This year I missed out on Killer Con 5 in Las Vegas. It’s the first one I’ve missed and I’m sorry I couldn’t go. World Horror Con in New Orleans ate up most of my travel expenses this year. Wrath and crew do an excellent job every year and I don’t hold him responsible that never seem to win in the casino. The small venue makes for a laxer atmosphere. The panels are informative and the line forensics demonstrations are great.
The camaraderie of writers in such an informal atmosphere is hectic but relaxing and sometimes downright surprising. I’ve rubbed elbows with some of the greatest authors and picked up tidbits of wisdom that has surely helped my writing. The publisher parties are usually awesome, with lots of beer, wine, food and liquor.
The pitch sessions are my main reason for going. I’ve sold three novels through pitch sessions. A one-on-one pitch with a publisher is far better than an anonymous submission. You can read their faces and judge their interest in your novel. I usually manage to pitch to at least two publishers, sometimes three. The pre-pitch sessions are designed to teach you just what the publishers want and how best to present your pitch to them. They are invaluable both for pitch sessions and in regular submissions.
Las Vegas! I can’t say enough about Vegas. It’s a wonderful town, lots of shows, casinos, and great places to eat. You can spend an entire day just walking the Vegas Strip. In fact, there is usually a tour of the Strip from the hotel. The Stratosphere offers a bird’s-eye view of Vegas and is even more awe-inspiring at night.
Many of the big conventions are on the east coast. Killer Con in Vegas is central to the entire western US. In comparison to many, it’s inexpensive. If, like me, you didn’t make it this year, save your money and prepare for next year. It is well worth the time and money.