I have a lot of creative friends, and have decided to periodically highlight them. Here are five such friends, all female, and all listed in categorical and last name alphabetical order so that none of them get mad and punch me. Some of them punch hard! Click on their names and go to their websites, or else they might punch you instead.


  • Brooke Johnson – Brooke is a fellow author and good friend, and we share ownership of a metal book rack that we take to book signings. She writes steampunk, and someday (probably 2052) we’re going to collaborate on a steampunk/horror novel. She has authored two excellent mass market paperbacks (The Brass Giant and its sequel, The Guild Conspiracy) as well as an eBook in the same universe. She is also a very hermity hermit and sometimes has purple hair, though I prefer it when it’s blue. I once dyed my beard to match her hair.
  • Robin Raven – Robin is one of the best friends I’ve never met! She’s also the author of the wildly successful children’s book Santa’s First Vegan Christmas as well as time travelling coming of age novel Next Stop: Nina. She lives in Alabama, so the “never met” part of the first sentence makes perfect sense. She also likes Piña Coladas and getting caught in the rain, which makes less than perfect sense. It also isn’t true.

Cover Designers

  • Renée Barratt – Renée has designed all four of my book covers, and I couldn’t have asked for a better designer. We became friends over time, and which was an added bonus! Not only does she do amazing work, she’s one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. She’s fun to work with, and is incredibly patient with my nit pickiness!


  • Melodie Maynard – Melodie (or, as my phone occasionally calls her, Melanie) is an amazing photographer and a good friend. My son is also friends with her daughter, because, like us, they’re both super nerds. She does wedding, engagement, and senior photographs, which, contrary to my original impression, means seniors in high school, not seniors in nursing homes.
  • Sunny Skaggs – Sunny (my phone doesn’t really call her anything other than Sunny) is also an amazing photographer and friend, and in fact is responsible for the photo of myself on the back covers of Memories of a Ghost and Odds and Endings: Fiction Short and Otherwise. Her eyes hurt photographing someone as beautiful as me, but she nevertheless managed to get the job done!

Oh, and I did this for Melodie as a joke, (see “senior portraits”, above) and I feel compelled to share it here because I’m absurdly proud of it!




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From Joe's writing

He shot off down the road, leaving Katy cursing in his wake. Was it really him, another version of Ben Spencer, traveling from some future point in time to fix something they had screwed up? Whatever the reason, the other Ben’s presence had to mean that he had found the nickel. Didn’t it?

— Threads, Chapter 16