Camp Square Books Speaker Bio's

Bill Cheng

Bill Cheng received a BA in creative writing from Baruch College and is a graduate of Hunter College's MFA program. Born and raised in Queens, he currently lives in Brooklyn with his wife. Southern Cross the Dog is his first novel.

Southern Cross the Dog is a stunning debut -- set in the Mississippi Delta in 1927 and 1941 and teeming with lives of hardship, music, devilment, love, toil and trouble. I heartily endorse Colum McCann’s view that 'Cheng proves masterful in his ability to dwell in another era and place, while still remaining rooted in the landscape of the human heart. Cheng, almost literally, writes out of his skin.' "  (Square Books Dear Reader) 

Jeff Shaara

Jeff Shaara is the New York Times bestselling author of The Steel Wave, The Rising Tide, To the Last Man, The Glorious Cause, Rise to Rebellion, and Gone for Soldiers, as well as Gods and Generals and The Last Full Measure–two novels that complete the Civil War trilogy that began with his father’s Pulitzer Prize—winning classic The Killer Angels. Shaara was born into a family of Italian immigrants in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He grew up in Tallahassee, Florida, and graduated from Florida State University. After many years spent in New York City and the mountains of Montana, Jeff has returned to Florida and resides again in Sarasota.

Bestselling historical novelist turns his formidable narrative skills to the Siege of Vicksburg in A Chain of Thunder, bringing to life the battle that was a crucial turning point in the outcome of the Civil War, and the most important Civil War event in Mississippi. (Square Books Dear Reader) 


Gail Godwin

Gail Kathleen Godwin is an American novelist and short story writer. She has published one non-fiction work, two collections of short stories, thirteen novels, three of which were finalists for the National Book Award and five of which have made the New York Times Bestseller List. She has also published two volumes of her journals under the title, The Making of a Writer.

Godwin's body of work has garnered many honors, including three times being named a National Book Award finalist, a Guggenheim Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts grants for both fiction and libretto writing, and the Award in Literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. Five of her novels have been on the New York Times best seller list.

Flora is a remarkable book that precisely captures a place and a time (the Smoky Mountains in 1945) and gives us characters that seem as real to the reader as one's own relatives. Flora is a very special novel that an immensely talented writer has given us as a crowing achievement of a distinguished career, and -- I promise -- you are going to want to tell your friends about this book. (Square Books Dear Reader)

Clyde Edgerton

Clyde Edgerton, raised in the community of Bethesda, near Durham, NC, has published eight novels and a memoir (Solo, My Adventures in the Air). Three of his novels have been made into movies: RaneyWalking Across Egypt, and Killer Diller. Edgerton’s short stories and essays have been published in New York Times Magazine, Best American Short Stories, Southern Review, Oxford American, Garden & Gun and other publications. Edgerton is a musician and has performed with musicians including Jim Watson, Mike Craver, Jack King, and Matt Kendrick.

Among Edgerton’s awards are: Guggenheim Fellowship; Lyndhurst Prize; Honorary Doctorates from UNC-Asheville and St. Andrews Presbyterian College; membership in the Fellowship of Southern Writers; the North Carolina Award for Literature; and five notable book awards from the New York Times.

Edgerton is a professor of Creative Writing in the MFA program at UNC Wilmington. He lives in Wilmington, NC, with his wife, Kristina, and their children.

Papadaddy offers tips that range from allowing 8 hours to install an infant car seat to advice on blocking the image of a teenage daughter riding up in the yard on a Harley, naked. Conveying both caution and joy, Edgerton writes from experience, observation, and his vivid imagination." (Square Books Dear Reader) 

John R. Neff

John R. Neff is Associate Professor of History and Director of The Center for Civil War Research at the University of Mississippi. He received a Ph.D. from the University of California, Riverside. 

His first book, Honoring the Civil War Dead: Commemoration and the Problem of Reconciliation, appeared in 2005. That year, he was also named the College of Liberal Arts Teacher of the Year, and in 2009 he received the Elsie B. Hood Outstanding Teacher Award. He is currently at work on research into the legacy of the Civil War in Chicago, a project tentatively entitled City of Memory.


Ace Atkins

Ace Atkins photo Ace Atkins is the New York Times Bestselling author of more than a dozen novels. A former journalist who cut his teeth as a crime reporter in the newsroom of The Tampa Tribune, he published his first novel, Crossroad Blues, at 27 and became a full-time novelist at 30. Last year, he was selected by the Robert B. Parker estate to continue the bestselling adventures of Boston’s iconic private eye, Spenser.

As a reporter, Ace earned a Pulitzer Prize nomination for a feature series based on his investigation into a forgotten murder of the 1950s. The story became the core of his critically acclaimed novel, White Shadow, which earned raves from noted authors and critics.

Ace lives on a historic farm outside Oxford, Mississippi with his family.


Jack Pendarvis Pendarvis spent much of his childhood and adult life in Bayou La Batre, Alabama. He is the author of one novel and two collections of short stories. He is a columnist for Oxford American, and The Believer. His work has appeared in many other publications, including McSweeney’s, The New York Times, and the 2006 Pushcart Prize anthology. His publications include Awesome, 2008, Your Body is Changing, 2007 and The Mysterious Secret of the Valuable Treasure, 2005.

He teaches fiction and contemporary literature in the English Department at the University of MS.

Nancy Miller 

Nancy Head Shot 2.jpgNancy Miller is editorial director of Bloomsbury, where her authors include Gail Godwin, Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket), Lisa Howorth, and Mark Kurlansky, among others. She has previous held positions at HarperCollins, Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Farrar, Straus & Giroux.