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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!

New Book Deal!

So it seems the good news has proliferated out into the wide world of the Internet and Publisher’s Weekly–
 

I’ve signed a two-book deal with Saga Press!

As you can imagine, I am as pleased as Blond Benedict Cumberbatch. Our Lady of the Ice, the first book to be released, was a Nanowrimo novel back in 2012. Yes. 2012. You may recall, but probably don’t, a post I wrote that distilled the book into statistics and one perfectly-chosen gift. This was while I was writing the first draft and actually quite a few things have changed since that fateful day of silliness. With the help of my agent, I’ve since reworked, revised, re-everythinged the manuscript, polishing it to perfection. That Betty Draper gif still holds true, though.

Our Lady of the Ice takes place in a domed city in Argentine Antarctica and follows the story of a female investigator who faces off against a dangerous gangster as humans and robots fight against each other for the city’s independence. I’m so excited that the book has a home, and I can’t wait for you all to read it!

The book is set to be released in fall 2015. You can read more information about the deal here.

Writing Workshops!

I am very pleased to announce that I will be teaching a couple of writing workshops for Writespace Houston this fall! One is a three-hour Saturday course, and the other is a more in-depth six-week course. You want details? Well, I’ve got ‘em!

Tension: The Secrets of 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!

Meeting Saturday, October 4 from 1-4 PM at Writespace Houston. Cost is $30. Click here and scroll down to register.

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.

Meeting for six Wednesdays between October 22nd and December 3rd, with November 26th off, from 6-9 PM at Writespace Houston. Cost is currently $195 but will going up to $230 after October 1! Click here and scroll down to register.

Feel free to contact me if you have any specific questions. I hope to see you there!

Gen Con Schedule

It is officially August, which means it’s the month of my last con of the season! Since I can’t afford to fly out to LonCon, I will instead be spending the weekend of August 13-17 at Gen Con, in lovely Indianapolis! The last time I went to Indiana in the summer my arrival was timed with the start of a massive heat wave, meaning that Indiana’s daily temperatures were the same as Texas, ie, exceedingly high. Let’s pray it doesn’t happen again.

But let’s not talk about the weather! (Just kidding, I love talking about the weather.) Here’s my schedule. No gifs today, though. Forgive me!

Thursday
Writer’s Craft: Romance and Love Stories
2 PM in Room 243

Friday
Writer’s Craft: Twists versus Gimmicks
7 PM in Room 245

Saturday
YA: What Makes it YA?
4 PM in Room 243

YA: Impact of Reader Gender on Your Writing
6PM in Room 243

YA: Thinking Young
7 PM in Room 243

This is my first time at Gen Con, so I’m not totally sure what to expect. As a gaming convention, does this mean I will have the opportunity to paint miniatures? I hope so, because I love painting miniatures. And playing games, I guess.