New York Comic Con 2011: Photos & Video

Quirk publicist Mari Kraske & Super Intern Chris Urie @ the Booth

So along with grabbing some awesome new books, Comic Con was a blast socially as well. Meeting book lovers and bloggers, media and press... man, what a good time. And the costumes! Oh, the costumes. So awesome.

Highlights included hanging out with Adri from Adams Media and Esther Zinn from Go Magazine, as well as swapping serious high fives with Paige from Fandomania, Cassie from Yrchmonger, Ryan (Agent M) from Marvel and other awesome bloggers that I've been wanting to score some face time with. It was also great seeing Broetry author Brian McGackin. Love that guy.

Quirk Goes to New York Comic Con 2011 from Quirk Books on Vimeo.

Anyhow, I've got some of my favorite photos below, and you can check out a full gallery on my Flickr page. I also shot a fun video, which is currently posted over on the Quirk Books website and above.

Can't wait for Comic Con next year! Enjoy

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New York Comic Con 2011 Recap: Five New (And Newish) Books I'm Psyched About

Meeting book lovers and fans... easily the best part about going to conventions, whether its BEA or Comic Con. Pulling in at a close second, however... is collecting swag. And I'm not just talking about t-shirts and kitschy pins & magnets that publishers and game companies dish out en masse. I'm talking about books. Oh, sweet sweet ARCs, how I love thee.

I spent this past Thursday through Sunday at New York Comic Con, doing my marketing thing for Quirk. Meeting Quirk lovers, dishing out books to media, selling titles to potential new fans... all in all, a great time. And in between chats with fans and press, I managed to sneak out of my booth to pick up some new(ish) titles from other publishers that I'm super psyched about. And really, you should be too.

1. Boneshaker by Cherie Priest: Okay, this isn't a new book. But Tor did something brilliant on Thursday at Comic Con, during press day. They dished out free copies of the first title in Cherie Priest's epic steampunk saga, which is set in an alternate 1880s America, full of zombies, steampunk and airships. There are two other books in the series already out, Dreadnought and the recently released Ganymede. I took my copy with me when I headed out to lunch.

After reading twenty pages, I immediately ordered the second and third book in the series. I tore through half of the book over the course of the weekend. So far, there is nothing not to like about it. Priest is an awesome writer, and I'm loving this world she's created. Bravo Tor. Dishing out the first book in a series to get press (and potential fans like myself) checking out the books... good move. One I'm going to have to remember.

2. Crossed by Ally Condie: Alright. I'm not going to lie to you. A piece of me went to New York Comic Con on a mission to score this book from Penguin during their ARC giveaway. I stopped by their table on Thursday and scooped up their Daily Galley bulletin, which explained what books they'd be giving away at what time. One book every hour. And one of these titles was Crossed, Ally Condie's sequel to her New York Times bestselling YA dystopian romance, Matched. (more…)

From Novels to Video Games: My Experience Keeping Up With Gears of War

I always wrote off video game novels as cheap tie ins to cash in on an eager, hungry fan-base. And really, they are.

Not that I'm judging or anything. I am part of that hungry fan-base, and I do often fall for these tie ins. I've read almost all of the Halo novels, as have many fans of the series, considering a handful of them have appeared on the New York Times bestseller list. Some of the books were even met with critical acclaim, thanks no doubt to the skillful pen of Eric Nylund.

These books expand on the gaming universe, with story arcs that tend to effect a plot that's already happened using stories set in the past that fill in plot gaps. And while these stories add something new to the mix, expanding on the past... but they don't really effect you when you settle down to play a game.

And then Karen Traviss went and changed all that. (more…)

My Top Five Favorite Movies About Writers That Make Me Want to Sit Down & Write

Writing is hard. And not just the process, but getting into the process. There are so many other things I'd rather be doing, instead of spending my Sundays writing and editing blogs or working on my new novel. There are video games to play, TV series that I've subscribed to on iTunes to catch up on, etc!

And, there are movies to watch.

Luckily, when it comes to watching movies, there are a number that I can pop in that make me want to sit down and start writing. Hit the blogs and the manuscript draft, schedule tweets and plan workshops. I've listed my top five below, and they sure are diverse, from Oscar winning dramadies to epic CGI disaster films.

There are a lot more movies out there about writers though. Have a favorite you think I should watch? Let me know in the comments.

2012: Okay, I know this is a horrible, horrible movie. But there are two reasons this film makes me happy, as a writer.

One. This movie came out on Blu-ray shortly after she-who-will-not-be-named and I broke up in January of last year. I was a devastated husk of a man. And when you're depressed and upset, you want to see everyone else feeling the same damn way. In the movie 2012, the world ends. Massive tidal ways carry away cities, the ground splits open swallowing highways and cars... so if you're in the mood to lash out, this flick feels good.

Everybody is miserable. Including the actors who made the poor choice to be in this movie.

Two. The main character (or at least one of them, it's an ensemble cast), played by John Cusack, is a failed science fiction writer. His latest novel sold like, under 500 copies and he now works as a limo driver, hates his life, etc. Yet for some odd reason, an advisor to the President has read his book, meets him on a boat, and consequently, Cusack helps him save the whole human race.

If that's not a kick in the ass to write, I don't know what is. The message here? Sure, no one might buy your book, but hey, you might just save humanity. Writers FTW.

Adaptation: Sigh. I wish Nicolas Cage would go back to doing films like this. Remember when he was kind of awesome? In solid comedies and dramas like Leaving Las Vegas, Moonstruck, Raising Arizona, and Matchstick Men? Oh and his good action movies, like The Rock and Face/Off? Now we're stuck with Ghost Rider and Drive Angry. Come on brah.

But I digress. (more…)

Puerto Rico: Lots of Writing, Lots of Photos

Well, my trip to Puerto Rico was definitely an epic success, both creatively and personally. I relaxed, managed to not check my email every five seconds, got a ton of writing done, and had a lot of firsts.

Saw my first live hummingbird (which as a lot of you know, is a big deal for me), swam with manatees (what!), explored and hiked through a rain forest, saw bio luminescence up close and personal while kayaking... good times. I've uploaded all my favorite photos (and videos) to Flickr, so have a look. I also put my favorites below, showing off the highlights.

In terms of writing, well, when I left Philadelphia my new novel was just barely over 10k. Now I'm at over 30k, 100+ pages.

Crazy, right? It's amazing what pulling yourself out of your element can do. Hoping to have a finished manuscript by the end of the year. Then, the agent search begins. Hooray.

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