My Inner Con Geek

     For me, convention attendance planning usually starts six months to a year out from the events in question. It’s now just exactly six months until the start of the annual summer cons, so for me the planning is in full swing.

     I’m pleased to announce that I’ll be the Author Guest of Honor at the 2012 Origins Game Fair.

     Any GoH gig is a big deal to me, but Origins has a special place in my heart. It was the first large game convention I attended (Baltimore, 1982 — thirty years ago). (As a side note, it was on the ridiculous road trip to the con, a cooperative effort between Steve Jackson Games and Flying Buffalo, Inc., that I first met Michael A. Stackpole in person — he was a Flying Buffalo employee, I a Steve Jackson Games employee.)

     I’ve also won two Origins Awards, prestigious within the game publishing industry — one for magazine editing (awarded at the 1983 event in Detroit) and one for their Hall of Fame (awarded 2007 in Columbus, OH).

     Origins is also where I get to catch up with many industry colleages and with my friends from Club Jade each year.

     So, yeah, close to my heart, and it’s great to be going back as a GoH.

     My schedule, currently a preliminary one, includes the following events:

  • Thursday, 1 pm-2 pm: Showing Off Your Manuscript. “Bestselling author Aaron Allston discusses ways to put your fiction before the eyes of others, including advance readers, workshoppers, editors, and agents. We’ll also talk about the hazards of showing off your manuscript, including submission mistakes, hurtful reviews, and loss of creative energy.” Aaron Allston. Room TBA. Additional fee will apply for this seminar.
  • Thursday 3 pm-4 pm: Ruining Your Career Before It Gets Started. “Bestselling author Aaron Allston walks you through the minefield of deadly career-killers, including query letters that spell doom, research practices that murder a writer’s reputation, ‘everyone knows’ fallacies that lead novices and even experienced writers into quicksand, and fan interactions that are pure poison.” Aaron Allston. Room TBA. Additional fee will apply for this seminar.
  • Thursday, 4 pm-5 pm: Star Wars In Novels.New York Times bestselling authors Aaron Allston, Timothy Zahn, and Michael A. Stackpole talk about their Star Wars books and about their future fiction plans in the galaxy far, far away.” Aaron Allston, Timothy Zahn, Michael A. Stackpole. Room TBA.
  • Friday, 10 am-11 am: Description. “Have your descriptive passages become blocks of text that stop your story cold? Bestselling author Aaron Allston discusses techniques to transform those passages into memorable experiences that propel your story to its conclusion.” Aaron Allston. Room TBA. Additional fee will apply for this seminar.
  • Friday, 11:15 am-12:45 pm: Library Hours. For some or all of this time, I’ll be at my booth in the Library (opposite Booth 245 in the Exhibit Hall). Aaron Allston.
  • Friday, 1 pm-2 pm: Style and Mood. “Bestselling author Aaron Allston talks about establishing and sustaining the tone of a novel — how to switch from technique to technique, like a pitcher switching from a curve ball to a fastball, in order to make the readers experience exactly what you want them to.” Aaron Allston. Room TBA. Additional fee will apply for this seminar.
  • Friday, 2:15 pm-4:45 pm: Library Hours. For some or all of this time, I’ll be at my booth in the Library (opposite Booth 245 in the Exhibit Hall). Aaron Allston.
  • Friday, 5 pm-5:30 pm: Reading. I expect to read Replay Value, a short story scheduled for publication quite close to Origins 2012. Aaron Allston. Room TBA.
  • Saturday 10 am-11 am: Slaying Writer’s Block. “There’s debate whether there is such a beast as writer’s block. We’ll not argue that point here. Rather, we’ll show you what you can do to knock down the barriers that are keeping you from typing away at your keyboard. Writer’s block… or whatever you want to label it… we’ve faced it and beat it to a bloody pulp.” Aaron Allston, Jennifer Brozek, Bryan Young. Room TBA.
  • Saturday, 12 pm-1 pm: Unclogging Your Plot. “Bestselling author Aaron Allston describes the Thirteen Deadly Sins that can grind your novel’s plot to a halt — how to detect them, understand them, and bulldoze them out of your way.” Aaron Allston. Room TBA. Additional fee will apply for this seminar.
  • Saturday, 3 pm-4 pm: Talk to Me: Dialogue. “Bestselling author Aaron Allston discusses the art of writing dialogue — to improve characterization, to influence the reader’s responses, and to deliver the emotional wallop your story needs.” Aaron Allston. Room TBA. Additional fee will apply for this seminar.
  • Saturday, 4:15 pm-6:00 pm: Library Hours. For some or all of this time, I’ll be at my booth in the Library (opposite Booth 245 in the Exhibit Hall). Aaron Allston.
  • Sunday, 11 am-12 pm: Steal An Hour of Aaron Allston’s Life. “Origins Author Guest of Honor and New York Times bestselling author Aaron Allston is waiting to have his brain picked. He’s willing to talk about life, the universe, and practically anything else on your minds. Bring your questions!” Aaron Allston. Room TBA.

     I’ll update those listings on my appearance schedule page as new details emerge.

     Other conventions I plan or hope to attend this summer include ArmadilloCon (Austin, TX), Celebration VI (Orlando, FL), and Dragon*Con (Atlanta, GA).