Since being published in 2011, I have been to several cons and events. Some have been large with thousands of people. I think the highlight of those cons have been the Mega-Star Authors I have fan-girled over and got my books signed. I remember my encounters with legends like Nora Roberts, Patricia Briggs, and Marjorie M. Liu. Squee!
The downside is I'm part introvert, so at some point (and it doesn't take much) the noise level and the sheer number of people overwhelm and exhaust me. I have to go hide in my hotel room.
I have also attended wonderful little luncheons, a pleasant few hours to connect with a table full of people. These are lovely, but they are over too soon. I wistfully wrap up bookish discussions and take my leave. My favorite is the Southern Magic Reader Luncheon in Birmingham, Alabama. Those ladies know how to party!
But there are some cons that fit you just right. They're a blast and when you leave, you're both exhausted and energized. A strange, but good place to be. For me, Authors After Dark is that con. It's not too big, and it's not too short.
You have amazing authors and readers come together, all united by their love of books.
This year, the Mistress of Ceremonies was the very awesome and sweet Sherrilyn Kenyon.
It's about 4-5 days long and you get to see the same people running around so before you know it they are familiar faces, and then friends.
The panels are awesome! Most of the AAD readers attending the con are serious readers, they know their genres and books, they can discuss book boyfriends and plot twists into the wee hours of the night. So authors are not just talking heads behind tables during sessions. Instead you have dynamic, deep bookish conversations.
Some of the panels I was on this year: Odd Paranormals, MCIR: What the heck is that? (Half our attendees thought it was Motorcycle Club, but went ahead and stayed for our discussion of Multicultural and Inter Racial stories -- Yay!), Crossing Genres and more. The Dragon panel was packed!
But most importantly, everyone is excited to be there and ready to have fun.
So thank you Stella and wonderful staff for this wonderful year! Next year, AAD will be in Savannah and it'll be the last one in the U.S. for a while...so I'm both sad and looking forward to it. I know it'll be grand.
For more information about the Savannah AAD in 2016 click on this link.