​BAMFEST Daytona 2018



Dr. David Axelrod

Board Member BAMfest

Dr. Axelrod, founder and director of the cultural, educational non-profit Creative Happiness Institute, Inc., is also V.P. of Florida operations for Writers Unlimited Agency, Inc.; Sect./Treasurer of the Motor Racing Heritage Association; and a Volusia County Poet Laureate serving four years, until 2019. Nationally acclaimed author of 22 poetry books, he is also a three-time Fulbright Award winner and winner of a Florida Book Awards Gold Medal for the best non-fiction book, 2014. and


Board Member BAMfest

J. Nell Brown is a best-selling inspirational non-fiction author who's now transitioning into fiction as well. Her novels are not for the faint of heart. She writes contemporary, low-fantasy epic YA thrillers.

Her novels are gut-wrenching and suspenseful while splashed with comedy and sweetness.

Dr. Mary Custureri

Board Member BAMfest

Dr. Mary Custureri, former English professor and originator of BAMfest Daytona is now director of Taylor and Seale Publishing, LLC and its subsidiary educational company.  An award-winning reading specialist and learning strategist, she is also a novelist as well as author of a series of children's books (The Happy Anderson series), and of teacher and student textbooks.

Veronica Hart

Board Member BAMfest

An award-winning author and playwright, Veronica H. studied and worked in several states and abroad in England and Iran. In New York, she won numerous awards for her musical Murder in Morocco. She is now regional director of the Florida Writers Association and a member of  Sisters in Crime, The Historical Novel Society, Ormond Writers League and CIFW — an invitation-only writing group based in Daytona Beach. She is also director of UIppity Women publishing

Dr. Robert (Bob) Hart

Board Member BAMfest

Robert Hart, a retired veterinarian, lives in Florida with his wife of thirty-five years, fellow author, Veronica Helen Hart, whose talent he aspires to emulate. He has authored several articles and stories, three pet books, a book of short stories, and contributed to the web page for the Unofficial Guide to London’s Television Studios. 

Hart’s Original Petpourri, a Miscellany of Fact, Fancy, Trivia and Whimsy about Pets. (An Indie Book Award Finalist) Jack Hanna, Director Emeritus of the Columbia Zoo and host of TV’s Into the Wild said “If you ever wanted to know more about the lovable creatures we call ‘pets’—look no further! …lots of fun for animal lovers.”


Oliver’s Rubaiyat. In the style of the Persian poet, Omar Khayyam’s, Oliver the cat ponders life’s deep questions. 

Twisted Knickers. A brief selection of short stories. They range from humorous, to poignant, whimsical, and satirical, and even iconoclastic.

Mary Ann Westbrook

Board Member BAMfest

Currently President elect pf the Florida State Poets Association affiliated with National Federation of States Poetry Societies,  Mary Ann Westbrook is an indefatigable sponsor of the arts as President of the Tomoka Poets Society, and member of a number of associations which sponsor arts and sports.  Her poetry has been published in numerous journals and newspapers, and she has been featured on TV and radio. She often volunteers in cultural events and is head usher at the Daytona Playhouse, and usher at the News Journal Center of Daytona State College.  In 2015, she was awarded the Volusia League of Cities Citizen of the Year. She is also the recipient of the Volunteer in Community Cultural Distinguished Service Award. 

Melody Anglin

Melody Anglin, author of The Littlest Harpist, and of music and articles related to her craft, is a seasoned concert artist who has performed locally and abroad and been on TV with  local PBS and NPR as well as with World Radio Network, the World Harp Orchestra, San Diego and also as the harpist for PTL Satellite Networks “Sunday Night Live.” Melody has worked with Dave Brubeck and American composers David Diamond, Jacob Druckma and Franco Autori -- assistant conductor to Arturo Toscanini.



Kimi Ayers

Kimi Ayers, author of A Gal's guide to Becoming Happily Unsingle is a  successful business owner and Port Orange Chamber of commerce member. She is also a family and marriage counselor, and her book is a product of her research and experience in ministering to others.  She and her husband, a  minister as well as businessman, enjoy their  work in evangelizing and helping others. Kimi also enjoys writing manuscripts on topics related to their business on the dangers on molds and mildew and about business practices and careers.  

Louise Bai

Louise Bai, author of Forgotten Princess: From the Shadow of the Dragon, was born in Beijing durinf the turbulent years under the leadership of Mao edong.  Her book reveals the struggles to survive in the shadow of revolution that attempted to extinguish the culture and principles her family held dear. After marrying an  American, she found adjusting to a different  culture and found her perspective on life challenged until she changed her perspective to a serenity of living with a changed view of happiness and success. 

Dr. Evelyn Bethune

Dr. Evelyn “Doc” Bethune, selected as one of the Most Influential Women in Business for 2012 and 2014 by the Daytona Beach Business Journal, is a professor, lecturer and motivational speaker who  works to expand knowledge of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune by sustaining the legacy while growing her own “gifts” for future generations. An award- winning author, she is currently working on The Shining Star Book Project with 16 other noteworthy personalities from across the country. Besides serving on a number of cultural and academic boards, "Doc" also co-hosts Sweet Tea with a Chaser, a Blog talk, internet radio show which features personalities from across the country as well as great music. 

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Jeff Boyle

Jeff Boyle, author of Nam World  is an award-winning writer of short stories and of his debut novel. Some of his works have appeared in the Florida Writers Association Short Fiction theme Anthology.  a retired high school teacher as well as former business owner and elected City Commissioner.  An active member of the Florida Writers Association and City Island Fiction Writers, he is at work on his second novel while enjoying the success of his debut novel.

Frank Ceravolo

Frank Ceravolo has degrees in Administration and Biology and is an also an inventor and entrepreneur.  His knowledge of animals and his experience with children while working as a social worker inspired him to write Little Emil Yek and the Search for the Giant Deer, a charming children's story that has been compared as a cross between Bambi and Watership Down.  He and his wife are parents of twin four year old active boys who enjoy listening to stories.

   The author is preparing an author website.  The website below is about his invention, which is becoming very popular.   


William G. Collins

Senior Strategist

William "Bill" Collins, a prolific, successful author,  is a life-long student of ancient civilizations and cultures. His career as an educator, pastor, and missionary to the Congo for many years made him even more determined to write about his discoveries. His academic degrees in history and education include a B.A. from Asbury University and M.A. from

Loyola University. A member of the Florida Writer’s Association, Collins is group leader of the Port Orange Scribes Second Edition, and participates regularly in the Daytona Writer’s Group, the Ormond Beach Writers League and the Daytona Fiction Writers. His most recent novel is Behind the Golden Mask.

Donna Eastman

Senior Strategist

Donna Eastman holds a BS from Simmons College, School of  Publication. She's worked as a copywriter and editor for 35 years and  is a member of the National League of American Pen Women. She is the co-author of See, I Can Do It! and Outrageous Kitty and of the soon-to-be-released The Reluctant Eagle, the second of the "See I Can Do It" children's books. Donna has also authored the delightful  Terwilliger's Tale. All titles are published by  Taylor and Seale Publishing.

Mario Fumarola

Senior Strategist

The Editor’s Wastebasket is the fourth book of author Mario Fumarola’s journey of prose through America’s urban landscape of the 20th century experience. As the son of Italian immigrants, of a childhood enmeshed in poverty and cultural intolerance, yet, at the same time, of a fulfillment among the close bonds made among family members and friends. A graduate of  Utica College, he has been honored by The Ethnic Studies Cultural Center of Utica College by their publication of three of his successful books: Wasn't it Only Yesterday, Immigrants All,  and Last of the First. He writes in a refreshing, nostalgic style, utilizing a stream-of-consciousness mode. His books are featured in Primo magazine.

Lois Gerber

Senior Strategist

Lois Gerber, award-winning author of Runaway Girl  ​and  Nadia  has written many educational short stories which have appeared in nursing journals and other venues nationwide. A spelialist in community health, she is knowledgeable about people's values and beliefs, cultures, and their efforts to survive in hostile environments.  Her experiences inspire her to create stories  centered on the lives of people who have met challenges and emerge victorious.

Dr. Lynn Hawkins

Senior Strategist

Dr. Hawkins, professor in the School of Humanities and Communication at Daytona State College, is the author of two books, Alive and Writing in Nebraska and Wise Child: Wise Woman.  Her new , interesting book,  Always the First, is  the story of Dr. Annie Mae Walker, an inspiring woman who rose from a background of poverty in Florida and struggled to helped affect political change. Hawkins has also written more than 2500 feature stories as well as  a weekly television segment and has hosted  live daily radio shows. 

Donna Nicholson

Senior Strategist

Donna Nicholson has published four novels with Taylor and Seale. Her  Twice Comes Love, Recollections of Affection, Nadine, and Afganistan's Husband  have assured her of a following of fans  eagerly await her next novel.  An avid runner,  she enjoys the  competition of a good race.  She also enjoys poetry and art and growing  geraniums.  Her newest enjoyment is her beautiful grandson and the expectation of the next.

Michael Pyle, J.D.

Senior Strategist

Michael Pyle, author of White Sugar, Brown Sugar,  who earned a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Linguistics, taught classes and then earned a law degree with honors, has been practicing law since 1983.  According to his clients, he is a wonderful lawyer.  According to his readers, he is a wonderful writer. His published works include three Cliffs (Test of English as a Foreign Lanagage) Preparation Guides, and a short story, Eloise's Day in Court." He is now working on a historical novel about Cuba and Daytona Beach

Mary Kay Pyles

Senior Strategist

Mary Kay Pyles is a retired Florida elementary school principal who in her years as an educator saw many children in Florida endure difficult life situations. She wrote Rise and Shine Rosie which won first place in the Royal Palm awards in the Young Adult category) to honor those who overcame their challenges and to encourage those who are still struggling. The book reflects the many problems children in Florida may be having and what one person can accomplish.

Joyce Senatro

Senior Strategist

 A retired Social Worker, Joyce, a native of Pennsylvania with a German background, became inspired by her Italian husband’s Connecticut roots and stories of his grandparents'  Immigration to America. Her novel, First Class to America, won second place in the  Florida Writers' Association 's Royal Palm Literary Competition in 2014. She has just completed a sequel, The Middle of Somewhere, and is one of the finalists in this year's competition. Joyce is a member of the of the Daytona Writers and Port Orange Scribes critique groups.

 Contact: Daytona Area Writers under Published Authors - Joyce Senatro

Dr. Linda Straubel

Senior Strategist

Dr. Linda Straubel earned her BA in English from the University of Syracuse – Utica and her MA and Ph.D. from The University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee with a concentration in Creative Writing. As a professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, she taught a variety of humanities and communication courses including speech and creative writing. After producing  a great number of academic works, Straubel made her debut as a novelist with a coming-of-age novel Mystic Fruit which transports  her audience into the turbulent era of the 1960's.  She is now at work on her second novel.

Gerry Tatham

Senior Strategist

A former adjunct professor, of English at Austin Peay State University in  Tennessee and the University of Kentucky in Kentucky, Tatham is now an award-winning published author of poetry, short stories, witty news articles entitled “Modest Proposals” for the New Smyrna Beach Observer and articles for Prissy Magazine in Paris, France. Her debut novel.  Roger and Out, a Malice Domestic type thriller, keeps the readers laughing at  Tatham's tongue-in-cheek witty satire.  The twists and turns in the novel finally lead the reader to an unexpected but hilarious ending . 

James Tierney

Senior Strategist

J.B. Tierney's martial arts training and travels to South East Asia inspired the characters in his  series of children's books, The Legend of Zierns, The first, Keeper of the Sword,  is making its debut at the BAMfest, and the second is in the works. The magical land of Ack will enchant all in the sword- wielding and monster-slaying  adventures. An award-winning artist and ice sculptor, as well as Director of Graphic Arts for a chain of small newspapers in the mid 1980's, Tierney has also created culinary art for Steven Spielberg, Hanna Barbara, Kevin Sorbo and many more. Currently he leads a team of artists for the Figure Finish Shop at Universal Studios Orlando.

Zona Whitaker books

Senior Strategist

“With God, all things are possible.” This is the message of Zoe’s book, and by putting her faith in God, she brought Jeremy to life...with her telling abilities and determination to produce such a heart-felt story dedicated to the children of our armed forces.” Whitaker is highly praised for her gripping portraits of the plight of children of military veterans.  er book Jeremy is available through Taylor and Seale Publishing.

Joe Perrone

Senior Strategist

Joe began writing poetry after turning 60 as a means of mentally escaping the experiences that came while working near The World Trade Center during and after 9-11-01. In Some Poems By Joe, he describes that experience and why his first poems were about family. Having moved here in 2004, he later joined Tomoka Poets, after which his poetry writing really took off. He is also the author of a science fiction novel, entitled, The Third Planet.  

D.L. Havlin

Senior Strategist

FD.L. Havlin is a prolific, popular, award-winning Florida writer. A former reporter and regional director for the Florida Writers Association, football coach, boat captain, world traveler, fishing guide, avid hunter and camper, and historian studying early florida Civil War and WW II, he often reflects his life experiences in his stories Six of his novels have won awards, and his short stories and articles have appeared in a number of magazines.

William Cummins

Senior Strategist

Bill is an award-winning author, CEO of CAI Publishing, former singing cowboy and trick-roping headliner on radio and stage, and professional engineer. Bill still entertains young and old with his feed bucket philosophy and trick-roping show. His nonfiction books cover a variety of topics including: Secrets of Marriage, the Forgotten Korean War, Showbiz Cowboys and Horses, God’s Secret Agents, and How Prayer Makes Us Human.

Teresa j. Carson

Senior Strategist

Teresa J. Carson is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, and a professional member of the Cat Writer's Association.

Ms. Carson has worked as a copywriter for radio and TV in Virginia and designed ads for a California newspaper. She recently married and lives in South Daytona, Florida with her husband and two white cats. 

Sofia's Angel, her first book, is followed by the sequel, Sofia's Secret. The third, Nobody's Baby, is in production and will be available in early 2017