Sunday, April 7, 2013


Shhh... Bobby looks like he's about to say something important.
I was honored to be a presenter and guest at the 25th annual Tennessee Mountain Writers Conference this week, April 4th - 6th in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The trip up on Thursday was uneventful, although driving 5 hours in the rain is not my favorite thing in the world. However, I did make a pit stop in Chattanooga to visit one of my favorite used bookstores, McKay's Books where I, not surprisingly, left with my wallet a little lighter than when I went inside.

Thursday night at the conference started with a banquet, some fun conversation, and a meet-n-greet. Then, I stayed up far too late considering how early I had to be up Saturday having a great discussion with my friends, and hosts for the weekend, Charles and Beverly Connor. Speaking of whom, their new book, Murder in Macon was just released. You should pick up a copy. I did.
Charles and Beverly Connor

On Friday, I presented a workshop on writing for graphic novels, which was a fun time. The audience was small, around 10 people, I'd say, but enthusiastic. There were a lot of questions and discussion after the presentation. I love the Q & A part of panels and workshops.

Side note: In what is the funniest thing that happened to me this weekend, I was setting up the panel when a lady came up to me and asked the following: "Writing Graphic Novels? What is that? Are you going to teach us how to write graphic sex scenes?" Now, of all the questions I expect to get asked (what's a graphic novel is usually high on that list) this was not even on my top 10,000 questions I might hear. Of course, I explained to her what a graphic novel is and she went on her way. Part of me wonders if she was relieved or disappointed.

Okay, so after the workshop, I was escorted to the local high school where I spoke to an English Class and a Creative Writing Class about writing for both comic and prose. That was a fun experience as well, especially once we broke the ice and questions were asked. My biggest regret is not getting a photo at the school.

The rest of the conference was talking with people, selling books, doing interviews, and I got to take a little time to sight see. Oak Ridge is a beautiful area (also, the home of the atomic bomb). I visited a couple of local bookstores and a nearby comic book shop, leaving money in each, of course. For comic fans, I found some issues of the Demonslayer series I worked on years ago in the comic shop's back issue bins. I'll have them on my table at my next convention, which is The Atlanta Comic Convention, I believe..

A page from the presentation
On Saturday evening I returned home, this time to a much nicer drive as it was sunny and in the 70's. Once at home I strapped in for some writing. As much fun as it is to be away at conferences of conventions, I don't get any actual writing done while I'm there.

All in all, I had an absolute wonderful time at the Tennessee Mountain Writers Conference. It was a lot of fun and the staff and presenters were all top notch.

Thanks again for inviting me.


About Tennessee Mountain Writers:
The mission of the Tennessee Mountain Writers, Inc. is to promote literary arts by providing opportunities for members and the community at large to enhance individual literary skills and appreciation through a broad spectrum of learning experiences.

The Conference Book Store
TMW is a non-profit, non-political organization that promotes Tennessee literary arts and supports the work of Tennessee writers. Their goal is to provide opportunity for people interested in the craft of writing to become better writers.

Learn more about Tennessee Mountain Writers here.

Click on any of the photos for a larger view.

Bobby's books in the conference book store.

Author Beverly Conner just before introducing Bobby

The conference book exchange. Take a book, leave a donation.

"And then..."

Page from the Yin Yang graphic novel.

It looks like he's reading notes, but he didn't plan that far ahead.

The inking stage is discussed.

Talking about the collaborative process.

An example of the coloring stage.

You may have noticed that Bobby "talks" with his hands. 
Bobby's "statue pose" the gesture that launched a FB meme

Showcasing the gorgeous art of Luis Nunez from Yin Yang

Bobby's books in the conference book store.

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