Okay, easiest registration ever. Events don’t kick off until seven, so I went and registered at five. I was in and out of the Radisson so fast, the parking was free! Then I went for dinner at Bonfire Bistro and came back in plenty of time for Chadwick Ginther‘s reading.
Lindsay Kitson found me while I was waiting, and we talked books for a bit. I just read her excellent dieselpunk Redwing, and she read my Avians of Celadon. She offered substantive input on how to make my protagonist’s climax and resolution fit better with the opening, and how to make the sub-plots unite to create a more gripping narrative. In return, I told her that where the rebels hide their stolen warplanes should be a barn rather than a warehouse. Hey, I do what I can.
Chadwick’s reading was well attended. He gave us a teaser of his third novel, Too Far Gone, which follows Thunder Road and Tombstone Blues to continue the story of blue-collar Ted, who has managed to make Norse gods hate him. He also read us parts of a short story about steampunk werewolves(!) that he wrote for an anthology.
After the reading, I hung around with a small group for a bit. Gerald Brandt was there. He’ll be joining Lindsay on the Your Query Package panel first thing tomorrow. That’s very relevant for me right now- my short story querying is going okay, but my novel doesn’t seem to be attracting much interest. However, I’m conflicted. If I show up promptly for that panel, I might miss out on signing up for some of the best Blue-Pencil sessions. Gerald will be doing some of those himself, and he offered to critique a query letter for me rather than a piece of fiction. That could be invaluable. Sherry Peters, author of Mabel the Lovelorn Dwarf, was also there. She’s a regular participant at KeyCon. When she asked how it was going with me, I was able to say I had just made my first short story sale. Turns out she knows Scott Barnes, the publisher who bought my story for NewMyths.com. See? It’s a small world. Contacts help, and that’s one good reason I go to conventions. And to learn stuff about writing. That’s cool. But mostly to hang with peeps who grok SF. That’s like coming home.