Victoria Irwin grew up with at least two books in her bag at all times. Discovering comic books, Science Fiction, and Fantasy at an early age, it was only a matter of time before she became a Fangirl. With a deep love for Doctor Who and classic detective stories, Victoria turned her attentions to writing and sharing her love of a good story with the world. The University of California, Irvine Alumnae seeks to spread the word about amazing comic books, good novels and television shows that deserve a long look. Victoria channels her darkside with DirgeMag.com as well as her work as The Mistress of Death.
Jessica Greenlee grew up in a house full of books. She is still surrounded by books and is hopelessly and irrevocably in love with stories and storytelling. She is helped and hindered in writing her reviews by a small parrot who has tasted his share of literature. She can be found on Twitter as @Bkwyrme.
Samantha Kitts – Managing Editor – [email protected]
Samantha is an Arizona native who loves to write, draw and cosplay! You’ll often find her scribbling character ideas in notebooks, reading the latest comics by IDW/BlackHorse/Image/Kaboom!, planning her latest cosplay and researching conventions throughout the U.S.A. Sam LOVES social media and LOVES to share her adventurous experiences with the world! She can be found on: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr as ThermoCosplay. If you see her at an event be sure to say “Hi!” and she’ll take your photo OR show you around the event (seriously, she likes to adopt people at conventions).
How did I know I was classified as a geek by society? Was it not common for a young child to hide in a hastily constructed closet and hope that one day she will fall though to Narnia? Are you telling me that focusing on punching my brothers motorcycle avatar on Road Rash instead of cleaning the large, stinky pile of cat poo in the litter box next to us was a little too hardcore?Why are you confused when I differentiate my first concert in Bangkok (Christmas special at a mall) and my first concert in America (Offspring at Universal Citywalk)? How many hours did you waste re-reading your collection of Babysitters Club or Goosebumps instead of packing them to move?
Are you still waiting for Falkor too? Since my initial establishment at identity was through means of fictional worlds, then I suppose I am. This may be a smidgen of who I am but already you can get a glimpse of how multifaceted it is. Not only do I yearn with wide eyes at my fandoms, I indulge in multicultural pop culture, involve myself in many social circles (usually involving books or cosplay), and generally gain EXP for the next level of Me. Instead of listing all the fandoms I revel in, I will list what I look for: happiness, uniqueness, and wonder.No matter which medium it’s in, if I enjoy it, I will enjoy it with the entire portion of all my neurons. I will hold it close to me no matter what. And you will know when I’m happy. I will squee. Very much.
Besides, I don’t make it much of a mystery what I’m into.
Vicki Mejia-Gewe: Queen of Cozy Mysteries
From a young age, Vicki grew very adept at not tripping over the other kids in the hallway despite having her nose in a book. At least, she did until a well-meaning but unfair teacher told her he would give her a detention if he caught her reading during recess ever again. Vicki discovered writing when her best friend moved away at the age of 9, and they began writing letters back and forth every week that continued through the end of high school. (This was long before the invention of email, but her father considered the many stamps she went through as an investment in her academic future.) They always challenged each other to try to make the events in their letters more and more realistic.
So when Vicki went to college (Vanguard University), it seemed only natural to major in English. Going on to grad school at Claremont Graduate University, her periodic migraines became one non-stop migraine, preventing her from earning that long-dreamed-of Ph.D. and even from being able to hold any kind of gainful employment. Audiobooks have become her most effective medicine, giving her something to distract from the pain. When reading visually became too difficult for her to handle, Jessica turned her onto cozy mystery as something to keep her mind active and engaged without creating the tension that is not good for her head and rest of the body.
When she’s not listening to or writing about mysteries and interviewing their authors and narrators, Vicki creates her own jewelry that she sells on Etsy and volunteers at her small church as the worship leader and children’s teacher.
Sheri Williams– Who is Sheri Williams? I am a mom, an author, a nerd. Or at least that is what my Pinterest will tell you. But I am more, So much more. I’m a reader, with my first love being romance books and then fantasy being a close second. I’m a champion couch potato with medals in binge watching tv shows and Disney movies. I’m a comic lover, though I tend to gravitate toward more out of the box comics than mainstream ones. I’m a coffee mug hoarder. A lover of octopuses, tattoos, unicorns, and Trolls (the ones from the eighties with the bright hair). I cannot keep my desk clean, it may have something to do with the sheer amount of lego figures on it. Hmmmm… what else do you need to know about me? I curse like a sailor, but I won’t here cause I totally understand the pg-13 rating. Anything else, well, you can find me on social media and ask me. I love to chat. The website is http://www.
Kam Martinez Enthusiastic Reader, Lowkey Fangirl, and Freelance LifeRuiner
Kam is a voracious reader, and has been so for most of her life. Her TBR list has mutated into an eldritch Gothic mansion that is constantly expanding in the strangest of ways, and she has absolutely no intention of getting it under control (she likes it that way, thank you very much). She has been dubbed a “liferuiner” by her IRL friends because she has a penchant for recommending books that subsequently destroy all their feels. She claims she does this out of love, but her friends suspect she does it because she loves watching them suffer. (They aren’t entirely wrong.) Her longer ramblings on the things she reads and a few other things besides can be found on her blog Occasionally Random Book Reviews (http://kammartinez.wordpress.com). She can also be found on Instagram as @kamreadsandrecs, where she posts microreviews and quote edits of anything she happens to be currently reading. And finally, if you want to witness her screaming and flailing in (more or less) realtime, you can follow her on Twitter @kamliveblog (rated R16 for bilingual swearing and keysmashing).
Amanda Conley- Passionate Panelist
Amanda is a panelist, cosplayer and generalized fangirl by night and social media manager and still a generalized fangirl by day. Get ready for musings and conversations about anime, comic books and cake. She can be found in and out of costumes at conventions across Texas She can be found in various places: Twitter: @RawrAmandaRawr
Catie Kovelman – College Student by Day, Nerd by Night
Sarah Brockman – is a cosplayer, crocheter, and craft beer enthusiast with a penchant for red lipstick and high-energy music accompanied by laser beams. She firmly believes that food is but a vehicle for sauce, and there’s no point to wearing clothing if you’re not going to have fun with it. You can find her snarky ramblings on Twitter @brockwoman, and more cat pictures than you would ever need on her Instagram by the same name.
Mary Theresa Chessmar- Cosplay Enthusiast
Mary has been a nerd since a very young age when she realized magic was way better than reality. She enjoys fantasy, sci-fi, board games, crafts, and wearing underwear to convention centers. The worst moment of her life was realizing she couldn’t major in Fairy Princessing in college, and the best moment was this time she ate a really awesome ice cream sundae for breakfast. You can find her ruining your favorite movies at http://regencyromcoms.tumblr.com/, and playing dress up at https://www.facebook.com/missmarymousecosplay.
Leah Miller grew up in a town that used to be a whaling town, and spent her childhood climbing black marble staircases in a century-old library named for a town that doesn’t technically exist. Her earliest childhood memory is watching the Incredible Hulk animated series on saturday mornings, the first thing she ever bought with her own money was an original Gameboy in 1989, and her first job was sweeping the floors at a comic and game shop. She studied karate and psychology, lived in Japan for a year, and then fell head-first into the game industry, where she has worked as a writer and designer for nearly ten years. A geek of all trades and master of none, she can be found on twitter @CulturalGeek.
Ashley Musick- Dancer, Writer, Lover of YA Fantasy
works at Linden Tree Children’s Books in Los Altos, California during school breaks. She has been doing ballet since she was three years old, has a particular affinity for YA fantasy novels, and is extremely proud to be a member of both Kappa Kappa Gamma and the Hufflepuff house from Harry Potter! She can often be found dancing in empty hallways or curled up in odd places reading (or re-reading) her favorite books.
Stephanie Bray– Lady of Music
I am an avid music fan, writer, reader of anything and fangirl of many things, a few are Joss Whedon projects, comic books, sci fi movies and really bad monster movies. My love of the nerdy has been firmly rooted in me since childhood and playing Star Wars at my desk in elementary school. I have worked everywhere from large corporations to small independent record stores, where I gained an appreciation for all types of music and love of new artists. I enjoy hearing what others are listening to and checking out new things. I enjoy going to new eateries, music venues, art exhibits and attempting to play videogames. Let me know of a band you are passionate about and I’ll check them out. I can be contacted at [email protected] or my twitter @steph101
Courtney B. Davis– In League With Mad Scientists
Growing up, Courtney didn’t know she was a geek. Watching Star Wars and Star Trek was normal in her house, and reading was encouraged. By the time she was ten, she was spending so much time creating sci-fi worlds of her own instead of paying attention in class that her mother was called in by a concerned teacher. With the X-Men cartoon, Courtney was introduced to a whole new aspect of geekery: superheroes. Soon, she was collecting comics, memorizing lore, and going to conventions. She’s a particular fan of Marvel, but has been known to pick up anything that catches her eye. She also maintains a deep and abiding love for mad scientists, as evidenced by her webcomic, which can be found at LeagueofMadScientists.com.
Nicole Paoli– Lover of Video Games and Role Playing Games
Nicole Paoli is a part time student and full time nerd with a passion for video games, comic books, and food. She’s working on becoming a full-fledged author and poet, and is enjoying life in the meantime. She can be found on tumblr at theexcellentslytherclaw.tumblr.com
Megan Kennedy-A Creative Anachronism
Megan Kennedy lives in Southern California and co-owns a photography company with her husband. She also loves crafts and sewing and is involved in a medieval reenactment group called The Society for Creative Anachronism. A huge fan of the Whedon-verse, she is known amongst her friends for making obscure references only she understands. She also writes for a geeky nail polish blog at www.wickedsplatters.com. She has never been on an airplane.
Ellen Webre– Poet and Roleplayer
Ellen Webre grew up an only child, and books were the best babysitters. She started roleplaying with her friends even before she knew it’s true name. With a multicultural heritage and privilege of traveling the world, her imagination was able to form uniquely. When she started writing, she found herself highly influenced by myth and folktales, as well as the mysterious creatures that lurk in her dreams. A geek indeed, but the subtle kind, the kind that peers at you through your window with glassy owl eyes.
The Mistress of Death realized early on in her morbid life that she was unsuited to the interests of the common ken. Drawn irresistibly to graveyards and haunted castles, she now shares her dwelling with a host of taxidermied mice, long-dead cats, and a small and fiercely loyal army of cockroaches.
Now this is the story all about how
I nerd girl’d, geeked out, tattoo’d out
And I’d like to take a minute just sit right there
I’ll tell you how I decided web journalism was my game
In Long Beach, California born and raised
On the Sega Genesis is where I spent most of my days
Star Trek, D&D, watching Doctor Who
Spending time with Playstation, Nintendo, X-Box, too
When high school was done, now what do I do?
I went to college, got a job, bought a DS, movies too
Then I finally graduated, and decided to try
Working my way up with Direct2Drive’s customer side
I made some connections and decided to see
If maybe online journalism was the career for me
Moving on professionally, I needed a site
Game Informer, IGN… but where do I start?
I skimmed through the web, until I could find
Somewhere I feel like I could identify
Looked at FangirlNation, I was finally here!
I now sit at home, with my freelance career.
Heather Hendricks — Undercover Mermaid
To quote Gwen Stefani “I’m just an Orange County girl, living in an extraordinary world.” I was born and raised in Southern California but then an opportunity to teach in the Bay Area came up and I took it. My love of travel and search for a new adventure swept me away. I am very fond of the fandom life and the communities that it has created. Harry Potter was one of the first that I became immersed in. I have since found my way to Doctor Who, Supernatural, Marvel and Firefly among many others. I love comics, cartoons and painting, often using that as excuse to watch the kiddie channels. When I am not obsessing over the latest installment of Doctor Who, I am a crazed soccer fan and can often be found at a nearby stadium. I also run a nail blog, wickedsplatters.com, with my fellow Fangirl writer and best friend) Megan.
Kiki is a bookworm to the core. As a child, she would read anything she could get her hands on. This led to a love of Atwood, Vonnegut, Neruda, Bloom and Bukowski to name a few. Desperate read-need also led to dark periods of Danielle Steel and Sidney Sheldon…ahem.
She discovered a love for sci-fi/fantasy and comics toward the end of college, while finishing up a BA in Clinical Psychology, but she is far from being as well-versed as her type A sensibilities would prefer. Her husband finds her lack of utter devotion to Star Wars disturbing, but is appeased by her obsession with Dr. Who.
These days, Kiki’s hours are filled with serving the Supreme Rulers (also known as her Son and Daughter), leaving little time for reading-unless you count the trials and tribulations of the Llama Llama Saga. She hopes that her children will embrace literature (and the musical genius of Elvis Costello) with the same life-long fervor that she has, and so far, it seems to going well.
Cheyenne Shockley– A Harley-Quinn and Alice Liddell fanatic who was recently introduced into the beautiful world of cosplay, Cheyenne is a full-time college student, artist, writer, and Potterhead. Her free time is spent micromanaging a photography studio, reading as many books as she can, being a selfie-holic, and causing headaches for her friends and family with viral videos of Potter Puppet Pals, Charlie the Unicorn, and Narwhals. She binges on Orange is the New Black and video games, most of which are different versions of The Sims or horror games. Competitive, a debater, and a hopeless romantic, Cheyenne has her heart set on releasing her inner geek and tumbling deeper down the rabbit hole than she ever has before. Her latest adventures include creating more of her own artwork, exploring new cosplays and events, and writing romance and horror novels, if her ever-busy brain will concentrate long enough on one plot to finish one.
K. L. Zolnoski– can trace her love of Godzilla all the way back to her grandmother. Raised on a steady diet of Gamera, Ultraman and an endless assortment of B-grade sci-fi movies she stays true to her roots through books, comics and movies. When not working or taking care of family, K. L. is an avid gardener, reader and writer and still manages to find time for RPGs and going to comic cons. You can follow her adventures on her blog at www.m31publishing.com or on twitter @Kzolnoski
Sarah E. Doyle is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago where she received a BA in Creative Writing. She currently works for an indie record label as their Social Media Coordinator. Beyond all that, she loves comic books (especially anything by Brian K. Vaughan – she has a Y: The Last Man tattoo, in fact), jazz, Film Noir, Guinness, Ray Bradbury, old videos games, the Apocalypse, Sci-Fi, and is obsessed with storms. Currently she is working on her own graphic novel which she hopes to finish sometime this century.
Sarah firmly believes that anyone can be a geek about anything; it’s just about being passionate and proud! She lives in Los Angeles with her fiance and their cat, Marlowe.
Showna Jacobsen My name is Showna Jacobsen and I’m a proud geek girl. By daylight I am a high school special ed teacher in LA, but by night my geek flag flies high. Every corner of my house is stuffed with comics, magic cards, and half-painted 40K or Cryx armies with me on the couch watching Syfy or binge watching Star Trek TOS on Netflix. Being a fairly new geek girl I love reading all types of comics from DC & Marvel to Dark Horse & Image. But I am admittedly drawn to strong female archetypes like Captain Marvel, Black Widow, and Harley Quinn. I prefer the darker storylines and drawings in Suicide Squad by Rod Reis and Ken Lashley and Tommy Castillo’s Darkside of Oz. I promise always to give you my honest opinion and I hope to interest you in new things, or at least get you excited and talking about comics
Tabatha Stirling is a published writer, poet, book cover designer and commissioning editor at Stirling Robyns Publishing.She lives in Edinburgh, Scotland with her husband, two elven children and a depressed Beagle called The Beagle. Her publishing credits include Spelk fiction, Camroc Fiction Press , Literary Orphans, Mslexia, Feminine Collective, Sick Lit Mag and Twisted Sister. She is also a member of the Society of Authors & The Federation of Scottish Writers.
She recently signed to Unbound, the literary crowdfunding publisher, for her book, Blood On The Banana Leaf, about maid abuse in Singapore and how women cope in the most brutal of circumstances.
When not writing or designing, she loves watching dark, blood-splattered dramas like the Walking Dead, Ray Donavon, and Sons of Anarchy and is totally, absolutely ready for a zombie apocalypse. Please come and say hello on Twitter (@volequeen) – she is friendly.