Archive for May, 2012

Thursday, May 31st, 2012
Finally Have A Hobby

Anyone who’s read my blog for a while knows I’m not much of a hobbyist. I don’t really have any hobbies. In fact, I don’t like doing most things that could be considered a ‘regular’ hobby.

Before I left for ComiCon, I ordered a couple of Manga drawing books. I’ve been interested in a doing a three panel cartoon ever since Lynn Viehl put the mix and match three panel set on her blog years ago. Like anyone starting from scratch, I didn’t know where to begin. I have no formal art training. The last ‘real’ art class I took was in 7th grade. I did take one correspondence course years later, but since it was college level they assumed I’d had some art training. (Refer back to the 7th grade statement.) You can guess how well I did. That said, I knew I had to start somewhere, so I decided to go with this ‘how to’ book:

This book walks you through drawing Manga step by step. The only thing I wish it did (at least in the beginning pages) was keep the lines that show you where the eyes, nose and mouth should fall. They had them on the first page, then removed them on the subsequent pages. For a total newbie like me, this is NOT helpful. Anyway, I drew my first Manga character. It’s not great. I’m a little smudgy, but it is a step up from my stick people and the one clown I can draw. *ggg See for yourself:

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012
Phoenix ComiCon

Back, and finally recovered, from Phoenix ComiCon. I’m not sure if it’s all the walking, all the people, or all the socializing, but I am always exhausted after ComiCon. I had a great time. There were a few hiccups, when I arrived. My badge wasn’t there and neither were my books. I managed to get my badge after my first couple of panels, but the books (with the exception of three copies) were a no show. The bookseller did scramble to try to find more copies, but it didn’t happen. I would’ve had some sent to me, but the only copies I have at home are of my third title in the Dead World series (i.e. CRIMSON). I didn’t figure people would want to buy the final book in the series, when the first book is out of print. (Yes, it’s kind of mandatory for the reader to read the first book in my series, so the rest will make sense.) Anyway, lesson learned. I will be sending off The Ghost Hunter Chronicles: Solomon’s Seals and at least one of my romance books to get copy edits and formatting done for print. That way if a bookseller has a problem, then I can order some copies to have on hand.

I was on several panels: Beginning Writing, Worldbuilding, Erotica, Beyond the Fangs, and I’m spacing on the last panel name. Anyway, they all went well. I was really pleased with all the questions that we received. Met a lot of wonderful people.

My first morning, I had breakfast with Scott Koblish, a cartoonist for Marvel, and his lovely daughter. He was a very nice man. We had a great chat about the comic industry versus the publishing industry. We are all pretty much in the same boat, when it comes to industry practices. I met his wife, Kate the next morning. Really wish I would’ve had more time to chat with her. She seemed like a really cool lady. Apparently, I’d just missed Ed Asner, who I’m told from a very good authority was quite a character. I have no doubt. He was there signing for the movie UP, which I think was one of the best movies Pixar has done. There were a few other writers and actors at the table, including Casper Van Dien, who starred in Starship Troopers. He looked good, but he was a little rude to someone sitting at the table with us, so he didn’t leave me with the best of impressions. Perhaps he’d had a bad night.

I had a great talk with the beautiful, Patricia Skeriotis, who was in Star Trek, Star Fleet Academy among many, many other things. She was a beautiful person inside and out. I hope she manages to finish that book she wants to write. 🙂 Patricia was chatting with Mark Pechman, a screenwriter, whose short film placed third out of over sixty entries. Mark seemed like a really cool guy. I cannot wait to see his winning film.

The next morning over breakfast, I met Dina Meyer, who was in Starship Troopers, Saw and a ton of other stuff, and her husband, Matt. He and I discussed science fiction and fantasy books that we loved and the corresponding movies. They were a very nice couple. The same morning, I had a very nice talk with Rich Johnston from Bleeding Cool. He’s a cartoonist and a writer. I know it’s redundant to say, but he was a cool bloke. We ended up discussing books and quickly switched to UK television shows. (Rich, I’m going to look up Gavin and Stacy.) Thanks for the tip.

I did manage to meet, who I wanted to meet the most at ComiCon, Colin Ferguson from the show Eureka. I did tell him that I was still bitter that the show was cancelled, though I knew there was nothing he could do about it. In real life, he’s very much like the character he played on the show. He’s super high energy, almost hyper, and incredibly nice. I truly hope he finds another show that appreciates him and his talent as much as Eureka did. I didn’t get a chance to meet Salli Richardson Whitfield (aka Alison on Eureka), but I was standing about six feet from her and let me tell you, she’s pretty on the show, but the woman is absolutely FLAWLESS in person. She was all smiles and super friendly to everyone around her. I’ve never felt more like a lump of potatoes around someone in my life. Sigh.

Had a short chat with Paul Bradford from Ghost Hunters International. He was kind enough to answer a couple of questions I’ve had for a while.

Because of the way my panels were scheduled, I didn’t get a chance to meet a lot of people. Had a nice chat with astronomer/writer, David Lee Summers and YA author, Janni Lee Simner. Sat next to Joe Nassise and Kevin Hearne on one of my panels. It was the first time that I’ve met Joe. He seemed like a good guy. Has some interesting projects coming up. This was the second time that I’ve met, Kevin, who was there with his lovely mother. Both are as sweet and kind-hearted as can be. I did manage to ‘see’ Ed Asner, Brent Spiner (Data), Wil Wheaton, whom I met a few years back at BEA, Marina Sirtis, Lou Ferrigno, Herbert Jefferson Jr. (Boomer from the original Battlestar Galactica) and Micheal Dorn. The only person I didn’t manage to see was William Shatner. Since I got a picture of Leonard Nimoy last year, I’m okay with that. (grin)

Friday night, I had dinner with Marcy Rockwell and Gini Koch, along with several other friends. We always have fun when we go out. This was no exception. Saturday, I went to dinner with Weston Ochse, Yvonne Navarro, Jeff Mariotte and his son. These guys are ALL powerhouse writers and I am a HUGE fan of their work. They have pretty good taste in wine, too. 😉

I met a lot of cool people at the Con. Chris Swanson from Blogging with Badger, Mark Dos Santos, a cartoonist who is doing a kickstarter project (If you have a few bucks lying around, please send them his way.), Ovi Demetrian Jr. from IndieAisle (Ovi had a lot of great questions and ideas, when he dropped by my table.), David J. Oakes, who makes some kickass LEGO superheroes, and Trevor Smith, who had a great portfolio that would work well for book cover art.

I know I’m forgetting folks and I hate it that most of the Con is a big blur of faces and names. The one thing I took away from the Con, which is the same thing I took away from it last year, was the atmosphere of acceptance. I know that saying something like that is such a cliche, but it’s the truth. It makes me hopeful for the future, when I see so many people accepting of others, who aren’t like them.

The organizers, the hotel, and the volunteers did a WONDERFUL job of taking care of everyone. I cannot thank them enough. I hope I am fortunate enough to be invited back next year.

Thursday, May 24th, 2012
ComiCon-Phoenix Version

Tomorrow morning, I am off to ComiCon. Should be a GREAT time. Loved it last year. If you’re in town, stop by and say hello. I’ll be on author’s row with Gini Koch and many, many more or you can find me chasing down the folks from Eureka. 😉 If you can’t make it, have a fun, safe Memorial Day weekend.

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012
Fighting My Way Through

Linx is chugging along. It’s going slower now, which is frustrating given that I’ve already charted out the book. Brain needs to kick into gear. I have a few more queries to send out for my YA, then I’m done. I plan to get them out this week. We’ll see what happens. The good thing is I can always self-publish the book, which was not an option three years ago, so all is not lost if the queries don’t work out.

I’m trying to gear up for ComiCon, which starts this weekend. I have to find my giveaway items–or go buy some…or both. After that, then it’ll be time to finish Linx and publish it. I’m going to work on the paperbacks once he’s done. I want to get several of them together and available, especially now that Createspace/Amazon is selling them worldwide.

Busy. Busy. Busy.

Sunday, May 20th, 2012

Well, what can you say about a movie that’s based on a game? I guess it depends on what the game was to begin with. Battleship was one of those movies that wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be, but it wasn’t better either. In fact, my favorite thing about Battleship was when the director brought in veterans (at least I think they were real veterans) from previous world wars to run a retired battleship because the ‘new’ sailors had no clue how to operate a museum piece. 🙂 Loved that! (Bernard, I think you would, too.)

The rest of the movie was pretty much forgettable.The people you knew were going to die in the beginning–died. There were no surprises. One guy (John Carter Mars, who is an idiot jerk throughout the entire movie and really doesn’t get redemption) is honored as a hero for pulling one brave stunt, when in fact it was his Japanese counterpart who really saved the day. I always love it when the wrong people get credit for stuff they didn’t do.

Whoever wrote the dialogue needs to take several more script writing classes. I don’t think there was a cliche that they didn’t like or use in the movie. “I have a bad feeling about this…” Really? Was it the gaping hole in the side of your ship that brought you to this conclusion or the monstrous alien craft flying over the ocean toward you? Ugh!!!

I’m going to need an Avengers palate cleaning after this one.

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

I’m in the process of updating my site. At some point in the near future, I want to get the entire site re-designed, but that’s not going to happen until I can figure out what exactly I want in a website. I am still fixing links and adding pages. There is a lot more to do and it will take time. I appreciate your patience.

A few things that readers should know is that DEAD WORLD: RED and DEAD WORLD 3: CRIMSON are OUT OF PRINT. You can still find used paperback copies floating around, but there are no new ones available. If I can get my rights back on the series, the paperback availability will change. If not…there’s always the e-version.

Also, THE ATLANTEAN’S QUEST series is officially OUT OF PRINT. That will be changing soon. I am in the process of getting all of my self-published/backlist work into print. So for those of you who’ve asked for THE GHOST HUNTER CHRONICLES: SOLOMON’S SEALS in paperback, it is coming. I will also be putting the PHANTOM WARRIORS series into print, so please be patient. This process takes time. In the interim, all the books are still available in ebook format.

Now I’m off to work on PHANTOM WARRIORS: LINX. 🙂

Monday, May 14th, 2012
Sales, Stories, and Movies

In honor of Mother’s Day (plus or minus a few days), I’ve decided to put MOONLIGHT KIN: A WOLF’S TALE on sale. The price will not hold for long. I’m keeping it just long enough so that the European and UK markets can take advantage of it, too. There were some problems with a few TYPOS in the original manuscript. I went through the book again and hopefully found them all. The new version has been uploaded. This will be the last time I edit something this long on my own, especially right before a conference. :-/

Still working on PHANTOM WARRIORS: LINX. I hope to have it finished by the end of the month. The characters are fun and I’m enjoying the banter.

Speaking of banter, one of the things I loved so much about the AVENGERS was the dialogue. The characters banter in such a realistic manner given their circumstances. Joss Whedon’s writing makes me pea green with envy and prods me to strive to become a better writer. He avoids cliches in a way that I find truly remarkable. I’d love to get my hands on the original script to see what was left on the cutting room floor. We went to see Avengers again over the weekend and I’ve talked dh into going again with me this week. Yes, I loved the movie that much. I will buy it the second the extended Blu-ray copy is available for purchase. Obviously a lot of people agree with me, since the movie has made over a BILLION dollars thus far. YAY Joss Whedon!!! It’s about friggin’ time.

We also went to see DARK SHADOWS. Depp is such an odd little man, but exceedingly talented. He does a great job as Barnabas. The whole cast was terrific…they just didn’t have anything to play/work with. I was really looking forward to this film, but I’m afraid it suffered from ‘previewitis’. What is ‘previewitis’ you might ask? It’s when the best parts of a film are in the previews and the rest is generally not worth seeing. I normally like Tim Burton movies. They are quirky, along with the characters. They also tend to be either fun or full of heart. This film tried to be both, but somehow failed on all fronts. You could see what they were going for. It was pretty clear. But in the end, the film didn’t know whose movie it wanted to be. (i.e. Depp’s vampire or the little boy character in the film) My dh, who HATED the film, said it felt like the script had been rewritten by a lot of different people and they’d left a little of everyone’s version in the movie. Ouch! I didn’t think it was that bad (remember I like bad ‘B’ movies), but it wasn’t as fun as a lot of my fav ‘B’ movies. I’d probably watch it again if it came on TV, but I won’t go see it again at the theater.