Categories
Authoring Cons & Appearances Promotion Writing Life

WindyCon 45 quick report

I was feeling super-nervy & timid going into WindyCon this year, what with doing panels there for the first time and all, but it turned out totally fab.

So many amazing moments. Shared a dealer table with author friends met at Nebulas and at Gumbo Fiction AND still got to hang out with Rich at Games Plus’s  table and our WindyCon neighbor Richard from Dark River Pottery.

Talked book promotion on a panel with a traditionally published pro and someone who does promotion for a living and didn’t feel (too) overwhelmed.  Swapped stories about my favorite guilty-pleasure reads and watches on an imposing stage with someone rocking a s zebra-stripe mohawk (Kevin Roche, cosplay Guest of Honor, who has MAD costuming skills)  Got to talk about stories by Arthur C Clark, Theodore Sturgeon, Ray Bradbury, and a bunch of other classic authors I haven’t re-read in years. (all tales that left us teary-eyed.) Got to indulge my passion for end-of-the-world fiction with other like-minded souls.

ANYWAY. I digress. Staying at the con hotel even though the con was under an hour from home made a huge difference.  I had time to catch up with friends met at past cons and time to make new friends too.  Among the many people I met this year, I discovered one who lives nearby.  And I mean, RIGHT nearby. (Barbara Barnett, her book is The Apothecary’s Curse, and it’s super-neat, and she already knows one of my best friends from another walk of life. Such is the small world of synchronicity.)  Aaaand I digress again.

Chatted with readers who bought books in past years, wonderful kind people who let me talk about characters and tell me who they like best and inspire me to Just. Keep. Swimming. (so to speak)  I also gained new readers, AND I found good adoptive homes for the last few copies of my in-need-of-corrections first edition paperback. Huzzah.

So I bought myself bling, because I allow myself to buy shiny things when I send books home with people.

Tear-down with Rich for the Games Plus table went swimmingly (my big capital investment in a folding wagon TOTALLY paid for itself.) The drive home was uneventful, and now I’m cozy-comfy, with fuzzy socks on my feet, wine in a glass, and figure skating on the TV.

…and Spouseman bought me cherry pie for dessert.

:happy sigh:

Have a couple of pics of my new shinies. New book, a tee I can wear to work, gorgeous plates from Dark River, & GLOW IN THE DARK glass sparklies!

And have a few pics of Our Authors Corner of the dealer room too. It was neato-keen.

Toni Johnson, Brendan Detzner, and Alice Liddell

 

LED BUNNY
All the magic fits into these boxes
My little corner of Authorland, next to Toni’s Steampunk Cyborg Zombie series

Okay. That’s it for now.

 

Categories
Authoring Cons & Appearances Writing Life

WindyCon 2018: my next adventure

November 9-11, 2018 Lombard IL. Fan-run, friendly, laid-back & fun. This’ll be my fourth one. Hard to believe it’s been 4 years since Controlled Descent & Flight Plan came out.

This year I took the big step of signing up as a programming participant, which meant gambling on life remaining calm so I wouldn’t have to back out. LIFE COOPERATED!  I will be on panels as well as hanging out in the dealer room . Without further ado, here is my schedule:

Pass the Kleenex – Friday 9:00 – 10:00 pm – Lilac D
Not all stories are upbeat and hopeful. A discussion of depressing SciFi/Fantasy stories.

Reading – Saturday 12:00-1:00 pm – 1631 (Reading Room)
12pm Deirdre Murphy 12:30pm Karen Herkes

Guilty Pleasures – Saturday 4:00-5:00 pm – Muller Grand Ballroom G
We all have them. It could be a drugstore book or a cheesy movie. Let’s admit it and share them out loud!

Hear Ye, Hear Ye! – Saturday, 11-10-2018 – 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm – Lilac C
You’ve written your book/story now you need to promote it.

Yeah, that’s right. I’ll be doing a reading, so I’d better bring my A game.  And yes, I am now secure enough in my authoring identity that I’m willing to speak about promoting books. I mean, sure, I don’t follow a lot of the “rules” but I know which ones I’m breaking and accept the consequences. That counts, right?  (Yes, right.)

Of course I’ll have copies of my books there. I’m hanging with Rich from Games Plus to help cover the store’s booth, and also pitching in to help at a table with some other fine, local authors, so… yes. THERE WIILL BE BOOKS YOU COULD OWN for the low, low price of some money.

Obligatory I-sell-books reminder made, onward to personal musings.

I love WindyCon for many reasons. First off, it’s local! (45-60 min drive, so local-ish, I suppose.) That’s always a plus. Second, a WindyCon was the second-ever fan-run con I attended as an author, and it was the first one where I sold books.

So. I am full of warm fuzzies for the kind and hard-working people who plan and run WindyCon.  (Next year, if all goes well, fingers crossed, I might be able to volunteer, too. If. Life. Cooperates.)

I am very much looking forward to seeing all the friends I met at past WindyCons and last year at Capricon, Keeping touch through social media is no substitute for hanging out in person. I’m not naming names because I would forget someone I adore and then feel horrible about it, but <waving>  HIYA, yes, I’m thinking of you! See you soon!

On reflection, that whole paragraph right there ^^^  is a matter of sudden, wondrous astonishment & joy.

I have con friends. Wow.

 

Categories
1. Storysculpting Authoring Cons & Appearances Promotion

It LIVES!

New Release Day! People can buy my latest book right now!  I gotta do an all-kinds of official post, right?  ALL THE EXCLAMATION POINTS! <cue balloon drop>

What’s it about? Glad you asked. Soccer moms waking up with superpowers.

That’s the one-breath pitch. The elevator pitch is this: what if your midlife crisis caused a national emergency?

In most superhero worlds, teenagers get all the fun of developing strange powers.  In my book, people get saddled with their new and unexpected abilities right about the time they’re hitting menopause, dealing with empty nests,  and finally buying the sports cars they always wanted. Plus  more than 10% of the population over 45 has to rework their entire lives around gaining powers.

It all makes for some fascinating conflicts and great character development.  It’s a damfine collection of stories and scenes if I do say so, and I do.

The universal link mybook.to/RoughPassages  will get you to the e-book on Amazon. It is a Kindle exclusive for 90 days. Only $4.99 for all that goodness.

The paperback is available from Amazon too,  but you can also get it at Barnes & Noble and anywhere else books can be ordered.  It’s $14.99.  Message me through Twitter (@dawnrigger) if you would rather buy direct from me and get a signed copy shipped straight to you for $5 extra. (US only, sorry.)

Last and best, I will be attending a lovely local convention–WindyCon— November 10-12, and I will have Rough Passages paperbacks there  along with my other novels.  More on that later this weeks.

 

 

Categories
Authoring Cons & Appearances Promotion

Windycon 43 Day 2

What a fun day. What an EXHAUSTING day.

Guess who has two thumbs and has her books listed int the Internet Speculative Fiction Database? Me. (And a whole lot of other people, yes, including my Australian namesake Karen Herkes who is also an SF writer and published long before I did, which is one of many reasons I went with K. M.)

But anyway. One of my sales today was to a fine, upstanding, tech-talented gentleman who entered my offerings into that excellent listing  literary works. (for those interested, the site is  www.isfdb.org)

And that wasn’t my only sale, so yay. YAY I SAY. Another set of books went to someone who buys books for a review site & Facebook page. WHEE!  I’ll post the site name and links tomorrow, I promised I would spread word of their existence but left my memory somewhere and the data in the dealer booth. Oops.

But yeah, sales. More importantly I have given out most of my old bookmarks and postcards, so I can design new and better ones soon. Ditto for business cards. Woop-woop dance time. And there were other doings, too.

I received an invite to join some new-made friends for dinner during the 2 hour hiatus between end of daily programming and start of room parties. Alas there were missed connections, and so I hung out in the lobby to watch the con go by while waiting for parties to begin. That was probably healthier for me overall anyhow. Because I was determined to attend parties and needed that critical decompression downtime.

I know, I know. Parties? PARTIES?!  ME!  Yes. They are terrifying, but…but. Convention=Soul-stretching. Also, Important Professional Development. So I gave it a try.

And I survived.

The first one was low key, before most of the Real Parties ™  began. It was a Writers & Donuts gathering thrown by the Illinois Science Fiction in Chicago organization. (aka ISFIC, aka the organization behind WindyCon. Which has a tremendously long and storied history, which I read while hanging in the lobby today.)  Since I’m a writer in lllinois, near Chicago, and I write science fiction,  it felt like I really should attend that.

Plus they served baked goods. I’m a sucker for baked goods.

V. proud of myself, I managed semi-normal interaction as opposed to freaked-out mouse behavior. I talked again to several kind folk I’d met earlier at readings,  in the dealer room, and around, and I met even more fine souls at the party.  Enjoyable and informative talk was exchanged about first cons, the trials of finding  beta readers, the fringe benefits of working as a professional translator in Spain for more than ten years (like WorldCons in Europe being much less of a travel hassle) the joy and agony of plotting, and many other things.

Business cards were collected, plus names and contact emails for the group were recorded by the party host, and it was all good.  Hm. I seem to be regressing into passive tense. Ah, well. Distancing. It’s useful for de-stressing.

ANYhow.

Second, over the course of the day I received official invitation to the Manticoran Royal Navy party not once, not twice, but three times. I am a big Honorverse fan,  so I was intrigued and made my way there. There was more chatting, more enjoyable re-meeting, story exchanging, and (on my part) admiring of the RMN costumes, ship flags and assorted decorating. I even participated in a Pod-Rolling session. That’s where a whole group launches “missile pods,” aka  beautifully constructed specialty shots–non-alcoholic for my part–down their throats in coordinated maneuver just like in a space battle. Only tastier. Sounds weird, confusing, and/or unfun? Maybe you had to be there.  I had  fun. It’s an interesting fan organization. (They do charity things, among other activities.)

By then it was 10 PM, and I’d had about enough of ALL THE PEOPLE plus I need to be back on the job at 10:30 AM Sunday. On the way home I stopped off at a local pizza & beer joint to say hello to a gathering of my Borders Family, because seeing them is always a stress-reliever, and because everyone including me needed some post-election consolation hugs.

Am now safely home again, home again, giggity-gig. WHEW.

Tomorrow is a shorter day. I’m hoping to take in the Dead Dog filk session after the closing ceremony, but timing depends on how long it takes to do load out.

I’ll report on the Final Outcome tomorrow.

Categories
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.