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Hello Westercon! Hello visitors from!

This weekend Dara and I are attending Westercon 69 in Portland! We got here today and so far my convention has consisted of hanging out with fellow NIWA members Madison Keller and Rachel Robinson, a.k.a. Maquel A. Jacob! We’re teaming up to sell books at a table in the dealers’ room, and I noted with pleasure that behind us is the table where none other than Alexander James Adams is selling music. And across from us is Book Universe, who often sells so many wonderful books at Cascadia-based conventions.

Fellow NIWA compatriots Lee French and Jeffrey Cook, both of whom have appeared on Boosting the Signal, are running their Clockwork Dragon table as well. So even though we don’t have an official NIWA table at this con, we DO have a pretty strong NIWA presence! Which I feel is awesome. We’ll even be having a Meet and Greet as well.

And don’t forget: in honor of this convention as well as Clallam Bay Comicon which I’ll be attending next week, Faerie Blood and Bone Walker are on sale for 99 cents each in ebook form. That sale is in effect until July 16th!

MEANWHILE! In case you’re coming by to visit my site from Smart Bitches Trashy Books, welcome to you!

I have posted many a time about the awesomeness of the ladies at Smart Bitches Trashy Books, my one-stop-shopping place for where to find the romance novels I like to read. I like the Bitchery well enough that I am trying a new thing: I have signed up to sponsor two episodes of the Dear Bitches Smart Authors podcast, which SB Sarah runs jointly with Jayne Litte from Dear Author!

Today the first of the episodes I am sponsoring went live. You can find it right over here, and I am particularly pleased that the episode I am sponsoring involves neuroscience! And a lot of questions about female sexuality! There are heavy-duty topics called out in the episode description, and I’m looking forward to giving this a listen, because it sounds like an episode with some substance to it.

And that, O Internets, is why I wanted to show the podcast some sponsorship love: because it’s not just about romance novels, but also about crunchy topics like female sexuality and neuroscience and sometimes history and science and any manner of things that go into building the stories of the genre. Sarah and Jayne have even been perfectly happy to bring in interviewees who don’t write romance–I was super pleased, for example, that they interviewed Jim Hines earlier this year!

I figured, hey, if they can interview one of my favorite fantasy authors, thereby showing their readiness to step across genre lines, I want to step back across the same genre line and show ’em some sponsorship love. This week’s episode is sponsored by me with my Angela Highland hat on, and therefore by the Rebels of Adalonia trilogy! Next week will be sponsored by me as Angela Korra’ti, highlighting the Free Court of Seattle books! And both episodes are running tracks from the Bone Walker Soundtrack as well!

So if you’re coming over from the Bitchery to check me out, again, greetings and welcome and do drop a comment to say hi! And if you think you might like my urban fantasy or epic fantasy, do check out the books!


Orycon 2015 report!

It’s a bit weird these days for Dara and me to show up at a convention that we’re not actually working–or which I wind up missing because I need to blow the whole con actually writing because I suck at deadlines. *^_^*;; Medical shenanigans have also kept us from going to cons we’ve wanted to go to for a few years running.

Like, for example, Orycon! We missed the last couple ones due to those medical shenanigans, but this year, we finally made it down. This was the first Orycon we’ve been to in some time, so it was pretty much like going to the con for the first time all over again.

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Events, Publishing

Right then, how about those Hugo awards?

As y’all know already, Worldcon this year saw the conclusion–for now–of this year’s Puppy slate voting. Dara’s documented her reaction to the results over here, so I’m not going to recap what she said. Go read her directly!

I will, meanwhile, note that Natalie Luhrs put up this recap of what the Hugos would have been like if the slate voting hadn’t occurred. In particular, like Dara, I weep for how Avatar: The Legend of Korra came so close to getting onto the ballot.

But I must also call attention to what the Best Novel voting might have looked like. I was intrigued by City of Stairs when I first saw it getting promoted on, and I very definitely enjoyed Lock In, as I reported earlier this year. I feel that if Mr. Scalzi had made the ballot, I would have had a much harder time deciding between his book, Ancillary Justice, and The Three-Body Problem. As it stands, I will be upping the priority on checking out City of Stairs.

Speaking of Mr. Scalzi, he had commentary (short and pithy as well as longer and yet still pretty pithy) on the matter. It will surprise none of you that I pretty much agree with what he has to say. I would also like to call attention to Mary Robinette Kowal’s excellent commentary, while I’m at it.

Because here’s the thing: as the Mary Sue reported, while the Puppies were not as blatant a presence at Worldcon as I feared, they were nonetheless there. And some asshat thought it was funny to leave an anonymous flyer purporting to be from SFWA on the freebie table–a flyer which was brimming with racism and transphobia.

Needless to say–or at least, it ought to be needless to say–I do not find this funny. I do not find it worthy of the SF/F genre, or of civilized persons in general.

And next year, although I am not yet convinced I actually want to set foot in Kansas Missouri even for a Worldcon, I will be getting a supporting membership to MidAmeriCon at minimum. Because this year has demonstrated to me in no uncertain terms that my continued participation in the Hugo voting process is important. I’m just one small voice and one small vote.

But those votes add up. And the wisdom of Ambassador Kosh notwithstanding, this one small pebble will do her part to redirect the avalanche.

ETA: Editing because Kansas City is in Missouri, not Kansas. Derp. That said, my commentary still stands as I am not particularly convinced I want to set foot in Missouri, either!


Hi all, back from Worldcon!

Dara and I returned from Worldcon yesterday and I’m taking today off to decompress–because I spent the entire con pretty much working the NIWA table in the dealers’ room, and that’s dealing with a lot of people by my introvert standards. So I need some downtime!

I will, nonetheless, post today!

Since I was at the NIWA table so much I actually wound up seeing very little of the convention. And I gotta say, we were totally spoiled for space at our table, occupying a corner booth as we did. We had a truly magnificent spread of books, with 37 different authors represented on the table! Seriously, check this out, this was the booth space we had to play with! (And you can guess which portion of the table was my favorite, I expect!)

(Putting in a More tag as this post is kind of long!)

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Going to Worldcon! Will I see you there?

For those of you who haven’t already seen me posting about this on the social networks, tomorrow Dara and I head out to Spokane for this year’s Worldcon: Sasquan!

I plan to be spending a good chunk of my time helping staff the NIWA booth in the dealers’ room, so I will be easy to find. I’ll have plenty of copies of Faerie Blood and Bone Walker with me, as well as copies of the Bone Walker Soundtrack! Look for me there if you’ll also be at the convention. I’ll even have posters of the Bone Walker cover art for anybody who might happen to want one, so you have reason to track me down even if you already have the books!

And here’s hoping there will be minimal drama all around, yes? Yes.

OH YES and don’t forget: Faerie Blood and Bone Walker remain on sale for 99 cents each for the duration of the convention, and three days afterward as well to give folks time to pick up the book if they talk to me at the con!


The Norwescon 2015 report, and what I learned running merch!

This year at Norwescon was a totally new experience for me, since I spent the vast majority of the convention attempting to sell stuff!

I got in a bit of a trial run with that last year, working with Brad and a couple other folks in NIWA to run our table then. This year I did that again, only this time I turned out to be one of the primary people working the table–because Lee French and I were the two at the table with actual Squares, so we were the ones ringing up transactions. Jake Elliot, Connie Johnson-Jasperson, and Madison Keller were also helping work the table, and we got in a pretty good groove going, engaging with folks. Luna Lindsey popped by periodically, but she was also on a lot of panels, so she was only able to check in every so often.

Here are a bunch of things I learned from that:

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This year’s Norwescon!

I’ve had more fun at Norwescon in recent years, in no small part because it’s actually pretty cool to be Dara’s water fairy–i.e., the person who runs water to the musicians she’s bringing in for the concert tracks. It means I get to hang out listening to all the music, and every so often, somebody’ll play something really awesome.

For example, this is the year I discovered Molly Lewis and Hello, the Future!, both of whom involve awesome geek girl singing. And ukeleles. I’m totally now hearing the Doctor in my head saying “I play a ukelele now. Ukeleles are COOL.” And while nerdcore remains not really my Thing, I did nonetheless quite enjoy what I saw of Klopfenpop and Death*Star, in Dara’s MONSTARRS OF NERDCORE concert.

But I also had quite a bit of fun attending three excellent panels. One was a complete geek-out about the movie edition of The Hobbit, in which I amused the panelists by announcing I was reading the book as we speak, in two different languages (and I was told that why yes, that IS extremely geeky). I was particularly pleased that one of the panelists was a young woman who’d just taken a semester on Tolkien at the U-dub, in fact–and that the two men on the panel cheerfully deferred to her as their expert, since her knowledge of the canon was significantly more current.

It will probably surprise none of you that the entire room was pretty much in agreement that 1) yes, we all liked the movie, 2) yes, we all had issues with the movie, and 3) yes, we’re all going to go see The Desolation of Smaug, probably two or three times. I was also quite, QUITE amused at one dude talking about how they prettied up Thorin, Kili, and Fili to get them to appeal to the “tweens and twenty-somethings”, at which point I and the fifty-something woman behind me were all “whaddya mean, twenty-somethings?” Because yeah, we were on board with the Unexpected Hotness of Dwarves.

Another panel was excellently moderated by Diana Pharaoh Francis, and was about Rogues and Anti-Heroes in Fantasy and why we love them and such. We had a delightful discussion about the differences between those character archetypes, and moreover, I was quite charmed by Diana’s purple hair. And Browncoat lanyard. You can’t go wrong with a Browncoat lanyard.

The third panel I quite enjoyed was one on Big Publishing Vs. Small Publishing Vs. Self-Publishing, which, for reasons that should be obvious, is Highly Relevant to My Interests. I wasn’t terribly surprised to see the guys who run small presses of COURSE being all “but of course you should send your stuff to big presses and if not then the small presses”… and this was where I started diverging in opinion from them, because I’ve come to believe that whether or not you submit to a big NY press should in fact depend on what your goals are and how much patience you have. Meanwhile, though, the two women who had more experience with self-pub had stern opinions about whether or not big publishing had worked for them (spoiler alert: it hadn’t, not really).

And in particular, I was pleased to note that Karen Kincy, an author whose book Other had been recommended to me, was on this panel. She spoke quite passionately about her experiences and why she chose to run a Kickstarter for the fourth novel in her series. As a Kickstarter author myself, that was pretty much the most interesting part of the panel for me.

Meanwhile, I had the pleasure of meeting a couple of local authors I’d seen at a previous Norwescon–Tiger Gray and Vivien Weaver, who have a couple of books in a shared universe that are published under the moniker of Hard Limits Press. When they found out I was an author as well we had quite the delightful chat about each other’s covers–and when I told them I had a book coming out from Carina, they were all “ooh, Deb Nemeth” and I said quite happily that she’s my editor. I quickly bought both of their books in trade, and then came home and bought them again in digital form just so I’d have them easily at hand for my commutes.

And. AND! I sold five print copies of Faerie Blood, three of which were with the help of the lovely people of Book Universe. I sold them on consignment so I didn’t get as much money for them, but hey, they were sold, and I was quite happy to give them a cut for doing the work of selling the copies for me!

Music-wise, I had huge fun at the Find Your Instrument panel, in which I totally bugged userinfosolcita to show me her violin. Because RESEARCH. Also because AWESOME. I finally got it explained to me exactly how a violin does in fact physically differ from a fiddle, and even managed to get a few coherent notes off of Sunnie’s instrument. WOW, holding that thing felt weird to flute-player me, since it was at a completely different angle. And playing it felt even weirder, since I had to try to figure out how to angle the bow to get it to make proper noises against the strings.

I did learn two things that may eventually become useful when writing Kendis, though. And those are: 1) there’s not really any such thing as a chord on the violin, but you can sometimes play two strings at once and that seems to be about as close as you get; 2) if you want to do quick staccato notes, you will want to bow down rather than up, since you get more force that way. (Since one of the questions I asked Sunnie was how to know which direction to bow when.)

Cascadia’s Got Talent was fun again this year, even if it was short, and was sadly lacking in a gong. But that was okay, since nobody was really bad enough to deserve being gonged, and a couple of people were actually actively funny and sang well. And I did love Dara’s schtick about the grand prize of Metro bus passes to Kenmore (“Kenmore! It’s on the way to Bothell! Kenmore! We used to be interesting, thank God THAT’S over! Kenmore! Where the appliances go to die!”).

Dara and I closed out the con with what’s becoming a tradition–the Intro to Irish Session panel, which is small but fun and eventually I’ll have enough damn tunes to actually carry a fair share of one of these. But in the meantime, this time, I heavily geeked out about podorythmie and Quebec music as opposed to Irish music, and had the delight of a lady in the audience name-checking Le Vent du Nord. “YES!” I proclaimed happily, as the aforementioned userinfosolcita beside me gestured in my direction in a “why yes she IS a raving fangirl” sort of way, “I love them!”

And I got told by Alexander James Adams that my singing was good on the GBS fanvid that Dara and I showed off to him. Which was awesome. <3