Saturday, June 23, 2012

ConTemporal, day 3

When I attend a convention, I almost always stay at the con hotel, so I'm finding it a bit odd to commute to this con.  That said, getting to work in my own office and sleep in my own bed is nice.  The distance, though, meant that after too few hours of sleep I had to get up in the nines--never a good thing on a Saturday--work, shower, and then drive to the con.

Well, not so much to the con as by the con and on to the Owens 501 Diner for late breakfast/early lunch.  I normally prefer to eat much later, but I was booked for five straight hours starting at noon, so it was either an early lunch or no lunch at all. 

After lunch, Laura Haywood-Cory, Jennie Faries, David Drake, and I presented the Baen Traveling Roadshow, a slide show and presentation in which we discuss upcoming and recent books, show their original cover art and ultimate covers, and give away lots of swag.  The session was smaller than it is at most conventions, but the audience was great, and we all had a good time.

I went straight from it to a panel on subplots.  Sam Montgomery-Blinn, editor of Bull Spec, moderated the discussion among Tonia Brown, JM Lee, and me.  I've mentioned Sam before and had already done a panel with Tonia, but I met JM for the first time here.  She's a fifteen-year-old writer who's working on her third novel; she and her dad, who acts as her manager, self-published her first two.  Sam kept us moving along as we covered everything from how to weave in subplots to how to know you have too many.  I'm not sure how helpful our answers were, but we certainly all gave it our best.

Next up for me was a panel on finances for writers.  JoSelle Vanerhooft moderated this one. She, JM Lee, JM's dad, and I dispensed advice for writers and answered questions.  My experience is that relatively few writers handle their finances well, but I'm hopeful that more and more will learn how to do so.

I then did a book signing, after which it was work time.

Dave was on an 8:00 panel on pirates, a topic about which he knows a great deal.  I enjoyed that session, and then I bid goodbye to the con, because I won't be back Sunday due to other plans.

I must commend the ConTemporal team; they did a great job for a first-time convention. 

Dinner tonight was a delicious birthday celebration with tasty Italian food from Chapel Hill's Il Palio. I'd write more, but I'm exhausted and still have work to do, so I must turn to it.

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