Just a quick reminder that I’ll be appearing at Cincycon with the rest of the Midwestern Authors Syndicate this weekend, May 1-3. I’ll personally be there Friday and Sunday for sure, but we’ll have a few excellent authors of various genres there at the table for you to check out. There’ll be a lot of cool stuff going on, and more details can be found at the CincyCon website. If you’re at the con or in the area, be sure to stop by the table marked as Hydra Publications, say hello, and check out some really great books!
So I want to tell you about a really cool event happening next week. It’s called Imaginarium and it’s a writing convention unlike any other.
So why should you go?
If you’re a writer, you’re going to get information you won’t get anywhere else:
We have full panel tracks that deal with the writing process, marketing, business, getting published, genre discussions, writing for comic books, and writing for film. We also have workshops you can take to really learn the topic you’re interested in. In total, we have over 140 panels and workshops dedicated to the art and business of writing.
There will be a good number of publishers there.
There are a lot of authors at different levels to talk to.
If you’re a reader, you are going to be around a lot of amazing authors with books that you will love. All genres, all types.
If you’re just looking to hang out, there will be a film festival and a masquerade.
And you can go all weekend for a $55 pass. $25 dollars will get you in the door for a day.
Guest-wise we have Rose Pressey, author of more paranormal-themed books than I can list in a blog post. We have Maurice Broaddus, who’s been published with Weird Tales, Cemetery Dance, Issac Asimov’s Science Fiction, Apex Books, and Angry Robot. We have Jeffery Reddick, creator of the Final Destination film series. And Dan Jolley will be there – if you’re into comics and gaming, or interested in writing for either, you’ll want to talk to him.
Plus, there will be many, many other author guests with input about writing and fantastic titles to check out.
So why should you go to Imaginarium?
Why shouldn’t you?
You can access the main site here
Info on panels and workshops can be found either using the tabs off the main site or here
Imaginarium will be at the Crowne Plaza (Louisville Airport) Sept 19-21.
See you there!
Yeah, pretty tables! Look at how official we are!
I had a blast in Evansville. I got a chance to tour my university and see all the changes taking place before the con started. All I have to say is WOW. I mean WOW. And geez, where was all this classiness when I was there? 🙂 Seriously, I’m proud to see all the progress taking place.
The con itself was a lot of fun. It was my first time as a special guest and a first time for the con to have a lit track, so it was a good fit. It was a little odd to be part of opening ceremonies and talk to con-goers in that capacity, though it was really cool. It makes me realize the kind of power an author has. You’re shaping worlds that people are entertaining themselves with. You’re encouraging them to think, to feel. That’s powerful, and though you may never know how your work effects people, your writing is essentially carrying on a conversation with them every time they read your work.
The panels were all pretty well-attended and we got some great conversations about genre, world-building, and publishing going. What was really cool is that people made it a point to seek me out or stop by the table after the panels, either to talk writing or books or whatever. That was amazing. It was really nice to be back and to be able to have those sorts of conversations, and hopefully to encourage people to start writing or read things that might be just a little out of their comfort zone. Everyone was warm and welcoming and the whole experience was just so much fun. It was an incredible time and I’m grateful to Stephen Zimmer and John Allen who were there to keep me from freaking out. Jondi Schmitt-Soper was also AMAZING and I owe a lot of the weekend’s awesomeness to her.
Even if she is a Trekkie 😀
Things were not without their hilarity. The pavilion’s temperature went from hot and humid Friday to absolutely freezing on Saturday (hence the hoodies and coats). I may have somehow deactivated my room card fifty thousand times and the hotel staff deserves a medal for dealing with me alone. I know John allowed me to constantly drag him to Dennys with a sigh (dude, we don’t have Dennys here. I’m going to stock up on sweet pancake goodness as much as possible when I can!)
Still, the people attending made it all worth it. I loved talking to young and old readers, picking people’s brains, talking to them about the kind of things I write and what they like. I love getting to know my audience, and this provided a great opportunity to do that.
And I may have gotten a special serenade from Professor Shyguy. I have many, many people to get back for that one, heh, but it was hilarious. All in all it was a really rewarding experience, and I really hope I get to go back next year!
So most people think I do everything myself. This isn’t true. I have a lot of people I enlist for help. I also have a presence that skulks around me. It’s usually too shy to say anything other than to whisper all the ideas that I should be working on in my ear. After all, how do I manage a persona that’s so sweetly evil? Well, cons apparently bring this elusive muse out of hiding and for the first time ever I was able to capture her on film when she thought I wasn’t looking.
SH Roddey and I had set up our booth with all our lovely books and swaggy items. The problem was that we both had panels at some point, so we needed help to watch this thing and network for us. Just when I thought all was lost, I suddenly realized that someone had tagged along with me…
While Booth Babe Bill is more than capable of handling things, sometimes genre stuff takes a special touch. Enter Mary Sue Cthulhu. She accompanied me last year to panels, but was picture shy. This year she has a new zombie sock monkey hat that apparently gives her the confidence to show herself to the masses. Here she is handing out Lost in the Shadows swag.
Thankfully Susan didn’t mind when Mary Sue Cthulhu tried to give her pointers on engaging the public.
At one point I was back and forth at panels so I lost track of where she went. Then we all turned around and saw that she’d got herself into a bit of a, well…situation…
Sigh. I keep telling her she can’t taunt ghostbusters, but she never listens to me.
Thankfully, she got away and hid among the Seventh Star Press stacks.
She’s an old-school sort of girl, so she’s not sure how to take urban fantasy. She and John F. Allen had words, but I think they finally reached an understanding.
She was really intrigued Haunting Obsession, though.
….Although she may have been a little too enthusiastic when she got a chance to meet the author, Rj Sullivan.
I’m not surprised to find that she really loves Poseidon’s Children, especially with all the killer fish people in it.
She may be the epitome of a sparkly evil eldergoddess, but she’s also a fangirl at heart. Michael West totally made her day!
At this point J.L. Mulvihill came along and reminded us that we had the cosplay panel.
She was a little self-conscious since she only had the one outfit. Thankfully, J.L. graciously let her borrow another hat so she could be appropriately steampunk.
She took a break after the panel to admire Alexx Miller’s jewelry…
Then she noticed Josh Young of Jitterbug PR giving out free stuff, so she wanted to check out the bookmarks…
She may have gotten a little carried away with the free candy, but to be fair she hadn’t devoured many souls so she had to keep her energy up, somehow.
But then it was back to business. She feels that I need to bump up my publicity, so she sat down with Josh to discuss my options for me.
I’m lucky to have such a great muse and helper (even if she is either too shy to show her face or a complete ham once she gets going). She definitely kept things interesting. Who knows? Maybe she’ll show her face again in the future. You never know where a sparkly eldergoddess will pop up…
This is one of my favorite photos from the whole con. Many, many thanks to John Collins for the great conversation and for letting me use this photo. Definitely check his work out at the weird review! As you can see, I’m ready to go! Books are in hand, I’m bright and happy, and the weekend is all about literature! I think this post totally illustrates that in every single way…
So as I’ve said before, writing is a very serious business and much sophisticated discussion of genre, writing process, and the business in general happened at Fandom Fest. Here are some examples:
Here are Alexx Miller and SH Roddey with me at a preliminary booth conduct meeting with Susan’s addition to the tribe: Booth Babe Bill. You can tell Charlie Kenmore took the photo because of it’s modern art leanings.
Here I am with various authors, filmmakers, bloggers, et al in yet another important discussion about the state of genres today. It just so happens we’re using menus as a metaphor.
Here I am with author Kayelle McClive lurking in the background. As you can see, I take how people see me very seriously and only wear appropriate business attire for these functions.
More important business meetings as we discuss the day’s affairs and how we want to proceed on the morrow. Don’t be fooled – we just gather at restaurants because they have chairs. We’re too revved up about everything we have to do to eat. I would never, ever call Ali Justice and leave a message that sounds something like a starving velociraptor on her phone to get her to the Spaghetti Factory faster (and then nearly run into the front window trying to flag her down because I’m ready to pass out if I don’t get Italian food in me immediately).
I also had opportunities to really dive into genre studies:
I’ve never been confident in writing action sequences, but now that I’ve soaked up the aura of Power Ranger Jason David Frank, I am prepared for anything.
At the Troll Pub a few blocks away, gathering Intel on the troll species so I could jet right home and finish work on Olde School.
Delving into the villain’s psyche. This may or may not become my Christmas card photo this year, just sayin’.
Death is always a difficult subject to approach. Rj Sullivan, John F. Allen, and I attempt to figure out the matter for ourselves. This may also end up as a Christmas card if I have any say in it.
Getting into the spirit of the horror genre by Sunday! As I approached thirty, I opted to postpone some sort of life crisis and make this dress from pretty fabric and liquid latex, instead. Somewhere I have full images that I’ll have to dig up someday, because it’s pretty hideous and amazing.
So as you can see, the weekend was full of grueling work and study and no fun at all. Now that you’ve gotten a look into all the work a writer goes through at a con, I’m sure you’ll wonder how I ever got back alive. Well, the truth is I had a sneaky assistant who I’ll introduce you to next picture post…
So what would a con be without a picture post or three thousand? I’m going to share some of my misadventures with everyone in visual format. Not only will you be able to put faces to names, but you’ll be able to put links to faces and names as well, so you’ll get to check out all these authors’ work along with seeing their wondrous visages!
Was so excited to finally meet the uber-talented John F. Allen, author of The God Killers. He’s a trip and a half and he treated us to an impromptu, rather intriguing reading of his book. It was also fun times to see my bud J.L. Mulvihill again. We did the cosplay panel and improv panel together, and fun times abounded (along with talking camels and corsets. It’s a long story, trust me). Her book Boxcar Baby is just out, and definitely worth a read!
This is Alexx Miller mugging with J.L.’s Steampunk Squirrels. Her blog is amazing and you should check it out right now. Her husband is the always-insightful Charlie Kenmore, who writes some really great stuff of differing types, as well. He’s usually behind the camera, doing his artsy avante-garde style photography thing, thumbs and blurry photos and all! <g>
John Allen again, with his utterly incredible personal assistant living it up in the background. S.H. Roddey is also there with me, and judging by how happy we are, this is probably after we got to check out John’s impromptu reading.
Note: I have no idea why I have no normal shots of Eric Garrison (Four ’til Late) or Michael West (every new horror book ever), but they are incredibly talented, as well. Also not pictured is our table-mate M.B. Weston who is a rockin’ YA author, and L. Andrew Cooper, who was incredibly insightful on the horror panel with me (and has suffered my author interviews on this blog in the past <g>)
This is Stephen Zimmer, rock star among authors. Not only did he coordinate the lit track, save us when we got locked out of the hall, get us badges, and get our schedules up, but he also allows us to mercilessly harass him by claiming it’s his birthday while out to eat (not my doing) and taking obnoxious, spur-of-the-moment photos of him (obviously totally my doing). I’m not entirely convinced that he’s human and not some super-author android sent to outdo all us mere mortals with his works of epic and urban fantasy.
This is Ali Justice, adorable steampunk girl and PR Person extraordinaire. Seriously, she’ll blow your mind with how much she knows. She’s part of the powerhouse behind Jitterbug PR, which you should check out if you’re an author.
No idea who this weirdo is, other than that he kept following me around all weekend. Actually, that would be the other part of Jitterbug PR, Josh Young. He does know what he’s doing even if he follows me around making faces like that instead of working his table.
So now that you’ve met most of the gang, next picture post we’ll take a look at the very serious, very literary things we all get up to at these things.
So since I’m doing a panel at Fandom Fest about the challenges of Coauthoring today, I thought my eight for weekend writing warriors would be from my latest release with S.H. Roddey, the short story collection, Lost in the Shadows.
This is from my short The Legend of Shadow Trace, Idea Thief. It’s a story I’ve had kicking around for years, and it’s so quirky and weird I wasn’t sure what to do with it. I think it definitely belongs in this collection, and I’m proud of its uniqueness.
Notorious burglar Shadow Trace dreamed last night. He dreamed long and deep of a time long ago when he wore khakis and wire-rimmed glasses, and answered to Clemmy Floyd. Back then he fumbled with stealing a paperclip from the office, never mind a toaster or a heart.
With itchy fingers he walked through the desert, his loafers battered with the scritch of grains from the hourglass. His skin boiled to a lovely shade of crimson, burning away to peel off and reveal the hardened chameleon inside. He trudged past cleaned bones and jutting cacti, not lookin’, not thinkin’, just walkin’, and waitin’. He walked ten years without needing anything at all. He took no food, no water, no soul, no air.
Want more snippets? Then check out Weekend Writing Warriors!
To find out what happens to Shadow Trace (along with other awesome stories), check out the new book!
Journey with authors Selah Janel and S.H. Roddey to a world where every idea is a possibility and every genre an invitation.
In this collection of forty-seven short stories, lines blur and worlds collide in strange and wonderful new ways.
Get lost with the authors as they wander among fantasy, horror, science fiction, and other speculative musings.
Shadows can’t hurt you, and sometimes it’s all right to venture off the path.