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The Greater Los Angeles Writers Society

"Promoting Yourself and Your Novels"
Profiles of Guest Panelists

Marci BaunMarci Baun The editor of Wild Child Publishing since its inception in 1999, Ms. Baun has been in love with the written word beginning with Clifford the Big Red Dog and Curious George. Her reading and interests have expanded since those first books to include history, music, opera, theater, swimming, cycling, nature, travel, and writing. She has written and performed one person shows about historical women in schools, universities and festivals across the state of California and sang with the Coasters and the Drifters, Freddie Hart, as well as on the operatic stage. A few years past, as a member of the Academy for New Musical Theatre, she composed music for a twelve minute musical. When time permits, she hopes to return to the theater.

In her other life, she is a stay-at-home mom who chases around a very busy toddler. When asked why she began publishing, she replied, “I love the written word. There is nothing as powerful or as beautiful. It can influence, teach, and move us. What an amazing medium!"

Learn more at: Wild Child Publishing and Freya's Bower.


Kevin GerardKevin Gerard lives in San Diego, California, with his wife and four children. He teaches sociology and statistics for the California State University. When not writing or teaching, Mr. Gerard enjoys walking the grounds at the San Diego Zoo, golfing with his father, hitting the waves and his favorite pizza hangout with his brother, nieces and nephews, and loving his wife and kids. He also enjoys playing Halo on the internet; look for him in the rocket games as Drazian, the destroyer in the first Conor and the Crossworlds adventure, Breaking the Barrier.

After running three companies and working a variety of jobs during his life, Mr. Gerard returned to school and earned a master's degree in sociology from Humboldt State University. He returned to San Diego after completing the program and worked with two professional research organizations over the next seven years. In 2004, he resigned from the second position in order to pursue a writing career. While still teaching at the university, he spends the bulk of his time writing for publication. The Conor and the Crossworlds series provided the main impetus for his decision to permanently extricate himself from formal employment.

"Stepping away from full-time work was the best decision I ever made. Writing this story has given me tremendous personal satisfaction, and it has shown me an avenue for expression I will always treasure."

"Conor Jameson is an amalgamation of a host of different characters I've encountered over the years. During the time I've written this story, he has become like a son to me. I've seen him grow from a ten year-old, wide-eyed boy into a strong man filled with integrity and character. The most amazing sensations emerged when I would finish a book and go back to edit one of the earlier stories. Suddenly he'd be quite young again, chronologically and emotionally. Just noticing the difference fortified my belief that I could write and write well."

"As much as I love Conor, Purugama the winged cougar prompted me to write the first book. He really is the reason this entire story came into being. I can remember when I was a boy, maybe seven or eight years old, how I used to huddle under my covers and imagine a gigantic, powerful flying cougar arriving at my window to take me away on amazing adventures. That was roughly forty years ago, and now, at least through Conor's eyes, I get to see the fantasy come to life."

Mr. Gerard finished the fifth Conor and the CrossworldsTM book in May, 2006. The fifth book finishes the series, but something amazing happens to Conor at the close of the story. His girlfriend, Janine, unhappy with the outcome, embarks on her own journey to retrieve the secrets of the Crossworlds. Perhaps after completing his current project, a political espionage thriller, Mr. Gerard will return to his first love, young adult fantasy, and write Janine's adventure in the Conor and the Crossworlds series.

Learn more at:


John Mehrmann, Author at the Greater Los Angeles Writers SocietyJohn Mehrmann is the freelance author of "The Trusted Advocate", a motivational speaker, industry expert and President of Executive Blueprints Inc., an organization devoted to improving business practices and developing human capital. provides free resource materials for trainers, sample Case Studies, educational articles and references to local affiliates for consulting and executive coaching.

As a published author, John’s works have appeared in numerous trade magazines including Pros Communications, Reverse Logistics Magazine and Essential Advantage. He contributed to “101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life, Volume 3” with such notable authors as Ken Blanchard, Mark Victor Hansen, Byron Katie and Les Brown. John Mehrmann is a freelance author, contributing many articles for use on web, publications, and radio. Electronic copies of these articles are available at

You can read more about "The Trusted Advocate" and order it here »


Marla MillerMarla Miller Marla Miller teaches Marketing the Muse workshops at several writer conferences throughout the country. Her column, The Early Years for The Writer Magazine, featured noted authors talking about their early years in writing.

In her upcoming series, HOOKED, Miller interviews noted literary agents who share query letters they could not ignore. During her tenure as Assistant Director of Santa Barbara Writers Conference, Miller founded the Young Writers Program, a thriving part of SBWC today. Miller’s Marketing the Muse editorial service shepherds writers through the publishing process.

Of her clients, two have authored best-selling books; one through conventional publishing and one self published turning Miller into a believer in self publishing’s potential. Miller considers herself a yenta of sorts; introducing many unpublished authors to literary agents including NYT best selling author, Stacey O'Brien Wesley the Owl: The Remarkable Love Story of an Owl and His Girl who work shopped an early draft in Miller’s Marketing the Muse workshop at the Southern California Writers Conference. Miller introduced her to Sally van Haitsma, a San Diego literary agent known for nurturing writers with potential.

Miller’s day job is editor-in-chief of Location 3 Magazine,, a quarterly lifestyle magazine that circulates in Newport Coast/Beach California. For 16 years, she penned three columns for the Orange County Register’s Coast Magazine.

Learn more at:


Gillian Hutshing at the Greater Los Angeles Writers SocietyGillian Lee Hutshing knows a good story when she sees one. As a feature film editor in Los Angeles for over twenty years, she has worked with acclaimed directors Ridley Scott, Peter Weir, Kevin Costner, among others. Ms. Hutshing has also worked on many films for children including Ferngully: The Last Rainforest for 20th Century Fox and Oliver & Company for Walt Disney.

Ms. Hutshing grew up in La Jolla, California, and attended the University of California at Davis. Sparky the Wonderfish: A story of how love creates magic is her first children’s book. She is currently working on a series of books to teach children big words in a fun and humorous way.

Sparky the Wonderfish: A story of how love creates magic is a charming story of triumph over adversity. Based on a true story, Sparky the Wonderfish is about a little girl who manages to save a tiny feeder fish from becoming dinner for six ferocious Oscar fish. Although feeder fish aren’t expected to live longer than a few days, the real-life Sparky lived happily for thirteen years in his bowl. Thanks to the little girl in the story, the fictional Sparky thrives as well, proving that with love, truly anything is possible!

Ms. Hutshing was a featured author and title at the Book Expo America New York and has had numerous signings at Borders Bookstores throughout Los Angeles. She is currently promoting her book with readings and signings at schools, libraries, bookstores and more. Ms. Hutshing lives in Santa Monica, California, and cooks, photographs, gardens and is hard at work on her next children’s book.

“I enjoyed Sparky a lot, good fun, and my daughter likes it too." Mike B. Anderson - Supervising Director, The Simpsons on Fox Television

“Your delightful, charming book ‘Sparky the Wonderfish’ is heartwarming and sure to delight..." Jerry and Esther Hicks, Abraham-Hicks Publications

Get more Sparky at or or Borders Bookstores


Steve RohrSteve Rohr is president of Lexicon Public Relations and book marketing company As a publicist, Rohr represents Academy Award, Golden Globe, Emmy Award and Grammy Award-winning actors, recording artists and television hosts.

In addition, he has helped dozens of authors gain national media exposure on TV, in print, online and on radio. In 2005, Rohr guided a first-time writer to #1 on the New York Times Best Sellers List. Rohr is also the founder of, a cutting-edge marketing service for authors. A native Montanan, Rohr earned his Master’s Degree in Communication from Arizona State University. He has lectured and taught public relations at Loyola Marymount University and Cal State Northridge.

Of note, Mr. Rohr has represented a number of authors and their books including: Josefina Lopez – Hungry Woman in Paris (March 2009) - Writer of “Real Women Have Curves” John Sacret Young – Remains: Non-Viewable – Creator, “China Beach”, Producer “The West Wing” - LA Times Best-Seller Jose Canseco – Juiced – Former Baseball Player - #1 New York Times Best-Seller Jessica Canseco – Juicy – ex-wife Jose Canseco George Englund, - The Way It’s Never Been Done Before: My Friendship with Marlon Brando – director, The Ugly American Ben Patrick Johnson – One Size Fits All, Third & Heaven, In and Out in Hollywood George Alexander – How We Make Movies: Black Filmmakers Talk about the Magic of Cinema Jordan Wirsz – The Maverick Millionaire Jacquie Jordan – Get on TV! John Livesay – The Seven Most Powerful Selling Secrets Mickey Sherman - How Can You Defend Those People – CBS Legal Analyst Cody Fowler Davis – Implied Consent

Non-author roster includes: Martin Sheen – Multiple Emmy Winner Hal Holbrook – 2008 Oscar Nominee (Into the Wild) Cloris Leachman – Oscar winner Dixie Carter – Emmy nominee (Designing Women/Desperate Housewives) Michael W. Smith – Grammy Winner Cheryl Woodcock – Correspondent, Entertainment Tonight/The Insider Carter Oosterhouse – HGTV Host Angelo Surmelis –HGTV Host Catherine Bach – TV Icon “Daisy Duke” Marina Sirtis – Star Trek’s Deanna Troi Kristoff St. John – 2008 Emmy Winner – The Young & the Restless Jars of Clay – Grammy Winning Band Melinda Doolittle – American Idol Sony BMG Entertainment Sony Pictures Home Entertainment First Look Entertainment.

Learn more at:


John Weiskopf at the Greater Los Angeles Writers SocietyJohn M. Weiskopf is an author, a teacher and the varsity tennis coach for a west-side private high school. His first novel The Ascendancy, the first in the Jacob's Bean Trilogy, was recently published by iUniverse, where it received excellent reviews and is currently being sold at Barnes & Noble, Borders and some independent bookstores across the country. It is also available on, Barnes and and He is presently working on the second book in the trilogy called The Waynack's Word.

He taught literature and writing for ten years in private schools and colleges. He has a B.A. in literature, a M.F.A. from UCLA Graduate Film Program and wrote eight screenplays. He produced two documentaries, which aired on national PBS, one for which he appeared as a guest filmmaker on the Oprah Winfrey Show. He was hired by the U.S. Embassy to teach two screenwriting and producing seminars in South America.

He worked as a professional photographer. His photos have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, The Washington Redskin Review, the MTA Metro News & Metro Quarterly, and the Orange County Register.

For his writing and photography, he traveled extensively through Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia and the Galapagos Islands. He has filmed at Machu Picchu, Galapagos Islands, at Lake Titicaca, in the Andes and climbed the glaciers of Salkantay and Ausangate Mountains.

He and his wife Judy have been married eleven years and they live in Santa Monica. Judy teaches science at a private elementary school. His son is a lacrosse player and avid fisherman. His daughter lives in Manhattan, where she is the manager of merchandizing and special events at ELLE magazine.


"An inspiring and compassionate 21st century epic adventure, part Paradise Lost and part Wizard of Oz. . . .An evolutionary and cultural vision that blends the grim equations of survival and extinction with the regenerative powers of courage and hope." (Dr. Thomas Allen Nelson, author of “Kubrick: Inside a Film Artist's Maze”)

“This book should firmly fix John Weiskopf's star in the heavenly constellation of great authors. He is more than just a master writer: he is a healer. While The Ascendancy has all the makings of an epic tale, it is a story that heals with hope that can be transported from its pages into the very hearts of people everywhere. This book should hold a place of honor on any book shelf, preferably between Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings." (Reverend Ronald D. Culmer, Rector, St. Clare's, Pleasanton, CA)

"In the tradition of masterful and mythic storytellers, John Weiskopf weaves an epic tale that bridges past, present, and future in The Ascendancy. As Jack and Caitlin, along with their otherworldly counterparts journey through numerous trials and achieve amazing triumph, you will celebrate the triumph of the human spirit and the spirit of love and compassion. Prepare to be inspired, uplifted, and filled with hope for the future of humanity." (Ann Albers, author, lecturer, angel communicator)

“A New Age remake of ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’, The Ascendancy takes America’s post-September 11 angst, and wraps it up in a fairytale with characters worthy of Lewis Carroll. Throw in an Inca prophecy and the imminent turn of the Mayan epoch in 2012 and you get a metaphysical fantasy whose flights of imagination leave you clinging to the green leafy twists of the beanstalk arising from the ruins of New York’s Ground Zero.” (Carlos Aranaga, SciFi)


Tony N Todaro at the Greater Los Angeles Writers SocietyTony N Todaro (moderator) is an author, brand strategist and creative consultant, who writes professionally for organizations from Fortune 1000 companies to Hollywood unions and the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center / Department of Defense. Tony has also written for national marketing campaigns, investment groups, and collateral for major corporations. He was awarded a grant to strategize and author the branding and website for Los Angeles Valley College’s Cinema and Broadcast programs, including screenwriting.

He is President of the Greater Los Angeles Writers Society, a member of the Los Angeles Science Fiction & Fantasy Society, and a consultant to various conventions on their writers program. He is a regular speaker at the Los Angeles Regional Science Fiction Convention, the San Diego Science Fiction Convention, Baycon, Westercon and other national events, where he appears on notable writer panels.

He has designed branding and marketing campaigns for national and international companies through his firm, Todaro Communications, Inc., based in Southern California. Previously, Mr. Todaro worked with Interbrand, the world's largest naming and identity company through their American branch, Interbrand, where he consulted to Fortune 500 companies and was West Coast Creative Director.

His novels include "True Light" and "Nexus of Swords" in the Lightriders Saga series, and the forthcoming "What Comes Around" a new time-travel murder mystery in the Xander Hunt series, which is being described as a "Fast-paced and exciting, an intriguing tour through a dangerous and gritty near-future--with some genuine surprises before it's over". He is currently working on the sequel, "Eyes of God". He is perennially authoring novels. short stories, and articles on the craft of writing. He also edits the work of others.

Tony writes as T.N.Todaro and lives in Redondo Beach, California, with his wife Lillian, an award-winning jewelry artist and author, whom he describes as his “personal inspiration.” When not writing, Tony and Lilly can be found at writer’s conferences, fine art shows, or snorkeling in Hawaii.




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