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Tamora PierceGuest of Honor

Tamora Pierce is a bestselling author of fantasy books for teenagers. Her books, known for their teenaged girl warriors and wizards, have received critical acclaim and a strong fanbase. She is now a #1 New York Times bestselling author and with Exile, the book she's writing now, she will have published thirty books.



Tom SmithMusic GoH

Tom Smith is NOT your ordinary comedy musician. With the lyrical complexity of Ashman and Sondheim, the vocal fireworks of Meat Loaf, the comedic timing of Robin Williams, and the dynamic physique of the Skipper from Gilligan's Island, the only thing he won't do is be boring.



Theresa MatherArt GoH

Theresa Mather's artwork explores a wide range of the fantasy bestiary, from traditional fauna like dragons, gryphons and unicorns to unusual versions of the creatures lurking within our own homes, keeping their true nature hidden from us. In addition to her fantasy art, she has also created full sets of replacement scenery paintings for several antique carousels. Best known for her pieces painted on feathers and stone, integrating her paintings with the natural colors and textures of the surface, Theresa draws much of her inspiration from the world around her. Theresa resides in the red rock country of southern Utah, where she enjoys hiking and exploring when she isn't painting or drawing.



Katherine KurtzSpecial Guest

Katherine Kurtz attended the University of Miami and, later, UCLA. She went on to work as a designer for the Los Angeles Police Academy. Her best-known work, the Deryni series, ranks near the top of modern fantasy fiction. Ms. Kurtz lives in a gothic revival house in County Wicklow, Ireland, with her husband, author Scott MacMillan. The third book of her Childe Morgan series, tentatively titled The King's Deryni is expected to be released in Spring 2014.



Other Guests

Danielle Ackley-McPhail

Danielle Ackley-McPhail's published works include five urban fantasy novels, Yesterday's Dreams, Tomorrow's Memories, Today's Promise, The Halfling's Court, and The Redcaps' Queen: A Bad-Ass Faerie Tale, and a young adult Steampunk novel, Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn, written with Day Al-Mohamed. She is also the author of the non-fiction writers guide, The Literary Handyman and is the senior editor of the Bad-Ass Faeries anthology series, Dragon's Lure, and In An Iron Cage. Her work is included in numerous other anthologies and collections.

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d.h. aire cover

D.H. Aire has walked the ramparts of the Old City of Jerusalem and through an escape tunnel out of a Crusader fortress that Richard the Lionheart once called home. He's toured archeological sites from diverse cultures that were hundreds, if not thousands of years old. experiences that have found expression in his writing of his Highmage's Plight Series.

D.H. Aire is the author of Highmage's Plight, Merchants and Mages, Human Mage, and Highmage (release date October 2014). A compilation of his short stories appear in the anthology, Flights of Fantasy, Vol. 1. His latest project is the first book in a Young Adult urban fantasy series, Dare2Believe, which has a tentative release date of summer 2015. Sample chapters are available on Wattpad.com.

D.H. Aire is originally from St. Louis, Missouri and currently resides in the Washington DC metropolitan area.

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Boys, Bats and Mermen; these are three of Tristan Alexander's favorite things. You will find one or a combination of any of these in much of his work. Those of you who are familiar with his work will recognize these elements from his paintings and drawings. He has been drawing all his life, and says he can't remember when he didn't draw. When he asked his mother "When did I start drawing?" her reply was "As soon as you could hold a pencil."

He has done many newsletter covers and award scrolls for the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism), as well as 3 cover for the Society wide magazine Tournaments Illuminated. He has also done book covers for Circlet Press and for several self published works such as Sally Finks Tales of the Lalloure. His work has appeared in fanzines and gaming modules for D&D and other fantasy gaming systems. He has been showing at East coast Cons over the past 30 years and has built something of a reputation, mostly for his nude males and obvious homosexual overtones. His Steampunk airships and Japanese Print style fantasy works have been well recived in the past few years. He has been doing commission work for most of his life and is always happy to do pictures to order.

He lives with his husband Don and their 4 cats in Westminster, MD. They celebrated 30 years together in August.

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D. Glenn Arthur Jr.

D. Glenn Arthur Jr. tried for years to strike a balance between FIAWOL and FIJAGDH before giving up and going to the FIAWOL side a few decades ago. A multi-instrumentalist and sometimes filker, Glenn plays with The Homespun Ceilidh Band and has organized the Regency Ball pick-up band for Darkover in the past, and hallway blues-jam sessions at various conventions, as well as doing early music, blues/classic rock, and musical theatre ... and on one occasion appeared as a dancing clam. At filk conventions, Glenn brings extra instruments to lend out and for show-and-tell.

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Charles Butler is the chair of the Mythic track. He has been writing historical fiction for about 20 years and reads lots of SF & Fantasy. He is a playwright, singer, and signer. He works with Wicca and Santeria prisoners. He is versed in Tarot, divination, magic and prayer and is currently enrolled at the Howard University School of Divinity.

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Margaret L. Carter

Margaret L. Carter specializes in vampires, having been marked for life by reading Dracula at the age of twelve. Her vampire novel Dark Changeling won an Eppie Award in the horror category in 2000. Other creatures she writes about include werewolves, dragons, ghosts, and Lovecraftian entities with tentacles. In addition to her horror, fantasy, and paranormal romance fiction, she has had several non-fiction books and articles published on the supernatural in literature. With her husband, retired Navy Captain Leslie Roy Carter, she has collaborated on a sword-and-sorcery trilogy, beginning with Wild Sorceress. Her recent works include Legacy Of Magic (a prequel to the trilogy), Passion In The Blood (a vampire romance), Bear Hugs (an erotic romance shapeshifter novella), and Sealing The Dark Portal (a paranormal romance with Lovecraftian elements). Explore love among the monsters at her website, Carter's Crypt: http://www.margaretlcarter.com.

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Carl Cipra

Carl Cipra started reading F&SF in his pre-teen years and has been hooked ever since. He became involved with Fandom back in the 1970s (by way of the SCA in Southern California) and is one of the founding members of Lambda Sci-Fi: DC Area Gaylaxians. He really enjoys moderating discussion panels at conventions and is looking forward to all the fascinating discussions at Chessiecon this year. Mundanely, Carl is the program manager for instructor-training in a much-maligned, three-letter Government agency.

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Elizabeth Corrigan is the author of the "Earthbound Angels" urban fantasy series, which features angels and demons and Judeo-Christian mythology, from Red Adept Publishing. In addition, she is self-publishing her second fantasy series, "Valeriel Investigations," which takes place in a 1950s-style kingdom. She is interested in the ins and outs, advantages and disadvantages, myths and facts about being an independent author, as well as heroines in fantasy (both series feature strong female leads) and atypical world-building.

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Vonnie Winslow Crist

Vonnie Winslow Crist, BS Art-Ed, MS Professional Writing, Towson University, is author of The Enchanted Skean (YA fantasy novel), The Greener Forest and Owl Light (YA-friendly speculative story collections), River of Stars and Essential Fables (myth-based poetry collections), Leprechaun Cake & Other Tales (children's book), and several sf/f eBooks. A Pushcart Nominee and Compton Crook Award Finalist, she's received awards from Maryland State Arts Council, Pen Women, L. Ron Hubbard's Writers of the Future, and elsewhere. Her paintings have appeared on the covers of FrostFire Worlds, Bards & Sages Quarterly, Aoife's Kiss, Spaceports & Spidersilk, Illumen, Scifaikuest, Lower Than The Angels, and Through A Glass Darkly. This year, a calendar featuring her art was issued by Alban Lake Publishing. Believing the world is full of mystery, miracles, and magic, Vonnie celebrates the power of myth in her writing and art.

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Harrison Demchick

Harrison Demchick came up in the world of small press publishing, working along the way on more than two dozen published novels and memoirs, several of which have been optioned for film. An expert in manuscripts as diverse as young adult, science-fiction, fantasy, mystery, literary fiction, women's fiction, memoir, and everything in-between, Harrison is known for quite possibly the most detailed and informative editorial letters in the industry-if not the entire universe.

Harrison is also an award-winning, twice-optioned screenwriter, and the author of literary horror novel The Listeners (Bancroft Press, 2012). He's currently accepting new clients in fiction and memoir at Ambitious Enterprises.

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Rosemary Edghill is an American writer and editor. She has collaborated in writing fiction with Andre Norton, Mercedes Lackey, and the late Marion Zimmer Bradley. Her books with Andre Norton include Shadow of Albion and Leopard in Exile. Her books with Mercedes Lackey include Spirits White as Lightning and Mad Maudlin. Both of the latter titles refer to Tom o'Bedlam

Rosemary cites a wide variety of authors as her influences. Mark Twain, John Le Carre, Ian Fleming, Dashiell Hammett, Kipling, Poe, Robert A. Heinlein, and Lovecraft are just a few.

Rosemary lives in upstate New York with cats and King Charles Spaniels. She trains and shows her dogs in obedience competitions.

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Mary Fan is the author of the "Jane Colt" sci-fi series (from Red Adept Publishing), the "Flynn Nightsider" young adult dystopian fantasy series (from Glass House Press), and the "Fated Stars" high fantasy series (from Glass House Press). Her interests include religion and philosophy in sci-fi, artificial intelligence, dystopias, music in fiction (she's a classically trained musician and composer), and fairy tales. In addition, she cares about diversity (or lack thereof) in fiction and what it's like being a minority author.

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Kelly A Harmon

Kelly A Harmon used to write truthful, honest stories about authors and thespians, senators and statesmen, movie stars and murderers. Now she writes lies, which is infinitely more satisfying, but lacks the convenience of doorstep delivery.

Stoned in Charm City, the first of Ms. Harmon's new urban fantasy series, Charm City Darkness, was released in May. A Favor for a Fiend, the second book in the series, will be available in November. Her award-winning novella, Blood Soup, is available electronically, re-released by Pole to Pole Publishing.

Ms. Harmon's short fiction appears in many acclaimed and award-winning anthologies including Deep Cuts: Mayhem, Menace, & Misery, Triangulation: Dark Glass, Bad Ass Fairies 3: In All Their Glory, and Hellbore & Rue. Her story Lies short-listed for the Aeon, Ireland's Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Award.

Ms. Harmon is a former magazine and newspaper reporter and editor. She has published articles at SciFi Weekly, eArticles, and many other magazines and newspapers in the U.S. and abroad. Read more about Ms. Harmon at her Web site: http://kellyaharmon.com.

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Cathy Hird

Cathy Hird is a shepherd and a weaver. She runs a small sheep farm with her family, and she shepherds a congregation of the United Church of Canada near Toronto, Ontario. Cathy weaves tapestries and stoles, and she tells stories that pull together the threads of life and glimpses of wisdom.

Her YA fantasy novel Moon of the Goddess set in ancient Greece was published in 2013.

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Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. is a Vertebrate Paleontologist and a Senior Lecturer with the Department of Geology at the University of Maryland. He is also the Faculty Director for the Science & Global Change Program, College Park Scholars. Mr. Holtz's research interests include: Phylogeny and functional morphology of the theropod dinosaurs, Ecomorphology of terrestrial predators, Cursoriality and terrestrial locomotion, Mesozoic biogeography, Functional character complexes and homoplasy, and Phylogenetic taxonomy of the theropod dinosaurs. Many of his papers have appeared in professional publications.

Tom Holtz has made science fictional appearances in two of Michael Swanwick's works: the short short story Proving Dr. Tom's Hypothesis and his novel Bones of the Earth. Mr. Holtz also appeared in Parry and Carney, Friends for Life, a dinosaur-based webcomic by former UMd student Mike Keesey, Doctor Fun's Cartoons, and Charley Parker's Dinosaur Cartoons.

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Homespun Ceilidh Band

With one foot in fandom, another foot in the SCA, and the other foot in traditional Celtic music (picture the three-legged Manx flag here), The Homespun Ceilidh Band has been playing Celtic music -- Irish, Manx, Welsh, Galician, etc., with a special emphasis on Scottish -- since 1993, mostly in the DC area. Larger than most Celtic bands, they mostly play lively dance tunes -- reels, jigs, strathspeys, and polkas -- and welcome audiences to get up and dance, or just clap along. Non Gaelic speakers may be relieved to know that "ceilidh" is pronounced kay-lee and means a kind of social gathering with music and dancing.

In addition to their two albums of Celtic music The Homespun Ceilidh Band has recorded a CD of music from the American Civil War.

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John Huff

John Huff grew up in a house where music was a pretty common commodity. His mother played piano and sang and his eldest sister was heading in the direction of a concert pianist. Little did he know that his father played guitar (he kept it well hidden) in a swing band put together from fellow crewman on his various naval vessels he crewed on.

In grade school John learned to play the clarinet and piano accordion, but when he entered high school he discovered those weren't "cool" instruments so he dropped them. It was in 1972, five years after the summer of love, that John got his hands on a guitar for the first time; it was love at first bite. After that he learned to play five string banjo, tenor banjo, concertina, bass guitar, mandolin and in the last few years violin and fiddle.

So, how does this wind up to John playing at sci-fi cons?

A couple of years later (the fall of '74) John and his buds, who were also freaks of folk music, science fiction, photography, and model rocketry learned that the 32nd annual World Science Fiction Convention was to be held in Washington D.C.. To make a long story short the lead to John learning about filk, to getting into medievalism (through model rocketry no less), to meeting his future wife, forming Clam Chowder, to getting into raising and training whippets to living the life of humble artisans in southern PA.

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Casey Jones

Casey Jones is the author of All Fall Down and co-author of The Intrinsic, both released by Arcana Studio. He wrote, produced, and directed The Yellow Brick Monologues in New York City, a full-length comedy based on The Wizard of Oz. His first two screenplays, Say a Prayer for Emily Hall and My Neighbor's A Supervillain, had readings in New York and were optioned for two years. Both scripts are registered with the WGA. In 2013, he wrote 100 short stories in 100 days, and has sold the film rights and screenplay to one of these stories. In addition to his voice-over work, he currently edits and formats screenplays, and is writing screenplays for small production companies in LA.

You can see more of his work at www.caseyjonescaseyjones.com, and you can reach him at caseyjonescaseyjones@gmail.com.

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Heather Rose Jones

Heather Rose Jones saw her debut historic fantasy novel Daughter of Mystery published by Bella Books this year, with the sequel The Mystic Marriage forthcoming in April 2015. Readers may already be familiar with her "Skinsinger" series in the Sword and Sorceress anthology series. She turns a lifelong love of history and language into fiction, while paying the bills as an industrial discrepancy investigator for Big Pharma.

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Stephen Kozeniewski is the author of two well-received zombie novels (Braineater Jones from Red Adept Publishing and The Ghoul Archipelago from Severed Press) and is under contract for several science fiction and horror novels with Permuted Press. In addition to being an expert on all things horror-related, Steve is also a skilled humorist and can talk about infusing comedy into even the darkest of tales. And as an army veteran, he can also speak about the military, both in the real world and how it's depicted in fiction.

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Timothy Liebe is the husband of and Site Administrator for popular YA fantasy novelist Tamora Pierce, as well as her co-author on Marvel Comics' White Tiger miniseries. As an actor, he appeared in original audio productions for NPR and the Pacifica Network; in audio dramatizations of Robert Heinlein's The Star Beast, Shannon Hale's Enna Burning, Geraldine McCaughrean's myth retellings of Odysseus, Thesus and Hercules, and in Tamora Pierce's Circule of Magicseries,The Will of the Empress" and original audio novel Melting Stones; as well as in cult classic movies Shock! Shock! Shock! and Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. As an independent video/filmmaker, he has helped directed and produce numerous independent projects. He is currently finishing up co-writing the Tortall Companion Guide, available in 2015.

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Tamar Lindsay has read old and new SF and Fantasy since the mid-1950s. She prefers lighter fantasy.

She began serious work in 1978 on spiritual development via eclectic mystery work, including sacred geometry, labyrinths, esoteric brain mapping, and consciousness work at conventions and retreats. She has read Tarot since 1967.

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Karen MacLeod

Karen MacLeod's editing credentials go back to 1977, working on various amateur writers' editing projects and freelance editing of various novels for Jacqueline Lichtenberg and Jean Lorrah. Karen has edited several award-winning novels for clients and publishers over the years.

Karen has also been the editorial consultant for Sime~Gen Inc. since 1996, working with manuscripts and posting information and novels to the Internet. Karen is also currently the Assistant Webmaster for the domain of Simegen.com, where responsibilities include constructing and maintaining web pages, and editor in residence for the domain's WorldCrafters Guild School.

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D.C. McLaughlin

D.C. McLaughlin just became a published author in 2013. Her first book is a vampire novel, Deadly Conversations, which resembles the original "Dark Shadows". Her second book, Wanderling's Choice, is a novella retelling of the old "Beauty & the Beast" tale - with dragons.

D.C. McLaughlin, a veterinary technician from York county Pa., lives with her husband of fifteen years on a small farm with three Haflinger horses, a flock of chickens, several cats, a retired greyhound and thirteen corn snakes. When not caring for the animals, she participates in historical re-enactments and studies Middle Eastern dance.

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Glen Raphael

Glen Raphael is a nerd-folk performer of funny songs on such topics as quantum physics, bedbugs, gorillas, and the Statue of Liberty's mid-life crisis. He has been featured on the Doctor Demento Show and headlined such variety shows as TinyDangerousFun, the Earworm Funny Music Project, The Kong Show, and Bindlestiff Family Circus. His efforts have won "Best Original Song" at NCSA events and "Iron Filker" at OVFF. Glen has also spun fire at Burning Man with the Temple of Poi, performed tricks on vertical silk for New York Circus Arts, and drove on a fake freeway for the filming of Matrix Reloaded.

Quotes:
"Glen's songs are unique and hilarious." -Nicole Dieker (Hello, The Future!)
"Clever lyrics, singable melodies, excellent guitar skills: love it!" -Jen Carlson Midkiff (OVFF)

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Roberta Rogow writes Historical Mysteries, although she sometimes makes up her own history. Her most recent book is Mayhem in Manatas, in which a reluctant sleuth must solve a murder and stop a war in a Manhattan Island that never was and never will be (think Last of the Mohegans meets Arabian Nights with a Spanish accent). Roberta is also known as a filker; she was inducted into the Filk Hall of Fame in 2013. In her Mundane life, Roberta is retired after a 37-year career as a Children's Librarian in public libraries in New Jersey.

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Don Sakers was launched the same month as Sputnik One, so it was perhaps inevitable that he should become a science fiction writer. A Navy brat by birth, he spent his childhood in such far-off lands as Japan, Scotland, Hawaii, and California. In California, rather like a latter-day Mowgli, he was raised by dogs.

As a writer and editor, he has explored the thoughts of sapient trees (The Leaves of October), brought ghosts to life (Carmen Miranda's Ghost is Haunting Space Station Three), and beaten the "Cold Equations" scenario ("The Cold Solution," Analog 7/91, voted best short story of the year.) He's best known for his Scattered Worlds series.

Since 2009, Don has been the book reviewer for Analog Science Fiction & Fact, where he writes the "Reference Library" column in every issue.

Don lives at Meerkat Meade in suburban Baltimore with his spouse, costumer Thomas Atkinson.

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Kathleen Sobansky

Kathleen Sobansky spent most of her young life reading science fiction and looking for people to sing in harmony with. Soon after moving to Maryland in 1977, she found John Huff, Bob Esty and Don Stallone in the Markland Militia, and shortly after THAT, Clam Chowder was born, under the escalators at the Hunt Valley Inn, at Balticon 1978. The rest is history. Though Clam Chowder is now retired, making her a Clam Emerita, she still cherishes her passions for music and science fiction. She is married to her other passion, resident lawyer and poker maven Ed Sobansky, aka Igor Bear.

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Michelle Sonnier

Michelle D. Sonnier is an urban fantasy writer who specializes in the dark side, some might even say she jumps over the line into horror on occasion. The characters in her stories are rarely purely good or purely evil; itís the gray areas that fascinate her. She has a collection of short stories, Charmed City: 13 Tales of the Peculiar and Obscure, available now. Her work has also appeared in Tales of the Talisman magazine and Allegory eZine, as well as multiple anthologies from Samís Dot Publications and more recently Malicious Deviance from The Library of the Living Dead and Dia de Los Muertos: A Day of the Dead Anthology from Elektrik Milk Bath Press.

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Brent Warner

Brent Warner works in the space industry as a thermal engineer. (That means that he does heating and air conditioning in space.) He has been fascinated with airplanes since childhood, and his first airplane ride was in a Ford Trimotor back when that type was in scheduled airline service.

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Esther Wheelmaker

Esther Wheelmaker is a novelist and a lover of gadgets, writing, mysteries, and an avid reader. Her paranormal steampunk romance, Zombiepunk Series, is coming up on its second book, Dealing Death, and there is still more on the way! While taking the past two years to build this new steampunk world, Esther as done lots of hands on research such as experiencing flight, sensory deprivation, and much more to really master the art of bringing her descriptions to life for the reader. With a Bachelor's degree in Fiction Writing from George Mason University and her on going learning of the art of writing, Esther believes she can truly help others master their own art and love of writing.

With the support of her family, friends, dog (Sherlock) and cat (Ahmeemotep) she is more than happy to give her readers exactly what they want in her books.adventure.

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Richard C. White

Richard C. White is the author of the For a Few Gold Pieces More collection of dark fantasy short stories for Musa Publishing. Additionally, his newest novel, On Wings of Steel, is part of the "Darkside Codex", a shared world project that he helped create for Musa will be released this year. His first middle-grade short story, The Wisp Hunter, came out in the Fall 2013 "Creatures of the Dark Woods" issue of Spellbound Magazine.

Along with writing speculative fiction, Rich has been bitten by the "New Pulp" bug and has released several stories through Pro Se Productions. The first, "Notes in the Fog", was released in Charles Boeckman Presents: Johnny Nickle in May 2013. Additionally scheduled for 2014 is Chasing Danger: The Case Files of Theron Chase (a fantasy noir), Strikeforce: Falcon (an action/adventure series set in WWII), and Crossed Swords, a tale set in the days of the Musketeers, which will appear in the All for One anthology.

He also is a media tie-in writer, having written for Star Trek, Doctor Who, and The Incredible Hulk. His novel, Gauntlet Dark Legacy: Paths of Evil, was the best-selling tie-in for his publisher in 2004.

Richard is also active in writing organizations, being a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers. Additionally, Richard serves on the Writer Beware committee for SFWA.

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Jan Whiteley

Jan Whiteley is a lifelong science fiction and fantasy reader, with a great love of the writing craft. A long-time attendee of Darkovercon, she is looking forward with great relish to the first Chessiecon manifestation. There, Jan (who is also a member of the ECKANKAR clergy) hopes to moderate some panels and lead all those interested in a HU chant. HU is a word of peace and protection that individuals of any faith can use to strengthen their connection with the Life Force.

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M. Woodling has long been interested in urban legends and local folklore--knowing full well that not all the interesting creatures in the world reside in far away places. She is a member of both Free Spirit Alliance (founded in 1986) and Chesapeake Pagan Community (formed in 2003). She has also been following the Chessie folklore since hearing about the rash of sightings in 1977 on the local TV news.

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