Jennifer Brozek | All posts tagged 'events'

Memories of a Fictional Life

For the first time in a long time, I went out to meet a friend I’ve only known on the internet and it wasn’t a convention. The Husband and I met Olli at the Space Needle for dinner to start his coastal trip from Seattle to San Francisco to Maui (envy, I have it) and back.

While we were at dinner, he asked me if I remember how we met. I didn’t remember. It’s because of Andy Weir’s (yes, that Andy Weir) Casey & Andy comic. I was a sidekick character as the sorta hapless, weirdness magnet (international jewel thief) neighbor to the comic’s titular characters.

Apparently, Olli remembers me on the Casey & Andy forums, followed me to Facebook, then Twitter. When he reminded me of this, I realized who he was—one of the only people to ever recognize me from the comic that I didn’t already know.

I hadn’t thought of that comic in ages. It’s a fun read. If you haven’t read the comic, you should. It harkens back to an era I lived through. Casey was one of my real life roommates. Also, because of the comic, I’m an official 200 points GURPs character in the Casey & Andy GURPs supplement.

It was an unexpected trip down memory lane.

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If you are Seattle local and have free time this coming Saturday, May 16th, me, Cat Rambo, Raven Oak, and Tina Connolly will be teach a “How Not to Write a Novel” workshop at Redmond Library from 12:30 to 3:30.

Subbing Stories and Rainforest Recap

In early February, I bemoaned the fact that I had had two (excellent) rejections in two days. Personalized responses with reasons for the rejections. While I was participating in the age old rite of fighting with my ego having taken a beating and pulling myself up by my bootstraps to get those rejected stories out in the world again, one of my readers on social media commented, “Oh, wow, Jennifer. It didn’t occur to me that you were still out there submitting. I thought you were always in demand.”

This struck me a little odd, as it never occurred to me to not submit my stories. Yes, I do get invitations and I adore them but that doesn’t mean I automatically get into those markets. Also, I frequently have stories I just want to write. Once they are written, I look for markets to sell them in. And I get rejections.

To be in demand is to create demand and you can only do that by getting your name and your stories out there. Many professional authors I know still write and submit work. It is an unending process. Short stories are a good way to keep connected with readers, to get background stories for novels out there, and to explore character development you might not get to do in a novel.

I suspect most professional authors not vocal about their rejections. Most of the time I’m not but this particular time, I needed a little ego boosting and the internet can be great for that.

I guess I wanted to get across to one and all, even when you are a successful writer, you still submit stories to markets. You still get rejected. Then, you get back on the horse and send that story back out. It’s just one of the facets of being an author.


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I attended the Rainforest Writers Retreat again this year. It was very productive. I accomplished everything I set out to do and a little bit more. I wrote two short stories, two blog posts, and outlined NEVER LET ME DIE, Melissa Allen #3. More than that, I wrote a two page synopsis for NLMD, and, with the help of a medical professional attending the retreat, worked out some sticky medical problems with the series.

Then, since the Husband had joined me, we went to La Push, WA for three days of hiking and ocean watching. He needed the time off from work, and we wanted a real vacation together. So, a good time was had by all.

Just took me a week to post about it after getting home.

RustyCon 2105 Schedule.

I will be at RustyCon this weekend. Come by and see me. No shyness around me

 

Fri Jan 16 5:00:pm

Fri Jan 16 6:00:pm

Promoting Yourself- because it isn’t just about the writing

Orcas B

Writing skill is subjective, but good self-promotion can bring success. Social media is one stepping stone, but so is networking, conventions, retreats, workshops, forums, and professional organizations. Which will give you the best return for your time, and what if you’re not naturally outgoing?

A. Maire Dinsmore Alaina Ewing Jennifer Brozek Timothy W. Long

 

Fri Jan 16 6:00:pm

Fri Jan 16 6:30:pm

Jennifer Brozak Reading

Mercer B

A reading by Jennifer Brozak

Jennifer Brozek

6-11 pm APOCALYPSE GIRL DREAMING Release Party and Evil Girlfriend Media Open House.

You do not need to be a member of the convention to come. A bunch of authors will be reading. There will be food and drink. But no alcohol.

 

Sat Jan 17 1:00:pm

Sat Jan 17 2:00:pm

Writing for Computer Games

Emerald E

How to create compelling characters, worlds, and stories for computer games, and how to write dialog that players will want to read before they head out on their quest to retrieve 10 Bear Bums.

Janine A. Southard Jennifer Brozek Will McDermott

 

Sat Jan 17 2:00:pm

Sat Jan 17 3:00:pm

Craft vs Business

Orcas B

With the introduction of Indie publishing, self publishing, and POD, writers tend to talk more about the business side of publishing rather than the craft of writing.  How should we fix that.

Bruce Taylor Janine A. Southard Jennifer Brozek John Lovett

 

Sun Jan 18 11:00:am

Sun Jan 18 12:00:pm

Independent Publishing

Orcas B

Independent publishing has taken off, especially with the recent rise of the hybrid-author, who is willing to sell work traditionally but not afraid to self-publish and promote. From ebooks to POD, which stories benefit from independent publishing and how do you get them ready? Bring your questions about editing, Kickstarter, cover art, sales price, and marketing.

Dustin Gross Elizabeth Guizzetti Jennifer Brozek Thomas Gondolfi

 

Sun Jan 18 12:00:pm

Sun Jan 18 1:00:pm

How and Where do I Get Published?

Orcas B

You want a publisher, and they need your content. Great! But how do you find the right market, track your submissions, offer reprints, get into best-ofs, and generally advance your career to the next rung? From beginners to experienced authors, everyone needs somewhere to go. Or does self-publishing change all that?

Chad Brink Jennifer Brozek John Lovett Rebecca Birch

 

ORYCON 36 and AUTHORFEST SF 8

Come say hello to me at OryCon and Sci-fi Authorfest. Here is where you can find me.

FRIDAY Nov 7
4:00pm - 5:00pm, Jefferson: Strong Characters in SF

SATURDAY, Nov 8
1:00pm - 2:00pm, Idaho: Freaking Me Out, Not Grossing Me Out
4:00pm - 5:00pm, Morrison: Fantasy vs. Science Fiction
5:00pm - 6:00pm, Lincoln: Urban Fantasy Made Real
7:00pm - 8:00pm, Hawthorne: Speeding Up Your Output
9:00pm - 1:00am, Suite 1570: Shattered Shields Release Party (You are invited. Yes, you.)

SUNDAY, Nov 9
11:00am - 12:00pm, Lincoln: I'll Be Watching You...
2:00pm - 2:30pm, Grant: Jennifer Brozek Reading


Powell’s Sci-Fi Authorfest 8
4:00pm - 5:30pm
This is my first signing at Powell’s City of Books store! So, if you aren’t coming to OryCon, you can still come see me and a bunch of awesome authors.

It's My Birthday!

It’s my birthday and I want you to make a fuss over me. I really do. I want you to buy yourself (or a friend) one of my books. If you’ve already got some of my books, I really want you to write a review on Amazon about the book—good or bad (preferably good). This is what I want for my birthday. Buy a book, make a fuss, give me a hug, tell me you love me.

Caller Unknown (Karen Wilson #1) – Amazon | Apocalypse Ink Productions

Children of Anu (Karen Wilson #2) – Amazon | Apocalypse Ink Productions

In a Gilded Light
Amazon | Dark Quest Books

The Lady of Seeking in the City of WaitingAmazon | Dark Quest Books

Industry TalkAmazon | Apocalypse Ink Productions

The Little Finance Book That CouldAmazon

Gen Con Wrap Up

Gen Con was third convention in 4 weekends. It was a rough convention to end on. But, it was really a good time. As always, conventions are about the people I got to meet and see again.

Walter Koenig – I didn’t even know Walter was signing at Gen Con. I just happened to walk by at the right time. There was almost no line and I hadn’t talked to him since I ran StarQuest ’95, the first Babylon 5 convention. He didn’t remember it at all and I didn’t mind. As he put it, when I ran into him later in the elevator, “Conventions tend to blur together.” But I enjoyed my small moment with him and got an autographed picture as well as this one.


Ken Hite – Ken is a wonderful man to have a drink with. Super smart and knowledgeable. It’s unfortunate that I had to cut the drink short when my tummy disagreed with my dinner. But the short time I did have was worth it.

Jason Sanford – I’ve know Jason online for years. It was a great pleasure to meet him in person finally. Easy going and fun to hang with, I look forward to doing it again.

John Helfers – My editor of many things (Shadowrun, Battletech, Karen Wilson Chronicles, anthology stories), it is always a boon to meet up with him face to face, have a conversation, and plan to take over the world. Kerrie Hughes is often a part of these meetings, too, which makes them that much more awesome.

Jim Hines – Jim is always a lot of fun to talk with. I caught him at his signing and saw that he had the UK versions of his Magic Ex Libris books. I love those covers and asked if I could buy those. I think he brought them only for show but he was kind and allowed me to throw money at him. I consider this one of my biggest scores of the convention. These covers are amazing.


Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon – I finally got to meet Misty and Larry in person at this convention after knowing them online for ages. I’ve written for Misty’s Valdemar and Elemental Masters anthologies and I used to game with Larry online. I had the chance to sit with them for about 30 minutes and then again while we were all signing at the same time.

Saladin Ahmed – One of the humblest authors I know, Saladin is an amazing author. Misty actually stopped signing to come over and tell him that Betsy Wollheim of DAW told her that he was one of the best new authors she’d ever found. Saladin was so taken aback, he was almost speechless. Then Misty told the line of people waiting for her autograph that they should buy his book. I agree.

Cat Labs Games – I got to see and hang out with many of the Cat Labs folk—Randall, Loren, Herb, Jason S., Jason H., John, Heather—and listen to the chaos that is them at a convention, brainstorming, pranking each other, and doing business. It is amazing to see it all in action. Most of the time, I just sit back and enjoy the ride. I do have more stuff coming up from these guys and it is all good. Shadowrun and Battletech fans have some sweet things to look forward to.

True Dungeon – Most years, I don’t do True Dungeon. If I do, I only go if I can go with my friend Dylan Birtolo. This year, we had the uber-smart team: Dylan Birtolo, Chris McEniry, Maxwell Alexander Drake, Paul Peterson, John Helfers, Kerrie Hughs, R.T. Kaelin, Pat Rothfuss, Pat’s Librarian friend (whose name I forget), and me. This group gelled together so well that we finished almost every room in 5 minutes or less. It was a real joy to play with them all.


Harebrained SchemesJordan Weisman and Mitch Gitelman from Harebrained Schemes gave a presentation on what’s coming next for Shadowrun Returns. I came by to support them and to say hello. My favorite moment was when they gave me a shoutout in the panel and the audience had the collective reaction of an inhale of breath and then applause. It made me feel like a rockstar. Also, I got to meet up with @UGplex (RC) what’s coming next for Shadowrun Returns is going to knock your socks off.

Writer’s Symposium – I was at Gen Con this year because of the Writer’s Symposium. Run by Marc Tassin, it was a blast to be a part of. Professional, well-run, and well-attended, we had a packed house most of the time. I love the space we’re located in and I can’t wait to do come back next year. There’s a lot of good information for writers who want to learn about all aspects of the publishing industry.

These are some of the highlights but, by no means, all inclusive. These are what my addled brain can remember right now. There were so many good people and events that I can’t list them all.




Cascade Writer’s Workshop & JayWake

First up, I was interviewed on Alethea Kontis’ website for her MoAA Interviews series. It was a fun little interview.

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The Cascade Writers Workshop was a really good small writers conference. About 100 people in total—I believe. Admittedly, I was a second stringer with all my lectures competing with  the likes of Cameron McClure and Nisi Shawl. Still, I really enjoyed the lectures and panels I did. This conference was a relax-a-con for me over all. It was, basically, a writers workshop for introverts, by introverts. Low impact and everyone understanding when someone ran back to their room to “work.”

The highlight of the conference for me, as always, is the people I meet—both new and familiar. On the new side of things, I got to meet Tor Books Senior Editor Claire Eddy, Donald Maass Agent Cameron McClure, and Evil Girlfriend Media President Katie Cord. All three women are delightful and great to talk to.  I think I have found an evil twin in Katie. There are already plans in motion. Keep your ears open about a forthcoming project or two between me and Evil Girlfriend Media.

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The other hat I wore was my small press publisher hat as JayWake was hosted in the same hotel Saturday night. Jay Lake and Apocalypse Ink Productions decided that JayWake would be the perfect place for a book release party and a JayWake limited edition of his Process of Writing book. We had 50 hardback copies and they all sold out. We have 1 held back for a official release date contest along with a JayWake pin and a smooshed penny.

I must admit, it was a hard, weird, good evening for me. I was so happy to see Jay so tickled pink. I was happy so many people loved the book. But, at the same time, the reason for the party was hard. Really hard. I’ll admit to hiding behind my wall of table and books and just listening to the laughter of the roast… and not much more.

Convention Season

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.

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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

Short Fiction Bonanza

Just a reminder. Me, Kat Richardson and Lillian Cohen-Moore are reading at University Book Store tomorrow night! 7pm. It's Lily's first reading. It's in celebration of the second Karen Wilson Chronicles book release. Kat's got a Clockwork Fairytale Story to read.

Right now, a lot of my writing is long form writing. I’ve been working on my Shadowrun novella for a bit but I keep being interrupted by edits or proofing of short fiction. It messes with the way I write sometimes.

The Nellus Academy Incident, Book Four, my Battletech YA webseries, is now running on Battlecorps.com. I just turned in the revisions on Book Five, the final section of the series (episodes 21-25). I was happy that I was still pleased with most of the writing.

I also just proofed my story, Dust Angels, for Beyond the Sun anthology. Bryan Thomas Schmidt’s sci-fi anthology due out from Fairwood Press very soon. Again, I didn’t hate the writing. I’m slowly getting better. I feel like I’ve leveled up a bit.

Also, two Kickstarter anthologies, Time-Traveled Tales and What Fates Impose, are running right now. TTT is funded already and that makes me happy dance. I have one of my weird west Mowry stories in that anthology. WFI is half funded and I’m really hoping for a successful kickstarter on it. I have a Karen Wilson Chronicles story in it set between books 3 and 4. Also, one of the limited levels is to get the third Karen Wilson Chronicles book, Keystones, before the rest of the world does.

I’ve just sold my novelette, Dreams of a Thousand Young, to Innsmouth Free Press for their Jazz Age Cthulhu anthology. It’s got a Summer/Fall 2014 release. I’m very pleased about this one. It was a story I thought about writing for years. It’s nice to get a good Lovecraft story out there.

Right now, I’m in the process of reading stories for my Baen anthology, Shattered Shields, co-edited with Bryan Thomas Schmidt. Some of the stories we’re getting are just amazing. It pleases me to no end. The full ToC won’t be revealed for a while but, I love working with pro-authors. They always give such good story.

Finally, I do have three other anthologies I edited coming out later this year. Coins of Chaos is due out in October. Chicks Dig Gaming, edited with the marvelous Jean Rabe, is due out in November. Beast Within 4: Gears & Growls is due out in December (I think).