SLCC was so much fun! It was my first time ever being at this Comic Con, and I was blown away by the energy and the passion of the fans, the creative cosplays and of course the wonderful people who came to my panels and my signing! I was nervous moderating my first two panels at this con, Say It On The Page! and Turning Ideas into Novels, but the discussion and thought-provoking questions made it all worth it.

 

 

I had so much fun on the craft panel Storytelling in Parts: Creating a Series with Kami Garcia, Brian Lee Durfee, Jody Lyn Nye, Howard Tayler and Matthew Kirby! It was so cool to learn as well from other writing perspectives, especially folks who outline meticulously or do discovery writing like myself!

Soul Mates, Strange Attractions, and Bromances: Relationships in Writing was a great panel with so many different perspectives! It was great talking about everything from romance to platonic and familial love with Jill Bowers, Kami Garcia, Michael Haspil and Valynne E. Maetani!

 

 

Interlude Press also surprised me with a special first look at Not Your Villain! It was on sale in print for the very first time at the con, which was very exciting. We had so much fun on Friday at my feature, and the “Not Your _____” game was so cool to see what direction people took it in! I loved people getting to make a statement about who they were by talking about who they definitely weren’t.

I was also nervous about moderating at SLCC for the first time, and the panel Say It On The Page! on the importance of LGBTQ+ representation being not just subtext was so powerful and moving. Authors Laura Stone, Taylor Brooke and Zane Riley were amazing in talking about their own experiences and why it was important to see characters on the page who identified as we do. Our audience members and questions were amazing, and I really appreciated everyone who took the time to come to our panel.

Huge props to @interludepress authors @cblee_cblee (C. B. Lee), @zane.nebula (Zane Riley), @stoneyboboney (Laura Stone), and @taysalion (Taylor Brooke), who absolutely killed it tonight at their #saltlakecomiccon panel on queer representation in literature. Not just great discussion and great writing tips, but also probably the only panel that's ever made me want to cry like a baby in a convention hall. Great topics, passionate and engaging panelists, and obviously deeply impactful for the audience. Utah can be a very difficult place to be queer, but the atmosphere in the room was so supportive and welcoming. Just sitting in a room with a bunch of people honestly and unabashedly discussing queer topics and their own identities and experiences was kind of a big deal. Thank you all for being so open, thoughtful, and encouraging, and such awesome ambassadors for queer lit. You're fucking champions.

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I also had the opportunity to moderate Turning Ideas Into Novels, with the wonderful authors Mary Robinette Kowal, Ilima Todd, Nicole Castroman and Taylor Brooke! It was such an informative panel with all the authors discussing great writing resources and their own process for on developing their stories. We had a lot of fun with impromptu audience prompts and the audience had the opportunity to discuss character ideas with themselves too! It was the kind of panel that felt like could have gone on forever with the amount of exciting writing discussion and inspiration going on!

 

2017: The Year Asian-Americans Fight Back in Pop-Culture was such a great discussion with Michael Tuiasosa, Kristal Starr, PJ Guinto, Mark Ovo and Valynne Maetani. It was great hearing from everyone’s perspectives about the amazing strides Asian-Americans have taken to see themselves represented in media and the upcoming projects we’re all excited for.

Coloring Outside the Lines: Embracing the Diversity of LGBTQIA and Geek Culture was such a blast. It was so wonderful getting to chat with amazing people in the community, and Adam did such a fantastic job moderating. It was just so much fun talking about our favorite geeky things and favorite fandoms and the LGBTQIA community.

My last panel of the convention was a great note to go out on, chatting about scifi with Michael Bacera, Victoria Schwab, Jared Garrett, and Vincent Roth. We talked about everything from Brooklyn Nine Nine and some of our SFF favorites and how imagining fantastic worlds where we can see ourselves is important.

It was a jam-packed schedule at SLCC and I am exhausted but it was one of the best conventions I’ve been to and just so much fun. I even had the chance to explore a bit of Salt Lake City and went for a hike on Antelope Island, which was absolutely beautiful. I even met some buffalo!

buffalo friends! #antelopeisland #utah #buffalo

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