The Day Job Cons:
I've spoken in front of between 50 and 250 people at conventions for the day job. These are venues full of suits and science, cutting edge technology and the latest in government guidance and requirements.
The food is good, the alcohol flows as a trap for the non-business savvy. You learn to drink with the big dogs and how to accurately gauge how much you can have to be effective in networking while avoiding making an idiot of yourself.
The Anime Cons:
Fun filled land of the otaku, anime conventions are packed with cosplayers and Japanese cartoon-lovers. I trade in my biz suit at these cons for cat ears and plaid Japanese school girl skirts, scampering around watching the latest fan subs and anime music videos, meeting Japanese directors and rocking out to J-pop concerts.
These are full of relaxation and shenanigans, with a touch of bouncy cuteness thrown in on the side. I'm a yearly attendee at Otakon and Anime Boston. I've been to Sakura Con, Anime USA, Katsucon and NY Anime Fest.
The Literary Conventions:
Romance, sci-fi, any genre on the shelves are covered in these conventions. They are the places to meet authors, agents, editors and publishers. There are tracks on both the craft of writing and the business of it, as well as the promotion and marketing of a writer's work. Workshops and panels cover every aspect of the writing world and beyond.
For me, these are an interesting mix of business and fun. I've attended Romantic Times, WisCon and PhilCon, sampling a taste of the differences in focus at each.
This year, I will be attending Authors After Dark for the first time. As a newly published author, the key reason I'm attending is to meet readers. I'd be tickled beyond imagining to meet readers of my work, definitely, but I'd also like to meet readers of the genres I write. Heck I'd like to meet readers just to enjoy with them the excitement of being at a convention to not only meet their favorite authors but to discover new ones (like me!).
I'm looking forward to getting a feel for another literary convention. Plus, there's always budget to consider. AAD is in Philly this year, allowing me to commute to the con from home. There's little you can argue when the con fee covers food and you have no airfare or lodging expenses. Plus I'll be lucky enough to speak on several panels, very huge opportunities for me.
Finally, AAD was scheduled at the right time. RT hit during a challenging time of year for me personally. Lori Foster and Balticon are the week of my little brother's wedding and family must come first.
Often, it's the timing as much as anything else that plays a roll in where you end up in life.
I do hope you'll all stop me at AAD to say Hi. I'm looking forward to meeting new people, be they readers or industry or fellow authors. To make it easy to find me, I'll be on the following panels:
- "When the ending isn’t HEA"
- "E book Authors"
- "Guess the book from the Sex Scene"
- "Author Blog Fail"
- "Food and Clothing in Romance: DETAILS"
I'm also on the Steam Ball Court and joining a group of authors in hosting at the hospitality suite from 4pm to 6pm on Saturday with lots of prizes and swag. :)
~ PJ Schnyder