Since my best friend, John Zeock, passed away three years ago, I am faced with a choice every March...attend an annual memorial event for him with my Philadelphia "framily" or go with my friend's from SFABC to the annual Lunacon convention. My best friend has always won.
John was a great fan of sci-fi. He kept up a correspondence with Harlan Ellison. His family has a framed letter of condolence from Harlan prominently displayed in their living room. John's room is a shrine to King Kong, Neil Gaiman, and Godzilla. But John was also a writer and, because of this, I felt he would understand if I skipped his memorial this year and went to Lunacon.
Well, things are never simple, are they?
While I was considering my choices, another writer friend of mine, Terri Prizzi, suggested I join the Liberty State Fiction Writers and go to their convention this year. Without dragging you through the decision making process, that was what I ultimately chose to do.
It was a great decision. The workshops were top notch and oriented towards the serious writer. The opportunity to sit down with three agents, publishers, and/or editors of my choice for a ten minute one-on-one was invaluable. At any other con I've gone to, such chances were catch as catch can. As far as I can tell, the modus operandi at other cons has been to catch the attention of the agent of your dreams at an after party or to sidle up to said agent at the bar and think of a non-obnoxious way to pitch your book. Wrong? Well, it seems wrong to me. I really cannot think of a non-obnoxious way to ask a person who is relaxing after hours to do business with me. And barging in on someone's personal space is not something I'm inclined to do, even though I'm very outgoing. I can only imagine the hurdles this would present to an author who is shy or reserved. LSFW made the process of meeting with some wonderful people in the business easy, well-organized, a breeze. I got feedback on my work and met some great people. Worth the price of admission alone.
Did I miss Lunacon? Well, I missed my friends....but I made several new ones and had a blast dancing all night at the Saturday night party thrown by Kim Socha of BookObsessedChicks. I also had a great "blast from the past" reunion with an old college friend, Irene Peterson, author of Dead Dreams. And as it turned out, I didn't even miss John's memorial party - they changed the date this year!