Welcome to the limited series return of BETWEEN THE PAGES, running Mondays and Wednesdays now through mid-December 2020! Dubbed BETWEEN THE PAGES: FINDING MY VOICE, follow Shannon’s journey as she learned and grew to become more of a public speaker, and how she’s still learning today! Today is Installment 19,  “Return to LOSCON”.

In 2013, I received an opportunity to pitch a story for an anthology called NEWSHOUNDS by Pro Se Press. This publisher focused at that time on being part of the “New Pulp” movement, which highlights telling stories in the classic pulp style but in new ways. Pro Se Press, being a small publisher, would need me to do the bulk of the marketing just as I had for the textbook. Since I’d only done the one story, I focused largely on doing guest blog and online interviews. However, once they accepted a story of mine a couple years later for another anthology called THE DAME DID IT, I began to feel confident enough putting myself out there.

However, I knew that I would need to book myself as a panelist for some opportunities and as a moderator for others to get myself noticed. I made my first steps out again by offering my services as moderator to LOSCON, the convention I’d been invited to back in 2009 to discuss VOLTRON and anime.

For the next two years, I would moderate various panels for them and also appear on a couple others where my expertise fit in. 2016 found me moderating “Book Blogs: Are They Shaping How We Find New Reads?” (where I highlighted my experience with this blog as well as my mystery and crime fiction focused blog SHANNON MUIR’S THE PULP AND MYSTERY SHELF), “Reboots, Reimaginings, and Fandom” (here leveraging the fact I was known for VOLTRON and the LEGENDARY DEFENDER reboot had come out, plus my work on the animated GHOSTBUSTERS spinoff EXTREME GHOSTBUSTERS),  “Social Media and Fandom,” and “The Evolution of Gaming: What Next?” and appeared as a panelist on “The Path to Fandom,” “Where Is My Flying Car?”, and “Science Fiction and Fantasy Podcasts” (a topic that interested me more after my Catch Da Craze opportunity and other experiences that come up in a later segment).  In 2017, I largely returned in a moderator capacity again, this time with panels such as panels such as “She Was My Princess” (highlighting Princess Leia and Wonder Woman as role models in the 1970s through SF and fantasy role models in present day), “Blending Mystery and Speculative Fiction,” “Going from Fan to Pro,” and “Connecting Writers and Readers,” as well as being a panelist on the panel “Facebook Gaming” based on my past experience in virtual worlds and as a gamer.

While these opportunities allowed me to mention my short stories in my bio, the real opportunity to talk about my writing would come when given the chance to make appearances at the Long Beach Comic Expo for several years. Find out more about how that went in later columns.