Jennifer Brozek | All posts tagged 'conventions'

Great Falls Gaming Rendezvous Roundup

by Jennifer Brozek 10. October 2017 14:20

I had the best time at Great Falls Gaming Rendezvous. This awesome relax-a-con, gaming convention is run by generous and skilled people, the fans were friendly and fun. It is absolutely worth going to.

While here, I got to:
- Judge the costume contest.
- Enjoy the panels.
- Meet long time fans.
- Eat at Roadhouse Diner and taste the spectacular PB&J burger (seriously it's good).
- Enjoy bison and beef.... man, it’s a cut above.
- Montana food in general! My goodness, is it ever good. (Huckleberry shakes!)
- Be inspired by local Montana stuff enough to write a new short story (draft draft is done).
- Be impressed by the lengths the COMCON when through to create an open and safe environment for everyone. Seriously, GFGR has one of the best Codes of Conduct and educated staff I've seen. They even went through an OSHA course on the prevention sexual harassment.
- Buy some local goodies.
- Almost die on the way home. Thanks to a suicidal deer, I’ve discovered that I do actually shriek when I think I’m going to die.

Thank you to everyone at Great Falls Gaming Rendezvous for inviting me to be their special Guest of Honor. I appreciate it and had a wonderful time. Take a look at next year’s GoH lineup. It’s going to be one heck of a party!

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Great Falls Gaming Rendezvous Schedule

by Jennifer Brozek 2. October 2017 16:45

Here is my Great Falls Gaming Rendezvous schedule. Make sure you come say hello and get your books signed.

Hope to see you there!

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“I don’t read female protagonists.”

by Jennifer Brozek 23. August 2017 08:16

Gen Con 50 was an amazing experience. I had a thousand-thousand good things happen. I saw old friends, made new ones. Announced a three book deal, confirmed pending contracts, had old gigs in retirement re-ignite with the power of the sun, and agreed to work on a couple of new, exciting things.

With Apocalypse Ink Productions, I sold out of 7 of my 10 available titles, debuted 2 new omnibuses with both authors there at the convention, and met some people who were so glad to know me first as an author. I had someone come up and tell me I was the reason for their success. They’d taken my advice over the years and now they had the career they wanted. I was told I was someone’s most favorite author in the world. Out of all the fabulous authors out there, they loved my books best.

I got to meet and have a lovely, brief conversation with Charlaine Harris.

And yet…

And yet, I had one unpleasant thing happen. Just one. Kind of a record, really. This one small micro-aggression keeps coming back to overshadow everything else. I’ve had this specific thing happen before. I’ll have it happen again.

When you come to my booth at a convention, I usually ask you something like “What do you like to read?” Even if this isn’t the first thing that comes up, I ask it pretty frequently. I don’t believe in trying to sell someone a book they don’t want to read. If you don’t read horror or urban fantasy, I won’t even try to sell it to you.

This older guy stops at my booth and we have a conversation. It’s a pretty good conversation from all cues. When I discover he only really likes sci-fi, I admit I only have one book on the table that fits the sci-fi genre. It’s NEVER LET ME, my Melissa Allen trilogy omnibus. I don’t get a chance to say more than, “It’s a YA sci-fi thriller that was nominated for the Bram Stoker award.”

He looks at the book cover.

Then he looks me up and down in an obvious, deliberate manner before he says, “Let me guess, female protagonist?”

I blink at him for a moment and nod. “The first book has a female protagonist, but—”

“I don’t read female protagonists.” He turns on his heel and stalks off like I’d insulted his mother.

All I could think to say was “I guess not.”

I’m not sure what this guy wanted to accomplish. Having a reading preference is one thing. Being deliberately mean is another. He knew he was insulting me when he said what he did then flounced off. Half the covers of my books have women on the front. (The others include dripping blood, a man with an ax, and ravens.) I introduced myself as the “author or editor of everything on the table.”

Part of me shakes my head at all the wonderful books this man will never read because of the assumptions he makes. Part of me wants to shake some sense into him. Part of me is feeling very uncharitable and thinking “Well, he’s old and will die soon. Good riddance.”

Just wish this one thing hadn’t happened to mar my convention experience. Just wish this one thing wouldn’t happen again, but I know it will. And I know I’m not the only author it will happen to.

 

Added note: The main reason I wrote about it is the fact that some people don't believe this sort of thing happens all...the...time... because people don't talk about it. This needs to be talked about. It needs to be pointed out when people behave badly with a purpose.

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Bubble & Squeek for 14 Aug 2017

by Jennifer Brozek 14. August 2017 08:30

Article: Another Word: The Subtle Art of Promotion by Cat Rambo. This is an article worth reading.

Blog: 10 Things I Learned While I Was A Director-At-Large for SFWA. There's a lot you can learn by volunteering with a 501(c)3 organization. Most of it unexpected.

Interview: With me on Black Gate Magazine by Elizabeth Crowens. One of my favorite interviews to date with one of my favorite magazines.

Released: Maximum Velocity: The Best of the Full-Throttle Space Tales has been released! This one was a long time coming.

Convention: Gen Con: It's this week! I will be in the Dealer’s room Authors Avenue in booth H (Apocalypse Ink Productions) for 90% of the time I will be at Gen Con. If I’m not there, the Husband will know where I am and when I will be back. In the evenings, I’m most likely going to be at the Downtown Marriott in the lounge or the bar. (Usually called the Red Dragon Inn for Gen Con.) Come say hello, get a novel signed, or buy my convention only book or brand new AIP candle.

Hope to see you there!

 

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Train of Thought

by Jennifer Brozek 9. May 2017 09:59

Crypticon Seattle has come and gone. We did well enough in the sales department. We’ll probably be back next year—timing of the convention and other conventions willing.

It occurs to me that I should probably mark down somewhere all the conventions I’ve been a Guest of Honor at. I no longer remember the years. I mostly remember all the conventions. I should probably look that up now.

30 minutes later, I think I have the list. If you remember one that I don’t remember, please let me know.
•    BayCon 2009 – Toastmaster (San Jose, CA)
•    GothCon 2013 – Guest of Honor (Gothenburg, Sweden)
•    Context 2014 – Featured Presenter (Ohio)
•    LepreCon 2015 – Guest of Honor (Phoenix, AZ)
•    Gen Con 2015 – Industry Insider Featured Guest (Indianapolis, ID)
•    Gamehole Con 2015 – Special Guest (Madison, WI)
•    OrcaCon 2016 – Guest of Honor (Everett, WA)
•    Radcon 2016 – Guest of Honor (Pasco, WA)
•    Capitol Indie Book Con 2016 – Featured Author (Olympia, WA)
•    Tracon 2016 – Guest of Honor (Tampere, Finland)

The slow paring down of stuff continues apace. I move stuff to donate out of my overstuffed office and into the cat/exercise room. Currently, there’s a huge mound of stuff. I think once a month, we get out to donate it to Saint Vincent’s.

Thinking of paring down stuff, I’ve come to a realization on some of my knick-knacks. I’m keeping them because someone 10 years ago gave them to me. It’s an obligation. Not a joy. I think I’m going to pull down all the knick-knacks I no longer love, put them on the dining room table, and invite my friends over to pick out what they want. The rest will be donated or sold if our neighborhood ever gets organized enough to do the neighborhood garage sale.

Thinking of the neighborhood. Can I just say that I love that my neighborhood has a close FB page? It allows us to post about rescued pets, lost keys, found items, mention stuff we’ve seen, and warn each other of danger.

Thinking of danger… I’m getting better at the “not panicking, planning” thing. One of my projects dropped a bombshell on me and it was a doozy. However, as one of the other people involved said, “We can make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear” with this. I was in “fix it” mode for most of yesterday. It’s a good thing I have the ability to know who might have an answer if I don’t have it.

Thinking of fixing things, I have a 5.5 lb cat insisting it is time to play and that is the only answer she cares about. Have a cat picture. Leeloo and Pharaoh were very glad I was home from the convention.

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Stuff and Things

by Jennifer Brozek 26. April 2017 14:39

So, life continues at a breakneck pace. I am grateful for all that I have and all the opportunities I’m pursuing. Sometimes, thought, it’s hard.

Travel: I recently returned home from North Carolina where I visited my family and had a very good time. I dislike the act of travel (especially planes), but I enjoy the visiting. Next up for travel is a whirlwind appearance at StokerCon for the banquet and ceremony. I won’t be on any panels (that I know of) and I don’t have a table in the dealer’s room. It’ll be strange to just attend the convention for a day and a half. The following weekend is Crypticon Seattle, the local premiere horror convention. Dealer only, but there will be much visiting to be had.

Writing: I got the official “Sekrit Project Alex” is accepted and checks are in the mail. Super happy about that. I’ve also turn in a short story and I’m about to return to Fever County. I was away a lot longer than I expected to be. Such is life. I also got interviewed by File 770. Oh, yes. I now have a local writing group for me and several work-at-home authors called Wit’n’Word (see what I did there?). It’s not a critique group. It’s a social writing group. We write. We talk. We play with kitties. We write some more.

Editing: Still dotting I’s and crossing T’s on the two anthologies I’ll be editing this summer/fall. The spin up part of anthologies is the hardest part. I’m looking forward to the editing part. Thinking of editing I’m processing the final proof notes for Ivan Ewert’s Famished: The Gentlemen Ghouls omnibus. It’s looking really good.

Domestic 1: I’ve been watching a lot of YouTube videos on minimalism and tiny houses. I don’t think I’d ever become a minimalist or live in a tiny house, but there’s a lot of good and inventive ways do de-clutter, organize, and pare down the things you don’t use or need. This has helped with my need to de-clutter and organize my house. We’ve been living here together for over nine years now. We both tend to packrat things for “just in case.” That makes it difficult to do things like use the closets efficiently.  Thus, I’m working on it. The Husband helps when I need him to. Mostly, this is one of those things I can control, thus I am. Each slain task feels like a real victory.

Domestic 2: We’ve decided that since this will probably be our house until we move to a retirement house (with no stairs), we’re going remodel and upgrade both upstairs bathrooms. We’d have to do it any way before we sold the place. Might as well enjoy the upgrades now. I suspect it is going to be an exciting summer for the cats.

Domestic 3: Thinking of cats... all of mine are doing well. They are fat and happy and demanding. I have an Instagram account that’s mostly cats. In the wild kingdom that is our backyard, a territorial hell beast of a bunny has moved in. This hellbunny has challenged and run off: other bunnies, crows, stellar jays, a pair of mated ducks, and a myriad of squirrels. They keep coming back. It’s a never ending battle and a never ending source of amusing cat TV.

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OryCon and Authorfest SF Schedule

by Jennifer Brozek 15. November 2016 11:09

Here is my OryCon and Authorfest SF schedules. If I'm not at a panel, I will be at my dealers table. Come by, say hello, get a book signed, and/or buy gifts for friends! I'd love to see you there. I'm even going to have some of my signed, numbered, limited edition books.

FRIDAY
Writing in Other People's Worlds

Meadowlark (3)
Fri Nov 18 8:00pm - 9:00pm
Christina Hartley, David Boop, Diana Francis, Elton Elliott, Jennifer Brozek

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SATURDAY
Freaking Me Out, Not Grossing Me Out

Salon C (LL1)
Sat Nov 19 1:00pm - 2:00pm
Colleen Anderson, Jennifer Brozek, Judith Conly, Laurel Anne Hill, Matt Haynes

Reaching Readers Who Don't Know You Yet
Meadowlark (3)
Sat Nov 19 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Anthony Pryor, Blythe Ayne, Deborah Ross, Jennifer Brozek, Josh Boykin

Reprints
Salon A (LL1)
Sat Nov 19 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Bruce Taylor, Jennifer Brozek, Maura van der Linden, Wendy Wagner

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SUNDAY
SFWA Meeting
Sunstone (3)
Sun Nov 20 10:00am - 11:00am
Jennifer Brozek

Synopses, Summaries, and Blubs, Oh My!
Meadowlark (3)
Sun Nov 20 12:00pm - 1:00pm
DongWon Song, Jennifer Brozek, Mary Rosenblum, Ripley Patton, William Hertling


AUTHORFEST SF 10
Cedar Hills Powells Bookstore, Beaverton, OR
Sun Nov 20 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Many authors

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August/September Monthly Stat Thing

by Jennifer Brozek 2. October 2016 11:56

August and September were strange months stats-wise because I had so much editing and travel—Worldcon, Tracon, and a wedding, spanning America, Iceland, and Finland. Now, I’m back home and I’m deep into Sekrit Project Alex

Year-to-date stats:
Fiction words written: 148,910
Article words written: 15,700
My novels/collections edited: 11
My short stories proofed: 8
Other novels/anthologies edited: 13
Events attended: 9

Event-wise, I should have only three events left and all of them are in November.


Writing-wise, I have Sekrit Project Alex and the small additional material for that. The main bulk of writing for both should be done by mid-November. Then, I have 3 contracted short stories to write and get to their respective editors by mid-December.

For once, while I am busy, I don’t think I’m burning the candle at both ends for the end of the year writing work. If I keep a steady, consistent pace, all will be well and I will have a couple of planning weeks before I start the new YA series I’m going to write.

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The Travel Edition for Iceland and Finland

by Jennifer Brozek 7. September 2016 12:53

For immediate pictures, look at my twitter feed or the Husband’s twitter feed.

Travel: Iceland
After Worldcon, I had all of 36 hours to get ready for 2.5 weeks in Iceland, then Finland. I have to say to everyone going to Worldcon75 in Helsinki in 2017, if you can, get a layover in Iceland and experience its natural beauty. It will be worth it. It will also ease you into the time difference.

I went to Iceland for a wedding. It was a beautiful Norse wedding in a lava tube. Sheena and Todd looked wonderful and I enjoy participating. Though, I did fall in the mud. That led to the discovery of the Icelandic phrase, “Fall er fararheill,” which basically means “Falling at a journey's start brings luck for the journey.” Thus, I have ensured good karma for their wedding. So, that’s good.

Iceland. It’s a science nerd’s paradise. The geothermal power plant was so good. Science! Renewable resources! Waterfalls. So many waterfalls. So much hiking. My poor knees. Geysers! Regularly bursting geysers. Glaciers! OMG… we went inside the glacier and that was amazing. The northern lights! We finally saw them on our last night in Iceland. It was a pale green paint swipe across the sky. Icelandic horses! Todd calls them “shaggy little ponies,” but they are smaller horses that are wonderful to interact with. And the spa. My… it was so good on my aching body. We also enjoyed the heck out of a Saga museum and the comedic “Icelandic Sagas” show at the Harpa concert hall in Reykjavik.

Side note: Just about everywhere we went was ADA compliant. It was refreshing to see.

New foods eaten: puffin, wolf fish

Travel: Helsinki
After a week in Iceland, the Husband and I flew to Finland where I was one of the Guests of Honor for Tracon. The convention flew us out early and allowed us to sightsee all over Helsinki, to Tampere.

The food was to die for. We went to Juuri for a tasting menu where I tried all manner of interesting meat. We visited Fort Suomenlinna and ate at the brewery there. Also might fine cuisine. Saslik is another highly recommended restaurant in Helsinki. Russian themed and fab. We were in Helsinki for two days and were spoiled rotten while we were there. Next up was a road trip to Tampere and Tracon.

Note: While all the bathrooms are ADA compliant, there are a lot of old buildings with stairs only. Helsinki is a walking town. It is easier to walk 1-2 kilometers than to try to drive.

New foods eaten: duck liver, pheasant, reindeer, and bear.

Travel: Tracon
On the way down to Tampere, we stopped at some interesting sights—all of which I recommend if you are going to spend a couple of weeks around Finland when you come to Worldcon.

Hameen linna (Hame Castle) was a huge brick fortress with a museum inside. We got to see the Heavy Metal exhibit. It won’t be around at Worldcon but I’m sure something else fab will replace it. We also visited the Iittala Glass Factory. That was really cool to see. There were a good dozen glass blowers all working at one time. There was a chocolate store, in the same area, but I don’t remember its name. You can watch them make the chocolate. It’s good stuff.

In Tampere, I was put up in a huge dark tower of a hotel with a beautiful view of the city. Again, downtown Tampere is like Helsinki: easier to walk around than drive and filled with historical buildings that have lots of stairs. Tampere is the center of Finland’s feminist movement. There is a historic wool museum to that point. Surprisingly, there was also a Lenin museum that included Stalin’s death mask. The local amusement park has a planetarium, an aquarium, and a Space Needle-like tower.

As an aside: I had a strange auditory hallucination while in the planetarium. Rupert Grint (Ron of Harry Potter fame) narrated the planetarium show. 4 times in the show, I heard a woman’s soft voice whisper in my left ear: “Mother says it’s time to sleep.” “Dive down deep.” “Please.” and “Believe.” It was very odd and I can’t explain it, but you can be sure I’m going to use it in a story sometime in the future.

Just before the convention, I got to go to a “Viking’s dinner” at Harald with the convention chair, the communications person, and my handlers. This was quite the feast and I’ve tasted stuff I’ve never tasted before. Highly recommended.

Now, Tracon. This was a spectacular convention focused on gaming, LARPing, cosplay, and costumes. It was a treat for the eyes. My “editor-author relationship” panel was full, but my “How to make the ordinary terrifying” panel was standing room only. I think it was my biggest solo panel to date. Both went off without a problem. They gave me a wireless mic, so I was all over the room. I hope it recorded well.

Also, I got to experience the Maid Café, watch some of the costume contest, and was interviewed for the streaming event. I have no idea if any of it is available to watch. I’ll post links when I get them. There was also a Project Isthmus sponsored Ingress event, but I’ll write about that in another post. Suffice it to say that it was a success and has inspired the locals to start up their own First Saturday x-fac events.

If you ever get a chance to go to Tracon as a guest or attendee, do it. You won’t regret it. Tracon treated me like royalty and I had the best damned handlers a GoH could have. There was nothing they couldn’t get done for me.

New foods eaten: blood sausage, duck heart, horse, elk, and tar ice cream.

Eventually, pictures to everything will be uploaded to Facebook and I will link those in this blog.

Travel: Adventure
Now, there is no travel without some unexpected adventure. Both were the Husband’s fault this time. He did both just as we were leaving each country.

Iceland: We are about to leave Iceland for Finland. We are gathering up our things and the Husband can’t find his wallet. He’s looked everywhere. We begin to take apart out bags just in case. We empty and repack 3 of the 4 bags. The fourth wasn’t opened because it had not been opened at all. We are at our wits end. I’m sure the wallet was stolen.

We’re about to fly to another country and I am figuring out what we need to do to cancel credit cards and such. I point at his belt, left on the bed and ask him to put it away. He unzips one of the pockets of the suitcase we JUST emptied… and there is his wallet. I literally gasped.

We couldn’t stop laughing as relief filled us and the Husband got the adrenaline shakes.

Finland: We’ve left Finland. We’ve just arrived in Iceland at our hotel for the one night layover before we head home. We are both exhausted. I’m looking at my phone. Jeff is behind me. He mutters, “I can’t fucking believe I just did that.” He doesn’t curse usually. I immediately think he’s lost his wallet again, and ask, “What did you do?”

“I left both of our laptops at security in Helsinki…”

I freak the hell out. There is no other way to put it. I mean rocking back and forth, covering my face, saying, “No! No! No!” over and over. This knocks him out of his panic. (Marriage rule: only one of us is allowed to panic at a time.) He immediately starts calling Helsinki.

After I get myself under control, I think to contact my handlers. To this point, there is nothing Tiina and Meeri can’t do. If it can be done in Finland, they will get it done. Tiina gets in touch with Meeri. Meeri starts looking into things. Jeff discovered the Lost and Found is closed (3 hour difference), and files a report.

First thing in the morning, (while Tiina is having eye surgery…) Meeri is at the airport, identifying our laptops. Within an hour, she has them, and a FedEx confirmation number. We are all so relieved. You see, I have hours and hours of research for my forthcoming YA series on that laptop that isn’t on my desktop because I did it while at Worldcon. I also have the two page synopsis of the first book in the series and the one paragraph summary of the second book. I have so much of the world done… and none of it is in Dropbox because I figured I’d just upload it when I got home.

Thursday. That’s when they arrive. Tomorrow. And I will be so happy to have them back.

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Bubble & Squeek for 10 August 2016

by Jennifer Brozek 10. August 2016 09:03

Believe it or not, I've kinda laid low this past week... so more Bubble & Squeek. A lot of reading for Speculate! getting caught up on that. Blog posts. Mostly convention prep for Worldcon and Tracon. Still, it's been exciting. I officially signed the contract for Sekrit Project Alex (complete with NDA, thus the name), and had agent Cherry Weiner accept one of my novels for representation. Right now, I'm trying not to freak out over all the forthcoming travel. We've got everything in place, including house/cat sitter, neighbors warned, etc... And then, after Worldcon, I'm going to see two countries I've never seen before. It's going to be awesome.

Anthology: Maximum Velocity: The Best of the Full-Throttle Space Tales. A project I had going on in the background. Kinda of excited about this one. I like WordFire Press.

Article: Here is my Shadowrun tarot card, The Shadows, for the Shadowrun anthology Drawing Destiny, and how I used it.

Article: Why Writers Make Incredible Friends. A fun article I just had to share.

Article: I was the author spotlight on MyLifeMyBooksMyEscape. It was unexpected and cool.

SFWA: In the second SFWA Chat Hour I participated it, I talk about how to hand sell your books to convention attendees. That all said, there is more to this. There are some attendees who do not want to talk to you. Watch their body language. If they won't make eye contact, leave them be or ask them if they'd like to hear about their books.

WorldCon: I will be at Worldcon/MidAmeriCon II. Come say hello. There is a no-shyness zone around me. I'm happy to chat with you. Here's my schedule:

  • Thursday all day, SFWA Board of Directors meeting
  • Friday 12:00 - 1:00, Rising Stars in SF, Fantasy & Horror
  • Friday 3:00-4:00, Kaffeklatch with Jennifer Brozek
  • Friday 5:00 - 6:00, Dwarf Planets and Beyond the Kuiper Belt
  • Saturday 10:00 - 11:00, Finding the Right Podcast for You
  • Saturday 11:00 - 1:00pm, SFWA Business Meeting
  • Saturday 2:00 - 3:00, Autograph Session
  • Sunday 11:00 - 12:00, Is Mining the Asteroids Feasible?


The largest news is that I am now represented by Cherry Weiner. It's been an exciting couple of weeks.

 

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Latest Releases

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The Last Days of Salton Academy
YA Horror

Amazon | Barnes&Noble |
Ragnarok Publications

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Never Let Me
YA SF-Thriller Omnibus

Amazon | Barnes&Noble |
Permuted Press

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Never Let Me Die
YA SF-Thriller Novel
Amazon | B&N |
Permuted Press


Never Let Me Leave
YA SF-Thriller Novel
Amazon | B&N |
Permuted Press


Never Let Me Sleep
YA SF-Thriller Novel

Amazon | B&N |
Permuted Press


DocWagon 19
Shadowrun novella
Amazon | BattleShop
DriveThruRPG


The Karen Wilson Chronicles
More InformationBuy Now.


Apocalypse Girl Dreaming
Fiction collection
Amazon | B&N |
Evil Girlfriend Media

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Jazz Age Cthulhu
Amazon | B&N |
Innsmouth Free Press


The Nellus Academy Incident
YA Battletech
novel
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DriveThruRPG
| B&N

Jennifer Brozek: Writerholic

Jennifer Brozek is a Hugo Award nominated editor and a Bram Stoker nominated author. Winner of the Australian Shadows Award for best edited publication, Jennifer has edited fifteen anthologies with more on the way, including the acclaimed Chicks Dig Gaming and Shattered Shields anthologies. Author of Apocalypse Girl Dreaming, Industry Talk, the Karen Wilson Chronicles, and the acclaimed Melissa Allen series, she has more than sixty-five published short stories, and is the Creative Director of Apocalypse Ink Productions.

Jennifer is a freelance author for numerous RPG companies. Winner of the Scribe, Origins, and ENnie awards, her contributions to RPG sourcebooks include Dragonlance, Colonial Gothic, Shadowrun, Serenity, Savage Worlds, and White Wolf SAS. Jennifer is the author of the YA Battletech novel, The Nellus Academy Incident, and the Shadowrun novella, Doc Wagon 19. She has also written for the AAA MMO Aion and the award winning videogame, Shadowrun Returns.

When she is not writing her heart out, she is gallivanting around the Pacific Northwest in its wonderfully mercurial weather. Jennifer is a Director-at-Large of SFWA, and an active member HWA and IAMTW. Follow her on Twitter at @JenniferBrozek.