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?