Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Belated Thanks

I’ve been a little under the weather (and still am) so this post has been delayed. I owe a big belated thank you to several folks both from OmegaCon and the Little Professor.

First, OmegaCon. OmegaCon was a very good con for me. Books-A-Million sold all forty copies of Staked by 2pm Saturday and then Edge Books borrowed some of my author’s copies on a sell and replace basis. They ordered replacement copies of those that sold and are shipping them out to me. All in all, more than sixty copies were sold at the con. This was thanks in no small part to my writers' group who helped run my table so that I could go to my panels, work the halls in the dealer’s room, etc… but it is also thanks to Jack, Sherrilyn Kenyon’s personal assistant, who put a copy of Staked at the mighty Mrs. Kenyon’s register and wore one of my Welcome to the Void t-shirts to help spread the word. As if that was not enough, Sherrilyn wore one of my VOID t-shirts to her autograph session. I was so floored that I still can’t remember what I was supposed to be doing when I walked past the autograph table and saw what she was wearing.

How cool is that?!?

My second big thank you goes out to Sara at the Homewood Little Professor for having me out there for a signing. They printed up posters and mailed out postcards to some of their customers and even let me leave some flyers and bookmarks that they’ll be stuffing into some of the bags at the store. Sara rocks! Go by and check out the store, not to mention Sara’s jewelry which can also be purchased at the Little Professor.

Another big thank you goes out to Dan & Jackie Gamber of Meadowhawk Press . They are absolutely nice folks. Dan even went so far as to put in a good word for me with MidSouthCon when I’d waited far too late to submit a request to attend as a guest. I'm planning to be at MidSouthCon this weekend- just look for my signature VOID T-shirt. (Speaking of which, we'll be selling those soon... everyone seems to want one.)

M.B. Weston deserves a thank you, too. She’s the author of A Prophecy Forgotten. She was one of my table neighbors, and she went above and beyond the call in answering all of my very na├»ve questions about table sales, taxes, etc. She makes a good co-panelist too! She and the Wandering Men were on the Writers' Group Panel with me late on Saturday night. Since the panel was so late, and the panelists and friends of panelists outnumbered the serious attendees, my writers' group turned it into a party and served great appetizers prepared by real chefs, which we left for the panel after us and then moved out into the central hallway for the late night folks. What can I say? I have a great writers' group.

Lastly, a huge thank you goes out to all the nice folks who have taken the time to send me emails letting me know how much they enjoyed the book! I think I replied to everyone, but my apologies if I missed someone.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Wow! When it rains, it pours. I’m Whatever’d and First Book’d today.

John Scalzi posted my Big Idea piece on his Whatever blog today. You can read it: here.

As if that wasn’t cool enough, Scott William Carter was nice enough to post an interview with me to The First Book blog. You can read it: here.

Thanks, John!

Thanks, Scott!

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Weekly J: Scotty Roberts

The Weekly J is a column I'm starting in an effort to keep my blog up-to-date. In it, I'll comment or something I'm watching, reading, listening to, or a cool person I met. Expect more than one of these per week for a while as OmegaCon has left me with lots of great blog fodder.

For my first Weekly J, I'd like to highlight a book for younger readers: The Rollicking Adventures of Tam O'Hare by author and illustrator Scotty Roberts. We met Scotty in the autograph room at OmegaCon.

I've only read a portion of it, but Tam O'Hare looks like it will be the next book in my kids' nightly bedtime rotation after we finish Spiderwick. For more, see Scotty's website for Tam O'Hare wallpaper and a link to his discussion board. He really is "a rescuer of damsels in distress and all around decent chap". He also makes a good table neighbor at a convention. :)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Live and Undead at OmegaCon

I've met several cool people so far at OmegaCon, ranging from the very famous and equally tall Peter Mayhew (that's Chewbacca to you) to David Talon, author of The Last Guardian of Mosh Chaltun. We also picked up a copy or three of The Rollicking Adventures of Tam O'Hare by Scotty Roberts. As to be expected of a first time Con, there's been a small amount of chaos that seems to be smoothing out nicely. If you haven't hit OmegaCon yet, it's well worth the price of admission.

Best of all, the folks over at the Books-A-Million booth have sold at least twelve copies of my book. A special thanks goes out to the members of my Writers' Group, the WTF, for manning my table and sometimes the tables near mine. They'll also be providing a nice surprise for attendees of the 9 PM Writers' Group panel.

Back into the fray,


Friday, March 14, 2008

My Omega*Con Schedule

Above photo is "A Poorly Drawn Map" of the con which is, nevertheless, the best available.

1:30 PM - Get to the Con early, 'cause I'll be signing books in the Author's nook at along with Ann Aguirre and William Jones.

10:30 AM - Yawn, stretch, and come to the blogging panel, where you'll find me along with Lou Anders, Joy Ward, Allen Gilbreath, and William Jones.

7:30 PM - I'll be on the vampire panel with Sherrilyn Kenyon, Allen Gilbreath, Christina Barber, and David Kopaska-Merkel. This should be a fun one!

9:00 PM - For those of us who aren't out partying, there's a Writers' Group panel at 9 PM. I have a fantastic writers' group, but I've known all the members for years. They helped with almost every aspect of editing and revising Staked.

1:30 PM - Full-time job, Part-time writer: the Write More, Sleep Less panel. I'll be there along with Marilyn Kosmatka, Shane Moore, Ted Kosmatka, and M. Keaton.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

My Publication Party: Write a Novel - Get an iPod

The book is officially out there in all the places one might expect to find a new book. Some stores have it in the Fiction/Literature section, so if you don’t see it in Fantasy/Science Fiction, check for it in an alternate spot. I have no idea what that means, exactly, but there ya go.

As you may guess, it’s been a very exciting week for me. My group at work threw me a party on Monday complete with red and black balloons and a huge cake with the cover of the book on it.

Tuesday morning, early, I was treated to a rendition of "Happy Vampire Day to You" performed loudly by a four year old and a six year old. It completely set the celebratory mood.

Tuesday night, I had my Publication Party at the Historic Rucker Place. Lou Anders was nice enough to do the intros and mention the party on his blog here. William H. Drinkard, author of Elom, was in attendance as well. I was completely blind-sided by presents: a cool hardcover edition of Dracula from Dan & Wendy, an iPod from my crazy family, and coolest of all, Chris McGrath sent me a print of the cover art for STAKED. Several people seem to think the guy in the background, behind the S in Staked, looks like me. How cool is that?

The Hunter Lawley Trio provided live music for the event. Hunter sang my favorite of his original songs, Big Daddy, and was even nice enough to pain-stakingly figure out the music to Rudolph, the Red-nosed reindeer at the request of my youngest son. (Tell a four year old that he can request a song and see what you get...)

I’ll be attending William H. Drinkard’s big Elom launch at the Brookwood Books-A-Million on Thursday.

Then, on Friday, OmegaCon will kick into high gear. Shaun Knopf and all the hard-working OmegaCon volunteers have really done a great job setting this thing up. Here’s hoping it goes off without a hitch! Birmingham really needs a cool science-fiction fantasy convention and has never had anything close to OmegaCon before.

There should be several opportunities for me to serve on panels, sign books, etc and we may also have a room party. More on that when I get the final and official schedules. :)

I hope to see you all there!

Monday, March 10, 2008


Sometimes we all need to recharge our creative batteries.

I was thinking about the topic after working on lit track panels for OmegaCon. (It’s only a few days away, BTW – so if you can get there - be there) Everyone had worked VERY hard. Sacrifices of personal time and sanity points were made all around. I felt completely drained, but then I went with some out of town family and my normal Friday Night Crew to the They Might Be Giants concert over at Work/Play here in Birmingham. Even the opening band was great (Oppenheimer, if you were wondering). TMBG did three encores including a version of “Istanbul” that began with a fantastic acoustic guitar solo.

We came home listening to HERE COME THE 1, 2, 3’s with the strains of “Istanbul” and “The Mesopotamians” still ringing in our heads.

Tonight, as I rather sleeplessly wait for the official release of Staked to roll around at midnight (Tuesday March 11th, 2008), I’m listening to Oppenheimer’s debut CD in rotation with a little Robyn Hitchcock via streaming audio (at a friend’s suggestion).

I’ve also been enjoying a good book (Kay Kenyon’s BRIGHT OF THE SKY).

What recharges you? Hugging your little ones (an instant partial recharge most of the time, for me)? Watching a good movie? Hanging out with friends?

Let me know.


Sunday, March 2, 2008


I got an email from a reader (and co-worker) who ordered the book direct from Simon & Schuster. Her copy of Staked was waiting for her on the front porch when she got home from work yesterday. It also looks like the book is shipping from various on-line booksellers as of yesterday. Yay! So order one, read it, and let me know what you think!


I'm really looking forward to my Publication Party at the Historic Rucker Place in Birmingham, AL on March 11th from 5 pm to 7 pm. We're not selling any books there, but if you already have a copy, I'll be happy to sign it for you. The Hunter Lawley Trio have agreed to provide the live music, each room of the house will have a different theme, and the Rucker Place's chef will be cooking up some great appetizers. Hunter has a very bluesy country rock vibe that I really enjoy. Check out his website http://www.hunterlawley.com/ for a sample (Big Daddy's on his Way is my personal favorite although Homemade Porno is hysterical), to buy a copy of his CD, and for show dates.

For those willing to make the trip, OmegaCon will hit the Birmingham downtown Sheraton on March 14-16th and there is an incredible lineup of literary guests... ranging from authors like Ben Bova, David Weber, Eric Flint, David Drake, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Steven Brust, Kay Kenyon, Mike Resnick, Lou Anders, and Alan Dean Foster to newbies like me, Anne Aguirre, and William H. Drinkard. Check out the con site for a more complete list as I'm typing from memory here.

If you get Bright House cable, you can look for my brief appearance alongside William Drinkard on the Dean and Company cable show, which airs on Monday nights. The Deans were really nice to us and to the whole crowd from OmegaCon. Special thanks go to Renda from the OmegaCon staff for setting it all up.