"For the sake of humanity, join in Bitterwood's revolt." - Kirkus Reviews

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The First Blog Review Rolls In...

On a writers forum I recently put out offer to send advance review copies of Bitterwood to anyone with a blog who would agree to read the book and talk about it. I told them up front I wasn't soliciting glowing reviews in exchange for a free book, just honest opinions. If they don't like the book, I still intend to link to them. The book is possibly going to be a bit controversial with die hard fantasy fans. I twist a lot of the standard expectations of the genre. I'm braced for the eventual review that says, "what the heck kind of dragons are these?" (In fact, I'm planning to soon write a post explaining just what kind of beasts the creatures running around in my book are and why I think they rightfully bear the label of dragon, just in case being big winged lizards with colorful vocabularies isn't sufficient reason.)

Tonight, the first blog review popped up, by Helena Bell, on her blog "over the cliff." I would like to correct one thing in her review. Towards the end, she writes, "Unfortunately for you, this book won’t be published until July. But when it is, you should buy it." I would like to mince words and point out that while you can't read Bitterwood until July, you can certainly buy Bitterwood right now, at Amazon and other fine internet outlets of your choosing. In fact, if you order it today, you'll probably forget you've ordered it by July, and one day you'll come home and find a package on your doorstep and it will feel like Christmas in July.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Ravencon Report

I just got in from Ravencon and WOW, it was a terrific con. Mike Pederson, the con chair, and Tony Ruggiero the Programming Director must have put in a lot of sleepless nights to pull this off so smoothly. (I don't mean to exclude any of the dozens of other volunteers by singling out these two... check out for a complete list of volunteers.) I got a bit of a pleasant shock right off the bat to walk into the dealer room and discover a bookseller with a half dozen copies of my first novel, Nobody Gets the Girl. Nobody came out back in 2003, and while you can still buy it on Amazon, it's been a few years since I saw a "live" copy of it for sale. I got an even better surprise come Sunday when I checked back at the dealer and saw they had sold most of the stack. It was a welcome turn of events not to be totally skunked when I had my signing on Sunday and actually had people show up. Also, it was fun sharing the table with the talented Christina Yoder. In theory, according to the card she gave me, you can see her at at though apparently it has a flash animation front page that I can't get past (I turned off flash because it kept crashing my browser, alas). Christina showed me a picture of a dragon that is probably about as close as anything I've ever seen to the picture I have in my head of how the Bitterwood dragons look. I'm emailing her to see if I can link to a copy of it.

After my signing, I wound up eating lunch with NASA engineer Laura Burns and having a cool discussion about dark matter, space telescopes, and future models of space exploration. I wish more SF cons would have actual scientist as guests. I like talking to other writers, but science professionals have ways of saying stuff that make light bulbs pop over my head. For instance, we were discussing why humans have evolved to see in visible light but not in UV or infrared, both of which are abundantly available on our planet. Laura wound up pointing out that our skin is an eye for infrared. I left the conversation suddenly aware that my body was covered in one giant eyeball... a thought somewhere between creepy and cool that I'm sure will find it's way into a story eventually.

I rode up with IGMS editor Ed Schubert, always a good conversationalist, and before I left today he introduced me to Dennis Danvers, author of 8 novels, who had some useful advice on the pros and cons of writing under more than one name. I also had a terrific time at a room party with some people from Capclave. I didn't catch their names, but they throw a mean party with a seriously impressive collection of booze.

The funniest thing at the con had to be the Geek Comedy Tour. This is a group of about 8 standup comics who apparently tour science fiction cons and do really nerdy jokes, and lord help me, I was so much their target audience it was scary. I laughed so hard I was weeping. If you ever see them listed as appearing at a con, you owe it to yourself to check them out.

I also passed out my last few advance reading copies of "Bitterwood." Hopefully I'll soon start having a few blog entries about the book I can direct you to.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Come see me at Raven Con!

I'll be a guest at RavenCon in Richmond, Va, from April 20-22. I have panels scheduled every day, so I'll be easy to track down. This is my first visit to RavenCon, but I'm already impressed with the work and planning that's gone into it. Check it out more about the con at their website.