Yesterday Was Ragnarök, But We’re Still Here. Time For A Contest!

Ragnarok

Surtur did not crack the sky with his flaming sword. The sooty cock of Hel did not crow. And while we here on the Canadian prairies are still stuck in the depths of Fimbulwinter, I’ve been seeing signs of spring elsewhere.

So I guess that means the apocalypse didn’t come.

Time to celebrate!

Drinking Horn

I’m going to give away a couple of autographed books. How do you win them? Simple!

Like the Thunder Road Trilogy Facebook page

Follow me on Twitter

Follow me on Tumblr

Add Thunder Road or Tombstone Blues to your To-Read Shelf on Goodreads

Do any (or hey, all of them, why not improve your chances?) and you will be entered in a draw for an autographed copy of Thunder Road and Tombstone Blues. If you have already done all of those things, and own the books, thank you! There’s also something in this contest for you. If you help promote the contest on your social media feeds, I’ll send you a fun bag of Thunder Road related swag.

Write on!

Contest runs until March 23rd.

Interviewed And Profiled On ShawTV!

So this happened:

ShawTV interviewed and profiled me as a part of “I Love to Read Month”.  Cross one more terrifying experience off of the bucket list. Big thanks to everyone at Shaw for supporting Manitoba authors, and thanks to the anonymous bookseller at McNally Robinson who put my name forward as one of their favourite authors.

Write on!

One New Story And Two New Gigs: Three Fun Things Make A New Blog

So a few new things have been happening lately:

I’m leading ACI Manitoba‘s Teen Writing Workshop as part of their 16-19 year old mentorship program. I’ve been a guest speaker at the program twice, once as an author and once as a bookseller and it’s an honour to be taking it over from Anita Daher. I’ll be editing an anthology of their stories, and at the end of the program the students will be doing a public reading of their work. We’ve had one class so far and I’m enjoying it a lot. My students (it’s very weird to think that I have students!) are very keen and I’m looking forward to reading what they produce.

Also on the teaching front, I’ll be leading a fantasy writing workshop in Thompson, Manitoba in March. Details are still being firmed up, but I’ll post them as soon as I have them. I had a great time the last time I visited northern Manitoba (to do research for Thunder Road) and I’m very much looking forward to checking out a different corner of the north. Here’s hoping the weather co-operates!

Finally, my publisher asked for a blog post about Ted Callan’s resolutions for the coming year. Somehow, instead of a blog post, I ended up with a 600 word short story instead. It went live today, and I hope you’ll enjoy New Year’s Eve. (For those concerned about such things, there are maybe a couple small spoilers for Tombstone Blues in this one)

Write on!

Central Canada Comic Con Roundup

This was not my first time attending C4, but it was my first time there as an author.

In the past, I would get a day pass, swing through Artist’s Alley and the back issue bins, drop too much money, and be gone in under an hour or so. Big crowds always have a way of making me want to start throwing elbows. It’s been a number of years since I’ve even attended, as C4 almost always conflicts with World Fantasy Con and WFC is probably my favourite model of conference. Given the amount of editors and agents that attend, more likely to advance my career in the long run than selling a box of books. But WFC was in Brighton, England this year, and unfortunately, just not in the cards.

IMG_0401 My table, tarted up with books and props.

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But I had a great time! In fact, I found C4 far more enjoyable as a vendor than I did as just an attendee. Having a table allowed me to avoid the lines getting in, gave me a place to sit and leave my jacket, toque, and gloves (I mean, it is held in November in Winnipeg, if you feel me), and to have a place to go if the crush of people became too much. Aside from having fun, how’d the con go?

Great!

I sold enough copies of Thunder Road and Tombstone Blues to pay for the cost of my table and the crappy pizza and hotdogs that the Winnipeg Convention Centre offered up (I’ll need to sell a lot more books to cover the cost of all the swag I bought). I talked to a lot of people, handed out postcards, magnets, pens, journals, and t-shirts.

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I thought a varied table might help me out, so I brought copies of all the anthologies and magazines containing my short stories. I sold a couple copies of the Fungi anthology. Talked up On Spec, and the forthcoming Tesseracts anthology The reaction the passersby had to Fungi was awesome to see, and allowed me to chat up people who would have otherwise have kept walking. I’ll definitely keep bring the short stories along to play if I do more of these cons.

I was located in a makeshift “Author Alley” row inside of the general Artist’s Alley along side a bunch of my writing pals, Sierra Dean, Samantha Beiko, Clare C. Marshall, and the Burst Books crew of Graeme Brown, L.T. Getty, Ronald Hore, and Cameron D. James.

I tracked down Donovan Yaciuk, creator of Spacepig Hamadeus, and talked a bit about my short comic for his upcoming anthology, introduced him to Samantha, who in addition to being a great writer, is a kick ass artist. One of the big attractions for me of this year’s C4 was picking up a limited print edition of GMB Chomichuk’s Aurora Award nominated comic, Raygun Gothic.

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Once I found the Alchemical Press booth I dropped all of the coin! I picked up some prints, buttons, and of course, that limited print edition which is now customized and rather than 1 of 200, is one of a kind!

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Also, it can pay to be a Secret Society (TM) member, and there are some cool things coming up that I can’t talk about yet.

But what you really want to see is the costumes, isn’t it?

“Aww, Ice King!”

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How do you spell the repulsor noise?

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Enchantress and Red Sonja!

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Sweet classic Loki costume!

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Another great Loki. IMG_0395

Not pictured: the mini donuts this Loki has tucked behind her back.

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One of many Thors. I wish I could have caught them all (like Pokemon).

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My lovely assistant was having some fun while I was gadding about.

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Probably the best Ash costume I’ve ever seen. This guy rocked it. Groovy.

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Unless these guys are about to reenact an “Acts of Vengence” storyline, I find it very dubious that Magneto and The Red Skull would be so buddy-buddy.

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Captain America might need to separate those two…

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Batman knew what we wanted to see.

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One of my favourites! Castle and Beckett. The guy in the Castle costume made the vests.

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TONS of Adventure Time cosplay, and lots of Marceline the Vampire Queen. This Marceline traveled with Marshall Lee the Vampire King.

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I don’t know who these guys are, so it must be a video game thing, but awesome costumes.IMG_0457

Ghost Rider knows who you are and what you’ve done (especially you, Nicholas Cage).

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Write on!

Three Great Events

I’ve definitely been a busy bee since Tombstone Blues escaped the printer. I had a few events in such short order (and I’m happy to say, I’ve more to come) that I just can’t give each their own roundup post.

Tombstone Blues Launch:

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It was another packed house at McNally, (thanks for coming back guys!) and while nothing can compare to the first launch, I have to say I might have enjoyed this one a little bit more. I’ve done several readings in the interim, talked to crowds that were not filled out with friends and family, and that definitely took some of the edge off the performance jitters.

Also, there was cake.

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Huge thanks to everyone who came out to support me!

The Ravenstone Monster Mash:

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On October 23rd, I was joined at McNally Robinson by my friends and fellow Ravenstone authors David Annandale, Karen Dudley, and (visiting from Edmonton) Janice MacDonald. We all got together to share spooky pieces from some of our latest works. If you were there, you got a tease from one of my forthcoming short stories, as I realized I read my favourite scary scene from Tombstone Blues a week early at the launch.

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David Annandale, Karen Dudley, Janice MacDonald, Chadwick Ginther

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Books! Karen Dudley’s Food for the Gods, David Annandale’s The Valedictorians and Gethsemane Hall, Janice MacDonald’s Condemned to Repeat, and from yours truly, Thunder Road and Tombstone Blues.

Word on the Water:

Kenora’s growing literary festival was a lot of fun. Guests included Robert J. Sawyer, Charles Wilkins, Gail Bowen, Duncan Weller, Mike Grandmaison, C.C. Benison, Catherine Hunter, Karen Dudley, Samantha Beiko, and Sherry Peters. Thank you to Elizabeth Campbell Books, who was on hand selling copies of the attending authors’ books.

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This was taken on the opening night of the festival. I had the pleasure of introducing my friend, Robert J. Sawyer, one of this year’s guests of honour. Rob delivered a fantastic keynote address and reading and then I had the pleasure of moderating the audience Q&A portion of the event. There were many great and thoughtful questions, you guys made my job easy!

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On the future of publishing panel with Duncan Weller and Samantha Beiko, moderated by Daniel Klein (who I know from Twitter, but finally had a chance to meet in person).

Next up was the Reality Made Fantastic or Fantasy Made Real, moderated by Kenora’s Rick Brignall. A spirited discussion on real places becoming fantastic and the creation of secondary worlds with Karen Dudley, Samantha Beiko, Robert J. Sawyer and myself.

Remember my “Grumpy Cat” photo from the Manitoba Book Awards? I think it’s been topped…

WOW2013 Tired Chad

Don’t blame me, I’ve got a condition. Seriously though, I hadn’t slept well, and had a fierce headache all day Saturday, but I did have fun on my programming, so I hope it wasn’t at least constantly obvious that I had a monkey trying to chisel out of my brain.

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Saturday night it was Charles Wilkins‘ time to shine. The Thunder Bay author introduced his latest work, Little Ship of Fools, did a short reading and then we had a screening of the film Big Blue (about Wilkins’ journey across the Atlantic chronicled in Little Ship of Fools) before the Page Turner gala dinner.

But this is not the end, more great events are coming up in short order!

C4 (Central Canada Comic Con): I’ll be selling copies of Thunder Road and Tombstone Blues, handing out swag, and staring at Ron Perlman. Come by Booth 140A and say “Hi.”

Tombstone Blues launching in Morden: Very happy to be giving book two a hometown kickoff. I wrote the first fifty pages of Thunder Road in Morden, and I discovered the Norse Myths in the very building where I’ll be doing my reading. Hoping for a very special night.

Eat, Drink, and Be Literary: I’ll be joined by David Bergen, Carolyn Gray and Kelly Hughes in this fundraiser for the Manitoba Writers’ Guild.

Reading and Signing in Saskatoon: I’ll be part of a multi-author book launch along with E.C. Blake, Sean Cummings, and Derryl Murphy at McNally Robinson Booksellers.

Lots to do and hopefully more to come.

Write on!

Loki’s Guide To Norse Mythology: Tilda Eilífsdóttir

Tilda

Similar to my protagonist, Ted Callan, Tilda doesn’t appear in the myths, not specifically, anyway. The fortune telling and fate spinning Norns, however, certainly do.

My fascination with fortune telling and precognition was always tempered by potential downsides, a feeling that probably came out of the various comics I read and RPGs I played. The X-Men definitely took a turn for the more fatalistic after “Days of Future Past” knowing what was in store for them (in at least one of their futures, I’ve read X-men for thirty years and even I can’t keep it all straight anymore). I also had a sadistic gamemaster who’d punish you for using those very helpful powers and spells because they required more planning on his part. You know who you are.

Tilda showed up out of the blue in Ted Callan’s life and world. She popped up just as suddenly in my writing, there was no short story antecedent. One moment there was a dark highway, and then there was Tilda. She didn’t live in Gimli until that popped out of her mouth. I sort of knew I wanted a fortune teller of some kind to be a part of the book eventually, but just as the dwarves weren’t dvergar yet, that seer wasn’t necessarily going to be one of the “capital-N” Norns either.

I had a friend who used to hitchhike all over the place. She scared the bejesus out of me at times, but she was fun, and she had some great stories. She had seen some amazing things in her travels, and while Tilda is not her, there is definitely something of that friend in the young Norn’s literary DNA. I wanted Tilda to have a wealth of stories in her past, and to be more knowledgeable about not only the magical world, but the real world than Ted. Her broader life experience also helped close the age gap between them.

Spoiler alert for those who haven’t read book one:

Tilda gets all of the powers of the Norns, visions of not just the future, but the past and the present as well. I did this because Ted gets a lot of power in Thunder Road, and I wanted Tilda to be Ted’s match both physically and magically. Even though the book is about Ted, Tilda needed to undergo a journey of her own. And just as I wanted to write a post-Ragnarök story, I liked the idea of playing with the maiden-mother-crone concept. Mixing the magical and the mundane is one of things I love most about writing Urban Fantasy. Ted and Tilda fell together very quickly, fueled in part by the Norn’s belief that they are fated to be a couple, so in Tombstone Blues I wanted to examine how much “destined for one another” means when you move in together for the first time.

A Collection of Wonderful Things

Friday was a pretty awesome day for me.

The swag I ordered for C4 (Central Canada Comic Con) arrived days early.

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I bumped into Scott Henderson at Scott Ford’s Romulus + Remus launch and he showed me this Thunder Road inspired drawing that he did:

Thunder Road by Scott Henderson

I absolutely LOVE this. Do check out more of Scott’s art!

And then, when I thought my day couldn’t get any better, I went to the final Mainstage night at THIN AIR and was unexpectedly presented with this:

Tombstone Blues Author Copies

Tombstone Blues is a real book! I wasn’t certain if I’d actually see a copy before I left for Can-Con in Ottawa. Turnstone did another beautiful job putting this one together. I can’t wait for you all to read it.

What a great way to start the weekend!

Write on!