Hey Space Cadets, I hope you’re doing well! I just returned from RavenCon, where I spent the weekend. I thought it would be helpful to give an AAR (After Action Review) of the convention, since I did the same thing last year. After the convention ended, I spent a night in the hotel with my lovely bride and we enjoyed some time without the kids because we both have the world’s best parents! A leisurely breakfast, a road trip home and then I got to tackle life at home. Somehow, whenever the wife packs for anything my house looks like someone dropped a bomb on it. Now that the adventure is done, it’s time to jump deep into the writing trenches and write book four of the Sleeping Legion Series. If you missed it, Operation Breakout was published last week, go check it out!
Hotel: Overall, the hotel facilities for the convention were clean and well maintained. Our rooms were clean, spacious and the bed was comfortable. Had to talk my wife out of kidnapping the mattress. Unfortunately, the staff left something to be desired. I missed two panels sorting out my room, not because they lost my reservation but they just didn’t clean the room before our arrival. We got there at 1PM and finally checked in by 4PM. I missed the first panel, got my wife into the room and resting before I then went to the classes I’d planned on attending. Then I snuck out of the opening ceremonies and carried in our luggage before my wife and I went down to order dinner from their restaurant. The food was good, though we waited an hour for it to arrive. Another panel missed. Overall, at the rates I paid I would expect more. Since I didn’t reserve my room in time, I paid full price for my suite and expected better. I guess I thought the name Hilton meant the hotel staff would be nicer. Oh well, I only have to go to this hotel once a year for RavenCon.
Con Organization: These guys were like a well-oiled machine and I was thoroughly impressed. They could teach some militaries a thing or two about logistics! I was impressed, the attendees seemed to be impressed and the overall experience was enjoyable. They arranged several classes with the famous Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon, arranged for other interesting guests and panelists, and put out one heck of a spread in the Con Suite. If conditions permit, I would attend RavenCon again. Seriously, it was a top-notch performance.
Panels: I have to be honest, when I attended RavenCon in 2016 the whole shebang was so helpful to me as a yet unpublished author. I believe that it has helped me reach the level of success I’ve had so far, and taught me a lot. I went this year expecting the same, but I’m not the same writer I was a year ago. The panels were still great; however, they didn’t do it for me. I was past the point with writing where they could offer me what I needed. The convention offers you a wide range of options; editing, marketing, social media, world building and so much more. All seemed focused on the writing, or the fandoms. I also saw the difference an awesome moderators can make on a panel. Some of the more successful panel moderators I saw were; Chris Kennedy, Mark Wandrey, Nancy Northcott, and Charity Ayers. I was able to contrast this against some of the less adept panel moderators, who made efforts but couldn’t corral the shenanigans of the outgoing panelists.
Cos Play: My goodness, the amount of awesome costumes this year was unbelievable. I won’t gush too much, but just check out some of these pictures! I couldn’t capture all of them, because I only took pictures if the person consented.
Until next time, stay frosty and don’t forget to keep your powder dry!
–> As usual, all images came from the Google’s “labeled for reuse” section or are used on the Fair Use Doctrine.