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...http://juno-books.com/blog/?p=410
Angry Chicks in Leather...http://fantasyhotlist.blogspot.com/2008/12/ad-lib-column-lilith-saintcrow.html
More Thoughts on Angry Chicks in Leather...http://www.lilithsaintcrow.com/journal/2008/12/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. http://stacia-kane.livejournal.com/tag/be+a+sex-writing+strumpet

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. http://www.fox.com/dollhouse/

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 www.weirdtales.net. In the mean time here is a quick video to wet your appetite. All in all, it was a good day.