RJ at Karen’s Book Barn Nov 5

 

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Me, John F. Allen, Chris Garrison, Mysti Parker

 

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Reece McKiernan at Inconjunction earlier this year

This Sat, Nov 5, Karen’s Book Barn in LaGrange, KY, (click the link for address, etc) is hosting a multi-author book signing, conveniently scheduled to help readers get a head start on their holiday shopping. We’ll all be there on site from 11 am-4 pm. Besides yours truly, many of my favorite author peeps will there, with our full array of titles that cover a spectrum of genres, including romance, ghost stories, superheroes, urban fantasy, steampunk, adventure, children’s, YA, science fiction, fairy tale, horror, fantasy, and I’m sure I’m forgetting a few. Suffice it to say, you have a great chance of finding exactly what you’re looking for and getting it signed and personalized to that special someone (even if that special someone is you…that’s okay, we won’t tell).

Meet The Authors! (click on the name to see their online book catalog)

John F. Allen brings his unique voice to his Ivoryverse books populated with superhero, urban fantasy and Spy-fi fiction tales. Among my favorite titles: The GodKillers and his Knight Ranger series.

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My favorite photo of Katina French because Batgirl

Katina French writes stellar science fiction, fantasy and a unique mashup of steampunk fairy tales that I love.

Chris Garrison‘s books come in many favorite flavors, including dimension-hopping SF, Trans-Continental Steampunk pulp-style adventures, and her popular Tipsy Fairy Tales series.

Maurice McKiernan will offer his first horror short story collection Manuscripts of the Macabre in hardback and softcover editions (yes, I still need to read it, can’t you tell?)

Mysti Parker offers an array of romance titles and children’s books and another author whose writing I need to get better acquainted with.

And then there’s your humble blog host R.J. Sullivan (name listed for SEO purposes cuz I want ALL the hits!)   SF, fantasy, and ghost story titles which you can learn all about by clicking here.

All my titles are priced to meet or beat the internet. Autographs as always are FREE and worth every penny you pay! Karen’s Book Barn is just a couple hours away from Indianapolis, so come on down! What else have you got to do but stress about the election? Here’s a link to the official Multi-Author Book Signing Facebook Event Page.

Many thanks to Mysti for agreeing to let other authors “invade” her book signing.

 

RJ to be at Imaginarium 2016

imaginarium-2016
I’m a proud author with Seventh Star Press, and Imaginarium is, in great part, the brainchild of SSP Editor-In-Chief Stephen Zimmer. And so,  I was there for Imaginarium’s first and second year and saw the convention grow from a great idea to an expanding community where readers and writers meet, joke, party, and exchange ideas in a nurturing environment all weekend long. Imaginarium 2016, year three, looks to be the best year yet, and you can be sure I’m not missing out on this one.

rj-at-imagionariumI’ll be attached to the Seventh Star cluster of tables, with my Speculative Fiction Guild buddies John F. Allen and E. Chris Garrison. I’ll be selling my full array of titles, including my brand-new collection of science fiction novellas Commanding the Red Lotus all at a price that meets or beats all other options. Autographs are, as always, free and worth every penny you pay. Cash and credit card options (via Square) available.

When I’m not at my table or wandering around trying to catch up with the many people I only see at this con, you can find me at panels with my author peeps, colleagues, and betters.

Here’s my complete panel schedule:

Friday 3 PM Following Your Passion in the Hancock Room
With William Rayst (Moderator), Dan Hildreth, Glenn Porzig, Mary Ellen Quire, and Linda Rettstatt.

Sat 11 AM Building your Brand in the Madison Room
With Violet Patterson (M), Greta King, Lola Kyle PA, Kim Smith, and Tim McWhorter.

Sat 3 PM Comic Book Nostalgia in the Oldham Room
With William Levy (M) , Brent Abell, John F. Allen, Thom Erb,  and Ed Gosney.

Sat 7 PM Space Opera in the Hancock Room
With Arlan Andrews (M), Dave Creek, Arinn Dembo, Kylie Jude, and Kathryn Sullivan.

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With author peep Katina French in 2014

Imaginarium is the weekend of Oct 7-9 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Louisville, KY (near the airport). It’s about a two hour drive from Indianapolis, perfect for a day trip or for staying the weekend. The programming requires a membership badge, but the vending room is free and open to the public. Genres include but are not limited to science fiction, fantasy, horror, romance, and graphic novels.

If seeing me isn’t enough reason to go (and that’s fine, just don’t tell me to my face, we writers have tender egos), there’s a film festival, masquerade ball, panels, and workshops for readers and writers of all levels and interests.

So click here to see the convention website, check out the details, and consider paying us a visit. I hope to see many of you there!

Past years’ photo albums
Imaginarium 2014
Imaginarium 2015

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!

Imaginarium 2015 Recap

I make this look good!
I make this look good!

Imaginarium 2015 at Crown Plaza Hotel in Louisville, KY called a wrap on its second year this past weekend, and in a nutshell, the event is going in the right direction. It strives to be a full experience reader-writer weekend seminar and offer guests an array of lessons and memories (not to mention reading material), and in that goal, the organizers pushed forward in several ways.

More attendance (check). More book sales (check). More panels on more topics with higher participation (check-check-check). More publisher and author interactions (check-check). I personally had a panel Friday night that kept me from attending two other events that looked very cool, but that’s what ya’ call a good problem.

What didn’t change was the interactions between authors and the conversations and opportunities to network. People I had met briefly the first year I got to know better in year two. The seeds of future collaborations and business followups were planted and will continue throughout the year. And I met some new readers. What more can one ask for?

I met author peeps John F. Allen and Chris Garrison for breakfast, carpooled with John Friday morning, and we met back up a bit after noon which gave us plenty of time to eat and set up before the vendor room opened at 4. (The hotel burger rocks–I had it again on Saturday). I sold a copy of Haunting Blue to a new reader (more on this later). My evening panel on comic books and the silver screen had a small but enthusiastic group, and we discussed the topic from many angles in that hour.

Your devil bartender Elizabeth Donald will serve you now.
Your devil bartender Elizabeth Donald will serve you now.

Then there was hard rock bands in the ballroom Friday night and an active room party hosted by Elizabeth Donald where many of the writers hobnobbed.

Saturday was a very busy day. The vendor hall was pretty hustle-bustle for awhile, and in my area we all moved a few books, met some readers, and had some great times. The noon panel on Space Opera was pretty packed. If there is any question if people are excited about the genre making a comeback, the excitement in the room put it to rest for me. Kat French did a great job moderating and keeping the panel on track. (sidebar, read her Belle Starr Books, they rock, yes this is a link to order them, now back to our regularly scheduled programming…)

Saturday evening in the ballroom down the hall was, I think, a 40 year high school reunion, so since the vendor hall was open to the public, several of them came over to find out what was going on, and more books were sold. (Much later, author peep Jessica McHugh and I happened to be walking by the ballroom at the same moment while an “in memory of” slideshow was playing to the music of Sarah McLachlan’s Angel. We were at the same time torn between tears and an inappropriate giggle fit while ours heads were conflicted over the loss of people we never met, not to mention dogs and cats because of unofortunate connections)

Don't Panic! Arthur Dent and co. at the masquerade.
Don’t Panic! Arthur Dent and co. at the masquerade.

My 9 pm panel on writing as series, although scheduled during the awards banquet, was very well attended by another enthusiastic crowd. I was slotted to moderate, not the easiest thing two days into a convention but it all turned out just fine. The masquerade started at 10:30 pm and I spent the evening going back and forth between that and the room party, night two. Some great costumes were out on display.

The workshop taught by Michael Knost was slotted for 1:30 in which he discussed the various ways and reasons that a writer can and should stay “invisible” to the reader, including, yes, using a chicken hat to demonstrate deep third point of view.

Oh, and about the woman who bought Haunting Blue Friday night? She returned to my booth Sunday morning to say how much she enjoyed it and purchased Haunting Obsession. What author doesn’t love that?

Overall, Imaginarium is growing in all the right ways and is the place where we should all plan to be next year. Everyone involved in the planning and execution can take a big bow (and a couple day nap) for their accomplishments. Already looking forward to next year!

Click here to see my complete photo album of the weekend.

InconJunction 2015 Ahead!

This upcoming weekend marks my fourth year as a local author with InConJunction, a general SF/F con with a long and distinguished history in Indianapolis, and not for nothin’, the first con SF I ever attended waaay back in 199*mumble*.

Chris Garrison and Matthew Barron
Chris Garrison and Matthew Barron
John F. Allen and Chris Garrison
John F. Allen and Chris Garrison

Go here to get all the relevant hotel and location information from the con’s dedicated website.

This will also be the second year I’ll be a vendor as part of the author co-op group Speculative Fiction Guild. My books will be alongside many of my local peers, including author besties John F. Allen and Chris Garrison, plus Matthew Barron, Katina French, Davide Jobe, and Nathan Terhune.

My panel schedule this year is light but mighty:

All of my panels are in Indianapolis Ballroom C
Friday @ 9 PM @ Writing Dialog with Matthew Barron
Saturday @9 AM Small Press Publishing and Writer’s Expectations
Saturday @ 5 PM Building Your Brand: Promoting Your Work on Social Media

Inconjiunction is always a good time. I’m looking forward to seeing many old friends and making many new ones. Inconjunction will also be the first place ever that you can get a signed copy of my brand-new release Darkness with a Chance of Whimsy.

When it comes to endorsements, go big or go home,
When it comes to endorsements, go big or go home,

All of my books will be priced to sell,and the more you buy, the more you save.

Haunting Blue $15
Haunting Obsession $10
Virtual Blue $15
The Paranormal Trilogy (all 3 novels) $35

Darkness with a Chance of Whimsy $10
All four books $40
Signatures: FREE and worth every penny you pay.

“Lost Sole?” Ghosties $5

Looking forward to seeing many of you there!

More photos from Inconjunction 2014,

“Magi Mall Sale” on Gifts of the Magi

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

Now thru Friday, you can order the paperback edition of GIFTS OF THE MAGI: A SPECULATIVE FICTION COLLECTION at 15% Off, delivered just in time to fill out your Christmas list! Click here to read all the details on the SFG Website!

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’s Post Imaginarium…uh…post

Eric Garrison, me, John F. Allen
E. Chris Garrison, me, John F. Allen

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.

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Fire drill posers.

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 LacquersVirtual 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?

Troll Under the Bridge tries to thumb-slap me.
Troll Under the Bridge tries to thumb-slap me.

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.

Networking opportunities were tremendous. I have been a fan of indie author Kat French for about a year, so meeting and talking with her was a highlight. The workshop run by Tim Waggoner was stellar. Touched base with Jackie Gamber, J.L. Mulvihill, Selah Janel, Amy McCorkle, David Mattingly, Jason Sizemore, Maurice “The Imaginator” (“Don’t call me the Imaginator”) Broaddus, Michael West, James O Barnes, the always awesome Janet Harriett….so many more. It was great to see D.A. Adams doing fairly well following some health concerns, and spend some time catching up with him.

Ash Arceneaux, A.D. Roland, Ash Roland, Audra Steia, and me...wait, what?
Ash Arceneaux, A.D. Roland, Ash Roland, Audra Steia, and me…wait, what?

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.

Click here to view my overstuffed photo album from Imaginarium Weekend.

PS: I regret to announce that due to many circumstances beyond my control, I am unable to attend Context this year.

Time…..for Sammy….Terry!!

sammyToday, Indiana horror fans from my generation, give and take a few years, received the sad news that Hoosier TV pioneer Bob Carter has died. If you lived outside of Indiana, you’re probably saying “who?” Even if you lived here, the name may not immediately click. But if I tell you Bob Carter was the real-life identity of Sammy Terry, recognition and fond memories are bound to set in for so many who watched Hoosier television from 1962 to 1989.

Since the news hit, dozens of tributes and memories have flashed across my Facebook page. At the same time, it saddens me to see the “official” local media gloss over or minimize what Bob Carter brought to Indianapolis television for almost 30 years.

early sammySammy Terry was the brainstorm of Carter when he joined the programming staff of local TV station WTTV Channel 4. TV itself was still fairly new, local TV with an identity even more so. Though there were sporadic gaps during his run, the show remained a local staple until 1989, when Bob’s Sammy wished us all ” many… pleasant… nightmares!” for the last time. I saw him for the first time as a single-digit-aged boy of the early 70s, and through the  years he introduced me to the Universal horror movies, to Hammer films, to Vincent Price, to the first two Blob movies, and to Godzilla (and his less intimidating counterpart Gamera) and much, much more.

But more than that, he was a part of a time when TV stations were truly local and community-driven. WTTV had a stable of such hosts. As a kid, I started the day with “Cowboy Bob” hosting cartoons, “Janie” hosting more cartoons, and “Popeye and Peggy” hosting….you guessed it, still more cartoons. We also had Jim Gerard, a TV talk show who focused exclusively on things Indianapolis. Throughout my childhood and into my college years, Sammy Terry came on Friday and/or Saturday nights, and I missed very few of them.

Depending on where you lived, each major metropolitan area had its own late night horror host. Every city had its own “local” celebrities, embracing the best parts of both words, local and celebrity, each with fans in the hundreds of thousands. You could see Cowboy Bob at a popular restaurant, Janie at the local schools. Mrs. RJ’s girl scout troop took a tour of Peggy’s studio.

sammy 2While I am prone to exaggerate to prove a point, I was truly a huge fan of Sammy Terry. I think back to my poor sixth grade teacher who had to read through my three-part multiple-page “epic” creative writing assignment “Sammy Terry Versus Dracula” (Sammy won) and hope it brought a smile to her face as much as this fact makes me blush today. I have two signed photos of Sammy–an official publicity shot and a piece of fan “art” I drew myself. I presented both at the Paramount Music Palace restaurant (another Indiana treasure now gone) to which he quipped “Oh, what a HOR-rible picture!” Which was, of course, a compliment.

But removing my personal memories, Bob Carter was part of an era difficult to explain to those too young to have lived it. Like so much connected to horror, the local horror host was part of a grass roots effort, this one by TV stations to re-introduce classic horror films to a new generation, (that TV hopped on this trend on the heels of the success of Forrest Ackerman’s magazine Famous Monsters of Filmland is, I’m certain, no coincidence).

Then with the dominance of cable, movies and cartoons went “national”, and TV programmers sought alternative programming, giving rise to the info-mercial. The result of this speaks for itself. Quickly, and before most people realized it, true local community television died, and for reasons baffling to me, cable stations have failed to try to make the TV host a national phenomenon. (What few attempts I have seen are sad short-lived shadows, but that’s another discussion.)

One of the many reasons why the original mid-80s Fright Night will forever rock is its homage to this era (an homage mostly lost on later generation viewers who think a random Chris Angel riff works just fine) in the character of Peter Vincent, played by the marvelously underrated Roddy McDowell. Peter is a fictional local horror host who speaks for all local horror hosts of the time to comment on TV’s then-changing attitudes toward their status. Peter Vincent is horror films’ acknowledgment of the debt it owes to all such local horror hosts (and as far as I know, remains the only such tribute).

But in Indiana at least, there’s a sort-of happy ending to this melancholy tale. About three years ago, Sammy Terry-mania returned in a big way. Bob Carter, who’d retired from personal appearances in the early 2000s, gave his blessing to his son to take up the Sammy Terry persona. To some people’s surprise (though not mine) the buzz from the local community has been fairly strong, and last year, Sammy Terry returned to local television, with Mark Carter donning the makeup, clothes, and shtick.

Today, five new TV specials and tens of thousands of fans spanning multiple generations later, the hand-off is complete. Mark will never replace his father, but he just might take Sammy Terry into the 21st century, and make the old ghoul relevant again. And that, as I like to say, would make me unreasonably happy.

Rest in peace, Bob Carter. Your legacy as a Hoosier television pioneer is secured, and you will be remembered fondly for generations to come.

See Sammy Terry pay homage to “his creator” on the Sammy Terry website here.