Monster Hunter Nation

Update Post, Back from GenCon and Yard Moose Mountain Road

I got back from GenCon yesterday. I had a good time. Saw a bunch of my fans, had two good signings, and a fun Q&A session.

But the main reason to go to GenCon is the LOOT. 🙂

I hit the dealer room hard this year, but I think I came in under my previous years record of having to call my wife to warn her I was busing out the credit card because I’d burned through all my cash THE FIRST DAY… BEFORE LUNCH. This time I bought a ton of MDF miniature terrain, a slew of minis, and some new game books.

GenCon is one of the ones I do for fun. I actually wouldn’t mind just going as a regular dude, and not being on any panels at all, so I could just play games the whole time.  But when you’re a writer they put you to work.

I do have to apologize to you guys because I missed one of my panels. I was a presenter for the Baen Fantasy short story contest, and afterwards we take the winners out to a nice dinner. I was inadvertently double booked and didn’t realize it until that morning, so had to get somebody to fill in for me on the Writing Fun panel.

Yesterday was my birthday, so thank you for the many happy birthday wishes. My Facebook feed is currently buried.

But the coolest thing this weekend was getting home and seeing this.

Road

The approval from UDOT to begin construction on the provisional Yard Moose Mountain Road finally came through while I was out of town. They immediately went to work.

This is going to be an epic project. To put the scale into perspective, the green Ford Expedition way down at the bottom of the hill is at the entrance. From there to where I was standing to take this picture, that is only about 1/10th of the total distance we have to cover.

The goal for 2017 is all the infrastructure and permits, road, power, well drilling, etc. 2018 fortress compound–err… I mean house. Yeah. House. That’s the ticket.

 

My GenCon Schedule

I’m leaving for GenCon in Indianapolis tomorrow. Here is my schedule. When I am not at these events I will be spending large sums of money on miniatures.

Thursday

11:00 AM Character Craft: Real Monsters & Vicious Animals Capital I

Friday

10:00 AM Special Event: Q & A with Larry Correia Ballroom

11:00 AM Business of Writing: Business Plans for Writers Capital I

4:00 PM Signing Exhibit Hall

6:00 PM Writer’s Craft: Kick Ass Fight Scenes Capital I

Saturday

10:00 AM Signing Exhibit Hall

11:00 AM Story Craft: Structuring Your Story Right Capital I

3:00 PM Special Event: Baen Roadshow Chamber

6:00 PM Writer’s Craft: Writing Stories that are Fun to Read Capital I

DRAGON AWARDS! Monster Hunter Grunge is a finalist. Anyone can vote!


The Dragon Award is coming up soon. The finalists were announced while I was on book tour. Any of you can go vote, and I’d encourage you to do so. The more fans participating, the better.

http://awards.dragoncon.org/

The process is simple, and it costs nothing. All you have to do is register at the link and pick whatever you think is the best stuff on the list. DragonCon is coming up fast, so there isn’t much time. Registration cuts off on August 28th.

Unlike certain other awards, the Dragon actively encourages authors to ask their fans to turn out. Much like the con that created it, the Dragon isn’t about snoot or pretension, it’s about fun. This is an award for fans and what they think is awesome.

I won the Dragon for best fantasy last year for Son of the Black Sword (the trophy is super bad ass by the way) so all during the nomination period I kept asking my fans not to nominate me, but to use their vote for somebody else, because having won once I figured it was best to share the love and make room for other authors to have a shot.

Monster Hunter Memoirs: Grunge still wound up as a finalist (which shouldn’t come as a surprise, because nobody can tell fans what to love, that’s like herding cats).

HOWEVER Grunge is a collaboration. All the credit for this book goes to John Ringo. Grunge was John’s idea. He wrote the rough draft before I ever even knew the project existed. This one isn’t about me. If you guys vote for Grunge, John takes home the trophy. Which would be excellent, because he’s a great author who has been entertaining people for a long time. Nobody in the business does contagious enthusiasm better than John Ringo, meaning that when he is excited writing it, the reader feels that, and gets excited reading it.

Besides, who cares what I said before? This is about you guys. The Dragon is the ultimate fan award. It isn’t about stroking a writer’s ego. It’s about what YOU think is great.

Congratulations to all the other nominees, I’ve got a ton of friends on there, and I wish them all the best of luck.

See you at DragonCon!

Look At All Those People Having Fun Wrong. The Still Not a Real Writer Book Tour 2017 Recap.

I am home from my 2017 book tour for a few days, and then I’m off to GenCon. After that I’ve still got DragonCon, Salt Lake City ComicCon, and HonorCon. But while I’m home and recovering from tour related brain damage, it’s recap time!

Overall it looks like Monster Hunter Siege is on track to surpass Nemesis as my biggest release ever, which is awesome. I’m pretty sure this is the most books I’ve ever signed on tour, and the most people I’ve had come out. It was all good, but a few of the stops had attendance that was just plain nuts.

I started in Florida, with a small signing in St. Petersburg. Then the next morning it was off to Tampa Bay ComicCon, with Jody Lynn Nye, Mike Stackpole, Brian McCLellan, and Janny Wurts. I’ve been to a bunch of Cons around the country, but this one didn’t strike me as a very reader based con. There didn’t seem to be much of a writing track. First day’s sales were zilch, second day was okay, but a fraction of what I do at Salt Lake or DragonCon.

I still got to meet a lot of cool people though. Plus, I ate a whole lot of authentic Cuban food (you will notice that my favorite part of book tour is eating whatever the locals eat).

Up next was New Orleans. Surprisingly I had never been to Louisiana before (I’ve been to 45 US states now. I still need to do Alaska, Hawaii, the Dakotas, and Maine) so I used my first day in the area to take the rental car all over to explore. My usual book tour trick is to hit as many of the book stores in the area as I can, sign the stock, meet the staff, etc. The reason being that if you have a store with a fan on staff, you sell about ten times as many books as a store where the staff don’t know you. Over the course of this trip I hit about 30 stores (not including the ones I was officially signing at).

The second day I mostly walked around and played tourist until the book signing. I found the French quarter to be mostly dive bars and hippy dippy t-shirt shops. The Garden District was pretty neat. There was so much good Creole food. I ate turtle, alligator, oysters, gumbo, and jambalaya. I went to really fancy places with jazz bands playing, and also little hole in the wall places. All of which was pretty freaking awesome. (seriously, I gain like 20 pounds every book tour, lose it by the next tour, repeat)

Tour New Orleans

It was like 105 and really flipping humid, so I’m impressed these guys came to the signing.

Then I flew to San Antonio, where I would be driving from city to city over the next few days. Only I was in for a surprise, because as I was coming down the escalator I saw a friend of mine (Speaker to Lab Animals) which is weird, because I never post my flight schedule anywhere. But he said that this was just a coincidence, because he was here to meet another friend, and that he’d love to introduce me to her. It turned out the real reason Speaker was there was to record my reaction, because when I walked around the corner, my wife was waiting for me.

Bridget knows I get lonely and go all Hyper Focused Road Warrior Mode for book tour, so months ago she decided to surprise me and fly out for the Texas part of the tour. Apparently everybody knew this except for me. (they called it Operation Taco) and all of our friends in Texas decided to really up their game since the Lovely Mrs. Correia was going to be there. It was the highlight of my trip, and I was really glad I got to hang out with her for a few days.

Also, fellow Baen author and Book Bomb alumni Dave Butler was going to be in Texas while I was there, so he joined in the signings. At each stop he would take the first half an hour to play some songs from his book and read a chapter. Then I’d talk and answer questions for about an hour, then we’d sign.

Up first was San Antonio, a city that I’ve actually been to a bunch of times, but never as a writer (that’s where Lackland AFB is, and my old company had contracts there).  I really like San Antonio. And apparently San Antonio likes me. 😀

Tour San Antonio 1

 

Tour San Antonio 2

 

That was a pretty big signing. The poor ladies who worked at the Twig didn’t get out of there until way after they were supposed to be closed.

But we hadn’t seen anything yet. Up next was Austin.

We spent the day getting a tour of the city from CorreiaTech’s marketing daimyo, Jack Wylder and his lovely wife. And we ate soooooo much barbecue. Then we went to the signing, where a massive crowd had already formed.

Tour Austin 1

Yeah. I wasn’t kidding when I said massive.

Tour Austin 2

Tour Austin 3

Look at that line. It just kept going up and down the aisles. I was signing for a long time. It was one of the biggest signings I’ve ever and and it was pretty bad ass.

Then we went to Dallas. And Dallas must have sworn a blood oath that they would not be out done by Austin, so they threw down, and brought pretty much the whole city to the book store. I walked into this massive store, and there was just this line that kept on going and going.

Tour Dallas 1

Tour Dallas 2

 

Tour Dallas 3

Tour Dallas 6

Tour Dallas 7

Everything is bigger in Texas. Including book signings apparently.

The neat part is the book store staff said that despite the size of the crowd, my fans were about the nicest people they’d ever had. Nobody was pushy, bossy, or entitled. It takes a long time to cycle through signing that many books (like seriously, that dude who said 500 was routine is an idiot, just because of the logistics) yet the fans in line just kind of hung out and had conversations while they waited. The book store employees were kind of gee whized by how cool you guys were.

Then someone asked me to do an Atlas Shrugged pose with Wendell the Manatee for a pic (I had told them my pitch for the Target Rich Environment cover was me doing Atlas Shrugged holding up Wendell with Bridget doing a Boris Vallejo style leg cling), and Bridget saw and came over to pose too.

Tour Atlas Shrugged

So majestic.

Up next, Minneapolis. My wife’s flight home meant that I needed to take her to the airport at like 4 in the morning. Luckily, this worked out perfectly because my later flight had mechanical delays and was getting delayed four hours already, and possibly canceled. Which meant that I would miss the Uncle Hugos signing entirely.  But since I was there so early to drop Bridget off, I was able to squeak in and throw down my frequent flier powers and get moved to a different flight.

That’s the downside of the fly/sign, fly/sign, nature of book tour. One bad flight and you’re screwed.

But I made it and got to see these guys.

Tour Minn 1

Tour Minn 2

I always go to Uncle Hugo’s, because they ship autographed copies, and they’re the folks who introduced my self published book to Toni Weisskopf all those years ago.

Then I flew to Seattle.

Tour Seattle

Speaking of food, one of my fans in Seattle (who probably wants to remain unidentified) makes a lot of money, and is a bigger foodie than I am. So he took me out for Kobe beef steaks. Lots and lots of Kobe beef. He’d found out I’d never tried the most legendary beef in the world and that needed to be remedied. Holy moly, can’t even properly describe it. It’s like meat butter that melts in your mouth. They are magical cows, fed only sake and rainbows, massaged daily by virgins from the finest samurai families.

Then I drove to Portland, hitting a whole bunch of book stores along the way.

On interesting observation about that. When I first started doing book store drive bys, they’d have maybe one or two copies of my books. And odds are nobody there had ever heard of me. Nine years of doing this, and most of the time they knew who I was, I ran into a lot of employee/fans, and now there is usually a nice Larry Correia section on the shelf (it is all about turning over that back list) That’s why I keep telling aspiring writers, the most important thing you can do for your career is be prolific.

Tour Portland

Portland was a good signing too, which is fitting, since this is the store where I was informed by a helpful SJW that real writers routinely have 500 people at a book signing. To put that in perspective, I’d have to add those Austin and Dallas pics together to get close to that, so I stand in awe of how fast Real Authors must sign, because those took hours to get through. 😀

Then I went to San Diego. Great bunch of people. I always love signing there.

Tour San Diego

Then after several days of nice coastal weather, it was off to Phoenix. Where the sick and weak perish, and only the strong survive! (okay, it was only 110, but it was a dry 110).

Tour Phoenix

The next morning I flew back to Utah, where I had one last signing at my local B&N.

Tour Layton

Tour Layton 2

I was pretty much incoherent at this point.

That was a lot of fun, I really love my fans. Seriously, I wouldn’t trade you guys for a million Chinese robots, but I’m also really glad to be home (briefly at least).

 

Interview with author Sarah A. Hoyt

Hey all, Jack Wylder here. With Larry still out on book tour, I thought this a good time for another exciting writer interview. (We did this one a few months back, but I’ve been waiting for the right time.) This time we’re talking with Larry’s Co-Author on the upcoming Monster Hunter Guardian (Julie Shackleford’s book) and author of everything from Shakespearean Fantasy to Space Opera. Questions in bold, her responses in italics.

  • How did you get involved in the MHI universe?
    Well, there were several reasons to read Larry. The most important part was that I was hanging out in Toni’s Forum when I noticed someone with the name Correia. Being not at all chauvinistic about my origins, I asked “Portuguese?” Larry said, “My dad is.” I said. “Oh, cool, there’s two of us now, we’ve got them surrounded.” I think we’ve been friends ever since. (Toni is fond of saying she THOUGHT we were joking. Ah.) Later, when the Baen MHI edition came out, my kids got to it before me. (No, I don’t remember why.) I got tired of being told I REALLY had to read this writer who was the best thing ever. (Yes, I do have two boys. Yes, they were teens at the time. Shut up.) So I read it on the plane on the way to Liberty con that year. And by the end of the flight I knew that my openings and actions scenes were severely lacking. As luck would have it, I was scheduled to teach a writing workshop at the con that year, so I started talking how to catch the reader’s attention, and I used MHI as an example. There were about 20 very well behaved people at the workshop. But there was this goon at the back who kept laughing. It wasn’t till the end of the class, when he introduced himself as Larry Correia, that I thought “oh, wow. No wonder he laughed.” Still I was very shocked and flattered that Larry asked me to write Julie’s book. I was even more shocked I found myself writing MHI fanfic. (Dark Fate, aka how many ways can I get Grant beat up in Portugal.) The fanfic is totally non cannon, but Larry has promised not to rip my head off and beat me to death with it, so I guess I’m okay.

  • What is the most challenging part of writing a book in someone else’s universe?
    In this case? I’m writing in the head of one of his main characters. I’m terrified of doing something that makes him go “AH, you’re completely wrong. How dare you do that?” It’s not happened yet (but I’ve only done a small portion so far, and a short story) but it COULD totally happen, and I’m terrified of it. (I think that’s why Grant. You know, he’s not Larry’s baby.)

  • Working with friends can be difficult; did you and Larry have any problems working together and if so, how did you handle them?
    Well, so far we’ve only done a short story and the first chapter of Guardian (yeah, I know, but there were some health crisis and I’m going to resume work on it next week) and we’ve not had any problems. If there are problems, it’s very simple, it’s his WORLD and I’m a guest there. He gets to resolve any conflicts of vision with his vision. (I’m just Jazzed to be in the show.)

  • What part are you most proud of?
    So far? The fact that when I sent him the first chapter, which was really tricky (our outline kind of required us to contradict something Julie told Owen. So I had to find a way to walk that line) Larry said I was in his mind. That is one of those things that make me walk around giving myself high fives all day. (Well, they would do, except the boys say it looks dorky and if I do it any more they’ll have to put me away.

  • Who is you favorite MHI character and why?
    I like Grant. Look, it’s a disease, okay? Part of it is that his background is a lot like my husband’s (Patrician New England families, etc,) so I understand some of the unspoken stuff. (Except in our case all the money had disappeared before our generation. Sigh.) Also, well, I always like the redeemable *ssholes. When I wrote Jane Austen fanfic, I was known as “the girl who has a crush on Whickam.” It wasn’t exactly true, but I loved writing stories in which he redeemed himself. (See, I told you it was a sickness.) For “which character would you like to hang out with?” Well, Trip. I mean, doesn’t every geek chick?

  • If they made a movie of this, who would you cast?
    Er… you understand that I have a condition, right? Actors don’t exist. They come to life for the movie, and then vanish when the movie is done. I don’t recognize them when they show up again. (Hangs head.) It drives my poor husband nuts.
    Husband: “Who was that person in that movie about—”
    Me: “Character’s name.”
    Him: “The ACTOR!”
    Me: “I don’t understand why you people insist on caring about people who don’t exist.” Eh.

  • What’s something most people don’t know about Larry?
    That he mispronounces his own name. No, seriously. It’s supposed to be Cur-Reyha. I’ve told him. He doesn’t care. (Sniffle.) On the serious side, that he’s one of the nicest, least stuck up bestsellers I have ever met, always ready to give anyone a hand as long as the person isn’t an ass. And that he’s incredibly smart (he’ll argue. Ignore him. Like he knows!) Though I guess anyone who reads his complex plots knows that.

  • You write a lot of different things. Of all the series you’ve written, which is your favorite and why?
    I like Darkship Thieves, mostly because it allows me to play with my future history. It’s a really big canvas, and it gives me a chance to flex my “big drama” muscles, while still writing intensely personal and human stories, which is what I like.

  • When Guardian is finished, what’s next for you?
    Well, I’m actually doing a chapter a day and sending it to Larry, because I don’t want to get too far ahead without his supervision, since I am in the head of one of his main characters. I don’t want to get say ten chapters ahead, and have Larry go, “You know that point where she took the bad guy in the trunk of her car? Yeah, that’s where you went wrong. So, let’s erase those five chapters…” So, I’ll be doing one chapter in the morning, and one chapter of Hacking The Storm, the next Earth revolution book, in the afternoon. For those who read the series, that’s Fuse’s book.

+ + + + +

For those of you who’ve finished Monster Hunter Siege and want to know what happens with the ending, Monster Hunter Guardian will answer that question (soon-ish).The ‘Grant Fan-Fic’ she mentioned is available on her blog: www.AccordingToHoyt.com Do a search for ‘Dark Fate’- it will help fill the time until Guardian drops! At Larry’s signing in Austin, he mentioned that the reason he chose Sarah to write the voice of Julie is that her character Athena Hera Sinistra from the Darkship series sounded just like her. To see for yourself, check out the first book in the Darkship series, Darkship Thieves.
-Jack Wylder, signing off…