Cons

new release: PASSAGES

 

Continuing* where Wilted Lilies left off, Passages is a supernatural thriller with ghosts, and psychics, and killers… oh my!


Lily May Holloway can hear the thoughts of the living, and speak to the dead. She’s done so since she was little, and been shunned for it.

As a new student at McMillan Hall, a private school with other teens who possess a variety of psychic gifts, she finds she isn’t necessarily unique. Or safe.

Acceptance is no longer her only concern.

Staying alive is.


 

Available NOW, the paperback version of PASSAGES will also be available direct from me at any of the remaining conventions/appearances scheduled through the end of the year, including but not limited to:

Killer Con • August 16-18, 2019 • Round Rock, TX
Creature Feature • August 30-Sept 1, 2019 • Gettysburg, PA
Rosie’s Bookapalooza • October 5, 2019 • Johnstown, PA
Merrimack Valley Halloween Book Festival • October 12, 2019 • Haverhill, MA

If you haven’t read the first one, you’re in luck—Wilted Lilies is on sale for on 99¢. Grab one and get ready for the next chapter…

*book two in a projected series of five

August Convention Appearances

It’s going to be a very busy August, with a quiet lull, followed by a busy October, but we’ll talk about October later. For now, let’s cover August.

 

Aug 2-4: SCARES THAT CARE. If you’ve never gone and find yourself either local or “local enough” (which is code for, “I could make that a day trip”) you should definitely check it out. Actors, authors, vendors, movie screenings, costume contest, kid friendly activities, a silent auction, and even a 5k—this convention has everything. And the best part? It’s for a charity. An awesome charity.

Rather than giving to “fill in the blank” national charity or specific disease charity where the funds could go toward administration, or postage, or literally anything, STC does one thing with the money they raise—they give it to a specific patient, with a name and a face. Each year they pick three (3) recipients: a sick child, a burn patient, and a woman fighting breast cancer. STC fights these real problems, real monsters, with your help. Plus, it’s a con, so you get to have fun while doing it!! #winwin


Aug 16-18: KILLER CON. No, we don’t collect a bunch of killers. We enjoy extreme horror in all it’s glory. The beauty of this convention is the intimacy. Capped at only 250 attendees, there’s plenty of options to chat with your favorite author.

With readings, panels, signings, books and merchandise galore, oh and a hot wing challenge and gross-out contest which both offer plenty of giggles, you won’t be bored. Free that weekend? Come see us!


Aug 30-Sep 1: CREATURE FEATURE WEEKEND. In its debut year, this con offers the celebrities and authors and vendors, as usual, but also boasts an independent film festival and not just food, but food trucks.

And because of it’s location in haunted Gettysburg, you will also find nightly ghost tours. I’ve heard rumors of ouija boards and seances and other “I saw this movie” events taking place after hours…


Yes, I will have books and swag on my table, including the new release PASSAGES. But I now have nineteen (19) things to offer, and there’s no way to put them all on a table. So only the newest will be coming along. As usual, if there’s something specific you’re looking for, contact me. If I have one, I’ll bring it along with your name on it.

Did you catch those dates? Yes, I’ll be at a convention literally every other weekend this August. How many of them will I see you at?

‘Tis the Season

‘Tis the season for giving… and this year, I’m giving back to YOU. For (each and) every book of mine you buy this holiday season, you can enter to WIN one of three signed blu-ray/dvd combos of the breakout indy film I’m Dreaming of a White Doomsday.

If you’re a fan of my work, you’ll enjoy this film. This is not a bloody gore-fest. This is not an in-your-face horror movie. This is a post-apocalyptic nightmare of the quiet kind… the kind that don’t necessarily shake off when you wake up.

Written and directed by Mike Lombardo of Reel Splatter Productions, this little gem has been collecting nothing but rave reviews and film circuit laurels. If you haven’t seen it, you should, and here’s your chance to own a (FREE) signed copy.

Once, when, or after, you buy any Kelli Owen book, simply fill out the form below to be entered into the drawing. You may enter once per purchase, meaning—if you buy more than one book, fill out the form for each book, for multiple chances to win. It doesn’t matter if the book is for you or as a gift…

And if you’re looking for a signed copy at con prices—novels only $10, novellas $5—I’ve got the following inventory. Just email me your shopping list and we’ll go from there. (note: I only have 1 or 2 of most of these, so don’t delay).

 Teeth  Floaters  Wilted Lilies  Deceiver
 Live Specimens  Buried Memories  The Neighborhood  Forgotten
 White Picket Prisons  Black Bubbles  Gracie flip chap  ABCs coloring book*

Thank you for being a reader, a fan, and a supporter of the arts. As a token of my gratitude, I gladly offer up these three copies of I’m Dreaming of a White DoomsdayHappy Holidays!

 

 

Book purchase date must be between Nov 30 and Dec 31, 2018. Winners will be randomly drawn on January 1, 2019 (New Year’s Day). Blu-Ray/DVD is signed by cast and crew who were present at the signing at Lancaster’s FYE. Retail price $24.99 (and yes, I paid for these. these are not a promo on the part of the filmmaker, but rather just me… because I wanted to support the filmmaker, and give back to you!)

*The Atrocious Alphabet (no crayons) is on sale this month for $5.00


 

Merrimack Valley Halloween Book Festival

Merrimack Valley Halloween Book Festival
Haverhill Library
99 Main St
Haverhill, MA

Sat, Oct 13th
10am – 4:30pm

FREE ADMISSION

(click image to enlarge)

Over 60 authors will be in attendance, including Christopher Golden, James Moore, Rio Youers, Laird Barron, Bracken MacLeod, Brian Keene, Mary SanGiovanni, and many more …pssst me.

• I’ll have a table for the whole day (note: some authors are only there in either the morning or afternoon)

• I will be participating on the panel “The Scariest Thing I’ve Ever Written—And The Scariest Thing I’ve Ever Read” at 11.30am

In tow I shall have TEETH (yay *new release* vampires), the ABCs (Atrocious Alphabet coloring book), and something special just for this event! As well as a smattering of what’s left in stock for novels and novellas (read as: if there is something in particular you’re looking for, let me know, as I don’t have more than a couple of each but can post-it note reserve for you.)

Other panels include:

  • Horror, Horror, Everywhere: How Horror Infiltrates Other Genres
  • Hidden Treasures: Scary Books You’ve Probably Never Read, But Should
  • Our Favorite Halloween Books and Stories
  • The Beginner’s Guide to Horror Movies, or, How to Start Your Kids off Right
  • Best Horror Books We’ve Read This Year

For more information on the Festival check out the facebook page for the event.

See you there!

Rejections and Reactions

If you’re a writer, you should keep this word in the back of your head at all times: Grace.

If you’re a reader, the writers who don’t understand the definition of that word will be very easy to spot.

What am I talking about? I’m talking about how people respond and react to rejections. Because whether you’ve published one story or one hundred stories, there’s never a reason to not be professional. To have grace.

You see, there are those who write, and then there are those who submit. That first group is quite content to scribble volumes for their own eyes and never ever become published. And then there are those of us who are mildly sadistic at best and may actually enjoy torture at worst. We submit our words and then pace, while waiting to hear back from an opinion we purposely asked for.

Are we always happy with that opinion? No. Should we have a tantrum, whine, bitch, piss and moan? No. The golden rule of rejections? You absolutely should not, under any circumstances, ever ever do either of these two things:
1. respond to the rejection
2. whine about it publicly

That first faux pas? Responding? No. Just no. Why would you? You do nothing to change the mind of the editor who sent you the rejection (and keep in mind, on some level you should be thankful for receiving one in the first place, since many publications only contact you if you’re accepted). The editor had to read a lot more than just your story. If you respond, even to say thank you, you are wasting their valuable time. And if you think they won’t remember that, you’re wrong. If you think they won’t tell their editing and publishing friends, you’re wrong. Slowly, for those in the back, do not—do (period) not (period)—respond to a rejection.

And that second one? Seriously? Let me just remind all of you of one tiny, very very important fact: the Internet is forever. Don’t believe me? Waybackmachine.com. But also, and more immediately, screenshots have become the law of the land.

Recently, there was an amazingly bizarre call for submissions. You may have heard about it—they were asking for pizza stories. I saw the guidelines and I giggled, and then a little voice in the back of my head said, “Heyyyyy, don’t you actually have a story about pizza. You put it in the trunk because, well, pizza.” I did indeed. I had written it several years before and never ever thought I would publish it, so I literally trunked it without submitting. (Not something I would necessarily suggest anyone do.)

I hemmed and hawed for all of twelve seconds and then got curious. It had been a while since I’d seen it. What the heck, I thought, and I pulled out the story.

I read it. I read it again, out loud. I even read it to my daughter (you should know, she’ll be the first person to tell me something sucks… well, right after my mom gets done telling me why it sucks). And I thought, huh, this isn’t bad. The language was a little out of date, and you could tell it was an older story by my archaic style and voice, but with a little polishing… who knows, right?

I polished it. Sent it to my prereaders. Edited it a final time. Submitted it. And waited.

And it got rejected.

Why? It was a form rejection, so I’m not sure. Truthfully, I’d be willing to bet the stories they kept leaned toward blood-fest, scary, or more “traditional” horror veins, rather than my normally quiet, chilling or unnerving style. Nothing wrong with that. It just didn’t work for them. It doesn’t mean I can’t write. Remember, a rejection isn’t a statement on you as a person—it just means that one story, at that one point in time, didn’t work. It doesn’t even necessarily mean the story sucked. And it certainly didn’t mean I should do either of the items above: respond or react.

But others out there were either never told, or they outright chose to ignore the golden rules. Suddenly there were people posting online, openly, angrily, about how they were going to make their own pizza anthology out of their rejected submissions from this one.

Re-read that. Slower.

Yeahhhhh… you read that right. And the editor responded beautifully—telling them to feel free to do so, as it will be the worst thing no one’s ever read. I laughed. Oh my god, did I laugh. I mean, I gasped at the balls and willingness to knowingly damage their own careers. But then I laughed, because wow. Then I went to KillerCon and hung out with said editor for a good chunk of the weekend. We laughed and laughed about all those souls having little hissy fits online.

Once more, for those in the back: the Internet is forever.

And what else? Do you remember? Yes, those you annoy with less-than-professional behavior will tell others, sharing your foibles with all their editing and publishing friends. As I write this, there are currently three different threads on my various social medias discussing someone who reacted poorly in public. Three. Today. And that’s just in my little corner.

This world we call a genre is a small little island of misfits. It’s not a family, though parts can feel like it. The circles can be tight, but most are welcoming. And at the end of the day, it’s far too small a community to think you can do anything remotely close to responding or reacting, and not have it become a scary lesson whispered to newbies—to frighten them as they’re tucked in at night.

Grace, people.

Find it. Hold it tight. Never let it go.

If you are rejected, look at why. If they sent a form letter, it may simply be that it didn’t fit the theme or feel or gore factor or whatever other thread there was connecting the accepted stories. If they were kind enough to tell you why and there’s a critique or suggestion, look at it, consider it heavily, and then adjust and/or edit as you need. Either way, with or without comments, your job at this point is not to say thank you, it’s not to whine on your social media, it’s to resubmit the story. Get it out the door. No rejected story should ever spend the night. They are not welcome company, but rather relatives who don’t know when to leave.

Except when they need to be grounded. This particular piece needed to stay home. Not because it was crap, but because it was very specific. Pizza. And I know what happens to the market after an overly specific anthology sends out their rejections—because once upon a time, many of us giggled and some gasped in horror, as every open submission call out there received rejected stories about “pirate cats from outer space.”

No, specific themes need to sit for a bit—maybe forever. Some can be reshaped into something more generic, some cannot. Either way, I had a pizza story and it got rejected. What did I do? I didn’t respond. And I didn’t react.

Dallas (Jack Ketchum) once told me the most important words ever when it comes to a rejection, “Move on. They have.” Wise wise words, from a wise wise man.

For those who need it, maybe put a post-it note on your screen, keyboard, wall, whatever—wherever you’ll see it and remember. You can write his words if you want. Or you can write “don’t respond, don’t react.” Or you could even write “be professional.” Or you can reduce it to just that one really important word. Say it with me… Grace.

 

Killercon Austin

I didn’t post that I was going to Killercon Austin before the convention, because I wasn’t. And then that changed. So instead of getting a heads up, you’re getting an afterthought. Not really a write-up, just a written version of my proof-of-life pictures.

I was a teenage… no wait, wrong story! I was a last-minute decision/stowaway. Just coming from Scares That Care, I had almost no inventory left—a handful of these and maybe two or three of each of those. But I boxed them, shipped them, and hopped a plane to sit at a table. I sold out rather quickly (which was lovely and unexpected and delights me). And then, because I wasn’t a planned guest—I had no panels, I had no reading, I had no responsibility—I just enjoyed the con.

And enjoy I did. I got to see, hang out, and barely behave with old friends. I was fortunate enough to make some new friends. I enjoyed wandering and chatting and panels from the audience side. It was wonderful. And yes, I’ll be back.

I’m here to tell you, you need to go to this.

If you are a beginning writer wanting to learn, go. If you have books to sell, go. If you are a reader, go. Killercon is an amazing little convention that mixes the traditional horror crowd with the bizarro gang and tosses the splatterpunks in there to mix things up. It’s all horror. All love.

And (shhhh, come closer) the dates have been chosen for next year, but it’s not officially announced. (August 16-18, 2019 shhh…) Stalk the facebook page or twitter account for the official “go!” post.

In case you didn’t get it yet, Killercon was a great convention, full of friendly faces, and run smoothly by people who care about writing, writers, and readers—props to you, Wrath James White, you made it look easy! To everyone who helped or were otherwise a part of the background, good job. And to those who came and participated… wasn’t that fun?

Thanks for letting me make that decision at the eleventh hour and show up… I’ll see you all there next year!

 

Find Me Elsewhere

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Appearances

— · Scares that Care · —
August 2-4, 2019
Williamsburg, VA

— · Killer Con · —
August 16-18, 2019
Round Rock, TX

— · Creature Feature · —
August 30-Sept 1, 2019
Gettysburg, PA

— · Rosie's Bookapalooza · —
October 5, 2019
Johnstown, PA

— · Merrimack Valley · —
Halloween Book Festival
October 12, 2019
Haverhill, MA

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