Here's the German cover for The Vampire Shrink, due to release on January 11, 2010.
The Sirens Conference, up in Vail, CO, is an interesting mix of academic presenters and sword & sorcery fantasy fans. Here are some of the workshops offered:
Fantasy Women in Harry Potter
A Cross-Cultural Look at the Origins of Fantasy, with a Nod to Sci Fi
Psyche's Ugly Sister: The Woman Warrior in C.S. Lewis's books
The Rise of the Vampire Romance Novel
Love Lives of Women Warriors
The Crone Witch in Modern Fantasy
Bite Me, I'm Yours
Twilight of Empowerment: Bella Swan
Feminist Role Models and their Male Creators
Mary Sue: An Intervention
A Woman Warrior's Battle for Redemption
Why Don't More Girls Carry Swords?
Buffy, Bella and Boys
Finding Femininity in a Warrior's World
Tough Love: When Partnership Becomes a Paradox
and much more
I met some wonderful women. Today I participated in a small group session led by Dr. Kathleen McConnell, who teaches in the English department at St. Thomas University in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. We talked about the notion of "paradise," and how various female characters found "redemption." Very lively discussion! Then I went to the Buffy vs. Bella panel and the room was full. Everyone had an opinion! (Not that Bella and Buffy can actually be compared. Completely different archetypes.) Great insights. After that panel I was walking out into the hallway wearing one of my Vampire Shrink t-shirts, and a woman pointed to my shirt and said something nice. I thanked her and said I was happy she was interested in in my work. She didn't realize I was the author and her delightful enthusiasm was such a warm fuzzy for me! Her name is Bertena Varney and she lives in Lexington, KY. She said she had quoted me her presentation at the conference (she had read my article, "Why Women Love Vampires") and she didn't realize I was there. We sat together at lunch and it was such a joy to speak with Bertena and all the other sharp women at the con. I also got to talk to Betsy, who used to work at The Boulder Planet, the wonderful newspaper that existed for too brief a time. The Planet ran my Psychic Counselor column. Small world!! Something I did notice is that 85% of the participants at the con are under age 35. Hmmm. I wonder what that means? And the attendees came from all over the world. A great start for a new con.