Paranormal/Fantasy Romance Author


Dragon*Con: Last Day

The last day and it was empty. I’d say a sixth of the people, maybe less. Hardly any costumes. Most everyone was packing up and leaving.

My brother and I only went today so we could see if there would be any sales at the dealer tables and get some stuff signed. I picked up the shirts I wanted from the get go, so I’m happy about that.

I managed to get two out of the three things I wanted. The third was only because there were no manga dealers. That surprised me greatly. There was a dealer selling anime but no manga. All of you indie store owners with a big manga inventory take note. You might want to get in on Dragon*Con next year. You’d have no competition since the book stores make no appearances.

There were TONS of corset dealers. You couldn’t walk a few steps without running into another corset dealer. In one spot, there were three corset dealers side by side. I’ve never seen so many corset dealers in one convention. Very stiff competition.

I’ve got ideas for next year so far as costumes and promo are concerned. I managed to put out my promo postcards at a few locations and they were gone when I checked today. I’m taking that as a good sign. I wish I had thought to put them out on the first day. But, this was the first time and the test run. I know what to expect for next year.

Dragon*Con: Day Three

The exhaustion is catching up to me quick. Today was a lot more laid back. I ran into Leanna Renee Hieber on the way in and chatted with her a little bit. She looked amazing in her Victorian garb, as usual. I also met C.L. Wilson in the Exhibit room.

I did two panels. The first was a CGI panel that was more technical and meant for film students so I didn’t stick around. The second was a Transformers universe panel. I learned a few tidbits about the upcoming Transformers III movie. Like:
– Megan Fox isn’t in it
– Looks like Optimus Prime will have his trailer (finally!)
– We might see Shockwave
– Soundwave may have a bigger part
– Due out July 2011

After the Transformers panel, the idea was to attend a Star Wars art show in the main lobby of the Marriot. Well finding the main lobby was a pain. While looking for it, my brother and I discovered the second exhibit room, which was across the way from the first. We had totally missed it the first two days.

We thought we’d do a quick look around and then head out to the Star Wars art. That didn’t happen. The very first booth we saw when we walked in was a 50% off all trade paperbacks comic booth. There were no fewer than thirty long comic book boxes FULL of trade paperbacks and trade hardbacks. My brother and I spent at least an hour, if not more, going through each box. Everything was mixed so there was no other way to fin anything except to go through each box.

I spent $80 adding to my Savage Dragon collection (yes, I have started reading and enjoying Savage Dragon recently). I also got the first few trades of Dawn. I’m going to get Lisner to sign them when I go back tomorrow.

I had a shake-my-head moment. I stopped by one booth where someone was selling the shirt I was wearing. I was curious to see how much they were charging for it since I paid $7.50 for mine at Wally World. The guy looked me in the eye and said it was $22. I looked at him like he was crazy. It’s sad to think that (A) some poor idiot actually paid that price, and (B) the vendor probably got his shirts from Wally World just like me.

I took a lot more pictures today than any other day. Not for any other reason than I had more energy than the first two days. Besides, I plan on stealing copies of my brother’s pictures. So there was no need to do repeats.

I have officially crowned the BEST Dragon*Con 2010 costume. Without even seeing every single costume and knowing there is one day left, I have decided. I’m also biased since I LOVE this character.

Look at that and tell me that costume does not kick ass! It glows. When you take a picture with a flash, he glows. My camera is crappy, admittedly, but the pictures turned out okay. My brother’s pictures came out much better.

But there you have it. The BEST costume at Dragon*Con 2010, in my opinion. I love Illidan Stormrage and this guy did the costume justice. I’m so happy I was in the Marriot when he was. I would have hated to miss this costume.

I’ll upload some other pics to my FB account after I get home, but I had to share those two right now.

That was my day at Dragon*Con. One more left and that’s a half day. Then it’s back home again for same old, same old.

Dragon*Con: Day Two

Much better.

The parade down Peachtree was amazing. There were floats and vehicles and spectacles and it was GREAT. The funniest part — I thought — was when the Battlestar Galatica group/section walked past and pulled a guy dressed as Commander Adama from the crowd. That was especially funny since no in the group had thought to cosplay him.

The parade started with two guys dressed in full dragon armor. I know they were hot but they looked damn good. The parade ended with the Star Wars crowd. They are the biggest and so must bring up the rear. I did notice something though. There were lots of Starfleet officers and enlisted as well as lots of Klingons. BUT, no one else was represented. There were no borg or Romulans. There were a few Star Fleet Vulcans but that’s it. No Jem’Hadar or anything like that. I would think Borg cosplay would be the biggest after Klingons and yet none were there. I found that a little odd.

The highlight of the parade was the He-Man/She-Ra group. Yup, my favorite childhood cartoon came to life — He-man, She-ra, Sorceress, Teela, Orko, Castaspella, and Cowl were all in attendance. The woman who did Sorceress did a stellar job on her costume. I got pictures of the group after the parade was over and they were standing still. Very nice group.

After the parade, it was off to a Broad Universe quickfire reading where I found Jean Marie Ward and Diane Whiteside (among other authors). That was fun. Jean Marie did a great job with her reading. The other authors did as well, but hers was one of my favs and not just because she’s a friend. Diane’s book sounded intriguing and not just because it has dragons — though that did help. 😛 Watching them gave me insight into the art of doing readings. I took mental notes for the future.

I spent the rest of day wandering. I collected business cards from places I plan to visit online. I am bound and determined to keep my spending to a minimum. It’s working too.

Dragon*Con: Day One

3 HOURS!!!

That’s how long I and several other Dragon*Con pre-registration patrons stood in line to get our badges so we could enjoy the lovely offerings of this very BIG convention spread over 4 hotels. Three looooooooong hours, one and half of which was spent in the Atlanta heat of mid-morning.

There was fun conversation to be had since I was before a film school student/teacher. We had a nice chat about movies of the summer after griping about the long line and ways Dragon*Con could improve the pre-registration situation. It seemed worth it to forego pre-registration in the future and just pay the extra $30 to get the badge that day. The line for that was infinitely shorter.

The one good thing about the line situation helped me come up with a fantastic promo idea (or two or three) that I will implement next year.

After the line and getting badges, my brother and I wandered the massive convention track. We hit the exhibit hall, the dealer’s room, the comics & art room, the food court and then just wandered aimlessly before exhaustion drove us home.

The highlight of Day One was meeting NeNe Thomas. She started her career illustrating Magic cards. That’s how I was introduced to her art, which is totally and utterly AMAZING. I would hunt down any and all cards so long as they had her name on them. I told her that too. I bought her calendar and plan to visit her site for more goodies to purchase with my meager means.

The second jewel of my day was meeting Ted Naifeh. He is the author of the Courtney Crumrin series. I was first introduced to his art in the Gloom Cookie series. When I saw he had a book of his own, I started reading it and fell in love. He assures me that Courtney Crumrin has another two volumes planned but there is no set release date yet. I know how that is.

I met some other comic authors as well as some amazing artists. I got business cards from all of them so I can check out more of their work.

I managed to hook up with my friend Panya whom I haven’t seen in nearly ten years. I missed Jean Marie Ward, but I’ll try and catch her tomorrow.

The best costumes I saw were Guyver I, Bumblee in robot mode, and an alien. The most obscure was Jem from Jem and the Holograms. The costumes are fantastic and I only regret being too tired to dig out my camera and wave people down so I could get pictures.

Tomorrow will be better since I won’t be standing in line for three hours at the start of my day. As well, I know my way around — for the most part — so I won’t be expending energy wandering around aimlessly.

This is by far and without a doubt the biggest convention I have ever attended. Dragon*Con makes Otakon look small. That’s an accomplishment and a half. It really is an eclectic gathering of people from all walks of science fiction and fantasy life. I’m really enjoying it.

Dragon*Con: Making the Trip

The drive to GA was fairly smooth. Only a mild case of construction that wasn’t that bad considering there was very little traffic. A lot of cops but none of them cared about me. Bonus.

Alas, Fate is laughing her ass off at me in a HUGE way. I knew it was going too well. Drive was smooth. Traffic was almost nil. Aside from my sinus migraine that made the trip with me (always fun… NOT), the trip could be classified as nice.

I packed my fun shirts with interesting sayings, my rolling bag of promo fun, and my toiletry bag. One of these bags didn’t make the trip. Can you guess which one?

If you said the bag full of shirts with fun sayings (and the rest of my clothes), you’d be correct. Go ahead and laugh. *SIGH* Wally World got a few bucks richer tonight. The only good thing about it was finding reasonably priced jeans since I’ve been meaning to go jeans shopping.

I’m blaming this on Flash. Since she didn’t make the trip, all of the bad luck that attacks her during pre-con preparations is coming after me. This won’t happen next year because I’m dragging her along as a buffer.

Dragon*Con: Getting Ready

It’s almost here — Dragon*Con. Only a few more days.

I’m spending all of today getting ready. I actually had to start a to-do list so I wouldn’t forget anything… well, unless I forget to put it on the list. 😛

I was supposed to start doing stuff yesterday but a sinus migraine had me laid up. It’s still with me, but I can’t let it stop me today. A little Zyrtec should knock it right out… I hope. If not, I’ll just be running my errands in pain.

Interrupting bulletin — in the midst of trying to get ready for Dragon*Con I found out that ERIS will be in print in 2-4 weeks. This is a Yippee moment and an Ack moment. Yippee because of the obvious reasons. ERIS will be in a print. WOOT! Ack because that’s more added to my list of things to get done today.

Technically I don’t have to deal with my ERIS stuff today but it’ll bug me if I don’t. I want to concentrate on Dragon*Con and writing this weekend, not promo.

In later news, I have discovered Vampire Game by Judal. I’ll be collecting all fifteen volumes and reading them (probably in one go). So look for that review once the Dragon*Con madness wears off.

Book Haul (RT Con Follow-Up)

It’s been a little bit since RT Con Columbus ended, and I’ve finally gotten around to tallying up my books. It’s just a little belief that I should have something physical to show for shelling out that much cash (and being that exhausted) for a convention. Call me a merc, but that’s the way I am.

Even though I got two or three repeats (same publisher sponsoring multiple events), I made out pretty well. 😀

$792.06 in books. That’s almost $800.00 and almost twice as much as last year. That’s pretty funny considering I thought I hadn’t gotten that much. I missed a lot of free book events (free-for-all in the goody room, for instance). I guess I should thank Dorchester since it was three of their events where I cleaned up (specifically the prom night event).

I’m a happy Renee. Now to figure out which to keep and which to give to my beta reader and which to just give away.

THANK YOU! (RT Con 2010 follow-up)

I wanted to take a moment (after somewhat recouping from the Romantic Time BOOKlovers Convention in Columbus, OH) to thank everyone who helped to make the Spoonful of Frivolity party hosted by myself, Stephanie “Flash” Burke, Camille Anthony, and Dana Marie Bell such a HUGE success. It was the talk of the convention and there are pics all over facebook of the event (thanks so much for that, Kate Douglas).

I have a list below of the contributing authors. I know the list is not complete because some people hand-carried stuff and everything was too hectic for me to keep track properly. I apologize for that and I’m sorry if I missed listing you and you did contribute. Just comment on the blog post so you get proper credit too. 😀

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to Charles Paz (Mr. Romance 2009), Franco D’Angelo (runner-up 2010), and DeLonn Donovan for attending the party and for contributing to the prize totes. I know the ladies who won appreciate those signed tees and head shots. The guys were a huge hit wearing tank tees two sizes too small (Flash did that on purpose, guys) and letting women tear those tees from their muscled physiques. (Hey, if anyone got a pic of the various tearings, I would love to see it.) You guys made the party and I totally appreciate you fitting us into your busy schedules. So I’m passing out HUGE cyber-hugs all around.

To PJ and Marilu Mann (I know this is two people ;P) and all the others who were scrambling and helping us set up before the event, your help was very much appreciated. You got us going on time and that was really great of you all. So thank you, thank you. I couldn’t have gotten the bags stuffed and ready without you all.

To all of the readers and authors who attended the event, thank you so much for showing up. We had guesstimated 50 and had prepared for 50. I think there was close to 100 with standing room only. The energy you all gave off was a huge rush and kept me going through the rest of the day (though it did wear off and I crashed before the EC Red party, so I ended up sleeping through that but it’s all good). I and the others wanted everyone to have a good time and I think that happened. So thank you all for having a good time. And I know some of you took lots of pics. Please feel free to share them.

To Dakota Cassidy and the other ladies in her event (the one that followed ours, sorry for not knowing the name), I apologize for our party running over. We got so into it that we totally lost track of time. It looked like your event was a huge hit too.

Thanks to Stephanie “Flash” Burke for the absolutely GORGEOUS hats she made for “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” first line contest. I got pics of them all (with someone else’s camera). You’ll have to wait for Camille Anthony to load them all to see these amazing hats she created.

HUGE HUGE HUGE THANK YOU to Judith Rochelle (awa Desiree Holt) for all that she did (she knows what that was). It was great meeting you, lady. I hope to see you again. If you’re ever in Baltimore, MD area, you have to hang out with me and Flash.

Below is the list of authors who contributed books for the prizes and/or promotional items for the goody bags. As I already said, if I missed your name, please feel free to leave a comment on the blog so you get proper credit because this event wouldn’t have been as much of a success without the prizes and goody bags.

(No particular order):

Cindy Pape
Tara Nina
LaVerne Thompson
Barbara Monajem
Amanda Young
Elysa Hendricks
Giselle Renarde
Beth Caudill
Sandrine O’Shea
JoAnn Smith Ainsworth
Liz Fielding
Debra Parmley
Leanna Renee Hieber
Margaret L.Carter
Sheniqua Waters
Jean Marie Ward
Avery Beck
TJ Michaels
Hywela Lyn
Saskia Walker
Teresa Noelle Roberts
Michele Hart
NJ Walters
Elizabth Amber
Renee Wildes
Liz Kreger
Heidi Betts
Vanessa Kelly
Anne Kane
Helen Scott Taylor
Michelle Hauf
Tory Richards
Debbie Wallace
Nancy Haddock
Kris Kennedy
Linda Barrett
Vonna Harper
Laura Bickle
Anne Marsh
Lynnette Hallberg
Kimberly Lang
Judi Fennell
Linda Robertson
JL Wilson
Marcia Colette
Margaret Mallory
Farrah Rochon
D. McEntire
Christyne Butler
Chelle Cordero
Collin Kelly
Jane Toombs
Kay Stockham
Marcia James
Kate Pearce
Jackie Ivie
Nina Pierce
Beth Henderson
Susan Lyons
Patricia Sargeant
Carolan Ivey
Karen Wiesner
Allison Brennan
Alexis Fleming
Kate Douglas
Nicole Austin
Monica Burns
JoAnn Ross
Tilly Greene
Christine McKay
Desiree Holt / Judith Rochelle

To the contributing authors, just so you know, Flash and I have the practice of not throwing away promo. If you send it to one of us, we will find some way to give it to potential readers. For those who sent more than the 50 requested, I’ll be taking the extra to Lori Foster’s Get Together and handing it out there.

Again, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you to all those who contributed, helped, attended, and/or just sent happy thoughts. I had a great time at the party.