Conference Schedule

We're still fine tuning the lineup for the 2016 Conference.

Conference Details

Unfortunately, we will not be running ACA in 2017 due to a venue issue. Please stay tuned for updates about future events!

2016 Speakers and Presenters (last year)

2017 Speakers to include Jim Butcher!!! Other 2017 speakers still being confirmed.

Christina Tengelin

Death Investigator

Previously an assistant to the Medical Examiner on scene, Christina now works as a death investigator in Knox County. One of her primary duties is to arrive on scene and determine if a death was natural or suspicious. She’s operated cadaver transport, studied mortuary practices on site, and completed an internship at the British Museum.

Death Investigator
Death Investigator

CJ Lyons

Thriller Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twenty-nine novels, former pediatric ER doctor CJ Lyons has lived the life she writes about in her cutting edge Thrillers with Heart. CJ has been called a “master within the genre” and her work has been praised as “breathtakingly fast-paced” and “riveting” with “characters with beating hearts and three dimensions”.

CJ Lyons speaks at Authors Combat Academy

Sgt. Derek Pacifico

Ret. Police Sergent & Writer Consultant

Sgt. Derek Pacifico is a 22-year retired veteran of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department in Southern California. With over six years in homicide and around 200 murder investigations, his vast experience as well as his public lecturing style has made him a sought after commodity in the writing community. Come learn from his experience.

Sgt. Derek Pacifico, retired Police Sergent and Writer Consultant will present to writers at Authors Combat Academy in Nashville in 2016.

Liliana Hart

Romantic Suspense Author

Since self-publishing in June of 2011, she’s sold more than 4 million ebooks all over the world, hit both the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists, and been nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award. All of her books involve some kind of suspense, laughter, and a lot of steamy sex. She’s not only a passionate writer, but an experienced teacher.

Liliana Hart speaks at Authors Combat Academy 2016

John Farthing

Medieval & Reniassance Martial Artist

John Farthing is a lifelong student and enthusiast of Medieval and Renaissance European History. John is the Deputy Director of The Association of Medieval and Renaissance Martial Arts (ARMA). He specializes in the 15th and 16th century, relevant to modern and fantasy worlds. John will be presenting on the short sword and he’s bringing toys for you to play with!

John Farthing -- ARMA Deptuty Director

Fiona Quinn

Romantic Suspense Author

Author of the Amazon bestseller Mine, and Chaos Is Come Again, Fiona Quinn is the creative force behind the popular blog ThrillWriting and the new Lynx Thriller Series. She’s also has a BA in psychology and a masters in counseling, is a Reiki Master/Teacher, Second Dan Tae Kwon Do Black Belt qualified, a certified archery instructor and knows her way around a Springfield 9mm.

Fiona Quinn

Maxwell Alexander Drake

Fantasy Author & Writing Instructor

Award Winning Fantasy author and the lead fiction writer for Daybreak Games, Drake is a dynamic and entertaining speaker and his open forum sessions are a pleasure for anyone interested in learning what goes on “behind the scenes” in the publishing industry. Learn from this experienced writer about the real numbers of self-publishing and how to write the heroes journey.

Maxwell Alexander Drake -- Fantasy Author

Christine Haggerty

Shotokan Karate Black Belt & Author

Martial Arts expert, Christine Haggerty holds a black belt in Shotokan Karate from two different organizations. She’s also the author of the Plague Legacy Young Adult Trilogy and the Grimm Chronicles Novella Series. Christine will be available as a resource for all types fighting and writing questions.

Black Belt Martial Arts Expert Christine Haggerty

Jack Dagger

World Renowed Knife Thrower

Jack Dagger is a world renowned knife throwing comedian. He has been inducted into the International Knife Throwers Hall of Fame, won several World Championships, and has invented the first new knife throwing stunt in almost a hundred years. His expert presentation at ACA will be something you won’t want to miss with his teachable and amusing personality.

Jack Dagger - professional knife thrower

Scott Silverii

Active Chief of Police & Author

With over 23 years in law enforcement, Thibodaux, Louisiana Chief of Police, Scott Silverii serves as an expert in data-driven approaches to crime and traffic safety. He was has been awarded the NHTSA, the highest honor for public service. When not serving, he keeps his publics entertained with his Cajun Murder Mystery Series.


Master Doyle Seiber​

Isshinryu Karate Master

An Isshinryu Karate Master with years of experience teaching real world self defense. This is your opportunity to visually see the moves played out right in front of you, to capture the movements in your writing. Learn to write your action and fight scenes with real accuracy with expert training from Master Doyle Seiber during ACA 2016.

Doyle Seiber

Authors Combat Academy was interesting and informative, but most of all it was amazing with the personal 1-on-1 session with real, experienced black belt ninjas who act out fight scenes from your novel, giving you valuable insights and accurate details. Saves so much time on researching how a gun should be pulled, how it feels to be in a choke hold, where to hit someone to knock them out, etc. Ask anything, and they can act it out and answer it for you. Worth the trip just for this experience!

Black belt Ninjas act out fight scenes from YOUR novel
-Stefanie Edwards, www.stefanieedwards.com

There are very few events where you feel you get every penny of your fee back in content and instruction. The Authors Combat Academy hit the ball out of the park. From the top notch instructors, authors and martial artists, to incredible volunteers who went out of their way to answer any and all questions, an author could not ask for more in a weekend. The best compliment? When asked what they could do to improve on next year I came up a blank. I have already made room on my schedule for next year.

Worth every penny!
-Tony Acree, author of the Victor McCain thrillers.

I came to the Conference expecting to be refreshed on a few areas and to enjoy hanging out with my two favorite types of people: writers and martial artists. I got so much more than that. The panels were amazing; the Instructors dead on in their knowledge of their subjects, and they were exactly what I needed to help with projects I was working on. The activities let all the attendees and Instructors get to know each other, and most of us walked away from the experience as comrades and even friends. Contacts were made, knowledge was passed, and the most amazing times were had. If you were not able to attend this year, don't make that mistake next year. This is an experience you can't miss out on. It inspired me and was life changing, so don't miss out!

Learned so much and walked away with great new contacts and ideas
-Christina Sizemore

This conference was so helpful! Eli Jackson and all of the presenters and supporting staff were knowledgeable and approachable. Everyone went out of their way to accommodate the informational needs of all levels of writers. I came away from this experience more sure of myself as a writer, and with loads of information and ideas. I highly recommend the ACA to anyone interested in refining the craft of writing believable and imaginative scenes that involve physical and psychological conflict.

Everyone was so knowledgeable and approachable
-Karen Janowsky

I didn't know what to expect when I agreed to go to the Authors Combat Academy. What I do know is I had a good time and I learned a lot. This is an amazing experience that is helpful to any writer. I am so glad that I went and got to share the experience with my best friend. Can't wait for next year.

Amazing Experience for any writer
- Yolanda I. Montalvo

I attended the first annual Authors Combat Academy and I loved it. Eli and AJ, well the entire group, were so welcoming and accommodating. For a 3 day conference, the price was great and the content fantastic. There were opportunities to learn about craft, there were many opportunities to learn about different weapons and fighting styles and you had the opportunity to take your own fight scene and have Ninjas, MMA black belts, show you how it would look and give you suggestions on how to make your scene more credible and exciting. If you have trouble writing fight scenes or write a lot of them and feel you are getting repetitious, come to the next ACA conference and learn how to PUNCH up your writing. Had a fantastic time!

Learn how to punch up your writing
- Marlena Faulkner/Marly Davis

The Authors Combat Academy greatly exceeded my expectations. Practical information. Cool people. Tons of fun. Can't wait until next year!

Greatly exceeded my expectations. Can't wait until next year!
- Yolanda Early

Don't miss out on this amazing conference, devoted to teaching writers how to fight.

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