Jean Marie Ward

Jean Marie WardJean Marie Ward writes fiction, nonfiction, and everything in between. Her first novel, With Nine You Get Vanyr (written with the late Teri Smith) finaled in both the science fiction/fantasy and humor categories of the 2008 Indie Awards. Her stories appear in many anthologies, including Athena’s Daughters, The Modern Fae’s Guide to Surviving Humanity, Tales from the Vatican Vaults, the award-winning Hellebore and Rue, Were-, and the multi-award nominated Dragon’s Lure.

Her first art book, Illumina: The Art of J.P. Targete, provided an in-depth look at award-winning artist J.P. Targete’s covers and conceptual art. Her second nonfiction title, Fantasy Art Templates, marries the superb illustrations of artist Rafi Adrian Zulkarnain with pithy descriptions of over one hundred fifty creatures and characters from science fiction, fantasy, folklore, and myth.

A former assistant producer of the local access cable TV program Mystery Readers Corner, Ms. Ward edited the respected webzine Crescent Blues ( for eight years, and co-edited Unconventional Fantasy, a six-volume collection of fiction, non-fiction and art celebrating the fortieth anniversary of World Fantasy Con. She has also contributed interviews and articles for publications as diverse as the then SciFi Channel’s Science Fiction Weekly, Romance Writers of America’s Romance Writers Report and Her web site is


Laurel Wanrow

Laurel WanrowBefore kids, Laurel Wanrow studied and worked as a naturalist—someone who leads wildflower and other nature walks. After twenty years of teaching natural history, she embarked on a stretch of homeschooling and discovered writing was a splendid creative outlet while waiting for extra-curricular activities to end. Homeschooling wrapped up, but writing hasn’t. She’s an active member of Romance Writers of America (RWA) and has published three novels in a serialized steampunk fantasy romance set in Victorian England, The Luminated Threads series, a science fiction romance, Passages, and the first of a YA fantasy series, Meadow Magic.

When not sharing her love of the land and fantasy worlds, Laurel tinkers with steampunk costuming, camps, hunts fossils and argues with her husband and two new adult kids over whose turn it is to clean so they fit into suburban life in Virginia. Find her at, or on her nature blog,


John G. Walker

Author, philosopher, IT guy, and inspiration for Walker, Texas Ranger, John G. Walker started writing when he was ten and hasn’t stopped. His first book, The Sincerest Form of Flattery was released in 2012. He is the author of The Statford Chronicles, a series about a private detective of the gods, and the Road To Salvation series, detailing the adventures of a gun-fighting preacher. He lives in Hampton, VA.


R.R. Virdi

R.R. Virdi is the two time Dragon Award-nominated author. Once, for his series The Grave Report, a paranormal investigator series set in the great state of New York. The second nomination coming for Dangerous Ways, book one of The Books of Winter, an epic urban fantasy series set in the same overall universe as his Grave Report novels. He has worked in the automotive industry as a mechanic, in retail, and in the custom gaming computer world. He’s an avid car nut with a special love for American classics.

The hardest challenge for him up to this point has been fooling most of society into believing he’s a completely sane member of the general public.



ValkyrieValkyrie is an all-around geek. She is a costume and jewelry designer, and cosplayer by trade; but also assists her husband in the Fx makeup business. She is primarily self taught and is always looking for new and nifty ways to create awesome costumes and mundane wear. Valkyrie loves talking makeup, costumes, video games, movies, and comic books.


Universe No. 122

Universe No. 122Universe No. 122, a Central MA indie/alt rock project, is an amalgam of musical styles and influences swirled into a singular, expressive storyline. These elements come together to support the thematic lyrics that weave songs into albums.

Universe No. 122 draws comparisons to Coheed & Cambria, Pink Floyd, and David Bowie, while adding a hint of pop punk to the music.

Beyond Mars is the debut album from Universe No. 122. This is a concept album that follows the story of a young man’s journey into space in an attempt to outrun a broken heart and leave behind his past in search of something more fulfilling. Available now!


Michael Thompson

Michael ThompsonMichael Thompson’s indie author journey began at the age of thirteen with the publication of his action-packed, witty, and charming series of illustrated children’s chapter books. Since then, he has spoken on numerous panels and webshows to both readers and aspiring authors alike, his poetry was awarded an Honorable Mention in the 86th Annual International Writer’s Digest Writing Competition, and his books are bestsellers in independent bookstores across Northern Virginia.

Now, a recent honors graduate from George Mason University with a passion for writing more fiery than ever, his debut YA sci-fi/fantasy novel, World of the Orb, is making waves.

Projected to be a “breakout hit” and earning five-star praise from Readers’ Favorite, World of the Orb follows Marvin and Andy, a duo of rule-breakers who happen upon the Museum of Natural History’s unnatural secret: The Orb, a powerful relic that plunges these two modern teens into a medieval world of myths and magic, and sets them on a headlong treasure hunt to find Earth again. Full of adventure and heart, this book is sure to captivate and delight lovers of the genre craving a modern twist.

Michael’s new release, Winslow Hoffner’s Incredible Encounters, brings his trademark humor, fast-paced storytelling, and dynamic character ensembles into the real world in an urban fantasy setting, populated by monsters, legends, and a gallant fisherman who just happens to find himself in the wrong place at the right time.

Visit Michael in Author Alley to discuss his latest works and pick up your own autographed copies.


Steel Samurai

Steel Samurai has, since December 2013, dug up the most ancient, unused and obscure video game compositions and re-forged them into brutal, yet richly textured power-rock instrumentals with delicately layered guitar harmonies, jazzy organ riffs, and skull-pounding rhythms.

The band plays primarily in and around Baltimore, MD but has been known to venture to RAGFest and MAGFest, among other fests.

Steel Samurai

Shawnee Small

Shawnee Small#1 in Urban Fantasy, #1 in Paranormal Suspense, #1 in New Adult & College Fantasy. Shawnee Small is the bestselling author of Watcher and the Shining Ones series.

Drawing on inspiration from her life abroad, as well as, her time in the Goth subculture of the ’80s and ’90s, Watcher was published in February 2012. After a writing hiatus, Protector was released in 2016 with the follow-up book, Betrayer, published in January 2017. Destroyer, the final book in the Shining Ones saga, is due out in the spring of 2018.

Shawnee’s brand new paranormal series, The Night Kind, launches 2018.

She is currently working on several projects including a book of short stories based on ’80s hits and a new gaslamp fantasy series.

Shawnee lives in Virginia with her husband.

Keep up with Shawnee via her website or on Facebook.


Ken Schrader

Ken SchraderI am a science fiction and fantasy writer, a shameless geek, a fan of the Oxford comma, and I make housing decisions based upon the space available for bookshelves. I collect books, movies, and music.

I sing out loud when I think there’s no one around, and I try to get a blog post up once a week—both with varying degrees of success.

I love music of all kinds, books, the big sky off my front porch, Star Wars, Firefly, Blind Guardian (to which, I write almost exclusively), rugby, star gazing, jasmine tea, and the smell of rain on the air.

My favorite flavor of ice cream is chocolate. My favorite food is a grilled steak, and I can suspend disbelief embarrassingly quickly.

I live in Michigan, am co-owned by several dogs (especially the Border Collie), and I’m one of the rare breed of folk that enjoys mowing the lawn.