Jennifer Brozek | June 2019

Tell Me - Gregory A. Wilson

by Jennifer Brozek 23. June 2019 18:03

Greg is a friend of mine from conventions and twitch. I was delighted by his first comic, Icarus. Now he’s doing a Kickstarter for the re-launch of the Icarus and Jellinek graphic novels. More over, he's writing what he wants to see in this world for his family and all of us.
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I first sat down to write Icarus at a time when it felt like compassion and community was in short supply—and with my first child just about to arrive (my daughter was born about a week after I finished the manuscript), that sort of thing was really on my mind. The story, about a young man with wings who falls into the heart of the volcano and the creatures he finds there, was told from alternating perspectives, Icarus's (kind of the Queen's English, I guess) and Jellinek's (a four foot tall, red-skinned, gruff flamepetal prospector—kind of a Gabby Hayes, Old West type). The two characters seem as different from each other in demeanor, language, and outward appearance as one could imagine, but internally, they're much more similar than either of them realize. A lot of the story, which involves them running from the magisters who dominate the land of Vol and desire Icarus's powers for themselves, focuses on Icarus trying to regain his memory, with Jellinek trying to understand what the hell has just happened. But the heart of the story remains friendship and community: creatures coming together in common purpose, determined to stand with each other come what may.   

When the graphic novel finally had its first iteration in 2016, a lot of this came through in the visual images and the script done by Keith DeCandido. But for a variety of reasons, we were only able to tell part of the story. Much of the rest of it—the ways in which Icarus, Jellinek, and their two-tailed, lava resistant companion Rig (kind of a big, lava resistant dog) try to escape their pursuers and unlock more of Icarus's mystery—was still to be revealed. When Athila Fabbio, our new artist, came on board for the entire story in this new edition, it wasn't so much his attention to detail and masterful grasp of color and shading which grabbed me, although those were awesome things too! But it was his ability to capture the characters' emotions, their care for each other, their generosity of spirit, which was most stunning…and moving. For the first time, I could see Icarus's sense of loss, his sadness and concern for his friends, Jellinek's desire to help Icarus in spite of every bit of history telling him you can't trust "others." A picture might be worth a thousand words, but these ones are worth a couple of deeply powerful emotions too.

My daughter is now eleven, and once again we're in a difficult, contentious time. And now my son, only three years old, has also joined the world. I think a lot about them in my writing; I wonder if they'll understand what it means to pull together, even when some around them are trying to push them apart. Part of that is my job as a parent…but part of it is also my job as a writer, and it's one I'm trying to take seriously. So really, Icarus and Jellinek is a story of hope; along with Athila's art, I'm doing everything I can to help that hope come across.

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Gregory A. Wilson is Professor of English at St. John's University in New York City, where he teaches creative writing, speculative fiction, and various other courses in literature. In addition to academic work, he is the author of the epic fantasy The Third Sign, the graphic novel Icarus, the dark fantasy Grayshade, and the D&D adventure/sourcebook Tales and Tomes from the Forbidden Library. He also has short stories in a number of anthologies, and has several projects forthcoming in 2019. He co-hosts the critically acclaimed Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers, and Fans (speculatesf.com) podcast, is a member of the Gen Con Writers' Symposium and other author groups, and is regularly invited to conferences nationally and internationally. Finally, under the moniker Arvan Eleron, he is the host of a successful Twitch channel focused on story and narrative, with several sponsored TTRPG campaigns. He lives with his family in Riverdale, NY. His virtual home is gregoryawilson.com.

 

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Origins Game Fair Schedule 2019

by Jennifer Brozek 10. June 2019 07:53

I will be at Origins Game Fair this coming weekend, spending most of my time in the Origins Library and participating on panels in the Writing Seminar. The authors area will not be inside the exhibit hall. They decided to place us in the spotlight area across from the main entrance of Hall A. They have co-located the seminar room with the authors area so attendees will have one spot to go to listen to authors then buy their books.

   

Reminder: no shyness around me. Come say hello (unless I'm running to the restroom). Ask your questions. Get your books signed. There are some fabulous authors in the Origins Library this yere.

Thursday
1pm - 2pm | Career Expectations: What can you expect from a writing career?
How do you decide if you’re a success or a failure? | Mercedes Lackey, Jennifer Brozek, Michael R. Underwood (M), Robyn King

2pm - 3pm | Writing RPG Fiction: The nuts and bolts of RPG short story, novella, and novel writing. | Larry Dixon, Jennifer Brozek, Robyn King, Tracy Chowdhury, John Helfers (M)

5pm | Emberwind. Jennifer and the Embercrew will play Skies of Axia, streamed (hopefully).

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Friday
1pm - 2pm | Mercedes Lackey’s Fantasy Quarterly Magazine
: Even after many years and dozens of novels and short stories, Mercedes Lackey is still trying new avenues of publishing, including launching Mercedes Lackey’s Fantasy Quarterly, a brand-new fantasy digest magazine, in 2019. Join her and associated editors Jennifer Brozek and John Helfers and learn about this new venue for the best in original and classic short fantasy fiction. | Mercedes Lackey, Jennifer Brozek, John Helfers (M). 

3pm - 4pm | Networking: Who should you be talking to? And how? And when have you crossed the line? | Mercedes Lackey, Addie J. King, Jennifer Brozek, Gregory A. Wilson (M)

5pm - 5:30pm | Reading. Jennifer Brozek will read from BattleTech: Iron Dawn and Shadowrun: Makeda Red.

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Saturday
10am - 11am | Professional Writing Organizations
: What is SFWA and what does it offer? What about HWA? IAMTW? Which ones should you join—if any? | Cat Rambo, Jennifer Brozek, Aaron Rosenberg (M)

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Sunday
10am - 11am | Ask the editors anything
: Questions you were too afraid to ask when your story was on the line | Jennifer Brozek, Lucy Snyder, John Helfers (M)


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Cover Reveal and Early Release of Shadowrun: Makeda Red!

by Jennifer Brozek 8. June 2019 08:13

Shadowrun: Makeda Red is officially out at Origins Game Fair. This Shadowrun novel is part of the origin story for Rune Red of "Rune's Avatar Cafe" (my Casablanca homage) from the World of Shadows anthology. This cover was created by the marvelous Peter Tikos!

ON A COLLISION COURSE... It was supposed be a simple extraction from the Brussels2Rome party train. With an eclectic crowd, a willing target, and a lot of nuyen at stake, what could go wrong?

Everything—as Makeda Red discovers the hard way.

There’s more than one target on the train, and more than one shadowrunner team in play. When someone sabotages the tracks in the middle of the Swiss Alps, she’s forced to extract her client much earlier than planned.To complicate matters, other survivors are also fleeing the crash for their own reasons. One of them is trying to escape his corporate masters as well, and offers to pay Makeda to escort him to his safe haven.

A paying client is a paying client, and his corp won’t be looking for three people traveling together. Makeda knows it’s a risk, but one she’s willing to take. In the shadows, however, nothing and no one is what they seem. Before it’s over, this already complicated run may be Makeda’s last...

Amazon / Amazon ebook | Barnes & Noble 

 

 

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Declutter Monday, Round 2, for 3 June 2019

by Jennifer Brozek 4. June 2019 08:58

Now that we’ve hit the half-way mark for the year, it’s time for Declutter Monday, Round 2. Technically, that’s 1 July, but I have enough travel that I wanted to start this month and it’ll work itself out in the end.

Today was all about the clothing. I decluttered my drawers and my closet. Every single drawer, every single hanging item.

Thought 1: How do I have so much clothing still? I know I did a heavy round of clothing decluttering but I still had / have so much clothing it feels ridiculous. I got rid of 15 t-shirts, 5 sweaters, 4 shirts, 5 pairs of jeans, 1 pair of pants, 5 good quality bras, and 3 pairs of socks. I still have a lot of clothing. Some of it new. Some of it old.

Thought 2: It was both easier and harder this time around. In the grand scheme of things, decluttering my clothing was easier—Does it fit? Do I like it? Have I worn it in the last 6 months? But, it was also harder. Last time, there was so much to get rid of, it was easier to toss something in the “maybe” pile. This time, I was working with things I mostly liked. Or thought I liked. Or wondered if it was insecurity talking. There were a lot of emotions tied up in the clothing. I’ve now got a sentimental/“work” (re: conventions) t-shirt drawer for t-shirts I just don’t want to give up yet.

Thought 3: Fighting the “just in case” syndrome. I’m a fat woman who is losing weight. I’ve lost weight before. I’ve gained it all back. I want to say this time is different. I think it is. But, the part of me that grew up poor wants me to keep some of the bigger clothing for “just in case.” I can hear my inner voice whispering, You like this. What if you gain the weight back? You’ll never see it again if you let it go. None of this is true. My style has changed. My needs have changed. If I regain the weight, I’ll deal with it then.

Thought 4: Weight loss is inconvenient for decluttering. When you are in the process of losing weight and your body is in transition, it’s hard to declutter. You don’t know where the new norm is. All you know is that half (or more) of your clothing doesn’t fit anymore. Old favorites don’t fit, look awful, are unwearable. Thank goodness my sister was able to save some of my favorite shirts by cutting 6-8 inches from the sides and sewing them to fit my body now. It ticks me off that some of the good quality clothing that was barely worn needs to go. It’s because of this that I think I need to give my closet a full year before I do another round of decluttering. I need to know where the new normal is.

Thought 5: Impatient to start. I’ve been thinking about Declutter Monday, Round 2 for more than a few weeks. In truth, I probably should’ve put my clothing last because of the weight loss and body changes, but I’ve been impatient to start an “official” round 2 for a while. I’ve thought about getting rid of random things in a haphazard manner and forced myself to stop. I think after this official round, I’m going to let myself declutter as I go…with the exception of clothing, of course. Maybe a monthly general scan? I don’t know.

One thing is certain. I’ve changed my viewpoint on how I look at my possessions. I’m more careful about what I bring into the house. I’m more thoughtful about what I have and how I use it. I know I appreciate my knick-knacks and the other things I’ve chosen to keep more. This is a good change for me.

A great picture of Mena playing, taken by Raven Oak.

 

 

 

 

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Jennifer Brozek: Writerholic

Jennifer Brozek is a multi-talented, award-winning author, editor, and tie-in writer. She is the author of the Never Let Me Sleep, and The Last Days of Salton Academy, both of which were nominated for the Bram Stoker Award. Her BattleTech tie-in novel, The Nellus Academy Incident, won a Scribe Award. Her editing work has netted her a Hugo Award nomination as well as an Australian Shadows Award for Grants Pass. Jennifer’s short form work has appeared in Apex Publications, and in anthologies set in the worlds of Valdemar, Shadowrun, V-Wars, and Predator. Jennifer is also the Creative Director of Apocalypse Ink Productions, and was the managing editor of Evil Girlfriend Media and assistant editor for Apex Book Company.

Jennifer has been a freelance author, editor, tie-in writer for over ten years after leaving her high paying tech job, and she’s never been happier. She keeps a tight schedule on her writing and editing projects and somehow manages to find time to volunteer for several professional writing organizations such as SFWA, HWA, and IAMTW. She shares her husband, Jeff, with several cats and often uses him as a sounding board for her story ideas. Visit Jennifer’s worlds at jenniferbrozek.com.

"I see story ideas. All the time. They're everywhere. Just walking around like normal ideas. They don't know they're stories."