I have three new heroes.

I found them at BayCon this last weekend. That’s right. While most everyone I have come to know were off to Balticon I hopped in my car and drove the 90 minutes to the Santa Clara Hyatt. Had I consulted a map before I left it wouldn’t have taken me two hours.

I spent all four days there and attended panel discussions every minute I could. I didn’t dress up or go to any late night parties; I was there to try and figure out what I need to do to break into the “Actually Published on Paper” crowd. These three heroes pointed me in the directions I hope to take over the next year to make my desires a reality.

First, I attended the writer’s critique group, where I met my first new hero. H.E. Roulo. (You might remember her from the lead story in our first issue. If you don’t, go buy the issue and figure it out.) You can find her here. I submitted the first 7500 words of my novel I have been polishing for submission. Flanked by two other published authors, she let me down easily and showed me that this amazing pearl of prose I had been admiring, chamois in hand, not only needed more polishing, but could really use a little more time in the oyster.

I ran into her the next morning at breakfast and chatted with her for a half hour. I found out that she was not only a brilliantly clever writer, she is wonderfully human, approachable and interesting. She is also one of the “Wicked Women Writers”, (With Emerian Rich, one of my heroes from last year), and has an anthology out with them available at Amazon

I attended a lot of panels and one person that was on a number of them was Marty Halpern who blogs at http://martyhalpern.blogspot.com/. He was aquisitions editor at Golden Griffens Press for eight years and is now doing free lance editing. He’s the kind of guy who seems to know everyone you would need to meet to get published and had lots of pertinent advice for advancing authors. He has an anthology, ‘Alien Contact’, he’s just edited and you can find that at Amazon. It’s published by Night Shade Books, a solid honorable mention on my list of this year’s heroes. (They published ‘Windup Girl’ by Paolo Bacigalupi).

Finally, Brandon Sanderson, best known for finishing the “Wheel of Time” books by Robert Jordan. I heard Brandon speak on a number of panels, including “The Evolution of the Female Character in Science Fiction and Fantasy” and “Ghostwriting: Literally, Picking up the pen for a deceased author.” This author, who completed a Masters in Creative Writing, and teaches Science Fiction and Fantasy writing at Brigham Young University, says that he wrote thirteen novels before getting published. Several were of epic fantasy length. I’m currently listening to his ‘The Final Empire’ from the Mystborn series on audio. He spoke a lot about writing the last three books of ‘The Wheel of Time’ and the great responsibility he feels to Mr. Jordan and the existing fan base.

He was gracious enough to allow me to interview him for twenty minutes for our Galley Table Podcast. That should go up in the next week or so.

The people at BayCon are great. They’re friendly and sharing. I hope that I am in a position to attend it again next year. I might even work up the nerve to do the Karaoke on Friday night.

Philip ‘Norvaljoe’ Carroll is a developing writer and staff editor at Flying Island Press, who lives in the Central Valley of California. Though mostly silent and reclusive at things like BayCon, he will wax most eloquently long about minutia if given the slightest opportunity. He is currently Lead Editor of Flying Island Press’s benefit issue, ‘Pieces of Eight: Teen Suicide Prevention’. See submission guidelines for details.

1 Comment

  • Emerian Rich says:

    Awesome recap Philip! Marty inspires me every time I see him. He’s my hero too. I respect him immensely, but would also be terrified to show him any of my work. Hhehee.