alanajoli: (Default)
ReaderCon logo

I had a fantastic time at ReaderCon this weekend! I've known about it since my days of writing for Rose Fox at Publishers Weekly, as Rose has long been one of the convention organizers, but I had never been before. So when the Ragnarok Team was asked if we'd be sending an editor to the convention, my hand went up. It was a really excellent time, and I was impressed with the attention to details as small as the production quality of my name badge. Check out my photos on Facebook (as I'm still figuring out how to convince DreamWidth to embed them in my post).

I attended two panels. "It's Complicated: Improving Intersectionality and Representation in Speculative Fiction," featured David Bowles, Phenderson Clark, Hilary Monahan, Catt Kingsgrave, Miriam Newman, and Teri Clarke. It was tremendous fun—despite the seriousness of the subject matter, the panelists knew how to have a good time with engaging the audience while still getting their points across. I hadn't been very aware of the term intersectionality. Phenderson Clark described it as having "all these identities wrapped up in one person," which I think is a really wonderful concept that ought to appear in all characters—David Bowles pointed out "The term intersectionality had to be invented... to actually reflect the real world." Teri Clarke really stole the show, and Miriam Newman, an editor, touched on some topics that are professionally important to me.

The second panel "Sidereal Symphonies: Writing Extraterrestrial Art and Performance" was as much fun as you'd imagine, but got surprisingly (or, perhaps not) mythological at times. The panel included John Clute, Catherynne M. Valente, Caroline M. Yoachim, Henry Wessells, and friend-of-the-blog Max Gladstone. Catherynne Valente had the subject very fresh in her imagination and had most of the best quotes of the panel ("These aliens come and blow shit up. Well, what did they sing about that?" And then, "I refuse to believe that any interstellar culture is incapable of producing a pop song.") I loved Caroline M. Yoachim's overall belief that aliens just aren't weird enough, and I delighted in John Clute referencing Mircea Eliade, whose The Sacred and the Profane was required reading for the mythology tours I TAed.

But probably the most fun I had was just chatting with industry people: I met up with editor Becky Slitt from Choice of Games and we talked about what I'd be writing next. And I had a delightful chat with literary agent Alex Adsett, who represent Alan Baxter, who we publish at Ragnarok. My day ended with a great time chatting with Becky, Max, and Max's wife Stephanie in the restaurant discussing the necessity of chocolate, which is a great way to end any day.

All in all, it was really fantastic, and I hope that we at Ragnarok can have a bigger presence there next year!
alanajoli: (Default)
I went to a convention one time where, when a friend sharing the room with several of us woke up, he said, "Can't brain today. I has the dumb." Apparently, he did not make up this phrase, but since he was the first place the rest of us heard it, we attributed it to him.

(Waves @militiajim.)

I had a recharge day today, reading a review book and hanging out with Bug. I have copyediting to tackle, but I spent Saturday cleaning the basement (it oh-so-desperately needed attention) and Sunday writing the first article for a new history column I'll be doing for Patch.com. (The site, Branford Patch, launches the end of the week! I believe my first article goes live on the 22nd -- the column is "The Town with Five Main Streets." You'll see it mentioned here!) I did have a nice break with my friend Leifr on Saturday night, but today I still felt the need to give myself permission to recoup.

And to continue that trend, I'm off to bed. Hopefully, tomorrow I will be good at braining.
alanajoli: (cowboys and aliens - daiyu)
I had an absolutely fabulous time at Anonycon this weekend! I got to play games with several gamer friends and substraters: I was a student at a special school reminiscent of PS 238 (the superhero kids comic by Aaron Williams), Emily Post (yes, Miss Manners edit: apparently Miss Manners was Judith Martin, who wrote in the 1970s, not, in fact, Emily Post, who wrote Etiquette [via [livejournal.com profile] holmes_iv]) in a horror game, and an epic level paladin in a 4e game. [livejournal.com profile] banana_pants puts on a heck of a party!

Now I'm getting back to my regular schedule, finishing up a review for PW today and working on obituary writing and coding the autobiographical essays this week. Just a few thoughts in the meantime.

Paul Green interviewed me and Jeremy Mohler about Cowboys and Aliens II on Encyclopedia of Weird Westerns. Pop by and see what we have to say (and what we're hoping for the future!)

As the Mystery Writers of America delisted Harlequin due to their new "self-publishing" (in actuality, vanity press) arm, the debate about whether Harlequin is in the right is still going on across the Web. (The RWA and SFWA have also spoken out about Harlequin's new "imprint.") I would hope that people who read this blog know I'm in favor of self-publishing, and that I think there are great scenarios where it's the best venue for the work. [livejournal.com profile] jeff_duntemann is, to me, one of the most sensible people on this topic, and I very much admire the work he's done through Lulu.com. [livejournal.com profile] eyezofwolf has done great work in both self-publishing and small press. Self-publishing makes it possible to market your own work when traditional publishing isn't working for you (for whatever reason).

Edit: Jeff commented below: "Your readers should understand that I've been as successful as I have as a self-publisher largely because I've worked in publishing since 1985 and did quite well at it, both on-staff for other companies and in command of my own. Now, in (slightly) early retirement, I have the time to pursue it with the energy that it requires. It's a lot tougher being a writer AND and a publisher AND a worker at a day job." He's right -- I probably should have mentioned that to provide the context. If I ever have questions about self-publishing, he's my first go-to person. :)

Vanity publishing is an entirely different creature. As Jackie Kessler wrote on her blog:

  • Self-publishing: author keeps all the money after paying expenses.

  • Vanity publishing: publisher keeps majority of the money and the writer pays all the expenses.


Given the information available online about what the new Harlequin imprint's process will be, I'm astonished by how many supporters it has. There are a lot of people reacting to the PW articles defending Harlequin as forward thinking and showing their willingness to try something different from traditional publishing. The thing is, vanity publishing is not new -- and a big, respectable house like Harlequin offering expensive packages to would-be and rejected authors while dangling the carrot that if their book sells well, they might bring it over into a regular Harlequin imprint seems unethical at best.

I do see that some of the publishing services that I respect, like Lulu.com and CreateSpace (with which I'm less familiar), also offer packages that would make me dubious, rather than the free option (which is the one I associate with the companies) where they just take the cost portion of the proceeds from each sale. I think I agree with Victoria at Writer Beware that one of the qualifiers of self-publishing is that you own your own ISBN. Short of owning your own POD press, however, Lulu.com and CreateSpace seem like the best options out there for DIY publishing. A company that's going to take your money for the same services a traditional publisher would front for you strikes me as taking the vanity press option, and it's a move that I'm sorry to see Harlequin making.
alanajoli: (Default)
I love traveling. I enjoy being in new places and seeing new people (or going to old places and seeing familiar people). Changes of scenery are largely good. But even I have limits, it seems, and I apparently hit them over the weekend. Allow me to paint you a map:

Thursday: Branford to Great Barrington to Branford.
Friday: Branford to Long Island (via ferry) to Brooklyn.
Saturday: Brooklyn to Branford.
Sunday: Branford to Cambridge to Somerville to Branford.

This, my friends, is a lot of time in a car, and not a lot of time being stationery.

As I mentioned in my last post, I had a really excellent time with the students at Simon's Rock on Thursday. The myth conversations that started Thursday managed to continue on through the weekend (largely with [livejournal.com profile] banana_pants and [livejournal.com profile] lyster, who were kind enough to both listen to my myth geekery and contribute their own right back). [livejournal.com profile] banana_pants and I traveled down to Long Island together on Friday to go to I-Con, the science fiction convention that's usually at Stony Brook, but moved this year to be at three locations. The trip down was fine (although rainy), and the mist covering the island when we got there totally gelled with the stories I'd been telling about Manannan and the Isle of Man. (Having to wait an hour and a half in the mist before I could pick up my pre-registered badge was not the height of fun for my weekend, but [livejournal.com profile] banana_pants kept me company, and we met up with [livejournal.com profile] lyster in line, so the company was excellent. We also had a great time enjoying the parade of costumes and watching Yoshi give Yoshi-back rides to anime characters and other video game stars, including Wario, without prejudice.)

The point of going down to I-Con for me was in part to meet up with the Browncoats of NYC, with whom I've corresponded but not met in person, and largely to see editor Jamie Chambers, who I worked with on Serenity Adventures. Jamie, Cam Banks (also from Margaret Weis Productions), [livejournal.com profile] lyster, [livejournal.com profile] banana_pants, and I all went out to dinner and talked shop, then headed back over to one of the convention hotels and chatted with a bunch of industry folks before [livejournal.com profile] lyster and I headed off to Brooklyn to stay with friends (including a fellow Substrater). Jamie not only filled us in on a lot of cool projects that are upcoming, but introduced us to some folks who have also worked with MWP and White Wolf. (He also got a bit into the myth geek chatter with us; who knew he'd actually written his thesis in college about mythology? There are an awful lot of us myth geeks in gaming...)

Saturday was a short recovery day -- I had work at the library -- before we headed out on Sunday for Mythic Greece, in which our heroes finished their first major quest, delivering little Odysseus to Chiron for study. Now they've been cut loose from their first mission, given to them by the Oracle at Delphi -- only the Fates know what they'll be up to next.

At any rate, I'm mostly recovered now from all the travel and I even turned in some work early for one of my deadlines, so things are pretty well right with the world. How were your weekends?
alanajoli: (british mythology)
This may seem a complete tangent from my last post (and it sort of is), but it's come up several times in conversation recently, and I suspect it has to do a bit with training your thinking, so it's vaguely relevant. One of the things I have trouble with as a writer and as a freelancer is self-motivation. People who work for themselves have to be very self-motivated in order to accomplish anything, and figuring out how to find that motivation and drive can be a struggle. I suspect that anyone who works alone has to deal with the same thing, as humans need interaction (we're social creatures) to keep our spirits (and thus our motivation) at high levels. We have to train ourselves to find motivation in unexpected places, since the usual community routes aren't open to us.

One of the ways I'm finding compelling recently is having the benefit of mutual admiration. I've spread out my writing projects among a bunch of different people and groups, so I'm not hitting up the same folks for motivation all the time. In addition, I'm surrounding myself with people who are, in short, brilliant. An old saying (or at least a repeated one here) is that "excellence recognizes brilliance." I've long known that while I'm pretty good at a pretty wide variety of things, I'm rarely the best at any of it. (Some of this comes from being related to extremely talented people and surrounding myself with incredibly smart friends --and vice versa.) I strive for excellence, but really appreciate it when the brilliant folks show up in my life -- and better yet, are interested in the stuff that I'm doing. There are few things so satisfying as having someone who you admire creatively asking for more of what you're up to.

Today was a great day for remembering this. Not only do I have an e-mail from one of the Substraters in my inbox, asking when he'll get to see some more of the new super-secret (super-drafty) new novel that may or may not become anything more than a first chapter, but I was up visiting students at Simon's Rock. The purpose of the trip was to become acquainted with the students who will be going to England in May, but it also served as a brain refresher. The myth students are usually a clever bunch, and this group is no exception. The ideas they were throwing around -- and catching, and tossing back -- were just delightful to witness. (The discussion was of Barfield's Saving the Appearances, and the refresher on those ideas was also a motivator for me to get back to Breakfast with Barfield -- and then move onto the Mabinogion, so I can keep up when we're abroad.) After class, I spent some time with the students I've traveled with before, just chatting and catching up, and then went out to dinner with Mark Vecchio. All in all, it was a wonderful day of feeling appreciated by people who amaze and challenge me, and that's just the sort of day that can fuel my motivation for a long time to come.

Perhaps tomorrow, I'll even get back on track with guest blogs and posting here more regularly. But I'm off to ICon on Long Island tomorrow, and up to Boston for Mythic Greece on Sunday, so my best intentions may have to wait 'til next week.

Anonycon!

Dec. 17th, 2008 09:53 am
alanajoli: (nap)
So, here's the thing about me and conventions.

I go to them. I stay so busy that I have no internet the whole time I'm at them. I come home and I'm either sick or just very sleepy. A new addition to this is that I have some hundred facebook notifications to go through before I'm caught up. The result? It takes me awhile to get back to lj.

But back I am! Anonycon was a wonderful way to spend my weekend, and continues it's status as the most enjoyable convention I go to. It's small, which I think is part of the charm--since this is my third year, the majority of the faces are familiar, and that makes the whole convention feel like a gathering of friends more than a gathering of strangers.

I went expecting to play/run maybe three slots. I'd volunteered to work the desk on Friday and go up early to help unload, which was a great way to start out the convention. Being there early and seeing folks come in meant the crowd grew slowly--and also meant that I got to learn a new board game, Race for the Galaxy, and play a couple hands of Teachu with folks like [livejournal.com profile] emilymorgan, [livejournal.com profile] banana_pants, [livejournal.com profile] banana_plants, and [livejournal.com profile] niliphim. It also meant that when there weren't enough players for the first Living Forgotten Realms slot, I was more useful to everyone at a table than at the desk, and I got to bring out Urtog for the first slot of the convention.

Saturday, I expected to play or run maybe two slots, and I started out the day with another LFR game, happily with some of the same people I'd played with the day before, as well as folks who I don't get to game with often enough on the home front. When the second slot came around, I thought I'd be playing again, but it turned out that they were short a judge for LFR. I hadn't actually prepped any adventures, expecting instead to run the last of the Xen'drik modules, but I realized that "Gangs of Wheloon" (by Andrew Schneider) was running, which I'd had the opportunity to run as a playtest months before. Given a little time to prep (and some very patient players, who waited while I looked things over), I got to run that adventure in a completely different way than it had run during the playtest, which was delightful. Hopefully the players had as much fun as I did!

Now sleepy, I had every intention of going back to my room and crashing for the night. I called up Nat Rowe (one of my Dogs in the Vineyard buddies, who'd also been my train buddy and at two of my game tables) and asked where he was going to dinner. Since he and his dinner companions (including [livejournal.com profile] hellpossum and [livejournal.com profile] lyster, who you may remember from a guest blog entry here last July) were still waiting for a table, they graciously expanded their reservation for me. And so I found myself at dinner with very excellent people with whom I'd corresponded but not previously met, and they very quickly convinced me that I needed to play in a Mutants and Masterminds game with them that evening. Since the time over dinner had quickly convinced me that I would definitely enjoy further adventures among their company, I joined their number as a femme fatale in an Indiana Jones inspired quest for the Spear of Destiny (and had exactly the fun you'd expect from hearing just that much).

Receiving very little sleep that night, I have to confess that I was relieved when I had no players for the Xen'drik slot the next morning. I played some more Race for the Galaxy with [livejournal.com profile] banana_pants, had a bottle of Coke, had a coffee delivered to me by the other Indiana Jones gang (who had slept in but heard the sleepiness in my voice when I called to find out what they were up to), and brought Urtog to another table of LFR (happily accompanied by the coffee-bearers). (Yes, you're counting right, that is in fact five games in three days, which is probably a tie for the limits of my gaming stamina--and better yet, I had fun at every table, which is not something I can always report.)

I also had some really great roomies in the hotel, which impacts sleeping in a negative fashion, but definitely enhances the fun of the convention. *waves at [livejournal.com profile] emilymorgan, [livejournal.com profile] spyscribe, [livejournal.com profile] militiajim, and [livejournal.com profile] niliphim* So, convention assessment: definitely a fun convention, and I'm already looking forward to next year. In fact, I'm sad that it's already over, because every time someone says Anonycon, I think of this:



And how can you not smile with that in your head?
alanajoli: (Alana Lionheart's lion)
What a year for me to be missing GenCon! Not only is the anthology, edited by [livejournal.com profile] eyezofwolf, where "Don't Let Go" will be published coming out. That would have been enough for me to pine over not going. Today, however, I found out that Serenity Adventures will be released at GenCon this year as well! Woe is me for missing the con circuit.

Folks who are going: if you see my stuff on display (even though neither is likely to have my name on the cover), could you take pictures? I'll be there vicariously through your digital images!
alanajoli: (Default)
Even though I've been busy, the reading doesn't stop. Along with what I've read and reviewed for [livejournal.com profile] flamesrising, I've picked up a number of od books lately, and tonight finally got around to watching Waitress with Kerri Russell and Nathan Fillion. It may not appeal to everyone, but it's funny and dramatic and accomplishes exactly what it set out to do. I really enjoyed it, and have even more respect now for Andy Griffith than I had previously. (Really, I think he must be a pretty cool man. And even if he's not, I'm going to think that about him.)

As far as books go, I recommend picking up Alcatraz and the Evil Librarians, not because there's actually a conspiracy mind you (not that the librarians with MLAs at my library have informed me of, anyway, though now I'm a little more suspicious of that degree program than I was before). It's just a really fun book, and I think Brandon Sanderson ([livejournal.com profile] mistborn) found a great voice for telling the story. Or Alcatraz found a really good agent for dictation in Sanderson. Whichever.

I also recommend picking up Skullduggery Pleasant, which is a fabulous book about alternate societies of wizards and magical creatures told in a very Irish voice, and features absolutely quotable banter. It's really, really entertaining, a little bit scary, and a whole lot of adventure. Oh, and the title character is a talking skeleton. To quote the cover, "And he's the good guy." Definitely excellent stuff.

I'm also back reading Eberron novels (most recently Rise of the Seventh Moon) and am continuously surprised and pleased at the depth of the themes the novels cover. They're not just sword-and-sorcery novels, they're novels with deep moral quandaries, questions of faith, and ethical dilemmas. I don't know if the line was planned that way or if they just had several authors all interested in those themes, but I love how often the deep topics crop up.

On my book stand currently are: Confessions of a Part Time Sorceress by Shelly Mazzanoble, whose articles for Dragon have been excellent; In the Serpent's Coils, which I should have read when it first came out and am just now getting the chance; Persepolis 2 by Marjane Satrapi; Art and Experience in Classical Greece, which may or may not be useful for the upcoming Greece and Turkey trip; and also for the trip, Do Kamo, Saving the Appearances by Barfield, and a children's book of Greek gods that I used to read when I was little. I'll soon be adding the newest Percy Jackson book to that stack as well.

As a quick note, I will be attending I-Con in New York as a patron, in order to see the folks from Margaret Weis Productions (including Lindsay Archer!) while they're in town. If you are also going and have recommendations about things to do/see at the convention, please do send them my way. :)
alanajoli: (Default)
Perhaps not so grand, but here I am, none the less!

It has been a busy four months or so, and though I'm not at a break between projects (I have plenty left to do on the adventure for Serenity Adventures, as well as some work for Rick Hershey on the Steampunk Musha RPG he has in the works), I am at a break between have-it-in-by-now-or-it's-late deadlines. The next "official" deadline (in red pen on my calendar) I have is in late May (when I will be away in Greece and Turkey, so I will certainly have it done early). It is such a nice feeling to be able to give myself permission to *not* work for one day. Then it's back with my nose to the grindstone the next!

I realize I didn't blog about DDXP and my experiences with 4th Edition, and this is in part because I am a bad blogger. It is more, however, due to my participation in the conversational reviews we're doing in an ongoing fashion on the current issue of Secret Identity Podcast. Max Saltonstall, Brian LeTendre, and I are better together as reviewers than we are apart (well, in my case, anyway), and if you don't mind listening to the audio version in 15 minute increments (that's the length of our segment, "Action Point Counter Point"), that's far better as far as gaming goes than what you'll see here on my blog.

In short: Read more... )

But there's more news here than just convention catch up. I should have posted this at the beginning of the month, since we're almost at the midway point: for the month of March, my story "The Valley" is being published/hosted on The Edge of Propinquity Web zine. (You may know them as [livejournal.com profile] t_e_o_p.) Mine is the guest story for the month: the rest of the zine is serial fiction from four dedicated authors who grow their worlds with each installment. It's a site well worth checking out--and of course, I'll be delighted to hear responses to the story.

Those seem like the major updates since I last posted. I expect to get back on track now that I'm back (and that the deadlines aren't hovering so closely around my neck as usual). I may even finally get to work on the novel I was supposed to have finished by... when did I commit to on this blog? The end of March? Heh, self-imposed deadlines don't have nearly the motivation factor they need....
alanajoli: (Taru)
I'm a victim of the Con Funk. At this point, I should know that it takes me at least a full day (in this case, two) to recover from a weekend convention, because my immune system is run down from lack of proper sleep, and I've been in a large room with a lot of people, several of whom are suffering from colds. So I'm all sorts of run down and incoherent, which is not great for my upcoming deadline...

Aside from that Anonycon was great. It's a wonderful small gaming convention in Southwestern CT that happens in early-to-mid December every year. Of the slots, I played two, ran two, and slept through two. I did my first DM's Mark--which is a cross between a home campaign and a living campaign in some ways. You used the organized play structure, but you create your own adventure for your players. Of course, since it was at a con, there was far less tailoring, but I got to use some fun monsters and my table had a good time.

Since returning, the only think I've actually gotten done was writing up a page of bonus content for Cowboys and Aliens II, for which I really need to get several more done, and a forum entry at Drunk Duck about language use in the Old West, Westerns, and space Westerns. I think it's a nice little post, and if you're at all interested in the way I'm writing dialogue at C&A, I hope you'll give it a look!

Now, back to deadline.
alanajoli: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] shanna_s has talked a number of times about the art of being a Stealth Geek: someone who appears to be a "normal" person to other non-geeks, but in actuality can speak geek just as fluently as he or she can speak pop-culture or sports or a host of other topics. I've always enjoyed this concept, though I suspect I'm a bit less stealthy than true Stealth Geeks.

Recently, however, [livejournal.com profile] willshetterly posted a link on FanSpeak as actual body-language dialect. I'm not sure how to think about this, as I suspect my linguistic usage tends to fall somewhere in between FanSpeak and Midwestern. (I catch myself using the past participle of buy not as bought but as boughten, which rhymes with gotten, which I either picked up in Iowa or Michigan. Also, I use cattycorner for... huh... I'm not even sure what the non-Midwestern word for that is. Just across, I suspect.)

So my new ponderance is this: is the difference between classic geeks and stealth geeks the use of FanSpeak (or lack thereof)? Of can stealth geeks just switch between the two? I'll have to ask [livejournal.com profile] shanna_s and see what she thinks...

Edit: According to lj's spell-check, ponderance is not an actual word. I think it should be, so I'm leaving it as is, which may somehow relate to the query I'm making.
alanajoli: (Default)
I just saw this on my publisher's website (see [livejournal.com profile] jenlyn_b, I'm changing to your way--because it looks better), and thought some folks might be interested.

--

Gen Con Indy 2007 for free? Want to hit Gen Con this year with hotel room and badge on someone else’s dime?

You read that right, because from now (March 27, 2007) till July, every time you purchase a copy of The Chronicles of Ramlar Core Rulebook from the White Silver Publishing online store, you are entered into the drawing to win free lodging and admission badge for one at the “Best Four Days in Gaming” known as Gen Con Indy, August 16-19 at Indianapolis, Indiana!

And guess what? You’re eligible too if you buy the Core Rules from your friendly local game shop or bookstore! Simply send us your name, address, e-mail/phone number, plus a photocopy of the actual receipt (clearly shown with the store name and date) for proof, and you’re entered in the drawing. (Please mail entries to GCI Contest, c/o

White Silver Publishing, P.O. Box 2050, McComb, MS 29649.)

For those attending Origins in Columbus, Ohio on July 5-8, as well as any other convention where White Silver Publishing is present, the same offer stands for any purchase of the Core Rules from our booth or official representatives.

All entries must be in by July 10th, when we’ll randomly draw a winner. The winner will have a hotel room and badge paid for for Gen Con Indy 2007, courtesy of White Silver Publishing!

So what are you waiting for? Here’s a chance to pick up a great game and have a shot at a free room and admission into the world’s biggest gaming convention while you’re at it! Think of the extra fun goodies you can pick up at the show with the money you’ll save. Good luck, and we hope to see you at Gen Con!

When sending in your entry form you have agreed to and read the below legal terms regarding this contest.

Legal Stuff: The winner is responsible for own transportation to Gen Con. The prize does NOT include daily expenses such as food, entertainment, event fees, etc., or costs incurred for amenities (such as room service, phone, laundry), upgrades, extended stay beyond 4 days, or anything above the basic room accommodation for a single person. The winner must observe all hotel and convention rules, as well as common courtesy and etiquette for the duration. White Silver Publishing reserves the right to select the hotel (it’ll be one of the nicer ones around the con site, we promise). WSP also holds the rights to interpret all rules for this drawing and to disqualify entries it deemed ineligible for any reason (such as purchases from online discount sites, or illegibility… so make sure you get a readable receipt and print your information clearly!). WSP may use the winner’s name and image for promotional purposes without additional compensation.

The Chronicles of Ramlar fantasy roleplaying game, featuring innovative mechanics such as Momentum and Demeanor/Theme, has received positive reviews on popular gaming sites like RPG.net, Flames Rising, the Secret Identity podcast, and in the Scrye magazine. For more information, please log on to www.whitesilverpublishing.com/ramlar.
alanajoli: (Default)
To those of you who visited the White Silver booth at GenCon 2006, you may remember an exhuberant salesman who pitched our work, brought people over to talk to Lindsay and me, and an all around great guy who supported the White Silver team. This man was Richard Wilhite, and I was very much looking forward to seeing him again in 2007. He was a vibrant person who filled the booth with energy, and was very much someone I would have liked to know better, and to consider a friend.

The convention circuit for 2007 will be missing Richard's energy. He passed away on March 18th for a seizure, a surprise to his family and friends. Many of them are keeping his MySpace page open as a way to honor his memory--a way to keep him alive and part of the circle. I realized today that MySpace only lets friends post comments, and I don't know if anyone is still managing the account to approve me. So I thought I would post here and say much of what everyone else is saying:

Even though I only knew you a short time, Richard, you will be missed!
alanajoli: (Default)
Upon reading [livejournal.com profile] eriksdb's recent entry about upcoming books he's excited about and plugging, I thought I'd check my amazon and see what releases were coming up. One that was notably not on my wish list (but is now!) is the first book in the new Eberron "Inquisitives" series: Bound by Iron by Edward Bolme. I think I've mentioned before that Ed Bolme is not only an awesome guy (which I know from meeting him at GenCon last year--the same way I know the awesomeness of [livejournal.com profile] eriksdb, incidentally), but a great writer.

I'm jealous that he's getting to write in the "Inquisitives" series, which sounds like possibly the most fun shared-world mini-series ever (if you're into the whole private eye pulp mixed-genre stuff like me). But I'm also delighted, because it means they've got someone really good writing for it.

Now, back to that novel I'm supposed to be writing.

New Icons!

Dec. 4th, 2006 07:40 pm
alanajoli: (Default)
My good friend (and Living Kalamar cohort, in the not-a-henchman sense of the word) Troy Daniels did me the huge favor of creating some icons from Lindsay Archer's fabulous Into the Reach art work. Hurrah!

We're counting down the days to Anonycon here, which I'll be at the 16th and 17th of this month. It's a game convention in Stamford, CT, and I'll be running a Living Kalamar premiere, as well as a Chronicles of Ramlar demo. I've just ordered in some more copies of the novel, so that will be there along with the game titles, kindly sold through The Game Castle (thanks Lisa!).

Yay icons!

UFC

Nov. 13th, 2006 02:38 pm
alanajoli: (Default)
It is the day after a convention, and my brain is still in what I'm now calling ConSpace. This is a state of existence that is not coherent, and creates such good ideas as having beans on toast for lunch, getting out the lunch supplies, and making myself a cup of tea instead, then forgetting about lunch for an hour.

If this writing is as incoherent as I feel, I apologize in advance.

--

United Fan Con was my first venture into the world of regional, non-gaming cons. It was, I believe I can safely say, nothing at all like GenCon, and only a very little bit like Origins. The highlights of the week were hanging out with the guys from Secret Identity Podcast, who were my convention hosts, and the guys from Hero Envy, getting to meet a handful of the New England Browncoats I've been on a mailing list with for a year or more and have never before met in person, and getting to hear parts of Jewel Staite's Q&A session.

My favorite part of the conventions is always talking to new people about books--sometimes my books in particular, but also whatever people happen to be reading. I had a lovely chat with some young women about the wondefulness of Terry Pratchett. I had great fun spending time with [livejournal.com profile] sarahtdl talking about libraries, being a libra, anime conventions, and a host of other topics. I also had a chance to speak with some other authors and comic book designers/writers/artists about their work. I had doughnuts with the guys from Radbu Productions. I sat next to Sean Wang (pronounced Wong) (who has a most excellent print available of the characters of the Fellowship of the Ring and a great space adventure comic that I did not get a chance to read at the con but am putting on my Christmas list). I had a great chat about designing booth space with Mark Tarrant, the author of an upcoming Vampire Western called The Blood Rider. And I talked about small publishers with Clifford B. Bowyer, author of The Imperium Saga, a trilogy of adult novels that runs alongside a series of children's middle-grade fiction that tells another part of the story. (His books are available through Silver Leaf Books.)

I also gave Jewel Staite a copy of Into the Reach, because it seemed like a good idea at the time. If she likes it (which, of course, I hope), then it will have been a good idea, and I'll be very glad. But I imagine being given a book by a little-known-author at a convention is probably a bit odd, so who knows what will happen.

--

It does, however, lead to something that has been tickling at the back of my brain. Early on when he was writing the first novel of the Dreaming Dark saga, Keith Baker mentioned that if he were casting actors to play his characters, he'd almost certainly cast Nathan Fillion, but the rest were up for grabs. Since then, Keith has run a poll on his Web site asking readers to cast the other characters. I don't often cast my characters as actors until after I've already got them solidly in my head, and sometimes not even then. I've been told by my first reader, Arielle, the actor who must be cast as Kennerly (not listed here as when I eventually have my own Web site, I may copy Keith and do polls). I've also discussed casting the characters once with my husband, but never really landed on anything positive.

After this weekend, though, hearing Jewel speak about how much she enjoys kicking butt in her upcoming movie The Tribe, a thought that had been floating in my brain clicked into place. If it were up to me to cast actors as the heroes from Into the Reach, I'd cast Jewel as Lydia, so long as the "auburn hair" look works for her.

So, if this manages to float around the ether of the internet so that some Browncoat notices and it eventually gets back to Jewel Staite, that was the subconscious reason that I gave her a copy of the book--which, of course, I didn't explain because it wasn't formulated in my head, and I (being one of those people who doesn't like to be in the way) didn't want to bother her with actual conversation while she was busy doing her photo shoot. (In fact, I would have been just as happy to let her guest liaison give it to her, but he insisted...)

--

A final note, and then I'm actually going to get back to making lunch (which I've been neglecting now for about an hour and a half). I did get filmed for a Secret Identity promo, and Brian LeTendre interviewed me for the next issue of their podcast, which they recorded at the show. (I'm sure there are probably bits of my extremely loud trumpet of a laugh that filter through while they're doing bits of the show I'm not intentionally in, for which I apologize.) When I have the link for both the new episode and the promo, I'll post them here.

Just finished reading Scrib, a YA novel by playwright David Ives, which would had me in stitches this morning between drifting in and out of ConSpace fog.
alanajoli: (Default)
As I've mentioned, I'm doing research on Celtic mythology for an upcoming project, and have looked into Teutonic mythology just to see what correlations I can find. The particular correlation I'm looking for is one I'm not finding, which is informative. It's also noteworthy that the particular bit I'm looking for (about the gods going underground) is clearly expressed in *Irish* Celtic mythology, and not much beyond that. I'm going to have to look into the Welsh a bit more before I'm sure of that.

Today, however, I spent the morning with Brian Branston's The Lost Gods of England. More about what I found out behind this cut. )

In other news, I've discovered that I'm theoretically supposed to only renew books from my library once, which means I have quite a few that need to go back soon. This probably also means there will be more mythology postings in the near future as I sift through all the material I ordered in...

--

Upcoming Sightings: I'll be at United Fan Con this weekend (10th-12th) in Springfield, MA, hanging out with the Secret Idenitity Podcast crew and signing books. If you're in the area, come say hi!

Currently Reading: Vlad Taltos again. Brust writes such good stuff...
alanajoli: (Default)
While no actual reviews have hit the internet, my name crops up a good bit more often than it used to in a google search. (This must be consternating to the project manager of "OWL," which seems to be an education association, who shares my name.)

I'm mentioned here on Flames Rising. I'm also on Lindsay Archer's blog on Deviant Art.

As a note, I will be unable to attend Dragon*Con over Labor Day weekend. It was an exciting proposition, but perhaps too last minute to plan well. As it is, my writing schedule could use that weekend to catch up, so, while I will miss dancing with Ms. Archer to sell books, perhaps it is just as well.

If you are going to be at Dragon*Con, do stop by and tell Lindsay hello! She'll still be on hand to sign copies of Into the Reach, as well as a number of fabulous prints that she'll have on sale. You should also pick up a copy of Trevis Powell's new novel, No Hero, which promises to be the first of a new trilogy set in Ramlar. Trevis will be back and forth between the White Silver booth and Larry Elmore's booth, so you should be able to track him down for signed copies, as well.
alanajoli: (Default)
Ah ha! Live journal is more clever than I realized, and it seems to be enabling me to post pictures from GenCon in a public forum. (I suspected they would have to be uploaded online somewhere else, first. I am relieved, as that was a quest I wasn't looking forward to.) I do recall having discovered this once before, but I'm just as happy to have discovered it again.

pictures! )

Should you happen to find other GenCon pictures featuring the White Silver crew on the Web, please let me know! (The publisher, of course, has some up at the White Silver Publishing Web site as well.)

Currently Reading: In the Claws of the Tiger by James Wyatt. I'm looking forward to writing a bit more about the theosophical leanings when I've finished the book! (I did sneak in a quick romance novel last night: Perils of the Heart by Jennifer Ashley. She writes very fun pirate romances.)
alanajoli: (Default)
Sorry for the delay in getting all of this posted. I've been struggling against the flu, which I believe I caught somewhere among all the hand shaking. This is comforting, as it means that some of the illness that I thought I was giving myself for being nervous was actually a physical ailment. I'm going to take comfort in that!

Full GenCon Report )

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Alana Joli Abbott

July 2017

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