Vanessa Riley in Conversation with Alina Rubin

Vanessa Riley and Alina Rubin

Bestselling author Vanessa Riley and award winner Alina Rubin, will discuss writing historical fiction, giving women a voice in history, doing and using research, traditional versus independent publishing, and building empathy through history.

This is a virtual program via Zoom. To register visit

Galena LitFest is the tenth annual literary festival organized and funded by the Galena Public Library with support from the Friends of the Galena Public Library. Events will take place February through May 2024.

Vanessa Riley is an award-winning author of more than 20 books which encompass historical fiction, historical romance, and historical mystery. Her novels showcase the hidden histories of Black women and women of color, emphasizing strong sisterhoods and dazzling multicultural communities, and have been praised by the AAMBC, Washington Post, New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, NPR, Publishers Weekly, Essence Magazine, and many others. Vanessa holds a doctorate in mechanical engineering from Stanford University and several other degrees from Stanford and Penn State Universities. Learn more about Vanessa Riley’s books and events and join her newsletter at

Alina Rubin is an IT professional and a mom, who, during the pandemic, used the time and energy saved on the commute to write her first book, an adventure of a nineteenth-century woman surgeon. Writing became her passion, and her characters took her on a journey beyond her wildest dreams. Her debut novel, A Girl with a Knife, has won the Illinois Author Project 2022 Competition. She's now the author of multiple books.