(“Massey” is not pronounced “macy,” by the way. Think of “mass” instead.)
I was born June 9, 1973, in Waukegan, Illinois. I grew up in Zion, a suburb north of Chicago.
I originally self-published Thunderland, my first novel, in 1999. After managing to sell a few thousand copies on my own, Kensington Publishing Corp. in New York offered me a two-book contract, and published a new, revised edition of Thunderland in December 2002.
Since then, I’ve published up to three books a year, ranging from thriller novels such as The Other Brother, to short story collections such as Twisted Tales, and anthologies such as Dark Dreams.
My newest thriller, In the Dark, was published in November 2013.
I’ve got plenty more stories in the works that I’ll publish in the coming years.
I live with my family near Atlanta, GA.
Dawud Anyabwile is an Emmy Award Wining artist, illustrator and co-creator of the groundbreaking Comic Book Series, Brotherman: Dictator of Discipline.
He and his brother Guy A. Sims, the writer and co-creator of Brotherman Comics, are pioneers of the contemporary Independent Black Comic Book movement. Selling over 750,000 copies in the early 1990's without a major distributor and are currently working on a prequel graphic novel called "Brotherman: Revelation". Dawud Anyabwile has shared his artistic talent with major companies such as Cartoon Network, Turner Studios, NBA TV, Nickelodeon, Harper Collins Publishing, Scholastic and many others as a character designer, storyboard artist, illustrator and concept artist.
Dawud has received numerous awards and accolades throughout his career including the Key to Kansas City for Outstanding Service to Children and was nominated for the Will Eisner Award - Best Artist category at the San Diego Comic Con in 1992.
Dawud has also been acknowledged, recognized and interviewed on television, radio and print media with BET News, America's Most Wanted 1992, CBS News Nightwatch 1993, USA Today, Essence Magazine, Vibe Magazine, LA Times, Atlanta Journal & Constitution, Chicago Tribune, Ebony Man Magazine, PARENTING, Black Enterprise Magazine and a host of others.
Keep an eye out for Dawud's latest work in the form of a graphic novel entitled, MONSTER. This book has already been recognized in the New York times and it is adapted from the New York Times Best Selling Novel, MONSTER by the late Walter Dean Myers. Published by the world reknowned publishing house, Harper Collins. This book is slated to hit the shelves on October 15, 2015.
Dawud was born by the name of David Sims and raised in Philadelphia, PA where he developed his love for art, culture, science fiction and music appreciation.
As a native Philadelphian, Dawud aspires to continue the city legacy that produced great artists like the Delphonics, The O'jays, The Spinners, Patti LaBelle, Phyllis Hyman, Teddy Pendergrass, Lou Rawls, Hall & Oates, Will Smith, Jill Scott, Musiq Soulchild and Boyz II Men. When Dawud is not working on his illustrations, he is busy volunteering, teaching art classes to young students, giving lectures and participating in community events.
Daniel Flores (DTM, DaCreativeGenius) is a Mexican-American (Chicano) multidisciplinary Artist with 20 years experience in Graphic Design, Web Development, Concept Artist, Vector Illustration and Traditional Arts in Pencils and Acrylic. One title: A Creative Genius.
Ever since arriving in Atlanta in 1994, DTM has been involved in the art community starting with group art shows as Curator of the Mano A Mano Art Exhibit Series. DTM won Creative Loafing’s Best of Atlanta Tattoo Studio award in 2002 and been featured in magazines and online interviews including a bit on the 2012 July issue of ImagineFX Magazine.
Since 2004, DTM has participated in over 25 group ArtShows in the Atlanta Area. He's a founding member of Art Is King and current curator of the free monthly MeetUps designed to bridge the gap between creative skills and business education to empower the artist to thrive.
In 2011, DTM jumped into acting with The Walking Dead on AMC for one episode and since then he’s been featured in several movies (Triple Nine, Let’s Be Cops and DayBlack) and TV shows (Constantine, Complications and If Loving You Is Wrong) as a mean looking dude.
DTM’s most recent project is the Vector Maestros series of online courses designed to share his Adobe Illustrator and Digital Drawing knowledge to students worldwide.
DTM supports the Arts Community where ever there’s an artist!
Sheree Renée Thomas is a 2016 Tennessee Arts Fellow and was honored as the 2015 Lucille Geier Lakes Writer-in-Residence at Smith College. Her book, Shotgun Lullabies: Stories & Poems (Aqueduct Press, Conversation Pieces Vol. 28), was described by novelist Arthur Flowers as "a wondrous work like Jean Toomer's Cane." A fiction writer, editor, and poet based in Memphis, Sheree was also honored as a Cave Canem Poetry Fellow and a New York Foundation of the Arts Fiction Fellow.
Her work is published in Callaloo, Smith College's Meridians, Mythic Delirium, Obsidian: Literature of the African Diaspora, StorySouth, Harvard's Transition, The New York Times,The Washington Post, and in anthologies such as Nikky Finney's The Ringing Ear (University of Georgia Press), Nalo Hopkinson's Mojo: Conjure Stories (Warner/Hachette),Memphis Noir (Akashic Press), Stories for Chip: A Tribute to Samuel R. Delany (Rosarium Publishing), Bum Rush the Page: A Def Poetry Jam (Crown Books), Circe's Lament(Accents Publishing), The Moment of Change: Feminist Speculative Poetry (Aqueduct Press), 80! Memories & Recollections of Ursula K. Le Guin (Aqueduct Press), and So Long Been Dreaming: Postcolonial Science Fiction and Fantasy (Consortium Publishing). Sheree edited the groundbreaking anthologies, Dark Matter: A Century of Speculative Fiction from the African Diaspora and Dark Matter: Reading the Bones (Warner/Hachette, 2001 & 2005 World Fantasy Awards). A Clarion West '99 grad, Sheree's writing received Honorable Mention in The Year's Best Fantasy & Horror (vol. 16-17), and was nominated for two Pushcart Prizes, and two Rhysling Awards.
Read her new work forthcoming in the anthologies, An Alphabet of Embers (Stone Bird Press) and Ghost Fishing: An Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology (University of Georgia Press).
Speech was born Todd Thomas in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The youngest of parents Robert & Patricia Thomas. He grew up on two sides of life: the ghetto of Milwaukee (one of the nation’s roughest cities for African Americans) and (Wauwatosa) Milwaukee's suburbia. Speech learned how to draw from the pains and beauty of both. He would absorb the plights of his people and yet the retreat of middle class blacks to primarily white neighborhoods.
Speech experienced hardcore racism as a young boy. He also lost his grandmother to a heart attack and his older brother, Terrence Thomas to an Asthma attack all within the same week. Through God’s help, he ultimately learned how to recalibrate his inner anger through constructive and dynamic music. To celebrate the lives of those he lost. Speech wrote the song Tennessee as a dedication to his family. In the early nineties Speech and his mother started the Terrence Thomas Scholarship dedicated to his brother. In 2013, the scholarship is still helping many young black students further their educations.
With this background, Speech started the music group, Arrested Development. The group is based in Georgia, from humble and rural beginnings; they became a pioneering force in the music world. Arrested Development received two Grammy Awards (Best new artists & Best rap single 1993) for the album, 3 years, 5 months and 2 days in the life of..." Their second album "Zingalamaduni" was met with critical acclaim and nominated for a Grammy.
However, All the success and accolades were not enough to prevent a rift in the group that would see them split five years after they had formed. After a much needed break and time to re group, Speech re emerged onto the scene and signed a solo record deal with EMI. He spent days and nights in the studio, experimenting with new sounds and styles. Several months later he released his first single "Like Marvin Gaye Said" The track went to #1 on the Japanese Tokio 100 charts for 7 weeks straight! Speech toured with Vice President Al Gore and Hillary Clinton during the Clinton reelection campaign, plus tours with Hootie & the Blowfish, Herbie Hancock, Chaka Khan, Youssou N'dour, James Brown, Parliament - Funkadelic, Jason Mraz, and The Roots. (Speech and Arrested Development also lent their voices and support when the now President, Barack Obama was campaigning to become The President). Speech has released 5 solo albums since 1996 all of which have spawned Top 10 hit singles in Japan. His album "Spiritual People" released in 2000 was certified Gold in that country. It was also awarded the Best black music album of the year 2000 by ADLIB magazine. Speech supported each album with sold out tours and intense promotional schedules.
In 2000, Speech and Arrested Development began performing together again delighting audiences all over the world with their positive and up lifting brand of hip hop. In 2005 Speech became an ordained minister with the Churches of Christ.. Speech says, "My most proud achievement is my marriage to Yolanda, (we've been together over 17 years), our two children Jahi and Zoe Thomas and my faith in Jesus, which is my biggest strength & guidance Speech maintains an incredibly busy lifestyle which includes, performing with Arrested Development, solo performances, special collaborations; a weekly radio broadcast called “Musical Safari and writing and producing several music projects per year.
He hosts a biweekly industry event in Atlanta called the Mixtape Mixer and organizes a yearly convention called the A&E convention. In addition, Speech and family own and operate a corn business, a juice business and an African American newspaper in Milwaukee, called the Milwaukee Community Journal.