Tag Archives: St. Louis

Jason’s Authors You Should Know – Eric Asher

Eric_R_Asher_ProfileToday’s author you should know is Eric Asher.

So…Eric Asher. The dude is amazing! His writing is so engaging and entertaining. If you don’t know him, he writes urban fantasy and steampunk (among other genres) and he writes it well! Eric hails from St. Louis but you’ll most often find him out in the wild at some type of reader/author convention around the US.

I first met Eric at a small con called ConTamination in St. Louis back in 2016. He had this massive display that made my one little book look terrible. It wasn’t the best con but I made tons of connections there, Eric one of them. We then both attended PennedCon last Steambornyear in St. Louis where he introduced me to a way to create audiobooks (which is why I know have my ya scifi series on audio. Thanks Eric!) Whenever I’ve asked him about the business side of things or writing in general, he’s been so accommodating and helpful.

Eric is super-talented and easily approachable. He’s a prolific writer and takes his craft seriously, often giving back to the writing community through panels and advice. If you’ve not tried his steampunk series Steamborn or his urban fantasy Vesik series, you need to give them a shot.

From his Amazon page:

Eric is a former bookseller, cellist, and comic seller currently living in Saint Louis, Missouri. A lifelong enthusiast of books, music, toys, and games, he discovered a love for the written word after being dragged to the library by his parents at a young age. When he is not writing, you can usually find him reading, gaming, or buried beneath a small avalanche of Transformers.

To find out more about Eric, check out his website or his Amazon page.


Come back tomorrow for another author you should know!

 

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Jason’s Authors You Should Know – Mark Pannebecker

MarkPToday’s author you should know is Mark Pannebecker.

I first met Mark at the St. Louis Indie Book Fair. I came across the event not long after I released my first book (Almost) Average Anthology and I decided to try it out. It was the first time I ever sold copies of my book in person. I was seated next to this tall, skinny guy and I soon found out it was Mark, the organizer of the event!Fraternity

Not long after, I picked up a copy of Mark’s book Fraternity of Fractures and discovered an amazingly talented writer! Mark is passionate about his work and it shows through the prose.

From his Amazon author page:

Mark Pannebecker is an author of literary fiction and the founder of the St. Louis Indie Book Fair, an annual event created to foster authors of fiction and nonfiction. He started out as a filmmaker but soon fell in love with the creative writing process and shifted his focus from producing and directing films to that of writing screenplays, which then led to writing in other narrative forms. Mark writes screenplays, stage plays, novels, novellas, short stories, and is currently writing a series of novelettes. Mark believes in letting function (the story) dictate form. Mark published a collection of poetry titled Motorcycle Boy Lives and a collection of short stories titled Godsfood (both BookLocker, 2015). His first novel Fraternity of Fractures (AuthorHouse, 2016) was written originally as a screenplay.

Mark is always processing storylines for new work. The idea that’s moved to the front of the line–insisting, really, for many years now to be written–is A Fool’s Journey, a 21-part series of novelettes inspired by the Major Arcana of the Tarot. Each of the twenty-one parts will launch as eBook only, starting in 2017 with Book I, The Magician. He hopes you enjoy A Fool’s Journey, a postmodern bildungsroman.

I encourage you to check out his work and try him out!

On top of writing, Mark is also super supportive of other authors and his event the Indie Book Fair will be looking to go on the road in 2019. Find out more at his website markpannebecker.com.


Come back tomorrow for another author you need to know!

Jason’s Authors You Should Know – Vince Churchill

Today’s author you should know is Vince Churchill.

Vince-Churchill-photoI met Vince at Contamination back in 2016 in St. Louis, MO. We were on the same aisle together and spent a lot of time over the weekend talking and trying to make the best out of a tough selling situation. Vince even came up with a contest for the authors in our aisle by having us compete for the “Golden Screw” award which was nothing more than a rusty screw found on the show floor. Technically he won by selling the most books but I did take the screw home with me (and subsequently lost it!)

Vince writes horror, and lots of it! He hails from Springfield, IL andButcher attends a ton of conventions throughout the Midwest. I’ve read his book The Butcher Bride and loved it! He’s got an amazing grasp of the genre and held my attention throughout. If you’re a fan of horror, you have to check him out!

From his Amazon page:

Vince Churchill has six published novels: The Dead Shall Inherit The Earth, The Blackest Heart, The Butcher Bride, Pandora, Hyde, and Goodnight, My Sweet. The Dead Shall Inherit The Earth was featured in 2009’s XBOX Magazine’s ZOMBIES! Collector’s Edition as one of The 37 Greatest Zombie Triumphs.

His short fiction has appeared in anthologies such as The Undead, The Undead Volume 2: Skin and Bones, The Horror Library – Volume One, The Beast Within, and the recent Midnight Walk. He is also a list contributor in the Book of Lists: Horror. Vince’s latest novella, Condemned, anchors the Butcher Shop Quartet II horror anthology.

If you get a chance to meet him in person, do so. He’s a great guy and a lot of fun. Buy a book from him when ya do! If you can’t find him out in the wild, grab one of his books from Amazon. You can find more about Vince on his website.


Come back tomorrow for another author you should know!

PennedCon 2017 Recap

Wow.

PennedCon is a well run machine thanks to the dedication of Rick and Amy Miles and a ton of volunteers.

Oh wait, what is PennedCon you ask? It’s an annual author convention which just celebrated its fourth year. It’s an event that raises money for Action for Autism by bringing together over 160 authors and readers over two days in St. Louis, MO.

Dominated by Romance authors (I think the first year it was almost exclusively for Romance authors) it is now open for all genres. I will say, if I’d gone in with only my dark short story collections, I wouldn’t have sold much. My young adult sci-fi novel “The Selection” really helped with sales over the weekend.

PennedConSwagI got to meet readers who actually read my books beforehand! For me, that’s an amazing experience. I had one twenty-something young lady (man that makes me sound old!) bring by a bound book she had created with pictures of the covers of some of the books she read of the authors there. It wasn’t like taped together or anything, but bound with a metal spiral binding. She opened it up and there was the cover to my book “Moments of Darkness.” We talked about the book and the stories and then I signed the page for her. Just floored me!

I got to meet potential new readers and sold a fair amount of books over the two days of the convention.

They also had workshops, keynote lectures, and more. At one point, Mark Coker, the CEO of Smashwords stopped at my table and I had a nice conversation with him about his service. I have one book I used Smashwords for: (Almost) Average Anthology. I used a different service for my other two books. He asked a bunch of questions as to why I tried the other services and what I thought about them. I’m not gonna lie, it felt slightly awkward telling the CEO of such a well known company why I tried his competitors. It was all good though. Later that day he sat at my table for lunch along with several other authors and we all talked a bit more.

PennedCon does an amazing job of after-hours events for VIP ticket holders and authors. We had a pajama party on Thursday night and there was a party thrown on Friday night featuring a lip synch battle. I didn’t get in on the battle, however as the night wore on, several of the guys decided to do one last song. Somehow I got roped into the group and we did a pretty funny rendition of Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar On Me.” And yes, there is video. Lots of them. 🙂 There was a casino night Saturday night, but my wife and I decided to leave after the signing room closed and made it home late that night.

JohnAndMyselfThough I didn’t sell a ton of books, I sold enough to cover my table fee. Beyond that, I got to catch up with a few author friends like Amy Hale, John Smith, Eric Asher, and more. Actually, my wife and I hung out with Amy and her husband for most of the after-hours events. I met new authors to me like John Hartness and Bess Sturgis and meeting potential readers ultimately made the event that much more enjoyable.

I’ve already booked a table for next year. Maybe I’ll see ya there!

 

 

Upcoming Events

Through November, I’ve signed up for several events where you can come out and see me, grab a book, and talk a while.

Here is the current list of events.

pennedcon2017In late September, I’ll be attending PennedCon in St. Louis. The dates are Sept. 29th-30th. This is the 4th year of PennedCon and has over 150 signing authors. It’s a huge Con and the largest authors only event I’ll attend. It’s aim is to bring “authors and readers together for charity.” I’m looking forward to it. If you’re interested in going, I still have maybe 4 free tickets to give away. Just let me know!

On Saturday October 14th, I’ll be at the 9th annual St. Charles City-County Library’s Local Author Open House. The time is from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. Last year they had over 100 authors, so I expect this year to be the same. It sounds interesting and it’s free to attend. If you can make it, come on out!

StLouisIndie-300x216Finally, on November 3rd-4th, I’ll be at the St. Louis Indie Book Fair. This year it’s being held at the Kranzberg Arts Center in St. Louis, MO. I did this last year and was one of the first book selling events I attended as an author. We didn’t have much traffic last year, but I outsold almost everyone else so it holds a special place for me.

I do hope you get a chance to make it out to one of these. I’d love to meet new readers. A lot of my larger events are in St. Louis because it’s the closest large city to where I live and I gotta keep cost considerations in line. I may add a couple more shows between now and then. Follow me on Facebook to stay updated. Thanks!

The Year of Me

2016 was an interesting year. It began with the release of my first collection of dark fiction short stories (Almost) Average Anthology.

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At the Book House in St.Louis – my first book signing!

For those that have actually read my book, its been well received. The positive response has been humbling. I’ve met many new readers/fans and some that I’ve stayed pretty close with. My decision to create a paperback copy of what was at the time just “an experiment” in self-publishing made all the difference (thanks Dan!) I was able to do book signings and attend book fairs and conferences.

My first book signing at The Book House in St. Louis will always stick with me (thanks so much Ken!) Then my first book fair with the St.Louis Indie Book Fair was a great experience. I met the organizer Mark Pannebecker and fellow author John W. Smith. Mark also organized the book fair side to Con-Tamination which I attended and met authors Ray Wenck and Vince Churchill.

Meeting these authors has opened even more doors for me. In April I’ll be at Wizard World in St.Louis because of Ray and in September I’ll be at PennedCon in St.Louis because of John. These authors have been invaluable to me and I look forward to growing as a writer with them.

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Reading my story “Vacation” at the St.Louis Indie Book Fair.

In 2016 I also started the year as a writer for Sum’n Unique Magazine. The founder and head guy in charge F. Kenneth Taylor has a vision for his magazine that I completely understand and support. Through him I was able to have my first book signing, first interviews, and more. From my time with S.U.M. I also met fellow writers Lakesha Mathis and Kevin Daniel. All this amazing talent! I wish I could’ve stayed with them but I needed to focus more on my fiction writing and had to step down about mid-year. If you’ve not heard of S.U.M. or their writers, I encourage you to check them out.

In the Spring of 2016 I was also surprised to have one of my stories from (Almost) Average Anthology published on the No Extra Words Podcast. Hearing my words spoken by someone else was an amazing experience.

Of course every year has it’s downside too. For me it came around June when I thought all was going well. In a sense it was going well (and still is) but I hit a bump in my writing. Everyone has critics. Everyone has more to learn in their craft. I was so caught up in thinking I knew what I was doing that when I encountered my first real criticism, it snuffed out my flame of creativity. The critiques I heard were valid and right. They were meant to help me create true works of fiction. I’ll forever be grateful for the lesson, but at the time it made me rethink a lot of what I was doing. In the end it was by far the best thing that could’ve happened to me.

Then in October I released my second collection of dark fiction short stories Moments of Darkness. This collection can be seen as (Almost) Average Anthology vol. 2. So far it’s not taken off as well as the first one but I’m hopeful it will soon. If not, that’s ok too. As I continue to write and new readers discover my work, they’ll have a back catalogue to peruse.

I started 2016 as an unpublished writer and I leave the year as the author of two collections of short stories. I’ll take that! I took my dream and made it happen. I’ve created new connections over the year that have helped me along the way. Not a bad year if I do say so myself! Thanks for sticking with me through all of this. Here’s to an even greater 2017!

Con-Tamination

Last weekend I had the opportunity to sell my books at Con-Tamination in St. Louis. Con-Tamination is a horror/scifi/pop culture convention that had been on hiatus for a few years and returned in 2016.

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Greeters at Con-Tamination 2016

I’ve never been to this con before and came across it a few months ago and figured my book of short stories fit right in so I signed up to be part of the writers organized by the St. Louis Indie Book Fair.

I enjoyed my time at the con. I got to meet several new readers as they purchased my book. I met some friendly and supportive writers in Vince Churchill, Ray Wenck, Eric Asher, Dane Kroll, and Mark Pannebecker to name a few.

Vince, Ray, Eric and I were on the same row and created a fun rivalry to see who could sell the most books. Dane joined us on the last day and fought hard for the “Golden Screw” which was nothing more than a rusty screw we found on the floor but symbolized the achievement (We can thank Vince for this!)

The con was a mix of writers, artists, vendors, and celebrities. I met an artist named Travis Molitor from the St. Louis area that did some amazing work. The celebrities ranged from former pro-wrestlers such as “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan and Bishop Stevens to Dirk Benedict from “Battlestar Galactica” and “The A-Team” to a former porn star named Seka. There were many other celebrities in attendance as well. It was an eclectic mix for sure.

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My first ever writing panel

I participated in my first panel as Mark Pannebecker and I discussed literary fiction to a crowd of about a dozen people. We answered questions from the attendees and had a great discussion about writing in general.

I didn’t have too many expectations going into this con other than trying to get new readers interested in my work and I succeeded on that part. Speaking with other vendors they felt attendance was a little light but considering there were at least two other cons going on that same weekend I can see why.

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Even Negan likes my book

I felt the con was a success. I didn’t make a ton of money but the connections I made were much more valuable. I plan on attending next year if they host it again. Maybe I’ll get to reclaim the “Golden Screw” from my fellow writers! If you didn’t make it out to Con-Tamination this year, consider attending next year. Should be a lot of fun.

Writing News

I’ve got exciting news to share!

This year has started off strong for me. I released my first book, a collection of flash fiction culled from this blog (and 2 previously unreleased stories!) and so far the reception has been positive. I expected worse but have been surprised by the feedback I’ve been given.

I was invited to be part of Some’N Unique Magazine (or S.U.M. for short) and it’s been a tremendous experience so far. F. Kenneth Taylor 10364048_854258568033497_8318241705119909330_nhas worked tirelessly to get it off the ground and soon we’ll be able to present our first issue. Until then, check out our Facebook page and follow to stay up to date with our progress.

 

Part of Ken’s vision is to create opportunities for us writers to gain exposure. Here is a Skype interview with “Hangin With” I was fortunate enough to be part of set up by Ken.

 

 

In May70847c_f734e46e8adf4359857d1e575772765b, I’ll be attending the 2nd Annual St. Louis Indie Author Book Fair at the St. Louis Public Library’s main branch. It’s an excellent opportunity for me to reach out and meet new readers and other writers close to me. Check out their website for a list of authors. It should be a great event!

 

And finally…JAson J. Nugent copy 3

I’ve set-up my own website! It’s where I’ll be keeping all my writing links, info, and updates about me and my writing. While there, you can sign up for a newsletter I plan on sending out monthly (I’m not going to overwhelm you with needless emails!) By signing up, you’ll get a coupon code for a FREE ebook download from Smashwords of my debut collection (Almost) Average Anthology. Stop by jasonjnugent.com and check it out.

 

So that’s it for now. The (Almost) Average Blog will continue. New essays will post on the 5th and 25th of every month with new free flash fiction on the 15th. Please feel free to like, share, or comment below. I appreciate all the support you’ve given me and the encouragement to keep going.