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.

windycon 2018 blog topper

 

Inside my head

  • It’s crock pot season! And slow-oven casserole season. And cookie-baking season. Happy, happy kitchen nesting time. There are more apples to process, too. I will need all the crunchy, dried bits of summer heaven and dollops of saucy heaven  I can get to brighten up meals in the dark, cold months ahead.
  • I HAVE EDITS BACK for Sharp Edge of Yesterday! This means I now have a doubled writing workload and two deadlines to chase, but somehow this makes me happier than happy. I know authors are supposed to agonize about edits, but I…don’t. In this case I agree without reservation about the things that need polishing. The how of some fixes will be tricky & take a lot of work. And I may leave flaws in. BUT. The end result will be a stronger story. So much stronger. I have much pondering to do first.
  • The latest in searches:
    • dead bolt types
    • adenovirus rhinovirus flu virus symptoms severity
    • corn a fruit, grain or vegetable (spoiler alert: yes to all)
  • I don’t like super-spicy foods, and I believe garbanzo beans are one of nature’s nastiest edibles. It’s a  So…of course chili flavored dry-roasted chickpeas are my favorite new discovery in snack foods. I would probably love the sea salt flavored ones too, but I haven’t found those in local stores yet.
  •  Media update!
    • The Commuter: Liam Neeson was in it, so I had to watch. I don’t regret watching, but, um. The plot was bent into a pretzel to work in the digital mobile world. Also it telegraphed everything. No, I didn’t “figure out the twists.” It’s just that the tropes were all binary choices that would be equally satisfying and familiar. Things could hinge on “old-friend betrayal” or “corrupt boss.” Other secondary characters might sacrifice themselves or be allies. Plus the central moral dilemma was never compelling. Brain candy
    •  American Gods. Yum. I had my doubts, given the dreamy source material, and it’s very much an adaptation, but I am adoring it. It feels true to the Gaiman book,  which is more than I expected. I love that book for (among other reasons) recognizing The House On The Rock as a portal to other realities.
  • Random cat pic: IMG_4845

And that’s all the all there is for this time.

Dragon Con 2018: Just around the corner!

Here’s where I’ll be next week on my biggest convention excursion all year.

FIRST:  Bard’s Tower is hosting 20 authors this year. I am honored to be in some fantastic company AND HAVE MY BOOKS FOR SALE. (Also free cards, bookmarks, and Unity stickers while they last.) Stop by. Meet awesome people. Buy books and get them signed, or just say hello.

  • Bard’s Tower: second floor of the America’s Mart Booth #2719
    • Friday: 3-7 PM
    • Saturday: 10-2 PM
    • Sunday: 3-6:30 PM
    • Monday: afternoon to close.

SECOND: I’m participating in the Broad Universe Rapid Reading series this year. Come hear quick snippets from books by a bunch of great authors, including my excerpt from Sharp Edge of Yesterday.

  • Sunday 7 PM in Techwood, downstairs on the Hyatt conference level

THIRD: when I’m not in those two places, I’ll mostly be in or near the Armory, where I’m pleased to share that I’ll be volunteering again for my…can it be my fourth year already? Whoa. Time flies when I’m writing books.

  • The Armory: downstairs on the Hyatt Conference level, same floor as the Motor Lobby. 

If you’re in town for the con and only know me from social media, please stop by any of these places. I would love, LOVE, LOVE to meet in person.

 

 

Michigan ComicCon report double-header: new book cover reveal too!

If you look really close at this post’s feature image of the Michigan Comic Con Bard’s Tower booth,  you can see postcards showing the cover for my new book. Since I’ve been passing them out like there’s no tomorrow here in Detroit, I guess it’s only fair to share the fun with the rest of the world.

I’m aiming to release The Sharp Edge Of Yesterday at WindyCon in November, but don’t go inking that date on your calendar just yet.  The manuscript is currently with the editor. I’ll hold off on a final countdown until I have revisions in hand. Meanwhile I can say with confidence, “RELEASING SOON,” and that means I can share the cover art!

Rest your eyeballs on this lovely, lovely painting by the talented Rhiannon Taylor. This will be the foundation for the paperback wraparound cover.SEoY WIP8

Here’s a detail of the front cover with text design:SEoY Postcard

What’s the book about?  Superpowers! Major disasters! Deep dark secrets!

Beyond that tagline? Errrm….I am having a hell of a time condensing the density of the story into a sales-worthy blurb. It keeps turning into a bad B-movie teaser in my head:

  • See!
    A single mother at the end of her rope, hiding from a terrible past and cursed with deadly powers! Marvel at her boundless courage as she fights for her life and holds her family together against all odds!
  • Watch! As a group of dedicated idealists band together to protect her from her enemies and herself! Cheer for their bravery, admire their ability to slash through bureaucracy and defend the weak from the powers of evil…

Yeah. I know, that’s awful.  The struggle is real.

Anyhow, so I don’t have a cover blurb yet. Bad author. No treat.

But! I do have glorious art, and an exciting fantastic story, and it will be a book this year. Celebration enough for one blog post, says I.

In other news, the convention was even more fun Saturday than Friday,  with many great conversations about books and writing and SFF in general (and fan-fiction, and art, and anime, and the fun of history research and…well. You get the idea) Plus quite a few readers went home happy with new books in hand. Hip-hip-huzzah!

Random pictures:IMG_4557IMG_4556IMG_4558IMG_4555

That’s a wrap on today. Onward to tomorrow!

 

 

 

 

Michigan Comic Con. Year 1 Day 2

I fell asleep in the middle of writing this last night, so here ya go, morning post instead.  Let’s start off with the featured image–that’s Scooter, from Spouseman’s “Where is your cat sulking now?” daily report to me. Okay. Now, onward to the con news.

True confession: I didn’t realize until halfway through yesterday that this was the first year for Michigan Comic Con, not just the first year for me. The things I learn, I tell ya.

I’m always going to a con for the first time these days, but this is the first time I’ve been at a con’s first time. Gotta say, it’s been pretty awesome so far. A lot of people showed up  and enjoyed themselves, and it was only Friday. Huzzah for early success.

It was a great day for me too. Several thoroughly enjoyable conversations with people about Rough Passages, and the postcards featuring the cover of Sharp Edge of Yesterday are getting lots of interest. MANY thanks to Rhiannon Taylor for the fab painting & design.

I’ll share the cover with the internet soon, I swear, but right now it’s time to start day 2.

Have some pics from yesterday. Mostly of Optimus Prime, because he is the most awesomest of booth neighbors.

Oh, and one of my books. 😀

IMG_4548

Michigan Comic Con. It’s where I am.

In keeping with the Herkes household tradition of visiting distant places when festivals just happen to be going on, I’m in Detroit for Michigan Comic Con just as some kind of big downtown weekend shindig will be happening.

I thought I’d be too tired to blog, and maybe I will be tomorrow. But tonight? WHEEEEE! Exhausted, but not tired. If that makes sense. So. Documenting experience while still awake.

In other news, this part of downtown Detroit is all shiny now (my last visit was over 15 years ago and much of it felt like a ghost town) Also there’s evidently a tunnel to Canada.

A. Tunnel. To. Another. Country.

I need to come back here with more days to spare sometime soonish. The traffic patterns and street layout are still as wacky as I remember, tho. We got within sight of the hotel but it was very much a “can’t get there from here” situation not helped by Google Maps thinking a bunch of streets were closed that don’t shut down until tomorrow.

ANYway. We are here. The books are here. The fun starts tomorrow at noon. I’m a featured author for Bard’s Tower, in company with two other great authors. I’m staying at a Grand Old hotel with all the mod cons in a really swank room. I’m over the moon and more.

Yeah, I know. WorldCon is going on this weekend. Hugo awards. It’s a big deal.

Me, I’m here. And. I’m. LOVING. It. Have some random pictures.

IMG_4542IMG_4536IMG_4539

 

Look, a cute cat! Also an important request.

Email newsletter sign-ups are vitally important to independent authors like me. Please click the link at the bottom of this post and join my mailing list. Don’t wait. Don’t tell yourself, “I’ll do it later.”  Don’t dismiss it thinking, “Oh, I don’t need that.” Don’t put it off.

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Some of you follow me on other social media, but let’s get real.  Facebook & Twitter are great first contact points and excellent for connection, but for announcements and alerts? They’re a crap-shoot at best. It’s too easy to miss things. Trying to keep up with everyone and everything every day is impossible.

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And here are more pictures of my cranky ol’ cat:

He is just so darned adorable.

As always, thank you for reading.