About Me

Susan Wachowski SF/F author is also known as Susan Kovacs, and the miniatures painter PaintMinion.

I chose my actual legal name, Susan Wachowski, for my SF, Steampunk, and Fantasy. Has a certain ring, the family name. Chicago area and Wachowski go together like Keanu and Matrix, right? If you ask for more information, you’ll only get a wicked smile. You need the secret password to be told any Wachowski family tales from the west coast and Chicagoland.

Born and raised around Madison, Wisconsin, I grew up at conventions like WisCon, Xcon, and WindyCon, secretly watched Dr. Who after my parents went to bed, and hung out at Pegasus Games and 20th Century Books. We had a gang in high school – The Tardis Crew – you know who you are. My friends and I began the James Madison Memorial High School lit magazine Pressions – thank you so much to our mentor, Mr. Rodriquez, a wonderful teacher and poet, with the patience of a saint for high school shenanigans.

I credit Barry B. Longyear and his wonderful workshops at WindyCon years ago, with helping me really focus my story writing after a long hiatus. I was the 1998 winner of the ISFic Award at WindyCon for my short story “Grandpa”, and was apparently the first to finally thank Barry in an acceptance speech for his help in the workshops. I came down from the podium and he was waiting in the aisle to give me a huge hug! Barry – I am still spouting some of the same ground rules at my writer meets now. If you don’t know what questions to ask a crit group, the piece should be in front of an editor. Get outta here.  

I’ve done National National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo, for years, then led the local group Write Here! Write Now! Illinois, that came from those of us involved in National Novel Writing Month. From there a few of us more serious writers formed The Hive. Thank you so much Hive! Extra thanks to my best friend and co-author Nan Sampson.

I also got involved for a bit in The Writing Journey writer’s group, an offshoot of NaperWriMo, and their annual anthology. You can find my work in Stranded, published in 2020.

My favorite authors are too many to list, but certainly include Anne McCaffrey, Andre Norton, J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Mercedes Lackey, Patricia Briggs, Alan Dean Foster, Jim Butcher, Frank Herbert, Ursula K. Le Guin, Terry Pratchett, Robin Hobb, Melanie Rawn, Raymond E. Feist, Barry B. Longyear, Shakespeare, and so many more. What a wonderful age we live in where I have access to so many authors I could never name them all without searching my library and my Kindle. Forgive me if I left you off this list, but know my library is filled with books of all sorts 2 stacks deep!

I have a Bachelor of Science Degree in English from UW-Madison. Yea. Science. I started out in Astrophysics, considered Geology, then discovered after Differential Equations that I really hated doing the math and became an English Major.

I love to laugh, love to play with words, and love to encourage others to jump in and just do it! Please talk to me anytime about events, partnerships, and writing!

I am also known as “PaintMinion” in gaming and minipainting circles, a name I created for my miniatures painting biz long before the Minion movies were developed. I have published articles and how-to’s for minipainters, including the MMSI (Military Miniatures Society of Illinois) monthly magazine The Scabbard and online companies, and a few magazines now defunct. Sigh. Most recently the December 2018 issue of Finescale Model Magazine.

I have painted professionally for Reaper Miniatures, Dark Sword Miniatures, Thunderbolt Mountain, and other miniatures companies, as well as take private commissions. I developed and ran the MHE (Miniatures Hobby Events) area of Gen Con for over ten years. That included the Gen Con Painting Competition, the free Paint & Take program that serves over 1000 attendees, the Speed Paint Arena, the Aces Charity Speed Paint event, and the Classroom, where hobbyists and professionals offer over 100 classes for painters of all levels. I have judged competitions, exhibitions, and won awards all over the US and online. I AM an Iron Painter. 🙂 I am best known for my dragons. If you want more pics, you can check out my gallery on coolminiornot.com.

Examples of my minipainting projects

Portfolio 039
StarMouse-2 Paintminion
Portfolio 031