Tag Archives: michael riehl

A Star-Studded Monster Mania 37

It was the perfect day for a drive to Cherry Hill, NJ for the semi-annual Monster Mania horror convention. This particular show was their 37th and certainly one of their most star-studded with such celebs as Val Kilmer, Kate Beckinsale, Peter Weller, Daphne Zuniga, Jennifer Carpenter, Chris Kattan, Ke Huy Quan, Jeffrey Combs, Stephen McHattie, and oh-so-many more.

On my list were Kilmer, Weller, Quan, Carpenter, and McHattie. I was not able to have my photo taken with Mr. Weller or Mr. Kilmer this time around. However, I did meet Mr. Kilmer about eight years ago at a comic con in NYC where I did have my photo taken with him. As for Mr. Weller, maybe next time.

Happily, I was able to pose for photos with Jennifer Carpenter (Dexter, Exorcism of Emily Rose), Stephen McHattie (character actor from just about every TV show), and Ke Huy Quan (Goonies, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom) at their autograph tables.

My wife and I then roamed the dealer room and stopped to chat with artist friend Michael Riehl and his wife Kate Phillip Riehl at their traditional spot in the room where Mike’s hand-painted ornaments depicting characters and vehicles from TV and movies never fail to draw eager attention from the fans.

The crowd was not as intolerable as I had originally anticipated given the caliber of stars signing at this con. All told, it was a wonderful day for my wife and I to spend with friends, fellow fans, and celebrities. Onto the next!

Phil with Jennifer Carpenter

Phil with Stephen McHattie

Phil with Ke Huy Quan

Val Kilmer Autograph

Ke Huy Quan Autograph

Ke Huy Quan Autograph

Jennifer Carpenter Autograph

Stephen McHattie Autograph

Peter Weller Autograph

On Amazon, Goodreads, and Barnes & Noble…

Our new speculative fiction anthology, Elsewhere in the Middle of Eternity will be released on August 1!

In eternity, all stories are timeless.

Visit a dystopian future where the wealthy reside on high-speed trains-or risk certain death…

Board a space station with a team of scientists as they discover a terrifying lifeform on a remote planet…

Join the Army Rangers as they confront the deadly aftermath of a mythical creature in the sands of the Middle East…

Travel to Ireland where an ancient artifact regenerates severed limbs while healing old family wounds…

Hit the beach with two teenagers as they track down the owner of a mysterious bracelet and find the true meaning of love…

Journey from Earth to the stars with your tour guides Daniel Patrick Corcoran, Michael Critzer, Phil Giunta, Melissa Carta Miller, Susanna Reilly, Stuart S. Roth, April Welles, Steven H. Wilson, and Lance Woods. Cover art by Michael Riehl.

All aboard as we take you Elsewhere in the Middle of Eternity!

Click here to see it on Goodreads

Click here to see it on Amazon

Click here to see it on Barnes and Noble

Elsewhere in the Middle of Eternity

Shore Leave 38 Convention Recap!

My trek to Shore Leave last weekend was much different from any previous year in that I arrived at the con directly from a marvelous week’s vacation in Rehoboth Beach, DE. Clear skies and sparse traffic made driving through the bucolic town of Denton, MD simply serene.

For a fisherman like me, traversing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge was indeed a religious experience. Looking right and left, the view was blue straight to the horizons. Gorgeous.

Then I reached the 695 Beltway right at the beginning of rush hour. Let the road rage begin! Ugh.  Nevertheless, I finally reached the Hunt Valley Wyndham Grand, checked-in, registered for the con, unloaded my car in the blistering heat, took a shower, and missed my 5PM discussion panel.

After dinner at Noodles & Company with friends Sharon and Cyndi Van Blarcom, Lance Woods, and Renfield, we met up with fellow scribe and Firebringer Press publisher, Steven H. Wilson, with whom I had spent the aforementioned week in Rehoboth Beach along with his family and several friends (click here to see vacation pics!).

Friday night at 10PM brought the traditional Meet the Pros book fair where all of the con’s writer guests gathered to sell and sign books. It also celebrated the release of two new books for Firebringer Press–Steven H. Wilson’s fourth novel, Sacrifice Play: A Tale from the Arbiter Chronicles, and Elsewhere in the Middle of Eternity, the second installment in our speculative fiction anthology series. Seven of nine (pardon the obvious pun) anthology writers were on hand to sign copies including Daniel Patrick “Renfield” Corcoran, Michael Critzer, Susanna Reilly, Stuart Roth, Steven H. Wilson, Lance Woods, and myself. The night was so busy that it’s all a blur to me now and I did not have the time to take too many pics…

Special thanks to Ethan Wilson, Christian Wilson, Jessica Headlee, Jill Mardesich, Tim Marron, and Cheyenne-Autumn Christine Reilly for volunteering to shlep boxes of books from Steve’s car to Meet the Pros and then from there to my hotel room afterward!

Crazy 8 Press at Meet the Pros Firebringer Press at Meet the Pros Renfield at Meet the Pros Lance and Steve at Meet the Pros Susanna at Meet the Pros Michael Critzer and Phil Giunta Peter, Bob, Michael, at Meet the Pros

Elsewhere in the Middle of Eternity

Saturday and Sunday brought about a myriad of discussion panels on writing and publishing. My panel schedule was lighter than usual this year. On Saturday morning, I was a panelist on “The Whole Package” with Richard White, Glenn Hauman, Aaron Rosenberg, Mike McPhail, and Jim Johnson. We discussed all that goes into quality editing, layout, and cover art.

Afterwards, I made my way down to the lower lobby to meet actors Michael Forest and Barbara Bouchet who each guest-starred on episodes of classic Star Trek.  They were both very friendly and I picked up an autographed photo from each of them.

While there, I was stopped by an attendee and asked to sign a Shore Leave trading card with my picture! I was honored, because after all, as Lucy Van Pelt said in the 1965 Charlie Brown Christmas Special, “How can you say someone is great who’s never had his picture on bubblegum cards?”

Phil on Trading Card

I then sat in on the Crazy 8 Press panel as several of the authors, including Peter David, Russ Colchamiro, and Michael Jan Friedman read excerpts from their latest books.

Crazy 8 Press-1 Crazy 8 Press-2

At 4PM, I had the pleasure of sitting in on John Noble’s talk in the ballroom. Mr. Noble is known for such shows and films as Fringe, Elementary, Lord of the Rings, and much more. He is an eloquent and engaging speaker.

John NobleJohn NobleJohn Noble

The “Firebringer Press Presents” panel occurred at what has become its traditional timeslot, 5PM. Of course, this is opposite the con’s official autograph lines for the celebrities and the dinner hour which often results in the panelists outnumbering the audience.  Nevertheless, it was a fun and lively discussion about current and future projects as well as our brand new aforementioned anthology, Elsewhere in the Middle of Eternity.

Phil at Firebringer Panel Stu and Sue at Firebringer Panel

Steve at Firebringer Panel

After the panel, a few of the anthology writers gathered in my room for a book signing party, including Steven H. Wilson, Stuart Roth, and Lance Woods.  Once all of the Kickstarter books were signed, it was time to gather with friends for a delightful dinner at Joe’s Crab Shack.

Back at the hotel, it was another round of book signing with Susanna Reilly. We chatted for a few hours with Stuart and his wife, Maria, before turning in for the night.

Sunday morning saw me finally participating in Shore Leave’s Writers Breakfast in the Cinnamon Tree restaurant. Every year since becoming a writer guest, I committed to attending and every year I failed to do so. I sat with Stuart Roth and Shore Leave Co-Con Chair, Dr. Inge Heyer. Inge is a longtime friend who has been involved with Shore Leave as a magnificent writer liaison for many years.

By 11AM, I was in the autograph line for John Noble and Michael Trucco (Battlestar Galactica, Castle, Big Bang Theory). The lines moved quickly and both gentlemen were wonderful to meet and chat with.  Afterward, I had about an hour to relax in the comfy chairs that line the hallway near the elevators. I was joined there by veteran writer Aaron Rosenberg. We chatted for about 30 minutes about writing, vacations, and life in general before it was time for my final panel of the con.

Shore Leave 38 Autographs

At 1PM, I joined Joshua Palmatier, Mike McPhail, and Michael Jan Friedman for “Building an Anthology”.  We had no official moderator, but questions from our audience members guided the discussion, much of which was spent on the topic of how to use Kickstarter to fund anthologies.

Near the end of my day, I once again crossed paths with artist Todd Brugmans who created the artwork for several Farpoint program books as well as Heroic Park, the debut novel of Lance Woods. For Star Trek‘s 50th anniversary, Todd was commissioned to create cover art not only for Farpoint’s program book, but for Balticon and Shore Leave’s as well. Combined, the images create a triptych and I happened to have all three with me for Todd to autograph!

Farpoint, Balticon, and Shore Leave program books

Alas, it was then time for me to say my goodbyes to every friend I could find in my final patrol of the hotel before beginning my voyage home.  All told, it was yet another enjoyable, albeit frenetic, Shore Leave filled the typical cast of colorful characters.

Phil with Crazy 8 PressTrek and Roll!Orion Slave Girl Science Officer Saavik Rock on and Prosper  Klaatu Judge Q

Mon CalamariJoker with Bomb

Jill Mardesich             Jessica Headlee Cobra CommanderBorg

R2 Unit-2R2 Unit-1

 

 

Two Weeks Until Launch!

I believe I speak for our entire cadre of writers when I say that we cannot wait for the upcoming launch of our new speculative fiction anthology, Elsewhere in the Middle of Eternity!

The blessed event will occur during the Meet the Pros book fair at Shore Leave 38 in Hunt Valley, MD on Friday, July 15. Many of the august writers involved have been attending Shore Leave for decades before earning their place as writer guests.

THANK YOU to all who supported the Kickstarter to finance this second installment in our Middle of Eternity series! We hope everyone will enjoy this latest selection of stories from burgeoning writers in the genres of SF, Fantasy, and the Paranormal including Daniel Patrick Corcoran, Michael Critzer, Melissa Carta Miller, Susanna Reilly, Stuart Roth, April Welles, Steven H. Wilson, Lance Woods, and yours truly!

More updates to follow!

Elsewhere in the Middle of Eternity

The Middle of Eternity, Illustrated by Mike Riehl

The good news is that our Kickstarter campaign to bring you volume two of our Middle of Eternity anthology series has managed to raise approximately $1,210! However, we have only 10 days left to raise  the remaining $1,290 to meet our goal. Otherwise, the project will not be funded at all. If you’re considering whether to back our project, please click here to check out the various donation levels and the rewards we’re offering on Kickstarter.  We deeply appreciate your support!

Over the past two weeks on this blog, I’ve posted samples of two out of the 14 stories from our upcoming anthology, Elsewhere in the Middle of Eternity.

I’ve also posted interviews with five of our nine authors, which will resume in a few days. For now, I hope you’ll indulge me as I proudly show off the stunning artwork of Michael Riehl.

Mike’s amazing talents, whether on the canvas or on hand-painted ornaments, has brought him immense popularity at Christmas shows as well as SF and horror conventions such as Shore Leave, Chiller Theatre, and Monster Mania.

Our Kickstarter video includes some images of Mike’s work from our first volume, Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity. We’re excited to have him back to provide visuals for Elsewhere in the Middle of Eternity.  As a preview, below are four of the 14 interior illustrations that Mike has created for the new volume.  Enjoy!

Tree of Love Illustration

Making Tracks Illustration

Terror in Agradeb Illustration

Hard Place Illustration

 

EIME Title Page

An “Unearthly” Kickstarter Update!

We’re nearly at the end of the first week of our Kickstarter campaign to fund our new anthology, Elsewhere in the Middle of Eternity. The project is 18% funded.

Our deepest gratitude to all who have contributed! As our first project update, we’d like to share one of the stories from the collection. Click here to read “The Gravest Show Unearthed” by Lance Woods. As the shortest of the tales in our anthology, it makes the perfect, shall we say, “bite-sized” sample. Muahaha…ahem…pardon me.

Future updates will include previews of some of Michael Riehl’s amazing artwork.

If you enjoy stories from the genres of science fiction, fantasy, and the paranormal, please consider supporting our project. Click here to check out our Kickstarter campaign! If you already contributed, please help us spread the word. Thank you so much for supporting small presses!

EIME Title Page