biweekly links 6-21-2017

Crazy busy this week preparing for the Historical Novel Society conference in Portland OR (I am in transit as you read). Here’s a link dump of various curiosities from AwesomeCon this past weekend:

Legendary Comics Announces New Series “Cursed” from John Barrowman, Carole Barrowman, and Erika Lewis: yes, that John Barrowman, of Torchwood and Dr. Who fame. Didn’t know he wrote, or that he had a sister to write with, but this Celtic mythology-infused comic about Bonnie Prince Charlie’s cursed descendant sounds very promising.

ReDistricted: Atypical Stories about Washington D.C.: It’s a webcomic about off-the-beaten-path DC history. It’s free, and every story has footnotes! What’s not to love? I’m shamefully unaware of the huge scope and quality of non-fiction history comics out there; it’s time that changed.

Connections Wargaming Conference: Advancing and Preserving the Art, Science, and Application of Wargaming: lest you get a mental image of weekend D&D campaigns or MMPORGs, wargaming is a serious simulation tool for scenarios military, economic, and academic. Much of the panel on this went over my head, but then I’m not even a recreational gamer. I’m pleased someone does this kind of work.

everything, everything: the HNS conference


This past fantastic weekend was my second writing conference and my first (and certainly not the last!) Historical Novel Society conference. I’m still digesting it all, but here are some highlights:

  • The camaraderie. Socially awkward me had spontaneous conversations everywhere: on light rail, in the elevator, at every meal and in every session. The entire HNS membership is as kind and welcoming as my local chapter. Thank you all!
  • Keep Calm: Gabba gabba we accept you one of us!
  • Others who “get it”. Who understand how you can’t NOT write, no matter how difficult it gets. Who grok the indescribable relief/joy of the perfectly turned phrase. Who talk to and channel their characters. Who appreciate the addictiveness of research. So much nodding in agreement my teeth are still rattling.
  • The readers. After all, we all started as readers, and without them authors would just be talking to themselves. I look at my “to read” pile and weep with envy at their luxury of time to read all these wonderful books! Many blog their enthusiasm for their chosen genre and they know what’s hot, what’s not, and what’s coming next. Hats off!
  • Hearing what brought authors to their stories. Often their plots are years in the making, based on childhood obsessions or family histories. Everyone is so passionate about their work!
  • The hard to hear but much-needed blue pencil cafe critique of my first 10 pages. The sting only lasted until my little black heart smiled at my mentor’s suggestions for tightening the screws on my characters…
  • Reassurance that I’m on the right track.
  • Valuable information about the responsibilities of authors, editors, agents, and publishers, and how they intersect.
  • A reminder that published authors are still responsible for the bulk of their publicity, and that it doesn’t have to be a chore.
  • The impetus to finally create my author Facebook page.
  • Tips on how to read in front of an audience without turning into a panicky train wreck.

Somehow I’m both more terrified AND more hopeful about the long revision process to come. It’s time to get to work.

What was your favorite part of the conference?