Guest Bios

Tayson Martindale: Graphic Novelist

TAYSON MARTINDALE is a cartoonist and storyteller located in Edmonton, Alberta. He has self-published several comics including Parker Purr: Cat Adventurer, The Legendary: Winter and Bedtime Tails, as well as being the artist for Active Animals: The Game, and the Thunder Frog series published by Thunder Frog Comics. In 2018 he released his first graphic novel, Box Boy, published through 215 Ink. Tayson loves working with kids and sharing his love of comics and storytelling.

Laura L. Comfort: Author

LAURA COMFORT is a freelance writer whose works include fantasy novels, script writing and educational resources such as Gamed Academy. She has been a guest speaker at schools, youth groups and conferences. Her passions include writing, creating digital artwork and educating wherever she can. Always exploring and trying new things, some of her adventures include skydiving, caving and climbing the Mayan ruins.

Natasha Deen: Author

Award-winning author NATASHA DEEN enjoys visiting schools, libraries and other organizations to help people to find and tell the stories that live inside of them. She also spends a lot of time trying to convince her pets that she’s the boss of the house! Natasha’s latest novel, In the Key of Nira Ghani, is a Junior Library Guild selection, and a Barnes and Noble Top 25 Most Anticipated Own Voices novel, an Indigo Teens Most Anticipated Teen Book, and a CCBC Red Leaf Literature Selection. Visit Natasha at,

Tyler Sehn: Author

TYLER SEHN is an indie author located in Central Alberta. His novels, Daughter of Shadow, Gods of Rua, and Age of the Bloodless, comprise the Epic/Grimdark fantasy trilogy, The Spiritbinder Saga. He has worked with youth in specialized classrooms designed around project based learning as well as hosting workshops to improve youth employability skills. Tyler’s passions include coaching basketball (Go Raptors!), outdoor adventuring, and stories of all forms.

Kate A. Boorman: Author

KATE A. BOORMAN is an award-winning author from Edmonton, with roots in the small town of Rimbey, Alberta. She writes speculative fiction and is fascinated with abandoned places, memory, and the darkest parts of the forest. Her debut novel Winterkill, the first in a YA fantasy series, won the R. Ross Annett Award for Children’s fiction. Her latest novel, the YA thriller What We Buried, has received wide acclaim, including being named O: The Oprah Magazine’s 10 of the Best Young Adult Books You’ll Love in 2019. Kate spends her non-writing time wrangling her family and scheming up travel to faraway lands. Visit her at

 Lorna Schultz Nicholson: Author

LORNA SCHULTZ NICHOLSON has published picture books, middle grade fiction, YA fiction and hockey non-fiction. Many of her books have been nominated for awards. Her novels are about friendships, school, family life, and emotions and feelings. Her non-fiction, to date, is sports related and she recently published an Edmonton best-seller, Grit and Glory: Celebrating 40 Years of the Edmonton Oilers. She conducted some interesting interviews for this book! Lorna lives in Edmonton with her hubbie and two dogs, a whiny bichon shih tzu, and a crazy street dog she rescued from Mexico.  

Karen Spafford-Fitz: Author

KAREN SPAFFORD-FITZ finds humans endlessly fascinating, and she loves writing stories about teens working through real-life challenges. A former junior-high teacher, Karen has presented to thousands of students about the transformative power of books, reading, and writing. Karen can often be found in her Edmonton studio sipping tea, dreaming about her next trip to France, or hanging out with her canine duo known locally as “The Queen and the Rockstar.” Karen is the author of six books for teens, which have been named among “The Year’s Best” by Resource Links Journal and the Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Her newest title, Taking the Lead, was released in September 2019.

Sigmund Brouwer: Author

SIGMUND BROUWER is the author of 20 novels for adults, and dozens of books for children. He visits over 150 schools per year to deliver his Rock and Roll Literacy presentation, reaching about 60,000 students per year. He is Writer In Residence for 80 plus schools through His latest novel, Thief of Glory, was the 2015 Alberta Readers Choice Award winner, and his YA novel, Deadman’s Switch was the 2015 Arthur Ellis best juvenile mystery in Canada.

Joan Marie Galat: Author

JOAN MARIE GALAT was first published at age 12, as a paid newspaper columnist in Sherwood Park. Today she is the award-winning author of more than 20 books including a national best seller—Dot to Dot in the Sky, Stories in the Stars. Often exploring science, Joan writes for a variety of publishers, including National Geographic Kids. Book talks have taken Joan from Australia to a UN event in Seoul. Also a freelance writer/editor, Joan has written speeches, magazine articles, radio programming, video and cartoon scripts, and museum text. When not writing, Joan enjoys gardening and stiltwalking, but not at the same time.

Shea Proulx: Graphic Novelist

SHEA PROULX is a Calgary artist with a BFA from Emily Carr and an MFA from the University of British Columbia. Rather than ’emerging’ as an artist after graduating, Shea cocooned somewhat and started a family. In 2013, after ten stimulating years in Vancouver, Shea, her husband, and their two daughters returned to Calgary, the city she grew up in and the one her willing-to-babysit mother has lived in all her life. With that influx of childcare assistance, Shea self-published an embryology themed adult colouring book called Alice In The Womb, followed by ABC Monstrosity, a book for both preschoolers and their off-beat parents to enjoy. Her first graphic novel, “Alice At Naptime,” was published by Renegade Arts Entertainment this spring, and a full colour version of ABC Monstrosity is set to come out in 2020.

Erika Knudsen: Author

Daring to walk in the shadows, Erika Knudsen never turned back. At an early age, she was intrigued and mesmerized by suspense, horror and drama. The idea of “creatures” coming alive at night was scary and thrilling. Erika resides in the quaint area of Spruce Grove with her husband and daughter where dark urban nights add to her nightmarish and twisting plots.

Jeff Martin: Graphic Novelist

JEFF MARTIN is a graphic novelist from Edmonton. He has written and drawn over ten graphic novels including the popular Hockeypocalypse series. He is also a comics educator with Drawn to Books an Edmonton based, non-profit organization.

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