Just a short and sweet post about my latest appearance at the New England Authors Expo. The Expo happens annually at the Danversport Yacht Club in Danvers, MA. I attended last year and had a very fun time meeting other writers in my genre (as well as others) and exploring the town (and sometimes confusing roads) of Danvers. This year, the venue was a little different. There was a separate room set up as a sort of mini Comic-Con for horror, fantasy, and sci-fi authors to set up while the Ballroom upstairs was reserved for all other genres. While I managed to have a good afternoon and sold double of what I sold last year, the change in the venue and a little confusion about where the Garden Terrace was made it a little harder for patrons to find us. Be that as it may, the people I talked to were lots of fun and once again, I managed to meet several new faces and hopefully new friends in the New England writing world.
(Pictured from left to right: Top; Scott Goudsward, Peter Dudar, Josiah Pitchforth, and Duane E. Coffill. Bottom: Dale Phillips, Katherine Silva)
This past weekend, I battled hordes of cosplaying people and visited Port-Con, an annual convention celebrating geek culture in South Portland. This was my second time doing an event like this and so naturally, I was a little nervous about some things going in. For one, I was pretty sure that some of the costumes I saw, I wouldn’t be able to unsee (I’m referring to you, man in the pink spandex suit). Some were outrageous, some were super cool, and some were unidentifiable for me. There were lots of anime characters at this con, which is one of the areas I’m not too versed on. I was able to recognize some video game characters here and there and some obvious Doctor Who impersonators (of which there were many). Didn’t see any Harry Potter which struck me as odd, though.
Guess where I am today?
That’s right! For all of you living, visiting, or passing through the Portland, Maine area, be sure to swing in to the Double Tree Hotel across from the Maine Mall and check out this celebration of Maine’s geek culture. Basically…anyone who loves anime, comic books, superheroes, horror, Doctor Who, video games and various other things will be THRILLED.
I was lucky enough to join some of my fantastic New England Horror Writers colleagues this weekend as we present at a few panels and have our books for sale at the show. I’m joined by Scott Goudsward, Peter Dudar, Dale Philips, Josiah Pitchforth, and Duane E. Coffil. I’m looking forward to checking out some of the other panels being offered (one of which is about world building) and also looking forward to spending some much needed time promoting my latest release, “Memento Mori: Book 3 of the Monstrum Chronicles”.
We’ll be doing 3 panels over the weekend, one each day.
Friday 2 pm: The Basics of Getting Published
Saturday 2 pm: The Pros and Cons of Writer’s Groups (I’m in this one!)
Sunday 3 pm: Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing (I’m also in this one!)
Check out the Port-Con website for more information about the event, when to catch our panels, and where you can find our table in the Artist Alley!
Hope to see you here this weekend!
Music can rejuvenate. When you are feeling at your most tired, lonely, or sad, it can have the power to bring you back out of it, to lift you back on your feet and push you forward. As it has been raining a ridiculous amount this past week, I’ve fallen into that funk that affects you when you haven’t seen the sun in a while. I haven’t wanted to write or really work on anything. And now that the sun is out, I’m finding it very hard to concentrate on the tasks at hand. Thankfully, I’ve found a musical artist who can infuse me with that much needed dose of “You’re a bad ass. You can do this and then, have your fun.” That’s right. That musical remedy is none other than Blackmill, aka Robert J. Card.
Card is a twenty-something musician from the UK who has been producing music since he got an acoustic guitar for his eighth birthday–according to Blackmill’s official Facebook page. Blackmill is a more recent project of his, a blissful combination of dubstep and dance swirled with calm and speckled with house beats. I’m not entirely sure when I heard Blackmill for the first time, but I know it was while working on my latest book, “Memento Mori” and that the song “Evil Beauty” has been a major inspiration in that and other projects. There is just something about those melodic beats that makes it easier to concentrate, to push aside distractions both mental and physical (I’m looking at you, dirty dishes!) and sink into a story. Today, I’ll be sharing a couple of Blackmill’s tunes with you and describing what I see when I listen to them. Enjoy!
Welcome to the Frost World of Jurassic Park! That’s right; this week in celebration of the release of Jurassic World, I decided to do a Jurassic Park themed Cooking Adventure. Michael Crichton is my favorite author and his books are some of the ones that inspired me to start writing in the action/adventure genre.
Welcome back to Horror-FAIL Friday’s My OLD Writing. This is a series which catalogs some of the awful writing I did as a weird teen (often works of fantasy, sci-fi, or horror). I share a piece each week (complete with spelling and grammatical errors), comment on some of the dumb things written, and often include a bit of visual comedy to get my point across. It should be noted that I don’t remember half of this stuff that I wrote and having not looked at it in over ten years, I’ve found myself in complete shock, embarrassment, and, often, in stitches because of it. It’s just too good not to share.
In the current story, we’ve been following sophomore Lila Pullman on her quest to figure out just what the deal is with her mysterious science professor, Mr. McFadden. Witnessing him have an episode of some kind while trying to teach them about CLOUD FORMATIONS in a biology class, she goes to his home in order to dig up some more information. This results in the strangest flirtation scene ever written (unless you include anything from 50 Shades of Grey), and establishes the fact that McFadden is the most incompetent liar in the world. Let’s also throw in the fact that she’s his STUDENT. In a side story, Lila’s best friend, Samus, has also experienced flashbacks to the night his friend, Ross, was murdered. Although he was never there. Or was he? Is Samus a sleepwalking fiend? Or just an overly-anxious conspiracy wing-nut who thinks that McFadden is more than he seems. Let’s join our pathetic protagonists.
I had to obey my inner voice this week. It told me that I had a craving for eggplant (probably the first time that’s ever happened) and that I should find a scrumptious recipe to tackle for this week’s Literary Cooking Adventure. As such, I found a terrific one for some Eggplant Parmesan Boats, which were relatively easy to make and tasted SO GOOD!
Alas, the gift of obeying does not come without its share of frustration, as protagonist Ella found out in Gail Carson Levine’s “Ella Enchanted”. Renegade eggplant escapees, a dastardly onion that refused to be cut, and a pretty bad breakdown while trying to film the intro to the video are only a few of the things that went wrong.
Want to make this spectacular dish for yourself? BEHOLD! Scroll down to find the ingredients and directions!
Summer is coming up mighty fast here in Maine (although it did just snow in Presque Isle a few days ago. True story.). The thing of it is…as we start to have warmer and warmer weather, I find myself craving the need to work on my Night Time, Dotted Line sequel. Night Time, Dotted Line was a comedic novel I wrote a couple years ago involving two very different and complete strangers who embarked on a cross-country road trip together. It’s a novel of friendship and through the strange situations that these characters find themselves in, they ultimately learn that dealing with their own issues alone is causing more pain and that they need to open up and trust others. Wow. That doesn’t sound very comedic at all. But believe me, it is. When I finished the book, I knew that their story hadn’t been told completely; there needed to be one more book. And so, over the last couple years, I’ve been developing the story or how I’d like the story to go. Music is a HUGE inspiration for this. Recently, I played a wonderful game by Tim Schafer called “Broken Age”. Not only was I blown away by the art direction and story, but the music, composed by Peter McConnell, especially called to me. It reminded me of my characters and of the journey they still need to take.
On this very impromptu Literary Cooking Adventure, I had a sudden craving for French Toast that really couldn’t be denied. Breakfast is one of the few meals that I get to enjoy as I’m usually going to work or am hip-deep in a project and am entirely engrossed for the remainder of the morning. I decided in lieu of several things to celebrate this month (namely my fourth book being put in print!), that a wonderful stack of French Toast would be just the right thing. Even better? I matched them up with some chocolate chips and blueberries for a very berry Mainer breakfast extravaganza!
As tribute, I decided to dedicate this Cooking Adventure to the supremely skilled author, Oscar Wilde, and one of his well-known short stories, The Canterbury Ghost.
Below are the simple directions for making a stack of your very own delicious Chocolate Blueberry French Toast!
I made a list not too long ago of my top ten video game soundtracks. I missed one. I missed a major one. I was so busy concentrating on newer games that I forgot one of my absolute favorites from my childhood. Legend of Dragoon is a brilliant RPG in a similar vein as Final Fantasy that revolves around a war between humans, a race called the Winglies, and, well, dragons. Think Game of Thrones: Young Adult edition. Though the game did deal with some pretty dark material here and there, it fast became a cult favorite for thousands. Its characters, story, and music have stayed with me for years. Occasionally, I’ll break it out and play it on the PS3 just to relive the adventures of Dart, Shana, Albert, Rose and the others.