Now checking in for my minimum once-monthly blog update. I want to start by summing up my experience as a panelist at Salt Lake Conic Con this year. I was on six panels, all with amazing people. I sat with NYT bestselling authors, small press authors, and lots of indie authors; musicians, psychologists, experienced literary agents, editors, and even a guy who has done work for Nickelodeon! Admittedly, I waxed a little personal on some of the panels I participated on (I’m still finding the right balance of how best to share pieces of my soul with the public, so to speak), but it was fantastic to share my knowledge, points of view, and my own author journey in hopes that some of what I had to offer would be helpful and encouraging to others. A lot of people came to garner insight and find encouragement as they embark on their own creative journeys, and it felt wonderful to pass on some of the things I’ve learned and contribute to the very environments where I’ve also taken many notes while seeking to improve my own writing craft. I also received a lot of good feedback from people after the panels, who mentioned that even some of the weird things I decided to tangentiate upon had been useful to hear, and I appreciate that very much.
Above are two pictures I’ve managed to find of myself on panels. The top was taken by my colleague, Dave Butler, during my panel “Vampires: The Many Faces of the Most Adaptable Monster.” The other was posted by a blog called Penguinate.com. With any luck, this blogger won’t mind me stealing their picture to share here, along with their blog posts about two of the panels I attended. To read their highlights, check out this post on “Structuring Life to Support Creativity” and this post on “Mad Scientists, Supervillains, and Sociopaths On The Road to Insanity.”
The Table of Awesome, so to speak, where I gathered with other indie authors to sell our books, was a marvelous load of fun. This post wouldn’t be complete without mentioning these wonderful people by name: Sara Butler (S. A. Butler), David J. West, Angie Lofthouse, Craig Nybo, Jaleta Clegg, James Wymore, Scott Tarbet, and Scott William Taylor. This “Table of Awesome” was once more anchored by the incredibly charismatic Dave Bulter, who will be leaving the indie sphere soon to join Wordfire Press at future cons. My cover artist, Carter Reid, and his wife, Kelli, had a booth selling their unusual zombie wares in the artist alley. Below you can see the very creative monster wallet-badge I bought from them, hiding behind my “special guest” pass for the event.
Chillin’ at Dave Butler’s “Table of Awesome” with Angie Lofthouse and Jaleta Clegg
I reconnected with other wonderful authors I’ve come to know well in the past couple of years: Adrienne Monson, Jason King, and Paul Genesse to name some. It was so great to see these people, and to meet many more authors in person for the first time through the panels. I hope to continue growing my network with other authors, and look forward to more events to come next year.
Leading Edge Magazine Is Getting An Overhaul
Issue #66 of Leading Edge Magazine has been delayed for publication by several months due to logistics and lack of personnel over the summer that created some hurdles. Following the publication of issue #66, however, the new editor-in-chief, Kenna Blaylock, has big plans for the magazine. She has garnered a lot of enthusiasm from student volunteers at the start of the regular BYU school year to reinvigorate the magazine and reach a wider audience. They’ve talked of starting a student podcast, offering more to students creatively in ways that go beyond developing editing skills, with artist, writing, and nerd-culture “factions” that will be tapped to produce content or editorials for regularly updated online discussion as well as inclusion in the magazine itself. Details are still in the works, but these are just a few of the ideas Kenna and her new crew of committed student leadership for Leading Edge are talking about.
Leading Edge Magazine is also currently CONDUCTING A CONTEST to update the magazine’s logo look, with a $50 cash prize to the winner. Check out the details on the website under the submission guidelines tab: http://www.leadingedgemagazine.com/submissions.php.
Other Writing News
Tomorrow, I’ll have some exciting details to reveal about my upcoming story in Xchyler Publishing’s Legends and Lore paranormal anthology. Until then, thanks to everyone in my life who has been supportive, and also to those who have put up with me and my shenanigans, as I have forged ahead into this uncertain, yet exciting, path to authorship. I love you all!
As I’ve plugged many times the past several weeks, I will be at Dave Butler’s table selling Maladaptive Bind and “Blood Oath: An Orc Love Story” at Salt Lake Comic Con this weekend. Want to know where the infamous Dave Butler’s table will be located at Salt Lake Comic Con? Below is a map of the Artist Alley near the public entrance to Comic Con as taken from the roster (click image to see larger). Dave Butler’s tables are Yellow 38 and 39–where I’ll be, along with Angie Lofthouse, David West, Scott William Taylor, Scott Tarbet, Nathan Shumate, Jaleta Clegg, Sara Butler, Craig Nybo, and more. Come say hi, and buy our books! ;-)
Want to know more about what panels I’m on this weekend? Check out my schedule under the Events tab here on Slithers, or browse the official Comic Con schedule for panels under the Panels tab, Panel Schedule.
Space Eldtritch. A Lovecraftian horror anthology edited by Nathan Shumate.
“In space, no one can hear you gibber in maddness.” (Theme for Space Eldritch I)
Three stories stood out to me in particular: “Space Opera” by Michael R. Collings, “The Shadows of Titan” by Carter Reid and Brad R. Torgerson, and “Flight of the Runewright” by Howard Taylor. I liked the trajectory of these three stories the best, was sucked in by the tension and the premises they presented, I liked the characters, and the story endings remained most distinct in my mind.
“Space Opera” follows the crew of unempathetic, insect-like aliens on a journey to colonize new worlds. Michael Collings has a wonderful way with description that makes the weirdness of the primary creatures in this story intriguing. His prose is just beautiful, though the world and characters he’s created are terrifying.
Brad Torgerson is a master storyteller. I enjoyed his descriptions and his ability to manipulate tension within the story “The Shadows of Titan,” about a crew of astronauts bound to explore an alien pyramid trapped in the frozen surface of Saturn’s moon, Titan. This author’s voice and style are very distinct, and his first-person narrative makes it so easy to step into the skin of the characters.
“Flight of the Runewright” was both somewhat comical and duly terrifying. The mystery and tension surrounding the protagonist’s escape aboard a ship with runes inscribed on the outside that could drive one mad if viewed with both eyes (or both brain hemispheres engaged) was an intriguing concept and fantastically executed.
Dave Butler’s “Arise, Thou Niarlat From Thy Rest” presented a fascinating threat that wove the lives of characters from three different times and places together in one struggle to either raise a cosmic evil or keep it at bay a little longer. Dave’s ability to shift not only viewpoints but settings from vastly different time periods and universes in an authentic way truly shows off his strengths in versatility as a storyteller.
“The Menace Under Mars” by Nathan Shumate has a similar premise to “Shadows of Titan,” but the pyramid hidden in a Martian crater is a completely unexpected discovery by the crew who stumbles across it, and the dark cosmic forces driving the chaos take on a completely different form. I enjoyed the exploration sequences in the crater away from base the most–the alien architecture was interesting and the tension was great.
David J. West’s “Gods in the Darkness” featured his mastery of descriptive action sequences where a space crew battles a leviathan creature headed for Earth as their ship descends into chaos.
“The Fury in the Void” by by Robert J. Defendi follows a Russian military space crew trying to stop genocide and torture left in the wake of battling ships when they encounter a dark presence in the universe that is far more horrifying than anything else they’ve known. This story had some creepy human-to-alien transformation sequences that I thought were interesting, and an ending that leaves you wondering just what doom awaits the universe.
Overall, a good sampling of stories bound by an interesting theme: Lovecraftian horror in space.
“The Curious Leaf: An Adventure in Wishing” by Danyelle Leafty is the story of a flower who always wanted wings, and a fairy who always wanted to be a flower.
I’ve corresponded with Danyelle online and was invited to read this work. I’ve seen her other children’s stories, but this is the first time I was able to finally sit down and read one.
This is a cute story, short and sweet. The exploration of the flower, Kya’s, magical “greenlife” plant world was charming and intriguing. It was fun to see how this author handled the flower’s ability to communicate, experience sensations, physically express feelings, and ultimately…change. Danyelle has created a beautiful little world, full of wonder and curiosity. Very creative. Delightful.
I enjoyed this.
You can get your own Kindle copy here on Amazon.
I just got my paneling schedule for Salt Lake Comic Con 2014. Check it out! SLCC will be held September 4th-6th in the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Thursday, September 4th
- 7:00 P.M. – The Appeal of Fear (Room 255F)
Friday, September 5th
- 5:00 P.M – Magic, Myths, Legends, Archetypes and the Supernatural: What Writers of Speculative Fiction Have to Work With (Room 255E)
- 8:00 P.M. – Vampires: The Many Faces of the Most Adaptable Monster (Room 251A)
Saturday, September 6th
- 12:00 P.M. – Monster Song Writing: Music With Teeth (Room 255B)
- 5:00 P.M. – Structuring Life to Support Creativity (Room 150D)
- 8:00 P.M. – Mad Scientists, Supervillains, and Sociopaths: The Road to Insanity (Room 255C)
I will also be selling my books Maladaptive Bind and Blood Oath: An Orc Love Story at Dave Butler‘s table of awesome indie authors.
More information will be posted in the weeks leading up to the convention.
If you’re planning on going, be sure to stop by one of my panels or Dave’s booth to say hi. See you there!