Sometimes, It’s Not About Making the Sale

New York City at nightNext week, my wife of infinite awesome and I are heading up north to New York for a writer’s conference. It is the Writers Digest Conference, and we are heading up there to talk about two things we do very well:

  • Steampunk
  • Social Media & Content Marketing

Now, here’s the thing. There are going to be a lot of writers at this conference. This is an event where writers of varying backgrounds—fiction, non-fiction, beginners, seasoned veterans—go to pitch their ideas and perfect their approach to business. This isn’t really a “con” like RavenCon or Balticon, but this is an honest-to-God, professional, industry conference. No cosplayers. (But we will get punked up for the Steampunk panel, sure!) No panels on who would win in a fight—Batman or Superman. (Supes.) Less fans of our writing and more people who want to be professional writers. (Awww yeah, it’s business time!) This is a very different dynamic than a book event at a teashop or a steampunk convention. This is an event where writers are learning about the business of books. Continue reading

RavenCon 2015: Ten Years of Geeking Out in Richmond

Ten years ago, on the way to Stellarcon in Raleigh, North Carolina, I was asked by Nth Degree Magazine creator and editor Mike Pederson to help him start up a convention in a city was in desperate need of a convention: Richmond, VA. At that time, there was nothing happening in the area. It would be the first time in a long time that Richmond would have seen a scifi con.

Naturally, this was my reaction:

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After several years of attending conventions, I was being invited (as much as you can be “invited” when you are in a moving car) to step into the wild, weird, and surprisingly wonderful world of convention organizing. (Either that, or walk the rest of the way to Stellarcon.) Thus, with boyhood hero Terry Brooks as our Guest of Honor, RavenCon launched.

Ten years later, RavenCon is still going strong. Continue reading

RavenCon 2014: A Homecoming in April (Hail, Hydra…)

This week has been one temptation after another to rant a bit on topics ranging between Game of Thrones to pretentious nitwits in steampunk, but I have chosen a different direction for my weeks blogpost:

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That’s right — RavenCon! Finally, after years of trying to make my hometown event happen, I am finally coming back to the weekend in April that I helped kick off seven years ago alongside Con Chair Michael Pederson. I, for one, am looking forward to the weekend!

It’s been a little frustrating not being able to make it, mainly on account of things like the lack of a day job; but after balancing the books and making sure the numbers weren’t misleading me, I can finally come back to my hometown (the second time within the month!) and enjoy some good old-fashioned geekery alongside such terrific people like Bill Blume, Gail Z. Martin, Michael A. Ventrella, the Geek Radio Daily crew, and Guest of Honor (and all around great lady!) Elizabeth Bear!

Want to know where I will be this weekend? Continue reading

Dragon*Con 2012: Booksignings, Parsecs, and Unabashed Geekgasms

Yep. It’s here. Dragon*Con.

Tomorrow morning, Pip and I hit the Interstate system of the Mid-Atlantic, heading to the grand event where tens of thousands of geeks of movies, television, books, costuming, and just about anything else you can think of descend on the unsuspecting city of Atlanta. We’re facing our busiest Dragon*Con ever (see what happens when you go a few years without hitting an event like this — they make you work!), and the breakdown is here:

Thursday

  • We check in. We see whatever we can. We party a bit with Alex White.

Friday

  • The Retro-Cast: Steampunk Podcasting & More – 8:30pm in Westin Int’l BC (Main Room)

Saturday

Sunday

  • Steampunk Author Roundtable (Part 1) – Sunday 1oam in Westin Int’l A (Roundtable Room)
  • Book Signing, Larry Smith Books, Sunday 12:00-1:00 in Marriott Booth 309
  • Book Signing, The Missing Volume, Sunday 1:30-2:30 in Marriott Booth 614

Monday

  • Social Steam: Steampunk, Social Media, and Making It Work – Monday 10am in Westin Int’l A (Roundtable Room)
  • Steampunk 101 — Monday, 11:30 a.m. at Hyatt Embassy D-F
  • How Do You Take Your Steampunk — Light or Dark? – Monday 1pm in Westin Int’l A (Roundtable Room)

Once more unto the breach, dear friends.

Let’s see exactly what kind of trouble the two of us can get into this weekend. Pictures to come…

From Rock Star to Ronin: The “True Dat” of This Writer’s Life

Closing in on the end of the summer, I’m looking back at the year with a cockeyed perspective. First, I’m trying to figure out what happened to the summer. Second, I’m trying to gauge how this year will come to an end. You would think with the launch of my second steampunk novel, The Janus Affair, I would think this was the banner year, especially with the showing Tales from the Archives is having at this year’s Parsecs.

It’s been a ride, safe to say.

For those of you following us on Facebook, you know that Pip and I returned from New Orleans just last week. What brought us to The Big Easy was an unexpected invitation to an unlikely match for the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences. We promised ourselves a priority of 2012 would be to make each appearance count, attempting to reach more steampunk-centric events like the Steampunk World’s Fair, a nice introduction to our target audience. Continue reading

Parsec Awards Finalist

There may be a good possibility you are new to this blog this week. If you are — I hope you had fun in New Orleans! I hope to see you again in Savannah!

(If you are curious as to what I mean by that, stay tuned. I have another blogpost in the works about that.)

Being new to the blog, I’d like to bring you up to speed on some good news from the podcasting front, made official on receiving this badge:

If you are not enjoying podcasts because this is the first time you have heard of them, a podcast is some sort of online media (usually audio or video, but really any kind of file) automatically delivered using iTunesJuiceBloglines or some kind of app that can subscribe to its feed. It sounds complicated, but trust me — it isn’t.

The 2012 Parsec Awards, now in their seventh year, honors podcasts featuring Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror, celebrating the best in speculative fiction. I’ve not been up for a Parsec since 2008 when Billibub Baddings and The Case of the Singing Sword won that year for Best Audio Drama (Long Form).

This year, however, I’m apparently making up for lost time…

Best Speculative Fiction Story: Small Cast (Short Form)

Best Speculative Fiction Magazine or Anthology Podcast

Best Podcast about Speculative Fiction Content Creation

What makes this year’s Parsecs so special for me is that this year marks the first time Pip and I are appearing as producers, not just podcasters. Tales from the Archives also appears twice in the Best Short Story (Large Cast) category, and I don’t know who is more excited — Starla, Paul, or Pip and myself. We are so proud of the talented authors appearing in the Tales from the Archives (all of them — even the ones that weren’t nominated), but the Ministry’s presence at this year’s Parsecs only validates what we already knew. Thank you, everyone!

And to everyone in the Final Round, congratulations. To make the finals in the Parsecs is practically standing in the Winners’ Circle as far as I am concerned, and it’s a nice place to be. I wish you all the best of luck!

Onward to Dragon*Con…

Hot August Nights: Another Tour de Force from Tee Morris

Anybody remember May?

I do. Barely.

It was a full-on month, the 2012 edition of the lusty month of May, and when it was done, I figured “Yeah, the rough part of this summer is done. i can now kick back and coast until Dragon*Con (which Pip and I had already committed to last year). Nothing to worry about.”

I really have to learn to not say things like that. As August looms ahead, I’m now looking at the unintentional tour schedule Pip and I have cobbled together between June and now.

Mark your calendars…because we sure have!

August 8-12, New Orleans, Louisiana

Watch the Skies

August 25, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

alongside the steampunk talents of…

Dragon*Con

August 31- September 3, Atlanta, Georgia

  • The Retro-Cast: Steampunk Podcasting & More – Fri. 8:30pm in Westin Int’l BC (Main Room)
  • The World Is Bigger Than England: Multi-Culturalism in the Alternate History Environment — Saturday 2:30pm in Westin Int’l A (Roundtable Room)
  • The Parsec Awards — Saturday, 4:30pm in the Regency V Ballroom — Hyatt
  • The Tech Stuff (hosted by Steve Riekeberg) — Saturday, 8pm in Hilton 204
  • Steampunk Author Roundtable (Part 1) – Sunday 1oam in Westin Int’l A (Roundtable Room)
  • Book Signing, The Missing Volume, Sunday 1:30-2:30 in Marriott Booth 614
  • Social Steam: Steampunk, Social Media, and Making It Work – Monday 10am in Westin Int’l A (Roundtable Room)
  • Steampunk 101 — Monday, 11:30 a.m. at Hyatt Embassy D-F
  • How Do You Take Your Steampunk — Light or Dark? – Monday 1pm in Westin Int’l A (Roundtable Room)

Write by the Rails (at Trinity Church, Manassas, VA)

8 September

Baltimore Book Festival

28-30 September

No, I didn’t plan the end of my summer to be as full-on as the opening of it, but for those of you who have been following my works over the years, you know what I’m going to do — lock my feet under the car’s inside lip, raise my hands up, and enjoy the ride!

See you all in the dog days of summer.

Stranger on a Train XXII

It’s still the grey of twilight, but here I am, on the train, heading in…

Trying something a little different this time — using the personal hotspot instead of the phone itself to blog. Yeah, it dawned on me the last time I did this segment (which, I admit, has been a while…) that I could do this and why not? After all, I got that ability, why am I suddenly limiting myself to the screen of my smartphone.

I blame the lack of coffee in the morning. Gets me every time.

You know what else gets me? Bad dreams. And lucky me, they like to hit me just within the hour before I wake up. I then hit the morning routine wondering “What brought that on?” It tends to make for a distracted morning, something I really can’t afford. This week, August commences and it’s going to be one of those months akin to May where time will be fleeting, book events will be upon us (me and Pip, that is), and I’m still trying to sort out the mechanics of a life.

What does that mean? Come on, you know this segment — completely off the top of my head. Also, I can’t elaborate because I know as modest as this blog may be, I’ve got people watching and reading. I need to pay attention to what I say, and all I can say at this point is that nothing feels set or secure. I need to make some judgment calls in August. That is crystal clear to me. So right now, I am what I am. Like Popeye, only without the squint, pipe, and unnatural spinach fetish.

And next week, Pip and I hit Authors After Dark. Let the mayhem commence.

This weekend, I kicked back with Sonic Boom and the Olympic Opening Ceremonies. I think that show gets more epic each time you watch it. I blogged a few months ago about Kenneth Branagh and my man-crush on him. So nice when he appeared in the midst of this spectacle. I nearly wet myself when he recited from The Tempest. He’s been there and back again, it seems; but watching him at the Opening Ceremonies?  Oh yeah, he’s still got it.

Kenneth Branagh. Working the Olympics. Like a mill boss.

Set your pocket watches! New Steampunk Fiction coming soon…

Contrary to popular belief that steampunk is dead, and thinking that maybe you missed the recent announcement on The Shared Desk or the Ministry website, I wanted to bring the news and the official launch date for the next project from Imagine That! Studios

10 April 2012

 

Continue reading

Stranger on a Train: New York Comic Con

And awwwaaaay we go!!!

Between the surprise priority video job at work, our child getting sick, the drama of getting out of Manassas, and WordPress for the iPhone borking on me and devouring my post, it is hard to believe we are on the way to New York Comic Con and yet here we are, chugging through New Jersey…

The recent crisis at work this week brought about an epiphany: some people are under the impression that video editing is the same as putting together a PowerPoint presentation. Thing is, you can’t do in PowerPoint what I put together in Final Cut Pro. You want more than you average slide presentation. Yes I get that. But as Jimmy has learned under The Commodore’s tutelage: You don’t get anything for free.

Boardwalk Empire. That’s some incredible storytelling there.

I am taking some cold comfort in that I did something no one else could do. It’s what my friend Al Garnett calls “the price of being a badass” — you raise the bar and people expect you to go Superman at a moment’s notice; but then again, no one does what I do there. No one could. That’s fact, bro. Straight up.

So now, Pip and I head for NY ComicCon. We want to get a hardbound copy of Phoenix Rising to Felicia Day, and I’d like to get Mark Hammil to sign my copy of Batman: Arkham Asylum. Funny thing — even with being pro, I’m still the fanboi.

I can live with that.

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