NOTE: due to preparations for last week’s all encompassing Blog Tour, this post-con report is two weeks late.
Rarely have I been so excited about a convention, and I know I’ve never put in as much pre-planning into an event as I did for Inconjunction weekend this past July 4-6.
I teamed up with my author buddies John F. Allen, Matthew Barron and Eric Garrison. (Also thanks to David Jobe for helping man the booth for parts of Saturday). We put the extra effort and expense into splitting costs for a vendor booth, displayed an array of book titles, doo-dads, and nail polish (yes, nail polish!) and went for it in a big way.
And then there were panels. My first was with Eric Garrison and con co-guest of honor Kat Falls in a lively discussion on Book Trailers. Throughout the weekend, I participated on no less than three panels on genre TV and movies (and met a very enthusiastic Mike Suess!), and was part of the candlelight horror reading, where I premiere a new work in progress weird western to great response. I also heard a very impressive reading by a Mr. Jeff Seymour. I plan to keep an eye on this guy, and you should, too!
On top of that, the four of us along with our booth neighbor Crystal Leflar teamed together under the banner Speculative Fiction Guild to run two open mini-workshops designed to offer some structural writing advice for the beginner. Both of these were well attended and received enthusiastically.
We were not without a few bumps in the road (literally and figuratively). John arrived two days post-food poisoning and needed part of Friday to recover, but he quickly got back on track, and brought his knowledge of all things comic books in time for the panel. Saturday night proved a comedy errors. In trying to re-create a local dining experience from a year ago with Kathy Watness and Loconeal‘s James Barnes, we found that, not only didthe Chinese restaurant we target closed for the holiday, but so did our second choice, and ended up at choice number three, an El Jaripeo near Washington Square (very good however!). On returning to the hotel, police cars zipped along 21st and Shadeland, past our vehicle, going full speed, while John valiantly navigated construction and each need to pull over, during which at least a dozen cars passed us! (We found out later they were going toward the tragic east side shooting.)
As convention crowds went, I’d call it a mid-sized group, but an enthusiastic group, eager to talk, and when all was said and done, also eager to support our efforts by visiting our booth and taking home some books!
I can honestly say I’ve never had such an exhausting weekend, but the results were well worth it. Inconjunction was a blast. I’m starting the countdown to next year!
All in all, it’s 17 blogs in six days! During that time, I’ll discuss Haunting Blue, the paranormal, and the life of a writer, from every possible angle, and also fill a few unusual requests from my hosts (No, Jess, I am not dressing as a Mermaid this tour…maybe next time).
Join me for the fun! Thanks to Seventh Star for hosting, and check in regularly next week on Facebook, Twitter, and this site to catch all the latest updates as they go live. It’s going to be a blast!
So one day recently a certain author of critically acclaimed paranormal thrillers bought a multi-pack of socks that should have fit….but didn’t! Bummer! Perfectly good socks, unworn, doomed to go to waste. But, Mrs. R.J and the “Nerds In The Making” all chipped in to hand-stitch and draw on each and every “Lost Sole,” made of new, unworn sock cotton. So come check out the Lost Soles, or you can adopt a hand-crafted Sole for $5 each.
Friday and Saturday only. while soles last. Look for the “dryer” display at the SFG Vendor Booth.
Inconjunction was the first con I ever attended over 20 years ago as Mrs. RJ’s date. The authors were my heroes and I always wanted to be where they were. Now I’m dpoing just that for my third time. Unreal.
So it turns out, the awesome people who throw Inconjunction (the Circle of Janus) moved their monthly meetings to a few miles down the road from where I live. I opened my big mouth and said “sure, the SFG will do as many panels as you want.” So they got us hopping this year!
Here’s your Stalker’s Guide to finding me.
Friday, July 4th
4 pm–Main Programming Room: Book Trailers–what are they good for? With: Eric Garrison and Author Co-Guest of Honor Kat Falls.
7 pm–Grand Ballroom 7 and 8: What are your favorites in genre television, and why? With: Mike Suess
8 pm–Grand Ballroom 7 and 8: Analyzing the History of the Comic Book Movie With: John F. Allen and Mike Suess.
Saturday, July 5
11 am–Indianapolis Ballroom D: SFG Writer’s Workshop: Point of View: Why it’s Better to Have One With: the SFG: John, Eric, Matt, and Crystal, plus Rosemary Laurey
1 pm–Room name coming: Discussion on genre television, title forthcoming: With John F. Allen
4 pm–Grand Ballroom 7 & 8: Making the Jump to a Series With: John F. Allen and Mike Shepherd.
7 pm–Harrison Room: SFG Writer’s Roundtable: Making the most of local settings in genre fiction With: The SFG: John, Eric, Matt, and Crystal.
10 pm–Grand Ballroom 7-8: Candlelight Horror Reading With: John F. Allen, Crystal Leflar and Jeff Seymour.
The Seventh Star Press Spring Fling has been going for several days now, in which a few titles at a time from the press’s catalog drop to 99 cents for a limited time. During those price drops, the press has hit some new bestseller highs. Michael West had his terrific haunted theater title Cinema of Shadows (click here to read my 9-Arjay Review) hit the top ten in horror.
Even more exciting, Michael was the editor of Vampires Don’t Sparkle, which also became a top ten bestseller…and that title includes my story Robot Vampire. I am now a contributor to a bestselling anthology! How cool is that?
As we head into next week, author peep Eric Garrison‘s book, Four ‘Til Late–the first book in his road ghost trilogy–gets the 99 cents treatment March 31-April 2, and my popular paranormal thriller, Haunting Obsession, goes on sale April 1-April 3. That’s all e-options, including Amazon and Nook, so if you haven’t checked it out yet, that’s the time!
The Seventh Star Press Spring Fling continues through mid-April, with a Facebook event devoted to telling everyone about it. Click here to go there! There’s a lot more deals by terrific authors available. Thanks for your support and please spread the word!
The drive was smooth and the weather perfect (though I’m glad I remembered my sunscreen) for the Fourth Annual Author’s Fair at That Book Place! But enough about me, if a picture is worth a thousand words, here’s a novella to check out!
Hey, things are crazy-busy right now preparing for this week, so here’s a quick note to let you all know where to find Virtual Me, and then, weather permitting, where to find Real Me the weekend after.
First up is a huge book promotion running three days in partnership with Bitten by Books. The event, in support of Virtual Blue, runs all day Wednesday. Up for grabs is a $25 Amazon gift card. You can participate at many levels, by reposting the event to your friends, and by asking me questions directly online during the event. Every action you take earns you virtual entries that count as chances to win the gift card.
Then, Friday, I guest post a new Flash Metafiction on the Cabin Goddess book blog run by the awesome Kriss Morton for this week’s Fourth Wall Friday. This story answers the question: if RJ Sullivan and Rebecca Burton ever met each other, how would that conversation go? Click here on Friday to read the post as soon as it goes live.
Then, assuming we warm up enough to hold it, I’m off to the Fourth Annual Authors Fair from 10 am to 4 pm hosted by That Book Place in Madison, IN, a favorite annual event with authors, books, more books, more authors… just for people who love to read. I’ll do a followup post as soon as the weather report makes it clear what to expect. Fingers crossed.
We’ll also hold an all-day raffle at our canopy for a “Spooky Book Bag” of our work–$1 per ticket gets you one chance to win a set of books valued at over $60 without signatures–and the authors will sign and personalize each book on request.
This way, you can personalize a book for every horror reader on your gift list–or have all the books signed to you and keep them–we won’t tell.
To enter, find the Horror Authors Canopy. Raffle tickets are $1 each. Enter as often as you like. For each ticket you buy, we need your name and phone number (preferably a cell phone number you will be carrying with you at 5:30 that day, the time of the drawing) on the half you leave in the raffle.
Everyone who participates in the writer workshops earns one free ticket for the raffle. Children must have the ticket filled out by a parent.
100% of all proceeds go to MAP.
We’ll draw the winner following the 4 p.m. workshop, so some time after 5 p.m.
All tickets will be discarded responsibly. Tickets are to contact the winner. The rest will be destroyed.
Books will be “flat signed” unless the winner requests personalization. This will allow the authors to personalize books intended as gifts.
Parents take note: The books in the raffle and at the vendor tent contain adult content. We’ll do our best to sell responsibly, but we’re not going to card, nor will we judge what you let your kid read.
The Spooky Book Bag in detail. Links take you to the Amazon page:
It’s now officially less than two week before the Context SF Con, and I’ve just received my panel schedule, which I’m anxious to share with you all. I’ll be discussing some fascinating topics with some very talented and entertaining people, so there’s sure to be something worthwhile at each and every one.
When I’m not at a panel, I’ll probably be at the Indy Horror Writer’s table in the book vendor space, selling and signing, talking to fans, and hanging out with Sara Larson, Eric Garrison, A.D. Roland (the Haunting Blue cover artist—sssshhhh, don’t tell anyone) and more.
10:00 p.m. @ Arena District
Horror: Books and Movies
With Michael West, David L Day, and David Burkhead.
1:00 p.m. @ Short North
Point of View
With Gary Wedland and Linda Robertson.
6:00 p.m. @ Arena District
With Lucy A. Snyder, Linda Robertson, and Matthew Cook.
8:00 p.m. @ Short North
Ghosts: Are they real or just scary?
With Karin Shah, Mark Evans, and Joseph Martino.
Clutching a bright blue trade paperback book in her hands, the punkish teenage girl steps through the door of the Café Expresso in Broad Ripple and looks around.
Her gaze falls on the willowy young woman already seated and waving a dark green book back at her. Breaking into a grin, Fiona “Blue” Shaefer heads over to the table and shakes hands with Skye MacLeod before taking a seat across from her.
Blue: Hi there, Skye! [Blue points to the Blue Spirit paperback in her hands] Thanks for answering my email.
Skye: How could I refuse? I mean, I get to talk about myself, right? [laughs]
Waitress: What can I get you?
Blue: Medium Mocha, please, extra syrup.
Skye: [nods at her cup on the table] I’m good, thanks.
Blue: [to Skye] So, it’s been so long since I moved away, I wasn’t sure if you still remembered waiting on me all those times at the Starbucks. It’s been almost a year!
Skye: It’s good to see you again, without a counter between us this time. Wow, you’re not a kid anymore, are you?
Blue: N-no… [nods at copy of Haunting Blue in Skye’s hands] I guess you could say I’ve grown up a bit. I’ve been through a lot since the last time I was in ‘The Ripple’. I always think of you at Starbucks, it’s weird to see you here in the Café Expresso.
Skye: Well, I still go to the Broad Ripple Starbucks sometimes, but after they fired me up in Nora, I just kind of prefer independent coffee shops.
Blue: And the coffee you have there…is that…uh…just coffee?
Skye: [rolls her eyes] You know, I’m not always boozing it up, kiddo. Just unleaded coffee today for me! I, uh, kinda had to promise Annabelle I’d cut back. Being a Vampire Noble in the game is awesome, but it doesn’t, like, pay the bills, you know?
Blue: Yeah, I hear you there. So… [looks around the room] If I understood what you wrote, you have a little guardian fairy named Minnie you have to be tipsy to interact with. Is she around now? Or can you tell?
Skye: [shrugs] I see her more without alcohol these days, but she’s also more independent of me, too. I haven’t seen her today. She’s becoming much more her own person. It’s good for her, but kind of sad, since I’d gotten used to always having her around, watching out for me. So, I’m going through two separate types of withdrawal, sort of. Three, really… [sighs] But I have Annabelle and my gamer friends to help me get by.
Blue: Oh, yes, Annabelle. [fans herself with paperback] I read all about you two. Only boy I can attract is the small town computer nerd but you…you land a firefighter. Every girl’s dream. Well…sorta.
Skye: [smiles and sighs] Actually, I adore nerdy guys. Stuart was the biggest nerd. Annabelle… well, she’s a bit like you, kiddo; adorable but a lot tougher than she looks.
[Waitress deposits Blue’s coffee, looks back and forth between Blue and Skye, winks at Blue, and returns to the counter]
Blue: (turning pink) Well, uh, thank you, Skye. And I’m not a prude, but it is a little weird. For months, all you used to talk about was Stuart this and Stuart that. Then he goes off with another woman, so you turn around bring in your own other woman. I’d call that sweet revenge if I thought you did it on purpose.
Skye: Stuart really betrayed me, Blue. He was the love of my life, then he sold me out. Blamed me for the fire in our apartment. Meanwhile, Annabelle saved my life. She was there for me when I’d lost everything. And, well… we can’t help who we fall for, right?
Blue: Don’t I know it? I would never thought I’d fall for a guy who plays Dungeons and Dragons. Speaking of roleplaying, tell me more about the Live Action Roleplaying game you’re into. I never played myself. Never really wanted to, then when I moved to Perionne and of course Chip talked me into it. But that was paper and dice. The live action vampire roleplaying thing seems like a whole other level, with costumes and the improv in character thing. Do players really take staying “in character” as seriously as you say in your book?
Skye: Oh definitely! Some people hate to break character, like, ever. I have a lot of fun with it, it’s good to get to be someone else for a while. And, for most of us, our pretend lives are a lot more glamorous than our actual lives. It’s like living in a story, and some days, you just don’t want the fantasy to end. Which, I know is funny coming from a girl who sees fairies. [laughs]
Blue: So… speaking of Fairies, I guess Indy has its own gnome-like Scottish Fairy who calls himself the “Transit King”? What’s up with that?
Skye: [laughs] I know, right? He’s actually pretty formidable, even if he seems to be a batty little old bum on the surface. He’s older than dirt and claims dominion over the bus system. I wonder if IndyGo knows about him? He’s mostly friendly, though I get the feeling you wouldn’t to tick him off!
Blue: Well, I didn’t see him on the bus on the way up, but then again, I try not to look very closely at the other passengers. It can get you in trouble. Speaking of colorful characters, tell me about this fella Leslie? The huge costume designer guy with the great vampire fashion sense—does he just make people look great for roleplaying vampires or can he work similar miracles for a prom or something?
Skye: [laughs] Oh yes, he’s larger than life! He wouldn’t turn you away, doll, not if I introduced you first. He specializes in costumes, nothing all that durable. But I guess a prom’s all about costumes, isn’t it? So… does this mean prom is close for you? So, I’m guessing you’re going with Chip?
Blue: No, I just meant any kind of party. [trails off] I don’t know, a big costume party would be great about now. Just dress up like someone else and…forget about everything for a few hours. Yeah, that would be nice.