Who are we in conversation with?
Get to know the incredible literary minds that will be in conversation at our book events across the festival
Award-winning and best-selling Brisbane author, HM Hodgson, writes about romance (steamy scenes a must!), intrigue and magic. Magic that moves worlds and takes her to another place.
In 2021, HM Hodgson won the Romance Writers of Australia First Kiss competition with the first kiss scene from her novel, Keeper Of My Heart, as judged by producer and director, Tosca Musk. in 2023, Hodgson also won the Australian Romance Readers Association award for Favourite Continuing Romance Series 2022 with The Immortal Keepers.
When not writing or reading or daydreaming about her next literary hero, you can find her sipping coffee and eating chocolate (usually together).
Brisbane author Anna Campbell has won numerous awards for her compelling historical romances, mainly set in the Regency period. She has released 11 bestselling books with HarperCollins and Hachette and more than 35 as an independent author. Her work has been translated into 18 languages. Currently she is working on a new series called Scoundrels of Mayfair.
Jordan Clayden-Lewis works in digital publishing and is the author of queer books such as the road trip romance novel, When Things Happen Together.
Jordan’s fiction has been published in print with Currency Press and he’s performed his work at the Australian storytelling event Queerstories, as well as the National Young Writers’ Festival.
When Jordan’s not reading or writing, he’s parenting his overactive kelpie Misty, hiking a trail in the forest somewhere, or thinking about Mexican food.
Michelle Beesley is a Brisbane writer, a regular columnist with e-magazine She Society and has a podcast Buzzing About Books. Michelle writes romantic fiction and children’s stories. Her short story Escape to D’ Amour has been published by Serenity Press as part of the Destination Romance anthology. In 2019 this story was published as a stand-alone novelette. When not writing, Michelle can be found reading, practising yoga, at the theatre, beside a footy field cheering on her favourite rugby union teams or in her local coffee shops chatting with friends. Michelle loves everything pink and sparkly (including champagne).
Andrea Lewis currently holds the position of CEO/Festival Director of Somerset Storyfest, the writer’s festival for the Gold Coast. First contracted in 2003 by the then Somerset Celebration of Literature, Andrea has taken the festival from strength to strength to be recognised as one of Australia’s foremost writers’ festivals. Andrea’s commitment to Arts and Culture industry on the Gold Coast and beyond have assisted in developing literacy-based activities throughout the City for children, youth and adults. Taking a collaborative approach and always looking for innovative ways in which to support like minded organisations, ensures success for everyone
Amy is an award-winning, USA Today best-selling, triple RITA nominated Aussie author who has written eighty-five contemporary romances in both the traditional and digital markets and sold over 3 million books.
Her books bring all the feels from sass and quirk and laughter to emotional grit and scorching heat. She believes in soul mates, happily ever afters and the mighty wang. For many, many years Amy was a registered nurse which means she knows things, anatomical things, and she’s not afraid to use them!
Amy loves frequent travel, good books and enjoys a deep and abiding relationship with wine. In 2019 she was given life member status by Romance Writers of Australia, an organisation she has been heavily involved with for over twenty years including six years on the national executive, two of them as president.
She’s lives in the pretty little coastal town of Yeppoon where she gets to stare at the ocean all day and enjoy cocktails on the deck as the sun sets.
Stacey McEwan is the best-selling author of the Glacian Trilogy. Her debut fantasy romance novel – Ledge, has been translated into three languages. Not to brag, but her high school English teacher once called her writing “above year level standard.” Stacey received a bachelor’s degree in education in 2012 and remains a school teacher by day. She is a book reviewer and content creator on multiple platforms, including Tiktok and Instagram. Stacey first published after book lovers of the internet encouraged her to share her story ideas. She was born and raised on the Gold Coast, Australia, and still resides in her hometown with her husband, two children and one questionable dog.
Olympia Kwitowski is a seasoned Radio Presenter, boasting over a decade of experience within the radio broadcasting industry.
Renowned for her distinctive voice and adept hosting skills, Olympia has graced the airwaves in various capacities, including her current role as Host of 4BC Weekend Breakfast and as the weekday morning traffic reporter on 4BC Breakfast and Mornings.
When she is not behind a mic at 4BC – Olympia is one of Brisbane’s most in-demand Master of Ceremonies, lending her expertise to a diverse array of events ranging from prestigious Gala Awards nights to thought-provoking panel discussions. Olympia’s ability to captivate audiences is second to none. Her commanding stage presence and eloquent communication style keep attendees engaged and excited throughout the event
Award-winning Australian romance author Ally Blake has sold over four million copies of her more than forty published novels, with each translated into multiple languages worldwide. A popular speaker, and ambassador for romantic literature and Australian voices, Ally is co-creator of the ‘game-changing’ www.HowtoWriteLove.com online course, has presented at writing conferences and literary festivals all around Australia, and is a regular speaker at the Queensland Writers Centre, as well as host of several Book Clubs for Brisbane Libraries. Follow Ally on social media @allyblakebooks and find her books at www.allyblake.com.