Saturday, December 18, 2010

Thomas Riley Nominated as Steampunk Book Of The Year



Sometimes really cool things just happen. This is totally one of them. I'm honored to say that my novel, Thomas Riley, has been nominated as a finalist as steampunk book of the year by steampunk.com. Honestly, this is a really nifty surprise. So I have to say thank you to everyone at steampunk.com and the people that nomintated the book.


The rest is up to voters so go forth and vote for Thomas Riley.

http://www.steampunk.com/vote-for-2010-steampunk-book-of-the-year/

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Great Explosion of 2010


2010... What do I say? It's been the most amazing, devastating, wonderful, stressful, blissful and exhausting year of my life. Hands down. Nothing can compare to the events of this year of the Tiger. Off I go, jumping the boards, going to sea, rocketing into the upper atmosphere... Whatever you want to call it, I'm on board and the ship has a one way ticket only.

You want to know what's even more insane? 2011 & 2012 are poised to be full of absolute whirlwinds of life changing events. So stay tuned for mass chaos. I promise you will be entertained.


To wrap the year up I have a special blog planned for next week or so and with any luck, you'll have a montage (It's a montage!!!) video of 2010 in mid to late January. Think H-Street skate movies meets behind the scenes rock video. I have over 100 videos from events this year so you'll get a glimpse of my year (Well, the busy work parts anyway.)soon.

The last event of 2010 was a signing at Hastings in Murfreesboro, TN. As always, I've been met with nothing but awesomeness from every Hastings staff I've met. I love those stores! I get the next 3 weeks off... wow, that seems like such a long time. And I'll be the Guest of Honor at ShadowCon in Memphis TN on Jan 5th, 6th and 7th... You'll see lots of new and fun things at that one. It'll be so good to see my Memphis friends again and to debut some new things.

So stay tuned... The Year end blog is coming next. So if you haven't gotten your fill of holiday scandal... well, it's coming.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wizard World Atlanta Comic Con

Word around town says this blog is "Scandalous, infamous, and highly revealing under the top layer."

"Nick Valentino's blog is a keyhole into the side of life that you always wanted to look at but would never admit it to anyone."
-Cleo Divine

Well, they're probably right. You do get little cryptic snippets, often times very unintentional of some pretty crazy things. Just look, then look a bit harder. It's kind of like one of those Magic Eye pictures. If you stare at it long enough, you may see something that wasn't there before.

The Atlanta Comic Con
The con season is over. Everyone has packed up and is gearing up for the summer. There are a few left that hang on for odd, cold and possibly snowy dates. Atlanta's Wizard World Comic Con was one of those snowbirds. Being a "fist time con" for Wizard World in Atlanta, they tried to pack the halls with con goers by shipping their usual celebrities to the scene. Adam West, Linda Blair, The Cast from The Walking Dead, Billy Dee Williams, Vivica Fox and Henry Winkler were just a few on hand signing autographs and glad-handing fans.

I spent the con signing books next to the most fabulous and awesome Steampunk Paranormal Romance author, O.M. Grey. We were pretty much the steampunk contingent at the con save for a few crossover artists. We ended up chatting most of the time and greeting fans and curiosity seekers.

We also took a little jaunt out to decautur GA (Right outside of Atlanta)to visit the Brick Store Pub (Highly recommended by the way)and met good friends, Doctor Q and Taloola Love. Thanks guys! We had a blast.

So, want some fun pictures? Of course you do.

This is none other than Billy Dee Williams. Now, look closely and see the epic nature of this picture. Here is Lando signing a case of Colt 45 for an Imperial Biker Scout. I kid you not.


Here is John Strangeway (Steampunk Boba Fett) showing off his costume armor signed by Jeremy Bulloch and now Billy Dee Williams... You have to love that Williams put "Lando" under his name.


Awesome Friends Doctor Q and Steampunk Boba Fett.


My neighbor, amazing author, and good friend O.M. Grey.


Next Up:
This weekend finishes a crazy crazy crazy 2010 with three events in and around Nashville TN. If you want your copy of Thomas Riley before Christmas, well, this is you'r chance.

Friday Dec 10 Books-A-Million 5PM (Nashville TN) (Nashville West Shopping Center)
Saturday Dec 11 Books-A-Million 1PM (Murfreesboro TN)
Sunday Dec 12 Hastings 1PM (Murfreesboro TN)

Holidays
The holidays are here or coming fast.

Get Thomas Riley Here

Kindle

Nook

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Clarksville TN and Murfreesboro Tn

Hastings & Barnes & Noble
Last weekend I had some really good signings at Hastings in Clarksville, TN and at Barnes & Noble in Murfreesboro, TN. Good crowds on black Friday weekend, and as always I met some interesting folks.

Next up: (More Steampunk Atlanta)
I will be at the Wizard World Atlanta Comic Con this weekend, Saturday and Sunday December 4 & 5. At the Cobb Galleria Centre (2 GALLERIA PARKWAY ATLANTA, GA)Also in attendance will be amazing steampunk author O.M. Grey with her novel Avalon Revisited.

The week after...
December 10, 11, 12 I'll be signing at 3 bookstores in and around the Middle Tennessee area. More to come on that next week.

Random Music - Julie Christmas

For anyone that knows, a lot of Thomas Riley was written while listening to the bands Made out of Babies and Battle of Mice, each fronted by the awesome Julie Christmas. Well she has a solo record out and I encourage you to check it out.
Here's a bunch of MP3s and a video to check out for free.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Steamcon II - Seattle, WA



Steamcon II was hyped to be one of the biggest steampunk events of the year and guess what... it was. The entire thing was run with clockwork precision, (Sorry, had to get that in.) and there were more activities than you could shake a steam rifle at... Ok I'll stop. The place was packed full of panels. There's no way you could actually see them all but that's the beauty of it. You'll never be bored. There's something for everyone all of the time. There were dozens of bands, some of the most amazing vendors ever and once again great great people.

As for me, I was on five panels all of which went really well. Another great thing is that next year Steamcon will be held in one hotel and yes... there will be official party rooms.

This blog is going to read like a thank you list. Why? Well, once again my friends from all over the country are the best people in the world. So, I'd like to thank my agent, my lawyer, my producer, my driver, my butler... Oops, wrong speech,

ZOVA Books
My new publisher ZOVA Books was awesome enough to fly their entire staff up to Steamcon in support of me and to partisipate in a ton of really amazing panels. There's not enough thank yous I can put here to fully show my appreciation. How cool is that? Really... That never happens but with this new up and coming publishing house there are no limits or boundries. Guys and gals at ZOVA, you rule! Check out their site HERE.

Elizabeth Darvill
Multi-kick ass steampunk/paranormal/romance author that puts the energizer bunny to shame with everything she does. With two books already out, Elizabeth has three more books coming out with Harlequin in 2011. If you get a chance to see her on a panel... well, I'll just say it's not to be missed. She's also the founder and originator of the newest and freshest sub-genre of steampunk... Coffeepunk. If you haven't heard of it, you will soon enough. Check out her website HERE and follow her on Facebook HERE.

The Frenzy Gals
The Frenzy Gals are some of the hardest working women on the scene. This year alone they've been to events from New Jersey, to Ohio, to Indianapolis, and all the way to Seattle. (That's just naming a few. What makes the Frenzy Gals and their company Frenzy Universe so amazing (Besides being the best people ever) is that they have some of the most inovative and best products on the market. It's a close guarded secret where they get their items and a lot of them they make themselves, which is absolutely amazing. I know I talk about them a lot here but that's because they are undeniable as awesome people and creatives. Also, these ladies were awesome enough to drag my books up to the con for me... somehow they set the gold standard for coolness even higher every time I see them. So, go forth! I'm giving you the key to finish all your Christmas shopping with The Frenzy Universe HERE.

Kevin Steil (The Airship Ambasador)
What can I say about Kevin? Simply an amazing fellow in every way. This gent is the organizer, webmaster, interview king, unbelievably nice guy and steampunk scene emperor. He does everything. Blogs, news, interviews, reviews... this list could go on forever. I had an awesome interview with Kevin at the Marriott and I have to say he's top notch all the way. Check out the Airship Ambasador for ALL steampunk news and happenings HERE.

Ed Erdelac
We sat next to amazing author and awesome guy Ed Erdelac, who has a trilogy of Westerns about a Hasidic Mystic that fights lovecraftian monsters and ghosts. Can you say awesome?! Not only is Ed a great guy but he has a hell of story. Wow, I'm full of unintentional puns today. Also, Ed almost sold out of his books at Steamcon... I think he had only 4 left. Go Ed Go! Check out his work HERE.

Martin and Diana Vick
The organizers of Steamcon... Need I say more? Somehow they always have a smile on their faces and a fire in their bellies to run an amazing con. It doesn't matter when you see them, they are always super nice and ready to take on any challenge. Huge huge huge kudos and thanks to these two that are truly the heartbeat of the steampunk scene in the US.

Joseph Vourteque
I met Joseph for the first time (Well, officially I think) here at Steamcon II. We might have met before but my memory is quite fuzzy at times. Anyway, Joseph is an up and coming steampunk, Coupland-esque writer that is all over the scene in every way. Music, writing, fashion.. youi name it , he's there and he's awesome at it. Check out his many endeavors HERE.

Cherie Priest
What does one say about Cherie Priest. She's awesome, she's the nicest person you'll meet and oh yeah, she's talented as hell. We only got to chat for a few minutes at Steamcon, well, she was kind of busy... Anyway, if you haven't checked her out, you need to... like right now. Her new book Dreadnought is out now and seriously, if you haven't read it, there is a little piece of life that your missing out on. Give yourself that little happy piece of life back HERE.

As for me... Next up.
I'll be signing at Hastings in Clarksville, TN this Saturday and Barnes & Noble in Myurfreesboro, TN on Sunday. Come out, say hi and pick up your holiday presents! This will kick off my December Tennessee tour. So far I'm only deviating for the Atlanta Comic Con in early December so if you are just about anywhere in Tennessee, I'll be all around in the next month.

In the meantime...
Pick up Thomas Riley Here
Pick up The e-version of Thomas Riley Here

FREE STUFF
We're giving away Sky Pirate patches to everyone that posts a review for Thomas Riley on Amazon.com. Just let us know your address and which review is yours and voila... we'll send you a patch.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Steamcon Plans

Tomorrow is the day. SteamCon II Seatle WA. I'm super excited. I'm on 5 panels so if you'd like to stop by, I'd love to see you. Also, if you'd like to go out for pints, of course I'm always game for that too. Besides being in the dealer's room most of the time, here's my panel schedule:

Friday



Sub-genres of Steampunk Noon - 1:00 PM Emerald B, Hilton

What are dieselpunk, sailpunk, valvepunk, screampunk, clockpunk, and steamgoth? What can they offer that traditional steampunk can’t? Come and learn about the flavors you didn’t know steampunk came in.

Jay Lake (M), Elizabeth Darvill, Sheyne Fleischer, Nick Valentino



An Author & His Publisher 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM Emerald B, Hilton
Join Nick Valentino and his Publisher Zova Books in a discussion of the relationship and expectations between author and publisher.

Nick Valentino (M), Matthew Pizzo, Molly Lewis, Daniel Silva



Thomas Riley
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM Suite by Pool, Marriott

Behind enemy lines, Thomas and Cynthia mug a couple in a park to get their clothes. A reading by Nick Valentino.



Sunday


Steampunk YA to Watch For
11:00 AM - Noon Crystal A, Hilton

What writers and new fiction should we be looking out for this year?

Lisa Mantchev (M), Devon Monk, Nick Valentino



Meet Nick Valentino
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM Suite by Pool, Marriott

The Airship Ambassador interviews author Nick Valentino.

Kevin Steil (M), Nick Valentino

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

NOLA Book Fair & Kentucky Book Fair

New Orleans...
one of my favorite cities ever. Everything about it fits me nicely. It's decadent, rich in history, and home to people a lot like myself. Did I mention it gets bonus points for being a Southern Mecca of insanity where otherwise there is none? There's little that disappoints me about this place. Sure the alcohol prices are through the roof but it's just the price you pay for good times.

Once again, I didn't get many pictures. I really need to get better at this. I know, I know, I've been saying that all year. As the book fair went, there were tons of vendors down Frenchman Street. The problem was that many of the vendors (including myself) were in music venues where a lot of people really didn't wander. Still, it's New Orleans right? Yep, and this place rules. Even low attendance can't ruin NOLA. Bourbon St., the blacksmith Bar... I could go on and on. I'm looking for a possible victorious return to NOLA possibly in January... I'll keep you posted. Here's a blurry, yet realistic picture of Bourbon Street:


ZOMBIELAND
and The Kentucky Book Fair

The Kentucky book fair is held annually in Frankfort Kentucky. Now, if you've never been to Frankfort (and I had not) then the first thing you'll see is that its REALLY small. That's not a bad thing, trust me, I've been to really small places. We named the city Zombieland because at night the streets are pretty much abandoned with the exception of a few staggering people holding babies at midnight... I'm not making that up either.

The first night there, we were invited to a reception at The Buffalo Trace distillery... Ok this was awesome. Good finger food, free Buffalo Trace drinks all night and good company with at least 120 authors in attendance. There's nothing quite like getting alcohol of any kind straight from the source.

The next day was the fair. Held in the downtown convention center, there were a ton of really awesome authors and vendors working the massive crowd. I have to give big props to the people at the Kentucky book fair. This event is run very well, complete with massive volunteers, free lunch and a super helpful staff. Honestly, everyone was amazing.

After the fair we went to dinner with Filmmaker, Author, and man of so many talents, Stephen Zimmer where we had a nice Kentucky-centric dinner complete with Kentucky Hot Browns and good beer. It's always awesome to see Stephen. If you don't know him, check out his awesomeness here.

Dinosaur World
And how could I not mention Dinosaur world? Ok, so this place has a giant orange dinosaur just hanging out by the highway becoming people to stop and see the "over 100" scale dinosaurs. So, how could we resist? Awesomeness was around every corner. If you're ever around Cave City Kentucky, give this wondrous world of fake dinosaurs a whirl.



Next Up
The amazing, wonderful, magical Steamcon! (Seattle, WA) One of the premier steampunk events of the year, Steamcon promises to blow the doors off of 2010 in a grand style, with authors, bands, dances, costuming to the max and panels that will inspire steampunkers for the next 365 days. If you're in the Seattle area, come see us!

Other News
I'm was interviewed by Drakk Media in Toronto and the video is up now. Here ya go:
Steampunk Canada

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Georgia Literary Fest (Statesboro, GA)



This picture was taken from the corner of my table. Today it represents a lot of things right now but we'll leave it that it's a home decorating statement that will sweep the nation soon.

This weekend was The Georgia Literary Fest in Statesboro, GA. Quite the haul for me really. It was a good show but sadly sparsely attended, which is a surprise since the speakers were Pulitzer prise winners and Georgia Author of the year recipients. This festival apparently moves from city to city every year and this was the mot remote and Southern location to date.

Despite the thin crowds, I had a great time and as always met some wonderful people. It's amazing that even in a town like Statesboro probably half the attendees knew what Steampunk is... I can't tell you how drastically that has changed in the last year. Seriously, I've noticed all around the country a drastic increase in people that know what the genre is compared to the first half of 2010... and it's everywhere... From Statesboro GA to Elizabethtown KY to Baltimore MD. It's really a great thing to see unfold.

So I was really bad about taking pictures this time. I took one. And that was of one of my insulators on my table. I took it because I'm laying claim to spreading the wonders of lighted insulators across the country. Yep, you heard it here. Sure it's probably been done before but no one has ever toured across the country with it. It's amazing how many people say they are going to copy this idea. So when you see it in Martha Stewart Magazine, or in Opra's house as some kind of Green lighting, you will know that it started here... with steampunk and with the Thomas Riley Tour.I'm not kidding... everyone talks about them... Probably ten people at each event say they are going to steal the idea. Don't know what I'm talking about? The lone picture is at the top.

Next up:
I actually have this weekend off! Can you believe it? Yep, I'll be spending Halloween in Nashville. Honestly it couldn't have come at a better time. Things are crazy with me right now and I need some serious time to recover and gather myself. This will be the saddest Halloween of my life but I'm trying to focus on the positives and there is a ton of stuff in the hopper that I'm really excited about... One includes a new steampunk anthology that I don't think I can talk about yet. Trust me, you'll be the first to know.

Next Next Up
So, next next weekend (Nov 7th)I'll be in New Orleans, LA for the New Orleans Book Fair. Come down to Frenchman Street in the French Quarter and join us! You'll get double your steampunk pleasure, I promise.

Facebook and Twitter
Friend me, ehem... I mean Thomas Riley on Facebook here.
Or follow me, cough cough, I mean Thomas Riley on Twitter here.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Texas Book Festival

Stardate October 16 & 17 2010 - Austin Texas.



Austin loves their books and I love them for it. Arriving in Austin I discovered that the fest was quite a walk from the hotel room. (Will have to check on that in the future.) Anyway the tables were set up in longhouse styled tents which was a nice change to being totally out in the sun. I shared a table with amazing Steampunk authors O.M. Grey and Elizabeth Darvill. Yes we caused quite the scene. Muhahahaha! As an added bonus, Scott Westerfeld stopped by the table as well as D.B. Grady which was super cool of him.

The crowds were great and Austin is a super cool town. Tons of music, bars and really awesome cab drivers! Yeah, when did you ever think I would say that?
Sadly we were so busy, I managed only one photo the entire time, although there are several others of the table floating around so if you took one, we'd love to see them.

Next Up
I'll be signing Thomas Riley at The Georgia Literary Festival in Stateboro, GA this weekend Oct 23rd at the Georgia Southern University.

Can't be in Georgia? Get your copy of Thomas Riley here.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Southern Festival of Books

I've been on the road practically all year. From Victoria, BC to Baltimore, MD and nope... it's not even close to being over. In that time, I've never had a big signing in my home town (Nashville, TN). The Southern Festival of Books was the perfect opportunity to make a big splash for a homecoming.


I was nestled in booth number 8 in beautiful Legislative Plaza with Echelon Press and amazing new author Gale Borger who wrote the funny murder mystery, "Totally Buzzed". The hometown crowd was awesome! It's especially nice to have all your friends and family come out even if they just stopped by to say hello. Ok I don;t know this child but he was really into the steampunk weaponry.


The fest was amazing as expected. It's funny, the more I travel the more people know about steampunk. In fact I've seen a huge difference in the last six months of people that are aware and curious about it.

On Saturday night we went out and celebrated with the first hockey game of the season!



Also, many thanks to model, dancer and actress Karina Beck for her help with promotions! Here she is on the lookout for enemy airships.


Things are busy, exciting and amazing but oh so busy. December is going to mainly be a tour of Tennessee bookstores but in the meantime I'll be going to Austin, TX, Statesboro, GA, New Orleans, LA, Frankfort, KY, Seattle, WA and Atlanta, GA.

Next up:
I'll be at the Texas Bookfest this weekend. (October 16 & 17) in Austin, TX with author O.M. Grey and her paranormal steampunk novel Avalon Revisited.

Come see us for all your steampunk literary needs.


Don't forget if you're not around any of these cities you can always get Thomas Riley here at Amazon.

And the kindle version here.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Memphis TN & Southaven MS



This weekend was a rare weekend that I was able to go to dedicated bookstores for signings. It's been at least 3 months since I've been to one. Everything is always bookfests and cons. I'm not complaining, it's just kind of a weird feeling to have your own table at a store when you're used to going to events with thousands of people.

So Saturday was Hastings in Memphis TN. It was great! I think I was 2 books away from selling out of copies but again, I can't ask for much more. I trekked to Beale Street and had a few pints and had some BBQ from Pig and got to run through that weird store on Beal that has well... everything from Masonic merch to voodoo spell casting artifacts. Oh and tasers... Let's not forget the tasers. The let's just say the ehem, cough cough, "wired" employee that approached me really wanted me to buy a taser... or a sword. His selling point was that a sword would really come in handy if I was getting mugged. Needless to say I didn't buy a sword. Here's my picture of The New Daisy where I paused nostalgically in memory of playing there several times with Fall With Me.


Sunday I was off to Southaven MS where I met up with my new good buddy Tyler Smith (who orchestrated the signings by the way) (Many many thank yous Tyler!)at Books-A-Million. Now I've never signed at a Books-A-Million before but this was awesome! People came out specifically for the signing and that pretty much made my day. Everyine in the store was amazing. Really, I've had some really great experiences with people at book stores but this has to take the cake. With their help, we sold out of all the copies in the store. Anyway, it was definitely one of the most incredible bookstore experiences all year and the best part is I've made some really awesome new friends.


While I'm at it, let me introduce the awesome Tony Perry. Tony is an amazing artist that I seriously met yesterday. He drew this first and I had to ask him to do a sketch for the super secret project I'm working on. So... I'm giving you a hint here. The first drawing is unrelated to me but I loved it so here is the steampunk mechanic he did.


Tony was kind enough to do his take on something I'm working on so... Ok here's your first look at Eliza Bell... And that's pretty much all I can tell you right now.


Next Up
This weekend. Oct 8, 9, 10 I'll be signing at the Southern Festival of Books in yes... wait for it... no kidding... Nashville TN. I've never done a real signing in my home town, so this is a big deal for me. (Yes, I signed at Divergence II in Nashville but that wasn't really a public signing)So, I'll be at Booth #8 all weekend with Echelon Press and debut Author of Totally Buzzed, Gale Borger. If you're in or around Nashville, this is a big weekend for me and I'd love to see all my home town friends.

Monday, September 27, 2010

NAIBA & The Baltimore Book Festival

NAIBA
I'm back after a very long week of traveling and promoting and selling books. Wow, it feels like forever since I've been home. I spent three days in Atlantic City with Echelon Press at the NAIBA Conference at the Trump Marina Hotel. There's nothing quite like having a full blown casino in your hotel. We met with Indy Booksellers and industry people and I was part of the "Emerging Leaders Reception" which was a really great time as well. Yes I played a bit of Blackjack... I pretty much came out even but wow it was fun. For you all that know me, I need that kind of recklessness mixed with business... It makes life fun. I was really bad about not taking photos. But here are a few... Casino entrance.


Karen Syed Setting up the Echelon Table


The guys at St. Martin's Press gave me a copy of Brom's Child Thief!


The Baltimore Book Festival
I've only been to Baltimore once and that was only briefly. Being a three day book fest I was pretty excited to get out and sell to a bunch of people. While the Friday and Sunday crowd were a bit sparse, Saturday was amazing. There's just nothing in the world quite like meeting enthusiastic readers and wow did I meet some. The fest is really big. It's like 5 streets and a square covered in tents and vendors of all types. (Mainly books of course.)So when you're working these festivals it gets pretty tough when the day is winding down so I have to compliment a very amazing gentleman that brought beers and openers each night. Really, that was a first for me and he probably doesn't know it but his simple gesture really meant so much and seriously put the cherry on top of the trip. So if you're the good sir that brought the beers... I thank you so much! Your simple generosity was so touching that it's hard to put into words. I realize that sounds a bit like I'm a lush but that's never happened before and even though it was beer, it was the thought (for 2 nights mind you) that was so touching. He gained the nick-name "Book Fest Santa".

Next Up
This weekend I'll be in Memphis, TN signing Thomas Riley at Hastings on Saturday starting at 2:00PM. On Sunday, I'll be at Books-A-Million in Southaven, MS signing at 2:00PM. Come see me, the books at the stores are limited so they will go fast.

In the year 2000
The week after that I'll be in Nashville, TN signing at The Southern Festival of Books which is another huge book fest spanning 3 days in my home town. Besides a brief signing at Divergence II, I've somehow never signed the book in Nashville... Yeah, how lame is that? So we're coming out grandiose style for this one. We'll be at the Echelon Press Booth (Not sure of the number yet, but I'll keep you posted.)

Books, stories and more stories...
Here are links where you can get all the books and stories that I have out to date.
Thomas Riley
Dreams of Steam (Steampunk Anthology, my story is "Engine 316")
Steampunk Tales Issue 8 (My story is "Double Crossed at Gray Raven Mill")
Thomas Riley Kindle Version
Thomas Riley Nook Version

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

BOOKMARKS Winston-Salem NC

For me Winston-Salem is a pretty far drive. Seven hours for a one day book festival. I love a good book fest because you meet all the local authors and you get a chance to meet some awesome book lovers that are just having a good day in the sun. Well, the only problem is there wasn't much sun. In fact it was rain. Here's the really great part. A ton of people just didn;t care. The entire day people just trekked out in the rain still buying books and hanging out. I've never seen anything like it. Usually when the rain comes everyone scatters never to return. Not in Winston-Salem. They toughed it out, determined to have a good time no matter the weather.


We had a great crowd the entire day and wow, a lot of people knew what steampunk was! Seriously, at book festivals a lot of people seem to not know about steampunk but here I swear fifty percent of the crowd knew what it was. That's a really good feeling. Click here to see the article I'm in from The Winston-Salem Journal.

So we ended up going to The Foothills Brewing Company and celebrating with a few pints. Good times but the entire trip was relatively short compared to the latest jaunts to Toronto and Atlanta for Dragon Con.


Side trip to Mayberry
No kidding, I'm driving home and notice that I'm on the Andy Griffith Parkway... well, come to find out, Mount Airy, NC is where they based the town of Mayberry in the Andy Griffith Show. So naturally, I had to see it. The place was really awesome. It's just a small town with a nifty claim to fame. Sure there is some turisty stuff there but honestly, sometimes it's good to just be a tourist.


Next up
Next week is going to be insane. Tuesday and Wednesday Sept 21-22 I'll be attending the NAIBA (New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association) conference in Atlantic City, the I go directly to Baltimore, MD for the Baltimore Book fest (Booth E-29).

Steampunk Tales
I'm so happy to announce that my steampunk short story "Double Crossed at Gray Raven Mill" (Featuring Baron Bon Bar) is in the new Steampunk Tales Magazine (Issue #8). I'm in there with some amazing authors such as G.D. Falksen and Cindy MacLeod. Click here to check it out.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

When L. Ron Hubbard Came Down from Outter Space



I'm not sure how to even start this... So much has happened that my head is spinning, quite literally at times. I was home for three days after Toronto and I was back on the road heading to Atlanta for Dragon Con. We arrived around 9:00 on Thursday evening where we went directly to Pre-reg to get our badges... Of course they closed the line so we were out of luck. After a quick recovery pint, we were back at it exploring the calm before the storm in the D*C hotels. You could feel the buzz in the air. The lobbies and halls were full of people ready for 4 days of fandom and general insanity. Friday we woke up super early and got our badges then I bolted back to the room to get ready for the "New Voices In Steampunk" Panel where Kimberly Richardson, Emilie Bush, Clay & Susan Griffith and I talked about Steampunk and read sections from our novels. Despite my general dislike for reading in front of a crowd, I pulled off my section without too much of a hitch. The panel went wonderfully, with everyone chiming in on the different aspects of steampunk and steampunk literature. Good times with amazing people... I really can't ask for much more.


Decatur Book Festival On Saturday I took off from Dragon Con to brave the sun in Decatur, GA for the Decatur Book Festival. Thirty thousand people converge on this book fest for all things literary. I was at the Echelon Press booth and holy cow, it was amazing. And for the first time in this blog's history, you get to see a video of me all giddy as I sign someones Kindle... Under Charlene Harris' autograph by the way.
video

After the fest I went directly back to Dragon Con where we hit the party scene trying to get pictures of the lunacy and generally people watching. There's nothing that can overwhelm the senses quite like Dragon Con. Despite my lack of energy, it was an amazing time. I got to hang with a lot of friends and met a ton of good people. Can't wait for next year! Speaking of good friends, Bill Harris is an amazing steampunk gun maker with his company, The Venusian Airship Pirate Trading Company. He made 2 guns which he debuted at Dragon Con from Thomas Riley. Here's a picture of Cynthia's yet unfinished revolver from the beginning of the book. Thanks Bill! You rule!


Steampunk Tales #8 Steampunk tales is an online digital short story magazine full of some of the newest steampunk writers. I have a story in the latest issue called "Double Crossed at Gray Raven Mill". This story was born at St. Louis' Steamposium to benefit Cystic Fibrosis research. The good, Baron Bon Bar won that auction and well, 5 months later I'm happy to say, it's out! Check out this issue with my story and other stories from Cindy MacLeod, and G.D. Falksen here: http://www.steampunktales.com/

Next up I'm heading to The Bookmarks Book Festival in Winston-Salem, NC this weekend which should be an absolute blast. I don't know my booth number yet, but it shouldn't be too hard to find me. Come and say hi... I should have the new Sky Pirate Patches available. If you mention this blog I'll give you something for free. There's so much going on it's hard for me to keep up with it. Seriously, things are crazy. In addition to all the writing and traveling I'm doing for Thomas Riley, there are super secret things in the works as well. I'll give you a hint on one of them... My Gencon/Origins/Megacon friends will be super excited about it.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Fan Expo 2010 Report

Let me just come right out of the gates and say Fan Expo was absolutely amazing. We broke all sales records once again and the great con goers were exactly that. Great!


We arrived in Toronto and our first contact was an insane cab driver. This guy was nuts. I actually tried to video tape him in the dark cab... those tapes may never be released.

The good Ensign and I settled into the hotel and discovered that we were very close to everything. The Convention center was 2 blocks away and we had enough bars to keep me happy. The next moring we hit it hard... setting up at such a big con was awesome and I have to say the staff was really great. We checked in and got on the floor in no time, which is pretty unreal when you consider that there were hundreds of vendors ranging from local jewelry makers to Marvel Comics. Here's a shot of part of Friday's crowd.


Saturday was unreal. The entire convention center was packed and getting outside to get food or anything was a 30 minute ordeal at the least. Trust me, I'm not complaining. We had innumerable people come by the table and pick the books up. We also had a bunch of fun raffles of homemade steampunk weaponry, which everyone seemed to love. Lot's of good costumes too:


I was a panelist in the steampunk 101 panel and people waited 2 hours to get in. There were so many people in the room the entire floor was covered with people sitting all around us. It's such a cool sight as this is the second time this has happened in the last few months. Steampunk is getting so huge. It's unreal to see it grow so quickly.

On our return home day (Monday) we decided to have a "Canada Day". We went to Tim Hortons, got coffee and Dutchies then we were off to The Hockey Hall of Fame. Ok, this place is so awesome. Besides that it's big and has tons of nifty things to look at, they have the best interactive games ever. My favorite was where you put on goalie gloves and stop real hurling pucks that shoot out of holes in a screen. We have video of that as well. If you like hockey and are in Toronto, this is a must see.




So what do I say? This was a truly amazing con. Like I said, we broke all records. I'm already signed up for next year and I can't wait.

Dragon Con
I leave for Dragon Con on Thursday evening. Yes that has not afforded me much sleep or recovery time from busting my ass in Canada but Dragon Con is always such a blast. I'll be on the "New Voices in Steampunk" panel at 11:30AM in the Westin Hotel. GUESTS: Clay & Susan Griffith, Nick Valentino, Emilie Bush, Kimberly Richardson

On Saturday I'll hop skip and jump over to Decatur GA for the Decatur Book Festival all day where I'll be joining my fellow Echelon authors at booth 107. Then right back to Dragon Con for Saturday night's insanity. So I'm a busy boy... These events are especially great because I get to see all my friends in one place. Well, ok two places. See you all soon!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Toronto Bound Update

FAN EXPO 2010

Next week, August 27-29, the good Ensign and I will be attending Fan Expo 2010 in Toronto Ontario. This 90,000 person fandom extravaganza is Canada's version of the San Diego Comic Con and I can't wait to be a part of it. I'll be signing Thomas Riley and the new Dreams of Steam anthology at booth A-13 in the convention centre and I'm on the Steampunk 101 panel on Saturday at 3:30 in Room 205A in the convention centre.

This one is going to be crazy. We have steampunk guns and goggles for giveaways and all types of shenanigans planned. The only sad part is that The Pyre's Fortune Sky Pirate Patches will not be in on time for this con... but we plan to have them by Dragon Con and the Decatur Book Fest the following week.

So come by our booth if you are planning on attending Fan Expo. Mention this blog and get 2 free raffle tickets for the steampunk weaponry giveaway.

Interview
The most excellent writers of the Nicknameless270 blog did a fun question interview with me. Check it out here: NICKNAMELESS270

Ebooks
If you have an ebook reader Thomas Riley is on mega sale for Kindle and The Nook. $2.99
I mean you can't go wrong with three bucks right?
Kindle
The Nook

Friday, August 13, 2010

Memphis and Southaven Signings Postponed

funny pictures
see more Lolcats and funny pictures


I'm so sorry this is last minute but the book signings at Hastings in Memphis TN on Saturday and at Books-A-Million in Southaven MS have been postponed.

The new dates are:
Hastings Memphis - Oct 2nd
Books-A-Million Southaven - Oct 3rd

In the meantime, if you like The Blood Brothers or Milemarker check out this band called Orbs.
http://www.myspace.com/orbsband

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Gencon

Gencon was honestly a last minute thing. I'd heard of it for a while now but I never grasped how big it really was. Thirty thousand gamers and pop culture fanatics descend on Indianapolis for not only "the best four days in gaming" but also the largest four days in gaming in the world. While attending Origins with the Frenzy Universe we were told over and over again that we simply have to attend Gencon.


At the last moment there we were, off to Gencon.

First off this con is much like a mini San Diego Comic Con but with a much heavier focus on gaming. Seriously, if you're into games especially table top and RPG, this is the place for you. Most of the time, the isles are packed with people where moving is difficult. If you have agoraphobia or Enochlophobia well, you might want to stay home. I arrived on Wednesday night and by 9AM the next day we were off and running at the booth. Once again the amazing ladies at Frenzy Universe had me at their booth. They're kindness and help means so much to me. I could say thank you a million times to them and it wouldn't be close to enough. The coolest part is that you'll never have a bad experience with Frenzy Universe. They're bent on providing the best shopping experience and best products out there. If you don't know already, I highly recommend them. In fact my favorite outfit came from them! Sorry if I talk about them all the time but they're seriously that awesome.

So what can I say? Even for an author, Gencon was amazing!I debuted the brand new Dreams of Steam Anthology from Kerlak Publishing which my story, Engine 316 is included. All my copies sold out by mid day on Saturday. I was 6 copies away from selling out of Thomas Riley as well. Super good con and wonderful people as usual.


In addition to the Frenzy Gals, I got to spend time with wonderful romantic steampunk author Elizabeth Darvill, Fantasy author Stephen Zimmer and Horror author Michael West.


Four day cons are a tough gig but they're also fun as can be. Gencon this year came with another bonus as I was interviewed for Dragon Talk Radio by Jon Klement on the first night of the con. Take a listen to the hour long radio show HERE


Ok, ready for fun pictures?

Here's an awesome working dog that allowed them to put goggles on him. He really would have sat there all day. Awesome dog!


Wil Wheaton loves a good hug.


So this guy walks by the table and starts freaking out. I wasn't sure why until he informed me that his name was Thomas Riley. Too Fun!



Felicia Day


This group always finds me at cons and I love them for it. Especially since they dress up differently each time.


Weird but awesome. On my way home I passed this. Who wouldn't want a pirate ship as a playhouse?


Next Up:
I'll be in Memphis TN this Saturday signing Thomas Riley at Hastings at 2PM, then I'll be signing at Books-A-Million in Souithaven MS on Sunday at 2PM. If you come and mention this, I'll give you a high five.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

San Diego Comic Con 2010

I'm a six year veteran of the San Diego Comic Con. We originally went on kind of a whim to see some weird new media things and wow, who would have ever expected that it would have turned out to basically be the new red carpet?

So this year the Good Ensign and I trekked off to San Diego, checked into the 500 West and lived out five days of "do whatever the hell we want" while being surrounded by every new scrap of movies, tv, art, comics, fandom, media and insanity that dares to show it's face in 2011. As per tradition, we went directly to Fred's (A chain tex-mex place) for celebratory beer and Chicken Chingaderas. That night, we were into preview night, roaming the seemingly endless yet familiar exhibitor hall in search of new goodies. Put it this way, the street signs outside of the convention center were written in Klingon. Really:


Despite going every year, it's hard to accurately describe how massive and crazy Comic Con is. Think 150 thousand people and all of them are trying to get your attention. Then think it's somehow even crazier than that. This is not a place for those with Agoraphobia or Enochlophobia.

So Thursday we hit the exhibit hall again with fleeting plans to attend any panels that day. That's how it usually goes down. We plan to do a bunch of stuff but it never happens because we're doing something else. That evening we attended the art toy company Munkey King's party at Bar Basic which is always a fun event featuring pop artists doing live paintings and beer. Can't forget the beer. Here's a lame picture of Joe Ledbetter doing the live painting.


The amount of stars on the floor this year blew away previous years. Sure you may bump into Glenn Danzig or Seth Green but this year there were tons of people signing in the exhibitor hall. Here are just a few I could get pictures of:

Danny DiVito


Chevy Chase


Seth Green


Bill and Sookie from True Blood


Michael MacDowell


Warehouse 13


We also caught Penn & Teller's panel on performing together for 35 years. Pretty awesome. The level of general fandom is off the charts. People camped out just to get into panels and I don't mean just super big panels like Big Bang Theory and True Blood, I mean like for everything. Here's people at 1AM camped out for the Supernatural panel and Smallville Panel. As for us, we waited 3 hours for the always amazing Mythbusters panel. Great stuff as usual. Funny, exciting and brilliant!


Of course there were the fun crazy people in costume. If you can think of a costume, it was probably there. Here's a VERY small sampling of what was there:
Captain America (With a goat for some reason) was protesting the idea that Comic Con might move to Anaheim. I didn;t have the heart to tell him that I think I heard that San Diego already signed an extension to keep the con there...


Kitana (Mortal Cobat)


Cobra Comander (Now with 200% more henchmen!)


So we're already looking forward to Comic Con 2011 (Hopefully no one will get stabbed in the eye next year.) Until then, thank you San Diego!

Next Up:
I'll be at Gencon selling Thomas Riley at the Frenzy Universe Booth and as an added bonus I'll have the first copies of the Steampunk Anthology "Dreams of Steam" in which I have a steampunk story called Engine 316. See you in Indianapolis!