Posted by Laurel Wanrow
Over the weekend following Thanksgiving, the mid-Atlantic region is treated to Chessiecon, a science fiction/fantasy con presented by the Thanksgiving Science Fictions Society in Timonium, Maryland.
Sessions on many aspects of SF/F are offered across as many as 12 rooms–art, music, gaming, dance, spiritual, videos, and literature.
But best of all, one of my favorite YA authors, Tamora Pierce, was the Guest of Honor.
Tamora has attended many of the Darkover (predecessor of Chessiecon) cons since she was Guest of Honor in 2005. The young adult author read from one of the two novels she currently has in progress. The Gift of Power goes back in time from her Wild Magic Books to trace the antics of young Arram Draper as he comes into his wizard powers, before he became known as Numair.
Tamora was asked a some great questions. A few that intrigued me:
What drives the pace of your work?
TP: Quiet. Daily readings with Bruce ( I *think* this is a crit partner). Deadlines. An exciting part of the story. Her health and emotion of the house. Currently, the kittens dropped in her airlock. It does depend on the story–a current WIP about Alana has coem easily after the idea came along.
Where do your ideas come from?
TP: I read a lot, and not just fantasy. I’m reading more science fiction these days. Thrillers, and YA when I can get my hands on it. I’m a news addict–both BBC and American. I get a lot of ideas from non-fiction reading.
You’ve had Alana for 30 years. What’s it like living with these characters?
TP: I don’t know. This is what my life is like.
I liked this last answer a lot. I believe it’s hard for writers to think of their characters as anything but real. And speaking of ‘real people’, I attended the Diversity in SF/F panel.
With Carl Cipra moderating, the panel of D.H. Aire, Heather Rose Jones, Timothy Liebe, and Mary Fan urged writers not to force awkward inclusion, but to think into the characters’ backgrounds to determine who they really are.
The YA Fiction panel addressed a little of the history of the YA genre and how we’ve gotten to today’s offerings.
With Elektra Hammond moderating, Katherine Kurtz, Tamora Pierce and Timothy Liebe reviewed their favorites:
Sara Beth Durst’s ICE
Kendare Blake’s ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD
Libba Bray’s THE DIVINERS
Tom Pollock’s THE CITY’S SON
Nancy Farmer’s A GIRL NAMED DISASTER
Lauren DeStefano’s WITHER
Howard Steven Pines’ THE WHALE SONG TRANSLATION
D. M. Cornish’s MONSTER BLOOD TATTOO series
The con continues Saturday (some activities until midnight!) and Sunday, Nov 29-30, 2014.
Or there is always next year:
Have a great weekend!