WV Book Festival 2017

The West Virginia Book Festival returns this Friday October 27th and Saturday 28th at the Charleston Civic Center in Charleston. There are a few authors and features fans of the blog might find interesting.

Featured authors for this year include R.L. Stine writer of the Goosebumps series and other children horror books, Joe Hill writer of the comic series Locke & Key and various horror books, Henry Winkler writer of a series of children’s novels and collection of anecdotes and observations.  Winkler was also in some TV show or two.  Several WV authors of more mainstream writings will be there as well.

They will each be giving a presentation followed by a book signing.  Stine on Friday, Hill and Winkler on Saturday.

There is a Festival Marketplace of book sellers, publishers, individual authors, and other literary vendors on Friday and Saturday.  A Word Play area for kids will be open on both days.  There will be craft tables, a Storybook Costume Parade on Saturday, Turtle Lady Nancy Lockard, story readings, and more for the kids to learn and play with.

The big library used book sale will go on Saturday.  There will be thousands of books, movies, CDs, and other items will be on sale including some rare and old selections.  Regular prices for books will be from 8am to 3pm, they close down then for half an hour, and then open at 3:30pm for the reduced price sale.

There will be two writing workshops on Friday: Starts and Stops: Building a Story from Beginning to End and Romance Writing in West Virginia.  Register for the workshops to guarantee your spot.

Fans of all literature genres should give a look at this event for new reads or learn about getting into writing.  By the way, the event and all sessions are free.


Parkersburg Pop Con

The 2nd Annual Parkersburg Pop Con is this Saturday September 30th at West Virginia University at Parkersburg in Parkersburg from 11am to 5pm.  An event about all of pop culture.

Guests for the con are actor Jeremy Ambler, comic creator Tim Shinn, and illustrator Rusty Shackles.

Vendors and artists will be selling figures, comics, toys, memorabilia, collectibles, handmade crafts, clothing, food, anime and manga, shoes, art and prints, pezes, books, movies, jewelry, video games, knitted items, leather items, buttons, and plenty of other geeky items.  Also there will be Bunny Bombshell, Crooked Letter Creative, WV Ghostbusters, Hades Ladies of Hell’s Orchard Roller Derby, games, James Patrick, Jason Lewis, Shawn Langley, Stephen Hines, Wilson’s House of Cosplay, podcasters What’s Going On plus charities and publishing companies.

Events include table top gaming library, cosplay contests for adults and youths, cosplay panels, Super Smash Bros and Injustice 2 video game tournaments, live podcast recording, audience movie riffing, and more.

Crooked Letter Creative and the Astral Theatre Collective will be performing their new work “Carmilla” based on the horror classic by J. Sheridan LeFanu at the WVU Parkersburg theater at 8pm the same day.  The show is $15.

Admission for the con is only $5 and children ten and under get in free with an adult.

Nice little some event with several different genres covered and people to see and meet.

Ohio River Festival of Books 2016

The Ohio River Festival of Books is a this week-long of free events around Cabell County promoting literacy and learning for all ages.

On Wednesday September 28th the MadCap Puppets will be presenting Aesop’s Fables at the Don Morris Room at the Marshall Student Center at 9:30am.

On Thursday September 29th W. Joseph Wyatt will talk about his carer working as a clinical psychologist and helping law enforcement with cases at the Putnam County Library 5:30pm.  Also Sam Wilson will talk about World War I pilot William C. Lambert of Ironton, Ohio at the West Huntington Public Library at 7pm.

Friday September 30th at the Pullman Plaza Hotel they will have the Friends of the Library book sale, the opening reception, signing authors and vendors.

Saturday October 1st will have various sessions throughout the day at the Pullman Plaza Hotel in Huntington.   Some of those include Bright Star Theatre bringing the characters of Alice in Wonderland to life; Cat Winters talking about what inspired her award-winning YA fiction; creator of the TV series Extant and writer of The Strain Mickey Fisher will speak about writing for TV, film, and theater; a writer’s workshop by Michael Knost with several session throughout the day; and more of the book sale.  The closing program will be at 7:30pm at Marshall University: School of Art and Design Visual Arts Center, where Chip Kidd the award-winning graphic designer of book covers, author, comic creator will speak.

Other authors who will be around for signings including J.D. Byrne author of his new epic fantasy trilogy, Dr. William L. Grimes author of his haunted dentist office, Eugen Johnson writer and editor of many genres, and Laberta Salamacha Lucas author of Ouija about a psychic girl who solves mysteries.

Fans of books and reading should check all this and if you are not really into reading maybe you could find something to pick up and learn to enjoy.

WV Reads 150 Celebration THIS SATURDAY

Last year the Kanawha County Library system ran a program called WV Reads 150 Challenge.  The idea was for groups or individuals to read at least 150 books over the year. The number comes the fact last year was West Virginia’s 150th anniversary.

Tomorrow at the West Virginia Center for the Book is holding a reception in honor of everyone’s reading accomplishments.

The event goes from 1-3PM at the West Virginia Library Commission J. D. Waggoner Reading Room at the Culture Center in Charleston.

You can get a tour of the West Virginia State Museum while at the center.  Several West Virginia authors will be in the Great Hall of the Cultural Center as well.  Attending authors include: Sarah Title (romance author), Marc Harshman (WV Poet Laureate), Patricia Harman (The Blue Cotton Gown:  A Midwife’s Memoir,), Marie Manilla (Still Life with Plums: Short Stories), Betty Rivard (New Deal Photographs of West Virginia), Daniel Boyd (Chillers and Death Falcon Zero vs. The Zombie Slug Lords), Bill Bitner (M is for Monster, T is for Thing, and Gone Where The Goblins Go), Mack Samples (The Devil’s Tea Tables: West Virginia Ghost Stories and Other Tales), and more.  There will also be books and other local handcrafts available for purchase at the Gift Shop.  Prize drawings will be held throughout the event.

I will be at the event since apparently I read the most books last year, 450.  Granted they were almost all volumes of manga though, so there is that.

If you wish to take part in this year reading challenge you can solo or with a group.  This year the challenge ins West Virginia Reads 150+.  My goal is 600 volumes this year.

Dark Trails: An Anthology of Weird Western Stories

Michael Knost, a Bram Stoker Award-winning editor from Chapmanville, is trying to put together an anthology of western tales with supernatural, fantasy, horror, sci-fi and other unbounded creative ideas.  He tried to get a publishing house to take the idea, but they just wanted a traditional western anthology, so he has taken to Kickstarter for funds.  He is looking for $16,000 and as of this writing only has $2,591.   The money is to go to paying the authors, editors, and cover artist all a professional rate plus all the fees to get it printed.

When done Dead Cactus Press will be publishing it by Dead Cactus Press and have cover art from Cortney Skinner.  Writers who have already signed up to add to this are: Bentley Little, Joe R. Lansdale, Steve Rasnic Tem, Jonathan Maberry, Tom Piccirilli, Gary A. Braunbeck, Elizabeth Bear, Laird Barron, Tim Waggoner, Elizabeth Massie, Ronald Kelly, Lucy A. Snyder, and Joe McKinney.

He is also taking open submissions for this project as well.  The more money raised will allow for more stories to be published in it.

There are some good low levels for pledges: $10 will get you an eBook version, $25 for a trade paperback version, $30 for both,
$75 for limited hardcover version, and more.  At some of the higher levels you can get an online writing course, written critique of a short story, get your name used in a story or a story dedicated to you, or even the whole book dedicated to you.

The Kickstarter is open till February 17th.  Even if you do not pledge try to help spread the word, since it would be cool to have such a book from the state out there.

Submission guidelines are as follows, but the Kickstarter has to succeed first.

Submissions do not open until March 1, 2014. Please do not submit before March 1, 2014.

Submissions deadline is March 1, 2015.

Publication date is October 2015.

No reprints. No simultaneous submissions.

Make submission a MS WORD document file attachment only.

Submissions will be sent via e-mail address, which will be given when project is fully funded.


CharCon 2013

CharCon returns to the Charleston Civic Center on October 18th-20th.  This year’s theme is fantasy.


An array of different games will be played through out the con, board games, miniatures, card games, RPGs, and live action games.  Scheduled games include several sessions of both Pathfinder Society and Sparks Force (Star Wars), Magic and Kaijudo tournaments, a Settler’s of Catan World Championship qualifier, con favorite “Orc and Pie,” Sergeants!, Warhammer 40000, Sailpower, LARPing with NERO, and more.  There is also open gaming areas for you to bring your own stuff or join someone else. The con will have a board game library that lets you check out new and old favorites to play.

The CharCon Premier Game Tournament is a chance to play recent released board games from different companies and earn points in the tournament.  For an entry fee of $5 you get to play in the tournament as much as you want and a free new game or two.

Several vendors and artists will be there.  CharCon always does a large raffle of many interesting items.  There are two costume contests, the adult one Saturday evening and the children’s on Sunday.  Lost Legion Games will host a “paint and take” table and a painting contest.  Also the 3rd Annual Board/Card Game Design Contest, where you get to play someone’s home-built game.  On Saturday night is the CharCon After Dark party at the Holiday Inn next door.

Guest at the con are artist Lindsay Archer, who has worked on a several RPGs and fantasy art, and cosplay guest Toni Darling.

A weekend pass is $40, Friday and Sunday is $20, and Saturday is $25.  Children 12 and younger passes are half of an adult.  A visitor’s badge, which lets you into the convention but not play any games, is only $5 if you want to check out things or just come to hang out.

If you like table top gaming or want to learn more about it, this con is for you.  Even if you do not play it will still be a great chance to meet others with similar interests.

The Kanawha County Public Library Book Sale will be on Saturday at the Civic Center from 8am to 5pm as well.  Something else to tempt you.

Mothman Festival 2013

The Mothman Festival is the annual celebration of the sightings of the Mothman.  It is held on the third weekend of every September in Downtown Point Pleasant, West Virginia, this year that is September 21-22.  The festival features a variety of vendors and merchants, local music, food, and family friendly atmosphere.  Festival hours will go from 7am to 10:30pm on Saturday and 7am to 1pm on Sunday.  This will be the 12th annual event.

Festival events include ghosts of Pt. Pleasant walking tours (tickets at the Coffee Grinder), live music from local bands through out both days, rock climbing wall from the WV National Guard, performances from the Riverside Cloggers in front of the Post Office on Saturday, and airplane flyovers over the TNT area, call the Mason County Airport to schedule a ride.  The 1st Annual Mothman Ball, from 10pm till when ever feature DJ Kos’s horror themed music show.  For all ages and do not forget to bring your best costume.  On Thursday and Friday before the festival
the Miss Mothman Festival Pageant will be held at the Trinity Christian Community in Pt. Pleasant. And much more to see and do.

Gust speakers at during the weekend are Patrecia Gray (author The Thing: Mothman, Devil or Spirit), Chad Lambert (comic book creator), Fred Aluga (college teacher in UFOs and cryptozoology), Stan Gordon (UFO lecturer), Rosemary Guiley (WV’s most haunted places), Susan Sheppard (paranormal expert), Lyle Blackburn (Beast of Boggy Creek), Sharon Shull (grew up during the Mothman sightings), Robin Bellamy (paranormal researcher), Jeff Waldridge (paranormal chronicler), Tom Ury (costume maker), and Matt Pellowski (Eyes of the Mothman director).

If you are not going to Shockacon this weekend or are a really big fan of Mothman you are going to want to check this out.  I really see the festival as something everyone should check out at least once.