Holo Writing at HonorCon 2015!

H.P. and I recently attended HonorCon 2015, and we had a blast! The convention itself was certainly lower key than DragonCon or AWA, but the halls were packed with readers passionate about military science fiction in general and David Weber’s Honorverse novels in particular.

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Photo courtesy of The Royal Manticoran Navy.

Not only did we have plenty of fun, but this also marks the first time I participated at a convention as a panelist. Highly successful independent author Chris Kennedy invited me to join two of his panels, the first on the economics of self-publishing and the second on sci-fi world building. I had a great time on both panels, and really appreciate Chris extending the invitation to join him and Ian J. Malone. Even A.G. Riddle crashed one of the panels and offered his insight. Very cool stuff.

Now, you’d think that would be the highlight of the convention for us … but it wasn’t!

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Pardon the blurriness. HP’s camera couldn’t handle the awesomeness that is me sharing a panel with an international bestseller.

For some of you, the fine gentleman in this picture needs no introduction. It was an amazing privilege to be invited onto two HonorCon panels by multiple New York Times bestselling author David Weber!!! Yeah. This actually happened. People told me I was so excited I was shaking like a Pomeranian.

Personally, if I’m going to be a Pomeranian, I like to picture myself like this:

On the first panel, we discussed the creation of strong characters in space opera. As the creator of the greatly beloved character Honor Harrington, David certainly knows a thing or two about creating strong and memorable characters. We also touched on Vanessa Murakuma, who is a personal favorite of mine that first appears in the Starfire novel In Death Ground.

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The full title of the panel was actually “How to Create Strong Characters in an Epic Space Opera and Not Kill Them Off!” Now HP’s camera can’t take the irony.

For the second panel, we dove deep into the politics of the Terran Federation in the Starfire universe and how it survived four brutal interstellar wars against alien races, only to fracture at the end in a bloody civil war. Here, David brought his understanding of history to bear with parallels to real events as we discussed some of the pitfalls representative democracies can fall into. To say that he has a keen grasp of history and knows how to apply that knowledge to fiction is to make a monumental understatement.

What else can I say about the experience? David and I have known each other for about a year now. He is probably the most intelligent person I have ever met, but he is very approachable and down to earth at the same time. He and his wife Sharon are amazing people, both of them natural story tellers that are a ton of fun to be around. Years ago, his writing helped inspire my own, and it has been wonderful to hear his stories and to learn from him this past year.

Thank you, David! You’re awesome!

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