Sapphire Phelan, Author of The Witch & The Familiar, Discusses Genre and Fan Conventions

Sapphire Phelan
Dark heroes and heroines with bite…sink your teeth into a romance

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

Cool Conventions (That aren’t just for readers!)

  • Shore Leave Weekend after 4th of July in Maryland
  • Dragoncon Labor Day Weekend in Atlanta, Georgia

Conventions Sapphire is Attending This Year

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?

The Witch & The Familiar is available now, in print, by clicking here. Sapphire can be reached online here: Website Blog Newsletter Facebook

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?


Published by

Jill Archer

Jill Archer is the author of the Noon Onyx series, genre-bending fantasy novels including DARK LIGHT OF DAY, FIERY EDGE OF STEEL, WHITE HEART OF JUSTICE, and POCKET FULL OF TINDER.

19 thoughts on “Sapphire Phelan, Author of The Witch & The Familiar, Discusses Genre and Fan Conventions

  1. Sapphire– How did yesterday’s SciFi Yard Sale go? Did you sell or buy anything interesting? I also want to know what your absolute favorite convention is (the one you’d go to every year if you could)…

  2. Thanks for letting me play on your blog today, Jill! The Science Fiction Yard Sale went spectacular! Sold almost all of my books, plus some yard salable stuff. We got a lot of people, so all those selling were happ, as most did buy. My favorite is Dragoncon and even what is known as Comic-con today, but once known as San Diego Comic-con when I attended it many years ago (even when it was a small con), but for small ones, all of the ones here in Virginia.Small is very nice as you can talk to your fans an old friends without giant crowds.

    1. Hi Sapphire, I’m glad you could guest blog today! And I’m happy to hear your yard sale went well. I enjoyed hearing about what a great time you’ve had at the conventions. Everyone who’s gone has said they’re a lot of fun. Good to know that Dragoncon and Comic-con are your two favorites!

  3. When I saw Sapphire was guest blogging I had to stop over. She and I are on the Paranormal Monday loop and I have Being Familiar With a Witch in my computer. Looking forward to reading it. I’ve never been to a genre convention, but they sound fun. I’m close enough to the Chesapeake to go to one in that area.

    1. Hi Cara, I was thinking the same thing, that Sapphire’s list for this year is nice for anyone who lives in the Chesapeake area. Thanks for the comment. Hope you had a nice Saturday!

    1. Hi Brinda, I agree and think Sapphire’s list is great! Hope your Memorial Day weekend is going well. It’s raining here, although the day was beautiful. Thanks for stopping by!

    1. Hi C.K., took a look at your blog. I’m so sorry to hear about your husband. Writing can be a healing process. When you’re ready, you should consider a writer’s convention. I think you might like it. Thanks for the comment.

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