C. ROBERT CARGILL likes his coffee black, his hamburgers topped with fried eggs and his restaurants to be of the greasy spoon variety. Most nights, if you can find him, you’ll see him huddled in the booth of a diner, sucking down coffee as fast as the waitress can pour it, arguing with a number of other writers over something silly about which he will fight with great passion. He’s been a waiter, a video store clerk, a travel agent, a camp counselor, an airline reservation agent, a sandwich artist, a day care provider, a voice actor, and most notably, a freelance writer and film critic.
Cargill began his career with Ain’t it Cool News under the pseudonym Massawyrm, writing there for over a decade, subsequently becoming a staff writer for film.com, hollywood.com and co-founding the animated movie review site Spill.com. In the meantime he appeared on countless podcasts, webshows and in the occasional local film. During a fateful drunken night in Vegas, Cargill pitched the idea for the film Sinister to friend and director Scott Derrickson, resulting in both the film and a screenwriting partnership between the two. Cargill co-wrote the screenplay for Doctor Strange with Derrickson.
Cargill lives in Austin, Texas with his wife and (as he is contractually obligated to tell you) his dog. And really, if you find yourself in Austin, in a diner, in the middle of the night, and someone is talking way too loud, there’s a good chance it’s him.
ROBERT JACKSON BENNETT is a two-time award winner of the Shirley Jackson Award for Best Novel, an Edgar Award winner for Best Paperback Original, and is also the 2010 recipient of the Sydney J Bounds Award for Best Newcomer, and a Philip K Dick Award Citation of Excellence. City of Stairs was shortlisted for the Locus Award and the World Fantasy Award. City of Blades was a finalist for the 2015 World Fantasy, Locus, and British Fantasy Awards. His seventh novel, City of Miracles, is in stores now.
DAVID BOWLES is an assistant professor at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Recipient of awards from the American Library Association, Texas Institute of Letters and Texas Associated Press, he has written several titles, including Flower, Song, Dance: Aztec and Mayan Poetry (2014 Soeurette Diehl Fraser Award for Best Translation), the Pura Belpré Honor Book The Smoking Mirror, and the forthcoming Feathered Serpent, Dark Heart of Sky: Mexican Myths. His work has also appeared in multiple anthologies and venues such as Journal of Children's Literature, Rattle, Strange Horizons, Apex Magazine, and Nightmare. In April 2017, Bowles was inducted into the Texas Institute of Letters.
CHRISTOPHER BROWN is the author of Tropic of Kansas, a novel published in 2017 by Harper Voyager that was recently nominated for the Compton Crook Award. He was a World Fantasy Award nominee for the anthology he co-edited, Three Messages and a Warning: Contemporary Mexican Short Stories of the Fantastic. His next two novels, the beginning of a series of speculative legal thrillers set in the world of Tropic of Kansas, are slated for publication by Harper in summer 2019 and 2020. He lives in Austin, where he also practices law.
XAVIER GARZA has authored/illustrated seven books. Creepy Creatures and other Cucuys, Lucha Libre: The Man in the Silver Mask, Juan and the Chupacabras, Charro Claus and the Tejas Kid, Zulema and the Witch Owl, Kid Cyclone fights the Devil and other Stories, Maximilian and the Mystery of the Guardian Angel: A Lucha Libre Thriller and Maximilian and the Bingo Rematch.
His books have received awards and recognitions including three Tejas Star Book Awards, Pura Belpre Honor Book Award, the NAACS Tejas Foco Young Adult Award among others.
Born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley, Xavier Garza has made San Antonio his home since August of 2000.
DAVID LISS is the author of nine novels plus numerous short stories, and comics. His novels A Conspiracy of Paper and The Coffee Trader were named a New York Times Notable Book. Conspiracy of Paper also earned him the 2001 Barry, MacAvity and Edgar awards for Best First Novel. David’s second novel, His third novel A Spectacle of Corruption the sequel to A Conspiracy of Paper, became a national bestseller. David’s fourth novel, The Ethical Assassin is his first full-length work that is not historical fiction.
Born in New Jersey and raised in Florida, David is, in fact, a one-time encyclopedia salesman. He received his B.A. from Syracuse University, an M.A. from Georgia State Universty and his M.Phil from Columbia University, where he left his dissertation unfinished to pursue his writing career. David lives in San Antonio with his wife and children.
STINA LEICHT is a finalist for both the Crawford Award and the Campbell Award for Best New Writer (two times.) Her latest novel, Blackthorne is a sequel to Cold Iron and debuted in August 2017 with Simon and Schuster’s Saga Press. She’s written two other Fantasy novels, Of Blood and Honey and its sequel, And Blue Skies from Pain. Both are set in Northern Ireland in the 1970s. Her Feminist essays were featured in the Hugo Award winning Women Destroy Science Fiction! Issue of Lightspeed Magazine. And she is currently working on the novel, Persephone Station, a Feminist SF Space Opera to be published by Saga Press in 2018.
JOE MCKINNEY has his feet in several different worlds. In his day job, he has worked as a patrol officer for the San Antonio Police Department, a DWI Enforcement officer, a disaster mitigation specialist, a homicide detective, the director of San Antonio's 911 Call Center, and a patrol supervisor. He attended Trinity University, where he graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in American History, and went on to earn a Master's Degree in English Literature from the University of Texas at San Antonio. He published his first novel, Dead City, in 2006, a book that has since been recognized as a seminal work in the zombie genre. Since then, he has gone on to win two Bram Stoker Awards and expanded his oeuvre to cover everything from true crime and writings on police procedure to science fiction to cooking to Texas history. Joe and his wife Tina have two lovely daughters and make their home in a little town just outside of San Antonio.
AMANDA REYES is an archivist, author and film and television historian. She edited and and co-wrote Are You in the House Alone? A TV Movie Compendium: 1964-1999 (Headpress, 2017) which celebrates the made for television film, and was featured on Barnes and Noble's Best of Horror list for 2017. The book is an expansion of her TV movie-centric blog, Made for TV Mayhem and its companion podcast. Most recently, her essay on anthology shows featuring scary holiday episodes was published in Yuletide Terror: Christmas Horror on Film and Television (Spectacular Optical, 2017).
Amanda will present a panel on Made for TV Movies at 1:30 p.m. in the Marie Schwartz Area. She will be available to sign books after her panel.