Jim McDonald

Jim McDonaldJames McDonald has consulted for dozens of clients from startups to Fortune 100 organizations on designing and implementing transformative technologies over twenty-five years. In addition to consulting, he speaks on futurism and coming disruptive technologies and their impact on businesses and all of our daily lives.

In addition, Jim develops content and materials for personal and professional development, technology, privacy issues, and artificial intelligence.

He also is a science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary fiction author, using his background in cultural anthropology and sociology. His current series are the Home Summonings and Longbow Initiative urban fantasy series.

His newest project is The Writer’s Mind (thewritermind.com), a book, podcast, and video series on business practices for individual creators, such as authors, artists, and musicians.

 

Joshua LeHuray

Joshua LeHurayJoshua LeHuray is the author of Virginians Will Dance or Die! The Importance of Music in Pre-Revolutionary Williamsburg, as well as an adjunct history instructor at Rappahannock Community College and an educator at the American Civil War Museum in Richmond. In addition to having presented numerous history lectures in Virginia, he will also be appearing this spring in the documentary The Story of Two Tredegars about the Tredegar Ironworks of Richmond and its sister site in Wales. Josh is also the co-director of the Janesville Fife and Drum Corps from Janesville, WI and spends many of his weekends wearing Revolutionary War uniforms and playing colonial drums.

 

Toi Thomas

Toi ThomasA self-proclaimed techie and foodie, Toi Thomas was born in Texas, but considers Virginia to be home. She enjoys reading, cooking, painting, geek culture, collecting vinyl records, and spending time with her family. Currently working as a special education teacher’s assistant while blogging and writing full-time, Toi finds comfort and peace of mind in chocolate, green tea, and naps. Toi and her best friend have been married for eleven years and share their home with a tortoise named Betty and a Redbone Coonhound named Margie, who’s sure to inspire future publications.

Thomas has entertained paranormal fans with her Eternal Curse series, an angels, demons, and others tale with a Christian world view. She stretches minds and imaginations with her short story collection, Legend of the Boy…, featuring works of science fiction, paranormal, fantasy, romance, and suspense. Glorie Townson, Thomas’s pen name, brings along a bit of romance and comedy in the first book of her Sayings series, It’s Like the Full Moon. Thomas has even delved into the world of educational children’s books to enlighten and entertain little minds. She has something for the whole family.

 

Joshua Werner

Joshua WernerJoshua Werner is an author and illustrator working in multiple entertainment fields. He’s the author of books such as Rampant and Adoration for the Dead, and founder of the horror and sci-fi publisher Source Point Press, where he’s now Art Director.

Josh has done illustration work for products for several licensed characters and properties, including Doctor Who, Transformers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Deadworld, and many others. He’s also achieved international popularity for his Dracula and Sherlock Holmes illustrations.
He’s worked on many comic books and graphic novels, including Zombie Rush: Riot (licensed from the iOS videogame), Jack of Spades, The Painting, Frankenstein: Or the Modern Prometheus, Horrors and Heroes, and Holliston: Friendship is Tragic (licensed from the television series). He’s currently working on the follow-up graphic novel Holliston: Carnival of Carnage and the graphic novel The Creepshow in Necrogeddon (officially licensed from the Toronto-based psychobilly band). Josh also recently did the artwork and lettering on an exclusive Superman comic story appearing in the program for the theatrical musical It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s Superman. His illustrations can be found in numerous books such as Sherlock Holmes: On the Air, Zelda’s Zombie Zoo, H.P. Lovecraft’s The Tomb and H.P. Lovecraft: Early Stories.

As Art Director at Source Point Press he oversees a multitude of projects, working with up-and-coming writers and artists as well as legends in the industry. Much of his time is spent collaborating with creators to make their comics a reality, from initial pitch and conception through to the finished product. Some of the titles he has such credits in include Classic Pulp, Dead Duck and Zombie Chick, Hank Steiner, Monstrous, Norah, Up the River, The Rot, and more. He is currently doing art direction and editing on an upcoming officially licensed Evil Dead 2 craft book.

 

John Johnson

John JohnsonJohn Johnson shot his first film, Zap, in 1988, when he was eight years old. By the time he’d finished college, John had completed five feature length films, one television series (20 one-hour episodes), and 44 short films.

After finishing school, John went back to his old high school to teach videography for two semesters. This was a class that he had helped create with the School Board in 1995 as an independent study. The class then grew to have two full sessions of over 55 students.

Johnson, as well as being an award-winning writer, is now an award-winning filmmaker as well as the founder of Darkstone Entertainment, an independent film company based out of Charlottesville, VA.

Johnson has seven features now available all over the world. From FYE, Turner Classic Movies, and Amazon Prime to Netflix, Johnson’s films can be found worldwide on DVD and streaming. He has another eight features being released on these platforms in the next two years.

To this day, Johnson has completed over 169 films. His remake of Plan 9 is his most popular film yet and has been mentioned in Entertainment Weekly, Fangoria, and on over 200 websites.

Also on the roster, Johnson is working on turning the cult video games The 7th Guest and The 11th Hour into a television series. Production of the series closed in late 2016.

Future work for Johnson includes House of Horrors—a monster mash up on a very dark and gritty scale pitting all of the famous monsters against one another, including Dracula, Frankenstein’s monster, the Wolfman, and the Mummy. House of Horrors is projected to start production in late 2018.

 

Mark Wandrey

Located in rural Tennessee, Mark Wandrey has been creating new worlds since he was old enough to write. After penning countless short stories, he realized novels were his real calling and hasn’t looked back since. A lifetime of diverse jobs, extensive travels, and living in most areas of the country have uniquely equipped him with experiences to color his stories in ways many find engaging and thought provoking. His current works include the Earth Song series (space opera), Turning Point (zombie apocalypse), and the Four Horsemen series (mil-SF).

 

Donnie Sturges

Donnie SturgesDonnie Sturges, a young loner on a crusade to champion the cause of the innocent, the helpless, the powerless… in a world of criminals who operate above the law. When he’s not fighting crime, you’ll find him trying to be creative. Formerly a web comic writer and creator for The Draconia Chronicles and Psycho Dreamatic, as well as a film and board game reviewer for sites like CHUD and the now defunct Guy.com, Donnie keeps his creative passions alive as a producer, actor, and writer. He’s currently serving as an independent film and series producer for Darkstone Entertainment, while also providing his acting chops for several Darkstone projects, like The Lovecraft Chronicles and the upcoming 7th Guest series. His main outlet for the artistic demons screaming in his head is the up-and-coming web comic The Adventures of Baby Skeletor, which is an ongoing series based on the life of an infantile sorcerer Donnie has been forced to document ever since he found the tiny bonehead left on his doorstep.

 

Kelly Lockhart

Kelly Lockhart has been a regular presence on the convention scene since he was a teenager back in the mid-80s. Over the years, he has done a little bit of everything in fandom: running costume contests, art shows, consuites, computer gaming rooms, working with the media, helping out with parades, overseeing convention operations, co-chairing a Worldcon bid, serving on multiple con committees, and being a panelist and moderator on countless panels.

Professionally, he is the managing editor for an alternative weekly newspaper back home in Chattanooga as well as a consulting editor for Baen Books. Additionally, he is the founder of both the very popular Robot Battles competitions and the Southern Fandom Resource Guide online convention calendar.

In 2008, he was presented with the Rebel Award at the DeepSouthCon for lifetime service to Southern Fandom. He has also been awarded with a Murrow Award (named after legendary journalist Edward R. Murrow) for excellence in broadcast journalism, several Associated Press journalism awards, and a display case full of Addy awards for both radio and print advertising design.

While he now works almost exclusively in print, he has spent the better part of the last thirty years working in radio and television, as well as dabbling now and then in theater and film as an actor, director, composer and screenwriter, though thankfully not all at the same time.

An active presence on social media, he spends his limited amount of free time writing and performing original music around his hometown, trying to herd his five cats, playing an occasional round of golf (badly), and continuing his lifelong quest to find the perfect brand of whiskey.

He also is rumored to own more tropical shirts than Weird Al Yankovic, as he is almost never seen not wearing one.

 

Chris Kennedy

Chris KennedyA 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 sci-fi series. Get his free book, Shattered Crucible, at his website, 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 has published six authors under various imprints of his Chris Kennedy Publishing small press. Find out more about having him talk to your group at chriskennedyspeaking.com.

Chris lives in Virginia Beach, VA, where he manages the curriculum for sailors learning to maintain the Navy’s F-18 Hornet. He is the holder of a doctorate in educational leadership and master’s degrees in both business and public administration.

Follow Chris on Facebook at facebook.com/chriskennedypublishing.biz and on Twitter at @ChrisKennedy110.

 

Denise Clemons

Denise Clemons is a member of the Science Fiction Poetry Association, The Rehoboth Writers Guild, and serves on the Board of the Eastern Shore Writers Association. Denise has published fiction, non-fiction, and poetry in journals, chapbooks, and anthologies. Her panels and workshops at science fiction conventions focus on how to use food in character design and world building.