Sunday, September 21, 2014

October Special Events

About a week and change ago I posted that I was waiting for some news, and I finally have it. I will be attending the Comic and Media Expo in Mesa in mid-ish October. The dates for this are the 17th through the 19th. This is a first year event, and it sounds like these people have their ducks all in a row. Not to mention they have what appears to be a pretty good guest list.

Speaking of guests - I am leading a few panels with local authors in the Phoenix area/region. First I will talk a little bit about the guests and then I will talk about the panels we will be doing.

Deena Remiel is the mind (and typist fingers) behind at least 16 different books (according to Goodreads) and enjoys writing stories involving the fight between good and evil.

T.M. Williams (Tina Marie) has written at least 10 works (again according to Goodreads). She focuses on Science Fiction and Horror writing, but has at least one Business book to her name.

Patti Hultstrand Is a writer and works in local publishing for authors of all types and genre's.Patti has helped to publish 74 books since 2009, she can also help you to get your book(s) out into the marketplace. If you want to know how to get your book physically out there - She would know whats what!

Matthew Cerra - This is me! I will be leading the panels, but also participating in these. I have the fewest books to my credit in the group so I get to be the baby on the panels.

These authors all deserve support so I encourage you to share/like their Facebook pages and check out their works. Breaking out in writing is all about getting in front of people that enjoy your Genre and impressing them with what the world inside your head is like.

The Panels
"Author Ask Me Anything - Late night" is scheduled for Friday from 8:00PM-10:00PM in panel room "Palo Verde III". - This is a great opportunity to ask these authors, well anything! If you are a fan and have wanted to just find out what drove your favorite character over the edge, into the edge or anything else, it is a great chance to ask.
Participants: T.M. Williams, Deena Remiel, Patti Hultstrand, Matthew Cerra

"Creation, Struggle and Dystopia: Your First Story" is scheduled for Saturday from 8:30PM-9:30PM in panel room "Robson". - This panel is a place to discuss how to get that first story from idea and onto the page. Authors have to manage a lot of threads at the same time so this is a chance to hear how some others have made their mark and gotten their books together and on the market!
Participants: T.M. Williams, Deena Remiel, Matthew Cerra

"Respecting Consent: A Reverse Perspective" is scheduled for Saturday from 5:30PM-6:30PM in panel room "Palo Verde III". - This panel is an updated talk about a subject I have not spoken about for over twelve years. This panel will be covering issues of sexual harassment and consent and while I do believe that it has content that younger audience members should not see - it would be best to keep this to mature 10+ audience members. I used to give this talk to 5th graders so I think it is still safe for them to hear.
Participants: Matthew Cerra, Sakura Thumbelina

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Book Review: A Ruby for Victor

Tonight I am going to write about a book that is not my own (please hold the gasps of surprise).

At a recent function for local Authors I made the acquaintance of Ronald C Tobin - another intrepid writer in the world of fantasy. We spoke for a few minutes and soon realized that we shared the same publisher! Long and the short of it we decided to exchange books and read what craziness the other was putting out into the world of printed word!

The first in his own multi-book series, A Ruby for Victor is not my usual forte for reading. It is a modern tale of vampires and their intrigue. It has a fascinating take on the "Vampire Mythology" that I enjoyed. He tosses in other familiar yet still fresh ideas that flesh out the story that allows the reader to find something to latch on to. In one way or another some measure of vampire knowledge (or lack there-of) gives you a starting point you can work from to get into the story.

Monsieur Tobin does a handy job of creating a structure that these vampires exist within that does not feel forced. Though at times it is quick paced with how quickly it introduces new characters and reveals the varied histories at work - the characters seem to keep up and do not lose pace with what is going on.

I feel my only valid critiques is that much of the character thought and feeling are not left to the reader to understand and comprehend on our own. We know exactly what every character is feeling and when - simply because it tells us so. This is not wrong - I am a person who guards his feelings and thoughts more closely than anything, so for me it feels odd that others would be so exposed.

If you need something new to read, and enjoy a solid Vampire story (that is leading to many more I hope after talking to the author directly) I suggest you pick this one up. 4/5 stars.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Relationships are Hard

My apologies for not getting the blog out last night - life gets exciting and for that I cannot apologize. I am stuck here unable to talk with my family because I had all four wisdom teeth out today - what better opportunity to write! Today's subject I will hopefully not upset anyone with - it is something that is fascinating to me so I felt it was pertinent to mention.

I was asked recently about the presence of gay and lesbian relationships in my stories. Sex and I have a very complicated relationship, much more than is needed really, so I must admit I did not have an answer.

It is not that I don't think about them - I just don't pay them much heed. Except when their rights are concerned. Then I will pitch a fight and kick ass every which way from Sunday. Yes I am a full supporter of LGBTQ rights.

I have made some obvious heterosexual relationships - its what I know. Its what many people know. But if I missed out on possibly having a meaningful love between two men or two women would the story be less engaging because of it? While there are sections of my book that things are laid out pretty clearly and we all know where all the pieces are going to fall - I want the intricate relationships these characters develop with other to leave everyone with someone to latch on to, to understand.

As luck would have it - inspiration struck me a couple weeks later. I was beginning to write the scene of a reunion between two characters separated by centuries of time, decisions that drove them apart, and a act of evil they both had a different part in - one redeeming and the other sinister. As I stated to write these two characters reactions to each other - I felt it would be a much more powerful scene to make that relationship more than even I originally thought.

After writing the first few paragraphs and laying some hints for a love that had once been there - I realized I needed more information. I did not want to assume that all relationship mannerisms were the same. That I could be missing out on some additional things I could put in this scene to make it so much more powerful.

I have never had to hide who I was, I have always been a slightly feminine dude who likes women. While most of my family falsely believed I was gay my entire teenage life - I have always been straight. I don't know how you show love to someone when you may not be able to touch them, when others may seek to harm you just because you give in to the crushing urge to reach out and feel their skin and hold their hand while you walk along the street.

So I have a few friends on either side of the spectrum I will be talking to. I am not uncomfortable acknowledging my ignorance - and while I understand our emotions and attractions may be very similar - how they struggled to show affection when they were not allowed to is something I have no clue on. It is something I will remedy and I hope my books will be better because of it.