Sunday, September 26, 2021

First Signing Event Since Pandemic Arrived Happened

 



The Classic Plastics Pop Culture Vendor Show at the Grand Central Mall in Vienna, WV (Sponsored by the Classic Plastics Toy Store) went well.


There was a lot of foot traffic at the mall, probably due to the advertising effort by Classic Plastics, but also just regular in general. The mall looked to have about 95% occupancy of all its store fronts. Compared to the malls around where I live, that is outstanding.

Although I have quite a number of events in Parkersburg, and Marietta, both very near Vienna, I only saw two regulars to events I've regularly appeared at. One normally stops to chat but isn't one who reads my works. That's okay. I enjoy discussing fantasy, SF, writing and more.

It made for an odd mix of book sales. While I almost always sell the first books in a series (Such as Outpost or Flank Hawk) far more than other books, at events where there are folks who've picked up my works before, I tend to sell more of the later books in a series. I guess if I do the event again, I may get the repeat folks. Although, in my experience, returning readers at events like arts festivals and the Pop Culture Vendor Show, have less consistent return as compared to "Comic-Con" style events.

I was a little rusty with the PayPal Card Reader and such, but quickly got back into the swing. And, for those curious, about 1/3 paid cash. The rest via credit or debit.

Fortunately, I keep all of my signing gear together and organized in the crates and boxes. Makes prepping for events less of a hassle and less likely to forget something. Below is everything loaded on my two carts--which I have learned to dual maneuver pretty well.







Wednesday, September 22, 2021

See me at the Classic Plastics Pop Culture Vendor Show Sept. 25th



Hey Folks,

I'll be at the Classic Plastics Pop Culture Vendor Show!

Time: Sept. 25 (Saturday) 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Place: Grand Central Mall, Vienna WV

Link for more Information: HERE

I'll be there with a host of other vendors and authors, talking Fantasy and SF and signing copies of my novels.

If you're in the area, I hope to see you there!


Saturday, September 4, 2021

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Monsters, Maces and Magic: Date is now available as an Audiobook



Hey Folks,

Monsters, Maces and Magic: Date is now available in audio. It's narrated by the awesome Jonathan Waters!

Check it out (links below):

Date on Audible
Date at iTunes
Date on Amazon

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Interview on Dueling Ogres Podcast



Hey Folks
,

I was interviewed on the Dueling Ogres Podcast (a return visit)!

Check it out via the links below and don't hesitate to share. We discuss a variety of topics, from my books and writing and publication to the potential disaster of self-driving cars and more.

Links:
Episode 215: A Tale of Two Terrys

YouTube: Dueling Ogres Episode 215
Audible: Dueling Ogres Episode 215

Really, it's available pretty any podcast app or distributor.




Saturday, August 14, 2021

Monsters, Maces and Magic: Revived's 1st Draft


Typed "The End" to Revived's first draft last night (well, technically at about 20 minutes after midnight--so today). It came in at 123,447 words. Longer than anticipated. Based on the outline, I originally figured it'd end at about 110,000 words.

Several revision and editing passes come next.

My publisher (Gryphonwood Press) notified me the other day that Date's audiobook version was uploaded for publication. Expect about another week or so before it's available.


Tuesday, July 27, 2021

A Couple of Mid Summer Yard Pics



The sunflowers got planted a little later than expected due to frosts in the spring. Originally, in this spot I planted three, but our cat decided only two were necessary. This is the first bloom of the summer.


Some purple morning glories among the stalks of glass gem corn. There are a few pink blooms about as well. Once you plant morning glories, expect to have them forever.



Monday, July 26, 2021

The Passing of C Dean Andersson (Asa Drake)



I recently learned of the passing of C. Dean Andersson.

I am truly saddened. Dean really helped my writing get a boost with his blurb of Flank Hawk. We communicated off and on over the years and I really enjoyed (among other things) the sharing of his interactions and anecdotal stories with some of the big name authors in the 1980s and early 1990s.

I had the opportunity to interview him twice for this blog:
Interview with Fantasy & Horror Writer C Dean Andersson (2013)
Return Interview with Fantasy & Horror Writer C Dean Andersson (2020)

Many years ago I came across his Bloodsong Series through the recommendation of a bookseller at a convention. 



The Bloodsong Series really caught my imagination. 

When Flank Hawk had been accepted by Gryphonwood Press, Dean was one of the authors I contacted, to see if he would read my novel and, if he enjoyed it, would offer a blurb for the book. Obviously, he replied and enjoyed my debut novel enough to put his name behind it.

Dean remained kind and supportive over the years as we talked about writing and the changing landscape of being an author, and more.

I know I will miss him, and I only knew him in a small way. Certainly those who loved and knew him better will miss his presence in their lives far, far more.

Here is a link where you can learn more about C Dean Andersson and his passing:
Rest in Peace Dean Andersson (at Realms of Night)

Here is C Dean Andersson's website:
C. Dean Andersson Fantasy and Horror

Wikipedia Page:
C. Dean Andersson

C Dean Andersson's Amazon Page:
C Dean Andersson (on Amazon) where you can find access to all of his works, fantasy and horror. If you already haven't, consider picking up one or more of his works, if any pique your interest. As an author Dean's goal had been to share tales readers would enjoy, and I know he'd love for his works to continue doing just that.


Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Pawn now Available via Audiobook

 


Hey Folks,

Monsters, Maces and Magic: Pawn is now available via audiobook, narrated by Jonathan Waters.

Below are the links and novel description. If you already haven't, this book as a good place to jump into the series.

Links:
Audiobook via Audible
Audiobook via iTunes

Ebook vendors
Print via Amazon

Description:

Higslaff the Pawnshop Owner needs a job done, but the Guild War has taken a toll. Those he’d normally call upon are engaged in some other vital assignment, or dead.

He decides to hire Gurk, Jax, Marigold, Lysine and Kalgore instead. The adventuring party has proven themselves resourceful and effective on previous jobs, not only for himself, but for the local silversmith, and the Church of Apollo. This particular assignment shouldn’t be a problem.

What Higslaff doesn’t know is that details of his job have been compromised. Agents of the Riven Rock Thieves’ Guild are on the move, ready to wrest control of the enchanted item that could tip the balance in the Guild War.

===

If you enjoy Fantasy and/or RPGs, especially tabletop, this series might be just right for you.



Monday, July 12, 2021

Visiting the New Myles' Pizza Pub



One of my and my wife's favorite places to eat, Myles' Pizza Pub in Bowling Green, Ohio closed back in 2016, due to the owner retiring. A places dined at pretty much every Friday night while attending BGSU, and visited regularly when I lived in Toledo, and on occasion when I moved to Piqua and then St. Paris, Ohio.


16" Pizza (with Bacon Strips and Pepperoni) ready to eat

Well, a few years later, Chip Myles came out of retirement to open a new Myles' Pizza Pub in Greenville, SC. On the way back from the Atlanta area, visiting my wife's sister and brother-in-law, we swung a little out of our way to stop and dine at the new Myles'.


Kathy and Myself at Myles'

It was super-busy (not unexpected). And there were both local folks and fans from the previous establishment eating a meal there. They even ship frozen pizzas, which I think says something. Of course we brought the leftovers home in a cooler.


Chip Myles working the Oven


The pizza and garlic bread tastes exactly the same--not a surprise. And as can be seen from the pics, the owner (Chip Myles) is still at it. Watching him work, he looked both serious but often smiled and joked a little with the workers there.


Hope to make another visit someday, hopefully in the not too distant future. Eight hours is a long drive for pizza, but ultimately worth it. If you live in the region, give it a try.

What's left of the Pizza & Small Open-Faced Garlic Bread w/ Cheese



Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Outpost as a Comic is a Possibility in Progress

 

Some pretty Cool News!

Monsters, Maces and Magic: Outpost is in the process of being made into a comic book. There's a lot of work and more than a few hurdles to overcome, but the effort has begun.

Here's a sample of the concept art:


Hopefully it will all come together. Will keep you updated with progress along the way.


Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Mapping Things Out


Readers of my blog probably know that I outline my novels. A rough sketch, hitting the high points in the plot, maybe with some notes on places and dialogue and people.

Also, while writing scenes, especially action scenes, I will use pen and paper to map things out. Nothing fancy. I do this so that I can keep it all straight, consistent, and help to draw a better picture with words so that readers can see it all in their mind's eye.

That's just what I am doing now, for the tenth or eleventh time in my current novel in progress, Revived. The party is about to spoil an intended ambush by a band of goblins. :)


Monday, May 31, 2021

A Tree after 30 Years of Teaching



After 30 years of teaching, my school planted a tree in my name. Actually, I have taught at Upper Valley Career Center for 31 years. But, due to delays brought on by COVID-19's impact, the purchase and subsequent planting was delayed a year. 

Actually (#2), I have 33.6 years of teaching service, counting teaching and substitute teaching at the Toledo Public Schools early in my career.

I expect to teach at least another decade. I get up every morning and look forward to the work day. That's a definite plus. Dreading each workday would be difficult, although, for a myriad of reasons, I know some people manage it.


One of the advantages of working at a Career Tech school is that the Landscape Management class picked the spot (near where I park each morning so I can see the tree) and planted it.

If you cannot tell from the picture, it is a dogwood tree. I picked the tree, thinking that having the tree featured on my novel Fairyed's cover would be neat. (Cover art created by Drazenka Kimple) Plus, it's an attractive tree, especially in the spring. 

I'd wanted a white pine, but the Landscape Management instructor said the soil and other factors made it a poor choice, so I went with the dogwood.


My planned third choice was a hawthorn. However, the thorns, and the odor of the otherwise nice blossoms, would've probably made it a less than optimum alternative. And a tree that produces hedge apples, even less so.

Maybe that all says something about me.

Saturday, April 17, 2021

And So it Begins (again)...

 


Yes, another year of mowing.
Round One completed.


Friday, April 2, 2021

Outpost Ebook Free for a Brief Time



Hey Folks,

Gryphonwood Press has placed Outpost on Sale.

Get it free for a limited time through most ebook Vendors!

Link: Outpost Ebooks


Thursday, April 1, 2021

Flank Hawk Wins Cover Tournament


Hey Folks,

Ran a Best Cover (of all my published works) competition on my FB and Flankers Page as short while back.

As you can tell from the Bracket Results, Flank Hawk prevailed. The number of votes earned in each matchup in parenthesis.

Maybe when I have an even 16 covers, I'll try it again.


Saturday, March 20, 2021

Dueling Ogres Podcast Now Available via Audible

 


Hey Folks,

You probably know that I am a listener of the Dueling Ogres Podcast. Plus, they've invited me on as a guest a couple of times.

Anyway, now, another easy venue (in addition to iTunes, Pandora and more) is via Audible, if you're a member. No cost for fun listening. They have years of episodes, right up to the latest.

Link: Dueling Ogres on Audible


Thursday, January 21, 2021

An Interview with SF Author Courtney P. Hunter

 

Welcome to Up Around the Corner, Courtney. Please, tell us a little about yourself and your writing.

 


I’m Courtney, and I’m a first-time author. My novel was released this past October. I’m from Philadelphia, and I live with my fiancé and three rescue pups: Rickie, Billie, and Reggie!


Sentience is my debut novel, and it explores the ethics of AI through a re-imagined Turing Test. It's been described as genre-bending by readers, and I think that's a really accurate summation. It's obviously a science fiction novel, but there's lots of thrills, romance, and some darker elements baked in. I love anything Promethean, and it was heavily inspired by the A24 Film Ex Machina and HBO's Westworld. The novel actually started as a contemporary dance performance that was showcased in the 2017 Philadelphia Fringe Festival, and from there, I took the world that I built on the stage and transformed it into the world of Sentience.



Sentience
follows twenty-four individuals as they travel through a contained natural preserve to participate in a Turing Test conducted by a tech corporation willing to do anything for monetary gain. Throughout their journey, they face obstacles designed by the experiment controllers to elicit human response and emotion. However, four of these individuals are not human. Romance falls together as the world around them falls apart, revealing the lengths people will go to protect those they love, achieve success, or simply survive. While the humans involved wrestle with where they stand on the polarizing issue of artificial intelligence and its applications, the AI in the experiment must prove their humanity to leave the experiment unscathed. The experience of those within the experiment is juxtaposed against those running it, some of whom struggle with the corporation's intentions for the AI that pass the Turing Test. All of this leaves readers wondering what truly defines humanity and consciousness.

 

What inspired you to become a writer, and what is one of the things that surprised you most in the process?

I've always told stories and created characters in my head to entertain myself since I was a kid – during car rides, long baths, or stretches of boredom. It took me until I was around twenty-three to realize that I had a well-developed lineup of characters and story lines from all the years spent thinking.


At the same time, I've also been a dancer for the majority of my life, so I've found that there's lots of story-telling within dance, too. At twenty-three, I choreographed the piece that inspired the novel. When I was done, I felt like the world I created on the stage was the perfect backdrop to the characters and storylines rattling around in my head. I put the two together and that's how my first book, Sentience, got started.


I didn't grow up knowing I wanted to be a writer; it more so just felt like the next step in my evolution as a creator. Now that I have my first novel under my belt, I am itching to write another. I spent so much time working on Sentience without realizing it, so this time around, I'm just drawing a lot of inspiration from personal experience. This way my writing feels just as authentic, even though I didn't spend years subconsciously creating the characters.


As far as surprises go, one thing I learned when I went back to read my book during the process of promoting it, I realized how much physicality there is in my writing. Since I’m a dancer, it’s natural for me to emote physically, and I suppose I made my characters do the same.



It is often said that good writers are avid readers. Do you agree and, if so, what are your reading habits/what do you read?

 

I do, and I don’t agree. I found it hard to read while working on the first draft of my manuscript, and then again while promoting it. In full transparency, I can sometimes be someone who compares myself to others, and with a genre like science fiction that has incredibly selective fans, I felt intimidated reading in my genre.

 


However, when I’m in idea generation phase, and not in the throws of writing or promoting, I think reading is incredibly beneficial, especially if you can use something as a blueprint for how to strengthen a short coming in your own work. One of the first books that I allowed myself to read after putting my first draft together was Neuromancer by William Gibson. A friend recommended it to me to help with how I approached the technical descriptions in my novel. In that case, it was really beneficial.

 

If you could meet and spend a lunch with any two individuals, the first a historical figure and the second being a fictional character: Who would they be and why?  Where would you select to dine, and what might you hope to discuss?

 


I think I would like to have lunch with K from Katherine Faw’s Ultraluminous and the famous burlesque dancer, Gypsy Rose Lee. I’ve done burlesque myself in the past and have lately been wanting to get back into it. I think they could give me the pep talk I need. I also think they are two free-spirited and badass women, and I can be the opposite most of the time. Hopefully they would coax some free-spiritedness out of me over some wine at a brasserie in Paris.

 

What do you struggle with most as a writer and how do you overcome it?

 

EDITING! My goodness, I am a creative writer, but I am NOT a technical writer. I think editing is the most challenging part because it's the total opposite of creative flow. You need to be attentive and incisive, and reading your own work requires this weird level of vulnerability with yourself. Emotionally, it's a really taxing process.

 

As far as technical editing goes, I advise new writers to invest in a good editor, if nothing else. For reading your own work, I advise red wine.

 


Can you share a little bit with us about your recently published work?

 

I wrote it for myself. As a reader, I just felt like there wasn’t much out there like it. I was the kind of kid that grew up reading The Hunger Games and The Divergent Trilogy, and when summer reading was assigned and it was Michael Crichton and Robin Cook, I tore through it.

 

What does the 25-year-old version of that kid read? That’s who I wrote Sentience for.

 

What is one of the most challenging or difficult lessons you’ve learned as an author?

 

As a first-time author, I learned a lot about timing, and at what point in the process things need to get done. For example, like trying to have your book converted into a MOBI file two weeks ahead of your release date is a bad idea. There are so many nuances things that can hold you up, if not done in the correct order. I would have gotten a lot more sleep, if I knew these things.

 

There’s so much information about what to do to self-publish, however, not very much on when things need to get done. If any new authors out there read this and have questions about the order in which I did things and what I would do differently, I encourage them to reach out. I like helping other artists and creators, and I feel like artists don’t help each other enough.

 


Besides reading and writing, what else occupies your time? Do those activities influence your writing?

 

I like creating in anyway I can. It feels good to take the things in my mind and turn them into something.

 

I always connect what I am making back to my writing, and in a lot of ways, creating can help me work out a story in different mediums. For example, my next novel is set in the town I grew up in, so I’ve been taking walks and playing around with taking pictures of the neighborhood.

 

I also want to discuss family dynamics in my novel, so I started knitting while I think about those dynamics. Something about the interconnectedness of yarn makes me think about the way family members impact one and other.

 

Otherwise, I’m probably walking my dogs.

 

What might readers expect next from you?

 

I have a sequel to Sentience in the works, but it’s on pause for right now. I need to step away from that world for a bit and let myself get lost in something new. So, I started working on a stand-alone thriller that’s got some crime and family drama worked in.

 

I’m also trying to get into grad school for Media Studies + Production, so that I can have the tools I need to write and make movies and documentaries. That’s the end game, fingers crossed.

 

As we’re coming to the end of our interview, is there anything you’d like to say or add?

You can watch the dance performance that inspired Sentience here!

https://youtu.be/8GAGF7AF3Ds


Please share where readers can find you on the internet and where they might locate some of your works.

 

You can find Sentience on Amazon. It’s available on Kindle Unlimited.

 

I’m on Instagram @courtneypatriciahunter, on Twitter @courtneyphunter, and on Facebook @sentiencethebook!