Crazy Excited for Comicpalooza

Eeeeeep! I'm attending Comicpalooza or, ahem, The Texas International Comic Con this weekend.

I love cons, from the dressing up to the super-specialized panels and workshops (the courtship rituals of space aliens, anyone?), the cult films and filk music. However, attending as an author instead of a rabid a totally new level of awesome! Eeeeep!

So if you are in the Houston area, come say hi! You'll find me in the Artists Alley, as well on these two panels:

Unexpected Heroes and Heroines    Friday    4:00 PM    4:55 PM
Today's heroes and heroines never looked so bad—or good.  Stop by to find out what makes bad so damned good! These writers know all about it and share how today's characters are changing and what is driving the change. 3rd Floor Panel Room 6

Diversity in Comics    Saturday    8:00 PM    8:55 PM 
Thom Zahler, RJ Woods, Mina Khan, Bruce Small, Kevin Travers, Lane Montoya       
Workshop Room 2 (Medium)

Rise Above Discouragement And Believe in Your Stories

First the good news: A Tale of Two Djinns won 2nd place in the novella category of the 2013 National Excellence in Romance Fiction Awards. WooHoo! I'm happy dancing over the moon in W. Texas :)

Every story I write comes from deep inside and is important to me, but this one is special because I dedicated this to my parents and donate 50% from every sale to UNICEF in my dad's memory. So it does my heart good to see Two Djinns doing well in the Universe.

This is also a personal validation. I have been writing fiction seriously and pursuing publication for about five years now. It's a hard business and my biggest challenge has been: Discouragement. 

We are taught to respect experts and often we auto-buy into their opinions. In the writing business, you’re constantly facing rejection from editors and agents. In fact, someone told me my first genie story would never sell. I still sent it out into the world and fortunately an editor at Harlequin loved the story enough to buy and publish it.

I had to learn to trust myself. I did this by honing my craft and evaluating my work for myself, and then pushing past my fears and putting myself and my work out in the world. 

There are no guarantees. I'm married to a West Texas cotton farmer and every year he works hard to plant his crops. Yes, he weeds and waters and cares for them. But at some point he has to let go and hope for the best. He can't control the weather. Some years he makes a bumper crop, other times he's grateful to have enough, and sometimes it's zilch. But he does it again next season. Why? Because he loves being a farmer.

Well, I love being a writer and telling my stories. I continue to learn, evaluate and create every day, with every story. 

You don’t need anyone’s permission to dream your dreams. So, dream big, figure out what you can do to make them real, and achieve with confidence. Believe in yourself and give your best to every story. And don’t forget to say thank you to the universe by giving back and paying it forward.

Thanks for visiting!

Post #RT13 Updates (Psst, look what I brought back for you!)

Wow, so I survived my first Romantic Times Convention. It was like a 24-hour circus -- bright, shiny and sparkly with all kinds of fantastic happenings. What made it for me? The people! I loved reconnecting with old friends, meeting online friends for the first time, and, of course, making new friends.

I met some of my favorite authors (Beth Ciotta, Caridad Pineiro, Laura Kaye, Beverly Jenkins and more), hung out with other authors and aspiring writers, met lots of very nice readers (including a few who have actually read my books! Woohoo!), and also some very nice cover models!

Speaking of cover models, I made sure to snap a lot of eye-candy pics for you! See what a thoughtful person I am? Lol!

With cover model Charles (who always had a smile) and author Suleikha Snyder!

With my crit partner author Lucie J. Charles and all-around nice guy (& cover model) Harvey Stables.

And more cover models!!!

I wrapped up my RT experience with a guest appearance on Linda Mooney's Other Worlds of Romance blog talk radio show for a special week-long RT session. Linda is an awesome host & we had a fun conversation. Check it out:

Other Worlds of Romance Show

Listen to internet radio with Linda Mooney on BlogTalkRadio