12552694_10208121833027559_3817766318179304281_n-1Last weekend Will and I were in Orlando at the 2016 Dreamspinner Author Conference and it was a great time.

Despite the fact I’ve been a Dreamspinner author since 2009, this is the first time I’ve been to the conference and I’m glad to have finally made the trip. It’s always fun to be with our author friends–and to make new ones–but the workshops here were truly outstanding.

I loved Damon Suede’s Scene & Sequel workshop. It’s always good to learn about craft and the way Damon broke down the components of a story in the way he did really connected with me. Damon’s husband Geoff Symon also did a workshop on writing crime which was fascinating. Geoff is a real-life CSI so he had the experience to back up what he was saying. I haven’t written much crime, but I took a lot of notes so I’ve got some reference points if I write any more.

The marketing and social media workshops were also great. We heard a lot about tools and strategies and it’s always valuable to hear what’s working for publishers and authors.

From left to right: Brandon Witt, Will, Jeff, Wade Kelly and David Berger.

From left to right: Brandon Witt, Will, Jeff, Wade Kelly and David Berger.

Will and I also had the opportunity to meet with key Dreamspinner folks to talk about books we want to write–both together and separately. We had some really excellent conversations and, while we haven’t signed any contracts, signs are very good that we’re going to have a few books on the schedule. More on that as things solidify. It was an awesome experience talking with them in person. Email’s great, but nothing really beats being able to talk in person about ideas.

Kudos to Dreamspinner for hosting such an excellent event. I can see why it’s raved about each here. I definitely plan a return trip next year.

You can see more pictures that we took of the weekend on our Flickr album. On Episode 23 of Jeff & Will’s Big Gay Fiction Podcast (coming March 14), you can hear the quick interviews we collected with seventeen authors during the weekend.