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Guests

MEDIA GUEST OF HONOR – MORGAN BERRY

Morgan Berry was born on April 27 in Riverside, California. She is an actress, voice actor, and singer known for her work in various anime television series, movies, video games, and web series. Morgan’s training as an actor began in 2004 with school theater, eventually joining a local performing arts program in 2007 where she began her vocal and dance training, as well as on-camera acting work. She went on to study the art of voice acting at KD Studio in 2014, and not too long after started voice acting in various Funimation titles that same year.

 

 

 

AUTHOR GUEST OF HONOR – SEANAN MCGUIRE

Seanan McGuire writes things.  It is very difficult to make her stop, which is probably because she’s won quite a few awards for writing things, including the Hugo, Nebula, Campbell, Locus, and Alex Awards.  She is also a musician, performing filk music (the folk music of science fiction and fantasy) at conventions all over the world.  She lives in Seattle with her cats, who are spoiled beyond all reason, and is very excited to be coming to meet you all.

 

 

 

ARTIST GUEST OF HONOR – MELISSA GAY

Melissa Gay is a Nashville-based illustrator of books and tabletop roleplaying games whose client list includes Baen Books, Llewellyn Worldwide, Hay House, Apex Press, and many, many game companies. Her Imaginative Realist work has been featured in ImagineFX Magazine, io9, tor.com, and several of the Infected By Art anthologies. She is co-founder of the Bird Whisperer Project, a member of the Changeling Artist Collective, and is a moderator/facilitator of the art business group One Fantastic Week. The Association of Science-Fiction and Fantasy Artists has twice honored her work with the Chesley Award. The Light Grey Art Lab awarded her one of its coveted artist residencies in Iceland during the summer of 2019, where she gave a presentation on art, awe, and the concept of sacred space.

A former scientific illustrator, she is constantly seeking the perfect balance between precise detail and hazy obscurity to better engage the imagination of the viewer. Recurring themes in her work are flying things that should not fly (whales, sheep, etc.), faraway visions into deep space as if seen in a dream, and moments of surreal otherworldliness in a terrestrial setting. She creates her art as an act of love, but also as an act of defiance against her own mental health issues. Her art is an invitation into her worlds and a wish for the viewer to soar, to find their own magic, regardless of circumstances. The videos she makes for the Fantastic Fridays segment of the One Fantastic Week YouTube channel focus largely on encouraging artists of all kinds to know themselves, to be kind to themselves, and to stretch the boundaries of their own creativity.

Apart from drawing and painting, she is never happier than when in the woods hunting for secret waterfalls, climbing on rocks, or staring into the night sky. She can whistle a passable screech owl call.

Find her at www.melissagay.com, melissa.gay.art on Facebook, MelissaGay on Patreon, @melissagay23 on Twitter, @melissagayart on Instagram, and tune in for her Fantastic Friday videos on the One Fantastic Week YouTube channel.

 

GAMING GUEST OF HONOR – JAY LITTLE

Jay Little is an award-winning game designer and passionate game enthusiast with more than 20 years of experience in the hobby gaming industry. In addition to designing his own games, Jay also teaches video and board game design for the University of Wisconsin – Stout. He also has a remarkable life story, having survived multiple heart attacks, a stroke, paralysis, and three weeks in a coma — all before the age of 40. Chances are, you haven’t met someone else with his unique combination of industry and life experiences. It should come as no surprise that two of Jay’s biggest passions in life are Game Design and Patient Advocacy in Healthcare.

Jay has dozens of hobby games and titles to his credit. Over the years, he has worked for top tier game publishers like Fantasy Flight Games and WizKids, on top tier licenses like Star Wars and Major League Baseball. Jay has shared his industry insights and game design experience with a wide variety of audiences and has taught college game design courses. In addition to speaking at conferences, seminars, and conventions, Jay has also been featured on numerous podcasts and has conducted dozens of interviews with fans and hobby game enthusiasts from around the world.

 

FAN GUEST OF HONOR – GREG SPANIER

Greg Spanier is an instantly recognizable face among the masses at local conventions. Some of his actions will go down in convention infamy, but there is another side to this comedic rogue.

On the fateful day of October 4, 1968, Greg started his life out reasonably normal and eventually became both a devoted husband and father. Already carrying the badges of U.S. Army Veteran, Member of President Reagan’s White House Communication Agency, and Graduate of the Xavier University Pharmaceutical Program, he now set his sights on establishing himself as a voice in his local community.

He became the owner of Gautier’s Burnham Drugs (making him our favorite legal drug dealer) and eventually founded maCnarB Gaming, named lovingly after his son, Cameron, and the nephew he raised, Brandon. (BranCam 🡪 maCnarB)

It would soon become an essential fixture in the local gaming community. Greg spends his days, with his beautiful wife of nearly 25 years, Libby, “aka” Saint Elizabeth the Patient, at Burnham’s, helping to nurture the sick.

As dusk creeps in, his transformation begins. He begins to itch, causing the shedding of his white pharmaceutical coat, he starts to seize, seeming as if possessed, speaking words, not of this realm such as ARMOR CLASS, TARASQUE, and DEATHTICKS. Soon dice mysteriously sprout from his shaking hands. Only when he gives in body and soul to the transformation that the pain will stop. In doing so and raising his unwavering geek flag high, he suddenly becomes “The Dungeon Master.”

Consider maCnarB’s as his “in plain view” Batcave of sorts and entering will find him at one table or the other immersed in a game. Whether it be his favorite, Dungeons & Dragons, a board game of some variety, or maybe in his hidden lair, “The Dungeon,” which is decorated with the corpses of dangerous creatures from the multiple planes of existence he has visited. For he knows we must be protected from The Evil Rule Nazis everywhere. maCnarB’s door, unbeknownst to many, is a magical portal that allows people to find a place where they can belong and feel welcomed.

Watched over by the dragon, Narby MacNarb, and his sidekicks, Patty O’Cakes and the now-notorious Fatpool, Narb’s, is home to a variety of gamers and groups (some of whom might actually live there)! From role-playing games of many formats, Magic the Gathering, Pokémon, Miniature gaming, and much more. Donning his alter ego, Greg invites them to join in his games or finds them a group that he feels will mesh well with them.

A true ambassador to the gaming community, he is always learning or teaching a new release. He has a voracious appetite for games, which he avidly shares by maintaining a game wall that houses hundreds of games that are always free to play. This allows visitors to walk in and play a wide variety of games with Narbers already there or with their own group of friends…surely soon to become Narbers themselves!

Between this, the parties (which always go down in history), and the safety meetings, maCnarB Gaming manages to make itself a revolution in the outside plane of Gulf Coast Gaming.

Adored by his patrons, Greg himself is always helping in the gaming community in one way or another. Whether helping to sponsor activities at local conventions, serving as their board member, or hosting fundraisers for charity groups and his shop patrons, he is always there to offer a helping hand (or a foot in the behind when needed).

Beneath all his humor and mirth lies a heart of gold, no matter how much he may try to downplay it. This alone would make him a superhero by anyone’s definition. So, this weekend, make sure to raise a glass (preferably full of Jack, which is his favorite) in honor of this year’s CoastCon Fan Guest of Honor, Gregory Spanier.

 

AUTHOR GUEST – ROB CERIO

Rob Cerio was born at an early age, and has since grown much more hair. As a comedy writer, he denies all rumors of making inappropriate jokes at funerals. He has published four novels, six short stories, and helped author a YouTube web series. He has also won two awards for his writing contributions to his local 48hr Film Festival. He now lives in Metairie, Louisiana with his lovely wife, two adorable step kids, and a small annoying dog named after a large Japanese monster.

 

 

 

AUTHOR GUEST – ERNEST RUSSELL

Ernest Russell has written for Pro Se Productions, Beyond the Threshold Studios, and the literary journal Violet Windows.  Some of his favorite things (besides coffee) are Science Fiction, Horror, Steampunk, and Fantasy books and movies. His writing is split amongst those genres and when not writing can be found playing board games or a RPG In the last year, Ernest has joined the staff at Pro Se as contributing submissions editor and, as time allows, content and copy editor.

He has managed the Facebook page for The Week in Geek 99.5 WRNO Talk radio and still makes contributions to this great show, a radio show dedicated to all things geek.

Webpages
Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/ernest.russell.whenmyworldscollide/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

WordPress
https://ernestrussell.com/author/ernestrussell/

Twitter
@erussell1313

 

AUTHOR GUEST – KIMBERLY RICHARDSON

Kimberly B. Richardson is the author of Tales From a Goth Librarian, The Decembrists, Tales From a Goth Librarian II,  Mabon/Pomegranate, Open A, and The Path of a Tea Traveler. She is the creator of the Agnes Viridian series, the Maven Chronicles, the Tea Traveler Chronicles, and the Order of the Black Silk trilogy. She is also the editor of Realms of Imagination: An Urban Fantasy Anthology and the Steampunk anthology series Dreams of Steam, and has stories in multiple anthologies. Ms. Richardson was the 2015 David McCrosky Volunteer Photographer in Residence for Elmwood Cemetery in Memphis, Tennessee, and the Photography II winner of the 2018 Raymond James Affiliate Art Show. Ms. Richardson is the founder and owner of Viridian Tea Company and a World Tea Academy Certified Tea Specialist. Ms. Richardson is also the founder of Tea Junkie World, a blog dedicated to the Tea Lifestyle.

 

AUTHOR GUEST – J.B. GARNER

J. B. Garner is a hybrid author and professional editor from Pensacola, Florida. He has written over a dozen published novels and edited dozens more, including multiple Amazon bestselling titles in the speculative fiction genres.

 

 

 

AUTHOR GUEST – JASON FEDORA

Jason Fedora got into writing when a grade school teacher asked her students to write an Easter story. While everyone else wrote of fluffy bunnies Jason wrote about an Easter egg hunt that became the battlefield between the Autobots and the Decepticons. Jason wrote the Truth of Betrayal, an epic fantasy, published by Dark Oak Press.

 

 

 

AUTHOR GUEST – J.L. MULVIHILL

J L Mulvihill (Jen) is descended from Hollywood royalty where her grandfather played in the big bands and her grandmother sang in movies. Relinquishing the spotlight of her rock star days where she sang with several bands, Jen now caters to her passion for telling stories. Her y/a series, Steel Roots, is based in steampunk genre and engages the reader in a train hopping heart stopping adventure across a dystopian America enclosed within the walls of its own making.

Jen is also the author of a y/a fantasy/science fiction series, The Elsie Lind Chronicles. This epic adventure boasts of demons, dragons and dark witches. From the strange and dark corners of her mind, Jen has created an extraordinary fantasy world. Weaving Scandinavian folklore into the telling of the adventure of a young girl who is struck with amnesia and finds herself in the middle of an ancient forest in a world filled with mystery and danger.

Jen has recently received an award for Best Screenplay in Short Format for her story Sand Mermaids. She is also the co-editor of the first Southern Haunts anthology and has short fiction pieces including a poem in all three Southern Haunts books. Jen also has several short fiction pieces published including those in the Dreams of Steam anthologies.

Jen is known not just for her writing but also her public speaking where she encourages other writers to hone their skills. She is a member of the SCBWI and MWG and her local writers’ group, The Ink Slingers’. Jen continues to write y/a, fantasy, steampunk, horror, thrillers, poetry and essays and screenplays inspired by her life and the twisted world around her. Currently, Jen is working on several writing projects including a science fiction novel and several movie scripts.

You can find J L Mulvihill’s books and short stories at: www.jlmulvihill.com as well as her publishers: www.darkoakpress.com and www.seventhstarpress.com, also Barnes and Noble, Amazon, e-books and across the nation.

 

AUTHOR GUEST – K.D. WOOD

K.D. Wood grew up in Ellisville, MS and now lives in north Mississippi with her family, a very spoiled White Waug, plus one old Goblin. She creates love stories and smoking southern erotic romance, but not your mama’s happy ever after. A consumer of chocolate, but not spiders, and is completely composed of liquid awesome. When not in her office pounding the keys she can be found under a blanket, cup of coffee close by with her nose in a book. Follow her on Twitter at @KDWoodauthor, Instagram at @K.D.Woodauthor, like her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/writerK.D.Wood, or email her at K.D.Woodauthor@gmail.com

 

 

AUTHOR GUEST – DEREK DYKES

Bigger than a breadbox, and somewhat more detailed than a medieval wood cutting, author and artist Derek Dykes has been leading us down dark alleys and making our heart race with fear since 2010. His first novel, MADNESS (Caelmbre Publishing and Arts) puts readers in a suspense-filled dark future, set in Mobile, AL after the Greater Depression. Follow up works, MAYHEM and MURDER, round out his first Trilogy, and are filled with themes of family and ethics, seen through the eyes of a strong female lead, all while dancing around the turmoil of the failing world around her.
Derek has other works in progress as well. The Roanoke Zombie Collective (release date pending) contains work from several local and regional authors, with each story uniquely different from the one before. The Reluctant Son, also in progress, is a work of Christian Fiction, and a stark departure from Derek’s previous work.

 

 

 

 

AUTHOR GUEST – JULIE WETZEL

Originally from Ohio, Julie always dreamed of a job in science. Either shooting for the stars or delving into the mysteries of volcanoes. But, life never leads where you expect. In 2011, she started writing stories to entertain her sister, deployed with the US Navy. Julie currently lives in Mississippi with her husband and son. She’s a bit of a factotum that’s currently acting as a full-time author and part-time R/C mechanic.

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/JulieWetzelAuthor/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/JulieKWetzel
Website – http://www.juliewetzel.com/

 

 

SPECIAL EFFECTS GUEST – TARA CARTER

Tara Carter is a make-up and special effects artist based in the New Orleans area. Her company, Nether Den Studio, specializes in latex prosthetics, art figurines, and realistic animal costume pieces.

From a young age, she was fascinated by the world of special effects makeup and creature creation, especially puppetry. The work of Jim Henson Creature Shop and Stan Winston Studio were (and continue to be) a major influence on her interests and style. After graduating from Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts with special recognition for concentration in the arts curriculum, Tara went on to achieve a BA in Fine Art from Tulane University. Seeking a more specific education, she attended the Complete Programme at Complections International Academy of Make-up Artistry (now known as CMU) in Toronto, Canada.

Equipped with this knowledge and training, she returned to New Orleans in the autumn of 2011 and landed work through 2012 on a television episode “Destination Fear” and three independent films – including the direct-to-DVD “Rugaru”. Cutbacks in industry tax credits led to the rapid decline of the Louisiana film industry, so she founded Nether Den Studio and began selling her creations online at  linktr.ee/netherden.

 

MEDIA GUEST – JASON CARTER

Perhaps best remembered for his portrayal of Marcus Cole in the sci-fi tv series “Babylon 5”, Jason began his career in London, England.

In 1981, after a three-month tour of Holland and Belgium playing Romeo in “Romeo and Juliet”, he graduated The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. Much British theatre followed, with plays throughout Britain, including playing Macbeth at Chichester Festival Theatre. Jason also had long runs in the London West End: “The Sleeping Prince” with Omar Sharrif; Simon Gray’s “Melon” with Alan Bates and Simon Gray’s “The Common Pursuit”. At the Royal National Theatre he played Naraboth in Steven Berkoff’s innovative production of Oscar Wilde’s “Salome”.

Since he landed in America, Jason had roles in many TV productions including “Viper”, “Beverly Hills 90210”, “Roar”, “3rd Rock from the Sun”, “Charmed”, “Lois and Clark” and “Angel”. Film work includes “Georgia”, “The Mesmerist”, “Wild Obsession”, “Dakota Road”, “The Emperor’s New Clothes” and “King David”. Recently, Jason acted with Woody Harrelson and Liam Hemsworth in the 2016 summer release “The Duel”.

Jason’s official website: http://jasoncarter-actor.blogspot.com/

 

SCIENCE GUEST – LT. COL. KATHY BEAUFORD

Kathy Beauford has been an aerospace educator for 20 years as Louisiana’s Director of External Aerospace Education for the Civil Air Patrol and as a NASA Solar System Ambassador. She has received 61 awards for Aerospace Education and 7 for general education. She has won the 2014 Major General Jeanne Holm Aerospace Education Officer of the Year, naming her as #1 in the nation. She has won the prestigious National Frank Brewer Memorial Aerospace Award several times. Her favorite award is from the scientists of SIGMA XI, the research society, “for the teaching of science.” In the last 4 years, her extensive exhibits and presentation have reached 31,913 attendees and her 288 articles have appeared in newspapers, magazines, and on the Internet. Her A Teacher’s Companion to the Space Station: A Multi-disciplinary Resource has been distributed internationally. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the California Institute of Technology appointed Kathy to a NASA Solar System Ambassadorship, one of 530 in the nation. Kathy continues to be a force in the promotion of aerospace education and the U.S. space program.

Colonel Beauford uses the SARSAT satellite system as a Navigator for Air & Ground Search & Rescue with the US Air Force Auxiliary. She applied to be an astronaut for the Teacher in Space Program. Her saying is “America needs SPACE to GROW!”

 

SPORTS GUEST “BIG BAD JON” HEIDENREICH

Jon started his career as a football player with the Washington Redskins in 1992. After playing for the Redskins, Jon went on to play for the Atlanta Falcons, and then went on to play in the Canadian football league. When Jon decided to leave his football career behind him, he decided to pursue a career in professional wrestling. Jon began his wrestling career as a villain. His first feud came against The Undertaker, and began after Heidenreich ran in during Undertaker’s WWE Championship match against John “Bradshaw” Layfield at No Mercy. He is best known for his tenure with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), where he was a one time WWE Tag Team Champion with Road Warrior Animal as a part of the 2005 version of the Legion of Doom.