Wine Dine & Travel Magazine is very proud of it family of regular writers — professional veteran journalists who have earned their stripe by working for decades for major national magazines and newspapers. They have been recognized by almost every major journalism organization for their excellence in writing and photography. Put together, they represent well over 300 years of professional experience.
Ron & Mary James
EXECUTIVE EDITOR /LAYOUT & DESIGN
Ron James is the “wine, food and travel guy.” He is a nationally award-winning print and online journalist, designer., television producer and radio personality. He has worked for San Diego Magazine, Time Warner, Broadband Interactive Group, The San Diego Union-Tribune, Uptown News and SDNN. The native Californian’s nationally syndicated wine and food columns for CNS have appeared in newspapers and magazines around the world. He lives in San Diego and is passionate about great wine and food and enthusiastically enjoys them every day!
Mary Hellman James is an award-winning San Diego journalist and editor. After a 29-year-career with the San Diego Union-Tribune. She currently is a freelance garden writer and a columnist for San Diego Home-Garden/Lifestyles magazine.
Sharon Whitley Larsen
Sharon Whitley Larsen’s work has appeared in numerous publications, including Los Angeles Times Magazine, U-T San Diego, Reader’s Digest (and 19 international editions), Creators Syndicate, and several “Chicken Soup for the Soul” editions. Although she enjoys writing essays, op-ed, and people features, her favorite topic is travel (favorite destination London). She’s been lucky to attend a private evening champagne reception in Buckingham Palace to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee, to dine with best-selling author Diana Gabaldon in the Scottish Highlands, and hike with a barefoot Aborigine in the Australian Outback. Exploring sites from exotic travels in the Arctic Circle to ritzy Rio, with passport in hand, she’s always ready for the next adventure!
Carl H. Larsen is a veteran journalist based in San Diego. He now focuses on travel writing, and is summoned to pull out his notebook whenever there’s the plaintive cry of a steam locomotive nearby. In San Diego, he is a college-extension instructor who has led courses on the Titanic and the popular TV series “Downton Abbey.”
Alison DaRosa is a six-time winner of the Lowell Thomas Gold Award for travel writing, the most prestigious prize in travel journalism. She served 15 years as Travel Editor of the San Diego Union-Tribune. She was the award-winning editor of the San Diego News Network Travel Page. She produces and edits the San Diego Essential Guide, a highly rated and continually updated travel app for mobile devices. Alison is a regular freelance contributor to the travel sections of U-T San Diego, the Los Angeles Times and USA Today.
Robert Whitley writes the syndicated “Wine Talk” column for Creators Syndicate and is publisher of the online wine magazine, Wine Review Online. Whitley frequently serves as a judge at wine competitions around the world, including Concours Mondial de Bruxelles, Sunset Magazine International and the Dallas Morning News TexSom wine competitions. Robert also operates four major international wine competitions in San Diego: Critics Challenge, Winemaker Challenge, Sommelier Challenge and the San Diego International.
Maribeth Mellin is an award-winning journalist whose travel articles have appeared in Endless Vacation Magazine, U-T San Diego and Dallas Morning News among others. She also travels and writes for several websites including CNN Travel, Concierge.com and Zagat, and has authored travel books on Peru, Argentina, Costa Rica, Mexico, Hawaii and California. Though known as a Mexico pro, Maribeth has written about every continent and was especially thrilled by the ice, air and penguins in Antarctica.
Priscilla Lister is a longtime journalist in her native San Diego. She has covered a many subjects over the years, but travel is her favorite. Her work, including photography, has appeared in the U-T San Diego, Los Angeles Times, Alaska Airlines magazine and numerous other publications throughout the U.S. and Canada. She currently writes a weekly hiking column for the U-T, photographing every trail and its many wonders. But when the distant road beckons, she can’t wait to pack her bags.
John Muncie & Jody Jaffe
Jody and John are the co-authors of the novels, “Thief of Words,” and “Shenandoah Summer,” published by Warner Books. John was feature editor of the San Diego Union-Tribune, arts editor of The Baltimore Sun and writer-editor-columnist for the travel department of The Los Angeles Times. His travel articles have been published in many major newspapers; he’s a Lowell Thomas award-winner. Jody is the author of “Horse of a Different Killer,”‘Chestnut Mare, Beware,” and “In Colt Blood,” As a journalist at the Charlotte Observer, she was on a team that won the Pulitzer Prize. Her articles have been published in many newspapers and magazines including The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times. They live on a farm in Lexington, Va., with eleven horses, three cats and an explosion of stink bugs.
Susan McBeth is the founder and owner of Adventures by the Book ( www.adventuresbythebook.com ) which brings literature to life for readers through events and travels with authors. She is the founder of the SoCal Author Academy, providing workshops and training to help authors better connect with readers. She is a current member of the One Book One San Diego committee, and a former board member with the Southern California Booksellers Association.
London-based writer and photographer Amy Laughinghouse has attempted to overcome her fears (and sometimes basic common sense) through her adventures in 30 countries around the world. She dishes on the perks and perils of globetrotting for publications like LonelyPlanet.com, AAA Journey Magazine, Virtuoso Life, and The Dallas Morning News. Her travel tales can also be found on her website, www.amylaughinghouse.com.
Judy & Len Garrison
Judy is the editor of Georgia Connector Magazine and Peach State Publications as well as a freelance writer/photographer/traveler for national/international publications including Deep South Magazine, Interval Magazine, Simply Buckhead, US Airways Magazine, Southern Hospitality Traveler and has a bi-monthly blog in Blue Ridge Country’s online edition. Her first book, North Georgia Moonshine: A History of the Lovells and other Liquor Makers, is available at Amazon.com. She and Len own Seeing Southern,L.L.C., a documentary photography company.