For those of us who have a passion for the written word, we think of the books we’ve read over our lifetime that helped inspire this passion in us. As kids we began reading classic children’s books, then moved on to middle-grade page-turners, and as adults we developed our own areas of reading interests.
For many of us however, the passion for good stories comes from a variety of sources, such as graphic novels, comics, screenplays, as well as short stories and novels encompassing a wide variety of genres. Houston’s annual Comicpalooza convention—which returns for the sixth year to the George R. Brown Convention Center on Memorial Day weekend, May 22 – 25, 2015—celebrates this fact. This popular convention, which has a host of literary activities planned, is expected to attract 45,000 people.
We talked to Vijay Kale, the curator of the literary activities, who shared more information about the convention with us.
INPRINT: Vijay, what initiated Comicpalooza to add a literary track of activities? Was it someone on the planning committee, was it feedback you received from the public, or was it something you conceived of?
VIJAY: The George R. Brown Convention Center enables Comicpalooza to use 1.1 million square feet of exhibit space to offer a wide range of events and content. The ability to provide more than 2,200 hours of programming allowed for a Literary Track to include more than 50 literary panels and writers. We are extremely proud of the local and national talent assembled, which includes many well-known Texas-based writers as well as national best-selling authors. This year’s guest list and programming is the best so far, and we hope to further improve by including more professional writers and local organizations.
INPRINT: What types of literary activities do you have planned for this year’s event?
VIJAY: For those interested in writing and literature, the Literary Track offers learning opportunities including panels on the craft and business of writing, hands-on writing workshops, and entertaining discussions about sci-fi, fantasy, and horror fiction. For example, this year we will be offering panels on marketing, multiculturalism, Star Wars, Business 101, screenwriting, intellectual property rights, getting noticed by an editor, starting a publishing company, paranormal romance, Harry Potter, gender in fiction, world building and good writing habits. There’s even an opportunity for attendees to submit a short piece of fiction and receive personal feedback from professional authors.
INPRINT: Are there any writers featured that you are particularly excited about?
As you know recruiting authors is a somewhat arduous and difficult task that takes years of planning. This year we’re fortunate to feature quite a few nationally known and respected writers.
VIJAY: As you know recruiting authors is a somewhat arduous and difficult task that takes years of planning. This year we’re fortunate to feature quite a few nationally known and respected writers. Mercedes Lackey is a science fiction and fantasy writer who has published more 100 books. Raymond E. Feist is a New York Times best-selling author of fantasy fiction whose novels have sold more than 15 million copies. Peter David is an award winning writer of comic books, novels, television, movies and video games. Jonathan Maberry is an author of horror fiction who has won multiple Bram Stoker Awards. There are many others.
INPRINT: What is the intended audience for the literary activities: children, adults, emerging writers, anyone?
Whether you’re a writer, interested in writing, or just an avid reader who likes to talk about books and stories, we have programming that fits what you’re looking for.
VIJAY: Whether you’re a writer, interested in writing, or just an avid reader who likes to talk about books and stories, we have programming that fits what you’re looking for. Comicpalooza’s Children, Comics and Education tracks also promote reading and creativity. The Literary Track offers interactive Q&As, panel discussions, didactic lectures, and practical workshops with best-selling authors geared more to the older crowd. There is something for everyone.
For more information on Comicpalooza 2015 and the featured guests, visit: http://www.comicpalooza.com/guests/featured-guests/ .