This past weekend, Mark and I were in Birmingham, Alabama for ImagiCon 2009. We were a little concerned about it being the con’s first year in existence, but our fears were largely unfounded. The organizers, volunteers, and fans made the entire weekend a blast and we can’t wait for next year!
Friday, as most opening days tend to be, was a bit slow and there was some brief confusion over which room the literary track was assigned. However, it was quickly resolved at the first panel, Publishing and Self-Publishing, was well attended and the audience had great questions for all of us. As the day progressed, more people found their way into our panels and the discussions/debates became livelier.
Sherrilyn Kenyon joined the panel on Character Development. I was very interested in hearing what she had to say about her process. Overall, I’d have to say she was an interesting lady period. Who knew she could speak fluent Old English/Gaelic? (That earned her a huge round of applause in the Making Make Believe Believable panel.)
Some of the other interesting authors I met on Friday were Christina Barber, M. B. Weston, William Drinkard, J. F. Lewis, Van Allen Plexico, Sean Patrick Fannon, and The Wandering Men. Everyone had their own opinion on the various topics and it led to some great discussions. I also have to give mad props to Dwayne the Moderator for keeping us (mostly) on topic, asking great start off questions, and fielding all the questions from the audience. He was a real pro and I, for one, greatly appreciated his presence and participation.
Saturday was much better for attendance. The panels grew in the number of participants as well as audience size. Everything was going smoothly until the fire alarm sounded and we had to evacuate the building. (I have pics of everyone standing outside the convention center and will post them as soon as I download them.) Thankfully the alarm was false. Some idiot decided the “Smoking is prohibited except in designated areas” signs didn’t apply to him/her and lit one up inside. The same thing happened again a few hours later. We didn’t have to evacuate that time, however. The first time was amusing. The second time was annoying. After the third alarm on Sunday morning, I think some of the organizers were ready to kill and/or maim the party/parties responsible.
Saturday also brought more interesting people. I met a young author, Shelly Li, who writes for Nature and Cosmos magazines. (Did I mention she’s only sixteen? Color me impressed!) I also met Allan Gilbreath and Tim Lawler, aka Mr. Terrific of Entertainers That Care. Tim’s imposing in his appearance, but quick to laugh and an all-around great guy.
Sunday was wrap-up day and my only obligation was the writers’ workshop. It was a lot of fun and I had a great time talking to the writers in my group. (Jared, Joe, Zombie Girl, and Sci-Fi Bookstore Guy (Sorry, ZG and SFBG, but I didn’t catch your names when we swapped groups!) — Great stories! Keep writing and I wish you all much success!) Mark and I then attended a panel on Creating Villians, which proved to be a very interesting, diverse, and amusing discussion.
After the Villians panel, Mark and I said our goodbyes and hit the road for Mobile. Five hours later, we arrived home and were very happy to be back. ImagiCon was great and I met a ton of great people, but home is home. The kitties are home today and finally allowing me to have a little space to blog about the weekend. (It’s like they missed me or something.)
My next event will be this weekend — Saturday, to be exact. I’ll be attending the Oracle Launch Party at the University of South Alabama and reading a section from my creative writing thesis. Should be a lot of fun. After that, it’s back to work until CONvergence, ThrillerFest, and RWA National in July.
For now, I think I’ll find some dinner and spend some quality time with the kitties.