My ConCarolinas Schedule

I this is late, but it took me find out where I’m going to be at ConCarolinas. Here’s my schedule and I hope to see you there!

Romance in Fantasy
Friday 8:30 – 9:30 pm

Spanish Moss and Magic Spells 
Saturday 5:00 – 6:00 pm

Brigands, Thieves and Pirates 
Saturday 8:00 – 9:00 pm

The Art of the Sex Scene
Saturday 11:00 pm – 12:00 am

 

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ConCarolinas Update

So, I’m gearing up for ConCarolinas the weekend of June 1st through the 3rd.  It sort of crept up on me this go around because I’m still mentally on vacation.  🙂  Anyway, I’m looking forward to another fantastic convention.  ConCarolinas never disappoints.  More important, they make me feel like I’m at home.  Of course, if you check the programming lineup, don’t scratch your head too hard because I think it’s still in flux.  I mean that because I don’t do LARP-ing and they have me down for three sessions of it.  Go figure.  Although…  😀  …they have me on Naughty Naughty, which should be tons of fun.  I’m also on a horror panel, which gave me a fangirl squeal because I LOVE horror!

Oh, and I will be selling and signing books.  😉

As for the other stuff that’s going on, I’m still on the fence about Moonlight and Magnolias, hosted by GRW.  I’m a little skeptical because I don’t know how they feel about traditionally-published-to-self-published authors.  Honestly, they’ll probably do like the rest of RWA and put them in a special corner of the room that has an old man passed out on the floor with a flask by his side.  😆  So again, I’m still on the fence.

I’d love to attend DragonCon as a guest, but they make it clear it’s not about what you know, but rather who you know, if you want to sit on a panel.  I’d rather spend my time at conventions where I’m wanted and not where it’s more like an “in” crowd.  But that’s just me. I’m also considered weird because I actually like to mix and mingle with folks, rather than treat them like my minions.  But that rudeness is for another day.  😉

ConCarolinas Wrap-Up

OMG!  I’m actually going to give you guys a report on my convention festivities.  It’s a miracle.  Or it could be that I was smart this timed took off Monday from the day job so that I could recuperate.  😉

Basically…

I had a blast I love love love this convention and it’s one of those that get better and better every year.  So many faces and so many cool people to see.  The ConCarolinas folks really know how to put on a 3-day party that you’ll never forget.  I can’t thank them enough for having me as a guest.  I got a chance to see all of the folks from Magical Words and hang out with the fabulous Nicole Givens Kurtz, who is also the founder of Mocha Memoirs Press.  Oh, and even though she wasn’t a guest this year, she was last year.  I’m talking about the uber-sensational Alexandra Christian and Sabrina Luna.  And how could I forget lovely Carrie Ryan, Gail Z. Martin, Rachel Aaron, Kalayna Price, and JF Lewis?

As for the panels themselves, Twlight: Love It or Hate It went over pretty well.  We all hated it.  Some more than others.  And even better, I think I found more reasons to not like the series.  BUT…I want to be clear about one thing.  Stephanie Meyer did a lot for the YA genre.  She opened the door for authors who might not otherwise have books on the shelves today.  Thanks to her, I found authors like Richelle Mead, PC Cast, and Carrie Ryan (yeah, she get s a double-plug *g*).  For that, I give Ms. Meyer my utmost respect and gratitude.  Oh, and I can’t wait to read the high fantasy she’s planning, too.

The Scariest Movie I Ever Saw was good.  I think we covered The Exorcist pretty well.  About 30+ minutes worth, if not.  That wasn’t my scariest though.  Since Alien had already been taken, I had to go with Amityville Horror (not the Ryan Reynolds remake).

Magic in the City was fun!  I hate moderating, but my panelists made it easy: Carrie Ryan, J. F. Lewis, Kalayna Price, Jana Oliver, Pamela K. Kinney, Gail Z. Martin.  Not only that, but I like audience participation, so I made sure to throw one of those out there.  Basically, we talked about UF trends (a favorite of mine), so I as far as I’m concerned, I got the easiest panel of the entire convention.

The Art of the Book Cover was one of those panels where I gave something and took something away.  Rachel Aaron provided the NY prospective while I did the small press and self-published one.  My bottom line: don’t rely solely on stock art.  Rely on a cover artist to beef it up and make it special.  Oh, and we had the privilege of seeing some still of cover art provided by Justin Kates.  This guy’s work is AMAZING.  Just…wow.

Howling at the Moon was my last panel and I’m pretty sure it ended on a bang.  If you weren’t there, you missed a lot.  In fact, you missed some…interesting…facts about The Spider Inside Her.  Like how my research played a part in my characters.  How I became completely red-faced and embarrassed about webs shooting out of unmentionable orifices.  How I think tree people eating travelers through the woods would make a great horror story.  There was also the background into why I wrote this book, which I had never shared with anyone in person.  I might have mentioned the story behind the story on my blog, but actually saying it out loud was incredibly difficult.  But the aftermath of the panel is was floored me the most.  At least a dozen people asked me when the book was going to be out or if it was out already because they wanted a copy.

Oh, and before I forget, a huge thank-you to Wayne and Nikki.  Fans like you are the reasons why I love attending sci-fi/fantasy conventions.  And for the life of me, if I could remember the cool chick with the Star Wars hat who sat in the back of the room at Howling at the Moon, that was a REALLY cool hat.  I had to do a double-take when you walked into the room.  😉

I am so at ConCarolinas 2012.  😀

My ConCarolinas Schedule

I love this convention year after year and 2011 is no different.  It’s exciting, I get to meet both new faces and old, and I get to talk on panels.  Woohoooo!  So without further ado, here’s where you can find me.  By the way, bold and italics is the person who will be moderating.  I suck at moderating, so I guess that means I’ll be preparing questions before hand.  *sigh*

Fri

Fri 09:00 pm Twilight: Love it or Hate it? Olmstead – Programming 7 (Marcia Colette, Carrie Ryan, Cheralyn Lambeth, Jada Diaz).

Fri 10:00 pm The Scariest Movie I Ever Saw Keynes – Programming 5 (Marcia Colette,  Michael Williams,  Justin Chung,  James Craig, Davey  Beauchamp)

Sat

Sat 10:00 am Magic in the City University Ballroom A – Programming 3 (Carrie Ryan,  J. F. Lewis,  Kalayna Price,  Jana Oliver,  Pamela K. Kinney,  Gail Z. Martin, Marcia Colette)

Sat 01:00 pm The Art of the Book Cover Olmstead – Programming 7 (Justin D Kates,  Rachel A. Aaron, Marcia Colette)

Sat 07:00 pm Howling at the Moon Keynes – Programming 5 (J. F. Lewis,  Marcia Colette,  Faith Hunter,  Kalayna Price,  Gail Z. Martin, Pamela K. Kinney)

I should also add that I’ll be signing copies of BITTERSWEET and STRIPPED while I’m there.  And just to make sure I don’t bring that back home with me (my mom will need room for all of her shopping bags), both will be discounted.  😀

My Schedule for ConCarolinas!

ConCarolinas 2010 is happening this weekend, so this is where I’ll be…assuming I’m not drafted into doing an extra panel or two.  Not that  I mind because I LOVE doing panels.  That happened last year with an anime panel (yes I’m a fan of anime) and that program rocked!  😀

So without further ado, this is where I’ll be…

Friday

Book Launch at 6pm – Keyes Room

Saturday

 I’ll Write it Tomorrow at 9am – University Ballroom A, Programming 3

Why We Love Our Vamps – 7pm – University Ballroom A, Programming 3

I Like the Dark at 8pm – University Ballroom A, Programming 3

Ghost Stories at 9am – Glenwood Patio/Outdoor Arena

Sex and the Supernatural at 10pm- Keyes Room, Programming 5

Just a quick note, there’s a chance I might miss the Book Launch.  I have job orientation this week, which doesn’t end until 5pm.  That means I won’t be leaving until about 6pm, if I’m lucky.  If I’m really luck, I’ll be leaving around noon, but don’t count on it.  😦

Happy New Year!

This is the time of year where everyone reflects back on the year and recaps their biggest accomplishments.  Do you need to guess which one mine was?  😆  The birth of Baby Girl, of course.  She tops everything.  Mom coming to live with me makes #2. 

But on the writing side I scored my first guest panelist spot–twice.  I happy to report I’ll be returning to ConCarolinas again this year as a guest writer.  Woohooooooo!  RavenCon wasn’t going to work because of the timing and the cash flow.  Happily, I’ll be hanging out at the Romantic Times Booklover’s Convention in 2010 and couldn’t be more excited about that.

Also, I saw the publication of STRIPPED with a new publisher and SEDUCTION ON THE PROWL with and old one.  I’ve gained many new writer friends (and rekindled some friendships with old ones), most of them listed on the side bar.  I also had the chance to put up a new website…and sadly, I’ve been working on another one that will probably go up after the new year because I’ve had some procrastination on my hands.  😆

Along with the good, there’s also been bad, which I won’t share with you on this blog.  Only my closest friends know about those and I’d prefer to keep it that way.  Let’s face it.  When I cry, I cry alone and off camera (a.k.a internet). 

So as I ring in the New Year with a new family, I wish you guys all the best for yours.  May your dreams come true and be fulfilled beyond your wildest dreams.   😀

Happy New Year, everyone!

ConCarolinas Recap

hotel viewBy the first day, I knew I’d be there again next year.  This is without a doubt, one of the best mini-cons I’ve ever attended.  Then again, I could be biased because of the fabulous view from my hotel room.  Isn’t it gorgeous?  Too bad I couldn’t say the same for the drag-your-ass internet service.  *sigh*

I arrived around 6pm because the urban fantasy panel wasn’t until 10pm.  Everyone was very helpful at the registration desk, in terms of getting my situated.  Not to mention, they also had a goodie bag of sweets waiting for me, which I immediately chomped down.  Anyway, the urban fantasy panel included myself, Dorian Wallace of Amira Press, and J.F. Lewis of Pocket Books.  I don’t know about them, but I had a blast on that panel, talking about urban fantasy, what it meant and how we chose it.  At least, I think that was a question.  *shrug*  Either way, we put a lot of information out there for other writers, including our methods for slogging through our dreaded middles.

Saturday was a full day for me, but the of the best highlights not on the schedule was meeting authors and publisher of Amira Press.  Sabrina Luna, Dorian Wallace, Crymsym Hart, and Dahlia Rose are the best!  I had the chance to pick up a few of their books while I was there, so I’m definitely going to get my reading on.  And if you’ve never heard of Amira Press, I highly advise keeping an eye on them.  I’ve been watching them grow for more than a year now and so far so good.  Not to mention, their books have gotten some pretty good reviews in Romantic Times. 

I can’t possibly forget the wonderful Kalayna Price who arrived on Saturday afternoon wime and kalaynath friends Darlene and Tori in tow.  All three of them rock!  I’m thrilled for Kalayna and the way her career is turning out.  Urban Fantasy lovers, keep your eye on this fabu author.  Trust me, you won’t regret it.  I finally had a chance to give her my much awaited congratulatory hug.  It would’ve been better had it not been for my sore boobs, but that’s a mother-to-be’s ever-changing body for you.  😉

The Marketing Your Book panel and What Color Are Your Characters were two awesome panels.  David B. Coe has a great write up on Magical Words regarding panels and is a very wise and personable author, too.  As for what I thought, the marketing panel was very informative with the biggest piece of advice being to have a book out at least once a year once you become published.  That’s the best marketing plan ever, IMHO.  We also shared the panel with the amazing Misty Massey who’s such a sweet person.  I’m still kicking myself for missing her belly dancing class.  Baby tummy or not, count me in if it has anything to do with dancing.  I’ll manage just fine.  🙂

In What Color Are Your Characters, I finally got to talk about something that’s very near and dear and private to me, as you can probably tell.  I write what I know, which is why I write African American and biracial heroines.  Now that we have an African American (or biracial) president, perhaps it’ll open up the doors a tad wider for AA heroes and heroines in the sci-fi/fantasy genre.  Fingers crossed.  🙂  We also talked about book covers with non-Caucasian characters and James Maxey brought up a very good question.  What was the last book you read that had an AA character on the cover.  Mine didn’t count, unless you weren’t me.  😆 

Next up was the Where Have All of the Vampires Gone and The Horror, The Horror.  I almost missed the vampire panel because I had fallen asleep.  What can I say?  I had split my time between Amira Press and crew and Kalayna and crew (Tori  and Darlene).  Before I knew it, it was 8pm and my panel was at 9pm.  So, I sat on the panel is a slight daze, still trying to wake from my much-needed nap.  Anyway, I think it went over great.  With such wonderful co-panelists, how could it not be?  By the time The Horror The Horror rolledaround, I was awake and ready to vent a few of my frustrations with horror movies past and present.  In fact, I think we wall had a great time doing just that.

ConCarolinas is without a doubt one of the best mini-cons I’ve ever attended.  My only regret is that I didn’t get a chance to meet Christina Stiles.  Fingers cross we can rectify that in 2010.  😉  I think it’s safe to say that about half the people came in costume, which made it all the more fabulous.  If I had to pick a favorite, it would be a tie between the zombies and the steampunkers.  Although, there were some fabulous vampires there too. 

I can’t possibly forget about the writer’s track either.  The programming folks did an impressive job with setting up the panel topics.  I didn’t expect much since this was a small conference, so needless to say, it was a wonderful surprise and made me all the more honored to be a part of it.  If you’re looking for a cheap conference–$35 if you register early (I think)–and has a great writer’s track that concentrates on a little bit of everything from writing to the business of publishing, then this is the way to go.

ConCarolinas 2010, count me in!  :mrgreen: