Sunday, September 18, 2011

Horses, a New Harvey and Solomon Tale, and Other Adventures

It has definitely been a busy week, as I'm doing my work as one of the two directors for the broadcasts of the thoroughbred sales at Keeneland here in Lexington. It is a big money event, as in the first week we crossed the $165 million mark in sales, after 20 million in sales yesterday. Definitely a surreal environment, to say the least. Not exactly a crowd that is feeling the pinch of the economic mess going on right now!

Things have been going well on the writing front. Knee-deep in the new Fires in Eden Book,and working on some special short stories that we will have an announcement about very soon.

I finally got my hands on the new Dreams of Steam II: Bolts and Brass, which has the new Harvey and Solomon story. Obviously, with Harry's recent passing (for those of you who don't know, Harry is the basis for the Harvey cat character in these stories), there is a bittersweet aspect, but there is also something elating and enduring as well.

Pulling up into the driveway on Friday, I saw that one of the cats that used to come around and talk with Harry through the front windows was lounging where the UPS box had been set down. I get lots of UPS boxes, and I haven't seen them at the boxes before, so this was both unusual and intriguing. It was almost like Harry's friend was watching over that box until I got home, because I found out later that the UPS truck had arrived not long before.

It was a little emotional opening up the box and holding the new book, but I am so relieved to have this specific story and book, as these stories are a real tribute to Harry. I am going to come out swinging with a big Harvey and Solomon story in 2012, even though I know it will be a very hard process to write it on an emotional level.

I'll be anchored here in Lexington over the next week, but the week following I will be heading out to ARCHON in St. Louis, an excellent convention that is returning to the site it was at in 2009. I hope to visit and spend time with a number of my author friends like Elizabeth Donald, Jimmy Gillentine, Jon Klement, and Georgia Jones, who just got picked up by Blackwyrm Publishing.

Keep an eye on the SSP Blog too, as I'm doing some posts there about the publishing business (and there are some great new regular contributors with the SSP Blog, such as Rodney Carlstrom, Frank Hall, and Ren Garcia.) The addy is

Monday, September 12, 2011

First Seventh Throne Review, and the Dallas Library!

Had a little good news come in over the weekend, which I'd like to share with everyone here.

First of all, just got in the first review for The Seventh Throne. This will appear in Fantasy Book Review, but the reviewer has it up on his site as of now, and it is a really strong one. Always wonderful when someone really gets into the depth of the books, and what this series is about, and I think you all will enjoy this:

The second bit of news I got is that the Dallas Library system picked up all of my books, in multiple copies of each, for their branches in the Dallas area. I was really elated to hear this. As many of you know, I got my college degree at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, TX, which is just west of the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. We went to Dallas many times, and I loved the city!

Having my work in the library there could very well lead to me doing a workshop, seminar, or some other type of event for the library, which will result in a Texas visit! I am hoping to make some progress from this and hopefully get placed in Abilene, so I can do an extended trip and revisit some of my favorite places! Ideally, I'd like to do a week long swing there hitting Dallas/Ft. Worth, Abilene, and maybe Austin or Corpus Christi.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Get Ready for Increased Content here!

This has been a very interesting and extensive summer. On the book side of things, largely good, on the personal side it ended on the heartbreaking side, but I am looking forward to the fall for many reasons.

This summer involved conventions in cities such as Chicago, Charlotte, Louisville, Columbus, and more, including a couple where I served as the Literary Track or Writers Track director (Louisville's Fandom Fest on the former, Chicago's Duckon on the latter.) In some ways it was rewarding to get back on a Con staff, as I could help create opportunities for my fellow authors, and in others it was trying, as these always involve a lot of hard work, and you can't control everything (as in the case of very disappointing hotel management at the Fandom Fest site, which contributed to an environment that was more challenging than it ever had to be).

The summer ended with a couple of new things on the writing front. One, of course, was the latest book in the Rising Dawn Saga, Book 3, The Seventh Throne, and recent days also saw my latest Harvey and Solomon story, "An Island Sojourn", in Dreams of Steam II: Bolts and Brass (from the awesome folks at Kerlak Publishing).

The Harvey and Solomon story is something that brings me both increased joy and piercing sadness, as Harry passed away a few weeks ago due to complications with his FIV (kind of like the cat version of Aids). All I will say right now is that I'm doing my best to function, but it really tore away another piece of me, and in the case of Harry, a big part of me. The three years I had with this amazing cat were such a tremendous blessing, and the world is most certainly a darker place without him. He made a huge difference in my life, I love him immensely, and I can only grasp onto the hope that there will be a reunion in a much, much better realm one day.

Rest assured, there will be more Harvey and Solomon stories in the future. It is the least I can do for Harry.

The near future promises to be full of activity, even if I'm not on the road very much this fall. I am returning to work with Fandom Fest, and there's going to be an exciting new component with it, a kind of new zine, that will be very proactive in spotlighting authors, publishers, editors, artists, and more. We've got a building staff of writers for it, and more info will be coming soon.

Similarly, the Seventh Star Press blog has taken another step, with some new regular contributors aboard, new regular segments, and more. It is also going to do everything possible to bring a light to talented individuals and worthy organizations/companies in the publishing world.

Should be quite a bit of new online media generated, and I hope it does some good for everyone in this crazy publishing climate.

On the film side, the Swordbearer screenings have gone well, in terms of the feedback I have gotten from them. I am currently at the outset of developing a feature length project, which will be tough as it involves the largest budget I've ever sought by far. It is based on an original screenplay of mine and I hope to find some individuals interested in financing a project dedicated to creating a theatrical quality, ORIGINAL dark fantasy film with a couple of significant cast names. I think with all the remakes, sequels, things based on comic books, etc, people might be a little hungry for a truly original story, and I can assure you that this one has all the goods.

It also looks like I'll be taking on a screenwriting project for a talented producer. More on that later, but it is something I am very interested in doing.

I'll be working very, very shortly with Karen for the preparation for the third Fires in Eden Book. Very excited about returning to Ave, as I love that place! :)

I'll also be doing everything I can to help with PR and outreach for Seventh Star Press, which includes coordinating a new "street team", the Seventh Star Saints (anyone volunteering to help a small press out is worthy of sainthood, without question, LOL). I do a ton of work in the area of promotion for the SSP authors, but it is worth it as they are really a first rate group to be involved with. Michael, Jackie, Steven, David, and D.A. are just fantastic individuals, which makes the long hours worth it.

I'm sorry I got a little behind on my posting here, but the Fandom Fest tasks (my track alone had 55 panels, 20 workshops, and over 100 participating guest panelists), had me tunnel-visioned for a little while (except for my writing, of course, LOL), and then the situation with Harry knocked my awry for awhile. I'll be much better. In fact, I plan to be more candid about many things in the coming posts, as far as my insights on the worlds of writing, film, the industries involved, and more. Hopefully you will enjoy it!

So, I'm sorry for being a little shabby on my consistency lately on the blog here, but I'll be making up for it in a hurry!