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Our Approach

First and foremost, we are here for the love of the craft. In addition, there are a lot of young, talented writers that struggle to find a home in a very competitive market. We wanted to provide such a home and from that desire, Aphotic Realm was born.

Our Story

Adrian and Dustin met during their studies at Full Sail University and quickly gravitated towards each other due to their similar tastes in dark fantasy, humor, sci-fi, and more. A short time later, they were critiquing each other's work and collaborating on projects. After graduation, they decided to combine their talents to form Aphotic Realm.

Meet the Team

It started with two, but can grow with the help of you.

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A. A. Medina

Owner/Editor

As a child, Adrian Alexander Medina found solace in storytelling, and every day he had a new one to tell. He would go into great detail about his adventures at school, the time he helped Johnny Rico defeat the bugs on Klendathu, or that time he visited Moscow as a spy. As he grew up, he dialed back the grandiose tales of his adventures, but never lost his overactive imagination.

A. A. Medina believes stories can help the reader understand the strangeness of life and, at the same time, break up the day-to-day monotony by injecting a sense of mystery, wonder, joy, and even fear. When he isn’t melting in the Arizona sun, being pestered by his fat cats and obnoxious puppy, or co-running Aphotic Realm Magazine, he is writing his fantasy-horror comic book series Void & Valor, or designing and developing tabletop games for MoonMarketGames.

A. A. Medina graduated with his B.F.A. in Creative Writing in March of 2017. In addition to writing, A. A. Medina enjoys funneling his creativity into music and graphic design.

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Dustin Schyler Yoak

Owner/Editor

Dustin Schyler Yoak knew he wanted to be involved in the entertainment industry after watching Return of the Jedi at three years old. Books, comic books, movies, and television were sustenance for Dustin's growing imagination. When combined with his love for meticulous detail and passion for storytelling, his imagination cultivates vivid worlds and alluring characters.

In 2017, he earned a Bachelor of Fine Art’s degree in Creative Writing at Full Sail University where Dustin was named the class Salutatorian and his efforts were recognized with the Advanced Achievement Award as well as four Course Director awards.

Dustin enjoys writing comedies, suspense, and action-adventure stories. Currently, he is juggling a number of projects including Reflections, a supernatural, urban fantasy comic book series with steam punk and noir inspirations.

When Dustin isn’t working, studying his craft, or co-running Aphotic Realm Magazine, he mediates arguments between his wife and their two daughters.

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Chris Martin

Associate Editor

Chris Martin grew up in rural Alabama. As a fan of all things Star Wars, Transformers, Tolkien, and the like, many days were spent either pretending to be his favorite characters alongside his brothers romping around in their backyard, or reading his father’s comics. As he grew older, his love for fiction began to encompass novels of the same genres. His father introduced him to the realm of high fantasy through The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and Dungeons & Dragons.

It was through the love of Dungeons & Dragons that Chris Martin discovered his love for writing. As a veteran dungeon master, he has constructed a vast, culturally detailed world that he still leads adventures through to this day. This world is the basis of a series of novels he is currently working on.

Chris Martin now resides just outside of Phoenix, Arizona. When he isn’t slaving away at his day job or relishing his time as an adopted grandpa, he enjoys long, epic D&D sessions with his friends.

When AR brought him on, we posted an interview to help get to know him. Check out his interview here.

Gunnar Larsen

Gunnar Larsen

Art Director

Gunnar Larsen has been drawing for as long as he can remember. He started out trying to draw the box art for old Sega Genesis and Nintendo games. As he grew up, he slowly started getting more and more into drawing demons, fantasy characters, and ideas he got from reading horror novels and old occult books he stumbled across on the internet.

After sketching swords and monstrosities throughout high school and his life as a young adult, Gunnar decided to pursue a Bachelor's of Science degree in Game Art at Full Sail University. He realized about halfway through the program that it wasn't what he wanted to do, but still finished his courses, graduating as Salutatorian of his class in August of 2014. He decided to focus on illustration after this, as it was the art form he always had a passion for.

When Gunnar isn't drooling over other people's art or illustrating Void & Valor, you can usually find him hanging out with his cat, googling weird things, or trying to further educate himself.

 

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Mike Durst

Assistant Editor

Mike Durst was born and raised in Northeast Ohio. At a young age, Mike instantly fell in love with video games thanks to the NES and Genesis while also having a rooting interest in sports. He quickly developed a taste for the fantasy world thanks to games like Final Fantasy and movies like Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. He graduated from The University of Akron in 2010 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Media Communication and quickly developed a taste for editing.

Mike moved around a bit after his time in Ohio, spending some time in Minnesota before moving to where he resides now in Bradenton, Florida. When he isn't working his day job or fending off hurricanes or alligators, he likes to take in a good fantasy novel or the latest PS4 game to add to his ever growing list of games he doesn’t have time to play.

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Stephen Roche

Reviews Contributor

Stephen Roche loves anything creative and is never afraid to go out of his comfort zone. He is a lover of dark fiction, no matter what medium it's in and while primarily a Journalist, Stephen dabbles in short fiction and poetry, having published a number of poems here and there.

Stephen runs The Horror Club, a site dedicated to all things horror, such as interviews and articles, in order to help others within the genre and give them a voice!

 

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William Marchese

Reviews Contributor

William works "the day job" in lower Manhattan, foraging free time to kick start his writing career. He has been published in Hindered Souls Anthology, Deadman's Tome, Unnerving Magazine Issue 3 and Trickster’s Treats anthology. He is a member of the Horror Writers Association.

You can follow him on Twitter here: @Wcmarchese

Follow his website at www.wcmarchese.com

Next Steps...

Now that you know more about the team, see what it takes to have your work published on Aphotic Realm!