I just attended LosCon in Los Angeles, where I was a vendor in the dealers’ room, selling mostly my novels and dice towers. Even amoung the fandom community, there are many who have never attended a con. So, let me introduce you to them!

Science-fiction and fantasy conventions are not just gatherings; they are celebrations of passion, creativity, and community. If you’ve never attended one but are curious, this guide just might open a door to a world of imagination and camaraderie.

What Are Fandom Conventions?


Fandom conventions, often referred to as “cons,” are events where fans of various genres, including comics, science fiction, fantasy, and more, come together. They originated from the science fiction conventions of the 1930s and have evolved into diverse, inclusive celebrations of all forms of media and culture, venues where art, culture, and fan enthusiasm intersect.

How Do They Work?


Conventions typically span several days and feature a plethora of activities. Attendees, often called “con-goers,” can participate in panels, meet celebrities, join workshops, play a variety of table top games, cosplay, and much more. These events are held in large venues like convention centers and hotels, accommodating from a few hundred people to many thousands. Each convention has its unique flavor, reflecting the themes and communities it represents.

Who Attends These Conventions?


Fandom conventions attract a wide array of people. From hardcore fans who’ve followed a franchise for decades to curious newcomers, the diversity is staggering. All are united by a shared love for specific genres or series. These events also attract creators, artists, and industry professionals, making them a melting pot of ideas and inspiration.

Can You Attend Without Cosplay?


Absolutely! While cosplay – dressing up as a character – is a popular aspect of conventions, it’s not a requirement. Many attendees enjoy conventions in casual attire. Cosplay is about expression and fun, not obligation. It’s a way to pay homage to beloved characters, but enjoying the event in your style is equally celebrated.

Panels and Workshops


Panels are discussions or presentations on various topics related to fandoms. They range from celebrity Q&As to fan-led discussions about specific aspects of a genre. Workshops offer hands-on experiences in areas like costume making, writing, or art creation. These sessions provide an opportunity for personal growth and learning, as well as a chance to engage with experts and fellow fans.

Autograph Sessions and Photo Ops


Celebrity guests often offer autograph sessions and photo opportunities. It’s a chance to meet your heroes, albeit briefly, and take home a personalized souvenir. These interactions provide a rare opportunity to connect with the actors, writers, and creators who bring your favorite stories to life.

For example, this year I was on the “Welcome to the Weird West” panel at San Diego Comic-Con, and about an hour later, several of us who were on the panel did an authgraphing session, where attendees bought our books, chatted with us, and got our signatures.

Exhibitor Halls and Artist Alleys

Exhibitor halls, also known as the “dealers’ room,” are commercial areas where vendors sell merchandise. Artist alleys feature works from independent artists and creators, offering unique, often handcrafted items. These sections are exciting for collectors and enthusiasts, offering everything from rare collectibles to original artworks.

Gaming and Interactive Zones


Many conventions have areas dedicated to gaming, from video games to tabletop RPGs like Dungeons and Dragons. These zones offer a chance to play, watch, or even participate in tournaments. They are a hub for gamers to share strategies, experiences, and engage in friendly competition.

Cosplay and Costume Contests


Cosplay is a cornerstone of these conventions. Costume contests showcase the incredible talent and creativity of attendees, with categories ranging from beginners to masters. These events are not only about showcasing costumes but also about celebrating the effort and passion that goes into bringing characters to life.

Special Screenings and Premieres


Conventions often host special screenings of films, TV episodes, or fan-made projects. Occasionally, you might witness a premiere or a sneak peek of upcoming releases. These screenings are special treats, offering fans a communal experience of enjoying anticipated content together. Some fans will have an event called “trailer park,” where they show trailers for upcoming movies and shows, and often give out swag, including tee shirts.

Making the Most of Your Convention Experience


  • Plan Ahead: Check the schedule and plan your days to make the most of the events.
  • Stay Comfortable: Wear comfortable shoes and stay hydrated.
  • Budget Wisely: It’s easy to overspend on merchandise and autographs.
  • Be Respectful: Remember, everyone is there to enjoy their passion. Respectful interactions make the experience better for everyone. One of the things many people enjoy about conventions is that it’s a place where they can be themselves.
  • Explore: Don’t be afraid to try new panels or meet new people. Embrace the unexpected and allow yourself to discover new interests and friendships.


Fandom conventions are more than just events; they are vibrant, welcoming communities where people celebrate their passions and forge new friendships. Whether you’re a seasoned con-goer or a first-timer, each convention is an adventure waiting to be explored. They are a testament to the power of stories and characters in bringing people together, creating unforgettable experiences.

“We’re like licorice. Not everybody likes licorice, but the people who like licorice really like licorice.” ~ Jerry Garcia



As a science fiction author focused on weird westerns, for me, it’s essential to research the past. My fictional playground, which I call the Creedverse, is the setting for my series, The Adventures of Bodacious Creed. It’s an alternate timeline where, in the early 1870s, the discovery of how to access the luminiferous ether led to incredible new technologies.

So, why is it so important to research the past for an alternate timeline? Let’s explore.

The Foundation of Authenticity When Writing Historical Science Fiction

Historical science fiction is a blend of factual history and imaginative speculation. The challenge lies in weaving these elements seamlessly, and for that, research is indispensable. It provides the scaffolding on which we can drape our imaginative worlds. For example, in the Creedverse, I delve into the 1870s setting of Santa Cruz and San Francisco, a period rich in history and culture. Getting the details right about the architecture, language, and societal norms of the time adds authenticity to the narrative, touches that make the fantastical elements–like resurrected zombies and steam-powered inventions–more believable and grounded. The historical underpinning imbues the fictional world with a sense a tangible sense of place and time that lets readers fully engage with the story.

Balancing Fact and Fiction


The key to writing historical science fiction well is finding the right balance between historical accuracy and creative freedom. Research helps in understanding the era: the technology, the politics, the people’s way of life, and cultural attitudes. From there, it’s a dance between what was and what could have been. In creating the Creedverse, I respected historical timelines but introduced technology, like lightbulbs, flashlights, and refrigerators, earlier than they appeared in our world. Plus, there are quite advanced robots with a western aesthetic. This interplay creates a familiar yet intriguingly different world for my readers. The act of balancing historical facts with creative elements allows for a narrative both grounded in reality and elevated by imagination.

Avoiding Anachronisms


Anachronisms can jolt a reader out of the story. Meticulous research helps avoid such pitfalls. When I write about the streets of 1870s San Francisco, I need to ensure that everything from the street names to the sorts of businesses reflects that era. For instance, a simple reference to a modern-day object or a phrase that wasn’t in use at the time can disrupt the narrative’s integrity. Research guards against these errors, ensuring that the world I build is internally consistent, even when it’s speculative. By painstakingly checking each historical detail, I can create a world that resonates with verisimilitude, keeping the reader fully immersed in the era and story I am crafting.

That said, yes, my books have a few small anachronisms, though they’re things that modern readers wouldn’t have realized didn’t exist yet. These mistakes, I chock up to the Creedverse being an alternate timeline where some surprising things appeared earlier.

Cultural Sensitivity and Representation


In historical sf, we’re often dealing with times that had different social norms and attitudes. Research becomes crucial in portraying these aspects with sensitivity and accuracy. It’s fine for characters to have attitudes reflecting the times, but the author needs to have more sensitivity. This is especially important when writing about real historical figures or events. In the Creedverse, for instance, while I reimagine many aspects of the Old West, I strive to represent the era’s social dynamics, including gender roles and cultural diversity, in a manner that is respectful and informed. The protagonist of the first series, James “Bodacious” Creed, has quite progressive attitudes. Understanding the historical context of various social issues allows for a more nuanced and respectful portrayal of different cultures and communities, enriching the narrative with diverse perspectives and experiences.

Inspiration and Innovation


Research isn’t just about getting facts straight; it’s also a gold mine of inspiration. While exploring the history of the Wild West, and especially San Francisco during the time, I’ve stumbled upon fascinating tidbits that have sparked entire plotlines in the Creedverse. Because of my research, historical figures appear in the books, and much more. The ‘what if’ questions that arise from actual historical events or technologies lead to the most exciting aspects of sf storytelling. Delving into historical texts and records can unveil hidden stories and forgotten inventions, which become the seeds for plot ideas, characters, and tense conflicts. These discoveries not only fuel the imagination but also lend a sense of wonder and possibility to the narrative, bridging the gap between past and future.

For aspiring writers of historical sf and fantasy, I cannot stress enough the importance of research. It’s what makes your world believable and your story interesting. The process is time consuming, but it’s also incredibly rewarding. As you peel back the layers of history, you’ll find a wealth of material to inspire and substantiate your creative vision. Remember, while we, as sf authors, have the liberty to bend history, our stories gain depth and resonance from the threads of truth that run through them. So, embark on this journey with diligence and enthusiasm, and you will find that your historical sf narratives will not only engage but also enlighten your readers.

“You should write not what you know, but what you can find out about.” ~ Robert J. Sawyer



This week, I feel compelled to share insights into the process behind my latest project, Anna, Daughter of Creed. As many of you know, writing a novel is a journey full of unexpected twists, and this one has been no exception.

The Unique Challenges with “Anna, Daughter of Creed”


About a year ago, while Bodacious Creed and the San Francisco Syndicate was in its pre-sales phase, I embarked on this new adventure. Having finished the first Bodacious Creed trilogy, it was time to start the first spin-off series, The Anna Lynn Chronicles.

Every novel I write requires something different. It reminds me of a quote I once heard, though its origin eludes me: “If you’ve written one novel, you know how to write that novel.” Each book is a unique challenge, presenting a fresh learning curve that requires adaptability and persistence. And Anna, Daughter of Creed has demanded its share of both.


First and Second Attempts


Initially, I dove into the Creedverse, the world of my novels, once more, crafting an outline and beginning the draft. At around 25,000 words, I hit a realization. What I had written wasn’t the story I wanted to tell, but it was a necessary step to understand the true heart of my novel. It became a foundation to build upon.

On my second attempt, the draft grew to about 66,000 words. Concurrently, I was expanding the Creedverse series bible, adding around 300,000 words of characters, locations, and other rich details. This extensive world-building not only enriched the current project but will also enhance future novels in the series. That’s about 391,000 words in the Creedverse alone and doesn’t count all the writing I do for my day job, or in my journal. Yes, I write a lot.

A Moment of Clarity Leads to A Powerful Start


Just last week, a clarity moment struck. The new novel draft felt cluttered, overambitious in its scope. It was time to streamline the narrative, focus on the core story. After extensive brainstorming and reorganizing plot points using my favorite beat sheet method, I’ve now crafted an outline that feels just right. It’s focused yet rich with character development, action, social commentary, and the twists you’ve come to expect from the Creedverse, and it weaves in several important subplots, too.

On To The New Draft


I’m eager to embark on writing this new draft, more streamlined and focused than before. While it’s true that the previous drafts accounted for a whopping 91,000 words, and the series bible saw a massive expansion, it’s all part of the creative process. Every word written, every character fleshed out, contributes to the depth and richness of my fictional universe.

Final Thoughts


Transparency with you, my readers, is vital. I want you to know that your anticipation and support fuel my commitment to this story. Once this next draft reaches its completion, I plan to launch a Kickstarter campaign to cover editing and other publishing necessities. If you’re curious about the kind of rewards and perks this might include, take a look at the campaign we had for Bodacious Creed and the San Francisco Syndicate.

Regarding “Anna, Daughter of Creed”: Set in the 1870s, this steampunk western follows Anna Lynn Boyd, daughter of James “Bodacious” Creed. A former prostitute turned madam and brilliant inventor, Anna’s journey is a testament to resilience and ingenuity. She faces societal challenges and corporate intrigue, striving to uplift the lives of women in Santa Cruz. Her story is one of empowerment, set against the backdrop of a world grappling with rapid changes and the challenges that come with them.

I’m thrilled about this novel’s potential and the fresh perspectives it brings to the Creedverse. Your continued support and enthusiasm mean the world to me. Stay tuned for more updates, and thank you for joining me on this incredible journey!

Until next time, keep the gears turning and the pages flying!

“There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.” ~ W. Somerset Maugham


Indie Author Day at Anaheim Central Library


Today, I had the honor of participating in Indie Author Day hosted by Central Library in Anaheim. This event combined educational panels, networking, and the joy of connecting with readers and fellow authors.

Starting the Day


The event kicked off for me and my son at 9:30 when I brought the books in my trilogy, The Adventures of Bodacious Creed, to the contracted bookseller, Mystery Ink. They played an integral role in connecting authors with readers. It’s always a pleasure to see a new reader walk away with one of my books, and signing a copy for an enthusiastic gentleman half-way through the event was a highlight for me.

My Panel


At noon I was on a panel, “Crafted Words: Mastering the Writer’s Toolbox,” where we shared an insightful discussion on various tools available to writers. From mental fortitude to the latest software, we covered a gamut that I believe the audience found valuable. Max Evans’s use of “flow state” as a measure of a successful writing day was particularly thought-provoking, suggesting that the qualitative experience of writing can be just as important as quantitative goals.


Book Signing Time


Next came my book signing time, which stretched from 1:330 to 3:00. I signed just one book, Bodacious Creed: a Steampunk Zombie Western, but that’s seemed about average for the day. I had a nice conversation with fellow authors Barbara Pronin and Wendy Van Camp, the latter of whom orchestrated the entire event with a finesse reminiscent of a seasoned con organizer. I extend my deepest gratitude to Wendy for inviting me to participate in such a well-executed day.



I spent the final hour visiting the vendor tables upstairs and networking, exchanging business cards and bookmarks, and buying a couple of books. For emerging authors looking to build their networks, my advice is to be proactive yet personal; collect contacts at the event, and more importantly, engage with them afterward through thoughtful follow-ups.

In terms of my personal writing journey, I’m eager to share that I gained a lead on a native French-speaking editor for translating my series, The Adventures of Bodacious Creed, into French. With my academic background in language studies, this is an exciting step toward making my work accessible to a wider audience.

I also added two notable books works to my collection: Golden Boxty in the Frypan by Pat Spencer and Short Barrel Fiction by Bill Wilbur. Both works struck a chord with me, resonating with my interests in historical narratives and the Western genre, respectively.

Final Thoughts


Today was all about celebrating independent and small-press books and meeting new contacts, possibly new friends. Events like these are crucial for the indie writing community to thrive and evolve.

I am already looking forward to the next one.

“Creativity is a combination of discipline and childlike spirit.” ~ Robert Greene



The Steampunk genre takes the historical elements of the Victorian era and fuses them with imaginative and speculative technology. From fantastical airships to steam-powered mechanical beasts, this intriguing genre evokes a sense of nostalgia while inspiring dreams of a retro-futuristic world. This fusion creates an atmosphere that’s both antiquated and advanced, offering endless possibilities for storytelling and world-building. For fans of my own steampunk world, the Creedverse, the infusion of Wild West elements into the steampunk aesthetic offers an additional layer of complexity and imagination.

I’m Jonathan Fesmire, author of The Adventures of Bodacious Creed, a weird west trilogy that includes the novels, Bodacous Creed: a Steampunk Zombie Western, Bodacious Creed and the Jade Lake, and Bodacious Creed and the San Francisco Syndicate, which take place in my fictional rality, the Creedverse. 

It’s important to remember that Victorian era doesn’t necessarily mean Victorian England. In a steampunk world, the technology of the time would be all over the world. As an American, and someone interested in the history of Wild West, that setting in an alternate timeline is what I most love to explore in my fiction. Today, let’s talk about steampunk and retrofurutistic technology, shall we?


Steampunk and Retrofuturistic Technology


The central technological element in any steampunk story is, unsurprisingly, steam power. Steam engines revolutionized transportation, manufacturing, and even helped in the advancement of computational devices. Steam power relies on boiling water to produce steam, which then pushes pistons or turns turbines to generate mechanical energy. This foundational technology set the stage for industrial revolutions and drastically changed human societies. In the Creedverse, steam power not only coexists with the Wild West setting–referred to in the genre as “Weird West”–but also fuels innovative machines that extend far beyond traditional historical boundaries.


Airships and Flying Machines

If you’ve ever dreamed of sailing through the skies, you can live vicariously through steampunk literature. Airships are a common trope in these stories, typically resembling zeppelins or dirigibles but outfitted with gears, cogs, and sometimes even weaponry. They serve as both military and civilian vessels, much like the naval ships of yore. These airships capture the spirit of adventure and exploration, serving as a symbol of human ingenuity. Additionally, the steampunk versions often feature advanced navigational tools and defensive mechanisms, creating a sense of evolved technology. I haven’t played with airships in my world, but I enjoy them when they appear in other authors’ stories.


Mechanical Automatons

Human-like automatons and mechanical animals have fascinated people since ancient times, but it was in the Victorian era when these ideas started to become more technically feasible. Most of these historical automata were operated by clockwork mechanisms. However, the steampunk genre often imagines more complex and functional beings powered by steam or other, more fantastical, sources of energy. These mechanical creatures often possess human-like traits, adding a layer of emotional complexity to the genre. In the Creedverse, auto sapients are not just mindless tools but come equipped with specialized functionalities that allow them to interact dynamically with their environment.

In the Creedverse, auto sapients elevate the concept of automatons to an entirely new level–or, at least, I like to think so!. They are  capable of complex tasks and are imbued with an array of functions that push the boundaries of what one might expect from technology in the late 19th century. Using steam power, ether power, and advanced mechanical engineering, they perform specialized jobs, including medical procedures, with astonishing precision. This has opened up exciting narrative possibilities, as these creations can become central figures in various story arcs, displaying traits and abilities that blur the line between machine and sentient being. For example, my protagonist, James Creed, has an auto sapient (oh yes, they’re colloquially called “steelies”) called Ludwig who prepares meals and helps guard his home. His daughter, Anna Boyd, has three auto sapient steelies, two that protect her establishment, and one that helps her in her laboratory. The aforementioned Atwood clinic has a steely called Bishop that assists with medical procedures.


In a world where steam-driven tech and the Wild West converge, auto sapients symbolize the essence of the Creedverse, representing an amalgamation of history, technology, and limitless imagination.


Retrofuturistic Medical Advances

Medicine is another area where steampunk fiction often diverges sharply from historical reality. The Creedverse, for example, boasts advanced medical practices and surgical techniques that we would classify as modern. Establishments like the Atwood Clinic in my fictional version of Santa Cruz, California, exemplify this melding of Victorian aesthetics with futuristic technology. These medical advances reflect the genre’s ability to challenge historical constraints, envisioning a world where technological progress is not bound by time. Moreover, it explores ethical considerations tied to advanced medicine, such as the social implications of these new techniques. (The Atwood Clinic is mentioned in Bodacious Creed: a Steampunk Zombie Western, though not by name, and will probably appear in my upcoming novel, Anna, Daughter of Creed.)


Energy Sources and Sustainability

In addition to steam power, steampunk often explores alternative energy sources like aether, solar power, and sometimes even magic. These can be seen as commentary on our current environmental challenges or as an imaginative exercise in “what if?” While some of these alternative energies may seem like pure fantasy, they can open conversations about renewable and sustainable energy sources in our own world. Steampunk serves as a backdrop to explore these complex themes, acting as both a mirror and a lens through which we can examine real-world issues.

Closing Thoughts

From steam-powered mechanical beasts to advanced medical clinics, the science behind steampunk is a fascinating blend of the historically plausible and the creatively speculative. It draws us into worlds both familiar and exotic, offering a unique lens through which to examine our own technological achievements and aspirations. It also presents an intriguing paradox, blending the antique with the futuristic in ways that challenge our perceptions of progress and possibility. For fans of the Creedverse, this blend of Wild West and steampunk elements, exemplified by inventions like auto sapients, adds a unique flavor to the genre while pushing the boundaries of what we traditionally view as possible in a historical setting.

The next time you find yourself immersed in a steampunk narrative, take a moment to appreciate not only the complex tapestry of science, technology, and imagination that makes these worlds come alive but also the themes of exploration and discovery that run through them. Whether or not the science is realistic, the sense of wonder and possibility it evokes is a crucial part of what makes steampunk—and its many sub-genres, including the Creedverse—so engaging.

If you’re interested in my steampunk zombie western trilogy, The Adventures of Bodacious Creed, just click the link! You can also click one of the short story images in the sidebar to get a Creedverse story for free.

“Innovation is the ability to see change as an opportunity–not a threat.” ~ Steve Jobs


Santa Cruz, California, with its iconic beaches and unparalleled beauty, has long been a symbol of Californian charm. However, when one steps into the realm of the Creedverse, the familiar transforms into the fantastical, and mechanical! In the alternative reality of my novels, Santa Cruz melds its historical roots with the imagined, bringing to life a city that is as innovative as it is mesmerizing. Let’s delve into the contrasts and convergences of the real Santa Cruz and its Creedverse counterpart, highlighting how fiction can craft an enchanting mirror to reality.

Origin of The Creedverse


For my Creedverse, I’ve worked hard to weave together history, science fiction, and tributes to the modern city. As a native Santa Cruzan, I will admit, this setting is a love letter to where was born, grew up, and went to college, though I strive to portray my 19th-century version in all its grittiness.

Deriving its name from its key protagonist, James Hamilton Creed or “Bodacious Creed,” the Creedverse sets the stage for adventures that redefine the setting. My trilogy, The Adventures of Bodacious Creed, in which he stars, is a window into an alternate universe where Santa Cruz’s familiar landmarks take on novel significances. The goal? To provide a fresh perspective on the city and its inhabitants, presenting readers with a Santa Cruz that feels familiar yet wholly unique.

Historical Divergences


In the world of the Creedverse, Santa Cruz brims with the extraordinary, combining elements of the past with visions weird west, steampunk technology. Imagine the streets of modern Santa Cruz, but set against the rugged backdrop of the Wild West, now peppered with the wonders of steam and gear. The brilliant Anna Lynn Boyd emerges as a beacon of this new age, her inventions casting a long shadow over the city’s landscapes, reshaping Santa Cruz’s history and intertwining it with a future that our world is yet to see.

The Luminiferous Ether and Celestium Alloy


The luminiferous ether, in the Creedverse, is more than just an abstract concept; it is the lifeblood of a technological renaissance. While scientists in our world could only speculate about its existence, in the Creedverse, Anna Lynn Boyd transformed this energy into tangible reality. Her creation of celestium alloy ushered in an era in which steam engines became marvels of efficiency and power. This metallic wonder didn’t just revolutionize transportation; it became the cornerstone of numerous technological advancements, pushing the boundaries of society deemed possible in medical science, personal stealth, and mechanical cognition.

Economic Landscape and Technological Dominance


While the Creedverse’s Santa Cruz flourished as a technological wonderland under the aegis of Miles Morgan’s companies, this progress did not go unchallenged. The vast empire of innovation, spanning Morgan’s Automatons to Morgan’s Mechanicals, brought unprecedented prosperity to the city, but also engendered its own set of complications. The restrictive California Technological Rights Act, designed to ensure Morgan’s dominance, inadvertently birthed a shadow economy, where innovation thrived in hidden corners and alleyways. The city, though at the forefront of technological advancement, found itself grappling with the moral ambiguities of black-market trade, spearheaded by formidable adversaries like the Evil Eye Syndicate.

Inter-City Relationships


Santa Cruz’s meteoric rise as a technological behemoth in the Creedverse didn’t just reshape its local landscape; it also redrew the city’s relationships on the broader geopolitical canvas. As Morgan’s companies expanded their influence, the city became more than just a coastal paradise—it emerged as a nexus of progress, drawing attention from cities and regions far and wide. This newfound prominence brought with it both alliances and rivalries, as other cities either sought to collaborate with Santa Cruz’s brilliance or challenge its dominance. The Creedverse’s Santa Cruz, in essence, became a focal point in a web of inter-city dynamics, influencing and being influenced by the ever-evolving world around it.


The real Santa Cruz has always held a special place in the hearts of those who visit. However, the Santa Cruz of the Creedverse offers a juxtaposition, blending the charm of the past with the wonders of a steampunk-inspired future. It’s a testament to the power of storytelling, showing how a familiar locale can be reimagined into a place where historical tales coalesce with futuristic fantasies. Whether one prefers the sun-soaked beaches of the real Santa Cruz or the steam-filled streets of its Creedverse counterpart, one thing is certain: both versions of the city offer a unique and unforgettable experience.

Sound fun? It is! Step into a world where the old west meets futuristic marvels, where steam-powered machines walk beside gunslingers, and where the line between life and death is as thin as a razor’s edge. Dive into The Adventures of Bodacious Creed trilogy, which kicks off with Bodacious Creed: a Steampunk Zombie Western. Then, journey northward with our hero in the second installment, Bodacious Creed and the Jade Lake, as the heart of the adventure pulses in the streets of San Francisco. The saga culminates in Bodacious Creed and the San Francisco Syndicate, where alliances are tested, and destinies forged.

And for those enamored by the enigmatic Anna Lynn Boyd, the upcoming spin-off trilogy The Anna Lynn Chronicles beckons. I’m currently writing the first novel, Anna, Daughter of Creed, and I intend to enthrall readers with a deep dive back into Santa Cruz. Don’t just read a story—live an adventure!

“The only difference between reality and fiction is that fiction needs to be credible.” ~ Mark Twain




My Upcoming Author Events


November is gearing up to be a whirlwind month filled with insightful discussions, book signings, and networking with fellow members of sci-fi fandom. I’ve filled my calendar with events that promise to bring the gritty, mechanical heart of the wild west, as envisioned in my series The Adventures of Bodacious Creed, to life for new readers. Let’s look at my upcoming author events!

Engaging Minds at Anaheim Central Library: Nov 5



My month kicks off at the Anaheim Central Library on Sunday, November 5th, 2023. The day begins at 11:00 a.m. (though authors will be there earlier, getting set up!). Mystery Ink Bookseller will be selling our novels, including three in my trilogy: Bodacious Creed: a Steampunk Zombie Western, Bodacious Creed and the Jade Lake, and Bodacious Creed and the San Francisco Syndicate.

I will be a panelist, sharing insights from my journey through the new technologies, and the occasional zombies, of my weird western world, the Creedverse. Post-panel, a 30-minute autograph session awaits, providing a chance for enthusiasts to have their copies of The Adventures of Bodacious Creed series signed, whether they bring in their own copies, or purchase them from Mystery Ink Bookseller. I’m also expecting Bodacious Creed stickers in the mail, so you can get one of those along with my autograph!

The Anaheim Central Library is located at 500 W. Broadway Ave, Anaheim, CA 92805. It’s well-equipped to accommodate the attendees, though I hear parking fills up fast! An announcement system will keep the buzz alive, heralding the commencement of panels, readings, and workshops throughout the day.


LosCon 48 Extravaganza: Nov 25 – Nov 27


Thanksgiving weekend extends the literary revelry as I venture to Los Angeles for LosCon 48, from November 25 to November 27, at the Marriott Los Angeles Airport Hotel. This convention is a hallmark event with a tradition of celebrating speculative fiction.

LosCon 48 boasts a stellar lineup of guests, with Tanya Huff as the Writer Guest of Honor, Dave Kellett as the Artist Guest of Honor, and Alexander James Adams tuning the chords as the Music Guest of Honor. The aura of creativity is bound to resonate well with the themes of my books.

I hope for my booth to be hub of engaging discussions, book signings, and a display of the creative prowess that fuels the fantastical realms in my series. I’m also hoping to have my new Adventures of Bodacious Creed: Trilogy Edition playing card decks for sale. This is an opportunity for fans and newcomers alike to delve deeper into my series.


Embracing The Journey Ahead



November unfolds as a chapter laden with anticipation and promise. The engagement at Anaheim Central Library and LosCon 48 isn’t merely about celebrating the printed word, but a testament to the indomitable spirit of creativity and the camaraderie that binds the community of speculative fiction. Through these events, I look forward to contributing to the rich tapestry of imaginative storytelling, heralding an adventurous winter for all involved.

Mark your calendars and join me at my upcoming author events, immersing in the unique blend of steampunk, western, and zombie elements that hallmark my narrative. November is not just a prelude to winter, but a gateway to riveting adventures with Bodacious Creed at the helm.

PS: French Translations Coming Soon!


I’ve decided it’s time to translate The Aventures of Bodacious Creed into French! I do speak French, so I’ll be using translation software for the initial phase, then reading each book thoroughly and making corrections. It will probably take a few months, but expect the French version of my trilogy out soon, along with new covers!


“Science Fiction has always been and will always be a fable teacher of morality.”
~ Ray Bradbury



When crafting the Creedverse, the world of my series, The Adventures of Bodacious Creed, and books I plan to write, I aimed to build a rich tapestry of characters that both reflect and shape the world around them. Recently, I wrote a post about three of the strong women of the Creedverse. So, today, we’re looking at three influential men.

James “Bodacious” Creed: A Journey of Transformation


The first of our influential men of the Creedverse is James Creed, the protagonist of The Adventures of Bodacious Creed himself. In conceptualizing James “Bodacious” Creed, I wanted to create a character with an unwavering moral compass, whose personal and professional journey would resonate with readers. From his early days, marked by a defining encounter with a town bully, to his dedicated service as a U.S. Marshal, Creed’s commitment to justice has been the core of his character. Based on the archetype of the wild west gunfighter hero, Creed is a unique character who, unlike many of those heroes and antiheroes, strives to belong.

His pursuit of the elusive Corwin Blake and the subsequent events leading to his unexpected resurrection by his estranged daughter, Anna Lynn Boyd, adds layers of complexity to his narrative. Now, enhanced with steam-era machinery, Creed navigates the world with renewed purpose, resilient and dedicated even when faced with the most extraordinary circumstances.

From his beginnings as a small-town boy with a penchant for the guitar to his current position as a beacon of hope in San Francisco, James Creed’s story is a testament to the indomitable human spirit and the lengths to which one will go to uphold justice and righteousness.

Miles Morgan: The Force Behind Technological Wonders


Miles Morgan’s story is one of vision and enterprise. From his educational pursuits at Transylvania University to the birth of Morgan’s Mechanicals in the heart of New York City, I’ve always imagined him as a beacon of innovation. Morgan’s true gift, however, is not just in his own talents but in his knack for recognizing genius in others. And, while he’s far from perfect, he does treat his inventors well.

His decision to relocate to the West symbolizes the merging of two frontiers, and by collaborating with prodigies like Nikola Tesla and Anna Lynn Boyd, he ensures the continuing advancement of technology. While crafting Morgan, I endeavored to portray a man of ambition and vision but also one grounded in his beliefs and values, making him a multi-faceted addition to the narrative.

Apart from his remarkable business acumen, Morgan’s character stands out due to his unique blend of self-interest and a genuine desire to better society. His support of The California Technological Rights Act and his religious inclination towards Catholicism adds depth to his persona, making him a multidimensional character worthy of admiration and scrutiny.

Morgan’s factories, innovations, and most importantly, his vision, have shaped the Creedverse’s trajectory, ensuring that the world remains forever changed by his endeavors.

Emperor Norton: San Francisco’s Endearing Monarch


In constructing the Creedverse, I couldn’t help but integrate the vibrant real-life figure of Emperor Norton into the tapestry of my universe. His story is both peculiar and heartwarming, a tale of how a society lovingly embraced a man and his unique worldview.

Joshua Abraham Norton, fondly known as Emperor Norton, is not your typical monarch, or truly an emperor at all. His early endeavors in business saw him achieve considerable wealth in San Francisco’s budding real estate market. But, like many before him, Norton faced the volatility of business, and following a failed investment in rice, he encountered financial ruin. However, this setback paved the way for his most notable and endearing identity.

In 1859, Norton proclaimed himself “Emperor of the United States,” a title he would later expand to include “Protector of Mexico.” While this might have been dismissed as the eccentricity of a broken man elsewhere, the people of San Francisco not only humored him but affectionately played along. Businesses accepted his self-issued currency, restaurants fed him for free, and he was a well-respected figure at public events.

While many might remember Norton for his eccentricity, he was much more than a mere character on the streets. On several occasions, he exhibited genuine courage and compassion, like the time he bravely stood between rioters and a group of Chinese immigrants, protecting them from potential harm.

The Creedverse’s Emperor Norton, based on the captivating historical figure, exemplifies the spirit of San Francisco during its formative years, capturing the essence of a community that cherishes individuality and champions the human spirit.


Closing Thoughts on these Influential Men of the Creedverse


As I delve deeper into the Creedverse, characters like James Creed and Miles Morgan remain foundational. Their stories, while rooted in the world I’ve envisioned, are timeless tales of courage, innovation, and the intricate dance between morality and ambition. Through their experiences, I hope to offer readers a rich exploration of the human spirit set against the backdrop of a world where the past and future intriguingly coalesce.

(Note: The images of these influential men of the Creedverse are from my forthcoming Adventures of Bodacious Creed playing card deck, which I’ll sell at conventions and possibly online!)

“I have believed the best of every man. And find that to believe is enough to make a bad man show him at his best, or even a good man swings his lantern higher.” ~ William Butler Yeats



Goals aren’t fleeting whims or lofty dreams; they’re the cornerstones of long-term success. If you’re like most creatives, your mind is a buzzing hive of aspirations and objectives. So, how do you wrangle these into a coherent plan? Enter the Monthly Goals Worksheet—an effective but often overlooked tool that I’ve found invaluable for streamlining productivity and realizing visions.

The Goal vs. Purpose Dichotomy: A Philosophical Foundation


I discovered the intriguing difference between ‘goals’ and ‘purposes’ during my junior college years, in a class that today’s lingo would probably dub a “life hack philosophy class.” A goal is a concrete milestone you aim to reach, like completing your next novel. A purpose is your broader life mission—like becoming a beloved and influential author. The exciting part? Goals and purposes can intermingle seamlessly. Your overarching purpose often breaks down into a series of actionable goals, and in a philosophy class during junior college, I learned the difference between ‘goals’ and ‘purposes.’ of his Writer MBA courses, including the eye-opening “Build a Superfandom.” The course featured a strategic goals worksheet that revolutionized how I plan my months and years. I can’t provide the exact file here, but I’ll share its foundational concepts, which can make goal-setting a walk in the park for anyone.

A Month in Review: The Structure of My Goals Worksheet

Celebrate Your Achievements


I kick off every month by revisiting my last month’s goals file. After saving it under a new name for the upcoming month, I dedicate the first section to celebrating my victories. In my monthly goals worksheet, list every achievement, big or small, and it’s always invigorating to recognize my progress. For instance, last month, I beefed up my series bible, The Creedverse, by an astonishing 90,000 words!

Self-Perception and Others’ Views


Next up, I delve into perceptions—both my own self-perception and how I believe others see me. Understanding these perspectives is not just a theoretical exercise; it actively influences how I interact with people both in personal and professional settings.

Envision Your Milestones


This section is all about visualizing where I want to go. I list down my milestones, framing them within various timeframes—five years, three years, one year, and then down to months and even the next day’s targets. This cascading approach creates a roadmap that is both expansive and detailed, making my journey less intimidating.

Uncover Your Unique Strengths


Finally, I focus on what I call my “unfair advantages”—those unique traits that give me an edge. These can range from your social skills to your writing pace, but identifying them is crucial. These advantages act like an extra set of gears in your vehicle, accelerating your progress toward your goals.

Confronting and Overcoming Imposter Syndrome


A structured approach to goal-setting is not just a planning tool; it’s an antidote to imposter syndrome. Doubts and insecurities often plague us, but when you document your monthly progress, these fears become less formidable. Each small win provides validation, proving that you are more than capable of achieving your dreams. Even if you miss some targets, reviewing your monthly goals worksheet will show that you’ve made significant strides forward.

Parting Wisdom


Whatever your creative endeavor, your trajectory is yours alone to shape. A well-plotted course makes navigating to your destination far more manageable, and a monthly goals worksheet can offer you that invaluable roadmap. While I do highly recommend diving into Russell Nohelty’s Writer MBA courses for advanced techniques, my simplified framework should provide a starting point for those seeking structured progress. So, are you ready to convert your dreams into actionable plans and measurable milestones?

“Success will be within your reach only when you start reaching out for it.”
~ Stephen Richards


Meet the Strong Women of the Creedverse


For those unfamiliar, the Creedverse is what I call the fictional world where my novel trilogy, The Adventures of Bodacious Creed, takes place. There will be additional series in this world. In fact, I’m writing a new Creedverse series currently: The Anna Lynn Chronicles.

The Creedverse is an alternate timeline where advanced technology began changing the world in the early 1870s. So far, the stories have taken place in a wild west version of my hometown of Santa Cruz, California, and San Francisco, California. I’ve done a lot of research and world building. In fact, my series bible on World Anvil, where I keep information about characters, settings, technology, and a whole lot more, is longer than 350,000 words already. That’s a ton of information! Don’t worry, though. The books are easy enough to follow.

So far, those novels are Bodacious Creed: a Steampunk Zombie Western, Bodacious Creed and the Jade Lake, and Bodacious Creed and the San Francisco Syndicate. The current novel-in-progress is Anna, Daughter of Creed.

Now that we have that brief explanation out of the way, let’s get into what I’d like to share today. I’m highlighting three strong women in the Creedverse.

During the time of the Wild West, women lacked many rights they have today, and life could be tough. I write women the same way I write men: as individuals, as people. And, many have praised my portrayal of women, I’m happy to say. It probably helps that my mom is a strong person, and I’ve been close with lots of people of the female persuasion my entire life.

So, let’s get to these characters!

Anna Boyd: The Inventive Genius


Anna Lynn Boyd is one of the prime movers of the Creedverse. She’s the daughter of James Creed, also known as Bodacious Creed, the protagonist of The Adventures of Bodacious Creed.

Anna is a brilliant inventor who overcame a tough childhood. Raised by her aunt and uncle, who faked her death and convinced her father that she was gone, Anna left home when she learned of this, at age 16, to cross the United States from Virginia to California, working as a fix-it person. Eventually, she settled in Santa Cruz. There, after a lot of research, she created an amazing new material called celestium alloy. However, she was broke and at the time, the only work she could find, at age 17, was as a prostitute at a local brothel. Fortunately, the place was decent and the madam better than most.

Once she had her celestium alloy material drawing in power from the luminiferous ether, Anna shared her work with local mogul and technology pioneer Miles Morgan. She was savvy enough to get a contract that would make her rich. She left the prostitution business and went to work for Morgan. Her celestium alloy revolutionized steam engines and industrial tech.

But Anna’s not all about gadgets. She also cares about people. Returning to public life in 1875, she transformed her old workplace, the House of Amber Doves, into a brothel that was much more fair and protective of the women working there.

In 1876, when her father came to town and was shot, she found a way to bring her him back to life using her celestium alloy. While she may not be famous in the novels (yet), Anna’s impact on the Creedverse is undeniable.

Heidi Nelsen: The Community Anchor


Now, we move to a very different person, Heidi Nelsen. Since James Creed is the protagonist of the first trilogy, all the women mentioned here have a close connection with him.

Heidi represents the kind-hearted Christian soul of Santa Cruz. However, her religiosity cuts both ways. She has good intentions, but is judgmental of Anna and the sex work business in the area. Keep in mind that back then, there were far fewer women than men, and prostitution allowed men to enjoy companionship they might not otherwise.

Originally from Savannah, Georgia, Heidi spent time living with her husband, Bennet Nelsen, in Texas, where Bennet and Creed were U.S. Marshals working together. Before Ben and Heidi were ever a couple, she had a romantic relationship with Creed. After that fell apart, she ended up with Ben. Later, Nelsen was stationed in Santa Cruz.

Heidi is deeply involved in her local church and always lends a hand in the community. When James Creed came back to life, thanks to Anna, Heidi gave him a place to stay. In time, Heidi accepted that Anna had saved Creed and came to be more tolerant.

Heidi’s legacy of kindness and community service endures.

Selena Moreno: The Jack-of-All-Trades


While I introduced Anna and Heidi in Bodacious Creed: a Steampunk Zombie Western, Selena first appears in the sequel, Bodacious Creed and the Jade Lake. Señora Moreno is one of the few female members of the fraternal organization E. Clampus Vitus in San Francisco, a group that Creed gets involved with, and who help him solve some tough crimes.

Selena is a nurse, a skilled markswoman, and even runs a bakery. Born in Mexico, Selena lives in San Francisco with her husband Guillermo and other members of their chapter of E. Clampus Vitus, the Brotherhood of the Golden Cog. She’s participated in risky missions and is both caring and courageous. Creed regards Selena, who is in her mid-sixties, as the sister he never had.

Back to the Creedverse


So there you have it—three strong women, each remarkable in her own way. Anna is a technical genius; Heidi’s strength is her kindness and dedication to the community; and Selena is brave, supportive, and multi-talented. All three know James Creed and contribute in unique ways to the tapestry of the Creedverse.

So, the Creedverse isn’t just about steampunk gadgets and thrilling adventures. It’s also home to complex and unique characters, including these three women. They show that heroism, strength, and femininity can come in many forms. I think that makes the Creedverse a richer, more interesting place.

“I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.” ~ Audre Lorde