Collaborative Writing 
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Author Interviews & Bios

Kevin Grover - Slayer

Kevin is a horror writer who lives in Kent, England. Kevin's biggest influence is Stephen King. Kevin has been writing from a young age and describes himself as the ultimate geek. When not writing, you can often find him watching old episodes of Doctor Who or playing Dungeons and Dragons. He has been previously published in ‘Writing Magazine’ in the UK, having come runner up in their 2012 ghost story competition with Pack Up Your Troubles, a story about a wartime ghost come back to visit his wife.

He currently has two novels out on Amazon. The first is called Father’s Song and delves into the dark origins of nursery rhymes. His second is called Monsters Mostly Come out at Night, a chilling story about a demonic soul haunting the internet for victims. His third novel, Coulrophobia, is due out spring 2017.

He has short stories in four other anthology collections and has contributed to two collaborative novels written by a number of international authors.

Website: www.kevingrover.co.uk
Facebook: www.facebook.com/Kevin.grover
Twitter: @groverkevin”


1. Who is your favourite Fantasy Author?


David Gemmell. He’s written so many great novels that should be made into movies or a tv series. He creates such memorable characters. 

2. What inspired your story for Chasing Magic?


I wanted to write a fun fantasy story of warriors carving legends for themselves, but wanted a nice and simple storyline. I think David Gemmell’s works are a big inspiration for me with his strong female characters and gruff old warriors. 

3. If you could inherit one aspect of fantasy into your life, what would it be and why?


I’d love to live in a world of Hobbits, rolling hills and woods, sunny days spent in the shire in a wonderful home under a hill. It would be great, no trains to commute on, no crowds, no distractions. I could finish a few novels, I’m sure!

AJ Millen - The Night Watch

AJ Millen has been telling stories all her life. During the 1980s, she found lots of material in her work reporting real life human interest tales, scandals, school fetes and council meetings in the pages of local and regional newspapers in England. Then, in 1989, she left for what was meant to be a six-month semester in Greece. Well, that was the plan - until a brown-eyed boy from Samos persuaded her to stay. Today, he’s her husband and father to their 20-year-old son.


She lives in Athens and works full-time as the Editorial & Social Media Manager for a multinational company. Words again. Real life continues to be her inspiration, mixed with imaginings of what goes on beneath the surface, just beyond where it is comfortable to look.


To date, AJ has participated in two collaborative novel writing projects (with another in the pipeline) and has been published in six anthologies of short stories. Her work has also featured in evenings of tales performed at independent theatres in Brighton, and she was a winner in the AuthorTrope “I Made The Darkness” writing contest.


Read more of her words at http://shemeanswellbut.blogspot.com

1. Who is your favourite Fantasy Author?

I tend not to think in terms of genre when reading or writing, and I'm not sure if she qualifies as "Fantasy", but I have to say that I love J.K. Rowling's ability to create a whole alternative wizarding world that is completely believable in parallel to the mundane reality most of us live in. . 

2. What inspired your story for Chasing Magic?

The monster that used to hide in my own closet. Turns out he's got a story of his own to tell.

3. If you could inherit one aspect of fantasy into your life, what would it be and why?

An Invisibility Cloak, so I can listen in on secret plots, plans and the gossip whispered in corners. Knowledge is power!

Jason Pere - The End of Magic

Jason Pere is a born-and-raised New Englander. He always had a passion for the arts and creative storytelling. At the age of thirteen, Jason took up the craft of acting for film and theater. He pursued that interest for over a decade until refocusing his medium of expression into writing.


At first, Jason took a causal interest in writing, starting with poetry and journaling. Over time, he honed his direction and finally began writing larger works. In November of 2012, Jason self-published his first book, Modern Knighthood: Diary of a Warrior Poet.


Since then, Jason has gone on to self-publish several other Novels. He writes material across many different genres but Fantasy is his favorite.


In early 2015, Jason became affiliated with Collaborative Writing Challenge (CWC). Since then, he has joined many other writers on numerous collaborative projects. Jason is a regular contributor to CWC and is scheduled to have multiple pieces of his work appear in their publications.

https://www.facebook.com/jbp.author/

http://www.amazon.com/Jason-Pere/e/B00JH63V0O/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1467556399&sr=8-1

http://teamcovenant.com/category/ashes-rise-of-the-phoenixborn

[email protected]


1. Who is your favorite Fantasy Author?


David Gemmell is my favorite when it comes to fantasy. I adore his ability to create a wide cast of characters in each of his books. The philosophy that he presents in his dialogue is as though provoking and vivid as his action scenes. He is not afraid to kill everybody no matter how popular that character may be with readers. Most of all he breaks to mold when it comes to the old trope of “Show don’t Tell”. His story telling style manages to be “Tell Heavy” and excellent.


2. What inspired your story for Chasing Magic?


I like to personify ideas and concepts so the title Chasing Magic was a large contributing factor in my story. I wanted to cast Magic as a principle character. I have done this before, in the Collaborative Writing Challenge’s novel, Wytch Born as a matter of fact. I like my material dark and broody with a good deal of bitter so I wanted to focus of the period of history where the human world transitioned away from wonderment in favor of reason. I thought it would be cool to tell that story from the side of wonder since the dawn of science, logic and man’s enrichment has been a well-traveled subject. I also favor the direct conflict of good and evil in most of my work, so naturally this story gave me a perfect outlet to do that as well.


3. If you could inherit one aspect of fantasy into your life, what would it be and why?


I have to pick just one? I would be happy with anything that allowed me to break away from the banality of the mundane world. I have a soft spot for temporal manipulation but, in it’s perfect form, I think that power is a little too much wonderment for human hands. I would happily settle for the ability to slow time to a crawl while being able to act at regular speed. I’m sure I could get myself into all sorts of mischief that way. Failing that I’ll happily take a talking animal companion.

AE Stueve - Unicorn Music

AE Stueve is an editor, writer, and teacher from Omaha, NE where he lives with his wife, son, daughter, two dogs, and cat. He holds an MFA from the University of Nebraska, where he was the recipient of the Wendy Fort Foundation Prize for exemplary work in fiction. He edits for EAB Publishing’s seasonal literary magazine, Midnight Circus. Also, as an editor, he has helped bring to life Julie Rowse’s memoir, Lies Jane Austen Told Me, Jeremy Morong’s novel The Adventures of Braxton Revere and his collection of short stories, The Legend of Hummel Park and Other Stories, as well as Jeremy Johnson’s novel Vessels, and David S. Atkinson’s novel The Garden of Good and Evil Pancakes. His own work has appeared in such journals and collections as The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, Dark Moon Presents: Zombies!, HVZA, Dark Fairy Tales Revisited, Picaroon Poetry, and MidAmerican Fiction and Photography. His graphic novel hybrids, The ABCs of Dinkology: Life, The ABCs of Dinkology: Time In-Between, and The ABCs of Dinkology: Death, and his sci-fi, dystopian, horror novel, Former, are available wherever good books are sold. He teaches writing at University of Omaha and graphic design, filmmaking, and writing at Bellevue West High where he also advises for the yearbook, video yearbook, literary magazine, and journalistic website: thethunderbeat.org.


1. Who is your favourite Fantasy Author?


I have to go with Tolkien for this. There are several out there who have done amazing jobs in the genre--Rowling (obvs), Martin, King, Lewis, Erickson, etc. but Tolkien will always be the boss... in my humble opinion.


2. What inspired your story for Chasing Magic?


I have driven this strip of highway 275 approximately one million times in my life and I've always wondered what it would be like to see something amazing on a lonely afternoon cruising down the road. Thus, Unicorn Music was born.


3. If you could inherit one aspect of fantasy into your life, what would it be and why?


It would have to be magic. I think if I say "magic" that can pretty much encompass everything. It's like using a wish to wish for infinite wishes. I've found a loophole! Yes!

Jennifer Della'Zanna - Honor

Jennifer Della’Zanna loves to combine history, mythology, fantasy and romance in her fiction and in her life. Her undergraduate degree is in History, German and Ancient Greek, and she holds an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She and her husband had a Medieval wedding at a castle in central Pennsylvania and spent their honeymoon in Ireland. They have two children who are avid readers and travelers and finally old enough to go to really interesting places. Jennifer lives in Woodbine, Maryland, halfway between the history and travel opportunities of Baltimore and Washington, DC. 


Jennifer was very happy making a living as a freelance writer for several years before a story invaded her head and wouldn’t leave her alone. She found National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) one year and thought she’d get the story out of her system. She did, but then another story occurred to her, and another, and another. She has never looked back and, although her family remembers fondly the days when she used to cook and do laundry, they have been extremely supportive anyway. Chaos Rules, a historical fantasy set in ancient Egypt is Jennifer’s first book, which is represented by Eric Ruben at the Ruben Agency and is currently out on submission. You can find her at Facebook.com/JenDellaZanna and on Twitter: @jendellazanna.


1. Who is your favorite Fantasy Author? 


That is such a hard question, just because the definition of fantasy is different for so many people. Diana Gabaldon, Mercedes Lackey, and Jacqueline Carey are all kind of tied for first as my favorite authors of various kinds of fantasy.

 

2. What inspired your story for Chasing Magic? 


It actually arose from a prompt for a 24-hour story writing contest I did years ago. It didn’t win. I loved it, though, so I’ve revised it several times over the years. I even made a much longer short story out of it, and one year for NaNoWriMo, it became a novel. This short version has always remained my favorite, however.

 

3. If you could inherit one aspect of fantasy into your life, what would it be and why?


Of *my* fantasy? Lyra’s bravery. Of fantasy in general? Magic, of course.

W.S. Moye - Grenadine's Charm

W.S. Moye lives in Florida, where Summer overstays its welcome. He is a graphic designer and web designer by trade, and in his free time, he writes.  He typically writes Fantasy, Sci/fi and Humor novels and short stories. He has completed three novels and is in the process of getting the latest two ready for publication.

  He has currently two works in publication, a flash piece titled “Crown of Wisdom” with Speculative 66 and a short story titled “Grenadine’s Charm” with CW Publishing in their “Chasing Magic” Anthology.

  W.S. Moye shares his stories with a miniature panther familiar named Raven. When he’s not writing madly or reading, he likes to create stories with his friends playing tabletop role playing games, and create art or music.

You can find more of his nonsense here: https://www.facebook.com/WSMoye
Or in the beleaguered month of November here:http://nanowrimo.org/participants/w-s-moye


1. Who is your favourite Fantasy Author?

Oh! Don't make me choose between Terry Pratchett and Piers Anthony! Terry? No, Piers. No, Terry. Okay, Maybe Piers is my favorite living author and Terry is --- oh but then Douglas Adams... How many do I get?


2. What inspired your story for Chasing Magic?


I've always loved Magic, and there's (pardon the pun) something enchanting about witches. But traditional witches are made to be hated--ugly, green and nose-heavy-- where I have always thought of them as Wiccan with a supernatural twist. I wanted to write something where a witch finds love the traditional way-- something that still feels magical in an extra-magical world.

3. If you could inherit one aspect of fantasy into your life, what would it be and why?

I'm thinking we are looking for a serious, well thought-out answer here. So I've got to go with turning into a dragon. Because dragons are epic and nothing dares mess with them except gallstones.

Laura Callender - Born of the Elements

My first piece of fiction was written when I was only 12 years old. I described in detail how it made me feel to watch my favorite cardigan as it swirled around the washing machine. My teacher gave me praise, but I never really thought much about writing until I reached my early twenties. I started with poetry, and then moved on to short stories, eventually progressing to full chapters that matured with me. For me, age and experience really honed my writing ability, and I started to believe that I could one day publish a full length story. I’m still working towards that goal, but I’m proud to say my first completed book was written for my daughter and published in November 2014. You can find: Jungle Gym - Baby Animals on Amazon, and I have two more children’s books written and planned for the near future. 


Born in Liverpool, England, and raised in North Wales, I planned a great escape and travelled the world. I now have two beautiful daughters who have played a huge part in allowing me to finally realize my decade old dream of organizing a successful collaborative writing project (CWC). Seeing this come together has really taught me to never give up on your ideas! When I am not writing and submitting short stories, I am usually publishing projects, or designing covers as a freelance cover designer. 


CWC - www.collaborativewritingchallenge.com

Cover Design - www.justpublishit.com


1. Who is your favourite Fantasy Author?


This is hard for me to answer as most of the fantasy work I have read has been by unknown authors. CWC has kept me so busy whilst being a mom, I get very little time to read so my interest in fantasy writing has come from other writers and fantasy programmes. Loved the Shannara Chronicles, and was very inspired by Penny Dreadful.


2. What inspired your story for Chasing Magic?


Actually it was an image I created for a cover design. You can see it next to my excert. I like to create interesting designs then give them a title. They then became part of my pre made stock to help build up my portfolio. This image stuck with me, so I started a story based on elements, and as a panster, I just kept writing until I ended up with what it became. 


3. If you could inherit one aspect of fantasy into your life, what would it be and why?


Tricky, I'm going to go with alternate worlds. So we could travel to different lands with different species as visitors. I have traveled a huge portion of our world, and would love to go beyond those boundaries to somewhere truly magical! 

Kathrin Hutson - Aomedus Fell

Born and raised in Colorado, adopted by South Carolina, and at home in California. Kathrin Hutson has been writing fiction for sixteen years, editing for six, and plunging in and out of reality since she first became aware of the concept. She specializes in Fantasy and Sci-fi, with a splattering of short stories that weave in and out of literary fiction. 

In addition to writing exquisitely dark fiction, Kathrin runs her own independent editing company, KLH CreateWorks, for Indie Authors of all genres. She also serves as Story Coordinator and Chief Editor for Collaborative Writing Challenge. Needless to say, she doesn’t have time to do anything she doesn’t enjoy.

Kathrin keeps a vast collection of single earrings (and wears them), has fulfilled her dream of naming one of her dogs Brucewillis, and can’t remember the last time she didn’t laugh at one of her own jokes.

The first two books in her Dark Fantasy series, Gyenona's Children ('Daughter of the Drackan' and 'Mother of the Drackan'), are available on Amazon and at Barnesandnoble.com. 

www.kathrinhutsonfiction.com
www.facebook.com/kathrinhutsonfiction
www.klhcreateworks.com
www.facebook.com/klhcreateworks
Twitter: @KlhCreateWorks

Amanda Linsmeier - Briar Rose

Amanda Linsmeier is the author of Ditch Flowers (Penner Publishing, 2015) and the newly released Beach Glass & Other Broken Things. Her work has been featured in Feminine Collective, Portage Magazine, Literary Mama, and Brain, Child Magazine. Besides writing Women’s Fiction and poetry, she loves fables, fairytales, and fantasy, and sometimes pretends her Hogwarts letter is still coming. She can be found blogging about writing and books at amandalinsmeier.com. When she’s not writing, or actively seeking an agent for her newest manuscripts, she works part-time at her local library and brings home more books than she has time to read.


For Amanda, writing is the best kind of magic, and her own work is heavily influenced by mysterious women, nature, and beautiful images (just check out her Pinterest boards for proof) and fueled with lots of iced coffee and background music. She’s the kind of monster who dog-ears book pages, and she has read her favorite book probably a hundred times. She loves pizza, tattoos, shopping, and pretty much anything French. Amanda lives in the countryside, surrounded by trees, with her family, two dogs, and two half-wild cats.


Please check her out on Twitter or Facebook for more information and updates. You can also sign up for her quarterly newsletter at her website where she’ll offer giveaways and sneak peeks of her work.


1. Who is your favourite Fantasy Author?


J.K. Rowling is my ultimate favorite. The world-building, the characters, the intricate plot lines. Not only is my mind blown by pretty much every magical, fantastical detail, I think she’s just a wonderful writer. I also love Robin McKinely—her novel Beauty is my favorite book, and Carolyn Turgeon for her twists on classic fairytales. Godmother left me in shock for days.


2. What inspired your story for Chasing Magic?


I had a clear image of a fierce, warrior-like woman, with vibrant red hair and a tie to roses. Someone tough, and independent, but also with a vulnerability. That’s where Briar Rose began.


3. If you could inherit one aspect of fantasy into your life, what would it be and why?


Magic! The kind that can heal illness or soothe pain, that can transform, or that is just plain fun. I’d like to instantly locate my kids’ lost socks, do my hair perfectly with a wave of my hand, or have my favorite sushi just show up on the table whenever a craving strikes. Boom.

Emeline's Tree - Liz Butcher

Liz Butcher resides in Brisbane, Australia, with her husband, daughter, and two cats, Pandora and Zeus. While writing is her passion, her numerous interests include psychology, history, astronomy, the paranormal, mythology, reading, art and music – all which help fuel her imagination. She also loves being out in nature, especially amongst the trees or near the water. Liz has published a number of short stories in anthologies and currently has a multitude of projects in the works including her upcoming novel, ‘Fates Revenge’.


Website: http://lizbutcherauthor.wix.com/lizbutcher

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lunaloveliz

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lunaloveliz/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Liz-Butcher-1394868604152823/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13845425.Liz_Butcher

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/moonchildliz/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00X6XN5O6


Publications:

“Haunting Gemma" - featured in "Twisted Tales"

“Wrath” – featured in “Lurking in the Deep”

“See What I See” – featured in “Heart’s Asunder”

“Morte” – featured in “Twisted Easter Tales”

“Serpent Skies” – featured in Shamrocks, Saints & Standing Stones”

“Dorcha Scath” – featured in “Lurking in the Shadows”

“Gethen” featured in “Lurking in the Mind” (Coming in April)

“Dormir” – featured in “Twisted Tales 2” (Coming in June)

Amanda Luzzader - Daphne the Girl in the Armor

Amanda Luzzader is an award-winning writer and poet. She loves rain, a perfectly brewed cup of tea, and free two-day shipping (all on the same day, if possible). Amanda hates germs, small-talk, and bats. Bats are the worst. 

She is a devout cat person.

Amanda's fiction can be found in numerous collections, including Volatile When Mixed: An Anthology of Poetry and Prose (2016 LUW Press), Apocalypse: Utah (2016 Griffin Publishers), The Helicon West Anthology (Helicon West Press 2016), and several editions of Chicken Soup for the Soul. She also writes creative nonfiction and poetry, and feels that high-quality writing is equal parts tension and passion. As a longtime member and former president of the League of Utah Writers, Amanda has made many fantastic friends over the years, as well as quite a few terrific enemies. She has worked as a technical writer and professional editor, and is currently employed as a grant writer for a nonprofit organization that helps children and families. Amanda is the proud mom of two incredibly bright boys.

Find Amanda on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/authoramandaluzzader/

1. Who is your favourite Fantasy Author?


I wouldn't say I had just one favourite. I like Brandon Sanderson, C.S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, and many more!


2. What inspired your story for Chasing Magic?


I was thinking about how people who have had their hearts broken often build up these emotional defenses and then when they start a new relationship, their new partner doesn't understand why and tries to tear down those defenses without realizing that it may be the only thing holding a person together. 


3. If you could inherit one aspect of fantasy into your life, what would it be and why?


I want the "and they all lived happily ever after." Doesn't that sound sublime? To have your worst days behind you and only happy days ahead. I really think that's one of the things that is so appealing about fantasy. Your foes can be defeated and you can live happily ever after. We should all be so lucky. 

E.R. Smo - Wayward's Beacon

E.R. Smo is a writer who lives in Northern Virginia. He is a pizza delivery guy by day, and a writer whenever he can find the time. Although he considers fantasy to be his primary genre, he likes to dabble in others as well. He is currently working on his first novel entitled Accrue’s End: Pursuit, a fantasy novel heavily influenced by the JRPG video games of his youth. His short story, Wayward’s Beacon in the ‘Chasing Magic’ anthology will be his second published work. The first is a short horror story entitled Breath, soon to be featured in an anthology called ‘Once Upon A Wednesday.’


Since he as a kid he’s been coming up with stories in one form or another, rarely writing them down. Not until an admired animator passed away did he finally put an idea to paper. Fans were asked to do something creative to remember his passing, and he decided writing would be his answer.


He considers himself a geek, enjoying shows such as Doctor Who, and the animated web series RWBY. Once or twice a year he attends anime conventions, occasionally cosplaying, and plays more than his fair share of video games.


Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ERSmoAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/EricSmo_Author

1. Who is your favorite fantasy author?
I think I would have to choose JK Rowling. There are a lot of fantasy writers who follow a similar set of guidelines. Chainmail, elves, medieval setting. I really liked that JK Rowling was able to bring us into a fantasy world connected to our own, in a way that anybody could relate to. She created a whole world living alongside our own without anybody knowing. I like when people break the mold and do things in a different way.

2. What inspired your story for Chasing Magic?
Honestly I really have no idea. Random ideas tend to pop into my head on a regular basis and sometimes I have no idea where they come from. So I can't really say it was specifically inspired by anything other than my own overactive imagination.

3. If you could inherit one aspect of fantasy into your life what would it be and why?

Easily it would be magic. If I'm going to be more specific, I would say I would like to harness the power of magic in two different ways. The first would be elementalism, being able to control fire, wind, water, etc. I've always been drawn to Magic that works that way. II would be body enhancement. Making myself physically stronger, faster, more durable.

Phoebe Darqueling - The Vigil

Phoebe Darqueling is the pen name of a very real anthro major who also holds degrees in Museum Studies and Teaching English as a Foreign Language. Over the past few years, she's lived places as familiar as her native Minnesota, and as far-flung as Bulgaria. Her personal philosophy: Manage your foibles, and maximize the awesome.

Phoebe is the second editor for Steampunk Journal, the world's most popular Steampunk website (SteampunkJournal.org). She is an accomplished public speaker who delivers lectures at Steampunk conventions, and writes fiction of various shapes and sizes, as well as nonfiction about the underpinnings of the Steampunk aesthetic.

1. Who is your favourite Fantasy Author?


Definitely Neil Gaiman. If he someday read something I wrote and didn't hate it, I could die happy. If he likes it, even better, but I'd settle for "not hate."


2. What inspired your story for Chasing Magic?


I wanted to do a new take on the whole "magic ring" trope, and I'd spent some time living abroad in Bulgaria so I tried to infuse The Vigil with some of that old world feeling.

3. If you could inherit one aspect of fantasy into your life, what would it be and why?

No one ever has to do boring stuff like file taxes in fantasy worlds. Sure, you're in peril a lot of the time, but at least it's never dull!

Kelly Matsuura - The Fairy Door

Kelly Matsuura grew up in Victoria, Australia, but always dreamed she would live abroad.  She has lived in northern China and Michigan in the US, and over ten years in Nagoya, Japan, where she now lives permanently.


Kelly has published numerous short stories online; in group anthologies; and in several self-published anthologies. Her stories have been published by Visibility Fiction, Crushing Hearts & Black Butterfly Publishing, A Murder of Storytellers, and Ink and Locket Press.


She is the creator and editor for The Insignia Series: a blog and anthology series dedicated to promoting Asian fantasy stories, books, and authors. Her hobbies include knitting, Japanese quilting, cooking, traveling, and learning languages.


Kelly’s website: www.blackwingsandwhitepaper.com

Blog: www.blackwingsandwhitepaper.wordpress.com

The Insignia Series blog: www.insigniastories.com

Facebook: Kelly Matsuura/Kelly Noro Author

Twitter: Kelly Matsuura


1. Who is your favourite Fantasy Author?


I love so many genres and read classics, indie, and popular fiction, I could never choose only one author, or one book. But some fantasy/spec fic authors I really admire are: Malinda Lo, Suzanne Collins, Stephen King (of course!), Anne Rice and C.S. Lewis. 

2. What inspired your story for Chasing Magic?


That's hard to answer without giving away the ending, but that last scene where Rayyan and Dhia reunite kind of popped in my head and wrote itself! Then I had to think about who the characters were, where the story was set, and how they found the door. I decided to set the story in Malaysia after seeing a picture of a kancil (mouse deer). They're so cute! Who wouldn't chase one through the woods? 


3. If you could inherit one aspect of fantasy into your life, what would it be and why?


That's easy: I live in Japan so would love the power to travel across the world in an instant! My husband is an engineer, so I'm always asking

him to build me a teleportation device, haha! Oh, if I did have the power to teleport, it would be cool if I could take a passenger/s with me too.

Mary Lucille Hays - Sidewinder

Mary Lucille Hays has lived most of her life in the Midwest. She was named for both of her grandmothers and teaches writing at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign while pursuing an MFA at Murray State University in Kentucky. In 2015 she was their Jesse Stuart Fellow. Mary has published stories in Quiddity, Another Chicago Magazine, Broad! Backyard Poultry and other journals. Her poems have appeared in The Mid-America Poetry ReviewBlue ViolinCoal City Review. In 2007 The Illinois Center for the Book presented her with the Gwendolyn Brooks Award for her poem, “Tippet Hill.” She was a founding editor of New Stone Circle. She raises chickens on her grandmother’s farm. She writes a weekly newspaper column called “Letter from Birdland” about her life there. Sometimes she thinks that finding 3 warm, blue eggs in the coop is the best thing that can happen to her all day.


You can view her blog at www.letterfrombirdland.blogspot.com and her poems at tamingjunkyarddog.blogspot.com


1. Who is your favourite Fantasy Author?


Actually, I think of my work more as magical realism than fantasy. Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon, Gabriel García Márquez' One Hundred Years of Solitude, Kafka's "The Metamorphosis."  But I have always been fascinated by books where human stories are superimposed on animal societies, like Watership Down by Richard Adams.


2. What inspired your story for Chasing Magic?


I sometimes think of people as having animal characteristics. When my children were small, one was quick and mischievous, loved to climb: I thought of him as a monkey (and he used to put gloves on his feet and say he was a chimpanzee). Another one was solid and strong and stubborn and honest. He was like a rhinoceros. The third was flighty and lighthearted, and I always felt like he could fly if he wanted to. He became a bird to me in my imagination.


My story is really about mother-daughter relationships. I began to wonder what it would be like giving birth to a creature who was entirely different from you. The snake has one way of being in the world; the buffalo has another. Neither one is better than the other, but they have a hard time understanding each other. Sometimes when I share this story with people, they think I don't like the mother because she is a snake, but that's not true. The snake in my story is quite beautiful. I like snakes a lot. We often think of honesty as a good characteristic, and the buffalo in the story is honest, but that straight-ahead frankness can also be dangerous and hurtful if it's not combined with gentleness. Both characters have much to learn about how to live in community with others.


3. If you could inherit one aspect of fantasy into your life, what would it be and why?


Not exactly time travel, but the ability to live on two distinct planes. I find myself planning projects that would require me to move to another part of the world or have a different life, but I don't want to give up the life I'm living now. Even something as silly as buying a house. Sometimes when I'm bicycling around town I see a house for sale and I think, "I'd like to buy that house." And not that I have the money to anyway, but it's almost like I feel like I can split myself in two like a planarian and swim off in two different directions--living on the farm and in the city at the same time.

Heather Holmes - Orion and the Dream-Eater

Heather Holmes is both an athiest and a devout believer in magic. Despite being the height of an average fifth grader, she’s actually pushing 30 and is prone to understatement. She is a mother and college student by day and a madwoman at night, plotting scenes and killing darlings. She likes to touch her readers in weird ways. Her two sons are 11 and 9 and wish she would stop forcing them to beta read. She enjoys playing guitar and video games, Netflix binges, heated political debates, inappropriate jokes, and reading tarot. Heather lives near Charleston, SC with two cats, a beagle, and a bunch of nerds.


As the daughter of a Navy sailor who moved around a lot, Heather struggled to make friends, and so she found them in books instead. She started writing during middle school, escaping into worlds entirely within her control to cope with the emotional rollercoaster of a bipolar, schizophrenic mother. Some of her early poetry was published in anthologies and local newspapers during middle and high school. After graduation, Heather married an Airman and moved to beautiful Colorado. She wrote articles and memoirs for an online content provider, quickly rising to the highest rank (and pay grade!), but after two years, single motherhood forced her to quit.


Heather moved back home and made a new career as a call center agent specializing in sales, customer service, and technical support in multiple industries, but kept writing in her spare time. Last spring, she quit her day job to become a full time student and is pursuing both a Professional Writer’s Certificate and her first Bachelor’s in Computer Science with emphasis on programming, her third love after writing and music. “Orion and the Dream-Eater” is her first published work of fiction, hopefully the first of many!


Poetry Blog: http://scribblesbyali.blogspot.com

Religious Blog: http://humanisdivine.blogspot.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Heatherholmeswrites


1. Who is your favourite Fantasy Author?


Lloyd Alexander was my childhood hero. His Chronicles of Prydain made me want to create worlds and tell stories of my own. JK Rowling captivated me with the magic and meaning in Harry Potter, and both her origin story and writing style are still an inspiration. I worship Neil Gaiman at a small shrine in my room (ok, not really). I am always blown away by the scope of his imagination and the childlike wonder he so deftly conjures.


2. What inspired your story for Chasing Magic?


I was trying to dream up a world that hadn’t already been done to death, something that would allow creative leeway. I realized that while I had encountered dream worlds, like the Sandman’s realm (Neil Gaiman) and Tel'aran'rhiod from Jordan’s Wheel of Time, they were only settings for scenes that had never been fully explored. The original rough draft in 2012 had little conflict, meaning, or substance. It was just a glimpse into Nite as Orion took a walk. That draft was lost, but when Chasing Magic was announced, I knew it was time to recreate it. I stumbled across the idea of the Dream-Eater quite by accident and discovered it was the missing piece of the puzzle.


3. If you could inherit one aspect of fantasy into your life, what would it be and why?


Is it cheating to just say “magic?” The possibilities are endless. What other aspect would you need if you had magic? As I write this, I see that my colleague AE Stueve has already made this same observation much more eloquently, so I’ll settle for a winged unicorn. I would love to add a live one to my collection!

Michael R. Baker - Eye of Keidan

Michael R. Baker is a novelist from the northern town of Newcastle Upon tyne, England. Having grown up steeped in the mysticism of his own fantasy world, it finally took shape, entering the magical realm that is writing fiction.


Graduating from the University of Sunderland in 2011 with a degree in History and Politics, Michael initially struggled with his plans for the future, until a re-found love for the fantasy genre chose his path as an author. As part of his history background, Michael loves researching the military culture of the world, his favourite time periods of expertise being the Second World War and Ancient Rome, although he is currently studying the life of Alexander the Great.


When he isn’t exploring the recesses of his fantasy worlds, he writes, starting from an early age of seven. His works range from small 100 word stories to great epic-long adventures, his favourite genres being fantasy, science fiction and horror. His other hobbies include watching movies, video gaming, watching tennis, exploring a casual approach to Buddhism, military history, and reading everything he can get his hands on. Thanks to the love of his Kindle reader, fantasy is his main genre of interest, although he is happy to read (and critique!) any genre. His favourite fantasy authors are George R.R. Martin, Brandon Sanderson and Steven Erikson.


He is a very avid video gamer, writing an extensive blog about his favourites in his pastime. Alongside his passion for worldbuilding, writing and gaming, he is also an avid fantasy cartographer, and has commissioned several projects for authors and roleplayers over the past year.

There are several ways in which you can reach Michael Baker:


Blog: http://bit.ly/1RMNPho

Facebook Author page: http://bit.ly/2kiNHSk

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2kZ4wix

Worldbuilding Services: http://bit.ly/2kBMiCB

Twitter: http://bit.ly/2knzZsz

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2knxeHY

Patreon: http://bit.ly/2laP311

J. Anthony Gohier - Price of the Piper

Jeremy Gohier wrote his first story when he was three but it had very narrow distribution.  His own journey has taken him down many walks of life, including pursuits in film production, ballroom dance, baking, and game design, just to name a few. But, he has always been a believer in the power of stories to reveal the magic in our everyday lives, and inevitably he returned to the written word.  In 2013 he joined up with the League of Utah writers and discovered the power of collaborative communities and constructive criticism.  His writing has since won awards in several categories, including genre fiction, children’s books and poetry.


Jeremy currently resides in Utah where he is studying Computer Science, (which is its own brand of magic if you know how to look closely enough.)  His short story “Hydrogeist” was published in the 2016 anthology It Came from the Great Salt Lake. Several of his short stories, as well as his award-winning poem “All Twisted Up” have also been published in anthologies released by The League of Utah Writers.


1. Who is your favorite Fantasy Author?


Probably, whoever I read last.  But if I had to pick one I would have to say Mary Robinette Kowal is currently my favorite because of her ability to blend magic seamlessly with everyday life.


2. What inspired your story for Chasing Magic?


I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of hearing the other side of a story.  The story of the Pied Piper intrigued me, in particular, because while the traditional tale is named after him, we never really get to see things from his point of view.


3. If you could inherit one aspect of fantasy into your life, what would it be and why?


As a firm believer in everyday magic, I think there are elements of fantasy all throughout my life, but I’ve never had elves make my shoes before. 

Also flying.  Flying would be awesome.

Stacey Jaine McIntosh- Morrighan

Stacey Jaine McIntosh was born in Perth, Western Australia where she still resides with her husband and their four children.


Although her first love has always been writing, she once toyed with being a Cartographer and subsequently holds a Diploma in Spatial Information Services.


In 2011 she had her first short story Freya published in an anthology, eleven more have followed. The latest story Morríghan is included in the CW Publishing House Anthology Chasing Magic.

Stacey is also the author of a self-published novel Solstice, and she is currently working on several other novels simultaneously. She specialising in writing paranormal romance and Celtic inspired fairy tales.


When not with her family or writing she enjoys reading, photography, genealogy, history, Arthurian myths and witchcraft.

You can find her on social media here:


Facebook: www.facebook.com/StaceyJaineMcIntosh

Website: www.staceyjainemcintosh.com

Twitter: @StaceyJMcIntosh


1. Who is your favourite Fantasy Author?


My favourite fantasy author would have to be Marion Zimmer Bradley, followed by Juliet Marillier.


2. What inspired your story for Chasing Magic?


Definitely The Mists of Avalon. I loved the character of Morgaine in MZB's novel and I wanted to put my own spin on it. The inclusion of Dragon's just seemed like a cool way to kickstart a war.


3. If you could inherit one aspect of fantasy into your life, what would it be and why?


That's a hard one. I guess if I had to chose just one, I'd say the ability to fly, as cliche as it is, I think it would be rather freeing to have wings.


M.W. King - Damsel In Distress

M.W. King grew up in Charlestown, Ma. After graduating from East Boston High School, she spent six years in the U.S. Navy as a machinist mate. During that six years, she spent time at Naval Nuclear Power Training Command School, and at the Norfolk Naval base, on sea duty with the USS Kearsarge and shore duty with the Naval Ship Support Activity. She moved back to New England after her military contract ended and now lives in New Hampshire with her husband and children.


Writing has always been her most persistent passion, but she also has training in Esthetics and will be graduating from Boston College with a bachelor’s degree in business. She enjoys crafting of all types, especially knitting, crocheting, and sewing.


M.W. King has published works in a variety of genres, including horror, fantasy, and children’s fiction. She has been published in three other anthologies and also participated in one of CWC’s collaborative novels. Her first stand-alone publication was published in April, 2017: an illustrated children’s book called ‘There’s No Such Thing As People’.


To stay updated on her writing and future publications, follow her on social media:

www.facebook.com/MWKing.Author

www.twitter.com/MpWKing

Britt Haraway - The Talking Cedar

Britt Haraway’s book of short stories Early Men was published September 2016 by Lamar University Literary Press. His stories have appeared in Moon City Review, Great Weather for Media, New Madrid, BorderSenses and elsewhere. His work was selected for the The Best of Small Fictions 2016, guest-edited by Stuart Dybek. He holds a PhD from the University of Southern Mississippi’s Center for Writers. Currently, he is an assistant professor in the creative writing program at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, where he is the fiction editor of RiverSedge literary magazine.


Early Reviews and Reactions to "Early Men" 

"These moving stories of characters struggling with their own flaws, fighting to right their tilted lives or survive a loved one’s loss, are richly imagined, admirably complex, and shine with the subtlety and sensitivity of truly fine writing. But Early Men is more than that. By bravely grappling with the political as well as the personal, Britt Haraway tackles one of literatures most difficult, yet vital, roles and, with this debut, offers us important insights not only about ourselves, but about the wider world in which we live." —Josh Weil, author of The Great Glass Sea 


"The author’s attention to detail and rhythm is quite effective. In “Lucy and the Early Men,” the narrator describes an article he wrote about an archaeological site on Native American land adjacent to the U.S.-Mexican border wall: “Just a bit of history that had helped me understand the wall. The age of bones. Finding the fishing gear and the boat evidence. A bunch of weapons.” Lines like these demonstrate Haraway’s developing mastery of the short story form, and show that this book—and any subsequent works from the author—is worth a reader’s attention. Well-crafted contemporary tales with Southern protagonists. --Kirkus Review 


"Haraway likes to create fringe characters, characters on the brink of things falling apart, then depict the scenes where things fall apart. He highlights them with tense confrontations, interactions that reveal the inner truths of his people. “Germantown Players Club” features two such confrontations, the one out in the driveway with the doctor, and another right after, making it, at seven pages, intense from beginning to end. I like this story a lot, like what Haraway does. This is, as they say, a solid debut." --MICHAEL CZYZNIEJEWSKI, author of I Will Love You For the Rest of My Life: Breakup Stories 


"In the deftly written “Early Men,” just out from Lamar University Press, Haraway explores the familiar themes of modern literary fiction from fresh angles inspired from his life in Memphis and his work in South Texas. Disaffected, weary and flawed characters struggle with love, life and identity in these 11 tales, seldom breaking free of their self-made purgatories but affording us fascinating insight into the human condition." --David Bowles, author of Ghosts of the Rio Grande Valley