Achievement Unlocked: My First Con (DemiCon 25) as Guest of Honor

IMG_0556So Monday was the snap-back from my return to Richmond — RavenCon. It was a great weekend with an additional bonus of Pip and myself hijacking award-winner Elizabeth Bear to show her a few sights from my hometown. We left the con at 2 o’clock and didn’t return her until 6:15.

What did we do in four hours?

It was not only quality time with a friend, but a good sampling of what Richmond had to offer.

I plan to write about the weekend — especially on the exceptional KidsTrack which followed a S.H.I.E.L.D. Training theme — but presently I am looking ahead to this coming weekend: the Silver Edition of DemiCon. I’m feeling the butterflies kick as I’ll be reuniting with old friends, meeting new ones for the first time, and fulfilling a role I’ve never held before at a convention.

IMG_0271At DemiCon 25, I am being welcomed as the event’s Guest of Honor, or GoH.

Following my first year experiencing the con scene, I made the GoH distinction one of those “That would be cool…” goals in my career. Why? It would have been an indication that to the organizers and staff of a particular convention, my stories held a special place. Not a bad benchmark to reach for, I figured. After a few years of con-hopping, I assumed my first GoH would be an event I frequented. Maybe? Then, on going full time in writing, the notion fell to the bottom of my priorities list, beaten out by other items like new title development and paying bills.

Imagine my surprise when it was DemiCon, an event I attended only once, that would be the first to extend this distinction to me. Imagine my surprise growing when I found out it would be for their 25th anniversary.

No pressure there, Morris. Continue reading

The Price of Publicity: Part II — The Call between WorldCon and Dragon*Con

In another posting on being business savvy when it comes to a writing career, I wanted to talk a bit about a con-related chat that came up between Jean Orrico and myself. Jean, as you might know, is my agent for a writing workshop I teach with Lani Tupu. Lani, as many of you should know, is the uber-talented, multi-faceted actor and artist, best known for his work as Crais and the voice of pilot in (my favorite Science Fiction television series) Farscape. Usually I bump into Jean (always a pleasure) and we either talk smack to one another (much to the delight of Lani), talk shop, or she berates me for “taking too damn long on a Morevi sequel.”

Hopefully, she will still be talking to me after my blogpost concerning that.

Jean asked me recently if I was coming to Dragon*Con this year. Now, if you’ve missed the hundreds—no, wait, the thousands—no, wait, tens of thousands—of write-up’s, video, pictures, tweets, and podcasts about this particular event, let me bring you up to speed on Dragon*Con. If there were a Mardi Gras for geeks, this would be it. Held in Atlanta every Labor Day weekend, Dragon*Con is a fan-run (as in volunteer, and God bless every one of those volunteers who step up to make this happen!) convention that must be experienced at least once. It is an epic four-day weekend with media stars, podcasters, writers, artists, and costumes, costumes, costumes. Along with Jean, a few other friends and fans have asked me if I and Pip will be in attendance this year. When we say “no” people look a little disappointed, but trust us — we have very good reasons for passing on Dragon*Con. 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

PREVIEW: Books & Braun (Recorded LIVE at World Fantasy 2009)

readingI admit that my blog (both of them) have been a bit quiet since taking on the Day Job and working through a busy October, but hopefully this sneak peek at what I’ve been up to will make my pockets of quiet worthwhile.

Recorded before a live audience at World Fantasy Convention, award-winning podcaster and award-nominated author Philippa Ballantine and I unveiled (with the blessings of our agent) our work-in-progress now working its way through submissions: Books & Braun, our Steampunk take on The Avengers. This is the first time that we have revealed to the public any selections from the work (apart from the odd quotes and teasers in our respective tweet streams), and we had a blast with this presentation. Our plan is to eventually podcast it in this fashion: Pip and I supplying the respective narration, a “few” (HA!) production elements, a musical score, and artwork featured by Carrie Seidman. We hope you enjoy this listen at what we have cooking in the creative kitchen.

BLOGGERS & PODCASTERS: We are releasing this reading under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. Both Pip and I encourage you to syndicate this episode and point your subscribers to this endeavor of ours. We also would love to hear your feedback on this preview both here and at Pip’s website. Thank you for giving us a bit of space on your mp3 player of choice, and we will keep you posted on what happens with our daring duo from the clandestine organization that is The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences.