Archive for the ‘Conventions’ Category

Dragon Con 2013

Schedules are in! I’ll be manning a table for the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America at Dragon Con. We did this last year, and it was a great success.

The table will be in the Hyatt, near the Comics and Artists Alley, same place we were last year. We’ll have someone there from 2-7 on Friday, and 10-7 Saturday and Sunday. Come by and see us, because Chizine, Fantasy and Science Fiction, and others have provided books for us to give away.

There are too many SFWA authors as guests and panelists to list, but be sure to take a look at the schedule to see where they can be found this weekend.

If you’re looking for me, here’s my schedule.

Panels

High Concept
Friday, 1pm, Embassy A-B, Hyatt
Gene Wolfe, Eugie Foster and I discuss the question of high-concept science fiction. More probably, Eugie and Gene discuss it while I sit in awe.

Podcasting Roundtable
Saturday, 10am, Hilton 203
We’ll be discussing podcasting. I’ll be nursing coffee and trying not to fall asleep under the table.

Z*Con: A Crowd-Funded Zombie Film for Charity
Sunday, 11:30am, Vinings 1-2, Westin
I’ve volunteered to help Mike with this again. Last year was a ton of fun, and audience members even got to contribute to the film’s audio track!

Table
I’ll be at it more often than not, but I’ve specifically scheduled myself for the following times. (I didn’t schedule myself lunch breaks last year, and ended up in pretty bad shape by the end of the weekend.)

Friday: 2-5. 6-7
Saturday: noon-2, 5-7
Sunday: 1-3, 5-7
Monday: noon-2

Dragon Con site: http://www.dragoncon.org/
Dragon Con Schedule: http://advertising.dragoncon.org/publications/pocket-program/
Dragon Con Guests: http://www.dragoncon.org/?q=featured_list

Gen Con 2013

Gen Con was, once again, amazing, cementing itself as my favorite convention. I got to see tons of friends and colleagues, some amazing new products, and the enthusiasm of the fans for the things we work on. I went in with the vague plan that I needed to pick up some more creative work, and left with an embarrassment of riches to choose from. (As well as a 30 lb bag of RPG books, only 2 of which are not research for projects!)

The entire five days was a whirlwind of meetings, panels, events, catching up, plotting, resolving, pitching, brainstorming, drinking (coffee or alcohol!), and enjoying. Anastacia Visneski´╗┐ summed up our schedules the best: “The only way to tell if there’s another person in the hotel room is that the food stores go down, and the swag pile goes up.”

Unfortunately, I went in with a voice wrecked by the Purgatory show, destroyed what little remained at the Diana Jones Awards, and by Friday morning, was mainlining cough drops. By Friday night, I was being mocked by my ‘friends’ for squeaking and occasionally just failing to make any sound at all, despite my best efforts. Here’s to actually being able to talk in something other than a Marlene Deitrich voice next year.

The Writer’s Symposium was not only fun to do, but is proving its worth as a workshop worth making the effort to attend. Marc Tassin is doing a phenomenal job, and it’s worth attending the con just for the Symposium. I had a chance to talk to Marc on Sunday, and while I can’t mention specifics, I CAN say that next year will not only be even more useful for the newbie writer, but it will be worth paying attention to for developers, business owners, and creatives who write things other than books or short stories.

If you’re an author or creative professional, consider volunteering for next year’s program, too. Marc is great to work with, and the attendees are excited, cool, and eager to learn. Plus, there are fun events almost every night, just for the people leading panels and workshops.

I even got in two games this year! I had about five scheduled, but Gen Con happened. Dungeon World was fun, wacky, and worth playing even in a ‘can-I-take-a-nap-under-the-table-when-you-don’t-need-me’ state of exhaustion. I was trying hard not to buy any more RPG books, but I may have to go to DriveThru RPG or IPR to grab that. 13th Age is GORGEOUS, and I also need that. And there are a couple of card games, and and and…

I also got to play the newest World of Darkness game, Mummy. I backed this on Kickstarter a while back, but got invited to play in a game run by the line dev. The game itself was great fun, but I have NEVER rolled so poorly. Unfortunately, no one else could roll for shit, either, so the entire thing turned into a comedy of errors. At one point, Ari rolled about 20 dice…with no successes. At that point, we just gave up success and started glorying in failure.

There were, as well, some downsides, but those were far outweighed by the good, and therefore will not be mentioned. (Except for the voice issues. Those, I will probably still be whining about next Gen Con.)

It was a particularly interesting year for me to be there. I’ve been in crisis mode since April, dealing with the Nebulas, BEA, a friend’s death, and the Bulletin/Beale issues, meaning I went in with a bit of tunnel vision and disconnect. I lamented to Lucian on Friday that I hadn’t gotten to schedule much of anything, and felt I was wasting the con a little by my lack of preparedness. In classic ‘be careful what you wish for’, the next two days were nothing but meetings, pitches, and offers.

One of the things I struggle with is a lack of feedback on my own position within the industry. Marketing and PR are the redheaded step-children of most industries as it is, and I often end up feeling as if I’m working in a vacuum. The last couple of weeks have been eye-opening on what I’m doing right, what I’m doing wrong, and what I’m just not doing.

Most telling was when someone said “I wish you would start doing RPG writing”, and I shamefacedly said “Well, actually, I’ve been clearing my schedule of some things so I could take on some projects”. Often, in my push to get others noticed, I forget to communicate my own availability, interests, and direction. That’s something I’ll be working on changing the next year or so.

I give myself some leeway because the SFWA issues have been consuming ALL of my bandwidth the past few months. I just haven’t known when that would taper off and allow me time to deal with things. As it is, I’ve got five places that want to see my portfolio, which tells me that I may be doing things right for other people, but I’m leaving a lot of money and opportunities on the table. Bad publicist. Do what I say, not what I do.

And now, I have just over one week to Dragon Con, which is usually less busy, but more nuts. SFWA will have a table there this year, which I will be running, with books and information from SFWA and its members. I also know plenty of people who will be there, so my social calendar is already overbooked. Between now and then, I have a trip to Ashville with my mom, a 1920s-themed swing class (apparently I’m going to be learning to dance, now…), clients to get caught up on, chiropractor and massage appointments, Gen Con follow-up, moving plans, several pitches to write, and a Kickstarter to plan for, as well as the usual maintenance work.

I can do all that in a week, right? Oh, and I can’t talk, because being voiceless at Gen Con is one thing, but being voiceless at Dragon Con is just stupid.

See? Will still be whining about it at Gen Con next year.

Times I met Matt Forbeck on a deserted street, after midnight, coming back from the Embassy: One. (Last year was…three?)

Notable Quotes:

“She’s rules-lawyering me over a cherry stem.” (I won, AND I got the cherry.)

“The tomatoes of misogyny.”

“Look, there was no half-assing that failure. I have STANDARDS about my failure.” (Also: tagline for Mummy game, I think.)

“Oh, look, he shape-shifted into a dead guy!”

“You have to tell us about these things!”
“You wrote this section!”
“That was more than a week ago!”

“Wait. When did I become the Stripper Whisperer?”

“We can’t operate a forklift. How are we going to operate a crane?”
“I hate to say it, but this Mummy needs new cultists.”
“But we’re very loyal! We’re like mentally-challenged puppies!”

“He’s sitting there, burning.”
“Courteous of you. Wait, I don’t think I like the idea of him burning to death willingly. Shoot him, will you?”
“Put yourself out so we can kill you properly!”
“I don’t trust the burning-to-death guy!”
“This is going to sound crazy, but can I intimidate the burning guy?”
“We can get popcorn!”
“And cook it on you!”

“That sounds weird.” ~beat~ “Wait, I wrote that, didn’t I?”

30 Pound Bag-of-Death (aka, RPG books and swag):

Ptolus (Monte Cook)
Hillfolk and Blood on the Snow (Kickstarter Rewards from Robin Laws/Pelgrane Press)
Mummy core book (thank-you gift for Jacob playing minion all week, which saved me a lot of time and stress)
Hunter: the Vigil
Monte Cook’s World of Darkness
Scion: Ragnarok, and Hero (Onyx Path)
Monte Cook’s Arcana Evolved
Carolina Death Crawl (DtRPG card game from Bully Pulpit)
The God-Machine Chronicle (WoD, Onyx Path)
The Book of Nod (WoD, Onyx Path)
Scion: Yazata, the Persian Gods (This looks AMAZING, and sold me on Scion, a game I was unfamiliar with, immediately.)

Time to next convention: 8 days.

Gen Con!

So, I leave tomorrow for Gen Con. Besides being wildly behind on everything, I’m really looking forward to it. And, if you’re there, here’s where you can find me!

Wednesday
I’ll be at the DJAs, so if you’re there too, stop and say hi!

Thursday
Nothing but business meetings, so probably not a good time to find me.

Friday

The great and terrible day of panels! I’m leading a full publicity workshop, come by and maybe learn a thing or three.

10am: Online Presence. Come learn how to conduct yourself well online.
11am: Promotions, Sales, Publicity, and Public Relations. Pretty self-explanatory.

1pm: Networking, Not Name-Dropping. It’s a fine line. Do you know how not to be That Person?
2pm: Pitches, Proposals and Promises. We’ll talk about creating a perfect book pitch, and how to create a publicity plan that will catch a publisher’s eye.
3pm: Signings, Podcasts, and More. All about events as an author!

5pm: Religion in Gaming

Saturday

3pm: A panel with Geek’s Dream Girl on dating. No, really.

Sunday

VIP panels and critique sessions.

So, that’s my week! I’m going to be really busy, and running all over the con, so please don’t be offended if I wave at you while I run past. Long conversations aren’t likely this week.

Where’s Jaym?

Sometimes my life feels like a ‘Where’s Waldo’ game, except with somewhat better fashion sense and much more interesting locales.

Anyways, I’m getting back on the road again soon. In less than a week, to be specific. This time, it’s a 6-week round of mayhem.

First off to Portland, where the Cascade Writer’s Workshop has me teaching a publicity class, and participating on a panel about LGBTQ characters. I’ll be staying with the lovely Lee and Venetia again, and catching up with Ken Scholes and Wendy Wagner. (Looking at those names, I wonder what is in the water, as those are four of the most excellent people I know.) I intend for there to be at LEAST one visit to the acupuncturist while I’m there. This is essential.

From thence, to Seattle, for a couple of days with Ana, then, due to the vaguaries of airlines, back to Portland to fly out to Charlotte early the next day. The day after I get to Charlotte, it’s off to Raleigh for 2 days, then back to Charlotte for 5 days of full-speed preparation for Purgatory. Show prep and giving the company a stable system to support expansion should keep me plenty busy.

3 days after Purgatory, it’s off to Indianapolis for Gen Con. This, so far, is my busiest convention of the season. I have a full Publicity workshop on Friday–10am to 4pm! There’s also a panel on religion in gaming at 5pm, and then the Ennies, and a party invitation. Who needs food? Final official thing is a 3pm panel on geeky dating. Alas, I’m not allowed to bring props or example cases, so I’ll have to settle for toting a copy of Geek Love. I think I’ll leave Rigor Amortis at home, however.

And then, it’s 1.5 weeks in Charlotte, before heading to Dragon Con. I…have no idea what my schedule is there, so that will be exciting.

On the publication front, I can now announce the sale of “Under the Dream of the Gods, We All Weep”, to Broken Eye Books, for their Dark Fey anthology. The main character of “Dream” is a character I first wrote about several years ago. She’s a holy warrior in a setting heavily inspired by the Middle East, who gets in trouble by trusting family. This is her origin story, but there are a bunch more stories that can be told about her.

I’ve also sent in a reprint of one of the first stories I wrote, “Lord of Heaven and Earth”, to the Writers For Relief anthology. This is the story that spawned the Iron Gods world, and since I seem to be working on the first novel in that series, I figured I’d brush this up and get it reprinted.

And! The War Stories anthology is officially signed with Apex! Andrew and I are working on the Kickstarter now, and we’re getting so much interest in it that it just keeps getting more exciting.

Other than that…I’ll be accepting a couple of new clients for autumn, and I’m always open for consultations, so please feel free to get in touch with me.

Wish me travel luck!

ConVolution!

As previously mentioned, I’ll be a guest at ConVolution this weekend! While I won’t be able to make it up on Friday (friend coming into town for my birthday!), I’ll be there Saturday and Sunday.

I only have two panels, which is a wondrously light and pleasing change from the norm. Alas, I maintain my streak of Sunday 10am panels.

Saturday: Publicity For Writers, at 4pm, in Sand Pebble A.
Sunday: Anatomy of a Review, at 10am, in Sand Pebble B.

I will also most likely be in the bar Saturday evening. Because what is a convention without BarCon?

I will not, alas, be at World Fantasy Convention in Toronto. However, you should totally check out the Cheeky Frawg/Prime Books/Tachyon launch party there. Jeff and I worked hard on this, and it should be pretty awesome.

Best wishes to everyone affected by Sandy. Twitter and FB are awfully quiet right now, and the NE voices are missed.

Update!

Because I love you all SO much, here are a few things we’ll be discussing at the Publicity panel on Saturday!

PR, Publicity, Marketing, what’s the dif?

I’ll just rely on word-of-mouth!

The hard-sell of DOOM

Dirty laundry, negative reviews, and buying the love

That’s JUST a sample, and if the rest of the week goes according to plan, I’ll have a whole bunch of resources available early next week!

On the Road Again

Yay, convention season!

Sort of. It’s been a long summer, with ridiculously bad travel-luck.

However, after a (very) brief break, I’m back on the road for GenCon, North Carolina and Dragon*Con.

First up: GenCon: Indianapolis.

This is my first time here, so please be kind. I am happy to meet you, but I am embarrassingly bad at translating names and faces from online to meatspace. So feel free to come say ‘hi’ if you see me, but you’ll get theoretical cookies of joy if you tell me your name AND where you know me from. If that place is Twitter and your username is not your real name, please let me know the username. Seriously. I’m that bad with names.

I don’t have much of a schedule for GenCon yet, except lots of meetings, one or two games (pray for me, it’s been years since I played), keeping Lily alive and getting into trouble with, well, everyone. I’ll also be helping out at the Eden Studios table, it looks like.

If you have some questions or want to schedule a meeting to talk publicity after I’m off the road, I’m always happy to do so. I do have to make a living though, so please understand that I charge for any Q&As over 10 minutes, and will need to schedule those for after Dragon*Con.

North Carolina

Then, it’s on to North Carolina for a week or so. I’m going to try and make it to Raleigh for an evening, so if there’s something cool going on between August 20-26, let me know! I’ll be in Charlotte and Charleston the rest of the time, catching up and getting ready to for Dragon*Con.

Dragon*Con: Atlanta

SFWA will have a table and signings at Dragon*Con! We confirmed a few weeks ago, and we’re racking up a very nice list of participating authors. Keep an eye on the SFWA website and Twitter feeds for more on that.

I’ll also be moderating at least 2 panels: Race in SF (gods help me…) and the official Z*Con Panel! Michael Dougherty and I have been friends and colleagues since my first Dragon*Con almost 5 years ago, and I’ve been doing some consulting on Z*Con. This is a fantastic opportunity, and I’m looking forward to catching up with old friends.

My schedule is pretty packed, but I’ll be at the SFWA table in the Fan Table area (between the exhibit and dealer hall areas) most of the day, so that’s the best place to find me if you want to say ‘hi’ or bring me good Scotch or coffee. Both are quite welcome, really. Appease the anti-mornings publicist!

After that, thankfully, it’s back home for a long, long while. Aside from a local convention in November (the one I posted about earlier), all travel until April should be lower-key and not convention-related. As much as I love seeing friends and working conventions, I’ve been going without a real break since April, and I’m wearing out a little.

Feel free to drop me a note on Twitter or FB if you’ll be at one of the conventions so that I know to watch for you.

Cheers!

P.S.: I will not be at WorldCon or World Fantasy Convention this year. I committed to Dragon*Con early this year, and WFC is just too expensive. I’m sad to be missing out, but lift a drink for me, will you?

ConVolution!

I’ll be a guest at ConVolution, a new local SF convention. This is entirely the fault of Lee Moyer and Venetia Charles, who introduced me to the organizers.

However, I’ll actually be earning my keep! I’ll be leading a workshop on publicity and professional self-promotion. The details are still rather nebulous, so stay tuned for details around October.