Panel Participants Biographies
Veronica has a Bachelors Degree in Anthropology from Arizona State University. By day she works in the Financial world, and in her free time she likes to explore the world of Fantasy and Mythology through research, writing, and art. She has a general love of Zombie Mythology, which lead her to hold the Vice President position in the Phoenix Chapter of the Zombie Research Society. It is her background in Anthropology that has led her to want to always know the history on any given subject.
Len, known as the “Movieman,” keeps the freebie tables full of movie posters, flyers and anything else we receive from the studios. He also provides all the swag for the Barry Bard’s at the Movies trailer presentation panel. Len is performing the functions that the late Barry Bard started decades ago and has done his best to “walk” in Barry’s shoes. Let him know your appreciation when you see him hovering around the freebie tables or giving away free stuff. Len attends many movie screenings a year and the Phoenix Film Festival. He is a member of CASFS.org, Leprecon, Inc. and WesternSFA.org.
Richard Bolinski started with fandom at PhringeCon 1 & CopperCon 1 in the early 80’s. Over the years he has worked most areas of Convention operations at over 70 conventions. As well as working with Apple Computer at trade shows & the Womens Expo in Phoenix. He has been a personal assistant to Don Hannah for the past 15 years, working with him on projects from hosting & planning Michael Jackson’s 40th Birthday bash to working in places as far as mountains of Guatemala. For years, he worked the local Art Shows with long time Art Show Director & business partner Ray Gish. Now he concentrates on providing the movie preview presentation for the local AZ conventions. He also is a professional photographer formerly on staff with Ion magazine in Phoenix & does model portfolio, headshot, event & family portrait work. He is currently head of IT at Global Services Group.
Sean Clark has been an ardent practitioner of the sword since 1992. His beginnings in medieval reenactment would become a solid foundation for his in-depth study of western martial arts, as the context of swordplay is firmly rooted in the techniques themselves. Although primarily focused on the Italian traditions of the longsword & rapier, he is also well-versed in a myriad of other styles including the dussack, sabre & broadsword. Sean is also the founder, president & principal instructor of La Fratellanza della Spada, a western martial arts school based in Phoenix, AZ. More often than not, Sean can be found teaching or studying at various events around the country. Sean’s business, the Raphael Armoury, specializes in the manufacture of training weapons for the WMA/HEMA community at large. When not engaged in any of the above, you might find him portraying a Scot – shooting a musket or wielding a broadsword at an 18th century reenactment event.
Jim was born in Seattle, lived most of his life in California, though he did live on the east coast and in Europe for a while. From a very early age, he made up stories in his head; but he never considered writing. In his family, you went to college, got a degree in something useful and got a real job. So he got a Ph.D. in optical engineering, and went to work as a research scientist. But he was still making up those stories; so a couple decades ago he started writing them down, and he’s been addicted to the craft of writing ever since. He self-published Child of the Sword, an epic fantasy, about a year ago. It went viral, allowing him to quit his day job and write full time. He now has seven SF&F books in publication
Craig came to Arizona from New York in the mid ‘70s. Through a twist of fate, he became involved in the Society for Creative Anachronism where he is known as Lord Craig of the White Cliffs. From the SCA it was a short trip to fannish activities. On Saturday evenings at conventions he can usually be found accompanied by several large, white, wooden ammunition chests, in which he keeps a generous supply of homemade vodka-based cordials. He combines the spirit of a vintner with the showmanship of a low-key P.T. Barnum, as he joyfully discusses the ingredients and watches the pleasure on the faces of his (new and long-held) fannish friends. Occasionally, he teaches the art of cordial making with classes held at his home. Fannishly, he has chaired CopperCon 19 (1999), HexaCon 10 (2000), HexaCon 12 (2002) as well as ConKopelli, the 2004 Westercon. Additionally he was the webmaster for the Central Arizona Speculative Fiction Society (CASFS) from 1998 to 2011 and is a past keeper of the database and co-editor of ConNotations for CASFS. Craig is a founding member of WesternSFA. In the real world he is a highly proficient computer tech for the Maricopa County Community College district, an ardent player/collector of collector card games, owned by numerous cats, dogs, ferrets, turtles, rabbits and birds, and hailed as a generally pleasant fellow.
Over the past decade, Mark Greenawalt has completed several hundred bodypainting and special effects makeup projects. Although based here in Phoenix, Greenawalt’s work has been displayed on live models throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. Many of Greenawalt’s creations are original sci-fi fantasy characters brought to life at conventions such as LepreCon, CopperCon, Phoenix ComiCon, and of course DarkCon. Refusing to be “pigeon-holed”, Greenawalt also practices many other art projects including fantasy illustration, songwriting and music performance, photography, and filmmaking just to name a few. Most of his portfolio can be enjoyed (and purchased) online at www.MarkGreenawalt.com .
Gini Koch lives in Hell’s Orientation Area (aka Phoenix, AZ), works her butt off (sadly, not literally) by day, and writes by night with the rest of the beautiful people. She writes the fast, fresh and funny Alien/Katherine “Kitty” Katt series for DAW Books, the Necropolis Enforcement Files series, and the Martian Alliance Chronicles series for Musa Publishing. As G.J. Koch she writes the Alexander Outland series. She also writes under a variety of other pen names including Anita Ensal, Jemma Chase, A.E. Stanton, and J.C. Koch. She speaks frequently on what it takes to become a successful author and other aspects of writing and the publishing business. She is also the Lead Editor at Raphael’s Village, an online, nonpaying ’zine. Because she wasn’t busy enough, Gini’s added on featured guest columnist, reviewer, and webcaster for Slice of SciFi and It’s Comic Book Day. She can be reached through her website at www.ginikoch.com.
Zoe has been into survival and primitive skills his entire life. He loves zombie culture and tends to practice his survival skill set with the idea that if you are prepared for a zombie apocalypse you are prepared for anything. Zoe was the Phoenix chapter President of the Zombie Research Society for its first two year run and during that time the Phoenix Chapter was awarded the Most Improved Chapter of the Year in 2010 for their continued work on preparing the populace for a zombie pandemic. After retiring from the ZRS when his term was up, Zoe now keeps up on his skills by teaching cub scouts wilderness survival skills.
Michael A. Stackpole
Mike grew up in Vermont and graduated from the University of Vermont in 1979 with a BA in History. Instead of becoming a history teacher, he moved to Arizona and went to work as a game designer with Flying Buffalo, Inc. In 1987 he went freelance fulltime, worked on Wasteland, Bards Tale III, and The 25th Anniversary Star Trek Computer Game. He also started writing novels for FASA, GDW, ROC and Bantam Books. He is best known for his New York Times Bestselling Star Wars X-Wing novels and I, Jedi. His 40th novel, The New World, was published by Bantam Books in August of 2007.
Mike co-authored the movie Gone with Brian Pulido and the screenplay took the Grand Prize in Fade-In Magazine’s Scriptwriting contest for 2006. Their second script, The Sickness, is in pre-production. Mike’s first animated film, Return to Thaumopolis, was part of the Lara Croft Revisioned project produced by GameTap.com. In addition to writing novels, short stories and scripts, Mike is an award-winning podcaster. He co-hosts the popular DragonPage Cover to Cover program and has two of his own podcasts: The Secrets, a podcast for serious writers, and Fortress Draconis: The Podcast, which is an audiobook production of his novel Fortress Draconis. Mike lives in the east valley and spends his spare time playing indoor soccer and dancing.
Chris Swanson is a Phoenix-based blogger, freelance writer and film critic. He’s a regular contributor to whatculture.com and a contributor to agonybooth.com. He watches far more “Doctor Who” than anyone should.
Dr. David A. Williams
Dr. David A. Williams is an Associate Research Professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona. Dr. Williams is the Director of the Ronald Greeley Center for Planetary Studies, the NASA Regional Planetary Information Facility at ASU. He is also the Director of the NASA Planetary Aeolian Laboratory at the Ames Research Center in California. David is currently performing research in volcanology and planetary geology, with a focus on planetary mapping, geochemical, and remote sensing studies. His research has included computer modeling of seismic wave propagation through planetary interiors, visible and near-infrared spectroscopy of the lunar surface, planetary geologic mapping of the satellites of Jupiter, the planet Mars, and the asteroid Vesta, computer modeling of the physical and geochemical evolution of lava flows in a variety of planetary environments, and petrologic study of lava samples from Mount St Helens. He was involved with NASA’s Magellan Mission to Venus and Galileo Mission to Jupiter. He is a Co-Investigator on the European Space Agency’s Mars Express orbiter mission, and he was a Participating Scientist on NASA’s Dawn Mission to asteroid Vesta. David is a Past Chair of the Planetary Geology Division of the Geological Society of America, and has served on several NASA committees including a five-year term on the NASA Outer Planets Advisory Group.
T.M. Williams began her writing career by accident when a song inspired a story about a woman named Carter. What started off as a blip of an idea turned into the Bohemian Grove trilogy, a story based on ancient aliens, science, conspiracy, religion, and love.
Soon after, the completed manuscript was picked up by Nightengale Press Publishing. Bohemian Grove was released in early 2013 – just a little over a year after she began writing.
Since then T.M. Williams has gone on to write Undead Winter, Sun Gate, the Moonlight mini-series, and is currently working on future projects. She is also a free-lance business journalist, copywriter, and blogger. Originally from Los Angeles, she currently lives in Scottsdale, Arizona with her husband and son. Her writing interests include; science fiction, horror, adult-romance, mystery, adventure, suspense, and true-crime.
Susan Wright is an activist and author. Her latest novel is a kinky romance called Good Girl. She has also written an urban fantasy series, Confessions of a Demon, a historical fantasy series, To Serve and Submit, and the Slave Trade science fiction trilogy. Her media tie-in books include 9 Star Trek novels and several short stories, including the bad girls of Trek in Dark Passions. Susan is the spokesperson for the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, and has lectured and interviewed extensively on sexual freedom, consent and the media coverage of alt sex. She received her masters from New York University, and recently moved to Phoenix with her husband Kelly Beaton. www.susanwright.info
Marsheila (Marcy) Rockwell
Marsheila (Marcy) Rockwell lives in the middle of the desert, where she writes dark fiction and poetry in the shadow of an improbably green mountain. Her work includes three novels for Wizards of the Coast (Skein of Shadows, 2012; The Shard Axe, 2011; and Legacy of Wolves, 2007), the Tales of Sand and Sorcery collection from Musa Publishing, Bridges of Longing and Other Strange Passageways, dozens of short stories and poems, a handful of collaborations (with her writing partner, Jeffrey J. Mariotte), and even an article or two. She also recently completed the first in a trilogy of novels based on a comic book property created by one of the biggest names in fantasy today, which she’s dying to tell you all about just as soon as her NDA is lifted. You can find out more here: http://www.marsheilarockwell.com/.
T.L. Smith was born in Louisiana, but calls Phoenix, Arizona home between bouts of wanderlust. Even a stint in the U.S. Air Force as a radar specialist brought her back to the desert. Her time in the service taught her to appreciate the military culture and ever-changing technologies, giving life to the Science Fictions she loves so much. Visit her website at www.tlsmithbooks.com for her current releases and upcoming events.
Lee Whiteside has been keeping track of science fiction and fantasy TV for the last 20 years or so, both in print and online with the SFTV.org website. He’s also been involved with Arizona fandom for almost as long, having chaired two CopperCons, three LepreCons, the 2006 Nebula Awards weekend, and the first North American Discworld Convention. In real life, he’s a network engineer.
Hal C F Astell
Hal C F Astell writes reviews of films from the 1900s to the 2010s at Apocalypse Later (http://www.apocalypselaterfilm.com/), with a focus on what most critics don’t cover. He has been cited at Wikipedia and quoted on DVD covers and in film trailers. Hal is the author of two books, both available at Amazon or at Dog-Eared Pages in Phoenix. Huh? An A-Z of Why Classic American Bad Movies Were Made grew out of a series of reviews he wrote for Cinema Head Cheese. Velvet Glove Cast in Iron: The Films of Tura Satana covers the entire output of legendary actress Tura Satana, with a foreword by Peaches Christ and an afterword by Cody Jarrett. Well known in the local film community as the guy in the kilt, Hal is a regular at film festivals, conventions and other events, many of which he covers for the WOD newspaper. He also hosts mini-film festivals of his own at local conventions, which in 2014 will include DarkCon, Wild Wild West Con, LepreCon and CopperCon. Beyond the film festival, he will also be moderating two panels for Gini Koch.