Live Blogging Realm Makers Conference: Keynote Speaker Tosca Lee

What an amazing day I’ve had at Realm Maker’s conference today! This morning’s Keynote Speaker was best-selling author, Tosca Lee. If you’ve never read any of her books, I highly recommend you do. Her style and voice are unique and powerful. As I wrote before, she has a voice akin to liquid velvet. I can’t get enough of her. Did you know that she cut her eyeteeth in the writing realm with online gaming? Who’d have thunk it? But it makes sense to me now. She spent hours and hours creating a character and a world playing a role playing game. In fact, the character she developed and eventually “killed” has a fandom! People to this day write poems and tributes to this character. Now, I’m not into role playing games. I’ve never “got” that lifestyle. In fact, I’ve protected myself from that sort of fantasy life because I didn’t understand it, feared it, and was concerned that with my personality I’d become addicted to it. But as it turns out, lovely Tosca was once the Overlord of a gaming community that still holds tournaments in her character’s honor. Talk about creating a powerful character! This character was so real to those playing this game that they mourned her and continue to this day to honor her. Wow. Can I create characters like that? Can you? Following Tosca’s keynote address, I attended a workshop entitled “Touching Evil: Reflections on Writing Villains and their Villainy.” The take-away for me was when he said that the villain is the measuring stick for the hero. Excellent stuff! This afternoon Steve Laube spoke about the ins and outs of being represented by an agent. Jeff Gerke presented a workshop on “The So-Called Rules of So-Called Fiction and what to So-Called do with Them.” As always Jeff was engaging and funny. Lisa Walker England taught on Steampunk, which is the reason I’m here as I have several steampunk novels running through my head. Doesn’t she look great in her costume? (She’s pictured below with Ben Wolf.) ┬áThe last presenter before the evening awards banquet was Kat Heckenbach who spoke on writing YA. The banquet tonight was attended by various unique and special guests:       The Clive Staples Award for the best in Christian Speculative Fiction this past year went to Patrick W. Carr for A Cast of Stones! The Parable Award for best-designed cover on a speculative fiction book directed to the Christian or family-friendly market went to Numb by John W. Otte. The food was delicious and my brain is just as full as my stomach. I’ve learned a lot today and can hardly wait until tomorrow morning to start all...

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