Meet the finalists and learn who will become the 2017 Soon to be Famous Illinois Author at 1 p.m. Wednesday, April 12, in the Meadows Community Room of the Gail Borden Public Library, 270 N. Grove Ave. in downtown Elgin. It also will be streamed live at gailborden.info/live.
This year's finalists are self-published authors Daniel Rosenberg, who was nominated by the Highland Park Public Library; Annie Hansen, nominated by the Big Rock Public Library; and Karen Bedore, nominated by the Aurora Public Library.
There were 66 entries this year.
Of those, 20 moved onto the second round.
The three finalists were chosen by librarian judges from across the state.
New for this year's winner is a $1,000 cash prize sponsored by Biblioboard. The nominating library also will receive recognition with the award of a library conference admission.
Finalist Daniel Rosenberg is the author of "The Towers Still Stand." What if the September 11 attacks had failed, and Americans remained ignorant of the hijackers' ultimate goals? In this alternate history, several hijackers and their leaders survive and escape a botched Sept. 11 plot and plan a second attempt on the towers. Only one man in the government and an aggressive journalist suspect what might be afoot, but how can they convince a skeptical nation that the World Trade Center is in danger?"
A professional journalist, Daniel Rosenberg's career includes stints writing for The Wall Street Journal and Barron's. He currently writes about financial markets for a major brokerage firm. Rosenberg is married, has two sons and lives in Highland Park, Illinois. "The Towers Still Stand" is Rosenberg's first novel, inspired by the events of Sept. 11. The book asks the question, what might have happened had the Sept. 11 plot failed and the hijackers remained at large with the country still ignorant about their intentions?
Finalist Annie Hansen is the author of "Take The Donut." The third book in the Kelly Clark Mystery Series, "Take the Donut," features an interesting heroine who is determined to make a new start. "Take the Donut" is a cozy mystery that centers on temptation, family drama, greed and sweet revenge.
Annie Hansen is a graduate of the University of Illinois with a bachelor of science degree in biology. She is a partner with Hansen Search Group, a staffing firm she cofounded with her husband and business partner, Brent Hansen, in 2001. She was named the winner of the Helen McCloy Mystery Writers of America Scholarship in 2011 for her submission of "Give Me Chocolate." She is the author of the Kelly Clark Mystery Series and can be reached through her website: www.kellyclarkmystery.com. She lives with her family in the western suburbs of Chicago.
Finalist Karen Bedore is the author of "The Bard." After losing her mother and fiancé, Alcinia and her father travel west to Turin in the Duchy of Savoy to begin a new life. Getting adjusted to a new way of living in Renaissance Italy, Alcinia falls in love with a mysterious bard and, through their secret rendezvous, is beginning to find happiness once again. Until she finds out that her small-town father isn't who she thought he was.
Karen Bedore is a middle school Whovian band director who has always had a passion for writing, whether it be music, journaling, or stories. She enjoys running, spending time with her husband and son, and drinking lots of coffee.
The list of previous winners are: Joanne Zienty in 2014; Michael Alan Peck in 2015; and Geralyn Hesslau Magrady in 2016.
This Soon to be Famous Illinois Author Project is the brainchild of a group of library marketing professionals. The original purpose of the project was to demonstrate the power of libraries to create a market for authors.
Now in its fourth year, it has also become a way for librarians to find good reads for their patrons. Self-published authors are attracting readers in record numbers. Author Earnings Report indicates that 34 percent of eBook sales in February 2017 were for self-published indie authors books. In comparison, 26 percent of eBook sales were to the big five publishers' books.
Librarians have long been a resource for recommending book titles to their patrons. As members of a highly trusted institution, their recommendations are valued by the public. The Soon to be Famous Illinois Author Project is a collaborative effort across Illinois libraries. Librarians from all types of libraries serve as judges and the project is managed by library marketing professionals and librarians.
For more information about the Soon to be Famous Illinois Author project, please visit soontobefamous.info.
The Soon to be Famous Illinois Author Committee includes: Julie Stam, Eisenhower Public Library District; Donna Fletcher, Donna Fletcher Consulting; Sue Wilsey, Helen Plum Public Library; Nikki Zimmermann, Reaching Across Illinois Library System; Eva Baggili, Chicago Ridge Public Library; Karen McBride, Barrington Area Library; Amy Byrne, White Oak Library District; Eileen Crowley, Wheaton Public Library; Jeffrey Fisher, Fountaindale Public Library; and Denise Raleigh, Gail Borden Public Library.