Thomas K. Carpenter Award Eligibility for 2019

It is that time of year when nominating for awards gets down to business. Of course, nominating can’t happen without reading, so now is the time to push forth our favorite stories for consideration.

While there were a number of things that I published this year, I would only recommend reading one story for awards consideration. That story was The Stylized Unicorn Escapes Its Poster in a Seattle Teenager’s Bedroom in Galaxy’s Edge earlier this year. It is in the short story category.

I recommend it not just because I think it’s one of the best stories that I’ve written, but because I’ve received great reader and reviewer feedback for this particular story. None of these reviews were solicited by me (samples from the reviews as not to give away the story).

Realms and Robots Review

Sample from the review: “… is a beautiful story, filled with brilliant writing and tragic realities. This is a powerful story that shows how fantasy worlds can become lifelines to those in need of an escape. In the end, they become a part of our realities, giving us new perspectives on the world and our place in it. “

Tangent Online

Sample from the review: “…the author does a brilliant job indirectly portraying her economic state. Things like her closet being filled with only two Goodwill dresses, or parental fights over food money, show the depths of her poverty.”

SFRevu

Sample from the review: “… Good story with just the perfect ending. “

Locus Magazine

Sample from the review: “…a fairly effective take on the old trope of a girl with a fraught family situation who sees fantasy crea­tures and even a way to another world – an escape, perhaps – but ends up stuck in ours. It’s well told, and works emotionally, but the ending doesn’t quite convince.”

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Archon 2019 Panel Schedule

My panel schedule for Archon 2019. If you’re going to be at the con, please stop by and say hello.

How to Find a Good Editor
Format: Panel
4 Oct 2019, Friday 16:00 – 17:00, Salon 2 (Gateway Center)

Editors can make a mediocre story great, but how do you even find one?

Elizabeth Donald, Mr. Adrian Matthews, David Benem, Sela Carsen, Thomas K. Carpenter

Searching for Markets and Writing to Them
Format: Panel
5 Oct 2019, Saturday 13:00 – 14:00, Marquette A (Gateway Center)

An explanation of how writers find markets, build up a pro career, get paid to write (even if it is just a bit).

Kasey Mackenzie, Benjamin C. Kinney, Elizabeth Donald, Thomas K. Carpenter, Brock J. Hanke

Defining and Developing Voice
Format: Panel
5 Oct 2019, Saturday 17:00 – 18:00, Marquette B (Gateway Center)

What is voice? Many writers struggle with this concept. Join our Pros as they discuss voice and how to develop it naturally.

Mr Mark Tiedemann, Mr Michales Joy, Mr. Adrian Matthews, Joey Froehlich, Thomas K. Carpenter

Writing Realistic Fight Scenes
Format: Panel
5 Oct 2019, Saturday 18:00 – 19:00, Marquette B (Gateway Center)

Do your fight scene seem outlandish or fall flat? Come get tips on making your fights a knock-out!

Edward Stasheff II, Thomas K. Carpenter, Walt Boyes, Kasey Mackenzie, Cole Gibsen

When One Story Becomes Many
Format: Panel
6 Oct 2019, Sunday 10:00 – 11:00, Salon 1 (Gateway Center)

How to proceed when you realize your story is too involved for one book.

Cole Gibsen, Mr. Robin Wayne Bailey, Glen Cook, Daniel Abraham, Thomas K. Carpenter

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New Release – Gladiators of Warsong

Alexandria Duke returns to the world of Gamemakers Online for her second year, this time to challenge the Plains of Warsong and its endless gladiatorial combats.

Not all games were meant to be beaten.

After the first year in Gamemakers Online, one of near solitude, Alex is looking forward to pitting herself against the gladiators of the Warsong Plains. But she quickly learns why she was warned away from challenging the zone—the game is rigged. With the clans conspiring against her, Alex must lead a team to uncertain victory in the battle circle. If she can’t defeat them at their own game, then she’ll be kicked out of the Hundred Halls forever.

You can find the second book in the Gamemakers Online series, Gladiators of Warsong, on Amazon for $3.99 or free with Kindle Unlimited.

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New Release – The Warped Forest

Could you defeat the world’s hardest immersive game?

Alexandria Duke must learn how to or risk losing everything.

When Alex joins Gamemakers Online, she finds there are no newbie areas, no tutorials, and nothing but vicious critters hunting her down.  This seems like an impossible task but Alex is a veteran platinum achievement hunter who has solved previously unwinnable scenarios.  She won’t give up now.

As she delves deeper into the game, she discovers it hides sinister secrets.  If she can’t survive the first year in Gamemakers Online then she’ll lose more than her own life.

The Warped Forest is the first book in the next Hundred Halls series Gamemakers Online, can be found on Amazon for $3.99 or free with Kindle Unlimited.

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New Release – The Webs That Bind

“Even the best plans fail. “

This is how the final installment of the The Reluctant Assassin series begins. It’s a fitting opening line for the series as Zayn has had to contend with countless setbacks in his plans to slay the Lady of Varna.

As they say, no plan survive first contact with the enemy. In a way, this series didn’t survive my early outlines and drafts, but I know it surpassed it. I’m deeply proud of how this series turned out, and warmed by the reaction that the books have received.

Even the best plans fail.

Zayn has spent his whole life preparing for the final confrontation with the Lady of Varna, but as the day grows closer, complications multiply. When he realizes he can no longer trust his cousin, or his patron—nor does he want to get his teammates killed—it means he must finish his quest alone. But the Lady of Varna has been alive for millennia because she has a supernatural knack for avoiding even the most cunning plans. If Zayn is going to solve this impossible conundrum, he’s going to have to get help from an unlikely source and accept the price of his failures.

The Webs That Bind, the final book in The Reluctant Assassin series, can be found on Amazon for $5.99 or free with Kindle Unlimited.

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New Story – The Stylized Unicorn Escapes Its Poster in a Seattle Teenager’s Bedroom

As some of you may have heard me crow about on social media, my story “The Stylized Unicorn Escapes Its Poster from a Seattle Teenager’s Bedroom” is currently out in Issue #37 of Galaxy’s Edge. It’s one of my favorite stories that I’ve written for a variety of reasons.

It’s received good reviews so far. Here’s a snippet from two reviews:

Reviews & Robots

The Stylized Unicorn Escapes Its Poster in a Seattle Teenager’s Bedroom is a beautiful story, filled with brilliant writing and tragic realities. This is a powerful story that shows how fantasy worlds can become lifelines to those in need of an escape. In the end, they become a part of our realities, giving us new perspectives on the world and our place in it.”

Tangent Online

“She begins to relive impactful moments in her life. Here, the author does a brilliant job indirectly portraying her economic state. Things like her closet being filled with only two Goodwill dresses, or parental fights over food money, show the depths of her poverty.”

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New Release – Agent Unraveled

The dragons are coming.

Without a head patron to protect the city, the Hundred Halls are vulnerable to the most dangerous supernatural creatures of all—the dragons. But the Circle of the Scale is not the only problem. Deep beneath the city other dangers lurk, setting in motion a confrontation that will force Zayn to make a decision between the Halls and his family.

Agent Unraveled, the fourth book in The Reluctant Assassin series, can be found on Amazon for $4.99 or free with Kindle Unlimited.

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New Release – The Veiled Diplomat

Even a master assassin can be foiled. Divination—the magic of seeing the future—provides peace in the realms, because no one can launch a war or assassination without being discovered. But when a strange building appears in the city of sorcery, everyone believes it’s benign—everyone except Zayn and his teammates. To save the Hundred Halls, they must use all their talents to deceive and uncover its purpose before it’s too late. The Veiled Diplomat, the third book in The Reluctant Assassin series, can be found on Amazon for $4.99      
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New Release – The Sorcerous Spy

Zayn’s story continues for his second year at the Academy of the Subtle Arts.  I’m pleased at how this one turned out.  Zayn has a special story and I hope you stay with me through this series.  It’s going to be great!

When a rogue assassin starts taking heads in the Hundred Halls, no one is safe, not even the teachers. 

Zayn leads his team as they investigate the gruesome deaths. The search draws them to dangerous places: the infamous Black Council and the opulent casino of pain run by the Diamond Court. As leads dry up, and heads roll, leaving them no closer to the truth, Zayn must make a terrible choice involving the people who he cares about most.

The Sorcerous Spy can be found at Amazon for $3.99 or through Kindle Unlimited.

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Archon Schedule (Oct 12-14th)

If you’re going to be in the St. Louis area, I’ll be at Archon in a couple of weeks.  Archon is the Midwest’s Premier Science Fiction and Fantasy Event.  Last year was my first year, but I had such a great time that I immediately signed up to come back.  I’ll be on a number panels, mostly around the business of writing, but if you’d like to talk about the Hundred Halls, or would like an autograph, please feel free to look me up after a panel or in the hallways.

Fueling Motivation in an Industry Thriving on Rejection

Format: Panel
12 Oct 2018, Friday 15:00 – 16:00, Marquette A (Gateway Center)

You’re going to get rejected. A lot. Learn what you can do to cope and still keep your head up, and from throwing your computer into the trashcan.

Self-Publishing 101

Format: Panel
12 Oct 2018, Friday 16:00 – 17:00, Marquette A (Gateway Center)

Come learn the basics of self-publishing from those who’ve been through it and survived.

Turning Pro: Stories and Advice for Writers

Format: Panel
13 Oct 2018, Saturday 10:00 – 11:00, Marquette A (Gateway Center)

The path to becoming a pro writer is as individual as the writers themselves. Come hear their stories and maybe we’ll uncover some commonalities. We’ll also discuss writing organizations and resources, and answer all your burning questions.

The Business Side of Writing

Format: Panel
13 Oct 2018, Saturday 11:00 – 12:00, Marquette A (Gateway Center)

Okay, so you’ve written your novel. Now what? Our pros guide you through what your next steps need to be, and what your options as a writer are.

 

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