Brown River Queen cover art

Monday, March 26, 2012

MidSouthCon 30 Roundup

MidSouthCon 30 has come and gone, and I'm pleased to say I was there for it.

I'm not going to post each and every photo I took, because A) that's what Pinterest is for and B) you've probably seen more photos of Stormtroopers than you actually need to see in a two lifetimes already. But I will post a few notables.

On the left is Dr. Ethan Siegel, who is a real live theoretical astrophysicist and part-time Spartan warrior. His Significant Other is on the right. He was a Guest of Honor at the con, and I had the pleasure of talking with him about dark matter and dark energy, which is not at all an unusual dinner conversation at an SF/F convention, regardless of how the diners are dressed. That's one of the things that make cons so exciting. The most fascinating people show up!

Fans of Dr. Who will recognize this costume immediately. For everyone else, she's a Weeping Angel. They only move when you look away or blink, and they only move when they're about to do horrible, awful things to you.  It's fun, watching them sneak up behind people and just stand there.

Storm Troopers!  Look, I've talked to a lot of these guys, and they're unfailingly helpful and polite. I know, I know, during the week they work for the Empire, but at the Cons they are a force for good.  And they're always happy to pose, and point their blasters right at you, but in this case it's all in fun.  It is all in fun, right guys? Right?

This young woman was later seen using that rifle to keep the hordes of eager fan-boys at bay. 

The lone Ghostbuster I saw Saturday had carried an amazing proton pack. I'm fairly sure it actually worked. 

Gotta love articulated wings!

Oh. this isn't from the Con. This is me, any Monday morning...

I think she was looking for a contact lens.

Now, lest you, gentle reader, decide cons are all leather and steampunk outfits, let me talk about the panels.

Panels consist of a row of editors or authors or publicists or agents or any combination thereof facing a room of festively-dressed fans, writers, and other parties. The experts impart knowledge. People like me sit in the audience and hope to soak up that critical mass of information that will send us skyrocketing from obscurity and onto the Jimmy Fallon Show.

I managed to hit several panels, and had a blast at each. But if I had to pick one panel to call my most valuable, it would be the Marketing panel.

Pictured are AP Stephens, Stephen Zimmer, Janine Spendlove, Mike Preston, and Peggy DeKay. Now, maybe you're thinking "Frank, why would you be interested in Marketing? You're a writer!"

Well, gentle reader, if you're not Stephen King, and I do not appear to be, marketing is a genuine concern in the whiz-bang electrified interweb-activated publishing landscape of the future which is, incidentally, today. 

It's market or die, baby. According to my Amazon rankings, it's mostly die. But we small fry authors have to keep swimming, regardless.

I learned a few things at this panel. Things I'll be implementing shortly. Be on the alert for a weekly podcast, hosted by me and my impenetrable Southern accent. (Side note: Anyone who has a Snowball Blue USB mic they don't want, get in touch. I maka you a deal, no?)

I met some great people at the con. The good Dr. Siegel is both brilliant and a gentleman. Janine Spendlove is both a Marine C-130 pilot and the author of a darned good book (War of the Seasons, Book 1: The Human). And publishing expert Peggy DeKay said my accent shouldn't be an impediment to creating a podcast!

My Con experience was capped off when my book All the Paths of Shadow was named the runner-up to the 2012 Darrell Award for a YA novel!

So that's my MidSouthCon 30 roundup. I enjoyed seeing my Con pals, and making new ones, and joining in the madness that is fandom, just for a bit.

Note: see more pics at my Pinterest account, here.


  1. It was great seeing you at the con, Frank (though the only time we met I was wearing that big green head :) ).

    Just a note - the person you have identified as Roland Mann is actually Mike Preston

  2. I wondered who was in there! Good to see you, too!

    Thanks for the correction, I fixed it!