I went to Salt Lake Comic Con, and it was a crazy weekend.
My husband and I left our house at one a.m. on Thursday morning and drove to Salt Lake City. We arrived around 10:30 a.m. and checked into our hotel. John W. Otte and his friend had already arrived and checked in to get our booth, so they came over and helped us unload the car.
We had a lot of stuff, and it took us several trips back and forth. We set up the booth and got our passes for the con. Then it opened, and people started coming in. We pretty much spent the whole time sitting or standing in our booth giving out our freebies and selling books. I gave away a free ebook sampler that you can have too, if you’d like it.
Both John and I were on writing panels, which was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done. I was on five panels. Click here to see my schedule, which I posted last week.
Some panels went better than others. That mostly depended on the way the moderator handled the group. I was glad the Go Teen Writers panel was my first since it was an idea I had submitted and I was holding a copy of the Go Teen Writers book and a bunch of GTW postcards. My favorite panel was the Comic Con Writer’s Retreat Part 2. Lisa Magnum did an excellent job as moderator and the crowd seemed really excited to be there. I gave away books at every panel, but it was the Writer’s Retreat panel that I got back to the booth and found people waiting for me to sign copies of Storyworld First. That was pretty sweet.
I also got to meet Brandon Sanderson! For all you Alcatraz fans, he told me that book five is written, but Tor is re-releasing the series, so it will be a few years before book five is available. John met Howard Tayler and Kevin Anderson. I was on a panel with Kevin Anderson, who teased me for writing while I was still in bed when he writes while hiking, but I didn’t get a chance to talk to him face-to-face like John did. I was pretty overwhelmed in a couple panels, as the other panelists were famous. I sat next to Eric James Stone on the Science Fiction and Fantasy panel, and he pulled his newly won Nebula Award out of his bag and set it on the table beside his name tag. I didn’t take a picture, but he did let me touch it, so that was cool. I didn’t get pictures of me on any of these other panels since Brad had to work in the booth, so I keep Googling to see if audience members have uploaded any. So far no luck.
On one of the panels, I walked up on stage to sit down, and there was a pile of name tags on the floor under my chair. They were stuck on the chair legs, so I had to move them. And lookie what I found!
Yes, I brought it home with me as a souvenir.
After my last panel, there was one hour left in the booth, then the floor closed and we packed up. It was late, so we drove as far as Twin Falls that night and stayed in a hotel before continuing the rest of the way home on Sunday. Overall, it was long, exhausting, and so much fun. I hope to go back again and again. Below is a collage of some of my pictures. Have you ever been to a Comic Con? If so, what is your favorite thing about them?
I can’t believe it’s finally here. Rebels officially released today. The entire trilogy is now available. The story is done. It’s such a weird feeling. But I’m happy with how it ended, and I hope you will be too. If you read it, please email me and let me know what you thought.
Book three: Rebels
The remnant of Glenrock has been scattered. But they are not beaten yet.
The Safe Lands have long kept secret from their people what it means to be liberated. Mason and Omar are about to discover the truth.
Levi doesn’t want to give up on his brothers, but when Jemma is captured and becomes the Safe Lands new queen, Levi’s best option is to take up the role of The Owl that Omar began, leading the rebels in their quest to overthrow the government.
But will The Owl be enough to safe Jemma? Will Ciddah be able to deliver Shaylinn’s babies safely underground without the help of a surgeon? And will Mason be able to keep Omar from dying as they search for a way back?
If only they could unite their efforts, together they could expose the Safe Lands lies to the people. But if they fail, they will surely die.
Click here to view the paperback on Amazon.com
Click here to view the paperback on Barnesandnoble.com
Click here to view the paperback from Christianbook.com
This past weekend I got my panel assignments for Salt Lake Comic Con, which is coming up September 4-6, 2014. I’m so excited, and a little nervous to sit alongside some of these prolific authors like Jennifer Nielsen and David Farland! (Brandon Sanderson will be there, alas I did not get assigned on any panels with him.)
If you live in Salt Lake or know someone who does, tell them to come out for Comic Con. It’s going to be lots of fun. Click here to learn more. And check out my panel assignments:
Go Teen Writers!
Thursday September 4, 2014 5:00 pm to 5:50 pm
CALLING ALL TEEN WRITERS!! Come join a panel of Young Adult authors as they talk about why they chose to write for teens and what advice they have for aspiring authors. Learn how to make time for writing and much more!
Magic, Myths, Legends, Archetypes and the Supernatural: What Writers of Speculative Fiction Have to Work With
Friday September 5, 2014 5:00 pm to 5:50 pm
Sorcery. Vampires. The Apocalypse. Super Powers. Writers of Speculative Fiction have a plethora of wacky elements to tinker with in their work. Join this panel to discuss the gamut of this intriguing style of writing.
Sarah E. Seeley
Comic Con Writer’s Retreat Part 2: Writing Your Novel
Friday September 5, 2014 6:00 pm to 6:50 pm
Now that you have your novel outlined and primed to write, what’s next? Join our panel of veteran writers and they take you through the process of tackling the task of writing your novel, along with any advice they can offer to make your journey less daunting along the way.
John W. Otte
How to Write Great Science Fiction and Fantasy
Saturday September 6, 2014 11:00 am to 11:50 am
What separates good and great science fiction and fantasy, and what can you to do make sure that yours lands in the latter category? Our panel full of talented authors will tell you the secrets you need to turn your own science fiction and fantasy writing into something amazing.
Eric James Stone
Mette Ivie Harrison
Kevin J. Anderson
Building a Move-In Ready World
Saturday September 6, 2014 5:00 pm to 5:50 pm
How do you craft a world for your new novel or story that feels used and lived in? It’s the challenge of every creator to make audiences feel at home in their imagined universe. Our panel helps you develop the tools you need to create your world and move right in with the story.
Tyler H. Jolley
In reply to John W. Otte’s Ice Bucket Challenge, I not only challenged a local teen, I challenged all of you. Check it out!
This ALS Challenge copy of Copy of By Darkness Hid might be a little crumpled now, but it’s still totally legible and signed by me. I will match the winner’s bid and donate the full amount to the ALS Association to help people with Lou Gehrig’s disease.
You can bid on the autographed ASL book here: http://www.ebay.com/itm/ALS-Ice-Bucket-Challenge-signed-Copy-of-By-Darkness-Hid-by-Jill-Williamson-/121413881361?
“Liberated without delay?” Mason glanced at his little brother, Omar, who was secured to the seat across from him in the back of the prisoner transport van. Both had their hands and ankles cuffed, and the ankle restraints had been clipped to a bolt on the floor. Their trial had just ended. They’d been sentenced to premature liberation by the Safe Lands Guild. “So, without delays as opposed to being liberated with delays?”
“It’s perfect.” A grin spread over Omar’s face, which was sweaty and pale. Strange to see him smiling, since he’d just received the worst sentencing the Safe Lands had to offer. “Lhogan and Zane will see everything. And Zane can broadcast it as the Owl.”
The contacts. Mason had forgotten he was wearing them. A little thrill shot through him at what this might mean. The greatest mystery in the Safe Lands, foiled by two rebel outsiders and some incredible technology. He couldn’t help but return Omar’s smile. Things might be looking up after all.
Omar waved at him. “Hello, Levi. Hello, Zane.”
“They can’t hear you,” Mason said. “The contacts are visual only. No sound can be transferred.”
“I know. I keep forgetting they disabled my SimTalk.” The van went over a bump, and Omar groaned and clutched his stomach. “It hurts, Mase.”
“I’m sorry.” It was all Mason could say, and he’d been repeating it for the last two days. Omar was suffering withdrawal from his chemical dependency to who knew what types of substances. Omar probably didn’t even know.
To make matters worse, whenever the guards were fed up with Omar’s screaming in the Rehabilitation Center, the enforcers had come and administered what they called a “mercy vape.” No more than one mercy vape per prisoner per day, but such mercy was counterproductive to Omar’s recovery.
Since they’d been in trial all day, Omar had not yet been given a mercy vape, and he looked it. Plus, daily meds were administered during dinner, so Omar was also currently without whatever mystery stimulant might be included in his meds.
Another groan from Omar, this one even more pathetic. Less than twenty-four hours without some sort of stimulant and his brother was falling apart. Mason prayed the deprivation wouldn’t kill him.
“Where do you think they’re taking us?” Omar managed to pant out. “We should’ve been back by now.”
The drive was taking more time than it should. It had been a five-minute ride from the Rehabilitation Center to Champion Auditorium that morning. They’d been in the van twice that long already.
Omar bit his lip and grimaced in pain. “If they’re just going to kill us, the fact that Zane can see isn’t going to be much help. And it’s not like they can see where the truck is taking us right now.”
“Maybe liberation isn’t death,” Mason said, though he had no evidence to support that theory. Liberation was a mystery in the Safe Lands. It happened to everyone at age forty, though some were prematurely liberated when they died, reached three strikes on their record, or if the Safe Lands Guild decreed it must be so. Omar had three Xs, or strikes, after this last infringement. Mason now had one. But the Guild had voted in favor of liberating Mason too. Lawten Renzor’s idea.
“But what else can”—Omar sniffled and panted, having difficulty breathing again—“liberation be, though?” Another pant. “Seriously.”
“I don’t know, but it reminds me of something I overheard when we were at Champion House. Lawten told Otley that if Otley killed him, Otley would be liberated. Otley said he’d never be liberated. Then Lawten said, ‘It’s that or the Ancients.’ As if Otley had a choice between those two things.”
“Ancients?” Omar squinted at Mason. Could withdrawal affect eyesight? Perhaps it was a migraine. “Those guys in the hoods?”
Mason nodded and shifted his weight as the van went around another turn. During their trial—or lack thereof—in the Champion Auditorium, there had been sixteen people sitting up on the platform wearing black hoods. Lawten had addressed them as the Ancients of the Safe Lands. “What if that’s the ultimate promotion? Perhaps becoming a hooded Ancient is the only way to avoid being liberated at forty.”
“Why would anyone want to wear a hood for the rest of their lives?”
“To escape something worse. Whatever liberation is.”
Omar rubbed his temples. “You’re saying that a select few who know the secret of liberation have a way out by becoming an Ancient? Wouldn’t everyone sign up?”
“I don’t think they can. Lawten said that he doubted the Ancients would accept Otley, knowing how treasonous he was—as if he needed to apply. And such knowledge is likely only open to the top government officials of the Safe Lands.”
“That’s good stuff, Mase.” Omar sniffled. “The Owl should look into that.” He looked directly into Mason’s eyes. “Look into those hooded Ancients.” He pretended to pull a hood over his head, but it just looked like he was scratching his ears. Then he slouched back against the wall. “Still, where would they live? I’ve never seen any old people walking around the city.”
“Maybe they’re forced to live apart from everyone else?” Mason suggested.
“Maybe they’re not old, Mase. Maybe they’re young. Maybe Luella Flynn was under one of those hoods.”
“Their voices sounded old.” Though Mason had only heard a couple of them speak.
“I don’t know, brother. I still think liberation is a firing squad.”
“That would be too messy for the Safe Lands. Death by lethal vaporizer is more their style of execution.”
Omar smiled dreamily. “If they’d let me OD on brown sugar, it wouldn’t be a bad way to go. It’s almost like flying.”
The comment pricked Mason’s nerves. “Don’t say that stuff, Omar.”
“It just itches so bad. What if they don’t give me any more? What if—” Omar straightened. “We’re stopping.”
Indeed, the van had slowed down, and now it stopped suddenly. Mason could hear the hum of a garage door, though he couldn’t guess whether it was going up or down.
The back door of the van opened into darkness revealing a single enforcer, visible from only the waist up.
“Welcome to lib prep.” He raised a SimScanner at Omar and fired.
END OF PREVIEW
Rebels is almost here!
Click on the image below to add Rebels to your Goodreads reading list.
Look what arrived in the mail!
That’s right! The countdown to the release of Rebels is officially on!
I always create a Pinterest inspiration board for my current work in progress. This helps me when I’m writing. And it also helps me later when I need to remember what something looks like or a blog link to go back to. I’ve made Pinterest pages for all three Safe Lands books.
Here is a link to the Captives Pinterest page: http://www.pinterest.com/jillmwilliamson/inspiration-for-captives-the-safe-lands-book-one/
Here is a link to the Outcasts Pinterest page: http://www.pinterest.com/jillmwilliamson/inspiration-for-outcasts-the-safe-lands-book-2/
And today I wanted to share the link to the Rebels Pinterest page. There isn’t much to this page, but what is there will give you some hints and maybe even a few spoilers to a few things in book three. So I’m warning you, if you don’t want to know, don’t look!
What from the Pinterest pages do you find most interesting? Do you use Pinterest? If so, follow me. And what do you like to pin on Pinterest?
I don’t remember where I first met Gillian Bronte Adams. It feels like I’ve known her forever. We were in a critique group together once upon a time, and I got to read an early draft of Orphan’s Song. She volunteered to play Abby Goyer in my book trailer for Replication (Click here to watch). She also guest blogs on Go Teen Writers. I’ve hung out with her at a few ACFW conferences, we have the same agent, and she even came to a book signing I had in Austin, Texas a few years ago.
Gillian has sold her first book to Enclave Publishing. I am so excited of her and proud too. I wanted to share a little about the book with you all. I think this book is awesome, and I can’t wait to hold my very own copy.
Every generation has a Songkeeper – one chosen to keep the memory of the Song alive. And in every generation, there are those who seek to destroy the chosen one.
When Birdie’s song draws the attention of a dangerous Khelari soldier, she is kidnapped and thrust into a world of ancient secrets and betrayals. Rescued by her old friend, traveling peddler Amos McElhenny, Birdie flees the clutches of her enemies in pursuit of the truth behind the Song’s power.
Ky is a street-wise thief and a member of the Underground—a group of orphans banded together to survive . . . and to fight the Khelari. Haunted by a tragic raid, Ky joins Birdie and Amos in hopes of a new life beyond the reach of the soldiers. But the enemy is closing in, and when Amos’ shadowed past threatens to undo them all, Birdie is forced to face the destiny that awaits her as the Songkeeper of Leira. (Book one of the Songkeeper Chronicles.)
About Gillian Bronte Adams
Gillian Bronte Adams spent her childhood devouring books and roaming the Texas countryside slaying orcs, captaining pirate ships, and dreaming of medieval kingdoms. So it was no surprise when she became an author.
Her love of epic stories as well as a desire to present truth in a new and unique way drew her to realm of fantasy. Orphan’s Song is book one of the Songkeeper Chronicles Trilogy.
There is still a few days to pre-order this book through the Enclave Publishing Fall Release Kickstarter Campaign. Click the image to check out the pre-order book deals on Orphan’s Song and the other fall releases.
My friend Lisa T. Bergren tagged me in the Writing Process Blog Hop. Click here to read her writing process blog post. And here are my answers to the blog hop’s questions:
#1 What am I writing right now?
I am writing a book tentatively called King’s Folly. It is the first book in the Kinsman Chronicles, which is an epic fantasy trilogy. This book won’t come out until fall 2015 or spring 2016.
I’m also working on Storyworld First, a nonfiction book for those who would like help creating a fantasy storyworld. Look for it to release the end of August, early September of this year.
#2 How does my work differ from others in the genre?
I don’t tend to follow formulas. I’ve tried, but my Jill-ness takes over and things end up random. That means my books aren’t strictly romances or fantasys or young adult stories. They’re a conglomeration of all that. And I don’t always hook a reader perfectly with my opening sentence. And I might not have them enter act two and exactly 1/4 of the way through the story. The elements are all there. But they don’t always fit into the Hollywood formula box, even though I often start there when brainstorming.
I also write what’s real. I don’t like convenient plots or characters who are all beautiful and perfect. Real people are flawed, there are consequences to living selfishly, and life isn’t always pleasant. So I write those things into my stories. But I always do it tastefully. I don’t show graphic violence or sex. There is no swearing in my books. So I write honestly, but I do so tastefully. At least I try. *grin*
#3 Why do I write what I do?
It all started when the third Harry Potter book came out and some people were burning copies in Los Angeles and some other people were protesting. And I thought that was sad and pointless. I thought, “Maybe I should write a book. I could write a book that those angry people would like. How hard could it be?”
Very hard, it turned out. And also completely naive. I’ve since learned that no book is perfect for all people. And that storytelling must be honest if it’s going to be effective.
But that’s what got me started. The idea that I could write books as cool as Harry Potter and as gripping as Twilight but that I could write from a Christian worldview.
#4 How does my writing process work?
I brainstorm for a month or two, create my characters, try and plot out the story with index cards—sort of like storyboarding. Then I sit down and try to write at least 2000 words a day until I get the first draft done. I purposely write a messy, fast first draft. And when I finish, I go back and fix it. I rewrite as long as I can before I have to turn in the book. Rewriting is my favorite stage of writing.
If you haven’t seen the cover for Rebels yet, here it is!
The book releases August 26!
I went on a short book tour back in May. My tourmates were Jonathan Friesen, Lisa T. Bergren, and Lorie Ann Grover. We went to Salt Lake City, Utah and Tempe, Arizona. Here we are in front of the Salt Lake City public library.
We spoke at schools, had our signings, and I even managed to write a little. In Salt Lake signing was at the public library, which was the biggest library I’d ever seen! In Arizona, we signed at the Changing Hands bookstore. I met a lot of new friends. If you haven’t read Jonathan Friesen, Lisa T. Bergren, and Lorie Ann Grover’s books, you should.
I had the pleasure of teaching at the OYAN Summer Workshop for the second year in a row. This is a writing conference of sorts for students who have completed the One Year Adventure Novel curriculum. It’s fantastic stuff. I’ve got my own kids doing the middle school program now, and they are loving it!
I spoke on high concept ideas, creating compelling characters, fight scenes and epic battles, and query/cover letters and book proposals. My friend Jeff Gerke was there, as was my friend and agent Amanda Luedeke. The three of us, along with OYAN creator and author Daniel Schwabauer and his wife Carrol presented a mock publishing board meeting that was quite a laugh and hopefully gave the students a good idea of the process of getting a book published.
Here is a montage of some pictures I took or was tagged in from the workshop. And, yes. I did, indeed, find both a medieval helmet and a TARDIS. Very good times.
Oregon Christian Writers- August 4-7, Portland, OR
Salt Lake Comic Con- September 4-6, Salt Lake City, UT
American Christian Fiction Writers- September 24-28, St. Louis, MO
Rebels is done and ready to release in 41 days! More on the Rebels release party soon.
RoboTales, the children’s book series I wrote with my son is currently in the slush piles of five New York publishing houses. Thankfully, my agent will follow up on the project at some point, but for now, we wait.
Remember that project I started back when I had to take a break from Onyx Eyes? The Evenroot/Land’s End/Kinsman Chronicles project? Well… I’m 99% sure that the publisher is going to buy it. Yay! As soon as the contract is signed, I’ll tell you all about it. In the meantime, I’ve been hard at work on the first book. It’s an epic fantasy series, and it’s planned to release like so: book one- March 2016, book two, March 2017, and book three-March 2018.
Since that is a loooong time to wait, I’m planning some fun stuff to release before then. For years I’ve talked about writing some novellas to go with the Blood of Kings trilogy. But it’s been difficult to know when to squeeze them with non-compete clauses with my various publishers. But I am currently free from all that and can finally proceed!
The first project will be to publish six ebook novellas telling stories that happened before the Blood of Kings trilogy. I’ve got a lot of people to choose from. Here are some options: Peripaso, Shung, Caleb, Inko, Gavin, Jibhal, Nathak, Macoun, Axel, Eagan, Dara, Nitsa, Kurtz, and Kenton. Whichever stories I choose, it’s my goal that they be fresh and avoid spoiling the original trilogy. Once I’ve published all six ebook novellas, I’ll publish a print anthology containing all six stories for people who prefer print over ebooks.
And should the Er’Rets Past novella project do well, I will write two more anthologies of six stories each: Er’Rets Present and Er’Rets Future.
And that should keep me plenty busy until that third book in my new series releases in March of 2018.
For stories of the past, which characters would you like to know more about? Let me know in the comments.