Monday, May 16, 2011

A Wonderful WonderFest Weekend!

(Some of the works from Whitworth Sculpture Studio, who were located close to my booth at Wonderfest)

This past weekend was a bit of an experiment, as I took off for Louisville, Kentucky for WonderFest 2011. WonderFest is primarily an event focusing on the world of model kits, sculptures, toys, and the like, mainly in the scifi/horror/fantasy and military arenas.

It draws a couple thousand folks in, and has a number of panels and other activities, including the famous Rondo Awards. My booth was in the corner of one of the main vendor halls, adjacent to a fine fellow named Sean Kotz, who was assisting a dealer of toys/resin cast statues/model kits, and David and Cindy from Amazing Figure Modeler Magazine. At Cons, it is always a boon when you get good neighbors, and in my case I had two outstanding ones.

I didn't know how well my booth would go over, as I was one of the only "book people" in a hall filled with dealers, suppliers of kits, clay, and all kinds of things relating to the core elements of what WonderFest is about. It was truly a bit of an experiment, but I figured that I wrote in the right genre, so I had a shot. LOL

I am happy to say that things turned out very well. I ended up meeting some wonderful fantasy readers, ran into some of my friends that I see on the Con circuit, like Carrie Galloway, author Nicole Cushing, C.T. Brannon, and many others. The vibe was good all throughout!

(Me with Carrie Galloway...FINALLY got a pic with her! LOL She's as cool as she is pretty too!

I got to attend the Rondo Awards for the first time. It is an award named for B-movie villain Rondo Hatton, and the award is a bust of his very distinctive face. The awards featured a number of categories, ranging from best films, to best magazines, podcasts, and even a hall of fame.

(William Stout giving his induction speech for the Hall of Fame at the Rondo Awards)

Some of the presentations involved humor, such as the Rue Morgue Magazine win for best podcast, and some involved some emotional moments, such as when William Stout, one of the forces behind movies such as Wizards, was inducted into the Hall of Fame. You could tell that he was genuinely moved by the award, and he gave a really personal, heartfelt speech.

My host for the weekend was none other than Ken Daniels, the king of Fandom Fest, who was busy shuttling down on Saturday to a horror and tattoo convention in Nashville TN. I think Ken was trying to kill me on Friday (I came up a night early to set up for the Saturday-Sunday event), as he kept giving me organic food at his house. As everyone knows, good food needs good additives and artificial flavoring. Organic food is...well...we'll be polite, especially when it comes to the organic biscuits that Ken had.

Luckily, I had a stock of Monster Energy to detoxify myself from the organic array, LOL.

Myra Daniels and Melissa Majors came up on Sunday, and, lo and behold, they brought more of their magic, as readers of this blog may remember from my Metropolis Weekend. I knew it was coming when Myra went to get a hot dog to tide herself over until dinner. This began a sequence where whenever Myra and Melissa stopped by the booth, people bought books. It was uncanny, and just as surreal as Metropolis. I swear if they hung out with me every time I was at a Con, I'd hit the New York Times list. It is a really strange phenomenon, but I swear it happens!

(The unrivaled M&M's, Myra Daniels and Melissa Majors, double the trouble and twice the magic!)

I met many wonderful new reader friends, including a couple, Karen Jones, and Kim Doom,who blew me away by jumping into the deep end of the pool by getting all four of the available novels, in both series. I had to get a pic of this moment, as they had come up to the table at the same time.

(a pretty amazing moment documented here, Karen Jones on the left, and Kim Doom, on the right, back to back each got all four of my available novels. Wow, that was cool!)

I really love meeting readers face to face. I'm not one of those reclusive types when it comes to my reader-friends, and it is always a special moment when I meet a new reader-friend. Here are a couple more photos of some of the newest ones who have come aboard my crazy epic fantasy journey!

(Kaitlyn is one of my new reader friends who I met last weekend!)

(Me with Mary, who got my two Fires in Eden Books and is a lover of epic fantasy! She and her husband have fantastic taste in music, including Motorhead and Metallica!)

The weekend was capped off wonderfully with a great dinner shared with Myra, Ken, Melissa, horror film genius J.D. Feigelson,and Chris from VCI Entertainment. It was a blast listening to some pretty amazing stories, and looking towards some great things in the near future involving Fandom Fest. People definitely need to look towards coming to Louisville in is going to be really exciting!

(Me with Ken Daniels, who made this great weekend possible, and who is a guy I consider a friend and a visionary)

I've got another short week, as Friday I'm heading to a Author Fair in Piqua Ohio (just outside of Dayton). It is a one day event, and I'm really looking forward to seeing some authors like Stephen Hines, Bonnie Stewart, and James Barnes. The Con/Event season is fully underway!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

WonderFest This Weekend, and podcast of my visit with Malice Cooper

Have had a good week tweaking things out on the last parts of the 3rd Rising Dawn Saga book, as well as working hard on the support phase of Jackie Gamber's Redheart Campaign and some other tasks.

I am getting ready to head to Wonderfest in Lousiville this weekend. Should be a lot of fun. Mainly a modeling/toy convention, the core genres present here include Sci-fi, fantasy, horror, etc, so I think it will be worth the visit as an author. Out of 2,000 attendees, there should be 3 or 4 readers in the crowd, LOL. I'm looking forward to a nice, short range trip with the gas prices as they are. I will also get to hang out with Ken and Myra, the heads of Fandom Fest/Fright Night Film Festival. It will be good to visit with them as I just handed in the Literary Track grid on Monday for the event.

If anyone reading this will be at Wonderfest, come on by my booth and say hi. I'll be there both Saturday and Sunday.

I also had one link to pass along, regarding my appearance last night on Malice Cooper's rock show out of Canada. She put up a podcast archive of my interview, which can be found here:

It was a great experience, getting to talk about conventions, comparing the writing process for books to that of music, talking bands, and much more. Malice was a great host and I hope to return to her show later this summer when the 3rd RDS book is released.

That's about it for the moment! I'll be reporting on Wonderfest, and anything else that comes up in the next day or so!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Contest at and New Review at Realms and Galaxies

Hey everyone!

It has been extremely busy lately, with helping out with the public relations campaign (with C.C.) for Jackie Gamber's Redheart, along with my duties pulling the final Literary Track Grid together for Fandom Fest. The Fandom Fest Literary Track is going to be amazing! 53 panels, 20 workshops, over 90 panelists/guests, four book launch parties, six group signing sessions, 13 group reading sessions...and that's JUST the Literary Track. You don't want to miss Fandom Fest this summer (July 22-24 in Louisville, visit )

I also have a couple pieces of good news to pass along to you, my wonderful reader friends...

first, there's a brand new contest being hosted by Great site, and I'm honored to be on it, and you can get your self BOTH Crown of Vengeance and Dream of Legends. Easy to register for the contest! Just go here:

Second, I just got word of a brand new review of Crown of Vengeance over at Realms and Galaxies, a site out of South Africa. This review had some amazing quotes, some I got a real kick out of like the one likening me to a "crime lord"... haha. You'll have to read the review to put it in context! here's the link:

Things are definitely chugging on this end. Work is going great on the third Rising Dawn Saga book, with the final edits and such. I'll be hitting the road this weekend at Wonderfest in Louisville...won't be too far to go at least!

That's all for now! I'll check back in shortly!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Wonderful DemiCon

As some of you know, last year my mother went into the hospital just a few days ahead of DemiCon, and I had to cancel my appearance there. I loved going to DemiCon in 2009, which was my first year with a novel out (The Exodus Gate).

I had been waiting for the 2011 version of DemiCon to arrive, as I was eager to get back and visit a number of wonderful folks that I had come to know in 2009 (a few of which I did get to see at a 2010 Beaver Dale Books appearance later in the summer last year).

I finished up with a day on the broadcast team at Keeneland, got the rest of the car packed, took a couple hour nap, and headed out for Iowa a little after 2am. Driving at night is rather uneventful, which is good for making time. I wasn't worried about missing too much in the way of scenery, as there isn't much of it on the route through Indiana and Illinois. It is also about an 11 hour drive from Lexington to Des Moines, and I arrived just in time to throw my suitcase in the hotel room, change my shirt, and get over to the dealer's room for setup.

(average "scenic" view driving through Illinois heading towards DemiCon)

The first day at DemiCon was mostly spent in the dealer's room at my table, as I started to reconnect with a few of the people I knew. When the dealer's room closed, I was picked up by Shirley Damsgaard for a wonderful dinner and visit. Shirley, who writes the wonderful Ophelia and Abby Mystery Series for Avon, has been a real good friend to me, and I was very happy that we got to catch up in person.

I crashed pretty early on Friday evening, and then rose early on Saturday for what would be a very full day. I had a reading, a solo panel session on adaptations, a screening of Swordbearer, a "Speed Dating with Authors" Panel, and finally a signing session, along with some more hours in the dealers room.

The reading was great, and I found Mike Lindley, who was one of the first people that I met at DemiCon during my 2009 visit. Mike is a great fellow, and aspiring writer, and was sporting a fancy silk robe as well! I had a small group for the readings, but it went pretty well. I read from both The Storm Guardians, and Dream of Legends.

(Mike Lindley with me in the dealer's room at DemiCon)

The adaptation discussion went smoothly also, leading right into a Swordbearer screening that had a nice attendence. We finished early enough that some of the individuals in the audience insisted that I play the movie for a second time. I would have to say that this was my first true "film encore", lol.

Speed Dating for Authors was fun. We had circles at which readers sat, leaving an open space for a rotating group of authors who spent six minutes at a time with each group. I got to meet several new friends in this panel.

Rounding things out was the signing session, during which I sat by Taylor Kent and Aaron Siddall, the writer and illustrator respectively of the Snarky Avenger Web Comic. I advise everyone to check this online comic out, as Taylor and Aaron were two of my highlights over the weekend. Really talented fellows!

(Taylor, Aaron, and myself at DemiCon)

Later on that evening I got to learn a whole lot more about filk, as I was invited by Dawn, a new friend of mine, to check out a session where her developing filk song was critiqued. I'm no expert on filk, but it is a really interesting music genre that has a strong presence on the convention circuit.

Sunday was spent in the dealers room, where I got to spend some more time with friends like Mike, author Lettie Prell, Tracy (my dealer room neighbor from right across the aisle, she's super cool and a very good jewelry designer), and even met some more new friends like Cynthia Lee, who is an up and coming artist.

(author Lettie Prell with me at DemiCon)

(me with artist Cynthia Lee)

The Con was well run, friendly, successfull, and everything else you hope to see in an event. I definitely recommend DemiCon to everyone, and will tell you that it is well worth the eleven hour drive.

Monday, May 2, 2011

New Crown of Vengeance Review from Watch Play Read

Will be getting a full report on DemiCon with pictures shortly. The weekend went very well, and I already miss my Iowa friends!

I just got the good news that a very nice new review of Crown of Vengeance went up on the Watch Play Read site. They reviewed Crown of Vengeance to prepare for their review of Dream of Legends, which is coming soon.

The review link is here:

The eBook sale that includes Crown of Vengeance will be going on through mid June. Please spread the word about it, as Crown of Vengeance and The Exodus Gate are both available for just $1.99, as well as Jackie Gamber's Redheart and Steven Shrewsbury's Thrall.

the eBook sale link is here:

The DemiCon report will be coming very soon!