2018 Conference Faculty

We are hard at work on Pikes Peak Writers Conference 2018.

The dates: April 27-29, 2018

We have keynote speakers, agents, editors and a few surprise guests for the 2018 Pikes Peak Writers Conference! Workshop planning is coming along at a furious but fun pace.

Please keep in mind that some things are out of our control. We do our best to provide you with the most up-to-date information as possible but ALL faculty is subject to change at any time without notice.

 

Keynote Speakers


 

Jim Butcher

Jim Butcher is the author of the Dresden Files, the Codex Alera, and a new steampunk series, The Cinder Spires.  His resume includes a laundry list of skills which were useful a couple of centuries ago, and he plays guitar quite badly.  An avid gamer, he plays tabletop games in varying systems, a variety of video games on PC and console, and LARPs whenever he can make time for it.

Jim goes by the moniker Longshot in a number of online locales.  He came by this name in the early 1990’s when he decided he would become a published author.  Usually only 3 in 1,000 who make such an attempt actually manage to become published; of those, only 1 in 10 make enough money to call it a living.  The sale of a second series was the breakthrough that let him beat the long odds against attaining a career as a novelist.

All the same, he refuses to change his nickname.

Laurell K Hamilton

Laurell Kaye Hamilton (born February 19, 1963) is an American fantasy and romance writer. She is best known as the author of two series of stories.

Her New York Times-bestselling Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series centers on Anita Blake, a professional zombie raiser, vampire executioner and supernatural consultant for the police, which includes novels, short story collections, and comic books. Six million copies of Anita Blake novels are in print. Her Merry Gentry series centers on Meredith Gentry, Princess of the Unseelie court of Faerie, a private detective facing repeated assassination attempts.

Both fantasy series follow their protagonists as they gain in power and deal with the dangerous “realities” of worlds in which creatures of legend live.

Laurell Kaye Hamilton was born Laurell Kaye Klein in Heber Springs, Arkansas but grew up in Sims, Indiana with her grandmother Laura Gentry. Her education includes degrees in English and biology from Marion College (now called Indiana Wesleyan University), a private Evangelical Christian liberal arts college in Marion, Indiana that is affiliated with the Wesleyan Church denomination.

Mary Robinette Kowal

 

Mary Robinette Kowal is the author of historical fantasy novels: The Glamourist Histories series and Ghost Talkers. She has received the Campbell Award for Best New Writer, three Hugo awards, the RT Reviews award for Best Fantasy Novel, and has been a finalist for the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus awards. Stories have appeared in Strange Horizons, Asimov’s, several Year’s Best anthologies and her collections Word Puppets and Scenting the Dark and Other Stories.

As a professional puppeteer and voice actor (SAG/AFTRA), Mary has performed for LazyTown (CBS), the Center for Puppetry Arts, Jim Henson Pictures, and founded Other Hand Productions. Her designs have garnered two UNIMA-USA Citations of Excellence, the highest award an American puppeteer can achieve. She records fiction for authors such as Kage Baker, Cory Doctorow and John Scalzi.

Mary lives in Chicago with her husband Rob and over a dozen manual typewriters. Visit maryrobinettekowal.com.

Jonathan Maberry

JONATHAN MABERRY is a NY Times bestselling suspense novelist, five-time Bram Stoker Award winner, and comic book writer. His books include the Joe Ledger thrillers, The Nightsiders, Dead of Night, X-Files Origins: Devil’s Advocate, as well as standalone novels in multiple genres. His YA space travel novel, Mars One, is in development for film; and his Monk Addison short stories and V-Wars shared world vampire apocalypse series are being developed for TV. He is the editor of many anthologies including the X-Files, Aliens: Bug Hunt, Nights of the Living Dead (co-edited with zombie genre creator George A. Romero). His comics include Captain America, the Bram Stoker Award-winning Bad Blood, Black Panther, Punisher, Marvel Zombies Return, and more. His Rot & Ruin novels were included in the Ten Best Horror Novels for Young Adults. His first novel, Ghost Road Blues was named one of the 25 Best Horror Novels of the New Millennium. A board game version of V-Wars: A Game of Blood and Betrayal was based on his noels and comics. He was a featured expert on the History Channel’s Zombies: A Living History and True Monsters. He is one third of the very popular and mildly weird Three Guys With Beards podcast. Jonathan lives in Del Mar, California with his wife, Sara Jo. www.jonathanmaberry.com

Acquiring Editors


 

Martin Biro

MARTIN R. BIRO is a native of Northern California and a graduate of the University of Iowa. He has been with Kensington Publishing since 2008, where in his role as Editor he acquires a wide range of commercial fiction for their many diverse imprints. He serves as editor for a large list of authors for print (hardcover, trade, and mass-market) and digital formats, including #1 New York Times bestselling author Fern Michaels and New York Times bestselling author Marie Force. Martin also oversees both Lyrical Press, Kensington’s digital-first imprint, and Rebel Base, Kensington’s new science-fiction and fantasy digital imprint. For more information on his areas of interest please visit the Kensington website at www.kensingtonbooks.com/submissions.

Steve Saffel

Steve Saffel is a Senior Acquisitions Editor at Titan Books, the world’s premiere popular culture publisher, acquiring original science fiction, fantasy (epic, heroic, and dark), horror, art books, and media tie-ins such as AlienPlanet of the Apes (new and classic), The FlashMass Effect, and more. Some of his recent and upcoming projects include the epic fantasy The Dragon’s Legacy by Deborah Wolf, the contemporary fantasy adventures Relics by Tim Lebbon, Split Feather by Deborah Wolf, and The Spawn of Lilith by Dana Fredsti, the heroic fantasy Robin Hood: Mark of the Black Arrow by Debbie Vigue and James Tuck, a Sherlock Holmes vs. Cthulhu trilogy by Lois Gresh, the space opera anthology Infinite Stars edited by Bryan Thomas Schmidt, the mystery novels starring Mycroft Holmes by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Anna Waterhouse, and The Art of Robert E. McGinnis by Robert E. McGinnis and Art Scott. A documented Dark Editorial Overlord, Steve is a strong advocate for adapting modern media techniques that can be used to the advantage of prose fiction.

Kelsy Thompson

Kelsy Thompson is a writer and editor from Ogden, Utah. She has served as an editorial intern for best-selling author Robison Wells, copy desk chief at The Signpost, managing editor at distinguished literary journal Weber—The Contemporary West, and is currently a contract editor for Jolly Fish Press and YA imprint Flux.  She especially enjoys young adult literature, science fiction, fantasy, romance, mysteries, and historical fiction.

A graduate of Weber State University, Kelsy has worked on dozens of published novels, magazines, journals, and anthologies. When not worshiping the written word, she spends her time gardening, gaming, and wrangling her clowder of cats.

Deb Werksman

Deb Werksman has been at Sourcebooks for 19 years, before which she owned her own publishing company. She is the editorial director of romance fiction, and is acquiring single title romance in all subgenres: paranormal, historical, romantic suspense, contemporary, erotic romance with:

  • a main character the reader can relate to
  • a love interest she can fall in love with
  • an imaginative, credible world gets created into which the reader can escape
  • a hook she can sell within 2-3 sentences
  • a career arc for the author.

Sourcebooks is known for its marketing, PR and sales, and its focus on building authors’ careers.

Stacy Whitman

Stacy Whitman is the founder and publisher of Tu Books, an imprint of Lee & Low Books that publishes diverse middle grade and young adult fiction. Books she has edited include American Indian Youth Literature YA Award and Top Ten Quick Picks title Killer of Enemies by Joseph Bruchac, Perfect Liars by Kimberly Reid, and Summer of the Mariposas and Shame the Stars by Guadalupe Garcia McCall. In 2013, Stacy founded the New Visions Award, which honors a new unpublished writer of color. The first New Visions Award winner was Ink and Ashes by Valynne Maetani, which garnered a starred review from Kirkus and Shelf Awareness, was on the Lone Star Reading List and Kirkus Reviews’ Best Teen Books of 2015, and won the Asian/Pacific American Award Honor for Literature from APALA. The most recent New Visions Award winners to be published are Rebel Seoul by Axie Oh (Sept 2017) and Ahimsa by Supriya Kelkar (October 2017), both of which have received multiple starred reviews. Her first graphic novel, I Am Alfonso Jones by Tony Medina, illustrated by Stacey Robinson and John Jennings, was published Oct. 2017.

Stacy is a founding member of the CBC Diversity Committee and currently serves as a Publisher Liaison to We Need Diverse Books. She holds a master’s degree in children’s literature from Simmons College. You can find her on Twitter at @stacylwhitman.

Submission guidelines for the New Visions Award: https://www.leeandlow.com/writers-illustrators/new-visions-award

Agents


 

Melissa Edwards

Melissa Edwards joined Stonesong as a literary agent in August 2016. Previously, she was a literary agent at the Aaron Priest Literary Agency, where she managed the foreign rights for a 40-year backlist. After graduating from Washington University in St. Louis and Vanderbilt Law School, Melissa began her career as a litigation attorney before transitioning into publishing. She is a tireless advocate for her clients and a constant partner during the publication process and beyond. Melissa represents authors of children’s fiction, adult commercial fiction, and select pop-culture non-fiction. She is looking for warm and timeless middle grade fiction and accessible young adult fiction. For adults, she is looking for fast-paced thrillers and smart women’s fiction. She can be found on Twitter @MelissaLaurenE, where she often tweets her active Manuscript Wishlist requests under #MSWL.

Angie Hodapp

Angie Hodapp holds a BA in English and secondary education and an MA in English and communication development, and she is a graduate of the Denver Publishing Institute at the University of Denver. She has worked in publishing and professional writing, in one form or another, for the better part of the last two decades and currently works as the Director of Literary Development at Nelson Literary Agency. She loves helping authors hone their craft and learn about the ever-changing business of publishing.

She is actively seeking a wide array of stories in all genres.  Literary novels with big crossover/commercial appeal (voice- and character-driven novels with solid structure and plot); young adult and middle grade in all genres; upmarket women’s fiction; adult mysteries and thrillers; adult fantasy and science fiction; single-title romance; and #ownvoices.

Gabrielle Piraino

Gabrielle Piraino joined DeFiore and Company in 2016, having previously worked for both major commercial publishing houses and literary agencies alike, including Farrar, Straus & Giroux and AGI Vigliano. She’s a graduate of Pace University’s MS in Publishing program.
When considering new projects, Gabbie is most drawn to strong narrative voices, unique world-building, and diverse casts of characters. Focused on building long-term relationships with authors, she is currently accepting queries for sci-fi, fantasy, horror, thriller, and up-market chick lit (both Adult and YA). She’d also be happy to review queries from prospective author-illustrators for comics/graphic novels. She’s interested in representing stories with #ownvoices and diverse characters as available.

Quressa Robinson

Quressa Robinson joined the Nelson Literary Agency in 2017 after working at a previous agency and as an editor for five years. She is originally from San Francisco, but has been living in New York City for over a decade. As a New York-based agent, she is eager to build her YA and Adult lists. When not curled on her couch reading, she plays video games, enjoys too much TV–mostly Sailor Moon and Harry Potter (Slytherin!), eats delicious things, drinks champagne, hangs out with her very clever husband, and adds another “dramatic” color to her lipstick collection. So, give her stories that will make her geek out. If you can make her have an epic fangirl squee–have stories featuring fairies and warrior princesses with afros and rainbow dreads or envision winter elves inspired by an Asian or Latinx culture–then you are definitely a match. She’s also looking for stories with best friends like Molly and Issa on Insecure, enemies to lovers, coming-of-age stories, The Breakfast Club with a twist, family drama and witches (!), and alpha heroes paired with witty heroines. If you have bold, fresh, or quirky stories they will be right up her alley. She’s also looking for stories that feel timeless and timely despite the current climate or when they were originally written. Or give her something she didn’t know she desperately needed. Above all, give her stories she can become deeply passionate about.

Justin Wells

Coming from a long background in book blogging with a focus on YA literature, Justin knew he wanted to end up in the publishing industry. Justin joined Corvisiero Literary Agency in the summer of 2016 as an intern, and quickly moved up within the agency under the amazing guidance of Marisa Corvisiero. Justin is now a Jr. Literary Agent with the agency, and is incredibly excited for everything to come. He is seeking Fantasy, Science Fiction, Historical Fiction, and some contemporary in Middle Grade, Young Adult, New Adult, and Adult. His passion for helping writers knows no bounds, and he strives to make every effort to have a positive impact on every writer he meets.
Along with working full time as an agent, Justin is also finishing up a degree in public relations. The knowledge he has gained through his degree has helped to give him an unique skillset to match with his work as an agent. He also runs a website where he provides helpful content for writers, all in the effort to do everything he can to help writers acheive their goals

Maximilian Ximenez

Maximilian Ximenez grew up within the New York publishing industry. Prior to joining the L. Perkins Agency, he worked at Blizzard Entertainment, creators of the popular Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo video game franchises. He is a strong believer in publishing and narrative as a central pillar of franchise and transmedia development.

Maximilian is actively pursuing clients for both fiction and nonfiction works. In fiction, he is actively pursuing science fiction, fantasy, horror and thrillers, particularly cyberpunk and neo-noir as well as books with a uniquely deconstructive bent. For non-fiction, Maximilian is seeking popular science, true crime and books pertaining to arts and trends in developing fields and cultures.

Maximilian’s clients include two-time New York Times bestselling graphic novel author, Micky Neilson, and Lucien Soulban, lead writer of the BAFTA award winning video game Far Cry 3.

Authors and Specialists


 

Debbie Maxwell Allen

Debbie Maxwell Allen drank the Scrivener kool-aid, and never looked back. When not devoting her time to revolutionizing other writers’ lives with the wonders of Scrivener, she works as a project manager for Good Catch Publishing, does freelance editing, and writes young adult historical fantasy in the Rocky Mountains. Her fiction has been a finalist in the Pikes Peak Writers Zebulon Contest four times. She blogs about free resources for writers at http://www.writingwhilethericeboils.blogspot.com/.

M. H. Boroson

M. H. Boroson’s historical fantasy novel The Girl With Ghost Eyes was published at the end of 2015. In a Starred Review, Publishers Weekly called it “a brilliant tale of magic, monsters, and kung fu in the San Francisco Chinatown of 1898.”

It was Library Journal’s Debut of the Month, Goodreads newsletter’s Best Book of the Month, and Fantasy Book Critic’s #1 Debut of the Year. Barnes & Noble’s official blog said the novel is “a joy to read.” The AV Club compared it to the work of Hayao Miyazaki and called Boroson “a bright new voice in fantasy.” Bustle.com named it one the the 15 best Diverse Fantasy Novels. Libraryreads listed it in their Top Ten Books of the Month. Two sequels are under contract, and it is being developed as a television series.

Boroson has been documenting the oral histories of Chinese Americans since he was nine years old, paying special attention to ghost lore. He lives in Colorado Springs.

Trai Cartwright

Trai Cartwright, MFA, has over 20 years experience as a professional story developer. She currently teaches creative writing, film studies and screenwriting at the Colorado Film School and University of Northern Colorado, as well as for writer’s organizations across Colorado. During her 15 years as a Hollywood development executive, Trai consulted on tens of thousands of screenplays for HBO, Fox, Paramount, Universal, and New Line. She produced three indie movies and has had three of her own screenplays optioned by Academy- and Emmy-award winning producers. A busy writing consultant and editor, she works one-on-one with novelists and screenwriters across the nation. Trai can be found at www.craftwrite.com.

Jason Evans

photo of Jason Henry Evans

Jason Evans wanted to be a writer his entire life. He just didn’t know it. He has been an educator in public & private schools for twelve years. He has earned Double bachelors from UC Santa Barbara, teaching credentials from Cal-State Los Angeles, and an MA from UC Denver. He has two short stories published and is the editor-in-chief for Man-gazine. He lives in Denver with the Fetching Mrs. Evans and his three dogs and one haughty cat.

Kerrie Flanagan

Kerrie Flanagan is an author, writing consultant, publisher and accomplished freelance writer with over 18 years’ experience. In addition to her own writing, she is passionate about helping other writers and has guided many toward their own success. Her work has appeared in publications such as Writer’s Digest, Alaska Magazine, The Writer, FamilyFun, Chicago Tribune, SkyWest, the Children’s & Illustrator’s Market and six Chicken Soup for the Soul books. For the past five years, her article, “How to Find Success in the Magazine World,” has been featured in the Writer’s Market.

She is the author of seven books, all published under her label, Hot Chocolate Press and is currently working on a magazine writing guide for Writer’s Digest, set to be released in 2018. She is the founder and former director of Northern Colorado Writers and now does individual consulting with writers. Her background in teaching and enjoyment of helping writers, has led her to present at writing conferences across the country, including the Writer’s Digest Annual Conference in NYC, Writer’s Digest Novel Writing Conference in L.A., Willamette Writer’s Conference, Pikes Peak Writer’s Conference (2014), Write on the Sound and the Northern Colorado Writer’s Conference.

http://www.KerrieFlanagan.com

http://HotChocolatePress.com

Therese Francis


Therese Francis, RTRP/AFSP, has been doing taxes for creative people for over 25 years. She had two books come out in late 2016; one on bookkeeping and taxes for traditional authors and one for self-published authors.

Save

Save

Darby Karchut

Darby KarchutDarby Karchut is an award-winning author, dreamer, and compulsive dawn greeter. A native of New Mexico, she now lives in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, where she runs in blizzards and bikes in lightning storms. When not dodging death by Colorado, Darby is busy writing for children, teens, and adults. Best thing ever: her YA series, Griffin Rising, has been optioned for film.

She is represented by Amanda Rutter at Red Sofa Literary.

Her recent releases include: Finn’s Choice (book 4 in her middle grade series, The Adventures of Finn McCullen), Unholy Blue (the sequel to The Stag Lord, an urban fantasy series), and Stone Heart (contemporary romance).

Visit her at: www.darbykarchut.com

Sam Knight

Sam KnightAs well as being part of the WordFire Press Production Team, Sam Knight is Senior Editor for Villainous Press and author of four children’s books, three short story collections, two novels, and more than a dozen short stories, including a novella co-authored with Kevin J. Anderson.

A stay-at-home father, Sam attempts to be a full-time writer, but there are only so many hours left in a day after kids. Once upon a time, he was known to quote books the way some people quote movies, but now he claims having a family has made him forgetful, as a survival adaptation.

DeAnna Knippling

DeAnna Knippling has two minor superpowers: speed-reading and babble.  She types at over 10,000 words per minute and can make things up even faster than that. She has been officially constrained from drinking Ovaltine per her doctor’s orders since a tragic incident involving a monopoly game, a blender, a cemetery, and a school play at age eight.  Her first job was hunting snipe for her father at twenty-five cents per head, with which she paid her way through college; her latest job involves a non-disclosure agreement, a dozen hitmen, a ballerina, a snowblower, three very small robots, and a disposable dictator in South America. If she told you which movie was based on her life, she’d have to kill you. Her cover job is that of freelance writer, editor, and designer living in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with her husband, daughter, cat, more than one cupboard full of various condiments, and many shelves full of the very best books. She has her own indie small press, www.WonderlandPress.com, and her website is www.DeAnnaKnippling.com.

Cindi Madsen

Cindi Madsen is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance and young adult novels. She sits at her computer every chance she gets, plotting, revising, and falling in love with her characters. Sometimes it makes her a crazy person. Without it, she’d be even crazier. She has way too many shoes, but can always find a reason to buy a pretty new pair, especially if they’re sparkly, colorful, or super tall. She loves music and dancing and wishes summer lasted all year long. She lives in Colorado (where summer is most definitely NOT all year long) with her husband and three children.
You can visit Cindi at: www.cindimadsen.com, where you can sign up for her newsletter to get all the up-to-date information on her books.  Follow her on Twitter @cindimadsen.

Jennie Marts

marts-jennie Jennie Marts is the USA Today Best-selling author of award-winning books filled with love, laughter, and always a happily ever after. Readers call her books “laugh out loud” funny and the “perfect mix of romance, humor, and steam.” Fic Central claimed one of her books was “the most fun I’ve had reading in years.”

She is living her own happily ever after in the mountains of Colorado with her husband, two dogs, and a parakeet that loves to tweet to the oldies. She’s addicted to Diet Coke, adores Cheetos, and believes you can’t have too many books, shoes, or friends.

Her books include the contemporary western romance Hearts of Montana series, the romantic comedy/cozy mysteries of The Page Turners series, the hunky hockey-playing men in the Bannister family in the Bannister Brothers Books, and the small-town romantic comedies in the Lovestruck series of Cotton Creek Romances.

Jennie loves to hear from readers. Follow her on Facebook at Jennie Marts Books, or Twitter at @JennieMarts. Visit her at www.jenniemarts.com and sign up for her newsletter to keep up with the latest news and releases.

Bob Mayer

Bob Mayer is a New York Times bestselling author, a graduate of West Point, former Special Operations, and the feeder of two yellow Labs, most famously Cool Gus. He’s had over seventy books published, including the #1 bestselling series Area 51, Atlantis, and the Green Berets. Born in the Bronx and having traveled the world, he now lives peacefully with his wife and his Labs.
He has a free Reader’s Guide listing all books with information about them here on Amazon. He also has free eBooks, short stories and audiobooks on his web site www.bobmayer.com

Rod Miller

Rod Miller is a three-time winner of the Western Writers of America Spur Award—for a novel, short fiction, and poetry—twice winner of the Westerners International Poetry Award, recipient of the Academy of Western Artists Award for Best Poetry Book, and League of Utah Writers 2012 Writer of the Year award.

His latest books are a novel, Rawhide Robinson Rides the Tabby Trail; a history book, The Lost Frontier: Momentous Moments in the Old West You May Have Missed; and collection of short stories’ The Death of Delgado and Other Stories. A sixth novel is slated for release late in 2016.

A frequent presenter at writers’ conferences, workshops, and other events, Rod has also judged numerous literary contests, including fiction, historical fiction, and poetry. A member of Western Writers of America, he received the 2014 Branding Iron Award for his service to the organization. Visit him online at www.writerRodMiller.com.

April Moore

April Moore is Director of Northern Colorado Writers and is the author of Folsom’s 93, a historical nonfiction about the lives and crimes of Folsom Prison’s executed men, as well as a novel, Bobbing for Watermelons.

As an artist, April owned and operated a greeting card company from 1998 to 2008, provided illustrations for the Northern Colorado Writers’ 2012 and 2013 writing planners, and collaborates with other authors on illustration projects.

When not writing or illustrating, April is usually enjoying the Colorado sunshine by working in her vegetable garden, kayaking, or hiking, and spends the cold, wintry months curled up with a good book and a mug of tea. However, her favorite activity is spending time with her husband and eighteen-year-old son.

Find her online at:

http://www.northerncoloradowriters.com/

http://www.apriljmoore.com/

Aaron Michael Ritchey

Aaron Michael Ritchey is the author of The Never Prayer, Long Live the Suicide King, and Elizabeth’s Midnight. In shorter fiction, his G.I. Joe inspired novella was an Amazon bestseller in Kindle Worlds and his steampunk story, “The Dirges of Percival Lewand” was part of The Best of Penny Dread Tales anthology published through Kevin J. Anderson’s WordFire Press. His upcoming young adult scifi/western epic series will also be published through WordFire Press. In 2015, his second novel won the Building the Dream award for best YA novel, and he spent the summer as the Artist in Residence for the Anythink Library. He lives in Colorado with his wife and two ancient goddesses of chaos posing as his daughters.

For more about him, his books, and how to overcome artistic angst, visit www.aaronmritchey.com. He’s on Facebook as Aaron Michael Ritchey and he tweets – @aaronmritchey.

Callie Stoker

Callie Stoker is an editor with over ten years of experience with a knack for knowing what makes a story shine, and how to get yours to do the same. Her business, The Manuscript Doctor, offers services that help stories and writers at any stage.
Callie has two children on the Autism Spectrum and is a champion for spreading awareness and acceptance for those with disabilities. She has a theater and costuming background with a love for cosplay and is an artist with over twenty years as a calligrapher (check out her Instagram @calligraphic).
She is a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association, the Horror Writers Association, and serves on the Events Committee for The League of Utah Writers.

Johnny Worthen

Johnny’s entry into mystery with The Brand Demand won a Silver Quill Award from the League of Utah Writers in the best novel category, while, his genre-bending comedy noir, The Finger Trap, won the Diamond Quill for best published novel of the year and introduces Tony Flaner, a flawed slacker every-man detective who can’t throw a punch but can slay a room with sarcasm.

Johnny’s short stories appear in a number of anthologies including the Dark Fiction Little Visible Delight (The Point), Utah Horror, Old Scratch and Owl Hoots (Keep Sweet), It Came From the Great Salt Lake (May 15th), Utah Fantasy, Secrets & Doors (A Thousand Secret Doors), Hidden in Plain Sight (The Lost Curse of the Witch’s Nest) and the limited edition commemorate Salt Lake Comic Con anthology Heroic:  Tales of the Extraordinary (The Grape Whisperer).

Johnny lectures and teaches about writing and life whenever anyone will listen. He edits professionally for Omnium Gatherum, a dark fiction press. He lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with his wife, sons and a cat.

Fauzia Burke

Fauzia Burke is the founder and president of a digital marketing firm long known as innovators in the field of online book marketing, with clients from dean Koontz to the people behind The South Beach Diet.  She knows what it takes to present your work to the public with maximum impact.

Kendra Merritt

Kendra used to hide fantasy novels behind her government textbook in high school, and she wrote most of her first novel during a semester of college algebra.
Older and wiser now (but just as nerdy) Kendra writes retellings of fairytales with main characters who have disabilities. Her experience with partial paraplegia has shown her you don’t have to be able to swing a sword to be a hero.
Kendra lives in Denver with her very tall husband, their book loving progeny, and a lazy black monster masquerading as a service dog.

Lisa Hawker

Hawker grew up in suburban Denver, indulging her worrisome obsession with true-crime books, and writing stories about anthropomorphic fruit and juvenile delinquents. She wrote her first novel at 14.

Armed with a B.S. in journalism from the University of Kansas, she had a radio show called “People Are So Stupid,” edited a trade magazine, and worked as a traveling Kmart portrait photographer, but never lost her passion for fiction writing.

Her extensive media background includes everything from public affairs director at a Denver radio station to video producer to website designer.

She’s got a hilarious, supportive husband, two brilliant daughters, and a massive music collection. She lives in Colorado but considers Kansas her spiritual homeland.

Visit LSHawker.com to view book trailers for The Drowning Game and Body and Bone, listen to her podcast with daughter Chloe, The Lively Grind Cafe, and read about her adventures as a cocktail waitress, traveling Kmart portrait photographer, and witness to basement exorcisms.

Liz Colter

Due to a varied work background, Liz Colter can boast a modest degree of knowledge about harnessing, hitching, and working draft horses, canoe expeditioning, and medicine. She’s also worked as a rollerskating waitress and knows more about concrete than you might suspect. Liz is a Writers of the Future winner and her short stories, which have appeared in a variety of magazines and anthologies, span a wide range of SF/F sub-genres. Her novels – written under the name L. D. Colter – explore the dark/weird/magic realism that currently dominates her own reading (think Neil Gaiman, Tim Powers, China Mieville, and Jeff VanderMeer), or the epic fantasy she grew up reading and loving. Armed with a lifelong love of fantasy and science fiction, Liz set out some years ago to create her own speculative worlds. A complete list of her published works can be found at her website: http://www.lizcolter.com/

Mariko Tatsumoto Layton

I arrived in America from Japan at the age of eight. I didn’t know English, but as soon as I learned to read I fell in love with books. I always wanted to be a writer but first became the first woman Asian attorney in Colorado before becoming a Middle Grade and Teen book author. My passion is writing multicultural fiction books dealing with themes such as prejudice, bullying, survivor’s guilt, domestic violence, environmental pollution cover ups, propaganda, and negotiations between enemies to avoid wars and conflicts. My debut novel, Ayumi’s Violin, is a Paterson Prize for Books for Young People Honor Book, Colorado Authors’ League’s Award Finalist, the winner of the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Gold Award, and was a Featured Deal on Bookbub with 10,000 downloads. One of the joys of writing for children and teens is presenting in front of them in schools and libraries.