Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Science fiction romance and the RT convention

The Romantic Times book convention was in New Orleans last month. It just so happens I live three hours from New Orleans. Originally I had planned to attend the full thing with my bestest writing friend, but it didn't work out and I resigned myself to staying home.

Until I saw Nalini Singh was coming. I'm a huge Psy-Changeling fan, and she lives in New Zealand. Once in a lifetime chance to meet her and get her autograph. Off I went! She's a lovely lady, and she did a chat with fans at the end of the day. Which of course I stayed for, cuz once in a lifetime chance.

While waiting to get into the room I listened to the chatter of other fans as we sat in line and waited. And I giggled to myself as someone started complaining about the length of the line. I've been in line to see Matt Smith. Thirty people does not a line make.

One lady was talking about what all kinds of romance she reads, and ended with "but I don't read science fiction ones." If we'd been next to each other I would have pursued some questions about her statement and why she claimed so loudly she didn't read it. But we weren't, so I didn't. If you haven't read Psy-Changeling you may not know this, but Psy-Changeling is equal parts paranormal and science fiction.

During the chat someone asked Nalini about when she started writing. She was in her teens, like many of us writers, and started out writing science fiction. Then as she grew up she realized she missed romance and wanted both. When it came time to create Psy-Changeling she pulled on her SF roots and combined it with her desire to create a new kind of paranormal shapeshifter.

Still another lady asked her for book recommendations. Know what she recommended? SFR! Pern and the Liaden series to be specific. She also encouraged every person in the room to not get hung up on genre labels. Read for the story, regardless of genre label.

It was so refreshing to hear a New York Times bestselling author talk with such love and passion about the genre we all love. And to encourage her fans to read anything.

Rachel Leigh Smith is a romance writer, a geek, and a Southern belle. She lives in Louisiana with a half-crazed calico named Zoe. When not adding words to an SFR novel she’s reading paranormal romance or crafting while watching some type of SF on TV. She’s still unpublished, but hopefully not for long. She also blogs sporadically at www.rachelleighsmith.com and hangs out on Facebook.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like it was a wonderful chat.

    I was bidding on a Coffee Meet-Up with Nalini Singh in San Antonio, but didn't manage to get the winning bid in. I'd really love to hear her speak sometime.

    It seems there are quite a few now-famous authors who started out writing SF/R.


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