Emz on Fandom, Fan Fiction and Fun Podcast

Listen to Z and Emz as they discuss fandom, past lives, and Beetlejuice!


Are you a horror fan? Do you dig the spooky side of fandom? Are you a writer? Do you just want to listen to two nerdy goth gals geek out?

Then join me as I interview the host of HorrorAddicts.Net, Emerian Rich. She is the author of the Night’s Knights Vampire Series and has been included in many short story anthologies.

You can find her work on Amazon as well as her website http://www.emzbox.com/

Join us as we talk about pretty much whatever comes to our minds.

Listen at this Fandom, Fan Fiction, and Fun.

Con-Volution 2017 – Emz Schedule

Come hang out with Emz and all the great authors and presenters at this year’s Con-Volution!

Friday Oct 6, 2017
6:30pm

Alaskan Beading Techniques

The Workshop- Contra Costa 1

Come learn the traditional Tlinget tribe beading used for ceremonial regalia. Bead a patch and take home supplies and knowledge to do more. Emz learned beading from Tlingit natives in Kenai, Alaska. Sewers will find this task easy, others may not.

Saturday Oct 7, 2017
10:00am

How to Make Origami Stars

The Workshop- Contra Costa 1

Learn how to make cute origami stars for table confetti, room decor, and gifts. See gift ideas like jars, ornaments, and gift decoration.

11:30am

Make Your Own Coloring Book Page

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Whether you are a pro artist or doodler, learn how to create your own coloring book page. From concept and sketch to inking and completion.

7:00pm

How to Build/Run a Magazine or eZine
Events 4- Danville

Want to start a magazine? We will walk you through the steps of concept, content collection, working with content providers, formatting, and completion.

Sunday Oct 8, 2017

11:30am

Tiny ‘Zines, Comics, & Coloring Books

The Workshop- Contra Costa 1

Moderator Sumiko Saulson|Emerian Rich

Learn how to turn a single sheet of 8 1/2 by 11 paper into a little 8 page miniature comic book, coloring book, or zine about twice the size of a postage stamp. Some go even smaller and make postage-stamp sized 16 page versions. What kind of zine do you want to make? Some people make tiny poetry chap books. Others make little fanzines praising their favorite things. These are great for promotional items, party favors, gifts, or as their own stand-alone zines.

See You There!

Writing in the Blood?

Is writing or the wish to write genetic?

It never occurred to me that it could be until I was looking at some old pictures my mother had. I found three pictures of the women in my family at their tables writing. They aren’t writing about vampires or love stories, but they did spend a large part of their time writing.0810151750a

My great grandma, Edna, was a school teacher and a boarding house owner. She wrote letters to her kids and kept the family abreast of news. She was also a seamstress and made a lot of notes about measurements and clients. She kept records and did all the books for her businesses.0810151749c

My grandmother, Beulah, was a thrift store manager and kept their books. As a church secretary she was in charge of the church programs and bulletins. She was also the mother of five kids and hundreds of grand kids, great grand kids, and great, great grand kids. She was the link to the generations, writing  a hand full of letters every week to family, friends, and those in need of a cheery letter.0810151749a

My mother is a minister and when I was little, was always studying for her seminary classes. After that, she wrote sermons, bible studies, and activity programs. Even now, she writes a great deal. Her favorite things to write are church plays and skits. That’s also where I get my sense of humor and performance background.

0220162153aAnd then you have me. I started writing very young. Usually journals or letters, but when I was 11, I decided I was sick of writing journals about my boring life and I would start writing stories. My first “novel” was 86 pages of big bubbly pencil writing. Since then I’ve written millions of words, everything from magazine articles to interviews, ghost stories to love stories.

Looking back on my history, it’s not the fact that all of us wrote–many people write, it’s a fact of life–but that we all took pleasure in writing. The act itself is fun to me and those that tell me to write my stories on computer, just don’t get it. It’s a pastime I enjoy and although I use voice recognition software, and can type rather fast, I will still write. I will write until I can’t any longer. They will have to pry the pen out of my cold, dead fingers!

Is there a trait you share with your family? How does it effect your outlook on life?

 

Seven Things

Author Loren Rhoads recently challenged me to write seven things about myself and being an author. They are as follows.

  1. I started reading as a young child to make money. My parents would give me a penny for every book I read in a year, up to 100. So, I read like crazy, knowing I could make $1.00 if I read 100 or more.1201141335d
  2. My handwriting has changed drastically during my life. As a child, we moved a lot and every school was teaching a different kind of writing. My second grade teacher asked my mother why my stick/ball printing was so horrid. Mom said, “She’s been taught printing, cursive, leftward-slant D’Nealian, had to write with her left hand (hand injury) and her last school taught 50% of her lessons in Spanish. Give her a few weeks and she’ll learn stick/ball printing if you want her to!” As an adult, people have commented on my strange writing…sometimes its proper cursive, sometimes it’s a mix, and sometimes I’ll throw in some weird character that doesn’t match with the rest of the font. This happens more frequently now that I have tendonitis, which makes my hand hurt when I write too much. It also causes handwriting experts to scratch their heads, but it is all a product of my mobile childhood.hand
  3. I read four to five books at a time and rarely buy books anymore because of my review job, my writer friends always wanting me to read their work, and writing my own stuff. If I do buy books, they are usually signed copies meant to support the author and I rarely read those.
  4. The first full novel I ever wrote was an 86-page, handwritten in pencil, YA book about child actors who become involved in a terrorist hijacking. I was eleven.
  5. I never knew I wanted to be an author until I was in my twenties. I aspired to be a singer, but despite that, I always wrote stories in my journals. Mostly dreams of what I wanted my life to become.
  6. My characters talk to me all the time, every day. There is not a day that goes by in which one of them is not nagging me to write.

    Emerian Rich, Heather Roulo, and Laurel Anne Hill at BayCon Writer’s Convention

  7. I really enjoy geeking out with my favorite author friends about books we’ve read or even movie plots and song lyrics that inspired us.

Want to share your 7? Email me at mailto:memzbox13@gmail.com.

Come Join Emerian at Convolution, with a Discount!

convoPlanning on going to Covolution, but just haven’t bought your tickets yet?

Come join Emerian Rich and her author friends October 2nd-4th at the Hyatt Regency SFO.

From now until August 17th, buy your tickets with Emerian’s discount codeRichlyDone

Using this code will afford you $5 off. Prices are going up August 15th, so use the code early and often!

Want more reasons to come?

How about all the fabulous panels, gaming, costumes, and music? Not to mention the marketplace and art gallery.

Come launch October the RIGHT WAY at Convolution 2015!

 

My Favorite Things: Button Obsession

These are a few of my favorite things…

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Emz’ buttons waiting to be included in craft projects.

Fiction writers are an eclectic group of weirdos. I’m saying it outright. If you’ve ever been to an author convention, you know I speak the truth. We are. I’m proud to be a member, but it just has to be said. We’re weird.

Part of our weirdness comes from sitting alone for large parts of the day, writing fantastical tales for readers to enjoy. We spend more time with fictional characters than human beings. Are we trapped in our own fantasy? At times. Do we chat with our characters on a regular basis? Most definitely. Do we know the difference between our fictional worlds and the real world? Well, sometimes.

Being a part of this world is odd and fun at the same time. Writers tend to look at the world differently and therefore tend to collect things. We have stacks of books. We put scrap collages on the wall. We collect items that remind us of our books or characters.

I’ve found that the writer gene often comes with another side effect. The obsession gene. You see, when we’re going to write a book, we obsess about the details. We study the subject matter, the time period, the clothing, the weapons, everything. In fact, by the end of research we can usually tell you just as much (sometimes more) than someone who’s lived the era. Collecting research leads to interest in many topics and therefore leads to collections.

This blog series will explore some of your favorite authors and what they collect or obsess about, because let’s face it, if we told you all the minute details of what we’ve researched, collected, or obsessed about, in our books, you’d fall asleep. Many of us have several obsessions, but don’t worry, we’ll stick to one per post. We don’t want you to go and get sensory overload or anything.

Name: Emerian Rich
Current obsession: Buttons

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Photo by Heidi Kaden

When I was a little girl, my grandmother had a big tin with buttons in it. I used to be able to play with them a little bit, but she always put them away quickly so I didn’t lose them. I didn’t really understand the fascination with buttons. Being a dorky little minister’s kid what I normally did was divide them into colors and then play church. The biggest roundest one was the minister, the pretty sparkly ones the choir, silver and gold were the band, and the plain old white, black, gray, and brown ones were the congregation. To play church I didn’t need buttons at all. I could use M&M’s or rocks or beads. Buttons were a cool thing that people collected and I was not allowed to touch. Not much more.

buttons2Until a few months ago when a friend of mine showed me a crochet button pattern and stated simply, “I bet you could make these.”

The fever took hold.

I’m not the kind of person to go halfway. If I obsess about something, I have to have every kind, every color, every size, and every shape. At first I started making only flower buttons, but now I’ve moved on to bracelets, necklaces, ID tags, glasses holders, earrings, flowers, the list goes on.

As you can see by the pictures shown, I have hundreds upon hundreds upon hundreds and I don’t see the trend ending anytime soon. I’m sure in a month or a year it’ll be something else.

0630152055It’s important to geek out with your friends online or in person to find people that are interested in your favorite things. Socializing in this manner not only builds stronger personal connections, but also gives you an outlet for your geeky obsession gene. For many of us writers, our obsessions are things we hide in closets or craft rooms, but now I’m asking a few of my friends to share their collections, hobbies, and obsessions with you.

Don’t miss the next installment of this
favorite things series when my writer friend
Chantal Boudreau
will talk about her obsession.

Do you have something you collect or obsess about and would like to share with my readers? Feel free to comment below or if you’d like to do a post on your obsession, email me at emzbox13@gmail.com

 

2015 Baycon Recap

A lot of you have been clamoring for a BayCon recap and so here goes…

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Bacon at Baycon

As I’ve said many times before, BayCon is my home con. It’s where I started and where I first had an early glimpse of the Hall Costumes, or what now has been come to be called cosplay. Seeing real live Klingons as a young goth was quite an experience, and since I wasn’t really exposed to the Comic/Anime lifestyle before, a first for me. That first con I will remember always. My hubby and I were only dating then and getting a long-haired, goth-metal dude to dance in Renaissance style, let me tell you it was a feat never to be attempted outside of fandom walls. But the magic of BayCon causes you to do things you never thought you’d ever do like Belly dance (I miss you Mary Nancy Cordero!), see live sword fights with real weapons, and meet some of our writing heroes. So from that first glimpse of a Klingon, to attending as an aspiring writer, to being on staff, to now paneling as an author, publisher, and horror host, I feel like I’ve run the full gambit and I’d really like to see this con survive the downfall that so many of our fan-run cons have succumbed to.

This year at BayCon was different from a lot of other years. It felt like attendance was down (I don’t have the official numbers, so I may be wrong on this), we were missing a few of our key elements, and because the main guests were all women, I think we might have (unfortunately) lost some of the attendees. I thought the Women of Wonder was a great idea, but with only women headliners, I’ve heard from some male attendees, they felt the programming was swayed too feminine. I have to say, you guys might have felt that way, but for years the speculative fiction genre cons have been dominated by males and male-friendly programming, so suck it up for one year, will ya!? There is also the controversy over so many cons being held in the same area on the same weekend. I don’t know why BayCon should have to change their dates—we’ve had Memorial Day since ever—but if they do, I hope I can still attend.

Despite all the drama around attendance, there were still lots of people there and I had a great time. That being said, I really hope this con rallies and continues to provide an outlet that so much of us living amongst the NORMS in our daily lives need.

So what was so fun? Well, it all started for me and my husband when we arrived Thursday afternoon. I love arriving at the hotel early. Not only do you not have the crowds of check-in, it also affords me a relaxing launch into con life. This is the time to switch from 24-7 solitary writer mom life to social butterfly fun time. I was excited to have dinner with a couple of friends I never get to see in person because they live so far away. I was able to organize the massive amounts of swag and books I’d brought for the Horror Addicts Guide to Life release party happening the next day, and…I got to watch cable TV for once. Although watching TV, I remembered why we decabled long ago after a few commercial breaks when my hubby and I had turned to our phones for entertainment during the commercial breaks and forgot to look up when the commercials were over.

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

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Emz attacking Heather at the HorrorAddicts.net table. She doesn’t look too scared.

Officially World Goth Day, I was reminded of my freedom to express myself by setting up our HorrorAddicts.net fan table. This is where I spent a good portion of the day meeting new people, joking with the other fantable sitters, and promoting the fact that we were giving out tons of swag that night at the release panel. This was also a big year for one of my close friends, Heather Roulo, whose first zombie novel released…Plague Master. So proud!

Meet the Guests

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Meet the Guests panel.

Although I was spending most of this time rallying the troops and drumming up excitement about the Horror Addicts Guide to Life release party later that evening, I was able to sit for a few minutes to hear about our guests. Was really exciting to see them all. During the con, I was especially impressed with the comments Amber Benson made at several of the panels I was able to attend. She is really so much more than just “that chick who played Tara on Buffy” and I enjoyed seeing her in the writer capacity.

HorrorAddicts.net BOF & Horror Addicts Guide to Life release party

What can I say, this is always my favorite panel of the weekend. To be with my peeps and discuss horror, what better way to pass a couple hours? This year we had so many more panelists to enjoy the fun! We also had a great turn out and gave away lots of swag. We even got a serenade by Dr. Horrible! Thank you to all the authors who came. Through the wonders of Sumiko’s video camera and a VERY helpful addict (thanks Chad!), you can watch a clip of the first part on YouTube.

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Lft to Rt: Laurel Anne Hill, Sumiko Saulson, J. Malcolm Stewart, H.E. Roulo, Loren Rhoads, Emerian Rich, (not pictured) Lillian Csernica.

Also at the HAGL Party, I was awarded a Mixy Award from Steve Mix. At the time, I had no idea what it was or why I was getting it, but I was excited to receive it. It has since been revealed that Steve is awarding these to “people who are wonderful” and also to “celebrate the use of imagination”, which is the part I truly love. It’s about time someone awarded me for asking those “what if” questions. Hhehee. Thank you Steve!

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I still can’t believe that all of this happened on the first day!

Saturday, May 23rd, 2015

Writer’s Workshop

Saturday started off with some scholarly pursuits. The annual BayCon Writer’s Workshop is something that I enjoy participating in. I submitted a story in 2008 (?), before anything of mine was published, and now I always feel it’s my duty to pay back to the program by mentoring other aspiring authors. As a plus, in these meetings, I always learn something myself. For how are you to learn more about your own skill and improve it, if you aren’t willing to look into others work, see the faults and realize you do them as well? Crit-ing is truly something every author should do on someone else’s work. We’re all still learning and we should all be in service to our fellow authors in some way or another. I joined Sandra Saidak and Arianne “Tex” Thompson as one of the pros. We had two lovely manuscripts to talk about and two talented young authors to help out. It’s interesting to me what the writers take away from the experience. It is not the most comfortable situation to be in…it might even feel like an attack, but we are all there to help. With completely different stories and strengths, I hope these two get their books ready and published! I’d love to see them on the shelves someday.

Vendor Room

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The Winner Twins – These firecrackers gonna take over the world!

I took advantage of a little free time on Saturday to visit the vendor room, which I always love. While there, I spoke with several authors, saw some friends, and met the Winner Twins. These two young authors are so cute. Full of energy and eager to share their stories, I see them going far!

World Goth Day Panel

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Sumiko Saulson, Jean Batt, A.E. Marling, Sarah Pugliaresi, Emerian Rich

Although a day late, we celebrated what it is to be Goth in the World Goth Day panel. It felt a little strange to be having a panel on “being a Goth” since Goths generally scoff at the title and for many years I would have flipped someone off for calling me one. After the initial introduction though, we all kind of settled in and just chatted about the funny misconceptions many people have and the weird experiences we’ve found ourselves in. We touched lightly on the misconception that goths are all out to kill and convert. What a funny concept. The lackadaisical aspect of our personalities really make organized killing a drama we’d rather not have to endure and as for converting, we’d rather not have you dressing like us thank you. It was great getting to hang with the very few dark souls haunting the halls of this very SciFi/Fantasy con.

Sunday, May 24th, 2015

Signing in the Dealer Room

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Man…note to self: Sunday morning, not the best day to do a signing at con. Very little traffic in the dealer room early and the people who did walk through seemed half-asleep. I did, however have the chance to meet some people and chat with a few old friends.

Mini Crocheting

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Yes, I taught a mini-crochet class. No, there are no pics. Why? We were busy crocheting, damnit! This was probably the funest panel I was on. To get to hang out with other crocheters who are experienced enough to understand crocheting with thin thread and microscopic hooks was really fun. We had a good turn out and I loved seeing what these creative ladies did with my initial design…how they changed it to their will and made something they could call their own. Thank you ladies! I’d love to do it again. Maybe at Convolution!

Theme Reading – Pop Culture in SF/F/H

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Sumiko Reading

 

This reading panel surprisingly only had two panelists, and we were both speaking from the horror genre. Sumiko and I read quickly from our planned readings and then had more time to read more. I read SoulTaker 2.0, which is a piece of flash centered around a computer game programmer on Halloween. For my second read, I pulled out my phone and read from Anime Girl 2 on my Kindle app. This was the first time I ever read from one of my romance books and it just proved to me, I need to do it more!

Marketing and Branding for Writers

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Emily Jiang, Sinead Toolis, Emerian Rich

This was the last panel of con for me and was very well attended. I loved seeing all those writers’ faces…old and new…thirsty for help in this matter. It’s changed quite a bit from when I started doing cons. At that time, there were very few self-pub authors and no one ever talked about marketing your own books. It was something the publishing houses were supposed to do and social media had not blown up like today, so there was really no outlet for authors to do it themselves. I had a great time chatting with the crowd and listening as the other ladies on the panel shared their knowledge with us.

Sunday night, after much of the hub-bub was over and we went to our room, I crashed. Exhaustion had finally set in.

Overall, I had a great time at BayCon. Thank you Sally, Kathleen and all the staff that worked hard to make it wonderful!
I know BayCon has their issues as all con organizations have had, but I have faith in the fans not letting this one die. Hope to see you all there next year. 🙂

MORE PICS!

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Baycon 2015 – Emerian’s Schedule

habayconbannerIt’s official! My schedule has come for the Baycon weekend – next weekend! I’ll see you there.

Friday, May 22nd

  • Meet the Guests 7:00p in Ballroom E-F
  • Horror Addicts BoF and Book Release Party on Friday at 8:30 PM in Stevens Creek
    Come to the party for free goodies! And to meet authors!

Saturday, May 23rd

  • Writers’ Workshop 10:00 AM (closed session)
  • BoF: World Goth Day 4:00 PM in Cypress

Sunday, May 24th

  • Mini Crochet Crafts Without a Pattern 1:00 PM in Winchester
  • Themed Reading: Pop Culture Invades SF/F/H 2:30 PM in San Tomas
  • Marketing & Branding for the Author 4:00 PM in Bayshore

When not at events, catch me at the HorrorAddicts.net fantable on the 2nd floor balustrade.

Writer’s Travel Kit

Writer’s Travel Kit

The season has come for trips. Whether you’re going camping, to the beach, a wedding, or to visit the in-laws, you’re going to need some author supplies with you. Now, you may choose to have all these tools in one device like your iPad or Kindle Fire, but for me, I must have backups just in case. You’ll want to be prepared especially if your vacation buddies tend to be the “nature-folk” who love places with no cell service and no electrical outlets. Now, I’m not a roughing-it type of gal, but every so often I will find myself in a circumstance that calls for emergency supplies. In this case, emergency means something to do so I’m not driven insane from boredom.

0724141342Here is my Writer’s Travel Kit. I’ve found, if I have these three things, I’m ready for anything.

1. Reading

A relaxing vacation is the perfect time for authors to catch-up on all that reading they don’t normally have the time to do. If you’re like me, I’m awake in bed long after my comrades have zonked out for the night. It must be all that rushing energy that just doesn’t let me wind down as quickly. Having a book (or Kindle on my phone) to read at night helps me relax and fall to sleep naturally in an unfamiliar bed or (God forbid) campsite.

2. Editing or reviewing

A lot of times at family functions, you can’t necessarily pull out a notebook and start writing while the rest of the crew is watching the soccer game. Although most of us have gotten used to writing anywhere, no matter how much noise goes on around us, it’s still hard to concentrate on world building and character creation when someone next to you keeps yelling, “GOAL!” Editing is a good way to pass time in a situation where you might not be able to concentrate on the story. In fact, you might even catch more typos because you aren’t paying attention to the story, but more to the content. It’s also really easy to stash away and come back to later, in case the game becomes more interesting or you find a twin soul who also hates sports to chat with.

3. Your current writing

If you’re like me… no matter how many projects you have going or editing or final proofing, you still have something creative you are working on. For me, my escape from the monotonous editing job is being able to switch gears and create something new when I accomplish a set goal. I’ll tell myself, “Okay… you can take a break and write on the new story, IF you finish ten pages of edit inputs.” It’s an incentive that works every time with me because I’d much rather be creating something new than rehashing the same old crap. I write all my new works in thin Japanese-style notebooks or mini-books so they are easy to bring with. The mini-books are especially helpful if you are travelling. They can easily be slipped in your purse or pocket and come out when you get the slightest bit bored. Like when your cousins are all checking their emails at dinner or you’re sitting through the eighth wedding song preformed by Uncle Harry who wanted to be an opera star. Since the mini-notebooks are little, most won’t notice and if they do, they’ll just thinking you’re writing a note about something so you don’t forget.

4. Idea book

I’ve added this one recently because of two situations that came up while travelling. First, I was sitting in a very boring lecture, at the back of the room, couldn’t see the front because too many tall people in front of me, and couldn’t hear the presenters because they had no mics and I am going deaf. I pulled out my little writing book and sat there, my pen hovering over the paper… no ideas, no even hint of a clue of what to write about. Perhaps it was the business of the day or the meeting topic, but my creative juices just wouldn’t flow. Had I had my idea book, I could have just opened it and wham… a short story done in an afternoon. Second, I was travelling with some friends to a place I’d never been and for whatever reason, my creative mind was pumping that day. I had 12-15 ideas in the span of a bus ride. Unfortunately, I hadn’t brought anything to write on. If I had my idea book with me, I could have jot down at least a few of them and been a Pulitzer Prize winner by now!

5. Samples/Cards

You never know who you’re going to run into that might be a potential business contact or reader. For those of you who are already published, always keep a book or two in the back of your car. If you have the wherewithal to bring a dozen, bring them. You never know if you’ll be sitting on the beach with your cousins when one of them will say, “I wish I brought something to read. You are so smart bringing a book.” A captive, bored audience, thirsting for some sort of entertainment is the perfect way to introduce your work to someone who might not normally try it out. Also, trips are times when you might meet random people and never see them again. The next time you hit it off with a stranger, have your cards available. Tell them how much you enjoyed talking and hand them a business card.

Bringing writer supplies is important. If you are published, there is never a better time to start that new novel than in an unusual setting. If you aren’t published, bringing them will remind you of what your goals are. Have fun, take pictures, and celebrate your creative nature by trying things you might not usually do. When you’re a writer, simply living is research. Have fun doing it!

BayCon 2014 Recap- What a ride!

bcBayCon is always my favorite (and frantic) time of year. This year to add a little excitement, I had a bone spur in my foot, making it hard to walk. Luckily, I was out of the wheel chair before con and by Sunday wasn’t limping as much so I don’t think anyone really knew. Injury/handicaps/me and BayCon seem to go together. Three years ago, I was moving, two years ago I had a torn rotator cuff, last year I was in stress-decor mode, and this year, the foot… so it’s all par for the course. I’m just hoping next year doesn’t bring any broken bones!

Saturday

10 a.m. Writer’s Workshop Panel

Three very talented newbie writers, who are the future of SciFi/Fantasy literature, bravely submitted their work and listened as we tore it apart and (hopefully) gave helpful suggestions for three hours. Having been one of the participants about five years ago, I know how hard it can be, but the experience also helped me become the writer I am today. It’s hard to share your work at first and gets a little easier each time you do it. And it’s worth getting your ego bashed around a bit. Gives you that tough skin you’ll need when your book goes live and haters give you 1 or 2 star ratings, pointing out every miniscule detail you missed or error-ed on.

2:00 p.m. Geeky Crochet with SallyRose

After Writer’s Workshop and lunch, I was ready to crash. I’d been up too late the night before and taking pain meds for my foot didn’t help. As I flung my worthless carcass across the bed, mumbling, bye to my hubby who was off to take in another panel most assuredly having to do with Cthulhu or swords, my eyes rested on Geeky Crocheting in the program book. I jumped up, only then remembering my injured foot, and hobbled to the DIY room like an old lady late for a yarn sale! The crochet handouts showed how to make a golden-snitch (Harry Potter) and that blue police box thingy that Dr. Who fans get so excited about. (Side note: I still don’t understand the fascination and probably never will since I haven’t been able to sit through one entire episode–old or new–of the series. Sorry Who-ians… just not my thing.) I stupidly left my crochet hooks at home. You see, I had this discussion with myself before we left home and it went like this… “Emz, you are only going to BayCon for two days, one night, in which time you will be paneling all day, socializing, connecting with friends old and new, trying to take in a few panels, visit the dealer room, art show… OH! And you already have a full novel to edit and writing with you. When are you going to have time to squeeze in  crocheting?” Answer? 2:00 p.m. Saturday! Luckily, there were some crochet hooks to go around and I spent about an hour crocheting a wristband. I know, not exactly on the geek menu, but I was helping a lovely new friend learn, so I tried to pick something easy.

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3:30 p.m. – Self-Publishing, Where does it fit in the literary food chain?

A wonderful panel led by Dario Ciriello. I’ve seen a real change in attitudes about self-publishing in the last few years. Instead of having to defend my choice to publish my first book myself, now it’s the new trend. Ursula Vernon brought a new kind of perspective as she spoke about art and children’s book publishing. Also on the panel were David Friedman and Kyle Aisteach who were new to me, but each had their parts to play in making the discussion inspiring.

Soapbox – Self-Publishing

While we’re on the subject of self-publishing, can I just voice my opinion on a trend we are seeing with authors right now? This has nothing to do with the panel and it’s not just one person either, it happens enough that I have become irritated and am now moving into the jaded mode. We (the DIY, self-pub, podcast authors) are being encroached upon by “traditionally published” authors claiming to be self-published.

Five years ago, self-publishing was a nasty, dirty, gutter of a term that these same dino-authors sneered out of the side of their self-righteous mouths to set themselves apart from us, as if they somehow had more right to breathe oxygen than we did. Five years ago, great debates were had on who was really an author and who deserved the title versus us scrappers who just pilfered the title. We were third class citizens, locked in the bowels of the Titanic while they enjoyed brandy’s and cigars above board. Thankfully we unlocked the gates with long hours of Kindle formatting and “paying our dues” to reach the lifeboats.

Today, these same dino-authors are drowning in the cold realization that lit contracts don’t mean much from a publishing house going under. The other publishing houses are like the ships too far to rescue the dinos and so they are frantically swimming for our lifeboats, calling themselves self-published so the readers will accept them as part of our new “get it now” world.

Now that I’m published traditionally as well as self-published, I suppose I am part of this new “hybrid” work force, but still, I resent them presenting themselves in such a way and expecting us to accept them with open arms. Where was the acceptance while we crawled our way up from the third-class? I cannot despise anyone for rolling with the times, and trying to market themselves to appeal to the new “hybrid” reader, but don’t expect us to treat you special just because you learned how to work the Kindle machine. Down here, you have to stand in line, just like the rest of us.

All right, off my soapbox.

readers

5:00 p.m. All Ages Storytime

After an interactive tale from M. Todd Gallowgas, a hilarious zombie story from Bob Brown, and a script reading from Taunya Gren, it was my turn. I thought it’d be fun to read my short, “The Monkey Queen” from the Phobias book, which talks about my real-life phobia of monkeys. It was the first time I’ve read a non-fiction piece aloud since my oral report on Adrienne Vittadini in college! Although the reading went well, it might have been a mistake because I have been freaking out about monkeys ever since. Somehow reading my fears aloud, made them all come back. Kay Tracy sewed up the readings quite nicely with a fun fable about a village being too greedy. It reminded me of the Christmas Everyday story I read as a child. Great readings by all and I think the audience really enjoyed them. I saw no yawning or drooling, which is always a good sign.

ha panel

9:30 p.m. Horror Addicts Panel

Laurel Anne Hill and J. Malcolm Stewart are two writers I love to panel with. Great authors and conversationalists. With Jason’s sense of humor and Laurel with her bat, we all settled down for a long winter’s nap… Wait, no, that’s another story. Pardon me. The Horror Addicts panel is always a fab time. All my like-minded peeps in one room talking about horror. What an awesome talk! The post about what’s hot and not according to those present can be found here: BayCon Horror Buzz. Exhausted from being up all night and day, I went to the hotel room and crashed without seeing my favorite thing… the Klingon Slave Auction. Blast!

Sunday

Sunday morning, I was much better rested. We took advantage of the hotel’s excellent breakfast buffet and because it was so packed, we had to share a table. The share worked out in our favor though, because we got to pair up with Wanda Kurtcu and Heidi Stauffer, two regulars at BayCon who I enjoy talking to very much! Thanks gals – I’d share a meal with you any time!

11:30 a.m. Do Back Cover Blurbs Work?

Moderated by Deirdre Saoirse Moen, who I’ve met before, it was a lively discussion about cover blurbs and what we’ve used in the past to lure readers in. The two ladies I didn’t know, Margaret McGaffey Fisk and S.L. Gray had a lot of good information too. Deirdre’s got me chomping at the bit to read her biography, coming out soon.

With a little time to kill, we were able to check out the vendor room where I met a very talented artist, Gabriel Moore-Topazio. I was excited to find his dark spin on art at BayCon when so much of the work displayed is more scifi/fantasy. I hope to bring you more news of his work through HorrorAddicts.net soon. I chatted with a few authors that I will hopefully be mentioning on HorrorAddicts.net, and with a few older author friends.

I took a break in the lobby, thinking I might get some work done, but there were so many people to talk to, my socialite trait wouldn’t let me concentrate. We met a nice young man and his father who were at the hotel for a gymnastics competition and were curious about the ribbons on our badges. I love it when the people who aren’t at BayCon become curious about it, just by seeing how much fun we have. I spoke with some of the people who helped out with the live reading last year for our Raven recording and then had a very delightful conversation with Patricia Watson, who I’d met previously at the San Mateo County Fair. Our fun socialization was cut short by my having to run off to my next panel.

3:30 p.m. Authors: Stop Blocking Your Potential

In Napa III, a room set apart from all the others, we found the room PACKED. I was happy to see a lot of  writers I knew fill the place along with some new ones I hadn’t yet met. My goth heart skipped when Wednesday Addams came in to sit on the front row. 🙂 I always love seeing gothy/horrory costumes at con!

The subject of the panel was of interest to the writer population of BayCon and I was the token chick, with Tony Todaro moderating and two other gentlemen I had not met before, Matt Mawell and Steven Paul Leiva, rounding out the pack. I always wonder with a panel of men authors, if I’ll get a word in edge-wise, but they did let me speak every so often.

I think my goal in a panel such as this is to give writers a pep-talk. To let them know they are not alone and that they can overcome their mental blocks with sharing, submitting, or even publishing their own work. I don’t think the panel touched on what I would say are the biggest ways new writers block their potential, but to read my thoughts on that, go to Sandy Saidak’s blog where I wrote Three Ways New Authors Sabotage Themselves and Baby Steps for New Authors.

To the writers I know were in the audience, Sarah, Angela, Patricia, and Ruth (if I missed anyone, I’m sorry, I could only see the first couple rows), keep writing girls and don’t get discouraged because of how hard it all seems. I know you are the future authors of the con. One day, I know I will be paneling with you!

5:00 p.m. Podcasting for 2015

The podcasters of BayCon had a great discussion with Mike Higashi (BayCon 2015’s Program Head) about what we’d like to see and what resources we’d like to have next year. Some exciting stuff was discussed and hopefully I can bring you news of this as the con gets closer.

As the day drew to a close, we travelled home, sad to be leaving the con. This was our shortest stay at BayCon, cut down to two days from our normal five, and leaving is always a shove back in to reality. The dream world of con life is suddenly snatched away and it leaves you wondering… Why can’t life always be as fun, informative, and action packed? Well, if we lived at con, we wouldn’t appreciate it as much, right? Until next time BayConers! Miss you already. 🙂

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