Monday, March 30, 2009

Report on ImagiCon

Pardon if there are very many typos in this. I'm still very tired and my fingers don't seem to be listening to my brain too well.

We were in the Birmingham/Jefferson (Co.) Convention Center for the con itself, with the huge and VERY nice Sheraton Convention Center attached. The facilities were very good, but rather spread out - BJCC on one block, Sheraton on adjacent block, parking garage in still a 3rd city block. I covered a lot of territory walking. Thank heavens for elevators and escalators.

By and large the con was excellent. Good topics, good people, very amenable to their guests. There were a few glitches: the schedule was a little confused; I didn't know that, as an author, I had a signing table until Saturday afternoon; and the equivalent of the con suite ran out of food by suppertime Saturday and didn't get any more until Sunday morning. They also had a tendency to schedule panels too early on all 3 days. But they were also very welcoming to friendly advice.

I'm not sure how many people were there; Darrell and I were agreed that the venue was more spread out which made it hard to estimate the crowds. But I'm thinking around 1000.

What was REALLY cool was that I had FANS there - fans that recognized me BY FACE, who knew my website, knew what I did and about Burnout and were delighted to see and hear me. It was strange being a bona fide celebrity. Several people came up to me and told me that I made the weekend for them.

My schedule was booked solid - but then, I told them to use me. I had 1 panel scheduled Friday night and was invited to a second, so I went from 8pm until past 11:00. Saturday I had panels straight from 10am until 3pm. I discovered my autograph table and did that from 3-6pm, then had panels from 6-11pm. I was supposed to have a break from 8-9, but the 7pm panel went 2 hours. Then I had a (I thought it was) 9am writing workshop Sunday morning, that I thought I was early for at 8:50 only to find they'd rescheduled it for 8am, so I was late. But nobody minded. We left a little before 11am because we had to be back in HSV for a gig at 2pm.

I'm dead tired, but feeling good.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

MidSouthCon Report

MidSouthCon is one of the best SF cons at which it's ever been my privilege to guest. They know what they're doing, they run things smoothly and they treat their guests - even the non GOHs - like royalty. Attendance, hubby and I estimate, was 1500-2000. We had 3-4 hotels completely booked up.

I told 'em to use me, and they did. I had 3-5 panels every day, including a couple of different opportunities for book readings, and an hour on "Professional's Row" to hawk my books.

I also ran into an old friend from school, which was wonderful. He came looking especially for me, as he'd heard from my mom to a friend to his mom to him that I was an SF author now.

In addition I met Stanton Friedman, the UFO researcher. He and I turned out to be like-minded. He's not the "true believer" crackpot some would have you think. He's a nuclear physicist by training and experience, and a skeptic as well. Altogether a delightful, intelligent gentleman. We clicked, and he wound up getting a copy of Burnout while I got a copy of one of his books - autographed to each other, of course. :-) By Sunday morning breakfast, he'd already gotten well into it and was singing its praises to the other people at the table. We're going to stay in touch and I might even be able to get a promo blurb out of him.

I networked with a few other cons' peeps, and other writers and small publishers, got some advice and such like. My friend that put Burnout on his display invited me to submit a themed short story for an anthology though, and I think I might do that. Just for fun. It's a comedy SF thing, looks to be.

My panels ranged from science stuff to literary stuff to SF applications in science. Very interesting stuff, all of it. And the con ended with an author's game which was incredibly well attended for a 2-4pm Sunday event, called "It Was A Dark And Stormy Night." The gist of this is that throughout the con, people write down odd quotations they overhear and stick 'em in a box, then each author gets a handful of these pieces of paper with quotes and, beginning with the game title, a character and location called out by the audience, we have to take the quotes one at a time and string together a story, round robin. Allen Gilbreath told me, after that, I was officially a writer that nobody could fluster! (And after wordcrafting a quote like, "She rolled out of bed, jumped on her menstrual cycle, and ran my ass over" into the story, I agree with him...)

Monday, March 23, 2009

MSC has gone; ImagiCon approaches!

MidSouthCon has been and gone. It was delightful. They kept me busy talking about wonderful, fascinating topics, reading from Burnout, talking about how I came to write it, and feeding me well. :-) I also ran into an old friend, David Jones. He and I went from 1st grade through the first year of college together! We'd lost touch over the years, but he'd heard about my book through the grapevine, and was there looking for me. It was a fantastic reunion!

My name and that of my book is now well out there in SF fandom, especially in the Memphis area. :-)

This weekend is ImagiCon, at the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center. Again, I'm looking forward to that! They're kindly putting us into the convention hotel - "us" being myself and my husband, Darrell "Doc" Osborn, Mad Scientist Extraordinaire! It should be loads of fun! If you're in the area, come on by!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

MidSouthCon is Coming!

And I am coming to MidSouthCon! This weekend in Memphis, and most (but not all) of The Write Pack will be there! It's looking like I'll have some limited edition pre-release copies of Burnout available for purchase and signing, too! (That's if UPS delivers the shipment on time!) I'll also have some handouts and posters for The Y Factor, which is still in the editing mode.

I'm busily getting together all the things I need to bring: posters, handouts, sharpies, clothes, etc. I'm looking forward to it!

For further info on my upcoming appearances, go here.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Key to Midnight interview went great!

I must say I had a blast being interviewed by M.J. on The Key to Midnight BlogTalkRadio! We talked about all sorts of things and laughed and joked, and I did a couple of excerpt readings from Burnout, and it was generally cool! We had a chat room full of people and it was just FUN!

If you missed it, you can find it on my website under Interviews, or on The Key to Midnight BlogTalkRadio page, or on M.J.'s MySpace page!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

BlogTalkRadio Interview tonight!

Tonight I'm being interviewed on The Key to Midnight BlogTalkRadio by host M.J.! I'm really excited about it - I even have a bit of stage fright! But that's normal for me. I've done all kinds of theatre and public speaking, and as soon as the event starts, all that stage fright gets converted into energy and excitement. It should be fun! Be there!

Thursday, March 12, 2009 sponsors worldwide online SF con, Friday 13 Mar!

It's all day Friday the 13th of March - tomorrow! Starts at 8am EDT!

Schedule here:


There are links to the various events from there.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Twilight Times Books Offers Free E-Books During Read An E-Book Week!

Twilight Times Books is offering Darrell Bain's autobiography, Darrell Bain's World of Books, as a free download during Read an E-Book Week March 8 - 14, 2009. We will be offering an additional free ebook each day. Among the selections will be Behold the Eyes of Light by Geoff Geauterre, Jerome and the Seraph by Robina Williams, No Place for Gods by Gerry Mills, Striking Back from Down Under by Dr. Bob Rich, The Last to Fall by Anne K. Edwards and Who is Margaret? by Celia A. Leaman.

Also offered is a sampler of Darrell Bain's books, consisting of sample chapters of his science fiction and fantasy works. These include excerpts of Human By Choice, written with Travis "Doc" Taylor, and The Y Factor, co-authored with Taylor's protege, Stephanie Osborn. Human By Choice and The Y Factor are the first two novels in The Cresperia Series.

For more information, or to download free books, go to:

Monday, March 2, 2009

More updates

Darrell Bain is under the weather right now, so he asked me if I could go ahead and finish reviewing and acting on the editor's comments for The Y Factor. Finished that tonight and shipped it off to him.

The latest galley of Burnout arrived today. I checked it against my comments, and everything looks fixed, and the updated cover looks wonderful! I emailed my publisher and told her it looked good and to run with that puppy!

Honestly, it's like being on a roller coaster headed down a HUUUGE hill, and nearing the bottom! I'm only picking up speed!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Y Factor & Burnout updates

The first edits came in today for The Y Factor, the sequel to Human By Choice that Darrell Bain asked me to co-author. As he's a bit under the weather, he asked me to go ahead and take a look at it.

I was really pleased; for the most part, all it consisted of was spelling and grammatical boo-boos, quick and easy to fix. There are a couple of things that I want Darrell to look at and give his yea/nay on, but the bulk of it was done in a couple of hours.

The cover flat for The Y Factor came in, too, and looks great!

A tweak to the Burnout cover flat came in, lightening the text, and if it looked great before, it looks fantastic now! I'm starting to get really REALLY excited!


My husband and I have had cats for years. In fact, we've both had cats since we were children. Our last 2 cats have been adoptions from stray litters. The cat that currently owns us is Elrond Half-Siamese, and he's a real thing on wheels. He's 3 years old. Makes me wonder if Elrond Half-Elven was such a mischievous young elfling sometimes.

This morning he's been frantically pinging around the house for reasons totally unknown to us humans, yowling mournfully at the top of his lungs about something. When he wasn't doing that, he was commandeering my tote bags and crawling into them.

Now that latter bit isn't unusual for a cat, but what he wants you to DO, once he's INSIDE, is. He wants you to pick him up - or rather, pick up the bag - and swing him back and forth. While you're doing that, he is either staring up at you from the bottom of the bag, or else, and more likely, he has his head and front paws sticking out the top, looking around. For all the world like a kid on an amusement park ride. And purring fit to be heard across the room.

This morning it snowed in Alabama, a couple of inches' worth, for the first time in almost a decade. Needless to say, Elrond had never seen snow before. So I picked him up, opened the blinds, and held him to the window in the position in which we two often gaze out upon the world.

He did a double-take. Those crossed little blue eyes got bigger than milk saucers, and he stared at the white world outside. Then he started scrambling to get down. I guess he didn't like it and thought something strange had happened to his world. At any rate, he went into the bedroom and crawled under the covers with my husband.

Speaking of hubby, when he finally couldn't take the cat's racing around at Warp Factor 47 and yowling Red Alert any longer, he picked the critter up. Now, my husband is the only person who can turn Elrond on his back without getting turned into hamburger. So he turned him over and began rubbing his tummy, which elicits the sound of warp engines purring in perfect tune.

But as he did so, my husband commented, "Flop!" To which, of course, the cat responded by turning into jello.

My mind being what it is, however, I queried, "Does that make it a petaflop?"

My husband just stared at me.

The cat purred.