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You define life or it defines you. In Shawn Speakman's case, it was both. Lacking health insurance and diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2011, Shawn quickly accrued a massive medical debt that he did not have the ability to pay.
That's when New York Times bestselling author Terry Brooks offered to donate a short story that Shawn could sell to help alleviate those bills—and suggested he ask the same of his other writer friends. Unfettered is the result: an anthology built in order to relieve that debt, featuring 23 short stories by Patrick Rothfuss, Terry Brooks, Tad Williams, Carrie Vaughn, Jacqueline Carey, Peter V. Brett, Peter Orullian, R. A. Salvatore, Todd Lockwood, Black Charlton, Daniel Abraham, Kevin Hearne, Mark Lawrence, David Anthony Durham, Jennifer Bosworth, Robert V.S. Redick, Eldon Thompson, Naomi Novik, Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson, Michael J. Sullivan, Lev Grossman, Terry Brooks, and, of course, Shawn Speakman.
With the help of stalwart friends and these wonderful short stories, Shawn has taken the gravest of life's hardships and created something magical. Unfettered is not only a fantastic anthology in its own right, but it's a testament to the generosity found in the science fiction and fantasy community—proof that humanity can give beyond itself when the need arises. After all, isn't that the driving narrative in fantasy literature?
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Shawn Speakman grew up in the beautiful wilds of Washington State near Mt. St. Helens. After moving to Seattle to attend the University of Washington, he befriended New York Times bestselling fantasy author Terry Brooks and became his webmaster. Under Terry's tutelage, Shawn completed his writing certificate at the prestigious Maui Writers Conference before finishing his contemporary fantasy novel—The Dark Thorn. He was a manager at one of the largest Barnes & Noble Booksellers in the country for many years but now owns the online bookstore The Signed Page, manages the websites for authors Naomi Novik and David Anthony Durham, and freelance writes for Random House at Suvudu. Shawn is a cancer survivor, loves dark beer, and currently lives in Seattle, Washington.
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