J.R. Blackwell Self Portrait

Let’s All Introduce Ourselves

Let’s all introduce ourselves today.

Last weekend I sat on a panel at Balticon where we talked about the one piece of advice we’d give to authors about social media.

I recommended that authors introduce themselves now and then. It doesn’t have to be long or complicated. It could just be your name and what you’re working on right now:

J.R. Blackwell: Self Portrait

J.R. Blackwell: Self Portrait

I’m J.R. Blackwell, and I’m working on a project to photograph authors in the worlds of their novels.

It could be the things people will see when they follow you:

I’m J.R. If you follow me, you’ll see photos of Drag Queens, Musicians, Writers, Food, and the occasional Cursed Prince.

It could be the things you’ve done before.

I’m J.R. Blackwell. I’ve written science fiction and fantasy, created photographs for books and newspapers, and worked on the games Shelter in Place and Velociraptor! Cannibalism!

It could be personal:

I’m a lazy runner, a loyal friend, and I’m married to the wonderful writer, Jared Axelrod.

Kal-El yesterday, at cuddle-time.

Kal-El yesterday, at cuddle-time.

People follow us for all sorts of reasons. Maybe they liked a photo you took or a short story you wrote. Maybe they like inspiring quote you shared. Maybe they met you once and thought you were friendly. Maybe they just like your cat. People might have forgotten why they followed you, what you do, and who you are.

So every so often, I introduce myself. Over the years, I’ve INTRODUCED MYSELF quite a FEW times.

I’m J.R. Blackwell. I’m a writer and a photographer. I live in Philadelphia and I want to know who you are.

So go ahead: Introduce yourselves! Write who you are, what you are working on, how you found me – whatever works for you.

You can drop an introduction in the comments, or put it on your own blog and drop a link here.

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22 thoughts on “Let’s All Introduce Ourselves

  1. I’m David “Doc Blue” Wendt. I’m a statistician by day and narrative experience maker* by night. I’m a proud father in central Ohio and I recently returned from my first Balticon. (* And I’m working on that phrase – it doesn’t quite capture things right, but it’s as close as I can get to date.)

    • Narrative Experience Maker sounds interesting. What have you done to make some narrative experiences? What tools have you used? Can I find any of that narrative experience anywhere, or will it be coming out soon?

      • See. The language is more exciting that reality. Most of my work has been private – and the definition has been forming of late. I have called myself a freelance writer and game designer in the past, but that doesn’t quite work.

        I created a puzzle for my son to solve for his birthday – I will have to track down some pictures if you are interested. I’m working with my daughter to create a fairy garden. Likewise.

        I run a couple of RPGs for friends and family set in my take on the Doctor Who universe – campaigns that are rapidly taking on a life of their own.

        I currently contribute the Doc Azrael serial to the Flash Cast and support their gaming fix with periodic online “Mafia” games set in the Doc Azrael universe.

        In the past, I contributed a role-playing game to the Empire State World Builder Project (http://empirestate.cc/2012/01/24/empire-state-the-rpg/).

        My blogs are sadly under-tended, but I maintain four WordPress sites: strangeselves.wordpress.com, appliedgeekery.wordpress.com, and littleblueboxes.wordpress.com – more of my rambling can be found there.

  2. I’m LJ Cohen, writer of SF&F novels, would-be world traveler, relentless optimist, and poet. I discovered you through your Shelter in Place kickstarter and once upon a time I lived in Philadelphia. If you like Chinese food, I highly recommend the dumplings at Sang Kee in Chinatown and also at the Reading Terminal market. Have some for me, would you? http://www.ljcohen.net

  3. I’m Rob Wieland. I write about Jedi, Browncoats, giant stompy robots, 8-bit heroes, gangsters, and elves with katanas. I found you through Shelter In Place and I loved Court/Ship. I live in scenic Milwaukee, Wisconsin and will be attending San Diego Comic-Con for the first time this year.

    • Court/Ship is one of those polarizing things. I’ve found that the people who enjoy it LOVE it and have been Waiting For This Game My Whole Life. Other folks are like “Yeah, okay, I don’t get it but fine.”

      Good luck at Comic-Con! I hear it’s packed but wonderful.

  4. I’m Christina. I followed Jack Scoresby down the rabbit hole years ago and found many new and exciting people, including you. I like to take photos though there has been a lot less then that in my life since I moved away from my favorite people to photograph and back to the States. I’m currently about one third of the way done with the book I’m writing. I hope one day to get said book published but I’ve not figured out if I should use a pen name or just be myself. I’m also secretly scared that the book won’t be good enough for a company to pick up but I have hope.

    • Good luck with your book! I can only advise you that when you are finished with your book to let other people reject it. In other words: don’t reject it yourself. That’s not your job. Your job is to send it out and let other people reject it. Also, people may reject a wonderful book that just doesn’t fit what publishers are buying now, so a rejection is not a judgement on quality. All the best to you!

  5. Hello, I’m J.R. Murdock (I’m not sure who had the J.R. first, but hey!) I’m a reader, writer, podcaster, programmer. I’ve written a lot of books over the years (I think I’m up to 17) I’ve podcasted 3 of them (V&A Shipping, Billy Barbarian, and Golden West). I’ve been around the podcasting community since 2004/2005 and did many promos for The Dragon Page, Slice of Sci Fi, and the Kick Ass Mystic Ninjas.

    I don’t recall where I first heard of you (Madame. Blackwell) but once I discovered your photography (probably 2007 or so and probably from something Mur posted about you) I was hooked. You take amazing pictures and one day I hope to have my picture taken by you (I think I’m on your list of friends to take pictures of someday). I’ve followed both your personal journey as well as your professional journey. Both have been filled with ups and downs and I’m glad I’ve been there, even if I’ve been very very quiet 🙂

    • I adore podcasting. When I edit photos, I often listen to podcasts. I find that having part of my mind distracted with words allows the visual part of my mind to really focus and take my time with detailed photo edits.

      You’re right about ups and downs. Mostly ups though, and very few downs. I feel very fortunate that way.

      I’d love to take your photo someday.

  6. I’m Tim Burke. We’ve met a few times at Dorian’s Parlor via introductions by Bunny Greene. At BaltiCon, I launched my new horror novel “The Flesh Sutra”.

  7. I’m Veronica Giguere, and I use my voice to help others tell their stories. I started with fantastic metahumans as part of a podcast novel in 2007, and the podcaster ‘tribe’ has helped me expand to audio dramas, fullcasts, and audiobooks. I discovered your artistry through the same New Media channels of Balticon, and your photography is breathtaking. I’m always in awe of your talent to transform and evolve, be it in your photography, your costuming, or your writing. And… I keep missing the chance to say hello at Balticon, because the halls are so crowded.

    • Hi Veronica! Thanks for stopping by and saying hello! It’s always interesting to learn how people found me and who chose to stick around. I am in awe of your voice talent. Whenever anyone asks me to read a story, I always turn them down and point them towards you. “Have you considered Veronica?” I ask.

      I don’t know why, but “The Halls Are Crowded At Balticon” is being played in my head like a sad country ballad about lost love.

  8. Hi! I’m Scott Pond. I’m an artist, appreciator of nature, voracious reader, graphic designer, and an all around shy guy trying to be a less shy guy. I’ve been meaning to meet you for the last 3 Balticons (I simply love your various works) and thankfully I finally had a chance this time around (albeit a very short intro during our “collaboration” panel/round table on the last day, right before I had to rush out). 🙂

    I live in New Hampshire, work too much at the day job, don’t work enough at the fun job(s), and these are my (few) words.

    • Hi Scott! That was a fun discussion about collaboration. Since panels are often so general, it was nice to have a group of experts talk about one particular challenge. Even though I was on that side of the table, I felt that I got a lot out of it.

      While I wouldn’t describe myself as shy, I feel like there are so many networking skills I need to learn – like following up with interesting people (like you!) after a convention. Please do feel free to chat with me if you see me at a convention, Balticon or otherwise. I really like meeting new people at conventions, and getting to hear what they think about my work. Sometimes if feels like I’m flinging art out into a void, so it’s wonderful when I meet someone who reminds me that my art is landing somewhere, and not just consumed by the darkness. So, thank you!

      I’m glad you introduced yourself here and put up a link to your site, because your portfolio is great. I particularly like the cover design you did for “Dead Ends”. Fantastic.

  9. Hi, I’m John Davis. I’m a librarian in North Carolina. I read the things here not only because JR is a brilliant creative person (and JR is, has been since college), but because the people who post and comment here often point me toward works and resources that don’t usually show up in most of the ‘professional’ library/publishing resources my library system has me watching.

    So keep on talking about awesome stuff, folks, and I’ll keep running to the collection development people with lists of ISBNs.

    I founded a weird little convention years ago, and it’s still chugging along (though I don’t have anything to do with it any more). Nowadays I run a book club and rabble-rouse for geeky pursuits and programs at my library. And I read. I read with an appetite like the sea.

  10. I’m Tee. I’m a writer, a podcaster, a video producer, and (when I can) a blogger. I’ve been called one of the pioneers of social media, but what I really am is a beer snob and a single malt scotch drinker who is happiest either grilling for friends or just sitting around a lit firepit, enjoying a fine smoke. I write steampunk (which JR and Jared Axelrod introduced me to), science fiction, horror, fantasy, and a variety of non-fiction topics. I’m online at many places and always eager to learn new things.

    • Welcome! I wish you were with us this week in Philadelphia as Jared covers the magic that is Beer Week for the paper. I know you’d have useful thoughts on all the beers we’ve seen. There are so many!

  11. I’m Andrija Popovic, account executive and client services thrall by day, would be writer, amateur photographer and recovering film school student (it’s been five weeks since I last complained about act structure in a major film). I read entirely too much, given the size of my library, and too little, given the size of my to-read pile. Combined with my girlfriend, I’ve been told our house counts as two dots of the Library background in various Mage: The Awakening games.

    These days I’m working on honing short stories until they can be used as prison shivs and trying to get back into the groove of taking creative photos. The photos are what drew me here. I found my way here via your Flickr site, which tangled me into your Tumblr site and current projects. And I adored your reading at Balticon. We need more surreal in the world. Reality is getting rather snobbish, and refusing to return my phone calls.

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