Friday, April 30, 2010

Pikes Peak Writers Con: After-The-Con Update, Donald Maass & Kelley Armstrong

I'm going to the PPW Con in Colorado Springs this weekend. I've never attended before, mostly because there is usually another con that meets the same weekend, and I always went to that one. I'm very happy to be able to drive a couple of hours instead of flying across the country. If you come to the con, please stop me and say hello. (I always appreciate seeing friendly faces at cons because I get a little anxious in crowds!)
Got back late last night. I had a great time. I rarely say that about cons, because I am a very shy, introverted, introspective person and the crazy energy at large gatherings usually wipes me out. I think because PPWC is a moderate-size con, and the volunteers who organized it are friendly and helpful, I was able to relax and have fun. Without exception, everyone I met was nice. There wasn't the clique-y (how do you spell that?) tendency I find so often in regional cons. I'll definitely go again. The biggest surprise for me was literary agent Donald Maass. I will admit that I've harbored limited ideas about agents for a while now. Let's just say I had low expectations. Donald sat next to me at the book signing and he was warm and friendly. Kind. Supportive of all the authors near him at the table. His luncheon presentation was insightful and spot-on. He was delightfully unpretentious and funny. His workshop (and accompanying book) -- THE FIRE IN FICTION -- was excellent. He offered perceptive and intuitive questions for the writer-filled room. Anyway, I now have a new idea about how a literary agent can be. Maybe there's hope I can find one who gets me. I also enjoyed the presentations given by one of my favorite paranormal authors, Kelley Armstrong. Her advice on pacing and tension-building was extremely helpful. Her keynote speech about "the rules" -- and how to determine if they fit for you, or not -- was inspirational.


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