Gale Presents Books & Authors

Meet the Experts

About Our Genre and Subject Experts
Books & Authors has assembled 21 well-respected genre and subject experts that help users decide what to read next based on their current choices, likes and interests. Meet our esteemed panel of experts that help make Books & Authors the most unique book community experience available on the Internet:

Janis Ansell, author of What Do Children Read Next?, is a former school psychologist, teacher and children's book reviewer for ForeWord Magazine. She is a member of the American Library Association (ALA) and the Association of Library Service to Children (ALSC). Professionally affiliated with the Randolph-Macon Woman's College Alumnae Association Board, Ansell has been named an Honorary Life Member of the Virginia Congress of Parents and Teachers and Volunteer of the Year at Alanton Elementary School. A former member of the Lynnhaven Middle School Planning Council and a past board member of the Tidewater Association of Hearing Impaired Children and the Alanton PTA, Ansell is currently the Clerk of the Friends School Community Association, and an active library volunteer at Virginia Beach Friends School and the Virginia Beach Public Library. What Do I Read Next? Online is the result of the hard work and contributions of the following:

Neil Barron, the coordinator of the Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Fiction sections, is the editor of the reader guides Anatomy of Wonder: A Critical Guide to Science Fiction (Libraries Unlimited, 5th ed., 2004) and Fantasy and Horror: A Critical and Historical Guide to Literature, Illustration, Film, TV, Radio, and the Internet (Scarecrow Press, 1999).

Tom Barton (Popular Fiction) is a reference librarian at the Rebecca Crown Library, Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois. A former journalist and community organizer, Barton lives in the West Beverly neighborhood of Chicago.

Dr. Daniel S. Burt (Historical Fiction) is a writer and college professor who teaches graduate literature courses at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, where he was a dean for nine years. He is the editor of The Chronology of American Literature (Houghton Mifflin, 2004), and the author of What Historical Novel Do I Read Next? Volumes 1-3 (Gale, 1997-2003), The Novel 100 (Facts on File, 2003), The Literary 100 (Facts on File, 2001), The Biography Book (Greenwood/Oryx, 2001), and the forthcoming Drama 100 (Facts on File, 2006). He lives with his wife on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

Rafaela G. Castro, who wrote the entries for the Latino section of What Do I Read Next? Multicultural Literature, has been a librarian deeply involved with diversity through her experiences at several organizations, including the U.S. Department of Education and the University of California--Berkeley, as well as many other universities and organizations where she has served as liaison to academic ethnic studies programs, lecturer, and teacher. Castro has also been involved with the Peace Corps in Brazil and the steering committee of the Chicana/Latina Research Center at the University of California.

Dr. Edith Maureen Fisher, who authored the African American section of What Do I Read Next? Multicultural Literature, is an expert in the areas of diversity, race relations, human resources/relations, and organizational development. She has been actively involved in regional, national, and international organizations that deal with multiculturalism, and she has held the national office of the President of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association.

Pam Spencer Holley, coordinator and author of What Do Young Adults Read Next? and retired coordinator of library services for the Fairfax County Public schools in Virginia, is a recognized expert in young adult literature. Elected to the Margaret A. Edwards Award Committee by the Young Adult Library Services Association of the American Library Association, she also served on their Alex Award Task Force, a committee that annually selects the top adult books for young adults. She chaired the 2004 Michael L. Printz Award Committee which selects the finest book for young adults, based solely on literary quality. She was recently elected Vice-President/President Elect of the Young Adult Library Services Association, a division of the American Library Association. Holley is a member of the Advisory Committee for the H.W. Wilson Senior High School Library Catalog. Locally she served as the Vice-President for the Friends Board of the Virginia Beach Public Library. She is also a contributing reviewer to School Library Journal and served as a past chair of the column "Adult Books for Young Adults" for that publication. She is a member of the Advisory Board for the professional publication Voice of Youth Advocates, more commonly known as VOYA, for whom she also writes the audio books column "Audiobooks, It Is!" She was recently selected for inclusion in the fifty-seventh edition of Who's Who in America as well as Who's Who Among American Women.

Terry Hong, author of the Asian American section of What Do I Read Next? Multicultural Literature, has been a contributing editor and theater columnist for A. Magazine: Inside Asian America. Her writing credits include co-authorship of Eastern Standard Time: From Astro Boy to Zen Buddhism, and contributions to Notable Asian Americans and The Asian American Almanac. Hong has also evaluated play submissions for the Joseph Papp Public Theater and has been actively involved in the Asian American Arts Alliance.

Melissa Hudak (Inspirational Fiction) is a medical librarian for Methodist Medical Center in Peoria, Illinois. She was previously employed in public libraries and wrote a column on inspirational literature for Library Journal.

D.R. Meredith (Western Fiction) is a full time writer of western historical novels and three mystery series. The award-winning Sheriff titles are western mysteries set in rural Texas. The Sheriff and the Panhandle Murders and The Sheriff and the Branding Iron Murders were actually first published as Westerns (Walker, 1984 and 1985). Murder by Impulse (Ballantine, 1988) and Murder by Deception (Ballantine, 1989) were both nominated for the Anthony Award. Her latest title in the Megan Clark series is By Hook or by Book (Berkley, 2000). In addition to writing, she is book review editor for Roundup Magazine, reviews western literature for the Amarillo Globe-News, is a speaker at writers' conferences, colleges and universities, libraries, and civic clubs, and is Liaison Chairperson for the American Crime Writers League. She is a member of Western Writers of America, Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters in Crime.

Kristin Ramsdell (Romance Fiction) is a librarian at California State University, Hayward and is a nationally known speaker and consultant on the subject of romance fiction. Besides writing articles about the romance genre, she writes a romance review column for Library Journal and is the author of Romance Fiction: A Guide to the Genre (Libraries Unlimited, 1999) and its predecessor, Happily Ever After: A Guide to Reading Interests in Romance Fiction (Libraries Unlimited, 1987). She was named Librarian of the Year by Romance Writers of America in 1996.

Tom and Enid Schantz (Mystery Fiction) have been in the mystery business for nearly 35 years. From 1970 to 1980 they ran a rare and out of print mail order business as The Aspen Bookhouse and later as The Rue Morgue Mystery Bookshop. Between 1980 and 2000, they operated a retail mystery bookstore, The Rue Morgue, in Boulder, Colorado. During that same period, they edited a monthly publication, The Purloined Letter, which reviews all new mystery titles. They have written a monthly crime fiction column for the Denver Post since 1982. In the 1970s, they operated The Aspen Press, which published books of detective stories and items of Sherlockiana. In 1997, they founded The Rue Morgue Press, which continues to publish reprints of classic mysteries from the turn of the century to the 1960s. They continue to operate a mail order book business as The Rue Morgue, which specializes in vintage mystery fiction, and are the recipients of the 2001 Raven from the Mystery Writers of America in honor of their distinguished contribution to mystery bookselling and publishing.

Dr. David Williams, author of the Native American section of What Do I Read Next? Multicultural Literature, has been an educator, writer, songwriter, performer, and a visiting professor at the English department at Northern Illinois University. In 1994, he received the Notable Award from the National Council of Social Studies for his book, Grandma Essie's Covered Wagon. He has regularly traveled the Midwest, teaching creative writing and music to students of all ages. Williams has performed his own songs for more than 20 years throughout the United States and Canada to rave reviews, and received the 1991 Notable Award in Children's Music from the American Library Association.

Other Contributors

John Charles (Romance Fiction), a reference librarian and retrospective fiction selector for the Scottsdale Public Library, was named 2002 Librarian of the Year by the Romance Writers of America. Charles reviews books for Library Journal, Booklist and VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates) and co-authors VOYA's annual "Clueless: Adult Mysteries with Young Adult Appeal" column. John Charles is co-author of The Mystery Readers' Advisory: The Librarian's Clues to Murder and Mayhem (ALA, 2001). Along with co-author Shelley Mosley, Charles has twice been the recipient of the Romance Writers of America's Veritas Award.

Don D'Ammassa (Science Fiction and Fantasy) has been reading SF and fantasy for almost 40 years and has been the book reviewer for the Chronicle, formerly the Science Fiction Chronicle, for many years. He has had fiction published in fantastic magazines and anthologies and has contributed essays to a variety of reference books dealing with fantastic literature. D'Ammassa is the author of the novels Blood Beast (Windsor, 1988), Servants of Chaos (Leisure, 2002), Scarab (Five Star, 2004), Haven (Five Star, 2004), and the nonfiction work Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (Facts on File, 2005).

Stefan Dziemianowicz (Horror Fiction) is a medical editor for a New York-based law book publisher. He authored the definitive study, The Annotated Guide to Unknown and Unknown Worlds (Starmont House, 1991) and is also the author of Bloody Mary and Other Tales for a Dark Night (Barnes and Noble, 2000). He has co-edited numerous horror and mystery anthologies--among them the Bram Stoker Award-winning Horrors! 365 Scary Stories (Barnes and Noble, 1998). Dziemianowicz also writes features on horror fiction for Publishers Weekly.

Shelley Mosley (Romance Fiction), a library manager and romance genre specialist for the Glendale (AZ) Library System, was named 2001 Librarian of the Year by the Romance Writers of America. She writes romantic comedies with Deborah Mazoyer under the pen name Deborah Shelley. Their book, Talk about Love, was a Holt Medallion finalist for Best First Book. With co-author, John Charles, also a What Do I Read Next? contributor, she has won two Romance Writers of America's Veritas Awards. In addition to two newspaper columns, she reviews romance for Booklist. Mosley has written articles for Wilson Library Bulletin, Library Journal, Romance Writer's Report, and VOYA.

Mary Pat Radke (Popular Fiction) is Assistant Director of the Rebecca Crown Library of Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois. Since 1980, she has taught English classes at DePaul University, Northern Illinois University, and Elmhurst College and presently at Dominican University. In 1998, she was editor of the annotated bibliography for the Chicago Humanities Festival.

Previous Genre and Subject Experts

Wayne Barton (Western Fiction) has been a full-time writer and occasional engineering consultant from Midland, Texas. He is the author of more than fifty short stories and eight novels, including Live by the Gun (Pocket Books, 1990), which was a finalist for the 1991 Spur Award, and, Lockhart's Nightmare (Forge, 1998). He won the Medicine Pipe Bearer's Award for best first Western novel in 1981 for Ride Down the Wind (Doubleday).

Scott Imes (Fantasy and Science Fiction) was a long-term manager of the well-known Twin Cities specialty fantastic fiction bookstore, Uncle Hugo's. He was assisted by Margie Lessinger, a long time reviewer of science fiction; Cat Ocel, amateur publisher and organizer of literary conferences; and Stuart Wells III, compiler of The Science Fiction and Heroic Fantasy Author Index (1978). Also contributing were Don Blyly, Katharine B. Carey, Kay Drache, Lynne Holdom, Tom Juntunen, Peter Larsen, Linda Lounsbury, Lydia Drew Nickerson, and Amy Sisson.

Steven A. Stilwell (Mystery Fiction) has been the owner of Once Upon a Crime Mystery Bookstore specializing in crime and detective fiction. He was the compiler of The Armchair Detective Index, 1967-1977 (Mysterious Press, 1979) and was the co-compiler, with William F. Deeck, of The Armchair Detective Index: Volumes 1-20, 1967-1987. He has contributed to several mystery publications, including Mystery Scene Magazine, The Armchair Detective, The Mystery Fancier, and Twentieth Century Crime and Mystery Writers, 3rd ed. 1991. He has also been co-owner of Crossover Press, a small press specializing in books about crime and detective fiction.