Category: Author Guest Page 1 of 6

Esther Friesner

Nebula Award winner Esther Friesner is the author of over 40 novels and more than 200 short stories.  Educated at Vassar College and Yale University, where she received a Ph.D. in Spanish. She is also a poet, a playwright, and the editor of several anthologies. The best known of these is the Chicks in Chainmail series that she created and edits for Baen Books.  In addition to SF, fantasy, and a bit of horror, she is also the author of the Princesses of Myth series of Young Adult novels from Random House.

Esther is married, a mother of two, a grandmother of two, harbors cats, and lives in Connecticut. She has a fondness for bittersweet chocolate, graphic novels, manga, travel, and jewelry. There is no truth to the rumor that her family motto is “Oooooh, SHINY!”

Her superpower is the ability to winnow her bookshelves without whining about it. Much.

Charles Pellegrino

Charles Pellegrino is the author of numerous internationally bestselling books. Her Name, Titanic sold over a million copies and was one of the nonfiction sources for James Cameron’s movie Titanic. Several of Pellegrino’s books have been adapted for Time Life and National Geographic specials, including Unearthing Atlantis. He has a Ph.D. in paleobiology and is one of a small number of scientists who brought forensic science methods into the field of archaeology. As a forensic archaeologist, he has worked on the Titanic, in Pompeii and its sister cities, and at New York’s Ground Zero.

His first novel, Flying to Valhalla (1993), chronicles the first crewed human mission to a neighboring star system. His second, The Killing Star (1995) with George Zebrowski, is a hard SF novel about a sudden alien invasion in a late 21st-century technological utopia. Dust (1998) is a modern SF/horror classic describing an ecological disaster made inevitable by the sudden destruction of all insect life on Earth and is currently being developed into a movie by Village Roadshow Pictures.

Jennifer Allen

Author Jennifer Allen lives on the coast of Eastern Virginia on a small hobby farm. A wife and mother of six, she is a licensed private investigator with a background in the nursing field and early childhood education. She draws inspiration from the multitude of craziness that is her life.

Charity Ayres

Charity Ayres is a former Navy IT turned English teacher with a 17-year-old child (despite the fact that she refuses to age past 29). Ayres has a supposedly unhealthy obsession with coffee (she sees nothing wrong with it) and loves to bake but not eat any of the goodies she bakes with the intent of eventual world domination. Ayres is a high school teacher, college professor, and esports coach, and does all things wordy or nerdy with her schools.

If you have a diverse palette for reading, pick up any of her long or short works. She writes adventurous tales mixed with humorous murder and mayhem—because death done creatively is always fun. Her worlds are fantastical but mixed with history, mythology, and science. Recent works include short stories in The Valkyries Initiative and It Came From the Trailer Park, as well as the novels MadCap and Loki Bound.

Dr. J. “Cal” Baldari

Dr. Cal Baldari is a retired U.S. Army Sapper and military instructor turned professor of ethics. His research credits include alternative military ethics, Aristotelian excellence, moral conflict in literature, implicit bias mitigation, modern heroics, RPG morality, and many others. He has published both academically and creatively, with author credits in short military science fiction and fantasy, as well as several peer-reviewed articles on philosophy. As an avid tabletop role-player, Cal has run games for over a dozen systems professionally, and many more for fun. As the owner of BEC Ltd., he provides expert services for authors, game designers, and comics writers; advising on ethical dilemmas and the consequences both within the stories they write and the effect it has on the reader. Finally, Cal is firmly entrenched in the battle to bring diversity and inclusivity to fandom. His academic work on implicit bias often references the broadening of “geek culture” as exemplary and the awesome efforts many geeks have put forward to make this hobby one that everyone, absolutely everyone, can enjoy with impunity.

Sandra Baldari

Sandra Baldari is a former reporter and a current English teacher. Sandra’s love of science fiction and fantasy began with her father. Her love of reading was sparked by a former babysitter who gave her some Trixie Belden mystery books.

JM Beal

JM Beal started writing seriously in 2001. In 2014 she embarked on the adventure of co-running a publishing company, Golden Fleece Press. In 2019 she decided she wanted to become a CPA. Sleep is for mortals. Current books in print include The Guardian’s Circle series (midwestern monster-hunters), and the first three books in the Thomas the Watch-Cat series: Edgar Allan Poe stories, set with animals and retold for children.

R.S. Belcher

R.S. (Rod) Belcher is a newspaper and magazine editor and journalist. He is the 2022 Webster Award Winner and was the Grand Prize winner of the Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Anthology contest.

Rod has been a private investigator, DJ, a comic book store owner and worked with the Occult Crime Taskforce for the Virginia General Assembly.

His novels include the Golgotha series (The Six-Gun Tarot, The Shotgun Arcana, The Queen of Swords, and The Ghost Dance Judgement), The Nightwise series (Nightwise, The Night Dahlia), The Brotherhood of the Wheel series (The Brotherhood of the Wheel, King of the Road). His novel adaptation of the film, MiB International was published by Titan Books in 2019. The first book in his Audible Originals space opera series, The Queen’s Road, was released in December 2019, and as a book in 2020.

He is currently at work on a stand-alone novel, Ink and Ash, and the fifth Golgotha novel, The Hanged Man.

Rod has spoken and taught at numerous conferences and universities. He hosts programs monthly on his Patreon Discord channel, as well as on a YouTube channel called The Knave of Pens with R.S. Belcher.

He lives in Virginia with his children, Jon and Emily, and grandchildren, Torri and Sofiyah… with another on the way.

Rachel A. Brune

As a military journalist, Rachel A. Brune wrote and photographed the Army and its soldiers for five years. When she moved on, she didn’t quit writing stories with soldiers in them, just added werewolves. Rachel is the founder and chief editor at Crone Girls Press, an indie horror micropress specializing in anthologies. She edits the Falstaff Dread line of horror fiction at Falstaff Books. Previously, Rachel was a contributing editor to the Writerpunk Press charity anthology series. She lives with her spouse, two daughters, one reticent cat, and two flatulent rescue dogs. Her werewolf secret agent novel, Cold Run, is available from Falstaff Books.

Samantha Bryant

Samantha is best known for her Menopausal Superhero series of novels through Falstaff Books, well that and her banana bread. She writes heroes and horror stories, mostly featuring complicated women defying expectations. Her story “If the Moon Is Real” can be found in CORVID-19: A RavenCon Anthology. Check out her full catalog at or find her wasting time on Twitter and Instagram @samanthabwriter. If all else fails, check the woods. She likes to get lost there.

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