MEET OUR MEMBERS

 
 
Carly Huss Headshot

CARLY HUSS

Founder & Organizer

Author of A Kiss from Cupid and Nine Lives

Carly Huss lives half of her life with the rest of the world in Lewisville, Texas and the other half in fantasy land. She writes YA and Adult, often with a touch of sci-fi/fantasy, always with a handful of kissing. 

 

Audible her mistress.

 

Favorite Authors: Jennifer L. Armentrout, Richelle Mead, Liane Moriarty, and Philippa Gregory

 

Why she started writing: So she could give her problems, insecurities, and dreams to characters who can tackle them for her. 

 

Carly's Books:

A Kiss from Cupid

Freya Darling is in love with love, which is perfect for her because she’s a Cupid. Every day, she receives an assignment card with the names of two lucky people who are ready to be Kissed by a Cupid. Within a week, the couple will Seal the Kiss, bonding their love irrevocably. Because Freya knows there is one person out there made just for her, she refuses to date. Why risk the heartbreak when a Cupid will match her with the perfect person when the time is right?  But when she is assigned to a couple in their seventies, Freya realizes she may have to wait until her hair turns grey to be matched. In a moment of weakness, she steals her own Fated card from Cupid’s vault.

The name on the card is the last one she wants to see. Rupert Lovett is everything she hates in a man—a womanizer who mocks the romantic notions she holds so dear to her heart. So what if he claims to be in love with her?

Determined to write her own Destiny, Freya risks getting her Kiss revoked to find a love she can choose. The guy who catches her eye is perfect for her in every way, except one, he’s a human who is meant to be with someone else.

Nine Lives 

When Amelia is dragged to get her fortune told, she figures a crystal ball will predict she’ll spend another date-less weekend at home or that she’ll finally hit her goal weight. The last thing she expects is for some dude in khakis to tell her that she’ll meet her dream guy nine days after her death.

Determined that only one of his predictions come true, Amelia searches for love. Her naive optimism leads her straight to her beautiful killer.

She wakes to the startling realization that she has a new face, hair, eyes, and the body she worked so hard to get rid of. The shock of which is trumped when James and Rori—the only two guys she met on the day she woke up—explain that her new appearance isn’t because she’s in some weird, personalized hell, but because she’s Fila—a race of people born with nine lives—and there's a price on her eight remaining lives.

Check out her site!

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MELANIE GABBARD

Organizer

Melanie is a financial analyst for the government as well as a top-secret parental operative, supervising four special agents, one senior agent, and a K9 unit of one. Due to the extreme excitement of her ‘real’ life, she escapes into the speculative-fiction world of writing in five-minute increments, between covert requests from her task force.

 

She’s a winner of the 85th Annual Writer’s Digest competition and has written a contest-winning screenplay that has been adapted for film with Dallas Film Crew. She is currently masterminding her fifth novel.

 

Favorite Books: Jane Eyre, The Martian, Ready Player One

Favorite Book Series: Lunar Chronicles, The Passage, Infernal Devices

Favorite Drink: Maple Bourbon Latte or Cabernet Sauvignon, both excellent writing partners.

Favorite Movie: Beauty and the Beast. Because … singing silverware and dancing dishes

 

 

Current Project: A Cure for The Cure

 

The year is 2275. The Cure for aging worked—a little too well—and now everyone is dying … backward. Eerste’s mom is the youngest victim of Youthism—age reversal—making her just under eighteen biologically, no longer an adult, not even two years older than Eerste.

At fifteen and being an Intellect, Eerste has one year. One year before she’s a legal adult. One year to be free. One year to decide, but the choice was already made for her when she was Genetically Enhanced before birth: Save the World.

Not a shot of Athlete: puny.

Not a hair of Beauty: plain.

Not even a smidge of Artist: dull.

She’s an Intellect inside and out. Her super power: smarts.

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AJ DVORAK

Lifer

Not one to shy away from the uglier parts of humanity, A.J. studies the tough stuff while earning his degree in English at TWU to increase the amount of empathy he brings to his characters. 

Lover of beautiful prose and immersive world-building, A.J. writes evocative fantasy.  

Current Project: Ridgeview

Jude sees creatures no one else can. 

Favorite Authors:

Stephen King and J.K. Rowling

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JOHN FLOWLER

Lifer

When John isn't preaching, painting, or entertaining us with his famous one-liners, he is writing flash fiction, short stories, and novels. He doesn't limit himself to just one genre but instead dabbles in everything from satiric science fiction to touching slice of life. One thing you can count on John for is a twist. 

 

Current Project: Letters from Amsterdam

Thirty short stories that all begin with the line, "The letter arrived from Amsterdam."

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MICHAEL HILTON

Lifer

Author of Bobby Robot, now available.

 

Michael is a time traveler from the future who’s come back to warn us of the impending literary apocalypse. An avid reader of Young Adult science fiction and fantasy, he writes novels and short stories to stave off the coming wasteland of soulless fiction. One day his Wikipedia page will describe his warnings as “Mildly prophetic,” and “Mostly exaggerated.” He lives in Irving, Texas, working as a chiropractor by day, a vigilante by night, and a novelist all the time.

Michael is represented by Patty Carothers and Amy Brewer at Metamorphosis Literary Agency and is published by Intense Publications.

Project: Bobby Robot 

A cyborg who's never met another human. A robot army that expects him annihilate mankind. Bobby knows his destiny until a beautiful human girl crash lands on his planet.

Favorite Book: The Search for WondLa by Tony DiTerlizzi

Fun Fact #1: Michael lives with a freeloader dog who won't pay rent.

 

Fun Fact #2: Michael believes The Lion King is the greatest movie ever made. Because it is.

Fun Fact #3: Michael also writes comics!

 

Check out his site!

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SUSAN LOZANO

Lifer

Technical writer by day, science fiction writer by night, Susan knows her way around a keyboard like Hans Solo knows his way around the Millennium Falcon. 

She might be a quilter, but she's not your average grandma. She knows how to write a steamy story that will have you in stitches with her witty dialogue. 

Current Project: Far from Home

Earth has been destroyed by aliens. The remaing survivors escaped into space and nearly two hundred years later on the way to their new home planet, the captain's daughter, Raelle, meets newly awakened crew member, Dax. She starts falling in love with him, only to find out he's half alien, the same kind that destroyed Earth. When his father, the leader of the aliens, comes after him, Raelle realizes she has to kill his father in order to save Dax.

Favorite Book: Alas Babylon

Favorite Author: Philippa Gregory

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BRENNA RANEY

Lifer

Brenna is a Serious Academic seeking to disrupt the hegemonic discourse surrounding dragon fights and robots in space. Her body of work engages the postmodern feminist critique of traditionally male-dominated adventure narratives and challenges institutional norms in the field of science fiction. Most of her stories are about monsters trying to prove their humanity, and there is no need to read further into that. Someday she will burn the universe to the ground so we can start over with something that makes sense.

Current Project: Bones of the Oza

Emet was brought to life in the basement of a creperie to do the bidding of his two creators. At the same moment, across the Oza, nine hundred people dropped dead.

Emet would do whatever his creators said, of course. They might not have explicitly told him to interfere in the aftermath of a rogue enchanter’s suicide, or befriend a group of guild-less magicians, or venture outside the safety of the city’s bone wall, but they weren’t particularly good at giving orders. And surely they would approve of him getting to the bottom of the strange mass death that occurred as he was made. If only he could figure out why his creators seem to know more about it than the rest of the Oza.

Favorite Book: The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler

Favorite Author: Raymond Chandler

Favorite Line in Fiction: “The minutes went by on tip toe, with their fingers to their lips.” – The Lady in the Lake, Raymond Chandler

Raymond Chandler on Character: “Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean.”

Raymond Chandler on Writing:

“There are no vital and significant forms of art; there is only art, and precious little of that.”

“when I split an infinitive, God damn it, I split it so it will remain split, and when I interrupt the velvety smoothness of my more or less literate syntax with a few sudden words of barroom vernacular, this is done with the eyes wide open and the mind relaxed and attentive. The method may not be perfect, but it is all I have.”

“Everything written with vitality expresses that vitality: there are no dull subjects, only dull minds.”

“My theory was that readers just thought they cared nothing but the action; that really, although they didn't know it, they cared very little about the action. The things they really cared about, and that I cared about, were the creation of emotion through dialog and description. The things they remembered, that haunted them, were not for example that a man got killed, but that in the moment of his death he was trying to pick a paper clip off the polished surface of a desk, and it kept slipping away from him, so that there was a look of strain on his face and his mouth was half open in a kind of tormented grin, and the last thing in the world he thought about was death. He didn't even hear death knock on the door. That damn little paper clip kept slipping away from his fingers.”

“When in doubt, have a man come through a door with a gun in his hand.”

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ELLE BRODIE

Member

Elle Brodie is a single mom of four who has owned a vintage clothing store for over a decade. When her life exploded, she began writing a memoir to keep herself from exploding. Elle was always an overachiever and a perfectionist. In the third grade, she bawled the whole carpool ride home after receiving her first “B.” Meanwhile, her less ambitious sister Lauren literally climbed the walls and drove the rest of the family crazy, rubbing boogers all over Elle’s Nancy Drew books and dancing naked in front of the neighbors. The Perkins family was Mormon, and the idea that “families can be together forever” made Elle cringe for sure. Despite strong feelings of wanting to disown them forever, Elle honored her parents. Elle stayed in the fold, married a Mormon boy and lived a devoted life. Meanwhile, Lauren had been having sex and using marijuana since the age of fourteen. Her life then followed a series of bumbles and dead ends which eventually led her to work at Sheri’s Ranch; a real, live whorehouse in Pahrump, Nevada. Elle was distraught; if only Lauren would have stayed a Mormon, none of this would have happened. And then, one day, everything implodes. “I’m a Mormon and My Sister is a Whore” is a memoir about depression, narcissism, sexual repression, judgementalism, family, Mormonism, and faith crisis. Through a series of short stories, it paints a picture of life as a Mormon and reminds us all that the best we can ever to is to listen to our hearts.

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COLT BELL

Member

Colt grew up on the hard streets of Waco, TX and currently lives on the hard streets of Denton, TX. He spends 50% of his time writing and the other 50% making excuses why he can’t write. Clad in a smoking jacket and sitting by a fireplace with a snifter of brandy, Colt describes his writing as “Honesty told in a humorous way. I want my characters to explore and share their feelings and say the things that I myself am too scared to.”

He is influenced by too many writers to name, but some would be: David Sedaris, Cheryl Strayed, Ray Bradbury, Jhumpa Lahiri, Cormac McCarthy, Stephen King, Ernest Hemingway, J.K. Rowling, Denis Johnson, and Seth Grahame-Smith. That would be a helluva party.

HE WISHES HE WROTE: When you meet a man in the doorway of a Mexican restaurant that later kisses you while explaining this kiss doesn’t “mean anything” because, much as he likes you, he is not interested in having a relationship with you or anyone right now, just laugh and kiss him back.  Your daughter will have his sense of humor.  Your son will have his eyes. – Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Little Things; also Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy

 

SOLID WRITING ADVICE: Someone once asked Somerset Maugham if he wrote on a schedule or only when struck by inspiration. “I write only when inspiration strikes,” he replied. “Fortunately it strikes every morning at nine o’ clock sharp.”-Steven Pressfield, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles

 

CURRENT PROJECT: An unnamed collection of short stories that tell the story of a dysfunctional suburban neighborhood that isn’t aware of its dysfunction.

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ZACH CRAIN

Member

Zach is a speculative fiction writer full-timing as an independent insurance adjuster, traveling the US (and a bit of Canada) in chase of hurricanes, hail storms, and plot threads. Based in Dallas, TX, he's an admitted information addict, and there is a ninety percent chance he's listening to a podcast at this very moment. He enjoys all media, from Netflix (Altered Carbon), to video games (Rocket League), to graphic novels (Saga) -- he doesn't discriminate.

 

A few topics which fascinate him: the mysteries of earths previous civilizations (The Lost City of the Monkey God, Douglas Preston ); technology (Everything Bad is Good For You, Steven Johnson); and automation (Player Piano, Kurt Vonnegut).

 

These themes, combined with a splash of global politics, form the core of his current project, The Barren Vessels Brokerage.

The Barren Vessels Brokerage is a darkly comedic thriller following young professional and soon to be family man, Seth Kindle, as he is stalked by a shadowy insurance brokerage firm which demands his membership among their quirky ranks. Pursued to extreme lengths by The Hazy Man, the lurking figure at the center of the Brokerage, Seth finds himself black mailed and dragged by the literal coin purse into the brokerage. Freshly recruited, Seth is horrified to learn their true ambitions, the results of which could decimate the human race. Or at least, the human race as we understand it.

 

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DIANE DRESBACK

Member

Diane M. Dresback’s passion is for storytelling, both in book and film mediums. After 26 years of human resources and training management in the travel and financial industries, she engaged more of her “creative-side.” Diane has written fiction, non-fiction, and an online course. She’s written, directed and produced several short films winning numerous awards with one screenplay leading to a feature film called Atrophy. Diane received the 2012 Arizona Filmmaker of the Year Award and holds a Masters in Adult Education and a Bachelors in Human Services.

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VALERIE EZRAHLERIN

Member

Scribble! Erase! Cackle!
What comicius-supervillainous has plotted her way onto the scene?
No bargain with the devil can rescue the narrative status quo now!

Come explore within the narrative tabernacle,
behind this modern Symbolist queen,
away from the shallow tropes we seek to disavow.

We'll take quill from sachel,
teachings from Der Erzähler, and in the footsteps of Valéry and Leskov we'll be seen.
Until curtains close, and we must all take our bow.

Leaving behind experiences to wow,
adventures to teach, perspectives to glean,
urging eager audiences to tackle

inner mysteries, on page and unseen.


Valerie Erzählerin is a modern symbolist storyteller proficient in multiple mediums. Her natural environment is the Fantasy section of a well-stocked library. She earned a B.F.A. in Sequential Art (from SCAD), served as Art Director and comic artist for The Ed Greenwood Group (TEGG) and Onder Librum Publishing, and regularly challenges the mainstream school of thought about narrative theory. She spent her youth as a bowyer, archer, engaged in historical martial arts such as HEMA and the SCA. She also volunteers her art and time to the United Nations, promotes Socialism, and advocates for copyright reform, all to better serve humanity and the stories we tell.

 

Current Projects: THE BALLAD TRILOGY and COMPASS

The BALLAD TRILOGY is a hard fantasy series of cloaked-dagger-and-sorcery written in mostly narrative rhyme. Imagine if you mashed Kingdom of Heaven (Director's Cut, Ridley Scott) with A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE (G.R.R.M), tossed in as many songs as are in Tolkien, stir in Arthurian motifs (Particularly from MBZ's work), a heaping dose of the EMPIRE TRILOGY (Wurts), gave it themes of diversity and boundaries, and a great deal of biting social commentary. Instead of being Medieval European inspired, I would describe it as a vicious Byzantium Fantasy spy story with a touch of hidden Sci-Fi elements. The series takes place mainly on the realm of Dawn, a tidally locked world, following a Laren crusade to retake their old lands and struggling with the harsh consequences of their actions, beliefs, and the prices paid to achieve their individual ideas of a 'better world' - and what that means for everyone else as they try to rebuild and live in their new Empire. A synopsis will come after I've better refined the outline.

Website: https://erzahlerin.myportfolio.com

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CLARENCE JANNELLE

Member

The world is made up of many types of people. However, the ones that keep life exciting and make it a never-ending adventure are the dreamers. Clarence is one such individual who loves to take those flights of fancy-fantasy and put them on paper, both in the written word and pictures.

 

Growing up in rural Pennsylvania in a little town with forest and farmland all around, he quickly developed a love for mythology. The realm of otherworldly possibilities has always intrigued and driven his imagination. But with that, the underlying theme of one person can make a difference through courage, honor, and a love that transcends time and space, even in the darkest of times.

He believes heroes are not born, they are made through the trials of their lives. In the end, you have to stand up for what you believe and struggle forward.

 

Clarence lives by the adage:

 

“Mistakes will always happen, how we react to them, builds the character of not who were are, but whom we will become!”

 

Presently, Clarence resides in Dallas Texas, where he works for a local Field hockey club. He still finds time to let his imagination loose and hopes his words help to inspire others to never give up on their dreams.

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NICOLE MANSFIELD

Member

Painting, make up, video games, reading, and writing. If anything is creative, Nicole is likely interested in it. Fantasy is her first love though Nicole doesn't want to put her writing in a box. From Adult to YA to Middle Grade, paranormal to literary, she has ideas for it all. The only thing she is committed to is for all of her books to have the proper representation of every person: from race to sexuality to mental illnesses and disabilities.

 

When not reviewing books on writingfollies.wordpress.com, Nicole is either working on Summer Storms, the novel she co-writes with her best friend, or writing her own individual ideas.

 

Favorite Books: Iron Cast by Destiny Soria, Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson, Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series by Rick Riordan  

Current Project: 


Summer Storms

In Oklahoma, the lives of four unique individuals come together when an evil presence makes itself known. Ailsa is being hunted by a creature from her past, and Diego might be the help she needs. Leon and Monica lack the special sight into the extraordinary, but they will come together when there’s no other choice. 

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ALLISON MARSHALL

Member

Allison Marshall graduated from TCU with a degree in Writing. Her short story "GET AWAY FROM THE WATER" won eleven40seven's Helen Hamilton Award for Excellence in Creative Expression. She blogs at ballisonmarshall.blogspot.com

 

Allison writes YA fantasy.

 

 

There's no such thing as soulmates.

And yet, by the time they reach puberty, every citizen in the underground world of the Terraverse instinctively knows a name. A name they cry out in their sleep and in times of distress. The name of a person they feel intensely connected to, someone they dream of and long for. But no one finds their soulmate in the Terraverse and the people who believe too hard, miss too much, suffer the Flash-Out. Their blood glows white, and then they die.

Natalie's sister just flashed out. She knows better than anyone that soulmates are no more than personal angels of death. Everyday, she fights to help others hang on to the Terraverse and the ones they love in the real world. Then, at a concert one night, she receives a phone call from a boy who claims he's David, her soulmate.


He knows things he shouldn't know and his words touch the deepest part of her soul. As the Terraverse tumbles deeper and deeper into chaos, Natalie realizes that she needs to risk everything to find David. But flashing out catapults her into an apocalyptic landscape where only the memories of her life with David on the long-forgotten Earth will keep her alive.

 

It's time to hang on.

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KIRBY WARNER

Member

Kirby has been a nerd through and through with a passion for stories, Kirby has taken an interest in writing himself. His past works include short stories for creative writing classes and articles for his college newspaper. He hopes to one day publish his first novel while also trying to find work as an English teacher. His work tends to focus on the human condition with a couple of pop culture references (both well known and obscure) thrown in.
 

Favorite books: Harry Potter, A Song of Ice and Firea member of North Texas Writers since 2018. He writes sci-fi.

 

Current project: Hirano
In the year 2035, robotics have paved the way for automatons, or Autos, realistic androids constructed for jobs ranging from construction to prostitution. Joan Hirano is an ex-soldier on the run and struggling with the ghosts of her past. Cameron Harris is a rookie journalist who idolizes and loves Joan from afar. When the theft of 50 automatons brings the two together, Joan must confront her past and struggle to maintain her humanity, while Cameron tries to reconcile his expectations of Joan with the woman herself. And both discover secrets that could change everything they know...
 

 

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WANDA WOODWORTH

Member

Writer, artist, musician, and dog mom. In addition to songs, and poems, she writes mystery and horror novels and memoirs in short story form. Her poem, "The Twelve Most Beautiful Words in the English Language," was published in 1995 . 

Her current project is about a dog trainer and her canine personal assistant. While on a movie shoot, she finds uncut diamonds in the transport dog kennel. When the bad guys can't retrieve the diamonds, they kidnap the dog as leverage.

 

Favorite book: Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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