Monday, February 15, 2010

Life, The Universe & Everything, a destitute recap

The LTUE is a 3-day symposium with panels, workshops, presentations and papers on writing, art, literature, media, science on aspects of speculative fiction.(To cut and paste from their own page)

3 days I went to one, Saturday and now I'll tell you about it.

I went with a couple friends. As we walked in I saw a tall man preparing one of the first panels, turns out it was the "A Guys take on Writing Romance" now I had no intention of listening to that panel, especially since there was another couple dudsicles in there complaining that "how come at this con you can't dress up?"
Tough Break guys.
But the tall man was John Brown author of Curse of a Dark God. I haven't finished the book yet but what I have read is good. He and I have been conversing somewhat via e-mail and it was nice to meet him in person. And that's why I decided to stay and listen to that Guys Romance Panel and I am very glad I did. Largely because with John were Clint Johnson, Dan Willis, and L.E. Modesitt jr.. I haven't actually read a book by Mr. Modesitt yet but I will now solely based on how much I liked his answers and advice during that particular panel.

He said things that made think about character such as "Values are not people and people are not values," "Men fight all battles and women pick their battles," and "Some characters have rough edges about them but don't forget that some are so polished they cannot be touched,"

I am probably failing to inspire with my retelling here but his many answers and such moved me. I will read his books because of those insights---inspite of their Darrel K. Sweet covers.

I then listened to a Soft Science SF panel mostly so I could hear Larry Correia and though I am anxious to read his novel Monster Hunter International,( he seems like a real cool guy) I didn't get a lot out of the panel. Though I will admit Roger White was very interesting too-lotta life experience there.

Between things I briefly talked to Sarah Eden, she thought I looked familiar, I said it must be the hat.

Then was the Keynote Address by Brandon Sanderson. He talked about how 90% of everything in the speculative genre is crap-or is it?
No, it isn't.
No one reading spec-fic really thinks 90% is garbage (Eragon) and he went on to explain why we don't think so and even though there are things we don't like-at least people are reading and IF they read this-perhaps you can get them to read something else you think is good.
Yes, I thoroughly butchered his presentation in the retelling.

I meant to go to the Horror and Dark Fantasy panel to hear and speak with Michael Collings but got distracted along the way talking with Dan Willis about the E-book revolution and all that it entails. I regretted missing Collings presentation but at the same time I got so much from speaking to Willis that it all balanced out. I spoke with Collings shortly afterward anyway and bought his poetry volume In The Void (good stuff I'll review it soon) Oh, I meant to go to the Worldbuilding/Religion panel too but I was still talking to Willis.

Then I spoke with Candace Salima and Tristi Pinkston a little about Valor Publishing their newer company, because the Regional Publishers panel was about to start.

There were Stacy Whitman of Tu Publishing Lyle Mortimer of Cedar Fort Publishing and no they aren't even based out of Cedar Fort, nor even located within a cedar fort. And then also on the panel was Tristi with Valor and Lisa Mangum with Deseret Book (you don't need a link). It all started kinda ho-hum until an old guy said with a little bit of venom-"With the way we can all do self-published books on the Internet now-What do we even need all of you for?"

*(read Tristi's comments below for another view)

Now at first, the panelists tried to respond pleasantly enough with the usual you have a team with a publisher, editing and design, marketing etc etc. This old dude was having none of it-"You're not answering my question!" So then it turned into a self-pubbed can't get into a bookstore/low quality debate versus the established route type thing. At one point the old man got up 3-quarters of the way (not quite fully erect) and gave a good hand shake scolding that they were liars and stealing all the royalties from authors because making e-books cost nothing but the authors time. He was pretty upset and gave them the Grandpa Simpson "frowning of a lifetime" I thought Tristi was the most gracious at saying you could get self-pubbed books into stores if you put enough effort into them; while Lyle Mortimer almost seemed ready to fight the old dude. I would have paid money for that. Because did I mention this whole symposium was free? I will have to go longer next year.

Other authors I talked to there-Nichole Giles, Elizabeth Mueller, Jenni James, Michelle Teacress, Heather Justesen, Karen Hoover, Rachelle Christainsen, and then I meant to say HI...but didn't to Jenn Johansson, Kasie West, Kimberly Job, Kathleen Dalton-Woodbury, Dan Wells, James Dashner, Julie Wright, and some pasty faced guy who looked like Stephen King at 20 years old? Who was that guy? All in all a pretty good con, considering I missed 75% of it.


Melanie Goldmund said...

Oh, man, I am so jealous. I wish I could have gone.

Have you heard anything about your own book yet?

KarenG said...

This was free? Why didn't I know about it? I really need to get out of my cave more often. Anyway, I think your whole post about it was probably more entertaining than actually being there lol!

M. Gray said...

I'm jealous you got to meet James Dashner. I want his autograph!!

Anonymous said...

and thats how you be a name dropping cad!

David J. West said...

Good memory Anonymous.

Melanie-the book is at the printers should hopefully be just few more weeks.

Karen-I am still going to go again next year for sure.

M-I didn't really talk to Dashner this time-I have at others, but this time it was more of a polite nod.

Kasie West said...

Loved Brandon Sanderson's address. And I meant to say hi to you too. :) Next time.

Tristi said...

If you don't mind my two bits real quick ...

The older gentleman who was asking the self-publishing question was actually just seeking information, and I felt he didn't become angry until the other panelists started attacking him. That's why I leaped in. If they had listened to him and understood what he was trying to say, and then answered that need, the whole thing wouldn't have turned as ugly as it did.

David J. West said...

Kasie-next time.

Tristi-I thought he started really crotchety with the "What do we need you for?" it sounded loaded to me from the begining. And as I said I thought you were the kindest/calmest with him.

KarenG said...

Good for you Tristi! Being nice and listening make all the difference.

Rachelle said...

David--I'm laughing over the refresher on "that" panel. It was entertaining to say the least. And I agree that guy was spittin' fire.
It was good to see you--I only got to come to a few hours on Saturday.
Thanks for the mention. :)

Kimberly Job said...

Nice review of the conference. I know you, but didn't know you even knew I was on the same planet. :) Next time, I'll be brave and say hi.

Thanks for the mention--still strange to see my name in a list of authors.

Angie said...

I was there all three days, and had a great time. Wish I'd run into you. I was there at the infamous panel too. I was a little annoyed all around, but I was also way in the back and couldn't hear too well, so I probably missed the most entertaining bits. Glad you had a good time.

David J. West said...

Rachelle-Yeah I was only there saturday morning from 9 to 3, the panel was the end for me. Your book looked good.

Kim-I meant to say hi more but there was just so many people and I didn't get a good chance cuz I was leaving.

Angie-whoops I didn't know you were going to be there, consider yourself on the list of authors I meant to say Hi too.

Nichole Giles said...

Hehehehehehe! I'm sorry, but...hehehehehe. All I can say about that particular panel is I'm so glad I didn't miss it to go watch my kids play basketball like I'd planned. Tristi rocked, as always.

And the rest, well it was great. It was good to see you there.


giddymomof6 said...

It was awesome getting to meet you--my favorite part was when I told you I knew this awesome author you had to read, and you said not only did you know Darron Fraley but you helped edit his book! LOL!


MT said...

Wow you summed that up well. I didn't even want to mention the regional publishers panel but I'll say many thanks to Tristi for bringing it back around!

David J. West said...

Nichole-thanks for giving me your book.

Jenni-I didn't help edit Daron's book-I just get to blurb it.

MT-Tristi is a very kind soul-kinder than me. I thought the guy was looking for a fight, but Tristi says he just wanted answers, so good on her for trying to oblige him.

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

that sounds really, really awesome. I so wish I could have been there! I loved the talk about romance. Very good. Was WiDo represented by anyone besides you?

David J. West said...

Tamara-I don't think so unless Melissa Cuningham was there but I didn't see anyone else, but again I was only present about 25% of the event.

Morgan Ives said...

Wow! That's sounds like so much fun. I need to find out where you hear about these events and contests and such. I miss everything (pouts).

David J. West said...

My bad Morgan, I should have helped spread the word beforehand better. Very worthwhile and there is no beating the con's price.

Jenn Johansson said...

I wanted to meet you too. We'll have to try harder next time. :) Glad you enjoyed the conference.

David J. West said...

Thanks Jenn, I probably should have twittered about who all was going a week earlier-I missed a lot of people.

elizabeth mueller said...

Awww! You are so sweet to have listed my name here on your post. I was so happy to see you there at the cafeteria! It's so wonderful to meet people in real life, isn't it?
I found the conference so uplifting and informative and not to mention the wonderful networking!!!

Can't wait for Storymakers! Are you going?

Kimberly said...

Sounds like a fascinating experience!

David J. West said...

Elizabeth-yes I'm going looking forward to it and the Whitney's afterward.

Kim-If it wasn't so terribly far for you I think you'd really like it.

Michael R. Collings said...

David, Good to meet you at LTUE. Some fantastic events/people there, too many to catch all of them.

You might like to know that I just got word from the publisher that THE NEPHIAD is at press as I write. I assume it will be out in a couple of weeks or so. I'll let you know when I find out.

David J. West said...

Excellent, news Michael I look forward to getting a copy.