Meet the Convention Authors


Meet and Greet with Naomi Judd

Naomi Judd's life as a country music superstar has been nonstop success. But offstage, she has battled incredible personal adversity; family secrets, the death of a sibling, rape and no emotional support. Naomi has always been a survivor; she put herself through nursing school to support her young daughters, then took a courageous chance by moving to Nashville to pursue their fantastic dream of careers in country music and rose to stardom.

But Naomi was still to face her most desperate fight yet. After finishing a tour with Wynonna in 2011, she began a three-year battle with Severe Treatment Resistant Depression and anxiety. She suffered through frustrating and dangerous roller-coaster effects with antidepressants and other drugs, often terrifying therapies and, at her absolute lowest points, thoughts of suicide. But Naomi persevered once again. RIVER OF TIME is her poignant message of hope to anyone whose life has been scarred by trauma.

With a purchase of River of Time at the NAMI Store you can meet Naomi on Thursday, June 29th in the Gunston West room (the Washington Hilton Hotel) at 5:00 pm.

Book Signings 


Andrea Petersen

Andrea Petersen, a highly regarded writer for the Wall Street Journal is also one of the estimated 40 million American adults that suffers from some type of anxiety disorder. In ON EDGE: A Journey Through Anxiety, Peterson harnesses her personal experience and expertise as a health reporter to explore the biological mechanisms of anxiety and the groundbreaking research that might point the way to new treatments.

As a college sophomore, Andrea experienced her first panic attack. After that, nothing was the same, breathlessness, a racing heart, and uncontrollable fear seemingly came out of nowhere. Fear, she said ambushed her. Forced to withdraw from school, she spent half her time on the sofa, the other half getting EKGs, blood tests, CAT scans and a variety of other tests. It took over a dozen doctors and almost a year before she was finally diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and treated. Although having a name for her symptoms and fears was an enormous relief, identifying the problem was only the beginning of Petersen’s journey toward understanding it.

Come meet Andrea and have your book signed by her on Wednesday, June 28th in the Gunston West room (the Washington Hilton Hotel) 1:00 pm.



David Leite

David Leite grew up in the 1960s in a devoutly Catholic, blue-collar, food-crazed Portuguese home in Fall River, Massachusetts. A clever and determined dreamer with a vivid imagination and a flair for the dramatic, “Banana” as his mother endearingly called him, yearned to live in a middle-class house with a swinging kitchen door just like the ones on television. But David also struggled with the emotional devastation of manic depression. Until he was diagnosed in his mid-thirties, David found relief from his wild mood swings in learning about food, watching Julia Child, and cooking for others.

Notes on a Banana is his heartfelt, unflinchingly honest, yet tender memoir of growing up, accepting himself, and turning his love of food into an award-winning career. Reminiscing about the people and events that shaped him, David looks back at the highs and lows of his life: from his rejection of being gay and his attempt to “turn straight” through Aesthetic Realism, a cult in downtown Manhattan, to becoming a writer, cookbook author, and web publisher, to his twenty-four-year relationship with Alan, known to millions of David’s readers as “The One,” which began with (what else?) food. Throughout the journey, David returns to his stoves and tables, and those of his family, as a way of grounding himself.

Come meet David and have your book signed by him on Friday, June 29th in the Gunston West room (the Washington Hilton Hotel).