Preparing for Gateway Con 2019

-My Second Year at Gateway to Publishing-

I had an amazing time last year at Gateway Con. I met some amazing people and also made a good friend (looking at you, android). I learned a lot and came home with pages of notes on how to improve my writing and my brand. After such an awesome experience, I couldn't wait for the next one to come around.

Though I pitched The Un-Life of William Moore to agents there, ultimately I decided to self-publish it. It's my first story, and as such it has the most of my heart and soul in it. While the changes some agents recommended weren't unreasonable, I wanted to remain as true as I could to what The Un-Life was to me.

Still, I applied what I had learned to the story. I connected with people that helped me improve it even further. I still came out of Gateway Con successful, in my mind.

This year I will also be having an author table/book signing, so if you're going to the Con, too, come see me! I'll be selling my paperback novel of The Un-Life of William Moore. Buy a paperback, and I'll give you a coupon for a free ebook version!

-Talking to Real Live Literary Agents-

While I'm excited to learn even more at this year's Gateway Con, I'm also not going to pass up the chance to pitch to agents face-to-face. It's a unique and priceless opportunity. Even if none of the agents want your story, they will still offer industry suggestions to help you query a future agent. If your pitch needed work, they'll tell you. If they know of an agent that might like it better, they might tell you.

It's not only a learning opportunity on how to perfect your book, but a good networking opportunity. One agent I'll be talking to doesn't like to represent adult fiction, but I know someone else within her agency does. It doesn't hurt to talk to them in hopes of getting a referral!

-Introducing, The Blood Knight-

I'll be pitching my series, Blood Knights, to agents at Gateway Con. You might recognize the story from my NaNoWriMo attempt this last November. It's the story of a vampire hunter that gets turned into the monster he hates most. It has the potential to be a three-part series, and I'm even trying to dream up a spin-off series (Moon Knights?).

I'm really excited about this story. It's the largest ensemble of characters I've ever handled, and I love every single one of them. They continue to surprise me with the details and backstories they unveil to me as I'm writing.

Blood Knights is also the most vivid and developed universe I've ever created. There are very hard rules on how the various cultures behave, how the the magic operates, and how law is enforced. I have a dictionary I made for myself to keep things straight, from identifying what a dowager vampire is to what age groups "millennial" and "aristocrat" vampire are. I even have character bios, identifying the motives, appearances, and affiliations of all the characters and more. I'd like to assemble all this information someday into a mock "vampire hunting guidebook" like the fictional one the hunters use in the novel.

To tide you over until I get some agent feedback on Blood Knights, enjoy this mock cover I made to represent the first book:


I like to have a visual representation of my novel when I'm talking to people about it, even if the real cover will look nothing like it when it's published. Not only that, but it feels more real to have a cover. Also it's cool!


See you at the Con!

-Dana Lockhart

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