Boskone 56

Let’s talk about Boskone!

I’ll be attending Boskone 56, the Boston-based sci-fi/fantasy/horror convention, from February 15th– 17th, and I might not need to tell you this, but I’m pretty excited.

I’m not a convention kind of guy, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to be. It only means I have not, historically, attended conventions.

Although… I did go to another Boskone once. It was, oh, seven or eight years ago. I think it was just for the day. I don’t recall being that invested in it, which is probably more my fault than the convention’s fault. At the time, the first edition of Immortal had just been published by a small startup indie, ebooks were a brand new thing, and self-publishing was still an option I wasn’t seriously considering.

To give you a sense of what that was like, I joined a round-table session with a science fiction author, who was asked by someone at the table if his books were available as ebooks. He didn’t know. I had to look him up on the Amazon app on my phone to confirm that yes, they were. Needless to say, he also didn’t know what his publishing contract stipulated for ebook royalties—we asked him that too.

I’ll be on a number of panels this year, so the good news is, if someone asks me those questions, I have the answers. In fact, when it comes to the ins and outs of the entire industry, I probably have entirely too much to say.

Here’s my schedule.

Friday, 2 PM

The Hopeful Future in Science Fiction

Science fiction can tend toward grim futuristic realism that is either technology-based or post-apocalyptic. Are these the futures we want to write for ourselves? Or read? In light of all the possibilities, where can we find the bright and shining moments? What current fiction gives us hope for the future? And how can we stay positive while still being realistic?

Comment: I think I’m probably on this panel because of the Sorrow Falls books. I’ll probably end up talking about how humor makes every story better.

The Life Cycle of a Book

Friday, 4 PM

Most of us just see the finished product on the shelf. However, there are lots of little (and big) steps associated with getting the book to the store. What’s the life cycle of a book, from submission to publication? It’s not as simple as “the author writes it, then the publisher prints it.” What are the direct, indirect, and associated steps involved in the production and publication process — from editing to marketing, selling, reviewing, reprinting, and more?

Comment: I’m sharing the panel with three traditionally published authors, and a literary agent. I’m pretty sure my career path will end up refuting everyone else’s advice. Should be interesting.

Reading by Gene Doucette

Friday, 9 PM

Comment: I’ll be reading from The Spaceship Next Door. This is a 25 minute slot, and of course I’m looking forward to it. My only gripe is that the “Opening Ceremony: Meet the Guests” event is happening at the same time.

Are Villains Necessary?

Saturday, 10 AM

We give lots of props to heroes and protagonists — but what about the othermain character, who’s often working so hard at being the hero of her own story? As thanks for all her efforts, she gets tagged as the antagonist or the villain. What does that really mean? Must every SF/F/H story feature a villain? And how does a villain differ from an anti-hero?

Comment: I have no idea what I’m going to say for this, but that’s certainly never stopped me before.

Marketing and Selling Your Book

Saturday, 12 PM

Nowadays, writing the book is only half the battle — especially as more and more publishers push marketing onto their writers’ plates. Both before and after publication, there’s a whole new set of perhaps-unfamiliar activities and skills you need to master. Covering topics from social media to book tours and interviews to readings, our select group of authors shares tips and tricks for getting your book seen and snapped up by readers.

Comment: Option one—I tell everyone that most of the stuff they’re told to do on social media, and blogging, and so on, hasn’t worked for years, so don’t bother. Option two—I lie a lot.

Autographing: Dana Cameron, Gene Doucette, Hillary Monahan, Tonia Thompson

Saturday, 1 PM

Comment: Come on by, and we can figure out together what I’m supposed to be autographing.

That’s the extent of my official appearances. However, since Boskone lasts through Sunday afternoon, I will be wandering around, attending other events, and being a nuisance where appropriate.

I’m also penciled in for an interview on Sunday, for a podcast, but a time hasn’t been worked out yet. I’ll let everyone know when I know more.

Here is a link to my schedule on Boskone’s events page

Here’s the full schedule

Finally, here’s where to pick up your tickets, if you’d like to attend

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  1. Kerry on February 9, 2019 at 11:35 am

    I grew up reading a lot of Heinlein, probably because his science was mainly true. I found Dune a few years after it was published and was blown away by Herbert’s totally new (in my mind) direction in Sci-fi. Interestingly, I never got into his subsequent books. My career has been a college math, computer science, physics, and engineering instructor. I’m still a slow reader – perhaps because of those subjects. Since psuedo-retiring, I’ve got the time and picked up my reading. I’ll read a good space opera but I’m not a great fan. This all is just to give you my background.

    I found your Sorrow Falls ebooks through our public library and became a big fan. Please keep writing books of this kind if you can. They’re fun, thoughtful, and intriguing. You have a knack for a good level of humor in the midst of drama. And, you didn’t rely on the violence or sex that’s so frequently used. These books may not be a totally new direction in Sci-fi, but they certainly are a refreshing addition. Thank you for writing them!

    • Gene Doucette on February 9, 2019 at 7:37 pm

      Thanks, Kerry! I will do my best to write more books like the Sorrow Falls books…

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