Pirates and Werewolves – ACCC 2014

A couple days later, but here’s my post about going to the Alamo City Comic Con! My new class in the English Lit program started yesterday so there was all the getting situated with that and Sunday night was recovery/unpacking. (Which is yay! I finally get my American Lit II class which is a 300s course when it’s been pushed back since March and all my recent/future classes are 400s for being a senior. Looking forward to May when I’ll have my BA completed, then comes the fun part of finding a job to use my degree.)

Sorry, sidetracked there.

The main reason that I went to ACCC was for my friend. One of her friends from junior high and high school in New Hampshire is an artist by the name of Brota. Amazing artwork but more on that in a bit. She hadn’t seen him in ages and found out he was going to be down here in Texas even though he’s based in Wisconsin. So, she wanted to go down to see him, meet his wife, and introduce her boyfriend to him. I get offered to go with them because they looked on the ACCC site and saw that Greyston Holt (who plays Clayton in Space/SyFy’s Bitten). I got her hooked on the show and she knows I loved the book and TV series, it was my pre-ticket in. I then noticed that Steve Lund would be there (he plays Nick). Plenty of “we’re definitely going” was going on at a pirate party* on Labor Day weekend.

(Another sidetrack, everything happens on the same day! I get home from the pirate party and find out that the same day we’re going to Comic Con, my Evil Chipmunk is having her baby shower for my goddaughter and another friend is going to Medieval Times with her Girl Scouts with an invite for me.)

We met Brota and his wife, marveled at his artwork which is him painting and airbrushing on plexi-glass, and had a great time. You should really check out his website. He even has a couple of books. It was so much fun to see them reunite and getting to meet him myself after hearing all the exploits of high school on the drive down to San Antonio. We kept him occupied a couple times throughout the day and tried to make sure we didn’t steal all his time away from painting and meeting other people. He was a vendor at the convention after all. This also lead to almost getting caught up in the security sweep at the end of the convention when it was closing at 8pm and making plans for breakfast the next day. What else is new for pirates? We usually leave TRF after the fireworks and with their security sweeps.  (The picture below is Brota’s selfie after breakfast on Sunday.)

1922524_10152746489886683_57243819973622511_n And that leaves us with how we dressed! The three of us wore our pirate garb and saw a couple rennies there. One of them was a chainmail vendor so that was cool. Next year though… It’s going to be different. We’re still debating on what costume she should work on but I’m tossing between my Sailor Venus costume and Commander Shepard from Mass Effect on shore leave from N7/Spectre.

Her and I also split an autograph package with the guys from Bitten. It was $50 for two autographed pictures and one photo-op with our own camera. She got a picture of Greyston and I got one with Steve, the photo-op was the two of us with them. Pirates and wolves, what a great way to spend a day. This turned into a whole evening of chattering about the TV and book series. A couple months ago, I asked her if she wanted to borrow my Otherworld books by Kelley Armstrong, the series that Bitten is based on, and she wasn’t sure yet. Now, I’m bringing them all to TRF opening weekend when we go and she can borrow them. Bwahahaha! Corruption! It was really nice to see the guys there with as far as it was and that they celebrated Greyston’s 29th birthday a few days after the Con. ACCC got him a cake and slices were offered to people getting autographs. Yeah, they’re just overall awesome and nice. Crossing paws that they’ll get to make it down again for other cons and that Bitten gets more seasons. (We did get a season two, so yay! And if you want to catch up on Bitten, last time I checked Netflix had season one and the DVDs are out.)

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Now, for the minor downfalls of the con. After spending a few years going to the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention and helping out/having a table, ACCC was still a bit disorganized. Of course, they probably pull larger numbers than RT and they didn’t have all the rooms that RT does because it’s a hotel based convention rather than a convention hall. The Con was also running at the same time as a home and garden show, also happening downtown. Being a nice weekend, you had River Walk and Alamo visitor traffic along with everyday weekend and mall traffic. Parking took an hour to find. I’m really glad my other friend who went with us (her boyfriend) was driving. I would have checked out and been done. They also didn’t list autograph prices at all tables so it made being a shy person a bit more nerve wracking because you didn’t want to just go up and ask. Luckily, my New Englander friend is much more out there than me.  There was also a ton of zombie related things, which isn’t my particular thing, but it made my friend say she hopes my scifi series becomes popular so she can visit me at Con, too.

Overall, it was a great weekend and we’re looking forward to next year.

*Pirate Party: I’m a part of a privateer group that goes to renaissance faires. Most holidays we get together on weekends for parties and get-togethers at our captain’s house. This ensures that we get to hang out while everyone is scattered across the state between ren faires.

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Blog Hop – Creating an Author

I was tagged by my co-author, Tamara McHatton, for this author blog hop/stop event. The purpose of the hop is to introduce people to new authors (she was tagged by our friend, boss lady, and owner of Gemina‘s publishing house, Gail Delaney) and get some of us back into the habit of blogging something. We’re all guilty of not finding something to post about because we think we’re boring or so wrapped up in our writing/editing that we don’t think outside the box. I’m thinking that I should start at least blogging about things that strike my interest, not just posts that relate to our writing. Big ideas right there!

Alright, so a little about me. When I told Tamara that I had no clue what to write, I wasn’t kidding. I’ve been thinking about ways to introduce myself for this hop for days now. Anyone else ever feel torn between thinking that you’re either too boring to be interesting to other people or just too weird/oddball that you’re going to scare people away? Yeah. Me, too.

Currently, I’m in my last four classes before completing my Bachelors of Arts in English Literature. Go me! My associate’s degree is filled with literature, writing, and anthropology electives. When I’m not writing Gemina book 2 (set to be released Spring 2015), studying for my classes, working on my space Sci-Fi series, or editing, then I’m going to ren faires. (See, Tamara, I got that in there!) Soon I’ll be going to my first ever Comic Con, not the huge San Diego one or for author reasons but it’ll still be fun to go check out what’s there. Looking forward to seeing Greyston Holt and Steve Lund from the TV show Bitten.

So, onto the four questions that we’re supposed to answer for the hop!

1. What are you working on?

I have a few projects in the works. It’s nice to be able to hop between them, but only two are ones with deadlines. There’s wiggle room for the others to be completed.

Tamara and I are actually working on a sequel to Gemina: The Lost Legionnaires and figured out that we could get a third out of it to make it a trilogy. It’s still set in Ancient Rome and the German forests with soldiers and gladiator type heroes and heroines. My partner is used to writing military fiction with her Call of Duty series but this is a fun first step into being an author for me. It pulls in the research skills of being a student, the interest in history, and who can’t pass up a few gladiators? Yes, Spartacus and Pompeii got moved to my research shelf. Not for usage but if you’re going to relax with a movie, why not keep the muse on track?

My other project with a deadline is editing in my favorite genre, science fiction.

The projects with no deadlines? I’m working on a space Sci-Fi series that started with one book and now the plot has evolved, happily, to being four books, a prequel, and a short story anthology. I also have another standalone Sci-Fi set on Earth that isn’t related to the space series. Tamara is working on a couple paranormal ideas which I’m helping with and considering for more co-writing. One of my best friends is also in the middle of plotting out two books so I’m repaying the favor of her listening to my Sci-Fi ideas as a soundboard and being hers. We bounce ideas off each other all the time to find out what works and what should be changed.

2. How does your work differ from others in your genre?

If Tamara doesn’t mind, I’m going to steal her answer for this one. I don’t read historical military fiction, I stick with modern military/special ops, so I can’t exactly say how ours differs just yet.

Although I write under the military romance genre, my works (contemporary and historical) have a tendency to be more women’s fiction, more realistic.

We all know that we can be living a great love story but then life intrudes, especially when the military is involved, and even though you want it to work, you know it probably won’t because of said reality. Doesn’t mean that there’s no love story for the duration of the book, but may not necessarily work out for the readers that want the “happily ever after” at the end. But my stories always end on a note of … maybe it could work out later, when their responsibilities are taken care of, so there’s always that hope. And that’s what drives my different series. Reality with our soldiers. The people you meet, the responsibilities you take on, what life doles out.

3. Why do you write what you write?

Well, Gemina started out because our Editor-in-Chief asked Tamara to craft a story with a specific image in mind. She asked if she could have a co-author, got a yes, and she pulled me in. The reason why I write historical military fiction is because of my friend. She and I work well together and this was a fun challenge for both of us to expand our comfort level.

The reason why I write science fiction is because I’ve loved the genre since I was a kid. From television shows to Anne McCaffrey’s Pern series in the fifth grade, I’ve been hooked. A look at my bookshelves, movies, and video games will give you a glimpse into the wide range of Sci-Fi and fantasy that I love. Write what you love as your start and move beyond it.

4. How does your process work?

This is going to be broken down into two sections because each process is slightly different depending on the people involved. I know, that sounds so devious!

Writing with a co-author is an amazing process when you have the right partner. Tamara and I start by IMing each other (I’m in Texas, she’s in Florida) and working on the plot. It starts with the general idea and then we work in the main characters. In the course of a week, we end up with various files shared between each other with a loose plot outline, characters and secondary characters, and initial research. Details and items get added as we start to work on it. Our actual writing process itself ends up with each of us trying to write 1000-2500 words a day in a scene and then we’ll send it to the other. The next person will then read over what was written, add or change things, and work on finishing the scene or starting the next. This allows us minor self-editing and blending our voices before we do our final first draft overall edit. Sometimes it takes a few days to send it back and forth with everything that goes on in life but we keep with a couple exchanges a week. Tamara also edits for DBP while being an author.

My personal process is detailing a bunch of ideas first and then work on a plot with various scenes that I want to make sure get included for each arc of the story. Then I’ll create character sheets, landscape, and research notes. The follow-up is sending my ideas to my best friend, another Sci-Fi lover, to bounce them off her. Of course, she’s a troublemaker. She sometimes makes graphics or will send me a facecast image to tempt the muse with.


Now, the next part of the hop is the challenge part. I’m supposed to challenge three authors that I know to do the same thing… Ooops, I don’t personally know many authors just yet and many are unpublished/upcoming authors. So, if you’re an author and you want to take part, here’s my challenge:

Write a bio in a comment introducing yourself! Make sure to include links to your blog, Facebook page, and/or website.

For the readers, check out the authors that post in the comments and find someone’s world to dive into.