Monday, October 22, 2012

What is genre?

I’ll soon see the release of the fourth book in my Stark & O’Brien series . 

When I wrote the first book I knew it was action/adventure.  That’s what they were calling other similar novels at the time.  Then at some point I was told that what I write are really international thrillers.  Okay, people seemed to understand that meant lots of action and suspense, although before that I had thought thrillers were scary.

Then the other day I was describing my novels to someone who doesn’t read thrillers.  When I mentioned that my two protagonists happen to have a psychic link that warns one when the other is in danger her eyes lit up.  “Oh!  So you really write UF or PNR!”

I nodded and smiled but when I got home I had to Google it.  UF turns out to be short for Urban Fantasy.  These books aren’t urban in the sense of books about drug lords and hookers.  In this case urban is NOT a euphemism for African American or gangbanger style.  UF literally means fantasy fiction – ghosts, goblins and demons – set in a city.  Jim Butcher seems to be the leader of this pack, although C3 conference keynote speaker Christopher Golden is also a leading figure.  A lot of this material is what I would have called horror.  Much of what Bram Stoker and Stephen King have written would qualify as Urban Fantasy.

Then there’s PNR – ParaNormal Romance.  This label seems to separate the vampires and werewolves (and other shape shifters) from the UF books.  Of course, as the name implies there has to be a romance element, but vampires and werewolves still sound like horror to me.  Except that a lot of these books (like Laurell K. Hamilton’s  work) are about vampire hunters or demon hunters, and they read like action/adventure to me… or maybe I mean thrillers.

When we set up the Creatures, Crimes & Creativity conference we tried to take in all the fictional genres that seemed to fit together: mystery, suspense, thriller, horror, science fiction, fantasy and even the newcomer steampunk (a sci-fi/fantasy hybrid that would have described Jules Verne’s and HG Wells’ work.)  But we didn’t account for the rush of new sub-genres.  So it’s startling when someone writes, “I see you don’t take romance, and that’s what I write but my books have shape-shifters and elves.  Will I fit in at your conference?”  To me that’s fantasy, or horror, or SOMEWHERE in that space.

My point, (and I do have one)  is that if you think the books you love to read might edge their way into one of the categories we’re touting for the C3 Conference, then you can be sure you’ll meet others who read them, and maybe someone who writes them.  So bring your love of genre fiction in almost all its forms to the C3 Conference in September.

And let me know what other sub-genre we should call out to.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

What's all the fuss about?

I'm sure you are asking yourself that very question, right about now.'re not. Well why aren't you?

The noise that you hear are the gears grinding together of the collective minds of Denise Camacho, Austin Camacho and Sandra Bowman.

We have been hard at work planning the C3Conference next year.
The Creatures, Crimes and Creativity Conference; get it, C3; is coming up in September 13-15, 2012.

We have secured four great guests. Jeffery Deaver, John Gilstrap, Chris Golden and Trice Hickman.

We have nailed down a venue. The Hunt Valley Inn near Baltimore.

We have pinned down a team of dedicated volunteers. Ok, well we didn't have to pin them down, but we did have to chase them for a little while, but Ann Arbaugh, Deliah Lawrence, Juli Monroe and Cyndi Lauth graciously agreed to help us.

They have even secured a couple of sponsors, Frugal Bliss organic bath products and Acorn Book Services. Don't fret, it's not to late if you would like to sponsor something or donate something to the hospitality suite.

Yes, that noise that you hear is us hard at work putting together the best conference that $275 can buy.

Where else will you find Steam punk, Thrillers, Mysteries, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Horror and Suspense in one place?

We have planned a few surprises, like...wait, if I told you then you wouldn't attend, now would you?

So what's all the fuss about?
Why not click this link, and find out.

You are in for a surprise!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Welcome to the first entry on the official blog for the Creatures, Crimes & Creativity conference.This con will be the annual gathering place for writers and fans of genre fiction in the Mid-Atlantic area, something that we think has been missing for a long time.
Well, maybe not all genre fiction.We don’t expect a lot of romance writers to show up, but if you love to read or write stories of mystery or suspense, if you love a good thriller or horror tale, if science fiction or fantasy is your bag, or if you’re getting into the steampunk style, this will be the con for you.
We have a website – – we have a contact email - – and, 346 days out, we have a spectacular slate of key note speakers and special guests.So why do we need a blog?
Well, I can think of three reasons.First, there will be too much going on at this conference for us to put all the details on our web site.We plan a scavenger hunt for attendees.There will be a beer tasting and a wine tasting.A video crew will be on hand to shoot author interviews.And the registration packet will include an original anthology featuring some of the attending authors.You’ll want the details of these and other specials planned and in the blog we’ll have the space to give you those details.
And that’s just what we know now.We expect things to grow and change over the next eleven months and we can keep you up to date here.It’s also the ideal place to call your attention to deadlines for things like early bird pricing, anthology submissions and author bios for the program.
Finally, this blog will be a chance for attending authors and con sponsors to talk directly to you about what they’re up to and what they plan to do at the C3 Con.This will help you know who you want to find and get to know better when you arrive in Baltimore next year.
Our greatest objective at the C3 Con is to provide a venue for readers to get up close and personal with writers, and for authors to be able to communicate directly with their fans.This blog is just an extension of that goal.
So check back here every week for the latest on the C3 conference.