I’m back from World Fantasy Con in San Diego. For those unfamiliar with this convention, its tone is more of a professional conference, though fans may attend. The attendance is limited to 850, but with exceptions made here and there the membership is usually about 1000. It features the usual programming: panels, dealers’ room, art show, mass autographing, only it’s ramped up several notches. Some of the panels are light in tone, such as the one I was on, “But Can You Bring Him Home to Mother?” about the problems of having a paranormal boyfriend, and others like “The Lands of Islam” are worthy of being in a college curriculum.
I’ve been to WFC before as a fan. This was my first experience attending as an author, and I have to say, it was pretty cool. By virtue of the fact that I was on the program and have two books out, people seemed to believe I knew what I was talking about. 🙂
Another wonderful feature of going to WFC is that it gave me the opportunity to meet old friends and learn from them. Gini Koch, Mike Stackpole, and Bob Vardeman among others took me under their respective wings, gave me valuable advice about self-publishing and marketing, and introduced me to their friends and agents and editors. It was a hugely valuable networking experience.
Self-publishing and digital publishing were a hot topic, and I overheard conversations both E-vangelizing and decrying self-publishing as the road to perdition.
Not surprisingly, the cover for VEILED MIRROR proved to be better liked than the cover for LIGHTBRINGER. This was a fantasy convention after all, and a half naked man was too romance oriented for most (though not all) of those who offered an opinion.
Speaking of covers, I’m starting to plan my covers for The Vinlanders’ Saga, a duology of romantic fantasies. According to my critique partners, they’re a 50/50 blend of fantasy and romance. While I see romance readers as my primary market, I’d like fantasy fans to be comfortable picking one up, or out of an online listing. I’d love to hear from you about what a covers for these books should look like. You can read descriptions of DANGEROUS TALENTS and FORBIDDEN TALENTS at Castle Rock Publishing.