Jean Marie Ward

fiction, nonfiction and all points in between

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My Balticon 2017 Schedule

Spring has sprung, and Memorial Day is less than a week away. You know what that means: Balticon! This year’s con will again be held at the Marriott Renaissance overlooking Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, May 26-29. I’ll be appearing on six program items, including two readings:

Saturday, May 27
Noon, Kent Meeting Room (Sixth Floor)
Writing Interesting and Effective Short Stories
Hildy Silverman (Moderator), Scott Edelman, Malka Older, Jean Marie Ward and Fran Wilde

3 PM, St. George Meeting Room (Sixth Floor)
Author Readings
Bjorn Hasseler, Jean Marie Ward, Ted Weber

6 PM, Kent Meeting Room (Sixth Floor)
Broad Universe Rapid Fire Readings
Jean Marie Ward (Moderator), Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Roxanne Bland, Lauren Harris, A.L. Kaplan, Gail Z. Martin, Cara McKinnon, Christie Meierz, Jennifer R. Povey, Roberta Rogow, D.H. Timpko

7 PM, Pride of Baltimore Meeting Room (Sixth Floor)
Mythology as a Basis for Speculative Fiction
Kim Hargan (Moderator), Tom Doyle, Ada Palmer, David Silverman, Jean Marie Ward

Sunday, May 28
Noon, Pride of Baltimore Meeting Room (Sixth Floor)
Social Media Promotion Without Being Obnoxious
Jean Marie Ward (Moderator), Melissa L. Hayden, Nathan Lowell, Hildy Silverman, Michael Ventrella

4 PM, Guilford Meeting Room (Fifth Floor)
Judging an Editor’s Work
Kay Baiman (Moderator), Jamaila Brinkley, Jennifer Levine, Jean Marie Ward, Joy Ward

Hope to see you there!

Posted 3 months, 4 weeks ago at 8:04 pm.

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My Schedule for Balticon 50

Taking a moment away from baking double batches of molasses cookies and pecan snowballs to share my tentative schedule for Balticon 50. Why did I tantalize you by mentioning baked goods made with butter and sugar and vanilla and all sorts of wonderful things? Because they and a lot of other homemade goodies will be waiting for you at the E-Spec Books Launch Party on Sunday night. I’m also bringing chocolate to the Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading Sunday afternoon.
This means you’re coming to Balticon, right? Right?
Can’t wait to see you there!

Saturday 1-1:50 PM, Guilford (Renaissance)
Writing: It’s My Job AND What I Do For Fun—Our panelists discuss how awesome it is having their job be something they love to do: the work itself, the fan, the other authors they meet, the places they get to visit.
Panelists: Carl Cipra (Moderator), Keith DeCandido , Jody Lynn Nye, Jean Marie Ward

Saturday 6-6:50 PM, St. George (Renaissance)
Steampunk and Urban Fantasy Readings with Keith R. A. DeCandido, Christine Norris, Jean Marie Ward, and D. C. Wilson

Sunday 3-4:20 PM, Pride of Baltimore (Renaissance)
Broad Universe Rapid Fire Readings—The woman of Broad Universe are back with flash readings to tweak your appetites!
Panelists: Randee Dawn (Moderator), Roxanne Bland, Carmen Webster Buxton, LJ Cohen, Vonnie Winslow Crist, Kelly A. Harmon, Lisa Hawkridge, Tamara Siler Jones, Paula S. Jordan, Gail Martin, Jody Lynn Nye, Jean Marie Ward

Sunday 7-9 PM, MD Salon B (Renaissance)
E-Spec Books Launch Party—The authors contributing to Gaslight and Grimm, The Weird Wild West, The Side of Good/The Side of Evil and Defending the Future invite you to help them celebrate!
Panelists: Danielle Ackley-McPhail, R. S. Belcher, Danny Birt, Keith DeCandido, John L. French, Eric Hardenbrook, Kelly Harmon, Chris Hiles, Emily Leverett, Diana Bastine, Gail Z. Martin, Mike McPhail, Bernie Mojzes, Christine Norris, Jody Lynn Nye, Ken Schrader, Bud Sparhawk, David Lee Summers, Jean Marie Ward, Robert Waters, Jeff Young

Monday 12-12:50 PM, Parlor 8029 (Renaissance)
What’s Hot Short Fiction?
Panelists: Sarah Pinsker (Moderator), Alex Shvartsman, Michael Underwood, Scott Edelman, Jean Marie Ward

Posted 1 year, 3 months ago at 11:03 am.

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My Schedule for Balticon 49

Balticon has posted its 2015 program—and not a minute too soon. The con starts in three days! I can’t wait. There will be friends to see, toasts to raise, costumes to praise, and panels to enjoy. This year, I have three formal panels, and three readings, at least one of them involving more than my usual offering of chocolate.
Yes, I share chocolate at all my readings—and bring swag to all my panels. I trust that means I’ll see you there. ;-)

Friday

6 PM, Chesapeake
Readings: Keith R.A. DeCandido, Sunny Morraine and Jean Marie Ward

Saturday

8 PM, Salon B
The Scholar as Author: Not every great author is an academic, or vice versa, but it doesn’t hurt. Our panelists discuss what scholarly experience brings to an author’s tool kit, and what writing techniques can’t be picked up in the academic setting and have to be learned the hard way. Karen Burnham (Moderator), Tom Doyle, Ada Palmer, John Skylar, Jean Marie Ward

9 PM, Frankie & Vinnie’s
Broad Universe Fabulous 15 Birthday Party: The Balticon Broads celebrate 15 years of Broad Universe with readings, goodies, giveaways and food! Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Day Al-Mohammed, Sarah Avery, Roxanne Bland, Vonnie Winslow Crist, Kelly A. Harmon, Gail Z. Martin, Roberta Rogow, D.H. Timko, Jean Marie Ward and T.J. Wooldridge

10 PM, Salon B
Diversity in Popular Culture—Fad or the New Normal: Diversity and representation has been a hot topic
in SF/F literature, gaming, and other parts of fandom and popular culture over the past few years. Is this a phase or a watershed moment in the broader pop culture landscape? What role can individual readers, writers, and fans play in this discussion? Jean Marie Ward (Moderator), Day Al‐Mohamed, Stephanie Burke, William Galaini, Sunny Moraine

Sunday

12-2 PM, Concierge Lounge
Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading: Bite-sized readings from your favorite Broad Universe authors. Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Day Al-Mohammed, Sarah Avery, Roxanne Bland, Vonnie Winslow Crist, Kelly A. Harmon, Gail Z. Martin, Roberta Rogow, D.H. Timko, Jean Marie Ward and T.J. Wooldridge

Monday

11 AM, Salon B
Ancient Greece in SF and Fantasy: Greek history—rewritten or reimagined—is one of the more common sources for stories and novels in fantasy and science fiction. Our panelists discuss why it works so well and what still remains to be imagined. Tom Doyle (Moderator), Jack Campbell/John Hemry, Jo Walton, Jean Marie Ward

Posted 2 years, 4 months ago at 10:00 am.

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My Balticon Schedule

Balticon is this weekend—and I have schedule. Sort of. We’re talking Balticon, after all. Plans and schedules tend to be (ahem) fluid.
The one thing you can be sure of is a lot of fun. So if you happen to be in the vicinity of Hunt Valley, Maryland, this weekend, I hope I’ll see you there!

Friday

9 p.m., Salon A
Steam-powered: Rage of the New Victorians
Moderator: Jean Marie Ward
Panelists: Martin Berman‐Gorvine, Richard Allen Leider, Neal Levin, Jeffrey P. Young
From werewolves of property to anti-zombie airship pilots, the Empire has struck back. Meet the writers of this Brave Old World and learn about their stories and novels and where they get the ideas for those crazy gadgets.

11 p.m., Chase Room
Cover Trends
Moderator: Collin Earl
Panelists: Richard Allen Leider, Starla A. Huchton, Philip Giunta, Jean Marie Ward
What are the latest trends in science fiction, fantasy and horror covers? How are the new media changing the rules? What’s next?

Saturday

4 p.m., Salon B
Broad Universe Rapid Fire Readings
Moderator: Kelly A. Harmon
Panelists: Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Gail Z. Martin, Christine Norris, Sarah Pinsker, KT Pinto, Morgen Rich, Roberta Rogow, Jean Marie Ward, Trisha J. Wooldridge
Bite-sized readings from the amazing women/authors of Broad Universe.

Sunday

7 p.m., Salon B
Marketing and Promotion
Moderator: Roxanne Bland
Panelists: Ian Randal Strock; Cecilia Tan, Jean Marie Ward
What marketing and promotion will publishers do, and how much of it? What marketing and self-promotion do publishers expect authors to do? Do the big houses do more for their authors than the small press houses, or do they only do more for their “big name” authors?

9 p.m., Parlor 3041
Balancing Creative Life with Real Life
Moderator: Leona Wisoker
Panelists: Phil Giunta, Jean Marie Ward
How do you get your creative time in while still getting to work, having clean underwear and remembering to feed the cat?

10 p.m., Belmont Room
Promoting Your Book
Panelists: Jean Marie Ward, Michael Ventrella
What works in promoting a book? Do book-signings really help a small author? Are bookmarks and/or postcards effective at garnering attention? Does a blog help or hurt an author? Does an author have to have a website? How do you find good reviewers? What tactics do NOT work? What methods might work for an established author that wouldn’t work for a beginner?

Posted 4 years, 4 months ago at 9:40 am.

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Nothing like having my Twitter account hacked

While I was at Balticon. Sorry about that, folks. Hopefully, changing the password took care of that.
The con, however, was great. Joshua Palmatier and I hosted the Maryland launch of The Modern Fae’s Guide to Surviving Humanity with help from his brothers Jacob and Jason. Well, really, it was mostly Joshua and me, but J2 and J3 were very decorative, which didn’t hurt the launch party any. People came for the books and then looked for the food. Joshua and I were intensely flattered.
The Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading was enormous: Guest of Honor Jody Lynn Nye, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Roxanne Bland, Emilie P. Bush, Elaine Corvidae, Meriah Crawford, Kelly Harmon, Reesa Herberth, Gail Martin, Michelle Moor, T.J. Perkins, KT Pinto, Roberta Rogow, Trish Wilson, Trisha Wooldridge and me. And we still had more folks in the audience than lurking around the front of the room. As I always say, feed them cookies and strawberries, and they will come. ;-)
But as always, the best part of the con was connecting with friends, old and new. Well, that and having someone actually ask me to sign something at the autographing session. (Thanks, Patty!)
Looking forward to next year, everyone!

Posted 5 years, 3 months ago at 4:46 pm.

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My Schedule for Balticon 2012

This year’s Balticon will nothing if not exciting. I’m scheduled for fifteen (fifteen!) panels. Gulp.

Friday 4:00 pm (Salon B)
Symbology of Animals in Folk and Fairy Tales
(Readers Track)
Are certain animals used to symbolize certain character types. How? Why? In a modern fairy tale, what animals would you use and in what way?
(M): Trisha J. Wooldridge, (S): Jean Marie Ward, Ray Ridenour, D.H. Aire, Phil Giunta

Friday 5:00 pm (Salon D)
Worst. Panel. Ever.
(Fan Track)
Panelists trade stories about their worst ever panel experiences.
(M): Jean Marie Ward, (S): Wayne Arthur Hall, Perrianne Lurie, Stephanie M. Burke

Friday, 10:00 pm (Parlor 1041)
The Role of Anthologies, Roundtable Discussion
(Readers Track)
As both a source of fiction and a means of promotion, what do anthologies have to offer? Fan and author panelists discuss.
(M) Danielle Ackley-McPhail, (S): Michael A. Ventrella, Joshua Bilmes, C.J .Henderson, Trisha J. Wooldridge, Bernie Mojzes, Pete Prellwitz, Jean Marie Ward

Saturday, 12:00 noon (Parlor 1041)
Magical Systems in Fantasy Literature
(Readers Track)
A Roundtable Discussion. Panelists look at what are some of the things we expect to see in magical systems and give examples of works that are missing those factors, but work just fine for the reader anyway.
(M): Gail Z. Martin, (S): Hildy Silverman, Trisha J. Wooldridge, Myke Cole, Jody Lynn Nye (Guest of Honor, David Wood, Barba¬Friend Ish, Elektra Hammond, Bill Fawcett, Jean Marie Ward

Saturday, 1:00 pm (Salon B)
The Effects of War on SF & F
(Readers Track)
How has our war torn era shaped fantasy and SF?
(M): Myke Cole, (S): Charles Edward Gannon, Bill Fawcett, Jon Sprunk, Jean Marie Ward

Saturday, 2:00 pm, (Maryland Foyer)
Autographing: Jaclyn Dolamore, Christine Norris and Jean Marie Ward

Saturday, 7:00 pm (Parlor 1041)
Modern Fae Book Launch
(Readers Track)
Come join editor Joshua Palmatier and contributing author Jean Marie Ward as they celebrate the release of the anthology The Modern Fae’s Guide to Surviving Humanity from DAW Books, containing tales of the fae and how they have adapted to fit into modern society. From leprechauns on Wall Street to Selkies at Sea World, see how the fae have learned to live with the infestation that is humanity. Drinks and snacks available, along with books for purchase and Autographing at the event.
(M) Joshua Palmatier/Benjamin Tate, Jean Marie Ward

Saturday, 12:00 midnight to Sunday 1:00 AM (Pimlico)
The Wild Hunt and the Payment To Hell
(Readers Track)
Fairies Are NOT Nice! Panelists discuss the ugly side of the beautiful Fae.
(M): James Daniel Ross, (S): Elaine Corvidae, Jagi Lamplighter, Stephanie M. Burke, Jean Marie Ward

Sunday, 1:00 pm, (1 hr, 20 mins) (Salon B)
Broad Universe Reading
(Readers Track)
Rapid Fire readings from some amazing women/authors.
(M): Jean Marie Ward, (S): Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Emilie, P. Bush, Elaine Corvidae, Roxanne Bland, Jody Lynn Nye (Guest of Honor)

Sunday, 7:00 pm (Belmont Room)
History as a Source of Fantasy
(Readers Track)
Panelists discuss the use of history to develop fantasy and which sources are good ones.
(M): Jagi Lamplighter, (S) Walter H. Hunt, Bill Fawcett, Pete Prellwitz, Jean Marie Ward

Sunday, 8:00 pm (Parlor 3041)
Which Comes First: Main Character or Supporting Cast?
(Readers Track)
Do you start with a main character and build the rest around them? Or do you start with a cast of characters and wait for the most compelling to “”become” the main character? What do you do when you start with a main character in mind and another character steals the show?
(M): David Wood, (S): Jean Marie Ward, Barbara Friend Ish, James Maxey, Elaine Corvidae, David Sherman, Pete Prellwitz

Sunday, 9:00 pm (Parlor 3041)
Fessing Up to the Adult Themes in YA Literature
(Teen Track)
Young adult literature is growing up, tackling such hard issues as good and evil, abuse, abandonment, grief and loss. And then there’s sex. Is there a line that shouldn’t be crossed or is no subject taboo for today’s teens? A roundtable of teens and YA authors discuss these topics and takes questions and comments from the audience.
(M): Jean Marie Ward, (S): Sarah Taylor, Janine K. Spendlove, Michael Andrew D’Ambrosio, Daniel Hack, Sarah Sexton, Christine Norris

Sunday, 10:00 pm (Parlor 3041)
Films, Books and TV Shows That Everyone Likes, But I Don’t
(Film, TV, Film Making Track)
Panelists bash the things we hold dear.
(M): Joshua Bilmes, (S) Daniel M. Kimmel, Ian Randal Strock, Trish Wilson (Elizabeth Black), Jean Marie Ward

Monday, 11:00 am, (Salon C)
Old Fandoms and Favorite Cancelled Shows
(Fan Track)
Star Trek, Farscape, Lexx, Firefly: What keeps their fans hanging on? What are some other series that still have strong fan follow¬ings?
(M): Billy Flynn, (S): Zan Rosin, Yoji Kondo/Eric Kotani, Hildy Silverman, Jean Marie Ward, Lisa Adler-Golden

Monday, 12:00 noon (Salon D)
The Discreet Charm of the Historical Fantasy
(Readers Track)
What prompts otherwise sane writers to spend years research¬ing the Imperial Japan, the Silk Road, or the Ripper’s London? How do they know when they’ve gotten it right?
(M): Christine Norris, (S): Diane Weinstein, Patrick Scaffido, Bill Fawcett, D.H. Aire, Jean Marie Ward

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Posted 5 years, 4 months ago at 6:58 pm.

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“Burning Down the House” for Fun and Promo

I missed the posting deadline for Six Sentence Sunday for the second week in a row. Bad blogger, that’s me. By way of apology, I thought I’d offer a slightly longer excerpt from “Burning Down the House” from Hellfire Lounge 3: Jinn Rummy which will be launched at Balticon, May 25-28. I promise to share the date, time and details as soon as I learn them. Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy what happens after our poor protagonist Eddie Woodhouse sits in that big comfy chair:

“Do you have the bottle?” he asked.

A flash from the dance floor lit her eyes like an evil smile. She placed an empty absinthe bottle on the table.

“May your next transfer run as smoothly as the one from your bank.” The blare of the music muted the scrape of her scimitar nails along the glass. “Are you sure you wouldn’t rather do this someplace more private?”

“No.” The jinni inside him lashed his face. He couldn’t hide the bulge of their shared skin or his flinch of pain.

The woman added teeth to her smile. “Your funeral. I trust you’ll be more careful where you stick your straw in the future.”

Her exit line raised a different kind of welt, but he didn’t care as long as she left. Nobody paid any attention to a fat man in a club full of beautiful people. More importantly, the security cams and warding spells focused on the tables would keep her from trying anything more than what he paid for. He’d never been a contender in the magical department, but he never thought he’d sink so low that he’d owe his life to the sorcerous paranoia of Ducky “Duc d’Or”.

Eddie’s teeth chattered against the glass as he closed his lips around the neck of the bottle and chanted the first of the thirty-one goetic evocations from The Secret Key of Solomon under his breath. The words didn’t always make sense, but he suspected the real spell lay in his mind’s desperate prayer: “Take this damned thing outta me and I’ll never do magic. I’ll never so much as make a wish. Never. Ever.”

The words burned his throat. Never. The jinni swelled inside his lungs until he thought his ribs would explode. Ever.

#

What happens next? Well, you’ll just have to read the story–or come to the launch–to find out.

Posted 5 years, 4 months ago at 1:51 pm.

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All This & Glitter Too


Rose of Night Shade Industries (right) and yours truly at Balticon 44.

If you want to know what kind of mischief I got into at last week’s Balticon, the story is now live. The photos, too. Enjoy!

Posted 7 years, 3 months ago at 2:30 pm.

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Coming Soon to a Balticon Near You

Normally I wait until I’ve got my schedule in my hand to do a long Balticon promo post, but I think this merits a special post. Danielle Ackley-McPhail—writer, editor and hostess of some of the wildest con parties around—will be launching not one, not two, but three anthologies at Balticon from 7-9 p.m., Sunday May 30, at the Hunt Valley Marriott outside Baltimore, Maryland.

On the surface dragons, fairies and vampires might not seem to have a lot in common, but as Dani says, fiction readers never grow tired of them. “Each of these anthologies takes one of those legends and gives the reader what they want…and so much more.”

Since one of my favorite short stories, “Lord Bai’s Discovery”, is included in Dragon’s Lure, I must heartily agree. :-)

As always with Dani’s parties, there will be scads of writers, great refreshments and marvelous prizes, including a hand-sculpted dragon box by acclaimed artist Linda Saboe. There will also be readings by the anthology contributors including Dani, Linda, Elaine Corvidae, Keith R.A. DeCandido, John Grant, Kelly Harmon, C.J. Henderson, Brian Koscienski, Jeffrey Lymon, L. Jagi Lamplighter, Terri Osborne, Chris Pisano and me, Me, ME!

Well, to be honest, I won’t be reading three times. But I do plan to read “Lord Bai’s Discovery”. Hope to see you there. In the meantime, if you want to learn more, check out Dani’s launch page.

Enjoy!

Posted 7 years, 4 months ago at 12:32 am.

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Back from Balticon

Yeah, yeah, I know I owe you blogs and photos from three conferences, but for Balticon I had help.

If you want to put it all together, check out Kelly Harmon’s blog about her first day at Balticon. And if you can’t get enough of meme, check out Gail Z. Martin’s coverage of the Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading. Better yet, check out the video for the other wonderful writers, like Gail and Kelly, whose stories I highly recommend.

Cheers!

Posted 8 years, 3 months ago at 12:22 am.

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