Elaina grew up in a sleepy suburb of Chicago; apple trees and open fields her childhood playgrounds. A voracious reader, she spent hours nestled into a crook of her apple tree until her legs went numb and her mind buzzed with ideas. In her youth, she expressed herself in writing. Shy and unsure, writing took her outside herself and forced her to engage with her surroundings. Her experiences, coupled with her sarcastic wit, creating interesting tales. Since then, her writing has become more contemplative. Co-author of the anthology Four Doors Open, her current writing captures the flaws and foibles that make us all human and bind us together. Elaina currently lives in the mountains of North Carolina with her husband, two sons, and Bob, her blind Airedale. Her older two children have flown the coop to make their way in the world.
Near the tip of a huge lake lies a land of cornfields and rabid football fans. Colleen Aune moved there several years ago because she longed for a place where the wind never lets up and the snowfall buries her mailbox for months. Though she always wanted to write, she put aside that dream for more rational endeavors, like architecture school and motherhood. Then she came to her senses and began to spend her time writing (or, according to her three children, Facebooking and playing spider solitaire). Colleen encourages this myth by claiming she found a discarded box full of personal essays, a fantasy series, and a historical novel, all of which she plans to publish under a fancy pseudonym on the off-chance they’ll make her famous enough to appear on Dancing with the Stars.
Sigurd Elleflaadt grew up on an island in Puget Sound. He is opinionated, brash, and frequently wrong. A father by trade, he has a son attending grad school, and an adopted daughter of fifteen. In need of money and classified an old fart by society, he dealt with his despair and seriously considered becoming an F1 driver. A good bit of his life has been spent searching for a nonexistent father. With that in mind, he served twenty-two years in naval aviation. Retired. Worked as an engineer. Retired again. Decided it was not time to die and started writing. So it goes…
Part of a large family residing in a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Kerry E.B. Black spent a childhood with her siblings wandering the woods, finding treasures in mosses and constructing cottages from rubbish. Her mother raised her with good morals and common sense, yet Kerry remained a dreamer prone to romantic ideas. Some of these notions brought her trouble. Throughout her life, though, both positive and unpleasant experiences reinforced the idea that if only she looked hard enough, treasures could be found and even rubbish could be recycled to create charming cottages in the woods. Though mother, caregiver, wife, sister, and friend remained her main job titles, writing rejuvenated her selfish goals of self-actualization.
Mary Knuckles is a writer, poet, and a Native Cherokee from Fort Wayne, Indiana, but moved to Kentucky as a teenager. She has been writing since 2008, and has two poems published by Aurora Literary Arts at Eastern Kentucky University in 2010 and 2011. Several of her stories have been published by Eat, Sleep, Write. Mary is hard of hearing, and this is a theme explored in a lot of her writing. She also writes Native stories under the pen name Brightest Night Star. She is working currently on a longer project tentatively called ‘Journey,’ a fictional story that employs many elements from the author’s life.
Reared in a dozen different houses in three states, AM Justice draws inspiration from a nomadic upbringing and the many roads traveled as an adult. In her work, she shares visions of beauty and darkness, lessons learned, sorrows overcome, and joys realized.
An avid SCUBA diver and amateur astronomer, Ms. Justice loves to hike, dance, cook, and watch movies and TV, as well as read. She lives in Brooklyn with a husband, a daughter, and two cats.
Not quite finished growing up, Tatyana resides somewhere within a small town in North Carolina. As a child she spent her days daydreaming of fantastical worlds and getting in trouble for drifting off. She’s never grown out of the habit, and now funnels it into her writing, dedicating all her spare time to it. She motivates herself by envisioning her future fans cos-playing as her characters. And she may or may not practice speeches for future awards she will receive for her genius in the shower (this has yet to be proven). In the meantime she tries to figure out her next steps now that the horror of high school has ended, and enjoys her freedom before adulthood claims her forever.