Campus to host literary panel of local authors and illustrator on March 31

As a senior instructor of English for over 40 years at Penn State Worthington Scranton, Paul Perrone has helped hundreds of students become better writers, and has even had a hand in some of them becoming professional published writers, whether it be in fiction, non-fiction or as journalists.

One former Perrone student, Dave Hess, a Vietnam veteran and retired Drug Enforcement Administration supervisory special agent, recently had his first book, Ambush, published and spoke about the book and his experience writing it to students in Perrone's English classes.

The novel, a work of fiction, details the life of a young soldier in Vietnam who is coerced into smuggling drugs for his superior officers, and later in life, becomes a DEA agent where he embarks on a career tracking the same men who bullied him into their black market scheme many years before.

Hess attended Penn State Worthington Scranton, where he first met Perrone, and reconnected with his college mentor when he was working on Ambush, having Perrone serve as a sounding board and editor.

A graduate of the University of Scranton, Hess' newest novel, $417.00 to $425.00, will be published this year.


Hess will be one of four local authors featured in a panel discussion and book signing event being hosted by Penn State Worthington Scranton on Thursday, March 31 in the Study Learning Center's K Bruce Sherbine Lounge at 7p.m.

The other authors who will be part of the panel are:

BARBARA J. TAYLOR, who was born and raised in Scranton and teaches English in the Pocono Mountain School District and still resides in the "Electric City," two blocks away from where she grew up.

She has an MFA in creative writing from Wilkes University. Her debut novel is the critically acclaimed Sing in the Morning, Cry at Night, which was named a "Best Book of Summer 2014" by Publishers Weekly.  The sequel, All Waiting Is Long, will be released on July 5. For more information, visit

JOHN J. ZELENSKI is an award-winning author who has appeared on television, radio, and been featured in numerous print articles, as well as receiving high-profile reviews from the popular community.

Having been inspired, in part, to write his first novel, Walker's Vale, by his own paranormal experiences as a child, Zelenski has developed a keen understanding of the supernatural.

His second novel and prequel to Walker's Vale -- The Journal of Ezekiel Walker -- continues the saga of Walker's Vale, with a future third installment presently in the works.

Walker's Vale, the film, will be released through Allegentsia Productions, with filming scheduled to begin sometime in 2016.

John, along with his wife and two children, love to watch the seasons change in beautiful Northeast Pennsylvania. 

JEFF DAVIS (writing as J.L. Davis) currently lives in Jim Thorpe, the Gateway to the Poconos. In his twenties he did everything from being a bartender to playing the drums on the local entertainment circuit with area bands.


He is the author of three novels, including NESTING with the LOONS, a satiric novel with a Hiassen-like brand of humor. He later went on to write CRUDE, a critically acclaimed post-apocalyptic thriller about survival in the world after an environmental disaster. Recently Davis released his third novel, The 7th JACKAL, also available on audiobook from iTunes, Audible and Amazon.


MARYBETH CAULEY, an illustrator and owner of Cauley Custom Designs in Jim Thorpe, worked on the design of Davis' Nesting with the Loons and The 7th Jackal, as well as Leo Juarez's Kame Poetry and has also done setup and design in e-book formats such as Amazon Kindle. She specializes in custom art, specifically book cover design.


The public is invited to attend this free event on Thursday, March 31, in the Study Learning Center's K Bruce Sherbine Lounge at 7 p.m.  No reservations are needed. Light refreshments will be served.