Con Report: ChessieCon 2017

ChessieCon 2017The curtain has closed on my final convention of 2017. For all the other drama of the year, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every convention (new and old) I’ve attended this year, and I can’t wait to do it all again in 2018.

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Since ChessieCon is held less than half an hour away from my house, I commuted instead of staying at the hotel. After seeing Coco with my husband and mother-in-law in the afternoon, I ate a quick dinner of Thanksgiving leftovers and headed north. The first thing I did was reunite with my friends Cristin Kist and Jeff Grittman, of the science-fiction comedy Prison Dad series and Silly Talks About Science Fiction podcast.

My two events that evening where the rapid-fire reading with Broad Universe, where I read the prologue to Steel Blood. Then, I participated in a panel on “What We’re Watching on TV.” I plugged my current favorite shows, such as The MagiciansThe Expanse, and The Good Place, and learned about some other awesome series to check out. The conversation didn’t just stick to the usual sources of television shows, but also branched out into YouTube series and short discussion about why SF/F has had a bit of a renaissance on television in the past decade.  Continue reading

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New post at Speculative Chic

I’ve been remiss in shouting it from  the rooftops much over here on my personal corner of the internet, but I’m still having a ton of fun being a regular contributor to the blog Speculative Chic. Mostly I participate in group posts, such as a monthly column about my favorite new thing. I can also always be counted on to have an opinion about the latest SF/F film in our group review posts, thanks to my movie addiction.

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But today, I teamed up with another Arrowverse fan to discuss the recent “Heroes v Aliens” crossover event that spanned Supergirl, The Flash, Arrow, and Legends of Tomorrow. If you’d like to join our conversation, swing on by and let us know what you thought!

If you like what you see, please consider subscribing to Speculative Chic or stopping by regularly. Please also don’t hesitate to drop me a line and let me know if there’s anything you’d like me or any other contributors to a post about.

“Evolution of Vampires in Popular Fiction” on Speculative Chic

impalings-of-vlad-the-impalerAbout a year ago, I was lucky enough to be featured on SF Signal, an amazing blog that featured all things speculative fiction. To help promote my own brand-new, nontraditional vampire novel, I condensed years worth of research into a short article on the evolution of how vampires have been represented in popular fiction throughout the modern literary age.

Sadly, SF Signal discontinued publication. But I was proud of my article and hoped to find a new, permanent home for it.

Enter Speculative Chic!

Though my ridiculously busy life had so far precluded me from participating beyond short write-ups for group posts, the editor invited me to submit this previously published article. So if you missed it a year ago, now is your chance to check out my take on vampire representation in different literary mediums (including film, television, and graphic novels).

Do you agree or disagree with my assessments?

Did I miss your favorite vampire?

Who would win in an epic battle: a vampire, werewolf, or zombie?

Feel free to comment either here or at the original post, and I’d love to discuss these things with you!

You can read about how my vampire characters differ from the norm in the first book of the Steel Empires series, Steel Victory.

 

Netflix Tag

Original creator: [unknown]. Stolen from: Camryn at The Writing Crafter.

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A portion of my current Netflix main page. I really don’t understand some of those Top Picks…

Some context for this tag: I enjoy visual storytelling as much as the written version. Therefore, though it comes in waves, I spend and an awful lot of time watching television as well as reading. Though my husband and I still have cable, Netflix has also become an essential part of our lives.

As I writer, I spend a large portion of my life sedentary in front of my computer (I can’t get into the whole standing desk thing). For a long time, I also had one of the common health problems that writers get: shoulder, neck, and upper back pain. I started seeing a massage therapist once a month, and that helped a little bit. When I joined a small gym near my house for access to the treadmills, I took advantage of the free evaluation from a personal trainer and thought, “Huh. There’s something to this.” So between a combination of monthly massages, regular cardio by walking on a treadmill, and strength training, my back pain has almost completely vanished!

Except that I can’t listen to music while walking on a treadmill and staring out at a parking lot. It’s just too boring. Luckily, my gym has wifi, and I can watch Netflix on my phone! Part of my exercise motivation is having one television show that I can’t watch unless I’m on the treadmill at the gym.

Do you watch more TV shows or films on Netflix?

Television shows. For some reason, it’s easy to justify watching an episode or two of a show, but settling in for a movie is just too much of a commitment on a random weeknight. Continue reading

SF Signal hosts my blog post about vampires in popular fiction!

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I took a film genre course in college, and wrote an entire research paper on the evolution of vampires in film. No knowledge is ever wasted, so with a little more work, I was able to write a (much shorter) essay on the evolution of vampires in popular fiction. SF Signal was lovely enough to host me here in the spirit of Halloween.

Though the post mostly discusses works of literary fiction, I also touch a bit on vampires in movies, television shows, and graphic novels. Its fascinating to me how vampires can be portrayed so differently in each form of entertainment.

What’s your favorite vampire in popular culture? I couldn’t cover all of them in the blog post, but I’d love to chat about it in the comments here!

In Which I Introduce Myself Further

Now that you’ve had some time to poke around the place, let me give you the official tour of my new home on the Web. Let’s start with the Bio tab. That’s where you’ll find my official head shot, courtesy of Brian Roache Photography, my official short “about the author,” and the incredibly necessary picture of my cats (because isn’t that really what the Internet is all about?). But that’s not all to the story.

Once upon a time, I was totally going to be an astronaut. I was a very lucky kid growing up, and I went to not one, not two, but all three levels of Space Camp in both Florida and Alabama. This was heavily influenced by all the Star Trek I was watching with my grandmother and the science fiction novels I was just starting to get into.

But then I started writing. And while I was good at math and decent at the hard sciences, I never had a passion for them. As a military brat growing up, I already knew I was never joining the Air Force, and my poor eyesight precluded me from becoming a pilot anyway. So instead of wanting to visit near-earth orbit, I set my goals higher: other worlds, other galaxies, and alternate universes.

(The other version of this story is when I spontaneously invented fanfiction at age 11, then discovered that lots of other people were way ahead of me when I finally got online at age 12. I definitely got out all my early writing kinks creating crazy mash-ups of different universes and exploring how the characters would interact with each other. This definitely influenced my alternate history obsession.)

The other thing you might have gotten a small taste of from my bio is that I’m a total geek. I watch way too much Netflix, though I excuse most of it by the fact that I watch on my phone while I speedwalk on the treadmill at the gym. I also thoroughly enjoy video games, though I don’t have nearly enough time to play them as much as I once did. (Let’s not go into the “Lost Years” aka my World of Warcraft addiction.) These days, I occasionally lose a few days to Dragon Age, or I’m co-oping with my husband in Civilization, Sim City, or Diablo III. He’s also reliving his childhood by watching me play the remastered Grim Fandango.

And finally, at the bottom of the page, is the requisite picture of the other loves of my life. I am a big fan of #adoptnotshop, and my three were rescued from a woman who accidentally ended up with three litters of purebred Siamese kittens (it’s a long story involving an irresponsible pet owner and a dog who thought it was hilarious to allow the male Siamese she was pet-sitting out of the guest room). Lucy, the darker seal point, and Nicki, the chocolate point, are from the same litter. Alex, the blue point, shares the same dad and is 2 weeks younger. That will probably not be the last picture of them to end up on this blog. For a regular helping, follow me on Instagram @hannaedits.

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Some final stats:

Places I have lived: Ohio, Texas, the Philippines, Hawaii, New Jersey, Washington, and Maryland.

Colleges: St. Mary’s College of Maryland (BA in English) and Seton Hill University (MA in Writing Popular Fiction)

Favorite TV shows: Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis, Doctor Who, Supernatural

Favorite movies: Currently almost everything in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (I watched Age of Ultron twice on opening day)

Favorite authors and books: That is a post in and of itself, so check back here later.

Favorite foods: Sushi and pizza (not at the same time).

Anything else you want to know? Feel free to ask in the comments! We’ll explore the next header tab (Books) later in the week.