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.