LepreCon 44

Next weekend, I’ll be on panels at LepreCon 44, which is being held at the Doubletree Metrocenter Mall in Phoenix, Arizona from June 22-24. LepreCon is a small fan-run general fantasy & science fiction convention. The guests of honor include Chesley-Award-Winning Artist, Lubov, novelist, playwright, and graphic novelist, Maxwell Alexander Drake, and Jon Santaana Proudstar who created the first all Native American comic. Another guest is James C. Glass, a retired physics and astronomy professor who won the Writers of the Future Contest in 1991. LepreCon is a smaller science fiction and fantasy convention, but I’ve often enjoyed these types of events because they provide an opportunity to interact with the guests and the fans attending the convention.

My schedule at the convention is as follows.

Saturday, June 23

    Reading – 1-2pm – Consuite. I’ll present a reading from my newest book, Owl Riders and talk about other projects. I’ll also be available to autograph books.

    Is Everyone White? How Do We Approach Skin Color in Fiction? – 7-8pm – Executive Board Room. Do we assume skin tone when we read? How should we describe skin tone when we write? Is it okay not to? On the panel with me are Ernest Hogan, Emily Devenport, and Maxwell Alexander Drake.

Sunday, June 24

    Habitable Extra-Solar Planets: A Reality Check – 9-10am – Latana Room. Being in the so-called habitable zone where liquid water can exist isn’t enough. What are the hazards? On the panel with me is James C. Glass.

    Researching Pasts that Never Were – 4:30-5:30pm – Executive Board Room. Alternate history, steampunk, and weird westerns are often set in pasts that never existed. The panel discusses researching histories that never were. What details can you change? What details shouldn’t you change? At what point are you including too much of your research? On the panel with me are Ernest Hogan, Jamie Wyman, and Tony Padegimas.

Duncan’s Books and More will be selling books in the dealer’s room and should have a selection of my titles. If you’ll be in Phoenix next weekend, I hope I’ll see you at LepreCon!

In the Word Kitchen

I’ll be at LepreCon in Phoenix, Arizona from July 23 through 26. To learn more about this fun science fiction convention, visit the LepreCon website.

This week, several writing and editing projects I’ve been working on have taken major steps forward. I feel like a chef in a kitchen working on several dishes at once, doing my best to make sure they all get the proper amount of attention and go out to my guests in the right order. cook The photo is an old one of me in my chef’s coat. I don’t have pretensions of being a great chef—or at least many pretensions—though I am a pretty darn cook if I do say so myself. My wife was inspired to buy me the coat after watching cooking shows and realizing there must be a practical reason for the coats. Mine has saved my arms from grease splatters and saved a few shirts. It was well worth the investment.

Moving from slinging hash to slinging words, I’m currently working through the final copy edit of The Astronomer’s Crypt. This is my novel about creatures from the beginning of time, drug dealers, ghosts, and astronomers colliding during a cloudy night at an observatory. For those who want to follow the adventures of this novel, be sure to follow my horror fiction blog at http://dlsummers.wordpress.com. In addition to catching last minute grammatical errors and spelling mistakes, my copy editor has done a lot to flag places where the action can be tightened and my use of language can be more effective. It’s been a good experience.

While working through edits of my novel, I’m editing an exciting post-apocalyptic novel called Sector 12 by L.J. Bonham. I’ll be sure to share more information about the novel when it comes out. I think being edited helps me be a better editor. What’s more, editing another author’s work helps me be more receptive to the comments of my editors.

I’ve also started reading stories for the anthology Kepler’s Cowboys which collects stories about those people who will blaze trails to planets discovered by NASA’s Kepler Probe. I’m editing the anthology with Kepler’s Project Scientist, Dr. Steve Howell. So far, I’ve received some great stories, but there’s plenty of room for more submissions. If you’re interested in trying your hand at a submission, be sure to read the guidelines at http://www.hadrosaur.com/antho-gl.html.

As with any good chef, I have a secret recipe and even something a little extra—what a Cajun might call a lagniappe. I actually have two more projects in process. I’m just waiting to formalize a few more things, then I’ll be ready to unveil them as well. Stay tuned. Or, to use a variation of Chef Paul Prudhomme’s catchphrase: Good eating, good reading, good loving!

LepreCon 41

Next weekend, I’ll be a participant at LepreCon 41 in Phoenix, Arizona. The convention will be held from Thursday, June 25 through Sunday, June 28 at the Embassy Suites Phoenix North. This year’s guests include David Gerrold, Jennifer Brozek, and Dayton Ward. It’s especially exciting since I’ve had the chance to work with or alongside each of those people in at least one project. For more information about LepreCon, visit their website at http://leprecon.org

My schedule at the convention is as follows:

Friday, June 26

    3-4pm – Suite E – Discovering New Worlds. A presentation about the techniques used to discover planets beyond the solar system and a look at the kinds of worlds discovered. This presentation will focus more on how new worlds are found. My presentation on Saturday called “Planets Outside the Solar System” will focus more on what kinds of planets are being discovered.

    5-6pm – Suite D – How to Make Your Own Telescope. I show you how you can make a simple and stylish Newtonian telescope from easy-to-find, inexpensive parts that’s easy to transport and set up so you can enjoy the night sky

    7-8pm – Suite C – East Coast Steampunk meets West Coast. How does Steampunk fashion and style differ from the east coast to the west coast? On the panel with me are Dee Astell and Ileana Herrera.

Saturday, June 27

    11-11:30am – Suite E – Autographing. Bring your books for me to autograph. I’ll also have a few of my own wares along to sell.

    2-3pm – Suite E – Planets Outside the Solar System. A look at how we discover planets outside the solar system, what kinds of planets we’ve discovered, what we know about them, and the future of planet hunting. This presentation will focus more on the actual planets discovered.

    10-11pm – Suite C – Steampunk and History. Steampunk blends elements of history, science fiction, and fantasy. How much historical research needs to go into your steampunk story? Can you completely reinvent history for your steampunk story? Does it even have to be set in history to be called steampunk? I envisioned this as a panel with multiple people, but it looks like I’m doing it by myself, so come equipped with questions. I’ll likely do a reading or two to show how I’ve approached issues of steampunk and history.

Sunday, June 28

    10-11a – Suite E – Mars: A Land Across the Aether. A presentation about Mars of the 19th century and how it became a place in the popular imagination. Where did the Martian canals come from? A look at the early debates about Martian life. Listen to Tesla’s recordings of extraterrestrial signals.

If I missed you at Phoenix Comicon, I hope to see you at LepreCon! Also, remember, the Favorite Heroines Blog Hop is still going on. Be sure to drop by my last post and enter to win a copy of Lightning Wolves.