FanX 2019

This weekend from Sept 5-7 is FanX, Utah’s biggest fan experience. People from all over the world come to share their love of comics, superheroes, fantasy novels, TV series, and movies. Cosplayers wander the halls, New York Times bestselling authors hang out playing DnD, celebrities come for signings, photo ops, and to be interviewed on the main stage.

And I’m there too.

Thanks to the friendship and support of some truly amazing individuals, I was able to connect with the event organizers and join the brave pack of panelists who share their expertise on everything from costume building tricks and hints to the finer points of novel writing.

On the panel: Robert J. Defendi, M.K. Hutchins, Tom Durham, yours truly, and Corey Moss

The first panel I was part of talked in depth about literally everything hobbit. We covered where they come from, how they influenced the storytelling in Lord of the Rings, which Hobbit was our favorite, and on and on. There was a bit of a love fest about the Silmarillion, which strangely doesn’t really discuss hobbits more than a few mentions.

My favorite hobbit – Samwise Gamgee’s father, often referred to as the old Gaffer. Why? Everyone says Sam is their favorite character because he’s the true hero in Lord of the Rings. Frodo couldn’t complete the task of destroying the ring on his own and would have failed without Sam. Throughout the books, Sam relies on lessons learned from his father to get him through tough times. So I would argue that without the influence of the old Gaffer, Sam wouldn’t have been able to be the hero he needed to be.

On the panel: DJ Butler, Eric Swedin, Mark Avo, me, Cody Goodfellow, and Johnny Worthen

My other panel focused on the American Apocalypse and we discussed everything from religious belief in the end of the world to the nature of the word “apocalypse” which literally means revelation, not destruction as most would assume. We debated on what the real apocalypse might be and where the idea that this would make good fiction stems from.

The strongest argument of what’s going to end it all for us currently is either the AI apocalypse or something horribly bacterial. Although, the supervolcano hiding under Yellowstone was a strong contender.

Come for the free bookmarks! Stay to chat about anything from writing to awesome cosplay.

As part of being a special guest author, I get to do two official signings. One was yesterday night, and the next Saturday at 11. If you’ve been dying to get your hands on a signed copy of Stonebearer’s Betrayal, I’d love to see you!

This year I’m not cosplaying as anything, it would have been one more thing to worry about and I’m supposed to be playing the part of a professional author. But … I saw some amazing clothing items I might have to get …


Don’t forget! The Labor Day sale of Stonebearer’s Betrayal ends this Saturday. You can grab the ebook for FREE over on Amazon this week only!

Here’s a handy link!


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An Anthem for Post Apocalyptic Fiction

For most of you it won’t come as a surprise when I say I’m a musical gal.  I love a song that gets the heart pumping and the body moving. With that in mind, most of my writing has a particular type of music that works best with it. This summer I heard a song that I immediately fell in love with, Radioactive by Imagine Dragons.  It’s got huge heavy drums, great vocals, and cool lyrics.

Every time I hear this song it conjures up memories of great scenes from my favorite post apocalyptic movies and books and captures the darkness and struggles found there. I have yet to branch out into writing this type of fiction, but one day perhaps I will as it’s one of my favorite genres to read. Post apocalyptic fiction includes such series as, The Hunger Games, Maze Runner, and The Uglies.

Cool, huh? Now I want to come up with a great story to go with this, but I’m told I first have to start completing a few projects. Until then I’ll have to keep this on the back burner, collecting ideas and concepts.

I’ve matched my epic fantasy novel project with a different type of music, symphonic metal; which is best described as what would happen if Mozart and Metallica had a baby. The result is an odd but appealing cacophony of screaming guitars, drums, strings, and keyboard, all with a great soprano at the helm.

For me symphonic metal epitomizes the juxtaposition of darkness and light, of beauty and brute strength, making it perfect for epic fantasy, at least the variety I write.  There is always the battle between good and evil, the hero’s journey to overcome his villain. The story must be as beautiful as it is chilling and must stick with the reader long after the book is closed.  At least that’s what I hope will happen, I have to finish it first!