Bubba Venom was probably the most entertaining cosplay I saw over the weekend. He even had a six-pack of PBR.
Had a great time at ConNooga this year. The author track definitely seems to be getting back to the full, diverse, and informative programming schedule it had when Robbie still ran the track. I’m very glad about this. For a couple of years it felt like authors were falling to the wayside.
I didn’t attend all the author panels over the weekend, but I went to most of them …and took notes.
I’ll be honest, it has the impatient side of me wanting to say screw finding an agent and go ahead and commit to the indie/self-pub route for Waves of Darkness. We’ll see. I have a few ideas jumping around in my head like a flea circus. Just have to pin the buggers down and decide what to do with them before I post anything definite here.
Friday, I ran a little later than I’d meant to and missed most of the 1 pm panel. There was a little confusion on where registration was (inside exhibit hall C instead of the main hallway). The new setup is a bit easier to keep organized, however: less confusion on whether people were in line or just hanging out.
The panel I missed most of was Plotting Your Book to Make the Best Story Possible with Dan Jolley, Gil Hough, Keith Robinson, and Kenyon T. Henry (you have to put the “T” in there or you wind up with some guy obsessed with cats instead of the author).
The 3 pm panel was Sticking to One Genre or Following Your Creativity with Dan Jolley, Gil Hough, Jim Hodgson, and Kenyon T. Henry (poor guy barely got time to spend at his own table to sell his books on Friday). Most of the discussion in this one was about whether readers get put off an author if they switch to another genre. the jury is still out on if this is done for unrelated books, but all agree an author should never switch genres (not to be mistaken for combining genres) mid-book or mid-series.
The 4 pm panel almost ended up being held in the hallway. It got double booked in the same room during the second hour of a 2-hour retro gaming console free play session. The solution the programming director came up with was to ask the gamers to mute the sound on their consoles, which were positioned around the perimeter of the room, and the author panel took place in the corner where a table and chairs were set up for panels. Apparently the lights were controlled from the switches in the conference space on the other side of the retractable divider wall. Someone kept playing with them. Still, this was a very informative panel: Marketing Your Book to Increase Readership with David Joel Stevenson and Keith Robinson. I picked up some good ideas and advice I intend to look into. One example given of an author who’s doing it right turned out to be an author I already follow, Lydia Sherrer.
I would love to pick her brain on how to get a good street crew going. (Not that I don’t already have the beginnings of a good crew; I just want to learn how to expand it.)
While I would’ve loved to attend Radio Cult’s and Atlanta Radio Theatre Company’s performances, they were held at the Chattanoogan Hotel, behind and across the street from the Convention center. The rain kind of put a damper on that for me. (Heck, we had so much rain this past weekend up through late Saturday night, I half expected to see squirrels shooting the rapids on the stream in my backyard.)
The 8 pm panel was Rules of Writing with Daniel Peyton, David Joel Stevenson, and Gil Hough. For some odd reason, the app described this panel as an autograph session.
From 9-11 pm I played an adaption of D&D for the first time in my life, role-playing as an adapted version of Viktor Brandewyne in a sci-fi setting. The panel was called Authors Build a World and Play in It! D&D Live! Author and publisher, Joseph Cadotte acted as DM/GM and was delighted to finally get his wife to willingly play. I will say Vik doesn’t fare so well when the roll of a 20-side die decides his success or failure. It was a fun world-building exercise. Daniel Peyton was the other author involved in this game, portraying his Winter wizard character, although the DM changed the character’s name to “Tim” from “Dan.” (Kudos to those who get the joke and reference.)
The first panel I attended Saturday was Independent Publishing 101 at 11 am with Gil Hough, Keith Robinson, and Kenyon T. Henry. It was pointed out during this panel that most traditionally published authors never sell enough copies to start earning royalties past what they got as an advance; so the only way they can really make a living as an author is to keep cranking out books, provided publishers keep accepting them.
The next panel I attended was Channel Your Book: Secrets from a Professional Intuitive at 4 pm with Angela Anderson. Channeling, as she explained it, is an intriguing approach to writing, but this session seemed more about how to get past writers’ block, something I really don’t have a problem with. (Besides, I’ve got enough voices in my head without inviting anymore aboard.)I attended the 7 pm Authors Talking About Their Books session with Braxton A. Cosby, Clay Gilbert, and Joseph Cadotte. I have been invited by Mr. Cadotte to re-release my Waves of Darkness books as ebooks, provided they meet with his co-op’s standards regarding violent or sexual content. I know the later books in the series won’t fit, but he’d like to review Blood Curse, at least.
I only attended one of the panels on Sunday: Pimp Your Book at 11 am with Charles Collins and Sandy Gianportone. This was part of the deep thought track. Everyone attending talked about books they recommended. I took the opportunity to plug my books and read a snippet from the Vampire Meets Siren excerpt of Blood Curse. I garnered some interest but no immediate sales.
When not attending panels (I wasn’t actually ON any panels as a panelist), I spent time hanging out with Sandra “Con Mommy” ward at the info table. I also babysat the AB tales booth to allow the owner to have a bathroom and smoke break.
I didn’t do as much shopping as I did at Chattacon. I bought a copy of The Wendy by Erin Michelle Sky and Steven Brown, a t-shirt with some mermaids who look like they mean business on it, and donated $5 to the Make-a-Wish Foundation to have my photo taken in front of Toothless and his mate.
To wrap things up, I caught an impromptu furry dance party in the main hallway on video shortly before I went home. This was a great way to end the con on a “Happy” note.