HAPPENINGS

Book shops, conventions, libraries - these are some of the wonderful places I've showcased the Forging of a Knight series, talking fantasy, making great new friends, and bringing on board new readers into the Forging of a Knight adventure! 


CodCon - April 12-14, 2024 at the College of DuPage Glen Ellyn, IL!

CodCon is always a magical event, led by the indefatigable Dr. James Allen! It's always great to see some fellow vendors again, such as Rob Hogan, artist extraordinaire, fantasy author Jak Lore, and many others. Looking forward to CodCon XXVIII April 11-13th, 2025!

PeoriaCon - March 2-3/2024 at a new location - the Peoria Civic Center!

Yet another awesome time at this awesome event! PeoriaCon was held at the Peoria Civic Center for 2024, more of a downtown centralized space, which didn't keep the crowds away at all from coming in and joining the fun! James Pax (Big Trouble in Little China) was there, Rodger Bumpass (voice of Squidward) was there, more vendors, more guests, more game competitions, and activities galore! Some pics follow - and the clock is set for PeoriaCon 2025!

www.peoriacon.com

GameOn!

July 8th, 2023

Peoria High School, Peoria, IL!

Welcome a new gaming convention!

The inaugural GameOn event at Peoria H.S. (brought to you by the same awesome folks at Premiere Events LLC/PeoriaCon) happened on Saturday - and my son couldnt have been happier! First time accompanying me as my convention booth wingman, he enjoyed not just the atmosphere but participating in a Super Smash Bros. tournament (he's wearing the orange shirt below). Being a first-time ever event, the crowd was small, but bigger and better things are sure to come from Jason and his PeoriaCon crew!

One person I wished to highlight here is Alexandria Volk - not only an astute reader of great taste, but also an amazing artist. Check out her work at:

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100081888696933&__tn__=R*F

CodCon 2023!

April 14th-16th

College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn, IL!

Amazing how the storm giants can fool ya! From 80's to upper 30's in a span of just a few days, snow included! I knew I should have kept the Christmas tree up...!

CodCon is now over with - the Fish has gone back into the pond until April 12th-14th, 2024! Despite the odd temps, fans, gamers, and cosplayers alike made their way to the College of DuPage's CodCon gaming convention held these past three days to partake in fun, fantasy, and frivolity!

Dr. James Allen and the Sci-Fi/Fantasy and Gaming club ran another exceptional event. Tabletop/board games, role-playing games, auctions, video gaming, a masquerade, and more - even Dan the Bard was there!

And in addition to all of that, you had your friendly vendors which Forging of a Knight was a member of. Thanks to the new readers, one and all, for joining the Knighthood! Another great time at this amazing con which just gets bigger and better each time! If you haven't been, you really should!

PeoriaCon 2023!

Sat March 4 - Mar 5 2023!

Another great time at this amazing con which just gets bigger and better each time! If you haven't been, you really should!

https://www.peoriacon.com

Barnes & Noble Book Signing 9/24/22

A fully fantastic Forging of a Knight foray - or in other words, how awesome can a Barnes & Noble be?

I've been lucky enough to have been at book signings at the Barnes & Noble store that used to be located in West Dundee IL. Today was the first time I was able to return to their hallowed halls since they moved to 1802 S. Randall Road in Algonquin.

New location? Definitely. Treatment by staff? AMAZING AS ALWAYS!

The store team went beyond bending backwards in making me and my son Dean who accompanied this weary writer feel at home. Friendliness, attentiveness, support, you name it, they did it! EVERYONE was wonderful - Jeff, Lexi, you two especially - I can't thank you enough for everything you did for us...and this also shows what sort of treatment customers should expect to receive when stopping by! Again, many humble thank-you's...everyone there is definitely a Forging Knight for life! Also, thanks to all the other new Knights who joined the adventure! These pics are just a sample of the fun! How much fun you ask? Check out the sword-pen fight below!

Thanks to PeoriaCon/Logan Dean for the video mention!

This was a cool video on PeoriaCon - and an equally cool discussion with me around the 41 second mark about Forging of a Knight. Many humble thank-you's for the inclusion, Sir Dean! Just shows you what an amazing annual event this is, and one you cannot afford to miss if you are near Peoria, IL! I can't wait to go back!

https://fb.watch/eW56pZchBs/

CODCON is BACK!

The "Fish" returns - College of DuPage's CodCon XXV: "Re- Roll", Glen Ellyn, IL April 8-10, 2022!

CodCon XXV has dropped the mike for another year...After a two-year Covid hiatus, College of DuPage's CodCon completed today, and it's always sad to say goodbye (until next year 4/14-4/16 2023, that is!!). Amazing vendors, amazing College of DuPage volunteers, and of course, the amazing head mage/honcho himself of CodCon, Dr. James Allen (the esteemed gentleman in the photo holding a copy of Forging of a Knight - obviously a mage of great wisdom!).

Role playing games, maid cafe and masquerade, a LARP gauntlet, appearances by the awesome 501st Legion as well as Dan the Bard, video games, and more - despite the delay, CodCon was an absolute success! I was so glad to be a part of it, and attached you'll see a few pics that show some of the reasons why!

https://www.codcon.com/...

PeoriaCon, Expo Gardens, Peoria IL March 5-6, 2022!
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PeoriaCon is back and this time it's been expanded to two days - Sat AND Sun March 5-6th! I'm excited to see this expansion as this budding 'Con continues to grow. The big draw was none other than - Sam Jones from the 80's movie Flash Gordon!
As Brian Blessed in the role as the leader of the Hawkmen said..."DIVE!!!!"
Admittedly, I wasn't sure what to expect with this event going from a 1 day to a 2 day format - would the crowds be as full? Would there still be interest? Would the 72 degree weather on Saturday hold? Well, there was no need to fear (outside of the weather dipping by 30 degrees on Sunday, lol). Both days were chock full of attendees, events, and guest stars - the lines to see Sam Jones aka Flash Gordon on the last day were long and never-ending right up until closing time!
Knights both new and old stopped by ye' olde boothe, and I can only humbly say thank you to everyone who came back and who tried out a book in the Forging series for the first time! To John, Dave, Megan, Katie, Hector (and family), Kim, Kai, and others - so happy to make your acquaintance and looking to hearing back on the praise (or dodging the angry bricks) after you read!
Also, big shout out to Jason and all the staff and security at the 'Con - truly the most friendliest, helpful, and supporting bunch around. All of you guys/gals make it a labor of love to attend, and I can't wait to go back...!

Schaumburg Central Library Author Fair, Schaumburg IL, 10/23/21!
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This is always a fun event - especially since its been awhile since the last one! Things are slowly opening up again in this Covid environment, and a lot of authors were in attendance (including me, 'natch)!
As my father in law once said - "family love" - in the form of my sister Wanda and nephew Gino stopping by for support by getting the finale Book Seven, and some new knights in the form of Niles and Chloe - thanks for joining the adventure!
New authors and old - first time attendee Lisa Maggiore made an amazing table buddy, Georgann Prochaska, long time attendee was also present, and another first timer, Rochelle C. Myles made her appearance. A final surprise was a nice Local Authors alcove, highlighting all of us local authors, with a nice revolving bio of each! As always a big thank you to Allison Bies, Fiction Librarian extraordinaire!

PeoriaCon, Peoria IL October 2nd, 2021

Well, its gone as quickly as it went - but don't worry, PeoriaCon is on track to come back on its regularly scheduled program March 5th - and possibly March 6th!
In the meantime, some pics follow from the fun of Saturday's event! Crowds weren't as big - chuck it all to COVID, other conventions vying for attendees at the same time, and some rain - but despite that, the folks that did come in had a great time!
Thanks to all the new Forging of a Knight friends made...and looking to say hello once again next March...

PeoriaCon, Peoria IL March 7th, 2020!

Well, it's a wrap - another exciting, wonderful, and fun-filled Saturday at this fantastic event (its second year!) held at the Expo Gardens in Peoria, IL - great people, awesome staff, and of course, some newly knighted knights for Forging of a Knight!
 
It's always a pleasure to see some familiar faces, like my booth neighbor Todd Black (writer and creator of many comics and novels. Including Guardians, Home, 10,000 Miles and SOS), and some friendly returnees that came by to say hi. Check out some of the awesome cosplay costumes in the pics attached! 

Already looking forward to next year...
Barnes and Noble Book Signing, West Dundee, IL 10/26/19!

Thanks, Barnes and Noble, West Dundee IL for an amazing event!
I had a wonderful time during my 2nd book signing at this B&N location. Many props go to Jeff Turner, Community Business Development Manager, for his setup and support as well as the entire staff! 
Here are a few pics before my phone went dead of some of the many readers and knights picking up a copy! The pic directly below this text shows my nephew Gino and my sis, Wanda! Humble thank-you's to all for giving Forging of a Knight a try...!



CodCon (College of DuPage), Glen Ellyn IL April 12-14, 2019!

As always, another fantastic time at this local convention at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, IL. Big kudos to Dr. James Allen and the awesome crew of the College of DuPage Sci-Fi/Fantasy and Gaming Club for the wonderful experience.  Truly it was a Con of Ice today with the sudden snowstorm that hit this Sunday - but that didn't stop devoted attendees from braving the snow and slush to make it to the last day of CodCon. I'm already counting down the days for next year's Con!!

Peoria Con, Peoria IL March 2nd, 2019!

Well, the day is over, and it was a total blast! Peoria Con was amazing - one day, first appearance of this 'Con, and a successful event! Kudos to all the people who were involved in building this out and humble thank you's for the opportunity to participate AND thank you's to all the new Knights who joined the adventure!!

Gen Con, Indianapolis IN August 2-5, 2018!

This is the biggie - the granddaddy of the tabletop gaming conventions.  Card games, role-playing games, movies, LARPing, and more!  From roughly 100 attendees in 1968 to 70,000 in 2019, it's a four day event that cannot be missed!  ho joined the adventure!!  Here is just a sample of the awesome time I had at the event!

CodCon (College of DuPage), Glen Ellyn IL April 13-15th, 2018!

First time at this fun local convention hosted by the College of DuPage.  Couldn't wait to go back!

Schaumburg Library Indie Author Day Event, Schaumburg IL October 14th, 2017!

Always fun to bump into fellow authors old and new (Randall Allen Dunn, Dan Refvik, Chiara Talluto, Georgann Prochaska, Margie Mack, Patrick Rizio) at this wonderful library - and MANY thanks to Allison, Fiction Librarian Extraordinaire, for being such a gracious host! Also fun are friends new and old of Forging of a Knight - I had to highlight two Sara's who stopped by - the first an awesome fan of fantasy, Dr. Who, cosplay, Hobbits, and assorted elves - where were you at Gen Con?!?! The second Sara is my former manager/HR Director who I have missed immensely, along with her son Ben, an amazing young man! Thanks so much for stopping by!!

Barnes and Noble, West Dundee IL August 26th, 2017!

Thanks to all who came to the Barnes and Noble signing in West Dundee! The staff was supportive, friendly, and just all around amazing. Three books were all that were left after the awesome support from friends, family (Gino, Sal, and Wanda), and new readers in the fold! The three that are left are signed and waiting for intrepid readers to bring home...


Gen Con 50, Indianapolis IN August 17-20th, 2017!

This was the biggie! Celebrating 50 years of gaming!  Special music guests, creator guests, dances, art shows, gaming, and a big highlight: A recreation of Horticultural Hall from Wisconsin where it all began!