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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. 🕶


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A 2016 Lilac City Comicon Debriefing

Last Saturday was the tenth anniversary of Lilac City Comicon, and I was lucky enough to be there along side my buddy Josh Montreuil. This was my second time at Lilac City and since last year they had expanded into a larger space and quite a few more fans showed up.

Lilac City Comicon - Photos #1As before it was a whirlwind of great people and an overall success for me. I had plenty of books left over from Norwescon [Read the Norwescon 39 Debriefing Here] and I sold a ton at Lilac City. Okay, that’s a bit of an understatement. I sold out of every copy of The Stars Were Right. Which is AMAZING. Thank you to everyone who picked up a book, I left Spokane with a lighter trunk which is always a good thing.

Lilac City Comicon - Photos #2I could ramble on a bit, but let’s get to the highlights. That’s the fun stuff:

  • The cosplay. Carl, a friend of both Josh and myself, made an astute observation: at most cons you see like one person cosplaying for every ten people. But something about Lilac City really brings out the cosplayers. They were everywhere. There was probably one person cosplaying in every three, and the quality was incredible. (As you can see from the pictures.) Like last year, it was really difficult to choose which to feature. I took a ton of photos.
  • Obviously selling out of every copy of The Stars Were Right was a huge highlight. Spokane really loves my books, and I am both touched and grateful. There were a few people who came back later in the day wanting to buy a copy and unfortunately they had to go without. I’m in the process of replenishing my stock from my store, but there are plenty of places you can still pick it up. Hit the official site for The Stars Were Right where I link to a bunch of locations where it and other books in the Cycle are available.
  • Seeing my mom, dad, and little sister. Since this is a business trip, I don’t have much time to hang out with family. But it was good to see them even for a brief moment.
  • Spending time at the table with Josh Montreuil and watching him work. Josh is a fantastic comic book artist, and you should be following him on Tumblr. Seriously. Do it now; I’ll wait.
  • My adorable selfie with the Lich. What a guy.
  • Seeing some old friends. It’s been eight years since I moved westward, so it’s nice to catch up with folks and see how things are going.
  • Watching Josh work on his various sketch commissions. I saw the Grinch and his dog, Ben Grimm, and the always abriffic Doc Savage. (Who is due for his own reboot, let’s be honest.)
  • Ain’t going to lie, my table looked great.
  • I had several people who sought me out specifically after picking up and reading The Stars Were Right last year. Everyone was excited to experience more of ol’ Waldo Bell’s adventures, and I was happy to learn how much they loved the first book.
  • Big thanks to the guy who not only picked up Red Litten World but also bought the current set of The Bell Forging Cycle for his friend as well. As I said on Twitter, that means the world to us authors. Telling your friends about a writer’s work helps keep us writing.
  • My table was right next to fellow Seattle author Matt Youngmark, and it was great chatting with him throughout the day. Not only is Matt is good people, he’s also the creator of Chooseomatic Books, which is are choose-your-own-adventure novels for adults. They’re great fun and worth checking out.
  • The Steven Universe cosplayers (see above right) who sang a stirring rendition of the Steven Universe theme song at Matt’s request.
  • The Sprocket the Cat cosplay! (See below left.) If you don’t know Sprocket, he’s the mascot for Lilac City Comicon. It’s cool to see he’s got some fans.
  • The Post-Con Decompression Dinner—It’s nice to relax and have a few beers with fellow creatives after a convention. Thanks as always to Matt, Kevin, Peter, Jen, Lars, and Josh for letting me hang with them and eat Irish food, wax poetic about running a table, and crack stupid jokes.

Lilac City Comicon - Photos #3

I was really happy with my experience at Lilac City Comicon, and I am already planning and looking forward to attending next year. It’s a really welcoming crowd and it’s nice to see something like that in Spokane. Right now I don’t have any future appearances scheduled, but that could always change. 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 convention, Spokane!


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Come See Me at Lilac City Comicon

Come See Me at Lilac City Comicon

On May 14th, I’ll be attending one of my favorite conventions: Lilac City Comic Con in the distant hamlet of Spokane, Washington! It’s a fantastic event with a great crowd. And, just like last year, I’m happy to say I’ll once again be sharing a table alongside the incredibly talented artist: Josh Montreuil. Josh will be bringing a bunch of prints and will be taking sketch requests. You should come by and say hello!

My side of the table will be pretty full. I’ll be bringing copies of The Stars Were Right, Old Broken Road, and the latest book in the Bell Forging Cycle: Red Litten World. I’ll also have Bell Caravans patches as well as a ton of free swag (including those new stickers I posted about a few weeks ago.) Lilac City Comic Con isn’t really a ribbon convention, but I’ll have the Caravan Master, Roader, and Shambler ribbons that I brought with me to Norwescon. If you want to draw a ribbon from THE BOX OF CHOOSING™ just ask and I’ll be happy to let you try your luck. (Full details on the badge ribbons can be read here.)

Josh and I will be lording over our small empire at table D10, which is clearly the best table and there is none better. It is known. Use the map below to see where we’re at or look for the big Bell Forging Cycle banner. You can’t miss it.

Lilac City Comicon 2016 Map - Small

We had a great time last year, and I’m looking forward to LLC once again. There’s a ton of great and talented people participating; you can check out the full guest list and complete exhibitor list over at the official Lilac City Comicon site. So mark your calendars Spokane, I’ll see you there!

Norwescon 39

My Norwescon 39 Schedule

Norwescon 39 is just around the corner (57 days!) and yesterday I received my tentative schedule! Last year I ran my table and had a blast. But this year, things are going to be a lot busier. As before, I’ll be back with another table among Writer’s Row, plus I’ll also be participating on panels, and I’ll be doing a reading on Saturday night. It’s going to be fun.

Full details are below. I tried to link to the blogs or twitter accounts for the panel’s moderators and my fellow panelists. I’m honored to be sitting next to such talented folks. I’m excited to hang out with everyone again. Listing all this out got me excited, I can’t wait.


THURSDAY, MARCH 24th

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM — Writer’s Row

Location: Writer’s Row
Details: Once again I’ll be headquartering myself at a table. Of course, I’ll bring along copies of all The Bell Forging Cycle books and, like last year, I’ll also have a bunch of free swag: stickers, buttons, and bookmarks galore. Stop on by, say hello. I’ll sign your books. We can talk cosmic horror, indie publishing, cover design, world building, weird fiction, Lovecraft, and pretty much whatever else you feel like.

5:00 PM – 6:00 PM — Horror’s Fantasy Roots

Location: Cascade 10
Moderator: Logan L. Masterson
Panelists: Jason Vanhee, Nathan Crowder, K. M. Alexander
Details: Join Logan L. Masterson, the other panelists, and myself as we discuss a time when the darkness was fought back with swords and sorcery as we explore the roots and the muddy line between fantasy and horror.

6:00 PM – 8:00 PM — Writer’s Row

Location: Writer’s Row


FRIDAY, MARCH 25th

10:00 AM – 12:00 PM — Writer’s Row

Location: Writers Row

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM — Horror Influences

Location: Cascade 9
Moderator: Nina Post
Panelists: Morgue Anne, Alex C. Renwick, Lisa Bolekaja, K. M. Alexander
Details: Join Nina Post as she talks with myself and the other panelists on who inspired us to write and create horror and on what scares us. Should be a good time.

1:00 PM – 7:00 PM — Writer’s Row

Location: Writer’s Row


SATURDAY, MARCH 26th

10:00 AM – 6:00 PM — Writer’s Row

Location: Writer’s Row

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM — SF/Fantasy Battle Royale

Location: Cascade 9
Moderator: Matt Youngmark
Panelists: Erik Scott de BiePeter Orullian, 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! This will be fun.

9:00 PM – 9:30 PM — Reading: K. M. Alexander

Location: Cascade 1
Moderator: K. M. Alexander
Details: Hey, look at this, I’m doing a reading! Before you hit up a room party or turn in for the evening why not come by and let me read you a creepy excerpt from one of my books. Which one… well, I’m not sure yet! (I might have a little poll to decide. Stay tuned.)


SUNDAY, MARCH 27th

10:00 AM – 11:00 AM — Horror As a Mirror

Location: Cascade 13
Moderator: Jeremy Zimmerman
Panelists: Jude-Marie GreenKate Jonez, K. M. Alexander
Details: What does the horror genre tell us about the culture in which it was written? What does today’s horror tell us about modern society? And as a creator, how do we craft stories that have a greater impact by reflecting on things that resonate more deeply with our audiences? Join us for this thought-provoking panel.

11:00 AM – 1:00 PM — Writer’s Row

Location: Writer’s Row

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM — Location: Horror’s Unsung Character

Location: Cascade 10
Moderator: Laura Anne Gilman
Panelists: Lisa Bolekaja, Arinn Dembo, Logan L. Masterson, K. M. Alexander
Details: Where a story is set lends itself to the impact of that story. Whether you set your story in a crumbling castle, a small town in Maine, or a sleek office tower, how do writers craft a setting with staying power? Come for favorite examples and ways to build your own and play against expectations to greater effect.

2:00 PM – 3:00 PM — Writer’s Row

Location: Writer’s Row

3:00 PM – 4:00 PM — Level Up Your Self-Publishing Skills

Location: Cascade 12
Moderator: Elliott Kay
Panelists: Matt Youngmark, Ryan Macklin, K. M. Alexander
Details: Elliot Kay leads us in a discussion on self-publishing. How do you find a good editor or cover artist? What’s your pricing strategy? Does free work? What are the best keywords to use? How do you get reviews? We’ll discuss the best practices for putting out a professional product and the current strategies for finding success.


You can preregister for Norwescon 39 here and get passes to all four days for only $70. There’s also a lot of information at Norwescon.org including details on this year’s guests of honor, The Philip K. Dick Awards, Doubletree hotel information, and a lot more. Hopefully, I’ll see you there!

Lilac City Comicon

Come See Me At Lilac City Comicon

We’re about two weeks away from Lilac City Comicon 2015 in Spokane, Washington. The event runs one day, May 30th, and I’m happy to say I will be there alongside the incredibly talented Josh Montreuil! Josh will be doing sketches and selling prints.

I will be bringing copies of The Stars Were Right and Old Broken Road as well as a bunch of Bell Caravan Patches and as always there will be a ton of free swag. If you’re in the Spokane area on May 30th and attending the convention come visit us at booth C-01. Map below:

Click me to view a larger map
I’m looking forward to hanging out with Josh, talking Lovecraft, slinging some books, and seeing all the cosplay. There’s a great list of participants (check out the guest list and the exhibitor list) it’ll be fun meeting everyone. So mark your calendars, I’ll see you there!

Norwescon 38 + K. M. Alexander

A Norwescon 38 Debriefing

This weekend I wrapped up my second convention. That means it’s time for a con debrief! (See the last debrief here.) I spent four amazing days hanging out with the good people of Norwescon 38 in SeaTac, Washington. There’s something very awesome about small sci-fi/fantasy conventions. Everyone is always warm and friendly, and there is a lot of support from fellow attendees, the whole place feels a bit like a family reunion.

A Norwescon 38 Debriefing

The convention was four days. I arrived on Thursday afternoon. I took what pictures I could but I didn’t get nearly enough. (There’s a few more on Instagram.) Unlike other dealers a guy with a couple of books doesn’t take long to setup. So I was ready to go pretty quick. Before the dealer room even opened I had already sold a few books.

Unlike SpoCon, I solo’d Norwescon. Not sure I’d do that again. I spent most of Friday and Saturday on my feet 11+ hours straight. Evenings involved me returning home, killing a martini, and then crashing out. That said, the exhaustion was worth it, I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

My biggest news: by the end of the con I sold every copy of The Stars Were Right that I had on hand. I even had to bring in my last box for Saturday. Everyone was excited to pick up the series and honestly I hadn’t expected such enthusiasm. I hope everyone enjoys the beginning of Wal’s story. There’s a lot more to come and I can’t wait to share it with all of you.

A Norwescon 38 Debriefing

Okay, to the highlights:

  • Obviously, selling out of The Stars Were Right and most of my stock of Old Broken Road. I never expect this. (You can still get paperbacks from Amazon and Barnes & Noble, I’ll have more copies soon.)
  • Meeting Ace, Rob, Dizzy, Xoie, Jennifer, Friday, Michael, Little Bear, Lee, other Michael, and all you other wonderful folks who I either missed or whose names I forgotten. You made a guy feel pretty darn great. Thank you. <3
  • The cosplay. Oh, my stars and garters, the cosplay! It was all so good. You all outdid yourselves.
  • Hearing from folks who had started my books before Norwescon was even over. I love it when folks are that excited. Thanks for stopping by and telling me that you were enjoying them.
  • The official Norwescon social media stream. Seriously, follow them on Instagram and Twitter, they’re awesome.
  • The Philip K. Dick Awards — Congrats to the winner, Meg Elison and to the special citation winner, Jennifer Marie Brissett. Well deserved.
  • Seeing Matt and Shannon from Seattle Geekly. Great people.
  • The name tag ribbons, no… seriously. I had no idea.
  • Ace’s resonate reading of the first page of The Stars Were Right. (Seriously, dude, consider VO work. Say it with me: “In a world…”)
  • Meeting the badass Michael G. Munz. Go buy his book: Zeus Is Dead: A Monstrously Inconvenient Adventure.
  • Having folks who attended SpoCon swing by to tell me they loved The Stars Were Right and were eager to dive into Old Broken Road.
  • Finally meeting Lee French in person. We’ve followed each other on Twitter for a while. There’s a pic of us smiling over on her wrap-up post. I recommend checking it out.
  • Whoever was playing the violin on Sunday. It was lovely.
  • Having an entire group of roommates buy copies of my books. (Instant book club! I’m sorry I can’t remember everyones names.)
  • Talking hiking with a con attendee. I learned about some hot spring in the Olympics I never knew existed. Now to find time to go hike to them.
  • George R. R. Martin taking his picture on the Iron Throne with fans.
  • Did I mention I SOLD OUT of The Stars Were Right? I need to hustle to get fresh copies for the next con!
  • Everyone person who offered to spell me (especially you Diz, Ace, and Friday) your willingness to help me out meant a lot. I owe you one.
  • I met the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Santa! He was as charming as you’d expect and also happened to be one of Norwescon’s founders.
  • The diversity and openness and acceptance between attendees. Everyone was super considerate and really encouraging.

A Norwescon 38 Debriefing
I’m still dealing with the comedown portion of the con. It was surreal going back to a world where folks didn’t wear steampunk costumes and didn’t dress like elven princesses every day. (Seriously, what’s wrong with the world today?) Sunday night I arrived home exhausted, feeling very accomplished, and missing all you crazy people. I’m glad I went.

There’s no rest for the wicked. Work had been crazy this week and I’m already waist deep in preparing for my next outing. After all, CthulhuCon is coming.