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Our Writers

Current and former members of the Los Angeles chapter of

The Women's National Book Association Writers' Critique Group

plus a few writer friends whose work we adore

Joan Jackson

Born: June 19, 1947 in Akron, Ohio
Education: BS in Education at Ohio State University;

summer at University of Grenoble, France

Voluntary Chaos:  Lyrical and brave, Joan Jackson’s Voluntary Chaos travels the long path of a woman’s emergence from a false sense of security to find where she truly belongs. In Portland, not long after Gloria Steinem gave women permission to find themselves, Sylvia Beekman’s simmering unhappiness with her marriage boils over. 

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Joan Jackson

Just In Time is based on my experiences with my schizophrenic brother, Steve, following the death of our parents. The title comes from the question my brother once asked me: “How come you always get here just in time?”

The novel explores in depth the day to day challenges and psychological aspects of Steve’s mental illness. With humorous elements in the darkness of it all, Just In Time is a surprising, inspiring account of the roller coaster life of a schizophrenic struggling for independence.

Kathrin King Segal

Kathrin King Segal

Kathrin King Segal grew up in New York City. In her teens, she began singing and playing guitar in Greenwich Village, during the heyday of the folk scene. She soon turned to theater, appearing in numerous Off- and Off-Off Broadway plays and musicals, and one notorious Broadway show. 

Kathrin and her husband moved to Los Angeles, where she continued to write and perform.

Over her lifetime, Kathrin has been, in no particular order: actor, receptionist, dog walker, singer, cotton-factory material folder, autodidact, go-go dancer, story analyst,  songwriter, manic depressive, switchboard operator, songwriter, cat rescuer, journalist, horse rider, wife, trypophobe, cancer survivor, feeder of neonatal kittens, and writer of books.

She lives in beautiful Chatsworth, California with her husband and three cats, and she enjoys traveling the world when there isn’t a pandemic.

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The novels and CDs can be found on her Amazon page and her website.

In 1991, her first novel, Wild Again, was published by Dutton/Penguin.

Kathrin and her husband moved to Los Angeles, where she continued to write and perform.

Her second novel, We Were Stardust, explores the burgeoning pop and folk-rock music world in the 1960s, from the Village to L.A. Having delved into the ‘60s and ‘80s, it seemed time to check out the 1970s in Bowl of Night. She’s working on a new novel set in the present, as well as a memoir that covers many of the remaining decades. She’s also released two CDs of mostly original songs.

Ellen Ruderman

Ellen Ruderman

Chasing the Red Car is inspired by the life and experiences of its author, Ellen Ruderman, during the McCarthy Era and the Communist Witch Hunts of the late 1940s and early 1950s. Ellen G. Ruderman, PhD, is a psychoanalyst in private practice in Encino, CA. She is also a mental health consultant, having served for many years on the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Department of Psychiatry, Thalians Mental Health Center. She has taught at the University of California, Los Angeles and Cedars-Sinai, and is a member of the National Academy of Distinguished Practitioners.


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CHASING THE RED CAR draws parallels between the political repression of the 1950s and the abuses of executive power after 9/11, reminding us that all politics is personal and that the truth of George Santayana's maxim about history repeating itself can be seen all around us every day.

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Dr. Ruderman has published over 40 professional articles, many of which have explored the challenges of women's quest for autonomy and success within their professional and familial relationships, and resulted in a co-edited book with Jean Sanville, Ph.D.,titled Therapies with Women in Transition: Toward Relational Perspectives with Today's Woman (International Universities Press, 2003).Ellen Ruderman is currently working on her second novel which has to do with the courage and determination of the immigrants past and present who came to America.

Robin Maxwell

Historian, and Los Angeles Times bestselling novelist and screenwriter Robin Maxwell is incredibly prolific and her wonderful historical novels include  The Queen’s BastardSignora Da Vinci, The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn,
and JANE: The Woman Who Loved Tarzan.   "All the Queens’ Men," based on Robin’s Elizabethan Quartet, is currently in development for a limited cable series. She’s been called ‘one of the Queens of Historical Fiction.’

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Robin Maxwell

Robin's latest : The five volumes of The Gods of Atlantos Saga — the epic adventure of Erthe’s earliest and most brilliant civilization from its inception, straight through to the planet-wide apocalypse that ended it all. The destruction of the “Lost Continent”  is not a myth. No one has been told its beginnings or forbidden history, nor followed the lives and loves of the gods who were not really gods at all…until now.



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Ina Hillebrandt

Ina Hillebrandt

A recovering Fortune 500 consultant, Ina  changed course about 10 years ago (after being beaten up by her muse) to focus on writing and publishing. Her specialty now is helping folks create vivid, compelling memoirs. And morphing these into performance — for stage, screen, TV and web programming.

Have you been trying to lose weight? Forever? Have we got a plan for you! You Are Who You Eat has weight loss tips that apply to all of us, cannibal and civilian alike. Sprinkled liberally with cannibal jokes, and highly seasoned with cartoons by world renowned Playboy, Esquire, and The New Yorker artist Dedini.

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Margaret Karlin

Margaret Karlin

Margaret Karlin, R.N. Bsc. worked as a head nurse at the Psychiatric and Psychosomatic Institute at Michael Reese Hospital Medical Center in Chicago from 1950 until 1962. Her first novel, Virtuous Women, placed in the top 100 of America’s Best in’s “Breakthrough Novel” contest 2009, and earned her entrance to the advanced writers program at UCLA.. Mother of four children, and six grandchildren, Margaret is currently working on a memoir, titled Dumbarton, A Journey Back.

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BookSurge Publishing

For all women who survived the fifties, or are interested in the lives and loves of young women of that era, Virtuous Women is a tribute to women who refused to be silent and learned that all that glitters is not gold.

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Alexia LaFortune

Alexia LaFortune

Alexia LaFortune MA Developmental Clinical Psychology, MARI, FAMI, is a creative arts therapist, writing coach, and screenwriter. Her personal essays have appeared internationally, including “Beds I Have Known” and “Hairdo from Hell.” She conducts creativity workshops and currently offers the popular series “Eat, Talk, Write.” She lives in Los Angeles — and in Santa Fe, New Mexico as often as she can.


Sex, Love, and Spirit, a memoir candidly recounts Alexia LaFortune’s tragicomic journey from the oppression and shame of a Boston Irish Catholic upbringing in the 1950s, through the free fall into the dizzy funk of the wild sixties and seventies, including heartbreak and a soul crushing affair with a famous guy, to her eventual search for spiritual awareness and love. These intimate tales were written to inspire strength and confidence in her daughter and in herself when faced with an uncertain future. The ultimate message: Say yes to the adventure, and then, thank you.

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Note: The Cover was designed by artist Greg Spalenka - see "ARTISTS"

Planaria Price

Before writing Claiming My Place, Planaria Price wrote six books for adult ESL learners.


After graduating from Berkeley and earning a Master's Degree in English Literature from UCLA, Planaria Price began her career teaching English to adult immigrants in Los Angeles. She has written several textbooks and lectured at numerous conferences. In addition to this, Planaria has worked to save and restore over 30 Victorian and Craftsman homes in her historic Los Angeles neighborhood. Claiming My Place is her first book for young adults, and is a teenager’s experience during the Holocaust.


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Planaria Price

Zenobia Neil

Zenobia Neil was born with a shock of red hair and named after an ancient warrior woman who fought against the Romans. In college, she studied Ancient Greece, Voodoo, and world mythology. She writes historical fantasy about the mythic past and Greek and Roman gods having too much fun.

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Jovita Jenkins

Jovita Jenkins

As an author, executive coach, success strategist, and motivational speaker, Jovita inspires business leaders, entrepreneurs, and professionals across the country to get out of their own way™, tap into their inner strength, take charge of their lives and careers, and achieve their dreams of greatness and balance.

In Get Out Of Your Own Way (Ajides Publishing), the insightful and inspiring debut offering from success strategist and executive coach Jovita Jenkins, readers are challenged to think differently about their lives and overcome roadblocks to success. With the honesty of an old friend and the insight of a professional coach, she leads them on an intense journey of self-discovery that sets them on the path towards creating a compelling new chapter of their lives.

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Janet Wertman

By day, Janet Wertman is a freelance grant writer for impactful nonprofits. By night, she writes critically acclaimed, character-driven historical fiction and a fascinating blog - indulging a passion for the Tudor era. With the Seymour Saga complete, Janet is deep into writing her next trilogy, which takes up where the Seymours left off to illustrate the life of Elizabeth I.  Janet also attends book club meetings (she’d love to come to yours!) and participates in panels and discussions through History Talks!, a group of historical novelists from Southern California who work with libraries around the state.


One of Open Letters Reviews’ Ten Best Historical Novels of 2020 ; First Place Winner, 2021 Chaucer Award for pre-1750s historical fiction

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