All Souls Con, Uncategorized

Our All Souls Con 2018 Adventure – Part II

BOSS LADY. *heart eyes*

Are you ready for more goodness from All Souls Con? I thought so!

I would be lying if I pretended that I woke up on the day of our presentation feeling anything but nervous. I talk in front of people for a living, but, to be perfectly honest, I don’t know that the people I talk to all the time are nearly as invested in my work as y’all are invested in the All Souls Trilogy. True story.

Accordingly, the early morning followed a pattern I would like to call primp read caffeinate hyperventilate. Because I was losing my mind, we missed the first panel on The World of All Souls. If you were wondering, Jen was cool as a cucumber — I think it was that magnificent striped romper she chose as her presentation outfit.


And then, suddenly, and without warning, it was time to go. We mic’d up, took the stage, and had a blast. You can find the slides for our presentation here. We’ll post the video of the recorded lecture as soon as it’s available to the public. It was grand.

I admit, I love presenting. I love it almost no matter what I am talking about and no matter to whom I am speaking. This experience, though? Something else. I got such a thrill from seeing y’all nod or shake your heads when you heard something you liked (or didn’t — that’s cool, too). I loved your thoughtful, insightful questions.

like a fish
Me, imitating a grouper.

I loved the hum of energy generated by three hundred people thinking about their favorite books. It was INCREDIBLE. It was powerful and kind and inspiring and I absolutely hope to do it again next year, if y’all are up for it.

In the afternoon, we enjoyed two killer panels — one by Dr. Shelli Carter on biology and genetics in the AST and one by Dr. Stephenie McGucken on art history in the AST. Both were fantastic — precisely the kind of smart, engaging lectures I wanted. Again, highly recommended once they hit the internet. You should follow those ladies on Twitter for maximum smarts.

Dr. Carter, blowing my mind.

Later, Stephenie showed me and Shelli how to make RED PIGMENT FROM BUGS. Yes. She poured out the little cochineal bugs and crushed them with a wine glass to make red powder.

Dr. McGucken talking about Hieronymus Bosch, who drew fish people. For reasons.

When she poured water over the crushed insects, the paper bloomed with this wonderful blue-toned red — the same red used to dye the coats of the British infantry during the Revolution!

Okay. Admittedly, y’all might not find crushed bugs as entertaining as I do. Carry on.

In the space between presentations, I caught up with Amy Reynolds, our very own Mary Sidney, and begged her to consider a talk next year on costuming and visual language in the All Souls Trilogy. I strongly encourage y’all to take a really close look at this incredible costume — all handmade, including the alchemical petticoat and purse. As Amy told me, the only thing she didn’t make by hand was the fan dangling from her waistband. What an incredible project — I can’t wait to see what she does next year!

Later in the afternoon, Deb gave a really inspiring talk on readers and reading in the AST. She challenged us to think about our earliest reading memories and to imagine what her characters were reading at important moments in their lives. Marcus, for instance, carried a battered copy of Thomas Paine’s Common Sense in his pocket throughout the Revolution. I suspect we’ll hear far more about that when Time’s Convert comes out next month.

As usual, the Boss Lady was nothing short of lovely, gracious, and warm. She answered countless questions with grace and heart — and we are very lucky to have her.

I was very pleased to discover that the con included cupcakes — specifically, these little beauties with mini sugar replicas of Deb’s books.


At the close of the con, Jen and I stood in line to have our copies of The World of All Souls signed by Deb and the crew. While in line, we caught up with friends, including the lovely Grega (who made the stunning silk scarves pictured below) and Friend of the Show/Clover Michelle!


Then, we got to spend some time with Deb, which was super lovely. She couldn’t be kinder, more generous, or more encouraging. My heart eyes were PRETTY BIG at the start of the con, but they’ve only gotten bigger.

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I’d also love to give a shout out to the lovely ladies of The World of All Souls who made that incredible book possible. Colleen kept us entertained all weekend with her hilarious doodles in the green room and on the signing tables.

All in all, the con was an extraordinary experience and we hope that we’ll be able to make it to the UNITED KINGDOM (!!) for next year’s events. Keep your eyes on @AllSoulsCon on Twitter and for more announcements.

We’ll be taking follow-up questions for our convention recap episode until SUNDAY, 19 AUGUST 2018. As usual, you can post them to our Facebook group or e-mail us at

Thank you to everyone who made All Souls Con a success this year — we were so pleased to be included and can’t wait to see everyone again soon!



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