David Wake was the Chairbeing of the Birmingham Science Fiction and Fantasy Society at the University of Birmingham and a member of SF fandom ever since. He started writing for the theatre in 1998, with 18 plays produced, winning awards and taking two shows to the Edinburgh Fringe. It was while taking an MA in Creative Writing at Birmingham City University that he was introduced to Indie Publishing. He’s published six novels: I, Phone (Eastercon 2013), The Derring-Do Club and the Empire of the Dead (ArmadaCon 2013, where he was a Guest of Honour), Hashtag (Eastercon 2014), and continued his steampunk series with The Derring-Do Club and the Year of the Chrononauts (Worldcon 2014), The Derring-Do Club and the Invasion of the Grey (Mancunicon 2016), and Crossing the Bridge (Watledge 2017).
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Jeffrey K. Walker hails from what was once the Glass Container Capital of the World, now just another dying town in Illinois. Jeff has had six careers—in his words, he just can’t seem to hold a job. A retired Air Force B-52 navigator-turned-JAG, Jeff served in Bosnia and Afghanistan, planned the Kosovo air campaign and later ran a State Department program in Baghdad. He’s been shelled, rocketed and sniped by various groups, all with bad aim. He’s lived in ten states and three foreign countries, managing to get graduate degrees from Syracuse, Georgetown and Harvard along the way. An attorney and professor, Jeff taught legal history at Georgetown, law of war at William & Mary and criminal and international law while an assistant dean at St. John’s University.
After leaving New York City and returning to Williamsburg, he began his sixth career as a writer. He has published two novels in his World War One and 1920’s trilogy, both receiving awards of distinction. Most recently, both None of Us the Same and Truly Are the Free were 2017 best fiction finalists in the UK-based The Wishing Shelf Book Awards; both are currently long-listed for the 2018 Goethe Award. None of Us the Same went on to receive the 2017 bronze medal for best fiction. Jeff and his wife, Kathy, with whom he’s moved nineteen times, have three children scattered around the US and one grandson who lives much too far away. Jeff has many hidden talents, but one which he will proudly reveal is that he has never been beaten at Whack-a-Mole.
Julie C. Gilbert is a writer and a chemistry teacher. She enjoys listening to audiobooks, taking nice walks, drinking tea, and building Legos. Her upcoming novel, Beyond Broken Pencils, was published on Tuesday, August 7, 2018, and is currently available on Amazon. Read more below.
Amy Waeschle is an author, professional editor, and wilderness medicine instructor for the Wilderness Medicine Institute. She is the author of–most recently–Love in the Time of Surfing, Going Over the Falls and Chasing Waves, A Surfer’s Tale of Obsessive Wandering. Her stories have appeared in publications such as The Seattle Times, Sierra, and International Living. Amy is a former National Outdoor Leadership School Field Instructor, graduated with a B.S. in Geology from the University of Washington, and has a Masters in Teaching from Seattle University.
Clare Blanchard writes crime noir mysteries set mainly in the wine country of Central Europe, where her two detectives, Dvorska and Dambersky, are based. But they wander around quite a bit as well, turning up in the United Kingdom and Spain. Her crime stories also have a strong historical thread running through them. Finally, she writes historical mysteries and is in the process, as of this writing in July 2018, of finishing up the edits on one now.
With all the disruptions and upheavals in daily life, the fears and anxieties of isolation and of looking bad, it’s always tempting to find a place – anyplace – where one can feel comfortable and secure, where one belongs. We are all social creatures and seeking out a group that offers validation can be an incredibly powerful motivator for behavior. The problem with that kind of pursuit, though, is that it’s all too possible to get caught up with the wrong crowd. By that I don’t mean a law-breaking, rock-throwing, breaking-into-someone’s car kind of crowd. I simply mean the kind of crowd that doesn’t really work with where you happen to be in life (other than by offering that very human need for validation).
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