The Sounds of Silence

Sorry I’ve not posted the past few weeks. Things have been in transition here for me… in a good way, but a very time-consuming and busy way.

In fact, this is just a quick post to let you know I’m still around. I just don’t have much free time at the moment. Much still needs to be sorted and organized… plus Holidays.

I will give a more thorough update when I can.

And not to forget…

Brandon Garrison, a coworker and one of the Red Shirt winners for Maelstrom of Fate, was killed this past Thursday morning in a head-on collision on his way home from work. He leaves behind a wife and two small daughters. My condolences and prayers go out to his family.

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Captain’s Log: HallowCon 2017

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I will say right now that I thoroughly enjoyed my first attendance of HallowCon, and I will definitely add this convention to the list of those I regularly attend.

JoeDog McKeel’s first chairing of this con was a success despite all the last minute obstacles which popped up (mostly in the form of passive aggressive resistance from the hotel). Needless to say, HallowCon will be in a different location next year, as unwelcome as the convention and con-goers were made to feel.

I did not have a room at the hotel, being local and able to go home every night; so I will not go into detail on the complaints I heard from those who did book rooms. I will, however mention observations I made about the common areas.

First off, the lack of working electrical outlets along the hallway used for Author’s Alley was aggravating. These were working the day before the con started but not at all during the entire weekend. Thankfully, a working outlet was discovered in the breakfast area at the end of the hall, and a charging station could be set up for members and guests to keep their devices operational.

Some might say, “Who needs to be on their phone/tablet/laptop during a convention?” Please keep in mind, those of us there to sell our works/products often use our devices in tandem with card reading apps to allow us to make credit sales as well as cash sales.

The one other thing I found troubling about the venue was the lack of a handicap accessible bathroom stall in the restroom just off the lobby for common area use. How is that legal and up to code?

All that aside, the con was a blast and a much needed break from Mundania. Being a Halloween convention, there was no lack of cosplay and costuming. (The difference between those terms is whether a costume represents a specific character/creature or just a generic style of costume.) I made a few new friends and reconnected with some old ones.

There were also a few missed opportunities I wish I had taken.

Across the hallway and just a little catty-corner from my table spot was the author/media guest, Santiago Cirilo (Julio from season 4 of The Walking Dead). I never really tried to introduce myself or get to know him. I know I may come across as bold and outgoing sometimes, but I can find my introverted side taking dominance when faced with someone with genuine celebrity. I also allowed myself to be intimidated by his energy and exuberance. Still, what I observed of him leads me to believe he is a genuinely nice person. I hope he will forgive my shyness.

The Charity Auction this year benefitted the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. JoeDog and Donna McKeel chose this charity in honor of their granddaughter, who suffers from this condition. Joe added an additional 10% of the total funds raised by the auction to the donation. At the last report I heard, $1000 was raised just in the auction. I donated a full set of books.

As for the Con Suite, I must say this was the best food I’ve ever had at a convention.

My sales weren’t great, but they were better than at some conventions I attended earlier this year. I had a total of one customer, but she bought a full set of the series.

This marked my second time to attend a showing of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, and the first time to see one with a shadow cast acting out the movie along with it. Quite the experience, I must say.

Yes, I did the Time Warp again.

This audience was a bit more raucous than the one I previously viewed it with at Chattacon a couple of years ago.

As expected, a large number of guests and con-goers departed early on Sunday. Some came from as far away as Mississippi to attend this con and had to be back to work Monday morning.

I’m looking forward to next year.

I’d like to give a quick shout out to Edwin Morgan. He was promoting/recruiting for the Catoosa County 2017 Film Festival which will be in Ringgold, GA December 1-3. I wish I could attend, but I’ve exhausted all my paid time off for this year. Hopefully, I’ll have some to spare for next year. Also, it was some of his brood who kept raiding the candy and pirate swag (plastic coins, Mardi Gras beads, and glass pebbles) I placed out as freebies. I received several thank you hugs from one of his daughters.027

Don’t let the cute mini-Harley outfit fool ya; she’s a pirate at heart.

If you want to see more pics from the con, I have them up on FB here.

 

Please Stand By

I promise I will post a full report on HallowCon by this coming weekend. 11 hour work shifts and other concerns have had to take priority.

Also, for financial reasons, I will probably NOT be attending ConNooga in 2018. I WILL be at Chattacon; I already have a table reserved in the Dealer Hall. I just don’t think I’m going to be in a position to afford doing two cons that close together next year.

HallowCon Approacheth!

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That’s right boys and ghouls! This will be my last convention of the year as well as my first time attending HallowCon. This con has been going for a long time, and is now under new management (JoeDog McKeel) and in a new location (Quality Inn & Suites).

As you may guess from their graphic, the Rocky Horror Picture Show is this year’s theme. You have been warned.

I will have a table in the vending area as well as being a panelist. By the time you see this, I should have my Appearances page updated with my schedule.

As I’ve stated in previous posts, I will have 10 copies each of each of my Waves of Darkness titles available for purchase. That is 70 books. I really don’t want to have to cart them back home. This will also be your last chance to get them at the old price. Because of a rate hike at the printer’s, my publisher has raised the retail price (on print copies), as well.

Get ’em while they’re cheap!

BloodCurse9DemonBayou9-72dpiSilent_FathomsBlack-Venom-cover-take2Hell's Dodothe_daedalus_enigma_cover_5Maelstrom of Fate proposed cover

State of the Book

Maelstrom of Fate is now available in print format on Amazon, at least. It may take a few days to show up on Books-A-Million or Barnes and Noble. The only reason I can come up for why it or last year’s The Daedalus Enigma haven’t shown up on Kobo is the erotica tag both books received on Smashwords. Just a theory, though.

Make no mistake; the books are NOT erotica, but they both have at least one scene which falls in that category. I am the first to admit I did not write this series for children or the overly sensitive/easily offended.

Meanwhile, I’m considering adding a character profile for Hell’s Breath Island. The island is sentient, and it’s personality does make itself known in these last two books. I found a great photo to use for it on one of the pirate groups I’m a member of on Facebook. Photo courtesy of Patrick Yanaton; used with permission.

Hell's Breath-photographer Patrick Yananton

Don’t forget to come by Hallowcon October 27-29 if you’re in the Chattanooga area then. I will be offering signed copies of all my books for less than the current retail. Some of the prices are just the original retail rates and/or convention bundle discounts. The printer my publisher uses raised their rates back in September. Maelstrom of Fate will retail at $18.99, but I will be selling copies for $15+tax at Hallowcon ONLY. Starting next year at Chattacon (which has moved from the Chattanooga Choo Choo to The Chattanoogan) all single copy prices and bundle discount prices will reflect the new retail rates.

I will produce and post three new excerpt readings videos in the coming month or so (as free time allows) for Maelstrom. I also plan to add it to my Take a Pirate Home for Christmas ad campaign and will probably do a video for that, as well.