Ice Storm: A Mermaids of Eriana Kwai Story
New short story now available. Read it on Kindle or by joining the Ice Massacre Patreon community.
Okay, people. ClexaCon. This convention is dedicated to the positive representation of LGBTQ+ women in film, TV, books, comics, and other forms of media. I just got back from ClexaCon 2019 in Las Vegas, and oh my.
If you’re curious about this event and wondering if you should go, the short answer is yes. Here’s a recap of what went down this weekend, and what you can expect at ClexaCon 2020 and onward.
Wayhaught Q&A panel, live podcast recordings, workshops hosted by Natasha Negovanlis and Elise Bauman… The schedule for this event is crazy cool.
At its heart is a series of panels, photo ops, signings, and many other opportunities to meet top female LGBTQ+ actors/characters from film and TV. ClexaCon 2019 guests included actresses from Wynonna Earp, Carmilla, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Runaways, Glee, One Day At A Time, and loads more. There was no shortage of opportunities to interact with them. I saw them wandering about (Dominique Provost-Chalkley legit strolled past me as I was getting coffee), and there were always several celebs at a time at the meet-and-greet tables.
I spent the weekend among the exhibitor booths with the other vendors, artists, and authors. It was incredible how many creators were there! As a fan, this is an amazing opportunity to meet your favorite creators of LGBTQ+ content and discover new ones.
It’s impossible not to make friends at this event. It happens while walking around, but they also facilitate it with events like Speed Friending. We’re a bunch of fans all here for the same reasons.
If you’re a creator, there are lots of opportunities to chat with other people in the business and exchange info. Reps from Tello Films were present and offered opportunities for pitching and asking questions. I was so excited to chat with other authors in my genre, and I finally got to meet fellow “warrior girl x mermaid” author Julia Ember in person.
Every night had an event going on, and whether you prefer partying or Netflixing, there was something for everyone.
As a queer female author and webcomic creator, I was thrilled with the opportunities this convention offered. By getting a booth in the exhibitor hall, I was able to bring my books and the Ice Massacre webcomic to their intended audience. Definitely a win-win situation.
My favorite part by a landslide was getting to meet readers. It was also exciting to meet people who had heard of Ice Massacre and had been wanting to read it! Honestly, I was blown away to discover people had actually heard of me. This was such an exciting and rewarding experience.
Now that this event is sadly over, here are my other upcoming author events. Hope to see you at VanCAF!
Here are the signings and conventions I have coming up. This list will be updated as new events arise, and I’ll share new bookings on my Twitter and Facebook pages. Hope to see you there! I have loads of swag and fun stuff to give away!
|ClexaCon||April 12 – 14, 2019||Exhibitor booth||Las Vegas, NV|
|Indigo Langley||April 20, 2019 (11am-2pm)||Book signing||Langley, BC|
|Indigo Grandview Corners||April 28, 2019 (1pm-4pm)||Book signing||Surrey, BC|
|VanCAF||May 18 – 19, 2019||Exhibitor booth||Vancouver, BC|
Ice Massacre: The Graphic Novel launches today! Two ways to experience the comic:
Head over to one of the links above to read the first 2 pages (first 4 pages on Patreon) and character bios.
After we’ve posted all the pages that make up an issue, we’ll bundle them up into ebooks and physical copies (free/discounted to our Patreon community) and make those available online and at conventions.
Thank you for all of your support so far! We’re so excited to be embarking on this journey with you.
– Tiana Warner & April Pierce
Aries 181 launches in paperback and Kindle on March 26, 2019. Read on for a sneak peek of Chapter 1.
Chapter 1 – The Aries Research Lab
A dead engineer was an inconvenient way to start the week.
From the passenger’s seat of his Bentley, Tony used his phone to post a new job opening.
“Get her car out of the parking lot. Torch it so it looks like tragedy struck on her way in.”
“Yes, sir,” said Reah, weaving through traffic as she took him to the Aries office.
Accidents were uncommon in the research lab. The work involved too much time behind a computer for that. But when the occasional ‘whoops’ did happen, it was an annoyance. Covering them up was a pain. Finding a willing and qualified replacement was worse.
“Warehouse,” said Scott when Tony entered the lab to check the damage. “She was modifying the propellant.”
Tony stifled a curse. Of course it was the propellant—the substance too stubborn to realize its own potential.
He and Scott crossed the lab with its white lights reflecting off white tiles, white walls, white tables, and white lab coats. The five other engineers kept working, unease leaking from their pores like sweat. With only seven of Tony’s two hundred employees cleared for the lab, the hole left by their dead colleague was more of a chasm.
Tony was unruffled. Their non-disclosure agreements were thorough enough for a situation like this.
“What’s the damage?”
“She, uh—she was completely burnt, Doctor Ries.”
That much was obvious. Scott’s fluorescent-pale skin and lab coat were smudged, leaving a goggle-shaped clear spot around his eyes. Holes split the toes of his shoes, revealing socks with hamburgers printed on them.
“Was anything else destroyed?”
An empire of technology filled the warehouse. These were his top achievements, past and future. No accident, no matter how messy, could quash the pride he felt every time he entered it.
He flung open the double doors. The stench of burnt metal and hair tickled his gag reflex.
“Minor damage to the surrounding area,” said Scott, dabbing his sweaty brow with a singed sleeve. “No property was ruined.”
It took a moment to blink the warehouse into focus. Dim, cold, and vast, the place could have passed for a storage facility. Walkways snaked between mounds of technology.
An early prototype of the Aries satellites—what the world came to know as the Aries 180 fleet—stole Tony’s attention as he entered. The size of a bald eagle and mounted on a podium, it was the one now-useless technology he refused to incinerate. He caressed it as they passed.
Yet, despite all that filled the floor, the place was a cold vacuum, a void. Like the invisible substance called dark matter, every space in the warehouse represented an irksome gap in knowledge. Empty corners, walkways, every molecule of dead air held promise. As creator of the Aries universe, Tony intended to use any means necessary to fill those gaps.
Tony’s watch vibrated. He looked at it to find a text.
Reah: Need your clearance to get her purse. Locker 4.
He replied, 5 mins, and quickened his step.
The temperature rose as he and Scott drew deeper into the warehouse. A drone whirred overhead, taking photos at intervals. More drones hovered beneath the three-story ceiling, LED lights marking their presence. He would have to review the surveillance images later to see what happened. He might enjoy popcorn with it.
They stopped at the explosion site. The concrete floor rippled, like it had melted and hardened again. Every adjacent surface was dented and singed. Five dry chemical fire extinguishers lay nearby. Most intriguingly, a black, body-shaped imprint traced the floor like a shadow, a dusting of ash in its center.
Tony scattered the ash with his toe. “Looks like this place was pretty lit.”
Scott cast him a sideways glance.
The culprit was the twelve-foot vat towering beside the scene of the accident. Smoke wisped from the top, Tony’s hopes and plans disappearing with it into the black ceiling. The heat wrapped around him like a wool blanket.
“So the propellant isn’t going well,” said Tony, like a challenge.
“It just reacted badly,” said Scott. “I’m confident we’ll get it in time.”
“Hm.” Don’t placate me, Scotty. What churned inside that vat represented tens of millions of dollars.
Sure, every aerospace company had rocket propellant, but no one had this. This was his next opportunity for international success—his next Aries 180 fleet, so to speak. If only the damn stuff would stop failing him. The setback choked his sense of control like a vice around his throat.
His father had told him there was no point in going into business unless you were going to be the best. Rather, the advice had been something like, “You wanna run a business, you gotta do whatever it takes to get on top. Might as well quit and be a shit-scraper if you’re gonna be a pussy about it.”
Tony held that wisdom close. Using methods no one else was brave enough to try, he was on his way to upgrading Aries from a humble Canadian startup to the world’s most cutting-edge aerospace company.
His watch vibrated.
Steve: Korean Space Agency wants you to join the call.
Korea would have to wait. He was already late for an appointment with the bank.
“What are you going to do to fix it?” he said to Scott.
“We’re, uh, looking into it.”
“I hired all of you because you’re the smartest engineers in the world. You’re telling me you don’t know?”
Scott hesitated. Tony hated hesitation.
“There are other engineers who might know more about high-energy liquid tetrapropellant, Doctor Ries.”
“I’ve scoured universities. I’ve head-hunted in the Silicon Valley. They’re too—” Tony waved a hand. “They’re not ready for the scope of the job.”
Scott didn’t need to know how many applicants failed the psychological evaluation. A PhD and a 150 IQ meant squat when the candidate couldn’t pass a basic obedience experiment.
Tony’s watch buzzed again. He ignored it.
If he wanted this propellant, he would have to get his engineers something to work from. Sometimes, they needed a push. Call it inspiration, or pieces of the aerospace puzzle.
This was a gap in the matter that made up his universe. It needed to be filled.
“Give me a week. I’ll get you the data.”
Global Nanosats was making headway in liquid propulsion. They could be of use.
He pulled out his phone to check his calendar. An email notification appeared, reminding him of a development meeting in twenty minutes. He swiped it away.
Stress tickled the base of his brain. He would have to make time to get that data between his other appointments, or cancel a few. This was more important.
He’d known for a while that he was overexerting himself. His universe was expanding faster than he could manage. If he wasn’t careful there would be a stellar collision. He couldn’t keep filling these voids alone.
He needed someone to help him get this information—someone smart, fearless, and malleable. He needed a personal assistant.
Aries 181 has now launched! Get it now in ebook and paperback. Here’s an 80-second video about what inspired the story.
Tiana Warner here, author of the upcoming Aries 181. In this book, an aerospace intern discovers her boss is a supervillain who is stealing technology to build his company. The proof copy just arrived in the mail. It launches March 26th, and today I thought I would talk about what inspired the story.
First, science. If you are fascinated by books like The Martian, the technology in this story has a similar feel. The company ‘Aries’ is based on real aerospace companies, like NASA, who create earth imaging satellites. I’ve worked with some of this technology over the last few years, and was geeking out so hard over it that it sparked an idea for a novel. I thought, what if I stumbled on something I wasn’t supposed to see while working with these satellite images?
Second is being a nerd. If you enjoy books like Ready Player One, the geekery will be up your alley. And plus you can dive into what it’s like to work at a tech company.
Third, a huge part of this novel was inspired by partners in crime. So Bonnie and Clyde, Thelma and Louise, Joker and Harley. But this supervillain duo is robbing science labs instead of banks.
The book takes place in Vancouver.
And features badass, LGBTQ+ female leads.
And I think that’s all I’ve got to say about it. So that’s what you can expect from Aries 181. Thanks for listening, and get ready for a Chapter 1 preview in a few weeks!
Huge nerd … How do I look?
A crime spree to steal aerospace technology.
An intern with the brains to stop it.
Today I have the pleasure of being featured on Tethered by Letters, where I discuss my writing career, publication path, and the research process behind the Mermaids of Eriana Kwai series.
We’re pleased to launch the preview pages and cover design for Ice Massacre: The Graphic Novel!
Meela and her crew have departed on the Massacre to take on the deadly mermaids who have slain the men before them …
We’re looking to launch the full comic this winter on Patreon. With this platform, we plan to release the comic one page at a time on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Patreon is a website where artists can share content as a subscription service. There, you can subscribe to comics, stories, art, podcasts, and more.
After a lot of discussion and pondering, we think this platform could be the best way to launch the comic.
This means the initial launch will be web-based, but once we’ve released all the pages and the story is complete, we’ll compile them into a print version.
Would you subscribe to get advance updates? Would you request a custom sketch of Meela and Lysi? Do you want a video stream, bonus sketches, or something else? Leave a comment and let us know your thoughts!