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RMFW Con: writers Cons vs fan Cons

24 Sep 2013, Posted by Rob Thurman in Rob's Blog

I am back from the strip club…cough…RMFW (Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers)  http://www.rmfw.org/conference  I will say that as a rule I do prefer SF/F Cons such as SDCC and Dragon*Con to writers Cons. That’s simply because I’ve published thirteen books (written sixteen), and published four anthology stories. I’ve no interest in learning more about writing, being around the writing process, talking about writing…I’m already at the PTSD level now. I like Cons where I can do a panel for 300 fantasy fans who want to know the best way to strangle a revenant with its own intestines, do a signing, see my super-fans–Rob’s Reavers, drink with all the other authors I haven’t seen in years, and then I get to run off and be a fangirl. I see Kevin Smith moderate a panel on Battlestar Galactica (with all his f-bombs). I see Stargate/Stargate Atlantis panels, Doctor Who panels, Supernatural panels, Torchwood panels–with all the actors. I see movies that won’t be out for another year, new SF/F TV shows. I have my picture taken with Mark Sheppard and Wil Wheaton (who I ambushed in a parking lot).  And, yes, when I was younger, I’d run around in spandex dressed up as Dark Phoenix from the X-men or Lady Deadpool…because I’m a hard-core geek, writing is my job, and Cons are my vacation away from my job.

But RMFW was not what I’d come to expect from the customary writers Con. The hotel was luxurious and wonderful (aside from the slight hiccup of security trying to throw me out of the room at 7:45 AM as they’d accidentally double-booked it. But, hey, I’m originally from Kentucky and if you haven’t had your door kicked in at least once on a mistaken meth-lab bust then you’re missing the KY experience. Plus, they gave me a nice apology note and a bottle of free wine. All good! In fact, I’d sign up for that again because I am a fan of free wine!) The people at the Con were hilarious, positive, partied until 4 AM, the authors, agents, and Con volunteers were wined and dined at someone’s enormous house with the type of catering that probably costs more than my car…and maybe more than my house, too.  The people in charge of the Con were beyond professional in the running of it. They kept the Con going smoothly despite the Red Cross swarming the hotel. In fact, it ran so smoothly that I suspect blood sacrifices of virgins to dark deities were involved as otherwise I simply don’t know how they did it.  It was also the first time I’ve ever been to a Con where I felt I was truly valued as a professional published author (the other Cons simply are too large at 145,000 attendees to value anyone at all…even Brad Pitt.)  And all the attendees were upbeat, loved writing for writing’s sake–not necessarily for publishing as the end-all be-all of that love, and that makes for a much more positive environment. It’s a helluva lot more fun to drink and laugh with the attendees than have them soak your shoes in their tears and slide their manuscript in your bag while you’re not looking. I have a great amount of respect for all the people I met and shocked myself by having an absolutely amazing time. And if you are looking for writing support and education, they had panels, workshops, one-on-one critiques with authors and agents, pitch-your-manuscript-to-an-agent (and they had at least around twenty agents from reputable agencies), and on and on and on. It was wholly impressive, and I’ve been in publishing long enough to be bitter and jaded (as a majority of all authors eventually become…developing from a caterpillar of hope and naiveté, to a pupae of shock and desperation, to a razor-winged butterfly of rage and despair). So, hell, if it impressed me and had me laughing, drinking a whiskey and dancing on the ledge instead of jumping off of it, this is the Promised Land of writers Cons. Shangri-La. Xanadu (but without Olivia Newton-John).

Unfortunately, somehow all the pictures I brought back were from the hospitality suite (free booze for everyone–attendees included!) and have more of a strip club vibe than a Con vibe. Many cannot be posted…or shall we say, won’t be posted should I receive a certain amount of compensation. Just kidding! (seriously, go to the bank, drain your savings account…no, no. Kidding. Kidding. But I do like chocolate, particularly white chocolate. It’s just a thought.) But here are the two pictures out of ten that can be seen.

1) Amazing super fan gets breast signed (this is actually not the first breast I’ve signed. I’m certain this doesn’t surprise you). 2) And this is horror author/screenwriter Ron Malfi, who I met for the first time. Ron is my twin separated at birth, who I’d be if I was a man and not a woman (although even as a woman I suspect my dick is still bigger.) Yes, Ron is a tactless jackass who crawled out of the womb with a bottle of whiskey and a cigar and can be found cleaved by civil law and God’s word to the nearest bar. If he’s not at the bar or speaking at a panel, call security to do a room check because he’s dead. Fantastic guy, great author (although the end of the Floating Staircase made me want to kick his ass), my brand new brother (we are so genetically and psychologically identical that sitting at the same table is a little incestuous), and it’s nice to know there is someone as hopelessly inappropriate, wildly sarcastic, uncontrollably mocking, and mildly sociopathic as I am. If this doesn’t become his new author pic, I’m at a loss. Sums up the man perfectly. This would be lunch with Ron.

breastsigningrobsreaver2     RonMalfi

  • Betsy Dornbusch

    Good seeing you. Hopefully we run across each other again soon. But not too soon. Still recovering.

    Reply
    • Rob Thurman
      Rob Thurman

      Yes, I want to meet your ‘friend’ with all the unusual hobbies and personal-accoutrements. Thanks for being my assigned bodyguard to shepherd my shy, retiring, nonfunctional-with-humans self. Sorry that’s not remotely true and Malfi and I sucked you into the mouth of HELL with us (mouth of Hell located at the Atrium bar. No cover charge–except your soul…and your innocence…and your liver…and your ability to sleep with the lights out again for fear Malfi and I might be under your bed with a bottle of extremely nasty whiskey and a male bartender who is a ‘stripper’ on the side. He did have great wrist action with that drink shaker, didn’t he?)

      Reply
  • Susan Brooks

    Yay! Thanks so much for coming. Floods raged. Roads closed. The Red Cross swarmed (we were grateful for their presence) and yet it was still a fantastic time. You were freakin’ hilarious, and you and Ron Malfi together were absolutely dangerous! Great times.

    Reply
    • Rob Thurman
      Rob Thurman

      I think Ron Malfi’s open bar tab right after our panel of doom was dangerous–the dude was buying people drinks who were just passing the bar to get to the bathroom. He paid for everyone, ran up a $200 bar bill. But, in truth, it’s not often you meet your personality twin. Someone at the banquet asked if we were married or related (due to our matching obnoxious natures I suppose). Ha! We’re so much alike that marriage would be like incest…or masturbation. Damn happy to have him as my brand new baby brother though. And, yes, it was a *fantastic* time. Even the raid on my room at 7:45 AM is a fun story and I got a free bottle of wine. Worth it! And the 8 AM panel turned out to be the most entertaining panel of all. Jeanne Stein is amazing.

      Reply
  • Bree Ervin

    Awesome shutting down the hospitality suite with you. Glad you found your groove with us! Hope to run into you at a fan con one of these years. I’ll have the whiskey.

    Reply
    • Rob Thurman
      Rob Thurman

      Are you going to post your ‘party picture’ on your website? This is Bree in her day job as…um….dance instructor! Very much had a blast, although I still have grapefruit sized bruise from where that guy tackled me to the ground like a fleeing Wal-Mart shoplifter. Ouch!

      Reply
  • Veronica Roland

    Glad you had a good time at our little con. If you and Ronald Malfi ever hatch a plan to take over the world, or even a small part of it, let me know. Even if you don’t succeed, it’ll be fucking hilarious while the coup lasts.

    Reply
    • Rob Thurman
      Rob Thurman

      And the best thing is we can store our army in your cleavage along with your many other devices you’ve tucked away. Genius! You must admit you can be proud that in the entire history of RMFW it’s *your* breasts and yours alone that received a standing ovation.

      Reply
  • Cat Lauria

    It was awesome to meet you, even if I did miss out on the hospitality suite. Prooobably saved brain cells that way, but I still regret letting sense stand in the way of free booze. You’re the best kind of mild sociopath and I can’t wait for your next book.

    Reply
  • Ronald Malfi

    Ha. I’m showing you my favorite finger.

    Reply
    • Rob Thurman
      Rob Thurman

      Malfi–the only man alive with the medical syndrome in which all his ten fingers are middle fingers.

      Reply
      • Ronald Malfi

        Actually, it’s eleven, though that last one isn’t technically a finger…

        Reply
        • Rob Thurman
          Rob Thurman

          True. Although number eleven is probably much smaller than your average finger.

          Reply
          • Ronald Malfi

            I let the nail grow to compensate.

          • Rob Thurman
            Rob Thurman

            I’ve heard of Vagina Dentata, but that’s a new one. SyFy’s calling your name! Get on that screenplay! DEAD AS A DICK-NAIL.

  • DWAN

    Mr. Ron sounds like a wonderful person to talk to! XD

    I know I wouldn’t be as extreme as having you sign my boob…
    I’d just have you sign my tattered NIGHTLIFE book! =3

    Like me, it’s been through Hell and back… XD

    Reply

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