Sin City Succubus - fast paced, great characters, and just enough humor

I’ve discovered that one of the best things about comicons is the opportunity to meet other authors and exhibitors. At Sandemonium, I had the good luck to meet Chuck and Gail Anderson, owners of Alucard Press LLC. Books, Cosplay and Nightmares

I’d blown my tiny budget by then (my insatiable appetite for books was trumped by the imperative to get a present for my granddaughter from Little Vampires), so I didn’t get to buy a book from Alucard Press then and there --- but you can bet I hunted them down on the web as soon as I got home! Chuck writes as CS Anderson, and has over a dozen books out. I started with the Kindle version of his latest release, “SIN CITY SUCCUBUS: A Dabbler Novel”. The premise of the story had strong appeal, and the killer cover (by Lisa Vasquez) cinched my choice.

WHAT A BLAST! Sin City Succubus is a delightfully supernatural romp through Vegas. Told in the first person by Robert Jones, a wiseass cross between actor Chris Pratt and Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden (according to my imagination). I flat-out adored this character, who doesn’t have much magic himself, but has to deal with those who do on a daily basis—whether he wants to or not. And sometimes that means violent or fatal consequences.

The action started with the first line and never let up until its immensely satisfying conclusion. BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! Turns out, this is just Book One, and Robert Jones and his friends will return in “Sin City Angels”.

Find Sin City Succubus here on Amazon ---- https://www.amazon.com/Sin-City-Sucubbus-Dabbler-Novel-ebook/dp/B01KIXCX1W/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1474811488&sr=8-1&keywords=sin+city+dabbler

Say hi to Dani Harper at the Central City Comic Con in October

If you're at the 2nd Annual Central City Comic Con in Yakima, Washington, stop by my booth and say hello!  



The con takes place Friday, Oct. 14th 2016 
through Sunday, Oct. 16th 2016 
at the Yakima Convention Center in Washington State. 

"Celebrities, costumes, artists, gaming, educational panels, demonstrations, and SO MUCH FUN."

Click HERE for more information!

Exhibitor Hours: 
Friday, October 14th:
12:00pm-7:00pm

Saturday, October 15th: 
10:00am-7:00pm

Sunday, October 16th
10:00am-5:00pm


SANDEMONIUM 2016 - small but mighty in Sandpoint, Idaho

A wide range of cosplay characters
added to the festive atmosphere
of Sandemonium 2016
Back from my third comicon, and I'm glad to report that Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Anime, Comic, Cosplay, and Fandom-in-General are all alive and well in Sandpoint, Idaho!

8 a.m. was setup time. Hubs and I began hauling the first of several loads from the car. (Note to self: Instead of writing very heavy books, consider creating something more lightweight to sell, like balloon animals or feathered hat pins)

However, we were pleasantly surprised to be greeted by a small army of volunteers whose sole job was to offer help of any kind. Tote a box? Looking for direction? Need a hand with that display? They were there.

It's just one example of the amazing organization and enthusiasm of the steering committee who put this small but mighty event together.

The Flash, one of my
favorite cosplayers,
also attended
Coeur d'Con

As you might know from a previous blog post, I had a BLAST at Coeur d'Con two weeks ago. I'd fully expected the Sandpoint event to be much smaller. True, there were fewer attendees at Sandemonium than at Coeur d'Con, but this event focused in on teens and adults, and catered to a much wider variety of interests. 

You know the proverb, when the student is ready, the teacher appears... This "little" event definitely took me to the next level of con experience! 

For instance, I learned what "boffering" is, as all kinds of cosplayers took their boffers -- padded mock weapons -- to the great outdoors for some simulated combat and serious "larping" (live action role playing - yup, I had to learn that term too, LOL). 

This had been preceded by a helpful how-to presentation on building cool-looking but effective boffers out of lowly pool noodles.

Badger Dragon Boffer!
(Allison J Wier, who won 1st in
the pro cosplay division)
Tabletop and video gaming tourneys ran for much of the day. Gamers could also take in classes on how to create your own Dungeons and Dragons character or how to play War Machine. And I learned that playing a game is not the only way to enjoy it. 

The vendor's booth next to mine belonged to local tabletop gaming and card shop, Another World. I got a close-up look at a set of exquisite Warhammer pieces, each lovingly hand-painted by the proprietor. Fine details are done with a single-haired brush, and one tiny figurine can take many hours to complete.

Rebecca Hicks, the artist
behind Little Vampires,
taught a drawing class
Self-publishing panels abounded for budding authors, as did instruction in creating everything from dolls to cartoons to elaborate costumes. Entertainment was provided by comedy/improv group, Pants Pending (who also gave a panel on podcasting) And official meet-ups were held for anime fans, "furries", and pokemon fans... But really, whatever creative, fantastical, or character-driven interest you had, your tribe awaited you! 

Cosplay Castiel
Speaking of tribes, I've learned that this is one of the greatest appeals of a fantasy convention. Here's a place where your inner geek can come out of the closet and thrive. I know that mine did! There's nothing like that sense of delighted recognition when you spot a character created by a talented cosplayer (hey, I got to salute Captain Malcolm Reynolds, and meet a giant Ewok!). And nothing like the enthusiasm and excitement of discussing the finer points of a game, a TV show, a hobby, or an art form with someone who "gets it", and loves it as much as you do. 

Horror author
C.S.Anderson
was on hand.
I just started
reading his
latest!
The energy of so many creative people all in one place is amazing. Plus, there's a warmth that isn't just from the August weather. Attendees recognize each other from previous events and greet each other like long-lost friends. Reps from other cons show up to support their sister event, and share ideas, as well as to promote their own. 

A lot of the vendors, artists, and authors have gotten to know each other through shared events too. And several went out of their way to make me feel welcome, and offer support. So not only did I learn a lot from everyone at Sandemonium, I made some new friends. 

I brought home a couple of new friends too, in the form of books. Every author is a reader first, and I just can't resist a good story. What I couldn't buy at the time has been added to my TBR list!

Despite the excitement, I even managed to sell a few of my own books. With all the fun things to see and do, plus the chasing-after-the-elf-couple-to-get-a-photo (I never did catch them), it was easy to forgot that my original purpose was to introduce my work to new readers. Oops! But I did manage to talk to quite a few people, and some of the Changeling Series and the Grim Series found good homes. 


If you'd like to see more photos from Sandemonium 2016, head on over to their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/sdptsandemonium/  and check out their recent posts.

Dani Harper's at Northern Idaho's SANDEMONIUM Comicon August 27th




This weekend I'm headed to Sandpoint, Idaho for their second annual SANDEMONIUM. If you're in the area, come say hello to me in my booth! I'd love to chat about what you're reading right now (I'm reading Rachel Caine's INK AND BONE - fabulous story!), about paranormal creatures, or even about chickens (you know how obsessed I get about my flock, LOL). 

Bring along one of my books if you have one and I'll be very happy to sign it. I'll also have copies of my three Grim Series books, and my three Changeling books for purchase while supplies last.

Description from the Sandemonium website:
"Sandemonium is a sci-fi, fantasy, and anime convention in beautiful Sandpoint, Idaho! We started in 2015 as a library convention held to celebrate the 2015 Teen Summer Reading Program theme of super heroes, but the response from the community was far more than any of us could have hoped for! We are excited to host an even bigger and better event in 2016 at our new venue, the Forrest Bird Charter High School!"

SANDEMONIUM runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, August 27th at the Forrest Bird Charter Elementary School, 614 S Madison Ave, Sandpoint, Idaho. 

Here's the panel and activity schedule:


For more info go to:
https://www.facebook.com/sdptsandemonium/home
or http://www.sandemonium7b.com/

Hope to see you there! 

Pop Culture Fun at Coer d'Con 2016

Coeur d’Con 2016 is over. It was the second year for the event at the Coeur d’Alene Public Library in Idaho, and my first year as an exhibitor. Okay, it was my very first time EVER as an exhibitor anywhere, and only my second time as a comicon attendee. Like many writers, I'm an introvert by nature, and my anxiety expanded as the event approached. I wasn't concerned in the least about selling my books. The late-night questions that swirled in my sleepless brain were more along the lines of "How am I going to talk to people? What on earth will I say?"

I needn't have worried. At heart, I'm a total geek, and there was no lack of people just like me. Lovers of Sci-Fi, Fans of Fantasy, Admirers of Superheroes, and Devotees of Pop Culture in all its zany forms. It was like a grand reunion. In short, I had a blast!

Tall, dark, and furry meet mini cosplayers
From sleepy caped toddlers being carried by their costumed parents, to wizards and wise guys whose gray beards were the real deal, the event left no doubt that “cosplay” is for every age! My ultimate favorite was the senior with the cane, sporting a bright red shirt and shorts with the Flash insignia. (He was the father of my new friend in the booth next to mine, and I’ve never met anyone more knowledgeable about Star Trek!)

Cleverness and creativity abounded in both the simplest t-shirts and the complex whole-body costumes. Many of those who sported more elaborate apparel had worked for over a year to craft them! All were labors of love to pay homage to a character, a comic, manga, or anime series, a book, a movie franchise, a TV show, even an entire genre, or to create something brand new to share. 


Lady Deadpool
Junior Men in Black patrolled for aliens, while Star Wars personalities from both the Republic and the Rebels kept a wary eye on each other. Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry was well-represented, as was Disney’s evergrowing world of Princesses.

Many incarnations of Dr. Who were on hand. Plus a four-man Ghostbusters team amazed attendees with their carefully crafted proton packs that boasted sound effects and lights!

Incidentally, each of those otherworldly weapons sported a bright orange zip-tie. So did many of the swords and blasters carried by cosplayers. The orange zip tie signified that an organizer had examined the weapon and approved it. Anything a little too realistic or that had the potential to hurt somebody accidentally (like a genuine steel sword) was wisely discouraged. I noticed this with a bit of a smile, because I was exactly the kind of kid who would leap to the top of a table and start swinging my magical blade, too caught up in my character to notice whose hat or head was being lopped... 

Dr. Horrible + Captain Hammer
It was impossible to choose a favorite from the many characters portrayed at Coeur d'Con, and I confess, while I recognized most, there were a few I didn't know. But I was truly gratified to see that Joss Whedon’s Firefly is alive and well in the brown-coated hearts of many. I nearly ran up and hugged characters Jayne Cobb and Kaylee Frye, but settled for congratulating the folks who portrayed them on their excellent costume choices.

I was also thrilled to see another Joss Whedon creation brought to life: Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog! Dr. Horrible and Captain Hammer couldn’t be entreated to sing, but did a wonderful job of staying in character through much of the event.

You never know who'll you find in the fiction department...
Something I should mention is that wearing a costume in October is one thing. Wearing a heavy whole-body suit on a sweltering August day while posing for endless pictures takes artistic dedication and a pure love for the craft, as well as a genuine desire to entertain. I was truly impressed by the number of cosplayers cheerfully enduring what had to be extreme discomfort to help make the event a success. And it was successful – there were hundreds of attendees, and from my vantage point at least, a good time was had by all.

Characters of every description populated the Coeur d'Alene Library in Idaho on Saturday, August 13th

Harley Quinn
One of the things that impressed me the most was the large number of female cosplayers. And they didn’t restrict themselves to portraying purely female characters! Among the Black Widows, the Harley Quinns, and the many anime characters including Kaori Miyazono and friends, there were also female versions of Captain America, Deadpool, Juuzou Suzuya, and Darth Vader (and no, Darth wasn’t pink!)

Sir Didymus Warington,
portrayed by Shawn Shay
More than a few cosplayers demonstrated a sincere love of the Steampunk genre. One of the most entertaining and charming characters of the entire day was Sir Didymus Warington, Steampunk deep-sea diver and proclaimed mermaid hunter. Beneath the heavy helmet was Shawn Shay, who was awarded Best Costume overall. (And see that big Black Rabbit in the photo above? That was ALSO Shawn!) Other Steampunk aficionados were in the winner's circle as well. Kyle and Aubrey Craviotto topped the Adult Costume category with their creative portrayal of Steampunk Superman and Steampunk Wonder Woman.

Kyle + Aubrey Craviotto
Steampunk Superheroes
The organizers of Coeur d’Con did an incredible job, making certain to have a large variety of activities for guests of all ages. A wide array of fan meet-ups, video gaming, papercrafts (I saw more than one paper Tardis or Tie Fighter carried by my booth), “geek storytime”, photobooth fun, technology demos, and much more filled the two floors of the library – plus a Legends of Zelda slingshot challenge was held outdoors! (PS, the surroundings of the Coeur d'Alene Public Library are just as beautiful as the building.) 

From my booth in Artist’s Alley, I had the proverbial bird’s eye view of the on-stage panels held throughout the afternoon. With presentations like “What it Takes to be a Podcaster” to “Women and the Future of Comics”, once again there was something for everyone. As a writer, I particularly enjoyed “Creating Fantasy Worlds” by YA author Toby Neighbors. The crowd favorite, however, was definitely “Cosplay 101”, where tips and tricks were given not only on costuming, but on how to truly bring a character to life.

At the end of the day, I seriously felt like I had found my tribe. The choicest aspect of the entire event was the genuine friendliness, camaraderie, and just plain good humor of those who participated.

I can hardly wait for Coeur d’Con 2017!