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Authoring Cons & Appearances Writing Life

Traveling through Time & Space: Cleveland Concoction 2018

This week in Cleveland: ME!

March 9 through March 11, at Cleveland Concoction, a fabulous fan-run, volunteer-run convention for all things Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Gaming, Filk and fun. Here’s the official site: About Cleveland ConCoction

I’ll be there. My books will be there. SEANAN McGUIRE WILL BE THERE (So I am told)  Lots of awesome authors, gamers, readers, and SFF fans of all kinds will be there. I’ll be participating in some panel discussions that should be fabulous. Check out my schedule below:

  • Friday 2:00 PM Stories About Coming up with Characters. Sometimes we deliberately and painstakingly craft our characters, sometimes even excruciatingly pulling out our creativity… and then, other times, the characters drop in on us in the oddest way!
  • Saturday 11:00 AM Author Showcase (Session 2) Listen to your favorite authors read excerpts from released and soon to be released works. Find your next great read. Ask questions, and discover the new worlds
  • Saturday 12:00 PM Autographing (Session 2) – Author Alley Meet and talk with your favorite authors and rising stars. Purchase books and have them signed. 
  • Saturday 10:00 PM NSFW 2.0 Sex, violence, strong language; writers discuss their own personal limits on controversial subjects.
  • 11:00 AM What’s in a Genre?Science Fantasy, Slipstream, Speculative Fiction – let’s get down and unclassifiable and explore what we mean when we define a story’s genre.
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Authoring Cons & Appearances Writing Life

Visit me at CapriCon

What’s a Capricon? It is a phenomenal long-running science fiction & fantasy fan convention that’s been in Chicagoland since 1981. This year’s theme is Expanding Universes, and it’s happening soon at the Westin Chicago North Shore hotel in snowy Wheeling Illinois.

February 15-18, to be precise. That’s next week! Here’s the official website: About Capricon

I’ll be there. It’s my first convention for 2018, and the second one ever where I’ll be on PANELS!  You should be very proud of me for using only one exclamation point. I am tremendously over-excited about this. You’ll find my panel schedule below.

There’s no autographing session because when I’m not at a panel or reading, I’ll be hanging out in the vendor room at the Games Plus table, same as Windycon. What can I say? Retail is my comfort zone.

Anyway. If you have print copies of my books already and want autographs, I’ll be at the booth on and off all weekend.  And if you don’t have my books yet, I will have plenty of copies there so you can BUY books and THEN get autographs.

I’m on some great panels with amazing people like Eric Flint & Jonathan Brazee and SO MANY MORE cool folk. This will be a good time. If you’re local to Chicagoland and have some free time and spare ducats, you really should come by.

  • Friday 10:00 AM Are Corporate Villains Overdone? (Birch B)
    • Every story needs a villain. And certainly corporate bad actors are not unknown. But it seems like almost every other near/medium-future SF story has a corporation and corporate head as the villain. Is this becoming a cliche? Is it a sign the writer is too lazy to think of alternatives? Why do corporate villains work or not work and what are the alternatives?
  • Friday 1:00 PM Rapid Reading #2 (Willow)
    • 6 authors. 5-7 minute readings.  Come discover someone new! (like ME!) 
  • Friday 4:00 PM Indie Publishing (Birch A) 
    • You’ve finally written your first novel. Now what? An overview to self-publishing options.
  • Saturday 10:00 AM Why We Roleplay (Birch B)
    • Role-playing aficionados talk about why they do what they do, and why you might want to try it too.
  • Saturday 7:00 PM Behind the Scenes (Willow)
    • Recently, an article discussed women who were likely present in Viking settlements. Few stories account for children, background characters, etc., except to provide them as fodder to be killed. How do you tell the stories of the invisible majority, as not everyone can be the ruling elite?
  • Sunday 1:30 PM Expanding Universe of Fandom (Botanic Garden Ballrm B)
    • Dragon*Con pulls in more than 80,000 people every year. New media cons are springing up (and falling down) all over the place. Fandom is expanding – what does it mean?
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Authoring Cons & Appearances

Indiana ComicCon Day 2

Indiana ComicCon Day 2. I sold out of my two novels. I tell you what, I never thought I’d be typing THOSE words. Yeah, yeah, I could’ve brought more, right? But considering I was not entirely sure I would be selling any officially, I’m pleased as punch. (Other authors in the booth sold out too, it’s been a good con for book readers!)

Makes me hopeful for the future of Selling Things. When I get Rough Passages into print form I think it will be an easier sell than the Restoration books.

Both my inspirational art notebooks are out with artists now.  The gargoyle book is in the hands of Buzz (who did my wonderful Amy Goodall sketch page) and I’m getting a sketch of Valerie for my Rough Passages artbook from an amazing artist named Afua Richardson.  (link leads to her tumblr page)

More random observations in no particular order:

  1. I mentioned a nice variety of panels — well, on review, there is definitely room for more writing/book-related panels on, and apparently plenty of interest, given the discussions about writing and wordcraft I had with people. So. That’s a thing for me to keep in mind for next year, I guess?
  2.  I loved all the enthusiastic cosplay. Standouts: a couple cosplaying Sword of Truth characters, a trio of Red Woman, Daenerys and…either a Stark or a Baratheon, (sorry, I wasn’t close enough to ask) and a Phantom of the Opera character, and the tiniest, most adorable Supergirl ever. 50+ Harley Quinns, by one attendee’s report to me, (I could only say “lots”)  and a ton of Deadpools. My favorite: the one with Hello Kitty accessories, including a backpack.
  3. The autograph and photo ops booth lines were full from start to finish. Every line. That was interesting to see. I’m used to one or two full lines rarely more than that.
  4. I learned from one attendee that the people who run Walker Stalker Con do a Walker Stalker cruise. And that the Writing Excuses podcast does a writing workshop cruise. I may have known these things in the past, but they struck me anew today. Cool things.
  5. A lot of people attended only Friday or only today. Maybe I only noticed because there isn’t such a swarm of humanity as at HugeCons, but I did notice.
  6. Tomorrow is a slightly shorter sales day, but there’s takedown and loadout afterwards. (Which should be immensely easier than setup because there’s less of it, woo!)  I am tired, and I have Heartwood itching at my fingers, and still need to eat supper. Later, all!

Oh, wait, I promised more pictures. I hereby deliver. I never said they would be GOOD pictures. Or interesting ones. The one of my cat is included to show that he is just as silly when I am not at home. Spouseman took pics of him for me.

 

 

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1. Storysculpting Authoring Cons & Appearances Promotion

Come to WindyCon 43!

No pressure!  It’s an invitation, not an order.(edited to add website info: http://www.windycon.org/ ) 

Windy Con is one of several great local cons — local being Chicagoland, it’s currently residing in scenic Lombard IL — and I’m here for the second time this year. There are great panels and programs, and tons of interesting things to experience, but as usual I’ll be spending most of my time where I’m comfortable: in the Retail Zone. I’m helping at the Games Plus table in the Dealer Room.

I’d love to meet and say hello, if nothing else. You want to talk books? Movies? Gardening & baking? Fabulous and fantastic. Me, too!

I have physical real books at low-low-low convention pricing– THREE DIFFERENT TITLES!–I have a pen so I can sign them, and this year there are SIGNS and LABELS and other professional-type business swag scattered about the table.

I’m kinda proud of my display, meager as it is, and I am having a blast giving out bookmarks and postcards to all and sundry who pass by.

Day 1 highlight: chatting with someone who bought print books last year at the con,  then went out and bought the ebooks of all the stories in both series and was checking to see if I had anything new yet. (I know for sure because he was checking titles against his Kindle–I made sure he knew Weaving In the Ends is a compilation…)  So I promised I would finish Prodigals and then we talked about Heartwood, and other con attendee came by and we all chatted superpowers and society issues and epic fantasy, and it was <swoon> phenomenal.

Maybe someday I’ll be jaded and totally over learning that someone liked my wordings, but that someday is not now! So, yeah, I want to sell all the books this weekend, but my weekend is made. Yes, there are pics. Down there. At the bottom of the post.

My next goal, inspired by packing and prepping for this weekend’s adventure?  Committing to first designing and then coughing up the painfully large amount of cash for a Real Booth Banner. (I expected to have one ready for this year’s WindyCon, but like so many other plans this year, it’s been detoured and delayed by an assortment of alarms, excursions, and other traumas.)

Anyhow. Goals: Booth banner. Buy my own booth space. Get onto panels. That’s my trifecta for 2017. You saw it here first.

My big retail goal/dream? Be organized enough to invite OTHER AUTHORS to come to a con around here and share a table with me. Because that would be beyond fun. Baby steps, though. Baby steps.

And now, photographic evidence of MY EPIC SECOND CON TABLE (with Rich from Games Plus modeling his much larger gaming fun display) & MY FIRST FAN PIC.