Biographies

Tom Durwood
Tom Durwood

Tom Durwood is a teacher, writer and editor with an interest in history. Tom most recently taught English Composition and Empire and Literature at Valley Forge Military College, where he won the Teacher of the Year Award five times. Tom has taught Public Speaking and Basic Communications as guest lecturer for the Naval Special Warfare Development Group at the Dam’s Neck Annex of the Naval War College.

Tom has followed his interest in history, literature and empire into several ambitious ventures. He is editor and publisher of an online scholarly journal, Empire Studies Magazine (www.empirestudies.org). Peter Suber, Berkman Fellow at Harvard University, an advocate of the open access movement, praises Empire Studies as “a new opportunity for overcoming access barriers to knowledge and research.” Dr. Julian Fisher of Scholarly Exchange has also applauded Tom’s efforts. “Creating valuable academic content and then hiding it behind financial firewalls—the traditional scholarly publishing model—runs counter to the essence of scholarship, learning and sharing,” according to Fisher. “To see Empire Studies breaking that mold is exciting.” The magazine features interviews with a diverse group of scholars, including Anne Knowles, Mark Bowden, Tabish Khair and Jane Tompkins, among many others, and currently posts over forty features

Empire and Literature, Tom’s ebook, matches global works of film and fiction to specific quadrants of empire, finding surprising parallels. Literature, film, art and architecture are viewed against the rise and fall of empire. In a foreword to Empire and Literature, postcolonial scholar Dipesh Chakrabarty of the University of Chicago calls it “imaginative and innovative.” Prof. Chakrabarty writes that “Durwood has given us a thought-provoking introduction to the humanities.”

Tom’s ambitious new historical fiction series has earned positive reviews from early readers. “This has all the makings of a wonderful literary property,” writes Sherri Smith of Park Road Books. “It’s like The Da Vinci Code meets Kidnapped.” Gina Glenn of Malaprop Bookstore offers, “It’s a clever premise, to have teenaged heroes coming of age and changing history, aided by the mysterious Society of Navigators … I place the writing with Steve Berry, Bernard Cornwell, A J Hartley, and even a little Dan Brown.”

Tom’s newspaper column “Shelter” appeared in the North County Times for seven years. Tom earned a Masters in English Literature in San Diego, where he also served as Executive Director of San Diego Habitat for Humanity.

Serena Malyon
Serena Malyon

Serena Malyon is a promising young Canadian illustrator who brings a textured storybook quality to her subjects. Serena’s work has been published by Simon and Schuster, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Orca Books, Tor, Annick Press and Usborne publishers, among others.

Her work “Erebor” has been recognized by the Chesley Awards and Spectrum Fantastic Art. She is the winner of the Communication Art Illustration Annual Award of Excellence. Her work had been featured in outlets from Wired, MyModernMet and io9. She was named one of Muddy Colors’ Rising Stars in 2014.

Serena’s detailed compositions blend folk imagery with rich colors in a style informed by medieval tapestries and the golden age of illustration.

Niklas Frostgard
Niklas Frostgard

Niklas Frostgard brings the mood and mystery of his native Sweden to his distinctive compositions. Nikolas’ sophisticated work combines traditional drawing and painting values with a modern, elliptic tone. He lends a haunting quality to “The Boatman’s Daughter,” a story with its share of sad moments and bittersweet victories.

At the start of 2016, Nikolas quit his job as a Concept Artist at a game development studio in Stockholm to begin writing and illustrating a novel. A selection of his work can be found at Frostgard.se.

Kevin Fleeman
Kevin Fleeman

Kevin Fleeman is a rising talent in digital illustration and concept design. His Feudal Japan: The Shogunate recently won an Art Station Keyframe Concept Art award. Kevin has worked with Game of Games and Disney Imagineering, where he learned the VFX pipelines and software. He spent two years working on the media content for Disneyworld’s Avatar: Flight of Passage.

Oliver Ryan
Oliver Ryan

Oliver Ryan is a concept artist working at London’s Moon Studios, where he had helped create such game worlds as Ori and the Blind Forest. An artist equally at home with figures as well as landscapes, Oliver combines traditional painterly values of mood, form and dramatic lighting with cinematic angles and movement.