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.

Red Lotus Launches during Indy Comic Con

RL BannerWhat an exciting few days! Commanding the Red Lotus is going live on various formats as I write this. The e-books are already live on Kindle and the iTunes store. You can see the progress as I share each link as it goes live by clicking here.

The paperback will be available in a matter of days, but if you have big plans to go to Indiana Comic Con this weekend, I’ll have the first paperback copies of Commanding the Red Lotus available anywhere, which can be signed by me, along with all my books. I brought plenty, but “selection is limited.” I mean, you never know, right? And signatures are always, always free and worth every penny you pay.

indiana comic con

I’ll be sharing a booth with my authorly cohorts John F. Allen, Chris Garrison, and Frank Smith III, so there’s plenty to check out. Indiana Comic Con is at the downtown Convention Center and is easily the biggest event I’ve attended as a seller, so I’m super-psyched about this weekend! By all accounts, there will be plenty to see and do. Check out all the details at their website, and I hope to see a few of you there!

Red Lotus to Launch next Week

RL BannerI’m very excited to announce that my first novel-length science fiction novel Commanding the Red Lotus has been finalized and scheduled by Seventh Star Press to go live over various formats next week.

Cover Commanding Red Lotus
Cover art by Enggar

Money Can’t Buy Respect

Sayuri Arai, privileged daughter of a corporate mogul, abandons a promising career to find her own path. She invests in a broken-down asteroid mining ship and steps in as the commander of its crew. Every day presents a new challenge just to keep her ship from falling apart and the bitter crew from killing each other. Can Sayuri unite the feuding factions, or will her rivals turn the entire complement against her? Commanding the Red Lotus offers a classic sense of wonder for today’s science fiction readers.

While exact times on internet publications are not so precise, what usually happens is the ebooks go live first, with Amazon/Kindle taking the lead and the rest following soon after, then over the next couple of days, the paperbacks show up and are available to order. That means we may see links go live as early as Tues April 26 and everything should be up by late in the day Thurs April 28. You can check the dedicated page on my site to watch for each link to “turn on.”
RJ Color Cmmndng Red Lotus Author picWhat is not so uncertain is that the books I ordered for Indiana Comic Con at the downtown Convention Center Fri April 29-Sun May 1 will be there and on site, and I’ll have lots of copies for sale, and it’s certainly the first place you can get your hands on a signed copy of Commanding the Red Lotus. I’ll be sharing a booth with my author pals John F. Allen and Chris Garrison, and Frank Smith III. Frank created my new author photo you see here.

You can expect to see a lot more promotion on the book after the event. I’m very excited to share this book, it’s a labor of love in the genre I love best, and I hope y0u dig it, too.

EVENT: That Book Place Book Fair, Year 6

authors fair 6
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 sixth year (I hooked up in year two and haven’t missed it since). Although the store is no more, the event continues at the Madison National Armory (1533 Clifty Drive, Madison, IN 47250) and through the store’s owner, Frank Hall. Click here to join the Facebook event. I will be there Saturday only.

rj at 5th
This photo of RJ at the 5th Annual serves as a reminder to take more photos at the 6th Annual.

The event has grown every year, and this year it is bursting at the seams. Food vending (cash only) will be available onsite for authors and guests. Credit card payment will be accepted for author’s books, and they will be offered at a discount from regular price. The event is free to get in, and with it now indoors in a convention hall, there’s no reason not to check it out.

I am attending Saturday 10 am-6 pm only. Festivities continue through Sunday. John F. Allen and I will be roaming the space as The Two Towers Talk Show doing short interviews with authors as time permits.

I’ll be at my table or mingling with the crowds all day while selling and signing copies of my books: Haunting Blue, Haunting Obsession, Virtual Blue and Darkness with a Chance of Whimsy.

So join us for the fun! You can see my photo albums from previous years by clicking here and here .

Early cover reveal for RJ Fans Subscribed to Email Updates

Next Tuesday, I’m offering my email update newsletter subscribers an early sneak peek at the front cover of my next release, Commanding the Red Lotus. Frankly, it’s a pretty stunning cover, and if you dig spaceship artwork that captures a sense of wonder, you’ll love this.

DWACOW low rezThe cover was created by Seventh Star Press staff artist Enggar, the man behind last year’s Darkness with a Chance of Whimsy cover. Though he humored my odd request for that one (and knocked it out of the park) science fiction space opera images are in his wheelhouse, and he created a great one for me. Which is why I want to share it early. Just…only with my special people.

“That’s a bummer, RJ,” you might be saying. “I’m not on your RJ Fans Email Updates list. And what’s in it for me?”

Fear not, frustrated one. All is not lost. In fact, you can join my newsletter updates list right now just by clicking on this link and filling out the form partway down the page. Not only will you see this awesome cover well ahead of the Muggles, you get a permanent $2 discount off any autographed books you order from me. And best of all, regular (but not too regular) updates on all things RJ. What’s not to love?

So to see a piece of awesome art well ahead of everyone else, and get RJ Updates delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for my Email Updates list before Tues, Feb. 12. You’ll be glad you did.

Rj to co-host Two Towers with John F. Allen

Two TowersI’m excited to announce a new venture coming to a YouTube channel near you. As early as next month, you will be able to check out a new video blog program of TV and movie reviews, author interviews, comic book commentary, and lots of other fun stuff. The program is called The Two Towers Talk Show, co-hosted by John F. Allen and me.

John and have a mutual love for all things geeky, and though our opinions are often in sync, they diverge just enough to lead to interesting conversations. Which we can hold. For hours. And hours. But never mind.

What can you expect from the Two Towers Talk Show?

Movie and TV Discussion
Comic Book reviews (mainly from John)
Classic / old movie reviews (mainly from R.J.)
Author interviews
Guest hosts

All done from Indianapolis and with a strong emphasis on Indie and Small Press authors, and on Indy region special events.

Over the holidays, John and I had the same idea at pretty much the same time. It was John who approached me about doing the show, to which I said “I was gonna call you and discuss doing something like that.”

So while I’ve been putting the finishing touches on my latest novel, John has bolted forward to create a foundation, creating a logo and setting up dedicated outlets. Click to join us on Facebook, Twitter,  the YouTube Channel, and the blog, and check back regularly for updates.

TWO TOWERS LOGO 5I’m looking to have my own small feature dedicated to old / classic movies, horror, SF, and other interests, presenting a sort of cranky old man perspective on why these movies still matter. And my first topic will likely be a beef I have with certain young bloggers who have taken to dissing Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece 2001 A Space Odyssey and Robert Wise’s Star Trek The Motion Picture because they’re “slow and boring.” (Spoiler: no, they’re not).

John and I have had many discussions about the various directions the show may go, but things like this are best grown organically, and that’s how this will unfold. So watch for more updates from the usual outlets, and join us as John and I launch into this new venture.

Guest Blog: John F. Allen Codename: Knight Ranger

CodenameKnightRangerTourBadgeI’m pleased to be able to host a stop on the blog tour of my good friend and awesome author John F. Allen. As part of his critique group, I’ve read Codename: Knight Ranger as he was writing the various components of it. If you like Iron Man, Captain America, and the Six Million Dollar Man, you need to see how John plays with similar ideas and makes them his own. That’s why for this guest post, I asked him to pick the heroes that had the biggest impact on his writing. Let’s see what he said….

List the top genre heroes when you were growing up that influenced your writing today.

batmanBatman I fell in love with Batman from as far back as I can remember. Before any other heroes, there was the Caped Crusader, the Dark Knight Detective and the senior half of the Dynamic Duo. I could say it was his humanity that drew me to the character, and I suppose that is in part the truth. However, I must admit that the dark, tragic origins of the character were equally as influential to me. I love flawed, human characters. Batman was a tragically flawed human, who used his means to become the protector of the streets in his city of Gotham and a terror to the criminal element.

shaft-movieShaft  John Shaft was my hero. He was the street smart, charismatic, sarcastic ladies man on the surface, but he was also the intelligent, courageous and selfless hero who stepped up to the challenge when he was called to it.

Spencer_For_HireSpenser I read my first Spenser novel, by the late, great Robert B. Parker back in 1980. I was drawn to the character’s morality, veracity, wit and compassion. Sure, he was a tough guy in the mode of Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe, but he was also an intellectual and gentleman.

VIWarshawski1From the first time I read about the adventures of V.I. Warshawski, the tough as nails female private eye created by Sara Paretsky, I fell in love with her wit, swagger and propensity for getting into harrowing situations. However, the one thing that stood out about her the most was her self reliance and autonomy. She wasn’t the typical “Damsel in Distress” and could roll with the fellas, but still be a lady.

Perez WonderwomanWonder Woman was the strong, beautiful and wise heroine who embodied hope and peace. As a fan of the comics and the 70’s TV show, I was drawn to this larger than life female who could juggle cars, but was also compassionate to the weak and downtrodden, who sometimes were at best an afterthought to others.

Jungleaction23Black Panther was the epitome of the positive depiction of a black male in comics. He was a King, he was a genius, he was extremely wealthy, brave, benevolent and strong. Growing up during the 70’s, the depictions of black males and black people in general were largely stereotypical at best. Black Panther served as an inspiration of what black characters should be.

Honorable Mentions:
1) Conan the Barbarian/Tarzan of the Apes
2) Steve Austin (Six Million Dollar Man) – he almost made it, but is in the Top Ten.
3) The Shadow/Doc Savage
4) Sherlock Holmes
5) Captain James T. Kirk, Captain Jean Luc Picard and Captain Benjamin Sisko

JohnAllenAuthorPhoto_NewAbout the author  John F. Allen is an American writer born in Indianapolis, IN. He is a member of the Speculative Fiction Guild and the Indiana Writers Center. He began writing stories as early as the second grade and pursued all forms of writing at some point, throughout his career. John studied Liberal Arts at IUPUI with a focus in Creative Writing, received an honorable discharge from the United States Air Force and is a current member of the American Legion. John’s debut novel, The God Killers was published in 2013 by Seventh Star Press.
John currently resides in Indianapolis, Indiana with his wife, son and daughter.

CodeNameKnightRanger_Cover_1200X800Codename: Knight Ranger: Captain Alexandre Cornelius “Neal” Du Bois is a US Army Ranger and decorated war hero. When his unit is ambushed by supernatural hostile forces while in Afghanistan, only Neal survives. When he wakes up in a secret government facility, Neal discovers that his whole life has changed forever.

A shadowy government agent named Elijah Bishop arranges for Neal’s brain to be transplanted, without his permission, into a bio-engineered body capable of amazing feats. Armed with advanced body armor and weaponry, he becomes the epitome of the Ultra Soldier.

To protect his family and those closest to him, he must let the world and everyone he loves believe he is dead. With assistance from Dr. Avery Clarkson–the scientist responsible for his new body–Neal reluctantly utilizes his superhuman abilities to work for Bishop and his organization called G.E.N.E.S.I.S. (Global Espionage Network of Elite Supernatural Intelligence and Surveillance), in order to track down those responsible for the slaughter of his unit and keep the world safe from supernatural terrorist forces.

Author Links:

Website:
www.johnfallenwriter.com

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/johnfallenauthorwriter

Twitter:
@johnfallen1970

Tour Schedule and Activities
11/2  On Cloud Eight-and-a-Half Guest Post
11/2 A Charmed Life Review
11/3 Creatives Help Board. How may I direct your call? Author Interview
11/4 Armand Rosamilia, Horror Author Guest Post
11/4 Book in the Bag Interview
11/4 RJ Sullivan Top 5 List
11/5 Darkling Delights Interview
11/6 Beauty in Ruins Guest Post
11/6 Sheila’s Blog Guest Post
11/6 Bee’s Knees Reviews Review
11/7 The Infamous Scribbler Review/Interview
11/7 Vampires, Witches, & Me Oh My! Top Ten List
11/8 Sapphyria’s Book Reviews Guest Post

Amazon Links for Codename: Knight Ranger
Print   Kindle

Barnes and Noble Link

SFG at Irvington Halloween

irvington festSaturday is Halloween (as if you need me to tell you that) and during the day, I’ll be part of the SFG booth at the Irvington Halloween Street Fair! You can read the full write-up on the SFG Website here.

From 10 am- 5 pm, I’ll have plenty of copies of my paranormal thriller trilogy plus my short story collection. Check out my books alongside my SFG peeps John F. Allen, Matthew Barron, Chris Garrison, and David Jobe.

RJ AD holidays 2014
My titles:

DWACOW low rezHaunting Blue $15 each
Haunting Obsession $10 each
Virtual Blue $15 each
Darkness with a Chance of Whimsy $10 each

As always, autographs are free and worth every penny you pay.

Our booth is in the Back Acre Beer Garden on the corner of Bona Ave & Audubon Rd. Go to the event website to read all about the exciting events happening throughout the day. We look forward to seeing you there!

Darkness Blog Tour Master Link List

RJSullivanTourBadgeDWACOW low rezMy blog tour in support of Darkness with a Chance of Whimsy launches Monday! Check out Seventh Star’s announcement here. As I’ve done the last few times because it works so well, this blog post will serve as the master list, and I’ll add live links to the each post as soon as I know they’ve gone up.

It’s going to be an exciting week and I hope you come back frequently to check it out.  I want to thank the 11 book bloggers who volunteered to be a part of the fun.

The complete blog tour is as listed:

Mon Sept 28
Book in the Bag Review (4 /5)
I Smell Sheep Review (4.5 / 5 “Sheep”)

Wed Sept 30
Bee’s Knees Reviews Review (4 / 5)

Thurs Oct 1
FUOnlyKnew Review (5 / 5)

Fri Oct 2
L. Andrew Cooper’s Horrific Scribblings Review and accompanying interview
Shells Interviews: RJ’s Top Ten Anthologies and Collections

Sat Oct 3
Jorie Loves a Story Review
Azure Dwarf: RJ’s Top Ten Women of Fiction (#1-5)

Sun Oct 4
Coffintree Hill: RJ’s Top Ten Women of Fiction (#6-10)
Armand Rosamilia, Author RJ Beyond the Darkness…

Fri Oct 9 (late post due to technical difficulties)
RJ Q and A hosted by Kylie Jude

Check in regularly to see the list fill in, and leave a comment below as the tour progresses and to let me know what you think.

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.