Guest Blog by Kelli Owen

Maurice asked me to write a little something regarding Mo*Con. Or as it’s being called this year, Kelli*Con. So let’s start there. Why “Kelli*Con”? Well, let me tell you a story…

There are a variety of conventions for writers to choose from. There are the publishing cons, the writer cons, the genre cons and then there’s Mo*Con. It’s got panels, books for sale, writers and publishers to talk to and the icing on the cake—Maurice makes everyone steaks at 1am. Unlike other cons, it’s not all at a hotel. The panels and main meals are served at the official location, but then everyone goes to the Broaddus household and this convention becomes a backyard barbeque from hell. The atmosphere is relaxed but business it discussed. In many ways, it reminds me of a smaller version of Necon.

And near the end of Mo*Con two years ago, Maurice said that the next one (2009) would be the last one.

“The hell it will! You have to have one more, so I can be guest of honor—my book will be out!”

Let me tell you now children, never tease your friends when they’re wielding their mighty scepters of power…

“Okay, we’ll have Kelli*Con and then that will be the last one.”

Of course, I figured he was just humoring me. He wasn’t. And over the next year he would bring it up and ask silly questions like “do you want to be in charge of the panels? Not be in charge in the sense of scheduling or staffing, but topic…”

A. Con-Goers. Dream.

“Hell yes!”

I’ve been to many cons over the years. Many. And I’ve always had a complaint or two regarding panels, not because I know everything (I really don’t) but because I have opinions and people know it. And they know if they ask me, I’ll tell them. (No, don’t ask me if those jeans make your ass look fat unless you really want the truth.) How would I change panels? Well, my chief complaint has always been that we seem to do the same topic over and over and over and over and, oh yeah, OVER and only change which con or who’s speaking. Time for something new!

Now of course, I have to keep with the themes of Mo*Con: Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n Roll. No wait, I meant Spirituality, Art, Race & Gender. Or, if I’m allowed to tweak them just enough: Gawd, Sex and Blogging. The panel titles and basis are as follows for Kelli*Con, er Mo*Con V, er the last Mo*Con ever…

“Oh no you di’int” – aka, Why Maurice shouldn’t be allowed to blog, er I mean, blogging dos and don’ts.

“We don’t need no steekin’ gawd” – Spirituality and writing about religion from an atheists point of view

“Elbow, knee, penis” – because if you can’t call it what it is, you have no business writing about it!

Of course, the other reason he agreed to this crazy notion of me taking of his convention is because my first novel was coming out right before the con. Note I used the word “was.” The novel, “In the Shadow of Darkness,” has changed publishers—don’t worry, it’s a good thing—and will still be coming out, just not until December of 2010. Meanwhile, I do have stories in Dark Faith, Dark Futures and an online guilty pleasure at Choate Road as the March spotlight scribe.
So why should you go to Mo*Con? Steak at 1am, we’re talking about penises IN A CHURCH, it will be the last time Sally ever lets Maurice gather this many people in her house and call it “working,” (she ain’t lying! -MGB) and I’m sorry, but have you seen the guest list? Brian Keene, Wrath James White, Alethea Kontis, Gary Braunbeck & Lucy Snyder, Alex McVey, Jason Sizemore, Chesya Burke… and people NOT listed on the official page: Bob Ford, Michael Knost, Kyle Johnson, Doug Warrick (Kim Paffenroth, D. Harlan Wilson and many more –MGB) … oh just show up, or you’ll be lost when it’s discussed down the road.

Because this one WILL be discussed…

…For years to come!

Kelli Owen
~The Artist Formerly Known as Kelli Dunlap

There will be a silent auction of rare books and art. Books for sale, starting with THE LAUNCH OF DARK FAITH. Artists and authors on site to collect autographs. Steve Gilberts will be leading a special interactive art seminar for kids. There’s a thread on my message board home for those looking for roommates, you can post your queries here (register on Brian Keene’s board). Remember, THE CUTOFF DATE FOR THE ADVANCE RATE OF $50 IS APRIL 1ST!!!

Most importantly, you do NOT want to upset these ladies. You better show up!