Archive for February, 2014

Mo*Con IX: May 2nd – 4th, 2014 (REGISTRATION NOW OPEN!)

Brought to you by IHW, Evoke:  Arts + Media, and Second Story, Mo*Con is a convention focused on conversations revolving around genre literature and social justice. If you enjoy writing, conversations, and food, you’ll find plenty to enjoy at Mo*Con (basically, imagine a room party held in a con suite). REGISTRATION DETAILS HERE.

Here’s who will be there:

Guests of Honor: 

Wesley headshit Hi-ResWesley Chu was born in Taiwan and emigrated to Chicago, Illinois when he was just a pup. It was there he became a Kung Fu master and gymnast.  Wesley is an avid gamer and a contributing writer for the magazine Famous Monsters of Filmland. A former stunt man and a member of the Screen Actors Guild, he can also be seen in film and television playing roles such as “Banzai Chef” in Fred Claus and putting out Oscar worthy performances as a bank teller in Chicago Blackhawks commercials.  Besides working as an Associate Vice President at a bank, he spends his time writing and hanging out with his wife Paula Kim and their Airedale Terrier, Eva.  You can learn more about her at or connect with him on Twitter (@wes_chu) or FaceBook (

lucy-whcLucy A. Snyder is the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of the novels Spellbent, Shotgun Sorceress, Switchblade Goddess, and thecollections Orchid Carousals, Sparks and Shadows, Chimeric Machines, and Installing Linux on a Dead Badger. She will have two new books out in 2014: Shooting Yourself in the Head For Fun and Profit: A Writer’s Guide will be released by Post Mortem Press, and her story collection Soft Apocalypses will be released by Raw Dog Screaming Press. Her writing has been translated into French, Russian, and Japanese editions and has appeared in publications such as What Fates Impose, Once Upon A Curse, Strange Horizons, Weird Tales, Hellbound Hearts, Dark Faith, Chiaroscuro, GUD, and Best Horror of the Year, Vol. 5. You can learn more about her

Lynch_SScott Lynch is an American fantasy author, best known for his Gentleman Bastard series of novels.  His first novel, The Lies of Locke Lamora, came out in 2006.   His second novel, Red Seas Under Red Skies, came out in the summer of 2007. The Lies of Locke Lamora was a World Fantasy Award finalist in 2007. In both 2007 and 2008 Lynch was nominated for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer.  Lynch received the Sydney J. Bounds Best Newcomer Award from the British Fantasy Society in 2008.  His third novel, The Republic of Thieves, was just released.  He’s also a volunteer firefighter with the New Richmond, WI fire department.


dsc_3376 smallerElizabeth Bear was born on the same day as Frodo and Bilbo Baggins, but in a different year. When coupled with a tendency to read the dictionary for fun as a child, this led her inevitably to penury, intransigence, and the writing of speculative fiction. She is the Hugo, Sturgeon, and Campbell Award winning author of 25 novels and almost a hundred short stories. Her dog lives in Massachusetts; her partner, writer Scott Lynch, lives in Wisconsin. She spends a lot of time on planes.


Publisher Guest of Honor:

dave mattinglyDave Mattingly founded BlackWyrm Publishing in 2003. The company has produced 100 novels, mostly in the speculative fiction genres. Never wanting to turn away a good book, other genres have crept in since then, including mystery, romance, historical, Christian, business, and others. As an early adopter of technology, BlackWyrm makes sure that all of the printed books are available in the various popular ebook formats.  Besides his credentials at BlackWyrm, Dave is the vice president of the Christian Gamers Guild, and organizes church services at Origins, GenCon, FandomFest, and other conventions. As a former atheist that converted to Christianity late in life, he merges his geek life with his Godly life. He regularly speaks at Toastmasters, and has earned two DTMs, the highest achievement possible in that organization.  Professionally trained as a computer programmer, database administrator, and scrum master, Dave has worked for a vast array of industries such as space travel, video games, graphic design, bio-terrorism, and fraud prevention.

Editor Guest of Honor:

JJAJohn Joseph Adams (—called “the reigning king of the anthology world” by Barnes & Noble—is the bestselling editor of many anthologies, such as Oz Reimagined, The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination, Epic: Legends of Fantasy, Other Worlds Than These, Armored, Under the Moons of Mars, Brave New Worlds, Wastelands, The Living Dead, Federations, The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, and The Way of the Wizard. He is a six-time finalist for the Hugo Award and a five-time nominee for the World Fantasy Award. He is also the editor and publisher of the magazines Lightspeed and Nightmare, and is the co-host of’s The Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast. Find him on Twitter @johnjosephadams.

Wait, there’s more …


Featured guests

chesya1Chesya Burke’s 2011 fiction collection, Let’s Play White, was featured in i09 and received praise from Samuel Delany and Nikki Giovanni. Her work has appeared in Dark Dreams I, II and III: Horror and Suspense by Black Writers published by Kensington Publishing Corp.; the Stoker-nominated, Dark Faith and many more. She also is recognized for her critical analysis of genre and race issues such as her articles, Race and The Walking Dead and Super Duper Sexual Spiritual Black Woman: The New and Improved Magical Negro published by Clarksworld Publication. Likewise, several of her articles appeared in the African American National Biography published by Harvard and Oxford University Press. Chesya is currently getting her MA in African American Studies at Georgia State University and is a juror for the 2013 Shirley Jackson awards.


jhj_bio_photoJohn Hornor Jacobs’ first novel, Southern Gods, was published by Night Shade Books and shortlisted for the Bram Stoker Award. His second novel, This Dark Earth, was published in July, 2012, by Gallery/Pocket Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. His young adult series, The Incarcerado Trilogy comprised of The Twelve Fingered Boy, The Shibboleth, and The Conformity, will be published by Carolrhoda Labs, an imprint of Lerner Publishing.  His first fantasy series, The Incorruptibles will be published in Spring 2014 by Gollancz in the UK.



GeoffreyGirardPic1aGeoffrey Girard writes thrillers, historicals, dark fantasy, young adult novels, and short speculative fiction for publications including WRITERS OF THE FUTURE and the Stoker-nominated DARK FAITH anthology. Born in Germany and shaped in New Jersey, Geoffrey graduated from Washington College with a literature degree and worked as an advertising copywriter before shifting to high school English teacher. Since, he’s earned an MA in Creative Writing from Miami University and is the Department Chair of English at a private boys’ school in Cincinnati. His TALES OF… series (TALES OF THE JERSEY DEVIL, TALES OF THE ATLANTIC PIRATES and TALES OF THE EASTERN INDIANS) features original stories based on American history and folklore. Simon and Schuster published two Girard novels in 2013: CAIN’S BLOOD, a techno thriller, and PROJECT CAIN, a spinoff novel for Young-Adult readers. For more information,

Special Musical Guest:

Pork Chop Express ImageMusical composer Wes Alexander and writer/editor Reinhardt Suarez are the two-man crew behind The Pork Chop Express, a traveling musical show that fuses story and song into a single experience. Compositions are often concepted and created remotely, as Alexander resides in Chicago, IL, and Suarez in Minneapolis, MN. The Pork Chop Express relishes opportunities to step outside its own bounds, with projects such as the album-novel The Green Ray of the Sun, and the Twitter-based story-event, Giant Avian Doomsday. Find them at




Headshot2013-2Melissa Gay is a critically-acclaimed artist of the Imaginative Realism style. Starting her career as a scientific illustrator doing ink drawings for botany manuals, she later used those same skills to do black and white line art for roleplaying games, her true passion. Her work has since appeared on the covers and the interiors of many games, books, magazines, academic publications, and even a tarot deck, and her original paintings are in the hands of private collectors around the world. Her roleplaying game credits include work on Freedom Flyer, an Echoes Of War adventure for the Firefly RPG, The Dresden Files RPG, the Crimeworld Fate Core supplement,  HERO 6th edition, Fantasy HERO and its supplement The Book Of Dragons, Part-Time Gods and its upcoming supplements, Mermaid Adventures, Camp Myth, Psi-Punk, and the upcoming Elves of Uteria. Her speculative fiction book covers include Sara M. Harvey’s Penemue trilogy (Apex Press), and  HebrewPunk (Apex Press) and Jesus and the Eightfold Path (Immersion Press edition) for World Fantasy Award winning author Lavie Tidhar.


The church address is Broad Ripple United Methodist Church, is  6185 Guilford Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46220  CHECK OUT OUR SCHEDULE HERE.


A Few Upcoming Appearances

Here is a tentative list of where you can find me this year:


February 22 – Indiana Writers’ Center Workshop:  Introduction to Spec Fic/World Building


March 1 – Winton Woods Middle School Flash Fiction Contest (judge!)

May 2 -4 – Mo*Con


May 23-26 – WisCon


July 14-20 – NASFIC/DetCon 1


August 14-17 – GenCon


September 19-21 – Imaginarium


September 26-28 – Context




A Couple of Workshop Announcements

second storyI was asked (read: ordered!) that the next time I teach at the Indiana Writer’s Center that I give folks sufficient advance warning.  So, here you go:


Introduction to Speculative Fiction + World Building Combo

Take both classes and Save!

Instructor: Maurice Broaddus
Date: Saturday, February 22
Time: 9 a.m.- 12 p.m. and 12:30-3:30 p.m.
Location: IWC
Cost: $100 Nonmembers, $70 members, $60 student/teacher/senior members

Speculative Fiction
Here’s the thing:  you know speculative fiction when you see it, even if you’re unfamiliar with all of the insider jargon used to describe its many subgenres. The big three are Horror, Fantasy (high, urban, historical), and Science Fiction (hard, cyberpunk, steampunk). So if the story takes place in a far off land or an alternate version of an existing one; whether it is extrapolating science into futuristic technologies with its impact on society or conjuring new forms of magic, speculative fiction is the genre of possibility. This class will clarify what speculative fiction is and explore explore the marketplace, discussing where and how to submit your work.

World Building
Setting is an important part of any story.  More particular to the speculative fiction writer is the world-building aspect of setting.  Our job is to out-imagine our readers.  The writer needs to make sure that their world operates within a consistent system.  We will develop a basic checklist of items to think through as you build the universe for your characters to play in.

You can take the classes together or separately (Intro or World Building).


For anyone heading to Context this year, I’ll be leading my Building Your Brand Workshop:

Maurice Broaddus: Building Your Brand

(Friday, September 26th, 3pm-5pm)

You’re not just selling books — you’re selling your writing persona and your platform. Learn how to share your platform by gaining online followers without selling your soul to the devil. Maurice Broaddus gives real data on what has helped him gain readers.  $20, 2 hours.


A Few Random Updates

SoSThe Streets of Shadows kickstarter project has about reached the halfway mark.  Thank you for all of your support.  Let’s beat the mid-way KickStarter lull!*

Speaking of the KickStarter, my awesome co-editor, Jerry Gordon, and I were on DJ Grandpa’s Crib talking about our project.  Check it out (we’re at the 32:20 mark)

Over on SF Signal, I’m discussing a few books that I don’t think have had the attention they deserve.  Futureland (Walter Mosley) and The Gift (Patrick O’Leary) have probably been the two books most instrumental in me writing a lot more science fiction and fantasy these days.

Science fiction like I Can Transform You (now with a new review) and fantasy like Steppin’ Razor (also with a new review).


*The trend is for KickStarter projects to start strong, then hit a lull, then finish strong.  I don’t know if my stomach can take the anxiety of too long a lull!

IHW Winter Retreat 2014

Off to a writer’s retreat at a haunted house rumored to have once been owned by a former Klan member. I’ll be the only black person there. This really does sound like the premise of a horror movie I deserve to die in. #aintnothingmagicalaboutme

Me, co-editor Jerry, and intern/slush reader Rodney launched our Streets of Shadows Kickstarter then immediately withdrew to the IHW retreat.  It’s a long standing tradition for our group, but we thought we’d switch it up a bit and return to the place where the group first had its retreat.*  A renewal of sorts.

I figure I might as well recap the event by collecting my Tweets through the weekend.

Welcome to Converse, Indiana. Population: 6. And a goat.

Converse, Indiana happens to also be the home of one Bob Freeman.  Writer, mystic, warrior, and also artist (as he’s responsible for a lot of the Mo*Con posters).  He is not the owner of the goat.

Spotty cell phone service & 6 in of snow due. I might as well tell @rodneycarlstrom he’s got The Shining & wander into the cellar by myself

Did I mention that the weather report called for us getting hit with ANOTHER six inches of snow that weekend?  We may have to rethink just how “winter” we wish to have the retreat.  Maybe the IHW Summer cookout may be in order.

[Shrugpolean Dynamite ‏@ASky84 Jan 24 @MauriceBroaddus this sounds like you die before the opening credits shit before the first note of the opening track]

Yeah, cue my friends being less than supportive during my time here.**

Here’s where we’re staying: the Eastern Woodland Carvers Club in Converse, Indiana.

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A little bit on the history of the building:  Hardware store on first floor.  Offices and apartments on the second floor.  The third floor added in 1880s.  In its 110 year history it has been a speakeasy, a brothel, served as the offices for doctors, lawyers, and the Ku Klux Klan.  Then it was taken over by the Freemasons and the Oddfellows before the Woodcarvers acquired it in 1996.

Things to do in Converse: #5 whittle

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I’ll say this for Converse, Indiana: bacon cheeseburger with two 1/2 pound patties … $3. #pubfoodrules

I think that not only says it all, but gives you a hint of where I ate all weekend.

On the second floor, the Klan’s former offices,  now a lathe room.

 2014-01-25 16.38.07

All of the Klan rooms have eyeholes in the doors.  You know, so they can check out who they should let in.

My favorite room on the second floor: the hammer room. A testament to one man’s obsession.

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2014-01-26 10.29.48  2014-01-26 10.29.58
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Who doesn’t need a six foot hammer? @KyleSJohnson

 2014-01-25 16.45.58

Later tonight, our Wicker Man celebration.  Hosted by @OccultDetective

 2014-01-25 16.48.36

Lords of EVIL @gdwessel @KyleSJohnson @RodneyCarlstrom @byMichaelWest @jerrylgordon @OccultDetective

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And it’s a dry building. No alcohol allowed on the premises. Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha. What do you call a gathering of writers? A bar!

 Uh, in case anyone from the Woodcarver’s reads this blog, absolutely no alcohol was harmed during the tweeting of this event.

So the third floor of this building was apparently the inspiration for Session 9. My colleagues are MUCH more curious than I …

 2014-01-26 10.32.50

When in doubt, I only have to be faster than my intern…


I need folks to hear me on this: if the room is called “the demon closet”, I’m not going in by day, much less near midnight without lights.

 2014-01-26 10.34.46

There was supposed to be a ghost hunters group joining us this weekend for an investigation.  They bailed on us due to inclement weather.


Yeah, the third floor is creepy enough by day…

 2014-01-26 10.36.22

And seriously,  this making an appearance much less moving on its own in a breeze #imout

 2014-01-26 10.33.10

[Madeline Ashby ‏@MadelineAshby Jan 26 @MauriceBroaddus Yup, you’re in Silent Hill. Get out.]




In short, you take a room full of (horror) writers in repose (read: drinking), mix in stories of a building with an extensive history of being haunting, reports of activity (oh, the strange things that happened to Michael West’s laptop:  every time he opened his password protected computer, some “one” typed in the words “Wake” and then “Why???”), an old building with drafts, wind through plastic sheets, an old heating system with creaky ducts, birds trapped in the attic, A DEMON CLOSET, plus the power of imagination and you get a fun-filled weekend with very little sleep.


The rest saved for future stories.






*Truth be told, I barely attended the first one, staying a couple of hours mid-day on that Saturday, which still proved to be a pivotal moment since that was when I first met Doug Warrick.

**Meanwhile, Chesya took great glee in writing my various death scenarios on Facebook