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First novel published by Berkley/Jove/Putnam in the romance genre with editor Carolyn Nichols (without an agent or rejection), Judy Douglas Knauer then earned 13 journalism awards over seven years from Illinois Press Association, Southern Illinois University, and American Publishing Co. of Canada as a reporter, editor, photographer, feature writer, hard news stories, feature column writer, investigative reporter, and regional managing editor at both weekly and daily newspapers: The Fairbury Blade, The El Paso Record, and The Pontiac Daily Leader. 

Several Midwest regional magazines are on her published non-fiction list, with stories that included, how to make a six-loaf batch of healthy bread complete with photos of the author in a Judo gi; the usefulness of 4-H mothers; and, how a farm-steader hires and describes the artificial insemination of the family's single milk cow.

She also sold "The Big Change" short story to Over My Dead Body mystery print magazine, and has an entry in the Chicago Chapter of the National Writers Union's 2005 Writers At Work chapbook.

She is an active member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, National Writers Union, and the Fairbury (IL) Area Chamber of Commerce. She is registered with the State of Illinois for Retail Sales of written works..

She has attended as a participant, panelist and/or moderator over 30 writer conferences: Romance Writers of America, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime Forensic University, Bouchercon, Of Dark and Stormy Nights, Love Is Murder, International Thriller Writers, Magna cum Murder, Sleuthfest, Illinois Wesleyan University, Writers Police Academy, and as Continuing Education, the only non-law enforcement attendee at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, Green Bay, WS 1st annual Gang Conference.  

She judged Illinois Press Association college student feature story contest and National Newspaper Association/Georgia Newspaper Association Better Newspaper Humorous Column contest.

She wrote the play, "Avoiding Strangers" which is used by Prairie Central Junior High (Forrest, IL) students’ CARES Clowns group in presentations made to lower elementary grade students since 1986. She also:

  • Led a fiction writer’s workshop in August 2004, by invitation from the University of Illinois Library at the 1st Annual Book Market at the Lincoln Square Mall in Urbana, IL and sponsored by a library consortium headed by the U of I Library.  I was among over 30 writers, with several of us leading workshops. 

  • Among 40+ authors attending Kankakee Public Library Authors Fair, April 14, 2007

  • Invited and spoke as one of about 30 Illinois professional authors at Chicago’s Cultural Center by Illinois Women’s Press Association

  • Interviewed and on You Tube through Ball State University on private eye mystery

  • Has had book signings at Indianapolis Borders; Rockford, IL Barnes & Noble; Chicago Bouchercon, Love is Murder, other writer conferences, signed books to sell at Flagstaff, AZ Barnes & Noble; local community sale day, and Buy Locally day.

The 2nd in the Manny Shepherd, PI mystery series, "Evil Woman" is under the polish rag, while the 1st, "A Dirty Way to Die" is ready to go beyond digital.

"Expose", the 1st in my Carrie Romanelli Investigative Reporter series is under the polish rag while the 2nd in the series "Bad News" is in-progress. 

Two thrillers are also in the editing garage. As they are polished, excerpts will start being posted to my blog beginning Halloween Day 2020! 


News & Events

You can paint on a mustache to my photo if you'd like because this character/author has a new male persona for authoring
MEET (as visibly as your imagination allows)
Devin McCool
Yes, I am guilty of purchasing thrillers and mysteries by male authors; 
and believe many book buyers are also guilty of this heinous act.
Therefore I'm giving it a shot. Devin means poet in Irish, and 
you can't beat my gramma's maiden name with a stick!
Wish Devin luck!
SEE Judy's 'author interview' by 
Clicking below: 




No SleuthFest in Deerfield Beach, Florida this year; no walking along the beach; no exercising in the hotel pool even if the air temps are only in the 70's. That's what gals from Illinois do when they go to Florida in March. Well...maybe next year!



For any media inquiries, please contact me:

Tel: 815-688-3320| 

Email: or (used less frequently)

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