LTUE BYU Writing Conference

hickmans1I went to the writing conference yesterday. It was pretty awesome.

I was on one panel. The topic was World Building, what every beginning writer needs to know about creating their world. And somehow I became the moderator. I think it was because I was the first in alphabetical order. It was a packed room, with at least a hundred people in it, but I think I did okay.

Except for that one part where I used the word ‘damn’. Keep in mind that this is BYU. So I just told them that I went to Utah State, then I said “GO AGGIES!” and threw up the Horns. Dan Willis, author of The Survivors, from the Dragonlance series had my back, so he cussed too. Take that BYU, that’s for your lack of caffeinated beverages in the food court!  He also had the single funniest line of the conference when an editor from TOR pointed out that they were tired of stories with traditional LOTR elves, and Dan said no more Elvish Impersonators. Oh, man, that was good.

I was told by a few people that my panel had been the funniest. (not the most helpful, or most educational, but we had a lot of fun). Plus I closed it by thanking everybody for coming, thanking BYU, thanking the panel, and then saying that all our books were for sale on Amazon.com, so go buy stuff.  Yep, I’ve not written 6 NYT bestsellers like some of these other writers, so I need to sell me some books! 

Seriously though, it was an awesome conference. I was able to meet Tracy Hickman. He did a great presention, and afterward I was able to get him to sign my original 198os copies of the Dragonlance Chronicles. I was probably 12 when I first read those books. They were some of the things that inspired me to actually want to be a writer to begin with.  Tracy was really nice in person, and we traded autographed books.  http://www.trhickman.com/

Some of the other authors that I know were there. Brandon Sanderson is the author of Mistborn and Elantris, and is the guy that was picked to finish Robert Jordan’s epic Wheel Of Time series. (750,000 words for the final book and counting, so the word Epic is appropriate). Brandon has been really helpful to me since I’ve stumbled into being a professional author type person. He’s a great writer, and a good dude to have giving you business advice. http://www.brandonsanderson.com

He’s also just started MHI and has read the first 4 chapters. Knowing that that was heading into the slowest part of the book (character building and the training bits) Isaid, “Don’t worry, it’ll speed up.” He just looked at me like I was stupid, and said that in the first chapter the narrator almost gets eaten by a werewolf and then beats it to death. “Yeah, like I said, don’t worry, it’ll speed up.”  I guess that my idea of slow paced is a bit different than most folks.

I met Lee Modesit. I’ve not read any of his works, but my wife has read like 20 of his books. (keep in mind that Mrs. Correia is one of those folks that plows through novels and picks them up from the library, 20 at a time).  He seems like a contrarian kind of guy, and I can really respect that. (for some odd reason)

Paul Genesse was there. We were on panels at MountainCon together. He’s just finished his second book, sequel to The Golden Cord. I recently read his first book, and I rather enjoyed it. He’s a really nice guy. http://paulgenesse.blogspot.com/

Eric James Stone is the author of a bunch of really good short stories. In the last Orson Scott Card compendium of Sci-Fi, was one of the most enjoyable shorts that I had ever read. It was the story of a tabloid reporter who won a lottery to be the only reporter on the first intersteller voyage. It wasn’t until after MountainCon that I put two and two together and realized that I had just met the author, so I had to give him my compliments at LTUE.  Keep an eye on Eric, as I expect to see some really good stuff coming from him. http://www.ericjamesstone.com/blog/home/

There were a ton of other authors, most of whom I did not get to meet. I don’t know who she is, but major kudos to the author of The Princess and The Hound, because she had to guts to say (during a panel) that she thought Steven King was really overrated, and that most of his books weren’t really very good. Boo Yah!  No doubt King has written some excellent books, but he’s also written some real stinkers, and the hero worship where he can do no wrong gets really old. (not that my crowd would know, since most of my friends are soldiers, and as King so sagely pointed out, most of them are illiterate anyway).

There was a lot of Stephanie Meyers hate. I’m not a fan, as I don’t think vampires should ever ‘glisten’ and they can’t ‘sparkle’ unless they’re on fire. But you’ve got a room full of writers and people who want to be writers, all of who are trying really hard to be good, and most of them can tell that she just isn’t that good but somehow she sells millions of books. Go figure.

I love stuff like this. I enjoy the panels, I like meeting other writers. Next year I’ll try to catch more than one day of LTUE. (and I’ll smuggle in my own Vanilla Coke!)

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