KillerCon was a great first-time conference experience. Absolute aces. I made amazing new friends, networked, got my name out there. I passed out business cards. I befriended the editors of at least three horror markets. I met so many writers... artists who inspire and astound me, new names on the playing field, experienced authors who had plenty of advice to offer - it was just a matter of asking.
KillerCon had a lot to offer, and here's a little bit about the different aspects of the conference:
Panels - Nine panels were offered at this year's KillerCon. There was a great variety of topics, from women in publishing to shapeshifters in horror fiction. Informative and interesting, and they offered the chance to ask questions and add to the conversation on most panels, as long as there was time. I took some great notes on the query letters and screenwriting panels, and I will post those here later in the week, if you're inclined to know my thoughts.
Prose - Between panels, writers read from their works. I listened to amazing prose from Brian Lumley, Adam Pepper, Michael Louis Calvillo, John Skipp, Cody Goodfellow, and Tananarive Due. It was a thrill to listen to these authors and have the opportunity to ask them questions about their work and their careers. There wasn't a single boring or bad reader and I wish I'd had the opportunity to sit in on every single reading there was.
Pitch - My pitch session was with an established horror agent, and it went really well. He seemed impressed with my concept, and asked for the first few chapters of my novel, plus a synopsis. He also asked for an excerpt featuring the monster of the novel, once he found out what the monster was. Hell of a nice guy; he set me at ease immediately and we had a real conversation that lasted much longer than the initial pitch session was supposed to - we talked for half an hour or so instead of the customary ten minutes.
Parties - After ten and eleven hour days of working, it was time to party. I had a great time mingling with everyone and talking about a little bit of everything, from writing to books, music, movies, and moonshine. Anything under the sun (and some things that aren't) came up over the two nights we had together. Saturday evening never ended for me, because a group of us stayed up forever - no kidding, three of us never went to bed. It was fulfilling to spend time with other writers - people who understand who I am and where I am in this process of crafting my career. And it was effortless. I clicked immediately with several people, and I'm looking forward to discovering and developing those friendships.
Particulars - The staff was dedicated to making sure everyone had something to take away from the experience. They had a snafu with the original conference hotel on the first day, but they worked hard to overcome the difficulty and make sure everyone was accommodated. The Stratosphere was a stellar hotel for a convention. The KillerCon attendees were welcoming and happy to talk with me, and I made a lot of new friends this weekend. I'm looking forward to seeing most of them again at KillerCon 3, if not at World Horror Con in 2011.
Them's the basics. Now - I know you've got questions, kids. Lay 'em on me. I'll be posting more this week on the panels I attended, and I had some really great ideas for an upcoming contest and a blog hop, too. I missed y'all and am glad to be back; now it's time to get to work!