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 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'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!