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Imaginarium, the recap

imageImaginarium was probably my last big convention of the year. Probably. There’s a slim chance I’ll show up in New Orleans in November, which would be stellar because I’ve never been and the wife really wants to go. But we’ll have to see how that all pans out.

I’ve often said that the point of a convention is to sell books, and that’s quite true, but every so often there’s an event where the business of writing is more important. Imaginarium is one of those (much like Context in Columbus used to be), and so I wasn’t nearly as worried about selling as I normally am. That said, I still think I managed to sell 6 of my books to the unsuspecting masses (or what I like to call really cool fucking people).

This was Imaginarium’s 2nd year. There were more people, more events, and more panels than last year. The first two are good things, the third might have been a detriment. I know some panels were really well attended, some were dead zones, so hopefully Year 3 can continue to improve on its draw and keep on with the stellar events, but streamline the panels and tracks so that each panel is well attended. That may entail cutting a few of the duds out, offering just a few less, or more creative time-scheduling… not too sure, since all of the above were issues with the panels.

Authors Gina Morales and Jessica McHugh

Authors Gina Morales and Jessica McHugh

The highlight of Imaginarium is the people, the panels, and the camraderie. I was able to hang out with the incomparable Kerry Lipp (look for new work from him real soon!), the always nice James O. Barnes from Loconeal, Violet Patterson, and Tim McWhorter, also met Rob Boley and Amanda Hard. Plus, it’s never dull hanging with my fellow Post Mortem Pressers, Jessica McHugh, Gina Morales, and the always-awesome KT Jayne. Not to mention my hometown writers: Mike, Carma, William Rayst, Nikki, and Jamie. It’s almost like we’re invading shit and what not. Maybe we are?

My panels were awesome, and the panelsts were outstanding on them all. I moderated the Q&A with Imaginarium Toastmaster Tony Acree, which was a blast. Tony’s a fun guy to talk to, with a great wit, and just an easy-going way about him. Any time you get the chance to chat with him, do so. Highly recommended for the conversation and the energy, despite him being a die-hard Marvel fan. (Ugh, I just can’t…)

That’s really all I have to say. I didn’t get out to anything but my panels this year. I skipped the concert and the masquerade ball, feeling that my time was better spent in my room writing and getting shit done. But I imagine they were both entertaining, if that’s your sort of thing. All in all, Imaginarium met the expectations I had for it.


A Confab with author William Rayst


My Confab today is with author William Rayst. He’s an up and coming author I’ve had the pleasure to know for the last few years. With that in mind, I’m going to ask him some questions, not all of which he’ll enjoy. Of course, a good confab consists of those types of questions, don’t they? I think so. More so because he’s not firing questions back at me.

William is the author of the science fiction/fantasy novel, Kings Forge and the Quick Read Zombie Talk. He’s also a poet, though I’ll leave questions about poetry up to people far more intelligent than myself. Without further ado, let’s get down to it, shall we?

Chris: I’ve not had the opportunity to read Kings Forge yet as my “to be read list” is longer than my mini-van. So, tell readers what to expect when they dig in…

kingsforgecoverWilliam Rayst: Kings Forge is the beginning of an epic saga about medieval superheroes. It’s a mix of alternative history and science fiction with just a touch of amateur sleuthing from those Hardy Boys mysteries that I loved as a kid. I chose the 15th Century as a setting for the book because it was a period of time where many new ideas and innovations were being introduced in Europe. Caldor Heets fits right in as our boy genius. Like many of his friends, he is a refugee from one of the fantastical worlds we’ll discover in the series all connected by a turbulent time-space vortex called The Void. Caldor and the unique heroes that he’ll meet in his adventures possess extraordinary physical and mental abilities but have yet to embrace them in the world ruled by superstition. At its core, the series is a coming-of-age story about Caldor Heets and his search for his true purpose in the world.

Chris: You’ve published science fiction/fantasy and horror now. Which of the two do you prefer more? Also, is there another genre you prefer more than one of those? Can we maybe expect to see a mystery or a thriller in the future?

William Rayst: No matter how far I wander into other genres, like horror or fantasy, I always come back to science fiction. It’s in my blood. I used to sit up late with my dad and watch old sci-fi movies on television. In my spare time, I’m working on three other sci-fi novels: Stronghold Raiders, The Last Pilot, and Crimebitters. (Watch out Chris – Crimebitters has vampires!)

Chris: Both Kings Forge and Zombie Talk are only available in ebook format. Do you have something against killing trees like the rest of us? Or can we expect to see your books in print at some point in the future?

William Rayst: Yes, I am a tree-hugger. And, as a result, I have no bookshelves. When I found out that I could take my entire library of books with me on a plane—all neatly organized in my Kindle—I was sold.

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