Posts Tagged ‘coastal magic’

Friday morning started out with me setting out my jewelry, as I do a few times a year at conventions. As you might guess, as a full-time agent and part-time writer, I don’t have a ton of time for much else, but I’ve never learned how to relax, and so I must be productive at all times. Thus, when I’m not reading or writing or negotiating, I’m generally beading or scrapbooking or traveling. Every once in awhile I lay about on the beach, but even then I have a book in hand, market reading if not a client manuscript on my Kindle. Not that I’m complaining! I got into this business because I love books and twenty-three years later, that love has only deepened.

Shortly thereafter I had the privilege of participating on the Mystery & Suspense panel with Katie Reus, Tonya Burrows, Graylin Fox, and Jana Oliver. As you may or may not know, my latest release is a young adult suspense novel entitled Faultlines (definitely one of the books of my heart), though my previous series have also employed mystery/suspense elements. You have to write what you love!

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That afternoon, Alethea Kontis, Hildie McQueen, Lisa Kessler, Deborah Blake, Mari Mancusi, Jana Oliver and I banded together for the Tea & Tiaras meet and greet. There were, of course, tiaras and other largess from each of us princesses, plus giveaways. We started off very well behaved.

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But then, of course, things devolved….

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Or evolved, as I like to think of things, because, as you all know, well behaved women seldom make history!

That night we had the Movie Magic Mixer. There were some truly great costumes, including Mari Mancusi as Jedi Rapunzel, Chelle Olson as Katniss Everdeen, Graylin Fox as a fairy queen, Paige Tyler as a Star Trek character… I wore the same goddess outfit from the meet & greet and decided that I was Athena from the Percy Jackson books/films so that I could stay in theme! We danced our booties off and had a great time with the selfie spots that Jennifer Morris and her team had set up! If only my camera had been cooperating, I’d have more shots to share.

Whoo, and that’s all just Friday!

Saturday started out with the Remaking Mythology panel (and others, of course, but I can only speak to where I was at any given time!). Alethea Kontis, Asa Maria Bradley, Deborah Blake, Gail Z Martin, Eric R Asher and I talked about merging mythology into our stories and had a darned fine time doing it!

This was followed by a very nice conference Lunch with an Author and then, one of my favorite events, one I both look forward to and dread every yearthe Flash Fiction panel, where the audience throws things at us like post-apocalyptic vampire penguins and my fellow panelist throw out things like “scientific nipples” and…ahem, well, since I write young adult fiction, maybe I should leave out the rest, although I’m sure there are clips and perhaps a few write ups of some of the more outrageous elements! My notes below might give some indication as well. They certainly don’t do the panel justice, but maybe the looks on our faces will! (Most pics courtesy of Graceful Art & Photography. Flash Fiction panel L to R: Amy Lane, Julie Kenner, Dee Davis, Becky McGraw, Damon Suede, me, Kiernan Kelly.)

The book signing was amazing, as always, and once again I got to share a table with the wonderful Poppy Dennison. Dinner at Bubba Gump’s and a rousing few rounds of Cards Against Humanity finished off an awesome evening.

Sunday, Deborah Blake and I reprised our Mythological Jeopardy using our low-tech board and high-brow antics. (Well, antics, anyway!)

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Then, with sadness, I bid Coastal Magic good-bye, and drove two and a half hours home… Or almost, anyway. Two hours and ten minutes in, give or take, my car started running rough and then making a terrible noise. I was just getting off at an exit near home and hoping to make it to somewhere I recognized when the noise turned into smoke and then an explosion like someone had set off a bomb beneath my car. I managed to steer it to the shoulder, but alas, my oil leak had led to a crack in the engine block and the car I’d been hoping to save for my son when he gets his license (any time now) was no more. We could possibly have raised it from the dead, but the repairs wouldn’t have been worth it. The car had made it twelve years and around 144,000 miles. Better it should die with me behind the wheel than our son. He’ll now have a much newer car coming to him when the time is right!

And that’s all I have to say about that.

Hey, all! Taking a page out of Deborah Blake’s book—because she writes really awesome books—I’m going to do the write-up of the Coastal Magic Convention in two posts, because there’s just too much awesome to fit into a single one.

First, for those who don’t know, Coastal Magic is a convention that happens every year the first weekend in February out in Daytona Beach, FL (except for the very first year when it was Olde City, New Blood and took place in St. Augustine). It was special right from the start, an intimate, casual convention of authors and readers in a beautiful beach setting.

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Last year I threw my back out right before the convention then made the mistake of driving out anyway, exacerbating everything and ending up in the emergency room.  Good times! This year was even sweeter for knowing what I had missed (my con family) and knowing that Jennifer Morris, who puts this con together with love, sweat and, I don’t doubt, a few tears, had saved my spot. Thank you, Jennifer—for everything!

Deborah Blake was my roommate for Coastal Magic both this year and last (lucky her!), and I couldn’t have asked for better. We started out the con with a great lunch at Bubba Gump with a great group of people (L to R: me, Gail Z. Martin, Nancy Northcott, Eric Asher, Deborah Blake and Alethea Kontis).

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We moved into a wonderful meet and mingle that evening, complete with unicorn hunt, courtesy of the wonderful T.C. Blue. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen grown adults bolting across the entire length of a ballroom to swipe a stuffed unicorn out of a light fixture before anyone gets to it. When my story is told—and it will be, probably for generations to come—please note that no actual attendees were clotheslined in the pursuit of my unicorn. Really, I swear.

To cap off the evening, we had Damon Suede’s famous Cinema Craptastique, in which he takes a horrible, terrible, no good, very bad film and makes it…well, palatable might be going too far, especially in this case. How about much more amusing than it otherwise has any right to be. This year’s choice was GLITTER, staring Mariah Carey. All I can say is that this is not to be watched without alcohol and someone like Damon to Mystery Science Theatre it. You have been warned. It is truly, horrifyingly, disjointedly bad—short scenes with as little dialogue as possible interspersed with slow-motion montages interspersed with more short scenes, many including the same two songs which seem to have been the only ones chosen for the film. I’ll give you one thing, Mariah Carey has a helluva voice, always has, but her acting… Well, I’ll just leave that right there. Anyway, Damon really gets into his work, and sometimes out of his clothes for the occasion, as you can see!

Before I get to the awesomeness that was the Coastal Magic Convention, a quick note about where I’ll be next month:

March 14-16 in Mount Dora, FL for the Lake County Library BookFest 2015: DREAMS AND NIGHTMARES (along with client Amy Christine Parker, author of YA thrillers GATED and ASTRAY)

March 27-29 in Brea, California for the California Dreamin’ Conference (along with romance clients Vicky Dreiling and Debra Mullins and Knight Agency author Chris Marie Green)

Both of these sound like fantastic events with great lines-ups of presenters!  For the California Dreamin’ Conference, you can check out my Q&A on their blog. I hope to see some of you there.

And now for the Coastal Magic Convention.  I’ve been every year since the tireless (and by the end absolutely exhausted) Jennifer Morris first organized the conference, back when it was Old City, New Blood, and here’s why: it’s a community.  This convention brings together authors, bloggers and readers in such a way that we all get to know each other pretty well.  We become a family.  Going back year after year is like a reunion.  I love, love, love being an agent.  I have a much easier time promoting my clients’ books than my own, but every once in awhile, it is nice to shuck off the idea that I have to maintain strict professional decorum, which leads to a certain reticence/distance in my interactions, and just be author-me, who is a lot more easygoing and feels free to wear skully dresses if she damn well pleases.  Also, she participates in Flash Fiction panels with the hilarious Damon Suede, which leads to stories about tentacled alien maidens with four sets of breasts.

Oh yes, the Flash Fiction panel is one of the highlights of the convention (to me anyway), as is Damon’s wonderful Cinema Craptastique, in which he Mystery Science Theatre’s a really bad movie for our enjoyment.  This year it was The Legend of Hercules.  And OMG, this was wrong on about every level imaginable – historically, mythologically, CGI-ically.  Really, truly awful.  Do not watch this film unless you’re at RT for Damon’s reprise of Cinema Craptastique or have found a really good drinking game to go with it.  You have been warned.

Some old comrades were missing this year, which was sad.  (I’m looking at you James R. Tuck, Delilah Dawson, Karina Cooper, Janice Hardy, Nancy Haddock, Amy Lane, …)  But it was great to catch up with others and to make new friends, like J.A. Souders, Aria Kane, Jenna Black, Kristen Painter, Amanda Carlson, Christina Farley, Poppy Dennison, Chudney Defreitas-Thomas, Chelle Olson, Myra Nour, Melanie Marsh, Jess Haines, and so, so many people that I can’t possibly even try to list them all because I will leave people off and I don’t want that kind of pressure.

I love the panels, love the meet and greets, loved the dance this year with the crazy photo ops and generally had myself a blast.  Some pics are below for your enjoyment.

Coastal Magic has become more than a convention for me in the few short years Jennifer Morris has been been running it.  It’s become a family reunion.  Every year she brings together the most amazing people and every year I feel like I’m coming home.

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If you want a taste of this very awesome event, you can come to the convention February 5-8, 2015 in Daytona Beach and/or join many of us this Friday for our Scary Stories Facebook event, starting at 7 pm ET.!  There’ll be spooky tales, giveaways, great authors and other seasonal goodness.  Together with Paige Tyler, I host from 8-9 pm.  The full schedule is available here! Also starting Friday, Jennifer is hosting on her website a week of Halloween Flash Fiction inspired by some spooky pics she’s provided.  Personally, I can’t wait to see what everyone’s come up with.  The pictures were very inspiring!  The schedule for this event is below.  I hope you’ll come join in on the fun!

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Friday, October 24th

Terry Spear

Menna van Praag

Linda Robertson

Saturday, October 25th

Rane Sjodin

Rebecca Zanetti

Sunday, October 26th

Amber Belldene

Tish Thawer

Monday, October 27th

Alex Hughes

Jan DeLima

Tawdra Kandle

Tuesday, October 28th

Alex R Kahler

Lucienne Diver

Wednesday, October 29th

Gini Koch

Olivia Hardin

Thursday, October 30th

Elliott James

Brynn Myers

Friday, October 31st

James R Tuck