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Leanna Renee Hieber returns to the Symposium

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Photo by C. Johnstone:

The Steampunk Empire Symposium is delighted to announce the return of author Leanna Renee Hieber.

Author, actress and playwright Leanna Renee Hieber grew up in rural Ohio inventing ghost stories. She graduated with a BFA in Theatre and a focus in the Victorian Era from Miami University. She began her theatrical career with the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company and began adapting works of 19th Century literature for the stage. Her one-act plays have been published, awarded and produced around the country. Her fiction career began with Dark Nest, which won the 2009 Prism Award for best novella.

Her debut novelThe Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker, landed on Barnes & Noble’s bestseller lists, was named a favourite of 2009 by 14 book blogs, won two 2010 Prism Awards (Best Fantasy, Best First Book), the 2010 Orange County Book Buyer’s Best Award (Young Adult category) and is in development as a musical theatre production with Broadway talent on board. The Perilous Prophecy of Guard and Goddess, prequel in the Strangely Beautiful series, won the 2012 Prism Award (Best Fantasy). This currently out of print series will be reissued by 2015 by Tor/Forge.

DarkerStill300dpifinalcoverDARKER STILL: A Novel of Magic Most Foul, first in the Magic Most Foul saga of Gothic Victorian romantic thrillers, hit the Kid’s/YA Indie Next List as a recommended title by the American Booksellers Association. The book has been praised by Seventeen and Pixie Magazines, Shelf Awareness, The Chicago Tribune and selected as a “highly recommended” title by Scholastic and was a finalist in the Daphne du Maurier award for excellence in Mystery and Romantic Suspense (Historical Category). The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart continues the Magic Most Foul series and has been praised by Booklist, RT Bookreviews and more. She is serialized the finale, The Double Life of Incorporate Things on her blog in true Gothic Victorian fashion and the complete novel is now available.


Leanna’s short fiction has been featured in anthologies such as Willful Impropriety: Tales of Society and Scandal, ”Too Fond” featured on and Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells: An Anthology of Gaslamp Fantasy (March 2013, Tor) and the upcoming Mammoth Book of Gaslamp Romance. Her new Gaslamp Fantasy series with Tor/Forge, THE ETERNA FILES, launches February 2015. Her books have been translated into many languages and have been selected for multiple book club editions.

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Photo by Biz Urban Photography

Represented by Nicholas Roman Lewis, Leanna is a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and International Thriller Writers.  She is a proud co-founder of the original Lady Jane’s Salon Reading Series in New York. Leanna was named the 2010 RWA NYC Chapter Author of the Year.

A member of performer’s unions Actors Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA, Leanna works often in film and television on shows like Boardwalk Empire. When not writing or on set, she’s telling ghost stories, frequenting Goth clubs, corset shopping, channeling Narcissa Malfoy, wandering graveyards, visiting Family in Salem and adventuring in full Victorian regalia.

Guest of Honour – Emilie P Bush

Emilie P BushThe Steampunk Empire Symposium is pleased to announce the return of Emilie P Bush, esteemed steampunk author and an editor at the Steampunk Chronicles. 2012′s Symposium saw the Steampunk Chronicles Readers’ Choice Awards ceremony hosted by Bush, and we are more stoked than Bram Stoker to confirm that the Steampunk Chronicles and the Symposium will again partner for this event in April. She also will be running a series of writing workshops at the Symposium for an amazing steampunk short story weekend project that is open to all attendees.

Emilie P. Bush wears many hats when it comes to writing. She is a Steampunk novelist, a journalist, children’s book author, Editor in Chief for Steampunk Chronicle and a mentor to other writers as the leader of the Gwinnett County Writer’s Guild.

Her first novel, Chenda and the Airship Brofman, was an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Semi-finalist in 2010 and her follow up tale, The Gospel According to Verdu, picks up where Chenda left off – high in the skies and wild with adventure. She is currently writing the final installment in the Brofman series: The Ballad of Jason Belles. In other works her manuscript, Cryptid, was a 2013 ABNA Quarterfinalist.

Emilie’s children’s book, Her Majesty’s Explorer: a Steampunk bedtime story, is the world’s first Steampunk picture book, and recently hit #1 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases Bestseller List. Her next children’s book - Steamduck Learns to FLY! is also an Bestseller. Look for Elly Belle in the City of Steam, Emilie’s third book with illustrator William Kevin Petty, later this year.

Emilie P. Bush lives in Atlanta, where she is a speaker on publishing in the 21st Century and maintains the website

See other Symposium Guests of Honour here . . .


Voltaire headlines the Symposium Stage

2013-10-09-VoltaireEuropeanTourPromoPirateShotLOGOsmlVoltaire (Aurelio Voltaire Hernandez) is often described as a modern day renaissance man. He is a singer/ performer, creator of comic books, animation and toys.

As a musician, he is a songwriter whose music can best be described as a collection of murder ballads, tongue-in-cheek exercises in the macabre, with just enough bawdy songs about Star Trek and Star Wars to keep a convention audience rolling in the aisles. Many know him for his songs “Brains!” and “Land of the Dead” from the Cartoon Network show “The Grim Adventures of Billy And Mandy”.

Voltaire’s live shows, whether solo or with his skeletal orchestra, are full of stories and games. Many describe his shows as sitting around a fire while an old friend regales you with tales, presuming that old friend drinks a liter of rum a night, dates zombie prostitutes and wrestles Krakens.

Voltaire has been recording and touring for over 15 years. He’s released 8 full length CDs, most of them through Projekt Records.

Learn more about Voltaire by visiting his site HERE.

Space for Voltaire’s show is limited, but to priority entry for the show you can make a $5 donation to our charity partner NAMI . . . 


Peruse other Symposium performers here . . .


Sillof Workshop at the Symposium

bobafettIn 2005, Sillof presented the Aether-net with his Steam Wars series, custom Steampunk Star Wars action figures which were to become an inspiration for many costumers, and now his work is part of the inspiration behind the theme for Steampunk Empire Symposium MMXIV . . . The Steampunk Empire Strikes Back! and we are very excited to have the genius behind Sillof as a guest of honour in 2014.

It is pronouced  “Si” (like Psi or Sci-fi ) and “llof” (like cough or pilaf) and no it is not his real name. Jamie Follis started building custom figures and dioramas when he was a kid with very supportive parents who encouraged his creativity and often helped him make things from figures, to toy weapons, to whole playsets. His first customs were simple things like putting a regular Luke head on the X-Wing Pilot Luke body, or cutting off Bespin Luke’s hand and drilling it out, and putting a nail in it to make it re-attachable.


The man himself . . . Jamie Follis

Follis’s work has been featured all over . . . blogs, websites, online news services, newspapers, books, magazines, and television at the local, national and international levels.  Several of his pieces have appeared in independent films as props, costumes, and set designs.  Sillof Workshop also displays at contests, fairs, & conventions including five of the six Star Wars Celebrations.   Recently his work was seen in Toyfare and Star Wars Insider Magazines.

Sillof has got away from faithfully creating characters and began to redesign these figures in various time periods or aesthetics.  He create these works out of admiration for their original designs, but rather then just recreate someone else’s work he enjoys putting his own spin on classic characters, as well as creating his own new characters. In addition to the Steam Wars range, Sillof has created several other re-imaginings of our favorite Star Wars characters such as: Noir Wars, West Wars, World Wars, and more recently Road Wars. He also has steampunked other pop cultured characters such DC Comics super heroes in his Gaslight League.

Learn more about Sillof by visiting his site HERE, or see what other guests of honour will be attending the 2014 Steampunk Empire Symposium.


Danny Ashby – Outland Armour


The Symposium is delighted to have Danny Ashby as a Guest of Honour in 2014.

Danny Ashby is a Sculptor, Actor, Special Effects Artist, Performance Artist, Visual Artist, and Set Builder living in Atlanta, GA. He is the CEO and Co-Founder of Outland Armour, a small but world famous fabrication, props, and special effects company operating since 2004. Danny’s creations have won awards at conventions across the country and with Outland Armour, he travels the country making appearances at media conventions, hosting panels, and judging costume contests.

Having been involved in the theatre and creating art since he was a small child, his propensity for dressing and behaving strangely for the amusment of anyone around him has evolved into a career in the entertainment industry.

Ashby ThumbIn the last several years, Daniel has gotten involved in the steampunk community and is now one of the most recognizable steampunk figures in the world. His work was displayed in the Steampunk Bizzarre Exhibit at the Mark Twain House and Museum in Hartford, CT.

Peruse more Symposium Guests of Honour here . . .


Cindy Spencer Pape – Guest Author

Cindy_0069_web2-180x285The Steampunk Empire Symposium is pleased to announce Cindy Spencer Pape as a guest of honor for 2014. Pape is the award winning author of the best-selling Gaslight Chronicles, and has released 16 novels and more than 30 shorter works. When not working on her next novel, or nose buried in a book, Pape is a regular at many Steampunk and Renaissance events. Her Gaslight Chronicles are the perfect blend of her Romance writing background and her love of Steampunk. Pape will be leading several panels on writing and Steampunk as well as giving readings from her latest works.

Kilts_Kraken-135x225Magnus, Baron Findlay, longs to bring the wonders of the steam age to his remote island home, but his hands are full fighting the vicious kraken ravaging the coast. When he’s swept to sea during battle and washes up on the shore of an isle in the Hebrides, he is near death. Struggling to establish herself as one of the first female physicians in Edinburgh, Dr. Geneva MacKay is annoyed
when The Order of the Round Table sends her north to care for an injured highlander. To heal him, Geneva escorts the handsome warrior home, just in time to defend the villagers from another onslaught. As the attacks escalate and they work together to fight off the threat, neither Geneva nor Magnus can resist the overwhelming attraction between them. But as their relationship deepens, a new threat arises–from within the village itself…


Monlight_Mechanicals-138x225Engineer Wink Hadrian has been in love with Inspector Liam McCullough for years, but is beginning to lose hope . Faced with a proposal from a Knight of the Round Table and one of her closest friends, Wink reluctantly agrees to consider him instead. Because of his dark werewolf past, Liam tries to keep his distance, but can’t say no when Wink asks him to help find her friend’s missing son. They soon discover that London’s poorest are disappearing at an alarming rate, after encounters with mysterious “mechanical” men. Even more alarming is the connection the missing people may have with a conspiracy against the Queen. Fighting against time—and their escalating feelings for each other—Wink and Liam must work together to find the missing people and save the monarchy before it’s too late…

Visit Cindy Spencer Pape’s WEBSITE to learn more about her other books.

Peruse more Symposium Guests of Honour here . . .

Steampunk Boba Fett and “The Trial of the Mask”

204946_197106833667642_114966695214990_583935_1706045_oToday Steampunk Boba Fett (aka John Strangeway) released the 12 minute film “The Trial of the Mask.” Both Fett and Steampunk Vader (aka David Lee, featured in the film) will be guests of honor at the 2014 Steampunk Symposium – “The Steampunk Empire Strikes Back” where they will be presenting a panel on the making of the film and more!