I just updated my appearances page, but I figured I’d throw the information here on the front page in case people only look here or only follow my RSS feed.
I’ll be at MileHiCon 50 from October 19th through the 21st. Here’s my schedule as I’m aware of it at the moment:
All weekend: Author’s Row — Second Floor Lobby — I’ll have a table where you can swing by and get a copy of Griffin’s Feather or have me sign a copy you already have in hand or just chat with me for a bit.
Friday, 3PM: Mesa Verde A — Pantsing, Grid Paper, or the I-Ching: Many roads to plots
Friday, 9PM: Taphouse & Kitchen — Writers Night Mixer
Saturday, 2PM: Wind River A — Soundtracks That Soar
I hope to see loads of familiar faces, plenty of new faces, and make lots of friends while there over the weekend. I’m really looking forward to this weekend as this is one of my “home cons” where travel is easy, the hotel is good, and the people are always fantastic!
I’ve been all over the social medias with the news, but I’ve not had time to sit down with this post until just a few minutes ago. I don’t know how many people follow me ONLY on my RSS feed, but just in case there are a few….
MileHiCon 2017 (the 49th one!) went great! I said smart things on my panels (so others told me). I asked smart questions on the panel I moderated (so my fellow panelists told me). I got to hang out with some old friends (some of whom I only see at MileHiCon). I made a few new friends. I bought a few books. I generally hung out with folks and had a really great time.
The highlight of the weekend, however, was not MileHiCon. The con could have easily been the highlight of the weekend, but it got overshadowed by the release of GRIFFIN’S FEATHER on Saturday! The original publication date was supposed to be Wednesday, November 1st. However, things fell into line. The book was ready, and the amazing team at WordFire Press whipping things together and got the book out over the weekend. I’m immensely grateful to the whole team. I’d thank them personally here, but there are gobs of people “behind the scenes” that I don’t know the names of, so I’d be leaving some folks out. I don’t want to make that error of omission. If you’re one of those great folks that helped me get my words out into the world: Thank you!
I can’t wait to see how the world reacts to my novel. It’s surreal. It’s exciting. It’s new. It’s…. well… mind-blowing. I’ve been trying to conceptualize the fact that I now have a published novel, and the mere idea of “published novel” with “J.T. Evans” on the cover still escapes me even though I know it’s a real thing.
You can find Griffin’s Feather at these fine locations, or order it from your favorite local bookstore.
Thanks to everyone that’s supported me over the past 11 years of effort that it took to get to this point. Here, I’m going to throw out a few names because they’re important enough to me to acknowledge:
Granny and Papa — I wish you could still be around to see this happen. Thank you for all you did for me throughout my life.
Kimberly — Without you standing by my side, I wouldn’t have the confidence to attempt this. Love you so very much.
My son — I know I “stole” some of our father/son time away from you to work on my novels. You’ll probably never know how much I love you for this.
Mom — You’ve shown me support and love throughout everything. I don’t think you’ve seen all of the struggles of the past 11 years, but you’ve highlighted the successes that I’ve had. Thank you for that. Love you.
Hank and Hollie Snider — For started CSFWG and welcoming me into the group with open arms. Relaunching my passion for the written word through the CSFWG led to this day.
Pikes Peak Writers — There are way too many people here to thank that are involved in this organization. Without PPW, I wouldn’t have been able to learn and improve as much as I did.
Linda Houser — You taught “The Tools in Your Writing Toolbox” (or something of that nature) at my very first PPW Write Brain. I learned so much in that night. It set me on the right path with the right mindset. It also showed me that others loved words as much as I do. (PS: I still have the clock hanging over my desk.)
Patrick Hester — You’ve been my rock for quite a few years. You’ve called my bullshit. You’ve told me when I nailed it. You’ve kept an eye on me and let me know when I’m “off base” mentally. Thank you for your friendship, and I promise to never type “the two women” again, unless absolutely necessary.
Craig Barnes — You took me and my family in during the Black Forest Fire. You’ve been one of the most solid friends I’ve ever had. You’re very much like a brother to me. Love you for that.
Front Range Fiction Writers — While this critique group is now defunct, it was a great three years. Thanks to all of the members over the three wonderful years that pointed out where I did great and where I didn’t.
Dave Butler — For picking up where others left off and giving me an amazing opportunity. Thank you for believing in my work as much as I do and giving it a shot.
Manny Frishberg — For taking my slew of words and pushing me to do better throughout our editorial process. You rock!
Jeff Herndon — For giving me a cover that I fall in love with every time I see it.
Kevin J. Anderson — For giving my book a shot. I hope it does WordFire Press proud.
… and there are certainly others I’m forgetting to thank. I apologize if I spaced out on you and/or your name while typing this up. There are so many people who have helped me over the years. Thank you all.
I’m a bit late in getting this up, but if you want to see me this upcoming weekend at MileHiCon, swing by the Hyatt Regency Hotel in the Denver Tech Center. I figure I’ll be getting there right around noon-ish, and I’ll be around the hotel until mid-afternoon(-ish) on Sunday. Outside of the programming I’m on (see below), I’m not entirely sure exactly where you can find me.
I hope to cross paths with old friends, make some new friends, and have a good time at MileHiCon this weekend!
Here’s the programming that I’m scheduled for:
Friday, October 27 at 3 PM
Session: Author 201, Subtle Self Promotion
Room: Wind River B
Other Panelists: N. Lowell, E. Mah (moderator), C. Weaver, C. Winters
My Take: Why me?!!?! Anyone that’s met me in person knows that I’m anything but subtle. I hope to be able to give great advice to the attendees that won’t lead them astray. Maybe I’ll tell stories about what not to do. 🙂
Saturday, October 28 at 5 PM
Session: Panning for Gold in SF’s Golden Age
Room: Mesa Verde C
Other Panelists: V. Calisto, S. Jackson, K. Spriggs, J. Stith, (I’m the moderator)
My Take: I’m glad I’m the moderator. I get to ask questions about this era and make everyone else look smart by answering them. This is actually a topic I’ve had to research a bit just to not make my questions look foolish.
Sunday, October 29 at Noon
Session: Girls and Women Who Totally Compute
Room: Mesa Verde C
Other Panelists: C. Kay, S. McClune, C. Weaver (moderator), M. Ward
My Take: I’ve been in computing for 30 *cough* something years in pretty much every field imaginable. I feel qualified to talk about this based on my experiences, but since I’m not a woman….. I hope I can get up here and talk the talk without embarrassing myself too much. My angle is going to be how to encourage, support, and open door for women than other folks may be slamming in their face. In other words, “Don’t be that guy, be a better guy.” We’ll see how it goes.
This is a bit last minute, but I’m finally stealing the time from something else to invite you to come out to MileHiCon 48.
I’ll be there.
Come say hi!
Here’s my schedule:
9 PM: Writer Meetup at the Bar
Pikes Peak Writers volunteers will be there (with deelie-boppers on!) to host a get-together for all writerly types. It’ll be just outside the bar area on the second floor. Come mingle! Come drink (if you want to, not required)! Come chat! We’re all nice folks and won’t bite.
4 PM: Brewing/Vintning Round Table
Come join me and four others as we sit around in a quiet room and talk the ups, downs, messes, successes, and wonders of homebrewing your own beer and wine.
11 AM: Open Mic
Instead of specific author readings this year, we’re doing an Open Mic session for 90 minutes. Come read a bit (about 5 minutes worth, so we can get to everyone) from your book, poetry, short story, flash fiction, or some other form of writing. Try to keep it PG-13 if you can.
When I’m not at one of the above things, you can either find me in the general area of the con, in a panel, or at the Pikes Peak Writers table selling tickets to the Pikes Peak Writers Conference at an early-bird rate!
Wow. What a year. Ups. Downs. Even some sideways curves thrown in. I’m not going to go through every, gritty little detail and bore you to death. Here are some highlights of the year for me!
The year started out with a bang as the government decided it wanted back taxes on my grandfather’s estate. I damn near blew a gasket as my dad had promised this wouldn’t happen again. The stress of this all damn near drove me to stroke-level blood pressure for a couple of months. In the end, we had to sell my grandparent’s house (the house I spent ages 12-19 living in) to pay the taxes and get some cash out of the deal.
While this ordeal was going on, I received the good news that Phobias: A Collection of True Stories had been released with one of my stories in it. It’s a non-fiction piece, but it’s a gripping tale of how my arm was mostly amputated in a car wreck, and what’s gone on with me (physically, mentally, and emotionally) since that dark night in 1988.
Then came April with the annual Pikes Peak Writers Conference. Yet another great conference was had by all, and I was extremely grateful to be able to meet and hang out with old friends and new friends alike. The highlights of my 2014 PPWC were meeting Chuck Wendig, Jim C. Hines, and Michelle Johnson. Michelle asked for my full manuscript while at conference, but ended up passing on it later in the year. More on that later.
The rest of the year passed as I cranked out short stories, submitted them to a variety of markets, and let the rejection slips pile up in my inbox. Such is the life of a writer. You keep at it. Write more. Become better. Submit stuff. Accept rejection. Rejoice in acceptance.
July found me at a new Day Job. I’m still doing software engineering duties, but simply for a different employer now.
August rolled around and another anthology I’m in was officially released. The road was long and arduous for this particular anthology, but it got pulled off and I’m quite happy to have a story in Carnival of the Damned.
September found me in Paris for ten days (including travel time) for work. It was nice to go back again (I went as part of a tour group when I was a teen), but able to go alone, do what I wanted, when I wanted, and all that good stuff. However, I did get sick right before the weekend. Horribly sick. I bounced back quick enough, though. I was still able to see some of the sights I wanted to visit, but not nearly as many. That’s ok. I guess I’ll save up some things to see for next time I make it there.
Then in October a few things hit nearly at the same time.
Early in the month a flash fiction piece I’d written called “Broken Violence” was featured on HorrorAddicts.net.
Then later in the month, MileHiCon rolled around. This is a near-local (just up in Denver) convention that’s very well-priced (less than 50 bucks) and is always a hoot to attend. Again, I got to meet up with old friends and make some new ones while I was at it. The convention was all-around great (again) even if the fire alarms went off a few times on Saturday night and forced us to move the midnight showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show to another room.
When November rolled around, I received a very nice and thoughtful rejection letter from Michelle regarding Warmaiden. At this point, I’d been shopping the book around for an agent/editor for over five years. I decided it was time to move on from Laurin’s stories and write something fresh and new. The struggle to publish my first novel (and its sequels) was just becoming too much of a burden, and I needed to step away. It all, I trunked around 320,000 words from the trilogy. I still have them around, but they’re not going anywhere anytime soon.
December rolled around, and I was writing more short stories, and decided to take a break from them to crank on a novel. I took two “short” (they’re short-to-novelette length tales) stories about the same character, merged them, added more material, amped up the grit and blood, and created (what I think is) a pretty decent urban fantasy tale. It’s a bit on the short side (about 44,000 words), so I’m going to run it past the critique group and get their input on places to improve/expand the story.
If you look to the right sidebar of my site, you’ll see that I came up one story short on my goal, and 10 submissions short of that particular goal. I’m okay with that. I now have one more publication from those submissions (Broken Violence), and eleven more stories to shop around once they get some polish on them.
I gotta say…. Except for the shitty start to the year, I’ve had a pretty good one so far.
Here’s to hoping 2014 was nice to you, and may 2015 bring you as much success as you can fit in your hot little hands!
PS: Resolution for 2015 will be posted tomorrow. I’m still mulling around a few ideas, and I’m not sure which one to jump on just yet.
This weekend, I’ll be off to Mile Hi Con. It’s only up the road in Denver, but I don’t want to miss out on the late night and early morning festivities. This means I’m getting a hotel room at the event location. Strange how I’ll spend $40 on a conference and $200 more on the hotel. That’s okay. An outlay of ~$250 dollars (once you count gas) is fine for me for a weekend conference. Now, I can’t do that every weekend, but it’s reasonable for me to do that a few times a year.
I’ve already gone through the schedule and picked the sessions I want to attend. I’ll make another post with where I’ll be and when because I don’t have my scribbled-upon printout with me at the moment. My schedule is not all that important since I’m not on any panels. I’m just there as an attendee. Maybe, at some point in the future, I’ll be able to sit in on a panel or three from the presenter POV.
I’m looking forward to this weekend. It’s going to be a blast to meet some old friends, make some new ones and have some great times with everyone there.