Blue Christmas part of Holiday Antho

Gifts of the Magi cover by John F. Allen
Gifts of the Magi cover by John F. Allen

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.

Besides a new story by me, you’ll find a new Ivory Blaque tale by John, a new story set in Chris’ Tipsy Fairy Tales / Road Ghosts world, and stories set in several of my favorite worlds, created by authors Chantal Noordeloos, Katina French, Debra Holland, and an awesome standalone story by my good friend A.D. Roland that blew me away, and many more!

Copies will be sold at Indy Reads Books and online in both Amazon ebook and paper versions.

Click here to learn about the December 4 book signing at Indy Reads Books Indianapolis, with the editors and several of the authors present.

But don’t let me keep you from finding out more. Click here to read the official announcement with full details and the preorder link to get yours!

RJ at Imaginarium: A Stalker’s Guide

This weekend is the first-ever Imaginarium Convention in Louisville, KY, a new reader- and writer-centric convention (in which Seventh Star Press is playing a starring role) darn well determined to be a mind-blowing experience or die trying.

I’ll be in the Seventh Star Press section with my Indy author peeps John F. Allen and Eric Garrison, selling my paranormal trilogy, the new Virtual Blue Nail Polish, and my Lost Soles. During vendor’s hours, you’ll find me at the booth most of the time, or I’m on panel duty at one of the following discussions:

Friday
5 PM Critique Groups: Positives & Negatives: Some people call them a blessing, others a curse. Here’s your chance to get the lowdown from published authors on critique groups and how they both help and harm writers.
Moderator: Marian Allen Other Panelists: Matthew Barron, David Blalock, Andrea Judy, Kristen Kindoll

Saturday
10 AM Don’t Let Genre Get in Your Way: When you sit down to write do you find yourself trying to force your plot into a specific mold? It’s far past time you let your writing take flight without parameters. Come ask questions from our cross-genre panelists and learn the best way to write what you want to write on your own terms.
Moderator: Robert Krog Other Panelists: A. Christopher Drown, Jackie Gamber, Georgia L. Jones, Terri-Lynne Smiles

11 AM Plotters vs. Pantsers: The age-old war rages on: are you a plotter or a pantser? Or are you something in between? Come hear our panelists talk about their storytelling prep work.
Moderator: Denise Verrico Other Panelists: Cam Crowder, Mandi M. Lynch, Pamela Turner, M.B. Weston

RJ Will be attending a workshop 2-3:30 PM

3:30 PM Author on Author Interviews: Authors break into teams and interview each other.
Moderator: Lee Martindale Other Panelists: Robby Hilliard, Kristen Kindoll, Rebekah McAuliffe, Anderson O’Donnell, Mysti Parker

It’s shaping up into a pretty incredible weekend! Hope to see some of you there!

Elegant ghost Maxine Marie responds to “hitting 40”

376743_10151060948417591_639062236_nRJ: Congratulations on hitting 40, Maxine!

[Maxine slaps RJ]

RJ: Hey, what was that for?

Maxine: I’ll have you know, Mister, that I haven’t been a day over 33 in nearly 50 years!

RJ: ….That would only make sense to you, Maxine.

Maxine: Why, thanks. I think.

RJ: I just mean that yesterday, Haunting Obsession received its 40th review on Amazon, and even though it was my second book, it’s easily the most it’s the most popular book in my loose trilogy in terms of both sales and reviews. So I thought—

[Maxine slaps RJ’s other cheek]

RJ: Ow! Seriously? What is wrong with you??

2012, with RJ and Nikki Howard as "Maxine Marie".
RJ and Nikki Howard as “Maxine Marie”.

Maxine: You just called me loose. I may be dumb, but I’m not stupid.

RJ: No, I just mean that Haunting Obsession can be read on its own, without the other two books, but it also acts as a bridge story between Haunting Blue and Virtual Blue.

Maxine: Oh, well, why didn’t you just say so?

RJ: I thought you’d want a chance to thank our loyal readers for all their support in getting us this far.

Maxine: Thank them? Shouldn’t you be thanking me? Do you want me to tell your “loyal readers” what you pay me to be your ongoing mascot every time you can’t think of a clever idea for a blog?

Art by Nell Williams.
Art by Nell Williams.

RJ: Hey now! I’m just saying, we owe our audience a huge thank you because we’d never had done it without them.

Maxine: Or maybe your loyal readers know an awesome cover when they see it. I mean, look at me. I am a dish, aren’t I? And Bonnie Wasson captured my good side.

RJ: Well, yes, it is a great cover, but—

Maxine: I mean, let’s face it, prop it up at your table and it sells itself. What fan of steamy ghost fiction can possibly resist?

RJ: Fine, then let me talk. I wrote this to extend my heart-felt thanks to each and every reader and for all the terrific comments I’ve heard about Haunting Obsession since its release.  And I want to thank my publisher Seventh Star for it’s incredible support of me on this journey, and all my peers and friends who have helped me in more ways than I can say. I promise the best is yet to come. Most especially to Bonnie Wasson, Nell Williams, Nikki Howard, and Lily Monstermeat for offering their great interpretations of the character for me to use.

[RJ looks at Maxine]

Maxine: What?

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

RJ: Don’t you have anything to say?

Maxine: Sure. Thank you, RJ’s readers, for demonstrating your elegant good taste and serving as my willing minions in my plans to take over the world…one book at a time.

RJ: Okay, never mind, just join me in taking a bow.

Maxine: [wink] Ah-ha, I knew you were up to something, Mister.

Thank you, readers, for helping me reach this milestone. As a good friend likes to say: The Best is Yet To Come.

HAPPY LABOR DAY WEEKEND!!!

Inconjunction Recap

10519651_826374600706138_2230090658348255553_nNOTE: 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.)

Check out my Facebook photos of Inconjunction!

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!

 

RJ Sullivan Haunting Blue Blog Tour Link Page

HauntingBlueTourBadgeThe blog tour n support of the re-release of Haunting Blue by Seventh Star Press has kicked into full swing and continues all week. During that time, Haunting Blue will be discussed somewhere in the “blogosphere” several times a day. But how’s a casually obsessed RJ fan supposed to keep track?

Fortunately, I make it a goal to take good care of the casually obsessed RJ fans, so I’ve provided this single link page, which I’ll update, so all you need to do is keep checking here once a day to see the latest.

Monday, July 14
Jess Resides Here
A new interview with my good friend Jessica Lay.
Beauty in Ruins Setting, urban legends and self-identity as examined in Haunting Blue.
FUOnlyKnew A whimsical top ten “bucket list and new 4-star review!

Tuesday, July 15
John F. Allen, Writer
A new, self-contained scene fits into the Haunting Blue storyline.
Armand Rosamilia Introducing my novels: Starting a series with a great hook!

Wednesday, July 16
SpecMusicMuse
A new interview with blogger Scott Sandridge.
Workaday Reads My artist. She rocks. Here’s why.
I Smell Sheep A profile on Blue’s teacher nemesis Mr. Robbins.
The Rage Circus Vs. The Soulless Void NEW REVIEW 4.6 stars!

Thursday, July 17
Come Selahway With Me Hey, authors, “Just don’t bore me.” Also, Dracula
Library Girl Reads and Reviews An essay on vulgar language
Bee’s Knees Reviews NEW REVIEW 4.5 stars!

Saturday, July 19
A Haunted Head
New Interview, 20…well, 19 questions (I miscounted)
Coffintree Hill Conventions from the author side

Sunday, July 20
Deal Sharing Aunt RJ’s Writing Project Do s and Don’t s

 

RJ Blog Tour Schedule for Haunting Blue Announced

HauntingBlueTourBadgeNext week, I’m guest-blogging all over the internet in support of Haunting Blue, at a number of favorite blog spots like Jess Resides Here and Beauty in Ruins, and several brand-new blogs to me, such as FUOnlyKnew and Spec Music Muse (thanks to all of you for having me!).

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!

Click here to see all tour dates!

R.J.’s “Lost Soles” at InConJunction

10468076_813484258661839_5960947186833888854_nStop by the Speculative Fiction Guild (SFG) Vendor Booth this weekend during the IncConJunction Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention to see the Lost Soles!

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.

While you’re there, check out the array of books by SFG members John F. Allen, Matthew Barron, Eric Garrison, R. J. Sullivan, and (in the booth next door) Crystal Leflar. Hope to see you there!

Haunting Blue Book Trailer 2014 Goes Live

blue switch 1Three years ago, a new author took on the challenge of putting together his first book trailer. He had ambition if no experience and he perhaps took on more than was reasonable or necessary, but he also had a lot of help from his friends. I’d like to take this space to again thank Ash Arceneaux, who created the original art and edited the final video, high school drama teacher Scott Siler, who created the audio track and provided the voices of Gunther and Chip, and Sami Susterich, a former student of Scott’s who volunteered to voice Blue for me.

Yes, voice-work. Did I mention I had a lot of ambition? While the results were not perfect, they were also none-too-shabby, and these people put a lot of time and effort into the clip we created.

Blue CloseupWhen the book went out of print a few months ago, we also removed the book trailer. With the re-release, I could have chosen to start over, but….that was a LOT of work the first time and most of the trailer was still pretty rocking. So I turned to my friend, author buddy and someone also none-too-shabby with digital editing, Eric Garrison, who attacked my wish list of edits and did what was needed to let me reuse most of the old clip. So here it is, polished and back in service, and also showing off the fabulous new work by Bonnie Wasson, the book trailer to Haunting Blue!

Click here to see Seventh Star’s book trailer announcement and link.

 

R.J. Reads an excerpt from Haunting Obsession

Haunting Obsession Lo RezJust because I thought it would be fun, I hit record on my laptop and read a ten minute excerpt from Haunting Obsession. One take, stumbles and vibrating cell phone and all. If I get a good response, I may do more excerpts when you least expect it. So to start your weekend off right, here’s my decidedly interesting impression of a movie starlet ghost. Some adult content and language.

Let me know what you think.

UPCOMING EVENT: RJ at Inconjunction: A Stalker’s Guide

So the Inconjunction Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention on the east side of Indianapolis (or as I call it, the old hometown) happens Fourth of July weekend, an awesome event celebrating all things speculatively geeky, and it’s always a highlight of my year. This year I’m attending as part of the Speculative Fiction Guild (SFG) and we’re hitting the con in a big way.

photo 2We’ll have a vendor’s booth with all of our titles, where I’ll have the Seventh Star collection of my paranormal thriller trilogy together in paperback for the first time. Convention pricing is: Haunting Blue: $15; Haunting Obsession: $12; Virtual Blue: $15.

Autographs are free and worth every penny you pay.

Also at the SFG booth: John F. Allen, Matthew Barron, and Eric Garrison. Directly next to us is SFG member Crystal Leflar, who’s running her OWN vendor booth as event marketer for Nightscape Press, so check out their array of titles along with her own books.

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.

At this time, I have no plans to return Sunday.

While you’re there, say hi to Michael West, James Barnes of Loconeal Books, local filmmaker Kate Chaplin of Karmic Courage Productions, and check out the show by Five Year Mission.

WOW! How’s that for a packed weekend!