This Saturday from 10 AM to Noon I’ll be with many other local authors at the Brownsburg Public Library at 450 S. Jefferson Street, west of Indy, for their second annual author fair! I’ll be signing and selling my paranormal trilogy. 10% of all sales during this event goes to the Brownsburg Public Library Friends of the Library Group.
This weekend, I launch into convention / book fair season with a fun gathering in Madison, Indiana. The Book Fair hosted by That Book Place is going on its fifth year (I hooked up in year two and haven’t missed it since). I can’t express enough how grateful I am for book stores in little communities like That Book Place in Madison, IN, and its owner Frank Hall, who goes far above and beyond with events like these to support us local authors.
But first, due to some recent political ugliness that has nothing to do with representing true Hoosier values, Frank offers the following to all guests:
“This store has been and always will be open to everyone. We are a safe haven for people to be themselves with out fear of harassment or ridicule. Everyone is welcome to their own opinion and we accept that, but Bigotry is something that is unacceptable.”
Frank speaks for myself and every author and book vendor I know that is likely to attending this event.
Anyway, on to the cool stuff. The event has grown every year, and this year it is bursting at the seams, coming very close to 100 authors (if it hasn’t hit there by now) and will be off site from That Book Place for the first time ever. Also for the first time, food vending will be available onsite for authors and guests.
I am attending Saturday 10 am-6 pm only, but in the unlikely event you might want to see other authors as well (I suppose it’s possible) festivities begin Friday night with reader- and writer-related panels, and continue through Saturday. Author readings are also scheduled all day, with yours truly offering up a little something from Haunting Blue at 1:40 pm.
This Thursday, from 5:30-7 pm, I’ll join seven other authors at Indy Reads Books in downtown Indianapolis in support of Gifts of the Magi: A Speculative Holiday Collection. We’ll each read a excerpt from our short stories and remain available to sign copies and hopefully raise a lot of money for a good cause.
I’ll be reading an excerpt from the my short story in the collection, “Blue Christmas.”
Gifts of the Magi will be offered through Indy Reads Books, while I’ll have copies of Haunting Blue, Haunting Obsession, and Virtual Blue for sale. And of course, you can browse offerings from our other authors. It should be a great time and a fantastic opportunity to check off a lot of people on your Christmas list.
After months of preparation and weeks of teasing, I can finally share the big news about the NEW ORIGINAL collection of holiday stories co-edited with my good friends John F. Allen, E. Chris Garrison and me.
The anthology is called Gifts of the Magi: A Speculative Holiday Collection and features new tales by our friends and ourselves, most of whom have series’ in progress, and feature a story set in the world of that series. And yes, I have a new story in this collection.
That’s right, Blue Shaefer and Rebecca Burton are returning in a brand-new short story that takes place on Christmas Eve! In it, Rebecca gets word that someone is trying to cause trouble for Blue, so she crashes in on Blue and Chip’s celebration, and they’re off on another paranormal adventure. I think it strikes a great balance between addressing her past and setting her up for an exciting future. The title, of course, could only be Blue Christmas. I hope you all love it as much as I do.
Besides featuring a new story for Christmas, Gifts of the Magi offers a number of other firsts. It’s my first attempt at co-editing an anthology (a stressful endeavor that can test the strongest bonds and make them even more strong afterwards) and my first venture into indie publishing under a new brand, in a co-partnership between John, Chris and me, SFG Publishing. It’s our first attempt at supporting a local charity. In this case, every cent raised goes toward Indy Reads Books and the good work they do.
Here’s where I brag about what an awesome time I had, that you didn’t have, because you chose to do something other than go to Imaginarium in Louisville, KY, last weekend. Ready, here we go.
With perfect weather and essentially a one highway route, the drive from Indy to Louisville could not have gone better. John F. Allen and I made the drive in a tad over two hours. The hotel was easy access off the highway exit.
Speaking of easy access, I need to praise the layout of the Crowne Plaza Hotel. As someone restricted to walking short distances, the public accessible doors next to the showroom were terrific, and the elevator access to the rooms was great. Very compact and convenient all around. These things are a concern for me, and the floor plan was definitely created with convenience in mind.
Registration was fast and smooth. We were given immediate access to our tables to set up. Con buddy Eric Garrison (AKA E. Chris Garrison) joined us and we were set up before con start with time to mingle.
At any convention, something has to go wrong, and at least this time it happened early with0ut serious consequences. I was never clear if what happened was a planned fire drill, a prank, or perhaps a lit cigarette, but whatever happened, the fire alarm went off, and the room full of vendors found themselves herded out the back doors into the parking lot for the next several minutes. I tucked up by the loading dock doors and waited it out.
I displayed my paranormal trilogy, plus my Lost Soles and Akira Lacquers‘ Virtual Blue nail polish. Everything received some love and attention, but the Lost Soles–the hand-stitched stuffed ghosts created by Mrs RJ and our three nerds in the making–were the big winner for my sales. How awesome is that?
Food, like other services, was easy and convenient. The hotel served an exceptionally large and yummy burger, dressed for a night out. Next to it was a nice grab-n-go kiosk. Friday night a group of us gathered at the local favorite Troll Under the Bridge Pub, and we even found a McDonald’s and Taco Bell for a convenient bite.
I had two other special moments I need to mention: I was also reunited with Ms. Ash Roland, an author buddy who goes back early in my publishing journey. Ash was instrumental in securing my first publishing deal, created the first cover, the book trailer, and who I shadowed at Context in 2010 to learn the whole vending process. She’s a talented horror writer, artist, and friend, and it was terrific to see her again after a four year gap.
Also, through a happy coincidence, my brother and his wife traveled from Indy to Louisville to accompany my niece to visit a nearby college. They just happened to make reservations at the Crowne Plaza, and we had dinner together Saturday night.
I met a LOT LOT LOT of new people….so many, that if I attempted to name them, I would embarrass myself, so let’s just leave it at, you know who you are.
I did my best to impart whatever wisdom I could at my panels, and I know I learned a lot at the workshop.
What followed after was the masquerade dance, a room party, more at the dance, more at the room party, Otters were mentioned in inappropriate conversation, things got late, things got fuzzy. During the dance, Jordan Bell requested Cyndi Lauper (Goonies R Good Enough, whoop-whoop) on my behalf and several people chanted “Oh Awjay.”
Bottom Line: Imaginarium was a blast!! For a first year event, organization and efficiency far above expectations–perhaps the most well-run con I’ve been to. Kudos to Stephen Zimmer and Susan Roddey for that. Imaginarium was well worth the trip. It was an amazing networking and educational experience. They threw a great party. Sales were low, but that’s normal with any first year event. Make your plans now. This is the place to be next year.
Each batch is hand-mixed and completely non-toxic, created and offered exclusively by Akira Lacquer.
Virtual Blue Nail Polish: kickass color for punkgeeks and geekpunks everywhere, and the answer to the burning question: what does R.J. Sullivan offer that Stephen King doesn’t? Come by and grab your bottle this weekend!
Tomorrow: I’m posting all the details on how to stalk R.J. during Imaginarium weekend!
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!
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 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!