Monday, March 23, 2015

Chi-Fi Con 2015

Hi guys! Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and spending some time with me. I've just come off a four-day convention called Chi-Fi and I met a wonderful bunch of folks that you need to know. A few of us met as strangers put together in a "Sad Room", relocated into the vendor's hall later that day, and left as friendly acquaintances, if not friends (unless of course, they truly didn't like my jokes and were just being polite, something that happens a lot more often than I'm willing to admit.).

Firstly, let me speak a bit about the convention itself. Held at the Palmer House Hilton at 17 E. Monroe St. in downtown Chicago. It's a beautiful place and the staff, both that of the hotel and the convention itself were fantastic. About the "Sad Room" as my colleague, author S. Usher Evans dubbed it: It was not necessarily a sad room, it was just that it was off the beaten path for the attendees. This lack of foot traffic was noticed almost immediately by the con staff, and we were relocated in the vendor's hall within a few hours. Our visibility was immediately increased and our spirits were lifted.

Upon finding the "Sad Room", I was greeted by three wonderful people. At far left, we have the author, S. Usher Evans, author of the Razia Series, Double Life (Razia Book 1), Alliances (Razia Book 2), and Empath. There are also a few short stories for you to check out on her Amazon Author Page.
S. Usher, aka Whitney, runs her own publishing, marketing and editing company, Sun's Golden Ray Publishing.

Always energetic and smiling, Miss Evans was a delight to talk to and she brightened up the entire con with her pleasant and engaging presence. Please check out this fantastic young lady's works.

In the middle of the "Sad Room", I had the pleasure of meeting the second author of the day, Olive A. Cole, the author of Panther In the Hive, a novel about cybernetics gone wrong, resulting in a zombie apocalypse. The novel takes place right here in Chicago, where the author now resides. This lady is a spitfire! I don't think I've ever seen anyone so excited and energetic about their work before, except perhaps for Miss Evans. Olivia loves her fans and several came to Chi-Fi just to see her.
Delightfully witty and alarmingly positive, Olivia was a pleasure to meet and kept me laughing. Please support this wonderful Chicagoan.

To the right/center of the little room, and later to mine and Olivia's right in the vendor's room, was author Lauren Jankowski. Intelligent, independent and forthright, Lauren is a feminist author of Sere From the Green (Shape Shifter Chronicles Book1), Through Storm and Night (Shape Shifter Chronicles Book 2), From the Ashes (Shape Shifter Chronicles Book 3, and Haunted by the Keres (Shape Shifter Chronicles Book 4). Lauren is fantastically outspoken and humorous. I first ran into her at Capricon 35 last month and she was great to talk with.
See more about Lauren, including her blog and more here:
Lauren is local to the Chicago area. Please give her books a look, she's well deserving of your support.
I was also happy to see author Laura Hawks again. I first met her at Capricon 35, where she is an avid volunteer and organizer. She is the author of the paranormal romance novels, Demon's Kiss, Demon's Dream, and Shifter's Hope. This author is serious about her craft, is a Trekkie and loves to meet her fans and make new ones.
There's much more about her on her site:
Laura Hawks is involved in many writing projects as can be seen on her site. Readers of her genre should sincerely check her out. I'm sure you'll enjoy it!
I was lucky enough to end up with a table next to David Jordan. IT guy and author of ZHackers Volume 1, and ZHackers Volume 2. These are the adventures of engineering students facing a zombie apocalypse. Pesky suckers, aren't they? David likes to wear his Doctor Who scarf and hat and that starts up a lot of conversations with readers and fans. This guy is SO Indie, he's not even on Amazon, but PLEASE check out his website, it's fantastic.

You'll have to check out my Instagram account to see pictures of myself, David Jordan and these other wonderful people. Come find me:
Lastly, and certainly not leastly is an author of Steampunk novels. Geoffrey Mandragora is the author of The Thunderbolt Affair, The Eidlerland Incident and more. Geoffrey was extremely patient with me in explaining Steampunk, as I know very little about the genre and is one passionate guy when he speaks of his books.
I didn't get the chance to pose for a picture with him, but if you or someone else you know is into Steampunk, give this author's works a read. He's an interesting guy and a fantastic communicator.
I love cons and meeting other authors. It's a lot of fun and I learn something new every time I attend one. Chi-Fi is a young con and is still developing a following, so I'm hoping, as I'm sure my fellow attendees are, that it will continue to grow and become even bigger next year.
Oh, funny story! I didn't realize it until the second day, but I had parked in the same parking garage that's featured in my novel, Campanelli: Sentinel! I had to laugh that I didn't recognize it right away. Until next blog, kids! Take care!


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