Sci-Fi on the Rock 9, here I come! :)

Greetings everyone,

It’s spring time here (at least what passes for it with flurries still in the forecast April 18) and I’m gearing up for my first convention of the year. Last year I missed Sci-Fi on the Rock due to a family illness (he’s doing much better now) but this year I’m all set to go and will be there for 3 full days! (I know you can barely contain your excitement!) .

SFOTR9Logo  I’ll be downstairs in Diagon Alley (Salon F) on Friday from 10am-8pm, Saturday from 9am-6pm, and Sunday from 10am-5pm (with a short break around 1pm). As before I’ll have copies of my Newfoundland Vampire series (two books so far!) comics, some magic cards and of course FREE CANDY! (That always seems to bring people around).

11132199_738291536707_1043323700_o Killer on the Road: A Newfoundland Vampire Story Book II

If you can’t get enough of me (and really who can?) I’ll also be doing a talk Sunday at 1pm called "Adventures with Vampire Fiction and Publishing". I’ll also be having a look around the main floor upstairs, hopefully a friend will be there to watch my table. What can you see upstairs? Great costumes like these:

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Lots of great vendors, information about other conventions like the first Avalon Expo (also here in St. John’s), the 4th Atlanti-Con (in Corner Brook, the west coast of Newfoundland), groups, meet the guests and of course all the fun panels (probably none as good as mine though 😉 It’s always a great convention and I hope you’ll be able to make it. Come see me and I’ll tell you all about my new publisher and when to expect books 3 and 4 of my series. In the meantime have a great weekend and watch the Star Wars 7 trailer (it rules!).

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My new publishing home!

Hi everyone,

So I have some good news, I’m with a new publisher! Earlier this week I signed a contract with the great people at Distinguished Press.

This means that book one of my Newfoundland Vampire series will be re-released along with book 2 and later book 3. I’d love to tell you the dates for these momentous occasions but you’ll just have to stay tuned!

At this time I’d like to publicly thank Catrina Taylor for offering me a contract with DP and being super nice and welcoming. Jen Leigh, for being an excellent editor, for her honesty, for recommending me to Catrina and for taking a chance on this paranormal author. And last, but certainly not least, Karyn Pearson. I’ve known Karyn for a few years, she is a talented writer, a great person and a good friend. She was instrumental in my choice of going with DP and putting in a good word with Jen, thank you so much.

thanks-Skullteeth-voodoo-ani.gif~c200  I’ve also made friends with several of the authors at DP and been welcome by everyone, so thanks as well to everyone at DP!

So to my fans (and I know there’s at least a few of you 😉 Please be patient, book 3 is coming and I’ve already go ideas for book 4. Until then, have a great day/evening/morning all and I’ll talk to you soon.

Atlanti-Con 3, my thoughts

Well it’s October, the leaves are turning, it’s getting colder and it will soon be Halloween but for now my thoughts on Atlanti-Con 3 at SWGC in Corner Brook.

I could tell as soon as I started to set up my table that it was going to be a great weekend. I showed up early (setup time was 6pm and I was there before 5). Jeff Keeping was there already (like always), welcomed me and said to come back in a hour. So I came back later as soon as I arrived Angela Street and Katherine Gallant came to offer help with some of my heavier boxes. Their friendliness and desire to help was much appreciated and helped me to shorten my setup time. I should say at this point that all of the volunteers and organizers (who are volunteers too I’m sure) did an excellent job with every aspect of the convention.

I’ve been to conventions where my name tag/table where not even ready when I got there but Alanti-Con was 100% prepared and organized, I also highly admire and appreciate that. My table soon set up I headed off to dinner with my wife Friday night, looking forward to the next day’s festivities.

I haven’t mentioned Fat Apollo (Mike McCluskey), he did the opening and closing ceremonies (and was a guest, along with doing a panel). He is always funny, has a ton of great stories and great to hang out with. After a good time at the opening ceremony I hurried back to my table for what turned out to be a brisk day of sales. I won’t get into numbers but it was one of the best conventions $ wise I’ve had in years. As usual I found that comics and Magic cards do better than my novels (the fact that book 3 isn’t out yet probably hurt sales a little as well). Saturday night I went to Mike’s panel (which was really funny and well done) and went to a movie with Joanne. I’d also like to say here that I appreciated being invited to King Henry’s Pub that night to hang out with Jeff, all the volunteers and guest but I’m a man of my word, I promised that I would take Joanne to a movie and this was the only night for us to go (we saw "The Equalizer" if you’re curious and it was good, I’ll post my review of it soon). Looking back I do regret not talking with Cara, Robert and the other guests but there’s always next year and I did get to hang out and drink with Mike twice (King Henry’s pub is a nice spot).

Corner Brook is a beautiful city, I love the walking trail that starts right at the hotel I stayed at (Glynmill Inn) and I made good use said trail walking to the con (which was held once again at Sir Wilfred Grenfell campus) Saturday and Sunday morning. My hotel was only a 10 minute walk to the con, so it was good exercise and not too far.

I’m lucky as here’s the view I had from my table

012  I forgot my camera so I didn’t take a lot of pictures (these were from my iPad) but as always I loved to just sit and watch as cos-players go by. I got to talk with lots of cool people and had one woman ask to take my picture (which was a nice ego boost). I also had a chance to chat with Scott Bartlett (fellow author) and Matthew Ledrew (author and owner of Engen books) I had one kid (he looked maybe 8 or 9) come back to my table 4 times for comics and other people come back for Magic cards several times.

This year there was plenty of food selections (including sandwiches and delicious cookies and cupcakes) plus the fact that it went to a good cause (Scaredy Cat Rescue) made it twice as good.

Security (both campus and volunteers from the con) did an excellent job and were friendly, I always felt my table’s contents were perfectly safe. Also I loved the constant power point (I assume that’s the program) screens that ran on monitors to give people info about the con (and let them know I was upstairs) and was very pleased with the ad I paid for in the program booklet. Jeff came around several times to make sure everyone was doing well and said he would make an effort to get people upstairs to authors/artist alley.

013   Let’s move along though, as with all the conventions I’ve been to, Sunday is the slower day. That was fine as it gave me the chance to pick up an excellent deal on comics (you can’t do much better than 50 cents each!) and a fat pack from the latest MTG set. Arlene Keeping (Jeff’s wife and the treasurer) came up around 3:40pm to tell us the closing ceremonies had been moved up to 4 (from 5). My last customer showed up a little before then and I was happy to pack up and head downstairs.

015  The left is the one picture I took of someone in costume (as Daenerys Targaryen of course). For a look at lots of other great pics, have a look here.

So it’s getting late here and I’m tired, to wrap up a great con, tons of fun, lots of sales, great people, fun guests, good panels, well-organized and a lovely spot. I have heard that next year will be the Pepsi Center, I’ve never been in the place but I trust Jeff and the gang to pick the best location. So to Jeff (who I’m fairly certain will read this) thanks for a great con, all your hard work continues to pay off and here’s hoping for next year to be bigger and better. Oh and I’m happy to give money so you DON’T dress up as slave Leia, I think that’s something everyone can agree on 😉 Great job everyone, as always a pleasure to be there, I’ll be sure to attend next year and I’m sure that will be a great one as well. Until next time (which will be a movie review)…

Atlanti-Con 3!

Hi all,

So it’s that time of year again, late September and I’m soon off for Corner Brook and Atlanti-Con! This will be my 3rd year going out and I always have a great time.  Jeff does an amazing job organizing (along with all the other great volunteers) and this year will be better than ever.  As per usual I’ll be selling my two vampire books (third one will be next year hopefully, see this post on why).

NewfoundlandVampire2-coverFRONTNewfoundlandVampire-coverFRONT700.jpg  Aside from my books I’ll also be selling some Magic cards, comic books and giving away free candy! (until I run out). Also this year I can take credit cards through my iPad (technology can be great) along with cash. If you’ve never been to Corner Brook you owe yourself a visit. It’s a lovely little city with a great walking trail, great restaurants and some amazing views.

A few of the great guests this year include:

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Fat Apollo (Michael McCluskey), I’ve hung with him now lots of time and he is hilarious and great guy. He gives great advice and always has great sweets with the proceeds going to charity!

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Robert Axelrod (Lord Zedd from Power Rangers).

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Cara Nicole, cos-player extraordinaire.

I could go on and on but I won’t. Instead check out all everything you need about the schedule, guests and vendors at Atlanti-Con, this year they even have an app, how cool is that? I’ll be there all day Saturday and Sunday (September 27th and 28th) and I’d love to see you there.

Flea market this Sunday! (the 13th)

Hi everyone,

It’s summer here and I’m back on the Flea Market circuit (there are several, though usually I only do one to be honest). So if you’re out in about come see me this Sunday (July 13th) at the C.L.B. Sunday Market from 12-4pm. Aside from my books (Newfoundland Vampire book I and II), I’ll be selling Magic cards and comics (some more expensive than others). Have a great summer and I hope to see you there!

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Diaper Parties and books, what will they think of next?

Greetings and salutations all,

About a month ago I went to a diaper party, what a diaper party some of you may be asking? (I know what it is because I’ve been to a bunch) Let’s see what the good old interwebs has to say:

“This is the male equivalent to a baby shower. When the mother of the child has a baby shower, the father of the child has a Diaper Party, at which his buddies (usually the significant others of the women attending the baby shower) bring cases of diapers and beer.

Hey man, is your Diaper Party the same day as the baby shower?”

women-history-month-sports-no-interest   The above is from urbandictionary.com and it sums it up. It’s the male version of  baby shower, here’s the problem I’ve had, all my friends are geeks. As such I’ve  never had a very good time at any of them. Yes I know what you’re thinking, maybe that’s more my fault than theirs but let me give you an example of how they can get weird from a brief recount of the one I went to last month. So a friend of my brother’s (and I guess a casual friend of mine) who we’ll call Bill invited me to his party. I brought diapers but no beer (I had been at a party the night before and was more than a little hungover) and it wasn’t a BBQ (it snows here ‘till mid-May if you’re curious as to why). You know how you have friends that you only see once, twice or maybe three times a year? Bill is that kind of friend for me. So I went and as expected the hockey game was on (Bill’s a geek but a lot of people he invited aren’t). I have zero interest in sports, at least watching, I’ve never followed a team and couldn’t care less about the Olympics or any playoff/championship game. There was food but of course I’m a vegetarian (no one else there was) so about 90% was not what I would eat. To make this party even more strange is the fact that his parents are there (he doesn’t live at home but this is where the party was held) and they invited all these people in their 50-60s who are all bikers. I knew maybe 6 people there out of 30. All this adds up to a rather boring time for me, at least for the first few hours.

(I couldn’t find a picture of a guy who didn’t like sports but it’s okay, I’m a lot cuter than her 😉 So as I’ve noticed during parties after a while when the early birds leave (or in this case they really out of place biker people trying to social with people 30 years younger than them) break into smaller groups where people chat more. This one guy came in the room and started talking about TV shows (in particular Game of Thrones, which is amazing by the way!) books and movies. Naturally my geek antenna went up and once I had my chance I worked my way into the conversation. We had a nice chat about geeky stuff (there’s a ton of comic books movies these days and lots of good TV). Bill felt his social duties to mix with the rest of party ended and he came in too (I quite like Bill if you’re wondering, I’m just not a family man and I find you naturally spend time with childless couple rather than those with them). Eventually we started talk about books and in particular horror ones (which I am something of an expert on).

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We both agreed that “The Dark Tower” (by Steve King of course, if you didn’t know that you may be on the wrong website!) starts off wonderful but eventually turns to almost unreadable garbage (King basically admits that he pumped out the last two books because he thought he was going to die after a bad accident). And no I haven’t read the latest one (which actually takes place earlier in the series) and yes the comics are generally top notch so I don’t condemn everything with “Dark Tower” on it. I finally found a chance to start talking about my books (“The Newfoundland Vampire” books 1 and 2) and I handed out a bookmark (now double sided!). I don’t know if he’ll buy a copy (I don’t remember his name, I’m terrible with them) but I think I made a good impression. (You know I was going to work a plug in here somewhere!) I always like to hear people’s perspective on vampire books/movies/TV shows in particular as I’m in the editing process for book 3 “The Gathering Dark” that should hopefully be available right here sometime in September.

The Newfoundland Vampire: Part I The Newfoundland Vampire: Part II

So if you’re at a crappy party by advice would be drink more (if you’re of age and get a ride home of course) or just stick it out and wait for the people you want to chat with. As for diaper parties…they’re not going away here in Newfoundland and at least I can buy the biodegradable ones, plus I find there’s always a few geeks everywhere I go.

Florida Vacation, a little sad news and winter

Hi everyone,

Well it’s been a while since I did a personal post, so here we go. As usual I’ll start off with my annual Florida vacation. This year we were there from March 5-28 and had a great time. The start of the trip was very busy as we were there with my parents, my brother, his wife and my niece and nephew. 8 people in one house was a little out of my comfort zone but it was only for a few days. I love my niece and nephew but this pushed me to my limit. Anyway on with the best part, the pics!

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Obviously those were the house and me with my nephew Gregory, I do love the pool and like most things it life, it goes well with beer.

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My parent’s place is in Grant, FL but the pictures above are from Sarasota. We drove over there (about 3 hours away) to visit my father-in-law who was also in Florida the same time as us. The beach there was excellent! It was groomed and the sand was so soft, like flour.

The picture of the TV screen is from a restaurant we went to over there, it had this free poker game you could play while you waited. I only wish it had been for money as I did quite well (I did win money while on vacation, about $400 which was really nice).

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Me and ScarJo (I wish, God she’s hot!) It’s me at a comic book store (red hulk behind me was in last year’s post I believe)

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The above two are from Hard Rock Hotel Universal Studios. The below ones are of course from Universal (I love that place!)

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Cool costume but I thought the Transformers ride (which is fairly new) sucked, it just seemed like a cheap copy of the Spiderman one. The 3D was also blurry, which is always a bad sign.

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Time for another critical comment, I love the Simpsons and I was really looking forward to Moe’s. While it looks great inside and has some clever ideas (like the phone rings and it’s characters from the show), the actual products were WAY over-priced and tasted like crap.On a positive note the 3D ride is a lot of fun and all the statues are great.

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Not a great costume but the above is Cyclops. So in my opinion Rock-it is by far the best ride there, Dr. Doom’s Free fall next and then the Hulk (I was wearing the shirt after all!).

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No that’s not a mistake, on this tiny island called Green Turtle Kay a can of asparagus cost $8.30! Obviously we didn’t buy it (and mostly ate out).

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If you look hard enough I think there’s a crazy cat person in every small town, okay I’m being mean. It was a good thing she fed so many cat’s, I never got to see the insider of the house. She claimed that their used to be more cats but someone stole a few! She is quite a character for sure.

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Can’t rent cars on Green Turtle, so golf cart it is! They were actually fun to drive once you got used to it (though noisy as hell!)

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The next few are from MegaCon in Orlando, Florida (there were a LOT of people there, I’d say 30,000 at least). What should have taken 1.15 to get there took 3 hours! Next year if we go I’ll stay in the hotel next to it.

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There were six people from the Walking Dead there but we were just too late getting there and didn’t get to meet any of them, hopefully next year.

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Meeting Stan Lee. I had thought about it for months off and on and when the moment finally came I was excited. Like a lot of things in life it’s the anticipation that is the best feeling. He was nice but I barely had any time to talk to him. I thanked him for all the great comics he co-created and gave him a copy of my book (The Newfoundland Vampire, if you’re new to my blog). He said thank you and smiled, it was a good moment in my life. I hope he goes back next year so I can attend a Q&A with him and actually ask some questions.

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Wil Wheaton, what is there to say? He’s a great guy, friendly, very knowledgeable about many geeky things. I chatted with him for a little about board games and card games and also gave him a copy of my book (he is a writer too after all).

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Karl Urban, good actor, nice guy. I asked him if there will be a Judge Dredd sequel and he said “I hope so”, me too.

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The above is me with a lizard (they are everywhere in Florida!) and below is an abandoned house next to my parent’s, pretty cool.

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The sad news, while we were on vacation one of our cat’s died. Her name was Esther and below is the last picture we have of her. It was upsetting (obviously) and sudden. I had her to the vet just a few days before we left and everything was fine. The vet said afterwards it was sudden and she didn’t suffer. Luckily our neighbour and my sister-in-law looked after her body while we were gone. I’ll miss her and I’m dedicating my third novel to her.

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I wish the pictures below were an April’s fools day joke, they’re not. These are pictures taken April 1st 2014 right outside my house. Did I ever mention I hate winter?

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I won’t end on a downer. The snow is melting today and we’ve been out looking for a new cat. Hopefully tomorrow there will be a new addition to our household (I like Maxwell for a boy and maybe Lucy for a girl). I’ll post a few pictures when the kitty gets here. For now have a great weekend everyone, oh I finished the rough draft of my third novel, so expect that in your hands sometime in the near future!