Wednesday, September 10, 2014

What Happened at Salt Lake Comic Con

Jill Williamson is a chocolate loving, daydreaming, creator of kingdoms. She writes weird books for teens in lots of weird genres like, fantasy (Blood of Kings trilogy), science fiction (Replication), and dystopian (The Safe Lands trilogy). Find Jill on FacebookTwitterPinterest, or on her author website.

It was a crazy weekend.

My husband and I left our house at one a.m. on Thursday morning and drove to Salt Lake City. We arrived around 10:30 a.m. and checked into our hotel. John W. Otte and his friend had already arrived and checked in to get our booth, so they came over and helped us unload the car.

We had a lot of stuff, and it took us several trips back and forth. We set up the booth and got our passes for the con. Then it opened, and people started coming in. We pretty much spent the whole time sitting or standing in our booth giving out our free ebook cards. If you've never read any of John W. Otte's Failstate books, they're fun. He's giving away a novella this week on Kindle. Click here to check it out. And I gave away my free ebook sampler that I gave to all of you last week.

Both John and I were on writing panels, which was one of the coolest things I've ever done. I was on five panels. Here is my schedule and a little about each one.

Go Teen Writers!
Thursday September 4, 2014 5:00 pm to 5:50 pm
CALLING ALL TEEN WRITERS!! Come join a panel of Young Adult authors as they talk about why they chose to write for teens and what advice they have for aspiring authors. Learn how to make time for writing and much more!
Panelists: Shallee McArthur, Jennifer Jenkins, Megan Hutchins, Peggy Eddleman, Brittany Casselman, Holli Anderson, and Jill Williamson.

Magic, Myths, Legends, Archetypes and the Supernatural: What Writers of Speculative Fiction Have to Work With
Friday September 5, 2014 5:00 pm to 5:50 pm
Sorcery. Vampires. The Apocalypse. Super Powers. Writers of Speculative Fiction have a plethora of wacky elements to tinker with in their work. Join this panel to discuss the gamut of this intriguing style of writing.
Panelists: Michelle Witte, Jill Williamson, Sarah E. Seeley, Jennifer Nielsen, Cindy Grigg, Platte Clark, and Mikey Brooks.

Comic Con Writer’s Retreat Part 2: Writing Your Novel
Friday September 5, 2014 6:00 pm to 6:50 pm
Now that you have your novel outlined and primed to write, what’s next? Join our panel of veteran writers and they take you through the process of tackling the task of writing your novel, along with any advice they can offer to make your journey less daunting along the way.
Panelists: John W. Otte, Lisa Mangum, Marion Jensen, Bree Despain, Renee Collins, Jill Williamson, and Shannen Camp.

How to Write Great Science Fiction and Fantasy
Saturday September 6, 2014 11:00 am to 11:50 am
What separates good and great science fiction and fantasy, and what can you to do make sure that yours lands in the latter category? Our panel full of talented authors will tell you the secrets you need to turn your own science fiction and fantasy writing into something amazing.
Panelists: Eric James Stone, Chad Morris, Mette Ivie Harrison, Larry Correia, John Brown, Kevin J. Anderson, and Jill Williamson.

Building a Move-In Ready World
Saturday September 6, 2014 5:00 pm to 5:50 pm
How do you craft a world for your new novel or story that feels used and lived in? It’s the challenge of every creator to make audiences feel at home in their imagined universe. Our panel helps you develop the tools you need to create your world and move right in with the story.
Panelists: Jill Williamson, Brian McClellan, Shallee McArthur, Tyler H. Jolley, Megan Hutchins, Valerie Gardner, and David Farland.

Some panels went better than others. That mostly depended on the way the moderator handled the group. I was glad the Go Teen Writers panel was my first since it was an idea I had submitted and I was holding a copy of the Go Teen Writers book and a bunch of GTW postcards. My favorite panel was the Comic Con Writer’s Retreat Part 2. Lisa Magnum did an excellent job as moderator and the crowd seemed really excited to be there. I gave away books at every panel, but it was the Writer's Retreat panel that I got back to the booth and found people waiting for me to sign copies of Storyworld First. That was pretty sweet.

I also got to meet Brandon Sanderson! For all you Alcatraz fans, he told me that book five is written, but Tor is re-releasing the series, so it will be a few years before book five is available. John met Howard Tayler and Kevin Anderson. I was on a panel with Kevin Anderson, who teased me for writing while I was still in bed when he writes while hiking, but I didn't get a chance to talk to him face-to-face like John did. I was pretty overwhelmed in a couple panels, as the other panelists were famous. I sat next to Eric James Stone on the Science Fiction and Fantasy panel, and he pulled his newly won Nebula Award out of his bag and set it on the table beside his name tag. I didn't take a picture, but he did let me touch it, so that was cool. I didn't get pictures of me on any of these other panels since Brad had to work in the booth, so I keep Googling to see if audience members have uploaded any. So far no luck.

On one of the panels, I walked up on stage to sit down, and there was a pile of name tags on the floor under my chair. They were stuck on the chair legs, so I had to move them. And lookie what I found!


Yes, I brought it home with me as a souvenir. ;-)

After my last panel, there was one hour left in the booth, then the floor closed and we packed up. It was late, so we drove as far as Twin Falls that night and stayed in a hotel before continuing the rest of the way home on Sunday. Overall, it was long, exhausting, and so much fun. I hope to go back again and again. Here are some of my pictures:




Have you ever been to a Comic Con? If so, what is your favorite thing about them?

25 comments:

  1. I've never been to a Comic Con. I want to go to a Comic Con so baaaaaad X( I love the pictures you took- the weeping angel, the TARDIS, the Gandalf thing and the troll :) Maybe if I get published someday, I would be able to go to a Comic Con and do what you did! I don't know when, I don't know how, but I'm gonna get to Comic Con someday XD

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was very fun, Emily. Dream big, girl! You never know what can happen! Also, you might Google comic con and your nearest city. There are a lot of them out there. I never realized how many.

      Delete
  2. Wow. I've never been to a Comic Con, but it sounds like so much fun. :) I never knew they did writing stuff there!

    ~Linea Marshall (L. Marshall)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They do! I still think that writers conferences are better for trying to get published, but at cons, you can hear some of your favorite authors talk writing. And that is awesome.

      Delete
  3. You went to Comic Con. And met Brandon Sanderson.
    !!!!!!!
    I just lost my words . . . I wish I could've been there! I just discovered the awesomness of Mr. Sanderson this summer and would love to meet him, and I've been wishing that I could go to a Comic Con-type convention for a year or two now . . . *sigh*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did! I, unfortunately, did not lose my words and babbled to Brandon. I think I told him that my agent says I have an author crush on you. Yeah... this is why I should not be let out of the house! LOL Ah, well. I spoke the truth. You'll go someday, Sarah.

      Delete
  4. Replies
    1. Oh, yes, indeed. Me and my "stealing Brandon Sanderson's sign" is more like crazy, obsessed fan behavior, than rock star behavior. :-P

      I kept my own sign too. Just don't know what I did with it!

      Delete
    2. Being a fan doesn't make you any less of a rock star :)

      Delete
  5. I have never been to comic con, but am beginning to think I will take my brother some time in the next year or so. He has talked about wanting to go for the comic books he reads, but he doesn't have a car, so he can't get there. It would be a great sibling adventure!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It would! I saw lots of families there, which surprised me. My favorite cosplay family was dressed as the Incredibles!

      Delete
    2. Oh, that's cute! I still can't get McKenna to watch that with me. Too violent for her :)

      Delete
  6. Wow. You and Jennifer Nielsen on the same panel. That must have been epic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, she said there was no magic or mythical beasts in her books, so she didn't know why she was on the magic and mythical beasts panel.

      Delete
  7. Awesome! My sisters and I are kind if planning to go sometime in October or November, but I didn't know there would be so many authors there. I'm more excited now! Unfortunately I haven't read any of those authors except for you... It looked like a lot of fun though! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not every comic con has the same things. Some have more comic book things, some have more authorly things, some have more movie things. Whichever one you go to, you could Google the authors before hand to see what they've written. You can always find their booth and ask them some writerly questions.

      Delete
  8. That looks so fun! I'd love to go to a Comic Con one day, but I don't live in the US.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They have some international ones, Kate. You might Google your country and see what you find out.

      Delete
  9. I have never heard of a Comic Con. It sounds like for...comic books. But it must be more than that, too, judging by your schedule.

    Please explain xD

    Looks like it was fun though! Did you meet anyone from GTW there? :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a huge conference for comic book fans, movie fans, TV show fans, book fans, anime fans... (I'm probably forgetting something.) Celebrities come and you can pay to have pictures with them. There is a sales floor with hundreds of booths selling all kinds of nerdly things. There are booths just for coolness, like the Lego booth that was this massive city with thinks like Superman stopping a train and such in it. There were publisher booths with authors signing books. And there were panels on all subjects, some by celebrities, some on random things like Which Disney Villain is the best, and there were a bunch of writing panels. Take a peek at the website to see: http://saltlakecomiccon.com/

      I did not meet anyone from GTW. I did see a few friends there, people who had already read my books, but they knew I'd be there in advance.

      Delete
    2. Ahhhh. Makes way more sense now. :) Thanks!

      Delete
  10. I actually just went to my first Comic Con with friends and had the time of my life!! I took photos with Spider-Man, Percy Jackson (who whipped out a pen), and four Disney Princesses... (well, they were all cosplayers, but no matter ;) )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's the fun of it, Britt! So many people are dressed up!

      Delete
  11. I've never heard of Comic Con, but the writing aspect sounds like a lot of fun. I would have loved to see all of those panels. The descriptions sound great!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I have never been. My sister really wants to go so when I have money and am a little older (that particular part has to do with the having money thing) I am going to surprise her with a trip to Comic Con. We will go to a mix of writers panels and whatever it is she wants to do. But shhh it's a surprise ;)

    ReplyDelete

Home