Salt City Steamfest 2016

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I had the opportunity again this year to attend Salt City Steamfest with the wonderful Xchyler Publishing authors of Utah. (The picture above features Kelly Olsen–our local convention sponsor who happens to be a very clever real estate agent and knows just where to find the perfect Victorian-era home for you in Utah; John Olsen, Scott Tarbet, Jay Barnson, Julie Barnson, and Scott Taylor. And me. :-).

Steampunk fans really love what they do, and the cosplay at these events is creative and often elaborate. There were fantastic and interesting booths to explore this year as well, from fossils and reptiles on display, to the costume and gadget vendors, to the harpist and other entertainers who helped create a delightful atmosphere. It was fun to be among you all once again.

I wasn’t on panels this round, but it was nice to relax back at the booth and reconnect with my friends and colleagues. We–Jay, Kelly, and I–had a particularly fun time teasing Candace Thomas (who stopped by the convention briefly to peruse corsets) about her visceral aversion to green pear taffy (“Pear is poison,” she says). (If you feel so inclined, you can watch the video that we authors have been enjoying for our own entertainment here on Facebook: http://fb.me/79VajjeZ1)

Thanks for another great event, Salt City Steamfest! Until next summer!

Salt City Steamfest 2015

This weekend I attended Salt City Steamfest in Salt Lake City. This cozy steampunk convention has the highest density of people in costume I think I’ve seen compared to other conventions, and it was a blast! (Check out steampunk Ursula poising to stab me with her trident:)

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One of my favorite things about small conventions is that authors and artists I know will often recruit each other to fill in last-minute on panels that are missing people or that conflict with other scheduling commitments someone has made. When I’m recruited, this becomes a really fun opportunity to network with new artists and to dive into a discussion, seeing what interesting things we come up with to explore between panel and audience.

I was not able to sign up as a panelist at this particular convention, so it delighted me to be spontaneously included in two panels. One panel was made up entirely of Xchyler-published authors discussing “Writing Steampunk for Fun and Profit,” on what it takes to become a good writer. The other panel I sat on with Scott Taylor, and, for the first time, with Paul Genesse as our fabulous, charismatic moderator discussed “The Science of Steampunk.”

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Other authors and artists I had the opportunity to mingle with this weekend included Candice Thomas (author of the Vivatera series), Jason King (author of Valcoria and Lure of Fools), Cody Langille with the Horror Writers of America, Kelli and Carter Reid, Nathan Shumate, Jay and Julie Barnson, Sctt Tarbet, Kelly and John Olsen, and so many more.

11227889_10207031108994548_8931706639837434038_o(Photo above courtesy of Jason King)

I always learn something new, and the circle of familiar faces expands with each event I attend. Thank you, Steamfest-ites, and all you creative people for a lovely weekend. I look forward to seeing many of you again at Salt Lake Comic Con in September!

Salt City Steamfest 2014

I went to a steampunk convention up in Salt Lake yesterday called Salt City Steamfest. I haven’t yet produced any steampunk literature or other art, and I’ll confess it’s not a genre I’m personally into as much as others. I didn’t bring anything to sell, but rather went to get a sense of the convention’s atmosphere, network, and say hello to people I knew. The convention became a fun opportunity to reconnect with friends from my indie network, including Carter Reid, his wife Kelly, Dave Butler, James Wymore, and David West.

Xycher Publishing, who will be incorporating a short story of mine into their upcoming Mr. and Mrs. Myth anthology, had a booth in the premium vendor’s room. I had a chance to meet Penny Freeman, McKenna Gardner, Scott Tarbet, Sarah Hyatt, Aly Grauer, and others from the “X-team,” as they…or rather we call ourselves. They’re a very warm, enthusiastic, and easy-going bunch, and I’m pleased and excited to be associated with them for this project.

1521247_733831616690661_5614185013982535204_n(I snagged this picture of myself with Penny Freeman at the Xchyler vendor table from the Xchyler Publishing FB page)

I was also spontaneously invited to be on two panels today. One that Dave and James invited me to ended up having no attendance, so we disbanded. The other panel consisted of seven authors and editors (plus myself) from Xchyler Publishing. As most of the audience’s questions focused on authors’ experiences with the editing procedures at Xchyler, and I have yet to go through them, I didn’t say much on that particular panel. It was, however, such a nice feeling to be included by both my indie associates and my new publisher in these things.

The next event I plan to attend is Salt Lake Comic Con, September 4th-6th. My plan is to certainly be on panels and selling my indie books. I will also be bringing some hand-painted dinosaur jewelry boxes to sell. See you then!