Authors’ Salon Intensives, Clockwork Alchemy 2018

The Authors’ Salon at Clockwork Alchemy is morphing. We are expanding our writer-centric offerings and deepening them. For the first time, we will offer an intensive track aimed at writers looking for hands-on workshops. These workshops will be a writers’ retreat housed within Clockwork Alchemy. Experienced authors and editors will be instructing and guiding participants through a variety of topics. See below for specifics.

Editor’s Desk

You’ve written a lot, and shared with friends. But what would professional editors say about your writing? If you’ve never taken the plunge, come join the discussion at The Editor’s Desk! A team of editors will critique submissions they’ve received, giving you an up-close look at what to expect. (AJ Sikes, BJ Sikes, Dover Whitecliff)

Frankensteining: Characters and how to bring them to life

Hands-on character creation with emphasis on taking a protagonist and an antagonist from a blank sheet of paper to a fully believable character.  Also works with those who have created characters but want to make them people the reader will get excited about. (T. E. MacArthur, BJ Sikes)

How Not to Disengage Your Readers: Tightening Your Writing

Once you’ve got that first draft finished, it’s time to check for anything that will disengage your readers from your story. We’ll examine writing samples, pointing out instances of head hopping and passive voice. Get tips for tightening your writing with examples of common writing issues. (BJ Sikes, Dr. Sparky McTrowell)

Overcoming Writer’s Block

Have a fantastic steampunk story to tell, but can’t seem to get it down on the page? In the middle of telling a story, but suddenly run out of steam? Writer’s block is real, but don’t worry: it’s curable! We’ll review the science of writer’s block, followed by open Q&A to help unblock YOU! (Anthony Francis)

Pace Like Joss Whedon

Learn and practice Joss Whedon’s FASTER method of pacing in this interactive workshop. Through the works of Whedon, we’ll cover the difference between pace and plot, how pace can make or break a story, and a simple formula for writing page-turning stories. You will analyze pacing in written works as well as edit your own materials or write new pieces. (Kirsten Weiss)


Whether you’re writing a young adult novel, a comic book series, or a fantasy epic, the plot of anything longer than a short story can get hairy! In this workshop, we’ll demonstrate a technique called plotbreaking which can get your story out of your head and into the open so you can debug it.  (Anthony Francis, BJ Sikes)

“Say What?”  Writing Believable (and Effective) Dialogue

“As you know, Archie, twelve years ago, the eight-legged Arcturans handed our knickers to us…” Who talks like that? “Och, I dinnae wan tae go ta tae with ye…” My eyes hurt. In this interactive workshop, we’ll learn how to get effective, believable, understandable dialogue onto the page to bring your characters and your story to life. (Dover Whitecliff)

Setting or Bust

Designing believable fictional worlds, centered on how your setting is in fact an additional cast member, and how to make the most of your setting to create mood and story motion.  We will create a workbook style World Chart that will help participants track their creation and maintain continuity. (T. E. MacArthur)

Where Do Ideas Come From?

Ideas are everywhere! Authors are often asked where they get their ideas. Panelists will work through a series of pictures provided by the moderator, generating ideas. Panelists will also be offered the opportunity to share their own slice-of-life pictures for story idea generation. (Dr. Sparky McTrowell)

World Building

The perennial dilemma: You have a sci-fi/fantasy idea. But the world is so different from our own, you feel lost. How and where do you start? What do you include and what do you leave out? Join our cast of historians, writers, and occasional ne’er-do-wells for a World Building Workshop and Q&A. (Harry Turtledove, AJ Sikes, T. E. MacArthur, Mike Tierney)

Write to the End

Want to start writing, or just need a break from the convention? Join us at Write to the End, where we welcome all writing! We alternate writing sessions and reading sessions in a proven technique that’s helped many writers start writing, keep writing, and ultimately finish and publish their work.  (Anthony Francis, AJ Sikes)

New releases from the Treehouse

A number of the Treehouse Writers have new books available this summer.

Edited to add Sharon Cathcart’s newest release, Bayou Fire.

T.E. MacArthur released The DOOMSDAY RELIC, featuring Professor Lettie Gantry. This brand new adventure starring the Volcano Lady is in serial format.

Kirsten Weiss has another installment of her cozy mystery series A Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum Mystery available. Get your copy of Pressed to Death through Kirsten’s web site.

If military zompoc is more your cup of tea, check out AJ Sikes’ Emergence, available only on Kindle.

Anthony Francis finally succumbed to all the begging for Jeremiah Willstone (from his Later stories) to get her own book. Jeremiah, if you’re not familiar with her, is a “a woman who travels in time, fights for what’s right, and kicks ass!” The book is titled Jeremiah Willstone and the Clockwork Time Machine.

Harry Turtledove, is wrapping up his Hot War trilogy. Look for the third installment of the Hot War series, Armistice, as well as paperback versions of the first two books in the series.




Some Time Later released

Some Time Later: Fantastic Voyages Through Alternate Worlds
The final volume of the Later series of anthologies, Some Time Later: Fantastic Voyages Through Alternate Worlds, is available now through Thinking Ink Press.
This charity steampunk anthology is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other online booksellers, or if you’re lucky enough to run into one of the authors at an in-person event, you can get a copy from them.

Volcano Lady #4 is here!

One of our own just published the FOURTH book in her Volcano Lady series!

The Volcanolady's Blog

The_Volcano_Lady_Vo_Cover_for_KindleIt is with great pleasure and joy I get to announce that the Volcano Lady #4: The Lidenbrock Manifesto is available for order.

You can get your copy one of three ways – hardcopy from Amazon, ebook copy from Kindle (Amazon VL#4 Link)

or …

You can come visit me at Clockwork Alchemy, Memorial Day Weekend, at the DoubleTree Inn by Hilton San Jose, CA.  I will be in the author’s alley all weekend long.  I promise a great convention rate on this and the whole set of Volcano Lady books – Plus an autograph if you would like one.

Author Notes:  Whew!  That was fun.  I have to tell you that this book really struggled to get out.  As is so common for any person creating something new, I found this project wanted to be written at its own speed and in its own way.  Yet, as…

View original post 257 more words

We are happy to welcome Harry Turtledove into the treehouse!

Thirty Days Later, the latest anthology including many Treehouse Writers, will be released on May 28th, at the Clockwork Alchemy convention in San Jose, California.
Joining this merry bunch is alt-history giant Harry Turtledove. Mr. Turtledove attended Clockwork Alchemy last year, selling books and giving presentations. We asked him if he’d be interested in contributing to the anthology and he agreed!
For a full listing of all the authors of Thirty Days Later, go to The Authors of Thirty Days Later

We had such a good time with Twelve Hours Later…

We decided to do it again. Almost before the ink was dried on Twelve Hours Later, we started talking about a sequel. Our little anthology was well received by the folks attending Clockwork Alchemy and it is such a nice way to feature the authors of Clockwork Alchemy so we decided to create Thirty Days Later.

We have a few new authors involved this year. Thirty stories ranging from steampunk (of course) to historical fiction to alt-history. I once again donned the mantle of editor, joined by AJ Sikes and Dover Whitecliff. We are working with a publisher, Thinking Ink Press and the anthology remains, in part, a charity effort to raise money for California library literacy programs.

More details to come…

For Indie authors to share news

BJ Sikes, author

Indie writer of fantastical history


A magazine for those who love all things paranormal

Poly Cubed

Illustration, Three Dimensions

Clockwork Twist

The official website for the Clockwork Twist novel series.


Where writing and woodworking meet.

The Volcanolady's Blog

From the pleasantly deranged mind of T.E. MacArthur - Paranormal Mystery and Alternate History Author

Elizabeth Watasin

The Dark Victorian, Elle Black, and Charm School books.

Hopes & Dreams: My Writing and My Sons

The challenges of maintaining a professional writing career while being a good mother for two special needs sons.