I'm a little late in talking about my ConQuest experience. Most of my cohorts posted blogs a week ago. You can visit Jack Campbell, Jr., Kevin Wohler, and R.L. Naquin to see what they had to say about the convention.
Overall it was a ton of fun. It was crazy-busy. I missed out on doing a lot of the things I wanted to do, but I got to do a lot of things I hadn't prepared for, so it all it all worked out in the end.
I missed out on Story in a Bag, I did not drink with my fellow writers, and I was on panels for a majority of the Brandon Sanderson events. That being said, my fellow LFK Writers defended the Story in a Bag title: Dianne Williams won amateur sci-fi and Christie O. Hall won amateur fantasy. I'm so proud of my ladies! I also went to the Masquerade for the first time, where Dianne also won an Honorable Mention for her cosplay costume. We cheered super loud for her. Also? I went to the late-night panels instead of drinking. We wore pajamas (mine are Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) and Rachel and I wore tiaras. I'm not even kidding.
I got to spend time with old friends - Sean Demory, Holly Messinger, and James and Anita Young - and made some new friends, too, like Gareth-Michael Skarka and his wife Laura, as well as the brilliant and enthusiastic Sarah Bredeman, who spoke on the NaNo panel with me. My network is ever-expanding, but more importantly, these conventions are becoming like big reunions.
As for Brandon Sanderson? Well, after closing ceremonies, we were standing around chatting, and he ended up right behind us. Bolstered by the buddy system, fellow LFK Writer Eliza Jaquays and I made our way up to him to say hello and get his autograph. The man was well-spoken and kind, and even had book plates in his jacket pocket since our books were already packed. I'm a bigger fan of him now than I was before.
My panels went well, I think. The panel on Working through the Bad Days wasn't entirely what I was expecting, but it turns out I have a lot of knowledge and experience, so I felt like I was able to speak authoritatively and supportively. I'll probably suggest a panel on mental health and art for next year, since it was a well-attended panel and I strongly believe the more we talk about mental illness, the less stigma there is associated with it.
The NaNoWriMo panel was kind of a mess, but it was fun. It was basically the panels on the panel and the panelists' writing groups in the audience. It became more of a "what does NaNo look like in your region" rather than an informative session. I had fun, though. I gave the KC municipal liaison my card, so hopefully we can talk joint write-in sometime this year.
Jack did an amazing job on all of his panels, sold several books, and promoted the heck out of Bottle Cap Publishing and the Confabulator Cafe. The Cafe has had many hits and a potential guest blogger since the convention. It's all very exciting.
Best of all, as always, my convention weekend has lit a creative fire in me. I'm moving ahead with projects and making plans. I'll give an update about those in another week or two. I've innundated you with enough information for now.
Thanks for stopping in! Hope you'll join me and my friends at ConQuesT 47 next year!