World Fantasy Con and a Newb, pt. 1 0
I went to my first World Fantasy Con this past weekend, and I must say I had a great time. I’ve left with more confidence in my ability to have success in writing, while (hopefully) having a more realistic attitude towards publishing in general. Here’s some random musings, with only fours of sleep and generally not enough throughout the weekend.
Travel with a Friend
I came with a good friend, Steve Scearce – he’s a great writer, and not bad company. He shares the table of contents with me (and many others) in Rigor Amortis, as well as appearing in the upcoming Cthulhurotica. I would not have gotten half of what I did out of the conference without him being there. Thanks, man.
If you don’t have that going for you, don’t worry – you’ll make friends.
Meeting new people is always an interesting experience, especially coming from someone (me) who freely admits to hating people in groups. Luckily most of these groups were individually interesting and so I could move beyond the loathing.
We first met up with Erika Holt, one of our two editors. She graciously showed us around and kept us company that first day. I think this being her second WFC (if I’m remembering correctly), she could relate to our newbness and give us a nice push into this world. Hanging out in the lounge, she introduced us to several people, and even let us tag along for dinner with her and David B. Coe, where we discussed good-versus-bad fantasy series, Star Wars, baseball, and I can’t remember what else. Good stuff.
Between our first panel and doing a group signing in the evening, we met quite a few people – I even remember a few names! The others in Rigor Amortis – John Remy, Andy Romine, and Sarah Goslee – were all great people, and while we doubted that Jaym Gates actually existed she did end up showing up while hanging in the lounge.
More on Jaym and others in part two (I’m winding down).
Panels and Presenters
The panels were interesting, and most were very well presented. One point – for my own future reference – if you do sit in on a panel and feel less than impressed, don’t tweet about it AND use a hashtag that ties back to the event itself. I never heard about my slight insult, but in hindsight it’s not really cool. To any I may have offended, I apologize. And to be fair, that panel did get better in the second half.
I also feel for the panelists; from their view, they’re facing a group of people that are half asleep or can’t seem to put their phones down (I’m one of the latter). This phone craze gets to be like picking your nose in public – you’re doing something you don’t even realize you’re doing, and it’s quite rude in general. And so, to those panelists that saw me in such ways, I apologize once again. It is my failing, not yours. At least it’s not quite as unhygienic.
I will say that my favorite panelist was David B. Coe; he kept things entertaining and lively, and in the panel that he moderated, he involved every panelist in the discussion. He kept the topic running smoothly with only little nudges to move it forward.
And, no, I’m not trying to suck up to the dude – I’ll freely admit that I have, as yet, not read any of his work. That will change. He was just a cool, approachable guy (and if you’re reading this, the software was called Handbrake for ripping DVDs – and Blurays with a BR drive – to iPhones, iPads, AppleTVs).
Perhaps the funniest was a panel on Urban Fantasy; while in there, Michele Lang made some comment about where Urban Fantasy was going and she could envision zombies invading the field. The audience groaned (or perhaps gagged) at the thought of zombies and romance. Right after that statement, Steve ran down to the dealer’s room to buy a copy of Rigor Amortis; we signed it when he returned, and at the end of the hour we went up to give her “zombie erotica”. I think she was – and will be! – pleasantly surprised.
Oh so much more to write – signings, parties, hanging out, free food. But, tomorrow perhaps. I’ll save editing for then as well.