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Panel: Queer Mystery Writers

presented by the NorCal Chapter of Mystery Writers of America
Tuesday, 6/15/2021
7:00 - 8:00
Virtual Library

United States

Five acclaimed queer mystery writers, Michael Nava (moderator), Cheryl A. Head, Greg Herren, Dharma Kelleher and P.J. Vernon discuss the mystery genre and its special attraction to queer writers. Presented by the NorCal Chapter of Mystery Writers of America.   

YouTube Live


Cheryl A. Head, a Detroit Native, now lives on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Head writes the Charlie Mack Motown Mystery series which includes Bury Me When I’m Dead-shortlisted for the 2017 Lambda Literary Award; Catch Me When I’m Falling-finalist, the 2020 Next Generation Indie Book Award; and Judge Me When I’m Wrong- finalist for the Goldie Award, and winner of the 2020 Golden Crown Literary Society’s Ann Bannon Popular Choice Award. Her debut novel, Long Way Home: A World War II Novel, was a double finalist for the 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Award. In 2019, Head was inducted into the Saints & Sinners Hall of Fame.


Greg Herren is the award-winning author of over thirty novels and fifty short stories. He is also an award-winning editor, with over 20 anthologies to his credit and an Anthony Award. His next book, Bury Me in Shadows, will be released in October of 2021. He is also currently serving as Executive Vice President of Mystery Writers of America.  


Dharma Kelleher, author of the Jinx Ballou Bounty Hunter series and the Shea Stevens Outlaw Biker series writes action-driven thrillers that explore the complexities of social and criminal justice in a world that favors the privileged. She is one of the only openly transgender authors in the crime fiction genre. Dharma lives in Arizona with her wife and a black cat named Mouse.  


Michael Nava is the author of an acclaimed series of eight novels featuring gay, Latino criminal defense lawyer Henry Rios who The New Yorker, called “a detective unlike any previous protagonist in American noir.” The New York Times Book Review has called Nava “one of our best” writers. His most recent Rios novel is Lies With Man, was published in April by Amble Press, an LGBTQ press and imprint of Bywater Books, of which he is also managing editor. His award-winning historical novel, The City of Palaces, set at the beginning of the 1910 Mexican revolution, was republished in September 2020 by Amble Press.   


P. J. Vernon was born in South Carolina. Called a "rising star thriller writer" by Library Journal, Vernon's debut, When You Find Me, was both an Audible Plus #1 Listen and an Associated Press Top Ten U.S. Audiobook. His next novel, Bath Haus, pitched as "Gone Girl with gays and Grindr", releases June 15, 2021 from Doubleday. He lives in Calgary with his husband and two wily dogs. 



Cheryl A. Head – Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter 

Greg Herren – Website | Facebook | Twitter  

Dharma Kelleher – Website | Facebook | Twitter 

Michael Nava – Website | Facebook | Twitter 

P.J. Vernon – Website | Instagram | Twitter 

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