Meet Our Members

EMILY BOOTH MASTERS holds an MA in English Literature. From 2001-2009 she worked as a Program Officer and then a Program Director for Humanities Tennessee. She left that position in 2009 to pursue a career as a freelance grant writer and development consultant. Since then she has worked for a variety of not-for-profit and government agencies. Her former and current clients include Tennessee State Library and Archives, Fannie Battle Day Home for Children, Metro Arts, NashvilleHealth, and the Nature Conservancy in TN. She is the founder of DancEast, which she sold in May of 2018 after nearly ten years of building the dance education studio from an initial enrollment of eight to an enrollment of more than 500 students of all ages. She has been dancing since she was a young child and teaching dance for more than twenty years. She and her family – husband Randall, daughter Nora and son Holden- live in Goodlettsville.


Bebe Brechner

BEBE BRECHNER is one of the WNBA Nashville Chapter’s past presidents. She also serves on the WNBA national board as the Great Group Reads chair and Website co-chair. She moved to Nashville in 2004. She is a senior product manager for ProQuest LLC, creating and managing research databases in the humanities and social sciences for university and college libraries. Even though she works in electronic publishing and is fascinated with online information, she is a longtime bookworm and fan of the printed word! Bebe is also a librarian. For more information, check her LinkedIn profile.


LEE FAIRBEND, the retired Executive Director and co-founder of Book’em, a children’s literacy organization, was formerly the Assistant Executive Director of the Council of Community Services, where Book’em was incubated. She is currently membership chair for WNBA Nashville chapter, treasurer of the League of Women Voters of Nashville, a board member of the Council on Aging of Greater Nashville, a member of the Worcester Hahnemann Hospital Alumni Association, and for fun, Sisters In Crime. A native New Englander, Lee has lived in Brentwood since 1983. She recently retired as Executive Director of Book’em, although as one of the founders she is still very interested in all their activities. She is a longtime community volunteer, serving twice on the board of Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee. She was the founding President of the Community Wish List, now the Community Resource Center, and is a past President of the Nashville Social Service Club.


PHYLLIS GOBBELL is currently writing a mystery series: Pursuit in Provence (2015), Secrets and Shamrocks (2016), and Treachery in Tuscany, to be released Spring 2018. In addition she has written fiction, which earned her a Tennessee’s Individual Artist Literary Award, and creative nonfiction. She co-authored two true crime books about high profile Nashville murders. She teaches English composition, creative writing, and literature at Nashville State Community College.


JODI HUGHES is a fiction editor at HarperCollins Christian Publishing (Thomas Nelson and Zondervan). She works with bestselling authors such as Terri Blackstock (Smoke Screen), Charles Martin (Send Down the Rain), Lauren K. Denton (The Hideaway), Sean Dietrich (“Sean of the South”; Stars of Alabama), and Court Stevens (The June Boys). Originally from the Alabama Gulf Coast, Jodi graduated cum laude from Samford University with a BA in Classics. She is currently, albeit slowly, pursing a master’s degree in English at Belmont. Jodi enjoys living in Nashville with her two black-and-white rescue pups and volunteering for the Women’s National Book Association.

DONNA PAZ KAUFMAN. After managing one of the country’s leading bookstores and working in publishing, Donna founded The Bookstore Training Group of Paz & Associates in 1992 with the mission of helping booksellers world-wide build skills and insights so that they may lead healthy, life-driven, profitable, community-based businesses. Donna served as WNBA’s national president, Lucile Micheels Pannell Award Chair, and president of the Nashville chapter. She is a past president of the Friends of the Library Fernandina Beach, Florida where she received the Barbara Kingsolver/Friends of Libraries USA Award for her library advocacy. Visit Donna’s website, Paz & Associates and her blog.


LAUREN KRAMER-THEUERKAUF  began writing at an early age. While in elementary school,  she was the recipient of two Young Author Awards (1994, 1997).  Lauren went on to receive her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications – Journalism from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. While there, she earned the Outstanding Student in Journalism Award in 2006. She is the former Editor of The Fairview Heights Tribune as well as the Clinton County News in Mascoutah, Illinois. She has written numerous articles and feature stories that have been included in the above-mentioned papers as well as The Freeburg Tribune and the Mass Communicator magazine for Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. In 2015, Lauren created her own publishing company called Theuerkauf’s Tails, LLC. She is also an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), 12×12 Picture Book Challenge, Independent Book Publisher’s Association (IBPA), the Dog Writers Association of America (DWAA), the Cat Writers Association (CWA), and the Women’s National Book Association (WNBA). She also contributes to and edits articles for the Pets for Patriots Wet Nose blog as well as DOGTV’s Everything Dogs Blog.  In 2016, Lauren published a children’s book about Penny and her adoption journey entitled Priceless Penny. Penny and Lauren visit area schools where we give presentations on the importance of adopting differently-abled animals. She also speaks at community events as well as at local club and organizational meetings.


BREN MCCLAIN’S debut novel, One Good Mama Bone, from Pat Conroy’s Story River Books won the 2017 Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction and the 2019 Patricia Winn Award for Southern Literature. It was also named Pulpwood Queen 2017 Book of the Year, a 2017 Great Group Reads by the Women’s National Book Association, a Southeastern Independent Booksellers Association (SIBA) Okra pick, longlisted for SIBA’s Southern Book Prize and a finalist for the 2018 Crook’s Corner Prize. She is at work on her next, which received the 2016 gold medal for the William Faulkner Novel-in-Progress. She lives on a hundred acres outside of Nashville, TN.


ELLEN MYRICK has marketed books for Davis-Kidd Booksellers, The United Methodist Publishing House, BookPage, Ingram Content Group, NorthSouth Books and, for the last eight years, Myrick Marketing & Media. She works primarily with publishers of children’s books, graphic novels, and audiobooks and also represent publishers ranging from Random House Children’s Books to Inhabit Media (a Canadian publisher of books of Inuit folktales and legends for children) at conferences for teachers and librarians. Ellen also served five years as the Judging Chair of the Audie Awards, the audiobook industry’s awards for excellence and continues to moderate juried awards for the APA. She narrated Stop the Train by Geraldine McCaughrean which is featured on the Sound Learning bibliography of 50 audiobooks for schools. Because she is a ham, she can be found alphabetizing the picture books and doing story time at Parnassus one Saturday each month at Parnassus Books.


Susan PaisleySUSAN PAISLEY was born in Clarksville,TN. Ms. Paisley graduated from Austin Peay State University in Clarksville with a B.S. in Political Science and Law. With a fascination for writing short stories and poetry since her teens, Paisley has had work published in several literary magazines and has received awards from the International Society of Poetry and the Shakespeare Award from the Famous Poets Society. Ms. Paisley has authored two books, Her Cumberland – a historical novel about the founding of Clarksville and A Goose Tale – a children’s book. She has attended several book signings for her books.

MARY LAURA PHILPOTT is an essayist, author, cartoonist, and contributor to publications such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, McSweeney’s, Lit Hub, and Salon. She is also the creator of the webcomic and humor book PENGUINS WITH PEOPLE PROBLEMS; the editor of MUSING, the online magazine produced by Parnassus Books; and an Emmy-winning co-host of the interview show A WORD ON WORDS.,,


Gloria Toler

GLORIA TOLER is   the copy editor of the WNBA national newsletter, The Bookwoman, serves on the WNBA national board as treasurer and previously served as webmaster for the WNBA Nashville Chapter. Gloria moved with her family to Franklin, Tennessee in 1998. She holds a CPA license in Texas and has a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Central Missouri. When not reading, she enjoys playing the piano, traveling, and listening to her two adult sons’ music and attending their performances.


ALANA WHITE: An author, Alana White lives in Nashville, TN and writes fiction and nonfiction for young people and adults (“The Sign of the Weeping Virgin,” “Come Next Spring”). She enjoys genealogy and traveling, especially to Italy to research her mystery novels set in Florence in the 15th century. Visit her on the web at


Carolyn Wilson

CAROLYN WILSON is the retired Director of Library Services for Beaman Library at Lipscomb University. She serves actively in numerous professional organizations, but her associations with WNBA have been long and rewarding. She served as chapter president, served on the national board for over fifteen years, and was national president during a period of establishing two new chapters. She was WNBA Awards chair when the award was presented to Barbara Bush, and she and former national treasurer Margaret Auer developed the Strategic Plan for the national organization. She continues to serve on the Nashville board as Special Programs/Sunshine chair. She was on the initial planning committee for the Southern Festival of Books, and has worked with Humanities Tennessee in that event since. Carolyn enjoys cooking, reading (of course), book collecting, travel, and “hanging out” with her two daughters and three beautiful granddaughters.