Tag Archives: con

See Kal at Myths and Legends Con in Denver

I’ll be at Myths and Legends Con this weekend.  Here’s my schedule.  I’ll also have a table so you can meet me there outside of my panels.  Saturday is my main day.

Myths and Legends Con is one of my favorite Denver conventions because it’s a smaller, more personable place.  There’s lots of time to talk with authors and panelists, and it’s probably the best run convention in Denver (maybe even Colorado!)

See my panels below:

Sat, 1:00 PM-1:50 PM, Writing Combat in Science Fiction & Fantasy(Room of Requirement)
Sat, 2:00 PM-2:50 PM, Sympathetic Villains (Serenity)
Sat, 4:00 PM-4:50 PM, Trope if You Want To (The Shire)
Sat, 5:00 PM-5:50 PM, Discussing Combat in Science Fiction & Fantasy (Room of Requirement)
Sat, 8:00 PM-8:50 PM, The Muse and the Devil (The Shire)
Sat, 9:00 PM-9:50 PM, The Price of Magic (Serenity)

Hope to see some folks there!

 

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Kal’s Liberty Con XXX Schedule

After some really tight finances and a whole lot of uncertainty, I’m happy to announce that I’ll be at Liberty Con this weekend!  Here’s my schedule of events, and I hope to see people there!

Scheduled Programming Events Featuring Kal Spriggs

Day Time Name of Event
Fri 05:00PM Opening Ceremonies
Fri 08:00PM Author’s Alley (Holmes, Howell, Sherrer, Spriggs)
Sat 12:00PM Autograph Session (Gilliam, Perry, Spriggs, Vogel)
Sat 02:00PM The Middle Ages as Inspiration for Epic and High Fantasy
Sat 05:00PM Author’s Alley (D. Kennedy, Lackey, McKeown, Spriggs)
Sat 09:00PM No S**T There I Was Just Minding My Own Business ….
Sat 10:00PM Reading: Stephanie Osborn & Kal Spriggs
Sun 10:00AM Kaffeeklatsch
Sun 11:00AM Author’s Alley (Boop, Hicks, Morris, Spriggs)

COSine 2017

For those in Colorado, I’ll be attending COSine, a Colorado Springs Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention.

It’s a fun little convention, if you haven’t been before.  I highly recommend it.  There’s always a few excellent authors in attendance and they have a variety of great topics for their panels.

My schedule:

SATURDAY  
11-noon    Characters in Combat (Breckenridge)
5:15 – 7pm   Author Reception and Mass Signing (Ballroom)

SUNDAY
10-11am   How much does that Star Cruiser cost – fictional economics  (Breckenridge)

The author reception and signing is particularly fun, so if you don’t get a chance to do much else, I recommend that especially.

Writer’s Toolbag: Attending Conventions Part 2

In part one I discussed a bit about attending a convention and some of the things to look for when selecting whether to attend or not.  Here in Part 2, I’ll discuss how to go about attending as a panelist.

Getting into a convention as a panelist is quite a bit more difficult than merely attending.  For some conventions (looking at you Dragon Con) they’re very selective and you may never hear back.  For others, as long as you present yourself as a benefit to their convention, they’ll be happy to have you.

The first part of that is to be professional.  For most of these conventions you can browse their websites and find out who will be running the panels or programming for the convention.  That’s the person you want to contact.

When you do email them, write a professional introduction.  Tell them who you are and what you write.  Tell them what you’ve heard about their convention and why you want to participate.  If you bring ideas to the table, that’s generally a good thing, especially if you have an idea for a panel that would be fun and won’t require any additional effort on their parts.

The second part of this is remembering that the people running conventions are volunteers and they volunteer their time and effort because they like conventions and they enjoy getting people together to enjoy their genre of fandom.  If you present them with ways make a convention more enjoyable, then generally the people running the convention will be happy to have you.

The next part of that is how you behave at the convention.  Remember, this is about presenting yourself in a good manner.  If you’re participating in a panel, be sure to give other people time to talk.  If you are moderating, try to keep the panelists roughly on track, try to have some topics of conversation prepared, and most importantly be friendly and personable to everyone you meet.   Having dealt with rude panelists and audience members, it’s the quickest way to alienate a potential reader or connection.

As far as what to say, generally if you’re an author you’re passionate about things in the genre.  Talk about the things you find interesting, but gauge your audience.  If people are yawning, checking their watches or phones, or worst of all filing out of the room… well, that’s a bit of a sign.  Try to be entertaining, intelligent, and charming.  Basically you’re trying to establish yourself as someone who has something interesting to say.  That way they’ll remember you and maybe look at what you have to write.

Lastly, remember that bad impressions are more likely to stay with people.  The unfortunate truth is that most of the people you encounter won’t remember you at a convention, especially not the other professionals.  They meet so many people at so many conventions, that everyone sort of blurs together.  What they will remember, though, is if you’re the jerk who snapped at people or said derogatory things about other authors.  Good behavior may not get you a book deal or gain you lots of readers, but bad behavior will gain you notoriety and not  in a good way.

MALCon 2016 In Review

I enjoy all of the Colorado SF & Fantasy conventions very much, but Myths and Legends Con is by far my favorite.  I think it’s the fact that there’s no drama, everyone is there to have fun, things are extremely well organized, and it’s just all around a good time.

Jim Butcher was the guest of honor this year.  I really enjoy the Dresden Files series (in many ways I think he has redefined the urban fantasy genre).  It was fantastic to listen to him talk about what he has coming next and being on a panel with him was fantastic (standing room only, too, I wish they’d put us in a bigger room).  I know that panel in particular was recorded, I’ll have to see if I can find the link.

In all, I was on eight panels, so it was a very busy schedule for me.  The nice thing was that the venue for MALCon means there’s no fighting through long corridors to get to your panel room, everything is centrally located around the hotel lobby.  So I never had any problems getting from one panel to the next, and trust me, removing that bit of stress is something that can’t be overrated.

I enjoyed every panel and even the ones without official moderators went smoothly enough, all the panelists were professional enough to talk through the subject.

MALCon is also family friendly and they had plenty of kids activities to keep children interested and having fun.  I highly recommend it for just about anyone who is a fan of Science Fiction and Fantasy.  Better yet, they’re hosting Westercon next year, so it should be a blast.

Starfest 2016 in Review

Eshka Jedi at Starfest
Eshka Jedi at Starfest

Starfest is come and gone, gee that was quick!

They held it at the Crown Plaza Hotel near DIA this year, which was a new venue.  The new location was sort of a mixed bag, while I felt there was plenty more room for vendors, artists, and media, there was a bit less room for panels (which is a big part of why I attend!)

That said, it was a fun convention.  I was supposed to have three panels: Ow! My Spleen, Where Did This Chocolate Come From?,  and Combat in SF and Fantasy.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make it to the panel on Chocolate, though I heard it went well.

The Ow! My Spleen panel discussed injuries of characters, always a fun topic.   While I didn’t get everyone’s name from the panel, I was moderating, also participating was Sam Knight and  Chaz Kemp.  Both of them had some great contributions about what horrible things to inflict upon characters (all in the name of plot, story, and character growth, of course).

The Combat in SF and Fantasy panel went excellent as well.  We had Johnny Woodard, Betsy Dornbush, Chaz Kemp, and Courtney Farrel and one other author whose name I couldn’t remember (I think I have his business card, he had great things to say).  We had a very full room, with great discussions and I really want to thank Johnny Woodard and Courtney Farrel for their excellent expertise that they brought to the subject and it was awesome to have Chaz Kemp with an artist’s perspective.

All in all, I really enjoyed Starfest and I hope to be back next year!

Costumes at Starfest
Costumes at Starfest

Starfest 2016

I’ll be at Starfest 2016 here in Denver this coming weekend (11-13 March).

While I’m there, I’ll be moderating two panels: Combat in SF and Fantasy and Ow! My Spleen!  I’m also trying to get an author table, but I haven’t heard anything about that so far.

Here’s my schedule:

Saturday 12 March @ 1 PM Ow! My Spleen!

All too often in a book or movie, the characters undergo severe physical trauma, only for them to undertake heroic acts in the following scenes. How do you write realistic fiction where your characters are injured and face the consequences yet still manage to allow them to do what you need?

Sunday 13 March @ 11 AM Where Did This Chocolate Come From?

Every time our character turns a corner in a secondary world, it seems there is a decision to make. Even something as simple as a drink (and brawl!) in a tavern can lead to a thousand questions about commerce, culture, and connections. Our panelists will talk about these decisions, pitfalls and rabbit holes, and when to say when.

Sunday 13 March @ 3 PM Combat in SF and Fantasy

A lively discussion about what works (and doesn’t) in books and media as far as fighting and conflict. A friendly discussion about violence, bloodshed, and what effect it has upon characters. We’ll discuss what goes on in crafting a scene, what makes a fight scene realistic without being over the top, and we’ll dive into examples of combat done right versus where authors/directors have gone wrong.

If you are here in Colorado, I hope to see you there!