For the first time in almost a decade, I didn’t attend DragonCon this year. Mostly because I couldn’t book a room at the Hyatt. Partly because of my knee injury/surgery/recovery.
Instead I attended Fan Expo in Toronto. This was the first time I embraced FanExpo in its entirety, renting a hotel, working at the HWA booth, speaking on multiple panels, the whole nine yards. In the past, the most I’ve done is drop by for a day to do a little shopping.
And shopping happened, believe me. Check out my new jacket and skirt shown at right.
Many people behind the scenes with my local (Ontario) HWA Chapter pulled out all the stops to make the experience memorable.
Special shout-outs, firstly to Lou Rera who booked the booth for us, decorated it, and organized the schedule, all from another country (yep, Lou lives across the border in the USA).
Secondly to our dedicated chapter leader Séphera Girón who pitched three excellent panel topics for us to show our talents: So You Want to Write Horror?, What Scares You?, and The Next Big Thing in Horror.
The panels were well moderated by Richard S. Todd and well attended. I enjoyed spending those 50 minutes with my fellow panelists: Stephanie Bedwell-Grime, Brian F.H. Clement, Séphera Girón, Nancy Kilpatrick, Brad Middleton, Lou Rera, Bill “Zombie Zak” Snider, and Julianne Snow. (Fingers crossed that I remembered every panelist!). We shared our thoughts, experiences, and horror knowledge.
Séphera also planned our Saturday evening get-together, giving us all a chance to talk shop.
My many shifts at the booth gave me a chance to meet readers and writers, talk about all things horror (and speculative fiction in general), and promote not only HWA, but also my 52 writing tips and NaNoWriMo to name only a few writing resources.
One of the best highlights came on Sunday when I met horror ICON George A. Romero.
Overall, FanExpo lived up to its expectations as Canada’s coolest, geekiest, shopping experience. Even though I enjoyed getting to know my fellow HWA chapter members, who I now consider my pals, I missed my DragonCon peeps, especially my fellow reporters for The Daily Dragon.
Next year, my convention dollars will probably go towards GenCon. I had to cancel my appearance at 2015 GenCon due to knee surgery recovery. I’ll probably miss DragonCon again in 2016, and that thought makes me melancholy. But new experiences help fill the writing well.
Onwards and upwards.