36 remarkable authors—18 for He Bears the Cape of Stars, 18 for She Wears the Midnight Crown—have come together for this project. These authors have been toiling away on their stories since February 1st, 2022, and we’re currently work with them on edits to get them publication-ready. We’re delighted to share their work with you!
Presenting And Seek (Not) to Alter Me: Queer Fanworks Inspired by William Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing”
Duck Prints Press has launched our second Kickstarter, running now through April 14th, 2022 – And Seek (Not) to Alter Me, a gorgeous collection featuring the work of 16 authors and 16 artists in a full-color, A4 size soft cover size-style book!
Today, we’re highlighting 2 more of our authors…
Author Spotlight: M. K. Mads
Biography: M. K. Mads has been writing stories since she was seven years old. While she is most prolific in fanfiction and has works scattered among more than a dozen fandoms, she has been making strides into original fiction. Her favorite genre to read is romance. When she isn’t reading, writing, or falling headfirst into a new fandom, she can be found baking, walking, doting on her niblings, or playing Pokemon Go.
Story Title: Dear Don Pedro
Tags: getting together, modern setting, polyamory
“Are you going to join us for dinner anytime soon, or are you going to sit there on your computer all night?”
Pedro glanced over to where Beatrice was hanging over the back of the couch. “I’m working, Bea.”
She pouted, but she didn’t try to touch his computer; Pedro was grateful for small miracles.
“Come on. I know for a fact your deadline isn’t until tomorrow afternoon.” She jerked her head toward the kitchen, where Benedick was mixing up a truly gigantic bowl of spaghetti and marinara. “You can stop working for an hour and have a conversation with your friends.”
“You know she’s not going to let it go until you decide to be sociable,” Benedick said. “She’s never learned to take ‘no’ for an answer.”
Beatrice rolled her eyes and shoved off the couch to saunter over to her husband. “And just why might I do that, hm? Might it have anything to do with certain other people in this room who are too stubborn for their own good?”
Benedick caught her hand and kissed it. “No idea what you’re talking about, Bea, my love.”
She yanked her hand back, but her cheeks flushed and she was suppressing a smile. “You’re incorrigible, and I don’t know why I love you.”
Author Spotlight: Nickel J. Keep
Biography: Nickel (they/them) was born in a galaxy far, far away. No. Wait. That’s not their origin story. They currently live in Pennsylvania with two of their three partners, their two children, and a fat, lazy, chonk of a cat named Sphinx. When not writing, Nickel can be found drawing, playing video games, or running Magic: The Gathering tournaments as an L1 judge. They can frequently be found lurking in the Haven, Leverage, and Witcher fandoms.
Tags: friends to lovers, meddling friends, mutual pining, wlw
“It’s not that easy, Claudia.” Hero frowned. “There are people who would harm them just because they love one another.” He nodded towards Bea’s balcony. “She would rather suffer and love Beni from afar than do anything to put her at risk. And, I venture to say, Beni’s the same way about Bea.”
Claudia shook her head. “What a pair of cockeyed broads.” She stood up, nearly throwing Hero off-balance as she got off of his lap. “We’re going to fix this. Beni is my dear friend, and yours. I’ve grown rather fond of Bea, too, and you two are in her corner. The best repayment for helping us love freely and fiercely is to make sure that they can as well!”
“You picked a firecracker, didn’t you, Hero?” Matthew leaned back and shook his head, smiling. “I’m in if you’re in. They got me off the hook as much as did you.”
“Well, then.” Hero looked between his friend and his fiance. “I guess we’re in cahoots. What brainchild are you cooking up, Claudia?”
“I am so glad you asked…”
See our art, read more teasers, peek at our merch, and learn much more about this project by checking out our Kickstarter Campaign!
I’m an illustration and comic artist from Spain. I’ve got a nursing degree, but I decided to pursue my passion. I have studied Illustration at EASD Pablo Picasso in A Coruña and comics at O Garaxe Hermético in Pontevedra. I have done cover art for an anthology called Infiniteca by Retranca Editorial and comics for Altar Mutante, Nai dos Desterrados, and Abraxas en Cuarentena fanzines, as well as in Gaspariño 21 by Retranca Editorial.
I’m Joshua Beeking, an illustrator from Québec City that works in both traditional and digital medias. I have been working on sharpening my skills for over 10 years. I received formal education at Quebec’s O’Sullivan College, where I earned a diploma in 2D/3D Animation and Rendering in 2012. I won first place at the UQAM digital creation contest in 2011 for best character designs.
I’m currently a full time freelance artist with more than 200 commissions completed over the years, and aim to share my little touch of creativity with the world!
I’m a freelance artist currently living in Michigan with my boyfriend and my dog Ringus Mingus (aka Gus). I’ve been doing freelance work for a few years now and am currently working on making a webcomic series about gay Renaissance Faire knights. In my free time, I enjoy reading, playing video games poorly, and baking.
Amy Fincher (she/her) is a producer and artist with over a dozen years of experience in the video game and animation industries. She has contributed to various AAA and indie titles, including the Civilization, XCOM, and Skylanders series. Amy is currently working on Open Roads as Executive Producer. When the mood strikes and time allows, she teaches art classes and takes on art commissions on the side. Her hobbies include learning aerial silks, collecting aesthetically pleasing empty containers, looking at shiny rocks, and taking very long naps.
Taylor C. Fischer
Taylor graduated from the Maryland Institute College of art in 2010. They believe that there are experiences and stories that can connect all of us with the aid of illustration and design. Their previous projects include: Dauntless, Elderscrolls Online, Sid Meier’s: Civilization, League of Legends, and Xcom
Taylor’s continues to create personal work in their free time, but also enjoys raising farm animals, horseback riding, training horses, beekeeping, and lives in their Tiny House on wheels.
Giovanna, or simply Gio, she/her, is a Brazilian artist, working for a long time as illustrator, comic artist and animator. Some of her works are the comics Robocop and Green Hornet, cards for Avatar: The Last Airbender, short animations for advertising and TV shows, and art for games. Since 2016, lives in São Paulo and works for an American game company as Senior Illustrator. Besides the “official” work, she is always working in personal projects, such as independent comics, short animations, illustrations, and fandom works.
Alicia Matheson (she/her), Bi-Demisexual and Elder Millenial circa 1982! Southern California native, currently living in the Pacific Northwest; has been writing and doing digital and traditional art for decades. She also works as an author under the pen name Licie Laine.
I’ve been drawing since my mom first put a crayon in my hand as a way to help express my emotions. This resulted in bedroom walls getting covered in elaborate story-filled murals, and I haven’t really stopped since (though my choice of media has changed a bit). My pronouns are she/her, and I currently I reside in the Toronto area, trying to figure out how to make this comic-making, illustration-drawing thing work. With a strong love for narratives, my primary focus is on making fan art for whatever fandom has me most recently captivated, and trying to create my own queer, nerdy works of fiction to put out in the world.
I am a 30 year old artist from Indiana. After playing Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, I fell in love with the game and with digital art, and haven’t looked back since! I enjoy creating fanart for whatever show, movie, or book series has my attention at the time, ranging from LoZ to the Witcher. I’m always exploring to find new artists to emulate and learn from, and trying new techniques!
Magnolia Porter, 24; I’m an illustrator and painter who enjoys figure expression, both grand and sentimental, what it means to be a creature, and exploiting my exposure to the ideas of holy and unholiness for symbolism material, especially while exploring a mixture thereof (“I’ll tell you my sins so you can sharpen your knife,” anyone?). This will be my first published art, outside of a fandom zine or two. I also dabble in creative writing, though it is not quite my breath and blood like art is. I daydream of fantasy worldbuilding, but unfortunately my troubles with plot have kept those worlds from expanding. Currently, I am in my fourth year of Artfight (go team steampunk!), I cannot stop listening to The Oh Hellos and Will Wood and the Tapeworms, and I am quite looking forward to the new Good Omens series.
I’m a they/them ace-spectrum trash panda with a love for political science and working hard to change the world one act of kindness at a time. I’m a graphic designer by day, a multimedia creator and writer by night, and I’ve been involved with various fandom communities for nearly twenty five years. I live in Portland, OR with my 7 year old son and two cats.
I’m Xanthe, she/they, a 23 year old queer freelance artist based in the United Kingdom. I am primarily a portrait artist who specialises in using portraiture as a way of expressing my love for both the subject and art world in general. I mainly work digitally, although love to dabble in traditional art from time to time (such as pencils, paints, embroidery, etc), and am constantly looking to push the boundaries of what my art can be! I recently graduated with a BA in History of Art, and often will use artists of the past and present as inspirations for my work. My art has been featured in a few primarily online magazines, such as the Kraze and MouthingOff, along with some fan-zine and independent projects.
My work is a mix of fan art and original character designs. I have a wide range of fandoms that I’ve been involved in over the years, but one that has remained consistent (and was also what got me interested in digital art back in 2013) is the Kpop fandom. Fandoms in general have been places where I’ve met a lot of really talented and lovely people who have helped inspire and motivate me as a creative person! I also have a love for music and writing, and have written a lot of my own music and stories in my spare time. Being creative has always been a big and happy part of my life, and I love being able to share that creativity with the world!
Casei is a self-taught artist from Florida, USA. She is known for her impressionist fanart and her minimalist pride merch. For work, she designs and mocks up merch for clients. She doesn’t care about her pronouns.
I am a Luxembourg/Europe-based Media Writer. My preferred pronouns are she/her. I’ve never had an art piece published before, but a small screenplay made it into my university’s 10th anniversary anthology.
Growing up, art and literature were my passion. As an absolute language nerd, I went on to study English Literature and Linguistics with a heavy focus on Shakespeare, with Sociology as a Minor. Later, I switched to a BTS (“Brevet de Technicien Supérieur”) in Media Writing, which focused more on content creation for various outlets of media, be that visual, audio, print, online, film, journalism…what have you.
Drawing and painting have always been my preferred ways of expressing myself. I was gifted my first set of coloured pencils when I was three years old. Since then, there’s practically always been some sort of drawing utensil in my hand. I love to play with lighting, and my favourite scenes to depict are heartfelt moments with much emotion. I started drawing fan art when I was a teenager, and I am still enjoying it tremendously to this day. Outside of fandom, I like to draw and paint horses, especially in movement, and landscapes. I specialise in digital art but I want to get back into watercolour and gouache.
At the moment, my main fandom is “The Untamed”, or “The Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation”. Outside of that, I enjoy Marvel movies, fantasy/YA novels, and French poetry. When I’m not working or drawing, you can catch me crocheting or preparing some kind of food, which I love to share with my long-term partner.
I’m a disaster pansexual woman, and a fresh graduate with my bachelors degree but absolutely no direction! Despite that, I don’t remember a breath in which I wasn’t creating stories in my mind. Weaving together worlds has always felt like just a different way for me to understand the human condition and to connect with others on a deeper, more spiritual level, and I never want to give it up. I crave quiet, relatable tales about the connection and love between people in whatever form that takes, and how people work through the tribulations that may come about from that intimacy. I am currently residing in the Midwest of the United States with my Palestinian family, our puppy Charles, and our lovely chickens, with a particular affinity of poetry, spending time with friends, and typing away on my laptop in our local cafe.
Juno is a queer woman in her thirties living in France; she teaches ESL and English literature. She’s been involved in fandom, mostly through writing fanfiction, for twenty years — first on forums and privately hosted websites, then on LiveJournal and FanFiction.Net, and now on Tumblr and AO3. She’s mostly into Asian dramas these days; other interests include foreign languages, true crime, and coffee.
Well, if I actually think about it carefully, it has probably been longer than that. I do remember writing a story on MS Paint when my age was still single digits. I could have used Word but Paint was funnier, it let me draw my scenes there too.
So maybe I should rephrase it: I have been a fanfic writer for over 20 years. There, that looks a bit better. I wrote a few originals too, but those never saw the light of day. They will, eventually.
I like to write about characters and their development. I like to write about feelings and struggles and how complicated life can be even when it looks so simple. I like to write epic love stories that don’t always have a happy ending. But most often they do.
I will, one day, write a dystopian series that I’ve been plotting for over a decade. One day, certainly one day. Aside from being a writer, I’m a reader, an opinionated mind, an Aries, an immigrant, a coffee lover, and a night owl that has been forced to conform to the social norm of waking up early only to become a “Morgenmuffel.”
I am passionate, energetic, lazy, and sarcastic. I’m a CrazyCatLady in the making, a food lover that cannot cook, the Man™ my grandma wanted me to marry, and a happy soul in my own shoes.
And, above all, I am weird. I am queer. And so damn proud of it.
Aria L. Deair is an author who has been writing, and (while cursing her excessive comma usage) publishing fanfiction online for more than sixteen years. Freelance writer by day, and author every other hour that she isn’t sleeping, she spends her days courting carpal tunnel and “forgetting” to wear her wrist brace.
As a proud member of more fandoms than she can count, Aria can be found blogging about some of the writing that she is avoiding doing at arialerendeair.tumblr.com.
Like a dragon with her hoard, she can be found in her New Hampshire apartment, surrounded by notebooks (most of which are empty), half-filled mugs of tea, and some of the comfiest blankets that have ever existed. Disturb her at your own risk, especially during NaNo Season.
Adrian Harley is an almost-lifelong North Carolinian and a fantasy fiction aficionado who didn’t start delving deep into fandom until adulthood. In an effort to reduce the number of unread books in their hoard, they have recently started reviewing books they possess at booksinmyhouse.dreamwidth.org. They are an editor of research by day and an aspiring novelist, also by day. They go to bed early. They live in Raleigh, NC, with their husband and a perfectly reasonable number of cats.
R. L. Houck is a 40 yr old woman who uses she/her pronouns. She resides in Virginia with her wife, two dogs, and six cats. She has been writing creatively for as long as she can remember, but this anthology will be her first original publication.
Hayley Hyde is a chaotic neutral writer and visual artist. Having recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English Writings, she currently works as a freelance copywriter, while also fumbling about in her pursuit of a TV writing career. As a former writing center tutor, Hayley knows no bliss quite like tutees coming in with fiction assignments. She’s currently busy being a big ol’ lesbian in Philadelphia.
Lucy K.R. (she/her) is technically in existence. Every time she is free, she writes. Sometimes, when she is not free, she writes anyway. Therefore, she has taken it upon herself to pursue an authorial career rather than shirking responsibilities in search of the writing time she needs. She is fortunate to be joined by her enthusiastic fiancée Tomo, a loving OG family, and a lively found family as well.
Though a new name in original fiction, she boasts a couple publications in local newspaper Flagpole, and has done some writing for board and video games. Most notably, her work will be featured in the upcoming board game Mageling: Rise of the Ancient Ones. She maintains an eager following for her Final Fantasy VII fanfictions, and in the past year began writing in the Heaven Official’s Blessing universe as well to warm responses.
She comes to writing with a background in upright bass performance, a general interest in most things, and little relevant experience. She is the kind of person who enjoys learning one piece of information about everything without ever acquiring a specialty. In her written works Lucy K. enjoys exploring the fragility and endurance inherent in humanity, the effects of trauma on relationships, and the paradoxical brotherhood of confinement and freedom in society.
She would like to acknowledge that she has never written a biographical statement that did not turn out weird, beg your indulgence, and express her hope that you enjoy her work in this anthology. The people at Duck Prints Press have been a delight, and she is deeply grateful to be included.
Nickel (they/them) was born in a galaxy far, far away. No. Wait. That’s not their origin story. They currently live in Pennsylvania with two of their three partners, their two children, and a fat, lazy, chonk of a cat named Sphinx. When not writing, Nickel can be found drawing, playing video games, or running Magic: The Gathering tournaments as an L1 judge. They can frequently be found lurking in the Haven, Leverage, and Witcher fandoms.
M.K. Mads has been writing stories since she was seven years old. While she is most prolific in fanfiction and has works scattered among more than a dozen fandoms, she has been making strides into original fiction. Her favorite genre to read is romance. When she isn’t reading, writing, or falling headfirst into a new fandom, she can be found baking, walking, doting on her niblings, or playing Pokemon Go.
Nova Mason spent a significant portion of her childhood fantasizing about dragons, spaceships, and other worlds. She is now, allegedly, a grown-up, with two kids, and more varied interests. Dragons, spaceships, and other worlds are still pretty high in the list, though.
A. Reilly is an avid reader, and has been writing stories as long as they can remember. Around eight years old, they saved up their allowance one nickel and dime at a time to buy a typewriter — which they still have, although they mostly use a Mac now. Adaille joined the fanfic and fanart scene in 2018 after years in the Supernatural fandom, and has been hooked on the community ever since.
Hi! I’m Notte (she/they). I’ve been a writer since I was 12 years old, which is when I started reading fanfiction and almost immediately felt compelled to write some, too. I started in the Percy Jackson fandom, then moved through various medias until my stories started becoming so AU they were practically my own. While I’ve never published original fiction before, I’ve been publishing fanfiction steadily over the last decade across various usernames and have published articles under my given name for multiple genres: interview, research, and more. I’ve also begun songwriting, and recently had one of my songs incorporated into a video game!
My fiction writing tends towards introspective, character-driven short stories, often laden with metaphor and double meanings. I love flowery imagery and poetic prose, and making characters suffer in the name of growth. More than that, I love using fiction as a way to connect with others: both through the text and through the process of writing. I’ve been running a fandom server for the past two years to build community and support other fanfic writers. I’ve also run two to three prompt months per year, and I’m excited to take on the beta and co-head mod role for a current zine!
When I’m not writing, I’m studying (for grad school, for a future medical school, for research work). Any time after that goes into reading as much as possible, or recently, graphic design, as I start creating graphics to enhance the quality of my events. I love talking to people who want to talk to me, and I will sleep anytime I’m presented with a soft surface to lay on (and sometimes even without). I can’t wait to share my work with you, thank you for taking the time to read it!
Theresa Tanner (she/her): My father’s family was in newspaper journalism, and he taught me how to get to the heart of a story and how to proofread. My mom was an Army doctor, and her family included a long history of educators. I grew up to teach high school science and write stories, so I’d like to think both sides would be proud of me. When I retire from teaching, I plan to pursue writing as my second full-time career. When not teaching or writing, I enjoy playing with my cat, video games, knitting, listening to music, streaming TV, and, of course, reading. I live in West Texas now, but have lived in Maryland and Germany and traveled through much of the United States and Western Europe.
I’ve written several novels with the help of NaNoWriMo, although none are yet published. I have several hundred works on Archive of Our Own, primarily in the Supernatural and Yuri!!! on Ice fandoms. I currently also enjoy Miraculous Ladybug, Marvel Cinematic Universe, Boku no Hero Academia, Star Wars, Star Trek, Mass Effect, and The Lord of the Rings.
K.B. Vimes lives in West Virginia with his fiance and their six cats, four frogs, three lizards, one frog, and a number of fish. In his spare time he makes paper craft, takes long walks with his fiance, and visits state parks. He’s been writing since he was old enough to hold a pencil, and for years has told stories to anyone willing to hold still long enough to listen.
Lyn Weaver has been writing fanfiction for over a decade and original fiction for even longer. Her preferred genres are fantasy and horror and her preferred tropes are ‘enemies to lovers’ and anything to do with identity issues. She won’t read a story if something bad happens to the cat.
Nicole has been publishing her writing for the public since she first stumbled into fanfiction back in 2007, when a college friend introduced her to the concept through the world of Final Fantasy VIII slash fiction. Since then, it’s been a roller coaster ride straight through dozens of fandoms, eventually leading to original content published through a variety of means. She’s in her mid-thirties, uses she/her pronouns, and more recently has discovered an intense affection for playing Dungeons and Dragons.
Cat currently lives in California with her succulent Teddy. She published her first novel by the name of “Guardian” with the pseudonym Ann O. Nemos (after reading too much Agatha Christie) at the age of 14. Besides writer, she enjoys fiber crafts and swimming.