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Gen Con 2016: Hello to My People

The best four days of gaming just came to a close. It was the time of my people; and by that I mean the over 60,000 people who fanboy/girl over fantasy authors, table-top board gaming, and nerdy comedy shows. This year, I spent four days discovering new authors, learning tips from the pros, and—of course—playing strategy games. Here are some of the highlights:

If you know me, then you know that I am an absolute Ticket to Ride fanatic. This board games leaves little left to be desired. It has all of the charm of the original game, but adds a new layer of strategic planning and depth. Although the map only really covers the Great Lakes region within the United States and Canada, I look forward to playing this game in the future. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been released yet. Oh Days of Wonder, why do you torment me so? But seriously, this game comes out in late September or early October. Check it out.

2. Business of Writing: By the Numbers – Breaking Down the Financials of a Writing Career

So this happened. Maxwell Alexander Drake led this humorous, insightful, and “soul-crushing” seminar on the basics of financial literacy within the publishing industry. Let me just tell you now. The publishing world is not kind. It is rough. It is hard work. And, in most cases, it doesn’t have a high pay off (at least financially). The idea that we should be treating our work as a profession is something that really resonated with me. As a writer, I should continue expanding my knowledge about the English language and creative writing. I should join writing groups to continue perfecting my craft. I should attend conferences and conventions to meet other authors and attend writing seminars. These were all great pieces of advice, especially when the realization that so few authors make more than $1.00/book/year. That being said, the thing he said that had the largest emotional punch was when he said that authors write because they can’t do anything else. They just keep writing. I will keep writing.

3. Cosplay Parade

Need I say more? I didn’t think so.

4. Writer’s Workshop: Grassroots Marketing & Social Media for Authors, Artists, & Game Designers

Another part of the Writer’s Symposium at Gen Con 2016, this seminar covered everything from tips and tricks of social media to examples of how to build your brand. My biggest take aways from this session were as follows: a) build relationships with other authors, b) post consistently, c) answer the question how much do you want this. Thank you, Gail Martin, for putting a great seminar.

5. The Exhibit Hall

There’s too much I can say about this. I learned how to play new games, met some awesome vendors, and purchased new gear to up my geek cred. It was amazing. And crowded. There were rows upon rows upon rows of game makers, cosplay designers, and authors. If you ever get the chance to attend Gen Con, this is a must-do stop.

Words. I need them. This man is amazing. Funny. Witting. Scary. Just read The Princess and Mr. Whiffle to find out what I’m talking about. My boyfriend convinced me that I needed to attend his 2-hour long author session and I was not disappointed. If you ever—EVER—get the chance to meet him in person or attend one of his author events. Just do it. We even sang at the end. It was like a dream come true.

After attending all four days of Gen Con 2016, I feel rejuvenated and inspired. This was exactly what I needed. Thank you, my geek family.

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