Guests: Literary

Jack Campbell (John G. Hemry)

Jack Campbell (John G. Hemry)

Jack Campbell (John G. Hemry) is the author of the New York Times best-selling Lost Fleet series and Lost Stars series, as well as the Stark’s War and Sinclair/”JAG in space” series, and the stand-alone alternate American Civil War novella The Last Full Measure.  His most recent books are Lost Stars - Perilous Shield, and Beyond the Frontier - Steadfast in the Lost Fleet series.  In December 2014, Audible will begin publishing his "steampunk with dragons" series starting with The Dragons of Dorcastle.  John's works have been published in eleven languages, and have sold more than 1.6 million copies worldwide.  His short fiction includes a wide variety of works covering time travel, alternate history, space opera, military SF, fantasy, and humor.  His most-recently published short story is The War of the Worlds, Book One, Chapter Eighteen, The Sergeant Major (a previously unknown lost chapter to the classic novel).  John has also written a fair amount of non-fiction, including articles on real declassified Cold War plans for US military bases on the Moon, and Liberating the Future: Women in the Early Legion (of Superheroes) in Sequart's Teenagers From the Future.  At somewhat erratic intervals he presents his talk on Everything I Needed To Know About Quantum Physics I Learned From The Three Stooges, showing how Stooge skits illustrate principles of quantum physics as well as the occasional Newtonian law of motion or relativistic concept.


John is a retired US Navy officer, who served in a wide variety of jobs including surface warfare (the ship drivers of the Navy), amphibious warfare, anti-terrorism, intelligence, and some other things that he's not supposed to talk about.  Being a sailor, he has been known to tell stories about Events Which He Says Really Happened (but which cannot be verified by any independent sources).  This experience has served him well in writing fiction.


He lives in Maryland with his indomitable wife “S” and three great kids (all three on the autism spectrum).

Mark Hodder

Mark Hodder

Mark Hodder is descended from John Angell, a pirate who sailed with Captain Kidd. According to family legend, Angell invested most of his ill-gotten gains in land, particularly in Angell Town near Brixton in London. Anyone who can provide irrefutable legal evidence that they are descended from Angell will inherit the land, which is now worth many millions. Over the course of generations, members of the family have lost a fortune trying to prove the link, and many people who have no connection with the family at all have adopted the Angell name in order to make a claim. As a result, the family tree is extremely tangled and a legal connection to the pirate’s treasure is almost certainly impossible to establish.

Mark’s great-grandfather was Doctor Albert Leigh, who went to medical school with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The two men were great friends—they joined the Freemasons together—and Sir Arthur presented Albert with a complete set of Sherlock Holmes first editions, all inscribed: To dear Leigh, from your friend Doyle. They would fetch a fortune at auction today. Unfortunately, upon Leigh’s death in 1944, his housekeeper (who was also his mistress) made off with the volumes.

Thus it is that two great fortunes have eluded Mark Hodder.

Denied money-for-nothing and the luxury, idleness, and indulgences it would bring, Mark had little option but to draw on his sole talent and labour as a copywriter. Initially, he wrote scripts for commercial radio but then moved to the BBC, where he worked for a near-decade.

By 2007, his piratical genes rebelled and he decided to quit the rat race and live in the sun. He moved to Valencia, Spain, to live with his Spanish partner, with whom he now has twins, and to teach English. However, upon his relocation, he was given the opportunity to write a novel. The result was THE STRANGE AFFAIR OF SPRING HEELED JACK, which promptly went on to win the Philip K. Dick Award. Sequels followed: THE CURIOUS CASE OF THE CLOCKWORK MAN, EXPEDITION TO THE MOUNTAINS OF THE MOON, THE SECRET OF ABDU EL YEZDI, THE RETURN OF THE DISCONTINUED MAN and the last in the series, THE RISE OF THE AUTOMATED ARISTOCRATS. He’s also written a freestanding novel, A RED SON ALSO RISES, and a number of short stories. Mark is currently working on a new series, which he describes as an “inner space opera.”

James A. Owen

James A. Owen is founder and executive director of Coppervale International, an art and design studio that also published the periodicals International Studio and Argosy, develops television and film projects, and is redesigning an entire town in Arizona, among other ventures. James has written and illustrated two dozen StarChild comics, the award-winning MythWorld series of novels (published in Germany and France),  the bestselling series, The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica, the inspirational nonfiction book Drawing out the Dragons, and more.  More than a million copies of his publications are in print, and are sold all over the world.

James began his career in publishing approximately two years before he was old enough to get a driver’s license, and was the youngest publisher ever to be an exhibitor at the San Diego Comicon. He founded Taliesin Press in 1992, both writing and illustrating the company’s debut publication, a Dickensian comic book titled StarChild.

In both 1994 and 1995, James was named to trade magazine Hero Illustrated’s list of the one hundred most influential people in the Comic Book Industry. On July 17, 1995, to coincide with the 40th anniversary of Disneyland’s opening, Taliesin Press was renamed Coppervale International — mostly because no one could pronounce Taliesin and those who could kept asking James if he could design buildings instead of comics.

During the fall of 1995, Coppervale negotiated a marketing arrangement with direct market distributor Capital City that pushed the company to international prominence, which led to an invitation by industry leader Image Comics to co-publish the new StarChild series, Mythopolis. The two dozen StarChild comics James produced remain in print as the six-volume Essential StarChild set, and are being re-released in the spring of 2013 as the one-volume Twentieth Anniversary Nearly-Complete Essential StarChild.

Before the turn of the millennium Coppervale also secured publication rights to the century-old arts magazine International Studio, which debuted in the spring of 1999. After the turn of the millennium, International Studio was relaunched along with a high-end revival of the periodical Argosy, both of which won many design awards in amounts inversely proportional to the amount of money the magazines made. They won a LOT of awards.

The first book in a series of prose novels written by James titled Mythworld (Kai Meyer’s Mythenwelt in Germany) won the 2003 AI award for Best Novel, and was nominated alongside books by Stephen King and Michael Crichton for the prestigious Phantastik Prize for Best International Novel. Steve won, but James got more votes than Crichton, so that’s okay. As of May 2012, MythWorld Book One: The Festival Of Bones and MythWorld Book Two: Invisible Moon are available in English as an ebook from the Coppervale International website, with further editions to follow.

Coppervale StudioJames has written and illustrated six books in the bestselling series The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica: Here, There Be Dragons; The Search For The Red Dragon; The Indigo King; The Shadow Dragons; The Dragon’s Apprentice; and The Dragons of Winter. The series is now being published in more than twenty languages. A seventh volume, The First Dragon, will conclude the series in November  2013.

Often asked to speak at schools, James rarely discusses his books, instead choosing to focus instead on stories drawn from his own life – examples of overcoming obstacles and adversity, about how making choices in life is like drawing a Dragon and how he came to do what it is that he loves most in the world for his job. These stories were made available to James’s readers in Drawing Out The Dragons, a non-fiction collection that was released as an ebook, and thanks to an over-funded Kickstarter project, is also available (in VERY limited quantities) as a hardcover and paperback from Coppervale International.

Drawing Out The Dragons is the first in a series of three books called The Meditations. DotD, along with the other two volumes, The Barbizon Diaries, and The Grand Design, are currently available as ebooks from James’ Coppervale International.  Print editions are forthcoming.James is also in discussion with the executive producer and associate producer of The Lord of the Rings movie franchise, Mark Ordesky and Rick Porras, respectively, to develop Here, There Be Dragons as a live action film.

All of these projects are being developed at the Coppervale Studio, a 14,000 square foot, century-old restored church in Northeastern Arizona, which is managed and run by James’s brother Jeremy.

Dave Butler

D.J. Butler (Dave) is an international corporate lawyer by training, and by day he now teaches business acumen to employees of large corporations.  He loves languages, fools around with the guitar, and plays lots of board games. By vocation, he writes speculative fiction (fantasy, science fiction, space opera, steampunk, cyberpunk, superhero, alternate history, dystopian fiction, horror and related genres) for all audiences.

Dave's books include the western steampunk romp City of the Saints, the dark science fiction novel Crecheling, and the ongoing action-horror serial Rock Band Fights Evil, all from Wordfire Press.  In addition, Dave is the author of a middle reader action steampunk fantasy series called The Extraordinary Journeys of Clockwork Charlie.  Charlie's first extraordinary journey, The Kidnap Plot, will be published by Knopf in Spring of 2016.  

Dave is represented by Deborah Warren of East/West Literary.  He performs semi-improvised interactive theater at sci-fi and fantasy conventions with the Space Balrogs (  Dave's website is at  Dave's  wife Emily is also a novelist, and sometimes they work on projects together.

Peter J. Wacks

Peter J. Wacks

Peter J. Wacks is a bestselling cross-genre writer and the Managing Editor WordFire Press. He has worked across the creative fields in gaming, television, film, comics, and most recently, when not busy editing, he spends his time writing novels and there are a combined 3.5 million copies of his stories in circulation.

Peter started his writing career in the gaming industry when he created the international bestselling game Cyberpunk CCG. He moved on from there to work on ABC’s Alias, and has since also written Tie-Ins for Veronica Mars and G.I. Joe. To date he has over 100 stories in publication, multiple bestselling Novels, and has been nominated and balloted for multiple awards.

His next novel, VilleAnne is co-written with Steven L. Sears (Co-executive producer of Xena, Warrior Princess and 30 year veteran of the Television business), and debuts in late 2015.

He has been a panelist, guest speaker, and Guest of Honor at a combined total of over 250 conventions, Trade Shows, organizations, and Colleges – including GAMA, Mensa, & UCLA.

Dan Wells

Dan Wells

New York Times bestselling author Dan Wells writes a little bit of everything, but is best known for his thriller series I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER, and his post-apocalyptic teen series PARTIALS. His other novels include THE HOLLOW CITY, about schizophrenia, and A NIGHT OF BLACKER DARKNESS, which will debut as a stage production in October 2015. His novella "The Butcher of Khardov," based on the Warmachine tabletop game, was nominated for a Hugo Award--the first piece of media tie-in fiction ever nominated in a prose category. He has received many other Hugo nominations for his podcast Writing Excuses, including one win in 2013; the podcast has also received several Parsec Awards, runs its own writing retreat, and in 2014 published a combination anthology/textbook called SHADOWS BENEATH. Also in 2014, Dan compiled and edited an anthology called ALTERED PERCEPTIONS, designed to raise awareness of mental illness. Dan's novel I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER is soon to be a major motion picture, filming in Spring of 2015, to be released sometime in 2016. Dan lives in Utah with his wife and five children; he has also lived in Germany and Mexico, and loves to travel every chance he gets. He owns more than 350 boardgames, which makes it more of an addiction than a hobby, but he loves the symptoms and refuses to seek help.

Amber Benson

Amber Benson

AMBER BENSON co-wrote and directed the animated web-series, The Ghosts of Albion, with Christopher Golden for the BBC. The duo then novelized the series in two books for Random House. Her solo novels, Death's Daughter, and, Cat's Claw, were published by Penguin - with a third book, Serpent's Stone. She is also the author of the middle grade book, Among The Ghosts, which is available now from Simon and Schuster. As an actress, Benson spent three seasons as Tara Maclay on the cult show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She has also directed three feature films, including her latest, Drones, which she co-directed with Adam Busch.