I am back from LTUE and I had a great time. It is one of my favorite annual events and I think this was the 5th year in a row I’ve been a guest. I was on a bunch of panels about a bunch of different topics and had fun on all of them.
My panels were all pretty full. I like to imagine that is because I’ve got a rep as being a nuts and bolts, non-artsy, practical business advice kind of guy. In actuality I think it is because people know that I am silly and entertaining. 🙂
I was on a panel about writing monsters. Rob Wells was sitting next to me and his panic attack issues started acting up because it was standing room only and a bunch of people were standing in front of the exit. Rob asked them to move, and they politely did so, but NOT FAST ENOUGH. So I took the mike and asked if anybody had seen the Bodyguard? Because don’t make me go all Kevin Costner, pick Rob up in my arms, run down the aisle,and kick the door open. Rob said that would be nice. I said I’d only do it if he sang the song. 😀
Yes. This is the kind of hard hitting literature advice you get at LTUE!
The Writing Action panel (i.e. The Larry Show) is just me talking about how to write better action scenes. I had a packed room and when I got the Time’s Up signal at the end, there were still a bunch of people with hands up to ask questions, and it turned out that there was nobody in that room after me for the next hour. So I said I’d stick around. Most of the audience stayed, so I ended up answering questions for an additional 45 minutes until they kicked us all out.
My good deed of the day was on a panel about… Heck… I can’t remember. I was sitting next to Daniel Coleman who is another local writer. (and on that note, it has been awesome over the last 5 years watching several people I’ve met go from brand new aspiring writer to published professionals). Dan’s daughter was selling those charity candy bars for her school and was asking her dad for help before the panel started. I figured we had a few minutes and a hundred people already captive, so being a devout capitalist I decided to help.
So I asked (using my normal, bellowing, former firearm’s instructor voice) the audience for their attention. Then I explained that this adorable child was on a mission of importance (she tried to escape, but I told her to stay in front, because cuteness is a weapon!) then I said that she was selling delicious chocolate (I’m guessing) for a super important cause (then I whispered to her what the cause was) LIBRARY COMPUTERS! So raise those hands and this adorable little capitalist will bring you chocolate! Boom. Done. Sold the box in one minute. If this writing thing doesn’t work out, I am super good at selling candy bars.
The best part of LTUE for me is hanging out with other authors. The Utah writing community is a solid bunch, with some really good folks in it, and LTUE is one of the few times I actually get to see some of these people. So for three days I get to talk with my peers and see people that I don’t get to see very often.
You guys remember this? http://larrycorreia.wordpress.com/2013/08/21/publisher-cancels-book-contract-because-the-writer-is-gay/ where a publisher cancelled a book contract because they learned one of the authors was gay? (and despite the Social Justice Warriors of SFWA warning you of my cismale hatemongery, I tried to help them out). I bumped into David at LTUE and I was happy to hear that much like I predicted, not only did they get a new, better contract, they got picked up by one of the big dogs, Scholastic, and they are getting a big marketing push. Good for them.
Being a gamer nerd, I got to playtest a new RPG that is coming out called Gallant. Stay tuned, I will plug it when it launches because it was really fun.
So LTUE was great.
In other news I turned in Monster Hunter Nemesis to my editors and Reader Force Alpha. This allowed me to play the SONG OF TRIUMPH. This is the song I play whenever I wrap up a project. Allow me to play you the song of my people! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iijKLHCQw5o
Yes. Because nothing says I’m making a living as a professional author like heavy metal bag pipes.
While I wait for my editor’s feedback on MHN I’m going to work on a couple of smaller projects. I’m doing a Grimnoir short for Tracy Hickman’s Soujorner’s Tales, and this will also be an audiobook on Audible.com.
Then there are soooooo many novels to write. I’ve got like 15 books under contract right now, so that is a good problem to have! The 3rd and final D6 novel is looming, and I need to get with Mike to talk about that. He’s currently deployed again, but it is headquarter’s duty so he’s actually got time to write. He’s sold a space opera to Baen, but last I heard he’s ahead of schedule and doing awesome on that one.
EDIT: forgot to add, of the audibooks that dropped recently I’ve listened to bits of each, and am only now getting a chance to listen to the whole things. Going in random order, I picked Into the Storm first, and finished it last night.
HOLY CRAP. Get it. Listen to it. It was fantastic. I know I’m biased, but I may have shed a single manly tear at the end. It was that good. Ray Porter knocked it out of the park.