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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Norwescon Day 3

Friday was my busiest day, but Saturday was packed as well. And I’ve never been to a convention where so many people costumed. What an array! As Saturday was the Masquerade, I saw everything from goggled Steampunk outfits to a 6-foot-six (at least) angel – no kidding.

I did two writers’ workshop sessions. Did I mention how terrific these are? The Fairwood Writers organization does a tremendous job running this workshop, getting 3-4 pros to site down face to face to give thoughtful feedback to a beginning writer. The pros critiquing are both truthful and kind in all the cases I saw.

I’ll say one thing to those who want to participate in such a thing, especially if you are submitting work written during NaNoWriMo. Show respect for those who are giving hours of their time to review your work by reading it over and polishing it before submission. It is cool to write 50k words in a month, but submitting even 10k words of it in such a raw state is like raking your nails on a blackboard!

Saturday was autographing also. This is always a slightly depressing time. Why?

You come hoping to find a ton of readers, but maybe two or three actually come to get books autographed. This one was especially depressing because the guest of honor was R.A. Salvatore who has about eight thousand books out, many related to role-playing games, and the convention was heavily populated by young people of the gaming persuasion. His line was endless. The upside is that you get time to sit and talk to other authors who are not the guest of honor. I had a nice chat with Maggie Bonham and Alma Alexander. I did have a few readers who popped out of the Salvatore line to come tell me how much they enjoyed my books or to have me sign their program. And one reader sent me the COOLEST buttons he had made me from images of my bookcovers. They are awesome, and I can’t wait to wear them at my next con!

Saturday was also my worst panel of the con. There is always one that gets hijacked by people in the audience who just want to sit there making comments or giving life histories and this is exacerbated by a poor or unprepared moderator. Enough said.

At 10pm, I joined in a Broad Universe Rapidfire Reading. These are always fun. Six to ten people get together and read four to seven minutes each. There is always a delightful variety of stories and an appreciative audience. Broad Universe is an organization that supports women writers of speculative fiction. Hats off to the BU motherboard and a great volunteer contingent.


Unknown said...

Heheheh, part of the problem I suppose in writing fantasy is your target audience tends to be on the shy, geeky side. I've never been to a fantasy con, but for the few anime cons I've been to, I've been way, way too shy to get autographs. Same reason why I rarely go to book readings and when I do, I never ask questions. ;)

carolwriter said...

Anyone who's met me will tell you that I am the least likely to scare a shy, geeky reader. You've got to know that most writers are confirmed introverts and shyer than fans. They sit there hoping, hoping, hoping that SOMEONE will come by and speak to them and say something nice about their books. Ditto with readings. Most readings are poorly attended, and even one extra body in a seat is a real gift. For someone to ask a question (as in, they've read the books and are really interested) will make a writer's day for weeks!

Unknown said...

Hee hee, it doesn't take much to scare me. It took my husband, sister and friend all egging me on to get up the nerve to talk to Max Barry, who had maaaybe 15 people at his reading and is possibly the nicest, funniest, approachable guy I've met. ;) And then, the only reason I managed it was because I could think of something to say. Most of the time what stops me is the knowledge that without a firm grasp on what exactly I'll say, I'll sit there tongued-tied. I *know* you guys like it when fans come talk to you, but that doesn't seem to help with the nerves. The other thing that helped me talk to Max is his sad, sad blog post the last time he'd come to my town and no one came to his reading. ;) So yanno, maybe if you're ever out in the Bay Area, I'll work up the nerve to say hello. I'll have to bring my friends who won't let me leave without doing so along. Or my mother, who after I handed her Flesh and Spirit, proceeded to devour every other book of yours at a truly alarming rate. And she's shameless, so she'll be a chatty as you like.

Unknown said...

Ha, I have to eat my words in this post! Borderlands says you're coming to do a book signing for the World Fantasy Convention? I'll be there!

carolwriter said...

Hooray, Alyssa! I'm looking forward to meeting you - and NOT scaring you.

Unknown said...

Hee, you will no doubt scare me, but through no fault of your own. ;) It's too bad The Spirit Lens won't be out yet!