Lunacon 2008 Trip Report
I got back from Lunacon on Sunday, and I want to tell you all about it, but first things first...
The Contests Are Coming!!!
In the year and a half that I've been keeping this blog, I've yet to host a contest. But that's all about to change. Over the next few weeks, you will have not one, but two (and maybe even three) opportunities to win free books! And, honestly, what could be better than free books!?!
Contest #1 -- The Narnia Contest -- will start this Monday March 24th. What's in it for you? Two copies of the new BenBella anthology, Through the Wardrobe: Your Favorite Authors on C. S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia, in which I have an essay. What's in it for me? I'm gonna make you be funny to earn your prize.
Contest #2 -- The Out of the Wild ARC Contest -- will start on Thursday April 3rd. What's in it for you? An ARC (Advance Reader Copy) of Out of the Wild, the sequel to Into the Wild. What's in it for me? I'm gonna make you be creative to earn your prize.
Rules, deadlines, and all details will be revealed on those start dates. Stay tuned...
And now back to my Lunacon recap.
Lunacon Trip Report
You can count on two things if you attend Lunacon (a fantasy and science fiction convention in Rye, NY):
(1) You will meet lots of super-friendly people.
(2) You will get lost in the hotel at least twice.
The Rye Hilton (aka the Escher Hilton) is famous for what is fondly known as the "transdimensional corridor." You start out on the fourth floor, walk down a seemingly level hallway, and discover that you're suddenly on the seventh floor without ever climbing any stairs. And if you lose focus, time shifts as well as space, and you can find yourself momentarily transported to Victorian times, where people will mock your lack of a corset but admire your fine dental hygiene.
I had a marvelous time. I spoke on five panels, plus did a reading and a signing. I also got lost three times instead of the standard two, but then I've always been an overachiever.
A few moments from Lunacon really stick in my mind. One is Josepha Sherman singing Memory in the original feline ("Meow, meow! Meow-meow-meow meow meow..."). Another is my panel "The Novel That Changed My Life." For this panel, we talked about the one novel that played that pivotal role in shaping who we are today. My choice was Alanna by Tamora Pierce.
I first read Alanna when I was ten years old. My friend Gillian had taken it out of the Northboro Public Library, read it, and then handed it to me saying, "You'll love this book. This is your kind of book." Since the book was out on her library card, I was absolutely petrified the entire time I had the book that I would return it late to the library and my friend would be blackballed from ever taking out another library book again and she'd never forgive me and no one would want to be my friend because word would spread and... I was a somewhat anxious child.
Anyway, I read it, loved it, and returned it on time and disaster was averted. But that's not why this book is important to me (though I am glad that I did not cause my friend to be declared a library pariah). This book is important to me because this was the book that made me say, "I want to do this. I want to write books like this. This is what I want to do with my life. This is why I'm here."
And it's also the book that first told me that I could become a writer, if only I tried hard enough. Alanna is about a girl who, by sheer force of will, triumphs over near-impossible odds and achieves her dream. I like that message. A lot. And I believe in it with all my heart. The key component to achieving any impossible dream is not talent or brains or even luck, though they all help. It's sheer pig-headed stubbornness.
So that was my answer. How about you? Is there a book that played a pivotal role in shaping who you are today? What novel changed your life?