Take a look, and learn about our guests!
Artist and author Thomas Willeford, owner of Brute Force Studios: purveyors of high end corsetry, leatherwork, costumes, steampunk accessories, and other unique items since 1995.
Lee Martindale’s short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies and magazines, most recently in Chicks & Balances, the sixth “Chicks in Chainmail” anthology, and Bard’s Road, a collection of twenty-nine of her stories. She’s edited two anthologies of her own, Such A Pretty Face and The Ladies of Trade Town. And her first novel, Camino UnReal, is slated for publication in late 2017.
When not slinging fiction, Lee is a Named Bard, a Lifetime Active Member of SFWA (where she served on the Board of Directors), a fencing member of the SFWA Musketeers, a member of the SCA, and a popular guest at science fiction conventions all over the country. She lives in Plano, TX, where she keeps friends and fans in the loop at http://www.HarpHaven.net.
Kelly Lockhart has been a regular presence on the convention scene since he was a teenager back in the mid-80s. Over the years, he has done a little bit of everything in fandom: running costume contests, art shows, consuites, computer gaming rooms, working with the media, helping out with parades, overseeing convention operations, co-chairing a WorldCon bid, serving on multiple con committees, and being a panelist and moderator on countless panels.
Professionally, he is the Managing Editor for an alternative weekly newspaper back home in Chattanooga as well as a Consulting Editor for Baen Books. His most recent project for Baen is the Black Tide Rising anthology of zombie apocalypse stories he co-edited under his professional name of “Gary Poole” (long story) with New York Times bestselling author John Ringo. Additionally, he is the founder of both the very popular Robot Battles competitions and the Southern Fandom Resource Guide online convention calendar.
In 2008, he was presented with the Rebel Award at the DeepSouthCon for lifetime service to Southern Fandom. He has also been awarded with a Murrow Award (named after legendary journalist Edward R. Murrow) for excellence in broadcast journalism, several Associated Press journalism awards, and a display case full of Addy awards for both radio and print advertising design.
While he now works almost exclusively in print, he has spent the better part of the last thirty years working in radio and television, as well as dabbling now and then in theater and film as an actor, director, composer and screenwriter, though thankfully not all at the same time.
An active presence on social media (ask him about “the thread that never ends”), he spends his limited amount of free time writing and performing original music around his hometown, trying to herd his five cats, playing an occasional round of golf (badly), and continuing his lifelong quest to find the perfect brand of whiskey. He also is rumored to own more tropical shirts than Weird Al Yankovic, as he is almost never seen not wearing one.
He is the author of more than 60 books, short stories, and anthologies in a career that has spanned over fifty years. He published his first book The Warlock in Spite of Himself in 1969. Other popular works include A Wizard in Bedlam (1979), Her Majesty’s Wizard (1986), and A Company of Stars (1991), which finally made his PhD in Theatre useful in his primary career. He also spent over 20 years teaching Radio and TV Broadcasting. Although he has retired from teaching he continues to write. His works are now being published as ebooks with the help of his son, Edward. However, he considers his greatest achievement to be his family including his wife Mary, four children, five grandchildren, and two cats.
In 2008 he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. Although this affects both his memory and mobility at times, he is determined to keep writing. Talking with fans, speaking on panels, and simply being around people who share his interests and hobbies has proven to be the best medicine for him and he will continue to go to conventions as long as his doctor allows him to travel. He has said many times that when he walks into the bustling lobby of a SFF convention he feels like he has come home. He’s been referred to as a living legend of SF–read more about him here: https://otherwheregazette.wordpress.com…/christopher-stas…/
Leanna Renee Hieber
Actress, playwright and author Leanna Renee Hieber is the award-winning, bestselling author of Gothic Victorian Fantasy novels for adults and teens. She is known for her prominence in the Gaslamp Fantasy genre and passionate advocacy for Gothic literature. Her Strangely Beautiful saga, beginning with The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker, hit Barnes & Noble and Borders Bestseller lists and garnered numerous regional genre awards, with new revised editions from Tor Books nowavailable, the prequel, Perilous Prophecy, soon to be released. Darker Still was named an American Bookseller’s Association “Indie Next List” pick and a Scholastic Book Club “Highly Recommended” title. Her new Gaslamp Fantasy saga, The Eterna Files and Eterna and Omega, is now available from Tor Books. Her short fiction has appeared in numerous notable anthologies, featured on Tor.com and she writes for CriminalElement.Leanna’s books have been selected for national book club editions andtranslated into languages such as Complex Chinese, German and Polish. A proud member of performer unions Actors Equity and SAG-AFTRA, she lives in New York City where she is a licensed ghost tour guide and has been featured in film and television on shows like Boardwalk Empire. She is represented by Paul Stevens of the Donald Maass agency and is active on Twitter @leannarenee.
Florida Whammy Entertainment
Formed in 2008 under the name “The Game Show Gurus”, Florida Whammy Entertainment is a not-for-profit professional organization that designs, creates, operates, and performs various interactive entertainment events for conventions.
Specializing in Game Shows, their highly experienced team have created and developed game shows, panels, and other original programming for a number of regionally and nationally known fan conventions and events focusing and specializing in a variety of genres in popular culture, Japanese culture, Otaku culture, and other various cultures and fandoms alongside also making appearances in community events as well.
More guests will be announced soon. Stay tuned…