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

Endless Possibilities Blog Tour 2014: Nick Kelly on Crossing the Line and How Far to Cross It

Today on the blog, I host the kind of writer that is truly metal. No, really—he is metal. He’s a musician. He’s a security expert. He’s a health professional. AND…he’s a writer. If you’re a listener to The Shared Desk, you recognize the name: Nick Kelly. Fellow comic book geek. Fellow movie buff. Fellow cybersecurity believer. As he and I have shared opinions on just how far to go in your writing, I encouraged him to share his thoughts with you on the boundaries and just how far you can push them.

Nick, welcome to my blog. The stage is yours.

IMG_4643“Remember, honey, these aren’t your normal readers. Tone down the gore.”

Words of wisdom from my blushing bride and co-author, Stacia D. Kelly. I don’t remember the first time she told me this, but she’s repeated that comment several times while we were writing Ichi together. Our shared story is an urban fantasy featuring a 1,000 year old samurai demon hunter and a D.C. homicide cop.

When I’m not collaborating with her, I write a series of dystopian cyberpunk featuring a hitman and lots and lots of psychotic robots. I may have a contest among my readers to see who can most accurately report the body count.

That raises the ultimate question – How much is too much? Continue reading

Endless Possibilities Blog Tour 2014: Tamela J. Ritter Asks What She Should Be Reading

Good morning, everybody. Welcome back to the Endless Possibilities Blog Tour. Two weeks remain, and today I’m so happy to welcome to my corner of the Interwebz Tamela J. Ritter. Tamela came to me and asked what I’d like to feature on my blog, and of course I mentioned Science Fiction and Fantasy. Turns out that Tamela is on the lookout for something new to read, and is asking you for some suggestions with an emphasis on characters and character development.

You know, Tamela—I can recommend a pair of secret agents set in a steampunk world


Hi, my name is Tamela J. Ritter and I am a sci-fi/fantasy n00b. 

Lavery_Maiss_Auras--What I Imagine I look like readingI was supposed to come here and talk about writing, about creating and producing fiction. Instead, if Tee doesn’t mind, I’d like to use this space to talk about reading and consuming fiction. And also, hopefully gather some recommendations from you all. Continue reading

Happy Valentine’s Day from Billibub Baddings!

ind-ratpackToday marks the seventh anniversary of the first episode of The Case of the Singing Sword: A Billibub Baddings Mystery. I still remember when I first put together the first episode, and then moved along to create the following four episodes. I remember the email to the creative mind behind Rubber Band Banjo who was gracious enough to offer his music as the theme to Billi’s podcast. It was 2007 and still podcasting was a wild frontier. Back in 2005, it was me, Scott Sigler, and Mark Jeffrey as the Three Musketeers of Podiobooks. Two years later, it was me, Scott, and new guy J.C. Hutchins, and we were dubbed “The Rat Pack of Podcasting.”

I was Dean.

So how does one celebrate a podcast’s anniversary? For me — I launch a Kickstarter. Continue reading

A Triple B: Blogworld and BEA in the Big Apple!

May was a blur. It dawned on me yesterday morning that since the middle of April I have been going full tilt. Starting a new job, a book trailer, visiting relatives, two book events, and the premiere of The Janus Affair only highlights the madness that was May. This week marks the end of a powerhouse of promotion and networking, and it seems only right that Pip and I end our power play in the city that never sleeps — New York.

What makes this trip an epic ending for our Janus Affair launch is we will be working both sides of the Javitz Center. Initially we were invited as guests of Blogworld. The amazing Cliff Ravencraft has put together one incredible podcasting track, and with the patience of Job (as he was finalizing everything in May…) he has worked both of us into the programming.

At the same time, Pip got us a signing at Book Expo America! Continue reading

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

New Fiction: Grimm, Once Upon a Time…and now — ME!

With the successful run of the first season of Tales from the Archives, Pip convinced me to take that step into being a self publisher. In this trip, I’ve been taking copious notes from other writers like Mur Lafferty, James Meltzer, and Chuck Wendig.

Today, I’m releasing out into the wild my first novella.

Aladdin and His Wonderfully Infernal Device

As I mentioned on The Shared Desk, Aladdin and His Wonderfully Infernal Device is an inspiration from a steampunk fairy tale anthology Pip is affiliated with. I went back to a few of the original translations of Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp (quite a few of those, it turns out…) and then brought in a bit of steampunk for fun. Here’s the summary:

Aladdin is a street-wise thief that finds himself under the tutelage of a world-renown illusionist. He is escorted deep into the deserts in search of a treasure beyond his wildest dreams, and discovers instead something far more valuable—a destiny.

My first step into fiddling with fairy tales, and my first novella. It is now live and can be yours for a mere $1.99, exclusive for the Kindle! Have a read, leave a review, and tell a friend.

Counting down to one wild weekend ahead…

Yes, it has been a little quiet on my blog…but that doesn’t mean I’ve been standing still.

The 2011 Steampunk World's Fair

Our first steampunk exposition, The Steampunk World’s Fair in Somerset, New Jersey, is happening this week; and they are making us feel welcome! The guest list is mind-blowing, and yet we — the steampunk rookies — make their Lovecraftian promotional poster.

I think this is a sign of a FUN weekend ahead!

Both Pip and I will be there as part of “Ministry MAY-hem” and there are more details about the weekend to be found at the Ministry website. Track the weekend on Twitter by following the #SPWF hashtag.

We hope to see you this weekend as we get our steampunk funk on!

Sucker Punch: The Title Says It All

[WARNING: While this review does not contain spoilers, the Comments do. You have been warned. Now…read on…]

Director and Writer Zack Snyder can really make a beautiful movie. Snyder set his own style with films like 300 and Watchmen, but has also come under fire for making movies that lack depth or are very “comic book” in their almost balletic approach to graphic violence. When you consider his last two films were pulling from (wait for it!) graphic novels, it makes you want to bitch slap critics. Perhaps this is why critics (and perhaps, some moviegoers) have been overly critical of Snyder’s latest film, Sucker Punch.

On reading some of these reviews, though, I have to ask “Did you see the same film as I did?” I not only loved Sucker Punch, I am here to tell you that missing this on the big screen would be a crime. It is original. It is surprising. It is intelligent.

What is isn’t is what the critics are making it out to be: Geekboy Titillation.

Now there’s no denying it: Snyder covers all of the bases in this flick. Sucker Punch offers up zombies, steampunk, dragons,  WWII bombers, and katana swordfights. And yes, all of the gunfire and swordplay is happening with women who all just happen to be hot. Continue reading

The Tough Choices (Part II: Concerning Dwarf Detectives and Swashbuckling Pirates)

Last week, you got the behind-the-scenes look at how a lot of work can go into books and how a publisher can change their minds without telling you. We also got a look at how I’ve been making some rookie flub-up’s and probably need to go back and listen to my own podcast on writing and what not to do. This week, Part II of “The Tough Choices” goes into the characters people know me for and the questions people have been asking me since 2005…

The Billibub Baddings Mysteries

“So, are you ever going to podcast Pitcher’s Pendant?”

Two of the best things a writer can ever hear about their work is:

  • I read it again, and it gets better every time.
  • Where’s the next book?

While my podcasting and Twitter books are the bigger financial successes, it is my print and podcast novels that people ask me about the most. In particular, when is the next one coming? I suppose that would make the novels from Dragon Moon Press artistic successes. Continue reading