Fantastical Mystery Tour Report

Saturday night I headed down to Columbia, SC to hang with Faith Hunter, Kalayna Price, Rachel Aaron and Misty Massey for the first ever Fantastical Mystery Tour multi-author book signing and extravaganza! It was a whole bucketful of awesome, as it is anytime I get to hang with those folks. This whole thing came about from Kalayna and Faith having a brilliant idea at the SC Book Festival, and me being in the right place at the right time. They wanted to do a big signing with a bunch of authors in Columbia to celebrate the release of Kalayna’s new book, Grave Dance.

I just started it, but so far it rocks. Not surprised since it’s the sequel to one of my Top 5 books of 2010.If you haven’t bought it yet, what are you waiting for?

So they wanted to do this thing, and they asked Misty to join. Then they looked over at my booth right next to theirs, and asked me to join. Then they added Rachel, and it was all set. This is just another case of the world being run by those who show up. I was in the right place back in January at RoundCon to meet Faith, Misty and Kalayna. Then I was in the right place in May to get invited into this signing. Then last Saturday night I was TOTALLY in the right place, because we had around 50 people at various times through the signing. It was a fantastic crowd, we had two lively panel discussions, with great questions from the audience, and we all sold a bunch of books.

Kalayna had a bunch of friends and family present, because this was her book release party, but the great thing about fantasy fans is that they don’t lock into one author. When they hear something they like, they’ll buy stuff from anybody who tells a good story. So all the rest of us were able to pick up a few of Kalayna’s stragglers, which is always fun. It never hurts to have a New York Times bestselling author (Faith) at the end of the table, either. I had a great moment chatting with one of my oldest childhood friends, who I haven’t seen in probably twenty years. He now lives only about 15 minutes from the store, so he came over to hang for a while.

It’s always a little tough being the only self-published guy in an event full of traditionally published authors, because the natural inclination is to segregate based on experience. That’s where I have to give a huge thanks to Faith, Kalayna, Misty and Rachel. They’ve never once made me feel like a second-class citizen or an inferior writer because my books are self-published. I read about folks getting snubbed by traditionally published authors just for being self-pubbed and have to report that my experience has been totally the opposite. All the people I’ve met who are traditionally published have been welcoming to me as a writer, regardless of how my books go to market. It might help that I put some of my typical arrogance aside when I’m around other writers because I assume that I’m the least experienced person in any roomful of writers until I’m proven wrong. And since I’m seldom proven wrong in that, it pays for me to be a little humble. I know I’m new to this whole game, and am learning different things every time I get to hang with other writers.

Now back to working on lines, because I’m now in a play. As if I didn’t have enough to do. It’s called The Irish Curse and runs the first three weekends of August. So if you’re in Charlotte around that time, I hope you’ll come by and check it out.

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