Tag Archives: conventions

Days of the Dead, Indianapolis

Saturday I’m traveling down to Indianapolis to sign books at the Days of the Dead convention. I’ve never been to this one, so I’m looking forward to it. If you’re in or around Indy, you should come on out and buy a few books at the Post Mortem Press table. I have it on good authority Post Mortem Press is going to have more than just a few authors present this weekend.

I also hear Days of the Dead is the official release of J. David Anderson’s “A Trail in Blood.” I’ll be picking up a copy this weekend and you should, too. Brian Dobbins is going to be there, no doubt signing his book Jasmine’s Tale: Darkness and Light.

And yes, of course I’ll sign copies of Necromancer for anyone who buys it. You just have to wait until Saturday since corporate ‘Merica insists I work tomorrow to round out my weekly schedule. If you can’t make Indy, though, pick up a copy of Necromancer anyway at Amazon! (just click on the cover!)

Writing/Opinion: TX Frightmare and Conventions

So, I should be writing or editing or doing something productive, but instead I’m doing a blog post.

“What about,” you ask?

“That’s a good question,” I reply.

“Well, considering you were supposed to do one at the beginning of April and didn’t, it’s at least valid.”

“True enough.”

“Well? Get on with it…”

Yeah, yeah. This isn’t the blog post I was going to put up back then (that one is only half written, actually, and involves writer’s groups). This post is about Texas Frightmare and conventions, so it’s partially on topic when it comes to writing.

It’ll be fairly brief, I hope. I don’t have a lot to say on the matter other than I had an excellent time at TX Frightmare. The publisher, Post Mortem Press, sold a ton of books (we even sold out of Necromancers), I drank myself almost to oblivion Saturday night, and spent four of my vacation days in a car. It’s a pretty long drive from Ohio to Texas (even with a layover in The Lou to drop off a kid with my parents).

I met some cool folks (new friends, horror fans, celebrities), watched a very early screening of Neil Jordan’s vamp flick Byzantium (I think it comes out end of June), and spent way too much fucking money (hotel breakfast buffet was $14.00 if that’s an indication).

As far as conventions go, while I find it awesome to “see” celebrities, I’m not the kind of person who goes up and pays for the picture and autograph. Don’t think I’m knocking people who do (I’m not), it’s just not my bag. That being said, I don’t shy away from conversing with them when the opportunity presents itself and, for me, relating to them on that personal level, that “Hey, how you doing? Good convention so far?” playing field is the best.

Where is all this leading?

Well, it’s really for the other small press authors, I guess. I think it’s important to realize that while these conventions are mostly monetary vampires that will drain a bank account faster than Dracula eating Mina (picture that any way you want), it’s vital to show your face. It’s necessary to be there. Not at all of them, of course, but as many as we’re able. It’s another way to build (dare I say it?) a fan base for your work. Isn’t the key to investment diversity? So why shouldn’t diversity be the key to investing in yourself as well?

I haven’t had much luck w/social media or this damned blog (though I appreciate all of you who do read it), but hopefully continuing this mixed bag of everything will pay off in the end?

Authors, editors, others… what say you?

Context 25

So I lied.

My last blog post said something about a week between this one and that one and it’s been six (give or take, but who’s counting?) My apologies, sort of, and well, yeah, enough of that. This one is here now.

Context is over and, as usual, it was a fantastic weekend. Awesome workshops, awesome panels, and awesome people. If you’re a writer and you’re close to central Ohio (that would be Columbus, Ohio for you non-geographical folks) then this convention should be on your priority list for next year. It’s not over-priced, over-crowded, or over-elitist.

Writers, you will not regret the money or the time invested, even if it’s a three hour (or so) drive.

Some highlights for me include meeting the super talented Alexis A. Hunter. We’ve published her in TGH and her story “Sacrifice of the Goddess” appears in the Misanthrope Press anthology A Rustle of Dark Leaves. Did I mention she tied for first place in the Context flash fiction contest Friday night, beating out several other professional writers? And the writer she tied with has been publishing for almost 30 years, so yeah, I’m thinking you should go check out Alexis, her blog, and her work.

I also met Brady Allen. He’s a fellow Post Mortem Press author whose collection “Back Roads and Frontal Lobes” releases tomorrow. There were copies for sale at Context and I picked one up. I’m looking forward to reading Brady’s work. Super nice guy who admitted that he’s rather fucked up and likes to write weird shit. That’s right up my alley.

The PMPress table sat next to the guys from a game I intend to check out called Metroplexity. It takes you back to the old MUDs and text based RPGs, so that’s cool. I’m a fan of retro and don’t consider text based games a bad thing (I do still own an Atari, people). And ultimately, if it’s fun and it keeps kids reading instead of relying on flashy graphics and button mashing, then it needs to be promoted. And no, that doesn’t mean I hate flashy graphics and button pushing… I own an Xbox and a PS3, too.

I picked up a few other books… “Poison Study” by Maria V. Snyder and “Blackbirds” by Chuck Wendig; I also picked up a copy of “Ghost is the Machine.” So, the reading list grows, but that’s okay.

But the real fun and merit of Context are the workshops. We do have to pay for them (this year the cost seemed to equate to $10.00/hr), but it’s more than worth the minimal cost. If you’re serious about writing and improving the craft, then you need to look into them. I won’t go into details of any specific workshops I took, but I learned secrets to being a P.I. and how to effectively use their trade for characters, was provided with an in-depth look at how to write 1-8 page synopsis of my novel, great tips on revision and what kinds of phrases editors see that are overused, how to draw out tension and reveals my monsters effectively, and how to present not only myself, but my writing as brand, to draw in readers and fans.

It’s a wealth of information for writers at all levels (well, I guess unless you’re Stephen King or Chuck Palahniuk) and, to wrap up, I’m just giving some props to the instructors I had: Timons Esaias, Maria V. Snyder, Maurice Broaddus, Linnea Sinclair, and Lawrence Connolly.