Tag Archives: conventions

Six Hundred

Six Hundred

This blog is a story in itself. It’s the documentation of a journey. Growing up, I remember my grandmother talking about becoming a novelist. She often spoke of the stories she wanted to share, the memoirs of her life, but she never finished her book. I believe the world is a little less without her words. From the beginning, the intent of I Make Stories was to chronicle my process of becoming a novelist—the good and the bad. As I have shared my experiences, I often wonder: what would have happened if my grandmother had read this blog as a fellow writer? Would she have been dissuaded or encouraged?

On that note, it’s time for a bit of reflection, and hopefully a bit of encouragement. It’s become a tradition around here that every two hundred posts I pause and take a moment and look back at what has happened in the time between. In 2014 I wrote my two-hundredth post, in 2015 I hit number four hundred, and here I am in 2017 looking at number six hundred. It’s been a long trail.

Things haven’t always been easy, but generally, nothing worth doing is easy. Days of discouragement are as common as the days of victory. Even as I write this post, I’ve been struggling through some serious self-doubt. I’ve come to expect it now, it’s a part of creation. Random events interrupt and derail process and progress. Writing takes time and effort, and it can often be a lonely endeavor. It requires a commitment to yourself and often that is more difficult than we realize.


“Milestones are meant to be passed.”


But even with the trials of creative work, things haven’t slowed during the last two hundred posts. Each obstacle has been surmounted and I’ve found successes along the way. I’ve sold a lot more books, many thousands now in total. I’ve hit the Amazon best-seller page multiple times. My presence at conventions has also expanded, and I’ve met some incredible people and new friends along the way.

On the story front, I launched Red Litten World which fans have enjoyed. I’ve finished the first draft of a standalone non-traditional fantasy (the title which I am keeping secret), and I’m nearly done with the first draft of Coal Belly my enormous steampunky riverboat adventure. Then it’s on to book four of the Bell Forging Cycle.

I’d like to think the content on this blog has gotten better as well. I’ve begun to share some of my discoveries in my research and delve into more details in the world of the Territories. There’s also this little thing which fans of the Bell Forging Cycle have yet to unravel. Plus, I have some other exciting plans for the future.

I couldn’t have done this alone. Although she never knew me as a writer, there is something of my grandmother in everything I write and for that I thank her. She might not have told her stories, but she empowered me to tell mine. And of course, there is you; my readers. I couldn’t be here, looking back from post six hundred, without you. Thanks for the passion. Thank you for buying my books. Thanks for reading them, and leaving reviews. Thank you for telling your friends and helping to spread the word. Thank you for the emails and the encouragement. There’s a lot of books out there to read, and I’m so grateful you picked mine.

As before, I won’t dwell here long. Stick with your work fellow creators. Milestones are meant to be passed. Number eight hundred lies somewhere in the distance and who knows what we’ll see in the spaces between.

A 2017 Lilac City Comicon Debriefing

A 2017 Lilac City Comicon Debriefing

It’s time for a con debriefing! Last weekend, I spent a couple of wonderful days at Lilac City Comicon in Spokane, Washington. This was my third year at LCCC, and like previous years, I shared a table with my good friend Josh Montreuil. This time around the con not only expanded, but it’s now two wonderful days.

[Left] My table setup [Right] An awesome Negan cosplay!
[Left] My table setup [Right] One of my readers sporting an awesome Negan cosplay!

Last year, I sold out of every copy of The Stars Were Right, so I doubled down and brought more with me this time around. Well, Spokane was insatiable, once again I sold out of every copy of The Stars Were Right. Yep, all gone! It was incredible. Easily one of the best two-day stretches I’ve had while running a table at a convention which means a whole lot of new readers have begun to experience The Bell Forging Cycle.

[Left] Josh speaks with a T-Rex [Center] The Log Lady! [Right] A pair of ninja 4 hire
[Left] Josh speaks with a T-Rex, his target audience [Center] The Log Lady! [Right] A pair of ninja 4 hire

Time for the highlights:

  • Friday night’s LCCC Pro Drink & Draw was great. Met some good people and I was able to circle up with some friends. It was a relaxing way to go into a busy weekend.
  • Once again (as the pictures prove) Spokane really went all out with the cosplay. Amazing work by everyone participating, you could see the time people had dedicated to their costumes. I took a ton of photos, and it was tough narrowing it down and picking favorites to share. Great work everyone! (Sgt. Slaughter, see below, was a particular favorite, but that’s the Joe fan in me coming out.)
  • My mom, dad, sister, and my nephew Derek came out to say hello! It Derek’s first convention and it was amazing to see the excitement as he strolled around in his Pikachu costume. He also left with the desire to be a Roader, which I appreciated. Gotta start ’em young. Right?
  • Likewise, Kari-Lise’s cousin Lou and his son Damon also came out. It was great seeing them as well. It’s nice to have a supportive family in the area. (You can check out a pic of Damon below dressed as a ninja.)
  • It was good to hang out with Josh. He had a new comic this year, Triceratots, and a load of prints. People were really excited to meet him and check out his work. Especially giant monster fans. I highly recommend you follow him. He’s got big plans for the coming year. If you want to meet him, I know he’ll be at Coeur d’ Con in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho in August. If you live nearby check his stuff out.
  • The volunteers were fantastic. It needs to be said over and over. Big thank you to them and to Nathan O’Brien for working so hard to make the convention so successful.
  • Several times I had readers drop by and ask about the status of book four. Knowing there is excitement building gets me excited. I really appreciate knowing there are those eager to join Wal in another adventure. I’ve heard it’s going to be a doozy. After all, “He is coming. Can’t you smell it on the wind?
  • Once again it was good to spend time with Matt Nelson, Peter Foglesong, Jennifer Foglesong, and Lars Brown. All our tables were next to each other, and it was great being able to hang out and chat during the downtimes. If there is such a thing as your ‘convention family’ they’re definitely a part of mine.
[Left] Captain America [Center] My nephew Derek as Pikachu and me as an author who only wears black [Right] Geralt of Rivia
[Left] Captain America [Center] My nephew Derek as Pikachu and me as an author who only wears black [Right] Geralt of Rivia
  • I also had several readers come up just to meet me and tell me how much they loved my books. It was amazing and surreal, and it’s interactions like that which really made my LCCC experience. Writing is a solitary gig, and when people take the time to come up and say they appreciate the hard work, it makes it all worthwhile.
  • Since the con was two days, the Post-Con Decompression Dinner became a Mid-Con Decompression Dinner. It was still as great as always. The food and drink hit the spot, the conversation was lively, and it was a pleasant respite in the middle of the festivities.
  • Josh’s sketch commissions were as wacky and wonderful as always, from Daffy Duck as The Scarlet Pumpernickel to a giant antlered bear armed with a great ax.
  • I enjoyed seeing all my old friends who came by to say hello, Angie, Curt, Carl, and Mike (who surprised me from behind his King Kong mask.) It was nice seeing them, meeting their partners and children, and catching up a little bit.
  • I got to nerd it up with a bunch of horror fans. We talked about Lovecraft, Chambers, The Void, Get Out, The Mist, and so much more.
  • I met some new friends as well. In particular, Rob an illustrator who creates some great Lovecraftian illustrations, Devin who was hanging out across from Josh and me, and Michael another illustrator who ran a table next to ours.
  • Did I mention I sold out of EVERY COPY of The Stars Were Right? EVERY. COPY. Seriously. I did. (I have more on order.) It’s awesome to see so many people starting their journey into the world of The Bell Forging Cycle. If you’re one of them, I hope you enjoy the ride.
  • When I got home late Sunday night I was greeted by the nicest email from a reader who had picked up my books and took a moment to drop me a line to tell me she was already loving them. After a long afternoon of travel, it absolutely made my night.
[Left] Sgt. Slaughter [Center] Rebel Pilot [Right] Kari-Lise's second cousin Damon as a nunchaku spinnin' ninja
[Left] Sgt. Slaughter [Center] Rebel Pilot [Right] Kari-Lise’s second cousin Damon as a nunchaku spinnin’ ninja

The expansion from one to two days was excellent, and other pros enjoyed it as well. Clearly, Spokane is hungry for a world-class convention, and Lilac City is stepping up and providing. I’ll most certainly be attending in 2018. I would love to see LCCC expand into open gaming and more panel tracks as well, but I am sure both are coming. Make sure to follow them on Instagram and Twitter.

Want to read about my past experiences? Check out my debriefings for Lilac City Comicon 2016 and Lilac City Comicon 2015. Next up for me in 2017 is OryCon in November! Remember, You can keep track of where I’ll be and check out my previous conventions over on my Upcoming Appearances page.

Thanks for a great con Spokane, I’ll see you next year. 🕶


Dead Drop: Missives from the desk of K. M. AlexanderWant to stay in touch with me? Sign up for Dead Drop, my rare and elusive newsletter. Subscribers get news, previews, and notices on my books before anyone else delivered directly to their inbox. I work hard to make sure it’s not spammy and full of interesting and relevant information.  SIGN UP TODAY →

Fresh Boxes (of Books)

Fresh Boxes (of Books)

I’ve been prepping for some convention appearances (next up, LCCC in Spokane, WA in June.) Which means I’m refilling my stock of books. A few days ago I had a large shipment arrive, which means my office is now brimming with stock. Overflowing, even. If you’ve been waiting to get a signed copy of one of my books now is the time. Just click the link below and start shopping:

Shop store.kmalexander.com →


The Bell Forging Cycle is available at the University Bookstore!If you live in the Seattle area, I have it on good authority that The Bell Forging Cycle is now available at the University Bookstore in the U District! Hooray!

Huge thanks to Jason for helping make that happen. It’s nice to see my books in a local bookstore. Hopefully, they find a home with someone who will love ’em.


Red Litten World in a Little Free LibraryAlso for Seattle folks, recently I found some leftover advanced review copies of Old Broken Road and Red Litten World in my office. So, I took some time to distributing them to a few Little Free Libraries around the city. I’m not saying which ones but they’re all over so keep your eye out and don’t forget to support your local Little Free Library.

Come see me at Norwescon 40!

Come See Me at Norwescon 40

This Thursday, I will be attending Norwescon 40 in SeaTac, Washington. I’m excited! This will be my third year participating, and I’ll be on quite a few panels. There’s a lot of good stuff this year. I’m really looking forward to discussing worldbuilding, talking about self-publishing, and joining in for the SF/Fantasy Battle Royale. (It’s amazing and hilarious, you should come.)

Click here to view my full schedule ↦


Where I’ll Be

Short Answer: All over!

Long Answer:
Unlike previous years, I will not have a home base on Writer’s Row. I wanted to focus on the convention this year, and not trying to juggle panels, readings, and the business of running a table. It is always a blast, but it’s also exhausting. I’ll definitely run tables in the future, but this time around I’ll be in the halls. (Look for the big guy wearing all black.) I’m looking forward to actually seeing things and participating as an audience member. Keep and eye out for me, come up and say hello, I’m a friendly sort.

Obviously, I’m happy to sign anyone’s book! If you want a book for your collection, I will have some with me. As always, books are $10 at conventions.


Badge Ribbons

If you’ve attended Norwescon before you know about the love of badge ribbons. I even wrote a post about them last year. Yes, I will have my ribbons with me this year. To get one, you must find me and ask me for a ribbon. I will give you only one. As before there will be three types. If you collect all three, I’ll give you a FREE signed copy of my first book, The Stars Were Right. It’s not an easy feat. It means you’ll have to do some trading with other attendees.

Badge Ribbons will be back for 2017
The common Shambler and Roader ribbons and the rare silver Caravan Master ribbon. (I only bring a handful of those.)

Get Guidebook

If you’re a Guidebook user (you should be) you can find me on there as well! The app is free and easy to use. Plus, it’s a great way of keeping track of events you wish to attend, and you can set reminders, so you don’t miss anything. I highly recommend it.

Get Guidebook, Find Me
To find me: first, tap the Menu Button, then tap “Attending Professionals,” search for “K. M.” then tap on my name. Hooray!

Have downtime and looking for something to read at the convention? This year, I’m offering samples of my books right on my Guidebook profile! The first four chapters of all three novels are available for free. To find them, tap the menu button in the upper left, then tap “Attending Professionals,” search or scroll to me, and tap on my profile. You’ll see the samples listed under PDFs. Just tap on one and start reading!


I think that’s all the particulars. I’ll be active on Twitter as always, you should follow me over there. I also share photos on Instagram. I hope everyone enjoys the con.I know it’s one of the highlights of my year. Stay safe, be respectful, and have fun. See you Thursday!

My Norwescon 40 Schedule

My Norwescon 40 Schedule

Convention season is just around the corner, and I’ll be starting my year off with the fine folks at Norwescon 40 in SeaTac, Washington April 13th – 16th. This year happens to be their 40th Anniversary, which is pretty dang amazing for a regional convention.

Unlike the last few years (Norwescon 38, Norwescon 39) I won’t be running a table on Writer’s Row. I love doing it, but I wanted to take a break this year and allow myself some time to enjoy the convention. So look for me in the halls! I’m a friendly sort. Stop me and say hi! Let’s play a game or get a beer and talk shop. I’m the big guy in black.

I’ll also be on a few panels and I’ve listed out my schedule below. You can find out more about my fellow panelists by clicking on their names, links go to their respective corners on the web. (Buy their books.) As before, it’ll be an honor sitting among such talent.

Not going to lie, listing all of this out got me excited. Is it April yet?


THURSDAY, APRIL 13th

8:00 PM – 10:00 PM — Art Show Reception

Location: Art Show
Details: It’s an art show! Drink wine, eat cheese, look at art, get introspective!


FRIDAY, APRIL 14th

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM — Advanced Self-Publishing

Location: Cascade 5 & 6
Moderator: Tori Centanni
Panelists: Annie Bellet, Mark Teppo, Elliott KayK. M. Alexander
Details: 
Self-publishing 201! Already self-publishing but want to take your career to the next level? This panel is for you. Pros will discuss how best to brand your books, how to increase sales and visibility, and how to avoid the newest pitfalls. We’ll talk strategy, branding, and how to manage your career so that you have the greatest odds of success.

8:00 PM – 9:00 PM — Worldbuilding: Alien Cultures that Don’t Dehumanize

Location: Cascade 10
Moderator: Liz Argall
Panelists: Stephanie Weippert, Rhiannon HeldK. M. Alexander
Details: 
Set a Cowboy-and-Indian yarn on another planet. Swap the cowboys for space rangers and the indigenes for monstrous aliens – the premise for countless space operas of the pulp era. The metaphor was clear: Native Americans are monstrous. How do you mirror alien societies with their earthly counterparts without portraying non-Western races and religions as inhuman themselves?


SATURDAY, APRIL 15th

3:00 PM – 4:00 PM — SF/Fantasy Battle Royale

Location: Evergreen 3 & 4
Moderator: Matt Youngmark
Panelists: Erik Scott de Bie, Jason Bourget, K. M. Alexander
Details: Who would win in a fight? A fast-paced, bracket-style, breathtakingly unscientific showdown to determine this year’s Ultimate Fictional Champion. Ready…? Fight!

7:00 PM – 8:00 PM — The Changing Landscape of Worldbuilding

Location: Cascade 5 & 6
Moderator: Brenda Carre
Panelists: Raven Oak, Esther JonesK. M. Alexander
Details: Nature is rewriting the once immutable rules of worldbuilding. There’s liquid water on Mars. Who knew? Dinosaurs had feathers. Exoplanets exist in defiance of everything we knew about planetary mechanics. What does it mean for today’s writers when the building of credible landscapes is proving a much more organic and free-flowing process than once believed?

9:00 PM – 10:00 PM — Location, Location, Location: Horror’s Unsung Character

Location: Cascade 5 & 6
Moderator: Jaym Gates
Panelists: Nathan Crowder, Evan J. PetersonK. M. Alexander
Details: 
A returning panel from last year where we discuss the importance of setting on a horror narrative, complete with favorite settings from our panel of horror professionals.


SUNDAY, APRIL 16th

10:00 AM – 11:00 AM — Urban Renewal

Location: Cascade 3 & 4
Moderator: Kristi Charish
Panelists: Rhiannon Held, Annie BelletK. M. Alexander
Details: 
Join our panelists as they discuss the common tropes in urban fantasy and the unique ways in which those themes can be reimagined for the audience.

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM — Worldbuilding: This is How the World Ends

Location: Cascade 10
Moderator: Catherine Cooke Montrose
Panelists: Rhiannon Held, Jaym GatesK. M. Alexander
Details: 
Whether you’re writing zombie horror or post-apocalyptic romance, you need to figure out how the broken world got into that state. Super virus? War? Natural disaster? Pros will talk about manufacturing the end of the world as we know it in order to give your post-apocalyptic world a solid foundation.


As usual, I’ll be active on Twitter throughout the weekend. I’m @KM_Alexander, follow me! You can preregister for Norwescon 40 here and get passes to all four days for only $65. There’s also a lot of information at Norwescon.org including details on this year’s guests of honor (Ian McDonald, Cory & Catska Ench, Ethan Siegel, Nancy Kress, and Angry Robot Books), The Philip K. Dick Awards, information on the Doubletree Hotel, and a lot more. Hopefully, I’ll see you there!

Influence my 2017 Convention Schedule

Help Influence my 2017 Convention Schedule

We’re smack dab in the middle of 2016, so it probably seems odd that I’m posting about conventions for next year. But, here we are, time waits for no author. It’s that time of year when I begin to look into my schedule for 2017, and I need your help. Currently, I’m looking at attending the following conventions:

What I want to know from you is what I am missing? What convention would you like to see me attend? Where should I go? What should I check out? Help me out! You can make suggestions one of two ways. The first is to leave a comment below. The other option is to shoot me an email at hello@kmalexander.com.

I’m open to any and all suggestions! One caveat, if it’s out of range for me driving-wise, I probably won’t run a table (logistically it becomes too difficult/annoying for me to haul books around), but I’d seriously consider panelist participation anywhere and everywhere.

Leave a suggestion!