Literate Liquors Episode 21 is now available!

Go to this link or wherever you get podcasts to hear me and AJ Hartley talk about writing, drinking, successes, failures, drinking, and more. Part 1 of the Dragon Con episodes!

Opportunities, and the costs therein

Like so many of the MW crew, I’m back from DragonCon and pretty much recovered at this point. I managed to dodge the con crud by judicious application of tequila, in the form of margarita popsicles (yep, every bit as hazardous as you think) and by having an assistant at the con this year. I’ve had an assistant at several conventions this year, and have had several of my colleagues ask me how I got one. I went through a soul-searching, spectacularly difficult process before I settled on Jay Requard, an up and coming writer and one of my best friends, to work as my assistant. Here I will detail the process.

I put a note on Facebook asking if anyone would be interested in traveling to conventions with me and helping me handle books, my table, keep me organized (somewhat) and serve as my assistant.

That’s it. I got […]

Continue reading Opportunities, and the costs therein

How to stay safe at a con

This was supposed to be my tongue-in-cheek 2015 Con Survival Guide, but as of Wednesday morning I am reminded that things aren’t really very tongue-in-cheek, are they? The Alison Parker and Adam Ward were just doing their job at a water park this week when they were shot and killed by a man whose name I will not publicize.

I will not politicize this blog, and offer no comment on this shooting other than to offer my heartfelt sympathies to their families and to drive home the fact that no matter how innocuous the setting, please take precautions to be safe. There are bad people out there, not just in the pages of books, and most of the monsters don’t have fur or fangs.

So with Dragon Con coming up next weekend, here are a few tips to help you stay safe at conventions. Being a 6’1″ guy who tips […]

Continue reading How to stay safe at a con

DragonCon is Over.

I am way beyond exhausted, and earlier today moved into grouchy territory. Not unexpected.

The con was wonderful and stressful, difficult and fun. I didn’t have near enough time to visit with my friends. I tried all of the 5 days to find 30 minutes to talk to David about a future project, and there was absolutely no time. None. I tried to meet with a group for drinks, every single night, and got nowhere, because I had a panel at 10 pm every night. Drinks started in different hotels and that meant a walk to a hotel sometime after 11 pm, with a walk back even later. I’m not that energetic or that brave. There was time for a Magicalwords.com dinner, where we decided to continue the site and the ongoing posts (cue applause) and we talked about the book-selling booth and how to make it better.

I had […]

Continue reading DragonCon is Over.

What does it mean to be a Con Guest?

This came up last weekend when I was teaching my self-publishing workshop at Carolina Learning Connection (don’t worry, there will be more classes, I promise. You can catch the next one!). A lot of the folks in the class were mildly familiar with conventions and wondered how cons got people to attend. What follows is MY experience as a convention guest at a couple dozen cons in the past three years, everyone’s mileage will vary. But I thought with Dragon Con looming on the horizon, another little peek behind the curtain might be in order.

And there really is no longer a * in Dragon Con. The asterisk went away when the new company was formed earlier this year. I thought that was interesting. Oh well, never mind.

Some people are very surprised that author guests at conventions pay their own way. But we do. Typically unless you […]

Continue reading What does it mean to be a Con Guest?

The best fantasy/sci fi novel of the last half decade.

Last week, like most of the MW regulars, I was at Dragon Con, an experience which–much as I love it—is thoroughly overwhelming: the tracks, the stars, the costumes, the events, the people…

And the books.

I had a moment in the dealer room, standing at the Larry Smith bookseller booth where, confronted by all those slick and stylish covers, I felt that particular blend of elation and ignorance.

I often feel these two at cons; there’s just so much stuff there I know nothing about, much of it intriguing, even thrilling, but all of it pointing an accusatory finger as if to demand what on earth I have been doing that has left me so little time for this.

Or that.

Or all of those.

So I’m gazing at this wall of books, aghast at how few I’ve even heard of, let alone read, and I’m feeling that rising sense […]

Continue reading The best fantasy/sci fi novel of the last half decade.

Double Dragon Release!

Well, kind of.

The Dragon bit is that I’m at Dragon*Con today and thus won’t be as available as I usually try to be to respond to comments: readings to do, people to see, beers to drink. The double release bit—and I apologize but I’m going to hawk these today like a guy with a case of fake Rollexes—is that I actually have two books out this week!

Well, again, kind of.

The first, which actually came out yesterday is the paperback edition of my first middle grades adventure series, Darwen Arkwright and the Peregrine Pact (Penguin/Razorbill), which can now be yours for the measly sum of nine (count ‘em) bucks. The official target age range is 9-14, but I’ve had good feedback from readers who were a little younger than that and a lot from readers who were considerably older. You know who you are, and yes, your support […]

Continue reading Double Dragon Release!