Originally posted HERE
I just got back from the CopperCon 27 in Phoenix, Arizona.
What's funny about it, is that I almost missed the convention, because I thought it was next week. By pure chance, I got an email inviting me to another convention. They wanted me to give them a short bio, so I thought I'd take the easy route and just use the same one I gave to CopperCon. When I went to CopperCon's site, I saw that the convention started on the 6th. I looked down at my watch and saw that it was the 7th. My heart sank because I thought I had missed my first panel and reading. Then I realized it was just after midnight and that I hadn't missed it. Whew! So the only thing I can say is that someone up there is looking after me. Thanks!
So I did my first panel and my first reading ever.... and they were great. I knew both of the panel members from previous conventions. There were only 2 people in the audience when we started, but there ended up being 8 people when it was finished. It was the first panel of the day, so a lot of people weren't at the convention yet. I shocked myself by all the insightful comments I had to say about the Harry Potter phenomenon, our topic. My mind was working well.
For my reading, 5 people showed up. That seems like a small number, doesn't it? Well, I was expecting nobody. I've been to readings before where I was the only person in the audience. I was able to video tape the whole reading. I’ll put that on my DVD and website eventually.
I read the prologue and chapter 14 (Magic Lessons). I did all of the character voices and did a pretty good job, if I do say so myself. I even had to wipe away a tear when I finished the prologue. After the prologue, everyone commented highly about “what a great prologue” it was. I can't help but wonder if they were impressed because of my performance or because of the actual prologue. I wasn't nervous at all, and, like I said, I did surprisingly well. After chapter 14, the audience commented that their favorite part was the "dog poop" comment that Tonya said to Thorn about being able to use anything (including dog poop) to funnel the magic. I got a couple other chuckles out of the audience from that chapter.
After the reading, one of the panel members was kind enough to inform me (for about 20 minutes) that I messed up on some of the facts of the ER and medical profession. He suggested I fix those parts before the book gets published. I appreciate his advice but I think it’s too late. Also, I really don’t want to bog down the text with technical jargon. Windstorm already told me that it’s too late to make editorial changes. They’re too far into the process for that. Personally, my book is for young readers, so I don’t think they’re going to even care that the doctors didn’t spout off medical terms and procedures. At least, that’s what I’m hoping!
The next day was fun. I had a panel in the morning about the business etiquette. Again, lots of good comments from me. I don't know where I come up with this stuff. My mind was working well. Sometimes I just forget everything and I can't get a sensible thing out of my mouth, but this wasn't one of those times.
I ended the day with a panel about creating realistic aliens in fiction. It was fun and there were quite a lot of people in the audience.
I got some great pictures of me fighting with a light saber. I also rubbed shoulders with a couple New York Times bestsellers. It was interesting, since both of them mentioned issues with paying the bills. I guess even successful authors are still faced with money issues... either that or they have expensive lifestyles. This wasn't comforting to me. My greatest desire would be to be able to write full time for the rest of my life.
As a total side note... I sat behind a woman who I had seen at a previous convention. She is the spitting image of a girl I had thoughts of marrying when I was younger (I don't even remember the girl's name now -- That's how bad I am with names). She looked about 10 years older than me, though, but it was so uncanny I couldn't believe my eyes. She turned around and looked back at me about 10 times during the concert, but I just smiled and didn't say anything. Her name tag said "Cat." I'm sure I'll do a double take at the next convention I see her at.