Meet the People behind the book

The anthology was made possible thanks to the people volunteering their time and energy to see Tales for the Camp Fire come to life.


Loren rhoads | editor | Word Guru | Author

Loren Rhoads served as editor for Bram Stoker Award-nominated Morbid Curiosity magazine as well as the books The Haunted Mansion Project: Year Two, Death’s Garden: Relationship with Cemeteries, and Morbid Curiosity Cures the Blues: True Tales of the Unsavory, Unwise, Unorthodox, and Unusual. Her short stories have appeared in Best New Horror #27, Strange California, Sins of the Sirens: Fourteen Tales of Dark Desire, Fright Mare: Women Write Horror, and most recently in Weirdbook, Occult Detective Quarterly, and Space & Time. You can see what she’ll do next at


E.M. Markoff | Publisher | Print Interior Design | Author

Award-winning Latinx author E.M. Markoff writes stories about damaged heroes and imperfect villains. Her novels include To Nurture & Kill and The Deadbringer, which Booklist described as “A fantastic action-adventure, tinged with Mexican folklore, that will appeal to fans of A Game of Thrones.” Visit her at


L.S. Johnson | Creative Consultant | Ebook design | Author

L.S. Johnson lives in Northern California, where she feeds her cats by writing book indexes. She is the author of the gothic novellas Harkworth Hall and Leviathan. Her first collection, Vacui Magia: Stories, won the North Street Book Prize and was a finalist for the World Fantasy Award. Find her online and sign up for her newsletter at


Ben Monroe | Marketing Lead | Author

Ben Monroe grew up in Northern California and has spent most of his life there. He lives in the East Bay Area with his wife and two children. His most recent published works are In the Belly of the Beast and Other Tales of Cthulhu Wars and the graphic novel Planet Apocalypse. He can be reached via his website at and on Twitter @_BenMonroe_.

The idea for Tales for the Camp Fire was started by Ben Monroe.


Petersen Games LLC | Cover art

Petersen Games was founded to make games with top-grade components, amazing art, and great depth of gameplay. We are explicitly trying to provide a luxury, high-end product for the hobby community.

We got our start decades ago when Sandy Petersen first conceived of the idea of doing a roleplaying game based on H. P. Lovecraft’s stories. That original idea, the Call of Cthulhu roleplaying game, is still in print today. Since that time Sandy has worked on many tabletop products, including helping with the development of the original Arkham Horror board game. He also spent almost 20 years in the computer gaming industry as a designer on the teams that produced Civilization, Doom, Quake, the Age of Empire series and Halo Wars. He returned to the world of tabletop gaming with the famed Cthulhu Wars strategy game and is now Chief Creative Officer of his own company.

Our team are all fanatic game players and designers in their own rights, and between us we have almost a century of combined experience

Cover art created by Helge Balzer

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Deirdre Spencer | Cover Design

How — or is it better ask, why? — does a long-time marketing designer make the switch to creative project management? Perhaps I should start from the beginning.

My life-long love of fine art coupled with my interest in computers and media made graphic design a natural career path. Since building my first corporate website in 1996 for Manex Visual Effects, the visual effects company behind The Matrix trilogy, my design work has won numerous awards, including eighteen Horizon Interactive Awards from 2005 to 2015.

Both through creative agency and in-house marketing gigs, I’ve worked with a wide range of clients, including visual effects companies, museums, universities and other non-profit organizations, visitors bureausbest-selling authors, and Silicon Valley start-ups. My portfolio includes websites, brochures, newsletters, marketing collateral and signage for clients such as IMAX CorporationSimpson Strong-TieStanford UniversityOakland International AirportAXIS Dance Company, The Berkshire Museum and Taproot Foundation


Clark Ashton Smith | Author

Clark Ashton Smith (January 13, 1893 – August 14, 1961) was an extraordinary literary figure whose homeland, so to speak, was Northern California. He has been described, along with Robert E. Howard and H.P. Lovecraft, as one of the “big three” writers for Weird Tales. He was born near Auburn, California and lived much of his life there, although he spent the last years of his life on the Monterey Peninsula in Pacific Grove. Although he was largely known for his fantasy, science fiction, and horror writing, Smith considered himself to be a poet and has been grouped with the early West Coast Romantics


Nancy Etchemendy | Author

Nancy Etchemendy’s novels, short fiction, and poetry have appeared regularly for the past 40 years, both in the US and abroad. Her work has earned a number of awards, including three Bram Stoker Awards and an International Horror Guild Award. Cat in Glass and Other Tales of the Unnatural, her collection of short dark fantasy, was named an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. She lives and works in Northern California, where she leads a somewhat schizophrenic life, alternating between unkempt, introverted writer/photographer/gardener and gracious (she prays) wife of an eminent Stanford professor.


John McCallum Swain | Author

John McCallum Swain has lived in Canada, Germany, Scotland, and the United States, where he now shares his home with a small herd of cats. His tales, ranging from graphic horror to alternate history, have appeared in Weird Menace: Volume 2, Spawn of the Ripper, Peeling Back the Skin, Blood Sweat & Fears, The Stars at My Door, Death’s Garden, and many other anthologies. His own titles include the horror and speculative fiction collections My Vile Bounty and Califhorrornia, and the novellas Smile and The Unicorn Man. You can find them at

Photo by: Petra Hoette

Photo by: Petra Hoette

Erika Mailman | Author

“Seven Seconds” arose out of Erika Mailman’s fascination with what happened to the multitude of bodies guillotined during the French Revolution. Similar shades of this history are found in Betrayed, her young adult novel under the pen name Lynn Carthage. She has written two other novels under that name and three under her real name, including The Witch’s Trinity, which was a Bram Stoker finalist and a San Francisco Chronicle Notable Book. Her latest is The Murderer’s Maid: a Lizzie Borden Novel. She holds an MFA in poetry, has been a Yaddo fellow, and is co-director of the Gold Rush Writers Conference. Learn more at and


Gerry Griffiths | Author

Gerry Griffiths lives in San Jose, California with his family, their four rescue dogs, and a cat. He is a Horror Writers Association member and has over thirty published short stories in various anthologies and magazines, along with a collection entitled Creatures. He is also the author of Silurid, The Beasts of Stoneclad Mountain, Death Crawlers, Deep in the Jungle, The Next World, Battleground Earth, Down from Beast Mountain, Terror Mountain, Cryptid Zoo, and Cryptid Island (prequel to Cryptid Zoo). You can find his books on Amazon.


Eric Esser | Author

Eric Esser lives in San Francisco with his wife Courtney. When he was small, he used to wander the perimeter of his elementary school soccer field every recess, imagining stories set in other worlds. For some reason, no one made fun of him for it. He suspects they discussed him secretly. He’s dabbled in Elizabethan Gothic, dystopian, urban fantasy, and horror. He is a graduate of the Clarion Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers’ Workshop and a member of the Codex Writers’ Group. His fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Schoolbooks & Sorcery, Pseudopod, and Fictionvale, among others.


Gene O’Neill | Author

Gene O’Neill has seen 150 of his short stories, novelettes, and novellas published, also seven short story collections, and seven novels. Twelve of this group were Stoker finalists, two claiming the haunted house—Taste of Tenderloin (collection) and The Blue Heron (novella). Two novels and a novella collaboration will be out sometime in 2019. In addition, two novels, previously brought out in limited hardbacks, will appear as trade paperbacks.


Clifford Brooks | Author

When not writing about ghosts and improbable Siamese twins, Clifford Brooks is a devoted cat daddy. On any given Sunday, you can find him walking one of his cats through the Bay Area’s many parks. Follow his work at

Ken Hueler | Author

Ken Hueler teaches kung fu in the San Francisco Bay Area and, with fellow members of the Horror Writers Association’s local chapter, gets up to all sorts of adventures (only some involving margaritas). His work has appeared in Weirdbook, Stupefying Stories, Black Petals, and Strangely Funny III. Find out more at


Ross E. Lockhart | Author

Ross E. Lockhart is an author, anthologist, bookseller, editor, and publisher. A lifelong fan of supernatural, fantastic, and weird fiction, Lockhart is a veteran of small-press publishing, having edited scores of well-regarded novels of horror, fantasy, and science fiction. He has also edited anthologies including The Book of Cthulhu, Tales of Jack the Ripper, The Children of Old Leech, Giallo Fantastique, Eternal Frankenstein, Tales from a Talking Board, and Cthulhu Fhtagn! He is the author of Chick Bassist. Lockhart lives in Petaluma, California, with his wife Jennifer, hundreds of books, and Elinor Phantom, a Shih Tzu working as his editorial assistant.

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Sumiko Saulson | Author

Sumiko Saulson is a cartoonist, science fiction, fantasy, and horror writer, editor of Black Magic Women and 100 Black Women in Horror Fiction, author of Solitude, Warmth, The Moon Cried Blood, Happiness and Other Diseases, Somnalia, Insatiable, Ashes and Coffee, and Things That Go Bump in My Head. She wrote and illustrated comics Mauskaveli, Dooky, and the graphic novels Dreamworlds and Agrippa. She writes for SEARCH Magazine. The child of African American and Russian-Jewish parents, the native Californian and Oakland resident has spent most of her adult life in the San Francisco Bay Area.


Sean Patrick Hazlett | Author

Sean Patrick Hazlett is an Army veteran and speculative fiction writer who lives in the San Francisco Bay area. His short stories have appeared in publications such as The Year’s Best Military and Adventure SF: Volume 4, Year’s Best Hardcore Horror: Volume 3, Terraform, Galaxy’s Edge, Writers of the Future: Volume 33, Grimdark Magazine, Abyss & Apex, Perihelion, Unnerving Magazine, and Weirdbook, among others. He holds an AB in History and BS in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, a Master’s in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.


Roh Morgon | Author

Roh Morgon dreams up her dark tales while driving through California’s Sierra Nevada foothills. But it’s her time spent in more remote locales—the soaring peaks of Colorado, the windswept plains of Wyoming, the mysterious Carpathian Mountains of Romania—that provides the settings for her stories. 

Roh’s best known for her vampire series The Chosen (which includes the novels Watcher, Runner, and the upcoming Seeker: Book III of The Chosen), the related 1840s historical horror novella The Last Trace, and the corporate horror novella The Games Monsters Play. You can find Roh online at,, and Amazon.


Jeff Seeman | Author

Jeff Seeman is the author of two novels, Political Science and Guns and Butter, and a tribute to Edgar Allan Poe, The Scythe of Time: An Essay and Homage. He was a contributor to the short story anthologies 18 Wheels of Science Fiction, 18 Wheels of Horror, and the Bram Stoker Award-nominated Hell Comes to Hollywood. His short fiction has also appeared in a variety of literary magazines. A former editor of the Cornell Lunatic (Cornell University’s answer to the Harvard Lampoon), he has performed stand-up comedy in Los Angeles, Boston, and San Francisco. For more information, go to


Crystal M. Romero | Author

Crystal M. Romero grew up in the heartland of Northern California in Chico, Redding, and then Oroville. During her childhood, Crystal fell in love with the horror genre. After graduating high school, she relocated to the Silicon Valley and now calls the South Bay her home. In addition to two novels, The Veil of Sorrow and Valley of the Dead, Crystal had five stories published in the LGBT 2008 flash-fiction anthology Chilling Tales of Terror and the Supernatural. Crystal’s short story “The Relic” was originally published in that anthology. Follow her onTwitter @Crstl_M_Romero or on Facebook: Crystal M. Romero.


G. O. Clark | Author

G. O. Clark is the author of 13 books of poetry (the most recent is The Comfort of Screams) and two short story collections. The story “The Twins” was included in his most recent short story collection Twists & Turns, published in 2016 by Alban Lake Publishing. He’s retired and lives in Davis, California.


Chad Schimke | Author

Chad Schimke is the author of “Behind the Walls,” released via TANSTAAFL Press in their Enter the Rebirth anthology. He’s also previously published “Picker,” “Weirder,” “Hallowseve” and “Midwinter”: a quirky gaggle of grotesque, bizarre and unsettling tales for your reading pleasure. In addition, Chad has read at San Francisco’s Lit Crawl, interviewed on a number of radio shows, was published by Artifice Comics, and founded the Alabama Street Writer’s Group. He is currently working on a novel series tentatively entitled Regenerates. Check out Chad’s blog at or catch him on Facebook at or on Twitter at


Anthony Derouen | Author

Anthony De Rouen has written three high-fantasy novels and is currently finishing the drafts on two supernatural horror screenplays. He turned one of the screenplays into a short called The Last Showing, which picked up a Silver Spotlight Award and was screened at the Halloween Horror Picture Show. In 2018 he founded the Death’s Parade Film Festival, which is happening October 5th, 2019 in San Jose, California. You can follow his work at and

The story behind “The Patron” came from a family trip to Lake Tahoe. Idyllic in its pure white innocence, the vast snowpack covering the south lake basin lent to an all-too-real scenario where a vacationing family runs afoul of the weather.


John Claude Smith | Author

John Claude Smith has published two collections (The Dark is Light Enough for Me and Autumn in the Abyss), four chapbooks (Dandelions, Vox Terrae, The Anti-Everything, and The Wrath of Concrete and Steel), and two novels (the Bram Stoker Awards finalist Riding the Centipede and The Wilderness Within). Occasional Beasts: Tales, his third collection, has just been published and includes fourteen tales of weird horror. He splits his time between the East Bay of Northern California, across from San Francisco, and Rome, Italy, where his heart resides always. Check out the Wilderness Within blog at


Dana Fredsti | Author

Dana Fredsti is the author of the Ashley Parker series, Spawn of Lilith series, and co-author of the Time Shards series. When she originally wrote “You’ll Never be Lunch in This Town Again,” Melanie Griffith was still hot in Hollywood and cell phones had yet to become smart.


Nada Qamber | Ebook design

Partner & Editorial Designer

Nada is quick, responsive and a super fast learner! She’s a firm believer of taking one day at a time with a huge smile and a positive attitude. She regularly blogs fashion & beauty at Nada Más Que Amor.

You can also follow her on Twitter & Facebook

Read more about her at

All photography owned by their respective authors.