Captain’s Log: LibertyCon 33, Gone Virtual

Had a blast at LibertyCon this past weekend. This was the first time I’ve attended a convention virtually. Not as surreal as I thought it would be, and being able to watch panels in the same time slot instead of having to pick one proved to be a definite plus. Still, I missed actually SEEING my con family. Also, looking at vendor and artist pages just isn’t as satisfying as shopping in person.

One big plus, however, was using Discord for discussions, author readings, and interaction with the panelists (even if the panel was pre-recorded, we were asked to be available on the assigned channel for live discussion during our time slots). It also makes writing this post easier, since I can scroll through the discussions to cherry pick interesting moments, rather than rely on memory.

One such conversation happened during the Very Vocal Vampire Voices panel (the only one I was on this year, and was recorded a few weeks prior to the convention).

David Bogen:I thought lawyers were top of the heap. KB Bogen: Just below politicians. David Bogen: A vampire lawyer? Tom Tinney, BikerNerd: They should be the favorite food. Brian412: That is a terrifying thought. Taking someone to court claiming that vampires have a right to their blood or some s**t. Tom Tinney, Biker Nerd: Easily defeated. Schedule the trial for 10 AM in morning and they’re no show. Tamara Lowery: And this is how anthologies are born outside of a bar. David Bogen: Yes! KB Bogen: That’s what the Renfield character is for. David Bogen: Brings new meaning to Night Court … Tom Tinney, Biker Nerd: I miss Markie Post and John Laroquette. Jamie Ibsen: Staring Harry T Stone, the Gargoyle Judge.

Sometimes just a couple of comments, with no apparent context pop up.

EvilPengiun: hmm, how to stimulate the memory of scotch without the actual drinking of scotch. Would that count as non-alcoholic scotch? Robert E. Hampson (Speaker): More importantly, how long can the grad student RIDE the cross between the triceratops-bison?

Yeah, it’s best not to ask.

For those interested, EvilPenguin aka Brent Roeder (whose nickname got changed in a later panel to Dr. EP then just Dreep), and Robert E. Hampson aka Speaker-to-Lab-Animals, are both neuroscientists. Yep, they stick thingies in people’s brains or hack thingies people already volunteered to have stuck in their brains and study them. Dreep even mentions multiple times that there are things he’s not allowed to talk about, which may explain this next exchange in chat.

EvilPenguin: I’m waiting for the science groupies I was promised. Tara Urbanek: EvilPenguin we got you groupies. You didn’t like them! Just because they were UNDEAD groupies. You are so picky. I literally made them in the basement. EvilPenguin: When was this?I don’t remember any groupies. Did I have to ablate my memory again? Tara Urbanek: …yes again.

Are you beginning to see why this is one of my favorite conventions?

And then there was the Moose.

tcavlee: So what does everyone think of one Moose for a battle situation? Jamie Ibsen: One battle, one moose. Marisa Wolf: A moose bit my sister. tcavlee: @Jamie Ibsen exactly. Kevin Ikenberry: Moose bites are quite nasty. Rob Howell: The Minister of Moose has spoken. Major Mayhem: Mind you moose bites are quite nasty. tcavlee: I have seen a Moose tear up a semi who honked at them. Casey Moores: My sister was bit by a moose once. Yvonne A Jacobs: The hell are they doing that close to a moose?! Marisa Wolf: Looking for the holy grail? Rob Howell: So, the MooseSha are allowed, right boss? Marisa Wolf: Whew, I believe it! Yvonne A Jacobs: MooSha. Casey Moores: No really! She was carving her initials on the moose with the sharpened end of an interspace toothbrush given her by Svenge — her brother-in-law — an Oslo dentist and star of many Norwegian movies: “The Hot Hands of an Oslo Dentist”, “”Fillings of Passion”, “The Huge Molars of Horst Nordfink” … mrklevel3: MooSha! tcavlee: LOL it was crossing the road and stopped to take a look at them. The driver blew his horn like you would a cow and pissed it off and lost his truck. Rob Howell: That’s too bovine! Casey Moores: I apologize for the false post. The person responsible has been sacked.

I admit, I’m not really sure what was meant in the MooSha sub-thread there. It didn’t stop me from adding “MooSha MooSha MooSha” to it, though. They soon went on to calling Canadian geese cobra-chickens, which is fairly accurate for any breed of goose.

This last conversation I’ll share just tickled me.

Michael K. Falciani: I remember when the electric typewriter was the big new thing. WJ Roberts: that’s cause you’re old. Michael Hanson: Old but with attitude! Michael K. Falciani: I prefer, “well preserved” thank you very much! Michael J. Allen: Those embalming fluid smoothies really do make a difference.

I did not watch the Mad Scientist Roundtable this year, though if it got recorded (it was live streamed), I plan to go back and watch it. Instead, I watched the Atlanta Radio Theater Company production. I usually end up missing that at live cons because of scheduling.

That pretty much wraps up my report on LibertyCon 33, other than membership for LC 34 has increased to 1000. Memberships purchased back in 2019 for LC 33 will roll over to 34, since 33 was virtual, unlimited, and free to all. The remaining 250 memberships will go on sale on LibertyCon’s Eventeny page (link on LC’s website) at noon Eastern time July 23. They will sell out fast.

Alpha Away!

The last two chapters of Hunting the Dragon are finally typed up and will be sent to my alpha reader by this evening. I also have feedback from her on several previous chapters waiting in my inbox.

Progress on what I hope is the last revision/proofread round on Blood Curse 2nd edition (which will be a sort of 10th anniversary edition if I can get it out this year) is slow, but well worth it.

I went into this one originally just to fix my punctuation snafu mentioned in my previous post, as well as insert accented letters; something the free Word app either doesn’t do, or I haven’t figured out how to do with it. It’s turned into line editing and seriously tweaking the prose one more time. I’m really enjoying it, even though I’m only 15 pages in.

My biggest problem is fighting off the impatience and wanting to do ALL the book things at once. I blame my newest addiction for this enthusiasm which must be bridled: booktube channels. For those yet to discover them, YouTube has a couple of genres which truly feed an author’s needs: booktube and authortube.

Booktube channels are primarily collections of videos about book reviews and sometimes book clubs/fans. Many of these channels can give books a wider audience than just promoting on social media and at conventions.

Authortube seems to consist of authors’ channels or videos with publishing and writing tips. For me, especially last year after so many conventions were canceled, these filled my need/desire for writing and book promoting panels. Plus, it gave me fresh perspectives beyond the familiar ones from the conventions I’ve been haunting for years.

I do have plans to revive and bulk up my own channel eventually.

Some day.

Oh! Before I forget, I recently took part in the recording of a panel for the upcoming virtual LibertyCon. The title of the panel is Very Vocal Vampire Voices. Look for it when LibertyCon goes live the last weekend of June. Since it’s virtual, it’s FREE and without an attendance cap.

Captain’s Log: Chattacon 45

Pirates and vampires gaming in the consuite: how perfect is that? (Hey, I saw fangs, so I stand by the statement.)

I think this year’s Chattacon was probably the best one since they left the Chattanooga Choo Choo as a venue. It took place at The Doubletree by Hilton in Chattanooga, TN. The dealer room was a mite smaller than the space we had at the Read House, last year, but larger than the space we had at The Chattanoogan the year before. The hotel seemed very con friendly, and some of the Choo Choo’s former staff are there, as well.

My sales weren’t as good as I’d hoped, but I know that sometimes my target audience is in attendance and sometimes not. Sunday was my best day. I managed to sell all the jigsaw puzzles I brought just to get rid of, one print of Young Queen and Rider and two copies of The Girl Who Fell from the Sky. Still, I have secured a spot in the dealer hall for next year.

I did manage to get some artwork and a little writing done. The artwork is waiting approval from my commissioner, of course.

I enjoyed visiting with my convention family, and even attended a few panels after the dealer room closed each day. I won the silent bid on a nifty little print by Theresa Mather titled Cephalopirates, received a lovely print from my table neighbor, John E. Kaufman, for sharing the use of my card reader, and purchased a copy of the book What Do You Do with a Drunken Sailor? about unexpurgated sea shanties; definitely NOT for children and quite raunchy, to boot. I REGRET NOTHING!

014013

One of the highlights of the con for me was going in the consuite after the bellydancing show (the Merry Bellies did a vampire club theme this year) and arriving just in time for a group sing of Bohemian Rhapsody followed by Paradise by the Dashboard Lights and wound up with dancing to The Time Warp. Have I mentioned, I’m sure I have, that Chattacon is both a great sci/fi/lit convention AND a partycon? You really should come check it out next January. Just follow the link to their site and preregister. It will be held at the Doubletree again.

Pre-con Diversion

Vik

Sorry for such a drop-down to the image. While I was able to clean up the clutter on the original sketch, I couldn’t get my ancient computer to let me crop the darn thing. Maybe because I saved it as a .png? I’m really not that tech savvy, and I don’t have the kind of time needed to play around with programs to truly get the hang of them. (I used MS Paint to edit the pic, for crying out loud.)

Anywho, this is a sketch I drew of Viktor during one of the slow times at my table at Chattacon last month.

While I will be attending ConNooga this weekend, I am not running a table this year. Finances are a bit tight with the new house and learning the hard way I have the highest charging water and electric utilities in the county.

That being said, I do still have several copies of all 7 titles in the Waves of Darkness series available. If anyone is going to be at the con and is interested in purchasing them, look for the middle-aged pirate wench pushing a roller bag around. If I don’t have the title you want with me Friday, we can just set up a time to meet Saturday or Sunday, and I’ll bring it/them then.

HallowCon Approacheth!

hollowcon2017-forweb-large_orig

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

Long-running Scripts Suck Ditch Water

Finally was able to make this post. All weekend I’ve been unable to access the add post feature on this site due to a long running script which resulting in WordPress not responding.

I am nearly through going over the PDF my publisher sent me for approval for Maelstrom of Fate. Once I get it back to them and the needed corrections are made, it should be on to publication. I should definitely have print copies available for HallowCon. I have ten copies each of the previous six titles already on hand to take to the con with me. As is my usual practice, I will be offering convention exclusive book bundle deals.

I also added a landing page under the Books and Short Stories tab for Maelstrom of Fate. It only has the blurb and the cover art right now. I will add purchase links, video readings, and reviews as they become available.

Maelstrom of Fate proposed cover

Maelstrom of Fate Cover Art Complete

Finally.

Of course I still need to take the painting to Staples and have it scanned and scaled down to the correct 6″ x 9″ size. The painting is 9″ x 13.5″, acrylic on canvas board.

010

For anyone wondering, since I only mentioned the fact in a couple of places in the entire 7 book series, Viktor Brandewyne is half Cherokee, hence the darker complexion. (It’s mentioned in Blood Curse during the conversation with Mother Celie about his curse, and in either Black Venom or Hell’s Dodo when Viktor explains to Lady Carpathia why he’s so dark skinned even after being a vampire for a few years. I admit I forget the exact timelines of some of my subplots and have to skim back through the books to pinpoint certain references.)

Here’s the progression of the painting:

002

007

008.jpg

010

And here are close ups of some of the details:

011

Exploding ships

012

Mamaan Juma and her zombies

013

Graveyard and blood red irises

014

Viktor

I admit, I’m still not happy with the image of Viktor. I think I got his face too narrow; and I know it will take a lot of practice to get painting a face on a par with my ability to do a colored pencil portrait.

I also apologize for the glare on the image. Acrylic is a rather shiny medium.

The next step after I have a reduced copy made is to scan that into my computer and send it on to my publisher.

Final Maelstrom of Fate Redshirt Winners

I wish to thank Sandra Ward, aka Con Mommy, for her assistance with the final redshirt drawing for Maelstrom of Fate, held at LibertyCon 30.

I extend a hearty congratulations to Doug Crowe and Aaron Plotkin for winning the final two slots. You both are killed fairly quickly, but you get the honor of getting one shot in each before your demise. (Read below the video for additional redshirt news.)

Doug, since you managed to win in this drawing, I will be removing your Tuckerization (where you’re written in as a character but not killed off) from season two of The Adventures of Pigg and Woolfe, my upcoming Steampunk serial, and awarding that spot to Snow Hawkins.

Also, as stated in an earlier post, my ConNooga redshirt winner, Jonathon Morris, was disqualified from appearing in Maelstrom for being excessively annoying. I have slightly relented my stance and will be redshirting him in season two of TAoPaW by incineration after taking a bullet for one of my main characters. (A back broken by a hungry vampire was just too swift and easy a death for him.)