Guests

Our 2018 Speakers

speaker
Deborah Harkness
All Souls Trilogy Author, History Professor

A student and scholar of history, recipient of multiple fellowships, award winning wine blogger, and New York Times best selling author, Deborah Harkness is currently professor of European history and the history of science at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Her books include two works of non-fiction: John Dee’s Conversations with Angels: Cabala, Alchemy, and the End of Nature, and The Jewel House: Elizabethan London and the Scientific Revolution. Deborah Harkness's career in fiction began with A Discovery of Witches, followed by Shadow of Night, and The Book of Life, the third book of the All Souls Trilogy. Over two million copies of the All Souls books have been sold in the United States, with publications following in 38 countries, and the series is now in development with Bad Wolf, who is adapting it for television.

speaker
Shelli Carter
Biologist, Professor

Shelli Carter has a PhD in biology with a focus on molecular biology from the University of Alabama and a MS in education with a focus in instructional design and technology from Purdue University. After completing her PhD, she worked for a private forensic company, as a consultant for the MITRE Corporation, and as a research scientist for the US government. She’s currently an Associate Professor of Science at the Colorado Technical University, College of General Education & Psychology, while also teaching for UA’s LifeTrack program. As part of LifeTrack, Shelli has designed and taught a course on “The Science of the Supernatural,” which examines whether there is any scientific or medical basis behind creatures such as Diana, Matthew, and Hamish.

speaker
Stephenie McGucken
Art Historian

Stephenie has recently graduate with her PhD in the History of Art from the University of Edinburgh. Her thesis focuses on the representation of women in Late Anglo-Saxon manuscripts. As the Project Chair for the Edinburgh Medieval Pigment Project, she supervises the project’s pigment garden and delivers workshops on medieval colour. Her research interests also include how the portrayal of art objects and heritage sites in TV & film productions create new mythologies of the past. She has published on Outlander, as well as advised national tourism bodies and heritage sites on how to handle visitors in light of recent filming throughout Scotland. Stephenie has also worked at various municipal museums in the US, and heritage sites and organisations in the UK, and is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.

speaker
Sam Stoloff
Literary Agent

Sam Stoloff is Senior Agent, Vice President and Principal at the Frances Goldin Literary Agency in New York, where he has worked since 1997. He represents a wide range of authors of adult fiction and nonfiction, including academics, journalists, activists, graphic novelists, poets, essayists, fiction writers and memoirists. He is proud to have represented Deborah Harkness since before The All Souls Trilogy was a gleam in her eye, and first worked with her on The Jewel House: Elizabethan London and the Scientific Revolution. He has an MFA in creative writing and a Ph.D in American studies, both from Cornell University, and lives in New Jersey with his wife and three children.

speaker
Shannon Twomey
Publicist

Currently the Associate Director of Publicity at Viking/Penguin, Shannon has been with Penguin Random House for 12 years. In addition to working with Deborah Harkness, she has managed top-tier publicity campaigns for John le Carré, National Book Award finalist Karan Mahajan, and Bianca Bosker’s Cork Dork, and for celebrities such as Sugar Ray Leonard, Abbi Jacobson, and Mara Wilson. She’s known as the resident expert on all things sports, wine, and food. When not reading or working, Shannon will either be out in New York City eating all the food, or at home yelling at the Yankees on TV.

speaker
Francesca Belanger
Designer

A senior designer at Penguin Books, Francesca Belanger is a native New Yorker who has been designing books for forty years. She loves to find just the right typeface and layout that will express the author’s intentions and the sense of the text, and that will be most inviting to the reader. Working on the All Souls Trilogy has been some of the most fun she's ever had on her job, and designing The World of All Souls has been perhaps her greatest challenge.

speaker
Claire Baldwin
Author, Editor

Claire Baldwin is a freelance editor and publishing consultant who has worked in the book industry for the last fifteen years. The majority of these were spent at Headline Publishing Group where, as Associate Publisher, Claire commissioned and published a wide range of fiction, including Deborah Harkness’s bestselling All Souls trilogy. Based in London’s East End in the UK, Claire now works with authors, literary agents and publishers worldwide, most recently co-authoring and leading the production for the upcoming insider’s guide to the trilogy, The World of All Souls.