Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Back to Editing

I received the detailed edits from Zondervan for Beyond the Reflection's Edge. Whew! I have a lot of work to do! That means I might not be posting much for a while, unless some important news pops up.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Montrose Conference - final day

This has been one of the busiest conferences I have ever attended. I taught nine workshop sessions, did a keynote address, critiqued many manuscripts, and conducted a critique group that lasted over four hours.

Since I taught the Teen Track, I met a dozen or so wonderful teenagers who are dedicated to writing. Many of them were quite good at the craft, and they seemed to learn a lot. At the critique group, we had a great time going over their work. Although it lasted almost until midnight, laughter kept us awake. We had a blast.

I have enjoyed this conference greatly. It is well run, the organizers are friendly and helpful, and the conferees have been a delight. Not only that, the food was super. I have to exercise extra hard when I get home.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Montrose Writers Conference

I will be at the Montrose Writers Conference next week. I'm not sure if I will have the chance to enter any blog posts during that time. If anything earth-shaking comes up, I will try to let my faithful readers know.

I would appreciate prayer for travel safety. Thank you for your support!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Fantasy Fiction Tour Ends - Or Does It?

The 2007 Fantasy Fiction Tour has come to an end ... at least for now. But with so many seeds planted on the east side of the U.S., and with Wayne Batson appearing on national television, I expect that the groundswell for Christian fantasy will continue to grow.

I also expect that we will do another tour next year, if not in conjunction with ICRS in Orlando in 2008, then maybe during the school year so we can visit schools and homeschool groups along the way.

I'm posting the final three tour videos below. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Fantasy Fiction Tour Last Sunrise

It's the morning of the last day of the Fantasy Fiction Tour. It's raining steadily at my host family's home in New Jersey. At about 9:30, Wayne Batson and I will journey back into New York and join our fellow authors Sharon Hinck and Christopher Hopper for the final stop in this exciting tour. Sharon and Christopher stayed at a mission church in Brooklyn, and they will drive to our Manhattan stop.

Now that I have a chance, I will post some photos from earlier days. At the Christopher Matthews store in Bel Air, MD, I had the great pleasure of seeing a neighbor from the days I lived in Baltimore, Gloria Ernst. You can see her in the photo at the upper right. We had a great turnout at this store and sold a lot of books. One young man bought or brought all of my books to be signed, as you can see in the next photo.

Next, we traveled to Newark, DE, and signed books at a Family Christian Store. This was a last minute addition to our tour, so there was very little promotion. Still, a few enthusiastic fans showed up, including Justin, who often posts comments on our blogs.
I'm including a photo of Christopher hugging our good friend, Justin. We also had a visit from Michael, a great supporter of Christian fantasy. He came fully dressed in a terrific bard's costume and played his Celtic harp. It had a lovely sound, and he played with great skill. He is a professional storyteller who uses his stories to plants seeds for the gospel. If you're interested in contacting him, go to www.tellitlikeitis.com. You can see him in the next photo playing his harp.

From that store we traveled to the Days of Knights store in Newark, a fantasy and gaming store. We had a decent crowd of people and had a lot of fun talking at length to aspiring writers. I had a great talk with one of the workers there about Harry Potter and why the stories are harmful to young readers. Frankly, since this was a secular store, I was surprised at his ardent dislike for Harry, but I agreed with him on every point. I also met a young man named Benjamin who is a fan of my books. He had a lot of great questions, so it was fun interacting with him. The next photo shows me at the front of the store.

The next day, we went to Brooklyn and signed at the Timeless Treasures store. I don't have any good photos from that stop. After the signing, we went to a lively service at the Brooklyn Tabernacle, a huge church sanctuary that was attached to the store. Unfortunately, the loud bass guitar made Amanda's heart hurt, and it did the same to mine. We excused ourselves early and waited for the others, who were kind and gracious, as usual, and left soon after. Although the physical pain from the service is gone, my heart still aches spiritually. Those who know me well understand why. If you don't, please don't ask.

I am thankful for my hosts, Roheryn and family. I will also post a photo of her, showing that she is her usual crazy self. It's so great to be able to see her again and meet her family. Right now, she and my daughter, Legossi (Amanda), are out visiting Roh's horse, Carlo.

I probably won't post again until I get home. I hope to wrap up my blog posting for the tour at that time. Thank you to all who supported us with prayer, hospitality, and coming out to our stour stops.

Fantasy Fiction Tour New Video

Here's a video from Barnes & Noble in Ellicott City.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Fantasy Fiction Tour Day Eight

I am posting from the home of the famous Roheryn, my friend and faithful poster on my message forum. I am thankful for all the host families who have shown such wonderful hospitality.

Today we drove from Newark, DE, to Brooklyn, NY, and had a signing at Timeless Treasures bookstore. We had good talks with customers, but, unfortunately, the store only have four of my books on hand, two copies of Tears of a Dragon, book 4 of Dragons in our Midst, and two copies of Eye of the Oracle, book #1 of Oracles of Fire. The two copies of Eye sold without a problem, but no one wanted to buy book #4 when they hadn't read books one through three.

Tomorrow morning we go to Manhattan for a signing at another Timeless Treasures bookstore. Then we get to go home! I'm looking forward to seeing my wife and two of my daughters again. It has been too long.

Again, I don't have photos ready. I hope to post a lot of photos when I get home as well as the remainder of the videos.

Fantasy Fiction Tour Day Seven

I'm posting from a mission church in Brooklyn, NY. For now, I'll just post a new video from when we were in Alexandria, VA. More to come.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Fantasy Fiction Tour Day Six

Three more signings today, plus a drive-by signing at a Borders store. We began in Bel-air, MD, at the Christopher Matthews store where quite a crowd of young people gathered. We stayed busy talking and signing the entire hour. From there we went to Newark, DE, and signed at a Family Christian store and The Days of Knights store. Both stores gave us opportunities to speak at length to quite a few fantasy fiction enthusiasts.

I don't have time to post photos tonight. I'll try to make up for that tomorrow. For now, here are the newest video releases. Enjoy!

Fantasy Fiction Tour Day Five

Ready for another update? After signing at the National Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C., where we had a great time speaking to a youth group, we did another signing at a Barnes & Noble store in Alexandria, VA. We did several readings there to a relatively small, but interested audience.

The final stop of the day was at the Barnes & Noble in Ellicott City, MD. That event was amazing! We were again mobbed by people and sold dozens and dozens of books. The photo above shows just part of the crowd. At times they backed up all the way to the door, and we signed almost nonstop until the store closed.

As some of you know, I used to live in Maryland. My boss from when I worked at the railroad in Baltimore showed up. We didn't have much time to talk, but I was greatly blessed that he came out.

Below, you will see the video updates of the most recent tour days. These are really great. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Fantasy Fiction Tour Day Four

What a great day! After driving from Raleigh, NC, we had a signing at a Barnes & Noble in Richmond, VA. Quite a few people drove hours to come out and see us, and we sold a good number of books. We were busy talking to customers the entire time. The manager was super excited and had us sign all of our leftover books. He said he would put up a display in the front. To the right is a photo of us at this Barnes & Noble.

After that, we drove to Ellicott City, MD, for our next signing at His Way Bookstore. The traffic was terrible! We lost well over an hour because of the bumper-to-bumper mess and arrived at the bookstore about forty minutes late. We were in touch with the store representative several times, and she kept telling us that people were waiting patiently for our arrival. So, when we arrived, we expected a line of people, but we weren't prepared for the mob that greeted us. Even though we had well over an hour left in our appearance time, it took the entire hour and twenty minutes to sign books for the people who had waited. It was amazing! Some bought all six of my books, including one boy who came all the way from Rochester, NY!

As you can see in the photo, some readers showed up in costume. We had such a great time signing and speaking to the fans, we didn't have an opportunity to do a reading. That's not a bad problem to have at all!

Michelle at His Way was fantastic! She prepared an unbelievable array of decorations for the signing, including hand-painted banners, book display units, a fabulous window display, among others. You can see some of the banners in the next photo.

On Sunday we will go to church in Washington, DC, and speak to a youth group, then do a signing at the church. After that we will go to Alexandria for a Barnes & Noble signing, followed by another Barnes & Nobel signing in Ellicott City, MD.

We have heard that a reporter from the Washington Post will come to the Alexandria signing. That will be terrific!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Fantasy Fiction Tour Day Three Extra

Here are the videos from days one and two of the tour.

Fantasy Fiction Tour Day Three

Today was a great day for meeting people. At our Charlotte stop at Barnes & Noble, at least a dozen people were waiting for us when we arrived. Some came to see Wayne, some to see me, and many to meet all of us. One brought a story for Wayne and included a wonderful testimony about how Wayne's books changed her life. A lovely young lady who is a regular on my forum brought me a beautiful painting of a dragon's eye. I will treasure it for years to come. Over to the right, you can see her with her painting.

In the next photo, you can see us posing with several of the fans and well-wishers who came to see us at the Charlotte store.

Next came Raleigh and a Borders store. Again we met some great fans as well as people who have never heard of our books. It's fun to get acquainted with people who seem already familiar with our hearts and minds because they have read our writing. At Raleigh I became reacquainted with a lady I met at the Florida Christian Writers Conference ten years ago. That was a fun experience.

I also had the opportunity to see one of the moderators on my message forum. You can see him, Knight of Heaven below with Legossi and me.

Tomorrow, on to Richmond and Ellicott City!

Fantasy Fiction Tour Day Two Extra

I forgot to post the Youtube video of our second day at ICRS. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Fantasy Fiction Tour Day Two

We began the day in Knoxville, TN, at the Cedar Springs Christian Store. As you can see in the photo, they put us up on a stage and treated us like important knights. I suppose when you carry swords around, people often act nicely.

Some wonderful fans came by, and we were able to introduce a number of customers to our books. We had a great time!

From there we traveled to Asheville, NC, to a Barnes & Noble store. A wonderful lady named Kathryn came along who happened to be a stage combat instructor. She began an impromptu lesson on swordplay out in front of the store. It drew quite a crowd. You can see in the photo Sir Wayne Thomas Batson doing battle with said lady.

Needless to say, we had a blast! Now we might do sword battles at every store!

Fantasy Fiction Tour Day One

Day one of the Fantasy Fiction Tour was exciting! After departing the Atlanta show (see photo), we rolled into Manchester, TN, and spoke to a homeschool group. It's always great to speak to homeschoolers, because they spread the word about books they enjoy.

Then we went on to Nashville for a signing at a Borders store. Quite a number of fans came out in costume, as you can see in the next photo. Our visitors included Phil Keaggy, well known Christian musician and a friend of Christopher's.

We got into our host home near Knoxville at 1 a.m., so we're tired. I hope to post more later.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

ICRS Atlanta Day Two

Today was a very busy day; a signing for Enoch's Ghost by myself, a signing for Enoch's Ghost with the other three authors on the Fantasy Fiction Tour, a signing for the new audiobook for Raising Dragons, and a bookstore signing with Sharon Hinck at the Lifeway Christian Store in Douglasville. In the photo, you'll see the four of us signing at ICRS.

I'm tired now, but it was a blast. We had quite a line of people at the four-author signing, so that was great, a very nice launch for our books and the tour. At the bookstore signing I met some wonderful young people, including a family that drove four hours just to meet me. I was overwhelmed! I am thankful to God for all these opportunities. What a blessing!

If you want to see a highlights video of the first day at ICRS, go to
Day One Video

For other tour information, go to Fantasy Fiction Tour Website

Tomorrow we will go to Manchester, TN, for a homeschool group gathering, then on to Nashville for a signing at Borders. Please pray for us as we travel.

The tour starts tomorrow.

Monday, July 09, 2007

We're Almost Ready to Roll!

The first day of ICRS is over. The four fantasy authors had a great time at a "Meet and Greet" session at the Tsaba House booth. In the photo you'll see from left to right, Wayne Thomas Batson, Christopher Hopper, John Cooper (a sponsor who gave us the swords), me, and Sharon Hinck.

We have a signing event together at ICRS tomorrow, and we'll be hitting the road on Wednesday morning. As you can see from Christopher Hopper's suave combination of knight wear and cool fashion, we will be stunning.

The audio version of Raising Dragons is being released tomorrow. I will be signing it at the Oasis booth at 3 pm, then at the Lifeway Christian Store in Douglasville, GA, from 5:30 to 8:00 pm. If you live in the Atlanta area, I'd love to see you at the Lifeway store!

Fantasy Fiction Tour Begins!

The International Christian Retailers' Show (ICRS) begins at the World Congress Center in Atlanta today. Christian publishers come to this convention to show their books to potential buyers, bookstore managers from all over the world.

This is the big kickoff for the Fantasy Fiction Tour. At 11 am today, the three other authors and I will be at a "Meet and Greet" event. We will be in costume, cloaks, swords and shields, to mingle with the attendees. We'll pose for photos, talk to readers, and just be crazy fantasy authors.

We'll take some photos, and I hope to get them on the blog tonight.

I have my wife and two of my daughters with me. Please pray for me wife. She is having a reaction to something that's causing terrible itching. I might have to find a doctor here in Atlanta for her.

For more information about the tour, go to http://www.fantasyfictiontour.com/

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Leaving Tomorrow - Last minute rush

I will drive to Atlanta tomorrow for ICRS, so today I have to finish editing Beyond the Reflection's Edge, pack for the Fantasy Fiction Tour (thanks for the list!), go to various stores to get what I need for the tour, and prepare for nine classes I'm teaching at a writers conference immediately after the tour. Maybe that's why I'm up at 4:30 in the morning!

For more information about the tour, go to http://www.fantasyfictiontour.com/

Friday, July 06, 2007

Fantasy Fiction Tour Prep - Getting Practical

Okay, I'm asking for your help. I am leaving on Sunday, July 8 to head for the ICRS convention in Atlanta, then leaving from there to go on the tour. I won't get home until July 19 or 20, depending on my driving schedule.

Considering that this is an unusual trip, driving all over the East with three other authors, my daughter, and an author's wife, while staying with people we've never met, what should I bring along? What practical items might I need, especially something helpful that I might not think about.

Help me make a list.

For more information about the tour, go to http://www.fantasyfictiontour.com/

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Fantasy Fiction Tour Prep Continues

So what do you pack for a tour that lasts 13 days, if you include ICRS time and travel time? Everything! Besides our clothes, we have books, banners, swords, shields, and costumes!

At the upper right, you can see my darling daughter Amanda modeling the elvish-style cloak Sharon Hinck will be wearing at our appearances. We will all have similar cloaks as well as swords and shields, so it should be a lot of fun. At least we'll attract attention.

In order to haul everything, I will be renting a small trailer, but that presents another problem. I'm wondering how I'm going to get around in New York with a trailer. First, what's the best way to get to New York from Newark, Delaware? Hauling a trailer will make the New Jersey Turnpike expensive. Should I park the trailer somewhere outside of the city and drive in? Take the subway in? A bus?

If there are any veterans of New York travel out there, please give me some advice.

Just a couple of days, and I'll be taking off. Please pray for us!

For more information about the tour, go to http://www.fantasyfictiontour.com/

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Tour Preparation

Since I'm the primary driver on this tour, I'm making sure we know where we're going. Today, I am plotting detailed maps to every stop along the way. The hard part will be choosing the stores where we will make "unannounced" drive-by signings. In other words, we'll stop at a store at whatever time we happen to be going by, charge in, sign all the books we authored, and ride off into the sunset.

But what if they don't have any of our books? That would be a bummer. So, I will be searching the Internet for stores that are near our route, calling them to see if they have some of our books, and asking them if it's okay if we stop by. So much for being unannounced.

That means my planning and map plotting will take quite a bit of time. And I don't even know how many "unannounced" restroom stops we're going to have to make. If there are too many, we'll have to start rationing the water.

Learn more about the tour at http://www.fantasyfictiontour.com/

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Fantasy Fiction Tour is almost here!

What's the Fantasy Fiction Tour all about?

1. Four fantasy authors on the road together for nine days

2. Sixteen official appearances and many unannounced stops along the way

3. Authors selling and signing wildly imaginative fantasy novels

4. Authors and fans wearing fantasy-inspired costumes, complete with cloaks, swords, and shields

5. Contests for best costumes and door prizes for fans

6. Video recording at each event and daily blogging as the tour goes along

7. Authors speaking about their books and answering your questions

And probably a lot more fun that we haven't even thought of yet!

Here are the authors who will be at each event:

Wayne Thomas Batson - The Door Within series
Bryan Davis - Dragons in our Midst and Oracles of Fire series
Sharon Hinck - The Sword of Lyric series (Book 1 - The Restorer)
Christopher Hopper - The White Lion Chronicles

Here is our current schedule:

Wednesday July 11th
1:00pm – 3:00pm
Heart & Hearth Home Education Support Group

First United Methodist Church
105 Church Street

Manchester, TN 37355
Contact: Linda Reed (tnhomeschooler[at]yahoo[dot]com)

Wednesday July 11th

6:00 pm to 8:00 pm


2501 West End Ave.

Nashville, TN. 37203


Thursday July 12th
12:00 - 2:00pm
Cedar Springs Christian Store
504 N. Peter’s Rd.
Knoxville, TN

Thursday July 12th
6:00pm - 8:00pm
Barnes & Noble
Dreamland Shopping Center
83 South Tunnel Rd.
Asheville, NC 28805

Friday July 13th
12:00 - 2:00pm
Barnes & Noble
4720 Sharon Rd.
Charlotte, NC 28210

Friday July 13th
6:00pm - 8:00pm
404-101 E. Six Forks Rd
Raleigh, NC 27609

Saturday July 14
12:00pm - 2:00pm
Barnes & Noble
5501 West Broad Street
Richmond, VA 23230

Saturday July 14
6:00pm - 8:00pm
His Way Christian Bookstore
Normandy Shopping Center
8450 Baltimore National Pike
Ellicott City, Maryland 21043

Sunday July 15
10:00 am
National Presbyterian Church
4104 Nebraska Avenue N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20016

Sunday July 15
3:00pm - 5:00pm
Barnes & Noble
Potomac Yard Bookstore
3651 Jefferson Davis Highway
Alexandria, VA 22305

Sunday July 15
6:30pm - 8:30pm
Barnes & Noble
Long Gate Shopping Center
4300 Montgomery Road
Ellicott City, Maryland 21043

Monday July 16th

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Christopher Matthew's Christian Store
The Festival at Bel Air
5 Bel Air South Parkway
Suite 1421
Bel Air, MD 21015

Monday July 16th
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Family Christian Store
1105 Churchmans Rd #1107
Newark, DE 19713-2112
Phone: (302) 368-7002

Monday July 16th
6:00pm – 8:00pm
The Days Of Knights Store
173 East Main Street
Newark, DE. 19711

Tuesday July 17th
5:00pm - 6:30 pm
Timeless Treasures Christian Gift & Bookstore
163 Livingston St.
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Wednesday July 18th
12:00noon - 1:30pm
Timeless Treasures Christian Gift & Bookstore
673 8th Ave.
Manhattan, NY 10036

For more information about the tour, check out: http://www.fantasyfictiontour.com

I hope to see you at one of these events!