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Posts Tagged ‘Zachary Steele’

And now for something completely different: Faerie Escape Atlanta. This is the most unique of the cons we haunt, and it’s right here in Atlanta. Not your ordinary con, Faerie Escape runs intimate and deep-thinking program that focuses on real dialogue between the attending pros and the people sitting on the other side of the table. Most of the time there is one discussion panel, one workshop-type session, and one game going on; but if you have an interest in things Fae, that’s by no means a slim program. This year’s edition is scheduled for this weekend, and we have some truly fun stuff planned. Here’s where you can find us:

Friday 7-10 PM: Gathering of the Summer Court

A meet-and-greet, with performances, stories, and a movie offering by Atlanta-can-claim-her-now writer/director Lisa Stock. It’s open to the public. Last time this was one of the highlights of the weekend. Several of us will be there.

Saturday 12-1:30 PM: Faerie Writing Workshop

Join author and editor Barbara Friend Ish in writing a Faerie-inspired short story. In this hands-on workshop, we’ll discuss Faerie character types and story elements and then develop our own Fae-inspired short stories. Workshop participants are invited to read from their stories at the Mercury Retrograde Salon Saturday evening, and finished stories will be included in the 2012 Faerie Escape Chapbook.

Saturday 5-7:30 PM: Mercury Retrograde Salon

Join Mercury Retrograde Press editors, staff, and friends for merriment and mythic munchies. The evening’s entertainments will include readings from the participants at the Faerie Writing Workshop, recitations from Strunk & White’s Elements of Style by Mercury Retrograde editor Anna Branscome, and a performance of the Big Books Rap* by A Dark Fable.

Barbara Friend Ish will also be there. So, I am certain, will a number of other familiar faces, lured by the promise of a couple of once-in-a-lifetime performances and some Sunshadow Ale.

The Faerie Escape Program intriguingly lists the Salon as being held in the Mercury Retrograde Suite, which is not on the convention map. I note that the map does include references to Narnia, however. Typical Faeries. If I had to guess, and of course I do, I would put my money on this event taking place in the “Zinfandel Room”. Stop by our table in the Marketplace, aka the Dealers Room, for better intelligence on this.

Sunday 12-1:30 PM: Children’s Literature Workshop

Hosted by Zachary Steele. Literary magic for the younger set.

Sunday 1:30-3 PM: The Future of Faerie Fiction

With Barbara Friend Ish and Anna Branscome. We’ve seen an explosion in literature about faeries and fairy tales, and there is no sign of it stopping. What are the next big things in writing about fairy tales, the fae and all their myriad offspring?

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These are just the places we’ve promised to be. Anna has her eye on a mask-making workshop; there are some conversation sessions I’d like to attend. But you know how it is when you step into Faerie territory; time and place are unpredictable. There’s no telling when or where we’ll end up.

One thing’s certain, however: Rachael Murasaki Ish will be present in the Marketplace all weekend (except during the Salon on Saturday), bringing books and other delights to lovers of literature. Stop by and say hello.

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* You know, the immortal verse by friend of the house Jim C. Hines, which appears on the back of our Big Books T.

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One of the best things about summer: 4-day cons. PlayOnCon takes place this weekend in Birmingham, Alabama, and we’ll be there all four days. Zachary Steele and Barbara Friend Ish will be participating in panels and other fun. We’ll have a table in the Dealers Room–where you can check out, among other things, Zach’s forthcoming Flutter, the hilarious sequel to his Anointed, and pre-order your copy. (And don’t miss the Fairy Catmother t-shirts, on loan from friend of the house Diana Bastine.) And we’ll be hosting the very first public playtest of the Tarot-based card game Cliche Studios is developing for Barbara’s next novel, War-Lord of the Gods.

This is going to be an action-packed weekend! For this year, Faerie Escape: Atlanta has teamed up with PlayOnCon, so in addition to the usual fun at PlayOn there will also be programming for lovers of Faerie. We’ll be participating in some of it, including a workshop on bringing fresh air and fresh ideas to stories inspired by Faerie (6 pm Friday). We’ll also be hosting a program of faerie storytelling, including readings from Zach and Barbara, some of which will be sneak peeks at forthcoming works, as well as a reading from Ed Morris’s There Was a Crooked Man (performed by Sales Diva Rachael, since Ed can’t be with us this weekend).

PlayOn is also hosting a number of open-to-the-public meetups at the convention hotel, which we’ve already talked about here. Barbara will be hosting the writers’ meetup, and Zach plans to be present too; we’ll probably kick things off there with a couple readings there, too. Unless everybody just gets right into the spirit of the meeting without prompting; then we’ll just hang out.

Anybody who follows the play-by-play around here knows how excited we’ve been getting about gaming recently; we’ll be hosting a workshop on using game development to enrich the story world, Saturday at noon with James & Ant from Cliche Studio. This will be a very hands-on workshop, so if you’ve ever wanted to get advice from a live game developer, this is a good chance to do that.

There will be a lot more fun there this weekend, and of course we’ll be in the thick of it, including much more writing, publishing, and gaming programming. Hope to see you there!

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We’ve got more balls in the air than a juggler on crack right now. Leona Wisoker’s new novel, Guardians of the Desert, is available in independent bookstores everywhere, as well as on Amazon.  B&N seems to have gotten a case of the hiccups while transitioning the book from pre-order to available and the system can’t find the book at all. Fear not; it’ll turn up. Meanwhile, you could take the opportunity to visit your local independent…

In related news, we’re gearing up for the launch party for Guardians of the Desert at CoCo Chocolatier in Williamsburg, Virginia this Saturday afternoon. The party starts at 1; if you’re within range of Williamsburg, please stop by.

Meanwhile, Zachary Steele’s next novel, Flutter: An Epic of Mass Distraction is on its way to the printer–and if you thought his first novel was funny, this one will make you howl. Timothy Webb, aka Timmy Christ, returns as an angel trying to cope with incipient war in Heaven. The primary tool of the warring parties? Flutter, which is essentially Twitter for angels. The social-media interactions of the angelic set are some of the funniest moments in the whole novel.

If you’re within range of NYC, you can catch a sneak peek at Flutter at the Second Birthday Celebration for Just Working on My Novel at WORD in Brooklyn on April 15: Zach will be reading along with Richard Nash and a few other names you might recognize, and pre-release copies of the book will be available for sale at the event. Nowhere else until August, folks…

Danielle Parker just turned in the manuscript for The Nihilistic Mirror, the sequel to her EPPIE-winning The Infinite Instant, which we’ll be re-releasing this fall. What a ride! Minuet James fangirls, prepare to swoon. And those of you who have not yet had the pleasure will want to board the Minuet James fan bus when The Infinite Instant goes back into print in October.

Leona Wisoker just turned in her next manuscript this week, too: for a book tentatively titled Bells of the Kingdom, the third installment of her fabulous Children of the Desert series. Look for that book next spring.

And some good news for fans of Larissa Niec’s Shorn: I’ve been reading the sequel, Cael’s Shadow, which is nearing completion–and if you loved Shorn, this one will blow you away. Larissa works at her own pace, as do all of us at Mercury Retrograde, but I promise you this one will be worth the wait. Present best guess is a release sometime next year.

Mercury has turned retrograde again. Those of you who follow the writerly play-by play know what that means. After I get back from Leona’s launch this weekend, I’m headed into the study for a full week of uninterrupted work on War-Lord of the Gods. Much as I’ve loved all the action in the office lately, I’ve missed my study, and I’m anxious to get back. Catch you week after next!

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Over on his blog, Mercury Retrograde editor and author Zach Steele shares some thoughts on nailing the opening to your story…and the pain that is sometimes involved. Take a look.

Among all the salient points he manages to sneak in among the entertaining narrative, the thing I’m walking around thinking about today is something more alluded to than discussed: the fact that it’s almost impossible to nail the opening the first time around. The opening of any story is one of the two hardest parts (the other being the ending, of course). And it’s nearly impossible to write an appropriate opening until you know exactly what the story is.

And, as any writer knows, you don’t know what the story really is until you’ve written it. Sometimes not even then.

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Anointed fans, you’ll be happy to hear this. Zachary Steele has some (typically hilarious) information about his next book, Flutter, on his blog today. Don’t miss his description of the book!

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The rumors you’ve been hearing are true:  Zachary Steele will be one of the author guests of the Decatur Book Festival. He’ll be appearing at 11:15 on Saturday, on the Decatur Conference Center Stage. Read all the details here.

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The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has a lovely interview with Zachary Steele up today, in which he talks about his transition from independent bookstore owner to professional writer. It’s worth reading.

And it mentions another noteworthy fact for Steele fans: Zach will be appearing at the Decatur Book Festival next month. More on that anon.

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