2012 Evening with the Authors


Donaly Brice is a native Texan, having been born in Austin and raised in Lockhart. He developed a keen interest and deep appreciation for history at an early age. The first book that he remembers ever owning and reading was “A History of the United States for Young People” — a book that he still possesses and treasures.

As Donaly was growing up in Lockhart, he often heard wonderful stories about the battle of Plum Creek, because that battle had been partly fought on property owned by his family. Donaly had the opportunity to roam over the land and let his imagination run wild.

After earning a Bachelor or Science in Education from Southwest Texas State University and a Master of Arts from Sam Houston State University, he taught Texas history, American history, world history, and world geography in the Mathis Independent School District.

He was stationed at the Pentagon during his service with the U.S. Navy and worked part-time at the Smithsonian Institution where he was introduced to archival research. Since 1977, he has been employed by the Texas State Archives. He retired in 2003 and returned in a part-time capacity as Senior Research Assistant where he is currently employed.

He has worked extensively at the local and state level with civic activities, is past-chairman of the Caldwell County Historical Commission and is a well-known speaker around the State of Texas.

In 1988, the United Daughters of the Confederacy presented him with the Cross of Military Service. This award is bestowed on lineal descendants of Confederate veterans who have served honorably in time of war.

The highest honor that he has received was in his election and induction as a Fellow of the Texas State Historical Association in 2010.



     Stephen Harrigan was born in Oklahoma City in 1948 and has lived in Texas since the age of five, growing up in Abilene and Corpus Christi.
For many years he was a staff writer and senior editor at Texas Monthly, and his articles and essays have appeared in a wide range of other publications as well, including The Atlantic, Outside, The New York Times Magazine, Conde Nast Traveler, Audubon, Travel Holiday, Life, American History, National Geographic and Slate. Many of his magazine pieces have been collected in the essay collections, A Natural State (1988) and Comanche Midnight (1995). Another non-fiction book, Water and Light: A Diver’s Journey to a Coral Reef, was published by Houghton Mifflin in 1992.
Harrigan is the author of five novels:  Aransas (1980), Jacob’s Well  (1984), The Gates of the Alamo (2000), Challenger Park (2006) and Remember Ben Clayton (2011).
Among the many movies Harrigan has written for television are HBO’s award-winning The Last of His Tribe, and King of Texas, a western retelling of Shakespeare’s King Lear for TNT. His most recent television production was The Colt.  Young Caesar, a feature production he wrote with William Broyles, Jr., is currently in development.
A 1971 graduate of the University of Texas, Harrigan lives in Austin, where he is a faculty fellow at UT’s James A. Michener Center for Writers. He is also a founding member of the Texas Book Festival, and of Capital Area Statues, Inc., a non-profit organization that commissions and raises money for monumental works of sculpture celebrating the history and culture of Texas. He and his wife, Sue Ellen, have three daughters, Marjorie, Dorothy and Charlotte, and two grandchildren, Mason and Travis.


Kenneth W. Howell was born in Athens, Texas, in 1967.  He was raised in Malakoff, just ten miles west of Athens, where he attended public schools, graduating from Malakoff High School in 1986.  While in high school, he participated in various sports, including football, baseball, basketball, and rodeo.  He was also active in the Future Farmers of America (FFA).  Growing up in a rural community allowed Howell to pursue many of his favorite pastimes, including hunting, fishing, camping, and horseback riding.  He was married to his lovely wife, Felesha, in January 1995, and they have two sons, Zachary and Tyler.

Howell attended college in Texas, earning graduate degrees in history from Texas A&M University—Commerce and Texas A&M University in College Station.  Howell taught in the Texas public school system for twelve years before becoming an Assistant Professor of History at Prairie View A&M University in the fall of 2004. He has also taught at Texas A&M University (College Station, Texas), Blinn College (Bryan, Texas), North Harris Montgomery Community College (Woodlands, Texas), and Trinity Valley Community College (Athens, Texas).

Howell has several book publications that focus on history of Texas and the Old South, including Henderson County, Texas, 1846-1861: An Antebellum History (Eakin Press, 1999); The Devil’s Triangle: Ben Bickerstaff, Northeast Texans, and the War of Reconstruction (Best of East Texas Publisher, 2007); Texas Confederate, Reconstruction Governor: James Webb Throckmorton (Texas A&M University Press, 2008); Beyond Myth and Legend: A Narrative History of Texas (Abigail Press, 2008); Seventh Star of the Confederacy: Texas During the Civil War, ed. (University of North Texas Press, 2009); Still the Arena of Civil War: Violence and Turmoil in Reconstruction Texas, 1865-1874 (University of North Texas Press, 2011). Additionally, Howell has published numerous articles and book reviews in the Southwestern Historical Quarterly, East Texas State Historical Journal, Southern Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of the South, The Southern Historian, West Texas Historical Association Yearbook, the Journal of South Texas, and Diálogos Latinamericanos.

Laurie Wagner Buyer 2011BW300creditPat Keating

Photo by Pat Keating

Laurie Wagner Buyer Jameson spent over thirty years living in the backwoods and working on remote ranches in the Rocky Mountain West, but now resides in the hill country town of Llano, Texas. Laurie has an MFA in Writing from Goddard College and her freelance articles and photographs have appeared in dozens of periodicals.  She is the author of six collections of poetry, Glass-eyed Paint in the Rain, Red Colt Canyon, Across the High Divide, Cinch Up Your Saddle, Infinite Possibilities:  A Haiku Journal, andAccidental Voices, the novel Side Canyons, and two memoirs, Spring’s Edge: A Ranch Wife’s Chronicles and When I Came West.  Her newest work is the novel Beautiful Snare.

Personal Statement:

The natural world remains my ultimate Muse.  If I am able to get outside to stroll the neighborhood, go on an extended hike in the hill country, or even simply sit in the yard or work in the garden, ideas flood into my consciousness.  Nothing inspires me more than the complex and mysterious workings of plants and animals, weather patterns and seasonal shifts, the phases of the moon and the magic of the stars.  Nothing confounds me more than the conflicted and tension-filled relationships of people, both with themselves and with others.  When I put people and Nature together, either in my heart or in my stories, I discover many untold secrets related to the cosmic underpinnings of the Universe.  I love being a writer because the questions never end and the answers are always changing.

WC in Albert, TXbw300creditJoeSmith

Photo by Joe Smith

W.C. Jameson is the award-winning and best-selling author of more than seventy books and over 1,500 articles and essays. In addition, he is an accomplished songwriter and performer, having recorded five albums of original music and appeared in several films and on television. Jameson’s latest book is the adventure memoir, Treasure Hunter: Caches, Curses, and Deadly Confrontations, which was named one of Indie Reader’s Best Books of 2011. When not on an expedition or writing a book, Jameson tours the country performing his music at folk festivals, colleges and universities, concert halls, and roadhouses.

Personal Statement:

As a professional treasure hunter, author and songwriter I am at my best when I am engaged in serious research or hands-on experiential events that are the foundation for my poetry, songs, non-fiction, memoir, or novels.  Nothing pleases me more than to discover a hidden cache, whether it be an abandoned silver mine, a scattering of gold coins, the great hook line for a song, or a captivating plot twist for a story.  The ongoing adventures that life provides on a daily basis keep me alert, ever anxious for whatever is going to happen next.  My motto remains, “It has to be fun.”  If it isn’t fun, I’m not interested.


Lynne Kelly grew up in Houston, then lived in a couple of much colder places before running back to the Houston area. For a few years she was a special education teacher, until she realized it was a job for someone with good planning and organizational skills. But it was during those years she fell in love with children’s literature all over again, so that all worked out. She now works as a sign language interpreter and writes novels for children and young adults. CHAINED is her first novel.

Personal information: I’ve always loved reading, but it wasn’t until I got the idea for Chained that I thought about writing a book. At first I thought I’d write a picture book about a captive elephant who breaks free and returns to its home in the wild, but I expanded the story into a novel after a few critiquers suggested it. Of course it changed a lot during the five years I spent writing and revising it, but you’ll still see that same chained-up elephant that I’d envisioned in the first version of the story.

I really fell in love with writing while working on Chained and hope to write many more books for children and teens.



I was born backward—feet first and left-handed, and have done most things backwards every since. (I have a list!)

At 41 I took my first freshman class at the University of Texas at El Paso and fought my way to a BA (Honors) in Sociology and a Masters in Educational Psychology, all while rearing four children, being a pastor’s wife, and a foreign missionary.

After graduation, my life took a different turn. I struck out on my own and began a career as a single mother working with non-profit and for-profit organizations within the human services field, and conducting private practice as a licensed professional counselor and marriage and family therapist.

I studied spiritual warrior training and taro card readings under a shaman in New Mexico. The gypsy culture fascinates me. I am trained as a hypno-therapist, dream therapist, Strategic Family Therapist. I studied Jung, Freudian, Frankel, Skinner, Carl Rogers, Imago and other psychological theories.

I am task-oriented, but can change course on a dime. My mother used to say I was the only person she knew who could stop in the middle of housecleaning, to sit and read a magazine.

Like my dad, I never meet a stranger. I talk to people everywhere and in all situations, from bikers to priests to prostitutes. I delight in watching the expression of a weary checker at the grocery store turn from gloom to a big smile when I ask how they are and pay attention when they respond.

Writing strong women has helped me find and refine my voice, to discover who I am, what I stand for, and what I want stand for.

Personal Statement:

I make no bones about it—I write novels featuring strong women. My main characters are either strong when they start out, or get there by the time I’m done with them. Inspiration for such is a result of my own journey into strength at midlife.  At 34, my curiosity about the world took on a whole new dimension when I moved to the Caribbean island nation of Trinidad & Tobago. Awed by the differences in customs and cultures, particularly as they related to West Indian women, I set out on a journey of study and self-discovery that, years later, leads me to advocate for women. My writing features those who recreate themselves into the people they want to be—strong women who take charge of their lives and get things done.


Robb Walsh has devoted his career to exploring and interpreting folk foodways. His newspaper articles, magazine pieces, radio broadcasts and cookbooks have been nominated for fourteen James Beard Awards (and won three). He was the restaurant critic at the Houston Press from 2000 until 2010 and has also served as the editor in chief of Chile Pepper Magazine and as the food columnist for Natural History magazine.

Walsh’s writings appear in several anthologies including: Best Food Writing 2000 through 2010 and Cornbread Nation, Best Southern Food Writing volumes I, II, & IV from the Southern Foodways Alliance. He is the founder and head judge of the Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival, now in its 22nd year.

In July of 2010, along with other veterans of the Southern Foodways Alliance, Walsh founded a non-profit organization called Foodways Texas to preserve and promote Texas food culture. Foodways Texas is headquartered at the University of Texas at Austin. (Find out more at foodwaystexas.com.)

That’s mutton in the foreground and pork shoulder behind it. I bought a pound of each at the Annual 4th of July BBQ at the Kenney Hall, a community barbecue that’s been going on for 110 years. Kenney is in Austin County, not far from the site of Stephan F Austin’s colony. They still barbecue in long open pits around here, Southern plantation style. I ate a barbecue plate for lunch at the Kenney Hall and took these two pounds home for dinner.

Rufus Lovett and I are working on a new book about Southern barbecue culture for the University of Texas Press, Barbecue Revelations is the working title. Eating a lot of barbecue is one of the fringe benefits of our research.


Published on September 11, 2013 at 5:22 am  Leave a Comment  

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