The #RustCity16 Schedule…It Lives!!!

The schedule for the first Rust City Book Con is finally done…at least I’m praying like hell that it stays done. *grin*

The authors have their panels. The moderators have their assignments. No one will have to learn how to clone themselves and the rooms haven’t been double booked. Everything has been checked and double checked.

So unless lightening is going to strike to prove me wrong, the schedule, in all it’s glory, can be seen here. There is a PDF version available here for those who would like that.

The aim of Rust City is to be a casual convention while introducing readers to new authors as well as the chance to interact with current favorites. I know many readers tend to stick with their preferred genres, and there’s nothing wrong with that; but you never know what you’ll find, what you’ll like, until you take a chance. So I’m hoping everyone will take a stab at trying a few panels they might not normally go to, and ultimately find someone new to read. 

A few panels still need a better description, so a few changes will occur; but nothing major. This is it; and now it’s time for me to finalize an idea I have for a party that is not on the schedule yet.

Here is the #RustCity16 Schedule:

Thursday, August 11, 2016

5pm – 8pm: Check-in / Welcome Bag Pickup (resumes 9:00am Fri and Sat)
8pm – 12am: BarCon – Social Hour in the Bar

Friday, August 12, 2016

Moderator: Michael Lucas
Discussion on the complexities involved with self publishing and ways to attract readers.

9:30 am – 10:30 am

    Jon David, Elizabeth Harmon, Jordin Mack, Heather Novak
    Steampunk is often set in Victorian London; Urban Fantasy is often set in the middle of a large city; Romance is often set in a picturesque town. What is it about these locales that have made them so common? Why haven’t we seen seen settings in different cultures or areas? Where would we love to see a story take place? Where should genre fiction explore next?
    Leigh Bailey, Linda Bradley, Elizabeth Heiter, Aliza Mann, Suzanne Sabol
    Every story has their own unique characters, from the hero to the insignificant, and their voices are just as integral to the plot as their actions.  A character’s point of view can be critical to the story.
    Sylvia Hubbard, Tara Eldana, Kristina Knight, Teri Anne Stanley, Alexandria Sure
    Authors discuss fun/interesting anecdotes about what led to pen names, character names, story and series title choices.

10:45 am – 11:45 am

    Elizabeth Harmon, Nancy Holzner, Robin Nadler, Mervyn R. Seivwright, Cali Usher
    What are the benefits and consequences of having a story told in a real location, someplace a reader knows, vs creating a new world that needs to be explored?
    Colleen Gleason, Stacy McKitrick, AJ Norris, Cindy Spencer Pape, Teri Anne Stanley
    Take turns with name generators, house sorting, would you rather, and other social media memes. Silliness guaranteed!
    Lorelie Brown, Lita Lawson, Jordin Mack, MK Schiller, Gina Sterling
    Why should the love story take center stage? Can a hero & heroine simply be friends and leave the romance out of it?

11:45 am – 1:30 pm: Lunch (Grand Ballroom Salons ABC)

1:45 pm – 2:45 pm

    Lorelie Brown, Elizabeth Heiter, Donald Levin, Michael Lucas, Duane Wurst
    Suspense stories tend to take the lead on the emotional roller coaster, but we love it. What is it about thrillers that draws us in? What genres has it been crossing into well? Is it important to keep the suspense at a certain level?
    Rue Allyn, Gina Conkle, Donna MacMeans, Cindy Spencer Pape
    Costuming, proper English, etc
    Laura Bickle, Linda Bradley, Tara Eldana, Colleen Gleason, Sage Spelling
    What is considered a necessity when building a world – whether in a fantasy or contemporary setting?

3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

    Dennis Collins, Gina Conkle, Nancy Holzner, Sylvia Hubbard, Shiloh Walker
    Vampires, werewolves, and fairies, oh my! Why does so much urban fantasy constantly recycle western real world myths rather than dig deeper, or god forbid, invent its own?
    C.K. Brooke, Roselynn Cannes, Seleste DeLaney, Aliza Mann, Sage Spelling
    Bad guys we love to hate…what makes them so interesting? Does every villain need to be redeemable in order to love him?
    Elizabeth Harmon, Vanessa M. Knight, Donna MacMeans, Stacy McKitrick, MK Schiller
    There are all types of heros – alpha, beta, redeemable, unexpected – what are the characteristics of each and why do they appeal so much?

4:00 pm – 5:30 pm: Dinner (on your own)

6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

    Rue Allyn, J. Leigh Bailey, Seleste DeLaney, Roni Hall, Donald Levin
    Whether it’s science fiction, romance, or contemporary, all fiction contain elements that are considered sacred to their genre. Which elements do we consider a MUST in a particular genre? Which elements have been abandoned?
    Sara Dobie Bauer, Laura Bickle, Jon David, Michael Lucas, Cali Usher
    Fantasy and Science Fiction is full of vampires, magic, aliens, superheroes, and other creatures, and while we love them, it is their interactions with humans that fascinate us. How important is the human factor in supernatural stories and would there be a draw without them?
    C.K. Brooke, Kristina Knight, Robin Nadler, MK Schiller, Gina Sterling
    What are ways of keeping a series fresh and interesting when there is no real end in sight? Should a series have its’ HEA? Can a series be revived long after they’ve been gone?

7:30 pm: Meet & Greet Prep

8:00 pm – 9:00 pm

  • GET A CLUE… (D2)
    Mixer with Mystery/Horror/Suspense authors Dennis Collins, Donald Levin, Elizabeth Heiter, Robin Nadler, Roni Hall, Suzanne Sabol, and Teri Anne Stanley
    Mixer with Romance authors Rue Allyn, Linda Bradley, Gina Conkle, Donna MacMeans, Cindy Spencer Pape, Marie Piper, Mervyn R. Seivwright
    Mixer with Paranormal Romance authors Sara Dobie Bauer, Seleste DeLaney, Tara Eldana, Colleen Gleason,Stacy McKitrick, AJ Norris, and Cali Usher

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Moderator: Sara Dobie Bauer
Manuscript Prep & the 2nd Draft

9:30 am – 10:30 am

    Laura Bickle, Roselynn Cannes, Vanessa M. Knight, Robin Nadler
    Where are the lines between genres? What is it about stories that blend elements from various genres into one story that has us wanting more? Who has been doing it well and what do we want more of? How have trends & tropes influenced genres they crossed over into?
    Dawn Brower, Gina Conkle, Marie Piper, Duane Wurst
    Period research can often unearth surprises and lend themselves to quirky or new plots. Discussion on surprising historical happenings and how they can influence the story.
    Seleste DeLaney, Tara Eldana, Colleen Gleason, Marianne Wieland
    Whether you want sweet or erotic, there is a wide range of romance available. Many will lump all romance together, but there is a difference. Discussion on the different subgenres of romance.

10:45 am – 11:45 am

    Nancy Holzner, Lita Lawson, Heather Novak, Marianne Wieland, Duane Wurst
    Fast paced and quick witted, authors create stories in real time, “round robin” style, using prompts from the audience.
    Leigh Bailey, Roselynn Cannes, Cali Usher, Shiloh Walker
    Legends and fairy tales have been getting twisted into modern day versions. Villains become heroes, heroes become villains, and oz becomes corporate america. Which stories have been cleverly adapted? Which stories need to be twisted?
    Sara Dobie Bauer, C.K. Brooke, Vanessa M. Knight, Donna MacMeans
    Where is the comedic relief? Too often stories tend to go down the darker path of a high body count instead of the lighter side of things. Why is it hard to find stories that focus on the comedic side vs angst? What genres seem to embrace comedy? Where would we like to see it more?

11:45 am – 1:30 pm: Lunch (Grand Ballroom Salon E)
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm: Book Signing Prep (Grand Ballroom)
2:00 pm – 4:00 pm: Charity Book Signing – Open to the Public (Grand Ballroom)
4:00 pm – 5:30 pm: Dinner (on your own)

6:00 pm – 7:00 pm:

    Dawn Brower, Dennis Collins, Nancy Holzner, Donald Levin
    Balancing the body count. Authors discuss making the choice between digging a grave, or not. How do these choices affect the characters and the story?
    Cindy Spencer Pape, Marie Piper, Mervyn R. Seivwright, Sage Spelling
    Short stories can give glimpses into established worlds or give screen time to side characters. What are the pros & cons of short stories and who is doing it right.
  • MAD LIBS (D4)
    Rue Allyn, Stacy McKitrick, AJ Norris, Marianne Wieland
    Enjoy genre fiction and pop culture Mad-libs created by our panelists. Offer up some interesting nouns, adj, verbs and adverbs and be prepared to laugh your head off!

7:30 pm: Meet & Greet Prep

8:00 pm – 9:00 pm

    Mixer with Fantasy and Urban Fantasy authors Laura Bickle, C.K. Brooke, Roselynn Cannes, Nancy Holzner, Michael Lucas, Aliza Mann, and Shiloh Walker
    Mixer with Romance authors Lorelie Brown, Elizabeth Harmon, Sylvia Hubbard, Kristina Knight, Sage Spelling, Gina Sterling, and Marianne Wieland
    J. Leigh Bailey, Vanessa M. Knight, Jordin Mack, Heather Novak, MK Schiller, Alexandria Sure, and Duane Wurst

Sunday, Aug 13, 2016

Exploring the Social Web
Moderator: Alexandria Sure

9:30 am – 10:30 am

    Leigh Bailey, Laura Bickle, Dennis Collins, Roni Hall, Shiloh Walker
    No two writers imagine the same creature. How would yours be different? Flight, magic, personality – how would you create yours?
    Lorelie Brown, Jordin Mack, AJ Norris, Mervyn R. Seivwright
    Sylvia Hubbard, Donna MacMeans, Marie Piper, Suzanne Sabol, Teri Anne Stanley
    We all have a memorable character we love. It doesn’t matter if they are the hero/heroine, supporting cast, or an insignificant one-off chance encounter, there’s just something about them that stays with us long after we leave a story behind. What makes a character memorable? Who are our own favorite characters?

10:45 am – 11:45 am

    Sara Dobie Bauer, Jon David, Aliza Mann, Suzanne Sabol
    Roselynn Cannes, Roni Hall, Lita Lawson, Michael Lucas, Alexandria Sure
    Negative reviews are often seen as a bad thing, but they can attract readers just as easily as repel them. What makes a negative review bad? How can negative reviews attract new readers? Have you ever read something because a review or fellow reader told you to run away but you ended up loving it?
    Linda Bradley, Elizabeth Heiter, Kristina Knight, Heather Novak, Gina Sterling
    How important is the romance to a story? Balancing the chemistry with the plot – slow burn vs explosion.

12:00 pm: Informal chat about what worked, what didn’t, and what we can improve on for Rust City 2017.

The #RustCity16 Schedule…


I’ve been getting questions about Rust City’s programming and what the schedule will look like. I’ve been working on the panel topics, trying to get a great collection of both fun and interesting topics, and I’m getting ready to send them to the authors so they can choose which ones they want to be a part of.

Before I could do that though, I had to know how many panels Rust City would have, which meant figuring out when everything would take place. Now this isn’t the completed schedule; a more detailed version (with what the panels are and descriptions) will be posted in July. This is just to give everyone an idea of what is going to happen.

The quick breakdown is this: There will be about 30 panels and 6 Meet & Greet Mixers between Friday and Sunday, along with the book signing on Saturday.

Now, without further adieu, I give you the schedule in its basic form.

Thurs, Aug 11, 2016
5pm – 8pm: Check-in / Welcome Bag Pickup (resumes 9:00am Friday and Saturday)
8pm – 12am: BarCon – Social Hour in the Bar

Fri, Aug 12, 2016
9am – 5pm: Check-in / Welcome Bag Pickup / Vendors Available
9:30a – 10:30a: Panels x3
10:45a – 11:45a: Panels x3
11:45a – 1:30p: Lunch
1:45p – 2:45: Panels x3
3:00p – 4:00: Panels x3
4:00p – 6:00p: Dinner (on your own)
6:15p – 7:15p: Panels x3
7:30p: Meet & Greet Prep
8:00p – 9:00p (or whenever): Meet & Greet Mixers x3

Sat, Aug 13, 2016
9:00am – 6:00pm: Vendors Available
9:30a – 10:30a: Panels x3
10:45a – 11:45a: Panels x3
11:45a – 1:30p: Lunch
1:00p – 2:00p: Book Signing Prep
2:00p – 4:00: Book Signing
4:00p – 6:00p: Dinner (on your own)
6:15p – 7:15p: Panels x3
7:30p: Meet & Greet Prep
8:00p – 9:00p (or whenever): Meet & Greet Mixers x3

Sun, Aug 14, 2016
9:00a – 12:00p: Vendors Available (limited)
9:30a – 10:30a: Panels x2
10:45a – 11:45a: Panels x2
12:00p – 1:00p: Panels x2
1:00p: Farewell – Informal chat about what worked, what didn’t, and what we can improve on for Rust City 2017.

The Final Four – Nancy Holzner, Elizabeth Heiter, Gina Sterling, & Jordin Mack!

Every book convention must have authors, and since July, I’ve been showcasing each one who will be joining us in Troy, MI for Rust City 2016. Author registration closed on May 1st, which means, today I am showcasing the final four of the forty-seven authors who I am planning lots of bookish shenanigans with. I still have a couple who are hiding in their books, deadlines and such you know, so there may be a few more roaming the halls of the Troy Marriott; but if you want to know who they are, you’ll have to join us in August.

I know many readers tend to stick with their preferred genres, and there’s nothing wrong with that; but you never know what you’ll find, what you’ll like, until you take a leap of faith. So I encourage EVERYONE to check out not only these four fabulous authors, but all of our 2016 attending authors!

Nancy Holzner

HolznerN.200pxNancy Holzner grew up in western Massachusetts with her nose stuck in a book. This meant that she tended to walk into things, wore glasses before she was out of elementary school, and forced her parents to institute a “no reading at the dinner table” rule. It was probably inevitable that she majored in English in college and then, because there were still a lot of books she wanted to read, continued her studies long enough to earn a masters degree and a PhD.

She began her career as a medievalist, then jumped off the tenure track to try some other things. Besides teaching English and philosophy, she’s worked as a technical writer, freelance editor and instructional designer, college admissions counselor, and corporate trainer. Most of her nonfiction books are published under the name Nancy Conner.

Nancy lives in central New York, where she enjoys visiting local wineries and listening obsessively to opera. There are still a lot of books she wants to read.

Learn more about Nancy by following her at: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | GoodReads | Amazon | Pinterest

Elizabeth Heiter

HeiterE.200pxCritically acclaimed and award-winning author ELIZABETH HEITER likes her suspense to feature strong heroines, chilling villains, psychological twists, and a little bit (or a lot!) of romance. Her research has taken her into the minds of serial killers, through murder investigations, and onto the FBI Academy’s shooting range. Her novels have been published in a dozen countries and translated into seven languages.

Elizabeth graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in English Literature. She’s a member of International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America and Romance Writers of America. The heroine of Elizabeth’s Profiler novels was called “one of the most amazing characters created in print” by Fresh Fiction, and her latest Lawmen novel won the RT Reviewer’s Choice Award for Best Intrigue.

Learn more about Elizabeth by following her at: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | GoodReads | Amazon | Pinterest

Gina Sterling

SterlingG.200pxI live outside Detroit with my husband, three kids, and a dog named Mel. I quit my job in the medical field seven years ago to be a stay-at-home mom. Then, three years ago, I started writing for fun after I caught myself watching Dora the Explorer by myself. My life is often frantic, but nothing melts away the stress better than a book, whether I’m reading one or writing.

Learn more about Gina by following her at: Website | Facebook

Jordin Mack

I was born and raised in Detroit amidst the harsh conditions of inner-city urban life where I saw the worst of dark times and the best of bright times. I went on to attend college, earning a master’s degree in Business and embarking on a long career in Corporate America. Then one day, I was reflecting on how I used to enjoy the art of writing. So I decided to stop thinking about it and to just do it, start writing again. It is the trilogy of my experiences in street, academia and corporate life that provides the unique style in my literary expressions, which has been exemplified in my debut novel, The Kokuran.

Learn more about Jordin by following her at: Website | Facebook | GoodReads


Don’t miss your chance to meet some amazing authors at Rust City Book Con next August! Come join us in our celebration of all things genre fiction in the Motor City! Registration is now open for #RustCity16!

Be sure to keep up with all things Rust City 2016, by following it via your own personal social media drug of choice: Facebook |Twitter | Google+ | Tumblr | Instagram | RSVP at the Facebook Event.