Anika Arrington is a devoted wife, mother of six, a Scorpio, and an unabashed pluviophile. Unfortunately, she lives in the deserts of Arizona, so she passes the time with her kids baking (she is especially good at homemade macaroni and cheese, cheesecake, and pumpkin anything), reading, watching for clouds, and of course, writing. Arrington studied communications for three years at NAU aspiring to be a speech writer before trading it all in for domestic bliss. She has studied physics at Stanford and history at Yale (free online classes count right?). And although she has been writing and occasionally illustrating her own stories since the age of 4,The Accidental Apprentice is Anika’s first novel.
Born and raised in the wilds of Northumbria, AJ Campbell was brought up on a diet of stories and local folklore, of which the Legend of the Lampton Worm was a perennial favourite. She eventually left her hometown to study English and Creative Writing at the University of Warwick, and now lives in Hampshire, (which she persists in calling the “wrong” end of the country), with her fiancé and a succession of dead houseplants. At weekends she can often be found dressing up and pretending to be other people, immersing herself in the lives of fictional historical characters—or as it is better known, “LARPing”. She makes her own costumes and has a weakness for detective stories.
Debra Erfert lives in the desert of Southwest Arizona, and has been married to Mike for 34 years. She’s the mother of two awesome sons, who married their forever loves, and she’s a grandmother to a beautiful granddaughter. Debra wrote her first novella eleven years ago just to see if she could. That brief taste into the world of an author prompted an undeniable writing obsession rivaling only her love of chocolate. She completed thirteen full-length novels since then, and started her fourteenth.
Pete Ford was born in England and lived in Wales and Switzerland before moving to Texas. He now lives in Colorado with his wife, Kate. They have two grown-up sons and two not-at-all grown-up granddaughters. He spends his days as a software developer; he once designed a system that accidentally dumped twenty thousand tons of water into the wrong part of the River Thames within minutes of going live. Today, he uses those same skills to develop web applications for the US government. Although he has been writing short stories as a hobby for many years, Pete decided it was finally time to fulfill a dream—to write a book and get it published. And, as he has been a fan of Steampunk stories since before the term Steampunk had even been coined, the genre of the story was a foregone conclusion. He is now developing ideas for more books to come. When he isn’t working or writing, he reads, watches movies, and plays computer games including World of Warcraft, and the Half-Life and Portal series. He loves science, history, and cheese.
Alyson Grauer is a storyteller in multiple mediums, her two primary canvases being the stage and the page. On stage, she is often seen in the Chicago area, primarily at Piccolo Theatre, Plan 9 Burlesque, and the Bristol Renaissance Faire. Her non-fiction work has been published in the “Journal for Perinatal Education” for Lamaze International. Her short fiction can be found in Tales from the Archives (Volume 2) for the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences and in two anthologies from Xchyler Publishing, Mechanized Masterpieces: A Steampunk Anthology, and Legends and Lore: an Anthology of Mythic Prorportions. Alyson is a proud graduate of Loyola University of Chicago and hails originally from Milwaukee, WI.
Ben churns out his prose from his home in Southeast Texas, where he lives with his wife and three children, and works in IT. When he isn’t writing, he’s either thinking about writing, or he’s driving his wife insane talking about his novel ideas. His work has appeared in two X-anthologies: “Kissed a Snake” in A Dash of Madness: a Thriller Anthology (July 2013), and “Fairykin” in Moments in Millennia: a Fantasy Anthology (January 2014). His first novel, Kingdom City: Resurrection was published in February 2014. He released Book 2 of the series, Kingdom City: Revolt, in January 2016. Book 3 is slated for late 2017.
Joanne Kershaw lives in Wakefield, England, with her husband, four young children, and an uppity cat named Dipstick. As a teacher of five- to eleven-year-olds, she spends her days playing at being a grownup, then goes home to delve into Young Adult dark romance and being sixteen again. Joanne lives and breathes books, whether reading, writing, or marking them. She wrote her first novel in six weeks. Encouraged to submit her work by a friend and fellow YA novel addict, Joanne now finds herself a signed author at Xchyler Publishing.
Didi’s love affair with words began with her learning to read. She savored each sound and the melodies created when put into sentences. Also blessed with a vivid imagination, she would often invent stories to entertain friends. Given her voracious reading habits, the lack of a public library in her small German town proved a challenge. Her writing blossomed in high school, but it took years for her to truly realize her talent. Didi feels that everyone needs a little romance in their life and so ends her tales with happily ever afters. Didi has wonderful, supportive husband, three grown children, and nine grandchildren. She and her husband live on a farm in Missouri.
R.M. Ridley lives with his wife on a small homestead in Canada, raising chickens and sheep. He has been writing stories, both long and short, for three decades, the themes of which range from the gruesome to the fantastical. As an individual who suffers from severe bipolar disorder, Ridley is a strong believer in being open about mental health issues and uses his writing to escape when his thoughts become too wild.
J.M. Salyards (born 1982) lives in Maryland with his wife and daughter and dreams of becoming a man of a million words. Mr. Salyards is passionate about writing bold, entertaining fiction. Shadow of the Last Men is the first volume of The Next Man Saga, a series that introduces his new voice into the arena of mature, speculative art. Drawing on his experiences in the US Air Force and a lifetime of reading, Salyards is an “artistic and effective” author with an “intense and distinctive voice”. He is a proud member of the Xchyler Publishing ‘X Team’.
R. A. Smith
Author of the Grenshall Manor Chronicles, Russell A. Smith has enjoyed many an adventure both with pencil, paper and dice, and also in real life. Each has been a formative experience for him. A keen petrolhead, he has a long list of things he wants to drive, and the list grows longer every day.
Russell has enjoyed an eclectic career so far, with more interesting past jobs including editing newsletters and magazines, and spending a small part of the year as a Tudor soldier and time traveller.
These days Russell spends a lot of time on tour across the UK investigating various houses and even more drinking tea. As well as writing, he enjoys a semi-regular presence on the Book Worm podcast on Fab Radio International.
Johannah Davies (JD) Spero was born near a pristine lake in the Adirondacks and has lived in various cities such as St. Petersburg (Russia), Indianapolis, Dallas, and Boston. She has pursued her love of narrative through degrees in English, Russian, and teaching—and has worked as an actress, a yoga instructor, a web design entrepreneur, freelance writer, and a high school English teacher. She lives in the Northeast with her husband and three young sons.
Scott E. Tarbet
Scott Tarbet writes enthusiastically in several genres, sings opera, was married in full Elizabethan regalia, loves Steampunk waltzes, and slow-smokes thousands of pounds of Texas-style barbeque. An avid skier, hiker, golfer, and tandem kayaker, he makes his home in the mountains of Utah.
Candace J. Thomas
Candace J. Thomas started scripting parodies of plays at a young age and had dreams of becoming a playwright. This led to her studying theater and creative writing at the University of Utah. She is the winner of the Diamond Award for Novel of the Year for VIVATERA, published by Xchyler Publishing, April 2013. She has also been featured in the fantasy anthology MOMENTS IN MILLENNIA. She is very proud of CONJECTRIX and is excited to continue the Vivatera Series. When not writing, Candie loves anything that expands her imagination, especially if it’s nerdy or geek-worthy. Her lifelong goal is to one day have a convincing British accent. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband, two girls, and tailless cat.