2018 WWC Collision and a little Banff

13 Aug

Wrapped up another When Words Collide – didn’t get to go last year, and I wanted to make talking to my publisher in person a priority. The good news is things are a go and I got to briefly visit with authors, editors and other creatives I’ve met over the years. It’s really nice to meet people who’ve had their babies polished and unleashed into the world. This is a pretty big convention, I intentionally picked two editors I already knew for my blue pencil session as a way to ensure I got to at least say hi, and some people I didn’t see until an hour before the end of the convention! The Champagne Authors all got together at Bostan Pizza on Saturday night, so we got to chat and share pictures beyond going just at the business end of the books.

An aspect I really enjoyed was the inclusion of science lectures – mostly physics I think, I didn’t get to all of them – from lecturers from the University of Calgary. The main complaint I heard from multiple sources is that the convention appeals for writers like me – the science fiction and fantasy crowd – and the other genres writers are getting a little annoyed. I mostly chatted with romance writers, so I wouldn’t know how the literary types are fairing.

I made it a point to hand in less-polished works to the editors. I know that sounds dumb, as the rule with Beta Readers is “make it as polished as you possibly can”. I handed in something a few years ago and the guy was like, “Why are you here, exactly?” I try to make it a point to learn something, and I’ll admit to being the Queen of Non-Sequiter Paragraph Structure.


I don’t care it’s funny.


One of the nicer things I got was from the Coffee Klatch with Guy Gavriel Kay – festival guest from last year. He basically reaffirmed a contradiction us authors face. There’s a plethora of types of fiction in need and unfortunately, certain works wouldn’t be picked up today. He used the example of LotR because it takes 100 pages for it to essentially get moving. One lady said, “My stories don’t hook and grab. They’re a slower form of fiction.” Which is completely valid, and I agree whole heartedly. My publisher and I had a chat about covers and as the Writer Convention Appeals to readers, everyone else I spoke to on the subject said we feel fooled if the cover conveys the wrong image, or the book is marketed incorrectly. We get that there’s a certain sales amount that is involved, but generally speaking my grandmother and I don’t immediately reach for the same books on the shelf.

Weekend went by super fast and I went to my first ever Dr. Seuss Off – never read Fox in Socks but my father read me “Oh Say Can You Say?”  way too many times. Rather enjoyed the entire thing, additionally it’s something new to try with the nieces and nephews.

I’m currently typing this at a Hostel in Banff. I wasn’t going to stay, but the ads showed up on my feed and I was “Ba-ha”-ing at the minimum price of pushing $300 to stay in Canmore and area. I couldn’t find a B&B for the two nights I needed and I thought it was silly to change places considering I need to be at the airport by 10 on Tuesday for a noon flight. Figured if it’s not safe to stay in a Banff Hostel it’s not safe in any hostel – we’ll confirm how I feel in a day or two, but seems like we got a good range of people here and I’ve been getting up early to hit the gym. I was originally thinking “horseback riding” but I might wake up and go for an early morning hike and rent a SUP and get some editing done. It’s a little smoky out, but it’s still beautiful here. I haven’ t been here in probably fifteen years – way more built up than I remember it.

Anyway, if I missed you at WWC apologies – I’m excited for a day of outdoor fun (weather and glut med strain permitting, hah!)  I didn’t take any pictures as I was trying to navigate walking around, so I’ll have to fix it in the morning.


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