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Tag: Chris Gerrib

Here's Jan at the autographing table during Capricon 40

Indie Author Speed-Dating

The Capricon Project continues

On Friday of Capricon 40 I participated in the Indie Author Speed-Dating event. The idea was that we’d bring handouts and freebies, have books on hand to sell or show, and be prepared to deliver our “elevator speech” to tell people what our books are all about. The next morning I followed a similar process when I made myself available for autographing (more on that later). 

Photo of Jan with her stuff at the autographing table by Ty Gephardt.
Here’s Jan at her autographing table, with books and SWAG from Weird Sisters Publishing. (Photo by Ty Gephardt.)

Timed during the dinner hour, the Indie Author Speed-Dating event didn’t enjoy the best of turnouts. Some folks came in, and some of us actually sold books. A few of us circulated to “speed-date” other authors so we could get to know each other better. It would have been more fun if we’d had more people in the “audience,” but it was a nice opportunity for those who did come to talk one-on-one with authors.

There were some interesting books and authors at this event. I thought perhaps you’d like a “Virtual Indie Author Speed-Dating” glimpse! Where possible, I’ve used authors’ online statements and/or book descriptions in lieu of their “elevator speeches.”

Rook Creek Books

Blake Hausladen and Deanna Sjolander are the authors of Rook Creek BooksDeanna moderated the event. She and Blake did a lot of circulating at the beginning, to kind of get things going.

Here's a montage of all 18 Blake Hausladen book covers, courtesy of Rook Creek Books.
Eighteen Books by Blake Hausladen. (Montage courtesy of Rook Creek Books.)

Blake’s Vesteal Series is 15 books long. “The completed series has been published into three omnibus collection, The Ghosts in the YewNative Silver, and The Vastness.” NOTE: Rock Creek Books also presented a showing of their stop-motion movie production of Beyond the Edge at Capricon 40.

Deanna’s latest published editing project is Eileen Flaherty’s The Perilous StepHer own first novel, Sophie and the G-Man, is set to publish later this month (Feb. 2020).

Rebecca Ciardullo, a.k.a. R. L. Frencl

Rebecca brought the three books of her fantasy Star Circle Trilogy, which was published last year.Here’s a brief description from the trilogy’s page on Amazon:

“The Darkness that lives behind the stars rises, spinning plots and lies to entrap humanity and bring down the civilizations of mankind. The Star Bearers are called by the Lights to represent the best of mankind and drive the Darkness back behind the stars.

“Aerin and Robyn have been down this road before. Both have stood at a point of the Circle, giving all to the fight. They were two of the few who walked away from the last convergence. The Stars align once more, calling them to represent a world that doesn’t know it’s in danger.”

The Star Circle Trilogy by R. L Frencl includes The Shattered Prism, Walking with Shadows, and Dark Rainbow's End. (photo courtesy of Amazon.)
The Star Circle Trilogy by R. L Frencl includes The Shattered Prism, Walking with Shadows, and Dark Rainbow’s End. (photo courtesy of Amazon.)

She is the author of at least one other series, including some books available in the UK, as well as in the USA. I didn’t get a chance to talk much with Rebecca, but she and author Jen Haeger let me take their picture.

Rebecca Ciardullo/R. L. Frencl and Jen Haeger chat at the Indie Author Speed-Dating event at Capricon 40 (Photo by Jan S. Gephardt)
Rebecca Ciardullo/R. L. Frencl and Jen Haeger chat at the Indie Author Speed-Dating event at Capricon 40 (Photo by Jan S. Gephardt)

Jen Haeger

As I mentioned in an earlier post on this blogJen and I collaborated long-distance on a blog post back in 2017. Neither of us was able to come to Capricon 37. Without meaning to, we “orphaned” the panel Writing about Forensics, so we tried to make up for it by blogging the panel discussion.

At that time she’d only just published her first novel, a paranormal romance titled Moonlight Medicine: Onset. According to her website, however, “My werewolf paranormal romance trilogy, Moonlight Medicine: Onset, Moonlight Medicine: Epidemic, and Moonlight Medicine: Inoculation, previously published by Crowded Quarantine Publications, is not currently available except at the Barnes and Noble in Brighton, MI.”

The WHISPS Series-to-date consists of Whispers of a Killer, Whispers of Terror, and Whispers of Conspiracy. (Image courtesy of Amazon.)
The WHISPS Series-to-date consists of Whispers of a KillerWhispers of Terror, and Whispers of Conspiracy. (Image courtesy of Amazon.)

Meanwhile she’s been busy with the WHISPS Series (currently up to three books), and a novel titled Miles from Manistique

Chris Gerrib

Chris goes to a lot of the same sf conventions I do. I featured him in a post last year about three authors I’d encountered at Capricon 39His series about Martian pirates continues to be the extent of his science fiction explorations. He tells me he’s been writing mysteries more recently.

Chris Gerrib's Martian Pirates Trilogy consists of The Mars Run, Pirates of Mars, and The Night Watch. (Image courtesy of Amazon.)
Chris Gerrib’s Martian Pirates Trilogy consists of The Mars RunPirates of Mars, and The Night Watch. (Image courtesy of Amazon.)

Chris shared a table with me at the Indie Author Speed Dating event. He and L.A. Kirchheimer, posed for a photo beside my and Chris’s displays. 

Chris Gerrib and L. A. Kirchheimer show me their books at Capricon 40's Indie Author Speed-Dating event. (Photo by Jan S. Gephardt)
Chris Gerrib and L. A. Kirchheimer show me their books at Capricon 40’s Indie Author Speed-Dating event. (Photo by Jan S. Gephardt)

L. A. Kirchheimer

L. A. Kirchheimer seems like an interesting person, though I barely got to talk with her. To date she’s written two books, Secrets in Mystic Woodsand Journey Through Darkness.

Both center around the paranormal adventures of thirteen-year-old Charity Graves, who starts the first book seeking to learn more about a teacher with whom she’s come into conflict, but whose concerns quickly escalate to much larger and more terrifying threats.

L. A. Kirchheimer's books, Secrets in Mystic Woods and Journey Through Darkness recount the adventures of 13-year-old Charity Graves. At right, Kirchheimer participates in a panel at Capricon 40. (Cover images courtesy of Amazon. Kirchheimer at Capricon 40 courtesy of her Facebook Author Page).
L. A. Kirchheimer’s books, Secrets in Mystic Woods and Journey Through Darkness recount the adventures of 13-year-old Charity Graves. At right, Kirchheimer participates in a panel at Capricon 40. (Cover images courtesy of AmazonKirchheimer at Capricon 40 courtesy of her Facebook Author Page). 

We’ve only gotten partway through the list of authors at the Indie Author Speed-Dating event. In the next post we’ll meet some more. I hope you learned about someone new whose books you’d like to explore! Please leave a comment if you did!


The photo of Jan S. Gephardt with books from Weird Sisters Publishing is by Tyrell Gephardt, and is used with his permission.

Many thanks to Rook Creek Books for the Vesteal Series composite (and description), featuring books by Blake Hausladen with covers by Elizabeth Leggett

Many thanks to Amazon for the photo of R. L. Frencl’s The Star Circle Trilogy, Jen Haeger’s WHISPS Series, Chris Gerrib’s Martian Pirates Trilogy, and the cover art for L. A. Kirchheimer’s two books. The photo of Kirchheimer at the Capricon 40 panel is courtesy of the author’s Facebook Page.

The photos of Jen Haeger with Rebecca Ciardullo (R. L. Frencl),  and of Chris Gerrib with L. A. Kirchheimer, are both by Jan S. Gephardt, taken with their consent at the Indie Author Speed-Dating event at Capricon 40. Re-post or reblog if you wish, but please include an attribution to Jan as the photographer and a link back to this post, if possible.

Some characters and character-creators of Capricon 39

When you talk about science fiction and fantasy, you’re going to meet a lot of memorable characters.

And that’s just the people who write it.

Beguiling as the fictional characters might be, they have to be dreamed up and written about, by someone. And a science fiction convention such as Capricon 39 is a great place to meet writers.

Meeting a writer is sometimes as startling as meeting your first radio personality, but the wit, the knowledge, the humor and the perceptiveness you enjoy in their fiction didn’t come by accident from that person. Most of the writers I know are interesting in their own right.

And some of them are a particular pleasure to be on panels with or to listen to on panels you’re not on. In this post I’d like to feature three writers who made this year’s Capricon a particular treat for me. I’ve included links and some of their covers to give you an idea of what they write. Perhaps you’ll find something that’s right up your alley.

Megan Mackie

Megan Mackie

Megan was on a couple of panels with me, “Book Reviews vs. Literary Criticism,” and “Things Authors Always get Wrong!

She brought perceptive comments from personal experience with a troll to the “Book Reviews” panel, and discussed unrealistic descriptions of women, their behavior, and their bodies, to the “Authors Get Wrong” panel.

I found her to be well-informed and well-spoken, altogether a positive addition to our panel discussions.

And no wonder. Her website reveals she’s a podcaster (The Princess Peach Conspiracy) as well as the author of a growing series of urban fantasy books.

Set in a magical alternate Chicago (Megan just happens to live in the Chicago of our space-time continuum), her “Lucky Devil Series” seems to be off to a strong start.

Finder of the Lucky Devil is the first in Megan Mackie’s “Lucky Devil” series, followed by The Saint of Liars.

Chris Gerrib

Chris Gerrib

Chris was on the “Space Opera” Themed Reading panel with me, as well as the “Things Authors Always Get Wrong!” panel with Megan and me. He is the author of the “Pirates of Mars” Trilogy.

He, too, hails from Chicago, and his cover story is that he’s an IT director at a Chicago-area bank, with only a small, manageable Mars obsession.

He read selections from the first book in his “Pirates of Mars” seriesThe Mars Runfor the “Space Opera” Themed Readings.

In the “Things Authors Always Get Wrong!” panel, he discussed the ways that authors who don’t do their homework can be tripped up by actual facts that readers may know in the realms of the way military organizations work, logistics, and economics

Chris Gerrib’s “Pirates of Mars Trilogy” is available in print or e-book format from Amazon.
The Thursday panel, “Publishing and Marketing for Indie Authors,” featuring (L-R) Lance ErlickJim PlaxcoBeverly BamburyBlake Hausladen, and Jonathan P. Brazee.

Jonathan P. Brazee

Jonathan P. Brazee

I first met Jonathan Brazee at Northamericon ’17 in Puerto Rico, and we’ve been bumping into each other periodically ever since. I have enjoyed his comments on many different panels. 

At Capricon 39, I particularly enjoyed the panel discussion “Publishing and Marketing for Indie Authors.

He is the highly prolific author of “more than 75 titles,” including 44 novels. But don’t let that high output fool you about the quality of his work. 

In 2017 he was a Nebula Finalist for Weaponized Math.” In 2018 he was a Nebula Finalist for Fire Antand a finalist for the Dragon Award for Military Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel for Integration

He also is an active member of SFWA, the esteemed  Science Fiction Writers of America organization.

Jonathan Brazee’s nominated works from 2017 and 2018, L-R: for the NebulaWeaponized Math (2017) and Fire Ant (2018); for the Dragon Award for Military Science Fiction or Fantasy NovelIntegration (2018).

IMAGES: Many thanks to Capricon 39 for the convention’s header, which I cropped for size. I am grateful to Megan Mackie’s website for her author photo and her two book covers.  Many thanks to Chris Gerrib’s Amazon Author Page for his author photo, and to the individual Amazon pages for The Mars RunPirates of Marsand The Night Watchfor their book covers. Many thanks to Jonathan Brazee’s Amazon Author Page for his author photo, and to his Amazon listings for Weaponized MathFire Antand Integrationfor the cover images.

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