Witing Womance?

Witing Womance?

Gail Z. Martin at Coastal Magic writing convention
Gail Z. Martin at Coastal Magic writing convention

Melinda does her scary adventures, and I do mine. The scariest thing I’ve done lately was go to the Coastal Magic Writing Conference (https://coastalmagicconvention.com/) in Daytona Beach. I should have known better. The featured author list bios were mostly paranormal romance writers and almost 100% female. I was the only male there (not exactly true, you could tell one guy was dragged there by his wife). So feeling like the only hetero guy in a lesbian bar, I heroically sat through a few panels. Ouch.

I thought it was going to be a conference on writing (granted: supernatural, paranormal stories). What it was: was a lot of over-weight women (purple hair and tattoos were the rules, not the exceptions) watching other women promote their books about paranormal romance. It was like preaching to the choir. Shapeshifting gay cowboys in the Old West (is that a thing?), Victorian sorceresses in bodices romancing their male warlock counter-parts, vampire women rescuing puppies, and ghostly love triangles who own vampire-hating kittens. I am so happy I didn’t eat breakfast.

Gail Z. Martin at Coastal Magic writing convention
Gail Z. Martin at Coastal Magic writing convention

What I Did Enjoy

I sat through a panel of women (and one gay guy) discussing side-kicks (and Scooby Gangs) in writing. One of the panel was a friend of mine, Gail Z. Martin (who also writes as Morgan Brice). The discussion itself was fairly lame, but I enjoyed hearing about Gail’s experience writing and creating. I wished I learned more about ensemble casts in books, but oh well.

In the Myths Reimagined panel I did enjoy one woman’s take on “what if the Greek pantheon were alive today.” Aphrodite as a madam. Apollo as a porn-star trying to make it in main stream movies. I thought this was a novel concept. Considering I am going to be a contributing author in Left Hand Publisher’s upcoming anthology (Classic Remixed), I thought this was a unique take on a classic.

Blame Game

I want to blame Stephanie Meyer and Anne Rice for creating this genre of pretty vampires and supernatural love triangles, but in retrospect, I think they were just filling a void in the audience. Good for them for cashing in on a otherwise untapped market. Don’t get me wrong, I still hate their books (mostly because I do not have a frustrated 15 year old girl inside me) but there is definitely a LOT of women out there that do enjoy this fantasy/paranormal romance fulfillment.

Recommendation:

If you are a straight, male writer, I would recommend passing on attending or taking part of the Coastal Magic Writing Convention (https://coastalmagicconvention.com/). You are going to feel out of place. Plus, I didn’t learn much. It was a waste of money. If you are a big fan of one or more of the featured writers, I guess maybe it would be worth it from a fan-persepctive, but as a writer wanting to learn more about my craft, all I learned was there is a stereotype among readers of certain types of paranormal romance books.

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