Contributors

LROYBALLaura (Husby) Roybal was born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa, and moved to New Mexico in 1975 to attend the University of New Mexico. She later finished a degree in English literature at New Mexico Highlands University and is currently taking distance classes from the Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio. Her first novel, Billy, was published in 1994 by Houghton Mifflin and was on the ALA recommended list of Books for Reluctant Readers. In 2001 she self-published the sequel, Dear Bobby. Her version of what might have happened to the characters of the 1970’s TV series Lancer, is published on the Lancerfanfic website. She and her husband, Deacon Richard Roybal, live on a small ranch in the mountains north of Pecos, New Mexico where they run a small retreat center and a construction business.  They have three children, a son and daughter-in-law and fourteen grandchildren. Besides working with youth through the local parish, Laura also helps home school some of her grandchildren.


Umesh pic AAKUmesh Shukla has been on the cutting edge of the animation and special effects industries for over twenty years, as an award-winning director and artist. Umesh has worked in senior creative roles at various Hollywood studios, including Walt Disney Feature Animation, DreamWorks Feature Animation and Digital Domain, as well as other leading creative facilities around the world.

Umesh attended the prestigious National Institute of Design (NID), founded by Charles and Ray Eames, where he studied graphic design. He began his directing career with his award-winning short, Still I Rise. This experience led Umesh to start Los Angeles-based Auryn, where, as founder and Chief Creative Officer, Umesh constantly pushes his technical and creative teams to expand the realm of artistic possibility with each production.

Umesh and the Auryn team have completed three films to date: Almond Blossoms, In Winter Still and The Girl Who Cried Flowers. Their work has been widely recognized by leading magazines and conferences including Parents’ Choice Foundation, Computer Graphics World, Kidsfirst!, CGI and 3D World, LA Times, The Dove Foundation, SIGGRAPH, and NPAR. Umesh has taught at Cal Arts, designed courses for the Art Institute, and served as a judge at animation festivals.  He lives with his family in Thousand Oaks, California.


P-Doherty2Patrick Doherty is an author, teacher, martial arts instructor, and youth programs director. He was born in Naperville, Illinois, and grew up with his sister in neighboring Aurora. He teaches Okinawan karate & self-defense to children and teens full time, and serves as director for the non-profit youth organization. Patrick has also taught English and History at the middle school level. He enjoys reading as much as writing, and is also an avid surfer, guitarist, and life-long fan of the Chicago White Sox. Patrick lives in Chicago.


Anna Kate Mohler is a California native who spent a great deal of her childhood performing in theater. She attended the prestigious Orange County High School Of The Arts and upon graduating moved promptly to New York City where she continued to hone her acting skills. While in New York she studied at The Actors Center, The Naked Angels School and Robin Morse Studio. She is also a graduate of The South Coast Repertory Professional Conservatory and was recently awarded OC Weekly’s Best Actress of 2013. Anna Kate began her voice acting career rather suddenly. One lucky day she was asked by a friend of her brothers to record a voice over. She instantly fell in love with a craft that she had forever been curious about and from that moment forward she began to forge her career in the voice over world. She trained at Braintracks Audio with the amazing Nancy Wolfson and Jeff Freeman and has been working steadily ever since.


Bradley K. Harris’ greatest passion is writing and performing for young children. My Brother and I was inspired by real-life events and is first-time collaboration between Bradley and his wife, Phyllis Harris.


Christopher Manzo, 26, was born and raised in New Jersey and is the youngest of three children. Right after graduating high school, he worked for his dad in the family business, doing every job from dishwasher, to valet parking, to managing staff and booking events.

Christopher is currently a member of the cast of Bravo’s Manzo’d With Children. He recently opened a fourth restaurant with his brother Albie. Although he enjoys the restaurant business, and being on the show, he has always felt that he wanted more.

It is Christopher’s vivid imagination, love for life and children that led to the creation of Oliver Brightside. It is Christopher’s hope that Oliver will not only entertain children, but that they will learn a few “life lessons” along the way. This is his first children’s book.

Christopher was recently added to the board of the charity The Book Worm Box. Here is a link to their site:
the_book_worm_box-logo


Mr. Turner’s film credits include Intolerable Cruelty, Real Women Have Curves, Electric Slide, This Christmas, Loaner, Teddy Bears’ Picnic, Dharni, Blood fest lV: Ground Zero, Gohbi And God and Bloody Wednesday.

Dale’s TV guest roles include Modern Family, House M.D., Bones, MR. Sunshine, How I Met Your Mother, Brothers & Sisters, Rules Of Engagement, ER, Desperate Housewives, The Shield, Cols Case, The Inside, Close To Home, Gilmore Girls, Malcolm In The Middle, Crossing Jordan, Will And Grace, The District, Becker , Once And Again and Hill Street Blues.

Mr. Turner’s film credits include Intolerable Cruelty, Real Women Have Curves, Electric Slide, This Christmas, Loaner, Teddy Bears’ Picnic, Dharni, Blood fest lV: Ground Zero, Gohbi And God and Bloody Wednesday.

Dale’s TV guest roles include Modern Family, House M.D., Bones, MR. Sunshine, How I Met Your Mother, Brothers & Sisters, Rules Of Engagement, ER, Desperate Housewives, The Shield, Cols Case, The Inside, Close To Home, Gilmore Girls, Malcolm In The Middle, Crossing Jordan, Will And Grace, The District, Becker , Once And Again and Hill Street Blues.

Dale’s professional theatre career includes appearances in No Man’s Land, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, White Linen, Toys in the Attic, Inspecting Carol, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Once On This Island, A Christmas Carol, Death of a Miner, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Ceremonies In Dark Old Men, Woyzeck, Showboat, The Secret Garden, Big River, The Desert Song and My One and Only.

Mr. Turner has starred in over 60 National Commercials and his performance in the U.S. Army spot “The Talk “ earned him Advertising Age Magazine’s Best Commercial Actor award.

As a voiceover actor, Dale recently completed a series of narratives for the National Baseball Hall of Fame audiobook entitled Celebrations.


Francisco Cunha (Chico) is the author and illustrator of several books. He graduated from the École Superieur des Arts de Saint-Luc, in Liège (Belgium), with a “Grande Distinction” award (2000). He works mainly in children’s literature and illustration, but he also works in the illustration of educational books in Portugal.


Although now a resident of sunny Southern California, Graydon hails from the far off and mythical place known as The East Coast. Technically a small town called Chambersburg in rural Pennsylvania, with no actual coastline to speak of, but who’s counting? Being blessed with talented and patient acting teachers throughout his young life led Graydon to a Bachelor’s degree in theater from Pennsylvania State University.

After giving in to the voices in his head, Graydon enjoys diverse work as a voice actor ranging from video games, and online media, to broadcast radio commercials, audio dramas and of course – Audiobooks! Ranging from kid friendly materials like Dillan McMillan, Please Eat Your Peas and The Flight Of Sunflower, to the exciting Adventures of Nick Caine and more, Graydon never met a microphone he didn’t like, and talk into for hours.

Graydon’s deep enjoyment of traditional radio drama led him to join, as a founding member, The Macabre Fantasy Radio Theater, taking weird tales of the early twentieth century and bringing them to life!


Greg Paxton has been a freelance musician in Los Angeles for twenty-five years performing and recording Jazz, Caribbean, Celtic and Rock music. In 2006 and 2007 he released two critically acclaimed albums of  children’s music, respectfully. In 2008 he was hired  as a staff composer for EECI, a publisher of children’s educational audio books. Greg soon found himself writing and recording music and producing voice-over narration for independent authors and publishers producing audio books. In 2013, Greg got the crazy idea to start his own ebook publishing company, and KidZoo Books was born. Paxton holds a Bachelor of Music from Long Beach State University.


Henrietta Meire is a British born voice over artist, actress and jazz singer. In her early teens she stumbled upon promotional voiceover for a big TV game show which lit a fire of passion that has lasted many years. Henrietta has narrated audiobooks in a variety of genres: Fantasy, Classical, Self-development and Children’s. She has been the voice of a number of Campaigns, as well as voicing characters in video games, animation, corporate and educational videos.


Jamieson Price is a Los Angeles-based actor and voice over artist with extensive stage, screen, and interactive media credits.

His screen credits include the movie The Patriot with Mel Gibson and Jason Isaacs, and he has guest starred on television’s Frasier, Days of Our Lives, Without a Trace, and According to Jim.

His video game credits include The Gulper – a villain in the Skylanders and many characters in multiple campaigns of World of Warcraft, Starcraft 2 and Transformers. He provided the voice for the male Monk player character in Diablo III, and his voice is heard on more than 200 different television, anime, video games, and audio books, including Broken Age, Guild Wars 2, Darksiders 2, Prototype 2, The Thundermans, Pair of Kings, Digimon, Naruto, Tiger & Bunny, and Mortal Kombat, where he is the announcer as well as several additional characters. His work as Rider in the animé Fate Zero earned him a BTVA award . Jamieson also provided the English language performance for the Colonel in the iconic Japanese anime Akira.

In addition to his work on screen and in the recording studio, Jamieson is an accomplished stage actor. He has performed with the Los Angeles Opera as “The Voice of God” in their multiple stagings of Benjamin Britten’s “Noah’s Flood”. His stage work includes leading roles in nine summer seasons of Outdoor Drama in Ohio.

He received his MFA degree in Acting from California State University, Long Beach. He has three children who have enjoyed hearing their bed-time stories read with high production values and fully voiced characterizations.


Katie Leigh has been a part of the Los Angeles voice over community since 1981. Since 1987, she has been the voice of Connie Kendall in the world-wide radio show “Adventures in Odyssey.” Katie has also starred in the Emmy-award-winning “Muppet Babies” cartoon series, “Darkwing Duck,” “Richie Rich,” and “Disney’s Adventures of the Gummi Bears,” “Totally Spies,” and many more. Most recently, she voiced young Han Solo for Lego Star Wars “Padawan Menace,”and will be heard on Sprout TV on their new series “The Extraordinary Adventures of Poppycat.”

She has an extensive background in ADR, which includes supplying the voice for the Maharaja in “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.” Katie is best known for creating children, teen and character voices (but she can sound like a grown-up, too!).

Katie is married and is mother to five (almost) grown children. Whew!


Lisa Lyman Adams is an award-winning illustrator, Fine Artist, and art instructor. Her signature style is a unique mix of super-realism, collage and artists’ handwriting. A regular contributor to mainstream magazines, The New York Times, and cover art for publishing houses, Lisa is also the author/illustrator of the popular holiday childrens’ book, “The Twelve Days of Christmas in New York City.”   Her art endures as the creator of the BabyGap teddy-bear and her Strathmore Mixed Media paper pad covers, Represented by the Diane Birdsall Gallery in Old Lyme, CT for her Fine Art and affiliated with MorganGaynin, Inc in New York City for her illustration, Lisa has been the recipient of numerous industry awards for both careers. She is a graduate of the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. lisa@LisaAdamsArt.com


Melissa Bourbon Ramirez, who sometimes answers to her Latina-by-marriage name Misa Ramirez, is the marketing director with Entangled Publishing. She is the author of the Lola Cruz Mystery series with St. Martin’s Minotaur and Entangled Publishing, and A Magical Dressmaking Mystery series with NAL. She also has written two romantic suspense novels, a light paranormal romance, and is the co-author of The Tricked-out Toolbox, a practical marketing guide for authors.


Nadine Takvorian is an illustrator who draws and paints pictures from her studio in Berkeley, CA. She grew up in the Bay Area and graduated from the California College of the Arts where she received her BFA in Illustration with Distinction. She creates art for books, products, designers, ad agencies, musicians, publishers, film, games, and animation. In addition to illustrating she has also been an art director in children’s book publishing, and an art assistant in the art department of Industrial Light & Magic. Awards + Recognition – Society of Illustrators LA 52, 49; Society of Illustrators NY “The Original Art” Exhibition, Special Jury Award for Animation – South by Southwest Film Festival (SXSW).


Phyllis Harris is the award-winning illustrator of over 30 picture books including Swim, Swam, Swum and On Christmas Day (written by Margaret Wise Brown, author of Goodnight Moon’). Working with her husband Bradley on this book was a long-awaited dream come true. Phyllis and Bradley live in Raymore, MO. You can see more of her work at www.phyllisharrisdesigns.com


Roy Marsaw is a retired military veteran who has spent several tours of duty in the Arctic. He is now living in Ottawa, Canada, with his wife Cynthia and is still employed in the federal public service. He spends his free time with his children and grandchildren, coaching football and traveling.


Samuel (Sammy) Paxton is currently in first grade at Patrick Henry K-8 Academy, in bilingual education, where he studies in Spanish/English. He got his start when his dad needed help on-the-spot one day in the studio recording an advertisement. Dad realized Sammy had a flair for voice over work, and brought him back in the studio on several occasions. Oliver Brightside: You Don’t Want that Penny is the first of what Sammy hopes to be many more audio book adventures!

Stephen Zmina grew up in Wheaton, Illinois. As a child, he and his friends would collect and torture the various bugs that would wander through their back yards. He went on to study illustration at San Jose State University and became the recipient of the Society of Illustrator’s Norman Rockwell Museum at Stockbridge award in 2001. He hopes by writing this story that the bugs he squished as a child will finally stop haunting him.
Stephen came up with the idea for Don’t Let the Dead Bugs Bite in 2004. He was playing around with the idea of a group of ‘superhero’ bugs and needed an adversary for them. The idea was originally for the superhero bugs to face off against a bad group of bugs that had died and come back from the dead. This quickly morphed into an origin story of how the bugs died and wanted revenge on the children that had squashed them. This ultimately led him to creating ‘Don’t Let the Dead Bugs Bite!’

Stephen Zmina grew up in Wheaton, Illinois. As a child, he and his friends would collect and torture the various bugs that would wander through their back yards. He went on to study illustration at San Jose State University and became the recipient of the Society of Illustrator’s Norman Rockwell Museum at Stockbridge award in 2001. He hopes by writing this story that the bugs he squished as a child will finally stop haunting him.

Stephen came up with the idea for Don’t Let the Dead Bugs Bite in 2004. He was playing around with the idea of a group of ‘superhero’ bugs and needed an adversary for them.  The idea was originally for the superhero bugs to face off against a bad group of bugs that had died and come back from the dead.  This quickly morphed into an origin story of how the bugs died and wanted revenge on the children that had squashed them. This ultimately led him to creating ‘Don’t Let the Dead Bugs Bite!’


Charleston, SC, native Tony Waters has been drawing ever since he could hold a pencil in his hand. He remembers sitting–with pad and pencil in hand–near the cashier in the grocery store while his mother shopped. Some of his teachers remember his notebooks containing more drawings than notes! He has illustrated many stories and poems for children, including three books that he also wrote himself. In many of his illustrations, you will find some of his own beloved items as props–his grandmother’s clock, his great-grandmother’s brass lamp, an old rocking chair. He raised mice as a child, so not surprisingly they are often featured characters as well. To create his illustrations, he uses watercolors, markers, and colored pencils. The pictures are very detailed, so that children will often find something new each time they read the book again.