Five Things I Learned When Writing a Young Adult Book

curseofthesilverpharoah_smallRecently, The Curse of the Silver Pharaoh went live on Amazon, print editions premiering this week at the Maryland Renaissance Festival, provided we get no unforeseen whammies from CreateSpace. (Thanks, Hurricane Matthew!) Silver Pharaoh is not my first novel, nor is it my first foray into steampunk, as many of you know. The thing about this book that has me fidgeting nervously as reviews start to trickle in is that Silver Pharaoh is my first step into the realm of Young Adult fiction.

And that terrifies me. Greatly.

I’ve got a lot of feelings about Y.A. Fiction, one being that those reading Y.A. are not necessarily “young” adults. Think about it—while Harry Potter could be easily dismissed as a “kid’s book” and is found in the Children’s sections of bookstores and libraries everywhere, just as many adults devoured the adventures of the Boy Who Lived just as ravenously as its target audience.

So, yeah, working in the wild and woolly world of Y.A. for the first time, I picked up a few things… 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

Two Detectives: A Case of Lightning Striking Twice

peter-dinklage-lightbox-1As you all know, I have a thing for the Dinklage. 

When I first saw him in the *ahem* EMMY-AWARD-WINNING PERFORMANCE of Tyrion in Game of Thrones, I knew that if Billi were ever optioned for the big screen or for cable, Dinklange would be my first—and only—choice for the role of the dwarf detective. The wise-ass attitude. The swagger. The confidence. He was Billi in the best suits Westros could offer. This, of course, was a pipe dream as The Billibub Baddings Mysteries were settling comfortably as bygone titles in my career. I hadn’t really given the dwarf detective much thought until January when my better half and the rest of the Smoky Writers’ Retreat convinced me a Kickstarter to fund a third Billi—regardless of both my agent and other publishers showing no interest in the series—was a good idea.

So since Valentine’s Day, the dwarf detective and Dinklage have been in the forefront of my mind recently…

…and that why I was completely thrown for a loop when this bomb dropped in my lap: Dinklage is in talk for a new HBO series where he plays a dwarf detective.

Wait. Come again?! Continue reading

It’s Not about Joss: Concerning The Avengers, Science Fiction, and New York Times Critics

Since 3 a.m. last night, I have been singing the praises of The Avengers, the über-anticipated epic directed by one of the deities of fanbois everywhere Joss Wheedon. Now while this may make me sound like I’m looking down my nose at fanbois and geeks, I disagree — I’m just practicing full transparency, just as I practice in my life a blatant display of geekiness. It’s part of my job. It’s part of my life. I have no shame being a geek. It’s who I am.

This morning (as in the midnight showing) Pip and I saw what I would argue is Joss Whedon’s second-best film (still not as shiny as his best) but his greatest triumph as a screenwriter and filmmaker. Whedon took four of Marvel’s heaviest hitters, threw in three more for good measure, shook well, and created a script and a movie that was balanced, entertaining, and good fun. And when I say fun, I mean “original Iron Man” fun. Already on IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes, the reviews are coming in and the movie will, as summer blockbusters do, raise the bar for other movies of its ilk…

I will go on to say, though, if Battleship breaks The Avengers records, I am seriously going to wrap up this blog and hide. For a decade. Continue reading

I Dream of Peter Dinklage: A Dwarf Detective Returns

This weekend was a productive one, started with Pip building a case (pardon the pun) for dusting off a manuscript that disappeared into the sunset back in 2009. It has been, of all of my works, the most requested of my works for a sequel.

It was a pretty intense conversation between Pip and myself…

PIP: Tee, I really want to get Billi out in a digital format.
ME: Okay.
PIP: *blink-blink* Um…okay….

Yeah, pretty gripping, I know.

So now, after two years of being out of print, Imagine That! Studios as part of EXPERIMENT 2012 brings you…

 

I did say last year that I believed I would return to this alternative Chicago where a dwarf detective would stand toe-to-toe with Al Capone, and now it is happening. The story is still the same. We just have the book in new formats now. Kindle? Nook? Kobo? Yeah, we got you covered.

Why now? I was asked by Myke Cole in a recent roundtable discussion on John Mireau’s Serving Worlds podcast when you know it’s time to release a title on your own. Could it have anything to do with this rakish gent? Continue reading

New York ComicCon: The Details

First, I want to give a huge shout-out to Stephanie Kim, Assistant Publicist at Harper Collins. She has made this happen along with the crew of New York ComicCon, and with i’s dotted and t’s crossed I am now here with the details on what will be happening in the Big Apple this October!

DATE: Friday, October 14
PANEL: Steampunk in Comics and Literature

TIME: 9:00PM-10:00PM
LOCATION: 1A01

Steampunk traces its origins back to the science fiction of the 19th century, and the term itself was coined to describe a genre of Victorian sci-fi being written by modern authors. At the same time,  steampunk and Victorian industrial age aesthetics have long held a  great fascination for comic and manga artists of various backgrounds. Continue reading