The Novel Approach welcomes Susan Mac Nicol as our inaugural guest on the Countdown to Euro Pride Con. I asked Susan to tell us why she loves attending Cons and why she feels they’re important to both authors and readers alike. And please, if you’ve ever attended an author/reader convention, or would just like to attend one, feel free to share why you love them, or what makes you wish to go to one someday.
Now, here’s Susan.
You may have all seen from the various Facebook posts that I’m attending a couple of conference this year. I wanted to attend more but I’ve just started a new job and don’t want to scare them. :) My boss has been very good so far giving me all the Fridays off for the weekend events. My sister is also getting married in Cape Town in December, so the trip I’d originally planned potentially to GRL in 2015 had to take a back seat so I could afford this instead.
I’ll be at Euro Pride Con in July of course and then again at the Bristol UK LGBTQ Meet in September. I’ve just found out I’m actually on one of the panels- Mystery, myth and magic – legends and the like as inspiration. I’m just a little bit nervous about that….
I love these kind of cons and author meets for a number of reasons, both for the benefit of the author, i.e. moi, and the genre as a whole. We all know that writing can be a lonely existence. The writer sits, surrounded by empty glasses of wine, random pieces of chocolate and crisp wrappers, a dubious web site of sexual content *winks* playing out in a window in the corner of the screen, a plethora of social networking sites open for business, and a propensity to snarl at anyone that comes into this haven and wants to do anything menial, like tell you the house is on fire and You Need To Get Out! The writer ponders, mulls, swears and waves hands around while speaking in tongues, anxious to hear how the phrase just written on screen actually sounds like in real life.
So the opportunity to get away and meet other people of similar ilk who understand your thought and creative process and don’t think that suddenly spitting out the random phrase ‘I don’t talk to dead people, arsehole. That’s not how it works’ is anything to be concerned about. It’s about embracing that energy that flows through an event like this, where you can absorb passion, frustration, joy and even despair without blinking an eye. It’s talking to people who have been through the same writer’s block you have, experienced the same irritation at a plot line that just won’t fit even though you want it in the story, and also the sheer bliss when something just comes together the way you wanted it.
Of course, all of this melding of the minds and camaraderie is beneficial for the reading community too. They get to reap the rewards of these get togethers; bask in the sunshine that is the author who may have been given some great advice on how to progress; rapture in the words flowing off the page that a good glass of wine might have unleashed as the writer relaxes their mind and body; and wallow in the satisfaction of a job well done because inspiration just happened to be something the writer experienced (while drinking said wine.) Oh all right, so not all of us do the whole wine thing. Sue me. :)
I have other events planned for 2016 as by then the boss will be used to my whinging to take time off for my writing career. I’d love to make the US in 2016 too, so need to think which event will be best suited to this journey. If you have any suggestions as to the best one to attend, I’m all ears. I really need to meet my publisher Boroughs in San Diego, my friend Shanella Mc Beth in Baltimore, the wonderful Scott Burkett and Greg Meier in Florida and various others scattered around far and wide. I doubt I’ll fit them all in, but I’ll try. In the meantime, authors, do yourself a favour and arrange to come to a meet, and readers and bloggers, please keep attending these events. We need you, as you are the lifeblood of the promotional machine that keeps us writers in a never ending supply of coffee. :)
~Susan Mac Nicol