I trotted back in on Friday, raring to go, more or less, for a 4 panel day.
I kicked things off with a nice quiet lunch at the Sofitel, then went to go do a panel on local bookstores with Eric Heideman.
This was well-attended and lively, given the space and being in the second hotel, which was pleasant. We talked about ways to support local bookstores and put in plugs for DreamHaven Books, Uncle Hugo's and Uncle Edgar's Bookstores, Once Upon a Crime, Subtext and Addendum Books, Magers and Quinn, James and Mary Laurie Booksellers (used, online), Sixth Chamber, Tamarack Books (used), Birchbark Books and the BookHouse. Also gave tangential plugs to The Source, B&N at Har Mar and Big Brain Comics. This would be most indie bookstores in the area with the exception of The Bookcase in Wayzata, which we forgot about, and Uncommon Good Books, which was not genre-friendly in its previous location - let me know if this has changed and I'll upgrade them. Conclusions - shop there, tell your friends, buy gift certificates, order online, but no real magic bullets beyond community support.
And then I agreed to come to a book discussion at North Country Gaylaxians Bookclub on October 8th to talk about Silver Moon. :-D
I then went off to wander around for a bit and chat up Kelly and Laura McCullough, Sean Murphy, Elizabeth Bear and assorted other people in the bar and on my way to my next panel, Social Media Marketing for Creatives. The latter was lively and fast-paced. Panelists plugged Tumbler, Myspace, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, but didn’t have much love for Pinterest. Giveaways and web specials proved very effective for the visual artists and the one costumer, though I can’t say I’ve been wowed by the results for me or other writers I’ve spoken to. Overall, this was an interesting panel from the standpoint of rethinking some promotional things. I do think mileage for writers does vary though so I’ll have to look into how useful it would be to do a serial story on my blog and such.
From there, I was off to British Women Fantasy Writers. Local fan/reviewer/award-admin David Lenander and I led the audience on a merry chase through our favorites, disagreeing about a few, agreeing enthusiastically on others. I owe the audience a list on this and will try to get through it in the next few days. Good discussion and it was fun to do with a well-read fellow panelist and audience members.
I met my friend Betsy and assorted new friends at the bar for dinner. A lively discussion ensued about immigration, being the child of immigrants, being queer and general outside status fun stuff. Good talk, decent meal, usual mixups re: bills at convention hotels.
From there, I rounded out the day with They Came from Fandom, a panel on pros who started out (and are still) fans. This was an interesting one. Discussion ranged from fannish bonafides, first sales, what our involvement still was in fandom and an enthusiastic defense of pro writers being eligible for the Best Fan Writer Hugo. My contribution with sundry anecdotes and questions. As with many panels at this particular con, designating a moderator ahead of time would have been helpful for direction. But the audience found it all pretty entertaining as did most of the panel, so this might be worth a reprise elsewhere.
Saturday night was gloriously sleepless, once I got home. Bursitis + shoulder problems = 3 hours sleep, which led to sleeping on the couch, AKA kitty trampoline time. 18 lbs of cat leaping onto your stomach at 4AM from the top of the sofa, claws out, is an experience to be missed.
Despite it all, I staggered back to hotel and arrived one minute late for Mythic Britain, which meant, ta-da! I was designated moderator. We winged it all over the map, and through space and time on this one. It was pretty entertaining and informative enough that an audience member stopped by to tell me that it was the best panel he had ever been to, which was very sweet.
I roamed the art show and the Dealer’s Room, then headed out to lunch with Kim Long-Ewing and Sean Murphy and got much needed caffeine. Lively discussion at this too. Then back again for to read for the folks who managed to make it through the elevator crowds to the 22nd floor for the BU reading. From there, I ran into my friend Jody and sat around chatting for a bit, then went home and fell on my face.
Sunday was a work day – novel proposal and 1st guest blog post are progressing, though slower than I would like. Apart from that, good con weekend all around. Met new folks, had good panels, felt the love and all that good stuff.