Schedule for Cleveland ConCoction 2017

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I’m looking forward to returning to Cleveland ConCoction for my second year (March 10-12)! It’s a great mix of literary, media, gaming, and costuming focus, with something for everyone. It’s also my favorite con in terms of they way they are set up to promote authors, with an Author’s Alley where the con sets up it’s own bookshop so authors don’t have to lug their books around all weekend, and where authors can hang out and meet fans during downtime. I was so pleased to be invited back.

Let me know in the comments where you’ll be at this con so I can be sure to say hi! Or, here’s my schedule so you know where to track me down.

Friday

  • 12:00 PM: Author Perspectives on Fan Fiction
  • 9:00 PM: What is Urban Fantasy?

Saturday

  • 12:00 PM: Vampires, Werewolves, and Gods — Rewriting Legends
  • 2:00 PM: Author Showcase — Reading from the Steel Empires series, following by time for signing
  • 9:00 PM: Why Villains Matter

Sunday

  • 11:00 AM: Post Apocalypse — How Will It End?

 

Con Report: AWP 2017

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Photo credit: Jennifer Barnes; Photo bomb: D. Harlan Wilson

I had a great time yesterday spending the day at the Raw Dog Screaming Press booth at AWP 2017 in Washington, DC. While my official book signing time was from 1-3 PM, I ended up enjoying a full day chatting with people who stopped by, answering questions about the press, and talking about my books and the other excellent stories published by RDSP.

I’d never been to AWP before, and it was a bit…intense. Lots of people, lots of booths, lots to take in. Most of the vendors there were representatives of writing programs and literary journals, so RDSP doesn’t stick like a sore thumb so much as a breath of fresh air for people who are looking for something a little different. Continue reading

Review: NO TIME LIKE THE PAST (Chronicles of St. Mary’s #5) by Jodi Taylor

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After devouring five books in this series, two things are fairly obvious to me at this point:

  1. Jodi Taylor is a hell of a researcher/historian.
  2. She has also embraced a major facet of writing time travel and run with it rather than fight against it — Once again, this novel had two major climaxes. One for Max personally and one for Max in the greater scheme of the over-arching nemesis plot. And I love that these things keep happening out of order.

Continue reading

STEEL MAGIC cover reveal coming soon

The official release date for Steel Magic, book 2 of the Steel Empires series and direct sequel to Steel Victory, is July 2016! This novel features the first solo adventure of Toria and Kane, journeymen mercenaries of Limani, as they embark on a magical quest.

Soon I will be hosting an official cover reveal to coincide with the announcement of the pre-order link. If you would like to participate by featuring the book cover image and pre-order link on social media (blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.), please like this post or leave a comment and I will contact you with details soon!

Brad Sharp is the cover artist for Steel Magic as well, and I didn’t think it would be possible for him to create a cover I like more than the first. The two are very similar stylistically, while also bringing into focus the different elements and locales that make my second novel dramatically different from Steel Victory.

Here’s the gorgeous Steel Victory cover:

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Here’s a teaser for Steel Magic. The colors are different! There’s no moon at the top! And…is that the tip of a sword peaking up next to the R?

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I figure my name itself isn’t much of a spoiler.

Please consider volunteering to help in any small way. As an indie author, my marketing team consists of me alone, and any assistance means potentially reaching readers that I might not have found on my own. I am always happy to return the favor and do the same.

Review: STEAMPUNK WORLD edited by Sarah Hans

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STEAMPUNK WORLD, edited by Sarah Hans (Note: The version I own is the Kickstarter Exclusive edition and your cover may differ.)

DISCLAIMER: I share a publisher with one of the authors discussed below. However, I purchased my copy of the book at full price from the anthology’s editor, not the author, and I do not consider our relationship to have bearing on my review choices. I was not a contributor to the Kickstarter campaign that initially funded the book.

Favorite story: “Good Hunting” by Ken Liu. This was a delicious mix of steampunk and fantasy, with both elements very appropriate to the chosen non-Western setting. The characters and their conflicts were poignant. Closing the anthology with this story also leaves the reader with a bittersweet feeling that I felt spoke for the tone and intended theme of the collection as a whole.

Story that I wish would be expanded into a novel: “The Leviathan of Trimcomalee” by Lucy A. Snyder. Though the story itself is self-contained and has a very satisfying conclusion (including monsters, marvelous inventions, and a Tesla name drop!), I feel like it could be just the beginning of the adventure for the main character and the world she inhabits.

Rating: 4 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.

Currently reading: Crucible, edited by Mercedes Lackey (0%)

KW Taylor: New Dog Star Books author!

KW Taylor

KW Taylor

Some facts you might not know about speculative fiction writer K.W. Taylor:

  1. Like me, she is from Dayton, Ohio. By law, all Dayton writers must go by their initials for publication.
  2. Her adorable tabby cat Dharma and my blue-point Siamese Alex are having a sordid long-distance romance.
  3. In our spare time, we front a postmodern industrial synth band as K-Dub and DJ Scribbles, featuring all of the Dog Star Books authors  (with Matt Betts on bass, Albert Wendland on key-tar, and K. Ceres Wright on drums).

Okay, that last one might not be entirely true.

So, here’s the good news! K.W. Taylor is now officially part of the Dog Star Books/Raw Dog Screaming Press family! From the official blog post: “RDSP is happy to announce that we’ve signed K.W. Taylor’s time travel novel The Curiosity Killers for release in 2016 under the Dog Star Books imprint.”

Like my own Steel Victory, it was her thesis novel for Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction graduate program. I first heard K.W. read the first chapter of The Curiosity Killers at a writing retreat last spring, and I have been dying to read more ever since. I’m a big fan of her protagonist Sam Brody (of The Red Eye), and I know that I will be just as entertained by Ben Jonson!

Please join me in congratulating K.W. Taylor! You can find her online at her blog and on Twitter (@kwtaylorwriter) and Instragram (@kwtk).

In Which We Discuss Why We’re All Really Here

Thanks for joining me as I continue the tour of my new Web site! The next tab at the top of the page I’d like to discuss is named “Books.”

I only have two fiction publications so far. But they’re both pretty epic, so you’ll have to excuse the short list.

In 2014, a friend from college reached out to me. He had previously put together two anthology collections hosted by a fiction writers forum he participated in. One of the major critiques both anthologies received was the lack of gender diversity in the author list. So for the their third outing, Fadeley reached out to me and invited me to join the “editorial board” and use my connections to solicit greater female participation. I’m not sure what the percentages were for the first two anthologies, but I’m pleased to say that the third anthology was almost 30% female written, which isn’t bad for a straight-up speculative fiction (science fiction, fantasy, and horror) collection. I participated in reviewing synopsis submissions, performing substantive edits of invited first drafts, and copy-editing the hell out of the final drafts. I declined the opportunity to submit a short story of my own, but I’m very pleased with the two flash fiction stories I did write for inclusion, especially since I had very little experience with flash fiction previously.

You can find out more about FAR WORLDS, including where to purchase your copy, here. It’s still in print for another year, so don’t miss out!

In 2015, in 2 short weeks (cue the panic), I’m thrilled to introduce my second publication to the world.  STEEL VICTORY was my thesis novel while I was a graduate student at Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction program. Two years and 103,000 words later, I completed my first (original fiction) novel and received my MA.

Except I made the mistake of writing an urban fantasy with a vampire main character and not one lick of romance to be seen. During the height of the Twilight craze.

So I put it in a box for a few years and played video games and had a great time editing fiction for other people and generally enjoying life not being in school. Eventually, a former fellow student (Heidi Ruby Miller) became the managing editor of the science fiction/adventure imprint of a small press known for breaking genre barriers. She remembered my thesis novel and encouraged me to submit it.

After I cut 13,000 words.

Right after I had agreed to take on the FAR WORLDS project.

Oh boy.

So I stopped playing video games (much to my husband’s dismay) and worked like crazy for 6 months. Trimming some dead weight from STEEL VICTORY ultimately made it a better book (look for the deleted scenes in over the next few months), and I was pleased with my final submission.

So was Raw Dog Screaming Press, which was even better!

Since last summer, STEEL VICTORY has gone through another few rounds of edits (cutting another few thousand words) and I’m thrilled to be able to share the final draft with the world in a few short weeks (cue more panicking).

You can find information about how to order STEEL VICTORY here, along with the back cover text and some great reviews by other amazing authors (such as Maria V. Snyder, author of POISON STUDY!). It will also be available on Kindle on release day.

June 26 cannot come soon enough!