Book Club Author-Candy Alert:
Kim Harrison and Jeaniene Frost are coming to New York Comic Con 2011.
New York, NY 10003
6:30 pm for Q&A/Signing
Events are held in the events space at the back of the store.
A 20% discount is offered on event related books on the day of the event.
Are you ready to play 6 Degrees of Kim Harrison and Jeaniene Frost? That's what I was doing when I started happily embedding all those author links because you wont know who or what is going to pop up until you click one (silly grin). If the massive mystery web of author link love doesn't intrigue you, I promise to throw in some random Urban Dictionary vacation Ebonics to make you go hmmm and feel right at home (because you know I'm gonna be teasing peeps - it's what I do - LOL). ;-)
One stellar Penelope Trunk conversation I happen to be VERY fond of is "Use Blogs As A Career Tool For Becoming Super-Connected." Authors do that a lot so I figured we'd start our chat over there. According to P, "Blogging allows you to create a high-quality network for yourself based not on the old model of passing out business cards but on a new model of passing out ideas."Penelope also points out the fact that, "Most of the time you spend blogging will be reading other peoples' blogs and linking to them and writing commentary on your own blog about what others in the blogosphere are talking about."
Hmm... We do that a lot, especially when engaged in book club, so my bookies and I are going to be naughty bloggers and have a marathon link fest for our NYCC 2011 posts (starting with this one - LOL). Sometimes, I think the main reason why I love hosting Book Club is the fun we have lurking live on author blogs while bantering in Skype about the unexpected, mad funny, subtle but snarky blog moments that keep us entertained and craving more updates from our favorite cyberlebrities. When it comes to fascinating characters like Rachel Morgan or Cat and Bones, we can Skype about the authors and their wonderful creations for hours. We happen to be huge fans and the people who routinely read me know that I'm absolutely wild about Kim Harrison's work.
I have a thing for Ivy, Jenks and Rache. You'd think they were real people the way we mourned over Mati (sigh). Cat and Bones have one of the most engaging urban fantasy relationships I have ever seen. If you read Kim and Jeaniene you'll find the hypothetical concept of how bookaholics morph into fanatics easy to grasp. Authors who write excellent books seduce readers into falling madly in love with their book series. Fans will band together behind their favorite writers and become their virtual cheerleaders if they produce consistent quality work. It doesn't just happen with books. We also fall in love with bloggers like Penelope and at some point start becoming fans of Uber-Editors like Diana Gill too. Dude, where would our authors be without their editors and agents? We pay attention to them as well we just don't blog it much (LOL).
Some of us are still squealing like a bunch of three year olds on a literary sugar high in our electronic sandbox because we love the Holidays are Hell - Hotter than Hell - Unbound - Dates from Hell - Prom Nights from Hell crew and can't wait to see a couple of them. Harrison, Frost and Liu? Um... Can you say Author-Candy? (LOL)
According to Wikipedia: "A fan, sometimes also called aficionado or supporter, is a person with a liking and enthusiasm for something, such as a band or a sports team. Fans of a particular thing or person constitute its fanbase or fandom. They may show their enthusiasm by being a member of a fan club, holding fan conventions, creating fanzines, writing fan mail, or by promoting the object of their interest and attention."
October 25th The Bite Before Christmas
Sometimes, the best part of social media is the ability to simply be a happy fan.
I don't have any Jeanine Frost author swag but as a adoring fan I always wanted some while buying every electronic download of her books I could get my hands on.
Because I like lurking on-line peeking at her updates I know that on Saturday, October 15th, 6pm – 7pm at the Harper Collins booth #944 on the main show floor New York Times Bestselling Author Jeaniene Frost is signing “The Bite Before Christmas” (special early release) and on Sunday, October 16th, 1pm – 2pm at the Harper Collins booth #944, Jeaniene is signing “First Drop Of Crimson” (free giveaway of book).
Her urban fantasy books are romantic, snarky and absolutely fabulous so you should definitely snap those puppies up. Here's my reading order (I was clueless as to whether it was in the correct order at the time I did this so feel free not to follow me because I still don't know - LOL):
You'd think I'd figure it out by now since I routinely get regular e-mail alerts to keep up with author blogs. I like to make sure I don't miss lurking on 'em (LOL). I don't always comment on blogs but I do make it my business to try and read my faves when ever I can. I fool around a lot on-line and goof on a handful of writer sites so much people actually e-mail me links when I do things like miss commenting in the Kim-o-sphere for more than two days in a row. Three days of not talking gets my virtual butt kicked because I'm messing with the routines of the 30 people I normally Facebook direct chat about her with (silly grin). If I don't go back to posting cartoons and learn how to draw a pixie rumor has it FB people are coming to my house to confiscate my sketchbooks and upload the stuff I've been hoarding and picking over (LOL). ;-)
For those of you new to my blog I happen to be an unrepentant Kimaholic. If there were a 12-step program to cure me I'd play hookie from it (LOL). I LOVE being addicted to her brilliant plot twists bouncing off the edge of all that fun, dark and twisty, snarkily-ironic dialog. I could re-read a Harrison novel all year and never get bored. I've grown a wee bit dependent upon all those pleasant little surprises hidden within her complicated characters who happen to give the cartoons in my head something mad fun and very cool to do. Best part? Kim is a sweetie pie. Go check out her blog at The Drama Box. It's a comfy nifty place to hang out with KH and her readers and I like chatting over there. K-Stream peeps are playful (and so is she). We have a lot of respect for her.
I am hooked on all of her books. If you are going to read The Hollows/Rachel Morgan series do read them in order:
Dead Witch Walking
The Good, The Bad, and The Undead
Undead in The Garden of Good and Evil--Ivy novella in the anthology Dates From Hell.
Every Which Way But Dead
A Fistful of Charms
Dirty Magic--Mia short story in the anthology Hotter Than Hell.
For A Few Demons More
The Bridges of Eden Park-Kisten/Rachel short in the US mass market edition of For a Few Demons More
Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel--Robbie/Rachel/Pierce novella in the anthology Holidays from Hell
The Outlaw Demon Wails (retitled Where Demons Dare in the UK)
The Bespelled-Ceri/Al short story in the US mass market edition of The Outlaw Demon Wails
A Perfect Blood (coming spring 2012) FYI: "A Perfect Blood" is Book #10 of The Hollows/Racheal Morgan series. According to GoodReads, "Ritually murdered corpses are appearing across Cincinnati, terrifying amalgams of human and other. Pulled in to help investigate by the FIB, former witch turned day-walking demon Rachel Morgan soon realizes a horrifying truth — a would-be creator is determined to make his (or her) own demons. But it can’t be done without Rachel’s blood..."
That tease has us all drooling to read this book. We are in ARC Hell trying to get our hands on an advanced reader copy (melodramatic sigh). Psst... Fans routinely chase advanced reader copies. We like author collectibles, "like" being an understatement.
Dedicated fans interconnect. Street Teams Super-Connect because organized fans have a vested interest in pimping their fave interests like author books/blogs to the max. I am addicted. I am quite happily invested and my friends and I adore pimping books (LOL). Our devotion to great writers on our own blogs is the equivalent of having season author fan tickets and doing a play by play of our fave moments in their writing games. Each time they publish something new it's like going to the literati version of the Superbowl where everyone who loves them is a winner because the authors that blog have shared their creative advances and retreats, character stumbles and emotional falls, writers blocks and Hail Mary chapter passes with us. We tune in to their reality TV and frequently enjoy the YouTube show especially when a fave author is chatting about creating a graphic novel and new projects.
Some dedicated fans (like me) are notorious swag chasing autograph hounds who will do a lot for a beloved writer because they value every encounter and treasure every book. Some of us are so into writers we gravitate to street teams because we want to get in on the marketing and promotion action. We're the unpaid interns learning a cool craft because we realize the value of doing something fun that we love and appreciate all those times authors paused to share writing tips and encouragement to total strangers interested in them and their profession.
If you read Kim Harrison and Jeaniene Frost I bet the more you discover their work the more invested you'll gradually become. They have a wonderful gift for writing that will blow your urban fantasy mind (in really nice ways - LOL). They inspire people like me to get excited just by the thought of hearing them speak on a professional panel. It's a very neat and rare treat that has us lined up twitching on our coffee bar stools in excitement while babbling all day on Skype as if the Pope were coming to town for four days (LOL).
Obviously we need a literati keeper (insert wicked little grin here). Authors, you might want to organize a few of us instead of letting us all run amok half crazed and hopelessly drooling over the prospect of being near you (LOL). If you want a cool, savvy author example of how to discover who your unofficial street team members are and harness their fan wielding power by giving us a few lines of useful direction, take a page from Stacia Kane and captivate us happy little volunteers (and give us a spot to register) because you never know when you may need a creative minion or two to hand some event fliers out (or tape those puppies up in our neighborhood libraries and stores so book-lovers know you're gonna be in the area). Some of us actually have newsletters we publish in other venues. I could be pimping you to law and real estate firms while plastering your widgets on music websites (Um... wait, did that already - LOL).
FYI: Our fave authors have us spellbound and captivated already so our Street Teams are already proactive that way (plus I am an incorrigible blogger who posts incessantly, is mad competitive and I routinely engage in search engine optimization blog bets so expect more bookie coverage and link love mischief - silly grin). Of course there will be more links. Do you know why? Authors active in social media lead readers on brief literary adventures with a wide spectrum of subjects from sharing relaxing moments and quiet insights into their day to whooping it up celebrating details about their new projects. There's always something to talk about. Talented authors have a way of inspiring readers to want to read more, so we gravitate towards the authors who blog and maintain active social media accounts because we know we are going to learn something new, something old and keep talking between projects until we can get our next read on.
Penelope Trunk (@penelopetrunk on Twitter) is an author, fascinating blogger (http://blog.penelopetrunk.com) and entrepreneur that I happen to love to follow because you can count on her to keep talking. Every time I read one of her posts I learn something that makes me think. Then I hop on Skype and start talking to people about what I'm thinking about, wander over to blogs and social media forums and talk about what they are thinking about and the chatter/banter/debates just keep flowing.
Be interactive like Penelope, Kim, Jeaniene and a host of other fantastic authors. They don't always write a serious business post. Sometimes they simply come out to play, share a personal thought or family moment. You may find yourself staring at a dog or a goat or a bit of knitting or a piece of cheese. It's not knowing what we're going to get next that make them so captivating, honest and real... Some of my best ideas have been birthed during playtime, like Skype-Sketching, high-jacking social media models with the wee people or spoofing and goofing with cool authors while creating author tribute tracts. Work becomes the new play if you can get a bunch of stellar professionals together to let their hair down and do what they do while chatting about what would be kind of fun to share. (Psst... Book Club Blues Vol.02 is in progress - author portraits and tribute tracks are also up on deck and Kim has me inspired to try to knit - evil grin).
Getting Super-Connected can be a lot of fun because hanging around talented people sparks creativity. It opens the door to discovering common personal/business ground that may lead to all sorts of interesting little "personal projects" among friends where it becomes a pleasure to get creative, complete work that feels like play and become part of a virtual street team supporting the people, places and things that matter most.
New York Comic Con 2011 happens to be a fabulous venue to hang out and network with creative people. FYI: If you want to know who's coming, what is happening, what New York Comic Con is, how to get to NYCC and where to stay start clicking the links (NYCC 2011 tickets are on sale here).
Supporting authors is one of our favorite projects and we treat it like being miniature patrons of the arts every time we buy their books. My favorite authors are simply amazing people who repeatedly leave me in awe so I love running a quirky book club and keeping tabs on their projects. They paint entire worlds into existence with the power of their words and I crave their work like an addict focused on the next artistic fix. Sometimes, I count down the days to the next publication and actually go into withdrawal waiting for new releases (LOL).
Some of the most effective people I have ever seen that cultivate an active, dynamic, on-line presence are many of my fave authors. Besides Penelope, I've seen variations of this "super-connected" strategy effectively put into action across the blogs and social media accounts of fabulous writers like Claire Legrand, Lynn Rush, Sherry Soule, Jeannie Holmes, Amy DeZellar, Michele Hauf, Jaye Wells, Stacia Kane, ILona Andrews, Faith Hunter, Jeaniene Frost, Kim Harrison, Vicki Pettersson, Jocelynn Drake, Patricia Briggs, Kendall Gray, Allison Pang, Lydia Y Kang and a host of others who happen to be mad fun on-line. It's the quality of their conversation, not the quantity of posts that keep me checking back for more info on their projects and how their writing or general day is going. It's the totality of the experience, not a brief splinter of an encounter that keeps me invested in supporting them and their work and looking forward to coming back for more encounters.
KH happens to be a fave author we love to chat about who actually triggered my fascination with urban fantasy writers. I can't get enough of the authors on our book club author family tree (and you can trace them all back to Kim Harrison, Jocelynn Drake and Vicki Pattersson) so we are absolutely thrilled that Kim is on a couple of NYCC 2011 panels:
DEMONIC HOTSPOTS, INFERNAL PIT STOPS AND THE BADLANDS:
THE GREAT AMERICAN ROAD TRIP TO HELL
Friday, October 14th, Room #1A15 8:45PM – 9:45PM : Kim Harrison, Patricia Briggs, Anton Strout and Edward Lazellari, Rachel Caine , Christina Henry, Duane Swierczynski.
WE’RE NO ANGELS:
PAY ATTENTION: THE POSTER SIGNING IS NOT THE SAME BOOTH AS THE BLOOD WORK SIGNING
Friday, October 14th at 4:00pm Kim Harrison, The Hollows Insider Comic Con Commemorative POSTER Signing at the Harper Booth #944 (free). Change of venue, same evening 6:00 - 7:00pm, Kim Harrison, Blood Work signing at Random House booth, #1040.
I also love falling in love with the work of creative people and bragging incessantly about them. Their hearts and minds are very precious to me and the authors that share little sneak peeks into their day make the best social media peeps to follow. P.S. You can never have too much creative people swag (LOL). Swag is like reliving a Kodak moment (happy sigh). It remins you of them and what they mean to you and that you got to hang out briefly before going back to your regularly scheduled program until the next time (LOL). ;-)
The fun thing about hanging out with creative people is the fact that they improve your quality of life with their ability to entertain you and keep you thinking. You can even hone your interpersonal communications skills with fabulous personalities sharing the same interests while collecting fantastic mentors. I have a few authors I habitually share links back and forth between our social media accounts (like Beta Testing Scrivener for Windows, flipping Jango music) and fun project ideas (like NaNoWriMo). Sometimes I get tech questions. Sometimes I ask writing questions. Most of the time we just hang out and share thoughts which is amazingly cool because they are so much fun to spend time with. :-)
Alexandra Samuel is the Director of the Social + Interactive Media Centre at Emily Carr University and the co-founder of Social Signal (follow her on Twitter as @awsamuel). Alexandra states: "The Internet's impact on our daily lives, experiences and relationships is real. Our world is deeply affected by networks. From the moment you wake up to news that was gathered online to the minute you fall asleep listening to a podcast, the Internet shapes how you experience the world around you." Ten Reasons to Stop Apologizing for Your On-line Life - Harvard Business Review
My on-line life is a lot of fun because I like adopting virtual people to visit and genuinely care about them. There are a lot of fabulous people you could be having stellar conversations with if you would invest a little bit of time to say hello to them. Here's one who does really neat ARC give aways that I enjoy chatting about on five of my blogs. Go enjoy a Claire Legrand moment by reading her post "Getting Outside Your Comfort Zone." I bet when you start bookmarking more writers like Claire they'll surprise the heck out of you and you may find yourself wanting to learn so much more about authors. While we bookies prepare for NaNoWriMo we're picking the brilliant brains of our fave authors and plan on "going to school" with their blogs. You can learn a lot from authors if you pay attention to their blogs.
Did I mention my faves are brilliant writers? That's why they're some of my favorite social media peeps (LOL).
Jocelynn Drake hosts fun live chats and always give us an amazing amount of useful material to debate. She is busy creating a new series but is very generous about taking some time out to share author resources. Jocelynn also gives fabulous generic writing advice like (a) getting to know your characters, (b) outlining a book, (c) finding an agent and (Oh Joy!) she's a gamer (LOL). If you're new to reading my blog you're going to discover that I gravitate to the fun social media peeps (and am an incorrigible tease and a fanatical gamer - silly grin). If you spend quality time with interesting/talented people life tends to become a fun adventure while exploring new learning curves.
I also recently discovered I have a thing for author chat rooms and chasing author swag. When Kim Harrison and Jeaniene Frost blogged they were coming to New York Comic Con guess who was burning up the virtual network trying to discover who else was coming? I'm not just interested in the authors, I'm also interested in the people I spend quality time chatting with about the fave authors we have in common. My fabulous Facebook peep Carla Galloway from Literal Addiction Paranormal Book Club is going with me. So are several of my Club Chaos bookies. Hopefully Christie Daratany Hernandez who happens to be a really cool Facebook peep can hang out with me at the NYU Bookstore.
Blogging is about starting conversations and trading ideas... even fun silly stuff like starting blog wars and creating author street teams. If you feel like starting a conversation, social media makes it possible to "individual" or "group chat" with people all over the world in the blink of an electronic eye. Toss a random thought into the Tweet-Stream (like join Kim's street team and pimp her blog - LOL) on any topic of interest and you have no idea who will eventually answer you back (silly bloggers like me?). That's half the fun of the Twit-experience. Make friends with the right/comfy "Tweople" and you just may find yourself linked up to wonderful new friends you look forward to spending time with. Kim Harrison has fabulous Facebook friends. I play with a few of them in Twitter and love discovering new things about them on a weekly basis (pick a link - any link - LOL). ;-)
Wanna make an instant fan-author-signing party? Micro-blog your invites when an author confirms they are going to a public author event. Pick a foodie spot near the event, do the author meet and greet, then go hang out and eat with your party peeps. Why would you not want to hang with friends, family and acquaintances at an author event and cool foodie spot before and/or after? It gives you a chance to get the physical copies of your digital books signed and spend quality time with the people you adore. :-)
For those not in the know and new to social media: Twitter and Facebook are examples of micro-blogging... There are a lot of cool conversations, links and business venues to explore (like New York Comic Con 2011) when you start exploring the wonderful world of micro-blogs and people bring information to your attention. Some micro-blog links lead back to business blogs, audio streams or visual images. A fave author or movie star may be attending an event (or sharing an interest/moment) that you may be able to access. However, if you don't read them or monitor their social media accounts then you may miss your moment to spend some quality face to face time.
Like if you have a thing for Maggie Q the Nikita crew will be at NYCC... Want an exclusive sneak peek at the hotly anticipated animated 3D movie from EPIX Pictures celebrating the uproarious and often sexually charged life and times of the late Graham Chapman of MONTY PYTHON fame? It's entitled, "A Liar's Autobiography." If you start paying attention to what's floating through the Twitter streams of the people you like, some of them can turn you on to a whole new level of hilarious banter while inviting you to meet up for unique experiences to spoof on later if you decide to get connected. Don't have a social media account? Why not? Most are free and social media is not a waste of time. You should get one so you can join the virtual conversations and discover fun YouTubes (like Vicki Pettersson: Tips From A Showgirl) and cool websites your friends like to haunt.
If you are looking to reinvent/improve portions of your digital life definitely go bookmark Penelope Trunk. Seriously... She can help you learn how to articulate the intangible and will teach you useful things you might not have had time to learn in cyberspace or real life like (a) "time management is about making time to connect with people" so "don’t hang out with people who don’t respect your time;" (b) "productivity is about meeting your goals, not getting out of doing work" and (c) "cut to the chase: tell people who are full of sh*t that they're full of sh*t." My point? You should come out and play with us and meet your favorite authors if you can because it is an opportunity for you to show them how much they and their work matter. http://blog.penelopetrunk.com
I have amazing social media conversations because Penelope teaches us to try contacting everyone and I routinely do. They are mad fun, good sports and actually put up with me (including P - LOL). Lesson learned? People are people and you should never forget that no matter what their job titles are so take time to get to know them one conversation at a time. You might make a cool new friend down the line... Or buy a stellar book or two... Or decide you want to be an author (like I eventually did - then drove everyone crazy writing like a lunatic - LOL). If you want to be a writer you really should try to attend functions like New York Comic Con 2011, Readers and Ritas 2011, ActiveRain University or any useful business conference/event/forum of your choice to get your socialization on.
I have been fence sitting and docking my author writing ship for years (melodramatic sigh) so this is me telling you don't do what I did. Socialize and talk to publishing industry professionals who know their specific industry, then start learning the foundation of what you need to know to function in a particular genre THEN READ THE BEST WRITERS. We all have to start somewhere, eh? Start with Kim and Jeaniene then go where ever you want to take your reading agenda. :-)
Here is a "How To Know What To Look For" quote from Penelope's blog post that I love (her third point of order): "Don’t look for a career, look for a life. It’s normal to not know what career you’d want. Because there is no way to guess what career you’d be happy in without doing it. Gilbert says that only 5% of people guess right on the first try because it’s so impossible to know. The way to increase your odds of guessing right is to look at someone’s life. Choose a life you want and then pick the career that person used to get that life."
Fun is making up fairy tales with your kids sprawled on the floor and drawing silly pictures to debate over later... They have absolutely no problem whatsoever creating custom children books. Think Autistic/PDD-NOS occupational/art therapy resulting in several fully illustrated monstrosities. I am their fave police sketch artist and frequently draw on demand for them so my kids are in possession of a lot of artwork (LOL). We eventually shred them (to the utter horror of a lot of people) but they belong to the boys so I let them keep and dump what they want (because excess inventory is very bad for an artist - sigh). Authors get it because they destroy the parts of their manuscripts they need to cut out in order to present their best work for editing and polishing.
Don’t look for a career, look for a life is stellar advice because we can play with our paint and electronic toys, do the writing, music and art together. The best jobs are the ones that don't feel like work. Letting the wee people be the boss makes everything fun for me. They enjoy the projects and have no idea being an author, music producer or art curator are viable professions. They like debit cards and shun money demanding payment in movies, M&Ms and hot wheel cars. I obviously need to work on their business, social and negotiation skills (LOL).
Stephen really likes Kim Harrison because of her "Went To The Animal Fair" post (and red hair). Sometimes, he wants to grow up to be a pixie because Step thinks Jenks is "KH kewl." They both like the graphics on the Kim Harrison covers (so I have to get the shorties signed copies of Blood Works and a poster.
While I talk my 5 year old out of living in "Jenk's Tree," we are creating several new author tribute tracks and drooling over our fave three book covers:
Actually, there is a fourth cover on deck. Shorty has been bugging me about Lynn Rush too. He really likes her Wasteland book cover and wants to help me learn how to use my animation program because he likes helping me float titles. I'm experimenting with learning how to do book trailers. I've been neglecting YouTube shamelessly but plan to have some fun over there with my social media peeps who don't mind me making promos since I have a couple hundred special effects I don't know how to use (and really should learn - LOL). ;-)
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