Tag Archive for 'world fantasy con'

catching up

Wow, I haven’t blogged here for more than a month.  Sorry about that. It’s not that I haven’t wanted to blog–a lot has been going on, and I have things to talk about (like Star Trek Into Darkness and Man of Steel, not to mention some recent controversies on the internet…). However, one of my struggles as a writer has been learning not to take on too much. I have a day job and a family and some semblance of a social life, and several other commitments on the side, like writing Star Trek reviews at The Viewscreen, and editing newsletters and magazines, and so on. I have to fit writing fiction in there somewhere, and for the last month or so, I made the decision to focus on that. The good news is, I just finished a major revision on a novel, so I consider my time away well spent. But now I have a ton of e-mails to catch up on and a backlog of things to blog about…

Since it’s been an egregiously long time since I blogged here, here’s a quick update on some very important and mostly wonderful things:

norton

Photo by Sam Morgan

  • Last month, Fair Coin received the 2012 Andre Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult Science Fiction or Fantasy Book! I was completely stunned and honored, particularly since every one of the nominated books could just as easily have received it. It was an incredible experience just to be in San Jose, CA for the Nebula Award Weekend, which is where the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) organization gives out their awards, let alone take home the shiny award. (For photos from the weekend, visit Richard Man Photo, and click here for a list of all the Nebula award recipients and nominees.)
  • I am a finalist for the 2013 British Fantasy Award for Best Newcomer (aka the Sydney J. Bounds Award), for Fair Coin. Wow. Nominees were voted on by members of the British Fantasy Society and winners will be selected by a jury and announced at the World Fantasy Convention in November. I’m particularly surprised and pleased to get this recognition because my books have not yet been published in the UK!
  • Last month I visited my old high school in Yonkers, NY for career day. (Fun fact: Fair Coin is set in the fictional city of Summerside, which is basically Yonkers.) Many of the vendors there were in the medical profession, and I thought it might be weird for me as a former pre-med student there to be hanging out as a writer. But it was amazing to be back there and meet so many students and faculty who are excited about books and writing, and it was wonderful to reconnect with an old teacher of mine, Dr. Clarice Morris. Shout outs to some of the great teachers and teens I talked to: Joshua, Samantha, Melanie (pictured with me), Charisma, Shyana, Marco, Dean, and Josue. And thanks to Jim Riley, the school’s media specialist, who brought me there.
  • Oh yeah, I just turned 35. Not bad.

20130523_112615Some recent blog posts of mine elsewhere:

Finally, here are some recent, noteworthy reviews and interviews:

I’m sure I’m forgetting something, but that’s all I’ve got for now. Hopefully blogging will pick up a little more here now that I am not stuck in the revision cave!

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my neighbor totoro toronto

At the beginning of November, I went to Canada for a couple of events in Toronto, Ontario. The original reason for my trip was to attend the World Fantasy Convention, which supposedly was in Toronto but was really in Richmond Hills, inconveniently located “near” Toronto Pearson International Airport and various downtown restaurants. False advertising, much?

But I actually skipped most of the first two days of the con, as I also wanted to spend time with close friends in the area, who showed me interesting sites like the National Air Force Museum of Canada and made sure I sampled as much of the local cuisine as possible. No complaints!

Photo by Al Bogdan

World Fantasy is one of my favorite conventions, though I don’t get to attend every year; once I got there, it was great to catch up with many authors, editors, and friends in the SFF community, though there’s never enough time to see everyone. Two highlights of World Fantasy for me were the mass autographing session on Friday night—where some people actually turned up to talk to me and get their copies of Fair Coin and Quantum Coin signed!—and a panel on diversity in young adult fiction, my one official program for the con.

Photo by Al Bogdan

I’m still a little nervous on panels, even though all I’m doing is expressing my opinion on various topics (which I often do without any prompting), but it went really well, thanks to my fellow panelists (Cindy Williams Chima, Cheryl Rainfield, Megan Crewe, and Kathleen Sullivan), as well as a terrific audience–the intelligent, well-read, and passionate audience you hope for at events like this. Everyone contributed to a lively and respectful discussion of the importance of representing protagonists of different cultures, abilities, genders, and sexual orientations in young adult fiction. Cheryl wrote a detailed summary of the panel along with some book recommendations collected from panelists and readers in the audience. So yeah, I think I did all right on this one, and some people were kind enough to tell me so afterward.

Some Altered Fluid: (Clockwise) Mercurio D. Rivera, Rajan Khanna, E.C. Myers, K. Tempest Bradford, Matthew Kressel, Alaya Dawn Johnson. (Photo by Chris Cevasco)

Of course, there were many other memorable moments at WFC: an impromptu fiction reading by members of my writing group, Altered Fluid, in the soda room of the con suite (really); breakfast dim sum; a 3am expedition to get hot pot and tea; hallway conversations about Sleep No More; hanging out at the hotel bar with friends from Clarion West; the Clarion West party (featuring the class of 2012’s anthem, “Ready to Launch”); and every stolen moment with folks in the dealer room, halls, parties, and hotel rooms. And as always, it was great to meet online friends in person for the first time and make a lot of new friends at the con.

Photo by Joanne Levy

However, one of my favorite moments in Toronto didn’t occur at the con at all: a reading and signing at !ndigo Yorkdale. This event was as amazing as the circumstances that brought it about; Ross Armstrong, one of the booksellers at Yorkdale, decided to participate in the company’s “CEO 100” challenge by handselling 100 copies of Fair Coin. And he succeeded!

What. (Photo by Jessie Cammack)

When I found out about it, I was flattered, impressed, and grateful, so I knew I had to visit the store while I was in town to thank the staff in person. I was honored to be invited there for an event–especially considering the guests they usually attract, authors like James Dashner, Cassandra Clare, and Libba Bray–and fortunately everyone’s schedules worked out to make it happen on relatively short notice. One of the best parts of being a published author is meeting teens who enjoyed Fair Coin, not to mention adult readers, parents, and booksellers. It was the perfect note to end my “book tour” on!

So if you happen to be in or around Toronto, Ontario, you can pick up signed copies of Fair Coin and Quantum Coin at !ndigo Yorkdale–the only book store offering them in all of Canada, which is a pretty big country. If you do stop by, say hi to Ross for me.

Ross and me. (Photo by Jessie Cammack)

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