Thursday, December 10, 2009

Joseph-Beth Booskellers in Lexington! The Homecoming Signing tonight.

Here we are, on the day of the homecoming signing, just a few hours away...

First of all, Joseph-Beth Booksellers of Lexington is one of the best bookstores in the entire country. It has been my favorite bookstore since my youth, when the first version of the store opened, in the same store complex where it is today. Of course, it was nowhere near the size that it is now, but it has somehow managed to retain the warm, independent feel that it had from its earliest inception, and this is a real credit to the people who have run it throughout the years.

Joseph Beth has been really wonderful to me, from Brooke, who runs their PR and Events, to Andrew and Brian, two of their sci-fi and fantasy experts. This is a big reason why I wanted to go a little farther with this signing, and I think we've put a nice event together for tonight.

It is a real homecoming event, as I've traveled extensively in the past year in the support of The Exodus Gate. From Des Moines, IA (DemiCon) to Charlotte, NC (ConCarolinas), from St. Louis (Archon), to Memphis (MidSouthCon), to Borders stores in Indianapolis and Columbus, OH, and all kinds of places in between, I've logged ALOT of road miles. It is nice to be doing an event on the homefront! At least I don't have far to drive, and I save a few bucks on hotel costs!

We are going to have a little presentation at 7:15, where I am going to talk about the origins of the book, and the book itself, and then I am going to introduce and talk about the cover artist and illustrator, Matthew Perry (his new art site is at perrypixel.com ), as well as my editor, Amanda DeBord. I really want people to get a sense of how wonderful they've been to the book projects and the contributions that they have made.

Following this, we had a special print made exclusively for tonight, using the Trogen Warrior artwork from Crown of Vengeance. It is an 8X12 print, and looks SHARP. The back has commemorative text for the venue and date, as well as artist credit and a little other information. Every person attending will get one, absolutely free, regardless of whether they buy the book or not.

After that, we will be giving out some door prizes, including framed, signed cover art posters and 8X10's, a book signed by myself, Amanda, and Matt, and some prizes from Apex Publications. Apex is based in Lexington, and it is a small press publisher that this city can take ALOT of pride in. They've maintained a standard of excellence throughout several years, and are really growing into a small press force to be reckoned with! Jason Sizemore, the founder/head editor, was kind enough to provide some door prizes for my signing, and it is a real honor to have an Apex element to tonight!

After all that is done, we will move to the signing portion of the night, which will continue for a couple of hours.

All of it is going to be covered by Filmmaker Aaron Champion, who will be getting footage for a short documentary on the evening. I think this is going to be fantastic, and we are going to get the doc out there as soon as it is ready for everyone to enjoy. Aaron is also working on a video trailer for Crown of Vengeance, which should debut pretty soon!

All in all, we've really worked to make tonight a nice event, and I hope that the folks in the area will decide to come out and visit. I'll post some pictures and such in the coming days!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A whirlwind as of late...

The past few weeks have been busy to a ridiculous level...I had a very adventurous week to kick off November, visiting Sherlock's in Lebanon, TN, Border Bookstore in Columbus, OH (the Kenny Road location), and the Kentucky Book Fair. Glad to say that all of the events were very enjoyable, though I was admittedly a bit tired at the end of the week.

I am happy that the new book is now available...currently in softcover and shortly in hardcover (and we just got in the limited edition hardcover for those that pre-ordered it). The effort has been extensive to get this one out there, in the multiple versions with all the extras like the art cards, poster, etc. As always, I don't mind going as far as I can for my readers, in terms of doing everything I can to have some nice elements involved with the release and getting out the best possible verson that I can.

Things are going to be very busy in the next few weeks as we work to get the word out about the new book. There will be two appearances in December...one is a big homecoming signing at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Lexington KY on December 10th. It will feature an exclusive collectible for all those who attend, and a friend of mine is shooting footage for a short documentary about the night. (even will be from 7-9pm)

Beyond that is an Imagicopter event at Sherlock's on December 19th. It will be great to catch up with David Blalock and the gang, as this will be my first Imagicopter event. It will also be good to go back to Sherlock's, which is a fantastic bookstore.

Onward and upward, as they say! Lots of work ahead, but I'm excited about it all,

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pulling the full package together

A quick note here...we've been working, working, working to get the full package together for Crown of Vengeance, from the book to all of the collectibles that will go with the Limited Edition and Trade Paperback pre-orders. I am very, very focused on giving my readers the best possible package that we can pull off, and going the extra mile as a way of showing my gratitude for their support.

I must say that the art card set for this book looks killer. There will be 9 cards in the set (2 more than we were able to do for the Exodus Gate, which was a 7 card set). We are also working through a poster that will be slightly larger in dimensions than the last one, and a very slick 8X10 of the cover art. Last, but not least, is a collectible bookmark set that will contain no less than EVERY illustration and the cover art used in the Limited Edition (which has one extra full page illustration done especially for this version). I think people are going to really like the package.

The hardcover looks very sharp!

Sooooo much goes into this, even the things that don't seem all that complicated. It really is a big undertaking, and Matt Perry has been fantastic and has risen to the challenge of translating everything for the package.

I am also very, very grateful to all the bloggers that have participated in the book announcement for Crown Of Vengeance. Their readers each got a sneak peak of one of the illustrations in the book, as one image was designated for each blogger to use exclusively for a week and a half.

Lots going on, and I have to remain tunnel-visioned to get it all accomplished, but we're on track!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The New Book is launching!

At last, here it is! The new series and book announcement, as posted on my publisher's site. The limited edition hardcover is very sharp, and as there will only be 100 copies be sure to get your order in if you want one. Pre-ordering window will be up until November 1st.


Begin an Epic Journey...


On a night that begins no different from any other, strange mists engulf Janus Roland, Erika Laesig, Mershad Shahab, and several others going about their lives in a quiet midwestern town. When the mist dissipates, they all find themselves looking up into the bright skies of a new, incredible world.

Without explanation of why it has happened, or any notion of where they are, they embark upon a grand adventure within the fantastical world of Ave. Some find themselves in the lands of the Saxan Kingdom, while others have emerged within the lands of the Onan, one of the tribes in the Five Realms confederation.

Storms of war loom over both Saxany and the Five Realms, as invasion forces mass under the inspiration of The Unifier, a mysterious, captivating figure whose influence has swept across the surface of Ave ever since His rise to power in the Gallean duchy of Avanor. It is a war that will be fought in the skies, upon the seas, on land, and even in places non-physical in nature.

A majestic, epic fantasy that begins many adventures and journeys across a diverse and enthralling world, filled with races and creatures both familiar and new, Crown of Vengeance lights the flame of the Fires in Eden series, bringing to life a bold, far-ranging, and grand new venture within the realms of fantasy literature.

Pre-Order Announcement for Crown of Vengeance:

Seventh Star Press proudly announces the release of Crown of Vengeance, the first book in the new epic fantasy series Fires in Eden, by author Stephen Zimmer (The Exodus Gate).

To commemorate the forthcoming release, publisher Seventh Star Press is offering pre-order packages for Crown of Vengeance, including a very special, limited edition hardcover version that is strictly limited to 100 copies.

To ensure full authenticity, the limited edition hardcover will be hand-numbered and signed by Stephen Zimmer, and also signed by editor Amanda DeBord and illustrator/cover artist Matt Perry. It will include an extra illustration, and designation plate as a limited edition within the book.

Both the limited edition hardcover and first edition trade paperback pre-orders come with a special package of collectibles, including a numbered set of art cards, a collectible set of 6 bookmarks, and a full color poster of the cover art.

Information on the pre-ordering options can be found at the new site for the Fires In Eden series, located at www.firesineden.com

For information on the publisher visit www.seventhstarpress.com, and for the author visit www.stephenzimmer.com

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Horses, Books, and Libraries

I am in the midst of working on the broadcast team in the Keeneland September horse sales, which consists of watching literally hundreds of horses go around a ring and millions of dollars getting spent daily. Kind of surreal, to say the least, but as a small press author, there are necessities to attend to, especially if I want to maintain the convention and bookstore schedule that I have been keeping.

I do get some rays of light, though. Archon in St. Louis is next weekend, the new medieval fantasy book is getting the final art touches, and all is set for a release the first week of November.

I also got a chance to be a guest at the Joseph-Beth Booksellers Sci-Fi/Fantasy Club last night, and really enjoyed meeting with the group. I was honored to be a selection, and really appreciated those who took the time to read the book. A sci-fi/fantasy readers club is going to have a diverse range of tastes, as the genre is not a monolith, so I was pleased that there were a few that really liked the book, and even the ones that didn't find it to their taste felt that it was a quality book in terms of structure, writing, etc.

As a small press author, there are some things that are probably more exciting to me than they would be to an author on a major press, and one of these things occurred last night when I looked up to see library tags on two of the books at the meeting. I found out that there are 4 branches in Lexington's library system that have The Exodus Gate, and that there are actually people waiting to get the copies checked out by the people from the reader's group. That was really cool, as I was unaware that the libraries in Lexington had gotten some copies.

Now off to horse-world...as a filmmaker it kills me to watch many a horse sold after horse sold, thinking that the money spent on just one horse would fund a theatrical-grade production value feature film. Sigh!

;)

Monday, September 14, 2009

It was a ScareFest Weekend, and a Con Trek adventure!

ScareFest turned out to be quite an adventure! I ended up jumping aboard the Con Trek crew for Saturday, as they had selected Lexington's ScareFest to be one of their season one episodes. Con Trek, of course, is a fantastic episodic reality show that visits various conventions across the USA. It is found on the Microsoft Xbox's Video Marketplace.

I was really impressed with Alan and Brittney, the two Con Trek hosts. Seeing them work throughout the day showed me that they have a great professionalism and work ethic as well as a good chemistry. We got to visit with a number of genre stars, such as Doug Bradley (Pinhead from the Hellraiser films, Kane Hodder (Friday the 13th, was Jason in 4 of the films), Danielle Harris (who was in both of the newer Rob Zombie Halloween movies), three of the main cast from the Travel Channel's Ghost Adventures, and more.

There were several thousand attendees, including alot of the filmmakers based in the immediate region. Feathered Italian Films (Jason Crowe and TJ Moreschi), Goatboy Films (Jerry Williams), Eric Butts, Pat Bowling, Cherokee Hall, Stacy Gillespie, George Bonilla and ZP International, and many more were on hand. Others included David Rudd of Infernal Dreams, Jason Sizemore of Apex Publications, Schaeffer Tolliver, Billy "Leprechaun" Blackwell (I wanted to know where he hides his pot of gold!) and alot of other excellent folks. Even my pals from Cineline/IMM, Sven Granlund and Matt Perry made it down.

The convention was very well laid out, with large aisles and plenty of room to move. The costume contest, VIP party, and other events turned out great as well. Lori Baker and Susan Rummel, two friends of mine on the ScareFest staff, looked very happy with the results.

Needless to say, lots of cool things happened over the weekend, unexpected and otherwise. Heard Con Trek's Alan Smith defending his Tennessee Titans with Kane Hodder in the rest room (and Alan didn't realize at the time that he was talking with Kane! lol).

We did about a 15 hour shoot on Saturday, so we were a bit tired at the end of it all, but I am looking forward to next year's ScareFest for sure.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

All In! Crown of Vengeance, ConText, and more...

Just turned in a short preview section of the 2nd book in the new Fires In Eden series, which will be placed at the end of Crown of Vengeance, so all the pieces are ready for the book. We plan on making an announcement very shortly regarding the limited edition version, which will probably be around 100 copies and include some special elements and extras.


ConText was a really great experience. I ended up doing 4 panels that weekend, three of which focused on translations from books to other media and vice versa. Doug Johnson, Michael D' Ambrosio, Sandy Lender, Scott Sandridge, Dr. Maura Heaphy, and Gregory Hall were some of my co-panelists, and we had some fantastic discussions.


I actually made it to two parties over the weekend, hanging out with Michael West and Nicole Cushing on Friday (held by Indiana Horror Writers and Apex Publications) and the Meadowhawk Press gang on Saturday night (co-hosted with Shroud Publishing). Suffice it to say that Michael and Jason's party was shut down by security on friday night...they know how to party! Saturday's went the distance, though I bowed out early, but not before I got to see Dan Gamber of Meadowhawk demonstrating yet another of his many talents as he danced the night away!


I am really digging Sandy Lender's book Choices Meant For Gods, and I picked up a few Michael West stories as well that were highly enjoyable. I also picked up the "Best Magazine Ever Released by Apex Publications"...which Maurice and I agreed is the appropriate designation for it as it has a Maurice Broaddus short story in it!



Speaking of...I had a great panel to round out Sunday with Sandy Lender and Scott Sandridge, who is one of the more colorful characters I've met out there! He's got a whole new conception of orcs in his new podcast novel, The Silverblade Prophecy. I believe Scott set a record for panel participation at ConText. He did a stretch of 6 straight panels on Saturday, and I believe he was on around 10 panels in all that weekend. He is the iron man for sure!

Jason Sizemore was an editing guest of honor over the weekend, and the hour focusing on him, hosted by author Geoffrey Girard, was awesome! Didn't know Jason was a Transylvania University guy and got to learn alot about Apex history. Jason's really doing some great things and I hope every reader out there tries out some Apex stuff...it's very, very good!


Finally got to talk for a bit with Michael D'Ambrosio, who was at the Fright Night Film Festival that I was at, though we didn't get to talk there. Michael is really pursuing some film avenues, so we got to talk a little shop in that respect as well.



ConText had some outstanding programming, and was really enjoyable as a smaller convention that is literary focused. I definitely want to return to this one again next year. Columbus is not too far away, after all! (and I did get to visit the Borders on Kenny Rd. in Columbus, where I will be returning on Thursday, November 5th for a signing for both The Exodus Gate AND Crown of Vengeance)


Thursday, September 3, 2009

A Few Brief Words...

It has sure been a busy week since I returned from ConText. I plan on getting a more thorough overview of the event up, as well as a few pics, but suffice it to say that it was a very outstanding event that I hope to visit again next year.

We're getting a little closer to opening up a pre-order window for the limited edition version of the new book, Crown of Vengeance, which is the first adventure in the new series Fires in Eden. Stay tuned for more very, very shortly!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

A note from ConText and a little announcement...

Sitting here in the morning in Columbus Ohio, ready to start day two of ConTrek, a very nice speculative fiction literary convention. I've got a few panels to do today, which will be fun, as they focus on issues of translating books to film and vice-versa. In other words, I get to draw off both of those aspects of me under one umbrella!

I've been a little slack on my posts here. It's been crazy, just trying to get a good rhythm going with the Indie Movie Masters and Seventh Star Press blogs and podcasts, and I've been putting a ton of hours into the writing, as always! ;)

Matt is knee-deep in completing the artwork on the new novel. The title is going to be Crown of Vengeance, and it will be Book One of Fires in Eden. It is epic fantasy of a more medieval/high fantasy nature, though it does involve a few characters from the modern age that get whisked into this world.

As I've stated before, the plan is to have the sequel to The Exodus Gate, Book Two of the Rising Dawn Saga, out in spring of 2010, and we will try to maintain a schedule with books in the Fires in Eden series coming out in each fall and Rising Dawn Saga books coming out each spring.

The material is there, as both have been in development for years. It is just a matter of editing and polishing the material.

Matt also is working with one of my horror short stories, turning it into a graphic novel that is being put out in segments for a sequential art magazine. I have several horror short stories that just need some tweaking, which have a thematic continuity, and could form a nice singular anthology. Kind of a Clive-Barkeresque Books of Blood sort of vibe, as they are very macabre, and visceral. Matt and I have discussed turning a Volume One of these stories into a sequential art version, so stay tuned.

As far as film goes, I am committed to helping a very talented guy develop a horror feature. We've got a way to go before any greenlight, but suffice it to say that his story and concept are dynamite. We want to achieve a production value that is theatrical grade. I would be a producer on this project if it moves forward.

The fantasy short film that I mentioned a ways back is tentatively slated to be produced in early 2010. In the meantime, I am a producer on Scott Sullivan's new comedy short, Santa Boy, which shoots this December. Scott is a great talent and fellow and I am looking forward to working with him on it.

So there you go! A bit of an update with some new information. (Including my quiet announcement of the new book title, haha).

I'm off to ConText here shortly! Jason Sizemore of Apex, Michael West, Maurice Broaddus, Dan and Jackie Gamber, and all the gang are here, so it should be crazy and alot of fun.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

A Good Weekend...

Got a ton of work done this weekend on the new fantasy novel. about 2/3 is completed with all edits and corrections, and I'm making progress daily. I definitely hit a good groove this weekend, and had Stuck Mojo CD's crankin'

This week is going to be very busy, as I'll be heading to Borders Downtown Indianapolis on Friday for a booksigning from noon to 2pm, and then shooting down to the Fright Night Film Fest in Louisville Kentucky. Both Sirens and Shadows Light are screening, as is Murderer, the film that was paired with Sirens on the IMM Festival of Horrors Vol 1 DVD.

Received my schedule today for ConText in Columbus, and it looks right now as if I'll be on 3 panels, and will also be doing a signing with other attending authors.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Storms, Business, and Schedule Shifts!

A very interesting day, just like the past few days. On Tuesday, Lexington got hit with a deluge, though Lousville got hit even worse. They recorded over 10,000 lightning strikes in the Louisville area and had more water fall in a 3 hour period than any time in Louisville history. We are definitely having an unusually cool July/August period.

This week has had its share of adventures. I got an invitation to attend as an author to the Kentucky Book Fair in Frankfort, KY on November 7th. I am really excited that the selection board extended this invitation and I will be there for both The Exodus Gate and the new book that I have coming out around October.

On the film side, it has been frustrating in terms of scheduling. I am a producer on a new comedy short film from the very talented Scott Sullivan, and am also primed to direct a new fantasy short from a published fantasy author. Both projects were originally primed for the fall, but it looks as if we will be shooting the comedy short the first week of December and the fantasy project has been pushed back to early 2010. I am working on the development of a horror feature that I've been asked to produce...a very high concept, very sharp project from a very talented individual that I have alot of respect for, and I hope to be talking more about this one pretty shortly.

Other than that, mired in pages, pages, and pages of the final run on the new medieval fantasy novel. The work is going very smoothly.

I did manage to get the first Indie Movie Masters podast up last Friday, and this Friday it looks as if we are on target for the first podcast on Seventh Star Press's blog site (seventhstarpress.blogspot.com ). I am really enjoying doing the blog/interviews and the podcasts, and I've got a number of excellent guests that I want to have on them.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

First SSP Blog-Interview is up, and first IMM Podcast one day from upload.

Just a quick late night post, to say that I FINALLY got the kickoff of the new blog series on the Seventh Star Press blog site up and going, featuring D.A. Adams of The Brotherhood of Dwarves series. It is all at: http://seventhstarpress.blogspot.com

The first podcast for the Indie Movie Masters blog site is now edited and complete, and will be posted by tomorrow evening. This one features Stephen Lackey, and covers his full spectrum of endeavors, such as Captain Pixel and Cinegeek, as our blog interview of him was mainly focused on Con Trek.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

On the eve of the new SSP Blog Series.

I'm sitting here about a day away from the kickoff of the new blog/interview and podcast series for Seventh Star Press, which will be like a sibling to the similar thing I've been doing for Indie Movie Masters.

I'm really excited about this series, as it is a chance for me to put the spotlight on some very talented individuals that I have come across during my travels to conventions and events.

The first one is going to be excellent, featuring D.A. Adams, author of The Brotherhood of Dwarves series. Each of these blogs will have an interview, brief introductory article, AND a book review.

It is a very, very hard road to be a small press author or independent filmmaker. I know from direct experience. This is why I am very sensitive towards others who have taken on this hard road, and it is what motivates me to a series like this. I hope it results in producing some good showcases of some very gifted individuals, and makes their path just a little easier if it can raise awareness and interest in them.

From time to time I will also be highlighting some events and bloggers as well.

Some of the books that will be reviewed shortly include Jackie Gamber's Redheart, H. David Blalock's Ascendant, Lettie Prell's Dragon Ring, and TammyJo Eckhart's Servants of Destiny. Farther ahead, I'm hoping to cover Michael Sullivan, Maurice Broaddus, Jason Sizemore, Elizabeth Donald, Angelia Sparrow, Sara Harvey, and more on either the podcast or blog series. This should be alot of fun, and all of those featured are individuals that I have met in person, whose work I have read personally, and who exemplify what is great about the small press world. It is definitely one of the highlights of going to alot of conventions to be able to meet such individuals. I hope all of them become best sellers! ;)

Well, back to work, I've been digging away at corrections on the new medieval fantasy book, making great progress on it. I will also post some thoughts on a collection of horror short stories I'm working on, and a horror novella... stay tuned!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Hitting stride!

Last couple of days have seen a ton of progress on the manuscript of the new book. I've gotten to spend a load of hours working on the changes and corrections, and I am pleased to say that alot has been done. It is always great to get into the "zone", though time does tend to fly. We've still got a couple decisions to make at the end of the book, in terms of the exact thread sections to end it on.

I do think that we are going to look to have one section from the second book tagged at the end as a preview for book 2, which will contain one heckuva teaser for the sequel.

On another note, I'm getting ready to interview Stephen and Suzie Lackey tonight for Indie Movie Master's new podcast. Should be a great one, and I'm stoked to kick it off with Nashville's Dynamic Duo!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Progress, New Books, New Podcasts, InConJunction, and more!

The past couple of weeks have definitely been very busy on this end.

First off, as you know from the last post, my wondrous editor Amanda DeBord turned in her edits of the first book of the new medieval fantasy series to me on 7/7. I am well underway on working with the red ink. It is a very healthy process, as Amanda often saves me from myself, and she really "gets it" as far as the series and what I'm trying to do with it.

Matt Perry is underway on the artwork, narrowing down design ideas and beginning initial sketches for what we hope will be at least 10 illustrations, the cover, and a bonus illustration for the limited edition version of the medieval fantasy series kickoff. Matt has some really intruiging ideas regarding the approach that he wants to take for this series of art, and I can guarantee you that it will come out first rate.

And as if that all is not enough for you...

I do have a short story that I am sending over to Amanda for a new horror anthology that she is editing together, to be released this fall via Seventh Star Press. This story is being used by Matt Perry for a special sequential art project kicking off at the beginning of September. I'll have some news posted here about that.

This has all led to some notions that I am exploring regarding a full-blown "Books of Blood" style horror anthology. I have several stories and story ideas in "The Vault" which have some thematic continuity, and are straight out horror genre pieces. LIke the short story I am sending over to Amanda that is being used by Matt for his sequential art project, these stories are very macabre, visceral, and definitely reveal a little of my Clive Barker influence...very different from the fantasy series material in the Rising Dawn Saga and the new medieval fantasy series. Matt and I are discussing doing a full blown graphic novel-style version of a series of short stories later, once a narrative version has been released. This is slowly growing into an exciting project. I don't project more than 5-6 stories for the first release, if this all moves ahead.

Stay tuned on that one for sure!

I am hopefully going to be announcing a very exciting new short film project involving H. David Blalock's novel Ascendant. We are looking at doing a short film revolving around a pivotal fight between champions of good and evil that takes place in the book, and it looks as if we are going to move forward pretty heavily in August on this project. I will be serving as a director and producer, and will be working on the adaptation of the novel elements to the screen. I am very, very enthusiastic about this project. We are already beginning to reach out to some professional Mixed Martial Arts fighters in the superheavyweight class to look at for casting the two main fighters, if that gives you any idea of the imagery and explosiveness we want to capture in this fight scene.

I am also an acting producer on a short film project with my pal Scott Sullivan, which we hope will be shooting in late August/Early September. More on that shortly as well.

I am also going to be launching a new series of blog interviews/reviews and podcasts for Seventh Star Press featuring authors, small publishers, and the like. It will be carried at the Seventh Star Blog site. It will spotlight writers and small press figures that I have met during my adventures to various Cons and other events. I will highlight books that I would like to bring to people's attention. Jackie Gamber, Lettie Prell, D.A. Adams, H. David Blalock, Nic Brown, Maurice Broaddus and Tammy Jo Eckhart are among the first batch that I will be looking to cover, as far as reviews/interviews go. I also hope to do a piece on Meadowhawk Press and another on Apex Publications.

On the film side of things, the Indie Movie Masters blog interviews are well underway, with recent visits with the indie film site Dead Harvey, as well as Ken Daniels, the director of the Fright Night Film Festival. Next on deck is an interview with Stephen and Suzie Lackey of the Con Trek series that is currently being featured on the XboX. We will soon integrate the IMM Podcast on the Indie Movie Masters blog page, and will likely have Stephen and Suzie on the kickoff interview. I hope to soon be visiting with guests such as Jon Klement of Smerdiverse fame, Wayne Clingman of Indy Film Wisconsin, Mark Racop of the Starship movies, and more!

My journey to InConJunction did go very well, by the way. I served on 4 panels, and had a fairly smooth experience all around. The Con is more of a full media event, and as such I got to participate in a couple of panels on blogging, in addition to a couple of literary panels that were stacked with some really fantastic authors (Such as Maurice Broaddus, pictured with me in front of the Apex Publishing banner.

I finally got to hang out a bit with Jason Sizemore of Apex Publications, who is located in my home base of Lexington. I hope to be doing some work with Jason with the Imagicopter project in the near future, as well as some other activities related to promoting small press in our area.

On the film side of things, I got to meet Chuck Budreau of Indy Film News, a resource and networking group for Indiana Filmmakers. I also caught back up with Mark Racop of MagicHouse Productions, who is in the process of finishing up his new sci-fi movie Starship II. I met Mark at a DragonCon a few years back, and he participated in a film/music industry conference I ran for a few years here in Lexington, and it was fantastic to get in touch with him again. His new movie looks like it is going to be really good, with some really nice visuals, so be sure to check out Starship II when it is released.

I also wanted to mention that it was a real pleasure meeting Tammy Jo Eckhart, a very good writer (I am going to be posting a review and interview with her for her book Servant of Destiny) who also happens to be the mastermind behind The Chocolate Cult. Yes, there really is a cult of chocolate now, officially!

Michelle Gussow was also awesome, and I can't wait to see her new short film, Soldier's Song, which looks to pack an emotional wallop! (and big kudos to her as a director for having a scene with a very extended single camera shot! Nice to see someone can still execute something like that in this world of five cuts per second editing)

Also, stay on the lookout for a new book by Angelia Sparrow and Naomi Brooks. I had the great privilege of getting to read this book in advance for consideration of giving a blurb, which I was happy to do as the writing was excellent and the story imaginative and tight. I can't wait to talk more about this book when it goes public.

Well, that about sums things up at the moment! Be sure to stay tuned as there are going to be alot of updates and notices forthcoming!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

7/7 and Seventh Star! Final edit of the new book is done!

Had to put up a quick post...thoughts on my adventures at InConJunction are forthcoming, but I just realized that it is 7/7 today, and Amanda just handed in the final section of the edit of the first book of my new medieval fantasy series. As it will be out this fall through Seventh Star Press, I guess that 7's are up!

I also am happy to say that the target is spring of 2010 for the sequel to The Exodus Gate, and Seventh Star Press will also be releasing a horror anthology this fall (focus on paranormal/supernatural).

It was a great meeting today for sure!

Monday, June 29, 2009

InConJunction, Bowling Green Signing, Upcoming Blog series, IMM Blogs, and more!

Whew, the title to this post says it all. Not enough hours in the day!

I'm getting ready for a trip to InConJunction in Indianapolis this weekend. I'm glad that the drive won't be too far, and I am really looking forward to participating in the convention. One of my favorite writers, E.E. Knight (Vampire Earth series) is attending, and I have the good fortune of being a co-panelist with him. I will be sure to give a report here, along with some pictures.

I just realized that I didn't put up a post on my Bowling Green signing at Waldenbooks! I did a signing there back on June 13th for The Exodus Gate, which turned out to be a very positive experience. I ended up getting to meet alot of new folks, some of who picked up the book and had it signed. I had a few individuals show up that had seen promotional material in the store leading up to the event, and there were others who just happened to visit the store. Everyone was very, very friendly and the staff and management at Waldenbooks made me feel right at home.

Also exciting was the fact that I found my book on the shelf right under Tolkien again! This happened at Park Road Books in Charlotte NC. Having a last name that begins with a Z, I do not think that this will be a common occurrence, so I can't help myself taking pictures of it!

It is not an easy thing being a brand new small press author in a bookstore appearance, but the people who visited with me at my table made it entirely enjoyable. I hope to hear back from the ones that picked up the book, so if you read this, be sure to email me from my website (www.stephenzimmer.com) or find me on Facebook or MySpace.



Here are a couple of other images from the signing...both featuring me with the store's general manager, Sheila Burden





Waldenbooks in Bowling Green Kentucky is definitely high on my list! I can't wait to go back and visit, hopefully in the fall when the first book in the medieval series comes out.


In regards to blogs, my interview/article series for Indie Movie Masters is well underway over at indiemoviemasters.blogspot.com

There will soon be an interview/review series focusing on authors and small press publishers that will be posted at seventhstarpress.blogspot.com, so get ready for that one.

As if all that wasn't enough, I am getting ready to do a podcast series in each area. Probably won't tackle more than 1 or 2 a month as we get underway, but topically they will be similar to the blogs in spotlighting indie filmakers and others in the indie film world on one podcast, and then authors/small press publishers on the other. These should be alot of fun once we get the kinks worked out. The first few episodes should be adventures at the least!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

New Gail Z Martin Video Blogs

This just came in...links to the video blogs that Chronicles of the Necromancer series author Gail Z Martin did at ConCarolinas. They are split up into Day One and Day Two.

Day 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=356ANiRze3I

Day 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_HOXHtjkMg


Yours truly is on day one, as is Lori Baker of ScareFest. Lots of cool authors all throughout, such as Crymsyn Hart who is on the Day 2 segment.

Gail also has new video blogs up of some other events:

Balticon:

Day 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dSmtQn_IuCI

Day 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fz--XeHHGHE



Carolinas Writers Conference

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PguedqN9p5k



RavenCon

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PD6fQOpa9vU



And be sure to read my last post on Hypericon too!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Hypericon Adventure!

I really love Hypericon. Actually, I am beginning to think of Nashville as my second home. I have attended Hypericon since the early days of this Con, missing only the year that my father passed away, and this convention has always been a very pleasant experience.

It is still a smaller convention, though it has grown alot since its first year. It showed more growth this year, and as always was a pleasant environment in which to meet and talk with people.

There were alot of outstanding writers, starting with the guest of honor, Brian Keene, who has written some magnificent horror novels such as The Rising, City of the Dead, and Dark Hollow. I was pleased to discover that Brian apparently has excellent taste in music, attested to by his Iron Maiden shirt.

Scott Nicholson, who wrote one of the coolest and most visceral non-typical vampire books out there, They Hunger, was actually on one of the film track panels with me (a screenwriting panel). Scott has alot going on, including the world of graphic novels.



I was very happy to see Dan and Jackie Gamber of Meadowhawk Press (and look out for a special blog article on Jackie's book Redheart...coming very soon to this blog and the Seventh Star Press blog too!). Jackie unveiled a new sharpie tattoo, showing off her new rock n' roll image...it looked a little faded on the last day of the convention, but Jackie explained that was because she was demonstrating her toughness by using a brillo pad to remove the tattoo! Don't mess with Meadowhawk Press! lol

Actually, Meadowhawk Press became one of 4 small press publishers ever to have a release win the Philip K. Dick award! (for Terminal Mind by David Walton) THAT ROCKS!

Jason Sizemore of Apex Publications was also on hand. I have not gotten to know well Jason yet, even though we both live in Lexington! Apex is an excellent publisher, with many writers that I have alot of respect for ( Sarah Harvey, Fran Friel, etc. ), and I hope to get a chance to meet with Jason on the homefront a little more often.

One of the coolest things I encountered this past weekend were P'ckit Dragons, from the Smerdiverse developed by Jon Klement. He is not hard to find, walking around with a big purple hat with ears and a shirt with a little purple dragon peeking out from the shirt pocket. Jon took some time to tell me some of the background of the multi-dimensional P'ckit dragons, and after learning more, I believe everyone should have their own P'ckit dragon! Jon is from St. Louis, so I hope to catch back up with him in person at Archon later this fall.

I finally got a chance to meet D.A. Adams, author of the Brotherhood of Dwarves series. I had been looking forward to meeting him at MidSouthCon, but he had some last minute schedule conflicts and was not at a reading that we were supposed to do together there. I picked up a copy of his first book and will be reading it for sure. D.A. and I appear to have quite alot in common as well, which was really cool to discover.

Seeing Sarah Harvey, Elizabeth Donald, and Angelia Sparrow is always a great thing, and Hypericon was no exception! Elizabeth was generous/kind enough to consign some of my books there so that I had availability in the dealer's room. Believe me, this is a really helpful thing at a convention, and I appreciated it tremendously.

I did get to visit for a little while with Steven Shrewsbury, though I did not get to talk to him as long as I wanted to. Steven's book Hawg was a great read, if not disturbing! Not for the faint of heart! LOL His new one Tormentor is just now coming available.

I got to spend a good bit of time with my pals/partners in crime/fellow independent media sufferers Stephen and Suzie Lackey (who do all kinds of stuff, like Con Trek, Cinegeek.com), and Mike Young. As always, we came up with absurd ideas, as well as a few that might yet have merit! lol Stephen had his hands full running the film track, but we did get out for some very excellent pizza on Sunday.

Speaking of ideas that might have merit, something may be brewing regarding the film side of things! My cohorts in Cineline Productions, Matt Perry and Sven Granlund, and I had a great meeting with the eminent H. David Blalock, author of Ascendant (Sam's Dot Publishing). Suffice it to say that it appears that I will be directing a new project, short film in nature, fantasy in nature (YEEESSSS!) later this summer. Get ready, I'm fired up!

The good Jarl of House Blalock and his daughter Hericka and I did get to spend a good amount of time together, which was fantastic, as they are rapidly becoming a couple of my favorites out there. I am going to be posting something soon on Ascendant as well...so stay tuned!

Was very happy to meet a couple of Kentucky authors, David Jack Bell, author of The Condemned, and Julie Kagawa, whose first YA release The Iron King comes out at the beginning of 2010.

Big thanks to Matthew, Jon, Deb, and all those that came to support my signing slot in the dealer's room and who picked up a copy of The Exodus Gate. It means alot when you see someone step forward to take a chance on a new author. I can assure you that it is not forgotten! ;)


Many, many thanks and salutes go out to conference chairpersons Fred and Stephania Grimm, who are among those willing to take on the punishing job of running a large event. I think they have really been steadily building a very nice event, and I hope that they continue, despite the many headaches and challenges involved. (and kudos to all the volunteers like Deborah, and all the others involved with various aspects like running registration, cooking for the con suite, and more).


Oh yeah, while in Nashville, I also got to visit Davis-Kidd in Nashville. Awesome store, 2 levels, grand scale, while still being indie friendly. I got to meet Ashley Strosnider and Joe Nettles in person, which was super cool as I just knew them through phone calls and emails before.




Overall, Hypericon 5 was yet another great experience. I am already looking forward to Hypericon 6!!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

ConCarolinas

Last weekend, I attended ConCarolinas, held in the fine city of Charlotte NC along with my friends and ScareFest staffers Susan Rummel and Lori Baker.

It was my first time doing an exhibition table, so I really did not know what to expect from that angle at a fantasy/sci-fi con. As luck would have it, I had a major summer cold that kicked in on the way down that Friday.

The drive itself wasn't bad, though we got a slow start with bad foggy/drizzly weather in Kentucky and a traffic accident on the highway that really set things back. The sun finally peeked out when we neared North Carolina, and just in time as we got to wind our way through the mountains surrounded by all kinds of vibrant little meadows rife with color. Crimsons, violets, reds, yellows, whites...it was pretty nice scenery to say the least, and mountains always evoke the fantasy genre in me anyway! lol

I would say that ConCarolinas is pretty close in size to MidSouthCon, in terms of numbers, dealers, etc. (at least to my eye). It is a Con that has a solid track record, and the organization was evident upon arrival, as Janet got us fixed up right away with a folder filled with badges, information and everything we needed.

We had a pretty nice little table to use as a base, as we put up an Exodus Gate Banner and an Indie Movie Masters banner on stands behind, and Lori and Susan were awesome with the layout of the table itself (and we had a ScareFest banner draped in front.)



We were joined by Pete Bullock, the electronic editions editor for the British Sci-Fi magazine Interzone. Interzone is, in fact, the longest running Sci-Fi mag in the UK and it really is nice. Great artwork, writers...very impressive. Pete was a super nice guy, and very helpful all weekend. As we had four people involved, we did do some rotating so that we could get around, attend a few panels, and that sort of thing.

I met some very friendly and talented authors. Michael J. Sullivan and his wife Robin had a table just opposite us. He is the author of the fantasy novels The Crown Conspiracy and Avempartha, which are in his series The Riyria Revelations. Michael was a very popular author over the weekend, as I watched him sell and sign a ton of books. I was a buyer of one myself, and am going to start on it very shortly. I can vouch for the genuine friendliness of Michael and Robin, as they were great to talk to all three days.

I finally caught up with Gail Z Martin, author of the Chronicles of the Necromancer series. I had exchanged a few emails with Gail, but it was super to meet her in person. I did get to attend one panel that she was on involving podcasting, as well as a book reading that she did on that Saturday evening. Gail was kind enough to record a video blog tag of both myself, for The Exodus Gate, and Lori and Susan for ScareFest.


Crymsyn Hart ended up being the writer that benefited greatly from the Lexington, Kentucky gang, at least in terms of sales! Crymsyn has about 20 books in print and ebook editions, which is amazing! Lori, Susan, and myself all bought books from Crymsyn, who writes darker urban fantasy/paranormal type stories. She is a very good writer, as I read a few pages of one of the books that Lori brought back before I had gotten a chance to buy one myself. Needless to say, there were many Crymsyn Hart books traveling back to Kentucky in the car!

I ended up fighting the summer cold/sinus attack all weekend, and thanks to Theraflu I made it through. Not easy at all!

We got a chance on Sunday to go out and visit two bookstores that are carrying The Exodus Gate in Charlotte.

First up was Joseph-Beth Booksellers. As Lexington's Joseph-Beth is near and dear to me (and where I did my first ever store signing), it was really cool getting to visit another Joseph-Beth Location. It "felt" like Joseph-Beth the second I walked into it. Very large, 2 level store, but very different in layout from the Lexington store. The general manager Cheryl was kind enough to talk for a few minutes and show me the sci-fi/fantasy section.




Second was Park Road Books, which very recently stocked the title. We got to meet Frank, who also happens to be the resident sci-fi/fantasy expert. The store is very nice and well-laid out, nestled into a shopping center not too far away from JB.

I was in for a big surprise, as when I went to their fantasy section, I was arranged on the shelf directly below J.R.R. Tolkien, who happens to be numero uno in my world of authors! As my last name begins with a Z, I do not often see chances where I am in such an aligned proximity, so I just had to get a picture of this as it was personally amazing!

Park Road Books also had my book at the front in new releases with an author-signed sticker affixed. I was really flattered by their presentation, and they even took the time to place bookmarks in all the copies.


Charlotte definitely has two excellent independent bookstores, and I wish both of them much success. They certainly have my gratitude!

The ride back went much quicker, though we were all pretty worn out by the time that we got back to Lexington a little after 11pm.

ConCarolinas gets a thumbs up. Organized, excellent guests, good layout. I will look to return to this one.

Up next...Hypericon! (as in this weekend!)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

New Book Promotion, ConCarolinas trip this weekend, and alot more!

Following a harrowing week on the personal front involving my mother's health, which has thankfully resolved well, I am back in the thick of things and preparing for this weekend's ConCarolinas visit.

I will be running a Seventh Star Press table there with Susan Rummel and Lori Baker of ScareFest (great paranormal and horror convention held in the fall in Lexington, KY.). This should be a blast. This is the first exhibit table I have done at a convention like this, so we'll see how it all goes! I've got some really nice new banners, one for The Exodus Gate, and one for Indie Movie Masters that we will display, so our table should at least look good! LOL

I am also going to look to try to visit Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Charlotte and Park Road Books in Charlotte, both independent booksellers who are carrying The Exodos Gate.

I have been taking to doing some more journalistic endeavors lately. I have a real affinity for the other folks in the film and book worlds who operate at the independent level. I know how tough it is, so I want to do a little bit to do what I can to bring some attention to some worthy writers, small press publishers, film groups, filmmakers, and more.

To that end, I have started doing blogs/interviews over at the Indie Movie Masters blogsite ( indiemoviemasters.blogspot.com ) and I will be doing a series of articles and interviews for use on the Seventh Star Press site as well. Should be alot of fun, and I hope it helps some hard-working independent folks. (visit the IMM blog today to check out a new interview I conducted with Nathan Day, writer/director of Bulletsong, which should be out later this summer. Last week's interview was on Mike Gonzales, lead singer of the heavy metal band Spent, regarding the band's new CD Scars and their CD release party that happened last Friday in Lexington (Which went very well by the way, great crowd and they sounded excellent!)

Last, but not least, there's a new summer promotion at Seventh Star Press for The Exodus Gate to encourage purchasing of the book in bookstores. I really hope people make a little effort to get the book at a bookstore, as these places are what helps an author grow and get established. We definitely need to reward the places giving small press authors a chance too! ;)

Here's the information on the promotion:

The Exodus Gate Summer Promotion:

Buy The Exodus Gate in a bookstore and get free collectible memorabilia from The Exodus Gate!

To encourage readers to buy The Exodus Gate in a bookstore, we are making a special offer.

Mail us a receipt of copy of your purchase receipt for The Exodus Gate from a bookstore, or email us a scanned image or clearly readable photo, and we will send you a free, full set of 7 full color, glossy art cards, depicting the cover art and 6 of the full page illustrations from the book that were done by artist Matthew Perry.

The back of these cards have information on the images and are numbered as a set. You will also receive a complimentary pair of bookmarks from The Exodus Gate to go with your set of art cards.

A full list of stores carrying the Exodus Gate can be found at:

http://www.seventhstarpress.com/documents/book_store_availability.html

Email scans or photos of receipts to: seventhstar@seventhstarpress.com

Or mail copies or purchase receipts to:
Seventh Star Press
Attn: Bookstore promotion
3801 Dylan Place Suite 116, #7
Lexington, KY. 40514-1062

Please be sure to include your full mailing address, and we will send you a package out right away! Thank you for supporting bookstores that support small press publishing!

This summer promotion will run through the end of August.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

DemiCon 20 and my Iowa Adventure!

DemiCon 20, in Des Moines Iowa, was a very well run convention, one that I would not hesitate to recommend to anyone.

First, though, a few words about the trip...

After a bit of a haul through Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa, I made a stop in Iowa City to visit Prairie Lights Books. This is a multi-level independent bookstore located near the Iowa University campus. It is situated in a very pedestrian-friendly district loaded with restaurants and shops.

The store itself features a great fantasy section, which Paul Ingram (the book buyer for Prairie Lights) took me to see right away. A nice range of titles, and I picked up a couple of books while I was there. Terry, who oversees the sci-fi/fantasy section, then returned from lunch and I was able to meet him in person. Truly, Prairie Lights Books is a first class store and it is a real privilege to have The Exodus Gate carried there.

After departing Iowa city I completed the trek to Des Moines. I drove underneath bright blue skies, with a radiant sun showering down upon a low, undulating terrain dotted with clusters of farm buildings and silos. Very picturesque and quite enjoyable.

I was struck by how clean and friendly both Iowa City and Des Moines were. I wouldn't be surprised if their crime level is very minimal (I haven't researched the figures), as the people in these cities were uniformly polite and welcoming.

I arrived in time to get unpacked, pick up my badges, and settle in. I touched bases with Shirley Damsgaard (author of the Ophelia and Abby Mysteries on Avon), who had just arrived as well.



The layout of DemiCon was very easy to navigate. The dealer room and registration desk were next to the biggest panel room, with most everything else on the 3rd floor (Con Suite, other panel rooms, etc.). The dealer room included a nice variety of folks, from author Glen Cook (Black Company series, also one of my personal writing influences), to Tyree Campbell of Sams Dot Publishing, to the independent music label Horizon Music from Chicago (Some very good electronic and ambient stuff, highly recommended to fans of this genre). Steve the Chain Mail Guy also had a table here with some amazing pieces on display and for sale. One chain mail shirt he had there was not ornamental, but rather usable in a medieval battle! (Not for sale, it took him months to make)

Shirley and I had a panel on Paranormal Trends in Literature coming up later that evening, but first up was the opening ceremonies. The hall was packed, and the toastmaster was a very interesting fellow with Gandalf-like long white hair and an extensive beard named Rusty Havelin, who has evidently been their toastmaster for every one of the 20 DemiCons. Rusty exhibited great humor and a warm personality, and one can quickly see why they have him back every year.

After announcements and introductions we were treated to a full-blown theater performance that was prepared especially for DemiCon. Following that, Shirley and I hung out for a while, and then joined up with author Lettie Prell who was the third in our triumvirate for the panel.

The panel went very well, as we got into a nice discussion of the paranormal and its role in speculative literature. As Shirley's series deals with a main character who is a witch and psychic, and as both Lettie's book and my book have numerous paranormal elements, we had alot to relate to.



Saturday involved a whole lot of activity. I went to visit Beaverdale Books in the morning, which is a bookstore in Des Moines that is carrying The Exodus Gate. I had the pleasure of meeting Alice, the store owner, and even discovered that there is a Lexington, Kentucky connection involving one of her former staff who is now in graduate school at the University of Kentucky. Beaverdale Books has a very relaxing atmosphere, which is easy to browse in. I had an opportunity to sign the book that was in stock, and got to talk to Alice for about half an hour before returning to DemiCon.

Back at DemiCon, Shirley gave a fantastic presentation on the path to publication, involving a discussion of agents, editors, and alot about the major league publishing world. I found alot of the insights that she had very valuable and fascinating, as Shirely is the type of person that cuts to the chase and is not afraid to tell you like it is.

Lettie then had a reading for Dragon Ring (published by Flying Pen Press), her fantasy novel, following the presentation. Lettie is very, very good at reading her work, and sold me on the book right then and there. She also provided a bounty of chocolates to everyone, which was mightily appreciated as I had forgotten to grab breakfast! Dragon Ring is a novel that has many crossover elements, involving fantasy, sci-fi, the paranormal, Mayan elements, and more. It also has a heavy virtual reality element, as well as an alternate energy one. Very original, flows well, imaginative, and I have already gotten well into it. Expect my thoughts on this one when I finish.

We then had a book signing in the mezzanine outside of the dealer's room. I was very pleased that several individuals picked up The Exodus Gate, both from Tyree Campbell's table as well as the signing itself. Many thanks to Jolie, John, Donald, Mike, Sheila, Susan, Steve the Chain Mail guy, and everyone that is giving The Exodus Gate a shot.

We had another panel that afternoon on the Hero's Journey. Very focused on the Joseph Campbell roots, and Shirley and I joined with Susan Satterfield (writer on Yard Dog Press) and Adam Stemple, a very multifaceted guy with talents in music, writing, and even poker playing! This was probably the panel that I spoke on the least.

My own reading came later that evening, and I am pleased to say that it went very well. In fact, I have finally settled on a section that I am happy with for public readings! I had a few show up for the reading, and we got into a discussion of some of the roots of The Exodus Gate, as far as Angelic lore, aprocryphal texts such as the Book of Enoch, Sumerian/Babylonian mythology, and much more. It was alot of fun, and everyone made me feel very welcome and comfortable.

That night I attended the hotel party given by the committee of OsFest, which is a science fiction and fantasy convention in Omaha that is going to be held in mid-July. I hung out with John and his wife Trudy, Susan Satterfield, Lettie, and many others.

Sunday involved a panel with myself and Joe Haldeman. All I can say here is wow! The topic was Writing for Movies, and to be on a panel with a Hugo award-winning writer was definitely a fantastic experience.

Joe was very gracious and made me feel at ease right away, and the audience was treated to a number of very interesting movie-related stories from Joe's very accomplished career involving figures like Steven Spielberg and Ridley Scott. Woven into the discussion were my experiences as a newer indie filmmaker and writer just coming out of the gate (and Joe's wife Gay really helped prompt this part of the discussion). The audience seemed to enjoy the contrast alot, as far as I could tell.

After the panel, I said some goodbyes to folks in the dealers room and conference staff, and then hit the road for the 10 1/2 hour trek back to Lexington. Thanks to some good hard rock-playing radio stations on the way back, I got through without getting too overly drowsy, and arrived back home without incident.

Overall, one can tell that DemiCon is a fan convention that has established a solid legacy and continues to innovate and grow. Its smaller size makes for a very relaxing experience, where one is able to interact with readers and other guests without distraction. The guests were outstanding, and it was a real privilege to be on panels with Shirley, Lettie, Susan, Adam, and, of course, Joe Haldeman. This is a convention that I hope to return to, and one that I would encourage people to drive in for if you don't happen to live in the immediate region.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Screening, the Signing, and off to DemiCon 20!

Whew! It has indeed been very busy the past couple of weeks, and I am admittedly a little behind on the blog!

We had our premiere screening and DVD party for Indie Movie Masters on April 9th and also my homefront bookstore signing at Joseph Beth Booksellers on April 17th. I am also getting ready to make my first appearance in Des Moines, when I attend DemiCon 20 this coming weekend from May 1 to 3.



First off, the screening for Indie Movie Masters. You can't get much better of a venue than the historic Kentucky Theater in downtown Lexington. For me, this was my first premiere/screening since Shadows Light premiered there, so needless to say I really was looking forward to it.



Here's a pic with some of the gang, from left, Jake Workman, Larry Vires, me, Dave Workman, Sven Granlund, and Matthew Perry.



The turnout was strong, even despite the fact that we were up against a very heavily promoted downtown Lexington event involving a slew of bar and restaurant venues. Alot of indie filmmakers attended, such as Cherokee Hall, Jerry Williams, Eric Butts, Jacob Ennis (whose new movie Stash is really making a big splash all over), Greg Brock, Nathan Day, Jason Scolf, and others. It really meant alot to me to see these folks out there, and I am hoping that a few of them will be participating in the Indie Movie Masters series.

Matthew Perry and Sven Granlund of Cineline productions gave out a bunch of DVDs and other items before the night got underway. Then we showed a number of trailers, including the new one from Aaron Champion and Justin Ford for No Town (www.notownthemovie.com), which is set for the 2nd DVD in the Festival of Horrors series. We also showed Anubis Digital's trailer for Requiem for the Fallen, from Mark Poole, which is really, really sharp (and it is for a pilot for a new tv series too!). Zeppo and Shadows Light trailers also made an appearance!

I was also very honored to have the new Bullet Song Trailer from Nathan Day debuted at the screening, which we showed in conjunction with the music video from Spent for Breaking Down (which is in Bullet Song and features Bullet Song footage). My last blog post has more information on the trailer and where you can go check it out. It looks to be an outstanding independent drama, and will be out later this summer.

We had a few exhibitors just outside the theater, including Lori and Susan from ScareFest, the very popular paranormal and horror convention that will return to Lexington this September.

Author Nic Brown (who is a very multi-facted guy, photographer, movie journalist, ninja, and much more!) had a table promoting his book Werewolf for Hire, Book One. Go pick up a copy over at Amazon!






And then, it was the homefront book signing at Joseph-Beth Booksellers of Lexington



It was simply an amazing night. We sold out of books and it was non-stop from the time that I took my seat a few minutes before 7 to the end of it at 9 (and we extended a few minutes beyond). I did not know what to expect, other than that I was in one of the best bookstores in the entire country. From people that I did not previously know to others that I have not seen since high school, the night had a surreal element to it. I was truly grateful for the outpouring of support, as the path I have taken is a very, very difficult one and I really appreciated the vote of confidence! The Joseph-Beth staff was more than generous and kind, from Brooke, their PR and Events Coordinator, onward. She was feeling under the weather that night, and really made me feel at home!

Now, I am getting ready to head to Des Moines, Iowa for DemiCon 20, a science fiction and fantasy convention that is well-established there. I am looking forward to this one, as I will be on panels with some very, very good authors such as Joe Haldeman and Shirley Damsgaard. I am going to be on 3 panels, do a reading for The Exodus Gate, and have a signing for The Exodus Gate. I will be sure to have a full report here!

Thanks for bearing with this monster-sized posting, but there was alot to catch up on!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Check out a great new indie feature trailer from Nathan Day for his new film Bullet Song!

Yes, I know, I haven't posted reports on the IMM screening for Sirens or for Friday's homefront book signing. I will catch up this weekend, as things have been VERY busy in the past few days, and it is all that I can do to keep up with the things that have to be done.

However, I wanted to make sure I got on here tonight to encourage EVERYONE to check out Nathan Day's new trailer for his upcoming indie feature Bullet Song. Very promising new drama, which has good writing, depth of characters, a solid, tight story. I'm very excited about this project. Take a few minutes to check the trailer out and leave a comment (and add Bullet Song Movie as a friend on MySpace if you have MySpace and have not done so already).

Visit:

http://www.myspace.com/bulletsongmovie

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Countdown to the Screening. Thursday in Lexington! 7:30 pm at the Kentucky Theater!

Just a couple of days away from the premiere screening of our new Indie Movie Masters Festival of Horrors Vol. 1 DVD.

I am really looking forward to seeing alot of friends and indie filmmakers that night, as it is always good to gather and enjoy indie film in a first class venue like the Kentucky Theater is.

We're going to be showing several trailers, such as the one for Jerry Williams' and Eric Butts' extravaganza Zeppo, and also including the brand new one for No Town which is scheduled for our 2nd title in the Festival of Horrors series. This one's from Aaron Champion and Justin Ford, and really looks sharp! These two guys are true filmmaking hooligans who I absolutely think the world of. Justin's down in Nashville, TN, probably so he can pester Stephen and Suzie Lackey more (and you all NEED to check out Con Trek on the xBox....it is now available!)

After the trailers, look for a couple of music vids...one by the heavy metal band Spent, whose music appears in Sirens, and one from director Vince Bingham, who acted in both Sirens and Murderer.

Nathan Day's new trailer for Bullet Song will be the last trailer or music video shown. Everyone needs to look out for Bullet Song! Emotional movie made by a very talented and very, very dedicated guy with alot of heart. I am really looking forward to the debut of Bullet Song in the near future.

I hope everyone in the Lexington area or within range can make a little extra effort to come out. Film screenings are not frequent events in the indie world, and we want to have a good showing as this series is going to be one that opens up a bunch of new opportunities for indie filmmakers everywhere. We are really wanting to grow this series and make it work for everyone.

For more on the concept, please be sure to visit the IMM site at www.indiemoviemasters.com

So, come on down and let's have a great indie film night this Thursday at the Kentucky Theater!

Monday, March 30, 2009

IMM Screening and Exodus Gate Contest!

A couple of nice updates. First of all, please note that we will be screening The Sirens along with Murderer as part of the Indie Movie Masters screening and DVD release party. It takes place Thursday, April 9th at the Kentucky Theater on main street in Lexington, beginning at 7:30 pm. Great venue, and we will be showing trailers and music video from other indie filmmakers.



Secondly, I have a new contest running for The Exodus Gate. Win a signed copy! Just visit my website at www.stephenzimmer.com and look at the instructions on the home page, under news for March 30, 2009. Very easy! Just put up a web banner and you are entered for a chance at the book with alot of goodies or a couple runner up packages.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Shadows Light hits cable video on demand services

Just got word that my indie feature film, the modern fantasy Shadows Light which was released last fall on DVD, is going to hit a number of cable services in the USA and Canada. It will be available in services such as On Demand, and will usually be found on the channels featuring indie films. It kick's off on April 1st.

If your cable provider is any of the following, then you will be able to get Shadows Light on demand.

Armstrong, Bend, Broadband, Blue Ridge, Cameron Communications, Charter Cable, Cincinnati Bell, Clear Lake, Click Community Television, Echostar, Guadalupe Valley, HTC Conway, INS Des Moines, Massillon, MUS Fiber, OneSource, RCN, Rogers Communications (Canada), San Bruno Municiple Cable, Verizon, Wave

I've already gotten reports that trailers are being run already.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

MidSouthCon 27 -First-Class Experience

What can I say? Other than that the MidSouthCon 27 staff, organizers, and event itself are simply first rate.

I just got back in from Memphis, and the trip reinforced why I like Tennesee so much. Everyone was extremely hospitable, from the staff members that checked me in to the Ops room to the individuals such as Dan Gamber that were involved in the panels and programming itself.

At a convention like this, there is so much to choose from. As a guest, I had two panels that I was scheduled on (Film and Editing, and another on Paranormal, Supernatural, and the New Gothika). I also was given a reading and an hour slot in the professional's row for signing The Exodus Gate.

Beyond my scheduled items, I tried to attend as many panels and workshops as I could, and there were indeed some fantastic ones.

Jeff VanderMeer and Matt Staggs had a workshop called Explore Your Book Life which centered around a new book they have coming out called Booklife: Strategies and Survival Tips for 21st Century Writers. With backgrounds in publishing, writing, and publicity, Jeff and Matt were the perfect duo as they delved into the things involved in developing a sustainable writing career. They covered a wide range of elements, from time management, to new media tools, and much more. This workshop had something for everyone from beginning writers, to newly published ones (like myself) and well-established writers.

Another fantastic panel was Folk Dance in Science Fiction and Fantasy. Dee Birnbaum, who is a world-traveling dance expert with a tremendous expertise in Middle Eastern cultures and dancing, was joined by Kirk Stevens (this guy is a renaissance guy if I ever met one. Conducted a very intruiging creativity panel that I had to miss due to schedule conflicts) and Sara M. Harvey (who is also a very talented writer and costume designer). They discussed the use of dance in science fiction and fantasy, and approaches for fictional settings. As someone who is not, to put it mildly, very skilled at dancing, I found this panel very informative and accessible.

My panels were really enjoyable. On the film panel I was joined by the great Luke Ski, a very outgoing and entertaining music and parody performer. Guest of Honor John Hudgens, creator of many Star Wars parody films, was on hand, following his screening of his new DVD documentary release American Scary (check out www.americanscary.com ). Paul Robinson, a producer and editor of numerous tv productions and a former Rolling Stone contributor, and Tim Brown, of Inked Monkey Productions (who are doing the online adult puppet show Them F#@%ing Puppets)rounded it out.

For the Paranormal/Supernatural/Gothika panel, I was joined by Angelia Sparrow, who writes GLBT romance/speculative fiction (you won't often see werewolves and vampires like hers in the mainstream too often!), Rickey Mallory, a very established Romance and speculative fiction writer, and Ruth A. Souther, author of Immortal Journey: The Death of Innocence. It made very a very interesting and diverse discussing of supernatural elements and trends in current fiction, filtering a little over into the movie/television side of things.

It was wonderful to see some faces I'd known before, such as Tyree Campbell of Sams Dot Publishing, Bill Snodgrass of Double-Edged Publishing, and writers such as Elizabeth Donald and the aforementioned Sara M. Harvey. Also got to visit for a few minutes with the legendary Glen Cook (of the Black Company series), one of fantasy's best writers ever. (and I also had the opportunity to attend some panels that had C.J. Cherryh on them. Wow!)

Among the bright new faces that I met were Dan and Jackie Gamber of Meadowhawk Press (I can't wait to dive into Jackie's new book Redheart), Windsong Levitch (Fascinating individual with a very courageous personal story), Kirk Stevens (who I harassed often throughout the weekend), publicist Matt Staggs, and many other wonderful individuals. I sat next to Haley Elizabeth Garwood during my signing hour and had a great visit with her, and got to meet author H. David Blalock as well.

The event itself was run very smoothly, with excellent organization, generous hospitality, and a very good layout for the size of it. The Con Suite was always stocked with Red Bull, Bawls soft drinks, and loads of food, the program was easy to follow, the staff were always polite, and the programming featured excellent topics and outstanding guests. Evidently, this was the first year that they had MidSouthCon at this facility, and I found it to be a very good and efficient location.

Yes, this is a rather long blog posting, but I wanted to give props to the MidSouthCon and the wonderful folks I got to meet and hang out with last weekend!

I now have lots of good new books to read (yes, I went over my intended budget!)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

New Reviews, MidSouth Con 27, and More!

Hey everyone, I'm off to Memphis to visit MidSouthCon 27. I am very excited to be back down in Tennesee, and based on what I've heard about MidSouthCon I am confident that it will be a great experience. I will be fairly busy down there, with 2 panel appearances, a signing, and a reading (Reading is on Friday at 5 pm in the Redwood Room Panels are on Saturday's schedule with a 3 pm signing window).

Right at the cusp of leaving, I found out that our first Exodus Gate review was posted by Yellow30 Sci-Fi. They have posted it on their main site at www.yellow30scifi.com, their two blog sites, as well as under our Amazon.com listing. Here are direct links to the two blog sites. Check it out when you get a chance.

http://www.yellow30scifi.wordpress.com/2009/03/18/exodus-gate/

http://www.yellow30scifithereview.blogspot.com/2009/03/exodus-gate.html

...and that wasn't all! on the movie side of things, we got a nice review of Indie Movie Masters Presents Festival of Horrors Vol 1 DVD (which has my short film The Sirens on it) over at Cinegeek.com It is a review that not only covered the films, but also really caught the concept of the series itself. Here is the link:

http://www.cinegeek.com/?p=769#more-769

I will definitely be giving a full report on MidSouthCon and the trek when I get back.

Lots of updates about The Exodus Gate shortly. One tidbit is that the Kindle Version is now up and available on Amazon.com!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Off to MidSouthCon!

The last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind. The Exodus Gate is finally available, and starting to pop up at sites like Amazon.com. I have a number of new things on the appearance schedule, over at stephenzimmer.com This includes a couple of events on the homefront, and appearance at Joseph Beth Booksellers in Lexington on April 17 from 7-9, and a screening of my short film The Sirens as part of an Indie Movie Masters DVD party at the Kentucky Theater April 9th at 7:30 pm.

I love the Kentucky theater, and I am really looking forward to being back there, as this will be my first local screening since the Shadows Light premiere a ways back. I am especially ecstatic about the Joseph Beth night, as this will be my first appearance there as an author, and this has been my favorite bookstore ever since I was a kid buying books at the first (and much smaller) incarnation of Joseph Beth when they first opened up at Lexington Green. I hope those in the area can drop by and say hi sometime between 7 and 9, as this is a special evening for sure.

This week will be an adventure as well. Heading down to Memphis for the MidSouthCon. I heard a ton of good things about this Convention when I attended Hypericon in Nashville last year (Hypericon is a wonderful event, by the way). I will be on a film-related panel, a book related panel, a signing for The Exodus Gate, and possibly a reading for The Exodus Gate.

On the way down and back I will be visiting with some Barnes and Noble stores, and look forward to meeting many new people, as well as catching up with some of my favorite friends such as the unrivaled Lackeys in Nashville TN. (Stephen and Suzie are, without a doubt, two of the nicest folks you will ever encounter in the worlds of independent film/books/etc. They did an exceptional documentary on SciFi/Fantasy conventions called Fans and Freaks, by the way).

I will be sure to give a full report on MidSouthCon when I get back.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Just a little update, and the Exodus Gate is Out in March!

Okay, I've slacked a bit on giving a blog update, but here we go!

This has been a very, very busy month. The Limited Edition run arrived for signing, and Matt, Amanda, and myself each signed every book. So Illustrator, Editor, and Author were all covered in signature! The packages were then assembled and sent out, as alot of goodies were included such as a poster, bookmark, 8X10, and a set of art cards. I was very pleased at how everything came out, and from what I have heard from a few folks, I am optimistic that it will be very well received by all.

Alot is going on now. The regular edition will be out in March, not only in the US, but also in Canada, the UK, and continental Europe. Add to that an eBook edition and a Kindle edition.

The publicist for Seventh Star is doing outreach right now regarding appearances and visits, and I hope to be setting off on the road to Cons and bookstores very regularly throughout the spring and early summer.

One confirmed visit I will be making an appearance at is Hypericon, a convention in Nashville TN that I absolutely love. June 5-7 are the dates. Visit www.hypericon.org for more info and I encourage you to attend if you want to have a very pleasant Con experience. I've met alot of great individuals the past couple of years, from authors to filmmakers to fans of the genre.

On the movie front, Shadows Light is going to be On Demand, the video on demand service. We have a 90 day window that begins on April 1st.

Locally, we have a screening for the new Indie Masters Festival of Horrors Vol. 1 DVD, set for April 9 at the Kentucky Theater. If you are in the region, come on out! Should be a 7:30 pm screening. We'll be showing trailers and a music video or two, before we show Sirens and Murderer. Should be a great celebration of indie film for all.

Well, that's it for the moment. Back to work!

Monday, February 9, 2009

At the Press

Just wanted to drop by to say that the Limited Edition version is now at the press. It is only a matter of days now until we have the Limited Edition version of The Exodus Gate!

The national release will be in early march. we are very close to announcing the release date, so stay tuned! It has been alot of work, but I think that everyone will be very, very pleased with the end result.

it clocks in at 580 pages, trade paperback size!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Cover Art for The Exodus Gate

At last, the cover art for The Exodus Gate is in!!! (The cover and 15 illustrations that will be shown in the book were done by the very talented Matthew Perry.)

And here it is...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

On the Film Front and Some Updates

Figured I would get in a brief update, along with some movie information, while we are deluged with ice and snow here in Lexington. It is sometimes nice to have a few moments to think, or at least be highly amused during days in which the new head of the Treasury (and by extension, IRS) is a blatant, brazen tax evader. You gotta love the humor in a world turning upside down. Next thing you know, this Geithner fellow is probably going to be hard core on auditing the rest of us!

There's a new site up at http://www.indiemoviemasters.com that launches the beginning of several new DVD series focusing upon indie films and filmmakers. My short film The Sirens is on Volume 1 of the Festival of Horrors series. I had alot of fun doing the film, which is more of a straight ahead horror tale, working with the likes of Scott Sullivan, Nathan Day, Natasha Smith, and a wonderful cast and crew.

here's a cover image that links to the site:


Check it out and I would really appreciate it if you pick up a DVD on the site. We are trying to get a nice thing going for indie filmmakers in multiple genres.

As far as the book goes, we are not far from shipping the limited editions. We had a two week hiccup of sorts as Matt, the artist for the cover and interior illustrations, had a very serious family emergency to attend to. Everything is fine with Matt, and we are fully back on track, but we are a little behind on delivery. I apologize for that, but it will be worth the wait! I am happy to announce that the Limited Editions will have an extra full page illustration, and that Matt will be signing the Limited Editions as well.

In fact, to really commemorate this project, I have asked my wondrous editor, Amanda DeBord, to sign the Limited Editions as well!

So you will have author, artist, and editor signing the limited edition versions. How cool is that?

;)

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