So… I’m very much a homebody, which suits me rather well most of the time. However, this weekend, I spent three whole days going Illogicon, which is a SciFi convention that was being held not too far from where I live. Typically I don’t go to such things, but my favorite author (Jacqueline Carey) was one of the guests of honor, so I HAD TO GO!!!
I’m not going to fangirl too much here, but if you are interested in how that part went, you can read about on my Tumblr (here and here).
In addition to various SciFi topics and authors, there were also some panels on writing and publishing, so I thought I would share some of the highlights.
On Friday I started at the All Roads Lead to… panel, which was a discussion about the various options we have for publishing: self-pub vs small/independent pub vs traditional/large pub houses, along with the pros and cons of each. Lots of great information, and probably one of the most important things that I learned, was that no matter which route you go, you are likely still going to have to do a lot of your own work, in terms of marketing and promoting. A thank you to author Michael G. Williams and Lynn McNamee of Red Adept Publishing, for their insight.
Also on Friday, I went to a reading by author Natania Barron, who I had not heard of before, but highly recommend others go and check out. The reading that she did was a submission from the Kaiju Rising anthology, but she also has a several other books, including Pilgrim of the Sky, which is now on my “to read” list.
Saturday I had to work, so didn’t get to do much other than go to a reading by Jacqueline Carey <insert fangirl swoon>, but Sunday, again had several panels on various topics, two of which revolved around “worldbuilding.” The first was more focused on the use of religion and mythology when writing (and doing it well vs epic fails), the second was worldbuilding in general and what sort of things are essential to ensuring that the readers are fully immersed in the world that you are creating. In both, the key seems to be research and making sure that (as the author) one knows all the details, even if those details are never used on the page, and not to ignore logistics. Things don’t just happen, and there are a million little things that we do and see daily that are essential parts of our world, even if we don’t fully acknowledge them – these are important when building a cohesive world for your readers. In addition to Jacqueline Carey, also big thank you to authors Debra Killeen, Natania Barron, Misty Massey, Ada Milenkovic Brown, Gail Z. Martin, Clay Griffith, Thomas A. Mays and Chris Kennedy for giving such great discussion on the topics presented.
Also on Sunday, was the You’ve Finished Your First Draft, Now What panel, which discussed editing and getting feedback, along with the pros and cons of using critique groups. Another big thank you to authors Clay and Susan Griffith, Terri-Lynne Smiles and Betty Cross for their insight.
Anyhoo… had a lot of fun, but now I’m going to go sleep for a week to recover!! XD