Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Book and a Movie!

Worked from early morning until the evening, and then it was time to get away and take a little break.

I headed down to Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Lexington to see Michael Williams, who was making an appearance in support of his new novel Trajan's Arch, which was recently published by BlackWyrm out of Louisville. Joseph-Beth is an incredible venue, and it was really great to see Michael, his wife, and Dave Mattingly from BlackWyrm at the event. Michael gave a presentation, discussing tendencies in genre fiction and literary fiction in regards to character and plot (I.E. genre fiction, on the average, tends to develop plot better while leaving characters thin, while literary fiction sets up great characters, and often doesn't have them doing much). Following the presentation, Michael gave a reading from Trajan's Arch, which is a very different kind of book from much of the work that he is known for (which includes some Dragonlance novels).

Trajan's Arch, at Michael explains it, tilts in the direction of magical realism. Someone very near and dear to me purchased the book at the Kentucky Book Fair a couple of weeks ago, and read it, and really liked it, so at least I was able to pass on some very positive feedback to Michael. I picked up a copy at the book signing, and will be diving into it over the holidays. I will certainly do a review on the SSP blogsite when I am finished.

Following the signing I headed out with the Tuesday Crew, a group of friends that gather for a later evening movie every week (I try to join them as often as possible, as it helps keep me sane with the work level I'm managing right now!). This week's film was Faster, the new one with Dwayne Johnson. Thankfully, there were no tooth-fairy outfits, and we got to see Dwayne where I think he is incredible, in an action-heavy role. It has a decidedly darker edge, but there are some redemptive aspects. I think that among the action stars, Dwayne Johnson exhibits some of the best range in his acting. He is outstanding at conveying a mix of emotions, and really shines in Faster. I would love to see him get more roles like this, ones that mix his excellence as an action star with his range as an actor.

Faster is filled with good performances, and I walked away a very happy viewer at the end...Dwayne Johnson is BACK!

I also wanted to mention that there was a trailer for a medieval film with some strong traces of fantasy, called Season of the Witch, starring Nicholas Cage and Ron Perlman, that looks incredibly promising. Large crusader army was depicted, along with big battles, hints of the supernatural, and some really superb looking scenery and sets. Definitely inspired to see this one, which is a very nice bonus given that Voyage of the Dawn Treader looms in about a week! (Growing up, Voyage of the Dawn Treader was my favorite book in the Chronicles of Narnia)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Cyber Monday-Notes on my friend's new book, my new one, and more.

I hope that everyone had a great thanksgiving weekend! I had a relaxing one, including a fantastic dinner at with my mother, sister, and some of our closest friends. Kept up with traditions, such as watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (which was pretty amazing this year, with some super cool pizza dough twirlers that they needed to do a lot more coverage on), and loads of football (though I always find myself feeling bad for the Lions, who always host a Thanksgiving Day game and rarely seem to do very well).

I'm back at it here on monday, which in the US is called Cyber Monday, due to all the online shopping specials going on.

Right now I'm trying to get as much word out as possible for my new book Dream of Legends, which is no small task when you are with a small press publishers and have to contend with the big dollar marketing/PR blitzes from the major publishers. Thankfully, there are some bloggers who have read my books, and my reader-friends, who are helping me go against the grain in getting some word out there. Not an easy thing when the latest TOR release is requesting blogger coverage! LOL

I've just been given interview questions by a very well established blogger that I've not visited with yet, so there are some signs of new interest from the fantasy blogging community. I appreciate that so many of them are open to small press releases, which I think is a good approach, given that small press is where lots of new fantasy authors and very well-established ones are having releases with all of the consolidation and contraction going on at the major press level.

I hope that people do give the limited edition hardcover package some consideration this holiday. It is a very sharp looking book, with a special illustration not found in the regular edition, and it is accompanied by a big package of extras, with 2 posters, art cards, 8x10 cover art print, and bookmarks. Plus, you can add the newest t-shirt design from Dream of Legends for just over 8 bucks. All of it, including the new t-shirt, is signicantly less in price than a new video game, and the book will last a whole lot longer. Orders through the publisher are very helpful to the launch of a book, so do give it some thought.

And if you aren't in the mood for epic fantasy, I will give a shout out for my fellow SSP author Steven L. Shrewsbury, a friend of mine on the circuit, whose great heroic fantasy novel Thrall also has a limited edition version with extras. The deadline for pre-orders on his book is this Wednesday, and as prices go up significantly for any remaining packages after Wednesday, now is the best time to pre-order one.

Here's a link to the online store where you can see both Steven's book and my new one and the packages available. SSP does ship internationally too!

This week will involve a great deal of activity with the awareness campaign for the new book, but I will also be doing a lot of work for FandomFest, a great convention in Louisville Kentucky that I am serving as the Literary Track coodinator for. www.fandomfest.com is the new website, and it takes place next summer from July 22-24. Expect some new media-related things with the convention that I will be participating in.

There will be a whole lot going on with Swordbearer post production throughout December, do keep an eye out for updates on that as well.

Those in the Madison Indiana area should come out and say hi this Saturday, where I'll be from 12-2 at That Book Place, a great bookstore owned by Frank Hall, a familiar face out on the Con circuit.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thank you for being you!

On the Thanksgiving holiday here in the US, the emphasis is upon gratitude, and being thankful for the good things in your life. As such, I definitely want to express my gratitude for all of the the wonderful folks that I have the honor to know on my path in life.

From every actor and crew person I worked with on Swordbearer, to every reader-friend, to all of the authors, bloggers, booksellers, filmmakers, and others that I have come to know in the past year, I want you to know that I appreciate your interest, encouragement, and support very much. I will honor it steadfastly by giving every last ounce of effort to bring out the best work that I can.

Now it is time for friends and family, including four-legged fellows named Harold! (not to mention good food, football, and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, a tradition in this house!)...

I'll be thinking of all of you today, and THANK YOU FOR BEING YOU! :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Dream of Legends is here! Book 2 of the Fires in Eden Series!

Finally, I can announce the new book! LOL

Yes, Dream of Legends is here!

As always, a TON of work goes into these releases, and we really put every effort to make the book releases extra special, from Matt's Artwork, to all the extras that come with the collectible packages. I hope that everyone considers a pre-order of the Limited Edition, as these books in hardcover are going to be gorgeous. The value included with these is really strong, when you look at what's included.

There's loads of options, including a softcover package, optional new t-shirts with the big dragon illustration, and lots more... just browse through the options at the online store, by clicking here.

Help me get this kicked off strongly by spreading the link, encouraging fantasy readers to pre-order a copy, posting in message boards, etc. It is a tough road, and I can say with absolute certainty that every little bit helps, and it really encourages and validates an author when someone buys a book or helps to promote it.

Tell people to reserve many copies of the limited hardcover or first edition softcover to be shipped to friends for holiday gifts! LOL

We've also got a brand new video trailer for Dream of Legends, and you can take a look at it here:

And here's a copy of the new press release:

For Immediate Release
November 23, 2010

Seventh Star Press is proud to announce the release of DREAM OF LEGENDS, the second book in the epic fantasy Fires in Eden Series from Stephen Zimmer.

Now available for pre-order in limited edition hardcover and trade paperback, DREAM OF LEGENDS continues the adventures begun in CROWN OF VENGEANCE, when it was released in fall of 2009.

DREAM OF LEGENDS journeys forward with several characters from the modern world, who discover that finding themselves in the fantastical lands of Ave was just the beginning. The assault upon the Kingdom of Saxany and the tribes of the Five Realms ignites, as the eyes of The Unifier turn southward, across the seas towards faraway Midragard. Within this maelstrom, some find themselves on a path of discovery, to uncover powers that lie within, while others must brave perilous journeys, to seek out the things said to exist only in the faded mists of myth and legend. Epic battles, plot twists, and new environments abound in DREAM OF LEGENDS.

Book Two of the Fires in Eden Series, DREAM OF LEGENDS is immersive, epic fantasy, for those who love to explore richly developed fantasy worlds alongside an ensemble of intriguing, diverse characters. Readers of the great epic fantasy authors such as Robert Jordan, George R.R. Martin, and J.R.R. Tolkien will find a wondrous trove of adventure, characters, and depth in this next step of the Fires in Eden series.

Working with Stephen for the first time, and taking on the editorial reins of the Fires in Eden Series to keep the dedicated yearly release schedule on course, was Karen Leet.

"Working with Stephen has been a joy. He is totally professional about his work, meets deadlines and edits cheerfully," Karen commented. "He makes editing easy for me, and I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know his characters, who now seem to me like actual people with genuine depth. His plotlines stride across the pages on swift, sure feet and sweep the reader along with them."

“Having Karen as my editor on DREAM OF LEGENDS was a wonderful experience. She did a meticulous analysis of Crown of Vengeance to ensure full continuity of tone and style with the new book. I am fortunate to be working with two excellent editors on my two series. The new book is loaded with action, and there are some very big revelations in regards to the full series,” Stephen said. “DREAM OF LEGENDS builds strongly upon the foundation set in place by Crown of Vengeance, keeping storylines tight while introducing many new and exciting elements. I am confident that readers who enjoyed the first book are going to be elated with this new installment of the series.”

Continuing one of the most extensive collaborations between an artist and an author in the fantasy sphere, a brand new set of illustrations and cover art were created for DREAM OF LEGENDS by fantasy artist Matthew Perry. With the two Rising Dawn Saga books and the two Fires in Eden books, a growing body of over 50 full page illustrations have been created by Matthew for Stephen’s literary work.

In addition to writing two active epic-scale fantasy series, The Rising Dawn Saga and the Fires in Eden Series, Stephen also saw his first foray into the steampunk genre published a couple of months ago with “In the Mountain Skies”, which was included in the Dreams of Steam Anthology (Editor Kimberly Richardson, Kerlak Publishing). Stephen is also a screenwriter and director in the world of film, with a new fantasy short film on the horizon in early 2011, “Swordbearer”, which features professional wrestler Al Snow, and is based on the H. David Blalock novel Ascendant (Sam’s Dot Publishing).

By the third week of December, DREAM OF LEGENDS will be available in hardcover, trade paperback, and several eBook formats, for owners of the Kindle, the iPad, the Nook, Sony eReaders, and other compatible electronic reading devices.

Already maintaining one of the most active year-round appearance schedules of any fantasy author, Stephen will be hitting the road extensively in 2011 in support of the Fires in Eden Series, the Rising Dawn Saga, and the “Swordbearer” short film. The third book in the Rising Dawn Saga is slated for summer of 2011, and the next Fires in Eden Book for December of 2011.

Updates and additional information can be obtained at the official site for Seventh Star Press, at www.seventhstarpress.com , or at the author's site at www.stephenzimmer.com

Contact: C.C. James
Public Relations, Seventh Star Press
Seventh Star Press Mailing Address:
3801 Dylan Place Suite 116, #7
Lexington, Ky. 40514-1062

Seventh Star Press is a small press publisher of speculative fiction located in Lexington Kentucky.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Kentucky Book Fair 2010....Fantastic

The Kentucky Book Fair 2010 was wonderful!

It is such a well-run and organized event, and simply massive...over 200 authors on an arena floor in Frankfort Kentucky. Where else can authors rock an arena? :)

Authors were assigned 3 to each booth space, and I happned to be right under the row 7 sign at the end of the aisle, up front and centered near the entrance. My immediate neighbor was author Michael Williams, who was there to promote his brand new novel Trajan's Arch, which was published by BlackWyrm, an outstanding small press based out of Louisville Kentucky. (photo is of me with Michael on the right)

The day was constantly active...many current reader-friends stopped by the booth, and I met several new ones. I had my most successful single day event outside of Lexington in terms of sales. Many copies of The Exodus Gate and Crown of Vengeance were sold, as well as a number of The Storm Guardians, mostly by people that had read The Exodus Gate. Both Nick Valentino and I had Dreams of Steam, the great steampunk anthology from Kerlak publishing, at our tables, and we each sold many copies of that one as well. (photo is of me with my friend Karen, who I didn't know was coming and decided to surprise me)

It was great to see some other authors, like Gwen Mayo, Abigail Keam, Sarah Glenn, and Shane Berryhill, who I met at ConNooga last year.

It was such a postive, encouraging, and successful event. Connie Crowe, Jen, Amy, and everyone involved did a great job with the hospitality, organization, and presenation. Brooke Raby and the Joseph Beth gang were on hand to help with the transaction and inventory. (photo is of me with KBF staff member Amy, at the end of the event.)

Afterwards I got to go out to eat with Nick Valentino and Elizabeth Darvill, who are two of the hardest working authors out there. They are hitting bookstores and conventions coast to coast, and it is no surprise that they are really attracting attention in the world of steampunk. It felt good to have a Sam Adams Winter Lager after the day we had, and Nick got his first Kentucky Hot Brown, which passed muster in his view!

We had a great visit, and Elizabeth came up with some very intriuging programming ideas that we just might have to put to use in the future...some very creative ideas, to say the least! Needless to say, I haven't heard about anything like she described at any convention I've been to!

To sum it all up, I really hope to have the honor of returning to the Kentucky Book Fair in 2011.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Kentucky Book Fair this Saturday

Just a quick note about the Kentucky Book Fair in Frankfort KY tomorrow:

I had a great experience last year at my first appearance at the Kentucky Book Fair. It is an amazing event, and I have the honor of returning again this year. I went down this morning to set up my assigned space on the convention floor (it is at the main Convention Center at 405 Mero St), and lo and behold they have me at the end of the 7th aisle, which is centered at the front where the main entrance is. Maybe being a Seventh Star Press author and being on the 7th aisle is some kind of omen...I'll let you know what kind after the event is done, LOL.

Saw Shane Berryhill while I was there for setup, who is a great speculative fiction writer from the Chattanooga TN area that I met at ConNooga. Also appearing in the speculative fiction area is steampunk star Nick Valentino from Nashville, a great guy and friend I love to see out on the circuit.

If you are thinking about going, I encourage you to do so...admission is free, and there are over 200 authors presented, in all genres. VERY cool day with about 5,000 attending readers/book buyers. Be sure to look me up and say hi, though!

I will have a copy of fellow SSP author Steven Shrewsbury's new book Thrall with me as well, so you can get a sneak peak at that if you are there. It turned out FANTASTIC! Steven is a great guy so I was thrilled to see how good this novel looks.

I'll check in after the event and let you all know how the day went!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Help me spread the word on my friend's new book Thrall...

Just a little favor to ask...help me spread the word on Steven Shrewsbury's new book Thrall. Here's the info from the SSP site with a link to the page with the banners:

From the SSP site:

Please help us spread the word on Steven Shrewsbury's fantastic new heroic fantasy novel Thrall. Two new banners available promoting Thrall and the limited edition hardcovers (deadline on pre-orders is December 1)

Visit the following link to get code to cut and paste the banners into your blogs and pages.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

ScareFest, the new book, and another SSP release

(thanks to Nic Brown, I got to do my very first "red carpet walk", which was interesting! Here's a pic from that moment taken by Bill Spangler,who is an awesome photographer)

I attended and exhibited at ScareFest 2010 in Lexington this past weekend. Thankfully, I didn't have far to drive for this one, maybe about 10 minutes, which was nice.

ScareFest is a large and growing horror and paranormal convention in Lexington, which has a big celebrity, visual media, and paranormal investigation core to it. While it does not have any literary/book related programming at the present time, it does bring in a large audience, many of whom do enjoy genres like fantasy, and science fiction.

I was based at the Deth Publications booth, at the invitation of Elizadeth Hetherington, a very talented horror author from Wisconsin. Her husband Vance, who is an editor, was also present, and the three of us had a great visit and weekend at ScareFest.

(Elizadeth Hetherington and myself)

As the Louisville and Lexington conventions tend to be, it was a time when a lot of the Kentucky filmmakers got a chance to come together, hang out, talk shop, and network.

(here's me with David Rupp of Infernal Dreams)

I really enjoy this aspect of a convention, and getting to see such folks as David Rupp (of Infernal Dreams), Jason Crowe and Roni Jonah (of Feathered Italian Films), Jacob Ennis (Tuckywood Productions), Eric Butts (director of Girl/Girl Scene), and others is great, as we don't get to visit in person all that often due to everyone's busy schedules.

(Suzie and Stephen Lackey of Cinegeek.com and the CineGeek Podcast, Elizadeth Hetherington, and myself)

(me with actor Ryan Buckley, who knows how to make some very potent punch!)

in addition to filmmaking friends, there were many other folks that I don't often get a chance to see except for conventions, such as Joe Garcia of Fast Custom Shirts Jason Sizemore of Apex Publications.

(me with Andrea and John Foley, Jason Jacob, and Abby Cook...John made some weapons shown in the castle scene in Swordbearer, and Abby was one of our two main designers and head of our costuming department)

As the convention went on, I did get to visit with some current reader-friends, and make some new ones. New friends included our neighbor in the exhibit hall, Don Sumner, who is the main guy behind the Best Horror Movies site, and he is the author of the new book, Horror Movie Freak, which looks like a great tome of horror movie lore.

(me with Don Sumner of Best Horror Movies)

(Me with my reader-friend Latosha)

(me with CT Brannon and his son!)

A big part of ScareFest are the celebrity film and paranormal guests. From what I observed, George Romero was the biggest draw, and others such as Danny Trejo and Adrienne Barbeau had very busy tables. Kane Hodder, Tom Atkins, Danielle Harris, wrestling legend George "The Animal" Steele, and many more were meeting fans, selling autographs, taking photos, etc.

Romero happens to be one of Eric Butts' favorite directors, and the following pic was taken right after Eric met George (notice the slightly dazed look, LOL)

On the book front, we are VERY close to the press release for the new Fires in Eden book, which will be accompanied by the unveiling of the new cover art, some of the illustrations, and a video trailer. Matt is doing more amazing artwork, and I can't wait to share it with everyone. This book has many elements that are VERY favorable to epic visual images, to say the least, and Matt has been having a lot of fun with the content in developing the illustrations.

On another note, if you haven't pre-ordered a copy already, you need to pick up one of Steven Shrewsbury's new Thrall limited hardovers. Not many in this batch, and it is the first appearance of his Gorias La Gaul character. Great price on it too and it comes with a poster, 5X7 glossy prints, and bookmarks. He's in the SSP family, so show him some love and pick up Thrall! here's a link to the online store. Check my previous blog post for the video trailer.


That's it for now! Keep an eye on this blog as it won't be much longer before the new book announcement.

Friday, November 5, 2010

My fellow SSP author Steven Shrewsbury's New Novel Thrall

(newly unveiled cover art for Steven Shrewsbury's Thrall, artwork by Matthew Perry)

Getting everything pulled together to make the sojourn downtown for ScareFest today! If any of you happen to be there, I'll be at the Deth Publications booth, with author Elizadeth Hetherington and her husband.

I didn't want to leave without putting a link up to the press release and video trailer for my fellow SSP author Steven Shrewsbury's Thrall release. His book is VERY good, to say the least. As a big fan of Robert E. Howard, and David Gemmell, I can say with the utmost confidence that if you like characters like Conan or Druss the Legend, then you are really going to dig Gorias La Gaul. This book is the first published appearance of Gorias, so you can get in on the ground floor of what may well become an iconic fantasy figure. As with my book releases, there's a cool limited edition hardcover, with extras featuring the always-awesome Matthew Perry cover art and illustrations.

Steven is a wonderful individual, and an excellent writer, and I will be doing many appearances/events with him in 2010, so I encourage you to support his new book, spread the word on it, and check out the press release and trailer.

Here's the link:


and if you can't wait to see the trailer over on the press release page, here's the trailer:

Thursday, November 4, 2010

ScareFest this weekend, Kentucky Book Fair next weekend!

First of all, be sure to check out a brand new interview accompanying a nice review of Crown of Vengeance on Bookworm Blues. I really enjoyed this one as it involved some questions that really got at the core of the book, with more than a couple that I have not been asked at all yet. Leave a comment or two while you are there if you enjoyed the interview! here's the link...


Just getting ready for ScareFest in Lexington this weekend, which kicks off the first of 2 localized events, the other being the fantastic Kentucky Book Fair in Frankfort on November 13th. I am going to be a guest of Deth Publications this weekend, as author Elizadeth Hetheringon and her husband Vance have generously invited me to join them this weekend at their booth.

My last large event was Archon in St. Louis, so I am ready for a convention weekend, and it is doubly wonderful that I have only a whopping 10 minutes to drive to this one! ScareFest is held in downtown Lexington, and will have an attendence in the range of 3-5 thousand...primarily a horror and paranormal fest, it has a number of media/film celebrities from the horror genre signing autographs, along with some programming and parties and a very big dealer room.

I've gotten word that many good friends are going to be there, from Stephen and Suzie Lackey of Captain Pixel Productions, to Joe Garcia of Fast Custom Shirts, to authors Michael West and Crymsyn Hart, to Lexington publishing genius Jason Sizemore of Apex Book Company.

This will be a nice change of pace, as lately I've been slammed with things involving the new Fires in Eden book, as well as helping out my fellow Seventh Star Press authors, Jackie Gamber, and Steven Shrewsbury, whose new novel Thrall is imminent. I can't say how wonderful it is to have Jackie and Steven aboard...fantastic authors AND fantastic individuals. Keep your eyes out for the Thrall announcement, which will unveil the cover art, some Matthew Perry artwork, and the video trailer.

well, I'd better get back to work...lots to do, including working on screenings for a certain short film that has to do with David Blalock's Ascendent novel...hint, hint! :)