Like the Dark? Meet me for a Dream Date in Indy and get Swag

I’m making a list and checking it twice — no, it’s not Christmas in July. As I mentioned before, we’re getting ready for GenCon Indy. Part of our packing efforts is to design two horrific packages for people who love the things that go bump in the night. One is a horror-themed silent auction package that includes everything you need for a dark and dreary evening; the other is a dream date.

Dream Date Auction – Flames Rising

Come to the ENnie awards at Gen Con and don’t sit with the plebes! Get a seat in the reserved seating for nominated publishers and hang out with the crew from Flames Rising.

This auction is for a “dream date” with Matt M McElroy and Monica Valentinelli for the 2008 ENnie Awards, Friday August 15th. Join them as they find out if wins an ENnie!

Also included in this auction is a Flames Rising t-shirt, coffee mug and poster. We also have a signed copy of the Tales of the Seven Dogs Society fiction collection from Abstract Nova, a horror music CD from Nox Arcana and a few other dark surprises…

This auction is for a sit-down event being held at Gen Con in Indianapolis on the night of Friday, August 15th. The prize must be claimed in person at Gen Con by coming to the ENnies booth in the dealer hall at Gen Con on Thursday or Friday during the dealer hall hours. If for any reason the winner of this auction cannot attend, they may choose to have a person substitute for them. If no approved substitute is sent, the dream date may be re-auctioned or re-sold at Gen Con.

Bid on the Dream Date Auction

If you’re more interested in something a little lighter or more magical, don’t forget to bid on your favorite publisher’s dream date. I hear that the White Wolf dream date is truly–a dream. Last year, we sat with the guys from Evil Hat Productions and their dream date; we all had a lot of fun!

Who I’ll be Hanging Out With at GenCon: Indy

This year at GenCon: Indianapolis 2008 I’ll be supporting publisher Abstract Nova Entertainment at Booth #2115. I’ve worked on several of the products we’ll be offering at the booth including Nuomenon, Exquisite Replicas, Aletheia and a novella featured in the Tales of the Seven Dogs Society.

As project manager for Flames Rising, I’ll be attending the Diana Jones Awards, the ENnie Awards, and hanging out with a lot of my friends including author and editor James Lowder. Here are some of the folk who will be there:

Game designer and novelist Ari Marmell who has done work for Wizards of the Coast and White Wolf will be there. The lovely freelancer and novelistJess Hartley will be speaking (potentially) on two panels and will be at the ENnie awards to see whether or not Changeling: the Dreaming has won any awards. Changeling, nominated for several awards, is a storytelling game of beautiful madness. Full-time artist, author and game designer Aaron Acevedo will be splitting his time between the Talisman Studios booth and the art show. Flames Rising is proud to feature Aaron’s work as part of a silent auction to fund the ENnie awards.

In addition to finding Matt Machell hanging around the Play Collective or Chad Underkoffler at the IPR booth, Industry Insider Guest of Honor Matt Forbeck will be signing autographs, presenting on panels, and having fun. I hope to meet Michael A. Stackpole this year and run into Jean Rabe once again.

GenCon typically has about 45,000 people in attendance; this year there will be events commemorating Gary Gygax, the release of 4E for Wizards of the Coast, and much more! If you’re going, please stop by the booth and say “Hello” or set up a time where we can chat. This is a whirlwind event that goes by very quickly and takes a lot of time and energy. If you’ve never had the chance to go, it’s definitely the experience of a lifetime.

This year I will not be speaking on panels due to time and scheduling constraints. I’m already working on next year’s presentation, but I hope to see you this year!

Helping a Reporter Out has Never Been Easier through HARO

Do you ever find yourself in that situation where you’re working on an article and you need to get a hold of an authoritative resource? Have you searched endlessly in the search engines for what you need only to be sorely disappointed with the results? And what happens when you do find a resource? Now you have to take an extra step and contact them which–depending upon how quick their turnaround is you might miss your deadline.

Started through a Facebook group by PR guru Peter Shankman, HARO is a great solution to your “need for resources” woes. I’ve used HARO for this blog, an upcoming five day marathon of articles about the most common questions I hear from writers. Up until that point, I found it very difficult to get agents to respond to me, but through HARO I got so many responses I’m still sifting through them!

One of the reasons why I like the group so much, is because of the way that Peter manages this free service. He’s transparent, he’s real, and he advocates “being nice.” Just this morning, he mentioned to subscribers to do one nice thing every day in his introduction which is part blog, part “welcome to the community.”

This morning I thought of you, my readers, because there was a call for “Diet, Health and Cookbook Authors.” If you fit the bill, please contact me and I will be happy to send you the listing.
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When Fan Awards Make a Difference: Diana Jones and ENnie Awards for Gaming

As most of you know, I’ve done a lot of writing and editing within the gaming industry. Like other industries, there are some industry-facing and/or fan awards that softly bolster the businesses that do their very best. There are two awards that are typically presented at GenCon Indy that not a lot of folk are aware of; one is The Diana Jones Award for Excellence in Gaming, and the other are the ENnie Awards.

Diana Jones Award

I had the pleasure of sponsoring this event through Flames Rising last year and was on hand to take pictures and throw in support.

Attracting international attendees, there are folk from Scotland, Ireland, Germany, France, the UK and as far away as Australia have come to Indianapolis for this convention opener. The Awards commemorate the “excellence in gaming” and while for many folk that might mean “excellence in design” — the Diana Jones awards has a different take on it.
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Dr. Horrible by Joss Whedon: One Supervillian – One Musical – One Week

If you follow any of the places I go like Wizard World 2008 or GenCon, you probably also know I’m a huge supporter of other people in the industry–artists, writers, fans, etc.–who do exactly as I do. Many of us have a full time job and career, but are passionate about the hobby for fun times and the great people associated with it. Then there’s the unsung actors, stars of television shows and script writers, that aren’t as well known as the Angelinas, Lindsays, or Nicoles of the world, but they are out there pounding the pavement because they love what they do.

If you’ve enjoyed Buffy: the Vampire Slayer or Firefly, you probably know the name of Joss Whedon.

His new venture is two parts-comedy, one dash of “evil” in the style that he knows best. Doctor Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog capitalizes on Whedon’s rabid fan-base by offering three acts of an online musical starring Neil Patrick Harris as the villain, Doctor Horrible, Felicia Day as his love interest, Penny, and the unforgettable Nathan Fillion as Captain Hammer.

While most people are flocking to the blog (rumor has it fans crashed the site on the first day because there was so much traffic) there is a “master plan” attached to this dastardly selection of musical bad-er-goodness. (Yes, the cast can sing. And good, too!)

It is time for us to change the face of Show Business as we know it. You know the old adage, “It’s Show Business – not Show Friends”? Well now it’s Show Friends. We did that. To Show Business. To show Show Business we mean business. (Also, there are now other businesses like it.)


It is definitely well within the Whedonverse which, if you’ve watched any of Joss’ creative works, will probably mean that there won’t be a happy ending to this sordid tale of supervillainy woe. While it may not be for you, I’m spreading the word anyway because even if you don’t like the content of this musical extravaganza–you gotta love the idea and wonder why you didn’t think of it first.

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Looking for Monica’s books and games that are still in print? Visit Monica Valentinelli on Amazon’s Author Central or a bookstore near you.


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