I hope that all of you who are local to the Maryland/Virginia/Washington DC area will consider joining me for the launch party for Steel Magic!
Date: Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Time: 6:30-8:30 PM
Address: East City Bookshop
645 Pennsylvania Ave, Ste 100
Washington, DC 20003
This is the link to RSVP for the event. Admission is FREE.
There will be a reading and signing, along with a raffle giveaway with a bunch of cool prizes. And most importantly: delicious cake!
Many thanks to the Easy City Bookshop for hosting this event. I’m looking forward to seeing you there!
It’s finally book release day! The Steel Empires series now has two books, making it officially a series!
I know I’ve been spamming it a lot, but here’s the link to purchase your print or ebook copy of Steel Magic, just in case you’re new to my little corner of the internet. If you are, welcome! Help yourself to tea and don’t mind the cats loudly demanding attention.
I’m also pleased to announce today’s stop on the blog tour. I visited fantasy author Cara McKinnon and shared the step-by-step process that I go through for revising my books: So You’ve Finished Your Novel. What Next? I hope that this is a handy guide for all writers, regardless of whether you have any sort of additional editing experience.
I’m planning a celebratory dinner with my writing group tonight (well, treating myself to ice cream at our usual Wednesday-night writing spot), but alas, the work doesn’t stop. I’m currently on step 7 of my revision process for book 3, and if all goes well, we’ll be right back here in a year to celebrate the publication of Steel Blood!
Today I’m hosting YA/fantasy author A.J. Culey as part of her blog tour to celebrate the release of The Trouble With Antlers (a.k.a. Melvin’s Rampant Rack). Since I’ve spent the past year exploring the werecreatures in my own urban fantasy world, I was excited to see that other people are also writing about nontraditional shapeshifters! Culey was kind enough to answer some questions about her life as a writer and her inspirations behind this book in particular. Please consider checking out her novel for yourself or the cool kids in your life!
What drives you to write?
In the beginning, I created stories to entertain my nieces and nephew. For years, I would tell them stories out loud at bedtime or to entertain them on long car rides or just for fun. I would make up the stories as we went along, eliciting their suggestions and ideas, with the goal always being to make them laugh. Over the years, together, we created an entire cast of characters, whose stories were never written down. Today I write for the same reason I told stories back then – to entertain my nieces and nephew, though they’re all older now, and to hopefully bring laughter to my readers. Continue reading
Happy book birthday to Consequence, the first book in the Dark Tyrant series by C.R. Langille!
What started as a hunting trip for Tobias Evard Warner II and his friends turns into a fight for survival during a supernatural storm which kicks off the apocalypse. The storm awakens and frees seven powerful creatures who were locked away at the beginning of the world’s creation. The Seven turn nightmares into reality and leave nothing but chaos and death in their wake. Tobias fights his way through a nightmare infested wilderness to get back home to his family. With the unleashed terrors come newfound magical powers for Tobias, but at a cost. Will he sacrifice everything to ensure his family’s safety, even if it means his own soul? Angels, demons, ancient cosmic beings, and even a dimensional-traveler clad in a trench coat made of duct tape come together in this fast-paced novel of magic, darkness, and consequences.
C.R. Langille spent many a Saturday afternoon watching monster movies with his mother. It wasn’t long before he started crafting nightmares to share with his readers. An avid hunter and amateur survivalist, C.R. Langille incorporates the Utah outdoors in many of his tales. He is an affiliate member of the Horror Writer’s Association (organizer for the Utah Chapter), a member of the League of Utah Writers, and received his MFA: Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University.
Today I’m celebrating the launch of K.W. Taylor’s first science-fiction novel, The Curiosity Killers! This book is close to my heart because I have been friends with the author since she was still writing it, cheered her on as it passed as her thesis for Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction graduate program, and then threw her together with my publishers at Raw Dog Screaming Press/Dog Star Books and cackled to myself as the sparks flew. This phenomenal book is the inevitable end result.
In the twenty-second century, a second Civil War is decades past. The states of the New British Empire have been reduced to working with Victorian-era technology–that is, except physicist Edward Vere, who invents time travel with a little help from aviation pioneer Wilbur Wright.
Vere partners with historian Ben Jonson to monetize the invention, founding the first time travel agency. Unbeknownst to them, a serial killer is using the technology to murder without detection. When Ben discovers the killer has targeted the woman he loves, the mild-mannered academic must become brave enough to change history rather than merely observing it.
Are you tired of seeing pictures from my book launch yet?
Of course you’re not.
The Dog Star Books blog just put up a bunch here.
You mean you haven’t visited the Dog Star Books blog yet? The science-fiction/adventure imprint of Raw Dog Screaming Press? That my wonky urban fantasy/alternate history sneaked its way into?
How very silly. You absolutely must visit it.
Now that I’ve been home a week and have pretended to catch up on sleep, I figured I should recap my experiences at Seton Hill University’s In Your Write Mind for 2015. I had a great time catching up with old friends, meeting new ones (both current students and new workshop attendees), and just generally being with my people.
I drove from Maryland to Greensburg, Pennsylvania, on Thursday morning. Four hours goes by pretty quickly with copious amounts of coffee and Pandora streaming music. Driving up the final hill to campus always takes my breath away, and it occurred to me that it had been 10 years since I’d made the drive for my first residency in June 2005. Then I promptly felt old and resolved not to think of such things.
I gathered up the raffle basket I’d created in honor of STEEL VICTORY (didn’t want the chocolate to melt in the car) and headed toward registration. After a meandering path through the main Hogwarts-style building, a detour to an entirely different building based on bad information, and finally ending up where I’d intended to go first, I dropped off the basket, signed in, and collected my information packet and dorm key. (With one person, it was more cost-efficient to stay in the dorms on campus than get a hotel room. Plus, the dorms are more fun at 3 AM.)
I got my pilgrimage to Steak ‘n Shake out of the way early and met some friends there for lunch. Then we headed back to campus and I changed into more professional clothes for the panel I moderated on freelance editing (the image was slightly ruined when Deanna, Chris, and I walked on stage with beer bottles). (IYWM is only a real writing conference until you remember that it was established by a bunch of writers who basically just wanted an excuse to come back to SHU every summer. So we put on an awesome program while still retaining our sense of the ridiculous.) The panel was well-attended and well-received. Guests asked all the questions, and I didn’t even have to refer to the backup list I’d prepared in case the audience just stared at us!
The rest of the evening was spent on dinner and catching up with people I hadn’t seen in a year or longer. I went to bed relatively early (around 2 AM) (which is early compared with the rest of the weekend) and woke up to a ringing phone the next morning (my mom forgot that I wasn’t at work).
IT WAS HERE.
BOOK LAUNCH DAY.
CUE ALL THE PANIC.
There was not actually that much panicking, mostly because my friends are amazing and kept me on a relatively even keel. In the morning, I attended a workshop on book promotion by Jen Brooks and got a lot of great ideas (keep an eye out, because you’ll hear about them here first).
There was a teeny bit of emotional outburst because after this workshop I heard about the SCOTUS marriage equality ruling. I was thrilled to get the good news, and I loved the cosmic irony since one of the major critiques STEEL VICTORY had received so far was that it was too “on point” with current political events (which is hilarious because I wrote it almost 10 years ago).
I had a great lunch with all the folks associated with my publisher, Raw Dog Screaming Press (you can see their recap and photos here). The rest of the afternoon was spent wandering around the beautiful campus and then getting ready for the mass book signing (my full recap of that is here).
Once again, the best part of the day was my parents driving from Dayton, Ohio, to surprise me. The also spent the night in Greensburg, so I met them for breakfast the next morning before they headed home. The rest of the day was spent setting up and decorating for the costume ball. This involved broken black lights, florescent paint splatters, and me wussing out to take a two hour nap in the afternoon (the dorm we stayed in was relatively new, and all the gunk still in the air system was destroying my sinuses).
I dressed up as Antonia Stark, genius billionaire sex goddess philanthropist, since the theme this year was comic books. Mostly my costume consisted of the cool light-up T-shirt that I found online and a wine glass labeled “A. Stark” (because it turns out alcohol is essential to the character). I found a current student who was dressed up as Pepper Potts and posed with her for a lot of pictures. To my surprise, we won the costume award for Dynamic Duo! (100% of the credit goes to my Pepper, who looked fantastic.)
I’d bought a bunch of Marvel toys earlier in the day, and as the evening progressed, I slowly turned into all of the Avengers at once.
After the ball came a midnight trip to Steak ‘n Shake for fries and ice cream, and bedtime was a rousing 5 AM.
I slept in the next day, attended the alumni luncheon to welcome the new graduates to our ranks, and then attended the graduation ceremony for the new class of SHU’s Writing Popular Fiction MFA program. I was especially happy to be there to support K. W. Taylor, who’s become a great friend over the past year, and Carrie Gessner, who has done a lot to support online promotion for STEEL VICTORY.
I drove home that evening, this time buoyed by coffee and a great traveling companion (a current student who needed a ride back to my neck of the woods in Maryland). It was a fantastic four days, and I can’t wait to do it all over again next year.
The official book launch of STEEL VICTORY at Seton Hill University’s In Your Write Mind retreat was amazing. The mass book signing on Friday night is always a great event for authors and readers to interact. One of the measures of an in-person book sale event is not necessarily how many books you sell, but how many you sell to people who aren’t already your friends. I’m proud to say that while many of my friends did purchase my book, a significant number of books I signed were for people I had not met before that weekend.
(Even better is the number of people who mentioned on Saturday and Sunday that they had already started the novel and were enjoying it!)
A special shout out goes to my friends Chris and Jo for both keeping me from stressing out during the day and helping me set up my beautiful table. Chris gets extra credit for fetching me a napkin when the most amazing part of the night happened: My parents drove 5 hours from Dayton, Ohio, to surprise me! (The napkin was necessary for happy tears.) My father is also a published author and so knew the importance of the occasion and wanted to be there to support me.
So now my baby is off into the world. Part 1 of this journey is complete.
Part 2 of this journey has a few more hours of editing to do before I can send it to my editor.
Part 3 is going to get a full scene-by-scene outline in July.
(I saw a meme a few months ago that being a writer is like having homework every night for the rest of your life. SO TRUE.)
I hope you will all be there to continue this journey with me in the years to come.