I can't say exactly when AAD first crossed my radar. I remember some of the bloggers and authors I follow on Twitter talking about what a great time they were having last year. I saw references to it on some blogs I frequent. And when I went to Albacon in Albany, NY last October, people were still buzzing about it there.
What I heard was that Authors After Dark was a reader-centered conference that had great panels, great parties, and tons of opportunities to talk with readers, bloggers, and other authors. This sounded exactly like the kind of conference I was looking for. I love going to science fiction and fantasy conventions, but so often what I'm there for—the chance to talk about books and writing—is one track out of many. It's easy to get lost. AAD focuses on readers, and I can't wait to get there and talk books with people.
I work at home (I'm a freelance writer and editor), and sometimes I really NEED to trade my work PJs for some real clothes and get out of the house. Heading off for a weekend of socializing and talking shop with people who love the same kinds of stories that I do—that's guaranteed to get me to comb my hair and pack a suitcase. I'm looking forward to being on and attending panels, hosting a hospitality breakfast with other UF authors, being at the book signing, and checking out the balls. Most of all, I think, I'm looking forward to the casual conversations that an event like this allows—a chance meeting in an elevator, a discussion that begins in a panel discussion and then continues in the hall, as dinnertime conversation where you discover a common interest with someone who was a stranger half an hour before.
I've loved reading the posts this month to see why people are going to AAD. If you haven't chimed in yet, why are you going? If you've been before, what's your best memory? Or if this will be your first AAD, what are you most looking forward to?
See you there!