Where I’m Going, Where I’ve Been

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(I should totally apologize to Joyce Carol Oates for that title.)

Hey! It’s been a crazy couple of months, which has made for a lonely little blog. But it’s been the good kind of crazy. The kind of crazy that comes with pictures to share.

Westercon

July started with a bang (ha) with a trip to San Diego for Westercon! While I’ve been to more than a couple comic conventions, I’d never been to a science fiction convention, so I didn’t really know what to expect. All I can say is, wow! What a cool experience! While most of the comic conventions I’ve been to focus on the latest pop culture experiences, Westercon was a convention about ideas. The panel topics varied from climate change to colonies on Mars. It was brainy and scientific and I absolutely loved it. One of the highlights was being on panels with William F. Nolan and Larry Niven. (!!!)  I also made some new author friends: Lisanne Norman, Fred Wiehe, Thomas Voorhies, and Jason V. Brock. Such a cool convention. If you get a chance to go next year (in Portland), definitely check it out.

Here are a couple of pics:

San Diego Comic-Con

Two days after Westercon ended, I turned around and headed back to San Diego for SDCC 2015.

Ahhh, SDCC. This year was magical to say the least. Not only were my books on display at the Random House booth:

But over the course of the con, I met Peter Capaldi, Guillermo del Toro, Tom Hiddleston, Greg Grunberg, and Curtis Armstrong. I also went to a bunch of NerdHQ panels, asked Zachary Levi to smolder, attended both Nerdist podcasts, played both Battlefront and Project Morpheus, and walked my feet off. It was amazing. Here are some pics:

Teen Lit Fest

The weekend after SDCC, I participated in Teen Lit Fest at the Southeast Regional Library in Gilbert, AZ. I was just one of a dozen or so authors appearing at the event. I not only got to see a few of my friends in the AZ author community there (Tom Leveen, Bill Konigsberg, Amy Dominy, Brian Augustyn, Sara Francis-Fujimura, Mark Rude), I also made friends with new authors and chatted with a bunch of teen readers. It was a really fun event, one I hope to be invited back to in the future. Here are a couple of photos:

Payson Book Festival

And this last weekend, I traveled to northern Arizona to participate in the first ever Payson Book Festival! I shared a table with my friend and fellow author, Patricia Grady Cox, and we had a great time spending the day together up in the cool Payson pines. Here’s a pic of us at work:

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The Schrödinger Sessions: Science for Science Fiction Authors

This weekend I’ll be attending the Schrödinger Sessions at the Joint Quantum Institute a the University of Maryland. Holy guacamole, I’m getting a crash course in quantum mechanics! If I’m not too busy entangling my brain with quarks, I’m going to post some blog updates. We’ll see. If not, a full recap and pics when I get back.

WHILE YOU WERE GONE Book Launch!

To cap it all off, next Tuesday (August 4), my second novel, While You Were Gone, hits shelves! I’ll be having a couple of events in August to celebrate the launch. Hope to see you there!

Thanks for being on this journey with me!

How this writing thing works

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cake
The Cake of Voices
(It was delicious.)

I’m in the kitchen icing a cake.

This happens, like, never. I’m a notoriously bad cook. When my kids see me making dinner they cry and run away. Baking is better, but I do it so infrequently no one ever really remembers I can, including myself.

So I’m icing this cake. It’s a zucchini blueberry cake with lemon buttercream frosting. (Kinda weird, right? But also maybe yum.) My hair is a mess. So is my face. Not to mention the kitchen. In fifteen minutes a group of friends will show up at my door for book club (aka, wine club). The knife slides along the surface of the cake, forming tiny wakes of buttercream, when suddenly a voice says, “Most of the time I feel miserable and alone.”

The knife stops mid-swipe and I listen. Not with my ears, though, because the voice is in my head.

The call is coming from inside the house.

I don’t know who this character is talking to me (yet), but in my mind I can see her walking through a crowded high school hallway and in my chest I can feel what she’s feeling. It’s like I’m some kind of medium for fictional people.

I put down the knife, pick up a pen and start writing her down. The cake can wait. So can my hair and my face and the clock and my friends showing up at my door with wine. There’s a voice in my head with a story to tell.

And that’s how this writing thing works.

For me, at least.

We have a winner!

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Advanced copies!
Advanced copies!

Thanks to everyone who participated in my WHILE YOU WERE GONE giveaway and signed up for my author newsletter!

The winner of the giveaway is….

Reneth Trinidad!

Congratulations, Reneth! You’ve won an advanced copy of WHILE YOU WERE GONE!

(Reneth, please check your email.)

WHILE YOU WERE GONE hits shelves August 4, but you can pre-order your copy pretty much anywhere online. Here are some links:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
iBooks
Books-a-Million
IndieBound

***Shameless Author PSA: pre-ordering books is super helpful to authors, so if you’re planning to read WHILE YOU WERE GONE, please pre-order your copy today. It really does make a difference. ***

My first author newsletter will be arriving in your inbox in the next couple of weeks, stuffed full of goodies, so stay tuned. If you haven’t signed up yet but want in on the fun, just go to my website and fill out the form: amyknichols.com.

As always, you guys rock! Thank you for your support!

Win an ARC of WHILE YOU WERE GONE!

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819VTwVeSVL._SL1500_While You Were Gone doesn’t hit shelves until August 4, but you can enter to win an advanced copy today. Just go to my shiny updated website and sign up for my author newsletter* to be entered to win. The winner will be announced on June 4.

Also, Phoenix Comicon starts today! If you’re going, don’t forget to come say hello!

-Amy

*Don’t worry. I hate spam as much as you do. I’ll only send a newsletter when there’s news to share.

School’s out! Time to get your geek on at Phoenix Comicon!

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Phoenix_Comicon_logo

School’s out, which means it’s time to get your geek on! Phoenix Comicon is the perfect way to celebrate the start of summer.

Are you going? If so, come say hello! I’m a guest author again this year, participating in panels and signing books. Here’s where you can find me:

Also, be sure to attend the Drinks with Authors event Saturday night at the Sheraton Valley of The Sun, just down the street from the Phoenix Convention Center. Not only will there be a bunch of authors there to hang out with, there will also be book giveaways, including Now That You’re Here and an ARC of While You Were Gone. The event is loads of fun, and benefits Kids Need to Read.

Hope to see you there!