The First of Many Literary Festivals


I was at the Athens-Limestone County Public Library’s Catfish Literary Festival on June 4, along with my friend and publisher, Russell Newquist.

This was the first event I attended as an author. In the past, I’ve been on the other side of the table, a reader hoping to meet some interesting authors and find some good books. This time I wanted to connect with avid readers and entice them to put my novel on their reading list. I think the candy dish at our table helped draw them in.


The Origin Key ARCs we gave away are the rare version with a collectible cover.

We gave away a few Advance Review Copies of my novel The Treasures of Dodrazeb: The Origin Key to some lucky individuals. Two of my short stories, Brotherly Envy and A Ruby for Dyree, are in Russell’s latest anthology Between the Wall and the Fire. It also contains Negev by Joshua M. Young, one of the best sci-fi short stories I’ve ever read.

Though I felt honored to be one of the panelists talking about writing science fiction and fantasy, I could have listened to the other guys on the panel discuss it for hours. Russell and I were joined by Philip Ligon (This Strange Engine), Lou Anders (Thrones and Bones), and Dan Thompson (Strange Voyages), representing a broad range of styles and perspectives in the world of speculative fiction.


Left to right: Lou Anders, Philip Ligon, Dan Thompson, S.D. McPhail, and Russell Newquist

CatfishFestIt was a day of many firsts: my first literary festival as an author, the first time I autographed a brand-new book, and my first time as a panelist speaking to a room full of people. It was exhausting, but wonderful, the first of many such days.

Thanks, Russell, for being a great table partner and giving me the opportunity to be a part of the Catfish Literary Festival. Huge thanks to everyone who stopped by our display and took the time to chat with us. Hope to see you all again!


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