Author bios


Sandy Shaller

Sandy for new site_treatedThere is a rumor that Sandy is a fictional character written by his wife Rickie. Sandy does not dispute this. He also says that, therefore, Rickie is responsible for whatever he does!

So far Rickie has written Sandy as a husband, teacher, teacher-principal, Daddy, Grand-Daddy, audio book recorder and writer. Sandy would like Rickie to write him as a New York Yankee superstar, a concert pianist, a recording artist and a hero in a Star Wars movie, but Rickie says fictional characters only stretch so far.

As to Sandy’s stories: if you like one, he thought of it himself. If you don’t, Rickie made him write it that way.

Katherine Matuszak

Katherine Matuszak is a writer living in the San Francisco Bay Area. She works full-time as a copywriter for In-Shape Health Clubs and is a regular contributor to local lifestyle magazine 65 Degrees.

Katherine has a BA in Creative Writing from CSUEB, and her short fiction has appeared in blink-ink and Occam’s Razor. She is represented by Emmy Nordstrom Higdon of The Rights Factory.
When Katherine’s not writing, she’s playing roller derby with the Undead Bettys.

Connect with her on Twitter @kmatuszakwrites or visit her website at

Gregg Campbell

A Cal graduate and a lifelong writer in various forms and genres, including short stories, novels, essays and poetry. A carbon-based life form originally from Seattle but at home in the SF Bay Area since he was six. He is a passionate advocate for the environment, animal welfare and human rights. He has not seen GOT. When he is not reading or writing he spends his time earning additional gray hairs (along with his wife) raising a pre-teen daughter in the age of Smart Phones. Enjoys music (TVC15), movies (“…I could’ve been somebody…”) and loafing (degree not required).

Rhoda Olkin

Rhoda Olkin, Ph.D., is a Distinguished Professor at the California School of Professional Psychology in SF. She has written three professional non-fiction books (What psychotherapists should know about disability; Disability-Affirmative Therapy; and Teaching Disability: Practical activities for in class or homework), as well as numerous articles. Her fiction mostly includes short stories, five of which have been published, and a satirical novel about academia. Stay tuned for her forthcoming collection of short stories called Blue Zones. She is a person with a disability and a disability rights advocate, which is reflected in many of her short stories. She publishes about disability on under the name limpygimpjewgirl:

Manahil Rizvi

 Manahil Rizvi is a writer your can find scribbling poems on any available surfaces. She lives in California and is currently attending Cal with hopes to earn her degree in Psychology and Forensics.
When Manahil isn’t writing you can most likely find her: at Barnes and Noble, playing ice hockey, pursuing her passion for photography, or dragging her friends along for spontaneous day trips.
She enjoys quality time with family and friends, because those most likely make the best stories.”

Vesta Clare


Sometimes called Vespa because she always seems to be in motion, Vesta’s traveled through photography and singing on her way to the most difficult art of all: writing.

She’s learning how to sneak up on the right word so it can’t escape, and how to negotiate with story ideas that strike when there’s nothing to write with.  @VestaClare


Sandy Shaller, Vesta Clare
Bios & pics above

Webb Johnson

Now active in Zoetrope Virtual Studio and missed by the guild! He contributed stories to both of our anthologies and kept us on our toes regarding the finer issues of POV as well as reducing our overly effusive (read lengthy) exposition.

Norma Armon

Norma, colorful bckgrd_treated bisI left Mexico after my divorce and came to the Great White North, chasing the American Dream.  I settled in Hollywood because Spanish International Network hired me to produce a three hour Johnny Carson type show. Ours was the first live television show in Spanish produced live in L.A. After three years with what became the Flagship Station of the SIN Network (now the giant Univision), I left to form my own production company doing specials for ABC, CBS and SIN. After the L.A. Olympics, I moved to Oakland to work with my daughter in our Multilanguage Communications Agency, where we’ve been producing translations and localization of print materials, video, websites and interpreting for Fortune 500 companies for over 33 years. Sooner than later, I expect to delegate my many hats in International Contact, Inc. Then, I intend dedicate myself full time to becoming better at fiction writing, gardening, activism for a better world and taking good care of myself. The WCWG is an integral part of that plan.

Carol Stefan

Carol is a transplant from the East Coast, but her “home town” is New York City.

Carol’s professional background includes teaching, paralegal work, systems analysis, technical writing and copyrighting. Her favorite pastimes are touring Europe and South America, walking, reading, crocheting, and going to the theater. She recently began volunteer work for the local Diablo Ballet organization.

Carol has three daughters who have remained on the East Coast, but she and her husband made the move out here when he tired of snow and shoveling.

You can read some of Carol’s work at

Andrew Harrison

Andrew’s forebears dealt in moonshine. And tobacco, coal, and steel. Who knows what else.

He himself is a leader in gross domestic ink consumption—preferably the non-toxic, waterproof, archival quality stuff you only find in art supply stores. Sure, there are cheaper pens out there, but (as the old Mitch Hedberg joke goes) he got tired of losing them and not caring. He isn’t paid for this high achievement, often mentioning that he should have gone into petroleum.

When he isn’t working in the city, or watching for frogs in the local creek, you’ll find him at the nearest cafe scribbling away.

Catherine Hensiek

Travel is my passion and inspiration for both fiction and non-fiction pieces. During trips to Europe and here in the states I keep a detailed journal and I mine that later for themes and settings for stories. My NaNoWriMo mystery novel is partly set in Paris. This year I am using material from visits to Venice and Lyon for short stories.

Besides writing I also create visual art. My favorite techniques include acrylic painting, mixed media, collage and watercolor. The beautiful scenery of our golden state inspires much of my work.

Some of my travel writing is posted here:

Denise Desalernos

Denise is a second generation California native who resides in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has written dozens of short stories and is working on her first novel length work. A former baker and restaurant manager, she opened and ran a highly successful retail bakery in the East Bay. For the tenth anniversary of the business, she published the Walnut Creek Baking Company Cookbook, a collection of recipes and sumptuous photographs.

An avid lover of nature and animals, she volunteers at local schools with her dog Carmen, helping children learn to read. When she’s not writing, reading, or painting, you can find her outdoors hiking the East Bay hills with her dogs, or backpacking in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Kathy Oldham

Kathy Oldham is the author of the Tom Davies Trio (2015), a non-fiction story of a British motorcycling vaudeville troupe. She has also been published in Irises, a national horticulture magazine, and the Walnut Creek Writers Guild anthologies.

She studied fashion history and design in Paris before moving to England. After many years living in the London area, her family relocated to the Bay Area. The wanderlust never dies and Europe often beckons.


Sandy Shaller, Norma Armon, Kathy Oldham, Webb Johnson
Bios & pics above

Michelle Netzl0ff-Luna

Michelle is an artist in every sense. She’s currently living in Monterrey and contributing to the culture there. This picture is from one of our Walnut Creek Barnes & Noble readings for The View From Here.

Joseph R. Herbst

Joe’s love of writing goes back to his childhood, but his true inspiration came in junior high from his step-brother, Paul R. Fisher, a published fantasy-fiction author.

He worked in Marketing and Advertising at the National Guard Bureau in Washington D.C. for the last 6 years of his 22-year Army career. There he used his writing skills to develop brochures, booklets, and other advertising media for the Army’s Recruiting and Retention Command as well as the Education Division.

When he retired and returned to California, he met Sandy Shaller and joined the Walnut Creek Writer’s Guild. The supportive environment of the guild enabled Joe to revisit the fear he experienced in Iraq and explore the fundamental nature of horror through his stories and screenplays.

M.G. Riley
Still active with writing but very busy with her medical career, M.G. Riley is pictured here at one of our Walnut Creek Barnes & Noble readings for The View From Here.