Baltimore Book Festival, Day 2

Home from Day 2 of the Baltimore Book Festival. No panels today, but I did have a good time at my signing. Met some really nice people (both fans and other authors) and sold some books. Always a nice benefit *grin*

Apparently, someone who attended the Writer Beware workshop I did at the Bookfest decided to do some investigating. He went to a certain publisher in Maryland‘s web site and submitted a story he’d written back in 10th grade just to see what would happen. He submitted it at 9PM last night. At 4AM, he got a reply accepting him for publication.

Think about that for a moment. A publisher just happened to notice a manuscript coming over the e-transom at 9PM on a Friday night. And said publisher had time to read said manuscript ALL night on a Friday night, come to a conclusion and make an offer to publish this manuscript by 4AM on a Saturday morning.

OK, I guess it is possible. Just more than highly unlikely.  This is a manuscript the person tells me was done for a school project, he didn’t flesh it out, he didn’t revise it, he didn’t do anything more than pull a document off of his computer and shipped it to this publisher. And in less than 7 hours in the middle of the night on a weekend, they decided to make him an offer.

Who do they think they’re going to sell this to . . . other than the author?
Folks, if this isn’t a sign that this publisher is only interested in what’s in your wallet versus what’s in your manuscript, I don’t know how much clearer we can make it.

New Works, New Conventions

First off, let’s start off with the new stuff that’s come out recently.


Chronicles of the Sea Dragon (e-version)

Troubleshooters, Incorporated - Night Stalkings

Troubleshooters Incorporated was released this past August and Chronicles of the Sea Dragon was released on 19 Sept 2013. Both of these projects come from StarWarp Concepts and can be ordered directly from the publisher.


Additionally, Chronicles is available at Drive-Thru Comics and soon through other purveyors of e-comics. Troubleshooters can be ordered through your on-line vendor of choice, (Amazon, B&N, etc.). Also, I just received word that Troubleshooters will be available for order through Diamond Comics in their November catalog.


This weekend is the Baltimore Book Festival, which is the most unusual convention I do all year. Baltimore blocks off a number of streets near the Walters Art Museum and sets up tents for various vendors and groups to use. This is the second year I’ve supported the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America with their pavilion and we had larger than I anticipated crowds for a work day.

I participated in two panels today. The first panel I did was Shared Worlds and Media Tie-ins at 2PM with Chuck Gannon and Rich Groller.  It was a fairly lively panel and we had a lot of good questions from the audience.

After that, at 6pm, I did the Writer Beware workshop. For the most part, I was a solo act, but after a while, Christine Norris joined me at the podium, which I really appreciated. We tried to educate the audience about pitfalls that can derail a new authors (and sometimes a not-new author’s) career, what to look for in an agent or a publisher, some of the red flags that would suggest that some agents/publishers/editors/etc. might not be the one for you, and so on. There were a lot of good questions from the audience and a lot of people taking notes. Hopefully, the crowd enjoyed themselves as much as I did talking to them.

Tomorrow, I have a book signing at the SFWA tent from 1-2PM as my only obligation, but before and after, I plan on taking advantage to actually get a chance to visit some of the other tents as well as using my iPad mini to get some writing in. As much fun as I’m having at the show, my deadlines for stories and college papers isn’t getting extended, so it’ll be a working convention for me, that’s for sure.

Also, if you stop by, I have a number of my books for sale with the SFWA book seller. *nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more*

The Good, the Bad, and The Con

First off, the good news this week. Along with getting back into the first week of the semester,  I added approximately 6000 words to On Wings of Steel. Which considering I was working around getting ready for class, class, and then getting ready for a conventions, is pretty good.

Also, my Advanced Composition class should be fun. Frenetic, but fun.  I start British Literature on Monday, so we’ll see how that goes.


Unfortunately, my good friend, Ann Crispin, passed away on Friday. Along with being my boss at Writer Beware, she was a fellow Trek author and just a great mentor. She took time out of her own busy schedule to aid me with trying to polish query letters and story synopsis and did her best to help me land a good agent. And she didn’t do it just because she knew me, she did it because she loved to help writers succeed.

Writing is not a zero-sum game. There’s a big audience out there and helping another author does not mean giving up part of your audience. It means helping that audience find more and more authors they like to read, which is the only way this field will survive. Ann understood that more than most and she loved to run writing seminars and query writing letter workshops at conventions and at the local community colleges.

She will be missed.


Day one of the Baltimore Comic Con is in the books. Sold some Troubleshooters Incorporated graphic novels, got some nice feedback from one of the readers, visited with Robert Greenberger, Inge Heyer, and Bob Ingersoll and a whole bunch of new people.

Had a great time sharing the booth with Steve Roman of Starwarp Concepts. (We’re at A205 at the show if you were looking for me.)

My family picked up a new sketch book for me today, so I’m going to try and get started on my second con sketch book tomorrow before the show gets underway. Also, hope to get away from the booth occasionally to catch up with some people I know are there.

Now, it’s time to unwind and relax.


Spellbound_fall13And “The Wisp Hunter” has been released today in the Fall 2013 issue of Spellbound by Eggplant Literary Productions.

I’m pretty excited about this release and look forward to seeing some feedback. It’s my first attempt at writing for middle-grade readers. Somehow that almost carries a heavier weight than writing for adults. Mainly because I wanted to be sure to write in a kid-friendly (and a kid-strong) manner and not to write down to my audience.


Also, just got the note that Ripples in the Pool is ready to be galley reviewed. So, no resting on my laurels tonight.