Why, yes. I will indeed be attending Shore Leave!

shore-leave-logoDue to my work schedule, I’ve been leaving certain convention appearances in the “Maybe” column. Among those was one I’ve made a habit of attending for the better part of the last 15 years or so: Shore Leave. Even with this one less than two months away, things were still iffy, but I can now finally say with confidence that – barring unforeseen circumstances, of course – I will once again be heading back to picturesque Hunt Valley, Maryland in order to participate in Shore Leave’s 40th anniversary con!

(I’m sure this news will be of interest to at least two or three of you. You know, as opposed to being excited that William Shatner, Ming-Na Wen, and several other cool TV and film guests are also appearing, along with more than fifty other author, editor, and science guests.)

Shore Leave is one of the shows I most look forward to attending each year, as it’s one of the few opportunities I have to meet up and catch up with east coast-based friends and colleagues. Along with all of the con’s other author guests, I’ll be participating in the mass autographing session on Friday night. There will also be numerous panel discussions and other activities taking place throughout the weekend. In and around all of that, there doubtless will be other shenanigans unfolding.

And after all of that? There’s the hotel bar.

Still sporting that new car smell during the weekend will be my two most recent publications: the Star Trek: U.S.S. Enterprise and Star Trek: The Next Generation U.S.S. Enterprise book and model kits from IncrediBuilds and Insight Editions. I’m told the local bookseller who always sets up shop during the con will have copies of both titles on hand, along with other selections from my backlist as well as those of the other attending author guests. Bring your wallets, yo.

For those of you planning to attend this year’s show, here’s hoping we run into each other. If you’re not coming, well…..it’s your loss. Shore Leave is always, always a fun con, and now that I’ve booked my flight I’m counting the days.

See you there?

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My Shore Leave 39 schedule!

shore-leave-logoThrough the wonder of scheduled posting, you’re now reading something I wrote late Wednesday night, which was posted while I’m winging my way to Baltimore from Kansas City. Goodness, but technology is nifty. What will they think of next?

Anyway……

So, I’m on my way to Baltimore (and points north) for the annual Shore Leave convention, held as always in Hunt Valley, Maryland, at a hotel which has had three names in as many years. This time around, it’s the Delta Hotels Baltimore Hunt Valley, but it’ll always be the Hunt Valley Inn in my eyes. What’s important, though, is that the hotel is and remains home to one of two conventions to which I most look forward each year. This one is fun because it gives me an opportunity to connect with East Coast-based friends I see only during this frantic weekend. We’ll be cramming a lot of catching up into the three days of con shenanigans. Much of that reuniting will occur in the hotel bar. I mean…..it’s inevitable.

Aside from that, as one of the con’s writer guests, I’ll be doing my share of panel discussions and other mischief throughout the weekend. Want to know where to find me at Shore Leave 39? Here you go:

Continue reading “My Shore Leave 39 schedule!”

Trekking to Ticonderoga and the Star Trek Set Tour!

Well, it seems the cat’s out of the bag on this one, as it’s been reported in different places and a couple of people have asked me about it.

Along with my hetero life mate, Kevin Dilmore, and a whole gaggle of fellow writers of various Star Trek persuasions (novels and other books, comics, even the odd script or two), I’ll be making the trek to scenic Ticonderoga, New York during the first weekend in May, to hang out at the incredible Star Trek Original Series Set Tour!

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Along with Kevin and me, fellow Star Trek wordsmiths Keith R. A. DeCandidoMichael Jan FriedmanDave GalanterDavid R. George III, Bob GreenbergerGlenn HaumanBill LeisnerDavid MackScott Pearson,  and Aaron Rosenberg will all be descending upon poor little Ticonderoga for a one-day “Star Trek Writers Mini-Con” to be held on Saturday, May 6th, from 1pm-6pm.

What originally was just going to be a friendly get-together among friends has morphed into a “Meet the Authors” event that will include book signings and Q&A sessions. I don’t know if we’ll attract all that many curious visitors, but you can guarantee we writer nerds will make our own fun.

Why? Because of the sets, people.

The brainchild and dream project of ardent Star Trek fan James Cawley, this one-of-a-kind attraction is exactly what its name implies: A full-blown walking tour of one of the most faithful recreations of the original Star Trek filming sets ever devised. Working from blueprints and photographs of the original soundstages as they appeared during the filming of the original show in the 1960s, James and a group of loyal enthusiasts have constructed bang-on replicas of all the U.S.S. Enterprise interiors.

It’s all here, including such memorable locations as engineering, sickbay, the transporter room, and–of course–the bridge. Everything is linked by familiar Enterprise corridors, and the whole smash is laid out almost exactly as it was constructed on Desilu Stage 9. No detail is overlooked, from signage to buttons to odds and ends on shelves in Captain Kirk’s quarters to those unidentified doodads and thingamajigs hanging everywhere on walls and conduits and whatnot.

Here, take a look:

And there are plenty more photos on the tour’s official website and its Facebook Page.

It’s okay to drool. I did.

Those familiar with Mr. Cawley’s work know that these sets came about as a result of his desire to create new “fan made” episodes of the original Star Trek. After creating a series of well-received episodes, he has continued to work on improving the sets, and eventually worked out a deal with CBS to officially license the tour.

There have been several recreations of various original series sets over the years, including a few created by fans for similar fan film projects. None of the recreations I’ve seen in exhibits or traveling tours have reached this level of detail, though. To this point, I’ve only seen the photographs, but I can already tell you how this is going to go down.

(Cue vids and pictures of Dayton running around the sets like an 8-year old hopped up on Pop Rocks and Red Bull, smiling and touching all of the things and maybe even himself.)

Granted, Ticonderoga is a bit off the beaten path, but hey! If you’re able to join us on Saturday, May 6th, between 1pm and 6pm, come on out! The writer gang was going to be there, anyway, and we’ll be hanging around and having fun all day.

If anyone needs me, I’ll be on the bridge.

KC-area peeps! Come see us at “Books in the Bottoms!”

Are you local to the Kansas City area, and just itching to come say “Howdy!” to me and Kevin Dilmore and see what we’ve been up to on the writerly front?

newlogoblackNext weekend, the historic West Bottoms District of Kansas City is hosting its Second Annual “Books in the Bottoms” event. It’s part of the District’s monthly “First Festival Weekend” that they do on the first weekend of every month. Kevin and I will be joining a number of other area writers to hock our wares in and around sampling the food and shopping and just taking in the festive ambiance that’s sure to be permeating the area.

The event runs Friday thru Sunday, February 3rd-5th, with writers staged at different shops and eateries around the District. The entire weekend promises to be fun, but if you’re specifically looking for me and Kevin, you’ll find us on Saturday morning from 9am-Noon at Good Juju, a wonderful little treasure trove of antiques, vintage collectibles, and pop culture goodies.

Additionally, a scan of the author line-up shows a number of friends on the roster, including J.R.Frontera, Dennis Young, James Young, Thaddeus Nowak, and the one and only Robin Wayne Bailey.

Hey. Wait. Instead of reading me ramble on about this, why not just check out the official press release:


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:   Amber Arnett-Bequeaith
VP and Spokesperson – West Bottoms Entertainment District & Full Moon Productions 816.842.4280 / 913.406.7833 1401
W. 13th St., KCMO 64102

Authors on-hand at Second Annual Books in the Bottoms Event  First Festival Weekend February 3-5 

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI, January 26, 2017 – Benjamin Franklin’s truism, “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing” has a special meaning for First Festival Weekend, February 3-5. Not only will the event host sixteen local authors at the Second Annual Books in the Bottoms coinciding with First Festival Weekend, but it will draw on those looking for extraordinary experiences worth writing about and sharing socially.

Participating authors will represent a range of fiction genre from science fiction, fantasy and the supernatural, to children’s books, thrillers, and history-based fiction.  Fiction authors include David Pederson, Duane Porter, Jennifer Frontera, Claire Ashgrove, Ted Nowak, Kevin Dilmore, Dayton Ward, Aaron Hollingsworth, Dennis Young, Robin Wayne Bailey, and Anita Young.

Books in the Bottoms will also have five non-fiction authors, including Kansas City crime writer Phil LeVota, poet and prose writer Carol Estes, beer recipe author Pete Dulin, military analyst author James Young and Kansas City historian Pat O’Neill.

The free, three-day West Bottoms First Festival Weekend averages around 20,000 people looking for vintage, antique and one-of-a-kind statement pieces for their wardrobe and décor and enjoying the many cafés, drinks and food truck options.  The area’s six-blocks of multistory buildings makes it the largest indoor, year-round antique and vintage district in the country.

“The creativity in Kansas City is over-flowing, so it is no surprise we are able to gather so many talented authors,” said Amber Arnett-Bequeaith, VP of the West Bottoms Business District. “People are looking for unique experiences that are worth writing about and sharing with others. The West Bottoms’ First Festival offers a fun place to shop and the rare chance to actually meet and interact with authors.”  

West Bottom’s First Festival Weekend
Opens Friday through Sunday  –  Shops Open around 9 A.M. 
Food Truck Wine & Dine
Available Friday, Saturday and Sunday, off the 12th St. Bridge

About the West Bottoms Historic Entertainment District: 
The West Bottoms Historic Entertainment District has more than thirty-five stores in a six block area.  Many of the large, multi-story buildings off the 12th Street Bridge offer several floors of vintage and antique finds. The District is the destination for interior decorators and designers, collectors and consumers seeking stylish décor and gift options that have a history and patina that cannot be duplicated.
http://www.westbottoms.com


So, hey! If you’re out and about next Saturday, bring your bottom to the Bottoms, stop by Good Juju and say “Aloha!”

Dayton-Kevin-ShoreLeave2016

 

Star Trek: Waypoint signing at Pop Culture Comix!

ST-Waypoint2-SubscriptionCoverHey, Kansas City-area readers, fans, and peeps!

Just a reminder that my hetero life mate, Kevin Dilmore, and I will be signing copies of our first-ever comic, Star Trek: Waypoint #2 from IDW Publishing, this Wednesday  at Pop Culture Comix in picturesque Overland Park, Kansas.

The shop’s proprietor has acquired a hefty stack of copies for this little shin-dig, so come on out and get an early start to your Christmas shopping by buying them for all of your family and friends. Kevin and I will also have a small selection of titles from our book back list, including our most recent joint offering, Purgatory’s Key, along with my own 24: Trial By Fire and the Vulcan Travel Guide. Kevin also mentioned having copies of the Famous Monsters of Filmland issue where our Star Trek 50th anniversary articles are featured. Quantities will be very limited, so if you’re planning a visit, get there early!

We’ll be on hand for two signings this Wednesday (November 30th) from 10am-1pm, and then again from 4pm to 7pm. It’s new book day, already, of course, and according to Sid the Shop Owner, these are his “peak times.” So, come on out and say “Howdy!”

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Upcoming book signing!

Okay, Kansas City-area peeps. It’s getting real now.

ReadersWorld-Poster

The Reader’s World Book Store in Lee’s Summit, Missouri has invited Kevin and me to sign copies of our latest offerings at their location on Saturday, September 10th from 1pm-3pm. Manager Christian Apodaca and her staff have garnered a well-earned reputation for supporting area authors, so we were more than happy to accept their invitation to come and loiter in their store for a while as we talk books and writing.

The store will have copies of Hidden Universe Travel Guide – Star Trek: Vulcan, 24: Trial By Fire, and Purgatory’s Key, our wrap-up novel for the 3-book Star Trek: Legacies trilogy that celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the original series. It’s possible that there may also be a few copies of some of our older titles, and I’m told that fans can also bring their own books for  us to sign.

So, if you’re in the area on September 10th and feel like hanging out with us for a bit, come on by Reader’s World and say howdy!

 

Officially Official(tm): Kevin and me @ Kansas City Comic Con!

KCCC-logoThe headline pretty much says it all, folks.

Adding to our list of appearances during 2016 is one right here in our home town. The Kansas City Comic Con is preparing for its second show after getting off to a damned fine start last year. Though we were invited to attend last year, scheduling conflicts and prior commitments saw to it that we were elsewhere that weekend.

Not so, this time around!

Kevin and I have accepted invitations to appear as guests at KCCC 2016, which will be held the weekend of August 12-14. We’ll be surrounded by a multitude of media and creator guests spanning TV and film, novels, comics, games, and whatever other creative coolness someone can conjure. As is our habit, you’ll be able to find us somewhere in the convention’s creator area/artists alley, and we’ll almost certainly be participating in programming throughout the weekend.

Also, it’s possible…possible…that I may have copies of our latest novels, 24: Trial By Fire and Star Trek: Legacies – Purgatory’s Key, both of which will be very minty fresh at the time of the con.

We’ll just have to wait and see.

DW-KCCC KD-KCCC
(Click on the pics to see our Officially Official(tm) pages at the con’s website.)

So, if you’re in the area and want to come hang with us and a lot of other, perhaps far cooler people, you’ll know where to find us.

Thanks very much to the good folk at KCCC for inviting us to be a part of their fun and games. Should be a blast!

Babbling again…this time in front of actual smart people!

Uh oh.

Those of you who follow my antics, the shenanigans of my writing partner, Kevin Dilmore, and the mischief we unleash whenever we’re together in public know that on occasion, he and I get an opportunity to address other members of our species. These interactions often take the form of Q&A sessions or “discussion panels” at conventions, along with the occasional signing at an area book store or library.

The bar for these sorts of things got upped a bit a few years ago when I and a small group of my fellow Star Trek scribes got to participate in a symposium at the Johnson Space Center down in Houston, Texas. Yep, the NASA place. That actually happened. There’s photographic and video proof, and everything. We talked to people who work at sending other people and various objects into space, about Star Trek‘s influence on the space program and vice versa. So far as being cool while writing Star Trek novels goes, I’m fairly confident when I say we peaked with that little shin-dig. The only thing that might outdo it is if Hef invites us all out to the Playboy Mansion, or something.

Anyway….

While it might not be NASA, our next public engagement is still setting up to be very cool. Kevin and I have been invited by the Linda Hall Library here in Kansas City to come and speak to an audience for one of the library’s “Second Saturday Lectures.” On Saturday, May 14th, we’ll be talking to (and with) this assembled group of curious onlookers about Star Trek‘s influence on science and technology, and its continuing resonance in pop culture as we approach the original series’ 50th anniversary.

From their program guide:

Of Tribbles and Technology: Star Trek at 50
(Saturday, May 14th, 11:00am-12:00pm)

Since 1966, Gene Roddenberry’s vision of the 23rd Century (and beyond) has inspired uncounted people to explore ideas and pursue careers in the creative arts as well as in fields of science and technology. Join Kansas City-area Star Trek novelists Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore in a discussion on how the imaginings of Star Trek’s creators have shaped our world of today—and given optimism to what lies ahead for us all. They also will share their insights and experiences with the creative process of Star Trek storytelling beyond movies and television. Audience participation will be encouraged.

For those of you in the KC area, admission to the Q&A is free, but you will need a ticket/reservation. You can read more about the program and the library itself by following this handy dandy link I’m providing right here.

This is probably as good a time as any to state for the record that I’m a bit nervous about addressing this particular crowd. As was the case with the NASA folks, I feel somewhat (read: “tremendously”) out of my depth in these types of situations. The Linda Hall Library is not home to a bunch of slouches, by any stretch. As an independent research library, it’s one of the most important institutions of its type in the world, with a focus on science, technology, and engineering. Smart people work there, or go there to avail themselves of its resources.

And yet, they invited me into their realm. However, I know I can outrun Kevin once they figure out what’s going on and chase us out of there with torches and pitchforks.

Our Q&A session promises to be somewhat less formal than the lectures the library typically hosts, and we always do our part to (hopefully) make sure things are fun as well as informative. So, if you’re in the area with nothing to do on Saturday, May 14th around lunch time, come find me and Kevin at the Linda Hall Library.

What could possibly go wrong?

Dayton-Kevin-ShoreLeave2016(Photo by Janice Sanborn.)

KC-area book signing! Saturday, September 6th!

Those of you who follow my comings, goings, blatherings, and scribblings likely know that the latest novel collaboration between Kevin Dilmore and myself, Star Trek: Seekers #2 – Point of Divergence, is scheduled to begin appearing on bookstore shelves later this month. With that in mind, a couple of local bookstores have sought us out in the hopes that we might darken their doors for a book signing.

The first one we can announce is set for Saturday, September 6th at 1pm, at the Barnes & Noble store in Oak Park Mall in picturesque Overland Park, Kansas. Our signing and Q&A session will be part of a larger event the store is hosting, celebrating the anniversary of the original Star Trek series premiere in 1966. Check it:

Barnes & Noble: Happy Birthday, Star Trek!

“Join authors Kevin Dilmore and Dayton Ward for a Q&A and signing for their new book, Star Trek: Seekers – Point of Divergence. Come celebrate the 48th anniversary of the first televised Star Trek episode with activities and events! Costumes welcome!”

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We’ve also been reaching out to some of the local Star Trek clubs and fan groups, inviting them to come hang out. If that’s you and you’re looking for something to do that Saturday, then mark your calendars!

Programming Note: It’s entirely possible that my daughters will be with me this day. It’ll be Addy’s birthday, as it happens, and she’s expressed the desire to accompany us to this shindig, and to do so while wearing a “Lieutenant Uhura dress.” So, there.

Also, this store has the virtue of being directly across the street from one of my favorite places in town to eat, bd’s Mongolian Grill. So, you can guess what’ll be happening after the signing, right? What’s not to love about this deal?

Awwww, yeah.

We want to thank the Oak Park Mall B&N for inviting us into their realm, and in particular we thank Rebecca Relph, the store’s community relations manager, for organizing this little party. Here’s hoping you all come to see us!