For those heading to Farpoint this upcoming weekend, or just in the area and feel like saying Hi!, below is our schedule. As always, when we aren’t on panels during the day, we are in the dealers room. And, at some point, I’m sure you can find me in the bar! Just hanging out, of course 🙂

Ackley-McPhail, Danielle

Farpoint Book Fair – Fri 10:00 PM – Hunt Valley Hallway

Reading (McPhail; Mack; Ransom) – Sat 1:00 PM – Salon E

Using Social Media Effectively – Sun 10:00 AM – Salon D

Writing Genre Mash-Ups – Sun NOON – Salon C

McPhail, Mike

Farpoint Book Fair – Fri 10:00 PM – Hunt Valley Hallway

Come As You Are – Sat 3:00 PM – Salon F

Military Fact V. Fiction – Sat 5:00 PM – Salon C


If we are lucky, we will be featuring two new books next weekend, Keith R.A. DeCandido’s Mermaid Precinct, and the re-release of James Chambers’ Three Chords of Chaos. Both books release later this year, so these are pre-publication copies.  James won’t be at the convention, but Keith will.



Hard to believe that Philcon is already coming up. eSpec Books will have a table in the dealer’s room, for those who need to bring their library up to date. We will also be holding a launch party Saturday from 7pm to 9pm in the Con Suite (823). Hope to see you there! Below is our full schedule.

Danielle Ackley-McPhail
Sat 7:00PM in Executive Suite 823 – The eSpec Books Launch Party, Hour 1
Sat 8:00PM in Executive Suite 823 – The eSpec Books Launch Party, Hour 2

Panelists: Danielle Ackley-McPhail (mod), Mike McPhail, Jeff Young, Robert E. Waters, James Chambers, Eric Hardenbrook, Lawrence M. Schoen

eSpec Books launches their new titles, The Best of Defending the Future, edited by Mike McPhail and Danielle Ackley-McPhail, POST by Brenda Cooper, and In the Lamplight, by L. Jagi Lamplighter. Join the authors and editors for food, fun, and prizes

Sun 11:00AM in Plaza III (Three) – Marketing Multi-Genre Works
Sun 1:00PM in Plaza III (Three) – So Should I Just Self-Publish Through Amazon, or What? 

Mike McPhail
Fri 9:00PM in Plaza III (Three) – “Reverse the Polarity? But that Would…!”

Sat 11:00AM in Executive Suite C – Shared Storytelling in Games
Sat 12:00PM in Plaza II (Two) – What To Do When Real Science Outpaces Your Current SF Project 
Sat 7:00PM in Executive Suite 823 – The eSpec Books Launch Party, Hour 1
Sat 8:00PM in Executive Suite 823 – The eSpec Books Launch Party, Hour 2 


Jack Campbell

Just a head’s up that we will be holding a live interview with Jack Campbell, author of The Sister Paradox, as well as The Lost Stars, Lost Fleet, and Pillars of Reality series. The event is tonight at 8pm EST on Facebook:

If you would like to be there but can’t for some reason, please do send me your questions and I will make sure they are asked, that way you can visit the page later see Jack’s responses.

Also, we posted another excerpt from Brenda Cooper’s POST today, if anyone wants another sneak peek:

Finally, just one week to go and we have some choice bonuses to unlock. Just 21 more backers unlocks a bonus book by Brenda Cooper. (Make that 71 more backers and a bonus book by Jack Campbell is also added to everyone’s rewards.) And with another $161 in pledges, we will unlock a bonus short story by Brenda.

So…one week to go, let’s see how much loot we can score!

Here’s the link if you or a friend might be interested:

Thank you,



Whew! Can you say exhausted? I took yesterday off to recover and I’m still beat!

Balticon was a series of new experiences this year. After almost 15 years of attending, the last ten or so at the same location, the convention moved back down to Baltimore’s inner harbor for it’s celebrated 50th con.

This was a big one, folks. Loads and loads of guests, new venue, bonus Guests of Honors from years past. Needless to say all of these changes elevated the level of chaos this year as everyone scrambled to figure out what they were doing, when and where. There was a lot of walks down long corridors and wandering the maze to figure out where such programming rooms were, but all in all–other than my feet–the experience was less painful than I feared it might be.

On Friday night my first panel was Starting Your Own Small Press. This was very well attended for 5pm on a Friday night. The discussion was informative and well received and the audience had loads of great questions. If only it hadn’t been such a hike to find the room.

The only other thing I had on Friday was Meet the Guests. I showed up at the right room a little early to find a sign saying it had moved to the con suite, but never did see any of those who were supposed to participate and so wandered off to the bar with Jennifer Povey and The Weird Wild West contributor Ken Schrader, after waiting about fifteen minutes for something to happen.

Oh…and a fire scare. The whole building was evacuated around 7:30pm. I’m told someone one thought a smoke machine would really add some atmosphere to a concert going on…they were right. But no one was there to enjoy it once the alarm went off.

Me, Mike McPhail, John L. French, and Patrick Thomas waiting for the chaos to resume.

No programming for me on Saturday…or so I thought. Discovered that was when my reading was, and fortunately I discovered in time to actually attend because the room was pretty packed for the four authors reading. My Meet eSpec Books panel, however, had been moved to Saturday night without my knowledge and so I hung out for a little while in my room, then went to the game room where my good friends Alf and Cynthia regretted teaching me to play Ascension, then wandered off for a little while to Gail Z. Martin’s impromptu pre-release party for Modern Magic…instead of being where I was supposed to be.

0529161430a-1Now Sunday…we’ll have to talk about Sunday. The crazy descended. Con: I had to wake up uber early for a Book Design and Layout panel I was slated to give. That went REAL well, but was nowhere near long enough. Then right off to the dealer’s room where I got to meet Jody Lynn Nye and hug Larry Niven.

I participated in the Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading, organized by Randee Dawn, then I rushed off to organized everything for the Gaslight and Grimm launch party. Discovered a bunch of supplies weren’t showing up, then arrived at the party room to discover everything was half tables…only about one foot wide! We pushed two together for all the food tables and left the congregating tables as is. We had loads of people and load of authors0529161317b-1 showing up to oggle our books and covet the impressive array of raffle prizes we gave away at the end of the night. Everyone was wonderful helping out, especially the Chrises Hiles (squared) Alf and Cynthia, Vonnie Winslow Crist, Kelly A. Harmon, Jean Marie Ward, Wrenn Simms, Vickie DiSantos and loads of other people I can’t remember now because my brain was on overload.

The party was a huge success and surprisingly we were able to donate food to the Game of Thrones party following ours. Many, many books were sold and happy authors and attendees abounded.

Back (left to right): Danny Birt, Jonah Knight, Jeff Young, Robert E. Waters, David Lee Summers, Chris Hiles, Eric Hardenbrook, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Dustin Blottenberger, Drew Bittner, Christine Norris, Ken Schrader. Front (left to right): Greg Schauer, me, Mike McPhail, Jean Marie Ward, Gail Z. Martin, and John L. French. Not pictured here: Vonnie Winslow Crist, Brigitte Winter, Kelly A. Harmon, Bud Sparhawk.


I don’t have any photos of the party, other than this one of the editors, authors and artists, but hope to share some once they are sent to me.

All in all a great time, though the added expense of parking and eating was a blow, as was the inaccessibility of places to pick up last-minute party supplies.  




eSpec Books will be represented by Danielle Ackley-McPhail at a New Jersey Authors Network Panel discussion being sponsored by Camden County Library – Voorhees Branch
203 Laurel Rd, Voorhees Township, New Jersey 08043. Mike McPhail will be present offering support.



Have you ever thought about writing a book.

Are you curious how authors became published?
Then join us to meet and hear how four innovative authors
made the decision to turn their dream of being an author into a reality. See how you too can fulfill your dream on becoming an author!

Meet Authors:
Joanna Swank

John Leone
Brian Patrick McKinley
Dr. Mary Ann Diorio
Danielle Ackley-McPhail


In just five days eSpec Books and several of our authors will be hanging out at Farpoint, along with Sean Maher and David Gerrold. If you’re going to be there, please look us up. eSpec will be in the dealer’s room and many of the authors will be found in the FARPBooks Lounge located in the Dulaney Valley 1 room. When we all aren’t on panels, that is. I’ve listed preliminary schedules below (these are subject to change). We weren’t given locations, so please check your program for room assignments once you are at the con.


(1403)Readings: Danielle Ackley-Mcphail, David Krauss Friday 5:00 PM
(1061)Publishing On A Budget: Spending Your Money Wisely Friday 7:00 PM
(1308)Becoming a Mainstream Super Hero Saturday 2:00 PM
(1317)Struggles with Building an Audience & Fan Base Saturday 9:00 PM


(1313)Enter the Hobbit Saturday 7:00 PM
(1319)Advice for New Writers Sunday NOON


(1056)Fantastical Shows And Where To Watch Them Friday 5:00 PM
(1323)Hows Twelve Doing? Saturday NOON


(1416)Autographs: Rigel Ailur, Peter David, Dave Galanter, Allyn Gibson Saturday 10:00 AM
(1417)Readings: Peter David, Jennifer Povey, Joseph Berenato Saturday 11:00 AM
(1305)Aliens: Beyond Pointy Ears & Bumpy Heads Saturday 3:00 PM
(1345)Crazy 8 Press Saturday 4:00 PM
(1422)Autographs: Joseph Berenato, Peter David, Keith DeCandido, Dave Galanter Saturday 6:00 PM
(1320)Star Trek Turns 50! Sunday 10:00 AM
(1325)Whats Changed with the All-New All-Different Marvel Comics Sunday NOON
(1315)World Building 101 Sunday 2:00 PM


(1459)Prometheus Radio Theatre Tech Rehearsal Friday 3:00 PM
(1321)Holy Golden Anniversary, Batman! Saturday 3:00 PM
(1421)Readings: Michael Ventrella, Kim Headlee, Keith DeCandido Saturday 5:00 PM
(1422)Autographs: Joseph Berenato, Peter David, Keith DeCandido, Dave Galanter Saturday 6:00 PM
(1311)Writing Inclusively vs. Token Characters Saturday 8:00 PM
(1361)Keith DeCandido Self-Defense Demo Sunday 11:00 AM
(1372)Sci-Fi Fights! Sunday 1:00 PM
(1431)Autographs: Ben Anderson, Keith DeCandido, Don Sakers, Richard White Sunday 2:00 PM
(1312)Writer Beware Sunday 3:00 PM


(1336)Bob Greenberger Saturday 10:00 AM
(1218)Writing Workshop Saturday NOON
(1219)Writing Workshop Saturday 1:00 PM
(1321)Holy Golden Anniversary, Batman! Saturday 3:00 PM
(1345)Crazy 8 Press Saturday 4:00 PM
(1359)The Bob & Howie Show Sunday 11:00 AM
(1372)Sci-Fi Fights! Sunday 1:00 PM


(1053)Changes In Business Of Speculative Fiction Friday 6:00 PM
(1345)Crazy 8 Press Saturday 4:00 PM
(1309)Writing for the Game Industry Sunday 11:00 AM
(1314)Collaborations Sunday 1:00 PM


by Rachel Fernandez


The wait is over and it’s time to party! This Saturday November 21, 2015 join us for a pre-release launch for the highly anticipated nostalgic flipbook anthology, The Side of Good / The Side of Evil.

Come celebrate the release, attend panel discussions, and meet The Side of Good / The Side of Evil attending editors and authors, including: Danielle Ackley-­McPhail, Greg Schauer, Bryan J.L. Glass, Gail Martin, Walt Ciechanowski, James Chambers, Drew Bittner, Aaron Rosenberg, and Keith R.A. DeCandido, as well as meet attending artists Mike McPhail and Jason Whitley.

What: Philcon: The Side of Good / Side of Evil Launch Party
Where:  Crowne Plaza Hotel, Cherry Hill, NJ in the Con Suite (suite 823)
When: Saturday, 7pm-9pm.

Can’t make it to the launch? We’re sad to hear it, but you can still get this amazing collection. Pre-order your copy on Amazon.

NOTE: To get this book in ebook pre-order the individual ebooks The Side of Good (B016Z5GEF8) and The Side of Evil (B016X95RC2)