If there is any one thing I believe about the non-fiction project, it is that good non-fiction exists to give coherent accounts of things that exist, whether that’s investment as a field or the structure of the body or an experience held by real people. I always prefer to represent non-fiction, regardless of its cultural, political, religious, economic, or other affiliation, that is systematic and intensive in its framework, research, and account. As I’ve found over the years, non-fiction is a vastly different–and rarely, though potentially, misused–project, relative to that of fiction.
Rob is the CEO of Threat Sketch, a strategic cyber risk management firm that helps small organizations manage cyber risk at the executive level. In his work, he aids board members and executives in managing cyber risk in the small/medium companies they lead, and has written a guide for these kinds of executives: Cybersecurity: A Business Solution (Threat Sketch, 2017).
Rob has appeared before U.S. House of Representative committees, having most recently testified before the House Small Business Committee’s hearing on improving cybersecurity infrastructure in both the private and public sectors. He has also spoken at the Wall Street Journal; NIST-sponsored conferences; and is an executive member of Homeland Security’s ICT Supply Chain Task Force; an active member of the IT Sector Coordinating Council; a member of two Business Executives for National Security councils; and an advisory board member of two cybersecurity academic programs.
My dad and my youngest brother are trained computer programmers/engineers. General notions of techie things, including security, have always been on my radar, and I’m excited to see this work contribute to a growing industry.
Residing in Winston-Salem with her husband, Jen is the founder and artistic director at The Engaging Educator (EE), using improv-based continuing education for communication, presentation and social skill development, as well Fearless, a shared space model for women’s empowerment and formation. She is the author of Improv(E): Using Improv to Find Your Voice, Style, and Self (Balboa, 2018) as well as the forthcoming Think on Your Feet: Tips and Tricks to Improve Your Impromptu Communication Skills on the Job (McGraw-Hill, 2019). She is also working on a new project.
Since 2012, Jen has given three TEDx Talks on the power of Improv, grown EE to three locations in NYC; Winston-Salem, NC; and L.A., and recently began The Engaging Educator Foundation, which offers free and low-cost Improv workshops for educators, at-risk adults, teens and students on the Autism Spectrum. EE’s pedagogical approach of ‘Improv as Continuing Education’ has reached over 50,000 people–all non-actors.
One of my best friends from college introduced me to the value of drama therapy, and I am a high school debater and speechie, so I always look for work that elevates the formation of public speaking and confidence-building, especially among women.
Born in Malaysia and raised in the D.C. area, Michelle Daniel has led an eclectic life. As a pianist, she has performed in front of audiences from L.A. to Moscow, taught music for well over 15 years, and earned two Grammy nominations on collaboration recording projects. As a writer, she has penned several geopolitical manuscripts centered around Russia, the U.S., and the Middle East; adapted books for screen; and optioned numerous original screenplays. Her strong interest in Russia and the surrounding region has led to graduate study at the Univ. of TX-Austin. Her current research focuses on Cold War radio broadcasting to the Soviet Union, highlighting in particular the work and methods of the BBC. She also writes thrillers.
Her non-fiction debut, Seva: The DJ Who Brought Down the USSR, is a musical and cultural iconography funded by the U.S. Department of Education, exploring the life and impact of Russian musical icon DJ Seva Novgorodsev, who introduced forbidden popular western music and culture into Soviet Russia through the BBC (Holt/Macmillan, 2022). This expert and innovative ethnography was done on Russian soil, given that Seva remains alive!
Donald L. Hilton, Jr., MD
Dr. Hilton is a physician and professor of neurosurgery at the Univ. of TX-San Antonio Health Science Center, where he directs the CAST accredited spine fellowship as well as neurosurgical training at the Methodist Hospital rotation.
His research and publishing interests have included traumatic brain injury, minimally invasive surgery, and neural mechanisms of addiction. He has authored peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters on addiction, most of them focusing on pornography, including papers published in the Journal of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), Socioaffective Neuroscience and Psychology, and Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity. He was the lead co-author of a chapter on the neurobiology of sexual addiction in the recently published medical textbook Neurobiology of Addiction (Oxford Univ. Press, 2016). He hopes to complete a book-length project guided by his research.
He currently serves on the board of directors of the Washington, D.C.-based National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE), and has served on the board of directors of the Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health (SASH).
I love to work with Dr. Hilton, especially with regards to his commitment to understanding the nature of porn addiction from an integrated medical perspective, and his commitment to personalizing care for those affected.
J. Brennan Mullaney, MSSW (Website)
J. Brennan Mullaney is a retired psychiatric social worker, and lives with his wife in Louisville, KY. After receiving a Master’s degree in psychiatric social work from the Kent School of Social Work at the Univ. of Louisville in 1964, he served as executive or associate director of three social work agencies, founded and directed a counseling center, and directed a nationally recognized state-level child advocacy program. He is the author of a theoretical-practical hybrid work of psychology, Authentic Love: Theory and Therapy (Alba, 2008).
After his long career, when asked what he did, Brennan would laugh and say, “My gig is love.” In all the agencies he directed, he trained his staff, and sometimes hundreds of volunteers, to bring love that they preached “down to earth and into practice.” At the state level, his love-oriented, citizen-based community committees developed hundreds of programs to help their children, always motivated by “love in action.” Mullaney tries to suppress a laugh when he reports that his volunteers even had their local politicians using the word ‘love.’
I first read Authentic Love in 2016, and it changed my life forevermore; Brennan (as one can call him!) and I have spoken often since. I am eager to see him leave his life’s legacy for a greater audience, a project we are working on together.
Dana is an empath, a creative problem solver, and the founder of Tiny Piñata, a consulting firm that applies principles of empathy and human-centered design to creative business development. Among diverse professional experiences lies writing copy for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Anthropologie, Merck and Ford, and later working in-house for Hachette Livre, where she wrote catalog copy, radio scripts, print ads, and in-store displays for books by Nicholas Sparks, David Sedaris, David Foster Wallace, and James Patterson. She is working on a book-length project.
She recently completed building an internal pitch competition and startup incubator inside a 130-year-old global textile company, and is currently conducting user research for the largest provider of software for the public sector.
She is the mother of identical twin two-year-old sons, the wife of her former editor turned software developer, and lives in Greensboro, NC.
One of my favorite philosophers wrote her dissertation on the phenomenon of empathy, and I love the thought of building out infrastructure that takes into account and/or has as its foundations the ‘structure of persons’ experiences,’ which is discovered in empathic study.
Annie is the author of three popular true ghost story books, and lives in what she considers a haunted house in the historic Mississippi River town of Hastings, MN. I learned about Annie’s work during my first internship with a young adult imprint called Flux (now North Star), when it was an imprint of Llewellyn Worldwide, where Annie was an editor, and then sold her third book, Trucker Ghost Stories (Tor/Macmillan, 2012). She is working on a new book-length project.
I am always intrigued by experiential accounts of the supernatural, especially since my undergraduate degree, in the philosophy of the human person, dealt with case studies of religious and/or supernatural experiences–and I consider it a deeply important project to be able to understand and systematize these experiences as they relate to the person.