My schedule for Shore Leave 40!

shore-leave-logoDue to the wonder that is scheduled blog entries, by the time this goes live I’ll be winging my way from Kansas City to Baltimore, heading for the annual Shore Leave convention!

With a couple of exceptions due to bad timing, I’ve been attending this con for fifteen years. It is up there with our annual jaunt to Denver for StarFest so far as my favorite cons go. In addition to being a fan-friendly show run by a dedicated group of volunteers rather than some corporate entity, it’s also one of the few places where you can swing a dead Mugato and hit about a dozen Star Trek writers of every sort. Indeed, Shore Leave represents one of the few times I get to see many of my colleagues who call the East Coast (mostly New York. Go figure) home.

Shore Leave celebrates its 40th year of fan-generated shenanigans by bringing in none other than the O.G. Captain Kirk, himself, Mr. William Shatner to headline the whole smash. Joining him are Ming-Na Wen, Shawn Ashmore, Allison Scagliotti, Peter Williams, Peter Kelamis, Aron Eisenberg, and Chase Masterson. There also are a veritable boatload of writer and science guests. Check out the con’s Guests Page for all the gory details!

And what will I be doing this weekend? Well, according to the con’s official schedule, you can find me at the following events and panel discussions:

Friday, July 6th

To Tweet or Not to Tweet – 8pm-9pm – Salon E
Social media is a vital aspect of marketing, but not all of it is good. Our panelists will discuss the ins and outs of when, where, and how to engage…or put the phone down! Moderated by Jenifer Rosenberg, with fellow panelists Amy Imhoff, Valerie Mikles, and Richard C. White.

Meet the Pros – 10pm-Midnight – Hunt/Valley Foyer
The con’s annual mass author autographing event! Bring your books and whatever else you might want signed by any of the convention’s author guests. If all goes to plan, I’ll be holding a raffle at my signing table where you’ll have a chance to win one of several different Star Trek titles published by Insight Editions, including my Vulcan and Klingon travel guides and the brand-spankin’ new U.S.S. Enterprise IncrediBuilds kits (original and NextGen flavors)!

Saturday, July 7th

What Is Star Trek? – 9am-10am – Belmont Room
What are the essential elements necessary to tell a Star Trek story and what part do values play? Moderated by John Coffren, and with fellow panelists Jim Johnson, David Mack, Amy Imhoff, and Dave Galanter.

SciFi from the Parent’s Eye – 11am-Noon – Salon E
We all love SF/F, but how do we pass the torch to our children in an age appropriate way so that they can enjoy–or even love–a genre that we’re so passionate about? Moderated by Russ Colchamiro, and with fellow panelists Jenifer Rosenberg, and with fellow panelists Joseph F. Berenato and Kathleen David.

Star Trek: Discovery – Prime Timeline or Not Possible? – 3pm-4pm – Chase Room
Is setting Star Trek: Discovery in the Prime Timeline even possible? (Narrator: “Yes.”) Can they pull it off, believably, or will it require a suspension of disbelief in the audience to make it work? (Narrator: “Also, yes.”) Moderated by Joshua Palmatier, and with fellow panelists Howie Weinstein, Amy Imhoff, Lorraine Anderson, and Dave Galanter.

Heinlein’s Five Rules of Publishing – 4pm-5pm – Salon E
Robert Heinlein wrote five basic rules of writing that are easy to remember but hard to actually carry out. A discussion of said rules and their application. Moderated by Laura Ware, with fellow panelists Phil Giunta, Jim Johnson, and Lorraine Anderson.

Author Meet-n-Greet – 6pm-8pm – Frankie & Vinnie’s
Round-robin ‘speed-dating’ style allowing you to get to know our author guests and ask them questions about the industry. This is also an awesome “second chance” for fans who can’t make Friday night’s Meet the Pros party! Moderated by Valerie Mikles, with fellow author guests Heather E. Hutsell, Hildy Silverman, Jim Johnson, TJ Perkins, Keith R. A. DeCandido, Mary Fan, Aaron Rosenberg, Mary Louise Davie, Dave Galanter, Andrew Hiller, Michael Jan Friedman, Marco Palmieri, David Harten Watson, Phil Giunta, Roberta Rogow, Richard C. White, Susan Olesen, and Stephen Kozeniewski.

Sunday, July 8th

For reasons I don’t quite understand, the scheduling goddesses have seen fit to give me Sunday to enjoy the con! I’ll be taking advantage of the day to maybe check in on some other interesting panels, check out the vendors room, and hopefully spend some time chatting with people I don’t get to see nearly often enough.

In and around all of the scheduled activities going on all weekend, it’s a safe bet you’ll find me doing much of what I just described, along with sitting down for at least two interviews I know about. And after each day’s obligations are met? Be sure to find most if not all of us in the hotel bar. It’s pretty much a law, at this point.

Here’s hoping I see you there!

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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!”

The Official Dayton & Kevin 2017 Convention Stalking Guide.

It’s still early, but the 2017 convention season is already starting to build out for me and Kevin. I don’t typically do very many cons each year, and Kevin does a few more in his role representing Hallmark. That said, there are a couple we always never to miss, along with a few others we’re always game to attend if schedules and planets align in proper fashion.

As of this writing, this Official Stalking Guide is a work in-progress, but we do have a handful of tentative dates already slotted. Nothing’s been absolutely confirmed, but it’s our sincere intention to lower property values at the following locales during throughout the year:

Starfest 2017 – April 21-23 – Denver, Colorado
One of our very favorite cons, Kevin and I will almost certainly be making our fifteenth consecutive annual trip to Denver to hang with the Starland gang. The trip has truly become something of a “family reunion” as much as it as a convention, as we’ve made so many friends there over the years, and each new con brings with it the chance to make new friends, or put faces to names we encounter over the internet.

Shore Leave 39 – July 7-9 – Hunt Valley, Maryland
Another show we make every effort to attend, mostly because it’s one of the few media cons of this size that also caters to a large list of author guests. Pocket Books and the Star Trek fiction cabal is usually well-represented, but there are also several other writer guests who show up every year and who have loyal followings. It’s three days of jam-packed programming, after which I may have to build in an extra day or so of sight-seeing so I can get down to D.C. and check out the restored U.S.S. Enterprise model at the Smithsonian.

Comic-Con International – July 19-23 – San Diego, California
Does this con really require an introduction? Kevin will be at this one, acting in his capacity as a representative of Hallmark Cards. If the writer gods are kind, he may also participate in a book signing or two, and perhaps even the odd panel.

The Official Star Trek Convention – August 2-6 – Las Vegas, Nevada
Sin City plays host to one of the largest Trek cons going. Boasting a guest list that now routinely hits the 100+ mark, it really is five full days of Star Trek fandom goodness. Though this one is still written in pencil, Kevin looks to be heading that way to man a booth on behalf of Hallmark, and — as of now — there’s a slim chance I may make this one, too. Stay tuned.

New York Comic Con – October 5-8 – New York ‘Effin City
It’s the smaller, feistier version of the San Diego con. As with that one, Kevin will be working his ass off on behalf of Hallmark. Book signings and panels possible, depending on his schedule.

And there you go. The list is, once again, tentative and subject to change, additions, or even deletions.

So, if you plan to be at any of these cons, maybe we’ll see you there!

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My sorta overdue Shore Leave after-action report.

shore-leave-logoYeah, so I kinda forgot to write this, earlier in the week.

By now, those who care about such things have already written up and posted their Shore Leave convention post-mortems, so I’m a bit late here. That said, I did want to make sure that I got a few things addressed before I get so wrapped up in other things that it just sort of fades away.

This year was a bit of a change-up for me, as it was the first time I ventured to the con without my hetero life mate, Kevin Dilmore. He was busy getting ready for San Diego Comic-Con, the madness of which is now fully underway. So, I went stag this time around.

The big deal for me this weekend was spending time with fellow Star Trek scribes Greg Cox and David Mack, who along with me and Kevin are in the midst of unleashing upon you all the Star Trek: Legacies trilogy of novels that celebrate the 50th anniversary of the original series. The first book, Captain to Captain written by Greg, has been out a couple of weeks, and the second book, Dave’s Best Defense, made its early premiere at the con. Fans were grabbing that from the bookseller’s booth and Dave was signing multiple copies, so yay! The last book, mine and Kevin’s Purgatory’s Key, will be out at the end of August.

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Also making its premiere at the show? My own Hidden Universe Travel Guide – Star Trek: Vulcan. By all accounts, the bookseller sold out of the copies he’d ordered within the first moments of Friday night’s “Meet the Pros” autographing event, and he even told me he wished he’d ordered more. The book officially went on sale this past Tuesday, but for a few wonderful days, Shore Leave attendees had a rather swank exclusive all to themselves.

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(Photo: Dan Gunther)

As always, it was great to connect with fellow writers and other friends old and new, many of whom I only get to see at this show. The weekend flies by, though, and most of us are going in different directions all through the con so there’s never enough time to really hang out with everyone the way we all want to do. Too many reunions were fleeting, and there even were a couple of people I never got to see, but I did get to enjoy extended visits with colleagues David Mack, Jim Johnson, Dave Galanter (and his lovely bride), Aaron Rosenberg (and his lovely bride, with whom I even shared a panel discussion), Rich White, Derek Attico, and John Coffren. I got to have a nice, relaxed breakfast with Howie Weinstein, and enjoyed a lengthy conversation with editor and mentor Marco Palmieri.

I also had the opportunity to hang out with friends and fans in the hotel bar, and even made a few new writer friends in the form of Stephen Kozeniewski and Mary Fan. I did miss hanging out with Kevin, who had legit reasons for recusing himself this time around, as well as my sister from another mister, Kirsten Beyer, whose absence also is pretty justified, what with writing for that new Star Trek TV series and whatnot.

And then BAM. It was over, and it was time to come home.

It was a fun weekend all around, and a very large portion of that is thanks to the people who plan, organize, and throw the switch on this con every year. The Shore Leave committee and the volunteers who help them all weekend work so very hard to make the whole thing look easy, and bust their humps ensuring that everyone is having a wonderful time, be they guest or paying customer. Hats off and glasses raised to those fine folks. Thanks for inviting me back one more time, and hopefully I can come to see you next year.

And maybe we’ll see you there, too?

Next up? Vegas, baby! Vegas!

My schedule for Shore Leave 38!

shore-leave-logoIt’s almost that time of year again!

One of my very favorite conventions, Shore Leave, is happening this weekend. Three full days of fandom and fun and all manner of geeky shenanigans await within the rooms and halls of the Hunt Valley Inn located in…uh…Hunt Valley, Maryland.

(“Where?”)
(“Hunt Valley. North of Baltimore.”)
(“Where?”)
(“Just look for the Pokémon thingee.”)
(“Yeah. Right. Okay.”)

Just like every year, there will be activities galore cramming the schedule, and I have no doubts that the convention committee members and their army of dedicated volunteers will be doing their usual outstanding job to make the entire weekend fun for everyone.

For those of you asking such questions as, “Hey, Dayton! Where can I find or meet you?” or “Where’s that asshole Ward? He owes me money,” or “Dayton, drinks are on me,” I’m providing here my list of scheduled activities for the weekend. That’s not to say you won’t find me elsewhere about the con, but these are the places I’m required to be, under penalty of death:

Friday
8pm-9pm – Star Trek: Strange New Worlds – The first volume of Pocket Books’ SNW series appeared in 1998, creating a professional venue for unpublished Trek writers. This year, for Trek‘s 50th, Pocket will release a brand new volume of stories. Hear from past and present winners about their experiences. I’m the moderator, and joining me are Paula M. Block, Rigel Ailur, Lorraine Anderson, Jim Johnson, Scott Pearson, and Derek Tyler Attico, and John Coffren (Hunt room)

10pm-Midnight -“Meet the Pros” – The annual author mega-autographing event. Bring your books to get signed  by your favorite authors! A bookseller will be on site, selling the newest titles from all of the convention writer guests, and some authors will also have copies of their own titles for sale. (Hunt/Valley foyer)

Speaking of “Meet the Pros,” I’ve got two things you should know about: First, there will be a bookseller with a booth presence at the con all weekend, and they will have a limited number of copies of Hidden Universe Travel Guides – Star Trek: Vulcan for sale, ahead of its official publication date on July 19th. So, be sure to get your copy and get me to sign it for ya!

dayton-24Also, I’ll be holding a raffle! I’ll have three advance reader proof copies of my forthcoming 24 novel from Tor/Forge Books, Trial by Fire, will be up for grabs, and I’ll be offering raffle tickets to those who stop by my signing table. The drawing will go at 10:45 PM at my table, and all interested parties must have a ticket and be present to win!

Here’s your chance to read the latest Jack Bauer adventure a month before it hits stores!

Saturday
5pm-6pm – Upcoming Star Trek Books – There are a lot of novels and other Trek books coming out for the 50th anniversary and into 2017. Let’s take a look at what’s coming down the pike. With Greg Cox (moderator), David Mack, Christopher L. Bennett, and Scott Pearson (Salon A)

Sunday
1pm-2pm – Collaborations: Writing as A Team Sport – The challenges and advantages of joint writing projects. With Greg Cox (moderator), Paula M. Block, David Mack, Terry J. Erdmann, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, and T.A. Chaffin (Salon E)

3pm-4pm – Connecting with Readers in A Modern World – How does the modern reader consume their fiction? And how are we keeping up? Are we? We’ll discuss the challenges of getting fiction into the hands of readers who have more choices than ever – and more ways to access the content. With Stephen Kozeniewski (moderator), Joshua Palmatier, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Mary Fan, Jenifer Rosenberg, and Kyle Williamson (Concierge Room)

dayton-conIn and around all of that, I’ll be checking out other panels, and finding new and exciting ways to leave money in the dealer’s room. At the end of each day, the bar likely will beckon. I’m sure I’ll find time to eat or sleep during the weekend, too. You shouldn’t have too much trouble finding me, as I’ll be sporting my fancy-schmancy Trek-inspired con flair, yo.

Oh, and hey! With the costumes and displays and photo ops, the entire weekend is really just one big #WheresDaytonsBook opportunity, you know. Just sayin’.

Hope to see some of you there!

Me and Kevin: Talking about your mom at Shore Leave.

Okay, not really, but it made you look.

During the Shore Leave 37 convention held earlier this month in picturesque Hunt Valley, Maryland, Kevin and I were cornered like the vile animals we are invited to sit down with the lovely Janice Sanborn, who was conducting interviews as a field reporter for our good friends over at the G & T Show. Why? Well, as it happened, the rest of the people involved in that show had hot-footed to Vegas for the big Trek convention being held there the same weekend, and because of that, they all missed the chance to hang out with the cool kids.

You know, us.

Therefore, Janice had us all to herself. Awwwwww, yeah.

Dayton-Kevin-ShoreLeave2016 (Photo by Janice Sanborn. Also, one of the few pics of me I don’t loathe.)

The interview includes our secret origin story, tidbits on how we work together and not kill each other, whether our undergarment preferences run to boxers, briefs, or commando, and what we really think of our writing colleagues. We also find time to offer up insights into our individual creative processes, what we’re currently working on and what’s next for the Deleterious Duo. It’s a short, breezy listen, so give it a go:

G&T Show Shore Leave 37 Interviews – Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore

Thanks very much to Janice for putting up with our antics. Be sure to listen as Nick Minecci, Terry Lynn Shull, and Mike Medeiros bring you a new episode of the G&T Show every Sunday, right here on your very own internet.

Shore Leave, vacation, and getting back to it.

Previously, on The Fog of Ward:

Is this thing on? :: blows dust ::

So, it’s been a week or so since the last update, owing to last weekend’s Shore Leave convention and ensuing vacation with the family. It was a busy week, despite being billed as “restful,” but if you don’t come back from vacation a little bit tired, you did something wrong, amirite?

Continue reading “Shore Leave, vacation, and getting back to it.”

Come find me at Shore Leave 37 this weekend!

Here we go! Again!

Shore Leave 37 is fast approaching, with three full days of geeky shenanigans on tap this coming weekend within the stylish environs of the Hunt Valley Inn hotel located in…wait for it…Hunt Valley, Maryland.

There may well be a few of you who are asking some variation of, “Hey, where’s that dude Ward gonna be during all of this craziness?” the answers await you below. Here’s my (so far as I know at this point, anyway) official convention schedule for the weekend. Check it out:
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Friday
10pm-12am – Meet the Pros – Hunt/Valley Corridor

(This is the annual gathering of the convention’s writer, artist and science guests. Come get your books signed!)

Saturday
1pm-2pm – The Best & Worst of Star Wars & Star Trek – Salon B
2pm-3pm – What’s Coming from Star Trek – Chase
3pm-4pm – Military Fiction vs. Fact – Salon E

(Note: If you see a blur shooting through the snack bar right before the third panel, that’s me trying to get a mid-afternoon caffeine fix.)

Sunday
10am-11am – Canon or Not: Tie-Ins and their Relation to the Source Material – Salon B
1pm-2pm – The 60s: What’s Old Is New Again – Salon E

In and around all of that, I’ll be checking out (read: “Crashing”) other panels, as well as finding new and exciting ways to leave money in the dealer’s room. At the end of each day, the bar likely will beckon. Oh, and probably that cool off-site diner we’ve sort of adopted as our goto venue for food at all hours of the day or night.

I was thinking earlier in the day that this likely will be the ultimate cap for this year’s “Where’s My Book?” exercise. So, let’s see those con pics when this is all over!

(That reminds me: I should post an update on that. There have been quite a few pretty awesome photos offered up by willing readers and fans. Stay tuned!)

Hope to see you there!

Dayton & Kevin’s 2015 Convention Stalking Guide.

So, 2015’s convention season is starting to heat up, at least for me and Kevin. We don’t typically do very many cons each year, but there are a couple we always try to attend, along with a few others we’re always game to attend if schedules and planets align in proper fashion.

At this early point on the calendar, we have a handful of tentative dates already slotted.  Nothing’s been confirmed, one way or the other, but it’s our sincere intention to lower property values at the following locales during 2015:

Planet Comicon – March 13-15 – Kansas City, Missouri
We’ve been attending this show as guests for the last few years, and for years before that we’d go just as normal, ticket-buying folk. This con seems to be getting bigger every year, and the people running it are doing an amazing job making sure they don’t get too big too fast, as we see other shows do from time to time. The show promoters have been sure to assemble a nice mix of guests, including an impressive array of comics talent. For the price, it’s one of the better shows of its size I’ve seen. This year, I’m told the showrunner has some new stuff he wants Kevin and me to do, which sounds like it could be fun, you know….provided I don’t have to get naked, or anything.

Starfest 2015 – April 17-19 – Denver, Colorado
One of our very favorite cons, Kevin and I likely will be making our thirteenth annual trip to Denver to hang with the Starland gang. To be honest, the trip has become as much “family reunion” as it is convention, as we’ve made so many friends there over the years, and each new con brings with it the chance to make new friends, or put faces to names we encounter over the internet.

Comic-Con International – July 9-12 – San Diego, California
Does this con really require an introduction? Kevin will be at this one, acting in his capacity as a representative of Hallmark Cards. If the writer gods are kind, he may also participate in a book signing or two, and perhaps even the odd panel.

Shore Leave 33 – August 7-9 – Hunt Valley, Maryland
Another show we make every effort to attend, mostly because it’s one of the few media cons of this size that also caters to a large list of author guests. Pocket Books and the Star Trek fiction cabal is usually well-represented, but there are also several other writer guests who show up every year and who have loyal followings. It’s three days of jam-packed programming, after which my current plan is to spend a week with the wife and kids sight-seeing in and around the DC area.

New York Comic-Con – October 8-11 – New York ‘Effin City
It’s the smaller, feistier version of the San Diego con. As with that one, Kevin will be working his ass off on behalf of Hallmark. Book signings and panels possible, depending on his schedule. I haven’t completely written off the possibility of attending this one, myself, but it’s still too early for me to know for sure. Stay tuned.

And there you go. The list is, once again, tentative and subject to change, additions, or even deletions.

So, if you plan to be at any of these cons, maybe we’ll see you there!

kevin-dayton-sl2010(Photo Credit: Jen Snyder)