Friday, February 22, 2013

Olde City, New Blood

The second weekend in February, I attended a shiny new conference in St. Augustine, Florida called Olde City, New Blood.  It was my first conference aimed exclusively at urban fantasy and paranormal readers, writers, and bloggers, and I had a blast. 

Friday night was set aside for checking into your hotels, a meet and greet at the hotel bar, followed by a bad movie tweet-up, which I skipped.  Too worn out stiff from the more than seven hour drive. 

Saturday, there were morning and afternoon panels and author readings. I had a blast reading the weenie-in-a-bag scene from Demon Hunting in Dixie.  That afternoon, I sat on a panel entitled "Demons, Witches, and Warriors," and that night we went on a ghost tour!  St. Augustine is an old city (thus the name of the conference), and purportedly very haunted.  A bunch of us piled into an open bus, froze our tooties off on the five mile ride from the beach into town, and toured the haunted lighthouse and jail.  Being a mega failure at media things, I forgot my camera, but several of the other writers got some very cool orb action on their devices, especially in the area of the lighthouse.   My paranormal writer brain was running wide open! 

Sunday brought fresh panels.  I participated in one called "Authors in the Audience," where we got to ask readers about their pet peeves and turn-offs.  Very interesting discussion, and I got to sit beside James R. Tuck, who writes kickass urban fantasy. This guy is BIG, and brash, and he's a tattoo artist in Atlanta.  At the end of the panel, he boomed, "If you're a blogger and you want a book, I have a box of ARCs to give away."  I leaned over and said, sotto voice, "That's a great idea.  Mind if I borrow it?"  Without missing a beat, James bellowed out, "Lexi has books, too."

Now isn't he just the nicest man?

After lunch, there was a charity signing, followed by my last panel, "The Sweet Stuff."  One of the questions asked of the authors on the panel was "What's your favorite term of endearment used by one of your characters?"  My answer?  Sugar Scrotum.  Hee hee.  Can you tell I had fun?

Hubby and I arrived home late that night, exhausted but with lots to talk about.  It was his first visit to a writer conference and he was intrigued.  I think he thought all we do at conferences is chase half clad male cover models around.  Ha!  Although that's not a bad idea . . .

(Lexi shakes off her reverie) 

If you haven't been to a conference, I highly recommend it.  It's a great place to meet people who are passionate about books and writing, and get your well refilled.  Depending on the type of conference, you can attend craft workshops, and pitch to agents and editors.

What about you?  What conferences are you attending this year, and what's your take on them?  Good?  Bad?  Indifferent? 

14 comments:

Vada Bryant said...

I can only go to one this year. Which one will I go to? Probably the lunch-on in November. Can't wait!

Lexi said...

Great event, Vada! You'll have so much fun.

Kat said...

Sounds like a lot of fun, especially the ghost tour.

Great advice - connecting with other writers definitely helps recharge the creative batteries.

Carla Swafford said...

Love, love St. Augustine. I'm glad to hear you had so much fun.

Another small conference to go to is the one in Shreveport. Small conferences give you lots of opportunities to network with editors and agents.

I'm going to RT Book Review's Book Lovers Convention and Romance Writers of America Conference. Who knows, but I may go to Moonlight & Magnolias conference too.

You can never network too much or learn too much.

Lexi said...

Kat, you would have enjoyed it. Intimate and fun, a great way to connect.

Lexi said...

Carla, I am jealous you are going to RT! I was all set to go, and discovered it's the same weekend as Thing One's college graduation. Oh, well, next year!

Suzanne Johnson said...

This sounds like it was a great conference!

I'm doing some big cons this year--RT and RWA and MAYBE Dragon*Con (my editor thinks this is a good idea and me, I'd rather do Moonlight and Magnolias). Last year, I did Authors After Dark, which is mostly paranormal romance and UF, and it was SUCH fun.

Louisa Cornell said...

Wow what a great conference! It sounds like you had a blast! And I am glad hubby got to see what these conferences are all about! :)

I am definitely going to RWA this year. I don't know about any of the others yet. I always say RWA Nationals is my one week to live and breathe being a writer. I have to make it last a whole year!

Lexi said...

Suzanne, jealous you are going to RT. I was all set to go, and had to cancel because it's the same weekend that my oldest graduates college. Dragon Con sounds like a hoot!

Lexi said...

Louisa, it was great fun, small and intimate, and a great way to have one on one with folks. RWA in Atlanta? Hard to say no when it's so close.

Jafo said...

Love to read Lexi's books ,there a take me way better then Calgon feeling .

Love telling all my friends about which book I'm reading ,then waiting for there reactions after they have taken my advice and read them too.

Discussio s over Margarits can be so fun and raunchy ,full of laughs and good times .

elizabeth said...

I've been attending Lori Foster's Author and Reader Get Together in Cincinnati for the last few years. This will be my third year.

I'm also attending Reader's and Ritas in Texas in November. This will be my first year there.

Elizabeth Gray
elizabethgr@sbcglobal.net

Lexi said...

Thanks, Jafo! Discussing books with friends is one of my favorite pasttimes!

Lexi said...

Elizabeth, I am determined to make it to Lori Foster's get together one of these days! I hear great things about it!