Merrie Destefano left a 9-to-5 desk job to become a full-time freelance editor and novelist, writing science fiction and fantasy. With 20 years of experience in publishing, her background ranges from award-winning graphic designer and illustrator to editor of Victorian Homes magazine and founding editor of Cottages & Bungalows magazine. She currently lives in Southern California with her husband, their German shepherds, and a Siamese cat.
Michael Butkus was trained at Otis Parsons in Los Angeles and the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. He has taught illustration and rendering techniques, along with character design and visual development, to art industry professionals and commercial art students. Michael has worked on more than 2,500 films in the areas of advertising, movie poster art, set design, and character design. Michael also invented and illustrated hundreds of characters for Lucasfilms' Shadow of the Empire. Clients include Paramount, Warner Brothers, Universal, Disney, DreamWorks, and LucasArts, as well as a number of toy companies that employ his imaginative creations and conceptual renderings for product design. Michael lives in Los Angeles, CA.