Tuesday, August 15, 2017

A Post-Festival Post

Photo credit to AJ Proc

What a wild and wonderful weekend! 

From finally shaking hands with Sam Hiyate of The Rights Factory (my agent Olga's boss) at his seminar on Thursday through to a last meal with friends from far away at Sunday suppertime, it was one ever-flowing meet-and-greet with eager readers and other writers. all  passionate about their work and their genres. 

There were many more panels and presentations than I had a hope of getting to, and many great authors I either didn't get to meet or only nodded to as we rushed past each other in the hallways. This really is an amazing festival-slash-conference-slash-freewheeling party; one person can never see, let alone participate in, everything. 

My fun with panels began with a hilarious set of mysteries plotted from audience suggestion at "Who Killed this Character" ably moderated by Mahrie G. Reid of Calgary Crime Writers. Tying together parakeets, goats, blackmail and an air traffic controller with a victim and a murderer in under 15 minutes was no easy feat!
Photo credit to AJ Proc

Presenting this season's books with other Tyche Books authors was a blast. Time travel and kidnapping, ghosts and baseball, deep-dark Noir to light-bright Steampunk, Tyche has reading for every taste and age. Check out Axel Howerton's FURR, EC Bell's DYING ON SECOND, Simon Rose's TWISTED FATEPat Flewwelling's upcoming HELIX: SCOURGE OF BONES   and of course MADDIE HATTER AND THE GILDED GAUGE.
Pat Flewwelling setting up her reading from her second HELIX book.
Later Saturday afternoon I had a howling good time debating all aspects of writing paranormal mystery with fellow panelists EC Bell, Erin Lindsey, and SG Wong: Ghosts and Fae, mythical and mystical dangers, magical systems and their limitations, and how to throw a challenging obstacle in the path of a character who can throw a fireball back. The audience of mainly mystery writers asked great questions and kept us on our toes. Panelists' personal ghost stories had us on the edge of our seats and shivering with the chill of the unknown.
SG Wong's latest!


Sunday's Elements of Suspense panel - featuring members of Sisters In Crime Canada West - was a real thinker. Old WWC hands SG Wong and Eileen Bell and me, along with newcomer Merrilee Robson, wrestled with the differences between suspense and tension and how to express them through our characters, plots, and settings. 
EC Bell, hiding her wicked wit behind a pale, cool facade

We all threw out examples of writers who do it well, and how we think they manage it. And we gave a collective whoop of delight at learning that the inimitable Deanna Raybourn will be coming to When Words Collide in 2018. #fangirling 

Photo credit to Constantine K
At the end of the day, Sisters in Crime Canada West presented Women of Mystery, moderated by the sparkling SG Wong (our chapter's president). We fabulous four presented our new books, told jokes, threw candy and gave away prizes. 

Look for SG Wong's  DEVIL TAKE THE HINDMOST and Merrilee's MURDER IS UNCOOPERATIVE as well as my second Maddie Adventure and Eileen's Marie Jenner mystery series (4th one, DYING ON SECOND, is coming out in September). 

The Maddie Hatter Adventures and I would also like to thank all the people who threw their coins and bills into my collection box for Girls Not Brides. The weekend total came to nearly $200 over just 4 panels, adding to the money raised at my Calgary and Edmonton book launches.
 Girls Not Brides empowers young women everywhere

Since Maddie herself was a runaway to avoid being pressured into marriage, it seemed fitting to collect for this very reputable organization that helps girls all over the world stay out of early/forced marriage and in school, learning whatever skills they need to become healthy, productive, independent citizens. I am thrilled that so many wonderful attendees at When Words Collide supported the cause, and wish to shout out to fellow crime writers SG Wong, Eileen Bell, and Erin Lindsey, who amplified my meager effort in word and in deed.


All in all, it was a marvelous weekend, one I'd happily repeat a lot sooner than this time next year. For now, farewell and happy reading/writing/listening to stories of your choosing.

For up-to-the hour news on Maddie's Adventures and my own, follow us onnFacebook or Twitter

Saturday, August 5, 2017

When Words Collide 2017 - August 10-13 in Calgary

It's August again, and you know what that means: it's time for When Words Collide, Calgary's wildest wrangling of genre-crossing literature, a Festival for Readers and Writers.

The convention has been sold out since June but there are a few areas open to the public. Check the website at When Words Collide to learn what events you can access from outside.

I'll be appearing on several panels to discuss the amazing alternate-Victorian world of Maddie Hatter, how to plot the perfect crime, who my favourite paranormal authors are, and other topics of interest to readers and to writers of crime and/or speculative fiction.

My Schedule:

Friday, August 11th 

* at 7 p.m. in the Canmore Room (Atrium Building): When, Where, Why and How Would You Kill This Character?  Audience participation as writers brainstorm. With only a setting, character, and motive, how will each panelist kill the character and hide the body?

* at 9 p.m. (room TBA)  Tyche Books Ltd and Steampunk Arts & Sciences Society (SASS) present their annual  absinthe and Scotch tastings. Learn about malts from true aficionados  and watch a perfect absinthe drink created from the fountain manipulated by the Commander's experienced hands.

Saturday, August 12th
(all in Tower Building from here on unless specified)

* 12 noon in the Fireside Room:   Tyche Books Presents their annual book social with editors and authors presenting the 2017 collection. Panel discussion and Q & A. 

* 2 p.m. in Bonavista Room: Paranormal Mysteries by subtype and style. How much woo-woo is too much? What authors do it well?

* 8 p.m. in the Parkland Room: Mass autograph session, where I'll be signing my two Maddie Hatter Adventures, two Enigma Front anthologies, and whatever other anthologies or old magazine stories of mine readers bring along.

* 10 p.m. in a semi-secret location: Bundoran Press's combined party and triple book launch. I'm just going as a spectator and cheerer-on of the authors.

Sunday, August 13th

* 2 p.m. in the Parkland Room: Elements of Suspense (a Sisters-in-Crime panel), in which we discuss what keeps readers turning the page and sleeping with the lights on.

* 4 p.m. in the Fireside Room: Women of Mystery (a Sisters-in-Crime panel), in which 4 long-time mystery writer/readers discuss their favourite new and established female crime writers, and reveal a few secrets of our own.

Looking forward to seeing lots of friends old and new!

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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Launch Party for MADDIE HATTER AND THE GILDED GAUGE

It was May 10th, 2017, and dusk was creeping over Calgary when MADDIE HATTER AND THE GILDED GAUGE leapt from the printed page to party and parasol duel at Owls Nest Books.

 And from there to the #1 slot on the Calgary Herald Bestseller List for Fiction! 

Same as MADDIE HATTER AND THE DEADLY DIAMOND did 18 months ago!

Yay, Maddie! 

Friends and family in the packed store ate, drank, and made merry to the lively tunes of Calgary folk duo Hazel Gray. Their song, PAPER-THIN KINGDOMS, is a book-lover's classic!.



 We raised $100 for charity, to be split between CALGARY READS and GIRLS NOT BRIDES.

 Some characters from the book showed up:
Countess Olga, wearing the Dragon Draper Necklace which is our prize for the entire summer's charity fundraising.
Emmy Gat Ain't No Flat!
Cat Cheshire - Look at that GRIN!


Muffet, the littlest Urchin, and one smart cookie!
Tyche Books represented by Editor-in-Chief Margaret Curelas and substantive editor Adria Laycraft.

Fabulous food and wine was provided by Tyche Books and Owls Nest Books.
Some lucky folks took home a Steampunk Statue of Liberty Chocolate Bar.

The Urchins were never far from the food!


The March Pair (Rabbit and Hare) with Muffet and the snacks

These kids go nowhere without their crazy scooter.

In the white and black, the first World Parasol Dueling Champion, mentally preparing to face down Countess Olga, the World Street Dueling Champ!

 
Amanda and her daughter drove 5 hours to be there on the night.
 I told a tall tale or two of parasol duels by daylight and darkness.
Add caption
Emmy Gat and Cat Cheshire set to duel. Those far at the back of the store couldn't see the duelists well, but they were closer to the refreshments.


 

 
With great support from Steampunks of SASS and Madame Saffron Hemlock's Parasol Dueling League, and the warmest of welcomes from Owls Nest's Mike Hare, Judith Duthie and Sarah Johnson, MADDIE HATTER AND THE GILDED GAUGE got off to a great start!  Thanks, all of you!


Available at Owls Nest Books in Calgary or through any of the links below:  Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XJ9YT31 
Amazon.CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B06XJ9YT31 
Amazon.UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XJ9YT31 
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/maddie-hatter-and-the-gilded-gauge 
Nook & iBooks: https://www.books2read.com/u/bxgDJv
For up-to-the-minute news about Maddie and my other writings, find me on Facebook or Twitter 

Friday, May 12, 2017

It's Time to Find The Gilded Gauge!





Book trailer by Kevin Jepson of 4k Consulting, with his photos and stock photos. Music by Two Steps From Hell (Toys Come Alive). 



May 2017 from Tyche Books 

Amazon.com   Amazon.ca   Amazon.uk  Kobo  Other formats
A mysterious message from a midnight duelist sends fashion reporter and aspiring investigator Maddie Hatter to New York City's finest parasol dueling academy, where she foils a daring daylight kidnapping, saves the girl, and embarks on her most perilous adventure yet!


From the Back Cover:
"A mysterious message from a midnight duelist sends fashion reporter Maddie Hatter to New York’s finest parasol dueling academy, where she foils a daring daylight kidnapping.
The grateful rescuee, only daughter of an American Steamlord, offers Maddie a job as her bodyguard. Soon both young ladies are up to their lace gloves in industrial intrigue and irrepressible street urchins. Maddie’s clockwork bird faces danger too: hungry owls, curious inventors, even a clockwork foe that hides sneaky tricks behind its jewel-green eyes.
From the mansions of Park Avenue to the Statue of Liberty, Maddie hunts a fearless spy and confronts an unexpected power from her past."

 Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XJ9YT31 
Amazon.CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B06XJ9YT31 
Amazon.UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XJ9YT31 
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/maddie-hatter-and-the-gilded-gauge 
Nook & iBooks: https://www.books2read.com/u/bxgDJv


For up-to-the-minute news about Maddie and my other writings, find me on Facebook or Twitter 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Bonnie Ferrante's 3-Random Questions Interview with me

It's an odd thing to be interviewed about a book and have the interview appear months later, when the next book is almost out. Here's some background on 'Maddie Hatter and the Deadly Diamond', the first in the Maddie Hatter Steampunk Adventures, when her second adventure is barely six weeks from release.


See the prior interview here:
https://bferrante.wordpress.com/2017/03/22/author-jayne-barnard-three-random-questions-interview


And see more about Maddie's second adventure over here:

http://www.jaynebarnard.ca/2017/03/teaser-time-maddie-hatter-and-gilded.html

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Teaser Time: MADDIE HATTER AND THE GILDED GAUGE



 Maddie's back in action!

A mysterious message from a midnight duelist sends fashion reporter Maddie Hatter to New York’s finest parasol dueling academy, where she foils a daring daylight kidnapping and embarks on her most dangerous adventure yet!



May 2017 from Tyche Books

Pre-order here:
Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XJ9YT31



* Enter to Win  *
an Advance Copy

by SHARING or TWEETING
any or all
teaser covers 

with #MaddieARC



Maddie's first published adventure, MADDIE HATTER AND THE DEADLY DIAMOND (Tyche Books 2015) was a finalist for the Prix Aurora Award and the Books Publishing in Alberta Award, and won the e-Festival of Words Award.  

For up-to-the-minute news about Maddie and my other writings, find me on Facebook or Twitter 

Monday, March 6, 2017

Fun with Book Clubs

Recently I had the pleasure of discussing MADDIE HATTER AND THE DEADLY DIAMOND with The Intrepids book club in Comox, BC. 

This was their first exposure to the world of Steampunk. For reference, we used the definition:


Steampunk (noun): a genre of science fiction that has a historical setting and typically features steam-powered machinery rather than advanced technology; a style of design and fashion that combines historical elements with anachronistic technological features inspired by science fiction.

As Maddie Hatter is a fashion reporter, the subsidiary definition of "homage to vintage fashion with a modern, sassy twist" is also appropriate. Maddie's fictional fashions follow historical fashion more closely than some Steampunk novels - and many Steampunk costumes - do, in large part because the ladies' apparel of the late Victorian and early Edwardian eras offers great scope for any writer who loves elegance and fine fabrics.

More On Maddie
 
We also discussed the novelists considered to be the forefathers (and one foremother) of Steampunk literature: HG Wells (especially The Time Machine), Jules Verne (20,000 Leagues Under the Sea), Arthur Conan Doyle (the Professor Challenger stories), and Mary Shelley (Frankenstein, for the advanced laboratory and energies with with Dr. Frankenstein was experimenting).

Several members mentioned how much they enjoyed Maddie's daring and adventurous spirit. One member, a French-speaker, was irked by the name Hercule Hornblower; even though she recognized why his name was what it was, the juxtaposition of the French and English names got on her nerves. Apart from his name, she found Hornblower fun.  One member was reading the book with her granddaughter, who found the clockwork birds fascinating. Several found the references to the game of Clue enjoyable, and everyone loved the fashions.


Photos of some club members with their books:
















 They were sorry I hadn't brought that huge, flower-and-ribbon-bedecked, Madame Taxus-Hemlock hat I usually wear at signings.
Judging by the reactions at my last public book-signing, when fully half the autograph hunters were over 40 (and most of the rest under 15), The Intrepids are not alone in the category of mature Maddie fans. I look forward to seeing them again next winter, when two more Maddie Hatter books are in print and ready for their 
enjoyment.

PS - for reference, here's a photo of one of Maddie's youngest fans. The book looks huge in her small hands.
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