January 26, 2008

I’m back from Chattacon — it’s close enough to my home that I was able to attend the con last night and today, do some programming and catch up with old friends, and still be home for dinner.  (It helps that I pick up an hour on the way home — Chattanooga is on Eastern Time; I live in Central).

It was a good con, despite the fact that I had to stand in line for two and a half hours to register on Friday afternoon.  Fortunately, my friend John Hicks came down with his family and kept me company while I waited.  After dinner I attended the Meet The Pros reception and had a fun conversation with Eric Flint and several other folks about the state of the writing business today.  It was a conversation we continued this afternoon in a panel with Michael Stanwick, one of the con Guests of Honor, and Peter David.  Eric and I also did a panel with Lynn Abbey, the other writer Guest of Honor, and Geoffrey Girard on the relative marketing strengths of fantasy and SF.  Both panels went very well and benefitted from some excellent questions from the audience.

My day started with a reading, and that went well, too.  At some smaller cons, readings can be, well, sparsely attended.  On several occasions, I’ve done readings for one or two people.  This reading, though attracted a larger audience.  Not huge; maybe eight or nine. But it was a nice crowd.  I read the first chapter from The Horsemen’s Gambit, the second volume of my Blood of the Southlands series.  (The books is finished and with my editor right now.)  People seemed to like it a great deal, and I have to say that I’ve never written a chapter that was better suited to a reading.  It’s the perfect length, it demands no foreknowledge of the series or the world, and it gives some sense of resolution at the end.  As one of the people attending the reading said, it almost reads like a short story.

Anyway, I’m home now, and glad to be able to sleep in my own bed tonight.  But it was a good con.


2 Responses to “Chattacon”

  1. So what did you guys decide the state of the writing business today?

    Glad you had fun. 2.5 hours in line? And you didn’t even get to ride an e-ticket ride? Poor you.


  2. davidbcoe said

    We generally agreed that though the market is tough, and will always be tough, it’s no worse now than it was 30 years ago, and it might be better. Eric Flint has spent a good deal of time looking at these issues, and he believes that there are more writers making a living at it now than at any time in the past. We spent most of our time speaking of the book market — we all agreed that the short fiction market has gotten MUCH worse.

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