Friday, February 19, 2010

Boskone 47 Recap

Let me start by saying I had a wonderful time, and a huge "Thank You!" is owed the hardworking volunteer staff who put together this convention.

I picked up my materials when I checked in Friday afternoon, and confirmed that I had two panels Friday night. Then I took a look at the Pocket Program to see what items I wanted to attend. That's one of the perks of Boskone. I'm not only presenting, but I get to see other writers share their expertise.

My first panel was Seriously, Where *Do* Your Ideas Come From? I've done similar panels before, but I always manage to find something fresh to say. This time I mentioned how while I was out walking last week I saw a hot pink condom of unusual dimensions by the side of the road...and it gave me the idea for a story. So the short answer is, my ideas come from everywhere.

The other panelists were Paul G. Tremblay and Mary A. Turzillo, with whom I've done panels at previous cons, and Hugo and Nebula award winning author Lois McMaster Bujold, along with Campbell Award winner David Anthony Durham as moderator. It was a high powered group, and I enjoyed it immensely.

Right after that I had Paranormal Romance: Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Werewolf? with Ginjer Buchanan, Toni L.P. Kelner and Shariann Lewitt. Ginjer was the moderator and did a good job keeping us in line during a lively discussion of where Paranormal Romance fits in with the traditional SF and Fantasy landscape.

It seemed appropriate that this would be followed by The Zombie Casino, our main Friday night event in the Con Suite. There were plenty of zombies, braaaaiiiiinnzzzz (gelatin candy ones), severed fingers and snacks of dubious provenance. Games of chance were played, and I wandered from table to table chatting, snacking, and checking things out. Then at 10 p.m. was the Art Show reception. This year's GoH was John Piccacio, a high energy, active guest, but we also had a Michael Whelan retrospective with the artist himself in residence.

I saw some lovely items at the art show, but fortunately--or unfortunately, depending on your POV--nothing that screamed "You Must Buy Me!" Then it was time for room parties and bid parties and the usual round of convention socializing.

Next morning I was up too early, as usual for a con, but took advantage of the opportunity to have a leisurely breakfast at the hotel and catch up on some reading. The freezing temps outside did not tempt me to venture away from the hotel, and there was plenty to do at Boskone to keep me busy.

I ran into Dani Kollin, who along with his brother Eytan make up the only known sibling writing duo in SF/F. We've been on panels together in the past, and I like the Kollin boys. They're entertaining, and Dani has some neat ideas on publicity and promotion. For example, he's doing a website called Never Ending Panel to keep the conversations from the cons going. Dani asked if he could interview me at the con, and we arranged a time to meet later in the day.

I sat in on Beth Bernobich's reading, and I'm looking forward to her new collection. She's got some great writing going on.

I dropped by the Dealer's Room to check out my novels at Old Earth Books (They were there. Whew!), then got lunch in the Con Suite and chatted with friends I only get to see once or twice a year at conventions.

That afternoon was a demo by the Higgins Armory on "Pirate Combat" and I knew I couldn't miss that! It was everything I'd hoped for, a demonstration of Spanish and English fighting styles aboard ship from the Golden Age of Piracy. Higgins Armory Museum is now a Boskone tradition, offering classes and demonstrations in bladed weapons styles from all eras. They're a great research resource and fun too!

After my interview with Dani and Eytan for their website I attended The Heroine's Journey program with another all-star lineup: Lois McMaster Bujold, Greer Gilman, Rosemary Kirstein , Margaret Ronald and Jo Walton. The panel discussed the differences, if any, between Joseph Campbell's hero and what happens when you have a heroine. One of the more intriguing points that came out was stories about heroines sometimes happen after their children no longer need them--it's at middle age that women have the opportunity to explore and journey on self discovery.

Supper Saturday night was at the No-Name restaurant with a group of fans and pros, and I braved the Boston winter to walk back to the hotel. I'm one tough Floridian! Of course, I knew there would be more parties and plenty of chances to warm up.

Sunday I had a reading and a signing, so I read my excerpt from Castaway Dreams while eating breakfast, timing myself to make sure I'd fit in my 30 minutes. I thought my reading went well, and I had chocolate "booty" from my pirate chest, something I do whenever I have a signing. When I went down to the autograph area I was thrilled to find people lining up for book signings, and got the word from Old Earth Books that they'd sold out of my stock! That really made my day.

Finally, I had my last panel, Believable Relationships with Beth Bernobich, Lois McMaster Bujold, Geary Gravel, Jo Walton and me as moderator. We talked about all kinds of relationships, including sibling relationships, and how we try to keep our writing real even when we have to draw from our own experience--for example, I mentioned that I had brother/sister relationships in my books, but had never written a sister/sister relationship and didn't realize it until that moment. Again, a lively group with a lot to discuss.

Sunday night was the Dead Dog Parties, and time to say goodbye until Boskone 48. Once again it was a convention that was valuable for me as a writer, and personally highly enjoyable. I hope I'll see some of you in Boston next February!


Leah Marie Brown said...

I wandered into your page quite by accident, but am glad I did! I am a historical romance novelist and I live in Florida too! I enjoyed reading your work (love your recent title) and spending time on your blog. I hope you'll check out my blog and drop me a line. I would love to chat writing with you!

Darlene Marshall said...

Hello, Leah, nice to meet you! Where in Florida are you? I've lived in Ft. Myers and Naples, but most of my life I've been up here in Gainesville.

I'll be sure to check out your blog, and thanks for dropping by.

Michael said...

Qlways glad to help ... and sell some books too!