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CALM to Celebrate 30 Years of Celebrity Authors, Unforgettable Stories at Annual Luncheon

Meg Waite Clayton

The CALM Auxiliary is pleased to announce the 30th Annual Celebrity Authors Luncheon, one of Santa Barbara’s most anticipated literary events, to benefit CALM’s (Child Abuse Listening Mediation) vital programs across the county that help prevent child abuse and treat children and families who have suffered from violence and abuse.

The CALM Auxiliary 30th Annual Celebrity Authors Luncheon will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 2, 2016, The Fess Parker: A Doubletree by Hilton Resort.

This year’s event will feature interviews and book signings by a variety of critically acclaimed writers, including Meg Waite Clayton, Gregg Hurwitz and Frances Schultz, with Andrew Firestone serving once again as master of ceremonies. 

Hank Phillippi Ryan, an interviewed author at last year’s luncheon, returns to the stage this year alongside Tom Weitzel, to interview the 2016 celebrity authors.

For the fifth year in a row, CALM Auxiliary members Becky Cohn and Carolyn Gillio are co-chairing the luncheon and had this to share about the 30th Anniversary: “The CALM Auxiliary is very proud to have hosted such a wonderful community event for 30 years. We have been so lucky to have had some of the greatest authors donate their time and talent, all the while supporting CALM’s important cause. The entire Auxiliary has been behind this project from the start and we couldn’t do our job without every one of them. We feel fortunate to be involved and are proud to help CALM in its mission to protect children and families from abuse.”

Book club favorite and New York Times- and USA Today-bestseller Meg Waite Clayton is the author of five novels, including The Race for Paris and The Wednesday Sisters, one of Entertainment Weekly’s 25 Essential Best Friend Novels of all time.

Her first novel, The Language of Light, was a finalist for the Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction (now the PEN/Bellwether).

She has written for the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Runner’s World and public radio, often on the subject of the particular challenges women face.

Waite Clayton’s new novel was 15 years in the making and inspired by real women journalists who defied military regulations and gender barriers to report WWII.

Gregg Hurwitz

Gregg Hurwitz is The New York Times-bestselling author of 15 thrillers, most recently, Orphan X. His novels have been shortlisted for numerous literary awards, graced top-10 lists and been translated into 26 languages.

He is also a New York Times Bestselling comic book writer, having penned stories for Marvel (Wolverine, Punisher) and DC (Batman, Penguin). 

Additionally, the Los Angeles resident has written screenplays for or sold spec scripts to many of the major studios and written, developed and produced television for various networks. 

Frances Schultz — journalist, tastemaker, world traveler, hostess, Southerner, Sunday painter and outdoors lover — is an enthusiast on decoration and design, food and entertaining, travel and style.

She is author and co-author of several books, including The Bee Cottage Story—How I Made a Muddle of Things and Decorated My Way Back to Happiness

A contributing editor to House Beautiful magazine and former editor-at-large for Veranda, she has also written for The Wall Street Journal, Town & Country, Indagare and The New York Social Diary.

Frances Schultz

She was the on-air host for six years of the award-winning cable television show Southern Living Presents and has appeared on The Today Show, The Nate Berkus Show, CNN’s Open House and many others.

With husband, Tom Dittmer; dog, Stella; and assorted horses and critters, she lives in the Santa Ynez Valley of California with visits to Manhattan and summers at Bee Cottage in East Hampton.

In addition to the interviewed authors, the following authors will also attend the event and be available for book signing: Melissa Broughton (Cowboy Dad: Love, Alcoholism, and a Dying Way of Life), Jane Coleman (Life Is All About Range), Lydia Edwards (Odyssey of Innocents), Margarita Fairbanks (Valentino The Love Bunny series), Jeff Farrell (My Olympic Story, Rome 1960), Lisa Guadagno (The Lucky Ones), Dana Kent (Brussels to Beirut to Bali: The 1958 World Travels of Four Girls in a Second-Hand Chevy), Peggy O’Toole (Then I Won’t Seem So Far Away), Chris Messner (Cuba Open From the Inside, Travels in the Forbidden Land), Tracy Shawn (The Grace of Crows), M.L. VanBlaricum (Reflections in a Boomer’s Eye) and Ernie Witham (Where Are Pat and Ernie Now? A Santa Barbara Couple’s Humorous Travel Adventures).

Book sales and signing will begin at 10 a.m., and lunch will be served at 11:45 a.m. Author interviews will begin at 12:45 p.m.

Tickets are $150. For tickets and event information, please call 805.969.5590 or visit

All ticket proceeds and a percentage of book sales will benefit CALM, the only nonprofit in Santa Barbara County focused solely on preventing and treating child abuse.

Jennifer Zacharias is a publicist representing CALM Auxiliary.

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