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Saturday, November 7, 2015

Another Northeast Comic Con is Coming!

The Winter Edition of Northeast Comic Con will be held Dec. 5&6 at Shriner's Auditorium in Wilmington, MA. The fun-filled event is billed as "the holiday shopping show for nerds and the people who love them!" As a self-proclaimed nerd, I can't wait to meet some of this year's guests.

The movie A Christmas Story  is a classic and one of my favorites. Zack Ward (Scut Farcus ), Ian Petrella ( Randy ), Yano Anaya ( Grover Dill ), and Scott Schwartz ( Flick ) will be guests, and there will be a re-creation of the famous "Santa" set.

Other scheduled guests include Annie Potts of Ghostbusters  and John Wesley Shipp of The Flash.  Also, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Lost in Space, Marta Kristen ( Judy ) and Mark Goddard ( Major Don West ) will appear.

Besides Guest of Honor George Perez, many other comic artists will be in attendance. A great opportunity for those who love comics!

If you're looking for more photo ops, we'll have replicas of Ecto-1, Lost in Space's Robot and Chariot, a full-size Tardis, and a Starship Horizon Bridge simulator.. In addition, there'll be costumes galore, contests, panels, and a voice-over actor's workshop. Also video games, collectibles, food, etc.

I'll be among the authors selling and signing their books. My hubby will once again be selling off a portion of his extensive collection of comics, costumes, toys, etc. You're sure to find gifts for every nerd on your list! As our flyers promise: "Guaranteed not boring!"

Come in costume; meet the guests; bring the whole family for a day of fun! More info, times, etc. available at www.NEComicCon.Net.

Hope to see you there!


Wednesday, September 30, 2015


     In 1969 I attended my first science fiction convention with a group of friends. It was a Boskone, fittingly enough held in Boston. Almost instantly, I fell in love with "cons." Over the next several years I traveled far and wide to attend cons in Toronto, San Francisco, L.A., New York, etc.

     After getting married and starting a family, my con-going became more sporadic and closer to home. I even took my infant son to a Boskone, then my son and daughter #1. But once I had three to take care of, several con-less years passed until the kids were old enough to stay with relatives. That's when hubby and I were able to attend our first Worldcon. Ever since then, we've attended as many cons as our time and budget will allow.

     Here are a few of the many reason I became addicted to conventions:

     #1.   They are fun!
     #2.   Creative, intellectual folks find them stimulating.
     #3.   You meet and make friends with other people who share many of your interests and passions.
     #4.   If you're like me, you'll love staying in hotels and eating in restaurants: no cooking, no      cleaning!
     #5.   You get to meet famous people. ( I've met authors like Isaac Asimov, Ben Bova, Ray Bradbury, and Poul Anderson. Also actors like the late Michael O'Hare and Leonard Nimoy. )

     My latest foray into--ahem!--"con-dom" has been going to Comic Cons, not as an attendee, but as a vendor of books and collectibles. Comic Cons are quite a bit different from fan-run conventions, more like a cross between book signings, movie openings, and regular sci-fi cons.

     At my age I realize that  my con-going days may eventually come to an end, but I'll always have wonderful memories of the places I've been and the extraordinary people I've met. I intend to keep going to cons 'til I drop. If you've never attended a sci-fi convention or a comic con, please give it a try. You don't know what you're missing!

Keep on reading and keep writing!


Thursday, August 6, 2015

What Do You Write?

     One of the questions I'm asked most frequently is: "What do you write?" Well, that question's not easy to answer in a few words. When I try, it always seems inadequate. I usually respond that I write science fiction novels because the vast majority will have some idea of what I'm talking about. To those who instantly reply, "Oh, I don't read science fiction!" I try to communicate that I write science fiction for those who don't usually read science fiction. I'd like to say, "So you don't enjoy a good mystery or a love story or an adventure?"

     My "brand" of science fiction isn't hard science fiction, which is what most people consider "science fiction." That genre features a load of technical jargon, futuristic hardware, and scientific theory. Let me assure you, I have nothing against hard SF; on the contrary, I grew up reading Asimov, Heinlein, Hal Clement, Poul Anderson, etc. But my specialty is writing "soft" science fiction. I most enjoy writing character-driven, well-plotted, and exciting stories about the future, blending several genres into one.

     My latest novel isn't science fiction, but space opera. Think Star Wars, Flash Gordon, and Buck Rogers. It's my homage to pulp fiction, with a healthy dose of humor and tongue-in-cheek. Galaxy Rand has proven to be one of my most popular books so far.

     My first three books ( Judgment on Tartarus, True Son of Tartarus, and Ransom of Tartarus--also known as the Tartarus Trilogy ) are all soft science fiction. They've been reviewed as fun, easy reads featuring a strong, complex female protagonist. If you're seeking deeper meaning, it's there if you look for it.

     For instance, you may notice the many "twin" references: Twin Moons, twin pillars, double-bladed dueling knives, etc. Two of my characters are referred to as "two sides of the same coin"--yin and yang. As Malkis, one of my heroes, says at one point, the villainess is "the dark side of my own being." In other words, duality; we all suffer from it.The never-ending battle between good and evil takes place all around us, as well as within us. But my books are far from preachy; I'm just trying to be truthful

     Okay, try communicating all this in a few words and in a time-span of a minute or two. Impossible! But I always try my best. My readers are free to ignore the messages and just enjoy a vicarious adventure--or two.

Keep on reading and keep on writing!


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Had A Blast at Northeast Comic Con!

     Bob and I, with the help of a few friends, manned a dealer's booth at this summer's Comic Con and Pop Culture Expo. A large and lively bunch attended, including a lot of kids from infants on up. The Guest of Honor, Batman's Adam West, was the main draw, so of course the predominant theme was Batman. The original Batmobile from the TV show was on display. Fans had several opportunities to have their pictures taken in the Batmobile with Adam West and to get his autograph.

     Also on display were the DeLorean from the Back To The Future movies and a Tardis from Doctor Who. Throughout both days frequent costume contests were held, so we were treated to many fantastic costumes, among them several Doctors, Disney's Frozen characters, and a notable Thor and Loki duo. But the costumes I particularly enjoyed were the pirates; one man was dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow with all the accompanying mannerisms. Another was Captain Barbosa. The attention to detail and exquisite fabrics that went into the pirate costumes made them magnificent. But then, who doesn't love pirates?

     Many attendees came dressed in unusual T-shirts that kept us entertained. There were a wide variety of things to shop for: comic books, costumes, toys, and all kinds of collectibles. I thoroughly enjoyed partaking from Wild Bill's Soda Stand!

     Bob and I had a great time connecting with old friends as well as making some new ones. Our booth received lots of compliments for being attractive and colorful, as well as for our good prices. In fact we had such a good time that we signed up for December's Comic Con. Guests of Honor will be cast members of A Christmas Story and Marta Kristin, celebrating the 50 th anniversary of Lost in Space.

In the meantime I'll be selling and signing my books at the New England Authors Expo and mini-Comic Con, July 29 from 4-9 pm at Danversport Yacht Club, Danvers, MA. If you're local, come on down and meet me. It should be a fun evening.

Keep on reading, and keep on writing!


Monday, June 15, 2015

AnthoCon 4

My hubby Bob and I attended this year's AnthoCon in Portsmouth NH. This was our fourth AnthoCon and, in my opinion, the best so far. For the first time at a convention/conference we had a dealer's table to sell books and collectble comics. I'm a writer and Bob's a "collector," so we often do book expos and comic cons as dealers.

   AnthoCon is billed as a specfic conference; speculative fiction includes genres such as horror, fantasy, science fiction, urban fantasy, etc. Most attendees are involved in some field related to specfic. Many are authors, publishers, artists and readers. I, personally, would like to see a few more fans of specfic in attendance, not just professionals. I think they bring an air of excitement and enthusiasm to any convention. I do enjoy networking with fellow writers and artists in all genres.

   The folks who attend AnthoCon are generally super-friendly and welcoming. You won't stay a newcomer for long. I've said that this is a "huggy" con. Other cons that we've attended seem to be more standoffish and reserved. It's much easier to make new friends at AnthoCon and feel right at home here.

   In addition to a well-stocked dealer's room, AnthoCon features panels, readings, raffles, a Saturday night buffet and jam session, a convenient and comfortable venue, and lots of lively conversation.
   We always enjoy eating at the Roundabout Diner, which is a short walk across the hotel parking lot, and Portsmouth proper isn't far away. If you go over the nearby bridge, you end up on the scenic coast of Maine with beaches, restaurants, and outlet shopping. All in all, this is a lovely place to spend a few days or more.

  Bob and I had a great time catching up with old friends, meeting new ones, and networking with a wide variety of professionals. We even managed to win a raffle; I put hubby's name on the ticket. ( He has the luck of the Irish, and I have none at all! )

   We're already looking forward to AnthoCon 2016. I'm sure it will be another wonderful experience.

   In the meantime, keep on reading and keep on writing,

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

To Title Your Chapters...Or Not?

Someone I know recently questioned whether it was necessary to title chapters of novels. Some fellow writers commented that they never title their chapters; others said they routinely did. I'm all for "to each his own;" however, after writing and publishing four books, ( with a fifth nearing completion ) I find chapter titles incredibly helpful.

Here are a few of my reasons:
     1)  Chapter titles give your readers a better sense of the tone of your book. Is it scholarly, comedic, dark, etc.?
     2)  They whet the reader's appetite and make them want to read the book--as does the cover and the backcover blurb.
     3)  They give you, the author, a means of clarifying and/or summing up the theme of each chapter.
     4)  They give your book a sense of order and direction; in other words, they let your potential readers know that the author is well aware of where this book is going!

To give you examples of the above, here's a list of the chapter titles from my latest novel, a spaceopera titled Galaxy Rand:

   1---Out With the Trash
   3---Close Quarters
   4---Five Million Credits
   5---The Black Hole
   7---The Asteroid Eater
   8---Old Rat Eyes
   9---Outta the Frying Pan
   10--Lab Rats
   11--Course Corrections
   14--Mop Up Operations

I think that gives you a pretty good idea of the reasons why I title my chapters. But whether or not you choose to do so, the process is entirely up to your creative expression. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the matter.

Anyway, keep on writing, and keep reading!


Tuesday, January 20, 2015


Writers and readers know that a few typos always manage to slip through the editing process. It seems to be inevitable, no matter how hard writers and editors try to avoid them. But lately I ran across a couple mistakes that were so obvious and so laughable that they effected my enjoyment of the rest of the book. I know what you're thinking! But these weren't independents; the books were published by well-known major houses!

In one book ( which shall remain nameless ), I read that a character arrived at a stable and requested that his "house" be given a rubdown and be fed! Now, unless I missed something, I believe the word should've been "horse!" Makes a bit more sense, doesn't it? But the damage was done; I nearly laughed myself sick as I pictured a house getting a rubdown. And unfortunately, I chuckled through the rest of the book.

In another book, the band that was playing was said to be "whaling." Unless said band was Captain Ahab and the Nemos, I think the word should have been "wailing." Again, I had a good laugh, but that mistake took the edge off my enjoyment of the rest of the book.

One little error like those can ruin a perfectly good story. I hate that! So writers, editors, proofreaders be warned: Do not depend on Spellcheck to do your job for you. Catch those little "oopsies" yourselves. Anyone have any beauties they'd like to share? Please feel free; these days we could all use a good laugh.

Keep writing and keep reading!