Meet Our Authors

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Country Music

Meet Our Authors

Jack Canfield is the co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, which Time magazine has called “the publishing phenomenon of the decade.” Jack is also the co-author of many other bestselling books.

Jack is the CEO of the Canfield Training Group in Santa Barbara, California, and founder of the Foundation for Self-Esteem in Culver City, California. He has conducted intensive personal and professional development seminars on the principles of success for more than a million people in twenty-three countries, has spoken to hundreds of thousands of people at more than 1,000 corporations, universities, professional conferences and conventions, and has been seen by millions more on national television shows.

Jack has received many awards and honors, including three honorary doctorates and a Guinness World Records Certificate for having seven books from the Chicken Soup for the Soul series appearing on the New York Times bestseller list on May 24, 1998.

You can reach Jack at

Mark Victor Hansen is the co-founder of Chicken Soup for the Soul, along with Jack Canfield. He is a sought-after keynote speaker, bestselling author, and marketing maven. Mark’s powerful messages of possibility, opportunity, and action have created powerful change in thousands of organizations and millions of individuals worldwide.

Mark is a prolific writer with many bestselling books in addition to the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. Mark has had a profound influence in the field of human potential through his library of audios, videos, and articles in the areas of big thinking, sales achievement, wealth building, publishing success, and personal and professional development. He is also the founder of the MEGA Seminar Series.

Mark has received numerous awards that honor his entrepreneurial spirit, philanthropic heart, and business acumen. He is a lifetime member of the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans.

You can reach Mark at

Randy Rudder has been an arts and entertainment journalist in Nashville for over 20 years. He has an MFA in creative nonfiction writing from the University of Memphis, an MA in literature from Tennessee State University, and a BA in communications from Mount Union College (Ohio). For 18 years, he also taught literature, journalism, and composition at Nashville State Community College, Tennessee State University, and Aquinas College in Nashville.

He has written arts and entertainment features for a variety of academic and popular culture publications, including Southern Cultures (University of North Carolina), Southern Crossroads (Mercer University Press), The Pinch (University of Memphis), The Washington Post, Country Weekly, Bluegrass Unlimited, American Profile, Nashville Lifestyles, The Writer, Script magazine, and others.

In 2007, Randy compiled the music anthology, The Country Music Reader with Rosanne Cash. That year, he also received the Tennessee Arts Commission Fellowship for Creative Nonfiction. From 2008 to 2010, he worked as a writer/producer for the Christian Broadcasting Network’ s Nashville office, and is currently co-producing a documentary on the history of The Farm, an intentional community in Summertown, Tennessee founded by San Francisco hippies in 1971.

He lives in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, near Nashville, with his wife Clare and daughter Abigail. He loves hiking in the Smoky Mountains, listening to country and bluegrass music, and hearing songwriters tell about the stories behind their songs.

Ken Kragen’s career transcends the music and entertainment industries. A graduate of Harvard Business School, he has successfully managed some of the world’s most important entertainers, including Kenny Rogers, Lionel Richie, Trisha Yearwood, Travis Tritt, Olivia Newton-John, The Bee Gees. During the past few years he has devoted an increasing amount of his time to writing, teaching and consulting work for leading corporations and non-profits.

His belief that “it’s much easier to do the impossible than the ordinary” has enabled him to organize many historic humanitarian projects including We are the World, Hands Across America, and Netaid. He also played an important role in the original LiveAid and, with his friend Quincy Jones, the 1992 Presidential Inauguration. For this work, Mr. Kragen was honored with the United Nations Peace Medal.

He is the only individual ever elected President of both the Country Music Association and Academy of Country Music. He received the International Citizen’s Award from the International Visitors Council of Los Angeles and has also earned two MTV Awards, an American Music Award, several Emmy nominations and Manager of the Year Award from the Conference of Personal Managers.

During his career Mr. Kragen has produced a variety of film and television projects, ranging from the groundbreaking Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour on CBS to Kenny Rogers’ Gambler movies, and numerous series, mini-series and films.

Ken Kragen is the author of the best-selling book Life is a Contact Sport.

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