Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Surrey International Writers' Con schedule

So in my last post I mentioned I’d be at the Surrey International Writers’ Conference in Surrey, BC, Canada later this month. It is, arguable, the best writers’ con in north America and I’m honored to be a guest there for the second year running. More about the con can be found at the above link, and if you can’t make it this year I highly encourage you to try next year. It’s useful for writers of all levels - I’ve already picked out the workshops I’d like to attend - and the camraderie between panelists and attending authors can’t be beat.

Here’s my tentative schedule (though I have blue pencil sessions every day as well, and I read some amazing pages there last year!):

Friday, October 24th, 3:30-5:00 pm: Panel -THE SCIENCE OF INSPIRATION. 

I am totally qualified to teach this as I learned to French braid my hair in high school chemistry. Trust me. Oh, wait. Here’s the official description:

A peek into the secrets behind best-selling speculative fiction from the weavers of alternate reality - and one guy who really buys into it. 

Saturday, October 25th, 1:30-3:00 pm: GET OVER YOURSELF - AND GET WRITING. 

How do you keep out of your own way long enough to sustain an idea and write that idea into a finished book? A look at goal-setting, making time, and helping first-time authors stop making excuses and beat the mind games that stand in the way of publication.

Basically, this is where I get to unleash my inner-writing beast and say, “If I have to work this hard, so do you! Neener-neener!” 

And then I proceed to give you tools that show you how

Let me make a sports analogy, if I may: When I was learning to play tennis my coaches would all say, “Footwork is key…move your feet!” which was undeniably true. But the best coaches would then go on to tell me exactly how to do that. This stuff is not necessarily intuitive, and a good coach/teacher/instructor will find you new ways to tell you old advice so that something finally clicks with 1) your way of learning and 2) skill level. (Wow. That was a long ‘aside’.) 

Anyway, this is the second year I’m teaching this workshop and I’ve been told that it was one of the most popular/useful last year. My only guess as to why is that all advice offered is done in the Surrey spirit: to connect with other writers and see all our dreams come true. I’d love for you to join me in this.

5:30 - 7:00 pm - Book Fair! All presenters are on hand to sign. I sneak in a glass of wine and goggle at all the other authors. They are my rock stars.

Sunday 11:00 - 12:15: Blood Runs Cold - Fear, Shock and Horror in No-Holds-Barred Chillers. Two best-selling authors discuss handling all the delicate issues (and tissues) of modern horror.

This is with Michael Slade, a wonderful writer and speaker, and I think the ‘No-Holds Barred’ bit means I get to put him in a headlock. Who wouldn’t pay to see that, right?

For those of you who are attending, please say hi if you see me wandering dazedly around the hallways. That's why I'm there. {s}

Saturday, October 4, 2008

October events

An oddity about finishing my latest round of revisions on CITY OF SOULS (fourth in the Signs of the Zodiac series) - I was a zombie for about two days afterwards. And not in a genre-appropriate good way! I finally gave up any pretense of usefulness and watched movies all day in bed. That was yesterday. Today? Refreshed!

So maybe there really is something to all this take a break/fill the well garbage, huh?

As autumn and October in specific is my favorite time of year, I’m not starting anything new. I’m going to enjoy the weather, catch up with my poor Real Life cast-offs - if they’ll still have me - and finish the rewrites on the short for next year’s anthology with Kim Harrison, Melissa Marr, Jeaniene Frost and Jocelynn Drake. Speaking of which…

If the crick don’t rise, it shall now be known as UNBOUND. Thematically speaking, it fits these adult UF stories, and I love it. So I’m excited to put that story to rest.

However, it is not all candy corn and sloth, and I do have a couple of work-related events I’m looking forward to in October. First,

Sunday Oct 24th-26th - Surrey International Writers’ Conference/Surrey, BC, Canada. This is my second year attending, though I’d been wanting to attend for a good half-decade before that. This is a con for writers of all levels, and it offers one very important thing that most other cons cannot: intimacy. 

This does not mean you get to sleep with the presenters. 

(That would certainly alter the auction aspect of the con, though! {G}) 

It does mean that you get one-on-one time with them during Blue Pencil Cafe sessions (I mean, when else are you going to get the chance to force-feed your work to author Diana Gabaldon or agent Janet Reid?), you get to pepper them with questions over lunch and dinner because they’re not at a separate ‘writers/presenters’ table. And the workshops have been prepped, planned, well-thought out, and aren’t {koff} sessions meant to stroke a certain author/panel’s ego. (Have we not all attended something like that before? Sorry, but if I want to be treated like a pleb, I’ll go shopping at Nordy’s in my flip-flops. I don’t need the attitude when I’m working hard, prepping a manuscript for submission, and have paid good money for professional advice, thanks!)

So, in a nutshell, the goal of Surrey is to offer writers of all levels a venue to come together and support each other. It’s also extremely well-priced compared to other cons. For more info, click on the above link. I’m going to talk about a couple of other events so they don’t get lost in the Surrey-love, but I’ll have my full Surrey schedule up next week.

Next: Something I must mention because I was supposed to be a part of it, and am heartbroken that I cannot: 

In Las Vegas

Sunday October 26th - all day: Cheesecake and Crime’s (Mystery Book Shop and Cheesecake Joint) Sunday Spooktacular — “Dracula’s Bite” Blood Drive. 

What a wonderful idea, huh? I love this bookstore, and I’m going to go back and take some pictures so I can blog about why I love it so much, but this sort of fun and ingenuity is one good example. Chris Marie Green (who writes the Vampire Babylon series, and whom I got a chance to meet at this year’s Comic-Con) will be there signing her books, and I know they’re going to have a pumpkin carving contest, a costume contest, and they’ll be showing “Dracula” at 6 pm. I am so sorry to miss this event, but if you want to check out more about Cheesecake and Crime (and I highly suggest doing so!) you can find them at the above link.

Thursday Oct 30th - All Soul’s Eve/Halloween Podcast on BlogTalk Radio at 3:00 pm EST. You can call in or text questions you have for me or (drumroll, please): Melissa Marr, Jeaniene Frost, Mark Del Franco, Jocelynn Drake and Holly Black. It will be an hour program, but if you miss the live feed, it’ll be available for download immediately after. So if you have any question for me or any of these other amazing authors, bookmark the above link and write in or call during the show: 347-826-9684.