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Where to find me at FenCon XIV

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I’m really looking forward to my return visit to FenCon this year. It’s one of my favorite conventions, and after a gap of a couple of years I’m glad to be back, and hopefully will once more be attending on an annual basis going forward.

I have an interesting line up of panels scheduled for this year, and you can find me at the following times, discussing a variety of topics.

  • Friday  3:00 PM  – 4:00 PM  – It’s time for Makeover – Remake This  
  • Friday  4:00 PM  – 5:00 PM   – Comics 101
  • Saturday  10:00 AM  – 10:30 AM – Reading
  • Saturday  10:30 AM  – 11:00 AM  Dealer’s Room    – Signing
  • Saturday  1:00 PM  – 2:00 PM  Writing About What You Don’t Know
  • Saturday  3:00 PM  – 4:00 PM   – Model Building 101
  • Sunday  10:00 AM  – 11:00 AM   – The Hollywoodization of Comic Book Conventions
  • Sunday  12:00 PM  – 1:00 PM   – You Collect What!
  • Sunday  2:00 PM  – 3:00 PM   – We’ll Miss You Missy, but Good Riddance Moffat!

Hope to see you there. You can find out all the convention details RIGHT HERE.

 

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Treking my way through ArmadilloCon

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ArmadilloCon time is almost upon us. The literary festival in Austin was one of the first SFF conventions I attended and in many ways it remains my favorite. I’ve made a lot of friends at the con over the years, and always enjoyed some great conversations and discussions on the various panels I’ve been on. This year looks like it’s going to be another good one with some great writers and artists in attendance. We’ll all be congregating at the Omni Southpark Hotel in Austin between august 4th and 6th, so come join us.

You’ll be able to catch me chatting about various subjects including:

  • Writing Golden Age Fiction Today (Friday at 5:00pm)
  • Social Media For Writers (Saturday at 10:00am)
  • Star Trek: TNG – A Generation Later (Saturday at 4:00pm)
  • The State of Comics (Sunday at 11:00am)
  • Best SF TV Series Evah! (Sunday at 2:00pm)

On Saturday at noon I’m scheduled to do a reading, and it’s traditional at these sort of events to read something from your latest works.  I’m lucky in that in the past month I’ve had two books published which contain my work….

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…. but I’m not sure Enterprise Information Management or the pulp adventures of a 1930s New York private eye are a good fit for an SFF audience.

But then today I found out about the following bit of news.

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The upcoming release of a book about the 30th anniversary of Star Trek: The Next Generation, in which I have one of the essays. And am I not moderating a panel on this very subject the same day? – Problem solved.

So if you come along to my reading I’ll regal you with my unique take on the original series episode “Specter of the Gun” from the earlier companion volume of essays, and give you a sneak peek at my thoughts about the controversial Next Generation episode “Skin of Evil.

Hope to see you there.

 

 

 

July Rambling at ArmadilloCon

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It’s great to be living back in Texas. This month saw us move back to our adopted hometown of Austin after a few years away. We really missed the creative community here and the “welcome home” messages have been humbling and overwhelming.

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One of the staples of our years in Austin has been the annual get together at ArmadilloCon and this year will be no different as I’ll be rounding out the month at the convention participating the following panels:

Friday – July 29th

  • Book Collecting
  • 6:00 PM-7:00 PM Ballroom E
  • Muenzler, Person, Porter*, Weisman
  • Panelists will tackle topics including: choosing what to collect, finding collectible books, cataloging the collection, tools for managing a wish list, preservation, and determining the value of a collection.
  • Comic Books You Should Be Reading
  • 10:00 PM-11:00 PM Ballroom F
  • Benjamin, Mark Finn, Humphrey, Porter*, Rogers
  • What comics should we be reading, and why?

Saturday – July 30th

  • Art of the Short Story
  • Noon-1:00 PM  – Southpark A
  • Afsharirad*, Eudaly, M.A. Finn, Person, Porter, Scarber
  • What makes a good short story? How do you as a writer unlock this form?
  • Time Travel Stories
  • Sat 8:00 PM-9:00 PM Southpark A
  • Gibbons, Jewell*, Maresca, Porter, Schwarz
  • What time travel stories do we love in books and on screen? What are the pitfalls? What are the rules for telling time travel stories that work?

Sunday – July 31st

  • Writing as a Day Job
  • Noon-1:00 PM Southpark A
  • Allen, Chu, Ewing*, Fletcher, Porter, Sisson
  • How do you manage having writing as a day job, when you are not writing for yourself?
  • Autographing
  • Sun 1:00 PM-2:00 PM Dealers’ Room
  • Porter, Rose, Waldrop

If you’re in the Austin area, come along and join us for what is always a fun, engaging weekend.

 

 

 

 

 

The June Ramble

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June was a month of Conventions and Quatermain. So let’s start with our favorite jungle adventurer. As I mentioned in last month’s Ramble I’d heard that there was an audio edition of my Allan Quatermain story “Golden Ivory” in production. Well a few weeks ago it was released on Audible.com for download and your listening pleasure. As a side note voice actor Jem Matzan posted an interesting article on his blog about how he decided on the different character voices. Its an interesting behind the scenes insight into a side of producing an audio adaptation that I hadn’t thought much about. When I write a story the characters tend to have distinctive voices in my head, but I never imagined having to produce those voices for real, and how you would go about that.

This month I also finished and turned in my new Allan Quatermain novella “Stones of Blood.” The story is scheduled to be included in the upcoming second volume of Allan Quatermain: The New Adventures. I can’t say much about the story as yet, but as a taster it does include a reference to this somewhat incongruous historical scene.

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The two conventions in June were very different in size and scope, but were both great fun. Early in the month was the Peoria Artists and Comics Expo, just in its second year. It was a friendly local con, and we had a great time chatting with a lot of first time convention goers. I also participated in a panel entitled “Storytellers” which proved to be a fun exchange with a interested and engaged audience.

The following weekend I was off to Houston, Texas for Comicpalooza. I last did this show four or five years ago, and boy has it grown in the meantime. Now covering all three floors of Houston’s main convention center, it was a lively and bustling show with something for every member of the family, and every branch of pop-culture and science. It was also one of the best organized large conventions I’ve attended. I appeared on several panels covering subjects such as “Marketing for Writers,” “What Editors Really Want,” “Sherlock is Everywhere,” and “Alternate History.” All were great subjects and the panels were fun and informative. I also got a chance to catch up with several friends, and make a few new ones along the way. One of the highlights of Comicpalooza for me was the “Pros At Cons” podcast interview I did with the team from CCP Comics. It was one of the most relaxed and wide ranging interviews I think I’ve ever done. You can find it on-line at SoundCloud.

Next up on the convention list is a return to one of my perennial favorite events, ArmadilloCon in Austin, Texas. You can catch me there between July 29th and 31st.

Writing-wise the focus for July will be the continuing work on planing and plotting the last three issues of the FORGOTTEN CITY comic book series, and the ongoing editing and rewrites for the James Bond Lexicon project.

Have a fun summer, and I’ll be back next month with more updates.

 

 

 

 

 

The May Ramble

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Once again I just manged to sneak in under the wire with this month’s update on various writing related goings on.

Work continues on editing and updating the James Bond Lexicon manuscript to include the newest 007 adventures including the latest movie, SPECTRE, as well as novels such as Trigger Mortis, Shoot to Kill, and the Vragar comic book series. My own personal 007 adventures continued with a great weekend earlier this month with fellow members of the Ian Fleming Foundation as we moved the IFF collection of vehicles into a new larger workshop home. (Here I am hanging out with the helicopter that chased Sean Connery’s Bond in From Russia With Love).

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While the Bond Lexicon may be still be someways away from publication, it looks like there will be at least two books published this year that will contain a few words from me.I have handed in my essay on Action Man for the upcoming Joy of Joe book celebrating the worlds of G.I. Joe. And I was delighted to find out that the Star Trek themed charity project Outside Boldly Goes is now scheduled for release later in 2016. This fun project includes my take on the classic Trek episode “Spectre of the Gun”.

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Another cool surprise this month was finding out that there is an audio version of my Allan Quatermain novella, “Golden Ivory“, in production. I’m looking forward to hearing that.

On the comics front I completed and turned in the scripts for the new licensed comics gig I mentioned in the last few newsletters. Unfortunately the publishers and studio involved decided to make some significant changes to the length and tone of the projected series, so my scripts now won’t be used. A shame, but it was a good learning experience. Work on FORGOTTEN CITY continues with the first trade-paperback collection almost ready for publication. Plans are in place for the final three issues (#13-15), while work continues on producing issues #6-12.

Talking of comics, I’m looking forward to two great comics conventions in the next few weeks with the Peoria based Artist & Comics Expo taking place the weekend of June 11th and 12th, and then it’s off to Houston, Texas, the following weekend for Comicpalooza (June 17-19). Hope to see some of you there.

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The February Ramble (Only Just…)

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I guess I really snuck under the wire to be able to call this the February edition of my newsletter (Hey there may only be a few hours left on the evening of Leap Day, but it is technically still February.)

A definite highlight of this month was the signing we did at the excellent Lit. On Fire used bookstore in Peoria. The signing was held in conjunction with their “open mic” night, with local singer Caron Easley kicking off events. I did a short intro talking about the books I had on sale that night which quickly evolved into an hour or more of questions and discussions about  whole range of topics. There were some great questions and some fascinating conversations. – Oh yeah, we managed to sell a few books too. In fact Jessica Stephenson, the owner of Lit. On Fire, has been a great promoter of local authors and did sterling work in getting the word out about the event and continuing to promote the books afterwards. If you are ever in the Peoria, IL area make sure to stop by and visit her excellent, and growing, bookstore.

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Our next event will be a trip to the C2E2 show in Chicago at the end of March – looking forward to what should be a fun weekend of pop-culture goodness.

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In terms of writing projects the focus this month has primarily been on the current (but still unannounced) work-for-hire licensed comics series with two scripts having been completed and turned in.

Rewrites for the James Bond Lexicon and research for the U.N.C.L.E. Lexicon book projects have also been continuing as a background task as we slowly, but surely, make progress on those.

I’ve also agreed to contribute an essay for an upcoming book that celebrates the long lasting appeal of the G.I. Joe toys; however I’ll be taking a slightly different approach as I’ll be writing about his cousin from across The Pond – The British version “Action Man,” that recently celebrated it’s 50th anniversary.

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Some of you may have spotted the appearance of a new entry on the list of pages above. I have started to pull together a full list (as far as possible) of all my writing credits over the years. – More on that next month, but if you want to check out how it’s progressing just click on the Bibliography menu item.

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Rambling into a New Year – January 2016

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It’s been a rough few months since I last wrote an update on this blog. Without going into too much details, we’ve faced some serious family health issues, and while things aren’t 100% clear yet, the future is looking better. But during it all we’ve kept writing – maybe not at the speed or the frequency that we’d have like, but putting words on the page, while sometimes a struggle, has provided much needed escape and therapy.

As we kick off the New Year we are looking towards a brighter future and to getting more words written, more stuff published, and planning to get back out to meet more readers.

Here’s our provisional 2016 Signing and Convention schedule so far:

  • Lit On Fire – Peoria IL – February 17th
  • C2E2 – Chicago IL – March 18-20
  • Wizard World St.Louis – April 1-3
  • Indiana Comic Con – April 29-May 1
  • Peoria Arts and Comics Expo – June 11-12
  • Comicpalooza – Houston TX – June 18-19
  • WizardWorld Columbus OH – July 29-31

While things may have slowed down we are still working on our on-going writing projects.

COMICS: The script for Issue #12 of FORGOTTEN has been turned in, and work is progressing on final edits for the trade collection collecting Issues #1-5. Work has also started on scripts for a new licensed comics gig that will be announced around mid-year.

THE LEXICON PROJECTS: We have received the manuscript for the JAMES BOND LEXICON back from the publishers with editorial comments, so we are currently doing any corrections or rewrites needed, plus we need to add in new information from the new movie (SPECTRE), the latest Bond novel, (Trigger Mortis), and the new Bond comic book series (VARGR). – Meanwhile background research continues for the U.N.C.L.E. Lexicon project.

Thanks for bearing with us during the few months of silence.

See you on the page in 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

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