Wow. Talk about a blast. I had so much fun at RavenCon that I don’t think I thought about missing RT until the drive back home. For a small conference, this had one of the best programming schedules I’ve seen in a log time. Not to mention, I can’t get over how nice everyone was.
So let me get straight to the highlights.
Melissa Carmichael is an awesome woman. I only wish we had a chance to spend more time together. If we had, we might still be at the hotel chatting it up. And before I forget, she’s done an awesome job at raising two beautiful young ladies. 🙂
My first moderation gig: Twice Told Tales. Boy, did I have fun. The panel had a lot to say with very little input from me, which definitely helped. We even hijacked L. Jagi Lamplighterto stick around because her new series focuses on the Children of Prospero. Also, I went to send a special thanks and shoutout to the amazing Susan Hanniford Crowleyfor giving me some pointers from the cyber space sidelines. You are awesome, girlfriend!
Second Panel: Urban Fantasy 101. Holy crap, this was an awesome panel and I’m not saying that just because I was on it. The room was so packed that some people had to stand. I wish they have given us a bigger room for that. Perhaps next year. Anyway, the lovely Jean Marie Warddid the moderation and I can’t say enough good things about her. She is a wonderful author whose information is boundless. I could’ve sat and talked to her for hours about the business of publishing, but unfortunately, it was getting late and I didn’t get back to my room until after midnight. Thank goodness I had shared more than one panel with her. And before I forget, Hildy Silverman was also on this panel and added some really cool stuff to the conversation. She’s the editor-in-chief of Time and Space magazine, but boy does she know her urban fantasy.
And I have to give another shoutout to Pamela K. Kinney. I finally got my hands on a copy of Haunted Richmond and got her to sign it. If you’re looking for a good book about ghosts, Big Foot, and the New Jersey Devil who paid Richmond a visit, then this is the book for you. Not only that, but once she started telling me about her various paranormal encounters, I was hooked.
Third panel: Worse Book Evar! This panel scared me because it was mostly sci-fi focused and I hadn’t picked up a sci-fi book in ages. At least, not one they’d recognize. However, with Susan’s help, her links jogged my memories of some really bad sci-fi I had actually read over the years and wanted to forget. I guess I had done a pretty good job with that one. Anyway, the panel turned out great. We moved from some sci-fi stuff to literary stuff like The Old Man and the Sea and I got to throw in my tiff with The Lovely Bones. There were some other books that came up, but one thing we realized during the course of the discussion…not everyone likes were everyone’s dislikes and vice versa. While I liked the Hobbit, I never made it through Lord of the Rings. Thankfully, I wasn’t the only one too. 😉
Fourth panel: Love at First Bite. Holy crap! We touched every aspect of vampires you could think of with this panel. Heck, it should’ve been called Urban Fantasy 201. Nevertheless, Tony Ruggierodid a fantastic job moderating the panel and keeping us chicks in check. We went from Brahm Stoker to Laurell K. Hamilton to Stephanie Meyer. From books to TV to movies, nothing was off limits. I was really tired before this conference, but by the end, I was wide awake. Chalk up another success. Also, we kidnapped/blackmailed Lyn C. A. Gardner to sit in on this panel too. Her input was priceless and added an extra spark to the discussion.
And before I go, a huge thanks to the lovely Erica Orloff. No, she doesn’t write sci-fi or fantasy, although she does have a book out with Silhouette Nocturne. Talk about a woman with vast knowledge and inspiration who I could talk to for hours on end. I was almost sad to see our lunch date end. If you haven’t checked out her fascinating blog, you really should, especially if you’re an aspiring author. Her writing is so smooth and sweet that you’ll fall into her books and lose all sense of time. I can’t say enough good things about her, other than I can’t wait until the next RavenCon because I am so hooking up with her again for another lunch date.
Okay, this post was probably longer than it needed to be, but I had to make sure I touched on everything. I’m still leaving some stuff out like costumes, the thrill of seeing Unstable Environment on sale in the dealer room, meeting The Wombat, the wonderful Tee on Saturday night as we talked about YA vampire books and other urban fantasies, etc.
One of the best things about conferences is making new friends and meeting new people. Next stop, ConCarolinas. 🙂