Speakers

Sam Weller has spent a career working across genres and media. As the authorized biographer of legendary science fiction and fantasy writer Ray Bradbury, Sam has written 4 books, a comic book series and a graphic novel related to Bradbury. Sam is a nationally bestselling author and a two-time Bram Stoker Award winner, as well as a Shirley Jackson Award finalist and an Audie Award nominee. Sam has given over 400 talks around the globe on the life and work of Bradbury and the mystery of the creative process.

Along with his dedication to the world and wonder of Bradbury, Sam is a former host for Chicago Pubic Radio, and he won the Peter Lisagor Award for Arts Criticism—the highest honor in Chicago journalism. Sam has written for Slatethe Paris ReviewPlayboy and he is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post. Sam’s short fiction has appeared in numerous literary journals and books, including RosebudPrinters Row Journal and the Chicago Reader annual fiction issue. Sam’s first collection of short stories is slated for publication in 2019. He is at work on a fantasy novel, an existential love story set amidst libraries around the world.

Learn more: www.samweller.net and www.listentotheechoes.com. 

Follow Sam on Twitter: @Sam__Weller

Melanie Fletcher writes, ideally for money. She splits her time between writing SF under her own name and SF/fantasy/paranormal romance as Nicola M. Cameron. Her most recent publications include “Lost in Whitby” and “The Lark Ascending” in A Lone Star in the Sky: A Future Classics Anthology, Volume Two, and the SF dystopian romance Degree of Resistance. She plans to continue writing until she drops dead over her keyboard or makes enough to buy a private island and hire Rory McCann as her personal trainer/masseur, whichever comes first.

Richard J. Gonzales has published non-fiction, Raza Rising: Chicanos in North Texas, in March 2016, (University of North Texas Press) and historical fiction, Deer Dancer, July 2107 (Sleeping Panther Press). He was a contributing Fort Worth Star-Telegram op-ed columnist for six years and has published short stories in the Americas Review, a literary journal of the University of Houston. His work has appeared in a TCU college reader, and out of state newspapers. He was selected by Latino Author.Com as the number one Latino author for nonfiction in 2016. In addition to his family, his three loves are reading, writing, and running.

Sarah Hamilton is a millennial who has been writing for over a decade and enjoys connecting with readers and authors alike. During her formative years, she acquired a BS in Merchandising and worked as a buyer and a liaison for national marketing campaigns. Since then, she has worked with other grass-roots projects to help them gain and maintain followers, including her current position as CTO (Chief Twitter Officer) for Writers Organizations ‘Round Dallas. Sarah immensely enjoys using social media as a tool for conversations as well as the latest and greatest ways to interact with audiences. She is currently working on her debut novel, a sci-fi young adult adventure.

Rachelle Harp is a speculative fiction author as well as an avid coffee drinker. She spins short stories and novels in various genres. Over the years, she’s worked in education as both a music and a history teacher, and teaches at various local writers conferences. She and her family live in the North Dallas area.
Most recently, Rachelle was a Writers of the Future Contest finalist and participant in Brenda Drake’s Pitch Wars. You can find her latest fiction in Galaxy’s Edge Magazine, Perihelion SF Magazine, and on StarShipSofa. Her non-fiction can be found in Chicken Soup for the Soul. She’s an associate member of Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America and a Codex Writers member.

Visit her website

William Ledbetter is a Nebula Award winning author with more than fifty speculative fiction stories and non-fiction articles published in markets such as Fantasy & Science Fiction, Analog, Jim Baen’s Universe, Writers of the Future, Escape Pod, Baen.com, Daily SF and the SFWA blog. He’s been a space and technology geek since childhood and spent most of his non-writing career in the aerospace and defense industry. He administers the Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award contest for Baen Books and the National Space Society, is a member of SFWA, the National Space Society of North Texas, a Launch Pad Astronomy workshop graduate, is the Science Track coordinator for the Fencon convention and is a consulting editor at Heroic Fantasy Quarterly. He lives near Dallas with his wife and three spoiled cats.

Jenny Martin is a school librarian, and the author of the Tracked duology, published by Dial, an imprint of Penguin-Random House. Tracked was named one of Paste Magazine’s and Teen Magazine’s Best Books of 2015, and its sequel, Marked, was released 2016.Jenny’s work has been featured on The Mary Sue, Bustle, Bookriot and Hypable; she’s also an experienced speaker, panelist and presenter who’s appeared Texas Teen Book Festival, Texas Library Association and San Diego Comic Con. She lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, with her husband and son, where she hoards books and writes fiction. And yes, she’s still on a quest for the perfect pancake.

A. Lee Martinez has been professional fantasy / science fiction novelist for 12 years. He has written 10 standalone novels and is currently working on the Constance Verity trilogy for Simon & Schuster. He refers to his style as ‘Saturday Morning Humanism’ and enjoys writing stories about robots, monster gods, and the human condition. His writing mixes adventure, humor, and absurdity, and when not writing, he wastes way too much time playing board and video games. He’s received the Alex Award and Amelia Bloomer Award for Outstanding Feminist Fiction and is a lifetime member of the DFW Writers Workshop.

Henry’s novel, Journey to Riverbend, won the Operation First Novel award sponsored by the Christian Writers Guild and was published by Tyndale House in January, 2011. Henry writes in historical, contemporary and fantasy. In his stories he explores the themes of reconciliation and restoration. He seeks to bring his character’s adventures to life, to show the struggles and triumphs over man and nature that helped build strong people. He is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. He serves as Associate Director of North Texas Christian Writers. He regularly teaches at conferences and workshops, leads writing groups, edits, and mentors and coaches.

In addition to his writing, Henry treasures working with other writers and helping them on their own writing journeys.

Visit him at www.henrymclaughlin.org

Michelle Muenzler, known at local science fiction and fantasy conventions as “The Cookie Lady”, writes fiction both dark and strange to counterbalance the sweetness of her baking. Her short fiction and poetry can be read in numerous science fiction and fantasy magazines, and she takes immense joy in crinkling words like little foil puppets. If you wish to lure her out of hiding, you can friend her on Facebook or chase her down at a local SF/F convention where she will ply you with hundreds of home-baked cookies while gleefully describing the latest horror she’s written. She supposes you could also use her webpage michellemuenzler.com to reach her, but she finds electronic cookies far less tasty than real ones. For something darkly squidgy and irreverently humorous, check out her novella, “The Hills of Meat, the Forest of Bone”, on Amazon now.

Rachel Pilcher, writer, founder of Fort Worth Writer’s Boot Camp and publisher at Sleeping Panther Press, holds Bachelor of Arts in English and History from Texas Wesleyan University and a Master of Library Science from Texas Woman’s University. Rachel has published essays and articles in the Lone Star Film Festival Film Review, Panther City Review, and the Fort Worth Weekly, as well as a short book for teachers, titled Classroom Management for the Real World. You can read more by Rachel at www.rachelpilcher.com.

Jodi Thompson has been writing for as long as she can remember. Her earliest work, Skippy the Horse, was critically acclaimed by numerous family members and at least one teacher. She eventually discovered that her real talent lies in selling other people’s writing. That passion for sharing great books with the world led her to found Fawkes Press in 2016, where she strives to be eclectic, exceptional, and eleemosynary. Jodi lives in Fort Worth with her husband and too many pets, none of which can replace her young adult children who insist on being independent and capable, despite her pleas.

Arianne “Tex” Thompson is home-grown Texas success story. After earning a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s in literature, she channeled her passion for exciting, innovative, and inclusive fiction into the Children of the Drought – an internationally-published epic fantasy Western series from Solaris. Now a professional speaker and instructor for the Writers Path at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Tex is blazing a trail through writers conferences, workshops, and fan conventions around the country – as an endlessly energetic, relentlessly enthusiastic one-woman stampede. Find her online at www.TheTexFiles.com!