Speaker Bios

Hallie Ephron, Victoria Skurnick, and Victoria Ryan

Hallie Ephron-New York Times best selling author; writing teacher

Hallie Ephron is an Edgar Award finalist and a four-time finalist for the Mary Higgins Clark Award which proves, along with her New York Times best selling author status, that her writing is a critical and commercial success. Hallie, the author of ten books, is also a much-sought-after workshop and conference speaker across the country. Mad Anthony Writers Conference fans know she packs a ton of quality information into her presentations and is warm, encouraging, and helpful in her critiques and appointments. Her Writing and Selling Your Mystery Novel (Writers Digest Books) was nominated for Edgar and Anthony awards. An award-winning crime fiction book reviewer, Hallie wrote an ON CRIME column for the Boston Globe for ten years.

Hallie  grew up in a family of writers and a household filled with books. Her parents were Henry and Phoebe Ephron who wrote screenplays for classic movies like Carousel and Daddy Long Legs. Hallie was the last of their four daughters (Nora, Delia, Hallie, Amy) to start writing or, as she calls it, succumb to her genes. Now Hallie writes suspense novels she hopes keep readers up nights. 

Victoria SkurnickLevine, Greenberg, and Rostan Literary Agency, New York City

First things first: Victoria is Victoria, not Vickie, Vicki, Vicky, Vickey, or Vikki. She is accepting submissions (see Appointment Page for genres she is interested in and those she is not).

Victoria came to LGR after being at The Book-of-the Month Club for almost twenty years.  As Editor-in-Chief, she relished the opportunity to devour every kind of book, from the finest literary fiction to Yiddish for Dogs.  Anne Tyler, John LeCarre, Amy Tan, Tom Wolfe, Stephen King, Michael Lewis, Lee Child, Roddy Doyle, Alice Sebold, Tracy Kidder, Julia Child and Susan Elizabeth Phillips are just a few of the authors that make her deaf and blind to anyone around her when she’s reading.

Victoria’s other addiction besides reading is music. She has sung in many choirs in New York City and spent a few ostensibly happy years singing rock in groups like Big and the Evolution. No, you haven’t heard of it-if you had, she wouldn’t be an agent. She also is the co-author (with Cynthia Katz) of seven novels written by “Cynthia Victor.”

Raised in New Rochelle, NY, Victoria went to the University of Wisconsin where she studied political science with an emphasis on constitutional law, a subject that still fascinates her. Neither adventurous nor peripatetic, she has remained within a 20-mile radius of home since her day of birth.

Victoria Ryan-Writer, Speaker, Mad Anthony Writers Conference Founder

First things first: Victoria writes as Victoria Ryan and answers to Victoria, Vick, or Vickie–but never to Vicki, Vicky, Vickey, or Vikki, which simply are different names than hers.  Her first nonfiction children’s book When Your Grandparent Dies (2002, Abbey Press) continues to be an Abbey Press Best Seller and her second When Your Pet Dies (2003) won The Family Friendly Book Award (2006) in Chicago. Together, both books are translated in ten languages and continue to sell.  She also wrote Pets Are a Blessing (now in three languages), an Irish Poster, and several CareNotes for adults through Abbey Press. Her bylines include McCall’s, US Catholic, Ladies Home Journal, and Christian Parenting Today magazines, and Romance Writers of America chapter newsletters in Ohio and Florida. She was a finalist in the Tuscany Prize for (adult) Fiction (2012).

Victoria worked as  a licensed speech-language pathologist before writing full-time. She taught reading and composition at Miami University-Hamilton Campus and Journal Keeping for Miami’s Institute of Learning in Retirement. She presents at workshops and conferences including Books By the Banks (Cincinnati) and talks to community groups about writing and the particular topics of her books (anything). She wrote book reviews for Catholic Fiction dot com and sits on the Seal of Approval Committee for Catholic Writers Guild. She is the founder of The Mad Anthony Writers Conference. Victoria (one of fourteen children born to her parents) received her Bachelor’s and Master’s from Miami University-Oxford. She and her husband, the first directly-elected mayor  of Hamilton,Ohio, live in Hamilton (within three miles of their childhood homes) where they raised their six sons and two dogs.