John Arkwright’s mother paid for his birth by digging potatoes during the final stages of her pregnancy because a train wreck had put his father in a body cast. Mom recited The Raven to put John to sleep at night. As a child and as a teen, the soles of his feet were thick and hard from going barefoot for eight months per year and his back was tanned from going shirtless. He grew up wild, under the supervision of wondrous parents. Poe continued to thrill John, but by his twenties he had found Asimov, Tolkien, the steampunks, and the cyberpunks. He especially loves writing secret history, like “Suffrage,” as well as alternative history. “The Sundial,” which crosses an immortal Egyptian witch with John Singleton Moseby’s rangers in wartime Virginia, was published in Writers of the Future, Volume 27. “Cemetery Ridge,” which gives the reader insight as to why Lee lost at Gettysburg, was published online at Everyday Fiction. Besides an expanding group of stories about “The War” which posthumously enriches the lives of Mark Twain, Abraham Lincoln, Stonewall Jackson, and Elizabeth Van Lew, he writes about colonial India and any other time period that strikes his fancy. He occasionally discusses life and writing at JohnArkwright.net. John is an economics professor at a university in the North Georgia mountains, where he lives with three sons, a grandson, and his wife, who is the most literate living person. John’s mother is deceased. His hero is his father.
Melony Armstrong is the owner of Naturally Speaking, a hairbraiding salon in Tupelo, Mississippi. “Don’t License My Hands” was adapted from “The Power of One Entrepreneur: Melony Armstrong, African Hairbraider,” a strategic research report written for the Institute for Justice by Dick M. Carpenter II PhD. and John K. Ross. For more information on economic liberty, visit: www.ij.org/PowerOfOneEntrepreneur.
Born in Marblehead, Massachusetts, Ruth L. Austin has a B.A. in Education with a minor in science from University of South Florida. She has worked at bookstores and as a reference librarian and has several short stories posted online at Tacitus Publishing Writers Guild. She currently lives in Florida with 4 dogs and hundreds of books.
In the non-fiction world, Anahita Ayasoufi is an Engineer and University teacher. In the world of fiction, she is a graduate of the wonderful Odyssey Online courses. Her short stories and poems have been published in Every Day Fiction, Lorelei Signal, Bosley Gravel’s Cavalcade of Terror, Mirror Dance, Daily Love, The Mindful Word, and a few other magazines.
D. G. Bagwell’s first conscious memory was Abraham Zapruder’s claim to fame, and it’s just gotten weirder from there. He’s worked as a dishwasher, bar-back, doorman, bouncer, house painter, sheetrock hanger, leather-smith, printers devil, blade-smith, father of three daughters, C. A. D. designer, tow-truck driver, school bus driver, and pizza delivery guy. His hobbies include drawing, broadsword fencing, scale modeling, comic collecting, and a bunch of other activities too obscure to mention. He’s a writer, a thinker, and freedom loving individual. So basically he’s what our current government thinks of as a “Threat to National Security.” You can find out more at http://grandchildrenofliberty.wordpress.com
Holly Batchelder is Colorado native currently residing in Denver. She received her B.S. in Business and B.A. in Journalism from Colorado State University and has particular interest in observing media coverage and how news outlets shape the national debate on various issues. Holly is a marketing communications professional and enjoys freelance work in a variety of industries. Writing samples and sporadic blog entries can be found at www.hollybatchelder.com.
Anatoly Belilovsky owes his appearance in this anthology to having been traded for grain under the Jackson-Vanik Amendment. Having started his career as an underage and undocumented gas station attendant in Italy, he went on to graduate from Brooklyn Technical High School, Princeton University, and the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. He practices pediatrics in an area of New York where English is the 4th most commonly spoken language. His fiction (listed in his blog, loldoc.net) appeared in Nature Futures, Unidentified Funny Objects, Immersion Book of Steampunk, Flagship, Locothology II, Penumbra, Ideomancer, Kasma, Stupefying Stories, and other markets. He is also one-half of “A. J. Barr,” published in Daily Science Fiction and Giganotosaurus. His love of freedom is so strong that, unlike most writers of speculative fiction, he is not owned by any cats.
Thomas Canfield’s phobias run to politicians, lawyers and oil company executives. He likes dogs and beer.
Tracy Doering is a blogger and wannabe writer based in San Diego, CA. Her nerdiness knows no bounds. When she’s not reading or watching science fiction, fantasy, comic books, or any combination thereof, she can be found at comic book conventions or hanging out with her family and friends, occasionally in costume in both circumstances. Her blog can be found at www.hotnerdgirl.com. She also posts awesome little nuggets of nerd on Facebook, Pinterest, and, when forced to, Twitter.
Rachael Durbin was born in rustic Maryland, the eldest of six, but moved to the suburbs of Virginia with her family when she was fourteen. Her father started her reading at the age of five and thus her love of writing was formed. When she’s not curled up in a corner reading Fantasy and Science Fiction books, she’s writing like the mad enthusiast she is. Her favorite authors are Tolkien, Shakespeare, C.J Cherryh, and R.A. Salvatore (to name a few on the long, long list). She’s been published by Perpetual Motion for their Kurt Vonnegut Anthology, and now Freedom Forge.
Brandon Dutcher is vice president for policy at the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (ocpathink.org), a conservative think tank. He received a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Oklahoma, and master’s degrees in journalism and public policy from Regent University. Dutcher is listed in the Heritage Foundation Guide to Public Policy Experts and is editor of the book Oklahoma Policy Blueprint, which was praised by Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman as “thorough, well-informed, and highly sophisticated.” His articles have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, WORLD magazine, the Sacramento Bee, The Oklahoman, and more than 190 newspapers throughout Oklahoma and the U.S. He and his wife, Susie, have six children and reside in Edmond, Oklahoma.
Eric Egger has loved freedom since he could first read. As a child, he read one issue of The Wall Street Journal each week, marveling at the possibilities of a free market system. After making sure his parents were informed voters, he signed up to serve his country while still in high school. He founded Freedom Forge Press as his contribution to spreading the voices of freedom in a world that tries to stifle them.
Latorial Faison is an American military spouse, a mother, poet, author, and educator born and raised in Southampton County, Virginia by grandparents. She attended the University of Virginia and studied English Literature. Faison also holds a Master’s degree in English from Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University. She is the author of six books: Secrets of My Soul, Immaculate Perceptions, the trilogy collection, Twenty-eight Days of Poetry Celebrating Black History, and Kendall’s Golf Lesson. Faison’s writing has been published in Southern Women’s Review, Chickenbones, Underwired Magazine, Red River Review, Blackberry Magazine, and alongside Iyanla Vanzant, Dr. Cornel West, and Tavis Smiley in the NAACP Image award-winning book, Keeping the Faith: Stories of Love, Courage, Healing, and Hope from Black America. In addition, this military spouse has been published in Stars and Stripes Korea, Okinawa, Guam, and Kanto. Faison has taught college English for fifteen years at various colleges and universities across the U.S. to include Coker College, Johnson C. Smith University, Robert Morris University, and Virginia State University. She is an Assistant English Professor at Sejong University in South Korea, where she currently lives with her husband and their three sons. Faison’s official website is www.latorialfaison.com.
Born and raised German with a good helping of adopted Scottish heritage, Katharina Gerlach has been writing stories in the realms of fantasy and historical fiction for many years. She managed to convince a German agent, but the search for a fitting publisher took too long, so she began to self-publish her novels in German and English. Find out more on her website: http://www.katharinagerlach.com
James Hartley is a former computer programmer. Originally from northern New Jersey, he now lives in sunny central Florida with his wife Sally, two cats, and a swimming pool. He has published seven fantasy novels, The Ghost of Grover’s Ridge, Magic Is Faster Than Light, Teen Angel, Cop with a Wand, Magic to the Rescue, This Wand for Hire, and Fortunatus, and has a science fiction novel, Beverly Bronte, Space Chick, due out soon. He has had short stories published as e-books, in the collection Worlds Away and Worlds Aweird, in anthologies, and in various e-zines and print magazines. He is currently working on a new novel, Magic versus the Empire. He is a member of IWOFA and the Dark Fiction Guild. His website is http://teenangel.netfirms.com.
John T. Hill is a political activist and student at George Mason University. John hosts “Take it to the Hill,” a political talk show on WGMU. In addition to being a freelance writer, he runs his own blog, www.JTHmishmash.com. You can follow John on twitter @JTHmishmash
Julia Hones writes short stories, flash fiction, essays, poetry and book reviews. Her work has appeared and is forthcoming in literary journals and anthologies, both in print and online. She is the poetry editor of the Southern Pacific Review. To learn more about her published material visit her blog: http://juliahoneswritinglife.blogspot.com. She blogs about art, literature, writing and life.
The only time AJ Kirby speaks in the third person is in biographies. He’s the award-winning author of five published novels (Sharkways, Paint this Town Red, Perfect World, Bully, The Magpie Trap), two collections of short stories (The Art of Ventriloquism, a collection of crime shorts, which was released August 2012, and Mix Tape 2010), three novellas (The Haunting of Annie Nicol, The Black Book, Call of the Sea), and over fifty published short stories, which can be found widely in print anthologies, magazines and journals and across the web in zines, writing sites and more. Paint this Town Red was shortlisted for the Guardian’s Not the Booker Prize 2012, and his short fiction has won numerous awards at UK literary festivals, and his novel Bully recently charted as an Amazon genre number 1. He is also a sportswriter for the Professional Footballers’ Association and a reviewer for The Short Review and The New York Journal of Books. AJ Kirby lives in Leeds, UK and is currently writing a full-length work about Manchester United Football Club. He welcomes visitors to his website and blog: http://paintthistownred.wordpress.com.
Svetlana Kortchik was born in a small Siberian town of Tomsk and, when she was 16, moved to Australia with her mum. She lives in Sydney, working as a computer programmer. Her passions are writing, travelling, history, and martial arts.
Jenean McBrearty is a graduate of San Diego State University and former community college instructor who taught Political Science and Sociology. She received the EKU English Department’s Award for Graduate Non-fiction (2011) and has been published in Main Street Rag Anthology—Altered States, Wherever It Pleases, Danse Macabre, bioStories, Cobalt Review, Dew of the Kudzu, Nazar Look, and Black Lantern, among others. She now resides in Kentucky, writes full time and is blessed with wonderful children, a kitty named Mr. Baxter, and a navy blue Pontiac.
Marie McGaha is an award-winning author, editor, and owner of Dancing With Bear Publishing. She lives in Southeast Oklahoma with her husband, Nathan, and a dozen or so furbabies. She is the mother of 12 and Nana of around 40. She says they are born so often, she can’t keep up with how many there are or their birthdays. Marie and Nathan are members of The Patriot Guard Riders, love riding their motorcycles, and if Marie had her way, that’s all she’d do. www.mariemcgaha.com
George G. Moore lives in northern Virginia where he pursues various interests like golfing, reading, and creative writing outside of his day job managing a group of software engineers. He is currently seeking representation for his novel, Shifting Mars’ Sands, which takes place in the same world as his contribution. He blogs at www.GeorgesPen.blogspot.com.
John Mueter is an educator, composer, writer, and coach/accompanist. His opera, Everlasting Universe, was premiered by the Kansas City Civic Opera in 2007. His fiction has been accepted for publication by Wilde Oats Journal, Biblioteca Alexandrina’s A Mantle of Stars Anthology, Twisted Endings, and Writers Haven. He currently teaches at the University of Kansas in Lawrence.
Val Muller started writing as soon as she could hold a pencil. Teacher, writer, and editor, Val pens a children’s mystery series, Corgi Capers, inspired by her growly-dog Leia and her fraidy-dog Yoda. Her supernatural chiller, Faulkner’s Apprentice, is her most recent outlet for purging her nightmares, with her young adult novels, The Man With the Crystal Ankh and The Scarred Letter, forthcoming. Her favorite novel is Orwell’s 1984, and she believes strongly in promoting freedom and celebrating individual achievement as a way of bettering the lives of all. Stalk her at www.ValMuller.com
T.L. Norman has enjoyed writing from a very young age. Science fiction is her favorite genre to write because of the freedom to create the “what if” scenarios that frequent her imagination. She has had a short story published online and three articles on NASCAR published on a racing e-zine. She lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada with her spouse and children.
Chris Poling lives with his wife in Colorado. His previous publication, “A History of the Wraith King” was printed in Flesh and Bone: Rise of the Necromancers by Pill Hill Press. He works as a laboratory technician while taking classes for a Masters degree in Business Administration.
Phil Richardson is retired and lives in Athens, Ohio, where he writes fiction and memoirs. His wife, whom he met in a creative writing class at Ohio University, is a poet and a mystery writer. They enjoy sharing the writing experience and belong to the same writing group. Two of Phil’s stories were nominated for the Pushcart Prize in Fiction, and he has won or placed in several writing contests. His publications include over seventy stories in on-line publications and in print including 21 anthologies. Phil’s website with links to some published stories is philrichardsonstories.com.
Bobbie Shafer is the freelance author of over 350 published short stories in dozens of national magazines and the author of historical adventures, Loves Golden Dream, Legacy of Eagle Creek, and Miracle at Sycamore Grove (Dancing With Bear Publishing), and middle-grade fantasies, Mark of the Dragonfly and Quest for the Sorcerer’s Staff (Malachite Quills Publishing), with more forthcoming. Bobbie lives in Troup, Texas on a mini-farm with her husband, Gordon, and is the mother of four children, grandmother of three, and step-grandmother of one. She and her daughter, Connie, care for a multitude of 13 stray cats they have adopted, along with five dogs, three miniature goats, and over a dozen chickens. Read about Bobbie at www.BobbieShafer.com.
Angie Stine (Zhang Ai) is a Shao Guan native (northern GuangDong Province, China) living and loving in ZhongShan City since September 2004. She is Co-Owner and General Manager of both DanAi education centers, mother of two beautiful daughters, Anna and Amanda, and one handsome son, Howard, and she is a cherished wife to Daniel Stine. Angie enjoys collecting stamps, coins, and vintage RMB notes. She loves trying new things, listening to music and is currently learning to play the piano. Her goal is to learn at least one new skill every year; this year it is swimming.
Daniel Stine is an American expatriate living and loving in ZhongShan city, south China since September 2004. He is Co-Owner of DanAi English Training Center and DanAi After School VIP Center, as well as the lead foreign teacher at both locations. Daniel is the father of three wonderful Chinese/American children and husband to the amazing Zhang Ai. He is a published short story writer, blogger, essayist and humorist who thoroughly enjoys live music and libations of any kind.
Kevin G. Summers is the author of numerous stories including the critically acclaimed Isolation Ward 4. He spent several years working as a volunteer at Harpers Ferry National Park, including numerous stints in the John Brown Museum. He lives in an 100-year old farmhouse in Amissville, Virginia with his beautiful wife Rachel and their children Morwen, Ingrid and Roland.
Tori Testa is a Vocal Music Major at LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts. She is the winner of numerous Scholastic Writing Awards and has appeared on NPR’s Brian Lehrer Show to discuss teen writing with Figment.com. She also interns at Writopia Labs where she helps young children create fiction stories. Tori resides in New York City and enjoys singing, acting, surfing, and smiling.
Ashley Thorel is a 25 year old from West Virginia. She recently completed her Bachelor of Arts in English program through American Public University. She is at present pursuing her Master of Arts degree in Homeland Security with a concentration in Intelligence Studies from American Public University. Ashley is passionate about conservative politics. Her favorite thing to do is watch the news and Jeopardy with her dad. She is the daughter of a United States Marine, and loves America’s armed forces. Her political idols include Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Paul Ryan. She has (slowly) been working on writing a book – a biography of her mother, who she lost to breast cancer in 2007. Ashley works for a non-profit organization in Northern Virginia. She would one day like to put her writing skills to work and be a speechwriter. Find her at ashleythorel.wordpress.com and Ashley.Thorel@gmail.com
Richard Train is a contributing author of fiction, non-fiction and poetry (poetry to be published by milksugarliterature.com). He served during the Viet Nam war in 1965 and 1966 with the Marine Corps. Presently he is studying Creative Writing at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minnesota. He is also a personal trainer, and has been involved with exercise training most of his life.
Cover artist Voula Trip is a photographer specializing in weddings and portraits. She lives in Gaithersburg, Maryland, with her dog, Zoe, and her boyfriend, Rene. In her free time she likes baking and creating mini sculptures in sugar, all the while planning her world domination. You can view her work at www.VoulaTrip.com.
Rebecca Welch lives in Memphis, TN. She has a B.A in Business with a concentration in Accounting from Christian Brothers University and a M.S in Accounting from the University of Memphis. She is currently working in the automotive manufacturing industry as a Cost Accountant and Specialist. Her areas of interest are government regulation and its effects on America’s GDP in relation to manufacturing. She also has a background in accounting system analysis. She hopes to develop a process that will more efficiently streamline data through each phase in production.
Chris White is a freelance writer of many styles (but mostly magic realism and science fiction.) He lives in Brisbane, Australia. He loves writing flash fiction more than any other length, but it’s short stories that pay the bills (even though they don’t, unfortunately.)
Bob Williams Bob Williams is President of State Budget Solutions, a non-partisan organization advocating for fundamental reform and REAL solutions to the state budget crises. Bob is a former state legislator, gubernatorial candidate and official with the Government Accountability Office. Bob is a national expert in fiscal and tax policies, election reform and disaster preparedness. Because of his unique experience and expertise, Bob is a frequent guest on talk radio and at public forums. His commentary on state budget solutions appears frequently in newspapers, journals and online publications. He is also the Founder and Senior Fellow of the Freedom Foundation, a public policy organization in Olympia, Washington, dedicated to the advancement of individual liberty. He received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Pennsylvania State University. Bob worked as a GAO auditor of the Pentagon and Post Office before moving to Washington state where he served five terms in the Washington state legislature and was the 1988 Republican nominee for governor. He is a former certified public accountant. Currently Bob is the private sector chair of the ALEC Tax & Fiscal Policy Task Force. The Williams Report, a weekly compilation of state budget, collective bargaining and state pension news, can be found at
http://www.statebudgetsolutions.org/the_williams_report, and Bob may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Nicole Williams facilitates the preservation of the homesteading arts, raises chickens, and roasts coffee in Dekalb County, Tennessee. She is president and founder of Spark Freedom, a non-profit dedicated to equipping free-market organizations to better market their ideas to the most important target audience: our neighbors. Reach her at Nicole@sparkfreedom.org.