MULTIVERSE 2019 GUESTS OF HONOR
Author Guest of Honor: SEANAN MCGUIRE
Seanan McGuire writes things. All kinds of things. She writes books, novellas, and short stories, and thanks to them, has won multiple major genre awards, including the Hugo, Nebula, and Campbell. She is also a two-time recipient of the Alex Award, which makes her mother very proud. As Mira Grant, Seanan writes biomedical science fiction thrillers, which sounds fancy, doesn't it? If that wasn't enough, Seanan also writes for Marvel Comics, and is the current writer of Spider-Gwen: Ghost Spider, as well as the writer of various X-Men one shots. She feels this justifies many of her childhood financial choices. Seanan lives in the Pacific Northwest with her collection of very large cats, very creepy dolls, and remarkably specific Overwatch merchandise. Keep up with her at her website, www.seananmcguire.com, or on Twitter as @seananmcguire.
Wayward Children series
October Daye series
Newsflesh & Parasitology series (as Mira Grant)
Middlegame (novel, 2019)
X-Men Black: Mystique
Spider-Gwen: Ghost Spider series
X-Men Black: Nightcrawler
AWARDS & ACCOLADES
New York Times Bestselling Author
Hugo Award Winner
Nebula Award Winner
John W. Campbell Award Winner
Earned a record five Hugo Award nominations in a single year (2013)
Two-time Alex Award Winner
Artist Guest of Honor: JOHN PICACIO
JOHN PICACIO is one of the most acclaimed American artists in science fiction and fantasy over the last decade, creating best-selling art for George R. R. Martin's A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE series, as well as the STAR TREK and X-MEN franchises. Major clients include Penguin Random House, Tor Books, HarperCollins, Scholastic, Simon & Schuster, Subterranean Press, Pyr, Baen Books, Dark Horse Comics, and many more. His body of work features major cover illustrations for authors such as Michael Moorcock, Harlan Ellison, Brenda Cooper, James Dashner, Frederik Pohl, Dan Simmons, Mark Chadbourn, Sheri S. Tepper, James Tiptree, Jr., Lauren Beukes, Jeffrey Ford, Joe R. Lansdale, and many, many more. His accolades include two Hugo Awards, eight Chesley Awards, two Locus Awards, two International Horror Guild Awards, the World Fantasy Award, and the Inkpot Award. In 2012, he founded his own creative imprint, Lone Boy, which became the launchpad for his Loteria Grande cards, a bold contemporary re-imagineering of the classic Mexican game of chance. In 2018, he became only the third person in 76 years to serve as Guest of Honor and Hugo Awards Master of Ceremonies at the same Worldcon. For more, please visit www.johnpicacio.com.
Industry Guest of Honor: CAT RAMBO
Nebula, Endeavour, and World Fantasy nominee Cat Rambo lives, writes, and teaches on a hill in Seattle. Since appearing on the scene in 2005, Rambo has produced over 200 short stories, six collections, two novels, a cookbook, and two books on writing, as well as editing multiple anthologies and Fantasy Magazine. A frequent volunteer and two-term President with the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, she is also the creator of online school The Rambo Academy for Wayward Writers, allowing students across the world to connect with some of the best teachers in F&SF today.
(in alphabetical order)
Marc L Abbott is the author of the YA novel The Hooky Party and the children’s book Etienne and the Stardust Express. His short story’s “Welcome to Brooklyn, Gabe” and “A Marked Man” are featured in the Bram Stoker Nominated horror anthology’s New York State of Fright and Hell’s Heart. He is the co-author of the horror anthology Hell at the Way Station. He is the director of the horror short SNAP. A two-time nominated best actor for his role in Impervia. A 2015 Moth StorySlam and GrandSlam winner. He is the host of the monthly storytelling show Maaan, You’ve Got to Hear This! in Bushwick, Brooklyn and a member of the HWA New York Chapter. Find out more about him at www.whoismarclabbott.com .
Troy Carrol Bucher served thirty years in the U.S. Army, where assignments sent him to three wars and places like Turkey, Albania, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Korea. His travels allow him to tap into a lifetime of working with diverse cultures and peoples, bringing multiethnic customs and realism with a distinct military flavor to his writing. He is the author of Lies of Descent (2019), the first book in an epic fantasy trilogy from DAW, and he was the coeditor of The Razor's Edge (2018). Troy is a graduate of Seton Hill University's MFA in Writing Popular Fiction. Read more at tcbucher.com.
Dana Cameron writes across many genres, but especially crime and speculative fiction. Her work, inspired by her career in archaeology, has won multiple Anthony, Agatha, and Macavity Awards, and has been nominated for the Edgar Award. Dana's Emma Fielding archaeology mysteries were optioned by Muse Entertainment; the third movie, based on MORE BITTER THAN DEATH, premiered the Hallmark Movie & Mystery Channel in January. When she's not traveling or visiting museums, she's usually yelling at the TV about historical inaccuracies.
Preeti Chhibber is a YA author, speaker, and freelancer. She's written for SYFY, The Nerds of Color, and The Mary Sue, among others. Her short story, "Girls Who Twirl and Other Dangers" was published in A Thousand Beginnings and Endings (HarperCollins, 2018). Her debut, Peter and Ned's Ultimate Travel Journal came out this year (Marvel Press, 2019). Find her co-hosting the podcasts Desi Geek Girls and Strong Female Characters (SYFYWire). She’s appeared on several panels at NYCC, SDCC, and on screen on the SYFY Network. You probably recognize her from one of several BuzzFeed “look at these tweets” lists. PreetiChhibber.com
Paige L. Christie is author of The Legacies of Arnan fantasy series: Draigon Weather (2017), Wing Wind (2018), Long Light (2019), Storm Forged (2020). As a believer in the power of words, Paige tells stories that are both entertaining and thoughtful. Especially of interest are tales that speak to women and open a space where adventure and fantasy are not all about happy endings. When she isn’t writing, she teaches belly dancing, is director of a non-profit, and runs a wine shop. She is a proud, founding member of the Blazing Lioness Writers. You can follow her at https://paigelchristie.com, https://www.facebook.com/paigelchristie, and https://twitter.com/paigelchristie
Gerald L. Coleman is a Philosopher, Theologian, Poet, and Author residing in Atlanta. He did his undergraduate work in Philosophy, English, and Religion Studies and holds a Master’s Degree in Theology. He is the author of the Epic Fantasy novel saga The Three Gifts, which currently includes When Night Falls (Book One) and A Plague of Shadows (Book Two), and his short stories have appeared in several anthologies. Gerald is the Director of the GEEK:Fantasy programming track at Multiverse 2019. You can find him at geraldlcoleman.co.
Milton Davis is a Black Speculative Fiction writer and owner of MVmedia, a small publishing company specializing in Science Fiction, Fantasy and Sword and Soul. MVmedia’s mission is to provide speculative fiction books that represent people of color in a positive manner. Milton is the author of seventeen novels; his most recent is the Sword & Soul adventure Son of Mfumu. He is the editor and co-editor of seven anthologies. Milton’s African Martial Art Screenplay, Ngolo, won the 2014 Urban Action Showcase award for best screenplay and his story, ‘The Swarm,’ was nominated for the British Science Fiction Association award for Short Fiction.
K.D. Edwards lives and writes in North Carolina, but has spent time in Massachusetts, Maine, Colorado, New Hampshire, Montana, and Washington State. (Common theme until NC: Snow. So, so much snow.) Mercifully short careers in food service, interactive television, corporate banking, retail management, and bariatric furniture have led to a much less short career in higher education, currently for the University of North Carolina System. THE LAST SUN and THE HANGED MAN are the first two books in his TAROT SEQUENCE series, inspired by thoughts of a modern-day Atlantis.
Meg Elison is a science fiction author and feminist essayist. Her debut novel, The Book of the Unnamed Midwife, won the 2014 Philip K. Dick award. Her second novel was a finalist for the Philip K. Dick, and both were longlisted for the James A. Tiptree award. She has been published in McSweeney’s, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Catapult, and many other places. Elison is a high school dropout and a graduate of UC Berkeley. Find her online, where she writes like she’s running out of time. Meg’s website and Twitter
Barr Foxx (JaBarr), creator of Cosplay Your Way, is an influencer that promotes individual style through cosplay. A seasoned cosplayer and television/film professional, he’s often a special guest at prominent cons such as DragonCon and BlerdCon. He aims to create a positive outlet for all cosplayers, regardless of race, age, size or gender. He has been spotlighted in Cosplay in America Volume 2 and on Marvel’s official website. He will be featured in the upcoming comic book series, The Greenville Triangle, as an original character based on his likeness. “Use YOUR voice, express YOUR style and do it YOUR way.”
Venessa Giunta is a writer of weird things, an editrix extraordinaire, and a little bit of a nerd. She is a published author, with non-fiction essays, short stories, and the urban Fantasy Soul Cavern series. She is a dedicated viewer of the show Supernatural and was devastated when Sense8 was cancelled (Damn you, Netflix!). She lives in Atlanta, GA, with her husband — also known as her muse — and three cats who basically rule the house, but won’t pay the mortgage. She’s been called the kind of evil that inspires hugs. Venessa is the director of the WRITE track at Multiverse.
John G. Hartness is an author, publisher, and podcaster from Charlotte, NC. He is the author of multiple novel series (including the Black Knight Chronicles and the Quincy Harker, Demon Hunter series), co-founder and publisher of Falstaff Books, and a member of the Authors & Dragons podcast. He spends far too much time and money playing Magic: the Gathering. Find him at JohnHartness.com
William Hayashi is an award-winning screenwriter, a published author of short stories and The Darkside Trilogy of novels (Discovery, Conception, and Confrontation). He is also the regular host of the Genesis Science Fiction Radio Show, with five years of interviews available online of Black creatives in science fiction, fantasy, and horror.
M. Haynes grew up loving fantasy worlds, but soon realized that they failed to include people like him. He began developing his Elemental book series at a young age to correct that. Over fifteen years of writing later, M. Haynes has sought to help show that fantasy can include more than just straight, blonde haired, blue eyed men or boys. In particular, M. Haynes' uses his writing to show a more nuanced version of heroism in fantasy worlds. His works show that anyone, regardless of race, gender, or sexuality can be a hero. Learn more about the series at www.mhaynes.org/elemental.
Scott Hawkins is the author of the critically acclaimed horror novel The Library at Mount Char, which a Kirkus starred review described as: “"A wholly original, engrossing, disturbing, and beautiful book. You've never read anything quite like this, and you won't soon forget it." Scott was born in Idaho in 1969 and grew up in South Carolina. He graduated from the University of South Carolina with a B.S.C.S. in computer science in 1991 and an M.S. in 1993. He lives in north Georgia with a lot of dogs, and for fun he enjoys reading (of course), movies, cooking, and woodworking. Find him at www.shawkins.net
As a sailor, scientist, and gamer, writing nautical, SF, and RPG tie-in stories came naturally for Chris. His Scimitar Seas novels won three gold medals from Foreword Reviews, and his Pathfinder Tales Pirate’s novels have received high praise. His magical assassin Weapon of Flesh series launched Chris’ full-time writing carrier by repeatedly hitting the Kindle bestseller list. The Deep Gate, Arkham Horror for Fantasy Flight Games, and his first horror work, released in 2018. The Blood Sea Tales kicked off last year, and his contemporary science-fantasy trilogy, Dragons of Boston, debuted from Falstaff Books in spring 2019, with Dragon Dreams.
Stuart Jaffe is the madman behind The Max Porter Paranormal Mysteries, the Nathan K thrillers, The Parallel Society series, The Malja Chronicles, The Bluesman, Founders, Real Magic, and so much more. His unique brand of old pulp adventure mixed with a contemporary sensibility brings out the best in a variety of SF/F sub-genres. Find him at www.stuartjaffe.com.
Jazz aka Jazzthebat Cosplay is chaotic creative energy packaged in a giant nerdy woman. From illustration, to comics, to cosplay she dabbles in a little bit of everything, but she approaches all of her projects with the intent to promote diversity in fiction and fantasy media and positivity within the nerd community. She's a seasoned convention attendee that has been a part of panels about body positivity in cosplay, the basics to getting started in cosplay, and navigating geek culture as a PoC. You can follow her on Facebook: /jazzthebatcosplay, Instagram: @jazzthebatcosplay, and Twitter: @jazzthebat.
Valjeanne Jeffers is a speculative fiction writer, a Spelman College graduate, and the author of nine books, including her Immortal series and her Mona Livelong: Paranormal Detective series. She was also choosen as a Seer (2016) by the Horror Writers Association (HWA). Her writing has been published in numerous anthologies including: Steamfunk!;The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South; Luminescent Threads: Connections to Octavia E. Butler; Fitting In; Sycorax’s Daughters; Black Magic Women, and The Bright Empire. Valjeanne is also one of the screen writers for the horror anthology film, 7Magpies (in production). Purchase her work at: www.vjeffersandqveal.com
Robert Jeffrey II is an Atlanta based freelance writer who has worked for such clients as DC Comics, the Centers for Disease Control, and Nitto Tires. He is the co-writer of Radio Free Amerika, the writer of RET: CON, the creator/ writer of the Glyph Comics Award winning/ nominated Route 3: Vol 1, and the creator/writer of Mine To Avenge: The Book of Layla. He’s contributed to the Dark Universe: The Bright Empire and The Scribes of Nyota prose anthologies. He is a graduate of the 2017 DC Comics New Talent Writers Workshop. You can reach him at www.robertkjeffrey.com
Kirsten Imani Kasai is a writer and editor who celebrates literature as a change agent. She's written three novels: The House of Erzulie (2018, Shade Mountain Press) an African-American Gothic tale set 1850s New Orleans, and the speculative fiction series Ice Song (2009, Random House) and Tattoo (2011, Random House). According to Foreword Reviews, “Kirsten makes the macabre beautiful.” She has an MFA from Antioch University Los Angeles and is certified in the teaching of Creative Writing. She lives in San Diego, CA, where she quietly advocates for introvert rights from the privacy of her home. www.KirstenImaniKasai.com and www.MagicWordEditingCo.com
TaLynn Kel is a writer, cosplayer, activist, and podcaster in Atlanta, Georgia. She writes about cosplay, interracial relationships, and pop culture fandom through the lens of social justice. She conducts panels at conventions throughout the U.S. Her work has been featured by The New York Times, NBC, Fabulize Magazine, InStyle, and Huffington Post. TaLynn has published two books, Breaking Normal: Essays about My Fat, Black, Geek Life and Still Breaking Normal: A Fat, Black, Femme, Geek Navigating an Anti-Black World, available on Amazon and you can find her work at www.talynnkel.com. She is also on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
Brian Joseph Lambert is the lead contributing writer at Wingless Entertainment. He specializes in bringing diversity to action/adventure, fantasy and sci-fi worlds. In 2017, his first novel, ASCENSION- THE CHRUSION SAGA BOOK 1 was published. Brian's current projects include WAR FOR THE SWORD- THE CHRUSION SAGA BOOK 2, a CG animated feature film entitled, RUBICON and JUSTICE- THE FALL, an ongoing comic series with KONKRET COMICS. Brian looks to create the same sense of wonder he had watching Star Wars, reading Lord of the Rings and questing alongside the many adventure stories he enjoyed as a child.
John Edward Lawson's novels, short fiction, and poetry have garnered nominations for many awards, including the Stoker and Wonderland Awards. In addition to being a founder of Raw Dog Screaming Press and former editor-in-chief of The Dream People he currently serves as vice president of Diverse Writers and Artists of Speculative Fiction.
Catherine Lundoff is an award-winning writer, editor and publisher from Minneapolis where she lives with her wife, bookbinder Jana Pullman, and the cats who own them. She is the author of over 100 published short stories and essays. Her books include Silver Moon, Out of This World: Queer Speculative Fiction Stories and, as editor, the fantastical pirate fiction anthology, Scourge of the Seas of Time (and Space). In addition, she is the publisher at Queen of Swords Press, a genre fiction publisher specializing in fiction from out of this world. Websites: www.catherinelundoff.net and www.queenofswordspress.com
Jenn Lyons lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband, three cats and a nearly infinite number of opinions on anything from Sumerian mythology to the correct way to make a martini. She is a video game producer by day (although currently taking a break from that to concentrate on writing epic fantasy). A long-time devotee of storytelling, she traces her geek roots back to playing first edition Dungeons & Dragons in grade school and reading her way from A to Z in the school’s library. Her debut epic fantasy novel, The Ruin of Kings, from Tor Books, found its way into the wild on February 5, 2019. The second book, The Name of All Things, drops October 29, 2019.
Kyoko M is a USA Today bestselling author, a fangirl, and an avid book reader. She is the author of The Black Parade urban fantasy series and the Of Cinder and Bone science-fiction series. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English Lit degree from the University of Georgia. Like any author, she wants nothing more than to contribute something great to the best profession in the world, no matter how small.
Left-handed. Husband to a half-Norwegian. Herder of cats and dogs. Lover of pie. I write books. I've had an unhealthy fascination with dragons since the age of-- well, for a while. Native Floridian. Current Tennessean. Location subject to change based on insurrection, upheaval, or availability of coffee. Twenty-six novels and counting under two names, with no end in sight. Let's have coffee!
Lee Martindale is an old hand at inhabiting multiple universes. As a writer, her short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies and can now be found in the collection BARD’S ROAD. As an anthologist, she edited the groundbreaking SUCH A PRETTY FACE and THE LADIES OF TRADE TOWN. Lee is also a Lifetime Active Member and former member of the Board of Directors of SFWA, veteran human rights activist, fencer, teacher of writers’ workshops, and owner of nano-press HarpHaven Publishing. She lives in Plano, TX and shares news with friends and fans at http://www.HarpHaven.net.
Rena Mason is the Bram Stoker Award® winning author of The Evolutionist and East End Girls, as well as a 2014 Stage 32 /The Blood List Presents®: The Search for New Blood Screenwriting Contest Quarter-Finalist. She’s had nearly two dozen short stories published and writes a monthly Haunted Travels column. Her latest work, “Clevengers of the Carrion Sea” is in The Seven Deadliest by Cutting Block Books. She is a member of the Horror Writers Association, Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, The International Screenwriters' Association, Stage 32, and the Public Safety Writers Association. For more information visit: www.RenaMason.Ink
Misty Massey is the author of Mad Kestrel, a rollicking adventure of magic on the high seas, and the long-awaited sequel, Kestrel’s Dance. She is a co-editor of The Weird Wild West and Lawless Lands: Tales of the Weird Frontier, and she’s working on a series of Shadow Council novellas for Falstaff Press featuring the famous gunslinger Doc Holliday. When she’s not writing, Misty studies and performs Middle Eastern dance. She’s a sucker for good sushi, African coffee, and the darkest rum she can find. You can keep up with Misty at mistymassey.com, Facebook and Twitter.
Melissa McArthur is the Associate Publisher at Falstaff Books, a small press located in Charlotte, NC. She is an author and freelance editor who has worked with presses and authors worldwide. When she isn’t working in the realm of fiction, Melissa is an adjunct professor of writing at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC, and editorial director and Evernote instructor for Author Essentials. Visit Melissa online at www.melissamcarthur.net.
Leatrice "Elle" McKinney, writing as L.L. McKinney, is a poet and active member of the kidlit community. She’s an advocate for equality and inclusion in publishing, and the creator of the hashtag #WhatWoCWritersHear. Elle's also a gamer, Blerd, and adamant Hei Hei stan, living in Kansas City. She spends most time plagued by her cat--Sir Chester Fluffmire Boopsnoot Purrington Wigglebottom Flooferson III, Esquire, Baron o'Butterscotch or #SirChester for short. She is the author of A Blade So Black and its sequel, A Dream So Dark (available 9/24/19). Find her at https://www.llmckinney.com/
Violette Meier is a happily married mother, writer, folk artist, poet, and native of Atlanta, Georgia, who earned her B.A. in English at Clark Atlanta University and a Masters of Divinity at Interdenominational Theological Center. Writing since her preteen years, she has written over 1,200 poems, 25 short stories, and 11 books. The great granddaughter of a dream interpreter, Violette is a lover of all things supernatural and loves to write paranormal, fantasy, and horror. Her books include:The First Chronicle of Zayashariya: Out of Night, Angel Crush, Son of the Rock, Archfiend, Ruah the Immortal, Tales of a Numinous Nature: A Short Story Collection, Loving and Living Life, Violette Ardor: A Volume of Poetry, and This Sickness We Call Love: Poems of Love, Lust, and Lamentation. To find out more about Violette and her unwavering imagination, visit VioletteMeier.com
An award-winning author, Bobby Nash writes novels, comic books, short stories, novellas, graphic novels, and the occasional screenplay for a variety of publishers. Bobby is a member of the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers and International Thriller Writers. On occasion, Bobby appears in movies and TV shows, usually standing behind your favorite actor. For more information on Bobby Nash and his work, please visit him at www.bobbynash.com, www.ben-books.com, and across social media.
Havana’s passion for design and technology has fostered hundreds of clients including authors, politicians, and tech companies like Microsoft, Sage, and Stripe. At Moving Ink Media, Havana serves as the Chief Branding Officer and the Lead Character Artist behind the Glyph award-winning comic series, Kamikaze. Her passion for animation and comics stems from the idea that great storytelling has the ability to connect people all over the world.
Born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, Errick Nunnally served one tour in the Marine Corps before deciding art school was a safer pursuit. He enjoys art, comics, and genre novels. A designer by day, he earned a black belt in Krav Maga and Muay Thai kickboxing by night. His work has appeared in several anthologies and is best described as “dark pulp.” It can be found in LAMPLIGHT, TRANSCENDENT, WICKED WITCHES, THE FINAL SUMMONS, PROTECTORS 2, the novel, BLOOD FOR THE SUN, and the upcoming novel, LIGHTNING WEARS A RED CAPE.
An award-winning author, screenwriter and game designer, Balogun Ojetade is one of the leading authorities on Afroretroism – film, fashion or fiction that combines African and/or African American culture with a blend of “retro” styles and futuristic technology, in order to explore the themes of tension between past and future and between the alienating and empowering effects of technology. He writes about Afroretroism – Sword & Soul, Rococoa, Steamfunk and Dieselfunk at https://chroniclesofharriet.com/.
Irette Y. Patterson is a native of Atlanta, GA. Her short fiction has been published in Strange Horizons, FIYAH, People of Color Take Over Fantastic Stories of the Imagination and the website of The Saturday Evening Post. You can find her online at http://www.iretteypatterson.com.
Catherine Jones Payne is the author of YA fantasy novels Breakwater and Fire Dancer. Her earliest memory involves pulling up a rolling chair to her parents’ old DOS computer—while wearing a tiara, naturally—and tapping out a story of kidnapped princesses. When she's not writing about mermaids, murder, and mayhem or girls who play with fire, she’s serving as the executive editor of Quill Pen Editorial or getting lost with fairies in the forest. She lives in Greenville, SC with her historian husband, Brendan, and their cats, Mildred and Minerva.
Nick Porter is an RPG developer from Atlanta, Georgia. His first RPG, the Norse-themed Sagas of Midgard, smashed through its Kickstarter funding goal in 90 minutes and has since reached Bestseller status on DriveThruRPG. A lifelong gamer, Nick is passionate about games, game design, and the unique ability of games as a medium to create memorable stories. When he's not writing games, Nick is a Critical Care Registered Nurse who enjoys martial arts and badly spoiling his dog.
Josh Roseman (not the trombonist; the other one) has more than two dozen published novels and short-stories, including After the Apocalypse (a story of what happens to all the girls like Buffy after the world is saved) and the collection Boss Fight (eighteen short-stories, featuring tales of aliens, plumbers, witches, and pillows). He lives in Georgia (the state, not the country) and, when not writing, mostly complains about not writing. Find him online at roseplusman.com, or on Twitter or Instagram @listener42.
Peter Adam Salomon is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, the Horror Writers Association, the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, the Science Fiction Poetry Association, the International Thriller Writers, and The Authors Guild. His second novel, ALL THOSE BROKEN ANGELS, was nominated for the Bram Stoker Award for Young Adult fiction. His poem ‘Electricity and Language and Me’ appeared on BBC Radio 6 performed by The Radiophonic Workshop. He founded both National Dark Poetry Day (Oct. 7) and the HWA Horror Poetry Showcase. His latest novel, EIGHT MINUTES, THIRTY-TWO SECONDS, came out in early 2019.
Mr. Jarvis Sheffield, M. Ed. has been involved in multimedia for 20+ years. He holds a B.S. degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Tennessee State University, a Master’s Degree in Education and is a Doctoral Candidate with Trevecca University. He is founder of Black Science Fiction Society and also produces Genesis Anthology, Magazine and Radio Show. Leadership positions: Coordinator of the Tennessee State University Media Center; Director of DragonCon Diversity Track with DragonCon, Inc.; Board Member of Urban Media Makers. Sheffield is a proud father and husband, a member of Lake Providence Missionary Baptist Church and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.
Chad Eric Smith, a native of Washington, DC, is an award-winning actor, screenwriter, film producer, director, and musician. In 2014, he wrote and starred in his film directorial debut, Dark Therapy, a short comedy about a vampire who seeks psychiatric treatment for an extreme and irrational fear of blood. Smith then wrote and directed the short psychological sci-fi drama Rumination with his production company MisterDuke Productions, LLC. In 2018, the film screened at over 30 film festivals nationwide and won 18 awards before being released worldwide on the streaming platforms kweliTV and Trindie TV in early 2019.
E.J. Stevens is the award-winning author of the Ivy Granger Psychic Detective urban fantasy series, the Spirit Guide young adult paranormal mystery series, the Hunters' Guild urban fantasy series, and the Whitechapel Paranormal Society Victorian horror series. She is known for filling pages with quirky characters, magnificent monsters, and kick-butt heroines. Her novels are available worldwide in multiple languages. Learn more at EJStevensAuthor.com, IvyGranger.com, WhitechapelParanormal.com and connect at @EJStevensAuthor.
Sheree Renée Thomas is an award-winning fiction writer, poet, and editor. She is the author of Sleeping Under the Tree of Life (Aqueduct Press), honored with a Publishers Weekly Starred Review and longlisted for the 2016 James Tiptree, Jr. Award, and of Shotgun Lullabies (2011). Thomas edited the two Dark Matter (Hachette) black speculative fiction volumes, winning two World Fantasy Awards (2001, 2005), and Trouble on the Waters: Tales of the Deep Blue (Rosarium). Her editorial work uncovered a legacy of over a century of black science fiction writing and helped launch the careers of some of the most exciting new voices in the field. Look for her first all-fiction collection, Nine Bar Blues, forthcoming from Third Man Books in 2020. Visit her on Twitter: @blackpotmojo, Facebook/Instagram: @shereereneethomas
Darie (aka Mama Lyric) is a professional LGBTQ+ health educator, assister, and administrator. In addition to being Volunteer Director, she is a Guest at Multiverse, presenting panels on health and wellbeing. Darie lives in Metro Atlanta with her hubby Keith and their 2 ESA dog-kids and 3 bratty cat-kids. Darie uses she/her pronouns, puts the “Q” in LGBTQ+, and her name rhymes with “sorry and Ferrari.” Her fandoms are vast, with most of her love given to the Whedonverse, Potterverse, MCU, Disney, Neil Gaiman, and board games. In her free time, she spends obscene amounts of time crocheting, sewing, attending ATL United matches, hoping the Cubs will clinch another WS, and figuring out what her next D&D character should be.
Steven Van Patten is the author of Brookwater’s Curse trilogy featuring 1860s Georgia plantation slave who becomes law enforcement within the vampire community. His Killer Genius series is about a hyper intelligent black woman who uses high-end technology as a socially conscious serial killer. The first in the series was nominated for Best Novel in 2016 in the category of Mystery/Suspense. He’s a member of the New York Chapter of The Horror Writer’s Association, he’s also a member of The Director’s Guild of America and professional arts fraternity Gamma Xi Phi. The website is www.laughingblackvampire.com.
Alex White was born and raised in the American south. They take photos, write music and spend hours on YouTube watching other people blacksmith. They value challenging and subversive writing, but they’ll settle for a good time. In the shadow of rockets in Huntsville, Alabama, Alex lives and works as an experience designer with their spouse, son, two dogs and a cat named Grim. Favored pastimes include Legos and racecars. They takes their whiskey neat and their espresso black. Alex is the author of THE SALVAGERS book series (Orbit, 2018), a magical space opera treasure hunt, ALIEN: THE COLD FORGE (Titan, 2018)(yes, THAT Alien), and EVERY MOUNTAIN MADE LOW (Solaris, 2016), a dystopian Southern American yarn.
Kenesha Williams is an author, screenwriter, speaker, and Founder/Editor-in-Chief of Black Girl Magic Lit Mag. She took to heart the advice, "If you don't see a clear path for what you want, sometimes you have to make it yourself," and created a Speculative Fiction Literary Magazine featuring characters that were representative of herself and other women she identified with.
Kenesha was awarded First Runner Up for Best Short Screenplay for the Women in Horror Film Festival 2018 and her essay "Step into the Bad Side: Black Girl Magic Villains” was published in Fireside Fiction Quarterly in January 2019.
L. Marie Wood is the bestselling author of 4 novels and over 130 short stories. Her short story, "The Ever After" was part of the Bram Stoker Award Finalist anthology Sycorax's Daughters. Wood has been recognized in The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror, Vol. 15 and as one of the 100+ Black Women in Horror Fiction. She is the director of the GEEK:Horror programming track at Multiverse.
Georgia Center for the Book offers its young audience this zany, Jimmy Fallon-esque live young adult book talk show centered around YA authors called YATL Live. The program was created by former bookseller, literary influencer and author Kimberly Jones (Mass Disturbance, Sourcebooks 2019), and author photographer, writer, and literary influencer Vania Stoyanova (Vania Photo Studio). Writer, artist, designer Jessi Esparza (Motion Designer at CNN) serves as showrunner. YATL Live is a live show filmed for later playback on Facebook and YouTube with author interviews, games, giveaways, fun video clips and lots of shenanigans.
Yarn Goddess Cosplay is a gifted crocheter from Atlanta, GA who takes great pride in their work! They first started crocheting since they were about 8 years old and have been in the cosplay world since 2010. About a year ago, they began to sell their work in artist alleys for other people to enjoy! They enjoy crocheting anything from pillows to scarves to even 100% of their cosplay, even the wigs! They are constantly trying to do the impossible with their cosplays. They are also a certified instructor and teach classes around the Atlanta area. They really hope to one day see more crocheted cosplays, either accessories or the whole cosplay. You can follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You can also shop their store at http://yarngoddesscosplay.mybigcommerce.com