I’ve been wanting to go to a comic book convention for a long time, probably since I first starting writing my own superhero novel. Last month, I finally got to go! My husband John took me to WonderCon in Anaheim. It was so much fun!
Of course, the first thing you notice (after trying to stay in a good mood for the hour it took to park in Anaheim) is all the people in costume. There were so many different kinds of characters with costumes that went from homemade to super-wow! My geek factor isn’t deep enough for me to be able to recognize who everyone was, but there were a lot of Doctor Who characters, lots of manga-like girls, lots of superheroes (of course!), and a quite a few steampunk costumes. And lots of other things that I couldn’t figure out.
Tom King, author of A ONCE CROWDED SKY, and me
John told me I should walk around the booths at the Expo and talk to authors who had tables there, find out if it was worth the time and expense. I had about half a dozen business cards in my wallet; I figured that would cover meeting the other writers. Boy, was I wrong. There were a lot of writers there! Some who wrote mostly novels, some who wrote mostly comic books, and some who wrote both. I ran out of business cards long before I ran out of writers to talk to.
I’ve been to enough RWA conferences, both regional and national, to know the rhythm and to fit myself into the flow. There are lots of reasons why that is a good thing, but you no longer walk around with saucer eyes. At WonderCon, I was definitely Saucer-Eyed Girl! It was a totally new experience. Everything I saw made me think differently about stories, writers, and readers.
If you’ve been in your usual groove for a while, it’s time to go see the world differently. Go to a different kind of conference or expo for a day. See who’s out there buying comic books, buying boats, doing brain surgery. If nothing else, watch YouTube videos on something you know nothing about. (I just watched one about how the length of your chromosomes may determine how much life expectancy you have left.)
New experiences literally change how your brain makes connections. I’ve been reading a lot of books on brain science in the last year. Want to change your brain? Improve its function? Even read something way outside your known world. All these things improve your ability to see the world differently. That’s not only fun, it’s good for your writing.
Kitty Bucholtz decided to combine her undergraduate degree in business, her years of experience in accounting and finance, and her graduate degree in creative writing to become a writer-turned-independent-publisher. Her first novel, Little Miss Lovesick, is now available in print and ebook format. Her next novel, Unexpected Superhero, will be released soon, followed by Love at the Fluff and Fold this summer. Her short stories can be found in the anthologies Romancing the Pages and Moonlit Encounters, available in both print and ebook formats.