Kristen Gilligan and her husband, Len Vlahos, are the owners of the Tattered Cover Book Store in Denver, Colorado. Prior to buying Tattered Cover, Gilligan spent the majority of her career at the national trade association for independent bookstores, the American Booksellers Association (ABA). At Tattered Cover, she works with elementary, middle, and high schools; brings authors to schools; created two Teen Advisory Boards, the Colorado Teen Book Con, and the statewide Colorado Big Summer Read. Gilligan sits on the children’s committee for the ABA and is actively involved with the association. She has two young sons and a black lab.
Varian Johnson is the author of nine novels, including The Parker Inheritance, which was named a Coretta Scott King Honor Book and Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honor Book; and The Great Greene Heist, which was named to over twenty-five state reading and best-of lists. He received an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts, where he now serves as a member of the faculty. Varian lives outside of Austin, TX with his family.
Deborah Taylor recently retired from the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, MD. She has chaired and served on many American Library Association (ALA) committees, including the 2015 Sibert Award for Outstanding Informational Books for Children, the Newbery Awards, Coretta Scott King Book Awards and the Michael L. Printz Award. She was named the 2015 recipient of the Coretta Scott King/Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement. She is an adjunct professor teaching young adult literature at the University of Maryland, College of Information Studies.