M.A. Carrick is the joint pen name of Marie Brennan (author of the Memoirs of Lady Trent) and Alyc Helms (author of the Adventures of Mr. Mystic). The two met in 2000 on an archaeological dig in Wales and Ireland — including a stint in the town of Carrickmacross — and have built their friendship through two decades of anthropology, writing, and gaming. They live in the San Francisco Bay Area. (And if you were wondering: Marie’s name is accented on the second syllable, mah-REE, and Alyc’s name is uh-LISS, “like a list of items without the T.” Marie is she/her, and Alyc is they/them.)
Melissa Caruso is a fantasy author of books of magic, murder, and mayhem. Her debut novel, THE TETHERED MAGE (Orbit, 2017), was shortlisted for the Gemmell Morningstar award and begins the Swords and Fire trilogy, which also includes THE DEFIANT HEIR (Orbit, 2018), and THE UNBOUND EMPIRE (Orbit, 2019). Her second fantasy trilogy, Rooks and Ruin, begins with THE OBSIDIAN TOWER (Orbit, 2020) continues with THE QUICKSILVER COURT (Orbit, 2021), and will conclude with THE IVORY TOMB in 2022. A tea drinker, larper, and dog and cat mom, Melissa lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two superlative daughters.