Supposed Crimes author Adrian J. Smith recently attended RainbowCon, a conference for authors and fans of GLBT fiction. She shared her experiences with me.
Tell me a little bit about RainbowCon. What is it, and how did you first find out about it?
Rainbow Conference was set up by Storm Moon Press when they realized that there weren’t a lot of cons out there for writers for the LGBT et al genre. It’s a conference where authors, writers, readers, bloggers and anyone else who wants to join in, can get together and talk about something they love—the world of books. This was the first year of the conference, but they plan to continue it throughout the next few years at least.
I found out about Rainbow Con through a friend, Carolyn Gray, who is an M/M author. I apparently helped spread the word to other F/F authors and there was a pretty good turnout at the conference, even though it was the first year.
About how many people attended when you were there? What did the “typical” attendee look like? Was there a lot of diversity?
I don’t know how many people attended, I’m really bad about estimating numbers. There were far more people on Saturday than on Thursday or Friday, but I think part of that had to do with the week—it was during Holy Week. The typical attendee looked comfortable. Lots of jeans and t-shirts. There was a bit of diversity, between the people attending there was far more diversity than, in my opinion, what people wrote.
I took a look at the schedule for next year’s con, and it looks to be pretty busy! What kinds of discussions did you attend, and what attracted you to those topics?
I went to a discussion on blending genre fiction and erotic fiction. I went because it’s something I’ve done (book coming out soon =P) and something I’m interested in continuing. While the discussion was interesting, it wasn’t really what I expected. I should just stop expecting things because the conversations never go as planned. In my opinion the discussion became about genre fiction with erotic scenes in them (3-4 to be exact) and not about actually blending the two genres.
I also attended a panel on tropes and the dying tropes. What was interesting about this panel was most all the authors agreed that tropes are a good thing. There was only one highly controversial trope that they thought should actually die or at least be changed into something else. That was the “Gay for You” trope.
I was also on several panels because I went as an author rather than just a reader. Some of those panels were very interesting. Especially the lesbian romance panel, that was favorite panel by far. We had a whole range of lesbian writers, from hot and smutty to no sex in the story at all, and the genres were across the board.
Do you feel like it helped your writing? How so?
I’m not sure if it helped my writing, except getting back on track to write even more, but it definitely helped in finding support for writing, support for publishing and just finding people going through the same things I go through each time I create a story.
Would you go again next year?
Absolutely. I plan on it if I can! Can’t wait to go back.
Do you have any good convention stories you can share?
I do! Although I wasn’t there when it happened, it’s still hilarious. On Saturday there was a Christian group that was also staying at the hotel. They were having a breakfast of some sort. There were a whole bunch of kids there with their parents. The way the con was set up, there were author tables in the hallway. Kindle Alexander had her table right in the front.
During one of the breaks, the Christian kids came over and saw her table. Kindle had a whole bunch of swag for people. The kids grabbed all sorts of things: rainbow flags, rainbow lollipops, and the best one yet, condoms. I can only imagine the parents’ response when they saw what their kids had picked up!
Do you have any advice for someone who wants to go to RainbowCon?
Come prepared to get no sleep. Come prepared for a great time, where you are allowed to flip out over authors and meet lots of new people. Come prepared to enjoy yourself and learn a bit too.
Adrian Smith’s books include For By Grace, which comes out in June, and Ashes Fall, due out this September. More information about RainbowCon can be found at http://www.rainbowconference.org/.