I’d have to state that my overall experience at Fandomfest this year deserves about a 7 out of 10. Overall, it was a great experience that provided some much needed information and introductions to some great people! And as always, the side benefit of hanging out with people of the same kind of crazy as me.
It is still a baby convention when it comes to literary tracks. Despite that, in my opinion largely due to one great guy, it has drawn some incredible talent and with his efforts it continues to improve. Whether that continues will fall into the laps of the powers that be who will have to decide that the literary track is as important as all the other goings on. My only serious complaint about the con this year falls along these lines. Poor communication of panels, author guests and literary track events left most con-goers completely unaware that a literary track even existed. If this doesn’t change, the literary track will self destruct. That said, remember that I said I would rate this con at a 7 out of 10 for my own experience. So here’s the highlight film.
- Even though a 4pm panel on a Friday is generally poorly attended (no one showed at all), my first panel was full of friends I haven’t seen in months. Starting off with good people and creative banter is a win in my book!
- I mentioned people, right? A trip around the dealer room brought me into conversations with some great people like Stephanie Beebe of Post Mortem Press where we talked as much about my Five Fingers as we did writing, publishing and cons, and David Youngquist of Dark Continents Publishing who was a source of encouragement as we talked about my work, the history of Dark Continents and the writing process.
- Let’s add one more with a bullet point all their own – The DeKays. Larry and Peggy DeKay are incredible individuals and time spent with them was engaging, encouraging and insightful. For a little more information on a great opportunity from them that is on the near horizon check out this link.
- Much needed information that began with a panel on writing children’s books in which author, Deborah Smith Ford, introduced me to the Flesch-Kincaid scale for readability and grade level and informed me of the resources that can be found in guided tours in my local bookstore’s children’s section. Immediately following I ran into Peggy DeKay and she taught me how to find the readability statistics I’d just learned about in Microsoft Word. I’ve since discovered that I’m far closer than I thought in having my children’s books ready for submission!
- And let’s not forget the panels I had the pleasure of moderating – topics included how we approach world building, the Sword and Sorcery genre, costuming in and from writing, and realities of writing a series. As always, I learned a ton and met some fascinating people! To name a few of the new faces, Janice Hardy, Thomas Paul Barczack, Ted Crim & Tracy Chowdhury, Kalayna Price, Selah Janel, Scott Sandridge & Ren Garcia and I certainly hope that those involved in the costuming panel do get to see their favorite characters cosplayed one day. I would be remiss I didn’t also mention those I’ve come to know through past conventions as well who added their charm and expertise to each panel, people like J.L. Mulvihill, Steven Shrewsbury, Jackie Gamber and Stephanie Osborn.
- Then add a crazy road trip with the Gamber clan as book ends and it was one incredible weekend.
So there you have a snapshot review of Fandomfest 2012. Great talent, great people, and a wealth of encouragement and needed information made for a worthwhile experience! Thanks to Stephen Zimmer of Seventh Star Press for the invitation to come and for all his work that made it possible.