This last weekend was a relaxing one. I went out on a research trip to Atlanta (in Demon Central for those who’ve read the Demon Trappers series), had a luncheon date with the spouse and did a lot of reading. Given that it rained on Sunday, that worked just fine.
First — why was I in Atlanta? I live outside of town so I get downtown every now and then. We took the train (MARTA) down and then worked our way out of Five Points Station. It’s kinda like a concrete maze. South of the station on Broad Street is Miller’s Rexall. It’s been there since 1965. Besides the usual supply of medicinal products, Miller’s has a side business in magic ephemera. In particular — Hoodoo supplies.
Hoodoo (not to be confused with Voodoo which is a religion) is based on African American folk magic. It was brought over by the slaves and has found itself a niche. Conjure, as it’s sometimes called, is used for a variety of reasons: to summon good luck, to turn away evil, to find love. Since Hoodoo is featured in BRIAR ROSE (my next book) I trudged into Miller’s not quite knowing what I was going to find. That’s when I met Ms. Beverly (a sweet and intuitive woman who seems to look inside your very soul) and the owner himself, Richard Miller. We chatted about folk magic and other topics. While I was browsing the shelves, a steady stream of folks came in to buy stuff ranging from lottery tickets to dressing oils.
I came home with a book and some supplies and their fabulous catalog since the store caters to various folk traditions. I was pleased to see a store that catered to what their customers want. Chain stores have lost that focus.
Now I have more books to read and more research to do. All in in all a fine weekend. So what is your typical weekend like?
First some really good news — FORGIVEN and FORETOLD (Demon Trapper’s #2 & 4) are DOUBLE finalists for the National Reader’s Choice Award in the YA category (courtesy of the Oklahoma Romance Writers). I *really* want to win this award it’s a plaque, but it’s called “the tombstone” because it looks like one. What would be more appropriate for the Demon Trappers series? I’ll find out in the results in July. I’ll be sure to keep you guys in the loop.
The last couple of weeks have
found me on the road more than home. Beginning with 221B Con (a brand new Sherlock Holmes convention) and ending with JordanCon, a fifth year convention honoring Robert Jordan (Wheel of Time).
Impressions? 221B was a *great* first year con. The content was interesting, the people knowledgeable and there was impressive attendance. A nice, relaxing weekend away from the keyboard. Sharing a panel on Victorian Times with Louis Robinson and Austin Sirkin is always a joy.
The following weekend I headed over to JordanCon, which was also a Deep South Con this year which meant even greater attendance. I’d not been at this convention last year and was promptly welcomed back with very open arms. I did all sorts of panels with all sorts of fun folks (John Hartness, James R. Tuck, Delilah S. Dawson, Emilie P. Bush, Eugie Foster, Brandon Sanderson, Alex Hughes, Deb Dixon and Anthony Taylor ).
And I began a new trend: Couch Con. Since I wasn’t staying at the con hotel, I parked myself on one of the chairs in the lobby to unwind between panels. One of the aspiring writers came over and began to chat, then another and another. Between the gents and their girlfriends, I had this half-circle of folks sitting around on the floor me while we talked about writing, marketing, publishing, you name it (for 2 HOURS). So if Couch Cons become the next big thing, I was an early adopter.
To keep my wee green demon company, Amy (of Darkness) and Charles from Chattanooga brought me a companion demon who has stripey legs and three horns. He is SO cute. (Click on the pix to get a better look). Yes, that’s me IN THE PHOTO which is way dumb. I and should know better than to shoot into a mirror. Sigh…
So after two weekends on the road, I’m ready to hunker down and get some work done. Thanks to all who stopped to talk to me, ask how I was doing and to chat with me about my books.
You guys are awesome.
Jana is an international & multi-award winning author in several genres including young adult, paranormal romance and urban fantasy.