Now that I've been back for almost two weeks and have almost recovered, I can talk about EPICon.
EPIC is an organization for electronically published authors. They've been around for 10 years, maybe a little more. While the group has strong roots in romance, as evidenced by the constant talk of RWA (Romance Writer's of America) and RT (Romantic Times) conventions, it is pretty much shunned by those groups. E-publishing is still a small slice of the publishing pie, but it's growing, and a lot of that growth is in Romantic Erotica.
I had a great time in Virgina. I got to meet writers I knew by reputation, such as Emily Veinglory, and meet face to face for the first time writers I knew through the Erotica Readers and Writers Association and GLBT Promo. I hung out quite a lot with Helen Madden. She's in my novel reading beta group. We didn't just exchange chapters for critique; we were editors, cheerleaders, nags, devil's advocates, and sanity checks. I'm thrilled that the novels we worked on at the same time will be e-published within months of each other. (hers is Devil By Day, mine is Chaos Magic). I also discussed an Erotica Writer's conference with Laura Baumbach (A Bit of the Rough, and mastermind behind Man Lover Romance). I was very impressed with the publisher from Mojocastle Press (Helen's publisher), Stephanie Kelsey, and her philosophy towards her writers and business. I wish I'd had more time to talk with my publishers, Torquere Press, but didn't.
My BDSM panel, Safe, Sane, and Consensual went really well. Chris Owen, Jodi Payne, Sabrina Luna, and Eliza Gayle were great. They had so much to add, and were into the spirit of the thing. You can't take yourself too seriously when you're answering questions about the 7 Gates of Hell and explaining why someone would want to be led around on a leash.
Next year's conference is in Portland. While I meant for this to be an every-other year conference, I think I might have to go. I love hanging around with other writers, and the e-published writers are a pretty savvy group when it comes to the business side of publishing, so I learned an awful lot just from listening to the talk around the dinner table. Not to mention how much I picked up about self-promotion. That's information any writer needs, no matter what medium s/he is published in.