Thoughts on LTUE 2015

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The LTUE Dragon and Me

It has been a busy few weeks, so it’s nice to finally be able to sit down and write about my wonderful experience at LTUE. This was my second year as a panelist, and my fourth year in attendance overall.

(“The Elements of Horror Fiction” Panel with Virginia Ellen Baker, Nathan Shumate, Steve Diamond, Andrea Pearson, and Me)

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This year I had Xchyler Publishing and my family of “X-Team” authors to tote. The gang included Candace J. Thomas, Mackenzie Dolan, Scott William Taylor, John M. Olsen, Scott Tarbet, Jodi Milner, and Editor-in-Chief Penny Freeman.

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Since I still can’t find who took that FanX photo of everyone posing with everyone else’s book, we reenacted the photo:

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I had a blast bonding with these people, and Penny was kind enough to let those of us with self-published works sell our titles at their table.

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Jodi was a hoot! I loved getting to know her and her side-splittingly hilarious personality.

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Mackenzie Dolan is new working with Xchyler. It was fun to get to know her, and to swap rings for good luck before one of my panels. This girl is going to do great things with her career. And school. And life. :-)

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It was wonderful to check in with BYU’s Leading Edge Magazine staff. Their new logo is awesome, so naturally I bought a t-shirt with said logo to wear at the symposium to show my support. I was directed to this wonderful little magazine post-graduation from BYU where I learned about the science fiction short story market, as well as what it takes to edit and write short sci-fi/fantasy. It continues to provide wonderful volunteer editing and publishing opportunities for university students of all writing levels, and I was excited to let people know about my short story “Driveless” featured in their latest volume.

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IMG_1743LTUE staffers Kevin Haws and Acasia Woodberry

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It was so wonderful to bond with author friends who are both self-published and working with a variety of small (and large) press publishers.

Craig Nybo

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Lisa Mangum

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Sara Butler, Angie Lofthouse, Nathan Shumate, Dave Butler

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The mass signing on Friday the 13th was a blast. I sold some books and made lots of new friends.

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(To various authors whose photos I’m sharing with my own, thank you!)

I was on a panel with Tracy Hickman called “Modern Fantasy & Its Relation to Folklore and Myth.”

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Michael Jensen, co-author of Woven, bought a copy of my novelette Blood Oath: An Orc Love Story! #socool

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Jodi and I had a lovely chat with David Farland about Writers of the Future, creativity, and life in general.

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Vladimir Chopine took and edited some amazing photos of each author attending the event. Here are some of mine:

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LTUE is never complete for me without attending the gala banquet. James Owen gave a wonderfully heart-warming banquet address. And I got to wind down at the end of a long, busy, exciting conference eating my fabulous gourmet dinner with the Space Balrogs: Jason King, James Wymore, and Holli Anderson (and two other guests).

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I want to give a shout out to all the people I shared panel time with at the symposium. You’re all amazing authors with great minds, voracious curiosity, and incredible talent. It was such a pleasure to engage creative discussions with you about writing horror, fantasy and myth, and our individual techniques for story generation. I gained as much listening to you describe your creative processes and perspectives as I did in sharing my own experiences.

LTUE felt like a big family reunion. There was so much energy, and everyone was willing to share and give their all to each other. It was hard to say goodbye at the end of the night.

Until next year, LTUE!

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Sarah E. Seeley is a fantasy and horror author, and an affiliate member of the Horror Writers Association. She has a bachelor’s degree in geology and loves exploring the science of human origins.

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