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Thursday, May 3, 2012

World's BIGGEST blog post!

Hi everyone!!

Wow, I know I posted last week but I still feel like I haven't talked to you all in AGES! I have SO much to catch you all up on... so go grab your selves a nice coffee (or tea... or cocktail) and settle in because you're going to be with me for a while.

First off, I promised you all the details from my trip to Supanova.

I had an AMAZING time!! Let me tell you, if you ever go to a Pop Culture Expo (Comic Con, Wonder Con, Armageddon etc.) and they offer a VIP badge - GET IT! Trust me on this one thing... be a VIP! I know it's a bit of extra money but the value that you get out of it is ridiculous!!

I had friends who went and they just had standard admission tickets (nothing wrong with that but you'll see why VIP is worth the $) and spent the majority of their days waiting in lines. They were up at 6am, sitting in a line for hours to see a panel at lunch time and missed out on everything else that happened that morning. Whereas I had a VIP pass, got out of bed at 8am, had breakfast, watched some TV, got to Supanova at about 10am, wandered around the exhibit hall and made my way to the panel five minutes before it started, was ushered to the front of the line and had front row seats while my friends who had been waiting for hours were seated up the back somewhere. Also, all my celebrity autographs and photos were free (without having to wait in any lines), while my friends had to pay for them and stand there with a thousand other people, and did I mention the VIP cocktail party where I got to drink champagne and chat with actors all night? Oh yes, the VIP is worth it.

I know some of you might scoff at Conventions and that's okay! They certainly aren't for everyone. But if you're a geek like me, then treat yourself. Trust me, you'll have the time of your life. Okay, so what is Supanova like? It's crazy! Think what it would be like to be surrounded by thousands of geeks in costumes and that's what it is. There were costumes everywhere! I've been to Comic Con in San Diego and while there were a lot more people, there weren't as many costumes. Supanova had about 85% of people wearing some form of costume and I can let you know that army fatigues were very popular this year, as were Doctor Who costumes and Storm Troopers.

So, I met James and Oliver Phelps. I'm going to be honest and say that I was looking forward to meeting them because I love Harry Potter and I always thought they did an excellent job as Fred and George Weasley, but I wasn't expecting to LOVE them!! What can I say about these guys to do them justice? Honestly, James and Oliver could be two of the nicest guys I have ever met in my life. I had my photo with them on the first morning of Supanova and when I walked into the photo booth they were both happy, smiling and gave me hugs.

Then, that night at the VIP cocktail party I got a chance to sit and talk with them both for quite a while and they are true gentlemen! (The English accent is quite nice too!) We spoke about lots of normal things that you would talk about with your friends and I was struck by how different they are. Oliver (purple shirt with the short hair) is really energetic, funny and charismatic. He's a joy to talk to and is really interested in asking questions about others. James (red shirt with the longer hair) was more relaxed, just as funny and charismatic but a bit quieter. He really listened and held eye contact and was really present while you spoke to him. They were both really nice guys and I'm so glad I had the opportunity to meet them. The morning after the VIP cocktail party was their panel and while they were talking James waved and smiled at me several time (I was in the front row). Later that day when I went to get their autographs they remembered me from the night before and we all talked for a while about how fun the cocktail party was and they asked when I was flying home and remembered that I lived in Cairns. Truly awesome guys and they are so funny!!

Another amazing person that I met was Peter Facinelli. Yes, the gorgeous Dr Carlisle Cullen from the Twilight franchise. I have met other Twilight actors and have found them all to be friendly, down to Earth and eager to meet their fans so I had some expectations on Peter. He didn't disappoint. Peter was funny, chatty, friendly and seemed to really be enjoying the Expo. His panel was funny and he loved taking questions from the audience, asking for more questions even when his allotted time had gone. Below is a photo of Peter during his panel that I took with my phone. This photo has no zoom on it, I was sitting THAT close. (GET THE VIP TICKETS!!) I have a friend (BREE!!!!) who loves Peter and so I got his autograph for her and the process for getting autographs is that you tell your name to the actor's assistant and they write it down and check the spelling so the actor can just write the name. I told the assistant that I wanted the autograph made out to Bree and she handed Peter the name. He looked up at me confused and asked, "Isn't your name Hannah?" We both laughed and I explained about my friend. It is so nice to meet an actor who genuinely cares enough about the people he meets that he remembers their names. Bravo, Peter!

And there were MANY more people there. I don't want to keep adding pictures of them all because this post is already going to be massive but I'll list some of the people and if you really want to see a photo of them, you can leave a comment and I'll post them. Sound good?

Wil Wheaton - this was SUPER exciting for me because I've been in love with Wil since I was 10 years old. Wesley Crusher was my childhood crush!

Rainbow Sun Franks
Cliff Simon
Jamie Alexander
Summer Glau (who high-fived me)
Morena Baccarin
Richard Horvitz
Chandler Riggs

There were MANY more actors there but these were the ones that I had personal interactions with.

As well as actors (and this was the REALLY exciting part for me) there were also AUTHORS!!! I went to several author panels and spoke quite extensively with Keri Arthur and she signed some of her books for me. I learned some great things from Keri about agents and the publishing world.

So, I think that's it for the Supanova update. Do you need a bathroom break? There is still a lot more info coming your way in this post so make your self comfortable.

Next up is about my writing corner. Being at Supanova really solidified for me that being an author is what I want to do with my life. So, I decided that it was time to get serious about it. When I got home from the trip to Supanova, I rearranged the furniture in my apartment and created a nice empty area. Then I went shopping and bought some office furniture and created this -

The poster on the wall is from the movie Midnight in Paris. When I saw that movie last year I was so inspired that I went home and stayed up all night, writing 10,000 words in a few hours. So, I now have a little space that is dedicated to writing (I'm so excited!). I wrote Pieces of Us on my laptop, sitting on my bed, and my neck used to get really sore because I would be like that for hours. Now I have a comfortable chair and a nice desk and I've already written over 13,000 words this week. Writing nook = WIN!

Following on from there, this week I discovered a new writing technique that is BLOWING my mind with the amount of words that I can get through. Normally I will write in hour blocks with little rests in between so my brain can catch up with my fingers. I can usually write about 1200-1500 words per hour if I'm on a roll. This week I wanted to challenge myself so I thought I'd try speed writing. The idea is to write as many words as I can in 10 minutes without stopping. I gave it a go and did six 10 minute blocks with a short break between each block. So, I wrote for a total of one hour and in that hour I managed to pump out 2600 words! That's about double what I would normally have done. I thought it must have been a fluke so I did another six 10 minute speed blocks and came up with a similar word count. In two hours I'd written 5000 words! I couldn't believe it.

I can't maintain that all the time and the other night I was speed writing and getting really into the story and writing like mad and when the timer went off to tell me that my 10 minutes were up I was so shocked that I lost my train of thought and couldn't get back into the writing groove. But, it is something that I will play around with and hopefully will help me with writing The Mind Walker.

Speaking of The Mind Walker (TMW), the story is coming along really well. I'm over 40,000 words in now and the story is really starting to flow.

Okay, I have one more big piece of news and then I will release you from my grasp. My fingers are starting to cramp from writing this so I hope your eyes aren't blurring!

Final news for the day -

The Romance Writers of Australia Inc. are having their 21st Annual Writing Conference in August and I will be attending as a published author AND I'll be signing my books at the author signing! I'm so excited!!

It's 4 days of writing workshops and talking with agents, publishers and other authors - it's going to be a little bit of heaven for me and I can't wait!! So, if you live near or around The Gold Coast or are planning to attend the RWA Con, please stop by the author signing booths and say hi to me.

Okay, I have a feeling that I've forgotten to tell you all something (is that even possible with the amount of stuff already in this blog?) but if it comes back to me I'll add it to next weeks post.

For those of you on Twitter - I've started using my account more frequently and posting pics and writing updates. If you'd like to follow me, my name is - @HannahDowning

Thanks for sticking with me through this mammoth post!!

H xx


  1. Hi Hannah, thanks for sharing your experience with us who could not go to Supanova (i'm living in France).
    I'm very interested to have your personal report on meeting the adorable Summer Glau (and the pic of course); i intend to share it at fansite Summer Glau Wiki, like many other con-goers did before you.
    Thanks in advance,

    1. Hi Chris,
      Summer was so lovely! Unfortunetly I didn't actually get to take a photo of her but I did meet her at the VIP cocktail party so I can tell you about that.
      Summer was very quiet, maybe even shy, when she came over to talk to me. I told her it was my first Supanova and she said it was her first too and then she put her hand up in the air for me to hit (which I did) and then we both laughed at the high-five. I spoke with her for about 15 minutes about her career. She loved doing Firefly and The Terminator and I told her that I loved the few guest episodes that she did on Grey's Anatomy.
      I don't remember the whole conversation but I do remember that she was very nice and had a beautiful smile. She was wearing a long, flowing dress and looked beautiful.

    2. Yes, Summer can be very shy at times, from what i've seen in interviews.
      I guess it makes her even more adorable for some people, like me.
      Glad you had a great time at Supanova and thanks for the quick answer :)

  2. You must have made a great impression on those two dudes. I just get tongue tied on the rare occasions I meet celebrities. Heck, I get tongue tied most of the time. Glad to see you treated yourself to a nice writing station.

    1. Thanks, Feather. I'm loving my writing station and getting heaps of work done! :)

  3. Hannah, great to hear about your experience! Love the photos. I loved Midnight in Paris and I can understand how it would inspire you to write. Keep up the productivity!

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