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ArmadilloCon Schedule!

Next weekend I will be attending ArmadilloCon in Austin, Texas. I’m going to be on some kickass panels, plus being in Austin means I get to go to the awesomest toy store and comic book store in all the land. I might also swing by Vulcan Video and stare longingly at their director wall, wishing I had such treasures in my town.

Anyway, on to the panels!

Friday

Game of Thrones: Comparing the Book to the TV Show
6 PM, Ballroom E. Exploring the faithfulness of the adaptation and the high points of the books vs. the show.

Saturday

Reading
11 AM, Southpark B. I’ll read from Our Lady of the Ice, unless you’d rather me read you some of my Stucky fanfiction. I’ll be giving away an ARC of Our Lady of the Ice either way.

Autographing
Noon, Dealer’s Room. You don’t have to have me autograph anything. You can just come say hi.

Kid Scary vs Adult Scary
5 PM, Ballroom D. What are the differences between what scares kids and what scares adults? How do you write scary effectively for both audiences?

SF Movies from Last Year
9 PM, Southpark A. The good, the bad, and a few movies more.

Newspam: Good News, Everyone! Edition

goodnewseveryone

First off, I received word yesterday that Our Lady of the Ice recieved a starred review in Publisher’s Weekly! Which is just

In their review, PW says, “The worldbuilding will sweep readers away, and the entertaining and compelling cast of characters will make excellent company on the journey,” as well as other wonderful things! So excited!

The other bit of good news I have comes courtesy of Writespace Houston, where I teach occasional workshops (more on that in a minute). For those of you who follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably seen me Tweeting about their Indiegogo campaign, which funded yesterday! SUPER MASSIVE CONGRATULATIONS, WRITESPACE!

Because they met their goal, the campaign has been extended with a stretch goal to help fund a VERY cool new project called Writefest. WriteFest is an awesome, one-of-a-kind literary convention that is focused on providing networking and workshop opportunities for new and emerging writers. In particular, it’s going to focus on short fiction and poetry–in all genres. I’m helping out with the planning and am so excited for the additional fundraising opportunity. All donations would be AMAZING, of course, but I’d like to direct your attention to the $40 donation, which gets you a book bundle featuring books from local Houston authors, including me. One of the books I donated is a British paper edition of The Assassin’s Curse, which is currently out of print. Something to keep in mind!

If you are yourself local to Houston, I will be teaching a three-hour Saturday workshop with Writespace on July 11 focused on worldbuilding. I’ve got a very cool collaborative exercise planned that will be lots of fun. The workshop runs from 9:30-12:30 that morning, and costs $45 for non-members. You can register here.

ApolloCon Schedule

I will be a guest at ApolloCon in Houston next weekend (June 19-21). ApolloCon is a great small con–and they changed locations this year so that the hotel is surrounded by food that’s not Taco Bell. Hurray! Jim Hines is the Guest of Honor this year, which I’m pretty excited about, too.

Anyway, here’s my panel schedule, with GIF SPOILERS!

Friday
Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid (8 PM, Cypress): Panelists define and describe horror and its sub-genres

The Audience:

Me Reacting to What the Other Panelists Say:

Saturday
It Stands Alone (2 PM, Pecan): A discussion of non-series genre work and what makes a successful standalone novel.

What goes into making a successful standalone novel? One thing:

Libriomancer: The Movie (3 PM, Pecan): Who would you cast in a Libriomancer movie? With help from the audience,panelists make casting suggestions for the major characters in the Libriomancer series. WARNING: Spoilers happen.

Reading (5:30 PM, Azalea 4): I’ll be reading from Our Lady of the Ice and giving away an ARC of same. Maybe I will have cookies again this year, too! Or maybe I’ll give away ice cream, to keep with the Antarctica theme

Sunday
FanFic: Creative Writing or Self-Indulgence (11 PM, Pecan): Love it or hate it — people write it anyway. Writers discuss fanfic and whether it can be a legitimate start to a writing career or whether it’s all about the ego of the author.

If The Other Panelists Hate Fanfiction:

If They Love Fanfiction:

I might also have an autograph session or two–I’m not sure on that, but I will at the very least let Twitter know if it works out!

Comicpalooza Schedule

I’ll be attending Comicpalooza, the Houston comic con, over Memorial Day weekend. Make sure to stop by the Artist’s Alley table I’ll be sharing with my friend and dystopian fiction author D.L. Young! I will be giving away a couple of ARCs of Our Lady of the Ice so you’ll definitely want in on that. I’ll update this post with a table number and map once I’ve got it. EDIT: We’ll be in Booth #1630! Make sure to stop by!

EDIT AGAIN: Here, have a map:

Comicpalooza Map

Click to embiggen!

I’ll also be on several panels over the weekend. If the line to get Stan Lee to sign your stuff is too long, think of attending one of these instead:

Friday
11:30-12:30: Harry Potter and the Future of Hogwarts
5:30-6:30: SFF Tropes and Cliches: A Guide for Writers

Saturday
5:00-5:00: Talking Young Adult Literature

Sunday
11:30-12:30: The Good Habits of Good Writers
4:00-5:00: Great Characters/Books That Inspire Me

Monday
11:30-12:30: What I Wish I’d Known as a New Writer (I’m moderating this one. Watch out!)

Comicpalooza has a phone app for keeping track of panels and appearances and the like, so if you’re going to attend, I’d suggest downloading it if you can–they’ve been known to change the rooms around at random, presumably to shake things up a bit.

I hope you can make it! If not, Scarlet Witch will just compel you to show up:

The Newsletter Experience

I’ve set up a newsletter! Missives will go out only occasionally, and if you don’t like having to hang around on social media to find out what I’m up to, signing up’s the way to go. There’s a link on my Bio & Contact page, or you can just click thisaway.

If you sign on or before February 28, you’ll be entered to win a signed and personalized copy of The Assassin’s Curse! Paper copies are a rare thing these days, and I myself only have a couple of author copies left. The contest is open world-wide, too.

I’ll contact the winner via email, a newsletter being an email-based affair.

Newspam: February Edition

I’ve got a trio of delicious announcements for you, all paired with random gifs. Why random gifs, you ask? Because I was scrolling through my gif collection this morning and found some gifs I’d forgotten about.

Announcement the First: I will be participating in Month of Letters this year! I did this last year and I had a blast. This year, I’ve got my stationary, my pens, and a sheet of Batman (Forever) stamps. You can write a note to me or to one of my characters, and I’ll respond accordingly. Write me at PO Box 462, Katy, TX, 77492

Announcement the Second: I’ll be teaching a workshop with Writespace Houston this February. The topic is “Writing Effective Prose” and I’m hard at work planning the best workshop I can. It’s a three-hour Saturday workshop, meeting February 21 from 1-4 PM. Here’s a link to the registration page if you’re interested. Only thirty bucks if you’re a Writespace member! (And $45 if you’re not, which is still pretty good).

Announcement the Third: So I’ve been getting a lot of emails over the past couple of months. Emails I’ve let languish because I didn’t have a response. If you wrote one such email, I apologize, and I’m going to try and respond to them during the month of February. The emails were all asking the same thing: Where can I get a copy of The Assassin’s Curse?

Well, I’m happy to announce that The Assassin’s Curse and the rest of the series are now once again available as ebooks. Paper copies may be a bit harder to come by, though. There’s stuff going on behind the scenes with these books that I can’t talk about yet, but I did want to let people know the ebooks are back up and running.

I’l let you know more when I can!

Our Lady of the Ice Cover Reveal!

IT’S FINALLY HERE!!!

(Imagine that part in glitter text; I’m too lazy to go scrounge some up.)

Anyway, the Twitter alerts on my phone are going nuts, which means my post about covers has posted to Terrible Minds. I wrote about some well-known covers that I really enjoy, and then, at the end, reveal the Our Lady of the Ice cover!

Which is flipping gorgeous, by the way. Major kudos go to the designer, Saga’s associate art director Michael McCartney, and the artist, Federico Bebber. Have a peek yourself:

OLOTI Med

In the post I let the cover speak for itself, but I’ll go ahead and post the blurb here:

Hope City, Antarctica. The southernmost city in the world, with only a glass dome and a faltering infrastructure to protect its citizens from the freezing, ceaseless winds of the Antarctic wilderness. Within this bell jar four people–some human, some not–will shape the future of the city forever:

Eliana Gomez, a female PI looking for a way to the mainland.

Diego Amitrano, the right-hand man to the gangster who controls the city’s food come winter.

Marianella Luna, an aristocrat with a dangerous secret.

Sofia, an android who has begun to evolve.

But the city is evolving too, and in the heart of the perilous Antarctic winter, faction will clash, dreams will shatter, and that frozen metropolis just might boil over…

Our Lady of the Ice will be released in fall 2015, but until then, you can go ahead and add it to Goodreads, if you’d like!

Looking Back, Looking Forward

These are the three works I released this year. Interestingly, all three of the publishers are now gone (although I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that in the case of Superficial Flesh, I did know that issue would be the last). I’m not sure what that says about 2014.

The Wizard’s Promise is a YA adventure fantasy novel, a sequel of sorts to the first two Assassin’s Curse books. And like the first two Assassin’s Curse books, it’s currently out of print. I’m working to get the rights back, but so far, all my YA novels remain in limbo.

Ursula Major, Ursula Minor is a short story published in the Fog Horn, a neat little digital magazine that published a wide variety of genres. Ursula Major was the very first time I was ever invited to submit a story to a publication, so that makes it special to me. The story follows a robot’s relationship to the family of his creator, and the issue’s cover illustrates the story. Very neat!

What Little Girls Are Made Of is a short story published in Superficial Flesh, a kickass zine put together by my friend and Clarion West mate Lauren Dixon. My story deals with women’s relationship to weight and their bodies, and in fact the entire issue issue is themed around women. It features some absolutely gorgeous artwork and stories, and I really suggest checking it out.

model_office

So what does 2015, aka the future, hold for me? A snazzy new office? Probably not. But I do have a couple of projects winging their way to you.

The one that I can talk about is Our Lady of the Ice, a new science fiction novel from Saga Press! It takes place in a domed city in Antarctica and follows a group of characters as they vie for positions of power. Robots! Pretty ladies! Moral ambiguity! Gangsters! Lots and lots of snow! I’ll be revealing the cover soon–like, this week soon. I can’t wait to show it off, too, because it’s flipping amazing.

The project I can’t talk to you about is . (That’s a clue by the way.) I am super excited about this project and can’t wait to tell you about it AND get started on it. More soon!

Spring Writing Workshops

I just wanted to drop by the old blog to let you know that I will be teaching three workshops with Writespace this spring!

Weekend Workshops

Crafting Effective Prose: All stories requires fascinating characters and a compelling plot to be successful. But how do we reveal those characters and stories? Movies get images, music, and sound. Comic books get art and writing. Prose fiction, though, just gets words.

In this workshop, we’ll examine these powerful building blocks of fiction by focusing on the importance of effective prose. How can the prose of a story highlight and enhance classic story elements like character, structure, and plot arcs? How many metaphors are too many? Should we all just be trying to write like Hemingway? Through a combination of writing exercises and discussion of classic examples of effective prose, we’ll answer these questions and more.

Saturday, February 21, 1-4 PM, $30-45. Registration Information

Tension: How to Build It, Keep It, and Increase It: Nothing keeps a reader turning pages like tension! In this three-hour workshop, we’ll consider how writers can effectively build tension in their writing. Together, we’ll discuss the elements of tension, from cliff hangers to pacing, from character motivations to story stakes. We’ll dissect some high-tension examples from published stories and participate in several writing exercises in order to put these elements to work. Bring a laptop or pen and paper and be prepared to write, share, and try new things!

Oh, and what’s this? A freebie? Attendees will receive a $15 gift certificate to Cassandra Clarke’s April 22nd-May 27th Science Fiction and Fantasy Workshop.

Saturday, Pi Day (March 14), 1-4 PM, $30-45. Registration Information

Six-Week Hybrid Workshop

Science Fiction and Fantasy: Do you take your fiction with a side of aliens, superheroes, dragons, or witches? Then this is the workshop for you!

This course will provide an overview of the SFF genre. Together we will consider those elements of writing which are crucial to crafting compelling speculative stories, such as building our own worlds, extrapolating the fantastic from reality, and creating compelling non-human characters. In addition to discussing classic and contemporary SFF works, you will participate in writing exercises and bring in your own work for critique. Come to class prepared to write and discuss, and by the end of the six weeks, you will have completed at least one SFF short story.

This workshop will actually be a hybrid online/in-person class. Three out of the six weeks we will meet for three hours once a week in the studio; the remainder of the workshop will take place online. This is great for people who don’t want to drive downtown during rush hour traffic.

Starts Wednesday, April 22; In-studio meetings will meet April 29, May 13, and May 27 from 6-9 PM. $170-205, with early bird pricing ($25 off!) until April 8. Registration Information

Upcoming Appearances

I’m going to be out and about (in Houston at least) through the end of the year! If you’re in town, perhaps you can swing by:

First off, I’ll be teaching a six-week workshop on science fiction and fantasy for Writespace Houston. Here’s the workshop descriptions:

Do you take your fiction with a side of aliens, superheroes, dragons, or witches? Then this is the workshop for you!

This course will provide an overview of the SFF genre. Together we will consider those elements of writing which are crucial to crafting compelling speculative stories, such as building our own worlds, extrapolating the fantastic from reality, and creating compelling non-human characters. In addition to discussing classic and contemporary SFF works, you will participate in writing exercises and bring in your own work for critique. Come to class prepared to write and discuss, and by the end of the six weeks, you will have completed at least one SFF short story.

The workshop will run on Wednesdays between Oct. 22 and Dec. 3rd from 6-9 PM at Writespace. We will have November 26 off. The registration cost is $230. There’s also a Facebook event page!

Secondly, I’ll be returning to my undergraduate university, the University of St. Thomas , for a reading! I’ll be reading a selection from Our Lady of the Ice (and possibly from something else, too!) at the UST Art Gallery. The reading will be on Monday, November 3 at 7:30 PM. The street address is 3907 Yoakum in Houston. I always love an excuse to go back to Montrose.

Finally, I will be appearing at an event at the Maud Marks Branch Library in Katy, TX. The event is called Celebrate Local Authors and will be on Saturday December 6 from 1-5 PM. I’ll be hanging around to talk about my writing as well as Writespace Houston.

Hope you can make it!