Meet Our Writers

  • Garrett Jones

    Garrett Jones

    An avid musician, Garrett is a music director and accompanist for the theatre by day and an all-around geek by night. …Well, he’s both all day, everyday, if we’re being completely honest. He enjoys gaming both on and off the table, karaoke, frisbee, and a good drink with good company. Garrett is also a beta-reader for authors Jim Butcher and Tom Sniegoski. Nightcrawler is his spirit animal, How to Train Your Dragon is his happy place, and he is able to do a mean Hiccup impersonation.
  • Rebecca van Velzen

    Rebecca van Velzen

    Rebecca, a 25-year-old from Arizona, is a born bibliophile and wordsmith. She began “reading” books out loud at 1 ½ years old, and was really reading and writing by the age of 3. By age 12, she knew she wanted to be an author. Since high school, she has been the go-to girl for all her friends’ essay editing needs. When Rebecca isn’t busy at work or editing articles for RD, she enjoys Skyping with Stephan, planning for their wedding, and reading fantasy and occasionally science fiction. She also sometimes plays video games. She currently works providing relay calls for deaf and hard of hearing people.
  • Stephan van Velzen

    Stephan van Velzen

    A 31 year-old Communications student, Stephan loves publicity and design, particularly web design. When he’s not designing websites, he can be found in a comfy chair reading a fantasy book. In The Ranting Dragon, he has found a way to combine these passions and discover a new love for writing to boot. Stephan lives in a small town in The Netherlands with his wife Rebecca, an editor for The Ranting Dragon, and their two cats.
  • Julia Turner

    Julia Turner

    Julia grew up reading anything and everything she could get her hands on, eventually stumbling upon The Wheel of Time, thus solidifying her fate as a life-long fantasy nerd. Recently graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, Julia enjoys long winded discussions about the state of the world and feminist politics. Her favourite things (in no particular order) are cats, ABBA, wine and laughing so hard her insides hurt. If Julia could have any career in the world, she would be an astronaut. However, since she has terrible eyesight and little motivation to become physically fit, she is setting her sights on an entry level position pretty much anywhere. In her spare time (when she’s not reading or working on RD stuff), Julia watches terrible TV shows, goes hiking, sits on couches in trendy coffee shops and listens to music much too loudly.
  • Marnie


    Marnie is quite a silly person, with a head full of dreams and impossible imaginings. She has an almost unhealthy love for her hair and spends far too much time brushing it and even talking to it on occasion. Marnie spends most of her time braving the treacherous passages of Barnes and Noble, cursing those who can’t seem to put books back on the shelves and mocking the fools who try to use a Borders gift card to pay for their purchases. If she ever obtains the gift of flight, she plans to take off immediately for the second star to the right and straight on ’til morning.
  • Omar Sakr

    Omar is currently working at Fox International Channels as a Captioner and has just begun full-time study of a Masters in Creative Writing, because clearly, he is an insane person suffering from the delusion that he is a Time Lord. This newfound mastery of time has, curiously enough, left him entirely without it, and he can mostly be found unintentionally napping in inappropriate places. His obsession with books, films, comics, television and popular culture in general - as well as beards - is well documented. In his mind, anyway. His advice to you is this: if you ever encounter an Omar, you should feed it/him cheese.
  • Aaron Larson

    Aaron Larson

    Aaron is currently immersing himself in the life of a college student with a major in English. To go along with this, he is entertaining the fantasy (and working toward the reality) of one day ascending to great fame and glory by becoming a published author. He is obsessed with movies and desperately in love with books (and feels most at home when snuggled between the shelves of a bookstore). Aaron is also extremely proud to be a nerd, and so therefore isn’t ashamed to admit that he doesn’t get out much. He spends his free time unintentionally growing a beard. Some of Aaron's favorite authors are George R.R. Martin, Patrick Rothfuss, Steven Erikson, Brent Weeks, Neil Gaiman, and Brandon Sanderson.
  • Abram Bryson

    Abram Bryson

    Abram is a video game geek first and foremost. This list of upcoming video games is his second article for The Ranting Dragon after he wrote a similar article a few years ago—though he hopes to publish many more video game-related things for us in the near future. Abram is a 35 year old dude currently living in Texas.
  • Cameron Harris

    Cameron Harris

    Many people think the old adage of being born a nerd is hyperbole, but if they met me, they would know it was true. I have been an avid reader of fantasy for many years now. While most college students find partying to be fun, I typically like being lost in the pages of a book instead. I also enjoy playing a copious amount of video games, and watching a lot of anime.
  • Martin Cahill

    Martin Cahill

    Marty is a 20 year old English Major and Theatre Minor, and while he still possesses his youthful idealism, hopes to become a writer/actor/improv comedian when he grows up. When that will happen, no one truly knows. Since a young age, he has never been without a book close by, and most likely never will be; this is most likely his parents’ fault. Marty hopes to one day write something memorable. Hopefully, this will occur more than once, fingers crossed. Thank you for coming and enjoy the site!
  • Michelle Goldsmith

    Michelle Goldsmith

    Michelle is an Australian university student, bookseller, voracious reader and fantasy geek. Although her major is in Behavioural Ecology she has a passion for literature of all kinds. When she isn’t reading or stalking wildlife she can be found lurking among the shelves at her workplace, telling bad jokes, unintentionally traumatising delivery men, small children and the elderly or drinking ridiculous amounts of coffee with various enablers. Some (aka. Stephan) speculate that Michelle never sleeps and possesses slight, and mostly useless magic powers that allow her to guess almost anything correctly. These rumors are yet to be scientifically confirmed. She also keeps a personal blog of book reviews (various genres), and other assorted ramblings (some of which are actually coherent).
  • Mohua Chakraborti

    Mohua Chakraborti

    Mohua is a Masters student in English studies at SUNY Albany. Since she was in high school, she knew she wanted to focus on writing and literature. It was the field that she was strongest at, and she adored going to my English classes. Mohua was emotionally attached to each book she read and each word she wrote. That emotional attachment still exists today and shows in her reviews.
  • Tracie Parry

    Tracie Parry

    Though she was raised in Southern California, Tracie has lived in Utah for several years and has no plans to leave. She taught herself to read when she was 3 years old – maybe earlier. It’s hard to tell because she didn’t start talking until she was 3. Since then Tracie’s been an insatiable reader, and earned her bachelor’s degree in English (professional and technical writing emphasis) in 2011. She worked as an editor and reporter for St. George (Utah) News before relocating to Salt Lake City. Unfortunately, working a full-time job, being a wife, owning a house, and generally being a responsible grown-up now cuts severely into Tracie’s reading habit. In her spare time, Tracie enjoys playing tabletop games, wasting time on Facebook, spending time with her husband, Brandon and (of course) reading. She works in the financial sector.
  • Zach Razo

    Zach is a recent college grad with a proclivity for fantasy and literature. He obtained his degree in English Writing just last year. Writing is his passion, as is helping others succeed.
  • Amy Rosenbaum

    Amy Rosenbaum

    Amy Rosenbaum is a literary omnivore who eats three square meals of words a day. She blogs over at Simple Little Bookworm and frequents Twitter, as well. When she’s not reading or writing, Amy can be found working on the internet, playing on the internet, and drinking tea (most often, it’s some combination of the three).
  • Ashik Ibrahim

    Ashik is fond of fine coffee, tea and books. He is also amenable to bribes (See prior sentence for ideas). He spends his time coasting through life on his charm, intellect and appalling arrogance. Ashik's favorite authors include Kevin Hearne, Lev Grossman, Brandon Sanderson, George R R Martin, Jim Butcher, Scott Lynch, and Douglas Hulick.
  • Benni Amato

    Benni was born in a theater playing Star Wars, and has loved science fiction and fantasy ever since. She did go through a non-fiction phase, but now that her 50-70-hour/week job keeps her plenty occupied with non-fiction, she escapes when she can into the world of fantasy. Though clinically cleared of ADHD, Benni requires constant engagement, whether through good pacing, character development, or world-building. And while she would like to believe that she has more discerning taste than a child, she considers herself otherwise a good measure of whether a book will hold a child’s attention and do well if the movie rights are sold.
  • Caitrin Clewell

    Caitrin Clewell

    Caitrin is a geek and proud of it. You can often find her leaving the library with at least five books. A big fan of fantasy and YA, she also enjoys science fiction, mystery/thriller, and urban fantasy. She also proclaimed herself RD's Guru of Everyth—OOH SHINY THING!
  • Caleigh Minshall

    Caleigh Minshall

    Caleigh is a Canadian publishing enthusiast who was introduced to fantasy by Brian Jacques, Lloyd Alexander, David Eddings and Anne McCaffery (not age-appropriate!). Right now she teaches English to unruly French teens, but her next adventure is to return home and study for an MA in English literature at the University of Victoria. Caleigh also has a personal blog where she writes about the publishing industry, internship advice, and other stuff she thinks is cool.
  • Chris England

    Chris England

    Chris is a 21 year old education major finishing off his degree in secondary science education. Chris, like many children, saw reading as a chore for many years. However, after much prompting, cajoling and threatening from a close relative, Chris started reading the Belgariad series by David Eddings and fell in love with the fantasy genre. What little free time Chris has, he uses to spend time with his fiancé, play the occasional video game or enjoy the outdoors.
  • Dan Ruffolo

    Dan Ruffolo

    Dan is a History and Philosophy graduate from Laurentian University. When he’s not reading an excessive amount of fantasy and sci-fi novels, or putting way too much time into online gaming and forums, he runs a Wine Shop in the north end of Toronto Ontario. A lifelong fantasy reader, and gamer nerd, Dan’s life ambition is to become a librarian.
  • Jacob Hasson

    Jacob Hasson

    Jake Hasson looks younger than he is and acts younger than he looks. An avid reader and aspiring author of science fiction and fantasy, he lives in Massachusetts with a poet and their combined flock of four imaginative kids, three wacky cats, and thousands of books. Despite any obstacles the universe hurls at him, he remains perpetually happy. He‘s easily befuddled when writing of himself in the third person, and is now gaping perplexedly at the screen (and drooling on the keyboard). What he finds important in a novel: Jake likes compelling characters, interesting new worlds, and compelling storytelling (that doesn’t sound cliché). He loves uniqueness and surprise. What’s most important to him is that the author had fun, put their heart and soul into a story, and created a novel that challenges his convictions and engages his emotions, while he ponders the possibilities. He wants to be whisked away into the unknown, but still be able to return for dinner.
  • James Starke

    James Starke

    James is 21 years old and has been described as many things in life – pop music lover, book nerd, movie geek, cookie nommer, bookshelf filler, tortured writer, tech dork, television watcher, webcomic addict, fierce supermodel, crazy cat lady, musical fanatic, a loyal Hufflepuff, GLEEk to the Nth degree, pizza eater, future librarian, a horrible procrastinator, Poké-freak, eyeglass wearer, a lover of the arts, and a zombie unicorn that sparkles in the night (well, actually that might’ve just been once). He prefers to describe himself as “a man of odd enthusiasms.”
  • Janea Schimmel

    Janea Schimmel

    Janea is an avid fantasy reader who after college inexplicably found herself working in a library. She was the only one surprised by this strange turn of events. When not surrounded by books, she enjoys working on her own fantastical fiction (thereby restoring order to her universe by having a book nearby), as well as making music (clarinet, vocals, renaissance recorder), cooking, and honing various skills made obsolete by the industrial revolution.
  • Jeffrey Dern

    Jeffrey Dern

    Jeffrey W. Dern is a 26 year-old aspiring novelist whose roots to fantasy fiction trace back to the time he was three and sat captivated for hours by the 1988 BBC production of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Since that time, he has since moved on to the more serious fare of George R.R. Martin and Jacqueline Carey, but his favorite book is still J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, which he has read twenty-one times. An Ohio native, he is an avid supporter of the public library system, and is continually on the lookout for great barbecue. You can read his other book reviews and occasional rants about the literary creative process at
  • Manon Eileen

    Manon Eileen

    Manon Eileen is a twentysomething-year-old with a passion for the written word. She loves to read and write; so much, in fact, that she has decided to make it her career. She writes in the SF/F genre and is an avid blogger (seriously, check it out). Meanwhile, she's working on getting a bachelor's degree in Clinical Psychology and Criminology.
  • Michael Neate

    Michael Neate

    Michael is a lifelong Fantasy reader and a History teacher by profession. Given his love of Ancient and Medieval times, he has toyed with the idea of writing historical Fantasy in those settings. Michael will always be thankful to his 6th grade teacher who suggested he read The Hobbit. He is not sure whether or not to thank the high school friend who introduced him to The Wheel of Time. Michael loves writers who avoid patronising the reader and telling them all about their invented world but show their characters and setting through intense action and crackling dialogue.
  • Michael J. Sullivan

    Michael J. Sullivan

    We are very thankful to Michael J. Sullivan for writing this awesome list for The Ranting Dragon. If you haven’t yet, you should definitely check out his novels. A review of the omnibus edition of his first two books can be found here. We also recommend visiting his personal website for more information and news.

Leave a Reply