There’s about 130,000 professional authors in the United States and somewhere in the ballpark of 560 live in the State of Wisconsin, where Nicole and Rebecca live. If we narrow that down further to authors who write in fantasy, science fiction, and other speculative genres…
Right now we’re at a count of 19 published science fiction and fantasy authors currently living and writing in Wisconsin. Some just released their debut novel, others are living legends. Be sure to check them all out and find some new books to read. Many of the authors do local events within the state.
We’re sure we missed some (hopefully a bunch), so comment down below or message us with your suggestions of Wisconsin SFF authors to add to our list.
In alphabetical order: Malinda Andrews, Callie Bates, Peter Bingham-Pankratz, SA Bodeen, RR Campbell, Mark J Engels, Matt Forbeck, Neil Gaiman, Nathan Hopp, Zachary Howe, Christopher R Knutson, Joel Kreissman, James Lowder, Joshua Grover-David Patterson, R Chris Reeder, Donald Schlising, Adam Lane Smith, LA Wasielewski, and David Michael Williams.
In Through the Mountains, Riona and her mother hunt and trade while living at the edge of a remote village until a stranger comes and triggers Riona’s acceptance of her magical abilities. Andrews is an avid fan of NaNoWriMo. Originally from Washington, Andrews now lives in Wisconsin on Lake Michigan.
Education: Andrews earned a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from UW-Milwaukee.
Author Website: MalindaWrites.blogspot.com
Callie Bates’ newest tale, The Soul of Power, the final book of The Walking Land Trilogy, released June 4, 2019. The trilogy follows the story of Elanna who, accused of murdering the King, returns to her magical homeland under threat. Nature and Wisconsin forests inspire Bates’ work.
Essay Excerpt: Read this lovely excerpt about scars on Lion’s Roar.
Author Website: CallieBates.com
Peter Bingham-Pankratz debuted with The Fifth Civilization, a science fiction novel set in the 26th century where humanity is on the verge of learning more about, or precisely where, they come from. Bingham-Pankratz is working on the third book in the trilogy. He grew up in Wisconsin and enjoys hiking and classic films.
It’s in the Details: Bingham-Pankratz got his start with homemade comic books.
Author Website: PeterBP.com
SA Bodeen’s first novel The Compound, follows the story of Eli and his family who live in an underground compound after a nuclear war. Though the luxury shelter is designed to keep them safe, Eli wonders about the outside, and if they’re really as safe as they believe. Bodeen grew up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin and now lives in Black River Falls.
It’s in the Details: Bodeen and her husband served in the US Peace Corps in Tanzania.
Author Website: WriterSABodeen.com
RR Campbell is an author, editor, and podcaster who has been invited to speak at WisCon and the University of Wisconsin Writers’ Institute. In his debut science fiction novel Imminent Dawn, Chandra enrolls in a medical trial to test internet-access brain implants while her wife lies in a coma. Campbell grew up in the Milwaukee area and now lives near Madison.
Author Podcast: Campbell and editor Sione Aeschliman offer a wealth of information for writers in The Writerscast Network.
Author Website: RRcampbellWrites.com
Mark J Engels
Mark J Engels is the author of the novel, Always Gray in Winter, a tale about feuding werecat clans. Engels got the idea for his story while working the night shift on the railroad as an electrical engineer and wrote the novel over the next two years. Engels grew up in Michigan and now lives in Wisconsin.
It’s in the Details: Engels got his start by authoring articles for rail and transit industry trade magazines.
Author Website: Mark-Engels.com
Matt Forbeck is a New York Times-bestselling author who has published over 30 novels. He has also created and designed roleplaying, card, miniatures, and board games. You’ll have to check out Frobeck’s website yourself and revel in the sheer amount of content he has created. His novel Vegas Knights is set in a magical Las Vegas. Forbeck lives in Beloit with his wife and five children.
Awards: Forbeck’s work has won 15 Origins Awards, 10 ENnies, and 5 Scribe Awards.
Author Website: Forbeck.com
At this point in Neil Gaiman’s career, his work is growing to the point of legend. Good Omens, which he co-wrote with Terry Pratchett, is now an Amazon Prime original show and his comic, The Sandman, ran for 75 issues with DC Comics and is one of the few graphic novels to be a NY Times Best Seller. Gaiman moved from his native England to Wisconsin in 1992. In a 2017 interview with the StarTribute, Gaiman said, “Figuring out where I live has become a full-time occupation, but Wisconsin is still where most of my books are and my cat.” He lives near Menominee, WI. One of his most popular books, American Gods, features the Wisconsin landmark House on the Rock.
Our top pick: The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Author Website: NeilGaiman.com
The Adventures of Peter Gray by Nathan Hopp is a historical fantasy novel featuring a orphaned wolf living in 1899 New York City. Hopp is an invested member in the furry fandom with a strong interest in anime. Some of his favorite books include 1984, An Ember in the Ashes, and Illuminae. Hopp lives in the Green Bay area.
It’s in the Details: Peter Gray’s birthday is July 4th.
Author Facebook Page: Facebook Page
Zachary Howe’s first book is called The Heir of Olympus and the Forest Realm. In the book, Gordie Leonhart, a modern-day descendant of Hercules, must complete the twelve trials of the Olympians to avenge his father’s death. Howe is currently working on the second installment, The Heir of Olympus and the War for Hades. Howe was raised in Madison, WI, where he currently lives.
It’s in the Details: The idea for The Heir of Olympus came to Howe in a dream.
Author Website: HeirOfOlympus.com
Christopher R. Knutson
Christopher R Knutson’s book was inspired by a family trip to Norway. In Huldredrom: Dream of the Hid-folk, Vitholf grows among trolls and huldres and falls in love with a human girl from the valley. Knutson also works as a screen writer and lives in rural Wisconsin.
Book Trailer: View the trailer for his book on Youtube
Author Facebook Page: Facebook page
Joel Kreissman’s The Pride of Parahumans explores a universe where anthropomorphic animals cover up the accidental murder of a space pirate. Kreissman, known on many sites as Zarpaulus, is an underemployed biologist from Wisconsin who decided to apply his scientific knowledge to writing science-fiction.
Podcast: You can listen to 20+ podcasts by the author on SoundCloud.com
Author Website: ParaImperium.Wordpress.com
James Lowder is an author, editor, and comic script writer. His diverse career started with novels under existing content umbrellas including Dungeons & Dragons, but Lowder has also contributed original work to the SFF world. Knight of the Black Rose is a Gothic horror novel where evil deeds are paid in full, so full that even help from an enemy vampire is welcome. Lowder lives in New Berlin.
It’s in the Details: Lowder has contributed to an annual “Games to Gift” holiday segment on Milwaukee Public Radio.
Author Wiki: James Lowder Wikipedia Entry
Joshua Grover-David Patterson
Joshua Grover- David Patterson is the author of several paranormal works including the Blood Calling Trilogy, short stories, and Mercy, a story set on a desert island filled with zombies. Patterson has written for award-winning films shown in 29 countries. He lives in NE Wisconsin.
Author’s Twitter: Follow Patterson’s Twitter for some good wit
Author Blog: GroverDavid.Blogspot.com
R Chris Reeder
R Chris Reeder wrote The Changeling’s Daughter with the intention of doing the opposite of what most YA fantasy novels do. He didn’t want a hero. He wanted a protagonist that found out something terrible about herself. Reeder’s debut novel was released December 2018. He is a stay at home father and lives near Madison.
It’s in the Details: Reeder was a Shakespearean actor and has a degree in theater
Author Facebook Page: Facebook.com/rchrisreederauthor
Donald Schlising wrote MXX: Agent Soldier in which the Unified Governments overtake the galaxy for their own purposes. No one is able to stand against them, save MXX. Schlising is at work on the second novel in the series. He is also a skilled photographer and IT expert.
Short Story: Read Schlising’s short story A Matter of Time.
Author Website: DonaldSchlising.com
Adam Lane Smith
Adam Lane Smith’s novel Making Peace features a successful interstellar romance author who takes a job as a journalist, hoping for a big pay out. Instead he uncovers an off-the-grid planet, assassins, and serial killers. Smith writes in many genres, is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and lives on a farm in Wisconsin.
It’s in the Details: Smith is a proud supporter of the Oxford comma.
Author Website: AdamLaneSmith.com
In LA Wasielewski’s The Alchemist: Dawn of Destiny, alchemist Ryris Bren keeps his forbidden magic secret, but when an evil necromancer emerges, Ryris must decide if it’s a secret worth keeping. Wasielewski finished book two in the trilogy, The Alchemist: Dark Horizon. She also enjoys cooking, baking, and playing video games.
Early Start: Wasielewski first began writing fanfiction set in the Phantasy Star IV, Star Trek, and Final Fantasy realms.
Author Website: Lawasielewski.com
David Michael Williams
David Michael Williams is the author of The Renegade Chronicles trilogy, a fantasy tale about civil war that brings unlikely sides together. Williams appears in several anthologies and also penned The Soul Sleep Cycle series. He has a background in journalism and marketing. Williams lives in Wisconsin with his wife and two kids.
Genre: Williams says his work combines science fiction, fantasy, paranormal, and suspense.
Author Website: David-michael-williams.com
Thanks for learning more about these Wisconsin authors. If you are writer currently living in Wisconsin working in SFF, please contact us to be added to the line up.