Debra Widerøe is Professor of Communication at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California with expertise in integrated marketing, advertising and media.  She received her Master’s Degree from Harvard University, specializing in children’s television marketing.  Debbie has written articles and columns for KidScreen and Sunshine Family Magazine. Previously, Debra was an executive at Warner Bros. in charge of global marketing for Looney Tunes, Baby Looney Tunes, Animaniacs and the Pinky and the Brain animated properties.  She was founder and CEO of Multi-Media Promotions, Inc., where she worked with major TV and film studios. During her tenure, she spearheaded development projects, wrote, produced and developed celebrated pro-social TV specials, PSA’s, interstitials and commercials, which included the award-winning For Kids’ Sake campaign. Through her efforts, Debra was afforded the opportunity to work with environmental leaders of change; including Sylvia Earle, James Cameron, Ted Turner and Graciela Chichilnisky. The recipient of numerous industry, academic and service awards, including the recent Charles H. Sandage Excellence in Teaching Award, Debra is the creator and author of “The Adventures of Camellia N." her environmentally-focused Children's Book Series, which provides 'messaging with meaning' to young children throughout the world.

John Huddles is a Los Angeles-based screenwriter and director. Filmmaker Magazine called his sci-fi thriller, The Philosophers, an “adventure film of ideas” … “sneakily beautiful” with “bravura fantasy sequences.” In Boon On The Moon, the first book from The Booniverse, John extends his love of sci-fi/fantasy into storytelling for the page instead of the screen. John began his writing career as editor-in-chief of Brown University’s student magazine and as one of Brown’s first-ever Undergraduate Writing Fellows.

Laura Pells  has been sharing her love of literacy in the classroom for over 16 years.  In addition, she continues to write and create curriculums based on classroom novels. A story-teller since she could first read, Laura is well-versed in showing young students various ways to express themselves through creativity and the written word. She has a playful perspective in helping children face their fears as illustrated through her first children’s picture book, Ella McBella in the Dark. With the help of Ella, as well as in her classroom, Laura fosters resiliency and grit. Laura lives in Colorado with her husband and two children.

Featured Authors:

Michael Molinet has been a professional artist for over 30 years, both in the corporate world as a creative director and as a fine artist. His journey began as a graduate of The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, while he has since pursued a career that includes being a published author/illustrator, an art director working in both marketing and design, and as a freelance illustrator for literary works in an array of genres. In addition to his agency work, Michael has designed award-winning interior and cover book illustrations, as well as penning his own children’s books. As a fine artist, his paintings have received critical acclaim and been displayed in the Smithsonian and other private galleries. A recent move to Colorado has availed him the opportunity to retire from the corporate world and to direct all of his energies to developing his own literary works, and to offer his skills and experience for the advancement of others’ literary careers. As an artist, Michael delights in creating the visual language that communicates the heart and the soul of the written word.

Scott McDermott grew up in Switzerland, backpacked through the American West and trekked the Himalayas before spending the last 20 years as a commercial photographer and filmmaker. He has photographed many of the best creative minds in Hollywood, the music industry and the worlds of business and government. Along with his advertising and editorial work, Scott has created several personal projects including his “Scar Stories” portrait series, the highly acclaimed "Mandela Day” project capturing the hands and faces of those who support Nelson Mandela's message. Scott has also directed a variety of film projects from a feature documentary to commercial spots, short films and viral videos. He recently started writing children’s fiction, inspired by the stories he made up to tell his own children at bed time. Scott lives in New York City with his wife and 2 children.

Peter Trimarco was a fine arts student who graduated from Lake Forest College with a degree in literature and went onto pursue a career as an editorial cartoonist…but drawing ‘grownups’ stopped being fun. Before being inspired by the opportunity to co-write and illustrate a children’s book with Brenda, he journeyed through life as an entertainment industry professional. From creative director to executive producer to publisher of international film magazines (Moving Pictures and Beyond Cinema) he found a good deal of success… such as awards and working with people who had entourages. But then came working with children and it became fun again. The words began to flow and with it, the paint, the pen and ink and most important the orange hair on Lizzy’s head.  …and three simple words from Brenda put it all in motion” “It’s Just So…”

Brenda Faatz has an undeniable connection with children. Some say it’s because they instinctively know “one of their own.” A graduate of The University of Northern Colorado with a degree in Musical Theatre, Brenda is a professional singer, dancer and actor. Along with Peter Trimarco, she wrote the music, lyrics and script for the original Wee Noteables musical theatre live performance series for children. Brenda also founded and currently directs and teaches at the Noteable Kids Arts Center in Denver, Colorado where she has the honor of interacting with and learning from children and their families on a daily basis. "It's Just So" is her first children’s book because, as she likes to say... “no one ever told me I couldn’t.”