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Local Authors & Books

Local Authors

Aimee Bissonette

My name is Aimée Bissonette and I am the author of three picture books. I am lucky to have worn many hats in my life. (My daughters tease that I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up!) I have been an occupational therapist, teacher, writer, lawyer, and small business owner. I have always loved the outdoors and I find inspiration in the north woods, on the shores of Lake Superior, hiking in the mountains, and walking long stretches of sandy beach. I escape to the outdoors to write, think, and take photos. I also draw on my interpersonal relationships and stories of strong women from throughout history when I write. One of my favorite things to do is travel. Exploring new places and cultures, seeing new sights, meeting people, and eating foods I’ve never eaten before is such fun!

April Charleson

April is in her 15th year teaching English Language Arts to 8th graders. She lives in Massena, NY with her fiancé Brock, her two daughters, Madeline and Elizabeth, and her soon to be step-children, Camden, Sophia and Reese. She continues to write. Visit her blog at http://resistthestatic.blogspot.com/. She enjoys speaking to groups about the reality of living in poverty and spreading her message of hope. In the future, she would like to establish a non-profit organization to support girls living in poverty and help them realize their dreams.

Bob Fiacco

Robert A. Fiacco (Bob) LUTCF, CLF - is a Health and Life Coach, Author and Inspirational Speaker a with over thirty eight-years of experience building successful sales teams and coaching individuals. Bob is also an internationally read blogger whose sense of humor and inspirational approach to life are infectious. He brings those attributes to his writing as well.

Bruce W. Sanford

Bruce W. Sanford, a partner with the law firm of Baker & Hostetler in Washington, D.C., is one of the most accomplished press lawyers in the United States. The National Law Journal lists him as one of the nation's one hundred most influential lawyers.

Charlotte Gill

Charlotte Gill is the author of Eating Dirt, a tree-planting memoir nominated for the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize, the Charles Taylor Prize, and two B.C. Book Prizes. It was the 2012 winner of the B.C. National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction. Her previous book, Ladykiller, was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award and winner of the B.C. Book Prize for fiction. Her work has appeared in Best Canadian Stories, The Journey Prize Stories, and many magazines. She is currently faculty in creative writing at the University of British Columbia and in the MFA program in Creative Nonfiction at King’s College. She lives on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, Canada.

Cheri Farnsworth (Revai)

Hey, there. My name is Cheri Farnsworth. I’m a mom to four beautiful, grown daughters and a proud new grandma to an adorable grandson. I am also an author of 16 books, a research addict, a para-historian, a news (and alternative news) junkie, and a recently-retired accounting clerk from a large public utility up here in Northern New York, where I worked for 34 years and where I have lived all my life. I’ve been writing regional books on the side for nearly two decades, but now I can write (and play grandma) to my heart’s content, whenever I want. Currently, my household in Northern New York consists of my husband and I, three quirky cats (trust me on that), and one crazy-adorable, fluffy, and goofy chocolate Labradoodle. Life is…interesting.

Cindy Mathews (Witkop)

The desire to be an apostle of hope came at a time when my friend Ellen suffered with terminal cancer and needed a spark from heaven. I wrote prayerful letters to God asking for Ellen's healing. Those letters were placed in a binder and kept close by Ellen's bedside for her to read. Ellen told me the letters in that binder gave her hope at a time in her life when things seemed hopeless. Ellen said, "Do you think you can write for others?" When I looked into Ellen's eyes, I knew that it was God himself asking me, so I told Ellen I would if God wanted me to. Expressing what is in my heart verbally or in writing is something I always struggled with, but through the grace of God, I have been blessed to share my story as well as stories and teachings from Christian writers who inspire me to be a voice of hope. Every day I pray for an open heart and an open spirit, and I am truly humbled that in the words of writer Joyce Rupp, "God is emptying me out so I can hold more of him."

Daniel C. McCormick

Daniel McCormick of Massena had a book published which details the history of the Corporation. The Wishbone Fleet, which takes its name from the funnel markings of the Hall Lines was researched and written by Daniel C. McCormick of Massena. A Long time resident of the area and teacher at Massena Central School, McCormick has had a long standing interest in shipping. As well as publishing this work he is a contributing editor of Steamboat Bill, the journal of The Steamship Historical Society of America. McCormick was born in Massena, Received a B.A. in history from St. Michael's College and a M.ED, from St. Lawrence. He has done further graduate studies at St. Lawrence and at Syracuse University.

J.R. Peer

This story is about a university professor Josh with unique views about physics and a reputation for refuting any possibility of the existence of alien life. Yet he has an alien encounter where he is given energy technology meant as a gift for the planet. The technology eventually confirms many of his controversial thoughts about physics. But Josh is unable to reconcile his beliefs with what has happened, attributing it to mushrooms and dream sequences. Eventually, he decides to keep their existence a secret and claims the technology came to him in his dreams—since no one would believe it came from aliens anyway.

Joanne Deruchia

As you read the lectures, stories, and messages from Joanne’s Guides and about her Spirit Investigations, you will hear from several of them. Readers may gain an appreciation of their strengths, their characters, and how helpful they have been and continue to be. As a group endeavor, they all have useful information in addition to their personal messages and jokes. They told Joanne she would be sharing their words, giving lectures and messages before groups of people, giving readings, and even writing a book. All of it came true when the time was right.

John H. Rydzewski

Daniel of Massena had a book published which details the history of the Corporation. The Wishbone Fleet, which takes its name from the funnel markings of the Hall Lines was researched and written by Daniel C. McCormick of Massena. A Long time resident of the area and teacher at Massena Central School, McCormick has had a long standing interest in shipping. As well as publishing this work he is a contributing editor of Steamboat Bill, the journal of The Steamship Historical Society of America. McCormick was born in Massena, Received a B.A. in history from St. Michael's College and a M.ED, from St. Lawrence. He has done further graduate studies at St. Lawrence and at Syracuse University.

Joshua Segul

The son of an Orthodox rabbi and native of Massena, N.Y., Segal earned a PhD in computer engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic University in Troy, N.Y. and started a career with MITRE Corporation and as a certified skiing instructor before enrolling at Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem and Cincinnati.

Martin Medina

"Infocrats: A Political Thriller AMERITA Luke, I Am Your Daddy"

Mary Ellen Casselman

Ms. Casselman’s books are available at the Celine G. Philibert Memorial Cultural Centre and Museum.

N.Y. St. John's Church Ladies' Auxiliary

This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible. Therefore, you will see the original copyright references, library stamps (as most of these works have been housed in our most important libraries around the world), and other notations in the work.

This work is in the public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and distribute this work, as no entity (individual or corporate) has a copyright on the body of the work.

As a reproduction of a historical artifact, this work may contain missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. Scholars believe, and we concur, that this work is important enough to be preserved, reproduced, and made generally available to the public. We appreciate your support of the preservation process, and thank you for being an important part of keeping this knowledge alive and relevant.

Nina Dumas

Miss Dumas was born on June 23, 1938 in Massena, daughter of Edward Busse and Eleanor (Sis) Lahey Dumas. She graduated from Massena High School in 1956. She attended St. Lawrence University and then worked as an executive assistant to Assemblyman K. Daniel Haley. She was then an assistant Massena correspondent for The Watertown Daily Times for many years working with her mother in the Massena bureau. They also co-authored a book called Massena: The Orphan Town, for the 1976 Centennial year.

Paul Horsley

"In his first book he takes the reader through the journey of how he and his family discovered and then implemented the simple IBC system. He reveals how the current monetary system works and why it is set up for us to not be the winner. After discovering the Infinite Banking Concept and having years of first hand experience with it, he decided to share it with friends. Soon after the realization that the system began changing not only his own family’s life; but also the financial destinies of those he shared it with, he decided to take the necessary steps to learn everything possible and to share his knowledge to those looking for an alternative to the current chaotic money system."

Ray Hazel

I was born and raised in Massena, New York which is a small town located along the Saint Lawrence River. I've always had a passion for writing from a young age. Nature and wildlife always fascinated me. I worked for the local paper after college, however my inability to stay fair and balanced resulted in a career that was short lived. My desire to create was a contradiction to news reporting. Nature and wildlife photography combined with writing was a passion, which brought me several awards. Over the years I published several articles in periodicals related to hunting, fishing, trapping, and life in particular. Essays and short stories were published in a variety of publications. I had a desire to write a novel after retirement, but acute low vision was a challenge that impacted that objective. After learning a computer program designed for the blind and those with acute low vision, I’ve published three novels and several articles for Trapper’s Post out of Maine. My writing style is filled with emotion coupled with simplicity. ​

Richard N. Pernice

From a small town in northern New York. He spent twenty years serving in the military and almost as long working as a truck driver.

Shirley Vernick (Levine)

Shirley's work has appeared in national magazines, newspapers and university publications. She also edited a science journal that was distributed to all physicians in Russia. Another zenith was developing an award-winning program to help doctors help their patients quit smoking. Shirley is a native of Massena, NY, as was her father, whose family was directly victimized by the 1928 blood libel. She graduated from Cornell University, where she was awarded the university’s Fleischman Scholarship for Writing Achievement. She currently lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband and two daughters. In her free time, she helps run Storybee.org, a website where children and teens can listen to free audio recordings of stories being told by professional storytellers. The site is being used in schools, libraries, hospitals and homes around the world.

Stephanie Brockway

Stephanie Brockway collaborated with illustrator Ralph Masiello on her debut novel, THE MYSTIC PHYLES: BEASTS. She grew up in Massena, New York, a small town on the Canadian border that often wins the distinction of being the coldest spot in the US. She is a magazine art director, a job that inspired her reverence for the marriage of beautifully crafted words and pictures. Stephanie lives in West Brookfield, Massachusetts.

Steven Emerson Swerdfeger

Even a raging snow storm cannot prevent the planned celebration, at which Thatcher Pennythorpe recites part of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, indicating that he at one time gave holiday readings of that story every year. David becomes determined to have Mr. Pennythorpe renew his custom of public readings, with all ticket proceeds going to the community food back.

Terry Paul Fisher

"Terry Fisher is an illustrator, graphic designer, entrepreneur, and author. He was raised in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains and spent his childhood running through the woods, hunting, fishing, hiking, and camping. The adventures that defined his childhood now define his writing. Fisher’s stories are usually about small-town life and the events that unfold when something big happens, awakening sleepy small towns and turning ordinary citizens into unlikely heroes. He currently resides in South Carolina with his wife Michelle and their son Evan. He still returns to northern New York whenever he can and will always consider the little town where he grew up, on the Racquet River, to be home."

Therasa S. Sharp

The images for Massena come from the archives of the Massena Museum. Massena native Theresa S. Sharp, town and village historian, is in her sixteenth year at the museum. David E. Martin, who is also the author of Ogdensburg, is a longtime collector of northern New York images. He serves the St. Lawrence County Historical Society and museums throughout the area, using his photographic skills to reproduce long-lost positive images from glass-plate negatives and to preserve other historical images.

Tina Hartigan

"Tina Hartigan lives in New York and loved reading from a young age. She could be found with her nose 'buried in a book' mostly anywhere she went. Tina has been a writer most of her adult life with most of that writing coming from scholarly areas as she claims she'll always be a student! She always found time to write more creative pieces though and one of her short stories ""The Gingerbread House"" won an Honorable Mention for Christmas 2018. Tina is currently writing a true crime story that happened in Binghamton NY as well as several other books in progress. Douglas Fregoe lives in New York and has been an artist his entire life. Even as a young child Douglas was always drawing something. He was especially adept at drawing caricatures and giving them to his classmates. Douglas would like to continue his passion for drawing by supplying illustrations for picture book authors."

Trudy Hanmer

Born & Raised in Massena

Vincent Kirsch

I am an author, illustrator and designer living in Beverly Hills. In the past, I have lived in Florence (Italy), New York City and Boston. My most recent illustrations are a two-dimensional adaptations of the "Paper Box Playhouse" toy theaters that I have been fiddling around with for most of my life. My work is very influenced by theater, puppetry, poster art, classical painting techniques and Hollywood films. My whimsical character designs and storylines range from the fantastically out-of-this-world to inspiringly down-to-earth.

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