Dr. Aleron Kong is a physician by day, best-selling author of LitRPG by night based out of Atlanta, Georgia. Best known for his series “The Land”, Aleron has published seven titles in the last two years, and continues to write passionately, with a goal to continue the series to fifty books and a movie or TV series. He hopes to break the mold of SciFi writers, bringing more diversity to the genre. The youngest of four, Aleron was born in Wisconsin, but moved frequently as the son of a successful cooperate ladder climber. He was inspired by his Mother’s journey with medicine, and decided to pursue a career in it as well. He began his college education at Dartmouth, and later attended Morehouse, where he completed his medical education. Throughout his college career, and to this day, Aleron is a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha, the same fraternity that Martin Luther King Jr. and Jesse Owens were members of. He enjoys spending his free time with his family, including his six nieces and nephews, Dr. Al, as his patients fondly refer to him, has a lifetime goal of leaving the world a better place than he found it. He has worked to raise over $10,000 for charities including The Water Project, Able Gamers, Texas Blue Armor Brotherhood, and recently helped to raise funds for those impacted by Hurricane Irma. He also has donated books to the 704th Military Intelligence Brigade as well as various Pediatric hospitals. His charitable works in progress include a Women’s Health Initiative, as well as plans for a Breast Cancer Fundraiser. When Aleron isn’t saving lives or writing, he is working hard to help the genre of LitRPG and the authors within it, to grow. He has created countless resources for new authors in the genre, and continues to mentor those entering the field. He hopes to inspire continued growth and recognition of LitRPG.
A.K. (Amy) DuBoff is a Nebula Award finalist, full-time indie author specializing in character-driven space opera and science-fantasy. Dubbed by her readers a modern “Queen of Space Opera”, she is most known for her acclaimed Cadicle universe. The second book in her standalone Dark Stars Trilogy, A Light in the Dark, a 2018 Nebula finalist for the Andre Norton Award. Amy’s short fiction has been published by NewCon Press, Seventh Seal Press, and in numerous indie publications. When she’s not writing, she enjoys travel, wine tasting, binge-watching TV series and playing epic strategy board games.
Anna Grace Carpentar
A.G. Carpenter writes fiction of (and for) all sorts, with a focus on the speculative. With over a dozen published short stories, her work has appeared in Twitter-zines such as One Forty Fiction and Trapeze Magazine, online publications Daily Science Fiction, Goldfish Grimm’s Spicy Fiction Sushi, and Abyss & Apex. Her work is available in print from Nature Magazine’s “Futures”, the micro-press anthology “Southern Gothic” (New Lit Salon Press – Oct. 2013), and “The Weather’s Always Fine in Paradise” – a collection of short stories and novelettes. “Of Lips and Tongue”, the first novella in the “Touch” trilogy, was released in June 2016 through Falstaff Books. The sequels – “Of Shade and Soul” and “Of Flesh and Bone” – and an omnibus edition are available now. “Monster Society”, a short story and novella anthology co-written with Eric S. Brown and Robert Waters, is available in ebook and print formats from Eric Flint’s Ring of Fire Press. A new series of SF Western novels is forthcoming Spring/Summer of 2019. She graduated from The College of Santa Fe with a degree in Moving Image Arts (B.A, 2004) and is still an avid fan of film making, with a preference for movies in which things explode. She lives in the southern United States with her husband, their lively son and a herd of cats.
Ashley Chappell writes satire and young adult epic fantasy featuring expansive world-building and universes filled with magic, mayhem, and monsters. She is also a writer for Season 2 of The Blood Crow Stories, a serialized horror podcast featuring one complete story each season. Upcoming releases include expansions of her YA Fantasy Dreams of Chaos series; The Rimguard, a new adult urban fantasy; and The Harrows, a gritty adventure in which Hell is a job for life. Or rather, a job for the afterlife.
By day, clinical psychologist Cecilia Dominic helps people cure their insomnia. By night, this urban fantasy and steampunk author writes fiction that keeps her readers turning pages past bedtime. She prefers the term “versatile” to “conflicted” and has been published in short story and novel-length fiction. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with one husband and two cats.
A bestselling Science Fiction/Fantasy author, speaker, and publisher, Chris Kennedy is a former naval aviator and elementary school principal. Chris’ stories include the “Theogony” and “Codex Regius” science fiction trilogies and stories in the “Four Horsemen” military scifi series. Get his free book, “Shattered Crucible,” at his website, https://chriskennedypublishing.com. Chris is the author of the award-winning #1 bestseller, “Self-Publishing for Profit: How to Get Your Book Out of Your Head and Into the Stores.” Called “fantastic” and “a great speaker,” he has coached hundreds of beginning authors and budding novelists on how to self-publish their stories at a variety of conferences, conventions, and writing guild presentations, and he is publishing fifteen authors under various imprints of his Chris Kennedy Publishing small press. Chris lives in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and is the holder of a doctorate in educational leadership and master’s degrees in both business and public administration. Follow Chris on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/chriskennedypublishing.biz and on Twitter at @ChrisKennedy110.
Darin Kennedy, born and raised in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, is a graduate of Wake Forest University and Bowman Gray School of Medicine. After completing family medicine residency in the mountains of Virginia, he served eight years as a United States Army physician and wrote his first novel in the sands of northern Iraq. His debut novel, The Mussorgsky Riddle, was born from a fusion of two of his lifelong loves: classical music and world mythology. The Stravinsky Intrigue continues those same themes, and his Fugue & Fable series culminates in The Tchaikovsky Finale, all from Curiosity Quills Press. The first novel in his The Pawn Stratagem contemporary fantasy series, Pawn’s Gambit, is available from Falstaff Books. His short stories can be found in numerous anthologies and magazines, and the best, particularly those about a certain Necromancer for Hire, are collected for your reading pleasure under Darin’s imprint, 64Square Publishing. Doctor by day and novelist by night, he writes and practices medicine in Charlotte, NC. When not engaged in either of the above activities, he has been known to strum the guitar, enjoy a bite of sushi, and rumor has it he even sleeps on occasion. Find him online at darinkennedy.com.
David B. Coe
David B. Coe/D.B. Jackson is the award-winning author of twenty novels and as many short stories. As D.B. Jackson (http://www.DBJackson-Author.com), he is the author of The Islevale Cycle, a time travel/epic fantasy series from Angry Robot Books, which consists of TIME’S CHILDREN (October 2018), TIME’S DEMON (May 2019), and TIME’S ASSASSIN (Pub date to be determined). He also writes the Thieftaker Chronicles, a series set in pre-Revolutionary Boston that combines elements of urban fantasy, mystery, and historical fiction. Under his own name (http://www.DavidBCoe.com) he has written the Crawford Award-winning LonTobyn Chronicle, the critically acclaimed Winds of the Forelands quintet and Blood of the Southlands trilogy, the novelization Ridley Scott’s, ROBIN HOOD, and a contemporary urban fantasy series, the Case Files of Justis Fearsson. He is the co-author of How To Write Magical Words: A Writer’s Companion. He is currently working on several projects, including his next book for Angry Robot, his first editing endeavor, and a tie-in project with the History Channel. David has a PhD. in U.S. history from Stanford University. His books have been translated into a dozen languages.
Ellie Raine grew up in a family of book lovers, comic readers, and video gamers in the suburbs of Norcross Georgia where she always dreamed of making the next explosive game series that would catch fire like the Final Fantasy games, except hers would have darker themes that put the spotlight on her favorite fable: the Grim Reaper. But that plan took a detour after she went to the Art Institute of Atlanta to make that dream happen. In the midst of her drawing classes, she made the mistake of taking a creative writing course from which there was no return. She’d always loved fantasy books much like her family (she had a thing for dragons particularly), but she never thought it would end up becoming her passion. Her ongoing Scythe-and-Sorcery book series, The NecroSeam Chronicles, was originally intended to be that explosive video game series, but she’s found that the book adaptation is far more fulfilling and exciting. In 2016, her first book in the series, Willow of Ashes, was published under Dark Oak Press, but was later republished under her indie imprint in 2018 along with the subsequent book in the on-going series. Her other works include a supernatural-noir novella titled Nightingale that was published with Pro Se Productions in 2018. You can find out more about her and her books at: http://www.NecroSeam.com
Faith Hunter is the NYT and USAToday bestselling urban fantasy author of the Jane Yellowrock series, the Soulwood series and the Rogue Mage series, as well as the author of 16 thrillers under the names Gary Hunter and Gwen Hunter. Altogether she has 40+ books in print. Faith collects orchids and animal skulls, loves thunder storms, and writes. She likes to cook soup, bake homemade bread, garden, and run Class III whitewater rivers. She edits the occasional anthology and drinks a lot of tea. Some days she’s a lady. Some days she ain’t. For more, see www.faithhunter.net , to keep up with her, like her fan page at Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/official.faith.hunter
Gerald L. Coleman
Gerald L. Coleman is a Philosopher, Theologian, Poet, and Author residing in Atlanta. Born in Lexington, he did his undergraduate work in Philosophy and English at the University of Kentucky. He followed that by completing a degree in Religious Studies, concluding with a Master’s degree in Theology at Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville. His most recent poetry appears in, Pluck! The Journal of Affrilachian Arts & Culture, Drawn To Marvel: Poems From The Comic Books, Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel Vol. 18, Black Bone Anthology, the 10th Anniversary Issue of Diode Poetry Journal, and About Place Journal. He is a speculative fiction author with short stories published in the Science Fiction, Cyberfunk Anthology: The City, the Rococoa Anthology by Roaring Lion, and the upcoming Dark Universe and Terminus Urban Fantasy Anthology. He is the author of the Epic Fantasy novel saga The Three Gifts, which currently includes When Night Falls (Book One) and A Plague of Shadows (Book Two). He has been a Guest Author and Attending Professional at DragonCon, Boskone, Blacktasticon, JordanCon, Atlanta Science Fiction & Fantasy Expo, The Outer Dark Symposium, and Imaginarium. He is a co-founder of the Affrilachian Poets and has released three collections of poetry entitled the road is long, falling to earth, and microphone check. You can find him at geraldlcoleman.co.
JD Jordan is the author of the acclaimed scifi-western novel, Calamity: Being an Account of Calamity Jane and Her Gunslinging Green Man—and has also been featured in Creative Loafing, The International Journal of the Book, Newsweek, and Paste Magazine. He is also an award-winning graphic designer, design educator, and historian with experience working with some of the biggest agencies and brands in the Southeast. He is currently the design director and co-founder of the design and content agency, J+E Creative. He is represented by The Zack Company.
Jenn Lyons lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband, three cats, and a nearly infinite number of opinions on anything from Sumerian mythology to the correct way to make a martini. Having formerly been an illustrator, art director, and video game producer, she now spends her days writing epic fantasy. She is happy to her geek roots back to playing first edition Dungeons & Dragons in grade school and reading her way from A to Z in the local public library. Her debut epic fantasy novel, The Ruin of Kings (first in the five-book Godslayer Cycle,) was released from Tor Books in February, 2019. The second book in the series, The Name of All Things, is scheduled for release later in the year.
John G. Hartness
John G. Hartness is a teller of tales, a righter of wrong, defender of ladies’ virtues, and some people call him Maurice, for he speaks of the pompatus of love. He is also the award-winning author of the urban fantasy series The Black Knight Chronicles, the Bubba the Monster Hunter comedic horror series, the Quincy Harker, Demon Hunter dark fantasy series, and many other projects. He is also a cast member of the role-playing podcast Authors & Dragons, where a group of comedy, fantasy, and horror writers play Dungeons & Dragons. Very poorly. In 2016, John teamed up with a pair of other publishing industry ne’er-do-wells and founded Falstaff Books, a small press dedicated to publishing the best of genre fiction’s “misfit toys.” In his copious free time John enjoys long walks on the beach, rescuing kittens from trees and playing Magic: the Gathering.
Award-winning and USA Today-bestselling author of the Love, Lies, and Hocus Pocus universe, Lydia Sherrer is a fantasy writer whose goal is to leave the world a better place than when she found it. With multiple series, short stories and novellas in print, Lydia has been writing for over a decade and enjoys nothing more than a good book, a cup of tea, and a comfy chair in the sunshine. From small beginnings growing up in rural Kentucky, Lydia realized her love of fantastic stories, cultures, and peoples early on, and by the time she graduated high-school had traveled in seven different countries and studied three languages. She went on to get a dual BA in Chinese and Arabic from the Ohio State University and spent time living in both China and Syria. After traveling the world, she came home to Louisville, KY, and, instead of becoming a spy for the CIA (her childhood dream) decided to do something much more exciting and dangerous: write books for a living. In addition to her best-selling Love, Lies, and Hocus Pocus series (2017 Imadjin awards, best in Urban Fantasy), and her epic fantasy When the Gods Laughed, Lydia Sherrer’s short stories have appeared in several anthologies. Her award-winning short story Hope, a post-apocalyptic tale of survival, won in Almond Press’ 2015 dystopian short story contest and was awarded a place in the anthology, Apocalypse Chronicles. Her non-fiction essays have appeared in the Young Salvationist Magazine. When not working on her latest book, Lydia enjoys playing the ocarina (think Zelda), buying leather-bound books (does that count as a leather fetish?), and collecting insects (because bugs are awesome). She attempts to subsist on tea and dark chocolate, and hates sleep because it keeps her from doing things. Due to the tireless efforts of her fire-spinning gamer husband and her two overlords, er cats, she remains sane and even occasionally remembers to leave the house.
Mark McCray is a senior manager of programming operations for Adult Swim, a division of Turner that offers original and acquired animated and live-action series for young adults. In this role, McCray oversees Adult Swim’s on-air promotions and scheduling strategy. McCray is an award-winning television writer and has been in the broadcasting industry for over 18 years. He has a passion for programming strategy, animation, and comic books. Prior to his work at Adult Swim, McCray worked as a television programmer for Cartoon Network, and was a key member of the team that launched the Boomerang Network. McCray is also the author of The Best Saturdays of Our Lives, a book that chronicles the origins of competitive Saturday morning animated programming.
Foster Bridget Cassidy
Foster Bridget Cassidy is a romance writer who dips into science fiction and fantasy on occasion. Exploring gender/sexual identity issues drive her desire to write. She strives for diversity in her worlds and characters. Her stories have been selected for inclusion in Queer Sci-Fi’s yearly flash fiction anthologies for 2016, 2017, and 2018. The entries from 2017 and 2018 were both awarded Honorable Mentions. Her first historical-fantasy romance, Shifting Sands, was released in December, 2018 from JMS Books. Two additional novels are due out in 2019, a fantasy romance from NineStar Press, and a sci-fi romance from Dreamspinner Press. Her other titles are contemporary romances, Pipelines in Paradise, The Accident Curse, But to Love More, and Double Act. An avid Wheel of Time fan, she is an administrator on Dragonmount.com (where she goes by Mashiara) and takes an active role in many fandom-based endeavors. You can find out more at FosterBridgetCassidy.com.
Melissa McArthur is the founder and president of Clicking Keys Writer Services, a full-service editing, cover design, and layout company based in the upstate of South Carolina. She also serves as an Acquiring Editor for Falstaff Books, and is an accomplished editor and proofreader. A graduate of Winthrop University, Melissa has published short stories with Mocha Memoirs Press, Falstaff Books, Lore Seekers Press, and FunDead Publications. Her urban fantasy series, Guardians of Eternity, will be published by Falstaff Books beginning in 2018.
Merethe Walther has been fascinated with science fiction, fantasy, dystopian tales, and anything to do with the supernatural since she was a child growing up on the beaches of Jacksonville, FL. She was obsessed with books from a young age and began creating her own stories as soon as she was able to put pen to paper. She graduated second in her class from Full Sail University with a BFA in Creative Writing, and soon after completed her debut novel, Mercury in Retrograde. Her next book, an urban fantasy novel, is due to be published sometime in 2019. Merethe is an avid fan of video games and all things anime. She blames her weird sense of humor on spending too many hours reading books alone and has accepted that no one will ever be able to pronounce her name properly. When not writing, Merethe works as an editor from Atlanta, GA, where she lives with her husband and their rescue cat.
Milton J. Davis
Milton Davis is an author and publisher of Black Fantastic Tales. He’s written 13 novels and published 30 books. His Steamfunk story ‘The Swarm’ was nominated for the British Science Fiction Association Ward for Short Fiction in 2018. He resides in Metro Atlanta with his wife and son.
Misty Massey is the author of Mad Kestrel, a rollicking adventure of magic on the high seas, Kestrel’s Voyages, a collection of short stories featuring those rambunctious pirates, and the upcoming Kestrel’s Dance. She is a co-editor of The Weird Wild West and Lawless Lands: Tales of the Weird Frontier, and was a founding member of Magical Words. Her short fiction has appeared in many anthologies and she’s working on a series of Shadow Council novellas for Falstaff Press featuring the famous gunslinger Doc Holliday. When she’s not writing, Misty studies and performs Middle Eastern dance and will, on occasion, surprise everyone with a batch of home-baked snickerdoodles. She’s a sucker for good sushi, African coffee, and the darkest rum she can find. You can keep up with what Misty’s doing at mistymassey.com, Facebook and Twitter.
Morgan Smith has been a goatherd, a landscaper, a weaver, a bookstore owner, a travel writer, and an archaeologist, and she will drop everything to travel anywhere, on the flimsiest of pretexts. Writing is something she has been doing all her life, though, one way or another, and now she thinks she might actually have something to say.
Nicole Givens Kurtz
Nicole Givens Kurtz’s short stories have appeared in over 30 anthologies of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Her novels have been finalists for the EPPIEs, Dream Realm, and Fresh Voices in science fiction awards. Her work has appeared in Stoker Finalist, Sycorax’s Daughters, and in such professional anthologies as Baen’s Straight Outta Tombstone and Onyx Path’s The Endless Ages Anthology. Visit Nicole’s other worlds online at Other Worlds Pulp, www.nicolegivenskurtz.com.
Quinn Howard is the voice behind Ideas of Ice and Fire on Youtube. He cover various science fiction and fantasy books including but not limited to: The Dune Saga by Frank Herbert, A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin, The work of Isaac Asimov, The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan, the Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss, The work of HP Lovecraft, and The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley. His channel centers around breaking down and explaining the lore as well as the themes and symbolism involved in these great works of fiction.
R. Kyle Hannah
With a face for radio and a voice for silent movies, writing was his only recourse. Award Winning Author R. Kyle Hannah is a self-professed geek and lover of all things sci-fi. He began writing in high school as an outlet for an overactive imagination. Those humble beginnings, combined with real life experiences from a 29-year career in the Army, have spawned a half-dozen full-length adventures and short stories. “Reminiscent of Arthur C. Clark” is how Writer’s Digest describes his first novel To Aid and Protect. His TIME ASSASSINS Trilogy (Time Assassins, Assassin’s Gambit, & Assassin’s End) has met great praise from authors and readers alike. The series is a time travel adventure that chronicles futuristic assassins who travel back in time and rewrite alternate timelines into our history. The trilogy features a Pinnacle Book Achievement Award Winner and an Amazon Best Seller. His next trilogy (The Tri-System Authority – The Jake Cutter Conspiracy, The Tri-System Authority – The Reign of Terra, and The Tri-System Authority: Tales from the Busty Ostrich) are slated for release in 2018 and 2019. Kyle has several other projects in the works, including The Coven, Harvest Day, Atlantis Falling, and a screenplay adaptation of his first novel, To Aid and Protect. He is married, with two children, and lives in the suburbs of Birmingham, Alabama. He has many convention appearances scheduled throughout the year.
You can find his schedule on his website: www.rkylehannah.com.
You can find him:
On FACEBOOK at www.facebook.com/rkylehannahwriter
On Twitter @rkhannah
On Instagram rkylehannah
On the web at www.rkylehannah.com
Robyn Huss is a freelance editor who specializes in heavy developmental and copy editing; she is a thorough grammarian and has a good eye for inconsistencies. She is able to focus on character development, dialogue, paragraphing, sequencing of events and details, theme, and symbolism, in addition to providing a thorough review of grammar, usage, style, and word choice. Robyn has been editing professionally since 2013 and has spent a lifetime analyzing literature and teaching writing. Her bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa is in English with teaching certification; she has spent almost 30 years teaching literature and writing to grades six through college. She currently teaches at the college level and edits for several JordanCon writers, including some who published in the JordanCon anthology of short stories. You can learn more about Robyn and see samples of her work at www.hussediting.com
Raised in New England, a childhood running amok outdoors and reading tales of magic and dragons (or magical dragons), Sargon is an expert on myth and folklore and is especially interested in haeccity in a panentheistic context with an emphasis on simultaneous immanence and transcendence. Currently he is writing a midgrade fantasy retelling of Gilgamesh entitled Return of the Ancients and a high fantasy entitled Of Beasts and Mischief: The Unremembered Book 1. Sargon completed his undergraduate degree at Stonehill College before heading to California to enjoy the sun for a moment with friends and family. After returning to the East Coast he taught both middle school and high school (including special education) while studying ancient languages at Hellenic College in Brookline, Mass before moving to Toronto, Canada to pursue an MA and PhD in Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations. Donabed teaches cultural heritage and history as well as mythology, folklore, and wisdom literature of the ancient, medieval, and modern world. His contemporary focus consists of indigenous and marginalized communities and threads of continuity. He is an expert on the perennial history of Assyro-Mesopotamian culture. A glutton for academic punishment, he is completing a MS in Anthrozoology/Animal Studies at Canisius College. Sargon is an avid adventurer and enjoys yoga and martial arts as well as almost every other sport imaginable (pending definition of course). And while definitions are feeble interpretations of reality, he would prefer to identify with his love of nature and focus on animal rights as well as wildlife and environmental conservation. He hopes to one day simply walk into Mordor, learn the spell fireball, locate Elvander on a map (and later the Blessed Isles), and learn the secrets of the Azath and path to ascension. Oh, and be able to stop trophy hunting by revealing the location of the hunters’ privy to the animals. Today, he teaches at Roger Williams University and lives with his human and feline (and all manner of arachnid and a recent formicidae tribe) family in New England.
Toni Weisskopf is the publisher of Baen Books. She has worked with such authors as David Weber, David Drake, Lois McMaster Bujold, Eric Flint, Wen Spencer, Larry Correia, and many others. With Josepha Sherman she compiled and annotated the definitive volume of subversive children’s folklore, Greasy Grimy Gopher Guts.
Venessa Giunta is a writer of weird things and the author of the urban fantasy novel, Jivaja. She holds an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University and has worked on the editorial side of publishing for a decade. Her non-fiction essay “Demystifying What Editors Want” can be found in the book, Many Genres, One Craft. She is active in convention life, having held a number of organizational positions over the years and is currently Second to the Director of the Writers Track at Dragon Con, a SF/F fan convention with more than 80,000 attendees. Venessa lives with her hubby in Atlanta, Georgia, and shares a home with three cats who all seem to think they rule the castle, but none of which pay the mortgage.
Follow her on Twitter @troilee or check out her website at http://www.venessagiunta.com, where you can find lots of good info for writers, especially.
Will Kenyon is a freelance writer and editor operating out of New York City and Atlanta. He’s managed to publish a number of poems and a handful of short stories over the years, and has worked for such high profile clientele as Smithsonian, Martha Stewart Omnimedia, Cisco Systems, and Conde Nast. He is also a professional designer, writer, and editor for board and card games. These include the Lovecraftian deduction game Mythos Tales, wherein players explore the city of Arkham, Massachusetts, attempting to unravel mysteries with sinister, often supernatural overtones. They also include a forthcoming party game by Zafty Games and several expansion scenarios for Gale Force Nine’s Firefly Adventures game. Finally, Will is a Chaucerian scholar and a grammar teacher, so please use the Oxford comma in all correspondence with him.
Alan worked with RJ and Bandersnatch for 16 years before retiring at the end of 2017.
While there he assisted with research and continuity on the Wheel of Time series, paid bills, cleaned gutters, built and maintained company computers and networks. After RJ’s death he was privileged to work with the rest of Team Jordan and Brandon Sanderson in completing the last three books in the WoT series and was co-author of The Wheel of Time Companion.
His work life was varied, a reflection of the need for variety after growing up on a dirt road in the mountains with little to do but read books and play music. Starting in high school and extending through college, more notable part-time jobs included symphony musician, assistant for a film magazine, mutual funds sales, bartender, and tour guide at a commercial cavern.
After college graduation he received a commission as a Navy officer and served a tour of duty, shore-based, in Vietnam. After graduate school a job vacancy opened up following the death of a staff member. He assumed his job doing military research with a think tank in Washington, D.C.. For 14 long years Alan performed studies in organizational behavior and marketing research.
A midlife crisis and marriage led him south to Charleston, SC, where he currently resides with his wife Amy. After an initial stint as a commercial real estate appraiser, Alan opened a garden shop and extended that business into professional gardening and garden design. During this period he began singing sacred music, with a particular interest in Gregorian chant. His choral work led to serving as cantor at hundreds of Masses, weddings and funerals, the latter earning him the title of Doctor Death.
Maria Simons and Amy, Alan’s wife, were responsible for the job with Bandersnatch. Their sons attended the same middle school. The Romanczuks got to know her while Alan was coaching the boys’ tennis team. Amy, wishing Alan to have a more constant income stream and afraid he was about to become a professional astrologer, asked Maria if there was any office work for him at Bandersnatch. Two weeks before 9/11, a Bandersnatch employee died and Doctor Death came onboard to fill the void. Alan currently spends his days writing for his own amusement, wandering aimlessly, and studying tai-chi.
Diana M. Pho
Diana M. Pho is a Hugo Award-nominated editor at Tor Books and Tor.com Publishing and has worked in the publishing industry for over a decade. She’s also an academic scholar, performer, and general rabble-rouser elsewhere. Her talented list includes Robyn Bennis, Alex Bledsoe, P. Djeli Clark, Marie Miranda Cruz, Lara Elena Donnelly, K. A. Doore, Thoraiya Dyer, A. J. Hartley, Margaret Killjoy, Kari Maaren, Prentis Rollins, and Alison Wilgus; she also works with the best-selling The Wheel of Time® series and George R. R. Martin’s Wild Cards universe. Books she has edited have gone on to win the Thriller Award (Hartley’s Steeplejack, for Best YA), and the Ditmar Award (Dyer’s Crossroads of Canopy, for Best Novel) and to become finalists for the Nebula Award, Lambda Literary Award, Shirley Jackson Award, and Andre Norton Award for Young Adult.
In the steampunk community, she is best-known for running Beyond Victoriana, an award-winning, US-based blog on multicultural steampunk. She has published numerous articles on science fiction and its community. She has been interviewed for many media outlets about fandom, including CBS’s Inside Edition, MSN.com, BBC America, the Travel Channel, HGTV, and the Science Channel.
Harriet Stoney Popham McDougal was born in Washington D.C. and grew up in Charleston from the age of three. After schooling at Charleston Day School, Ashley Hall, and Radcliffe College of Harvard University (B.A. cum laude) she spent seventeen years in New York City, where she worked for John Wiley and Sons, World Publishing, Grosset and Dunlap, and Ace Books, where she was Editorial Director and Vice President. She was married to E. D. McDougal for 6 of those years, and had a wonderful son,
William P. McDougal.
Returning to Charleston in 1977, she founded her own publishing imprint, Popham Press, and later became the original Editorial Director of Tor Books, an imprint of Tom Doherty Associates. In the course of her work she met James Rigney, a Charleston-born writer, and married him in 1981. Under the pen name Robert Jordan, he wrote the bulk of his fantasy series The Wheel of Time, the best known of his many works. (Harriet was editor of all but one of his books.) He died before the series was completed.
Harriet engaged Brandon Sanderson to finish the series , which he did under her editing. She is one of the authors of The Wheel of Time Companion, and has also published her poetry in several small magazines.
Karen Ahlstrom is Continuity Editor at Dragonsteel Entertainment, making sure that Brandon doesn’t contradict himself. She has three cute kids and enjoys costuming and going to garage sales.
Master Stained Glass Artisan Leia Powell has been producing stained glass masterpieces for over twenty years, and is the maker of the JordanCon Dragon. Licensed by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., she is first stained glass artist in history to be the sole licensee to create glass art of an author’s trademarked characters. She is also an established author, writing under the pen name L R Barrett-Durham, with over half a dozen novels varying in genres of epic fantasy, paranormal romance, sci-fi, horror, and children’s literature. You can always find her in our Dealer’s Room! “
Maria Simons was born in a library, 1 to which she attributes her love of reading. She graduated from Erskine College with a degree in English. At Erskine she met her future husband Bobby; after a whirlwind courtship of seven years, they married and moved to San Diego. While there,Maria began her editorial career with a small press that quickly became defunct.
After returning to Charleston, SC, in 1996, she won her dream job: working for Robert Jordan, the author of The Wheel of Time, her favorite series of books. She started out working twelve hours a week, answering fan mail and filing, but the job quickly evolved, and she added other tasks such as cataloging RJ’s extensive library and researching topics such as sheep-shearing. Eventually, she convinced RJ that she didn’t mind being spoiled for WoT, and beginning with volume eight, The Path of Daggers, she became continuity editor for the series.
After Robert Jordan’s untimely death in 2007, Maria continued working for his editor and widow, Harriet McDougal. Along with Harriet and Alan Romanczuk, she worked with Brandon Sanderson to complete the final three books of the series. Harriet, Alan and Maria (aka Team Jordan) then wrote The Wheel of Time Companion. Maria continues to work for Harriet, and intends to continue for as long as she’s wanted.
When not working at the best job in the universe, Maria enjoys reading, knitting, driving in Matrim (her 1977 MGB), and attending JordanCon. 2 She and Bobby have two wonderful grown sons, Bobby and Andy; Ginger, a lovely yellow lab; and Squeeky and Oliver Hamilton, two crazy cats.
Martin Powell has written many of the most popular characters in the industry, including Superman, Batman, Popeye the Sailor, and Tarzan of the Apes, in comics and prose, for Disney, Marvel, DC, among many others. Nominated for the prestigious Eisner Award for his work with Sherlock Holmes, he is the creator of The Halloween Legion, a nominee for the Stan Lee Excelsior Award, and his Tall Tale of Paul Bunyan won the coveted Moonbeam Golden Award for Best Children’s Graphic Novel. Martin is also the author of the critically acclaimed Jungle Tales of Tarzan graphic novel from Dark Horse. In 2017, he received the coveted Golden Lion Award for his on-going contributions to the legacy of Edgar Rice Burroughs.