Clay Stafford

  • Clay Stafford
  • Killer Nashville
  • Jazz Maker Films

Clay Stafford has been involved in the entertainment business since childhood and formed his first entertainment company The Clay Stafford Company in 1976 while still a teen.He was just a kid when he hung out in Hollywood with his older cousin, an engineer who created the sound connector that made movies such as The Jazz Singer possible, and who was also a friend of Jack Warner and other studio moguls. Clay remembers, through those relationships, associating with the likes of Merv Griffin, Zsa Zsa Gabor, and Alan Alda and running amok at Warner Bros., Disney, Fox, and Universal.

As a writer, Clay has written articles, poetry, essays, novel adaptations, TV series, feature films, nonfiction books, live theater, book & film reviews, and newspaper articles. His retellings of American children’s classics released through Dalmatian Press have sold over 1.5 million copies in the United States alone.

Clay’s films and literary works have been released in over 14 languages. He has written for PBS, NBC, CBS, ABC, and Esquire Magazine, among others. He is currently working on several literary projects, including a screenplay based upon the novel Pork Pie Hat by bestselling author Peter Straub.

Clay is now CEO/President of American Blackguard Inc. ( where he has been responsible for green-lighting numerous national and international projects,including the documentary, One of the Miracles: The Inge Myering Smith Story.

Subsidiaries of American Blackguard Inc. include Jazz Maker Films, AB GUN Records, and the Killer Nashville Writer’s Conference (


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Ariel Lawhon

  • Ariel Lawhon
  • Flight of Dreams

From a dazzling new voice in historical fiction, FLIGHT OF DREAMS is an utterly suspenseful, heart-wrenching novel that vividly brings the fateful voyage of the Hindenburg to life.On the evening of May 3rd, 1937, ninety-seven people board the Hindenburg for its final, doomed flight to Lakehurst, New Jersey. Among them are a frightened stewardess who is not what she seems; the steadfast navigator determined to win her heart; a naive cabin boy eager to earn a permanent spot on the world’s largest airship; an impetuous journalist who has been blacklisted in her native Germany; and an enigmatic American businessman with a score to settle. Over the course of three hazy, champagne-soaked days their lies, fears, agendas, and hopes for the future are revealed.

FLIGHT OF DREAMS is a fiercely intimate portrait of the real people on board the last flight of the Hindenburg. Behind them is the gathering storm in Europe and before them is looming disaster. But for the moment they float over the Atlantic, unaware of the inexorable, tragic fate that awaits them.

Brilliantly exploring one of the most enduring mysteries of the twentieth century, FLIGHT OF DREAMS is that rare novel with spellbinding plotting that keeps you guessing till the last page and breathtaking emotional intensity that stays with you long after.

Ariel Lawhon is co-founder of the popular online book club, She Reads

, a novelist, blogger, and life-long reader. She’s the author of THE WIFE THE MAID AND THE MISTRESS (Doubleday, 2014) and  FLIGHT OF DREAMS (February, 2016). She lives in the rolling hills outside Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband and four young sons (aka The Wild Rumpus) and a black lab who is, thankfully, a girl.

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Sandra Brannan

  • Sandra Brannan
  • Solomon's Whisper
Solomon’s Whisper (the fifth novel in Brannan’s mystery series) spans decades and the country, uncovering a web of crime that causes Liv to question everything–including the integrity of her own colleagues.Solomon’s Whisper: “Finalist for Best Mystery/Suspense of 2014″ and “Finalist for Best Book Cover for Fiction” by Foreword Reviews

Sandra has created a heart-pounding, award winning mystery series around the intelligent, ballsy Liv Bergen, a woman who embodies the spirit of South Dakota. Much like her fictional character, Sandra Brannan has spent her career in the mining business and lives in the Black Hills.

After living in Wyoming, Washington, D.C., Washington state, and Colorado, Sandra Brannan returned to her hometown in South Dakota, where she is surrounded by family. She enjoys working with relatives in the mining business; living in the Black Hills with her husband, Joel; smiling with pride over the journeys taken by her four sons; doting over her three grandchildren; and appreciating all of life’s blessings, too many to count.


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Emcee – Chuck Sherrill

  • Chuck Sherrill - State Librarian
  • Tennessee State Library & Archives
Chuck Sherrill was named State Librarian and Archivist of Tennessee by Secretary of State Tre Hargett in 2010. This appointment followed ten years of service to the City of Brentwood, where he was the director of one of Tennessee’s premier public libraries. Prior to that he was head of the research section of the Tennessee State Library and Archives. Before moving to the Nashville area he was the Director of the Cleveland (Tenn.) Public Library for nine years, and, before that, Head Reference Librarian at the Western Reserve Historical Society.

He is a native of Cleveland Ohio and a summa cum laude graduate of Case Western Reserve University, with master’s degrees in history and library science. His undergraduate work was done at Ohio University in Athens, where he earned a B.S. in Journalism. He is currently an adjunct faculty member at Jackson State Community College (TN) in the distance learning program.

Chuck is an avid genealogist and author of more than 20 books of Tennessee history and genealogy. Since 2002 he has been the editor of the “Middle Tennessee Journal of History and Genealogy.”

He is the father of three sons and lives with his family in Brentwood.

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