Wednesday, April 30, 2008

High Tech RavenCon

I'm a tech junkie. I LOVE new stuff. So when Gail Martin was so kind as to share these video blogs with me, I just had to post them. Snippets o'RavenCon without all the travel expense. Day Two features our Wicked Games Launch Party!

Be sure to check out her Ghost in the Machine podcast, as well.

Day 1:

Day 2:

Day 3:

Monday, April 28, 2008


Just returned from Richmond after a five-day stint in that fair city. I had a hectic schedule which is probably why my brains are AWOL today. I flew up on Wednesday and settled into our hotel suite. I had two other roomies this trip: Jean Marie Ward and Jeri Smith-Ready. I've roomed with both of them before and since neither of them felt the need to place a pillow on my face and hold it down, I figured things were good. And they were. All three of us played nicely with each other. It's heaven to have considerate roomies. We understood our individual idiosyncrasies and respected each others.

Jean Marie is a Certified Night Owl (she's got the papers and everything) and Jeri usually goes to bed roughly when I do (11- midnight). Jean Marie does not rise at o'dark thirty in the morning, though she was up at eight a couple mornings in a row. (No, she was not happy about that). Both of the ladies are so quiet you'd never know they were in the room. They probably didn't think the same of me.

Wednesday evening Jean Marie and I headed into downtown Richmond and to Croaker's, a soul food kinda place with excellent fish. Since neither of us had eaten much, we had a feast. That area of Richmond is really cool. The next day I paid for the fact I didn't ask for a feather pillow when I checked in. Massive headache courtesy of the foam pillow. Happens every time. I ate Advil like candy. Didn't do a thing. So I powered through the day as we shopped for booze, munchies, ordered a custom-decorated cake for Jeri's launch party, etc. It was supposed to be a surprise, but when we had to prove that the WVMP logo was not copyrighted or that if it was that we had permission to use it, we had no option but to contact Jeri. Bah... Then we went downtown to the Poe Museum and to dinner at a fine Italian restaurant called Zuppa. Alas, I hurt so much it was hard to enjoy the food. Once I'd completed a particular project (that just had to be out Thurs noc) I drugged myself down and went to sleep about 11:30.

Up at 4 a.m. Yuck. Couldn't sleep any longer. Since I had to get up at 5 a.m. I just took my shower, checked my emails and vegged until I met a number of other zombies in the hotel lobby at 6 a.m. Jean Marie was not one of these. She was sensible. She slept in and did the canal tour of Richmond. I (and many others) went to Monacon High School to talk to the students courtesy of Tee Morris, a Monacon alumni. I did this last year and had a blast. This year was no different. I did a presentation (for two classes) on Jack the Ripper Fiction. The kids were cool and so were the teachers. I wish more conventions arranged this sort of foray into the high schools.

Then it was RavenCon - Friday afternoon I got back to the hotel at 2 p.m., got my con badge, a fifteen minute nap and then moderated a panel on Alternate History. It took full octane Mountain Dew to get through it as I was so toasted. Another panel at 4, opening ceremonies at 8, another panel at nine. I fell into bed at about midnight. We were on the Party Floor. Noise happens on a Party Floor. At least it stopped at one in the morning.

Saturday was full of things to do and Jeri's launch party for Wicked Games (see book cover above). It was also a launch party for Madman's Dance, but my book isn't out until October. So we celebrated Jeri's latest book (an Urban Fantasy with vampires as DJ's at a radio station). I started reading it on the plane to Atlanta and love it. Go buy a copy. We also had promo literature out for Jean Marie's book, With Nine You Get Vanyr.
The party was a blast. Jeri put together a track of classic rock 'n' roll, we had drinkables, munchables and cake. Gotta have cake. It had the WVMP "The Lifeblood of Rock 'n' Roll" logo on it. Really cool. Even better -- Chocolate cake. White frosting. YUM. No one got excessively drunk so the conversation was intelligent and entertaining. The suite was packed.

9 a.m. Sunday -- a panel on Urban Fantasy. How appropriate. Though we didn't get to bed until late, we were amazingly bright. Since Jana failed to get a late checkout time (dumb) we had to hustle to vacate the premises at 11. We did it.

Jeri continues her whirlwind promotion of the new book. Jean Marie is back to work on her latest project and I'm due to hand in the first half of Madman's Dance on Thursday. Thursday, like THIS Thursday. Humm.... Time to go. Thanks for checking in. Put RavenCon on your list of cons to do next April. It's an incredible convention.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Madman's Dance Cover Art

I'm on the downhill slope for the next Time Rovers book - Madman's Dance. Here's the gorgeous cover. The gent and the fiery background are courtesy of L.W. "Lynn" Perkins and the cover design is by Christina Yoder. These are the ladies who designed the other two covers in the series.

I gave Lynn an idea of what the gent looks like (for those who have read the series this is the Genius himself, T.E. Morrisey, the software wizard who created the Time Immersion industry along with Harter Defoe, who was on the cover of Virtual Evil). Theo is a babe.

Lynn and I examined potential backgrounds and finally settled on St. Martin-in-the Fields and the National Portrait Gallery (Trafalgar Square, London) engulfed in flames. When Christina asked the theme of the book, I said "Armageddon". She took it from there. As always, these artists have a talent that leaves me breathless.

Madman's Dance is going to be a long book. Sojourn was 367 pages and this one will be way over 400+ as there is a lot hitting the fan in this story. It's conveniently divided into two sections, not surprisingly entitled Part One and Part Two. Clever huh? So much needs to be resolved, both in 1888 and 2057. Those resolutions will involve not only some of the machinations of the Transitives (shape-shifters) but some personal resolutions, as well.

The manuscript will be sent to the editor May 1. It goes on press mid-July and should be available by October 30th, its launch date. I'm hoping that this one proves even better than Sojourn and Virtual Evil.

And now back to my rewrites. Thanks for sharing my adoration of the cover. I think it's way cool.