2015 Presenters A-G



Stacey Agdern

Stacey Agdern is a two-time Golden Apple award-winning bookseller whose reviews and commentary have appeared in publications as diverse as 50 Writers on 50 Shades of Grey, HeroesAndHeartbreakers.com and book blogs hosted by USA Today and Publisher’s Weekly. Her work has been included in four anthologies, including one non-fiction and one under a naughty pen name. A proud member of Romance Writers of America, Agdern lives in New York, not far from her favorite hockey team’s practice facility.

50 Writers on 50 Shades of Grey


Ann Bausum

Ann Bausum is thrilled to return to South Dakota with her latest book, Stonewall: Breaking Out in the Fight for Gay Rights, because it was “born” at the 2010 Festival. Many of Bausum’s books explore issues of social justice or little-known events. Last year she revived the almost-forgotten story of Stubby, a stray dog smuggled to Europe during World War I, by writing twin titles: Sergeant Stubby (for adult readers) and Stubby the War Dog (for children).

Stonewall: Breaking Out in the Fight for Gay Rights


Joseph Bottum

Joseph Bottum is one of the nation’s most widely published writers and best-known public intellectuals. A contributing editor to the Weekly Standard, he holds a Ph.D. in medieval philosophy and lives in the Black Hills. His recent books include the sociological study An Anxious Age: The Post-Protestant Ethic and the spirit of America and the South Dakota memoir The Christmas Plains.

An Anxious Age: The Post-Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of America


Tom Bouman

Tom Bouman is a former book editor and musician who lives with his wife and daughter in Pennsylvania, where he studies law. He is the author of the novel Dry Bones in the Valley, which recently won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller.

Dry Bones in the Valley


Sandra Brannan

Sandra Brannan has created a heart-pounding mystery series around Liv Bergen, a woman who embodies the spirit of South Dakota and who, like Brannan, has experience in the mining business. Her first five books have landed on the Denver Post best-seller list and reached the top 10 for e-book mysteries and top five for women’s mysteries. Named one of the top 25 most fabulous women by Black Hills Magazine, Brannan lives in Rapid City with her husband.

Solomon’s Whisper


Ron Capps

Ron Capps is the founder and director of the Veterans Writing Project, a non-profit that provides no-cost writing seminars for veterans and their adult family members. Having served for 25 years in the U.S. Army and Army Reserve, Ron is also a retired Foreign Service officer for the Department of State. His memoir, Seriously Not All Right: Five Wars in Ten Years, documents his service and details his struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Seriously Not All Right



Ron Carlson

Ron Carlson writes just about everything: short stories, novels, poetry and essays. His newest novel is Return to Oakpine, and his book on writing, Ron Carlson Writes a Story, is taught widely. He has been awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, the Cohen Prize at Ploughshares, the McGinnis Award at the Iowa Review and the Aspen Literary Award. Carlson is the Director of the Graduate Program in Fiction at the University of California, Irvine.

Return to Oakpine



Richard Cerasani

Richard Cerasani, author of Love Letters from Mount Rushmore, is also known to the public as actor Richard Caine, having gained notoriety playing the villain Bill Watson on the TV show General Hospital. He became a writer after discovering an old steamer trunk containing love letters between his parents, written while his father worked as a sculptor on Mount Rushmore. The resulting book won the Gold Award for Non-Fiction, Adult Books from the Mom’s Choice Awards.

Love Letters from Mount Rushmore





Ann Charles

Ann Charles writes mysteries splashed with humor, adventure, romance, and whatever else sounds fun. Her award-winning work includes the Deadwood Mystery Series and the Jackrabbit Junction Mystery Series, and she’s recently kicked off a new Dig Site Mystery series with Look What the Wind Blew In. A member of Sisters in Crime and Romance Writers of America, Ann fills her free time by wrestling with her two kids, attempting to seduce her husband and arguing with her sassy cat.

Look What the Wind Blew In





Elizabeth Cook-Lynn

A member of the Crow Creek Sioux tribe, Elizabeth Cook-Lynn is considered one of the nation’s leading voices on Native American issues, particularly tribal sovereignty. A former National Endowment for the Humanities fellow at Stanford University, she spent most of her academic career at Eastern Washington University in Cheney, where she was professor of English and Native American Studies. Her latest book, That Guy Wolf Dancing, is a novella set in South Dakota.

That Guy Wolf Dancing


H. Alan Day

A born cowboy, H. Alan Day grew up on a 200,000-acre cattle ranch straddling the high deserts of southern Arizona and New Mexico. He managed the ranch for 40 years, receiving numerous awards for land stewardship, and shared his experiences in The New York Times best-seller Lazy B, co-authored with his sister, retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. Day’s latest book, The Horse Lover, tells the story of his South Dakota sanctuary for unadoptable wild horses.

The Horse Lover



Pete Dexter

Winner of the 1988 National Book Award for his novel Paris Trout, Pete Dexter began his working life at a U.S. Post Office in New Orleans. He went on to write for newspapers, including the Philadelphia Daily News and the Sacramento Bee, and he compiled many of his columns into the book Paper Trails. Dexter now splits his time between Washington state and a house in the desert so remote that there is no postal service.

Paris Trout


Lane Dolly

From the halls of the White House to the plains of Oklahoma, Lane Dolly brings diverse experiences to her writing. She served in the administrations of President Ronald Reagan and South Dakota Governors George S. Mickelson and Walter Dale Miller before a master’s degree in public policy led her to history and genealogy. Dolly’s research about an abolitionist ancestor, Hattie Shelton, has led to two historical novels: A Distant Call and No Turning Back.

No Turning Back: The Harrowing Journeys of Hattie Sheldon

Kristin Donnan

A freelance writer, researcher, and business owner, Kristin Donnan has published books - including the source material for the 2014 documentary Dinosaur 13, the story about paleontologist Peter Larson and Sue, the famous T. Rex. She has written for magazines and newspapers; contributed to IMAX films, television shows, and other media; and received several national press awards. Donnan also co-created, edited and published High Plains Art (formerly Art of the Hills), the region's only arts and culture magazine, and co-owned and operated Black Hills Bronze, a fine art foundry in Hill City.



John Dufresne

John Dufresne writes mysteries, but he also helps make writing less mysterious for aspiring authors by leading workshops, teaching in the MFA program at Florida International University in Miami, and publishing books on writing and creativity. He has won the Yankee Magazine award for fiction, the Transatlantic Review/Henfield Foundation Award, a PEN Syndicated Fiction award and a Guggenheim Fellowship. His latest book is No Regrets, Coyote.

No Regrets, Coyote



Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry

The Book Doctors, Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry, dedicate themselves to helping authors get published. They are co-authors of The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published: How to Write It, Sell It, and Market It … Successfully. Eckstut has written seven books and amassed 18 years of experience at The Levine Greenberg Literary Agency. Sterry is the best-selling author of 12 books ranging from YA fiction to reference.

The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published



Richard Edwards

North Dakota native and Harvard-trained economist Richard (Rick) Edwards is director of the Center for Great Plains Studies at the University of Nebraska. Much of his work focuses on preservation of the landscape, culture and history of the Great Plains. His latest book, Natives of a Dry Place, explores life in mid-twentieth-century Stanley, a small western North Dakota wheat town, both before and after the Bakken oil boom.

Natives of a Dry Place



Lin Enger

Lin Enger’s latest novel, The High Divide, came out in May 2015. His prior work has received awards including a James Michener Fellowship, a Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship, a Jerome travel grant, and a Lake Region Arts Fellowship. A former Teaching-Writing Fellow at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Enger now teaches at Minnesota State University. During the 1990s, he and his brother, the novelist Leif Enger, collaborated (as L. L. Enger) on a series of mystery novels.

The High Divide



Richard Etulain

A specialist in the history and literature of the American West, Richard W. Etulain has written or edited more than 50 books, most recently The Life and Legends of Calamity Jane (History Book Selection, 2014) and Calamity Jane: A Reader’s Guide (2015). Etulain is professor emeritus of history and former director of the Center for the American West at the University of New Mexico.

The Life and Legends of Calamity Jane



David Allan Evans

Having served as South Dakota’s Poet Laureate since 2002, David Allan Evans is stepping down this year. The Sioux City, Iowa native has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Bush Artist Foundation, and has twice been a Fulbright Scholar to China. In 2009 Evans received the South Dakota Governor’s Award for Creative Distinction in the Arts. He has published eight poetry collections, most recently The Carnival, The Life, and several prose books.

The Carnival, The Life


Jay & Paul Fishback

To foster intellectual diversity, dialogue and discussion, Northern Voyage Productions, founded by Jay and Paul V. Fishback, produces films highlighting viewpoints often unconsidered by filmmakers. In 2013 the brothers hosted the inaugural Northern Voyage Film Festival, bringing nationally renowned filmmakers to Brookings to share their expertise. Northern Voyage's work includes 2014’s Sole Reconciliation, which won the award of merit at the Accolade International Film Competition. At the 2015 Festival of Books, Northern Voyage will premier Our Own Words, featuring the Oak Lake Writers Society, a tribal writers' association that has met for over 20 years. Jay Fishback, a Sante Fe University graduate, uses his dynamic photography and videography, to tell stories with organic beauty and compelling rawness. Paul V. Fishback, a University of Colorado graduate, believes film is the perfect medium to broaden viewers’ perspectives.



Rob Fleder

During his 20 years at Time, Inc., Rob Fleder was executive editor of Sports Illustrated and editor of Sports Illustrated Books. He edited New York Times bestsellers including SI 50: The Anniversary Book and Hate Mail from Cheerleaders, by Rick Reilly. Fleder also worked with celebrated authors from within and beyond the sports world to produce Damn Yankees: Twenty-Four Major League Writers on the World’s Most Loved (and Hated) Team, a collection of original essays about the New York Yankees.

Damn Yankees: Twenty-Four Major League Writers on the World’s Most Loved (and Hated) Team


Brittany Gibbons

Brittany Gibbons is a humorist, internet personality, model and nationally recognized positive body image advocate. She began her blog, www.brittanyherself.com, in 2007, later founded the magazine CurvyGirlGuide.com and now hosts “Last Call Brittany,” a weekly Google talk show. Her first book, Fat Girl Walking, was published this spring. She lives in Toledo, Ohio with her husband and three small children.

Fat Girl Walking


Jerome A. Greene

A retired historian, curator and manager with the National Park Service, Jerome A. Greene has written 16 books, including three on South Dakota history. His personal background includes serving in the U.S. Army and teaching American Indian history at Haskell Indian Junior College, as well as membership on the editorial boards of numerous history publications. Greene’s most recent title, American Carnage: Wounded Knee, 1890, received the Western Writers of America 2015 Spur Award for Best Western Historical Nonfiction.

American Carnage: Wounded Knee, 1890




The Ament Group at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management; Terry & Sherry Baloun; Black Hills Power; Sandra Brannan; Dahl Arts Center; Dakota Indian Foundation; Dakota West Books, Dave Strain; Days of '76 Museum; Deadwood City Hall; Deadwood Mountain Grand - a Holiday Inn Resort; Deadwood Public Library; Deadwood Social Club, Charlie Utter Theater; Sherry & Tom DeBoer; Holly Downing; Franklin Hotel; Friends of the South Dakota Humanities Council; Sidney Goss; Phoebe Apperson Hearst Library; Historic Adams Research and Cultural Center; Historic Homestake Opera House; Sandy Jerstad; Joe & Jennifer Kirby Charitable Fund of the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation; Lead-Deadwood Elementary School; Bonnie Lievan; Martin & Mason Hotel; Matthews Opera House & Arts Center; Jason McEntee; Lori McGuire; Hon. Judith Meierhenry; Mark & Carolyn Mollers; Mount Rushmore Bookstores; Mount Rushmore National Memorial; Jean & Tom Nicholson; Pioneer Bank & Trust/F. L. Clarkson Family Foundation; Rapid City Arts Council; Rapid City Public Library; Scott & Linda Rausch; Steven W. Sanford; Sanford Underground Research Facility; Jerry & Gail Simmons; Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation; South Dakota State University Office of the President; Jack & Linda Stengel; Orval Van Deest - in honor of Violet Van Deest; William Walsh & Jo Roebuck-Pearson; Kathy Webb; Ann & Robert Weisgarber

South Dakota Center for the Book | 1215 Trail Ridge Rd., Suite A, Brookings, SD 57006 | 605-688-6113