This coming weekend, I’ll be heading down to southern Arizona for my first ever business trip. This trip will involve going to conventions and fairs and hanging out with my sister, but since I’ll be selling books at those conventions and fairs, and since my sister is also my illustrator, I’m counting it as a business trip. We might just work on the cover of the second book.
Part one of this trip will be spent selling Miscast Spells this coming weekend, March 4th through 6th, at the fifth annual Wild Wild West Steampunk Convention*. What’s truly unique about this event, as far as subculture and fandom conventions go, is that it’s held at Old Tucson Studios, which is an open-air, Western-film-set-turned-theme-park, so guests not only enjoy normal convention fare like concerts, cosplay, and cool merchandise, but can also watch gun shows, ride horses, and see the beauty of the Sonoran Desert. There will be the usual panels on costuming and weapons customization, and of course tea dueling, but this year looks like it will be the best yet with the added addition of a professional magician, a talk about the famous Camel Corps of Arizona, and a panel on bartitsu (the MMA practiced by none other than Sherlock Holmes). I would try to explain how excited all of those things make me, but I think it would make me sound even stranger than I already seem.
I’ve been attending the WWWSC since its inception, helping my sister and our friend sell hats, jewelry, parasols, and other sundries, but this year I’ll be selling Miscast Spells! If you can attend the convention and want to meet my illustrator and me, look for our table in the big vending tent; it’ll be the one with the absinthe-green book on display. If you buy a copy, we’ll sign it.
*If you’re unfamiliar with steampunk, it’s basically a subculture/genre of science-fiction set in a vaguely Victorian or Edwardian world. Think Jules Verne, but with more gears and corsets. It runs the gamut from strictly researched, realistic steam-powered technology to hand-wavy magic-tech, and can be set in any landscape: Asia, the Old West, London, fantasy settings, and so on. The time period of steampunk can even bleed up into World War I and down into the 1700s. Now, I know what you’re thinking: is Miscast Spells steampunk? The answer is: Shhhh. Shh shh shh. Shush. No need to ask questions like that. I mean, it’s set in a vaguely 1890s setting, and it’s got an automobile, and mechanical bombs, and two characters who wear goggles at some point… The second book has an airship… There is tea involved. Sure, it’s “steampunk”. Steampunk enough.