Orycon 36:

Just got back from Orycon 36.  Interesting con.

To begin with, Esther had to take a different car entirely.  She got last-minute notice of a job interview.  Now, as much as we’d like to blow off having a day job in favor of being rich and famous authors, we’re not exactly there yet.  So she had to pass her panels off to me (the ones she could) and head down later.

I opened Friday with a Dark Fairy Tales panel with The Duchess Herself.  Walking into that panel next to her was…um…interesting.  I’ll quote her blog on the subject directly:

 

I ambled across to the proper venue with another panelist, and discovered that the room contained nothing but three towering stacks of chairs.  We all just assumed that, this being a Dark Fairy Tales panel, the goblins had been there before us.

 

This panel was followed rapidly by one in which we (the whole room) collectively outlined a story.  This story ended up being about a lone mermaid, away from her home, pissing off Poseidon.  I’m honestly a little interested to see whether anyone writes that up or not.  Still, Jason Andrew managed to guide the rest of us poor lost souls into something of an outline format, and all walked away pretty happy.

I’m not going to go panel-by-panel through the con.  That would take forever, as I ran (yet another) marathon of panels in this one.

Also got to hang out with a lot of old friends.  Phyl Radford, Bob Brown, Joyce Reynolds-Ward, and a whole list of others.  Saw some old faces, saw some new faces.  Finally tasted Radioactive Sludge (thank you to the good folks from Radcon for that particular, uh, delicacy).

Our marketing technique was all kinds of fun this con.  We wrote a mini-adventure for Robert and Grace, one that falls in between books 1 and 2 of The Gift of Grace series.  They came in at around 1500 words each, and combined at 3,000ish.  It’s a story of our heroes’ attempt to seal a breach in the Weave coming through in two places at once.  (Robert’s is entitled “A Day at the Beach,” while Grace’s is entitled “A Walk in the Park.”)  We then put these on stories on brochures; I carried Robert’s brochure, and Esther carried Grace’s.

“Free Flash Fiction” works really well as a pitch for people to pick up someone’s marketing materials.  But then the fan would discover that they could hunt down the other spouse to receive the other half of the story.  Throughout the con, Esther and I were sought out by people who had read one perspective of the story, and not the other.  It became something of a scavenger hunt for authors, which is about as cool as things can possibly get.

What’s that?  You want to read “A Day at the Beach” and “A Walk in the Park?”  Better catch us at the upcoming Radcon, then, because these stories are exclusively available to people who find us at cons.  Until then, I guess you’re out of luck.

All in all, I have to say that Orycon was a hell of a lot of work, and a hell of a lot of fun.  The staff was fabulous, the room setup was confusing but not overly so, and the panels were, for the most part, engaging, varied, and interesting.  A big shout out to all the cool folks who made it happen, and we can’t wait for Orycon 37.