Can-Con 2019

Can-Con 2019 is happening NEXT WEEKEND and I am ridiculously excited about it.

What is Can-Con, you ask?

Only my favourite convention of the year!

Can-Con is short for The Conference on Canadian Content in Speculative Arts and Literature, and the guests include Canadian authors, editors, publishers, agents, scientists, artists, and more!

Can-Con logo. Image from can-con.org.

Even better, to my mind, is that these people aren’t hidden away in a green room – they walk the floor with the other attendees, go to panels to broaden their knowledge base just like everyone else, and are generally available for geeking out with.

This year, Can-Con is hosting the Aurora Awards, so the convention will be teaming with nominees and past winners. Our very own Éric Desmarais is one of the nominees!

Oh, and me too, I guess, for the Travelling TARDIS blog. I don’t expect to win, though, because the people I’m up against are incredible.

The vendors room is open to the public, (We have a table if you need coffee or crochet) but the convention itself is sold out for 2019.

You can contact Jennifer Desmarais through Orleans Travel. jennifer.desmarais@orleanstravel.ca

Multi-author book launch!

Hello Book Lovers,

My book, Everdome, and plenty of other awesome books are being launched on Saturday.

Here’s the press release:


Join us Saturday October 5th at 4 PM, at 3 Brewers (240 Sparks, Ottawa) for the launch of seven extraordinary novels!

Humour, romance, sci-fi, fantasy, and reality TV? There’s something in here to please everyone!

There will be author readings, you can get your books signed, and we’ll be drawing absolutely fabulous door prizes. Plus, there will be much fun and merriment!

ACCESSIBILITY NOTE: the elevator is situated in the back of the pub. Please ask staff upon entry and they will guide you to it!

FOOD

Because of the large numbers we usually bring in, they asked us to tell our guests they will have a choice from the group menu. We went with option number one; there will be gluten-free options such as gluten-free buns or lettuce wraps, and there will also be vegan alternatives on site.

Click here to see the Facebook event! 

Watch the trailer to Everdome by Éric Desmarais!

Watch all the trailers here

About the books

Skylark by S. M. Carrière – Canadian sci-fi  

When the outermost interstellar Way Station suddenly ceases communications with Earth, Commander Skye and Team 6 are sent to investigate. They discover a new alien threat—the insectoid Ragnar, who move through space consuming resources like a virus. Humanity and daemon-kind realize they must unite in the fight to protect Earth.

Read more! | Watch the trailer! 

Everdome by Éric Desmarais – Urban fantasy  

For thirteen lucky contestants, when a man dressed as a knight offers them the opportunity to visit their favourite fantasy world as an immersive reality show, there’s only one answer they can give: YES!

The impressive realism is beyond anything they can believe and some of them start to wonder why.

Read more! | Watch the trailer! 

The Stealth Lovers by Cait Gordon – Sci-fi comedy/romance  

After submitting to mandatory conscription,

two young men begin Basic Training, or, “Vacay in Hay.”

Little do they know the bond they feel will lead them to become the venerable military pairing known as

The Stealth.

Read more! | Watch the trailer! 

A Congress of Ships by Stephen Graham King – Sci-fi   

In a desolate system on the outer edge of Pan Galactum, the skin of the universe has ruptured, tearing open a portal to an alternate reality. Witnessed only by the sentient science vessel N’Dea, a massive, battered ship falls through, housing a community of refugees fleeing an enemy that has pursued them across the cold reaches of space for decades.

But have they come alone?

Read more! | Watch the trailer! 

The Wayward Spider by John Haas – Comic fantasy   

All Spider wants is to seek his fortune as a thief. Is that too much to ask? Must be, since a break in gone wrong leaves him babysitting a powerful magic-user with sporadic control over his spells, and even less of a grip on functioning in society. And that’s just where it starts. Each misadventure takes Spider further from his goals, but he’s about to learn that sometimes we get what we need instead of what we want.

Read more! | Watch the trailer! 

RunJ Run by Su J Sokol – Psychological thriller   

Attractive, wildly unconventional, and happy in an open relationship with his partner Annie, Zak seems to embody everything missing from Jeremy’s life, but when the arrest and death of a marginalized student at the Brooklyn high school where they both teach trigger Zak’s mental breakdown and slow descent, Jeremy and Annie are compelled to cross boundaries, both external and internal, in a desperate attempt to save him.

Read more! | Watch the trailer! 

Love and Lemonade by Jamieson Wolf – LGBT   

Blaine and his friends haven’t always been lucky in love. They’ve stumbled throughout lust, hoping to find their hearts desire, or at least a good lay. They have made their way through life, stumbling a few times, and have finally found their way to comfort and acceptance…Or have they? There are all kinds of love in the world and Blaine and his friends will have to find the love that works for them.

Read more! | Watch the trailer! 


Hope to see you there,

Éric

Last Chance to Vote

Hello Again,

This Saturday is the last day to put in your votes for the Aurora awards. If you’ve been meaning to, please go and vote before it’s too late.

Go to https://prixaurorawards.ca/ and click on the “Become a Member” button. Once you’ve paid you’ll be able to vote. Don’t forget to download your voters package.

Please consider both The Sign of Faust and The Travelling TARDIS in your votes.

The Sign of Faust

The Sign of Faust is available at Amazon and Renaissance Press.

Elizabeth Coderre solves mysteries. Magic, wizards, and killer kittens didn’t stop her last semester. Now someone is trying to kill her in absurdly complicated ways, she’s hearing voices, her best friends are constantly fighting despite being madly in love, and the desires of Baker City’s residents are becoming reality. Can she find out who’s trying to kill her and discover the source of everyone’s luck, while navigating dating, concerts, school, and competing in the science Olympics? She can only wish… and you know what they say about wishes!

The Travelling TARDIS

The Travelling TARDIS moves, with the power of timey-yarney crochet, through time and space visiting and taking pictures with cosplayers, landmarks, celebrities, and cute babies.

This will be my last reminder.

Hope you’ve read and enjoyed the books from this year’s package.

Thank you,

Éric

Only 11 days left to vote

Hello,

There’s only 11 days left for you to vote for the Aurora awards. So go to https://prixaurorawards.ca/ and click on the “Become a Member” button.

Once you’ve paid you’ll be able to vote. Don’t forget to download your voters package.

Please consider both The Sign of Faust and The Travelling TARDIS in your votes.

The Sign of Faust

The Sign of Faust is available at Amazon and Renaissance Press.

Elizabeth Coderre solves mysteries. Magic, wizards, and killer kittens didn’t stop her last semester. Now someone is trying to kill her in absurdly complicated ways, she’s hearing voices, her best friends are constantly fighting despite being madly in love, and the desires of Baker City’s residents are becoming reality. Can she find out who’s trying to kill her and discover the source of everyone’s luck, while navigating dating, concerts, school, and competing in the science Olympics? She can only wish… and you know what they say about wishes!

The Travelling TARDIS

The Travelling TARDIS moves, with the power of timey-yarney crochet, through time and space visiting and taking pictures with cosplayers, landmarks, celebrities, and cute babies.

Thank you and good voting.

Éric

Voting is Now Open

Hello Readers and Imaginary Friends,

Voting for the Aurora’s is now open until September 14th.

You still have time to get the voter’s package and vote for your favourites!

I hope you’ll consider The Travelling TARDIS and The Sign of Faust when you’re voting.

The Sign of Faust

The Sign of Faust is available at Amazon and Renaissance Press.

Elizabeth Coderre solves mysteries. Magic, wizards, and killer kittens didn’t stop her last semester. Now someone is trying to kill her in absurdly complicated ways, she’s hearing voices, her best friends are constantly fighting despite being madly in love, and the desires of Baker City’s residents are becoming reality. Can she find out who’s trying to kill her and discover the source of everyone’s luck, while navigating dating, concerts, school, and competing in the science Olympics? She can only wish… and you know what they say about wishes!

The Travelling TARDIS

The Travelling TARDIS moves, with the power of timey-yarney crochet, through time and space visiting and taking pictures with cosplayers, landmarks, celebrities, and cute babies.

Sign up, get ebooks, read, and vote for your favourites before September 14th. It’s a great deal and you’ll love the books.

So go to https://prixaurorawards.ca/ and click on the “Become a Member” button.

Later days,

 Éric

Birthday Wish

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

I turned 62 yesterday. This year for my birthday, you should buy yourself a gift.

Go sign up for the the Canadian Science Fiction & Fantasy Association and buy yourself 14+ novels, collections, short stories, and more.

Once you’ve signed up, you get the ebooks and the privilege to vote for the best in Canadian science fiction and fantasy.

Shameless Plug

I hope you’ll consider The Travelling TARDIS and The Sign of Faust when you’re voting.

The Sign of Faust

The Sign of Faust is available at Amazon and Renaissance Press.

Elizabeth Coderre solves mysteries. Magic, wizards, and killer kittens didn’t stop her last semester. Now someone is trying to kill her in absurdly complicated ways, she’s hearing voices, her best friends are constantly fighting despite being madly in love, and the desires of Baker City’s residents are becoming reality. Can she find out who’s trying to kill her and discover the source of everyone’s luck, while navigating dating, concerts, school, and competing in the science Olympics? She can only wish… and you know what they say about wishes!

The Travelling TARDIS

The Travelling TARDIS moves, with the power of timey-yarney crochet, through time and space visiting and taking pictures with cosplayers, landmarks, celebrities, and cute babies.

In Conclusion

Sign up, get ebooks, read, and then on August 5th you’ll be able to vote for your favourites. It’s a great deal and you’ll love the books.

So go to https://prixaurorawards.ca/ and click on the “Become a Member” button.

Later days,

 Éric

Harry Potter and the Magic of Words – Guest Post by Jamieson Wolf

Hello Imaginary Friends,

I’m enjoying some cuddles from Pegasus. You can enjoy this fantastic post by Jamieson Wolf.


Words have the power to heal. I experienced this firsthand.

In 2013, I woke one morning with little motor control and could barely walk. I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with Labyrinthitis. I wasn’t allowed to read or watch television or write at my computer for two weeks. Thankfully, my mother suggested I listen to audiobooks. I downloaded the first two Harry Potter books and started listening to them, certain I wouldn’t like them. Thankfully, I fell in love.

Listening to Harry Potter brought the story and the world that Harry lives in alive for me in a way that reading the book couldn’t. Hearing Jim Dale read out Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone and then Stephen Fry read Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets was also a balm to my soul. Over the two weeks that I had to take off work, I would sit back and close my eyes and let the words wash over me. I would let the world of Harry Potter fill in the darkness.

Then other problems began. I didn’t get better. I got worse. The left side of my body went numb; I fell almost daily. Eventually, after losing the ability to speak and type on a keyboard (having been able to type since I was in my teens), I knew that something was very wrong. There was something else wrong with my body and, after a day in emergency, the doctors had an idea of what it was that lived within me.

There was a neurologist on staff that night. After looking me over he informed me that it was probably multiple sclerosis, but they would have to run tests to make sure. It would be some time until I knew what was wrong.

I turned to books for comfort. As I didn’t have Labyrinthitis, the doctors said it was okay for me to read again, thank goodness. I picked up a book by a new author that one of my friends recommended to me: Cupcakes at Carrington’s by Alexandra Brown. It was about a woman named Georgie Hart who was desperate to put her life back in order. In a bizarre coincidence, she had lost her mother when she succumbed to her multiple sclerosis. This touched me deeply and I felt deeply connected to the book because of that. I went on to read Cupcakes at Carrington’s three more times and it was magical every single time.

I went through a battery of different tests: vision and hearing, bloodwork, a CAT scan and an MRI and a spinal tap to finish it all off. Now all I could do was wait. While I waited for the diagnosis, I knew that I needed to write something, anything. I would lie in bed at night and watch the stories I wanted to tell float above my head. Before, I could write ten thousand words in a weekend without breaking a sweat. Now, I could only write five or so words at a time, forcing my fingers to hit the right keys.

I decided that I had to write. I had to write something. I had dabbled in poetry in my teens before turning to short stories, novellas and novels. I figured that writing poetry would give me another way to tell stories. My poems would do away with iambic petametre and a rhyming scheme. Instead, they would be raw and real, part memoir and part story. I would take those five words that I wrote a day and stitch the poem together when I thought it was done.

Each poem took me about a week or more to write, but as I continued, I noticed something: I was getting better. Five words a day slowly climbed to ten and then to fifteen. I remember hitting twenty words a day and I felt elated. It was as if I had climbed a flat mountain and could look back at all of the words I had written. It was as if I could fly. Soon, I had a small collection of poems. I even thought that I might one day collect them all together and publish them. I had an idea for a title: Talking to the Sky. It would be a reference to when I was trying to heal and would sit at the computer, staring at the blank screen unable to type and tell the stories that I wanted to. It was like I was talking to the clouds.

Then, after three months, I received my diagnosis, a day before my birthday: I had relapse and remitting multiple sclerosis. I wasn’t afraid. Now, I knew the monster within me had a name.

I retreated into the world of Harry Potter once again. I have read the Harry Potter series more than anything else. I read the series once a year and have stopped counting the fortieth time I read the series the entire way through. That was years ago. I turned to his story when I needed comfort, when I needed joy. When I was sad or depressed, the story held within the books was pure magic. I needed Harry and company at that moment more than anything.

I also needed to write more than poetry. I needed to break out of the constraint of sewing words together like a patchwork quilt. I needed to write a novel. I didn’t know how long it would take, or if it would be any good. It didn’t matter; I was angry, surprisingly so, and I wanted to write something that would help soothe the anger. I wanted to give the anger a focus.

With that in mind, I started writing a novel I called The Other Side of Oz. In the novel, Justin is an Oz fanatic who has started seeing yellow bricks everywhere he goes. Is it his imagination intruding into real life? Then Justin and the boy he likes are in an accident. They travel to Justin’s version of Oz, but again, is it real or is it their imagination? I wanted to find some way to convey the sense of the unreal that I lived with every day. While not about Harry Potter, it was about the other series of books that had formed a large part of my childhood and adulthood. I wanted to write about someplace magical that wasn’t the world I lived in.

By the time I was done the book, a few months had passed. It had been exhausting, trying to force my brain to think of a story and forcing my fingers to type the words out. However, when I typed The End, I was elated once more. I had climbed another flat mountain, this one higher than the others that I had climbed.

I noticed other things, too. I was lighter, as if a weight had been taken from me. Scrolling through the pages of the novel that I had typed out, I knew it was because I had put the weight of that anger and uncertainty into The Other Side of Oz. That novel has never seen the light of day; perhaps, with a hefty edit, it will someday soon.

What I’ve come to realize six years later, is that I would have been a lot worse without the magic of words. The books I love kept me sustained and comforted when I need it and, when that wasn’t enough, my own words had flown out of me to relieve me of the pain and angst I was carrying within me. Words were the magic that I wielded. As much as the multiple sclerosis took a lot of things from me and made me revaluate how I lived my life, the one thing that didn’t leave me was the magic of words. Each one I write is part of the spell that I weave and each one I read heals me still.

I would be lost without them.


Jamieson Wolf is a number one best selling author (he likes to tell people that a lot!). His recent works include the memoir Little Yellow Magnet and the novels Lust and Lemonade and Life and Lemonade. A third novel, Love and Lemonade, comes out later this year. You can learn more about Jamieson at http://www.jamiesonwolf.com

Éric’s 2019 Resolution Mid-Year Review

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

It’s July 2nd and that means half the year has passed us by… whoa. That was fast.

Let’s see how I’m doing with my resolutions.

Doofenshmirtz: You there, what’s your New Year’s resolution?

Writing

1. Write a Monthly Serial Story (Succeeding)

So far, so good; I’ve written one every month except for April. But I wrote an extra chapter to make up for it so I consider that good.

Go Read Seren Plentyn and the Secret of Hokulua Station

2. Write the Bookend Material for the Short Story Collection (Failing)

I haven’t touched this yet… Hopefully I’ll get a chance this summer.

3. Finish Paragenesis (Succeeding)

I’ve written 8 of 15 chapters… so that’s good.

4. Get to the 2/3 mark on Mystery of the Dancing Lights (No movement)

I started the year with 10 of 30 chapters… so that’s a good thing… I’m not sure I’ll get this done but I’d really like to.

JenEric Designs and Coffee

5. Continue to ensure there’s content 5 days a week on JenEric Designs (Failed)

We broke our 6 year streak with a missed post in February. The post was set for the right day but didn’t actually post and we didn’t notice until the next day; so it’s a fail.

6. Test, Design, and Produce 2 new coffee flavours (Succeeded)

We debuted Mighty ThOrange, In Another Castle, and Unbirthday Cake this year. So I went a little overboard.

You can buy them and JenEric Coffee!

Editing and Marketing

7. Edit and send Dinosaur Road Trip to a willing beta reader (No movement)

I haven’t looked at it… 🙁

8. Submit Everdome for blurbs (Succeeding)

I wrote a draft letter, list of names, and started things off. It’s all up to my publisher now.

9. Playtest the higher levels of FADDS (Succeeding)

I’ve playtested level 10-11. In the fall, I’ll start a level 12-17 campaign.

10. Figure out how to market and sell CoasteRPG (No movement)

After a lot of thought, I’m come to realize this is a great concept, but not an easy thing to implement… I’ll think of something.

The game is great and works, but I have to find a better way to market/gimmick it.

Personal

11. Read 20 books (Succeeding)

I’ve read 13 of 20 so that’s great. I’m kinda hating the book I’m reading now, but we’ll see if it gets better.

12. Don’t Burnout (Succeeding)

I’m doing okay. I’ve come close a few times and been really in need of some rest, but overall I’ve done okay.

13. Be More Patient (Succeeding)

I’m trying… Really I am. I have my moments, but overall I think I’ve been better. My wife confirmed that I have been. Yay!

I still need to work on it. Especially at bedtime when all I want is sleep.

14. Play Some Video games with Dragon (Succeeding)

I’ve played some mobile games with her; she helps a little. Hopefully on parental leave we can try some console stuff.


So the breakdown is Succeeding/Succeeded 9, Failing/Failed 2, and No movement 3. At this rate I’m on course for a 60%+.

Hope you’re doing just as well!

Éric

The Sign of Faust and Travelling TARDIS Nominated for Aurora Awards

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

If you read the list of nominees in my last post about the Aurora’s you may have recognized a few names.

Voter’s Package

The Sign of Faust along with the majority of nominated works are available in the voter’s package now. Simply make an account, pay $10, and you’ll have access to a wonderful library of Canadian Science fiction and fantasy.

The Travelling TARDIS isn’t part of the package because you can access it for free on this site.

The Sign of Faust

The Sign of Faust is available at Amazon and Renaissance Press.

Elizabeth Coderre solves mysteries. Magic, wizards, and killer kittens didn’t stop her last semester. Now someone is trying to kill her in absurdly complicated ways, she’s hearing voices, her best friends are constantly fighting despite being madly in love, and the desires of Baker City’s residents are becoming reality. Can she find out who’s trying to kill her and discover the source of everyone’s luck, while navigating dating, concerts, school, and competing in the science Olympics? She can only wish… and you know what they say about wishes!

The Travelling TARDIS

The Travelling TARDIS moves, with the power of timey-yarney crochet, through time and space visiting and taking pictures with cosplayers, landmarks, celebrities, and cute babies.

Voting

If you think The Sign of Faust and Travelling TARDIS are worthy of your vote, voting for the Auroras will be open on August 5th.


Thank you to everyone who nominated us and especially to everyone who reads and enjoys our content.

Thank you!

Éric