Thursday, November 3, 2011

World Fantasy Con 2011 Debriefed

World Fantasy Con 2011 was held in San Diego this past weekend, and my infamous writing group, The Illiterati, were in attendance and in rare form the whole time.
Illiterati with guest appearance by Jaym Gates (far left)
First let me say that we turned it into a road trip of epic proportions, legends of which shall be whispered in the dark for years. Mercedes M. Yardley and Billie Bundschuh are super road warriors.

True to my slightly obsessive insanity, I’d made a WFC binder with bios on every guest of honor and each of our co-panelists so we’d be studied up.

Yes, co-panelists. That’s right, both Mercedes and I managed to get onto some of the panels at World Fantasy Con. I can either ascribe that to our awesomeness or their desperateness. :)
Talkin' bout H.P. Lovecraft

I’ll be writing another post about the oddity of being on a panel soon (including Do’s and Don’ts learned the hard way!) but for now, on with this post:

The main thing everyone needs to know about writers’ conventions is that pretty much everyone there is either a writer or an editor, publisher or agent. Which means that networking is the name of the game.
Mercedes and other Fey Folk

Ok, so that sounds cynical. Let me define networking as I see it (and as we in the Illiterati see it): networking is making new friends who also happen to have industry experience and may lead us to new opportunities. 

See? That sounds much better and less self-serving.

When we arrived fresh from the road on Thursday, we almost immediately stumbled into Misty Dahl and Jeff Mariotte, friends we’d made at KillerCon. Soon after that we finally met IRL some online friends from the InkPunks writing group.

Then in splitting up and hitting the panels we found ourselves getting into great discussions with authors who we may never have stumbled onto on our own (but now that we randomly bonded over Boba Fett and why zombie unicorns will rule the earth one day, we’re BFFs!)

And then there were the after parties. Now, let’s get one thing straight, yes there is free booze—but if that’s what gets you excited about writing convention after parties, then you’re a dumbnut. Just saying.

See, the after parties are where people let their hair down and actually are interested in getting into REAL discussions.

I loved hearing about the various writing projects that everyone was up to. I loved seeing the fire and passion in people eyes when they talked about what they were writing. I loved the way us writers start off kind of shy when asked “so what do you write?” but before long we’re head-to-head getting all giddy about our favorite authors.

Speaking of giddy, whilst wandering the halls I got somewhat lost (the hotel was designed by evil minions). As I stood there looking like a tool I was accosted by William F. Nolan who made me laugh so hard with his story regarding the now-defiled hotel potted plants.

Another great person I met was the Australian author KirstynMcDermott (author of Madigan Mine, Aurealis Award winner). She’s awesome, and let’s just say that I was “adopted” by the Australian contingent as we crashed the various parties happening around the hotel. My only regret is that we got separated somewhere in room 1111 and I didn’t get to say goodbye and thank you to Kristyn. So, let this blog post serve.

I also got to finally meet the inimitable Simon Larter. Let me tell you folks, I like this man’s style. Can you say, trickster?

Speaking of trickster, parking at the hotel was $16 a day. A DAY. Are you kidding me? Well, we at The Illiterati won’t take that sort of tripe. We had a giant Yukon SUV so when it came time to leave the party and head to our host home we just drove over a bunch of innocent shrubbery to freedom.

Take that parking robbers! Nyah nyah!


(the following is a very incomplete list of some of the wonderful people who made WFC2011 such a success for us)

Kirstyn McDermott
William & Peggy Wu


  1. Most awesome, Masonite! Can't wait to read about the rest of the conference.


  2. Dude, what's wrong with liking the afterparties for the free booze? Are you judging me? <.<

    I have to say, though, it was awesome to finally meet you and be weird together. Let's do it again soon, eh? Toronto?

    Cheers! *raises vodka glass*

  3. Oh Simon... Simon, Simon.
    It *is* all about the booze, but you can't just say that on a family blog.


  4. That's so awesome!!

    Here I go trying out your new word-verification-free comment system...

  5. Shhh! The shrieking shrubbery was a SEKRIT.

    It was awesome, Mason. Illiterati ho!