This will be a weak-ass show report, largely because I was mostly focused on living the show and not a whole lot on taking a ton of pictures and recording stuff. I don’t do very well at striking a balance, I either veer to one side or the other. So I either have an awesome post-show report and didn’t really get much done at the con besides take pictures, or I have a great time, get a lot accomplished and don’t have shit for photos.
This con I got a LOT done. There will be two new episodes of Literate Liquors to come out of the con, one featuring the lovely Janice Hardy, who happened to wander through the break room at the Galt House during a shooting and I roped her into the interview. The other is the awesome Richard Kadrey, who I actually scheduled an interview with. Richard is the author of the Sandman Slim series of urban fantasy books, and if you haven’t read those, then for God’s sake get yourself to a bookstore post haste and buy that shit. It’s completely amazing and I’m only proud of myself for managing to be not too much of a fanboy while discussing the books and booze with Richard.
But I had a great time at Fandom Fest/Fright Night Film Fest. As I said on Facebook in a group for us writer types, this is rapidly becoming a con where I get business done. I sell a few books, sure, but the biggest deals were cut at dinner and at bars, and there were quite a few deals struck that I can’t talk about yet because we’re working out the details, but let it suffice to say that after the conversations I had this weekend I plan to be working with my current publisher for at least the next five years on at least two different projects, and I have five projects of varying sizes percolating within the next eighteen months with a completely different publisher. So I got a lot of work accomplished.
I was programmed pretty heavily, which I love. I was on two panels with Deb Dixon, my editor and the publisher at Bell Bridge Books. People like to put the self-pub guy who’s transitioning to trad pub on panels with his publisher just to see if he gets in trouble. So far I’ve been good. Deb and I don’t always agree on every point about the publishing business, but we do see eye-to-eye on most points, and we both can present our arguments relatively cleanly and without getting grumpy, so it’s always good to be on a panel with her.
I also continued my streak of panel-crashing when I suddenly appeared on the Humor in Speculative Fiction Panel. I saw a panel I’d be good on, populated by a host of authors whose work I respect, and moderated by someone I adore, so I crashed.
PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS. It is bad form, and I made a point to get permission from the moderator of the panel AND the lit track organizer before I did it, so it wasn’t really crashing. Unlike ConCarolians, where I really did crash.
But I saw a chance to get on a panel with Laura Resnick, John Scalzi, Jim Hines and Ernest Cline, moderated by Lee Martindale. So I took it. And we had a lot of fun, and I got to meet most of the awesome Guests of Honor at one fell swoop, so it was some good networking. And funny for the audience, too, I believe.
But NOTHING compared to the audience we got for the Book Tasting/Literate Liquor Live! Event. We packed the room and developed some awesome book/tea/booze combos. Jackie Gamber did an amazing job with her tea pairings for the books, including one with Hitchhiker’s Guide that tasted and smelled like gummy bears. Then I broke out the booze and we all got hammered. But for the record, the cinnamon tea that Jackie likes with her books Redheart and Sela, tastes AMAZING with a splash of Disaronno in it. There are pictures on my Facebook. It was a blast, we’ll do it again sometime.
I also met some awesome folks and reconnected with some old friends. I spent the weekend sharing a room with my buddy Sean Taylor, and it’s always great to hang with him. I shared a table with the always-lovely Kalayna Price (she has a new book out TODAY – buy it!), and I shared a lot of meals with my long-lost brother James R. Tuck. I also met some awesome new folks like JH Glaze, with whom I share a couple of initials. It was great getting to know him a bit, along with the beautiful Delilah Dawson, who I’m signing books with on Saturday in Columbia.
As always, there were too many people I spent time with to mention, but there’s always room for Jell-O, and you can’t do a post-show recap in the Mid-South without mentioning Allan Gilbreath. The man with the devious laugh is always great to spend time with, and he’s got a business brain that doesn’t quit. So if you do cons in Tennessee or Kentucky and don’t know Allan, fix that ASAP.
So yeah, I had a great time, made some more good connections, solidified some others, sealed a few deals and started the process on some others. So it was a great con, and I missed the wreck on I-65 South that stranded a bunch of my friends on their way home for six hours, so that was a win for me even if all the hotels in West Virginia were booked and I had to make the whole drive home instead of splitting it up like originally planned.