Thursday, June 21, 2012

Welcome Fandom Fest Panelists!!!

ARM:      Where do you get the inspiration for your stories or characters?
     SH:   Most of my story and character ideas actually come from dreams. I keep a journal beside the bed to record any whacked out production from my subconscious. Other than that, I enjoy toying with common stereotypes and seeing how far I can push them for satirical effect.

ARM:       Do your characters talk to you?
     SH:   Absolutely! Once I get started writing (the hardest part of the process!) it's like I'm taking dictation from a movie that plays in my head. I'm like a dog furiously chasing the bumper of a car. I never seem to catch that damn car but I tire myself out until the next day, then the chase is back on!

ARM:       What other authors would you suggest to fans of your work?
     SH:   My favorites are Chuck Palahniuk, Christopher Moore, Garth Ennis, Warren Ellis, Allan Moore, Neil Gaiman, and Rafer Roberts.

ARM:       What are some things that you would like your fans to know about you?
     SH:   I don't take any fans for granted. If you're loyal to me, I will go out of my way to float some free swag your way. My approach is stolen from the great DIY punk bands of the 80s.

ARM:       Do you have a current work in progress?
     SH:   Sure do! Several, actually. I'm just starting a memoir of my assorted spiritual experiences. I'm also going to start a sequel to my young adult novel, Hocus Focus. Oh, and I'm also going to script issues two and three of a three issue comic book miniseries. I'd tell you what that series is but I'm sworn to secrecy.  :)

ARM:      What are you excited about doing or seeing at Fandom Fest?
     SH:   Mostly I'm excited about meeting new people: fans, authors, maybe even Bruce "The Chin" Campbell!

ARM:      Where can we find out more about you and your books?
     SH:   My website is That's the best place to look me up. Oh, and you can hunt me down on Facebook as well. Just don't confuse me with that dude who writes Little House on the Prairy books!


ARM:      Where do you get the inspiration for your stories or characters?

     TLH:   My inspiration comes from different places for different characters.

Josh Katzen in an archaeological artist and photographer in present-day Chicago. Inspiration for his stories often spring directly from news items regarding archaeology and antiquities.

Sitehuti of Western Thebes, on the other hand, is a young scribe living in the capital city of Pi-Ramesses late in the reign of Ramesses II. Huti was adopted by a very opinionated temple cat, Nefer-Djenou-Bastet (Beautiful Messenger of Bastet) which changed his life in more ways than he's comfortable with. These stories often come from wondering what sort of trouble can Neffi drag Huti into.

Sometimes a title will some first and the story will follow. That was the case of the paranormal western, Twenty-Seven Cents of Luck. The title was inspired by a quarter and two pennies found lying face up in a parking lot, but it took several years before Floyd Kaetin, Civil War vetran and wierdness magnet, stepped up with a tale to fit.

 ARM:      Do your characters talk to you?

     TLH:   Absolutely! With some of them the problem is making them shut up. Several of my pieces have come from a character telling me his or her story. That was the case with the first real short story I ever wrote. It was a young girl on the Underground Railway making the move across the river from Kentucky to Indiana on Christmas night. That became Away in a Manger and was published in the Southern Indiana Writers' Group's third volume of the Indiana Creek Anthology Series, Christmas Bizarre.
 ARM:      What other authors would you suggest to fans of you work?

     TLH:   For the folks who like the Josh Katzen stories, I would suggest Leslie Charteris and Donald Westlake. For those who like the Sitehuti and Nefer-Djenou-Bastet series, I'd point them to Elizabeth Peters and Ellis Peters. For my paranornal stuff, look at Jim Butcher and (to some extent) Terry Pratchett.

ARM:      What are some things that you would like your fans to know about you?

     TLH:   I'm an illustrator as well as a writer and have done the art for most of my own covers as well a large chunk of the covers for the Indian Creek Anthologies. I'm a geek. I love archaeology, art history and Forensic Science -- fields that fit together better than one might think. I also make renaissance and medieval clothing as a sideline.

 ARM:      Do you have a current work in progress?

     TLH:   There are multiple irons in the fire at the moment. There is a paranormal buddy cop novel in submission, the first in a projected series. I'm also finishing up last year's NaNoWriMo project, the Case of the Moche Rolex, the first full length Josh Katzen novel. Another current project is collecting my short stories, working up covers for them and putting them up in various electronic formats as 99 cent shorts.

ARM:      What are you excited about doing or seeing at Fandom Fest?

     TLH:   I'm really looking forward to seeing all the great folks I met last year and seeing the new faces for this year's. The projected panel subjects sound like a lot of fun, too. If I can sneak away from the Southern Indiana Writers' Group table, I'd like to indulge in a few fan-girl moments, too. Bruce Campbell! Sean Astin! John Rhys-Davies! *ahem* All better now.

ARM:      Where can we find out more about you and your books?

     TLH:   I'm on FaceBook and Google+ and have both a blog and a website although I'm notoriously bad at keeping them current. The best places to find out more about me and my list of books are at my Amazon AuthorCentral page and my page

Tell my followers about you so they might become your followers.

R.J. Sullivan, author for Seventh Star Press and Damnation Books. My first novel, Haunting Blue, is a paranormal thriller in which a punk girl and her small town boyfriend release and confront a ghost. Haunting Obsession, coming out later this summer, tells the story of the fan of an iconic movie starlet who finds himself haunted by the object of his obsession. At first, it seems like  a pretty good deal until the horrible truth of the situation slowly reveals itself.

ARM:      Where do you get the inspiration for your stories or characters?

     RJS:   I suppose I could say that all of life is an inspiration for any author. But, okay, you forced it out of me. They're going to kill me, but…most of us authors subscribe to a service called Ideas R Us. I can only afford affiliate membership, but if I save my pennies, I'll earn preferred status and get first dibs on the latest ideas. So now the world knows.

ARM:      Do your characters talk to you?

     RJS:   Fortuantely, my characters behave and remain quiet until I'm actually writing. I may have a scene, with dialog in mind to go from point A to point B, and I'll type, for instance, "Blue said," and as I'm typing, she's in my head going "Silly R.J., I'm not saying that crap, instead I'm saying…" and I'll end up typing something completely different from what I had in mind. Then my other character has to respond. It's the best zone to be in, when two characters are talking to each other and you feel like you're just channeling a conversation independent of you.

ARM:      What other authors would you suggest to fans of you work?

     RJS:   No one! I am the only author a reader ever needs!

I suppose it depends on why they are fans. If they're looking for paranormal, I must admit to not being well-read in the category, but Michael West, who is a friend in the Indiana Horror Writers as well as another Seventh Star author, comes to mind.

If you're looking for interesting or strong women characters, which is a big part of my focus, and if you're open to fantasy and SF genres, then Tonya Huff, Elizabeth Moon, and Lucy Snyder take you similar places, to name a few.

ARM:      What are some things that you would like your fans to know about you?

     RJS:   Well, if you're a fan, tell others why you loved my book. While you're at it, tell the author. We writers have fragile egos and need all the compliments we can get. Note my future release dates so you can plan to buy them the day they come out. Do you know how much coffee and chocolate I must sacrifice for the sake of creativity so you can be entertained?

And if you are a fan, share my books with others. Their birthdays. Christmas. June 22--that only comes once a year, right? And buy your friends extra copies so they can also give my book to their friends. If you really love me, you'll do this for me.

Sorry, what was the question?

ARM:      Do you have a current work in progress?

     RJS:   Yes, Virtual Blue, the sequel to Haunting Blue, will be out next year.

ARM:      What are you excited about doing or seeing at Fandom Fest?

     RJS:   I'm pretty new to Seventh Star, and this con, at least as far as the author lineup goes, is Stephen Zimmer's baby, so I'm just glad to be here, and looking forward to meeting so many of these authors and behind-the-scenes talent whom I've been talking with and emailing the last few months. So I'm just showing up and taking it all in. And if I can get a photo with Drago from Jason of Star Command (Sid Haig), that would rock pretty hard. 

ARM:      Where can we find out more about you and your books?

     RJS: where you should then click the button to follow me on Facebook, and on the Seventh Star Website at