InconJunction 2016 Post-event

13615272_1220284734648454_7121294653223187848_nSo ends my fifth InConJunction in the last six years. So what are my thoughts?

Looking back, I sold plenty of books this year, though I may have sold more in past years. I photographed plenty of costumes, though I may have photographed more in past years. I talked to many authors, but I may have talked to more in past years. All that said, this was the easily the most relaxed, best “all around” con I’ve ever been a part of. InConJunction has been sliding into place as the most easygoing “hangout” con weekend on my calendar, and this time it solidified itself as such.

I’ve done a number of these weekends by now and I’ve gotten pretty good at them. If there is one thing you can count on, it’s that something is gonna go wrong. Every time. Sometimes it’s a goof on the part of the organization that throws the event, sometimes it’s confusion among the peers I partner with, sometimes it’s traffic, sometimes it’s just fraying nerves from a long weekend (“What?” you say. “Writers can be moody and emotional? I’m shocked, SHOCKED!”). The point is, there’s always something.

But not this time.

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Back: John F Allen, Bishop Stephens, Me. Front: E. Chris Garrison, Maurice McKiernan

Everything went off exactly as planned and better than I had any reason to hope. We all showed up where we needed to be, when we needed to be there. We had each other’s backs. I can’t recall a cross word between us all weekend. And look, some straight talk–when we spend most of 72 hours together, it’s NORMAL to exchange a cross word or two. It just happens.

But not this time.

My very highest praise to everyone on the Inconjunction staff (with special shout-outs to Mike and Lynette Cowper for being the keepers of the vendor registrations, setting up a vendor soda cooler, and checking in with us frequently to make sure all was well–and it was!) Again, just some straight talk without laying any blame–there’s always something amiss at every con. It may be a layout that goes awry. A disorganized con suite. Badges get misplaced. A cross word can cause misunderstandings. Most cons are run by volunteers and as such, it’s perfectly normal that Things Go Wrong, even if, in the end, they’re hardly worth mentioning later.

But not this time.

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With Agent Carter and The Doctor

This time, this con, consisted of extra helpings of Awesome with none of the hassles. I hung out with my SFG buds John F. Allen, Matthew Barron, and E. Chris Garrison, and we broke in newcomer Maurice McKiernan on the times and trials of vending books (Reece–it doesn’t always go this easy!) I had a great time catching up with James O. Barnes, John Kennedy, Tammy Jo Eckhart, James Wylder, and others, and meeting awesome new people like Demetrius Witherspoon, Bishop Stephens, and Kim Jenkins, all associated with the SF “Indy indie film” Submerge, and author Laura Hawks.

So this time?

This time I’m home after an incredible weekend, and I’m already looking forward to next year. Nice job to everyone involved. Click here to see my Facebook photo album of the entire weekend.

Inconjunction 2016 This Weekend

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This year marks my fifth  consecutive year at one of my favorite science fiction conventions, InConJunction, on the east side of Indianapolis, and I’m super-excited! For one thing, this will be the first time I’m bringing a science fiction book to a science fiction convention!!

Cover Commanding Red LotusYes, that’s right, I’ve been doing just fine all these years selling ghost story and scary stories to a crowd that’s much more in tune with spaceships and laser guns, so now for the first time I’m bringing those, too. I’ll have plenty of copies of Commanding the Red Lotus on hand along with my back titles of ghost stories and my short story collection. I’ll be there with my Speculative Fiction Guild buddies as well, mingling, talking SF, dancing badly, and taking pictures of great costumes. Joining me in our space will be John F. Allen, Matthew Barron, E. Chris Garrison, and convention newcomer Maurice McKeirnan.

My titles and price list follows:

Haunting Blue $15
Haunting Obsession $12
Virtual Blue $15
Darkness with a Chance of Whimsy (Short stories) $12
Commanding the Red Lotus $12

Plus special pricing on multi-title purchases.

Autographs, as always, are FREE and worth every penny you pay.

Come on out to the Marriott on the east side of Indianapolis, 21st and Shaedeland Avenue. While you need a badge to attend much of the programming, the vending room is open to the public.  Hope to see some of you there. Click here to go to the official InConJunction Website!

Red Lotus Blog Tour Next Week

Tour badge
I’m please to announce that Seventh Star Press has organized a blog tour to run all next week, June 27-July 3, in support of Commanding the Red Lotus. I am busy working on new anecdotes and inside stories to share with my readers in support of the book.

Those who have been around awhile know how this works.  Below is the full listing of blog stops and dates. As each one goes live, I will turn each listing into a live link, creating a list so you can come back here and review the entries for posterity.

The blogs and dates are scheduled as follows:

Mon June 27 Sheila’s Guests and Reviews Guest Post: Anatomy of a Dedication
Tues June 28 Deal Sharing Aunt interview
Wed June 29 Cover2Cover Guest Post: Haunting the Red Lotus
Wed June 29 I Smell Sheep Guest Post: Sayuri Arai and the Little Mermaid
Thurs June 30 Jordan Hirsch Review
Fri July 1 Jorie Loves A Story Guest Post
Sat July 2 MyLifeMyBooksMyEscape Interview
Sun July 3 Swillblog Review
Sun July 3 Jorie Loves A Story Review

Thanks to all the bloggers, old and new, for participating in this event. Here is Seventh Star Press’s announcement to the same tour.

Also note that Seventh Star is holding a Giveaway on Goodreads in which they are … uh… giving away two free copies of Commanding the Red Lotus. The giveaway is going on now and runs through June 30. Click here to enter the giveaway.

And if that doesn’t sound like a busy enough week, I’ll be at Inconjunction SF and Fantasy Convention in Indianapolis with several other local authors the weekend of July 1-3. Watch for a separate blog detailing the upcoming fun.

Comic Con Post-weekend and Red Lotus Launch

indiana comic conIndiana Comic Con was a great weekend for me, and for us, my partners in vending, John F. Allen, Chris Garrison, and Frank Smith III. We all moved a lot of books. The costumes were thrilling, the conversations stimulating and nonstop, the interest in what we were all about gratifying.

I met Marv Wolfman (a comic book writing legend of the 70s and 80s. For you Muggles, he scripted Amazing Spider-Man and Tomb of Dracula among many other things, but that’s who he was to me). He signed my rare Spider-Man prose paperback. Also, I shook hands with John Rhys-Davies and fist bumped with Brent Spiner, and yes, that was super-awesome.

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Chris, RJ, John, and Frank!

I wanted to get a Wonder Woman comic signed by George Perez, and could not. I blame a lack of coordination between the organizers and the talent that resulted in a line of fans that out-extended that of the Hollywood actors and a support staff that had no idea how to corral them. So with regret, I stepped out of that line and that was disappointing, but not enough to throw off the weekend as a whole. As a result of the crowds, activity, and the overall super-stimulation of the event, I did not return Sunday. it was me, not them.  You can see all my photos here.

While I was gone, Commanding the Red Lotus continued to upload, and the ebook and paperback formats are now mostly up and available. I have also added it to my Buy Signed Books from RJ tab. Sales continue to be steady since the launch, and I’m very happy to be sharing this book, one very close to my heart. You can see the dedicated ordering page here.

Next up on my convention tour is Inconjunction on the east side of Indianapolis.

Red Lotus Launches during Indy Comic Con

RL BannerWhat an exciting few days! Commanding the Red Lotus is going live on various formats as I write this. The e-books are already live on Kindle and the iTunes store. You can see the progress as I share each link as it goes live by clicking here.

The paperback will be available in a matter of days, but if you have big plans to go to Indiana Comic Con this weekend, I’ll have the first paperback copies of Commanding the Red Lotus available anywhere, which can be signed by me, along with all my books. I brought plenty, but “selection is limited.” I mean, you never know, right? And signatures are always, always free and worth every penny you pay.

indiana comic con

I’ll be sharing a booth with my authorly cohorts John F. Allen, Chris Garrison, and Frank Smith III, so there’s plenty to check out. Indiana Comic Con is at the downtown Convention Center and is easily the biggest event I’ve attended as a seller, so I’m super-psyched about this weekend! By all accounts, there will be plenty to see and do. Check out all the details at their website, and I hope to see a few of you there!

RJ’s interview at Writer Groupie

Kim Smith authorI sat down in the midst of the holiday insanity of last December to Skype with Kim Smith, the charming hostess of the Writer Groupie Podcast, and talked about my favorite topic for 40 minutes: me. Specifically, she asked about my ghost stories, my love of science fiction, and asked about my upcoming release, Commanding the Red Lotus. She also asked what advice I’d give to an aspiring writer.

So when you have a half hour and change to spare, check out the full interview by clicking here (scroll toward the bottom of the page) and then let Kim knows you loved it as much as I did.

kim coverAlso, Click this link to check out Kim’s Kindle ebook download FREE this week only. Enjoy! (What, not all my posts run 1k words)

Guest Blog: John F. Allen Codename: Knight Ranger

CodenameKnightRangerTourBadgeI’m pleased to be able to host a stop on the blog tour of my good friend and awesome author John F. Allen. As part of his critique group, I’ve read Codename: Knight Ranger as he was writing the various components of it. If you like Iron Man, Captain America, and the Six Million Dollar Man, you need to see how John plays with similar ideas and makes them his own. That’s why for this guest post, I asked him to pick the heroes that had the biggest impact on his writing. Let’s see what he said….

List the top genre heroes when you were growing up that influenced your writing today.

batmanBatman I fell in love with Batman from as far back as I can remember. Before any other heroes, there was the Caped Crusader, the Dark Knight Detective and the senior half of the Dynamic Duo. I could say it was his humanity that drew me to the character, and I suppose that is in part the truth. However, I must admit that the dark, tragic origins of the character were equally as influential to me. I love flawed, human characters. Batman was a tragically flawed human, who used his means to become the protector of the streets in his city of Gotham and a terror to the criminal element.

shaft-movieShaft  John Shaft was my hero. He was the street smart, charismatic, sarcastic ladies man on the surface, but he was also the intelligent, courageous and selfless hero who stepped up to the challenge when he was called to it.

Spencer_For_HireSpenser I read my first Spenser novel, by the late, great Robert B. Parker back in 1980. I was drawn to the character’s morality, veracity, wit and compassion. Sure, he was a tough guy in the mode of Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe, but he was also an intellectual and gentleman.

VIWarshawski1From the first time I read about the adventures of V.I. Warshawski, the tough as nails female private eye created by Sara Paretsky, I fell in love with her wit, swagger and propensity for getting into harrowing situations. However, the one thing that stood out about her the most was her self reliance and autonomy. She wasn’t the typical “Damsel in Distress” and could roll with the fellas, but still be a lady.

Perez WonderwomanWonder Woman was the strong, beautiful and wise heroine who embodied hope and peace. As a fan of the comics and the 70’s TV show, I was drawn to this larger than life female who could juggle cars, but was also compassionate to the weak and downtrodden, who sometimes were at best an afterthought to others.

Jungleaction23Black Panther was the epitome of the positive depiction of a black male in comics. He was a King, he was a genius, he was extremely wealthy, brave, benevolent and strong. Growing up during the 70’s, the depictions of black males and black people in general were largely stereotypical at best. Black Panther served as an inspiration of what black characters should be.

Honorable Mentions:
1) Conan the Barbarian/Tarzan of the Apes
2) Steve Austin (Six Million Dollar Man) – he almost made it, but is in the Top Ten.
3) The Shadow/Doc Savage
4) Sherlock Holmes
5) Captain James T. Kirk, Captain Jean Luc Picard and Captain Benjamin Sisko

JohnAllenAuthorPhoto_NewAbout the author  John F. Allen is an American writer born in Indianapolis, IN. He is a member of the Speculative Fiction Guild and the Indiana Writers Center. He began writing stories as early as the second grade and pursued all forms of writing at some point, throughout his career. John studied Liberal Arts at IUPUI with a focus in Creative Writing, received an honorable discharge from the United States Air Force and is a current member of the American Legion. John’s debut novel, The God Killers was published in 2013 by Seventh Star Press.
John currently resides in Indianapolis, Indiana with his wife, son and daughter.

CodeNameKnightRanger_Cover_1200X800Codename: Knight Ranger: Captain Alexandre Cornelius “Neal” Du Bois is a US Army Ranger and decorated war hero. When his unit is ambushed by supernatural hostile forces while in Afghanistan, only Neal survives. When he wakes up in a secret government facility, Neal discovers that his whole life has changed forever.

A shadowy government agent named Elijah Bishop arranges for Neal’s brain to be transplanted, without his permission, into a bio-engineered body capable of amazing feats. Armed with advanced body armor and weaponry, he becomes the epitome of the Ultra Soldier.

To protect his family and those closest to him, he must let the world and everyone he loves believe he is dead. With assistance from Dr. Avery Clarkson–the scientist responsible for his new body–Neal reluctantly utilizes his superhuman abilities to work for Bishop and his organization called G.E.N.E.S.I.S. (Global Espionage Network of Elite Supernatural Intelligence and Surveillance), in order to track down those responsible for the slaughter of his unit and keep the world safe from supernatural terrorist forces.

Author Links:

Website:
www.johnfallenwriter.com

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/johnfallenauthorwriter

Twitter:
@johnfallen1970

Tour Schedule and Activities
11/2  On Cloud Eight-and-a-Half Guest Post
11/2 A Charmed Life Review
11/3 Creatives Help Board. How may I direct your call? Author Interview
11/4 Armand Rosamilia, Horror Author Guest Post
11/4 Book in the Bag Interview
11/4 RJ Sullivan Top 5 List
11/5 Darkling Delights Interview
11/6 Beauty in Ruins Guest Post
11/6 Sheila’s Blog Guest Post
11/6 Bee’s Knees Reviews Review
11/7 The Infamous Scribbler Review/Interview
11/7 Vampires, Witches, & Me Oh My! Top Ten List
11/8 Sapphyria’s Book Reviews Guest Post

Amazon Links for Codename: Knight Ranger
Print   Kindle

Barnes and Noble Link

SFG at Irvington Halloween

irvington festSaturday is Halloween (as if you need me to tell you that) and during the day, I’ll be part of the SFG booth at the Irvington Halloween Street Fair! You can read the full write-up on the SFG Website here.

From 10 am- 5 pm, I’ll have plenty of copies of my paranormal thriller trilogy plus my short story collection. Check out my books alongside my SFG peeps John F. Allen, Matthew Barron, Chris Garrison, and David Jobe.

RJ AD holidays 2014
My titles:

DWACOW low rezHaunting Blue $15 each
Haunting Obsession $10 each
Virtual Blue $15 each
Darkness with a Chance of Whimsy $10 each

As always, autographs are free and worth every penny you pay.

Our booth is in the Back Acre Beer Garden on the corner of Bona Ave & Audubon Rd. Go to the event website to read all about the exciting events happening throughout the day. We look forward to seeing you there!

RJ’s Halloween Social Media Selfie and Costume Party

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Avid reader Nikki Howard gets into the cosplay spirit!

So I thought we’d try something fun for this month. Everywhere you look, people are taking selfies and posting them on social media, and of course, it’s also coming up on Halloween, so I’m asking my readers now thru November 1 to post a selfie while holding any of my books. (Ebook fans: A tablet with the cover showing works, too) When you post the selfie, post a link to my website, or an Amazon order page, or Barnes and Noble, of some sort of similar book page. Any link that allows your friends to go check out my books.

“Sure, RJ, sounds like fun,” you reply. “But what’s in it for me?” Good point, loyal but sensible reader. (I have such smart readers.) So I will sweeten the pot. So if you do that and also share your selfie on my RJ Sullivan Social Media Selfie Costume Party page on Facebook, I’ll  send you the first scene to the final, not-yet-released third story of my Red Lotus saga, tentatively titles Mutiny on the Red Lotus. (The first scene, I have on good authority, has lots of shooting and ‘splosions.)

But wait, there’s more! It IS Halloween, so if you pose with one of my books in costume, I’ll send you a free copy of Blue Christmas (a holiday short story featuring Rebecca Burton and Blue as featured in Gifts of the Magi) OR Fate of the Red Lotus, the first novelette in the series. Your choice of story and ebook format.

You can dress in whatever costume you like…but if I may make some suggestions, my book series has plenty of dramatic characters to choose from, such as:

Pick me, pick me! Art by Nell Williams.

Punk girl Blue from Haunting Blue, Virtual Blue and Blue Christmas

Art: Bonnie Wasson
Let me shake your hand. Art: Bonnie Wasson

The enigmatic Rebecca Burton from Haunting Obsession, Virtual Blue, and Darkness with a Chance of Whimsy

Pick me...or else! Art by Audra Steia
Pick me…or else! Art by Audra Steia

Evil ghost Gunther with the hooked hand from Haunting Blue

Art by Nell Williams.
Please, darlings, I’m the most elegant choice. Art by Nell Williams.

Sexy evil ghost Maxine Marie from Haunting Obsession

Bow to me, mortal scum! Or dress like me, that's good, too.
Bow to me, mortal scum! Or dress like me, that’s good, too.

The Demoness Baalina from Virtual Blue

Special appreciation will be given to costumes of a certain 80s pop singer or a certain Mermaid.

Got a police costume? A doctor or nurse? Haunting Blue and Virtual Blue have a few characters to connect with. And that fast food uniform may come from the Southern Chick’n Stop, or there’s ex-cheerleader waitress Loretta from Smittie’s Pizzeria. And any high fantasy character can come from the Fantasy Free Form video game of Virtual Blue.

And don’t forget the large cast of supporting characters who are…well…people! Yes, you can claim a cosplay award by “dressing as” these plainclothes supporting characters: Clinty the Bully, Mr. Farren, Chip and Phil (though you should look a bit nerdy), high school teacher Mr. Tyers, Leona Shaefer, Blue’s Dad, …

You get the idea, use your imagination, post those costumes, and let’s have some fun! Hurry….come November 1, we all have to act normal again.

Now click here to join the party!

RJ visits Armand Rosamilia

cropped-book-signing-setupLast Wednesday, horror author and good buddy Armand Rosamilia posted a guest blog I’d created some weeks earlier and while I was busy attending to  other things. And what I mean to say is, I’m posting it several days later completely on purpose in to maximize exposure over a period of time.

Yeah, we’ll go with that.

So did you know that being a modern author is a lot like being in a garage band? Its true! Here’s what I posted.

Me between two author co-op peeps John F. Allen and E. Chris Garrison.
Me between two author co-op peeps John F. Allen and E. Chris Garrison.

The Bass Player Quit Again

Or, the Chemistry of Author Co-Ops

“She wants to be an author when she grows up!” I looked down into the wide eyes of a tween girl. Her parents pulled her over to my booth so they could tell me this, apparently in hope that I could grant some words of wisdom on the spot. So I tell her half the truth. The good half. The encouraging half.

Thanks to modern technology, specifically ebooks and digital publishing, this little girl is growing up in a time when anyone who wants to chase their dream of being an author will have more choices before them than any era before. She can choose to avoid the lifelong frustration of rejections and never getting that break. Her destiny will be in her own hands, and success or failure will be more in her control than ever. The parents smiled and the girl glowed and my duty to inspire future generations was done for the day.

I had, of course, only told her the good news. What I didn’t tell her was that her destiny will be in her own hands, and success or failure will be more in her control than ever.

—-

You’ll need to click over to the original post on Armand’s blog to read the rest. And while y0u’re there, check out guest posts by other authors scheduled to appear at the Second Annual Imaginarium Convention in Louisville, KY, including a guest post by my good friend E. Chris Garrison.

Click here to finish reading my guest post.