For What It's Worth

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

AAD Author Spotlight: PJ Schnyder

Please join me in welcoming author PJ Schnyder o to the blog today as part of my Authors After Dark Spotlight series.
This will be my first visit to NOLA so I’m interested to hear PJ’s tips for keeping cool in the sultry New Orleans heat during AAD.

Sultry summer in NOLA and Tips for Con Survival

We've got a little over a month to AAD NOLA. It's going to be right in the middle of the sultry summer and along with lots of promo, swag and prizes to give away to readers I'm packing for con survival.
The savvy traveler tends to have the practical list of packing necessities. But for a con, and especially AAD in NOLA, there's a couple of considerations I'm using to tweak the list.

- Bottled water or Bottles with built-in filters
Hydration is key at any con, but when it is as high a humidity as NOLA tends to be in August a person may not realize they're thirsty. Drink lots of water, in addition to the fun drinking you may plan to do. ;)
I travel with a bottle equipped with a built-in filter. This saves me a lot of $$ on hotel stays and airport travel. However, I've been told by former NOLA residents that the tap water in recent years is so strongly metallic that my usual filter bottles might not be sufficient. Dunno for sure, but I'm going to bring them anyway and give them a try the first night. If it's a no go, then I'll scamper out to a nearby store and pick up bottled water.

- Dress for the heat
Believe it or not, skirts are nice for me in the heat. Happily, my usual con attire is mostly skirts so I should be good to go.
Many of the attendees plan to explore New Orleans and there are quite a few author sponsored field trips booked up solid. I'd recommend dressing to stay cool and bringing sun block. Even on hazy, overcast days the more delicate complexions are going to come back like steamed crawfish.

- Up Do
I know we're all hoping to let our hair down and have fun, but we may want to have the fun and keep our hair up off our necks. It's gonna be warm and the air conditioning in the older buildings of NOLA is rumored to be not quite as effective as newer structures. I don't know for sure, but I'm going to be ready just in case. :P

- Masquerade Ball
Bring a fan to the ball (and everywhere). Fans are a lovely accessory and as a couple of us authors learned at SPWF earlier this year, fans are life savers in hot weather when corseted and be-bustled.
A mask isn't required to attend AAD's Masquerade Ball. The costume contest for this event is all about the best overall costume and the theme is characters of New Orleans. I'm looking forward to seeing readers dressed as their favorite character from a New Orleans story or legend.

There you have it, my tweaks to my usual travel packing list. And as a treat for you all in the spotlight, here's a snippet from Hunting Kat. Kaitlyn has been tricked into an enforced R&R on Dysnomia Space Station and Skuld packed her bag for her:

Entering the room, a quick survey took in the sumptuous king-sized bed and full bathroom. Skuld had gone all-out. The message notification blinked from the console in the sitting area.

I know, Kat, we know you're mad. Dev's image materialized on the holo projector, his expression stone-cold blank except for the slightest twitch at the corner of his mouth. He wasn't even trying to look repentant, the jerk. She wondered what the penalty would be for killing her captain. It might be worth it. But consider this a deception for the greater good.

It will keep up the training sessions with Chester in your place so your communications experiment wonít fall behind schedule. Skuld’s image popped up over Dev's shoulder. Find yourself some nice man-flesh in uniform and take him for a tumble!

Dev made a shooing gesture, the holo flickering in response. He must have decided to wrap up the message before Kaitlyn got well and truly worked up into a rage. Back in two days. Your message is delivered, so take some R and R. That's an order.

The holo projector darkened. The sneaky bastard.

What in hell was she supposed to do for two days? And no. She refused to follow Skuld’s directions.
And how was Skuld going to simulate the communications training Kaitlyn had wrestled into the tube rat's tiny head? Visions of borked terminals and spontaneously combusting circuit boards flashed before her eyes. The ferret's havoc would give Skuld repair work for weeks. Course, considering this bit of misguided scheming, she had it coming to her.

Kaitlyn turned to study the duffel bag sitting at the foot of the bed. Sighing, she unsealed the seam and peered inside.

Yup. Nothing but lingerie and one change of clothing, for two days. She cursed and sent the bag flying into the far wall.

Damn it. She needed a drink.

Find PJ online: Website | Twitter @pjschnyder | Facebook | Tumblr


  1. Great advice! It works for the Alabama heat, too--I employ the updo pretty often, despite having about ten pounds of hair. And getting plenty of water is a must.

    I like the gritty science-ficitony tone of the exerpt!

  2. As someone who's mobility challenged, weight is always an issue with me. Sundresses weigh far less than jeans and t-shirts when you're carting around a suitcase, and they're cooler in the summer heat. Get the right ones, and you can dress them down with flip-flops or dress them up with pretty jewelry and strappy sandals.