Category Archives: The Arcana Chronicles

The Word Count Episode 17: Submissions now OPEN!

FastThe Word Count Episode 17: SUBMISSIONS are now OPEN!

There was a clear winner for the next Podcast theme as chosen by readers of my blog.  With 35.7% of the vote, here is your prompt:

“It happened so quickly I had no time to think, only react…”

The guidelines, due date, and details for submissions are all below.  We have a short window for submissions this time so get cracking my writerly friends!

The Word Count Episode Seventeen Submission Guidelines (PLEASE READ CAREFULLY)

PROMPT: It happened so quickly I had no time to think, only react…


DEADLINE: I must receive your submission by MIDNIGHT (Eastern Time) Friday 26th August 2011


The work must be an original of yours. It could be a poem, short story, song—anything really as long as you write something based on the stated theme (It happened so quickly I had no time to think, only react…).  Do NOT exceed ten minutes.  As this is a podcast, I need to receive a file of YOU reading (singing or otherwise performing) your work. MP3 FORMAT, please attach your MP3 file to an e-mail. The e-mail should also contain the following:

  • Your pen name
  • Your bio
  • Links to your websites
  • Your Twitter name (if you have one)
  • A photo I can use for the show notes
  • Permission to use your recording in the podcast
  • At the end of the recording, please add the following: “The is <YOUR NAME> author of <YOUR WORK(s)> and you’re listing to The Word Count Podcast”

Send your file to by Friday the 26th of August. You can also e-mail me with questions before hand. I do reserve the right NOT to post your submission, but will communicate that to you should it be the case. I add the ‘Explicit’ tag to the ‘cast, so if your story uses adult themes or language that’s ok—but it should be necessary for the story.


You decide the next prompt!

question-markThe Poll for the next Word Count Podcast is up and to the left!

Vote on what you’d like to see, write and record for the next show. I’m only going to keep the poll active until Monday morning 22 August so make sure you have your say!

The potential prompts are:

The star cruiser came out of hyperspace when suddenly…

It happened so quickly I had no time to think, only react…

It was not the birthday gift I was expecting…

The fire spread rapidly…

The knife was covered in blood…


Let your voices be heard!

<– Make your selection over here



What an honor!


I’m excited to let you all know that my blog (yes, the thing you’re reading right this second) has been nominated for a “Most Valuable Blog of Boston” award!

When I started this site a couple of years ago, it was initially setup as a cheap therapy session during my quest to publish my first novel. Since then it’s grown to include commentary on the writing industry, sharing the wonderful words of fellow writers via this site and The Word Count podcast, and so much more.

I want to thank whomever nominated me as well as all the readers who lurk on my page.  This has been fun so far and I look forward to many more years to come.

If you’d like to vote for me, here is the link:

You can vote once each day until September 9th, 2011.

Vote often! 🙂



Why I went Indie – Part II

indieWhy I went Indie is a rather interesting tale. In the first part of this essay, I discussed Technology (Part I can be found HERE). Technology and the rapidly changing world of publishing and product (in this case my book The Prodigal’s Foole) delivery is just one reason.

In this section, I’ll discuss both the self-publishing industry and the social media impact on being a writer in the modern era. Both subjects seem diverse on the surface, but you’ll shortly see they dovetail together nicely.

Self Publishing has been around for a long time as an option for a writer to get their wares out to the reading public. There’s stories about authors traveling around with copies of their books in the trunks of their cars—Tom Clancy is one (it wasn’t until Ronald Reagan got a copy of Hunt for Red October and mentioned it to a reporter that Clancy’s books took off). Milton was the first to defend “self-publisher” rights (Areopagitica 1644). Some other famous self-published authors (and this is by no means an all-inclusive list):

William Blake, Virginia Woolf, Walt Whitman, James Joyce, Mark Twain, Benjamin Franklin, Zane Gray, Rudyard Kipling, D. H. Lawrence, Thomas Paine, Edgar Allan Poe…

Well, you get the idea. Self-publishing is NOT a new concept.

What is new are the multitude of options available to self-publish. Starting with the desktop publishing software available to the PC market (1985 is considered a pinnacle year with the introduction of MacPublisher and Pagemaker) and now with online Print on Demand services such as CreateSpace from Amazon or LuLu (there are dozens of others) there are even easier ways to “get your book out there.”

In fact, there are so many authors now that are bypassing the large and small imprints and going straight to POD, that the POD companies are beginning to have problems of their own. I won’t dwell on that here, but Tracy L. Darity wrote a great blog post recently about the “POD Bubble” which can be found HERE.

Self-publishing does have a series of downsides—one is that a large percentage of the work self-published isn’t very good. From story problems through to grammatical errors, many, many of these books are just awful. If you do end up going this route yourself, get and editor. Get beta readers. Make sure what you put your name on is a quality product.

The other issue is marketing. See? I told you we’d get to social media.

Let’s start with Twitter. I joined this micro-blogging site nearly three years ago. My first tweet was: “This seems like a waste of time.”

Three years on, 4000+ tweets and 2000 followers later, I’ve proven that first impression very wrong. I’ve “met” fellow writers, editors and publishers via Twitter. All (sans one) of my beta readers were found on Twitter. I found my own Indie publisher, Pfoxchase (and the lovely creative director Diane Nelson) via this medium. I recently met a dozen or so writers I’ve interacted with online at ReaderCON. It’s all about the networking. Because if you are going to self-publish or go with with a small press, a lot of the marketing for your work is going to be done by you online.

Facebook is another tool for your marketing toolkit. I have a writer’s page (You can “like” it and follow me via Facebook…there’s a button to the left of this article) and a page of my book series.

LinkedIn is yet another professional tool which I wrote about in detail in a guest blog post on Kait Nolan’s site found HERE.

There are plenty of author sites too. Authonomy is a site where you can get peer feedback on a work in progress. Goodreads is another site I use frequently.

Hell, I’m even on Google+ now.

My point is, you need to let people know you’re out there. All these tools and many others will help you. But be warned, just like the “Nigerian Diplomant who want to give me five million dollars,” there are scammers out there as well. Do your research and be smart about who you “friend” and who you interact with.

One of the reasons I went Indie isn’t because I couldn’t self-publish. It’s because I chose to partner with a group of writers who not only offer support and feedback, but help with the whole marketing aspect as well. It’s not like the big presses who have entire marketing departments to help with brochures, radio spots and have massive advertising budgets.

But there is a personal touch that you can’t get with a large corporation.

We’ll discuss Indie Presses in detail in Part III, coming soon.




Why I went Indie – Part I

book_and_ebookAdmittedly, I’m biased.

See, I’ve signed on with an Indie Publisher (PfoxChase). With Spirits of All Hallows Eve in final edits (before the Creative Director at Pfoxchase rips it to shreds ?) prior to an August release, and The Prodigal’s Foole about to go through final stages before it’s publication on Halloween 2011, I’ve got nothing but love for the Indie world.

My recent attendance at ReaderCON 22 this year did nothing but solidify my decision to go this route to get my writing out there for the world to see.

I think the why I’m going this route is an important discussion to have though, as well as some of the things to look out for.

This essay will be broken into three parts.  First I’ll chat a bit about the technology of today and how that impacts the “bricks and mortar” businesses of the traditional publishing houses.  Second, I’ll touch on self-publishing and modern tools such as CreateSpace do “do the deed” through to social media and marketing.  Lastly, the Indie presses.  Why finding one that fits what you want to accomplish is critical, what was important to me in an Indie, and things to avoid.


I’m a technology consultant—been in the IT business for nearly 30 years at this point.  This is important, because the entire publishing industry has been turned on its ear in the last few years and technology is one of the main reasons.

Not just because of the e-readers out there (which I’ll discuss in a moment).

Amazon and other large warehouse-type operations first changed how logistics is handled.  Bulk purchasing, distribution, ease of ordering and high services ratings along with low overhead created the first strain on the industry.  Margins were slashed.  An all out price war ensued.  This is the plus side to capitalism, and consumer costs come down.  It really is Economics 101.

The traditional publishing houses were, of course, watching.  But from their perspective, although financial models changed, it was business as usual with regard to talent acquisition.

Like the music industry when the iPod and MP3 players were released (and believe me the introduction of cloud-based services hasn’t made the financial models easier), introduction of the kindle, nook, and to some degree the iPad has allowed easier access to the written word digitally.  Now don’t get me wrong.  I LOVE the feel and smell of a book.  But with online book services such as Amazon and digital content companies such as Smashwords, the old bricks and mortar bookstores are in trouble (Borders is done, and B&N is not far behind).

And when I’m traveling, there is nothing like a library of 400 books on my Kindle to bring the weight of my bag down considerably.

What’s been fun to watch is how the industry itself is reacting to the technology.  Because they still have no real idea what to do with it.  Oh, there are many different formatting standards for digital books (ePub, MOBI, even PDF) but utilizing the technology is something no one has fully realized yet.

Let’s step back in time for a moment to see how we got here.

Writing on stone tablets became scrolls…the codex of ancient times, if you will.  But they were linear in progression, which was difficult to stop an start.  For example, let’s say you read a scroll 80% of the way through, then were called away to , say, build a pyramid or something.  When you returned, you’d have to find your place by unfurling 80% of the scroll again.

The Chinese were quite clever about their scrolls.  They included a progressive set of pages that could be unfurled leaving the reader with a slightly better way to access randomly where you were in a particular tome.

The book as it is today is a natural extension of this ancient technology.  It’s compact, broken into pages, perhaps has a Table of Contents and/or an index.  A much improved paper version of the scroll.  Believe it or not, your standard length novel of today developed for economic reasons—it was the most cost effective size to produce.

Now we have this digital medium for books.  We are currently in a transition phase to this new medium.  The economics are virtually the same for a short story and a massive tome, so what will be the driving force in the future?

My guess is that it will be time.  Time to produce work at get it out there for you and I to read.  I think you will slowly see the decline of the 100,000-word novel in favor of shorter works that hit the street faster to keep an author current.  These singles will act as standalone stories, or be published every few weeks/months in a serialized format.  It will all be about speed.

Along with this change will be the ‘smart book,’ an interactive literary experience that will not only tell a tale, but also include links and multimedia components to enhance the experience.  Maybe there will be an interactive map that will allow you to follow along with the main character’s travels and adventures.  Video of locations might be included or a song that a character sings might be imbedded.  For non-fiction digital books, the foot and endnotes might become hyperlinks for reference.

Not only will a writer need a good editor, but eventually a multimedia technologist might be needed.

But for now, for right now, the industry is unsure of the next steps.  Which is why the big publishing houses are watching the Indie publishers so carefully.  Indie’s can move and change business models much easier than a big conglomerate can.  And eventually someone is going to crack the technology model for this new digital book age.

Part II soon.


The Word Count Episode16 Submissions NOW OPEN!

inbedWell, the voting was close, but we have the next prompt for The Word Count!

“Your character suspects his/her husband is having an affair and decides to spy on him. What she/he discovers is not what he/she was expecting…”

The guidelines, due date, and details for submissions are below:

The Word Count Episode Fifteen Submission Guidelines (PLEASE READ CAREFULLY)

PROMPT: Your character suspects his/her husband is having an affair and decides to spy on him. What she/he discovers is not what he/she was expecting…


DEADLINE: I must receive your submission by MIDNIGHT (Eastern Time) 5th August 2011

THE DETAILS: The work must be an original of yours. It could be a poem, short story, song—anything really as long as you write something based on the stated theme Your character suspects his/her husband is having an affair and decides to spy on him. What she/he discovers is not what he/she was expecting…).

Do NOT exceed ten minutes

As this is a podcast, I need to receive a file of YOU reading (singing or otherwise performing) your work. MP3 FORMAT, please attach your MP3 file to an e-mail. The e-mail should also contain the following:

  • Your pen name
  • Your bio
  • Links to your websites
  • Your Twitter name (if you have one)
  • A photo I can use for the show notes
  • Permission to use your recording in the podcast
  • At the end of the recording, please add the following: “The is <YOUR NAME> author of <YOUR WORK(s)> and you’re listing to The Word Count Podcast”

Send your file to by Friday the 5th of August. You can also e-mail me with questions before hand. I do reserve the right NOT to post your submission, but will communicate that to you should it be the case. I add the ‘Explicit’ tag to the ‘cast, so if your story uses adult themes or language that’s ok—but it should be necessary for the story.


The Word Count Episode 16 Prompt: YOU Decide!

It’s time to vote on the next prompt for The Word Count podcast!

Off to the left, you’ll see the five choices…you know the drill.  Vote on your favorite, tweet about the voting and get as many folks as you can to help select the theme for the next podcast.

Voting will remain open until WEDNESDAY 27 JULY

Please pass this around all your social media outlets…






The potential prompts:

  • In a Chinese Restaurant, you open a fortune cookie that says “Your life is in danger…tell no one…”
  • Your character suspects his/her husband is having an affair and decides to spy on him. What she/he discovers is not what he/she was expecting…
  • Your boss at work is blackmailing you…
  • While camping, you hear a scream in the woods late one night…
  • You pick up a hitch-hiker one night…

You may now return to your regularly scheduled internet-related activities.



ReaderCON 22 – Blog


ReaderCON Semi-streming, sorta Blog:


IMG_1332DAY THREE WRAP-UP -After the Kaffeeklatsches, Leah and I decided to have a bit of lunch and decompress.  It’s been a long, wonderful three days.  We met up with Glenn Skinner, Jennifer Gracen and Anne-Mhairi Simpson at the pub to say our good-byes.  Snapped a few last shots with Yves Meynard and Peter Dubé, then took Leah and Anne-Mhairi to Logan airport.  It feels a bit like the last day of a vacation– good to be home, but missing friends and the camaraderie that is ReaderCON.  But as I put away books I’ve bought and the notes/program for this year, I can’t help but let slip a small smile.  ReaderCON 23 is less than a year away…

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1:30 PM 17July11 -Leah and I just finished our Kaffeeklatsches with James Morrow and Scott Edelman.  Meeting with Jim is becoming a very pleasant ReaderCON tradition. The addition of Scott Edelman made this years little ‘coffee discussion’ highly enjoyable.  A chat about Darwin and the Galapagos Islands (Which Edelman had visited), the  ‘Social Darwinism’ and a quick peek of upcoming works from both authors.  Jim’s wife Kathy was on hand as well and it’s always a treat to see them.

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12:06 PM 17July11 -The 2010 Shirley Jackson Awards were handed out on this last day.  Shirley Jackson was of course the author of such classics as The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle, as well as one of the most famous short stories in the English language, The Lottery. The awards are given every year for outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic.  The Winners for 2010 are:

SHORT STORY – The Things by Peter Watts

SINGLE AUTHOR COLLECTION – Occultation by Laird Barron

ANTHOLOGY – Stories: All-New Tales edited by Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio

NOVELLA – Mysterium Tremendum by Laird Barron

NOVELETTE – The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains by Neil Gaiman

NOVEL – Mr. Shivers by Robert Jackson


  DON’T look at me.  That’s Neil over my left shoulder!

10:50 AM 17July11 -Meet up with fellow #Pubwrite friends in the lobby.  Steve Umstead gifts both Leah and I with signed copies of Gabriel’s Redemption–something I’ve been meaning to add to the queue for a while– a very special present indeed.  While chatting before the next panel, I notice a crowd growing off to my right.  I see a slender man, dressed in black, wearing the smile of the newly wed in the center of the expanding throng.  Neil Gaiman and his entourage had arrived.

10:41 AM 17July11 -The Young Adult (YA) panel– Do I Want to Grow Up? addressed the genre, it’s development, and changes in scope for various tropes post WW I.  And interesting debate on the differences between YA for Boys, vs. YA for girls, and how society imposes their gender-specific ideals on young protagonists of either sex.

9:45 AM 17July11 -Arrived back at the Burlington after a long day two.  Leah and I immediately grab coffee from the lobby Starbucks and head into Salon F for our first panel. 

6:27 AM 17July11 -Up, coffee on and getting ready for Day Three…

*  *  *  *

DAY TWO WRAP-UP – A twelve hour day behind us, Leah and I headed back to “Stately Lampropoulos Manor” and crashed around midnight.  One of the best days ever for a ReaderCON…I haven’t learned so much and laughed so hard in a single day like this for a long time.  The last day of the convention approaches…


11:39 PM 16July11 – Been looking forward to the last event of Saturday evening since last year’s CON. The 25th Annual Kirk Poland Memorial Bad Prose Competition.  I’m still hoarse from laughing so hard at this one.  In a nutshell, five panelists participate with a ‘Rocky Horror-esque’ audience response.  A bad (REALLY REALLY bad –“Sank bonelessly and was dead” bad) piece of prose is read to a certain stopping point. Then each panelist reads a continuation of the snippet, but only one of the snippets is the ‘real’ one.  Craig Shaw Gardner and Eric M. Van have been running this competition for twenty five years.  They were joined on the panel by Mary Robinette Kowel, Mike Allen and last year’s winner, Yves Meynard. From Pirate tanker-truck drivers to Himalayan Sea Salt and “hands the size of a nubile woman,” the passages were funny in the extreme. I mentioned that there was audience participation, I’d also like to mention that the audience wins points, just like the panelists do–and for the first time in 25 years, the audience WON.  Remember that for next year as you drink your Solé (so-LAY)–but be careful.  If you taste Himalayan Salt for more than four hours, seek medical attention.

7:30 PM 16July11 – Spent time in the dealer’s room and had dinner and drinks with a few of the #PUBWRITE alumni all in preparation for the evenings premiere event.

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4:34 PM 16July11 – Adding two panels here at one time as they flow very nicely into one another.  The 2 PM session, Location as Character discussed the techniques and reasons behind using a fictional locale to paint a broader picture of worlds created by various authors (Innsmouth from Lovecraftian lore and Elizabeth Hand’s Kamensic were just two examples).  The 3PM Panel, Cities, Real and Imaginary expanded on this idea and discussed the detail required and urban development of ‘real’ cities used to create fictional tales.

2:10 PM 16July11Urban (Fantasy) Renewal was a discussion of the genre from Charles Williams (a contemporary of Tolkien’s) through to the more more modern interpretations by the likes of Hamilton and Butcher.  This was a panel I used more to confirm that my book series, The Arcana Chronicles, and more importantly book one due out this October (The Prodigal’s Foole) fit into this category.  Although, as the panel admitted, the definition of ‘Urban Fantasy’ is still fluid, I think I’m on the right track.

IMG_13121:02 PM 16July11 -Geoff Ryman, one of the living guests of honor for this year’s ReaderCON, is one of the funniest presenters I’ve seen at the convention to date.  His session, Mark Twain “Interviewed” had me in fits of laughter.  In full costume(s), Mr. Ryman performed as various characters from Twain’s more speculative works.  Each character (from Satan in The Devil’s Racetrack to a knight from A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court and Adam from The Diaries of Adam and Eve) gave us insight into Twain’s persona.  

IMG_131112:04 PM 16July11 – Holy crap….this last session was an hour long information sharing and future speculation on Book Design Typography in the Digital Era.  I’m still processing this one as it could have a huge impact on future publications.  I brief history of the development of the codex we know as a ‘book’ from different cultures given by Ken Liu, a discussion of desktop publishing’s early beginnings, and some future musings by all on how eBooks will look (and sound) in the very near future.  Loads of notes on this one, but the GOOD news is that Diane Nelson, my publisher, is on the right track.  This session deserves it’s own blog post somewhere down the road, so look for that in the future.


IMG_130910:58 AM 16July11 – This years posthumous guest author is (was?) Mark Twain.  The first session, The (Speculative) Fiction of Mark Twain was a discussion of some of the late authors more fantastical stories such as A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (Time Travel), The Devil’s Racetrack (Horror) and a few mythical stories such as The Mysterious Stranger and Letters from Earth.  And argument was made that, if Mark Twain had finished/published more of these works, he, and not H.G. Wells might have been considered the father of Science Fiction.  An interesting notion I’ll shelve for further exploration on my own.

IMG_13209:52 AM 16July11 -Leah and I arrive back at the Burlington, grab some more coffee and head to our 10 AM Panel.  One thing I left out from Friday’s session as that I’d run into a couple of authors I’d known from last year, and it’s always nice to be remembered by folks who deal with thousands of fans every year.  Yves Meynard, Peter Dubé, Scott Edelman and of course James Morrow were all as charming and warm as I’d remembered.

8:09 AM 16July11 (Start of Day Two)- Been up since 4:30 typing up notes, managing an annoying cat with my partner and general ‘puttering.’  Leah and I will be off to the Burlington Marriott in about an hour.





*  *  *  *

DAY ONE WRAP-UP – Leah and I went back to the house in time for a nice late dinner with my partner at Sophia’s Grotto in downtown Roslindale.  Exhausted, everyone was asleep by 10 PM.  A long day for Day Two ahead…we are anticipating staying at the conference for 12+ hours.  Ran into Yves Maynard and James Morrow along with the very funny Peter Dubé.  It’s nice to see famous genre writers who remembered me from last year.  On to Day TWO!!

7:45 PM 15July11 -Spent two hours in the best panel of my ReaderCON experience to date.  A full audience participation session called Vocal Performance for Writers ran us through vocal and breathing warm-up exercises, voice characterization techniques, public reading ‘dos and don’ts,’ podcasting, radio broadcasting and more than I can type here.  A discussion of audiobooks for writers and how to work through and record…fantastic, but exhausting!

3:45 PM 15July11 -Had drinks with a few of the tweeps Leah and I have met and been friends with for the last few months.  Steve Umstead (@steveumstead), Al Boudreau (@threecifer) with his lovely partner, Glenn Skinner (@keyaquests), Karen DeLabar (@karendelabar), Karen Smith (@kvictoriasmith) and of course Leah Petersen (@leahpetersen).  Great time and great to meet everyone.  Steve and Karen D were freakin’ hysterical and Al was as charming as I’d come to expect.

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2:11 PM 15July11 -A very interesting panel called Complicating Colonial Encounters included discussions of Tarzan and Robinson Crusoe era writings and their take on colonialism.  H.G. Wells warning on the subject via War of the Worlds was discussed.  Both Singh and Menon of Indian heritage discussed the influence of the 200 year English colonization of India, the impact not only on both cultures, but personal family stories.

1:04 PM 15July11 –Retelling Russian Folk Tales–thought this might end up a bomb as only two of the scheduled panelists were on hand.  But after a brief intro and a few reviews of Russian folklore, Ms. Surette engaged the audience, and a roundtable discussion of the meaning and evolution of Russian storytelling began.  Style, tone and over all political influences (Czarist Russian stories, verses Soviet era and the more modern (current) take on storytelling).  What could have been a disastrous panel turned into an exciting audience participation session.

11:45 AM 15July11 -First panel wasn’t what I was expecting.  Titled The Illustrated Novel, I was hoping to hear a discussion on the pros and cons of adding illustrations to books (a la the chapter drawings done by Mary GrandPre for J. K. Rowling’s Potter series). The panel was interesting enough…discussions of various artists and even a brief discussion of the ‘Graphic Novel’s’ rise to importance in the 1980’s.  Nipped out a little early and grabbed a bit of lunch.

IMG_129510:00 AM 15July11 -Check in and registration complete, Leah and I are getting the lay of the land.  Checking out the various panel venues and poked our heads into the book dealer room (won’t be open until 3 PM).  Was told by one of the dealers “Come back at three. It’ll look the same, just with more books.”  Ah.  Writer-snark.  I must be at ReaderCON. 🙂  Also put out the Pfoxmoor postcards and business card for Diane Nelson on the ‘freebie’ table.  Will check back day two to see what’s been taken!



5:45 AM 15July11 -Up early this morning, coffee in hand and a bit of writing before we head out to ReaderCON. I’ll be keeping a bit of a log for each day of the conference so check back often throughout the weekend!

photoPicked up one of my favorite authors and dear friend Leah Petersen at Logan Airport yesterday. It was wasn’t until I was half way to the airport that it actually hit me– I was having someone I’d only “known” online for a year or so staying at my house…what would happen if we hated each other in real life?

Fortunately, it turned out we got on as well…better even…than we did online.

My partner Tina, Leah and I chatted, laughed and enjoyed each other’s company (along with a few beers) last evening. It was a great night.

As I type this, Tina’s getting ready for work, Leah’s sleeping and I’m writing and pulling together the marketing materials I’m bringing with us to ReaderCON.

Meeting more folks today that I’ve only met online. If it goes as well as last night, this should be a fantastic conference.

I might even attend a few panels!

More later.



Here comes ReaderCON 22





Coming up this week is the only conference I’m able to attend this year – ReaderCON.

It’s my favorite of all the conferences—not just because it’s local to me in Boston, but also because– despite the large attendance– it has an intimate feel to it. Both the famous and unknown in the writing world (and of course I fall into the latter category—for the moment. 😉 ) get to mingle, listen to a myriad of panels dedicated to the craft of storytelling/writing and enjoy each other’s company.

It’s intense, exciting and unbelievably educational.

Last year, I attended for the first time. The only person at the conference I’d met prior to attending the conference was James Morrow—the award winning Science Fiction author.

Along with time spent with Jim, I made a lot of friends last year. I hope to reconnect to those folks when I get to the Burlington Marriott.

But this year will be different for two reasons.

One, because I know people who are going. People I met last year as well as friends I’ve made in the writing world since I attended last years’ con.

And two, because I’m no longer a ‘wannabe’ but a ‘soon to be published’ author.

Three days in the company of fellow writers. Been looking forward to this all year.