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Conference Keynotes

Francene Marie

Syndicated Talk Show Host – Francene Marie

Francene Marie Morrisis heard on 7-CBS Radio Stations in the Southeast Region. Francene began her radio career on Kiss 95.1 in Charlotte, North Carolina 20+years ago raising awareness to worthy causes and topics important to you and your families. From interviewing Whitehouse Politician’s to local officials and non-profits, there’s no topic off-limits for her show.  She’s an author, food blogger and voice artist. Founder of My Media Tutor - a training portal for media interview prep and facilitates public speaking boot-camps. Co-founder of “Favorite Things For A Cause”and mom of 2 adult people she admires.
The author of two works of art: GOING PUBLIC – The Cheat Sheets InPromoting Yourself to Media.  Another gem is: Must Be Present to Win – The Tireless Spirit of Optimism. Francene’s voice is heard on an audio series of guided Meditation CD’s and her award winning radio career has led to one on one interview’s with Vice President Joe Biden, Madeleine Albright, Valerie Jarrett, and renowned poet Dr. Maya Angelou. 

Cathy Pickens

 Cathy Pickens - Author

Cathy is a frequent convention speaker on topics ranging from writing mysteries to classic true crime stories to the use of poisons. She is the Wireman Professor of Business at Queens University of Charlotte, where she teaches MBA courses in law and workshops on developing the creative process.

The first Avery Andrews novel Southern Fried won the 2003 St. Martin’s Press/Malice Domestic Award for Best New Traditional Mystery.  Cathy has also written four other Southern Fried mysteries and a mystery walking tour of Charleston: Charleston Mysteries (History Press).

She has served as president of Sisters in Crime (a 3000-member group of readers and writers), on the national board for Mystery Writers of America (the oldest mystery writers organization), and is currently president of the regional Forensic Medicine Program. 

Robert Inman- Author

 Robert Inman’s latest novel, The Governor’s Lady, was published in September, 2013. Drawing on his a career as a journalist and creative writer, Inman has crafted the story of Cooper Lanier, a determined woman fighting to establish her independence in the tumultuous world of male-dominated politics.

The Governor’s Lady is Inman’s fifth novel, following Home Fires Burning , Old Dogs and Children, Dairy Queen Days, and Captain Saturday, all published originally by Little, Brown and Company, and now available in popular
 e-book formats.  He is also the author of a collection of non-fiction work, Coming Home: Life, Love and All Things Southern, and an illustrated family holiday book, The Christmas Bus.

Inman has written screenplays for six motion pictures for television, two of which have been “Hallmark Hall of Fame” presentations.  His script for The Summer of Ben Tyler, a Hallmark production, won the Writers’ Guild of America Award as the best original television screenplay of 1997.  His other Hallmark feature was Home Fires Burning, a 1989 adaptation of his novel.

He is a member of the Authors Guild, Writers Guild of America, Dramatists Guild, PEN American Center, North Carolina Writers Conference, North Carolina Writers Network, and Alabama Writers Forum.