Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Putting the "Fan" in Fandom Fest

The Plot Bunny Cometh

This past weekend, two types of fans descended on the sci-fi/fantasy/horror con known as Fandom Fest. The first consisted of authors, readers, editors and publishers devoted to speculative fiction. The other kind blew air on perspiring con attendees. Yes, folks, when other bloggers mention the unbearable heat, they speak the truth.

Nevertheless, this con is particularly special because not only did I participate in an Author Reading, I also sat on my first panel: “Urban Fantasy – Can You Define It?” Other authors on the panel included Michael Williams, Denise Verrico, Missa Dixon, and Julie Kagawa. Yes, folks, I sat next to a RITA winner. For those of you who don’t know, Julie Kagawa won the 2011 RITA for best young adult romance with her novel, The Iron King.

The problem with panels, of course, is not being able to attend them all. Fandom Fest offered a diverse selection, ranging from “Academic Credibility for Speculative Fiction” to “Cover Art – A Book is Judged By Its Cover” to “The Paranormal in Fiction.” And no, I can’t tell you my favorite panel. I enjoyed them all.

Also enjoyed hanging out with three other members of Savvy Authors: Amy McCorkle, Marian Allen and Fiona Young-Brown. Except for Amy, I hadn’t met Marian or Fiona in person until then, even though they live in the region.

Of course, cons are for networking. Not only did I collect a number of business cards and bookmarks, I also chatted with authors and publishers, some who I’ve met before at previous cons. Gwen Mayo, a Kentucky mystery writer, gave me some good advice about noting information on the back of someone’s business card for future reference. And Missa Dixon gave me tips on how to prepare for a panel. I’m happy to say my first time went pretty well. Not perfect but better than I expected.    

Credit also goes to Gwen and Sarah Glenn of the local chapter of Sisters in Crime for telling me about Fandom Fest and encouraging me to contact Stephen Zimmer, the literary track director. And thanks to Stephen for letting me play in his sandbox.  


Sonya Clark said...

This sounds like it was awesome! And I love the plot bunny, that is too cute.

Marian Allen said...

It was great meeting you and Fiona and Amy! There needs to be a greater Savvy presence next year. A Savvy party, to spread the word about Savvy and its members! Yeah!

Marian Allen
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Melissa Jarvis said...

Ok, I write paranormal romance, am a paranormal addict and am not familiar with this event. And I'm a publicist who has promoted comic book artists! How did I miss this? Is it like Comic Con used to be before Hollywood took over? I need to know!

PamelaTurner said...

Fandom Fest was awesome, Sonya. And I couldn't resist the Plot Bunny. So far, he hasn't multiplied. :-)

Marian, maybe Savvy could have a vendor's table at the con. That would be one way to get the word out about our fantastic "little" group.

Melissa, Fandom Fest is in conjunction with Fright Night Film Fest. http://www.fandomfest.com/
I don't know how long it's been going on, having only heard of it myself this year. Two writers from Sisters in Crime introduced me to it.