Though the skies on the morning of April 10 were gray and the weather drizzly, the room at the Sharon Heights Golf & Country Club in Menlo Park was bright as five authors spoke on a panel at an authors' salon.
The salon was the 25th annual fundraiser to benefit the Menlo Park-based nonprofit Peninsula Volunteers, which provides services for seniors, including Meals on Wheels, the Little House Activity Center and Rosener House adult day care.
Featured authors were spy novelist LM Reynolds, art history and archaeology scholar Patrick Hunt, "semi-retired" journalist William Carlsen, and fiction author and memoirist Lynn Freed. The event was moderated by Bruce Henderson, a Menlo Park resident and author.
Ms. Reynolds, who lives in Florida, published her debut novel, "Spies in our Midst," after working at Pan Am and then in information technology. Her second novel is scheduled for release in June.
Mr. Hunt has written 17 books and is a professor who heads the Alpine Archaeology Project at Stanford, where he leads research in the Swiss, Italian and French Alps. He has written books about art history, wine, mythology, poetry and aphorisms.
Mr. Carlsen, who lives in Sonoma and has lived in Guatemala, talked about his latest book: "Jungle of Stone: The True Story of Two Men, Their Extraordinary Journey and the Discovery of the Lost Civilization of the Maya." He has worked as a journalist at the San Francisco Chronicle and the New York Times and taught at the U.C. Berkeley School of Journalism.
Ms. Freed, a novelist who recently retired from teaching literature and creative writing at U.C. Davis, has published six novels and a number of essays and short stories.
Mr. Henderson, a journalist who has taught writing and reporting at the University of Southern California School of Journalism and at Stanford, most recently wrote "Rescue at Los Banos: The most Daring Prison Camp Raid of World War II," which he said he learned about by reading an obituary in the New York Times. The worst question he has to answer while promoting his book is, "What is your book about?" he said.
Tickets were $125 per person.