General Fiction

Walton, Vikki

Birth City: 
Colorado Springs
Birth State: 
CO
Current Location: 
Colorado Springs, CO
Occupation(s): 
Author - Designer - Nonprofit Consultant - Speaker/Trainer - #workquilter
Biography: 

I have lived in Colorado Springs for the last seventeen years. I was born in Chicago, later moved to France (father in the military), returned and moved to Kansas before spending most of my time in Texas (San Antonio area). I have held myriad positions in my life. I like to undertake more than one thing at a time, thus I refer to myself as a #workquilter combining various avenues of income. These include:
-Author of nonfiction and fiction.
-Certified permaculture designer and previously worked as a registered interior designer.
-Suburban Homesteader (have gardens, chickens, bees).
-Speaker/trainer on myriad topics.
-Global house- and pet-sitter.
-Nonprofit consultant, certified grants specialist (proposal writer, donor communications, fundraising strategy)

Awards/Honors: 
Honor of Community Trustee (Leadership Pikes Peak)
Education/Training: 
Bachelor of Science, Organizational Management in Christian Leadership, GCU (magna cum laude) - Associate's degree, Registered Interior Designer, St. Philips College in San Antonio, TX - Certified Grants Specialist - Certified Grants Reviewer
Organizations: 
Colorado Springs CDBG Board Member
Speaker Availability: 
Yes
Speaker Topics: 
Writing - Creative writing - Self-publishing - Backyard farming (permaculture principles, food forest, perennial gardening, lasagna gardening) - Travel - House/pet sitting - Getting what you really want in life - Work quilting - Nonprofit topics (e.g. Fundraising 101) - Entrepreneurship - Design (Interior Design, Landscape design using permaculture zones)

Richberger, Amber

Richberger, Amber
Birth City: 
Glendora
Birth State: 
CA
Current Location: 
Colorado Springs, CO
Occupation(s): 
Writer - Editor - Student
Biography: 

I am a poet, novelist, and editor living in Colorado Springs. I will graduate from UCCS with my Bachelor's in English in December 2018. In my free time, I enjoy writing, reading, critiquing films and television shows, and going to the occasional concert. I live with my husband and two sons.

Education/Training: 
I am currently attending UCCS to fulfill a Bachelor's Degree in English Literature.
Speaker Availability: 
Yes
Speaker Topics: 
I am willing to read/speak about my own writing, as well as discuss literature and the craft of writing.
Local Authors Genres: 

Clark, Becky

Clark, Becky
Birth City: 
Colorado Springs
Birth State: 
CO
Current Location: 
Parker, CO
Occupation(s): 
Author
Biography: 

Becky Clark is the seventh of eight kids, all born and raised in Colorado Springs, which explains both her insatiable need for attention and her atrocious table manners. She likes to read funny books so it felt natural to write them too. She surrounds herself with quirky people and pets who end up as characters in her books.

Readers say her books are “fast and thoroughly entertaining” with “witty humor and tight writing” and “humor laced with engaging characters” so you should “grab a cocktail and enjoy the ride.” They also say “Warning: You will laugh out loud. I’m not kidding,” and “If you like Janet Evanovich, you will like Becky Clark.”

Organizations: 
Member of Colorado Authors League - Sisters in Crime - Mystery Writers of America
Speaker Availability: 
Yes
Speaker Topics: 
General writing and publishing - Mysteries - Cozy mysteries - How to write humor - "30 Minute Mystery" - "Eight Weeks to a Complete Novel"
Local Authors Genres: 

Orton, D.L.

Orton, D.L.
Current Location: 
Front Range of the Rockies
Occupation(s): 
Time Machine Mechanic
Biography: 

AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR D. L. ORTON lives in the Rocky Mountains where she and her husband are raising three boys, a golden retriever, two Siberian cats, and an extremely long-lived Triops.

In her spare time, she's building a time machine so that someone can go back and do the laundry.

Awards/Honors: 
Publishers Weekly "Booklife Prize in Fiction" Quarter-Finalist (CIT 2016 and DT 2017)
Next Generation Indie Book Awards, E-book Fiction Finalist (CIT 2017)
Colorado Book Award Finalist, Science Fiction (2017)
Book Excellence Awards Winner, Science Fiction (2016)
Readers' Favorite Book Award Winner, Audiobook (2016)
SWIRL Awards Finalist, Science Fiction (2016)
Indie Excellence Book Award Winner, Cross-Genre Fiction (2016)
USA Best Book Award Finalist, Cross-Genre Fiction (2016)
International Book Award Finalist, Cross-Genre Fiction (2016)
Colorado Gold Finalist, Science Fiction (2015)
Novel Beginnings Award Winner, Science Fiction (2015)
Education/Training: 
Ms. Orton is a graduate of Stanford University's Writers Workshop and a past editor of <em>Top of the Western Staircase</em>, a literary publication of CU, Boulder. The author has a number of short stories published in online literary magazines, including Literotica, Melusine, Cosmoetica, The Ranfurly Review, and Catalyst Press.
Organizations: 
Independent Book Publishers Association
Speaker Availability: 
Yes
Speaker Topics: 
Writing a book series - Indie publishing - How to find an editor, publisher, and audience

Cook, Doug

Cook, Doug
Birth City: 
Dayton
Birth State: 
OH
Current Location: 
Colorado Springs, CO
Occupation(s): 
Author - Chair AAPG Astrogeology Committee - Sr. Geophysical Consultant (ret.)
Biography: 

Doug Cook has spent over two thousand hours underwater exploring and photographing life in the oceans. He is retired from a thirty-four year career as a petroleum geophysicist. This career allowed him to explore five of the world’s continents and live in Saudi Arabia for eighteen years. A career highlight in petroleum exploration was participating in ten years of deep-water submersible oil seep studies in the Gulf of Mexico. These seeps have associated chemosynthetic communities of life. As extremophiles, these organisms relate to Doug’s interest in astrogeology and exobiology.

Doug has always had a passion for astronomy and space exploration. He now pursues this passion as an author. The beauty of the mountains and geology lured Doug to retire in Colorado. He has two daughters and lives in Colorado Springs
with his wife Elizabeth.

Education/Training: 
BS Oceanography, University of Michigan, 1976 - MS in Carbonate Sedimentology, University of Florida, 1984 - Exploration Geophysics (Conoco, BHP Americas, Saudi Aramco)
Organizations: 
Member, American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) - Chair AAPG Astrogeology Committee, Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) - Member-at-Large Colorado Springs Astronomical Society - Member of the Planetary Society, National Space Society, and Adjunct Astronomy Professor PPCC.
Speaker Availability: 
Yes
Speaker Topics: 
1) The Aquila Mission- It’s 2023. Our crew enters deep space to study asteroid Bennu and comet 125P- a step to mankind’s first voyage to Mars. A rigorously scientific yet thrilling story of man’s first journey beyond the Moon. (2018 print and eBook) - 2) Earth Impacts and the Threat from Near Earth Asteroids - 3) Research Submersible Exploration on Chemosynthetic Communities that Eat Oil and Gas, 2600 feet Down in the Gulf of Mexico - 4) Discovering Ancient Ship Wrecks in the Red Sea, Saudi Arabia.

Bissett, Carina

Bissett, Carina
Birth City: 
Lincoln
Birth State: 
CO
Current Location: 
Colorado Springs, CO
Occupation(s): 
Educator and author
Biography: 

Carina Bissett spent her youth in Colorado Springs, and eventually returned after a decade-long stint writing about the Southwest. Carina is a writer, poet, and educator working primarily in the fields of dark fiction and interstitial art. Her short fiction and poetry has been published in multiple journals and anthologies including Hath No Fury, Gorgon: Stories of Emergence, Mythic Delirium, NonBinary Review, and the HWA Poetry Showcase Vol. V.

She teaches online workshops at The Storied Imaginarium and she is a graduate of the Creative Writing MFA program at Stonecoast. She also teaches at Pikes Peak Community College. She is a member of the Horror Writers Association and the Science Fiction Poetry Association. Her work has been nominated for several awards and she was the recipient of the 2016 HWA Scholarship.

Link to her work can be found on her website (http://carinabissett.com).

Awards/Honors: 
Silver Honorable Mention, Writers of the Future, 4th quarter 2018
"C8: A Tessellation of Faces, Wings, and other Obscure Things" NonBinary Review, Zoetic Press, July 2018 (Nominated for Best of the Net Award)
"The Sweet Sleep of Roses or, After the Fall" NonBinary Review #15, Zoetic Press, January 2018 (Nominated for the Pushcart Prize)
Honorable Mention, Writers of the Future, 4th quarter 2017
Honorable Mention, Writers of the Future, 2nd quarter 2017
"Swimming with the Shark Boys" Mythic Delirium, May 2016 (Honorable mention in "Best Horror of the Year" by Ellen Datlow
"The Yellow Press of an Ancient Power" NonBinary Review #5 The King in Yellow, Zoetic Press, June 2015 (Nominated for Sundress Best of the Net)
"Wild Girl" NonBinary Review, Zoetic Press, June 2014 (Nominated for Sundress Publications Best of the Net Award and Pushcart Prize)
Education/Training: 
MFA in Creative Writing candidate, University of Maine, 2018 - M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, 2011 - B.A. in Integrative Studies, Arizona State University, 1999 - A.A. in Humanities, Glendale Community College, 1998 - A.G.S. in General Studies, Glendale Community College, 1997
Organizations: 
Horror Writers Association - Science Fiction Poetry Association
Speaker Availability: 
Yes
Speaker Topics: 
Speculative fiction - Creative non-fiction - Speculative poetry - Memoir - Other creative pursuits

Harrelson, Lael

Harrelson, Lael
Birth Year (-Died Year): 
1968
Birth City: 
Los Angeles
Birth State: 
CA
Current Location: 
Colorado Springs, CO
Occupation(s): 
Author
Biography: 

Raised by a fun loving, atheist single mom who struggled with depression and mental illness, I spent my childhood backpacking around Europe, visiting yoga communes, eating vegan, living on a houseboat, then an old pony express outpost in the backwoods of Montana.

My teen years took a drastic turn when my mom got saved, got married, and joined an ultra-conservative Mennonite church. Faith, step parents and unquestioning obedience is a dangerous combination when mixed with mental illness, legalism, and heavy handed physical correction.

I became a confused believer with a heart for Jesus but drowning under a sea of rules, regulations, and legalism. I became a missionary teacher and then a nurse and escaped to the mission field, the one avenue open to single women. I taught VBS on Indian reservations, led school for missionary children in Haiti and Africa. All around me was heartache and disease and glaring need. I longed to make a difference but was limited to working on the mission compound – teaching, cooking, cleaning. Work outside the walls of the compound was reserved for the men.

On a furlough, I met my future husband – a new believer who wasn’t looking for a door mat in a wife but a partner. As he grew in his faith, I reexamined mine and what Biblical womanhood looked like. Timidly at first,
but then eagerly as I discovered a new relationship with Jesus Christ based on grace and not performance.

I left the Mennonite church and married the love of my life twenty years ago. We have made our home in Colorado Springs at the base of the Rocky Mountains for the last eleven years. We have five beautiful teenagers, two by birth and three through adoption from Haiti. My husband is adopted and God used the time in Haiti to prepare me to understand my children’s culture and language and ease their transitions home.

Two people in my family have mild Asperger’s and one has Reactive Attachment disorder, PTSD, and ODD. Our house is not a quiet, well greased machine but a chaotic, happy, crazy, nerve racking, love filled oasis where we all try to help each other grow and thrive.

I am so thankful for my life – the good and the bad. I feel blessed to have experienced so many unique situations and to love and be loved by so many wonderful and eccentric people. It is from these experiences I draw the fiction stories I write. I like to think of them as fiction with grit – fast paced and entertaining stories that make you want to read till the very last page while at the same time tackling real life issues – Legalism, abuse, divorce, adoption, Asperger syndrome, mental illness, etc.

I hope you’ll pull up a chair and stay a while. Drop me a line and share your own story. I’d love to hear it.

Organizations: 
American Christian Fiction Writers
Speaker Availability: 
Yes
Speaker Topics: 
Adoption - Transitioning from a Mennonite lifestyle to a contemporary one - Aspergers
Local Authors Genres: 

Wilson, Neil

Birth City: 
Tampa
Birth State: 
FL
Current Location: 
Colorado Springs, CO
Occupation(s): 
US Air Force
Biography: 

Serving America in the US Air Force for 20+ years; spent 12+ years overseas (Korea and Germany) but now living/stationed in Colorado Springs. Interests include books (reading/writing - of course), travel, art, Asian languages, Asian food...my kids.

Speaker Availability: 
No

O'Byrne, D.M.

O&#039;Byrne, D.M.
Birth Year (-Died Year): 
1956
Birth City: 
New York City
Birth State: 
NY
Current Location: 
Colorado Springs, CO
Occupation(s): 
Author
Biography: 

D.M. O’Byrne’s first job was as a waitress. Now she’s a writer of mystery novels. In between, jobs included English teacher, racehorse exerciser, jockey, accountant, golf resort assistant manager, writer, and editor. Her places of residence ranged from the Jersey Shore to a lengthy sojourn in California, and finally to the Colorado Rockies. Each profession, each location was rife with life lessons, fascinating characters, potential plot lines, and wide-ranging experiences. Sooner or later, they will all end up on the written page.

O’Byrne is the author of Dangerous Turf, available on amazon.com, and the sequel, Three to One Odds, was released May 2018. She is now writing a series called the Ryn Lowell Colorado Mysteries published by Black Opal Books. The first book in the series, Death in Trout Fork, was released in October 2018. The second book, The Mountaintop Murders, will be released in May 2019 and the third book, A Killing in Vail, will be released in the fall of 2019. Visit www.blackopalbooks.com for more information.

D.M. lives in Colorado Springs with her husband and their cat, Warnie. They spend much of their time riding bikes and enjoying the scenery. Warnie spends his time watching the bunnies out the window, lounging on the sofa, and trying to catch his tail.

Education/Training: 
B.A. in English
Speaker Availability: 
Yes
Speaker Topics: 
Mystery writing - Cozy mysteries - Plotting the novel - Developing characters
Local Authors Genres: 

Riley, Gina

Riley, Gina
Birth City: 
Detroit
Birth State: 
MI
Current Location: 
Colorado Springs, CO
Occupation(s): 
Former librarian and teacher - Cherokee Two-Spirit Shaman
Biography: 

I was still living as a man when I moved to in the year 2000. Having been outed as transgender, and fired at the Prep-School where I had been working, I was recruited at the National Librarians' Conference to be the Coordinator of Information and Technology at Mitchell High School, where I was again outed and fired.

In 2007, after being outed and fired at CollegeAmerica, I transitioned to living full time as a woman. My storytelling-performances in The Story Project in Colorado Springs and for The Secret Society of Twisted Storytellers are viewable on YouTube. I also sing karaoke and do an occasional standup open-mike.

Awards/Honors: 
First Place - Bowling This Month, Amateur Bowling Writers Contest
First Place - Best Creative Non-Fiction 2013, Loyola Maryland University Literary EZine
Education/Training: 
Master's Degree in Library Science - Bachelor's Degree in English, Wayne State University, Michigan
Speaker Availability: 
Yes
Speaker Topics: 
Storytelling - Transgender - Theory of Mind - Education

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