Take several hundred science fiction fans. Season with pancakes and booze.
LibertyCon superseded all of my expectations. I made several (doubtless) lifelong friends, met some incredibly talented people, and collected books and art that are now firmly established in my pantheon of Favorite Things. Unlike Oprah, my faves are affordable, nerdy, and probably will add something to my post-apocalyptic skill set.
Set in lovely Chattanooga, Tennessee, LibertyCon was held at the “Choo-Choo”. It’s a landmark hotel. You can tell because of the restroom:
So, had a few hours out in Author Alley. That was great. As it turns out, everyone there likes books the same way I do: like oxygen.
But this event was about artists and writers. Some specific wonders I discovered included: A pirate death coin by Fritz Ling (Pirates? Doom? I accept)
And then my Magnum Opus Find: Martin Powell and his bride Leia Barrett Durham Powell. Lemme tell ya, Martin and I share a LOT in common. 1) Dinosaurs 2) A passion for megafauna 3) The desire to own a Baluchitherium 4) Edgar Rice Burroughs 5) Other stuff For your education, here is a Baluchitherium, not to be confused with a Titanothere or Indricothere, both of which we also appreciate:
Don’t act like you aren’t impressed. We also share a love of the same book from the 1930s.
His bride, Leia makes incredible stained glass art. She gave me a pteradactyl, and now she calls me Pterry. The Pterrydactyl will now be my Official Vehicle Mascot henceforth.
GET IT? This was another part of the scene. To a nerd, this looks a lot like heaven:
But the event was not without hidden stress. For example, one sadistic individual unleashed these terrifying dolls on the general populace. Not since The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills has the world seen such crimes against nature:
Yeah, I’ve officially stopped breeding. And sleeping. And walking past places where there might be infants. Or dolls. Or anything wearing a onesie. So that’s it for now. I’m still processing just how wonderful everyone was to a first time nobody from Someplace Else. I’ve already made my reservation for next year. Seriously, with a chandelier like that in the bathroom, don’t tell me you wouldn’t as well. The new series is out, by the way. Did you get yours?Waffles, Witches, and Wonder. Halfway Dead.
Urban Fantasies: What Cities Make the Best Backdrop for Imagination and Why?
It’s going to be a fantastic weekend for Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Speculative Fiction. I can’t wait to discuss what’s new, what we’re reading, and what readers want. Looking froward to it. Maybe I’ll see you there! Cheers, Terry
I didn’t bother to look it up. What qualifies as Antique?
I know I’m getting perilously close to being old because the books I read as a kid are now valuable. My school lunchbox is probably worth a hundred bucks, easily, and that’s assuming I don’t clean out the fossilized peanut butter residue. The difference between old books and antiques is that I read my books and enjoy them. I don’t gaze at them, dust them, or forget about them as a relic of a bygone era. And I may be strange for saying this, but old books just smell good.
My Bookshelf: From the age of four, my bookshelf centered on the following topics: 1. Dinosaurs 2. Rockets 3. Volcanoes 4. Dragons 5. Monsters 6. Fossils 7. Any combination of the above, but in space. I present exhibit one, a 1956 volume that is now so out of date is exists only as a relic. Sort of the way I will be someday, but with less complaining about the temperature of my soup.
Let’s take a look inside this beauty.
Gorgeous. I love everything about this book. From the tales of hunting fossils in the Gobi Desert to Montana, it’s amazing. I also learned that my love for reading had some serious effects on my life. Case in point: while other students were actually doingmath, I was busy writing stories about aliens that came up from secret tunnels in the bottom of farm ponds which naturally connected to another dimension and oh by the way, they look a lot like snapping turtles. I present the following evidence from 1983, my Freshman year of high school:
Ouch. That, ladies and gentlemen, is a student who will go on to achieve great things in History. I’ve been pawing through my old books; there are titles in my collection that I’d nearly forgotten, but when I pick them up the entire story floods back to me like a returning tide. I love my old books. They’re a record of what I was doing (or not doing–math) and not unlike an old group of friends who will wait for your forever. Books are loyal. Stories are permanent, as long as we remember them.
Welcome to what will be the busiest writing year of my life.
I’ve recently made some Super Executive Command Decisions based on requests from readers, and the menu for 2015 has changed. So, let’s begin with what is happening right now.
I’m thrilled to be working with the brilliant Rebecca Cook once more. She’s currently applying her repertoire of voices to the third book in The Fearless, and I can tell you with complete certainty that ‘The Waking Serpent’ will be the best audiobook we’ve done together. Rebecca inhabits my characters, and the early samples are fantastic. Here is Rebecca pretending to be Rebecca:
Rebecca, Sans Braiiiinnnns.
Fun fact: I have multiple pictures of Rebecca in zombie makeup. She’s a crew member on Z Nation (Zombie freaks, take note!) and yet, in the spirit of altruism and all that is pure, I chose this delightful photo instead. (I know not to anger the talent!) Moving on. In the clearest demonstration of “it isn’t what you know, it’s who you know”, I’m proud to announce that the voice of my new series Banshee is the stellar Henry McNulty. He’s an actor, musician, and according to Rebecca, “one heluva singer” (note to self– write musical for dragons. Like Fame, but more fantastical!). Henry attended a workshop hosted by Rebecca in which she imparted knowledge on the art of voiceover acting. I asked Rebecca, “Hey, know any guys for this dragon thing?”, one thing led to another, and here we are. Henry begins production of Banshee the first week of February; the series will be released in all forms simultaneously. Here’s the rakish baritone himself; I’m told that, like Rebecca, he hails from a place called “Washington State” which frankly sounds made up to me, sort of like North Dakota or the Smithtown Mall.
The Alleged Washington State Resident
While those projects are rolling along, two other books aren’t just happening; they’re moving forward at ludicrous speed. I’m well into book five of The Fearless, and if the concept of sexy Nazi werewolves isn’t for you, well, you can just skip that chapter. It’s fantastic. Love the villains, and I know you will too. I cannot wait to hear Rebecca spit curses in a Germanic/Schnauzer accent. Next stop: Vocal Gymnastics! My third series begins in 2015, and it’s a departure for me. It’s a comedy/fantasy based on a young witch who doubles as a short order cook in a resort town. She lives and works in a mythical lakeside tourist trap in the Adirondack Mountains; this area is my family’s natural habitat, and if you’ve ever waited tables and wanted to hex the person who just stiffed you, then I have the book you’ve been waiting for. It’s funny, and sad at times, and the character is totally unique. She has a hate/hate relationship with cars, so her teenaged neighbors extort money from her for rides, but she wrecks their love lives so it all evens out in the end. I am targeting this series for publication in June of this year, and will keep you updated. I’m also writing a short ghost story for an anthology that will fund the breast cancer vaccine. As you may know, I lost my mother nearly twenty years ago, as well as my Nana, and two aunts– breast cancer is an utter plague on the women of my family and millions more as well. I am honored to be a part of the anthology, which is in the capable hands of my good friend author J.L.Brooks. So! Lots going on, and I’d better get typing. Grab your copies of all my books this week; I’m looking into this new alpaca farm thing and I want to fund it soon. I need sweaters. Cheers! Terry
It appears I miscalculated. I was originally under the impression that I’d written a Paranormal/Urban Fantasy series. It seems I am mistaken. After nearly one-hundred-fifty reviews, the consensus is as follows: 1) It’s fantasy. It just happens to be in a civilized area, free of roaming dragons and orcs. Sort of like a suburb, but with vampires. Oh, and succubi. 2) I can channel the female mind when writing my characters. To every ex-girlfriend who said I wasn’t listening, nyahhh nyahhh
3) I’m appearing at more Sci-Fi/Fantasy events in 2015, and less general fiction events. I need to connect with the people who I huddled with at the lunch table in middle school. My tribe. My herd. My nerd herd. 4) Writers are supposedly the product of a vivid, often tormented existence. For your consideration, I present the following and ask you, does this look like a face that knew torment? With that hair? No. Now hand me my hair gel and give me some room to grow.
5) Now that you’ve recovered form your laughter, allow me to tell you about what’s new with my books. There’s a new boxed set available, and two new books coming soon. Book five of The Fearless will be available in March, but before that, my new series starts. Do you like dragons? Do you hate civilization? Well, I have the book for you. Banshee is the first novel in my post-apocalyptic dragon series. Check out the first teaser:
6) Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Joyous Yule, and may your new year be bright and warm. Thanks for visiting throughout the year, and we’ll start the Outlander blog as soon as the next episode is onscreen. I’m like many of you ( I think) in that casting Bree and Roger is a major concern of mine. We shall see! Thanks for spreading the word about my series, and I look forward to our next time together. Cheers! Terry Terry’s Books
I was able to enjoy several hours with people who love books as much as I. There were a thousand fans crowded into the venue, and the authors didn’t fail to bring their very best. I made new friends:
This is Lorie. She hugged one of the male models (not me) and then smelled her shirt, declaring it to “smell like him“. It wasn’t as creepy as it reads. Honest. She was delightful.
Her friend Cindy was my first-ever assistant. She was amazing. Cindy made certain that my table was a well-run affair, leaving me to talk books, take a few pictures with fans, and pass out chocolate fortune cookies. People like Cindy– who have an innate love of books– are solid gold.
This is Cindy. She takes book events seriously enough that they merit a dress. She has a sunny disposition and she too enjoys nearly all kinds of baked goods. We became instant friends. To reiterate for those of you who have not met me: pie is our friend.
This was my author table, which, according to Cindy, “Looked way more organized than she expected, given that I’m a dude.” I appreciate that kind of compliment.
So there you have it. A rousing success. Some new friends. Lots of books, and I managed to write 2200 words while staying in Knoxville. Until next time, friends. Cheers!
To my haircut, that is. I received an excellent haircut two weeks ago– too early for the Tennessee Valley Author Eventthis weekend, but not quite late enough to merit a full re-do. As a man who likes to keep his follicle business in order, I found myself waiting for a trim at a local chain. I’d waited my turn, about fifteen minutes (very reasonable), but decided that I would go rogue and let my hair run wild and free this weekend. Unfortunately, my wishes were steamrolled by karma. The young woman who cheerfully called my name was professional, attractive, and enormously pregnant. Thus, were I to call off my incipient hair adjustment, I would be denying both her and the baby a small but appreciable amount of income.
She gave me an excellent trim, loved books, and was an all around delight. Let it be known that for me, shame is a powerful motivator, and can even overcome my natural rigidity regarding carefully scheduled Hair Events.
You had a good run. As gatekeepers, you were able to determine what was “good” or “bad”. You mercilessly sheared artists for the bulk of their rightful funds, and you did so all while demanding that the clamoring masses come to you in your shrine (New York) in order to reinforce thissystem.
Then came Napster.
I can draw a direct line between the immolation of the music industry and the ongoing crumbling of what has been a model of archaic business practice– the publishing world. Amidst the cheers of this new landscape, there are stalwart detractors who immediately use the same arguments in order to stave off the inevitable.
“Traditional publishers protect the public from poorly crafted art.”– Uh-huh. And where were you during the heady days of soft core smut that flooded the market and made dump trucks of money for you and your authors who tapped into the frustrated sexual zeitgeist of middle class women? Do the names Pat Booth, Judith Krantz, and Sidney Sheldon mean anything to you? They wrote, in my opinion, some of the most marketable fiction (that happened to be soft-core porn) of the past forty years, and yet I didn’t see them being held back from the delicate palate of the general public. Perhaps I missed that altruism on your collective part, but I doubt it. There are absolute gems among the Indies of the publishing world, and anything other than embracing your new overlords is a death rattle that wastes your dwindling freedom on arguing a point that smart publishers will have conceded five years ago. The barn door isn’t just open, it’s off the hinges. “We provide business acumen that independent authors cannot understand.”– That may have been true prior to the digital age, but now, that assertion isn’t merely false, it’s lazy. The speed with which Indies act is beyond anything that a publishing house can muster. Another issue: Indies share. Indies help one another, and we do it in a manner that is organic, inexpensive, and result-oriented.When your budget is smaller than most grocery bills, creativity and firing for effect become the norm. Lean becomes efficient, and that leads to– with the proper product– sales that weren’t generated by an ossified industry that still regards the right to determine artistic value as their own domain. And much like the larger dinosaurs who had primitive yet redundant nervous systems, the death throes are already occurring at the other end of the beast. Don’t worry. The head will catch up soon, and when it does, the surprise will be as genuine as we in the Indie community expect. Remember, we’re watching from the front.