Yesterday was the release date for Firebrand, the 6th book in the Green Rider series by Kristen Britain. Which means that aaaallllllll day, I’ve been seeing posts like this in my feed:

And I am like unhhfhkfhh I waaaaant. 

I could get it on my Nook. Actually, I probably will, lol. But I was also planning on picking up a hard copy, and recently I learned the author herself is doing a panel and author signing at ECCC, which I just so happened to have bought tickets for as my son’s birthday gift! 

Sooooo I figured I’d just kinda delay on picking up the hard copy until I was at the author signing, bc its less stuff to haul around the entire day. I’m already bringing my Nook and a few books for the other author signings.

This birthday gift is really working out well for me, haha.

I’m so excited — I nerd out a little at the prospect of author panels. Love love love hearing writers talk craft. I didn’t know ECCC had a whole section for writers, and I kinda feel pissed/ like I’ve been missing out. 

I’ve only been to one other con — a Wizardcon in Portland a few years back. I was not impressed by the experience. 

See, I’d been to Wordstock (also in Portland), now the Literary Arts Fair. It’s this big, multi-day event all about, well, books. And writing. The first year I went, the door/ entry fee was like $10/day (free for students), and I think it’s $15/day now (but still free for students). With that entry free, attendees get a book coupon, entry to a bunch of author panels, and access to this awesome two-story book fair with tons of cool books, book-related merchandise, and literary arts activities (like poetry readings, typewriter free-write, finger painting, etc). It’s super fun, just for the basic entry fee, and you get to talk to all kinds of cool writers and authors and meet with indie publishers and stuff — but, if you’re willing to pay a bit more, it gets better (Is that possible?!? Yes! It is!) There are writing workshops, and they’re pretty good. I shelled out a little extra a few years back and took two. Worth it. That said, even just going and listening to the author panels can result in some incredibly insightful and helpful advice, so I strongly urge any aspiring writer to find a literary arts conference and go!

Anyway, I assumed Wizardcon would be like Wordstock, with the entry fee giving panel access and all the activities and free signings and things. But it was more like a swap meet with cool costumes that I paid $40 for the privilege to peruse the overpriced wares I had no intention of buying. Boooooring. I was like, “Wow, this is a con? What a con!” And just kinda wrote off all cons because I didn’t realize there are (apparently) huuuuuge differences between the different cons?

Anyway, my kid had waaay more fun at Wizardcon than me (he was at the age where drooling over Star Wars toys and staring wide-eyed at people wandering by in crazy costumes was entertainment enough), and has been begging to go ECCC ever since. The last two years the tickets were sold out by the time I remembered to check, but this year–ah ha ha, this year I mommed the hell out of it and got him those tickets. Boom, baby! So stoked.

Then I got their email with the day planning guide and was like whaaaaat is this? It’s more than a glorified nerd-targeted swap meet with costumed fans wandering the premises? There’s a gaming floor to try out new board games and VR and video games? There are panels about cosplay and gender roles in comics and content creators talking narrative in film, comics, and games? There are author panels with some of my favorite authors talking feminism, sci-covering and fantasy?!?? 

And these have been regular features?!? Like, annually? I could have been dropping my son and husband off on the gaming floor and spending the entire day in a blissed out haze of writer panels and author signings all these years?

I’m so excited. So so so excited. Possibly more excited than my kid at this point.


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