Sunday, December 14, 2008

A writing weekend of much success!

My husband and I both finished our books this weekend! Of course mine was a lot easier and begun not so long ago, but I finished up The Labyrinth of the Dead, the sequel novella to The Convent of the Pure. I also put down the first paragraph of the third and final (?) installation of the little novella series which is going to be called, The Tower of the Forgotten!
I also got to take a look at the interior artwork for the book. And WOW is all I can say!!
As soon as I can finagle some permission, I might be able to share a sneak peak with y'all.

My husband finished his 146k fantasy novel about a young man turned assassin to avenge his parents' deaths. There is a lot of intrigue, blood, sex, battle, gods, mages, and warring religious factions. And don't think I find this interesting or noteworthy simply because he's my husband. I fell in love with him because of his writing...his charm and good looks were also helpful in that.

And since were were so productive with writing so early on this weekend, we tackled painting our hallway and hanging some art! Tomorrow more art will be hung when the hallway has had time to dry completely. It is a lovely shade of golden-peach which complements the darker antique gold of the front room/kitchen and plays nicely against the pale blue-green of the bedroom.
Happiness abounds in our literary love-nook!

Friday, November 28, 2008

THE CONVENT OF THE PURE available for pre-order NOW!

From the desk of Jason Sizemore, editor-in-chief of Apex Publications:

I'm excited to announce that we're opening pre-orders for the next two books in our novella series. Remember, we're running a free shipping special so now is a great time to take advantage of some USPS savings!
Free shipping is currently available for ALL ORDERS over $25
Free limited edition short story chapbook is included with your pre-order!

Secrets and illusions abound in a decaying convent wrapped in dark magic and scented with blood. Portia came to the convent with the ghost of Imogen, the lover she failed to protect in life. Now, the spell casting caste wants to make sure that neither she nor her spirit ever leave.

"The Convent of the Pure is a compelling blend of the numinous and the creepy, with a rich, atmospheric setting. I devoured it in a single sitting!"
– Jacqueline Carey (Kushiel's Dart)

Publication Date: April 1st

Sara's Official Author's Site

Excerpts, artwork, photos, and event schedule!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Shakes out the dust and scatters the tumbleweeds.

Goodness gracious, it's been since MAY that I have posted here.
Apologies, life is busy as usual.
Some small announcements, I have a short story to be included in the upcoming Dragons Composed anthology due out in Summer 2009 from Kerlak Publishing. My husband Matt's story has also been selected and we will be sharing a volume for the first time. I hope it won't be the last! This also marks Matt's publishing debut.

Secondly, I am working on another non-fiction assignment for Greenwood Press. This one is about the Fashion and Beauty industry.

And lastly, plans continue at a hectic pace as I gear up for the release of The Convent of the Pure early next year. In fact, on Friday I am heading up to Philadelphia for my first appearance to promote the book! I'll be at PhilCon from Friday til Sunday with my wonderful convention family.

That'll be my last convention of 2008, but my schedule starts up again in 2009 with Arisia and Chattacon in January.
Currently, my workload includes both the fashion industry chapters and the second novel in the series begun with The Convent of the Pure, called The Labyrinth of the Dead. There will be a third book in the series to finish off the story and after that I have to get back to my urban fantasy, To Shining Sea.
My agent (I have one now! Yay!) has high hopes for that one!

There is a lot going on in my life and now that things are moving forward with the writing, I have more to share with y'all.
So look for details to come soon!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Moving up in the world!

In addition to my Wkipedia entry, I have merited an entry on the Fandom News & World Report community on LiveJournal!


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I can haz Wiki!

Mark this day in history, I now have a Wikipedia entry!

Bookmark it for all your Sara M. Harvey encyclopedic needs!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I've got all the luck this month!

There was some Suck but it looks like Awesome once more prevails.
Tomorrow I head over to Jack FM at noon to record my promo spots as Jack FM's Ordinary Listener of the Week.

I will prvide details as they come available to me. I know you can catch Jack FM online as a live feed and I will see if there is a schedule of spots. Also, there is going to be a very silly YouTube video in which I will strive for as much SHAMELESS PROMOTION as possible.

Now...what do I wear???

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A new novel for you!

Hey there fair and gentle readers,
Great news!
Apex Books will be publishing my next work, a horror novella (that needs a title) about half-angel demon-hunters in a Steampunk universe.
Melissa Gay will be my artist for both the cover...and interior line art!

I am thrilled to pieces and just damn honored to join the ranks of such great authors such as Cherie Priest and Jen Pelland and Michael Burstein and Geoffry Gerard and Steven Savile and Lavie Tidhar and Brian Keene and way too many more to name!

Thanks everyone for all their love and support during this little whirlwind project of mine and look for it to be in print in Spring 2009.

We need a theme song....

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Convention Report

Here it is, April, the fresh new spring of the year. And I have already been to 3 conventions in 2008. I had a back-to-back double-header of Arisia in Cambridge, MA and Chattacon in Chattanooga, TN one weekend after the other in January. I had the month of Februrary off where I ended up beginning a novella project that came to life because of events that transpired at those two conventions. Never underestimate the power of networking, even at your friend's after-hours birthday party, I'm just sayin'. Opportunities don't always happen during the 10am-10pm convention "day" and they might take a couple of months and several appearances later to really come together.

And that is how I ended up working for Apex Books. Which will be expounded upon in greater detail in a later post, I promise.

In March, I attended MidSouthCon in Memphis, TN for the first time. It has been a while since I was a first-timer at a con. Luckily my first con ever was a small and wonderfully supportive one here in Nashville, TN called Hypericon which happens in June. After that first weekend of being shown the ropes, I felt like this convention thing was old hat.

But here are some quick dos and don'ts of being at a convention for the first time, whether is it your first con ever or your first appearance at a particular con.

First off, make sure you and the con staff are clear on your status. Some cons have a distinction between a "guest" and a "panelist." To clarify, all guests are (usually) panelists, but not all panelitsts are always considered guests. Every convention has various Guests of Honor (in different fields like writing, art, costuming, webcomics, etc.), these are usually very important or very famous professionals within their industry and serve as a draw to people to attend that particular convention. (Example: Pi-Con in W. Springfield, MA enticed me to come visit because Jacqueline Carey was their Guest of Honor)

The Guests of Honor (or GOH in the vernacular) have all their expenses paid by the con: travel, lodging, convention membership and/or any miscellaneous fees, and sometimes even food (even if not in an "official" capacity, most GOHs get treated to a meal or two or three by the con or the staff or the fans). A GOH gets a whole page in the con book with their picture, a long bio, and often reviews of their work or an interview with them.

A regular guest is an industry professional, often listed with others of their ilk in the "also appearing" or "other guests" category. Guests get just a short bio in the con book which will be organized alphabetically and not by industry. Guests write their own bios and so can include anything they want. I talk briefly about my current novel, any upcoming or current writing projects I might have, a sentance or two about my costuming background, followed by a single senatnce that sums up my other interests and where I am from and then I usually end up mentioning my fiance and my two dogs. People tend to relate to other people with pets and relationships, makes one seem like a real person, more approachable and likable, or so those marketing and promotion books tell me. I do get people asking me what kind of dogs I have and when my wedding is taking place, so I suppose it works.

This is an example of one of my bios, this one comes from my blog:

Born in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, Sara has traveled all over the country from her home state of California, all the way to New York City, and finally settling (for a little while anyway) in Nashville, Tennessee. She loves costuming and theatre as well as writing. She has a fantastic fiance, Matt, and a very dramatic dog, Guinevere.

It is brief, but with some fun style and panache to it. Hits the major bases and ends with a humorous and loving mention of family. My convention bio is similar but contains the titles, dates, and publishers of my books.

A panelist is someone who is knowledgable about a subject and not necessarily an industry professional. Many times a convention will have their GOHs and then everyone else is listed as a "panelist." Many conventions have their GOHS and everyone else is a "guest" (lower case). Some conventions have GOHS, guests, and panelists, the difference between "guest" and "panelist" being whether or not they are a professional in whatever field the panel is about.
One thing about being on a panel is finding the right balance between making yourself heard and hogging the time. Find that balance. Don't let the "big names" roll over you, you were asked to speak on that panel on that subject for a reason. If you never open your mouth, no one will know who you are! But always remember to let your fellow panelists speak...there are 3-6 people trying to express their opinions about a given topic and there is only ONE HOUR for everyone to get their points across. Be assertive, but considerate!

Another difference is that guests usually do not have to pay to attend the convention. They are a "guest of the convention." They still need to pay to travel to the con and for their own food and lodging. For the savvy con guest, this becomes a shiny tax deduction as it is a business expense.

Some cons, especially smaller ones, have rules about how many panels on which one must participate to earn a complimentary membership. Many cons allow guests to bring their own guest, usually a spouse, significant other, or other family member for free. Others allow a "guest of the guest" to attend for half-price, others require any additional people with the guest to pay the full convention membership price. Cons vary widely in this practice, so this is definitely a question to ask ahead of time.

But how does one go about getting involved in conventions?

I don't know how anyone else does it, but I just look them up and send them an introductory email and ask if I can come be a guest. I have some fiction published, plus I have a whopping load of costuming credentials including a mater's degree, a year of servitude in the Disney World costume shop, I teach fashion and costume at the college level and I have written several chapters on costume history. That is usually enough to get programming chairs drooling for my presence. After my first con, I had some experience so I could list at what other cons I had appeared and build myself a convention resume listing where I had appeared and what sort of topics I had spoken about. In other instances, I made friends who attended other cons and put in a good word for me. Elizabeth Donald is an ANGEL at this. And I have tried to turn around and show the love back to some good folks like Shane Moore and others. And on a couple of occasions, the programming folks or other staffers of other cons have seen me at one con and invited me to theirs.

In short (too late!), I have found that conventions have been my mainstay in terms of book sales and generating interest in me and my work and by that, new readers. My goal is to be able to make a career of writing, that is, to be able to generate enough income from selling books that I don't need to have an additional job unless I want one. I mean, fame and fortune are great, but more realistically, just being able to make a halfway-decent living with writing would be a dream come true.
So, if you are looking for a new angle or edge to further your budding career, try looking into some conventions. I'll see you there!

Thursday, February 07, 2008


I love that song, "I Don't Give a Damn About My Bad Reputation." But when it comes to writing and success, a lot rides on a good reputation.

One of my most favorite things to do is speak at conventions. There is so much excitement and Adventure, not to mention attention! It is every extrovert's dream! I also really enjoy my time there. I love interacting with the other guests as well as the fans. The costumes are phenomenal and where else can you stay up all night drinking and eating M&Ms with your friends and then have breakfast in the morning with the likes of Jacqueline Carey and Voltaire? Where else is Vic Milan going to chide you for not sneaking into the SFWA party?
Cons are, by far, my favorite authorial perk. It is where I can really shine and it is where I can make connections and network and it is where I get to see the people who buy my book face to face. This makes me the happiest of all.

And I have developed, over the past year and a half, a very good reputation among conventions. Such that, I have been asked back year after year. Sure they are expensive and a bit of a headache to plan around, but I have seen a marked increase in my sales as well as a healthy dose of name recognition. (Plus they make me deliriously happy to attend!) Slowly I am building my way to Mostly Famous (I would consider myself Nearly Famous right now!) and then I can be Really And Truly Famous (with a nice royalty check to match! Goodbye student loans!).
Even my wonderfully frugal fiance who watches our every penny has to admit that my momentum has caught on and it would be foolish to stop this snowball once it has started to roll downhill. So, more conventions for me! Yay for a sterling reputation!

In addition to building a good reputation for making appearances and being a valuable addition to conventions and other events, I have been developing a network of people for whom I have written and who are always willing to take a look at more of my work. This started with non-fiction and costume history writing. This has now begun to cross over into fiction where small publishers are requesting work from me. Now, if only I had it ready to give, I'd be set! I think that maybe I ought to finish this up and complete my grading and get home to log more words!

But long story short (too late!), a reputation is a valuable thing. It is precious and should be guarded and nurtured. I started this process in June 2006 and have seen excellent results, but it was certainly not an overnight process!
Be aware that writing is a business and you are more than just representing yourelf, you are representing yourself as a brand, as a marketable commodity. I think about that whenever I step foot out of my hotel room and out into the public convention space. I put such thought into my clothing, my hair, my perfume, like dressing a character for a play. It all plays into my reputation.
And without a good reputation, all the talent in the world can only take you so far.

Monday, January 28, 2008

A moment of real life blogging

2007 swept into the sunset like an errant whirlwind, leaving me dizzy and catching my breath.
In 2008, I have made a concerted effort to straighten out my hectic schedule and allow for some more "down-time" where I am doing stuff just for me to recharge my soul batteries.
And here it is, end of January and I am rushing to finish yet another ambitious wearable art project, start about 4 new novels, and foster an extremely energetic 5 month old puppy.
There went that New Years Resolution. At least I am losing weight! ^_^

But going into February, I have one time-sensitive sewing commission to finish and reams of words yet to be written, but in my own time and from my own mind.
I full intend to blog more and craft more (especially since I have just learned to knit this month!) and stress less.
So, I'll keep you appraised of how that all goes.

Until then, this is my foster pup, Eowyn, dozing on the futon with Guinevere, the Drama-Dog.
For those new to this, Eowyn is the blondie, a Yellow Lab/German Shepherd cross. Guinie is the ebony to her ivory and is a Border Collie/Blue Heeler cross. They get along about 90% of the time, unless there is food involved. Then Guinie will get snippy. Or if there is attention being given to anyone else besides Eowyn, in which case she becomes the very figure of a jealous, demanding bitch.
But they are both just angels when they are sleeping!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Because there is far too little bookishness to speak of, I shall distract you with costumes!

"Lux Arumque,"Christmas at Belmont, 2007
Schermerhorn Symphony Hall, Nashville, TN
Original costume design by Franne Lee. Construction and additional design by Sara M. Harvey.

Much Ado About Nothing, Belmont University's Inaugural Performance in the new Troutt Theatre, September 2007.
Original costume design, Franne Lee. Assistant costume designer, stitcher, shop manager, Sara M. Harvey