Those Crazy #Dragon*Con Folks with Angela Quarles (and G*veaway)

Next up on the Elysian Fields virtual tour….

* Another new flash fiction, “Swamp People,” is up at Sapphyria’s Book Reviews today! Trivia time: This is adapted from the original opening scene of Elysian Fields, only it was DJ and Jake at Bayou Teche instead of DJ and Alex. I later moved their opening scene together back into New Orleans to introduce the axeman plot more quickly. Enter again for the iPad here!

* You can also enter at Darkeva’s Dark Delights, where she has a review posted today (thank you!) and the contest link.

* There are a couple of other spots due up today; I’ll add those links if and when they post.

Thanks again to everyone who’s following the tour!

* * * *

Today, please help me welcome author Angela Quarles to Preternatura. Angela is here to talk about her latest release, Beer and Groping in Las Vegas, which was published in December 2012 by Secret Cravings Publishing. I’m also excited to have her here because a) her book is all kinds of funny, and b) she’s an Alabama author like myself :-). Also, she’s going to talk about Dragon*Con, possibly the greatest geekfest on Earth!

Angela works at an independent bookstore and lives in a historic house in the beautiful and quirky town of Mobile, Alabama, with her two matched gray cats, Darcy and Bingley. When she’s not writing, she enjoys the usual stuff like gardening, reading, hanging out, eating, drinking, chasing squirrels out of the walls and creating the occasional knitted scarf. She’s had a varied career, including website programming and directing a small local history museum.

She’s an admitted geek and is proud to be among the few but mighty Browncoats who watched Firefly the first night it aired. She was introduced to the wonderful world of science fiction by her father, by way of watching reruns of the original Star Trek in her tweens and later giving her a copy of Walter M. Miller Jr’s A Canticle for Leibowitz as a teenager. She hasn’t looked back since. 

She has a B.A. in anthropology and international studies with a minor in German from Emory University, and a Master’s in heritage preservation from Georgia State. She was an exchange student to Finland in high school and studied abroad in Vienna one summer in college. She recently found representation with Maura Kye-Casella at Don Congdon, Assoc.
You can learn more about Angela by visiting her website, her blog, on twitter, or on facebook. 

ABOUT BEER AND GROPING IN LAS VEGAS:  Can a djinn and a magic slot machine bring two geeks together? Riley McGregor is a geek trapped in a Good Ole Boy body and as owner of a microbrewery, smart chicks never look at him twice. Rejected by a geek who wanted to “trade up,” Mirjam Linna would rather immerse herself in work than be the girlfriend-of-the-moment. Stranded in a Vegas hotel, she makes a wish—a night of hot sex with the man of her dreams. It’s granted. She agrees to dinner, but afterward, she’ll say thanks, but no thanks, and see what’s on the SyFy channel. But when they meet, they’re surprised to find they had a shared connection in their past. Sparks fly as these two learn to be in the moment, be themselves and find love. Fans of Star Trek, Star Wars, Monty Python, Firefly and Marvin the Martian will enjoy this romantic comedy.

And now, let’s hear from Angela… 



Hi Suzanne, thank you for having me on here. Given that next weekend is Dragon*Con, I thought I’d share a little of my personal experience with some of the geek references I make in my novelette Beer and Groping in Las Vegas, a geek romantic comedy. Most of it takes place in the hotel room (boom-chika-bow-wow), but the hotel is hosting a sci-fi convention and so the hero and heroine run across some fun convention goers in the beginning of the story. The opening was inspired by a costume I vividly remember—the caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland. It really is incredible the amount of detail that some of the conference goers put in their costumes. I thought using this as the opening helped setup the ‘down the rabbit hole’ feeling I wanted to convey:

dscn0354.jpgMirjam rubbed the tiredness from her eyes, but the caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland still occupied the Rivenbark Hotel & Casino elevator with her. She blinked and squinted. Yep. And life-size. Complete with hookah.

In my case, the ‘caterpillar’ was standing outside an elevator and I definitely didn’t have the rest of her experience with the hero (dang), but my experiences of attending Dragon*Con since 2005 did infuse the background and some of the dialogue of the story. What’s Dragon*Con you ask? It’s a sci-fi/fantasy/pop culture convention that draws over 50,000 attendees every year in Atlanta, and it’s a blast. I think you really need to attend one to really appreciate it. Generally, I don’t dress up, I just wear my Firefly t-shirts, but there was one year (2007) where two friends and I went as the Fruity Oaty Bar girls from Serenity and that was a strange experience:


Attendees have different names for it–Nerdi Gras, Geek Prom–but whatever we call it, it’s five days of drinking and getting your geek on, and being around tons of others who share similar interests. It’s not all just costumes on parade though. You can go to celebrity panels and hear your favorite stars talk about their roles in your fave TV show or movie. There’s also a really good writer’s track, as well as different tracks ranging from puppet making to robot wars to the latest in space technology. It’s also probably the only convention that has conference rooms booked through the whole night, so even at three in the morning, you can find something going on. Sleep is definitely not indulged in often during that weekend. smallarthurI reference another real attendee at Dragon*Con in BEER AND GROPING IN LAS VEGAS–the guy who dresses as Monty Python’s King Arthur every year, and yes, he has his trusty squire following, banging two coconuts. My picture of him is fuzzy, but I found this one. Here are some fave photos from over the years:

If you look closely, that’s Jason Momoa playing with a light sabre out in front of the Hyatt Regency
Me with Michael Shanks (Daniel Jackson in Stargate SG-1)
With Alan Tudyk (Wash in Firefly)
And various attendees in their awesome costumes:

DSCN0738 DSCN0761DSCN1322DSCN1701 DSCN1721 So who’s going next weekend? It’s held every year in downtown Atlanta during Labor Day weekend. Have you attended pop culture conventions before? What’s your favorite aspect?

Thanks, Angela.  Strangely enough, those pictures remind me a lot of my senior high school prom!  No, no, only kidding. I was actually registered for Dragon*Con the past two years, and have had to cancel both times because of day-job commitments. So what about you?  Have you ever gone to a reader convention like Dragon*Con or Authors After Dark (love love love AAD!)?  Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Beer and Groping in Las Vegas.

22 thoughts on “Those Crazy #Dragon*Con Folks with Angela Quarles (and G*veaway)

  1. I would love to go to a convention, but, alas, I have only made it to boring academic conferences. Drinking barely makes them bearable, lol!

    • Oh man, I have been to those as well, Rebe. I’m going to one next April, in fact, but I figure since it’s in New Orleans I might be tempted to skip some sessions! Oh, um, no, of course I’d never do such a thing 🙂

  2. Dragon Con and Authors After Dark are both on my bucket list! Had to cancel my plans for AAD this year, rats! Thanks for sharing the photos-what fun!

  3. The closest I ever came was RustyCon, a small, vaguely Steampunk event held down near SeaTac airport. My teenagers, however, are into the cosplay thing, and so various local event have made it onto our family calendar, like the Emerald City ComiCon, AkiCon (sp?), and a rather odd My Little Pony event. My husband does most of the heavy lifting, though I could totally see us planning a family vacation around DragonCon.
    Oh, and I loved Beer & Groping, and I hope every blog reader downloads a copy!

  4. That looks like so much fun! I haven’t had the pleasure yet, but one day I hope to make it to Dragon Con and I hope that I meet you both there. Thanks for sharing.

  5. I have gone to the San Diego ComicCon but not the two that you mention. I would like to go to those at least once to give them a try.

  6. I’ve seen such great photos from various cons, but I have to admit, I’ve never been to any. I think I would feel a bit out of place because I’m not as passionate about it as most of the attendees. Your book sounds like a really fun read.