One of the people struggling through the crowd after the parade was Publishers Weekly contributing editor and blogger Barbara Vey. She agreed to sit down and answer some questions about her blog, Beyond Her Book.
Daily Dragon (DD): Welcome to Dragon*Con! What brings you here?
Barbara Vey (BV): I cover books, authors, and events. I’m here because there are a lot of writers here. My blog is not just women’s fiction. When I started the blog, I asked the readers to define women’s fiction, and they couldn’t. So I decided women’s fiction is anything I read because I’m a woman. That opened it up to all genres because I love all genres. Most readers don’t read only one genre, they read a bunch. I feel this is a great way to introduce readers to new genres and authors because of the excitement these conferences generate.
DD: You’ve been here before. What was your impression of the con the first time you came?
BV: I was impressed by how fan-based it was. Fans took precedence, unlike at Comic-Con, where the focus is on the major studios. This is in-the-trenches fandom, everyone getting into it, everything acceptable.
DD: What sorts of writer events do you cover?
BV: All sorts. I go to Crime Bake and Thrillerfest. I went to Killercon (a horror convention) recently, and to Comic-Con. I went to RWA recently to cover romance.
DD: Which authors you read who might be familiar to people at Dragon*Con?
BV: Just off the top of my head: Sherrilyn Kenyon, Dianna Love, Laurell K. Hamilton, J. R. Ward, Jana Oliver, Meljean Brook, and Marjorie Liu. Meljean Brook’s The Iron Duke was the first steampunk I read.
DD: How did you start this blog?
BV: I went to a program on a ship called “Authors at Sea.” I thought it would be great because there would be so many authors there–more than 30–and I could talk to all of them. On deck one day, I ran into a deputy editor from Publishers Weekly, Karen Holt. I didn’t know what Publishers Weekly was. I thought it was a publisher, so I said hi to her, sat down, and said, “Let me tell you everything that’s wrong with publishing from a reader’s point of view.” She wrote an article about that, including my picture. A few months later, she emailed and asked me to write a blog on women’s fiction. I said no.
She called several more times. Finally my son, who’s 25, showed me a blog because I had never seen one. I agreed to do it for three months. Four years later, I’m still doing it.
DD: Where do you see the blog going in the future?
BV: Our fifth anniversary is in March. We do huge anniversaries every year. During our six-day anniversary celebration last year, we had more than 22,400 comments, which shows me people are very interested in the blog and what I’m doing with it. For our fifth anniversary, we’ll give away a lot of stuff. We have a lot of fun, and I hope to make this the best reader-oriented blog out there.
DD: Will we see you back at Dragon*Con?
BV: Yes, definitely. I can’t come next year, but I probably will the year after. This is my second Dragon*Con, and I definitely want to come back. I have a great time and have made a lot of good friends here.