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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Kevin J. Anderson & Rebecca Moesta: Consummate Professionals

A Sampling of the Couple's Work

I first met Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta at the Westercon held in San Diego in 2006.  As the World Science Fiction Convention was being held in Los Angeles that year, just a few weeks later, many published authors opted to skip it, and no New York editors or agents attended.  Given the lack of professional interest, the number of attendees seemed way down.  The convention felt like a ghost town.  The hotel facilities had been built for so many more people. 

Kevin J. Anderson had agreed to serve as Toastmaster.  He and his wife not only attended, but injected life into every panel discussion they participated in.  I remember one panel on designing a Fantasy world, where the other panelists wafted on about, “Oh, you could do this,” or “Yes, but that would suggest...” and so on.  Lost in their conversation, they ignored those listening.  After this had gone on for awhile, Kevin pointed out that there were people in the audience who might be aspiring authors and could use some practical advice.  I, for one, appreciated his steering the dialogue toward something that could benefit me directly.

He and his wife also gave a panel discussion of their own.  If memory serves, it was labeled something like “The Eight Keys to Getting Published.”  They went step by step through the various rules that guided their careers.  They gave examples of how they worked, and suggested ways to work around problems when we found our current methods stilted. 

Every chair in the room was occupied.  Would-be authors stood in the back and hugged the walls, listening to every word of advice.  The couple received a rousing ovation when they finished.

I’ve met up with Kevin and Rebecca several times since then, from their visits to my local bookstore, to the 2008 Worldcon in Colorado.  Each time, they’ve been the models of generosity.  Any question I asked they took the time to answer, even if I caught them in the hall and they were hurrying to another panel.  They dressed and acted like consummate professionals.  In short, they conducted themselves like the author I wish to become: someone who can meld business sensibilities with artistic vision to create memorable fiction that keeps readers, and publishers, coming back for more. 

As Roger Zelazny said in his introduction to Steven Brust’s novel “To Reign in Hell,” there are writers who are great prose stylists, others known for writing engaging dialogue, and many other types of literary specialists.  Aside from their ability to craft entertaining fiction, the main reason I started following Kevin and Rebecca’s work, and have continued to search out their stories, is not due to some unique artistic sensibility, but because of all the help they’ve given me.  They’ve always treated me as an equal, never looking down on me because I’ve not yet proven my capabilities.  In doing so, they give me sufficient reason to continue looking up to them. 

In gratitude,
Dragon Dave

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  1. Yes, Kevin and Rebecca prove to be excellent speakers time and time again.

  2. Very nice article Dave. I was fortunate to meet Kevin and Rebecca at their recent Superstars Writing Seminar in Las Vegas. I had the same experience as you. The attendees hung on every word they said. Kevin and Rebecca were very genuinely polite and interested in helping all of us succeed. They are definitely a good model to follow for aspiring authors.