MisCon 29 Attending Professional
Weaned on the likes of The Lord of the Rings and Star Wars, Eldon took to writing fantasy adventure almost as soon as he learned to read. When at age nine he read Terry Brooks's The Elfstones of Shannara, his goal of becoming a fantasy novelist went from child's ambition to hopeless obsession.
Yet writing was to be a hobby. Even his parents stressed the importance of a "safe" career path. So when the time came, Eldon accepted a scholarship and went off to college, where among his English, writing, and mythology courses, he played quarterback and defensive back in football. The NFL offseason, he thought, was long enough in which to write books.
Hampered by injuries and a general lack of talent, he hung up his cleats upon graduation and rededicated himself to his writing pursuits, earning a degree in English before moving to Los Angeles to study postgraduate screenwriting at UCLA. That same year, he began attending the Maui Writers Conference, where he had a chance to study with bestselling novelists such as John Saul, Elizabeth George--and his lifelong idol, Terry Brooks. By his third year, he went home with a nomination for the Rupert Hughes Writing Award.
In 2003, his efforts resulted in a three-book deal with HarperCollins for The Legend of Asahiel trilogy. The Crimson Sword received a hardcover launch in 2005, followed by The Obsidian Key in 2006 and The Divine Talisman in 2008.
Since publication, Eldon has been a popular speaker at writing conferences and pop culture conventions worldwide, from the islands of Hawaii to the isles of Scotland. In the course of his travels, he has been befriended by such acclaimed fantasy authors as Robert Jordan, Tad Williams, R.A. Salvatore, Brandon Sanderson, Christopher Paolini, and many others.
He has also made strides in the screenwriting arena, inking an option agreement with Warner Bros in 2007 for his adaptation of Terry Brooks's The Elfstones of Shannara--a major step toward fulfilling his lifelong dream of seeing his favorite childhood novel on the silver screen.
If found away from his keyboard, he is most likely lifting weights, or fantasizing about becoming an NFL quarterback.
Web site: http://www.eldonthompson.com
Scheduled Panels and Presentations:
Key: =On a Panel =Moderating =GMing
Fri 5:00 - 5:50 PM, Build an Empire on the Fly, Thunderdome Right (Big Room Right)
Moderator: Kyle Elliott (Big Kyle); Panelists: Carol Berg, Rob Carlos, Steven Erikson, Chris Organ, Peter Orullian (Rock Lord), Eldon Thompson
Starting with the Wasteland as a clean slate, our panelists will create an empire from the ground up and see how far they get in 50 minutes. They’ll design everything they can think of: geography, races, culture, laws, history, etc, while our moderator will toss problems (like insurgent dissidents and earthquakes) their way. Artist Rob Carlos will sketch out things on the whiteboard as they go.
- Break Fri 5:50 - Sat Noon
Sat Noon - 12:50 PM, Forget the Beginnings--Writing Endings, Thunderdome Left (Big Room Left)
Panelists: C.J. Cherryh, Anne Groell, Todd Lockwood, Eldon Thompson
There is a lot of focus on getting the beginning of your story or book just right, but what about the ending? A satisfying ending can make or break a book. What are some ways you can be sure that your ending won't alienate your readers? Or better yet, keep them coming back for more? In this panel we'll discuss this all things endings.
- Break Sat 12:50 - Sat 5:00
Sat 5:00 - 5:50 PM, To The Big Screen and Back, Thunderdome Left (Big Room Left)
Panelists: Terry Brooks, Eldon Thompson
Storytelling across mediums can be challenging. In this panel, we'll talk about screenwriting and novelizations: how they differ, the challenges inherent in both, and how you can learn to write each.
- Break Sat 5:50 - Sun 10:00
Sun 10:00 - 10:50 AM, Author Book Signing, Thunderdome Right (Big Room Right)
Moderator: Justin Barba; Panelists: Dave Bara, Carol Berg, S. A. Bolich, Larry Bonham, M. H. Bonham (Maggie), Terry Brooks, Brenda Carre, C.J. Cherryh, Steven Erikson, Jane Fancher, Ann Gimpel, James Glass, Rhiannon Held, David Keck, Todd Lockwood, Peter Orullian (Rock Lord), L.F. Patten (Laurey), John Picacio, J.A. Pitts, Joyce Reynolds-Ward, Shawn Speakman, Patrick Swenson, Mark Teppo, Eldon Thompson
All authors are invited. Terry Brooks's signing is moderated, and we will maintain a STRICT 3 item maximum per person--zero exceptions. In order to keep the line moving, Terry can only personalize one item per person per trip through the line.
- Break Sun 10:50 - Sun 1:00
Sun 1:00 - 1:50 PM, Character and Desire, Upstairs Programming 3 (261)
Panelists: S. A. Bolich, David Keck, L.F. Patten (Laurey), Eldon Thompson
It always comes back to character. What does the hero want? What stops her from getting it? What are the consequences of failing? The progress of the protagonist connects an audience to a story. Join us as we discuss all things related to character and desire.
- Break Sun 1:50 - Sun 3:00
Sun 3:00 - 3:50 PM, What Makes Things Scary?, Thunderdome Right (Big Room Right)
Panelists: John Goff, Rob McDonell (Illuminati Rob), Peter Orullian (Rock Lord), Eldon Thompson
Dolls. Darkness. Goblins. Death. Clowns. The unknown. Why do scary things scare us? How can storytellers bring fear into stories and games? Is it better to see or imply monsters? Is gore scary or just gross? What is a good balance of suspense, surprise, escaping (or failing to) and gory death?
- Break Sun 3:50 - Sun 5:00
Sun 5:00 - 5:50 PM, Writing Combat: Live Action, Programming Tent 1 (The Tent)
Moderator: Ruth Frey; Panelists: Realms of Avalon , Terry Brooks, Steven Erikson, Peter Orullian (Rock Lord), Eldon Thompson
Our fighters, including MisCon 28 Author GoH Steven Erikson, Realms of Avalon fighter Matt Mcadoo, and author Eldon Thompson, will act out fight scenes read aloud by author Peter Orullian and MisCon 29 Author GoH Terry Brooks. They will bring to life a fight scene featuring famous weapon master Garet Jax as well as a fight scene from Peter's new novel, Trial of Intentions. They will use actual weapons, but no famous authors will be harmed during this panel.
- Break Sun 5:50 - Mon 1:00
Mon 1:00 - 1:50 PM, Organizing Story Ideas, Thunderdome Right (Big Room Right)
Moderator: Andrea Howe; Panelists: S. A. Bolich, Andrea Howe, Mark Teppo, Eldon Thompson
Writers usually have a tornado of ideas swirling in their heads at any one time. What do you do with all these ideas? How do you organize them? You might get them onto the page, but sometimes they don't live up to what's in your mind. What do you do then? What do you do when your ideas run wild? It's easy to feel defeated. In this panel we'll discuss how to organize those ideas into a coherent story and juggling expectation with reality.