Member Author Biographies
Many Speed City Sisters in Crime members are talented writers and published authors and playwrights. Check out their author pages for information about their books, short stories, plays and other creative works.
John F. Allen
John F. Allen is an American author/instructor and visual artist born in Indianapolis, IN. He is a founding and active member of the Speculative Fiction Guild. He is also an active member of the Indiana Writers Center, where he serves as a faculty member and teaches classes on writing. John began writing and producing artwork and short stories early in his childhood and has pursued various forms of writing throughout his career. He studied Liberal Arts at IUPUI with a focus in Creative Writing and Art, received an honorable discharge from the United States Air Force and is a current member of the American Legion. John’s debut novel, The God Killers was published in 2013, followed by a spin-off novella series titled, Codename: Knight Ranger.
John’s short stories have been featured in such acclaimed collections as Thunder on the Battlefield: Sword Volume One by Seventh Star Press, Trajectories by Hydra Publications and Black Pulp II by Pro Se Productions. Some of which are featured in his collection, The Best is Yet to Come which is currently published by Hydra Publications, along with The God Killers, Codename: Knight Ranger and Codename: Knight Ranger TGPC. He also penned the novelization of respected screenwriter, Demetrius Witherspoon’s short film, Submerge: Echo 51
John currently resides in Indianapolis, Indiana and is married to an amazing woman named Mia. He has two adult children; she has five adult children, and between them they have eleven grandchildren.
Teri Barnett is a bestselling author, award winning artist and commercial interior designer, and women's work facilitator who brings a lifetime of learning and exploration to her writing, workshops, and art. A Michigan native, she currently lives in Indianapolis with a bossy black cat who’s earned her own hashtag (#TheBlackCatLou). When she’s not busy working on her next book, redesigning the world, or fighting the good fight, you can find her in the studio painting or riding through the corn tunnels of Indiana on her motorcycle. RID, NCIDQ, RWA PAN, SinC, she/her.
J. Paul Burroughs
Jon Burroughs has been a member of the Speed City Sisters in Crime for three years. He taught in Indianapolis Public Schools for 44 years, the last ten at the high school from which he graduated in 1968, Arsenal Tech. An English teacher, he created an ISTEP test prep book in 1987, The Adventure of the Troubled Test-taker, using Sherlock Holmes to teach reading skills. The following year, he created The Return of the Troubled Test-taker focusing on grammar and composition skills for testing. Both books were published through IPS.
In his classroom, he created booklets for his Starting… series focusing on biographies and examination of literature for figures such as Charles Dickens, Charlotte Bronte, Edgar Allan Poe, Mark Twain and others.
Since 1989, he has written novellas to give his wife for all holidays based on television series which includes Monk, Elementary, Probe, Special Unit 2 and Ghost Whisperer.
In the 1980’s he wrote seven stories for fan publications based on TV’s Beauty and the Beast series. He also wrote two Sherlock Holmes stories for anthologies created by “The Illustrious Clients of Indianapolis” Sherlock Holmes society.
His story, “The Reindeer Murders,” was published in Sisters in Crimes’ Homicide for the Holidays last December. He contributed in the writing of Sisters in Crimes’ “Deadbeat.”
His novel Karma and Crime has just been published by Per Bastet Publications. He has three novellas based on PI Nick Mahoney from Homicide for the Holidays. He has also completed work on Dead and Circuses, a mystery set on the Yorkshire Dales in the 1850’s. He is currently working on Karma and Crisis, the sequel to Karma and Crime.
He and his wife, Ronda, have been happily married for 36 years. They live in a historic house in Greenfield with their adorable (and mischievous) puppy, Pip.
Ross Carley – Murder and mayhem by malware … Bits and bytes that steal and kill…
Ross Carley’s first four novels feature PI and computer hacker Wolf Ruger, an Iraq vet with PTSD. Dead Drive (2016) and Formula Murder, set in the formula racing industry (2017) are murder mysteries. Cyberthrillers Cyberkill (2018) and Cryptokill (2020) are books one and two of the Cybercode Chronicles. Ross also has a story in each of the three most recent Speed City Sisters in Crime Anthologies.
His fifth novel, The Three-Legged Assassin, featuring assassin Lance Garrett, was released in February 2022. Lance, an assassin with PTSD, accepts a contract to kill a mob boss’s daughter.
What could possibly go wrong?
Ross is an artificial intelligence and cybersecurity consultant. He and Francie split their time
between Indiana and Florida.
Diana Catt has fifteen short stories in multiple genres appearing in anthologies published by Blue River Press, Red Coyote Press, Pill Hill Press, Wolfmont Press, The Four Horseman Press and Speed City Press. Her collection, Below the Line, is available on Amazon. She is co-editor of The Fine Art of Murder (2016, Blue River Press) and Homicide for the Holidays (2018, Blue River Press). Her short story “Framed” appeared in The Best by Women in Horror anthology, Killing It Softly 2, (2017, Digital Fiction Publishing Corp). She is co-author of a play, Deadbeat, which debuted at the 2018 IndyFringe. Diana has three grown children, two grandchildren (ask to see pictures!) and a doctorate in Microbiology. She teaches microbiology at a central Indiana university, owns an environmental testing lab, and likes hunting in scary places for mold.
Lisa Caviness is an award-winning author of romantic thrillers and suspense novels. She loves dreaming up story ideas where her characters are pushed to their limits during dangerous and blood-tingling adventures. As a lifelong reader of an eclectic pool of books from mystery/thrillers, science fiction, contemporary romance, and the classics, Lisa has never been without a book on the nightstand and a long to-be-read list. Although she began crafting stories as a child, she also held a deep interest in science. After college, she worked as a registered nurse before starting a career as a clinical project manager in medical research. She grew up in Ohio, lived several years in Boston, Massachusetts, and now makes her home in Indiana with her husband, kids, and an occasionally affectionate black cat.
A Hoosier born and raised, Monette still lives in the heartland near Indianapolis, Indiana. Married to her college sweetheart and soul mate, she has one son. After many years of practicing law, Monette found that all the clients, opposing counsel, and the problems she handled ignited the need to write fiction. So she started writing – first, romantic suspense/thrillers featuring alpha-male heroes and kick-ass heroines, then adding a touch of paranormal and sci-fi – and, eventually, a sexier side (as Rae Morgan) writing paranormal romance and urban fantasy.
Monette Michaels is the author of the top-selling Security Specialists International series featuring former military heroes operating a private security firm. Her Prime Chronicles series is science fiction romance set in the far reaches of the Milky Way galaxy.
Susan Furlong launched her Bone Gap Travellers mystery series with the acclaimed novel Splintered Silence and followed up with Fractured Truth and Shattered Justice. Shattered Justice was recently named as a New York Times 10 Best Crime Novels of 2020, is also the author of several other mysteries and a contributor to the New York Times bestselling Novel Idea Mysteries, under the pen name Lucy Arlington. She's worked as a freelance writer, academic writer, ghost writer, translator, high school language arts teacher, and a martial arts instructor. She and her family live in central Illinois.
Grandmothers, Incorporated is a cozy mystery series co-written by authors Lillie Barnett Evans and Crystal V. Rhodes. Grandmothers, Incorporated, Saving Sin City, There's Something Wrong with Miss Zelda, and Whose Knife is it Anyway? are some of the titles in this entertaining series, which feature sassy god-fearing grandmothers who solve crime. From the page to the stage, Grandmothers, Incorporated has been turned into a hilarious stage play about four retired widows who arrive at an isolated cabin for a weekend of peace and serenity only to be confronted with a notorious drug lord in distress.
Lillie Barnett Evans is a novelist, playwright and award-winning storyteller. Ms. Evans has written and produced several plays including: Is God Calling My Name?, North Star, and The Body of Christ, and her most recent dramatic work, Take My Hand, which is based on the life of Thomas Dorsey, the "father of gospel music." In addition to her writing, Lillie Evans is CEO of Skye Writing Enterprises, through which her storytelling performances, workshops and speaking engagements are booked. She is a member of the National Storytellers Network and Sisters In Crime International. Evans holds a Bachelors' degree in Business Management.
Crystal V. Rhodes is a novelist as well as an award-winning playwright. Her plays have been produced in theaters across the United States. Her romance suspense novels include, Sin, Sweet Sacrifice, Sinful Intentions, Singing a Song..., Small Sensations, Stillwaters, Secrets, and Strangers. Rhodes has written for newspapers, magazines and television. She holds a M.A. degree in Sociology. Crystal's romance suspense novels can be purchased on Amazon.com and Smashwords.com.
B.K. Hart is an American writer of humor, mystery, and horror. B.K.’s short stories have been published in mystery anthologies, with Speed City Sisters In Crime, and in several independent horror anthologies. B.K. currently resides in Indiana.
The author of Shards of Trust, and its stand-alone sequel, The Cry Beyond The Door, Koontz enjoys writing in the mystery/suspense/ thriller genres. After joining the Speed City Indiana Chapter of Sisters in Crime, her short story, “The 20/20 Club” was published in their anthology, Murder 20/20, and more recently “An Eerie Bump in the Road” was also published in their anthology, Trick or Treats, Tales of All Hallows’ Eve.
It was during the pandemic, though, that she turned to another genre, children’s fiction. As a unique and fun way to stay connected with her granddaughter, Hailey Landreth, they co-authored two children’s chapter books, Maybe, Just Maybe and Something’s Strange at Camp Wonder Woods. It became a memorable and cherished experience for both.
She has also written short stories and articles for newspapers and magazines as Mary Ann Koontz, often basing her settings in the Midwest, where she has lived her entire life. Currently, she resides in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
The Boston Globe says Molly MacRae writes “murder with a dose of drollery.” She’s the award-winning author of the Highland Bookshop Mysteries and the Haunted Yarn Shop Mysteries. Molly’s short stories have appeared in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine since 1990. After twenty years in northeast Tennessee, Molly lives in Champaign, Illinois.
Elaine L. Orr
Elaine L. Orr writes three mystery series. The Jolie Gentil cozy mystery series, includes Behind the Walls, which was a finalist for the 2014 Chanticleer Mystery and Mayhem Awards. In the River's Edge mystery series, Iowa nice meets murder. Demise of a Devious Neighbor of that series was a 2017 Chanticleer finalist. Tip a Hat to Murder is set in rural Illinois, and is the first of the Logland mystery series.
Elaine also writes plays including the one-act, Common Ground, published in 2015. And she has written novellas including Falling into Place, and In the Shadow of Light. Biding Time was one of five finalists in the National Press Club's first fiction contest in 1993.
A member of Sisters in Crime, Elaine grew up in Maryland and moved to the Midwest in 1994.
Lori Rader-Day is a two-time Anthony Award winner and a three-time Mary Higgins Clark Award nominee, winning the award in 2016. She is the author of Under a Dark Sky, The Day I Died, Little Pretty Things, and The Black Hour. She lives in Chicago, where she co-chairs the mystery readers conference Murder and Mayhem in Chicago and serves as the national vice president of Sisters in Crime.
Andrea Smith loves happy endings and kick-butt heroines who help serve up justice. She’s published four short stories featuring Chicago police detective Ariel Lawrence, including “A Lesson in Murder,” featured in the mystery anthology Women on the Case, published by Delacorte. Andrea’s short fiction has also been published in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Mary Higgins Clark Mystery Magazine and five Speed City Indiana Sisters in Crime anthologies.
Born and raised in Chicago, Andrea holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a Master of Arts in novel writing and publishing. She’s a past president of the Speed City Indiana chapter of Sisters in Crime and past We Love Libraries coordinator for Sisters in Crime National.
Stephen M. Terrell
Writing is Stephen’s passion. Stephen’s short story In Deepest Darkness, about the aftermath of a school shooting was one of 10 stories selected to the Honor Roll in Best Mystery Stories of the Year – 2021, edited by Lee Child, author of the Jack Reacher thrillers.
He has written three novels, including two legal thrillers, Stars Fall and The First Rule. His latest novel, Last Train to Stratton, is about murder, loss and redemption in 1970s small town America.
A retired lawyer, Stephen writes the eclectic column, On Second Thought, for the American Bar Association’s Experience Magazine.
Stephen’s story Visiting Hours won the 2011 Manny Award for short fiction. His short stories regularly appear in Speed City Sisters in Crime anthologies. These include: The Fine Art of Murder (Expose Yourself to Art and Street Art); Homicide for the Holidays (Unexpected Gifts); Murder 20/20 (In the Deepest Darkness); and Trick or Treats: Tales of an All Hallows’ Eve (The Many Wives of Axel Flynn).
During his legal career, Stephen was selected to the Indiana State Bar Association’s General Practice Hall of Fame in 2007, and received the Indiana Lawyers’ Barrister Award in 2014. He received the ISBA’s Presidential Award in 2002. In 2015, he received the Muncie Central High School Distinguished Alumni Award.
Stephen is an avid motorcyclist, photographer and amateur chef.
Amazon Author: Stephen Terrell
JANIS THORNTON is an Indiana-based writer of history and mystery. Her works include the newly released romantic-suspense novel, Love, Lies and Azure Eyes; a true crime book, Too Good a Girl; three pictorial-history books in the Images of America series: Tipton County, Frankfort and Elwood. She also has written two cozy mysteries, Dust Bunnies & Dead Bodies and its sequel Dead Air and Double Dare. And coming next year is No Place Like Murder, a collection of 20 historic true crime stories that rocked Indiana from 1869 through 1950. Janis is a member of Sisters in Crime, the Author's Guild, the Indiana Writers Center, and the historical societies of Tipton and Clinton Counties.
Joseph S. Walker
Joseph S. Walker is an academic, focusing on contemporary literature and popular culture while teaching a range of online courses. He is also a fiction writer, particularly of short stories in the crime and mystery genre. Born and raised in Peoria, Illinois, Walker earned a PhD in contemporary American literature from Purdue University and teaches online. He also writes fiction, especially in the mystery genre. His goal is to strike a fulfilling balance between Dr. Walker, teacher of literature and composition, and Joseph S. Walker, active member of the Mystery Writers of America.
Proficient in the sacred language of sarcasm, T.C. Winters writes engaging characters with relatable flaws who are pushed to their physical, emotional, and intellectual limits. Her books are intricately weaved webs of lies and deceit that will keep you guessing until the end. When she isn’t busy researching the most efficient means of murder, she enjoys entertaining, gardening, and avoiding hugs. Cake is her spirit animal.