Our Authors

Diane Papalia Zappa, THE MARRIED WIDOW

Diane Papalia Zappa earned her PhD in Lifespan Developmental Psychology in 1971. She went on to teach human development courses to thousands of undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, attaining the rank of tenured Full Professor of Child and Family Studies at the age of 30.

While in Madison she and co-author Sally Wendkos Olds wrote A Child’s World (now in its 13th edition) and Human Development (in its 14th edition). These books have been translated into Portuguese, French, Spanish, and Chinese, and other languages and have been read by hundreds of thousands of students worldwide.

In 1986, while still a Professor in Madison, she met Frank Zappa’s younger brother, Bob, who was marketing manager for one of her books.  They  married in 2015. The Married Widow is her reflection on their relationship through the years.


Jenny Gubermann, author, cat lover, and grandmother was inspired by her grandchildren to write about their many spunky cats. Jenny lived all over the United States and abroad while raising her two children.

She’s also swung a hammer with Habitat for Humanity, staged a road race to raise funds for Hilltop Park, sang in her church’s choir, and joined Not In Our Town, a group promoting community dialogue to combat racism.

Proving that it’s never too late to accomplish your life goals, Jenny, at age 81 is achieving her goal of publishing her first book. She plans two more follow-up books in the series.


Luisa Coll-Pardo Heymann grew up in DC and MD where she spent 20+ years teaching aqua aerobics in between stints running an ice cream parlor in Vieques Puerto Rico, as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Costa Rica, and as the advertising director for Kitchen Bazaar gourmet housewares stores. Her hobbies include snorkeling somewhere warm whenever possible, chairing the editorial committee for the Napa Valley Wine Auction, singing soprano in the Napa Valley community chorus, and 10+ years as part of a hot air balloon crew that included a three-week competition crossing Australia to celebrate their bicentennial in 1988.

Currently, Luisa and her husband John live near Yountville California in an area they call “rural lite” with a couple of rescue dogs who get them out walking in the vineyards every day, rain or shine or wildflre. They have visited and/or worked in 39 countries and, as co-owners of NewLevel Group (providing consulting and back-office services for non-profits), are long-time members of the Social Venture Network.


Aruna M Lepore was born and raised on the Caribbean island of Trinidad (and Tobago).  Her business background emerged from co-managing a family business founded by her late father and run by her mother.  She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Marketing, while minoring in Art, at the University of Miami, and her MBA at the University of Florida.

It was during her undergraduate degree that she met her future husband, and she later left her home in Trinidad to join him in the United States of America.  Together they have two children and have moved from Florida to Washington D.C., to South Africa, and now currently live in Maryland.

Aruna chose to be a full-time stay-at-home mother and to fully embrace the art of parenting.  She found that the unique, life-altering experience of motherhood, coupled with values from her own mother – sacrifice, humility and unconditional love – were the very elements that inspired her to write a children’s book. With her additional experience in painting, Aruna is also involved in her book’s illustrations, and, with her children as her inspiration, she plans to produce more of her books in the future.