Candy Previews (aka Blatant Book Launch Bait)

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I received a package in the mail on Friday from my new friend Clint Spivey, whose story, ‘Faster than the Speed of Sleight’ is appearing in Love, Time, Space, Magic. This picture of what was inside just proves that it pays to have friends in Japan. And that Clint is a total badass.

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That’s right… authentic Japanese candy. We’ve got green tea Kit Kats, cookies, chocolate squares, Pocky… and even some things I’m pretty sure are supposed to be pizza flavoured.

I’m not eating any of this goodness, people… I’m passing it all on to you, at the launch for Love, Time, Space Magic! The afternoon of Saturday, April 11th, at Ad Astra!

Be there… or don’t have Japanese candies. It’s not really a choice, in my book.

Cover Reveal: Love, Time, Space, Magic

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That’s right, after a hectic holiday, and more than a few winter cold blahs, it’s finally here… the Love, Time, Space, Magic cover!

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This has truly turned out to be a special anthology by a really special bunch of people. We’ve got a selection of love stories, from across the spectrum of F/SF that will touch your heart, and sometimes your funny bone. Far from the old ‘boy gets girl, boy loses girl’ tropes, these are twelve gloriously creative and different stories on the theme of love.

I’m so proud to be presenting this anthology, our longest and most varied offering ever, to our loyal anthology readers. We’ve had people come back again and again, looking for the classic fun of SF/F short stories, and this one is going to be another amazing addition to your Pop Seagull library!

For the cover this time, I used a combination of Maya modeling and Photoshop. All cover elements are by yours truly, except for the fonts. My inspiration was to make something inspired by the anatomical drawings of Da Vinci and other renaissance artists, with a modern twist, and to show the interaction between the elements in the title.

Enjoy! In a couple of months, we’re putting this baby on a cake!

Random Art Post of the Day…

Well, not totally random. This is our first sneak peek at the cover of the Love, Time, Space, Magic anthology!

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This (more or less) anatomically correct heart was modeled by yours truly in Maya. This is just the grey skin that Maya puts on the model, and default lighting, but wait till you see what I’m going to do with it!

The whole concept behind the cover is to have an ‘ink drawing’ of a heart, on parchment, that looks eerily 3D. So, to accomplish that, I’ll be using a whole bunch of tricks, such as .png file textures and fancy render layers. It’s so great to have a 3D project again!

More updates on the way as the cover progresses! Wait till you see the font I got… I’m probably more excited about it than anybody else, but it is really, really nice.

Check out our novels for $1.50 with the winter ebook sale!

Since opening up to anthology submissions, we’ve had a lot more traffic to the blog, and I couldn’t be happier. We’ve had a lot of people checking us out, and submitting stories and queries, and it really feels like everything is moving in such a positive direction.

Since we’ve clearly got an influx of new folks discovering Pop Seagull for the first time, I thought it might be a good idea to make some of our current titles more affordable, for a limited time, and increase the sampling size on Smashwords to allow new people to check out our titles with less risk.

So, it is with great pleasure that I announce

Pop Seagull’s Winter Ebook-stravaganza

where, for a limited time, readers will be able to purchase Flood Waters Rising or Distant Early Warning for only $1.50, and will be able to sample up to 60% of the book on Smashwords.

And yes, I’m not going to lie, we left the samples off at cliffhangers. Sorry, just business. :P

Find Us At The Write Bookshop!

Fran, Steve and Son, your friends in books. :)

Fran, Steve and Son, your friends in books. :)

That’s right… after years of only hanging out on the net, and at cons, Pop Seagull has entered our first brick-and-mortar bookstore. We are now part of the local authors display at:

The Write Bookshop
285 St. Paul Street
St. Catharines, ON
(905) 684-8426

Denny would be so proud!

Like my title character from Distant Early Warning,¬† I have spent many a happy hour in the enchanting used bookstores of St. Catharines, and this one has always been one of my favourites. I go in with no money, and come out with even less money, because I can’t help myself when I get in a room with thousands of intriguing old books. If you like literary adventures, and discovering old gems that are hard to find, out of print or just forgotten by the mainstream (or to get a really good deal on gently used current hits or textbooks), then check it out, and take a new local gem home with you as well. I did!

Copies are already selling well, so I have no doubt that this will be the first of many bookstore placements for Pop Seagull. Here’s to progress in this New Year, and to excellent purveyors of the written word.

Thanks, Memorial School!

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Pop Seagull had a lovely Christmas-y time this Saturday at Memorial School in Hamilton. We set out our shingle at their very first Christmas bazaar, and it was tons of fun! We sold lots of buttons, and wow, did I meet a lot of interesting Canadian authors. I want to hear back from you guys, seriously!

And did I mention, the school totally fed my love of old architecture? What an amazing building! The auditorium has all of it original moldings, memorializing the 1st world war, and it is just breathtakingly well-preserved. I know where my world takeover headquarters is going to be now.

I’m going to post some pictures of the gorgeous architecture later, but for now, I just wanted to say thank you to Memorial School and the Board of Directors for inviting us to such a lovely event.

As a side note, I had perhaps some of the best popcorn I have ever had while vending at this bazaar. Toffee… dark chocolate drizzle… 75 cents! Too good to be true!

Anthology Updates Correction

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I need to correct an error in yesterday’s post. When I originally listed the Robotica anthology on various sites, I said that the deadline was May. Since it would not be fair to move the deadline back two months from what was originally projected, and May is actually better for us, we will be keeping the deadline at May and reading in May. My apologies for any confusion.

 

Anthology Updates

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As of last week, Love, Time, Space, Magic has been filled. I want to thank everyone again who submitted. I want to hear from all of you again, and just because the story wasn’t accepted this time doesn’t mean it might not have a chance elsewhere. Keep it up! All of our responses should now be sent. If you sent me a story, and didn’t hear back, please query.

I have one other note about Love, Time, Space, Magic that I thought would be good to bring up now. When we began the anthology, our aim was to publish 90% Canadian content. While that was a great goal, we just didn’t get the number of submissions from Canadian authors that we had hoped for. So, while we accepted as many great Canadian stories as we possibly could, we’re sitting at about 50% Canadian content, by page count, for the anthology. However, we’re very proud to say that several non-North American countries are represented in the book, from Japan to England to Argentina.

Because I’m relatively new to all of this, I’m still learning as I go, and one of the things I learned this time around is that our Canadian content goals have to be a collaboration. In other words, I can’t publish what people don’t submit, so keep those submissions coming, my Canadian pals! On my end, I’m also going to make a concerted effort to do even more courting and encouraging of the Canadian authors I meet at conventions, and advertise on more Canadian-targeted sites. We’re going to keep the 90% rule as our ultimate goal, but it’s going to take more work to make it happen.

That’s all for Love, Time, Space, Magic for now, but there will be a lot more announcements and fun features once we really start to get rolling on production.

In the meantime, I want to officially announce that, due to work flow concerns, Robotica submissions will be read and adjudicated in March of 2015, for an expected release date of fall/winter 2015. I have updated the Ralan listing accordingly. However, since the submissions will be read in chronological order, and the first and last places in line are the most rhetorically significant, I would recommend that people still submit now if they have something, and don’t mind the wait.

I apologize to all of the people who have already sent us work for Robotica who weren’t counting on this wait. We’ve had a change-up in staff, and that has affected our timeline somewhat. Rest assured, however, that if you decide to stick it out, your work will be given the time and attention that it deserves during the judging period.

Join us at the Memorial School Christmas Bazaar!

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This year, Pop Seagull is trying something new. We’re going to our first Christmas Bazaar!

On Saturday December 6th, we’re going to be at Memorial City School, selling copies of Distant Early Warning and buttons… tons of buttons!

Want to tell the world that sleep is temporary, but reading is forever? Our slogan buttons are great for all of the readers (or potential readers) on your list. These buttons were a big hit at the TIBF, so don’t miss out! They make amazing stocking stuffers and box toppers.

If you want to come check out our super sweet holiday setup, come to:

Memorial City School

1175 Main Street East Hamilton

Post Book Fair Bits and Bites

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Pop Seagull was at the Toronto International Book Fair this weekend! We invaded the Metro Toronto Convention Centre with hundreds of other book-related professionals, including Anne Rice, Kathy Reichs and Chris Hadfield. It was an overwhelmingly positive weekend, and I had a great time meeting all of the wonderful book lovers who came out.

I must say that this was the best organized big event that I’ve ever been to, and despite the fairly high price tag to attend, I will be going back. TIBF offers a great value for money, both for vendors and attendees. Who can argue with $15 to attend for the weekend? I also had the most wonderful, transcendent fries ever to grace this planet.

Another thing to come out of the book fair experience is a new product for Pop Seagull… buttons! A couple of years ago, I had buttons made as a promotional item that bore our company colours and slogan: “Sleep is temporary, reading is forever”. There were only about six of them to begin with, but after the fair, I’m down to the last one, and we got so many comments! So, starting with our next appearance at the Memorial School Christmas Bazaar on the 6th of December, we’ll be selling slogan buttons in three colours! Show your reader pride, and introduce new people to Pop Seagull at the same time!

I’ll have pics as soon as we get them in. I can’t wait to show them to you all!

 

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