Scarlet Letters

The not-so-private thoughts and rants of Elizabeth Donald, journalist/author and founder of the Literary Underworld.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

a painfully true description...

Ye gods, it's my life.

Quasi-seriously, folks? If you want to see something other than the latest TWILIGHT clone in books, if you want to see artists and artisans thrive, if you value those snarky buttons and funny T-shirts that make up such a part of convention culture... bring the cash to the dealer's room. Every show for the last eighteen months has been thinner and the eyes of the dealers become more desperate. Keep them in business, or you'll be stuck with Hot Topic.

Oh, and buy my books. :)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Happy birthday, Jennie.

For those who knew her, today is a bittersweet day. It would have been Jennie's 26th birthday.

Jennie died in March. I intended to link to the column I wrote about her for the paper, but it seems those links only last for a few weeks and then they expire.

For those who don't know or who weren't with us, Jennie was our friend. She had cystic fibrosis. She received a lung transplant, but it didn't hold. She was on the transplant list when she died.

For her mother Selena, today was especially difficult in a manner I can't even begin to contemplate. My own son is so very dear to me, and I feel his absence even when he's just away visiting his father or my mother. I cannot comprehend the depth and breadth of Selena's loss.

But it seems an appropriate day to remind all who don't know about STEAMPOSIUM.

There's a connection. Bear with me.

As Jennie was entering her final battle, Conflation had a particularly successful year with a steampunk theme. In fact, it was so popular that many people asked organizer Alesia Clardy to form a regular steampunk convention here in St. Louis.

It just so happens that Alesia used to do a regular salon-style LARP that raised money for cystic fibrosis.

So when Jennie died shortly after Conflation, Alesia contacted me about creating STEAMPOSIUM, a steampunk convention for the Royal Order of Steampunk Enthusiasts. A convention to raise money for cystic fibrosis. I am in awe of Alesia, folks. She can create these things out of thin air, the fairy godmother of St. Louis.

STEAMPOSIUM will be April 9-11, 2010 at the Clayton Crowne Plaza in St. Louis, Mo. Click the above links for details. The room rates are great and Alesia knows how to put on a top-notch show.

I will be there. And I will try to talk every damn one of you into coming as well. What I know about steampunk couldn't fill one of Sara Harvey's hats. But this is one way our common interests can do some greater good, and bring something positive out of tragedy.

I think Jennie would approve.


Hurry up and get your membership now - the earlybird registration is only $30, but limited to the first 65 respondents! Click here for more.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Shiny art!

Artist Janet Chui talks about the process for developing this lovely Dreadmire image:

Shiny, isn't it? I really think it captures Alesia particularly well. Anyway, read all about it on Janet's blog.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Dreadmire reminder

A friendly reminder that you only have until July 15 to preorder THE DREADMIRE CHRONICLES! It's first-come, first-served for those who want the limited first edition - I have absolutely no idea how many of those will be available after Babelcon, guys. Depending on how popular it is at the show, there may not be any.

So you must preorder AND PAY before July 15 to be guaranteed a book! While I'm hopeful I'll be able to get future shipments, "hopeful" isn't the same thing as "positive." The books are $18 plus $5 shipping, and if you order more than one book shipping is free. I have all my titles in stock at the moment, though a snag with the printer is making SETTING SUNS a little scarce.

Order now! Don't let the swamp boat sail without you! :)

P.S. Since there was confusion on this... order by emailing, not by posting here. Yes, we're working on a smoother method. Possibly by the fall, more likely next year. Paypals should also go to, not my personal account.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Dreadmire presale open now!

Okay, folks, here's the way it's gonna go:

There will be a special first edition of THE DREADMIRE CHRONICLES available only at BabelCon in Baton Rouge, July 17-19. This will be an extremely small print run, and I don't have the price yet. However many are left at the end of the show - and I have no guarantee any will be left - I will snag for you guys.

The trade release will be out August 1. The cost is $18 plus $5 shipping. You can preorder now, and I strongly urge you to do so, because I don't know how many copies of either edition I'll be able to acquire. That's if you want a copy signed by me. If you don't care, you can wait and order from the publisher.

We'll take preorders starting now through July 15. If you prefer the special first edition, say so in your order, but keep in mind you're reserving a copy without knowing the price. However many I can snag at the show, that's how many I'll have, first come first served.

As before, if you order more than one book, you get free shipping. Order by emailing!

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Dreadmire on my web site