I attended Dragon Con 2015 in Atlanta for the first time and I got to see some pretty cool stuff. The biggest thing I was excited about was a Q&A with one of my favorite authors –Laurell K. Hamilton.
DragonCon is huge! There was so much to see and do that it took major amounts of preparation to figure out what to attend. As a book lover, I was interested in book-related goodness. However, I did attend one Battlebots panel and it was awesome (I love that show!).
First, the Q&A panel with Laurell K. Hamilton. For those who don’t know, she practically invented the Urban Fantasy genre. I’ve been reading her books since High School. I’ll never forget picking up Bloody Bones in 10th grade and being blown away by the world of vampires and werewolves. After my first taste of fantasy, there was no going back. (My love of horror died with my obsession with scrunchies. Sorry, Stephen King.) I’ve read almost every single one of her books, so it’s safe to say I was ecstatic to meet her.
The panel itself was enlightening. Things I learned:
- On Writing: LKH is a pantser, who uses sticky notes to plan plot points for future books. She says that the mystery plot is the best way to structure a novel.
- On her upcoming books: She went to Ireland to do research. She may have a book with a male lead character sometime in the future.
Overall, I found LKH funny in person, but the most surprising part of the panel was the number of men in the audience. LKH writes paranormal romance for mature audiences so the larger-than-anticipated male minority was unusual, not to mention the guys who stood up and asked in-depth questions about the characters. Another thing I realized is that I’m up-to-date on the Merry Gentry series but I’m waaaay behind on the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series. I only need to read two books, but I was almost ashamed at how much I didn’t understand as far as questions asked about plot and characters. I’ve always considered myself a diehard fan so I need to step up my game and get with the program. Anita Blake will be back in my life very, very soon.
The next panel that I thoroughly enjoyed was on YA publishing and query letters. I was mostly there to see the authors, but it didn’t hurt to get some information on the industry in case I ever
finish the bajillion partially-completed novels I’m working on. The panelists were YA authors Jonathan Maberry, EC Myers, Sara Raasch, Lindsay Cummings and Lisa Mantchev. The Murder Complex author Lindsay Cummings was super cool in person as was Snow Like Ashes author Sara Raash. I’ll be moving their books up my TBR list. (I immediately one-clicked their books so they’d be waiting on my doorstep when I got home.) Biggest takeaways from the panel was understanding publishing is the business of selling copies of art and to send your query letters to agents between January and May to avoid the busyness in the industry through the summer and fall.
Overall, DragonCon was tons of fun but it was waaaay too crowded. I thought I was going to have a panic attack due to claustrophobia. However, nothing beats meeting authors and connecting with other readers.