Tag Archives: seattle

An Emerald City Comic Con 2018 Debriefing

An ECCC 2018 Debriefing

At the beginning of March (a few weekends ago, now) I joined ninety-five thousand others in attending Emerald City Comic Con in my hometown of Seattle, Washington. This year the convention was extended to four days—I skipped Thursday but visited Friday, Saturday, and most of Sunday. As is the tradition around here, it’s time for a convention debriefing.


🌤 Friday

I had to get a picture of, Android Cosplay's amazing take on classic Nightcrawler
Android Cosplay’s classic take on Nightcrawler

Friday started oddly but finished great. I learned a valuable lesson about con-attendee me—I need to have things to do. The one panel I wanted to attend was full, so I spent a good portion of the day poking around the show floor and getting the lay of the land. I swung by the tables of a few author friends, Lee French had a table, as did Matt Youngmark (Go buy their books!) and I managed to get a few pictures of some great cosplayers. (Including Android Cosplay’s classic take on Nightcrawler in the image on the left.)

Around 2 PM, I took a break and went home to get some writing done. Later, I returned met up with Lars Brown. Lars is a talented comic creator. (His Penultimate Quest series was one of my favorite graphic novels from 2016. You should buy them.) Together, we stuck around the con for a bit, then went to dinner. All in all, it was a relaxing—if not somewhat quiet—first day.


☀ Saturday

On Saturday I was joined by my friend and fellow author Steve Toutonghi (his new book Side Life is coming out in April, you should preorder it.) Together we hit up a bunch of panels. My favorite was probably Books as Flint: Using Graphic Novels to Spark Political Activism. It was a discussion on the power of stories and how graphic novels (this was a comic convention after all) can often bridge the gap and open conversations on topics such as politics, race, religion, misogyny, and bigotry. The panelists were passionate and knowledgeable, and everyone had great thoughts about inclusion and activism in the comic space. Lessons that could easily be applied to novels as well.

My friend (and very talented woodworker) Steve Leroux and his daughter as the Weighted Companion Cube and Chell from Valve's Portal series
My friend (and very talented woodworker) Steve Leroux and his daughter as the Weighted Companion Cube and Chell from Valve’s Portal series

Steve and I also attended Family-friendly Fantasy: Keeping It PG in the Age of Grimdark & Game of Thrones and another on called 10 Points to Slytherin: Why Good Fans Love Evil Characters. Both were excellent and much better than I expected and both sparked some good conversation.

Oh! While waiting for one panel, we randomly slipped into a conversation with Shannon Purser (Barb from Stranger Things, y’all)—it was fun. Lots of kids with questions and Purser was kind, articulate, open, and honest. I’m generally not one for celebrity panels like that, but I found myself enjoying it.


🌧 Sunday

Writing the Future Panel - [Left to Right] Sylvain Neuvel, Michael Miller, AdriAnne Strickland, Annalee Newitz, Chuck Wendig, Jason Hough
Writing the Future Panel – [Left to Right] Sylvain Neuvel, Michael Miller, AdriAnne Strickland, Annalee Newitz, Chuck Wendig, Jason Hough
I had only two panels Sunday, and once again Steve Toutonghi joined me. Our first panel was What Do I Read Now (and Where Do I Start)? hosted by a group of local librarians, and the premise was they’d recommended books based on other properties people liked. It was fun. I did take issue when one of the panelists mentioned recommending only finished series. I bring this up because I feel it’s an important topic. The best way you can support a series as a fan is to read it as its published. Waiting until it’s finished can often kill a series. Publishers make decisions based on sales. So even if you want to wait until you have them all, buy the books (or check them out from your library) as they come out. It’ll make a big difference.

Our final panel of the weekend was Writing the Future (pictured above), and it was interesting. The room filled up fast, there was loads of audience participation. Afterward, a friend asked me if I had any new takeaways. My honest answer was no—I didn’t hear anything new or revelatory. If anything it was nice to see veteran writers reaffirm my choices.


Leaving ECCC—for now.
Leaving ECCC

So, that was my ECCC! There was so much I missed, and I felt like I had my schedule pretty well planned. Overall ECCC is excellently run and well managed—I appreciated all the hard work keeping the crowds organized. It’s not simple with that many people, and the staff and volunteers excelled at keeping everything under control. It’ll be interesting to see how it changes as the Seattle Convention Center expands.

I was thrilled I spent the time I did—next year I’m hoping to go longer and actually sit on a few panels and making do some gaming. (Gaming was sorely missing from my ECCC 2018 experience. Would have liked to play Mansions of Madness or jumped into a Call of Cthulhu session.) I also want to extend a big thank you to my friends Steve and Lars for hanging out with me, having friends willing to pal around made a big difference.

Thanks for a great convention Emerald City—it was a lot of fun.


Have a convention you’d like me to attend? Let me know by leaving a comment or sending me an email. Remember, You can keep track of where I’ll be and read previous convention debriefing over on my Upcoming Appearances page.


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 →

I'm Going to ECCC

ECCC Starts Today—Let’s Hang Out

Today is the start of Emerald City Comic Con, Seattle’s premiere comic convention. It’ll run through Sunday, and it’ll be busy. Last year there were 90k people in attendance, and I’m sure this year will be much the same. (When I last checked most tickets are sold out.)

I will be present—but I won’t be showing up until tomorrow morning. I plan on being around Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I’m not paneling or running a table so there’s no specific place you’ll see me, but I’ll be exploring everything. I expect to be hitting up a lot of the fiction panels—there’s quite a few that have piqued my interest. So keep an eye out, and don’t hesitate to say hello. We can high-five and stuff.

If you want to keep track of where I am, I recommend two places:


  • Twitter: @KM_Alexander

    While I’ve decreased my tweeting over the last year, this is when it’ll be convenient. Odds are I’ll be using Twitter a lot, sharing what it is I see and hear.


  • Instagram: @kmalexander

    As I take photos, I generally like to share them here. So if you enjoy black and white photography, and you’re interested in seeing whatever it is I find exciting I recommend following me here.


I hope everyone has a fun, safe, healthy, and respectful convention. Should be a great time and I’m looking forward to seeing everyone.

 

I'm Going to ECCC

I’m Going to ECCC

In a few weeks, I’m going to be attending Emerald City Comicon 2018 here in Seattle. But, this won’t be my typical “Come See Me At [Con Name Here] Post” only because this will be a bit different from my other appearances. While I will be attending ECCC as a pro, as of right now, I won’t be on any panels, and I’m not running a table. Instead, I’ll be paling around with my friend and fellow author Steve Toutonghi, and taking my time to enjoy ECCC. The plan is to reconnect with some friends, sit in on a few panels, maybe hit up the show floor, and do some networking.


View this post on Instagram

Hey #ECCC, I’ll see you real soon. 👀

A post shared by K. M. Alexander (@kmalexander) on


If you’re attending, let me know! I’d happily meet up with any readers, and I’ve love to chat with you. If you see me out and about, please stop me and say hello! I’m as much a fan as I am a writer and I love talking with readers and fellow fans. I’m really looking forward to the convention, it’s been years (eight?) since I’ve attended ECCC and I can’t wait to lose myself in the craziness for a few days.

ECCC runs March 1st–4th at the Washington State Convention Center here in Seattle. You can find out way more info over on the official site. As of this post, there are still tickets available for Thursday and Friday. But they’ll go fast, so don’t wait.

Should be a good time. I hope to see you there!

💀🦑💀

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!

2016 in Ten Awesome Photos

2016 in Ten Awesome Photos

For the past few years, I’ve assembled a post looking back via photos and reflecting on my experiences over the course of a year. The rule is to do it in ten photos, no more, no less, no excuses. (Check out 2015 in Ten Awesome Photos or 2014 in Ten Awesome Photos if you’re so inclined.) It’s a good way to reestablish what actually happened compared to my own perception. It also slows time down. A lot happens in a year.

After you do something long enough, it becomes a tradition. 2016 has been a tough year for me both creatively, and personally. But for every failure, there has been a success. Moments of dispair have been countered by moments of peace. Sometimes it’s hard to recognize those. Going back through these photos always grounds me and forces me to reflect.

So, with all that said, let’s take a look at my 2016.


2016_10photos_01The start of 2016 was cold and foggy. I took this picture on a long walk near my house early in the year. The themes of this image inadvertently became my themes for this year. If you read The State of the Cycle last December you know that in 2016 I was breaking from The Bell Forging Cycle for a bit and was planning to focus on some new projects. Solitude, contemplation, and a refocusing on my work and my writing were central for me throughout the year.


2016_10photos_02New year, new projects; I dove right in. For those who have followed this blog from the beginning, you’ll recognize the title Coal Belly. It was the first manuscript I tried to shop (and ultimately failed at selling) but the world and the characters never left me. This year I began it anew, refreshed and stripped down and I’m really excited where it’s going.


2016_10photos_03In the spring I returned to Norwescon for my second year. As before, It was a blast. This year I was busy. I spent my time running my table, sat on a few panels, and even managed to do a reading from Red Litten World. You can read a full breakdown in my Norwescon 39 Debriefing post. I will be returning in 2017, I can’t miss the 40th Anniversary.


2016_10photos_04Throughout the year, Kari-Lise and I would occasionally spend a few hours exploring antique stores and junk shops. These forays into the past inspired me to start collecting historical objects from American fraternal organizations and secret societies. It hits a sweet spot for me a blend of Americana, fading history, folk art and the fact some of the objects are just bizarre. I’m sure I’ll gather together a post soon.


My friend Steve Toutonghi launched his debut novel Join! He spent some time with me at Norwescon sharing his book, and I was able to go to a reading and signing of his at a local bookstore. It’s been great to watch him meet readers and share his work with the world. If you haven’t read his novel Join, you need to rectify that now. Check out my review on Goodreads and use the links on his site to pick it up for yourself. (It makes a great Christmas gift.)


2016_10photos_06I was lucky enough to meet Magnus Nilsson, the head chef at the remote two Michelin star restaurant Fäviken in Sweden. It’s no secret Kari-Lise, and I love to cook and were those people who consider ourselves foodies. I really respect Nilsson’s approach to cooking, his focus on simplicity, local ingredients, and the return to basics. He was super gracious. Now we need to plan a trip to actually visit Fäviken.


2016_10photos_07Lilac City Comicon was a smashing success and a bit of a whirlwind. It’s a fun romp full of wonderful people and cosplayers. The community in Spokane is really warm and welcoming. It was great hanging out with my fellow creators, meeting new people, and talking with readers. I’m planning a return this year. Make sure to read the Lilac City Comicon debriefing. I’m happy that it’ll be two days this year.


2016_10photos_08This summer Kari-Lise and I took two weeks to explore the National Parks of California. When I returned, I put together a little trip report detailing the journey. It was a fantastic excursion, full of hiking, marmots, and incredible vista and views. Traveling in the US, and especially in our National Parks, always reminds me that we live in a pretty great place.


2016_10photos_09As with every year, mountains were a reoccurring theme. I find them invigorating creatively and forever humbling. They’re a good place to reset and realize how small and petty my problems tend to be. With the help of some friends, Kari-Lise and I found our favorite trail on Mount Rainier. We liked it so much we returned to it again a month later with some family.


2016_10photos_10My Seattle Sounders won the MLS Cup! It was an incredible comeback season that began abysmally but ended with a run that took them to the playoff and eventually allowed them to win it all on penalty kicks! Also, my favorite player did this. Sounders ’til I die. I can’t wait for the 2017 season.


So, there was my 2016. Narrowing it down to ten photos was difficult, it’s always difficult. There are always things I left out: sporting events, craft fairs, new books, art openings, other hikes, time spent in the mountains, time spent in the desert, time spent on the coast (we went to nine National Parks this year). I took pictures of my food, my research work, my dogs, my rabbits, and so much more. Most of these images came from my Instagram account, if you’re not following me, please do! It’s usually a running record of my weekly activities and pictures of my adorable dogs.

Join me! Why not look back through your own year and narrow it down to ten awesome photos? Post those on your blog and leave me a link here in the comments. I’d love to see what happened in your year as well.