METAIRIE – NOLA ParaCon, a full-day literary festival focusing on the paranormal – science fiction, fantasy and horror – will occur from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 6, at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon, Metairie.

This event is free of charge and is open to the public.

NOLA ParaCon Agenda

9:30 – 11 a.m.
Screen Writing with Steven Scaffidi

Steven Scaffidi is known for producing, directing and shooting films and documentaries, most notably, The People’s Story: The Devastation of Central America, which was recognized as a winner at the New York, Houston and Telluride Independent Film Festivals and was entered in the 2000 Academy Awards.  His latest documentary project, Forgotten on the Bayou: Rockey’s Mission to the White House, follows a Katrina survivor who towed his FEMA trailer to Washington, D.C. to have dinner with President Bush. The film received the Humanitarian Vision Award at the Newport Beach Film Festival and won for Best Documentary Feature Film at the Moondance International Film Festival in Hollywood, the First Glance Philadelphia Film Festival and the Ozone Film Festival. After graduating from film school at the University of New Orleans, Steven produced and promoted concerts featuring such artists as Roy Orbison, Gladys Knight, Humble Pie, George Jones and many more.  His production company, Ghost Rider Pictures, has been in business since 1990.

11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
“Science Fiction and Fantasy in New Orleans” with Ed Branley and Brandon Black

Edward Branley is a writer, teacher, historian, and computer nerd. He graduated from Brother Martin High School and received a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education from the University of New Orleans. Branley is author of six books on New Orleans and two young adult novels, Dragon’s Danger and Dragon’s Discovery. Branley grew up reading sword-and-sorcery stories, and now spends a lot of time wandering around New Orleans, looking for Teleport Gateways, wondering where Magickal duels were held.

Brandon Black is a new voice in the field of steampunk and gaslamp fantasy fiction, and New Orleans-based fantasy and science fiction. Black has a bachelor’s degree in military and political journalism, and a master’s of fine arts degree in creative writing. His most recent story, The Night Mississippi Declared War on the Moon, was published in Dark Oak Press’ Capes and Clockwork II. His short fiction has appeared in Dark Oak Press’ Dreams of Steam III and Seventh Star Press’ A Chimerical World: Tales of the Seelie Court. Black lives with his guardian and protector, Battle-cat Princess Kaleidoscope, in New Orleans.

12:45 – 2 p.m.
“Paranormal Romance, Where Is It Going?” With Alexandra Weis, Lila Felix, Jae Dawn and Gillian Zane

Alexandrea Weis is the author of more than a dozen novels, including the Corde Noire series, the Satyr’s Curse series, the Cover to Cover series, and the Nicci Beauvoir series. She is an advanced practice registered nurse who was born and raised in New Orleans. Having been brought up in the motion picture industry, she learned to tell stories from a different perspective and began writing at the age of eight. She believes that creating vivid characters makes a story moving and memorable. A permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, Weis rescues orphaned and injured wildlife. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans.

Jae Dawn is the author of Ashes of Betrayal (The Magicis Chronicles #1), Shades of Dreams (The Magicis Chronicles #2), and Phoenix Always. She is a South Louisiana native who lives in Baton Rouge. She is a volunteer for Magic Happens Rabbit Rescue but is a mom to five rescue cats. She says she suffers from wanderlust, dreams of traveling the world, living in England, and operating a rescue for Manx and bobtail cats. She boasts an ever-growing collection of vampire items including clothes, posters, toys, collectables, movies, books, and everything in between.

Dawn Chartier grew up in New Orleans where her parents owned a bookshop. Her latest release, Forever Charmed won the Crowned Heart of Excellence by InD’tale Magazine. Her novels, His Wicked Desire and Bewitching the Enemy were nominated for RONE awards, and several of her novels have placed in various Romance Writers of America contests. She is working on a romance set on the bayou.

Gillian Zane is an Amazon bestselling author specializing in dark genre fiction for adults. She defines herself by the city she was raised in, New Orleans. She’s tried moving away a few times but always comes back. At the age of ten, she decided she would be a writer and has been determined ever since. She has served in the military, worked as a bartender, became a cog in the corporate marketing wheel as a person “that makes things pretty” and has been laid off too many times to count. She currently writes full-time, but still continues to “make things pretty” by designing book covers and websites for her fellow authors and bloggers.