What a great weekend! Four days of books, book people, and book conversation. What could be better?
I had a blast reconnecting with old friends – Happy Birthday, Alice! Happy Anniversary, William and Peggy! – and made a whole crop of new friends as well, the first among many being Howard A. Jones, to whom I credit my sale of my novel, Jane Carver of Waar, to Night Shade Books. He was as generous and gentlemanly in person as I expected him to be from all out skype chats and emails, and we had a great time exploring the sales room together and forging through the various con suite parties, questing for food, drink and conversation.
It was also wonderful to catch up with my mentors and friends Emma Bull and Will Shetterly, who, ten years ago, helped me take Jane Carver from a short, sloppily-written porn-parody to a fully-realized adventure novel, and just as importantly, took me aside one night after class and told me I had what it took to make it as a novelist. Those words, coming from them, gave me more confidence than anything else anyone has said to me in my long and bumpy career.
The other thing I was looking forward to at WFC was meeting my new publishers, the Night Shade Books posse, and the posse did not disappoint. Jeremy Lassen and Jason Williams, the NSB bosses – otherwise known as the guy in the suit and the guy in the hat – were as wild and welcoming as could be, and made me feel part of the family right away.
As did Ross Lockhart, my wonderful editor, with whom I had a long and fascinating discussion about Fritz Leiber, Stephan Donaldson, and the difference between high and low fantasy. He in turn introduced me to the terrific Liz Upson and Tomra Palmer, who handle Night Shade’s publicity and marketing, and who had me fetching drinks and snacks before the weekend was out. That is the author’s job, right? My new friends wouldn’t take advantage of my youth and naiveté, would they?
In addition, I got to meet several of my fellow Night Shade authors, including Stina Leicht, Jonathan Wood and Rob Ziegler, and had some great conversations with John Hornor Jacobs, whose book, Southern Gods, I stole off the NSB sales table. Shhh! Don’t tell anyone.
Between panels and parties and getting lost in the maddening maze that was the Town and Country Resort Hotel, I slipped away for clandestine meetings with Bob Vardeman and Mike Stackpool in which we plotted plots and schemed schemes that will hopefully bear hideous and fertile fruit in the near future. There were also hushed whisperings of springtime signing tours with Maryelizabeth Hart, and covert planning and conspiring with R. Scott Taylor and John O’Neill, but that was so secret I can’t talk about it. Lets just say, fingers crossed, it looks like 2012 will be a busy year.
Okay, that’s my report. There’s more I could mention – the party where we took turns reading the naughty bits from paranormal romance novels (and which got shut down by security), staying up ‘til 4am talking games and geekery with Doselle Young and Stephen Blackmoore, but this post is already too long. I better wrap it up and say goodbye.
I only wish I could hang out with all the cool and talented people I met at the con all the time, instead of just once a year in some hotel lobby, but I guess I’ll have to take what I can get. And no, chatting on the internet just isn’t the same.
Thank you, WFC! Can’t wait for the next one!