Posts Tagged ‘urban fantasy’
It’s been days since the con ended and I’m finally getting a chance to sit down and do my wrap-up post for World Fantasy Con in Toronto. I had a minor dispute with gravity on Friday morning of the con and it won hands (and feet) down. So I’ve spent the first day or so back in the states dealing with purple-sausage-foot which is much better now, thank you.
Idiot injuries aside, it was a great con.
I arrived Wednesday night in time for a party at JM Frey’s house, which was lots of fun. Jess is a wonderful host. We played a customized-for-the-sff-crowd set of Cards Against Humanity which led to some hilarious combinations. I met there Clint Talbert, a shiny new Dragon Moon Press author who has a story in When the Villain Comes Home and a novel coming out in 2013. Lovely man, in more than one sense of the word, so that was very nice.
Gabrielle Harbowy and I stayed over that night and on Thursday about midday we set off for the con hotel with several boxes of books to stock the Dragon Moon Press table in the dealer’s room. I didn’t get to any of the programming on Thursday as my afternoon was spent setting up our table, meeting and coordinating with my fellow DMP authors, and so on and so forth. One highlight of the afternoon was, upon registering, we were directed to the book room where we were to pick up our bag of free books. There we found, not just a bag of free books, but an enormous, heavy bag of really cool new releases by authors whose names made me squeeeee. YAY!
I cornered Scott Edelman in the hallway later and he very nicely agreed to take a picture with me to compliment the one I had from Readercon this summer. (He’s a lot taller in real life than his avatar at Readercon was.)
The other great thing that happened that day was that I got to meet our newest DMP author, K.T. Bryski, whose debut novel, Hapax, was launching there at the con. She’s really sweet and it was lots of fun hanging out with her all weekend.
That night, our room tried to kill us. That is, we found fresh blood spatters on our sheets when we went to get in bed, and then, after the helpful young man replaced them, one of our lamps caught fire. Thankfully we survived, but that whole fiasco is a blog post in itself.
Friday was a big day for me, I was one of the panelists for the 10:00 Young Adult Urban Fantasy panel. The moderator, Joel Sutherland, was great, the panelists intelligent and well rounded, and I got to sit beside Charles de Lint who is really a terribly nice man. Other panelists included Isobelle Carmody, Alyxandra Harvey, and Holly Black. The conversation ranged from how YA UF differs from the adult variety, how much violence, sex, etc. can and/or should be in YA, writing to a YA audience and also how marketing often determines what is YA and what isn’t, rather than the author. It was well run and the audience followed up with good questions as well. It was a great experience.
Afterward, Fiona Patton came up to me to follow up on the comments I’d made about the fact that my novel has YA age characters who are gay. She had a great story about how a young nephew had recently come out to her and it was heartwarming and encouraging to hear about a kid who had a safe person to come out to and an environment that promised to support, not judge him for who he is. Yay! And one of the really good things was that I couldn’t see her nametag when we were talking, so I had no idea who she was and therefore didn’t squee or get nervous or anything but talked to her like an intelligent(ish) adult. She also came by the DMP table later and bought a copy of Fighting Gravity and I did squeee then, once she was gone.
That’s about it, I think, except for the fact that I stumbled coming down off the stage, actually during the panel in front of everyone in what is an embarrassing Leah-acted-before-she-engaged-her-brain moment and the end result of that was a purple-sausage foot for the rest of the weekend and lots of hobbling. A good bit of the rest of my con was ruled by the Leah’s-not-exactly-mobile situation, but I spent that time at the DMP table in the dealer’s room where I met great people and sold some books while hanging out with my friends. I’m pretty sure that’s the whole point of these things, anyway, right? So, mission accomplished.
And Ed Greenwood himself took me to Walmart and bought me a cane, so it was totally worth it.
On Friday at 5:00pm, I attended the New Twists on Accepted Myths panel that featured not only special guest Mercedes Lackey, but also fellow DMP author and good friend Marie Bilodeau. It was an extremely informative panel with a great moment in which Marie, in response to an audience member’s comment along the lines of how we could use existing myths WITHOUT respecting the root culture and that being just fine, Marie replied “well I could come down there and bitch slap you, but…” It was one of the best moments of the con. I wish I had it on video.
Friday night was one of the highlights of my con. That night, up in our room, Gabrielle Harbowy, Clint Talbert and I played a game of Dungeons and Dragons with Ed Greenwood as our Dungeon Master. If you know anything about D&D, you know how cool it is to learn the game from the creator of the Forgotten Realms. It was so much fun. I’m no virgin when it comes to RPGs and have years of WOW under my belt, but I had never played D&D in any form. It was so obvious how this game became such a thing with WRITERS not just gamers. It was a shared story experience and, particularly in private among good friends, it was an absolute riot and probably got a little more, ahem, interesting than it does on the con floor. Let’s just say I did not expect the device holding the Drow prisoner to be a butt plug. Which about sums up the game, really. That and the frantic moment when Gab, our warrior, had to save my dong from the tentacle monster I’d unwittingly pissed off by peeing on him. (Well I had to try out the equipment…)
And there went Friday. Literally; we finished the game at 2:30 am Saturday but all the next-day sleepies had been worth it.
At noon on Saturday, I went to the Brandon Sanderson reading where he treated us to the opening of the last WOT novel, coming out in January 2013, and also a scene from the next Stormlight novel that he’d written only a few days before.
I did also make it down to the Mercedes Lackey & Larry Dixon interview. I got there early and to my delight, realized that there were ten more minutes of the Charles de Lint interview and for that time, he had chosen to sing along with his wife some of the folk music they’re known for. It was AWESOME and I was totally not expecting it so that made it even better.
After that, Misty and Larry sat down for their interview and Misty put up a sign facing the audience that said YOU ARE DOOMED! And that tells you about the panel, actually. They were funny and irreverent and it was fascinating to hear how they manage all their various collaborations and creative projects.
Saturday night we had the launch party for Hapax at the Fox and the Fiddle across the street from the con. There were tons of people there and K.T. Bryski, who’s like 90 pounds soaking wet, read an excerpt loud enough for us all to hear. It’s a great book, by the way; I’ve already finished mine.
Being insufficiently mobile, I volunteered to man the book table at the party where I sold lots of copies of Hapax and several other DMP books. I met Katie’s friends and family too, and as a rule, they’re all lovely people so I’m very glad I did. Congratulations, Katie!
Sunday morning I started with Non-Western Fantasy, which I wanted to attend anyway, but it offered the additional bonus of having on the panel Amanda Sun who I’d met through Authoress Anonymous’s wonderful group of Success Stories and got to see at intervals throughout the con. She had some interesting perspectives on different cultures in fantasy lit, as did the rest of the panel. Now I’m really looking forward to reading the ARC of Amanda’s upcoming novel, Ink, to be released in July 2013.
I did not attend the banquet that night, and got the results of the World Fantasy awards on Twitter like most people because I was minding the DMP table in the dealers room in the last hours and helping pack it up and clear out.
There were lots of goodbyes that night to the friends old and new who were heading out that evening, there were beers with those who stayed over Sunday night, and then Monday morning I bid a sad goodbye to Gabrielle, Toronto, and WFC 2012. At least I have Ad Astra in Toronto to look forward to in April. See all of you then!
P.S. Those airline-employee-powered wheelchairs are like a magic pass through the airport. You really have to try one sometime. And, yes, I was a good girl and went to the doctor Tuesday afternoon to have my sprained ankle diagnosed and to acquire pretty new crutches so I can be ready to do it all again at the next con.
I’m really looking forward to it, particularly since my book launch took place in Toronto as well and I met a lot of great people who will also be at World Fantasy. Yay!
I imagine I’ll be spending much of my time at the Dragon Moon Press table in the dealer’s room where we’ll be selling, among other things, When the Villain Comes Home, featuring new fiction from Mercedes Lackey, who will be at the con and can sign your shiny new copy! There might be a few copies of Fighting Gravity too, and me with my trusty pen. So stop by and say hi, meet the other great Dragon Moon Press authors, maybe grab yourself a book or two.
Dragon Moon Press is also hosting a pub night Saturday November 3 at 7:00 pm at the nearby Fox and the Fiddle. Find all the details here. Mix and mingle with some great authors, editors, and just all around cool people.
I’ll be on the program. Friday morning you can find me here:
10:00 a.m. YOUNG ADULT URBAN FANTASY
How is Urban Fantasy written for a YA audience different from its grown-up counterpart? How sanitized, if at all, does something written for a YA audience have to be? How much sex/violence is, or isn’t, appropriate or expected? Are the stakes different in YA Urban Fantasy? A fascinating difference between adult and YA Urban Fantasy is that the former often features an established heroine/hero who is comfortable in a magical world, whereas the latter usually features protagonists who have just discovered their link to a world of magic, and are inexperienced within its boundaries. How does this affect/influence the characters, and the course of their journey?
Joel Sutherland (M), Holly Black, Isobelle Carmody, Charles de
Lint, Alyxandra Harvey, Leah Petersen.
I’m excited! My current WIP, when I’m not working on the sequel to Fighting Gravity, is a YA fantasy (not quite urban, but some interesting crossover elements are developing) and, of course, I ALWAYS have an opinion on stuff, so I’m looking forward to a great discussion and to meeting my fellow panelists.
So are you going to be there? What are you looking forward to the most? Make sure you say hi while you’re there. I’ll probably be the easiest person at the whole con to pick out of a crowd, what with the bald thing and all. Though I did knit myself some cool hats for the occasion. Not least of which is this one:
See you there!
OK, pardon me for just a moment but: Isn’t It Beautiful???
I’m sorry, but I’m completely in love with that cover. I’ve been wanting to show it off since I first got a sneak peek months ago. And now it’s HERE! Following last year’s incredible, When the Hero Comes Home, coming August 10, 2012, is When the Villain Comes Home!
Heroes can save the world, but villains can CHANGE it. Dragon Moon Press and the editors of the award-nominated When the Hero Comes Home invite you to come along with us while we explore villains of all stripes — sons and daughters, lovers and fighters, minions and masterminds. Introducing thirty great science fiction, fantasy, and speculative fiction stories by bestsellers and award winners, rising stars, and bold new voices.
Camille Alexa – Pinktastic and the End of the World
Erik Scott de Bie – Hunger of the Blood Reaver
Chaz Brenchley – Villainelle
Eugie Foster – Oranges, Lemons, and Thou Beside Me
David Sakmyster – Prometheus Found
Marie Bilodeau – Happily Ever After
Richard Lee Byers – Little Things
K.D. McEntire – Heels
Peadar Ó Guilín – The Sunshine Baron
Jim C. Hines – Daddy’s Little Girl
Ari Marmell - Than to Serve in Heaven
Karin Lowachee – The Bleach
Jay Lake – The Woman Who Shattered the Moon
Julie Czerneda – Charity
J.M. Frey – Maddening Science
Clint Talbert – Birthright
Rachel Swirsky – Broken Clouds
Tony Pi – The Miscible Imp
Leah Petersen – Manmade
J.P. Moore – Lord of the Southern Sky
Ryan McFadden – Back in the Day
Todd McCaffrey – Robin Redbreast
Erik Buchanan – Cycle of Revenge
Gregory A. Wilson – The Presuil’s Call
Rosemary Jones – The Man With Looking-Glass Eyes
Gabrielle Harbowy – Starkeep
Ed Greenwood – A Lot of Sly Work Ahead
Mercedes Lackey / Larry Dixon – Heir Apparent
Chris A. Jackson – Home Again, Home Again
Steve Bornstein – The Best Laid Plans
So, want a sneak peak of Villain? Here’s a bit from my story, Manmade:
The castle called to him. Lord Andrew Rorin rode on through the creeping grey mist of dusk. He was determined to spend the night within the castle walls. In a sack tied to his saddle, the head of a king bumped a pleasant tattoo against the horse’s flank. Rorin smiled and urged the horse faster toward home.
The siren song of the keep danced together with visions of meats roasting over the fire, fat sizzling and popping on the coals below, of spiced mulled wine to warm his bones, and a wench or two to warm everything else.
The gates came into view and Rorin’s pulse quickened. He was eager to show off his latest trophy. He loved the expressions on their pretty little faces as they looked at, while trying not to see, the grisly proof of his latest conquests. That this was the head of a man only sweetened the victory.
For Lord Rorin’s intolerance for other men was legendary. He allowed no man in his presence save the heads of those he had killed, carefully bound with spells so that their last expression of fear or pain or the sweetness of surprise was forever preserved.
The lights in the windows were a cheery glow and the bustle of activity in the courtyard was proof that the castle had rallied its inhabitants to welcome their lord home. Rorin galloped through the gates and reined his horse to a stop in front of the great doors where, turned out to serve their lord and master…were a dozen men. Tall, hairy things like a grove of blight oaks planted in his yard.
Rorin flew off his horse, trembling with rage.
He stumbled to a stop in front of a thick, furry one. The words rushed to his lips, power gathering in his cupped hand.
Something massive darted in his peripheral vision, slamming into his side. Rorin fell. A moment before he hit the cobblestones he was snatched up by the very blur that had knocked him down.
“Don’t, my lord.”
The deep, resonant voice sent red fury racing through Rorin’s veins. He rounded on the speaker. The man was tall and beefy, with hands that looked capable of snapping small trees in half.
“What is the meaning of this? Get out of my sight! Where are my servants? Charlotte!”
“Here, my lord,” the same man answered.
Rorin stared at him.
“They call me Charles, now,” he amended after a long pause.
It was so absurd Rorin sputtered, a spray of astonishment and rage.
Charlotte, his current favorite, was thin at waist and wrist, plump where it mattered—breast, hips, lips. Her hair was the color of new wheat, eyes the strange, enigmatic dusky color of moss in the dry season. She was the loveliest of the ladies he had acquired in the forty years since he’d claimed the keep.
This thing, this man, couldn’t have been more different. Although the hair that brushed his powerful shoulders and shadowed a strong jaw was the color of new wheat. And under thick, knitted brows his eyes were the enigmatic, dusky color of dry moss.
“Don’t you ever, ever touch me,” Rorin hissed, clenching his teeth against the involuntary shiver the man’s touch had excited.
He wouldn’t have time to craft a spell with the man’s eyes on him. “Don’t even speak to me you lying, disgusting, monstrous—”
Snatching his belt knife, he thrust it two-handed at the man’s neck. The man’s hands flashed up and snatched at his wrists, a painful, crushing grip. Rorin gasped in a breath but before he could do anything with it, a beefy fist slammed into his temple. As darkness descended he heard a faraway, “Forgive me, my lord.”
You can read the rest of it on August 10, in When the Villain Comes Home!
Welcome again to my good friend, R.B. Wood, who is celebrating the re-release of his debut novel, The Prodigal’s Foole. As part of the re-launch, I’ve invited him to guest post here today.
I have a vague recollection of my mother’s soft voice reading to me when I was very young. The delight of receiving a picture book as a toddler. The fear, when heading off to first grade, when I asked my father what would happen if I couldn’t learn to read.
The triumph of reading my first book out loud to the first grade class just three months later.
We were all voracious readers in my house. Books always play a major part in growing up. From my obsession with The Hardy Boys to that penultimate moment when I read H. G. Wells War of the Worlds at age nine.
Today, with the re-launch of my first written work, The Prodigal’s Foole is available in stores again. Why I’m doing a re-launch is touched upon in my blog posting of a couple weeks ago. It was a long time coming, and more will follow. But my passion for good tales—from the fantastical to the everyday—burns as bright today as it did that wondrous day I picked up War of the Worlds.
I’ve just finally reached the maturity level to give back a little of what I’ve enjoyed by so many other authors over the years.
I know I’ll never be a Dickens, a Tolkien or an H. G. Wells. And I’m okay with that. As long as I can build a story that people will enjoy and take them to another place for a few hours, I’m happy.
And really, as a writer…what more could you ask for?
R.B. Wood is a technology consultant and a writer of Urban Fantasy, Science Fiction and quite frankly anything else that strikes his fancy. He is working on the follow up to The Prodigal’s Foole, as well as a Science Fiction trilogy and a collaborative comic book project.
He is also host of The Word Count podcast. R.B. currently lives in Boston with his partner, Tina, his dog Jack, three cats and various other critters that visit from time to time. Feel free to contact him at:
The Word Count Podcast: http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/the-word-count/id392550989
The Prodigal’s Foole is available via Amazon
1. Tell me one thing about little Richy Wood that, looking back now, you think was proof that one day you’d be a writer.
I loved stories of all kinds when I was younger. Even at an early age I wondered what went into creating a story from the imagination—and I’d try it on my own.
Plus, as a kid, I always hated waiting for the next “Hardy Boy” book, so I’d try and create my own in the interim. Frank and Joe hardy were probably glad I wasn’t writing their stories as they ended up in far more trouble in my tales than in Franklyn W Dixon’s.
All those fantasy stories about magic have this throw-away line about “magic can’t be known/used in front of ‘normal’ people. I started off with the idea—“What if non-magical folks started figuring out what was going on?” And the series started from there.
3. Name two people from all of history you’d love to take to the pub, and one you’d avoid like the plague (or punch his/her lights out.)
I’d love to go drinking with Theodore Roosevelt and Mark Twain. Avoid? YOU know the real answer to this one, but I’ll pick Adolf Hitler because he was a serious Jackwagon.
4. What was the biggest surprise in this whole writing/publishing game?
How supportive and open to questions professionals in the business are. Once I started to connect with writers, editors and the like via social media, everyone was VERY patient with my newbie questions and either answered them directly or pointed me to helpful resources. It’s been a wonderful experience—and I was expecting a lot less.
5. Give me one sentence, no more than a dozen words, of wisdom you’ve learned since you decided to write TPF.
I have ten words left…
6. Your favorite place to be/One place you never want to be again.
My favorite place to be is anywhere with my partner, Tina. Never again? Hong Kong. Long story.
7. You get to name one person who had been the biggest influence on you as a writer, only one, from any point in your life, whether you know them or not. Why?
Oh bugger. I can pick only ONE? Well, I’ll say my parents (two people, one partnership) who encouraged me to do what I enjoy.
8. You have an unlimited amount of time and money: Where are we going drinking?
Ireland. We are going to every bloody pub in the 36 counties.
Back to your host: I bet you can tell I had fun with this interview. The book’s better. Go get it!
R.B. Wood is a technology consultant and a writer of Urban Fantasy, Science Fiction and quite frankly anything else that strikes his fancy. His first novel, The Prodigal’s Foole, is now available from Pfoxchase Publishing. Mr. Wood is currently working on the second book of his Arcana Chronicles series and is host of The Word Count podcast.
R. B. currently lives in Boston with his partner, Tina, his dog Jack, three cats and various other critters that visit from time to time.
Find him on his blog: http://www.rbwood.com
Feel free to contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org