In August, a group of authors and readers will converge on New Orleans for the annual Authors After Dark convention. One of those authors will be the fabulous Kelly Meding, author of the Dreg City (Three Days to Dead) and MetaWars series (Trance).
I want to thank Jackie for inviting me to Literary Escapism today. I’m so excited to be a featured author at Authors After Dark in New Orleans this year, and I’m taking a few minutes of your time today to tell you why. It probably goes without saying that, hello, New Orleans! This trip is the perfect excuse to do a lot of fabulous things, including attend a great con, meet readers and reviewers and author friends, indulge in some fantastic NOLA food, visit places I’ve only seen in movies or read about in books, and to cross one more thing off my bucket list.
Bucket List. Many of us have a bucket list, even if it’s just in our head—that list of things we want to do or places we want to visit before we, well, kick the bucket. Taken an Alaskan cruise, visit Australia, and attend a San Diego ComicCon are some of the things on my list. I like to travel, even though I rarely get to do so nowadays. In my life, I’ve been to thirty-two of the forty-eight continental United States, thanks to numerous family vacations and one cross-country round trip ten years ago. One of the states I have not been to is Louisiana and, more specifically, to New Orleans. I always told myself I wanted to go during Mardi Gras, but that hasn’t shaken out yet. Maybe one day. But for now, I’ll be able to check another state off the list of those I’ve visited.
Location Visitations. NOLA has been featured in countless books and films (and sometimes films based on books), and it’s a place I want to explore for myself. I want to walk the streets that Lestat, Cat Crawfield, and Sabina Kane walked. I want to see exteriors and locations I’ve only seen in movies like Interview with the Vampire, or Stay Alive*. There is something unique about physically being in a place—you get the entire sensory experience that is missing from books and movies. You get the smells, the temperature of the air, the way the wind movies, the sounds close by and far away. In the first chapter of Trance, I was able to write about the experience of running through Central Park because I’d been there, just like I’ve been to many of the Los Angeles locations later on in the book. Even though I have no plans on writing something set in New Orleans, I’ll have the sensory experience of being there under my belt, and that’s priceless.
*(Yes, Stay Alive, the horror movie based around the concept of a video game that kills you. Don’t judge. I named Phineas el Chimal after a character in that movie—and that is your random bit of As Lie the Dead trivia for the week.)
Food Cravings. Oh my goddess, the food. I try to eat rather healthily in my daily life, so vacations are a great excuse to indulge and pig out. New Orleans is the center of true Creole cooking, and I hope to sample a good bit of the local flavor. I will, of course, be a perfect tourist and visit the Café Du Monde for chicory coffee and beignets and possibly a powdered sugar fight (thank you, Travel Channel, for clueing me into this little tradition). Hopefully someone can also point me in the direction of a good bowl of gumbo and some fantastic, fresh seafood (I grew up on the Eastern Shore, seafood is in my bloodstream). I have already given myself permission to gain five pounds while I’m there.
Readers, Reviews & Authors, Oh My! I am not a naturally social person (which is kind of hilarious, since my day job is in retail). If I’m not working or doing family things, I’m usually holed up in my apartment with my cat. When I’m older I’ll probably be one of those crazy cat ladies—the one who chases kids off her lawn with a broom (noisy little hoodlums), hoards office supplies (because every writer needs more office supplies), and walks through Wal-Mart in a purple caftan and slippers muttering to herself about the price of frozen peas (self-explanatory, isn’t it?).
So the opportunity to be in a hotel full of like-minded people for a couple of days is not to be missed. We’ll all be there because we love books. Striking up a conversation with a stranger is as simple as “What’s the last book you read?” and the answers will vary by genre, title and author name. If I ask that of most people I know, the answer is either a blank stare, an “I don’t know, it was a while ago,” or “insert-current-over-hyped-bestseller-here.” I’m very much looking forward to the chance to meet readers and fans of my books. Chatting with someone face to face is such an unique experience, far removed from Facebook or Twitter (not that those things aren’t awesome, but meeting fans face to face is pretty rare for me). And I’ll get a chance to see some of the awesome reviewers/bloggers who’ve been so supportive of my books over the last few years. And did I mention the other authors? Yes, I am not only a writer, but I am also a fan, and I will probably be fan-girling all over one or two (or twelve) fellow attendees.
A Great Con. Since its inception, I’ve heard only great things about Authors After Dark. I was sad to have missed it last year in Philly, which is a two hour drive from where I live now. I’m so grateful to Stella and everyone who has worked behind the scenes to create Authors After Dark and make it the best con possible.
I can’t believe it’s less than four months away! Bucket list, you are going down!
Meet Kelly Meding!
A native of the Delaware seashore, Kelly Meding briefly attempted life in the bustle of the Northern Virginia/DC Metro area, before retreating back to the relative quiet of the Eastern Shore. She lives in a small town near the beach, with a neurotic cat who occasionally meows at ghosts. Kelly received her Bachelor’s Degree in Communication in 2002 and she hasn’t used it since, preferring instead to wile away her non-writing hours on the sales floor of a national retail chain. After discovering Freddy Krueger at a very young age, Kelly began a lifelong obsession with horror, science fiction, and fantasy, on which she blames her interest in vampires, psychic powers, superheroes, and all things paranormal. When not writing, she can be found crafting jewelry, enjoying a good cup of coffee, or scouring the Internet for gossip on her favorite television shows.
Want to purchase Kelly’s novels?
- Three Days to Dead at Amazon | Book Depository
- As Lie the Dead at Amazon | Book Depository
- Another Kind of Dead at Amazon | Book Depository
- Wrong Side of Dead at Amazon | Book Depository
A Glimpse of Darkness at Amazon