Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Still Riding High Up in the Aether

Shot of me from Opening Ceremonies.
HUGE thanks to Russ Turner photography
(Hoping to work with him again soon.)

I have so much love for steampunk conventions. Much, much love.

As some of you may know, I was at Up in the Aether the convention last weekend. After hitting its predecessor, World Steam Expo, on the last year of its existence, I was a little worried about destroying another con with my presence (because clearly I'm that important), but I went anyway.

It's always a little nerve-wracking for me to attend a con where I know next to no-one. Other than the wonderful Cindy Spencer Pape who organized the literary track (and her wonderful husband), the closest I came to knowing people was because I know their work or I met them very briefly last year. So...yeah. I basically went in blind.

Hanging with Christian Friday night
Fortunately it was one of those take-off-running-style cons as the literary track hit go about an hour after I arrived at the hotel (ie--enough time to check in and change out of street clothes). Big thanks to my parents for inviting me to stay for lunch because it wasn't until we were at Opening Ceremonies that Scott Lynch, Elizabeth Bear, and I realized we didn't have a break the rest of the night. (Yes, I could have skipped Stump the Author since I didn't have to be there, but I really wanted to.) So after sneaking out with the love birds (I can call them that without being snarky because they are absolutely twitterpated and adorable together.) for a quick bite, it was back into panels until 10:30.

Rachel & I showing off our nail polish :P
There was much in the way of imbibing in spirits that night while dancing with Christian Klaver and making new friends. I made other friends after the dancing too who insisted I wasn't as old as I am (MWAH!) and also made sure I didn't pass out in the hallway on my way to my room.

Needless to say, I decided to behave myself on Saturday. That lasted until my new friends Rachel and April announce I was going with them to a party where one of the con organizers (Michael Wiggins) called me out on my earlier "I'm not drinking tonight" vow. I have no will-power, what can I say? It was the most moving party I've ever attended in that we started in one room, moved to a suite, and then security moved us downstairs. At 4:30 I decided it would be wise to get some rest since I had to check out in the morning before my 10:30 panel.

With the inimitable Vourteque
Sunday was another day of panels with more awesome authors, including Tee and Pip of Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences fame (please reference this post and get in on the Initiative!) who were incredibly sweet and awesome. (One of the highlights of my weekend was actually Pip and Bear tying up my too-loose corset on Friday. It was like a kinky geek girl fantasy come to life.) Panels off an on all day led up to multiple people trying to convince me to stay for all the music and parties that night, but alas, it wasn't in the cards this year :(

Assuming they want the resident party-girl author back next year though... ;-)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Steamhopping Along with the Ministry and a Clockwork Mafia Giveaway!


When I think of steampunk, that (after the clothes, because...hello? Corsets. Bustles. Dusters. <3) is the first word that comes to mind. Of all genres of literature, steampunk (along with the other punks) has the most craftspeople dedicated to bringing it to life in the real world. THat is an amazing and beautiful thing. And what I love most about it is that it fits so well with the importance of creating within the literature.

Mad scientists trying to take over the world do so through their creations. And sometimes the heroes do battle with creations of their own.

It was one of the aspects I really wanted to focus on in the second book of the Badlands series. Where book 1 mainly displayed the clockworks as minions of an evil mind, in book 2 (Clockwork Mafia), we see the evil that science wrought put up against the beauty that it can create as well. I wanted it to be a reminder that no science is inherently good or inherently evil. It's a message that resonates today as we weigh the pros and cons of things like stem-cell research and genetic engineering.

That is one of the amazing things for me about creating steampunk romance. I not only get to write stories about how boy meets girl, but I get to fill them with messages designed to make people think. And gadgets. Because gadgets are just cool and I wish I could make them in real life. Sadly, I lack the skills, but if someone wants to make me a clockwork dragonfly hair pin, I wouldn't turn it down ;-)

But enough about me and my blathering. I know what you're really here for...the giveaway! Yes, this is the only copy of Clockwork Mafia I've given away so far, but you have a little more reading to do first. Find out what the Ministry Initiative is all about (You'll need this to enter for the book, plus it's more of how awesome steampunk is with regard to creating new ways to enjoy the genre...just don't forget to enter for the book before you leave!)

Galileo Games and Imagine That! Studios have teamed up to bring you an ambitious steampunk project! The Ministry Initiative is a two-part creative endeavor that will not only premiere new fiction from the steampunk world of the Ministry but also present a brand new role playing game from the makers of Bulldogs! and the ENnie Award winning game Shelter in Place. Thrill to the tales in Ministry Protocol anthology, or join in as an Agent in The Ministry Initiative RPG.
Find out more about this endeavor and support the Kickstarter here: http://bit.ly/ministry-initiative
So that's it. Get in on the ground floor and join the Initiative! First though, enter to win a copy of my latest steampunk release, Clockwork Mafia!


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

RT and Street Teams, Oh My!

Okay, I know, I know, I should have a third thing in there to really make that title work, but it's what I've got.

So...RT. Where to start? I love RT. Anyone who knows me knows this. To anyone and everyone I met this year though, I need to issue an apology. There have been major personal issues going on during the lead-up to RT (and will continue for a while). This led to minimal sleep for a few weeks right before RT as I busted ass to get the house ready to put on the market (and stressed about it). It meant I was sleep-deprived before I even got there. Add in convention madness, and I was in hard-core space-cadet mode while there. So if you introduced yourself and I don't remember you. Or if I zoned out while talking, please forgive me. By next year there will be less drama and I can return to my normal state of absent-mindedness which is not nearly so...uh...bad. We'll just go with bad.

To that end, I'm not going to do the run down of who I spent time and had fun with because I had fun with everyone I interacted with...I just don't remember everyone's names. (I'll do a couple specifics, but they will be limited to less than a handful.)  In general though...

  • The Gaslamp Tea crew--xoxoxoxo I am so proud to be included in this group of amazing authors every year. Thank you!
  • Everyone at Entangled--you guys rock. I had so much fun hanging out with everyone. Thanks for taking the newbie in and making me feel at home (even if a couple of you looked at some of my costumes like I'd lost my mind :P) 
  • The AWESOME book bloggers--I love you guys! You all made me smile more times than I care to count. And you also reminded me that when food wasn't handy...vodka is made from potatoes. ;-)
  • My Carina Press peeps--Thanks for the support and the silly conversations. And a specific thank you to Angela James for putting my fears to rest. I breathed a lot easier after that. 
  • Katee Robert--thank you for NOT killing me in my sleep. My kids really appreciate it ;-)
  • Angie Fox--No Walking Dead spoilers...I promise! Thanks for a ridiculously late night of fun and conversation. It totally made my con. 
  • Scalzi...I will never forget your face now. Though I may always introduce myself and say "What do you do?" You know, just for fun :P

I know I'm forgetting people, so please forgive me. I love far more people than are mentioned here. Some of you talked me down from my panic attacks. Others made me feel more beautiful than I have...ever. I love you all <3

That said... there was a vote going on Facebook over what to name my street team members. Renegades won! So I'm in the process of building a facebook group for the street team. This particular rebellion is in the infancy stages at the moment, but if you want in on the ground floor, go find The Renegades, do the secret knock, and I'll let you in as soon as we're up and running :)

I will be at Up in the Aether con next weekend (seriously, if you are in the Detroit area, please come by!), but after that, I'm going to build the group on Facebook and the snippets and fun and madness shall begin! If you aren't following the Entangled Group or my author page, please do that so you don't miss the announcements!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Squeeage and Some Promo Stuff

Okay, I know, I know. I need to do an RT post. It'll be up sometime this week, but I still have crazy-mad RT hangover (dead tired and minimal brainage) so it needs to wait a couple days (brainage is reserved for book writing at the moment).

Instead, I want to give a huge thank you to everyone who has been pimping and buying Clockwork Mafia. I know steampunk is a fairly small list on Amazon, but it thrills me to no end to see one of my books on there. I don't know where it topped out last week, only that it dropped off the list over the weekend but was back on as of yesterday. It also earned a silver star and a staff pick on ARe. I'm insanely humbled.

In other news, you still have a little while to help me figure out what to call my street team members (which will, in turn, help me figure out what to name the team). To vote, you have to join the Entangled Publishing Group on Facebook. Then, there's sometimes a lag while you get all approved and stuff. And then you vote here. There's an additional option in the comments, so if that's your favorite, just say so in the comments and I'll count them up. I believe we're closing up voting on Friday, so get cracking!

I'll do the RT post this week and then talk about the street team and how to join next week!

Oh, and Gaming for Keeps (which you may or may not have seen me getting all a twitter about) comes out June 10! So keep that one on your radar!