Gen Con 2014 Schedule

It’s only a little more than a month before Gen Con, which means it’s time to make your schedules and wishlists, and it’s time for me to crawl up out of my fictional quagmire and make sure you, dear readers, know I will be there and where I will be!

Mostly, I will be doing panels for the Writer’s Symposium this year–these panels are free but give preference to people with tickets (as in, you have a ticket, you definitely get in). As of this post, I don’t have any signings, but I will let you know if that changes. EDIT: It changed. :)

Thursday, August 14th
SEM1462273–Worldbuilding 101 (9 AM)
“Learn the tips and tricks used by the pros when designing a new world for their stories. It’s a crash course in worldbuilding for both new and experienced authors.” With Gabrielle Harbowy, Donald J. Bingle, Gregory Wilson, & Kerrie Hughes. In Room 245.

SEM1462277: Worldbuilding: Magic and Mysticism (10 AM)
“Our expert worldbuilders provide tips and techniques for adding magic to your fictional world. Explore the impact of magic on your world and discover how much detail you really need.” With Donald J. Bingle, James Lowder, David Coe, & Gabrielle Harbowy.  In Room 245.

SEM1462280: Worldbuilding: Story-First World Design (11 AM)
“Learn to build new worlds so that they support the stories you want to write rather than limiting them.” With Kelly Swails, David Coe, Thomas M. Reid, & Bill Willingham.  (In Room 245)

SEM1462284–Writer’s Craft: Clichés & Stereotypes (12 PM)
“Clichés and stereotypes aren’t always evil, and we’ll teach you how to use them in a way that improves your story rather than harming it.” With David Coe, Brad Beaulieu, Howard Tayler, Susan Morris. (In Room 245)

Two points: 1) Some of you may be thinking “What in the world is a tie-in writer doing talking so much about world-building?” For one point, I’d note that there’s a lot more world-building in working in the Forgotten Realms than I, for one, ever expected. Plus, I write other stuff. Where have you been?

2). Yes, all of these are in the same room. Four hours. I’m going to try and make a point to switch chairs.

SEM1462296–Writer’s Craft: Ye Olde Phantasy Speechcrafte (4 pm)
“Using archaic turns of phrase is a fantasy literature trope, but is it necessary? What are the options? And if you do it, how do you do it right? Learn the answers to all of these questions and more.” With Elizabeth Vaughan, Erik Scott De Bie, & Chris Jackson. (Room 243)
Truth be told, if you made me choose pro or con (or yea or nay) on this topic? I’d say don’t do it. It’s too easy to do badly. But I know already that everyone wants to do it–so I have many tricks. 

**SEM1465754–Storytelling in the Realms: Tyranny of Dragons and Beyond (5pm)
“Join Chris Perkins, Ed Greenwood, R.A. Salvatore, and Wolfgang Baur [and Erin M. Evans] in a discussion about what makes great stories and awesome adventures. Learn about the origin of the Tyranny of Dragons story and get a hint of what’s in planned for future D&D stories.”
Late-breaking addition! FYI: I have only been asked to sit in on this instance of the panel. It recurs on Friday, but I will be doing True Dungeon then anyway. 

Friday, August 15th

SEM1462333–Editing: What is an Editor? (10 am)
“What is an editor? Who assigns them to your project? What do they do? And can you ignore their advice? All the secrets of editors will be revealed in this illuminating panel!” With Kerrie Hughes, Gabrielle Harbowy, Howard Jones, & Jerry Gordon. (Room 244)
Short answer: An editor is the literary equivalent of the friend who quietly informs you there’s toilet paper stuck to your shoe and your fly is down, before you walk out the door.

SEM1462345–Media Tie-In: RPG Fiction Market (1 pm)
“A close look at the state of the RPG fiction market, who’s publishing it, and how to get your foot in the door.” With Donald J. Bingle, James Sutter, & Ed Greenwood. (Room 245)
Spoiler: It’s not easy.

ENT1459893–Dungeons & Dragons: Tyranny of Dragons Launch Party (7 pm)
“Terror has descended on the Sword Coast and brave adventurers are urgently needed to help ward off the danger. Experience Tyranny of Dragons-themed activities throughout the day and later join D&D designers, storytellers, and other special guests for the official Tyranny of Dragons launch party. Take a short rest and enjoy the music, merriment, and a few menacing surprises. You never know who might crash a party celebrating dragons.”
At the moment, I’m just going as a civilian. But I will be there.

Saturday, August 16th
WKS1462384–Worldbuilding: Religion and Mythology (11 am, $4)

“Part 5 of our Worldbuilding Workshop series. Learn to build better worlds by working with veteran game designer Steven S. Long to create a new fantasy world at Gen Con. We discuss this important subject and its potential impact on civilization. By the end of the panel we should have one or more religions (and/or mythologies) loosely fleshed out, enough for us to know what effect they’re likely to have on the world as a whole.” With Steven S. Long and Kameron Hurley. (Workshop Room)

WKS1462388–Worldbuilding: Magic & Technology (12 pm, $4)
“Part 6 of our Worldbuilding Workshop series. Learn to build better worlds by working with veteran game designer Steven S. Long to create a new fantasy world at Gen Con.” With Steven S. Long and Kameron Hurley. (Workshop Room)

**Signing! With R.A. Salvatore, 1-2 pm
Presumably, this will take place in the Wizards of the Coast booth or area. I forgot to find out. But I’ll tell you when I do!

SEM1462730–Spin-a-Yarn with Ed Greenwood and Erin M. Evans (4-6 pm)
“A new twist on an old favorite! Join Ed Greenwood—creator of the Forgotten Realms—and fan-favorite author Erin M. Evans for an experience that will change how you think about group storytelling.” (Crowne Plaza: Victoria Station A/B)
Serious talk: I am so fucking nervous about this. Luckily Ed is the best. (Note: This is not hosted by Wizards of the Coast this year, so it’s not in the main hall. But if you’ve never been to a Spin-A -Yarn, it’s worth the minor trek to the Crowne Plaza)

SEM1458804–Candlekeep Presents the Lords of Waterdeep (8 pm)
“Join us for our third year of discussing the past, present, and future of the Forgotten Realms. Explore the secrets of the Lords of Waterdeep-and perhaps learn what it takes to join them yourself!” (Crowne Plaza: Victoria Station A/B)
If you are a fan of the Forgotten Realms, this is the place to be. In addition to having lots of designers and authors present, they have very cool commemorative pins. The fellows organizing this–Brian Cortijo and Erik Scott de Bie–have started a gofundme site to help cover the costs and make the gathering even better! (NB: you don’t need to contribute to come.)

Sunday, August 17th
WKS1462420–Read & Critique (9 am, $8)
“Each attendee reads something they’ve written, and our panel of experienced authors provide on-the-spot feedback. It’s a fantastic opportunity to get personal feedback on your work!” With Elizabeth Vaughan and Maurice Broaddus. (Room 244)
Unfortunately, this is sold-out. But if you already snagged a ticket, I will see you there!

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Books You Should Pick Up

On Tuesday, the paperback version of The Adversary came out, which is very exciting and excellent news, especially for anyone who wanted a copy and couldn’t afford the hardcover price. I’m a little late with this, but here you can find the e-signing form for the paperback. (If you still want a hardcover, contact me with the form above and I’ll get you the information).  (Also, this means the ebook price dropped!)

But that isn’t all that exciting for those who already read The Adversary and are hankering for something else to read.  I, for one, have a pile of things to read and not enough time. In fact, I realized yesterday that much of my pile is made up of new and exciting things from other writers who’ve made their mark on the Realms! So whether you’re looking for something else to read (maybe while you wait for Fire in the Blood?) or for something else to add to your Amazon/ order, here are some fresh reads from Realms authors playing in their own worlds.

The Mark of the Dragonfly by Jaleigh Johnson (Delacorte)
Where you know her from: You might remember Jaleigh from her excellent Mistshore, or maybe the sequel, Spider and Stone? I’ll always remember working with her as she made PC-potential shadar-kai a reality with Unbroken Chain and Unbroken Chain: The Darker Road.  (Cree and Skagi 4EVAH!)

What’s new with her: Jaleigh’s middle grade fantasy The Mark of the Dragonfly, has been getting fantastic reviews (STARRED reviews, people). While it’s meant for kids, I’ve read enough of this book to see that Jaleigh’s excellent characterization is definitely still at play here.

What the book has to say for itself: For fans of The City of Ember and The School of Good and Evil, The Mark of the Dragonfly is a fast-paced adventure story about a mysterious girl and a fearless boy, set in a magical world that is both exciting and dangerous.

   Piper has never seen the Mark of the Dragonfly until she finds the girl amid the wreckage of a caravan in the Meteor Fields.

   The girl doesn’t remember a thing about her life, but the intricate tattoo on her arm is proof that she’s from the Dragonfly Territories and that she’s protected by the king. Which means a reward for Piper if she can get the girl home.

   The one sure way to the Territories is the 401, a great old beauty of a train. But a ticket costs more coin than Piper could make in a year. And stowing away is a difficult prospect–everyone knows that getting past the peculiar green-eyed boy who stands guard is nearly impossible.

   Life for Piper just turned dangerous. A little bit magical. And very exciting, if she can manage to survive the journey.


Shadow of the Winter King by Erik Scott de Bie (Dragonmoon Press)
Where you know him from: That de Bie guy hit the Realms hard with his haunting debut Ghostwalker. His Shadowbane series—Downshadow, Shadowbane, and Shadowbane: Eye of Justice—brought a new complex hero to the Realms, and a bevy of interesting villains and companions. He’s also published short stories in more anthologies than I can count.

What’s new with him: Erik is one of those writers who seems to sneeze and a book comes out—lucky you! His latest tale just hit shelves: Shadow of the Winter King. If you’re missing Shadowbane, Regel might help fill that hole. And soon you’ll also get Scourge of the Realm (Broken Eye Books) and Priority: HyperionAnd a Kickstarter for a comic book. (Seriously. He’s a machine.)

What the books has to say for itself: AssassinArmed with the voracious sword Frostburn, court slayer Regel Winter once shed the blood of countless foes in service to Orbrin the Winter King.

Oathbreaker—But even the coldest steel cannot save those Regel loves: his beloved Princess Lenalin, her daughter Semana, and the Winter King himself, felled by treachery five years ago.

Shadow—Barely an echo of the man he was, Regel forges a pact with the assassin who slew Orbrin, setting out on a deadly quest for vengeance that will change the face of the World of Ruin.


The Plague Knight and Other Stories and Zombies in Paradise by Richard Lee Byers (Amazon Digital)
Where you know him from: RLB is a grandmaster of Realms fiction. I first read him in the Sembia series, where he brought matriarch, Shamur Uskevren, to life in The Shattered Mask. But you might know him best for his horror-tinged Haunted Lands trilogy (or his thrilling adventures with The Brotherhood of the Griffon). He’s also the author of the fourth book of The Sundering series, The Reaver. (What was that about authors sneezing out books?)

What’s new with him: Richard has two new anthologies up for grabs, and unlike most of this list, I’ve already read one. The Plague Knight and Other Stories has a fun mix of sword and sorcery tales, from adventures with Elric to a fencing master who solves mysteries in a city ruled by rival factions. His latest, Zombies in Paradise, is the newest in my to-read pile—but judging by his skill with horror, I’m going to wait until I’m in the right mood. And the sun is bright and shiny (although that might not be enough…)

What do the books have to say for themselves:
(Plague Knight)Martin Rivers is a young knight seeking his fortune across an alternate medieval Europe where Rome fell because the magic of the Caesars failed, but sorcery and the supernatural are very much alive. Join him as he battles an undead knight returned from Hell to take revenge, enters Faerie seeking the lost sword of Richard the Lion-hearted, and slips into the harem of a mad Turkish warlord to steal the Holy Grail.

Selden is a fencing master and occasional mercenary in Balathex, the Whispering City, where duels are an everyday occurrence and intrigue is a way of life. Walk with him as he hunts a deadly creature of living fire, investigates a baffling murder, probes the riddle of a rival fencing teacher whose students never lose, and challenges the master of a sinister mirror world. 

(Zombies)Vacation at the tropical resort where a designer drug enables tourists to experience the joys of being a zombie. It’s perfectly safe, of course.

 Explore the Civil War battlefield where the walking dead prey on the soldiers from both sides.

 See what happens when Thomas Edison meets Dracula.


Hot Lead, Cold Iron by Ari Marmell (Titan)
Where you know him from: Ari hasn’t, to my knowledge, written a Realms story. But he is the co-author of the fabulous Neverwinter Campaign Guide. The list of books and RPG supplements Ari’s worked on is too big to get into here. But if you haven’t gotten to experience Ari’s fiction yet, get ready for tales that blend humor and darkness in a very satisfying fashion. (His last book, Lost Covenant (Pyr), shares a book birthday with The Adversary! I like to pretend Farideh and Widdershins would get along famously. Or kill each other.)

What’s new with him: Next week (May 13th), Ari’s latest tale Hot Lead, Cold Iron hits shelves. I’m so excited about this book. Hard-boliled detective + FAIRIES. In 1932? This is urban fantasy of another stripe. The first I heard of this, I pre-ordered. You should, too.

What the book has to say for itself: Chicago, 1932. Mick Oberon may look like just another private detective, but beneath the fedora and the overcoat, he’s got pointy ears and he’s packing a wand. 

 Oberon’s used to solving supernatural crimes, but the latest one’s extra weird. A mobster’s daughter was kidnapped sixteen years ago, replaced with a changeling, and Mick’s been hired to find the real child. The trail’s gone cold, but what there is leads Sideways, to the world of the Fae, where the Seelie Court rules. And Mick’s not really welcome in the Seelie Court any more. He’ll have to wade through Fae politics and mob power struggles to find the kidnapper – and of course it’s the last person he expected.

(You already got your pre-order for The Herald set up, right?)

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Happy Birthday to ME!

Good morning, readers! Today is my birthday. I know you probably wish you could come celebrate by having pizza and playing board games with me–don’t tell me if you don’t–but since my dining table only seats ten if we squeeze in, I have another suggestion.

See, The Adversary  comes out in paperback on May 6th (next Tuesday), and I would really like it if it sold well. The hardcover had some problems when it went on sale–those are cleared up now, so there should be nothing getting in the way.  Buy a copy for yourself, for me.

If you already bought a copy of The Adversary, the other thing I’d really like? Reviews. Reviews sell books, and for the first time, a book I wrote is within spitting distance of 100 Amazon reviews. If you’ve read The Adversary already, a review on Amazon, on Goodreads, or on social media would mean a lot.

And if you’re saying, “Erin, I’ve done all that! What else can I do?”: Tell a friend. Convince them to give the Brimstone Angels books a try. Convince them to give the Realms a try!

The very best present I can imagine is getting to keep doing what I love.

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