You know, it has occurred to me I should probably, I don’t know, actually update this thing more often than I do. So, with that in mind, we’ll cover some of the highlights of everything that happened since February. There’s going to be a longer post on things like what do I suggest for cons (as I was asked by Hannah Nicole Maehrer at Planet and was too punch drunk on day 3 to give a coherent answer). But, speaking of Planet…

A Planet That Was More Way More Bronson Beta Than Alpha (IYKYK)

So KC Planet Comicon was in early March (8-10 March, to be exact) this year. Not gonna lie, being a Midwesterner by childhood I was fully expecting the weather to be a total wild card. For those not familiar with Missouri weather, a helpful E card:

I wish this was joking. It’s not. Oh and, just to be clear, that’s a weather sandwich. The severe storm filling as Mother Nature drops 30 degrees is strangely missing from the card. This is important, as Thursday (set up) the temperature shifted like 20 degrees…and it was raining sideways at one point on the way home that afternoon. However, thankfully everything held out come Friday. Behold my fully mostly functional battle station on Day 3:

Day Three Setup

That’s my friend and “Booth Helper” Kay behind the rack. I’d never had someone just come and hang out to help for an entire con before. I highly recommend it, as much like an Aegis-system on a missile destroyer, it allowed multiple engagements. Also, this was definitely a case of “Location, location, location.” As you can see, I was on one of Planet’s main arteries. Think Civil War artillery loaded with double cannister facing infantry coming down a narrow defilade. Yep, like that. Best. Planet. Ever. Especially since it was the 25th Anniversary and there were almost as many people as the year Stan Lee came. This con also marked debut for Wonder No More and Giant Freakin’ Robots. Both did very well, with all my copies of Wonder No More going away and me heading home with only 3 copies of GFR remaining. (Edit: I forgot to mention the two Metamorphosis Literary Agency panels I participated in / moderated! Great authors in both!)

Art Bonanza, Novellas, and the Spoken Word

Shortly after Planet was done, I had the resources to get some more artwork done for advertisements / future covers. I have new artwork from Wayne Scarpaci and A.R. Redington (a.k.a., the “Otter Artist“). Wayne’s piece is of the Taiho getting pounded by the USN in Against the Tide Imperial.

For long time fans, A.R.’s piece deals with an, um, rather significant moment of loss from An Unproven Concept.

If you know, you know. If you don’t know? Well, it’s available in print, ebook, and audiobook. Speaking of audiobooks… Acts of War has been rerecorded and is now up on Audible. Y’all know that I’m always impressed with what Jennifer Jill Araya does with my work, and this was no exception. She knocked it out of the park, and I can’t wait for her to finish the next two books in the series.

Going to Be A Long, Long Time…

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The month between KC Planet Comic Con and my next show seemed to pass in the blink of an eye. Might have been the con crud I had to fight off. Grr. Anyway, moseyed on down to Huntsville, AL, for the 9th edition of the Huntsville Expo. I had amazing neighbors in Madison K. Thames (Western Art), Nicole Gunter (Character Art), and Little Miss Luna (anime art). Nicole in particular was very patient with a clumsy author who kept nearly walking into her art rack during hurried restocking. In addition, I finally got to meet fellow author KR Paul in person after many, many months of conversing on social media. There are allegations that a lightsaber duel occurred, but these are disproven by the fact that I still have both my hands. (“James, does that REALLY disprove there was a duel? Or that you were the victor?” “Humble reader, I am but a bookseller.”) But behold my “Two Tables Fighting Style” configuration (with new banner):

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It wasn’t all business. I had great visits with several old friends from different “eras” of the JY saga. To include my friend Christine, who I hadn’t seen in person since 1997. (The fact I broke her nose that year had nothing to do with the long absence. Why, I had no fears she would seek retribution in true New York fashion.) My former office mate and classmate also stopped by, which was good as Erica (classmate) kept me fed while “Pinky” (office mate) reminded me I should, you know, maybe drink water. Why were both these things necessary? Because George Takei was in the house and people definitely showed up. It’s always a risk when one goes long distance for an out of town con, but happy to report this went so well I plan on being back if they’ll have me. Highly recommend if anyone is looking for a new convention.

What’s Next?

What’s next? Hooves, Tracks, and Sabers, that’s what. If you’re going, “Huh?”, keep an eye on this space. For the cavalry is coming, and I’ll let you know more when they’re in sight! (Cover art by Cedar Sanderson of Raconteur Press.)

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