Readers Announced for TrueStory Soft Launch on 2/21

We have quite a line up for our soft launch on Thursday, 2/21 starting at 8 p.m. We are excited to announce these four fantastic readers and can’t wait to hear what they have in store for us! Check out these bios and then come to the reading — we’ll see you there!


Born on the Big Island of Hawaii, Jasmin Iolani Hakes has been a professional hula dancer, writer, editor, homeschool teacher, political and media consultant, bread baker, pie maker, and a book shelver at a public library. When not being raised by her daughters, Jasmin is the Development Director for the Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra. She is currently working on her memoir about her life in Bosnia and Serbia.

BradBrad Branan is a Senior Writer at The Sacramento Bee, where he investigates local government. He has been a reporter since college and also worked at newspapers in Fresno, Tucson and Little Rock. As someone who grew up in Minnesota, he thinks moving to California is one of the best things that’s happened to him – even if the first stop was Fresno. He is working on a book-length memoir with the working title “A Family Curse.”

Alexa MerganAlexa Mergen’s poems,essays and stories have been published in anthologies, chapbooks and a variety of journals including Sacramento’s own Under the Gum Tree. She taught literature and writing in school and community settings for 20 years and now works as a freelance editor. In April, she’ll be writing poems for Pulitzer Remix, a national poetry month initiative, creating found poems from Eudora Welty’s novel The Optimist’s Daughter.


Afghan-American writer Tamim Ansary’s books include a memoir (West of Kabul, East of New York); a history of the world (Destiny Disrupted);  a history of Afghanistan (Games Without Rules ), and a historical novel (The Widow’s Husband). He is currently working on Road Trips, a memoir about counterculture life in Portland in the the ‘60s & 70s. He runs the 67-year-old San Francisco Writer’s Workshop.