Next month, Marshall University in Huntington is hosting its (second?) annual pop culture convention, HerdCon! On March 14 the Marshall Student Center will be taken over with all kinds of vendors, presenters, and other folks.
And, yes, I’ll be one of the vendors! I’ll be there with books, of course, but there’s also folks there with art, collectibles, and other neat stuff. In addition, there’s a day full of panels on a variety of pop culture topics, one of which is being done by my writer niece and her professor boyfriend (and two other people I don’t know) on “Loss of Body, Mind, and Spirit: Cultural, Familial, and Political Trauma in Japanese Manga and Anime.” I have no idea what that really means, but I suspect I’ll find out!
Come by and check it all out.
Now that Gods of the Empire has been loosed upon the world, it’s time for me to loose myself (that sounded better in my head). Over the next month or so I’ll have a pair of local appearances where you can stop by, say “hi,” and get a signed paperback copy of Gods of the Empire.
First up is the annual the West Virginia Book Festival in Charleston on Friday October 4 and Saturday October 5.
I’ll be in the marketplace both days along with lots of other terrific authors with books catering to just about every kind of reader. In addition there are workshops and talks by other authors, including this year’s big name, James Patterson.
Then the next month I’ll be in South Charleston for the Mountain State Pop Expo on Saturday November 9 and Sunday November 10.
I was last there a couple of years ago and it’s certain to be filled with lots of interesting stuff and people, with lots of different activities throughout both days.
See you there!
I’m breaking cover from working on Widows of the Empire (it’s progressing nicely, thanks for asking), to let you know about an upcoming appearance. Not only will I be selling books, I’ll be speaking words to people!
I’ve been part of the bookstore at the Lewisburg Literary Festival the past few years. This year, I’m really excited to be doing one of the workshops that will be going on during the Festival. A workshop on what, you ask?
I promise this is not just a chance for a lawyer to yell at laypeople about how messed up Law & Order was (although it does come up). It’s one of those “just as easy to get right as wrong” things that I think is helpful for writers to be familiar with. I hope it’s kind of amusing, too.
Like it says, I’ll be speaking on Saturday morning, August 3. I’ll also be in the bookstore the rest of that day and on Friday August 2. There’s lots of other great stuff to check out during the Festival, too (Sarah Vowell! Tobias Wolff!), and it’s all free. Get off your ass and get down there!
I wanted to let folks know about a couple upcoming appearances I’ll be making – getting out of the office and into the bright light (hopefully) of day!
First, on October 26 and 27 I’ll be at the West Virginia Book Festival at the newly renovated Charleston Convention Center (formerly known as the Civic Center). I’ll be in the marketplace both days (11:30 to 6:30 on Friday, 8 to 5 on Saturday) selling books, signing them, and just generally chatting people up. In addition to the marketplace there’s the annual used book sale, lots of workshops and such, and loads of great authors. Come check it out.
Then, on November 17, I’ll be part of the West Virginia Writers fall conference in Flatwoods, West Virginia. I’ll be doing a pair of workshops:
Lines in the Speculative Sand – When Genre Matters in Fantasy & Science Fiction (and When It Doesn’t): Is my story fantasy? Is it science fiction? Does it even matter? Dive into the weird world of speculative fiction and learn some of the rules of the road (so you can go break them if you want).
Law 101 for Writers – Getting It Right When Your Character Goes to Court: Into every character’s life a little law must fall. Even if you’re not writing legal thrillers, there’s lots of reasons for characters to wind up in court. Learn some tips and discover some valuable resources to make your legal writing feel real.
There will be lots of other workshops, too, from marketing on the cheap to short play writing to ekphrastic poetry (I had to look it up, too). Something for just about every writer, in other words. Find out how to register at the WVWI website.
It’s that time of year again, as several events are coming up around the area where I’ll be hawking my wares and talking about books.
First up is the Lewisburg Literary Festival on August 3 and 4 in the best small town in America, Lewisburg, West Virginia. I’ll be in the Literary Town Square both days with lots of other authors. There all kinds of other things going on, too, including workshops and presentations from writers like David Sheff. Get more details at the festival’s website here.
Second will be the West Virginia Book Festival on October 26 and 27 in Charleston. It’s a very strong lineup this year, including Dennis Lehane, Debbie Macomber, and John Scalzi. I’ll have a table in the marketplace, so stop by and say hey (unless Sclazi’s on – I’ll be AWOL then). Find out more at the festival’s website here.
I always enjoy talking we readers – even if they’re not my readers! So be sure to stop by.
The next couple of weekends I’ll be out and about, taking part in a couple of events in the Charleston area.
First up, this weekend, is the third year (after its revival) of the West Virginia Book Festival.
In addition to a terrific list of speakers (including R.L. Stine and Joe Hill) and workshops, there will be an entire marketplace full of writers hawking their wares – including me! It runs Friday and Saturday (October 27 & 28) at the Civic Center in Charleston, with the marketplace open 11-7 on Friday and 9-5 on Saturday (admission is free). Also, don’t miss out on the Kanawha County Public Library’s annual sale – it’s always full of neat finds!
Then next weekend, I’ll be taking part (for the first time) in the Mountain State Pop Expo.
The Expo is a celebration of all things pop culture and looks like it should have something that appeals to just about everybody – including fans of fantasy fiction. The Expo is Saturday and Sunday (November 4 & 5), from 10 to 6 at the Holiday Inns & Suites in South Charleston (admission $10 – all proceeds go to Children’s Home Society of West Virginia).
Come to either, come to both – but be sure to stop by and say hi!
Hey, gang – did you miss me?
As promised, I’ve been knee deep in The Orb of Triska, first book in the Empire Falls series, for the past month. Much progress has been made. I’ve already conjured up a pair of characters I had no idea I needed, but now really love. Alas, there’s much more work to be done.
I’m not just back on the blog – I’m back in real life, too! Come see me this weekend at the Lewisburg Literary Festival in America’s best small town – Lewisburg, WV:
I’ll be in the Festival Bookstore in the Greenbrier County CVB building on Washington Street on Friday and Saturday. Stop by and say hi!
I wanted to let folks know about a couple of places I’ll be in the upcoming months. One’s fast approaching, the other’s more of a “mark your calendars, save the date” kind of thing.
On May 26-28 I’ll be at the historic Blennerhassett Hotel in Parkersburg, West Virginia for Vandalia-Con 2017.
Vandalia-Con is a Steampunk/Science-Fiction Convention that raises funds to provide uninsured WV women with breast and cervical cancer screening, diagnostic and treatment services.
This will be my first experience with a “Con” and I’m really excited about it. It’s for a good cause, too, which is the cherry on top. Also, the steampunk vibe will go well with my next novel project (yes, I made a decision!)
West Virginia Book Festival
Two years ago the West Virginia Book Festival was reborn, just in time for me to participate as a published author. Unfortunately, I booked myself elsewhere before I knew the dates for last year’s version. No such problem this year!
On October 27 & 28 I’ll be at the (in the process of being remodeled) Charleston Civic Center for the 2017 version! I’m looking forward to a great slate of writers being there and meeting and greeting plenty of readers over two days. Mark your calendar!
I’m hoping to have some other appearances scheduled this summer and fall, too.
All this month my abode of Putnam County is having “Tastes and Talents: A month featuring Putnam’s finest food, art, and music!” I’m happy to say that I’m a part of this, with a reading next Wednesday at the Putnam County Public library.*
I’ll be reading a few different things, maybe, just possibly, including a new short story I’ve been working on. I’ll also be giving away a few books as part of the world’s easiest fantasy/sci-fi trivia game. This will also be my first appearance once The Bay of Sins comes out, so I’ll have the complete The Water Road trilogy with me for sale.
And if that’s not enough – there be cupcakes! Serendipity Cupcake Boutique will be providing some tasty treats. So even if you don’t enjoy what you hear, you’ll enjoy what you eat. Can’t beat that, can you?
For more details check here on Facebook (be sure to tell us if you’re going or interested) and see the full roster of Tastes and Talents events here.
* Don’t let Google fool you – the library is behind Liberty Square on Route 34 (as you head toward Winfield), not down past the new elementary school out toward Hurricane.
Hey folks. It’s been quiet ‘round these parts the past few weeks, but I assure you I am being a productive creative person! Guess it’s time for an update on what I’ve been up to:
- As I said a couple of weeks back, editing continues on The Bay of Sins, though at a slower pace than I had initially hoped. No worries – release in early 2017 is for certain and that will bring The Water Road trilogy to a close.
- Apex Magazine has resuscitated their flash fiction competition. It’s tied to a particular holiday, this one being Valentine’s Day and all that entails. Since people were allowed to submit up to three (250-word) stories, I came up with a kind of matched set of fantasy stories that hit the beginning, middle, and end of relationships. If none of them wind up appearing in Apex, I’ll post them here on Valentine’s Day for your reading pleasure. Apex, by the way, is a really cool magazine and could use your readership and support. Go check them out.
- Earlier this month I had a chance to sit down with author Eliot Parker on his local TV show Chapters to talk about writing and such. Look for it now on Armstrong Cable if you’re in the Huntington area. I’ll pass along a YouTube link when it shows up there.
- Next Saturday (December 10), I’ll be at Empire Books & News in Huntington for their big Holiday Open House and Author Showcase. It runs from 1-4, so stop by and get some great books by great local authors – including yours truly!
- I have a short story about halfway finished, called “To the Sound of Birds.” It’s a good example of the answer to the “where do your ideas come from” question, as it sprang from noise I heard between runs at an autocross. Everything else is pure fiction (of course). Hope to have it done by the end of the year.
- Beyond all that, with the end of the The Water Road on the horizon, I’ve started to turn my attention to figuring out what my next big project is going to be. Honestly – I haven’t a clue. I’ve got several ideas floating around, some for standalone books and others for potential series, but nothing’s reached out and commanded me to write it yet. Hopefully by the new year something wriggles to the top of the pile.
See? I’m keeping myself busy!