Category Archives: Convention Report

Game Of Thrones Pictures and A Giveaway Reminder

Happy Holidays!

Hope everyone is well and enjoying the winter holidays. In Reno, we have snow on the mountains, and it rained here in the valley last night, so it’s chilly, but not frozen.  I know some of you are getting blasted by snow and rain as well.

Two things to cover with this blog post. I want to remind you about the holiday giveaway promotion, and I am going to tell you a little about my visit to the fantastic Game of Thrones Exhibition in Belfast! Pictures included.

First, my book Time Walker is in a group giveaway through the holidays, so if you haven’t gotten it already, now is a good time to grab yourself an e-book copy. My short story, The Wizard’s Gift, is also in the giveaway, so download that one too. Both are totally free, although it would mean a lot to me if you’d review after you read them. You can review on Amazon and or Goodreads even though you’re getting a copy through Prolific Works. In addition to my book, you can also download either full books or partial books from other science fiction and fantasy authors. Click on the image to check it out.





Now GOT…

Last summer, I went to Ireland to the World Science Fiction Convention. What a blast in such a great setting! Lots of panels, lots of people, and I never did make it the few blocks up the street to the building housing the art show. But there was so much to do, and honestly, if you got in one panel room, you tried to hang there as long as you could. The lines were long for each panel, and if you came out of one to go to another, the chances were pretty good you wouldn’t get in.

Photo: Giant's Causeway
Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland. One of the filming locations for Game of Thrones, but also an amazing natural rock formation that added to Irish mythology.

So, I cut a couple of days of the convention to do some touring on the east coast of Ireland. In particular, I wanted to see the Giant’s Causeway. I’d been there many years ago, but all of my pictures didn’t come out very well – this was pre-digital cameras. So I booked the Game of Thrones tour, which included the causeway. After I’d booked, I got a notice advising the GOT Exhibition in Belfast had just opened, and the tour would include it or the Titanic Exhibit. I went for the GOT. Now, the odd thing about this is I haven’t seen GOT. I don’t get HBO and only saw one episode at the World Con in Reno a few years ago when George R.R. Martin was a guest. In spite of that, I was keen to see the costumes and set pieces that were now in the museum.

Photo: GOT set
GOT set at the Belfast docks area.

First off, the exhibition is at the Belfast docks, and there’s still a set on the lot that we didn’t tour, but I could see when we pulled up. Our group was greeted by a fellow who’d been an extra on the series and took us inside where we got a dragon picture. It’s a pretty neat trick, don’t you agree?

After that, I strolled through room after room of costumes, jewelry, armor, banners, and set items from the series. All of the families were represented.  Here’s a few of the costumes and other stuff for your eyes to feast on.

Photo: GOT Exhibition plaque on wall
House Lannister and House Targaryen trees with arms displayed.
Photo: GOT Exhibition - props
Props from Game of Thrones. A map with figures on it.















Photo: GOT Exhibition - costumes
Costumes used for Sansa Stark and Tyrion Lannister, among others. Many of these displays with the beautiful costumes, each in a separate cube.

The huge warehouse was split into large rooms with floor to ceiling walls and lighting to be perfect for digital photography from your phone. My camera wasn’t quite as good at picking up the images, so it took a little longer to process the photo since flash would disturb the lighting set up.

Photo: GOT - swords
Swords and other weaponry on display. Several of these were displayed with the costumes and jewelry.
Photo: GOT statue
One of two statues displayed with wolves.
Photo: GOT dragon skull
A visit would not be complete without a few dragon skulls. One of quite a few huge skulls displayed.

One whole section near the back of the warehouse was a dragon skull graveyard. It was amazing as these skulls were dramatically illuminated and were huge. Very realistic.  Other bones were scattered around.

Photo: GOT - costumes
Where you find dragons, you find the Mother of Dragons.

By the way, this is a touring exhibition and parts of it will be going on tour. Our guide told us that some of the bigger set pieces will not be on tour, but the costumes, jewels, and swords, along with the smaller displays, will be making their way around the world. It is currently in Madrid. To check the progress, go to:

GAME OF THRONES: The Touring Exhibition Homepage

These photos are only a sampling of the numerous photos I took during the exhibition. If you’d like to see more, I’ve made the whole album at Flickr accessible for you to view. Simply click on the link below:

That’s it for now. May your holidays be wonderful and Happy New Year! I’ll be write more in 2020.

In the throes of NaNo & other news

First off, I can’t believe I haven’t blogged since August before I went to the World Science Fiction Convention! Well, I have been busy, but most of it has been catching up after that incredible trip.

Photo: Lily on bus tour
My first day in Dublin included a High Tea Bus Tour of the city. Isn’t this a clever idea?

World Science Fiction Convention in Dublin

Photo: Dublin Liffey riverside
The tilted building is the Dublin Exposition Hall where the main convention was held. My hotel room was about six blocks away on the east side of the Liffey River.

The convention was great although somewhat exhausting. So many panels and things to do. I loved the concert featuring music from various science fiction films. Awesome musicians. Costume contest was amazing. Dublin fandom outdid themselves to make this a fantastic convention. The biggest drawback was that the art show and a few other things, including George R.R. Martin signing autographs, were in a different building several blocks away. I never made it down there. With so many people and multiple panels at the same time, you had to choose wisely.

Photo: Poulnabrone portal tomb in the Burren of Ireland.
Poulnabrone is an amazing Neolithic portal tomb situated on the Burren in western Ireland. It is smaller than I imagined it as the location makes it look huge in photographs. Still very impressive.

I spent an additional two weeks  in Ireland, rented a car – will not do that again – and drove to the west coast where I did a little research and enjoyed the beauty of the country. This was my fourth trip to Eire over the past forty years. The last time I’d been over was in 1989, and I can say the place has changed considerably. Many more people, cities growing bigger, but at the heart of the towns, it is still the same Ireland.  Unfortunately, it was also the wettest August they’d experienced in many years, or so the locals told me.  I was rained on most every day and the Galway area experienced heavy rains. And cold… it was cold!

An amazing experience over all and I had a grand time. I enjoyed the welcome of several bed and breakfast places and renewed my spirit while I was there.

NaNoWriMo Begins

Starting in late October, I attempted to plot the second book in my Time Threads series with an eye to having it out in late Spring. It didn’t go as smoothly as I hoped, so I leaped into NaNoWriMo with a poor plan. In spite of that, I did complete the challenge of 50 thousand words on November 15th, so that is true to form for the past few years I’ve been doing it. I am still working on the book and hope to complete the first draft by the end of the month.

I have three other novels that are drafts that I need to either rewrite or edit before I can publish them, so I hope to focus on one of them over the next couple of months before I begin editing the book I’m working on now. I will be busy, busy.

Book Giveaway

I am thrilled to be part of another great Science Fiction and Fantasy Giveaway on Prolific Works that will begin on November 21st and run through January 22nd. This is a great opportunity to pick up some terrific science fiction and fantasy novels, including Time Walker, the first book of my Time Threads trilogy.  I’ll send out a blast when the giveaway goes live so you can go check out the 40+ books available.  I also have my short story, The Wizard’s Gift in the giveaway, so if you haven’t read it yet, you can grab it then.

I’m looking forward to the holidays and I’ll tell you all about my Game of Thrones tour that I did in Ireland. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving, if you celebrate, and a very merry holiday season. Winter is definitely coming.


Off to the World Science Fiction Convention

Map highlighting interesting places in Ireland. Think I got it from the Tourist Bureau.

Back in the previous century, 1979 to be precise, my friend Patricia and I flew to the UK to attend the World Science Fiction Convention in Brighton, England. This was my first time at the world level as well as the first time in the UK. Both proved to be great fun although quite a bit different from the American conventions we’d been to before that. World Con isn’t a media con like WesterCon or ComicCon, but focuses more on books, the writers, and illustrators. While there was a bit of movie promotion, it wasn’t something supported by the film studios or as likely to have an actor appearing.

While I went to a couple of more World Cons over the years, this August I am going to the one in Dublin, Ireland … 40 years after that first convention in 1979. So many panels on the schedule and so many of them in the same time slots. I fear many more attendees as well, so I don’t know how many I might actually see, but I am excited to be going.

If I have access to the internet from my little computer, I will send back a con report or two, especially if I hear any interesting news. And I am going on a Game of Thrones tour of filming locations so I will have some photos from that also.

Since I am at World Con, I sent over a stack of postcards for my latest book, Time Walker, offering a free download e-book to the convention attendees. Not wanting to shortchange my followers, you, too, can download a free copy by clicking on the link below and then clicking on the link for Prolific Works. The link will take you to the book download page. This will be free until the end of August, so be sure to grab your copy before then.

Time Walker Free Book!

Look for my reports from Ireland along with pictures. I expect to be taking tons of them as I tour western Ireland after the convention.

If any of you will be at the Dublin World Con and spot me there, please say hello and introduce yourself. I’d like to meet you.

Book Lovers Convention and New Release

I just got back from the Book Lovers’ Convention in New Orleans. What a fabulous week that was! I enjoyed going to a couple of really informative panels on writing and marketing that energized me, especially after I’d attended a Story Grid workshop here in Reno with my writers’ group. I am always trying to grow as a storyteller, so I enjoy these opportunities to learn more.

I was fighting a cold on one day of the event so I missed two more great workshops plus a pajama party with Meg Tilly. I was so disappointed. She is just a darling, sweet person. Saw my last year’s workshop maven, Cherry Adair  and caught up with her again. I took Cherry’s plotting workshop at the convention here in Reno.

Last year, the convention was a Romance Times event, but RT made that their last one, so this is the start of the new convention and not necessarily limited to romance. So, I promoted my new release, Time Walker, at the event and hope to get some new readers from the event.

The fairy dinner on Friday night was completely magical. Wonderful decorations, lots of people in costume and some delicious food. My table was hosted by author Karen Rose, who was not the wicked fae she’d dressed as. Charming lady.

Time Walker is releasing May 31st!

The first of the Time Threads series is now in per-order on Amazon and on other e-book distributors.

Meet Mali Harper,  a novice in the Time Travel division on the moon space station. Her job is to monitor the timeline and alert her boss if an anomaly shows up on it.  Boring job for the most part until an incident occurs. Then her whole world is turned upside down.

The book is a time travel, alternate history tale with a touch of steampunk.

For more information and a teaser from the book, go to the launch page.

Inspiration at the Con

Last weekend, my roommate and best friend, Patti and I went to the Wizard World Comic Con, the first one held in Reno.  For those who may not have looked at their web site, it was enough of a success that they’ve scheduled one for 2015 already.  If you missed it this year, it will be back next year.

Friday was a great day to attend because there weren’t as many people there and it made it a snap to get checked in and get our wristbands for the weekend.  There weren’t too many panels scheduled on Friday afternoon that were what I was hoping for and of course, there were a couple that were opposite each other.  That’s a given in these situations.  If they were offering four panels I wanted to see in a collection of twelve panels, at least one of them would be on at the same time as one of the other three.  Murphy’s Law in action.  (Or is there another specific law that governs this situation?

Inspiration in the Universe

One of the panels that turned out to be really interesting and stimulating to a creative mind was the “NASA Conquers the Universe” panel, presented by Mary Louise Davie who is not only an author, but must work for NASA in some capacity because she had some great information on what was in the works and the status of their funding.  They are fully funded now for future space exploration and partly because of their partnerships with private companies.  So, hoorah for NASA’s future.

Where the space program is going is fascinating.  Mars is not the only planet on the radar for future exploration.  Moons are not left out and there are possibilities of outposts on moons other than ours.  Some of the projections on how to build habitats on unfriendly worlds were fascinating and also stimulated that little creative spot that suggest possibilities to writers.  It also makes you think that almost anything you can imagine might be possible at some point.  So long as you don’t totally violate the laws of the Universe, whatever they might be.  With so much being discovered and changing, is anything really exactly what we believe it to be?

Inspiration Around Town

Paranormal Reno was another interesting panel, although not as informative as the NASA one.  Two local paranormal researchers discussed the haunted and other paranormal aspects of Reno and the surrounding areas with the audience.  At some point, it became more like a case of the folks in the audience trying to stump the researchers with stories of paranormal sightings that they may not have investigated or heard about.  But it was interesting and dipped into a little of the history of the Reno area.

Inspiration from People

A couple of the many great costumes worn by young and old as Hall Costumes.

Saturday was the main day for programming and attendees. We heard there might have been around 30,000 people at the Convention Center that day.  It was packed!  Getting through the exhibitors room was a major effort and I mostly plowed my way though looking for Patti.   There were many great Hall Costumes and the ingenuity of the fans in creating these is always fun to see.    Then, I made my way to the largest exhibitor room and claimed a seat on the sixth row, which was where I spent the next six hours.

First up was William Shatner who  is an absolute delight.  Some people may not realize that he is as intelligent as he is, but he it well-read and up on many recent scientific discoveries . He is an excellent speaker with a wonderful sense of humor.  The format for all the panels was “Question and Answer” sessions, so there were many diverse questions.

“Walking Dead” panel

Next up was a “Walking Dead” panel with three of the series stars, Scott Wilson, Jon Bernthal and Andrew J. West.  Very amusing and interesting panel.  This continued on with Michael Rooker’s panel and more talk about “Dead” and “Guardians of the Galaxy”.  Great humor and he was joined at the end by Karen Gillan who popped out to greet him.  Karen’s panel was the next after they cleared out the VIP rows so that fans who’d purchased the VIP seats could claim them.  She was a delight, funny and very gracious, not to mention cute as a button!  There was a lot of love for Amy Pond.

Michael Rooker and Karen Gillan

The last panel, although it really wasn’t one, was Bruce Campbell.  Along with Ted Raimi, Bruce came out with a “film-a-movie” approach that involved the audience and proved to be very funny.  Basically, they found a writer, two actors and a director from the audience and Bruce, who was the producer, set them up to do a scene based on a story idea the writer pitched to the audience.  There were three pitches and the audience voted on the one to use.  Then the writer went to work writing a one-page scene while Bruce and Ted hunted for the actors.  They found two with experience and “hired” those then looked for a director.  A quick rehearsal, then they filmed the scene and showed it on the big screen for everyone to see – and laugh about. It was not your usual panel.

Bruce Campbell with the writer and Ted Raimi, The writer is actually a published Reno author, but I didn’t catch her name.

We did not stay for the Costume Contest, usually a favorite thing I like to do, but by this point, I was hungry and I needed to move around some.  And there was this NaNoWriMo thing in the back of my mind.  Even though I’d already won and completed my novel, I still wanted to add some words to my new WIP before the end of the day.

All in all, Comic Con was fun and it was worth the three-day pass even though we didn’t go all three days.  For inspiration, it was great.  From the intriguing panels to the amazing art, it’s one of those things that opens your mind to many possibilities.