This is a very special event for me, not because it's the first convention where I've been a panelist (I spoke on 3 panels at this year's MarCon event), but rather because it was at Context 2006 where I met Paula Guran, my future editor. I pitched Blood Magic (with 4 chapters still yet to be written) to her in the hallway after a "Meet the Editors" panel. Yes, I know you're not supposed to do that with an incomplete manuscript, but, well... It worked out, didn't it?
If you are an aspiring writer, you really must attend conventions and shows like Context where writers and editors meet to discuss the craft and do business. I'm 100% convinced that if I had not attended last year and put in the effort to create some "face time" with the editors in attendance that Blood Magic would be languishing on some slush pile someplace... Say what you want about talent, but the publishing industry is still, from what I've seen anyway, a place where good people do business with other good people, and knowing even a few of them can very well mean the difference between a publishing deal and months (if not years) lost in the slush.
Anyway - that's my sermon for the day: "Never overestimate the value of showing up."
In case anyone wants to stop by and say "Hi" (and I hope you will), my event calendar at Context will be as follows:
- Science Fiction in Comics - Friday, 7:00 pm
- Humor in Science Fiction and Fantasy - Saturday, 1:00 pm (alongside one of my heroes - Mike Resnick!)
- Author’s Fears - 2:30 pm (alongside horror GoH Michael Arnzen - also awesome)
- I Really Did It, But How? - Sunday, 10:30 am (someone, please, bring coffee...)
- How to Kill Off a Character - Sunday 1:00 pm