Category Archives: About Me

The Old Blog

This is not my first blog, though I’d like to post regularly this time around. My old blog, available at, my books’ site (specifically at offers many of my conference reports through 2007-2008, my Birthright Israel trip in 2006,  the step-by-step details of writing my Harry Potter Parody in ten days straight, and so forth. I believe I’ll copy a few con reports below in honor of Book Expo America this week, one of the best cons ever, even though I didn’t make it this year.


6/2/08 Home from Book Expo America at last. (Gone Tues-Sun).  I took only a few photos—far too overwhelmed.  I drove down Tues, attended the Writers Conference/Agent pitch session Weds, and saw relatives Thurs. Then the gigantically overwhelming Book Expo America, (only broken up by my cousin’s Friday night Bar Mitzvah). Sunday as the con ended, I drove home, car packed to the metaphorical rafters with books. 

I think since I was listening to Bridget Jones’s Diary both ways (hilarious!) I’ll organize the trip this way:

Pitch session agents who requested my manuscripts: 12. Excellent.

Pals I knew at the con: 4

New friends made of adolescent authors: 3

Hours spent waiting for signed copy of Eragon: 2

Books picked up while waiting for signed copy of Eragon: 2

Hours spent waiting for signed copy of new Salmon Rushdie: 2

Hours spent wondering why I was bothering: 4

Number of other Harry Potter derivatives: 2 (Mine was cuter!)

People who recognized me or my book: hundreds. Cool.

People who have now heard of my book: thousands. Also cool.

Postcards I hand-distributed: 1000 (Literally).

Books I signed: All (125).

Publishers who requested my manuscripts: About 20. I was busier than last year, but also excellent.

Relatives/friends I visited: six

Relatives I spoke with at the Bar Mitzvah: Probably 14. Cool.

Celebrities I saw: Quite a lot.

Free books I acquired: Hundreds. Very Nice.

Gallons of gas to drive to LA: 10. Sounds good.

Hours spent listening to Bridget Jones: 12

Hours spent listening to other audio books: 3

Hours spent in traffic: wince.

Number of frantic emails in my absence: About 200.

Number of times checked email on trip: Once, briefly.

Number of emails sent on trip: 2

5 am wakeup calls: 4

Hours of missed sleep: wince.

Hours walking while dragging books: almost all of them.

Pissed-off knees: 2

Signings: 2. Both went well.

Booths displaying my book: 3. Nice.

Sample books the booths distributed: about 9 (all of them).

Bananas eaten in place of meals: 5

Free chocolates eaten: hundreds. But they were yummy.

Diet cokes drunk: probably 12

Guess I should finish up like the credit card people and say Conference: priceless. Yawn. The proofs have come for Deathly Paper Shortage. Time to get busy again.

Phoenix Rising 2007

My first Harry Potter con was so cute! Lots of people in costume, lots of fanfic authors and artists, lots of Harry Potter goodies and treats. I spoke on several panels and even a few podcasts. To say nothing of my light up ballgown (which doesn’t photograph well).


Book Expo America 2007

The Expo was truly enormous. It seemed every publisher was there, to say nothing of all the booksellers, librarians, and authors. I met lots of really famous ones, like SE Hinton, Dave Barry, Judy Blume. I got to meet all three of them, and get signed copies of the latest books. So cool! Hundreds of authors and publishers were ALL offering FREE copies of their latest books. As you might guess, I picked up piles and piles (and somehow managed to close my suitcase). Also lots of cute freebees and promos– everything from cookie cutters to cookies. 🙂 Lots of new technology: Margaret Atwood was signing books from Canada with this interesting computer option. Lots of interesting publishers and book-related services.  Plenty of hot YA fantasy authors there too.  Some people were interested in my Heroine’s Journey book, but that’ll have to wait till I get back.


Westercon 60 2007

Westercon (The Western US scifi fantasy con) was on the small side, but fun, with the people I usually see at Baycon. Dad and I wore costumes (and presented them at the Masquerade) chatted, observed, collected ribbons, and so forth. We also won a few Baycon memberships and loads of other goodies at the Scavenger hunt (first place!). I spoke on a number of panels and sold some books in the dealer’s room.



Prophecy 2007

This conference took place only a few weeks after book 7 arrived.  I spoke on tons of panels: discussing symbolism in Deathly Hallows and Horcruxes in lit and myth.  I was also a “Visiting Professor” in Mythology and Fantasy Writing.  (Most of my papers and presentations can be found here).  I wore all my beautiful costumes, and sold about 50 books to people in the corridors.  I was definitely amazed by some of the lookalike outfits there (Harry, Voldemort, Luna, Umbridge….)  This con also had gorgeous decorations in the common room (featuring a fireplace, colored cushions, and every HP game in existence) and Hall of Remembrance (with touching shrines to all the characters who didn’t survive the series).  All in all, it was a great con.

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Baycon 2012 Wrap Up

Baycon is always lovely—it’s my home convention, and it was wonderful having so many people call me by name and ask about my books. (I have several new ones this year). It’s a friendly, all-inclusive con, happy to encourage new authors and welcome discussions on the most re-hashed of topics. On the other hand, it felt a bit more scattered than usual.

This year’s panels had some serious organizational problems—some people complained that they were on eleven panels, while others complained they were only on two (I had the latter problem). One fairytale talk, overloaded with about eight panelists, clearly should have been split in half (Hey, fairytales are popular this year—they would have gotten attendance!). I didn’t make it to the Birds of a Feather Talk but I heard the Whedon one wasn’t well attended. I had to explain that my heroine’s journey panel opposite had slurped up half the Buffy fans, in one of many awkward scheduling conflicts. Speaking of that heroine’s journey panel, it oddly went forward with my book’s title and description on it, despite the fact that no one else on it had read anything on my version of the heroine’s journey. One panelist kept telling me she had nothing to contribute, and another quite literally discussed nothing beyond her own novel. The third panelist (other than myself) had a strong background in myth and girl-power fantasy, and in the end, we mostly opened the talk to the audience and had a lively panel. My other panel on fairytales had many knowledgeable panelists, all of whom had plenty to say.

There were some new and different things—Cliff Winnig played sitar and there was an impressive armor and weapons demo. There was a “remembering Anne McCaffrey” track, hosted by her son and a few others who had known her. As usual, the evenings offered Rocky Horror, boffers, Regency dancing, a ball, concerts, gaming, and many parties. Chris Garcia’s Hugo Award made the rounds—I heard it was being used to power a steampunk gun, among other fascinating uses. The Consuite seemed to be the only example of the cruise theme, with lovely decorations and a staff daring people to put odd syrups in the free sodas (there was one ribbon for mixing in three, and another for anyone brave enough to try the “bacon flavor.”) Though Unwoman went to Clockwork Alchemy this year, she returned the last day for an impromptu concert. Toastmaster brothers Dani Kollin and Eytan Kollin were quite funny, from their Karaoke-basedintroductions at Meet the Guests through the “A Shot Rang Out” impromptu storytelling at con end. I also went to a number of Brandon Sanderson’s talks—he’s fun, and was quite good natured at a Monday talk at which none of the other panelists showed up.

The hotel itself featured crowded elevators, a broken escalator, and a fire alarm that went off during Avalon Rising’s rendition of Disco Inferno…ah, timing. People went light on costumes though there was a small Masquerade contest and as always, a few special offerings. A baby in a mistcloak (from Sanderson’s Mistborn) was particularly precious. As always, my dad and I dressed very elaborately each day and never managed to meet the hall-costume awards…maybe if the awarders got around more, more people would dress up. I got an all-time high of 47 badge ribbons, all from making friendly chitchat at parties and in the hallways. Saturday night’s parties were literally too crowded to get into most of the rooms, though Sunday night’s were much saner. I loved Westercon 66’s drink-making robot, which was generating a substantial line. My own book sales were low, though I found some pretty Victorian accessories in the dealer’s room. The Greater Los Angeles Writer’s Society was there, aggressively scooping up members and selling many new writer’s books.

Baycon was in trouble this year, with a new Steampunk con funneling away many of their fans—already often leaving for Fanime and Wiscon. Programming jumbles and panelists not bothering to put in the effort only made things worse. So where is Baycon heading? I’m not certain. To be fair, next year’s chair seems determined to fix the flaws, and is actively seeking fannish suggestions to make that happen.

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I’m back, world

Anyone who’s visited this blog will surely notice the incredible LACK of entries. Yes, as a working writer with nine books by the end of this year (five of which come out THIS year) I consider myself too busy writing to blog. Nonetheless, I get a lot of pressure to in fact blog, and I’ve lately been in the mood to do some short pop culture reviews here and there. My books are about pop culture after all:

  • Teaching with Harry Potter, McFarland. 2012.
  • Harry Potter: Still Recruiting, Zossima Press. 2012.
  • Katniss the Cattail: An Unauthorized Guide to Names and Symbols in The Hunger Games. Talents Publishing, 2012.
  • Buffy and the Heroine’s Journey, McFarland. 2012.
  • From Girl to Goddess: The Heroine’s Journey through Myth and Legend, McFarland. 2010.
  • Henry Potty and the Pet Rock, 2006 and 2010. Indie Excellence Award and National Best Book.
  • Henry Potty and the Deathly Paper Shortage, July 2008. Dream Realm Award.

So I certainly have informed opinions on everything from Avengers to The Hunger Games.  I think I’ll start posting the pop culture stuff first, beginning with many of my past conference presentations and continuing into book promotion tips (busy writing a book on that after all). So I’m back, world…let’s see how this goes.

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Hello world!

Time to begin blogging…

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