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Ursula Vernon
Ursula Vernon, at the Hugo Award Ceremony, Worldcon 2017 in Helsinki.jpg
Ursula Vernon accepting the Hugo Award for Best Novelette at Worldcon in Helsinki 2017.
Born Ursula Vernon
May 28, 1977 (1977-05-28) (age 43)
Nationality American
Area(s) Writer, artist, webcomics
Pseudonym(s) T. Kingfisher
Notable works
Digger, Dragonbreath series
Awards Ursa Major Award; Hugo Award; Nebula Award; Mythopoeic Award; WSFA Small Press Award

Ursula Vernon (born May 28, 1977) is an American freelance writer, artist and illustrator. She is best known for her Hugo Award-winning graphic novel Digger (2003–2011) and for the children's books series Hamster Princess and Dragonbreath. Vernon is the creator of The Biting Pear of Salamanca, a digital work of art which became an internet meme in the form of the LOL WUT pear. Under the name T. Kingfisher, she is also the author of several books for older audiences. She also writes short fiction under both names. She has won awards, including the Hugo Award, Nebula Award and the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award, for her work in various mediums.

Career

Ursula Vernon grew up in Oregon and Arizona and studied anthropology at Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota where she first took art classes. She first became known for her webcomics and as a freelance artist, particularly for her works containing anthropomorphic animals. She then moved into writing and illustrating a number of children's books, her first being published in 2008, and then books for adults under the pseudonym T. Kingfisher. She decided to start using the pseudonym in order to avoid confusion amongst parents who were only familiar with her as a children's book author, and chose it because she loves kingfishers (and as an homage to Ursula K. LeGuin, who once joked that the initials "U.K." could stand for "Ulysses Kingfisher). She has published short fiction under both names, and has won a number of awards for them including the Hugo Award and Nebula Award. Vernon regularly attends conventions to exhibit and sell her work and has been a guest of honor at Midwest FurFest 2004 and 2009, and the Artist Guest of Honor at Further Confusion 2010. Vernon was the Author Guest of Honor for Mythcon 45 and a Guest of Honor at Eurofurence 20, both in August 2014. In 2017, she was the Author Guest of Honor at Arisia '17. Vernon podcasts with her husband, Kevin Sonney.

Works

Books

Ursula Vernon is the author and illustrator of the Dragonbreath and Hamster Princess children's book series, published by Dial Books:

Dragonbreath series

  1. Dragonbreath () (2009)
  2. Dragonbreath: Attack of the Ninja Frogs () (2010)
  3. Dragonbreath: Curse of the Were-Weiner () (2010)
  4. Dragonbreath: Lair of the Bat Monster () (2011)
  5. Dragonbreath: No Such Thing as Ghosts () (2011)
  6. Dragonbreath: Revenge of the Horned Bunnies () (2012)
  7. Dragonbreath: When Fairies Go Bad () (2012)
  8. Dragonbreath: Nightmare of the Iguana () (2013)
  9. Dragonbreath: The Case of the Toxic Mutants () (2013)
  10. Dragonbreath: Knight-napped! () (2015)
  11. Dragonbreath: The Frozen Menace () (January 12, 2016)

Hamster Princess series

  1. Hamster Princess: Harriet the Invincible () (August 18, 2015)
  2. Hamster Princess: Of Mice and Magic () (March 15, 2016)
  3. Hamster Princess: Ratpunzel () (October 18, 2016)
  4. Hamster Princess: Giant Trouble () (May 9, 2017)
  5. Hamster Princess: Whiskerella () (January 23, 2018)
  6. Hamster Princess: Little Red Rodent Hood () (September 25, 2018)

Other children's books

  • Nurk: The Strange Surprising Adventures Of A (Somewhat) Brave Shrew () was published by Harcourt in 2008 and released as an audiobook in 2009. It was Vernon's first published children's book.
  • Castle Hangnail () (April 21, 2015) Dial Books

Books for older audiences

  • It Made Sense at the Time: Selected Sketches by Ursula Vernon () (November 18, 2004) Sofawolf Press
  • Black Dogs Part 1: The House of Diamond () (March 1, 2007) Sofawolf Press
  • Black Dogs Part 2: The Mountain of Iron () (January 2011) Sofawolf Press
  • Nine Goblins (Goblinhome Book 1) as T. Kingfisher (October 27, 2013) Red Wombat Tea Company
  • The Seventh Bride as T. Kingfisher (November 24, 2015) 47North
  • Bryony & Roses as T. Kingfisher (May 18, 2015) Red Wombat Tea Company
  • The Raven & The Reindeer as T. Kingfisher (February 7, 2016) Red Wombat Tea Company
  • Summer in Orcus as T. Kingfisher (web series) (September 2016) Red Wombat Tea Company
  • The Halcyon Fairy Book as T. Kingfisher (January 13, 2017) NESFA Press
  • Clockwork Boys (Clocktaur War Book 1) () as T. Kingfisher (November 21, 2017) Red Wombat Tea Company
  • The Wonder Engine: Clocktaur War Book 2 as T. Kingfisher (February 27, 2018) Red Wombat Tea Company
  • Swordheart as T. Kingfisher (November 2018) Argyll Productions
  • Minor Mage () as T. Kingfisher (July 29, 2019) Argyll Productions
  • The Twisted Ones () as T. Kingfisher (October 1, 2019) Simon & Schuster
  • Paladin's Grace (The Saint of Steel Book 1) as T. Kingfisher (February 11, 2020) Red Wombat Studio
  • A Wizard's Guide to Defensive Baking as T. Kingfisher (July 21, 2020) Argyll Productions
  • The Hollow Places as T. Kingfisher (October 6, 2020) Simon & Schuster
  • Paladin's Strength (The Saint of Steel Book 2) as T. Kingfisher (February 28, 2021) Red Wombat Studio

Webcomics

Vernon is the author of the Eisner Award-nominated and Hugo Award-winning webcomic Digger. A fantasy story featuring an anthropomorphic wombat, it is also available in six paperback books published between 2005 and 2011: Vol. 1 (), Vol. 2 (), Vol. 3 (), Vol. 4 (), Vol. 5 (), Vol. 6 () and as Digger: The Complete Omnibus Edition () published in 2013. She is also the writer and illustrator of the webcomic Irrational Fears and the short stories Little Creature and Little Creature and the Redcap, all available online at Webcomics Nation.

Illustrations and art

Before becoming a published children's book author Vernon was primarily a freelance artist and illustrator and she still regularly produces new works of art. Her work includes the creation of digital art as well as the use of more traditional mediums such as watercolour and acrylics, with much of her more recent work being mixed media. Most of her art work is available as prints and Vernon has also taken commercial commissions such as book covers and game art.

The game Black Sheep designed by Reiner Knizia and published by Fantasy Flight Games uses art by Vernon on its playing cards. Her art work titled The Biting Pear of Salamanca became an internet meme in the form of the LOL WUT pear and has been made into a resin figurine due to its popularity. She has also designed labels for a series of tea and soap products.

Awards and nominations

Vernon's cover for Best in Show won the 2003 Ursa Major Award for Best Anthropomorphic Published Illustration. She was nominated for the 2006 Eisner Awards in the category Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition for her work on Digger. Digger has won some Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards, and has been nominated for others, in the Outstanding Black and White Art and Outstanding Anthropomorphic Comic categories. Digger won the Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story in 2012 and the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature in 2013. She won the Nebula Award for Best Short Story and the WSFA Small Press Award for "Jackalope Wives" in 2015, and it was also a finalist for the World Fantasy Award. In 2016 her novel "Castle Hangnail" won the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children's Literature. Her story "The Tomato Thief" won the 2017 Hugo Award for Best Novelette. Her short story "Sun, Moon, Dust" was a finalist for the 2017 Hugo Award for Best Short Story. Her novella Minor Mage was a finalist for the 2020 Lodestar Award.

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