Friday, June 30, 2006

Sojourn Goes E-Serial

I've been quite amazed at the many ways my current book is reaching my readers. So it is with a great amount of pride that I can announce that my book is now available as an e-series in a new partnership arrangement with Virtual Tales and my publisher, Dragon Moon Press.

Just how does this work? Virtual Tales ( has taken SOJOURN and broken it into 'bite-sized bits' that are sent to your email account twice per week. 5-7 pages at a time, just enough to enjoy on your lunch break or while waiting for a large file to transfer. It's a new concept and I love it. I've been busy penning mini summaries that lead into the next issue (to bring you back into the story). Those have been a bit of a challenge. It's best that they're not "Meanwhile, back at the ranch..."

So if you'd like to try a new way of enjoying a book, visit Virtual Tales and check out SOJOURN (and their other titles). The first four issues are free. And be sure to sign up for the Freedom from Paper Promotion!

That's the latest. Happy 4th of July!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Nashville Notes

As promised, my HyperiCon report. But first, there was the drive to Nashville. A confession: I dislike interstates, especially crowded ones. Drivers tend to take their brains somewhere else but on their driving and I'm not fond of being the guy who pays for that inattention... at 75-80 miles per hour. So I tend to take scenic routes if I-75 North out of Atlanta is involved. For some reason that stretch of concrete to Chattanooga never thins out, unlike I-85 to Greenville. Unfortunately, that adds time to the trip. So what would have been about 4 to 4-1/2 hours to Nashville via the slab (3 hours if you're Toni S) became 6 hours. Yuck. That would have been tolerable if it hadn't been for the thunderstorms. High winds, driving rain, hail while driving a perfectly flat stretch of interstate with virtually no overpasses to shelter underneath. Hail means upper level turbulence, the kind you often see right before this dark shape descends to the earth and makes life really dicey. I pressed on through two hideous rainstorms after a brief stop during the first. The hail did it to me. If you get a ton of hail on hot pavement it melts, creating a dense fog (been there, done that). So I kept moving.

The convention itself was fun. The folks running it are great, the programming was well attended and I had a blast. If I had any problem, it was that the hotel did not have a restaurant and the area around the hotel was not conducive to just trudging out and foraging. I'd barely settled into the bar on Friday night to try to get some bar food when they started the Karaoke. If I dislike interstates, I HATE karaoke. It's a learned dislike from Hong Kong. I'll write about that sometime down the line.

So Friday night's dinner was out of the vending machines (the consuite's P&J sandwiches didn't sound that intriguing) but Sat & Sun perked up. The consuite folks shoveled food in my direction and we braved Nashville traffic Sat evening to make a food and booze run. Life got better.

All in all, the con was a great time. I had a few moments to talk to Sherrilyn Kenyon, who is a very nice lady. Met some new folks, connected with friends and sold books. I'm hoping that the convention continues to grow so they can move into a better hotel with a restaurant. Oh, and other bright note to the weekend -- they had an antique car show in the hotel parking lot. There was this 'Vette..... (sigh)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The Life of Writer or Writer Reality 101

Writer Reality 101 -- It's not the glamorous job you see in the movies (none of my writer buddies look like Johnny Depp) and 99.9% of us barely make enough to buy the odd ink cartridge and ream of paper. Sounds depressing, doesn't it?

It really isn't. It's an obsession up there with most other life-changing addictions. But there are days when even the rush of ordering nouns and verbs into coherent sentences doesn't sound the least bit fun. The sort of day you hope the aliens will land and declare that writing is forbidden from that moment on, on the pain of death. Such was yesterday. A normal day by all accounts, but only a day or so removed from my last convention. I was tired, dog tired (why don't they ever say 'cat tired'?) and the last damned thing I wanted to do was write.

So I escaped the house and the lure of the Electronic Vampire (the Internet) and took up residence at my local coffee house. (Yes, they have Wi-Fi, but I feel guilty if I surf there when I should be working.) I put butt in chair and typed on the keyboard for 4.5 out of the 5 hours I was there. My butt got sore (despite the chair pads I tote along) and I longed for a nap so I finally decamped and headed home. My word count for the day wasn't stellar, but I fleshed out some scenes and realized that Alastair (the alturistic physician in my series) just wouldn't go for the orgy scene, no matter how hard I tried.

That's what it's like to be a writer. Yes, there are the really cool moments, but mostly it's work like anything else. Of course, you can pick your venue (like the coffee house) and your hours (unless you have a real job). It doesn't matter if you're Stephen King, J.K. Rowling or Ima Newbie Writer, the process is the same. Well, actually it would be different for the first two; they'd never get any work done in a public venue as folks would constantly ask for their autograph. Luckily, I do not have that affliction.

In the end, the love of the story becomes manifest and you hit that sweet spot. The book outgrows and transcends you, winging its way out of the nest. Left behind is another tiny egg that needs nurturing, your next book. It's fragile and needs constant attention to grow to fruition.

Time to park your butt, warm up those digits and get to hatching...

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Sci-Fi Summer Con

As noted in my previous blog, SFSC is a much smaller, more intimate con. And it was. The hotel was so-so (but to be fair, after the Adam's Mark in Dallas, almost every hotel will be so-so) but it was still a good time. The panels were a bit eclectic, but it was a nice change from the rigid structure at most conventions. I got to meet new people (Chesya Burke, Christina Barber, D. Lee Hatchett) and b.s. with friends of which there were a fair number. I sold a few books, tried both 12 and 15 yr. Glenfiddich (still taste-testing my merry way through single malt scotch whiskeys) and had a good time. There is something rather cool about wandering down a hallway and finding someone nose deep into your book, oblivious to the world. A very pleasant writer moment.

And now it's time to pack and gas up the Gizmo (the Honda Hybrid) for the road trip to Nashville and HyperiCon. Sherrilyn Kenyon will be there and I'm in awe of her marketing. It'll be a kick to watch her interact with her numerous (okay, squillons) of readers.

Later folks...

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


There are times in a writer's life that everything goes just perfectly. This last weekend was one of them. I spent four days in Dallas, doing my writer thing at A-Kon ( This is a very large Anime convention with 12K+ attendees. The last time I was at an A-Kon it was held at the Hyatt at DFW Airport and had about 6.5K attendees. The con's nearly doubled in three years.

Most conventions are polite to their guests. A-Kon treats me like I just landed a $4 million book contract, appeared on Oprah, won a Hugo and a Nebula and just spent the night with George Clooney. Of course, I have a better chance at all of those but the last (sigh). Now I always try to do my best for a con, even if they're not really busting their cookies for me. I go over the top for A-Kon because I know if they're treating me that well, they're doing the same to the fen. And the fen are what makes a convention (and my books) successful.

I met up with some writer buddies (Melanie "Hoosier Red" Fletcher, Thomas Knowles (and son), Helen McCarthy, P.N. Elrod and Gloria Oliver (no relation). We b.s.'s about life and times, sold some books and put on some good panels.

Melanie, Thomas and I also had the opportunity to work over some new writers during our workshop. The two gentlemen who girded their loins and faced our criticism earn my utmost respect. They had no idea if we were going to be pricks or not. We weren't. We've been there and know that nasty comments do not a writer make. We got good input while we were learning the trade (and still are learning, by the way) and it's only fair we do the same to the newer ones in our midst. Both gentlemen have talent and their ability to take our remarks without losing their cool shows they've got what it takes to make it in this business. I wish them all the best and hope someday to hear they've received their first book contract.

Now that I've overcome my 'con lag' (amazingly short recovery time, by the way) I'm gearing up for Sci-Fi SummerCon here in Atlanta. Much smaller convention, more intimate. And no hassles with security at the airport. Always a plus. I'll post a report next week.

Overhead at A-Kon: "Don't leave! I'll make pudding!"

Friday, June 02, 2006

Gearing Up for 3 in a Row

I'm the bozo who sets my schedule (at least at present) so I'm the one who blithely set up three conventions in a row. I should know better, but there's part of me that loves conventions. I get to meet new people, catch up with friends and yes, sell a few books. Hopefully, a lot of the latter now that I no longer work for myself. Need to make my publisher proud.

The buzz on the new book has been unreal. This one's a winner. I hope to introduce more folks to Jacynda, Alastair & Keats. They're a great crew to write about. And I'd love them even more if they'd make up their minds what they'd like to happen in the second book. "Hey, what if aliens landed on top of Buckingham Palace and..." Not happening, guys. Get with program.

I'll post reports after each con (A-Kon, Sci Fi SummerCon & HyperiCon). Dallas, Atlanta, Nashville. I sound like an announcer in a Greyhound Bus Station...