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A New Page and Writing Status

Yeah, I know, I know, it has been a while since I wrote.

I’ve been busily working on the outline and character sketches for book two of my little series, entitled QUEEN OF CROSSROADS. I’m hoping to have some preview content up in the next few months. QUEEN OF CROSSROADS leaves the comfortable west coast and centers on a new heroine settled comfortably, or uncomfortably, in the midwestern regions of the Commonwealth. The characters are younger, the Assembled just as complicated, and there’s a baby. I think you’ll like it.

QUEEN OF HUNGER is going along well. I don’t have any new readings scheduled for the fall, but as with Westercon there’s no telling what will fall into my lap. Now that the initial flush is off the sales, I’m considering some new marketing venues — we’ll see how it goes.

To help myself with my ongoing writing (both for QUEEN OF CROSSROADS and some other projects) I’m compiling a list of inspirational websites. These links now have their own page here at TALES OF THE ASSEMBLED — Inspiration. Clever, I know. These are pages that I find myself going back to for some spark or detail. That page will keep growing, so if you’re a writer who could use a kickstart now and again, it might be for you.

With that, I’m off. Take care all and as always, thank you for reading.

Westercon 66: Surprise Reading of QUEEN OF HUNGER

The family and I attended Westercon 66 in Sacramento this past weekend (July 4-7) as the central event of our little summer vacation. I came prepared to do a reading of QUEEN OF HUNGER (hell, I could practically recite the first 100 pages by heart) but I didn’t really think anything would come of it. That’ll teach me to doubt. Not only did I read, I passed out a grip of promotional materials and had my own cosplayer! Now you don’t have to be a fellow geek to know how cool it is to have a reader like your work enough to dress up like them in public. Thank you to my Mama Leah costumed friend, and all my other friends and supporters who came around to hear of Mama, Teach, Mona, and Wyatt. It really helps to know you’re out there reading, and listening and loving every minute.

The reading went quite well and I got to hear from a few other talented writers as well. Their names and book links are listed below in the order we read. I will say that it continues to be entertaining to read out loud and observe the reactions of some listeners to my “urban” style and frank language. When I drop that first f-bomb and the listener blanches I always think to myself, Honey, you ain’t heard nothing yet. I admit that I’m starting to wonder if the reaction isn’t just to the word fuck, but to me somehow. But that’s another post.

In addition to the reading, I attended several panels about issues facing women in gaming and geek culture, received a list of princess fairy tales from around the world, and learned to build a quickie air-propelled rocket. I’m finding myself falling in love with fan conventions. Where else could I do all of that in a weekend and attend a concert by the Phenomenauts and and go to several parties, see a drink mixing robot, sip margaritas with a guy who would later dress as Grimlock, and learn to play roulette with two very lovely spies? OH, and have my daughter photographed with Captain America? Yeah, a small hotel in Sacramento, CA.

Thank you to the organizers, programming staff, and all the fans at Westercon 66 this year. It was a blast.

Authors from the Open Reading:

Phyllis Kalbach, Blue Eden: The future after the ice melts

Eileen Rendahl, Don’t Kill the Messenger

Leslie Light, Queen of Hunger

Stephen Rose, Jr., The Fool’s Illusion

My first live reading of QUEEN OF HUNGER

The main event for me at BayCon over Memorial Day weekend was the Themed Reading: Urban Fantasy panel, at which I read from QUEEN OF HUNGER and got to meet and hear a great crop of other authors working in the same rough genre. They all had FAR more experience than I, which meant I got to read first then sit back and listen. My two favorite of the other authors:

I have to geek-out here for a moment about Colin Fisk. Colin is the author of several of the Cyberpunk 2020 RPG sourcebooks — most notably the 1991 Chromebook. Now I don’t know if any of you are cyberpunk fans, either of the RPG or the genre, but I’ve read my Chromebook so many times the iconic pink cover  isn’t attached any more. It was simply AWESOME for me to get to shake Colin’s hand and tell him how much he’d inspired me. He read from a new short story he’s working on, an intense piece of cyberpunk with a horror edge. I’ve added him to my Goodreads list so when the short comes out I can find it. I’d love to read more from him.

The other reading I really enjoyed was by Jay Hartlove from his novel THE CHOSEN. It is the first of an occult trilogy about Charles Redmond, a man who slowly convinces his psychologist that no, really, he’s sane…there really ARE demons chasing him and the loa of his Haitian Voodoo religion actually ARE alive and well and ready to help him in a fight for the future of the world. As you can imagine, this is right up my alley – Voodoo, horror, vengeance, redemption – all my favorite stuff.

In addition to sharing some great fiction, both men were also encouraging to me as the new author on the block. Let me tell you, when you’re reading from your heart in front of a room full of people, it is great to hear from the pros that you did well. Thanks to both of them for their cheers and support. I look forward to the next exciting pieces of fiction they both produce!

For my fellow gamer geeks — FLASHBACK!

Cover of 1991 Chromebook Cyberpunk 2020 sourcebook

I think I had this book memorized at one point…

What? A whole room full of People of Color at a Sci Fi Convention? This must be the FUTURE!

I’m just settling in after a long weekend at my local Science Fiction/Fantasy fan-run convention, BayCon. It was a great chance for me to read from QUEEN OF HUNGER to a packed room and to get together with other fans and talk about our interests. Best of all for me, I met several other authors who I’m alternately inspired and impressed by. I wanted to give a review of the event but in the interest of short attention spans (and those of us who do our blog reading on our phones on our lunch hours) I’ll cut it into two posts. First – the Fans of Color Panel.

Read the rest of this entry

QUEEN OF HUNGER Has a Cover!

As I was putting together my plan for self-publishing, it quickly became clear that task #2, after finishing QUEEN OF HUNGER, was having a great cover done. A cover is the first step in the presentation of a book. And as a new author, convincing new readers to pay a few bucks for my work, I knew I needed to nail that first impression. My cover artist helped me do that to the nines.

If you’re looking for an experienced, fun, creative artist, I present to you Darne Lang. And the cover to my book.

Teach in her world

Cover Art by D.Lang for QUEEN OF HUNGER.

I’m lucky to know an amazing number of skilled artists and craftspeople, both personally and professionally. I know jewelers, pewter-smiths, stained glass setters (is that a glazier? A stained glazier? How does that work, linguistically speaking?), custom seamstresses, and a number of 2-D visual artists in both digital and traditional media. I met my cover artist several years ago, but this is our first collaboration – the first of many I hope. I definitely learned a lot in working with her, most notably that “I don’t know, can you make it more Oakland?” isn’t actually good creative feedback.

Let me know what you think in the Comments. Feel free to share through all your social webs; if not because the QUEEN OF HUNGER is an awesome book, which it is, then because the cover is just good.

Announcing!

If you’re a friend of mine, or even a vague and distant acquaintance, you know that I write. What you might not know is this: I’ll be publishing my book via Amazon Kindle at the end of April!

QUEEN OF HUNGER, Tales of the Assembled: Book 1 is a professionally edited, two-years in the writing, one-year in the fixing, full-length novel. Read the rest of this entry

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