Before I even get started on my awesome experience at World Fantasy Convention 44 in Baltimore, Maryland this weekend, I will add a caveat: I’m not getting into names. There are too many wonderful people with whom I shared delightful conversations to possibly remember them all. To mention some would be a disservice to the rest.
What is there to say other than “Wow?” This was my first World Fantasy Con, but it certainly will not be my last. I admit that I went in with an agenda and enjoyed myself immensely even though I didn’t fulfill said agenda. I finished the final draft of a killer novel literally the morning of the day I left for WFC, and had the hopes–though not the expectation–of finding an agent or even a home for that manuscript.
Unsurprisingly, that didn’t happen. I’m a savvy professional, so running amok yelling “Read my novel!” to unsuspecting agents and publishers wasn’t on the menu. Instead I talked to them (and many others) like they were just regular people who enjoy fantasy works. Crazy, huh? Other writers loved my stinger of “It’s the Scarlet Pimpernel meets Left Hand of Darkness,” so I hope agents and publishers will love it too. I learned about what others are working on. I had conversations, lovely conversation, that began for no other reason than we were both stuck in the same spot and couldn’t get across the room, so, “Hello, I’m…” happened. Friendships were forged instantly, and I planted the seeds of a circle of young writers that will grow ever larger and stronger at every con we attend together.
As if the people weren’t enough, there was killer art, food, panels, books…the list goes on and on. For the first time ever, I put out my shingle as a writer, so-to-speak. They printed place names for every attendee, and we were all encouraged to set up during the mass autographing. I signed nothing, nor did I draw anyone in for a convo about my writing at the mass autographing, but that made absolutely no difference. I was just there to soak up the experience.
I gave out tons of business cards, got many in exchange, made connections that will last for a lifetime…and, oh yeah, got a little nibble of interest I can use as query letter chum to hopefully reel in an agent in record time. Who knows? By World Fantasy Convention 45, I may have an agent, or my book may be…bought. What, you thought I’d type that my book would be out by then? No, no, silly reader, a book takes a year or two to get published once it is purchased 🙂