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Archive for the ‘Fantasy News’ Category

This weekend, I was invited to the 12th annual Baltimore Comic Con at the Baltimore Convention Center. Baltimore’s Comic Con has been called, “…the antidote to San Diego.” by the Washington Post. San Diego’s Con has drifted away from comic book lovers and now focuses on the big draws like television shows and movies. In contrast, Baltimore’s Con is purely about the comics and that’s why I love it.

This year’s guest of honor was Stan “The Man” Lee. Not sure you recognize the name? He’s known as the architect of Marvel Comics. Still not sure? Ever heard of Spiderman, the Fantastic Four, the Avengers, the Incredible Hulk, Thor, Daredevil, Iron Man, X-Men, or Doctor Strange? Stan was the co-creator on all those comics. Yeah, he’s pretty much a rock star and legend in the nerd world. He was gracious enough to sign autographs and sit for pictures with hundreds of his adoring fans!

In addition to Stan, the weekend was jam packed with lots of amazing activities including the Harvey Awards and panel discussions with amazing guests. The weekend included a costume contest that brought out some outstanding competitors. I’ve included pictures of my favorites. Hundreds of vendors attended the event selling collectables that ranged in price from one dollar to well over fifty thousand. Cards, comics, toys, posters, decals, and clothing for miles.  

But the best part of the weekend for me was talking to the talented people behind the comics we all know and love. Naturally, I couldn’t go home empty handed. I purchased some cool stuff from the awesome guys at FUBAR. I’d tell you what that stands for, but it’s above a PG-13 rating. Let’s just say it’s lots of zombie goodness. I also purchased a comic that I’m happy to say is marketed toward the female comic fan. Monica Gallagher was on hand to sign her new series, Gods & Undergrads which is a modern comic based on aspects of Greek mythology.

If you’ve never been to a con, it’s a great fun for everyone in the family. Make sure to check it out next year and don’t forget your superhero costume!

Stacey O’Neale is a full-time writer and co-owner of the Young Adult Fantasy Guide. She’s had several articles and book reviews published, but spends most of her writing time on the revisions to her debut young adult fantasy novel. You also follow her on Twitter.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 25, 2011 –

Streaming live on Fate Radio starting on Wednesday July 27, at 12:30 p.m. Eastern time, on her show The Eclectic Artist Cave, writer and host Joann Hamann-Buchanan will be adding Stacey O’Neale as a weekly guest host for a new feature called, The YA Corner.

This portion of the show will discuss a variety of topics including but not limited to current trends in the young adult market, book recommendations, book related announcements, writing tips, social media for authors, and the publishing industry.

Stacey is the co-owner of the YA Fantasy Guide. Her website receives an average of thirty-five thousand hits per month and has a following of over ten thousand on twitter. The YAFG features interviews with NYT best-selling YA fantasy authors and literary agents, book reviews and recommendations, monthly contests, and articles for aspiring writers. In addition to her website, Stacey is a full-time writer. She’s had several articles and book reviews published, but spends most of her writing time on the revisions to her debut young adult fantasy novel. You can read excerpts from her novel and view her book trailer on her blog.

Join, Joann Hamann-Buchanan on The Eclectic Artist Cave via the internet or on the Tune In App on your smart phone. Joann’s love of the written word is apparent and she loves hosting The Eclectic Artist Cave.  Her show is the best showcase around for writers who love to talk about their work and the written word. The show starts with a half hour of music and then a live guest followed by more music. Guests have included writers like David B. Coe, Stephanie Osborn and Paul Levine. The Eclectic Artist Cave has also had up and comers like Lindsey Grey and Charlotte Blackwell. She has also had publishers and editors on to talk about some of the do’s and don’ts in the publishing world.

In addition, Joann has a novella coming out soon called Soulless Light about a young girl who is forced to watch her village burn to the ground then killed over rumor and speculation.  Her spirit then is given the chance to get revenge on those responsible for all the bloodshed, but will it cost her more than she is willing to risk? Tune in and find out who her next guests are going to be and keep a look out for her debut novella, Soulless Light.

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This morning, I was a guest on The Eclectic Artist Cave. The show is hosted by YA author and publicist, Joann Buchanan. Each week, Joann discusses all aspects of publishing with various guests including writers, bloggers and industry insiders.  

My particular show discussed the importance of social media to aspiring or recently published authors. You can listen to the full thirty minute interview here.

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This past weekend, I had the privilege of attending the premiere of Mythic Faire: A Celebration of World Creation, Time Travel & Fantastic Realms. The event was held on March 11th – 13th 2011 at the Baltimore Marriott Hunt Valley Inn. Medieval, pirate, faerie, fantasy, and steampunk themes were incorporated throughout. Many of the vendors and guests wore elaborate costumes and some even acted in their roles.

The three day affair featured appearances from master painters of the fantastic Daniel Merriam, Don Maitz, Jean Baptiste Monge and Larry MacDougall, author and folklorist, Raven Grimassi and themed entertainment concept designer, Don Carson. My favorite moment of the weekend was when I had the opportunity to meet best-selling author and artist Janny Wurts. She’s written fourteen fantasy novels, short stories, and the internationally best-selling Empire trilogy, co authored with Raymond E. Feist. I haven’t read Empire, but I did enjoy Traitor’s Knot and To Ride Hell’s Chasm.  

Panel discussions highlighted topics that ranged from magical medieval meals to European myth and folklore. I personally attended a session regarding the philosophy of steampunk. If you follow me on twitter then you’re already aware of my love for all things steampunk. I enjoyed the discussions of the origins of steam powered ideas and images that have captured imaginations around the world. The images left me with a craving for some new toys.

Along with the panel discussions were rooms of some of the most beautiful merchandise I’ve ever seen that included books, music, artwork, jewelry, clothing, and items for your home. Saturday and Sunday closed with the Time Travelers & Keltic Worlds Masquerade Balls. We got to enjoy live music from Delhi 2 Dublin, Abney Park, Woodland String Band, Adam Hurst, and SJ Tucker. I had a great time, but felt a bit undressed next to some of the amazing outfits the guests wore. They truly outdid themselves. 

The Mythic Faire was everything that I’d hoped it would be. I will for sure be back next year and am looking forward to FaerieCon 2011 this November! I may even dress up in my new faerie outfit. Well, we’ll see.

Stacey O’Neale is a full-time writer and co-owner of the Young Adult Fantasy Guide. She’s had several articles and book reviews published, but spends most of her writing time on the revisions to her debut young adult fantasy novel. You can also follow her on Twitter.

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Thank you to everyone who helped me put this project together. It’s been a labor of love. It’s amazing what you can get done with a very small budget. This probably won’t be the trailer that I release with the book, but it’s a peek into the story. I would love to hear your opinions on the trailer. You can watch it here and there’s also a place for you to comment. If you like the trailer, I encourage you to tweet something to Megan. She’s growing her book trailer and editing business and this was one of the first trailers she produced. Her links are under the trailer.

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There seems to be no shortage of complaints about the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer. She’s not the greatest writer, she contradicts everything we know of vampire lore, her books send out a bad message to young girls about marriage and children, and that’s only naming a few. I suppose with success like hers you’d expect her critics to be harsh, but let’s look beyond the book and really explore the Meyer effect.

Fact #1: Meyer brought teenagers back to the bookstore! It’s an amazing accomplishment considering that book competitors are iPods, text messages, Facebook and Twitter. She brought them in by the droves and now they’re not just reading Twilight books! I talk to readers all the time that say they started off reading Twilight and then moved onto other young adult fantasy authors. Meyer, in many ways, has been the gateway drug that led teenagers to other amazing writers like Cassandra Clare, Melissa Marr, Holly Black, and Scott Westerfeld. 

Fact #2: Meyer gave us a new version of tired theme. You may not like her vampires, but you have to admit that they’re original. Vampires in high school that don’t drink blood, sparkle in the sunlight, and want to be human. This goes against everything ever written by Bram Stoker and Anne Rice. Not to mention that none of those books ever appealed to teenagers. You’ve got to give this girl props for giving us a new perspective on both vampires and werewolves.

Fact #3: Teenagers are writing because of Twilight. I know of many readers that got the writing bug after reading the series. They’re tons of websites dedicated to Twilight fan fiction. Young readers writing their own versions of the popular series. Of all the things my daughter could be into, I’d much prefer her interested in creative writing. I couldn’t care less what the subject is, just the fact that she’s writing and using her imagination is enough for me.  

I hope you take these facts into consideration before you jump on the hater bandwagon. I’m not a Twihard, but I do consider myself a fan of the series. Do I think she’s the best fantasy writer out there, hmmm no. Do I think that her books could change the world and bring about world peace, emphatically no. But, in my opinion, she does deserve a high five and a little slack from the critics.

Stacey O’Neale is a full-time writer and co-owner of the Young Adult Fantasy Guide. She’s had several articles and book reviews published, but spends most of her writing time on the revisions to her debut young adult fantasy novel. You can read her advice for aspiring writers on her blog The YA Fantasy Freak or you can follow her on Twitter.

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Do you believe in faeries? I wasn’t sure, but after I attended FaerieCon, I was convinced. FaerieCon was held in Baltimore, Maryland on November 12-14, 2010. The first thing that caught my attention were the amazing costumes worn by participants and retailers. I took some pictures to show you exactly what I’m talking about.

The best faerie authors, artists, and illustrators were in attendance. Some of those notable young adult fantasy authors included Jane Yolen (The Devil’s Arithmetic, Owl Moon), Melissa Marr (Wicked Lovely series), and Maggie Stiefvater (Shiver, Linger). Each participated in panel discussions, took pictures with fans, and signed autographs. Michael Hague, one the America’s foremost illustrators, along with Jane Yolen were the Guests of Honor.

FaerieCon also offered lots of courses which included Fairy Godmother Academy, Drawing and Sculpting classes, and Oracle reading lessons. I took part in the Oracle reading lessons which included a meditation into Faerie. I can’t say that I saw a faerie, but I can tell you that one of the mischievous ones followed me around for the rest of the day. Strange things happened like the batteries fell out of my camera, forgetting to lock my car door, walking away from a vendor without my credit card, etc.

Along with the courses were rooms of some of the most beautiful faerie merchandise I’ve ever seen that included books, music, artwork, jewelry, clothing, and items for your home. Saturday and Sunday closed with the Good Faeries/Bad Faeries Masquerade Balls. This was so much fun. I couldn’t believe the beautiful costumes, wings, and painted faces that filled the room. The good/bad faeries balls also featured live music by Woodland, Gypsy Nomad, Faun, Cecile Corbel, and Adam Hurst.

I had the most amazing time and I will be back next year. As a matter of fact, FaerieWorld LLC will be hosting the Mythic Faire March 11-14, 2011 which I will also be attending. The Mythic Faire or RenConvention, is a celebration of world creation, time travel and fantastic realms. More information here: http://www.renconvention.com

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