About Us


Jennifer Sopranzi:

Jennifer has a degree in history, but worked as a quality engineer/manager in the semiconductor industry for the last twentyfive years. A life-long love of children's literature inspired her to begin writing children's books. Her first works are four episodes in the Black Beak Pirate Saga. She and her husband, Tony, are co-founders of Black Beak Press. She and Tony live in California with their birds Crayon and Baby.

Barbara Altenberndt:

Barbara Altenberndt lives in Michigan on Lake Shannon with her husband Steve and their Jenday Parrot, Bully Buffett. She and her husband have been sailing and scuba diving in the Caribbean for many years, from the West Indies to the Grenadines. Her adventures above and below the water have been the inspiration for the Black Beak stories.

              Bully Buffett


Catherine Van Riper:

My name is Catherine Van Riper, I was born in California and raised everywhere else. I currently live in the Florida Keys. It should be no surprise that between the wildlife and the vast seascapes it's not hard to find inspiration for my illustrations here. The rich cultural history of the Florida keys definitely gives me some wonderful ideas for my artwork.

My interests are mainly in the artistic fields. Between illustrating, my craft hobbies and my college major in graphic design, I have a broad range of interests and experiences.

In addition to artwork, my interests include a little cosplay, including Renaissance Festivals and Science Fiction conventions. I also have a passion for animals, which is wonderful considering where I live. I have two dogs, Scooter and Gunner, as well as a cat, Two. Their personalities have helped me bring the Black Beak characters to life through my pencil! Especially Gunner . . . he's nothing but character.

Well, I am learning a great deal about illustrating everday and I am excited to see the Black Beak Saga unfold!


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 Read the review

 in AFA Watchbird

 Number 3/2011 Pg50