The Writer’s Edge welcomes guest panelists whose experience or expertise in particular topics or genres enrich our discussions.
Our guest panelists are featured here in alphabetical order for easy navigation. Visit their sites, find out more about them, get in touch with them—and let them know you found them through The Writer’s Edge!
In 2014, Adam Dreece stopped hoping to be an author one day. Since then, he’s written his best-selling, 5 part steampunk meets fairy tale series, The Yellow Hoods, introduced the world to his science fiction side with The Man of Cloud 9, and brought out his all action, post-apocalyptic fantasy side in The Wizard Killer.
These days, the multi-award finalist author is working on kicking off his fantasy space-opera series, Tilruna, with an initial installment that will pull from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, called Tilruna: Fall of House Andes, due this fall.
Alexander Maxwell was born and raised in Africa in the Seventies and Eighties. In the Nineties, he moved to London, England, before travelling around the world. Home has always been where his heart is, and now his heart dwells in southwestern Cornwall.
He writes poetry, having published his first collection A Passive Silhouette Spine in 2015. His hobbies are surfing, photography, design and a simple way of life. He is the creator of POEM KUBILI.
Alicia Sophia is a 30-something punk rocker from Pittsburgh who followed her heart to the west coast, where she majored in creative writing. She runs on caffeine and obscene language and still dresses like she did in high school. Alicia has been writing since she could pick up a pencil, and plans to pass away with a pen in her hand.
Anaïs Chartschenko is a poet, singer, and artist who hails from the Canadian wilderness. She has come to enjoy such modern things as electric tea kettles. Her published works include two collections of poetry, Bright Needles and The Whisper Collector as well as a novel in verse, The Weightless One.
Andy is, first and foremost, a storyteller and an artist–words are his palette. Fantasy is his genre of choice, and he loves to explore the darker side of human nature through the filter of fantasy heroes, villains, and everything in between. Andy is also a freelance writer, a book lover, and a guy who just loves to meet new people and spend hours talking about my fascination for the worlds he encounters in the pages of fantasy novels.
Axel Howerton is the Arthur Ellis Award nominated author of the detective caper Hot Sinatra; the modern gothic fairytale Furr; the zombie novella Living Dead at Zigfreid & Roy; and the noir fable Con Morte. His forthcoming Wolf & Devil urban fantasy series kicks off with Demon Days in February 2018.
When he’s not on-duty as a “purveyor of literary badassery” and“hometown anti-hero”, this punch-drunk Canadian author wanders the foothills of Southern Alberta with his two brilliant sons, and a wife that is way out of his league. Follow Axel on Twitter: @AxelHow FB: AxelHow or visit www.axelhow.com.
David Ellis is an award winning author of poetry, fiction and music lyrics. His debut poetry book Life, Sex & Death—A Poetry Collection Vol 1 is an International Award winning volume, having won an award in the Readers’ Favorite 2016 Book Award Contest for Inspirational Poetry Books. Think of him like the thriller genre in that he is fast paced, relentless and impossible to put down! His website (see below) contains Creativity Advice for budding novelists and writers. He also conducts free Author Interviews. David is extremely fond of cats and dogs but not snakes. Indiana Jones is his spirit animal. He currently resides in a sleepy town in South East Kent in the UK.
Edward Willett is an award-winning author of science fiction, fantasy and non-fiction for both children and adults. Willett is the author or co-author of more than 50 books, ranging from computer books and children’s non-fiction books to science fiction and fantasy for both adults and young adults.
Eileen Cook is a multi-published author with her novels appearing in eight languages. Her books have been optioned for film and TV. She spent most of her teen years wishing she were someone else or somewhere else, which is great training for a writer. Her newest book, THE HANGING GIRL, came out in October 2017. She’s an instructor/mentor with the Simon Fraser University Writer’s Studio Program.
Eileen lives in Vancouver with her husband and two very naughty dogs and no longer wishes to be anyone or anywhere else.
Elle Viviani lives in The Sunshine State with her husband and dog, who both love the beach but not the humidity. She writes steamy slow burns that feature smart leading ladies and alpha men. Her characters tend to be enemies before finally getting wise, which results in plenty of hilarity and awkward situations.
Elle also enjoys drawing readers into different and exciting careers. Whether it’s strutting down the red carpet in Hollywood, or fishing for lobsters in Maine, you can expect a fun and all-new backdrop every time. Check out the While I Was Writing segment in the back of her books for a behind-the-scenes look at each one.
Ellen Michelle is the owner and book reviewer at Scribbles, Quibbles, and Scrawlings. SQS Reviews is a Canadian book review blog that features Canadian books, authors, and artists working in science fiction, fantasy, crime, mystery, and horror. Ellen also works as a freelance editor, specializing in the same genres, and is a current student in Simon Fraser University’s Master of Publishing program. The blog will be expanding later this year as Ellen launches her new business venture—stay tuned for the official announcement this summer!
G.W. Renshaw has led a varied life: Soldier, forest ranger, retail slave, computer programmer, medieval recreationist, spelunker, mountain climber, security specialist, search and rescue manager, actor, martial arts instructor, film and TV writer, and novelist.
He lives in Calgary, Alberta with his lovely wife, a young padawan, and Romulus the cat.
Heidi Cullinan has always enjoyed a good love story, provided it has a happy ending. Proud to be from the first Midwestern state with full marriage equality, Heidi writes positive-outcome romances for LGBT characters struggling against insurmountable odds because she believes there’s no such thing as too much happy ever after. Heidi is a two-time RITA® finalist and her books have been recommended by Library Journal, USA Today, RT Magazine, and Publisher’s Weekly. When Heidi isn’t writing, she enjoys cooking, reading romance and manga, playing with her cats, and watching too much anime.
J.B Taylor has authored numerous short stories, and penned a novella. He lives to write and writes to live. His books span every genre, and his latest – Jon Archer – tackles one he was born to write: comedy.
J.B. Taylor lives in Indiana with his three dogs and rescue cat.
JD is fascinated by words. You see, as a kid, he always dreamed of being an inventor. He just had no idea he’d end up doing it using words. JD is also fascinated by human connections and the human condition. That’s why his blog exists (link below) and that’s something central to his writing, being novels, poetry, fiction or just your average blog post. The human connection is where we can all meet, grow and become better people.
Jackie Carr started writing in middle school. He daydreamed about a different world, and that was how the concept of Martyr was formed. He wrote down the first few sentences on paper (computers were still nonexistent to me at the time) and proceeded to fill up an entire notebook with my idea.
In his late 20s, Jackie returned to what had first inspired him to write: this story he had developed in middle school.
Everyone has regrets in their life; stories they wanted to tell, things they wanted to experience. Jackie didn’t want Martyr (and all my stories to follow) to be a “regret”, never known to the world. That’s his motivation for writing.
I’m an author and photographer from West Michigan. I’ve worked more jobs in more fields than I can remember. Sometimes I blame it on my ADD, others, on an insatiable quest for knowledge. Currently I work at a veterinary clinic, helping animals of all kinds. I have a beautiful wife and four fantastic children. My K-9 crew consists of two pugs, an English bulldog, Chihuahua, and an annoying dachshund. That’s not all though, my house is basically a zoo. We also have birds, fish, guinea pigs, and – well, I forget the rest. When I’m done playing with the dogs and tucking the kids into bed, I creep down into the basement, where my umbrella cockatoo, Bella whispers in my ear like a demonic muse, forcing me to explore the paranormal world inside my head.
Raised in the Appalachian hills of southeastern Kentucky, Jason Sizemore is a three-time Hugo Award-nominated editor, writer, and publisher who operates the genre press Apex Publications. He is the author of a collection of dark science fiction and horror shorts titled Irredeemable and the tell-all creative nonfiction For Exposure: The Life and Times of a Small Press Publisher. He currently lives in Lexington, KY.
Jenna (Butrenchuk) Greene is a writer from Alberta, Canada. She is also a middle school teacher, so writing is not just a career, but a path to sanity! Jenna recieved both her Bachelor of Arts in English and her Bachelor of Education from the University of Lethbridge.
Jim Christina is certainly no stranger to the entertainment world. For years he played with a popular acoustic vocal group in the Seattle/Tacoma area in Washington State. The band Sundown became a name in the field until Jim moved back to Southern California. In 2008 Jim began writing a series of books about an Arizona Man Hunter in the 1880’s which has now snowballed into 11 novels and coming. With titles like “Requiem for an Appaloosa”, “The Dark Angel”, “Contraband Cowboys”, “Taggert” and “Still Waters”, any lover of western stories would appreciate the realism and grit these novels contain.
Having been a frequent guest on ‘Around the Barn’ with Bobbi Bell and Nancy Zee, Jim quickly picked up on the tempo and immediacy of live radio. So, with conversations with Bobbi Bell to join him as Co-Host and Russ Aveson (no stranger to talk radio either) to come in as occasional guest host, he decided to launch “The Writer’s Block” a series of conversations with writers of fiction, non fiction, music, poetry, history and, well pretty much whatever people write and for what reasons. Wanting to keep the format loose and fun, Bobbi and Jim opted for a relaxed format to allow the writer to express themselves in their own way, with Jim and Bobbi steering the course. Jim and Bobbi think this is a wonderful opportunity to allow writers their say, the audience to learn what makes the writers tick and let the public know where they are going in the future.
Joy Norstrom is a Canadian coffee addict. She also happens to be the author of Out Of Play, a women’s fiction novel long on humour and short on romance. She enjoys hiking with family, wine with friends and reading late into the wee hours when she should be asleep.
A social worker by trade, Joy also writes short stories about lives in transition. Whether she is championing inclusion, parenting her kidlets or popping into the local coffee shop, she can generally be found engaged in conversation. Why? She believes human connection and laughter keep her grounded in a muddled world.
Katherine Dell is a young adult fiction author fascinated by the supernatural and the stories that surround them. She began her writing endeavours in 2011 when she wanted to reinvent herself from her previous career as an event planner. When she’s not writing, she can be found in cold hockey arenas sipping coffee, working on her tan at little league games, or trying to keep her dog out of her many gardens. She lives with her husband, two boys, and fur babies, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Host of the Indie YouTube Talk show, Spilling Ink, nerd, Doctor Who fangirl, Las Vegas Native, and SuperMom to three awesome kids, Katie gives new meaning to the term sleep-deprived.
Since 2010 she’s penned four bestselling book series: the Immortalis, Olde Town Pack, Little Werewolf, and the RONE award-winning Chronicles of the Uprising. And as her not-so-secret alter ego, Rozlyn Sparks, she is a USA Today bestselling author of romance with a naughty side.
Kelsey Rae Barthel
Kelsey Rae Barthel grew up in the quiet town of Hay Lakes in Alberta, a sleepy place of only 500 people. Living in such a calm setting gave her a lot of spare time to imagine grand adventures of magic and danger, inspired by the comic books and anime she enjoyed. Upon graduating high school, Kelsey moved to Edmonton and eventually began working in the business of airline cargo, but she never stopped imagining those adventures. Beyond the Code is her first novel.
As a pollster and market research consultant, KG MacGregor’s workday was filled with statistical and qualitative analysis. Evenings brought out her creative side, all rising from her infatuation with Xena: Warrior Princess fan fiction. In 2005, she signed with Bella Books, which published the Golden Crown finalist Just This Once. Her sixth Bella novel, Out of Love, won the Lambda Literary Award for Women’s Romance and the Golden Crown Award in Lesbian Romance. She picked up Goldies also for Without Warning, Worth Every Step and Photographs of Claudia(Contemporary Romance), along with Secrets So Deep, Playing with Fuego and T-Minus Two (Romantic Suspense/Intrigue/Adventure).
Other honors include the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Royal Academy of Bards, the Alice B. Readers Appreciation Medal, and several Readers Choice Awards.
An avid supporter of queer literature, KG currently serves as President of the Board of Trustees for Lambda Literary.
A consistent Top 100 lists bestseller, Kit Morgan, aka Geralyn Beauchamp, has been writing for fun all of her life. When writing as Geralyn Beauchamp, her books are epic, adventurous, romantic fantasy at its best. When writing as Kit Morgan they are whimsical, fun, inspirational sweet stories that depict a strong sense of family and community. ‘His Prairie Princess’ is the first of the Prairie Brides books and the first in the series of a long line of stories about Clear Creek, Oregon. One of the whackiest little towns in the old west! Get to know the townsfolk in Clear Creek and come sit a spell!
Born in Toronto, Canada, KJ enjoyed a nomadic lifestyle during her early years, living in Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and the Caribbean, which gave her an insider’s view into many different cultures. While abroad, she read every book she could find, which triggered in her a desire to create her own stories.
In preparation for writing THE FREEDOM BROKER series, which focuses on elite kidnap negotiator Thea Paris, KJ spent extensive time researching the dark world of kidnapping. She has interviewed former hostages, negotiators, hostage reintegration experts, special forces operatives, and K&R insurance executives.
Konn Lavery is a Canadian horror and dark fantasy writer who is known for his Mental Damnationseries. The second book, Dream, reached the Edmonton Journal’s top five selling fictional books list. He started writing fantasy stories at a very young age while being home schooled. It wasn’t until graduating college that he began professionally pursuing his work with his first release, Reality. Since then he has continued to write works of fiction ranging from fantasy to horror.
USA Today and Amazon Bestselling Author, Kris Michaels is the alter ego of a happily married wife and mother. She writes romance, usually with characters from military and law enforcement backgrounds.
Kris was born and raised in South Dakota. She graduated many years ago from a high school class consisting of 13 students (yes that is thirteen, eleven girls and two boys… lucky boys). She joined the military, met her husband, and traveled the world. Today she lives on the Gulf Coast and writes full time.
Ksenia Anske was born in Moscow, Russia, and came to the US in 1998. She is the author of dark fantasy short fiction and 7 novels, and the winner of Amtrak Residency Program 2015. Her novel Rosehead won Honorary Mention in the YA Category in the Indie Ebook Award 2016. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, and when she’s not reading, she’s scaring other writers into writing or terrifying unsuspecting readers into reading her nightmarish books. She lives in Seattle with her partner Royce Daniel and her son Peter.
Libi Astaire is the author of the award-winning Jewish Regency Mystery Series, in which wealthy-widower-turned-sleuth Mr. Ezra Melamed teams up with General Well’ngone and the Earl of Gravel Lane – the leaders of a gang of young Jewish pickpockets – to solve crimes affecting Regency London’s Jewish community. Although she has been fascinated by English history since she was a child, anyone who has seen her attempts at gardening will know she grew up “across the pond.”
She is also the author of “Terra Incognita,” a novel about the crypto-Jews of Spain; “The Banished Heart,” a novel about Shakespeare’s writing of “The Merchant of Venice”; and “Day Trips to Jewish History,” a collection of essays about lesser-known people and places in Jewish history. Last, but certainly not least, her retelling of Chassidic tales has been published in the box set “Choose Light! Chassidic Tales for Chanukah, Rosh Hashanah, Sukkos, Passover & Shavuos.”
Lucy A. Snyder
Lucy A. Snyder is a five-time Bram Stoker Award-winning author. She wrote the novels Spellbent, Shotgun Sorceress, and Switchblade Goddess, the nonfiction book Shooting Yourself in the Head for Fun and Profit: A Writer’s Survival Guide, and the collections While the Black Stars Burn, Soft Apocalypses, Orchid Carousals, Sparks and Shadows, Chimeric Machines, and Installing Linux on a Dead Badger. Her writing has been translated into French, Russian, Italian, Czech, and Japanese editions and has appeared in publications such as Apex Magazine, Nightmare Magazine, Pseudopod, Strange Horizons, Weird Tales, Scary Out There, Seize the Night, and Best Horror of the Year. She lives in Columbus, Ohio and is faculty in Seton Hill University’s MFA program in Writing Popular Fiction. You can learn more about her at http://www.lucysnyder.com and you can follow her on Twitter at @LucyASnyder.
Michael J Elliott
Michael J Elliott was writing stories since his early schooldays and was described by his school principal as “A Second Alfred Hitchcock”. He lives in a bayside suburb in the State of Victoria, Australia. When he isn’t writing tales to terrify readers, he’s often uploading new content to his YouTube channel, The Dark Realm Diaries. It’s a channel for lovers of horror/thriller fans. It features book and movie reviews, trivia and myths and legends from around the world.
Visit our Friends page to learn more about Mickey’s publicity company, Creative Edge, or go directly to his website and social media below.
Author Miranda Oh is your typical girl: She loves the sunset, long walks on the beach, world travels, and when not playing the corporate part she can be found sipping wine and spending all her hard-earned money on nice shoes.Among her friends and family, Miranda Oh is known to be the storyteller of the group, always recapping crazy life stories and situations. Her personal experiences, emotions and fantasies are the inspiration for most of her books, so there is a little bit of her in every story.
“When All Else Fails: Chin Up, Tits Out” is the 2nd installment of the ‘Chin Up Tits Out Series’. Miranda’s work is sincere, heartfelt and deeply twisted, sure to keep you up at night in more ways than one.
When Olivia Hardin started having movie-like dreams in her teens, she had no choice but to begin putting them to paper. Before long, the writing bug had bitten her, and she knew she wanted to be a published author. Several rejections plus a little bit of life later, she was temporarily “cured” of the urge to write. That is until she met a group of talented and fabulous writers who gave her the direction and encouragement she needed to get lost in the words again.
In November 2011 Olivia sent her first novel, Witch Way Bends, out into the world; and to date, she has over fifteen novels and short stories available both in print and digital.
Radclyffe has written over fifty romance and romantic intrigue novels, dozens of short stories, and, writing as L.L. Raand, has authored a paranormal romance series, The Midnight Hunters. She has also edited over fifteen queer anthologies, including numerous volumes of Best Lesbian Romance.
Her novels have received numerous awards, including three Lambda Literary, multiple Golden Crown, and seven RWA chapter awards. She was awarded the Dr. James Duggins Outstanding Mid-Career Novelist Award by the Lambda Literary Foundation and is a featured author in the 2015 documentary film Love Between the Covers from Blueberry Hill Productions, which focuses on the impact of reading and writing romance fiction on the development of community, online and in person.
A retired surgeon, she founded Bold Strokes Books Inc in 2004, one of the world’s largest independent LGBTQ publishing companies, and remains as president.
Richard Paolinelli began his writing career as a freelance writer in 1984 and gained his first fiction credit serving as the lead writer for the first two issues of the Elite Comics sci-fi/fantasy series, Seadragon. His sports writing career spans stops in New Mexico, Arizona and California. He won the 2001 California Newspaper Publishers Association award for Best Sports Story.
In 2010, Richard retired as a sportswriter and returned to his fiction writing roots. Since then he has had seven novels – including the Dragon Award Finalist (Best Sci-Fi Novel), Escaping Infinity – three Sherlock Holmes pastiches, two non-fiction sports books and several short stories published.
Robert Bose grew up on a farm in southern Alberta spending every free moment reading Tolkien, Heinlein, Leiber, Asimov, and whatever else he could get his grubby paws on. His genre spanning fiction has been published in a variety of anthologies and his first short story collection, Fishing with the Devil, is now available from Coffin Hop Press. Robert is currently word bashing a supernatural mystery novel while ultra-running, annoying his wife, raising three troublesome children, and working as the Director of Innovation for a small Calgary software company.
Robert J. Sawyer
Robert J. Sawyer—called “the dean of Canadian science fiction” by the OTTAWA CITIZEN and “just about the best science-fiction writer out there” by the Denver ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS—is one of eight authors in history to win all three of the science-fiction field’s highest honors for best novel of the year: the Hugo Award (which he won for HOMINIDS), the Nebula Award (which he won for THE TERMINAL EXPERIMENT); and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award (which he won for MINDSCAN).
His novel FLASHFORWARD (Tor Books) was the basis for the ABC TV series of the same name. He enjoyed spending time on the set and wrote the script for episode 19 “Course Correction.”
(There are actually too many accomplishments to write here, so be sure to visit Robert’s website!)
Sarah L. Johnson
Sarah L. Johnson lives in Calgary with her noisy family and two slightly bewildered cats. She wrangles literary events at an indie bookstore for money, runs ultra marathons for fun, has a filthy mouth, and does daily battle with her curly hair. Her writing skates across multiple genres: literary, sci-fi, fantasy, noir, horror, and once a romantic comedy that was so very terrible and shall be blasted from the obelisks of recorded history.
Her short stories have appeared in a number of journals and anthologies including Room Magazine, Plenitude Magazine, the Bram Stoker nominated Dark Visions 1: A Collection of Modern Horror (Grey Matter Press), and Year’s Best Hardcore Horror Volume 2 (Comet Press) . Her short story collection Suicide Stitch was released in 2016 by EMP Publishing, and her first novel, Infractus, is coming soon.
Shawn L. Bird
Shawn Bird (BA, MEd) is a high school English teacher, an author, and a poet in the beautiful Shuswap region of British Columbia. She has published the YA novel series Grace Awakening and several books of poetry. In her spare time, she trick trains her talented miniature poodle, plays the harp, and serves her community with Shuswap Rotary Club. Visit her online at www.shawnbird.com or on Twitter as @shawnlbird.
Summer Lane is the #1 bestselling author of 18 books, including the Collapse Series, Zero Trilogy, and Bravo Saga. She is also the author of Collapse: The Illustrated Guide, Unbreakable SEAL, and the new historical thriller, Running with Wolves.
Summer is the owner of Writing Belle Publishing, a management company and national book distributor.
Suzanne Halliday writes what she knows and what she loves – sexy adult contemporary romance with strong men and spirited women. Her love for creating short stories for friends and family has developed into a passion for writing romantic fiction with a sensual edge. She finds the world of digital, self-publishing to be the perfect platform for sharing her stories and also for what she enjoys most of all – reading. When she’s not on a deadline you’ll find her loading up on books to devour.
Suzy is the Author of The Fountain Series, published by Evil Alter Ego Press. Book 1 in the series was a Finalist for an Aurora Award for Best Young Adult Novel in 2016. Book 2 is called The West Woods, and will be released September, 2017.
Suzy’s long career building companies lends her a unique perspective in the literary world.
Tim Niederriter is a freelance writer and editor. He writes stories in science fiction, fantasy, and combinations of the two for himself and for others. When not writing fiction or losing at the occasional videogame, he maintains a blog at dwellerofthedeep.wordpress.com, and you can find his personal website at timniederriter.com. He lives in Minnesota for as long as the corn decides not to eat him.
He is a cohost of the roleplaying game podcast “Of Mooks and Monsters.”
Timothy Friend is a Midwest based writer/filmmaker. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing and Media Arts from University of Missouri, Kansas City. He has written and directed two feature films, and his fiction has appeared in a variety of publications such as Thuglit, Crossed Genres, and Needle; a magazine of noir.
Tony Phillips has written political commentary for The Huffington Post, Salon and numerous additional online and print publications. He is a former weekly columnist with San Diego CityBeat and has authored nonfiction and fiction works including novels, short stories and poetry.
Tony studied philosophy at San Diego State University and California State University Long Beach. He was a faculty member at China’s Hunan First Normal University and has taught young adult and professional students in Mexico at Instituto Tecnológico de San Juan del Río.
Tony’s literary passion is American modernism. He is inspired by the works of authors like Theodore Dreiser, Thomas Wolfe, Ernest Hemingway and John Steinbeck, as well as contemporary authors including Cormac McCarthy and Tom Robbins.
A notorious night-owl, she loves watching TV, eating bacon, playing video games with her kids, and sending cheesy texts to her husband. You can find Tosca hanging around the snack table or wherever bacon is served.
Victorine enjoys commercial success through her writing, thanks in part to her ability to analyze and adapt to the constantly changing trends in today’s publishing environment. She self-published her first book, Not What She Seems, in April of 2010. In March of 2011, Not What She Seems began its 6 week run on The New York Times best selling eBook list. By May 2011 she had sold over 100,000 copies. Victorine’s first romantic comedy novel hit the USA Today Best selling books list in January 2015.
William Bernhardt is the bestselling author of more than forty books, including the blockbuster Ben Kincaid legal thrillers, the historical novel Nemesis: The Final Case of Eliot Ness, two books of poetry, and the Red Sneaker books on writing. In addition, Bernhardt founded the Red Sneaker Writing Center, hosting writing workshops and small-group seminars and offering a free monthly newsletter and a free phone app. He is one of the most sought-after writing instructors in the nation.