Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A Few Weeks Ago I Got to Hang Out With a Bunch of Cool Authors

Or, how I make myself look cooler by namedropping actual cool people.

Phoenix Comicon happened back in May and it’s fast becoming recognized as a very strong convention for SFF authors, which I’m told is strategic goal of the comicon. Well, I didn’t have time to attend the actual Con, but I did happen to be in Phoenix the night before the Con where there was the Elevengeddon author signing event at The Poisoned Pen Bookstore (you can get signed books by all those authors by contacting them). It was the brain child of Kevin Hearne and it ended up having around 17 authors signing books.

I would guess that about 100 people showed up. The event was rather loosely organized with so many authors – basically just a signing. Kevin Hearne’s line was the longest, which meant there was a great opportunity to chat with the other authors. I only took one picture of the event, which is posted here. I’m pretty sure Sam Sykes had a live feed of the signing for the first 15 minutes or so, I have no idea where that lives on the internet, but if you were so inclined, you could find yours truly lurking at various points of that.

Anyway, the event seemed like a who’s who of my Twitter feed. I brought 3 bags of books to be signed. I bought another bag’s worth at the event. Without counting, I probably had about 30 books with me to sign. The link to the event lists all the authors that were present – the names below are authors who’s books I got signed (in no particular order)

And even with the 30 or so books I had signed, I still missed some. When I got home I realized that I had other books by Naomi Novik and Myke Cole that didn’t make the trip. I also had books by Jason Hough that didn’t make the trip. Add that to me bringing a couple of books by Kevin Hearne that were already signed, and it was a bit frustrating. There’s always next year.

At the signing even I had some nice conversations with a few of the authors. Myke Cole was awesome – especially once he realized I ran this blog. He was very complimentary and fun to chat with. Brian Staveley was also fun to chat with as we discussed his books, the forthcoming final book of his trilogy (he had just submitted a draft of before coming on the trip), and ideas for future books in the world.

But if it was just a signing event, I probably wouldn’t bother with a blog post. Because then I headed to the bar with a few of the authors. This is where the name dropping gets more fun because drinks were involved. Sam, Myke, Kevin, Wes, Delilah, Jason, Brian and Brian all headed to a nearby bar, with a few others, including Myke’s significant other.

Some hilarity ensued – first I proved to be a rather worthless blogger by calling Brian McClellan by the wrong name – I confused him with Chuck Wendig. Laughs were had. Later I once again got something wrong about Brian by assuming he lived in Utah (he lives in Cleveland) – not that it was such a bad assumption because he used to live there. Anyway, Brian was a good sport about it. We’ll see if that holds up if I read and review his books one day and intentionally throw in a bunch of factual errors just to be consistent with my past behavior.

Sam was there, so poop was discussed.

Myke was quite amused that in Arizona it’s necessary to post signs about not bringing your guns into bars. Kevin shared that his family had been coming to that specific bar for generations. Several of us are relatively close in age and have young children – so we chatted a bit about that.

And of course there was a fair bit of industry gossip that I even contributed to a bit. Apparently I could contribute some interesting info since I’m on the receiving end of marketing. I’d love to name names and dish out the dirt, but then I wouldn’t get to play next time. In the end it was declared that someone must have something on someone else. #nocontextforyou

So, does this make me less objective as a reviewer? Well, I’ve never claimed to be objective anyway, so I don’t care. I’ll continue to say what I think of books in my reviews. But, the last three books I’ve read were by authors at that signing. And I have plans to read others in the near future. So, there is that.

Anyway, lots of fun was had as I actually interacted with real people that I have known from the internet. And next year, hopefully I can actually attend the Con.

1 comment:

Michael Senft said...

I was at the signing but didn't make it to the bar afterwards. It was a wonderful event and I got a handful of interviews for my blog during the proceedings. Kevin is such a nice guy, and everyone else was so generous with their fans. As to the question of bias - be upfront about it.I recently reviewed Beth Cato's new book - I've been a champion of her work since her debut came out, and I've gotten to know her in Social Media and IRL, so there is definite bias. But really, I'm not claiming impartiality, I'm writing about what I like and if the fact that someone is a nice person colors that viewpoint, well, I'll be honest about it.


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