Another Kind of World-Building

Fantasy writers spend considerable time visualizing the way their fictional worlds look and work. We think about environments, social customs, what people (or creatures) eat and what they wear. As I was putting together costumes for Dragon Con 2015, I realized that actually building a helmet or a weapon was teaching me as much as researching similar items. Reading about these pieces and looking at reference photos only gave me a taste of what it might really be like to own, wear, carry and use such things. Once my builds were complete, I knew for sure what advantages and disadvantages a character would incur by possessing an object. I could immediately see if it would be hot to wear, heavy to carry, restrictive to vision or mobility, or just a bulky nuisance to deal with.

For Dragon Con 2015, I am participating in the parade with a group celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the television program Xena: Warrior Princess. I built, from the boots up, a full ceremonial Amazon costume. While I obviously used tech and materials that Amazons never had (chiefly EVA foam and welding helmet parts), I still had to face the same engineering challenges: how do I secure this mask to my head? — how will my tall boots stay up? — what’s the optimum length for my weapon? The process gave me new insight into equipping characters in City of the Gods.

Amazon ceremonial mask inspired by Xena: Warrior Princess.

Amazon ceremonial mask inspired by Xena: Warrior Princess.


Speaking of City of the Gods, I’m not doing any official events at Dragon Con this year. But, if you run into me be sure to say hello. I’d love to chat with you and you may even get some spoilers about book three, Ambassador. Photos from the con will be posted here in mid-September.

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A Weekend in an Alley

One dismal, cool, rain-filled weekend in Richmond, Virginia, I spent three days in an alley — RavenCon’s Artist and Author Alley, to be precise. There was no better place to be! The con staff was great, the fans were friendly, and I had a great time talking to everyone about their work and my own. I wasn’t able to get away from my table to attend any events or panels, but I do have a few photos to share. There will be additional images appearing for my Patreon supporters later this week.

Wynn’s RavenCon Cosplay Appreciation Event

When: RavenCon, Richmond, VA – April 24 – 26, 2015
Where: Wynn Mercere’s table in Artist and Author Alley

In conjunction with books and comics in the City of the Gods Universe, Wynn will be giving away special promotional items for any RavenCon attendee dressed as a character from mythology! If you’re costumed as any classical god or goddess (Greek, Norse, Aztec, etc.), creature (dragon, harpy, demon, etc.), or hero (Hercules, King Arthur, Xena, etc.) and are willing to have your picture taken at Wynn’s table, you qualify for a prize (while supplies last)!

At RavenCon you can check out all my books and comics, as well as these two new items:

Set of seven different City of the Gods photo cards with envelopes.

Set of seven different City of the Gods photo cards with envelopes.

"Souvenir Pack" includes City visitor sticker, random photo card, bookmark and fortune card.

“Souvenir Pack” includes City visitor sticker, random photo card, bookmark and fortune card.

Wynn and her crew love costumes, so stop by to say hello and show off your work!

Upcoming Appearance At RavenCon

RavenCon
April 24 – 26, 2015
Richmond VA

ravencon

Come visit me at my table at RavenCon’s Artist and Author’s Alley in April. I’ll have special deals on all the City of the Gods Universe books, stationery card sets, and other surprises in store. Stop by and chat about writing, monetizing your creative work, and learn about the cyptrocurrency called bitcoin. I will also have exclusive giveaways for anyone who comes by my table while cosplaying any character from mythology!

This is my first visit to RavenCon — I can’t wait!

Dragon Con 2014 Mini-Report

If I were only permitted to say one thing about Dragon Con 2014, I’d remark that it went by the quickest of any Dragon Con I’ve attended — and 2014 was my 12th time. Most of my convention shenanigans are not appropriate topics for this book blog so I’ll stick to more genteel stories. You’ll have to find me at Dragon Con 2015 and buy me a Bucket of Rum if you want to hear other epic tales.

First, I’d like to thank everyone who came out for the City of the Gods giveaway. Be sure to let us know what you thought of Mythic Tales. The second volume will be out later this year. I still have a few souvenir ORIGINS card decks with the collectible COG card inside. If you would like one, just post a review of one of our books somewhere and send me the link. Now, on to the con report:

I’m not terribly interested in getting autographs from actors or going to panels about TV shows and movies. I’d much prefer to spend my time checking out what other creators are making and selling. There is always something new to discover in the art show, at the comic creators’ tables or in the dealer room. Check out this cute sketch by Accidental Centaurs artist and writer John Lotshaw:
dc2014art

 

We also stopped to chat with Bill Holbrook, creator of the popular Kevin & Kell books and discovered Brian Defferding’s School: A Ghost Story series. Jennie Breeden’s What Not to Say in the Bedroom book also found its way into our shopping bag (ahem). Several book publishing imprints had special promotions for their label’s authors and I hit a few of those events to investigate their advertising giveaways and reader swag. I really enjoyed learning about how other authors and artists promote and monetize their work. Now that convention season is over, it’s back to work for me as well.

Find Me At Dragon Con For Prizes

I love conventions and I love meeting readers at them. If you are going to be at Dragon Con 2014, I have a gift for you!

Pending schedule changes, I will be lurking near the Hilton Grand Ballroom West about 3:45 p.m. on Friday, August 29. That’s where the 4 PM “Gaming to Novel and Back Again” panel will be held. I have no idea what crazy costume I may be in at the time, but I will be carrying a stack of City of the Gods bookmarks. Wave me over and you’ll get a free book and maybe an extra surprise as well.

If the time or place of this panel is changed, I will tweet a new plan. Pray to the gods of the congested Atlanta cell towers for mercy if I have to do this during the con!

(Disclaimer: I am in no way involved with the “Gaming to Novel and Back Again” panel; it just sounds like an awesome topic.)