Author Bios

2015 Participating Authors
Jonathan Allen    Eric H. Cline    Susan Coll    David Greene    Brian Jay Jones    
Gary Krist   Mark Leibovich    Allison Leotta
Sarah Pekkanen    Anthony S. Pitch    Brando Skyhorse   Valerie Tripp    Neely Tucker
Jonathan Allen
HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton

Jonathan Allen is the Chief Politcal Correspondent for Previously, he was the Washington bureau chief for Bloomberg News, where he writes about the White House, Congress and national politics. He is a co-author of the New York-Times best-selling HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton and a winner of the Dirksen and Hume awards for his reporting on Congress. A frequent guest on national television, Allen has local roots. He is a graduate of Walter Johnson High School, where he wrote for "The Pitch," pitched for the baseball team, acted in WJ S*T*A*G*E productions and captained the "It's Academic" team. 

Read a Q&A with Jonathan Allen.



Eric H. Cline

1177 BC: The Year Civilization Collapsed

Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for 1177 BC, Dr. Eric H. Cline is the Director of the Capitol Archaeological Institute at The George Washington University. A National Geographic Explorer and Fulbright scholar with degrees from Dartmouth, Yale and the University of Pennsylvania, he is an active field archaeologist and has excavated and surveyed in Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Cyprus, Greece, Crete and the United States. Cline is a three-time winner of the Biblical Archaeology Society's "Best Popular Book on Archaeology" award and winner of the 2014 "Best Popular Book" award from the American Schools of Oriental Research for 1177 BC: The Year Civilization Collapsed.


(c) Lauren Shay Lavin

Susan Coll
The Stager

Susan Coll is the Events and Programs Director at Politics & Prose Bookstore in Washington, D.C. The Stager is her fifth novel. She is also the author of Acceptance, a satire of the college admissions process, which was made into a 2009 television movie starring Joan Cusack and Mae Whitman; Beach Week; Rockville Pike and Her work has appeared in publications including the International Herald Tribune, the Asian Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. She lives in Washington, D.C.

Book Q&As with Deborah Kalb: Q&A with Susan Coll


(c) David P. Gilkey

David Greene
Midnight in Siberia: A Train Journey into the Heart of Russia

David Greene is host of NPR’s Morning Edition with Steve Inskeep and Renee Montagne. He spent two years as NPR’s foreign correspondent in Moscow and has covered politics and events from the White House and abroad for more than 10 years. He was honored with the 2011 Daniel Schorr Journalism Prize from WBUR and Boston University for his coverage of the Arab Spring. He also received the White House Correspondents Association’s 2008 Merriman Smith award for deadline coverage of the presidency. Before joining NPR in 2005, Greene spent nearly seven years as a newspaper reporter for the Baltimore Sun. Greene lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife, Rose, a restaurant owner and fellow traveler. 

Brian Jay Jones
Jim Henson: The Biography

Biographer Brian Jay Jones spent nearly two decades as a public policy analyst and speechwriter, before turning to biography in 2007. He presently serves as president of Biographers International Organization. Brian’s most recent book, Jim Henson: The Biography was a New York Times bestseller, and chosen as the Best Biography of 2013 by Goodreads, as well as one of the year’s Top Ten books by CNN viewers. Brian lives in Damascus, MD and is presently at work on a biography of filmmaker George Lucas for Little, Brown, to be published in 2016.

Book Q&As with Deborah Kalb: Q&A with Brian Jay Jones


Gary Krist
Empire of Sin

Gary Krist is the bestselling author of three books of narrative history: Empire of Sin, City of Scoundrels, and The White Cascade. He has also written five works of fiction and is a regular book reviewer for the New York Times, and The Washington Post. He is the recipient of the Stephen Crane Award, the Sue Kaufman Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Lowell Thomas Gold Medal for Travel Journalism, and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. He lives in Bethesda, MD with his wife and daughter.

Book Q&As with Deborah Kalb: Q&A with Gary Krist

Ralph Alswang Photography

Mark Leibovich
Citizens of the Green Room: Profiles in Courage and Self-Delusion

Mark Leibovich is The New York Times Magazine chief national correspondent, based in Washington, D.C. In 2011, he received a National Magazine Award for his story on Politico’s Mike Allen and the changing media culture of Washington. Prior to coming to the Times Magazine, Leibovich was a national political reporter in the Times’ DC bureau. He has also worked at The Washington Post, The San Jose Mercury News and The Boston Phoenix, and is the author of The New Imperialists, a collection of profiles on technology pioneers. Leibovich lives with his family in Washington, D.C.


Allison Leotta
Law of Attraction

Allison Leotta served as a federal prosecutor in Washington, D.C. for 12 years, handling sex crimes, domestic violence, and crimes against children. She has appeared on CNN's Early Start, PBS NewsHour, Reuters TV, and HuffPo Live to discuss criminal cases such as Jodi Arias, Oscar Pistorius, Jerry Sandusky and Dominique Strauss-Kahn. She has provided legal expertise to The Washington Post and Huffington Post. After publishing her debut, Law of Attraction, Simon & Schuster asked Allison to continue writing about her fictional sex-crimes prosecutor, Anna Curtis. . She lives outside Washington, D.C. with her husband, Michael Leotta, who also served as a federal prosecutor.

Sonia Suter 2014

Sarah Pekkanen
Catching Air

Sarah Pekkanen is the internationally bestselling author of Catching Air, The Opposite of Me, Skipping a Beat, These Girls and The Best of Us. Her work has been reviewed and published in People, Glamour, Marie Claire, The Washington Post, and USA Today, among other publications. She lives with her family in Chevy Chase, MD.

Book Q&As with Deborah Kalb: Q&A with Sarah Pekkanen


Anthony S. Pitch
Our Crime Was Being Jewish

Anthony S. Pitch is the author of many non-fiction books including "They Have Killed Papa Dead!" - The Road to Ford's Theatre, Abraham Lincoln's Murder, and the Rage for Vengeance, and The Burning of Washington: The British Invasion of 1814, read by President Clinton and a History Book Club selection, with movie rights optioned by National Geographic. He narrated for Tribune Broadcasting TV inside the White House and has appeared on C-Span TV, the History Channel, National Geographic TV, NPR, PBS, Smithsonian TV, and inside Ford's Theatre. He has been guest speaker at the Federal Circuit Bar Association, the Brookings Institution, the Library of Congress, National Archives, National Press Club, the Smithsonian Institution, Fort McHenry, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a former Associated Press staffer in London, and Broadcast Editor in Philadelphia, a senior writer in the books division of U.S. News & World Report, and has reported from Israel and Africa.

Book Q&As with Deborah Kalb: Q&A with Anthony S. Pitch


(c) Eric van den Brulle

Brando Skyhorse
Take This Man: A Memoir

Brando Skyhorse’s debut novel, The Madonnas of Echo Park, won the 2011 PEN/Hemingway Award and the Sue Kaufman Award for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Skyhorse is a graduate of Stanford University and the MFA Writers’ Workshop program at UC Irvine. He is the 2014 Jenny McKean Moore Writer-In-Washington at George Washington University.


Valerie Tripp
Full Speed Ahead: My Journey with Kit 

Valerie Tripp is best known for her beloved American Girl historical fiction characters Felicity, Elizabeth, Josefina, Samantha, Nellie, Kit, Ruthie, Emily and Molly. Tripp also writes poems, songs, stories, skills book pages and nonfiction essays for educational publishers. She is the author of dozens of phonetically controlled stories at the pre-K, Kindergarten, and first grade levels of The Superkids Reading Program and all of the stories in the second grade readers, The Superkids Hit Second Grade and The Superkids Take Off. In addition, she is a founder and the Editorial Director of Boys Camp, a series of realistic fiction books for readers aged 7 to 12, and also the author of the books in the Hopscotch Hill School series, and the Just One More series, published by Childrens Press.

Book Q&As with Deborah Kalb: Q&A with Valerie Tripp


 (c) Bill O'Leary
Neely Tucker
The Ways of the Dead
Neely Tucker's journalism career spans 30 years, the last 15 at The Washington Post. The Ways of The Dead, the first of D.C.-based thrillers featuring Sully Carter, debuted last year, and was named to several best-of lists. The follow-up, Murder, D.C., hits bookstores this summer.  His 2004 memoir, Love in the Driest Season, was named one of the Best 25 Books of the year by Publishers Weekly, the American Booksellers Association, and many others. Born in Mississippi, Tucker lives with his family in Bethesda, MD.

Book Q&As with Deborah Kalb: Q&A with Neely Tucker