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 ( 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

There will soon be an interview/review series focusing on authors and small press publishers that will be posted at, 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

Day 2:

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:


Day 1:

Day 2:

Carolinas Writers Conference


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 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,, 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 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


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, 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!)