Back to reality

Or whatever most closely approximates reality for me these days. Looks like September will be the calm before the ridiculousness that is October for me, as I  think I’m home most of this month, and gone most weekends next month. I spent a large portion of the morning looking at regional cons and trying to figure out which ones I want to attend next year, and then looking at budgeting for all that travel, which is no small feat.

Cons are one of those things that some people love and others loathe. I’m still trying to figure out where I need to be at a con, and what makes the most sense for me. There are almost always at least a couple of panels that I can get some valuable information out of, but frequently only a couple. I went to close to a dozen panels at Dragon*Con and actually took notes at two. It’s certainly not that I think I’m such a great writer that I don’t need more information, but with an hour-long panel most of what people go over is going to by nature be very basic. I did pick up some recommendations for good resource books and some networking sites that may prove useful, but that was more me grabbing little nuggets of wisdom out of the air than the panel itself being hugely useful.

So I’ve looked at all the remotely local cons that I could find, from as close as right here in Charlotte to as far away as Memphis, and tried to see which ones are worthwhile. I’ll definitely do Dragon again, and ConCarolinas would be a good one. I made back my table rental at Heroes Con, so we’ll give that one another shot, and since I’m kinda putting together the lit track for RoundCon in Columbia I figure I should plan on attending it. ChattaCon looks good, as does MidSouthCon, but damn, Memphis is a long way from here! Fandom Fest is a yes for me for next year, and the SC Book Festival is a maybe, if I can share a booth with someone and get a better location. Being all by myself and way on the back wall made it very hard to make any sales. And if I can’t get on any panels it won’t be worth attending.

But that should be easier, now that I have a publisher behind me. That’s another major reason I wanted to sign with a publisher – it’s a lot easier to get on panels and things like that if you’re not self-pubbed. So having BellBridge in my corner will give me a legitimacy in a lot of eyes that I can’t get on my own. Ugly truth, but truth nonetheless.

Obviously I still plan to self-publish some stuff. The money is really good, and some of my stuff just doesn’t fit, even in the small press world. Plus there are only so many publishing slots out there in a year, so just like no writer can keep up with the speed of a reader, no publisher can keep up with the speed of a fast writer. So now I’ve got a foot in both worlds, and we’ll see how it all works out. I can’t wait to get my first massive revision letter so I can go through all the cursing, weeping and drinking that my friend Misty describes. I’m sure I’ll be just as distraught as she was, because after all, how could anyone not LOVE my Black Knight Chronicles books?

Heh. I got that answer in spades this morning when Hard Day’s Knight got its first 1-star review on Amazon, and it was pretty ruthless. Unfortunately, there have been enough recent incidents of sock-puppet reviews that the first thing I did after reading it was to check the person’s other reviews and see if it looked like a fake review. Even more unfortunately, it looked like the review was legit, just from someone who hated the book.

I thought it would hurt more. You know, getting the first bad review was supposed to have me all devastated and stuff, right? Nah. I’ve gotten bad reviews before, because you can’t do theatre for any length of time without getting them. So I’m used to seeing people in print say I suck. But I did find a great trick for dealing with bad reviews. Other than ignore them and not read them at all, which is the best advice that I try to follow (and fail miserably). I went to one of my favorite books, Book 1 of The Dresden Files, and read one of his 1-star reviews. Yep, no matter how much a lot of people like something, somebody out there will hate it. So now I’ve gotten a 1-star. Won’t be my last, and I lived through it.

On a completely different note, the nominations for the annual Metrolina Theatre Awards are out, and both Suzy and I got nominated! I got a nod for my lighting design on Rent, and Suzy got nominated for her costuming of The Princess Bride and King Lear. So I guess we’ll break out the monkey suits on October 9th and go see who takes home the lucite statues. That is, if I’m not in rehearsal for another show. I did mention October was a little nuts, right?



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