Our topic at the SFF Seven this week is Lit Cons, Fan Cons, Comics Cons: What’s Best For You?
I imagine there will be a variety of replies to this topic – and maybe someone will take on defining each – but I’m taking a bit of a slant and talking about the stance I’ve taken on conventions in general. Come on over to find out more.
Our topic this week at the SFF Seven is Cover Artist Praise. Come on over to hear about mine!
I’m still digging out and organizing photos from the RWA National Conference. But here’s me with my agent, the lovely Sarah Younger. Along with her many savvy business skills, she sports an excellent selfie game.
While I was away at conference, Heroes & Heartbreakers ran a post of mine on the Language of Praise. This is a topic I’ve been mulling for some time, and discussing with people like the thoughtful and insightful Campbell award finalist Kelly Robson. I’d love for you all to check out the article and give me feedback. I’m working up a couple of follow-up segments with specific ideas, so I’m all ears!
(I found it really hard – read: impossible – to comment on the article myself because Captcha wouldn’t let me through. If the same happens to you, please comment here!)
I’ve finished revisions on THE SHIFT OF THE TIDE, and it’s off to the copy editor. I’m really happy with how the story turned out. I feel a little superstitious saying that, but some stories worm their way into your heart more than others. Marskal and Zynda’s tale did that for me and I’m stepping out of their world again with some regret.
But it’s a short step over to the novella I’m diving into today. THE SNOWS OF WINDROVEN is a follow-on to Ash and Ami’s thread, in the same timeline. I’m telling it from Ash’s point of view (POV), which is a first for this series. Except for a short piece I did from Rayfe’s POV for a conference challenge, I haven’t yet written from any of the hero’s POVs. This novella will be in AMID THE WINTER SNOW with Thea Harrison, Grace Draven, and Elizabeth Hunter, out December 12.
August is birthday month around here – both mine and several family members, so I’ll be doing a bit of traveling along with the writing. Enjoying beautiful monsoon season in Santa Fe, and around New Mexico and Colorado. Oh, and for those who were sad I wasn’t going to be at Bubonicon, I will be after all!
Anyway, I should be on a bit more of a regular blogging schedule again. What else have I forgotten to tell you?? Ask me questions!
I’m off this afternoon to one of my favorite local conferences – Bubonicon in Albuquerque, New Mexico. If you’re in the neighborhood, you can still get entry passes at the door. At $45 for the weekend or as little as $15/day, it’s a real steal! Especially with authors present like Tamora Pierce, Catherynne M. Valente, Mary Robinette Kowal, George R.R. Martin, Carrie Vaughn, Darynda Jones and… ME!
Seriously, I still get a major thrill that I get to be on panels with some of these authors. It can be surreal!
In other news, we have the DARK SECRETS anthology up for preorder now!
It’s already a bestseller at ARe, and in the Kindle Top 100, so very exciting! I’m really proud to be part of this fun collection with so many brilliant authors.
Apparently, this is my theme today!
So, if you’re at Bubonicon, be sure to say hi. Would love to chat and squee over all the cool writers there. 🙂
Happy weekend everyone!
This last weekend I attended Bubonicon for the first time. It’s a local, fan-run convention for sci-fi and fantasy. Apparently they started out46 years ago with six people and had worked their way up to something like 800 this year. They treated me very well and I’m glad I went.
The SFF community, however, is very different than the romance one. Having been at RWA the week before, I found the contrast marked. Never I found a more supportive, generous and non-competitive community than the romance writers. So much so, that I’d forgotten that not all writers are like this. Don’t get me wrong – the Bubonicon staff and fans were amazing. Some of the featured writers were, too. More of them were than weren’t. I got to sit and have a drink with SFWA president Steven Gould (author of Jumper) and his wife, Laura J Mixon, who also writes as MJ Locke. They made time to introduce me to their daughters and are really wonderful people. I hadn’t known Laura or her work before, but we were on a panel together and she’s so smart and amazing.
A couple of authors, however, were less generous and pulled serious attitude on me. I’m sorry to say they were older women, more established than I in fantasy writing and full of teh bitchee. One, sadly, is a writer I’ve been reading for a long time and I now regret having a bad experience with. They very much reminded me of being in grad school and the way the older women scientists singled me out. One, for example, gave my essay a C and my male classmate an A. I looked at his, to see what I missed. Not finding it, I asked her. She said that she graded me more stringently because women had to work harder to succeed in science. Seriously. She said this with a straight face.
That, however, was the 80s and I’d really thought we’d put that shit behind us.
*Deep Cleansing Breath*
The best part of the weekend, however, was meeting and listening to Stephen R. Donaldson, pictured above. I’ve always had a mixed relationship with his books. I hated the Thomas Covenant books (and I’m not alone in that, I know – possibly the most unlikable hero ever), but I loved the Mordant’s Need books. Even hating Thomas Covenant, I read anyway, recognizing the brilliance of the writing and storytelling. Those books were tremendously formative for me, especially finding in Mordant’s Need a heroine like Terisa at a time when the dense fantasies all seemed to feature male protagonists. I’d had no idea Stephen lives in Albuquerque and I was thrilled at the prospect of hearing what he had to say (on ending an epic series – right up my alley) and I was also nervous. As with above, sometimes meeting heroes can be more disappointing than anything.
You guys – he was amazing. So thoughtful. So genuine and not full of ego. I sat with writing buddy Darynda Jones, who is deep into her Charley Davidson series and was also blown away by what he had to say. I’m going to be a tease because I was so rapt that I didn’t take notes and I can’t quite reconstruct what hit me so profoundly. Except that he talked about how finishing a series left him hollow and in this state where he couldn’t even celebrate because he felt so removed from the world.
Exactly how I’ve felt. Remarkable for me to feel both that sense of connection with one of my writing heroes and that I might be doing things “right.”
I’m hoping to invite him to visit our local chapter and speak there. If he does, I promise to take notes this time!