Hello Maidens!!! Francesca here. I am very excited to share with you my experiences this past weekend at the Liberty States Fiction Writers Create Something Special Conference. This event was held at the Renaissance Hotel in Iselin, NJ on March 17, 2012! Being the first year that it was open to readers, I think we had a nice little group and great interactions with the authors in attendance!
Kicking it off: Luncheon with Larissa Ione (Keynote Speaker)
Even though Larissa was a bit nervous (or a lot!) she gave a wonderful speech! As advised by her good friend, author Stephanie Tyler, she had to have a theme for a speech, and she chose to talk about fear. I was very impressed with what she had to say. She shared lot of things about her life that I wasn’t aware of, maybe some of you are. She was actually in the military, in the Air Force, mainly due to her fear of flying. She became an EMT because of her fear of blood and those sort of things. She has always faced her fears head on. This is a quality that I can’t help but admire profoundly as I generally tend to take the easy way out of things.
Then came Hurricane Katrina, and took everything from her. She was one of the unlucky people that lost everything during that storm. I cannot imagine the toll that would take on someone to experience, and at that time she also still had to face rejection with her work. At that point she almost gave up on her dreams of writing.
We have Stephanie Tyler to thank for pulling her back in. She wrote a short scene and sent it to Larissa, told her to write the next scene. It was up to Larissa to figure out who was the naked chick in this guys’ shower during a storm. And so the back and forth of scenes started happening and Riding the Storm was born. Now Stephanie and Larissa have finished the ACRO series, which they write together as Sydney Croft, and this was what gave Larissa the extra push she needed to write her own work, which is now the very popular Demonica world.
Murder, Monsters and Mayhem:
Melinda Leigh, Jonathan Maberry, Chris Redding and Lois Winston
The first panel I attended I was most impressed with an author that I’ve never heard of, and he writes zombies of all things. Not usually my cup of tea. Jonathan Maberry was definitely my favorite of this bunch, with his knowledge and personality, the way he talked about all the research that goes into his books. Just amazing. And if humor is your thing, and you’ve enjoyed, like me, the Stephanie Plum series, you might also be interested in Lois Winston. This group talked weapons, from your regular type weapons to converting any household item into a weapon.
Chat with Larissa Ione
Ahhhh yes! We had her all to ourselves and I was sitting on first row! We got to ask her all kinds of general questions and here are the key points:
- She just sold the next two Demonica books. After she finishes the Lords of Deliverance series with Reseph’s book she will go back to the Demonica series.
- The first book in the “going back to Demonica” will be Reaver! *squeeeeeee* And on a side note, BIG REAVER SURPRISES AHEAD!!!
- Of all her demons she would like to date Eidolon
- Her favorite sex scenes (and she has quite a bit to choose from) was the losing of virginity scene in Passion Unleashed
- Passion Unleashed was the easiest book to write
- She gets quite a bit of hate mail! =(
- Her husband has read all her books, and he actually makes the guys on his ship (Coast Guard) read them as well! He gets asked a lot “Sooooooo, you and your wife practice these sex scenes???”
- He also seems to think he writes her books when an idea he had is in them.
- He designed the Lords of Deliverance symbol. Go figure, now he writes and designs her books 😉
- They did not rehearse the upside down tree scene.
- Sin and Limos are her favorite heroines
- She can’t have any music when she’s writing or she can’t concentrate
Beyond Werewolves and Vampires:
Caridad Pineiro, Larissa Ione, Virginia Kantra, Judi Fennell, Jenna Kernan
This panel was a lot of fun all the authors were very open about their writing process, some are planners some are pansters. Some start out with an end in mind while others just start writing and see what happens. The timelines for writing a book where all between 3-6 months for some to 6-9 months for others. I think we also got a great feel for their personalities and what they write about. Virgina Kantra and Judi Fennell who both write about seapeople but in very different ways, Caridad Pineiro who writes about vampires and more (while still working full time!), Jenna Kernan who mixes historical and paranormal, and of course Larissa who writes about demons and angels.
I got to meet a lot of nice authors and get lots of signed books, here are some pics I was able to take with some of the authors in attendance.