Tag Archives: literature

Hawaiian Luaus to California Dreams

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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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!

 

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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!

 

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And course, as always, we visited the Hard Rock Cafe.

 

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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!

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Boston & American Literature Association Conference

I spent the weekend on a trip to Boston, where I was a speaker at the 26th annual American Literature Association Conference. It was my first time in the area, so I was excited both for the event and the trip itself.

I spoke on the panel titled: Nobody Understand Me:Evil Kids in Children’s Literature along with four other wonderful speakers, focusing on a variety of aspects, including both film and literature representations of the darker side of children.

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My specific paper was well-received and I really enjoyed the lively discussion which followed both during the Q & A and at the following lunch, where everyone gathered in a nearby park for sandwiches.

I also attended several additional panels, including speeches on the work of Octavia Butler (I’ve completed some work on her novel, The Fledgling), Ellen Glasgow (a ‘southern gothic’ author), the Victorian afterlives, and for fun, a panel on detective novels — among a few others.

I also walked around the Boston Library which was very impressive and located directly across the street from the conference location. I had a chance to speak with fellow authors and scholar on any and all aspects of our shared loved of literature.

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After the conference was over, I scheduled a few days to travel through New England. First, we went to Salem, Massachusetts  and explored the town. A few of the houses date back to the 16 and 1700s, which was really cool. My father, who made the trip with me, is a big American History fan so he was loving exploring the history of both Salem and the area surrounding it. We also saw a few things focusing on the witch trials and explored a bit of the history in that regard as well.

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Then, walking down the street famous for it’s witches, leave it to me to find…a vampire! So of course, I could not resist having my picture taken with him.

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Then dad and I decided to take as side-trip from Massachusetts to Maine in order to visit the Portland Lobster Company. It is a small building, super-crowded where people order their lobster and then wait a solid hour before being given a seat at a long wooden table outdoors in the dock.

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There were a ton of people, a live band, and a cool ocean breeze blowing across the water, disrupted by the occasion sound of boats passing by. Amazing food and we had a great time just sitting there listening to the music for several hours before beginning the journey back to Boston. My dad had always wanted to have Maine lobster in Maine, so it was a check off the bucket list.

 

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Our last day there, we visited a place I had always dreamed of seeing — Harvard University.

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That is me sitting on the steps of one of my dream schools. (Still waiting on that acceptance letter —beginning to think it got lost along with my acceptance to Hogwarts) The tour was student-lead and the guide was very knowledgeable, revealing different points of history along the tour, including the buildings where a few award winners and a President (or two) had stayed.

We also, of course, went to the Hard Rock Cafe. I am a big pin collector.

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Overall, it was a great trip and I enjoyed by the conference and getting to see a part of the country where I had never traveled before.

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