Here I Go Again (On My Own)
Posted by aahabershaw
In about two weeks time, I’ll be hopping in a rental car and driving out to Saratoga Springs, NY, to attend the World Fantasy Convention. I will be going alone. I barely know anybody who will be there (I think). I have no idea what to expect. Well, that’s not entirely true – I imagine there’s going to be a lot of sitting in Samsonite chairs in convention halls. Beyond that, though, I’m stumped.
I’ve done this before. Some years ago, I attended Readercon (a scifi convention local to the Boston scene). I went in, I sat through a few panels, I bought a couple books, ate dinner, and went home. Afterwards, I wondered what I had spent my ticket money on, exactly. I hadn’t learned anything worthwhile, per se, and I didn’t meet anyone (hard to do that when you don’t talk to anybody), and I had no idea what to do. The whole experience put me off conventions for a good long while.
Here I am, though, doing it again. This time, though, I can’t just hop in my car and drive home for dinner. I’m there from Friday to Sunday, folks, and there’s no turning back. I plan on making this convention experience count. My advantages?
- I am a published author with a major publishing house (albeit the least well known author in that imprint). As my editor stressed to me when I met her, I have something to talk about.
- I know some people who will be there (my editor, and by “know” I mean “met exactly once and have corresponded via e-mail,” as well as some other Harper Voyager folks) and I will, therefore, not drift through the crowds entirely aloof and alone. I have been promised a “seat at the table,” though what table and who, exactly, I’ll be sitting next to is unknown.
- I have an actual goal. I’m looking for an agent who might be willing to take me on when I get around to pitching parts 3 and 4 (or 4 and 5, depending on how you count) of the Saga of the Redeemed. In order to achieve this goal, I will have to be social.
- Scott Lynch will be doing a reading there. As he is my Spirit Animal, I will try and get him to sign one of his books for me. That will be awesome.
Thusly armed, I shall journey forth in the snowy wilds of northern New York State and see if I can, through wit or will, advance my craft and my career in some way.
Either that or I’ll spend a significant portion of my time grading papers in my hotel room.
Assuming that isn’t the case, then maybe I’ll see you there! Drop me a note here if you plan to attend the WFC and, if so, what you hope to do or accomplish.