Many more guests to be announced soon.
|Mark Steven Grove
Gathering of Heroes • Stunt Coordinator
Loch Ness Productions
NY Times Best-selling Author
NY Times Best-selling Author
Star Trek Author
Star Trek Author
Live Musical Performance
Master of Ceremonies
Latest update February 7, 2014
Please note that all guests appear subject to previous commitments.
Actor and Producer
Amanda is best known for her role of Captain / Major / Colonel Samantha Carter in the highly successful MGM television series Stargate SG-1 and her screen credits encompass many well known television series. Amanda is also a highly successful and respected director and executive producer from her work on the science fiction / fantasy seriesSanctuary, and directing episodes of Primeval:New World and Arctic Air.
Amanda has British roots – she was born in Rochford, Essex, and then lived in South Benfleet, Essex for a year when her family relocated to Ontario in Canada. While obviously holding Canadian citizenship, she still retains her British one. Amanda had a talent for, and enjoyed science, with her parents keen for her to take up a career in the subject. However, according to her mother she always wanted to be an actress. Very early on she excelled in maths, but at High School, she took a great interest in arts.
While attending North Toronto High, she won both the Dramatic Arts Award and Environmental Science Award. She says, “I always had this sort of inkling I’d like to be a doctor when I was younger…..but acting was always in the forefront.” It certainly remained in the forefront – because Amanda went on to study drama at the University of Windsor School of Dramatic Arts in Windsor, Ontario. Having graduated, she spent four more years studying theatre and appearing in several stage productions, including Children of a Lesser God, Lion in Winter and Steel Magnolias.
To this day she recalls how she vowed never to do television. However, a short time later she found an agent and did her first commercial (Tim Horton’s Oat Bran Muffins). Several more commercials followed and the income from these helped with the finance of Random Acts, an improvisational comedy troupe that she formed in the early 90s in Toronto with two friends (Katherine Jackson and Anne Marie Kerr). The troupe performed sketch comedies at venues in Toronto and the surrounding area, including The New Ideas Festival and the Tarragon Spring Arts Fair and finally stopped making appearances when the women’s lives took them in different directions.
In the early 90s Amanda’s television work expanded to include movies such as Golden Will: The Silken Laumann Story, Remembrance and Rent-a-Kid and series such as Flash Forward, Due South and The X-Files.
Her major breakthrough came in 1997 when she was offered the role of Captain Samantha Carter on the science fiction series Stargate SG-1 which she played for 11 years, including the franchise series Stargate Atlantis and Stargate Universe and both Stargate SG1 movies.
Amanda delights in portraying strong, independent women and, when asked to consider the role of Dr Helen Magnus in Sanctuary by her colleague, writer Damian Kindler, she jumped at the project. Sanctuary went from web series to highly successful television series and Amanda found herself not only acting as the main lead character but also serving as Executive Producer on it with Kindler and Martin Wood (another Stargate alumni). Amanda also developed her love of directing while working on Sanctuary, having directed an episode of Stargate SG1 a few years earlier. Sanctuary has run on the science fiction channel Syfy and has been sold worldwide. The webseries which jumped to television is very close to her heart.
Amanda has always used her talents for the good of others and has supported dozens of charities through her personal convention appearances and through her work, and so it was no surprise to her fans to hear that she had launched Sanctuary for kids with Damian Kindler and Jill Bodie. This Charitable Foundation directs funds to projects where children are in need throughout the world and has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars worldwide for such projects through online auctions of memorabilia and fan experiences. Amanda’s fandom is generous, compassionate and fiercely loyal of their Grand Empress of Sci fi and Amanda is always delighted to meet them whenever she attends events or makes appearances anywhere.
Amanda sums herself up on her twitter profile as Mama, wife, actress, director, producer, activist and general goofball.
Bio courtesy The Official Amanda Tapping Website
Mark Steven Grove
Writer, Director, Man of Action
With an extensive background in martial arts, Mark Grove began his career in the 80s as an actor and action performer. But his creative energy could not be contained and he began studying all aspects of special effects, becoming well-versed in pyrotechnics, prosthetics, firearms and mold-making. In time, all of this combined knowledge propelled him into a variety of positions, including stuntman, firearms handler, fight arranger, prosthetic make up artist, stunt coordinator, pyrotechnician, special effects supervisor and second unit director.
His creativity continued to blossom, and in 1994 he wrote and optioned his first screenplay, Shadows: The Path of Deception. This proved to be a huge turning point in his career and he came to the realization that he needed to explore the seemingly endless ideas and stories that were swirling around in his mind.
This inevitably led him into the Director’s chair in 1999 to shoot the martial arts / action film Dragon and the Hawk. That same year he co-founded Asgard Entertainment (www.asgardentertainment.com) with partner Trygve Lode, a Colorado-based company focused on providing film productions with Stunt and Special Effects services as well as developing and creating original films that fall within the Martial Arts, Western, Horror, Science Fiction, and Fantasy genres.
Since that time, Mark has written and/or directed many feature films, including the Lionsgate release of The Shadow Walkers, the fantasy adventure Gathering of Heroes: Legend of the Seven Swords, the sci-fi action film Legacy of the Tengu, and the psychological thriller Mind’s Eye starring Malcolm Mcdowell (Star Trek: Generations) and Dean Cain (Lois and Clark).
His latest scripts include the retro sci-fi adventure Rogue Space: The Adventures of Saber Raine and BladeSlinger, a western / martial arts story about a Samurai in the Old West.
He is currently in development on the film Dragon Star, with friend and partner Mike Grell, the famed writer and artist on such comic books as Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Warlord, Jon Sable, Iron Man, and many other titles. This will be the first film in a slate of films by this collaborative team.
Mark resides in Lakewood, Colorado, where he teaches the classical art of Ninjutsu (ninja training) and Kenjutsu (swordsmanship) at Warrior Quest International (www.warriorquest.com). Beyond traditional martial arts, he also trains and manages a team of highly skilled action performers that practice modern stunt skills such as high falls, wire work, firearms and acrobatics in conjunction with the Japanese art of Chambara (theatrical combat) which focuses on capturing the essence of the Samurai and Ninja through the application of complex fight choreography (www.chambara.com).
Carolyn Collins Petersen
Writer – Producer
Ms. Collins Petersen is CEO of Loch Ness Productions, a unique multimedia production company, specializing in cosmically creative content about astronomy and space science for domed theaters, science centers and Web sites.
She has written and produced more than four dozen science documentaries, authored and edited several astronomy books, and written two major science exhibitions. Carolyn regularly gives public talks about astronomy and space science, and and is an astronomy enrichment speaker for the Smithsonian Institution’s Journeys program aboard selected cruise ships.
In graduate school, Carolyn worked on a Hubble Space Telescope instrument team, and fondly remembers her first-ever StarFest convention talk in the early 1990s, when a dozen battle-dressed Klingons led the charge into the auditorium to hear about the latest Hubble discoveries.
Writers & Illustrators
Award-winning and seven-time New York Times bestselling author Christie Golden has written over forty novels and several short stories in the fields of science fiction, fantasy and horror. Among her many projects are over a dozen Star Trek novels, nearly a dozen for gaming giant Blizzard’s World of Warcraft and StarCraft novels, and three books in the nine-books Star Wars series, Fate of the Jedi, which she co-wrote with authors Aaron Allston and Troy Denning.
Golden launched the TSR Ravenloft line in 1991 with her first novel, the highly successful Vampire of the Mists, which introduced elven vampire Jander Sunstar. To the best of her knowledge, she is the creator of the elven vampire archetype in fantasy fiction. Several original fantasy novels include On Fire’s Wings, In Stone’s Clasp and Under Sea’s Shadow, the first three in her multi-book fantasy series The Final Dance. She is delighted to see her first original novels, Instrument of Fate and In Stone’s Clasp, available in an entirely new format as online books nearly fifteen years after their original publication.
Born in Georgia with stints in Michigan, Virginia and Colorado, Golden has returned south for a spell and currently resides in Tennessee.
Christie Golden will have many of the books listed here, some of which are now out of print, at her table in the Author’s Alley.
NY Times Best-selling Author
Carrie is the author of the New York Times bestselling series of novels about a werewolf named Kitty, the most recent installment of which is Kitty Rocks the House. She also wrote the young adult novels Voices of Dragons and Steel (which was named to the ALA’s 2012 Amelia Bloomer list of the best books for young readers with strong feminist content), and the novels Discord’s Apple and After the Golden Age.
She’s a contributor to the Wild Cards series of shared world superhero books edited by George R. R. Martin, and her short stories have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies. In 2011, she was nominated for a Hugo Award for best short story. An Air Force brat, she survived her nomadic childhood and managed to put down roots in Boulder, Colorado. Visit her at carrievaughn.com.
Author, Nice Guy and Friend
Kevin Dilmore has managed to make a living from his geek side for quite a while now.
It all started in 1998 with his eight-year run as a contributing writer to Star Trek Communicator, for which he wrote news stories and personality profiles for the bimonthly publication of the Official Star Trek Fan Club. Since that time, he also has contributed to publications including Amazing Stories, Hallmark and Star Trek magazines.
Then he teamed with writing partner Dayton Ward on Interphase, their first installment of the Star Trek: S.C.E. series in 2001. Since then, the pair has put more than 1 million words into print together. Their most recent shared publication is the Star Trek: Vanguard novel What Judgments Come (September 2011) for Pocket Books. His most recent solo fiction is the novella Hard News in the Star Trek: Vanguard anthology Declassified (June 2011), also for Pocket Books. His publications scheduled later this year include a solo short story, an anthology introduction and an essay about the creative inspiration of comic books.
By day, Kevin is a Senior Writer II for Hallmark Cards in Kansas City, Mo., working on about everything including greeting cards, screenplays and helping to design Star Trek-themed Keepsake Ornaments. For several years, Kevin has represented Hallmark at annual pop-culture events including Comic-Con International in San Diego, Calif., and New York Comic Con in New York City. Look for his children’s books Cosmic Ray and the Mystery from Space and Cosmic Ray and the Mechanical Menace, each with illustrations by Ralph Cosentino, to be published by Hallmark Gift Books in November.
A resident of Overland Park, Kan., Kevin is a graduate of the University of Kansas. Keeping up with his shameful behavior and latest projects on Facebook is optional but not recommended for the easily offended.
Kevin will be attending StarFest throughout the weekend and you’ll get to see him at the Meet & Greet on Friday.
Dayton joins his friend and writing partner, Kevin Dilmore, for his eleventh consecutive StarFest convention! Please don’t tell anyone on the con committee that he’s still finding ways to sneak into the hotel.
Dayton has been writing professionally since 1998, and since that time he has written numerous novels, novellas and short stories, many of them in collaboration with the aforementioned Kevin. You’ll also find his writing on such websites as StarTrek.com, Tor.com and Syfy.com, and he’s a regular contributor to the writing advice blog Novel Spaces (http://novelspaces.blogspot.com).
For StarFest 2013, you’ll be able to find Dayton at his and Kevin’s tables in Author’s Alley throughout the weekend. He’ll also be at Friday night’s “Meet and Greet”. Once again, he’ll also be helping to judge the Saturday night costume contest as well as the Sunday morning talent show. Rumor has it he’ll even be in a panel room or two.
For those wondering? Yes, Dayton does his own stunts. Visit him on the web at www.daytonward.com.
Ginny DiGuiseppi and Dana Ritterbusch
Not Literally Productions was founded when Ginny DiGuiseppi and Dana Ritterbusch, already friends, met video producer and special effects artist Erik Tande. The three teamed up in 2011 to produce their first Harry Potter parody music video, “We R Slytherins.” It was so well-received that they decided to produce parody music videos for all four Hogwarts houses. They quickly expanded their production to include a vlog-style comedy advice series called “Ask Hogwarts,” as well as a handful of smaller-scale music video productions and various comedy shorts.
Following the release of their Hufflepuff music video, “Sorted This Way,” Not Literally was invited to LeakyCon in Chicago to close their opening ceremonies with a surprise live performance. This was not only the group’s first appearance as guests at a convention, but also their first live performance.
In late 2012, Not Literally branched out from the Harry Potter fandom and started to create works related to The Hunger Games, Doctor Who, and other fandoms. They have plans to create videos for Game of Thrones, Disney, The Avengers, and more. You can check out their website at www.not-literally.com.
Bryan & Baxter Paranormal Experts
Stars of Warning Radio’s Paranormal Show
Bryan and Baxter host a weekly paranormal internet radio show broadcast from Warningradio.info. Together, they use solid scientific methods to investigate paranormal locations and reports in an effort to quantify claims and de-bunk the side-show promoters in the field that give credible investigators a bad name.
They are coming to HorrorFest for various paranormal panels and probably to get in some sort of nefarious trouble.
Master of Ceremonies
Our beloved Master of Ceremonies, Kevin, has been with the convention for over 30 years, but he amazingly shows very little wear and tear. Kevin is famous for his corny internet jokes which he unleashes whenever there is a pause in the action onstage. Because we have bugged him so much about it, Kevin’s stand-up talents have really improved over the years.
Kevin has been working on the “technical” side of space science his whole life, building models for NASA, developing planetarium shows, and animation. He’s currently working with a national photography company, handling their computer installation issues.
In addition to his MC duties, Kevin helps Phil Watson with the Trailer Park show.