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Bick, Ilsa J.

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Ilsa J. Bick is child/adolescent and forensic psychiatrist, film scholar, surgeon wannabe, former Air Force major—and an award-winning, best-selling author of short stories, e-books and novels.  Her first published story, “A Ribbon for Rosie,” was also the Grand Prize winner in the Star Trek: Strange New Worlds competition in 1998; two years later, her story, “Shadows, in the Dark” took second prize.  In the interim, her novella, “The Quality of Wetness,” placed second in the prestigious Writers of the Future contest.  Her first published novel, STAR TREK: THE LOST ERA: WELL OF SOULS, cracked the Barnes and Noble bestseller list in 2003.

Since then she has written extensively in the Star Trek, Battletech, Mechwarrior: Dark Age and Shadowrun universes, and her original stories have been featured in numerous anthologies, magazines and online venues.  Her supernatural murder-mystery, “The Key,” was selected for honorable mention in the Best American Mystery Stories, 2005 (ed. Joyce Carol Oates).  The sequel, “Second Sight,” appeared in Crime Spells (ed. Martin H. Greenberg and Loren L. Coleman); Locus’s Rich Horton selected “Second Sight” as a recommended read in The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy, 2010.

Her 2010 YA paranormal mystery, DRAW THE DARK, garnered starred reviews from School Library Journal and VOYA; was an ALAN Top Ten Pick; won the 2011 Westchester Fiction Award; and was also named a 2011 Bank Street College Best Book.   Under the title, Stalag Winter, the novel was also a semifinalist in the 2009 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Competition.   Publisher’s Weekly called DRAW a “gripping supernatural/historical mystery . . . that demonstrates the evils of the present can be just as terrifying as those of the past.”  Kirkus Reviews wrote that DRAW is “(an) excellent mystery that might bring new life to a neglected genre (Mystery YA)” and Booklist said “Bick’s ambitious, intelligent, & relentlessly dark novel is a notable achievement . . . Gut-punch of an ending, too.”

ASHES, the first volume in Ilsa’s new YA dystopian thriller trilogy, was released in September 2011 from Egmont USA.  New York Times best-selling author Michael Grant has called ASHES “a haunting and epic story” and “a must read.”  Fellow NYT best-seller James Dashner says ASHES is “dark, creepy and suspenseful” and “gripped me from beginning to end.”  It has been nominated in the YALSA Teen’s Top Ten.

The gritty YA contemporary, DROWNING INSTINCT, was released in February 2012 from Carolrhoda Lab.

Ilsa currently lives with her family and several furry creatures in rural Wisconsin, near a Hebrew cemetery.  One thing she loves about the neighbors: They’re very quiet and only come around for sugar once in a blue moon.  Visit her at www.ilsajbick.com.

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