(I Also Write Children's Books!)

Monday, March 23, 2015

Chi Fi: So Many Costumes

I have returned from Chi Fi, a tiny first year convention up in Chicago.  A friend of mine had an extra ticket, and invited me.  He had a prepaid vendor desk, and I would provide company and sell the small handful of my books I had lying around.

Note to all considering going:  From an organizational standpoint, the convention was a shambles.  Attendance was miniscule.  Entire concerts happened with no audience because there was no schedule posted.

I had a wonderful time, because the very few people there were the nicest, most intelligent, most cool and interesting I've met at any convention, ever.

This is my pictorial of their awesomeness.

SUDDEN DETOUR.  This is a shirt sold by the booth across from us!  I bought one for Dana.

There were no ID badges.  All they had were these wristbands.  I have to say, this was the con's promise, and they DID deliver.  Many fandoms were united, and we were all gloriously one.

The first corset of the convention!  Not the last.  There were SO MANY corsets.  It was wonderful.  This nice lady stopped to chat several times.  In fact, anybody you see photographed in front of our table probably stopped to chat several times.  I left this one uncropped to show you our table.

Something awesome was revealed to me at this convention.  When adults buy my books for tween girls, they buy Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm A Supervillain.  When the girls are unsupervised, they gravitate to Wild Children.  I tried to obtain photographic evidence.

Notice this woman's hair.  I couldn't get her to bend over and let me just photograph the top of her head.  Her hair had cool swirls.  It must have been Hell to arrange that every day of the con, but she did.

EDIT - This lady asked me to include her twitter if I put up her photo.  At least, I'm pretty sure it's this lady.  I had trouble remembering who gave it to me.  Anyway, her handle is @Kcrowemcp, but do note there is NSFW stuff on her feed.

Check it, there's some writer named David Webber who has his own fan military.  They had a booth.

Random elf.  You know how it is.

I guess these guys are patriotic or something?

Another customer!  Or... maybe she's just the kid I flagged down for a random photo.  To be honest, it's completely blurry who I sold what to.

One of many, many, MANY Jedi.  I only photographed one, but they were every freaking where.  There was no point to having a whole stack of Jedi photos.

I love this dress, and I love it front and back.

Cosplay of Elizabeth from Bioshock Infinite.  I was in love.

And then she put her jacket on, and looked even more adorable.

I took a few photos of random well dressed gents.  This is one of them.

My policy is to insist on photographing every teenage girl in a fez that I see.

This girl in the Homestuck costume was AWESOME.  She's standing next to her mother here, but she dragged her mother physically over to my table, whining and begging for her mother to buy her Wild Children.  And then they posed for photos.  This is one of my two favorite memories of the convention, and photographing the lounge singer Hollywood Monroe would have been impractical.

This lady had style.  I needed no other reason to capture her soul with my devil camera.


These young ladies represent Midwest Anime-con.  I was ordered to watch the Puella Magi Madoka Magica movies, and despite my misgivings I shall.  My policy is to do anything a girl with candy in her hair tells me to do.

This is probably a character?  It's a well dressed woman in an eyepatch smoking a cigar.  If that's just how she dresses, that's more than good enough for me.

Is there such a thing as Too Steampunk?  This guy is trying.

Again, no idea who this is.  A woman in a beautiful white dress was sitting in a chair, so I took a photo.

This is Jen.  She cosplayed as Kim Possible at the convention, and we talked for HOURS.  So friendly and sweet!  I know her entire family history, now, how they shop, what she knows about kicking people in the knee, her parental issues, everything.  Man, was she great.

Remember Elizabeth?  I asked her Bird or Cage.  She chose Bird!  Notice the super tasteful way she covers her cleavage in the closeup.

A luchadore succumbs to capitalism.

There was a ball pit.  At one point it was used to dispose of a body, but this is not that moment.  I left this photo extra large for legibility.


In retrospect, Finn and Tank Girl would LOVE each other.

Just, you know, an ordinary Saturday lunch.  I don't know any of these people.  I just thought they looked cute.

THIS.  This wonderful young woman bought Sweet Dreams Are Made of Teeth, my very last copy of the old cover.  Then she came back to buy Quite Contrary because she was loving it.  She praised my genius effusively.  Also, she knows, like, eight types of martial arts and can break parts of you that you didn't know you had.  Once you put the raven on her hat, she became the Perfect Woman.

Some character from Kill la Kill.  Taking this photo, I realized that I've watched the series, kinda liked it, know exactly who she is and what she's wearing and the sword and all, but damned if I know the name of ANYONE (or anything) in the series.

Another super well dressed man.  I took a lot of photos of him, and none turned out.  This was the best I could do.

Another hallway, another pretty dress.  I couldn't even come close to photographing them all.

This girl is probably with the other candy maids, but who knows?

YOU'RE A WIZARD, HARRIET.  Photographed primarily for Dana, who loves Harry Potter.

I'm not 100% sure this photo is ethical, because I'm not 100% sure he ever knew I took it.  I'm at least 95% sure he wouldn't mind, so I'm goin' ahead and posting.

More really fabulous dresses.

At some point in any con they let the succubi in, and it all goes downhill.

Fortunately, a vulcan showed up to kick ass.  She burst into hysterical laughter seconds after I took these photos, but that photo was too blurry to show.

The general consensus was that I had photographed this woman's dress before, but I don't think so.  Maybe her, but not this dress.

Her friends did The Wave while I took photos, and it was so adorable I had to photograph them, too.

I felt thoroughly chastised by this gentleman, and left the gaming floor forthwith.

Gandalf got no respect.  Seriously.  Joke after joke after joke.

I didn't know what was prettier, the girl or the costume.  I keep forgetting who the character is.  Maybe I just love 40s fashion.

Seagulls on the way back.  Because seagulls.

No photo I took in a moving car could capture the vast numbers of windmills on this wind farm, but this photo looks kinda nice.

And that, for the moment, is that!  Back soon with speculations about genre.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

A Book That Wasn't

I have loved seeing people actually discuss my books, and I'm grateful to you all.

Here is a present.  This was going to be my next book, completely unconnected to any previous, about a girl who falls into a magical land - or, more accurately, about her sidekick.

I put it in PDF format.

It didn't work.  It's nice to read, but it's not page-turningly gripping, and the problem is built into the book so tightly I would have to rewrite from the beginning.  I'm putting away the ideas, and they will be part of some new book in the future.

But for now, hey, maybe someone will enjoy a third of a book.

Friday, February 20, 2015

So, Where Next?

First, I want to thank you all.

You might think that the release to the sequel of my first bestseller would be a wonderful moment.  It's actually been a pile of fear and stress.  Every bad review hurt.  The good reviews and the interest from the commenters here has warmed my heart and made it easier to get back on my feet and going again.  The discussions, the questions - you have been a life preserver in a sea of career uncertainty.

So, now that my head is more or less clear, what's happening?

Well, to my great sorrow, A Sidekick's Tale is not going to work.  I identified why it's cute but not gripping, and it's the central premise.  I might post everything I wrote here?  Not sure.  Heartfelt and Anywhere will be back in another book, that I know.

Love, Hate, and the Chocolate Rabbit will be picked back up, and I've felt interested in it, but I'll probably want to wait until I have something more reliably wide audience just to make me feel better!

I've actually written the first chapter of Book Three of the Inscrutable Machine.  I was going to launch into it next.  I had a brief delay while I did research, but that got finished to my satisfaction.  Except...

My publisher has asked me to write a 15000-20000 word novella set in the Inscrutable Machine continuum.  They have some other superhero type titles, and thought an anthology sorta thing would be cool.  So, I'm working on that.  This idea was JUST raised, like, two days ago.  I'm going through ideas and figuring out what I want.  The three current leading ideas are:

The very weird day Bull met Evolution.

She Who Wots' younger sister, and their peculiar home life.

A further exploration of corporate villainous silliness.

What do you think?

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Yay, It's Out!

Volume two of the Inscrutable Machine is out!  Here's the Amazon link until I get back from breakfast and can put one up officially.

Now I sweat bullets about whether people like it.  There's some reviews already, if you can believe it.  The consistent opinion: It's different from the first book.  That's deliberate, since writing the same book five times would be boring for everybody.  The question is, will people like that difference?

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Oh Yeah, The Cover

You people like cover art, right?  Everyone likes cover art.  Here's the cover for volume two of the Inscrutable Machine.

This may be the most pure and perfect example of cover art ever revealed, because everything on the cover is in the book, and everything is drawn completely wrong.  The gate is wrong, that's the wrong moon, those are the wrong kind of tentacles, Conqueror Orbs don't look like that, and the cat... actually, the cat isn't HORRIBLY wrong.  And none of the spaceship interiors look like that.

And he didn't include Remmy, and you don't have a book without Remmy.

Small note on the edits: We removed most of a page from the first book in the magic shop where the kids recap to Lucyfar.  I agreed to cut it precisely because you are losing zippola, so it shouldn't have been in there in the first place.  I know you folks like to know what changes.

Right now and through Christmas there's a 99 cent sale on the first book, in case any of you don't have it yet!