Tag Archives: conventions

Kal’s LTUE 2019 AAR

Hey everyone, here’s my AAR for LTUE 2019!  All in all, I had a great time and had the opportunities to both participate and observe some awesome panels on writing, art, book marketing, and more.   If you’re in the Western US, LTUE has got to be one of the better writing conventions you can attend.

There’s a lot of fantastic authors to meet, and enough information on just about any topic to not only help new authors, but to help experienced authors learn new things.

The people are friendly, the locale is awesome (Provo, Utah has some very scenic mountains), and it’s a great opportunity to network.

Most of my panels for the weekend were in the military science fiction theme, with panels on Rules of Engagement, Drones & Robots in Warfare, Rebellions & Revolutions, and two panels on Robert Heinlein’s Starship Troopers.

I dragooned James Young into several of those panels, because a couple panelists weren’t able to show.  (Sorry James, there’s consequences for heckling from the crowd when I know who you are).  The ROE panel was fun, especially with Jim Curtis, Lee Modesitt, we got to cover a lot of history of ROE and do some extrapolation of what it might look like in the future.  For the Rebellions & Revolution panel, Jim Curtis and James Young’s knowledge of history meant that there were a lot of people in the audience taking notes to go look things up.

I really enjoyed the Drones & Robots in Warfare panel, with Jim Curtis & Larry Correia.  We ranged a bit further off topic into the areas of cyberwarfare, but that’s easy to understand given the topic.  It was particularly amusing to have people from the audience commenting afterwards about how scary all the potential is… that’s good writing ideas there!

As far as panels I attended, the panels on Surgery in Zero G was fantastic, with a lot of neat medical issues in microgravity being described by the panelists.  Doctor Nik Rao’s panel on Evolutionary Biology was awesome, especially as to how it relates to alien life we may encounter (or at least write about).

There were a few faces I wish I’d been able to see at the convention, people whose schedules didn’t line up or who didn’t get invited this year as panelists.  I really hope they get that latter part straightened out, as I felt there was a bit more emphasis on filling panels with people, rather than getting panelists who both show up and who are qualified.  But all in all, it was a fun convention and I hope to attend next year as well.

 

 

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Kal’s (updated) 2018 Convention Schedule

Here’s my updated convention schedule for the year, with events I’ve already attended in italics and a new one added in bold.

LTUE February 15-17, UT

Whimsycon March 2-4, CO

Liberty Con June 29-July 1, TN

Dragon Con August 30-September 3, GA

Mile Hi Con October 19-21, CO

Yes, I’m excited to be going to Dragon Con this year as an Attending Professional.  I have no idea what my panels will look like, yet, but I’m really looking forward to the event!

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 1

It is possible to have a career in writing and never attend a convention.  That said, conventions provide a wealth of opportunities for an author.  Conventions are gatherings of like-minded people.  Genre conventions, especially science fiction and fantasy conventions, are where you’ll be able to find lots of potential readers in one spot.  They’re also excellent places to network, to build relationships with other authors, to pitch ideas to editors,  and in general, get your name out there.

So, what’s the key to going to a convention and being a success?  Well, there’s two parts of this.  Assuming you’re just getting started, I highly recommend going as an attendee just to get your feet wet.  Study what other people do, learn what’s acceptable and unacceptable con behavior.   This last one is a key part.  Nine times out of ten, most of the professionals won’t remember your name or face from one convention.  They see too many people, interact with too many people, at too many conventions.  But if you’re a jerk, or annoying, they’re probably going to remember that.  So, as I said, learn what’s acceptable.  Don’t go charging in.  Take the time to get a feel for the place.

The next part is selecting an appropriate convention.  Small cons are perfect for getting your feet wet, and there’s an important part on this in that you can get some time with authors and editors without having to get pushy.

Also, know what a convention is about.  Gaming and anime conventions aren’t the best place to go for trying to network as an author or to pitch your book to potential readers.  Read up on what a convention is about before you go.  Learn who will be there.  If you don’t recognize any of the names of the guests, it probably means you don’t read their stuff and therefore what you write may not be what the readers there will be interested in.

Lastly, panels.  Panels are the main content at a lot of conventions.  These are discussions by the panelists… so if you aren’t one, don’t interrupt.  They’ll have time at the end of the panel for questions.  One of the big irritations to panelists is when someone in the audience hijacks the panel.  Do some research here, too, and pick topics and panelists you want to learn more about.

Conventions are tons of fun.  Take a friend, meet people, and enjoy yourself.  Don’t forget to keep receipts because all of this is tax deductible as an author.  Next week I’ll talk a bit about strategies on how to participate in conventions rather than attending.

 

Kal’s Convention Schedule Update

A quick update to my convention schedule.

I’ll still be attending MALCon here in Denver from 12-14 August.  It’s right around the corner so if you’re in Colorado, I highly recommend attending!

Unfortunately I won’t be able to attend Dragon Con this year.  The expense of travel and hotels is too much.

I’ll now be attending Honor Con in Raleigh, NC from 28-30 October.  I’m really looking forward to that one and I’m excited to attend.  It’s a military science fiction convention, so if you’re in the area you should check it out.

Because Honor Con is the same weekend as Mile Hi Con, I won’t be able to be at both places at once.  I will no longer be attending Mile Hi Con.

That’s all for now, I’ll keep you posted on further changes to my schedule.

 

Kal’s 2016 Convention Schedule

Just a quick update since a lot of the conventions are posting guests and I have a good idea of my schedule. I’ll be attending a number of the same conventions this year, so I thought I’d post dates and locations for those of you who may attend the same ones:

Cosine – Colorado Springs, CO – January 22-23                                    (Completed, see my review here)

Starfest -Denver, CO -March 11-13

LibertyCon- Chattanooga, TN – July 8-10

MalCon – Denver, CO -August 12-14

Dragon Con – Atlanta, GA – September 2-5

Mile High Con – Denver, CO – October 29-30

I’ll keep this thread updated as things may  will change.  I’m looking at attending some other conventions, but it is hard to fit them into my extremely busy schedule.

Kal’s January 2015 Forecast

2015 is here, and boy is it busy already.  Production continues on the audiobooks for The Shattered Empire and Renegades: Origins.  I’m continuing work on Wrath of the Usurper and plan to have it done and the first version out to my alpha readers by the end of the month.  I’ve got The Prodigal Emperor outlined and I’m outlining Renegades: Out of the Cold in my free time.

If everything goes to plan, I’ll begin samples/snippets of Wrath of the Usurper sometime in February, followed by samples of The Prodigal Emperor.  I’m really excited to be working on both books and I can’t wait to get them ready and finished for publishing.  I can tell already that 2015 has the potential to be a great year and I’m starting it off with lots of projects.

I’ll be attending Cosine here in Colorado Springs from 23-25 January.  I’m excited to be participating in another local convention and this one looks like it’ll be a lot of fun.  Check here for the website.

That’s all for now, check back soon for reviews on some movies and some other content!