Leann M. RettellLeann M. Rettell was born and raised in West Virginia, but now lives in North Carolina with her husband, three children, two crazy dogs, and two aloof cats.

She is the author of The Conjuragic Series and the upcoming Dream Thief Series published by Falstaff Books. She has dreamed of being a writer since she was a little girl and has never given up.


Rebel Legion – Freedom Base

The Rebel Legion is a Star Wars-based costuming fan club. The Rebel Legion’s members create and wear costumes of the hero characters from the Star Wars saga, which includes—but is not limited to—the films, comics, books, games, and television shows based on the Star Wars saga.

Although started in the United States, the Legion is now an international club that encompasses multiple nations worldwide and has become the premier Rebel costuming group in the Star Wars community. Since the Legion’s inception it has been a volunteer club of costume enthusiasts who can enjoy, express, and share their interest of costuming with others in the fan community.

Rebel Legion


N.A. Ratnayake

N.A. RatnayakeNalin Ratnayake is an engineer, educator, and writer presently living in Hampton Roads, VA. He has worked on advanced aeronautical flight projects as well as launch vehicles and deep-space systems, an has published eleven technical papers in the aerospace field. He also completed an M.Ed. focused on the intersection of scientific literacy and social justice, and spent five years teaching physics and building STEM programs in urban public schools.

Nalin writes fiction under the name N.A. Ratnayake. His speculative fiction has appeared in Crossed Genres Magazine as well as the post-colonial SF anthology We See A Different Frontier. His short story “Remembering Turinam” received an honorable mention in Gardner Dozois’s The Year’s Best Science Fiction, Thirty-First Edition. Nalin’s Mars novel, Red Soil Through Our Fingers, was released in January of 2016, and explores a future of corporate-controlled space settlement.

You can find Nalin online at naratnayake.com or on Twitter as @quantumcowboy.


Peter Prellwitz

Peter PrellwitzPeter Prellwitz has been writing stories, plays, and skits since the fifth grade. As a child and young adult, Peter saw limited publication of one play and two series of children’s puppet skits. Just enough to hook him for life.

Presently, Peter has a total of ten novels published in trade paperback and ebook, all by Double Dragon Publishing, with more than a half-dozen anthologies published/distributed by eSpec Publishing. His novel Horizons was selected by Mike Resnick as Best Science Fiction and awarded that publisher’s 2003 Draco Award. Four of his short stories appear in the anthology Twisted Tails, which won the 2006 Dream Realms. Five of his novels have been finalists in the Epic Awards over the past few years. He continues writing novels and short stories. Seven more short stories have appeared in the award-winning Defending the Future, the Bad-Ass Faeries, and the Twisted Tails anthologies.

In addition to his just released novel, Redeeming the Plumb, Peter has also been working with Mars’ best-selling author, H.K. Devonshire, to bring Devonshire’s first Martian Western novella, Company A: Origin of the Martian Rangers, to Earth for a first-time release.

Together with more than two dozen short stories located on his site, Peter’s novels weave a tapestry of mankind’s exploration and settling of the galaxy over the next two and half millennia in his ongoing Shards Universe.

A native Arizonan, Peter has also lived in Wisconsin, California, Hawaii, New York, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania, where he now lives with his wife, Bethlynne. In addition to writing, Peter enjoys history, backpacking, and languages. You can find him online at ShardsUniverse.net.


Kate Paulk

Kate Paulk is a transplanted former Australian who tests software by day and writes in what passes for her spare time. She has written a number of short stories, novels, and other pieces that don’t quite fall into either bucket, including a scattering of articles about software testing. She blogs regularly at the Mad Genius Club and rather less regularly than she should at her own website. Kate lives in a quiet part of Pennsylvania with too much of herself, too many cats, not enough time, and the perfect amount of husband.


Bryan Nowak

My name is Bryan Nowak, the author of the books No Name, The Dramatic Dead, and Riapoke.

I grew up in south Chicago and spent summers in Indiana. Many of my relatives still live in the Midwest and it’s a frequent destination for summer vacations.

As a child, I learned the value of a good library. Exhausting the library of ghost stories, and tales of monsters, I trended toward the dark and supernatural. Reading those stories are what gave me a firm foundation of suspense and the paranormal. 

Moving to Minnesota in my teenage years, I joined the US Army Reserves and the National Guard. I am a proud veteran of seventeen years. Attending college in Minnesota, I met my wife and our first son was born there. It’s safe to say that I will always have a soft spot in my heart for the state I once called home. It was during my time in the U.S. Army that I was ordered to the state of Virginia, to fill in with an active duty unit who needed some extra help. Returning to that same unit over the next three summers, I learned to love the state of Virginia. Many years later, my wife and I moved our family here and we still reside in Northern Virginia today.

I like to say my chosen genre is paranormal thriller, with a bit of mystery thrown in for good measure. My goal is to entertain you with a fast read which keeps you turning those pages or flicking the screen of your e-reader. I’m a firm believer that if I can entertain you while scaring you a little, I have done my job.


Meg Nicholas

Meg Nicholas is a professional folklorist and storyteller of mixed Lenape and Welsh heritage. Her folklore work includes family folklore, personal narrative, contemporary ghost lore and urban legends, and the material culture of American Indian artists and communities. Her work has been featured in the Journal of New York Folklore and VoxPop, as well as at meetings of the International Museum Theatre Alliance, the Mid-Atlantic Folklife Association, the American Folklore Society, and the Southern American Studies Association. Her exhibit, Piscataway Connections, is available for display from the Accokeek Foundation.

Meg holds an MA in Interdisciplinary Studies (concentration in Folklore) and a BA in history from George Mason University, which she uses—to varying degrees—in her current role as a contractor for the Department of Energy’s Office of Indian Energy. She is happy to discuss how students of obscure fields can leverage their skills into a job that contains both planning mundane meetings and navigating snowfall and high winds on a slippery oil rig in the heart of Indian Country.

In her increasingly rare free time, she serves as an ordained minister, enjoys making costumes (both historic and sff-based), gardening, knitting, and spins yarn—both the verbal and physical kind.


Nefarious Ferrets

The Nefarious Ferrets are Frank and Donna Parker of Gastonia, NC. Meeting each other in 2006 at ConCarolinas they realized they had many things in common: science fiction, a love of music, and a love of ferrets. It was a match made in fandom and the following year at ConCarolinas 2007, they were married.

Donna grew up moving around as a Navy brat. She had studied piano for a summer as a child, and enjoyed music but not practicing. A trip to the library ended up with a discovery of Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clark. This led to a love of science fiction and fantasy. That love led to other bad habits, like attending and working at science fiction conventions.

Frank is from New England, transporting to South Carolina in 2002. A self-taught musician he plays a combination of folk and filk music. He has been writing and performing at science fiction conventions and house filks as FilkFerret since 1998, though he has been fiddling with music since the “great trombone disaster” many years ago in third grade.

He has several awards in the filk community and was finalist two years in a row for songs composed for the Mars Society’s Rouget d’Lisle contest for songs celebrating the cause of the human exploration and settlement of space. These were “The Green Hills of Terra” and “Spreading Our Wings” (coauthored with Utah Filker Dawnya Thill). His signature song “Take it One Step and One Day at a Time” shared first place at Conterpoint 3 in 2000 for best serious filk and “Inherit the Heavens” took third place at the Ohio Valley Filk Festival (OVFF) in 2002 for the theme “for our children”.

Like the seeds of a dandelion the Nefarious FilkFerrets major goal is to spread the love of filk music.



MrShirtMrShirt has worked conventions from coast to coast and even internationally. He’s been everything from a volunteer to a Worldcon Division Head, and even chaired a convention or two… or three or four. If you ask nicely, he may even tell you why he’s called MrShirt.

He’s insane, but he’s getting better. He’s been taking a break from non-stop con running, but it won’t last. He’ll be running cons again. In the meantime, he volunteers to work for the occasional convention.


Misty Massey

Misty MasseyMisty Massey is the author of Mad Kestrel, a rollicking adventure of magic on the high seas (Tor); Kestrel’s Voyages, a collection of short stories featuring those rambunctious pirates (Amazon); and the upcoming Kestrel’s Dance (Lore Seekers Press). She is co-editor of The Weird Wild West (Espec) and Lawless Lands (Falstaff Books), and a founding member of Magical Words. When she’s not writing, Misty studies and performs Middle Eastern dance. 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.