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Next weekend I’m packing up with some fellow writers and we’re headed up to LibertyCon.  For those that are not aware, LibertyCon is a Science Fiction convention in Chattanooga, Tennessee. They have a load of writers that appear each year that hold different panels.

This year’s literary guest of honor will be Brandon Sanderson and the 25th anniversary literary guest of honor is Timothy Zahn. If you’ve read my blog for any length of time you will know that I bring up Sanderson a lot. One of his students actually posted his creative writing course online and it is a wealth of knowledge.

Timothy Zahn, for those that don’t know, has written the best Star Wars trilogy  to ever grace the bookshelves. Often called the Thrawn Trilogy, it introduces a villain–Grand Admiral Thrawn–that competes on the awesome scale with Vadar. There are times that I feel Thrawn was more effective and engaging than Vadar.

Needless to say, I’m getting my copies signed by him.

One great aspect of the con is that it is very small (this will be my first year, so this is coming from a friend who has been often). The panels are smaller and more personalized. Brandon is holding a talk on Saturday that I will definitely be there for.

What’s most important, to me, is the networking potential. My friend mentioned that one year he was invited to hang out with a well known author and his publisher. During their conversation they asked my friend what he was writing. He didn’t have anything.

Ouch. What a missed opportunity.

After hearing that story, I made a decision.

I have begun to clean up the first five chapters of my novel. I want to have something with me at the con. Right now I’m not sure how many copies I should have with me. Or if I should just have one and get emails and offer to send it after the convention. Either way, I want to be ready.

Now, I know that for first time authors they would rather your book be done–which I’m very close to being–but I can’t help but feel that showing up with nothing would be worse.

It’s an exciting time and I’m looking forward to next weekend. I’ve been putting in a lot of my extra time and effort to get short stories published and focus on my book. I don’t expect anything spectacular to happen. But I want to be ready in case something does happen.

Fingers crossed.



  1. Networking, you say? Hmm…

  2. Where were the writer and publisher hanging out? Looking at the LibertyCon website, it seemed like it was only panels and nothing else.

    Of course, the authors at DragonCon hang out after the panels…

  3. Richard Groller says:

    I am the Director of Programming of LibertyCon so let me give you a heads up ; ) There will be multiple publishers there and a few have tables in the dealers room this year. In the past we have been a bit smaller than we are this year, but we keep a relaxed tone to our convention so it is easy to run into publishers and authors, either in the halls or a room party or the Con Suite. There will be several book launch parties as well, which is another opportunity to meet authors and publishers. I hope you have a great time with us. All the Best, Rich Groller

    • Richard,

      Thanks for the reply and the support. I’m looking forward to my first year there and sitting in on lectures with authors like Brandon Sanderson. And getting to meet Timothy Zahn will be a blast.

  4. Richard Groller says:

    So – how did you like LibertyCon?

    • It was a great experience. Got a chance to meet Brandon Sanderson and ask him some specific questions at the Kaffeeklatsch. I also learned a great deal from John G. Hartness and had a lengthy conversation with Dan Hoyt.

      I would recommend LibertyCon to all SciFi/Fantasy authors as a great place to meet with other writers in a laid back venue.

      I had meant to find you and say ‘Hello,’ but my schedule kept me pretty busy through the weekend. Thanks for taking the time to stop by and I look forward to next year.

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