(Comment: Drinking hot things at the Hunt Valley Marriott is probably not a wise thing. The rooms have two temperatures, the Ballroom is freezing and everywhere else is sweltering. The AC is working (if you're sitting on top of the register) but it's being overwhelmed by the press of bodies in the rooms.)
First panel was "Working in Other People's Worlds: Media Tie-ins". Bob Greenberger and Will McDermott joined me on this panel. We had a fairly decent crowd for the morning and they asked several interesting questions. I wound up moderating this panel. We discussed the difference in pitching and writing a media tie-in book versus original fiction, the joys of dealing with licensors, fans vs. fanatics, tips on how we keep the characters "in character", and other topics.
Second panel, "Beyond Mansquito and Frankenfish" was supposed to be about the SciFi Channel, what it does well, what it doesn't do well and WHY do they keep making these horrible movies? However, before the panel could get started, one of the audience members got up rather indignantly and left. No, he wasn't a SciFi Channel executive, he thought we were going to be discussing the pros and cons of bio-engineered creatures and made it clear he was unhappy with the real point of the panel. (In his defense, the convention book only lists the names of the panels with no descriptions . . . heck, it even confuses some of us when we arrive to be on the panel and it's not what we thought it was.)
Once we got past this, we did come up with a number of SF/F/H books we thought could be adapted for either movies, mini-series or actual series for the network. One thing we all agreed on was that SciFi Channel seems to be floundering in identifying what it's target audience is. One of the suggestions was for SFC to expand on their SciFi Fridays concept. Say, they had Monday Night Movies (where they showed new and classic SF movies), Tuesday could be their flashback to old SF series (Space 1999, The Time Tunnel, The Land of the Giants, Logan's Run, etc.), and so on.
My third panel was "Where Have All the Heroes Gone" was all right, but not as good as I had hoped. One disappointment was that Tamar Siler Jones dropped the panel, so I missed an opportunity to meet her. Also, since once again there was no panel description, part of the audience was expecting us to talk about anti-heroes not the "upsurge in female heroes" in SF and F. Plus, we had some basic differences in opinion as to what was a "realistic depiction of combat involving males and females." I got some feedback from people who attended the panel and they seemed to like my contributions to the panel, so I'll call this a mostly win.
Spent some time visiting with klingonguy and lady_cinnibar. lady_cinnibar and I attended the "What Do Editor's Want?" panel. However, between the heat and the soft voices of the panelists, it was tough to hear what they were saying. I'm not sure I heard anything that I hadn't already learned from reading several writer's bulletin boards and agent's blogs, but it's still is good to get my own knowledge reinforced.
The highlight of the evening was the Boogie Knight's concert. (kradical is a member of the group and has mentioned them prominently in his own blog.) They did a great job, and the crowd wouldn't leave until they did a second encore, which I think they appreciated, but they weren't expecting. I hadn't heard that they'd been banned from the Maryland RenFest for not being "Renaissance enough". So, they did a filk song dedicated to the PTB of the Maryland Renfest.
I gave lady_cinnibar a ride to the light rail station after the concert. Partway down the Baltimore Beltway, I felt the motor hiccup. A feeling of dread hit my stomach and I looked down at my gas gauge and, yes, dear friends, it was sitting on E. I managed to get off at the next exit and limped down the BW Parkway and just got off on Nursery Road and ran out of gas. I coasted to the gas station, but there was a slight ramp up to the station. I got almost all the way to the top of the ramp before I ran out of momentum. Luckily, two gentlemen pulled in behind me and helped push my truck all the way to the pumps. Just a tad embarrassing!
Talked this morning with April about Shattered Mirror. We're working on the legends behind the world as well as where we want to go in the next couple of chapters. We're really focusing on the character's motivations (not only the main ones but the major secondary characters we've come up with in the first two chapters. Doing a collaboration, we're working from a generic outline, but we're still negotiating a lot of the stuff on the edges, which is very entertaining and frustrating at the same time.
Also been doing a lot of networking at the show. Hopefully, I'll have some interesting news to share with you all in the next month or so. I don't want to say too much now . . . just keep your fingers crossed.