Oakley's solstice: Fantasy writers gather in the gloom

It may be early to call it the solstice, but the dark forces are converging on Oakley’s Gently Used Books.
Valkeries, vampires, and mythical kingdoms will be shop-talk at this gathering of local fantasy writers. But battling evil is not fiction for these guys, and I don’t say that just because every Dungeons and Dragons fan I know takes the stuff way too seriously. I say it because when the authors of Ragnarok, Team of Darkness, and Worlds Apart get together, they represent three-quarters of our Armed Forces.
C.R. MacPhadrick is a graduate of the U. S. Army’s Command and General Staff College and founder of the Military History Research Center in Amherst. He started writing his Ragnarok saga over 25 years ago and has just completed episodes one and two, in which Valkeries are pitted against Death Bringers. We’re promised by the publisher (Pulsar Books) “a fantasy grounded in reality.”
Tony Ruggiero makes the trip from Suffolk, where he has retired after 23 years in the Navy. In his book, Team of Darkness, (Hard Shell Word Factory), the Navy uses undercover vampires captured during peacekeeping missions in Kosovo to rub out drug cartel baddies in South America. Talk about Vice Squad…
The award-winning story Worlds Apart was selected for inclusion in L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future. Author Woody Carsky-Wilson, a major in the Army reserves, served in the Gulf War. He lives in Lynchburg, where he looks after his son, Lucas, telling him horror stories before bed. He’s got a thing for vampires, too.
I don’t have a marine or a fighter pilot to offer at this point. Instead, there’s actor Tee Morris, who, I’m sure, could do a fair impersonation of either, and is also the co-author of MOREVI: The Chronicles of Rafe and Aksana (Dragon Moon Press). Morris played the stage character of Rafe, “a pirate from a far-off land called England” at the Maryland Renaissance Festival.
Just to mix things up, also on hand for book signing will be the proprietor’s mother, June Oakley, who joins the scribes of night to sign copies of her second cookbook. Charlottesville Collection features recipes from The Boar’s Head, Clifton, Hamiltons’, and even The Nook, as well as family favorites from chicken pot pie to Swedish coffee cake.
Even warlords and wizards need comfort food when winter approaches.

Oakley’s Gently Used Books is in York Place on the Downtown Mall. The Holiday Celebration of Books and Writers is on Saturday, December 7, from 4-6pm. 977-3313.