This has been an incredibly busy spring consisting of several trips, book releases and exciting news to come.
Events began in April with a trip down to San Diego, California for the Pacific Cultural Association/American Cultural Association national conference where I was a presenter on a panel concerning the works of bestselling novelist Anne Rice.
Along with three other presenters, we discussed the nature of Rice’s work on the field of gothic literature and the evolution of the vampiric figure in contemporary novels. The panel was an enthusiastic group of scholars from all over the world; Romania, England and Ireland, just to name a few places. The panel created a lively discussion on not only Rice’s work, but the vampiric figure. While we may not agree on all aspects of literature, we did come to one conclusion, Rice’s work has had a profound and last influence upon the gothic field.
The conference itself was an amazing event. It showcased a wide variety of topics, running multiple panels on a multitude of subjects dealing with popular and American culture. When I was not engaged with the vampire panel, I also attended several presentations on Tolkien, mythology, film, television, creative writing, and children’s literature.
In addition to the conference, I also had an opportunity to spend a wonderful afternoon visiting with dear friends and fellow artists, including the always amazing Becket, author of the Key the Steampunk Vampire Girl series, his incredible wife Christina, and artist-extraordinaire Raven Quinn, the illustrator for the map in both my Black Rose Guard and Rise of the Temple Gods series.
We had a fun afternoon visiting and discussing upcoming projects, and testing different flavors of ice cream on what turned out to be a beautiful sunny afternoon.
I was also fortunate enough to have my brother accompany me on the California trip, so we took day off to have some fun visiting some both theme parks and vineyards in the Temecula Valley.
In addition, I also had the opportunity to meet one of my narrators, Cassandra Richardson, in person. We have worked on multiple audiobook projects together, including all three of the books in the Rise of the Temple Gods series, the recently released Shadow of the Rose, and the upcoming audiobook version of my science-fiction novel, Indoctrination. It was wonderful to meet her in person and I cannot recommend her amazing talent enough!
In June, I took a vacation trip to Hawaii, a gift from both of my grandmother’s for my birthday. Though it was my second time visiting the islands, the pervious trip had been nearly a decade before.
My grandmothers, who visit the islands almost ever year, graciously showed me around, taking me on a road trip to see the important sights, namely the Pearl Harbor and the U.S.S Arizona. While I had been to this site previously, it was no less a humbling and beautiful memorial.
The rest of the trip consisted of stunning beaches, a look into Polynesian Culture, and a trip to the Dole factory for Pineapple Whips!
And course, as always, we visited the Hard Rock Cafe.
For those unaware, I am an avid pin collector and visit the cafes everywhere I go.
Both trips were incredible experiences, and I had an amazing time.
Next week, I will be traveling to San Diego Comic Con! I am very excited to be attending, and will be posting about the trip upon my return!