Maria Reeves: I was born and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska. I grew up at Gold Dredge No. 8 and swam through college. My experience as an Alaskan and swimmer has greatly influenced my craft because I love writing about Alaska and helping others become better swimmers. I formed Gold Fever Press in 2009 and have published two books, “Alaska Gold: The History of Gold Dredge No. 8,” and “Triathletes Swim First: 100+ Beginning Swim Workouts for Triathletes.” I wrote my first book during my husband’s first deployment. I was very passionate about my job as a swim coach, but the army stationed us out of state, so I founded waterbloggedtriathlete.com with two of my teammates from college and currently work with triathletes. I am very homesick for Alaska and can’t wait to live there again.
I have three children aged three and under, and I love spending my days with them. We read every day. “Midnight Mammoth,” was inspired by my eldest when we switched him to a toddler bed and he figured out that he didn’t “need” to sleep at nap time. Instead of his nap, we set out some pens and crayons and went to work. I texted my family excerpts of the story that afternoon and they loved it – more than anything else I have ever shared with them. I realized I had something pretty special and told my editor I wanted to switch focus from the book we had been working on to “Midnight Mammoth.” I’ve always wanted to write children’s books, and now my dream is becoming a reality. Thank you for your interest in my project!
Madara Mason: I’m a painter living and working in the Arctic. I make art because I believe there is much more to the human experience than that which can be expressed in words. I make art because I believe that people are looking not for decorative objects, but experiences that open us to the mystery that surrounds us. My technique is tightly woven with the reasons why I create art in the first place. For me, that mystery and verbal transcendence comes through contemplating animals, the natural universe, and our relationship to the narratives that frame those things.
My current body of work is often comprised of transparent layers, erasures, and small iterative marks (usually made with acrylic markers, my fingers, or small brushes) that represent both text-like speech and symbols from weather and nautical maps. Animals and masks, my subject matter, are characters in these landscapes and their edges are often tightly integrated into the landscape through the use of those iterative marks. In the best cases, one is struck by the idea that we are part of many integrated relationships and the mystery of the universe is comical, weird, and strangely beautiful, even if we can’t always figure out where the boundaries are.
Michael Berrie: Life is made up of stories—and if I’m lucky mine could someday fill an anthology. I was born and raised in a small Christmas-town outside of Fairbanks, Alaska and spent much of my childhood playing in piles of pay dirt with Maria’s youngest sisters. I’ve been making up stories for as long as I’ve been able to make sentences and have been making art in some form or another for just as long. I have lived in three states and two countries and have traveled around the world adding chapters of excitement to my life as I go. Some of my research on museum communication and meaning-making practices was published in the academic journal Museological Review, and I have a deep interest in the way stories—facts, histories, fantasies—shape our lives. Now that I’ve finished (for now) my foray into academia, I’m thrilled to be returning my focus back to fiction both personally, as an author, and professionally as an editor here at Gold Fever Press.
When I’m not here enjoying last looks at the brilliant writing that comes through on its way to publication, I work as a marketing associate at a nonprofit musical theatre company in Oregon and as a freelancer in graphic design, writing and editing. If I’m not paying the bills I can almost certainly be found reading, writing, playing board games or daydreaming up my next big adventure. All while drinking a cup of tea, of course.
Contact Michael at berriemichaels.wix.com/connect