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The Portal Opens: GenCon Preview, Part 2

August 13th, 2013

GenConThe portal opens, and for one week the city changes, reality morphs, fantasy rules.

The event is GenCon, the massive fantasy and science fiction gaming convention that takes over Indianapolis each August.  Attendance this year is projected to break past records, which were well beyond 40,000 attendees.

Part of the event is the GenCon Writer’s Symposium. That’s where I’ll be spending most of my time this week – conducting workshops, serving on panels, doing readings, and (most importantly) hanging out with other science fiction and fantasy writers. It’s always a blast.

I’ll post additional reports this week (provided I get the chance). In the meantime, here’s my schedule for the convention. If you’re there, be sure to say hello.

THURSDAY

8:00-11:00 AM

Fiction Fundamentals Workshop (Room 243): The first installment of three days of intense fiction-writing workshops that I’ll be presenting along with W. H. Horner – editor in chief of Fantasist Enterprises. Topics covered on this day will be Structure, Outlining, World Building, and Character.  If you’re seriously interested in learning to write fantasy, science fiction, or horror fiction, you’ll want to be sure to attend.

12:00-1:00 PM

Book Signing (Dealers Hall): The best place to get your V books signed and get promo material on the upcoming Vortex: Book Three of the Veins Cycle. I might even have a copy or two of the newly released Crimson Pact: Volume 5, which editor/writer Paul Genesse will be launching later in the week.

FRIDAY

8:00-11:00 AM

Fiction Fundamentals Workshop (Room 243): Today’s topics will be Tension & Pacing, Connecting with Characters, Dialogue, and The Power of Details. Professional secrets will be revealed!

12:30-1:00 PM

Reading (Room 243): I’ll talk about writing, share some stories, and offer a preview of Vortex. Not to be missed!

5:00-5:30 PM

Crimson Pack Reading with Paul Genesse (Room 243): I’ll be joining Paul for a special presentation of a story that takes place in a city very much like Indianapolis, at a convention that just might be GenCon. Yes, you’re in the story, too. Be there!

SATURDAY

8:00-11:00 AM

Fiction Fundamentals Workshop (Room 243): Today’s topics will be Revision and Editing – the most essential steps in the writing process.

12:00 Noon

Exploring Genres – Steampunk (Room 245): I’ll be moderating this panel discussion of Victorian-age science fiction with Sara Hans, Paul Genesse, and Jennifer Brozek. This panel broke some attendance records when I took part in it two years ago. Looking forward to doing it again.

2:00 – 3:00 PM

Exploring Genres – Hard SF (Room 244): I’ll be moderating this panel discussion of science-based science fiction with fellow writers Wesley Chu, Jason Sanford, and Geoffrey Girard. I’m looking forward to this one.

There are also a number of mass author events planned. I need to get the dates, times, and places for those. Again, I’ll update this report as time permits. It’s going to be a busy week.

Got to go. The portal’s opening.

See you on the other side!

GoingLIVE with the 21st-Century Scop

July 28th, 2013

Lawrence C. Connolly GoingLIVE2Fiction, art, and the pending release of Vortex: Book Three of the Veins Cycle — those are just some of the things publisher Will Horner and I talked about in our recent interview on FCTV.

The episode was conducted in conjunction with Seton Hill University and the In Your Write Mind Workshops that we both took part in last month. You can watch the interview by clicking on the image.

Here’s a description from the program’s press release:

Going LIVE  was developed by the Coordinated 360 team, subcontracted station operators for Fayette TV, with an idea to celebrate the best in Fayette County arts, culture and entertainment. We had no way of predicting, however, just how much big-city talent existed in our small community.

Blending humor, light-hearted discussion, and interactive games and demonstrations, Going LIVE with FCTV is Fayette County’s first and only live variety show focusing on arts and entertainment. At Going LIVE, we’re also passionate about supporting and providing a platform for live, local music — almost every show begins and ends with a performance from homegrown talent representing a diversity of musical genres.

Will and I didn’t conclude with a performance, but the interview did give us a chance to touch on some interesting points regarding past and current projects.

Special thanks to Heidi Ruby Miller for putting the spot together.

Now let’s go watch that video.

Scop on!

 

Report from the KGB

June 23rd, 2013

KGB SignFrom the outside it looks like a redbrick townhouse, with only a small sign above the door to let us know we’ve arrived at the KGB Bar – the place that both New York Magazine and the Village Voice have named the best literary venue in New York.

The doors are likewise unremarkable, opening to a flight of stairs that leads to a dim room decorated with Soviet art. For a moment I feel as if I have arrived back in Leningrad, or possibly the upstairs gallery of the illegal artist in my story “Smuggling the Dead.”

MM DeVoe Nicholas Kaufmann Alexa AntopolEllen Datlow, one of our hosts for the evening, is already there. She shows us to our seats, and within minutes people start arriving. I recognize some of them. There’s Nicholas Kaufmann, M. M. De Voe, Rick Bowes, Linda Addison, Gordon Linzner of Space and Time Magazine (editor emeritus), Vaughne Hansen of the Virginia Kidd Agency, and Will and Meesh Horner of Fantasist Enterprises. It’s going to be a fun evening.

Tom Connair and Heather SedlakSome newer writers are also settling in, among them are Heather Sedlak and Tom Connair, MFA candidates from the graduate writing program at Seton Hill University; Andrew Alford, who’s made sales to Space and Time and Midnight Echo; and Nicholas Schwartz, a terrific young filmmaker who has recently option my story “Shooting Evil” for adaptation as a short film. Others are there as well. Too many to mention. Soon, the room is overflowing.

Matthew KresselSarah Langan is also there, of course. We’re sharing the bill. She’ll be reading an excerpt from her forthcoming novel. I’ve selected three stories from Visions. Between the two of us, we have what seems a nice mix planned for the evening.

Cohost Matthew Kressel kicks things off with the announcement of a Kickstarter campaign to help underwrite the continuation of the series. He also shares a list of upcoming readers, including Libba Bray, Lucius Shepard, James Patrick Kelley, and Thomas F. Monteleone. Listening to the list, I’m thinking I’ve got to move to New York so I can become a KGB regular.

Lawrence C Connolly Reading at KGBThen Matthew introduces me, and I’m on. The stories I’ve selected are “Step on a Crack,” “Prime Time!” and “Echoes.” I plan to deliver each from memory, a mode of presentation that harkens back to the roots of storytelling. Think Homer or the Beowulf poet, traveling scops who carried their works in their heads and presented their texts live without reliance on the printed page. I’ve blogged about this technique elsewhere, particularly in Scop 101.

The stories are a bit like songs. They’re longer, of course. And they don’t employ rhyme. But each has a vocal rhythm that facilitates memorization. The audience is wonderfully receptive, and the performance goes well.Sarah Langan at KGB

After a break, during which Will Horner does brisk business at the Fantasist book display, Ellen introduces Sarah – the three-time Bram Stoker winner whom the New York Times has referred to as one of “Shelley’s Daughters,” a strong writer of contemporary horror who carries on the groundbreaking work started by Mary Shelley.

Sarah reads the first chapter from The Clinic, and it’s clear from the delivery that she has another Stoker contender in the works.

The reading leaves us all eager for the book’s release.

will meesh heather3After the readings, about 20 of us head out to dinner at the Grand Sichuan Restaurant in St. Mark’s Place, after which Ginny and I make our way back to our Midtown digs. Special thanks goes out to our New York friend for getting us through the subway turnstiles and showing us the way. We never would have made it without them!

Our original plans were to stay in the city one more day, but a gig at another nightspot – Riley’s Pour House in Pittsburgh – sends us packing in the morning. Still, I’m amazed at all we were able to fit into our short stay.

VortexThere’s lots more to tell, including an account of my visit to GQ for lunch with former Twilingt Zone editor T.E.D. Klein. I’ll try to get to some of it in a follow up post. Look for it soon.

I’d also like to share the preliminary cover art for my forthcoming novel Vortex: Book Three of the Veins Cycle. If you were at the KGB and stopped by the book display after my reading, you got an advance look at what artist Rhonda Libby has planned for the conclusion of the series. If you didn’t, I’m going to keep you in suspense a little longer. The art warrants a blog post of its own.

In the meantime, keep reading. And, as always – rock on!

Image Credits:

Screen cap of the KGB Sign is from the Fantastic Fiction at KGB Fundraiser video.

Photos of  Milda De Voe, Nicholas Kaufmann, and Alexa Antopol;  Tom Connair and Heather Sedlak; Matthew Kressel; Lawrence C. Connolly; and Sarah Langan are © Ellen Datlow.

Photo of Meesh Horner, Will Horner, and Heather Sedlak is © Lawrence C. Connolly.

Fantastic Fiction at the KGB

June 16th, 2013

KGB“Admission is free, drinks are cheap and strong, and the level of excellence is such that KGB has been named best literary venue in New York City by New York Magazine, the Village Voice, and everyone else who bestows these awards of recognition.”

That description is right from the source, Denis Woyochuk, co-founder and president of the KGB Bar in New York’s East Village, where I’ll be reading this week as part of the Fantastic Fiction Series hosted by Matthew Kressel and Ellen Datlow.

Sharing the bill will be Sarah Langan, three-time sarahlwinner of the Bram Stoker Award and one of my favorite writers.   As Tim Pratt put it in Locus a few years back: “Sarah Langan is one of the bright new hopes of horror– an intelligent, literary, ambitious author capable of scaring the ever-loving crap out of her readers.” It’s going to be a fun evening.

Sarah Langan’s novels include The Keeper (2006), The Missing (2007), and Audrey’s Door (2009). At the KGB, she plans to read from The Clinic, a work in progress.

VortexI’m planning on reading some stand-alone selections from Voices, all tied together with an overarching vignette.  In addition, I’m planning on unveiling (with the help of Will and Meesh Horner of Fantasist Enterprises) the preliminary cover art for my next book, Vortex: Book Three of the Veins Cycle.

The art is by Rhonda Libbey, and it’s jaw-dropping. Rhonda will also be doing the interior illustrations for Vortex, and if you’re able to make it Wednesday, you’ll be among the first to see what she will be bringing to the concluding arc of the Veins Cycle.

I’m looking forward to this trip. I’ve been away from the city for too long, and I intend to make the most of it while I’m there.

In addition to the reading, I hope to visit with T.E.D. Klein, who purchased some of my early stories for Twilight Zone Magazine back in my salad days. I also plan to meet with a young filmmaker who is planning a short adaptation of one of my stories from This Way to Egress before I hurry back in time to do a Friday show at Riley’s Pour House.

Busy week.

Nevertheless, I hope to get a chance to blog about some of the trip’s highlights before heading out to Seton Hill University at the end of the month, where I’ll be giving presentations for both the Writing Popular Fiction program and the In Your Write Mind writing workshops.

No rest for the wicked!