Tuesday, October 11, 2011

On facing a crowd of Sci-Fi enthusiasts

MileHiCon 43

October 21, 22, 23 2011

Ever since I decided to go the MileHi Con in Denver to promote my novella SCHRÖDINGER’S CAT,  I’ve had second thoughts.  Crowds frighten me at the best of times and if those crowds were to be composed of…say, science fiction geeks, that fear quickly becomes sheer terror.

From past experiences, I’ve discovered that my fear of strangers and the strange can be eased with busyness.  If I keep preoccupied, think of others rather than myself, feel obligated to perform, and keep my wits about me,  the nameless, faceless, and frightening crowds become interesting individuals.

Thus, I begged the MileHi organizers for a chance to volunteer.  They came through wonderfully for me and I now have a full slate of pre-planned activities to keep me busy and at ease.

I’ve been assigned to three panels, and panels suit me wonderfully.  Not only must I focus on my contribution to the discussions, but the convention crowd becomes a manageable 3 or 4 fellow panelists.  How cool it will be to get to meet, to greet, to get to know other successful authors in my genre!

It’s wonderful, too, that the panels are on subjects about which I’m fairly well versed.

The first panel I’m on, The New Landscape of Publishing,  runs Friday, 21 October 2011 from 4 – 5 pm.  The moderator will be J.Van Pelt and fellow panelists are D.Dvorkin, J. Erwine, and SG Jones.  We’ll be talking about self-publishing, e-books, Smashword, electronic book signings and more. Navigating the new landscape and avoiding the wasteland. 

Since both my novels were released in eBook and print formats and since THE TRAZ was self-published and Schrödinger's Cat was traditionally published, I've experienced divergent facets of the publishing industry.

Next on Friday from 5:15 – 6 pm I’ll be involved in Speed Meet an Author—a chance for new authors to go one on one with potential readers. This is a great chance to not only avoid the crush of crowds but to help me put a face and name to sci-fi fans.  I’m really looking forward to this and hope at least a few interesting readers drop by my table.  

I will also get to participate in Autograph Alley but won’t know the details of that until I get to the hotel and register.  I must practice signing with a flourish—or at the very least, signing legibly (with correct spelling).

There will be no sleeping in on Saturday.  At 10 a.m. I’m on the panel How to Interview along with moderator C.Chrissinger and panelists R. Ambrozic, J. Heller, and V. Hughes.  My journalistic background will come in handy for this panel.  Also, having been the interviewee lately rather than the interviewer, I now possess a deeper insight into the art of asking intelligent and interesting questions.

How to Interview - A lot of blogs/on-line magazines/podcasts do interviews. What questions do people want to be asked? What kind of questions should interviewers avoid? What mistakes do interviewers (and interviewees) commonly make?

At 4 pm on Saturday I get to do an Author Reading in the Mesa Verde C room.  I intend to be a tad creative, entertaining...something to draw the crowds to listen to the tale of Schrödinger’s Cat.

Perhaps the most challenging panel will be Nowhere to Hide, scheduled for Sunday at 2 pm with fellow panelists  MT Fierce, V. Hughes,  R. Ziegler, and A. Feldman as moderator. Nowhere to Hide: Life under the electronic eye – a discussion of privacy vs. surveillance; the need to keep people safe and capture criminals, balanced against the potential for abuse.

Since Crime Fiction is another genre in which I’ve been published, I have some good angles to present in defence of Big Brother…or not.

And there you have it. Come visit me at MileHiCon 43.   I hear the Colorado Rocky Mountains are gorgeous this time of year

MileHiCon: the Largest Science-Fiction Literary Convention in the Rocky Mountain Region.

Over 80 authors and speakers come to MileHiCon each year. Programs on various subjects such as Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Science, Music, Filking, Movies, Publishing, and much more

The convention will be held October 21-23, 2011 at the Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center 7800 East Tufts Avenue Denver, CO 80237

Eileen Schuh, Canadian writer www.eileenschuh.com