In my ongoing quest to Be A Real Writer Someday*, I attended my first professional writing con last weekend: FOGcon.
For those of you who don’t know — and there may be more than a few of you, if you come to this blog primarily for lengthy movie snark and less for writerly things — FOGcon is a small, speculative fiction writing convention in the Bay Area. This year’s theme was Law, Order, and Crime, which was particularly of interest to me because I have a novel series in the works (early, EARLY in the works) about a team of paranormal police officers who investigate a variety of supernatural crimes . . . basically, I want to write your favorite guilty pleasure police procedural, but with more faeries and necromancers and strange spider women detectives.
I went to FOGcon with my friends from Clarion West, Cory and Alyc, and since I was having such a good time hanging out with them — I didn’t end up going to all the panels I originally planned to. But I did go to a few: “Will the Ticking Time Bomb Go Off: Interrogation Techniques that Do or Don’t Work” was mostly interesting for the differences between what a military interrogator is trying to discover and what a police interrogator is trying to discover during an interview. I also went to a panel about fictional charismatic criminals — because, hey, who doesn’t like those — and another about how an author’s politics can have an impact on her writing career and what responsibility readers have, if any, to take an author’s politics into account before reading and/or purchasing her work.
But let’s be honest: I mostly went to hang out with these guys.
Alyc, being adorable with her thank you cupcake.
Cory, with his awesome hair and fake hipster glasses.
I also met a number of cool writers, although I suspect I didn’t make much of an impression upon them since I opened my mouth maybe twice during the whole thing. (You may not believe it, considering how chatty and opinionated I am here, but in person, I have a really hard time inserting myself into group conversations. I guess I’ll get better at it eventually. It’s all a work in progress, right?)I did meet up with a few writers from Clarion SD, and I also got a chance to speak to Rachel Swirsky again, who I met for the first time up in Seattle. This was awesome — Rachel is an extremely nice person, very encouraging, and she kicked all kinds of ass at the “Authors Speaking Politically” panel. I’d highly recommend her work, especially “If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love” up at Apex Magazine. (Personal goal alert: getting published at Apex Magazine someday. They have such great stuff there.)
I probably won’t get to a lot of others cons this year — although World Horror in New Orleans is still on the table — but I’m glad I at least went to this one. Presumably, the more I go to these things, the more people I’ll meet and the more I’ll feel comfortable actually saying two sentences at a time. And hey, maybe by the time I attend another con, I’ll have more work published, and I’ll run into someone who’s like, “Hey, I read that story, and it was awesome!”
It’s good to have goals.
*Cory and Alyc: if either of you read this and just have to comment that I am a real writer, I’m going to laugh at you a lot and remind you about how my sense of humor works. You darling, ridiculous cheerleaders. 🙂