Why I Like Small Cons

Why I Like Small Cons

Over the next several weeks I intend to share some things I learned, and some things that were simply reaffirmed, while attending NASFiC this weekend.

I’ll start by saying it was a smaller con than I’d anticipated, but for an introvert like me, I actually prefer that. I don’t feel overwhelmed by the crowds the way I do when I attend bigger cons, like GenCon, which has grown astronomically in recent years.

But the biggest reason I like it better is the authors and artists simply feel more approachable. They feel more human, if that makes sense. They’re just another writer like me—much, much further along in their career, of course, but once they were just like me. And I have it on good authority that even Jim Butcher and Brandon Sanderson still geek out around their idols. 😉

Because it was a smaller con, my husband and I got to have an actual conversation with Brandon Sanderson during his signing (I had him sign our Wax and Wayne series and one of my book earrings!). I asked him how long it took him to be able to talk and sign at the same time. He said his trick is to have the name in front of him, and his book-signing signature is a simple one that doesn’t cramp his hand after an hour.

It made me want to start practicing my own signature! Jim Butcher mentioned later that he thought it was ridiculously intelligent of Sanderson to come up with a signature that was simple enough it didn’t hurt him, and that if your biggest complaint is that your hand hurts because you had to sign so many books, that’s not a bad problem to have!

Sanderson’s editor, the amazing Moshe Feder was signing with him, and then we got to join Moshe for a beer that afternoon. It was absolutely fascinating listening to his stories—not all of which were about Sanderson ;)—and again to feel that connection with an editor, realizing I may not have been an editor for long (~3.5 years), but I still had so many similar experiences to Moshe I know I have a lot to offer those who want to hear more.

Big names weren’t the only ones we connected with. Because it was a smaller con, we’d see a lot of the same authors, editors, and panelists, over and over again. And in my historical costume, I was easy to pick out. My husband and I were both able to hand out several of our business cards, and may have opportunities to beta read for others, and I hope many will reciprocate.

By the end of the con we both felt strongly once again that This Is Where We Want To Be. We’re so ready for the next stage, but no author’s story is complete without years of rejection from agents, followed by rejection from editors, followed by the long months prior to that first publication. At least I have an agent and am well into my first year of finding the perfect editor. When the time comes, I am so ready to go for panels and am excited for ever opportunity I get to share through presentations at the library and around town to spread my enthusiasm for what I do and why I want to do it professionally.

In the meantime, thank you for joining me on my blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, as I take these first steps toward becoming a published author!

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