The late night and the blackout curtains in the hotel room did their work. I didn't wake up until almost 9:30 - and I had an event at 10! The hike through the sprawling hotel and the half mile of skywalk into the convention center seemed extra long. Made it in time and mostly put together.
My first event was the the BroadUniverse Rapidfire Reading. We had about twelve readers and a gracious hostess in Anne Wilkes. Each of us read for 4 minutes. As on Wednesday at the library I chose a bit of Song of the Beast to read - in honor of its re-release coming up in October. The first page of Song is one of my favorite of my openings. Ahh...poor Aidan.
I love BU RFRs - you get to hear bits of all sorts of speculative fiction, as you are introduced to published and unpublished women writers. Fantasy writer Elaine Isaak, as I've seen before, topped the day with an hilarious short piece exactly designed for four minutes. Don't miss Elaine at an RFR - and don't volunteer to be one of her heroes.
Fortunately, I had half an hour before my long reading to get a drink and catch my breath. There are lots of things in the writing life I don't do at all or don't do well - blog tours, tweeting, cold calling, keeping up with giveaways and such. But I adore reading aloud. I don't so much "act out" the story as shift my voice slightly between speakers. But I know all the emotion and subtle meanings that are lurking in my characters and I think I do a pretty good job bringing all that to the fore when I read.
Unless one is the guest of honor, con readings are most usually given a strict 30 minute time slot. Thus it is extremely rude for a reader to linger past time. I always sweat this, as I try to cram a sizable piece into my reading! And this was to be my inaugural reading from The Daemon Prism. So it was truly distressing when the reader who had the slot before mine lapsed 10 minutes into my slot. Even after I stepped into the back of the room, she continued, even at one time holding her pages in front of her face. I discovered later that she was the widow of one of my favorite writers, but she should ask for more time if she needs it. Some of the first things you learn as a neo-pro is to time your readings, respect other professionals, and respect the attendees, both those attending your session and others. OK, enough of my rant...
I did have a good-sized and appreciative audience - thank you all for that! (I'll be doing this same Daemon Prism reading at MileHiCon, World Fantasy, and Tuscon.) Used most of the following hour visiting with people I hadn't seen in a couple of years! Found out my friend and reader Corky had sold his first story to Fantasy Magazine - that is FINE!
There is nothing so good for one's humility than sharing an autographing with Robin Hobb, Kim Stanley Robinson, and Patty Briggs. I really, really appreciated my steady trickle of readers! I had been looking forward to a chance to meet Robin/Megan and talk with her a bit, but it was not to be. She was still signing when I hurried off to meet my good friend Diana Pharaoh Francis, paranormal romance writer turned Tor fantasy author Susan Krinard, and my agent Lucienne Diver for a drink and a discussion of the new world of e-publishing. Many literary agents are looking for ways to support their clients in the e-publishing as well as the print publishing sphere. It's always important to research agents carefully - and now that this new wrinkle is popping up, it's even more important. I feel very fortunate to have Lucienne as my agent.
After dinner, we sat over at the other con hotel shooting the breeze and watching the people wandering in and out of the masquerade. A short bus ride back and it was time to crash.