financially literate for decades. A native Iowan, she has lead the Money Smart Week initiative statewide and understands how building financial skills at any age paves a path to success.
Jeanne Martz, a graduate of Iowa State University, has a love for Iowa, the rural Midwest, and small-town American life. This fueled the writing of her books, The Creekers and The Women of Swenson Farm. She lives in Pleasant Hill with her husband, Jim.
Lana Jean Mitchell has been writing for six decades, beginning in her hometown of Cincinnati. Throughout her career, she has written for newspapers, magazines, and radio. Her children’s book, A Birthday Story, was inspired by someone whose birthday did not fall during the school year.
Otto Mondesi, of Des Moines, has spent several years traveling the United States and Canada in search of adventure and the great outdoors. Otto’s literary influences include the splendid tales brought to life by Vince Flynn, Stephen King, Suzanne Collins, David Hosp, and John Grisham. His book, It Just Takes One, follows the aftermath of an influenza pandemic both in American and abroad.
Cheryl Mullenbach is an award-winning author of history books for young adults and middle school readers. Her books have won recognition from the American Library Association, International Literacy Association, and more. Her books inspire readers to scratch beneath the surface of historical facts to discover the rich stories that make history real.
Randal Nerhus graduated from Iowa State University in 1982. From 2013 to 2016, he lived in the Amazon jungle studying under a Cocama shaman, and parts of that experience were incorporated into his novel. That book, Red with Native Blood, is available now.
Alan Simon, Jr. was born and raised in Des Moines. He served in the Air Force and attended Iowa State University. His first book is the thriller The People Downstairs Are Killers.
Francis Sparks grew up on a farm in Iowa. In his early thirties, Francis began chasing his dream of becoming an author, and his debut novel Made Safe was published in 2015. Francis Sparks currently lives in Des Moines with his amazing wife, Kelly. If he’s not working on his next novel or short story, you can find him teaching his children about dragons.
Pat Underwood, of Colfax, is known for both her poetry and her children's prose. She is the author of Portraits, Gatherings, Whisker Tag, At Coloring Zoo, and The Last Supper, a play kit. She is also a contributor to Voices on the Landscape: Contemporary Iowa Poets, The North American Review, and more.
Jan Walters grew up in Des Moines and currently lives on a farm in Warren County. She is the author of the A Ghost and a Cop series, which is set in Des Moines. Each book in the Ghost and a Cop series takes place on a different street in the Des Moines urban area and features a different type of supernatural killer.
Brian Webb was born and raised in Kentucky and currently lives in Des Moines. Shortly after graduating, Brian suffered an intracranial hemorrhage. He turned his life’s struggles into a way to provide hope in others through inspirational books. He’s the author of Chasing the Miracle and Don’t Give Up. Don’t Ever Give Up.
Sara J. Weis is a creative and passionate teacher who has inspired children for over eighteen years. She leads kids’ yoga classes and is the bestselling author of Go Go Yoga for Kids: A Complete Guide for Using Yoga with Kids and the creator of the Kids Yoga Challenge Pose Cards.
Daniel Willers grew up in Iowa and graduated from Iowa State University. A practicing engineer involved in the design of water and wastewater treatment systems, Daniel loves to figure out how things work. He lives in Des Moines with his wife and fantastic daughters. He writes fantasy mystery novels starring Blake Heira, a mage and priest of Morn, God of Justice.
Author Ross Caligiuri has spent most of his life writing and performing within the music industry. Life often is the university that provides us with the tools we need to create. Discover more about his book, Dreaming in the Shadows, at dreamingintheshadows.com.
Dr. Eric L. Johnson currently serves as the chief consultant with Strategies to Succeed, a company that supports professional and organizational development. He has authored three inspirational books: Beyond Self Help: A Journey to be Better, 10 Deadly Aspects of Pride, and Livin’ in the Shade: Implications of Father and Son Relationships Explored.
About the Des Moines Public Library
Founded in 1866, the Des Moines Public Library is the public library system for the City of Des Moines. With six branches and a collection of more than 550,000 items, the Des Moines Public Library is the largest public library system in the state of Iowa. The mission of the Des Moines Public Library is to be the bridge to a world of information and ideas for personal enjoyment and community growth. The Des Moines Public Library is the recognized leader in expanding the universe of opportunities, imagination, innovation, and lifelong learning benefiting its diverse community.