Author Guest of Honor: Jim C. Hines
Jim C. Hines began writing in the early 90s, while working on a degree in psychology from Michigan State University. His first professional sale was the award-winning "Blade of the Bunny", which took first place in the 1998 Writers of the Future competition and was published in Writers of the Future XV.
For many years, he focused on short fiction. His work has appeared in more than forty magazines and anthologies. During this time, he also picked up a Masters degree in English from Eastern Michigan University.
Actor and author Will Wheaton described Jim's first published fantasy novel Goblin Quest as "too f***ing cool for words!" which is pretty much the Best Blurb Ever. After completing the goblin trilogy, Jim went on to write the princess series, four books often described as a blend of Grimm's Fairy Tales with Charlie's Angels. Jim's books have been translated into German, French, Polish, and Russian, thanks to no small part to his wonderful agent. In 2010, he signed a contract with DAW Books for a new current-day fantasy series, one which will feature the return of a certain fire-spider...
Jim lives in mid-Michigan with his wife and children, who have always shown remarkable tolerance for his bizarre and obsessive writing habits.
Random Bullet Points:
- Age: Born April 15, 1974. You do the math. And wish him a Happy Birthday Friday!
- Represented by the JABberwocky Literacy Agency
- Favorite Muppet: Animal
- Two children, one wife, far too many pets
- Rejections collected since 1995: 500+
- Author Guest of Honor at Icon (2009) and ConStellation (2011)
- Lifetime member, SFWA
- Brown Belt in Sanchin-Ryu
- Currently working on: Libriomancer (Book #1 in the Magic ex Libris series)
Artist Guest of Honor: April Lee
April Lee has worked full-time as a game artist for over a decade. Her freelance illustrations have appeared in twenty card games, such as L5R, Magic, Warlord, Shadowfist, WarCry, Warhammer 40K, Middle Earth, 7thSea, Rifts, Wheel of Time, Xxxenophile and lots of really obscure ones that quickly dropped off the face of the earth
Before collectible card games existed, her first published work was black and white interior work for rpg books(Dark Conspiracy, Citybook, MERP, In Nomine). Since she enjoys color work more than black and white she gladly left those times behind and lately has been getting more cover work, primarily from AEG.
In 1994, April was asked by artist Nene Thomas to share a booth at GenCon and has been at a booth in the Exhibit Hall every year since. That appearance led to a cover and feature article in Scrye Magazine #12. For the first GenCon-SoCal, she was the Artist Guest of Honor.
Another highlight was having artwork chosen by Spectrum 2: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art. She has also won awards at numerous art shows, in particular a Best of Show at Westercon.
Aside from her traditional illustration, April worked as a full-time computer game artist. She has credits on fifteen games for the PC, most notably on the Heroes of Might and Magic turn-based strategy games (2 through 4 plus expansions), and the rpg Might and Magic (6 through 9). She started in computer games by creating concept and manual art, free-lance, but quickly was dragged in-house to work on the computer, first at The Dreamers Guild, then at New World Computing/3DO, and lastly at Liquid Entertainment where she worked on "War of the Ring", a real-time strategy game based on The Lord of the Rings and "DragonShard" based on the D&D world of Ebarron. She was a 3D modeler, texturer and animator for seven years, and a 2D sprite character animator for three years before that.
April holds a BFA in Illustration from Art Center College of Design. She also happens to have a BA/MA in History from Oxford University and a BA cum laude in English Literature from Mount Holyoke College.
In her spare time, she loves to read several books a week, watch a lot of Discovery, Travel and History channel programs, snow ski, travel the world, write fiction, run e-mail lists and surf the internet, go to museums, collect ball-jointed dolls, attend conventions and game tournaments-hopefully as an invited guest!, go to concerts and the theater, and listen to music of all kinds. She is also celebrating her Birthday on Friday with us!
Media Guest of Honor: Christopher R. Mihm
Christopher R. Mihm draws his inspiration for his films from his childhood. His father would tell great stories of spending cold, small-town Minnesota winters in the relative warmth of his local movie house, taking in double features of trashy B-grade science fiction and horror flicks. For a quarter he'd see couple bills with such classics as "Village of the Damned" ("The eyes..." he'd tell me.) and "Them!" ("Giant ants!" he would exclaim.)
When he was a kid, his dad would rent these movies repeatedly. They would frequently watch them together for a little father/son bonding. However, at the time, Christopher could never quite figure out just what it was his dad saw in these (often) low-grade, barely frightening (by his standards) films.
At age 51, in the year 2000, when Christopher's father died of stomach cancer, he began to revisit many of these old movies and realized, they're just not the same without him there. He began to miss the stories his father told, for example the one about the time he went to the movies against his mother's wishes and saw something so scary he couldn't sleep for a week - AND got in trouble for it!
Chris has wanted to make a movie for as long as he can remember. Seeing those old movies again, he began to truly fall in love with them, not only for the memories of his dad but for how wonderful they really are in their own special way. He even enjoyed their often poorly written dialogue, sometimes (nut not always!) wooden acting, stilted camera work and marginal special effects. It was during one of these marathon movie-watching sessions he had an epiphany: "What would happen if I stopped thinking about it and actually made a movie? And not just ANY movie but THIS kind of movie, one that a ten year old version of my dad would approve of?"
That thought soon took over and his obsession began: and "The Monster of Phantom Lake" was born. With only an "experimenting-with-public-access-television's" amount of filmmaking experience and having been friends with actor/co-producer Josh Craig for many years, Christopher enlisted his help to get things moving. Soon they were holding auditions and then amazingly, they were shooting!