Check back for more presenter biographies as they become available!
Silvia Acevedo is a television personality and former news reporter and anchor who’s spent many years reporting objective fact. She’s interviewed presidential candidates, covered national and international stories, and given breaking news reports for CNN and local television and radio stations around the country. She also occasionally guest hosts a television morning talk show for a local NBC affiliate. Roman gods, however, have been curiously absent during this time, so Silvia decided to put fiction – especially mythology – back into her life. The result is the God Awful series of books, starting with God Awful Loser, followed by God Awful Thief and God Awful Rebel. Find Silvia at www.silviaacevedo.com.
Beth Amos is a USA TODAY bestselling author who is also published under the pseudonyms of Annelise Ryan and Allyson K. Abbott. Beth has enjoyed a varied writing career that included a stint as a book reviewer and several years of nonfiction freelancing. Now she writes only fiction, and in stark contrast to her “day job” as an ER nurse, the one common factor in her fiction, is that someone always dies.
As Annelise Ryan she writes a mystery series featuring the wry, and often politically incorrect, nurse-turned-coroner, Mattie Winston. As Allyson K. Abbott she writes a mystery series featuring bar owner, Mack Dalton, who uses her neurological disorder, synesthesia, to help solve crimes. As Beth Amos she wrote three thrillers: Cold White Fury, Eyes of Night, and Second Sight. In addition, she has self-published two additional thrillers: Nick of Time and Face of Death.
Beth has her pseudonyms in part because she figures her current ER patients might not be comfortable knowing she spends her spare time thinking up devious and clever ways to kill people. She knows a lot of them at this point, so it’s probably best to stay on her good side. Find more at bethamos.com.
Chief Deputy Coroner Cheryl I. Brehmer has been a Winnebago County deputy coroner for 6 years and has investigated approximately 800 on-scene deaths. She is currently attending Fox Valley Technical College working towards Forensic and Mortuary Science degrees. She serves on the county’s Child Death Review Team and helps train Victim Crisis Response, and has training in child fatality investigations and medicolegal death investigations.
Winnebago County Coroner Barry L. Busby has served as the Winnebago County Coroner since 1997. He has a Bachelor degree from University of Wisconsin Oshkosh in Criminal Justice, Political Science, and Sociology. He served in the US Army Military Police and has experience with insurance investigation. He worked at the Oshkosh Police Department for 27 years. Busby was one of the first coroners to be certified by the American Board of Medico-Legal Death Investigators and has assisted the author of 5 booklets for Wisconsin State Council On Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse. He is a member of Wisconsin Law Enforcement Officers Association, Wisconsin Homicide Investigators, and Wisconsin Coroners and Medical Examiners Association. Busby also began many new initiatives, including Suicide Prevention Community for Hope, Re:Think Coalition, and the Heroin Task Force.
Liam Callanan is the author of The Cloud Atlas, All Saints, Listen, and Paris by the Book. His work has been or will be translated into Chinese, German, Italian, and Japanese. Liam was the winner of the 2017 George W. Hunt, SJ Prize in Arts, Letters & Journalism and a finalist for the Edgar Award.
He serves in the English department of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and was previously its chair, as well as coordinator of its Ph.D. program in creative writing. He has regularly contributed to local and national public radio, and is possibly the only person now living (but consult your own Venn diagram) who has written for all of the following: the Wall Street, The Awl, Commonweal, Esquire.com, Slate, the New York Times Book Review, the Times op-ed page, the Washington Post Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle, Forbes FYI, Good Housekeeping, Parents, Milwaukee Magazine, Brain,Child and elsewhere.
His short fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in a variety of literary journals, including Gulf Coast, the New Haven Review, Tinge, the Writers Chronicle, Blackbird, Crab Orchard Review, Southern Indiana Review, Caketrain, failbetter and Phoebe. Liam is also the creator and co-executive producer of the Poetry Everywhere animated film series. Find more at liamcallanan.com.
Larry Cockerel is the author of four motivational books and a John C. Maxwell Certified Leadership International Speaker. A cancer survivor, his mission is to teach others about “Making a Difference on Purpose” by helping people discover their true purpose and realize that their life matters.
Larry is an active reader, writer and loves to cook. He started his professional speaking business over 15 years ago, and is a proud member and past president of National Speakers Association (NSA) of Wisconsin.
He resides in Cedarburg, Wisconsin with his wife Debbie and their six kids (cats).