Meet the Board Members
President Toby Heathcotte
Since childhood, Toby has been interested in the past and has found many affinities with her ancestors. Unexpected and unwelcome psychic experiences led her to study reincarnation and psychic phenomena, and she took comfort in the fact that she was not alone. A high school teacher of speech and drama for many years, Toby wrote academic books before venturing into relating her psychic experiences in Out of the Psychic Closet.
Those experiences also translated into a fictionalized series called the Alma Chronicles, a family saga of reincarnation and conflicts spanning centuries.
Expressing her love for the stage, Toby has written plays and screenplays, sometimes alone, sometimes in partnership with other authors. The passing of some of her family members resulted in an interest in genealogical research, which serves as another creative spur for her work. She served as President of Arizona Authors Association from 2005 to 2015 and returned to the role in 2021. Toby lives in Glendale, Arizona.
Contact Toby at: Toby Fesler Heathcotte
Treasurer and Contest Coordinator Jane Ruby
Jane is an award-winning novelist, essayist, and short story writer. She’s judged many association literary contests and took over as the Literary Contest Coordinator in 2019. The former Secretary of the Association, she now serves as both the Contest head and as the Treasurer of the Association.
Contact Jane at: Jane Ruby
The Arizona Authors Association would like to thank our members, Peter Bernhardt, David Rich, and Patricia L. Brooks, for contributing Arizona landscape photos to the Association, some of which were used on this website.
Editor and Web Administrator Kathleen Cook
Kathleen Cook began writing poems and short stories at an early age. At age eight, she sent one of her poems unaided to the Reader's Digest and claimed to be sixteen, believing that the magazine would take a "mature" writer more seriously. She received a very kind rejection letter from an amused editor.
At age 18, Katy edited a weekly newsletter for the Port of Call, a Nazarene mission for homeless teens. She also served as an editor for the Open Directory Project during the internet's early days. She worked for Demand Studios, a publisher based in Santa Clara, California, in 2007-8 before opening her business, Brighter Stars Editing Service.
Now retired, Katy returned to the Arizona Authors Association in 2019 to serve as its Editor, a position she currently holds, and as its Secretary. She is the author of more than twenty books.
Contact Katy at: Kathleen Cook
The Arizona Authors Association is a nonprofit group founded in 1978 by Boyé Lafayette De Mente, a flamboyant and brilliant author, adventurer, and entrepreneur. He wrote many books on Japanese culture and language, and was also an associate publisher of the Tokyo Journal, the oldest English-language magazine in Japan.
Boyé also wrote a memoir entitled, Once a Fool! From Japan to Alaska by Amphibious Jeep! Boyé made that incredible journey when his friend Ben Carlin was circumnavigating the globe in his jeep, Half-Safe. He asked Boyé to accompany him on the last leg of the journey. Boyé jumped on it, and their names were enshrined in the Guinness Book of World Records. Boyé died in 2017.
Arizona Authors Association co-founder, David Rich, was a practicing attorney and helped to form the Association. He wrote its first charter and bylaws and contributed valuable advice, photos, and more over the course of more than 40 years. His photo of a cactus was used to redesign our newsletter header. He has served on the board, written for the newsletter, and is still writing books on travel, myths, and more.