More Dragon*Con Goodies

So I went to my first ever Dragon*Con last weekend with some gals from my writing group and if you couldn't tell from the previous posts we had a blast. It was completely exhausting, but that was to be expected.  I was pretty bad at taking pictures, the first day I forgot to charge my camera. Then it was usually burried in my bag so that I couldn't get it out in time to get a picture! My friends were much better at this, so here are some of my fav pics they took and the links to their sites so that you can see some more!

Check out Linda Robertson and Laura Bickle's blogs for more pics and hillarity:

Cute Little Blog Award

Thanks to Amanda for passing on the love! One of my favorite things to do is commiserate with other writers and lucky for me the internet has made so gosh darn easy to do!

Before I dive in to my nominations lets go over the rules of the game!

1. Thank the person who nominated you for this award.
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3. Link to the person who nominated you for this award.
4. Name 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting. (see below)
5. Nominate 7 Kreativ Bloggers.
6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know they have been nominated.

Okay, here are my seven fun facts about myself:

1. I am totally addicted to The SIMS. It is one of my favorite computer games of all times. I have versions 1, 2, and 3. Though my computer needs to be fully upgraded so that I can really enjoy the newest release. Sometimes I use the characters from my favorite books as inspiration in my game.

2. I love the geek revolution that is taking place. Its suddenly cool to be a gamer, to know a little about technology,to be obsessed over a tv show that isn't star trek. I've enjoyed my ride.

3. Writing is all I have ever wanted to do. My dream is to be able to support myself with my writing full-time and to become one of those authors who writes books that readers savor for a special "lazy day". I just want folks to relax, laugh, and enjoy my novels.

4. I suffer from the oldest child complex. Though in my defense I might just be the only sane person in my family.

5. I may write gritty, passionate, cynical stuff but deep down I'm a total romantic. I believe in soul mates and true love. I'm still looking though so if you're out there...hem hem...any day now. lol.

6. If I could choose one fictional world to live in it would be Harry Potter. There is something beyond magical about the world that JK Rowling has created. It is so much more than spells or potions. She made that world come to life right off the page and it's completely addictive.

7. I absolutely hate revisions with a passion. I know that it is necessary, but it is like pulling teeth for me. I love getting crits and feedback, but actually making the edits, cutting scenes, adding scenes, rearranging's a pain in the you know what. I think I am going to have to just set aside my vacation to do nothing but revisions and crank them out like boot camp. That way they are done and I can more on.

Last but not least:

Here are my nominations for cool Kreative Bloggers. They include fellow urban fantasy authors and some of my favorite book review sites.

Linda Robertson:
Laura Bickle:
Donna a.k.a Fantasy Dreamer:
Reverie Book Reviews
The League of Reluctant Adults
Preternatural Reviews

What I do when I'm supposed to be writing...

Discover random contests for signed copies of Breaking Dawn (4th twilight book) on You love me don't you??? I knew you did. All you have to do is click on the link, hop on over to Twilight-Guy's post and leave a comment! Warning, there are already 630+ comments and the drawing is completely random. you don't get any extra shots for commenting on my post either! But you're welcome to do so.

And just for fun, another random new moon spoof/video.

Tom Felton: Saturday 9/05 panel Dragon*Con 2009

I know I talked about how much fun Tom Felton was, so to prove it I am posting a little clip from the panel I was in on Saturday. Enjoy!

DragonCon Recap: Day 3

Boy am I exhausted. Let me tell you, I thought Saturday was crazy...Sunday at DragonCon is like the last hurrah. I could not believe how many people were invading the streets of Atlanta. There were some great panels today and a few that I wanted to get on but couldn't.

I had to be up bright and early for a session on Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy, in which the panelists discussed the differences between the two sub-genres. It was relatively interesting but a lot of it was stuff I already knew of or read. No big revelations here. For some of you looking on great definitions or explanations of Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance here are some good articles/essays.

Notes on Urban Fantasy...
Angry Chicks in Leather...
More Thoughts on Angry Chicks in Leather...

Then I went to one on strong female protagonists. This panel was a lot of fun, though unfortunately about 20 minutes through it moved to the topic of sex. I'm not sure why because in my opinion strong women does not automatically mean that they have to be sexually active/promiscuous. In fact, when talking about the genre of paranormal romance and urban fantasy in general it feels like some people like to use sex as part of their definition. Sorry, but it doesn't work that way. My character has sex. I like to read about character's having sex. There's nothing like that moment in a book full of sexual tension (or in some cases a series) when the two characters finally give in, let go, and have at it. But still, it doesn't define the book or the character. The act or omission of sex certainly doesn't make a strong female protagonist. You can't say that the chicks who are tough don't get into the mushy stuff and have sex because that's just not true. Likewise there may be real strength in a very promiscuous female resisting sex. It all depends on the story and the character. If you stay true to that character you'll be good.

Anyway, if you are really interested in having good sex writing good sex...Stacia Kane did a whole series (Be a Sex Writing Strumpet) on her blog.

I hit up the Bite me Panel with some of the heavy hitters writing vampire fiction right now (AKA Charlaine Harris, Sherilyn Kenyon, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro). How cool was it to listen to the three of them talk. One thing that continually impressed me was how respectful they were of other authors when answering questions, specifically about Stephanie Meyer and Twilight. I believe it was Chelsea who reiterated that for a woman to make it that far and be that successful in writing is huge. I agree. Writing in general is hard. Charlaine made an additional comment, that she had a target audience and she hit a bulls-eye. Good for her. It also helped to increase the sales of other PR/UF authors and get publishers/agents/buyers to look at vampires and urban fantasy that before they wouldn't even have considered it.

I attempted to go to a panel called life in the Dollhouse, but it was full so I'll just tell you what I love about the show. It's great. It's funny. I love the concept, it reminds me of Dark Angel, which is also a show I was a fan of many years ago. I don't get the science behind everything but the great thing about a show like this is you don't have to. The science isn't shoved down your throat. You can still understand the plot. You can still like the characters and question their motivations. Fabulous! Can't wait for season 2 which starts Friday September 25th. If you like Urban Fantasy, check it out.

And least but not least I got to listen to the creative director/editor of Weird Tales. Stephen Segal is a pretty cool guy. Definitely has his you know what together. He took over Weird Tales a few years back. I knew that they were doing some major revamping, but since I stopped writing short stories, I haven't put much effort into following their progress. Apparently last month they won a Hugo for best semiprozine and that is a huge, huge, deal. Big upset considering Locus has dominated for years. They have a new fiction editor who was also nominated for a nebula I think, so it looks like the future is bright for them. Congrats! If you've never checked them out I encourage you to do so In the mean time here is a quick video to wet your appetite. All in all, it was a good day.

DragonCon Recap: Day 2

Howdy from Atlanta.

I'm tired, slightly hungover and wishing this stupid hotel had roomservice. Or should I say inn, because it really is an inn not a hotel. I guess because I travel so much for work now I am super spoiled. Oh well. Life goes on. I'll just have to use some of that super huge advance I'm going to get to pay for my lavish room next year.

Highlights for the day...

Got to meet Tom Felton, the guy who plays Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter films. Well, technically I didn't actually get to meet him. I got to be in the same room with him, about thirty yards away and listen to him talk. Fun, fun, fun. He kept saying that Rupert Grint (who plays Ron) was super funny, but Tom was pretty funny himself. He talked about the other actors, what he wants to do after HP. He said that he got a handwritten note from JK congratulating him on his performance of Draco in the last movie (which OMG was absolutely great if you haven't seen it yet, shame on you!) All in all, I have to admit, that I'm kind of crushing on him a little bit. Oh and yes his hair was still blond. Though he did say the moment he got rid of the color people didn't recognize him!

I also went to the twilight session and "met" the actors who play Carlisle and Eric. Sorry Twi-harts, they just weren't as interesting as Draco. They didn't have much to say...the questions fans were asking were pretty lame, although Tom has gone through a lot more movies and probably done events like this a billion times, he was just more interesting. I will say that DragonCon was Tom's first con ever and he was having a blast. He kept saying that he wanted to bring all his friends back because they would never believe the stuff he was seeing unless they saw it with their own eyes. True, true.

Last big panel I was on was a Southern Vampire panel called undead in Dixie. It was a lot of fun. Charlaine Harris was on it, so of course it was packed. I'm not sure why they had it in such a small room. Hello! But the moderator asked cool questions, kept it focused on the topic. Everyone seemed to have a good time.

That was my day. I spent a lot of time waiting around. Got lost a couple times. Did some writing in the hallway. Yep. The glamorous life of a no-name writer.

Dragon Con Day 1: Recap

I feel like I should start this post with the ridonculous horrors that was our arrival into Atlanta for the DragonCon09 but to be honest, it is still a very painful and bitter memory. Perhaps once I am home and nothing else can go wrong as part of my DragonCon experience I will share. Instead I will start with today, the official day one.

First a pick of Linda Robertson author of Vicious Circle enjoying the cosplay!

Registration. OMG. I knew this con was big, but somehow that did not translate to me the potential nightmare of the logistics for things like registration. All and all, it was very smooth. I was so impressed that even though it was an hour wait, the line was moving steady and no one was complaining. I did hear that people who registered the night before (on Thursday) had a much longer wait for pre-reg but then again, they were also free to attend the earliest panels.

DragonCon TV: Too cool. I love it. If you are at one of the con hotels check it out. If you're not, you can check this out online and get the scoop on DragonCon first:

The Hotels: If you can manage I say room in one of the hosting hotels. It just makes things easier. I find the layout of the Hyatt, which is where the Dark Fantasy/Horror/Romance track and the writing track are, to be very confusing. Sometimes I forget which hotel I'm even in..and I will admit, that after seeing something is in the Sheraton I have decided not to go to that panel!

The Sessions:
The interview with Charlaine Harris was AWESOME!!! I was totally geeking out. I love it when I find people who are in love with the series as I am. The couple next to me had read the books and watched True Blood and like me, they loved them both as is. Because so many people I know are not up to speed on Season 2 (b/c they don't have HBO) and because some people have only either read the books or watched the show, I never have anyone I can talk openly with in person. So this was fantastic. We got hints to the Season Finale which CH has a cameo in and teasers for season 3 including some fun new casting sessions happening right now! I'll try to do a post just on CH and TB.

Went to two urban fantasy panels, and was loving it! Meant some new authors including an Ohio native Leanna Renee Hieber who's debut novel "The strangely beautiful tale of Miss Percy Parker" which just came out last week. She's going to be in Columbus in a few weeks, so I will write more about her later as well.

I'm also super excited about some YA books that are coming out. You should know by now I am a huge fan of YA stuff and I think that for the SF genre, (SF including Sci-Fi and Fantasy) they are doing some amazing stuff in YA that I am not finding in Adult stuff. As a writer, I find the vulnerability, insecurity, and general naivete of YA characters an interesting change of pace. Some of my faves based on the convo...

*Hunger Games & Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
*Demon's Lexicono by Sarah Resse Brennan
*Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey
*Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
*Ash by Melinda Lo
* The Dead and the Gone, Live as we knew it and The world I live In all by Susan Beth Pfeffer
*Leviathan by Scott Westerfield

There were a couple of my all time faves on the list that I have already read:
*The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
*Wake By Lisa McMann (also wrote Fade and Gone)
*City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

Okay that's all for now. My pics from the iphone aren't very good but I have my Nikon today so I will get more good stuff to post.

Urband Fantasy is completely UNDEAD!!!

Thanks to Michelle Rasey for passing along this great article on Urban Fantasy. I've been asking myself this very questions for the last few months every time I see a new urban fantasy book hit the shelves. I am always worried that by the time my book gets sold and published the market will have moved on. And sure I can write other things, but I love Urban Fantasy the most. Then again, I am reminded that I loved Urban fantasy years ago too. It seems like it is one of those things that never really dies. Just becomes a huge fad then fades into the background again. Regardless, it seems like folks are embracing the UF world and maybe the sudden popularity is a good thing for me as a writer. It could mean that if I write a good story that isn't just some rehashing of something someone else already did that I could have an easier time of selling and readers will readily embrace it. Or it could mean that folks are so overwhelmed by the volume of new UF being thrown at them that they discount my stuff without giving it a chance because they assume that I'm jumping on some bandwagon, trying to make a quick buck.

Oh well. Here's the article.