Day 2 at LeakyCon was the busiest day at the conference. They seemed to jam some of the most interesting programming into Friday. There were many to pick from, and it was hard choosing some over the others.
I started the day at the Nerdfighter Meetup with vlogbrothers John and Hank Green. They basically fielded fan questions and gave away little prizes to random members of the audience. If you’re familiar with the Green brothers, you know that they’re incredibly witty and entertaining. It was nice to sit back and see them interact with fans.
Next, I decided to check out LeakyCon Lit. “Come to This Panel If You Think You Hate Romance” was moderated by Beautiful Creatures co-author Margaret Stohl. Laini Taylor (Daughter of Smoke and Bone), Daniel Enrenhaft (Wessex Papers) and Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss) were there to talk about romance in YA literature. First off, I didn’t go to this panel because I hate romance. I actually do enjoy it, especially when it’s done effectively. But I was curious to see how YA authors go about talking and defending it. Nearly all of YA deal with romance; all the authors on stage have romance in their novels.
Perkins sort of explained why romance is so big in YA, by saying “Romantic love is the closest thing to magic in real life.” There is a majestic quality to romantic love, and frankly, it’s something that we all want. Taylor points out that when we read stories, we’re living vicariously through these characters. Being in love is something so primal and powerful to us that we want to experience it in any way we can. However, Taylor also pointed out how embarrassing it can be to read a bad romance. The subject of the ever popular love triangle came up. I can definitely say that the love triangle thing has been almost done to death in YA. The authors understand that, but they also think that if the love triangle is done right, readers wouldn’t be so exasperated by it. Enrenhaft said that if a writer can put a new, fresh spin on it, that’s great. I have to agree with that. While I am sick of them, I did recently read a love triangle that actually wasn’t bad or annoying.
At the end, the authors fielded some questions from the audience. Many asked for advice on how to set their own stories apart from the rest of them. Perkins suggested creating “very specific characters,” while Taylor said to be more conscious when writing troupes.
Afterward, I headed to “Living the Luna Way,” a panel where the HP Alliance (a Harry Potter activist organization) introduced a new facet to their community. The formal name of this new project is “Living the Lovegood Life.” It’s being spearheaded by Andrew Slack (of the HP Alliance), Devin Lytle (of Team Starkid) and Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood). They started off the panel by sharing their own experiences. Evanna told us of her personal struggles and what led her to really connect to Luna Lovegood. Andrew and Devin followed suit and really conveyed how inspiring Luna is as a character. This led to the project itself. It’s still in the very early stages, but their intention are for it to be a supportive social network, a place where people can talk and confide about some of their own personal struggles and help others get through their own. There will also be mini-projects which will challenge members to face their fears. And of course, there will be a major portion dedicated to relating those struggles to the ones in the Harry Potter story.
It’s a very interesting idea. How can you not support a support network? The panel was a bit length-y, seeing that there wasn’t a wealth of information to convey about the project, since it’s an early work-in-progress. It got interesting when they started taking fan questions, and in a way, the “Living the Lovegood Life” was put into effect. They gave great advice and motivated audience members and fans. It’s those moments that allow you to really see how emotionally connected the HP fandom is.
If you want to find out more about Living the Lovegood Way, click here to visit their site.
Finally, I rounded out the night with Potter Puppet Pals and the HP Alumni panel. If you don’t know what Potter Puppet Pals is, watch the video below:
If you’re a Potter fan, it’s likely you’ve have the Mysterious Ticking Noise stuck in your head at once in your life. I watch the show performed live. It was great fun and had some cool moments that included a (fake, but hilarious) J.K. Rowling cameo.
Finally, the anticipated HP Alumni event with Harry Potter actors Evanna Lynch, William Melling (Nigel), Louis Cordice (Blaise Zabini) and Robbie Jarvis (Young James Potter) took place. Much of what was asked and said was also covered at the press conference I attended the day before. I absolutely recommend reading my press conference report, which highlights the actors’ Potter experiences. Only difference was that Louis couldn’t make it to the press conference. Some interesting things he said included how being a part of the Harry Potter films really encouraged him to pursue acting. Without a doubt, the experience has made him feel like acting is his calling. He also briefly explained his audition process, saying that he started off as a double, and then later auditioned for Blaise with Tom Felton. Overall, all the actors had many positive stories to relate to the audience, which we all loved.
That’s a wrap on Day 2! I’ll have my rest of my time at LeakyCon 2012 in the next couple days.