Convention Faculty

JACK KETCHUM - GUEST OF HONOR

Jack Ketchum is the pseudonym for a former actor, singer, teacher, literary agent, lumber salesman, and soda jerk–a former flower child and baby boomer who figures that in 1956 Elvis, dinosaurs and horror probably saved his life. His first novel, Off Season, prompted the Village Voice to publicly scold its publisher in print for publishing violent pornography. He personally disagrees but is perfectly happy to let you decide for yourself. His short story The Box won a 1994 Bram Stoker Award from the HWA, his story Gone won again in 2000 — and in 2003 he won Stokers for both best collection for Peaceable Kingdom and best long fiction for Closing Time. He has written over twenty novels and novellas, the latest of which are The Woman and I’m Not Samboth written with director Lucky McKee. Five of his books have been filmed to date — The Girl Next DoorThe LostRedOffspring and The Womanthe last of which won him and McKee the Best Screenplay Award at the prestigious Sitges Film Festival in Spain. His stories are collected in The Exit At Toledo Blade BoulevardBroken on the Wheel of SexSleep Disorder (with Edward Lee), Peaceable Kingdom and Closing Time and Other Stories. His novella The Crossings was cited by Stephen King in his speech at the 2003 National Book Awards. In 2011 he was elected Grand Master by the World Horror Convention.

ERIC RED - GUEST OF HONOR

Eric Red is a Los Angeles-based novelist, screenwriter, and film director. His first two novels, a dark coming-of-age tale about teenagers called Don’t Stand So Close and a dark fantasy called The Guns of Santa Sangre are available from SST Publications. His other two novels, a science fiction thriller called It Waits Below and a mystery crime thriller called White Knuckle, are available from Crossroad Press. His fifth novel The Wolves of El Diablo, the sequel to The Guns of Santa Sangre, will be published in hardcover, trade paperback and digital editions by SST Publications in August 2017. The first two of his Joe Noose Western novels, Noose and Hanging Fire, will be published by Kensington Books in 2018 and 2019.

Mr. Red directed and wrote the films Cohen and Tate for Hemdale, Body Parts for Paramount, Undertow for Showtime, Bad Moon for Warner Bros. and 100 Feet for Grand Illusions Entertainment. His original screenplays include The Hitcher for TriStar, Near Dark for DeLaurentiis Entertainment Group, Blue Steel for MGM and The Last Outlaw for HBO.

His recent published horror and suspense short stories have been in Cemetery Dance magazine, Weird Tales magazine, Shroud magazine, Dark Delicacies III: Haunted anthology, Dark Discoveries magazine, Mulholland Books’ Popcorn Fiction, among others.

He created and wrote the sci-fi/horror comic series and graphic novel Containment from SST Publications and the horror western comic series Wild Work for Antarctic Press.

JAMES AARON

James Aaron II (better known as Superhorse) is a blogger, educator, storyteller, technical communicator, and ponyboy. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Professional & Technical Writing from University of Colorado Colorado Springs, a skillset he leverages for his own sinister projects.

Superhorse is Mr. Leather Colorado 2017, a title he uses to create resources for the Leather community, educate those unfamiliar with the lifestyle, and openly celebrate his identity and extended Leather family. His home base is Voodoo Leatherworks – a dungeon in Colorado Springs, Colorado – where he serves as a member of its Leadership Council. He hangs out there so much he should probably start paying rent.

Superhorse is also hitting things in dungeons over at kinksandcrits.com, a website and blog dedicated to professionally designed resources, in-depth theory discussion, and homebrew content for tabletop roleplaying games. He is currently working on Trackmarks, his first book published under the Kinks & Crits banner.

MIKE ARNZEN

Amityville-born horror writer Michael Arnzen holds four Bram Stoker Awards and an International Horror Guild Award for his often funny, always disturbing fiction and poetry. An expanded, 10th anniversary edition of the “best of Arnzen” —  his Stoker-award winning story collection, Proverbs for Monsters — was recently published by Dark Regions Press. Other recent Arnzen titles include his novel, Grave Markings  (Raw Dog Screaming Press), a non-fiction study, The Popular Uncanny (forthcoming, Guide Dog Books), and helpful books for writers, including, Instigation: Creative Prompts on the Dark Side (Mastication Publications) and, as co-editor, Many Genres, One Craft: Lessons in Writing Popular Fiction (Headline Books).

Arnzen holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Oregon and since 1999 has taught fulltime at Seton Hill University, near Pittsburgh, in their MFA program in Writing Popular Fiction. Always experimenting, Arnzen’s work in the genre has appeared in everything from poetry magnets (Fridge of the Damned) and Palm Pilots (Gorelets) to playing cards (Play Dead) and moving pictures (Exquisite Corpse). Along with his wife, Renate, Arnzen has also run a small press outfit called called Mastication Publications since 1991.

MATT BILLE

Matt Bille writes science, history, and fiction from his home in beautiful Colorado Springs, Colorado. Matt interests are many, but a few of his specialties are space, cryptozoology, and national defense. In addition to writing books, he frequently updates Matt’s Sci-Tech Blog.

BRYAN AND BAXTER

With over 25 years of experience, Bryan and Baxter use sound scientific methods to investigate everything from psychics to ghosts, poltergeists, cryptids, and UFOs. The duo has appeared on many television shows, books, magazines, news programming, and documentaries.

Their stage performances and lectures are wildly entertaining with the duo playing artfully off each other to help get their messages across. They have performed in front of wide, diverse audiences including The Amazing Meeting, StarFest/HorrorFest, Colorado University, Ohlone College, SkeptiCamp, and many others.

W.J. "WILD BILL" CHERF

Cherf is a force of nature.

His book two series are about historical science fiction—time travel back to ancient Egypt to fix stuff, needful things; and contemporary urban fantasy about a tough as nails US Marine who carried the First Soul of Creation. Only then did he find out who the REALLY bad guys were.

So just who is Cherf? A former university prof and archaeologist who specialized in ancient history, an amateur race car driver, a greasy gear head, and golfer. He is also a big fan of writers Tom Clancy and Michael Crichton. He’s seen the sun rise from atop the Great Pyramid and dug holes in Israel, Greece, and Egypt. Get the picture? Yeah, Indiana Jones.

At his core Cherf remains a teacher and his books do just that. They are a passionate sharing of much-beloved subjects. His readers get adventure, enjoy lively description, an involved plot, and the intellectual satisfaction of learning something new. Cherf is at his best jawing around a fire pit on a cool evening, while sampling craft beers and rooting for the Cubs.

Come visit www.wjcherf.com to access sample chapters.

RONIN EIDOLON

Ronin Eidolon is a self defined professional catalyst and human explorer. Finding himself routinely teased and ostracized as a child inadvertently blessed him with a predilection towards seeking out what defines the margins of society and behavior. A quest for knowing why we chose the spectrum of our choices has made for a unique life path; one of exploring boundaries, subcultures, the people in them, and their reasons for their chosen identities. Ronin delights in sharing, learning, and sharing learnings with those also finding and redrawing the nonexistent lines between fringe and normalcy. Ronin has been an educational director, workshop presenter, mentor, counselor, and perpetual student of topics as diverse as the fine arts to the bdsm lifestyle and many more acronyms in between. Having recently retired from the US Army as a military intelligence officer, Ronin is currently a full-time dual graduate student working toward a MBA/MPA in sustainable development and management from the Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco.

DANA FREDSTI

Dana Fredsti is an ex B-movie actress with a background in theatrical combat (a skill she utilized in Army of Darkness as a sword-fighting Deadite and fight captain). Through ten plus years of volunteering at Exotic Feline Breeding Facility/Feline Conservation Center, Dana’s had a full-grown leopard sit on her feet, been kissed by tigers, held baby jaguars and had her thumb sucked by an ocelot with nursing issues.  She’s addicted to bad movies and any book or film, good or bad, which include zombies. Her other hobbies include weight lifting, collecting beach glass, and wine tasting.

She is the author of Spawn of Lilith and the Ashley Parker trilogy (both with Titan Books), touted as Buffy meets The Walking Dead, as well as what might be the first example of zombie noir, A Man’s Gotta Eat What a Man’s Gotta Eat, first published in Mondo Zombie edited by John Skipp, and more recently published as an eBook by Titan. She and her husband, David Fitzgerald, are co-writing the science-fiction trilogy TimeShards, also for Titan. Dana also wrote the cozy noir mystery Murder for Hire: the Peruvian Pigeon, is co-author of the Joe Ledger Official Companion and What Women Really Want in Bed, and has written several spicy genre romances under the pen name Inara LaVey. Additionally, she has a story in V-Wars 4: Shockwaves, and stories in the upcoming anthologies Joe Ledger: Unstoppable, Hardboiled Horror and Kingdoms Fall.  

She lives in San Francisco with her husband. They share their house with their dog Pogeen, and a small horde of felines.

DAVID FITZGERALD

David Fitzgerald is an award-winning author, historical researcher, fiction writer & editor, activist and a popular public speaker. He is the author of Nailed and The Complete Heretic’s Guide to Western Religion series, also co-author of the upcoming science fiction trilogy Time Shards, coming out next spring from Titan Books (2018).

A linguistics enthusiast, he can say almost nothing in almost every language. He’s also an ancient/world/medieval history nut, avid swordfighter, kickboxer, animal lover and rescuer, and aficionado of books, comics and movies.

He lives in San Francisco with his wife, actress/writer Dana Fredsti, and their small menagerie of cats and their dog, and is often accused of being the Ferris Bueller of San Francisco.

AMITY GREEN

Amity Green has studied Creative Writing and British Literature, including a stint in London during the summer of 2010, where she toured and studied theater and the history of English Literature. Her novels include the urban fantasy Scalesand the demonic The Witcher Chime. Short stories have appeared in numerous published anthologies and continue to appear in new publications. In 2014 she moved to Manitou Springs, Colorado, where she currently resides and continues to produce works of Urban Fantasy and Horror. Amity is a proud member of the Horror Writers Association and keeps steady attendance at local writers groups.

GRADY HENDRIX

Grady Hendrix writes fiction, also called “lies,” and he writes non-fiction, which people sometimes accidentally pay him for. He is the author of Horrorstör, the only novel about a haunted Scandinavian furniture store you’ll ever need. NPR selected it as one of the best books of 2014 and it has been translated into 14 languages and is being turned into a television show by Gail Berman (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Charlie Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), and Josh Schwartz (Gossip Girl).

Grady Hendrix used to be a journalist, which means that he was completely irrelevant and could be killed and turned into food at any time. He is one of the founders of the New York Asian Film Festival, but he is not responsible for the bad parts of it. He is also not Asian. For years he was a regular film critic for the New York Sun but then it went out of business. He has written for Playboy Magazine, Slate, The Village Voice, the New York Post, Film Comment, and Variety.

THEA HUTCHESON

Thea Hutcheson explores far away lands full of magic and science with one hand holding hope and the other full of wonder.  Lois Tilton of Locus called her work “sensual, fertile, with seed quickening on every page. Well done…” Her work has appeared in such places as Hot Blood XI, Fatal AttractionsM-Brane Issue 12Baen’s Universe Issue 4, Vol. 1, the Beauty and the Beast Issue of The Enchanted ConversationRealms of Fantasy’s 100th issue, and Fiction River’s Recycled Pulpanthology.  September 2016 will see her latest story, “Hoarding” appear in Fiction River’s Haunted anthology. She lives in an economically depressed, unscenic, nearly historic small city in Colorado with four semi-feral cats, 1000 books, and an understanding partner.  She’s a factotum when she’s filling the time between bouts at the computer.

KEVIN IKENBERRY

Kevin Ikenberry is a life-long space geek and retired Army officer.  A former manager of the world-renowned U.S. Space Camp program and a space operations officer, Kevin has a broad background in space and space science education.  His 2016 debut science fiction novel Sleeper Protocol was a Finalist for the Colorado Book Award and was heralded as “an emotionally powerful debut” by Publisher’s Weekly. Kevin’s novels include Runs In The Family, Peacemaker, and Vendetta Protocol. He is an Active Member of SFWA and an alumnus of the Superstars Writing Seminar. Kevin lives in Colorado with his family and can be found online at www.kevinikenberry.com.

SCOTT A. JOHNSON

Scott is the author of horror novels, real ghost-guides, short stories, book reviews and other things. He is a teacher, a martial artist, and an all around fun guy. He’s also creepy as hell.

STEPHEN GRAHAM JONES

Stephen Graham Jones is the author of sixteen novels and six story collections, and, so far, one comic book. Stephen’s been an NEA recipient, has won the Texas Institute of Letters Award for Fiction and the Independent Publishers Award for Multicultural Fiction, has won a few This is Horror Awards, and he’s been a finalist for the Bram Stoker Award and the Shirley Jackson Award a few times each. He’s also made Bloody Disgusting’s Top Ten Horror Novels. Stephen lives in Boulder, Colorado.

SANDRA KATSURI

Sandra Kasturi is a poet, writer and editor, and the co-publisher of the World Fantasy Award-nominated and British Fantasy Award-winning press, ChiZine Publications. Born in Estonia to an Estonian mother and Sri Lankan father, she now lives in Canada. She is the co-founder (with Helen Marshall) of the Toronto SpecFic Colloquium and the national Chiaroscuro Reading Series. Sandra’s work has appeared in various venues, including ON SPEC, Prairie Fire, several Tesseracts anthologies, Evolve, Chilling Tales, A Verdant Green, TransVersions, ARC Magazine, Taddle Creek, Abyss & Apex, 80! Memories & Reflections on Ursula K. Le Guin, and Stamps, Vamps & Tramps. Her two poetry collections are: The Animal Bridegroom (with an intro by Neil Gaiman) and Come Late to the Love of Birds. She is currently working on two books: a new poetry collection called Snake Handling for Beginners, as well as a story collection, Mrs. Kong & Other Monsters. She is fond of gin & tonics, Michael Fassbender and red lipstick.

CAROLYN KEMP

Carolyn Kay enjoys writing about an eclectic variety of things, and imagining what normally inanimate objects would do if given life. She is currently collaborating with award-winning illustrator, Chaz Kemp, on the World of Ashelon, a series of novellas set in a steampunk fantasy world. When she’s not writing, she can be seen dancing with Batavia, a tribal fusion belly dance troupe, knitting or playing with her beloved cats. You can catch up on her latest shenanigans at carolynkayauthor.com.

CHAZ KEMP

Bram Stoker Award finalist Chaz Kemp embraces an Art Nouveau style that incorporates vibrancy and color into fantasy and steampunk art in a way that is rarely seen. As an illustrator, the influence of Alphonse Mucha is evident in his award-winning work that combines the artistic energy of the Roaring 20s with the untamed diversity of steampunk and fantasy. 

Chaz Kemp is a featured artist in steampunk legend Paul Roland’s book “Steampunk: Back to the Future with the New Victorians”. Amazing Stories magazine featured him in the November 2014 issue, and his work has been seen in other publications such as Steampunk Magazine, Savage Insider and Aurealis. Over the years Chaz has created art for game publishers, sci-fi/fantasy conventions and several book covers including the anthology Cthulhu Passant”  by Travis Heerman & the Oilman’s Daughter by Local Hero Press. In 2012, he illustrated his first graphic novel entitled Behind These Eyes written by Guy Anthony De Marco and Peter J. Wacks. The graphic novel was a Bram Stoker Award finalist.

  You can find his work at www.ChazKemp.com or better, become his patron at: www.Patreon.com/ChazKemp

BECKY LEJEUNE

LeJeune is a literary agent with the Bond Literary Agency. She is interested in adult and teen general fiction, horror, mystery/thriller, historical fiction, science fiction, and fantasy.

RICHARD MARSDEN

Richard Marsden is a History teacher, holds a Masters Degree in Land Warfare, courtesy AMU and is co-founder of the Phoenix Society of Historical Swordsmanship along with John Patterson. Richard has won numerous medals at Historical Fencing tournaments and so have his students as well as their students. He was President of the HEMA Alliance and holds HEMA Alliance Instructor Certification in Fiore Longsword, Giganti Rapier, and Polish Saber. He has taught classes on various historical fencing techniques at various events in North America. He is also the co-author of over fifty short stories, an RPG expansion for Savage Worlds as well as the author and publisher of several Historical European Martial Arts books.

SARA MEGIBOW

Sara Megibow is a literary agent with eleven years of experience in publishing, working with the K.T. Literary Agency. Sara specializes in working with authors in middle grade, young adult, romance, erotica, science fiction and fantasy and represents New York Times bestselling authors Roni Loren and Jason Hough and international bestselling authors Stefan Bachmann and Tiffany Reisz. Sara is LGBTQ-friendly and presents regularly at SCBWI and RWA events around the country.

ANNE RANDOLPH

Anne Randolph inspires, motivates and entertains authors as she helps bring out the best writing.

Whether you participate in the safe environment of a class, take a private session, or even write from home, her unique teaching style helps unlock your creativity in ways you never thought possible. You’ll be surprised at how easily you create. As the “Writing Muse”, Anne inspires writers to find the courage, craft and creativity to write the story of your life!

BRETT SAVORY

Brett Savory recently stepped down as the Co-Publisher of the World Fantasy and British Fantasy Award-winning ChiZine Publications so he could dedicate more time to writing. His title is now Editor/eBook Czar/Webmaster, so he apparently thinks he can hang on in the company simply by increasing the titles he holds. He’s had over 50 short stories published—some of those collected in No Further Messages—as well as three novels, A Perfect Machine, In and Down and The Distance Travelled. He’s halfway through his fourth novel, Lake of Spaces, Wood of Nothing, is the drummer for the metal band Ol’ Time Moonshine—who just released their first full-length album, The Apocalypse Trilogies: Space Wolf and Other Dark Tales on Salt of the Earth Records—and lives in Peterborough, ON, Canada with his wife, writer/editor/publisher Sandra Kasturi.

HENRY SNIDER

Henry Snider is a founding member of Fiction Foundry (est. 2012) and the award-winning Colorado Springs Fiction Writer’s Group (1996-2013). During the last two decades he’s dedicated his time to helping others tighten their writing through critique groups, classes, lectures, prison prose programs, and high school fiction contests. Thirteen years to the month from founding the group, he retired from the CSFWG presidency in January, 2009. After a much needed vacation he returned to the literary world. While still reserving enough time to pursue his own fiction aspirations, he continues to be active in the writing community through classes, editing services, and advice. Henry lives in Colorado with his wife, fellow author and editor Hollie Snider, son – poet Josh Snider and numerous neurotic animals, including, of course, Fizzgig, the token black cat. You can find out more about him at Fiction Foundry.

HOLLIE SNIDER

Hollie Snider is an Estonian-American in love with the written word. Her dark fantasy novel, For the Rank of Master, is due to be reprinted for the fourth time late 2017, with her newest project also heading to an agent by the end of the year. Her shorter fiction has appeared in anthologies including Carnival of the Damned, Forgotten Places (winning her the year’s Igor Award for Werhekau), and most recently Horrific Beginnings.

With a flair for editing, she’s credited with the anthologies Live and Let Undead, and The Wickeds. Snider sat on the award winning Colorado Springs Fiction Writers Group board as editor for ten years, owned both Swansong Editing and Strigidae Publishing before retiring to pursue her first passion – writing.

This child of the muses balances her time between writing, lecturing, and editing. When not at the keyboard, she’s usually shooting, spending time with her family, or exploring trails with her neurotic dogs.

You can find out more about her at Fiction Foundry.

LUCY A. SNYDER

Lucy A. Snyder is a five-time Bram Stoker Award-winning writer who is author of a dozen books and about 100 published short stories. Lucy’s fiction has been translated into French, Russian, Italian, Czech, Spanish, and Japanese editions. Her work has appeared in publications such as Asimov’s Science Fiction, Nightmare Magazine, Pseudopod, Strange Horizons, Apex Magazine, and Best Horror of the Year. She has a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Goddard College and is faculty in Seton Hill University’s MFA program in Writing Popular Fiction. You can learn more about her at www.lucysnyder.com and you can follow her on Twitter at @LucyASnyder.

CATHERINE SPADER

Catherine Spader is the award-winning author of the dark fantasy Wulfhedinn series. Her first novel, Feast of the Raven, won a first place EVVY award from the Colorado Independent Publishers Association. Her second novel, Return of the Wulfhedinn, was released in 2017. Both novels have received critical acclaim from Kirkus Reviews and BlueInk Review. Book three in the series will be published in 2018.

Catherine is a registered nurse specializing in emergency and trauma care for twenty years. She is a medical writer and editor publishing over 1000 medical and healthcare articles.

KAREN STOLLZNOW

Karen Stollznow is the author of Would You Believe It?; Hits & Mrs.; God Bless America; Language Myths, Mysteries and Magic and Haunting America. A host of the popular Monster Talk podcast, she has spent many years investigating psychics, ghosts, Bigfoot and other paranormal claims. A Doctor of Linguistics, she has taught at several universities in the United States and Australia, and was a Researcher at the University of California, Berkeley. Karen was born in Sydney, Australia, and she currently lives in Denver, Colorado, with her husband and son.

MORGEN LEIGH THOMAS, MA

Morgen Leigh began fabricating stories when she was three-years-old. At the age of six, she began putting her dark flights of fancy down on paper. A voracious reader as a youngster, Morgen spent entirely too much time with her nose stuck in a book and scaring the hell out of friends and family with her unsettling, dark tales. At the impressionable age of 11, she read Sybil and promptly struck out on a quest to learn everything there was to know about the human psyche, with an ever-deepening interest in the darker aspects of human behavior. This quest led her to pursue a double major in psychology and sociology at the University of Colorado, where she obtained a Master’s degree in sociology with an emphasis in social psychology and deviance – both topics she now teaches at the college and university level. Morgen’s fiction and creative non-fiction have appeared in Twilight Times, Apollo’s Lyre, The S’Peaker, The Lorelei Signal, and Mystic Signals. She is a university professor and yoga teacher specializing in adaptive yoga for people with disabilities. She is currently finishing a second novel, expanding a novelette, and outlining a third book.

CARRIE VAUGHN

Carrie Vaughn is best known for her New York Times bestselling series of novels about a werewolf named Kitty who hosts a talk radio show for the supernaturally disadvantaged.  Her latest novels include a near-Earth space opera, Martians Abroad, from Tor Books, and a post-apocalyptic murder mystery, Bannerless, from John Joseph Adams Books.  The sequel, The Wild Dead, will be out in 2018. She’s written several other contemporary fantasy and young adult novels, as well as upwards of 80 short stories, two of which have been finalists for the Hugo Award.  She’s a contributor to the Wild Cards series of shared world superhero books edited by George R. R. Martin and a graduate of the Odyssey Fantasy Writing Workshop.  An Air Force brat, she survived her nomadic childhood and managed to put down roots in Boulder, Colorado.  Visit her at www.carrievaughn.com.

SHELLY GOODMAN-WRIGHT

As a young, vicious reader, Shelly spent most of her time, either in the restricted reading section of the library, or scribbling away in journals.

Shelly’s first novel A Light into the Darkness earned a Puddly Award in 2013 and in 2015 was nominated for Family Fiction’s top ten books. In 2016, she completed and published her third novel in the Twisted Roots series and started teaching creative writing classes at High Country Home Educators.

Current project she is working on is an apocalyptic romance which can only be described as a cross between Left Behind and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.

Shelly lives in Colorado with her husband Tim, three daughters, two dogs, and three guinea pigs.

ZAINA

Zaina is a former Gorean slave. Trained in Old Guard traditions, as well as the more obscure Gorean, she spent several years in servitude before being freed (by mutual agreement) by her Master. During her years in the lifestyle, Zaina also learned to bellydance, and mastered the art of creating seductive dances with which to entertain her Master and His friends.