Balticon 48: The Return to Hunt Valley and Revenge of #GymCon

Last year, Pip and I were not in attendance at Balticon, the premier weekend of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror. We had been given Featured Guest status at Up in the Æther (now called Steamtopia) so we figured after years (a decade for me!) of attending Balticon, it was time for a change of pace. Detroit was a fantastic town with awesome people, and it was a good weekend all around…

…but yes, it was weird not being in Hunt Valley, Maryland, on Memorial Day Weekend.

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This year, Pip and I are excited to be returning. Unlike other literary events, Balticon offers a track specific to New Media (blogging, podcasting, Facebook, etc.), originally started up by Paul Fischer back in 2005. From that single panel on what a podcast is, the New Media track (which covers production, fan discussions, and live recordings) grew, even earning the nickname “The Other Balticon” which I think is a bit unfair as some of the most talented people — not just the writers, but the creative artists that also speak on the track — I’ve met are all on this track. Over the years, though, Balticon’s amazing staff have integrated the New Media track with other tracks; and this year’s 48th incarnation of the event promises to be a fantastic time!

Here’s where you can find me this weekend… Continue reading

Being Kenneth Branagh: 11 Tips on Filming a Book Trailer (Part Two)

Two days before previewing the trailer at Balticon 46, I began a series on what has been my life for the past seven weeks: The Janus Affair book trailer. While there has already been a lot invested into this project and critics dismiss book trailers as trendy gimmicks that hardly sell books, I truly believe that it has been a worthwhile and educational ride.

The crowd reaction this weekend to the preview was payback, indeed.

But what is it about book trailers that make authors, agents, and publishers so skeptical? I got a few ideas, and a lot of those ideas came from this project, this idea that has evolved into a glimpse at a fantasy realized: Adapting a book and making a movie. Look, I know something like that is a longshot, especially having an idea of how things work in Hollywood, but it is still pretty neat to see this coming to life.

So far my own experiences between Phoenix Rising and The Janus Affair have taught me a few things in making a book trailer; and in what I thought was going to be a three-part series (but is probably going to go to four), I thought I’d pass along a few ideas to keep in mind when deciding to shoot and produce your own book trailer. Continue reading

The Janus Affair: A Sneak Peek and a Balticon Bash!


Hey, everyone!

Well, here we are — the week it all happens! Balticon!

Before I forget, I do want to give you all a little something to enjoy, audio-wise…

James Langton, you might recall, gave his voice to us for Harper Audio’s kicking production of Phoenix Rising: A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel. He’s back for The Janus Affair, and we could not be happier about it. Harper Audio gave us this preview for our podcast (you DO know about the steampunk podcast anthology Pip and I do, right?), and after hearing it, Pip and I can’t wait to hear what James comes up with next! We are so stoked to have him bringing Wellington and Eliza to life, and hopefully we will hear him again when Book Three is green-lit for production.

Now, onward to Balticon… Continue reading

Stranger on a Train XIX

Heading home…finally.

Yeah, today was rough. I’m snapping back from the weekend at the Steampunk World’s Fair. It was beastly getting up there, but coming home was a snap. Because of that cluster-fuck journey through traffic hell, I’m planning an EARLY departure for Balticon.It torques me slightly that I’ve got to work Thursday night, but it’s a job. I’d rather have a minor inconvenience than unemployment, and this job’s keeping everyone sane…well, everyone but me seeing as I’ve got two ACX titles awaiting production, a book trailer nearing completion (so close…), and Blogworld NY looming in the distance. How did things get so overbooked?!

Oh yeah. Unemployment. Feast or famine, right?

So, in eight days, The Janus Affair happens. It feels completely different as Pip and I had copies of the book waiting for us at SPWF as giveaways. I have no clue if those attendees (some who knew us from both the book and the podcasts) really grasped that they were getting free copies of the book before its release but there you go. Harper Voyager, it feels, has an entirely different attitude about this title. Are their hopes up? Are they thinking this could be a breakaway title? Who knows…

We sure don’t.

What we do know is that our book trailer is closing in on completion, we got Balticon closing in fast, and I’m trying to keep everything on track. All this, and I have two books to get cracking on. (Writing, I mean…not the ACX titles…)

And technically, Summer still hasn’t even begun. Hoo-boy.

The event this weekend was good fun. Pip and I shopped and socialized. That P.J. Schnyder…what a dynamo. And this book? Yeah, I think the trailer does it justice.

You think I would have this “new book” thing down. I don’t. That fear before a launch — it never gets old.

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The Ministry MAY-hem Wrap-up at Balticon 45!

So, I’m all rested up and recovered from an amazing weekend at the Steampunk World’s Fair (review in the works). What’s next?

Why, another con appearance, of course…

Concluding The Ministry MAY-hem Tour (at least, this part of it) is an old favorite of mine — BALTICON. It was nearly ten years ago when I first arrived at this event with Morevi.  I looked something like this back then…

This was before the time of facial hair, before the days of podcasting, before the days of Facebook, Twitter, and Social Media. Right now, I’d love to go up to that guy and say “You have no idea what’s in store for you, bro.”

What a long strange trip it has been. And with the premiere of Phoenix Rising: A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel, it may just get a wee-bit stranger at Balticon 45 as tea parties, time traveling dances, rock-and-roll courtesy of Ditched by Kate, and panels-panels-panels are all in store! Here’s my schedule for the next few days… Continue reading

The Price of Publicity

I promised myself to work on my blogging skills. It’s a bit like getting back into shape, you know? I’m struggling to get back into a routine, and everyone around me is telling to cut myself a break considering the year I have been facing. The reality is, just like staying in shape, I have to do this. Next year, as many of you know, I will be returning to novel-length fiction with my first mass market paperback novel, Phoenix Rising: A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel. Me. The Kiwi. Steampunk. The cover is just beautiful, I’m telling you. Stay patient and, as soon as we get approval, we will go live with it.

2011 is a big step for me as a writer; and I’m trying to take everything I have learned since 2002 when Morevi first rolled off the presses, and apply it to the now. One of the hardest lessons I learned over this near-decade of writing professionally is just how easy it is to find yourself in the red. Not the red ink of an editor’s pen, mind you, but the financial red of your bank account telling you in so many words that you — the professional author — are flat broke. Continue reading

Tee Morris (that naughty boy!) on Erotica ala Carte

Back in December, you might recall a blogpost proclaiming my love for New Zealand smut. Well, Chef Ballantine appreciated my kind words so much concerning the podcast too hot for iTunes, Erotica ala Carte, that she invited me to cook in her kitchen. The ingredients this naughty Gordon Ramsey (with help from her listeners) threw at me were:

  • Alternative History
  • Government Bureau
  • Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down

The end result is the short story (borderline novella) “Release Me” which dropped just before Balticon. As I mentioned, the story seemed to write itself and really took on some serious momentum, surprising (if not, disturbing) me. The end result, though, I am quite happy with:

In an alternative America a superhero learns a lesson in control.

Inspired by my favorite film of the year so far, Watchmen, I went with a government bureau of superheroes instead of something along the lines of The X-Files. (I think that is what folks were expecting.) There are also a few nods to the Twitter community and a homage to one of my Geek Chic heroines. This was a lot of fun, and a terrific exercise for me as a writer. So as it stands, J.C. Hutchins has challenged me with writing a thriller and Pip has tapped me for erotica. What’s next? Horror?

Scott Sigler? Phil Rossi? Any of you guys wanna throw the gauntlet?

Have a listen, and let me (and Pip) know what you think.

TeeMonster on the Move!

tee-jumpPhoto by Kreg Steppe

Hey, everyone! I’m closing in on a pretty busy chunk of time, and it all starts next week. As you can see in the photo, I attempted to jump to New Zealand, get a head start on the travel. The only problem is this picture is taken at CREATE South 2009 in Myrtle Beach, so that puts me by the Atlantic.

Oh yeah, and while I got some serious hang time in the photo…my distance was FAIL!

Before I get into the schedule, I got good news on All a Twitter: the manuscript is now at the publisher and currently being prepped for printing. You can pre-order the book but keep an eye on Imagine That! Studios for latest developments on my latest book concerning Social Media, and get ready — I got something else coming this summer.

Oh yeah, and I’m nearly done writing my smut for Chef Pip. I really am a naughty boy.

Now, here’s my upcoming schedule. This is where I will be:

May 22-25
Balticon 43 in Hunt Valley, MD

May 29-June 1
Conscription in Auckland, New Zealand

June 2
ANTI-Social Media, presented for LIANZA, 12pm-2pm
Room 420 Kate Edgar Information Commons Building #315
2 Alfred Street, University of Auckland
Auckland, New Zealand

All a Twitter, presented for LIANZA, 3pm-5pm
Room 420 Kate Edgar Information Commons Building #315
2 Alfred Street, University of Auckland
Auckland, New Zealand

June 3
Social Media Mainline Workshop for LIANZA, 9am-5pm
Computer Lab Room 433, Kate Edgar Information Commons Building #315
2 Alfred Street, University of Auckland
Auckland, New Zealand

June 6 (JUST ADDED!!!)
Podiobooks: The Best Audiobooks FOR FREE Online for Tararua District Library, 1pm-2pm
Dannevirke, New Zealand

June 15
ANTI-Social Media, presented for LIANZA, 12pm-2pm
Seminar Room, Reserve Bank of NZ
2 The Terrace
Report at ground floor reception no later than 11.45am
Wellington, New Zealand

All a Twitter, presented for LIANZA, 5pm-7pm
Conference Room, Department of Conservation
18-32 Manners Street
Report at ground floor reception no later than 4.45pm
Wellington, New Zealand

June 16
Social Media Mainline Workshop for LIANZA, 9am-5pm
SOLD OUT (Waiting List available)
Computer lab 510, Level 5, WelTec Wellington Campus
11-17 Church Street (off Boulcott Street)
Wellington, New Zealand

June 17

Speak Geek to Me, for Te Papa Tongarewa: The Museum of New Zealand, 10am-12pm
Location: TBA
Wellington, NZ

If you are in New Zealand and looking for a primer on Social Media, you can still sign-up for the Auckland workshop. I could not be more excited about this upcoming trip the Land of the Great White Cloud…

18.5 hours on a plane…AFTER I fly from DC to San Fran. Whoofah!

Next time we talk, I’ll be in the Southern Hemisphere. See you on the other side of the world!