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Noir At A Bar Founder and Primary Instigator.

By day, Gary uncovers the mysteries of marketing for his clients and, according to one client, "kicks ass." By night, he writes flash fiction and publishes books on a variety of topics, including two co-written with his then pre-teen son Seth and a volume on using leadership skills to create successful Meetup groups.


He also founded and runs the Main Line Writers Group and the Wilmington-Chadds Ford Writers Group, now in their fifteenth and thirteenth years of assisting authors to better their craft and reach their publishing goals. His story-telling game, WritersBloxx, funded on Kickstarter and he is currently adapting it into a card-based game. 

You can find a sampling of his fiction work at and his marketing work at


"The thing I write will be the thing I write." Chris wouldn’t trade his northeast Philly upbringing of street sports played on blacktop and concrete, fistfights, brick and stone row houses, and twelve years of well-intentioned Catholic school discipline for a Philadelphia minute (think New York minute but more fickle and less forgiving).

Chris made lengthy stops as an adult in Michigan and Connecticut, and  thinks Pittsburgh is a great city even if some of his fictional characters don't. He still does most of his own stunts, and he once passed for Chip Douglas of My Three Sons TV fame on a Wildwood, NJ boardwalk.


He's a member of two writers groups (Bucks County Writers Workshop and Rebel Writers of Bucks County), International Thriller Writers, and his work has been recognized by the National Writers Association, the Writers Room of Bucks County (PA), and the Maryland Writers Association. He likes the pie more than turkey. Find Chris at his website, on Facebook at, and on Twitter at


Jane Paffenbarger Butler has degrees in Pharmacy and Health Systems Management, but the nearly twenty years of weekly and biweekly psychotherapy sessions she attended in the 80’s, 90’s and early aughts are her true credential. This is where she learned to leave the past behind and forge a new future, daring herself to share the facts of her life despite growing up in isolation amid a culture of secrets.


In 2017, an excerpt from her memoir You’ll Get Over It, Jane Ellen won for nonfiction at the Philadelphia Writers Conference. Jane is a two-time winner of the West Chester Story Slam and is featured in the September 2019 Healthy Connections blog in Psychology Today. The manuscript of her memoir has received serious review by Simon and Schuster and St. Martin’s Press.


She is a member of the Main Line Writer’s Group and the Brandywine Valley Writer’s Group. Learn more about Jane at or on Instagram at, or at


Sarah has been writing since age four, when she wrote and illustrated her first two-page thriller "My Birthday Surprise." After graduating from Smith College, she began writing for public relations and politics,  the background that runs through her fiction.


In 2013, she won two flash fiction competitions. Her 2016 debut novel, The Eighth Circle, is a noir thriller set in Philadelphia and published by Crooked Lane Books. It chronicles the adventures of Philadelphia reporter  Danny Ryan who uncovers a dark cabal of predators among the city's elite. Her second Danny Ryan novel, One By One, combines  political corruption with revenge for deeds long past. Sarah's next book is moving in a lighter direction-- toward archaeology and cannibalism. Stay tuned.

Sarah lives in the Philadelphia suburbs with her husband Howard, a former political consultant, and her two insane cats--Sonny and Rico--where spends a great deal of time contemplating murder. In her spare time, she reads, plays Cards Against Humanity with her three wonderful children, and dreams about moving to Ireland.


Mike has lived in Oxford, PA since 2000. After 40 years in the paint business, he retired and now occupies his time with writing pursuits and other activities. He blogs on pop culture.


Born in Philadelphia, Tony Conaway is past president of the Brandywine Valley Writers Group and current VP of the Main Line Writers. His fiction has been published in twelve anthologies and numerous publications, including Blue Lake Review, Clever, Linguistic Erosion, Rind Literary Magazine, and Typehouse Literary Magazine.


Some of his odder work includes ghostwriting someone else’s autobiography, co-writing the script to a planetarium production, and selling jokes used by Jay Leno on “The Tonight Show.”


He can be found on Twitter as @TonyConaway and on Facebook as Author Tony Conaway. He interviews other authors at


Matty Dalrymple is author of the Lizzy Ballard Thrillers Rock Paper Scissors, Snakes and Ladders, and The Iron Ring; the Ann Kinnear Suspense Novels The Sense of Death and The Sense of Reckoning; and the Ann Kinnear Suspense Shorts, including Close These Eyes and Write in Water. 


Matty lives with her husband, Wade Walton, two Labrador Retrievers Juno and Sophie, and terrier Griffin in Chester County, Pennsylvania, the setting for much of the action in The Sense of Death and Rock Paper Scissors. They enjoy vacationing on Mt. Desert Island, Maine, where The Sense of Reckoning and Close These Eyes take place, and Sedona, Arizona, the setting for much of Snakes and Ladders and The Iron Ring.

Matty is a member of Mystery Writers of AmericaSisters in CrimeInternational Thriller Writers, and the Brandywine Valley Writers Group.


Vince is the author of two books at opposite ends of the literary spectrum. The Philadelphia Sampler of Photographs Past and Present shows what the titles states while Big Change Gonna Come is a comic fantasy.


Julie Duffy is the founder and director of the creativity challenge Since May 2010,  StoryADay has been the home of short story writing challenges in May and September, year-round writing prompts, articles and community resources for creative inspiration. Julie regularly talks at writers’ groups and conferences about creativity and writing. She believes that if you've ever had that urge to write, you should!

Julie has written for Writer’s Digest, Writer’s Journal, and was the genre columnist for Flash Fiction Chronicles. She is currently working on adding 'novelist' to the list, though she will always love short stories. Julie moved from her native Scotland to Pennsylvania (somewhat to her surprise) in the mid-90s. She knits and juggles, though rarely at the same time.


You can find out more at


Todd is a fourth-generation undertaker who enjoys writing in his spare time. His family has been in the undertaking business since the Civil War, his great-great-great grandfather was a cabinet maker, or tradesman undertaker.

In 2008, after appearing in the Men of Mortuaries calendar as "Mr. January," Todd found himself writing a book with Ken, the critically acclaimed Mortuary Confidential: Undertakers Spill the Dirt. After their success with MC:USTD, they collaborated on a follow up, Over Our Dead Bodies: Undertakers Lift the Lid.

Todd is a graduate of Elon University and the American Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral Service. He works for the family business in Wilmington, Delaware, McCrery & Harra Funeral Homes and Crematory (


Tom Joyce’s first novel, “The Freak Foundation Operative’s Report,” came out in 2014, and his short story collection, “The Devil’s Kazoo Band Don’t Take Requests,” came out in 2016.

His fiction has appeared in “Needle: A Magazine of Noir,” and “Space and Time Magazine.”


Jay Kennedy is a reader, not a writer, and is a huge fan of the Noir At A Bar/Gazebo/Computer events.  He is the organizer of the annual Noir At A Bar event in Oxford, PA which benefits the Oxford Library, and is a proud contributor to that event. 


Jay supports himself as a Santa-For-Hire.  He lives in Oxford with his wife and seven cats.


Tony Knighton is both an author and a lieutenant in the Philadelphia Fire Department, a thirty year veteran. Born in western Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh, his family moved to Philadelphia when he was seven. With the exceptions of a short stay in Toronto, Ontario, and the military, he's been in Philadelphia ever since.

Tony published his novella and story collection Happy Hour and Other Philadelphia Cruelties with Crime Wave Press. His story "The Scavengers" is included in the anthology Shocklines: Fresh Voices in Terror, and his story "Sunrise" is included in the anthology Equilibrium Overturned, published by Grey Matter Press. He has also published short fiction in Static Movement Online and Dark Reveries.

In addition to his job as a fireman, he has also worked on the side as a roofer and played music semi-professionally for many years. Knighton served in the United States Marine Corps, and attends classes sporadically at Community College of Philadelphia, where he met his wife Julie, an associate professor of English.


After his discharge from the US Air Force where he spent four years flight testing guidance systems, Don Lafferty enjoyed a twenty-five-year career helping high tech manufacturers strategize and exceed their sales & marketing goals. In 2012, he co-founded Comfort Media Group which has grown to become one of the leaders in Digital Sales & Marketing for the HVAC industry.

He is one of the original organizers of the Coffeehouse for Writers, started with Jonathan Maberry in 2006, and is a long-time member of the Philadelphia Liar’s Club.

Don writes short crime fiction and has had stories been published in numerous anthologies, journals, and websites.


Lanny Larcinese has been writing crime fiction as well as non-fiction for eight years. His early short work was awarded first prize at three successive Philadelphia Writers Conferences and published in online magazines. Excerpts from his memoir, Women: One Man's Journey, were also first prize contest winners. His debut novel, I Detest All My Sins was well-reviewed by Kirkus and others. His novel, Death in the Family is due out in fall, 2019.

Lanny is a native mid-westerner ensconced in Philadelphia for over three decades. You can see more of what he's about at, a well as obtain free downloads of some of his writing. And, or course, your Facebook friendship will always be welcome.


Walter Lawn writes poetry and short fiction.  His work has been published in Every Day Fiction, River Poets Journal, and Unclaimed Baggage.  By day, he’s a disaster recovery planner.


James McCrone is the author of the Imogen Trager thrillers—Faithless Elector, Dark Network, and the forthcoming Emergency Powers— political thrillers about a stolen presidency and a nation on edge, which Kirkus Review and Publishers Weekly call “taut,” “gripping” and “timely.” Although not based on events now gripping the world, the ‘Noirpolitik’ Imogen Trager books resound with them.


He’s a member of the The Mystery Writers of America, Int’l Assoc. of Crime writers, and Sisters in Crime network.  A Seattle native, James now lives in South Philadelphia, with his wife and three children.


You can learn more at


Matthew is an office manager and a long-time writer. His work has been found in numerous anthologies. He focuses on putting the “fun” in funeral and the mirth in murder. Nothing brings him more joy than his readers enjoying themselves with his work.


Joanette McGeoch, an astrologer for over 40 years, has always been an avid reader and thought it was time to try writing something of her own. She was pleasantly surprised to have one of her stories published in "The Oxford Files," a collection of short stories from a past Noir at the Bar benefit for the Oxford Library. She  has no desire to write a great american novel, only wants to give readers something to think about and a few smiles. 


Joanette is a member of three writers groups; the Wilmington-Chadds Ford Writers,  Brandywine Valley Writers and the Arden Writers Guild whose members continually inspire and encourage her to keep on writing.  (They also keep her humble.)  She currently lives in Chester County and spends way too much time researching ancient civilizations and other curious things.  


Joanette finds she is enjoying murder more and more each time. 


Ted McKay-Simons - Profile to come




Jen has a self-published children’s book, but her dark writing style is trying to bust free, just in time for our latest Noir at the Bar.


Devoted Deadly was published in April 2015 and has over 20 five-star reviews on Amazon. The prequel, Becoming Deadly, is two-thirds completed. His next projects are historical non-fiction, then a memoir.


BIOGRAPHY TO COMEPaul earned his MFA from Seton Hill University and is an editor for hire. His work appears in Fantastic Futures 13 and Vampires Suck. Paul also manages long format critiques for writers groups and is an editor for hire.


Scott Pruden is a veteran newspaper and magazine journalist and the author of the satirical near-future speculative fiction novel "Immaculate Deception." He is the co-founder and managing editor of Codorus Press and executive editor of Delaware Today magazine. He's currently at work on his second novel, "Mystery White Boy," a paranormal comedy/mystery.


Dorian is a new writer who has lived in the Philly suburbs her entire life. She loves to learn and has three college degrees to prove it. Her many jobs include high school teacher,martial arts instructor and IT project management.


Kendall is a software developer, writer and tinkerer.  Self taught at just about everything, he sells Pokemon cards at, has his own digital card game at 


Kendall writes the Captain Santa series set during World War II. Ask him to show you videos of his desktop geysers.

Our friend Kendall passed in 2020. We miss him.


Novelist, literary fiction. Adjunct professor, Drexel University. Defense
litigator before Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.


Current work-in-progress: Dempsey’s Diner. Framed by Watergate,
this novel chronicles the end of the hippie era in a small town
nocturnal underground/underworld setting.


Jim lists his literary influences as Nelson Algren, Federico Fellini and Johnny
Mercer. Historical comparisons: Jack Kerouac, Henry Miller and
Damon Runyon. Contemporary comparisons: Dennis Lehane, James
Ellroy and Richard Price.


Linda Scott - Bio to come


Nicole Valentine ( earned her MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and teaches writing workshops at the Highlights Foundation in Honesdale, PA. As the former chief technology officer at and, Nicole loves science and as a writer enjoys pondering the times when science falls short of explanation and magic has room to sneak in.


She’s the founder of, The Middle-Grade Sci-fi Authors Alliance. When not engaged in fictional world-building, Nicole can often be found with a hawk on her arm. A Time Traveler’s Theory of Relativity is her debut novel. She lives in Pennsylvania with her human family, two giant dogs named Merlin and Arthur, and two small cats named Tink and Pickwick.


John Vogel served in the Air Force, was a civilian in the Navy, came to this area in 1981, worked for GE and retired in 2002. 

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