See You at AwesomeCon!

So, with all the flurry of activity around here, I kinda, sorta forgot to tell you that I’m going to be on three panels at AwesomeCon!  This large, new media convention is in DC at the downtown Convention Center over this coming weekend — it’s only the second year of the con’s existence, but it’s growing by leaps and bounds!  You can find me here:

Friday, April 18, 4:00 – 5:00 – Worldbuilding and Magic, Room 201.  I’ll join Jon Skovron, Lea Nolan, Stuart Jaffe, Jessica Spotswood, Gail Martin, Matthew Bowman, and Eric Menge to discuss what makes a believable fantasy world and a realistic magical system.

Sunday, April 20, 1:45 – 2:45 – Preparing a Manuscript for Submission, Room 209C.  I’ll join Tanya Spackman to discuss how to prepare a manuscript so your words are more likely to be read by editors and agents.

Sunday, April 20, 3:00 – 4:00 – Young Adult Literature, Room 209C.  I’ll join Cristin Terrill, Lindsay Smith, Jon Skovron, Lea Nolan, and Jessica Spotswood to discuss, um, young adult literature!

I hope to see you there!  It’s gonna be awesome!

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A Weekend with a Few Hundred of my Closest Friends

Whew!  I spent last weekend at a “retreat” and I’m more exhausted than when I started!

Okay, it wasn’t really a “retreat”.  It was actually a conference — the annual Washington Romance Writers retreat, “In the Company of Writers.”  I came home more excited about publishing opportunities than I’ve been in a long, long time…

First off, I signed copies of PERFECT PITCH at Nora Roberts’ Turn the Page Bookstore, in Boonsboro, Maryland.  Signings at TTP are always a joy, and this one was no exception.  The store staff keeps things running like clockwork, and the readers are amazing! There were more than a dozen of us authors signing, and many, many customers came through the line buying dozens of books!  I did learn one thing:  If one is offering foil-wrapped baseball chocolates to people standing in line, one really needs to specify that they’re wrapped in foil!  I was surprised that people didn’t realize that fact — but only one woman chomped down before I could warn her!

After buying amazing baked-good treats at Christi’s bakery, I headed over to Westminster for the retreat proper.  In addition to seeing a *lot* of old friends (and making some new ones), I collected amazing publishing intel from the force-of-nature Liliana Hart (and a special guest, whose very identity must be kept confidential from those who weren’t in the room!)  I took so many notes that I ran out of pages in my notebook.  And I have enough new ideas to last for the next five years…

So — a grand time with friends old and new, new story ideas, new publishing strategies…  The only other thing I could have asked for would have been winning one of the dozens of gift baskets raffled off.  ::shrug::  That’s a good reason to head back next year!

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Buzzy Magazine Video Interview

Last October, I attended my local science fiction convention, Capclave, where I had the good fortune of being interviewed by Jean Marie Ward, for Buzzy Magazine.

Jean Marie has now posted her interview for all the world to see:

http://buzzymag.com/morgan-keyes-interview/

It’s interesting to me, seeing how I convey on camera.  We were in a dim lounge area, with a lot of background noise; the video actually came through more clearly than I expected.  There *is* something a bit funky with the recording of my voice — I sound like I have a rather pronounced lisp, which I don’t, in real life.

In any case, take a peek at the video, if you want to know more about Morgan Keyes, DARKBEAST, and what’s coming up next for Morgan and Mindy!

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Ancient History (Podcast With, Um, Me)

Centuries ago (or, maybe, several months back — the days all run together…), a writer friend of mine asked me if I’d be willing to meet with an up and coming fantasy novelist from Australia, when we both attended the World Fantasy Convention.  “Sure!” I said, because I’m always happy to meet new people.

I was then introduced to Emily Craven, a woman who expends more energy before breakfast than I do in an entire month.

Emily and I exchanged several emails, and we set our plans for meeting up in Toronto.  Then, Emily asked if she could interview me for a podcast series that she conducts.  We both fiddled with Skype, concluding that audio-only was absolutely the way to go, and Emily asked me some fun questions.

Time went by, and we met up at World Fantasy.  More time went by, and Emily sent me a link to the podcast.  More more time went by, and I finally am getting around to sharing the podcast link with you:

http://theoriginalfantasy.blogspot.com.au/2013/01/e-book-revolution-mini-podcast-chat.html

Yeah.  I’ve been a bit behind on housekeeping of the electronic variety.  In any case, go read Emily’s introduction, and then laugh at how funny my voice sounds in the podcast!  Seriously.  It’s the least I can do to brighten your February day!

 

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Waving Madly

If it’s Monday, it must be D.C.

At least, that’s the way it feels to me — as if I’ve been traveling and traveling and traveling, non-stop, forever.  In reality, life hasn’t been so crazy — Baltimore two weekends ago, and Toronto this past weekend, for World Fantasy Convention.

Of course, I’m supposed to give you a full recap of WFC, but I’ll spare you and share some highlights instead:

  • Dinner with David Coe (D.B. Jackson), in which we discussed the Publishing World ad infinitum, complete with our glosses on how it is and how it should be.  I came away invigorated, with lots of vows to use my writing time and energy in new ways.
  • Readings by various friends and favorite authors, including Carol Berg, Julie Czerneda, Garth Nix, and Ruth Stuart.
  • My panel, on “The Changing Face of YA”, where I got to meet some wonderful new-to-me authors, including Hiromi Goto, who truly impressed me with her insights on the topic.
  • The mass signing, where two very enthusiastic young women collected postcards about the Jane Madison series, the As You Wish Series, and “Capitol Magic”, making me smile at their excitement.
  • Endless conversations that moved from place to place to place in the lobby/bar, with new friends and old, in a way that felt somewhat reminiscent of college.
  • Meeting up with an old friend from my Minneapolis life, for a lovely deli lunch (and kind trip to the airport!), with a chance to meet his family after only reading about them on Facebook.

In between, there were gallons of tea drunk, tons of food-court-Asian-food eaten, a few chilly blocks walked in search of open restaurants (really, there was very little around the hotel, and a lot of it did not serve breakfast or lunch!), and I’m not quite sure what else.

It’s good to be home.  Good to turn toward the writing projects now on the front burner.  Good to  be slipping back into normal.

So, did I miss much while I was gone?

Mindy, diving into her day

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Baseball, Capclave, Chopin, and Library Visits — Oh My!

Yeah, I haven’t been around here very much.  But I have a bunch of good reasons why.  Or why not.  Well, you know what I mean.

Last Friday, I celebrated my birthday with some wonderful meals, some great time with Mark, and the Nationals winning the ALDS, defeating the St. Louis Cardinals to go on to the ALCS and the World Series.  Except, you know.  I write fantasy.  The Nats lost.  They lost ugly.  And they lost after midnight, so, technically, they didn’t lose on my birthday.  In any case, it was a wonderful baseball year, and we enjoyed many great games.  I just wish I could have cheered up the 10-year-old boy who was sitting, frozen, in his seat at the end of the game, manfully trying not to cry.  (I also wish I could have shut up the Family Most Likely To Be Cooking Meth In Their Basement — who sat in front of us — and the Strange Quartet With Odd Catch-Phrases — who sat behind us.  But otherwise, really, it was a great birthday :-)

I spent *all* day Saturday at Capclave — the usual mix of panels and reading and autographing sessions and catching up with old friends and making new friends and talking, talking, talking.  By the time I got home late Saturday evening, I was exhausted, and on Sunday morning I felt completely hung over.  From now on, I’m going to call that feeling my “Introversion Hangover” — I’m an introvert by nature, but I can play an extrovert at a con, for a limited time.  But there’s always a price to pay.  ::wry grin::

I didn’t pay long, though, because Sunday evening we headed out to the first of this season’s Music Appreciation classes (Rob Kapilow’s “What Makes it Great?”)  The subject was Chopin — and I was really glad I attended, because I’m not a huge fan of Chopin, so I learned a lot.  And I still have the Polonaise (Op. 53) running through my head!

Monday skipped from meeting to meeting to meeting, but ended with my visiting the Arlington County Public Library, to meet a group of teen writers who are all gearing up for NaNoWriMo.  We talked, and I led a couple of writing exercises, and I answered some questions, and a good time was had by all!

And now, finally, belatedly, I’m settling into a normal work week :-)

Mindy, who should just give up on the idea of a “normal” work week!

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