I have a new sale I can talk about! I've just signed a contract for my short story, "The Price of Family," for the second Mercedes Lackey anthology for her Elemental Masters series. It was a hard story to end. I had two perfectly appropriate endings. Had to talk it out with editor, John Helfers, on which one was better.
Convention season is upon me. Three conventions in four weeks. It's going to get interesting. At this point, I'm scheduled only editing until after GenCon.
- 7/25-7/28 - Cascade Writers Workshop
- 8/8-8/10 - SpoCon
- 8/14-8/19 - GenCon
Cascade Writers Workshop Schedule
Fri. Jul. 26, 11-11:50 AM, Salon A - What an Editor Wants (panel)
Panelists: Patrick Swenson, Claire Eddy, Cory Skerry, Keffy RM Kehrli, Jennifer Brozek (mod)
Fri. Jul. 26, 4:30-5:20 PM, Salon D - Juggling Chainsaws (solo)
How to manage your schedule to get everything done and still write.
Fri. Jul. 26, 7-8 PM, Salon D - Mental Illness as Entertainment (solo)
The media has brought characters with mental illness to the mainstream (Touch-autism, Perception-Schizophrenia). Is this a good or bad thing. How can writers to justice to writing characters with mental illness.
Sat. Jul. 27, 11-11:50 AM, Salon D - Writing for RPGs (solo)
What it takes to write for RPGs and to do write tie-in fiction.
Sat. Jul. 27, 1:30-2:30 PM, Salon A - Do I Need Social Media? (panel)
Panelists: Kristen Fife (mod), Jennifer Brozek
This convention roundup, I think I’m just going to talk about what I’m grateful for.
The Library – The Library is Origins’ growing author track. We speak. We teach. We have tables in the exhibition hall. It’s a great program that adds to Origins. Special thanks to Kelly Swails who did a ton of upfront work.
R.T. Kaelin – Ryan is a local author who is nothing but generous and kind. He allowed a number of us to send him boxes of books and delivered them to the hall. That way, we didn’t have to fight with bringing them or shipping them to the hotel. It was a boon for sure. He talks about the convention here.
Dylan Birtolo – My awesome table partner. He is all energy all the time. I call him “Boothcake” because he’s a charming bastard who brings people into the Library. I appreciated talking and hanging out with him. He talks about the convention here.
Editors – Conventions are business meeting for me. I got to meet up with a couple of editors and to talk about some potential awesomeness. It was a very good convention for business. It really was. I appreciate my editors. They make me look that much better. It’s always good to have a drink or meal with them face to face.
Return/repeat customers – There were a couple of people who came to the table to specifically say that they loved my book or story. I’m even grateful to the guy who interrupted my lunch because he wouldn’t buy the book without me there to sign in and made my husband go get me. It’s nice that someone has that kind of interest in my work.
Panel attendees – I am so pleased that so many panel attendees came to find me after the panels to tell me how much they enjoyed them and how much they learned. I’m especially thankful to the 15 year old girl who wrote me a letter during the panel inviting me to read the first chapter of her book online and to tell me that we all inspire her.
The Husband – Of course, I can’t forget the fact that my husband, Jeff, helped out at the table. I let him go play a lot. That’s why I wanted him to come to Origins. But it was nice to be with someone at the convention who got me and could take over when I needed 5 minutes to myself.
Sale: I just signed the contract for “A Nightmare for Anna” for a forthcoming anthology “By Faerie Light.” Sounds like it’s going to be a fabulous anthology.
Interview: Designer’s Diary: Savage Mojo – Shanghai Vampocalypse (Suzerain) - http://roleplayerschronicle.com/?p=35173
Publication: Happy new book to me! I'm very pleased with CHILDREN OF ANU, the second book in the Karen Wilson Chronicles. It was edited by the awesome John Helfers and the cover image is by Amber Clark of Stopped Motion Photography. The girl on the cover of the book is a representation of one of the villains in the book, 14 year old Victoria Mordecai.
Health: I started using Fitbit just over a month ago. Numerous authors talk about how a healthy mind contributes to a healthy body. I believe it. Thus, Fitbit. There's something in the awareness of movement and steps taken that make me want to do more. To improve. It's kind of like having a word count makes me want to write more. I've made a concerted effort to move more - number of steps taken and number of flights climbed. It feels good.
Freelance Gig: I've been working on a quiet freelance gig for a while. Now I can talk about it. Along with writing for the Shadowrun Returns kickstarter anthology with a story called "Lock and Key," I've been writing and editing on the Shadowrun Returns videogame. I'm loving the work even though it's hard and sometimes the hours are long. I really think those of you who like videogames will really enjoy it. I'm really happy to be working on it with such fabulous people at Harebrained Schemes.
Sale: Also in the Shadowrun universe, I've signed a contract to write a Shadowrun novella focused around a High Threat Response Team Doc Wagon team. Tentatively titled: A Day in the Life of a Lifesaver.
Convention: From June 12-16, I will be at Origins Game Fair as part of their Library. I will be appearing on panels and manning a table selling my books. Please come by and say hello. Get a book signed. There's a no shyness zone around me. Here's my list of panels:
- Thursday, 11am – Crafting the Love Scene
- Thursday, 12noon – Writing the Other
- Friday, 11am – Women Writing Horror
- Saturday, 10am – Good Guys Wear Black Hats
- Sunday, 10am – The Art of the Short Story
- Sunday, 12noon – Avoiding Pitfalls
- Sunday, 1pm – Writing Your First Novel
I just got back from Gothenburg, Sweden, where I was the Guest of Honor at Sweden’s largest RPG convention, GothCon. What an amazing trip. We got to do a bit of sightseeing—the architecture of the city is spectacular—and hang out with the staff of the convention off and on.
The Husband took lots of pictures. Here’s a FB album of some of them.
Some thoughts about the trip:
* Traveling to Gothenburg is an experience. 22 hours to get there. 35 to get home. Layovers in Amsterdam both times. Thank goodness for Yotel Hotel. It’s like a deluxe coffin motel. The whole room was about 10'x10'. The bed converted into a couch. It was a tiny room. But when all you want to do is sleep, that’s all you need.
* GothCon was a blast. My lectures were well attended. I bought some gorgeous artwork. The staff was fun to hang out with. There were games everywhere. The staff food was really good. (By and large, the food everywhere in Gothenburg was fab!)
* Gothenburg is windy and that wind is cold. Seriously cold. The temperature wasn’t bad overall but I’m glad I had my heavy coat. Spring was finally breaking for them. Everyone mentioned how happy they were that the snow was finally gone.
* Gothenburg is made of hills and stairs. *smile* I spent a lot of time walking. More than usual. There is no surprise that the entire population of Gothenburg is good-looking and fit.
* The people of Sweden are mostly bilingual and very nice. Most of the people I met immediately switched to English as soon as they realized I didn’t know their language. I was grateful for this. It made the travel a lot less stressful. A lot of the signs were in English as well.
* The flora and fauna of Sweden is neat. I was forever pestering people about what that bird was or what kind of tree that was. I got a lot of funny looks. One thing of note—when bird calls are different than you’re used to, you hear every single one.
* We did a bit of wandering around. Pontus (my liaison) walked my feet off the first day to make sure we saw the architecture and the Crown as well as a couple of old churches. Later, we went to the Universeum. Getting to the waterfront was a bit of a challenge and Bella (a staff member) finally decided to take us to a private beach on Volvo company land. It was beautiful.
* Apparently, you can ice skate on the ocean in winter. It boggles the mind. Also, even though Spring finally appeared 90% of all of the lakes were still frozen.
I’m so glad I got to go. There were so many cool things. Thank you Pontus, Bella, Alex, and the rest of GothCon. I loved my visit to your lovely country.
Overall, I had a really good time at Convolution as one of their first Featured Guests. I was on lots of panels and I had a table in the Dealers Room at the Apocalypse Ink Productions table. There were some snafus but most of them were handled very well. All of the staff members I talked to were professional and pleasant.
I got to hang out with Lee Moyer, Howard Taylor, Steve Jackson, and Steven Burst along with a whole passel of my Bay Area friends: Ami, Bill, Jade, Erica, David, Kimmie, Jim, Christine and also got to see more friends in passing like Matt and Devon. Really, it’s all these people that I came to the convention to see. They made it all so worth it.
However, not all was right in Mudville. The restaurant, Knuckles, treated me and my friends bad enough that I mentioned it on check out and once again in the survey. Everyone is aware that we did not have a good time. I got a personal email back apologizing from the “Director of Outlets” at the Hyatt.
Also, Friday night, I had the unfortunate experience of an acquaintance insulting me to my face while introducing me to someone.
“This is Jennifer Brozek. She’s an editor who manages to get words out of authors for incredibly cheap rates.”
I was so stunned that I was sure I misheard and asked him to repeat himself. Nope. He didn’t. My only response was, “That was mean.”
“Oh, I know you can’t help the fact that publishers don’t pay. But what’s even more amazing is the quality of work you get out of your authors.”
I’m pretty sure he was attempting to compliment me but it felt like another backhanded slap. I mean, what do you say to something like that while you are in a crowded party and acting as one of the featured guests? There’s not much you can do but smile, take it, and go back to your previous conversation. Though, I’ll admit it put quite the damper on my evening and I left soon after that.
On the good side, I did have a panel on “Publicity for Writers” with Jaym Gates and that was a blast. She and I have known each other casually for a long time. This was the first time we’ve spent more than 15 minutes together in the same room. That panel just clicked for us. We were able to meet up again later and it looks like we may be working on stuff together.
Convolution is the kind of convention that will get better as they gain their feet. Because of this, Jeff and I will be returning to the convention as panelist and dealer. We both think it is worth it.
I am a featured guest at Convolution this coming weekend. I will also be there with Apocalypse Ink Productions in the dealers room. So, if I'm not here, check the AIP table. Jeff will be there and will probably know where I am. Otherwise, text, email, or DM if you want to meet up.
Friday - 11/2
2:00pm Panel Moderation – Conifer
4:00pm Is Every Writer a Publishing House Publishing House – Conifer
6:00pm Private reception – Pavilion
7:00pm Meet the Guests – Pavilion
12:00am Why Daddy Drinks – Bayside A&B
Saturday - 11/3
12:00pm Fairy Tales Return – Bayside A&B
2:00pm Create an Anthology – Sand Pebble A
4:00pm Publicity for Writers – Sand Pebble A
6:30pm Dinner and Interview with Jade - TBD
Sunday - 11/4
10:00am Mental Illness – Sand Pebble C
I just got back from Worldcon/Chicon 7 and I had a great time despite some travel excitement and some professional disappointments. As Chuck Wendig mentioned, Worldcon was like real life twitter. Thus, it is impossible to keep up with it all. I’m just going to mention some of the highlights and beg forgiveness of the people I forget to mention.
I finally met some online friends like Chuck Wendig, Stephen Blackmoore, Rose Fox, and Myke Cole that I had not met before. Of course, it always fabulous to meet up with friends I do know: John Scalzi, Patrick Hester, Saladin Ahmed, John Helfers, Kerrie Hughes, David Brin, Ellen Datlow, Todd Gallowglass.
Some highlights of the convention included the following:
* Someone I’ve never even seen before came up to tell me they are a fan, that they loved and miss The Edge of Propinquity, that they nommed both the magazine and me for a Hugo and that they were sad neither made it to the ballot. I was floored. It was so nice.
* Someone coming up to the SFWA table with every anthology I have edited or contributed to and every fiction book I have out from Dark Quest Books asking for my signature on all of it—so many books.
* Meeting Brian Hades of EDGE and signing Rigor Amortis books.
* Having John Scalzi declare me a personal hero in the SFWA meeting for stepping up to the plate and volunteering my services. Despite losing the Western Regional Directorship, the fact that I was willing to make a go out at it made him happy.
* Having David Brin tell me I smelled good. (Odd compliment but still pleasing.)
* Meeting the entire crew from SFSignal. That is a great bunch of guys.
* Doing a “Literary Beer” with Paul Cornell and a koffeeklatch with Saladin Ahmed.
* Having lunch with Matt Forbeck and then wandering around with him.
* Having dinner with Ken Hite, Jed Hartman, and Maryanne Mohanraj.
* Hanging out with Kat Richardson.
* Watching Myke Cole react to seeing my mysterious bruise was fascinating. He grew like a foot taller. (The mysterious bruise is on my arm, is huge, looks like a defensive wound, and I have no idea how I got it.)
* Being mistaken for Kate Baker about four times – I need to pass on a couple of hugs and “congratulations” to her.
There is so much that happens at a convention with so many people you don’t normally get to interact with. It’s like life, condensed and put on fast forward. There was the SFWA suite (fab), parties (crowded), and BarCon (awesome). So many people, so little sleep, so little memory. The first couple of days after a convention, I run around in a fog and I remember the convention as if it were a particularly fabulous fever dream. The convention itself wasn’t perfect but I don’t regret going.
Here are a couple other perspectives on the convention from:
Here’s where I’m going to be for Chicon 7 / Worldcon 2012. If not here, I’ll be around, in the bar, and hanging out. If you want to hang out, email or text me. Sometimes, Twitter does get to me as well.
Fri Aug 31 10:30:am
Fri Aug 31 12:00:pm
The Ghosts Talisman: A Fumetti in Four Parts
Author Jennifer Brozek and photographer Amber talk about the creation of the photographic novel from script and casting to shooting and layout.
Amber Clark Jennifer Brozek
Sat Sep 1 10:30:am
Sat Sep 1 12:00:pm
Creating Exciting Anthologies
We're in a golden age of science fiction and fantasy anthologies with clever new ideas coming out monthly from major and minor publishers. But where do they come from? How do editors interest publishers and writers in their ideas? How do you make the hard decisions between great stories and great writing (when you can't have both)?
Ellen Datlow Jennifer Brozek Joan Spicci Saberhagen John Helfers John Joseph Adams Richard Gilliam
Sun Sep 2 1:30:pm
Sun Sep 2 3:00:pm
It Doesn't Have to Be War
Writers and Editors want the same thing - a well written story or document that sells. So, why does it seem like they're always at loggerheads? How to get along with your editor/writer.
Janice Gelb Jennifer Brozek Jim Frenkel Sheila Williams Ty Franck
Sunday 5:00pm – 6:00pm – SFWA dealers room table – Manning the SFWA table in the Dealers room.
Last weekend I was at Westercon. I’ve never been to a Westercon and it was much smaller/quieter than I expected. Over all, this was a blessing. While I am fine, I am still recovering from surgery and had just recovered from a cold. So, I was a bit run down and less energetic than I normally am at a convention.
As always, the highlights for me are seeing people I rarely see. Conventions are like reunions. I spent a lot of time talking with people I knew, getting to know them better. But, I was also an old lady the entire convention—sitting a lot, going to bed at 10pm, taking it easy. Still, it was really nice to see old and new friends.
On to meeting David Brin and the title of this post. I moderated a lot of panels. Just before the first panel I had with David, I mentioned the last time I had seen him (the SFWA meeting in Reno) and we then had a communication misunderstanding that made us both of feel awful. I then cleared it up. We both felt better and, because we were sitting next to each other, we went for the side hug and cracked our heads together loud enough to be heard throughout the room. His head, my ear. Ow. I was afraid I actually hurt him. It was awkward and funny.
Later, when we met up again, we talked and I found him to be an absolute gentleman. Yes, he is a self-admitted “opinionated asshole” but he has focused his ire on the work that people put out—not the people. When it comes to people, David is wonderful. He really is. He makes each person feel like they are the only ones that matter.
I’m looking forward to possibly working with him. I think I did okay, too. Before he left on Sunday, he told me I was lovely and fierce. (I am a firm moderator.)
Another excellent thing came out of critiquing for the Fairwood group. I had a chance to talk to Richard A. Lovett. He has had several dozen stories in Analog. He’s agreed to look at a couple of my sci-fi stories to tell me why they are always the bridesmaid stories and not the bride. I suspect this will be eye-opening and brutal.
Over all, the convention was good for me. I prefer more chaos but I really wasn’t up to it. I had fun and, in the end, that’s all that really matters.