About The Authors

Ruth Lampi has been writing since she could first articulate the adventures of her imaginary friends, and drawing since she could grip a crayon.  She earned a BFA in Fine Art from Moore College of Art and Design, where she created figurative and architectural sculptures in clay, paper, wax, and welded steel.  After graduation she continued to work with clay, and traveled the nation with money from the Von Hess fellowship, meeting potters and visiting the breathtaking landscapes of the American West and Southwest, whose lines and colors influenced her visual style.

Ruth is both a published writer and illustrator. Her illustration credits include character portraits for White Silver Publishing’s Chronicles of Ramlar, interior art for Machine Age Productions’ Maschine Zeit and Amaranthine, and for the two BadAss Fairies anthologies.  For Goodman Games, she has written several adventure modules and co-authored Heroes’ Handbook: Eladrin.  Most recently, her writing has appeared in Foreshadows: The Ghost of Zero.

Ruth’s artwork can also be found on her portfolio site Worlds Within.

Jessica Van Oort is a writer, editor, dancer, teacher, and researcher.  She has a BA in dance from Hope College and an Ed. M and a Ph. D from Temple University, where she taught in the Boyer College of Music and Dance.  She researches performance styles from throughout history, including Baroque court dance, the sacred performances of medieval nuns and beguines, and early twentieth century social dance forms like the Charleston and the Lindy Hop.

Jessica has written for such varied publications as the scholarly journal Dance Chronicle, Goodman Games’ Hero’s Handbook: Eladrin, and Foreshadows: The Ghosts of Zero.  She does professional editing for both fiction and non-fiction.  She reads and translates Latin and Middle High German as well as modern German, and is also a costumer.

Ruth and JessRuth and Jessica grew up in rural Wisconsin, and have been writing together since they were the age of the characters in the Blackfeather Chronicles.  Ruth invented the prototypes of the Blackfeather children and their friends when she was thirteen.  Together, Ruth and Jessica directed and acted in a play, wrote and/or outlined an unlikely number of novels, and indulged in a great deal of cartography, world building and costume design.  Today they reside in Vermont and continue with these pursuits while also living a nomadic existence as vendors at anime, sci-fi and fantasy conventions.

The worlds you’ll find imagined here are our own, but are influenced by what we love.   In no particular order, some of our favorite writers are Dorothy L. Sayers, Lloyd Alexander, Lois McMaster Bujold, Patricia McKillip, Madeline L’Engle, Ursula Le Guin, and of course C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien.  Ruth confesses a childhood love of Astrid Lindgren and Carol Ryrie Brink, and Jessica fondly remembers Brian Jacques’ Redwall books and Joan Aiken’s Midnight is a Place.  Ruth’s artistic influences include Caspar David Friedrich, Alan Lee, and Howard Pyle, but most especially the fairy tale illustrations of Trina Schart Hyman.

Together the two of us have accumulated many worlds to share.

3 thoughts on “About The Authors

  1. Congratulations on your new website!
    The Tembelaka Voyage is getting back with our favorite characters!
    But the navigation could be just a tad better- perhaps just “previous” and “next”
    buttons would take away the confusion.
    It’s hard to tell when there is a new piece of the story to read.

    1. Glad to hear that you continue to read! The website, unfortunately, does need to be a little more complicated now because it has bits from several stories on it, not just the Blackfeather Chronicles, and is also about to begin hosting a writing blog. However, if you just want to follow Tembelaka and not worry about the other stuff, you can easily navigate to it via the dropdown menu on the top navigation bar. The Blackfeather Chronicles has drop-downs for all three books. Conversely, you could bookmark the Tembelaka page, http://worldofshandor.com/category/blackfeather-chronicles/tembelaka-voyage/ and just go straight there instead of the home page. There, you’ll always see the newest chapter right at the top.

  2. Hi!

    I met one-Ruth, I think-of you at AnimeNext and bought both Blackfeather books. I was off of work yesterday and spent the day reading both of them. They are utterly charming in the way of the best young adult adventure stories. I could definitely imagine The Alarna Affair becoming a movie along the lines of A Series of Unfortunate Events. Actually, both series feel very steampunk to me, and I think your books would fit right in at any steampunk or hardcore fantasy conventions.

    Also, I read your biographies, and it’s nice to see other people who list Lloyd Alexander as an influence instead of JK Rowling. I was the girl who promised to suggest a few young adult novels, such as Patricia C. Wrede and Vivian Vande Velde. Both can go from haunting, to bittersweet, to full-blown comedic within the same story. Of course, Terry Pratchett has some lesser known YA fictioin that’s just as brilliant as any of his more famous works. If you want a stand-alone, he recently finished one called Nation. Wizard’s Hall is an almost unknown book I loved so much in 5th grade that I found it and bought it after I’d become and adult. (Supposedly.) Howl’s Moving Castle, too. I have more suggestions, but I’ll leave it there for now.

    Anyway, I just wanted to say that I’m greatly looking forward to the next Blackfeather book. Oh, and Jon and Ellea are absolutely adorable, as is Djaren’s crush on Kara.

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