Our authors

Introducing the Cynren Press family

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Patrice Apodaca

Veteran journalist Patrice Apodaca, coauthor of A Boy Named Courage: A Surgeon's Memoir of Apartheid (2018) is a former Los Angeles Times staff writer. She is currently a featured columnist for the Daily Pilot, a Los Angeles Times Community News publication.

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Himmet Dajee, MD

Dr. Himmet Dajee, coauthor of A Boy Named Courage: A Surgeon's Memoir of Apartheid (2018), holds medical degrees from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and the University of London. He was an assistant professor at UCLA and a staff cardiac surgeon at Kaiser Permanente. After two decades in private practice in California, he retired from surgery in 2006 and currently serves as a medical director at CalOptima, which administers health insurance for low-income patients. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, and the American College of Chest Physicians. The recipient of numerous academic awards, Dajee has coauthored twenty-one papers published in prestigious medical journals and is a frequent speaker at medical conferences.

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Andrea Fekete

Andrea Fekete, coeditor of Feminine Rising: Voices of Power & Invisibility (forthcoming), is granddaughter to Mexican and Hungarian immigrants and a native of the southern West Virginia coalfields. She grew up a West Virginia holler girl who loved to write but with no idea if anyone would read girls’ work at all, especially work by holler girls. But she’d go on to university at nineteen and discover women’s studies, feminism, and literature by women of all races, nationalities, and religions. She holds an MA in English from Marshall University and an MFA in Creative Writing from WV Wesleyan College.

She is author of an historical fiction novel of the West Virginia coal mine wars of 1920, Waters Run Wild (Sweetgum Press, 2010), and of one poetry chapbook, I Held a Morning (Finishing Line Press, 2012). Her fiction and poetry often appear in journals such as Chiron Review, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Kentucky Review, Montucky Review, Adirondack Review, and ABZ. She is a contributor to the anthology Eyes Glowing at the Edge of the Woods: Fiction and Poetry from West Virginia (WVU Press, 2017), among others.

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Natasha M. Freeman

Natasha M. Freeman, author of Abwûn (forthcoming), is an author and communications specialist whose writing centers on thought-provoking, science-minded narratives and journalism, with the aim to unite people beyond the borders of their divisions. Her graduate and postgraduate areas of study include English literature, political science, and women’s studies, but she has always maintained a personal interest in theology and the many ways in which people are affected by religion. Her fiction work has been nominated for the Ashton Wylie Book Award of New Zealand (honoring works that contribute to the growth and enlightenment of humanity). Her first nonfiction book, Our Changing Rivers (2005), about the science and practice of fluvial geomorphology, sits on the Geography curriculum of Rhodes University, South Africa. Natasha is a native of Alberta, Canada.

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Patricia Gallo-Stenman

Philadelphia native Patricia Gallo-Stenman, author of Diary of a Beatlemaniac: A Fab Insider's Look at the Beatles Era (2018), worked as a staff writer for the Philadelphia Evening and Sunday Bulletin. A graduate of Temple University and the University of Stockholm (Sweden) International Graduate School, and an award-winning copywriter, she practiced journalism in northern Europe for nearly twenty-five years. She has also written about the Beatles for Discover, The Sunday Bulletin Magazine. Patricia lives near Dallas, Texas, with her identical twin daughters Jane and Margaretha.

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Melissa Knox

Melissa Knox, PhD, a New York City native and author of Divorcing Mom: A Memoir of Psychoanalysis (forthcoming), teaches American literature and culture at the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany. She endured more than twenty years of psychoanalysis; wrote a psychoanalytic biography of Oscar Wilde titled Oscar Wilde: A Long and Lovely Suicide (Yale University Press, 1996); and has authored numerous personal essays about disturbed family life, often in relation to psychoanalysis.

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Lara Lillibridge

Lara Lillibridge, coeditor of Feminine Rising: Voices of Power & Invisibility (forthcoming), sings offbeat and dances off-key. She writes a lot, and sometimes even likes how it turns out. Lara is a graduate of West Virginia Wesleyan College’s MFA program in Creative Nonfiction. In 2016, she won Slippery Elm Literary Journal’s Prose Contest, and the American Literary Review's Contest in Nonfiction. She also was a finalist in both Black Warrior Review’s Nonfiction Contest and DisQuiet’s Literary Prize in Creative Nonfiction. Her memoir Girlish: Growing Up in a Lesbian Home was published in 2018 with Skyhorse. She has had essays published in Salon, Hippocampus, Crab Fat Magazine, Luna Luna, Huffington Post, The Feminist Wire, Airplane Reading, Thirteen Ways to Tell a Story, Weirderary, and Brain, Child Magazine's Brain, Mother blog. Some of her essays can be found in the anthologies Tallish, Raised by Unicorns, and In Season.

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Sheldon Russell

Dr. Sheldon Russell, author of A Forgotten Evil (forthcoming), is the author of ten books, including his award-winning historical fiction novels and his popular Hook Runyon mystery series. His work has garnered two Oklahoma Book Awards for Fiction, the Langum Project for Historical Literature, a Spur Award Finalist, and starred reviews from both Book List and Publisher’s Weekly. His book The Insane Train was selected as one of the six best mysteries of 2010 by Publisher’s Weekly. Russell is a Professor Emeritus of the University of Central Oklahoma. He and wife wife, Nancy, a sculptor, currently live on the ranch where he grew up. Russell’s upbringing in the Gloss Mountains of Oklahoma has provided him a rich background for understanding the struggles one might face if lost in the great American frontier.