Meet the Writers

Meet the Systems: Stories of Regimes, Formulas & Schemes showcases 21 talented wordsmiths who deftly wrote a variety of systemic stories. Meet the writers behind these fascinating tales:

Elisabeth Ashlin has a degree in Computer Science from Bradley University, but she quit software engineering to write and act. She performed in several films and lots of live theatre. Her most unusual role was in the Batman Thrill Spectacular where she crashed through a wall in a Batmobile several times a day. Now a Santa Clarita resident, she’s usually writing, running, playing games, or experimenting with gourmet cooking. You can visit her online at

Anastasia Barbato graduated from high school in June 2016. Her wit and compassion can charm a smile out of anyone, and her inspiration blooms from nature and the rich culture of Los Angeles. Her writing echoes the themes of mystery and adventure she thirsts for in her reading, and when she’s not writing she’s performing in her school’s musicals, choral concerts, and dance showcases with just as much passion. She hopes to study creative writing, philosophy, and politics in college, and is excited about continuing her involvement in the NaNo Los Angeles anthology series for her 3rd consecutive year. Follow her thoughtful, mostly food- and writing-related blog at

Henry Barker, a current seventh grader, is 12 years old and was born in his house. He likes books, games, Harry Potter, and his teddy bear.

Jon Beadle grew up in England and now lives in California with his wife, their cat, and a constantly expanding collection of books. He writes mostly short fiction, often with a tendency toward exploring the peculiar reality that lies beneath mundane events. Jon currently teaches at California State University, Northridge. 

Alexandr Bond first began writing when he was nine years old. His first story was for a contest held by Disney. He didn’t win but has continued to write ever since. He also has a blog,, which focuses on his writings as well as literature in general. When not writing, he enjoys traveling and has journeyed throughout the continental United States. He briefly hosted a radio show focused on different types of literature when he volunteered for an online magazine. Alex has studied Cinema Production, the French language, the Russian language, Parapsychology, and is currently pursuing his BA in English.

Spencer Borup lives in Northern California with his wife and cat, where he divides his time between his favorite things: writing and music, which he studied respectively at the University of Central Florida and Brigham Young University. He is a full-time private piano instructor, as well as a full-time freelance editor. He has worked with authors from around the world in both fiction and nonfiction. You can find his singer/songwriter album Wooden Elephant on iTunes, as well as his writing and editing at “Finite Forceman MDCLXVII” is a sequel of sorts to his story “Shuffle,” published in last year’s anthology It’s About Time.

Viannah E. Duncan is an author, editor, and poet living in Southern California with her cantankerous cat named Cleopatra. You can find her online at

Katherine N. Friedman is a mother, wife, educator, writer, returned Peace Corps volunteer, and four-time NaNoWriMo winner. She lives with her husband, baby, and three-legged greyhound in Los Angeles, Ca. After writing a rough draft during her first NaNoWriMo in 2007, she has spent the last two-and-a-half years revising it. She hopes it will soon become her first published novel—check for updates. Her favorite non-writing hobby is Irish step dancing.

Alison Hong is a current high school senior who dreams of other worlds when not being weighed down by tests, homework, projects, and other wacky assignments. She has a passion for writing stories about fantasy, the paranormal, science fiction, and fairy tales. “AKI” is her first published short story.

June Low recently returned from the Middle East to LosAngeles with many stories to tell. Some of these stories can be found on her blog at If you are curious about the rest, she would be happy to share over a spot of tea if you contact her at 

Bryan Mahoney is a former columnist for the Burbank Leader. He’s now focusing on short and long fiction and is eyeballs-deep in editing his 2015 NaNoWriMo novel. When he’s not writing stories for strangers on his 1941 Royal typewriter, Bryan and his wife Marcy run two writers’ groups in Burbank.

Katy Mann grew up in the Midwest where she attended the University of Chicago. She moved to California with her tabby cat, Gus. A life-long reader, she divides her time between the real world, when necessary, and the worlds created in books and her imagination, when possible. She published her first novel, Prey, in 2014. Visit her at

Sara W. McBride has written for several magazines and peer-reviewed scientific journals, such as The Scientist, Cell, Fine Expressions, and Solo Travelist. She was the lead editor and founder of Lemur Publishing, which published the first two NaNo Los Angeles anthologies, Believe Me Not and It’s About Time. “An Awkward Silence” is a short story told by Catherine Morland (Heroine of Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey) from a book to be published this winter entitled, Inn at Austen Way.

A native Los Angelean, Cara Murdoch, remembers when Santa Monica was home to Henshey’s department store and Zucky’s delicatessen. When she isn’t pretending to be a foreign language teacher, she sings and plays mandolin and guitar with the Scottish Fiddlers of Los Angeles and has composed new music for songs featured in Shakespeare’s plays. And, of course, she writes fiction, which is a polite way of saying that she just makes things up.

Joy Park-Thomas is a freelance story producer in reality television, crafting episodes of Rock of Love, Project Runway, and Top Chef, among others. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband Chris and is currently at work on an urban fantasy novel about wayward gods and the prostitute-turned-priest who must stop them from destroying humanity. “The Flight of Black Butterflies” is her second published short story.

Brad Ray is a chef and mountain man who loves space.

At one point or another, Heath Russell has worked just about every job known to man: from gas station attendant to financial accountant to exotic dancer—and most positions in between—before settling down as a writer. He now lives in a magical world of dragons, fairies, and monsters where the supernatural collides with the commonplace on a regular basis. His doctors often tell him they’ll let him out some day . . . before having a chuckle and moving on to the next patient.

K. Andrew Turner writes queer, literary, and speculative prose and poetry. He teaches and mentors writers near Los Angeles where he also is a freelance editor. In 2013, he founded East Jasmine Review—an electronic literary journal—where he remains the Editor-in-Chief. He lives, works and writes in the San Gabriel Valley in Southern California. He was a semifinalist for the 2016 Luminaire Award, and his chapbook Gymlationship is now available on Amazon. You can find more about him and his work at: Follow him on twitter @kandrewturner.

Isabel Villalovos is a seventeen-year-old aspiring author, who hopes to become a novelist in the future. She lives in Southern California with her family and too many pets, using her free time to write and read whatever she possibly can, while simultaneously wasting time on tumblr. She is currently finishing up high school and working on her degree in English.

L.C. Walsh is a music industry refugee and a graduate student in psychology. She was a singer/songwriter until a fiction addiction cursed her to the shadowy depths of story. Most Saturday mornings you can find her surrounded by other WriMos at Coffee Connection in Mar Vista with laptop and jalapeño cheese bagel at hand.

Joseph Wilcox lives in Western Colorado with his two children. He earned his MFA at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University. He studied acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Pasadena, California, and is co-founder of Two Chairs Theater Company, which produced original plays in Grand Junction, Colorado, from 2002 to 2010. Recently, for reasons he cannot fully explain (but probably to give himself an excuse to avoid writing), he decided to learn to play the violin.