Posts Tagged ‘social media’
He then very graciously returned the favor and wrote a post for my blog, which I must say I don’t think I deserve, and I hesitated to post at the risk of seeming self-serving. Thank you Stuart!
I first met Janine this year at Ravencon and then again at ConCarolinas. We hit it off from the start and I suspect she’ll be in my writing life for many years to come. When it came to writing this guest post for her blog (thanks for having me, BTW), I went over several possibilities and finally settled on something that wasn’t in my list at all: People.
Too often we get so involved in writing a story, creating a book, marketing a book, garnering reviews, panicking over sales numbers, cheering over sales numbers, up and down, round and round, that we forget the simple fact that all of this is about people. It’s about writers (who are, generally speaking, people) sharing stories with readers (who are, most certainly, people). It’s about human interaction. Even if you and I never meet, we interact through the story.
It may sound a bit airy, but it’s truly the core of what we are doing. It doesn’t matter the story, either. The Way of the Black Beast is the first in my post-apocalyptic fantasy series with magic from tattoos, blues guitarist/assassins, and a whole host of mutated beasties, but at its core, it is about a woman protecting a boy while dealing with her own twisted family issues. My latest novel, Southern Bound, is a paranormal-mystery about a researcher who discovers his office is haunted by a 1940s detective. There’s a cool mystery surrounding North Carolina history mixed with ghosts, curses, and witches, but the story is really about the love between a man and his wife. It’s always been about people. And by making our stories about people, writers connect with readers.
This may all seem rather obvious, but the obvious things are usually the ones we forget so easily. What brought it all in focus for me was thinking about Janine and politics. In this country, we’ve been living through a particularly volatile time lately with everybody drawing lines in the sand and nobody listening to the other, let alone uttering that dreaded word — compromise. And yet, on a human scale, a one-on-one scale, we can still connect with each other without the vitriol that spews all over the comment section of any news article on the Internet.
Janine exemplifies that warm, gracious, human side we should all strive for. And she didn’t even pay me to write that. Perhaps that’s one reason why she’s met with success publishing her book. Perhaps on a deeper, subconscious level, we can all sense when we are being told a story that touches the human side of us.
Sheesh. I didn’t intend for this post to get so heavy but then again, if we didn’t stop once-in-a-while and write about these things, the Internet would have nothing left except porn, comedy, and cats. So, now that I’ve done that, go ahead and return to your porn, comedy, and cats.
Stuart Jaffe is the author of Southern Bound, The Malja Chronicles, After The Crash, as well as the short story collection, 10 Bits of My Brain. Numerous other short stories have appeared in magazines and anthologies. He is the co-host of The Eclectic Review — a podcast about science, art, and well, everything. For those who keep count, the latest animal listing is as follows: five cats, one albino corn snake, one Brazilian black tarantula, three aquatic turtles, one tortoise, assorted fish, two lop-eared rabbits, seven chickens, and a horse. Thankfully, the chickens and the horse do not live inside the house.
Lastly, don’t forget, War of the Seasons, Book Two: The Half-blood **PRE-SALE**
For a limited time only, pre-order the book for only $12.99!
Every book will be signed – please state if you want it personalized (and with what name) in the special instructions to the seller when you purchase.
Each book is $12.99, and there is a flat rate shipping fee of $4.95 in the United States only.
Due to printing timelines, the books will be signed and available for shipment during the 2nd week of July. Expect them to arrive shortly thereafter.
Canadian buyers, shipping will be the same price for you, but it will not be priority, so it will take longer to arrive.
All other international buyers, please contact me first before purchasing (leave a comment on my homepage with your email address – they are screened). Your shipping cost/times will be different.
Last weekend I was a guest at RavenCon for the second time – the first time being a few years ago where I was a costuming guest. It was wonderful to come back to RavenCon, and the best part was how many people remembered me from my costuming days. I was touched.
I was on several fun panels this time around too – and of course I forgot to write down the ones I was on, so I’ll do my best to remember them here (though I’m certain I’ll forget one): trends in costuming (moderated by the always entertaining James Fulbright) was a lot of fun – I think we decided that fairy tales were the next big costuming wave to come, that steam punk was on its downslide, and that Doctor Who was in it’s heyday.
Another great panel I was on was Professional Self-Publishing. I learned so much from my fellow panelists, and hopefully changed some minds/attitudes about self-publishing along the way… and given that I received this email shortly after returning from RavenCon, I know that we changed at least one mind.
Thank you for introducing your beautiful book at RavenCon this last weekend! Wowza!
I USED TO BE one of those “annoyed with the lo quality of self-pubed material” readers but I am absolutely blown away with the craftsmanship that went into creating War of the Seasons.
You and your work have made it OK for us readers to start exploring the newer reading materials that are coming out. I see you and your work as a trailblazer and a Quality Standards Setter for the future.
I had the opportunity to learn a lot from you this weekend, and thanks for turning my expectations around.
Another fun panel I was on was the Military Sci-Fi panel (that one is ALWAYS fun!) – looks like there’s a definite audience (at least among women) for my Pride & Prejudice in Space retelling. Woohoo!
One thing I’ve learned that no matter how many times you give a panel it’s always different and you always learn something new. In addition to the wonderful panelists I had the opportunity to be on panels with at past conventions, I made some new friends this time, and these guys are definitely worth checking out (in no particular order): John Betancourt, Jean Marie Ward, Stuart Jaffee, Elizabeth Campbell, Mike McPhail (not a “new” friend exactly but still newish), & Monica Marier. And yes, my “to read” stack is now much higher! (Also, I know I’ve left people off this list because of my horrid memory, so please if we met at RavenCon LET ME KNOW! I want to link back to you on here.)
Now onto pics:
Roadtrip! Time to go to Richmond! Curse you DC traffic… (YAY HOV lane!)
Ran into the CapClave gang first thing and let me tell you, I can’t wait for this convention (yup, I’m a guest)! Here’s the youngling modeling Darth Dodo.
2nd panel with James Fulbright – I believe this one was Macroblogging in the Microblogging world.
Anyone want a book signed?
Now these were impressive. Made by HCSteam.net
The best part about conventions is seeing people you never get to see. Hello Rach!
This made my heart soar… I promise I did not pay the Youngling to do this!
I LOVE geeks… the entry way into two of the panel rooms.
I also had the opportunity to be one of the costume contest judges. The entries were all so very impressive!
I adored this mini-top hat – made out of a Styrofoam cup!
These two are relatively new to costuming and the amount of detail that went into their dresses was stunning!
Only 6 weeks old and already entering costume contests.
I loved this dress – USO girl at prom. She had 48 stars on her train – nice attention to detail!
Our best in show – a Clockwork Android from Doctor Who. Her costume was PERFECT. She even made the mask!
The Costume Contest’s MC, PodCasting’s Rich Sigfrit, getting schooled by the little sister of a contestant.
Fun side fact, but Rich and I attended our very first sci-fi convention ever, together (along with Will, for whom The Human is dedicated) back in 2003. Yes, I am dressed as a Jedi. A Hippie Jedi.
Later that evening the charity auction (benefitting breast cancer cure research) went and I think my books went for like $45? Which is AWESOME (for the charity of course)! Here they are being modeled by the lovely and talented author Tera Fulbright.
The next morning we had a knitting circle, and now I MUST MAKE THIS SCARF FOR MYSELF!
Also, I really enjoyed just chilling and everyone talking about how/why they got into knitting. For me it was to have something crafty/creative to do during my downtime in Iraq. I think on my second deployment I knitted something like 8 Harry Potter sweater vests? Here they are…
And to go off on another tangent, I will say that this shot of me & my husband as Lily Evans and James Potter is one of my fav pics of the two of us ever.
We did a whole photoshoot back in 2008 which you can see here and here.
As always, Ron’s con-badge had a very interesting name…
And totally randomly, I need this framed and in my office:
And since this is a writer’s blog, here are a couple handy link/blog posts I’ve come across or had pointed my way:
-3,000 book sales for a self-published author and counting.
-The importance of an Alpha reader (sometimes called a 1st reader or a Beta)
Lastly, need a copy of my books? As it happens you can buy them here.
Whew, yeah I know MidSouthCon was over a week ago, but what can I say? Work has been nuts. Between my new job, moving (and all that entails), finishing up a bunch of writing projects (while others stare at me waiting to to be started/completed), and of course, I, like an idiot ran two races last weekend (in my defense they were FUN! Though my legs are killing me now).
If you want a full report on the races you can read my awesome husband’s running blog.
Also I started a Pinterest account, so feel free to add me there.
And if you’re on 365project.org, I’ve got a project there too (yes I know I’m behind – I’ll be catching up shortly).
But I’m assuming you didn’t come here for a running report, social media updates, or a list of HOW BUSY I AM (woe is me, *single tear*), and so I give you…
MIDSOUTHCON!, a wrap up.
I’d never been to MidSouthCon before AND as far as I knew going into it, my only friend was Mike Stackpole – but that was OK. I like Mike. Lucky me though, turns out there were loads of people from other southern conventions that I’ve seen around (I’m looking at YOU Ink Monkey press, Geek Media Expo, and John G. Hartness), AND I made several new friends (hello John Jackson Miller, Joe Corroney, and Nicki and Lin Workman). Oh, and met a long time online friend, Jedi Trace, for the FIRST TIME EVER!
Me & the GMX crew – I love these guys! If you’ve never been to Geek Media Expo, GO!
So, on the whole, a super fun weekend. And that’s without mentioning the BBQ!
My flight to Memphis was delayed an hour, and by the time I touched down, got my luggage, rental car & raced to the convention, I had 10 minutes to spare before my first event/panel. When I arrived MidSouthCon the staff were super helpful/efficient, got me my badge and took me to my first event… which happened to be a “street corner” reading. 0_0
Yes, it’s just what it sounds like – me with a microphone, and the open convention hall around me while attendees milled about.
I was terrified.
I can speak in front of a crowd no problem, but ask me to perform (sing, play my guitar, do a costume contest, or read my writing) and I immediately want to throw up.
I wanted to high tail it out of there so bad, and then these two young gentlemen sat down, and I couldn’t leave, so I read a short story while a few more people filtered in (hi Mandi!) and it was not all that bad!
I spent the rest of the evening socializing with old friends & making new ones – yes I was fingerling quite a bit over John Jackson Miller and Joe Corroney (thanks for the introductions Mike). I’ll always be a Star Wars girl at heart.
I will forever treasure my Joe Corroney original iPhone art.
Then I checked into my hotel & as much as I travel Marriott decided to give me a free room upgrade… INTO THE PENTHOUSE! HOLY CRAP! You guys… MY ROOM HAD TWO STORIES! As I texted to my BFF, “I can only sleep in one bedroom at once! I can only use one bathroom at once! I don’t need a full kitchen!” She replied with “First world problems… ”
I had the joy of my awesome Editor & friend Kelli Neier spending the night (Happy 30th birthday Kelli!) and then we went for a celebratory run through downtown Memphis the next morning. It was AWESOME! I maintain you can NEVER truly see a city until you run through it. And yes, “Walking in Memphis” was definitely stuck in my head after this run.
Following our super fun run I linked up with Mike & some friends of his, Chris & Arwen. We went to Corky’s (no trip to Memphis is right without going there), and ate. And ate. And Ate. Man, now I’m getting hungry!
After lunch it was off to the convention where I linked back up with Kelli and Family… the most adorable 11, Amy, Rory family unit EVER!
He even let me wear his Fez..
One of the biggest events of the day WAS MEETING JEDI TRACE! Finally! After years and years of online friendship we FINALLY met face to face, and she was JUST as wonderful as I knew she’d be (so was her hubby).
Oh, and can I just say the Memphis FanForce rocks? I didn’t have a table at MidSouthCon so they graciously let me set up on theirs. Of course the entire time I was thinking “OH MY GOSH MY BOOK IS RIGHT NEXT TO JOHN JACKSON MILLER’S!!!”
John was fantastic & he spoiled me. Here he gifted me with the Iron Man series he penned because it all took place at my current office building (I just started working on Capitol Hill).
And here’s Jedi Trace getting her comics signed by John. If anything she’s a bigger fangirl than me (I know – hard to do!).
Why hello again Mandi! So glad you liked my book – I look forward to reading yours.
EXTERMINATE ALL DOCTOR BALLOONS
Dear future conventions – this what happens when you put me on an 11pm panel… I still go, but I have trouble staying awake. Though by all accounts the next morning I was quite humorous on the panel and had much to say despite my exhausted half-awake state. I can only imagine…
Speaking of panels, I was on many wonderful/fun ones with so many great fellow panelists. All so talented! You should check them out: Debra Parmley, Peggy Dekay, Roland Mann, A. Christopher Drown, Ethan Nahté, Jason Cordova (thanks for the AWESOME twitter tips!), Kara Ferguson, Stephen Zimmer. (I really REALLY hope I didn’t miss anyone… if I did, LMK!)
While prowling the dealer’s room I did see Mike hidden away.
I did manage to bring home one shiny item from the dealer’s room. It’s from 1892. Doesn’t currently work, but we’ll see what we can do to fix that.
The littlest green lantern
Then it was time to head home.
But not before I got more BBQ!
And, that was it. On the whole MidSouthCon was a LOT of fun, and I learned so very much & made a lot of great new friends and connections.
Many Cheddar Bunnies were sacrificed to bring you this post.
Lastly, need a copy of my books? As it happens you can buy them here.