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GenCon Report

August 19, 2009
GenCon Report
When last we met, I had just sold my short story collection "In a Gilded Light: 105 Tales of the Macabre" to Dark Quest Books and been hired to do a short writing stint at NCsoft, working on the new hotness in MMORPGs named Aion. Having worked there for three weeks, I can agree, it is some seriously good stuff.

Really, that didn't give me much time to do anything other than continue to get the house ready for sale and prepare (as much as one can) for GenCon Indy 2009. Life was not dull but the reading would have been. Now, it is hard to sum up a 4 day convention in one or even many posts. So, I'll hit just a couple of the highlights.

Authors Avenue
Despite not having Grants Pass in the flesh, my booth in Authors Avenue was a serious success. Really. There were problems – location and lack of advertisement were the worst ones – but everything worked out. I pre-sold more Grants Pass books than I had planned to bring. My chapbook, Mastication, and my audio CD, Tasty, both sold modestly in comparison but they did sell. I got to hang out with Dylan Birtolo and got to meet some folks behind WereGeek, Alina and Layne. Our row supported each other – don't like fantasy, next door is Sci-fi. Don't like post-apocalyptic, next door is pre-apocalyptic. We watched each others' booths when breaks were needed and had a good time. I will totally do this again next year when I have 2 or 3 books out.

The Writer's Symposium
I had nine panels this year and most of them were well attended. Even the "Pick My Brain" panel which was the "me" show. People I didn't know brought me tickets with my name on them because they had signed up just to listen to me before GenCon started. I was thrilled. The panels were provocative and interesting. We had some great questions and some fun disagreements. I had a lot of fun discussing a torture scene I wrote into one of my fantasy books in the panel "Blood, Sweat and Fears." I loved making people shiver. Yes, I've already volunteered to be on the Symposium again next year.

A Confetti of Fan Girl
I had one of those moments. I really did. Saturday morning, I was wandering around the Dealers Room, doing the grips and grins thing with my current and future editors/publishers while doing a bit of browsing. I wandered up to the Cubicle 7 booth to say hello to an editor friend and was completely derailed by seeing the indie RPG "Cat" laying out on the table for sale. I've been looking for this RPG for ages and there it was.

"Cat! I must have that. A friend of mine ran it for me and I loved it. This is a great game. I want to buy it!"

A man at the booth standing next to my editor friend smiled and said, "I'd be happy to sell it to you."

I looked at his face. I didn't recognize him. I looked down at his badge and my brain vapor-locked. "Oh my God, you're John Wick! Jesus Christ!" I just blurted it out. I couldn't help myself. I really couldn't. There was a bit of verbal gushing on my part and gracious acceptance on his – including a booty dance of happiness – I bought the book and left thinking, OMG, you completely blew that one, didn't you? Fortunately, as I explained on a future panel, it is possible to recover from such a complete breakdown of business etiquette.

Shmoozing with the Best of Them
A lot of being a good freelancer involves going out and getting the writing/editing jobs. This means as much face time as possible when the opportunity like a convention comes around. You say hello at dealer tables, pass out and collect business cards and go to the industry events – both work and play.

I met Matt Forbeck several times during the convention and was impressed with his professionalism and good nature. I ran into John Wick again at a party and he remembered me (go fig). We sat down and had a good conversation on both a personal and professional level. I got to see Richard of Colonial Gothic</i> for business dealings and to gush over the new book, Matt and Monica of Flames Rising for fun and unexpected business dealings, Heather and Randall of Catalyst Game Labs, Eddy Webb and Jess Hartley from White Wolf for conversation and many introductions, Cam Banks of Margaret Weis Production, more hellos to Jeff of Hollow Earth Expedition… and the list goes on. You press the flesh, talk the talk and then walk the walk. Through it all, I try to suppress a giddy glee that I am here, working and being a part of this industry.

Upcoming Work
I have no lack of upcoming freelance work for at least the rest of the year. Nothing can be said until the contracts are looked at, agreed upon and signed but I'm really looking forward to all that I've verbally agreed to do. Life is good. It really is. There should be a series of announcements throughout the rest of the year about some of the cool projects I will be working on and the stuff I am currently working on. GenCon was very successful for me on a number of levels and that is why I will always try to make it there. It's a working convention but man, is it ever a fun convention.

Thank Goodness for Husbands
Last but not least, thank goodness for my husband, Jeff. He was my rock, my Sherpa, my handler, my guide and my sanity throughout the convention. I arrived at the convention in frail health and things got bad quick. For two days of the convention I had almost no sleep due to coughing and no voice in which to speak. Jeff took care of me, got me throat stuff, made sure I ate at least a little something, got me to my early morning panels and late night parties and generally kept me going. He sat at my booth and advertised my book, chapbook and CD. He was patient when I was not. Basically, he is the mellow to my harsh and I am grateful. Love you honey. Really do.

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
eyezofwolf
Aug. 20th, 2009 04:35 pm (UTC)
Thanks for being such an awesome presence in the avenue. It was great having you around to joke with, help keep me energized, and help keep people moving around in the avenue. I had a blast and now small part of that is because of your being my neighbor table.

Congrats on the possible contacts as well! That is awesome. I need to get better at the wandering meet and greet... And thank you again for introducing me to the Colonial Gothic people. I have been reading through the rule book and it seems really interesting. I like the simplistic nature and focus on storytelling and action side of it.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )