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My 2009 conference season starts off with a bang this Friday at Richmond’s RavenCon. If you’re in the neighborhood of the Crowne Plaza West, drop by and say hello--and hang around for the festivities. Mary Shelley’s going to be making a return engagement, and this time I think I can get the hair right. As for the rest, I think they’re going to get their money’s worth...

Friday

5 p.m.: Twice-Told Tales
Some of the most popular adult and young adult fantasy in today’s market are retellings of classic fairy tales and myths. What’s the allure? How do writers find something new to say about the stories we all know?
Panelists: Marcia Collette, Edmund Schubert (moderator), Jean Marie Ward, John C. Wright

7 p.m.: Writing 411: (Not Necessarily) The Usual Suspects (90-minute literary workshop)
Dracula, Sherlock Holmes, Jack Bauer, Reno—chances are the thing you like best and remember longest about your favorite stories are the characters. This session will discuss the importance of characters in the creation of plot.
Panelists: Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Jean Marie Ward, Allen Wold (moderator), John C. Wright

10 p.m.: Urban Fantasy 101
Werewolves, vampires, shapeshifters—these used to be classic “horror” elements. What defines Urban Fantasy and how does it differ from classic horror?
Panelists: Danny Birt, Marcia Colette, L. Jagi Lamplighter, Hildy Silverman, Jean Marie Ward (moderator)

Saturday

3 p.m.: Dead Authors Society
Four authors channel the spirits of their favorite dead authors for the duration. Talk to William Morris, David Gemmel, Louie L’Amour and Mary Shelley live…sort of.Panelists: Lyn Gardner, Laurel Anne Hill, Peter Prellwitz, Tony Ruggiero (moderator), Jean Marie Ward

6 p.m.: Books on TV
Several new series are popping up on TV based on popular novels--TrueBlood and Legend of the Seeker, for example. How closely do these TV shows follow their inspiration and will book fans follow them to television?
Panelists: James Fulbright, Jean Marie Ward

10 p.m.: Love at First Bite
What is it about vampires? From TrueBlood to Twilight, vampires seem to be taking over. What makes them fun to read and watch? Oh… and do they deserve “human rights” or are they “monsters”?
Panelists: Paul Bibeau, Marcia Collette, Tony Ruggiero (moderator), Jean Marie Ward

Sunday

Noon: Does Blood Smell?
A panel about some of the more “icky” aspects of writing and research.
Panelists: Laurel Anne Hill, Gail Martin, Tony Ruggiero (moderator), Maggie Stiefvater, Jean Marie Ward

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