Guest Panels & Workshops
This list will continue to be updated.
Alex grew up in west Tennessee an hour north of Graceland (home of Elvis) and a half hour from Nutbush (birthplace of Tina Turner). He's been a reporter, copy editor, professional photographer and door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman. He now lives in a Wisconsin town famous for its trolls. He's the author of the Appalachia-set Tufa series (LONG BLACK CURL is the most recent), as well as two vampire novels set in 1975 Memphis (BLOOD GROOVE is the first) and the Eddie LaCrosse series (most recently, HE DRANK, AND SAW THE SPIDER).
Karianne aka Versidian is a very dedicated artist. It got her a spot on the reality TV show, "Steampunk'd" by being involved with many artistic mediums and especially her skills with leather. She's been a leather worker for 7 years and specializes in leather masks which has won her many awards and publishings. She came across Steampunk back in 2004 and has been obsessed ever since. She continues to attend as many shows, conventions, and festivals as much as possible to be a part of the community and teach classes on leather making. Her goal is to build her very own steampunk pirate ship tiny house. With this she can permanently travel making, learning, and teaching wherever she can.
James Neathery lives in Nashville, TN with his wife and two children. He began working on leather projects as a hobby in early 2011, focusing on steampunk and dieselpunk, and founded Starboard Sky that summer. He started out making leather watches and cuffs, but has since expanded his lineup to include items of all sorts - holsters, belts, flasks, masks, electronic gadgets and speaker boxes, even entire suits of leather and brass armor. His goal is to make "everyday steampunk" - comfortable, wearable, stylish items that are suited for nearly any budget, but with quality to last a lifetime.
In 2015, James was chosen by the producers at the Game Show Network to be a contestant on Steampunk’d, a competition-styled reality show.
Steampunk model, maker, and artist Sara Neathery was born and grew up in rural McMinnville, Tennessee. As a child she always had a flair for performance and creativity which landed h er in the middle of a theatre stage where she spent most of her high school career. In 2011 she married her husband James Neathery, who had long loved the steampunk aesthetic and introduced her to the world of clockworks, cogs, and airships.
While she had been playing "dress up" since she could put her own clothes on, it wasn’t until 2012 that she sported her first pair of goggles next to her husband in her first Steampunk photoshoot. Before she knew it, she was posing in several Steampunk photo shoots and even landed the cover of the Steampunk anthology book, Capes & Clockwork Superheroes in the Age of Steam.
Between costuming, leather work, jewelry making, sculpture creating, and antique restoration, she stays quite busy.
Sara resides in Nashville, TN where she lives with her husband and two children. On any given day you can find her in her work space, creating new Steampunk themed pieces of art, posing in front of a camera, or wrangling kids.
John F. Strangeway - Steampunk Boba Fett
Steampunk Boba Fett is one of the most recognized figures in both the Steampunk and Star Wars fan communities. He had the idea for a Steampunk variation for quite some time but lacked the resources to build the suit to match his vision. That changed at AnachroCon 2009, where he met Matt Silva of Penny Dreadful Productions. A few months later, PDP began work on the suit, which debuted at Dragon*Con 2009 to overwhelming acclaim. John and Matt are featured prominently in the PBS documentary "Four Days at Dragon*Con."
When he’s not portraying Steampunk Boba Fett, John is on staff of the Alternate History Track at Dragon*Con as well as working with Dragon*Con Media Relations, appearing on Better Mornings Atlanta and 11 Alive in 2010.
John's ultimate stance and goal as a prominent Steampunk icon is to keep the fires of unity and creativity within the Steampunk communities roaring. Reminding Steampunks that you are only limited in how far, fun, and fantastic being Steampunk can be by your own hands and mind. Keeping humor alive and bringing a positive outlook and energy to every event he attends. Now a guest of several conventions, John F. Strangeway looks forward to meeting and greeting steampunks wherever he goes!
Website: Facebook Page
David B. Coe
David B. Coe/D.B. Jackson is the award-winning author of nineteen novels and many short stories. As David B. Coe (www.DavidBCoe.com) he has written the Crawford award-winning LonTobyn Chronicle, the Winds of the Forelands quintet, the Blood of the Southlands trilogy, and the novelization of Ridley Scott's ROBIN HOOD. His newest novel, SHADOW'S BLADE, comes out in May 2016. It is the third volume of a contemporary urban fantasy series, The Case Files of Justis Fearsson, which begins with SPELL BLIND and HIS FATHER'S EYES. Writing as D.B. Jackson (www.dbjackson-author.com), he is the author of the Thieftaker Chronicles -- THIEFTAKER, THIEVES' QUARRY, A PLUNDER OF SOULS, and DEAD MAN'S REACH -- a historical urban fantasy set in pre Revolutionary Boston. David is part of the Magical Words group blog (www.magicalwords.net), and co-author of How To Write Magical Words: A Writer's Companion. His books have been translated into more than a dozen languages.
Paige Gardner is an award-winning costumer who regularly appears at science fiction and fantasy conventions in the U.S. as a guest and presenter on costuming and costume photography. While Paige has created recognizable cosplay from the Sci-Fi universe, she is mostly recognized for her steampunk masks, gear and costumes that are constructed from found, salvaged or vintage items.
As a costumer who doesn't sew, Paige is an entertaining and popular guest presenter sharing her enthusiasm for costuming with the minimum of resources and the maximum of tenacity! Paige's humorous approach to daunting projects features shocking shortcuts, fresh ideas, and eccentric tips for building costumes using salvaged items, thrift store finds and other unlikely oddments.
Paige's costuming work has appeared in newspapers, magazines, television and independent film as well as being featured in books, including "1000 Steampunk Creations", "1000 Cosplay Creations" and the upcoming "Steampunk Users Guide" by Jeff VandeMeer. Her masks and gear have also been exhibited at various venues around the U.S.
AKA: "The Red Queen"
Naomi Grunwald-Eberhart, also known as The Red Queen, is an artist and costumer. She received her B.F.A in Photography from State University of West Georgia. She then spent several years working as a professional photographer, before deciding to shift her talents in another direction.
Upon joining the Society for Creative Anachronisms, she became an accomplished belly dancer and costumer. She also worked at the Georgia Renaissance Festival for several years, which led to a job opportunity at Dragon Con. A regular attendee at Dragon Con for over 20 years, she became a veteran of the Hallway Costume Contests.
In 2009 a new costuming track came on the scene known as Steampunk, and it was a match made in Heaven. She is the track Director for The Mad Hatter's Tea Room held at Anachrocon held in her hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. She is the The Red Queen for the Tea Room and presides over its proceedings with the help of her Red Court.
She is also on the Senior Recommender Board for The Artifice Club, a local Atlanta non-profit Steampunk Society. She still competes in most costume contests, but more frequently has been asked to judge the competitions. She was the celebrity costume contest judge for the Kennesaw States University "Owl-O-Ween" costume contest, and has been asked back to reprise her role for the coming year due to popular demand.
When not putting in long hours working on current Roccocopunk projects, she attempts to spend time with friends, family, and her wee beasties (a 15 lb. Mainecoone, a 75 lb. Norwegian Elkhound, and one 150 lb. Great Pyrenees). She never attends a convention without a lint roller.
Darla Wigley is a self taught ball of fire with an ever vibrant zeal for the makeup arts. Her 20 years of experience in the fields of special effects and beauty makeup have span from Seattle to Key West. Darla runs a full service studio for film, TV and indie projects, creating everything from basic makeup looks to prosthetics, masks and props. Constantly honing her skills, Darla has even developed her own retail line of prosthetics. Equally skilled in all types of makeup, Horror is dearest to Darla and has brought her quite renown within the haunt industry. She is a regular speaker at haunt tradeshows and seminars. Taking on the task of Key Makeup Artist for a local haunted house, she has taught the team the skills necessary to take them from just a local haunt to a national acclaimed haunted attraction. Darla sees a makeup artist not as someone that just does makeup adding colors to the skin. She sees an artist as one who lives within their craft creating skilled adventures into fantasy, horror and beauty. She loves teaching her skills and visions to others.
Enrique Velazquez - "Q"
DJ Doctor Q is the resident DJ of Speakeasy Electro Swing Atlanta. When not spinning tunes, he is also the Alternate History Track Director at Dragon Con, as well as the Executive Director for the Artifice Club.
The Artifice Club is a non-profit art coalition dedicated to promoting the appreciation of and participation in all vintage and retro-futurist oriented visual and performing arts. You can find out more about the organization at www.theartificeclub.com.
Eugene John - DJ Swag Commander
A time traveler, born in the early 1950s, but passing through this world via an assortment of time portals from the Victorian age, the Edwardian Age, the Swing era, and this modern era, yet finding that while he enjoys the conveniences and much of the technology of the modern era, he prefers the culture, the style, the looks, and the music of The Vintage.
Living in a world he no longer fully identifies with, he dabbles in alternate history realities of Steampunk and Dieselpunk, dips his toe in the stream of Cosplay (as Count Swagula), promotes and promulgates Electro Swing music (as Swag Commander), and unites souls that are in the kind of love that eludes him in matrimonial bonds as an ordained minister/wedding officiant (dba Swag Weddings.)His hobby is clock collecting (with over 100 clocks) and he enjoys swing dancing a bit.
Christopher Beats is a starry-eyed idealist currently wandering the canals and boulevards of South Florida. He used to teach history at various levels and institutions but now focuses on writing beautiful lies.
The Library Police
In 1965, an object fell from space, somewhere near Kecksburg, PA. This was the same year that Alan was born. To date, no connection has been made between the two events but that hasn't stopped the conspiracy theorists and his family from speculating.
D. Alan Lewis is an 'alleged' native of Chattanooga, Tennessee who now resides in Nashville with his children. He is an author of steampunk, sf & f, pulp, and horror stories and novels. He also is a frequent speaker/panelist at conventions around the Southeast. In 2006, Alan took the reins of the NWMG's Novelist Group where he works with new and aspiring writers, leads writing and publishing workshops, and has worked to publish the NWMG's 4 anthologies.
Alan's debut novel, a fantasy murder mystery, The Blood in Snowflake Garden was a finalist for the 2010 Claymore Award. Alan's other books include the steampunk novel, The Lightning Bolts of Zeus from Dark Oak as well as The Bishop of Port Victoria from Pro Se Press. He is editor of the Dark Oak Press' anthologies, Capes & Clockwork: Superheroes in the Age of Steam, Luna's Children: Full Moon Mayhem and Luna's Children: Stranger Worlds.
He also has short stories in a number of anthologies, including Dreams of Steam 4-Gizmos, Black Pulp, Nashville Noir, Beyond the Skyline, Comfort Foods, Pulpology, High Adventure History, and Midnight Movie Creature Feature Vol.2.
A. G. Carpenter
A.G. Carpenter writes fiction of (and for) all sorts, with over a dozen published short stories appearing in Daily Science Fiction, Crowded Magazine, Abyss & Apex, and Nature Magazine - Futures, among others. Her short story collection "The Weather's Always Fine in Paradise" is available now.
M. N. Henschen
M.N. Henschen was born in the shadow of the Smoky Mountains in the bustling town of Sevierville, Tennessee. Her love of books began as an infant when her parents read her stories of all kinds. This love and an expansive imagination were given more fuel in the classroom of Dr. Vada Bogart at the age of nine. It was then that M.N. Henschen began reading works like Lois Lowery's The Giver and Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird. Her favorite series of books, however, was also the story that sparked her interest in the world of fantasy: J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. During her college years, M.N. Henschen studied language arts while pursuing her career in the medical field. It was there in 2008 that she began her first published work, Line of Kavanagh. Thanks to the encouragement of her loving husband, what started out as a distant childhood dream became a reality, and her career as an author began. Now a wife and the mother of two, M.N. Henschen still lives in the beauty of East Tennessee, but she enjoys traveling the world with her family whenever possible. Loving life as a stay-at-home-mom, she uses her storytelling abilities to brighten the days of those around her. She is thrilled now to be able to share her stories with the world.
Stephanie Osborn, the Interstellar Woman of Mystery, is a 20+-year space program veteran, with graduate/undergraduate degrees in astronomy, physics, chemistry and mathematics, is "fluent" in several more, including geology and anatomy. She has authored, co-authored, or contributed to over 25 books, including the celebrated novel, Burnout: The mystery of Space Shuttle STS-281. Co-author of the Cresperian Saga, she currently writes the critically-acclaimed Displaced Detective Series, described as "Sherlock Holmes meets The X-Files," and the new Gentleman Aegis Series. She "pays it forward," teaching STEM through numerous media including radio, podcasting and public speaking, and working with SIGMA, the science-fiction think tank.
J L Mulvahill
A California native, J L Mulvihill is a descendant of Hollywood royalty barely escaping with her life from the Zombie Apocalypse. 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. The sequel is presently in the works.
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 scheduled for release October 2015.
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 www.darkoakpress.com
as well as & Seventh Star Press www.seventhstarpress.com
and at her websites:
Peter B. Slayer
A dealer in indulgence, a man with a taste for the attainable pleasures of a life well lived.
Peter has traveled the globe learning the secrets to the good life: how to meet and escalate connections with note worthy people the world over.
What he has gleaned, he carries with him to share with new friends and fellow patrons of happiness.
- Instructor in the finer things of life.
- Trainer of the Social Graces
- Makes events better by being there!
- Fire Performer – Fire Eater, Human Volcano, Fire Spinner
- Experienced Master of Ceremony
- Saberage, Cigar Aficionado, Scotch and Bourbon Expert, Home Brewer, Fashion Consultant, Tea Duelling Judge, Wedding Officiate
- Master of Ceremony of The Inaugural Airship Races at Dragon Con
- Master of Ceremony of Games at Steampunk Empire Symposium
- Creator of the successful events that put fun back into fund raising