Knightfall Under Keros Release Week and FantaSci AAR!!
Knightfall Under Keros, AKA Salvage Bunny 2, comes out this Friday, 31 March!! All the excitement, all the squealing!! I had two folks come up to me at FantaSci who were on the early reader team to tell me they loved it. Totally made my day, and I absolutely squealed like a little girl. I'm so excited, and I can't wait to hear what everyone thinks of Kailey's next adventure!! To celebrate the release, I'll be on Inside CKP this Friday with our FREAKING FANTASTIC host Jeremy Comeaux (also my con husband who makes sure I eat real food instead of just mochas LOL) and Marisa Wolf. Expect a lot of cackling!
Before I get to the FantaSci AAR, I'd like to congratulate Joel Lyons and his staff for putting together such a fantastic con!! Not only did they work their butts off to organize an outstanding event, they were on top of everything all weekend. I had a blast, and will definitely return whenever I can.
Now, on to the after action report!! Thursday started with a gamble. I took a chance and showed up to the airport two hours early to try to fly out on standby on an earlier flight. It worked - barely. If not for the grace of an excellent flight attendant, I would've been hanging out at the airport until my scheduled flight, because I was about a minute too late. She got me on anyways. In Atlanta, I literally ran from one terminal to another, and made it just in time to get added on standby. So I made it to Raleigh four hours early without ever having sat down in either airport (this used up all my travel luck for the weekend, more on that later). Pre-con shenanigans started almost immediately, as they should. These shenanigans were pre-planned, because when they're of the permanent sort, it's best not to be spontaneous. Marisa Wolf, Hailey Gregor, Yvonne Jacobs, and I all went and spent the afternoon getting tattoos - because that's totally what girls typically do when they hang out. Paint nails, get out hair done. . . and get tattoos LOL.
Marisa and I both got (different) phoenix tattoos. We cackled quite a bit, btw, when we realized we both were planning on a phoenix. Nick Steverson called hers a smug peacock and mine a fancy chicken because he's a lovable asshole. More cackling ensued. The rest of Thursday was spent hanging out at the hotel bar and on the patio. I had a delightful conversation with Jon 'Oz' Osbourne and Mark Wandrey, and said hi to a bunch of old friends.
Friday was the official start of the con. Fortunately, the first panels weren't until 1pm, so I was able to sleep in a little. After some much needed Starbucks and lunch with friends, I sat on my first panel, The Other 98% of the Military. We had a great time talking about all the non-combat related jobs and how adding those kinds of characters to your stories can add depth and realism. . .also, a great opportunity to have some fun. At 5pm was a most excellent panel on the coolness of dragons. Just like adding the word 'space' in front of anything automatically makes it cooler, adding dragons to your story 100% makes it cooler. Whether we're talking fantasy, urban fantasy, or science fiction, dragons equal badass and cool. Later that afternoon, dinner shenanigans ensued that resulted in no actual dinner being had before the 8pm NSFW Romance panel, but several people stepped up and were awesome about ensuring our missing dinner was delivered. Also, there were drinks and chocolate-covered pretzels involved that made everything better.
By the way, that NSFW Romance panel was my FAVORITE. Hands down, such a blast. It's all H.P. Holo's and my fault, and neither of us are sorry or regret anything. We're also never allowed on the Introvert panel again for REASONS. Okay, it's because we totally hijacked it last year and turned it into a very tasteful discussion on smut. Again, not sorry, because we got the NSFW Romance panel!! Wheeeeeee!! All the fun, all the smut, would absolutely go back to FantaSci for this panel alone!! Marisa was a fantastic moderator, Monalisa Foster and H.P. Holo were both hysterical and amazing, and our token dude Michael Morton absolutely needs to be on this panel always because he was hilarious.
The rest of Friday was spent hanging out downstairs in the hotel bar/lobby area. At some point, Marisa and I decided we were 'tired' and headed up to our room to 'sleep'. Then we spent like three hours talking, because that's what we do when we room together. Sleepovers are the BEST!! Both of our husbands just shake their heads when we make poor life choices like that, but really, no regrets there either. . . even when I had to get up after six hours of actual sleep for my 10am panel on Saturday LOL.
Jason Cordova was his usual awesome self and treated me to Starbucks (as promised), which definitely helped wake me up a bit. Which was great, because I was really looking forward to sitting on a panel on Worldbuilding in a Collaborative Universe with Jacob Holo (H.P.'s awesome husband and cowriter of the Gordian Division series with DAVID WEBER), Mark Wandrey (creator of literally one of the biggest shared universes ever - the Four Horsemen Universe), Chris Smith (writer in John Ringo's Black Tide Rising series), Hailey Gregor (kickass new author with the Eldros universe), and Mike Jack Stroumbos (author of This Fine Crew series and new 4HU author). And then there was me, one of the core authors of Kevin Steverson's Salvage Title Universe. Such a great discussion! Next, I got to sit at the table for the CKP Year Ahead and talk about all the Salvage awesomeness that's coming soon - including my new book, Knightfall Under Keros. Did I mention that comes out this Friday?? LOL. So many great stories coming soon from CKP. You really can't go wrong with any of them.
Saturday night was the inaugural Phoenix Feast, where Marisa and I got to be the Madams Vice (think a military-style combat dining out and you get the picture). And yes, Marisa and I are well-aware of the irony of running the Phoenix Feast, celebrating the new Phoenix Initiative of the 4HU. . .while sporting new phoenix tattoos. Yes, there was a joke about that in the script. Again, no regerts. We had a blast being obnoxious and sending folks to the grog, and everyone seemed to enjoy the event. Not necessarily the grog, but is it even grog if it's enjoyable?
Finally, it was time to PARTAAAAAY. Which at FantaSci, means karaoke. CKP authors belted out the traditional rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody in honor of those who weren't able to attend, and I ended up on stage more than once. Okay, a lot more than once. It's possible my voice was pretty much shot by the time I finally called it and started making the rounds to say farewell. Why? Because my Sunday flight out was stupid early. I got about 2 hours of sleep, woke up at 430am, got to the airport on time. . . and then spent the next three hours sitting on the ramp waiting out a weather delay at Atlanta that jacked up the whole rest of my travel day. I spent the whole time at Atlanta working on getting a new flight since I missed my connecting flight by 10 mins. No time for food, managed to snag one mocha to keep from face planting in the middle of the terminal, and kept trying to get a standby flight. Again, thanks to some awesome employees doing their best to manage thousands of people who also missed flights thanks to the bad weather, I was able to go home and see my kids and my amazing husband who made this weekend possible. Again, I had such a good time. I'll spend the next few days recovering, but I wanted to get this AAR out before I lost some of the details.
In the last bit of news, I found out on Thursday that I'm one of the finalists for the 2023 Imadjinn Awards!! Sunrise Over Shippo is up for Best Science Fiction novel, and I've got TWO stories in the Best Short Story category - my Fallen World story, Goat Shopping, and my Valkyries Initiative story, Angel Wings and Demon Bones. Ya'll - I'M SO FREAKING EXCITED!! Nick Steverson is also up for Best Science Fiction novel with his third space dragon Salvage Title novel, Consequences. He definitely owes me a drink, because guess who told him to submit for it?
Ha! It's a good year for Salvage, and I'll be over the moon if either of us wins!! Whew, that was a long post. If you've made it this far, thanks for sticking with me. I'll see you all Friday on Inside CKP on YouTube!!