Shapers of Worlds Volume IV: The Authors

DAVID BOOP is a Denver-based speculative fiction author. He’s also an award-winning essayist and screenwriter. Before turning to fiction, David worked as a DJ, film critic, journalist, and actor. His debut novel was the sci-fi/noir She Murdered Me with Science (now back in print from WordFire Press; he followed up with a Victorian horror, The Soul Changers, from Pinnacle. David went on to edit the bestselling weird western anthology Straight Outta Tombstone for Baen. Prolific in short fiction, with many short stories and two short films to his credit, David has published across several genres, including media tie-ins for PredatorThe Green Hornet, The Black Bat and Veronica Mars. His RPG work includes Flash Gordon and Deadlands: Noir for Savage Worlds. Finally, his series, The Trace Walker Temporary Mysteries, appears regularly on He’s a single dad, Summa Cum Laude creative writing graduate, part-time temp worker, and believer. His hobbies include film noir, anime, the Blues, and Mayan History.

MICHAELBRENT COLLINGS is an internationally bestselling novelist, produced screenwriter, and speaker. Best known for horror (and voted one of the top 100 Greatest All-Time Horror Writers in a Ranker vote of nearly 20,000 readers), Collings has written bestselling thrillers, mysteries, sci-fi, and fantasy titles, and even humour and nonfiction. In addition to popular success, Michaelbrent has also received critical acclaim: he is the only person who has ever been a finalist for a Bram Stoker Award (twice), a Dragon Award (twice), and a RONE Award, and he and his work have been reviewed and/or featured on everything from Publishers Weeklyto Scream Magazine to NPR. An engaging and entertaining speaker, he is also a frequent guest at comic cons and on writing podcasts like Six Figure AuthorsThe Creative PennWriting Excuses, and others, and he is also a mental health advocate and TEDx speaker.

ROY M. GRIFFIS calls himself a “storyteller” for a lot of reasons. He decided to be a writer at age ten when he went to Mars with John Carter, courtesy of Edgar Rice Burroughs, and never looked back. Along the way, he’s done all the usual starving artist jobs (janitor, waiter, bookstore clerk) and a few unusual ones (he was the 62nd Aviation Rescue Swimmer in U.S. Coast Guard––he doesn’t just write action-adventure, he lived a little of it himself).  He’s written poetry, plays, and screenplays.  He’s also the author of twelve novels, including the epic historical fiction saga By the Hands of Men and the alternative history series The Lonesome George Chronicles. For a change of pace, he turned his hand to comic horror, resulting in his internationally best-selling The Thing from HRthe first book in his award-winning Cthulhu, Amalgamated cycle. In 2018, he received the first The John Milius Screenwriting Award for his original film script Cold Day in Hell.  He’s currently hard at work on a fourth book featuring Narg, the every-Thing hero of the Cthulhu, Amalgamated novels, to be followed by the seventh By the Hands of Men novel, as well as stories to be named later.

SARAH A. HOYT was born and raised in Portugal, where she decided her future occupation would be writer, and she would live in Denver. In her defence, she had no idea where Denver was, nor that this would require learning English (at fourteen) and becoming a professional writer in it. But after thirty-six novels and more than 100 published short stories, you can hardly tell. Sarah’s first novel, Ill Met By Moonlight, was a finalist for the Mythopoeic award; her novel Darkship Thieves won the Prometheus; and her novel Uncharted (with Kevin J. Anderson) won the Dragon. Sarah has been published by magazines like Analog, Asimov’s and Weird Tales, and publishers like Ace, Bantam, and Baen, and edited anthologies for DAW. Lately, she’s been working indie. Her latest novel is Bowl of Red in her Shifters series. She’s also been writing scripts for Dynamite’s current iteration of Barbarella. She has been published in science fiction, fantasy, mystery, historical and . . . look, her husband—the Mathematician—says it’s easier to say she’s never written children’s picture books or men’s adventure. But she makes no promises.

JAMES KENNEDY is the author of the horror thriller Bride of the Tornado, the sci-fi novel Dare to Know, and the young adult fantasy The Order of Odd-Fish. He also runs the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival, in which kid filmmakers create short movies that sum up Newbery-winning books in ninety seconds, screening annually in about a dozen cities around the United States since 2010. He also co-hosts the Secrets of Story podcast with Matt Bird. He lives in Chicago with his wife and two daughters.

Defying all odds is what #1 New York Times and international bestselling author Sherrilyn McQueen, writing as SHERRILYN KENYON, does best. Rising from extreme poverty as a child that culminated in being a homeless mother with an infant, she has become one of the most popular and influential authors in the world (in both adult and YA fiction), with dedicated legions of fans known as Paladins–thousands of whom proudly sport tattoos from her numerous genre-defying series. Since her first book debuted while she was still in college, she has placed more than eighty novels on the New York Timeslist in all formats and genres, including manga and graphic novels, and has more than 70 million books in print worldwide. Her current series include Dark-Hunters®, Chronicles of Nick®, Deadman’s Cross™, Eve of Destruction™, Nevermore™, Lords of Avalon®, and The League®.

MARK LESLIE LEFEBVRE’s first short story appeared in print in 1992, the same year he started working in the book industry. He has published more than twenty-five books under the name Mark Leslie that include thrillers and fiction (Evasion, A Canadian Werewolf in New YorkOne Hand Screaming), paranormal nonfiction (Haunted HospitalsSpooky SudburyTomes of Terror) and anthologies (Campus Chills, Tesseracts SixteenObsessions). Under his full name, he writes books to help authors navigate publishing. They include The 7 P’s of Publishing Success and An Author’s Guide to Working with Libraries and Bookstores. His industry experience includes President of the Canadian Booksellers Association, Board Member of BookNet Canada, Director of Author Relations and Self-Publishing for Rakuten Kobo, Director of Business Development for Draft2Digital, and Professional Advisor for Sheridan College’s Creative Writing and Publishing Honours Program. Mark lives in Waterloo, Ontario. Website:

NOAH LEMELSON is a novelist and short story writer with a love of science fiction, fantasy, new weird, and “insert-noun-here”-punk. He has written two novels (2021’s The Sightless City and its upcoming sequel, The Lioness and the Rat Queen) as well as nearly a dozen short stories published in magazines such as Space SquidAllegoryLos Suelos, and Interzone. Noah lives with his wife and cats in Los Angeles.

EDWARD M. LERNER worked in high tech and aerospace for thirty years, as everything from engineer to senior vice president, for much of that time writing science fiction as his hobby. Since 2004, he’s written full-time. His novels range from near-future technothrillers, like Small Miracles and Energized, to traditional SF, like Dark Secret and his InterstellarNet series, to (collaborating with Larry Niven) the space-opera epic Fleet of Worlds series. His 2015 novel, InterstellarNet: Enigma, won the inaugural Canopus Award, “honouring excellence in interstellar writing,” while other of his fiction has been nominated for Locus, Prometheus, and Hugo awards. The 2021 SF adventure Déjà Doomed is his latest novel. His short fiction has appeared in anthologies, collections, and many of the usual SF magazines and websites. He also writes about science and technology, notably including Trope-ing the Light Fantastic: The Science Behind the Fiction.

DAVID LISS is the author of fourteen novels, as well as numerous novellas and short stories. His latest novel is The Peculiarities, the tale of a clueless young man embroiled in a deadly supernatural mystery in Victorian London. Previous books include A Conspiracy of Paper, which was named a New York Times Notable Book and won the 2001 Barry, MacAvity, and Edgar awards for Best First Novel. The Coffee Trader was also named a New York TimesNotable Book and was selected by the New York Public Library as one of the year’s “25 Books to Remember.” Many of his novels are currently being developed for television or film. Liss has worked on numerous comics projects, including Black Panther and Mystery Men for Marvel, The Spider and Green Hornet for Dynamite, and Angelica Tomorrow.

GAIL Z. MARTIN writes urban fantasy, epic fantasy, steampunk, and more for Solaris Books, Orbit Books, Falstaff Books, SOL Publishing, and Darkwind Press. Urban fantasy series include Deadly Curiosities and the Night Vigil (Sons of Darkness). Epic fantasy series include Darkhurst, the Chronicles Of The Necromancer, the Fallen Kings Cycle, the Ascendant Kingdoms Saga, and the Assassins of Landria. Together with Larry N. Martin, she is the co-author of Iron & Blood, Storm & Fury (both steampunk/alternate history), the Spells Salt and Steel comedic horror series, the Roaring Twenties monster hunter Joe Mack Shadow Council series, and the Wasteland Marshals near-future post-apocalyptic series. As Morgan Brice, she writes urban fantasy MM paranormal romance, with the Witchbane, Badlands, Treasure Trail, Kings of the Mountain and Fox Hollow series. Gail is also a con-runner for ConTinual, the online, ongoing multi-genre convention that never ends.

R. S. MELLETTE, originally from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, now lives in San Clemente, California, where he toils away at turning his imaginary friends into real ones. While working on Xena: Warrior Princess, he created and wrote “The Xena Scrolls” for Universal’s New Media department and was part of the team that won a Golden Reel Award for ADR editing. When an episode aired based on his “Xena Scrolls” characters, it became the first intellectual property to move from the internet to television. Mellette has worked and blogged for the film festival Dances With Films as well as the novelist collective From The Write Angle, and he is on the board of the L.A. region of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators.

JOSHUA PALMATIER is a fantasy author with a Ph.D. in mathematics. He currently teaches at SUNY Oneonta in upstate New York while writing in his “spare” time, editing anthologies, and running the anthology-producing small press Zombies Need Brains LLC. His most recent fantasy novel, Reaping the Aurora, concludes the fantasy series begun in Shattering the Ley andThreading the Needle, although you can also find his Throne of Amenkor series and the Well of Sorrows series still on the shelves. He is currently hard at work writing his next series and designing the Kickstarter for the next set of Zombies Need Brains anthology projects. Meet Joshua in the video below!

RICHARD PAOLINELLI began his writing journey as a freelance writer in 1984 and gained his first fiction credit serving as the lead writer for the first two issues of the Elite Comics sci-fi/fantasy series Seadragon. After nearly a quarter of a century in the newspaper field, in 2010, Richard retired as an award-winning sportswriter and returned to his fiction-writing roots. Since then, he has written several award-winning novels, and two nonfiction sports books and has appeared in more than twenty anthologies, including eight of the eleven-book Tuscany Bay Books’ Planetary Anthology series and five Sherlock Holmes collections. He served as a co-host on LA Talk Radio’s The Writer’s Block from 2016 thru 2022 and is the co-founder and Publisher of Tuscany Bay Books. He currently resides in Western Colorado with his wife and two house hounds.

LAVIE TIDHAR is the author of OsamaThe Violent CenturyA Man Lies DreamingCentral StationUnholy LandBy Force AloneThe Hood, and The Escapement. His latest novels are Maror and Neom. His awards include the World Fantasy and British Fantasy Awards, the John W. Campbell Award, the Neukom Prize, and the Jerwood Prize, and he has been shortlisted for the Clarke Award and the Philip K. Dick Award.

JEAN-LOUIS TRUDEL is a French-Canadian author who started publishing science fiction stories in 1984. Since then, he’s published novels, YA books, poems, short fiction, and nonfiction, including a number of works written in collaboration with Yves Meynard, under the name Laurent McAllister, garnering several Aurora and Boréal awards. While he mostly writes in French, some of his short stories and most of his poems were initially composed in English. His stories have been translated into many different languages. He has organized or helped organize science fiction conventions and festivals, including Boréal and the World Science Fiction Convention. His educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in physics at the University of Ottawa, a master’s degree in astronomy at the University of Toronto, a second master’s degree in history and philosophy of science and technology at the University of Toronto, and a doctorate in history from the Université du Québec à Montréal. He has taught at five different universities.

JAMES VAN PELT has been selling short fiction to many of the major venues since 1989. Recently he retired from teaching high school English after thirty-seven years in the classroom. He was a finalist for the Nebula, the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award, Locus Awards, and Analog and Asimov’s reader’s choice awards. Years and years ago, he was a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. He still feels “new.” Fairwood Press recently released a huge, limited-edition, signed and numbered collection of his work, The Best of James Van Pelt.

GARON WHITED was born in Kansas; after following his parents around the South for several years, he finally caught up to them and settled somewhere between Texas and Arkansas. Garon attended several universities, whether he was a student or not. While he was in college, he studied many subjects, none of which were helpful in earning a living. At present, he writes stories in the hope people will feed him. He has written several novels and various short stories and shows no signs of stopping. His work tends toward the optimistic: even his apocalyptic sci-fi novel has a surprisingly feel-good attitude. When he’s not writing stories, Garon is still telling them. Garon is a fan of role-playing games and started playing many years and many editions ago. It may have encouraged him to write by providing material. Garon loves to read, usually science fiction and fantasy. Strangely–perhaps ironically, considering his popular Nightlord series–he’s not usually a fan of vampire novels.