InConJunction and RJ’s Cupcake Giveaway

19601594_1588902567786667_8753918644092991283_n.jpgWow, it’s been a busy few months, and it’s been a long time since I’ve checked in. Business writing has been taking off, I ‘m outlining a new book series I’m very excited about, and many other things are taking shape. In the meantime, I’ve had some wonderful events, including Comic Con Indy, which ended up being my most successful weekend as a book vendor to date!

A couple milestones have already hit since the start of 2018. I’ve celebrated 25 years of marriage to Mrs RJ, and our oldest child graduated high school with academic honors and was pre-accepted into the school of her choice, proving I married smart and well. 🙂

But I’m not here to tell you all that. Because before I knew it, here we are with InConJunction 38, one of my very favorite cons, just on the horizon, specifically July 6-8 on the east side of Indianapolis.
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InConJunction 38: July 6-8, Marriott East Indianapolis, Click this link for details and to register

Speaking of milestones, July 6 is not only my birthday, but this Friday, July 6 at InConJunction, marks my 50th birthday, so I’ve decided to celebrate the day with a 50 cupcake giveaway at the convention starting at 8 pm! (And likely wrapping up about 10 minutes later or I don’t know my SF geeks).

That’s right, If you are a guest of InConJunction, or if you are not a guest but you are near the hotel, you can find me in the Reagan-Kennedy conference room by the restaurant, where, at 8 pm sharp, I’ll begin giving out cupcakes. You don’t need to be a badge to come in and get a cupcake!

81fBP6ORydL._SX425_Cupcakes will come in varieties of chocolate, vanilla and swirl. The provider of the cupcakes wishes to remain anonymous, so I can’t tell you they are made by the Mysterious Cupcake Fairies Who Make Deliciously Awesome Cupcakes.

Ah, dang it, that slipped out.

But seriously, the cupcakes are gonna TASTE AWESOME.

Click here to see the Facebook event page created for the cupcake giveaway.

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Special occasion bookmarks as shown above will also be given away all weekend (thanks to Paul Uhls and BNC Graphics).

Do you know another place where you don’t need a badge at Inconjunction? The vendor’s room, open all weekend long. I’ll be at the SFG Table all weekend long with awesome authors: John F Allen, R.S. Craig, E. Chris Garrison, and Peter Okeafor. And the room will be filled with many many more incredible authors and vendors of toys, games, jewelry art, and other awesome oddities, but since I’ve been putting links to names for over two hours, I need to leave it at that. Take time, shop around.

10559760_826374430706155_4917441266674967879_nMy books will be sold competitive to Amazon or buying directly from me. Autographs are as always totally free and worth every penny you pay.

Haunting Blue: $15. Haunting Obsession $12. Virtual Blue $15. Darkness with a Chance of Whimsy $12. Commanding the Red Lotus $12.

You do need a badge to attend the panels. My panel schedule this year:

Friday

3 PM Star Trek TOS: The Worst of the Worst
Indianapolis Ballroom A-B.  With: Beckie Margedant

5 PM From Manuscript to Convention – Becoming a Published Author
Main Programming. With: Bryan Donihue, Barbara Doran, T. Lee Harris, JM Lee, R.J. Sullivan, JW Troemner

8 PM: R.J. 50th Birthday Cupcake Giveaway
Reagan-Kennedy Conference Room (no badge required)

Saturday
Noon Frankenstein at 200
Indianapolis Ballroom C With: Matthew Barron

6:30 PM Independent Author 101 – Making Conventions Worth It
Indianapolis Ballroom A-B With: Marian Allen, Bryan Donihue, Rob Howell, JW Troemner

So let’s face it, you might as well get a badge and stay the weekend.

chrissygarrisonAnother exciting personal note that affects our table, my friend and awesome author E. Chris Garrison is renewing her vows with her wife Amy on Saturday, so our booth will probably close late afternoon.

Finally, I’m excited for this year for so many reasons listed above, but also because for the first time ever, my entire immediate family will be able to attend. So come on out, it’s going to be a blast. HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE!!

And watch out for Bird Woman. 😉

InConJunction Photo albums:
2017, 2016, 2015, 2014,

Maxine Marie to “Haunt” Hannah House this Saturday

SFG Booksellers hannah houseThis Saturday marks my fifth consecutive appearance at the Paranormal Meet and Greet at the Historical Hannah House on the south side of Indianapolis.

2011
2011

My first appearance was as a new author in 2011 with my then-brand new first novel Haunting Blue.

2012 Paranormal Meet n Greet with "Maxine Marie."
2012 Paranormal Meet n Greet with “Maxine Marie.”

My second appearance was for the book launch of Haunting Obsession, where reader / fan Nikki Howard enthusiastically cosplayed my sexy ghost Maxine Marie on a cosmic lineup of events–the book came out the year of the 50th anniversary of the real Marilyn Monroe’s death, and the event took place 50 years and within a day or two of her death. (And if I told you I had no idea that things would align the way they did when I started planning it, I wouldn’t believe me, either.) It was a lot of fun and we sold a lot of books that day.

Since then, I’ve been a part of the Paranormal Meet and Greet every year it’s taken place (they took a year off in 2014). It’s a fun day, pretty easygoing, at a truly unique and lovely landmark, and the people there are kind and enthusiastic about real-life paranormal investigations. I hear some incredible stories every year.

This year, I’m sharing a booth with other SFG Booksellers, where we’ll have plenty of horror and ghost story books to choose from. And Maxine Marie is going to “haunt” the grounds of the Historical Hannah House. This time she’ll be “channeled” by local model and reader Madison Kae Scroggin, who’ll be mingling with the crowd and posing for pictures while she puts the “boo” in boo-boop-be-doo. (Yeah…I don’t know what that means, either, but you don’t want to miss it).

Model Madison Kae Scroggin is 'scaring up" Maxine Marie at the 2016 Meet and Greet
Model Madison Kae Scroggin is ‘scaring up” Maxine Marie at the 2016 Meet and Greet

You’ll find plenty of copies of my paranormal trilogy and my short story collection. (I’m temporarily out of stock of Commanding the Red Lotus)

376743_10151060948417591_639062236_nHaunting Blue             $15
Haunting Obsession  $12
Virtual Blue                 $15
Darkness with a Chance of Whimsy (short stories) $12

Cash and Credit Card payments accepted. Autographs as always are completely FREE and worth every penny you pay.

The 10th Annual Paranormal Meet and Greet is a FREE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC EVENT Sat, Aug. 13 with extended hours from previous years: 11 am-6 pm in the lawn of the Historic Hannah House at 3801 Madison Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46227. Click this link to go to the Facebook Event Page. I hope to see some of you there!

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.

Haunting Writing Exercise

Haunting Obsession Lo RezHere, re-posted for your consideration, is a writing exercise I composed this morning in one of my writer’s groups. A bit of metafiction whimsey and proof that while Haunting Obsession has been out for several months, Maxine isn’t done haunting me yet. (Yes, at the  mentioned moment, two men stood just outside our open conference room door and proceeded to have a conversation.)

I stared at the laptop screen; the blank white surface stared back, screaming intimidation.

I glanced at the clock, mulling over the exercise, thinking, Wow, Steve, that’s a bit of a tall order. An evocative scene, using all five senses, simple words, and you want us to read it at the end of the hour? Really?

582152_10151060950622591_1149631412_nBehind me, I felt her lean against my shoulders, her breathy whisper in my ear sending a responsive shiver down my spine. “So, what’cha doing R.J.?”

I turned and looked behind me. There was Maxine Marie, the glamorous Hollywood ghost, the late great shapely gorgeous blonde, grinning for me and only me.

Still, I didn’t appreciate the timing. “Maxine, what are you doing here…now?”

Her bottom lip protruded, and she looked down at her feet. “Oh, look at Mister Serious Author, turning all grumpy-puss. As if I have any control over when I enter your mind.”

Art by Nell Williams.
Art by Nell Williams.

She turned and sat on the table, seated on her shapely bottom between myself and the new woman. Her body phased right through the chair, as ghosts tend to do.

It was fine, I could still see through her to the end of the room. A hint of vanilla lavender perfume drifted toward me. (Vanilla lavender? Sure, why not.)

“So,” said Maxine into the air, her nails tap-tap-tapping a quick rhythm on the tabletop. “You’re supposed to write to the five senses. What can we write about?”

I glared down, her nails, still ticking out their rapid tempo, the rhythm rapidly ratcheting on my last nerve. “Would you stop doing that please?”

She looked down, flashed an abashed grin, and folded her hands in her lap. “Sorry.”

“It’s okay.”

2012, with RJ and "Maxine Marie" from Haunting Obsession.
2012, with RJ and “Maxine Marie” from Haunting Obsession.

“So how many have we covered?” she asked. I started looking over my draft. “Not sure. I wish those two guys out in the hallway would stop talking so we would concentrate on the assignment.”

Maxine nodded. “No kidding. Hey!” She offered a mischievous grin. “Want me to go out and scare them?”

I considered. I knew I should be filled with alarm, the very idea jolting my body so I could describe all sorts of abnormal sensations for this writing exercise, but my heart just wasn’t in it.

Truthfully, the thought of her walking through the wall, appearing between them while donning thick black glasses, hissing a librarian-like “shhhhh……” and then vanishing into thin air gave me the giggles.

Art by Bonnie Wasson.
Art by Bonnie Wasson.

But…I shook my head. “No, better not.”

“Oh, poo. You’re no fun.”

I reached for my blue travel coffee mug and took a sip, the tepid liquid, two hours past its prime, left a bitter aftertaste.

Maxine nodded. “Nicely done, sneaking in the sense of taste.”

I smiled at the compliment. “Thanks!”

I drummed my fingers lightly across the black keys in a repetitive motion, trying to think where else to take this scene.

“Hey, Mister,” she chastised. “Now who’s being annoying?”

I stopped. “Sorry.”

Maxine’s gaze lifted, settling on the clock, which showed quarter ’til.

Lily Monstermeat as Maxine Marie.
Lily Monstermeat as Maxine Marie.

“Think you have enough?”

“Sure. Thanks, Maxine.”

“Don’t mention it. Talk to you soon, RJ.” And she vanished.

Learn more about Maxine Marie and Haunting Obsession at this link.