Last weekend my husband and I went to Bubonicon in Albuquerque. We didn’t go last year but otherwise we have gone every August since we moved to New Mexico. This year our son and a friend of his went with us, and we all had a blast.
The highlight for me is always the close access to the authors: Ben Bova, Melinda Snodgrass, Steven Gould, Darynda Jones, Walter John Williams,and George R R Martin. Sometimes they are on panels discussing sci fi and fantasy in general. Other times they read from their recently published or soon-to-be published works. They answer questions and autographs books. It is a lot of fun.
I attended a session by Emily Mah, about formatting and marketing books. In addition to her writing, she owns a company that formats books. I was interested in what she had to say about marketing because there is always so much discussion of what you have to do to sell your books. She said to play to your own strengths rather than to try to do something that you know you will hate doing. If you like to blog, blog. If you like to meet and greet, do book signings. But if you don’t like one or the other of those two, do something else.
A highlight for both my son and me was a session by Steven Gould where he demonstrated aikido and the Japanese sword. We were fascinated and got some ideas that we want to incorporate into our book.
I left Bubonicon convinced that I have to get going on the book again, that we have to get it finished. I looked at it this morning and discovered I really liked some of the changes I made back in June. Now, if I can just get my son going on the fight scenes…
I would really like to encourage anyone who is interested in writing to attend these cons where you can sit in a small room with these really excellent authors. It is a great way to learn and to have a blast at the same time. While you may not be able to travel to New Mexico, there is probably a con fairly close to you — wherever you are!