T. Eric Bakutis

T. Eric BakutisT. Eric Bakutis is a professional videogame designer and author based in Maryland. His first book, Glyphbinder, was a finalist for the 2014 Compton Crook Award, and his short story “Splitting Arrows” recently won 1st place in the 2018 Farpoint Convention Writing Contest. His latest “grimsnark” sci-fi thriller, Supremacy’s Shadow, is now available. You can find links to sample chapters from his books and also read his cyberpunk police procedural, Loose Circuit, for free at tebakutis.com. He has played over 200 hours of Skyrim VR.

 

C. McDonnell

C. McDonnellChristine McDonnell has been creating fictional worlds since her elementary school years, and her passion for fantasy has existed her whole life. After having ten short stories and three novels published, that passion hasn’t faded one iota. She currently resides in Virginia with her fiancé, Brock, and dog, Buddy, and continues to create worlds of fantasy, magic, and friendships that transcend life and death.

 

JM Beal

JM BealJM Beal started writing back in the dark days before smart devices, on pieces of receipt paper while working behind a drug store checkout counter. She’s currently halfway through a series of children’s books based on Edgar Allan Poe stories retold by animals. She also writes paranormal and science fiction books for adults. When she’s not pretending to write, she pretends to co-run Golden Fleece Press. She lives outside DC with one-point-five humans and three cats.

 

Harry “Jack” Heckel

Harry HeckelHarry Heckel grew up in Mechanicsville, VA, and after leaving home, strangely found his way back there, where he lives with his wife, daughter, and two cats. He loves roleplaying games, tabletop games, painting miniatures, and superheroes.

Harry started his career writing roleplaying games. He has authored, co-authored, or contributed to over thirty products for games such as Vampire: The Masquerade, Werewolf: The Apocalypse, Mage: The Ascension, Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game and Star Trek. He still freelances today, and his most recent roleplaying work was for Mummy: The Curse. He also writes for tabletop and miniatures games with work done for Arcadia Quest: Inferno and Arcadia Quest: Pets along with the miniatures game Dark Age.

His first novel was set in the grim darkness of Warhammer 40K, when he was selected to co-author two Space Wolf books under the name Lee Lightner. He wrote a few books that came from completing Nanowrimo over the years and published through indy presses under his own name.

Currently, Harry is a co-author of comedic fantasy, being half of Jack Heckel. The Charming Tales, which are collected in A Fairy-tale Ending and Pitchfork of Destiny, are novels that blend a bit of The Princess Bride and Shrek, while his current series, The Mysterium, has fun with epic fantasy, roleplaying games and university life. The first book, The Dark Lord, begins the story of Avery Stewart, a wizard grad student experimenting in a sub-world as a Dark Lord. The second book, The Darker Lord, was released in paperback on September 4th, and the final volume, The Darkest Lord, comes out this winter.

 

Patrick A. Vanner

Patrick A. Vanner was born into a Marine family, and after attending Penn State, majoring in aerospace and electrical engineering, he enlisted in the Marine Corps like his parents before him. After a successful military tour, he earned a degree in network administration and began a career in telecommunications and information technology. in 2010, his novel, Ragnarok, was published by Baen Books. He divides his time between his family, working, reading, and gaming. Patrick currently lives with the love of his life, Heather, his two boys, Corbin and Logan, and seven insane cats and one dog that make their lives interesting in every sense of the ancient Chinese curse.

 

James E. Beall

James E. BeallJim Beall (BS-Math, MBA, PE) has been a nuclear engineer for over forty years, a war gamer for over fifty, and an avid reader of science fiction for even longer. His experience in nuclear engineering and power systems began as a naval officer, shortly after surviving one of Admiral Rickover’s infamous interviews, aboard USS Long Beach (CGN-9). Civilian experience includes design, construction, inspection, enforcement and assessment with a nuclear utility, an architect engineering firm, and the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (USNRC). Assignments at the USNRC include reactor inspector, inspection team leader, safety analyst, and reactor policy assistant to three different Presidential-appointed different USNRC Commissioners while earning the agency’s Meritorious and Distinguished Service awards.

Duties of those policy-level posts included substantial research into alternative and speculative energy sources, as well as energy forecasts. Some of those other sources were coal, oil, hydro, geothermal, tidal, solar, wind, fracking, space-based, heavy water reactors, breeder reactors, fusion, and even anti-matter.

Coauthor of Journal of the British Interplanetary Society (JBIS) paper, “Ecological Engineering Considerations for ISU’s Worldship Project.” Baen Books (baen.com) has published five of his non-fiction articles: “Our Worldship Broke!” “Case Studies in Handwavium,” “From Corvus to Keyhole —Shipyards: Past, Present, and Science Fiction,” “Radium Girls of Science and Science Fiction,” and “Grid Wars: Innovation, Feuds, Rivalry, and Revenge in the Never-ending Battle to Electrify America and the Planet.”

 

JD Jordan

JD jordanJD Jordan is the author of the acclaimed sci-fi/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, Paste, and Smashing 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.

 

Nickie Jamison

Nickie JamisonNicole “Nickie” Jamison is a pseudonym of Ora J. McGuire. Ora wrote her first full-length novel at age 10; that creative endeavor sparked the desire to begin her writing career. Her stories dabble in and blend many different genres—science fiction, fantasy, romance, contemporary, poetry, horror, and whatever else captures her interest. Under her nom de plume, Mrs. McGuire’s short adult fiction is published in the Coming Together Among the Stars, Coming Together Outside the Box, and Coming Together Strange Shifters anthologies. Her contemporary LGBTQ romance novellas are available through JMS Publishing and available on Amazon.

Ora’s hobbies include drinking copious amounts of wine, Netflix binge-watching, and talking about makeup and other beauty products on her YouTube channel. She is a graduate of Old Dominion University (Creative Writing, Class of 2006) and lives in Hampton Roads with her darling husband, step-child, and two spoiled furbabies; #thecatwecalljayne and #KAYLEEsmallFRYE.

 

Bill Blume

Bill BlumeBill Blume discovered his love for the written word while in high school and has been writing ever since. His latest book Gidion’s Blood is now available from Diversion Books. His first novel, Gidion’s Hunt was released in 2013. His short stories have been published in many fantasy anthologies and various ezines. Just like the father figure in his first novel, Bill works as a 911 dispatcher and has done so for more than fifteen years. Prior to that, he worked as a television news producer and graduated from the University of South Carolina with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. To learn more about Bill and his writing, visit his website at BillBlume.net.

 

Chris Semtner

Chris SemtnerThe Curator of the Edgar Allan Poe Museum, Chris Semtner has written several books on topics including Edgar Allan Poe, visual art, and cryptography in addition to contributing articles to Biography.com, Resources for American Literary Studies, Crime Writers’ Chronicle, and The Edgar Allan Poe Review. Semtner has been interviewed on the BBC, PBS, Travel Channel, Military History, NPR, CNN, and other networks. He has spoken about a variety of unusual, obscure, and macabre subjects to groups around the country and as far away as Japan. An internationally exhibited fine artist, Semtner’s paintings have entered numerous public collections including the Virginia Historical Society and the University of Maryland. He has exhibited paintings at Viktor Wynd Fine Art, London; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia; and the Science Museum of Virginia, Richmond. Semtner currently co-hosts the web series The Raven Lunatics with comic writer and publisher Dwight MacPherson. He has also collaborated on Poe-themed performing arts projects for the Latin Ballet of Virginia, Engaging History Productions, the Friends of Shockoe Hill Cemetery, and other groups. Semtner’s most recent book, The Poe Shrine: Building the World’s Finest Edgar Allan Poe Collection, tells the strange stories behind the Poe Museum’s artifacts. You can see Semtner’s art and learn more about his books at ChrisSemtner.com or learn more about the Poe Museum at PoeMuseum.org.