I spent yesterday folding Japanese paper stars with Joyfully Reviewed as part of my gifts to the readers sitting at my table for the upcoming Barbara Vey Reader Appreciation Weekend, specifically for the big Saturday luncheon.

Japanese origami stars

The ribbon these are made of is particularly fun because the writing glows in the dark. They’ll be going into the base of my table decorations at the event and hopefully go home with the readers I meet at my table. Aside from being extremely cute, there’s a story behind these stars and a cultural practice from my childhood in these.

Story Behind Origami Lucky Stars

Should we start with “once upon a time”?

There was once a little girl in Japan named Hoshi. She loved the stars in the night sky and would lie on the grass at night,staring at them. As hours went by, she would wonder how the tiny stars could shine so bright, remaining suspended in the air for so long.

One night, the stars fell out of heaven in a shower of light. So many fell, Hoshi was afraid there would be no more. Saddened, she ran to her home and found herself an empty glass jar. She took up paper and folded one paper star for each spot she’d seen fall. Within the night, the little girl folded perhaps a hundred paper stars.

And yet, she was still saddened because many more stars had fallen fro the sky and she hadn’t been able to fold a paper star for each of them.

The next night, she saw only a few stars in the night sky. She ran and knocked on all the doors in the village, asking all the little boys and girls to come out. She explained to them her worry and each of the children wanted to help. That night they made two thousand stars. Every child placed their own stars in their own jar.

As they watched the sky the following night, more stars appeared in the night sky and the children cheered. After such a magical achievement, Hoshi was inspired.

“These stars are lucky because of us. From now on, these paper stars will be called lucky stars.”

She also looked up at the stars in the night sky and said, 

“Whenever a lucky star is made, a falling star is saved.”

~ story paraphrased from Secrets Behind Japanese Origami Lucky Stars and origamiway.com.

Paper Stars and Piper’s Childhood

My grandmother taught me to fold paper stars for luck during my childhood summers in Thailand. This is a Japanese folk tale, but the practice spread to Thailand and other countries. I was taught to pick a pretty glass jar, fold stars of colored paper, and present the filled jar as a gift.

I fold them now to wish luck to those I meet and gather the tiny paper stars in a jar to give as a gift.

It’s a gesture that’s about effort and consideration, wishes for luck and thoughts of friendship. I very much hope the readers at my table will enjoy them.

FOR_Drake_elevator cling_v4_signing_webRT16 in Vegas is my first con as Piper J. Drake, the first of the year, and wow, it’s going to be an activity-packed week!

The RT Booklover’s Convention is an amazing event, filled with great authors and readers, and incredibly fun. I’ve attended for several years in a row now (as PJ Schnyder) and I’m looking forward to participating on several romantic suspense panels and reader events as Piper.

My True Heroes series launched in January of this year and I am super excited to go see this graphic in real-life at RT, covering one of the hotel elevators. It’s going to blow my mind!

Giveaway!

Readers attending RT: I would be so happy to see pictures of you taken next to or in front of this graphic on the elevator at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. Take a picture, post it to FB, Twitter, or Instagram and use #FindthePiper. I’ll have a special gift bag for one of you after the Giant Book Fair on Saturday!

 

Piper’s Scheduled Appearances on Panels and at Events:

First Timer (aka Virgin) Orientation

This convention orientation is designed for all first-time RT attendees. We’ll give you the “quickie” seminar experience. Trust us: if this is your first-ever RT Booklovers Convention, this could be the most important 60 minutes of your week! After you head to registration, get your bag of goodies and experience the initial shock and awe, you’re going to have questions. That’s where we come in. Come join us for an hour that, for some, has been a life-altering experience. We understand what it’s like — your virgin year at RT! Here is where you get your questions answered, meet other first-timers and become part of a special group like no other during convention week.

Host(s):

Tuesday, April 12, 12:15pm-1:15pm, Brasilia 6

Steampunk: The Diverse Punk

Sin City Murder Mystery!

Think fast. Love slow. Keeping great pace!

Romantic Suspense: Alpha Heroes and Kick-Ass Heroines: Romantic Suspense Characters That Make Readers Cheer

Romantic suspense is filled with super-hot alphas and kick-ass heroines, but how to craft those three-dimensional characters so readers will cheer for them until the very last page? These best-selling authors will discuss the building blocks of fan-favorite characters, the role of the heroine in romantic suspense, breaking characters stereotypes, balancing character and plot, crossing genres and more!

Moderator:

Panelist(s):

Friday, April 15, 10:00am-11:00am, Lambada

Memorable Themes and Settings in Romantic Suspense

From treasure hunts in the Caribbean, to the jungles of Central America, from New Orleans society and cemeteries to Key West intrigue: how to incorporate memorable themes and settings into romantic suspense.

Panelist(s):

Friday, April 15, 11:15am-12:15pm, Tropical C

Intergalactic Bar & Grille

Attention starship crew! Charge your blasters and get ready to repel the invasion of the dastardly alien space ducks as we drink, snack and indulge in sci-fi silliness at RT’s only sci-fi party. Win prizes! The first 200 crew members to report for duty get goody bags loaded with swag. Brought to you by Captain Linnea Sinclair and her trusty space commando authors!

Host(s):

Friday, April 15, 2:45pm-3:45pm, Brasilia 2

Happy New Year! This is going to be a big year for me as Piper J. Drake so I figured it’d be good to do a quick preview of this years plans, appearances, and All.The.Things.

Plans for 2016 Elevator ClingComing soon…

The first of the True Heroes series, Extreme Honor, releases on January 26 in bookstores everywhere! This title is a big milestone for me: my first print book in traditional bookstores.

Two more books are scheduled to release in 2016 for the True Heroes series, so if you enjoy Extreme Honor (and I very much hope you do!) then watch for Ultimate Courage in July and Absolute Trust in December.

For those of you who enjoyed Hidden Impact, released last year, the Safeguard series also continues with Deadly Testimony in May and Contracted Defense in November.

That’s 5 books releasing this year.

Yup. o.o

Appearances…

No book tours scheduled yet, but I will be at RT Booklover’s Convention in Vegas and the Barbara Vey Reader Appreciation Luncheon in Wisconsin this spring. I’ll be updating my Events as the year goes on as well.

Goals…

Both the True Heroes and Safeguard series were originally contracted for 3 books each. I haven’t heard yet whether either of these will continue with more in the series but I do have outlines ready in case there’s a request to continue them.

In the meantime, I’m preparing a proposal for a new romantic suspense series to be ready for my agent in Q1. It is different and edgy with quirky characters and dark heroes. I’m very much hoping to share more in the near future.

In 2016, I also have personal goals to improve my health and get more fit. These seem fairly mundane, but they’re incredibly important to the success of my plans for the year. I’ll be continuing to travel for the day job and I need to keep up my stamina as I dive into plans to write even more stories.

All Aboard for a Cruise!

Piper’s last trip to Cozumel was 2003

In less than 48 hours, it will be all aboard the Independence of the Seas for the 2015 Out of Excuses Writing Workshop and Retreat for a Western Caribbean cruise!

The summer, it isn’t over yet.

I am about to embark on a nautical adventure of epic proportions with such great company as Mary Robinette Kowal, Brandon Sanderson, Howard Tayler, and Dan Wells. I admire all of these people, not only for their writerly works but also for their podcast: Writing Excuses.

I’ll be working on Deadly Testimony, a Safeguard Novel, on the cruise because if I don’t, my editors at Carina Press may be incredibly angry with me. (I’m on deadline!) Somewhere in there, I also hope to record the next episode of #EMEPiper. There may be a Piper Travels or Piper Notes video coming out of the cruise too. Hopefully.

But first and foremost: WRITING.

I’m looking forward to several of the workshops scheduled for the cruise. There’s sessions on description, worldbuilding, revision, giving critiques, deconstructing structure, writing with multiple viewpoints, dialogue, and much more.

It’s been more than a decade since I’ve been on a cruise and I’m delighted to be leading a discussion on one of the excursions at Grand Cayman as well.

There’s so much nifty about this coming week, I can’t even hope to describe it all. So there will be pictures and video and podcasting involved. 😉

See you when I return to port!

330_BW 1123x1123RT Book Lover’s Convention is huge and one of the events I attend as both my alter-identities. It get’s pretty confusing sometimes, but I answer to both Piper and PJ and love to meet readers of any of my books, no matter what name they call me by. 😀

This is the most involved I’ve ever been in this convention and I’m looking forward to all the opportunities to meet readers. I’ve been told I’m so energetic that it can be a bit intimidating…please don’t let this stop you. I very much love to say Hi and look forward to meeting new people!


Scheduled Appearances on Panels and at Events:

First Timer (aka RT Virgin) Orientation

This convention orientation is designed for all first-time RT attendees. We’ll give you the “quickie” seminar experience. Trust us: if this is your first-ever RT Booklovers Convention, this could be the most important 60 minutes of your week! After you head to registration, get your bag of goodies and experience the initial shock and awe, you’re going to have questions. That’s where we come in. Come join us for an hour that, for some, has been a life-altering experience. We understand what it’s like — your virgin year at RT! Here is where you get your questions answered, meet other first-timers and become part of a special group like no other during convention week.

Event Date:

Wednesday, May 13, 2015 – 8:45am to 9:45am

Panelist(s):

Location:

Lobby Level

Room:

Reunion A

SCI-FI: THE STRANGENESS BUDGET — Overloading on Weird

Singing starships, pouting planets and alien languages that consist only of punctuation … When is the strange just too strange even for science fiction? Can an author’s love for all things alien alienate the reader? Come explore the weird, the wacky and the why not with this panel of top SF authors!

Event Date:

Thursday, May 14, 2015 – 11:15am to 12:15pm

Captain:

Panelist(s):

Location:

Atrium Level (2nd Floor)

Room:

McMillan

HORROR: One … Two … We’ve Got Something Scary for You

Horror is making a come back in literature and TV. Why do we love to scare, and to be scared? What’s the difference between horror, dark paranormal and urban fantasy? Join authors of YA, romance and historical fiction as they discuss the appeal of this creepy genre, and why it’s becoming more and more popular with women writers and readers alike.

Event Date:

Thursday, May 14, 2015 – 4:00pm to 5:00pm

Captain:

Panelist(s):

Location:

Atrium Level (2nd Floor)

Room:

Bryan-Beeman A

Fun and Games with Forever!

Come play with us! Forever Romance is throwing a Wild West carnival that features classic games with a romance twist. Don’t miss your chance to mingle with authors, win fun prizes, and enter our epic raffle to win a full year’s worth of books!

Event Date:

Friday, May 15, 2015 – 10:00am to 11:00am

Host(s):

Location:

Lobby Level

Room:

Reunion E

Working That Tension in All. The. Ways.

Join popular & bestselling authors as we explore how we build the tension, draw out the suspense and let the action loose in the stories we love. We’ll share behind-the-scenes research, have fun with TV/movie clips that inspired us and answer questions from the audience!

Event Date:

Friday, May 15, 2015 – 11:15am to 12:15pm

Panelist(s):

Location:

Atrium Level (2nd Floor)

Room:

Gaston

Intergalactic Bar & Grille

Attention starship crew! Charge your blasters and get ready to repel the invasion of the dastardly alien space ducks as we drink, snack and indulge in sci-fi silliness at RT’s only sci-fi party. Win prizes! The first 200 crew members to report for duty get goody bags loaded with swag. Brought to you by Captain Linnea Sinclair and her trusty space commando authors: Cathy Clamp, KM Fawcett, Pauline Baird Jones, Stacey Kade, Monette Michaels, Janet Miller, M.D. Waters, First Officer PJ Schnyder and more!

Event Date:

Friday, May 15, 2015 – 2:45pm to 3:45pm

Captain:

Panelist(s):

Location:

Exhibition Level

Room: 

Cumberland F


Giant Book Fair

Event Date:
Saturday, May 16, 2015 – 11:00am to 2:00pm
Location:

Lobby Level
Room:

Landmark Ballroom & Reunion Ballroom