Peter B. Slayer

A dealer in indulgence, a man with a taste for the attainable pleasures of a life well lived.
Peter has traveled the globe learning the secrets to the good life: how to meet and escalate connections with note worthy people the world over.
What he has gleaned, he carries with him to share with new friends and fellow patrons of happiness.
More info here:

Peter was JordanCon 7's Toastmaster.

Todd Lockwood

Todd Lockwood's illustration work has appeared on NY Times best-selling novels, magazines, video games, collectible card games, and fantasy role-playing games. It has been honored with multiple appearances in Spectrum and the Communication Arts Illustration Annual, and with numerous industry awards. Always known for the narrative power of his paintings, Todd now turns his hand to writing, and is working on a novel to be published by DAW Books at a date still to be determined.

Saladin Ahmed

Saladin Ahmed was born in Detroit and raised in a working-class, Arab American enclave in Dearborn, Michigan. His first novel, THRONE OF THE CRESCENT MOON, was a finalist for the Hugo, Nebula, Crawford, Gemmell, and British Fantasy Awards, won the Locus Award for Best First Novel, and received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, and Library Journal. He was nominated twice for the Campbell Award for Best New Science Fiction/Fantasy Writer for his short stories, which have appeared in YEAR'S BEST SCIENCE FICTION and have been translated into a half-dozen languages.

Patrick Rothfuss

Patrick Rothfuss was born in Madison, Wisconsin to awesome parents who encouraged him to read and create through reading to him, gentle boosts of self-esteem, and deprivation of cable television. During his formative years, he read extensively and wrote terrible short stories and poetry to teach himself what not to do.

Larry Elmore

I have been creating fantasy and science fiction art for over 40 years. After receiving a BFA degree from Western Kentucky, I got married to Betty Clemons and was drafted into the army almost at the same time. After serving two years in the service, I got a job at Fort Knox, Ky. as an illustrator. While working there, in the ’70′s I started freelancing at home and was published in a few magazines, including Heavy Metal and National Lampoon. During this time we had our two children, Jennifer and Jeremy.

Guest Publisher, Nikki Yager

Nikki is one of the owners of a small indie publishing company The Dragon's Rocketship Publishing. She and her sister-in-law started this publishing company in February 2016 to help fellow authors publish their works in an environment that was helpful and focused on the author's success instead of the money in their pocket. Unlike traditional publishers they provide feedback to each submission and dedicate that feedback on how to improve with a detailed explanation on what they think should be better with the option to re-submit in the future.

Author Guest, Holly Sullivan McClure

Holly Sullivan McClure was raised in the Smoky Mountains by preachers, shaman, storytellers, and bluegrass musicians. Her writing is inspired by the culture and stories of her Cherokee mother’s people and the Scottish heritage of her father. She was the founder of Sullivan Maxx Literary Agency, which was acquired by Lexium Entertainment in 2013, allowing her to focus on her writing. Latest book, Conjuror, supernatural thriller, was released in September by Mercer University Press.

Author Guest, Clay Gilbert

Clay Gilbert has been hearing the voices of aliens, vampires, and people from the future since about the age of four. It wasn't long before he started to think taking notes on what they said might be a good idea.

Linda Taglieri

Linda Taglieri has been writing articles on the Wheel of Time since 2003 on subjects as varied as strength in saidar, weaves and Talents of the One Power, the real world influences on Wheel of Time, character analysis, symbolism in the books, and Wheel of Time costumes with more (yes, more!) in the planning. She was a WOT admin on the now defunct fansite wotmania from 2004-9 before founding the Thirteenth Depository: A Wheel of Time Blog with Dominic in 2009.

Program Participant, Charles Urbach

Charles Urbach is a writer and colored pencil artist with more than two decades of work in design, publishing, and illustration.

Artist Guest, Ariel Burgess

Ariel Burgess is a native to the Washington D.C. area and has been a student of art since she was 15 years old. She was first internationally published at age 20. An avid fan of fantasy novels, art and specifically the Wheel of Time, she dedicated herself while still a teen to illustrating Robert Jordan's characters to the best of her abilities, and with the help of the fan community.

Artist Guest, Edsel Arnold

Native Georgian Edsel Arnold has a Masters in Architecture from Georgia Tech, and has worked primarily as a Design Architect for over thirty years, with towers he designed in Atlanta, Houston, Austin, Orlando, Denver and D.C. In the 90's he left architecture for seven years to work as an interior illustrator for a high end residential firm, where his watercolors were featured in Southern Living and Colonial Homes magazines and a series of Interior Design books.

Program Participant, Ta'veren Tees

Ta’veren Tees, also known as The Wheel of Time Store, is the creator and seller of officially licensed The Wheel of Time® merchandise based on Robert Jordan’s epic, best-selling book series. Until the creation of Ta'veren Tees, fans had nowhere to find tees dedicated to everyone’s favorite epic. Realizing this dire need, WoT fans Elaine Brinson, Jeffrey Daniel, Sophie Decaudin and Kiley Kellermeyer Daniel decided something must be done to clothe fellow fans in exclusive WoT threads. Harriet McDougal agreed and Ta’veren Tees was spun into the Pattern.

Special Guest, Kara Stewart

Kara Stewart is the CFO of Dragonsteel Entertainment, where she also oversees the operations of Brandon Sanderson's online store. She has four awesome kids that keep her busy and happy. She loves Doctor Who, traveling, and creating costumes.

Special Guest, Traci Tant

Traci Tant is the girl behind the Girls of the Con Cosplay Calendar. Her work focuses on highlighting women in the convention world who cosplay amazingly well. 5 years of calendars have shone the light on women of all types and sci-fi stripes.


The SCA is a group of people who are interested in researching and recreating aspects of pre-17th century Europe. We share and encourage your scholarly pursuits and research to recreate the arts, sciences and culture from the past: Armour, Brewing, Cooking, Dance, Crafts, Clothes and more!

Special Guest, Erik Benner

Always with an eye toward the sky, Erik Benner is the Kin Tovere of our world. He'll have the high powered telescopes and we can look at the SUN and the moon - an all day setup.

Special Guest, Dan Dougherty

Deadline Dan Dougherty is the publisher of The Steampunk Chronicle - the newspaper of record of the Steam world. Beyond his love for proliferating the written world, he's a RC boat and airship maker and collector, and hosts Dragon Con's annual Airship Races.

Special Guest, Ben Hibben

Maker and LVL1 Hacker Space Guru, Louisville, KY, native is on of the most engaging makers and teachers of our age. His expertice in Arduino puts this tech easily into the hands of the curios. If you can dream it, he can help you make.

Darrell R Sweet

Darrell R Sweet was a previous guest at JordanCon, bringing with him his father's art (Darrell K Sweet, Artist for The Wheel of Time original bookcovers and much more).

Author Guest, Todd McCaffrey

New York Times bestselling author Todd Johnson McCaffrey wrote his first science-fiction story when he was twelve. Since then he has published over a dozen novels and nearly twenty shorter works.

Recent works include his collection, The One Tree of Luna (And Other Stories), and his near-future thriller, City of Angels. Most recently two of his short stories, Rhubarb and Beets and Red Roses, were selected to bookend the anthology, One Horn to Rule Them All: A Purple Unicorn Anthology.

Author Guest, Nancy Springer

Nancy Springer has passed the fifty-book milestone, having written that many novels for adults, young adults and children, in genres including mythic fantasy, contemporary fiction, magical realism, horror, and mystery -- although she did not realize she wrote mystery until she won the Edgar Allan Poe Award from the Mystery Writers of America two years in succession. Born in Montclair, New Jersey, Nancy Springer moved with her family to Gettysburg, of Civil War fame, when she was thirteen.

Author Guest, Charles R. Rutledge

Charles R. Rutledge is the co-author of two novels in the Griffin and Price Urban Fantasy/Horror series, BLIND SHADOWS and CONGREGATIONS OF THE DEAD, along with the forthcoming third book, A HELL WITHIN, all written with James A. Moore. His work has appeared in various anthologies including STRANGE WORLDS, CARNACKI:THE NEW ADVENTURES, and WIDOWMAKERS. Charles has worked as a newspaper columnist, and written articles and columns for Comic Shop News and The Comics Buyers Guide. He was the English language scripter for the Jademan comic book, Drunken Fist.

Author Guest, James A. Moore

JAMES A. MOORE is the award winning author of over twenty novels, thrillers, dark fantasy and horror alike, including the critically acclaimed Fireworks, Under The Overtree, Blood Red, the Serenity Falls trilogy (featuring his recurring anti-hero, Jonathan Crowley) and his most recent novels, Seven Forges and the sequel The Blasted Lands. Along with co-author Charles R. Rutledge he works on the dark fantasy/crime novels starring Griffin & Price, which currently include Blind Shadows, Congregations of the Dead and the forthcoming A Hell Within.

Program Participant, Well Played

As Atlanta's friendly local online game store Well Played is in the business of connecting people through the fun of games. We help you learn new games without poring over instruction manuals and puzzling out unfamiliar rules. You're invited to join us as at one of our weekly meetups and by appointment at our shop in the Highlands, right on the Beltline near Piedmont Park.

Program Participant, Tom Maringer

Tom Maringer resides in Springdale Arkansas where his is the owner of Shire Post Mint, a family business that is devoted to making licensed artifacts from fantasy worlds for the purpose of helping fans connect to their favorite authors and immerse in the fantasy worlds. Tom is the son of a metallurgical pioneer and inventor, and garnered much attention in the 1980s as one of the world's top makers of handmade custom swords. In 1981 Tom introduced the first thermoformed kydex knife sheath, which has become ubiquitous today. Among other honors, he won the first annual W.W.

Program Participant, Dane Collins

Dane Clark Collins has worked behind the scenes in the fantasy writing world for years, but has only recently made his introduction as a credited author. In 2012, he edited and co-wrote The Tomb of Kochun and The Elflings of Uteria with Michael Bielaczyc, and followed that up with this year's The Elves of Uteria. Jordancon will be his first convention as a professional, and he is excited to share his take on writing with any who wish to listen.

Program Participant, Dan Carroll

Dan Carroll ( is a broadcaster, writer, adviser, and spokesman for the geek community. He celebrates geeks and wants you all to be happy. He is currently hosting the weekly radio show “Seriously, Dan” where he provides love, encouragement, and practical advice to the geek community while celebrating the geek community with interviews with amazing people doing amazing things.

Artist Guest, Isaac Stewart

Isaac Stewart worked as a video game animator for ten years before joining the team at Dragonsteel Entertainment, where he now works as the Art Director. He creates maps and illustrations for Brandon Sanderson's books, but has also created art for other books by authors Robert Silverberg, Brian McClellan, Brian Staveley, and others. In his spare time (he has four fantastic kids!), he's writing and illustrating a book for middle grade readers.

Artist Guest, Ben McSweeney

Ben McSweeney is an illustrator, animator and director whose work with Brandon Sanderson includes The Rithmatist, The Stormlight Archive and The Mistborn Adventure Game. He currently works as a Key Animator for Bento Box Atlanta on their new series The Awesomes.

Find out more at

Program Participant, Sally Feller

Sally began her publishing career in marketing, but eventually made the move to New York City as Publicity Director for Black Dog & Leventhal publishers. After working on some incredibly varied and fun books there, she realized she wanted to work at the Valhalla of geeky book-lovers: Tor Books. They welcomed her in as Senior Publicist (fools!), where she had the great honor to work with Brandon Sanderson and Harriet McDougal on A Memory of Light.

Guest Agent, Idaliz Seymour

Idaliz Seymour is an Army wife and mother of two boys. She has been with the About Words Agency in Atlanta, Georgia for three years where she first began as an intern, quickly moving her way up to Literary Agent. Here she’s found an enjoyable mix of helping people and reading. She has a fiery passion for all books and is in constant search for the next great novel. She specializes in Romance, Paranormal, Mystery and Young Adult genres; a broad, but very carefully selected variety based on experience and personal tastes.

Author Guest, David Farland

David Farland is an award-winning, New York Times bestselling author with dozens of books to his credit. He began his career writing short fiction as a prize writer, which vaulted him into prominence in the mid-1980s. He has written science fiction under his own name, Dave Wolverton, including the highly praised On My Way to Paradise, which won the Philip K. Dick Memorial Special Award for "Best Novel in the English Language."

David has also written novels in the Star Wars and Mummy universes and has worked as a videogame designer, most notably for Starcraft's Brood War.

Author Guest, Stuart Jaffe

Stuart Jaffe is the author of The Max Porter Paranormal-Mysteries, The Malja Chronicles, The Bluesman series, the Gillian Boone novels and much more. His short stories have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies. He is the co-host of The Eclectic Review - a weekly podcast about science, art, and well, everything. You can find out all about him at the creatively named

Author Guest, Delilah S. Dawson

Delilah S. Dawson is a native of Roswell, Georgia and the author of the paranormal romance Blud series for Pocket, including WICKED AS THEY COME and an e-novella, THE MYSTERIOUS MADAM MORPHO. The second book in the series, WICKED AS SHE WANTS, and a second novella, THE PECULIAR PETS OF MISS PLEASANCE, will be out in spring 2013, and her first YA, a creepy paranormal called SERVANTS OF THE STORM will be available in spring 2014. RT Book Reviews has called her "a wonderfully fresh new voice!"

Program Participant, Peter Ahlstrom

Peter Ahlstrom worked as a manga editor and English adaptation writer for TOKYOPOP for half a decade. He is currently the personal editorial assistant and extra brain for Brandon Sanderson, and may have the dubious distinction of being the only #1 New York Times bestselling writer to work as the assistant to a #1 New York Times bestselling author. At least, he hasn't been able to locate any others. Not that he's tried.

Author Guest, Emilie P. Bush

We are proud to welcome Emilie P. Bush back to JordanCon as an Author Guest.

Journalist and writer Emilie P. Bush has written two Steampunk novels. Her first, Chenda and the Airship Brofman, was a "ripping good yarn!" and the tale was a 2010 Semi-finalist for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. New this year, The Gospel According to Verdu picks up the epic tale where Chenda left off - high in the skies. Coming in Spring of 2012, Emilie P. Bush teams up with illustrator William Kevin Petty for the first ever children's Steampunk picture book : Her Majesty's Explorer: a Steampunk bedtime story.

Author Guest, Eugie Foster

Update on Eugie
JordanCon was proud to welcome Eugie Foster as a repeat Author Guest.

Eugie Foster calls home a mildly haunted, fey-infested house in metro Atlanta that she shares with her husband, Matthew. After receiving her master's degree in psychology, she retired from academia to pen flights of fancy. She also edits legislation for the Georgia General Assembly, which from time to time she suspects is another venture into flights of fancy.

Catherine Asaro

Catherine Asaro is an author of science fiction, fantasy and thrillers, and has written over twenty-five novels, as well as short stories and non-fiction. Her acclaimed Ruby Dynasty series combines adventure, hard science, math, romance and fast-paced action. Among her numerous distinctions, she has won the Nebula® and Analog Reader's Choice awards. Her most recent books are the anthology she edited, The Nebula Awards Showcase 2013 (Pyr), the novel Carnelians (Baen/ Simon & Schuster), and the anthology of her short fiction titled Aurora in Four Voices (ISFiC Press).

Michael Whelan

Cover Artist for A Memory of Light

Since 1976, Michael Whelan has been one of the world's premier fantasy and science fiction artists, and the first living artist to be inducted into the SF Hall of Fame. He currently devotes most of his time to his gallery paintings, but during his career he has created more than 350 book and album covers for authors and artists like Isaac Asimov, Anne McCaffrey, Sir Arthur C. Clarke, Stephen King, the Jacksons, Sepultura, and MeatLoaf. His clients have included every major U.S. book publisher, in addition to such diverse companies as National Geographic, CBS Records, and The Franklin Mint. Fans, of course, will know him for his stirring artwork for A Memory of Light, the final book of The Wheel of Time, as well as Brandon Sanderson's The Way of Kings.

Mary Robinette Kowal

JordanCon Author Guest of Honor Mary Robinette Kowal is the author of Shades of Milk and Honey (Tor 2010). In 2008 she won the Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and in 2011, her short story “For Want of a Nail” won the Hugo Award for Short Story. Her work has been a finalist for the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus awards. Stories have appeared in Strange Horizons, Asimov’s , and several Year’s Best anthologies as well as in her collection Scenting the Dark and Other Stories from Subterranean.

John Picacio

John Picacio is one of the most acclaimed American artists in science fiction, fantasy, and horror publishing over the last decade. He illustrated the best-selling, Chesley Award-winning 2012 George R. R. Martin / A Song of Ice and Fire Calendar, and has created iconic cover art for books by Michael Moorcock, Dan Simmons, Mark Chadbourn, L.E. Modesitt, Jr., Jeffrey Ford, and more, as well as for the Star Trek and X-Men franchises.

Seanan McGuire

Bios are hard, aren't they?

We could tell you that Seanan McGuire was born and raised in Northern California, but everyone knows that. We could tell you that the first venomous reptile she was bitten by was the Northern Pacific rattlesnake, and that this didn't stop her from thinking she should study herpetology (although she eventually switched her major to folklore), but that's old news. We could tell you that she once crossed the Canadian border in a hot air balloon, discovered concrete dinosaurs in a British park, played with kangaroo bones in Australia, and drinks enough Diet Dr Pepper to make jokes about being self-embalming, but why would you believe us? It's improbable.

Sam Weber

JordanCon Artist Guest of Honor Sam Weber was born in Alaska, and grew up in Deep River Ontario, Canada. After attending the Alberta College of Art and Design in Calgary, he moved to New York to pursue illustration and attend graduate school at The School of Visual Arts. His studio is in Brooklyn. Sam is married to Jillian Tamaki.

Sam's art has graced many books and ebooks, including The Shadow Rising ebook from the bestselling "The Wheel of Time" series.

Program Participant, Leigh Butler

Leigh Butler is a writer and blogger for, where she conducts The Wheel of Time Re-read and A Read of Ice and Fire, in which she enjoys weirding language for fun and profit, and infuriating people with her opinions. She currently and probably very appropriately resides in New Orleans, where she is also working on her own projects.

Leigh was JordanCon's Toastmaster in 2013.

Melissa S. Craib Dombrowski

JordanCon Toastmaster Melissa S. Craib Dombrowski founded - a social organization dedicated to realizing the idea of "Aes Sedai" in real life through service and fundraising - and has served as its CEO for over a decade. This international fellowship holds several functions and fundraisers throughout the year for non-profit organizations (including Heifer International and Doctors Without Borders) and is the home of Robert Jordan Memorial Scholarship for College undergraduates.

Program Participant, Penny Dreadful Productions

Penny Dreadful Productions is an Atlanta based conceptual design and physical production company bringing the world's creative needs to life. PDP encompasses many disciplines of art all under one roof- including Conceptual Design, Special Makeup and Prosthetics, Specialty Props, Costumes and Specialty Costuming, Public Art and Display, and much more. Our work has been seen in major motion pictures, professional theaters, and even purchased in private commissions.

Program Participant, Martin Powell

Martin Powell has been a professional writer since 1986, having written hundreds of stories in numerous genres for Disney, Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, and Capstone Books, among others. Nominated for the prestigious Eisner Award for his work with Sherlock Holmes, he has written many of the most popular characters in the industry, including Superman, Batman, Popeye the Sailor, Frankenstein, and Tarzan of the Apes.

Author Guest, Brooks Sherman

Brooks Sherman is a literary agent with the Bent Agency. He previously worked as a literary agent at FinePrint Literary Management and in the managing editorial department of Henry Holt and Company. Before starting his career in publishing, he spent several years working in the entertainment industry (in both New York and Hollywood), and two years with the Peace Corps in West Africa. Brooks is a hands-on, editorial agent who delights in developing projects with his clients before bringing them to the attention of publishers.

Author Guest, Louise Herring-Jones

Louise Herring-Jones writes speculative and historical fiction as well as humor and nonfiction.
Her stories have appeared in anthologies, most recently the “The Twittering of Sparrows” in Asian Pulp
(Pro Se Press) and “Moundville Revisited” in Ruins Excavation (Hadley Rille Books). She is a veteran
reporter for The Daily Dragon Online. An advocate for constitutionally protected freedoms, she
practices law in Alabama.

Special Guest, Gilbert Head

Gilbert Head has been a participant in a variety of forms of Science Fiction and Fantasy Fandom since the mid 1970s, including editing the fanzine Aphelion, writing in the APAs Myriad and MOTiVE, and a turn as the Administrative Assistant to one of the Co-Chairs that brought ConFederation '86 to Atlanta. He is a representative from the University of Georgia's Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library.

Author Guest, Violette Meier

I am a happily married mother, writer, painter, poet, and native of Atlanta, Georgia, who earned my English at Clark Atlanta University and a Masters of Divinity at Interdenominational Theological Center. Writing since my preteen years, I've written over 1,200 poems, 25 short stories, and 7 books.

Author Guest, Tera Fulbright

Tera Fulbright has been a fan of the SF genre since first reading C. S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia in the 4th grade. Her experiences and interests range from costuming and stage combat to running conventions and writing.

Program Participant, Amanda Makepeace

Amanda Makepeace is an artist and illustrator inspired by nature, myth and the fantastic. Through her art, she explores our connection to the earth and its creatures. She works in both digital and traditional mediums, sometimes combining the two.

She was the winner of the JordanCon Judge's Choice Award in 2015 for her work, "Renascentia" (shown). You can see her current work at:

Author Guest, Mickey Dubrow

Under the pen name Allan Kemp, Mickey has written the Black Phoenix urban fantasy series which takes place in Atlanta, GA. The series includes two novels and two novellas. His short stories have appeared in Dark Gothic Resurrected and Babes & Beasts-Tales of Lusty Shifters.

He is an award winning television promotions writer/producer with over twenty years of experience. His clients included Cartoon Network, TNT Latin America, CNN, Home & Garden Television, and Tribune Creative Services.

Author Guest, Brett Brooks

For almost three decades Brett has been writing in various fields and media before turning his attention towards novels. Currently, Brett resides in Woodstock, Georgia with his lovely wife Allyson and their three cats. The cats have been pushing for co-author credit since they were with him the whole time.

Author Guest, Jonathan French

Jonathan French is the author of the Autumn’s Fall Saga, an epic fantasy series, and The Grey Bastards, a gritty, stand-alone novel. His debut work, The Exiled Heir, has been hailed as “…a combination of pen strokes that successfully resurrect the old world fantasy concepts of Beowulf, Prydain, Oz and Masters of the Universe.” Like many fantasy novelists, he originally developed his magical setting as a backdrop for the roleplaying games he ran for his friends. After submitting his creations to a once-mighty rpg company, he received an offer to purchase his intellectual property.

Program Participant, Richard Fife

Richard Fife was born and raised in the cornfields of Illinois, but now called Wilmington, North Carolina his home, where he works by day at the local university. By night, he has written a serialized novel (free to read or listen to on his website,, two plays that have been produced, and had two different serial columns published on He is the technical director of the Browncoat Pub and Theatre, North Carolina’s only non-profit drinking establishment that doubles as a geeky steampunk bar and intimate 42-seat theatre that specializes in original, local works.

Program Participant, Elizebeth Tong

Elizebeth Tong, the lead artist of Crimson Art Henna, was born in Atlanta, Georgia, and has lived in the South for most of her life. Since she was a child, she has been fascinated by cultures around the world, and has sought to learn as much as she can about each of them. Cultures of the Far and Middle East especially interested her, as the food, clothing, music and customs were so different from her own. Her creative side has been a dominant factor in her life, and doodling on any available surface was a favorite pastime of hers while she was school.

Author Guest, Jim Hodgson

Jim Hodgson started writing in the mid 90s, after high school. When his adoptive mother passed in 2006, he turned to his writing as a means of coping with her loss. From there it became an invaluable part of his life.

He’s the founder and editor of The Atlanta Banana, a satirical newspaper. He’s worked as a standup comic and as a sketch writer for Sketchworks. His work has been published in Georgia Music Magazine, Creative Loafing, The Art of Manliness, Dirge Magazine,,,, and others.

Program Participant, Harriet McDougal

Harriet McDougal Rigney is a poet and an editor known for her work on several best-selling fantasy books, including the iconic Wheel of Time series written by her late husband, James Oliver Rigney, Jr., who is best known by the pen name Robert Jordan. Jordan often claimed that all major female characters in the Wheel of Time series (and some of the minor female characters) have at least one trait that was inspired by Harriet.

Program Participant, Alan Romanczuk

Alan Romanczuk can be called many things. He is the “Time Lord” of The Wheel of Time, keeping dates and “who was where when” straight in the notes, and he is also a man with whom you can have long, wonderful conversations about computers and technology.

Program Participant, Maria Simons

So, if it is one thing that is known about Maria Simons, assistant to Robert Jordan, it is that she could bluff an Aes Sedai a county over with her poker face, and she doesn’t even have to sing a song about it.

Program Participant, Melissa Gay

Melissa Gay is a critically-acclaimed artist of the Imaginative Realism style, who uses both digital and traditional media to produce book covers, illustrations for roleplaying games, and other cool stuff. She is a passionate roleplaying gamer and avid reader, and all the art she makes is a labor of love to further these hobbies. She draws inspiration from tales of mystery and imagination, whether they be comic books, ancient folk tales, classic science fiction, or modern urban fantasy.

Program Participant, Sam Flegal

Sam’s been a freelance Illustrator since 2009. Working on both book covers and hobby games, he specializes in painting strange scenes of epic fantasy and graphic horror. His art is described as “stylized realism,” portraying fantastical things in a graphic manner, but with an eye towards real life. He loves to focus on exaggerated expressions, vibrant colors, and villainess activity. Sam’s preferred medium is oil paint.

Guest Editor, Paul Stevens

Paul Stevens is an agent with the Donald Maass Literary Agency. Prior to joining the agency, he worked as an editor for 15 years, primarily at Tor Books, where he edited science fiction, fantasy, and mystery.

Paul has edited authors such as Alex Bledsoe, Marie Brennan, Robert Brockway, Tobias S. Buckell, Adam Christopher, Michael Livingston, and A. Lee Martinez.

During his time at Tor he also worked very closely with Team Jordan on The Wheel of Time and with Brandon Sanderson on The Stormlight Archive.

Program Participant, L R Barrett-Durham (Powell)

L R Barrett-Durham (Powell) has been producing stained glass masterpieces for nearly twenty years, and is the maker of the JordanCon Dragon. Licensed by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., she is first stained glass artist in history to be the sole licensee to create glass art of an author’s trademarked characters. She is also an established author with over half a dozen novels varying in genres of epic fantasy, paranormal romance, sci-fi, horror, and children's literature. You can always find her in our Dealer's Room!

Program Participant, Michael Bielaczyc

Michael Bielaczyc has been working professionally in the art field since 2001, when he founded Aradani Studios with his brother Paul. Together they have exhibited all across America, selling both their artwork and costuming. While Michael has worked for such popular role-playing franchises as Dragonlance and Castlemourn, his real passion is for his personal work. He works in mediums from oil paint to latex prosthetics, video to graphite.

In 2012, Michael started Lone Wanderer Entertainment with his long-time friend Dane Clark Collins to publish fantasy books based in the World of Uteria.

Program Participant, Paul Bielaczyc

Starting in 2002, Paul Bielaczyc joined with his brother Michael and sister Sara to form Aradani Studios. What started as a fun hobby between siblings at the Tennessee Renaissance Festival has grown significantly over the past 13 years. Aradani is known for two rather unique aspects, special f/x make-up and fantastical artwork. Michael and Paul both have won numerous awards over the years for their costumes, and Aradani's ever-growing line of elf ear prosthetics and masks has helped other cosplayers win countless awards worldwide.

Author Guest, Balogun Ojetade

"Balogun Ojetade is the author of the bestselling non-fiction books Afrikan Martial Arts: Discovering the Warrior Within, The Afrikan Warriors’ Bible and The Young Afrikan Warriors’ Guide to Defeating Bullies & Trolls. He is screenwriter / producer / director of the films, A Single Link, Rite of Passage: Initiation and Rite of Passage: The Dentist of Westminster.

Balogun writes about Steamfunk, Rococoa, Dieselfunk, Sword & Soul and the craft of writing at

Program Participant, Brandon Sanderson

Brandon Sanderson was born in 1975 in Lincoln, Nebraska. By junior high he had lost interest in the novels suggested to him, and he never cracked a book if he could help it. Then an eighth grade teacher, Mrs. Reader, gave him Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambly.

Guest Editor, Debra Dixon

Debra Dixon is the SF/Fantasy Acquiring Editor for Bell Bridge Books, whose authors include Kalayna Price, John Hartness, Diana Pharaoh Francis, Parker Blue, and Anthony Francis. Debra is the author of the classic, how-to bible for writers—GMC: Goal, Motivation, and Conflict.

Author Guest, James R. Tuck

James R. Tuck is a multi-published author of Dark Urban Fantasy, Crime Fiction, Horror, and Science Fiction/Fantasy. He owns Family Tradition Tattoo in Marietta, Ga and lives in the Atlanta area with his lovely wife, a cool son, a terrific daughter, and four kooky dogs.

He writes the stories that keep you up at night.

Program Participant, tWoTcast

They call themselves "tWoTcast." The secret caves. The old lighthouse. The lost map. The treacherous traps. The hidden treasure. And Sloth...

Join the adventure.

Visit them online at

tWoTcast was our 2014 Toastmasters.

Program Participant, Fans

The fans of the Wheel of Time are the most interesting fans in the world. Weddings, Bar Mitzvahs and attendees, the CDC, and proms crash their parties. They live vicariously through themselves. They have inside jokes with people they've never met.