This Saturday, January 24, kicks off the first annual celebration of National Readathon Day! A collaboration involving Goodreads, Mashable, the National Book Foundation, and major publisher Penguin Random House, it’s a fund-raising effort to battle illiteracy and promote reading. And if there’s one thing everyone at StarWarp Concepts strongly believes in, it’s promoting reading.
How can you participate? To quote the event’s site:
You can get involved by joining readers across America in a marathon reading session on Saturday, January 24. From Noon to 4:00 PM in our respective time zones, we will sit and read a book in our own home, library, school or bookstore. Each individual or team can set their own fundraising target, by creating a National Readathon fundraising page on Firstgiving. Any dollar amount raised is immensely helpful and will benefit the National Book Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit.
Blood Reign: The Saga of Pandora Zwieback, Book 2—author Steven A. Roman’s follow-up to the critically acclaimed first Pandora Zwieback novel, Blood Feud—goes on sale Monday, February 2, 2015. And to whet your reading appetite, hot on the heels of yesterday’s reminder for you to download the special Blood Reign preview, here’s a little snippet of the other thrills you’ll find within its pages:
Blood Reign: The Saga of Pandora Zwieback, Book 2, the highly anticipated second part of Goth adventuress Pandora Zwieback’s debut adventure, is scheduled to make its debut on February 2, 2015. But why wait until then to learn how things turned out for Pan after the shocking cliffhanger ending of her first novel, Blood Feud?
Available right now for your reading pleasure is a special Blood Reign preview, which you can download for free from the website of Pan’s publisher, StarWarp Concepts. If you thought Pan suffered a major setback at the end of Blood Feud…well, matters only worsen for her as she finds herself in a brand-new predicament. Then again, it wouldn’t be much of an adventure series if the threats to the protagonist didn’t get bigger along the way, now would it?
Blood Reign: The Saga of Pandora Zwieback, Book 2 is written by me: Steven A. Roman, the bestselling author of the novels X-Men: The Chaos Engine Trilogy (based on the mega-successful Marvel Comics franchise) and Final Destination: Dead Man’s Hand (based on the popular horror film series). And when it comes to horror credentials, in addition to Blood Feud and Blood Reign I wrote the critically acclaimed Mature Readers graphic novel Lorelei: Sects and the City (about a succubus fighting a cult of Elder God worshippers), and contributed well-received short stories to the anthologies Best New Zombies Tales 2, The Dead Walk Again!, Tales of the Shadowmen 4: Lords of Terror, and The Almanac of Vampires. So, yes, I know horror. Besides, where do you think Pan got her love of the genre from (other than her fictional dad, David Zwieback, of course)?
Read the Blood Reign preview now, and then get ready for Ms. Zwieback’s triumphant return on February 2, 2015!
This past weekend StarWarp Concepts (and me) attended the first-ever NY Horror Show, held in Happauge, Long Island. Horror conventions have become a rarity in the New York City area, so I was curious to see what sort of reception our Ms. Zwieback would receive from her fellow horror fans.
How it’d go? Well, if you head over to the StarWarp Concepts blog for my convention report, you can read all about it—if you can make it past the battling Freddy Kruegers, that is!
The next two stops on the SWC 2015 convention tour are the Big Apple Con (March 7, in Manhattan), and the Connecticut HorrorFest (July 18, in Danbury, CT). Hope to see you there!
Thanks for stopping by the StarWarp Concepts booth today, and for your interest in my Goth adventuress, Pandora Zwieback. If you’re here because you spoke with me, then click on the cover you see in the sidebar and download the Saga of Pandora Zwieback #0 digital comic that I showed you. Not only is it an introduction to Pan and her world, hosted by Pan herself, but it contains two sample chapters from her first novel, Blood Feud. Give it a read.
The Saga of Pandora Zwieback is the young adult, dark-urban-fantasy novel series that I write. It’s the story of a 16-year-old Goth girl who’s spent the last decade being treated for mental health problems because she can see monsters. It’s only after she meets a shape-shifting monster hunter named Sebastienne “Annie” Mazarin, in the first critically acclaimed novel, Blood Feud, that Pan discovers she’s never been ill—her so-called “monstervision” is actually a supernatural gift that allows her to see into Gothopolis, the not-so-mythical shadow world that exists right alongside the human world. But before Pan can learn more about what she can do, she and her parents are drawn into a conflict between warring vampire clans that are searching for the key to an ultimate weapon (or so the legend goes)—a key that just so happens to have been delivered to the horror-themed museum owned by Pan’s father.
“Blood Feud is far and away one of the best young adult supernatural fantasy novels released in the last few years. Pan is exactly the kind of teen heroine that readers should be standing up and cheering for.”—Melissa Voelker, HorrorNews.net
“One of those fabulous books that manages to straddle the young adult/adult fiction divide, catering equally for teens and more, ahem, ‘mature’ readers alike with a light touch that makes it a joy to read.”—Kell Smurthwaite, BCF Book Reviews
Pan’s debut adventure continues in the second novel, Blood Reign (on sale February 2nd), in which she and Annie face challenges from not just vampires but legions of monsters led by a fallen angel—who happens to be one of Annie’s ex-lovers! Blood Feud ended on such a shocking cliffhanger that Pan fans (I call them “Panatics”) have eagerly been looking forward to see how it gets resolved. Feel free to join their growing ranks—we love adding new members to Zwieback Nation.
Along with Blood Feud, on sale right now is The Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual #1, which features two brand-new adventures (written by me) of Pan and her friends that are separate from the novels: a full-color comic story drawn by Eliseu Gouveia (The Saga of Pandora Zwieback #0), in which Pan and her boyfriend, Javier, run into one of his ex-girlfriends…whom Pan can see is really a mythological siren that can enrapture men with her voice; and a short story that pits Pan, Annie, and Javier against a trio of Elegant Gothic Lolita vampires—in a shopping mall! An additional backup tale, “After Hours,” is provided by DC Comics writer Sholly Fisch (Scooby-Doo! Team-Up, Action Comics, Batman: The Brave and the Bold) and drawn by comic-art legend Ernie Colon (Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld).
(A special shout-out to teen readers and Pandora Zwieback fans who are budding authors, but who may think their work isn’t all that good and worth continuing: Check out this post from last May, where I talk about my first published work—a science-fiction story I wrote when I was 16. Take a look at that and tell me you can’t do better! )
And please keep in mind that Pan’s publisher, StarWarp Concepts, is not just a YA fiction house. It also publishes illustrated classics (including J. Sheridan’s Le Fanu’s vampire romance Carmilla and Edgar Rice Burroughs’s A Princess of Mars); graphic novels for supernatural superhero fans and adult horror aficionados; digital and print comic books; and artist sketchbooks. Give them a visit and check out all they have to offer.
Hopefully I’ll see you again next year!
Blood Reign: The Saga of Pandora Zwieback, Book 2—author Steven A. Roman’s highly anticipated follow-up to the critically acclaimed first Pandora Zwieback novel, Blood Feud—goes on sale Monday, February 2, 2015. Don’t miss it!
“Pan is exactly the kind of teen heroine that readers should be standing up and cheering for.”—HorrorNews.net
“Roman has an incredible gift for running lateral plotlines that intersect with a glorious crash.”—Monster Librarian
“Roman’s writing is wonderfully crisp, drawing us into a hidden world that is great fun.”—Taliesin Meets the Vampires
“Pan is a smart and brave heroine who manages to stay positive and upbeat, despite the obstacles she must overcome.”—The Horror Zine
Over at the StarWarp Concepts blog, today’s post discusses the 2015 convention tour as the promotional wheels start turning to get the word out on the company’s latest and upcoming releases—including those involving a certain Goth adventuress. If you look over to the Events listing in the sidebar on this site, you can see where you’ll find The ’Warp (and me, of course) this year, but the SWC blog post goes a little bit more in-depth about the selections. Go give it a read!
(“Corpse Convention” from Adventures Into Darkness #6, published October 1952. Art by George Tuska and Mike Peppe.)
This just in: the floor plan for this weekend’s inaugural NY Horror Show. Yes, it’s kind of general in appearance, but hey—all you really need to know is that you’ll find the StarWarp Concepts crew in the Vendor Room. That’s why you’re coming, isn’t it?
The NY Horror Show is being held at the Upsky Long Island Hotel, located at 110 Vanderbilt Motor Parkway, in Happauge. Vendor Room hours are 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM on Saturday, and 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Sunday. For more information, head over to the NY Horror Show website.