Thursday, May 26, 2011

Saints and Sinners 2011

I recently attended the Saints and Sinners Literary Festival in New Orleans. It was, omigosh, a GREAT time. If you’re a GLBT writer looking for a conference that’s both fabulous and affordable, I urge you to consider S&S (Saints and Sinners). The parties are fun, the classes are stellar, and the panels are informative. And on top of all that, it’s the French Quarter, and that’s a party all by itself.

It would take me hours to run down all the great stuff I learned, so I’ll just give a quick overview and some links. Jess Wells taught a class about setting and world building, and I just have to say… she knows her stuff. My head is spinning with all the wonderful ways I can strengthen my WIPs (works in progress) through the use of setting. I will freely admit that, until now, I have used setting as a backdrop, but going forward I hope to create settings that become an integral part of the story, that drive the plot forward, and challenge my characters to grow.

Aaron Hamburger told me what not to do when writing about sex, and gave me a whole list of new things to consider when I’m writing erotica. What’s not to love about that?

Achy Obejas taught a fantastic class about conflict  that included a mini-workshop where we got to practice giving our characters stakes, obstacles, and disappointments. I walked out of there thinking about really devious ways to force my characters to grow.

In addition to the classes, I attended several panel discussions, with topics such as Social Networking, The Future of Publishing, and Blogging Book Reviews.

I also read an excerpt from DeVante’s Children at a wonderful classic used bookstore called FAB. AND, if that isn’t awesome enough, Otis had DeVante’s Coven in the window of the store (which is sort of rare, because the book is available as POD (Print on Demand). But look, look! There it is! Right there, in the middle!


Here I am posing with DeVante’s Coven after the reading…


We did party a little bit here and there (well, okay, we might have got an eensie-weensie bit tipsy pretty much every night)… and we talked and laughed and danced and made friends. One of the best parts of this conference for me is that I get to hang out with my publisher, Sven Davisson (right), and his partner, Nate, and that totally rocks.

We stayed at Olivier House. The courtyard table on the front page of their site is where we had our coffee every morning.

Happy Thursday, Darlings!

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