2017 Adventure writer's competition judges panel
C. Hope Clark is author of two mystery series published by Bell Bridge Books out of Memphis, TN. Her seventh novel, EDISTO STRANGER, will be released June 1, 2017, the fourth in the Edisto Island Mysteries, and she is under contract for two more. Set in South Carolina, she lures mystery fans to the coastal and island reaches of her beloved state, earning her a solid following by natives and visitors alike, because after all, nothing beats a suspenseful beach read. Hope is also founder and editor of FundsforWriters.com, chosen by Writer's Digest for its 101 Best Websites for Writers list for the past 17 years. The site's newsletter reaches 35,000 writers each week, and she's often invited to speak about the world of writing via conferences, podcasts, and webinars. She is freelance published in Writer's Digest, Writer's Market, The Writer, Guide to Literary Agents, and more. A graduate of Clemson University with a degree in agronomy, she weaves a rural flavor through much of her work, with a strong appreciation for all things orange. She married a federal agent, meeting him on a bribery investigation in her prior career with the federal government, and they spend ample time over evening bourbons discussing new twists for new tales at their home on the banks of Lake Murray, South Carolina.
Charles Kowalski grew up in New Jersey and studied at Oberlin College, the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, and the School for International Training in Vermont.
His debut novel, MIND VIRUS, was a 2015 finalist for the Clive Cussler Grandmaster Award. It also won the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers' Colorado Gold Award (Action/Thriller), and was a finalist for the Killer Nashville Claymore Award and the Pacific Northwest Writers' Association Literary Award.
Charles now divides his time between Japan, where he teaches at a university near Tokyo, and his family home in Downeast Maine.
John Vinson and Debra Harp-Vinson are a unique couple. They were high school prom dates and then went on to live separate, but remarkably parallel, lives. In 2013 they reconnected and eventually merged their furniture a year later after a simple family wedding officiated by Deb’s brother. They now live in the “hundred-acre woods” in rural Southeast Ohio.
John’s career spanned nearly 40 years in the areas of human resource and training positions in the manufacturing, sales and marketing of construction chemicals, x-ray equipment, rubber compounding and fabrication, glass and plastic and metal container industries, as well as municipal government. At present, he is a Housing Administrator with The Area Agency on Aging, a broad-based social service and referral source for senior citizens and the disabled.
Deb’s career in public service spanned over 30 years, working with the Florida State Attorney’s Office, Cambridge Prosecuting Attorney, and eventually with the State of Ohio Auditor’s Office, where she developed IED (Incurable Editing Disease) as a result of scanning innumerable boring audit reports, and subsequently retired in 2013.
Both are avid fans of Clive Cussler and his coauthors --– Deb is the reader and editor and John is the collector – a match made in Heaven. They are honored and humbled to be able to judge in this auspicious competition.
Cherri Randall has a BA in English from her home state of Oklahoma, an MFA in Creative Writing and PhD in English Literature from the University of Arkansas and currently resides in Pennsylvania with her economist husband and two Chihuahuas. She has published poetry, cnf, and short stories in a variety of literary magazines including Clementine, Mid-American Poetry Review, Lake Effect, So To Speak, Paper Street Press, Permafrost Review, The Potomac Review, storySouth, Blue Earth Review, and Sojourn. An essay was published in the anthology "Impact" (Telling Our Stories Press) and a novel was published, "The Memory of Orchids", in 2011 (Cyber Wit.) She is available for private critiques of manuscripts through Second Draft Critique Services.
Peter Greene is the recipient of the 2012 Adventure Writer’s Competition Grand Master Award for Warship Poseidon, the first book of The Adventures of Jonathan Moore series. Book 2, Castle of Fire, was a finalist in the 2015 Independent Author Network Competition's Action Adventure category. Warship Poseidon was also a finalist in three categories. Book three, Paladin's War, was released in March of 2017, by Sven Gillhoolie Publishing (an AWC sponsor). With Patrick Read Johnson, Peter wrote a screenplay that was optioned by 20th Century Fox in 1981.
Peter earned a BA in Theatre Education from Illinois State University and was an Illinois Art Council grantee for his children's play Watermeyer, the Musical. He is currently the Adventure Writer’s Competition Director and a Blue Whisky Film Festival Judge. Day job: selling sophisticated software solutions to the world's supply chain businesses. "It leaves me a lot of time to write on airplanes."
"In 2012 I was honored to be the winner of the Adventure Writer’s Competition and fortunate to meet Clive and Dirk Cussler. When Clive told me he had read my book cover-to-cover, then said "Beautifully written" – I almost fainted."
Peter lives in Arizona with his wife and two children, and an Airedale Terrier.
John Thomas Everett is a native Baltimorean, a businessman, a teacher, a family man, and the author of three lively historical novels. Having worked for thirty years in the telecommunications industry, Mr. Everett has also taught business strategy in Loyola University Maryland’s Sellinger School of Business and Management. He is a graduate of Mount Saint Mary’s University and has graduate degrees from both The Johns Hopkins University and Loyola. At present, he owns and operates Strategic Solutions Consulting, a Baltimore area firm specializing in assisting growing businesses.
Mr. Everett’s first novel is Plug Ugly Ball, a tale of murder, mayhem and 1890’s baseball that reflects the author’s eyes-wide-open love for his home town and its team, the Orioles. Maseah Mountain is the author’s second work of fiction and moves readers out of the streets and into the wilds of Idaho in 1932. The novel has had the honor of winning the 2016 Clive Cussler Grandmaster Adventure Writers Award. Mr. Everett ‘s third novel, No Slave To Reason, is currently in manuscript and is targeted for publication in 2018. This story returns to Baltimore in the 1890’s and is a sprawling murder mystery set in the city’s old theater district.
While Mr. Everett’s stories unfold in fascinating places, the strength of his writing lies in the ability to create unique, compelling characters who are both literary and lasting. (www.baltimoretales.com)
Beyond writing, the author’s loves are his family, travel, golf, horse racing, fishing and Baltimore’s professional sports teams. He lives in Phoenix, Maryland, but is never too far away from the city.
James Marshall Smith: Born and raised in the heart of Appalachia—West Virginia— and now lives in the suburbs of Atlanta with his wife June and their bossy Maltese, Georgie. His career as a scientist, which includes a twenty-year stint at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, often provides the background for his novel writing. Silent Source was one of three international finalists in the 2015 Clive Cussler Collector’s Society Adventure Writers Competition and has been published by Stealth Books (an AWC Sponsor). The novel was also short-listed for the annual CLUE award for best suspense/thriller of 2016. His first novel--Hybrid, another action-adventure thriller—was a short-list finalist in the annual William Faulkner-Wisdom Creative Writing contest.James’ fiction writing skills were honed in University of Iowa Writers’ Workshops and in a creative writing summer session at Oxford University. In addition to writing fiction, he is a consulting physicist who has served in numerous advisory capacities for governmental agencies, both in the U.S. and internationally.
Tim Fairchild was born and raised in Southern New Jersey. He attended St. Petersburg College in Florida where he majored in English Composition. In 1971, he began work for New Jersey Bell Telephone making a thirty-two year career with them and retiring as a Central Office Switchman from Verizon Communications in 2003. During the years 2000 and 2003, Fairchild discovered a taste for travel and discovering new cultures with four mission trips. Two were to Honduras and one to Belize to help with hurricane relief. The final one in 2003 was to Chosica, Peru where by chance he discovered the perfect character for an adventure novel he had in mind.
Fairchild is married to his wonderful wife Beverley for thirty-seven years now and has two daughters, Melissa and Kristen. In 2011, Fairchild and his wife moved to their current home in the beautiful state of Maine where he is active in church worship ministry.
Strongly influenced by such authors as Clive Cussler and Tom Clancy, plus having a strong interest in adventure in exotic locales, history, and science, it was only natural that Fairchild chose the genre of adventure. Successfully completing two courses in writing fiction, he applied this new-found knowledge to his writing. Fairchild's first action adventure novel, ZERO POINT, was completed and released in 2011 and was honored as a Grand Master Finalist in the Clive Cussler Collectors Society’s 2012 Adventure Writers Competition.
Ian Kharitonov: Extremely little is known about Ian Kharitonov. Born in Moscow during perestroika, he spent his early years in Southeast Asia. He rediscovered Russia as he earned an economics degree. After turning down diplomatic work in Sweden, he began his career as a thriller author.
His debut novel, The Russian Renaissance, won the Grandmaster Award from the Clive Cussler Society, and has been translated into Spanish. He has traveled across Asia, Europe, Russia and the U.S., and has recently released his second book, The Collaborator.
Jeff Edwards is a retired U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer, and an Anti-Submarine Warfare Specialist. His naval career spanned more than two decades and half the globe – from chasing Soviet nuclear attack submarines during the Cold War, to launching cruise missiles in the Persian Gulf. Collectively, his novels have won the Admiral Nimitz Award for Outstanding Naval Fiction, the Reader’s Choice Award, the Clive Cussler Grandmaster Award for Adventure Writing, the Military Writers Society of America’s Gold Medal for Navy Fiction, and the American Author Medal.
He lives in California, where he consults for the Department of Defense. His first novel, Torpedo, (re-released as Sea of Shadows) has been optioned by film producer Paul L. Sandberg (The Bourne Supremacy, and The Bourne Ultimatum). His most recent naval thriller, Sword of Shiva, was recently selected for the Independent Publishers of America Silver Medal for Military/Wartime Fiction. www.navythriller.com