Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Vendors Are People Too: 6 Things NOT To Do Or Say To A Vendor At A Convention

I'm a new author. I'm new at going to conventions as a vendor versus as an attendee.

With two lovely conventions under my belt (MidAmeriCon II/74th WorldCon & San Francisco Comic Con), there are more than a few uncomfortable issues that I experienced as the person behind the booth, and which I feel need to be addressed. Please note that the number of courteous and amazing people I have met far outweigh what I have termed as the C&Cs: Creeps and Critics. 99.9% of the C&Cs who stopped by my booth knew very well what they were doing, and their lack of remorse or shame in their actions when said behavior was pointed out confirmed it. However, there was one person who, upon realizing what they had done, looked genuinely abashed and apologized. To the person who apologized, if you are reading this post, know that I am not trying to shame you. But, I feel that it is important to nonetheless point out this action.

Without further ado, I present to you a list of things not to say or do to a vendor. Ever.



I know that these things are bound to happen again, as such is the nature of C&Cs. But I also know that by keeping silent I would be contributing to these actions continuing. As such, it is my hope that my readers will see this and understand why this post had to be written. That if they see someone being made to feel less, they will go up to them and say what a fellow boothmate at MidAmeriCon II said to me:

 "No one has the right to put you down. No one has the right to make you feel like you don't belong."



These words are magic <3


Till next we meet, 

xoxo








Saturday, September 10, 2016

Writer's Life, The Con Edition: MidAmeriCon II/74th WorldCon & San Francisco Comic Con

Welcome back! Alas, it seems that the months have once more slipped through my hands. However, I am happy to report that I have been busy at work on quite a number of items, two of which I will touch upon in today's post :)

If you follow me on social media (Facebook, IG, Twitter) or happened to have stopped by my book website, you saw I was a vendor at the following cons: MidAmeriCon II/74th WorldCon and the first ever San Francisco Comic Con (SFCC2016).


Each con was a very different beastie, but both provided invaluable learning experiences. At WorldCon, I had the fortune of meeting fellow authors who shared their experience with this newbie author and convention vendor. Their kindness, whether they realized it or not, helped bring a sort of order to the chaos in my heart and thoughts. Other highlights of WorldCon included meeting insanely talented artists, being able to see the Hugo Awards live, and personally thanking the author who gave me the courage to stick to self-publishing. For there definitely was a time when I wondered if I was being foolish in not pursuing traditional publishing. But that story, I feel, is best told in its own blog post.

GRRR
SFF Author Ellie Ann

L to R: A solider of the Ascendancy, SF author John Scalzi, and some random person

Next we have San Francisco Comic Con. I really enjoyed this con. The atmosphere was vibrating with energy and the cosplayers' outfits were spectacular. SFCC was the first comic convention held in San Francisco in quite a number of years. From a vendor perspective, I did quite well. But, what I enjoyed most was being able to chat with the people who stopped by my booth. We talked anime, Universal Studios horror movies, Clive Barker, bookstagram, comics, books...the list goes on.
                     
Kazam Comics


                 
                 




If you signed up for the newsletter, rest assured that I am working toward getting it sent out :) And, if you would like to see more pictures of either con, please head on over to my Facebook page.

Were you at MidAmeriCon II or San Francisco Comic Con? If so, tell me about it.

Till next we meet,

xoxo

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Screening of Kirkman's OUTCAST and Accidentally Sitting in Patrick Fugit's Reserved Seating

Hello from the gray walled rectangle that is my living room!

Last week, I was fortunate enough to attend a special screening of Cinemax's new show Outcast, which is based on the comic by Robert Kirkman (writer, The Walking Dead) and artist Paul Azaceta.

I was overly happy to be attending this screening as I had been itching to see something that was visually gripping and disturbingly told. Let me say, I was not disappointed. Before I continue, I want to disclose that I have NOT read the Outcast comic, so my indoctrination to this series was by the show, though the first issue of the comic was enticingly left upon the movie table. Along with popcorn. Because you can never go wrong with popcorn (Unless it is drenched in butter, then that is a horror movie unto itself!).

Also, I got a beanie!! And since I live in the city of which Mark Twain said, "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco," I will most likely be making good use of said beanie. Plus, it's black. And black is my favorite color <3

Anyways...this review will have SPOILERS!! I suggest you heed David Bowie's words:
I suggest you let the Goblin King have ALL the power over you.

As someone who is originally from Texas, I can attest that its motto of everything being bigger is true. Especially when it comes to cockroaches.  Well, the opening scene of Outcast decides to make use of this illustrious, noble insect and a child (because children are inherently scary. If you don't believe me, just watch Stephen King's The Shining) and literally mash the two together. If that wasn't enough, said child then decides to eat the now head-butted sacrificial insect by licking it off the wall.  A later scene shows the kid eating his own finger, but, really, nothing tops eating a squished cockroach. Before you judge me, try smashing a meaty cockroach yourself and then behold the amount of guts said creature is capable of expelling. Truly terrifying.

Anyone who is familiar with Kirkman's The Walking Dead knows to expect gore porn, and Outcast definitely delivers in that vein. It can even be said that Cinemax's opening scene is almost a caveat saying,"This is what you're getting yourself into. You've been warned. Don't blame us if you piss yourself at night when you see a cockroach." 

As the story unfolds, we are introduced to Kyle, a man who--we learn--has a tortured past. In almost the same scene we are introduced to his adopted sister, Megan, who, despite not being related by blood, takes it upon herself to give two fucks for him, because Kyle and everyone else around him can't seem to. I like Megan. She's chirpy without being annoying. And really, how can you not like someone who is this loyal? 

In episode one, we are also introduced to Reverend Anderson, whom I thought was the most interesting of all the characters. On the surface, there doesn't seem to be anything tortured about him (though I learned an interesting tid-bit in the comic, but this is about the show, not the comic). But, maybe that's why I was drawn to him, because usually when someone appears to be a-okay on the surface, they wind up being the most screwed up character of all. 

So as the show progresses, we learn that Kyle can hurt demons that have possessed people by punching the crap out of them (yes, a child was punched in the making of this film, well, on screen, at least), and that the reason Kyle's life has been so shitty is because the demons have a special interest in him. 

At the end of the show, you are left with the dynamic duo of Reverend Anderson and Kyle-I'm-Gonna-Punch-That-Demon-Out. 

Overall impression: The mystery of why the demons are interested in Kyle and why they seem to be popping up with more frequency is something I definitely want to know. The first episode did a great job in introducing us to what I assume will be the repeating characters (again, I have not read the comic, so I don't know), and subtly laying out the mystery of why I should care about Kyle's plight. 

So, now that I have exorcised (oh, so funny) my two cents about the show, I will move on to my Patrick Fugit story. Long story short, I did not know who Fugit was, so I sat in a seat that had a paper with the word 'Fugit' taped onto it. I didn't think much of this and dismissed it as Alamo Drafthouse speak (hey, they do odd things). Not until later, when some other people tried to take a seat, did I realize exactly what I had done. So, this nice guy, who I will call Victor, had taken a seat in one of the Fugit chairs and when these two dudes tried to sit he informed them that the seats were reserved. Upon hearing this, I felt super embarrassed and turned to him and said that I hadn't realized the seats were reserved and that I would move. Victor, such a gentlemen, said that it was not a problem and that I could stay seated, since he knew for sure that one person had canceled and was not coming. Moving on, at the end of the Outcast screening Patrick Fugit himself came out on stage so he could be interviewed. Toward the end of the interview, he waved "Hi" to Vincent and at that moment I couldn't help but wonder if he thought, "Who the hell is that girl sitting in my reserved seats?" 

If I didn't know who Patrick Fugit was before, I sure as hell know now!

Overall, I had a great time, but unfortunately I was fighting off a creeping migraine, which I have a feeling kept me from connecting with Kyle, who seemed to be fighting off a hell of a migraine as well. 

Have you seen Outcast? What did you think?  



Friday, May 20, 2016

BOOK POST: 'The Deadbringer' Now Available for Pre-order on iBooks and Kindle. Release Date 5/27!

UPDATE 5/27: HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY! THE DEADBRINGER IS NOW AVAILABLE!!  
***** 
Deep breath...

Good news, everyone! My book, The Deadbringer, will be officially released on May 27! In addition, it's now available for pre-order on iBooks and Amazon Kindle

I feel like I'm dreaming. Quick, someone pinch me! Just not too hard or I'll punch you.



Before I go on, I want to say a big THANK YOU to all the bloggers and vloggers who took time to post about their experiences in self-publishing and ebook formatting. You were the light at the end of many long, dark tunnels.

As someone who generally sucks at blogging (how is it already two weeks since my last post!), I am in awe of the generosity of the bloggers and vloggers willing to share their knowledge. Blogging takes time, as does recording, editing, and uploading a video onto Youtube. And yet, the amount of information available is amazing. During my journey as a writer, I could always count on the bloggers and vloggers to help pull me out of the abyss I found myself many times consumed by. 

My sanity thanks you <3

So yeah, the ebook version of The Deadbringer is now available for pre-order on iBooks and Kindle. Currently, I'm in the process of making it available for other e-reader platforms. I'll keep you posted on the progress. Unfortunately, pre-order will not be available for the print version of the book and it will not be available for purchase until May 27. To make up for that, here is the full cover of the print book: UPDATE JUNE 2016: I have removed the full cover due to finding an illegal ebook version of my book. I am sorry for this :(


If you want to learn more about the book, I recommend heading over to the book website. I spent yesterday updating it and putting up a few goodies, such as a map of the world my book is set in and a brief glossary of the characters, races, and factions. After looking around on the book website, I hope your curiosity will be peaked and that you will consider getting a copy.

As of today, there are only 7 more days left till The Deadbringer is officially released. Now if only there was a way to have my book delivered by Planet Express *__*


See you soon,

XOXO




Tuesday, May 3, 2016

After A Long Hiatus, Tomes & Coffee Is Back! Also, Book News Update!!

First things first:  I'm sorry. I started this blog as a way to document and share my journey as an aspiring writer and then just...disappeared. If you follow me on Instagram, then you know what I've been doing with my time and how I have been plugging away at my book. Still, I should have at least put something up on my blog but, nothing.

I would like to say this will never happen again, but life has a way of pushing and prodding at you until you have no choice but to dedicate 100% of your attention to it.


Still, I am going to do my best not to disappear :) Now, on to the update!

The biggest bit of news that I have to report is that my book is done, and if all goes smoothly (which it never does), will be released late May 2016! Yup, just a few weeks away. Needless to say, at the moment, everything is chaos. But a journey isn't much fun without a bit of adventure, so bring it on.

The name of my book is The Deadbringer and it is the first book in the Ellderet Series. It's a fantasy novel with elements of horror (boo!), so dark fantasy. For more information over the book, including what it's about, head on over to the About My Book section of this blog or check out the book website, which I am still working on. 

I'm on the last leg of my journey as an aspiring writer and soon, very soon, will begin a new journey as a full-fledged writer. A lot of falling down and picking myself up happened during the time I was away. Thankfully, I'm surrounded by some pretty amazing people and inherited my mother's stubbornness, much to my editor's dismay (I foresee a comic about this). 

It is with great joy that my first blog back is a positive one. But, really, life is what you make of it, and I choose to always move forward.

I hope you will join me on my journey.

See you soon. 

XOXO





Monday, July 20, 2015

Shipping Fictional Characters: When A Ship Is Not A Ship



Usually, I'm the person who is behind in all the latest expressions.  For example, a few months ago, a friend of mine visited from out-of-town and used the phrase "throwing shade".  My husband immediately jumped on board and they started bantering back and forth, while I sat there clueless.  I had no idea what they had meant.  

Just yesterday, this very same friend referred to herself and me as goobers, and, again, I had no idea what she meant!  

Well, a few weeks ago, I finally knew a word that my husband did not.  Fyi, I have an Instagram account where I post an insane number of book pictures.  There is an entire book community on Instagram that lives and breathes books.  Many of these book accounts are down right artistic <3  Anyways, one of the many book events that occurs on Instagram are called "book challenges".  In short, each day is a different book and theme.  
Some of my book pictures.

Day 4 of the #winterbookchallenge called for "favorite ship".  When I mentioned this to my husband--who, by the way, is also an avid book lover--he thought I meant watercraft.  At first, I thought he was just having a go at me, because he always seems to know every meme, phrase, trend, you name it.  When I corrected him and told him what 'ship' meant in this situation, he laughed and admitted that he had never heard of that phrase.

It was a fun conversation.  :)




     

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Adventure in Lassen Volcanic National Park: Lassen Peak Trail


Happy 4th of July!

A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I traveled to Lassen Volcanic National Park with the intention of hiking Lassen Peak Trail (10,457 feet above sea level) as a way to test if I could handle higher elevations.  Prior to Lassen, the highest trail I had climbed was Half Dome in Yosemite National Park, which is 8,844 feet above sea level.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

My Bookstore Dilemma


I have a wish-list of books that I want to add to my collection.  If you were to ask me at this moment what three books I want, I could easily name them.  But, whenever I walk into a bookstore, that wish-list goes out the window, and I find myself struggling to remember even one.  And it is very annoying when you discover that the only book that you can remember is not available.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Why You Should Let Your Novel Rest



Letting your novel rest sounds easy, doesn't it?  But for me, it has been an exercise in self-restraint, especially because I long to see my book published.  Letting my novel rest is only going to push back that goal.  This being said, it's been over one month since I stepped away from my story and sent it out to beta readers.

At first, I was elated because I had finally--after three years of writing, rewriting, editing, and getting feedback for the first dozen chapters--reached the point where I felt that my novel was "complete" and ready to move on to the next phase.  The instant I hit the "send" button on that email to my beta readers, I felt, for the first time, truly accomplished.  It was an amazing feeling and I recommend every writer celebrate that moment, because the thrill of excitement at having finished my first novel (a meaty 115K words) is something I will never forget.

The Breakdown

Two Weeks In:  

Avoiding my novel for the first two weeks was easy peasy, because I could now turn my attention to other projects without feeling like I was taking time away from writing.

Third Week:

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

How Do You Prepare Your Coffee?




This comic is an actual conversation between my husband and I.  Apparently, when I drink too much coffee, I have a tendency to bounce around the apartment!  My husband is a huge coffee drinker as well, but, unlike me, he has gotten to the point where he sometimes needs a cup of coffee to fall asleep.  I aim to never reach this level.  Sorry hub.