TRAVEL HERE: DFW WRITER’S CONFERENCE
There’s so much to the DFW Writers’ Conference I could probably write twice as many posts about it as I already have, but here’s the last of my classes.
Cross Genre with Jonathon Maberry
Jonathon Maberry was the Keynote speaker of the event and he taught a few seminars. Lots of folks seemed thrilled to death by his willingness to come, but I have to confess, I’d never read anything by him. I felt a little less guilty about that when I discovered he was a horror/thriller/suspense guy. That’s not a genre I’ve done much exploration in. However, when I found out he knew Ray Bradbury, I did get very impressed. Something Wicked This Way Comes and Dandelion Wine are two of my favorite books.
However, Maberry quickly won my heart when he said genre is a construct of marketing people. He said our goal was to get in the Fiction and Literature department. He’s absolutely right, but the marketing people have been very successful, so the first thing everyone wants to know is what genre I write. He also said that you can’s take risks (and the marketing people can’t take risks on you) if you don’t write well. He charged us to keep studying the craft. He said a whole lot more, but that captures the gist of it.
Since we’re talking about the Keynote speaker, let me tell you about his address, which was quite interesting. He gave a run down of his early life and then his introduction into writing, which included Ray Bradbury – lucky guy. What he learned from Bradbry was that the greatest joy of successful writing was the success you could help others have. So that’s how Maberry has tried to live his writing career. I laughed at some of the things he did to put food on the table while he worked his way to becoming a famous author. Writing instructions for seed packets was one of them. Now he writes whatever he wants and people line up to buy it. You go, Jonathon!
Bookcovers with Russell C. Conner
I went to DFWcon with the agenda of finding everything I could about self-publishing, but I hadn’t been there long, when I figured out that there was a reason I’d resisted self-publishing up until now and that I really didn’t want to do it that way. Still, at ten o’clock on Sunday morning, Bookcovers looked pretty interesting – and it was. Russell, an independent author and publisher showed us the evolution of his self-pubbed bookcovers. I did get some information that was pertinent, however. KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID. That little smaller than a postage stamp icon isn’t going to convey much unless the artwork is very clean. I didn’t stay for the photography part of the seminar, I had other places to be.
One more post and I think we’ll have this conference wrapped up.