Category Archives: Author Appearance

Off to Supercon

So I’m off to Supercon. I’m looking forward to it, but I’ll admit I’m a bit discombobulated going into it.

Here’s my conundrum: This is my first big convention with lots of cosplay. I’m enough of a dirty old man (probably man in general) to be looking forward to checking out the girl’s costumes. At the same time, the older I get, the more I am reminded that I’m old enough to be their father (Probably grandfather before much longer). This decidedly takes much of the fun out of ogling people watching.

I’m going with my daughter and her guy friend, who are dressing up. This could be really awkward, but luckily she is not wearing anything that’ll make me want to punch anyone for looking. Being the father of a daughter definitely makes you reevaluate your outlook on things (damn it).

Speaking of daughters, I kind of feel like one this morning. I drove over last night and stayed at my sister’s house. You know how it is, you go with the flow at someone else’s house as far as bath products go. This morning I washed my hair with Suave Rose Blossom shampoo and washed up with Dove, or Caress or one of those other perfumed soaps. I smell pretty.

And of course, as soon as I finished showering, I went to put my shorts on and popped the button. I’m only here for a day, so didn’t have any backup except a pair of PJ pants. I suppose I could have just worn them and said it was my custom. Luckily, my daughter had a sewing kit and I got them repaired.

So if you’re going to be at Supercon, look me up. I’ll be the old guy in the Super Genius T-shirt (ironic, I know) pulling on his shorts to hide his belly and smelling like potpourri.

I guess the bright side is that no matter how the day turns out, I’ll come out smelling like a rose.

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Filed under Author Appearance, Fandom, Humor

How do You Convention?

I’m headed to Supercon in Raleigh this weekend.  To be honest, I have mixed feelings.  While I have been a science fiction and fantasy lover (geek, nerd, dork—take your pick) for my entire life, and have recently branched into anime, the idea of being surrounded by so many die-hard fans is a bit daunting.  I’ve attended quite a few conventions over the years, but they’ve mostly been smaller in scale and had more of a writer focus.  This will be my first time diving into such a fan and cosplay intensive environment.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy people-watching and am looking forward to checking out the costumes and meeting interesting people.  I just don’t totally understand the whole fan thing.

Celebrity Much?  I remember visiting Universal Studios Hollywood when I was a teenager.  We ate lunch in the cafeteria, and a celebrity walked in.  Everyone went gaga, and I just didn’t get it.  It’s a person eating lunch.  So what if they’re an actor.

Got Candy?  I’ve never been into costumes either.  As a kid, Halloween was the only time I dressed up, and that was for the free candy.  I can’t remember ever wearing a costume as an adult unless you count a sailor outfit when I was in the Navy (It did kind of feel like I was wearing a costume).

Basically, I’m boring, but I realize I need to figure out this fan thing.  Hopefully, I’ll have a few of my own at some point and I’ll need to fulfill their fanly (yeah, I know it’s not a word, but it just sounded cool) needs.

So I’m off to Supercon this weekend.  I’ll also be attending DragonCon in Atlanta in about a month, and the World Fantasy Convention in Baltimore in November.  I figure immersion is the best therapy.

If you’re going to any of these, I’ll be easy to spot.  Just look for the geeky old dude in the weird t-shirt.  Okay, maybe I’ll fit in better than I thought.

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Filed under Author Appearance, Conventions, Fandom

Back in Weldon

I had a nice visit back in my old haunts.  Haunts seems the right word, because the old plant looks a bit like a ghost town.

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For those who don’t know, I work in the energy sector.  I spent many years working at a power plant in Weldon, NC.  The plant is now shutdown and is currently being taken apart:

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They were just supposed to exterminate the cockroaches!

 

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Finally found a way to get rid of the pigeons!

 

Change is inevitable, but it still feels a bit like my family home is being torn down.

On the bright side, I spent some time at the Riverside Mill hawking my books.

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Book signing are always interesting to me.  It’s interesting to watch the people try their best not to make eye contact.  Actually, I had quite a few people stop and talk to me, but unfortunately it was to direct them to the bathroom.  I did sell a few books, but I think I found my true calling.  My new title is Director of Bathroom Patrons.  Sounds kind of prestigious—right?

If you didn’t get a chance to be directed by me at the Riverside Mill, you can still find my books on Amazon.  (Sorry, I’m not sure where the Amazon bathroom is, but you can maybe try Home & Garden.)

Kingdom of Haven

 

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Filed under Author Appearance, Books, Pictures, Work Life

Where are your Writing Roots?

Charlotte is my home.  I love it here and don’t want to live anywhere else, but I still feel out of sorts on the Charlotte writing scene.  It’s not the other writers I meet here, it’s me.  My writing roots lie in a small town to the east.

I started writing in 1993, the same year I moved to Roanoke Rapids.  I worked, raised my children, and learned to write there (I would say “grew old there” but I’m barely past the half-century mark).

My son was born in Roanoke Rapids in 93, as was my first novel.  Now, he’s out of college and working, and that first novel is collecting dust in a drawer.  I like to think that this means I had my priorities straight, but it probably means that I had a lot to learn about writing. (And let’s face it—you’re never ready for parenting.  You just do the best you can and there are no re-writes.)

I joined my first critique group in that little town around 1995.  I still thought my first novel was ready for a Pulitzer Prize and was working on my second novel (Which is also sitting in a drawer).  That first critique group helped me to realize how much I didn’t know about writing.

I left town for a couple of years around 1998, and when I came back the group was disbanded.  I call this my online period, where I joined several online critique groups like Hatrack River, Zoetrope, Critique Circle, Liberty Hall, and Notebored.  I met several fellow writers in these forums from all over the world.

I’m a face-to-face person at heart though and decided to start the Roanoke Valley Writers Group back up.  I’m guessing that was somewhere around 2002.  I published my first book (The Order of the Wolf) when I was a member of this group in 2012.  They were a great bunch and are still going strong.  I’ll admit, leaving this group was the hardest part about moving to Charlotte.

Another first for me was doing my first book signing.  This happened at the Riverside Mill in Weldon.  It is a huge antique mall and consignment shop (there are no books stores in the area).  The staff of the Riverside Mill was very supportive when my first book came out.  I had a book signing there, and they still carry my books for sale to this day.

I will always be grateful to the folks at the Riverside Mill for their support.  That’s why you’ll find me there this Friday afternoon and Saturday signing books (hopefully) as part of their Endless Yard Sale.

Stop by and see me, buy a book, or just shop till you drop.  There’ll be plenty of other merchandise to choose from.  Of course, none as good as my latest novel.

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Of course, you can always find my books on Amazon if you don’t want to come out and shop.

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Filed under Author Appearance, Books, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Process

Get out of my Mind!

I’ve been mulling over ConCarolinas since I got back from Europe.  A year ago, after attending ConCarolinas, I planned to be the one sitting behind the table selling books this year.  Alas, it didn’t happen.

I put in an application a few months back to be a guest (I think it was before I released book 3 of my trilogy).  I’m not established enough to be invited, which didn’t surprise me.  So instead, I asked for a table to sell my books.  The reply was: they only give tables to invited guests.  Seems like a catch-22 to me.  Getting a table at conventions was part of my marketing plan to help get readers.  It seems I have to first have readers in order to get a table.  Which came first — the chicken or the egg.

This seems contrary to what I’ve observed at past conventions.  I’ve seen plenty of beginning authors selling their wares.  I guess it’s a policy shift or something.

So I was a bit depressed as the weekend approached and couldn’t decide if I was going to ConCarolinas or not.  I’ve been several times, and it’s typically the same guests who I’ve met before.  I like to go around and talk to the authors at their tables, but is it worth the 40 bucks?  Especially since I’ve already met most of them before?

I decided to stay home this weekend and hang out with the wife, watch anime, start sorting vacation pictures, and work on my latest draft (beer or book, you decide.)

I haven’t sworn off conventions.  I plan to attend ConGregate July 13th – 15th in High Point, NC.  I am also making plans to attend DragonCon in September.  Oh, and I will be selling books at the Riverside Mill Endless Yardsale in Weldon, NC on June 15th & 16th.

Okay, now that I got that off my chest, time to finish adding that extra chapter to my WIP.  Oh, and here are a couple of cool pictures from my recent trip to Prague:

 

 

 

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Filed under Author Appearance, Conventions, Marketing, Pictures

I’m Home!

I just returned home from a series of long trips.  I spent two weeks in Europe (on vacation) and a week in Colorado Springs (business trip).  It seems like I’ve been gone forever (I missed sleeping in my own bed).

I know there are some world travelers out there who love to be on the road, but I’m not one of them.  I’m definitely a homebody, but I did enjoy the vacation.  It was a once in a lifetime type of trip.  Now, it’s time to collect my thoughts, sort through vacation pictures, and get busy.  To whet your appetite, here’s a picture of the Grand Canal in Venice.

Grand Canal

There will be no rest today.  I will be at the Union County Library in Monroe, North Carolina from 2 to 5 pm.  This is part of an Author Meet and Greet for Carolina Authors sponsored by the Union County Writers Club and the Friends of the Union County Library.

Come by and see me.  I’ll tell you all about my trip to Europe, and will have my books available too.

Kingdom of Haven

 

 

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Filed under Author Appearance, Pictures, Travel