Friday, March 11, 2016

A Debut Author on His Debut at the Brain 2 Books Cyber Con, Online Book Expo for Writers & Readers

I love a good writer's conference, especially when it's an online conference, because there's no limit to what fabulousness I can find and I can attend all the sessions I want no matter how long it takes. The sheer brilliance of an online conference is that it's available 24/7 and, in most cases, indefinitely. Plus I don't have to leave home. It's all at my fingertips whenever I have the chance to indulge. Beginning April 8th through the 10th I'll be taking part in the Brain 2 Books Cyber Con, an online conference for readers and writers. My guest today is author Shane Wilson, who will also participate. I'll let him give all the details.

I will never forget my experiences with writing and book conventions. They have been
some of the most valuable experiences of my life. As readers, we load up and drive to conventions to meet our favorite writers. We stand in long lines to get them to sign our copy of their book. There is something beautiful and communal in that act. We've often spent hours poring over every detail of each page. If you’re like me, you read with a pen—underlining the beautiful passages and writing single-word exclamations in the margins. “Wow!”

I was a participant in one of these beautiful and communal acts on the campus of North Carolina State University in Raleigh two years ago. I sat in a large room and listened to one of my favorite authors talk about his work. That man was Junot Diaz, and I stood in a long line for a chance to shake his hand and get his signature. The book he signed for me was This is How You Lose Her, and it was the book I was reading when I started writing my debut novel A Year Since the Rain. I told him how his book inspired me, and I’m sure it was nothing he hadn’t heard seven million times, but it felt good to give him the appreciation I felt he deserved. His creation had inspired. That’s big, man.

Appreciation is funny that way. It often means much more to the person showing the appreciation than it does to the person appreciated.

But now I get to slip around to the other side of the pen. The
Brain 2 Books Cyber Con will be my first convention as a published author, and I am incredibly pumped for it. Not only do I get to meet tons of readers and other writers I’ve never met before, I don’t have to change out of my pajamas to do it. In the business world, they would call that a “win-win,” I think. I honestly don’t know, though. My business knowledge is limited to The Office re-runs on Netflix, which is probably not the best MBA program out there.

When I first heard about the
B2BCyber Con from a fellow author-friend (shout out to Ed Ireland), I wasn’t sure what to expect. Is it possible to capture the same magic of a brick-and-mortar book/writing convention online? But my curiosity was piqued, so I investigated the Convention groups on Goodreads and Facebook, and I read about what they are offering to readers. I have to say, this is an impressive undertaking by our fearless leader, Angela B. Chrysler, especially considering this is the convention’s second incarnation.

In short, the convention is expecting hundreds of authors to come through during the convention (April 8-10). All of the events are held online in the Goodreads Fairgrounds—where authors have virtual booths set up with their books and other materials. Some are even sponsoring giveaways. In addition to Goodreads, B2B Cybercon will be hosting hour-long author takeovers in their Facebook event all weekend. In fact, I’ll be there from 7-8 PM on April 8! If you want in on the fun—and you do—just click over to the links provided and join up.

So I’ve been asked, as a first time attendee, to speculate on the proceedings. I don’t know how helpful I’ll be on that front, but I can say that there are some very cool things happening Backstage at the convention’s fair grounds. There are plans in the works for live panel discussions with authors on a variety of topics from genre discussions (YA for Adults) and world building to writing about abuse. I’m personally very excited for these panels as the panels are often the most rewarding aspect of physical conventions.

Readers that come through can expect to find their favorite authors (and new favorites…ahem) answering questions at their virtual “booths” as well as hosting panels and behind-the-scenes video broadcasts. There are also rumors of a Character Tournament (Heroes vs. Villains). I’ve never witnessed a character tournament, but I can only assume it includes a fight to the death in some way. To the victor goes the spoils, amiright?

Brain 2 Books Cyber Con is going to be a TON of fun, and I hope to meet all of you there! Look for me and my book, A Year Since the Rain. I’ll see you in April.

About the Author

Shane Wilson is the author of A Year Since the Rain, a magical realism novel forthcoming from Snow Leopard Publishing. Born in Alabama and raised in Georgia, Shane is a child of the southeastern United States where he feels simultaneously at-home and out-of-place. He graduated from Valdosta State University in south Georgia with a Masters in English. He taught college English in Georgia for four years before moving to North Carolina in 2013. No matter the temperature outside, there is always an iced coffee in his hand when he walks into class in the mornings. He tends to chase the day with a whiskey and a re-run of The Office. Shane has published poetry in Tethered by Letters and the Stonepile Writers' Anthology, Volume III. He is currently at work on a new novel as well as a collection of short stories based on the mythos of and set in the same town as A Year Since the Rain. You may purchase A Year Since the Rain here.

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