Pulpfest, held outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is not a convention I would have attended normally, but my publisher held an event there and I wouldn’t have missed that for the world. Raw Dog Screaming Press celebrated their sixteenth anniversary with readings from many of their authors, and I had a blast spending time with old friends and making a few new ones.


As a special bonus, the spouse came with me for the weekend! We hit the road after Erik got home from work on Thursday night. We’ve had the Tesla Model 3 for almost a year, but this was our first road trip in it together. We checked into the hotel late Thursday night and passed out soon after.


Alas, I missed the first RDSP reading on Friday because someone had to hold down the fort in the dealers room. I’m always happy to chat with shoppers and maybe sell them a book or two, so while I was a bit bummed, this was certainly no hardship. Afterward, I joined people for lunch, spend more time in the dealers room, was part of an enormous group for dinner, and spent some lovely lobby time catching up with friends. Not a bad way to spend a day at a con.

I didn’t expect to do much shopping since the dealers room was mostly filled with old books and comics from the original era of pulp, but I did find an original copy of the novelization for Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back!


It was my turn in the spotlight Saturday morning as my publisher highlighted authors from their science-fiction imprint, Dog Star Books! I read a short passage from the newest book in the Steel Empires series, Steel Shadows.

From left to right: Michael Arnzen, John Edward Lawson, Heidi Ruby Miller, K.W. Taylor, J.L. Gribble, Stephanie Wytovich, Albert Wendland, K. Ceres Wright, Matt Betts, Jason Jack Miller

The rest of the day was spent much like Friday, except I stayed up much later in the evening in the lobby. Writers being writers, I learned a lot about things I would not have otherwise studied, such as the physical properties of identical twins and the history of the town of Twinsburg, Ohio (there were no twins present in our group). We’re weird. I kind of love it.


After a round of goodbyes on Sunday morning, it was time to head home. Because it was on the way, I dragged Erik to Seton Hill University, where I got my graduate degree in Writing Popular Fiction and return every summer for the In Your Write Mind writers workshop. I gave him a quick tour of Hogwarts campus, which he agreed was very awesome.

After the requisite meal at Steak ‘n Shake, we headed home! A whirlwind weekend of catching up with friends. I’m already looking forward to my next convention in less than three weeks.

The final haul:

Published by steelvictory

By day, J. L. Gribble is a professional medical editor. By night, she does freelance fiction editing in all genres, along with reading, playing video games, and occasionally even writing. Her debut novel, STEEL VICTORY, was her thesis novel for Seton Hill University's Writing Popular Fiction graduate program in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. Previously, she was one of the co-editors for FAR WORLDS, a speculative fiction anthology. She lives in Ellicott City, Maryland, with her husband and three vocal Siamese cats. Find her online (www.jlgribble.com), on Facebook (www.facebook.com/jlgribblewriter), and on Twitter and Instagram (@hannaedits). She is currently working on more tales set in the world of Limani.

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