Wednesday, August 28, 2013

LoneStarCon 3: My Schedule

Later this week, I will be attending LoneStarCon 3, the 71s World Science Fiction Convention, in San Antonio, Texas. I'll be appearing on several panels, giving my usual Pyr Books Presents! presentation, and also giving my ScriptTips presentation (for the first time at a WorldCon). Here is my schedule for those interested:

Literary Beer
Exh A - Literary Beers (Convention Center)
The Relationship Between Writers and Editors
101B (Convention Center)
Pyr Books Presents!
007CD (Convention Center)
The State of Sword & Sorcery: New Trends
006B (Convention Center)
Art Portfolio Review (Anders)
003B (Convention Center)
Screenplay Structure for Novelists: From the Screen to the Printed Page
101B (Convention Center)
Using Art Briefs
101A (Convention Center)
Who Painted That!
006B (Convention Center)

Wik'13 (Writing & Illustrating for Kids)

There's a short interview up with me today at YA Sleuth, the blog of Middle Grade author F. T. Bradley, concerning my talk at the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators' Wik (Writing & Illustrating for Kids) conference this October 11-12.

Thank you, F.T. Bradley. Now everybody go order her book, Double Vision.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

DragonCon and WorldCon

Pyr Books will have a presence this coming weekend at both LoneStarCon 3, the 71s World Science Fiction Convention, in San Antonio, Texas and DragonCon, in Atlanta, Georgia. I (Lou Anders) be giving the Pyr Books Presents! panel at LoneStarCon 3, along with several attending Pyr authors, and my editorial assistant, Rene Sears, will be hosting her first panel at DragonCon at the exact time in Atlanta, also with attending authors. These are two different panels - no simulcasting or multiplexing going on - but lots of never before seen cover art at both. Please come by if you are attending either con. And if you can somehow attend both, we'd really like to meet you.

World Con
3:00 PM, Friday
Pyr Books Presents!
Room: 007CD (Convention Center)

Lou Anders with Ari Marmell, Chris Willrich, Sam Sykes

4:00 PM Friday*
Pyr Rising
Room: Regency V (Hyatt)

Rene Sears with Clay & Susan Griffith, Gabrielle Harbowy, E.C. Myers, Mike Resnick, Joel Shepherd

*Since Atlanta is an hour ahead of San Antonio, these two panels will be happening simultaneously.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Other Man of Steel

Years ago, in a galaxy far far away, I co-wrote and co-directed a short, hopefully but not necessarily comedic, black-box theater in a crack neighborhood in Chicago. The theater was called The Playwrights' Center, it was about a block or two south of the Green Mill, and when we left late at night to catch the L home we'd see the lines of folks cuing up for drugs at the local crack houses. Good times.

There was a young kid named Michael in our plays. He slept on my couch more than once, we've played drinking games, etc... For about six months I directed him in a serialized story called The Cafe with No Name. He played the son of the cafe owner who happened to be bionic.

In one episode--I'd like to think one of the better ones--we had him fight the cafe owner's first born, the Evil Bionic Man (because, you know, that's what bionic people do). We turned on a strobe light and the two bionic people fought in slow motion, making the Steve Austin sound effects themselves, going "nnnna....nnnna....nnnnnaaa....nnnnnaaaa" as they punched each other with agonizing slowness.

It was fun. But it was amateurish, horribly written, best forgotten stuff. We often had more people on stage than in the audience.

But I've always wondered what happened to Michael. He was really talented, maybe the most talented person I worked with.

A few weeks ago, my friend journalist Eric Spitznagel messaged me to say he was interviewing a certain famous, Oscar-nominated actor and did I remember any details about when he acted for us in Chicago.

I looked him up on IMDB. And suddenly the penny dropped.

Eric told me after the interview that it turns out those Chicago days were formative for Michael. It was a time when he was seriously considering leaving acting, and the small, black box work he did renewed his faith in the craft and his ability.

I'm thrilled to see that the person I identified as the most talented really was, and did well by that talent. I'm honored to think I had a hand in keeping him on the path of acting. Mostly though, I'm chuffed that decades before Zack Snyder, I directed Michael Shannon in a super hero battle.

So yeah, it's kind of all my fault.

Here is Eric's interview with General Zod.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

GenCon 2013

There's a first time for everything they say, and last week/weekend was my first ever GenCon, the "best four days in gaming," held at the Indiana Convention Center, August 15th to 18th, in Indianapolis, Indiana. I was a participant in the GenCon Writer's Sumposium, but also there as a fan and a curious former (and now I suppose it's time to admit renewed) gamer. My interest in RPGs has been growing over the past few years. I've acquired two shelves worth of new manuals. I count dozens of friends in the RPG industry. Pyr has published an RPG tie-in novel. I'm backing quite a few RPG Kickstarters... It just seemed like a good thing to go and do.

So, I arrived on Wednesday where good friend Howard Andrew Jones (The Desert of Souls, Pathfinder Tales: Plague of Shadows) picked me up at the airport. We checked into the Omni, then checked out the convention center, where we ran into friend James L. Sutter, Fiction Editor at Paizo, and New Friend Wesley Schneider, Paizo Editor-in-Chief. Then it was off to the Old Spaghetti Factory, for the Writer's Symposium dinner, where I got to meet Bradley P. Beaulieu who I've only ever known online, among others. Afterwards was the Diana Jones Award party, where I met Monte Cook, Matt Forbeck, and Wil Wheaton. The night ended in a long discussion in the lobby of the Omni with Paizo Publisher and good friend Erik Mona.

Thursday I had lunch with Wolfgang Baur of Kobold Press, who I've known online for a while but never met face to face. Really good guy, who makes really good game product and publishes some really good How To books (every fantasy author should read the Kobold Guide to Worldbuilding.) Afterwards, I had most of the day to walk the floor, where I met Rick Meints and got to congratulate him on the success of The Guide to Glorantha Kickstarter.

That night, I got to sit down at the table and play an RPG run by Howard Andrew Jones, alongside Saladin Ahmed (Throne of the Crescent Moon), Dave Gross (Pathfinder Tales: Queen of Thorns), Scott Lynch (The Republic of Thieves), and Howard Tayler (Schlock Mercenary: The Sharp End of the Stick,Extraordinary Zoology). My friend and author Joel Shepherd (recently returned from New Delhi) was there was well, as part of a three con tour in support of his just-released 23 Years on Fire. (Joel and I haven't seen each other in the flesh since 2006, so spending so much time together was fantastic.) I also got to spend  a little time with Mary Robinette Kowal, who came in that evening.

Friday things kicked into high gear with four panels on the symposium, starting with back to back 8 and 9am panels! I was on a 2pm "Magic and Mysticism" panel with Brandon Sanderson, when afterwards, Rachel Feld, Director of Retail & Consumer Marketing came up to me. She was the one person I didn't get to meet a few weeks ago when I flew up to NYC a few weeks ago to meet everyone in Sales, Marketing & Publicity working on my book, there with Brandon, and so we were both thrilled to discover the other at GenCon. And Friday night roommates Howard Andrew Jones and Scott Lynch and I, along with Joel Shepherd, got, off-campus to Bosporus Istanbul Cafe, where the stuffed eggplant was incredible!

A word on the Writer's Symposium. I had no idea such an enormous and valuable symposium existed. Over 50 authors took part, including heavy hitters like James Dashner, David Farland, Mercedes Lackey, Patrick Rothfuss, and the aforementioned Sanderson. With over 110 hours of programming and so many talented panelists, I would be surprised if there is a larger and more star-studded genre writers symposium anywhere in the US. Marc Tassin deserves incredible kudos for pulling this off, as does his helper Molly Findley and everyone on his team who worked to make this happen. The symposium has apparently been growing every year. I hope GenCon knows what a valuable side-track they have running! 

Amazingly, the 8 and 9am panels had over 100 attendee (the room held 200 and often looked full) while the afternoon panels sometimes (though not always) had fewer. Marc explained that this is because the game rooms open at 10, so unlike other cons, early morning is prime time here. This about killed me. I lost my voice entirely, but still managed to give my solo "ScripTips" screenwriting for novelist talk on Saturday. I got my voice back for it, but the effort ragged me out completely.

Saturday afternoon I met up with good friends Matt Wilson (Chief Creative Officer, Privateer Press) and Miles Holmes (Gameloft game designer, but look for his Road/Kill Kickstarter coming September 9th!). Then we were joined by John Scalzi (The Human Division) and Liz Smith (Dammit Liz Productions). Then it was off to a dinner with Pierce Watters, Erik Mona, Chris Self from Paizo, Tom Doherty (founder Tor books) and Tom Doherty Jr., and some folks from Margaret Weis Productions. A wonderful time, which finished with Tom Doherty telling me stories about the crazy days of Chicago magazine distribution.

One last night of drinks with the Writer's Symposium, one final Sunday morning panel, one last coffee with Scott Lynch, then Howard Andrew Jones and I rode away into the sunset, though he had to lend me a suitcase to get all the RPG manuals I'd bought home!

You were a great con GenCon. I'll definitely be back! Not sure if I'll be there next year or if it will be the year after. Let me roll for initiative.

Monday, August 19, 2013

PW Children's Bookshelf

I was out of town last week, but as I got on the airplane last Wednesday, I had this nice surprise. My recent good news made Publishers Weekly's Children's Bookshelf newsletter:

Phoebe Yeh has also acquired Frostborn by Lou Anders, book one in a three-book middle grade fantasy adventure series called Thrones and Bones, inspired by Norse myth and folklore. The book introduces Karn, who would rather be playing the board game Thrones and Bones, and Thianna, half-frost giant, half-human, who team up when they are chased by wyverns, a dead Viking sea captain, and a 1200-year-old dragon. Publication is slated for 2014; Joe Monti of the Barry Goldblatt Literary Agency brokered the deal for world English rights.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Deal of the Day at Publishers Marketplace!

News of my recent three book deal was selected as the Deal of the Day at Publishers Marketplace!

Children's: Middle grade: Nebula, World Fantasy, Hugo and Chelsea Award editorial finalist Lou Anders's FROSTBORN, the first in a series beginning with the brave frost giant's daughter who befriends a cunning boy in a land inspired by Norse folklore as they become embroiled against warriors, wyverns, and the past, and FROSTFORGED, to Phoebe Yeh at Crown Children's, in a good deal, in a three-book deal, for publication in August 2014, by Joe Monti at Barry Goldblatt Literary(World English).

Film: Eddie Gamarra at The Gotham Group

I should point out that the credit list isn't quite accurate. I've actually won the Hugo and Chesley awards, but never been nominated for a Nebula (though I have been nominated for a Locus, a PKD, 6 more Hugos, 5 more Chesleys, and 3 WFC awards). Also the title of book two is probably changing. But I am grateful for such good exposure! And deeply grateful to my agent, editor, and publisher.

But if anybody wants to repeat this news (with my thanks!), a more accurate wording would be:

Children's: Middle grade: Hugo and Chelsea Award winning editor/art director Lou Anders's FROSTBORN, the first in a series beginning with the brave frost giant's daughter who befriends a cunning boy in a land inspired by Norse folklore as they become embroiled against warriors, wyverns, and the past, and two sequels, to Phoebe Yeh at Crown Books for Young Readers, in a good deal, in a three-book deal, for publication in August 2014, by Joe Monti at Barry Goldblatt Literary(World English).

Film: Eddie Gamarra at The Gotham Group

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Now It Can Be Told...

I've been sitting on some news for a month, not allowed to talk until this press release, and just bursting at the seams. But now I can speak. And so, I'm tickled pink to tell you that...

Drum roll please...

I've sold a book. And not just a book, but three books, to Phoebe Yeh, newly crowned vice president and publisher of Crown Books for Young Readers, a brand new imprint from Random House Children's Books. It's a middle reader fantasy that I'm very proud of, and it kicks off a series. The series is called Thrones and Bones, and the first book is titled Frostborn.

Joe and Lou take Manhattan
Obviously, I'm enormously grateful to my new editor Phoebe, to Barbara Marcus, RHCB president and publisher, and to my agent, the extraordinary Joe Monti. I'm thrilled to be working with them all. Recently, I was in New York City, where I got to sit down with seven people from Random House' sales and marketing departments, and I'm excited to work with them as well and very confident that I am in great hands. And the opportunity to be part of the first list from a brand new, prestigious imprint from the largest publishing house... oh my!

Frostborn is slated for an August 2014 debut. Watch this space, Facebook, and my Twitter account (@LouAnders) for updates.