Tag Archives: Southern Expressions

Mississippi has a writers’ conference…and you should know about it!

This past October (14th-16th to be exact), the Gulf Coast Writers Association hosted their annual Southern Expressions GCWA Authors Conference, and I was honored to be one of their speakers. Held at the IP Casino, Resort and Spa in Biloxi, and the Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center in Ocean Springs, the conference is a nice little gem waiting to be discovered.

I’ll admit that I’d never heard of the conference before, and as a Mississippian, I was a bit embarrassed. However, that embarrassment faded when I learned the conference was only in either the 3rd for 4th year. I made the drive down on Friday from my home in Oxford. I was starting a new job as part of the faculty at Full Sail University in Orlando, Florida the following Monday, so I would just drive there from the conference on Sunday.

I arrived, checked in, and took my stash of books with me to the check-in conference room. Curtis Wilkie, author of The Fall of the House of Zeus, was the speaker for the night—he was asked the usual questions when it was done. I found it funny when I learned he also lives in Oxford and yet I’d never met him (or heard of him, to be honest). Just goes to show you I’m not running the “literary” circles in Oxpatch.

On Saturday morning they bussed the lot of us over to Ocean Springs and we began the daylong string of sessions in the Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center. I met some interesting folks, both speakers and writers, and did my two presentations: one on suping up your protagonist and the other on shameless self-promotion.

The conference provided live entertainment on the grounds that night, but I caught a ride back to the hotel with some new writer friends I’d made (Charles Sasser and Peggy Webb—Webb, a Mississippian from Tupelo!). I had dinner in the casino where I stumbled upon Jeanie Pantelakis, (Sullivan Maxx Literary Agency) one of the agents in attendance…she joined me and we had a nice chat—mostly about movies and comic books!

Sunday morning was a very laid-back signing session by any and all comers. The public was invited and several people made their way from the slot machines to our room full of authors. Of course, most of them claimed to have just lost all their money and assured us they would have bought a book if they’d had any cash… It wasn’t a total loss, though. As many authors are fond of doing when possible, I managed to trade a few books and still come home with new reading material. Though I went knowing no single other person, I left with a handful of new friends. Not a bad trip, if I do say so myself.

(I meant to post this back in December…but neglected to do so. A slightly different version of this was printed in IMAGYRO, the magazine of IMAGICOPTER)

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Nashville this week, Southern Expressions in October

I’m excited about this week…and about a week still several months away. This week will be my first ever signing/appearance in the Nashville, Tenn., area. I know, can you believe it? All these years so close and I’ve never been there for an appearance, not once.

So, if you’re in the Nashville area, I’d love for you to come out and see me: it’s FREE! On Wednesday (March 23), from 4:30 until 5:30, I will be at the Madison Branch of the Nashville Public Library and will be talking about how to have a Career in comics. I’ve created “event notices” on both Facebook and Goodreads. Click the links and tell me you’ll be there! Then, on Thursday (March 24, of course), at the Goodlettsville branch, I’ll lead a limited space workshop for teens from 4:30 until 6, then will give a general public talk Creating a Comic Book from Idea to Publication. Most folks don’t know, thinking the “comic art fairies” show up at night and do the work—kinda like the elves did for that shoemaker dude. Again, click the links: Facebook, Goodreads. If you’ve got questions about anything, contact the library there in Nashville. ßlink is right there. Also, if you visit the link, you’ll see that my sessions are the #3 ad in the rolling ads. My public thanks to Jennifer Hunsicker who worked hard to make this happen. Yes, of course, pictures to follow.

Also, I’ll be signing comics at Rick’s City Comics from 12-2 on Thursday. Dig into those collections and bring your copies out for me to sign. Rick is even digging around to see what he’s got in the backstock!

While in Nashville, I’m hoping to catch up with artist Sam Payne, a talented guy who did some work for me when I was editor at Malibu. I’d give you a link to his site, or some of his work, but Sam is horribly absent from the web, something I’ve been on him to correct—I mean, folks need to be able to see his art! I’ve been trying to twist Sam’s arm to work on a project with me—and yes, I’m hoping putting it out here in public like this will help convince him it’s the thing to do! I’ll stop short of giving you his email address and telling you to bomb his email with messages of “do the project with Roland!”

But I’ll keep that thought in the back of my head.

I was made aware, too, of something pretty cool. You all have heard me talk about Imagicopter before. Well, one of the many authors I’ve met through Imagicopter is Glen Stripling. I was just made aware that he said some pretty nice things about Buying Time on his own website. Go check it out—and check out his work while you’re at it.

My other big news is that I’ve been invited to be a speaker at the Southern Expressions Authors Conference 2011 to be held in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, this coming October. I must say, I’m very excited about this and it looks to be a very cool conference. I want to encourage writers in the area to mark it on your calendars and plan to come.

I’ll be coaching Brett in baseball again this year…we start practices this week! Looks to be a fast and fun summer!

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