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.

RJ to be at Imaginarium 2015

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

Next weekend I’ll be attending the Second Annual Imaginarium Convention in Louisville, KY. Last year’s event was, quite simply, the most fun I had last year. With Seventh Star Press as a major organizer and several Speculative Fiction Guild authors well represented, I’m anticipating bigger, better, and more fun than ever.

What is Imaginaruim? Quite simply, If you love books and the people who write them, or you aspire to write and want an inspiring weekend training seminar, Imaginarium will be the place to be.

First of all, let’s get to a huge change over year one. The change that affects each and every one of you. The dealer’s room, crammed full of authors and vendors, will be free and open to the public. To participate in the programming, you need to buy a one-day or weekend pass, but if you just want to shop for yourself or for people on that list that starts to become relevant very soon, you can come and go as you like, free of charge. Click here to see Imaginarium’s website to read all the details about location, passes, hotel, etc.

11403423_1017912164885713_4460008536803645248_nYou’ll find me at a table with good buddies John F. Allen and Chris Garrison in the Seventh Star Press section. You’ll find my full array of books, which you can buy with cash or credit card all weekend. Autographs as always are free and worth every penny you pay. Here’s my price list:

10468076_813484258661839_5960947186833888854_nHaunting Blue $15
Haunting Obsession $10
Virtual Blue $15
Darkness with Chance of Whimsy $10
Lost Sole Ghosties $5 each or free with any purchase
I’ll also have special deals on multiple title purchases.

I’m on three panels this year, my schedule:

Fri, 7 pm in the Madison Room
Comics and the Silver Screen: Also with Glenn Porzig, John F. Allen, S.C. Houff, and T. Lee Harris

Sat, Noon in the Oldham Room
The Great Space Opera Debate: also with Dave Creek, Kathryn Sullivan, and Katina French

Sat, 9 pm in the Shelby Room
Writing a series: Also with Brick Marlin, Melissa Goodman, T. Lee Harris, and Teresa Reasor

Of course, you’re all coming just to see me, but you should know there’s dozens of panels for readers and writers, a movie screening room, a masquerade ball, and two free writer’s workshops. Hope to see you there! And if you can’t make it, follow my updates on Facebook and Instagram throughout the weekend.

Check out my photo album from Imaginarium 2014.

RJ visits Armand Rosamilia

cropped-book-signing-setupLast Wednesday, horror author and good buddy Armand Rosamilia posted a guest blog I’d created some weeks earlier and while I was busy attending to  other things. And what I mean to say is, I’m posting it several days later completely on purpose in to maximize exposure over a period of time.

Yeah, we’ll go with that.

So did you know that being a modern author is a lot like being in a garage band? Its true! Here’s what I posted.

Me between two author co-op peeps John F. Allen and E. Chris Garrison.
Me between two author co-op peeps John F. Allen and E. Chris Garrison.

The Bass Player Quit Again

Or, the Chemistry of Author Co-Ops

“She wants to be an author when she grows up!” I looked down into the wide eyes of a tween girl. Her parents pulled her over to my booth so they could tell me this, apparently in hope that I could grant some words of wisdom on the spot. So I tell her half the truth. The good half. The encouraging half.

Thanks to modern technology, specifically ebooks and digital publishing, this little girl is growing up in a time when anyone who wants to chase their dream of being an author will have more choices before them than any era before. She can choose to avoid the lifelong frustration of rejections and never getting that break. Her destiny will be in her own hands, and success or failure will be more in her control than ever. The parents smiled and the girl glowed and my duty to inspire future generations was done for the day.

I had, of course, only told her the good news. What I didn’t tell her was that her destiny will be in her own hands, and success or failure will be more in her control than ever.

—-

You’ll need to click over to the original post on Armand’s blog to read the rest. And while y0u’re there, check out guest posts by other authors scheduled to appear at the Second Annual Imaginarium Convention in Louisville, KY, including a guest post by my good friend E. Chris Garrison.

Click here to finish reading my guest post.

Event filled Weekend Post Mortem

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The Three Amigos, L to R, John F. Allen, Me, and Chris Garrison
IMG_1237
Chris Garrison poses at the just-finished display shortly after setup.

For starters, all I can say is, WHAT A GREAT WEEKEND! So let’s start with letting the shields down and a little truth telling. Events like these are taxing. They’re outdoors, they involve limited windows to set up big displays. Sometimes, by the time it’s all set, you have to find a second effort to get your public game face on.

But two things make it much easier. 1) Partnering with terrific people and 2) a good turnout and terrific conversation. And that’s why this weekend went so well.

For starters, I arrived way early to the Historic Hannah House, much to my surprise, so I found what I considered a prime shady location for our group. E. Chris Garrison and Laura Terhune arrived shortly after, and we had everything we needed. A kind stranger (I’ve never met any other type at the Paranormal Meet n Greet) helped us set up Laura’s canopy and we were set up and ready well ahead of opening. John F. Allen arrived shortly before noon with his vampire / werewolf thriller title.

Being a display of fictional ghost stories (as opposed to stories based on actual haunted encounters), we were not everyone’s cup of tea, but lots of visitors showed interest, and everyone treated us like family, which is on par with every  experience I’ve had here, and that’s why I love supporting it. We had lots of conversations, caught up with old friends, met a few new ones, and even sold some books. I’m already looking forward to next year.

L to R: James W. Kirk, Me, John F. Allen, Chris Garrison
L to R: James W. Kirk, Me, John F. Allen, Chris Garrison

Speaking of old friends, the biggest surprise was seeing an old colleague, James W. Kirk. He and I go back to 199*mumble* college creative writing days, and he’s gone on to create quite a horror anthology brand with himself as editor-in-chief of some dozens of books. Check out his work here.

Then Sunday I returned to VERY local territory and took a double shift at the Greater Mooresville Chamber of Commerce booth during the opening day of the Old Settler’s Fair. I saw a lot of people who know me better as CopyBob but who were very interested to see the book titles I rarely discuss amongst them. And like last year, a few folks walked off with some books and my eye-catching Lost Soles (I need to make some more).

At the Old Settler's Fair 2015
At the Old Settler’s Fair 2015

So I arrived home VERY tired, but also very excited to see the effort we put into offering the best stories and displays we possibly can start to pay off.

Looking ahead, I have a nice window to wrap up on Red Lotus Novelette 3 before you can all catch up with me at Imaginarium Weekend in Louisville, KY Sept 11-13.

Link to my Facebook Photo Album of the weekend.

RJ to be at Hannah House and Old Settler’s Fair

I have a couple of exciting events next weekend, so let’s get right to it.

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

First, I’m excited about the return of the Paranormal Meet n Greet at the Historic Hannah House on Indy’s south side, back again after a year’s hiatus. I always have a good time here, but the 2012 event where I launched Haunting Obsession was a special time.

This year I’ll be part of the SFG Guild vendor table with John F. Allen, E. Chris Garrison, and Laura Terhune, offering a wide array of ghost story, horror, urban fantasy, and paranormal thriller books. The event runs Noon-4 and is completely free and open to the public. Here’s more info from the event page:

Saturday August 8th 2015
Noon-4 pm Historic Hannah House, 3801 Madison Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46227. It can easily be reached from 465 by exiting US31 North, AKA East Street. The third light down is National Ave – go right. The next light is Madison Ave. The house sits on the corner of this intersection.

FB Event Page
My FB photo albums from 2012, and 2013

10574353_833221856688079_4599531151190465353_nThen Sunday, Aug 9, I’ll at the Mooresville Old Settler’s Fair, Opening Day, at the Chamber of Commerce booth from 5-9 PM. I did this last year and had a terrific response.

The Settler’s Fair is at Pioneer Park. Read about Pioneer Park here.

 

I’ll have all four of my books, plus deals. As always, autographs are free and worth every penny you pay.

11403423_1017912164885713_4460008536803645248_nThe Paranormal Trilogy: Haunting Blue $15; Haunting Obsession $10; Virtual Blue $15;
Darkness with a Chance of Whimsy (NEW short story collection) $10.

10468076_813484258661839_5960947186833888854_nMulti-Book deals: The Paranormal Trilogy: $35 (save $5)
All four books: $40 (save $10)
Lost Soles $5 each or FREE with any book purchase

Cash and credit card accepted!

Looking forward to seeing many of you there!

New Blog Interview with Fiona McVie

DWACOW low rezToday, Book Blogger Fiona McVie’s added me to long series of author interviews. I posted almost 2k words about Haunting Blue, Darkness with a Chance of Whimsy, childhood influences, advice to writers, and much more.

Here’s the first few paragraphs:

R.J. Sullivan

Age Forty-*mumble*

Where are you from: Heartland Crossing, Indiana

A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc  

I have an education and a family life.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

My latest release is called Darkness with a Chance of Whimsy (DWACOW), compiling ten years of previously published short stories, including two stories directly tied to my Paranormal Thriller series. I am also releasing the collected paperback of my Red Lotus space opera series, just in time for Christmas.

Check out the full interview by clicking this link.

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,

Darkness with a Chance of Whimsy Previews Start Now

DWACOW low rezNow that Darkness with a Chance for Whimsy has been released in various eBook and paperback formats (click here to see the page with all the order links) I’m starting a seven-part series of blog posts to offer a “taste” of each story (minus the flash fiction).

“The Assurance Salesman” Friday, June 19
“Fade” Monday, June 22
“Able Bodied” Tuesday, June 23
“Inner Strength” Wednesday, June 24
“Backstage Pass” Thursday, June 25
“Starter Kit” Friday, June 26
“Robot Vampire” Monday, June 29

Most posts will be “enhanced” with trivia and images not  possible to include in the collection. (Ever wonder where Assurance Salesman first showed up? Ever wanted to see my little “Fade” booklet? Sure you did)

And kicking us off is an “enhanced” post of the introduction by Debra Holland, and you didn’t even have to wait for it!
—-
Debra Holland, relationship psychologist, writer, Team R.J.I met R.J. Sullivan when I joined my very first Yahoo group for the fans of a science fiction author, back when I still used a dial-up connection. R.J. and I discovered we were both science fiction and fantasy authors and formed a friendship—my first online friendship. We exchanged our books to critique. I gave him Sower of Dreams—Book One of the God’s Dream Trilogy. At the time, Sower was a stand-alone book. It was R.J. who suggested he could see the story developing into a trilogy.

index[Check out Sower of Dreams by clicking here.]

I critiqued Haunting Blue, a paranormal thriller with an edgy young female protagonist. I did think he should take out some of the horror elements, but wisely, he didn’t listen to me.

When we first started critiquing each other’s work, we still had a lot to learn about the craft of writing (not that an author ever stops learning the craft). Publishing our books was just a distant dream, and we had a lot of years of work and submissions and rejections before each of us followed different paths to success.

Science fiction, fantasy, paranormal thrillers, space opera– R.J’s talents are remarkable and diverse. After a few years, our writing output grew too much to keep critiquing each other, although from time to time, one of us might ask the other to look at a short piece.

Last year, R.J. invited me to join a speculative fiction anthology to benefit Indy Book Reads, a literacy organization, and it was good to work together on Gifts of the Magi.

Umpteen years later, we still have never met in person, but I consider R.J. a good friend. I’ve watched his career with pride, and I’m honored to introduce this collection. Some of the works have had my fingers on them, others have not. I hope you enjoy the stories as much as I have.

[Check out a novella from Debra’s award winning Montana Sky series–totally free!]

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Debra Holland wears several hats. As a psychotherapist, she writes nonfiction books. Debra also writes fiction–Historical Western Romance, Contemporary Romance, Fantasy Romance, and Science Fiction. Her Montana Sky series, sweet historical Western romances, is published by Amazon Montlake. The Gods’ Dream Trilogy (fantasy romance) is available on Kindle.

You can join her newsletter subscription list or learn more about her at www.drdebraholland.com.

Click here to go directly to Whimsy Preview: Assurance Salesman.

Book Launch Set!

DWACOW low rezI’m pleased to announce the ebook for Darkness with a Chance of Whimsy is set to launch Tuesday, June 16, with the paperback going live a couple of days later.  Watch for up to the minute updates on Facebook and an update of links on the book’s dedicated page though0ut the day.

I will also begin a series of 500 word story preview blogs to begin as soon as all formats of the book have gone live. The series will highlight and preview one short story from the collection per day for seven consecutive days.

Those looking for autographed copies will find me at these events throughout the rest of the year.  As always, signatures are free and worth every penny you pay.
_____

Collected for the first time since their initial publications, Darkness with a Chance of Whimsy presents ten tales from the imagination of R.J. Sullivan. Thrills and chills await you, but you may also get blindsided by the absurd. This volume includes a pair of stories featuring Rebecca Burton, the mysterious investigator of R.J.’s acclaimed paranormal thriller series. Among the ten stories, you’ll find:

DWACOOW author low rez b&W“The Assurance Salesman” shows five strangers more about themselves than they ever guessed.
You don’t want to venture into Daddy’s basement in “Fade.”
Rebecca Burton tries to talk someone out of a bad idea in “Backstage Pass.”
A bullied police detective finally defeats his rival in “Able-Bodied.”
A desperate father finds the “Inner Strength” to save his young daughter, “Becky” Burton.
A child seeds his aquarium with a most unusual “Starter Kit.”
A brilliant robotics engineer creates a “Robot Vampire.”

Also includes: “I remember Clearly … “, “Do Better,” and “Grammetiquette 2030.”

“Science fiction, fantasy, paranormal thrillers, space opera– R.J’s talents are remarkable and diverse.” ~ New York Times And USA Today Bestselling Author Debra Holland, from the introduction.

“From a universe in a fish bowl to robotic vampire pop stars, R.J. Sullivan takes you to fantastical places that will chill your marrow and make your imagination soar.” ~ Michael West, bestselling author of Spook House and Cinema of Shadows.

“A short collection but with great depth and variety, Darkness with a Chance of Whimsy is a coffee-with-bourbon collection: a pleasurable slow burn. R.J. Sullivan is a patient wordsmith, never rushing, always building suspense and tension. None of these stories are alike, except in having realistic characters and ample plots. Sullivan breaks stylistic “conventions” well, plays with form, and, yet, still feels like a throwback author, one who loves the authors he grew up reading. A highly-rewarding batch of stories!” ~ Brady Allen, author of Back Roads & Frontal Lobes

New Author Photo

DWACOW low rezWith the release of Darkness with a Chance of Whimsy now just a couple weeks away, I wanted to do something new and interesting with my author photo. In a way, I see the short story collection as the end of an era, the time when I was finding my voice and discovering who I was as a writer and what I have to say. While this question will never entirely go away, I feel like I’ve started to get a handle on this in the past five years, and I wanted to celebrate the moment alongside my most popular creations that have been so important in growing my readership.

I brought this “family portrait” idea to Nell Williams, who has done several awesome CGI creations for me in the past. She was as excited about the concept as I was and brought her “A-game” to the task to make the idea a reality.

So here is the official author photo as it will appear in the collection.
Left to Right: Rebecca Burton, Maxine Marie, me holding the Magical Mermaid Mug, and Fiona “Blue” Shaefer.

DWACOOW author low rez b&W
And here’s a color version for fun:

DWACOW author lo rez color
Darkness with a Chance for Whimsy is a collection of ten short stories and is on track to come out in ebook and paperback by Seventh Star Press in mid-June. I will definitely have copies of the book for sale in time for Inconjunction in Indianapolis over Fourth of July weekend. Stay tuned for more details.