Hey everyone. I’m currently on vacation, enjoying some skiing and trying not to injure myself. But I’ll be at Life, The Universe, and Everything (LTUE) writing convention in Provo, Utah this weekend. If you’re in the area, come check it out. Here’s my schedule:
Hey everyone. I celebrated my birthday this weekend by visiting the Helloween Masquerade here in Denver. The big draw of it for me was Cruxshadows, one of my favorite bands, and since they rarely (if ever) tour in the US and it happened to fall on my birthday weekend, everything worked out perfectly.
If you’re a fan of their music, I shouldn’ t have to tell you how awesome it is to see them live. They have a ton of energy, their songs resonate with me, and overall, it was a great experience. If you’re not a fan of their music, I’ll link some of their stuff and feel free to watch. It’s not for everyone, but I find it’s great writing music for me.
Oh, and to top things off, they started playing this song right around midnight (and the start of my birthday).
All in all, it was a great weekend, the perfect way to get me charged up to tackle all these books I need to write.
Here’s a couple of their songs that I enjoy:
Liberty Con 31 is come and gone. Much of it passed in a blur for me. It was full of good times, great people, and a whole lot of running around to get to where I had to be next.
Panels and signings were a whole lot of fun. My first panel of the weekend was on YA Science Fiction, moderated by Jason Cordova who did a fantastic job. David Weber was on the panel and he had some absolutely fantastic things to say about the genre, about putting hope and wonder in the hearts and minds of young adults about the future. He managed to articulate in a few words what I try to explain in a rambling, incoherent mess, half the time. The other panelists had some great things to say as well and it was a terrific way to open the weekend.
I had my first signing session in the dealers room on Friday. I got the pleasure of being there with John Ringo, Chris Kennedy, and Larry Correia. As I told Larry, it was like the 300 Spartans at Thermopolyae: Their fans would blot out the sun and I would sign books in the shade. It was a fun time and I actually had a couple people come by to see me, so I’ll call it a win.
Saturday I was at the Four Horsemen mass signing event. That was an experience in and of itself with twenty plus authors and a whole lot of fans. Working with Chris Kennedy and the others from that universe is always a pleasure and the enthusiasm and fun that everyone brought is contagious.
Saturday I also had a panel with Larry Correia, Quincy Allen, John Harness, and Lydia Sherrer on building a new monster. Poor Larry had no idea that he had been made moderator. Lydia was the one who’d had the idea for the panel and she stepped in well to get us started and back on track. It was a tremendously fun panel topic and the audience was great.
Saturday I also had a panel on Space Opera versus Space Western with Julie Cocrane, Doug Dandridge, Laura Montgomery, and Mark Wandrey. We spent a fair bit of time discussing definitions and talking examples, but then we sort of rambled into discussing market and publishing. The audience had a lot of good questions, though and I think everyone (including panelists) got a lot out of it.
I also had my reading and a couple hours of signing on Saturday. I read a section from my upcoming zombie novel. Hopefully those of you who were there enjoyed it. The signing was fun and I got to meet and see lots of great people. The location of the Authors Alley was perfect in that there was a lot of traffic flow and plenty of opportunities to meet people.
I attended the Mad Scientist Roundtable on Saturday night for a bit, but the room was far too crowded and hot, combined with the long day, I slipped out early and went to bed.
Sunday was the Kaffeeklatch, and that was a bit of a mixed bag. It was held in the same room as the Mad Scientist Roundtable, which means it wasn’t big enough and it got hot quick. I wish there had been a bigger room available and I am excited to see what comes up at the new venue next year. I do feel that the crowded nature of the room caused many people (including authors) to seek other places and it also encouraged some people to monopolize spots near some of the guests. In all, it didn’t have the friendly, relaxed vibe like most of the rest of the convention.
Sunday I had my last signing session and then another panel in the Four Horsemen Universe. I got to announce my upcoming book with them, The Colchis Job. Which, I am happy to say, I sent in as a final draft to Chris Kennedy right after I got back from Liberty Con. Also on the panel was Chris Woods, whose book Legendary is fantastic and he’s working on he sequel.
All in all, it was a fantastic convention. Its taken me almost all week to recover from, but that is part and parcel with a fun time plus travel. Liberty Con 32 for next year is already sold out. If you haven’t got tickets and want to go, then get on the wait list. I bought mine in the first thirty minutes and I am looking forward to it a lot. I might also recommend LTUE in Provo Utah, it has a lot of the same feel as Liberty Con and is a lot closer for those of us who live out west (plus they aren’t sold out).
So the Dragon Awards are coming up. These are fan awards for the books that readers of Science Fiction and Fantasy like the most. They’re hosted by Dragon Con, they don’t require membership to nominate or even vote, and the award is a fantastic thing for all of us.
There have been a lot of good books by tons of authors released this year. Support the authors you love and vote. This is an awesome award that belongs to all of us as writers, readers, and fans of science fiction in general. The great thing about it, all it requires is an email.
Here’s some works that I’ll be nominating (if you haven’t read them, give them a look, I think they’re pretty good):
Uncharted (Alternate History) by Sarah A. Hoyt and Kevin J Anderson
Monster Hunter Siege (Fantasy) by Larry Correia
As a note: I’ll be at Dragon Con this year. You know what would be an awesome gift from my readers and fans? A Dragon Award nomination! (Seriously, I know I’m not going to win, but y’all can nominate me and get my name in the running!)
Here’s what I’ve published this past year that’s eligible:
Ghost Star (Mil SF)
Valor’s Calling (YA/Mil SF)
Valor’s Duty (YA/Mil SF)
Prisoner of the Mind (Science Fiction)
Here’s a link to the Dragon Awards page: http://awards.dragoncon.org/
Here’s the link to the nominations: http://application.dragoncon.org/dc_fan_awards_nominations.php
Here’s my updated convention schedule for the year, with events I’ve already attended in italics and a new one added in bold.
LTUE February 15-17, UT
Whimsycon March 2-4, CO
Liberty Con June 29-July 1, TN
Dragon Con August 30-September 3, GA
Mile Hi Con October 19-21, CO
Yes, I’m excited to be going to Dragon Con this year as an Attending Professional. I have no idea what my panels will look like, yet, but I’m really looking forward to the event!
Hey everyone, sorry for the delayed post, this was supposed to go up yesterday. Here is my schedule for Denver’s new Steampunk convention!
|Merging Steampunk and Fantasy|
|Mesa Verde A|
|Fri Mar 2 7:00:pm – 7:50:pm|
|A discussion on laying the ground work for creating a believable world using the elements of both Steampunk and fantasy.|
|A.M. Burns, J.A. Campbell, Kal Spriggs, Lou J Berger|
|Mesa Verde B|
|Sat Mar 3 9:00:am – 9:50:am|
|The Steampunk genre doesn’t have well defined edges or boundaries. How do you write a Steampunk aka sci-fi, fantasy, punk, futuristic, Victorian story?|
|Kal Spriggs, Terry Kroenung, Tonya L. De Marco|
|Discussing Combat in Fiction|
|Wind Star A|
|Sat Mar 3 10:00:am – 10:50:am|
|The good, the bad, and the ugly scenes of combat and action including the differences between games, movies, and literature. Also a discussion of the morality and emotional impact both upon the audience and the characters involved.|
|Kal Spriggs, Melissa Koons, Sam Knight, Traci Cartwright|
|Ow, My Spleen!|
|Wind Star B|
|Sat Mar 3 2:00:pm – 2:50:pm|
|All too often in a book or movie, the characters undergo severe physical trauma, only for them to undertake heroic acts in the following scenes. How do you write realistic fiction where your characters are injured and face the consequences yet still manage to allow them to do what you need?|
|Jessica Lauren Gabarron, Kal Spriggs|
Apologies for the delay in posting this. Between the long drive out and back and the backlog of stuff I had to do once I got home, I’m a bit behind on posting.
LTUE is always a fantastic convention. It is predominantly a writing convention, which makes it more focused and the group, as a whole, is filled with writers more than fans. Pretty much everyone there is there to improve their writing craft and to network and socialize.
The panels, as always, are fantastic. There’s a huge range of panel topics, which offer great topics that are useful for new writers as well as experienced writers who are looking to learn about new subjects. Unlike some other conventions, though, the big draw is the time spent between panels, chatting with other authors and having the opportunity for one on one discussions.
If you are a prospective author, the convention is fantstic and I can’t recommend it enough.