Monday, August 06, 2007

Gallery of Buff History Rogues
(so much better than Gallery of History Rogues in the Buff!)

One of things I most enjoy about attending comic book or science fiction conventions is getting to meet other professionals in the writing field. As a writer, I spend a lot of time inside my own head. I’m oftentimes my own worst enemy. I either keep my creative side imprisoned or torture it with thoughts of failure.

However, getting to meet other working professionals quickly reminds me that I’m not alone in this job and that it’s never easy. We’ve all developed our ways of getting around that little critical voice tucked away in the back of our heads. I get new ideas of how to defeat that stumbling block, and I get reminded that this job isn’t as hard as I sometimes believe it is.

Don’t get me wrong, writing is hard work. It’s difficult to sit in one spot for hours, days, weeks, and months and dream up scenarios and characters...then completely dash them into pieces because you get scared or nervous. Generally no one else around you understands what you’re going through. Your family and friends get sick of hearing you whine.

In San Diego this year, I was on the history panel with an esteemed collection of authors. Everyone who reads fantasy knows their names.

Peter David, scriptwriter supreme of The Incredible Hulk, Supergirl, and Fallen Angel to name a few, as well as several novels involving Star Trek, Babylon 5, and other television properties, was their lending wit and wisdom and repping his new book, The Darkness of the Light: Book 1 of the Hidden Earth.

R. A. Salvatore, whom I had met before, was his usual jovial and generous self. He’s the author of several books starring the Drow Ranger, Drzzt Do’Urden as well as several other novels in the Forgotten Realms world. In addition to that, he’s invented several nifty worlds of his own and filled them with terrific heroes and monsters. He wasn’t, however, generous enough to give away any hints about his upcoming Drizzt book, The Orc King.

David Keck is a relatively new writer, but he’s one you’re going to be hearing a lot about. He absolutely blew away not only the audience, but also the other panelists with his stories about a floating molar in his brain and observations on the realms of fantasies. His latest book is In the Eye of Heaven.

To anyone who reads science fiction, and very probably anyone who reads history seriously, Professor Harry Turtledove needs no introduction. But I’ll provide one. He is an acclaimed and accomplished writer of alternate histories, probably the very best in that field and certainly working at the top of his game. His latest book is In At The Death, the fourth book in the Settling Accounts series.

David Durhan is another name that you’ll soon see more of. He also came to the panel legitimately because he is a professor of history, and I was impressed by his knowledge as well as his personality. His first three books are fiction wrapped tightly in the threads of time, place, and real people. His latest book, however, is fantasy but you can see how he melded his two loves or factual and fictional events. Acacia has been announced as the first of a trilogy that is known as The War with the Mein.

I had a really good time on the panel and was much impressed with how much everyone knew. Later, I had a lot of people come up to me a different signings and tell me how much they’ve enjoyed the panel, the topic, the discussion, and the humor. Believe me, we’re writers. We know our humor isn’t always appreciated and we make the most of a captive audience. It’s better to ask forgiveness…

Comic-Con is way too busy to actually get the chance to meet people unless you’re on a panel. Even then you’re limited to just a few minutes. Thankfully I got the opportunity to see more of these guys at the signing immediately following the panel.


Rinda Elliott said...

I'm jealous.

Angela/SciFiChick said...

Ditto that!
I'm a big fan of Peter David's work too.