I’ve been to tons of local festivals and lots of writer’s conferences, but I’ve never been to any fan conferences. Sound crazy? Of course it does! That’s why I thought it would be great to ask someone else about their experiences. Sapphire Phelan and I are both members of RWA’s Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal chapter. When she contacted me about doing a guest blog in connection with her book THE WITCH AND THE FAMILIAR I took a peek at her website and stumbled across some fun pictures from Marscon. (Sapphire also writes under the name Pamela K. Kinney). I asked if she’d be willing to do a post on fan conventions. She said she’d be happy to!
Sapphire Phelan On What It’s Like To Be A Fangirl
As an author of paranormal romance, plus science fiction, fantasy and horror under another name, I have been invited to be a guest at various science fiction, fantasy and horror conventions. For years I’d gone to these same conventions as a fan, attending panels on various subjects and wearing costumes I made, even entering in masquerades, sometimes winning, sometimes not. It is totally different attending as a guest though. The reason I do so, is this is where my readers are. Besides, it’s also cool to be a fangirl too.
Dictionary.com explains conventions as ‘meeting or formal assembly, as of representatives or delegates, for discussion of and action on particular matters of common concern.’ Sci-fi cons are often considered the first fan conventions, historically centering on science fiction books and literature. They have expanded to all sorts of media, including television, movies, and beyond, and can be very heavily focused on sub-genres — like Anime or Star Wars Celebrations. Each convention is unique with a different style, but most feature comment elements: guests, typically either sci-fi authors or actors, and events, typically including panels, discussions, and autograph signings.
At the type of conventions I go to, people are fans of science fiction, fantasy and horror, and converse with other fans about these subjects. They assemble in consuites and snack on munchies, talking about movies, TV shows, and books. They go to panels on various subjects to hear what the “experts” will talk or argue about. They check out the room parties and have a drink while talking with others in fandom. Whether about how a costume was made or the latest book of the Guest of Honor, fans are happy to be at these functions they attend a few times a year. Think of it like a vacation from reality.
Like a con, but not, is the annual SciFi Yard Sale put on by Starfleet Atlantic each year in Virginia Beach,Virginia. Members of the Star Trek club and others who are not, but pay for space, sell collectibles, books, magazines, pictures, and whatever they no longer want. Sometimes they even trade something for something else wanted. I sold Anakin Skywalker’s lightsaber made by Master Replicas a couple of years ago. I also discovered if I sell my own books here, people buy them at full price and get them signed. More laid back than a science fiction convention, one can talk with those coming to buy and with other sellers, many who are my friends.
No matter how you attend a convention—fan or for business—they are equally fun for both. Click here for a list of upcoming conventions to check out. (Click the conventions’ links to see what they are about, dates, and where held).
World Genre Conventions
- World Science Fiction Convention August 30-September, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois
- World Fantasy Convention November 1-4, 2012 in Toronto, Ontario
- World Horror Convention June 13-16, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana
Cool Conventions (That aren’t just for readers!)
Conventions Sapphire is Attending This Year
- Fantasci (held at Chesapeake Central Library for one day and is free to attend)
- Monster Fest (held at Chesapeake Central Library for one day and is free to attend)
- Ravencon (hopefully for 2013)
More About The Witch & The Familiar
Mortal woman Tina discovers she is part of a prophesy that says she and Charun, her demon Familiar, must make love so she can become the witch she is fated to be. If she doesn’t do it and stop the demon army bringing Armageddon to the Mortal Realm on Halloween, she won’t stand a chance in Hell.
A year later, just when Tina and Charun thought it was all over and that their life would be normal—another prophesy pops up. If Lucifer snatches Tina and mates with her before the last chime before midnight of the new year and gets her pregnant with his son, that the real Armageddon would begin, spelling the end of life as they knew it. This time they get help from an archangel, Jacokb, but with demons, Lucifer, and a cute demon bunny with fangs out of a Monty Python nightmare, out to stop them and Heaven not lending a hand, will Tina this time lose the battle and become the mother of the Antichrist and the start of a new Hell on Earth?
Thank you, Sapphire, for guest blogging today! Anyone who leaves a comment will be entered to win a download of Just Another Paranormal Halloween, the anthology Sapphire’s paranormal romance story, His Girl, is included in.
So how about you? Have you been to any genre or fan conventions lately? Do you plan on attending any this summer? If so, which ones?