Friday, July 17, 2015

Xchyler And Salt City Steamfest...How Three Became Six


Back in 2013, approximately two years ago, I found myself attending my first fan convention, Salt City Steamfest. I had attended a couple of literary conventions. I don't think I was prepared for Steamfest. I barely knew anything about the Steampunk genre and the convention was an effective way to baptize me into the world of steam.

It was there I met two of the authors that are on the above poster, Candace Thomas and Scott Tarbet. My little story, Little Boiler Girl had just been published by Xchyler in a wonderful anthology. Scott's sister was our editor and fellow anthology contributor. Candace had her first novel published by Xchyler and the relatively new publisher wanted to make a presence at the convention.

As for the other three authors on this poster (myself excluded...), well, I kind of feel responsible for them being there. At that convention two years ago I struck up a conversation with Jay Barson. He was there with his adorable family--all decked-out in their Steampunk fineries--and we began discussing writing. Turns out, in addition to creating video games, he was also a writer. I suggested he submit a short story the next time Xchyler had anthology submission. He did. His story was published. Now he's a Xchyler author.

I met Sarah through mutual writing friends and at one of the Salt Lake Comic Cons I suggested she try getting one of her short stories published through Xchyler. She submitted a story during the next anthology submission period, it was chosen and she became on of us.

Which brings me to the last one on the poster, John Olsen. I didn't recruit him, but he works with Jay and Jay got him to submit a story. Last month Xchyler published a book and John's story was included within its pages.

I have no idea if Jay, Sarah or John would have had their stories published through Xchyler. They're such talented authors, I'm sure they'd be published somewhere else, or maybe even Xchyler. But hanging out at this year's installment of Steamfest with people I consider friends makes me feel good that I may have had something to do with it. If you're in SLC Saturday, July 18, 2015, stop on by the Xchyler booth and say "hello!" I can introduce you to some wonderful people.

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