With the release of my debut novel looming on the horizon, I'm hitting every local (and some not-so-local) convention I can. It's exhausting, but I'm learning a lot and meeting hordes of like-minded people. I can't wait until I can sell actual copies to interested people! At this point, I'm limited to an elevator pitch and a list of email addresses. Worldcon cannot arrive soon enough! 4th Street Fantasy is more of a writer convention than a fan-based or media convention. All of the attendees are writers or would-be writers. There's no cosplay, no movies being shown - in fact, there's only one programming track. The idea is to set one's butt in a chair with a room full of smart, learned people and soak up information for three days. We had discussions on creating religions, inter-cultural texts, cultural appropriation, the heroin's (vs the hero's) journey, and even a loopy panel at the end of Sunday on cursing. An extra bit of excitement: the con happened to fall on a weekend during which a big storm happened. The straight-line winds on Friday night knocked out power to the hotel for nearly an entire 24 hours and led to a rather hysterical dubbing of the con as "the world's premier dark fantasy convention". No one knows who started the phrase, but it was on everyone's lips by the end of breakfast on Saturday. High points included Scott Lynch's Gollum impersonation, hanging out with Michael Merriam and his lovely wife Sherri, learning a bunch of literary dissection terms, and sitting behind Emma Bull during one panel, where my sneaky eyes learned how to pick the yarn of my knitting rather than throw it. When I exulted about [...]
So before I get into this, I feel I have to mention that I had the following blog entry entirely written yesterday, hit 'post', and got an internal memory error. Apparently the entry didn't save as a draft. Then I tried to fix the problem and got a big ole' 500 Internal Server Error, which nearly gave me a heart attack. It took about 5 minutes to fix that and then the initial problem, but ... god dammit. I needed a drink after that. The last thing I need right after a convention is a borked website! Phew. Anyway. Minicon may be the best first con as a writer that I could have possibly attended. It's not large, so I wasn't overwhelmed, but there were TONS of writers there, some as new as me and some big names. It felt like the first day of a brand new school full of insanely cool people who all like you. I'm still high off the experience! Friday, I spent time with my friends at the NADWCON Seamstresses' Guild room party, then toddled off to my first panel. It was on promoting your first book, and we had half new writers and half experienced midlist writers, which I think was about perfect. I met Blake Hausladen, who convinced my to buy his book on the spot (I am definitely remembering that trick), and Deanna Lepsch who I immediately bonded with and we're now planning on rooming together at WorldCon. Saturday was a mildly nervous day, because I had my first-ever public reading. I read the first chapter of Prisoner of War, and while the crowd was small, they were interested and receptive. It went about as well as [...]
This weekend, I'll be attending Minicon 48. It's one of the longest-running science fiction conventions in the area - heck, even WorldCon is only up to 71 years. I've got a lot on my plate this year, mostly due to novel promotion. I'm on two panels, and I have a reading on Saturday. I am mildly terrified that no one will show up for that, but I forge ahead regardless! One of the truly awesome things this year is that one of the panels I'm on is featuring Elizabeth Bear, one of my favorite authors. I'll be bringing a pile of books for her to sign, and possibly get something signed by her boyfriend, Scott Lynch. He's got a new one coming out at the end of this summer, close to when I'm hoping Prisoner of War will be out. If I'm feeling really brave, I'll ask for a blurb or review. Pictures and such to follow!