I had the fun of visiting Outlantacon this last weekend. This was my first time attending a con as an author (i.e. someone with a business related reason for being there). The turnout was very low, but that made it easier to interact. Everyone was super friendly and there's a sort of feel good vibe that comes with getting a bunch of queer nerds together where we can do our own thing.
I will be attending next year for the full weekend. Next up is the mother of all cons, Dragoncon. I'm really looking forward to the lit panels. There's a lot of business and networking to be done, not just getting hammered at the hotel bar and looking at costumes. (There will be some of that I'm sure).
I attended some great small panels and made some really good connections. Brent D. Seth has also just come out with his debut book, a sci-fi comedy titled Short Fuse, so it was really great to connect and pal around with him and his partner Jeffrey at the convention.
Brent ran a workshop on writing what you know. One of the participant's ideas prompted a hilarious idea about secret lizard people, dry skin, and stealing copper from recycling bins. You had to be there, but it was great fun fleshing out ideas in a workshop with other writers and authors.
Kage Alan ran a great session on blogging and social media, with great tips from Kayelle Allan. I'm still flipping through my notes, which is basically a list of websites and tools I'd never even heard of. There is always more to learn. Got some great ideas to freshen the content of the blog so it's not annoyingly promotional.
I was hit on and felt up an adequate number of times at the parties and called a "young man" more often than seems reasonable for someone who's almost 40. Good for the self-esteem to accept the flattery without engaging in any meaningless con hookups, which are usually bad (or net neutral) for the self-esteem.
It was wonderful being able to befriend other authors and learn some of the ins and outs of the business. I'm glad I got off my ass and went.
Mike bode is the author of The Queen of Lies, the first installment in the ongoing series, Architects of the Grand Design. His next book comes out October. Sign up for the mailing list for more info. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest . (You can also follow him on Goodreads and even Amazon)