Long Overdue Post About Ad Astra – Part Two (with pictures!)

Here’s the info about the panels that Steph and I attended on the Saturday of Ad Astra.

Modern-Day Conceptions of Fairies

Panelists: Alison Baird, Brad Carson, James Alan Gardner, Lesley Livingston, Kate Story (how could she not be an author with such a great name?!)

The gist of it: The panelists discussed the types of fairy tales that inspired them, what kinds of fairies were found in their own works, as well as fairies in literature in general.

What I got out of it: It was a really interesting panel. Both Kate and Alison have written stories about fairies in the maritime provinces, which is pretty cool. I’ve been quite fascinated with fairies recently, in particular the “modern twist” that some authors have been putting on typical fairy tales, so this was right up my alley.

Editing Your Own Work

Panelists: Erik Buchanan, Gabrielle Harbowy, Jim Munroe, Jana Paniccia, Rick Wilber

The gist of it: Basically the panelists discussed how they edit their own work, and the tricks that work for them. They also told us how they tackle different types of edits (copy editing  vs content editing).

What I got out of it: Well obviously, as an aspiring author, this panel was helpful to me. I’ve been figuring out what works for me when it comes to editing my stuff, and getting input from published writers is always helpful for that kind of thing.

Writing the Young Adult Novel

Panelists: Kelley Armstrong, Alison Baird, Adrienne Kress, Lesley Livingston

The gist of it: They basically discussed what can and can’t be done in YA, and how that’s changed drastically in the last few years.

What I got out of it: Well, first of all, KELLEY ARMSTRONG WAS ON THE PANEL! *Ahem.* She’s my favourite author, and I was so excited to FINALLY meet her! 😀 And it was super interesting to hear what’s going on in the YA universe right now. Especially since I definitely plan on writing in this genre in the relatively near future. Also, Adrienne and Lesley are hilarious together! 🙂

Getting Started

Panelists: Suzanne Church, Ed Greenwood, Ian O’Neill

The gist of it: The panelists talked about the challenges of starting a new project, and offered advice on how to overcome them.

What I got out of it: I don’t find that I have that much trouble getting started on projects – though finishing is a whole other story… However, it’s always helpful to receive advice from published (and prolific) authors, in the eventuality that I do find myself in that situation. So if/when it happens, I’ll email Steph and ask her to bring her notes… lol. (She took crazy-detailed notes of every panel we went to.)

The East Block Irregulars

Panelists: Peter Atwood, Marie Bilodeau, Derek Kunsken, Matt Moore, Hayden Trenholm, Elizabeth Westbrook-Trenholm

The gist of it: These writers are the members of a speculative fiction writing group in Ottawa, and they talked about how their group works.

What I got out of it: Well, first of all, I got to chat with Marie, who is also a bilingual writer. I asked her if she writes in French (which she doesn’t – neither do I, but I’ve been considering it) and how to deal with the fact that my group wouldn’t be able to help me if I did – I’m the only bilingual in my group. Also, this was another chance for Steph and I to see what the Underground Writers have been doing right, and where we could improve. It was a very helpful panel. And Marie was awesome. 🙂

Autograph Session

Me with Kelley Armstrong!

Me with Marie Bilodeau!

Adrienne Kress and Lesley Livingston!

It Looks Good… But It’s Not Steampunk!

Panelists: Adrienne Everitt, Jody Rodier, Amanda Stock

The gist of it: It was exactly what it sounds like. The panelists discussed the difference between the aesthetics of various genres that resemble Steampunk (e.g. Decopunk and Victorian) and actual Steampunk.

What I got out of it: To be honest, I wasn’t all that familiar with the Steampunk genre. I’ve been fascinated with it for a while, but my exposure to it was limited to the Girl Genius comic (pretty much). Hearing more about it definitely got some other story ideas kicking around my head. It’s a genre I plan on exploring later for sure.

Kelley Armstrong, Rob St. Martin & Megan Crewe Reading

This was awesome. Kelley had forgotten to bring a book to read from, so she popped open her laptop and read from her work-in-progress. I definitely had an interior fan-girl squee moment. (I might have tweeted about it once or twice… lol.) I can’t wait to read this new book – which doesn’t come out until next spring. Also, both Megan and Rob’s readings were great. I looked into buying Megan’s book (Give Up the Ghost) in the dealer’s room, but they were sold out. I will be ordering it from Amazon shortly.

Kelley Armstrong, Rob St. Martin, and Megan Crewe during the reading.

Nerdgasm Comedy

This was a comedy show that they had on Saturday night. It was all kinds of awesome. Steph and I laughed throughout the whole thing. All the references to nerdy stuff were hilarious. They’re trying to get a show in Sudbury – I really hope they succeed, because I would totally be there.

Ghosts in Popular Culture

Panelists: Michael Colangelo, Karen Dales, Sèphara Giron, Marcy Italiano, Ian O’Neill, Michael Rowe

The gist of it: Although the panel was supposed to be about how ghosts are perceived in fiction (whether written or on screen), it was more about personal experiences and beliefs about ghosts.

What I got out of it: Although this panel was interesting, I was a little disappointed that they didn’t really talk that much about how ghosts are portrayed in fiction. It was still stimulating discussion and I got some pretty good story ideas out of it, but it just wasn’t what I was expecting.

Romance or Porn?

Panelists: Kelley Armstrong, Tim Liebe, Stephen B. Pearl

The gist of it: In this panel, they basically discussed the differences between the two, and the connotations attached to each classification.

What I got out of it: It was interesting to hear people’s perceptions about when romance becomes porn, and vice versa. Also, Kelley was on the panel – that makes me automatically more interested… lol. It was a great panel, and I think it was the one with the most audience participation that I went to.

One more post left in my Ad Astra series – coming soon! 🙂

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