At Swancon 2015

Morning Lovelies!

I’m having a great time at Swancon. Sleep isn’t really working that well, but who needs sleep when you can blog?

The positive reaction about Natcon 2016 being in Brisbane is great! We’ve got a shiny new website and are running a special con promo this weekend, so check out our website and rates here.

The highlights for me so far have been catching up with friends, chatting with people about what we’re doing and what we love, and about how cons work. I also enjoyed Kylie Chan’s guest of honour speech, then interviewing her in front of real live people for a Writer’s Interview session which we recorded for Galactic Chat. I was SO nervous before we started (so nervous)!

I don’t think I’d ever interviewed someone in front of an audience. Usually I do Skype interviews for podcasts. But it was fun. Kylie is great to talk to.

Kylie spoke about how lucky we were to have imagination and ideas, about how our genre is aware of the need for diverse representation.
After our interview. Not sure why I look so devious!

Another session I loved was the Young Adult Dystopia’s panel with Cat Sparks, Tsana Dolichva, Leonie Rogers and Sue Ackerman. This weekend multiple sources are debunking myths that boys won’t read stories about girls, and that people only want characters similar to themselves.

Grant Watson and Sonia Marcon talk about how horror movies work. Played some great frighty clips.

Late last night, I really enjoyed Grant Watson and Sonia Marcon’s chat about different types of horror films! Creating a great horror story or film is a fine art (if you ask me:) and I would love to create work with that much tension, and horrify my readers a bit occasionally.

Of the snippets they showed and discussed, I loved the look of The Ruins, a film about body-invading vines. There is something subtly creepy about plants. I love them, but I don’t trust them.

The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Clover Field and Who Can Kill a Child look interesting too! It got me thinking about what I like in horror. I like to be on the edge of my seat, the suspense and the adrenaline of being frightened. I like creative horror that is some distance from likely reality so I can empathise with the character, and just the right level of gore. Too much chop-chop, gore and blood kind of blunts my senses, and becomes a bit funny and boring.

Some horror films I love include Ring (2002), Cabin in the Woods, Alien and — it doesn’t quite feel like a horror film — but Monsters (2010).

I don’t like horror scenes that feel like they could actually happen to me. I’ve heard the Babadook is great, and the clip they played looked very well done, but I get my own personal horror scene of a kid screaming in my back seat most afternoons, and I just don’t think it would be fun for me right now. Maybe in a few years.

What’s on today? Lots of sessions I want to see, including John Scalzi’s guest of honour speech. I’m on a panel titled Crits and Grits, When are Crit Groups a Good Idea? I’m a bit of a crit group addict!

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