So Much To Talk About!
So much to do and not enough time! And it's not even December yet!
I spent Saturday at the Aiken Book Fair helping to raise money for the OLLI program at USC Aiken. Although the weather tempted people to stay outdoors, we did have a great turnout. I met so many wonderful people from the area and got to chat with several authors whom I only know through Facebook. Added bonus, the drive down and back provided such wonderful scenery. I love fall and the glorious colors it shares with us.
This Thursday, I'm headed to Columbia, SC for Books for Gifts at the Lourie Center. If you are or someone you know lives in the Columbia area, send people our way. You don't have to worry about shipping delays and can buy a gift signed by a local author. Your $5 entry fee gets you refreshments, entertainment, and free gift wrap. (Although I love wrapping presents, I dislike the hours I end up doing it, so this is a great bonus!)
Now a brief look back to CONjuration.
As promised, I wanted to share a bit more about this great event. Specifically, I thought I'd share with you the discussion from the World Building 101 panel. We had a slew of authors on this panel: myself, Dennis Medbury, Ellie Raine, John Adcox, Sarah J Sover, M C Vaughn, and Cecelia Dominic. (I may have forgotten someone and apologize if I did!)
It quickly became obvious that none of us world build the same way. Some of the authors talked about the natural landscape and resources and their importance in building a society around a location that makes sense. For example, prior to quick transportation options, most people lived near a water source. Others consider what else might have drawn people to the location--minerals or some other natural resource. Then there were those of us who start with a character or idea and build the world around the story of the character or idea.
I tend to fall in the second group. I start with a big picture--usually the character and their current situation. As I write, I add the world building. The most important point to remember is keeping the world consistent. Readers don't like it if you change the rules mid-stream. I keep a rather extensive spreadsheet about my characters and world and add to it as I write. This was very important in the third book, The Watchers at War. I found myself checking my records repeatedly. Sometimes to verify someone's eye color or when they first appeared in the story. Other times, I needed to look up the ranks of the Watchers or even to recall what the Monian crown looked like. A worldbuilding database is invaluable.
When I wasn't on panels, I spent most of my time in the dealer room where I met lots of great creators. My booth in the dealer room placed me next to Dragon Hallow Crafts (you can find them on Etsy, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter), and I had a great time chatting with Katarina and Toby about their works and where they live, near Chattanooga. The characters in my newest series will eventually move to that area, so it's great to have contacts who know it well.
In the booth behind me was a fun lady, Kayla of Lone Wolf Accessories. I was struggling to get my poster attached to my table, and she came to the rescue, even crawling under my table to help! If that's not neighborly, I don't know what is.
AND, I was thrilled to find the Whmzcoat designer, Shannon, there. I'd seen an author wearing her coats at another convention and loved them. So many positives, especially for the convention goer who needs to be mobile and working. Yes, in case you wondered, I did get one. Wellll, I bought it and told my husband he got it for my birthday (which was last Friday).
There were lots of great people, attendees, and vendors, so I won't try to name everyone. Please do check out the links for these vendors and come to CONjuration next year to see what great items you can buy.
So that's what's what in my world right now. Next week, I might share a bit more from my current work. I finished the first draft a few days ago and am letting it simmer a bit before starting the editing process.