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Author headshot of Jason Cannon


Jason is a best-selling author and publisher, as well as an award-winning director, actor, improviser, playwright, and teacher. He has an MFA in Directing, a Masters in Drama, and a quarter-century in professional theatre.

As an actor Jason has portrayed everything from a rapping dinosaur to a robot and from a hitman to Hamlet. He has written plays about J.R.R. Tolkien and Stevie Wonder, directed plays about hiccuping dragons and foul-mouthed puppets, and once while improvising he was attacked by a stage light.

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Mary Lu is an aunt to seventeen nieces and nephews. She also is mama to two strapping fellows and treat-giver to several grandpuppies and grandkitties. She lives in sunny Florida with her wonderful husband of 48 years, Bob.

Along with writing, she loves to sing, and if you ever are her dinner guest, she will send you home with all the leftovers!

WHO WRECKED THE WITCH-A-THON? is her first book.


Estrella Engelhardt has been a student of life for 82 years and is the author of LETTERS TO JIM: MEMOIR OF A 40-YEAR LOVE STORY. She is mother to two adult children and stepmother to five more.

She has been involved in International Folk Dancing for twenty years and theatre performance for sixteen years. She also became a Massage Therapist at age 55 and a Hair Stylist from the Vidal Sassoon Academy in 1975.

She graduated Panama Canal College with a degree in Physical Education/Psychology, and has traveled extensively throughout Europe, Mexico, Central and South America, Panama, Israel, and Scandinavia.

LETTERS TO JIM is her first book.

headshot of Marc D. Johnson


Marc D. Johnson, Jr. is a Philadelphia native and the poet behind BURNING SAGE. His interest in the arts began before he could walk. His childhood was full of playing the harmonica and banging on anything resembling a drum until at age 13 he shifted to the pursuit of acting.

Then at age 17, a Creative Writing class blew his understanding of the world wide open, and Marc has been writing poetry ever since.

Now in his mid-20s, Marc still acts, still plays a plethora of instruments, and continues to pursue clarity—about himself, about others, about life—through writing.

BURNING SAGE is Marc's fourth published collection of poetry.

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Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Scott Mann is a former U.S. Army Green Beret with multiple tours in Afghanistan. Scott is also the founder of Task Force Pineapple, a group of volunteer veterans advocating for the abandoned Afghan People.

He is also the founder of the 501C3 The Heroes Journey, where he helps warriors, first responders, and their families find their voice and tell their story in order to bridge the civil-military divide.

After undergoing a difficult transition from military life and combat where he almost took his own life, Scott became a playwright and actor in his recent play and film about the Afghan War called LAST OUT: ELEGY OF A GREEN BERET (soon to be published by IBIS BOOKS!), which has been seen by over 80,000 people, toured 16 cities, has led to 250+ PTS interventions by trained counselors, and was performed for 75 Gold Star Families.


Sam is the author of QUEEN PALM. He was a lifelong actor, writer, humorist, teacher, and made the best Old Fashioned you ever did have.

Learn more about Sam and his legacy.


Maria is a Brazilian-born educator and artist, on a passionate mission to empower individuals to become the protagonists of their own lives. With extensive experience in theater, mindfulness, and cross-cultural engagement, she weaves together the transformative power of theater, Ayurveda, and meditation to guide others on a journey of self-discovery and well-being.

Maria’s deep commitment to personal growth led her to become a certified Chopra Meditation teacher, Reiki Master, and Ayurvedic Health Counselor. Through her company, Atomica Arts, she pioneers the integration of mindfulness practices into her artistic and educational endeavors, nurturing creativity and fostering well-being through arts-based activities.

As a National Arts Integration Consultant, Maria excels in designing and implementing transformative residencies and workshops with a strong emphasis on theater, improvisation, mindfulness, social change, and mental health. Her remarkable contributions to the field of arts and education have garnered her recognition, including receiving the 2019 Arts Leadership Award from The Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County. Additionally, she was honored with the prestigious 2022 Appleton Arts Integration Award from the Sarasota Performing Arts Center Foundation.

To embark on a journey of empowerment, mindfulness, and creativity with Maria, visit her website at and discover the transformative possibilities she brings through her art, teaching, and holistic well-being practices.

BE THE PROTAGONIST is her first book.


Mark is an award-winning writer for the stage, television, and film. He lives in a small Massachusetts town with more cows than people, and is the author of THE MIRROR MAN.

His dozens of plays and musicals include Freud’s Last Session, Dancing Lessons, and Becoming Dr. Ruth. Mark also wrote the children’s book Three Cups and the comedic memoir Walking Evil: How Man’s Best Friend Became My Worst Enemy.

Mark’s work has received the Lucille Lortel Award, the Outer Critics Circle Award, and the Off-Broadway Alliance Award. He is an Associate Artist at the Barrington Stage Company in the Berkshires, where a theater has been named after him.


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