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Monday, June 23, 2008

Another Geekerati update

Sigh. We jumped in live so quickly I didn't get a chance to post a new message here. The interview is over--it looks like it had about 16 minutes of dead air. They're going to try to get that edited out so that it can be downloaded as a more or less clean whole, but I'm not sure what the time frame is on that. I'll post more when I find out. On the positive side, the interviewers were nice all around and I enjoyed the interview.

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Geekerati update

We seem to be experiencing some technical difficulties. They're trying to reschedule it for a few minutes later. I'll post again as soon as I know when that is. Sigh.

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Podcast on Geekerati on 6/23/08

I'm very excited to report that I'm going to be on Geekerati's podcast tomorrow night at 9 p.m. Central time. Please tune in! The particulars are below. If you miss it, the episode should be available for download later.

Discussing DEVIL'S CAPE with Rob Rogers

Geekerati Radio

Date / Time: 6/23/2008 9:00 PM

Category: Blogcritics

Call-in Number: (646) 478-5041

Rob Rogers joins the geeks to discuss his "superheroic" addition to the Discoveries line of books by Wizards of the Coast.Heroes with a Southern Gothic edge. If New Orleans has earned its "Sin City" nickname for its debauchery, then its nearby sister Devil's Cape has earned its "Pirate Town" moniker for the violence and blatant corruption that have marred the city since its founding.

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Blog catch-up

I've been lax, lax, lax in posting. Many apologies for that; I'll try to do better. I've got a couple posts coming up soon. One quick update in this post: The poll over whether Leonard Nimoy's "Ballad of Bilbo Baggins" is more or less painful than William Shatner's "Rocket Man" has closed with an anemic four votes. It was a tie. I'll have to decide whether to mount more polls or not. If you have an opinion, please post it in the comments below (I'm certainly not going to run a poll on it!). Peace.

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Monday, June 09, 2008

Tag me

I appreciate the reviews and such I've gotten on Amazon.com. If you are so inclined, please go to the Devil's Cape page on Amazon and click the tags there that you think that are appropriate. Feel free to add additional tags, of course, but even just checking the boxes next to the tags you agree with would be great. I'd particularly like Devil's Cape to be one of the most recognized books under the "superhero novel" tag, for example, or "superhero fiction" or "urban fantasy."

If anyone is so inclined, I'd also love to see honest reviews cropping up at the non-U.S. Amazon sites, at the Barnes & Noble site, and at the Borders site, as well as pretty much anyplace else. :)

While you're at it, if you'd mark any reviews you agree with as helpful, that would be cool, too.

Thanks, all!

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Which is more painful?

Today's question of the day: Which is more painful?

William Shatner's rendition of "Rocket Man"?

Or Leonard Nimoy's "Ballad of Bilbo Baggins"?

Please respond in the new poll I put up, then check out DeForest Kelley's response to Shatner's performance.

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Friday, June 06, 2008

Where creative juices come from

A coworker sent out a link to this and I found it pretty funny (overly long, maybe, but funny). It's called "The Harvest."

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Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Podcast live with Dead Robots' Society

My interview by Ry Stevenson of the Dead Robots' Society has gone live. Check out the interview on this page. And if you have trouble getting it to play, you can access the mp3 directly through this link. After that, check out some of the other cool podcasts on the site (writers on writing with a science fiction and fantasy angle).

We talk about Devil's Cape, writing, Canadian accents, and more.

UPDATE: You can also find this podcast free on iTunes. From the iTunes store, search for Dead Robots' Society. The interview with me is Episode 36!

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BEA report, part 2

Back for more, huh? Above is a picture of me signing books in the Wizards booth. You can see the cool framed pictures of the Discoveries books behind me, including Devil's Cape. More info, including an image of the Wizards booth's exterior, after the jump.

  • As promised, the Wizards booth. Kind of makes you think of a cleric, a thief, a fighter, and a magic-user meeting up on a late night, yeah? With a storyteller in the corner and brown ale being poured.

  • The time sequence doesn't matter much, but over the course of the weekend, I sought out autographs (and books) from a number of cool authors and celebrities, including Judy Blume, Marilu Henner, T. Jefferson Parker, Ridley Pearson, Brad Meltzer, Steve Niles, Mike Mignola, and Lee Child.
  • I met R.A. Salvatore and his son and coauthor Geno, which was very cool (and they were both very nice and approachable), but didn't have the right opportunity to ask for an autograph.
  • Other celebrity sightings included Kevin Nealon, Leonard Nimoy (who was autographing this rather unique book), Garrison Keillor, and Wil Wheaton.
  • Friday night I got to go out with my old college friend Jennie, who I hadn't seen since Dina and I were married, and to meet her family. I had a great time, but was so tuckered from the day that I kept nodding off in the car on the way back to the hotel. Sorry, Jennie!
  • Saturday morning was a big thrill. Andre Dubus III was one of my favorite professors in graduate school. I knew he was at the convention promoting his new book, but wasn't sure I'd be able to get a chance to speak with him (the two autographing sessions I could find listed for him overlapped with my own). But walking in to the convention center (it was just a mile from the hotel and the weather was great) I bumped into Andre at a street corner, heading on in with his publicist and editor. After I reintroduced myself, he either remembered me or did a very gracious job of pretending to, and gave me a good 10 minutes of his busy day as we walked in together, getting very excited to hear about my book and asking for an autographed copy. He's a very charismatic, classy guy.
  • Later Saturday morning I attended a graphic novel breakfast with a panel including Jeff Smith, Jeph Loeb, Art Spiegelman, and Mike Mignola. It was very cool listening to their opinions on the evolution of comics.
  • J.M. McDermott and I shared a table at author's alley for an hour and signed a lot more books. Another fun, rewarding time. I think that by the end of the weekend, Joe and I could easily pitch each other's books, answer each other's FAQs, and tell each other's jokes.
  • Saturday night was a very cool celebratory dinner thrown by Wizards of the Coast at Roy's Hawaiian Fusion. Delicious. It was nice getting a chance to chat more casually with everyone there without a million other things going on around us. Afterward, I headed out with Joe Casey again and went to a party of a friend of his. More fun.
  • Sunday was a quick trip back to the expo, a lot of packing, and the plane ride home. LAX and American Airlines conspired to make the return trip as much of a pain in the ass as possible. Several long lines in tight, confusing quarters (lots of people wandering around, dragging luggage, trying to figure out where to go). At one point a woman behind me looked at the latest line we'd entered and told one of the crowd control people in a worried voice that her flight was at 2:15 (just five minutes before mine). Like me, she'd arrived in what should have been plenty of time, but the whole system just slowed everything down, and with only an hour left to go until the flight, she was rightfully worried she wouldn't make it to the gate in time. He just shrugged, smiled dismissively, said, "Good luck," and walked away. Jerk. We both cleared security in plenty of time, though, so I assume she made her flight.
  • We were on board my flight preparing to take off when the captain announced that there was an exhaust problem or something making gases run through the air conditioning, and we'd have to get another plane. This ended up delaying our departure by more than two hours (although we got to wait back in the airport, thank goodness) and meant that my new arrival time would be well after the boys' bedtime. The only nice thing was that enough people changed flights (in order to try to make different connections) that I was able to switch to an exit row seat. Much less sardine-like, although it meant I didn't have a tray. No movie on my laptop on the return either, then.
  • I was greeted at the luggage claim by Dina and both boys, the latter in their pajamas. A nice ending to the weekend.
  • I picked up lots of free books this weekend (probably at least 75 pounds of them), so I might be reviewing some on this site as time goes by.
That's all for now. If I remember something significant I left out, I'll do an addendum post or something.

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Monday, June 02, 2008

Devil's Cape on Sci Fi Wire

Woo hoo! I knew the article was coming, but I didn't know when. An article about Devil's Cape just went live on the Sci Fi Channel's news outlet, Sci Fi Wire. Go check it out.

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BEA report, part 1

As you probably know if you're reading this, I spent last Wednesday night through yesterday afternoon in Los Angeles for Book Expo America (BEA) as part of a promotion of Devil's Cape and the other Wizards of the Coast Discoveries titles. I had a great time, saw some old friends, signed a lot of copies of my book, and spotted some celebrities, too. The short version is: it was a great several days. The long version is after the jump.

I'm going to slip into bullet mode here (rat tat tat--watch out for the tommy guns!). It will be easier to keep the details bite-sized that way, and what I've got is less a coherent analysis or story and more a series of impressions. I got partway through this and crashed, so it's part one for tonight and we'll get part two up soon.

  • I was keyed up the night before the trip--I got very little sleep and was practically bouncing up and down all day at work. My inner child isn't really all that inner sometimes.
  • The trip west was largely uneventful. I had kind of planned on watching Justice League: The New Frontier on DVD on my laptop on the way over, but we were crammed in tight to a little McDonnell Douglas MD-80 and the jerk in front of me decided to lean back. I watched about five minutes and gave up--I had to contort myself to a terrible position to see the screen and it would have been murder on my back. Plus I wasn't about to do to the person in back of me what the guy in front was doing to me. The plane ticket holder had some marketing copy about the American Airlines experience being like a "group hug." Give how tightly we were packed onto that plane, it was woefully, ironically appropriate.
  • I had a quick, pleasant taxi drive to the hotel. Wow, the rates are expensive, though. Seems like the rates in San Francisco were much lower, but maybe that's just my imagination.
  • After checking into the hotel, I quickly hooked up with fellow Discoveries authors Richard Dansky and J. M. McDermott, who I found out had been waiting for me at an Irish pub (Riordan's) for something like three hours. Yikes! I had a quick burger there with them, then we dashed off and ended up at the Library Bar, where we swapped anecdotes for quick a while. If you meet Dansky, be sure to ask him about the French scotch gnome.
  • Thursday was quieter than I expected, at least during the day. There were educational sessions, but most of them not up my alley, and the exhibit halls were under frenzied construction. Many of the booths were pretty cool. The Wizards of the Coast booth was one of the coolest--it was a small, roofless building decorated to look like a classy fantasy tavern (the ornate frames on the walls held paintings of the covers of the books on display, including Devil's Cape). It made me feel like I was stepping into a Dungeons & Dragons adventure.
  • Thursday night, a shuttle bus took the Discoveries authors and the Wizards brand manager Jessica to Dark Delicacies bookstore for our group signing (we were joined by several other authors, too). It's a very cool store--I was told it's the only one in the United States devoted solely to horror. My book wasn't exactly the target demographic, although we sold a couple copies, but I didn't mind since it was just neat being there. Steve and Melanie Rasnic Tem were like rock stars, though. People came in carrying cases filled with old books they'd contributed to, magazines, and more. It was a nice thing to see.
  • My old buddy Joe Casey picked me up at Dark Delicacies and I got to meet his wife; we treated her to embarrassing old stories about junior high. It was great getting to see him again. Afterward, he took me back to the hotel via a roundabout route that showed me some of the Hollywood sights, including the Hollywood Palladium, which served as the exterior for the late, lamented, much-maligned Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Good times.
  • Friday I got up at the crack of dawn to snag some autographing tickets so that I could get a couple of bigwig autographs. Of course, even though I was organized and made a chart for myself of where I wanted to be when, I still goofed and picked up tickets for authors I wouldn't actually be able to stand in line for--since I was going to be autographing at the same time. As an exhibitor/author, I was able to get into the exhibit halls early to wander around, but the real action started at 9 when they opened the doors for everyone else (the main target audience of BEA is made up of booksellers and librarians--the ones who decide which books they're going to stock in their domains).
  • At 9, wow. An impressive number of people surged into the exhibit halls. The booths were well-stocked with freebies, including lots of free books, and they began to be snatched up in a frenzy. Signs forbid people from bringing rolling suitcases into the exhibit hall without special permission (as from a doctor's note), so that limited most people to what they could carry, but people could carry an awful lot.
  • Okay, yeah, I picked up a lot of books this weekend.
  • Heck, I'm getting tired writing this and I'm only to Friday morning.
  • One of the first autographs I got was from the incomparable Robert Crais--a new Elvis Cole novel on unabridged audio. I can't wait to listen to it. It was very exciting meeting him, as he's one of my favorite living authors. Shortly after meeting him, I called Mom, who also reads his books. Very cool.
  • En masse, the Discoveries authors signed at the Wizards booth for two hours on Friday, giving away free copies of our books. It was exciting. We were all signing pretty much constantly for that two hour stretch, and several of us ran entirely out of books.
  • The most surreal moment of the convention came during this signing, when I glanced up and saw a very short lady standing about two feet from me getting Richard Dansky's autograph, then realized it was Dr. Ruth. I completely lost track of the conversation I was having with the person whose book I was signing, and just kept saying "That's Dr. Ruth" over and over again in my mind.
I'll get to the rest of the weekend next time. Peace out.

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Devil's Cape is Daily Dose at Powell's Books

BEA was terrific. I'll post more about that soon, probably tonight. In the meantime, Devil's Cape is today's Daily Dose at Powell Books! You can find it on the home page today or, if you're reading this later, try this more direct link.

This particular review is short, so I'll also include it in its entirety here, but I'd be grateful if you clicked through and marked it as helpful. :)

I am a 7th grade language arts teacher, so I've read a lot of Y/A Lit. This is the best book I've read in five years. This is book is "Sopranos" "Super Friends" and "Stephen King" all rolled into one well-crafted tale. I would love to use it as a class novel, but it might be a touch too violent for 7th graders-- or at least for their parents :)
I do get a lot of questions about the appropriate age group for Devil's Cape. Just to clarify, it's not a YA novel--it's written for adults. But I certainly think it's appropriate for a mature young teen. Any of you who have read the book, please let me know what you think about the age range in the comments.

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