DC Area Storytellers

The DC Area Storytellers are a group of authors of multiple genres residing in or near the Washington, DC area. Published within the fields of romance, science fiction, fantasy, paranormal, fiction and non-fiction, this diverse group of authors offers a wide range of works for readers to savor.

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RavenCon, Retreat and the Library of Congress, Oh My!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010
It is a truth universally acknowledged that the more fun I’m having away from the keyboard, the less likely I am to blog. Guess who’s been having way too much fun this month. We’ll draw a veil over the household’s Easter/Oster celebrations. Suffice it to say much chocolate was consumed—necessary fuel for what was to follow.

Next came RavenCon, which this year featured two of my favorite people, Rachel Caine and her husband R. Cat, as Writer and Artist Guests of Honor, respectively. And that’s not even counting the great people who run the convention. If you’re interested in a visual tour of the fun, my April 9 and 10 photos can be found here. Sunday, April 11, I was too busy to shoot. Honest!

The very next day, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Sarah Avery, Christine Norris and I upheld the honor of Broad Universe at the Library of Congress. We didn’t get any photos of the Rapid Fire Reading itself, but if you want to see the unusual suspects, click here.

On April 16, it was off to Turn the Page Bookstore Café in Boonsboro, Maryland, for the annual mega-signing with Nora Roberts and the featured guests of the Washington Romance Writers annual conference, “In the Company of Writers”, then the conference itself. The Retreat, as it’s called, is always a highlight of my year. I just wish the love came through in the photos. The subjects are so much lovelier than their photos.

I’ll write a longer report for my monthly Beyond the Veil blog on May 8. But until then, I leave you with this. Enjoy!

(Left to right) authors Charlaine Harris, Diane Whiteside and Ginjer Buchanan, Ace/Roc editor-in-chief at the WRW Retreat, April 17.

Jean Marie
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The Library of Congress, signing with Nora, and DragonCon--oh my!

Saturday, April 10, 2010
RavenCon isn’t the only thing on my calendar this month. Monday, April 12, barely hours after I return from Richmond, I’ll be reading at the Library of Congress in downtown Washington, D.C. The Library of Congress! You can’t see it, but I’m grinning so hard my cheeks are aching.

The reading resulted from a collaboration between the library’s Science Fiction and Fantasy Forum and Broad Universe, an international organization dedicated to exploring and promoting the work of women writers in science fiction, fantasy and horror. It will take the form of a four-person Rapid Fire Reading featuring Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Sarah Avery, fellow BtV blogger Christine Norris and me. You’ve already seen the poster I prepped when the reading was announced. Now you can read the bios, too, in the hand-out I’ll be using as our program.

But that’s not the only reason I may expire of excitement. I’ve been added to the roster of major authors (like Charlaine Harris!) signing with Nora Roberts at Turn the Page Bookstore Café in Boonsboro, Maryland, on Friday, April 16. My name and web site link seem to wander around the page, but the confirmation of my presence is right there at the bottom of the page: the buy link for Fantasy Art Templates.

I signed With Nine You Get Vanyr at the Turn the Page spring mega-signing in 2007. Nora and the top names sell hundreds of books, and even small fry like me sell in the dozens. This time, there are some new rules. For example, the writers can only sign books purchased at the event. Trust me, that’s a relief. Yes, you sign that much.

Finally, it’s official. I’m on the guest list at DragonCon. Atlanta, here I come. I can’t wait.
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RavenCon Anon

Wednesday, April 7, 2010
RavenCon 2010 makes Richmond, Virginia, the place to be this weekend, April 9-11. The con features Rachel Caine, author of the best selling Weather Warden and Morganville Vampire series, her multi-talented artist husband R. Cat and gaming guru Steve Long as guests of honor, as well as lots of other talented writers, artists, gamers and costumers you really want to meet.

With a guest list like that, you know I couldn’t stay away. Not only that, I even strong-armed—ahem, persuaded the con committee to let me play on some panels. My schedule follows. I hope you’ll join me there!


7 p.m.: Two Way Street
Writers and artists often feed each other muses. Artists talk about the writers who inspired them and vice versa.
Panelists: R. Cat (Artist Guest of Honor), James Enge, Heidi Hooper, Jean Marie Ward (Moderator), J. Andrew World

10 p.m.: Where Have All the Female Vampires Gone?
Help us find out.
Panelists: Jim Blanton, Rob Floyd, Kalayna Price (Moderator), Jean Marie Ward


11 p.m.: Ghost Hunting—New Trend or Passing Fad
There's a lot of stuff on TV and in literature—but is anyone still pursuing this at home? What makes or breaks the hunt for a ghost and how long will it continue?
Panelists: Pam Kinney, Cheralyn Lambeth, Laura Underwood (Moderator), Jean Marie Ward

10:30 a.m.: Jean Marie’s Koffee Klatsch
Come rescue me from talking to myself for a half hour after wrestling ghosts ‘til the wee hours of the morning. I will have chocolate…

Noon: That’s Bull
We all agree it's fiction but there are times when even authors take too much liberty. Panelists discuss what they have read and perhaps their own forays across the line of believability. How far will a reader be willing to go to suspend disbelief? Does a writer lose credibility or are they just pushing the envelope?
Panelists: Laura Cory-Haywood, Sarah Harvey (Moderator), Larry Hodges, Jean Marie Ward

1 p.m.: Leyaks Don’t Get No Respect
World mythology is full of weird and wondrous beings who've yet to make their mark on the fiction bestseller lists. Writers and artists talk about their favorite obscure creatures and why they deserve their time to shine…or darkly glow, as the case may be.
Panelists: Iver Cooper, Kalayna Price, Jean Marie Ward (Moderator), Leona Wisoker

2 p.m.: Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading
Four first-rate authors read exciting, bite-sized excerpts of their work that will leave you hungry for more. (Check out the flyer if you want to know more about the writers.)
Panelists: Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Debra Killeen, Jean Marie Ward (Moderator), Diane Whiteside
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