Author Guests

Kurt Amacker

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Kurt Amacker - Comics Guest

Kurt Amacker is a comic book writer and publisher living in New Orleans.  Born and raised there (intermittently), he moved periodically as a military brat and, later, as a United States Marine.  He emerged from DJ'ing in the French Quarter's raucous Goth scene with his first comic book in 2008.  Published by Seraphemera Books, Dead Souls was publicly praised by Alan Moore (Watchmen) and Cradle of Filth singer Dani Filth.

Amacker has continued writing comics since then.  And in 2011, he began co-producing the yearly Fangtasia Vampire Ball with Jyrki 69 of the Finnish "goth n' rollers" the 69 Eyes.  Their association led to a three-issue comic miniseries co-written by Amacker, entitled Helsinki Vampires.  In early 2013, Amacker began working on a graphic novel for Cradle of Filth entitled The Curse of Venus Aversa.  By the end of the 2013, Amacker had created his own publishing company, Dark Notes Press, to handle the project and others than would follow.  Released in the Spring of this year, Venus Aversa was an immediate critical and financial success.  Amacker is currently working on his first novel, tentatively titled Blood in the Streets, for release next year.  This is his fourth CONtraflow.

More information about Amacker and his work is available at
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Trisha Baker

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Trisha Baker is the author of the popular Crimson series—Crimson Kiss, Crimson Night, and Crimson Shadows. A collection of dark vampire novels, the books were originally published by Kensington Publishing in 2001 and were recently resurrected by Dark Oak Press. Crimson Revenant, the first new novel in over ten years, will be released in 2014.

An expatriate New Yorker and quasi Gypsy, Trisha has traveled around the world, landing everywhere from Las Vegas to Prague. To supplement her writing income, Trisha has worked at everything from teaching to serving beer to thirsty Romanians at a small bar in Transylvania. Currently, Trisha works as a tour guide for Haunted History Tours in New Orleans and is hard at work at the next novel in the Crimson series—Crimson Resurrection.

Brandon Black

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Fantasy and science fiction author Brandon Black is the editor of the By Gaslight steampunk anthology series and the coordinator of the New Orleans Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Circle. Brandon is also the Web Content Manager for the Week in Geek, New Orleans’ favorite fantasy and scifi themed radio talk show. A new voice in the field of steampunk and gaslamp fantasy fiction, Brandon has a Bachelors in Military and Political Journalism and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. Most recently, Brandon’s steampunk superhero story, “The Night Mississippi Declared War on the Moon,” was published in Dark Oak Press’ Capes and Clockwork II, edited by Alan Lewis. Brandon lives with his guardian and protector, Battle-cat Princess Kaleidoscope, in his home town of New Orleans, Louisiana.

You can visit him at:
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Hope Bridger

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Alexander S. Brown

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Alexander S. Brown is a Mississippi author who was published in 2008 with his first book Traumatized. Reviews for this short story collection were so favorable that it has been released as a special edition by Pro Se Press. Brown is currently one of the co-editors/coordinators with the Southern Haunts Anthologies published by Seventh Star Press. His horror novel Syrenthia Falls is represented by Dark Oak Press. His most current work is his short story collection The Night the Jack O’ Lantern Went Out, published by Pro Se Press.

He is also the author of multiple young adult steampunk stories found in the Dreams of Steam Anthologies, Capes and Clockwork Anthologies, and the anthology Clockwork Spells and Magical Bells. His more extreme works can be found in the anthology Luna’s Children published by Dark Oak Press, Reel Dark published by Seventh Star Press and State of Horror: Louisiana Vol 1 published by Charon Coin Press.

Brown is also the producer of, and actor, in the short film “The Acquired Taste” inspired by a story in his book Traumatized and directed by Chuck Jett.

Charles Gramlich

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Charles Allen Gramlich grew up on an Arkansas farm but later moved to New Orleans to teach psychology at a local university. He’s since sold several novels and numerous short stories and poems. His first novel was Cold in the Light, a horror/thriller about monsters running wild in the Ozark Mountains.  He followed that with a fantasy trilogy set on the artificially constructed world of Talera. Many readers say the Talera series has some of the same feel as the work of Edgar Rice Burroughs and Robert E. Howard. Charles’s short fiction has been collected in three anthologies, Bitter Steel (heroic fantasy), Midnight in Rosary (vampires and werewolves), and In the Language of Scorpions (horror). He has a nonfiction book on writing out called Write With Fire. His latest work is Under the Ember Star, a space opera in the tradition of Leigh Brackett and C. L. Moore.

Charles has also self-published a few collections for Kindle and Nook, including a western collection (Killing Trail), a noir collection (Harmland), and a humorous memoir called Days of Beer, as well as a few other items. Charles’s print and ebooks are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Wildside Press, as well as other online sites. Charles lives in Abita Springs with his wife, a nature photographer. He is on facebook as Charles Gramlich, and blogs at
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Claudia Gray

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Claudia Gray is a pseudonym. I would like to say that I chose another name so that no one would ever learn the links between my shadowy, dramatic past and the explosive secrets revealed through my characters. This would be a lie. In truth, I took a pseudonym simply because I thought it would be fun to choose my own name. (And it is.)

Tommy Hancock

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Chris Hayes

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Chris S. Hayes, MD, is lifelong reader of classic science fiction and a practicing family medicine physician from Lafayette, LA.  Since she loved reading science fiction so much, late in life she decided to try her hand at writing it.  In November of 2014, just before her 51st birthday, her first novel, Sikkiyn, was published by Solstice Publishing.  She’s been traveling from convention to convention to meet readers since then, and she’s excited to be here to talk to you about science fiction and all things geeky. At conventions – when she’s not in a panel – you can find her at her author’s table, busy writing the sequel to Sikkiyn. Come on by for a visit.

Louise Herring-Jones

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As Louise Herring-Jones, Amy L. Herring writes mainstream, historical, and speculative fiction as well as non-fiction. Her science fiction, dark fantasy, and light horror stories have been included in anthologies, including: “The Twittering of Sparrows” in Asian Pulp (Pro Se Press, 2015); “Gooji” in Luna’s Children: Full Moon Mayhew (Dark Oak Press, 2014); “Earl and Bubba Save the King” in Summer Gothic (Jared Millet, ed., 2012); and “Earl, Bubba, and the Flying Hubcap in Southern Fried Sci-Fi: Tales from the NASFCAS (Thunderchild Press, 2013). Her steampunk story “Queen of Steam,” set in the reconstruction South, is included in Gizmos: Dreams of Steam IV (Dark Oak Press, 2013). She placed second in the inaugural (2012) SELTI Moundville-themed story contest and won the 2009-2010 Charlotte Writer’s Club Board Prize for fiction. Her historic baseball article, “A Georgia Yankee: The Legend of Johnny Mize,” appeared in the 2010 Maple Street Press Yankees Annual (Cecilia Tan, ed.). Herring is also a veteran reporter for The Daily Dragon Online, the news voice of Dragon*Con, a multi-media science fiction, fantasy, and comic book convention held annually in Atlanta, Georgia. With her husband Bryan Jones, she is municipal liaison for the Alabama North region for National Novel Writing Month (“NaNoWriMo”), celebrated in November each year. She practices law in Alabama and is an advocate for privacy rights, First Amendment guarantees, and other constitutionally protected freedoms. For additional details and links, visit her author’s website at
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Terry Maggert

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J L Mulvihill

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A California native, J L Mulvihill is a descendant of Hollywood royalty barely escaping with her life from the Neurotology overthrow. She now lives in hiding somewhere in the deep-south where she has learned the language of the natives and has a fondness for snipe hunting and zombie tipping. While in hiding J L Mulvihill, secretly known as Jen, has written several short stories, novels, and poetry that have nothing to do with her life.

Her debut novel, The Lost Daughter of Easa, is an engaging fantasy novel bordering on science-fiction with a dash of Steampunk, published through Dark Oak Press in 2011. The sequel to this novel is presently in the works.

Her Most recent novel, Crossings, is the sequel to The Boxcar Baby of the Steel Roots series, and released in December 2014 through Seventh Star Press. Steel Roots is a young adult series based in the Steampunk genre and engages the reader into a train hopping heart stopping adventure across America.

She is also the co-editor of Southern Haunts; The Spirits That Walk Among Us which includes a short story of her own called Bath 10, a fictional thriller involving a real haunted place. She also has a poem in Southern Haunts part 2, and a short story in Southern Haunts part 3.

Jen also has several short fiction pieces in the Dreams of Steam series published through Dark Oak Press, is very active with the writing community, and is the events coordinator for the Mississippi Chapter of Imagicopter known as the Magnolia-Tower. She is also a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), Gulf Coast Writers Association (GCWA), The Mississippi Writers Guild (MWG), as well as the Clinton Ink-Slingers Writing Group.

Jen continues to write fantasy, steampunk, and poetry and essays inspired by her life in the South. You can find some of her short stories at

[ Dark Oak Press ]

as well as @ Seventh Star Press
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and at her websites:
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Kimberly Richardson

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After found as an infant crawling among books in an abandoned library, Kimberly Richardson grew up to become an eccentric woman with a taste for jazz, drinking tea and writing stories that cause people to make the strangest faces. Her first book, Tales From a Goth Librarian, was published through Dark Oak Press and named a Finalist in both the USA Book News Awards for Fiction: Short Story for 2009 and the International Book Awards for Fiction: Short Story in 2010. She is also the author of The Decembrists (Dark Oak Press), Tales From a Goth Librarian II (Dark Oak Press) and Mabon/Pomegranate (Dark Oak Press), the upcoming Southern Gothic novel Open A, as well as the editor of Realms of Imagination: An Urban Fantasy Anthology and the award winning Steampunk anthology Dreams of Steam and the award winning sequels Dreams of Steam II: Of Brass and Bolts, Dreams of Steam III: Gadgets and Dreams of Steam IV: Gizmos, and the upcoming Dreams of Steam V, all published through Dark Oak Press. Ms. Richardson is also a contributor to the anthologies BLACK PULP and ASIAN PULP, both published through ProSe Press, Garbanzo Literary Journal Volume III, published through Seraphemera Books, and Luna’s Children: Stranger Worlds, published through Dark Oak Press. Ms. Richardson is the Programming Coordinator for Memphis Comic and Fantasy Convention. Ms. Richardson is also the 2015 David McCrosky Volunteer Photographer in Residence for Elmwood Cemetery located in Memphis, Tennessee. Ms. Richardson’s photography is represented through Ions: A Geek Gallery in Memphis, Tennessee.

Tom Trumpinski

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Tom Trumpinksi

I was born in Central Illinois, the strip through the middle with neither the cosmopolitan airs of Chicago, nor the hills and despair of Little Egypt. Despite the prevalence of smokestack factories, my child-of-immigrants family suffered from dirt-road hunger.

Fortunately, I was given the opportunity for an education. For two years in high school, I was taught how to be a machinist along with my college-prep courses. At this time, the state of Illinois paid the tuition and fees for high-school graduates of poor families with sufficiently promising ACT scores.

I studied engineering at the University of Illinois and, in 1973, went to work at a factory in Champaign as a quality-control inspector. The factory closed in ‘82, but I managed, because of my experience, to land a job building muon detectors for the Collider Detector at Fermilab. Our team continued to work through the first two upgrades to improve resolution and accuracy before finally finishing in 1992. The finished detector was the first to see the Top Quark, but that accelerator run lacked sufficient numbers of the particle to claim discovery (which D-zero, further down the ring did.)

Since then, I’ve taught Chemistry at Illinois and, after retirement, wrote a regular column for the Urbanagora online magazine. A collection of the best of those columns, along with some additional short-stories, was released in 2008 as Riding the Hell-Bound Train.

After retirement, I spent several years appearing at sf and fantasy cons in the US and Europe. I became acquainted with Team Contraflow at the 2008 World SF convention in Denver (where Raymond Boudreau termed me, “The World’s Most Interesting Fan.”) Although my health has been poor for much of the last two years, those difficulties have been resolved and I am back on the road, excited about my first convention in a year.

Greetings to all and sundry — I am back.

Phillip C. Washington

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Phillip C. Washington is a talented and experienced filmmaker.  He attended Hinds Community college, where he studied film.  From that point on he had been on sets like: "The Help", "Get On Up", "I Killed My Bff", "Speech & Debate", "Atone", and "Soul Damage".  He has also worked on the reality show "Bring It" featuring the Dancing Dolls, filmed right in Jackson, MS.  He has acted in numorous short films and feature length films.  Today, Phillip is still in Ridgeland, MS working on edits, VFX, and also writing and directing his own sci-fi webseries "Alphaville".  These tasks could not be complete without the hard working production companies, Phoenix Rising and Morden Amusement, and his business partner Kat Axtell (whom is equally experienced and talented).