Friday, April 23, 2010

RavenCon recap part 2

If you haven't entered to win a copy of Rachel Caine's KISS OF DEATH, scroll down.

Several people have asked for more information about the actual panels I sat on at RavenCon, so I thought I'd expand on a couple here.

As I mentioned previously, I was on roughly a dozen panels during RavenCon. I'd be hard pressed to pick a favorite, though a couple stick out, so I'll highlight some of the discussions here.

The Future of Urban Fantasy: This was a delightful panel I shared with Mike Allen, Rachel Caine, Laura Underwood, and Nancy Holzner. Some concern was expressed that there are a lot of new titles appearing in urban fantasy currently, but it was pointed out that they are out there because there is a hungry audience for such books. It was mentioned that if you said 'this creature/situation has never ever been done before' that someone would probably be able to point you to a story where it had, in fact, been done, but there are certain creatures which are less prevalent. Some speculation was made that there is a growing demand for non-European folklore. Mentioned possible alternative mythologies and beliefs to draw from included Native American and Middle Eastern. The topic rounded off with the fact that anything can be made new again by a fresh idea, but also a warning to be respectful, especially if beliefs are still held in certain parts of the world. A lot of these same ideas were mentioned later in a panel called Leyaks Don't Get No Respect where we talked about under represented and rare myths. So what do you guys think? Any favorite creatures/myths you'd love to see on the shelf in a modern novel? Any you are absolutely sick of reading about?

The panel Got Sex? was probably one of the most entertaining to sit on, largely due to our awesome moderator, Kelly Lockhart. On that panel with me were Barbara Friend Ish and Pamela Kinney (who also writes erotica under the name Sapphire Phalen). Now this was a very interesting panel for me, and at times, a very blush-worthy one. Those of you who have read my Haven novels know that while there is a decent amount of romantic tension, there is no sex in the first two books. Grave Witch, which will be released in October of this year, will contain my first published sex scene. Yes, I'm nervous about that, but there are plot progression and character progression reasons the scene had to be in the book, so I'll just pretend my grandmother is going to skip that chapter (maybe I'll doctor her copy of the book before I send it to her. LOL) The main point in this panel that came up time and time again was that sex must further the story, not be included just for titillation (unless that is the purpose of the book, but then that is a different genre completely.) A very fun panel, but I'm sure my pale skin showed off my blush brilliantly.

I'll mention just one more panel before wrapping up, though there are many more worthy of further discussion. I was also on a panel called Is Romance the Future of SF/F? with Catherine Asaro, Pamela K Kinney, and Terri Vernon. Ten years ago, there weren't many books on the science fiction/fantasy shelves that had strong romantic plots, but now they are extremely prevalent--particularly in urban fantasy. Some speculation was made that this could be due to the fact that over 70% of readers are women. Also, acquiring editors are predominately women, so more books that appeal to women are being purchased (who said only women are interested in love?) My personal thoughts on this matter is that people read to escape and that they like to experience a full range of human emotion. Also, at least in my genre, it is not just romantic elements we are seeing mixed in in with fantasy, but action adventure, suspense, mystery, and horror, so I think readers expect more with a book than conventional genre labels indicate. (Which actually rounds us back to the future of UF panel.) What do you think about the mixing of genres which is occurring? Do you enjoy a little romance with your fantasy? Would you rather there be less romance? How about other elements, like horror and mystery?

Well, that hits a couple high points of my weekend. I hope you've enjoyed reading about the panels. If you'd like to read a bit more about my thoughts on actually talking on panels and discussing my books in that setting, check out my recent post at the Magic District.

Also, before I go, a lot of you are asking for an excerpt of Grave Witch. I have received permission to post a short excerpt and that should go live on Monday. But, if you would like to see it early, I will be sending the excerpt out tonight around 8pm EST to my newsletter subscribers. If you'd like a sneak peek, you still have time to sign up for the newsletter here:

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Have a great weekend everyone!


Demon Hunter said...

Thanks for discussing the future of UF. :-D I'd like to see many other cultures explored--including mine. And that's what I'm incorporating into my current WIP. :-D

Abigail [All Things Urban Fantasy] said...

Can't wait for the excerpt!