It’s very hard to believe that Story Con 2014 is now over. Last Saturday, October 18th, from late morning to early evening authors and readers all participated in discussions about books and reading. I attended the event as a ‘reader’ but also to take as many photos as possible and to see where things might need improvement for next year.
This is my recap of the event, but remember, there were three things running each hour and I could only attend one each hour. So this really doesn’t even cover half of it!
I arrived at Story Con for the first panels of the day and attended the panel called “The Wicked West” which was authors Kate Dyer-Seeley (Scene of the Climb), Angela M. Sanders (The Lanvin Murders) and Christine Finlayson (Tip of a Bone). They are all Pacific Northwest mystery writers and so the discussion was about the setting. Why the Pacific Northwest is such a great place for mysteries (one example). It was a wonderful discussion with the audience getting very involved as well. In fact, the audience got involved in many of the panels because this is a READERS convention. So it’s about the READERS and not about writing, or even focusing solely on each authors books.
The next panel I attended was called ‘Game of Tomes’ and was about series. How series have become so popular now it can sometimes actually be hard to find stand alone books. So why do we like series so much? This panel was fun because it had a variety of authors of different ages, age groups and genres. It was a lively discussion and brought up a lot of fun topics. This was Ripley Patton (Ghost Hand- The PSS Chronicles), Lisa Nowak (Driven, Redline, Deadheat), Stacey Wallace Benefiel (Glimpse, Crossing, Day of Sacrifice), Athena (Murder of Crows), Wendy Wagner (Pathfinder Tales: Skinwalkers, Women Destroy Science Fiction) and Baer Charlton (Stoneheart, Death on a Dime, Night Vision).
I had to take a break and get something to eat but on the way I stopped and snapped photos of the authors sitting to sign books.
I didn’t sit through the panel because it was happening right when I needed to eat, but I stepped in and snapped a few photos of the panel ‘The Rise of the Machines’. This was discussing what is possible in science fiction, if it should be more realistic, etc. That’s what I got in my two minutes there. This was with Erik Wecks (The Far Bank of the Rubicon, Aetna Adrift, Unconquered), Daniel H. Wilson (Robopacalypse, BRO-JITSU: The Martial Art of Sibling Smackdown, Amped) and Will Hertling (The Last Firewall, A.I. Apocalypse, The Case of the Wilted Broccoli, Indie & Small Press Marketing).
After lunch was what ended up being my favorite panel of the day ‘Paranormal as a Metaphor’. This was great because it was discussing how zombies, vampires, etc can be used as a metaphor. It was a deep discussion but was loads of fun too. Very thought-provoking! This was with Wendy Wagner (Pathfinder Tales: Skinwalkers, Women Destroy Science Fiction), Ripley Patton (Ghost Hand- The PSS Chronicles), Athena (Murder of Crows) and Laura Whitcomb (The Fetch, A Certain Slant of Light, Under the Light).
‘On the Shoulders of Giants’ was up next and this was about favorite books. Books that inspired at a young age, books that helped inspire the desire to write and much more. It was a fun panel and at the end they took the audiences recommendations. Mine was Eleanor by Jason Gurley (and he just happened to be on the panel) and I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson.
The last panel I attended was mostly authors sharing their worst reviews and their best reviews. It was a lighthearted way to show that everyone gets bad reviews. Ripley Patton also shared some of the classics reviews from Amazon which is funny because these are famous pieces of fiction and they also get bad reviews. It was a fun interactive panel.
Story Con was a great success! The authors had fun and the attendees had fun. We all made new connections and lots of new friends. The energy was fantastic, but more laid back than other conventions I have attended. It was relaxed so that the attendees could feel comfortable speaking up during the panels and to even go up to the authors and chat between the panels. As far as conventions go, this was one of the funnest I have attended and I can’t wait until next year when it will be even bigger and better!
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