Tuesday, September 2, 2014

DragonCon: Doing it Right

WHEW. Well, despite being a touch under the weather (and thus not being able to hang out with people nearly as much as I wanted to), I survived DragonCon 2014, and it was AMAZING!

I'm going to be doing a separate post later about the advantages of doing DragonCon as an author (namely: book exposure and book sales) and some of what I've learned in the past. I'm still something of a newb; I've been three years in a row, but am still learning all the time from the true veterans who have DragonCon down to a science.

A science of FUN, I mean--DC isn't all work and no play! It's a lot of fun, full of amazing people and amazing cosplay and amazing stuff. But today I want to talk about a few serious points that really should be mentioned.

Here's some of what DragonCon did exceptionally well:

  • DCTV: DragonCon TV. In all the host hotels, there's a station called DCTV that plays panels and highlights from the con. Interspersed between shows are fun parody commercials, cute skits, music, and "bumps"--funny anecdotes similar to what's on Adult Swim on Cartoon Network. This year, I noticed two important commercials: one warning people that service animals are workers and you should treat people with service animals with respect, and two separate commercials about how cosplay is not consent. Good on you, DCTV, for making sure that your audience is reminded of these important facts. 
  • And speaking of consent, another good point for DragonCon: an established system to handle pervs. There were over 60,000 people at this year's con, and of course some of them were douche canoes. My husband noticed one guy hanging around at the top of a staircase, using his iPad to sneak down-the-shirt shots of girls. We went straight to a DragonCon volunteer and reported him. In seconds, she handled the situation like a pro. It was clear that (a) the staff and volunteers were trained to handle such a situation, (b) there was a system in place that they were all aware of, and (c) that behavior was not going to be tolerated. 
  • It's worth mentioning that this is no new thing--DragonCon is huge, but takes the safety of its attendees seriously. When I casually mentioned that a drunk guy was behaving inappropriately to a friend and me last year, DragonCon staff bent over backwards to help me (although we got rid of him ourselves by the time I mentioned it). 

This all makes it sound like there's a huge issue with creepers or something, which is not at all my intent--I just think that there's been a lot of flack in the past for Cons that didn't handle this sort of situation correctly, and I want to point out that DragonCon did. You can't control bad people from doing bad things, but you can control how you attempt to prevent it and how you respond when it happens, and DragonCon is clearly working to the good on that.

Tomorrow: a fun post!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

My @DragonCon Schedule!

Come see me during DragonCon! I shall attempt to be amusing, and my husband shall attempt to sell you one of my books, and I shall sign them with flourish, much like Gilderoy Lockhart.

Seriously, though, these panels all look amazing. Don't make me hangout at my signing tables by myself. And I will bribe you with cool swag to be my friend.

4:30 PM
Location tbd
SFWA Signing Table: hang out with me and get shizz signed

5:30 PM
Hyatt Hanover CE
Morally Ambiguous Characters of the Potterverse

Snape, Draco, Dumbledore, Percy, Xenophilius Lovegood…who’s your favorite (and least favorite) morally ambiguous character in Harry Potter?

Panelists: Susan Fichtelberg, Beth Revis, L. M. Davis, Meagan Spooner, Alexa Donne, Mel Pichetto, Jenn Clack

11:30 AM
Marriott A707
Writing Smart YA Sci Fi- Getting the Science Right!

Clones, viral outbreaks, spaceships, time travel… putting the “science” in science-fiction.

Panelists: Jonathan Maberry, Beth Revis, Kat Zhang, Meagan Spooner, Liz Lee Heinecke

2:30 PM
International Hall South - Marriott
Signing Session with Author Beth Revis

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Most Important Partnership an Author Can Make

Writing is a lonely gig. It's very internal by nature; we spend all our time working inside our own heads. But while writing is lonely by very definition, publishing is not.

I always knew it took a village to make a book: editors, publishers, marketing, and so much more. But now that I'm self publishing a project, I thought it would be a little different. I still hired an editor and a book cover designer and formatter and I'm working with others to market, but it's a far different process.

Fortunately, there's one thing that stayed the same.

My agent.

An agent is among the very most important working relationships that an author can have. Writing is solitary, but the business side of writing doesn't have to be.

I'm still with my publisher, Razorbill Books, and my editor, who I worked with throughout the entire Across the Universe trilogy. I'm currently wrapping up a first draft of a novel I'll be sending to her. But I'm self publishing The Body Electric. Two extraordinarily different processes and projects. But the thing that's stayed the same?

My agent.

Having an agent--having the right agent--is one of the most important things an author can do. Self pub, tradition pub--it doesn't matter. An agent will help you to make these decisions, guide you to the path right for your career. An agent is a business partner whose sole concern is to make sure you make the right business decisions. And more than that--an agent (at at least my agent) is my friend.

There are a lot of things up in the air about publishing these days. There are a lot of paths. Don't leave without your guide.

My agent, Merrilee Heifetz of Writers House, is one of the best in the business, and I know with absolute, 100% certainty, that I would have never had any success at all without her help.

Self publication implies "self." Alone. Solitary. But the success of The Body Electric has been anything but.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Winner of the Setting Contest!

Picture by Mariamichelle, used under Creative Commons. Link

Thank you so much to everyone who entered my contest to guess the location of the setting of The Body Electric! The response was awesome and it was so cool to see you guesses--especially as so many of you were correct!

Without further ado, the correct location of the setting for The Body Electric is...


For the purposes of the contest, I accepted Malta, Gozo, or any Maltese/Gozan city--as long as you were anywhere on the map above, I counted it as an entry :) 

So, from all the winning guesses, the winning entry is...


I've contacted the winner directly--and if you didn't win, stick around. I'll have another contest up soon!

Thanks again for playing, everyone!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Guess the Setting and Win!

I've been hinting at this rather a lot, but The Body Electric does not take place in America...in fact, it takes place in a part of the world that is rarely written about. And if you figure out the location, you could win a signed, limited edition copy of the book before it's released!

All you have to do is guess the location. I've been leaving lots of clues. 

And, I have a collection of pics for you to take your guesses from. I happened to visit this country when I was in college, and all of these pics were taken by my little non-digital camera before the trip.


And here's one of the best pictures of me ever in the world. This is me, standing next to a knight in shining armor...in a brown velvet mock turtleneck. Man, I knew how to dress.

Once you know what country the story takes place in--or have a pretty good guess--ENTER HERE or by the form below for a chance to win a signed, limited edition of the novel. Only 350 copies of this limited edition will be made, and one person who enters here will get one--early.

Tweeting, Facebooking, Tumblring and otherwise sharing the contest and/or subscribing to my newsletter gets you extra entries! I may have to make up an additional prize for whoever best mocks that mock turtleneck. I mean honestly.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Announcing: A New Book!

Subscribers to my newsletter were the first to hear: I've got a new book coming!

And the good news is that it's coming out sooner rather than later. This is a book I wrote between contracted books, and it's going to be self-published. I don't know exactly when it'll be on sale, but it'll be before the end of the year. There will be both print and e-editions available.

This book came from a lot of things I love, and a lot of questions. What makes people, people? Where does one draw the line of humanity? And...what was happening on Earth while Amy and Elder were space?

And that's where THE BODY ELECTRIC came from. Here's what the story's about:

Blade Runner meets Total Recall in this exciting new sci fi adventure!

Ella Shepherd can slip into other people’s minds. Using technology invented by her parents, Ella has the ability to experience–and influence–the memories of others. She’s used this ability to help ensure the safety of the world from a dangerous terrorist group, but not all is as it seems…because someone’s been inside Ella’s head, too.

Want to meet Ella and Jack, the two main characters?

Remember the brilliant illustrations of Amy and Elder that Christine Tyler did for me? She also did two more--one for each of the characters in the new book.

I'll be revealing the full illustrations soon...when I debut my brand-new website. Just as with the illustrations of Amy and Elder, there are a TON of clues hidden in the images about the story and the characters. And personally? Ella's my favorite illustration of the whole bunch. Just you wait until you see the way they look in a larger format!

Five Fun Facts about The Body Electric

  • It does not take place in America.
  • Ella Shepherd's name comes from the title of my favorite Philip K. Dick (and her father's name is Philip in homage to him).
  • Amy and Elder are not in this book, but if you look closely, you'll see some hints of their story.
  • Jack was named after Captain Jack Harkness on Doctor Who.
  • This book is a stand-alone--there are no sequels or cliffhangers. You'll get the whole story in this book.