Updates July 2013

Geez! Life has been anything but simple recently. I’ve had tons of engagements and then (of course) life gets in the way. No excuses! Let’s get on with the recap!

Recent Events:

  • BayCon, May 2013: BayCon was fun, but oh so exhausting. I got kind of long winded on this one… so see the complete write up at the bottom of this post. *** For those of you (new and old friends) I saw at BayCon, it was a fun time and I wish I could see you more than once a year!
  • San Mateo County Fair, June 2013 It’s always great to go to the SM fair every summer. Laurel Anne Hill is so involved with them and puts a lot of work into getting this all set up. I met a lot of new people along with getting to see my old buddies, J. Malcolm Stewart, Ezra Barany, Sumiko Saulson, Valerie Frankel, and of course the woman herself – Laurel Anne Hill. A person to watch out for is Tina Gibson. She is competing in our Wicked Women Writers competition this year, and from her poetry book I read, these gals have got some competition on their hands! Some of the fans came out and I loved chatting with them about Artistic License!
  • Westercon, July 2013 I was only at Westercon one day, but had fun seeing a few old friends and meeting some new ones. I shared a panel with Michael Todd Gallowgas  and another with Marty Halpern – both of which I’ve met before, but great being on panels with them. Also got to catch up with fellow HorrorAddict.net blogger, Steven Rose, Jr. and aspiring writer and cake maker extraordinaire, Effie Seiberg. Gallowgas has a new project going on that you should check out at: http://www.genreunderground.com. If you are a writer or aspiring writer and haven’t attended a panel with Marty Halpern, you must. He is a great wealth of knowledge and a terrific grammar coach! If you are too far away and want to check out his blog, go to: More Red Ink.

And now on to big Sweet Dreams news!

  • Undecided – After battling major computer issues , Undecided is now fully recorded! I need 2 more voices from voice actors, and a cover, but the music is set. For the 4th novel in the Sweet Dreams series, I am using a theme song sent in from one of the regular listeners. Marinda Wijnen is from Holland and wrote to me over a year ago, talking about Sweet Dreams and offering her beautiful song for the next book. Now, you Sweet Dreamers will get to hear “Single Girls” on every episode of Undecided coming up. Some of you might wonder where Brad Wait is in this book. Don’t worry, he hasn’t got rid of me that easy! I will also be featuring his song “Without You” during the book as a new song from Never Open. Brad’s music will continue to pepper the audio of Sweet Dreams, so don’t worry that you won’t hear him in the future. To find out more about both musicians, subscribe to the www.SweetDreamsNovel.com site for updates.
  • Star Struck – For those of you more interested in the print versions of these books, never fear! I am inputting the final edits for Star Struck now and then it will be off to the editor! Cross your fingers for a 2013 publication date! After Star Struck, will of course be True Love!
  •  Anime Girl, A Sweet Dreams Novelette, is coming to Kindle soon. Waiting on cover and final draft. So excited to get this one out to you guys! It takes place in the same world as Sweet Dreams, but does not have any of the current characters involved. The main character is a manga author and artist named Abby. Her new PR man is Chase, who just happens to work for Malloy Inc. I just saw the prelim on the cover and I have to say, it surpasses my expectations! I’ll be releasing info on the cover artist and when this nifty little eBook will be out, very soon!

And now on to the rest… NEW AND AVAILABLE NOW

  • √  Horrific History – COMPLETE! Book by Hazardous Press Featuring my story “Prettiest Things”.
  • √  Dusk’s Warriors podnovel is COMPLETE – FINALLY!!
  • √  HorrorAddicts.net Season 8 is alive and kickin’!
  • √  Horrible Disasters – COMPLETE! Featuring my 1906 San Francisco Earthquake story, “Hammersmith House”. All profit goes to help disaster relief.
  • √  Rich & Roulo: Volume 1, DESIRE – COMPLETE! Kindle eBook short story collection with me and H. E. Roulo. This is a new series we’ve kept top secret till now. We will be rolling more of these out. I’m excited about this project. Hope you are too.
  • √  Artistic License – COMPLETE! Podnovel version coming soon!

COMING SOON 

  • √ Monkey phobia short story, “The Monkey Queen” SOLD to Hidden Thoughts Press! Publication news to follow.
  • √ Rich & Roulo: Volume 2: We’re working on this now. 

SHOPPING (love this term. makes it seem fun!)

  • √ “Haunted Item” short story is awesome — submitted to 3rd new market, waiting.
  • √ Gorey flash fiction piece. COMPLETE! Stayed to 500 words only. I remembered where I am going to submit, but have not sent it yet. There is something it needs. Tweaking, then I will resubmit.
  • √ 999 word story about Halloween/Soul Taking. Submitted to a flash contest, pending.
  • √ Nonfiction piece about my autistic son. Submitted, pending.
  • √  Wrote a 100 word story for HorrorAddicts.net’s I should do something with this. Yep. I still need to do something with this.

Thank you all for your emails and kind, encouraging words. Check out the word counts on the left, because I’ve been working!!!
Happy reading and listening!

~Emz
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

***Continued from above.

BayCon, May 2013: BayCon was fun, but oh so exhausting. The HorrorAddicts.net crew and I did the decor and a new horror track that I think was only tolerated because of 2013 and the spooky theme. We spent hours upon hours and dollars upon dollars on this decor. It seemed worth it, but I will not be taking on anything of the sort in the near future. There were pros and cons to this whole event. It was awesome to get some notice in the program and to get the attendees to actually know who we are. I thoroughly enjoyed alot of the panels I was on. I was excited to see the attendees geek out on horror with me. So now here are all the gorey details – good and bad – about the experience.

  • Working with Con Staff/What you should know before volunteering: If you are thinking about being con staff, I say, go for it. It would be a very fun and inviting thing to do, if I didn’t have my own writing career and HorrorAddicts.net stuff going on. As it turned out, it was way too much to put on my plate. When I was approached about being on staff, I was a little leery, but this was back in October 2012… I figured, we’d get all the info we needed to complete the decor in a timely manner and well before the HorrorAddicts.net hiatus was over.
    +Wrong. One thing about HorrorAddicts.net vs. con staff is… we can do all of our prep and make decisions in a timely manner so that we are (hopefully) not rushing to complete projects. Waiting for someone else to make decisions – or get back to you on a certain topic is much different. We waited and waited, and finally only got answers when we met with the hotel liaison (I kid you not) one month before Con. To be fair, this confusion was not entirely BayCon’s fault. I had never done this position before. I did not know I could go directly to the hotel to get my answers and instead waited for answers that no one else knew and were never answered.
    +However, there was not a job description or tasks outlined as far as what was expected of us and it was not explained that we could go to the hotel to figure them out. There seriously needs to be a manual drawn up for the next decor personnel, especially since they have a rotating staff.
    +After we finished decor on Friday, we did feel appreciated by most of the staff, especially Program Head, Sally. However… being tracked down by a random staff member on Sunday morning to ask us… “Where were you Saturday for the Masquerade? Where were the table decorations?” was rather irritating. We were not told we were in charge of tables at the Masquerade and we were leaving up the decor for the rest of the room all weekend, so we thought it was covered. Not only that, but we (our whole HorrorAddicts.net crew) was scheduled for an alternate event at the same time, so I’m not sure how that would have worked? Despite these “unknowns” I would not take back providing the decor for them. We were exhausted while doing it, but it turned into an event we could be proud of.
  • CONS TO BEING CON STAFF: Things to consider before you volunteer:
    *Little direction / support on what tasks are needed completed – in what time – for what event. Again… manual please!
    *Having to pay to be a staff member? My staff and I paid $30/each to basically spend hundreds of dollars and man hours to provide decor. It was strange to me, especially when I am usually a guest and get free entry. They have a “staff room rate” so I guess that made up for this, but it was also uncomfortable having to book our rooms with con vs. the hotel because we couldn’t check our reservations or confirm room amenities online.
    *Driving hours to go to staff meetings where not much was accomplished… could have been done by email in a matter of minutes.
    *Just remember these are con volunteers… not employees. Everything runs at a slow/unproductive/social butterfly rate. Course, consider where this is coming from, that’s right… Emz the energizer bunny. Things might run at just a perfect rate for you.
    *There is a slight “cliquish” feel to some of the staff. And some get more freedom to explore ideas than others. Could this be a case of paying your dues? Perhaps.
    *The light at the end of the tunnel? Since people rotate out jobs every year, it wasn’t only us that were confused. It felt like there was a lot of feeling your way in the dark for staff and could this be another case for the manual? Several of us were recreating the wheel.
    *A couple of our most interesting panels were not listed properly/or at all. One in particular, a LIVE Skype interview with Mike Bennett was not well attended and I believe it was because it wasn’t anywhere on the schedule – except in Program Ops on the wall. No one knew to come! And let me tell you, if they had come, they would have enjoyed it immensely. For those of us there, it will stand out as one of the best panels we’ve ever witnessed. The audio of which should post soon.
  • PROS – WHAT BAYCON STAFF DOES RIGHT:
    *The business and registration portion of BayCon seems really organized and down pat. They know what needs done… and do it!
    *Most of the staff were really welcoming and friendly to us. I can’t say that any grudges were made (I  hope) and they seem to want us to return, so that was good.
    *It seemed they were open to new ideas – to a point. There is still a bit of paying dues to get them passed I think.
    *The hotel is awesome, laid out well, and very encouraging to the attendees.
    *They seem to treat their guests well.
    *They seem to bond as a team, and support each other even on the off season with things that happen in their life. They have get-togethers like barbecues and game meet-ups that keep them all involved in each other’s lives.
    *They provide a wide variety of panels for all sorts of interests and fandom. They also cater to the fan. Unlike a lot of other cons I’ve been too, promoting your fangirl and fanboy geek-out is one of the best things about BayCon.
    *If I had not been on staff and seen some of the back-end stuff… I would have been 100% pleased with this year’s con. To the attendees, although I’ve heard a lot of complaints about not enough “younger” activities for the late teen and 20-something crowd, I think there was enough here to sustain them. However, as of late, there has been an anime convention in the same town on the same weekend. I think that – more than any other excuses people have laid at their door – is the cause of the low attendance of youngsters.
    *Despite all the drama, this is still the #1 con in California. It’s the most welcoming, the best laid out, with the best hotel and the best staff that I have seen. It’s also the FUNNEST Con. Some of the others can be too seriousor take themselves too seriously.
  • THE EVENTS
    *Meet the Guests: Although we were exhausted from decorating every day and night for months prior… we were able to finally relax a little. The guests were all delightful and we got to see some old friends from years past.
    *HorrorAddicts.net Tea in party room: This even was awesome! Well attended and full of horror addicts that talked about books, movies, tv, music… such a rad time, I could have stayed there the entire weekend and been happy.
    *HorrorAddicts.net Saturday Morning Horror Cartoons and Cereal: This event brought all of the parents and kids out for a nice early morning wake up before the kid friendly room opened. We had a lot of parents thank us and ask us to do this again. The kids loved watching Hotel Transylvania and choosing spooky cereals to eat.
    *Making Book Necklaces: Another awesome time had by all. We had so many ladies trying to make book necklaces, we had to break out more needles! I was fascinated by each attendee’s style and how even though we made the little book packets with basically the same supplies, they made them into unique creations to wear and take home to loved ones.
    *Trick or Treat Carnival: Okay, so all of you Horror Addicts would have loved this… no matter what your age, but at BayCon, apparently only kids like to do carnival games, get their face painted, and trick or treat. We had a great time with the kids. My only correction to this- if we ever did it again – is to make it in the morning, when we can setup before the kids get there and then let them in. The family friendly staff was super supportive and happy to help organize things, but trying to setup in a closed room full of happy, sugar-infused children was a nightmare. Once the carnival was set up and the flood gates open, everyone had a great time.
    *Klingon Slave Auction: Always our favorite event, the volunteers were lacking this year. It was still really fun, but we could tell the enthusiasm for the event wasn’t as high as years prior.
    *BellyJam? Where are you?: So, another of our favorite events is BellyJam (Bellydancing in a big room with drums). However, it was not in an event room this year. After speaking to the BellyJam mistress, she told me they were holding it upstairs in a party room. Very sad for me. I could not attend because of other obligations, but I love going. Why were they moved away from the main floor? It seems a waste, because without them and without a full weekend of Regency Dancing (I think it was just on one night), the night activities were seriously lacking.
    *How to Create Character SlamBooks: My panel that usually packs in about 20-40 people, was not very well attended this time. It might have been because the early morning Sunday time, or maybe other things posted against it that were more interesting? Whatever the case, only a couple of aspiring writers attended. However, I would not take it back. I met a very intelligent young woman who stands to be my peer in the years to come. Good luck Effie!
    *LIVE podcast recording of The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe: This was such a fun panel. We had a great audience and a handful of readers who did a great job of recording. You can listen to the recording on #89 of HorrorAddicts.net, here: http://horroraddicts.wordpress.com/2013/06/29/horroraddicts-net-089-julianne-snow/
    * LIVE Skype interview with Mike Bennett: Like I said before, this is a panel we will not soon forget! I hope to have the audio up soon for you all to experience it with us.
    *Self-Publishing, Tips and Tricks: What a great panel. Packed with guests… there were  six of us! See pics on Facebook if you are interested. Dario CirielloJaymi ElfordHeather Roulo, Me, Norman Sperling and Marty Halpern. The place was PACKED! I should have expected nothing less with the crew I was behind the table with, but what a great event. So much information flying about from every different sort of person in the business.
    *Horror Readings: Wonderful panel where J. Malcom Stewart, Jay Hartlove, H. E. Roulo and I read ghouly stories to the crowd.
    *Horrible Disasters release party/ HorrorAddicts.net / Wicked Women Writers / Masters of Macabre: Wow… talk about cramming it all in one! This panel was so awesome! All of us Horror Addicts had such a great time chatting about horror, writing, and more! And thank you Brian and Tricia for telling me I won an art print from Cliff Nielsen! I would have totally lost out! You guys rock!
    *The Dead Matter movie screening: Again, sadly left off the schedule… but good nonetheless!
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: