Congratulations Kid, You Have Arrived

One cannot truly celebrate #BlackExcellence and look to the future without taking a moment to honor those who paved a way for us to journey forward.

Case in point, author, philosopher, life coach and fellow Wakandan, Steven Barnes, who is celebrating a birthday today.

Continue reading “Congratulations Kid, You Have Arrived”

Next Gen Publishing

So I had the distinct pleasure of being on Next Gen Publishing panel with some very fine gents during Norwescon recently.

Thanks to Triple J who was gracious enough to film this and thanks to my buddy Kurt who was coming in from out of town and I wasn’t able to answer the phone.

And thanks to Starbucks for keeping me wired during a whirlwind of a weekend.



Norwescon Interview

So at Norwescon, Triple J and I had just finished lunch and I was in between panels so we decided to do an impromptu interview. I was uber-wired not only because of hanging out with one of my favorite peeps, but I was also consuming a ridiculous amount of caffeine that weekend.  A really fun interview that I immensely enjoyed.

Norwescon 36 Report

So Norwescon 36 rocked and true to its theme, yours truly saved the world and/or took it over. 😉

But I had help. I had the honor and pleasure of meeting two longtime Livejournal/Facebook online buds: Kirk Boxleitner and Jamie Jeans. I was touched and humbled by the fact that both of these fine extraordinary gents came in from out of town to meet up with me.

In addition I had the chance to connect with many of my Seattle/Norwescon crew. Fun was had as always.

I also got the chance to meet some fans old and new, do some networking and I’m happy to announce I sold out of my remaining copies of Hollowstone.

Yay me! I rule!

Thanks to Loree the rest of the Norwescon staff, my fellow panelists and all of the other fine folks for putting on another wonderful convention. I had an incredible time and was in the company of some of the finest group of people I’ve ever met.


My Norwescon 36 Itinerary


I’m currently at the airport heading out to Seattle for Norwescon 36. Just like the theme states, I’ll be there to Save The World and/or possibly take it over. Oh don’t act shocked, you know how I am. Anyway, if you’re in the area, I’d love to see you. Feel free to say hi.


Below is my schedule for this weekend:


Gay Superheroes of the Future   Friday 1:00pm-2:00pm

With marriage equality becoming a reality, what will happen to gay issues in comics? Can comics modernize the issues and welcome LGBT characters, or will the traditional mindset hold out for a while? Our panelists will cover these issues after a brief discussion of the history of LGBT issues and characters in comics.
Chris Nilsson, Dennis R. Upkins, Lola Colleen, Charles “Zan” Christensen
Crossing Boundaries: Writing the Other   Friday 2:00pm-3:00pm

Can you write a great character of another gender? From a different culture? A different sexual orientation? How do you know what’s good characterization and what’s stereotyping?
Caren Gussoff, Dennis R. Upkins, J.M. Sidorova, Keffy R.M. Kehrli, Sheye Anne Blaze
Minorities in Comics   Friday 3:00pm-4:00pm

How do American comics differ from Manga or European comics? When will there be less sexism in mainstream comics? Are token minorities better than none at all? What strengths and weaknesses are there in the comics medium for representing a unique look at these issues?
Dennis R. Upkins, G. Willow Wilson, Charles “Zan” Christensen

Your Anti-Procrastination First Aid Kit   Friday 5:00pm-6:00pm
Do you love to write but don’t get as much writing done as you’d like to? Conquer your fears… and your rough draft.
Cat Rambo, Dennis R. Upkins, Ellen Forney, Marta Murvosh

Autograph Session 1   Saturday 2:00pm-3:00pm

Our Attending Professionals are available to sign autographs. PLEASE NOTE: So that as many fans as possible can participate, we will be enforcing a three-items-at-a-time (or single-sketch) autograph limit.

Autumn Grieve, Camille Alexa, Kevin J. Anderson, Carol Berg, S. A. Bolich, Clinton J. Boomer, Kurt Cagle, Chelsea M. Campbell, Charles “Zan” Christensen, Brenda Cooper, Erik Scott de Bie, Cymbric Early-Smith, Ellen Forney, Diana Pharaoh Francis, Jean Johnson, Karen Kincy, Nancy Kress, Edward Martin III, Susan R. Matthews, Angel Leigh McCoy, Dan Murphy, Mark Nelson, G. David Nordley, Brian D. Oberquell, David J. Peterson, Cat Rambo, Jon Rogers, Lorelei Shannon, Jack Skillingstead, Jeff Sturgeon, Jonny Nero Action Hero, Dennis R. Upkins, G. Willow Wilson

Next Gen Publishing   Saturday 4:00pm-5:00pm

Not quite New York, not quite indie. What are the new, hybrid publishing models all about and what can they do for you as an author?

Tod McCoy, Dennis R. Upkins, Patrick Swenson, Shahid Mahmud

March Madness!!!!!

So starting next month business begins to pick up for me. In addition to editing and writing, con season kicks off for me.


Exciting news! Yours truly will be back at MidsouthCon this year. Even more exciting is that I get to kick it with my good buddy Cherie Priest who is one of the Guest of Honors.

Oh yes. It’s about to go down.



As you can see, my schedule is about to pick up and I can’t wait. I’ll be back at Norwescon this year. I’m very stoked to see all of my friends again and kick it with some awesome peeps. Seattle is one of my favorite cities and I’m always up for the chance to get back there. So if you’re in the area, definitely stop by and join us.



To say Gaylaxicon/Outlantacon in Atlanta is a homecoming for me would be a major understatement. Can’t wait to see my family, be home and just party it up all weekend. And you will want to be there. No really, you will want to be there.

Norwescon 2012 Report

“A complete stranger has the capacity to alter the life of another irrevocably. This domino effect has the capacity to change the course of an entire world. That is what life is; a chain reaction of individuals colliding with others and influencing their lives without realizing it. A decision that seems miniscule to you, may be monumental to the fate of the world.” -J.D. Stroube

Norwescon couldn’t have been a bigger success for me. I met so many amazing people, networked, and had some really moving and excellent discussions on the panels.

I was blessed to be placed on many of the minority and social justice panels and I got to hear some incredible stories from fellow POCs and LGBTQs. Conversations with both panelists and members of the audience reminded me that we still have our work cut out for us but at the same time some progress has been made. More than a few of the panels were either full or standing room only.

And apparently I was a hit because several people came up to me after the panel and thanked me and wanted to get my info which was both humbling and kinda awesome.

In fact I had one member of the audience tell me that typically young adult and paranormal isn’t her cup of tea but after hearing me speak, she was sold and bought a copy of Hollowstone.

Speaking of which, I’m happy to announce that I sold all of my copies of Hollowstone. Flawless victory is flawless.

And finally, I got to meet some of my awesome Motley Crewmates: [info]loree[info]jeliza[info]drakemonger[info]gement and many other LJ peeps including one [info]lisamantchev who was an absolute hoot on the panels and during the book signings. It was also at the booksignings I had the pleasure of meeting author Satyros Phil Brucato.

And of course no trip to Seattle would be complete without an evening out with longtime peeps Cherie Priest and Aric. We hung in the bar and I also had the pleasure of meeting Shanna Germain, Mary Robinette Kowal, Stina Leicht, Keffy and others. An excellent night indeed.

There were many other awesome peeps who I had the pleasure of meeting, too many to list and I will forget someone. But overall, this trip is hands down one of the highlights of 2012 and I’m so glad I attended and was truly honored to be invited.

Thank you Norwescon. You know it’s amazing how one book has already opened up so many opportunities for me and I’m just getting started. If this is a sign of things to come, then I’m more than excited and I’m ready.

After my last panel, an aspiring writer who had been at my other panels came up to me afterwards and thanked me for speaking out on diversity and told me that I had inspired her to reflect on her novel and she decided she needed to include POCs in the main cast. All because of what I had to share.

Not gonna lie….that was kinda awesome.

Oh yes, Darth Vader overstepped his bounds and tried to step to yours truly. He didn’t realize he didn’t have the midichlorians to step to this. Had to lay down the force on Anakin’s candy ass.

Ani are you okay? Are you okay?


Continue reading “Norwescon 2012 Report”

My Norwescon Panel Schedule


If you’re in the Seattle area this weekend, you should definitely stop by Norwescon. I’ll be there this weekend and I’m excited to spend the weekend with many awesome peeps and have some fun. Below is my panel schedule.


Panel Schedule:

Friday 2 pm Cascade 7
Minorities in comics

How do American comics differ from manga or European comics? When will there be less sexism in mainstream comics? Are token minorities better than none at all? What strengths and weaknesses are there in this medium for representing a unique look at these issues?
Dennis R. Upkins (M), Ashley “nerdtastic” Cook, Kate Merriwether Lynch, Charles “Zan” Christensen


Friday 6 pm Cascade 5
Queer Voices in SF/F

Science fiction and fantasy authors often use the fringes of mainstream culture as plot material. How do authors portray gender and sexuality in their works; and how realistic are the works of those who write outside their own identities? Are the tales of early authors who played with gender still relevant? And have these works changed fannish attitudes, and made those in the QUILTBAG community feel welcome?
Dennis R. Upkins (M), Charles “Zan” Christensen, Keffy R. M. Kehrli, Jeliza Patterson

Friday 9 pm Cascade 2
Young & Queer: Beyond The Trevor Project

Some attitudes have changed in the last decade or two; but how is it for those still struggling with their personal and sexual identities? How do we cope with widespread bullying from our peers and elders? What do we say when our personal identities don’t fit into one box or another? We encourage young people with questions about their place in society and fandom to come to talk and share strength with each other and with older fen who’ve been through it themselves.
Loree Parker (M), Gregory Gadow, Dennis R. Upkins, Alexander James Adams
Saturday 10 am Cascade 5
Writing for the Young and Young at Heart

Writing YA is about more than using small words. What does it take to make your YA story shine?
Lisa Mantchev (M), Dennis R. Upkins, Dierdre Phoenix

Saturday 2 pm Grand 2
Autograph Session 1

Meet the writers of all those fabulous SF/F books, share stories, and have them autograph their novels (especially the ones purchased in Norwescon’s wonderful Dealers Room). All of our distinguished Guests of Honor will be present. PLEASE: so that as many fans as possible can participate, we will be enforcing a limit of three books to autograph at a time! Also attending this session: Alma Alexander, K.C. Ball, Clinton Boomer, Satyros Phil Brucato, Ted Butler, Charles “Zan” Christensen, Bruce R Cordell, Elton Elliott, Steve Gillette, Dustin J Gross, Judith Herman, Jean Johnson, Stina Leicht, Grá Linnaea, Pat MacEwen, Lisa Mantchev, Susan Matthews, Tim McDaniel, Julie McGalliard, Mike Shepherd Moscoe, G. David Nordley, Karl “Ultraklystron” Olson, Irene Radford, Cat Rambo, Mary Robinette Kowal, David A. Rodriguez, Jon Rogers, Robert J. Schwalb, Lorelei Shannon, Bruce Taylor, Dennis R. Upkins

Saturday 3 pm Cascade 2
Race And Popular Media

Back when our TV sets still had rabbit ears, shows like Star Trek, The Jeffersons, Chico & The Man, Good Times, Welcome Back Kotter, Sanford & Son, and The Cosby Show brought the ordinary, exceptional, and fantastical lives of people of color into American living rooms every night. But from the look of current prime time schedules of the big four networks, those days have passed. What happened? And why? And what can we as media consumers do to bring diversity back to the weeknight lineup?
Sheye Anne Blaze (M), Dennis R. Upkins

Saturday 5 pm Cascade 8
How I Sold My Novel

Some debut novelists discuss the path they took in selling their first novel.

Rhiannon Held (M), Dennis R. Upkins, Christopher Paul Carey