Spooky Empire Reschedules convention for December!

spooky_decemberAfter many conversations with the convention center, hotels, agents and staff it looks like we have secured dates to reschedule Spooky Empire!

So please join us for a special Spooky Empire convention this December 2-4, 2016 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL. 

We are working very hard on getting the guest list together and should have some announcements this week. We are working hard on booking some of the guests that were to attend last weekend.

Anyone that has purchased advanced tickets for the October Spooky Empire, we are giving you two options…your tickets will be accepted at either the December rescheduled event OR the April convention (April 21-23, 2017) For general admission ticket holders, there is no notice necessary and tickets do not need to be re-issued, just bring your existing ticket with you to one of the two events.

If you are a VIP package holder, please contact us to let us know which event you’ll be using your VIP package for.
(Emails will be going out to all ticket holders within the next 24 hours)

Due to the rescheduling of this event, tickets are non-refundable. However, if you are unable to use your tickets for either of the two events, these tickets are transferable. They may be sold or given to someone that can use them.

EXHIBITORS AND TATTOO ARTISTS: Your booth space will be available to you for either December OR April. However, we do need to know ASAP so that we can plan the space accordingly for each show. Emails are going out to all of you as well.

For everyone that has supported Spooky Empire over the last week, you will not be forgotten!! Everyone that contributed will be a part of this event in one way or another. Your generous contributions will go towards the expenses associated with making this rescheduled event happen. We are forever grateful and humbled by everyone’s support, patience, dedication and generosity. This is truly a family! The thought of possibly having to close Spooky Empire for good was the worst possible outcome for us, and all of your support this past week made us realize we have to do whatever we can to keep moving forward!

Stay tuned for updates!

http://www.spookyempire.com

Thanks so much!

IL – Art of Atari Signing

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Tim Lapetino appears at Graham Cracker Comics on Wednesday, October 26th from 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM to sign THE ART OF ATARI!

RSVP on Facebook!

Graham Crackers Comics – CHICAGO LOOP
77 E. Madison Street, Chicago, IL 60602
312-629-1810

TX – Brom Signing

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Press Release:

Celebrate your Halloween by meeting fantasy artist BROM at Dragon’s Lair! Gerald Brom is a celebrated creator and has done work for Wizards of the Coast, D&D magazine, the Diablo franchise and much more! He will be here promoting his latest work “Lost Gods” on Monday October 31st from 6-8PM.

RSVP on Facebook!

Dragon’s Lair Austin
2438 West Anderson Lane, Suite B-1, Austin, TX 78757
(512) 454-2399

DragonCon 2016 Con Report!

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Overheard on an Atlanta street corner:

 

“Look at that person with blue hair.”

“Over there?”

“No, over there.”

“Oh, I see.”

“Cool, isn’t it?”

“Yeah. What other place can you say, ‘No, the other person with blue hair.”

The “place,” of course, was DragonCon. September 2-5. I have been for the last six years, but this year was special: the 30th anniversary. It started in two downtown hotels, Hyatt and Marriott. The Hilton was added later, then the Sheraton and Westin. When five hotels were not enough space, the vendors were moved into the AmericasMart, a four-building, seven-million-square-foot trade show monolith. This year, AmericasMart became the new home of two other DragonCon mainstays, tabletop gaming (formerly in the Hilton) and Comic and Pop Artist Alley (neé the Hyatt)—evidence that DragonCon, despite its venerability, is still figuring things out. Perhaps that is how it became venerable: refusing to be complacent.

And more growth is on the way. Some programming was held on Thursday this year, and according to media director Dan Carroll, we will see Thursday “full-time real soon.” My colleague Michaela McPherson has written about shifts in the Saturday morning parade. This was the inaugural year for the Dragon Awards, a fan-driven awards program to “recognize the creators of science fiction and fantasy in books, comic books, games and filmed entertainment,” according to a press release. (Awards results are located here.) Attendance grew this year as it does every year, with over 77,000 showing up–and, in some cases, suiting up–for the weekend. These attendees walked (Walk to End Lupus Now), gave blood (about 6,000 units), raised money ($98,000 for the Atlanta Center for Self-Sufficiency through auctions, karaoke, a lip-synch battle, and other events), and enjoyed the 400+ actors, artists, writers, and other guests who formed the convention’s foundation.

I was excited about one guest I had never seen at DragonCon, or any convention: Christopher Paolini, author of the four-volume Inheritance Cycle. Paolini wrote the first volume, Eragon, the story of a farm boy who protects a dragon egg from an evil king, when he was a teenager. His parents self-published the book, and for a year, Paolini promoted it himself at libraries, book shows, and other events. In 2002, the book came to the attention of the publisher Alfred A. Knopf, which re-released the book a year later. This led to three other books, the last one appearing in 2011.

On Friday night, Paolini was one of several panelists for a discussion of self-publishing. The other panelists were freelance writer/editor Jaym Gates, editor Dayna Linton, Baen Books publisher Toni Weisskopf, writer Chris Kennedy, and Todd McCaffrey, son of Anne McCaffrey and custodian of her Pern universe, to which he has contributed several volumes. Some highlights from the panel:

  • McCaffrey: The biggest mistake in self-publishing is to “think you can do everything yourself.”
  • Eragon was a family project. Paolini’s father, who had press experience, designed the book. Paolini drew the cover and the maps. They borrowed money to finance the printing (the first 50 copies were cut wrong). He dressed in medieval costume and made presentations to schools, libraries, and bookstores. Sold maybe 15 books at a time. Two chain bookstores rejected him, saying the novel was “not commercially viable.”
  • Gates: “Readers and writers have different ideas of what works.” This led to a vigorous discussion of the value of editing. It’s the biggest difference between professional publishing and self-publishing (a view echoed by this Slate article). Writers know their own story, but editors are storehouses of stories. They understand the market, and what will appeal to readers. Thus, they can guide the author, helping to bring out his/her voice. As Gates said, “it is the editor’s job to help the writer say what he/she wants to say in the best way.”
  • Paolini was skeptical of the wisdom of a beginning writer paying for editorial services, but the other panelists–I won’t say they shouted him down, but they were unified in saying that it would be money well spent. Paolini did agree on the worth of an editor, saying an editor “can fix bad writing. They can’t fix a bad story.” Bottom line: the author has a job, and the editor has a job. Good books result when each person does their job.
  • McCaffrey talked about “hybrid authors”–authors who write for traditional publishers and do some self-publishing. Here is a good discussion of this type of writer. The panel agreed that the hybrid approach is the best, blending the advantages of self-publishing (speed; flexibility; more profit per sale) with the comfort of traditional publishing (editorial, design, and marketing services; bulk sales; multi-book deals; advances against royalties). More authors are taking this approach, which is new in the history of publishing. According to Weisskopf, the “received wisdom” used to be that, if you self-publish, you’ve “tainted the waters and will never get a traditional contract.” The panel agreed that this is no longer the case.
  • On traditional contracts: beware the predators. Gates brought up two blog posts by John Scalzi (here and here), who has always been an advocate of authorial self-interest, about Hydra, an imprint of Random House with shockingly bad contract terms. The panel’s message: don’t be so desperate to publish that you’ll sign anything.

All the growth in DragonCon has brought some irritation. At 2:30 on Friday afternoon, the vendor room in the AmericasMart reached capacity and was shut down. I have never experienced that at a convention (I read about it happening a couple of years ago at the Rhode Island Comic-Con). The room was open an hour or so later, I think–I didn’t wait around to find out–so it wasn’t a disastrous inconvenience. But I did find myself wondering, is there no building in Atlanta large enough to handle DragonCon?

The lines in the hotels were certainly longer than ever. I waited nearly two hours to buy Saturday-only badges for members of my party. (It is useless to buy these in advance because DragonCon mails you a card that you have to redeem on-site for a badge.) There may be no space to do this, but I would love to see registration expanded. Or split into two buildings. Why do one-day badges have to be claimed on site? Why can’t they be mailed? One thing is for sure: a single ballroom in the basement of the Sheraton is inadequate for the thousands upon thousands of people who opt for one-day badges.

DragonCon is a study in lines. Walking around the sidewalks, you’ll often see a line with no discernible beginning snaking into an unmarked side door. It’s like a speakeasy line. If you ask someone what they’re waiting for, they respond without confusion, but what if they’re wrong? What if the real purpose of the queue has been miscommunicated all the way down, so that someone who thinks they’re waiting for William Shatner’s photo op is actually in line for the blood bank?

It isn’t that hard to form a line, after all. My wife and I did it for Chris Paolini’s Sunday autograph session, which was scheduled for 2:30. Jim Butcher had started signing in the same room at 1:00. His line was capped at 1:30, and we knew that people looking for Paolini would start showing up soon. So we stood a few feet behind the last person for Jim Butcher and declared it the Start of the Line. Within minutes, a hundred people were standing behind us, and when a DragonCon staffer came along and legitimized us, I felt like Saul Alinsky.

If you have never been to DragonCon, you need to go. It is not the largest convention in the U.S., but it is unique, being spread across five Atlanta hotels. I have often wondered why it doesn’t move to the Georgia International Convention Center or the Georgia World Congress Center. It may need to, especially when attendance reaches 100,000, as I believe it will. But I hope DragonCon doesn’t move. I love the atmosphere of hotel-based conventions. There are other hotels in downtown Atlanta, and maybe DragonCon will incorporate those. Whatever happens, I look forward to many more years of attending this convention, which was my first and will always be one of the best.

 

So THIS is the horse of a different color I've heard tell of.

So THIS is the horse of a different color I’ve heard tell of.

The official store is the place to get your swag on.

The official store is the place to get your swag on.

No, Storm Shadow isn't wearing a hat. Some pirate photo bombed us.

No, Storm Shadow isn’t wearing a hat. Some pirate photo bombed us.

Pikachu takes some pictures with fans.

Pikachu takes some pictures with fans.

Recognize the guy in the middle? Here's a hint: it rhymes with Bash Jordan.

Recognize the guy in the middle? Here’s a hint: it rhymes with Bash Jordan.

Christopher Paolini pauses for a pic during his (only!) book signing of the weekend.

Christopher Paolini pauses for a pic during his (only!) book signing of the weekend.

I want a suit like that, but my wife probably wouldn't let me wear it.

I want a suit like that, but my wife probably wouldn’t let me wear it.

The dealer room was closed on Friday afternoon due to overcrowding. I can't imagine why.

The dealer room was closed on Friday afternoon due to overcrowding. I can’t imagine why.

Peter, meet Victor. Victor, Peter.

Peter, meet Victor. Victor, Peter.

This guy had been to 44 Weird Al concerts in 2016, with plans to attend several more. Check him out on Facebook at Mandatory Fun Al.

This guy had been to 44 Weird Al concerts in 2016, with plans to attend several more. Check him out on Facebook at Mandatory Fun Al.

Bring me the head of Alfredo Garcia . . . or a George R.R. Martin autograph, whichever.

Bring me the head of Alfredo Garcia . . . or a George R.R. Martin autograph, whichever.

This cosplay (yes, a person is inside) was made using 318 ballons!

This cosplay (yes, a person is inside) was made using 318 ballons!

Ran into this couple at the convention. They're crazy for each other.

Ran into this couple at the convention. They’re crazy for each other.

DragonCon is a place to spare no expense.

DragonCon is a place to spare no expense.

Mr. Roper doesn't know how good he has it.

Mr. Roper doesn’t know how good he has it.

MO – Brian Posehn Signing

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Comedian/Comic Writer Brian Posehn (Deadpool, The Last Christmas) appears at Star Clipper on Saturday, October 15, 2016 from 1:00 – 3:00 PM for a free signing!

RSVP on Facebook!

Star Clipper
1319 Washington Ave, St. Louis MO 63103
(314) 240-5337

CA – Star Wars: Ahsoka Signing

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Author E.K. Johnston and Ashley Eckstein, voice of Ahsoka Tano on The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels, sign at Barnes & Noble on Sunday, November 24, 2016 at 2:00 PM to sign the new novel AHSOKA!

About the book:
Fans have long wondered what happened to Ahsoka after she left the Jedi Order near the end of the Clone Wars, and before she re-appeared as the mysterious Rebel operative Fulcrum in Rebels. Finally, her story will begin to be told. Following her experiences with the Jedi and the devastation of Order 66, Ahsoka is unsure she can be part of a larger whole ever again. But her desire to fight the evils of the Empire and protect those who need it will lead her right to Bail Organa, and the Rebel Alliance.

Barnes & Noble – The Grove
189 The Grove Dr, Ste K 30, Los Angeles, California 90036
(323) 525-0270

CA – Star Wars: Ahsoka Signing

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Author E.K. Johnston and Ashley Eckstein, voice of Ahsoka Tano on The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels, sign at Barnes & Noble on Monday, October 24, 2016 at 7:00 PM to sign the new novel AHSOKA!

About the book:
Fans have long wondered what happened to Ahsoka after she left the Jedi Order near the end of the Clone Wars, and before she re-appeared as the mysterious Rebel operative Fulcrum in Rebels. Finally, her story will begin to be told. Following her experiences with the Jedi and the devastation of Order 66, Ahsoka is unsure she can be part of a larger whole ever again. But her desire to fight the evils of the Empire and protect those who need it will lead her right to Bail Organa, and the Rebel Alliance.

Barnes & Noble
313 Corte Madera Town Center, Corte Madera, CA 94925
415-927-9016

WI – Star Trek: Prey Signing

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Meet popular sci-fi author John Jackson Miller at Barnes & Noble on Saturday October 15, 2016 at 5:30 PM! We will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of Star Trek with the release of his new book Star Trek: Prey Book One. October is also Star Wars Reads Month, and John will be talking about his Star Wars books, too!

RSVP on Facebook!

Barnes & Noble – Fox River Commons
4705 West Grande Market Drive, Grand Chute, WI 54915
920-831-7880

TX – Margaret Stohl & Marie Lu Signing

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Novelists Margaret Stohl and Marie Lu appear at BookPeople on Monday, October 17th at 7:00 PM to sign their new books Black Widow: Red Vengeance and The Midnight Star.

ABOUT THE MIDNIGHT STAR

The thrilling finale to the New York Times bestselling Young Elites series from hit factory Marie Lu

There was once a time when darkness shrouded the world, and the darkness had a queen.”
Adelina Amouteru is done suffering. She s turned her back on those who have betrayed her and achieved the ultimate revenge: victory. Her reign as the White Wolf has been a triumphant one, but with each conquest her cruelty only grows. The darkness within her has begun to spiral out of control, threatening to destroy all she’s gained.
When a new danger appears, Adelina s forced to revisit old wounds, putting not only herself at risk, but every Elite. In order to preserve her empire, Adelina and her Roses must join the Daggers on a perilous quest though this uneasy alliance may prove to be the real danger.

#1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu concludes Adelina’s story with this haunting and hypnotizing final installment to the Young Elites series.

ABOUT BLACK WIDOW: RED VENGEANCE

Black Widow: Red Vengeance is the action-packed sequel to the instant New York Times bestseller Black Widow: Forever Red, penned by #1 New York Times bestselling author Margaret Stohl. This time Stohl takes listeners inside the minds of Marvel’s most cunning and dangerous spies–Black Widow and Red Widow–delving deeper into their powers and revealing more than ever before about the infamous assassin and her fledgling hero-in-training.

ABOUT MARIE LU

Marie Lu is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling series The Young Elites, as well as the blockbuster bestselling Legend series. She graduated from the University of Southern California and jumped into the video game industry as an artist. Now a full-time writer, she spends her spare time reading, drawing, playing games, and getting stuck in traffic. She lives in Los Angeles, California, with her husband, one Chihuahua mix, and two Pembroke Welsh corgis.

ABOUT MARGARET STOHL

Margaret Stohl is a lifelong science fiction fan, former video game designer, and coauthor of the New York Times bestselling Beautiful Creatures series. Beautiful Creatures is now a major motion picture. She lives in Los Angeles with her family

BookPeople
603 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78703
(512) 472-5050

CA – Star Wars: Ahsoka Signing

000000000000000_ahsoka-tano_star-wars2Author E.K. Johnston and Ashley Eckstein, voice of Ahsoka Tano on The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels, sign at Barnes & Noble on Friday, October 21, 2016 at 7:00 PM to sign the new novel AHSOKA!

About the book:
Fans have long wondered what happened to Ahsoka after she left the Jedi Order near the end of the Clone Wars, and before she re-appeared as the mysterious Rebel operative Fulcrum in Rebels. Finally, her story will begin to be told. Following her experiences with the Jedi and the devastation of Order 66, Ahsoka is unsure she can be part of a larger whole ever again. But her desire to fight the evils of the Empire and protect those who need it will lead her right to Bail Organa, and the Rebel Alliance.

RSVP on Facebook!

Barnes & Noble
10775 Westview Parkway, San Diego, California 92126
(858) 684-3166

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