Next Friday I’m doing an In Conversation with the writer behind The Captive Prince series, CS Pacat. Details and tickets can still be acquired up until 6:00 PM on the 28th.
This is one of my rare public appearances in 2017, because I have been steadily saying no to teaching and presenting gigs for a little over a year now. I would have turned down this one as well, it not for two things:
- First, I’m there as a representative of the GenreCon Ninja team, and I will always make an exception when it comes to flying the GenreCon flag.
- Second, CS Pacat is incredibly fucking smart about genre and writing, and I would be an idiot to turn down the opportunity to pick her brain.
Spend enough time around writers and you’ll quickly realise that a number of them are incredibly smart when it comes to matters of craft and business. The trick, once you’ve been around long enough, is to start paying attention to the smartest writers you’ve met and listen when they start talking about the smartest writers they know.
I first heard about Pacat through one of Australia’s best romance authors, Anne Gracie, who raved about the rapid development of complex characters and plots. Then she appeared as a guest at Genrecon 2015 and blew people out of the water by being smart, articulate, and (lets be honest) incredibly well dressed. What cemented me as a fan wasn’t just her work, but the series of writing essays on her website which explore different aspects of writing.
Pacat is fascinating because she focuses heavily on technique. She thinks about the craft of writing, analyses it and pulls it apart. Looks for connections between the works she enjoys and the skills required to make those works.
There is an intangible thing that is present in some writers works – a sense of control that makes you realise just how loose some writers are playing within a similar genre. Pacat has it, and she talks about how she acquired it.
To say that I cannot wait until next Friday would be an understatement.