Featured Panelists


Kacey Ezell

Kacey Ezell was born in South Dakota in 1977. Her parents joined the US Air Force in 1984, and she grew up around the world on various military bases. When she was seven, her mother gave her a copy of Anne McCaffrey’s Dragondrums, and shortly thereafter, Kacey decided that she wanted to be a dragonrider when she grew up. In 1999, she followed her parents into the “family business” and graduated from the United States Air Force Academy before going to pilot training. As dragons were in short supply at the time, she reasoned that flying aircraft was the next best thing. She earned her wings in 2001, and has over 2500 hours in the UH-1N and Mi-17 helicopters.


Marisa Wolf

Marisa has lived in three very distinct regions of the United States of America (New England, the South, and Texas), and so far visited 48 of the 50 states. With a career in education and a lifelong obsession with science fiction and fantasy, she rounds out her passions with certain sports teams, all dogs and cats, and reading as many books as time allows. Clumsiest black belt you'll ever meet. Currently lives in Texas with her husband and three very spoiled rescue dogs.


Christopher Woods

Christopher Woods, born in 1970 has been an avid reader all of his life. Soulguard, the first in a series of books, is his debut novel. Soullord is the second in that series. Bloodlord, the third in the series released June 26. Rash'Tor'Ri, Soulguard book four, released August 7, 2016. He currently lives in Woodbury, TN with his wife and stepdaughter. A wife that reminds him that he should always watch what he says, because he tends to fall asleep long before she does.


Rob Howell

I am a reformed medieval academic who draws upon those skills and resources for my stories and settings. I have also been an IT professional, a cook, and a soda jerk. I am originally from Houston, Texas, but I dutifully followed my parents as they went from there to Hillsboro, Texas, then to Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and finally to Wichita, Kansas.


Robert E. "Tedd" Hampson

Robert E. Hampson, Ph.D. is the (brain) scientist behind the science fiction for more than a dozen writers.  He has assisted in the (fictional) creation of future medicine, brain computer interfaces, unusual diseases, alien intelligence, novel brain diseases (and the medical nanites to cure them), exotic toxins, and brain effects of a zombie virus.  His science ranges from understanding human memory, to trying to develop prosthetics for the brain.  His nonfiction writing ranges from the mysteries of the brain to TV/movie diseases, and from fictional depictions of real science to living in space. His recent forays into short fiction have been published in the Four Horsemen Universe (The Good, The Bad and the Merc & Tales from the Lyon’s Den - Chris Kennedy Publ.), the Black Tide Rising universe (Black Tide Rising and Voices of the Fall - Baen), in Science Fiction by Scientists (Springer), the TRADOC Mad Science Writing contest (Small Wars Journal), and is co-editor (with Les Johnson) of the mixed science and fiction anthology Homo Stellaris (Baen).  


Kevin Ikenberry

Kevin's head has been in the clouds since he was old enough to read. Ask him and he'll tell you that he still wants to be an astronaut. With over twenty-five years of experience in space science education, including managing the U.S. Space Camp program and serving as an executive of two Challenger Learning Centers, Kevin continues to work with space every day. A retired Army officer, Kevin lives in Colorado with his family. His home is seldom a boring place.


Allen Wold

Allen Wold was born in south-western Michigan, where he began writing teeny little stories when he discovered an old portable typewriter. He finished high school in Tucson, Arizona, and graduated from Pomona College, in Claremont, California, where he later met his wife, Diane.  Currently, Allen has an epic heroic fantasy (2500 pages, 680,000 words) with an editor, and a bizarre haunted house story with an agent. Two more projects are in hand simultaneously. Allen has been running his version of a writer's workshop at various conventions for more than twenty five years, and has had some success, since several people have not only finished but sold stories started in the workshop. Allen is a member of SFWA, and Toastmasters International (which gives him a captive audience).

IJM Author Pic

Ian J. Malone

As a graduate of Florida State University, sci-fi author Ian J. Malone has written in a variety of arenas ranging from public health to news and sports. When it comes to his fictional work, however, he’s a firm believer that nothing shapes a person’s writing like experience. That’s why he credits his tenures in radio, law enforcement, and military contracting for much of his inspiration, plus the legion of family and friends who’ve stood with him along the way.

Beyond writing, Malone is an avid fan of audiobooks (he’s legally blind) and the outdoors. It’s also not uncommon to find him at a ballgame, a concert, or somewhere out by a grill.

Malone is an active member of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America and a resident of Durham, North Carolina — but he’ll always be a “Florida boy” at heart.


Terry Maggert

Left-handed. Husband to a half-Norwegian. Herder of cats and dogs. Lover of pie. I write books. I've had an unhealthy fascination with dragons since the age of-- well, for a while. Native Floridian. Current Tennessean. Location subject to change based on insurrection, upheaval, or availability of coffee. Twenty-one books and counting, with no end in sight. You've been warned.