Imaginarium Convention 2016

Imaginarium Convention in Louisville has been my favorite event of the year since it began three years ago, and every year it gets better! It’s the best-run, most organized, yet most relaxed, friendly, and welcoming writer’s convention I’ve ever attended, and on top of that, it’s fun and accessible to not-just-writers, too, since it offers gaming, a film festival, live entertainment, and a free vendor hall in addition to its excellent array of panels and workshops on everything from poetry to documentary film writing to speculative fiction to music. I literally can’t say enough good things about Imaginarium. It’s not just the folks who run it (who are awesome), but the whole atmosphere that makes it magic. Everyone involved, from the staff to the panelists to the attendees, is generous with their time, knowledge, and attentiveness. Truly a special thing in today’s world.

Marian Allen's award

Marian Allen, with Kerosene Kerry’s award

This year was also special because Per Bastet Publishing, which I am now marketing director for and which is one of the event’s sponsors, came away with two awards! One went to Marian Allen (who happens to be my mother) for doing a fabulous job promoting the event. The second, the Sizemore Award for small press excellence, went to the house.

T. Harris with Sizemore Award

T. Lee Harris with Per Bastet’s Sizemore Award!

Coming away from this year’s Imaginarium, I have so many happy takeaways. There’s the momentum of inspiration and ideas from all the great discussions and conversations. There’s the hilarity of cutting up with other writers (especially when we’re supposed to be acting all professional). There’s the happiness of catching up with people I haven’t seen since last year and the happiness of meeting new people I look forward to catching up with next time. There’s the excitement of the great pitches the press got from authors who want to work with us. And great-sounding projects authors might send my way for editing (shout out to Jack Wallen, the best client evarrrrr! for all the recommendations!) I keep asking if we can have more than one of these things a year, but for some reason the staff who work their butts off to make the weekend run smoothly for the rest of us keep looking at me like I’ve grown wings out of my ears when I say it…… 😉

Per Bastet with Jason Sizemore

Per Bastet with Jason Sizemore, award namesake and super-nice guy! Third day of the convention = complete exhaustion, but we’re happy on the inside, I assure you!

Imaginarium 2015

Last weekend, I attended Louisville’s second annual Imaginarium Convention for creative writers (and readers). I went last year, too, and have had a blast both times. Great programming, great networking, and great company. Plus, it’s held in the same hotel where the long-gone Rivercon Science Fiction Convention used to be held, which means it brings back great memories for me of attending my very first convention with my mom, 23 years ago. I’ve decided that I need a reversible hat to wear next year, with editor on one side and writer on the other, so people will know from which point of view I’m speaking.

This year, I was on 5 panels: one about the role of an editor; one about the writer-editor relationship (and how the editor is, in fact, your friend, even if they put enough red on your manuscript that it would never make it past Hollywood censorship); one about choosing and pulling off either a lone hero tale or a heroic group story (which, ironically, had neither a lone hero for a speaker nor a heroic group of speakers, but yet a third narrative choice: a dynamic duo of speakers); a panel about steampunk (which was lots of fun, and in which we discussed various other ‘punks, too, such as deiselpunk, clockpunk, etc.); and a panel about plotting, and how different writers do it (or don’t). So now you know the kinds of things writers sit around and talk about in secret.

I also attended a couple of panels as an audience member – one about balancing a day job and a writing schedule (because it ain’t easy getting back into a routine after four years away from creative writing), one about writing non-human characters (because the sequel to Erica Flynn includes some), and one about writing the zombie apocalypse (because two of my editing clients do). There were a bunch more I *wanted* to attend, but they were at the same times as the panels I was speaking on. These included, but weren’t limited to, panels on historical writing, unconventional fantasy, and comic books. As you can see, there’s a pretty good variety of topics at Imaginarium, which is one of the reasons I love it! Plus, they had a dragon this year. I mean, how can I not love it?

If I could change one thing about Imaginarium, it would be to add a tea/coffee room for the convention, so there would be a hangout spot to just shoot the shit with other writers. Because writers, myself included, love nothing better than to shoot the shit over caffeinated beverages!

IMG_3886

Mom, the dragon, and me

Upcoming Event: Imaginarium Convention

Friday, September 19 – Sunday, September 21 is Imaginarium Louisville! I will be there all three days (in the vendor room with copies of Erica Flynn!) and will also be speaking on the following writing panels:

Saturday 11am: Cover Lovin’ (cover art and first impressions)

Saturday 1pm: Sword & Sorcery Vs. Fantasy (the differences between)

Sunday 9am: Lone Hero Vs. Heroic Group (which works best?)

Sunday 11am: Into the Wastelands (post-apocalyptic fiction)

Sunday 1pm: Finding the End (how to end a story)

Sunday 2pm: Unconventional Fantasy (avoiding tropes & cliches)

For a full schedule of the convention programming & events, click here:

Events for May 2014

 

Circuits & Steam cover by Jordan Bell

From May 16th-18th, I’ll be in New Jersey, attending the Steampunk World’s Fair with 3 Fates Press!  3 Fates is releasing Circuits and Steam, a brand-new crossover anthology of steampunk & cyberpunk short stories at the fair.  My contribution features an opium-addled cocktail waitress and her slightly sociopathic automaton butler in post-apocalyptic Chicago.  There are likely several related stories forthcoming, as I had way more ideas than I could fit into one short story for these characters and this bizarre future setting!  I’ll also, of course, be selling copies of The Life and Death (but mostly the death) of Erica Flynn – and I’ve got some great Erica Flynn swag & giveaways for the table, too!  Plus, I’m putting together some pretty sweet jewelry on the theme of steam/cyber and/or death – and what’s better than shiny death jewelry???

 

May 24th-25th (10-5 / 10-4, respectively), along with 3 Fates, I’ll be attending the Howard Steamboat Museum’s Art & Antique Jubilee in Jeffersonville, Indiana.  It’s a free event!

 

Book Release Party

 

10155639_10203500004571607_2057096189_n

Signing books like a boss!

Friday’s book release at University of Louisville:  I finally decided which chapter to read (Chapter Two: The Bright Side of Death), and had lots of excellent, fun questions from the audience.  I’m deeply grateful to the people who came to my first event as a published novelist – for being there, for showing their support, and especially for keeping the Q&A lively and interesting.  Some of those questions made me realize I need to be on my toes for future events!  Good questions also let me know what readers want to know more about, which is good inspiration for the sequel.  Oh, and not least…I’m grateful for the attendees’ purchases of books!

Next weekend:  ConGlomeration!

 

IMG_2579

I’m not sure what face I’m making here – maybe I was reading one of Erica’s smart-ass remarks?

IMG_2580

Reading Chapter Two: The Bright Side of Death