Monday, December 28, 2015

Bring On The New Year

Well everyone, 2015 is nearly done. A few more days and we'll ring in another New Year. My goal for the new year is to of course, write more books and travel. For Cons and for fun. But since we're talking Cons. Yeah, we are. 2015 was good to me, so I'm really looking forward to 2016.

Best Cons on the list, in no particular order, because they were all fun whether I was selling or not.

San Diego/International Comic-Con - I await the day I rise high enough in the ranks to do more than attend. Believe me, you all will know when that happens. In the mean time I'll continue to enjoy the company of the always funny Gini Koch and our SD gang.

Phoenix Comicon - My first year there as an author, my group, AWW presenting authors. Erin Quinn, Alan Black, Bruce Davis and Hal Astell. We all had a great time, so they'll be joining me again in 2016, along with more phenomenal authors. So keep an eye out for announcements.

Tucson Comicon - Technically not my first time, but this time I revved up AWW again and went back with Gini Koch and Alan Black. AWW will be back in 2016 with more AWWsome AWWthors next year, so watch for that announcement too.

CombatCon Vegas - My second year with awesome authors, like Alexander "Drake" Maxwell, Leslie Jones and Carol Wolf. And all the awesome warriors. Men with swords and whips and knives... and Vegas. Need I say more? I think not. Check it out yourself in 2016, because I'll be there wrangling writers and giving some fab panels.

Tucson Festival of Books - Yes, books and books and books, as far as the eye can see. Yet the fans show up for the new releases. Love them!

There were other events thru the year that were smaller, but pretty darn good. Always like the Glendale Chocolate Affair. Yes, they host authors too. Barnes and Noble in Henderson (Vegas) is our favorite B&N ever, which is why we hit it twice a year. DevCon with ASUWest is a new one, so keep an eye on that Con as they grow. And I hit some local book fairs and festivals, because you got to give the love to you hometown.

So what's in store for 2016, well clearly all places above, as well as HawaiiCon. Yup, going back to the Big Island for the 50th Anniversary of Star Trek. Head over to their website and check out the line up of Star Trek favorites. Then think... do I want to do Comicon on the Beach? OF COURSE YOU DO!

Then there will be KaBam in Kingman AZ. Tempe Book Festival, cohosted by ASU. And probably a few more I haven't confirmed yet. So that will be announced too, as soon as they're real.

So, here's some of the year's flashbacks.

Men with Swords.

 Pre SDCC Lunch

 Joseph meets Sharknado
 Bring on the CosPlay
 Face Off... Face On
 It's definitely 5 o'clock... somewhere
 We travel as a pack these days

Too exhausted to take a second shot, unless it's in a glass
So, there will be more pictures in 2016. I promise. Check out my calendar and come out to see me.

Friday, September 11, 2015

World Building for Your Stories

The Ground Beneath Our Feet,  as well as the air, stars, plants, civilizations and the people who call it home. A lot goes into building worlds when you step into Science Fiction or Fantasy. I’d like to say I put a lot of work into developing the worlds in my stories, but so far they come to me as virtually complete images, just needing a bit of polish to make them shine.

My most recent release, Star People Legacy, takes place on Earth in the near-future. That made the world building part easy. I even knew exactly where it took place. On the dry, hot, inhospitable Goldwater Bombing Range in southwest Arizona.

Why? Two reasons. First, I was stationed on the U. S. Air Force side of the range during my stint in the military. Secondly, one day some of our guys came back from dirt-biking on a closed section of the range, with a ‘men in black’ story. Most of us questioned whether they’d sampled some wild cactus, getting the benefits of a bit too much mescaline.

Whatever the truth was, I carried that weird little story around in my head for years (and years). Then, driving through the area on the way to San Diego Comicon with Gini Koch (SFRB member and author of the Alien/Katherine “Kitty” Kat series), I told her the story. I barely got the words out of my mouth before MY story coalesced. I pulled out my laptop and started writing.

Of course the story in my head was different. I had to alter the location slightly. The base I’d been stationed on is virtually gone now, so I shifted to the Yuma side of the range. The primary character became a female U.S. Marine Captain. Also a member of the Navajo Nation.

Socially, the issues of illegal immigration still exist, but other issues have changed. Such as Native American politics. In my future world they had truly become One Nation. My ‘men-in-black’ encounter leads the character into a truth-altering battle, where ancient Native American mythology collides with Science Fiction.

The secondary characters took a bit of supporting research, except for one special person. On the way to San Diego, we (meaning Gini) got pulled over by an Arizona Highway Patrolman. He let us (meaning Gini) go with a verbal warning, and told us (yeah, meaning Gini) where all the next speed traps were. So Mr. Highway Patrolman became my character’s main squeeze, and I didn’t kill him.

My characters grew as I nailed down the exact myths needed to tell the story. I threw in some real historical facts, blending them in to fit the story. Since I tend to write strong female military characters, a little misogyny show up. Sad to say, but I can’t help but to believe that gender issues in the military will never totally go away. Not even when we ‘poor defenseless women’ start kicking butts all the way to Alpha Centauri.

All this happened in the back seat of Gini’s jam-packed Scion, driving just a wee bit too fast, through my old stomping grounds. I had the story completely outlined by the time we unpacked in San Diego.

But this was just one example of my world building process. For writers, ideas come from all around us. Something that happened in our real lives. A joke on the radio. A picture on a passing billboard. Someone tossing out a ‘what if… all can be sparks igniting our next endeavor. \

Our unbelievable characters can be a real people. That fellow soldier we served beside. A professor that impressed us. An Ex who didn’t. All these people can be morphed into what we need, modeling them into the perfect lover, or villain. Or both.

A great resource for figuring out imaginary societies, politics and religion exists right here on planet Earth. Within the same continents we have everything from Super Powers to 3rd World countries. Every nation contains a magnitude of differing religions and politics, from relatively peaceful to frightfully warring. From the past we hear the extinct whispers of humans who struggled to survive. And everywhere you can find a theorists trying to figure out what it takes to create Utopia.

As for the environments of our fantastic new world, look to our planet Earth. She gives us a vast array of environments, from frozen tundra to scorching deserts, from the highest altitudes to the deepest sea trenches. Ancient ruins to modern skyscrapers. It’s all here waiting for us to build or tear down at our literary whim.

So plant your feet wherever you desire, take a good look around and see that grows.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Meeting those Deadlines.

WooHoo, new release for 2015.

Now to get to one of the other stories waiting for their turn. There are so many to choose from. At any particular moment an idea can pop into my head and I dash down the basics, then stuff it into what I call 'the pot'. When I wrap up one project, I give the pot a stir and see what pops to the surface, demanding attention.

Not that I work on one project at a time. Sometimes I have two or three stories and maybe an article up on the current project's board. I also have to keep up my blog, social media, and appearances. I've already booked a number of events, and working on other, but still need to write.

As an author we either have deadlines put on us, or put them on ourselves. I'm currently working on a new novel, another story that hasn't decided its true destiny and an article for my "Ask 5 Friends" column with Slice of SciFi. I'd like to add another project in there somewhere, but let's wait and see. With my agent having three of my novels to shop, anything can change the direction I have to take.

But trust me. You'll see something else before the end of the year. In the meantime, enjoy my latest release.

Love ya,

Friday, March 6, 2015


So we waved 2014 goodbye and welcomed a whole New Year with nothing but anticipation for what it can bring. As an author I have my goals, one new novella release and one more novel to send off to my agent. I have the first drafts done on both and they are entering the edit and beta testing phase.

I also have to start mapping out the New Year of Cons and appearances. Love to get out there and meet fans, talk about writing, and schmooze with other attendees. So expect a whole new collection of pictures this year. Have to find myself that Hottie for 2015. After all, I had John Barrowman 2013, Adrian Paul 2015, so I have to find someone of equally sizzling sex appeal... Just For You (and definitely me).

So, before I kick off this New Year, I'll give you one last glance at 2014, at the Wyked Women Who Write book signing in Henderson (Las Vegas) Nevada on Dec. 13th.

Here we are.
Sharon Skinner on the far left, me on the far right, Gini Koch in the pink sparkly cowgirl hat.
Amy was our SuperFan, buying everything she didn't already have.
Love you, Amy!
Vegas as so great, they're having us back for another book signing. We're hoping to take more of our friends for a real Book Extravaganza. However, if you missed us in Vegas, pop in and get our books. Or head over to our links and order them. If we make your city, we'd love to meet you and sign them.
So, where will I be in 2015?  Only have a preliminary list so you'll have to check in from time to time for updates on engagements. But here's what I have so far.
January 31st   Glendale Chocolate Affair in Glendale AZ  10-2 and 6-10
Check out the Authors' tent. LOTS of books in every genre.
March 14-15   Tucson Festival of Books at University of Arizona  Both Days 
Arizona Dreaming tent near the front of the campus pavilion
March 21-22   DevCon at ASU West Campus in Phoenix, AZ  Both Days
Panels and book signings with DR Books in vendor room
May 17th   Barnes and Noble Henderson NV  Wyked Women return to Vegas. Watch out!
May 28-31  Phoenix Comic-Con   You can find me on the Artist Alley, under the banner of AWW, for Arizona Wyked Writers. Will update booth location.
Jun 26-28  CombatCon in Las Vegas 
Panels and book signings in vendor room... yeah, loving my Vegas peeps too!
July 9-12  San Diego/International Comic-Con 
Not there in official capacity, but hanging with Gini Koch and the peeps who keep us coming back.
Oct 31-Nov 1  TusCon in Tucson AZ  Pending.
Nov 7-8  Tucson Comic-Con Tucson AZ  Pending 
YUP, love those Tucson peeps too. SW rocks.
There's lots of gaps yet for the rest of the year, but I'm sure they'll fill in nicely. So stay tuned. I'd love to see you all in the coming year.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

IT'S DECEMBER! How'd that happen?

It's been a busy year and that made it just fly by. Now it's December and I've got just one more event left for the year. Where better to wrap it up than Las Vegas.

That's right, three of the Wyked Women who Write are heading to Vegas on December 13th for a book signing at Barnes and Noble Henderson.  Can't hardly wait to be back with the friends I found there during CombatCon 2014.

So as a recap of the year... here's just a few pics.

Debuted the new books.

Got to feel up Adrian Paul's chest at DarkCon 2014

Took the new books to the Glendale Chocolate Festival and Tucson Festival of books
Admired a Man in Blue at Phoenix Comic-Con
Studied up on various combat arts at CombatCon 2014 in Vegas
Had lunch with Loki and Thor at San Diego Comic-Con
Then there was HawaiiCon, or otherwise known as Comic-Con on the Beach
I'm short-changing you all just a little bit as far as where I was with the photos. I was also at LepreCon, CopperCon, TusCon41 and Tucson Comic-Con, this year.
Now to put together next year's schedule. I'm already confirmed for several of the above events in 2015, so keep an eye out on the schedule and for new release(s) in 2015.
Hope to see some of you in Henderson (Las Vegas) on Dec 13th.
Love ya'all.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Comic-Con in Paradise

As an author, we travel to many Cons throughout the year. Some local, some a great distance, and some at a great expense, so they'd better be worth it.   HawaiiCon 2014 was worth it!
It starts with the wonderful views from the hotel. As this is a Destination Con, you need to plan in a few extra days to enjoy what the island offers, before the Con even begins. This was a beachfront hotel, even from the most distant corner of the hotel...

Though you can see the main part of the hotel is directly over the pool area...
With the beach only steps away from the pool, separated by the beautiful gardens...

This Comic-Con arranges a number of events outside the panel rooms, from scuba diving with the stars, boat excursions, to helicopter flights over the Big Island. At times you came so close to the canyon walls you could almost reach out and touch them...
But the pilot took us to locations on the island only reachable by air...

To see waterfalls that fell so far you couldn't capture them in just one photo...

Or to black sand beaches where waterfalls met the sea...

But this landscape reflects the wondrous and terrifying beauty of our planet so many of us take for granted. Here new land is born. 

But back to HawaiiCon...  In one section of the hotel is the conference center. This is the beautiful courtyard, surrounded by ballrooms, meeting room and places just to relax in the tropical breezes of the island. All is quiet as registration begins and staffers post panel schedules. As calm and quiet as this all appears, it's only minutes before the throngs of people start to appear. And they do...
For a new Con, it was expected to draw in a modest number of people. After all, it's on an island in the middle of the pacific. There's going to be a lot of locals attending and a few brave souls who braved airports, TSA and luggage fees to get here.  I don't think they were ready for nearly 700 people to show up. Even so, it was well organized and not even a puff of smoke to be seen from the undoubted numerous fires they were running to put out.
Opening ceremonies was held in the large ballroom, to a packed house. Never seen that before. King-size Kudos to the organizers and attendees. The Hawaiian ceremony at kickoff was unique and special, again, unexpected.
As an author I can honestly say that we dread being the first official panel of any Con. You know, that panel at 5pm on Friday... worse if it starts on Thursday. You really only expect to see... hmmmm... 4 people.
I was the lucky recipient of "FIRST PANEL". I planned it out, great topic, game and prizes. I was going to discuss how "Women are NOT Wrecking Science Fiction". I got there, laid out the prizes, my books and name tent on the table, then watched as people trickled in... then more people... and more people.
Afraid it was fluke I took this picture before I started the panel, and they kept coming in, until the room was full. It was a rocking room full of wonderful people. LOVE you all. We had a great discussion on Women in Science Fiction, played "Who's your Favorite". Everyone who played got a prize, then I gave away the grand prize of 2 books. The first woman of Science Fiction, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. And the funniest woman in Science Fiction, Gini Koch and vol. 1 of her Kitty Kat series-Touched by an Alien.

Panels were great. I spoke on 3 and moderated 2 more, attended others, like Richard Hatch and Walter Koenig, but of course there were costumes galore. I met Alice in Wonderland...
And she met an adorable Bat Girl...

My best costume went to Capt. Hook and Tinkerbell. What a great father/daughter combo. Major daddy points for this guy.

All the costumes were great. Some I'd have smothered in, being a hot spell in Hawaii this particular weekend, but it didn't stop the Cosplayers at all. Just wish my camera memory card didn't fill up. My bad, forgot to delete old photos and didn't have the cable I needed to upload them to my computer.

And for those expecting the Luau performance, I managed to grab some video, before my camera cut me off. It was a great group who performed all types of Polynesian dance,  not just Hawaiian. I'd let you see it, but Blogger isn't letting me download the file... too big.  I'll try to post it on Facebook.
So, in conclusion... FABULOUS COMIC-CON. Plan for this one in your future.
And the winner of my "Whose Your Favorite Woman Science Fiction Author" contest is....
E.L. F.
Contact me with shipping into for your HawaiiCon 2014 Swag Bag.

Monday, September 1, 2014

It's September! OH, NO!

Not that it really matters today. Temps are expected to be 110 degrees, but we KNOW we'll see lower temperatures coming. At least a little lower. I tell people we have two seasons here, hot and hotter. Thank God I'm an author, and not a landscaper or other outside professional.

So, what does September mean to me as I sit in front of my keyboard...

3/4ths of the year is gone and I'm feeling a bit unproductive. Yes, I've written a lot this year and have several projects in the fire, but they weren't screaming at me to devote every waking hour to their lives. Until SDCC. During the drive I was chatting a premise out with my BFF Gini Koch and her PA Joseph Gaxiola.  I retold a 'true story' I'd heard way back when I was in the military and how I wanted to make it into a SF story.

Sometimes ideas just needs to be said out loud, because the next thing she asked was 'what's that noise' was coming from the back of the car. It was me on my laptop. Characters and voices were shouting out the story and I've been rocking the first draft.

There's still appearances to make.
Sept 12-14 I'm at HawaiiCon (Comicon on the Beach).
TusCon Oct 31- Nov 2 in Tucson.
Tucson Comicon Nov 7- 9th.
Then on December 11th we go to Las Vegas, my BFFs Gini Koch and Sharon Skinner for the B&N Wyked Women who Write Booksigning at the Henderson Barnes and Nobel on December 13th.
With all this, it doesn't look like my annual retreat will happen this year, so I better make the best of my Hawaii trip.

Then preplanning for 2015.
While I have to spend every minute I can writing, I also have to attend the many Cons that take place, and there are so many. However, I do have a life outside of writing.  Really I do.  I have to have my other knee replaced in February, finally. And I have to plan a military reunion for April. As the Phx resident where our reunions take place (we were all stationed at Gila Bend), I've done the planning in prior reunions and will continue to do so unless someone else volunteers. That's not a hint to my GBAFAF followers. I love doing it.

So, while I say writing is not my only activity, it doesn't ever leave my brain. I'm always thinking 'what's next?' and when can I politely return to my keyboard, because the characters can get you a bit schizophrenic if you ignore them too long. Right now they're screaming at me to get back to where I left them lingering over their scene, while another part of my brain is screaming that I have a rocking panel set up for HawaiiCon and I'm not ready for it.

I have research to do, but maybe my friends can help me out with that. I'm compiling a list of the BEST Women Science Fiction Authors, your favorites. Tell me who makes YOUR list and win a prize. That's right... Follow the blog, enter your BEST of the Best and I'll do a drawing for a winner. Deadline is Sept 17th.

I'll announce the winner when I get back from Hawaii.