This weekend, I will be attending Cleveland ConCoction for the third year! This is one of my favorite conventions in terms of how authors are treated and the variety of events. I made some great friends last year that I can’t wait to reunite with.
The convention is a new hotel this year, farther from the airport. Slightly inconvenient for me, but I’ll get to have a new experience: renting a car! Here’s my schedule for the weekend, hopefully to be filled with other awesome new experiences.
- 2 PM: Stories of Coming up with Characters
- 3 PM: Mistakes Beginning Authors Make 1.0
- 4 PM: Author Perspectives on Fan Fiction
- 9 PM: Vampires, Werewolves & Gods: Rewriting Legends 1.0
- 5 PM: Author Showcase: Reading from Steel Blood
- 10 PM: NSFW Authors Panel 2.0
- 11 AM: What’s in a Genre?
I’ll have all three of the current books in the Steel Empires for sale in Authors Alley, and when in doubt, you can probably find me in the hotel bar with Brent Seth and Sara Dobie Bauer. I’m also looking forward to the awesome party that Barfleet throws!
Will I see you in Cleveland?
This weekend, I’ll be attending ChessieCon 2017 at the Radisson North Baltimore Hotel in Baltimore, MD! This is a local convention to me, so I’ll be commuting from home rather than staying at the hotel. I’ll still be around most of the weekend if you want to grab a snack or drink with me!
Where you can definitely find me over the course of the weekend:
- Friday, 8 PM: Broad Universe Rapid-Fire Reading
- Friday, 9:15 PM: What’s good on TV?
- Saturday, 12:30 PM: PowerPoint Improv
- Saturday, 8 PM: Author Meet & Greet
- Sunday, 12:30 PM: Reading from Steel Blood
Did you know that I did improv comedy in college for almost four years? Well, now you do. So I’m really looking forward to exercising my ridiculous, much-neglected talent on Saturday afternoon. Before that, on Friday night, be amazed by how much I DVR and catch on Netflix as I tell you about the best stuff on TV to catch these days.
Please let me know if I’ll see you there!
I recently took a trip to Orlando, Florida, to attend a series of workshops for the day job. This was not exactly a hardship, because the conference was located at one of the Disney World Resorts. This meant that the first night I was in town, I hopped on the shuttle to Disney Springs to make a pilgrimage to the local (and enormous) LEGO store.
I had no idea what I was going to buy there, just that I was going to acquire something. I was limited by what I could carry home in my suitcase, of course, so when I saw a stack of the newly released Women of NASA set, my decision was basically made for me! Even more special was that the sales person who rang up my purchase mentioned that this was her retirement gig, and that she’d worked for NASA at Cape Canaveral for almost 30 years.
After getting home late Saturday night, I put together this adorable set on Sunday afternoon while watching some Netflix. Yes, I should have been writing instead.
Women of NASA (21312): 231 pieces
My favorite part is definitely the adorable miniature space shuttle, complete with external tank and solid rocket boosters.
I also love the cosmos picture behind Dr. Roman, which was part of the piece and not a sticker (same with the chalkboard and satellite solar panels). Overall, I’ve been really impressed with the quality of each LEGO Ideas set I’ve built so far.
I freaked out to my husband the other day that a LEGO set I wanted might disappear soon, according to the ominous wording in the latest catalog. (Yes, I get the LEGO catalog and pour through it religiously.) Because he is the best husband, his response was, “So order it already.”
That particular LEGO set goes into the build pile as a future writing/editing reward, but what I did get to build tonight is the cute freebie that came with it!
Iconic VIP Set (40178): 205 pieces
Not terribly complicated, but definitely adorable. There’s supposed to be a red post on the empty floor pegs up front, but it photographed better without it.
After I finished this novel, staying up until past midnight on a work night, I posted a complaint on Facebook. Not about this novel, but about how I had over 100 more books on my “to be read” shelf, but all I really wanted to do is go back and re-read everything else in Catherine Asaro’s Skolian Empire series.
Despite the fact that I write in a different genre, it’s safe to say that the space opera universe created in this book series is my favorite of all time. That this is my favorite author. That reading new stories set in this world is like wrapping myself in a cozy blanket and feeling very much at home. As a new addition, The Bronze Skies did not disappoint (see again staying up late to finish). Continue reading
Not every book gets two birthdays, but sometimes life happens. Since I’m a huge fan of authors who face adversity and come back swinging, I’m pleased to host an interview with author Rebecca Halsey on the occasion of her novel’s re-release. I previously read and reviewed Notes of Temptation last year, tearing through it while on vacation and loving every moment of this historical romance with a touch of magic.
I hope this interview with the author and the snippet below provide their own temptation for you to check out this awesome book.
ABOUT THE BOOK
When Carrie Cooper leaves her small gold-mining town to seek her fortune, it’s not until she arrives in L.A. that she learns her college certificate is a fraud. The only work available is in a less-than-respectable speakeasy. The job comes with the opportunity to take the stage with Oz Dean, the club’s captivating bandleader. But rivals out for her blood along with her place in the spotlight lurk behind the curtain. Oz Dean has the rare ability to “see” music as brilliant colors, but nothing has ever dazzled him like Carrie’s pure, choir-girl voice. With a mob debt hanging over his head like a guillotine, he organizes a revue that will launch them all to stardom. Unfortunately, his bold move attracts exactly the kind of criminal attention he would like to avoid. Mired in Hollywood’s underbelly, caught off-guard by their growing attraction, Carrie and Oz are forced to consider the cost of success. Or their one chance to make beautiful music together could be their last. Together they take the stage. Together they must defend it to the death.
Writing an historical novel means a ton of research. What was the coolest thing you learned while gathering information to craft the world of this book?
I wanted to set this story at the end of Prohibition and the beginning of the Depression when things were starting to change. So I picked the year 1931. As I was investigating the time period, I discovered that demand for coins dropped off in these years. No quarters were minted in 1931, so if you find one, it’s surely counterfeit. Continue reading
The panel I’m most excited about at Salt Lake Comic Con this week is definitely “So I’ve Written a First Draft: Now What?” (Saturday 9/23, 7 PM in room 150G). I’m a weird sort of writer. Putting the first draft on paper is often like pulling teeth (even though once I actually start writing, the time flies by). However, cleaning up that brutal first draft is where my passion for my craft really shines — I guess that’s the editor in me.
Last year, as part of the blog tour for Steel Empires Book 2: Steel Magic, I wrote a post that covers the panel topic! So if you can’t be in Salt Lake City this weekend, head over to author Cara McKinnon’s blog to find “So You’ve Finished Your Novel: What Next?”
Hopefully the other panelists have some added words of wisdom to share from their experiences, which I’ll try to include in my con report when it goes up next week. Until then, we can have our own panel here! (Because being online is more entertaining than packing, which just pisses off my cats.) What do you do when you’ve finished your first draft?