It’s been a busy weekend, starting on Friday, when I took the day off work to go to the OWFI annual conference. This is really the only strictly writers’ conference I go to, and it’s … different. The organizers have tried doing separate tracks of programming for the beginners and the intermediate/published authors, but invariably you’ll find yourself in one of the more advanced tracks and the speaker can’t finish his/her program because of the newbie questions. Well, that hadn’t really changed.
That aside, I got some good ideas from Dian Curtis Regan, who talked about "Writing for Tech-Savy Young Readers." Lunch with Vicki (minus her Conestoga Klingon outfit) and friends was good. Finally getting to see Gayleen again was very good (she finally wrote her first bad review … though in typical Gayleen fashion it’s still pretty kind). I also got to talk to Wayne Wyrick more than usual, which was good. Wayne is one of the few speculative fiction writers to attend OWFI regularly.
Now that OWFI is over, I guess it’s safe to announce that I was the judge for this year’s Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror Novel contest. After turning the entries back to the category chair I worried that I might have judged them too harshly. I don’t know. I tried to look at them as an editor would. My scores on several of them were pretty low. Hopefully all the writers will remember that judging is very subjective and what didn’t work for me may be considered brilliant by somebody else.
One of the best things about the OWFI conference is the Friday night buzz sessions, but I didn’t get to stay for any of those since I had to get up early Saturday morning and head to Texas.
It rained on me almost all the way to Texas Frightmare Weekend. I have to confess that this is the con I’ve been really looking forward to. I love Conestoga, SoonerCon, FenCon, etc., but those all focus more on science fiction. Texas Frightmare is all horror. Like Horrorfind Weekend, it is geared more toward movies, with a lot of actors and indie film companies, but the writer contingent is growing. Hell, the whole con was huge compared to last year, this despite the swine flu and horrible weather. The place was packed. Anyway, besides me, there was Charlee Jacob and her husband Jim, Brian Moreland, Kim Paffenroth, Gabrielle Faust, Angeline Hawkes and husband Chris Fulbright, and Joe McKinney.
It was great to finally see those people again. I hadn’t seen Dr. Paffenroth in close to two years. Gabrielle was very open to having her brain picked about promotion stuff. I realize now I did not get to finish my conversation with Angie about her barbarian stories (expect an e-mail on that). Chris will have a new book out soon, so ya’ll want to look for that. It was my first time to meet Brian, but he seems like a very cool guy and the cover of his book was very enticing. Charlee and Jim are two of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet. Jim and I had a nice talk about how women age. Charlee … to read her fiction, you’d expect her to be incredibly demented, but that isn’t the case.
Lots of books were sold. Many more than last year. Zombies seemed to outsell both werewolves and vampires, but maybe that’s because there were three zombie authors. There were lots and lots of things to spend money on, but I mostly resisted.
Because of the whole thing with God giving a warning to the Dallas Cowboy rookies … er … I mean, the weather destroying their practice "bubble" (who the hell calls it a freakin’ bubble?), I decided I should cut out early and missed going to dinner with everyone in an effort to get close to home before it got too dark. It rained on me most of the way out of Texas, somtimes so hard I could barely see the road, but I didn’t have any trouble getting back.
So, yeah, busy, busy, fun weekend. Here’s one photo, just to prove that vampires and werewolves can get along.
This is me and Gabrielle Faust. I interviewed her for Horror World a while back. She interviewed me for Fear Zone last year (can’t find the direct link to that one anymore). Despite being about vampires, you should pick up her Eternal Vigilance series.