Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Event: Comicpalooza, Texas' largest Comic and Pop Culture Celebration

This year, from June 17-19, Houston was host to Comicpalooza, the largest annual multi-genre, comic book, science fiction, anime, gaming and pop culture convention in the Southern US. I was lucky enough to be a guest panelist in the Comicpalooza Literary Track, and attend the event along with other local and state authors.

The Literary Track brings together the creative minds in writing and offers learning opportunities including panels on the craft and business of writing, hands-on writing workshops, and entertaining discussions about different genres in writing and literature. This year, the offering was ample and varied, and Convention's attendees could choose to attend panels that ranged from the Storytelling of Star Wars, and Horror Explorations in Literature to the Ins and Outs of Self-Publishing. There was even a critique workshop. 

My first panel was The Changing Image of the Vampire, and together with moderator Mari Mancusi
and fellow panelists Dicey Grenor and Leslie S. Klinger, we discussed how the image of the vampire changed over history, in literature, on stage and on screen, touching on the works of Stoker, Anne Rice, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and even Twilight. Klinger, who is considered to be one of the world’s foremost authorities on Dracula, gave a brilliant overview of the vampire myth and enlightened us with his knowledge of the topic.

Check the video presentation of the panelists here:

My second panel was Lost in Translation: Language Barriers in Sci-Fi and Fantasy. Along with panelist and moderator Tex Thompson, we discussed language barriers in literature and the comics, including cultural differences, nuances in languages, interpretation and misunderstandings, using as examples movies like Enemy Mine, Star Trek episodes, and novels like Out of the Silent Planet, by C.S. Lewis. With an engaged and highly sci-fi educated audience, we had a great time exchanging ideas and learning more about this intriguing topic.

Check below for more information on the writers and industry experts with whom I had the pleasure
of interacting in these exciting panels!

Mari Mancusi:
Dicey Grenor:
Leslie S. Klinger:
Tex Thompson:

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Books: Interview with Award-winning romance author Lyn Horner

We just met romance author Lyn Horner and we're so pleased to share a little bit about her life and her work! Read on to find more about this Award-winning writer!

Hi, Lyn, can you tell us where you are from and what's your background?
First of all, thank you so much, Andrea, for hosting me today. It’s a pleasure being here.
Although born in San Francisco, I grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I married my high school sweetheart right after graduating from college (art school) and we eventually had two children. Meanwhile, I worked as a fashion illustrator and art instructor until my husband accepted a company transfer to Chicagoland. Two more transfers brought us to Houston and later to the Dallas-Fort Worth area, where we put down permanent roots.

Texas is great! When did you realize you wanted to write and when did you start writing?
As far back as I can remember I’ve enjoyed writing, as well as drawing and painting. After our move to Chicago, I took to scribbling story ideas in order to save my sanity while coping with a five-year-old and a toddler, without the escape a job offered. Don’t get me wrong. I love my children dearly, but staying home with two little monkeys required quite an adjustment. Anyway, my hobby soon grew into a love of research and the crafting of sensual, fast-paced romances.

What a great hobby! And you've basically answered the next question, but since the romance genre has so many sub-genres, what genre do you write and what's your target audience?
I’m a cross genre author, combining western historical romance with flashes of paranormal, and romantic suspense with paranormal themes as in psychic characters and secret apocalyptic prophesies. Obviously, I hope to attract western romance and romantic suspense fans, but they need to be hungry for something a little different.

How interesting! And how many books have you published? Do you have a favorite?

I have published eleven books: seven novels, two novellas, one box set and a photo-illustrated memoir. In addition, I am a contributor to two anthologies.
The book I’m currently writing is always my favorite for the moment. However, if I must choose one that’s closest to my heart, it has to be Darlin’ Irish, my very first book. I love the characters, the settings I spent so many hours researching and the emotional roller coaster ride both I and readers experience along with the hero and heroine.

Sounds like a great romance! What are your favorite two quotes, and who wrote them?
“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” ~ Abraham Lincoln
"If you give us the chance, we can perform. After all, Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did. She just did it backwards and in high heels." ~ Texas Governor, Ann Richards, from her famous speech at the Democratic National Convention in 1988.

I love those, too! Great choices. Do you have a favorite author? Who? What's your favorite book? Has this author or book influenced your writing in any way?
Diana Gabaldon is my favorite author. Her book, Outlander, is my favorite. Voyager, the third book in Ms. Gabaldon’s blockbuster series is a close second. I believe her writing has influenced the way I portray my characters, their actions and emotions. At least I hope so.

I'm sure it has! Are you optimistic/hopeful/romantic?
I must be all three or I wouldn’t continue to write romantic fiction and dream of a day when other, newer authors will point at my work and say it influenced them.

Wouldn't that be wonderful? I hope you influence the younger generation of writers! What are you working on now?
I’m hard at work on book five in my Romancing the Guardians series, a saga about seven descendents of an ancient Irish race known as the Tuatha Dé Danann (People of the goddess Danu.) According to Irish-Celtic mythology, these legendary people came to Ireland from 'the islands in the west' and practiced magic. Expanding on that premise, their fictional descendents in my books possess psychic gifts – and they guard secret prophesies about the future of mankind.

It sounds intriguing! Where can we find out more about you and your work?
You can find me in several places:
Amazon author page:
Website: Lyn Horner’s Corner (Click tabs to sample chapters from my books.)

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Lyn, is there anything else you'd like to share with our readers?
Yes, I have some exciting news! I’m participating in the 1st Annual HotDamn! Summer Reads Giveaway, underway now  Enter to have a chance of winning a Kindle Fire plus 17 great ebooks, including Touching Charlotte (Romancing the Guardians, Book 4).

Best of luck to all who enter!

What a nice giveaway! Thanks for sharing all these with our readers, Lyn! We wish you lots of success in your career! Good luck!

Don't forget to check out Lyn's books and enter her giveaway!