“An Ivory Christmas” is a part of a NEW Holiday Anthology, Gifts of the Magi!

gotm-cover-final100aToday, I can finally share the BIG news about the NEW ORIGINAL collection of holiday stories co-edited with my good friends R.J. Sullivan, E. Chris Garrison and me.

The anthology is called Gifts of the Magi: A Speculative Holiday Collection and features new tales by our friends and ourselves, most of whom have series’ in progress, and feature a story set in the world of that series. And yes, I have a new story in this collection.

Ivory Blaque has returned in a brand-new short story titled “An Ivory Christmas”, which takes place on Christmas Eve!

While out shopping for a last minute gift for Malik, Ivory stumbles upon an open case involving missing children. She must use all her abilities, along with some otherworldly help, to find the children, put an end to the monster responsible and return the children safely to their parents.

Gifts of the Magi is a first time endeavor for me, as I co-edited the anthology and also ventured into indie publishing under a new brand, in a co-partnership between R.J., Chris and me, called SFG Publishing. It’s our first attempt at supporting a local charity and all monies go to Indy Reads Books in support of  their good work.

Besides a new story by me, you’ll find a new Rebecca Burton/Blue Shaefer tale by R.J., a new story set in Chris’ Tipsy Fairy Tales / Road Ghosts world, and stories set in several of my favorite worlds, created by authors Chantal Noordeloos, David Jobe, Katina French, Debra Holland, an awesome standalone story by A.D. Roland and many more!

Copies will be sold at Indy Reads Books and are available online at Amazon print and ebook versions.

Click here to learn about the December 4 book signing at Indy Reads Books Indianapolis, with the editors and several of the authors present.

But don’t let me keep you from finding out more. Click here to read the official announcement with full details and the preorder link to get yours!

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John F. Allen will be featured author and panelist at Imaginarium Convention

Imaginarium Logo

This weekend is the first-ever Imaginarium Convention in Louisville, KY, a new type of creator/reader friendly convention, in which Seventh Star Press is front and center.

I’ll be in the Seventh Star Press section with my Indy author peeps R.J. Sullivan and Eric Garrison, selling The God Killers, my debut novel and Book I in a series and a NEW line of nail polish, brought to you by Akira Lacquer and inspired by characters from the novel. Most of the time you can find me in the Vendor’s Room and if not, I’ll be on a hand either moderating or sitting in on the following panels:

Friday 5:00 PM: The Big Reveal – Plot Twists are an important part of mystery writing. Ever wonder how to keep yours from sounding trite or goofy? Come talk to our experts about how they establish and reveal twists and turns in mystery settings without being corny. Moderator: Tony Acree Panelists: John F. Allen, Tommy Hancock, Christopher Kokoski.

Saturday 9:00 AM: The Evolution of Urban Fantasy – Panelists experienced in the growing Urban Fantasy genre talk about the evolution of the genre and how both their work and the work of their contemporaries fits into the grand scheme. Moderator: John F. Allen Panelists: Marcia Colette, Missa Dixon, Addie J. King.

Saturday 12:00 PM: Paranormal Romance vs. Urban Fantasy (M) – A common misconception among readers is that Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance are the same thing. While this can be true, there are very distinct differences between the two. Our authors discuss those similarities and differences to help you distinguish between them. Moderator: John F. Allen Panelists: Missa Dixon, Nicole Kurtz, Jettie Necole Angelia Sparrow, Pamela Turner.

Saturday 6:00 PM: Racial Lines in Romance (M) – Authors and editors discuss how to properly execute an interracial romance scene without being trite or offensive. Moderator: John F. Allen Panelists: Marcia Colette, Maddie James, Annie Jones, Nicole Kurtz, Kimberly Richardson.

Sunday 11:00 AM: Urban Fantasy: The Gateway Genre –  Let’s face it, Urban Fantasy is a huge trend and a growing portion of the Speculative Fiction realm. Our panelists discuss how the rise in Urban Fantasy has changed the sci-fi/fantasy landscape. Moderator: John F. Allen Panelists: Marcia Colette, Allan Gilbreath, Nicole Kurtz, Tim Waggoner.

Sunday 12:00 PM: Pulp Fiction 101 (M) – What is Pulp Fiction? This panel will cover the history of pulp writing and how today’s trends differ from the stories that started it. Moderator: John F. Allen Panelists: Earl Dean, Andrea Judy, Sean Taylor.

I expect this to be a GREAT weekend and I hope to see some of you there. REMEMBER TBIYTC!!!

INCONJUNCTION SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY CONVENTION 2014 IS THIS COMING WEEKEND!!!

Inconjunction Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention 2014 is being held on the east side of Indianapolis, this Fourth of July weekend! It’s an awesome local event celebrating all things within the speculative fiction realms. This year I’m attending as part of the Speculative Fiction Guild (SFG) and we’re hitting the con in a big way.

TGK OFFICIAL COVER ART

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’ll have a vendor’s booth with all of our titles, where I’ll be selling and autographing copies of my debut novel,  The God Killers. Convention pricing is $15.

Also at the SFG booth: RJ SullivanMatthew Barron and Eric Garrison. Directly next to us is SFG member Crystal Leflar, who’s running her OWN vendor booth as event marketer for Nightscape Press, so check out their array of titles along with her own books.

The WONDERFUL folks who throw Inconjunction (the Circle of Janus) has the SFG hopping in panels this year and we’re glad for it!

This will be my second appearance at Inconjunction, first time with a novel to sell/promote and I’M VERY EXCITED to attend!

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Here’s my panel itinerary:

Friday, July 4th
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8 pm–Grand Ballroom 7 and 8: Analyzing the History of the Comic Book Movie with: RJ Sullivan and Mike Suess.
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Saturday, July 5
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11 am–Indianapolis Ballroom D: SFG Writer’s Workshop: Point of View: Why it’s Better to Have One with: the SFG: RJ, Eric, Matt, and Crystal, plus Rosemary Laurey

1 pm–Room name coming: Discussion on genre television, title forthcoming: with RJ Sullivan.

3 pm–Indianapolis Ballroom D: Modern Fairy Tales with Eric Garrison, Crystal Leflar and Rosemary Laurey.

4 pm-Grand Ballroom 7-8: Making the Jump to a Series with RJ Sullivan and Mike Shepherd.

5pm-Grand Ballroom 7-8: Comic Book Movies: Live Action and Animation with RJ Sullivan and Mike Suess.

7 pm–Harrison Room: SFG Writer’s Roundtable: Making the most of local settings in genre fiction with The SFG:  RJ, Eric, Matt, and Crystal.

10 pm–Grand Ballroom 7-8: Candlelight Horror Reading with RJ Sullivan, Crystal Leflar and Jeff Seymour.
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Sunday, July 6
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11 am-Indianapolis Ballroom B: This Year’s Comic Book Movies with Mike Suess.
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While you’re there, check out James Barnes of Loconeal Books, local filmmaker Kate Chaplin of Karmic Courage Productions, and check out the show by Five Year Mission.

I HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE!!!

 

 

 

SINKING DOWN BLOG TOUR WITH ERIC GARRISON!

EricGarrisonTourBadge_225X150Today I have the pleasure of Spotlighting in my blog, “Sinking Down” the latest novel from my friend and writing peer Eric Garrison!
Eric is also an author at Seventh Star Press, publisher of my debut novel last summer and various short stories, so if you are a fan of speculative fiction within the urban fantasy realm, then this novel is bound to be a real treat! Not only am I a friend of the author, but I’m a fan of the series. Eric Garrison is a rising star in the speculative fiction world and a fresh voice for the genre.
I’m proud to know him and call him my friend, but even more than that, I’m inspired by his creativity and skill as a writer. As a relatively new writer for Seventh Star Press, I’m honored to be in the company of such a fine writer and person.
Do yourself a favor and check out the work of Eric Garrison, you’ll be glad that you did!

EricGarrison_authorpicEric Garrison is active in the writing community in Indianapolis, Indiana. He lives in the Circle City with his wife, step-daughter and a cabal of cats. He also enjoys gaming, home brewing beer, and finding innovative uses for duct tape. His stories vary from science fiction to supernatural fantasies and dark fairy tales

 

 

 

 

 

SinkingDownCover_1200X800Poor Little Ghoul
Paranormal investigators Brett and Liz find themselves
back in over their heads when a forest hunt for a road kill-eating creature offers up a little surprise. Back home with their ghoulish house guest, it
becomes clear there’s more to this investigation than either of them thought. Worse than that, Brett’s own fate is linked to the little ghoul’s.
So it’s back out on the road, with plenty of time for pit stops with a greedy ex, a convention of ghost hunters, partying with fake vampires, and even drinking and
fighting alongside good ole Uncle Gonzo. But as the investigation goes deeper, and unseen connections come to light, Brett finds there’s much more at stake
than getting through a rough patch with Liz.
A rescue mission. A race for a cure. New friends and old adversaries. Unbreakable bonds and supernatural danger. It’s going to be a wild ride. Can the friends save the nearly undead tween? Can she and Brett stop themselves from …Sinking Down?

 

Sinking Down is the 2nd Book in the Road Ghosts Trilogy!

SinkingDown_FinalInterior 1  SinkingDown_FinalInterior 2Here’s a sneak peek at some of the AMAZING interior artwork!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also, be sure to check out Book 1 in the Road Ghosts Trilogy, Four ‘Til Late!

FourTilLate_CoverIn Four ‘Til Late, amateur ghost hunter Brett and his friends Gonzo, Jimbo, and Liz are on a road trip with dangerous detours, dreadful dreams and dire warnings. But that won’t keep them from reaching their goal: New Orleans. Along the way they discover that some spirits leave you with more than a hangover and regrets. Can they get there in one piece, or will they be stopped and rest in peace? The bags are packed, the engine’s running. Turn up the radio and get moving because the road ghosts are waiting, and it’s Four ‘Til Late.
Four ‘Til Late is the first book of the Road Ghosts Trilogy.

 

 

 

 

 

Sinkng Down ad2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SSP BANNERSeventh Star Press Links

Website: http://www.seventhstarpress.com
Blog: http://seventhstarpress.blogspot.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/7thstarpress
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/seventhstarpress

Come out to MAP Arts in the Park this Saturday and enter “The Spooky Author Book Bag Benefit Raffle!”

TGK SPOOKY BAGThis Saturday, October 12, 2013, the Mooresville Arts Partnership is re-launching Arts in the Park, an annual all day festival exhibiting and celebrating all aspects of art expression in the area. My good friend and fellow local author R.J. Sullivan  has ask for “a little help from his friends” and gotten it from, dark fiction authors me, Matthew BarronNicole Cushing,  and Crystal Leflar to instruct beginning-level writer’s workshops for all ages.

Read all the details and sign up for a workshop time here!

We’ll also hold an all-day raffle at our canopy for a “Spooky Book Bag” of our work–$1 per ticket gets  you one chance to win a set of books valued at over $60without signatures–and the authors will sign and personalize each book on request.

This way, you can personalize a book for every horror reader on your gift list–or have all the books signed to you and keep them–we won’t tell.

To enter, find the Horror Authors Canopy. Raffle tickets are $1 each. Enter as often as  you like. For each ticket you buy, we need your name and phone number (preferably a cell phone number you will be carrying with you at 5:30 that day, the time of the drawing) on the half  you leave in the raffle.

Some notes:

  • Everyone who participates in the writer workshops earns one free ticket for the raffle. Children must have the ticket filled out by a parent.
  • 100% of all proceeds go to MAP.
  • We’ll draw the winner following the 4 p.m. workshop, so some time after 5 p.m.
  • All tickets will be discarded responsibly. Tickets are to contact the winner. The rest will be destroyed.
  • Books will be “flat signed” unless the winner requests personalization. This will allow the authors to personalize books intended as gifts.
  • Parents take note: The books in the raffle and at the vendor tent contain adult content. We’ll do our best to sell responsibly, but we’re not going to card, nor will we judge what you let your kid read.

The Spooky Book Bag in detail. Links take  you to the Amazon page:

The God Killers by John F. Allen; Secular City Limits by Mattthew Barron; We Are Dust and Death to the Brothers Grimm, both with a story by Crystal Leflar; Haunting Obsessionby R.J. Sullivan–and maybe more! Plus bookmarks and other doodads.

These books and more can be purchased all day at the vendor tent! Authors will be around to sign all day.

PLEASE COME OUT THIS SATURDAY AND SUPPORT A GREAT EVENT WHILE HAVING FUN!!!

AUTHOR JOHN F. ALLEN TO APPEAR AT FANDOM FEST JULY 26 – 28!

ATTENTION STAUNCH PERUSERS!

Me, Michael West, Eric Garrison & RJ Sullivan.

Me, Michael West, Eric Garrison & RJ Sullivan.

I will be attending Fandom Fest in Louisville, Kentucky this coming Friday through Sunday, July 26-28 along with my fellow The Corvus Quartet (TCQ) buddies: RJ Sullivan, Eric Garrison, and Michael West.

You’ll find me hanging out at the Seventh Star Press booth selling my book The God Killers when I’m not on panels in the Literary Track:

 

 

Friday:

5:30 PM Urban Fantasy Today; Room# 107

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Saturday:

10:00 AM Approaches to Character Development; Room# 108

11:30 AM World  Building 101; Room# 109

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SEVENTH STAR PRESS

SEVENTH STAR PRESS

Other Seventh Star Press authors in attendance: D. A. Adams, Steven Shrewsbury, Selah Janel, Ali Justice and Stephen Zimmer.

 

 

 

 

 

FANDOMFEST POSTERI am going to attempt to snag a photo-op with Stan “The Man” Lee, if any slots are left! I will also hope to catch a glimpse of other celebrities such as: William Shatner, Jay and Silent Bob, Gillian Andersen, John Barrowman & Michael Rooker to name a few!

I’m positive that Seventh Star Press will have a STRONG presence this year as in years past and the regional author tract will include a full weekend of exciting and informative panels, with plenty of opportunities to learn how authors work their mojo and hopefully we can inspire future authors to use the tools we impart and wisdom we’ve gained to pursue their own dreams.

 

 

FYI, Louisville, KY is only a 2.5 hour drive from Indianapolis, IN and I’d love to see you there, so come out to meet me, purchase an autographed copy of The God Killers and enjoy a weekend filled with FUN & EXCITEMENT!!!

STAY TUNED FOR PICTURES FOLLOWING THE EVENT & REMEMBER TBIYTC!!!

AND TO MY TRUE BELIEVERS, EXCELSIOR!!!

AN INTERVIEW WITH ERIC GARRISON!

Four Til Late

Four Til Late

I want to extend a hearty congratulations to my very good friend and fellow Seventh Star Press author, Eric Garrison on his latest novel, FOUR TIL LATE. Eric, as I write this, you’ve gotten your first shipment of print copies of FOUR ‘TIL LATE your novel. I know what a thrill it is to see ideas take solid form, but tell my readers, how do YOU REALLY feel?

Thanks for having me as a guest on your blog, John!

It’s been a long road for this book. It was the one that started it all, my first novel, and yet now it’s my latest novel. It was a project done out of love and honor, as I wrote it the month after my writer uncle Chuck died in 2007. I didn’t know then that I’d be a published author a little over 5 years later, but opening that box to see the shiny trade paperbacks with gorgeous professional artwork, I felt a thrill of excitement and a burning rush of pride.

It”s been a long time coming, but this labor of love has been refined and updated and improved with editing and the experience of four other books written since then under my belt. I am PSYCHED.

I know a little about FOUR TIL LATE, but please let my readers know (in your words) what the novel is all about. I got a Supernatural meets Scooby Gang vibe. Would you agree with that assessment, or is there another more succinct description? What inspires your writing?

I think “Scooby-Doo meets Supernatural” isn’t too far off. I loved Scooby-Doo as a kid, and I am a huge fan of the Supernatural TV show today. FOUR ‘TIL LATE is a haunted road trip, as much a buddy story as it is a thriller. It stars an amateur ghost hunter named Brett who sets out on a fun trip to New Orleans with a couple of buddies, and along the way, he reignites a romance with his ex-girlfriend. Unfortunately, he isn’t able to leave his hobby behind, as supernatural warnings turn into much more dangerous encounters with the paranormal world.

When it comes to ghost stories and the supernatural in general, are you more of an adherent to classic spins or do you prefer the more modern takes? Which authors inspire you, particularly with this work?

You know, I wasn’t even intending to write a ghost story to start with. FOUR ‘TIL LATE is meant to be an urban / supernatural fantasy, and I had hoped to follow in the footsteps of Charles de Lint and Jim Butcher, who are my favorite authors in that genre. I think I ended up at least somewhere between the subtler magical realism of de Lint and the high-powered urban fantasy of the Dresden tales. But as the story unfolded, it DID become a ghost story, and I was shocked when another writer friend called it horror later. I didn’t set out to write a horror story, but I’ll admit, it’s got horror elements. So yeah, there’s more of a modern influence on my writing, but if you’ve ever read any of Fritz Leiber’s darker stories, you may see a strong influence for the supernatural forces in my books. He’s just got a sort of slow, steady, driving rhythm to his storytelling that I love, and I try to emulate that when I’m building tension or unfolding the stranger parts of the story for the reader.

Is it true you’re an actual ghost hunter? Please briefly tell us one of your favorite exploits and how this undertaking effects/enhances your writing?

It’s true! My wife and I joined the Indiana Ghost Trackers in 2003. I went expecting a bunch of attention-seeking lunatics, but instead found a group of intelligent, curious, friendly people who had a sense of adventure. We both got very interested in ghost hunting and the paranormal in general and became officers in the club. Being one of the biggest skeptics in the group, I asked a lot of questions and did a lot of experimenting with equipment and analyzed evidence more closely than a lot of folks, and ended up as Trainer for both the Indy and Lafayette chapters. We left the group on 2010, but are still friends with the organization’s president and the folks we knew in our time there.

Exploits… Well, nothing specific comes up in FOUR ‘TIL LATE, but I can tell you I have some fairly accurate retellings of some ghost hunts in the third ROAD GHOSTS book, ME AND THE DEVIL, which will be coming out through Seventh Star Press later this year or early next year. Let’s see, one time, we investigated Hannah House, a notoriously haunted mansion on Indy’s South Side (where you and I will be appearing as part of the Paranormal Meet & Greet on August 10th!). We were in the basement, voice recorders running, being given a tour among dusty, 150 year old jars of canned fruit and other bric a brac. One of our guides said “Isn’t this where you got that ‘find me’?” And when qurstioned, they said they’d been there before with recorders and had gotten an EVP (electronic voice phenomenon) that said, “find me”, when they played it back. So when Amy and I got home, we played back OUR recording, and something freaky happened. About 10 seconds *before* our guide mentioned what the voice had said before, a voice played on our recording, also whispering, “find me!”

What do you hope readers take away from FOUR TIL LATE? What did you take away from it as an author?

FOUR ‘TIL LATE isn’t just a ghost story, it’s also about friendship and love overcoming demons of the past that come back to haunt you. I hope readers come away feeling like they’ve just had an adventure with a bunch of great friends, and that the characters are people they’d like to spend time with again and again.

I wrote two more books after writing this one, SINKING DOWN and ME AND THE DEVIL. I guess it shows how much I wanted to spend more time with these people that I kept coming back to them.

You’ve completed five novels and and this is your first publication with Seventh Star Press. Please tell us what the experience has been like for you? Share some details of your writer’s journey.

It was FOUR ‘TIL LATE that kicked everything off, so it’s both my first and also my latest novel in a way. I’ve come full circle, having written 3 other urban fantasy novels and a science fiction novel. I started out by self-publishing my work, then I fell in with a critique group that helped open my eyes to the craft of writing, to things I didn’t see in my own writing that I learned to improve on. I was invited to join the Indiana Horror Writers, and that’s helped me see the publishing world beyond writing. My fifth novel, Reality Check, was written with the goal of publication in mind, and was the first to go through beta readers and rewriting and polishing. Hydra Publications took a chance on me and that book went through another couple of rounds with a professional editor. It was then that Seventh Star Press said yes to my pitch to have the ROAD GHOSTS novels revamped and done up properly to get it in front of a wider audience.

I think it’d be best to describe my career growth as an author described as incremental. Ever since I started, it was always about going a few steps more outside my comfort zone, to do something new and bigger, to stretch my boundaries.

This is going to be a crazy busy summer for us, appearing all around. What event do you look forward to the most?

You know, I had to be talked into Fandom Fest, but the more I hear about it and the closer it gets, the more excited I get about it. Rumor has it that the Seventh Star Press booth is going to be next door to a VERY major personality that has all of us excited. I’m looking forward to the fantastic writing track that’s being run by our own Stephen Zimmer. I’ll be seeing a big bunch of authors I normally only talk to online. It’s going to be big, really big, and I just asked for Monday off as well since I can feel in my gut that I’m going to need a day to recuperate.

Eric Garrison

Eric Garrison

What is the background of the series? What other novels are planned for this series and when can we expect them out?

ROAD GHOSTS started as a single book. But the summer after I wrote it, I had a dream about a little ghoul being found by Brett and Liz, and I woke up laughing at the image of the couple taking the ghoul to a McDonald’s dumpster to feed. I tried to write a short story about that, but it demanded to be more, and that became the first chapter in SINKING DOWN, the sequel. That book is in editing right now, and I hope to have it out this fall. Since I had two books, and since I had some loose ends, I decided to make it a trilogy and wrote ME AND THE DEVIL, which I hope to have out this winter. One of the characters in SINKING DOWN was too funny not to write more about, so I wrote a spinoff called BLUE SPIRIT, which is the story of Skye MacLeod, who sees fairies when she’s had a couple of drinks. Dark, Grimm-style fairies, not Tinkerbell. So, she spends most of that book tipsy, trying to save her vampire-gaming friends from very real danger. That’s going to be a second trilogy, probably called TIPSY FAIRY TALES, and those will be released next year sometime (I still have two to write).

I appreciate this opportunity to speak with you on your latest novel, Eric. I wish you long lasting and continued success in your writing career. REMEMBER TBIYTC!!!

Thanks, John, I wish you the best too, and can’t wait to start reading my copy of THE GOD KILLERS!

To my readers, go pick up your copy of Four Til Late at the following link!

http://www.amazon.com/Four-Til-Late-Eric-Garrison/dp/1937929221/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1374520017&sr=1-2&keywords=Four+Til+Late