From Providence to Nashville

The Cons are coming! The Cons are coming!

Cons, in this case, is short for Conventions. Or Book Festivals. Big events where people show up and do stuff. Like hold interesting discussions and autograph copies of their books.

This past weekend, I was once again a guest of the Necronomicon Providence, held every 2 years in Providence, R.I. It is a festival of all things ‘Weird Fiction’ and is inspired by the work of Providence’s own H. P. Lovecraft. I performed two of my one-man shows at the festival–my version of H.P. Lovecraft’s Call of Cthulhu and an original show that mixes the horrors of Lovecraft with the witty, upper-class farce of… witty, upper-class farces… called Horace Whitley and the Unspeakable Horror.

Both shows went well (my Call of Cthulhu was standing-room only), and I had the good fortune to be given an opening act, which was this fantastic Canadian magician named James Harrison who did a fun, mind-bending routine before each of my shows. I also spent time in the vendor’s room signing and meeting folks from all over the country and world.

This weekend, I’m off to Nashville for the Killer Nashville conference. I will be participating on three panels:

Friday 8/25 9:40am — They’re Real: How to Write Fantasy Thrillers & Mysteries

Friday 8/25 2:20pm — From Seuss to Potter, Kids Love to Read: Writing Picture Books to Chapter Adventures

Saturday 8/26 2:00pm — Coming of Age: How to write Young Adult Mysteries & Thrillers

I’ve also been given a number of different signing slots for each panel, so if you’re in Nashville this weekend, come on by!

While I’m very excited for all three panels, I’m particularly excited for the “From Seuss to Potter” panel because one of my co-panelists will be Chris Grabenstein, who is a great guy and has been instrumental to my career (and whom I’ve been stalking for a couple of years now).

Beyond Nashville I’ve got another one in October and one in November, with more on the way. These Book Festivals and Conventions are a lot of fun, a great chance to meet people, share my work with them, and get free swag!

What more could you ask for?

The Stars Are Right Again!

This weekend, I will be in Providence, Rhode Island as part of the 2017 Necronomicon.

What is the Necronomicon? Aside from a dark book of evil? So glad you asked.

It’s a convention to celebration of Weird Fiction. Much of my work exists in this hybrid world–often seen as a mash-up of science fiction and horror. The Grandfather of Weird Fiction was H. P. Lovecraft, and H. P. Lovecraft was from Providence, Rhode Island. So… that explains that.

While I will be there Friday afternoon and all day Saturday in the Dealer’s Room meeting, greeting, signing books (both my Lovecraftian-inspired, traditionally-published Middle Grade books and my very Lovecraftian-inspired, self-published works of insanity), and being a general ray of joyous light, my main contribution to the festival will be my performances.

I will be performing twice at the festival, once on Friday evening, and once late Saturday night. On Friday, I will be debuting a new one-man show entitled “Horace Whitley and the Unimaginable Horror.” Saturday night, I will be presenting my fan-favorite show, “H. P. Lovecraft’s Call of Cthulhu.” Both shows are open to the general public as well as convention-goers, so if you happen to live in and/or around the Providence area, you should swing by and catch a show!

You can find out more information about my performances on their website.

And if you happen to be in Providence this weekend, come say hi!

You Should Totally Buy My New Book!

On the one hand, I’m incredibly excited to announce the publishing of my second Middle Grade novel, Beyond the Doors. It is an exciting, mysterious, humorous, creepy tale of four temporary orphans, one slightly-odd (OK, really-odd) aunt, a bunch of doors, and whole new worlds to explore.
doors-cover

On the other hand, I’m totally nervous because I have this new book out and now it’s my job to sell it.

I had rather hoped having a second book out would make it easier. Everyone who know me because of how awesome my first book would be and they would be lining up to purchase the new one. Banging down my door. Throwing money at me.

Not.

I posted it to all the Facebook Groups I’m in. Which is, like, three. I’ve tweeted about it. I’m blogging about it (in case you didn’t notice). There was an email blast. Other than that…?

I’ve got one, possibly two in-store appearances next month. A couple of book festivals later this month and some others planned for later in the year. I’m trying to get invited to others. Trying to do other appearances. Trying to do anything to get myself out there. School visits. Begging on street corners. Anything.

The importance of my efforts cannot be understated. I AM the marketing plan for the book. And if I don’t sell books, I will not get any more published. Pressure. And yet, I’m horrible at self-marketing. I always feel like I’m being obnoxious. My imagination runs wild when I even think about putting myself out there.

“Hi. I’ve got this new book and it’s really good and-”

“What is WRONG with you? Why are you bothering me? What do I care about your STUPID book?”

“Uhm… it’s a Middle Grade adventure/horror story that’s funny and-”

“That makes NO sense! What is it? Fit it into an easy-to-understand genre! Is it horror? Why are you writing horror for little kids? Are you totally deranged?”

“Uhm… so… it would be really cool if you bought a copy. Or two. You know. If you have any friends. It makes a good gift.”

“You are ever BENEATH me! I reject you totally!”

You get the idea.

And yet, if I do nothing, then I fail. The book isn’t going to sell itself. Mainly because nobody knows it even exists. So they have to know. But it isn’t easy to just slip it into conversation.

“You know, it is just crazy what is going on in Washington D.C. these days. Oh, and by the way, did you know I wrote a new book aimed at kids ages 8-13?”

I have told friends. I have asked friends to tell friends. I have asked friends to blackmail other people to make them buy it. I am now asking you to buy it. And to tell others to buy it. I feel cheap in doing so, but I’m pretty sure that’s what I’m supposed to do.

And possibly what I’m supposed to feel.