RavenCon Recap

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.  :mrgreen:  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.

erica-orloffAnd 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.  🙂

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Convention Time – RavenCon

By the time you read this, I’ll be on my way to Richmond VA for RavenCon.  I’m soooooo excited.  This will be my first convention 2009 and certainly not my last.  Once you’ve gone to one, conventions are like crack.  They’re fun, exciting, and there are always new faces and friends to meet.

I’m especially looking forward to this because I’ll be hooking up with the wonderful, amazing, incredible, gorgeous, and…well…I could come up with a bunch of great words to describe her and be here all day.  😉  Anyway, I’m talking about the fabulous Erica Orloff.  If you haven’t read her books, you should do so now.  Quickly.  Her writing is so seamless that you’ll get absorbed into the story before you realize it.

And that’s not all.  I’ll also have my fingers crossed to hook up with the wonderful Melissa Carmichael.  She’s an urban fantasy writer on the rise who’s getting all her ducks in a row for an amazing writing career.  That’s how I started when I wanted to something bad enough, so I have no doubts she’ll do just fine. 

So, expect a report when I get back, assuming there isn’t any breaking news that I’ll need to report right away.  Yes, geek that I am, I’ll be taking my laptop with me.

My Convention Schedule Has Arrived

Unless you’re attending RavenCon, this might not make any sense.  Nevertheless, I’m completely stoked!  This is what my convention schedule looks like… 

Twice-Told Tales                  Friday        5:00 PM      Potomac
Urban Fantasy 101              Friday       10:00 PM    Potomac
OMG! Worst Book Evar!!     Saturday   9:00 AM     Rappahanock
Love at First Bite                  Saturday  10:00 PM    Potomac

I almost did back flips across my couch when I saw Urban Fantasy 101 on my schedule.  It was my number one pick, so it was nice to get it.  What is UF?  How does it differ from horror?  I have my own theories about this, so I’m crossing my fingers that everyone is receptive.  Nothing controversial or anything, but just 30 years of watching horror movies and an early reader/lover of Laurell K. Hamilton (among others), I’ve seen this genre mold itself into something new and different with every new UF writer out there.  That’s a good thing.  🙂 

Twice-Told Tales will be fun too.  It’s about pretty much what all books are today.  Retold tales.  How many vampire stories are out there?  Werewolves?  That’s what this panel is about. 

OMG! Worst Book Evah!!  I could talk a good hour on my own about this topic, so had better only a few lines up.  Let’s just hope the authors of some of my least favorite books aren’t sitting in the audience. 😉

Love at First Bite is probably a no-brainer.  Vampires, baby.  We’re going to be talking about the fun of True Blood, Twilight, and hopefully Moonlight.  I’ll bring up Moonlight, if nobody else does.  And what about Kindred: The Embraced?  Anyone remember that?  Anyway, this panel is going to rock!

I can’t wait to find out who my co-panelists are going to be.  Already, this is one conference I’m seriously thinking about returning to next year.

So if you were going to be on a convention/conference panel what would it be?

Guest Writer at RavenCon!

Oooooooo, I’m loving this guest writer thing!  😀

I’ve been holding onto this news for the past few days simply because I wanted to make sure it was official first.  Well, it is and here’s the page to prove it.  Yeah, I know about the name misspelling, but still…  I’ve scored a guest spot on the conference I’ve had my eye on for some time now.  Woohoooooooooo! 

For a small convention, RavenCon is on its way to becoming one of the best sci-fi/fantasy hangouts around, assuming it’s not already there.  I’ve heard people say nothing but the best about it, so I want to experience it for myself.  But to experience it as a guest writer makes it all the sweeter.  😉

So, if you’re in the Richmond, VA area from April 24 – 26th, stop by and say hello.  You can witness me getting all giddy and stuff when I meet people who are like, “I know you.  I’ve read your book!”  Just knowing who I am is a feat in itself. 

Hmmmm…  I smell a potential contest idea brewing.  😈   

If only I can land a guest spot at DragonCon, too.  I have a feeling this one might be more difficult because the word is out about their awesome writer’s track.  Writers with more fame than little ol’ me are attending, which will limit the number of open spots considerably.  Alas, only time will tell.  *sigh* 

…back to our regularly scheduled program of one blog every few days instead of this often.

What’s your dream conference/convention (it doesn’t have to be associated with writing) and why?