Last year was my first ever GRL, and I had snagged a Supporting Author slot, and so came the absolute panic. I'm the author of the Checkmate superhero series for Dreamspinner Press, and at the time, the first novella Pawn Takes Rook, and the second novellas Cashing the Reality Check were out. I had nothing in print. Nothing. I learned very quickly many readers prefer print. Some don't care one way or another, but a majority want Belle's library in Beast's Castle. Me? I don't have enough shelf space in my house. So I have Belle's library on my Nook!
But here I was with this print dilemma. So I had to think of something that would make me stand out. Enter dat swag!
I had asked everyone I could possibly know that had done conferences before. What were the things that people took away. What were the things that didn't hit the trash can? There was a resounding paper swag is a no but funky memorable swag is a yes. Considering my budget is made of moth balls, a paper clip, and a ball of lint, I managed to spring for pens and buttons back then. I also played the system at Bath and Body Works and scored 100 hand sanitizers throughout the year. I also had superhero Blowpops, where I assembled each one by hand with a cape and a mask while watching hours of The Newsroom on HBO. Considering in a former life I used to be a comics artist, I put my chops to work and drew a print of the MCs of Checkmate, Rook and Garth here:
And so off to GRL I went! My findings that despite my covers for Pawn Takes Rook, and Cashing the Reality Check, everyone wanted that print. I mentally filed this away for later. I also took notes on what other folks had, what went over well, and what was the must have items.
So. Enter GRL 2014! It's about a month and a half away! HOMG! FREAK OUT! Now? Now as they say in video games I've "leveled-up" I'm going as a Featured Author. Holy jesus. Pray for me.
Now with the Checkmate series over with the last novella Conventional Love came out New Years Day 2014, but I have two novels in print! Print! Paper stuff! Readers like paper stuff! The two novels are in fact the start of two separate series. The first was released July 25th, Chasing Sunrise: Book One of The Darkmore Saga, an m/m gritty paranormal urban fantasy. Or as I call it: The Most Controversial Book Ever with a hyper effeminate hero that cross-dresses in elaborate gowns. That's him on the cover. Also the vampires in this series don't freaking sparkle and they farm humans like livestock. Oh yeah. And it's a romance.
See these covers? They couldn't be more different. Now with all of my mental notes from last GRL, consider this a preview of the Lex Chase Swag o' Awesome!
I've got the usual pens...
And this time I sprang for stress toys!
And remember that paper swag? How to make it stand out? I've got these!
First! Putting my comicking skills to use we have: Checkmate Trading Cards! 17 different designs in all with 4 special cards!
What special cards you ask? Find yourselves any one of these babies and you could win something pretty swanky!
Carry on Dancing - Lex Chase
The Black King - Lex Chase
I should mention there's only six of the Red Rook cards. You'll want to find him especially. Just sayin'.
The Red Rook - Lex Chase
Next! Putting other artists to work for me!
Presenting the Lex Chase Universe: Series 1 Trading Cards! Have a sampling! There's 10 cards to collect in all!
Checkmate by Valeriane Duvivier
Americana Fairy Tale by Aimee Duncanwidth
And then! The prints are back baby!
I have these from Chasing Sunrise!
The Proposal by Snicks-chan
King and Consort by Lex Chase
Is that it? Oh no. There's more! Let's just say Americana Fairy Tale is going to have some pretty awesome swag coming at your face.
Did someone say mailing postcards?
And shower loofahs?
Just marinate on that.
Get ready for GRL! Stuff Lex's books in your brain!
Buy Checkmate from Dreamspinner Press
Pre-order Americana Fairy Tale from Dreamspinner Press in eBook and Paperback (Coming September 12th!)
Paperbacks ordered through Dreamspinner Press qualifies for Free Shipping to GRL for pick-up! Good for multiple uses!
Use code: GRL2014
About the Author: Lex Chase once heard Stephen King say in a commercial, 'We're all going to die, I'm just trying to make it a little more interesting.' She knew then she wanted to make the world a little more interesting.
Weaving tales of cinematic, sweeping adventure, epic love and depending on how she feels that day, Lex sprinkles in high-speed chases, shower scenes, and more explosions than a Hollywood blockbuster. She loves tales of men who kiss as much as they kick ass. She believes if you're going to going to march into the depths of hell, it better be beside the one you love.
Lex is a pop culture diva and her DVR is constantly backlogged. She wouldn't last five minutes without technology in the event of the apocalypse and has nightmares about refusing to leave her cats behind. She is incredibly sentimental, to the point that she gets choked up at holiday commercials. But like the lovers driven to extreme measures to get home for the holidays, Lex believes everyone deserves a happy ending.
Lex also has a knack for sarcasm, never takes herself seriously, and has been nicknamed 'The Next Alan Moore' by her friends for all the pain and suffering she inflicts on her characters. She is a Damned Yankee hailing from the frozen backwoods of Maine residing in the 'burbs of Northwest Florida where it could be 80F and she'd be a popsicle.
She is grateful and humbled for all the readers. She knows very well she wouldn?t be here if it wasn?t for them and welcomes feedback.
You can find her on those social media things at:
Find her blog at http://lexchase.com
drop her an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.