On the weekend of February 27 – March 1, I will be a programming guest at Mysticon in Roanoke, Virginia. We went last year and had a blast and I’m happy to have been invited back.
The special guest this year is Sean Maher (from “Firefly”) but I’m more interested in meeting Peter David, whose books I’ve always enjoyed. (My interview with him from a few years ago is here!) Also in attendance will be many of my friends, including some I have interviewed here on this blog: Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Gail Z. Martin, Mike McPhail, KT Pinto, Peter Prellwitz, Leona Wisoker, and Allen Wold.
And if you’re a fan of my Fortannis anthologies, you’ll find some of those authors as well (namely Davey Beauchamp, Danny Birt and Tera Fulbright, as well a few who will be in the forthcoming collection A BARD DAY’S KNIGHT — Angela Pritchett and the aforementioned KT Pinto).
Anyway, if you’re there, be sure to say hi! I’ll be on a bunch of panels and my artist wife Heidi Hooper will be judging the Masquerade competition and hosting some art panels as well.
Here is my current schedule:
The Top Animated Films of All Time (Friday 3 pm): A debate over the list of best animated films. Will our panel agree or will the discussion break out in fisticuffs? With Billy Flynn, Stuart Jaffee, Darin Kennedy, Genesis Moss
Fantasy World Building (Friday 6 pm): Whether it’s creating entire new worlds or integrating your story into everyday life, fantasy writers can find inspiration in the smallest things that can lead to a whole new world of mystery and magic. How they do it, how they choose, how they are inspired, what fans love or hate, etc. With R.S. Belcher, Liz Long, Gail Z. Martin
Author Reading (Friday 7 pm): Michael A. Ventrella’s humorous adventures are full of twists and turns. Come hear excerpts from his latest “Bloodsuckers: A Vampire Runs for President” and maybe his story about the Marx Brothers in Hell, depending on time.
All Dressed Up and Ready to LARP (Friday 8 pm): This panel is to give interested parties or parents an idea of what is involved in LARPing. With Owen Anderson, Jestin Jeffers, Robert Sohl
The Eye of Argon (Friday 10 pm): The worst science fiction story ever written gets a reading by our brave panel as they compete to go the longest without tripping over a misspelled word or laughing uncontrollably. Audience members are also encouraged to take a chance. Can you keep a straight face, especially when the panel begins acting out the story? With Peter David (maybe!), Gail Z. Martin, KT Pinto, Peter Prellwitz, Leona Wisoker
Tooting Your Own Horn With Social Media (Saturday 11 am): Done properly, self-promotion is an important part of building a career. Poorly executed, self-promotion can do more harm than good. Our panelists will discuss what works and doesn’t work along with these common questions: Do book-signings really help a small author? Are bookmarks and/or postcards effective at garnering attention? Does a blog help or hurt an author? Does an author have to have a website? With Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Chris Kennedy, Liz Long, Steve Long
What Makes an Animated Film? (Sunday 11 am): With CGI in almost every film, the distinction between live-action and animated film is changing. Is “Guardians of the Galaxy” an animated film given that two of its main characters were animated? What about the Star Wars prequels? Does capture-motion count? The panel will discuss various animation styles and try to determine how one can judge what exactly is an animated film these days. With Emily Mottesheard, Christine Parker
Making Politics Work in Fiction (Sunday noon): Real world political narratives are filled with cultural revolutions, passionate speeches about social change, war, and intricate, Machievellian plots. How can you portray them convincingly in your story? From noble houses in fantasy worlds to galaxy-spanning empires in SF, how do you make them believable and engaging without burying your reader in the intricacies of your setting’s political theory? With Stuart Jaffee, Tally Johnson, Thomas Monaghan, Gary Rinehart