Keynote Author - Cary Clack

Cary Clack was born in San Antonio and received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from St. Mary’s University in 1985. Clack worked as a Scholar-Intern at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, in Atlanta where Clack wrote CNN commentaries for Coretta Scott King. Clack began writing a column for the San Antonio Express-News in 1994 and later joined the Express-News Editorial Board before becoming a metro columnist. Clack was the first African-American on the editorial board of a San Antonio daily as well as the first metro columnist.

Clack won the Dallas Press Club’s Katie Award for Best General Column and in 2008 he won the Friends of the San Antonio Public Library’s Arts and Letters Award for his writing. For six years in a row, until his departure from the paper, Clack won the San Antonio Current’s Reader’s Choice poll for Best Columnist in the city and was also selected Best Columnist three years in a row in the San Antonio Magazine’s Editors’ and Readers’ Choice Poll. In 2009, Trinity University Press published a collection of his columns, Clowns and Rats Scare Me.

Cary Clack's newest book, More Finish Lines to Cross, includes more than eighty pieces about critical issues: Donald Trump, Joe Biden, and the war in Ukraine to the impact of COVID, the death of George Floyd, and the mass shooting of schoolchildren in Uvalde, Texas. Sifting through the people and places that have influenced him, Clack celebrates life itself—the ugly and the beautiful—imbuing celebration and heartbreak with a wisdom that challenges us to reconcile and inspire.

Cary will discuss his journey as an Author/ Journalist and his newest book, More Finish Lines to Cross at 2:00pm. Please be sure to join us.

Adrienne Christian is an Author and Photographer. Her poetry collections include Worn (2021) and A Proper Lover (2017). Worn was one of The Rumpus' Most Anticipated Books of 2021. Her work has appeared in Prairie Schooner, Hayden’s Ferry Review, CALYX, BUST, phoebe, No Tokens, World Literature Today, and the Los Angeles Review as Editor’s Choice. She is a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee. Her poem, Wedding Dress, received the 2021 Common Ground Review Poetry Award. In 2016 she was nominated for the Rita Dove International Poetry Award. In 2007 she won the University of Michigan's Five Under Ten Young Alumni Award.


Dr. Alfreda Love continues to write and speak on platforms that inspire and empower people to face the giants in life, education, health and religion. As an award-winning playwright and international radio host, Dr. Love is a strategist whose perspective of giants equates to the concept of, “You Can, If You Try!” Love has written may books with her favorite being "Living with Faith Hope and Love!"

Andrea Stanet’s fiction has appeared in several anthologies, an online literary magazine, the Nighlight Horror Podcast.  She released her first independent novella, Spirit of the Wolf on in fall of 2022 followed by Umbra in spring 2023, the first novel in her Fey and Fate series. In collaboration with her husband, Andrea is developing role-playing game modules set in the Fey and Fate world. Most recently, the founder of Dragonlight Press released her multi-genre anthology Anti-Villains. While she doesn’t shy away from any genre, her passion is writing fantasy and horror fiction for various age groups.

Angel M. Hoodye, M.S., LPC-S, CART, Life Coach is a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor, a Certified Anger Resolution Therapist, Life Coach, and author, with 15 years of professional clinical experience. She is also a daughter, sister, and friend. Ms. Hoodye is the owner of Flourishing Hope Counseling, PLLC 9 years and counting. She happily offers online counseling to people all over Texas. Her life coaching services are available worldwide. Angel specializes in narcissistic abuse recovery, betrayal trauma, and grief. Ms. Hoodye has been featured in Elite Daily, Huffington Post, Women's World, Thriveworks, and several online and print publications.

Anna L. Riley was born and raised in southeast Texas, and has been a Theatre Arts teacher for 20+ years. As a lover of life and creative energy, she has spent countless hours sharing her love of storytelling with others! She is a loving mother, a performance poet, an actress, and an author.


Wherever her idea light shines is where she creates! Nothing can touch the joy Anna feels when she is using her gift of imagination, and creative writing is undeniably one of her most treasured pastimes.

CD Giles is a romantic at heart. Her storybook reunion with her husband began in junior high school. After twenty-two years of bad timing and missed opportunities, the stars finally aligned during a group trip together as adults. They’ve been together ever since.

She’s the author of the Love Blossoms Series.  Book 1 Could This Be Love, Book 2 For You to Love, and Book 3 My Fake Holiday Love are available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, Kobo.

When she's not writing her latest romance, she's watching rom-coms and spending time with family in the Texas Hill Country.

Charity Shane’ holds a Bachelor degree and a Juris Doctor degree. Author. Higher Education Leader. Legal Expert. Creator.

Writing stories that create feelings through her words is her true passion.  Her soul sings AA romance and urban romance fiction.

To date, she has published over sixteen, one of which became a #1 Bestseller in Urban Erotic Fiction. Charity Shane’ is dedicated to giving readers robust and diverse stories centered around love.

Love is the passion behind each of her stories. By crafting characters that are relatable and by creating feelings with words, Charity Shane’ has a little something for everyone.

Dr. Charlene Smith, a dating coach, author and tv producer, lives in San Antonio, Texas. At sixty-seven, she produced and hosted a streaming series, Set it off Senior Style. She is a great grandmother of Six. She coaches senior clients on safely dating and relationships. Dr. Smith has been interviewed on TAAN, FOX, WOAI and ABC, Inspiration4Life magazine and many podcasts. She authored Senior Seeking Soulmate (sold on and facilitates workshops on senior dating. Learn how to radiate and get that date by going to


Christine Titih is an author, speaker, small business and community advocate.


Author of three books.

Small business owner of a day program for adults with intellectual disabilities. 


President and founder of Oaks Of Central PA, a 501(c)(3) organization focused on empowering, promoting and advocating for the African Immigrant and Refugee communities in Central PA.

Cynthia Freeman Gibbs, a native of Lansing, Michigan, earned her B.S degree in Business Administration and MBA from Florida A&M University. Her writing career began in 2016 after 22 years of working for a pharmaceutical company. Cynthia wrote the Dr. Olivia C. Maxwell novel series which includes “Reasonable Insanity,” and “Insatiable Revenge.” Under the name of C. F. Gibbs, she wrote a Twisted Fairy Tale Fantasy, “Jack Dante La Banks and The Beanstalk.” She co-authored “Writing Is Essential” published by United Black Writers Association. Musical Bridges Around the World commissioned Cynthia to write and act in an original documentary “The Quilt: A Living History of African American Music.” Cynthia lives in San Antonio with her husband. She serves in a variety of ministries at her church, various non-profit boards, and is a Lifetime member of the San Antonio Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. Her website is

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Minister Debra Cobb is a native of San Antonio, Texas. She is a graduated from Phyllis Wheatley High School and received her BA from Huston-Tillotson (HBCU). After receiving her BA she moved to Houston, Texas where she met and married the late Alfred LeBum Sr. After his passing she moved back to San Antonio.

Each of her books has a special meaning to her. Because it was at her lowest point that God birth these books out of her. She later married her current husband Bishop Herbert Cobb Jr. Minister Cobb is never too busy to do the work of the Lord.

Desiree Kannel is a writer and teacher originally from Long Beach, California. She is the founder and facilitator of Rose Writers Workshops, teaching creative writing to adults and youth. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University, Los Angeles. Her first novel, Lucky John (2020) was a finalist in the African American Fiction Next Gen Indie Awards.

The Delany Bennets, an African American version of Pride and Prejudice, was published Oct. 2023. Follow Desiree on Instagram @RWWrites.

Author D. Preyor is a certified occupational practitioner and author who uses her experience in the field to write social story books for children of all abilities while also supporting children with transitioning in unanticipated environments and everyday life situations. 


Essie Richardson is a Christian poet from America. Her love for poetry began in her middle school days. Growing up as a child, she went through issues such as anxiety, depression, identity crisis, and heartbreaks.

As an unbeliever, it was difficult going through these challenges but God had his hand spread out for his prodigal daughter of his. Through the love and affection shown by friends and family, she later gave her life to Christ.

Today, Essie functions as an Evangelist desiring that people will discover the love of God afresh and strengthen their relationship with God.

Today Pastor Razor serves as Senior Pastor of a vibrant community church on the south side of Chicago. He leads the offering of many community support programs, and in 2019 he founded the Faith Place Bible Institute ( as a vehicle to develop, reach, teach, and lead to self sufficiency and independence.

I write to speak for those who feel voiceless. The characters created within the pages of my books represent all of us; they are unique, flawed, scared and ambitious, resilient in spite of being hurt, and sufficient, even when they feel inadequate.   

We are more alike than we sometimes want to believe, and through my writing, I hope we are able to be unified in love, instead of being divided by hatred. The name on the books may be mine, but these are our​ stories.

Jacob Isom, BSW, M.Ed., Ph.D. has been teaching for 10 years in the classroom and has over 20 years of experience working with children as young as five through adulthood. He is currently a coach, mentor, business owner, and teacher. Jacob has published two non-fiction books and is currently working on turning his dissertation into his third book, that focuses on multicultural instructional practices.


He is attending Walden University where he has finished his Ph.D. in Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment.

Joan E. Murray is founder and CEO of Joan Murray Ministries Seeds of Hope.


Worldwide Missions.  She is dedicated to teaching, training, equipping, and helping people who are in various life struggles.  Joan is a minister, Bible teacher, author of eighteen books and missionary.  She has traveled extensively throughout the United States and internationally, sharing the gospel message and serving the needs of the downtrodden.  Joan currently resides in Cypress, Texas.

Jay Harts is a spoken word artist, author, actor, and athletic coach from Memphis, TN. His poetry book, “Contrary To Popular Belief” was released in 2022 and reached #4 on Amazon. Harts is also an actor and has appeared in six stage plays in 2023. He most recently appeared in the stage production, the Black Nativity, put on by The Divas of Eastwood. Jay Harts has a very lyrical delivery with his work and is considered a conscious and motivational poet. His poetic content covers ambition, contemporary issues, and real-life situations. Grab his book today!

Kathryn is a grandmother desiring to create a legacy for her grandchildren. She has 3 children's novels, a picture book, and an informational book. She loves God and is active in her church. She is a retired educator with a love of reading.

E.Nigma started his writing prowess as a scriptwriter initially, with dreams of seeing his work on the big screen. His first script "The Afflicted" was based on a dream he had one night, and thus began the first work of many by E.Nigma.


Since then, E.Nigma has gone on to write a multitude of works covering various genres such as drama, science fiction, romance, crime drama, and more. His unique writing style allows him to be diverse while capturing captivating stories to satisfy any reader’s thirst for imaginative writings.


Kimberly Blake, a native of Chicago is an Author and CEO of her group ADORED SISTAHS AND YOUNG SISTAH POWER LLC. Her only mission in life is to encourage, support, and uplift others as she receives the same from people throughout her journey.


All that she's learned, and lived she openly shares in her books and in conversations. She loves God and all that He is and have been to her. If she can inspire only one person it's a win for her and glory to Him.


Lorraine Zajac is an educator and children’s book author who specializes in introducing children to the wonderful world of 3D printing through stories. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Business Management, but her love and passion for teaching came out of homeschooling her kids, running homeschool co-ops, after-school programs, and summer camps over the past 12 years. She believes all children are creative innovators and aims to encourage them to embrace technology by incorporating literacy and reading comprehension about STEM concepts through her books. In her free time, she loves to play pickleball, spend time in nature with her family.

Marcus Simmons holds an MA in Marriage and Family Counseling and is a Certified Life Coach and content creator. He is also a veteran of the United States Air Force, where he still gives his expertise to the Department of Defense. Marcus enjoys reading, writing, and watching sci-fi, including Star Wars, Marvel, and DC comic movies.

He and his wife have been married for twenty-two years and have coached couples for nearly a decade. They reside in Converse, TX, with their three amazing children and energetic Goldendoodle puppy.

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Nicole Lanier Montez has written several poetry books. Her collective body of work received a Certificate of Recognition from the Mayor's office of Baltimore City, Executive Citation from Baltimore County, Maryland, and permanent book inclusion with the Library of Congress and the Poet House.

After being in the literary arts business for over two decades, Montez realized a need to increase the pool of poetic voices and readers of the written word. In 2015, Montez stepped into the role of poetry workshop facilitator, where she passionately promotes poetry to a bouquet of hues and cross generations throughout the U.S.


PATRICIA QAIYYIM was born in Michigan City, Indiana. She grew up in a large family and lived in several states throughout the Midwest. After high school, Patricia attended college for two years before joining the United States Air Force.

After retirement from the Air Force, Patricia worked as a contractor before deciding to professionally pursue her passion for writing. She published her first book in December 2022.  She is currently working on a book of poetry and a companion book to her first book.

Patricia and her husband have three children and two grandchildren.

Ray is a husband, father, educator, minister and former high school coach who has spent years challenging young men and women to reach their fullest potential. His passion for obtaining and sharing knowledge has been evident his entire life. He continues share both his passion for learning and for serving the Lord Jesus and seeks to encourage others to pursue both as well.


Ray and his wife, Pamelyn have six children and reside in the Pittsburgh, PA area.

Rebecca Clark, Founder and Self-Published Author of Witty Kids. We serve as a spark to kid’s imaginations through our children’s books and community engagement activities.

Check us out online and follow us on social media!


Shameka Erby is a fiction writer, blogger, and essayist. She loves stories about women, love, and passion. Her work has been featured in Brown Sugar Literary Magazine, Stuck in Notes Magazine, and on websites such as Permission to Write, Oyster River Pages, and Raising Mothers. Besides her fiction works, she also publishes nonfiction essays on Medium and has a newsletter, Just A Girl and Her Laptop. She currently resides in Baltimore. Website:

​Instagram: @shamekawrites 

TikTok: @shamekathewriter

Women’s Health Advocate, Survivalist & author Shawnise Chantell went into Cardiac Arrest & died for 20 minutes. The harrowing account is the catalyst for Her book, “God Within the Lily.” Her story is a testimony to God's goodness, grace & mercy! She hope her story will inspire & help others heal through their life's difficult times. After childbirth, a tubal procedure followed. During surgery, the doctor nicked her bowel & the injury was left untreated six days.

A life-altering nightmare for any Mother. Sepsis occurred, causing Heart, lungs & Kidney Failure & other severe illnesses. Therapy helped to process & cope with trauma.

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Stephanie Miller-Henderson is a southeast side of Chicago native who currently serves as an educator/counselor with the Chicago Public School district.  Her previous professional experience includes 13 years in the social service field in the area of mental health where she also served as treatment team coordinator.  Stephanie serves in several ministry capacities as a member of Calvary Baptist Church in Chicago where she also teaches within the Sunday School department.

Stephanie understands the significance of providing encouragement and advocacy to youth and young adults.  Introducing young people to the love of God is the foundation of it all!

Command Sergeant Major Terry L. Braddock (U.S. Army, retired) grew up on the South Side of Chicago during the turbulent and challenging civil rights years. Parents and grandparents instilled in him strong family values and gave him the strength, will, and love to persevere.


His accomplishment to write and self-publish his memoir, “The Stump,” has earned him numerous awards. As a speaker at the annual New York City Book Expo, in Manhattan, he paid tribute to the words he has held close to his heart all his life, "Let no one tell you no, you can't, or that's not possible!"

Tyler Carson is a 9-year old African American male who wrote his first book about being a child of parents who are divorced. Tyler discusses the challenges with going "Back and Forth” between the homes of his parents and ends with encouraging and giving hope to other children who do the same.

Zariah Cherry is a 11-year-old, writer, and award-winning author of her debut book “Lulu, the Lollipop Girl”, which is part of a new book series, "Lulu".

At age 6, she was diagnosed with dyslexia but continued writing stories in her collection of journals or stapled paper. She enjoys exploring, examining geodes, traveling with her family and learning about animals. Zariah currently lives in Texas with her parents, identical twin, and younger sister.

Keep in touch with Zariah via Instagram: @BooksByZariah

Zariah’s books are written and illustrated by people with superpowers (Dyslexia) and created using speech recognition software.

Symbolic Soul, a versatile poetry artist, captivates hearts with words that dance between emotions and realities. With a profound book ‘Healing Souls: Turning Pain Into Purpose,’ she paints vivid landscapes of human experience in a poetic format. Her album ‘Beautifully Flawed’ weaves melodic verses into a symphony of emotions. Beyond artistry, Symbolic Soul embraces healing advocacy, utilizing her platform to foster emotional well-being. As an actress, she’s graced stages with compelling performances that mirror life’s complexity. With an aura of authenticity, Symbolic Soul intertwines creativity and empathy, reminding us that words can be a balm for the soul.”


My name is Althea Smith a retired educator for more than 45 years. Currently, I'm a speaker for middle/high school levels.

I'm a self-published author. My current book titled The Queen of Jack's is an easy read book that encourages using steps to attain goals.

When I speak to young minds, I use the formula of P.I.E.  Performance = Interest + Exposure. Many of my former students in Detroit, never left the comfort of their inner city. So, I used field trips to expose students to careers they dream about.

Many goals I dreamed about were attained... Motherhood, Best Teacher, Travels, Published Author.

Dr. Andres D. Rischer is a Teacher, Entrepreneur, Author, and Mentor (T.E.A.M. Rischer). Dr. Rischer has worked as a teacher and administrator in the public school system for 24 years. In 2019, Dr. Rischer began writing his first book, Lessons that I Learned from My Father and Brother, to pay homage to his father and late older brother. In 2021, he would start his financial education program, Math is Money, to teach youth and young adults to connect Math fundamentals with building wealth. Since then, Dr. Rischer has published three more books and workbooks each.

A native of San Antonio, Texas AngieK has always loved reading. In 2015 she published her first fiction novel and has since published eight more including a Devotional journal she created alongside her late aunt. As of 2024 her catalog consists of nine published titles total, and published seven Authors in various parts of San Antonio, surrounding areas, and other states. Ranging from general fiction to urban lit, to romance/erotica, AngieK strives not to be put in a box when it comes to her craft. In 2022, she completed her certification for life coaching with expertise in writing. She combines her coaching with guiding aspiring Authors on their writing journey. In 2020, Angie K Books was the first black-owned bookstore in the Alamo City, where her mission was for the community to have a place to go and see themselves in the forefront, receive community-based resources, and experience a literary world tailored to their individual needs.  AngieK is now working on the 4th & 5th installments of The Rich Gang series to be released in late March, her last mature audience short story novel also in late March, and a family-inspired novel to be released in late summer 2025.


Raised in a close-knit military family, I learned the value of discipline and its profound impact on shaping my character and work ethic. Growing up, my parents ingrained the importance of education and success. As a result, I received my Business Degree, with the dream of becoming an entrepreneur. My dream took an unexpected turn when I ended up in the healthcare industry. Being an author crossed my mind once I realized I could turn book writing into a business and share stories worldwide. Children are precious and I'm dedicated to awakening their imagination and igniting a love for reading.

Michelle Jean-Edwards has always loved writing. She primarily wrote poetry. She gained inspiration during COVID to tell a compelling story about young adult professional African Americans being great in America. She desired to tell a story about people she knew in her professional career. Basically, she wanted to present the leading lady and man as black people. She wanted to show how black is beautiful without caveats. She aspired to show the humanistic element of the characters brought to life. These characters could be the readers' family members and friends. She yearned to depict characters of color with sex appeal.

Charity Reid is a previous elementary school teacher turned author. She enjoys writing books that are inspiring, entertaining, and educational. Be on the lookout for the release of her debut graphic novel Mr. Smarty Pants: Aww Nuts!

Chauntel Simmons holds a Bachelor's in Psychology and is a Certified Life Coach and content creator. She is also a veteran of the United States Air Force and a retired elementary school teacher. Chauntel enjoys spending time with her family, reading, writing, cooking, crafts, yoga, and crocheting. She and her husband have been married for twenty-two years and have coached couples for nearly a decade. They reside in Converse, TX, with their three amazing children and energetic Goldendoodle puppy.


Earnest Lee is a novelist, poet, lyricist, and playwright. He is a Texas Peace Officer by trade and fiction writer by calling. Coauthor of the Running Back Series and the King Series, Earnest Lee enjoys collaborating with childhood friend Mikah Reign.

Newbie to books, Earnest Lee has almost three decades under his belt as a writer. He revels in the opportunity to paint pictures with vivid stories that are imaginative and authentic. Earnest Lee lives in Funkytown Fort Worth Texas with his wife and two adult children.

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Danah S. Hayes is a certified self-discovery and transformation coach, mentor, inspirational speaker, and author.  Born and raised in Columbus, MS, and growing up as a survivor of abuse, Danah’s childhood was marked by a pervasive sense of fear, silence, and powerlessness.

Despite these challenges, Danah was determined to overcome her past and find a way to reclaim her power and sense of self-worth. Through her perseverance and determination, she has emerged stronger and more empowered than ever, and she is passionate about helping others do the same.  Danah draws upon her personal experiences as a catalyst for her work!

My name is Deborah Walton I'm 10 years old. I made up my first story when I was 4. My mom helped me make it into a book when I was 6.  I live with my parents and my big brother.  He made up a story and a book also when he was 3.

Writing has always been a long-time passion for Denise Montgomery. She began her writing career at age eight; at that time, she would write short stories and poems to entertain herself. Denise wrote and self-published her first book in 2012, Farmer Brown and Lady Madelyn, the Children's Story. Since then, she has written four fiction novels and another children's book.

Denise is a native Texan. She is an author, educator, and public speaker. Denise is also a strong advocate for the homeless and victims of domestic violence.

I am Diane Jackson. I am a retired Air Force MSgt with degrees in Psychology (AA), Personnel Management (AA), Advertising and Marketing (BA), Criminology (BS), and Public Administration (MPA). I am also a Certified Grief Counselor, Life Coach and Motivational Speaker. After experiencing extreme trauma, I wrote a memoir in 2017 titled “My Life’s Big Detour.” I also have a series of trademarked children’s books titled The Bag Lady Series based on my mother’s adventures with her great-grandchildren. Currently there are five books and I publish a new book each year. In 2023 I published my first fiction novel, “Changes” which is part of a trilogy.

I am a widow who lives in a suburb of San Antonio. TX. I enjoy sports, writing, and teaching about God’s word. 

You can find my books on my website at:


Erica is a licensed clinical social worker, Air Force veteran, author, and mother to 5 boys. 

She has been a social worker in San Antonio for several years and currently runs a private therapy practice called Beneath The Surface Therapy Solutions where she provides therapy services to clients with various mental health needs. As an author, Erica utilizes words to inspire, empower, encourage, and motivate others on their life journey!


Apostle Felicia would begin her pastoral mission in January 2016, which opened a new avenue of God's work. The Prophetic Voice of Elijah Worship Center was born, later to be renamed The Voice Revival Center which is a place to draw the lost and hurt.

Apostle Felicia Napier established and founded The Prophetic Academy School of Prophetic and Deliverance in February 2017, which continues today.

In November 2019, she would be elevated  as an Apostle. Adding to her new journey in February 2023 is authorship with her first prophetic book The Ho, The Witch and The Good Wife.

Iris M. Williams has crafted heart-warming and inspirational stories including poetry, children’s fiction, and memoirs. Her memoir, An Abundant Life, is a trilogy chronicling the author’s journey from childhood trauma and abuse, multiple dysfunctional marriages, to a victorious emergence as a woman of faith and purpose. Penning her memoir was a life-altering experience that changed this multi-published author’s views and helped her gain perspective, confidence, and self-worth. The books Iris writes reflect her passion for helping others find words to match feelings. Iris knows from firsthand experience that you can’t change a situation until you are able to acknowledge it.


I was born and raised in Texas.


I’m a wife, author, and aspiring businesswoman. I write Christian Children’s books and adult fiction. I love to read with the escape to a different world. I love the characters and the adventures.  That’s what inspired me to begin writing.  I love to write in the peace and quiet of the night.  I didn’t always give in to it, but I’m hooked on the adventure once I get on a roll. You can usually find me in the kitchen baking or planning my next book’s menu when I’m not working on my books.

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I am a native of Atlanta, and a product of the Atlanta Public School System. I have an Associate’s Degree in Electronics, a 30-year career with BellSouth (now, AT&T), a 12 year career as a Special Needs School Bus Drive with DeKalb County School District, a Youth Motivator and Youth Career Day Speaker.

I am single (never married) man and the proud father of a daughter and grand-father of 2 grand-daughters. I am a published author of 10 children's books (ages: 3-7). I firmly believe in GOD, Faith, and the Respect of others.

Dr. Joycelyn R. Barnett is an educator, author, mentor, and motivational speaker. Her passion is empowering and motivating others to claim their unique talents, skills, and attributes and walk in their purpose. Through her empowerment presentations and leadership mentoring group sessions, Pathway Forward was founded and her debut book, was birthed.  Pathway Forward’s mission is to inspire and mentor participants to walk in their purpose through leadership skills and personal growth goals to jumpstart their path. When she is not writing and speaking, she enjoys painting, drawing, graphic design, working in her garden, and spending time with her family.

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John Harris is an award-winning journalist who has covered sports, culture and race for the Philadelphia Inquirer, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Toledo (OH) Blade, Austin Villager, Austin American-Statesman, Tampa Bay Times, Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader, CBS Sportsline, and others. He is formerly the co-host of The Ike Taylor Show and radio analyst of the Pittsburgh Power (Arena Football League). Harris is the co-author of From Gold Teeth to Gold Jacket: My Life in Football and Business (with Edgerrin James).

Kathey Morris Mercer is a retired educator born and raised in Jackson, Tennessee. She is passionate about teaching children to read, and that passion was her inspiration for becoming a children’s book author. She has received five outstanding teacher awards from Tennessee, Alabama, and Texas, as well as an achievement award from the International Society of Poets. She is a certified life coach, reading, specialist, counselor, and public speaker for churches, conferences, colleges, and schools. Kathey and her family live in San Antonio, Texas.

Kevin Madison is an author, husband, and father who has walked faithfully with the Lord for over 30 years. The son of the late Pastor Leroy Phillips and Billie Mae Phillips who raised their 13 children to love God. Kevin has written many topical articles and verse by verse Commentaries on the Old Testament Prophets.

He is the author of several books including Predestined to Hell? - Why would a God of love consign people to hell FOREVER?, The Chastisement of the Lord – How does God respond when Christians Sin, and America - the Judgement of Sodom and Gomorrah.

I am a professional writer with over a decade of experience. After working in news in Bryan/College Station, I made the choice to strike out on my own and self-publish. My creations are comics and graphic novels containing stories that Our people do not normally get to enjoy with characters that look like them.

Marcus Griffin is the Christian author of the book “Nothing Left to Give,” a roller coaster ride of emotions of piano prodigy Nicole Renee Peterson’s unwilling journey to perfection started by her mother, who is a modern-day ‘Mommy Dearest determined to create a vision of perfection through Nicole, no matter the cost. Nicole wonders where God is when everything has been stripped away on her journey, showing the edgier side of Christianity.

He enjoys writing primarily from his laptop and lives with his wife of 34 years and their son just outside of San Antonio, Texas.


My name is Authoress Lovely Vibes. I am the CEO & Founder of J'Shonik's Poetry Corner, healing through Poetry group. Published poet and author. Wife and mother of three. Educator, mentor and reigning Ms. Converse Petite Texas. Best-selling books, Lovely's Poetic Garden and Chosen.


Both inspirational poetries to help others know they are never alone but there's always hope.

Norian Love is a best-selling author, screen-writer, songwriter, and poet, whose character rich storytelling and creative world building is swiftly setting him apart as one of the top writers in the black romance genre. His release, Autumn: A Love Story, was the recipient of the Association of Black Romance Writers 2021 Book of the Year Award. Autumn’s complementary poetic journal, Blue: Love Letters to Fatima, also became a number one best-seller, giving him the unique distinction of having number one releases across multiple genres.


To learn more, visit or follow him across most social media outlets at @norianlove.

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Queen is the founder of Majestic Worldwide Ministries, Inc., and president of Royalty Solutions, LLC, a coaching, and training company.

She began writing poetry and journaling as a teenager. For over 20 years she has been committed on inspiring, empowering and educating audiences as a speaker and writer. She is a self-publisher author.

Queen is a graduate of C. H. Mason System of Bible Colleges with a degree in Theology and Biblical Studies; she completed studies as a Christian counselor and is a certified life transformation coach and a member of the International Christian Coaching Institute.

Ray Young, Jr. is a native of Waco, Texas and someone that has overcome many obstacles in life. Mr. Young has multiple degrees and plans to continue his education in a doctorate program; he is the first in his family to graduate from college. Mr. Young is a certified Life Coach and motivational speaker; CEO of Klear Envisionation,LLC. He is the CEO and Founder of a nonprofit called Young’s Vision Achievement Consulting as well as the Owner and Founder of the MYGO brand.

Mr. Young has many awards and achievements including the National Service Award through AmeriCorps.


I was born in Pittsburgh, PA and I'm a Steelers fan for life. I was raised and reside in Houston, TX. I have always been an avid book reader and realized with God and through many speaking engagements that I have my own stories to tell. I procrastinated and let fear keep me from moving for to long but realized that I was standing in my own way and what did I have to lose; NOTHING but time and opportunity. I didn't want to lose anymore of either.


I can't get time back but thank God for every future opportunity.

Who am I: Shanell Monique A Native of New Orleans, Who could be appropriately described as a “serial entrepreneur,” I'm a Oklahoma City-based writer also authored “Broken Silence” and “Love & Confidence Journal,” which were released in December 2017 and in April 2018, I was inspired to compose “The Wife Between Us” in the wake of my divorce.

I'm a empowerment extraordinaire in my own right, I’m the proud owner of Shanell Monique Love & Confidence LLC, Monique Little Friends Child Care and Founder of Every Child Is A Story Yet To Be Told Foundation.

Author A.A. Lewis is a promising rising star in the Urban Literature world. Her “Sophistarachett” writing style allows her to pen characters and stories that resonates with readers. Her ability to deliver the unexpected has earned her several Amazon best sellers.


With realistic stories of urban life, A. A. Lewis is becoming a favorite among readers across the board.


Dr. Tarra Faulk is a Nephrologist (an adult medical doctor specializing in diseases of the kidneys) and a physician leader with over nineteen years of experience in leadership within the United States Air Force. Dr. Faulk is an experienced and sought after speaker on numerous clinical and leadership topics.


She is passionate about disrupting hospital leadership and her role in serving others, specifically God, family, country, and community-in that order! She is married and has four children.

My name is: Tray Brown, Sr. and I was born in San Antonio, Texas (Bexar County). I attended Smith Elementary School. I lived in Oklahoma City, Ok; in the early 7o's. I attended Sam Houston High School 1978-1979, here in San Antonio, Texas. Also, I graduated at Highlands High School 1983 (1980-1983) and later attended San Antonio College (1992-1995).

Dr. Wanita Mercer, Ph.D. is the founder and CEO of Lead My Heart, an executive coaching and consulting company specializing in equipping executives and executive teams to live and lead with purpose, passion, and power. She has over 15 years of experience as an international educator in the USA and China, and she is an inspirational author, motivational speaker, civic leader, and an ordained minister.

Dr. Mercer serves as the Teaching Pastor at Vertical Church and is a founding board member. She lives in San Antonio, Texas.

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San Antonio African American Book Festival