Thursday, December 27, 2012

A Peek Into Geekdom

If you think writers might not live what they write about, you've never meet Angela Quarles. I think I'm in Geek Girl Lust.

Hi Louisa, thank you for having me on here. I thought I'd share a little of my personal experience with some of the geek references I make in my new release BEER AND GROPING IN LAS VEGAS, an erotic geek romance.

Most of it takes place in the hotel room (boom-chika-bow-wow), but the hotel is hosting a sci-fi convention and so the hero and heroine run across some fun convention goers in the beginning of the story.

Mirjam rubbed the tiredness from her eyes, but the caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland still occupied the Rivenbark Hotel & Casino elevator with her. She blinked and squinted. Yep. And life-size. Complete with hookah.

Plastic squeaked against glass as the caterpillar shifted to make more room. It made eye contact.

"Er, nice costume," Mirjam ventured.

"Thanks," came the muffled reply.

The elevator swooped to a stop on the mezzanine level. A pirate and a Ghostbuster stepped on and pushed the lobby button. Mirjam angled back to avoid being knocked over by the guy's Proton Pack.

"Convention?" Mirjam asked the caterpillar and it rewarded her with a nod.
Mirjam groaned inwardly. She'd attended her share, but now, they reminded her too much of The Turd, otherwise known as Brian. Great.

I've been a regular attendee of Dragon*Con since 2005 and so I drew on my experiences to paint the background for the story. This particular opening was inspired by a costume I vividly remember—the caterpillar. In my case, the 'caterpillar' was standing outside an elevator. It really is incredible the amount of detail that some of the conference goers put in their costumes. I thought using this as the opening helped setup the 'down the rabbit hole' feeling I wanted to convey. What's Dragon*Con you ask? It's a sci-fi/fantasy/pop culture convention that draws over 50,000 attendees every year in Atlanta, and it's a blast. I thought I'd share another snippet inspired by a real attendee at Dragon*Con-- the guy who dresses as Monty Python's King Arthur every year, and yes, he has his trusty squire following banging two coconuts. My picture of him is fuzzy, but I found this one, and here's another snippet:

"Welcome to the Rivenbark," the older man behind the desk said. "Do you have a reservation?"

"No. I was told to let you know my name? Riley McGregor. Someone's expecting me."
"Oh, yes, sir. Hang on."

Riley scrubbed his hand through his hair while the concierge called someone on the phone.

A guy passed by, dressed as the king in Monty Python's Holy Grail, complete with his sidekick beating two coconuts together. Riley grinned. Looked like the convention here would be shit-tons more entertaining than his.

I think you really need to attend one to really appreciate it. Generally, I don't dress up, I just where my Firefly t-shirts, but there was one year (2007) where two friends and I went as the Fruity Oaty Bar girls from Serenity and that was a strange experience:

I love attending Dragon*Con. We have different names for it--Nerdi Gras, Geek Prom--but whatever we call it, it's five days of drinking and getting your geek on, and being around tons of others who share similar interests. It's not all just costumes on parade though. You can go to celebrity panels and hear your favorite stars talk about their roles in your fave TV show or movie. There's also a really good writer's track, as well as different tracks ranging from puppet making to robot wars to the latest in space technology. It's also probably the only convention that has conference rooms booked through the whole night, so even at three in the morning, you can find something going on. Sleep is definitely not indulged in often during that weekend. Here are some fave photos from over the years:
If you look closely, that's Jason Momoa playing with a light sabre out in front of the Hyatt Regency
Me with Michael Shanks (Daniel Jackson in Stargate SG-1)
With Alan Tudyk (Wash in Firefly)
And various attendees in their awesome costumes:
DSCN0738 DSCN0761DSCN1322DSCN1701 DSCN1721

Can a djinn and a magic slot machine bring two geeks together?

Riley McGregor is a geek trapped in a Good Ole Boy body and as owner of a microbrewery, smart chicks never look at him twice.

Rejected by a geek who wanted to “trade up,” Mirjam Linna would rather immerse herself in work than be the girlfriend-of-the-moment. Stranded in a Vegas hotel, she makes a wish—a night of hot sex with the man of her dreams. It's granted. She agrees to dinner, but afterward, she’ll say thanks, but no thanks, and see what’s on the SyFy channel. But when they meet, they're surprised to find they had a shared connection in their past. Sparks fly as these two learn to be in the moment, be themselves and find love.

Fans of Star Trek, Star Wars, Monty Python, Firefly and Marvin the Martian will enjoy this romantic comedy.


Angela works at an independent bookstore and lives in an historic house in the beautiful and quirky town of Mobile, AL, with her two matched gray cats, Darcy and Bingley. When she's not writing, she enjoys the usual stuff like gardening, reading, hanging out, eating, drinking, chasing squirrels out of the walls and creating the occasional knitted scarf. She's had a varied career, including website programming and directing a small local history museum.

She's an admitted geek and is proud to be among the few but mighty Browncoats who watched Firefly the first night it aired. She was introduced to the wonderful world of science fiction by her father, by way of watching reruns of the original Star Trek in her tweens and later giving her a copy of Walter M. Miller Jr's A Canticle for Leibowitz as a teenager. She hasn't looked back since. 

She has a B.A. in Anthropology and International Studies with a minor in German from Emory University, and a Masters in Heritage Preservation from Georgia State University. She was an exchange student to Finland in high school and studied abroad in Vienna one summer in college. She recently found representation with Maura Kye-Casella at Don Congdon, Assoc.

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  1. Love it, especially the pic of Angela as the Fruity Oaty Bar girl :D
    I finally picked up my copy of Beer and Groping, can't wait to start reading. Thanks guys, fun post.

  2. Really fun post. Great job.

  3. Such a fantastic, and enticing, post by Angela. Thanks for visiting!

    Angela -- Do you watch Castle? Did you see the sci-fi conference episode?

  4. Thanks guys!

    @Louisa -- Yes!! I started watching because of Nathan Fillion, of course, and now love the show in its own right. That episode was freaking hilarious. I loved the reveal re: Beckett being a closet fan girl of that show, and the ending had me in stitches...