Comic Book Syndicon 2017 TV Ad!

A commercial for the upcoming Comic Book Syndicon (which I’m am a guest at). Check it out 🙂

Book Signing!

I’ll be signing copies of No Light Tomorrow (alongside Ben Van Dongen) this Saturday from 1pm – 3pm at the Coles Bookstore located inside Tecumseh Mall!

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Toronto Bound!

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This coming Wednesday (as in tomorrow), I will be heading to Toronto for a reading. This marks a new achievement for me as I’ve yet to do anything book related in the big city since starting this whole being a writer thing.

The event is put on by publisher ChiZine (I just raved about one of their books, The Acolyte, in one of my previous posts) and is held monthly. I first heard of the event from horror master and all around cool guy, Craig Davidson (AKA Nick Cutter) a few months ago, and almost immediately, Ben and I started making plans to get out for one of them.

As luck would have it, I met one of ChiZine’s head honcho’s at Bookapaloza in Whitby at the very end of last year and basically sealed the deal for attending.

Both Ben and I will be reading from No Light Tomorrow, along with a third guest, and I’m super excited about the whole thing. It’s nice to get out of town and meet new folks.

If you are in area, and what to come out and hear me babble for a bit and then grab a few beers, follow the link to the event page (ChiSeries) for all the details.

-C

Adventure Worlds Summit 2017

The First Annual Adventure Worlds Press summit is nearly upon us (Feb. 10th – 12th), and I’m pretty pumped for it! Wait, you don’t know what I’m talking about? I’m pretty sure I mentioned the summit at some point in the last few months. Hold on, I’m going to go check.

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Hmm, looks like you’re right, I’ve never once talked about the summit. Well then, I guess now’s as good a time as any.

In a nutshell, the Adventure Worlds Summit is a weekend where all of the Adventure Worlds Press projects and ideas for the rest of the year (and slightly beyond) will be hashed out. The idea is to sit down, and make a plan for what’s to come.

Although this is the first annual summit, the weekend getaway has been going on for a few years now with the Adventure Worlds crew (we used to call it the writing retreat). It’s usually three people (although the first year we had four) in a cottage for a few days writing like crazy.

The retreats were always fun and productive. I wrote the majority of my stories for No Light Tomorrow, as well as a healthy part of my novel at the previous retreats. There’s usually way too much food and way too much booze (two things I love having way too much of). This year will mostly be the same, except now that Adventure Worlds is a publisher, we (Ben and Myself) figured we might as well get some business done as well.

The main item on the docket will be the upcoming crime anthology. The stories are being written as I type this, but we need a name and we have to start looking at cover ideas and designs. Plus, we want to do something special for the launch that will take some serious planning. Beyond that book, there are a couple of smaller projects that need to be discussed. I have a few ideas that need fleshing out, but could be amazing.

So there you have it, the first annual Adventure Worlds Press Summit! I’ll be tweeting out all weekend, as well as plastering pics all over Instagram. If you’re interested in such things, follow me for all the wacky happenings.

-C

My Twitter

And Instagram

First Reading(s) of the Year!

One of my favourite parts of being an author is when I get the opportunity to do readings. For some, the mere thought of standing before a group of strangers and reading something aloud is terrifying. For me, it’s more a feeling of nervous excitement. It’s somewhat exhilarating when I’m standing before a room full of people, all of whom are there to hear me read something from one of my books.

So with that said, I’m rather excited to be doing not one, but two readings this week.

The first, which is tonight, is being hosted by local publisher Urban Farmhouse Press. Now you’re probably wondering why UFP is having me read when I am not published through them. Good question. You see, UFP are some great folks and have put together a monthly showcase featuring authors from a different local publisher (Windsor has several). And yep, you guessed, tonight is Adventure Worlds Press’ turn at bat.

My AWP partner in crime, Ben Van Dongen, will be reading as well. And since, as of this moment, Ben and I make up 100% of AWP’s authors, we’ve invited a couple friends to fill out the card. First is horror author, Mick Ridgewell. As well as historical fiction writer Dave Rocha.

As usual, besides readings, there will be signings and books for sale. Oh, and snacks, don’t forget the snacks.

More info here.

And if you want to learn more about just what the heck Urban Farmhouse Press is all about, go here.

The second reading, which will be this Saturday, takes place at the Goodwill Bookstore. Both Myself and Ben will be there, and as a special treat, we are going to be accompanied by new adult author, Jessica Gouin. What makes it so special is that it is Jessica’s first public reading (this is your chance hecklers!).

For the deets, click here.

I hope to see some of you at one (or both) events.

-C

Coming Soon!

Hey everybody! So, I’ve been talking to my buddy Ben Van Dongen (see what he’s all about here) and although it pains me to admit it, he was actually right about something…for the first time…ever! I don’t update my site enough. So, with the confidence of a new year before me, you’ll be hearing from me a lot more often.

This brings me to my first hurdle though. What the hell am I going to talk about? Ben’s blog focuses on various events and things from his life, but that’s not really my speed. Not that I think he is wrong to spend time on such topics, it’s more that I personally don’t like writing about that stuff. Because of that, I’m going to keep things as work related as possible around here. Basically, I’ll be giving updates, info on events and books and talking to and or about other authors and their work.

Since this is the first post of the year, and telling everybody your plans for the next 365 days is the cool thing to do, I will spill the beans a bit about what I have coming (fingers crossed) this year. Continue reading

The Pro of Cons

Valentin’s Day 2016. What was I doing? Spending the day with my lovely wife? Nope. Eating chocolates with my two girls? Uh-uh. Hanging with the geeks at the Comic Book Syndicon? Oh yeah!

Although not sure of the long term effects of doing so will have on my marriage, I can say the short term gain was great. Me and my friend-for-life, Ben Van Dongen, sold a whole bunch of copies of our new book No Light Tomorrow. In fact, Ben wrote a blog about his experience right here! https://benwltp.wordpress.com/2016/02/18/the-storm/#more-764

By my count, this was my 7th con as a vendor (although it may be 8…I really feel like I’m forgetting one) with two more in the very near future and I think I’m starting to get a handle on the ins-and-outs of the them.

Here are a few rules that I like to follow.

Get there late (let me explain). Unless you have a crap load of product, or a bunch of tables, there is no reason to get there as early as you’ll invariably be instructed to. If the con starts at 11am, then get there around 10:30am. The only reason to get there early is to get your shopping in before the doors open. That brings me though to my next point…

Don’t buy anything…at least not at first. Unless you’re looking for something specific, wait! The worst thing you can do is spend money before you make any. I’ve been to a few cons where I’ve just made enough to cover my table, if I’d have bought anything, I would have been in the red! Go around before the con opens, scout out what you want, wait until you’ve had some sales then go shopping.

Cosplay girls: Look, don’t touch! Yes, you will see several young ladies wearing almost nothing at all. And yes, you can look. But remember, they are probably younger than you think, and you could wind up in jail.

If things are going badly, bail! I don’t say this lightly. But the fact is, sometimes, you’re going to be at a con or fair or expo and it’s going to be very obvious that it is dead in the water. If there is still an hour left, and you’ve sold one book all day, cut your losses and leave.

Make contacts! This is a big one, and one I’m guilty of ignoring. You are in a room with a whole bunch of other people in your field. Walk around, talk, and exchange business cards. You will gain all sorts of future opportunities this way.

Deals! At the Syndicon, we had the luxury of having two books for sale, The Space Between Houses and No Light Tomorrow. This meant that we could do a package deal of 2 for $15 (they are normally $10 each). If somebody is already willing to drop $10 on one book, they will almost certainly be willing to throw in another $5 for the second one.

Now, with that stuff out of the way, I’m going to switch to the supplies I usually bring. Think of these as the con survival pack

Tylenol! If I bring nothing else, I better bring these. I get some wicked bad headaches at these things (readings and signings included). There’s nothing worse than trying to sell people on your work when your head is about to explode.

Water. At least one bottle. I usually bring something else like a bottle of Coke, or a Monster, but you need to have that back-up water for later in the day.

Pen and Paper. The first thing is rather obvious if you’re an author. You’re going to need a pen for signing. But the paper is almost as equally important. The amount of times that I had to write a person’s name on a separate piece of paper before actually scrawling it in their copy of my book, to make sure I got the spelling correct, is a lot.

Hand sanitizer. This is a new one for me. It’s not that I enjoy germs, it’s just not something I usually have. However it turns out that Ben has my back as he recently gave me a small bottle of sanitizer. You shake a lot of hands at cons and if you’ve ever seen the movie Mallrats, you’ll know that some people go out of their way to make their hands nasty.

Food. Cons all have one thing in common: over-priced food! Also, you want to have control over what you eat. Bacon Cheeseburger with extra onions? Not a great idea. A small, non-offensive sandwich you bring from home? Yep! I remember being at a con where I had gone for the former (minus the onions) and totally regretted it. Nothing worse than hastily pushing a messy burger aside, wiping ketchup from your hands and signing a book.

Gum. This kinda follows the above. You’re going to be talking to people all day. Make sure you have some gum.

Tape. You just never know when you’re going to need to MacGyver some stuff up.

Alright, I’ve laid down all kinds of stuff above, but the only thing you need to know…I mean really, the only thing you have to do at a con is talk. You have to talk to every. Single. Person. That walks by your table. Don’t be pushy, but if you don’t give people a reason to stop walking, and actually listen to your spiel, you ain’t gonna sell shit.

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Book Launch aftermath

The book launch was a big success! We (me and Ben) had high hopes for the launch and I think they were exceeded.

The idea for the launch was to treat the event a little more like a record release and less a book launch. A lot of the book launches we’ve been to lately are either a) very dry and boring or b) have large gaps in the programing where people are standing around doing nothing. So to combat that we did two things. First, we had it in a bar (booze!) and second we had live music. That way, during those moments where we were off signing books, there was still something for people to do (get drunk and listen to music). It worked like a charm.

One thing worth mentioning was the utter success that was having a limited edition cover of the book available at the launch. This cover (limited to 50 copies) would be exclusive to the launch. I wasn’t sure how that would go over, but since we sold out of them that night, it went pretty damn great. I can’t remember who exactly thought of the idea for the limited cover, but I’m pretty sure we’ll be doing it from now on.

The book has continued to do well over the course of the week as well. In the first six days, we’ve already sold nearly a hundred copies. I’m pretty sure, with the upcoming signings and conventions, we’ll be through the first printing of No Light Tomorrow by summer (500 copies). Which, for a little book of science fiction stories, is not bad.

As promised last post, here’s some pics. (for all those wondering, I’m the fat guy)

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New Year, New Updates.

So…2015 happened. It was a pretty crazy year for me. The first full year as an author (The Space Between Houses came out in Oct. 2014). There was a rather surprising amount of ups and downs for a twelve month period. I did a lot of cool writer things, but also was not nearly as productive as I could have been.

But forget all that jazz, it’s 2016 baby! And I got some fun stuff planned.

It’s been awhile since I gave an update on my projects, so now seems like a great time.

First and foremost is No Light Tomorrow. This is a book that has been in the works for quite some time. It is a collaboration with Ben Van Dongen (check him out here: https://benwltp.wordpress.com/ ) of short sci-fi stories, half of which are written by me, half by Ben. They are more Twilight Zone and less Star Wars (although a couple skirt that line). No Light Cover

I love sci-fi! I love watching it, reading it and writing it. But not to fret, I’m a horror writer first and foremost…I just like to moonlight from time to time.

I’m really proud of this book. Some of the stories I’ve written for it, I consider amongst the best I’ve ever produced. It was a ton of work though. Writing, editing, designing and printing a book from scratch is a real challenge. We decided to self-publish this one under Adventure Worlds Press. Something I may use for other fringe projects in the future. 

No Light Tomorrow launches on Jan. 9th and will be available soon after on various platforms.

untitledNext is my novel. It does exist, I swear! It also has a name, I’m just not ready to share it yet (although I did let it slip during an interview I did for a TV show called the Write Stuff). The novel took a hit during the production of No Light, but with that book all wrapped up, I’m back at it. I figure the first draft should be done by mid to late Feb. After that I’ll start cleaning it up. I’m still estimating it to fall in the 70 – 80K range for word count (I’m at about 30K right now).

I’ve had the good fortune to make a couple amazing contacts over the last year that I am really hopeful will result in some interest for the book. Only time will tell I guess.

Beyond that things get foggy. If all goes according to plan, I have another collaboration (this one a novel) with a history expert. Let that bit of info sink in for a moment… 

Besides the above projects, I also have some fun events to attend, including a 3 day horror convention in London in May. Really excited about this one, more on that as the date nears.

Alright, I guess that’s it for now. I’ll be back next week with pictures from the No Light Tomorrow launch party!

-Christian

 

No Light Tomorrow Cover Reveal!

I can’t believe it’s finally here. I’ve been working on this book for the better part of the year, and despite most of the process being trying (to say the least), I’m excited and proud of the final product.

Without further ado, I present No Light Tomorrow!


 

No Light Cover

Some things are so accepted as to be taken for granted. While the far future is shrouded in uncertainty, there are expectations often considered assured that are overlooked. There is only one you, threats are usually empty, ghosts are not real, life is finite, science can solve the most daunting challenges, and beliefs are assured when society takes matters in their own hands. When unexpected events transpire, we are left in the dark.

Authors Christian Laforet and Ben Van Dongen present six science fiction stories that explore improbability and show you what happens when expectations are subverted.