This weekend, I had the pleasure of attending MystiCon in Roanoke, VA. The main reason my wife and I attended this one was because of an author, Sherrilyn Kenyon, their author guest of honor.

I’m always a fan of conventions. It’s like family. Admittedly that sometimes means your clueless little brother and your creepy uncle, but family none the less. People you don’t know greet you warmly and socially awkward people get to, for a brief time, be among their own kind with a much lower probability of people being all jerk-like.

This is in addition to getting go all “SQUEE” over people you’ve only seen on TV or only known through their artistic efforts.

For my part, as an author who is trying to get published and one day sit on the other side of the table at panels, it was an educational trip. I got to talk with people who’ve been on the business end of the art for as long as I’ve been writing, if not longer. People who could fill a book case on their own were dispensing wisdom and answering questions from folks like me and I cannot express how cool it is to talk to people about their process, successes and insights.

Of course, I walked away with oscillating emotions. I felt both as if success was really just there for the taking, then in the next moment feeling like I’m a slacker who will never get published.

But there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and it was a joy to spend time with those from whom that light shines. I’ve got a stack of authors up to my hips that I need to start reading and a few publishing houses that I need to submit to, bolstered by the knowledge they’re not just available, but staffed by good people.

M. J. Stephens

P.S. For the two or three of you who read this blog, here are some people you should check out:

Sherrilyn Kenyon – Fantastic author who has justly won the loyalty of many fans.
Faith Hunter – A lady, if I’ve ever met one.
Alethea Kontis – A bubbly star in a very twisted orbit.

There’s a few more shoutouts I need to give, but lunch beckons.