Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Boskone 2014 Recap - Part 3 (Saturday, continued)

Saturday, Continued
The next panel is one that I was really interested in and haven't seen at other conventions. The Long Series - How We Did It discussed how three multi-book authors handled long series. Ginjer Buchanan moderated Charlaine Harris, Melinda Snodgrass, and Steve Miller. How do you keep characters straight? Do you have an arc across the series? How does fan reaction affect your writing-in-progress? Charlaine has an assistant who has an encyclopedic knowledge of the books and checks continuity. Steve says that from time to time he and the other writers re-read books in the series. Once again, great panel, well-moderated.

I had to leave the panel early, though, because I had to get to the Broad Universe Rapid-Fire Reading. I was one of eight readers giving 5-minute readings from my work. I was reading a new piece, one that I had read through at home and in my hotel room, but once up in the front of the conference room I realized I should have done more. I didn't know the piece well enough to look up at the audience and then find my place quickly again. I tried the trick of using my left thumb as a bookmark, but forgot that for this trick to work, I really needed to look up at the end of the previous line so that the next word was the one next to my thumb, not a word in the middle of the sentence. I muddled my words a bit, and as I wrapped up the piece, I felt that I really should have picked a livelier extract. (Imagine my surpise on Sunday when I found out I actually sold a book from that reading. Thank you, purchaser! I really needed that.)

At this point I should mention the snow. Boston had a winter storm warning and I heard someone say that the City of Boston was asking people to stay off the roads after 5 pm so that the plows could do their job. Some friends and I had made a reservation weeks ago to go out to eat. Dear Hubby would come in to the city and join us, then stay over at the hotel and relax in the hotel room while I continued con-going.

After watching the weather forecasts, he reluctantly decided to stay home, with my encouragement, because you never know how serious snowstorms can get. (Remember the Blizzard of '78? I do. Read about it on WikiPedia.) Some con-goers who planned to go home Saturday night changed their lodging plans, too. Helmuth, the single-page news vehicle for Boskone, announced that the hotel would honor the Boskone rate if attendees decided to stay because of the storm. That was a nice touch.

Judging by the long lines outside the hotel's M. J. O'Connors restaurant, some con-goers must have changed their dining plans, deciding to eat in instead of exploring Boston's restaurant scene.

My friends and I trudged through the snow on foot to the restaurant. The sidewalks nearest and around the hotel were relatively clear, crews out with mechanical sweepers trying to keep up with the snow. As we got further away from the hotel, there was an inch or two underfoot and I found myself needing to pay attention to how I planted my feet so I wouldn't slide, but this is February, in New England, and of course I had boots, a scarf, a winter coat, and gloves. I also thought to grab extra tissues from the hotel so that the three of us would be able to wipe off our wet eyeglasses when we arrived so we could actually see the menu.

We had a nice meal and good conversation while I sent my husband pictures of the restaurant and food, much to his dismay ("You're not making this any better.") As we left the restaurant, the sidewalk was more slippery underfoot, but once again, near the hotel it was fine.

After dinner, we managed to hit the first Book Launch Party, held in the Galleria/Con Suite. Authors and publishers with a new book sat at the Con Suite table with their books and swag and you were able to chat and inspect the new books. I hope they do that again next year (and that I have a book out next year so I can participate). Duncan Eagleson was there with his first novel Darkwalker. (Don't you hate multi-talented people? Just look at his creds!)

While staffing the Broad Universe table, I heard that I missed a great panel, Fun with Seriously Silly Poses, where participants re-enacted scenes from SF/fantasy/horror cover art. As Mur Lafferty pointed out in her post, it was similar to what Jim C. Hines did in his excellent "Striking a Pose" on his web site. Darn! Hope they repeat that one some time.

To be continued.

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